Monthly Archives: August 2014

WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR GOES HOT: Ukraine’s NSDC: Invading Russian tank column directs firepower at town in Lugansk Oblast, destroys every house, Novosvitlivka liberated from Moscow-backed rebels on Aug. 12, invaders move onto town of Khriaschuvate; 5 trucks full of “armed terrorists” (i.e., rebels, Russian regulars) breach border in Lugansk O. on Aug. 28; Russian tanks, APCs rushing border, pulling back at various sites; Ukrainian IM Avakov: 28 members of Donbass Battalion, 4 journalists escape from town of Ilovaysk, 200 volunteer soldiers surrounded by Moscow-backed rebels, later Russian infantry with tanks, since Aug. 25, follows statement from Putin to allow Ukrainians to retreat; Russian occupational forces mining approaches to Novoazovsk as 1,000s of civilians in neighboring Mariupol help Ukrainian army brace for combined attack by insurgents, Russian tank column N. of city, some residents fleeing; state-run enterprise UkrOboronProm responds to Poroshenko’s orders, shifts into 24/7 mode, ramps up production of armored vehicles


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Incidentally, the commander of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry’s Donbass Battalion is an ethnic Russian but a loyal Ukrainian citizen, which highlights the complexity of the Ukraine crisis.

WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR GOES HOT: UN Security Council holds emergency session to discuss Russian invasion of Ukraine; Moscow’s UN envoy, Churkin, deflects accusation, retorts Kiev “is waging war against its own people”; PM Yatsenyuk submits bill to Rada, urges NATO membership for Ukraine; Czech Republic to host 11-nation NATO air force exercise, Ample Strike 2014 to run Sept. 3-15; follows gradual buildup of alliance military assets in Baltics, Poland, Romania in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March; Herashchenko, adviser to Ukrainian IM: Russia launched overt attack after President Poroshenko called snap Rada election, complicating implementation of martial law, effective countering of invasion; NATO Sec.-Gen. Rasmussen: “Despite Moscow’s hollow denials, it is now clear that Russian troops and equipment have illegally crossed the border”; Dutch Brig.-Gen. Tak, head of NATO crisis management: “We have also detected large quantities of advanced weapons, including air defense systems, artillery, tanks and armored personnel carriers being transferred to separatist forces in eastern Ukraine”; volunteer battalions Facebooking about Russian army’s assault upon Novoazovsk 3 days before Obama comments

WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR GOES HOT: Russian Ground Forces in firm control of Ukrainian border town after launching invasion on Aug. 25, bolsters flagging Donbass insurgents, stockpiles armaments in Novoazovsk for further ops; invasion force splits up: 1) northward Russian column consists of up to 100 tanks, heavy weapons, seen moving towards Temanove on Aug. 27; VDV’s Pskov division besieges Ukrainian forces at Ilovaysk; encircled by 12 Russian paratroopers, 2 Ukrainian majors refuse to surrender, perish while blowing up all attackers, selves with grenades, ATO urges conferment of title “Hero of Ukraine”; 2) southward Russian column consists of 60 tanks, concentrated 12 mi. N. of Mariupol; Ukrainian army, National Guard units from Novoazovsk fall back to new positions along coastal highway, mine approaches to port city; 3) possible pincer movement from occupied Crimea feared; Ukrainian troops in shootout with Russian recon patrol near Kherson Oblast on Aug. 25, 3 Russian helos stray 500 m N. of peninsula’s militarized border; 4) Reuters reporter in Russia’s Rostov Oblast witnesses battle-weary, injured soldiers returning from Ukraine, 2 mi. away, army helo landing at first-aid base

Russia is no longer a partner like it used to be; it has to be seen as an enemy.
— High-ranking NATO diplomat, quoted in Deutsche-Welle, August 29, 2014

We have to change our positions frequently as enemy spotters help artillery attacks on us. It’s the Russian invasion. We saw it yesterday [Aug. 27] when Russian tanks with Russian flags and soldiers entered Novoazovsk.
— Ukrainian serviceman, quoted in Zik (Lviv), August 29, 2014

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WW4 File: UKRAINE-RUSSIA WAR GOES HOT: Russian invasion force smashes its way into Ukraine’s Donetsk Oblast in support of Donbass insurgents, consists of 1,000 troops, 100 tanks, APCs, rocket launchers; invaders fire Grad missiles at Ukrainian border post, reportedly head for regional capital, 20,000 troops poised across border; follows farcical Putin-Poroshenko summit in Minsk, Putin gives nod to cease-fire plan, maintains fiction of no Russian military presence in Ukraine; Poroshenko cancels Turkey trip, calls emergency session of NSDC, urges citizens not to panic, declares: “Russian troops were actually brought into Ukraine”; Ukraine’s OSCE envoy Prokopchuk: “What we registered is a direct invasion of the Russian military into the E. regions of Ukraine”; 1st Russian armored column of 50 vehicles entered Donetsk O. on Aug. 25, shells, seizes strategic town, Ukrainian troops stand ground but some desert; Novoazovsk situated on highway linking Russia’s Rostov O., government-held port of Mariupol, occupied Crimea; Ukraine prepares to defend Mariupol, military brigade rushed to temporary capital of Donetsk O., deep trenches dug around city of 450,000

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Ukrainian forces detain 10 Russian paratroopers in Donetsk Oblast, armed invaders surrender without fight, profess to have crossed border by mistake; DM Geletey: “In reality, they are participating in military aggression against Ukraine . . . “; NSDC spokesman Lysenko: “We think that this is not a mistake, but a special task”; capture of Russian recon patrol complicates Putin-Poroshenko summit in Minsk; Novoazovsk, Donetsk, under cross-border artillery barrage, town site of battle between Ukrainian army, rebel armored column from Russia; 2 Russian Mi-24 combat helos attack Ukrainian border post in Lugansk Oblast, 4 guards dead; NATO: 10,000s of Russian troops near neighbor’s border; US ambassador to Kiev warns of possible “Russian-directed counteroffensive” by separatists (definitely underway); Russian neo-fascists form volunteer battalion, support Donbass rebels: “We are all Russian imperialist nationalists, descendants of the White Guard”; Poroshenko dissolves Rada, calls snap election; SBU arrests Communist Party cell leaders on charges of financing terrorism (i.e., separatism)

According to recent news reports, Russian combat helicopter and artillery units appear to be providing cross-border fire support for rebel offensives against the Ukrainian military.

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WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Ukraine counters yet another armored incursion from Russia as Moscow-backed separatists thrust across border from Rostov Oblast, head SW along highway to government-held port city of Mariupol, battle Ukrainian troops at town of Novoazovsk; latest invasion force consists of 10 tanks, 2 APCs bearing symbols of self-styled Donetsk People’s Republic; NSDC spokesman Lysenko: Incursion attempt “by the Russian military in the guise of Donbass fighters to open a new area of military confrontation”; Moscow plans 2nd aid convoy to SE Ukraine, Kiev fears unauthorized 1st convoy transported arms to insurgents in Lugansk; rebels parade captured government soldiers through Donetsk city, crowds chant “Fascists”; Ukrainian president announces US$3 billion defense budget for 2015-2017; Poroshenko, Putin scheduled to talk peace in Minsk on Aug. 26, Merkel in Kiev, gloomy over prospects of “breakthrough”; Moscow pouts over exclusion from NATO’s Ukrainian crisis summit in Wales

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Convoy of humanitarian aid trucks returns to Russia after delivering food, medicine to rebel-held Ukrainian city of Lugansk; estimates of convoy size vary from 184 to 260 white-painted vehicles; Ukrainian State Border Guard Service inspected contents of some trucks, partly confirms Kremlin line; NSDC spokesman Col. Lysenko alleges Russian personnel delivered cargo, but also stole equipment from Ukrainian military factories, including Kolchuga radar system, firearms magazines; NATO chief Rasmussen condemns unauthorized Russian aid convoy, describes as “major escalation in Russian military involvement in eastern Ukraine,” Russian artillery units have moved into Ukrainian territory, firing at Ukrainian government forces; German Chancellor Merkel arrives in Kiev on official visit

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: 145-truck Russian “aid convoy” enters E. Ukraine without permission of Ukrainian authorities or International Committee of the Red Cross escort, heads for rebel-held city of Lugansk, follows 10-day standoff with Kremlin; Ukrainian President Poroshenko denounces “flagrant violation of international law,” SBU chief Nalivay- chenko fulminates “We consider this a direct invasion by Russia of Ukraine,” but promises Ukraine will not attack Russian personnel, avoid provoking Moscow; Russian Foreign Ministry: “All excuses delaying the delivery of aid to people in the humanitarian catastro- phe area have been exhausted. The Russian side has decided to act”; Ukrainian military spokesman Lysenko reacts to Russian incursion: “The Ukrainian side suggested holding negotiations between the leadership of the general staffs of Ukraine and the Russian Federation, but the Russian side refused”

Communist Bloc Military Updates: Russian strategic bombers try to enter Dutch airspace, repelled by Royal Netherlands Air Force, make U-turn, second run at NATO member; Japanese warplanes shadow two Bear bombers circumnavigating archipelago; Kremlin’s nuclear bombers penetrated USA’s NW air defense identification zone 16 times over 10 days in late July, early Aug., one Russian sortie near Alaska included spyplane, NORAD confirms “spike in activity”; Moscow settles on Baranovichi, W. Belarus for new air base to open in 2015, already operates fighter jet squadron in buffer state; 2,600 Union State paratroopers train in Russia’s NW region of Pskov while CSTO troops converge in Kyrgyzstan for “anti-terrorist” Enduring Brotherhood 2014 drill; Russian Defense Ministry to rehabilitate Cold War-era airbase, build 6 “closed” military towns in NE Siberia, Tiksi Aerodrome first served as staging base for Soviet strategic aviation to reach N. America

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Poles hawkish over Russian annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea, arming of rebels in Donetsk, Lugansk, shooting down of Malaysian airliner; PM Tusk foresees Russia’s “direction intervention” in SE Ukraine as Kremlin once again builds up military positions near neighbor; 1,000 Polish soldiers, dozens of visiting US, Canadian troops march through Warsaw in country’s largest military parade since Cold War; Poland speeds up plans to buy 30 attack helicopters, second naval strike missile system, air-to-surface JASSM missiles for 48 F-16 fighter jets, long-range UAVs; unveils futuristic PL-01 light “stealth tank,” mass production slated for 2016; Gen. Campbell, commander of US Army Europe, in Warsaw to discuss boosting US military power in ex-communist state; Polish FM summons Russian ambassador, demands explanation for Zhirinovsky’s bellicose remarks, neo-fascist lawmaker threatens to “wipe out” Poland, Baltics in war against West

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: Kiev says Moscow-backed rebels attack convoy of civilians fleeing Lugansk city, killing “dozens”; self-proclaimed PM of “Donetsk People’s Republic” boasts army of 1,200 fighters trained in Russia’s Rostov Oblast, 150 armored vehicles, including 30 tanks; 20,000 Ukrainian men living in Czech Republic receive call-up orders for military service as Russian moves along border spark fears of invasion under guise of humanitarian mission; Ukraine completes national revolution, dissolved Communist Party’s pro-Moscow/pro-separatist Rada faction on July 24; acting president, parliamentary speaker Turchynov praised “correction of historical error,” expressed hope in disappearance of “communist ideology”; Russian, EU communists dismayed over dissolution, CPRF deputies retaliate, seek “terrorist” tag for Right Sector, neo-fascists in Ukraine’s National Guard fighting separatists

WW4 File: UKRAINE, RUSSIA AT WAR: President Poroshenko says army directly engaged Russian armored column on Ukrainian soil on Thursday, UK journalists maintain APCs bore full Russian markings, including license plates; Kremlin denies incursion as it prepares to send massive humanitarian convoy to Ukraine’s war-torn SE oblasts, alleges Ukrainian volunteer battalion plans to mine roads, blow up aid vehicles; separatists continue to hold positions in cities of Donetsk, Lugansk; Kiev has claimed for months Moscow bolstering insurgents with arms, guerrilla fighters from occupied Crimea, Caucasus, Moscow, Serbia


Back from summer vacation . . .