The bad news:
1. Today, the enemy shot down our [cargo] plane An-26. There is no clear information regarding all the crewmembers, let’s hope that the guys will be alright. It is currently known that two pilots have been captured by the insurgents. I believe that the Ministry of Defense will do everything possible to ensure their release.
The plane was shot down at an altitude of 6,500 meters [4,039 miles]. The MANPADS used by terrorists (including the latest Russian 9K333 “Willow”) don’t shoot this high. On these grounds, the RNBO [National Security and Defense Council] suggests that our plane was shot down by either a Russian fighter jet, or a Russian MANPAD from the territory of the Russian Federation.
Taking into account that the Russian army no longer hesitates to support terrorists by openly moving its equipment designed for insurgents across the border, there was nothing surprising about such “support.” And the more successfully the ATO advances, the less effort the Kremlin is making to mask its aggression against Ukraine.
2. NATO has once again called on Russia to withdraw troops from the Ukrainian border. Meanwhile, the leaders of some European members of NATO are all broadcasting about some “negotiations of parties in Ukraine through Russia as an intermediary” and the “peaceful settlement of the problem.”
Those leaders can be understood. They [act out of] their obviously selfish interests–”Gazprom” neither sleeps nor skimps. And it is quite obvious that these gentlemen are more frightened of penniless old age than the safety of their own continent.
3. Once more about the unhealthy resonance around the “Russian invasion.” I already gave a separate comment about the “Russian invasion of July 15″ (regarding the media broadcasts of my morning announcement), let me repeat it again.
Nobody says that tomorrow there will be a Russian war against Ukraine in a different format than the one that we have been seeing for [the past] four months. As of tomorrow, the commanders of the Russian special forces groups must be ready for deployment to Ukraine. We already went through it in April, when the Russian subversive and reconnaissance groups [SRG] roamed around Donbas just like in [their own] home.
We, the IR group, do not think that Russia is ready for a full-scale invasion of Ukraine–with escalating numbers of Russian troops on the border, we don’t observe “complete” operational and tactical groups, which will be able to carry out such an invasion. Perhaps there will be attempts to invade under the guise of “peacekeepers,” but this is clearly a fallback. For now, the Kremlin’s task is to maximally destabilize the situation in Donbas with the goal to draw the conflict out into a full-blown civil war.
There is one way to counter this scenario: to effectively continue the ATO, and to begin with carving out terrorist groups from the Russian border. And this is generally what the ATO forces are doing now. I sincerely believe that these efforts will be crowned with complete success. But just the very preparation by Russia to expand the format of its secret aggression against Ukraine is not encouraging.
The good news:
1. Ukrainian President P. Poroshenko, at a meeting with security officials, announced the need for a change in the ATO tactics. The main tasks are to narrow the ATO zone, to strengthen the protection of borders, and to do everything possible to ensure the protection of peaceful civilians.
[There is] nothing to add. At issue is the execution of these tasks.
2. The ATO forces continue their active operations. For the past 24 hours, a number of settlements in Luhansk Oblast have been liberated of terrorists.
I must say that the situation in the area remains very tense. The insurgents are trying to impose their initiative on the ATO forces, freeing the territory proves to be very difficult. But we are moving towards victory–even if it’s not as fast as we would like.
3. Once again, about the European leaders. As reported by our media, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is more often referred to as “Frau [von] Ribbentrop” in social networks because of her rather strange position on Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and unhealthy sympathy for Putin. [This] trolling started in June at least.
… I understand why Poles are our first ally today. Our western neighbors remember how in 1939, Berlin and Moscow took long-suffering Poland to pieces. In 2014, history repeats itself in the case of Ukraine. Only now the roles have been divided–Berlin acts as inactive and passive participant of the bloody show. But the essence remains the same.
However, if Merkel is called “Frau [von] Ribbentrop” in Europe, then not all [Europeans] have forgotten the lessons of history. And that gives us hope.
Dmitry Tymchuk, Coordinator, Information Resistance
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine