Ukraine government forces recapture separatist stronghold

Comments (37)
DURO wrote:

Russia is the pest of our time

Jul 05, 2014 7:14am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Tribbett wrote:

Bravo to Poroshenko. Chase the Russians back home.

Jul 05, 2014 9:34am EDT  --  Report as abuse
nose2066 wrote:

Rebels usually don’t win by fighting against a superior force in an open battle. Rebels are supposed to hide out and do sneaky things like plant roadside bombs (improvised explosive devices – IED’s).

Jul 05, 2014 9:52am EDT  --  Report as abuse
CanRus wrote:

Some very good news! Wasn’t expecting it to happen so quickly. The citizens of Slavyansk can slowly begin getting back to living normally and peacefully, and rebuilding their shattered city, now that Putin’s terrorist squad has been forced out. Well, the ones who weren’t killed anyway. Hopefully those who were forced to flee will come back soon to help the others who couldn’t leave, for various reasons – often had elderly sick relatives living with them, or simply nowhere else to go. My spouse’s grandmother lived through WWII – war is always terrible, especially for civilians. Hopefully this nightmare Ukraine has been plunged into will all be over soon.

Jul 05, 2014 10:01am EDT  --  Report as abuse

“Igor Strelkov, a Muscovite appointed as defence minister”. Says it all. Let’s hope he’s soon arrested and put on trial for the carnage he’s helped to create.

Jul 05, 2014 10:14am EDT  --  Report as abuse
pyradius wrote:

nose2066,

Not quite. “Rebels” win by getting popular support, something the rebels in eastern Ukraine do not have. Note the “rebellion” in Western Ukraine was a resounding success because it was a popular uprising.

Jul 05, 2014 10:39am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Juro wrote:

CIA Victory: Slavs killing Slavs
Ukraine begins military offensive as cease-fire ends – CNN.com

Jul 05, 2014 10:46am EDT  --  Report as abuse
mils54 wrote:

There is only one force in this world that could have kept the Russians from all out invading Ukraine, And it was done without war machines and troops etc etc………………………MONEY!!!. I still fear this is far from over but hopefully this is the beggining. You thought i was going to say the U.S didn’t you :)

Jul 05, 2014 11:06am EDT  --  Report as abuse
ccharles wrote:

What they are calling rebels are the citizens of that area, not an army. That this guy is using the military, his countrys military to hit these people is ILLEGAL by international law. NO Country can use there military on there home soil. They have to use there police force. Thats the law! This was a federation of several states that Ukraine was but one of, and they are making this play because Kiev was the capitol of this federation. Ukraine by no means has terrortoial rights to these other states.

Some one needs to step in and stop this slaughter, and offensive by these tyrants. With this being in Russias back yard, its up to them to deal with it, not us, and if europe wants to get into it, they can, but they should take the lead which they did not and will not,for obvious reasons.

Democracy used to just instill another form of dictatorship, as we see being played out, submitt to what we want or we will kill u has never been nor will be democracy.

Jul 05, 2014 11:23am EDT  --  Report as abuse
MonitorLizard wrote:

It doesn’t matter who captures or recaptures what. This is going to end badley if it ends at all. And it all started with the ousting of Mr. Yanukovich who I believe was a tyrant and was obviously living off the assets of his people. His overthrowers must have known that by getting rid of him that this would open a “can of worms.” No doubt he is having a good laugh now and has basically won. Regardless of whether the “rebels” have shoes or not, Mr. Poroshenko and his followers will eventually run out of more important things necessary to keep fighting and lack of footwear never deterred anyone from adequately firing an AK47.

Jul 05, 2014 11:46am EDT  --  Report as abuse
BraveNewWrld wrote:

pyradius wrote:
nose2066,

Not quite. “Rebels” win by getting popular support, something the rebels in eastern Ukraine do not have

How does what you say square up with the following Reuters reporting in this same article:

Alla Belousova, who lives in Kramatorsk, said:

“Pass on these words to (Russian President Vladimir) Putin: the people of the Donbass believed him for some reason when he said he would help. But now they (government forces) are killing peaceful civilians and if that is not genocide I would like to know what is.

“The (rebel) fighters are without shoes and don’t have anything to fight with, she said.

Will you say Reuters spews Kremlin propaganda? Do you think that person Alla Belousova will be alive and well in a year from now? In Slaviansk?

Jul 05, 2014 12:43pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
eduard94 wrote:

nose2066 you can do that in a third world country where the state has little or no military power but in ukraine they would disappear even faster than now considering they have a really good secret service and army :D…USA is failing in iraq because everyone is against them in those theatres but in ukraine not a lot of people would help them(the rebels)

Jul 05, 2014 1:16pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
nose2066 wrote:

Oddly this news story says: “The rebellion in largely Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine has been a source of great tensions between the West and Russia.”

This is odd because there are many ghettoes in America, each of which contain perhaps ten times the population of the “rebel stronghold” in the Ukraine. The number of people killed in those ghettoes every year greatly exceeds the number of people killed in this conflict in the Ukraine. And those ghettoes are controlled by street gangs and other criminals (much like rebels), and not by the lawfully elected government.

But apparently this situation is not “a source of tension” for the West.

Jul 05, 2014 2:06pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
carlmartel wrote:

Now that Kiev forces have taken Slaviansk, the questions are will they keep it, and will they find the 7 to 19 remaining MANPADs, MAN Portable Air Defense missiles, surrendered at Slaviansk with parts of the 25th Airborne Armored Brigade according to a Reuters article on April 16 and the TO&E of Ukraine’s Army in Wikipedia. Of the estimated 12 to 24 missiles that Kiev’s troops surrendered, 5 have been used, including one at Luhansk in June, two months after the surrender at Slaviansk.

The final issue is whether Poroshenko will keep control in Kiev with the EU’s austerity measures that have begun. 50% higher consumer gas bills have arrived while wages have been frozen. The value of Ukraine’s currency is down 43.2% making imports much higher while wages are frozen. The EU free trade deal will let the EU buy more of Ukraine’s products leaving Ukrainians with fewer goods to buy with their less valuable currency. 40% higher utility and business gas prices are coming to raise electricity and store prices while wages are frozen. Taxes are rising while wages are frozen. Ukraine owes $55 billion to the EU but, its devalued currency forces it to repay the equivalent of $78 billion. Private Ukraine banks owe $250 billion to private EU banks that will require the equivalent of $358 billion to repay. Rising prices with frozen wages hit people who overthrew their last democratically elected president in February so Poroshenko may be the next democratically elected president of Ukraine to be overthrown. The debts that Ukraine owes, the problems for repayment with its devalued currency, and the losses from the Maidan revolution, the loss of Crimea, and the continuing eastern rebellion may cause new EU financial crises such as it has had for years. Therefore, neither the EU nor Ukraine are likely to gain any real benefits from the agreements made by Kiev and Brussels. I have tried to warn the US and EU (NATO) that it is taking on an economic basket case in Ukraine that will drag down the US and EU (NATO) that need to recover from 13 years of wars. Further, Obama has chosen to keep the US in Afghanistan for 2 more years when it planned to leave at the end of 2014. (See the article on the Taliban’s victory in bombing US fuel supplies for my comment on that issue.) I do not oppose US involvement in the world, but I do oppose the stupidity of US leaders in choosing the worst places for interventions.

Jul 05, 2014 2:14pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
111Dave111 wrote:

“Slaviansk became a hotbed of resistance under the military command of Igor Strelkov, a Muscovite [from Moscow, Russia] appointed as defence minister of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic. It had increasingly appeared to be going its own way independently of the rebel groups controlling Donetsk, the main industrial hub, and Luhansk. Many of the rebel violations of a government ceasefire which expired last Monday appeared to come from Slaviansk. But on Friday, Strelkov made an impassioned appeal for help to Russia”

I’ll bet that squirrel, Strelkov, is running back to Putin.

Jul 05, 2014 2:15pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Duh-Huh wrote:

I bet they had some help from drones.

Jul 05, 2014 2:43pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Hahahappy wrote:

“Pass on these words to (Russian President Vladimir) Putin: the people of the Donbass believed him for some reason when he said he would help. But now they (government forces) are killing peaceful civilians and if that is not genocide I would like to know what is.

Putin could have helped and probably saved many lives. The west stopped this from happening preferring instead to condone the killing of civilians. So tell me Russian haters, what were the sanctions for?

Jul 05, 2014 3:47pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
mils54 wrote:

I’ll say it again, If the people of the east wanted to become part of Russia….MOVE TO RUSSIA!!!, You don’t attempt to turn Ukraine where you live into Russian territory, Are you Morons?. Crimera will have to be returned as well.

Jul 05, 2014 4:23pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
neopolitics wrote:

Novorossiya (New Russia) has become Old Ukraine.

Jul 05, 2014 6:41pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
111Dave111 wrote:

My humble Ukraine strategy:
1.a. Reinforce Kalanchak, Kherson Oblast;
b. Reinforce Melitopol, Zaporizhia Oblast &
c. Reinforce Mariupol, Donetsk Oblast
2.a. Build Forces at Slovyanka, Dnepropetrovsk Oblast &
b. Build Forces at Slavyansk, Donetsk Oblast
c. Negotiate?
3. Attack Donetsk, Donetsk Oblast
b. Negotiate?
4. Attack Debaltseve, Donetsk Oblast
b. Negotiate?
5. Attack Luhansk, Luhansk Oblast
b. Negotiate?
6. Attack Dzhankoy, Crimea Oblast
b. Negotiate?
7. Attack Simferopol, Crimea Oblast

Jul 05, 2014 9:02pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
pyradius wrote:

BraveNewWrld,

Fair enough, I don’t doubt that they do have some civilian support. There’s not actually a lot of detail about this stat in particular, but there is one article I found that goes into some detail:

http://www.interpretermag.com/few-in-ukraine-including-in-the-east-support-separatism-or-joining-russia-poll-shows/

“Few in Ukraine support separatism. Only eight percent of the residents of the country as a whole favor separatism and joining another state, with the figures ranging from under one percent in western Ukraine to a high of 18 percent in the Donbas. And the same pattern holds about the formation of an independent state in the south east.

Only 11 percent of the Ukraine’s population as a whole support that idea. Only 10 percent in the south itself back it, and only 10 percent in the East do so. In the Donbas, that figure rises to 18 percent, still less than one resident in five. And few support joining southeastern Ukraine to Russia: only 9.5 percent in the south back it, only 11 percent in the east do so, and only 27 percent in the Donbas.

Even fewer want to see their region exit from Ukraine and become an independent state: six percent for Ukraine as a whole, two percent in the western portions of the country, and 17 percent in the Donbas, the poll found.

No one can deny that there are important regional differences in Ukraine about these issues, but what is striking — and what is obscured by Russian propaganda and its uncritical acceptance by many in the West –is that even in the eastern areas where Putin is presenting himself as a savior, overwhelming majorities want to remain in Ukraine.”

Jul 05, 2014 9:58pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
ulanbator wrote:

To mills54 . Why don’t you call on French Canadians to move to France or the Protestants in Northern Ireland go back to Englanf?

Jul 05, 2014 10:02pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
BraveNewWrld wrote:

@pyradius:

Tell m,e then, what are all these mass killings for? Why not hold referendum and let people vote their choice? It was and still is totally up to the Kiev Government to stop this madness and hold the referendum – rebels/separatist – whatever you call them would certainly agree. But not – Kiev’s Government would not even consider the idea of holding the regional referendum as a means to save thousands of lives. Including women and children.

Poroshenko&Co had choice of holding a referendum or initiating massive killing campaign. They opted to kill. What for??????????????

Jul 05, 2014 12:36am EDT  --  Report as abuse
lub wrote:

@pyradius
The Interpreter online journal you are referring to is a special project of The Institute of Modern Russia (IMR). The president of IMR is Pavel Khodorkovsky, the son of Russian former oligarch and “political” prisoner Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Now, do you really think you are getting unbiased reporting there?

Jul 06, 2014 2:46am EDT  --  Report as abuse

What do you suggest BraveNewWrld? A referendum like Crimea where only the pro-Russians are permitted to vote? As reported in the international press, Kyiv initiated a ceasefire that was repeatedly violated by the separatists. These people don’t want peace and the innocents are subjected to the brutality for their ignorance and carelessness. There are people on the ground reporting Russian APCs and tanks be driven across the border and left for the separatists. How is this going to resolve things with a peaceful approach. Putin has done one thing. He’s stoked a fire enough to get himself burned.

Jul 06, 2014 3:31am EDT  --  Report as abuse
M.CH wrote:

nose2066, “rebels” don’t usually have tanks:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/06/20/us-ukraine-crisis-fighting-idUSKBN0EU0K320140620

Jul 06, 2014 5:02am EDT  --  Report as abuse
lub wrote:

@smokeymtnblues
Only pro-Russians were permitted to vote in the Crimea referendum? Where do you guy take this garbage from? The truth is that all residents of Crimea were permitted to vote.

Jul 06, 2014 5:12am EDT  --  Report as abuse
M.CH wrote:

pyradius and BraveNewWrld, here are some useful stats about the opinions of the people. They were taken in 18 eastern regions before the fighting, in April 2014:
http://www.kiis.com.ua/?lang=eng&cat=reports&id=302&page=1

Jul 06, 2014 5:29am EDT  --  Report as abuse
M.CH wrote:

@lub, everyone was allowed to vote, but many of those against joining the Russian federation boycotted the vote. And for good reasons:

The available choices did not include keeping the status quo of Crimea and Sevastopol as they were at the moment the referendum was held. Therefore many commentators argued that both provided referendum choices that would result in de facto separation from Ukraine.

It is interesting to note that when Ukraine held a referendum on independence in December 1991, 54 percent of Crimean voters favored independence from Russia:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2014/02/27/to-understand-crimea-take-a-look-back-at-its-complicated-history/

Jul 06, 2014 5:42am EDT  --  Report as abuse
itsmysayokay wrote:

Oh gee what happened? Now how powerful are the Russian speakers? Kiev has retaken the so called Donetsk People’s Republic! It is no more so these speakers can pack up thier bags and move to Russia like I have been saying all along. Ukraine is what it is (Ukraine) Now Putin can lay off!

Jul 06, 2014 6:31am EDT  --  Report as abuse

Where do you guy take this garbage from? The truth is that all residents of Crimea were permitted to vote. Easy lub, from international, independent observers in Crimea at the time. Not your garbage from ITAR-TASS. Tell your version to the Tatars and the Ukrainians, and see the response.

Jul 06, 2014 6:47am EDT  --  Report as abuse
lub wrote:

@CanRus
You say “they can live normally now” then you add “the ones who were not killed”, but it’s hard to live normally after you’ve been raped and your flag was stomped upon by fascists. Take out “normally” and your sentence reads: “The ones who weren’t killed can live”. Very discovering! I bet your spouse’s grandmother can subscribe to it.

Jul 06, 2014 6:48am EDT  --  Report as abuse
lub wrote:

@smokeymtnblues
The results of the survey by the Broadcasting Board of Governors (http://www.bbg.gov/), conducted 21–29 April 2014, showed that 83% of Crimeans felt that the results of the March 16 referendum on Crimea’s status likely reflected the views of most people there.

Jul 06, 2014 8:03am EDT  --  Report as abuse
BraveNewWrld wrote:

@smokeymtnblues

I have no problems with referendum in Crimea. As it has already been mentioned here, surveys conducted by our Government agency show that its results were genuine. You can look it up at http://www.bbg.gov/blog/2014/06/03/ukraine-political-attitudes-split-crimeans-turning-to-russian-sources-for-news/

I reached very similar conclusions considering several facts, which were difficult to explain otherwise.

-there were essentially no casualties, and no massive opposition to the annexation. No massive rallies against it.

-there were massive rallies in favor of annexations, all reported by Reuters and BBC. You can Google up photographs made by these and other Western agencies. There were numerous reports in Western press of strong local support to joining Russia, and not much to the opposite

-there were numerous Ukrainian armed law enforcement and military officers. Most of the law enforcement remained in their places. Local governmental structures remained intact. They did not oppose annexation either.

- more than half of the Ukrainian Army personnel in Crimea re-enlisted for the Russian Army within few weeks of the annexation.

- there was a report of Poroshenko, then one of the leading revolt figures, visiting Crimea right before the annexation. He was totally egged and booed by locals and had to leave right away.

- perhaps most importantly, there are no reports of massive, or even medium-scale protests or public displays of discontent by significant numbers of people, although region is in free access to Western journalists

On the basis of the above facts and observations, I conclude that the referendum in Crimea was able to reflect the popular will of Crimeans. If you have facts supporting opposite view, I would be interested to learn those. It is important however that facts of interest are not about the irregularities or oddities, or “unlawfulnesses” of the referendum, – I appreciate that it was difficult to hold it without those under the circumstances. The fundamental question is only whether under the circumstances organizers have indeed succeeded in organizing a referendum that reflected popular will?

Jul 06, 2014 11:18am EDT  --  Report as abuse
M.CH wrote:

@lub so you need a survey to validate the results of a poll? Let me show how wrong your conclusions may be:

“most of the people” means anything from 51% to 100%. So 83% of Crimeans felt that the results of the referendum “likely” reflected the view of maybe 51% of the people. Assuming the other 17% felt the opposite, that means the true view of the people may have been as low as 42% (83% x 51%) in favour of joining the Russian Federation. Surprisingly close to the 46% in 1991 and definitely not a majority.

Jul 06, 2014 11:30am EDT  --  Report as abuse
M.CH wrote:

@BraveNewWrld

Of course there were no widespread protests against joining Russia before the vote, there were 16’000 armed men in the streets who were clearly in favour of Russia (Russia later admitted these were not so-called self-defense groups but the Russian army itself, without insignia).

There were no international observers at all, and their was no choice in the poll for Crimea to remain as it was, it was either join the Russian Federation or revert to the 1992 constitution which effectively gave the Russian-army-controlled parliament full sovereign powers to establish relations with other states.

Jul 06, 2014 11:39am EDT  --  Report as abuse
BraveNewWrld wrote:

@M.CH

1. There were not only 16,000 out of up to 25,000 max allowed Russian military personnel in Crimea. There were also about 20,000m armed Ukrainian army personnel there. And roughly equal amount of armed Ukrainian law enforcement officers. According to the reports I saw, they have in large majority re-enlisted for Russia. Not because they were intimidated by a really numerically inferior Russian military force present. Probably, because they felt more affinity towards Russia than towards Ukraine. I see no other reasonable explanation.

2. Although the OSCE declined an unofficial invitation to provide observers, there were numerous unofficial foreign observers of the Referendum in Crimea. In particular (cutout from the Wikipedia),
There were three Czech observers, a deputy Stanislav Berkovec reported that the voting was free and the foreign deputies could move freely. According to his dialogs with people even the Tatars inclined towards Russia.[121] Another deputy Milan Šarapatka reported that the referendum was formally regular and that there was no evidence of pressure on voters.[122] According to Miloslav Soušek (the Vysoké Mýto mayor), everything was standard, the course of the referendum was comparable to the elections in the Czech Republic, he saw no soldiers in the town.[123]

There were many more observers, and there were also numerous foreign reporters present, BBC in particular, none of whom presented report that would cast any doubt on my conclusion that Crimean referendum indeed managed to capture the popular will of Crimean people.

Do you actually dispute this? Do you really think that the will of the substantial majority of Crimean people was not to join Russia if an opportunity arises? The main thing that Russian Government might be accused of is that it indeed created such an opportunity. And people of Crimea have eagerly jumped on it.

What happens now in eastern Ukraine is really a tragedy. It appears that people there have seen a glimpse of opportunity for themselves to repeat the Crimean scenario, and tried to seize upon it. But, instead of listening to the people’s will, Kiev Government is choosing to tame it with bombs, cannons and guns.

Jul 06, 2014 8:19pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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