The bad news:
1. We have not found a large armored convoy of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border at the area announced in Russia’s Rostov Oblast [region] (according to the media, it was moving towards the “Dolzhansky” border checkpoint).
But we discovered a redeployment of Russian troops to the border north of “Dolzhansky.”
Earlier, the situation at the Russian border after the removal of a significant number of Russian troops failed to become less tense. On the contrary, flows of mercenaries and arms from Russia intensified. Now, the previous threat of full-scale invasion by the Russian army is back on the agenda.
2. From today, Russia has completely cut off gas delivery to Ukraine according to Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan, leaving only the volume of transit gas that goes into Europe. Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk has instructed the Ministry of Energy and the Ministry of Justice to draft a bill on the emergency situation in the energy sector.
It doesn’t mean anything good either for the population or for businesses (and hence, the economy of Ukraine in general). This is a traditional “gas war” on the part of Moscow with which the Russian Federation has now decided to reinforce its military invasion of Ukraine.
The positive is only in the fact that Ukraine will attempt, even if coerced and with serious problems, to resolve this issue now which, at minimum, was supposed to be settled under Yushchenko. Namely, to get rid of the “friendly” gas hugs of Russia.
After all, everyone was well aware that these embraces didn’t mean anything good for our country. But we continued to embrace them no less enthusiastically. Unfortunately.
3. According to today’s statement by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Ukrainian troops already control more than 250 kilometers [155 miles] of the state border with Russia.
As I understand it, Poroshenko is an optimist. He sees the glass half full. I, unfortunately, am a pessimist, I see it half-empty. Or rather [I see the fact] that hundreds of kilometers of state border remains uncontrolled. Here, Russians, together with our native terrorists, do whatever they want to.
Poroshenko promises to block the entire border by the end of the week. I propose to rejoice only after the fact.
4. Today in [Ukrainian] Parliament, [MP] Oleh Lyashko accused the leader of the Party of Regions, Oleksandr Yefremov, of flying to Moscow to receive instructions from the Kremlin.
Yefremov has replied in a dodgy manner, saying that his visit was a public event, “it was to participate in a round table, it was a live event on air, and there’s nothing secret about it.” Presumably, Yefremov hints that he spent every second in front of the cameras, including when using the toilet, or where else would he be able to receive instructions from Putin.
The Regional [member of the Party of Regions] in Moscow is like a child on the street. Just as you turn your back, the child tries to shove something nasty in its mouth, and the Regional–some FSB instructions into his pocket. With a big difference: the child still operates unconsciously and doesn’t harm the whole country at once. Well, and he doesn’t receive salaries–material support–an apartment–benefits from the state budget for his nastiness.
In any case, time is running out, and our law enforcement officers are in no hurry to assess the activity of some [of our] eminent politicians [who are] obviously playing on the side of the little boy Vova [diminutive of Vladimir i.e., Putin].
The good news:
1. At the RNBO [National Security and Defense Council] meeting, Poroshenko announced the main points of his plan for the near future. The so-called “peace plan” of the President includes a ceasefire in Donbas by the end of the week.
Just like you, upon hearing such a proposal, I at first cussed from the bottom of my heart, since I got the impression that the ATO [anti-terrorist operation] was being betrayed alongside with Donbas. But it was worthwhile to listen to Poroshenko to the end.
I hope the meaning [behind his announcement] is understood: for a start, to block the border with Russia (so that all of this Putin’s filth stops crawling into Ukraine), and then allow the terrorists to lay down their weapons. Whomever failed to hide, sorry, failed to surrender, don’t blame the security forces.
It’s a good plan. With two conditions: if the border really is blocked securely, and if the insurgent bases across Donbas will be blocked during the cease-fire (not like in Sloviansk). Without the fulfillment of these conditions, the plan does not make sense.
2. For several days now, reformatting of the ATO has been underway. I cannot say how much more effective the “new format” will be compared to what we’ve seen so far–life teaches us to evaluate the results. Since, in the words of our generals, everything is always okay.
But it seems that the rise to power of the legitimate president has nonetheless awakened our strategists from hibernation, [they] began to stir. If only for the benefit of business.
3. And once again about the state border. In recent days, the process of blocking of Russian border has been performed by essentially a new State Border Service. It’s still not fully updated, but it’s in process.
Already, the newly-created motor-maneuverable groups are working. The border control guards work on their close cooperation with the Army during armed confrontations with terrorists. The Learning Center of the State Border Service begins training professionals in “military” specialities–those necessary for paramilitary border security.
This is undoubtedly positive. Ukraine will not sleep soundly until the border with Russia is under “lock.”
Dmitry Tymchuk, Coordinator, Information Resistance
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine