VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images: DNR militant
Terrorists dressed in the uniforms of Ukrainian Armed Forces are seizing prisoners and engaging in terrorism.
During the filming of a documentary about the battle between the Soviet NKVD (predecessor of KGB) and the “banderites” during the 1940-50 period someone asked an old NKVD veteran how they managed to operate in the difficult conditions of Western Ukraine, where hardly anybody supported the “Soviets.” The old man answered: “cunning.” Indeed, the secret of this cunning was revealed decades later. It has been proven that the NKVD, using Ukrainian language speakers dressed in UPA (Ukrainian Insurgent Army) uniforms, carried out terrorist activities in the villages of Western Ukraine. The goal was to force the local population to believe that UPA soldiers were looters and murderers. The victims of these raids were simple, defenseless peasants. Starting last year, the Donbas has had the misfortune to experience these methods when Luhansk was subjected to mortar fire that originated in the city itself. Now on the sites of these attacks in Luhansk cynical and defamatory monuments have been erected, dedicated to the “victims of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.” As frequently reported, the isolated city, drowned in gloom, fear and constant propaganda, has become the object of horrific provocations by Russian thugs.
Luhansk native Serhiy Kravets remembers the events that he witnessed last year: “August 3, 2014, was the last day that we had electricity in Luhansk during the summer of 2014,” he says. “Around 13:00-14:00 they cut the last wires connecting the Shchastia power station with the Kirovka-220 substation. At the same time, they destroyed the transformer and the electricity disappeared for two long months.”
“And across the street from my building it happened, around 11:30,” he continues. “The militia fired on us with mortar shells that morning for the first time. All the residents in the neighborhood fell to the ground where they were standing when the shelling began. The residents of the destroyed building ran to another building after the shelling began and it happened there as well. We were lucky. In the evening we marked the second day of birth. And the KAMAZ truck that was doing the shooting was an unmarked mining dump truck with high iron boards that conveniently hid the 82-mm mortar guns of the Piddon type. It came out of the Kherson impasse, made a left turn across the tram tracks and across the oncoming lane, taxied to the Kherson road, and made its way East. What analysis ??? You hit the ground immediately. And the next day I saw this KAMAZ or a similar one at the end of a column of armored combat vehicles, the “Tachankas” (machine gun platforms), driven by the (“DNR”) Defense. And the puzzle was solved.”
But not all Luhansk residents have been that observant. Many were convinced that these were Ukrainian terrorist and reconnaissance groups that were riding around the city destroying civilian buildings. It appears the militants have perfected their tactics. Where previously the Russians occasionally tried to place a Ukrainian flag on the tank and bombard a city neighborhood, now, according to reports, these same thugs are dressing in Ukrainian uniforms. Research into OSINT (open-source intelligence) sources and militant social networks of the so-called “DNR” (Donetsk People’s Republic) has yielded photos that demonstrate how terrorists from the “Sloviansk” 1st Separate Mechanized Brigade of the People’s Militia of the “DNR” Ministry of Defense No. 08801 dress in the new pixelated camouflage uniforms of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
A video of the movement of the sabotage and reconnaissance units of the enemy appeared recently in social networks, posted by Egor Zemtsov. Ukrainian uniforms and Ukrainian chevrons are visible in the footage. The militants also have sleeping bags, indicating they have been present on Ukrainian territory for some time.
The Ukrainian military has confirmed cases of terrorists disguised in Ukrainian uniforms. The thugs present themselves as military commanders or officers. Using that disguise, the militants detain Ukrainian troops that move singly or in small groups. Since the terrorists have flawless documents, the issue of their identities does not come up. The scheme is as follows: the officers check the documents of detained Ukrainian troops, find some alleged “violations” and sent them to the “commander.” In this fashion the thugs take Ukrainian troops captive.
Deputy Pavlo Kishkar, commander of the information warfare group of the Donbas battalion, confirmed that this kind of subversive manipulation takes place. “These instances have been occurring throughout the entire war,” he said. “But in recent months these cases have become more frequent. The shelling of civilian areas, the disguises in Ukrainian uniforms are done to undermine the authority of the Ukrainian army. There is information on the preparation of a great number of tactical battalion groups on the border with Ukraine. They include a few people who know the Ukrainian language and they teach others appropriate pronunciation and certain expressions, so these terrorists are viewed as Ukrainians. All this is part of Kremlin’s larger plan for the destruction of Ukrainian statehood and the subjugation of Ukraine,” he concluded.
We should add that the OSCE special monitoring mission has once again recorded the presence of Russian military in areas where the DNR heavy weaponry is stored after withdrawal from the Donbas contact line. In the mission’s August 2 evening report it is mentioned that “an armed man who guards one of the storage sites for the heavy weapons has confirmed that he and the others present at the site are part of the 16th Airborne Brigade from Orenburg, Russia. They had no insignia.”