Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 13, 2014

Ukraine: Those Tanks ...

Rebels drive 3 tanks from Russia into Ukraine, Kiev says headlines the Washington Post:

Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said the tanks and several armored personnel carriers entered eastern Ukraine through a checkpoint manned by rebels in the Luhansk region. He said government troops attacked the convoy when it reached the neighboring Donetsk region, destroying part of it. The claim could not be independently verified.

Why bother to verify this "news" when one can just easily write "The claim could not be independently verified". Is that supposed to be journalism?

The New York Times is a bit more careful. Tanks, of Unknown Origin, Roll Into Ukraine:

The Ukrainian interior minister, Arsen Avakov, told reporters in Kiev, the capital, that the armored column included three tanks, as well as armored personnel carriers and armored cars, and had traversed the border at a separatist-controlled crossing.

A video posted online appeared to show a tank, spewing exhaust, clanking down a street in Snizhne, a town about midway between Donetsk, a provincial capital controlled by separatists, and the Russian frontier. Reuters reported that two of its journalists saw the tanks in Snizhne but could not establish where they had come from; separatists on the scene said the tanks had been taken from a Ukrainian military warehouse.

The pictures I have seen seem to show a variant of the T-64 tanks that are modified and sold by the Ukrainian weapon industry and are used in the Ukrainian military. As far as I know Russia does no longer have such tanks in service. How difficult would it be for real journalists to verify that?

Other news from Ukraine:

The Ukrainian coup-government claims to have taken Mariupol, a city so far held by federalists. Taking is one part. Can they hold?

The coup government rejected a Gazprom offer to buy Russian gas for $385 per 1,000 cubic meter. That is about the same price that Ukraine's neighbors pay. But the coup government, likely advised by Washington, rejected that offer. It still did not pay the debt it owns to Gazprom and the flow of gas will accordingly reduced soon. There will be no immediate crisis as some reserves are kept in storage but the issue is destined to further escalate.

The "western" media start to report bits of the humanitarian crisis the Ukrainian government is creating with fight against its own people or "terrorists" as it claims. The honeymoon most "western" media have had with the coup government in Ukraine seem to end. Bits of the truth come into play. Unless of course the media that "reports" is the Washington Post.

Posted by b on June 13, 2014 at 11:20 UTC | Permalink


As the 'Kremlin Stooge' says, if these people in the South-Eastern part of Ukraine are 'terrorists', who are they 'terrorizing'? They are not even leaving their home cities.

Posted by: JL Furtif | Jun 13 2014 11:43 utc | 1

Babay reports that a US military transport plane landed at Kiev airport on 10 June at about 2am. I wonder what they were bringing in. Men? Weapons?

Posted by: Yonatan | Jun 13 2014 11:49 utc | 2

Yes, the Washington/CIA/Amazon Post is trash ... but there's no trash like English Trash : Ukraine says 'Russian tank incursion' unacceptable.

Posted by: john francis lee | Jun 13 2014 11:56 utc | 3

Well,as Ukraine has an air force,and the separatists don't,those tanks should be easy prey,eh?
Sounds like Ziopropaganda,as usual.(And if one doesn't believe those criminals have a hand in all of this,they've had a lobotomy.)

Posted by: dahoit | Jun 13 2014 13:17 utc | 4

The BBC repeats junta lies:

Ukraine says 'Russian tank incursion' unacceptable

"There was no confirmation about the tanks from the insurgents."

Not true! The rebel claim of capturing three T-64 tanks was widely reported already on Monday:

More on the topic here:

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Jun 13 2014 13:41 utc | 5

This will die down after one news cycle, ie, tomorrow. As soon as it's exposed a lie, another fabrication will be found in coming days - and trotted out for MSM to report. We saw this with the "news" that Iran operatives had hired Mexican drug cartel to kill KSA ambassador in DC - the story died after one day despite effort from congesscritters to keep it alive. Many others like it rolled out over the years had similar fates. The only success I can think of was the lies W, his staff, and MSM sustained to get the Iraq war going - hell-of-an-effort, brownie

Posted by: okie farmer | Jun 13 2014 13:47 utc | 6

Big false flag may be coming soon. Those possible chemical or biological weapons unloaded from the strange cars yesterday (reported by comments in a thread here I think, but also on RT somewhere) -

Juan's latest SitRep says:

4. Unconfirmed but deemed reliable sources indicate chemical weapons and/or biological weapons to be used in Peoples Republic of Donetsk against civilian and Army Novorossiya targets coupled with simultaneous high casualty attacks against civilian targets in central and west Ukraine. Unconfirmed but reliable reports state Ambassador J. Pyatt of USA knows of this plan. Operations are scheduled for 3 to 5 days from 12 June 2014. Army Novorossiya is to be implicated in chemical and terror attacks.

Bummer - but makes sense, matches the empire MO.

As for the tanks, Petri Krohn #5 highlights the prior claim of capture, and I had to chuckle at the way Juan reported this:

2. Minimum 3 main battle tanks Nats Army outside Lugansk captured by Army Novorossiya and are in use by new owners.

Posted by: Grieved | Jun 13 2014 14:42 utc | 7

Ukrainian PM orders govt: ‘Prepare to stop Russian gas imports’

yats WANT gas cuts so he could whine about evil russians again.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 13 2014 15:05 utc | 8

JFL@3"... there's no trash like English trash."
True for you!

And for real trash you cannot beat The Guardian;

Posted by: bevin | Jun 13 2014 15:37 utc | 9

Ukrainian APC with troops breaches Russian border
Wow no are ukraine/nato/us desperate.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 13 2014 15:51 utc | 10

Ukraine loses 2015 Euro basketball host rights

Posted by: Demian | Jun 13 2014 18:52 utc | 11

No mention of the use of phosphorus in this blog entry on the latest news about the Ukraine? Psaki would approve of such a conspicuous omission. ;)

Jen Psaki 'didn't see' Ukrainian army used phosphorus bombs near Slavyansk

"During a briefing, State Department spokesman Jen Psaki for the first time heard from journalists that the day before incendiary phosphorous bombs had been used under Slavyansk. Her reaction surprised the journalists.

On June 13, 2014 when asked the question, "what is the opinion of the State Department on the use of phosphorus bombs in Slavyansk?" Jen Psaki said:

-"By whom? By Russians?"

-"By the Ukrainian army", said the journalist.

-"No, I didn't see that", answered Psaki.

On the night between 11th and 12th June, Ukrainian troops fired on the village Semenovka with incendiary bombs, claim militias. This is the first use of such weapons in the Ukrainian conflict. Incendiary bombs are designed to initiate a fire. Materials like white phosphorus are used to make them. When used for military purposes within city areas, the use of weapons containing phosphorus is prohibited, according to international resolutions. This is set down in the Convention on Conventional Weapons."

Posted by: scalawag | Jun 13 2014 20:29 utc | 12

Russian Spring



How long Internet is going to be restored can not tell. Ukrainians prepare us a serious cannonade (per quantities of acquired batteries and ammunition) , so…

Just was briefed on a successful assault by one our reconnaissance group: on highway “Kharkov-Rostov” totally destroyed a small opponent’s column.

Two armored carriers, a “KAMAZ” (truck) and an auto-crane burned at scene. No one fled. The group returned intact.

Question: Ponomarev's (mayor of “Slavyansk”) arrest.


Do not comment. For some time. One thing can tell – his “heroic halo” was promoted by our greedy for sensations press.

Question: Situation in “Mariupol”.


There we had merely 3-4 dozens of armed combatants. First, they were engaged by “Alfa” (anti-terrorist special force), then fought two battalions of punitive paramilitaries. They had to leave to underground. Now, Ukrainians will be penalizing the city few days.

Poor “Mariupol”. When do the local males come to understanding that to defend the city a check mark in a voting ballot is not enough?

Comment: In another video, Strelkov thanked those contributed several articles of communication, night vision and gun sight equipment.

Russian Spring



Our reconnaissance group successfully attacked a column transporting “Uragans” (salvo rockets). Minimum two units were entirely decommissioned. Due to powerful detonations, though plight of other units is unknown, the whole division might be rendered useless.

Posted by: Fete | Jun 14 2014 5:05 utc | 13

The Ministry of defense of Ukraine declares, that in the night from 13 to 14 June, in Lugansk was shot down Il-76 (video)

"The defense Ministry of Ukraine reported that in the night of 13 to 14 June militia knocked coming in for a landing in the Lugansk airport the plane with Ukrainian military.

Fire from anti-aircraft guns and heavy machine gun struck military transport aircraft of the Air Forces of Armed Forces of Ukraine Il-76, who carried out transportation of personnel with the purpose of rotation. Onboard the airplane there were military personnel, machinery, equipment and food. About it is spoken in the message of the Ministry of defense of Ukraine on the official website. The number of deaths is still unknown.

In another version of the aircraft is shot down by a missile from MANPADS at 1:35 am. The Ukrainian side will ensure that onboard addition of cargo there were about 30 people from twenty-fifth assault brigade. Perhaps the Ukrainian side underestimates the number of casualties, because the Il-76 can accommodate a much larger number of soldiers [well over a 100]. At night in the sky over the Lugansk could hear the sound from the circling military aircraft examining the place of the fall. The city was declared an air RAID."

The video shows what looks like a SA missile launch in the distance. A possible flash of the missile exploding in the sky, then later a massive explosion in the distance lights up the sky.

Posted by: scalawag | Jun 14 2014 6:14 utc | 14

Strelkov told about the victims of phosphate bombing Slavyansk

"According to militia leader DND, bombed and Ukrainian military have used two kinds of ammunition.

According to commander of the armed forces DND Igor strelkov, in the last two days of the Ukrainian military fired several times suburbs Slavyansk shells stuffed white phosphorus. He also led the available data on the number of victims of yesterday's bombing.

For two days there were several attacks cassette phosphorus shells. I must say that the June 12, Semenovka simultaneously fired mortars use of traditional fragmentation mines and cluster munitions, " said Igor Strelkov.

He also led the available data on the number of victims of yesterday's bombing. According to Strelkova, 12 June in Semenovka injured six people, one was killed.

Ukrainian military first used phosphorous weapons in the night of June 12. In the afternoon of the same number, they repeated shelling. Militia said that the fragments found in the Semenovka, glowed, which is typical for such shells.

The reaction of the Russian Foreign Ministry was immediate. He demanded an immediate investigation of the application of Ukraine incendiary bombs and other banned weapons. According to the head of the Ministry Sergey Lavrov, reports of the use of banned guns in urgent need of re-examination.

Similar munitions were used by the U.S. army in combat in Vietnam and Iraq. In mid-2006, during the second Lebanon war such munitions used by the Israeli army.

Phosphorous shells can cause extremely serious and painful injuries or to cause a slow and painful death. When this stuff gets on your skin, it causes irreparable injury - meat is burned to the bone. When inhaled, the gas mixture burned lungs.

That is why their use against civilians, and during air strikes on military targets in civilian areas was banned by the Geneva Convention of 1983 On prohibitions or restrictions on the use of certain conventional weapons which may be deemed to be excessively injurious or to have indiscriminate effects".

Several links to sources supporting info in the news story. 3 videos: of Strelkov interview, nighttime phosphorus attack and evidence of the phosphorus attacks on the ground here.

Posted by: scalawag | Jun 14 2014 6:39 utc | 15

It looks like the US State Department is making a big issue about the three tanks. From the Guardian:

On Friday, the US state department deputy spokesperson, Marie Harf, said it believed separatists in eastern Ukraine had "acquired heavy weapons and military equipment from Russia, including Russian tanks and multiple rocket launchers".

Harf said internet videos had shown the same type of tanks that crossed the border in the eastern cities of Snizhne, Torez and Makiyivka. The statement did not explicitly blame Russia for supplying the weaponry directly to the Ukrainian separatists.

But it stated Washington's unequivocal belief that the tanks had crossed the border and hinted at Moscow's complicity. The US secretary of state John Kerry also raised the issue with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, according to the state department.

"We have information that Russia has accumulated tanks of a type no longer used by Russian forces at a deployment site in southwest Russia, and some of these tanks recently departed," Harf said.

"Russia will claim these tanks were taken from Ukrainian forces, but no Ukrainian tank units have been operating in that area. We are confident that these tanks came from Russia."

So the US sounds like it is going to try a make the case that Russia is directly invading eastern Ukraine. This plus the downing of the transport airplane with 49 fatalities might be used to increase pressure on Russia to end the uprising. But with Iraq unraveling what pressure does Obama have to use against Russia other than mere words. Why would anyone bother listening to him at this point. This could get dangerous fast if Obama begins to perceive that he is being personally dissed.

Posted by: ToivoS | Jun 14 2014 7:14 utc | 16

This dog has the right idea.

Posted by: scalawag | Jun 14 2014 7:36 utc | 17

Between 30-50 dead when "rebels" shoot down kiev military plane.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 14 2014 7:41 utc | 18

The coup government [likely advised by Washington] rejected a Gazprom offer to buy Russian gas for $385 per 1,000 cubic meter.
The situation could ultimately play out this way: the Kiev government negotiates a new energy deal with some other country and repudiates the entire debt they owe Russia.

I've seen speculation that the geopolitical goal of certain factions in the West is to isolate Russia with a new cold war. But the Europeans' support for a new cold war has been lukewarm because of all the business they do with Russia, only a further aggressive act by Russia could get them on board. Is it possible that repudiation of the debt could provoke a serious Russian response like an invasion that allows those Western factions to achieve their goal?

Posted by: ess emm | Jun 14 2014 16:49 utc | 19

Posted by: ess emm | Jun 14, 2014 12:49:45 PM | 19

It is not just Ukraine. These gas pipelines lead to Europe, ie. no gas for Ukraine, no gas to Europe. I take it that the gas dispute has been solved with Europe already, Europe is paying for Ukrainian debt anyway, they might as well transfer direct.

There is no other cheap gas supplier. US shale gas is no option. Shipping from Qatar/Iran is no option.

Ukraine is given the face saving of negotiating direct. It is theater backed by blackmail - instability that might blow up the pipelines.

It is much more grave that Poroshenko does not seem to be able to stop the Anti Terror Operation. Probably after Odessa and Mariupol but now after the plane got shot down, it is unthinkable Donbass remains part of Ukraine.
Russia, first Lavrov, then Putin, plus OSCE Swiss Burkhalter, have got louder and louder that the operation has to be stopped. The rebels are obviously escalating, as is Right Sector.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 14 2014 17:09 utc | 20

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