The bad news:
1. “Humanitarian aid” from Russia is nonetheless entering into Ukraine–the last report was that the first group of trucks have entered into the transit zone of the Russian checkpoint of “Donetsk.” The National Security and Defense Council [NSDC] reported that Ukrainian customs and border control guards will start inspection and clearance of cargo “not earlier than Thursday.”
What abomination to expect from this special operation of the Kremlin’s–is anyone’s guess. Moscow still failed to explain any “water-salt” contents of the cargo and the method of withdrawal of its transport back to Russia. Nor have we heard any clear commentary on this “aid” from the Red Cross. A lot of questions and bad forebodings.
Andrew Roth, NYT Moscow Bureau
Editor’s note: recent reports say that the first 8 white trucks have crossed the border into Ukraine now.
Photo: Andrew Roth, NYT Moscow Bureau tweet.
2. The Adviser to the Interior Minister A. [Anton] Gerashchenko said that the Ministry of Defense delays the issuing of heavy weapons for the Specialized Battalions of the Ministry of the Interior, whereas the latter “take the fight to the terrorists armed with Grads, canons, armored vehicles, [thus] assisting our Armed Forces.”
We clarified this situation for ourselves back in June. The Defense Ministry explained to us that for arms transfers to another agency, there is a statutory procedure, and such issues are not resolved in [only] two days. In what kind of time period is it possible to resolve this issue–we were unable to find out.
At the same time, the General Staff, in informal conversations, are of the opinion that the Specialized Battalions of the Ministry for the Interior should not operate as assault units by definition, because that’s what the army is for. And the Interior Ministry units must comply with the relevant tasks–to carry out the clearing of settlements and restore law and order in the liberated territories.
This may well be so, but it is necessary to ensure an ideal interaction between the divisions and the units of the Interior Ministry and the AFU [Armed Forces of Ukraine] so that every man does only his job–in particular, so that the army [can] promptly destroy any heavy equipment in the path of these same Specialized Battalions. Which, unfortunately, we do not see. So, there is one of two things remaining–either solve the problem with interaction or arm the Specialized Battalions with heavy weapons.
3. The territories controlled by the insurgents in Donbas finally plunged into an abyss of lawlessness – from terrorists thriving by looting.
According to our data, in cities occupied by terrorists, residents are trying to sell movable property for a pittance, which the fighters for Putin’s idea did not have time to “squeeze out” [from them]. A decent car can be bought from the owner for 1-2,000 Hryvnias [USD $75.50–151]. However, for a “squeezed” auto, terrorists can give a couple of cartons of cigarettes. What a sad picture of the “Russian world” …
The good news:
1. A significant part of Luhansk is under the control of our forces, the freeing of Donetsk is underway as well.
I distinguish these two red dots on the ATO [anti-terrorist operation] map for one reason: the liberation of these two towns has a huge, so to speak, military and political meaning in the context of the conflict in Donbas. Since their liberation will be a major blow to Putin’s project of “Novorossiya” [New Russia], it’s two nails with one blow in the lid of a double coffin for the DNR and LNR [Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics]. I have no doubt about the fact that this will soon happen.
2. In Moscow, the good people repainted in yellow and blue, the star on the steeple of the high-rises built under Stalin on the Kotelnicheskaya Embankment and hung a Ukrainian flag on its steeple.
Russian Polizei immediately began raking the ground. Putin’s bodyguards seized four suspects. A criminal case has been initiated against them.
This is what I think … when the current mayor of Moscow, [Sergey] Sobyanin, is replaced by the commander of the Donbas Battalion, Muscovites will still grieve in lines for Ukrainian flags in an attempt to please the new authorities. For the sale of blue and yellow paint, by the way, coupons will also have to be introduced in Russian cities.
And for now–thank you for your support, courageous local guys. We will not stay indebted to you, [we] will free you from the dictatorship, just give us time.
3. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev today shortened the list of products that are prohibited for import into Russia from the West. [It] turned out to be not so easy to hit the West with the vaunted “retaliatory sanctions.”
Here, everything is clear: Vovka’s [slang for Vladimir] bravado has failed. [People] want to eat, very much so.
4. The National Agency of Ukraine on Civil Service has failed to establish the facts of inaction and sabotage by the First Deputy Minister of Defense Bohdan Butsa, accused of disrupting the procurement of the army. According to our data, the Prosecutor’s office previously reached the same conclusion.
Here, it is necessary to clarify [some facts]. B. Butsa came to the post of Deputy Minister of Defense after Maidan (he held this position during the “Orange [Revolution]” government), essentially ending up in a “hostile” environment. This spring, Butsa proposed not to put the money, allocated towards the ATO, into circulation towards the tenders for the purchase of fuel for the army from commercial enterprises (since it amounted to hundreds of millions of Hryvnias), and [instead] take the fuel from the state reserve, and only transfer the money to restock these reserves. The fact that the defense department officials in this instance were left without the “kickbacks” from the tenders, immediately made Butsa their enemy number one.
Butsa also blocked attempts by some officials to commit fraud with the sale of movable property of the Armed Forces. Which made him [more] enemies on the level up. After which, he got blamed for all the sins in the supplying of the army.
Honestly, I don’t know how crystally honest this bureaucrat is. However, the recent prosecution against Bohdan Butsa was clearly ordered–it is an [obvious] fact. Also, I’m confident that the acquittal of the Deputy Defense Minister should be an occasion for more thorough investigations in the abuse of the army supply and the search for true culprits. Moreover, I think that Butsa himself, after all this persecution, could suggest to the law enforcement where they should be “digging.”