Russian involvement in Ukraine’s Donbas “republics”: 10 things you should know

 

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Article by: Vitalii Rybak

Despite Russian denials of their direct involvement into the secessionist “Donetsk People’s Republic” (“DNR”) and “Luhansk People’s Republic” (“LNR”), there is an increasing volume of evidence available that shows these denials to be simply false. Here are ten key things to know about Russian involvement in Ukraine’s eastern territories (graphic also available in Italian).

Donbas2

 

1. Thousands of Russian soldiers have died in Ukraine.

Despite stipulations in the Minsk Agreements, Russia permits the OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine to monitor only two small spots on the internationally recognized border between Ukraine and Russia. Despite this limitation, they are still able to report on vehicle activity at the border checkpoints and it is a regular side note that there is a regular flow of vehicles from Ukraine into Russia carrying the words “Cargo 200” which is a Russian military code indicating that the vehicle carries dead bodies. Almost every weekly update from the OSCE mentions this observation.

The exact number of Russian war dead from Ukraine is not known, people trying to investigate the deaths of paratroopers from the city of Pskov have been intimidated and threatened or labeled as “Foreign Agents.”

In one recent article by a well known Russian expert Paul Goble draws attention to a statistical anomaly in three Russian regions, specifically Nizhny Novgorad, Voronezh and Krasnoyarsk. Goble points out that in just these three regions the number of recorded deaths in 2014 and 2015 compared to previous years suggests as many as 6,312 “excess” deaths have occurred.

That number of deaths is quite possible given how many medals have been awarded to Russian service personnel during the Ukraine conflict. Independent researchers at Bellingcat conclude that “most likely tens of thousands of Russian servicemen participated in or contributed to the war in Ukraine.”

2. Many former / current leaders of “DNR”/”LNR” are Russian citizens.

Some of the warlords of the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic” (DNR) and “Luhansk People’s Republic” (LNR) come from Russia and had absolutely no ties to the Donbas region prior to the start of the conflict there. For example, one of the key actors of the early periods of “Donetsk People’s Republic” Igor Girkin (also known as Strelkov,) is actually a former FSB military intelligence agent from Moscow and a Russian citizen.

Militant leaders with the nicknames Motorola, Bezler, Babai are among a large number of individuals who are or have been associated with the “DNR”/”LNR” and are also Russian citizens. Another Russian connection is Alexander Kazakov, who is an image and PR consultant to the “DNR” and the previously unknown “leader” of that unrecognized entity,  Alexander Zakharchenko. Even though there are locals in the armies and institutions of the so-called “republics,” few of them have leadership roles or any decision-making capacity.

3. Leaks of communications with key Kremlin figures prove their role as true masters of the “republics.”

On 25 October 2016, the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab shared a comprehensive analysis of a wealth of hacked Email communication that was dubbed the #SurkovLeaksVladislav Surkov is undoubtedly one of the most influential individuals in Putin’s inner circle, and the leaked communication demonstrate that he is the Kremlin point-man for Russia’s management not only for “DNR”/”LNR,” but also is involved in the management of the self-proclaimed break away/frozen conflict Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The Email accounts of Surkov’s two assistants were hacked by a Ukrainian hacker group called “Cyber Junta,” and the resulting picture of his involvement in the Donbas war is quite conclusive. According to other media reports based on the #SurkovLeaks Denis Pushilin, one of the “DNR” leaders, is completely dependent on and subordinate to Surkov.

4. Donbas separatists receive significant military support from Russia.

study by the international volunteer community InformNapalm from 17 September 2016 shows that 31 weapons systems identified in Donbas entered service with the Russian military between 2004 and 2015 and have never been produced in or sold to Ukraine — this study was presented at meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

Another report by InformNapalm focused on Russian troops in Eastern Ukraine and it identifies 75 regular Russian military units involved in the war in Donbas. This report was presented at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Istanbul on 19 November 2016.

5. The economies of the “republics” depend heavily on Russian money.

Bild journalist Julian Röpcke from Germany produced another piece of comprehensive research. By analyzing the economics of Donbas secessionist “republics” he showed the extent to which Russia finances the “DNR”/”LNR”, because they simply cannot survive without external financing. Röpcke has also traced how Russia channeled money to the “republics” primarily through banks in the Georgian region of Abkhazia, another self-declared “secessionist” territory which has been under Russian de facto control since the early 1990s, which was formally recognized by Russia as a state after the Russo-Georgian war of 2008.

 

The Bild report estimated that Russia spends €79.1 millon per month to pay salaries in the republics.

6. International media produced numerous reports about Russia’s involvement in the war.

One of the most recent reports from the self-declared “Republics” in eastern Ukraine was produced by France 24. French journalists reported that the militants receive ammunition and equipment from Russia; they are being trained by Russian instructors; receive necessary funding from Russia, as well as humanitarian help (something which is often used as a cover for the rotation of troops).

7. Independent think tanks have also presented proof of Russia’s involvement.

The Atlantic Council, a well-known American think-tank published a study on Russian role in the life of Donbas “republics.” The presentation of this study begins: “Russia is at war with Ukraine. Russian citizens and soldiers are fighting and dying in a war of their government’s own making. Russian President Vladimir Putin continues to deny Russian involvement in the fighting, but the evidence is overwhelming and indisputable,” this study was published on October 15th 2015. Russia’s denails of military involvement in Ukraine have not been plausible at least since then.

This report was released simultaneously with a report titled “Putin.War,”  which was the brainchild of Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov, who was shot dead in Moscow shortly after he began collecting material for the report.

8. Open source research reveals that Russia shelled Ukraine in the summer of 2014.

Bellingcat’s latest report, published on 21 December 2016, is dedicated to Russian artillery strikes against Ukrainian troops, which took place in the early stages of the conflict. The report shows a very large number of firing positions inside Russia, as well as documenting the target sites inside of Ukraine.

“Thousands of artillery projectiles were fired by the Russian military on targets inside Ukraine in the summer of 2014,” the report reads. An analysis of maps of the conflict zone clearly shows that Ukraine’s army had significant momentum and was retaking many previously-occupied towns and cities in the period before these artillery attacks. The area where the attacks occurred is part of what is today a 400km stretch of open and unmonitored border between Russia and Ukraine.

9. The MH-17 catastrophe also proves that Russia has been acting in Donbas since early days of war.

The Bellingcat investigative group claimed on 30 September 2016 that the responsibility for sending the Buk missile launcher used to down the MH-17 flight ultimately rests with the command of the Russian military, who had sanctioned the deployment of that missile system into Ukraine. Bellingcat first published an investigation relating to the shooting down of MH17 on 8th November 2014, and even in those early days it was abundantly clear that the missile launcher came from Russia. Those early findings have since been corroborated by the criminal investigation of the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team, who have confirmed that the MH-17 airplane was downed by a BUK missile coming from Russia. “The system was transported from Russian territory into eastern Ukraine” and a short time later transported back to Russia, the report says unambiguously.

10. Russia allegedly uses force to kill “DNR”/”LNR” militants who have become an inconvenience.

One of the most recent examples is Arseny Pavlov, a Russian citizen who was known as Motorola. The respected British newspaper The Guardian carried an article saying that Pavlov was “killed as result of either an internal feud or Russia removing ‘inconvenient’ separatist leaders in the field.” According to the article, the leadership of the “DNR/LNR” “coordinates its actions with handlers in Moscow, who finance and control the political landscape in the self-declared republics, despite claims to the contrary.” It would appear that those who refuse to follow the rules set by Moscow are being replaced by more obedient individuals. There were three other similar cases during the last six months: Alexander Bushuev, Alexander Nemogay, and Alexander Osipov were reportedly killed due to their disobedience or growing personal authority.

Vitalii Rybak is an expert at Internews Ukraine and coordinator of UkraineWorld group, a networking initiative. The author thanks Paul Niland, Janet Gunn, Natalya Gumeniuk, Nastya Stanko, Oleksandr Nikonorov, Oleksiy Matsuka, Alya Shandra, Volodymyr Yermolenko, and other UkraineWorld group members for help and consultations. To join UkraineWorld group, please contact Vitalii Rybak: [email protected] or [email protected].

Source: A version of this text was first published on Atlantic Council

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Comments

  1. Avatar Brent says:

    Required reading for Euro-skeptics and puppets like Marine Le Pen, Geerts Wilder, Viktor Orban and, of course, Donald Drumpf…..

    1. Avatar Oknemfrod says:

      All of them (perhaps except Trump as yet) know all of that full well. Now why they’ve been acting as if they don’t is a different question and story.

      1. Avatar Geralt von Riva says:

        orban said it once here^^. he stick between russia and germany and fears them both.

      2. Avatar туфтуф says:

        But someone has to protect the subhumans of Donbass. In Britain, even animals have rights. RSPCA can land one in prison easy.

        1. Avatar Eolone says:

          Yes, Putin is protecting the subhuman pro-Russians in Donbas.

          1. Avatar туфтуф says:

            Excellent! They have no RSPCA in Ukraine. But am sure Russia has more power than RSPCA.

          2. Avatar туфтуф says:

            He is their only hope. In civilised countries (Britain being one of them, has RSPCA wich can land you in prison for harming an animal) we have various organizations which protect lower species. In ukroland its considered valiant to kill a Doneck girl.

          3. Avatar Brent says:

            You’re a lying bag of Russian troll sh*t.

            Show some evidence of the Kremlin lies you spew about Ukrainians killing girls from Donetsk. The truth is many families sent their young women to free Ukraine to live in peace away from murdering thieving Russo Nazzi terrorists, and they live in free Ukraine peacefully and happily.

          4. Avatar туфтуф says:

            Got lots of pictures. Dnt know how to upload them. And videos. Huge collection.

          5. Avatar Alex George says:

            You have nothing. You are just hot air.

          6. Avatar туфтуф says:

            Ok.

          7. Avatar туфтуф says:

            I have pics and video material. I even know the names of the culprits. I know it not from cnn. First hand info. But dnt know how to share it here.

          8. Avatar Alex George says:

            You have nothing at all and that is obvious.

            You just hot wind.

          9. Avatar туфтуф says:

            Ok again. Lol. But l bought Dejan Berich’s book today. When the dead speak. In russian. Dejan’s head is worth $1 million. How did l do that? I will be posting exerpts from the book here. Raw intel. Trying to help SBU who s reading my posts here.

          10. Avatar Alex George says:

            I doubt the SBU has the slightest interest in you. Sorry, but you are just an old windbag

          11. Avatar туфтуф says:

            But in Dejan they are interested very much. I have done nothing wrong. Knowing much is not a crime. But Dejan is a serious man.

          12. Avatar Alex George says:

            *LMAO* Nobody cares

          13. Avatar туфтуф says:

            He is wanted dead or alive by SBU. The price on his head currentlystands at1 million.

          14. Avatar Alex George says:

            And you don’t know him, and nobody cares.

          15. Avatar туфтуф says:

            Ok. I admit. I know him, but dnt know his whereabouts. Otherwise l would be a millionaire.

          16. Avatar Alex George says:

            No you don’t know him. You are just an old windbag trying to make yourself out to be important

          17. Avatar туфтуф says:

            Ok. If you say so. He gave me a password so l can read his book for free. I can give you the url but unfortunatelly, not the password.

          18. Avatar Alex George says:

            Sorry, but you are obviously just trying to big note yourself. When its not him, its somebody else. You don’t know any of these people

          19. Avatar туфтуф says:

            In his latest interview, he said he s returning to donbass when a full scale war begins. The interviewer was Graham phillips. Grisha, as he is known to his freedom fighting friends. I dnt know grisha personally but do know his whereabouts. London.

          20. Avatar Alex George says:

            Anybody who can read the news knows Philips is in London – he got thrown out of the Parliament building a couple of days ago.

            The reason he is no longer in separatist Donbas is obvious enough – he posted some smart-ass comments on a Donbas blog earlier this month and Ukrainian artillery used it to pinpoint positions of several of his comrades who are now in little pieces. Philips is not exactly flavour of the month with his separatist pals.

            So, enjoy the info which any informed person is aware of. And no, you don’t know any of these people.

        2. Avatar Alex George says:

          Who said they were subhuman? Only Putin’s fascists use that term.

          They aren’t subhuman, just traitors. They deserve all the protection the law can give them, including an 8-year sentence, as the three latest captured separatists are getting. Once they have served their sentence, they can rejoin society.

          Of course, those separatists who have instigated murder, rape and similar crimes are facing much stronger penalties.

          1. Avatar туфтуф says:

            No. My friend who used to be a right sector press secretary and now works for Azov measured the head of a captive militiaman trying to prove he is a primate, but not quite human. She used the word nedochelovek (untermensch).

          2. Avatar Quartermaster says:

            You need to come up with some better lies. You claim to know far too many people.

          3. Avatar туфтуф says:

            But l really do. I can give all their names and contacts. And lots of pics.

          4. Avatar Alex George says:

            Well go right ahead then. But how does your argument help you? You’ve told us there are nazzis in Ukraine – we already knew that. There are probably evne more nazzis in USA and Britain than there are in Ukraine, and there are certinal ymore in Russia. So what?

            Nobody is denying that Nazzis exist in Ukraine as in every country on earth, but the fact is that apart from a few of these fruitcakes, nobody talks about Russians in Donetsk being subhumans (except you, as it happens).

            They aren’t subhumans, just traitors and war criminals. And yes, traitors and war criminals do have rights

          5. Avatar туфтуф says:

            I can do it only in private. For many may end up in prison on both sides of the conflict. Leave your e mail here. I use Tor and will be writing to you from Tailand although am not phisically there.

          6. Avatar Alex George says:

            You misunderstand me. I personally have no interest in your assertions. I already have a fair idea where the nazzis are in Ukraine, and they don’t interest me much. I simply said that if you really want to publish information, go for it.

          7. Avatar туфтуф says:

            Oh good. I dnt want to get anyone in trouble.

          8. Avatar туфтуф says:

            But u dnt know where Russians from Russia are, those who fought on ukroside.

          9. Avatar Alex George says:

            Oh please, you have no idea what anyone else knows or doesn’t know. You’ve got nothing useful.

      3. Avatar Alex George says:

        Its pretty obvious that Trump already knows as much as he wants to, and he doesn’t care.

        1. Avatar Oknemfrod says:

          You must know something I don’t. It’s not obvious to me for the simple reason that I’m not informed enough to say it is.

          1. Avatar Alex George says:

            Hi Oknemfrod, on a different note, what do you think of this?
            http://uawire.org/news/head-of-the-ministry-of-internal-affairs-of-ukraine-announced-plans-to-return-the-donbas-in-2017

            It seems extraordinary that Avakov should be talking about this. He is not talking about fighting – he refers to the border guards just walking through Donbas to the border. And he specifically says he is not takiing about some sort of trade-off for Crimea.

          2. Avatar Oknemfrod says:

            You’ve pretty much answered it in your own post on that site. Lugandon is a black money hole for Russia desperately strapped for cash. It’s already stolen from Donbas all it could steal. The idea to use Donbas to germinate “novorossiya” from there to Crimea has gone in smoke. Cargo 200 keep coming back for nothing to show for it. Etc., etc. My biggest concern is what and how Ukraine will have to do with that cancer, once the orcs are gone.

          3. Avatar Alex George says:

            Thanks for your comments, and I agree that the rebuild/cleanup issue has always been a problem-in-waiting.

            I suppose that is at least one good thing about the length of time this has taken – the people of Donbas have been given a close-up demonstration of what it is actually like to be ruled by pro-Moscow separatists. Although “ruled” is perhaps miscasting the level of anarchy and corruption there.

          4. Avatar Oknemfrod says:

            In the program, by which the Kremlin does its “ruling”, anarchy and corruption are features, not bugs.

    2. Avatar Dagwood Bumstead says:

      You forgot to include Hollandier and Adolfina Merkelain, two arch-appeasers, also Hollandier’s predecessor Sarkozier and Merkelain’s predecessor Schröder. Schröder is openly corrupt, having received a highly-paid job after calling Pedo Putolini “a pure democrat”. So was his predecessor Kohl.

      1. Avatar туфтуф says:

        As a powerful country, Russia is simply projecting its power. Nothing new or abnormal.

        1. Avatar Eolone says:

          South Korea has a higher GDP than powerful Russia.

          1. Avatar туфтуф says:

            But South Korea cannot project its power beyond its internationally decognised borders. Not even influence the poor NKorea, let alone China or USA.

          2. Avatar Alex George says:

            You clearly know little about South Korea. Its military has 3.6 million men, and it has a large navy and air force.

            The reason South Korea does not wantonly “project power” is because it is a mature and responsible international citizen, not because it cannot do so.

            You also do not understand influence – South Korean has enormous influence with China and the USA . One fo the reasons for that is that it knows when not to “project power”.

            As a counterpoint, consider Putin – the more he has become involved in “projecting power” the less influence he has.

          3. Avatar туфтуф says:

            Contradiction in terms?

          4. Avatar Quartermaster says:

            No, you simply have no idea what he’s talking about and you are deeply confused.

          5. Avatar Brent says:

            “Toto”, you don’t really understand that some countries want to be peaceful and not invade other countries, do you? South Korea is an economic powerhouse that has a large military primarily for one purpose. To defend itself from the ever threatening North Korea. Name one other military conflict South Korea has been involved in the last 50 years. Not all nations are like Russia and still think that stealing parts of its smaller neighbors make it some “great nation” who is “projecting power”. That’s so 18th century…..

          6. Avatar туфтуф says:

            These are the times of the strong. The wimps go down.

          7. Avatar Alex George says:

            Then Russia has no place here.

          8. Avatar туфтуф says:

            The strong take. The wimps cry over list territories.

          9. Avatar Alex George says:

            Exactly, which is why Russia has no place in the world anymore.

          10. Avatar туфтуф says:

            But Russia takes…..??? Or not really? Maybe it asked Poroshenko for permissionto take Crimea and he secretly gave it away?

          11. Avatar Alex George says:

            Russia has taken nothing. It can’t hold Donbas or Crimea, and it has nothing else.

          12. Avatar туфтуф says:

            LikeChina cldnt hold Tibet? I have no doubt that 1 day Tibet will be free again. Same will happen to Crimea. When Russia is no more.

          13. Avatar Alex George says:

            Russia may hold Crimea until the end of this year, or a little longer, but that is doubtful.

            And I agree that Russia as we know it is likely to disappear over the next couple of decades, i.e. fragment, but not as quickly as it will lose Crimea.

            Russia has no rights in Crimea, nor does it have the ability to hold it.

          14. Avatar туфтуф says:

            Its good that Russia has started a pull out from Crimea if you say so. I only worry abt the ethnic Russian majority and the security threat if ultras gain Crimea and the 2 permanent Russian bases in Syria cus Russia cnt affotd them either. And if a kangaroo court proclaims all Russian foreign assets to belong to ukroland, the world is ducked. I think let Poland take Crimea and conquer Russia. Enough of Ukrainians have died.

          15. Avatar Alex George says:

            Russia started a pull out from Crimea? Where did you learn to read?

            But don’t worry about the ethnic Russian majority. Like the ethnic Russians in the rest of eastern Ukraine, they will be very happy to see the back of Putin’s fascists.

            “conquer russia” – you seriously think anyone is interested in that? Why would they bother?

          16. Avatar туфтуф says:

            I tot u said the pull out had begun. I tot u r privy to something ‘above my paygrade’. Am sure, if the pullout hasnt begun, it will begin shortly. All we need is patience. The ppl of Tibet have been waiting over 70 yrs now. We have to learn from them.

          17. Avatar Alex George says:

            “I tot u said the pull out had begun. ”

            No, learn to read my friend.

            “I tot u r privy to something ‘above my paygrade’.”

            Not at all – I said you were utterly ignorant. There is a difference.

            Don’t worry, nothing like 70 years, Perhaps a year or two at the most. and in Donbas it has already started.

          18. Avatar туфтуф says:

            Liebstermann again? Lolz

          19. Avatar Alex George says:

            Sorry, you clearly didn’t understand my post at all. Here are the main points again:

            Russia may hold Crimea until the end of this year, or a little longer, but even that is doubtful.

            Russia as we know it is likely to disappear over the next couple of decades, i.e. fragment, but not as quickly as it will lose Crimea.

            Russia has no rights in Crimea, nor does it have the ability to hold it.

          20. Avatar туфтуф says:

            70 yrs?

          21. Avatar туфтуф says:

            Lost*

        2. Avatar Alex George says:

          Russia is not a powerful country. “Bangladesh wiht missiles” is an apt description

          And no, powerful countries do not project power just for the sake of it. They only do so if there is a good reason.

          That is why Russia is regarded a as a pariah by the vast majority of other nations in the world.

          1. Avatar туфтуф says:

            New definitions? China is building its territory on other people”s property in South China sea. Power projection and blatant disregard of intl law. And no one dares to stop it. Like Russia and Crimea situation. China also annexed Tibet which has no embassy anywhere in the world. DPR has predstaviteljstva in several countries.

          2. Avatar Quartermaster says:

            Obama has simply been far to weak. The Chinks have done what they have in the West Philippine Sea because Obama wouldn’t stand up to them.

          3. Avatar туфтуф says:

            The Philipines pressie wants to make a military alliance with Chinks and Russians. He sees NATO is a wanimg power.

          4. Avatar Alex George says:

            Whcih just shows that he is a fool

          5. Avatar туфтуф says:

            We have NK being supported by China (and to some extent Russia). It would be a strong military alliance. A force to be reckoned with.

          6. Avatar Alex George says:

            North Korean is irrelevant. Its only purpose is to act as a buffer for China.

          7. Avatar туфтуф says:

            Buffers are very relevant. Ukraine will soon serve the same purpose.

          8. Avatar Alex George says:

            That is true – Russia will be Ukraine’s buffer.

          9. Avatar туфтуф says:

            Against China and Mongolia? Mongos are bloo brothers to ukros. Why be afraid of them? And if China invades, there will be no more poverty in ukroland. No need for buffers.

          10. Avatar Alex George says:

            You are assuming that “Russia” will still be in one piece by then – that is most unlikely.

            As for China invading Russia, I don’t think China will invade the Russian east, as such, just quietly take control of it. What we now know as Far East and Siberia will end up being a number of nominally independent states, but in reality clients of China.

          11. Avatar туфтуф says:

            But if politely asked, Russia may allow China to take Ukraine? Or not?

          12. Avatar Alex George says:

            What Russia allows is irrelevant. And why would China attack Ukraine? It is doing a great deal of business with it, and obviously views Ukraine as a very useful counter to Russia.

          13. Avatar туфтуф says:

            Then Russia being a bugfer zone to Ukraine makes no sense.

          14. Avatar Alex George says:

            Of course it makes sense – what does China have to do with it?

            There are many countries east of Ukraine, and when Russia breaks up into several parts, there will be even more.

          15. Avatar туфтуф says:

            There seems no need for a buffer then.

          16. Avatar Alex George says:

            You obviously have little idea of geography, and you are still assuming that Russia will be in one piece by then.

          17. Avatar Alex George says:

            Actually China has backed right off in the South China Sea, so your information is out of date. It is pretty obvious by now that it is not going anywhere because too many nations to its south oppose it. China’s real expansion is to the north where, in your own words, “noone dares stop it”.

            As for China’s annexation of Tibet, you are aware that this happened in 1951? And I fail to see any relevance.

            But in any case, what does this have to do with my point? You asserted that Russia is a powerful country, I said it wasn’t, and that “projecting power” is not the measure of a powerful country anyway. :

          18. Avatar туфтуф says:

            No matter when it happened. It matters that it happened. Britain is building 2 new aircraft carriers precisely cus of Chinese territorial enlargements. But will it use the force it will have? I dnt think so. But it will increase the taxes to its population. Useless.

          19. Avatar туфтуф says:

            Not true. Building as usual. And Tibet is still part if China.

          20. Avatar Alex George says:

            Yes it is true. And Tibet is recognised as part of China whereas Crimea is not recognised as part of Russia and never will be.

            But in any case, what does this have to do with my point? You asserted that Russia is a powerful country, I said it wasn’t, and that “projecting power” is not the measure of a powerful country anyway.

          21. Avatar туфтуф says:

            Will be. All great powers do it all the time. You should support red Indians. But get the frying pan of ur head first. Leave ukroland to competent ppl.

          22. Avatar Alex George says:

            Now you are just babbling. I made the points and you haven’t attempted to answer them:

            Tibet is recognised as part of China whereas Crimea is not recognised as part of Russia and never will be.

            But in any case, what does this have to do with my point? You asserted that Russia is a powerful country, I said it wasn’t, and that “projecting power” is not the measure of a powerful country anyway.

          23. Avatar туфтуф says:

            It is good that it is recognised. But even without the recognition, it would still be de facto, not de iure, part of China. Just like Crimea is and Donbass and other rump Ukraine territories.

          24. Avatar Alex George says:

            Nice try, but no, Russia has no rights in Crimea or Donbas.

            The whole world recognises that Russian soldiers have no more right ot be in Donbas than Hitler’s soldiers had the right to be in Greece in 1941. They will leave.

          25. Avatar туфтуф says:

            The whole world might not agree, but cnt DO anything abt it. Being unable to do anything abt it has the same consequences as agreeing with it. Consequences matter.

          26. Avatar Alex George says:

            Of course they can do something about it and they are. Russia’s economy is being destroyed, partly by the incompetence of Russia’s leaders, but partly by sanctions. The longer Russia stays in Crimea, the more it will deterioriate, but regardless, it will leave.

          27. Avatar туфтуф says:

            Chinas economy was in tatters when it legally occupied Tibet. Much worse than Russias now.

          28. Avatar Alex George says:

            No, much better than Russia is now .You obviously know nothing about life in Russia

          29. Avatar туфтуф says:

            Tibet was recognised only cus no one could do anything about it despite the fact that China then was much weaker than Russia today. I suggest we shed a few tears for the rump Ukraine and enjoy our lives. The worst is yet to come. There ll be plenty of opportunities to cry yet

          30. Avatar Alex George says:

            Its not copycat at all.

            The whole world recognises that Russian soldiers have no more right ot be in Donbas than Hitler’s soldiers had the right to be in Greece in 1941. They will leave.

            And no, there is no worst to come. Russia is weak.

          31. Avatar туфтуф says:

            Whats the dif?

          32. Avatar туфтуф says:

            Does it matter? Great powers do not need recognition.

          33. Avatar Brent says:

            Like North Korea? Or North Ko-Russia?

          34. Avatar туфтуф says:

            Sure. NK is undergoing tremendous changes. China is its main ally. And China calls the shots there. Therefore, its all peachy.

          35. Avatar Alex George says:

            Exactly. China has power; Russia does not.

          36. Avatar туфтуф says:

            China and Russia are allies. China in the UN is either supporting Russia or doesnt vote against it. The world is becoming a dangerous place.

          37. Avatar Alex George says:

            China and Russia are not allies and you know it.

          38. Avatar туфтуф says:

            The Firm thinks otherwise.

          39. Avatar Alex George says:

            No it doesn’t. You just made up a silly story about an alliance being in Xinhua.

          40. Avatar туфтуф says:

            Why should NK need recognition? Yanks are afraid of it and that makes it safe from invasion.

          41. Avatar Alex George says:

            NK is protected by China, which is a serious power, unlike Russia.

          42. Avatar туфтуф says:

            Russia also protects Nk. China cannot wipe out US off the face of the Earth yet, but soon will be able. NK can wipe Japan and SK and some US naval bases in the Pacific. When China becomes able to do a serious damage to the US like Russia can, be sure that NK willl be able to do the same. The world has been undergoing serious changes.

          43. Avatar Alex George says:

            Russia doesn’t protect North Korea. China does. Russia is not pwoerful enough to do so.

            Nukes do not make a nation powerful, as the example of Russia proves – it failed in Ukraine and now is failing in Syria.

          44. Avatar туфтуф says:

            N koreans work in Russia. They have to pay 50 pc to the N korean communist party and send the rest totheir families.

          45. Avatar Alex George says:

            Which doesn;t change the fact that Russia doesn’t protect North Korea. China does. Russia is not pwoerful enough to do so.

            Nor that Nukes do not make a nation powerful, as the example of Russia proves – it failed in Ukraine and now is failing in Syria.

          46. Avatar Alex George says:

            Yes they do. And even more so, fading middle-ranking powers like Russia. hence why Putin is desperate.

          47. Avatar туфтуф says:

            Putin officially refused Trump’s offer to recognise Kosovo in return of Crimea recognition some days ago, saying that Crimea is already Russian so the trade off is off the table. That shows how desperate he is to get Crimra recognsed. Lol

          48. Avatar Alex George says:

            No that wasn’t hte proposed trade off – you can’t even get basic news stories right.

            Adn yes Putin is desperate for recognition. without that, he knows he cannot hold Crimea.

          49. Avatar туфтуф says:

            That was an attempt of a trade off. Unsuccessful so far.

          50. Avatar Alex George says:

            No, it was just a story you made up

          51. Avatar туфтуф says:

            Tibet was recognised on account thatno one could do anythimg abt it. Copycat Crimea situation.

          52. Avatar Alex George says:

            Its not copycat at all.

            The whole world recognises that Russian soldiers have no more right ot be in Donbas than Hitler’s soldiers had the right to be in Greece in 1941. They will leave.

          53. Avatar туфтуф says:

            And Chinese soldiers had the internationally recognised right to occupy a foreign land, kill all who were against the occupation and get the spoils of war officially recognised by the UN? LOL

          54. Avatar Alex George says:

            And here you are trying to change the subject again to an event 70 years ago.

            The whole world recognises that Russian soldiers have no more right to be in Donbas than Hitler’s soldiers had the right to be in Greece in 1941. They will leave.

          55. Avatar туфтуф says:

            I am drawing parallels. In 70 yrs time Crimea event will be 70 yrs old.

          56. Avatar Alex George says:

            No, you are just trying to change the subject .

            Russia will be out of Crimea in a year or two at most. The longer it takes the better, because the worse its economy will be as a result.

    3. Avatar туфтуф says:

      Who bee the Drumpf?

      1. Avatar Eolone says:

        Drumpf is the lying Birther President of the US come this Friday. He will lie to you too.

        1. Avatar туфтуф says:

          We know he will. The plan is to use him and discard him. Dnt know exactly how, but thats the plan. He should NOT trust Russians although they brought him into power.

          1. Avatar Alex George says:

            Fair comment

          2. Avatar Quartermaster says:

            The Russians did not put him in power. The left is going crazy over nothing, and there is utterly no evidence that Putin was able to influence the election in any way.

          3. Avatar Alex George says:

            Fair comment also.

        2. Avatar туфтуф says:

          I will not listen to him then. What did he tell u?

    4. Avatar туфтуф says:

      And hoo bee the Drumpf?

      1. Avatar Brent says:

        Donald J.’s grandfather was “Friedrich Drumpf”, who emigrated to the U.S. from Germany.

  2. Avatar туфтуф says:

    Thank God that LDNR are preparing to be annexed by Russia. That will mean that any Ukrainian attack on civilians in the breakaway republics will be an attack on Russia itself. End of bloodshed cometh. Pity it was not done long ago

    1. Avatar Eolone says:

      Toto, the Russian people named Putin the Liar of the Year in 2015. Has Putin been lying to you too?

      1. Avatar туфтуф says:

        All politicians are liars. Nothing new there.

        1. Avatar Quartermaster says:

          Since Putin has been lying to you, it would be best if you quit shilling for him.

    2. Avatar Alex George says:

      I doubt the Ukrainians care about that. It may be years before they are ready, but when they are, they will take these territories back regardless.

      But a question: Does the Kremlin plan to annex the LPR and DPR? I know some people in Russia have wanted that to happen from the start, but the Kremlin seems to have zero interest in doing it.

      1. Avatar туфтуф says:

        This sounds ridiculous. No one can beat Russia.

        1. Avatar Quartermaster says:

          Funny. It seems Russia is doing an excellent job of beating itself.

      2. Avatar туфтуф says:

        True
        Surkov wants the ultras killed either by the Republic army, or to self destruct.

      3. Avatar туфтуф says:

        What “some ppl want” is irrelevant. Surkov runs the show. And he is THE most dangerous of them all. Here is some raw intel for u. When Strelkov was DPR minister of defence, he wanted to withdraw the army to the border of russia so that ukroland attacks RF and give a pretext for a full scale Russian invasion. He was quickly given marching orders by Surkov. Obviously, there is a different plan. A more devious one.

        1. Avatar Alex George says:

          Surkov is no more dangerous than anyone else. He just happens to be the Kremlin official running these things. And what I wrote was the simple truth – some people in Russia have wanted Russia to take over the Donbas fomr the start. That is hardly a secret.

          I was just curious as to whether you thought the Kremlin had any interest in doing so, and on what basis. Clearly you don’t, which accords with my observations also – the Kremlin does not want these territories, and it knows it will never get any more of the Donbas than the portion it holds now. But it is afraid of the mercenaries it sent there coming home.

          1. Avatar туфтуф says:

            You dnt know these ppl. Serious players.

          2. Avatar Alex George says:

            Everybody knows them. They are just part of Putin’s regime. And they are no longer relevant to Ukraine because they do not have the power to conquer it.

          3. Avatar туфтуф says:

            No. I just know things. Have friends on both sides on the conflict.

          4. Avatar Alex George says:

            No you don;t. You are just hot air.

          5. Avatar туфтуф says:

            I bought today Dejan Berich’s book When the dead talk in Russian. It contains raw intel. Dejan’s head is worth $1 million. How did l manage that?

          6. Avatar Alex George says:

            As I wrote, you are just hot air. All talk.

          7. Avatar туфтуф says:

            Ok, do u want it? Can send u copy from Tailand pdf, although l am not there.

          8. Avatar Alex George says:

            LOL You have nothing at all. You are just an old windbag.

          9. Avatar туфтуф says:

            They do. But why pick an apple if its about to fall into your lap anyways?

          10. Avatar Alex George says:

            Exactly.

          11. Avatar туфтуф says:

            Official? Lol

  3. Avatar John says:

    More “Fake NEWS”! It’s the USA, EU and Israel that causes 95% of the world’s problems.

  4. Avatar Alex George says:

    “The Bild report estimated that Russia spends €79.1 millon per month to pay salaries in the republics.”

    Good. The more money Putin has to spend, the better.

    It not only weakens Russia now, but in the longer term. In the end, the world will only be safe from the oligarchs who rule Russia if Russia is so weakened that it cannot conduct meaningful aggression.

    1. Avatar туфтуф says:

      Good for the economy of thebRepublics

      1. Avatar Quartermaster says:

        But not for the Russian state or people. Putin is bankrupting the Russian people.

        1. Avatar туфтуф says:

          KGB always finds a way. Serious bunch.

          1. Avatar Alex George says:

            The FSB are incompetent and bloated, and only a hollow shell of the former KGB.

          2. Avatar туфтуф says:

            It is the same, only more dangerous outfit.

          3. Avatar Alex George says:

            The FSB is far inferior to the former KGB in abilities, as their results (or lack thereof) show.

          4. Avatar туфтуф says:

            Then we re peachy. Lol

      2. Avatar Alex George says:

        If by “the republics” you mean the LNR and the DNR, no it isn’t. they are riddled with corruption and their economies are virtually non-existent.

        1. Avatar туфтуф says:

          They are non existent for now. But everything ll be peachy.

          1. Avatar Alex George says:

            If they haven’t established an economy by now, they never will. The occupied Donbas “republics” are anarchic, with little in the way of law and order, and no functioning economy. Its pretty standard in any bandit territory.

          2. Avatar туфтуф says:

            They cnt establish economy under persistent bombardment. Once they are part of Russia, their new country will return the factories Russia dismantled in 2014 and everything will be peachy.

          3. Avatar Alex George says:

            They aren’t under persistent bombardment. Most of the occupied territories never see any shooting at all. The reason their economies have disappeared is because there is no government in the territories, just bandits.

            And yes, Russia did steal factories – that is normal behaviour whenever Russia annexes any territory. The factories wil neve rbe returned, which is not a problem because they were antiquated and Ukraine is a more modern nation now

          4. Avatar туфтуф says:

            But my friends living there call me on the phone and l hear explosions. And see them on skype. Towns burn there…

          5. Avatar Alex George says:

            Sure you do – pity nobody else ever sees this.

            You just can’t handle the truth, which is that they aren’t under persistent bombardment. Most of the occupied territories never see any shooting at all. The reason their economies have disappeared is because there is no government in the territories, just bandits.

          6. Avatar туфтуф says:

            Oh they do see it. I make sure to diseminate non classified info. And some classified too.

          7. Avatar Alex George says:

            Sory, but you haven’t disseminated any info.

          8. Avatar туфтуф says:

            But why dnt they ban me? Cus l talk a lot.

          9. Avatar Alex George says:

            Why bother banning you?

          10. Avatar туфтуф says:

            Breaking news: Odessa and Harkov announce they are ready to leave Ukraine. I can translate the text if ur Russian is wobbly.
            http://eer.ru/a/article/u123259/2017/01/24/57842

          11. Avatar Alex George says:

            Yes, and the Easter bunny will be the new President . Got it. ;o)

            Keep trying, my poor deluded friend.

          12. Avatar туфтуф says:

            This is why l dont support Russia. It had capabilities to prevent this, yet it didnt. Deliberately. Of course, they sent spetsnaz GRU which destroyed the entire ukro air force and half of Romanian one, but a little too late. Here is the link of the bombardment of Lugansk city centre.

            https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=share&v=GzLkO2Kc9K8

          13. Avatar Alex George says:

            Ha ha and changing the subject yet again! Thanks for the fake vid by the way, but why waste our time?

          14. Avatar туфтуф says:

            I ll find u some more if u r interested. And pics taken by Dubovoy from the trenches.

          15. Avatar Alex George says:

            Haha, sure you will. ;o)

          16. Avatar туфтуф says:

            Blood thirsty we are, arent we? I cannot fathom that u see a video of civilian area being bombed and u laugh abt it. Maybe u r a psycho?

          17. Avatar Alex George says:

            Those are all over the internet. I am laughing at you. Learn the difference .

          18. Avatar туфтуф says:

            Error. There is NO CRIME in the Republics. You steal, you die. Therefore all criminal elements left the regions.

          19. Avatar Alex George says:

            There is plenty of crime in the republics, and it is almost guaranteed that those who steal do NOT die. Rather, separatist leaders and their minions regularly kill each other in fights over the earnings of corruption and crime.

          20. Avatar туфтуф says:

            Fairy tales.

          21. Avatar туфтуф says:

            I meant petty crime. It is much safer to walk the streets of Donetsk than London. I know that the beaurocrats of the free Reppublics do all sorts of shady deals with Kiev oligarchs, particularly with Ahmetov and Porosenok.

          22. Avatar Alex George says:

            It is not at all safe to walk anywhere in the DNR and LNR – unless you know the right people.

          23. Avatar туфтуф says:

            Starikov told me he was surprised to see how safe it was to walk at night through Donetsk. He says it is much safer than St Petersburgh. The only problem is the curfew which lasts from 11 pm to 6 am. All caught on the streets within those times risk being shot by security services, which are quite different than the police. My personal opinion is they are FSB.

          24. Avatar Alex George says:

            As I wrote above – those who know the right people and have done the right payoffs can walk safely. That is what happens in bandit areas.

          25. Avatar Brent says:

            So that’s what happened to “Motorola”, Bednov, Mozgovai and all the other liquidated Russian terrorists in Donbas? They stole from the Mafia leaders Plotnitsky and Zakharchenko?

            That’s quite the economic miracle the DPR has going on !!!

          26. Avatar туфтуф says:

            Ukrainian terrorists were captured and confessed to murder. I dnt know if they were tried yet, but can find out. Theres a video on youtube.

          27. Avatar Alex George says:

            Sure they were. Motorola was killed by his own people, over drugs.

          28. Avatar туфтуф says:

            No. I will try to post the interrogation video here, but it is in Russian. Am in possession of it. Faces, names, addresses…..just hate to type translation, but will explain in my own words whats happening. Maybe the assasins have already been wasted. Havent asked whats happened to them yet.

          29. Avatar Alex George says:

            Dodge as much as you like but its almost certain that Motorola was kiled by his own people, over the drug trade.

          30. Avatar туфтуф says:

            Suppositions against hard evidenceand info from the ground. Impressive. Lol

          31. Avatar Alex George says:

            The evidence says that Motorola was killed in a fight over the drug trade .Fake videos of false confessions are not evidence of any kind

          32. Avatar туфтуф says:

            Evidence? Lolz

          33. Avatar туфтуф says:

            Alex, l am being completely ignored by everyone but u. Why dnt the 2 of us discuss via e mail? If you have knowledge of computers dnt be surprised that l write to u from Tailand. Am not there in reality. But can send u invaluable info. Knowing how things are will not influence your support for the putsch gvt in.Kiev.

          34. Avatar Alex George says:

            Why? You have no information. You are just an old windbag.

          35. Avatar туфтуф says:

            Motorolas murderers have been captured. I dnt know if they ve been executed yet, but can find out. If the re still alive, we can petition the legal authorities to pardon them thru change.org…

          36. Avatar Alex George says:

            Except they haven’t been have they. Just more separatists killing each other and trying to blame the Ukrainians .

          37. Avatar туфтуф says:

            Am in possession of the video of the interrogation. Will try to post it here but its in Russian. If the assasins are not dead yet, am pretty sure they will soon be. Accidents happen. The interrogaters were quite heavy handed on them which l dnt like. Couldnt watch it to the end. Squeemish l am, a little.

          38. Avatar Alex George says:

            Yes, yes, you are just an old windbag.

          39. Avatar туфтуф says:

            Ok. Am not. Not a windbag, but in possssion. Lol

          40. Avatar Alex George says:

            No, you aren’t in possession of anything, even your claims about news articles have no basis. Just an old windbag.

          41. Avatar туфтуф says:

            Ok. Agreed.

        2. Avatar туфтуф says:

          They are under constant bombardment. Once they become Russia, Ukraine will stop bombing them. Cus it wld be an aggression against Russian sovereign territory. Have u ever asked urself why Ukraine has NEVER bombed Crimea?

          1. Avatar Alex George says:

            Those areas are not “under constant bombardment”. Even the front lines are not so. Most of the occupied areas never see or even hear any firing,. That is one of the complaints often made by separatist/Russian deserters – that most people in occupied Donbas do not know what they go through.

            The DNR and LNR are riddled with corruption because they are run as lawless bandit-states by the “separatist” who are mainly ex-Russian military.

            Ukraine doesn’t bombard Crimea because the troops in Crimea do not fire at Ukrainian troops. Since the land border is only about 5 km wide, that is hardly surprising.

            The reason Ukraine fires back at Russian troops in Donbas is because those Russian troops start the shooting.

          2. Avatar туфтуф says:

            That is true. But the occupied territories will be liberated soon. I was talking abt the Republics.

          3. Avatar Alex George says:

            There are no republics, just bandit areas under Russian occupation. And you are right – they will be liberated soon.

          4. Avatar туфтуф says:

            I hope the Russians will give them back to Ukraine. Their votes in the Rada will be a guarantee that Ukraine will remain neutral.
            The situation with Crimea is substantially different. It is an area with the largest concentration of nuclearbweapons in the world, plus sophisticated radar systems whereby zRussia controls the Med. I think giving it to Ukraine would pose a serious security risk not only for Russia, but for the whole world.

          5. Avatar Alex George says:

            Russia will give back both the Donbas and Crimea, because it has no right any of them.

            Adn the inhabitants of both areas will be overjoyed to be rid of the Kremlin yoke.

          6. Avatar туфтуф says:

            Ok. Lol

          7. Avatar Brent says:

            Because Ukraine is not a country run by savages like Russia???

          8. Avatar туфтуф says:

            Only savages can deliberately shell civilians in hope that ppl will rise against legal authorities in the Republics. Savage tactics worth of Anglosaxon sponsors. Am angry with Russia cus it can stop protoukros but dsnt want to.

          9. Avatar Alex George says:

            Exactly the separatists and their Russian masters are indeed savages. They bombard civilian and soldiers alike.

            Thank God for the brave defenders of Ukraine, who hold back the barbarians from the east.

          10. Avatar туфтуф says:

            I couldnt judge the level of savagery of Kiev, cus civilised countries like Germanyand Britain commited countless genocides that 10’s of 1000’s dead in Donbass pale in significance compared with what others did.

          11. Avatar Alex George says:

            You are just trying to change the subject again.

            They aren’t under constant bombardment and you know it

          12. Avatar туфтуф says:

            I know they are. Especially the towns and villages on the border between Ukraine and the Republics. Gorlivka ( a friend of mine lives there) and suburbs of Doneck are bombarded virtually every day. Civilian areas.

          13. Avatar Alex George says:

            Of course some bombardment happens along the contact line when the Ukrainians return fire against Russian provocation. Stop dodging – you claimed that the whole of occupied Donbas is under bombardment, which is just ignorant rubbish.

          14. Avatar туфтуф says:

            There is a video of an aerial bombardment of Lugansk city centre from the times when Ukraine had an airforce, before the tractor drivers destroyed it.

          15. Avatar Alex George says:

            Ha ha trying to change the subject again!

  5. Avatar Bryan Alighieri says:

    Good ol’ propaganda..