Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine
Brothers and sisters!
Here is the summary of March 11.
(for summary of the previous day, see
Summary of March 10).
The bad news:
1. Russian occupants in Crimea mounted a solid defense, reinforcing the defense of the land bridge between Crimea and mainland Ukraine. Their number one objective is the referendum. If they do decide to creep further inland, towards Kherson, while simultaneously breaching our eastern border from the southeast – they will only do so after their theft of Crimea is complete. Therefore, tensions probably won’t escalate before March 16th. This isn’t, however, a positive signal – just an indication that the Russians are trying hard to create an impression of legitimacy for their determined efforts to drag the peninsula off to Russia.
Time, however, is not on Putin’s side – just about everyone and their dog have spoken out against him. It’s obvious that the Kremlin doesn’t give a rat’s tail about their condemnation, but they don’t reflect too well on the Russian economy. Gazprom’s savings may be impressive, but even they don’t have bottomless pockets. Thus, after the 16th, events may unfold very quickly, and unpleasantly for Ukraine. The question is, how well can it withstand the worst-case scenarios.
2. On the subject of worst-case scenarios. Admiral Tenyuh, head of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, announced truly shocking numbers today. Of the 41 thousand military servicemen in the ranks of the Ukrainian ground forces (the largest group within our Armed Forces), only 6 thousand are combat-ready.
This is a disaster. Both the numbers announced by Tenyuh, and the fact of their announcement. Based on any logic, during invasion (and even in the time of peace), disclosing information about the degree of combat readiness of the army is an error. To put it mildly.
However, I’m inclined to think that the head of the Ministry of Defense knows what he’s saying and when to say it. I believe that this message is directed at the East and the West at the same time. For Russia, it means that Ukraine is not ready to unfold a military operation in Crimea, so Russia can stop losing sleep over that. For the West, it is a plea for help – ‘look, Ukraine can’t defend itself’. What will come out of this – we’ll have to live and see. Even though this isn’t exactly a ray of sunshine.
3. The story of the betrayal – or not a betrayal? – of the Bakhchisaray motor battalion commander is becoming absurd. If all of its pieces, as presented by different authors and sources, are put together, the result is some sort of phantasmagoria.
Everyone knows the back story by now. The commander had a drunk driving accident (crashed into one of the cars taking part in a pro-referendum car rally), and was rounded up by Aksyonov’s Crimean police. According to him, he was neither beaten nor tortured. After that, the commander came back to the battalion with a crowd of Russian militaries with AK’s, watched them put the unarmed Ukrainian personnel against the wall, and politely asked, who of the present would like to take an oath of allegiance to Aksyonov, for a good reward. (He says that his question sounded as ‘who is remaining faithful to their oath?’, but that’s hardly relevant). The ones who wished to serve the occupants hopped on board of the unit’s vehicles and drove off. The commander, allegedly, stayed behind. The motor battalion was then flying a Russian flag – but now the commander says he isn’t a traitor. The Ukrainian military are finding out whether or not he swore allegiance to Aksyonov.
I have neither the wish nor the moral right to give my personal opinion, and to either condemn or exonerate this man. But I can easily see a picture in my head: The year is 1941. The place is the Brest Fortress. The fortress commander goes missing, only to reappear with a crowd of Hitler’s submachine-gunners, a day later. Everything happens like it did in Bakhchisaray, and the Brest Fortress is flying a banner with the swastika. And then the commander says – no, I didn’t betray anyone. I don’t know what to say. But all of this is looking strange, to say the least.
The good news.
Sadly, not too much of it today:
1. As forecasted yesterday (not by me, but our source in Brussels – credit where it’s due), Europe showed further significant support of Ukraine today. The second wave of sanctions against Russia will start on March 17. It is a signal for Putin to change his mind about the Crimean referendum on the 16th. This step alone can hardly be viewed as self-sufficient leverage – but together with other measures taken by the international community, it can make Moscow think twice before acting. We hope that this will be the case.
2. An uplifting piece of news came in the form of the response by the commanders of the Ukrainian air defense unit 55 (Yevpatoriya) to the ultimatum posed by Aksyonov’s lapdogs, with demands to lay down weapons and leave the unit. The Ukrainian commander displayed some masterful diplomacy there. He didn’t technically tell the collaborators to go to hell – but from his response, there is no doubt that this is exactly what he meant. May God grant more of this fortitude to our guys. There’s a chance that no army in the world has demonstrated such heights of morale without firing a single shot. Even though this isn’t exactly a celebration…
For a personal piece of good news for Information Resistance – we now have a logo, designed by Mikhail Golovachko. I think he did a good job representing our idea in an image, and now we have a visual symbol to represent us.
Our motto arises from it very obviously – to strangle any treacherous serpent that tries to attack us.
Let us hope that the new day will show us the way to get rid of the serpent that’s already poisoning our land.