Information Resistance group
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine
(See end of post for acronym glossary)
Operational data from Information Resistance:
Russian-terrorist forces continue to fire on ATO forces’ positions in order to provoke Ukrainian troops into the full-scale use of lethal force. Militants use 82 and 120 mm mortars, anti-tank and anti-personnel grenade launchers, small arms and heavy machine guns, anti-tank rocket systems and the on-board automatic cannons of BMP-1 and BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles. Carefully camouflaged tanks and heavy artillery (MT-12 “Rapira”) have been observed on the terrorists’ front line.
Increased activity by the aggressor’s sabotage and reconnaissance groups has been noted in several sectors. They lay minefields in the neutral zone, conduct reconnaissance of ATO forces’ combat formations in the tactical and tactical-operational depth by using both electronic intelligence equipment and UAVs [drones]. The intelligence agencies of the “LNR” and “DNR” terrorist organizations use the data obtained from locals travelling to and from the liberated territories in their efforts to assess and detect advanced Ukrainian troop units.
Ukrainian troop strongholds near Zhovanka, Zaitseve, Shumy, and Hladosove came under fire from small arms and heavy machine guns, AGS-17 stand-mounted automatic grenade launchers and ZU-32-2 anti-aircraft cannons. In the past 24 hours, at least two militant infantry groups fired on ATO forces’ positions in the vicinity of Pisky.
Terrorists carried out fire strikes from the direction of Nyzhnje Lozove, elevation 307.9 meters, and Sanzharivka–Pol’ove with 120 mm mortars, which should have been withdrawn from the demarcation line in compliance with the Minsk agreements. ATO forces positions were also shelled near the Svitlodarsk bridgehead, to the east and north of Avdiivka. Militants fired at our positions in the area of Opytne and the Donetsk Bypass from the area of the Donetsk airport and Spartak. The use of 82 and 120 mm caliber mortars and BMP-2 standard weapons were recorded in this area.
In the area of Novhorodske, a tank and two BMP-2s made a demonstrative move on the leading edge of the front. The movement of an MT-LB and two BTR-80s was detected near Hranitne. Two 120 mm mortars proceeded towards Spartak on a trailer. Terrorists are moving equipment to the Petrovskyi district of Donetsk along the railway track. Four BMP-2, an MT-LB, and two “Ural” trucks with covered mortars were seen being redeployed on a trailer. On the Bakhmut highway, 12 army trucks with personnel were detected; [the trucks] proceeded in the direction of Frunze, Zhelobok, Donetsk while two “KAMAZ” [cargo trucks] and two MT-LB were being moved in the opposite direction.
At the Yasynuvata Machine Building Plant, repairs of the armored vehicles of illegal armed groups are being carried out. Four BMP-1 and BMP-2, five MT-LB, two tanks, six army trucks and a BAT-2 are currently in the shop.
ACV – armored combat vehicle
ATO – Anti-Terrorist Operation
BMP – infantry fighting vehicle
BTR, APC – armored personnel carrier
DNR – “Donetsk People’s Republic”
DRG – sabotage and reconnaissance group
LNR – “Luhansk People’s Republic”
MT-LB – light multipurpose tracked vehicle
MLRS – multiple-launch rocket systems
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Reportedly, the Ukrainian politics has now gone into a “slapstick” state, according to a news on Kyiv Post website. http://www.kyivpost.com/article/opinion/op-ed/leonid-bershidsky-ukraines-politics-descend-into-slapstick-404292.html This report was from the Bloomberg website, in fact, rather than an original Ukrainian news report. Personally, I am not really surprised to see a so-called “brawl in the Ukrainian Parliament (Rada)” on December 11 that involved the Ukrainian Prime Minister and MP Oleg Barna. I am not surprised to see the latest video exposure out of the Ukrainian National Council of Reforms on December 14 that involved Avakov and Saakashvili at all, either. http://www.kyivpost.com/article/content/ukraine-politics/avakov-posts-video-of-heated-argument-with-saakashvili-404335.html On the contrary, I would expect more “heated debates” from the new Ukrainian political leaders. At least, that is what they are paid for.
In a dictatorship, instead, we can expect no such thing as a heated debate. Whenever we watch the Russian Dictator Putin speaking to his politicians in the Kremlin, we see prominent politicians such as the current Russian Prime Minister famously sleeping. After the so-called “brawl scandal” in the Ukrainian Rada, the US Vice President Biden told the Ukrainian politicians to “play nice” but, in fact, democracy does not expect you to play “nice” in a parliament.
For example, in the Russian Federation, its parliament is no more than a mere ceremonial place and its MPs are playing nice because there is no such thing as democracy there. This is while its common people outside its parliament are being killed in violent crimes, by hunger and so on. However, in a democracy, its statesmen will have to work for their people. Therefore it would be even normal for Ukraine to have an unpleasant “scandal” that involves the Ukrainian PM and a bouquet of red flowers. I have read that the Ukrainian politicians and political analysts are now concerned that these scandals may damage the country’s “image.” But good statesmen, except for cheap populists, do not work for “image”.
It is true that the Kremlin will definitely try to exploit the recent “scandals” and that the Kremlin is always looking for a “weakness” in their enemies. That weakness was born because of the political difficulty the Ukrainian President has been facing, by the way. He has been always in such a difficulty since last year because of the notorious lack of weapons supply from the US, the UK and/or other member countries of the EU. If the Kremlin sees the so-called weakness in Ukraine, an opportunity to be exploited, its master Putin will certainly go after it, of course. It is the way the Kremlin always operated since a century ago, nothing new.
In truth, a democracy is not a “nice” and comfortable thing for the Ukrainian people to live in, in a careless manner, forever. So, it would be a huge mistake for a politician or a political analyst, foreign or Ukrainian, to expect a “nice” and comfortable parliament in democratic Ukraine. That was what Yanukovich was expecting in Ukraine until the last moment before he fled the country after massacring his own people. In a democracy, the common people outside the parliament will have a better life while the good statesmen working in it will have to experience a bitter life. In non-democracy countries like the Russian Federation, North Korea or China, the parliament will remain a very orderly and nice place. That was probably why Yanukovich “decided to move” to Moscow all of a sudden in the fateful February of 2014.
Speaking of which, I have to wonder if the Ukrainian leadership has been taking some responsible measures to arm its military with advanced weapons in order to deter a further Russian aggression. Although the Ukrainian President has been always telling his people and troops that “there is only a political solution, not military, to the Russian aggression”, it is a huge mistake for him not to take a responsible measure to acquire advanced weapons for his military and strengthen its defence. If the US and the UK, not to mention France, are not interested in supplying Ukraine advanced weapons at all, he may want to try China and buy advanced Chinese weapons instead. He may also want to seek a technological assistance from China to produce such weapons in Ukraine soon. Chinese weapons may be compatible with the existing Ukrainian weapons, too. After all, China is going to be the “super power” in economy for decades to come therefore Ukraine will lose nothing in a future military cooperation with the country.
As long as the Ukrainian leadership values their own people, they should never forget their own responsibility to arm the military in order to effectively defend the country even if they employ experienced diplomats. Diplomacy without defence capability is illusion, of course. And, unfortunately, the US is leaning toward the Kremlin these days, especially this December, reportedly. The foreign secretary of the US, Kerry, paid a visit to Moscow recently and basically retracted the US policy to “isolate Russia”, saying such a policy never existed in the first place. Such an official statement could have come only from a pure loser but the US foreign minister has basically stated it this month, at last.
Some analysts would call this a “sell out of Ukraine” by the US, unfortunately, of course. Such a change in attitude on the US side may have reminded many people of the American debacle in foreign policy in the summer of 1990 which involved the then American ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, as well as the then US foreign minister, James Baker. Details of the then ambassador Glaspie can be read at Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_Glaspie#Meetings_with_Saddam_Hussein) and she reportedly told the then Iraqi President: “We have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait. Secretary Baker has directed me to emphasize the instruction, first given to Iraq in the 1960s, that the Kuwait issue is not associated with America.” There is another version of her remarks and it is also described in the same page but she told the late Iraqi dictator the same thing in essence.
And it is well known that this foreign policy led to the Gulf Crisis in the summer of 1990 and, eventually, to the Gulf War the next spring. Basically, the entire world has never recovered from the Gulf Crisis of 1990 ever since. The Syrian adventure of the Kremlin of this year is merely a latest extension of the same crisis of one generation ago, so to speak.
Earlier this year, General Wesley Clark said in the US that the initial US advice to the former Yugoslav independent movements during 1992-1995 was the same as the American advice to Ukraine in 2014 regarding Crimea: “Avoid military response to the aggressor”. And that led to the widespread Bosnian War and other conflicts in the former Yugoslavia and the far larger casualties of war, such as ethnic cleansing by raping and so on. The US foreign policy regarding the Yugoslav issue was another debacle after the Kuwait debacle. This year, some journalists established that the US also advised Ukraine the same in 2014.
So, the Ukrainian crisis since 2014 was the third and honest test for the American grandfathers and grandmothers who run the foreign policy in the US. But, unfortunately, we are apparently seeing now that their third trial in Ukraine is turning out to be another miserable failure. Therefore, it would be safe to guess that a huge disaster also awaits Ukraine today as long as the Ukrainian leadership tries to depend solely on the US foreign policy.
I am not sure if the Chinese side is willing to sell their own advanced weapons to Ukraine today. But, if the Kremlin and the US are sifting the balance, Ukraine should be free to do the same as well in order to defend its own territorial integrity and human lives. The US and/or the UK should have supplied advanced weapons to Ukraine in order to contain the Kremlin’s adventures earlier this year. However, unfortunately, they failed to do so in time before the Kremlin moved into Syria, bombarding its civilian population here and there. Other member countries of the EU (like Germany, France, Italy and maybe the Netherlands) are more interested in economic recovery of their own countries than foreign policy therefore, unfortunately, they are now starting to try to accept the Russian petrodollars again by lifting the Russian sanctions, ignoring the human cost of their own neighbour(s).
A diplomatic effort on the Ukrainian side without a good military supply in such a situation is just useless and the President and the PM of Ukraine should understand it by now. The US foreign policy has apparently failed this year for the third time in its known history, unfortunately, as far as we can read in reports. So, Ukraine should get a supply of advanced weapons now through any channels possible including China. Of course, this must be a “headache situation” for the President Poroshenko. But he will have to go through it if he wants to prove himself as the President of Ukraine.