Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine
Brothers and sisters!
Here’s the summary for March 30 (for the summary from the previous day, see Summary of March 29).
The bad news:
1. It has been reported that hundreds of families of Ukrainian servicemen that are currently serving in Crimea, are unable to leave the peninsula – they basically have no money.
We found out that the situation is truly complicated. In response to our claim in the Ministry of Defense, they informed us that all these issues were currently being taken care of. As in, they developed a booking system for railway tickets. However, assisting those servicemen who have their own vehicles and would like to leave in them by themselves is really difficult.
In general, for obvious reasons, the servicemen leave for mainland Ukraine in any way possible, without waiting for help from the Ministry of Defense. And the Ministry of Defense points out that such spontaneity doesn’t help in organizing the process [of withdrawal].
In this situation, the only remaining question is about the 60 million Hryvnias donated to the Ministry of Defense for servicemen in Crimea. It would seem that they should just give the gas money to people, and this will be their help, that’s why the money was collected! They [MoD] respond to us: there is no allocation mechanism in place for the distribution of money. As a result, the only hope for help is volunteers.
Therefore, we need to bow to our [Ukrainian] people. They will always put their shoulders to it to support the inadequate state. And alas, no one has yet seen it adequate.
2. Not all of our fellow citizens understand what the situation is in Ukraine currently.
Today, the Cabinet of Ministers happily announced an increase of spending on defense and security – up to 52 billion Hryvnias. We must understand that this amount includes the budget of the Ministry of Defense and all other law enforcement agencies. In reality, the army will receive not much more than last year. We must also account for inflation, and – most importantly! – an obscure special fund (i.e. money the army must earn by itself).
In the past, the army received between 1 billion and 1.5 billion from the “master’s shoulders” due to the increases of the special fund. But the army itself was not happy about this, since it cannot earn this kind of money by definition. What the current state of affairs is now is unclear. It is only known that among the allocated 52 billion, all in all, the general security forces must earn 5 billion themselves.
Here, many government officials and various economic experts must understand one simple thing. If our army does not get the needed funding in 2014, then the 2015 budget could accept, not Ukraine, but Little Russia’s autonomy within the Russian Federation.
3. “South-East,” a new civil movement, was announced at a Kharkiv rally in support of the federalization of Ukraine. The movement includes 30 community organizations located in the city of Kharkiv. Negotiations to “join forces” with Luhansk and Donetsk are currently under way.
On the one hand, there is little good in the separatists fussing around. On the other hand, we should let them congregate: it will be easier to sort them out into prison cells.
The good news:
1. The main positive this weekend – that for the second consecutive day we are finally seeing discharge at the border. The number of Russian troops in the border areas of the Russia Federation remains at around 10,000 people.
This does not mean that we can grab our coats and go home. But the probability of invasion is still significantly reduced. Let’s say this: if a week ago, we assessed the likelihood of Russia’s invasion at 80%, then now – it is somewhere at 50%. And that pleases.
2. Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir Groisman reported that none of us in Crimea will be left behind.
According to him, “it’s formulated at 26,000 places for families of military personnel deployed in 18 regions of Ukraine.” That is, the government is ready to settle all the military and their families. And these specifics are pleasing.
Plus, we were promised in the Joint Staff, that the provision of new places for military service will also be no problems. Well, hopefully.
3. Our Ministry of Foreign Affairs trolls Russian balabols from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with enviable enthusiasm.
Just as [Russian Foreign Minister Sergey] Lavrov bleated about the necessary federalization of Ukraine yet again, the response by our diplomats followed immediately. In particular, our Foreign Ministry suggested to their Russian counterpart to pay attention “to the disastrous conditions and complete powerlessness of its own national minorities, including Ukrainians, before issuing their ultimatums to a sovereign and independent state.”