Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine
Brothers and sisters, here is the summary for March 17, 2014 (for summary from the previous day, see Summary of March 16.
The main alarming uncertainty of this day is the fate of the Ukrainian military in Crimea. They are being presented with ultimatums and coerced into betrayal, but they keep standing firm. But their future is unknown, which is particularly frightening.
According to our data, the General Staff is preparing backup plans for evacuating these military bases (they must be available in any case). But we haven’t yet heard a clear statement on this issue from the Ukrainian command.
More bad news:
1. The Kremlin is pretending to be a village idiot, once again denouncing all and any participation in recent events – and instead, handing out advice titled “How to Save Ukraine.” The highlights of that include turning Ukraine into a non-aligned federation [no NATO membership] without Crimea, but with two official languages. In short, everything that insidious agents have been trying to sell to Ukrainians for a while now.
Perhaps we should appreciate this concern for Ukraine’s destiny, and reciprocate with some suggestions of our own. Maybe we could suggest that Russia adopts Islam as an official religion? Or maybe Dmitry Medvedyev undergoes a sex reassignment surgery? Or perhaps the Russian [two-headed] eagle [the official state emblem] loses one of its heads, and holds a swastika in its claws? Suggestions along these lines would be equally, if not more, appropriate than Putin’s ultimatums and meddlesome advice to Ukrainians about how they should live their lives.
In any case, the Kremlin’s behavior continues to frighten. Its inhabitants are so removed from reality that the fact that they possess nuclear weapons is becoming the world’s biggest problem.
2. Russia’s FSB [Federal Security Service] is issuing small arms to any member of the so-called “Crimean self-defense,” in an organized fashion. While failed criminals parading as leaders of Crimea are all but declaring war on Ukraine.
This looks like a new Moscow-made plan for the further grab of Ukrainian land. If Putin fails to snatch up the east of Ukraine, he will still be trying to steal at least Kherson, Mykolayiv and Odesa oblasts [regions], to add to his Crimean prize. This must be why the SBU [Security Service of Ukraine] and the border guards are already arresting large numbers of Russian saboteurs and spies in those areas.
3. Light has been shed on the plans of the Russian Ministry of Defense concerning Ukrainian survey flights over the Russian borderland areas: to show Ukrainians that there are, allegedly, no troops there. The MoD’s grand gesture offers Ukrainians to inspect “the rayons [districts] of Belgorod and Kursk oblasts [regions] adjacent to the Ukrainian border.” Earlier today, I wrote that the main Russian forces ready for invasion are concentrated elsewhere, namely, the Rostov oblast and Krasnodar kray [region]. We’re seeing a traditional Kremlin-style con here.
Another amusing detail is the fact that the Russians are insisting that the Ukrainian side uses a Russian helicopter (with Russian crew, naturally). Even though the Ukrainian Air Force has a specialized AN-30 helicopter intended for verification flights [such as this one], and well-trained specialists with plenty of experience in such surveys. In short, Russians believe they have a cunning plan, and the rest of the world is blissfully unaware of it. What else is new?
The good news:
1. The Ukrainian authorities finally announced partial mobilization. It came as a response both to the Crimean “referendum” and to the Moscow-provoked events in the Southeast of Ukraine.
Mobilization will simultaneously strengthen two armed formations with considerably different tasks – namely, the army and the National Guard. The former would be used to fight the enemy’s regular army, and the latter, to destroy gangs. This means that Kyiv is demonstrating that it’s preparing for all possible operations of Moscow, be it an armed invasion or the “Crimean scenario” (actions of the so-called “self-defense” supported by mysterious “little green men”). Such foresight on the part of Kyiv is reassuring.
And most importantly, this is already a response to Russia. However this ends, the oppressive inaction is behind. This is very positive.
2. The chaos and clashes provoked by Russia in eastern Ukrainian cities are clearly dying down. Without them, Moscow’s plans to “assist its compatriots” in Donetsk and Kharkiv are going straight to hell. No chaos – no invasion of eastern Ukraine. It is, however, possible that Russian and pro-Russian degenerates will catch their breath and continue their bloody circus.
3. Pavel Petrenko, the Minister of Justice, stated that Ukraine will demand compensation of damages and lost property, from Russia. The total amount is USD 80 billion, even without indexation. At the same time, our MFA declared that Ukraine is recalling its Ambassador in the Russian Federation, Volodymyr Yelchenko.
Now, this is behavior appropriate for a state that has come under attack, and adequate responses to the aggressor. Previous responses by the Ukrainian authorities were more reminiscent of bashful complaints of a dainty ingenue who’s been insulted by a drunk sailor.
Moscow, of course, immediately made a racket that in case of a return to the “zero option,” it will demand $20 billion from Kyiv (including indexation invented by Putin). If the Kremlin could count, they would see that $80 bilion minus $20 billion still equals $60 billion in the positive, for Ukraine. But it looks like these guys are not ones for basic math.
Overall, this wasn’t the worst day since the start of the Russian invasion. May the new day bring us more good news.