The bad news:
1. Unknown degenerates threw a grenade at a checkpoint near Odesa this morning, and as a result seven people were wounded. Later in the day it became known that these same extremists planned to beat veterans on May 9 [Victory Day in Ukraine] “under contract” from a Russian TV Channel (as reported by the SBU).
Personally, I don’t like this fuss in the south. According to our data, with all the events [happening] in eastern Ukraine, our security forces are keeping an eye on Odesa, Mykolayiv, and Kherson. And this is very right.
But we are anticipating a powerful surge in various similar extremist acts by May 1 [Labor Day] and May 9. Let’s hope that the most heinous plans by pro-Russian “snitches” will be disrupted.
2. As a result of a shootout by terrorists at Kramatorsk airfield, a Ukrainian special forces Mi-8 helicopter and an An-2 plane were burned down.
I will not pose as a great strategist, but this event inevitably raises a number of questions. It was fine when Sloviansk separatists walked around the oblast [region] as if it was their home (although one cannot call it normal). But damn it, couldn’t they at least provide protection for the objects used by the [Ukrainian] security forces during this anti-terrorist operation (ATO)? It’s all very strange.
3. In Sloviansk, terrorists have hijacked a bus with OSCE representatives. This is the epitome of rudeness and cynicism.
It is absolutely clear that extremists are a bunch of drunk criminals and Kazachky [diminuitive of Cossack] led by professional subversives from Russia. Here’s the question to Ukrainian authorities. Do they realize that this egregious case – is a spit in the face? The ATO is under way in the region for a number of days already, and now look at it. Very sad, and I see no excuses.
The good news:
1. The Federation Council of Russia is against the invasion of Ukraine.
Valentina Matviyenko, the Chairman of the Federation Council, insists on continuing negotiations to resolve the crisis in Ukraine. This is as clear as day, she is Putin’s pet “talking head.” When it was necessary, the very same Federation Council happily voted to send troops [to Ukraine] in early March.
Does this mean that Putin has abandoned his plans to invade Ukraine? I think not. Rather, by playing democracy, he is preparing an excuse in case he considers the invasion to be inappropriate. But this statement does take the pressure down a notch.
2. The work of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry never ceases to delight us.
Today’s statement by the Ministry is quite extensive, but it lays everything out on the shelf. This includes the fact that Ukraine does not need Russian “peacekeepers,” the difference between separatists and Russian-speaking Ukrainians (Moscow is convinced that it amounts to the same thing), and the right of Ukraine to defend itself against terrorism through the use of force.
This rhetoric is relayed in a very educated and convincing manner. We must understand that these very guys are responsible for forming the attitudes of the international community towards events in our country. And they are truly doing a great job.
3. The operation to liberate Sloviansk has not been a complete success, but at least the city was finally blocked. It’s better than nothing.
4. It’s not necessarily “good news,” but rather a few words on the subject. Presidential candidates manifest themselves in the “Eastern crisis” in a very interesting manner.
[Mykhaylo] Dobkin is sitting in Kharkiv, where he wages his tense and invisible war for the unity of Ukraine. Having survived the egg attack by Luhansk separatists in mid-April, he is trying today to avoid the frontlines.
[Serhiy] Tigipko also performed a quiet act of bravery in Luhansk a week ago. He bravely entered the SBU building, occupied by separatists “to negotiate.” Everyone held their breath. Half an hour later, Tigipko came out, shook separatists’ hands and said pointedly (if you believe the media), “All right, hang on here.” Leaving behind some innuendos.
[Petro] Poroshenko “landed” in Luhansk yesterday. He was blocked by a pro-Russian crowd right at the airport. Although it is not clear what they wanted from Poroshenko – it seems that he always demonstrated the ability to maintain composure in dialogue with his beloved Russian separatists. Especially since he always had problems with Moscow on business issues.
[Yulia] Tymoshenko announced that she came to an agreement with the separatists. Although Luhansk separatists immediately declared that nothing like that ever happened. Hopefully, Yulia Volodymirivna will invite separatist to the televised [Presidential] debates and convince them in front of all honest people that agreements with them still exist.
After visiting Crimea, [Natalia] Korolevska visited the “hot spots” – Kramatorsk, Sloviansk, and Donetsk Regional State Administration. Then, she made a surprise announcement contrary to the general rhetoric. That in eastern Ukraine, aside from kids running around with guns, there are millions of Ukrainians who are offended by the word “separatist.” These are ordinary retirees, public officials, families with children who have been cut off from the world.
The sensible idea about this is that behind all this “war” (both within the Russia-triggered outrage, and during political battles) ordinary people go into the background. And that’s very bad.
Let us hope that in the future those in power will remember the lessons of today, and realize that human beings are the guarantee of stability in any region.
Dmitry Tymchuk, Coordinator, Information Resistance
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine