Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Embedded Oct. 21-23 | Ukraine's Nationalist War Re-Igniting | Part I of II | By George Eliason

Embedded Oct. 21-23 | Ukraine's Nationalist War Re-Igniting |Part I of II

 Source: OpEd News

Ukraine's Destruction in Donbass
(image by George Eliason)

For three days I was escorted by Ghost Battalion (Prezrak) around Donetsk, Lugansk and towns and areas hit by Kiev's war in Donbass. The Novo Russia Army's Ghost Battalion gave me unparalleled access to everything I wanted to see. While there are understandable limits because of security issues which included my own, how often do you get to meet with and ask questions directly to the military leaders running a war? Why would they give me this much access?

After the Minsk agreement went into effect nationalist Kiev forces wasted no time rearming and staging heavy weapons including tanks and artillery pieces by the hundreds in strategic locations they were supposed to have left. While sending a group of soldiers off to the ATO (civil war) Cabinet Minister Farion stated bluntly that Ukraine exists for the sole purpose of destroying Russia. We will start with the Russians in Donbass and finish when we destroy Moscow. Ukraine must be the tip of the spear starting WW3!

Even now trainloads of war machines and soldiers are moving into the area around Donetsk, near Lugansk, and Mariupol. According to the best intelligence on the ground Poroshenko is about to break the cease in hostilities on a large scale once again.

In reality Kiev has not stopped attacking. Ukraine's forces have kept up the onslaught against the Novo Russia army. News about cleansing operations in towns under Ukrainian control is reported by survivors that escape. A few days ago Kiev again shelled Donetsk with phosphorus burning a section of the city.

Prezrak- the Ghost Warriors of Donetsk and Lugansk

Prezrak (Ghost) Battalion Mechanized Division Patch
(image by George Eliason)

They were named Prezrak (Ghost) by the Ukrainian army for their ability to seemingly come out of thin air, decimate entire battalions, and then vanish. Ghost (Prezrak) and the Kozaki (Cossacks) are the battalions that Ukrainian propagandists and apologists want you to believe are Russian Special Forces, tanks, and artillery divisions invading Ukraine.

Prezrak is comprised of infantry, tank, and artillery battalions. Most of its members are local citizens that joined after Kiev attacked Donbass. A small number including the commander Alexi Mozgovoy were military men. Before the war he was a recruiter for the Ukrainian army in Donbass.

According to the former commander at Slavyansk Igor Strelkov- Artillery strikes against the militias, residential areas, and industry is intensifying as Ukraine is making massive preparations for an attack.
Ukraine is still using heavy multiple rocket launchers, artillery, and tactical missiles including the Tochka-U specifically on civilian populations. Civilian victims are paying a higher price in casualties during the peace than during the hot war. Two strike forces are set within an offensive perimeter to the north-west and south-west of Donetsk.

A third concentration is at Debalsevo which can strike deep through the least covered areas of the Novo Russia army. This large concentration of forces will go to take the border areas cutting off supplies to both Donetsk and Lugansk.

With all the data considered Commander Strelkov concludes that if Ukraine throws all their forces into battle simultaneously, the numerically small, and poorly armed militia will be quickly defeated without direct Russian intervention.
Novo Russia (Donetsk and Lugansk Republics) will cease to exist and soon after that, all its people too.

How it started
The day before all this came about we (my wife and I) were offered a ride into the city on the local militia's bus. The bus takes the men to the checkpoints and back home again. We listened to their stories. All were local, small town people- farmers and coal miners. As we pulled up to one man's house he remarked- "L ook! My sheep are coming out to meet me." I asked if I could include this in an article I was working on and he laughed. None of them were home very much and without any type of pay, all their families suffer. Their farms are neglected and their own harvests are meager. They were too busy defending the region to tend to their own families needs.

Across the board all the people I met said the same thing; no one gets paid for defending Donbass. The volunteers are volunteers in the strictest sense. Later that afternoon I was offered the opportunity to document different areas and people around Donetsk and Lugansk I would not ordinarily have access to.

Why They Are Fighting

Orthodox Church attacked as part of Ukraine cleansing Donbass
(image by George Eliason)

Ukraine is wide open farm land. It reminds me of the American mid-west. Donbass is both coal and agricultural country. As we drove toward Donetsk we passed through thousands of acres covered in unharvested crops due to Kiev mining the grain fields. No matter where I went this sad fact was apparent. The grain needed for bread or hay to feed the farm animals would not be there in the winter. Kiev had created a famine with land mines.
The first town they took me to showed the aftermath of a cleansing operation. We stopped at the school pictured here that was shelled by the now burnt out Ukrainian army tank shown below.

Ukraine tank burnt out after battle with Prezrak
(image by George Eliason)

I looked across the street into the neighborhoods and it was clear; house after house was shot with large caliber heavy weapons.

Street view- No real signs of War- Just destruction
(image by George Eliason)

Looking at the houses pictured here and then the homes as far as you can see in any direction you can see the results of a cleansing operation on a residential area. All have been destroyed systematically by heavy weapons. Picture this in your own neighborhoods; a slow motion drive-by shooting at military scale. Below is a photo of a bullet casing.

Heavy automatic casing used against people and homes in Donbass
(image by George Eliason)

As I walked down the cross streets, it was the same. On both sides the homes were virtually demolished by the same method. In between, where you could see a house on the next street, it was shot from the same side.

School and apartment destroyed as part of cleansing campaign
(image by George Eliason)

People were in these houses when it started otherwise there is no point to it. The punisher battalions start around 4 am as people are waking. Going on to the next parallel street it is the same.

Everything is intact except the living quarters.
(image by George Eliason)

That's when it hit me- there was no sign of war here. The street and trees where you would expect to see heavy scarring or explosive damage from fighting were barely touched. Fences in front of the homes exhibit the results of a long line of continuous heavy machine gun fire that shows the extent of the cleansing exercise. The bullet pattern is continuous along the length of the fence.

Fenceline shows continuous fire all along it during cleansing
(image by George Eliason)

This was an exercise in murder, slow methodical murder. You can almost hear the gunner saying something like "hey stop- back up-we missed one."Until this point my escorts were silent just letting me take it all in.

Houses in distance destroyed but everything else intact. Sunflower field could not be harvested. Ukraine laid mines.
(image by George Eliason)

Further on there was this burnt-out hull of a tank with flowers on it. They said it was theirs and the crew had died here. If you look behind the tank in the photo this is the first home that was not destroyed by the punisher battalion that worked here. Prezrak (Ghost) destroyed the Ukrainian punishers doing this.

Prezrak tank destroyed defending town. 1st intact home can be seen behind it.
(image by George Eliason)

Imagine this happening in your own town and the people that stopped it are called terrorists by the government perpetrating it.

Who Are Prezrak and the Novo Rus Army?

Ghost- Prezrak volunteers
(image by George Eliason)

Are Ghost (Prezrak) and the Kozaki (Cossacks) actually the Russian army attacking Ukraine? The OSCE has reported on a number of occasions that there was no sign of a Russian military presence in Donbass. Ukraine reports its losses are due to Russian military intervention. The western press reports likewise.

The same goes for Russian weapons. The press raves about modern Russian weapons in Donbass as does Washington DC. The OSCE says otherwise. What's the truth and how do we get to it objectively and with finality?

So far these seem to be the questions that have stumped large news stations and publications. As we were driving I decided on the most straightforward approach possible.

I took a straightforward bouncer at the bar approach to ID'ing Russians that were not there. For 3 days I did random and persistent identification checks at checkpoints, barracks, and on the street. I demanded to see soldiers passports. I even asked for and saw the Commander "Sergei77"'s passport. If you have seen any of the video's coming out of the region there are familiar commanders and soldiers in them that are celebrated as heroes. I checked some of them also.
Every passport I inspected was Ukrainian- End of Story. 
Are there Russian volunteers here? Yes, of course; but they are not Russian military and not in massive numbers. The amount of ground we covered during these few days made it impossible to cover up if it were otherwise. The other side of it is that I regularly talk to street level soldiers about these things that are not shy about their hope Putin does come.

I have met and spoken with Chechens, Afghanis, and Russians. I also met Georgians, former Kiev residents, and Western Ukrainians. These encounters have been very sporadic, one person here, two there. Some had prior military experience but most are scared of the geo-political trend they see the USA setting up in the world.

My interview with the Spanish group that had the largest contingent of foreigners I have seen in one place at one time ( 10 people) summarizes all of their views well.

Another group that I don't make that separation with as foreigners are the Don Cossacks( Kozaki). This is their traditional and historic home and land. The Kozaki live on both sides of the border. Everyone here has family on both sides also. If someone was shooting or bombing your family- the question is would you help your own family if you could?
To drive the point home about the fact there is no Russian military invasion or intervention, it helps that the Obama administration uses social media as an intelligence source. Contrary to the administration and media there never was a Russian military presence here.

America's most famous nazi, the Ukrainian-American nationalist Mark Paslawsky stated bluntly on Aug. 2nd that it looked like they would win soon as long as Putin stays away. Paslawsky was fighting with the murderous Donbass battalion and would have been in our area right along the Russian border at the time he was interviewed by Vice News and tweeted there was no Russian military presence in Ukraine.

The Russians he was quoted as hating are the people of Donbass. The Russians he said he was fighting are the people of Donbass. Lenin broke Donbass off of Russia and made it part of Ukraine because they were against his revolution too. Donbass Cossacks were the Tzar's personal bodyguards and against the 1917 revolution.

Mark Paslawsky tweet- No Russian attacking!
(image by Twitter)

If you don't believe me- Believe the Nazi. Paslawski tweeted under "bruce springnote.
Weapons Inspections

Date of manufacture stamp on AK. Newest weapon seen 1963
(image by George Eliason)

Have you ever thought about going up to a soldier in a war zone to just take his weapon and inspect it? Yeah well, its not a recommended practice unless you are with an officer that has the clout to make it happen. I was allowed to inspect weapons at the checkpoints, barracks, and close to the front-line.

At first they weren't sure what I was doing. When I demanded to see the first weapon their eyes kind of got real wide and the soldier looked at the officer first terrified and then angrily.

Each AK has a manufacture date on the stock side, and/or back of the gun, or depending on year of manufacture. The Ukrainian and American news is full of reports about new high end Russian weapons crossing the border. The etched dates for all the weapons I saw ranged from 1948 to 1963. The newest one I saw belonged to the Commander "Sergei77"-1963.

Having written on this before and keeping abreast since the conflict started I wasn't surprised. I have reported regularly when Ukrainian armories have been taken over as well as tank and artillery repair yards. These have been the main source of arms in Donbass. How tank military storage, junkyards and repair yards containing hundreds of tanks each remained out of most western media is beyond me.

The inflow of large numbers of Russian tanks theory falls apart as soon as you look at it objectively. The Russians don't make these models. They were made in Ukraine and Russia hasn't used them since Soviet days. They are still made in Ukraine for export though. The newer models Novo Rus now has were collected in battle, stolen, or left behind by Kiev's forces when they ran out of fuel.

Some of The People I Met
Donetsk has a very familiar air to it. It reminds me a lot of Fayetteville, NC. Soldiers and people were all over the street. Soldiers were running in formation, marching, or just walking around. Like Fayetteville there were no off duty soldiers with weapons- not one. In fact there were no weapons on the streets at all.

No one looked threatened and it was a far cry from my own experience with the Ukrainians leveling weapons at every passerby in my own town when they were here.
I stood outside where I was staying and watched the people on the street. There was the now familiar sounds of shelling in the distance but people were trying to go about life.

The Spanish

Spanish contingent fighting nazis in Donbass
(image by George Eliason)

My escort asked if I wanted to meet the Spanish volunteers that were forming their own battalion. I said of course. I walked up and started to introduce myself and the volunteer went in and got 6 more of them to talk to. At first it was a little rough, honestly. "Marco" asked if I was an accredited reporter and when I said no- he said "conversation's over." His comrade added that I was American and he glared at me and said "well that settles that, doubly -no!"

I don't recommend laughing at a time like that but couldn't help myself. He glared at me and I asked him point blank if talking to the accredited reporters had gotten his story out? He said no, so I suggested we do that then.

I went through the list of accredited questions- Who are you? Where are you from? Are you a Russian in disguise? Were you a soldier? What kind of work did you do before? Why are you here?
He answered tersely, and then the rehearsed for publication answers- We are against nazis, against NATO, against junta, against American imperialism etc..
I said "well we know what you are against, but what are you for?" No one ever seems to ask this question. For instance Maidan was about freedom, but what for? It was freedom for nationalists to take over Ukraine.

Once they understood what I was driving at they opened up a lot. They came from all walks of life to come and help. They bought everything on their own from weapons to boots. The gist is that nationalism/nazism has a strong undercurrent in Europe now. If the nazis win in Donbass they are afraid all of Europe will fall. Because Ukraine's example ultra-nationalism is becoming mainstream with Poroshenko himself going as far as saying the Ukrainian brand is becoming very popular around the world.

Some of them are married. All left Spain knowing that their government would soon declare them terrorists. Politically they told me they go across the entire spectrum from Communists to nationalists. They are sure none of them will be able to return home but in their own words they are defending the free people of Europe from the resurgence of what was called pure evil 70 years ago. They have given up everything.

None of them are military men. The one thing they are sure about is that they would rather fight nazism here than wait for it to come home. "Marco" stated plainly he thought the men and women of Donbas were made of steel. They won't break and will never give up. They will win. That's why they all came. They sorted through the news carefully through the internet. For most the decision was individual and they met after they arrived here.

After I spoke with them the officer I was with stated his concerns about them. They come from every walk of life except military. They had to be trained from day one and having no Russian language skills made that difficult. It's the reasons they came that are important. They see what is happening and care enough about the lives and futures of their own families to care about ours in Donbass.
Spain had a long history with Bandera nationalism when Franco was in power and these men understand what that will mean.

If that sounds like a stretch, a stark example is Anders Breivik, who murdered 77 people in 2011. Why did he do this? Has that ever been answered? Breivik has always come across as calculating, not crazy. In Norwegian politics the next generation of politicians are the children of the current political class. They were at the camp together for this reason. Its how they are brought up. Breivik killed all of the next generation of moderate politicians in Norway in one act.

This opens the entire political spectrum up to the ultra nationalists who are raising their children to fill that void through nationalist youth groups- just like in Ukraine (SYM, PLAST) since 1991. Breivik will get out of prison as a young man and is confident he will be regarded as a hero to the next generation.

New generation Ukrainian politician- Donbass deserves it!??
(image by political ad for Uri Levchenko)

Prezrak Soldiers

"Lemon"-The one soldier I was convinced was from Russia initially introduced himself as being from Rostov-on-Don. "Lemon" is in his early twenties and, without heart surgery, his prognosis isn't good. Later when I saw his Ukrainian passport he told me that he went to Russia as a refugee at first but could not live with himself. His family was being attacked in Donbass. That is his home.
Even in his condition he is determined to fight until the end.

"Poli"- is just 16 years old. He was in the 11th grade in school. I asked him why he isn't in school now? I meant going elsewhere, especially at his age. He has a quick smile but has seen a lot of bad things in the war already. He explained that Ukraine shelled his school- that was what ended his education. Some of his neighbors were killed, so he joined the militia to protect the ones that survived. His great-grandfather fought the nazis and bandera. He would do the same. There was no way he could insult the memory of his grandfather by running away or letting it happen.

School destroyed by Ukrainian army cleansing
(image by George Eliason)

"Demon"- was just recently married. His wife is stuck in a Kiev-controlled area and he is worried about her. If they find out she is married to a Prezrak she will be tortured and killed like the punisher battalions have done to all the families of the Donbass army when they find them. He is more afraid for her than for himself.

The stories started blending together. For some they had survived an attack or cleansing. For others, Kiev killed their families and friends. None were professional military although some had served. Even the medics were adhoc. People were learning the skills as they went. One medic was a seamstress. Today she stitches the wounds from the attacks on civilians as well as military actions.

The difference and reason for the success against Kiev until now became apparent when I met the leaders of Prezrak. The one thing they haven't done is just throw people into the war or throw lives away. The ironic thing is that extends over to their enemies. The one constant feature in this war, even in battle, has been the communication with Kiev forces to stop fighting and live. Every time they have surrounded them or out-maneuvered them for a victory, the Donbass army has also tried to spare them.
Alexi Mosgovoy

Alexey Mosgovoy
(image by George Eliason)

Alexi Mosgovoy is the commander of Prezrak in Donetsk. While there, my linguistic limitations got in the way to a degree, but they were gracious to provide someone that spoke enough English. By this time and including this conversation a pattern emerged based in how Donbass people and the Novo Russia army are depicted in the press.

Everyone seemed afraid that I would not understand they were local people because, in print and broadcast, they are referred to as Russian separatists and terrorists. I came to the conclusion that was why were being so open and every person I spoke with started from square one- Maidan.

All things considered, it's an injustice to people that are being victimized brutally to slant them in a way that presents them or their right to live as less than the punishers that are mutilating their families. It is the same as saying a rape victim asked for it.

At the top of Commander Mosgovoy's mind was the idea that the civil war needs to end. Brother can not fight against brother. He, like his forces have lived their whole lives here, and if Kiev forgot they were the same people, he has not. That's why he has been sending Ukrainian prisoners home if they are not part of the punisher battalions. They are not even kept for the prisoner exchanges.

On the tip of everyone's tongue I spoke with was they were Ukrainian. They have always lived here and still have not come to grips with why this is happening. They are in shock that Kiev had attacked them and made it impossible for them to remain Ukrainian.

Mosgovoy's translator kept going to the beginning that very few have written about until now. Since 1991 nationalist Kiev has progressively lowered the living standards of Donbass while raising it in West Ukraine. There is no industry or industrial base in West Ukraine, unemployment is high but the benefits are good. In Donbass lower wages, longer hours, inferior products at the market since 1991 had changed the people into even thinking of themselves as inferior.

The crazy part is Donbass produced 40% of the national GDP for Ukraine by itself. The money was siphoned off and not reinvested locally. When the natz guardia forces take a town it is common for them to remark on how poor it is in Donbass.

Mosgovoy is worried about the imminent attack by Kiev. The Novo Russia army isn't being supplied by Russia in weapons, manpower, or weapons. This latest false truce that allowed a defeated Kiev to regroup and rearm is the one thing that may defeat Donbass.
While they are waiting for the attack to begin the shelling has never stopped. Kiev just hit a chemical factory in Donetsk.

The large question I had for Mosgovoy given the circumstances was where does the war end? He leaned back in his chair, thoughtful for a minute, and said when Donbass is whole and not cut up the war will end. Nothing else is acceptable. Too many of his people and their families were from Kiev controlled areas. Too many of families were being killed by the punishers as we spoke. He will then work to seek justice for the crimes against humanity Kiev committed against Donbass.

So Who Are the Nazis in Kiev?
Finding nazi's in Kiev responsible for the crimes against humanity, torture, and murder is something else western government and media have failed at miserably. To make matters worse any time the subject rises due to obvious excesses the "nazis" are pointed out by propagandists to look like the photo below. By providing mesmerizing pictures that distract people from looking at the ideology of the current government in Kiev the media is guilty of willful and criminal mass deception of the general public world wide.

Doe Eyed Brownshirts
(image by Red Phoenix)

Donbass isn't fighting the people pictured here. They are not the responsible leaders giving orders. These doe eyed specimens in the image are probably long buried. If you want to find nazis in Kiev first and foremost stop looking at the overly effeminate slave tattooed heterosexual young men that think group violence against defenseless targets is the mark of manhood.

Who are the nazis? Are they the brownshirts that don't understand that the same ideology they kill others for will kill them also? Or is it the ideologist and politico at the top who will send them to death and not miss breakfast when they die?

Although it was written to open up the subject of anti-semitic thought pervading Ukrainian universities, the university in question has been the strongest purveyor of nationalist or Bandera/ nazi thought in Ukraine. T he Inter-regional Academy of Human Resources (MAUP) also boasts of providing the education for more than 97% of the Ukrainian national government in the decades preceding Maidan. MAUP teaches Bandera/ nazi ideology.

In the wake of the Orange Revolution, Ukraine has witnessed a substantial growth in organized anti-Semitism. Central to this development is an organization, known as the Interregional Academy of Human Resources, better known by its Ukrainian acronym MAUP. It operates a well-connected political network that reaches the very top of the Ukrainian society. MAUP is the largest private university in Ukraine, with 57,000 students at 24 regional campuses. MAUP is connected to the KKK; David Duke is teaching courses in history and international relations at the university. Funded by Saudi Arabia, Libya and Iran, MAUP's printing house publishes about 85% of the anti-Semitic literature in Ukraine. Until very recently, Ukrainian President Yushchenko and Foreign Minister Tarasiuk served on its board; former President Kravchuk still does.
"It has educated more government officials,diplomats and administrators than any other university and has the highest academic accreditation Ukraine provides as well as recognition from UNESCO."
It operates a vast network of educational institutions. Recently, it has seen rapid growth. In 2004, 35,000 students were studying at its 55 affiliates and seven regional institutions across Ukraine.
By September 2005, the number of students had grown to over 51,000, in November the same year to 57,000.

The root of the problem is not the existence of MAUP or the statements and activities of this or that xenophobe, but in our inaction in the face of open evil, in our lack of preparedness to ask our politicians, which we stoodshoulder to shoulder with on the streets during the days of the revolution: how long will these professors at the MAUP institutions bring disgrace to respectable professors by appearing alongside a mob of domestic semi-fascists/semi-chekists and imported clansmen?

Our question to the leaders of Ukraine is: who stands behind this massive anti-Semitic campaign? Is this not a "fifth column" working within our society who wishes to introduce a foreign ethno political conflict on our territory? - PerAnders Rudling Canadian Slavonic Papers/Revue canadienne des slavistesVol. XLVIII, Nos. 1-2, March-June 2006 Organized Anti-Semitism in Contemporary Ukraine:Structure, Influence and Ideology

Written in 2005, published in 2006 and looking back to the the time Ukraine first declared itself sovereign this and many other published academic works don't just state the obvious; the Ukrainian Nazis comprise almost all the entire sitting government in Kiev today; but scholars and historians attempted to head off this problem a decade before Maidan and change its direction before we got to where we are today.
Poroshenko, Tymoshenko, Klitskcho, Yatsenyuk, and with few exceptions the entire sitting government in Kiev are the true ultra-nationalists in suits and ties giving the orders. Ironically October, 28 th marks the day when Nazi forces were defeated in all of Ukraine during WW2 because it is now being fought again for the same reasons.

In the face of this how can Europe's governments and the first black President of the United States embrace a country that espouses hard right radical racial KKK ideology as taught by David Duke?

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