Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 20, 2014

Ukraine: West Point Graduate Dies in Botched Attack

The Ukrainian army and the oligarch funded right-wing "national guard" volunteers are not making the progress they claim to make.

On the ground, fighting raged unabated, with Ukraine’s interior minister, Arsen Avakov, asserting that Ukrainian forces had entered the town of Ilovaysk, about 11 miles east of Donetsk, the rebels’ biggest remaining stronghold in eastern Ukraine.

But that attack on Ilovaysk was repelled:

At 22:00, the “soldiers of the Donbas battalion withdrew from battle near Ilovaisk,” the press release stated. Four soldiers of the battalion were killed by militants and the battalion commander Semen Semenchenko was wounded.

One of the dead Donbas fighters was a U.S. citizen:

An American has reportedly become the first foreign casualty on the Ukrainian side of the military conflict against Russian mercenaries and Kremlin-backed forces in eastern Ukraine.

Identified only under his nom de guerre of "Franko", he reportedly died from heavy artillery fire while trying to free the town of Ilovaisk in Donetsk Oblast on Aug. 19 while serving in the volunteer Donbas Battalion, Liviy Bereg photographer Maks Levin stated on Facebook, citing another photographer, Maks Dondiuk, who has embedded himself in various Ukrainian service units.
...
“There is no way for them to get out of Ilovask,” wrote Levin citing his colleague. He added that two other volunteer battalions, Azov and Dnipro, managed to leave the area earlier in the day.

Three battalions, a brigade equivalent, was repelled by heavy artillery fire from the insurgency side.

The U.S. citizen who died was one Mark Paslavsky

Mark Paslavsky aka @BSpringnote, 55. American who got Ukr citizenship so he could fight in Donbas battlion KIA today pic.twitter.com/EqAyvpFzKg

Paslavski was once interviewed by Vice and he claimed to have once served in a "professional military". This seems to confirm the claim:

.@WestPoint_USMA cc @USArmy: class of 1981 West Point graduate Mark Paslavsky has been #KIA in #Ukraine fighting against #Russia's invasion.

There seems to be little other information available about Paslavski. One wonders what his real name was and how a West Point graduate ended up, at the age of 55, dying in a botched militia attack in east Ukraine.

Posted by b on August 20, 2014 at 9:52 UTC | Permalink

Comments

I wonder if the oligarchs faction (with Poroshenko as figurehead) is just trying to make all the crazy Nazis killed with all those botched attacks on Novorrussiya. And then try to make some profitable pack with Russia ...

Posted by: ThePaper | Aug 20 2014 10:02 utc | 1

Insanity in Donetsk:

Donetsk. Junta attacked chemical plant with ballistic missiles [19/08/2014]

The above link is not working, but this is the video posted:

Was Donetsk Nuked by Kiev?

It could have been a Tochka-U ballistic missile which are certainly capable of carrying a tactical nuke payload. Nuclear or not, what sort of madman would launch these into a populated city like Donetsk?

Posted by: Paveway IV | Aug 20 2014 10:15 utc | 2

Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oy7yNnQghs8

Posted by: Paveway IV | Aug 20 2014 10:20 utc | 3

Another American idiot,like that guty Foley,who did his masters bidding to blemish Assad,and the blemishers killed him.Morons for mammon.

Posted by: dahoit | Aug 20 2014 12:19 utc | 4

Ukraine is (financially) going "down the drain" ???

http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.nl/2014/08/ukraine-demands-rebels-surrender.html

Posted by: Willy2 | Aug 20 2014 13:16 utc | 7

b's heading could have been shorter. We are, after all, talking about the (Podunk) US military:
Ukraine: West Point Graduate Dies in SNAFU

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 20 2014 13:49 utc | 8

The National Guard are claiming to have taken over Ilovaysk today, but stating at the same time that the fighting continues. Now, it's impossible to trust any Ukrainian statements about anything. The statements they make are getting increasingly out of touch with reality. Yesterday they claimed that the Russian military convoy had entered Luhansk,even though the city by their own admission is in tight blockade.

What is certain is that the fighting is fierce and the losses are huge. Kiev is getting desperate and throwing all the forces into the battle which leads to heavy losses for the attacking side. Here is the video with Ukrainian soldiers from the 72 brigade, which got surrounded and stranded between the rebels and the Russian border. Pretty much they say 3 brigades sent to cut the rebels from the border were annihilated by the artillery fire. They blame Russia for this citing the shelling coming from the Russian side. This might be true, actually. But in any case it seems already between 3000-5000 Ukrainian soldiers were KIA in this war and Kiev doesn't admit that.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AaXAgiUr3I&list=UU0gVM5_pq0KHr7B6HKqwXLA

Posted by: Tai | Aug 20 2014 14:01 utc | 9

Also, on another note, I've been following the mood of educated and successful young Ukrainian in Kiev and so far they've been oblivious to what's happening in Donbass. The anti-Russian hysteria spun by the Ukrainian media makes Ukrainians believe that there are no real rebels in the East, just Russian military mercenaries, who terrorize the civilian population there (which needs to be liberated by the Ukrainian army).

People happily voted for Poroshenko believing that the war will be quick and painless, that Ukraine will now join the West and get Western financial aid. But now the mood is slowly changing. Despite the media blackout the amount of casualties is slowly coming through. Donetsk and Luhanks are being regularly shelled by the Ukrainian military and even people in Kiev are slowly realizing that the scale of tragedy that is unfolding in Ukraine. Sure they still try to live as if nothing was happening, go party in VIP clubs and restaurants but the impending economic collapse (Kiev has been without hot water for a month now) is slowly seeping into their brains and I believe sooner or later the truth will come out and when the autumn comes and DNR and LNR will be still resisting, casualties reaching unacceptable levels and the NAtional Guard nazis no longer willing to die en masse, it's gonna get really ugly in Kiev. Just think of all these battalions belonging to the oligarchs. At some point they will decide it's easier to march on Kiev than risk a certain death in the fortified cities of the East.

Posted by: Tai | Aug 20 2014 14:16 utc | 10

Tai, I think a deal is coming. Your synopsis of the fighting squares with my sense of what is happening. The Novorossiyan militia is inflicting a lot of punishment on the junta, but the rebels are stressed trying to match all the bodies and armor the Ukies have in the field. It is like Grant vs. Lee. The junta is willing to lose a lot of men to gradually grind down the militia. The losses in LPR/DPR leadership have not helped.

I hope a deal is struck, a least a ceasfire, in Minsk next week.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Aug 20 2014 16:03 utc | 11

"Identified only under his nom de guerre of "Franko"..."

Which gives us a pretty good idea of his politics.

These "battalions" are they any bigger than companies of a hundred or so men? Are they really 800-1000 men units?

Posted by: bevin | Aug 20 2014 16:27 utc | 12

These "battalions" are they any bigger than companies of a hundred or so men? Are they really 800-1000 men units?

Donbas claimed to have 600 men

Posted by: b | Aug 20 2014 17:24 utc | 13

@12 Well there is some Southern revisionism on Grant and Lee. Obviously, Lee fought on defense for much of the war, but when he took over the Army of Northern Virginia, he broke the union seige/advance on Richmond by a clever strategy of helping the union run out of ammunition. Grant's casualty rate was significantly lower than Lee's despite being on the offensive. Needless to say, Longstreet was the best Confederate general.

Posted by: NotTimothyGeithner | Aug 20 2014 17:54 utc | 14

@11 tai and @12 mike.. one hopes a 'deal' is coming soon.. i think sunday/monday is an important turning point based on my astrology studies.. we'll see what comes of it.. i suspect heavy fighting right into this date and for some type of outcome that decides the next stage in this crazy fucked up war..

thanks b for sharing the identity of one of the americans here. i am certain there are many more of them..paid for mercenary squads by goons like the freak living in switzerland - kolimiky or whatever his name is - are probably quite prevalent.. i hope he gets his just deserts in his attempt to buy everything for his own fiefdom in spite of the ugliness of his responsibility in all this...

"But the decision to appoint the country's richest men as regional administrators has its risks. Some believe the oligarchs, who have a history of manipulating governments, may become too entrenched in their new jobs and could use their posts for personal gain.

The unexpected move drew instant ire from Russian President Vladimir Putin, who called one of the oligarchs, Ukraine's third-richest man, Ihor Kolomoisky, a "swindler."

"They name oligarchs, billionaires as governors of eastern regions," Putin said during a news conference earlier this week. "Naturally, people don't accept that." link here

Posted by: james | Aug 20 2014 18:56 utc | 15

The intrepid Sir Richard Branson wants to talk with Putin...

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-08-20/branson-wants-putin-meeting-amid-ukrainian-invasion-fear.html?cmpid=yhoo


'Putin only hears what his supporters say and that is very damaging for Russia according to Branson'

Hmmmm...maybe not the best way to start a discussion.

Posted by: dh | Aug 20 2014 19:31 utc | 16

@Mike Maloney #12:

I don't think there is going to be a deal next week. The rebels are serious about Novorossiya being an independent country which is no longer part of the former Ukraine, and they will fight until the junta realizes that it cannot win.

Poroshenko said that the rebels will be defeated by Ukrainian "Independence" Day, which is next Sunday, but that clearly is not going to happen. Donbass still being free on that day will probably have a significant negative psychological impact on the fascists. Also, as the Uke public becomes aware extent of Uke losses, it may loose its desire to continue with the killing.

I posted the following link in another thread; here it is again in case you missed it. It is to an American military blog. Well worth reading, since this is expert analysis which can be considered to be impartial. (Although not completely, since the blogger, not being a zombie, doesn't like fascists.)

Who’s Zoomin’ Who in Novorossiya?

I use the past tense to describe the armored thrusts of the junta forces because they appear to be losing the ability to concentrate sufficient forces to execute major attacks. They are on their third mobilization. That's a clear sign of running on empty. In order to address the growing unrest in Transcarpathia, the junta had to withdraw 1,200 troops from the front last week. They have no strategic reserve. …

Yes, the rebels are giving up ground, but they are preserving their combat forces. The junta is squandering theirs.

Do you think the rebels would be willing to strike a deal with an enemy which is in that condition? In any case, the meeting in Minsk next week isn't serious, since the rebels weren't invited.

Posted by: Demian | Aug 20 2014 19:42 utc | 17

Demian, I know there is a lot of evidence of junta losses and also unrest in Kiev, i.e., the Yarosh-Avakov feud, skinheads clearing the Maidan, but while the militia can hold on indefinitely -- look at the jihadis in Aleppo -- I don't think the civilians in Luhansk and Donetsk can. I think Putin is ready to cut a deal. The LPD/DPR leadership change meant something. Merkel in Kiev this Saturday means something. Maybe you're right. Maybe it is all cosmetic and will amount to nothing. But right now I am tending to think something of substance will emerge.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Aug 20 2014 20:03 utc | 18

Dahoit @#5

Will he get a hero's sendoff the way Max Steinberg did, after leaving the US (his nation of birth), to go and fight and die for Israel? http://www.jpost.com/Operation-Protective-Edge/Tens-of-thousands-attend-funeral-of-Los-Angeles-native-Max-Steinberg-who-was-killed-in-Gaza-368580

Doesn't fighting for a foreign military make you a traitor? People say no, not if you have dual citizenship, but I'm not sure. I hear TPTB aren't too happy about their citizens going to fight for various jihadist groups...


Posted by: Prey4 justice | Aug 20 2014 20:19 utc | 19

@Mike Maloney #19:

Putin wants a cease fire so that the aid convoy can go through. It is stuck near the border because Red Cross personnel would be in danger from shelling by the junta. So that may be why that meeting in Minsk is taking place. Kiev will be as obstreperous as ever, so no agreement will be reached.

Putin cannot accede to an agreement under which Novorossia would not gain its independence. If he did so, he would be viewed as having betrayed the Novorossiyans and left them at the mercy of murderous fascists.

It's been clear for a long time that the main people who are paying the price for Russia's failure to intervene are Novorossiyan civilians. It may be that if Kiev refuses to enter into a ceasefire at the Minsk meeting, Putin will decide that the only way to send the aid convoy in is with Russian military protection.

A wild card here is what will come out about MH17. The latest that the "international investigators" are saying is that they will come out with something by the beginning of September. (They keep on putting this off.) If it comes out that it was the junta that shot down the plane (the West will never say it might have been a false flag), it will become more difficult for Western countries to continue giving unconditional support to the junta.

Posted by: Demian | Aug 20 2014 20:31 utc | 20

@Prey4 justice #20:

I'm pretty sure that TPTB view one of their citizens going to fight with jihadis as a traitor, even if he has dual citizenship, but not someone fighting on the side of the Kiev junta, since the Western press keeps on repeating that the US and EU countries are "allies" of the former Ukraine.

Posted by: Demian | Aug 20 2014 20:36 utc | 21

the despicable Kievpost:
'An American has reportedly become the first foreign casualty on the Ukrainian side of the military conflict against Russian mercenaries and Kremlin-backed forces in eastern Ukraine.
Identified only under his nom de guerre of "Franko", he reportedly died from heavy artillery fire while trying to free the town of Ilovaisk in Donetsk Oblast on...'

claims the Junta is trying to 'free' the east..thats how its written up and consumed by the masses...russian mercenaries? what russian mercenaries?
its because of such propaganda uses the russians are wise to stay out.

Posted by: brian | Aug 20 2014 22:16 utc | 22

@19
' I think Putin is ready to cut a deal'

what?!

Posted by: brian | Aug 20 2014 22:17 utc | 23

Posted by: Willy2 | Aug 20, 2014 9:11:42 AM | 7

'Having served Washington’s propaganda purposes, the downed Malaysian airliner and the alleged Russian armored column that entered Ukraine and was allegedly destroyed have dropped out of the news even though both stories remain completely and totally unresolved'
http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/08/20/ukraine-crisis-continues-paul-craig-roberts/

apparently MH17 has vanished from the US news cycle...meaning the russians didnt do it, nor did the novorossiyans, which leaves us with....

Posted by: brian | Aug 20 2014 22:20 utc | 24

No Donbass nuke or Tochka-U per @3 (Sorry...)

This was a failed Russian rocket launch in Kazakhstan. Same from another angle:
http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=343_1383005232

Posted by: Paveway IV | Aug 20 2014 22:24 utc | 25

@Paveway IV #26:

This video shows an explosion which is obviously not nuclear, but it also is not produced by run of the mill ordinance, considering the shock wave that it created.

The Ukes are crazy.

Posted by: Demian | Aug 20 2014 22:51 utc | 26

I think Putin is looking for a deal. Why go to Minsk to meet with Poroshenko? It is not for a photo op. Demian might be right. It might be only a ceasefire. But Putin is looking to prevent, at the very least, a humanitarian crisis on his border. How long can municipalities the size of Luhansk and Donetsk exist without power and water?

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Aug 20 2014 22:56 utc | 27

@Mike Maloney (Aug 20, 2014 4:03:31 PM | 19):

"I think Putin is ready to cut a deal. The LPD/DPR leadership change meant something. Merkel in Kiev this Saturday means something. Maybe you're right. Maybe it is all cosmetic and will amount to nothing. But right now I am tending to think something of substance will emerge."

Putin has been ready to do a deal on Ukraine since BEFORE the crisis even started, but his terms will probably remain the same: Ukraine must be neutral. Merkel's just another NATO-sockpuppet; she has no authority to do a deal without Washington's permission. She's just there to convince her target voter that she's 'doing something' so that if the shit hits the fan and she ordered by Obama to embargo Russia, she can blame it all on Putin by claiming he refused her peace offer. Needless to say, now that Sebastopol is off-limits to him, and it's becoming more likely that his little Ukrainian gamble isn't going to pay out, Uncle Scam just wants Europe to embargo Russia. That's the only way he can salvage anything from this mess: a new cold war.

Posted by: Seamus Padraig | Aug 20 2014 23:14 utc | 28

@28
"I think Putin is looking for a deal. Why go to Minsk to meet with Poroshenko? It is not for a photo op."
To deliver an ultimatum, personally?
Of course there are deals and deals: some involve surrendering and betraying your friends, others offer adversaries a dignified way of conceding a reasonable point, which, in this case, would be the election of regional governors, provincial autonomy and the dissolution of the Rada.
Within such a framework most of the demands of the easterners could be met while Kiev could shake itself loose of its US tutelage, if it wanted to.

Posted by: bevin | Aug 20 2014 23:44 utc | 29

@bevin #30:

Virtually everyone speaking for Novorossiya agrees that after the Odessa Trade Union building massacre in May, federalization stopped being an option. Too much blood has been spilled between Ukro-fascists and Russians who ended up in a new country called the "Ukraine" because Stalin had redrawn the border for the two to be able to live in the same country any more. A brutal civil war cannot be resolved by the two sides making "a deal". One side or the other needs to achieve a decisive military victory.

Most Russians know this. Most sympathetic western observers have not yet caught up with this new reality.

This is a war of attrition. On one side, Novorossiyan civilians and infrastructure; on the other, Uke draftees and nationalist fanatics.

By the way, Transcarpathians wants independence too (they voted for it in 1991, but Kyiv refused to recognize the referendum) and many in Hungary support them on that.

Posted by: Demian | Aug 21 2014 0:20 utc | 30

The long-term of the situation seems to me this:

Russia doesn't want to do anything to alienate the Ukrainian masses, and so I imagine that they won't invade and will do their best to appear as the humanitarian force and friend of the Ukrainian people, if not the government. The junta is doing everything to cut off the information flows coming from Russia, but the fact is that this is impossible in an area with a shared language and a huge population swap (in terms of citizens working in each others countries). And as we know from nearly all of the recent Color Coups the truth - eventually - emerges from under the muck of the lies. And the Ukrainian people will soon know the truth of not just the war in the east of Ukraine, but about Maidan and the EU plans for austerity and privatization - something that, largely as a legacy of the Soviet-era - Ukrainians reject. Let's not forget that on the eve of Maidan (and a far as I know, still today), there is a majority who reject their country joining NATO.

Putin has only to wait for the stupidity of EU economic policies, hatred for the United States, privatizations, and oligarchs and the building of popular forces take the air out of Maidan, and the the time may be right for more discussion of federalization. Thought the fighting may only be taking place in a (relatively) small area in the East, the country is still largely politically split. The regions of the South and East will still be deeply separated from those in the far west - even if they don't have the appetite for a fight like is taking place in Donbas.

Georgia should be a fine example for what Putin wants to do. The economic difficulties, the reality of Sakashvilli' rule has turned into a Georgia where Sakashvili is under indictment, and the country has a more positive view towards Russia some eight years after the war.

Russia and the Ukraine belong together, and the EU has still yet to emerge from "basket-case" status. This too shall pass. My only fear is what other bloodletting the United States has in mind before it does.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 21 2014 0:20 utc | 31

@Demian 31

I don't know, most of the population of Novorossiya has sat out the fighting. They've certainly been targeted by the missiles and artillery of the junta, but they haven't taken up arms to defend their homes. This leaves plenty of room for deals.

Those fighting appear to mostly be older, people who remember the good of the USSR. Younger people might associate Russia only with Yushchenko, oligarchy and corruption. So why bother. Putin really needs to show the younger generation that Russia can mean sovereignty and a prosperous future.

This is just speculation, though. I may be completely wrong.

Posted by: Crest | Aug 21 2014 0:27 utc | 32

@Crest #33:

The idea that those fighting for freedom appear to be older may just be a NATO talking point. In the videos of the freedom fighters that I've seen, most people seem to be under thirty. Here is a video of a unit manning rocket launchers taking a break and playing with each other like kittens (h/t to Sic Semper Tyrannis).

The junta has raised the draft age to 60. The American who is the subject of this thread was 55. In the same bombardment in which he died, the husband of the editor of a Uke propaganda Web site was also killed; he looks about 40 in a photo (link to story in Russian).

You just need to watch that video I gave a link to to know that young people are fighting for Novorossiya. Sure, more could be doing it, but I think that the resistance has enough fighters at the moment. And from what I can tell, the casualty rates are about 10:1 in the rebels' favor. This is speculation on my part, but the high losses on the part of the Ukes can be partly explained by the likelihood that people in command positions in the Uke army are nationalist fanatics (probably serious military people were purged when the junta came into power), so they know little about how to fight a war. Another factor is that volunteers, which all resistance fighters are, are going to have higher motivation than conscripts.

Posted by: Demian | Aug 21 2014 1:07 utc | 33

Here's a video of the routine that volunteers for the militia go through during their training. I'd say about half look like they're under twenty. (There's even a woman in her thirties!) (Sorry, no English subs AFAIK.)

To me, Novorossiya looks like a project that the people backing would let fail just to make "a deal".

Posted by: Demian | Aug 21 2014 2:07 utc | 34

Demian, we'll know soon, won't we? If it is going to be a continuing war of attrition, then, as you say, nothing will come out of Minsk and the refugee flows will increase. The U.S. will likely welcome such an outcome.

But what I am assuming is that there is a shred of rationality, let's call it "possessive individualism," left in Kiev -- and here I fully accept I could be wrong -- and Poroshenko and whatever other oligarchs and decision-makers he has arrayed around him can see that by irrevocably shattering the Donbass he has guaranteed the Ukraine is a failed state, The Saker's "Banderastan."

At some point Poroshenko has to realize that his ability to make money is going to be exponentially reduced if he presides over a failed state. I always thought that's why Moscow initially welcomed his election. The Kremlin saw a businessman who could make a deal. That Porky did an about-face, I think, is a move that Russia has never really recovered from.

Next Moscow went all in on pulling Merkel into its camp. And for a while I thought Putin was going to be successful. Think back to heady days of the World Cup and the Berlin CIA station chief being sent home. Then there was MH17. A huge atrocity the direct beneficiary of which was Kiev and the U.S.

We are now at the precipice. Does Kiev really want Aleppo? I know Russia doesn't. I think Strelkov's removal was a sign that something is in the works. Colonel Cassad said that he would be back in a week. I don't know if he is still saying that. It will be a week tomorrow. I don't think Strelkov is coming back.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Aug 21 2014 2:20 utc | 35

@Mike Maloney #36:

During Poroshenko's election, there was speculation here and elsewhere about whether he would have enough political influence and power to stop the junta's drive to destroy Novorossiya at all costs. With the coup, the Ukes went to the previous constitution, which gives the president less power. Also, remember that Ukieland basically just follows orders from the Empire. Finally, there are a couple of US diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks which suggest that Poroshenko was an American agent. Surely Russia would have known that.

I thought Russia trying to pull Merkel into their camp was a good plan. Yes, the MH17 false flag op put a stop to that for the time being. I still don't understand why Merkel imposed more sanctions in response to the downing of MH17, when the Bundesnachrichsdienst must have already known that the Ukes did it.

I agree that Strelkov's removal was a sign that something was in the works. The West's reading of that is that the people running Novorossiya were fleeing a sinking ship. My take on that is that the construction of the Novorossiyan state has entered phase two.

An objective of the RF must be the utter demoralization of Uke nationalists. Russia must do to the former Ukraine what the US did to West Germany after the end of WW II, but with different means. To quote the conclusion of a piece at the Novorossiyan news site:

Breaking with its Russian ancestors and Russian roots, the Ukraine, as it has turned out, is not capable of a civilized statehood. Therefore, it will be better if Russia ends its recognition of the independence of the Ukraine. And as quickly as possible. Earlier it was uncomfortable to debate this delicate issue, but now that the "Ukes" have become vicious and are pouring fire on the Russian people in Donbass: it is high time.

Hehe, you won't read that at English language RF news sites, but this is what a lot of people are thinking. This is what occurred to me immediately after the coup, and I have spent very little time in Russia: Russia is just my first language. (Recent immigrants from Russia to the West, in contrast, appear to take Kiev's side, which means that Russia is better off without them.)

Posted by: Demian | Aug 21 2014 3:04 utc | 36

@Mike Maloney #36:

During Poroshenko's election, there was speculation here and elsewhere about whether he would have enough political influence and power to stop the junta's drive to destroy Novorossiya at all costs. With the coup, the Ukes went to the previous constitution, which gives the president less power. Also, remember that Ukieland basically just follows orders from the Empire. Finally, there are a couple of US diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks which suggest that Poroshenko was an American agent. Surely Russia would have known that.

I thought Russia trying to pull Merkel into their camp was a good plan. Yes, the MH17 false flag op put a stop to that for the time being. I still don't understand why Merkel imposed more sanctions in response to the downing of MH17, when the Bundesnachrichsdienst must have already known that the Ukes did it.

I agree that Strelkov's removal was a sign that something was in the works. The West's reading of that is that the people running Novorossiya were fleeing a sinking ship. My take on that is that the construction of the Novorossiyan state has entered phase two.

An objective of the RF must be the utter demoralization of Uke nationalists. Russia must do to the former Ukraine what the US did to West Germany after the end of WW II, but with different means. To quote the conclusion of a piece at the Novorossiyan news site (this post gets blocked if I give the link):

Breaking with its Russian ancestors and Russian roots, the Ukraine, as it has turned out, is not capable of a civilized statehood. Therefore, it will be better if Russia ends its recognition of the independence of the Ukraine. And as quickly as possible. Earlier it was uncomfortable to debate this delicate issue, but now that the "Ukes" have become vicious and are pouring fire on the Russian people in Donbass: it is high time.

Hehe, you won't read that at English language RF news sites, but this is what a lot of people are thinking. This is what occurred to me immediately after the coup, and I have spent very little time in Russia: Russia is just my first language. (Recent immigrants from Russia to the West, in contrast, appear to take Kiev's side, which means that Russia is better off without them.)

Posted by: Demian | Aug 21 2014 3:06 utc | 37

Demian@27 - That was the same video I was originally referencing in @3 and @4. That video was not from Donetsk on Aug. 19th per the YouTube uploader. It was an edited version of the failed launch of Russian Proton-M rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on July 2, 2013.

You can see the launch pad lift-off plume in the center behind the building. I don't know why the rocket's initial few seconds of ascent isn't visible in the video - angle? focus? creative editing? But I'm pretty sure it's the same launch. They lost $200 million worth of three GLONASS-M satellites (= U.S. GPS satellites).

Ukraine has launched several Tochka-U medium-range ballistic missiles at separatist-held territory in the last month. This just isn't footage of one.

Here's other vids of the Proton-M failure:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OngbHZ2fsbA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNJmy4dg1jQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eW_ERnIa6fE

Posted by: Paveway IV | Aug 21 2014 3:31 utc | 38

@Paveway IV:

Ah, OK. I didn't notice you made a second post in which the link worked.

I was confused by that video, because I didn't see why a descending ballistic missile should have a large plume. More black propaganda, I guess.

Thanks for clearing that up.

There have been reports of the Ukes launching tactical ballistic missiles, but I haven't run across any reports of those missiles hitting anything, with their warheads detonating.

Posted by: Demian | Aug 21 2014 3:58 utc | 39

Russian Spring

Donetsk. 08/20/2014-22:36

Commentary from combatant Prokhorov:

About Ilovaysk as per now.

Arrived in the morning to disrupt the siege of entrapped Ukrainians: a tank company of 71st tank brigade – destroyed, most of it; combined company of 93rd brigade – entrapped in the city with remnants of battalion “Donbass”; three companies of 51st on APCs – destroyed (larger part) and dispersed; the plight of 5th company of “Dnepr-1” and of 2nd platoon of “Azov” remains unknown.

Also to lift the siege, main forces of battalions Dnepr, Azov and Shakhtersk, as well as units of “Praviy Sector” were transferred to the site. These attempted to enter the city three times – each time backing off under mortar fire. Two hours ago, during one of such attempts, battalion “Azov”, which lost one along with 6 wounded, deliberately started to leave positions. “Dnepr” and Shakhtersk” followed.

Russian Spring

Lugansk. 08/20/2014-21:40

Summary from the Headquarters of Army of South-East:

During whole day the Ukrainian forces were actively shelling Lugans suburbs. Opponent’s other major endeavors were to defend positions in area of settlement Chelyuskinets, Khryaschevatoye, Novosvetlovka.

Most fierce fighting took place in area of settlement Georgievka, where the Army of South-East shot down a jet fighter Su-25, and a military helicopter Mi-24. Other Mi-24 was damaged…

Forces of the Army of South-East retained key passages of roads between settlements of Lugans region…


Posted by: Fete | Aug 21 2014 4:37 utc | 40

Colonel Cassad: Ukraine is preparing for the defense on the line Slavyansk – Mariupol

The offensives on Donetsk and Luhansk are clearly running out of steam, they failed to cut the DPR from the LPR, they failed to cut off the border, the relation of forces even though remained to the junta's advantage, but equalizing of this relation to the benefit of the militia is obvious. And huge losses in people and materiel. So a complex of reasons is apparent, which already force the military leadership of the junta to think about defense.

Posted by: Demian | Aug 21 2014 8:41 utc | 42

2 data points:

1) At a startup pitch event 2 months ago - I met a pair of Ukrainian brothers. Youngsters. They were in the Maidan and were fervent believers that dumping Yanukovich would unleash a vast flowering of the Ukraine economy, one which thousands of new businesses would spring up and create prosperity for all. Their view was that the corrupt government and overly heavy regulation were what has caused Ukraine to fall behind Poland in per capita GDP, whereas pre-Soviet collapse/1991, the Ukraine was ahead of Poland.

They also had this view - which seems wrong to me - that the Ukraine exports far more to Europe than it does to Russia.

I pointed out that one reason Poland has done so well is that 200 billion euros was invested there, and of course this was decades ago. The integration of East Germany cost 500 billion euros. I then noted that the possibility of a 200 to 500 billion euro investment into the Ukraine by the EU today seems beyond impossible.

Given the above deceased's views were similar, I can sympathize with the desire of the Ukrainian people to have a better life.

It still seems far from clear to me, however, that replacing one corrupt bastard (Yanukovich, Russia-leaning) who succeeded another corrupt bastard (Timoshenko, anti-Russia leaning) who in turn succeeded another corrupt bastard (Yuschenko, West leaning) who succeeded another corrupt bastard (Kuchma, Russia leaning), and whose collective successor is another corrupt bastard (Poroshenko, West leaning) supported by a 2nd corrupt bastard (Kolomoisky) - that this represents any form of positive change.

2) I was in Russia for a wedding recently - and the groom is of Georgian descent. His mother is half Ukrainian/half Ossetian, father is Georgian. Due to the events in Ukraine, a steady succession of relatives have been showing up; there were 4 different ex-Ukrainian households at the wedding. They've seen firsthand the fighting and civilian deaths.

They did say that all of the resistance people that were fighting were ethnic Russians, but then again, their presence in Russia shows that they are anything but supporters of the junta.

From this, my view is that the majority of Ukrainians are still on the sidelines. Right now, the status quo for most - who are not in the combat zones - is pretty much the same as it was pre-junta. Life is a little tougher, but then again this has happened before.

The real question is going to be: what happens when winter comes? If life becomes materially worse even than the dips in the past, how will these people react?

Equally, how will the dreamers from 1) react when the stark reality of the Ukrainian economy intrudes upon their Hope and Change desires?

Posted by: c1ue | Aug 21 2014 12:20 utc | 43

"...my view is that the majority of Ukrainians are still on the sidelines. Right now, the status quo for most - who are not in the combat zones - is pretty much the same as it was pre-junta. Life is a little tougher, but then again this has happened before." c1ue @42

This is interesting. And it gybes with crest @33's idea that most people are "sitting this one out."
Which agrees with my view that the underlying situation in Ukraine is that, apart from the fascists in the west, the comprador tools of Wall St and Washington in Kiev and the Russian patriots in the east, nobody is very much interested in anything more than keeping alive and, perhaps, getting out.
It is most peculiar that there has been no attempt, so far as I can see, by the easterners to spread their concerns to the rest of Ukraine and to undermine the position of the fascists by putting forward a programme to deal with the real problems that the people face. The first of which is that this is a wonderfully endowed country with enormous advantages and potential which has been ruled by selfish oligarchs for generations.
What is to be done about that?
I wholeheartedly support the refusal of the resistance to be ruled by fascists and foreign imperialists but their failure to tie the struggle to the morally and legally impeccable case for the expropriation of the thieves is incomprehensible.

And that, Demian, is why I do not find it difficult to conceive of Putin using the Minsk meeting to make a deal which will essentially restore the status quo ante. I agree that, after Odessa and the artillery barrages going on now in the besieged cities, it seems counter intuitive to think of a messy compromise between wheeler dealer politicians, but I see no signs that the eastern masses have yet committed themselves. When they do they win.

Of course I defer to your greater knowledge and envy your ability to read Gogol, Pushkin, Dostoevsky and that long list of literary giants in the original. This, of itself, must afford you special insight into the situation. ( I am not being sarcastic.)

Posted by: bevin | Aug 21 2014 13:59 utc | 44

Good piece on sanctions:
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/CEN-01-210814.html

Posted by: bevin | Aug 21 2014 14:18 utc | 45

@bevin #43:

that, Demian, is why I do not find it difficult to conceive of Putin using the Minsk meeting to make a deal which will essentially restore the status quo ante. …

I … envy your ability to read Gogol, Pushkin, Dostoevsky and that long list of literary giants in the original. This, of itself, must afford you special insight into the situation.

Well, the meeting in Minsk is five days away, so we shall see soon enough. There is no point in speculating further. I'll just note that the EU Commissioners for Trade and Energy are also coming to Minsk.

Yes, some have said that instead of declaring independence, the rebels of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions should have directed calls for reform to the rest of the former Ukraine, and tried to make all of that former country to see reason, instead of just Donbass. But given that virtually all of the Uke media is strongly pro-junta, I fail to see how that could have gotten the rebels anywhere.

It's interesting that you bring up Pushkin, Gogol, and Dostoevsky. Yes, if I hadn't read the first two when I was a boy and the last when I was a little older, I wouldn't have a Russian identity. And I think that my view of the Ukrainian problem comes from Gogol. Maybe now is a good time to read him again lol. By the way, I think this shows that Russian identity does not depend on Russian Orthodoxy, although currently, both the Russian and the Novorossiyan states try to produce the impression that it does. Nobody was more Russian than Dostoevsky. And yet for Dostoevsky, Christian faith is a problem to be confronted, not something to be taken as a given.

@clue #42:

They did say that all of the resistance people that were fighting were ethnic Russians, but then again, their presence in Russia shows that they are anything but supporters of the junta.

From this, my view is that the majority of Ukrainians are still on the sidelines. Right now, the status quo for most - who are not in the combat zones - is pretty much the same as it was pre-junta. Life is a little tougher, but then again this has happened before.

Are Ukrainians and Russians two different ethnic groups? If so, Bavarians and Berliners must be two different ethnic groups as well. But nobody considers Bavarians to be an ethnic group to be contrasted with other Germans. The idea that Ukrainians constitute a distinct ethnic group to be contrasted with Russians is a Western imperialist invention, the purpose of which is to help destroy Russia.

Since the Ukraine gained its "independence", had Kiev ever stopped supplying hot water to its residents, before the fascists took over? Because the residents of Kiev now have no running hot water. Is that just "life [being] a little tougher"? Or is it that you have completely left a world with living conditions which were taken for granted by both Western Europeans and citizens of the Soviet Union, after the end of the War?

Posted by: Demian | Aug 21 2014 15:42 utc | 46

Polish historical hatred,undiminished by American citizenship.You can take a Pole out of Poland,but you can't take Poland out of a Pole.Uh,when you live next to big dogs,don't rattle their enclosure,it seem to make the enclosed angry and they might jump the fence.Maybe the Poles and Ukrainians can get their own tribal reservations in the ME,safe from their bogeyman,give them Kurdistan,I don't think the Kurds will mind.
Tribes and Supertribes?I seem to remember that as a predictive tome,which seems counter intuitive,as it seems supertribes are devolving to tribes.

Posted by: dahoit | Aug 21 2014 17:12 utc | 47

Willy @ 8. Mish’s post, one guy, a likeable confused semi - libertarian. > Idk.

The economy of Urk. is crisped toast. A country in the grip of a civil (proxy ..) war.

As usual, even minor destruction of infrascture (water, electricity) and transport difficulties, affects everything.

Financial aspects (investment, debts, exchange rates, balance sheets, etc.) puts paid to a situation that was, in the Donbass, already very fragile, controlled by external actors such as Ukranian oligarchs, international cos, plus support from Russia, as a reliable client and feed-in parner.

The ricochet of even one dysfunction spills over, a cascade effect. Workers can no longer ‘work’.

The Ukr. Kiev coup Gvmt. is acting as if ‘the economy’ can just continue, while ‘terrorists’ in the East are ‘eliminated.’ Dead ppl and burnt out buildings? With thousands fleeing? Massacred? Checkpoints where ppl are murdered? Closed roads? Losses in the thousands? Most ppl in the Donbass can’t work! (No pay, no way to get there, other horrific matters to deal with.)

Yats is still negotiating with the IMF! Surreal. But the IMF is very reluctant. Ukr. is asking for ‘more funds’ because the anti-terror Op is expensive.

The coal mines in the Dombass are mostly closed or for a few operating on a mini-schedule. How could it be otherwise?

Ukr. relies on coal for its electricity production. Ukr. has coal reserves (how much idk) but guessing not enough. Winter is coming. Then there is the whole gas imbroglio, another topic.

ZAZ (Ukr. car maker) Auto news site, soft corp double speak, July 2014:

http://tinyurl.com/k6kokyf

will let go more than 20K ppl. Many spare parts come from Russia, which the Ukr. Gvmt is now ‘sanctioning’…!

Industry will die. An example that speaks as we all know what a car is. Bombing massively in the US would kill US car-makers, like GM, no? All this if of course a fight between Ukranian and other ‘oligarchs.’

The FT is sounding a ‘cautious’ MSM alarm, 20 August.

http://tinyurl.com/k38b8j5

The Ukr. Minister of Economy has resigned, Aug. 21.

Pavlo Sheremeta, he was tightly linked to Malaysia btw. (Goog.)

Two “Maidan” figures have been ‘quitted.’ Andriy Parubiy, and Tetiana Chornovol. Imho Parubiy will still be there in the background. news link, 20 August:

http://tinyurl.com/mf8f473

All from the intertubes. What do I know..

Posted by: Noirette | Aug 21 2014 18:25 utc | 48

So according to general Ryban both the Ukranian army and the rebels are aware of a third party involved in the conflict that is shelling both sides. The turf war intensifies. Source: In Russian, use google translate, don't know if it will make any sense though.

Posted by: Banray | Aug 21 2014 19:23 utc | 49

I'm waiting for some background on Paslavsky. The CIA and its supporting web is extensive. He could have been a CIA asset on Wall Street. The Agency needs places to park their investments, companies to launder their drug money, and they need rubes to occasionally provide them money through their banking scams.

I would also like to see his family background. I'm guessing he was the child of one of the OUN/B folks who were resettled in the US after WWII through the CIA's Congress For Freedom. That would make him a lifelong project. His family's connections (to national intelligence) undoubtedly got him into West Point. Then onward and upward, to his death in eastern Ukraine.

As a side note, even he was unhappy about things in battle. Lack of food and ammunition and a distinct concern about the fascist militias in the war. He said once that they'd better be dismantled after the war.

Posted by: Bob In Portland | Aug 21 2014 19:24 utc | 50

@49

I was wondering if Parubiy is being distanced from the Kiev government in case they can't stop the truth about MH17 (and the fascist militias) and they need a fall guy to take the heat. Parubiy would certainly fit the bill. As the former Minister of the Interior he was in charge of the Su-25s in MH17's vicinity. And wasn't it the Ministry of the Interior who seized the air traffic tapes? Enough fingerprints to lead back to him, in case, as I've said, there is a need for a modified limited hangout for Kiev's excesses. They can probably pin Odessa on him too.

Posted by: Bob In Portland | Aug 21 2014 19:58 utc | 51

Looks like Israel has/had some military retirees in Ukraine too...and old story but I thought is worth post here.

http://www.voltairenet.org/article182860.html
"His nom de guerre is Delta. He is one of the militaryLeaders of the "Ukrainian revolution" even if, as he himself says, he does not consider himself Ukrainian.Under the helmet he wears a kippa. The story was Under the helmet he wears a kippa.

The story was released by the Jewish press agency JTA (headquartered in New York), after doing an anonymous interview and photographing him in camouflage with a bulletproof vest, his face hidden behind sunglasses and a black scarf. [ 1]"Delta" is a former veteran of the Israeli army, who specialized in urban warfare as a member of the Givat infantry brigade, which was involved in Operation Cast Lead and other attacks on Gaza..."

Posted by: really | Aug 21 2014 20:47 utc | 52

@Banray #50:

I had seen excerpts of that interview on Novorossiyan Web sites, but didn't know where it appeared (your link is to Ukrainian Pravda, a contradiction in terms btw, since "pravda" is Russian for truth). It is good to see that there are Ukrainians like Ryban in positions of authority who are not zombified.

To address your point about Ryban saying there is a "third party". First, he says that "Someone is not interested in ending the war." Clearly, that is a reference to USG. In the present-day fascist Ukraine, he can't say so explicitly. Second, he says that both sides (the rebels and the west Ukrainians) want the same thing – basically, an end to corruption. This is clearly a lie: the rebels want to be free of fascism, whereas western Ukrainians are zombified by Ukie nationalism, which is a specific kind of fascism. So even though he is not a zombie, Ryban is a liar, which one would expect, since he considers himself to be a Ukrainian.

Ryban brings up a third party when the question of a university in the Donbass being bombed comes up. So, according to Ryban, it is a "third party" that bombs schools and hospitals, and perhaps he would even say people's homes and apartment buildings. I am sure Ryban does not believe this. Since he is not a zombie, Ryban cannot bring himself to say that the Novorossiyans are bombing their own people and infrastructure. So he says that "we don't know who is doing it"; it is some third party. Since Ukieland is now a fascist society, Ryban cannot speak the truth and say that it is the Uke army that is doing it.

@Bob In Portland #52:

Possibly. We shall see.

It will be very interesting to see how the explanation by the "international experts" of the downing of MH17 plays out. I don't think there has ever been a case like this. The Empire has run plenty of false flag ops, but this one was badly bungled, and Russia probably has enough evidence to make it difficult for Western powers not to pin the blame on Kiev in their report. Western powers know that, so they are in a quandary: what is the optimum level of deceit to use in their report? Enough so it is not obvious that the junta deliberately shot the plane down, but not so much that they get caught in an obvious lie.

Posted by: Demian | Aug 21 2014 20:50 utc | 53

@3

Harry Truman, maybe?

Posted by: Skip | Aug 21 2014 20:59 utc | 54

@demain #47

You asked: "Are Ukrainians and Russians two different ethnic groups? If so, Bavarians and Berliners must be two different ethnic groups as well. But nobody considers Bavarians to be an ethnic group to be contrasted with other Germans. The idea that Ukrainians constitute a distinct ethnic group to be contrasted with Russians is a Western imperialist invention, the purpose of which is to help destroy Russia."

It depends on who you ask. There are Bavarians who consider themselves not German. The difference is that the junta is composed of many of this type - whereas "white" Russians still consider most all ex-Soviet citizens to be "Russians" in a generic sense, even if many of them are 'chernozhopi' in an ethnic sense. Or in other words: many white Russians consider Ukrainians to be "little brothers", but Ukrainians beg to differ in a number of ways - some of the more violent of which are represented by the junta.

@demain #47 You said: "Since the Ukraine gained its "independence", had Kiev ever stopped supplying hot water to its residents, before the fascists took over? Because the residents of Kiev now have no running hot water. Is that just "life [being] a little tougher"? Or is it that you have completely left a world with living conditions which were taken for granted by both Western Europeans and citizens of the Soviet Union, after the end of the War?"

Well, I've visited Russia many times - and the loss of hot water is not an uncommon occurrence. That's because the hot water systems are generally centralized; major maintenance or failures means hot water can disappear for entire sections of residential areas.

In contrast, the US is wealthy enough that most people have their own hot water heater - and as such almost never experience this phenomenon. I might guess that the Ukraine experiences this type of hot water outage even more than those I have stayed with in Russia - given that the Ukrainian economy is in far worse shape than Russia's - and this was well before the junta took over.

As I noted in my post - the question is going to be what happens when winter comes.

Lack of hot water is an annoyance - lack of heat is death.

Posted by: c1ue | Aug 22 2014 0:09 utc | 55

"...CFR’s flagship publication – Foreign Affairs – has just published a piece blaming the Ukraine crisis on the West

The piece by John Mearsheimer – in it’s September/October 2014 issue – accurately notes:
The United States and its European allies share most of the responsibility for the crisis. The taproot of the trouble is NATO enlargement, the central element of a larger strategy to move Ukraine out of Russia’s orbit and integrate it into the West. At the same time, the EU’s expansion eastward and the West’s backing of the pro-democracy movement in Ukraine — beginning with the Orange Revolution in 2004 — were critical elements, too. Since the mid-1990s, Russian leaders have adamantly opposed NATO enlargement, and in recent years, they have made it clear that they would not stand by while their strategically important neighbor turned into a Western bastion For Putin, the illegal overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically elected and pro-Russian president — which he rightly labeled a “coup” — was the final straw. He responded by taking Crimea, a peninsula he feared would host a NATO naval base, and working to destabilize Ukraine until it abandoned its efforts to join the West.  Putin’s pushback should have come as no surprise. After all, the West had been moving into Russia’s backyard and threatening its core strategic interests, a point Putin made emphatically and repeatedly. Elites in the United States and Europe have been blindsided by events only because they subscribe to a flawed view of international politics...

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/08/council-foreign-relations-ukraine-crisis-wests-putins-fault.html

The hawks at The Council On Foreign Relations are breaking out the mop regarding Ukraine ... rats jumping ship...

Posted by: really | Aug 22 2014 0:33 utc | 56

@really #57:

As I pointed out in a thread at the Saker on this Mearsheimer piece, Mearsheimer was saying the same thing in March, so this does not really represent a change. The NY Times op-ed page is as much representative of the US foreign policy elite as is the Council on Foreign Relations, IMO. The lunatics are still in charge of the insane asylum State Department.

NY Times op-ed: Getting Ukraine Wrong
PBS News Hour: Reviewing U.S. options for responding to Russia’s intervention in Ukraine

@clue #56:

Your points are well taken. I'm confused, however, by your saying that "'white' Russians still consider most all ex-Soviet citizens to be 'Russians' in a generic sense." White Russians are Russians who fought against the Bolsheviks in the civil war that was fought after the Bolshevik Revolution. Today, they exist almost exclusively as descendants of the first wave of Russian emigration, which occurred after that revolution. Any White Russians who remained in Russia with the end of the civil war in effect turned into Soviet Russians.

So by "White Russians", I think you mean just "Russians". Being Russian is a question of cultural identity; there are Ukrainian, Latvian, Estonian,… Russians who are not Russian citizens.

A different distinction is that between Russians and Rossiyani. (The latter term does not exist in English.) Rossiyani are citizens of the Russian Federation. Obviously, they are not necessarily Russian: they can be Tatars, Chechens, etc. This may be tendentious on my part, but I would say that Russia is one of the few successful multiethnic states. Russian culture is obviously the dominant culture in the RF, but the identity of other peoples is recognized and respected. (Obviously, there are limits: if your region gets taken over by Muslim fundamentalists, for example, there will be trouble.)

A basic problem with the Ukraine is that since the Ukrainians (assuming for the sake of the argument that such a people exists) never had their own state, they have no experience with governing a nation which contains multiple ethnicities (not just Russian/Ukrainian, but also Hungarian and Polish). Thus, the current fascist junta can tolerate no ethnicity other than the fictional Ukrainian ethnicity, and wants to Ukrainize all its citizens. This is one of the major problems with the failed state formerly know as the Ukraine, but the Western media completely ignores it. (Noirette did an excellent job of summarizing some economic problems.)

Posted by: Demian | Aug 22 2014 1:58 utc | 57

some really interesting comments here, some of which have been stated previously as well - parubiy the fall guy for mh17 being one of them..

@49 noirette. really interesting info. thanks

here is a 15 minute video that was posted at the sakers a few days ago that some of you here may have missed and which i found fascinating. it discusses among other things the idea that the effort on the part of the west to separate ukraine from russia has been a work in progress since its independence.. the west point grad would be a first hand example of a small part of what is discussed in this video.. it is worth watching for those who haven't seen it.. i believe this guy talking is sergei glazyev...

Posted by: james | Aug 22 2014 4:33 utc | 58

Russian Spring

Donetsk. 08/21/2014-20:03

Commentary from combatant Prokhorov:

About Ilovaysk:

At the moment, there are 17th tank (brigade?), units of 51 and 93 mechanized brigades, leftovers of “Krivbass”, “Dnepr”, “Praviy Sector”, “Shakhtersk” and “Azov”. Also 23rd battalion (Zaporozh`e), 26 (?) and rear units of 25th brigade, a joint border detachment, navy, units of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ukrainian Security Service and State Security.

“Grads” have already worked them upon from area of Shakhtersk. Let wait their screams in social networks (really, sometimes this indicates if a strike was efficient).

Regarding that the combatants announce crashing Ukrainian units, but combatants own losses are less than 20-30%, but the same “crashed” units hatch suddenly in the rear, even begin to attack. Like the struggle between David and Goliath. The Ukrainians are being tamped-tamped, only to see they toss more troops in. Often, the existing brigades are enforced by very dissimilar units. For example, 72nd received territorial battalions (paramilitaries) from Kirovograd and Kiev regions.

79th and 72nd were crashed – here come 28th and 128th, 24th and 30th were crashed – here come 17th and 92nd. Have we crashed 25th, 51st, and 93rd - here come territorial battalions (paramilitaries or punitive troops, like “Shakhtersk”, “Donbass”, “Azov”, “Aidar”, “Praviy Sector”), and all heavy weaponry is assigned to them.

“Aidar” is in its third incarnation, “Donbass” – fair to say in fourth. National Guard has assembled fourth generation from volunteers of Maidan (the first three were thinned nicely).

I suspect the Ukrainians wish the combatants be tired dead from killing of the Ukrainians – then “tada”, Ukraine wins. This is when the last of the combatants in emaciation will not be able to pull the trigger.


Posted by: Fete | Aug 22 2014 4:43 utc | 59

@james #59:

Glaziev has a pretty heavy accent. Ironically, it's Ukrainian. I assume that it is, given that the Saker says Glaziev is from the Ukraine. (As a side note, I'll observe that the way Russians speak seems to have changed since the fall of the USSR, going back to how it was in pre-Soviet times. This is just my impression; I haven't seen anyone comment on this. Maybe part of the cause of this is that Putin speaks like someone from St. Petersburg, to be contrasted to someone with a Moscow accent. Putin's Russian is very nice on the ears.)

I think the most important point Glaziev makes is that Russia must become financially independent from the West. I have three reservations about what he says.

1. He starts out by talking about Kondratiev waves, although he doesn't mention the concept explicitly. I am skeptical about this economic theory.

2. He does not mention a point that Colonel Cassad repeatedly brings up, namely, that Russia screwed up big time by not doing anything to counter the program to turn Ukrainians into rabid Russophobes that the US consistently and effectively pursued after the breakup of the USSR. The civil war which is now going on in the former Ukraine can be viewed as something that could have been avoided, if Russia had not neglected the Ukraine by not engaging in public relations campaigns to make Ukrainians maintain a Russian orientation. One can't expect Russia under Yeltsin to have done this, but the Russian government should have seen the necessity of dealing with this problem after Putin became president. Instead, Russia basically just bribed the Ukraine to keep on good terms with Russia. Repeatedly bribing someone does not turn him into a reliable partner.

3. Glaziev talks about the Ukraine as if it is still a viable country. It is not; it is a failed state and will break up. In fact, the state called the Ukraine has no other reason for existence than the recurring Western imperialist project to destroy Russia. (Glaziev may understand this, although I'm not sure, since he's from the Ukraine, but in any case he can't say this, since he's connected with the government.)

Posted by: Demian | Aug 22 2014 5:49 utc | 60

It's good to read the obvious somewhere in print ...

Who is responsible for the murder of James Foley?


Who is ultimately to blame for the murder of James Foley? Behind the Islamist assassin with a knife stands over a decade of US military intervention—carried out under both the Bush and Obama administrations—that has shattered entire societies and promoted these very forces as proxies in predatory imperialist wars.

... wsws.org remarks on Cheney(!) being interviewed on American TV and demanding more war.

Elsewhere there are stories of the US refusing deals for Foley's release ... never say that the nihilist personnel who run the US government cannot sink lower than they have already. There is no bottom at the bottom in the United States of America.

Posted by: john francis lee | Aug 22 2014 7:29 utc | 61

Yes, this "Franko" dude, with a "finance" background was quite strange, not sure what lurked behind the carefully constructed public facade: Obviously intelligent, but happy to kill Ukrainians. He went on about getting rid of the Oligarchs and cleaning things up (perhaps for the benefit of the terminally naive hipster VICE crowd), but first we have to destroy the resistance: Sort of like ISIS, which is ostensibly against the Israeli State Project, but first they have to kill 1 billion Shiite.

Glaziev: Pretty good, but he has surely toned down, or shed, his former leftist/communist economic policies. (see Michael Hudson 2004 Counterpunch on the Henry Georgist idea of taxing land rent as opposed to wages/capital investment.)

Yes, Kondratiev waves appear to be a form of economic astrology; one might as well base State policy on one's Saturn return. (Actually I believe the Reagan's -- Nancy and Ronnie -- did, to the extent that they were allowed a hand in policy.)

He also projects some fairly naive views about where science is going. Any study of US bioweapons reasearch (Plum Island, AIDS, Ebola, anthrax, etc.) will quickly demonstrate that the Human Genome project and its biotech spinoffs, like the GMO project, is about the private ownership and manipulation of life and its means. Same for nanotech. Sure, there are bound to be neat consumer spinoffs (IPODS, Google glass, etc.), which always help to disguise the nature of, and sell, the project. Sort of like how we got the internal combustion engine AND B-1 bombers, nuclear power AND nuclear weapons/depleted uranium, the internet AND total information control, LSD AND a country addicted to psychotropic drugs, a chemical industry AND pandemic cancer. Glaziev obviously knows all of this, and I'm sure you'all do to.

Great thread, great work Demian.

Posted by: Malooga | Aug 22 2014 7:36 utc | 62

Looks like there is a shift taking place. Merkel is traveling to Kiev and it looks like she might also talk to some people from the Eastern Ukraine. Kiew wartet auf Merkels Besuch | Politik | RIA Novosti

Also it looks like Poland is changing its mind somewhat - no permanent NATO basis in Poland. Polnischer Verteidigungsminister: Keine ständigen Nato-Militärstützpunkte in Polen | Politik | RIA Novosti

And the French FM Fabius talks about how desperate the situation is in the Eastern Ukraine. Fabius: Humanitäre Lage in Ukraine schrecklich | Politik | RIA Novosti

Sorry, no English versions - I have become aware that the English and German version of RIA carry often different stories. I know they might be all PR, but this kind of news is new even on RIA.

Posted by: Fran | Aug 22 2014 7:36 utc | 63

Russia has had enough of the West and the fascist Kiev regime mocking its humanitarian convoy, at the expense of human lives.

Humanitarian convoy starts moving, Kiev no more 'excuses' to delay - Russia

Moscow has accused Kiev of deliberately holding up the delivery of Russian humanitarian aid to the Donetsk and Lugansk regions in eastern Ukraine, according to a new statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry.

The ministry says Russia has ordered the convoy to proceed, without waiting for further permission.

The first set of trucks carrying humanitarian aid has left the Isvarino check-point and has started moving along the territory of Ukraine towards Lugansk, a RIA Novosti correspondent on the ground reports.

Posted by: Demian | Aug 22 2014 9:15 utc | 64

@demian #58
You said: "Your points are well taken. I'm confused, however, by your saying that "'white' Russians still consider most all ex-Soviet citizens to be 'Russians' in a generic sense." White Russians are Russians who fought against the Bolsheviks in the civil war that was fought after the Bolshevik Revolution. Today, they exist almost exclusively as descendants of the first wave of Russian emigration, which occurred after that revolution. Any White Russians who remained in Russia with the end of the civil war in effect turned into Soviet Russians.

So by "White Russians", I think you mean just "Russians". Being Russian is a question of cultural identity; there are Ukrainian, Latvian, Estonian,… Russians who are not Russian citizens.

A different distinction is that between Russians and Rossiyani. (The latter term does not exist in English.) Rossiyani are citizens of the Russian Federation. Obviously, they are not necessarily Russian: they can be Tatars, Chechens, etc. This may be tendentious on my part, but I would say that Russia is one of the few successful multiethnic states. Russian culture is obviously the dominant culture in the RF, but the identity of other peoples is recognized and respected. (Obviously, there are limits: if your region gets taken over by Muslim fundamentalists, for example, there will be trouble.)"

Not quite. Yes "White" was one of the factions (the losing one) in the November Revolution, but I think this terminology can safely be discarded now. What I referred to are Russians - those living in the present boundaries of Russia who are (according to their own definition) "white" (as opposed to cherno or asiatic).

Yes, there are absolutely millions of "non-white" Russians living in Russia. It is safe to say, however, that these tend to hold somewhat different views than the "white", if for no other reason than they don't like being "little brothers" as opposed to full members of society. From what I can see, however, acting Russian is generally sufficient to be treated Russian, as opposed to the ghettos that exist which are comprised of ethnic ex-Soviet groups like Dagestanis, Tatars, Chechens, etc - although I am equally sure there is all sorts of overt and covert discrimination at least by certain segments of the population. Much like you might see in heterogeneous societies everywhere.

Thus what I refer to as "white" Russian is neither Rossiyani nor Russian in the sense you refer to above. I use the quotation marks because this is not my personal definition - as a fully non-white person, I am constantly amused by what Russians consider "cherno". For that matter, actually black personages range from "festival children" on towards various other slang monikers even as the cherno term seems to mostly refer to Caucasus ethnicities.

@demian #58

You said: "A basic problem with the Ukraine is that since the Ukrainians (assuming for the sake of the argument that such a people exists) never had their own state, they have no experience with governing a nation which contains multiple ethnicities (not just Russian/Ukrainian, but also Hungarian and Polish). Thus, the current fascist junta can tolerate no ethnicity other than the fictional Ukrainian ethnicity, and wants to Ukrainize all its citizens. This is one of the major problems with the failed state formerly know as the Ukraine, but the Western media completely ignores it. (Noirette did an excellent job of summarizing some economic problems.)"

I would certainly agree with that, but then again, lack of experience and/or skills has never been a barrier to would-be sovereigns before. I've noted before, elsewhere that Ukraine contains not just large numbers of ethnic Russians, but smaller yet still significant numbers of Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Moldovans, and so forth. In fact, there are regions even in West Ukraine where Russian isn't spoken much, nor is Ukrainian.

Then again, what's at work here isn't truly ethnicity, competence or even economic opportunity - it is Uncle Sam's dollar fist enclosed in an Ukrainian junta glove.

Posted by: c1ue | Aug 22 2014 10:42 utc | 65

Bob in Portland at 52, maybe. (about Parubiy.)

Yes, afaik, it was the Ministry of the Interior who confiscated the ACT tapes in Ukr.

Carlos, the Spanish ATC controller, said, or rather wrote, in the one sentence that seemed odd to me, that the Minister of the Interior knew about the attack to down MH17 (or just a large commercial flight?), but that the Minister of Defense did not know about it.

Which means, one interprets, that Carlos had some previous knowledge or grabbed onto some very quick scuttlebutt?

The Ministry of Defense has sort of shifted about and changed hands and/or structure several times after Feb. 27 ’14 when Ihor Tenyukh (see wiki and similar sources) was nominated. Defense appears out of the loop, which is exactly what you’d expect.

MH17 = rogue op, some in the Gvmt. were informed, hush-hush and secret-info, etc. but not directly involved, then, when KABOOM, they reacted to the knowledge they had, running a bit wild (imho.) The culprits are linked to an oligarch, and many ppl know ‘who dunnit.’

I expect the official reports from the Dutch - and affiliated etc. investigation will be jammed with tech details but won’t in any way serve to point a finger to the perpetrators. The spiel will be, forensic analysis evidences this and that, it is not our job to say who did it, that is a criminal investigation, beyond our mandate.

Wait and see, that will happen, for sure. In short, it is possible that no ‘fall guy’ will ever be fingered or needed. Back ups are always good and sometimes planned for, but probably not necessary in this case.


Posted by: Noirette | Aug 22 2014 15:35 utc | 66

@61 demian.. thanks for your ongoing involvement in this site as it is very helpful.

regarding your point 1. - i share your skepticism.. it is interesting that in my little involvement with derivative trading this is a topic that came up in connection with long cycles... but as malooga points out @63 "Yes, Kondratiev waves appear to be a form of economic astrology; one might as well base State policy on one's Saturn return. (Actually I believe the Reagan's -- Nancy and Ronnie -- did, to the extent that they were allowed a hand in policy.)" i think these tools get used by traders more then people care to know about, but in coordination with other economic and purely technical market analysis that would probably surprise many.

regarding 2. i found that interesting and understand what you are saying.. however it seems to me the new russia was down and out and working towards getting on it's feet. it might not have thought that ukraine would be used as an important chess piece to overthrow russia. i don't know that russia has had the finances to counter the george soros type NGOS that have been working in ukraine since the 90's and who have actively cultivated russiaphobia.. maybe they did, but lacked the clarity to foresee this.. i don't know.. i imagine finances had something to do with it too..

yes to point 3 on all accounts.

i can relate to much of what malooga says @63 as well...

@67 noirette. thanks for sharing your overview..

Posted by: james | Aug 22 2014 17:29 utc | 67

Extra comments re. MH17. on a dying thread. ;) ...

In the case of a major international investigation as into the MH17 downing, when most if not all the parties know what went down, and information is ‘sorta shared’ but ‘not so much’ or ‘not to them and them’, the first bullet point on the agenda is to decide what will be divulged, what kept back.

These decisions must be taken first, to orient, control, compartementalize the investigation(s).

Repeat: Decisions must be taken *before* the investigation begins.

Lengthy discussion ensue, many arguments, a lot of arm twisting, threats, payments aka bribes, and contracts with confidentiality clauses (highly lucrative, the tech grunts jump on board, they have kids to feed and send to private school, and it is no skin off their nose), that we will never know about.

That is the reason for the long silence, all the deals have to be made upstream to control the downstream.

Then, when the landscape of who is to do what is clarified, under what command, whose supervision / orders, restricted mandate(s), the pre-organised investigation can go gingerly, slowly, or full-steam ahead.

At least 2 years for results, the public is no longer paying attention and convinced that “Russia did it” from the MSM at the time.

A lot of money to be made if one negotiates aka kow-tows as expected. The dead smashed up in the corn fields or Ukraine are bodies that will make many if not rich, extremely comfortable.

Posted by: Noirette | Aug 22 2014 17:55 utc | 68

@69 noirette.. here is a response from a friend to your comments @67 - "Don't bother waiting and seeing because the investigators made all that clear before the investigation got underway. Their mandate is to determine the When, What and Where. The Who and Why isn't theirs to determine. However, the findings of What caused it will aid any investigation into the Who and Why."

Posted by: james | Aug 22 2014 18:34 utc | 69

interesting parallels via an obit for a carlos who worked for "FAA for 35 years as an Air Traffic Controller and Systems Analyst"....

Posted by: james | Aug 22 2014 19:56 utc | 70

Valentina Lisitsa ‏@ValLisitsa tweets:

https://twitter.com/ValLisitsa/status/502828274108887040
You omitted a SMALL detail - Paslawsky is a nephew of Mykola Lebed, sadistic butcher of Volhinya @SimonOstrovsky

Mykola Lebed on Wikipedia:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mykola_Lebed
As leader of OUN-B he is responsible for the genocidal cleansing of Poles in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia.

I understand that his other uncle was a "Nazi apologist" history professor.

Even more interesting: Mark Paslavsky seems to have been in Hotel Ukraine at the time of the Maidan sniper massacre. He posted this photograph of Instytutska street taken from a window the snipers were most likely using.

https://twitter.com/BSpringnote/status/436443642639552512
Good foto. Dome is metro and street is Institutska. Left sidewalk covered in blood. Snipers in Green building.

This puts him on our list of "persons of interest".
http://acloserlookonsyria.shoutwiki.com/wiki/Talk:Ukraine_2014#Mark_Paslavsky

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Aug 23 2014 6:09 utc | 71

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