Michael MacKay, Radio Lemberg, 24.06.2018
“Pro-Russian separatists” fighting the Ukrainian army and “rebel-held territory” in eastern Ukraine are Kremlin lies. Furthermore, they’re flimsy lies that are easily dispelled. That some Western media amplify Putin’s propaganda after four years of Russia’s war against Ukraine is an outrage that must be challenged. The truth that stands against Kremlin propaganda (as amplified by Moscow-bureaux Western media) is that Russia is invading Ukraine. The war that is being waged in the eastern part of Ukraine, in Donbas, is caused and sustained by Russia alone and not by any local insurrection. Led by Russian officers and manned by Russian soldiers, the war in Ukraine is Putin’s War.
Armed forces attacking Ukraine in Donbas are entirely Russian-led and mostly Russian-manned. Evidence of this is abundant, but needs to be made more widely known. Above all, the Kremlin propaganda that the army fighting against the Ukrainian armed forces consists of “pro-Russian separatists” must be put to rest, once and for all.
A deserter who was stationed in Alchevsk confirms what is well-known: Officers from the Russian Federation lead the “LPR”; Soldiers from the Russian Federation make up the second echelon on Russia’s invasion battlefront and man the heavy artillery.
By dribs and drabs, Ukrainians who have served in the Russian terrorist formations “DPR” or “LPR” are trying to sneak back into free Ukraine or are surrendering themselves outright to Ukrainian authorities. Morale is low in the bottom ranks of Russia’s occupation army in Donbas.
A deserter from the 2nd Army Corps (Luhansk or so-called “Luhansk People’s Republic”) of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation was captured in Kharkiv this month. The man told the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) that he served as a driver-mechanic for a BMP infantry fighting vehicle in Russian-occupied Alchevsk. He admitted to fighting against his own country.
The SBU website reports on the interrogation of this fighter from an illegal armed formation in Ukraine. The man said that Russian troops from Russia’s armed forces form the so-called “second echelon” on the invasion battlefront and they provide fire support with heavy weapons. Russian officers from Russia’s armed forces lead all armed groups in non-Ukrainian-government-held areas.
The motive of almost all the lower ranks of Russia’s hybrid army of occupation is money. In interrogation, the deserter said that more than half of Putin’s army in Donbas are criminals, released from prison in Russian-occupied Ukraine and from Russia proper to serve in the illegal armed formations. He said that material resources and ammunition are commonly stolen. Morale is low among the soldiers who make up Russia’s hybrid army invading Ukraine … certainly much lower than the morale of Ukrainian soldiers who are fighting to defend their homeland.
A raid on Russia-occupied Pikuzy confirms what is well know: Officers from the Russian Federation lead the “DPR.”
Volunteers of the “Come Back Alive” organization who support the Ukrainian army reported on a special forces operation against the Russian invader-occupiers. Citing sources who serve in the Joint Forces Operation (JFO) of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, “Come Back Alive” reported on a Ukrainian raid that killed two officers of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. Special forces of the JFO destroyed a new BTR armoured personnel carrier that had just been brought over the border from the Russian Federation and was positioned in the village of Pikuzy. Pikuzy is Russian-occupied, and lies 9 kilometres north-east of Mariupol in Donetsk region.
Sources tell “Come Back Alive” volunteers that the two Russian army officers who were killed had the call signs “Georzhdika” and “Myetki.” When the brand-new BTR blew up, a nearby Zhiguli vehicle exploded, and a terrorist commander, “Medvid,” was killed. Other material losses are claimed. The 9th Separate Motor Rifle Regiment of the 1st Army Corps (Donetsk or so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic”) of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation is, for the moment, leaderless. Its field commanders from Russia are dead.
The war in Ukraine is entirely of Russia’s doing. Evidence of this is revealed almost every day. If the facts of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are not well know that is entirely the fault of the media outside Ukraine. That media pays more attention to what the Kremlin says – propaganda – than what Russia does – wage war against Ukraine in Donbas. The illegal armed formations that fight against the Ukrainian army in Donbas are led by Russian officers, mostly manned by Russian soldiers, paid by Russia, armed and equipped by Russia. The “war in Ukraine” is in fact the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It is Putin’s War.