By Dmitry Tymchuk
03.19.2014 BLOG–Ukrainska Pravda
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine
About the fate of the Ukrainian military in Crimea
No step further
Today we are becoming eyewitnesses and participants of a grandiose picture of national heroism and national betrayal. The betrayed heroes, sorry for the theatrics, are our servicemen in Crimea. Their native state, to which they courageously remain faithful, put them into this position from which they cannot understand – whether they are being mocked, or they are really being offered a plan, the sense of which can only be perceived by being in Kyiv offices [i.e. in the new interim government making these decisions].
Now Kyiv debates whether the troops should be withdrawn or remain in Crimea? The officials’ motives are clear: according to the facts, ARC is not Ukraine anymore. The soldiers and officers’ cockades with tridents are the only remains of Ukraine here, as well as their loyalty to the Ukrainian Oath. To remove them from Crimean land means to erase all traces of her being Ukrainian.
Common sense dictates otherwise. Crimea cannot be returned by military means, at least for now. And also it’s hard to imagine what the very first attempt of Ukrainian servicemen to go out of their units to “restore the Ukrainian government” would come to. It’s not even science fiction. So, one way out – to withdraw the troops and then to solve the Crimean issue by other means.
Both options can be understood. As well as criticized.
The main problem is that our military have no idea why and who need their resistance. They completely do not understand which way out will be offered to them by the supreme command and when it happens. And when a soldier doesn’t understand the sense of his effort, he cannot perform it indefinitely.
The reply “for Ukraine” sounds beautiful. But it’s not a reply. It’s demagoguery. An action with an understandable goal can be for Ukraine, but not paralysis, without understanding when and how it will end.
We, Information Resistance group, are continuously monitoring the sentiment of the personnel in our units in Crimea. We are receiving alerts by far not the first day. But today we can firmly and painfully say: our troops are at the brink. The limit of resistance for an obscure goal is reached. A few more days, and the troops will start “crumbling.”
I sincerely believe that they could stand for another month, or two, if only someone outlined for their understanding when and how it might all end.
But for Kyiv, stuck between two options, it seems the best solution would be if the troops would end the resistance. Let them finish their “quiet” but still heroic resistance and go over to the occupier, or run to their homes. Then there would be no responsibility for this disgrace. Or, to be more precise, it would not lay on the very guys, whom we are calling heroes today.
To put them in front of such a choice – this is a betrayal.
On the situation with the cessation of resistance by Ukrainian bases and ship crews in Crimea.
03.20.2014 BLOG–Ukrainska Pravda
Today, what should have been expected happened: our troops in Crimea began to surrender their positions. They gradually ceased their resistance, and Russian flags are being raised above the places of their deployment.
There were reports about the “first swallows,” and alas, the process has continued at a larger scale today. It is quite predictable that the situation will only get progressively worse.
This would seem strange, considering that just yesterday, the NSDC outlined the prospects for our military by setting a task to develop the evacuation plan for our military bases.
In reality, there is nothing strange about this. And here’s why:
1. The NSDC decision is not a perspective, but vague fantasies aimed at rescue of the bases. If there are no clear guidelines, and representatives of the Ministry of Defence immediately declare that “there is no decision on further actions of Ukrainian troops in the occupied Crimea” – this is not the position. It’s the lack thereof.
If there is a clear understanding of what function the troops in Crime should perform – they should say so. If Kyiv itself has no such understanding, then the troops should be withdrawn. There is no third option.
2. Herewith, if the troops are still withdrawn, it is not enough to mention the presence of a wonderful plan.
We must understand that the majority of our servicemen are contractors and officers. They do not just serve the ARC [Automous Republic of Crimea]; they live there. Their families live there, they have their houses, apartments, relatives, friends, places where their wives work, schools and kindergartens their children attend. It is difficult for many of them to drop everything and move to mainland [Ukraine]. Especially when there is no understanding what is waiting for them on the mainland.
There must be some information about the arrangements for these people. They must at least approximately understand where they will be provided with housing (if it will be granted at all), within which subdivisions and in what capacity they could continue to serve [their country]?
3. We must immediately reassure the personnel. Russians are vengefully spreading rumors that all of our units will be dismantled immediately after their withdrawal to the mainland, and that the Prosecutor’s office will bring criminal charges for treason against each and every one of our servicemen.
In mainland Ukraine, this rhetoric seems like nonsense. People in the besieged military bases view it as true.
And this is why this deceit will become our reality, if we do not take immediate action on the abovementioned three points. And this will not happen in singular cases. This will be an epidemic that destroys our troops in Crimea in a matter of hours.