Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine
Brothers and sisters!
Here is the summary for March 22 (for the summary from the previous day, see Summary of March 21).
The bad news:
1. The Russians have almost achieved what they wanted. Ukrainian units are being taken over. Some have stood down, after the valiant and excruciatingly long stand-off. Some are being overrun by force and dirty tricks – like in Belbek today.
Many officers and contractors wish to continue serving in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, but getting to the mainland is a whole separate issue. Earlier today, we briefly described Kyiv’s position [post by Information Resistance]- to hold the troops [in Crimea] until the UN General Assembly, to have a bargaining chip in the matter of declaring Crimea a demilitarized zone. However, the General Assembly will meet on March 27th. What will remain of our troops by then? That, alas, is a big open question.
PHOTO by REUTERS – Belbek Airport Today, March 22, 2014
2. As our units are being taken over, our guys are in for another cycle of shame. As we remember, when Russian aggressors chopped off a chunk of Georgia in 2008, they were shocked by the degree of comfort [in the military units], even in the barracks. “[Compared to that,] we live like pigs,” the “conquerors” were lamenting. I think many would’ve seen videos of this on the internet.
The situation in Crimea is exactly the opposite. Our own militaries tell us that Russian occupiers are surprised by the “humble” (to put it mildly) interiors of our barracks and service premises. Even a bigger shock for them are stories that when our MoD doesn’t have sufficient funds, our militaries repair the barracks at their own expense, chipping in from their allowance, which is already depressingly small.
This is a logical result of the fact that no one in Ukraine ever thought about the army for 23 years straight. But, honestly, I never thought we would have to be embarrassed in front of our enemies.
PHOTO by REUTERS – Ukrainian servicemen moving out, Russian militaries moving in (March 22, 2014)
PHOTO by REUTERS – Ukrainian ship Slavutych and submarine Zaporizhzhya
3. After storming our unit in Belbek, Russian militaries kidnapped [Colonel Yuliy] Mamchur, commander of the unit. I hope with all my heart that nothing bad happens to him. He’s a man of iron will, a true officer, and our hero. While our army has officers like him, it will keep standing. The occupiers know that too, which is why they’re acting like terrorist scum.
Also in Belbek, two people have been wounded: a Ukrainian serviceman and a journalist. My hopes go out to them as well. I would also like to point out that the occupiers and their henchmen in Crimea are being as despicable towards journalists as Yanukovych’s lapdogs were during Maidan events.
The good news:
1. The brave communists of Kherson exerted every effort they had, and ended up with a spectacular flop. They closed their ranks and threw all of their vanguard unto the breach – that is to say, into the “rally in support of the federalization referendum.” The vanguard in question consisted of 300 mean separatist grannies.
Meanwhile, a rally in support of united Ukraine was also held in Kherson. That one was larger by an order of magnitude, drawing some 3,000 people.
At the same time, our border guard strengthened control on the border between Kherson oblast [region] and Crimea, after receiving the information about possible provocations. The vanguard of gradually-demoralized Kherson grannies may be sent reinforcements in the form of “Russian liberators” – which is why we shouldn’t relax yet.
2. Senator John McCain’s response to Russian “return sanctions” brought the house down:
I guess this means my spring break in Siberia is off, Gazprom stock is lost & my secret bank account in Moscow is frozen http://t.co/TgwZneD4HY
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) March 20, 2014
He also promised to continue fighting for the freedom and independence of “Ukraine, which includes Crimea:”
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) March 20, 2014
Personally, I never had much sympathy for Sen. McCain (while I fully understand that he couldn’t care less about my personal sympathies). But today, I would like to shake his hand.
3. Another thing that moved me personally today was Iceland, which declared its support for sanctions against Russia as a response to the events in Crimea.
You’d think – what can Iceland do? It doesn’t even have any armed forces – only the coast guard. I’ll disagree with you here. Once upon a time, during the Cold War, Iceland brought Great Britain to its knees within the scope of 24 hours. Easy as anything.
As you may recall, the British had decided to expand their fishing grounds at the expense of Iceland’s territorial waters. The Icelanders coyly pointed out that if this is how the British want to play, Iceland is ready to leave NATO and allow Soviet missiles to be placed on its territory. The British backpedaled rather quickly, and wouldn’t try such games with Iceland anymore. Thus, no friend’s support should ever be overlooked, however small that friend may appear.
May the new day bring us the understanding that together, we and our friends can accomplish more than our enemies.
From the brilliant minds at Babylon’ 13: “Ukraine is with you”