Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
January 22, 2015

Ukraine: War In Kiev And Beyond?

Today the Ukrainian government finally admitted, three days after it happened, that it has lost its foothold at the Donetsk airport. Its position at the airport covered the artillery position the Ukrainian army has to the north-west of Donetsk. Those artillery units were shelling the federalist held city and the federalists attacked the airport to push them further away.

According to statistics provided to VICE News by the morgue, 157 casualties have been recorded in Donetsk since the beginning of January, with 119 of these occurring in the last two weeks.

It took quite a while but the federalist finally managed to capture the whole airport. Several counterattacks by the Ukrainian army were repelled and the counterattacking forces were destroyed.

Parts of the airport had been held for months by the "volunteer" right sector radicals that are now the "National Guard" of Ukraine. Their number three on the election list was captured by the federalists and their leader Dmytro Yarosh was wounded when he visited their airport position.

There is also some indecisive fighting further south near Mariupol and fighting in the north east near Lukhansk with the federalist making some slight advance. Still the general map has not changed much over the last months.

The Ukrainian army continues to mobilize and, with the help of some NATO members, is building up more forces. I doubt that whatever they come up with will have the motivation, training, equipment or leaders needed to be successful on the battlefield. Grandma's won't do. The soldiers on the other side have proven to be better in all aspects. Despite repeated claims form the Ukrainian government that 1,000, 2,000 or 9,000 Russian regular soldiers and hundreds of Russian tanks are fighting with the federalists none have been documented.

The Ukrainian army can not win a war against the federalist backed by Russia. The Ukrainian government is broke and will not get bailed out. Why is it still trying to wage war? My impression is that the U.S. is still pushing the Ukrainian government to continue its useless efforts to make any Europe-led ceasefire agreement with Russia null an void and to thereby keep the sanctions against Russia in place. Cold War 2.0 with proxy fighting in Ukraine is the U.S. plan to keep Russia from challenging its me-and-only-me-first global position.

The whole conflict seem to be based on more long-term plans:

American soldiers will deploy to Ukraine this spring to begin training four companies of the Ukrainian National Guard, the head of US Army Europe Lt. Gen Ben Hodges said during his first visit to Kiev on Wednesday.

The number of troops heading to the Yavoriv Training Area near the city of L'viv — which is about 40 miles from the Polish border — is still being determined, however.

Hmm. The Ukrainian National Guard mainly consists of the fascist units responsible for the Maidan fighting that led to the coup against the Ukrainian government. Lviv is the west Ukrainian capitol of the Ukrainian fascists. Why would the U.S. military train those units near Lviv when the regular Ukrainian army is also obviously in urgent need of training? Why train them in spring when the conflict, with some good will from both sides, could be over in a month or two?

Experience tells that whenever the U.S. announces official training will start then and there that unofficial training is already ongoing. I have zero doubt that some U.S. special forces, probably under the guise of "contractors", are already training semi-irregular Ukrainian units. As conventional warfare is unlike to help the Ukrainian government's cause those units may prepare for other means.

There are indeed signs that partisan warfare against the federalists is already happening. Today some mortars fired at civilian areas in Donetsk hit a bus and killed at least 13 people. Unlike regular artillery mortars are rather short ranged weapons. Those who fired them likely did so from inside the generally federalist held, but only lightly controlled areas. Also Alec Luhn, reporting for the Guardian from Donetsk, tweeted today:

Partisan war? Dnipro-1 battalion says pro-Ukraine partisans in Luhansk region blew up a train carrying coal to Russia

If what I suspect is happening, that Ukrainian government semi-regular units are waging a guerrilla campaign in federalist held regions, then the obvious response by the federalists will be the dispatch of similar units to Ukrainian government held areas. That means war in Kiev and beyond.

Posted by b on January 22, 2015 at 17:26 UTC | Permalink


- My personal opinion is that Russia wants to force a breakthrough in eastern Ukraine before ukrainian troops are getting stronger.

Posted by: Willy2 | Jan 22 2015 17:56 utc | 1

In the early 1990's I remember thinking that a new northern hemisphere of peace and prosperity was coming into being with the collapse of the USSR. Was I mistaken. I didn't anticipate what I now can clearly see: that the US Deep State will not allow peaceful development of the non-Western world unless it is in control and writes the rules in its favor. The West is a leech on the rest of world. It creates chaos where it cannot exert its control. It has violated every decent principal inherited from its ancestors and is not worthy of that inheritance. Its people live in a temple of cognitive dissonance sustained by the evil within its Deep State.

Will the West will be able to change direction to avoid leading the world into a catastrophe? The time is coming when the coalescing East will be able to draw a line that the West should not cross. That will be the moment of truth. Will the 'exceptional and indispensable' US wake up and back off or plunge ahead like another people that thought they were 'uber alles'?

Posted by: Arius | Jan 22 2015 18:10 utc | 2

This is hilarious, so poroshenko army take it and can only hold it for like.. 2 days?! Its so funny that I doubt its true (but obviously it is!).

Posted by: Anonymous | Jan 22 2015 18:16 utc | 3

The Brzezinski doctine, Afghanistan or Georgia all over again. Unfortunately, NATO got Europe involved on the wrong side of the economic war. In the short term, Obama and his Wall Street minions want the TTIP pushed through the EU before 2016. The US corporate lobby already succeeded in gaining a GMO foothold in Europe.

Posted by: Oui | Jan 22 2015 18:24 utc | 4

- Those troops are trained in western Ukraine (Lviv, Lvov) because over there fewer people speak russian and more people speak polish & ukrainian. So, "Russian agents" (who speak russian) are then spotted more easily.
- These rebels/the troubles are the reason that Russia wants to close the transportation of natural gas through Ukraine to Europe. Ouch.

Posted by: Willy2 | Jan 22 2015 18:40 utc | 5

"FBI fearmongering media blitz continues, as ABC airs “exclusive” surveillance footage from 2012 case, another idiot with FBI provocateur handler."

(Of course, the FBI has to justify their multi-billion budget. And since the US economy is weak a lot of people are grateful to have a job at the FBI).

Posted by: Willy2 | Jan 22 2015 18:47 utc | 6

It will be interesting to see if NATO eventually joins the U.S. training mission in Lviv, ground zero for Right Sector. Maybe then German prosecutors can investigate Brussels as they are the hapless Pegida leader Lutz Bachmann for posting a picture of himself on his Facebook page impersonating Hitler. "German law forbids the display of Nazi symbols and punishes incitement and hate speech."

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Jan 22 2015 18:53 utc | 7

Oooops ........ Post/Reply #6 was meant to be posted in the latest "Open Thread".

Posted by: Willy2 | Jan 22 2015 19:03 utc | 8

The US army to begin training fascist militias calling themselves "the national guard" ?? Nothing new in that. Remember how the US prosecuted its dirty war in El Salvador(where the FMLN now rule)with all the most barbaric Nazi methods of rape murder and torture. What's different now is the US has descended essentially, into fascism and wages its dirty wars in the open. Also this is the heartland of Europe. That Reagan and the war criminals of former years were never punished is what led us into this.

Posted by: 1968ES330 | Jan 22 2015 19:36 utc | 9

Financial aspects.

Ukraine is in default, as is Greece (defaulted 2x, saved by bailouts, coming up for a third round, maybe some of the foreign banks were paid off so now a GREXIT can be contemplated.)

Neither the US or the EU want to pay for Ukr., the IMF actually shouldn’t even consider it, against their rules. They all know that what they give / lend vanishes down a black hole, stolen on reception, is not ever accounted for, and they can fire bankers etc., such as Gontareva Head Bankster since a few months, to no avail, nothing will change.

The second problem is what is shunted if it goes anywhere, is to Russia, for energy debts, and continuing energy delivery. Because if ppl freeze they will not only go out on the streets with shouted slogans and banners, but they will shoot to kill or use whatever is to hand, and sacrifice the front lines.

This whole story has to be top in the annals of giant rip-offs, it is incredible.


Mercouris and the FT:

John Helmer:

Taken up, with detours and details, by naked capitalism:

Posted by: Noirette | Jan 22 2015 19:39 utc | 10

@ Arius @ 2

I can relate. I remember having similar feelings - but now I realize I was wrong about everything else too. The Soviet Union was an Important check against capitalist imperialist ambitions. Nothing stands in their way now except their tripping over their own bottomless immorality and the gravity of sober real world conditions, which will pull downs their hot air and helium inflated balloons, but will take everyone and everything else down with them

Posted by: 1968ES330 | Jan 22 2015 19:43 utc | 11

Perhaps the (para)military training of Right Sector/National Guard "soldiers" is really an example of the usual US-style "democracy building." RS is not only a movement but is actually a formal political party. As a political party it commands only a small percentage of the popular vote, even with Russophones and other "undesirables" excluded from the polls. Yet its energy, youth, international support, and proclivity to violence allows it to punch well above its weight. Perhaps the Kiev junta's US/NATO sponsors want to keep it that way, in part by giving some RS cadres the skills necessary (in intelligence, sabotage, assassination, etc.) to act as enforcers amongst the regime itself.

I sense that Poroshenko is frightened of some of his own people and is acutely aware of what after all really got him where he is. I also sense that his US/NATO handlers are leery of him, since some form of rapprochement with Russia would be in his (and the Ukraine's) best interests right now. Thus the RS/NG has a useful role of holding Poroshenko's feet to the fire, the welfare of the nation be damned. I wouldn't trade places with Poroshenko for anything.

Posted by: Martin Finnucane | Jan 22 2015 19:43 utc | 12

Russia's Putin not invited to 70th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz in Poland

One doesn't have to like Putin or even respect him, but one cannot forget the enormous sacrifice the Russian people paid in WW II, despite ever growing Eastern European revisionism; it has a place in history as one of the greatest triumphs over the ultimate evil of Nazism. The Polish government's game over invitations snubs not Putin but the whole Russian nation that sees the victory in 1945 as one of the most important founding blocks of its identity, which is not surprising when price paid exceeded 24 million of its citizens.

Posted by: Oui | Jan 22 2015 20:36 utc | 13


It took quite a while but the federalist finally managed to capture the whole airport. Several counterattacks by the Ukrainian army were repelled and the counterattacking forces were destroyed.

FYI, the "cyborgs", as these neo-Nazi rag-tag "army" got to be known, are being "repaired" by doctors in Donetsk.

The "cyborgs" on repair got luckier than some of their captured partners in crime.

The US/Eurostan, ehem, "strategy" for Ukraine 2015 will be to train the useless Ukrainian army to NATO standards, with the old purpose of making Ukraine NATO's front-line state to the east of Eurostan, keeping the fighting going against DPR and LPR, justifying it all on the "Russian invasion/aggression."

In purely military terms, Ukraine has been defeated, the initiative is back with the federalists, and no NATO training can offset the current balance. Ukraine's rag-tag army has been routed again and again, their "efficiency" good to kill civilians, bomb hospital, kindergartens, public transportation, and so on.

The Kiev puppeteers, Yats et al, are only the face of the masquerade, while the CIA/MI5 et al run the show behind the curtains. As long as the Russians stay away from full intervention, bankrupt Ukraine will have to, eventually, bargain for a political/diplomatic settlement.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Jan 22 2015 20:37 utc | 14


The Polish government's game over invitations snubs not Putin but the whole Russian nation

It gets worse than that. The bastard Polish FM is now saying that Ukraine liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, not the Soviet Union. What a nincompoop.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Jan 22 2015 20:49 utc | 15

Oui at 13. Its not only that the Russian people are being snubbed, but Poland is also playing the Ukrainian game of rewriting History. Rewriting history? Polish FM says Ukrainians liberated Auschwitz, Russia puzzled — RT News

And still no reaction from any EU or the German Government on Jats, who said in the German TV that Russia invaded Germany and the Ukraini without anyone criticising that comment, there is just crickets - even most newsmedias have been ingnoring it, same happens with Shetyna's comment.

Posted by: Fran | Jan 22 2015 20:50 utc | 16

Oh and forgot, Poroschenko is invited to the celebration in Auschwitz.

Posted by: Fran | Jan 22 2015 20:51 utc | 17

No Justice, No Peace!

An ex-Senior MIT (Turkish intelligence) official, working on Syria during early stages of the armed uprising and handed over Hussain Harmoush who was believed to be mastermind behind bloody massacre in Jisr ash-Shougur in 2011 to Syrian authorities breaks the silence and exposes their role in the war.

* I didn't gave Harmoush to Syrian government for money, I did it for may conscience, we knew that he killed 138 people in Jisr ash-Shougur but MIT attached importance to him, this was disturbing me.
• Thousands of people from different countries were coming to Turkey with no legal papers, and Turkish officials helped them to cross the border.
• Turkish port of Iskenderun was used as an hub to arm the jihadists. Ships unload the weapons to Iskenderun port where they were load to lorries and sent to border.
• Leading Syrian oppositions figures continued their anti-Alawite rhetoric in Hatay. They told Syrian refugees that be careful about Alawite doctors and nurses etc.
• I am ready to expose the role of Turkish government in any international court. I am ready to give testimony as a witness. "

Posted by: Mina | Jan 22 2015 20:55 utc | 18


'federalists' ... what a difference that word makes! Thanks. Might be too late though, or very, very hard to revive.

I wish the distinction between West Ukrainian conscripts and US/DE funded, trained, and armed NAZIs were more starkly delineated by the federalists.


Please repeat that statement in any and all forums you may visit. Americans must become conscious of how much 'ou' county is hated and despised by ordinary people throughout the world ... but especially by those in its 'allied' countries in the West. Ukraine is Yet Another Answer to the question, "Why do they hate us?"


There's nothing 'hilarious' in any of this, that I can see. You ought to sign your name to your posts. It helps inhibit such remarks.


They're being trained in Lviv, Lvov because that's where the NAZIs are?


You are so right. You'd think the Germans of all people would have discovered how much this costs and who ...


I can't relate.


And he or his homeboy 'reminded' us all that it was the Ukrainians (must have been an OUN unit?) that liberated Auschwitz

Posted by: jfl | Jan 22 2015 22:31 utc | 19


... but I guess the cost is part of the equation. They're going for broke - with all of the riches of a devastated Russia as the payoff, aren't they? The payback will still be orders of magnitude greater, in their overheated brains and stone cold hearts.

Posted by: jfl | Jan 22 2015 22:35 utc | 20

Minister of Defense of DPR, Eduard Basurin:

597 Ukrainian soldiers died at the airport so far - and those are just the bodies found so far near the airport and Peski, 44 POWs, 49 tanks destroyed, 49 BMP's and BTR's - just destroyed by DPR, wounded evacuated - over 1,500 (Ukrainians). Large quantities of American weapons, a lot of religious literature in European languages. Found bodies in NATO uniform of contractors from foreign private military companies. Today there were 19 violations of ceasefire - 13 dead (on a Donetsk trolley). No dead among the militia.

Posted by: Akira | Jan 22 2015 22:38 utc | 21

Ukraine has apparently defaulted on several billions owed to China.

Posted by: Andoheb | Jan 22 2015 22:44 utc | 22

That means war in Kiev and beyond.

It's meant this from the very beginning and I called it correctly back in May of 2014 just as I precipitated the strategic oil price drop with another blog post or two around the same time period.

Burning Down The House

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Jan 22 2015 23:06 utc | 23

Oh and forgot, Poroschenko is invited to the celebration in Auschwitz.

I bet he wears his swastika-emblazoned boxers to the commemoration replete with Hitler shit stains.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Jan 22 2015 23:09 utc | 24

Hard Pounding in Donbass:

Posted by: KMF | Jan 23 2015 0:24 utc | 26

b - thanks. the ukees kept using the airport to lob bombs on the people of donetsk. now they have to use longer range equipment and as you suggest near the end of your post, a guerilla. type campaign which leads you to believe this will go to might be right. the support from the west will continue as the prime objective of isolating russia requires no stop to the war. the support for right sektor turned national gaurd from nato countries is interesting juxapositioned next to the commemerations set for poland.. how do these people sleep properly at night? i guess lying to themselves is the main requirement.. more security knowing others are lying the same bs way..

martin @12. thanks for your comments. porky if he had a brain, would quit.. i guess he feels he has a better chance at protecting his money as leader.. hard to know what lies he tells himself to keep on going, or to keep up with appearances..

Posted by: ..james | Jan 23 2015 0:38 utc | 27


Washington Post: Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, a wily king who embraced limited reform, dies.

Good riddance, problem is he left his evil children with billions of $$ spreading the Wahhabi trash all over the world. So, he "embraced limited reform" according to the WAPO? That mouthpiece of the Washington establishment has no shame. On another note, Abdullah is leaving SA in a very fragile position vis-a-vis his US masters and protectors, who are now looking so strongly in the direction of their arch-enemies, Iran, the Saudis are playing with the idea of Russia as a strategic ally.

A very special place in hell is waiting for Abdullah, a main financier of Wahhabi terror on the planet.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Jan 23 2015 1:30 utc | 28

obviously ukrainian war dept is having trouble recruiting cannon fodder - that 'grandma' story and video is the funniest thing made by a govt. i've seen in a while. 'geez if grandma can do her duty why can't you lazy bums?' along with a simultaneous poke at the russians!

i thought about the same thing re the usage of 'federalist'. pretty weird

so in all it looks like a slow contest with media focused on what they are ordered to while in the background the spooks and saboteurs have at it, with every opportunity for nefarious behavior on all sides. and the two main actors have more nukes than is good for us. luckily they have 65 years experience dealing with that. but ukraine is awfully close.

questions - who has the most experience fighting nationalists in ukraine? who will fight dirtiest? who has the shortest supply lines?

who has the most experience with countering

Posted by: sillybill | Jan 23 2015 1:51 utc | 29

oops - ignore the last sentence fragment

Posted by: sillybill | Jan 23 2015 1:53 utc | 30

jfl at 19 --

That Lvov has a good ideological profile for recruiting helps. But perhaps an added consideration is, a base further to the east might be threatened or even lost by an advance.

I think Anon. at 3 is indulging in a little gallows humor. I personally thought that the ChocoKing's statement, where he stated 9K Russian regulars were in the Ukr., but under cloaks of invisibility, added a certain air of levity to the proceedings.

Arius & 1968ES330, at 2 & 9, 11

I was quite active in the left in the 80-s & 90-s. There was a naive belief prior to the collapse of the Soviets that once the demon of its existence was exorcised from the body politic of socialism, people would see the shiny happy sincerity and cleverness of the Left and begin the march towards "true socialism" (variously defined).

So when the Union collapsed, I immediately braced myself for a rough ride. It was the counter-revolution that Trotsky predicted, as the oligarchs used physical and economic violence to expropriate the collective property of the Soviet people.

The ideological and organizational weakness of the left is such that at present it is capable of little; the Great Recession should have been a field day for any 3rd. rate socialist party. Instead, the far right has largely seized the field (hopeful exception of Greece, ongoing success of Venezuala excepted)

You're right in noting that despite the manifest deficiencies of the Soviets, they were counterweight and could be counted on to aid many progressive struggles (e.g., ANC and later via Cuba Angola & Mozambique vs. So. Afr.).

"What's different now is the US has descended essentially, into fascism and wages its dirty wars in the open. Also this is the heartland of Europe. That Reagan and the war criminals of former years were never punished is what led us into this. " Well said. What we used to quietly tolerate in our more disreputable clients (like in El Salvador) we now boast of as signs of our "realism," "toughness," and "determination."

But not the first time in Europe, see our friends in Croatia.

And if I might say, Barflies, so far a very interesting and productive thread, (e.g., 14, 18 Mina & LW) I hope that I have kept up.

Je suis Pervomaisk. ("First of May-sk").

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 23 2015 2:23 utc | 31

Great comments everyone and thanks for the link to the Naked Capitalism piece, which also has excellent comments, the by by Justaprol, on George Soros:

Justaprol January 22, 2015 at 4:22 pm

... Why is he so deeply invested (both financially and morally) in these hideous, Hobbsian “regime change” and population suppression, neo-colonial polices? – and make no mistake, he’s one of the foremost drivers of them. He actively and vigorously lobbies for them.. Seems strange and disturbing to me. His motives are murky. The only answer I can come up with is that finance capitalism really is the ultra reactionary force that Marxist economists and cultural critics always warned us of. It reigns supreme in the capitalist order today. A 20th century Marxist theorist (Dimitrov) held that Fascism itself is nothing more or less than the rule of finance capital. It certainly is looking that way to me. Soros is merely obeying the powerful logic inherent in who he is and what he does (a Brahmin of the finance sector) and the end results are predictable.

Rosario January 22, 2015 at 5:44 pm

You have nailed it. Been saying that for a while now. This stuff was pretty clearly understood 150 years ago. Discrediting and dismissing Marxism has worked so well that economists are having to relearn the many inevitable formulations of Capitalism that Marx had warned us about. Finance Capitalism is the end stage, the direct management of Capital and Capital alone through debt instruments, a rentiers dream. Why invest in anything when one can tap into a direct stream of profit?

Justaprol later directs those who want further enlightenment on the final, financial borg state of capitalism to the Dimitrov archive at

Posted by: fairleft | Jan 23 2015 3:15 utc | 32

CDH @ 23, 24

I'll see your Burning Down the House.

And raise you a beautifully restored Third Reich Swizzle Stick (see ca. 3.20).

What do you want from life? Well, you can't have that, but if you're an American citizen your are entitled to a heated, kidney-shaped pool, a microwave oven (don't watch the food cook), a Las Vegas wedding (and Mexican divorce), and hell, a herd of Winnebagos, we're givin' 'em away.

And apparently, a barbaric war conducted by fascist thugs on another continent. Part of a set. Collect and trade them all!

Can I have some more prolefeed now, please?

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 23 2015 3:33 utc | 33

fairleft @ 32 --

I read that pc. at lunch, I got the impression that the tin cup will go unfilled despite Soros' prompting. They'll be kept on survival rations, to play spoiler.

Now if the Ukraine were a dodgy Eurobank with friends in Frankfurt... Well, let's break out the punchbowl! Now decanting, bondholders, ladies, and gentlemen, a delightfully refreshing appertif for the animal spirits of The Market (Profit be unto It), Quantitative Easing. Let us lift our dreadfully expensive, fine crystal glasses to the ECB.

Nope, no deflation here folks. Lighten up on austerity? Nah. Can't have them damn proles get too comfy.

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 23 2015 3:53 utc | 34

Arius @2:

... the US Deep State will not allow peaceful development of the non-Western world unless it is in control and writes the rules in its favor. The West is a leech on the rest of world. It creates chaos where it cannot exert its control.

Great post, and I had the same 'peace dividend' feelings myself in the early 90s, so I understand where you're coming from. Then again, I watched Yugoslavia closely in those days, so it was very disturbing how the Clinton administration started in immediately destabilizing and then eventually destroying that state. Didn't take too long for reality to rid me of optimism.

Anyway, I agree with your conclusion. My take might differ from yours only in that I think what causes the leeching and chaos creation is the shared governance in the US of finance capital and the war industry. One thing sovereign countries on our 'enemies list' often can't at first understand is why they are on that list, since, of course, they're usually more than ready to make a deal as long as it leaves their elites in good shape. Russia, Syria, Iran, are or were and would be again ready to become subsidiaries (in the case of Russia one with some room for semi-independence, like Germany) in the US/NATO/Israel empire. I think this sense that there is still a chance for rationality ("You _do_ want this world empire thing to actually work out, don't you?" Putin must be thinking. After all, if the US empire had made a deal and incorporated Russia it would be unbeatable) is what makes Putin at times hesitate when he could go in for a kill without further negative repercussions. For example, six or so months ago when the Novorossiyans had the Ukraine forces on the run and they could've consolidated their two states up to their real borders. Once again (I assume) Putin told them to stand down.

Putin is wrong about that imperial rationality thing, in that the neoconservative/neoliberal consensus really is not intent on winning. I don't think the consensus is sentient, but instead is driven by automatic forces. The war industry (and Israel) side requires enemies, especially in the Middle East. A deal could have been (a Ukraine balanced between Russia and the EU) and could still be worked out (leave the on-the-ground Ukraine situation as it is, have votes in the regions to see what people want, 'federalize' based on democratic choice, cancel some and pay most of Ukraine's debts but on easier and drawn-out terms, remove the Russia sanctions, increase investment in Russia so as to draw it very close to the EU and especially Germany) by Russia with the financial side of the PTB. But that just can't happen because the war industry needs a major power as an enemy, and Russia is the only choice right now.

So its chosen enemies can't deal with the empire as if it were rational. It is a more or less brain dead leech growing bigger and sucking more and more blood, or it's a chaos creator. Russia and China's futures as sovereign nations depends on their knowing the preceding by now, so I sure hope they do.

Posted by: fairleft | Jan 23 2015 3:54 utc | 35

@28 -- but his right 'royal' arse is likely going to get a shock, imo -- no solid gold toilet seats down there! More than likely his face is now the toilet seat for a class of demon we don't even want to contemplate!

Posted by: x | Jan 23 2015 4:04 utc | 36

b said: Why is it[Poroshenko] still trying to wage war? My impression is that the U.S. is still pushing the Ukrainian government to continue its useless efforts

My take on this latest fiasco at the Donetsk airport is that Poroshenko has lost control over armed groups in eastern Ukraine. It was clear from the day he took office last year that he really did not have central control over the multiple armed groups within Ukraine. Maybe he could issue orders to the regular Ukrainian Army but there were many other militias. Those included the oligarch militias but more importantly those the emerged from the Maidan riots that spearheaded the February 22 coup. Those latter militias had the power to turn on Poroshenko. It was in his interest to let them go east and fight the Donbas insurrection.

It seems quite clear that the recent effort to retake the Donetsk airport was not coordinated with any central authority. It seems that one of those renegade militias (led by that right sector Colonel who was subsequently captured) acted on its own hoping to become a national hero for recovering the airport. This pattern of right sector militias acting independently of any central command helps explain their major defeat last September. Poroshenko does not command an organized army, rather he is issuing panicked orders, motivated by political pressures, to forces at the front. Those forces are organized into multiple military "brigades" without any central command.

Of course the US is encouraging Poroshenko to solve this problem using military means but the US has little control over events in the battle field. This is my take in any case, it is hard to explain their actions otherwise if they had some central and rational control.

Posted by: ToivoS | Jan 23 2015 4:06 utc | 37

Sorry, one more, this NC comment by Zapster is so funny, especially the 'Nazi hillbillies' description of the Lvov a**holes that the US military trains/employs. He/She's responding to some idiot:

[The original Maidan protesters] didn’t want [Yanukovych] out bad enough to invite Nazi terrorists in to take him out. The original, *real* protesters that were there before Nuland’s thugs showed up have made *public statements* to that effect. Many Ukrainians are even now in sympathy with NR, and in fact, secession sentiment is growing all over Ukraine because of the fact that the Banderas are running a terror campaign all over it, with slaughter of civilians, kidnapping of teenage girls and women, and numerous dead bodies appearing in the woods. And these are *not* in rebel-held cities, but *Ukrainian* ones. This was NOT what the original protesters signed on for. This was a US regime-change operation, following the now extremely well-known pattern used all over the world for decades now. Badly bungled this time, and therefore even easier to spot.

And I notice you omit any mention of how the *Crimeans* felt about that so called “invasion” which never happened. That, also, is readily available in hundreds of videos, blog posts, etc. There was no “invasion.” The Russian soldiers legally stationed on the bases in Crimea simply did what they were asked to do–protect the people’s referendum. Nobody in their right mind would tolerate what Kiev did to them. They resisted an illegal coup. Heck, nobody in their right mind would have taken the IMF’s insane offer, either. Yanukovich was set up. He couldn’t have taken it without losing his job anyway. It was draconian even by past IMF standards. And, of course, the IMF continues to put Poroshenko in an impossible position. He’s being asked to destroy the lives of Ukrainians to pay for loans that will never help them in any way, pushed to prosecute a war they can’t hope to win, with people by now so rebellious that they’re fleeing to Russia whether they’re Russian or not.

This thing is the biggest f*up the US has perpetrated yet, aided and abetted by warring oligarchs and a clan of Nazi hillbillies that have evidently been festering in the Carpathians since WWII.

Posted by: fairleft | Jan 23 2015 4:23 utc | 38

@fairleft #38:

This thing is the biggest f*up the US has perpetrated yet
That comment strikes me as Eurocentric. The US has done nowhere near the level of damage to the Ukraine that it has done to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. Nothing the US has done in the Ukraine compares to what Paul Bremer did in Iraq.

Posted by: Demian | Jan 23 2015 4:58 utc | 39

My guess is that the US will lean on the IMF to bail out Banderastan, rules be damned. The last bailout was also in clear violation of IMF rules, but it went ahead, over the protests of the IMF staff.

This also explains the timing of the latest assault on the DNR - Parashka was hoping for a quick victory before having to go to the IMF.

It also explains much of Putin's strategy; stall for time and let the Nazis fuck up.

Posted by: sid_finster | Jan 23 2015 5:05 utc | 40

Russian Spring


An informed source close to the top leadership of Ukrainian military speaking from the so called ATO (Anti-Terrorist Operation) zone to a journalist of Ukrainian publication “News Ukraine” (“Vesti Ukraina”):

“The opponent’s intent is creating three caldrons. First – around Mariupol`. Second – Debal`tsevo (today the militants were exceptionally active closing a ring and advancing). And also Schast`ye and Stanitsa-Luganskaya – by encompassing them from north. After fall of outpost 31, cities Lisichank and Severodonetsk are also under threat of capture.

Overall strength of enemy forces outnumbers us several times. This is the cadre forces of RF (Russian Federation). Tanks and artillery. God forbid if we sign an agreement to withdraw heavy weaponry – which is being sought by Russia. Then, surely, we would not deter anything.

By the way, though unconfirmed, the airport and Debal`tsevo we nevertheless promised to hand them over. And currently they are taking them. Yet our leadership pretends it does not understand what is going on. Though “Debal`tsevo” the opponent probably views as a greater region. May be including Artemovsk and even Kramatorsk.”

Russian Spring


Ex-Minister of Defense of Donetsk Republic, a hero of Slavyansk defense Igor` Strelkov summarized battles near Debal`tsevo half-caldron:

“Relentless battles are taking place in northern part of Debal`tsevo pocket. The combatants are attacking. I emphasize – the combatants. There is some success; but it is premature to speak of “decisive” success.

Russian Spring


Combatant Aleksandr Zhuchkovskiy wrote:

Sometimes is said that Peski is ours. Unfortunately, this is so far an exaggeration – both Peski and Avdeevka are the sites of positional battles in which no side has prevailed (being unreal to throw the opponent from such a well fortified region just in two days).

Seemingly, the Ukrainians are commanded to stay here until the last end – to retain the ability to terrorize Donetsk by artillery and to tie up the Novorossia forces in this direction.

In turn, our paramount goat is unblocking the capital of Novorossia and cessation of months long daily shelling…

The combatants’ offensive potential is fairly high, but, one should recognize, the Ukrainians have not engaged the main forces (working mostly by artillery). Therefore, odds may switch over. Even so, our “military market” has not been working at full capacity either…

Posted by: Fete | Jan 23 2015 5:19 utc | 41

Posted by: Demian | Jan 22, 2015 11:58:33 PM | 39

You're right about the human cost. But I think "f*ck up" refers to how counterproductive the effort is from the perspective of the supposed goal of pushing Russia out of central Europe. But even from that "take the imperialist's perspective" point of view the Iraq invasion was a bigger f*ck up, because of how catastrophic that has been for Saudi Arabia and US-allied 'Sunni interests' in general. By removing Saddam we basically swung the balance of Middle East power toward Iran.

Posted by: fairleft | Jan 23 2015 5:56 utc | 42

@fairleft #42:

Yeah, Bush's invasion of Iraq led to that country falling into Iran's orbit. That was pretty predictable, yet the Israelis were clearly in favor of the invasion. That suggests that the Israeli intelligence services are not as clever as they are usually made out to be. Or maybe they just want endless chaos in the Middle East, to distract people from the genocide of the Palestinians.

As for Ukraine and the fascist coup, it does not yet appear that that has backfired when it comes to US interests. Also, to me at least, the Ukraine crisis is producing an impression of being an inevitable consequence of the breakup of the USSR. Comparable to how World War II was inevitable, once Poland was created by the Treaty of Versailles. The creation of artificial countries produces instability. One is seeing the same thing today in the Middle East, with, as far as one can tell, Sykes-Picot breaking down.

Posted by: Demian | Jan 23 2015 6:26 utc | 43

The USA goal is to keep the war in Ukrn going and if it fails there to push it into Moldova, these countries are worthless to USA. Everyone knows Russia can wipe the floor with USA, no one is scared of USA soldiers, it's the Russians they are afraid of all of the eastern European countries know Russia can turn them into Grozny in a month. But they foolishly believe USA will protect them when it can't even fight Afghans wearing sandals. Pendejos.

Posted by: Fernando | Jan 23 2015 6:32 utc | 44

"I have zero doubt that some U.S. special forces, probably under the guise of "contractors", are already training semi-irregular Ukrainian units."

The DPR leadership held a press conference where it announced among other things that over 500 Uke-army bodies had been discovered at the airport and that some of them (no number was given) were "foreign "contractors" wearing the uniform of NATO"...

A US general was killed there last year. A helicopter with CIA mercenaries and at least one high ranking agent was shot down (by Donbas militias) last year. All died.

Posted by: 1968ES330 | Jan 23 2015 6:55 utc | 45

Posted by: Demian | Jan 23, 2015 1:26:06 AM | 43

This from someone living in an artificial country that does not even have an official language, sounds silly - to say the least.

There is no turning back European open borders, and if anything, the initial protests in Ukraine were sparked by just this - young Ukrainians wishing to cross borders.

Europe will split its foreign policy from the US - that will be the end result.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 23 2015 7:10 utc | 46

@somebody #46:

The United States is not an artificial country in that the Americans gained their independence by winning a war. In the case of Poland in contrast, their country was given to them by the victors of WW I. So the Poles did not create Poland: Britain, France and the US did. In that sense is it artificial.

Europe will split its foreign policy from the US - that will be the end result.
How soon do you think that will happen? Months? Years? Decades? I'm getting tired of waiting.

Pretty much all present European elites have been brainwashed and/or bribed into Atlanticism. Are there any signs that it will be any different with the upcoming generation?

Posted by: Demian | Jan 23 2015 7:31 utc | 47


It seems quite clear that the recent effort to retake the Donetsk airport was not coordinated with any central authority.

How do you make that argument? Wasnt the airport maybe, the goal, with the renewed assault from Kiev?

Posted by: Anoynmous | Jan 23 2015 7:57 utc | 48

#48 Maybe I wasn't clear enough. There might have been a command issued from Kiev. What is so striking about this last week's battle in the Donetsk airport is that it is hard to see if there was any central military command that was controlling the battle field. If there was, it was being directed by an incredible incompetent. I suspect, similar to what happened in August-September last summer with the liquidation of the numerous cauldrons, that there are multiple brigades being led by different brigade commanders who are acting independently from each other. It is hard to understand otherwise how these different units keep on walking into one fiasco after another if their actions were being led by a centralized command. This is just a guess on my part. In any case there is something difficult to understand about the whole thing.

Posted by: ToivoS | Jan 23 2015 8:28 utc | 49

Posted by: Demian | Jan 23, 2015 2:31:34 AM | 47

Let's face it, Russia is not that much of an attractive model - long way to go.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 23 2015 8:52 utc | 50


You could be right, but It could also be that easy that the Kiev army is badly incompetent, in my view this attack was a planned attack by the highest command, after all "rebels" still havent been defeated for all these past months, I think that says alot about the army of Ukraine.

Posted by: Anoynmous | Jan 23 2015 8:55 utc | 51

@somebody #50:

You didn't answer my question. I didn't say anything here about Russia being an "attractive model". Western Europe, and Germany in particular, and Russia are natural allies. Whereas EU countries being allied with the US just makes them act against their own interests. Germany becoming allied with Russia instead of the US doesn't mean that Germany must stop having gay pride parades.

Your remark is especially curious given that in the first exchange I had with you, you basically said that Russian culture is superior to German culture, whereas I took the opposite position. Thus you appear to have succumbed to the current Russophobic European herd mentality.

Posted by: Demian | Jan 23 2015 9:10 utc | 52

Posted by: Demian | Jan 23, 2015 4:10:38 AM | 52

But that is the point. For hegemony you need "soft power", ie. organizational, protective peace keeping skills that make people want to live under your hegemony.

But, as Putin insists, it is a multipolar world now. Still, there is a competition between ways to live and Russia can do much to improve its rank.

Last German idea is a EU free trade zone with Russia conditioned on "a comprehensive peace solution in Ukraine".

All the US neocons can do now is try to prolong war in Ukraine. But as

Posted by: ToivoS | Jan 23, 2015 3:28:12 AM | 49 finds out

there is no central Ukrainian command, its armies are privately owned. The Putsch was made by pressure on Ukrainian oligarchs, the war can be stopped by Ukrainian oligarchs.

An EU Russian free trade zone conditioned on comprehensive peace might do the trick.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 23 2015 9:34 utc | 53

Posted by: Demian | Jan 23, 2015 4:10:38 AM | 52

Your remark is especially curious given that in the first exchange I had with you, you basically said that Russian culture is superior to German culture, whereas I took the opposite position. Thus you appear to have succumbed to the current Russophobic European herd mentality.

As I remember I said there is no "superiority of cultures". You are mixing a few things. The GDR was "German culture" but certainly not an attractive model that could reverse the trend of exits.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 23 2015 9:38 utc | 54

Drone footage Donetsk airport 3 days ago ...

6 days ago Donetsk airport drone video ...

Posted by: Alberto | Jan 23 2015 9:48 utc | 55

@41 "our paramount goat is unblocking the capital of Novorossia"

Yes, a paramount goat makes a lot of sense in case of Novorossia.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 23 2015 10:30 utc | 56

Ukraine to restructure its debt, Russia to be served first

Posted by: somebody | Jan 23 2015 11:56 utc | 57

Reality of journalism in Russia (OSCE):

On 22 January the Leninsky Court of Rostov-on-Don found Reznik guilty on charges of false accusation and insulting public officials and ordered him into confinement for three years in a penal colony. Reznik was also banned from working as a journalist for a year after having served his sentence.

Russian journalist associations also protesting as the charges of "insulting" were completely fake in this case.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 23 2015 12:12 utc | 58

The Ukrainian army can not win a war against the federalist backed by Russia. - b

So why are they fighting? Because of encouragement from outside parties is the easy answer. Real help however seems very slim, it seems to me the whole situation is at an impasse.

From Kiev’s pov (particularly the Yats faction), the only option is to fight on, or appear to fight on by sending off cannon fodder sporadically, attacking civilians to empty the region. The war is their ‘legitimacy’ card vis-à-vis the West (or part of it), sure, but they have been committed to such a path since before Feb. 2014 (encouraging Russophobia, etc. etc.) and it corresponds to their mind set and aims. The ‘peace’ between the regions under Yanukovitch was very fragile, perhaps condemned in any case. Also, the war masks the real situation in Ukraine, and can be used to manipulate and crush the Western Ukrainains, the dire enemy within, backed by the hated enemy without (Russia) compels security legislation, surveillance, lustration, sacrifice, etc. etc. It serves as a scapegoat, and encourages ‘departure from reality’ - propaganda and false news, which can then go rampant in favor of ‘higher aims.’

In addition, the other choices are now definetly barred off. Federalization of some kind is impossible for economic reasons (no money to stitch back a situation similar to that before, with more autonomy for the Donbass, the place is wrecked) and probably wouldn’t be accepted by the separatists anyway, for them that ship has sailed. Putin would still support it imho, but imho he can’t even if he wanted to (and it would cost him some pretty stiff % of GDP for decades to come) as the Donbass and Kiev can’t be brought to the table and agree, Kiev will not hear of it. That is that, Putin will not ‘annex’ with military means, and that is what it would take. He will not be provoked and doesn’t ‘want the Donbass’ anyway. The general feeling seems to be that nothing can be accomplished with the present Ukr. coup-Gvmt. in place. That is where the ‘war in Kiev’ (don’t know about ‘beyond’) comes in. The situation will stagnate, with all parties stuck on their positions, which means it inevitably will get worse. This will lead to the fall of the present Gvmt. and maybe to extra infighting between different factions (private militias and so on.)

A new independent region does not seem to be an end-point anyone is willing to discuss. It would be too small, too ruined, too dependent, tied inevitably to Russia, and subject to its own internal strife. My somewhat hesitant prediction (trying to be optimistic) is that Kiev will end up by throwing in the towel, withdrawing, simply cut the region off with some kind of ‘wall’.

It is all absolutely horrible, my heart bleeds for the civilians..

Posted by: Noirette | Jan 23 2015 12:14 utc | 59

Tovio @ 37, 49 --

I think your explanation is likely correct. The order was issued, the jealous rival commanders on the ground vied for the honor of "liberating" the airport, and went off on their own. Could work to Poroshenko's advantage, maybe, discredits the volunteers.

Noirette at 59 --

Plenty of precedents. Formal independence, de facto integration, Moldova/Abkhazia/Ossettia style. Hasn't Nagorno-Karabakh been hanging since perestroika? For Russia, any outcome that keeps NATO off the Dniepr is a good one. And we won't even talk about the various Ger-Am creations in the former Yugoslavia.

Best solution: A de-nazified Ukr. as part of a renewed Union....

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 23 2015 12:45 utc | 60

Kharkov holds its breath in hopes of liberation, as Kiev appointed authorities prepare for war 230 kilometers from the front

As reported by UNIAN, during the meeting with Ambassador from Germany to Ukraine Christoph Weil this was voiced by the head of the regional state administration Igor Baluta [Kharkov governor appointed by Kiev].

"The number of law enforcement officers on the streets of the city and the region will be increased two times. Also they will ensure patrol near the administrative centers and public facilities of special importance. Light armored vehicles will be stationed on the territory of these facilities, or near them. Patrols will involve approximately 2,400 employees," - said Baluta.

The Anti-Russia Campaign Heats Up

The Germans invaded the Soviet Union in the summer of 1941, and looked poised to take Moscow by October that year . . . As the German armies swept further into the Russian heartland, one million Soviet troops were drafted to protect Kiev [the capital then, as now, of Ukraine] . . . Kiev fell and 600,000 Soviet soldiers were captured . . . Nazi rule over the territories they captured from Russia was draconian . . . In the Ukrainian town of Kharkov, which was administered by the German army, 100,000 people died of starvation and disease.

War of the Century – When Hitler Fought Stalin, by Laurence Rees (BBC Publications)

History repeats itself. The first time as tragedy, the second time as obscenity.

Posted by: jfl | Jan 23 2015 12:46 utc | 61

@Noirette #59:

A new independent region does not seem to be an end-point anyone is willing to discuss. It would be too small, too ruined, too dependent, tied inevitably to Russia, and subject to its own internal strife.
My impression is that there will be an independent region (a.k.a. Novorossiya) that will not be too small. And it will turn the rump Ukraine into a landlocked country, a wasteland until Ukrainian fascism burns itself out.

Moscow wants the killing to end, but it appears that Moscow has decided that restraining the rebels, which it had been doing since September, will not produce peace. Thus, Moscow's strategy now seems to be to be to let the rebels capture ever more territory until the junta finally decides to throw in the towel.

Posted by: Demian | Jan 23 2015 12:50 utc | 62

Ulster @ 56

I see you're not over your shauvinism yet.

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 23 2015 12:52 utc | 63

No surprises here, Kolomoisky is preparing a massive private army for a coup in Kiev.

Several mini-Banderastans vs. one Novorossiya may be a possible outcome as well.

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 23 2015 12:58 utc | 64

There's gold in that there airport — you would think considering its popularity. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it a tattered ruins now? If it had a $100 billion in reserves like the Central Bank of Libya, then I could see the allure. What will they covet and fight over next, the sewage plant? Then the shit would really hit the fan.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Jan 23 2015 13:57 utc | 65

@63 It wasn't me who reported on the paramount goat in Novorossia but I like the idea. Goats are peaceful, after all.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 23 2015 13:59 utc | 66

@62 Moscow's strategy now seems to be to be to let the rebels capture ever more territory - interesting, how are they going to do this? I remember you writing something like "even if there were some covert weapon supplies from Russia they are now stopped" about a half year ago. Haven't the mythical "Ukrainian army supplies captured by separatists" run out long time ago?

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 23 2015 14:02 utc | 67

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 23, 2015 7:58:35 AM | 64

That would solve Europe's problem. They would no longer have to pretend to support the Kyiv governemnt.

Posted by: somebody | Jan 23 2015 14:09 utc | 68

rufus, 60, yes, but these situations are far from ideal, all are smaller than Novorussiya, they subsist ‘under the radar’ and are not subject to fierce competition (from inside, outside) - Moldova is going thru very similar struggles, enjoined to get with the EU, have its exports to Russia (lifeblood) stopped.

Demian at 62, I hope you are right.

Cold at 65, the fighting is going on there just as a place where it is happening, it could be many other places. It is just a ‘locale’ not in the middle of a town. The airport is wrecked, has been for a long time, nobody is going to use it, it doesn’t represent any strategic value, it is symbolic merely.

Posted by: Noirette | Jan 23 2015 15:46 utc | 69

Cold at 65, the fighting is going on there just as a place where it is happening, it could be many other places. It is just a ‘locale’ not in the middle of a town. The airport is wrecked, has been for a long time, nobody is going to use it, it doesn’t represent any strategic value, it is symbolic merely.

Yeah, I know, it was really a satirical rhetorical question and statement. The news accounts make sure to misleadingly mention it as though it's of strategic value. It reminds me of the bridge to nowhere that Tuco and Blondie ultimately demolished in one of my favorite movies, The Good, The Bad And The Ugly. Too bad Sergio Leone's no longer with us in the flesh, he could have done a sequel with Ukraine as the context versus the American Southwest during The Civil War. But he and Ennio Morricone are still with us in spirit, or they're with me in spirit at least.

The Torturer's Concerto

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Jan 23 2015 17:54 utc | 70

ColdhOLE -
600 or so dead at the airport, left without dignity or recognition. I'd say that's one reason for the Ukies to go apeshit after losing control of the turf.
I'm sure they didn't want that to get out among the troops, that sort of news can do some serious damage to morale.

Posted by: spinworthy | Jan 23 2015 21:04 utc | 71

Noirette at 69 --

I take your point, but the tensions are greater now. What was unthinkable in 2000 is now the commonplace today. Faced with the alts., I think the costs will be born.

Coldn at 70 --

I think "High Plains Drifter" is a better fit. I'm seeing Mozgovoy as the lead, whom Wikipedia describes a "laconic and enigmatic figure, who metes out justice in a corrupt frontier mining town where he arrives as a stranger." Working title: "Donbas Drifter." I'm thinking of Death Cab for Cutie for the soundtrack, but don't follow Hollywood close enough to have a bead on the lead.

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 24 2015 1:02 utc | 72

Coldn at 70 --

I nearly neglected the music -- I like the main title better than Soldiers theme. Here's a nice version, by the Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain. They do a really good cover of "Teen Age Dirtbag" too.

Ulster at 66

It was probably a stray typo.

But didn't you mention somewhere arms to Novorossiya? Wouldn't you know it, the always-interesting Fort Russ takes a look Inside DPR's War Effort. Much of the equipment is refurbished UAF "surplus," which they say is their largest source of supply. The piece, from Komsomolskaya Pravda, begins with report on military situation, NAF is moving on all fronts.

And I don't think anyone doubts the voentorg spigot is back on (one would think munitions, particulary artillery rounds).

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 24 2015 1:32 utc | 73

Oleg Tsarev continues to play Cassandra. Armed Coup against Poroshenko Is Coming.

Poroshenko was too independent, having, as a former foreign minister, many personal connections abroad. He is not as obedient as would like him to be his Western curators. His peaceful rhetoric caused by purely pragmatic interests.... In addition, Poroshenko has a confectioner factory in Russia which suggests that he has good connections in Moscow. Americans can't like this.

He believes the modality will be a "peoples veche" (a type of Slavic popular assembly; one ran Novogorod in conjunction with a noble prince, a mayor, and other officials it chose; ca. 1350) convened by the Maidan Council and endorsed by the US. 'Cause our first coup last year has worked out so splendidly, right?

He also discusses popular discontent which has prompted a demo by unions in Kiev.

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 24 2015 2:12 utc | 74

Ukraine flirts with declaring martial law and a war with Russia

Will Poroshenko do it to try to forestall another coup from his right, or will it be a result of said coup?

Posted by: Vintage Red | Jan 24 2015 5:21 utc | 75

Russian Spring


Igor’ Strelkov on perspectives of combat development in Donbass in coming days (video):

Fisrt, in my opinion, the combatants should finally unblock Gorlovka and sever Debal`tsevo pocket.

Debal`tsevo is a huge pocket held by the opponent up to and including Orlovo-Ivanovka (south to Debal`tsevo). Recently battles were under Nikishino but currently moved to Chernukhino. The Donetsk Republic army offensive proceeds from north; the battles are taking place in area of Krasniy Pakhar` (Red Plowman). Advancing further opens possibility of full severing of the opponent’s Debal`tsevo grouping along the line by the water reservoir.

In other words, the combatants should take a number of settlements, Svetlodarsk and Novo-Lugansk (?) being the first. The result will be connection to the Gorlovka garrison and severing the whole grouping of Ukrainian forces.

Such development is clear to the opponent. As it is known, the opponent has engaged forces of its second strategic echelon transferring units from Isium, Slavyansk and Kramatorsk exactly in this direction.

Very difficult battles are taking place is area of Dzerzhinsk (immediate proximity of Gorlovka north). Attempts by the combatants to advance in this direction were stemmed by outnumbering opponent for the moment.

Yesterday and today from Konstantinovka (north of Dzerzhinsk, Ukrainian rear) the opponent was steadily pouring forces. The column was passing via Konstantinovka four hours: combat machinery, artillery, people.

Detachments of “Praviy Sector” (“Right Sector”) were moved in Dzerzhinsk. These intend to engage in street fight in city environment. Having announced the initiative they started to expel people from houses and turn in fortified positions.

The situation is dramatic in Gorlovka itself. The city is being constantly shelled from three directions by Ukrainian artillery striking “at areas” – numerous conflagrations multitude of victims. Multitude of victims – exceeding casualties of the whole summer. This relentless bombardment lasts continuously for the third day in a row. The city is in fires.

Posted by: Fete | Jan 24 2015 5:46 utc | 76

It looks like the Ukraine has now come to the attention of the State Dept. Today Psaki said:

we remain deeply concerned by the increasing violence and bloodshed in Eastern Ukraine which has resulted from a surge in Russia-backed separatist attacks against the ceasefire line in what appears to be a general offensive in complete violation of the Minsk agreements. Ukraine has implemented ceasefire after ceasefire, but the Russia-backed separatists have responded with violence, carrying out 1,000 attacks since early December resulting in the deaths of 262 people in the last nine days.

Well it looks like the US is in total accusation mode against Donbas rebels. It seems they are totally oblivious to the fact that the Uki army has been shelling Donetsk continually since early December. Do they expect the rebels to simply sit back and accept those barrages? Of course they don't. This is how the US recognizes another massive defeat of their puppet forces in eastern Ukraine -- blame the other side of aggression!

Posted by: ToivoS | Jan 24 2015 9:12 utc | 77

@77 toivo, the usa is in total denial of it's direct responsibility of what is happening in the ukraine, right down to the usa military equipment and private contractors dead bodies found at the airport... psaki and all the rest of the pr dept can't tell the whole truth as they would end up in an international war tribunal court if they did... instead it is propaganda for the local folks who remain blissfully ignorant of their gov'ts direct responsibility.. i think this is how it works... never trust your locsal news outlets! they leave out more then they put in!

Posted by: ..james | Jan 24 2015 9:38 utc | 78

It's the USG. Everything they say is a lie. The 'local' news outlets (how many news outlets are left in the US? 4 or 5? none of them 'local') just print/broadcast whatever is delivered to them by their controls at the USG.

I haven't been to the US in quite awhile, or seen the 'my local news outlet'. I admit that I'm shocked at the patently false information in this 'dispatch' from State. Fox News has nothing on this.

I cannot imagine people believing a word of it ... or i can imagine people believing every word of it.

In the latter case those accepting these lies are complicit with the crimes of 'their' government, not mine! They are willfully suspending their disbelief. This is not the theater. This is the USG killing people by the score, by the hundred, by the thousand, devastating and destroying nations all over the world.

People like Psaki are unequivocally criminal and should be in prison.

Posted by: jfl | Jan 24 2015 13:09 utc | 79

leaving information out isn't the same as lying.. they do look similar though.. is that intentional? i think it has to be! this is why it is helpful when reporters like matt lee ask specific questions that they typically avoid answering, or only in an obfuscated manner. there is some good youtube footage of some matt lee / peski. interchanes as i recall.. bottom line is that leaving out info isn't the same as lying. that is the game the us press corp plays. it is the medias role to ask questions, but they have turned into official stenographers for the gov't instead of asking any hard hitting questions.. wapo, nyt and wsj, all crap news outlets now and have been since vietnam or longer. and especially when it comes to foriegn policy!!

Posted by: ..james | Jan 24 2015 13:40 utc | 80

lie #1:

' we remain deeply concerned by the increasing violence and bloodshed in Eastern Ukraine '

They are unconcerned about the violence in Ukraine. They created it.

lie #2:

' which has resulted from a surge in Russia-backed separatist attacks against the ceasefire line in what appears to be a general offensive in complete violation of the Minsk agreements. '

The general offensive is a reaction to ceaseless Ukrainian shelling of civilian centers causing massive destruction and civilian deaths in violation of the cease fire.

lie #3:

' Ukraine has implemented ceasefire after ceasefire, but the Russia-backed separatists have responded with violence, '

Ukraine has never implemented a ceasefire.

lie $4?

' carrying out 1,000 attacks since early December resulting in the deaths of 262 people in the last nine days '

Have the federalists - to use b's term - carried out 1,000 attacks since early December? Have they killed 262 people in the last nine days? I don't know and neither does Psaki.

How many people have the fascists killed? Surely they have killed more civilians than combatants. They are implementing US military doctrine - purposely warring against civilians.

Surely the federalists have killed far fewer people and far fewer of those killed were civilians than the Ukrainian fascists.

This is the US' - Vitoria Nuland's - war. The USG planned it, executed it, and continues to support it. And lie about it.

Posted by: jfl | Jan 24 2015 14:46 utc | 81

Two items of note.

jfl @ 81 -- From Fort Russ, Is America taking over the military operation in Ukraine details the build-up by the UAF prior to the failed offensive vs. the airport, as well as discussing the incompetent leadership by the commanders elevated by the Maidan. "Under these conditions, the emissaries of Nalyvaychenko are accusing the officers of the General Staff of incompetence and nepotism. These same people are saying that the American military mission to Kiev is preparing to take strategic control of UAF divisions upon themselves." Looks like more Am. decorations for Ukrainian fascists.

On paying for it all, Russia Insider has John Helmer's discussion of the machinations surrounding Banderastan's pleas for a blank check.

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 24 2015 15:21 utc | 82

Zakharchenko on 24 January: No better way to pay respect to those killed in Donetsk than by attacking Mariupol. Outcome: 27 civilians killed by separatist artillery in Mariupol.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 24 2015 15:53 utc | 83

News coming out of more bombings by fascist kiev regime, dozens civilians dead.
Meanwhile the rebels taking more ground in Donetsk. When will poroshenko understand that his nazi tactics wont succeed?

Posted by: Anonymous | Jan 24 2015 16:11 utc | 84


At least 20 people have been killed and dozens injured in rocket attacks by pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine's government-held port of Mariupol, police there say.

Grad rockets hit a market in a residential eastern area, the police chief said.

The main eastern Ukraine rebel leader said an offensive against Mariupol had begun, RIA news agency reported.

Since April, more than 5,000 people have died in fighting in the east.

The rebels have seized a large swathe of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions. More than a million people have been displaced.

Posted by: okie farmer | Jan 24 2015 16:35 utc | 85

Ulster @ 83 --

Crocodile tears. The junta born of blood whines and whimpers when you take its own. Perhaps UAF shouldn't pick fights it can't win.

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 24 2015 16:42 utc | 86

contrast bbc with nyt

Instead, blaming the upsurge in violence on the Ukrainians and the rise in civilian deaths on “those who issue such criminal orders,” as he did on Friday in Moscow, Mr. Putin is apparently doubling down, rather than backing down, in a conflict that is now the bloodiest in Europe since the Balkan wars.

With the appearance in recent weeks of what NATO calls sophisticated Russian weapons systems, newly emboldened separatist leaders have abandoned all talk of a cease-fire. One of the top leaders of the Russian-backed rebels said Friday that his soldiers were “on the offensive” in several sectors, capitalizing on their capture of the Donetsk airport the day before.

Posted by: okie farmer | Jan 24 2015 16:43 utc | 87

Here's an interesting report, from a new website, Greg Butterfield's Red Star over Donbas.

Donetsk leader's appeal to parents of Ukraine soldiers reports that the DNR tried to return bodies of the dead to the UAF, but the commanders refused. Even crocodiles grieve their own, don't they?

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 24 2015 17:05 utc | 88

If this has already been posted I apologize. Youtube posted the other day - a US Army general visiting Ukrainian soldiers, and awarding medals, indicates this civil war in eastern Ukraine is indeed about provoking conflict with Russia. There is no question as to who is really running this deadly show in Ukraine.

Posted by: TikTok | Jan 24 2015 17:17 utc | 89

The thing to watch for now is whether Putin will allow the NAF to truly go on the offensive, the last time they did he cut off supplies and stopped their destruction of the UAF.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Jan 24 2015 17:54 utc | 90

@83 Separatists did not kill UAF soldiers in the morning attack (more precisely, they killed around three of them). Separatists killed 27 civilians if you didn't understand the news.

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 24 2015 19:44 utc | 91

Video from separatist shelling of Mariupol on 24 January. Plus capture of phone call between separatists after the shelling (in Russian, French subtitles).

Posted by: Ulster | Jan 24 2015 19:51 utc | 92

The civilians are their own, no?

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 24 2015 20:14 utc | 93

News coming out more that the bombing of were carried out from the Ukrainian airforce site outside the city.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jan 24 2015 20:28 utc | 94

And in any case, it seems to be another false-flag provocation by the serial war criminals of Banderastan. We now how cheaply they value human life. Started with the Maidan itself.

From Red Star over Donbas, the intelligence service in DNR is worried about this. "So do not be surprised if the junta soon tries to inflict another bloody massacre and blame it on Russia and the People's Republics," with the intent of ennabling the contemplated imposition of martial law. RT reports the denials and analysis on today's provocation. “According to our intelligence, the artillery fired from the Stariy Krim neighborhood [less than 10 kilometers from central Mariupol - RT]. Ukrainian troops are stationed there. We believe it was a provocation committed by the Ukrainian troops.”

Very convenient, Donetsk announces the offensive, then here's the shelling, and lo and behold, who appears?

Good news -- demo vs. the war in Odessa.

Posted by: rufus magister | Jan 24 2015 20:53 utc | 95

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