Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine
Brothers and sisters, here is the summary for March 13, 2014
(for summary from the previous day, see Summary of March 12).
The bad news:
1. We, the Information Resistance group, have prepared a map showing the disposition of Russian military troops across the perimeter of Ukrainian borders (see below). The picture is depressing. Our borders are only clear in the West. Meanwhile, North, South and East are packed to the rim with Orcs. A trivial analogy, but Ukraine does look like the only island of hope left in the kingdom of darkness. An army of 6,000 people and millions of unarmed patriots, against a horde of evil.
It is unbearably depressing that the Commander-in-Chief of our army isn’t simply unwilling to fight – he does not offer any other options, either. Our guys in Crimea are like Roman legionaries who, at the time of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, received no orders to retreat from Pompeii. They are standing under the deadly rain of ash and lava. We are on the brink of disaster, but no one is answering the fundamental question: what do we do? Frankly, this is terrifying. As terrifying as the sense of powerlessness can be.
2. Today, Russia has launched the “second phase of military exercises” for their troops, including those near Ukrainian borders. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the exercises will continue through the end of March.
The fact that Russians lied about March 7, 2014 being the end date of their “exercises” was clear to everyone. Even yesterday, I personally couldn’t understand how they were going to explain the fact that the border regions of Russia and Ukraine continue to be packed with troops. It turned out that the Kremlin can lie with ease: it simply announced an “extension of military exercises.”
There is no doubt that these [exercises] are the preparation for invasion. The only question is whether the troops will be eventually ordered to cross the border.
3. The Ukrainian Navy Commander has made an announcement. I have read it three times and still could not understand a word of it. It’s none of my damn business to criticize the Admiral, but how could he announce that the Russian military were storming our units and threatening our men with weapons, while at the same time saying how “the Ukrainian Navy leadership is in control of the situation [at military units]”? What kind of “control” is he even talking about??
I think it would’ve been better to keep quiet about it all. Such words will only serve to further demoralize our troops, who are stuck between Russian aggression and strange statements from their own commanders.
The good news:
1. Towards the evening, there were reports that the Russian Foreign Ministry was ready to discuss the situation in Crimea under the CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States formed by former Soviet republics] framework. But our diplomats demand that negotiations be held in Kyiv, whereas the Russians insist on Minsk [Belarus]. The outcome of this ongoing diplomatic dispute is unclear.
These are not direct negotiations between Ukraine and Russia, but only a “discussion” by Foreign Deputy Ministers within the CIS. It is also unclear whether this meeting will take place at all. But since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, this is the first signal that the Kremlin is, somewhere and somehow, ready to begin discussing the situation in Crimea, even if they will keep fighting for their interests and advancing their own demands. Before today, they were not willing to do anything like that.
2. Perhaps this is related to the previous point, but [the officials in] Moscow finally started to use their brains regarding the economic sanctions. Today, a member of the Presidential Economic Council Presidium of Russia [and a former Finance Minister] Alexei Kudrin announced that the economic sanctions of Western countries towards Russia due to the situation in Ukraine could have a stronger impact on the [Russian] economy than the Kremlin would like to admit. Will Russians be scared with the zero GDP growth in 2014? Are they prepared to tighten their belts for the sake of dubious moral satisfaction in oppressing their “brotherly nation” Ukraine? I don’t know. But the fact that a Russian pro-governmental expert has started making such declarations is definitely a sign of things to come.
3. The United States plan to extend the stay of USS George H.W. Bush [aircraft carrier] in the eastern Mediterranean. This is a good position to fully control the Russian Black Sea Fleet forces in the Black Sea. On one hand, Americans are far enough so as not to frighten the Russian warriors to death. But they are also close enough that, if need be, the hats of Russian sailors will litter the Southern Coast of Crimea, and their marine pea coats will float all the way from Sevastopol to Novorossiysk [Russian port on Black Sea]. The only bad thing in this situation is the fact that we cannot rely on our own Navy the way we trust in the Americans.
May the new day bring us good news of Ukrainian origin. We need it like oxygen.