The bad news:
1. The exponential capture of administrative buildings in eastern Ukraine continues.
The Interior Ministry of Ukraine has reported: as of today, separatists have seized 15 administrative buildings in Donetsk Oblast [region]. These are the local public authorities, city police departments and the SBU subdivisions in different cities [of the region].
Also, terrorists set up and arrange checkpoints in Donetsk Oblast wherever they please. Police are trying not to disturb the creative process of the citizens. Only near Sloviansk do special forces regularly remove such roadblocks, and retreat thereafter, thus allowing separatists to return to their places of duty.
Obviously, this is a fun game that’s exciting for both sides. But to an outside observer, it looks a little bit strange at minimum.
A similar circus seems to be gaining momentum in Luhansk Oblast. After yesterday’s events in Luhansk, the seizure of administrative buildings has been reported in Alchevsk today.
2. Ukrainian leadership continues to look for those guilty of the anti-terrorist operation’s failure.
After yesterday’s disclosure of the “secret de Polichinelle” [open secret]–that is, that local security forces in eastern Ukraine are mostly saboteurs and traitors, today our government authorities have yet again begun terrorizing the SBU special ops team, i.e.: “Alpha.” Allegedly, they refused to obey orders, and the “Alpha” commanders have been dismissed from duty.
“Alpha” has already refuted the statement regarding the removal of its leadership.
We have also issued our statement regarding this situation. According to our data, no one gave orders to “Alpha.” If an order was given–please specify, by whom and when. Then you can talk about cowardice and failure to obey orders. Until then, all of this is more like a “witch hunt.”
And I think, instead of all of these accusations, the uncles in high places could shed some light on that order to special forces that they had verifiably given. Namely–to avoid using weapons to kill under any circumstances. But alas, we don’t hear any commentary on that. And how should “special” ops be held under such circumstances–no one cares to elaborate.
3. Russian troops continue to hold large-scale military exercises near the Ukrainian border.
We don’t currently observe an increase in the number of troops. But the ones which are already playing hide and seek at our border are quite enough to “assist” in any “referendum” in some Luhansk.
The good news:
1. The Defense Ministry has announced the formation of territorial defense battalions comprised of civilians to ensure protection of the state border and strategically important facilities.
At the same time, the SBU opened a telephone “hotline” for citizens with military training who wish to defend the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Citizens who have law enforcement or army experience, as well as those willing to join the special detachments to maintain public order, should call the following number +38 (044) 235-55-18.
This initiative is quite correct. I have already said this, let me repeat it again: if we do not want to plunge into the abyss of civil war, “self-defense” troops should only be organized under the wing of law enforcement agencies.
The only question is who and how will they use these specialized battalions. They already “held” mobilizations–all the mobilizations turned into a sad circus. If this fate awaits specialized battalions, it’s better not to start this process. For it’s not funny.
2. The Acting Head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine, Sergei Pashinsky, predicts that the situation in [the town of] Sloviansk in Donetsk Oblast will be localized and stabilized in the coming days.
Please forgive me Mr. Pashinsky, but I strongly doubt his psychic abilities. I don’t know what crystal ball he used to see stability in Sloviansk. But such promises and predictions from government authorities still sound at least comforting. If these words are confirmed by action–praise and honor to the Ukrainian authorities.
3. With all the negativity in Luhansk, a rather comforting event took place there as well.
National Guard servicemen prevented a seizure of the General Directorate of the Interior Ministry building in Luhansk Oblast. Yesterday, separatists attempted to storm a regional police building with weapons and demanded Guardsmen surrender their weapons and leave the building. The Guardsmen sent the extremists packing.
As a result, only 27 conscripted servicemen left the building. Officers and contract soldiers remained on duty. Today, there were no [extremists] willing to attack them.
Dmitry Tymchuk, Coordinator, Information Resistance
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine