Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 12.12.2018
The Russian Federation committed an overt act of war against Ukraine on November 25. The Russians have been invading and partially occupying Ukraine since 20 February 2014, but their attack on the Ukrainian Navy in the Kerch Strait and Black Sea on November 25 was the first time the aggressor from Muscovy has worn his own uniform and flown his own flag right from the start.
The Russians are now preparing to make their war against Ukraine much larger. The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation are preparing a military offensive. In anticipation of it, the Kremlin is putting out an an onslaught of anti-Ukrainian hate propaganda. Ukraine is preparing to defend the homeland and defend the rest of Europe from the coming offensive.
Russian occupation forces in Donbas have publicized yet another fake news story that Ukraine is about to launch an offensive. This is the common Russian practice of projection, accusing the victim (in this case, Ukraine) of planning something that the attacker (the Russian Federation) is preparing to do. When the Muscovite invaders of Ukraine break the Minsk Agreement or shell towns and villages or assassinate minions who have outlived their usefulness, Kremlin propaganda is always there to accuse Ukrainians of doing those things.
The latest Muscovy fabrication was put out by Eduard Basurin, a terrorist leader of the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic” and an officer in the 1st Army Corps (Donetsk or so-called “DPR”) of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. He claimed that Ukrainian forces will detonate a massive explosion at an industrial plant in Mariupol – a city which lies in free Ukraine, the outskirts of which are only 10 kilometres away from the battlefront. Basurin claimed in a television broadcast on December 9 that the Ukrainians would attack themselves as a provocation: to create a casus belli for an offensive against the Russian Federation’s 1st Army Corps in Donbas.
The Russians occasionally engage in these “Shelling of Mainila” type of provocations and then project them onto the nation they are attacking. Just as the Russians did this against the Finns on 26 November 1939 so they are now saying they will do this against the Ukrainians on 14 December 2018.
The projection of a provocation in Mariupol which is supposed to happen on December 14 is just another in an endless stream of lies from Russian information warriors. The purpose of broadcasting these fictions is not to convince people but to bewilder them. The Russians are going to some trouble to amplify this particular lie about a provocation in Mariupol. On December 11, another terrorist leader for the Russian Federation, Denis Pushilin (who is the figurehead of the fake “DPR” statelet), repeated Eduard Basurin’s fabrication. The Muscovy propaganda outlet TASS picked it up. Naive Western media repeated the story as if it was news.
The Russian Federation is preparing an offensive against Ukraine. The Kremlin does not want Western news media to report this. Unable to walk and chew gum, the naive Western press reports the meaningless words of Basurin and Pushilin and Putin and ignores the truth of events about the Russian Federation’s war against Ukraine.
The Russian Federation continues to hold 24 Ukrainian Navy sailors that it captured after its act of war against Ukraine in the Kerch Strait and the Black Sea on November 25. The Russians should be treating the Ukrainian captives as prisoners of war in accordance with the Geneva Convention. They are not, and so they are committing war crimes. The Putin regime has refused to allow delegates of the International Committee of the Red Cross to see the Ukrainian POWs. The Russian Federation has not released the three Ukrainian Navy vessels that it captured with an act of piracy in international waters. The Russian Federation continues to impose a maritime blockade on the Ukrainian ports of Berdyansk and Mariupol on the Sea of Azov, by blocking Ukrainian merchant shipping at the Kerch Strait.
The Russian Federation is accelerating its militarization of Crimea, Ukraine (Russian-occupied), parts of Luhansk and Donetsk regions, Ukraine (Russian-occupied), and Rostov region, Russian Federation. Formidable forces are available to the aggressor, should it choose to try to extend its invasion of Ukraine.
Russian attacks continue along the battlefront in Donbas. On December 11, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation attacked Ukrainian defenders and civilians at Zaitseve, Pivnichne, Opytne, Nevelske, Krasnohorivka, Maryinka, Slavne, and Chermalyk. On the morning of December 12 they are bombarding Taramchuk. Russian invaders of Ukraine have been attacking like this April 2014.
Ukraine is in the middle of a one-month war state for 10 of its regions that face aggressor Muscovy. The Armed Forces of Ukraine have called up the first stage of reserves, and have mobilized many Territorial Defence Battalions and units of the National Guard.
At the Shyrokyi Lan proving grounds west of Mykolaiv the Ukrainian Navy started training of reservists. Also at this armed forces base, Ukrainian marines are engaged in ongoing training with U.S. Marine Corps instructors. Farther west, training is ongoing at the Yavoriv base in Lviv region with instructors from NATO partners.
Two dates are significant for the possible Russian offensive. The first is December 14, the day that Kremlin propaganda picked for the Mariupol provocation to occur. The second is December 15, the day that the unification council for the creation of an autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church will begin.
Since February 2015, the Russian Federation has not won a single battle or skirmish in the trench warfare it has been waging against Ukraine in Donbas. The Russians failed to provoke the Ukrainians to an intemperate response to the purposeful and unprovoked attack Russian forces made on the Ukrainian Navy on November 25. Muscovy is losing its last imperialist hold over the Ukrainian people as the Orthodox Church comes home to Kyiv. In the fifth year of his war against Ukraine, Putin is in a panic looking at these defeats for which he is responsible. It is likely that Putin will launch a military offensive to expand his invasion of Ukraine.