I have recently come into contact with “Juan” who currently resides near the conflict area in the Ukraine. I don’t personally know Juan but I am confident that he/she is a person with a military background and a first-hand knowledge of the Russian military, including elite units. In our email exchanges we soon established that while I was “one of ‘them’ who was buried under 15 kilometers of concrete, rock and steel” “Juan” was one of the “poor ground pounders had to slog through the mud and slime, rain and snow’. This gave me the idea to ask “Juan” to provide the readers of this blog with an analysis of the conflict in the Ukraine written from the point of view of somebody whose career was on the front lines and not, like me, in air-conditioned rooms with fancy computers and communication gear. I sincerely think that this latter perspective is something this blog sorely needed and I am delighted to be able to share it with you today.
A big thank you to “Juan” for agreeing to share his views with all of us!
The conflict in the Ukraine as seen by a professional solider:
I have been asked by The Saker to share my view of the current conflict in the Ukraine. I will provide no information that is not publicly available if one wants to dig and one is observant with the many videos available on the internet amongst other places. I will give my opinion on the fighting capabilities of Russian soldiers (By Russian Soldiers I mean ethnic Russians and citizens of the Russian Federation serving in the Russian Army. This includes most, but not all, on both sides of the Donbas and Lugansk fighting. It is meant as neither a compliment nor a denigration.) but I will not answer any questions, that will be up to the Saker, although he is free to consult me about questions. I am apolitical publicly but I will give an opinion in private. I have served. We will leave it at that with the exception of stating while Saker was safely ensconced under more than a few inches of concrete and steel, I was boots in the mud, therefore he and I have a totally different view of events, his world wide, mine what I could see through my weapon sights and not much more.
I will give my assessment of the military situation and forces arrayed against each other in the Donbas and Lugansk Oblasti but first I will say a little something about War. War is not a nice vocation, it is not a nice event. War is almost always, operative term being almost, a result of failed diplomacy. War is in essence an extension of diplomacy and as such is almost always political one way or another. Politics be damned, to us who have been to war, to us who have fought, actually fought, we hate war more than anyone. For those of you who have not been to war, and don’t mean those of you who have served in one way or another in your army, but those of you who never picked up your weapon and went nose to nose with the proclaimed enemy, fought him and won, you have no idea what it is like. You see the videos, you see the AAR’s (After Action Reviews, the synopsis of what went right and want went wrong and why.), you read the endless pontifications of the talking heads in the news media and the politicians, but you have never seen real War unless you have stood and fought, watched your enemy fall, watched your comrades fall, seen the toll on civilians, walked the field after a battle, seen the destruction, smelled the smells, heard the sounds, felt the fear (We are always afraid before combat. It is our training and experience that allows us to hide the fear from our comrades and the younger men in the unit.). No, unless you have stood in the line you don’t know War.
For most of you War is an abstract happening, something to talk about, to play video games about, to laugh and joke about in the cafe or bar after work, to urge one side or the other to attack, fight, do something. If you only knew the reality of combat you would never even whisper the word ‘war’, you would hang your politicians from the nearest lamp post at the first beat of the war drums. We are soldiers. You ask us to do this and we do this for you. In the West we are as likely to be spit upon as thanked. When the war clouds gather you scream for us to help you, to save you. We do what you ask and for this many of you denigrate us. In Russia we are honored, welcomed home, thanked for what we did. Yes, we who have been to war, who have stood in the line and fought, we hate war. We also understand more than most that there times, much as we hate it, that one must fight. In my opinion this is one of those times when men have to fight for Donbas and Lugansk.
One more thing before I turn to the topic at hand: If you want to understand Russia, Russians and Russian culture you must start by studying Byzantium, it’s history, culture, politics and religion. Russia and ethnic Russians are the inheritor of this culture and religion lock, stock and barrel, and study of Byzantium explains a very great deal about Russia and Russians and points you in the direction of further studies.
The events in Kiev starting in very late November and going on to today. The current government in Kiev came to power by way of a coup d’etat in late February of this year. Shortly after that coup the citizens of Crimea and Sevastopol felt threatened by the new government and seized power in Crimea and Sevastopol. Shortly after seizing power the citizens ask Russia for help and protection. Russian responded with alacrity and within a few days Russian forces landed in and around Kerch from Novorossiysk. The assistance to Crimea was a bloodless accomplishment but in the event all the Ukrainian Army, Navy and Air Force based in Crimea were surrounded and cut off. Many immediately surrendered and the soldiers and sailors were offered the choice of repatriation to Ukraine with their families or to join the Russian Federation Armed Forces. Roughly 80% of the soldiers and sailors, both officers and rankers, opted to join the Russian Armed Forces. This tells a great deal about the morale of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. For 23 years the various Ukrainian governments had treated the armed forces budgets as a cash cow to be milked to oblivion. The soldiers and sailors for the most part in Crimea, and in reality of all Ukraine, were poorly equipped, poorly trained, poorly fed and many of the lower ranks had not been paid since November. Their armored vehicles, equipment, weapons and ships were a disgrace. At least 8 of the Ukraine Navy ships were refused repatriation by Kiev and are in the bone yard at Inkerman being cut up for scrap as I write or scheduled to be towed there shortly. Some tanks, BTR’s and BMP’s had not moved for literally years and had to be towed to the rail heads for repatriation to Ukraine. Of the 39 aircraft at Belbek Air Base 4 were airworthy. The others could not fly and some had been cannibalized to keep the 4 serviceable aircraft flying.
After Crimea voted to become part of the Russian Federation and were accepted in the Federation, several regions in the east of Ukraine became dissatisfied with the new government in Kiev and started to demand more autonomy from Kiev, in other words they wanted to elect their own leaders and administration heads and do away with the Kiev appointed heads of same as was the practice for 20 odd years. Kiev refused and Donetsk Oblast and Lugansk Oblast then seized their local governments, ousted most of the appointed department heads and declared themselves independent. Kiev promptly sent units of the Ukraine Army to quell the unrest and most of the units refused to fight their fellow countrymen and in some cases changed sides and turned their armored vehicles over to the new Donbas Republic’s armed forces. This is to be expected in an army where most of the lower ranks are conscripts, in for a year or two and then gone. The main fallacy of the Ukraine Armed Forces is they do not have a professional non commissioned officer corp, in other words sergeants, as a general rule. In the basic infantry units the sergeants are generally a conscript who has a bit more education or other attributes that set him a slight cut above the average conscript. He is selected and usually but not always sent to a short ‘sergeant school’, returns to his assigned unit and is then out when his conscription term us over. Sergeants are the backbone of a modern army and have been for well over 100 years. They are the ‘shop supervisors’ so to speak and translate the officer’s orders in to words and actions the troops understand and perform. Without professional and long service sergeants the junior and senior lieutenants have to do the sergeant’s work in addition to their own work. This adversely affects the work of the lieutenants and often results in their captains doing some of the lieutenant’s work, which in turn adversely affects the captains work.
The basic infantry weapon in the Ukraine Army is the AK 47 and it’s later derivative the AK 74.
The AK 47 is an old design but reliable to an extreme. The weapon was designed as an automatic rifle for a very large conscript army and is quite simple and inexpensive to manufacture. It is easy and simple to field strip and maintain and it generally is not affected by the dirt and debris present on all battlefields. I have no idea how many rounds of ball and blank I have fired from one but it is certainly in the many thousands in both training and operations and I have never had that weapon fail to operate reliably nor have I had a single instance of the weapon jamming and failing to fire.
I have also seen many other varieties of rifles and automatic hand held weapons, most notable being in one video an SKS semi automatic rifle was seen dating from, if my memory is correct, right after the second world war, a PPSh41 of World War 2 fame, short, stubby and with a round drum magazine attached to the bottom of the weapon and basically a lead hose that is not much use at ranges over 200m if that, and a Maxim machine gun on a metal two wheeled hand pulled carriage probably dating from the first world war. I did not see any ammunition for the Maxim so it may have been just for show. The first two I have seen in the hands of both the Federalists and the Kiev troops.
Both the Federalists and the Ukraine Army use the Automat Kalashnikov in it’s many variants, both the 47 and the 74.
The medium machine guns generally seen in the Donbas and Lugansk area are mostly of the PK variety. The PK went in service in the early 1960’s and and is still standard issue today. The weapon was designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov of AK fame. It is a reliable and simple machine, easy to use, clean and maintain and quite robust. It feeds from the right side using either open belted ammunition or boxed belts, the box attached to the bottom of the weapon receiver housing. The weapon fires the standard Russian round of 7.62 x 54 size, ever so slightly longer than the NATO round of the same caliber. Cyclic rate is between 700 and 800 rounds per minute and range is optimistically listed at 100 to 1500 meters. The weapon fires from the ‘open bolt’ system. When you release the trigger the weapon fires the round in the chamber and the bolt locks open rather than staying closed as on the AK variants. This it to facilitate belt changes when milliseconds count. The weapon is usually seen with a bipod attached to the front of the barrel but is also capable of being used on a tripod.
When listing the cyclic rate of an automatic weapon, in particular a machine gun, while the instruction sheet tells you that for instance the weapon will deliver up to 800 rounds per minute, the gunner does not want to fire that many rounds in one minute. The normal gunners rate of fire is in 3 to 6 round bursts. The only time you will hear sustained firing of a machine gun is generally when there is either a massive target of opportunity or if the bad guys are close enough to see the whites of their eyes. To fire a sustained burst of 800 rounds in one minute will lead to rapid barrel erosion and overheating and may well jam the weapon. This can put you in a decidedly awkward situation when the bad guys hear the weapon go silent.
Again, both the Federalists and the Ukraine Army use this weapon in several variants.
Tactics and morale
I have watched as much as time allows the videos and read both news reports and reports from other sources about the situation in the two oblasti. I will neither give the Kiev regime advice by publicly telling what I think they are doing wrong tactically nor will I reveal all I see that the Federalists are doing correctly beyond what is publicly available via news or the internet.
The coup government in Kiev was taken aback when some of the first Ukraine Army units arrived in Donbas and promptly refused to fight. Not only did they refuse to fight but some units went over to the Federalist side bringing with them their weapons and BMP light armored tracked fighting vehicles. These events were a tremendous psychological and morale boost for the Federalists. The young soldiers and their officers had been told they would be fighting ‘terrorists’ and ‘separatists’ and they were shocked when in the villages they passed through or near the local citizens, dozens of them, came unarmed and physically blocked the light armored units advancing in the direction of Slavyansk with their very bodies. After sometimes extended negotiations the units would either go over the the Federalists or simply turn around and return to their base or lager. In some instances this return to lager move had fatal consequences for some of the soldiers as they were executed by Right Sector operatives that very day. These executions were a mild variant on the old French philosophy of ‘we’ll execute a few soldiers for the encouragement of the others’. Reality is all armies have done this from time to time, either openly or, as the saying goes, ‘accidents happen’.
The reluctance to fight their visibly unarmed fellow citizens who were obviously not terrorists and insisted to the boys that they were not separatists but simply wanted more autonomy and had no intention of leaving Ukraine was a turning point in the Donbas situation. I don’t know what the coup government expected but obviously they have precisely zero experience in motivating soldiers and in tactics and strategy.
Some Ukraine Army units have fought, albeit not too well from what I know. Will the remains of the Ukraine Army fight in what is to be the final push tomorrow and Saturday? I do not know the answer to that question. Only time will tell.
Now, the ‘national guard’. These units are almost exclusively right sector, the ‘victors’ of maidan. They have had some of the best advisors money can buy, all supplied from The West. Some of them have been trained in musketry in their extensive system of training camps in the west of Ukraine but most do not have any real military training or experience. Those who signed up for the ‘national guard’ units were given a crash course in ‘soldier 101’ lasting two weeks at best and generally less, uniformed after a fashion, armed and sent east. Will they fight? I don’t know. I do know they are quite good at appearing in towns and villages suddenly and in numbers, heavily armed but never have I personally seen or heard of them actually fighting in a stand up fight. They seem to be pretty good at spreading terror amongst unarmed citizens and not much else. Most of them are highly motivated and believe in what they are doing. It remains to be seen how well they will fight when their adversaries are shooting back. They do have some numbers on their side.
The overall situation with the Ukraine Army is everything they have is now in the East. They have large numbers of BMP and BTR light armored infantry carriers and fighting vehicles. They have brought just about every tank they have that will run and some of them, while aging platforms, have been extensively upgraded and modernized with the latest night vision devices and weapon sights and quite good reactive armor packages. Most of the serviceable artillery, both towed and self propelled
Air assets are thin. When the Ukrainians first began to use their Mi24 attack helicopters, which is an excellent close support, anti personnel and anti vehicle weapon, they lost several in two days. Ukraine also has several Sukhoi ground attack aircraft and some, actual number serviceable unknown, Migs of various types. The comment of air assets being ‘thin’ is a bit misguiding in that the Federalists have no air assets.The Federalists do have at least a few shoulder fired anti aircraft missiles and that is what brought down the 5 known destroyed Mi24 helicopters.
Tactics on the part of the Ukriane Army have been poor. While few if any of the actual Ukraine Army units have attacked the Federalists, the Mi24 choppers do seem to be piloted by airmen who will, indeed, attack. I have watched a slow but steady incremental increase of types of attacks and weapons used by the ‘national guard’ units attacking the Federalists. On 17 May the first mortar shells were fired, just a few and of 82 mm caliber, fired at a Fed blocking post. Kiev nervously looked over their shoulders at the Russian Army glowering at them from across the border, saw no repercussions to the first mortar bombardment, and decided to up the ante the next day, 18 May. That day the first 12 cm mortars were used in addition to the 82 mm mortars of the day before. Also that day the first patently civilian targets were hit and one single 12 cm howitzer shell was fired. Again, no reaction from Russia.
By 20 May, with no visible reaction from Russia concerning the increasing use of heavy weapons against both civilian targets and the Federalist positions, Ukraine began to systematically bombard targets of their choosing. The number of patently civilian casualties from 15 May to 23 May numbers over 50, some dead, most wounded.
On 22 May the first overt attack by ‘national guard’ units against a Ukraine Army unit that refused to attack civilians occurred near Volnovakha. The tactics used by the national guard were interesting but almost standard for them of late. They arrived at the Ukraine Army lager outside the village in lime green vans and at least one white van, announced they were ‘friends’ and then started shooting at the Ukraine Army soldiers. While they managed to kill and wound most of the Army unit some did survive and most, after the initial surprise, fought back with spirit. Casualties in the Army unit seem to be in excess of 60 dead and wounded, on the national guard unit not as many but more than a few.After the fighting stopped and the wounded from both sides were removed, two Mi24 attack helicopters identified as ‘national guard’ helicopters, attacked the area and destroyed most of the trucks, ambulances and BMP’s of the Ukraine Army unit and the damaged national guard vans left in place. An entire Ukraine Army armored company was thus destroyed by ‘national guard’ units for refusing what in reality was an illegal order, to wit, attack an unarmed village full of civilians.
This incident alone will have very serious repercussions for the Kiev government, although the international community is dead silent about the killings. It shows that if you do not do what the Kiev government tells you to do you will be killed. Every unit in the entire Ukraine Army knew of this incident within an hour of it’s happening. This will adversely affect the morale and combat effectiveness of the Ukraine Army from top to bottom. It is very possible that some Ukraine units may either attack ‘national guard’ units or simply change sides. That remains to be seen, but it is a fact that soldiers can not be made to attack with weapons pointed at their backs from the rear. They will be just as likely to turn on the enforcers as they are to attack the perceived ‘enemy’. There are already, as of 08:15 local time on 23 May, unconfirmed but reliable reports of two Ukraine Army units going over to the Federalist side.
On the Federalist side, tactics have been developed ad hoc using the available units and soldiers. They have several advantages in that most are local boys and they know the surrounding areas like the backs of their hands, having grown up there. After seizing several weapons storages in both Donetsk and Lugansk Oblast the Federalists are now reasonably well armed and supplied with ordinance including anti air missiles and anti tank weapons, antitank being both missiles and RPG’s plus a few old but as new condition antitank rifles which have no trouble ventilating any BTR or BMP.
It is obvious from their tactics that they hold no area that they are willing to fight to the last man for at this moment that has been aggressed by the Kiev forces. From what I have seen on the scattered but continuous attacks on their ‘blocking posts’ they will generally withdraw at the first sign of national guard presence in attack mode, sit back and wait. The national guard unit will then take the post, do the obligatory ‘burn the barricade’ drill, take what food is lying around and leave. The Feds then return, rebuild the barricade, sit back and have lunch. The Feds have lost men in these raids but the losses have been low.
The Federalists do often attack national guard units and the one Ukraine Army unit that does seem willing to fight. The national guard units, being generally on the defensive de facto, are in the position of having to defend a large area and lack the manpower required to do that. The Nats (I will do a name change now, or a shortening of names. The Federalists will be known as the Feds, the national guard and their allies will be known as the Nats) do have many strong positions in some areas that the Feds are smart enough to not attack. However, from readily available information it is obvious that the Feds to attack and/or ambush Nat units often. They use the classic tactic of having a local preponderance of force or, as the Confederate General P. G. T. Beauregard said 150 years ago, ‘I got there fustus with the mostus’, in other words local superiority at the moment. Local superiority does not necessarily mean superior numbers, it can, and often does, mean local surprise and instant domination of the battle area by fire. The Feds do this drill by day or night.
These tactics seem to be working, at least for now. The Nats casualties for the last month are well in excess of 600 dead and a like number of wounded, wounded meaning anyone who is hurt one way or another badly enough to be off duty for a time to full blown intensive care. For the Feds casualties are not reliably known but have not been anywhere near the numbers of Nat casualties. Civilian casualties there are no reliable numbers for but from reliable sources do run over 200 dead and wounded in the last month in the two oblasti.
If the Kiev regime manages to attack throughout the entire area at one time they will probably win this campaign as they seem to be perfectly willing to accept civilian and military casualties and damage that would not be looked well upon if known or reported by national and international news media. The Feds are seriously, read vastly, outnumbered and woefully under equipped. The Feds have but a very few BMP light armored vehicles and a few captured BTR vehicles, almost no artillery and zero air assets. They do have excellent morale and do believe strongly in their cause.
Strategically, I don’t know. I’m not bad at tactics, being just a lowly veteran sergeant, but from what I see Kiev is in the position of having to attack and attack strongly on 23 and 24 May. Their masters are adamant that they solve ‘this problem’ before the election scheduled for 25 May. I have no doubts that at least some, not all but some, a goodly number of ‘some’, of the Federalists will fight to the end to hold their very few strategic locations.In reality they have no other option, either fight to the death or be killed after the fact. Is Kiev and their international backers and masters willing to do the massive fighting this will entail in civilian areas and with the very large civilian casualties this act will entail? I think so. Will Russia intervene? I don’t know and conjecture is useless on whatever actions Russia may or may not take.
Only time will tell how this unfolding tragedy will end, but my thoughts are that Ukraine as it was last October is dead and gone, never to arise again as we knew it.
(To be continued)
Cyber Berkut is claiming that they’ve somehow disrupted the systems of the Central Election Committee of Ukraine and have downloaded numerous files.
05/23/2014, the electronic system of the CEC destroyed three days before the election (Part 3)
We KiberBerkut destroyed Uniform information-analytical system “Elections” and computer communications network of the Central Election Commission of Ukraine. We had full access to the professional and personal correspondence CEC members.
From these documents it is clear that Ukraine catastrophic rates loses its sovereignty, and the holding by the junta, the so-called presidential elections, organized according to the instructions of the West. A special place in this series belongs instructors funded U.S. Department of State International Fund for Electoral Systems (IFES).
This site seems to be an excellent source for the current events in East Ukraine (in Russian).
Warning: It takes a while for the page to load, and even longer if you need to translate the page. I’ve had to wait around 5 minutes for the translation to complete at times.
Please thank Juan for a deeply fascinating and highly informative report. I am grateful for gifting us his perspective on the real battle conditions in the Ukraine. No doubt the state department is also reading your blog since all Kiev can offer are lies.
You clearly understand that this war is about far more than just stealing resources and threatening Russia. It is also a battle between Evil and Good in the earthly sense.
Odessa was not just an atrocity, it was Satan showing his claws through his minion oligarchs. Strangling a pregnant woman was more than just a horrific murder, it was a dark occult ritual used by men to gain power from EVIL.
I am not Christian or Muslim but a spiritual devotee who appreciates your moral perspective.
“… two Mi24 attack helicopters identified as ‘national guard’ helicopters, attacked the area and destroyed most of the trucks, ambulances and BMP’s of the Ukraine Army unit and the damaged national guard vans left in place.”
— That doesn’t seem to me to conform with what the videos show of the helicopter attack. Nor do I imagine NatGuards could pilot helicopters with such skill: they were very well flown, at very low altitude and high speed.
This may be of interest to some of you…
Photos of Maidan, Kiev, from last week. As you can see, it’s still occupied and far far from being back to normal.
I have included comments on a number of the photos, but you may need to scroll down the page to see them, especially on smaller screens.
Wow. Thank you so very much. I feel like I do have a grasp of things now, at least to the extent to which anyone can “grasp” chaos — kind of like holding onto smoke, except for all the innocent lives ended or ruined. But if all the Kiev forces, trained and untrained, are in the East, how will they vote? I’m not expecting the election to be honest in any way, but still…? Also, are Kolomoiskiy, Akmetov (haven’t heard about him for a couple days now, wonder what gives), et. al. mostly jockeying for power, or following orders from, well, whoever’s calling the shots in Kiev — let’s say Brennan?
And finally, I do have to disagree with you on one thing: Vietnam vets being spit upon is a myth. It has been very carefully cultivated here by factions who still think we-could’a-won-if-we’d-just-blown-em-up-more-but-the-hippie-Commie-traitors-sold-out-to-Uncle-Ho. Actually, returning soldiers were avoided and ignored, which probably was worse. Not sure the terminology but each guy went in and went out individually, not in groups or units, and people at airports were so uncomfortable they’d look the other way, never even make eye contact. But there’s never been one verified instance of anyone ever spitting on a Vietnam veteran. And now our troops are (superficially) worshipped, but few of the “Support Our Troops!” crowd ever supported properly funding their medical care, hence the present VA scandal. So our attitude is very different than Russia’s — worship and make a fuss over them in public, then privately continue to ignore. But it could also be because Russian troops actually did fight to save Russia — our troops do “something”, “somewhere” that we call “preserving our freedom” but we see no concrete effects because of course they’re not. Besides, we’ve managed to lose whatever freedom we ever had all by ourselves.
I hope we get further analysis from Juan. Thank you.
Thanks Juan please keep your reports coming. And, yes, the myth of the spitting on Vietnam vets is part of the disinformation of the rewriting of the history of the Vietnam war. The leadership of the Vietnam movement never sanctioned such a tactic . In fact, some factions, when their members( working class and minorities mainly) were drafted went into the army and used their rights as citizen soldiers to voice their opinions. Mainly,they were kept off the front lines or given honorable discharges asap by the US military.
“….. or, as the Confederate General P. G. T. Beauregard said 150 years ago, ‘I got there fustus with the mostus’ …. “
As a Southerner – you’ve got my deepest respect, sir.
(the whole report was superb, thank you)
Crazy Ivan says…
Two notes first.
“Juan” declared he will tell nothing more one can see or read by himself.
I am deeply despondent how many commenters (readers are much more) do not read others’ comments. Sometimes it’s really frustrating.
Right, “Juan” said nothing new, absolutely nothing new. I sometimes got under impression it was the Saker himself who wrote the text aptly using others’ opinions. As military analyst he must be acquainted with tactics on the ground.
As for now it is nothing more than summary of summaries the Saker were feeding us lately. It was and is fantastic job of Him as most Western readers can’t read Cyrillic characters.
I eagerly expect the next part.
But there is one thing I can’t accept without few words.
Quote – “After seizing several weapons storages in both Donetsk and Lugansk Oblast the Federalists are now reasonably well armed and supplied with ordinance including anti air missiles and anti tank weapons, antitank being both missiles and RPG’s plus a few old but as new condition antitank rifles which have no trouble ventilating any BTR or BMP.”.
Either Feds keep their best weapons of the type enumerated above and in great numbers as a surprise for Nats when the Day of Reckoning will come or they lack of it badly.
Allowing APCs running at free will on Feds areas portends dire result of such all out confrontation. Setting ambushes is only act of desperation or the only tactic with limited resources.
I’ve just watched short film with young Feds from a small town thanking Russians for help providing them with helmets, personal armor and communication equipment.
Probably it’s too late, as “Juan” suggests 23-24 of May as the date of Nats assault but I’m sure in 80% the Feds lack anti – tank/APC/air weapons on the scale to effectively thwart Nats plans.
In short I see the picture Nats vs. Feds in gray if not black colors.
Here comes the proof that the “Bloodbath in Odessa guided by interim rulers of Ukraine”
in this case “spit” should be interpreted as “ignore”. It’s one of the meanings of “spit” in Russian.
If I might pursue the ambush story in a bit more detail, and I admit I’m a military ignoramus, I’m just fascinated by the way this story has twisted and turned and morphed into radically different versions, with vastly different implications, over the last few days. Now, RT comment on the video in their latest article, which I think is not very good though it contains verbatim translation of much of the video’s soundtrack, which is obviously helpful for non russian speakers: the gist is that soldiers have no real idea what’s going on, So we still have to figure it out for ourselves. The article remarks:
“Ukrainian troops use their helicopters in the fight against the local armed militias opposing Kiev’s rule to destroy hardware damaged in the clashes to prevent it from falling into the hands of the militias.”
OK, that seems plausible, if what they mean is for instance BMPs immobilised in the field. That can happen for any number of reasons, and it’s certainly plausible that an immobilised machine can be fixed by rebel mechanics. And, though RT in their coy way don’t mention it, the vehicles may be abandoned when crews desert to the rebel side, which happens remarkably often.
But the visible vehicles were not in that category at all. They are two immobilised PrivatBank armoured vans, without guns, for the NatGuards/Right Sector squads to ride around in. As far as I can understand, these NatGuards/Right Sector squads pinned down and almost destroyed the troops, using nothing but machine guns and rifles.
We hear and see a terrific boom and visible mushroom of flame some 40 feet tall. That must have been an immobilised and abandoned BMP belonging to the troops, seems the only answer. The helicopters must have been there to destroy that, before it fell into rebel hands. So that gives the helicopters a valid and plausible reason for being there. This is not the same thing as “destroying evidence of a black op” (ie the PrivatBank vans). They weren’t doing that at all.
The final muster of the surviving troops on the road, at the end of the videos, is interesting. They seem to have two white vans of their own, rather like the PrivatBank vehicles, but I never get a clear view of them. The surviving troops don’t look very shot up, but in the initial attack they suffered, they must have lost at least one armored vehicle. I don’t know why, if they were only attacked with machine guns. And they lost a substantial number of men, which could certainly have happened with an ambush using several machine guns. How then, did the troops come to abandon an armored vehicle, thus requiring the helicopters to come in and destroy it? How can mere machine guns immobilise a BMP or whatever it was? That’s the question I still can’t answer, following this construction of events.
I am surprised that everyone repeats the “National Guard executed Ukrainian soldiers” lie. Russian federalists already took responsibility for it.
I hope that this blog for seeking the truth and not mindless propaganda.
Juan’s head is stuck on right. Hope he keeps it by staying down when the rounds cut loose. One thing I might add to the element of surprise and fire superiority is “violence of action.” You pick the time and place and then bust loose with all you’ve got. Firefights I’ve been only last 10 – 15 seconds to 30 seconds (an outlier). Afterwards you’ve got to move quickly and gather intel and military support equip if necessary. Get in, get out before reinforcements show up. If time permits might booby trap a few things as presents. If you’re outnumbered and gunned you’ve gotta move quick. Enough said. Good read and look forward to continuation. 2dogsun
Nathan Bedford Forrest is the Confederate that said the “mostest” thing.
Vietnam vets were spit on. Ask Col Lang about his return from Vn and what happened in San Francisco.
Good Analysis. For sure there is Blackwater or Academe Xe involved. The US elites whether NeoCon or R2P are knocking on the Gates of Hell.
Well, my experience of being married to a Vietnam vet ( combat medic draftee) who refused to accept his silver star–they had to mail it to him–was that they really did not want to be called heroes because they knew that they were not. My husband said, ” I was not a hero–I was just trying to stay alive” He was not at all political ever. If he saw an army recruiting booth, he would grab me by the arm and pull me across the street, cursing under his breath. The VFW halls are stocked by WWII vets not the generation that grew up with the song, ” War, huh, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing.”
Women always have a different perspective when it comes to war. apologies if this is off topic.
Uh! Oh! Moon of Alabama gone again, this time with a 404 error on ALL pages.
Last comment I saw was ‘somebody’ announcing that German radio reported internal strife between Kiev factions.
Either Typepad is more closely monitored than Blogspot or The Saker is still lucky.
Crazy Ivan says…
@ forest 23 May, 2014 15:29
If not for the dead I’d laugh at you.
You pointed to a third if not fourth category of propaganda materials with unacceptable machinations of images.
You’d be fired from job the first second after the end of the “shit” (from propaganda point of view).
Re: “….. or, as the Confederate General P. G. T. Beauregard said 150 years ago, ‘I got there fustus with the mostus’ …. “
It was Nathan Bedford Forest, not Beauregard, who said that. He took time out from slave dealing to become the best rebel cavalry commander of the War. (Not up to Sheridan of course.)
— Member, SUVCW (Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War)
In relation to understanding the connection between Russia and Byzantium, here is a film about the Byzantine Empire from an Orthodox Christian perspective “The Fall of an Empire – The Lesson of Byzantium”
and with English voice-over:
Nora said . . .
And finally, I do have to disagree with you on one thing: Vietnam vets being spit upon is a myth. . . . But there’s never been one verified instance of anyone ever spitting on a Vietnam veteran.
No. it is you are repeating a myth. Many Vietnam veterans say that they, themselves were spit upon. There is absolutely no reason to disbelieve them. A few years ago, a very dishonest sociologist wrote a very bad book in which he put forth the ludicrous claim you are peddling. As it turned out, his evidence that no vet had been spit upon was that the New York Times had never reported a vet being spat upon.
Superb article! Thank you
The Confederate General was actually Nathan Bedford Forrest.
thx for yout view. Would like to see more of this.
Strelkov/Girkin also admitted that it was the separatists who attacked in Volnovakha.
It’s amusing to see that people are not prepared to change their opinions once it’s made. Easier to believe in Kolomoyskiy and Right Sector assassins.
Very good post! Thank you “Juan” and thank Saker for this very good insight. Better than the average BS that you read online.
It seems that the nazi militias were severely beaten today and that yesterday the adavnce towards Lugansk was stoped.
This is very important since on the 25th this means there will be no elections in either of the People´s Republics.
Things seem to turn sour, via RT/Irina Galushko
The headquarters of the militia Slavyansk urged people to evacuate. The leaflets handed out in the center of the city.
Crazy Ivan says…
Setting ambushes is only act of desperation or the only tactic with limited resources.
You obviously aren’t a combat veteran otherwise you wouldn’t be making such a ridiculous statement.
A linear ambush, if well planed and executed is a death trap.
For those who haven’t experienced that “joy” of being caught in a kill box, taking fire from at least two RPK’s, firing armor piercing rounds and RPG rounds slamming into your vehicles, I highly recommend you avoid it if you can.
Crazy Ivan says…
Make some efforts and translate some of the text from the two websites (there are images and films as well):
I got no enough strength to make homework for you. ;-) It’s too many websites to read.
That the Russian word for spit can also mean ignore is quite interesting — the complexity and subtlety of the Russian language is utterly fascinating. However, the anti-war movement was very specifically accused of spitting in its American meaning, i.e., spewing out saliva in contempt. It was a lie.
You can believe everything Pat Lang says if you wish. I don’t.
Dear The Saker,
Thank you to Juan for his insights and to you for posting.
I look forward to further updates. If the Cyber Berkut story is correct – it will be interesting to see if this election can be held now. The whole thing is a farce with military action taking place in the East.
I don’t doubt this is true, but it sure could be better sourced! http://en.ria.ru/world/20140523/190080398/US-Pressures-NGOs-Not-to-Help-Detained-Russian-Journalists-in.html
There may be cause for hope. Assuming he can eliminate the right sector people, yes using lethal force, else one day he be their victim.
@forest:It’s amusing to see that people are not prepared to change their opinions once it’s made.
This does not apply in this case.
Easier to believe in Kolomoyskiy and Right Sector assassins.
No, it is easier to believe the testimony of many witnesses who were present and whose testimony corroborate each other than to believe a statement made without such support. Besides, I personally would have been *absolutely delighted* to hear that the Donetsk Resistance (which had given all junta forces the time to evacuate and clearly said that any forces left after that, including conscripts, would be fair game) had scored a successful attack. So if you think for some ideological reasons I am not buying the “Russian Federalists did it” theory you are wrong. Give me evidence and I will GLADLY accept it.
Also, you wrote “I hope that this blog for seeking the truth and not mindless propaganda”. Though you might not realize this, this is a rude and arrogant statement to make, especially since nobody gave you any cause to do doubt anybody’s sincerity. But since *YOU* seem to be quite willing to arrogantly parrot statements presented as facts, let me return you the compliment and express my doubts are your willingness to seek the truth rather than mindless propaganda (such as Turchinov’s statement).
So tone down your arrogance if you want to come back, use your head before posting.
Crazy Ivan says…
RT.com published interesting text about Putin’s remarks (in English):
Russia will work with whoever elected in Ukraine – Putin
It’s cut in clear two chapters. First, concerning Russian invasion of Ukraine (according to my understanding) and second, on Crimea which is total B.S., where President of RF lies like hell.
We all know – he’s politician so what he says is equally important what he does not say and how he says his remarks.
Let me point your attention to the first part which de facto is litany of treating Russia like brazenly loitering around mongrel full of lice begging for a few crumbles of food.
There he declared to “respectively treat the results of presidential elections in Ukraine” (quote of rt.com) with remark that “he hopes that as soon as the elections are held, all military actions will be stopped in the country.” (quote of rt.com
If my quotes of rt.com and the quotes from Mr. Putin speech published by rt.com were not about or from President of Russian Federation I’d say the man is downright moron believing in a “frozen hell” at least.
I hear (as writing this I cannot watch) from Rossiya 24 channel how Mr. Poroshenko declares that right from 26 of May the volunteer soldiers fighting in Eastern Ukraine will be receiving 1000 hryvien per day.
This means he (a future President of Ukraine) and no one else wants to keep the military actions against civilian population.
In such a light what do you think, how the current events will eventually end after May 25th?
Will Mr. Putin appear a man of his words (waiting lying low for 3 days as the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2014 (SPIEF 2014) will come to an end) or the famous bear will have to be sold to a wandering circus? And leaving us all to pray only for the lives of the Eastern Ukrainians?
grasswire @grasswire 10m
BREAKING: #Slavyansk anti-government troops call for mass evacuation of the city #Ukraine
Andrey Davydov @FarEasterner 14m
This infosheet from Slavyansk distributed 2 days ago allegedly call to civilians to start evacuation as pro-Kiev
link to image: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BoVb7YwCUAAAq1o.jpg:large
Unconfirmed, if anyone can help translate. Many thanks.
Crazy Ivan says…
@ Meezer 23 May, 2014 17:20
You decidedly didn’t read my other comments in the last few weeks.
You are right – linear is a death trap.
But where is front with liberated areas, why the Feds are not able to push back artillery from Karachun Mountain, why there are zillions block posts instead of one, let it be closed (form of a closed loop), front line?
It is God send blessing Nats are what they are – well described by “Juan”.
The only spitting incident that was actually, you know, witnessed by other people was the creep who spat on Jane Fonda. He then claimed anti-war protesters had done it to him first.
You’re making some rather strong allegations — “very dishonest sociologist” and “ludicrous claim” — for which you offer no corroborative data. You then base your claim on “many Vietnam veterans say”. Uh, “many Vietnam vets” can say lots of things, so can anyone else. That doesn’t make it true. You’ve made an allegation, now substantiate it. Provide witnesses, time, date, location. Because if you can’t do better than vague, uncorroborated self-report — And. No. One. Has. — it didn’t happen and you’re the one repeating the myth.
Crazy Ivan man can you shut up?! We don’t come here for your analysis…
Were the notices advising people to leave Slavyansk written by the same people who wrote the ‘Jews must register’ notices?
If you think about the moral of the Ukrainean General i don’t think they ordered the helicopters to kill deserted soldiers. The soldiers according to me signaled to the head quarter that they needed support and then the helicopters arrived. They did some shooting to report home that they hit something. This also explains whay the helis did’t open fire at the soldiers hidding behind the truck.
Thank you, Juan. I pray you remain with us to continue sharing your analysis and insight. My father was in Vietnam, he won’t ever talk about it, but I know it haunts him to this day. If it weren’t for the apparent bad aim of Viet Kong soldiers shooting directly at him when he caught their attention on jungle patrol, after a bunch of red ants got in his privates and started biting, causing him to freak out and jump around and all, I wouldn’t be here today. That’s about the only story I know about. He won’t even watch a movie about Vietnam.
He mentions the coming days as likely being the make or break point for the future of whatever is to become of Ukraine, can someone elaborate on that? Is there any links to what he’s talking about? Is there a massive operation in the works? I know the election (“”) is scheduled, but he seems to be alluding to something else. Thanks.
Sometimes else mentioned the pregnant woman from the Odessa massacre. That image is burned in my mind, every time I think of Ukraine, or really the fascist element/ US role, that is what comes to mind. To me it symbolizes the whole sick affair. Evil. No other word for it.
Crazy Ivan says…
May 22nd, 20:36
Kiev junta two options… Both losing… :-) Comment by Igor I. Strelkov
All are interested in one question.
Will junta decide to apply the whole mass of heavy military equipment, including the MRLS (CI – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiple_Launch_Rocket_System)
to the cities of the South-East (DPR and LPR)?
As to the so-called elections of the President of Ukraine remains only two days.
Here is comment of Igor Ivanovich:
“Yes, they will dare to use it if they are completely sure that Russia would not intervene. The question can be immediately solved. Somehow I even sympathize with these freaks (if I can say so about people I would have sent to the gallows willingly). They have alternative:
1) to start a war (only) to get a thunderous strike from Russia and, after shock of ending the “project Ukraine”, sink into oblivion (in exile)
2) not to start full-scale war, to prolong the time and… sink into nothingness without war together with the “project Ukraine” simply as a result of self-break-up (because the defeat in the ATO will automatically lead to the “collapse” of all this stillborn “independence).
Both options have their advantages and disadvantages.
In the second case, the opponent can hope that with the help of its agents, “the self-proclaimed Republic” have nothing more to build and themselves fall into the swamp of continuous crime and economic crisis. But “not a fact” – the same thing (they) predicted for Crimea. However, Russia has enough on accounts “wrappers”to prevent this scenario. And so the plan is largely flawed.
But the first option – “at random” (“Putin chickens out” etc), with all the risks (is) very seductive. Roll out “separatists and terrorists”, “how God a turtle” and enter into the history of this historical misunderstandings (Ukraine) as “winners”of Russia.
That would be cool! Wow! This even Mazepa failed! Arsen Avakov (judging by his “Twitter”) – is a person extremely vain. Well, just gigantic! He is definitely “for”!”. Indeed, for such a “mindful and pure hohol (xoxol – bold Ukie with topknot, tuft of hair on top of skull – CI -> I’m not certain of the translation) – it’s only “playing field”, noting more. He Ukraine? Not a mother, not a wife and not a lover. So, this is one country, where he is accidentally and temporarily lucky to be one of the highest officials to “make history”. Nalyvaychenko and Turchynov – direct U.S. stooges and also “for” to “try”. Yatsenyuk is just a coward (he prudently stepped away from managing the operation).
So no wonder they drive here “Hurricanes” (Uragan – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BM-27).”
to be continued…
I got the answer to the question I raised earlier in the thread, about how the attackers could immobilise the BMP. The attackers had RPGs. not just machine guns. RPGs are a general feature of these ambushes. Just like in Syria, or anywhere else, really.
Crazy Ivan says…
@ Anonymous 23 May, 2014 18:26
> Crazy Ivan man can you shut up?! We don’t come here for your analysis…
Up yourself. At least you should point to what infuriated you so much.
Saker, you promised to throw to trash comments ad hominem. Or you agree with the reader but has no grit to say so personally.
I do not have to provide your readers with Strelkov translations, hyperlinks and pointers to interesting events. But be honest at least.
I have no difficulty in accepting the theory that the attack on the military roadblock was conducted by mercenaries and maiden/right sector gunmen. I had reached that conclusion before I was halfway through yesterday’s RT account. Since you have embargoed mention of the world wars, let me provide an example from our own hemisphere. (Don’t ask me how I know t5he details.)
It was standard peractive durling the Salvadorian civil war for FMLN forces to release prisoners, both because they lacked means and food to hold them and because gov’t troops who could expect to be turned loose after surrendering were more like to do so. In this case, a gov’t unit involved in a fight along the Lempa river gave up, and 50 or so prisoners were disarmed and sent walking down the road. A day or so later the papers, (including US papers) showed pictures of gov’t soldiers lying close together on the battlefield where they had been brutally massacred by the rebels. In due course, a young man limped into a rebel village and told his story.
The releases eventually had reached a military post where they were questioned and then loaded onto two trucks. Some boys sitting near the back of the second truck noticed that they were headed east rather than west, as expected, and grasped what was coming. Two of them jumped out when the truck slowed at the top of the hill and made a run for it. One was either shot from the jeeps taking up the rear or badly hurt when he hit the ground. But the other, somehow, survived to tell his tale.
Whether this particular atrocity was at the behest of American advisers, I don’t know. The alacrity with which the story was grabbed by the press suggest that it was.
putin is willing to legitimise the illegal govt. after illegal election in ukraine where there is no option for “none of the them”.
the anglosaxcon west never recognised abkazia after 2008 but Russia capitulates immediately. tells you relative wisdom and strenght of Russia and her enemies.
russia betrays her allies at slightest pretext while west sticks with mass murders if those vil are wetern allies.
…before you threaten to ban me, as well, for not agreeing with you, let me say that I’ve fairly sympathetic with the ‘Russian’/Eastern Ukrainian PoV and absolutely detest the disgusting ‘Galician-types’ of Ukraine (I’ve personally witnessed their pathetic inferiority complex and distorted racist attitudes when I visited Canada – where many of these idiots get their ideology from). It’s clear to me that this whole mess was instigated by a group of incompetent egotistical psychopathic flunkies at the US State Dept (such as that imbecile Victoria Nuland-Kagan).
However your following comment:
“Besides, I personally would have been *absolutely delighted* to hear that the Donetsk Resistance (which had given all junta forces the time to evacuate and clearly said that any forces left after that, including conscripts, would be fair game) had scored a successful attack.”
…is really disappointing.
You’re saying you’re OK with the idea that people who refused to attack civilians and are reluctant to combat the Federalist-Pro-Russian militias should be slaughtered in an ambush by those same Federalist militias. That’s the point being made here, based on the scenario that federalist militias had a non-aggression agreement with this particular unit and then violated it to sucker-punch this Ukrainian army unit. That’s the hypothetical narrative you seem to be supporting with your quoted statement. To support such tactics, in this context, is partisan and immoral.
I think you should clarify your position, because you’re going to damage your credibility. Especially since this is based on a hypothetical situation and not necessarily a real situation (i.e. we don’t know if Stelkov would be stupid enough to praise the killing of passive conscripts who didn’t want to fight back; for all we know this could be complete pro-Kiev misinfo).
Also threatening people that disagree with you with banning them from YOUR site (even if they’re behaving like sarcastic a-holes) only makes you look emotional, immature, unfair and small. I’m not say you are any these things, simply that that’s how it’ll look to most readers.
People from my community are very sympathetic to you and to the Russian people (no, I”m not Jewish, lets just say the country I’m from is many orders of magnitude larger). We’ve been very sympathetic and grateful to Russian people for all the extreme suffering they’ve had to endure as well the incredible sacrifices they made towards giving other people in the world some breathing room to rebuild their looted societies. (I won’t mention the identity of my nation, because we’re not unique in this context; many nations were saved by the actions of the Russian people). I’d hate to think of you as a partisan with the Neocon attitude of “you’re either with us or against us” – a position that is antithetical to the very core of our culture.
Yep, Russia playing chess and the west playing with itself.
Crazy Ivan says…
May 22nd, 20:36
Comment from myself (summer56).
I beg your pardon Mr. Igor Ivanovich.
Yesterday and today I had many conversations with very serious people from different organizations.
I can only advise the junta – IN ANY case not to resort to the first option.
How would they do not want! How would they not thought that official Russia “threw” Donbass (CI – can’t translate the two sentences).
Even if you personally make out to flee abroad. Think about yourself, think about your loved ones.
Mr Putin never leaves alive enemies of Russia. You want to live the rest of his life in constant fear? I wanted to write a few sample variants of your destiny…. change your Mind… Scary…
However accidentally a thought… I
Wonder how felt Lev Davidovich Trotsky,
while living in exile in the hot Mexico, which is so far from Russia? He was filled? As sleep? Serenely? Very interesting…
IMPORTANT UPDATE: here I was rightly rebuked that I gave advice Kiev junta. A very valid point! Thank you! It is not me who gives the advices! I incorrectly expressed. It is not me give such advice, and my interlocutors…. Sorry, what could I…
@New Reader:You’re saying you’re OK with the idea that people who refused to attack civilians and are reluctant to combat the Federalist-Pro-Russian militias should be slaughtered in an ambush by those same Federalist militias
Oh for Heaven’s sake! Of course not. If they had an agreement of non aggression with the Resistance (which I still believe they had) the Donbass forces would have no reason to attack them! I wrote that I would have been delighted to hear that the Donbass forces were behind the attack OBVIOUSLY assuming that the Ukrainian soldiers killed were executing the criminal orders of the junta.
When I have to explain myself on such self-evident assumptions because folks like you assume that I am some kind of bloodthirsty nationalist I get really discouraged. I mean, seriously, you REALLY sincerely believed that I would be rejoicing if Donbass forces has killed Ukrainian soldiers who had refused to fire at them? What kind of psychopath do you think I am?!
Seems to me that the armed forces of Ukraine are doing what they should be doing in opposing a clear invasion from a neighbor. If the ’empire’ is at war with Russia then it’s something Russia has clearly brought on itself. I have no sympathy whatever for Russia in this case. You get what you deserve
@Crazy Ivan: Saker, you promised to throw to trash comments ad hominem. Or you agree with the reader but has no grit to say so personally.
Oh for Heaven’s sake! Poor you!! Got your delicate feathers ruffled a little? And you want me to take action?
Hey how about toning down your own constantly hostile and nasty tone to begin with? Do you know how many of your posts I let through only very reluctantly?
So chill, be nice to others, and stop complaining, ok?
Or else – bye bye amigo.
“When I have to explain myself on such self-evident assumptions because folks like you assume that I am some kind of bloodthirsty nationalist I get really discouraged. I mean, seriously, you REALLY sincerely believed that I would be rejoicing if Donbass forces has killed Ukrainian soldiers who had refused to fire at them? What kind of psychopath do you think I am?!”
That was my entire point! That is exactly how it came across.
Glad you clarified your position. Because unlike the people on this site that are somewhat familiar with you, the new readers and those who will quote you later to discredit, you won’t find your assumptions about yourself self-evident.
Thanks for nipping that in the bud.
I may be jumping the gun but this offensive by the Nats doesn’t seem to have any momentum. That could change but for it to have the effect of subjugating the east before the sham elections seems impossible now.
AP is attempting to maintain the propaganda campaign but even they seem confused by the lack of casualty porn to decorate their spin. They did report an account of a large number of Feds being killed in a skirmish but that incident seems to be old or imaginary.
Juan’s information and opinions are excellent but I’m surprised that an NCO can express himself so clearly without yelling.
“Uh, ‘many Vietnam vets’ can say lots of things, so can anyone else. That doesn’t make it true. You’ve made an allegation, now substantiate it. Provide witnesses, time, date, location. Because if you can’t do better than vague, uncorroborated self-report — And. No. One. Has. — it didn’t happen and you’re the one repeating the myth.”
Bob Greene’s 1989 book Homecoming: When the Soldiers Returned From Vietnam, prints several letters he had solicited from veterans, includes 63 accounts involving spitting, the result of asking to hear from veterans asking if they had been spat upon.
After a review of contemporary news sources, Northwestern Law School professor James Lindgren claimed to have found news accounts that discussed spitting incidents. A December 27, 1971 CBS Evening News report on veteran Delmar Pickett who said he was spat at in Seattle. Additionally, Puerto Rican veteran and federal prisoner Oscar López Rivera wrote that he and other soldiers returning from Vietnam were called baby killers at the University of Wisconsin (Madison). Etc.
So, there’s evidence, whereas you on the other hand have to disprove it all, and then proceed further to prove a negative, that no veteran was ever spit on.
@ Crazy Ivan
Please continue to provide your translations and updates, they’re great and really help us non-Russian speakers understand some of these communiques.
Google Translate is AWFUL (turned to super dumb) recently for translating Russian or Ukrainian. Bing is only marginally better (Yandex uses a combo of both in their back-end – mainly bing/babelfish).
Your translations are VERY helpful.
Crazy Ivan says…
As always, top notch sophistication.
You left your former job not because you provided your superiors with what they didn’t read but from lack of consistency and integrity I suspect.
Do you remember your moral dilemma to sacrifice 100 to save 1000? Being 50 years old such issues are firmly resolved.
Deal? With whom? Jupiter size ego-maniac?
I just cannot comprehend why people won’t accept Strelkov’s and Bezler’s statements about their involvement in the Volnovakha attack.
It’s right out there, straight from the horse’s mouth.
It’s sad that this specific example, spitting of returning soldiers, brings up old unhealed wounds from a long ago war. The servicemen and women from the Vietnam era were all treated by most everyone with at best indifference especially by the Government. Singling out anti-war protesters for the supposed actions of a few unidentified people is a political statement that says more about the accuser and their beliefs than it does about the attitudes of the Anti-War Movement which included many returning combat veterans.
Many people with military background or not blamed the soldiers for losing the war and considered them whiners for expressing their pain and disillusionment.
I met a young vet hitchhiking out of LA in 1970 who had been horribly disfigured by an explosion. He told me about being asked to leave a beach in LA a few weeks earlier by the citizens who he thought he had been fighting for but who didn’t want their children to see what price he had paid.
Rowan @ 23 May, 2014 13:19
“Nor do I imagine NatGuards could pilot helicopters with such skill: they were very well flown, at very low altitude and high speed.”
South African mercs could. Poland also has a few Hinds if I’m not mistaken.
Unless the mercs are ordered back to Dnepropetrovsk or Kiev exposure of foreign involvement on the pro-Kiev side is inevitable as the DNR/LNR step up their attacks.
Ukrainian military needs to learn to be a little bit like the Thais.
And what have they got to be afraid of?
@ Tom Garrett said…
“I have no difficulty in accepting the theory that the attack on the military roadblock was conducted by mercenaries and maiden/right sector gunmen.” But Shaun Walker of the UK Guardian told us Russian TV ‘lied’ about Ukraine killing its own despite the testimony about ‘mercenaries attacking us’ from the Ukrainian soldiers themselves.
Perhaps Walker would prefer to imagine that the mercs were working for the DNR. But since the only point Walker and Team #Maidan can remotely claim to have debunked on Twitter is about the Ukie choppers shooting up their own guys (and that only partially, Walker’s first tweet more than implies it was friendly fire not ‘punishment’) he cannot call claims that Ihor K’s thugs killed Ukrainian soldiers ‘lies’…only ‘unsupported speculation’.
That is what a fair journalist would do, but as we all know Walker is neither fair nor balanced, he is there to spew the pro-Kiev line as best he can despite the manifest failure of Kiev’s ‘anti-terror operation’ which he slightly criticizes. Going any further would probably see him wind up like Graham Phillips and/or fired by his bosses in London.
We still don’t know if this ‘Demon’ LNR commander is truly legit, how much vetting the AP reporters he showed Ukrainian weapons supposedly captured in the raid showed him. And the videos are simply inconclusive as to the ID of the attackers all we have is Ukrainian Army testimony that they were mercs and ran a well-coordinated assault. If they wanted to convey that the attackers were DNR they could’ve easily done so, but the ambiguity and the qui bono question strongly leans towards Ihor K’s thug army using his PrivatBank vans and or led by foreign mercs.
Nope. Sorry. Witnesses, not self-report. I can’t believe you don’t know better than that!
Anyone can write a book, anyone can say anything. So what?
You made allegations, now prove them.
Witnesses, time, date, location.
Strelkov’s site went down yesterday and while it was down, two separate other Strelkovs posted that stuff, and neither one of them had his writing style. Also, no one had ever heard of Bezler or whatever his name is, before or since. Perhaps it’s not the horse’s mouth you’re listening to…
Bob Greene? That’s the best you got? Column after column where he just made up stories. Wrote constantly about child abuse and then got caught doing it.
Time to let go.
That’s right — there was not a single reported instance of a Vietnam vet getting spit on. And it’s hard to believe that such an outrage would be covered up, no matter how anti-war the media were (and the media were actually pro-war until after the Tet Offensive). But no, it’s always a story passed along from your uncle’s friend’s cousin who lives in the next state, and it always takes place when a returning GI steps foot inside the airport. Hey, did we mention that those military flights didn’t land at civilian airports? They landed at military bases. And it’s much harder to arrange a group spit protest there, as you can imagine.
<a href=”http://www.cracked.com/article_20461_5-lies-about-vietnam-war-you-probably-believe.html#ixzz32aFIE2IS>One source- there are others.</a>
forest said …23 May, 2014 20:46
I just cannot comprehend why people won’t accept Strelkov’s and Bezler’s statements about their involvement in the Volnovakha attack.I just cannot comprehend why people won’t accept Strelkov’s and Bezler’s statements about their involvement in the Volnovakha attack.
el-murid has made a lot of mistakes in the past, and several people at ‘colonel cassad’ and elsewhere have said that Strelkov’s account was hijacked in the last few days.
Saker, I´m nitpicking again:
The word ´Soldier´ in the title is misspelled.
@Anonymous:The word ´Soldier´ in the title is misspelled.
Not it’s not! Absolutely not!! Not true!
Not true *anymore* would be more honest on my part ;-)
Seriously, thanks a lot!!
“Bes”, or Igor Bezler, is just a minor crook. He used to be an undertaker and started doing a Walter Mitty thing, pretending to be a colonel:
“After a review of contemporary news sources, Northwestern Law School professor James Lindgren claimed to have found news accounts that discussed spitting incidents. A December 27, 1971 CBS Evening News report on veteran Delmar Pickett who said he was spat at in Seattle.”
You ignore the above, then you link to some cracked.com page claiming it is a myth, based on the reasoning that the soldiers couldn’t resist assaulting anyone spitting on them, and that if that assault occurred that the Hippie would have report it to the police, that the police would have make a record of it rather than telling the Hippie to go to Hell, etc, etc.
That site also claims the unreturned Vets was a myth. But, as one of the comments says:
“How about the fact that Russian, Vietnamese, and the US governments all acknowledge the existence of still unreturned perssonnel, South Korea recognizes that South Korean army personnel haven’t been returned, Australia officially acknowledges the existence of unreturned POWS’s, *Canada* does as well, and thatformer Soviet Premier Boris Yeltsin even returned about 400 bodies of believed US servicemen first captured in Vietnam, moved to the soviet Union, then who died in gulags?Thus far 296 of those bodies have been positively identified as US servicemen reported MIA or KIA in Vietnam. Almost all of them showed injuries that proved they lived in some cases, well over a decade after the Paris peace accords.
“The only people who believe Vietnam war veterans weren’t spat on, that no POW’s went MIA, ect, are conspiracy theorists. It’s been officially acknowledged by no less then 15 world governments, 13 of which were combatatants at various points in the Vietnam war.”
If un-returned Vets was a myth? Why didn’t the Democrats call Ronald Reagan out for that when Ronald Reagan claimed getting them back was a national priority? And the government has been in on the conspiracy even going as far as: “As a matter of fact, the black POW/MIA flag still flies atop federal buildings to this day.”
And far as Bob Greene being a kook, yeah he may have been, because he wrote the book doubting that the spitting ever happened, those letters gathered by vets claiming that it did, was contrasted by him against letters by people saying, “No that could never happen” using the same liberal logic as the cracked conspiracy webpage.
Thank you for your level-headed commentary. Very much appreciated.
Anonymous said…23 May, 2014 23:51
“Bes”, or Igor Bezler, is just a minor crook. He used to be an undertaker and started doing a Walter Mitty thing, pretending to be a colonel:
The hasbara of the zionazi works in very predictable and not so mysterious ways.
Even a quick check of other material on that Bigimir site shows it to be a definite zionazi propaganda site (zionist Jewish promoting, specifically). What they say can be safely taken to be as reliable as what Fox news says.
Whoever this Bezler is, and was, a zionazi is the last one can expect an accurate picture from.
I have a question. We have all seen the reports of Strelkov claiming the self-defense forces attacked the roadblock near Volnovakha, along with info that Strelkov had his email and other internet applications hacked. It’s widely claimed that those claims about the Volnovakha attack by Strelkov were not by him, but an impersonator using his hacked accounts.
Has anyone seen anything by Strelkov denying he wrote the Volnovakha reports and that somebody impersonated him?