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Ukranian Crisis

This is a discussion on Ukranian Crisis within the Geo-strategic Issues forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; SACEUR It’s hard to fathom that groups of armed men in masks suddenly sprang forward from the population in eastern ...


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Old April 18th, 2014   #436
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SACEUR

It’s hard to fathom that groups of armed men in masks suddenly sprang forward from the population in eastern Ukraine and systematically began to occupy government facilities. It’s hard to fathom because it’s simply not true. What is happening in eastern Ukraine is a military operation that is well planned and organized and we assess that it is being carried out at the direction of Russia.

ACO - Allied Command Operations | Saceur - Who Are the Men Behind the Masks?

Mainly just an FYI here, not that this should be surprising after the events in Crimea.



I would assume everyone has seen the agreement to de-escalate things in the eastern Ukraine, does anyone think that will really be successful?

Ukraine crisis: Geneva talks produce agreement on defusing conflict | World news | The Guardian
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Old April 18th, 2014   #437
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SACEUR

It’s hard to fathom that groups of armed men in masks suddenly sprang forward from the population in eastern Ukraine and systematically began to occupy government facilities. It’s hard to fathom because it’s simply not true. What is happening in eastern Ukraine is a military operation that is well planned and organized and we assess that it is being carried out at the direction of Russia.


Mainly just an FYI here, not that this should be surprising after the events in Crimea.



I would assume everyone has seen the agreement to de-escalate things in the eastern Ukraine, does anyone think that will really be successful?
As someone who had his share of civil war, popular "uprisings", and national revolutions during the wars in former Yugoslavia, I think I can perceive what is going on in Ukraine at the moment, and I think you are partially wrong.

Crimean operation was a military operation, and that is the reason why there was almost no casualties there. It was executed by the Russian special forces, over which, Russia, naturally, had complete control in every moment. Local militias, paramilitaries, and such, appeared only after the occupation was de facto done deal.

What is happening in eastern Ukraine, at the moment is a whole different story. There it is militias, who are running the show, with the Russian troops on the opposite side of the border. No one would have been surprised if one was to learn that Russian agents helped armed groups in eastern Ukraine to coordinate their actions, or that indeed among them, there are some Russian citizens. However, 90% of those who protest, who block the roads, and who are members of local militias are citizens of Ukraine - locals, who are in the same time intimidated and angry by violent anti-Russian rhetoric of the ultra right part of the Kiev government, as well as fueled by the exaggerations of Putin's propaganda.

My experience from Yugoslavia is, that the members of the self organised paramilitary units are, by default, a mixture of idealistic hotheads, honest citizens willing to fight for "freedom", petty criminals interested in looting, and bunch of trigger happy adrenaline junkies,hooligans,etc ... you name it.

These people are not easy to control, and they will disregard orders even from Moscow if they see it fit. Bottom line: it is easy to give people guns - it is much harder to make them to bring the guns back, especially if those people are already exercising some kind of power, by the very fact that they posses these guns.

So I was not at all surprised by the words of the leaders of the Donetsk revolt, that they find themselves not obliged to follow any deal brokered by Russia, because Russia speaks for her self, not the Donetsk...

I think, that both West and Russia, had their share in escalating the situation. West by offering political support to Maidan protesters, Russians of course, by occupying Crimea, and offering support to eastern Ukrainian "insurgents", but at this present moment, it is neither Russia, nor West, not even the Kiev government who is in control of the situation, and it will remain like that in a while.
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Old April 18th, 2014   #438
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I think the President of the Czech Republic has hit the nail on the head.
With a major caveat. There are major popular components to both sides of the conflict. Those people need to be adequately represented. The pro-Western population sees all their problems stemming from being like Russia. The pro-Russian population sees all their problems from not being like Russia. They're both partially right, in the sense that either option would certainly be preferable to what they have today. The problem is that neither side wants to talk rationally, and neither side is seems willing to compromise.

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It’s hard to fathom that groups of armed men in masks suddenly sprang forward from the population in eastern Ukraine and systematically began to occupy government facilities.
They did not suddenly spring forward. Western media just ignored the situation in eastern Ukraine, until it got to this stage. Actually there were peaceful protests when the euro-Maydan took over Kiev. They went ignored. There were peaceful takeovers of administration buildings by unmasked locals after Yanukovich fell and the new government took power, but they were beaten back by the police, and chased out. There were violent takeovers, with sticks, and stones, of government buildings, (not dissimilar to the tactics of the euro-Maydan against the police) but even then the government chose to escalate and use more violence (like in Nikolaev and Kharkov). They even had to use special MVD units because local police refused to do it. People were also getting arrested and charged with crimes. That's when they started to wear masks. And instead of taking over the government building they seized the SBU buildings. They proceeded to open the arsenals there (which is where the weapons came from). Now there are a bunch of armed and semi-organized militias running around.

Did the hint to grab SBU buildings come from Russia? Quite possible. Actually I saw on many Russian and Ukrainian live journals, people writing that instead of seizing the government administration buildings, the protesters should seize police stations and SBU buildings, because there are weapons there, and because force wielding agencies are the way the new government holds power. So it may not have require a Russian suggestion.
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Old April 18th, 2014   #439
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As someone who had his share of civil war, popular "uprisings", and national revolutions during the wars in former Yugoslavia, I think I can perceive what is going on in Ukraine at the moment, and I think you are partially wrong.

Crimean operation was a military operation, and that is the reason why there was almost no casualties there. It was executed by the Russian special forces, over which, Russia, naturally, had complete control in every moment. Local militias, paramilitaries, and such, appeared only after the occupation was de facto done deal.

What is happening in eastern Ukraine, at the moment is a whole different story. There it is militias, who are running the show, with the Russian troops on the opposite side of the border. No one would have been surprised if one was to learn that Russian agents helped armed groups in eastern Ukraine to coordinate their actions, or that indeed among them, there are some Russian citizens. However, 90% of those who protest, who block the roads, and who are members of local militias are citizens of Ukraine - locals, who are in the same time intimidated and angry by violent anti-Russian rhetoric of the ultra right part of the Kiev government, as well as fueled by the exaggerations of Putin's propaganda.

My experience from Yugoslavia is, that the members of the self organised paramilitary units are, by default, a mixture of idealistic hotheads, honest citizens willing to fight for "freedom", petty criminals interested in looting, and bunch of trigger happy adrenaline junkies,hooligans,etc ... you name it.

These people are not easy to control, and they will disregard orders even from Moscow if they see it fit. Bottom line: it is easy to give people guns - it is much harder to make them to bring the guns back, especially if those people are already exercising some kind of power, by the very fact that they posses these guns.

So I was not at all surprised by the words of the leaders of the Donetsk revolt, that they find themselves not obliged to follow any deal brokered by Russia, because Russia speaks for her self, not the Donetsk...

I think, that both West and Russia, had their share in escalating the situation. West by offering political support to Maidan protesters, Russians of course, by occupying Crimea, and offering support to eastern Ukrainian "insurgents", but at this present moment, it is neither Russia, nor West, not even the Kiev government who is in control of the situation, and it will remain like that in a while.
Your post expands a bit on what SACEUR's blog post said and really isn't in disagreement with it. I don't disagree with it either. I agree that it is probably 90% citizens of Ukraine.

I think his point though is the efficiency and professionalism the "militias" exhibited after only a matter of only a few weeks is highly unlikely. The 10% outsiders are the ones being used to organize and spearhead this whole thing though, without them the militias would be little more than an armed mob at this stage. No doubt they would still be dangerous but they wouldn't be nearly as effective, even accounting for the incompetence of the Ukranian military.

Right now russia is pulling the strings in eastern Ukraine but as you pointed out, this could easily spiral out of control.
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Old April 18th, 2014   #440
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They did not [i
suddenly[/i] spring forward. Western media just ignored the situation in eastern Ukraine, until it got to this stage. Actually there were peaceful protests when the euro-Maydan took over Kiev. They went ignored. There were peaceful takeovers of administration buildings by unmasked locals after Yanukovich fell and the new government took power, but they were beaten back by the police, and chased out. There were violent takeovers, with sticks, and stones, of government buildings, (not dissimilar to the tactics of the euro-Maydan against the police) but even then the government chose to escalate and use more violence (like in Nikolaev and Kharkov). They even had to use special MVD units because local police refused to do it. People were also getting arrested and charged with crimes. That's when they started to wear masks. And instead of taking over the government building they seized the SBU buildings. They proceeded to open the arsenals there (which is where the weapons came from). Now there are a bunch of armed and semi-organized militias running around.

Did the hint to grab SBU buildings come from Russia? Quite possible. Actually I saw on many Russian and Ukrainian live journals, people writing that instead of seizing the government administration buildings, the protesters should seize police stations and SBU buildings, because there are weapons there, and because force wielding agencies are the way the new government holds power. So it may not have require a Russian suggestion.
I agree that they didn't suddenly spring forward, but as I said in my reply above this, it's pretty highly unlikely that local militias that have only existed a few weeks would exhibit the degree of professionalism and efficiency that is being displayed. Considering the level of competence the Ukranian army is exhibiting, it's pretty unlikely these assaults are being conducted by Ukranian army defectors either.


Also it's not like russia doesn't have a precedent in the Ukraine for sending in troops to accomplish their goals. Putin has shown he is willing to push things in the Ukraine as far as he can, why would he hesitate at sending in some special operation troops to assist? Keep in mind I say this at a time when I wouldn't be surprised if some NATO countries had some people in Ukraine as advisers at this very moment.
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Old April 18th, 2014   #441
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I agree that they didn't suddenly spring forward, but as I said in my reply above this, it's pretty highly unlikely that local militias that have only existed a few weeks would exhibit the degree of professionalism and efficiency that is being displayed. Considering the level of competence the Ukranian army is exhibiting, it's pretty unlikely these assaults are being conducted by Ukranian army defectors either.


Also it's not like russia doesn't have a precedent in the Ukraine for sending in troops to accomplish their goals. Putin has shown he is willing to push things in the Ukraine as far as he can, why would he hesitate at sending in some special operation troops to assist? Keep in mind I say this at a time when I wouldn't be surprised if some NATO countries had some people in Ukraine as advisers at this very moment.
I think the degree of professionalism shown by the militias varies greatly and although not wanting to discount any kind of Russian (or Western) involvement, if you have a small group of people with prior knowledge on the matter it would be pretty easy to organize them simply by bundling them together. I imagine they would show up if they got word of the taking over of sdu buildings. I would in their place.

Also, normal people aren't stupid and I don't find it hard to believe that ordinary citizens reached the conclusion that they needed the arsenals if their movement is to continue without slaughter.

I think that blaming the Russians for the current situation is giving them far too much credit.

We cannot discount employees of local oligarchs who would have the necessary training to commit organized assaults.

Just my 5c.
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Old April 18th, 2014   #442
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I agree that they didn't suddenly spring forward, but as I said in my reply above this, it's pretty highly unlikely that local militias that have only existed a few weeks would exhibit the degree of professionalism and efficiency that is being displayed. Considering the level of competence the Ukranian army is exhibiting, it's pretty unlikely these assaults are being conducted by Ukranian army defectors either.
What degree of professionalism? Government buildings were seized by crowds, multiple times, with various levels of damage and looting. From the photos, videos, and eyewitness reports, you can see that the blockading of Ukrainian army units is done by crowds of locals including women and the elderly. Every once in a while you see a few photos of armed and variously equipped militia men. Some of them could be professionals, from the looks of it, but then don't forget these militias include a lot of ex-service members, and ex-law enforcement. As for a few weeks, pro-Russian political and social organizations predate the current crisis, and while I don't know the details, I wouldn't be surprised to see that they became the sources for these militias.

I think that these militias are seen as a lot more formidable then they really are, because the Ukrainian force wielding establishment is so incompetent. The armed forces are full of drafted reservists, and underpaid demoralized contract soldiers who just want to go back to base, and make easy pay doing nothing the way they always did. The MVD is split in the conflict, with only central units being reliable, and even the SBU is not to be counted on. After all Kiev's elite Alpha unit refused to storm protester held buildings in iirc Donetsk, stating that they will not fight against their own people. Compared to this sort of lack of will and desire, the militias look good. But if they were faced with any coherent, motivated, and organized force, they would crumble very very quickly.
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Old April 18th, 2014   #443
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In Kramatorsk, 3 BMDs broke down. The soldiers had them towed to a local tractor machine shop, to try and repair them. However several BTRs with National Guard, and a helicopter showed up. They opened fire wounding one worker, then arrested the soldiers, whom they considered to be deserters. This is probably an over reaction, after the incident of troops with their vehicles switching sides. Given that the soldiers were armed, it's a surprise they didn't fight back.

u_96:

But the militias are getting to be more and more organized. These photos, from the last couple of days show the militias using the captured BMDs, as well as captured army trucks and heavy weapons. Note that an Ural truck full of RPGs was stopped and reportedly looted by the militias, as well as a convoy of 3 trucks carrying Grad rockets, and possibly Igla-S MANPADS.

https://scontent-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hpho...11452844_n.jpg
https://pp.vk.me/c616428/v616428413/...S-NSItV3p4.jpg
http://img-fotki.yandex.ru/get/9304/...8007065_XL.jpg

In response to the issue of professionalism, this was pointed out. Note the similarity in equipment between Donetsk MVD Berkut, and Donetsk People's Militia. Some of the Berkut personnel, and certainly a lot of their equipment, is probably in the militia.

http://img-fotki.yandex.ru/get/9823/...194128_XXL.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/cCbzSY2.jpg

In Slavyansk all the roads are now under militia control (or "control" as the case may be) and in Kramatorsk the militia has taken over a broadcast center. They've reportedly used it to resume transmission of Russian TV channels in the region. Locals do continue to report government planes and helos over Kramatorsk, but far fewer then before.

NEWSru.com ::

A video from the 17th of April, a VDV officer giving a speech where he says that they will never fire on their own people, and that they politely ask the locals to let them leave the way they came. It looks like they're eventually allowed to leave after surrendering the bolts on the weapons, and a piece of the gun mechanism, disabling the cannons. This might be a video of one of the incidents with disarming that I mentioned earlier.

Краматорск: обстановка на въезде в город. 17.04.2014 - YouTube
In the meantime the Kiev government declared a temporary halt to the anti-terrorist operation.

NEWSru.com :: , " "

And has halted water supplies to Crimea.

http://newsru.com/russia/18apr2014/waterkream.html

Ukraine has also begun forming a new brigade of Marines.

http://military-informant.com/index....ce/5091-1.html
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Old April 19th, 2014   #444
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While all that is true, it's not the real issue. Russia is very limited by geography in petro export potential. Most of the infrastructure that has been built to export LNG and petro product is built to service Europe. Sending these exports to the east is extremely limited due to current pipeline limitations. The problem for Russia is that if they want to export natural gas to the east they are extremely limited as to potential export customers. Take a look at the map, geographically China is the only realistic customer in even the medium term. I suppose they could build a pipeline to vladivostok but that would remove many of the competitive advantages they currently have. Exporting from vladivostok would not only involve a few thousand kilometers of extra pipeline but it would also require LNG loading facilities and tankers.

The point being is that if Europe moves away from Russia as a supplier that leaves russia in the unenviable position of having to negotiate with china for both sales and potentially pipelines to other countries or ports. That puts China in a very strong negotiating position. IIRC currently China and Russia are negotiating an agreement for russia to supply china with natural gas but the holdup has been that Russia wants china to pay for a large part of the pipeline costs. So far China has been refusing to agree to this. I would expect that the chinese position just got a lot more firm.

As to US exports, IIRC five LNG export terminals had been approved prior to the whole mess in Ukraine. I would expect more to be approved in the coming months.
If Europe imposes trade barriers for trade with Russia, Russia will retaliate with its own trade barriers. In the end, EU gas consumers, Gazprom, EU producers of various goods exported to Russia and their Russian consumers lose, while US and EU natural gas producers and Russian and Asian producers of goods similar to those currently imported by Russia from EU benefit. Also, world prices of natural gas should drop as a direct result of this, while gas prices in the EU rise. As you can see there will be winners and losers on both sides.

In the long term, India and South-East Asia should emerge as significant net importers of gas. And I am sure Russia can export gas extracted in their central and eastern parts, so they don't have to build a pipeline from their west.
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Old April 19th, 2014   #445
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Near Slavyansk, a BMD burned out. It's unclear how this occurred. It might be one of the BMDs that surrendered.

u_96:

A real time map of reported Ukrainian military movements, reported and updated by eyewitnesses. OPSEC failure anyone?

http://www.voicesevas.ru/troubles

The top of this post has a map of locations where militias have been formed, in Donbass. The newest addition is Seversk which recently came under their control. Also troop and vehicle columns have been spotted moving away from Donbass.

In Donetsk airport one Ukrainian soldier killed another. It seems to have been an accident. The casualties continue...

colonelcassad.livejournal.com/1549431.html

More photos of the militias.

http://up-photo.ru/img/2014-04/18/90...x8e8l2hl6t.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/6t3k8BO.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/PAOgrZM.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/ojV3FDC.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/XTMurRN.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/kkQ6PDf.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/1Ggevp9.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/EuQTkgd.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/FYoN5CL.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/D0v8bt9.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/JfJs9In.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/MIMVXCv.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/KE5XdXd.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/jowLMAR.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/9IdHIEO.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/WJOcDzU.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/OyQymxT.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/5SlYOfB.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/suOdWVW.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/9ggHy7N.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/VSVV0CQ.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/5TBNPKz.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/cEnTzvl.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/RR8qvr9.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/gH3urXb.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/htwYFkB.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/wk6NCpn.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/FK1ne2Q.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/cokbgjY.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/FHKHd7r.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/2VuA2mV.jpg

And Ukrainian military photos from the recent operation.

http://i.imgur.com/qfSIHcM.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/GGBojIx.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/kDN4A6Q.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/6Ha4TQC.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/iSaETIw.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/YLoLr6P.jpg

There are some photos here of the Ukrainian soldiers surrendering the bolts to their weapons. If this source is correct, more then 6 vehicles may have surrendered/been captured by the locals. It mentions 16 BMDs being "got" by the villagers in Pchelkino, in addition to the 6, while "the rest escape". However I'm skeptical. Photos and videos would have likely turned up by now. According to him, all the weapons are functional, and you can see the militia members fiddling with an ATGM launcher, under the instructorship of a Ukrainian army soldier (probably one of the defectors).

stbcaptain.livejournal.com/100187.html

According to this interview with a militia member, all 6 captured vehicles are still in working order, so earlier reports of one breaking down, and another being burned out may have been regarding other vehicles. He also mentions that some people from other regions have showed up there, and tried to spread rumors of violence that are untrue. He also implies that their militia has taken no casualties. Which may mean that the people who died at the Kramatorsk airport were ordinary civilians and not militia members.

ПТУ* 'Фагот' в Славянске - YouTube
An un named Crimean defense enterprise landed a 5 bln rouble contract. Suspicions are that this is the More factory in Feodosiya, and the order is for Zubr class landing ships.

”об€о пожалова‚Œ в жƒ€нал *ос‚овского ž€ла - неƒж‚о —ƒб€ов заказали?

In an interview a high ranking Berkut officer mentions that more and more Berkut officers are leaving Ukraine going to Russia or Crimea. Earlier Berkut officers from Crimea were offered jobs in Moscow OMON. He mentions that they've been getting threats over the phone from unknown people, and don't want to serve the criminal regime.

azlok.livejournal.com/941562.html

Yulia Timoshenko requests military aid from the USA.

NEWSru.com :: : " "

The return of Ukrainian ships from Crimea is continuing. But it's still unclear whether all ships will be returned, but most have been so far.

”енис œок€ƒˆин - Фло‚ское

A photo set of the storming of a police station in Gorlovka. No dates, so I don't know when this occurred. Note the police equipment quickly making it's way into the crowd.

http://englishrussia.com/2014/04/14/...e/#more-145342

More photos out of Kramatorsk. They're a few days old, from when the anti-terrorist operation was in full swing.

http://tutuskania.livejournal.com/1606017.html
http://tutuskania.livejournal.com/1608554.html

Also Timoshenko visited her supporters in Donetsk. Note how small the numbers are and that they're all wearing masks.

tutuskania.livejournal.com/1609535.html

Last edited by Feanor; April 19th, 2014 at 08:23 PM.
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Old April 20th, 2014   #446
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Another town has fallen to Donetsk militia. The local government and police announced that they intend to work together with the militias, to maintain public order and safety.

ЛОГОВО НЕТОЛЕ*АНТНОГО С*ЕДНЕВЕКОВОГО М*АКОБЕСА - Северск! Да!

The self-proclaimed "people's mayor" of Slavaynsk requested that Putin send Russian troops to Kharkov, Donbass, and Lugansk.

NEWSru.com ::

Some sort of independence and Russian annexation referendum is planned in Lugansk by the local sepratists.

Colonel Cassad -

A shooting took place at a Slavyansk check point. 4 SUVs with Right Sector activists opened fire on a checkpoint, which was manned by 26 unarmed locals. 3 died, one was wounded, the rest scattered, but managed to get help. 20 militia fighters from the city responded, engaged the attackers, and destroyed two of the SUVs. The others fled. Inside they found a map of Slavyansk, with the broadcast tower circled (the one that's now retransmitting Russian TV channels), explosives, night vision devices, and Right Sector symbolics.

*

A video of the checkpoint, manned by the militia and crowds of locals, where a shooting took place last night in Slavyansk.

Scene of Sloviansk Shooting - YouTube
In Enakievo, Donetsk, Yanukovich's home town, all the militia activists disappeared overnight.

NEWSru.com :: : - ,

The Ukrainian MVD invites ex-Berkut service members to return to work. This is right after an interview with a Crimean Berkut officer who described the problematic conditions for Ukrainian Berkut members, and how many of them are fleeing to Russia.

*

Some Ukrainian military trucks have been found being sold off illegally as "scrap metal".

В Украине нашли исправные армейские автомобили в пункте приема металлолома

In Belgorod, large numbers of Il-76s have been sighted. They were unloading personnel and vehicles, but specifics are absent. Photos here.

bmpd -

Also 5 Su-27s were sighted in Crimea. It's likely they're Su-27SM3s from Krymsk.

bmpd -
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Another town has fallen to Donetsk militia. The local government and police announced that they intend to work together with the militias, to maintain public order and safety.

›ž“ž’ž Н•Тž›•*АНТНž“ž С*•”Н•’•šž’ž“ž œ*Аšž‘•СА - Севе€ск! ”а!

The self-proclaimed "people's mayor" of Slavaynsk requested that Putin send Russian troops to Kharkov, Donbass, and Lugansk.

NEWSru.com ::

Some sort of independence and Russian annexation referendum is planned in Lugansk by the local sepratists.

Colonel Cassad -

A shooting took place at a Slavyansk check point. 4 SUVs with Right Sector activists opened fire on a checkpoint, which was manned by 26 unarmed locals. 3 died, one was wounded, the rest scattered, but managed to get help. 20 militia fighters from the city responded, engaged the attackers, and destroyed two of the SUVs. The others fled. Inside they found a map of Slavyansk, with the broadcast tower circled (the one that's now retransmitting Russian TV channels), explosives, night vision devices, and Right Sector symbolics. They also found weapons that are of non-Ukrainian origin, claiming that they are foreign-made (what this means is unclear). The militia fighter in the third link does mentioned German grenades, and a large quantity of ammunition (presumably not 7.62X39 or 5.45X39).

*
Народное ополчение в Славянске вводит комендантский час - YouTube Славянск Нападение на блок пост Правым сектором - YouTube
A video of the checkpoint, manned by the militia and crowds of locals, where a shooting took place last night in Slavyansk.

Scene of Sloviansk Shooting - YouTube
One of the Right Sector guys was captured. According to him, they were a group of 6 from Kiev and Western Ukraine. They were sent to Kharkov and then Slavyansk. He doesn't explain what they were there to do. After the militia showed up and returned fire, they scattered and ran.

В Славянске задержан боевик "Правого сектора", атаковавший один из блокпостов - YouTube
The Kiev government claims that 2 of the captured armored vehicles have been returned to them, but local sources disagree stating all 6 are still in militia hands.

http://www.voicesevas.ru/news/yugo-v...nnye-u-uk.html

In Enakievo, Donetsk, Yanukovich's home town, all the militia activists disappeared overnight.

NEWSru.com :: : - ,

The Ukrainian MVD invites ex-Berkut service members to return to work. This is right after an interview with a Crimean Berkut officer who described the problematic conditions for Ukrainian Berkut members, and how many of them are fleeing to Russia.

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Some Ukrainian military trucks have been found being sold off illegally as "scrap metal".

’ Ук€аине наˆли исп€авн‹е а€мейские ав‚омобили в пƒнк‚е п€иема ме‚аллолома

In Belgorod, large numbers of Il-76s have been sighted. They were unloading personnel and vehicles, but specifics are absent. Photos here.

bmpd -

Also 5 Su-27s were sighted in Crimea. It's likely they're Su-27SM3s from Krymsk.

bmpd -
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Old April 21st, 2014   #448
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Two men were randomly shot (not fatally), kidnapped, and beaten, under suspicion of being Russian agents, by the Ukrainian military. They were flown by helicopter to Kramatorsk airport, where they managed to get away.

Двоих мужчин, раненных, с мешками на голове выкинули под Краматорским аэродромом (ВИДЕО,ФОТО) | 6264.com.ua - Новости Краматорска

Closer filming of the abandoned BMD-2 in Donbass shows that it's not one of the vehicles captured by the rebels, and that the vehicle shows signs of being fired on. Locals say that a helicopter shot it up. Speculating, but it seems to me that the vehicle was abandoned due to a mechanical breakdown and then destroyed by the military to keep rebels from using it.

u_96:
Gur Khan attacks!:

More photos of the militia.

u_96:
tutuskania:
http://www.imgmlp.com/images/2014/04...superJumbo.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/JRb8bdE.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/xAB3e85.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/2MBwH71.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/4kE0ZDI.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/E4MZBlp.jpg

Videos of the militia re-entering government buildings in Kramatorsk.

jerry24-it.livejournal.com/43761.html

More photos of the checkpoint shooting scene in Slavyansk, after the shooting.

tutuskania.livejournal.com/1610855.html

And a short video of items recovered from the Right Sector vehicles at the scene of the Slavyansk shooting. Note the interesting machinegun in the video. It looks like an MG-3, but commentators have been speculating that it's a Yugoslav-produced look-alike.

u_96:

In Slavyansk, the flag of the Donetsk People's Republic has been placed on government buildings.

u_96:

In Slavyansk the rebels are launching their own TV channel, using the captured TV tower.

NEWSru.com :: , " "

"People's governors" have been selected in Kharkov and Lugansk. In Kharkov reportedly he was chosen at a protest rally of about 250 people (most of the protesters had already left). In Lugansk he was chosen at a closed session of the militia and local leaders. The Lugansk governor is also the commander of militia forces in Lugansk, while the Kharkov elected is a famous blogger.

NEWSru.com :: " ": ,

Lugansk may be declaring independence, like Donbass.

Colonel Cassad -

In Crimea the local militia attacked the Tatar Medzhlis building, and ripped the Ukrainian flag down from it. Two of the women inside were beaten and threatened. This comes after, first an announcement that the Crimean militias will be disbanded, and later an announcement that the Crimean militias will get a special status like Cossack groups in Russia.

NEWSru.com :: , ,

This photo was posted of Ukrainian Air-Mobile troops exercises a little while ago. Now a column of similar vehicles was spotted in Melitopol'.

napoleon_6 -
stbcaptain.livejournal.com/101265.html
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Old April 21st, 2014   #449
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If Europe imposes trade barriers for trade with Russia, Russia will retaliate with its own trade barriers. In the end, EU gas consumers, Gazprom, EU producers of various goods exported to Russia and their Russian consumers lose,... .
Think about who hurts most. Who do you think? The state that depends on Europe for over half its export revenues & imports, or the states that get 12% of their imports from, & sell 7% of their exports to, Russia?

Without exports to Europe, Russia would go broke before it could build all the new pipelines, liquefaction plants, terminals, etc. to export enough oil & gas to the rest of the world to replace Europe, unless it slashed public spending (while spending vast amounts on all those new facilities) & imports.

Europe would hurt far less. Gas stocks are rising (time of year), & are already enough to cover several months of consumption. There are underused LNG terminals already in existence, connected by pipeline to most of the main users of Russian gas. The Baltic states will become able to replace Russian gas imports this year, with the opening of a new LNG terminal in Lithuania.

Complete replacement of Russian imports isn't possible in the short term, because there isn't enough LNG export capacity, & prices would increase considerably. Some of the shortfall can be replaced fairly quickly by other fuels (there are idle coal & nuclear power stations, for example), but there'd still be a significant shortage. But not a catastrophic shortage.

Exports to Russia are a fairly small part of European exports - but Russia gets over half of its imports from Europe. It's probably a safe bet that the USA, & perhaps some other non-European states, would join in. Many Russian manufacturers (e.g. of airliners) would have to find new suppliers of essential parts & equipment in a hurry, or cease production.
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Old April 21st, 2014   #450
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Think about who hurts most. Who do you think? The state that depends on Europe for over half its export revenues & imports, or the states that get 12% of their imports from, & sell 7% of their exports to, Russia?
I agree that Russia would hurt more from lost gas profits which are so important to them.
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Originally Posted by swerve View Post
Complete replacement of Russian imports isn't possible in the short term, because there isn't enough LNG export capacity, & prices would increase considerably. Some of the shortfall can be replaced fairly quickly by other fuels (there are idle coal & nuclear power stations, for example), but there'd still be a significant shortage. But not a catastrophic shortage.
It seems you leave room for partial continuation of imports of Russian gas. If that's the case, Russia will have some time to secure new markets and build new facilities.
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