The bad news:
1. The Russians are “returning” the seized equipment in Crimea in a rather interesting manner.
Thus, today in Bakhchisaray, they were loading the equipment [belonging to] our transportation battalion – “to be returned.”At first, the Russians agreed to give back 74 units of military equipment (they kept 27 fuel trucks and 3 mobile car repair shops).
The equipment was en route to the mainland, when a dashing Russian colonel waltzed in and ordered them to unload 7 more fuel trucks). As in, “we need them.”
Russian soldiers disagreed and said that before loading [the equipment] to the railway platforms, they removed everything they could from the vehicles, and destroyed what they weren’t able to take. They said, why do we need this scrap metal? The colonel responded by stomping his little feet and yelling at his soldiers that they should have understood first what would be useful and then destroyed it and given it back to the Ukrainians.
In general, you get the idea in what condition the “returned” items were after spending some time in the arms of greedy and mean “Russian brothers.”
2. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said that he didn’t see any path leading towards NATO membership for Ukraine.
However, he was quick to reassure that the “German government has not taken any official position on the issue.” But the fact that Europeans have started to crap bricks at the thought of Kyiv’s appeal to join the MAP (Membership Action Plan) does not inspire optimism.
On the other hand, it might be a message directed at Russia, to keep it in the loop. In any case, Steinmeier’s reasoning is not a diagnosis yet.
The good news:
1. NATO leadership has announced that it will suspend all practical civil and military cooperation with Russia and promises to offer help to Ukraine.
Meanwhile, the Verkhovna Rada [Ukrainian Parliament] has given permission to admit the militaries of other countries to the territory of Ukraine for military exercises in 2014. Practically all exercises, which start in May, will have servicemen from our partners in Europe and NATO.
As for assistance – they’re not talking about direct military assistance. But military–technical assistance – is something (Kyiv has requested radar stations and funds for equipping the border).
But the most important thing: NATO responded to Russia’s provocation. If the Alliance is ready for a new “Cold War” – then we want this support. As long as there is no real war in Ukraine.
It’s even easier with the military exercises: they were planned a long time before the invasion. But holding them now acquires a completely different military and political importance.
Particular attention should be paid to the Ukrainian-American “Sea Breeze-2014” exercise (up to 1,800 servicemen, with weapons and equipment, up to 9 ships, up to 2 submarines, up to 12 airplanes and helicopers) that will last 25 days.
It is still unclear where the exercises will take place. If Americans agree to hold them near Odesa (no other options are available) – the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation in Crimea will throw a fit.
2. Party of Regions MP, Nestor Shufrich, said that Russia, with its “hostile actions,” left pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine without support.
Well, if it slowly begins to dawn on our Regionals [members of Party of Regions] who the enemy is in Ukraine, this is an undoubted success. Although the leopard cannot change his spots: they condemn Russia not for invading Ukraine, but because of the fact that their ratings fell. Fucking patriots, God forgive me.
3. Verkhovna Rada ordered the Interior Ministry and SBU [Security Service of Ukraine] to disarm illegal armed groups.
I do not know how effectively it will be done. But that is a very necessary and timely solution – no doubt about it. If we wait any longer, these domestically draped events become comparable in danger to the invasion of Russia.
4. Privatbank claims that all Crimean customers whose cards have been blocked, can unlock them at any branch of mainland Ukraine.
It is very important for our servicemen who move to the mainland – we are often asked by the guys from Crimea (after the occupation, the Privatbank cards issued in Crimea were blocked).
The only question is how they now get to the mainland. However, with a squeak this problem is solved. Let’s hope for the best, and help our children, best we can. One does not ignore brothers in need.
Dmitry Tymchuk, Coordinator, Information Resistance
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine