“Go Inside the Frozen Trenches of Eastern Ukraine”

 

 

By Ainhoa Aristizabal

Published by Unruly Hearts –  17 July 2015

 

All 21 pictures published by Time Magazine under the title “Go Inside the Frozen Trenches of Eastern Ukraine” are free promotion of Kiev’s Ukrainian Army and “volunteers” of the Aidar Nazi battalion.

The 21 pictures were taken by photographer Ross McDonnell who spent two weeks working along the Ukrainian front lines in Donetsk and Lugansk. “[There was] a lot of heavy shelling all day and all night, with tactical machine and mortar fire from open trenches on what was once the main road to Donetsk.”

For the Irish photographer who’s been covering the conflict since the first days of the Maidan revolution in early 2014, the goal now is to present “a snapshot of the day-to-day life on the battlefield” from the Ukrainian side. “There’s a sense of daily life in the trenches [establishing itself],” he says. “Many of the fighters have been there for months and they are exhausted. In Debaltseve, most of the fighters were in the encircled city for three months before withdrawing in the last days.”

But Mr McDonnell fails to tell us that more than 10,000 cases of desertion have been registered in the Ukrainian army since the outbreak of the Donbass war in April 2014, that angry Ukrainian Conscripts in Lviv threatened revolt,  and that 400 Ukrainian servicemen abandoned the trenches and sought refuge in Russia.

Indeed a free promotion of the Kiev regime, its Ukrainian Army, and the Nazi battalions, which shows that perhaps either Mr. McDonnell was paid well for giving Americans only one side of the story, or that he joined the Media Disinformation regarding the Donbass Military Leadership.

In none of the pictures that mention the “volunteers” of the Aidar Nazi battalion has the author of the Time article, Olivier Claurent, mentioned the word “Nazi”.

According to Mr. Claurent, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced the withdrawal of more than 2,000 government troops from “the disputed and strategic town of Debaltseve, trying to cast the move in a positive light while Russia-backed rebels claimed victory.”. But not a word about how many times has President Poroshenko broken the cease-fire.

“Despite the bitter winter and heavy losses on both sides, the spirit has remained warm”, says McDonnell. “The people are pragmatic, and “we get a sense that the soldiering life is a job and a duty,” he tells TIME. “On the Ukrainian side, at least, there’s a huge amount of pride.” As individuals, they feel let down by their new government and by the West. They want to think they are ready to defeat the pro-Russian rebels, but they can’t take on Russia itself.”

Mr McDonnell tells us a  fictitious, highly fanciful story that ignores reality. Since April 7, 2014 the Kiev authorities have been waging war against Donbass self-defense forces who rejected the legitimacy of the coup-imposed Ukrainian government and declared the independent republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.
 

And there’s no end in sight for this conflict, despite the fragile cease-fire that went into effect recently; “It will depend on the rebels’ ambitions,” says McDonnell, “but after their recent victories, it’s difficult to see any lasting ceasefire.”

 
Groups of right-wing Ukrainian nationalists are committing war crimes in the rebel-held territories of Eastern Ukraine, according to a laundry stain-free and fresh report from Amnesty International, as evidence emerged in local media of the Nazi“volunteer militias” beheading their victims.

Armed volunteers who refer to themselves as the Aidar battalion “have been involved in widespread abuses, including abductions, unlawful detention, ill-treatment, theft, extortion, and possible executions” Amnesty International reported.

None of these atrocities are mentioned in the Time article.

To Mr McDonnell: The self-defense forces of Donbass  know they will win because they are committed to protect their people  against the imposed Kiev regime assassins.  It is not a matter of pride Mr. McDonnell. It is a matter of justice and commitment.

 

 

 

ForRuss: Ukrainian soldiers break into a house, beat the owner, take his belongings, and record it on video

Published by Fortress Russ – War Crimes

 

Ukrainian soldiers break into a house, beat the owner, take his belongings, and record it on video

 

Украинские военные врываются в жилой дом, избивают хозяина, крадут ценные вещи и алкоголь.

 

 

February 14, 2015 – Translated by Kristina Rus
(Everyone, including the owner speak mostly Ukrainian, mixed with some Russian)

 

We are in an apartment!
How many people did you drive?
Guy, lets talk normally!
I am not lying!
Shut your mouth, f%ck!
What are the metal sheds in the yard? 
Respond!
Turn your face!
There are garden tools and car parts
I can hear you, turn your face!
Whats on the hill?
Face in the wall!
I am not lying!
Turn your face!
I hear you, turn your face!
Face in the wall!
Friend, please tell me, be so kind, I am begging you! I am a normal person! 
Don’t raise your head!
I am telling you, don’t raise your head!
I built everything myself, I want to live here! My children are here! Do you understand? I am not a fighter, I am not a Russian fighter! We were running away from the war!
These are my rims, there is no beamer [BMW]
Where are the keys?
May be in my pockets?
Where are the keys?
On a window, or in my pockets!
I am not lying, I will give you all the keys
Respond to the point!!
I am not lying, I will give all the keys! Why are you beating me? I am a human!
You are a separatist!
I swear on my mother and God Jesus Christ, and on my children!
Here, take this!
Why are you making a video?
The keys are in my pockets! I am not lying, I swear! I am not lying, kind people, look in my jacket!
There is enough weapons for a base.
You know my wife, Olya, she works in the alcohol department, a brunette! You all know her, you buy alcohol from her, she will confirm everything! I didn’t do anything! I am telling you the truth, I swear, I am not lying, I swear! I am quiet!
Keep an eye on him, guys, pause this!

Ukraine Government: “We Target Civilians.” Separatists: “Their Targeting Maps Prove It.”

By Eric Zuesse

Global Research, February 03, 2015

Region:
In-depth Report:

The pro-regime Ukrainian TV station Hromandske TV — which is funded by the U.S. Government, the Dutch Government,  has reported that the Ukrainian Government is specifically targeting civilians to die in the Donbass region in the former Ukraine’s southeast. It’s being done in order “to clean the cities.”

This is open acknowledgement that the operation, which the U.S. is financing (and Ukraine is bankrupt so it can never reimburse its donors), is actually an ethnic-cleansing campaign.

Previously, on Hromadske TV, a proponent of doing just that (ethnic cleansing)

was interviewed. He said:

“If we take, for example, just the Donetsk oblast, there are approximately 4 million inhabitants, at least 1.5 million of which are superfluous. … Donbass must be exploited as a resource, which it is. … The most important thing that must be done — no matter how cruel it may sound — is that there is a certain category of people that must be exterminated.”

Here is how it’s done:

Ukrainian military speak out plainly –  We bombard our cities

Published on Sep 9, 2014
ENG SUBS – Translation: Fedot Panteleev

[9 September 2014, from Slavyangrad, pro-separatists’ clips are shown, taken from pro-Ukrainian-Government telecasts] Video of Commander of the Ukrainian Government’s volunteer battalion ’Shaktarsk,’ Ruslan Onishchenko:

“Our mission, being employees of the Ministry of the Interior, is to clean the cities, after the army has ‘worked’ this territory with aircraft, artillery and heavy military equipment. This is a normal tactical approach to warfare.”

Retired Col. General Vladimir Ruban, interviewed on the pro-Ukrainian-Government Hromadske TV, then says:

“I want to offer the Ukrainian artillerists medals, to those who shell the city [Donetsk], the houses and the civilian population, … for they [artillerists] have deserved it [medals], both because of the accuracy and inaccuracy. … It’s one thing if attack groups or any mobile mortar troops drive through the city and shoot, … but if the artillery units fired from the airport [i.e., from the distance], then no one can claim that the separatists shoot themselves [i.e., that the people who are being killed in the city are victims of separatist troops mistakenly hitting passers-by when aiming at Government troops. He is saying that artillerists will clearly get the blame, whereas street-fighters can always blame the ‘terrorists.’]. … The shelling there is done as intimidation, … not just object destruction, but intimidation [to get the population to flee to nearby Russia]. The civilian population is intimidated by a chaotic bombardment of different objects. There are many shells that plug directly into the streets or vegetable gardens [and so make the very ground on which these people live terrifying to them]. INTERVIEWER: This refers to those that didn’t explode? ANSWER:  Yes, … there are many of those, … shells that fail to detonate. But Gorlowka has been fortunate to have not yet been totally eradicated from the face of the earth, along with the civilian population. INTERVIEWER: You mean that the city is bombarded violently? ANSWER: Gorlowka was shelled by our troops, [even] as I went there for the prisoner exchange. Although  it was known that I was there, they [our troops] kept up the bombardment of Gorlowka. 

General Ruban might not have know it at the time of his interview, but on February 1st, Life News in Russia bannered

http://lifenews.ru/news/149253″

“Militia DNR: Ukrainian Army Uses US Missiles,” and reported that in Gorlovka were found “shells that do not belong to Ukrainian artillery, and even more so do not use Soviet or post-Soviet military equipment.
 
According to their hypothesis, the weapons are from NATO. Deputy brigade commander Army DNR [Donetsk People’s Republic] callsign ‘Biker’ showed shells and said that … this is a special projectile 155 caliber self-propelled artillery of the M109 A1 American production, which is used by NATO countries.” Furthermore, “The presence of foreigners in their army and radio intercepts confirms our intelligence when we hear in interceptions, phrases in English and Polish.” Germany’s Bild, and Britain’s Mail, are also among the international news organizations that have previously reported on American mercenaries, including the former notorious Blackwater organization, ‘advising’ the Ukrainian army in this war. The finding of U.S. military provisions on the battlefields in Donbass is, furthermore, routine; but U.S. soldiers, like Russian ones, are probably not fighting there. Ukraine is only a proxy war between the two major nuclear powers, not yet a direct war between the nuclear powers.
 
Within just the past few days, further video evidence was uploaded which indicates that the targeting of civilians is a central purpose of the U.S.-funded Ukrainian war campaign:

The Militia captured secret documents from UAF 28 01 2015 ENG SUBS

 

 

Although Kiev may claim that ‘stray shells’ hit a hospital or a kindergarten, we have found on the front line that is being left behind by departing Ukrainian soldiers, artillery maps, where the targets were restaurants, cafeterias and shops. Here is an exclusive report by our correspondent Valentin Trushin from the former UAF’s [Ukrainian Armed Forces} trenches:

This is a field near the village of Ozeryanovka, from which recently was a Ukrainian battery firing at Gorlovka: … [The rebel soldier says that many of these abandoned tanks and other weapons are undamaged, and ‘They will say tomorrow that Russia supplied them to us, but it’s actually their equipment that will be repaired if necessary but will be used at war against them.’ Views of Government-destroyed Gorlovka are shown.] … In the [rebel-]destroyed dugouts were found … notebooks of cannon commanders, maps. The documents show that shelling of the city [by the Government] was not random, but deliberate.The coordinates of the targets are shown. For examples, one is a restaurant, another a cafeteria or a market where no militiamen were stationed. … Here are their target-maps, … irrefutable evidence of war crimes. 

Little over a month ago, a rebel commander explained why the Ukrainian armed forces are losing:

[eng subs] How the elite UA troops were defeated by the militia. Interview with commander Kedr

 

 

[13 Dec. 2014, from Cassad TV in Crimea, run by a man whom the U.S. aristocracy describe as being a far-right Marxist

“How the Elite UA [Ukrainian Army] Troops Were Defeated by the Militia. Interview with Commander Kedr

(head of the anti-Ukrainian-Government Semyonovka battalion in the outskirts of Slovyansk): How did you manage to defeat them? ANSWER: The most surprising thing is that they were eliminated by the [rebel] militias, who haven’t graduated from any military academies. Many of them haven’t even served in the army before. The majority of them had only for the very first time recently taken weapons in their hands [they hadn’t previously owned or used even a gun]. I think that victory … [resulted from] … the high motivation of our troops, and it was guaranteed by the high morale, the example that was being given by the commanders who were taking part in the fight themselves. It provided such a result. Good trophies [weapons] were captured then, … [and it even] happened before the Ilovaisk cauldron [when the enemy was encircled], and at a time when the situation was very difficult for the militias themselves, … [so] there was only one injured soldier from our side in that battle, but from the enemy’s side were killed 15-12 men, practically all of them [that were fighting]. … Six [of them] were taken captive. [The battlefield is shown with enemy corpses]. … Our unit arrived to collect the corpses of two of their shot-down pilots. But the enemy managed to save one of their pilots. I repeat: Our troops weren’t professional military but people like miners and trolley-bus drivers. [3:17] I’d say to Ukrainian mothers that our soldiers have nowhere to retreat from their own land, while the enemy have a chance to turn around and go home. 

[4:14: video is shown of the enemy’s combat ration.] It’s an American combat ration.

The actual reason why this southeast-Ukrainian ethnic-cleansing campaign is necessary for Obama, who installed the current regime in Ukraine, is that, if it is not done, and, if the people who lived and voted in the Donbass region (Ukraine’s far-east) were still to remain there and allowed to vote there as being citizens of Ukraine, then they would vote at least 90% against the regime’s candidates, and for moderates, because, even before the regime had started to exterminate these people, they had voted 90% for Viktor Yanukovych in the last democratic Ukraine-wide Presidential election (which was back in 2010), and he was the very same man whom Obama overthrew. Now, after this extermination-campaign, the vote there against the Obama stooges would be virtually 100% — not just 90%.

In other words: Obama needs to get rid of those people. They can die, or else they can flee to Russia, but Obama needs them gone from Ukraine.

As regards why Obama had wanted their land to begin with, it was because unless the gas and other assets in the ground there can be privatized or sold off by the Ukrainian Government to pay its debts, the Ukrainian Government will go bankrupt and become an enormous drag on everyone who had previously lent to it, including the U.S., IMF, EU, World Bank, and others (ironically including even Russia).

Now that the situation is becoming increasingly clear that this land will not be able to be controlled by the Ukrainian Government, Obama’s best bet (in terms of his objectives) is to allow the war simply to end with Ukraine’s defeat, so that no more good money will go to Ukraine after the previous bad money is thus lost, but just cut the losses and bring this truncated and rabidly anti-Russian western half of Ukraine into NATO for the goal that is, apparently, Obama’s top foreign-policy objective: surrounding Russia with U.S. nuclear missiles and with regimes that hate Russia, in order to get Russia’s capitulation to America’s aristocracy.

Vladimir Putin wants Donbass to instead remain a part of Ukraine, as a counter-weight there against the rabidly anti-Russian voters in Ukraine’s western region, so as to produce yet another Yanukovych-like leadership in Ukraine and thus reduce the likelihood of a global nuclear war (which would be Russia’s only alternative if Obama were to succeed in his surround-Russia-with-missiles plan).

After all: John Fitzgerald Kennedy didn’t like it when the Soviet Union in 1962 tried to place nuclear missiles in just one location near the U.S.: Cuba. For Putin, Ukraine is like a nuclear Cuba was to America, but more like around ten nuclear Cubas, in Russia’s case. For Ukraine to join NATO would, perhaps, alone be sufficient threat to Russia so as to produce an immediate Russian nuclear attack against the U.S. and other NATO nations (a pre-emptive Russian attack, against us). The insane ones there would be the U.S. and any nation that supports it — the nations that then are clearly aiming to ‘conquer’ Russia. The U.S., under Kennedy, refused to stand for it in reverse; and Russia, under Putin or any other leader, shouldn’t stand for it, either. NATO needs to end, immediately. It had started as an anti-communist club, and was then valid; but what it was and is after the end of the Soviet Union, is the greatest threat to the entire world. It is now nothing but an anti-Russian club: not just insane, but also evil.

The only beneficiaries of today’s NATO are the West’s arms-merchants and other military suppliers. For everybody else, it’s catastrophe waiting to happen.

So: that’s the reason why the United States has been supporting (and, until now, even demanding) an ethnic-cleansing campaign in the former Ukraine. It’s part of the evil and supremely dangerous insanity that is NATO.

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010,  and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

“Je Suis Donetsk”: Ukraine Army Attacks Bus and Trolley in Center of Donetsk. 13 Killed including Children

 

In-depth Report:

 

cluster-rocket-ukraine-400x222This morning January 22nd at 8:30 local time in Donetsk the Ukrainian army fired what appear to be 82mm shells at buses and trolleys near the center of the city.

The targets were located within roughly a 25 meter radius of each other. The OSCE is investigating.

The terrorist strike on the bus shown above claimed the lives of 13-15 people including children. There are reported to be over 20 other critically injured, many with blast amputations. The driver of a car next to the blast burnt to death. The blast was large enough to blowout 2nd story windows in an apartment across from it and stopped the clock at 8:30.

Donetsk Defense Minister Vladimir Kononov gave a statement that a group of terrorists launching attacks on civilians have been caught and are Ukrainian military operatives. Small teams of Ukrainian army/terrorists have been perpetrating random drive by shootings with automatics in Donetsk since the Ukrainian army reignited the hot war eleven days ago.
 

 
 

In another development on Slavakaya St. which is located on the outskirts of Donetsk, a local resident noticed an improvised trip mine pictured above. The DNR(Donetsk Peoples Republic) army responded by sending an explosives team to defuse it. The mine was set up on a pathway to a children’s playground.

In the town of Stahanovo today a Grad and Hurricane rocket and missile attack left three children’s kindergartens entirely destroyed this morning. Three more pre-school facilities were targeted and partially destroyed. So far casualty reports are 8 civilians dead including at least 2 children and over 20 wounded. The attacks on civilians are escalating.

Sources are reporting that the attack this morning is only the beginning of a much larger one. Ukraine’s Donbas Battalion is moving military equipment into Artemovsk flying DNR flags and wearing DNR uniforms. Artemovsk is in the control of the Ukrainian army.

The latest attacks on civilian targets in Donetsk show a blatant pattern of criminal murder that has come to define the Ukrainian Government in Kiev throughout the war. Like the other bus attack near Volonovaha where the Ukrainian army fired Grad rockets at one of their own checkpoints this attack shows the open criminality of the Poroshenko regime.

In developed countries governments that give their army units orders to murder other army units and their own civilians are criminals. Every official that could have influence and stop the crimes are held accountable. Most developed countries also adhere to laws of war that makes the purposeful targeting of civilians an international crime. Leaders of countries that order crimes of this magnitude are prosecuted either internally or in an international forum like the War Crimes Tribunal in Nuremburg. After WW2, a guilty verdict meant the responsible leaders were hung.

Why is this openly Nazi government instead rewarded?

Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, U.S. Army, is head of Allied Land Command (LANDCOM) for NATO was in Kiev yesterday and awarded US Army Europe medallions for excellence to the Ukrainian army’s wounded. General Hodges shook one Ukrainian soldiers hand and stated he was “proud of his service to his country.”

 

At Debalsevo and the Donetsk airport where these wounded soldiers are coming from the Ukrainian army has been targeting civilians for several months. The US Army head of LANDCOM takes pride in this? As an American I have never felt this much shame for my country. Just the sight of this man who is in the position of knowing exactly who he is dealing with shames the memory of my own grandfather and uncle who fought in WW2 against ultra-nationalism.

My grandfather and uncle would not thank openly nazi governments for receiving him on “such short notice.” They were proud to be American.

 

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s).  Unruly Hearts will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. The Center of Research on Globalization grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified.

Armoured Forces of Ukraine were dislodged from military base in Avdeevka, and the enemy sustained big losses in the airport

NOVOROSSIA NEWS

01 December 2014 Yesterday

The battle was about 2 hours in Chernuhino near Debaltsevo yesterday in the evening.

The Ukies were shelled near Stanitsa-Luganskaya and near Valuyskoe and Olhovoe. Ukrainians promised to take horrible revenge. The mine struck the truck with vodka and champagne for New Year in Schastie in the territory of the Thermal Power Station (TPS).

Ukrainian forces have casualties, when they tried to invade the airport, one fighter was killed, eight fighters died yesterday from the 95 brigade, two soldiers died from the 79 brigade, and there are casualties from the 93 brigade. It was reported also that punitives were dislodged from the settlement Opytnoe.

Some massive explosions thundered in Donetsk

Breaking news:

article1717

Donetsk under Ukrainian Army fire last night

 

‘Some massive explosions thundered in micro district Magistralniy in Kuybishevskiy district, Kirovskiy and micro district New Tekstilschik. The information concerning positions of Ukrainian forces is being specified now. Windows in school 51 flew away. There were shelling of houses on Tereshkova Street. The punitive are shelling Kievskiy district. The Ukrainian forces are pumping mortar shells to the side of the mine Panfilovskaya.

Such streets as Zharikova and Ostrovskogo were also damaged. One car was set on fire.

 

November 30 — A relief convoy formed in Russia’s southern Rostov region is ready to leave for the conflict-hit Ukraine’s Donbass region, Oleg Voronov, the deputy head of the Russian Emergencies Ministry National Crisis Management Center, told TASS on Sunday. “The convoy is expected to advance to the Russian-Ukrainian border this morning. It will head for Donbass after the customs formalities,” Voronov said adding that more than a hundred trucks would deliver more than 1,200 tonnes of relief aid to Donbass. The relief cargo includes food, including canned meat, fish and milk; building materials such as glass and rubberoid to restore the damaged buildings and materials for maintaining the operation of Donbas’s life-support facilities. The truck drivers who are going to deliver the relief aid have undergone a special course of driving in extreme conditions and are ready to fulfill the humanitarian mission.

“All the trucks are ready for the mission. All the vehicles have undergone technical maintenance. All of them are in order. They have been filled with fuel. No emergencies or unforeseen situations are expected to emerge on the way,” Voronov said. “This is the eighth relief convoy for Donbas. It started to be formed long in advance. Trucks from various parts of the country kept bringing various relief cargoes at the Donskoy rescue center from the Rostov, Voronezh, Tula, Ivanovo and Moscow regions for several days. About 60 trucks arrived from the Noginsk rescue center of the Russian Emergencies Ministry,” Voronov stressed.

Since mid-August, seven truck convoys have delivered almost 9,500 tonnes of cargoes, predominantly food, building materials and medical supplies, to Donbas.

The Daily Beast interviews pro-Kiev militia commander Yuriy Bereza

1416830674384.cached

pro-Kiev militia commander Yuriy Bereza

 

In an exclusive interview, one of the top pro-Kiev militia commanders talks about the cowardice of some of Ukraine’s regular army officers and his need for U.S. weapons.
DNIPROPETROVSK, Ukraine—When skirmishes began in this corner of eastern Ukraine earlier this year, Yuriy Bereza decided to use “direct action” (read fists and clubs), threats, and incentives to ensure this fourth largest city—and a mainly Russian-speaking one—didn’t slide into rebel hands as DonetskandLuhansk had done.Bereza, a veteran of the Orange Revolution of mass protests against Russian-backed governments, joined forces with a group of local businessmen, including billionaire oligarchIgorKolomoisky, to make sure this city stayed on the Ukrainian side of the political divide.The strategy seems to have worked. In the Dnipropetrovsk’s regional administration building on a frigid Saturday morning, I waited for him along with members ofBereza’sDnipro Battalion, a motley militia that has been in the forefront of a weeks-long battle three hours away at Donetsk airport. They wanted to welcomeBereza back from a 10-day trip to Washington, D.C.This stocky 44-year-old grandfather with a neatly cropped beard arrived in an ebullient mood, laughing often and easily as, behind closed doors with some of his lieutenants, he narrated his adventures in America to a chorus of loud guffaws. But make no mistake, this former officer in the Soviet and Ukrainian armies is a man on a mission—to take back the Donbass region from the separatists and to exorcise Russian political influence on Ukraine. 

Alexander Khudoteply/AFP/Getty

Alexander Khudoteply/AFP/Getty

 

“During the Orange Revolution we were all romantics—we were all romantics being shot at—and now we are determined to be free of Russian oppression,” he tells me in his office decorated with maps and Ukrainian flags and crests, two removed from Crimea before it was annexed by Russia last spring.

Bereza took the same message to U.S. lawmakers in closed-door meetings on Capitol Hill, telling them they need to do more for Ukraine. “I tried to explain that World War III has started and is being fought in east Ukraine and there is no way the U.S. cannot be involved in the fight,” says Bereza. “It can delay but it will have to intervene some time or another—later in the Baltics when Moscow is threatening them and maybe Poland.”

Bereza’s views about World War III and American reluctance to engage offended some of his audience on the Hill. “Democrats didn’t like what I had to say and at one meeting they tried to get out of the room because I was being very harsh on President Obama,” he laughs. He said that on the whole he got a better reception from Republicans, especially the pugnacious Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). “He’s a huge man,” said Bereza.

On Tuesday, amid alarms about a renewed invasion threat by Russian forces, the Arizona senator once again urged President Barack Obama to take more action. “The United States and the European Union must provide Ukraine with the arms and related military and intelligence support that its leaders have consistently sought and desperately need,” McCain said in a statement.

Last week, the Pentagon announced delivery of three lightweight, counter-mortar radar systems to the Ukrainian army—part of a $118 million package of “non-lethal equipment and training” the U.S. has committed. Moscow has warned the U.S. not to supply weapons to Ukraine, saying it would amount to an escalation and breach the ceasefire accord reached two months ago in Minsk, the Belarusian capital.

Ukraine’s militiamen ask “What ceasefire?” According to the United Nations, almost 1,000 people have died since the Minsk truce agreement was inked—an average of 13 dead a day. Fighting remains intense in flashpoints in the oblasts of Donetsk and Luhansk, Ukraine’s two easternmost provinces. Artillery and mortar duels all around the outskirts of Donetsk rumble angrily every day.

At the weekend, four Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 10 others wounded, according to security officials in Kiev, who claim Russia now has 7,500 troops deployed on Ukrainian soil to back pro-Moscow separatists.

Bereza says what the U.S. is giving is not enough. His shopping list includes surveillance drones. (At the moment, his troops are flying small amateur ones that have a short range and can’t cope with harsh weather conditions). And he would especially like American FGM-148 Javelins, man-portable anti-tank missiles to hit at Russian armor.

But the 500 men in Bereza’s militia are not the Ukrainian army. Most have little military experience. They are shop managers, salesmen, students, and accountants. “I have no idea how many of them have had military training before,” he tells me later with a chuckle.

The Dnipro Battalion is one of 37 pro-unity militias—they are formally known as territorial defense battalions—which were formed this year as exasperation mounted at the inaction and ineffectiveness of the Ukrainian armed forces up against the pro-Russian separatist forces spreading across Donbass. Moscow paints them all as far-right groups such as Right Sector, calling them terrorists, a term the Kremlin doesn’t apply to the separatists. But the 15,000 militiamen come from a variety of political backgrounds and formally, at least, the battalions are legal forces subordinate to the interior ministry.

Dnipro has become a vanguard militia, along with the Aidar, Azov, and Donbass battalions, and last month the unit claimed the slaying of the highest ranking Russian soldier to die in the war in the Donbass, Gen. Sergey Andreychenko, who was killed in a firefight in Telmanove.

Despite its creditable fighting performance, Dnipro relations with army commanders can be tense and in August they nearly flared into a firefight. Bereza says he thought about shooting Gen. Petro Lytvyn, the Ukrainian army officer commanding on the ground during the battle for Ilovaisk, an engagement that left at least a hundred Ukrainian militiamen and soldiers dead and possibly as many as 500 taken prisoner.

Bereza accuses Lytvyn of abandoning his post along with many of his men as Russian reinforcements poured across the border at Amvrosiivka and made for Ilovaisk, a rail hub that Ukrainian forces were attempting to wrest from the separatists. The covert invasion by thousands of Russian troops backed by tanks hardly was registered by an international media focused on the sweeping offensive of jihadist forces in Iraq and Syria. And Western capitals sought to play down the Russian invasion.

According to Bereza and other militia commanders, Lytvyn’s flight left militiamen encircled. In the end he told the general he should shoot himself for his cowardice. Bereza suffered a concussion in the subsequent fighting, the commander of the Donbass battalion was wounded and his counterpart in the Kharkiv militia was killed. A withdrawal agreement for the encircled Ukrainians, made with the Russians and separatists, was not honored and a column of retreating Ukrainians was wiped out as it came under mortar and heavy machine-gun fire.

The defeat at Ilovaisk, the worst reversal so far for Ukrainian fortunes in the war in the Donbass, prompted Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko to agree to the Minsk ceasefire and led to the resignation of Defense Minister Valeriy Heletey. But a criminal probe into the actions of top Ukrainian army commanders appears to have been shelved and the incident remains a nagging sore, adding to militias suspicious of the politicians in Kiev and whether they can be counted on.

The Minsk agreement rankles. “It would be possible to capture Donetsk. But it is only Ukraine that restrains itself to abide by the accord,” says Bereza. “We are fighting in the east and we still have traitors in our parliament,” he frets. “But we can’t have another revolution, that would fall into a Russian trap.”

 

Putin warns western media against one-sided coverage of Ukrainian crisis

Russia's President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin has criticized Western media for its one-sided coverage of the Ukraine conflict, in an interview with the German ARD channel at the G20 summit. “The most important thing is that one shouldn’t look at the problem from one side only,” Putin stressed. “Today, there’s military action underway in eastern Ukraine. The Ukrainian government is using the army. They even used missiles. But do you mention this? You don’t say a single word about it. It means that you want the Ukrainian government to destroy everything there, all the political enemies and opponents. Is that what you want? We do not want that. And we won’t allow that to happen.”