DMITRY TYMCHUK: About those “Javelins” for Ukraine…

information_resistance_logo_engDmitry Tymchuk, Head of the Center for Military and Political Research, Coordinator of the Information Resistance group, Member of Parliament (People’s Front)
09.04.2017 (September 4, 2017)
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine

About the “Javelins”:

US Army soldiers training with anti-tank Javelins. Photo: Spc. Patrick Kirby. Source

On the eve of the hopefully positive US decision to provide us with lethal weapons, the Ukrainian info space has turned into an utter circus. The media are wheeling out wholesale numbers of talking heads who call themselves “military experts,” spout utter nonsense, and essentially, discredit (for an unknown purpose) the notion of supplying the Ukrainian Armed Forces with American anti-tank missile systems (ATMS).

A few words in this regard:

  1. “Military experts” take note: there is no fifth generation ATMS. Nor is there a fourth. Only three generations exist in the world today – the “Javelin” being the third. Their two key points are: the concept of “fire and forget” and the ability to hit an armored target from above (where the armor is thinnest).
  2. That said, the Ukrainian defence industry currently manufactures only second-generation ATMS (Stungas and Korsars; for the ‘people in the back’: Skifs are the same as Stungas, only with different, Belarus-made guidance devices).

This does not mean we have stupid designers. It only means that for the last quarter of a century – ever since Independence – the Ukrainian Defence Industry has been the unloved daughter of the Ukrainian authorities. Please direct all of your questions at the Kravchuks and the Kuchmas, who now like to put on an intelligent air and discuss what we should be doing next.

3. The point of obtaining Javelins for the Armed Forces of Ukraine is to compel the Russians in Donbas to observe the Minsk Agreements. If every Rostov-Buryat schmuck realizes that they can’t just ride out in their T-72 tank, deployed from the Urals, and take potshots at Ukrainian Armed Forces’ positions with impunity, the permanently comatose agreements might actually start working.

Source: Dmitry Tymchuk FB post


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Artist Robert Saller and curator Taras Polataiko invite Ukraine to reflect on social TRUST

By Voices of Ukraine senior staff,
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine

TRUST: An art project by Robert Saller curated by Taras Polataiko, at the Church of the Most Blessed Heart of Jesus in Chernivtsi, Ukraine.

Curator Taras Polataiko with artist Robert Saller in front of his installation “Trust.” Photo: Ihor Konstantyniuk/Promin

Five simple 10-foot tall letters lean against the paint-chipped and exposed brick wall of a ruined 125-year-old church in the center of Chernivtsi, posing a central age-old question for humanity that nonetheless takes on a sharp new significance in their present location. They are part of an installation by Robert Saller which opened August 11, 2017.

Robert Saller is an artist from Uzhhorod, a city at the foot of the Carpathian mountains. He has been exhibiting since the mid-90s, throughout Ukraine as well as in Paris, Berlin, Lublin, Boston, Budapest; he is a founding member of the artist group Poptrance.

Saller installed the three-dimensional word “TRUST” made from 3 meter high [almost 10 foot] polystyrene foam inside the Church of the Most Blessed Heart of Jesus in Chernivtsi, but changed one of the gray letters that form the word “TRUST” from the Latin letter “s” to the Cyrillic “ш” so it reads as “TRUSHT.” As Saller explains,

“The word ‘TRUST’ itself appears to be false, it is difficult to believe in it. Trust is necessary, but at the same time it is a human weakness.” He continues, “This is an allegory of trust as a concept of relations between people. With my work I wanted to show that in today’s society trust almost does not mean anything, everything is subject to doubt, it’s all as fake as the many things that are around it. Trust is one of the foundations of humanity’s existence. Sincerity and faith are the constituent components of social relations. You put trust in people without knowing the result. However, trust is not enough, it’s speculative, people exploit trust. It is a person’s weak point. Trust is a force, it’s that slippery space which can be influenced.”

Robert Saller’s installation work, TRUШT in the Church of the Most Blessed Heart of Jesus, Chernivtsi

Internationally-renowned artist Taras Polataiko, a coordinator of the Chernivtsi artist space Bunker who, as the curator of this project, invited Robert Saller to show his work, believes that, “Contemporary art can be interpreted by everyone in their own way, that is, the artist’s work is completed by the viewer. For me, this project is about a crisis of confidence in our society.”

In his curatorial exhibition statement, Polataiko writes: “We live in a society experiencing a crisis of confidence. We are accustomed to bribing and ‘negotiating’ from kindergarten on. Even such a powerful charge of trust as the Maidan and the post-Maidan volunteer movement proved to be insufficient to break the corruption in our society. It’s been 3 years since the “Heavenly Hundred” gave their lives to change this society, and the previous corruption continues on.

“Corruption corrodes society at various levels ranging from the deceitfulness of the people’s deputies, whom we elect through a primitive bribe, and ending in the falsehoods and hypocrisy used in communicating on the everyday level.

“One of my sharpest first impressions of moving to Canada was the directness and accuracy with which people formulate their thoughts. Later I realized that the power of this impression was directly proportional to the distance of post-Soviet society from societies that have not lived through totalitarian violence and the deformation of consciousness that this violence brings. I recall this whenever I cross the border of the post-Soviet space and lose the tension that is a necessary protective mechanism of the lies and rudeness here.

“Like the weakening poison of a parasite, lies and hypocrisy corrupt the healthy energy of a person – and therefore society – forcing them to spend a lot of energy on either opposition or adaptation, which in turn often leads to even more refined deformations and “patterns” of behavior.

“When I think of the psycho-emotional roots of corruption and distrust in our society, I am reminded of a man who survived both the war and the Gulag. Recalling a meeting of veterans of war in the 1950s, he describes how they drink alcohol, each time declaring one and the same standard toast, “For the Motherland! For Stalin!” And only after getting drunk to the point of passing out, from the lips of one of the veterans, who is lying with his head in a plate of leftovers, does a quiet, sore, “Joe’s a bitch” erupt out of him.

“For me, this is an example of how an extremely deep psychological trauma is generated by the inhuman violence of a thoroughly criminalized society, in which almost half was incarcerated and the other half was jailing them; how it deforms the psyche of society, which carries this unendingly unspoken deformation from generation to generation in the form of a mutant, which varies according to the priorities of the time.

“I hope that Robert Saller’s “Trust” project will become an impetus to a frank discussion about what is perhaps the most important issue in our society.”

The installation of the word “Trust” leaning against the walls of the historic Byzantine-Romanesque/neo-gothic-style Catholic church at 2 Bakhrushina Street, also draws attention to the very practical need to restore the church, which dates from 1892 and was badly ruined when turned into an archive by the Soviets; it is being slowly and painstakingly rebuilt by only a small group of local volunteers without help from the City of Chernivtsi.  The rector of the Jesuit church is Jesuit Father Stanislav Smolchevski, whom Polataiko thanked publicly for agreeing to do the show and for his open thinking towards contemporary art installations, adding: “In the European art tradition, beginning from Raphael and Michelangelo, the Catholic church supported the artists of its time. It’s a pleasure to continue this European tradition in Chernivtsi.” Polataiko also stated that this is the first contemporary art installation in a church in Chernivtsi. The exhibit is also a charitable event and visitors can support the restoration of the church with their donations. Saller and Polataiko’s project will remain in the church until mid-October. “TRUST” will then move to the abandoned Göbels Höhe [Göbels Heights historic area] in the center of town where it will stand as a reminder until the city council restores the original forested park and pathway with benches, a cleanup and some security – something it promised to restore over a year ago, Taras Polataiko explained.

For further photos and video of the event:
Chernivtsi Promin, in Ukrainian (photos):
In the Church of the Most Blessed Heart of Jesus, artists set up a five-letter installation

Tetyana Sporynina VERSIITS1 blog, in Ukrainian (photos):
With trust in the Church of the Most Blessed Heart of Jesus

Info Key, in Ukrainian (video):
Robert Saller’s “Dovira” (TRUШT) art project was presented at the Church of the Most Blessed Heart of Jesus.

Opening remarks, Weche, in Ukrainian (video):
Opening of the project, “Trust” at the Church of the Most Blessed Heart of Jesus

Chernozem [Black Earth], interview in Ukrainian (photos):
Taras Polataiko: “Any support for the development of culture improves the level and quality of life”

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Tymchuk: Siemens und die Krim-Turbinen


Tränen der Rührung und des Mitleids machen das Reden schwer, liest man die Erklärungen des von den hinterlistigen Russen kaltblütig betrogenen Siemens-Managements. Turbinen für ein Heizkraftwerk in Taman habe man bestellt und unerschütterlich daran geglaubt. Und jetzt das …

Die Information Resistance Group verfolgt diese Geschichte schon seit 2014, als aus den Reihen der Besatzer erstmals zu hören war, dass sie vor hätten, Heizkraftwerke in Simferopol und Sewastopol zu bauen. Zur selben Zeit entstand in Moskau angeblich der Plan, ein “Heizkraftwerk in Taman” zu bauen. (Dabei war zu Anfang die Rede von 600 Megawatt Leistung, die später auf 450 Megawatt abgesenkt wurden.)

Der Legende nach schloss zu diesem Zweck im Jahr 2015 eine Tochter des staatlichen Unternehmens „Rostech“, die OAO „Technopromexport“ einen Vertrag mit Siemens über die Lieferung von vier Dampf-Gas-Turbinen mit je 165 Megawatt Leistung (zusammen 660 Megawatt).

Schon damals kommentierten die russischen (!) Medien höchstselbst, dass die Notwendigkeit für die Besatzer, Kraftwerke auf der Krim zu bauen, absolut offensichtlich, ein vermeintliches „Kraftwerk in Taman“ eine völlig virtuelle Sache sei. Und dass es nicht klar sei, wozu gleich vier Turbinen mit offenkundig viel zu viel Leistung für ein solches virtuelles Kraftwerk gekauft würden.

Wedomosti vom 30.06.2015

Wedomosti am 30.06.15: «Siemens liefert Turbinen für Kraftwerke auf der Krim»

Seit Anfang 2015 wurde in Russland offen darüber gesprochen, dass das „Kraftwerk in Taman“ eine Tarnung für den Bau von Kraftwerken auf der Krim ist. Am 30. Juni 2015 (das heißt vor zwei ganzen Jahren!) textete das renommierte Wirtschaftsblatt „Wedomosti“ schwarz auf weiß in einer Überschrift: „Siemens liefert Turbinen für Kraftwerke auf der Krim – Technopromexport kauft Turbinen unter Umgehung der Sanktionen bei russischem Siemens Joint Venture“  Selbstverständlich wiesen die Deutschen eine solche Perspektive aufs heftigste von sich.

Im Laufe der Jahre 2015 und 2016 habe ich bei Treffen mit deutschen Diplomaten und Politikern (und die würden mir eine Lüge nicht durchgehen lassen) persönlich und nicht nur einmal darüber gesprochen, dass diese Geschichte mit den Generatoren stinkt und übel enden wird. Doch Siemens war offensichtlich fest entschlossen, den Gestank zu ignorieren.

Im Sommer 2016 machte das Energieministerium der Russischen Föderation Anstalten, den Bau eines „Heizkraftwerks in Taman“ „auszuschreiben“. Die Ausschreibung verlief jedoch im Sande, weil kein einziges Gebot abgegeben wurde. Wundersam, nicht wahr? Eine erneute Ausschreibung wird nun schon ein Jahr lang immer wieder verschoben.
Will heißen, die vier bei Siemens gekauften Generatoren hingen schon vor einem Jahr in der Luft.

Wedomosti vom 21.09.2016

Wedomosti am 21.09.16: «Technopromexport wird kein Kraftwerk in Taman bauen»

Im September 2016 erklärte „Technopromexport”, dass es kein „Heizkraftwerk in Taman“ bauen und alle vier Generatoren verkaufen werde (!).

Das hielt Siemens nicht davon ab, im März 2017 mit Unschuldsmine zu beteuern, dass man Technopromexport vier Generatoren „für Taman“ geliefert habe. Dieselben, die Technopromexport gerade verkaufen wollte, weil die Firma keine Pläne für irgendwelche Bauten in Taman hatte.


16.03.2017: «Siemens: an Technopromexport gelieferte Turbinen sind für Taman»

Das heißt, bereits vor einem Jahr war es selbst für die Navisten zu übersehen, dass die ganze Geschichte mit dem Kauf von Turbinen „für Taman“ nichts weiter war als ein Deckmantel zur Verschleierung einer Umgehung der Sanktionen.
Jetzt sagt Siemens, die Firma sei betrogen worden. Interessant, glauben die wirklich, dass wir an diesen Blödsinn glauben?

„Es ist so leicht, mich zu betrügen –
Ich selbst betrüge mich so gern!“

Diese Zeilen Puschkins könnten die Strategie des deutschen Konzerns nicht besser beschreiben.

In diesem Zusammenhang möchte ich an noch eine Geschichte erinnern. Im Jahr 2016 gab die EU auf Druck der deutschen Wirtschaft hin – und unter Bruch der eigenen Regeln – die Erlaubnis zu einer Ausweitung der Nutzung der OPAL-Pipeline durch Gasprom.

Die jetzige Situation ist somit keine Ausnahme, sondern allem Anschein nach die Regel. Wenn es um große Summen geh, handeltt das europäische Business nach dem Prinzip „Natürlich darf man das nicht, aber wenn man sehr will, dann geht es doch.“

Bei Siemens hofft man offensichtlich, dass man ihnen die Geschichte mit den Turbinen durchgehen lässt. Ob das so sein wird hängt in erster Linie von der Ukraine ab, insbesondere davon, welchen Standpunkt und welche Reaktion das Parlament den europäischen Partnern gegenüber äußern wird.

Quelle: Dmytro Tymchuk auf Facebook, 11.07.2017

Übersetzt vom Voices of Ukraine Team


Dmytro Tymchuk ist Parlamentsabgeordneter in der ukrainischen Werchowna Rada, Militärexperte und Blogger, Reserveoffizier der Ukrainischen Streitkräfte, Direktor des Instituts für Militärisch-Politische-Untersuchungen und einer der Koordinatoren des Blogs „Information Resistance“.


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Anton Naumlyuk: Grown-up Crimean Childhoods

By Anton Naumlyuk, freelance correspondent for Radio Svoboda (text and photos)
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine

The daughter of Reshat Ametov. Photo: Anton Naumlyuk.

In three and a half years of annexation in Crimea, about a hundred children have been left without fathers, who went missing or have been arrested by the Russian authorities. Together with the adults, they are experiencing [home] searches, arrests of their relatives, and trials, which they attend to see their fathers or grandfathers. They are assisted by the organization “Bizim Balalar” (“Our Children”) which already has 66 suddenly grown-up kids in its care. The number of such children in Crimea grows with every year.

Simferopol, summer of 2016, a apsychiatric clinic. The facility has restricted access, the entrance is guarded, and relatives are allowed to visit only briefly and on a strict schedule. In its wards, in addition to actual patients, are people currently undergoing psychiatric examination to determine their legal competency. A little girl approaches the grillwork door, behind which stands her grandfather Ilmi Umerov. She reaches between the bars with her skinny arms, hugs him, and kisses his hand, where she can reach. “Well, why are you silent,” asks her aunt Ayshe. “Say something.” But the girl only smiles, still silently, hugs her grandfather and does not step away from the bars until visiting hours are over.

“Children are afraid to go to school, and adults, that masked people with automatic weapons will come after their children.”

Children of “Crimean terrorists.” Centre: Bekir, son of Emir-Usein Kuku. Photo: Anton Naumlyuk

Ilmi Umerov, former head of the Bakhchysarai district and a deputy chairman of the Mejlis, which is banned in Russia, is accused of calling for separatism, over an interview with the Crimean-Tatar television channel ATR, where he talked about the annexation of Crimea by Russia and the need for international pressure to return the peninsula [to Ukraine]. “Essentially, I want to restore the territorial integrity of both Russia and Ukraine,” Umerov said in court. “I do not recognize the referendum that was conducted in violation of all international norms. I have no complaints against the borders of Russia as of 1991 [VoU Ed: the year of Ukraine’s independence]. But I believe that the events of 2014 violated international law and, most importantly, the laws of Ukraine, from which the territory of Crimea has been torn away.” The court sent Umerov to a psychiatric clinic for compulsory assessment. Umerov spent three weeks at the hospital, where relatives visited him several times a day, bringing food. He refused to eat in the clinic, suspecting that food there could be laced with psychotropic drugs. His granddaughters came to visit him at the hospital together with the adults.

“No one in Crimea can feel safe.”

After undergoing the forced assessment, Umerov spent some time restoring his health, which suffered during the stay at the clinic. Following that, he received guests at his house, who gathered for a Dua – a collective prayer. For Crimean Muslims, the Dua, essentially, remains the only way to come together and pray for the fate of arrested and missing Crimean Tatars and pro-Ukrainian activists in Crimea. A row of benches stood in the courtyard of [Umerov’s] house in Bakhchysarai; a Crimean-Tatar flag was hung on the wall. One of Umerov’s small granddaughters met everyone at the entrance, offering them water and juice. When the prayer began, she sat in the female half with everyone who was praying.

Ali Asanov’s daughter. Photo: Anton Naumlyuk

“Do you love your home?” – they ask Umerov. Next to him, his granddaughters are running among the evergreens, on a lawn covered with insect protection so children can play there. “Yes, this house was designed by my wife, we love it very much,” he replies. “Does your family feel safe?” – they again ask him. He is silent, then replies, “No. No one in Crimea can feel safe.”

On May 31, the Kyiv District Court in Simferopol began reviewing Umerov‘s case and held a preliminary session. The maximum [incarceration] term under Article 280.1 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation – “public instigation of separatism” – is five years. Umerov’s lawyer Nikolai Polozov, was taken off the Umerov case by the FSB investigators and called as a witness instead. He has no doubt that the court will issue a guilty verdict, but hopes for probation. The first court session was closed; Umerov’s granddaughters waited for their grandfather at home. He is currently under pledge not to leave town, and was able to come home after the trial. Many other children of Crimean Tatars are less fortunate.

“Dad is sitting there, in an isolation cell, among fleas and ticks.”

Nineteen people in Crimea are being tried in the large case against the Hizb ut-Tahrir Islamic organization, which has been banned in Russia. For the most part, these are traditional Muslims, whose large families were left without a breadwinner after their arrest. The first wave of mass arrests took place in January 2015 in the Sevastopol region. Afterwards, searches and arrests swept through Yalta, Alushta, Bakhchysarai, and Simferopol. One of the people detained in February 2016 was Crimean human rights activist Emir-Usain Kuku. The activist says that the FSB had tried to recruit him, and came to search his house after he had refused to cooperate. On February 11, in the early hours of the morning, the enforcers broke the door to Kuku’s house, threw him on the floor and searched him. The scene was witnessed by his young son Bekir and daughter Safie, who later retold what happened.

Children of Zevri Abseitov. Photo: Anton Naumlyuk

“Some people dressed in black came in, you could hardly see their eyes, one of them was carrying a huge stick, like a crowbar, and others – some kind of weird machine guns,” recalled Bekir Kuku on his ninth birthday. “If daddy were here, we would have a big birthday celebration, we would buy gifts. But he is sitting there, in an isolation cell, among fleas and ticks. “He would really like to come home, and see his son turn nine.”

Several months after the arrest, a man showed up at Bekir’s school. He waited for the boy after classes, stopped him, and started telling him that his father “is a bad man and will spend a long time in prison if he doesn’t start cooperating.” Later, it became known that the man was acting by request of Aleksandr Kompaniytsev, officer of the FSB, formerly of the SBU.

The family and lawyer Alexander Popkov filed a complaint with the prosecutor’s office and the FSB, but the law enforcement reacted very peculiarly: by accusing Emir-Usain Kuku, who was in the SIZO [remand prison] at the time, of the “poor exercise of parental responsibility” for “allowing the child to be harassed by an unidentified man.” The prosecutor’s office initiated a pre-investigation, and the Crimean Juvenile Office demanded that the mother bring the children to be questioned about their father’s failure to take proper care of them. When they refused to come, the inspector of the Juvenile Office started waiting for the children at their school, so as to catch them without their mother. Human rights activists have interceded on behalf of the family, and Amnesty International has demanded that the prosecution of Kuku and his children be stopped. After this, nobody has tried questioning Bekir further, but to this day, nothing is known about the results of the pre-investigation.

The son of Enver Mamutov, one of 7 children. Photo: Anton Naumlyuk

“Children are afraid to go to school, and adults – that masked people with automatic weapons will come after their children,” says attorney Aleksandr Popkov.

Bekir, like other children of arrested Crimean Muslims and activists, is well versed in the trial process and understands such terms as “preventive measure” and “appeal.” These children come to each court session to see their fathers, as no family visits are allowed in the SIZO. Often, they are not allowed to enter the courtroom, under the pretext that “seeing their father behind bars can affect the child’s psyche.” Together with the adults, they stand in the corridor to see their father as he is led to the trial. Sometimes they manage to touch his hand. All these children witnessed the [house] searches, and the arrests also occurred before their eyes.

“In total, about 100 Crimean children have been left without a father since 2014; 66 of them receive monthly assistance from the “Bizim Balalar” – “Our Children” organization.”

“Our children’s childhoods ended on February 11, in just a few minutes. Ilyas is the man of the house is now,” said the wife of another arrested [activist], Muslim Aliev. Next to her are her four children, including the teenager Ilyas, who, after his father’s arrest, became the “head of the household.” Some families have three or four children. The family of Enver Mamutov, who was arrested in Bakhchysarai, has seven. At the time of arrest, his youngest daughter was only 2 months old; her mother brought her to the courtroom to show to her father – from afar, through the bars – while the court was ruling on Mamutov’s continued detention. Safie, the daughter of the already convicted Rustem Vaitov, was born after his arrest, as was the daughter of Teymur Abdullayev, who was born nine days after his [house] search and detention. In total, about 100 Crimean children have been left without a father since 2014; 66 of them receive monthly assistance from the “Bizim Balalar” “Our Children” organization.

Marlen Mustafayev’s daughter. Photo: Anton Naumlyuk

“Bizim Balalar” was established in May 2016 after mass arrests in Bakhchysarai, where four families were left without a father. The initiative came from Crimean journalist Lilja Budzhurova, who was supported by many. The organization is not registered with the Ministry of Justice, so as not to be subject to the strict Russian legislation on public organizations; it acts as an association, and its transparency is monitored by the Council. Every month, Lilja Budzhurova and Elzara Islyamov meet with the wives of arrested Crimean Muslims and activists, and hand them funds for their children. Unlike the “Crimean Solidarity” organization, which was created to help Crimean political prisoners and their families, “Bizim Balalar” purposefully emphasizes that it has nothing to do with politics and deals only with the needs of children. Every month, 5,000 rubles [USD 85] is raised for each child in the organization’s care; another 12 thousand [USD 200] is raised to help them start the school year. The organization also invites child psychologists to hold sessions with children. “Bizim Balalar” don’t limit their help to arrested Crimean Tatars: they also help, to name a few, the children of the convicted director Oleg Sentsov, and those of Reshat Ametov, an activist who was the first to die for picketing against [Crimea’s] annexation in 2014. Every year, the number of children supported by “Bizim Balalar” increases ever more.

The children of Crimean political prisoners, mostly Crimean Tatars, who are persecuted for their pro-Ukrainian position or on religious grounds, know what searches and arrests are like. They come together to court hearings with the adults, and also pray for their fathers at the Dua, like everyone else. Several months ago, the Crimean courts started trying defendants in the case of “Hizb ut-Tahrir” behind closed doors. Now only lawyers are allowed into the courtroom. Together with the adults, children gather at the courthouse, but now they cannot even catch a glimpse of their arrested relatives. They face the same problems as the adults: weekly searches of activists’ houses, trials, harassment and persecution. For these children, Crimean childhood has proven to be very short.

At the time of the annexation, there were 4800 orphans in Crimea; by the end of 2016, that number was less than 400. According to Aksana Filipishina, the representative of the Ukrainian Ombudsman for the Protection of Children’s Rights, only a few dozen orphans could be taken to the mainland over the three years, while the rest had Russian citizenship forcibly imposed on them.

Source: Radio Svoboda


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IR Coordinator: the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine has a very one-sided and simplistic understanding of their functions

information_resistance_logo_engDmitry Tymchuk, Head of the Center for Military and Political Research, Coordinator of the Information Resistance group, Member of Parliament (People’s Front)
05.23.2017 (May 23, 2017)
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine

Concerning the statement by Alexander Hug, Principal Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine

We cursed our military leadership for forbidding our troops to return fire when they were being shelled by Russian-terrorist troops in Donbas. But here is a short quote from a recent interview given by the deputy head of the OSCE SMM, Alexander Hug, to the Latvian radio station, Baltkom: “… Both sides violate the ceasefire, both sides still use heavy weapons, both sides utterly fail to keep their promises under the Minsk agreements.”

Of course, Mr. Hug does not specify which side starts the shelling and armed provocations, and which is merely forced to respond to them. The upshot after his words is that the responsibility for violating Minsk lies not exclusively with Moscow and the terrorists, but with Kyiv and the “LDNR” as well. Our Western partners do not go into the details, either – they listen to Hug and draw corresponding conclusions about Ukraine.

We have been through the times when only the UAF observed the “silence,” while our guys quietly died under the fire from Russian “Grad” multiple rocket launchers without firing back. We know what the outcome of that is. So now we expect from the OSCE not statements that both sides are “shelling,” but a fundamental and objective approach to their monitoring work. Somehow, the OSCE SMM has a very one-sided and simplistic understanding of their functions, placing half the blame on the side that is not only a victim of external aggression but now is also portrayed as a bloodthirsty monster.

No, Mr. Hug, combining truth and Kremlin propaganda to please everyone is not a valid option. You have to choose one or the other.

– Dmitry Tymchuk, IR coordinator


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