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Russia’s 200th Motorized Infantry Brigade in the Donbass: The Tell-Tale Tanks

July 4, 2016

By Askai707

The following post originally appeared on the Russian-language blog of the author, Askai707. There are three installments to this investigation: Part One, here (EN) and here (РУ), this post, and the final part, “Hero of Russia,” here (EN) and here (РУ).

Below is an English translation of the post (translated by Aric Toler), which concerns the open source evidence proving the participation of Russia’s 200th Separate Motorized Infantry Brigade (military unit 08274) in the Ukrainian conflict during the summer and autumn of 2014. This post focuses on the military equipment of the 200th Brigade that was photographed and filmed in the Luhansk Oblast of Ukraine, and later returned to its base in the Murmansk Oblast of Russia. This evidence is examined by means of indirect indicators, such as similar tactical marks and slogans, and very direct indicators, such as identical tanks being photographed in the war zone and back on base in Russia months later.

This post of the three-part series on Russia’s 200th Separate Motorized Infantry Brigade, military unit 08275, will focus on participation of the brigade’s division in the war in the Donbass. The 200th Separate Motorized Infantry Brigade, hereafter referred to as either the 200th Motorized Infantry Brigade or just the 200th Brigade, is based in the villages of Pechenga and Luostari, in Russia’s Murmansk Oblast. This post will detail the indirect evidence surrounding the brigade’s participation in the conflict in the Donbass, complementing the direct evidence found in Part 1 (EN / РУ).

Russia’s T72B-3 Tanks at the Luhansk Airport

Before the indirect evidence is presented, it is necessary to mention that I have discovered new direct evidence since the first post of this series. We can now say where a photograph uploaded onto the account of the Russian serviceman Sergey Kalashnikov of Russian armored vehicles of the 200th Motorized Infantry Brigade was taken.

With the help of “Yandex Panoramas,” we can establish that the T-72B3 tank with the yellow hull number “828” and signifying triangles of the 200th Brigade, along with the other armored vehicles behind it, was photographed on a road 600 meters from the destroyed terminal of the Luhansk Airport.

Yandex Panoramas view of the road on which the T-72B3 tank was photographed

Yandex Panoramas view of the road on which the T-72B3 tank was photographed

There are many similarities between the Yandex Panorama view of the road near the airport and Kalashnikov’s photograph:

In addition, in the VKontakte (VK) group “‘Tisk’ National Information Portal,” there was a note published with a video on which we can see a Russian T-72B3 tank together with militants’ tanks near the Luhansk Airport during a battle. This video was previously published on the Odnoklassniki accounts of Dmitry Pomnikov and Aleksandr Oviychuk, militants for the Amur Battalion, of the self-proclaimed Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR). There are two archived pages that show the video, here and here.

In the footage, we can see a T-72B3 tank with H2200 in large, white lettering on the tank’s side:

In front of the tanks, there is a road that is adjacent to the former terminal of the Luhansk Airport:

Comparison of scenes showing a road that leads to the Luhansk Airport

Comparison of scenes showing a road that leads to the Luhansk Airport

On the right, there are three tall trees that are planted perpendicular to the road:

Comparison of a video showing the 200th Brigade near Luhansk, and Yandex Maps, with a row of three trees as a reference point.

Comparison of a video showing the 200th Brigade near Luhansk, and Yandex Maps, with a row of three trees as a reference point.

The vegetation in the background of the video matches that seen in the Yandex Panoramas view from near the airport:

A row of trees looking northeast from the Luhansk Airport, in Yandex Panoramas

A row of trees looking northeast from the Luhansk Airpbaort, in Yandex Panoramas

The same line of trees, visible in the video of the 200th Brigade at the Luhansk Airport, looking northeast

The same line of trees, visible in the video of the 200th Brigade at the Luhansk Airport, looking northeast. Located at 48°25’27.3″N 39°22’48.8″E.

On the side of the T-72B3 tank from the video, we can see H2200 handwritten in large, white painted letters. Such inscriptions of “H2200” are left over after transport on Russian railways, and this code can be seen on many tanks of the 200th Motorized Infantry Brigade.

Four photographs of tanks from Russia's 200th Motorized Infantry Brigade with the H2200 oversized cargo railway code on the side.

Four photographs of tanks from Russia’s 200th Motorized Infantry Brigade with the H2200 oversized cargo railway code on the side.

Among the Russian troops who had tanks and were seen in the vicinity of the Luhansk Airport during the battles of Autumn 2014, including the 74th Motorized Infantry Brigade, the 136th Motorized Infantry Brigade, and the 200th Motorized Infantry Brigade, only the 200th used T-72B3 tanks.

The evidence above gives us grounds to believe that the T-72B3 in the video, as well as the T-72B3 in Kalashnikov’s photograph, belongs to Russia’s 200th Motorized Infantry Brigade.

Overview of the Indirect Evidence

The remainder of this post will concern the indirect evidence indicating the participation of Russia’s 200th Motorized Infantry Brigade in the conflict in the Donbass. Some of this evidence includes:

  • The yellow triangles and temporary hull numbers painted onto the 200th Brigade’s armored vehicles in Ukraine.
  • Non-regulation inscriptions on military equipment in the form of propaganda slogans for World War II, phrases with reference to the Donbass, LNR, DNR, the Aidar Battalion, and so on (many similar images have been found by the blogger-investigator Irakli Komazidze on the VK pages of Nikolai Dugaev and Mikhail Boyurov).
  • Photographs of soldiers with details that are specific to war zones, such as being in military uniforms without insignia, wearing civilian clothes and/or shoes, wearing white identification arm and leg bands, rubber bands on the butts of small arms, and insulating tape on clips.
  • The awarding of military distinctions to servicemen.
  • The death of servicemen.

The first two points will be explored in this post — the military equipment photographed in the Donbass, on the border, and back at the base of the 200th Brigade in the Murmansk Oblast, bearing yellow triangles, propaganda slogans, and sometimes identical marks on the same equipment in both the Donbass and Murmansk Oblast. The last three points are explored in the conclusion to this series, found here.

Photograph of servicemen of the 200th Brigade with many features typical of combatants in the Donbass.

Photograph of servicemen of the 200th Brigade with many features typical of combatants in the Donbass.

As described in a previous investigation, the military equipment of Russia’s 200th Motorized Infantry Brigade carried yellow numbers that were either in the 700 or 800 range, instead of the old white numbers. In some cases, the old, white numbers were painted over with the new, yellow ones. The first part of this investigation provided photographs of seventeen MT-LB BMK armored transporters with the tell-tale yellow hull numbers.

Other than the MT-LB BMK, other armored equipment of the 200th Brigade received such yellow numbers: T-72B3 tanks, 2S3 Akatsiya self-propelled artillery, and the self-propelled anti-aircraft system 2S6 Tunguska.

Collection of equipment from the 200th Brigade with yellow numbers, including T-72B3 tanks, 2S3 Akatsiya, and 2S6 Tunguska.

Collection of equipment from the 200th Brigade with yellow numbers, including T-72B3 tanks, 2S3 Akatsiya, and 2S6 Tunguska.

For the Motherland!

T-72B3 tank with an unknown number (likely 824) and the inscription "FOR THE MOTHERLAND!!!" on the right side. Archive / Original

T-72B3 tank with an unknown number (we can see that it is likely 824, despite the attempts of the photographer to cover it up) and the inscription “For the Motherland!!!” on the right side. Archive / Original

Inscription "FOR THE MOTHERLAND!!!" from the left side (this is likely the same tank). The white scribbling was from the photograph's uploader, trying to hide the number. Archive / Original

Inscription “For the Motherland!!!” from the left side (this is likely the same tank). The white scribbling was from the photograph’s uploader, trying to hide the number. Archive / Original

This “Motherland” tank can be seen below after returning to its permanent location at the 200th Brigade’s base back in Russia. White paint has been newly applied with a traditional number that starts with 200; however, the “For the Motherland!!!” inscription is only partially erased.

200th Brigade’s military equipment in the Donbass, on the border, and back on base

An analysis of accounts from Russian servicemen on VK allows us to find pictures of some of these tanks, self-propelled guns, and anti-aircraft complexes. The following list will provide this information: the yellow number of the military equipment, an archived copy of the VK page (if available) where the photograph was found, and a link to the original photograph on the VK servers.

T-72B3 tank with the number 823. They did not, it seems, cover up the old tactical mark of the tank battalion of the brigade. Archive / Original

T-72B3 tank with the number 823. They did not, it seems, cover up the old tactical mark of the tank battalion of the brigade. Archive / Original

T-72B3 tank with the number "827" and the inscription "USSR We are strong!" on the right side. Archive / Original

T-72B3 tank with the number “827” and the inscription “USSR We are strong!” on the right side. Archive / Original

T-72B3 tank numbered 828. Archive / Original

T-72B3 tank numbered 828. Archive / Original

T-72B3 tank numbered 830 with the inscription "ARMORED SHIELD OF THE LNR" on the right side. Archive / Original

T-72B3 tank numbered 830 with the inscription “Armored Shield of the LNR” on the right side. Archive / Original

T-72B3 tank numbered 830 with the inscription "ARMORED SHIELD OF THE LNR" on the right side. Archive / Original

T-72B3 tank numbered 830 with the inscription “Armored Shield of the LNR” on the right side. Archive / Original

The same T-72B3 tank numbered 830, but with "ARMORED SHIELD OF THE DNR" on the left side. Archive / Original

Presumably the same T-72B3 tank numbered 830, but with “Armored Shield of the DNR” on the left side. Archive / Original

T-72B3 tank numbered 831 with "For Stalin!" on the left side. Archive / Original

T-72B3 tank numbered 831 with “For Stalin!” on the left side. Archive / Original

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T-72B3 tank numbered 831 with “For Stalin!” on the left side. Archive / Original

T-72B3 tank numbered 831 with "For Stalin!" on the left side. Original.

T-72B3 tank numbered 831 with “For Stalin!” on the left side.

T-72B3 tank numbered 831 with "For Stalin!" on the left side.

T-72B3 tank numbered 831 with “For Stalin!” on the left side.

T-72B3 tank without a number, with the inscription "DEATH TO AIDAR" on both sides. Archive / Original

T-72B3 tank without a number, with the inscription “Death to Aidar” on both sides. Archive / Original

T-72B3 tank without a number, with the inscription "DEATH TO AIDAR" on both sides. Archive / Original

T-72B3 tank without a number, with the inscription “Death to Aidar” on both sides. Archive / Original

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T-72B3 tank without a number, with the inscription “Death to Aidar” on both sides. Archive / Original

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T-72B3 tank without a number, with the inscription “Death to Aidar” on both sides. Archive / Original

T-72B3 tank without a number, with the inscription "DEATH TO AIDAR" on both sides.

T-72B3 tank without a number, with the inscription “Death to Aidar” on both sides.

There are other photographs of the tanks of the 200th Brigade where we can see the previously listed tanks, but from different angles. For example, here is a T-72B3 tank with a yellow triangle on the explosive reactive armor, without a number or any inscriptions on the right side:

T-72B3 tank with a yellow triangle and 800-number on the reactive explosive armor, with the inscription "Death to Aidarites" on the right side. Archive / Original

T-72B3 tank with a yellow triangle and 800-number on the reactive explosive armor, with the inscription “Death to Aidarites” on the right side. Archive / Original

T-72B3 tank with a yellow triangle and 800-number on the explosive reactive armor, with the inscription "Black Devil" on the right side. Archive / Original

T-72B3 tank with a yellow triangle and 800-number on the explosive reactive armor, with the inscription “Black Devil” on the right side. Archive / Original

Self-propelled artillery 2S3 Akatsiya numbered 833. Archive / Original

Self-propelled artillery 2S3 Akatsiya numbered 833 with a yellow triangle. Archive / Original

Self-propelled artillery 2S3 Akatsiya with the number 834 and the inscriptions: "Stalin's Fist" on the barrel, "Don't make a noise or I'll come for you" on the right side, "Death to Fascism" and a yellow triangle on the left side. Archive / Original

Self-propelled artillery 2S3 Akatsiya with the number 834 and the inscriptions: “Stalin’s Fist” on the barrel, “Don’t make a noise or I’ll come for you” on the right side, “Death to Fascism” and a yellow triangle on the left side. Archive / Original

Self-propelled artillery 2S3 Akatsiya with the number 834 and the inscriptions: "Stalin's Fist" on the barrel, "Don't make a noise or I'll come for you" on the right side, "Death to Fascism" and a yellow triangle on the left side. Archive / Original

Self-propelled artillery 2S3 Akatsiya with the number 834 and the inscriptions: “Stalin’s Fist” on the barrel, “Don’t make a noise or I’ll come for you” on the right side, “Death to Fascism” and a yellow triangle on the left side. Archive / Original

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Self-propelled artillery 2S3 Akatsiya with the number 834 and the inscriptions: “Stalin’s Fist” on the barrel, “Don’t make a noise or I’ll come for you” on the right side, “Death to Fascism” and a yellow triangle on the left side.

Self-propelled artillery 2S3 Akatsiya with the number 834 and the inscriptions: "Stalin's Fist" on the barrel, "Don't make a noise or I'll come for you" on the right side, "Death to Fascism" and a yellow triangle on the left side.

Self-propelled artillery 2S3 Akatsiya with the number 834 and the inscriptions: “Stalin’s Fist” on the barrel, “Don’t make a noise or I’ll come for you” on the right side, “Death to Fascism” and a yellow triangle on the left side.

Self-propelled artillery 2S3 Akatsiya numbered 835. Archive / Original

Self-propelled artillery 2S3 Akatsiya numbered 835. Archive / Original

2S6 Tungska self-propelled anti-aircraft system, numbered 840. Archive / Original

2S6 Tunguska self-propelled anti-aircraft system, numbered 840. Archive / Original

Back in Pechenga, a 2S6 Tungska self-propelled anti-aircraft system, numbered 840. Archive / Original

Back in the Murmansk Oblast in Russia, a 2S6 Tunguska self-propelled anti-aircraft system, numbered 840. Archive / Original

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A 2S6 Tunguska self-propelled anti-aircraft system numbered 841. This is the most painted-over piece of military equipment of the 200th Motorized Infantry Brigade, with these inscriptions on the right side: “Heavenly Sanctions,” “For the Motherland!!!” “For Stalin,” “Death to the Junta.” On the left side: “For a clear sky,” “Hello Kiev Pilots.” Archive / Original

A 2S6 Tungska self-propelled anti-aircraft system numbered 841. This is the most painted-over piece of military equipment of the 200th Motorized Infantry Brigade, with these inscriptions on the right side: "Heavenly Sanctions," "For the Motherland!!!" "For Stalin," "Death to the Junta." On the left side: "For a clear sky," "Hello Kiev Pilots." Archive / Original

A 2S6 Tunguska self-propelled anti-aircraft system numbered 841. This is the most painted-over piece of military equipment of the 200th Motorized Infantry Brigade, with these inscriptions on the right side: “Heavenly Sanctions,” “For the Motherland!!!” “For Stalin,” “Death to the Junta.” On the left side: “For a clear sky,” “Hello Kiev Pilots.” Archive / Original

This example is notable for the fact that the tactical sign of the anti-aircraft missile and artillery battalion of the 200th Brigade was not completely erased/written over on the body of the vehicle.

The tactical symbol of the 200th Brigade, visible behind the phrase "For the Motherland!!!"

The tactical symbol of the 200th Brigade, visible behind the phrase “For the Motherland!!!”

This very same tactical mark can be seen on a Tunguska on Victory Day 2013 (May 9) in Pechenga, located at 69°32’50.7″N 31°12’41.6″E.

The same tactical mark on a Tunguska in Pechenga, the home of the 200th Brigade, in May 2013. Archive / Original

The same tactical mark on a Tunguska in Pechenga, the home of the 200th Brigade, in May 2013. Archive / Original

If you doubt the fact that this photograph was actually taken in the small town of Penchenga — one of the homes of the 200th Motorized Infantry Brigade — then the following geolocation will prove the assertion.

Another scene in Pechenga, showing various tanks of the 200th Brigade. Original

Another scene in Pechenga, showing various tanks of the 200th Brigade. Original

Screenshot of Pechenga from a video called "Pechenga from a birds eye view"

Screenshot of Pechenga from a video called “Pechenga from a birds eye view

The buildings and location of the photograph from Google Earth can be seen below:

241436_original

In contrast with the previous examples, the “Strela-10” anti-aircraft missile complex, MLRS BM-21 Grad, and army trucks of the 200th Brigade do not have yellow numbers. The Grads and trucks were originally without any numbers, and the numbers on the brigade’s Strela-10 complexes were painted over, but not with yellow. At the same time, we often see propaganda phrases on the Grads and Strelas in the LNR, DNR, Aidar Battalion, and so on. In some instances, there are even yellow equilateral triangles.

Given that on some of the military equipment there are no yellow triangles or hull numbers of the 200th Brigade, the next section of this post will include a series of photographs along with a brief explanation for the direct or indirect connection with the source image from the 200th Brigade.

The Strela-10 complex with the phrase “Death to Aidar Fascists” on the right side is one of the photographs from the VK page of Mikhail Boyurov, a worker at a military-repair factory. He published photographs that showed a series of military equipment from the 200th Brigade in Autumn 2014, including the following six examples: 1 2 3 4 5 6

One of the photographs from the VK page of Mikhail Boyurov. Archive / Original

One of the photographs from the VK page of Mikhail Boyurov. Archive / Original

MLRS BM-21 Grad with the 200th Brigade's yellow equilateral triangle on the doors. Archive / Original

MLRS BM-21 Grad with the 200th Brigade’s yellow equilateral triangle on the doors. Archive / Original

MLRS BM-21 Grad with the 200th Brigade's yellow equilateral triangle on the doors. Archive / Original

MLRS BM-21 Grad with the 200th Brigade’s yellow equilateral triangle on the doors. Archive / Original

MLRS BM-21 Grad with the 200th Brigade's yellow equilateral triangle on the doors. Archive / Original

MLRS BM-21 Grad with the 200th Brigade’s yellow equilateral triangle on the doors. Archive / Original

MLRS BM-21 Grad with the 200th Brigade's yellow triangle on the door, the phrases "Death to Aidar!" on the doors, "Ksyukha" on the front bumper, and "For Stalin!" on the left side of the missile launcher. Archive / Original

MLRS BM-21 Grad with the 200th Brigade’s yellow triangle on the door, the phrases “Death to Aidar!” on the doors, “Ksyukha” on the front bumper, and “For Stalin!” on the left side of the missile launcher. Archive / Original

MLRS BM-21 Grad with the 200th Brigade's yellow triangle on the door, the phrases "Death to Aidar!" on the doors, "Ksyukha" on the front bumper, and "For Stalin!" on the left side of the missile launcher. Archive / Original

MLRS BM-21 Grad with the 200th Brigade’s yellow triangle on the door, the phrases “Death to Aidar!” on the doors, “Ksyukha” on the front bumper, and “For Stalin!” on the left side of the missile launcher. Archive / Original

MLRS BM-21 Grad with the 200th Brigade's yellow triangle on the door, the phrases "Death to Aidar!" on the doors, "Ksyukha" on the front bumper, and "For Stalin!" on the left side of the missile launcher. Archive / Original

MLRS BM-21 Grad with the 200th Brigade’s yellow triangle on the door, the phrases “Death to Aidar!” on the doors, “Ksyukha” on the front bumper, and “For Stalin!” on the left side of the missile launcher. Archive / Original

MLRS BM-21 Grad with "For the Motherland!" on the right door and "Antonina Ivanovna" on the front bumper. The photographs are Russian servicemen of the 200th Brigade, Anatoly Gorshkov (who was serving at that time) and Nikolay Dugaev. There are archives (1, 2) of Gorshkov's VK pages with a report on his dismissal from the reactive artillery battalion of the 200th Brigade, and a photograph with a geotag from Pechenga).

MLRS BM-21 Grad with “For the Motherland!” on the right door and “Antonina Ivanovna” on the front bumper. The photographs are Russian servicemen of the 200th Brigade, Anatoly Gorshkov (who was serving at that time) and Nikolay Dugaev. There are archives (1, 2) of Gorshkov’s VK pages with a report on his dismissal from the reactive artillery battalion of the 200th Brigade, and a photograph with a geotag from Pechenga).

MLRS BM-21 Grad with "For the Motherland!" on the right door and "Antonina Ivanovna" on the front bumper. The photographs are Russian servicemen of the 200th Brigade, Anatoly Gorshkov (who was serving at that time) and Nikolay Dugaev. There are archives (1, 2) of Gorshkov's VK pages with a report on his dismissal from the reactive artillery battalion of the 200th Brigade, and a photograph with a geotag from Pechenga). Archive / Original

MLRS BM-21 Grad with “For the Motherland!” on the right door and “Antonina Ivanovna” on the front bumper. Archive / Original

MLRS BM-21 Grad with "Tanyusha" on the front bumper. The photograph is from the VK account of Sergey Golovnin, who is in the military unit 08725 group, serves in the Northern Fleet, and has shared photographs of military equipment of the 200th Brigade. Archive / Original

MLRS BM-21 Grad with “Tanyusha” on the front bumper. The photograph is from the VK account of Sergey Golovnin, who is in the military unit 08725 group, serves in the Northern Fleet, and has shared photographs of military equipment of the 200th Brigade. Archive / Original

Two different MLRS BM-21 Grads with identical "Death to fascists" phrases on the right side. The photographs are from the aforementioned Nikolai Dugaev.

Two different MLRS BM-21 Grads with identical “Death to fascists” phrases on the right side. The photographs are from the aforementioned Nikolai Dugaev.

Two different MLRS BM-21 Grads with identical "Death to fascists" phrases on the right side. The photographs are from the aforementioned Nikolai Dugaev.

Two different MLRS BM-21 Grads with identical “Death to fascists” phrases on the right side. The photographs are from the aforementioned Nikolai Dugaev.

Likely the second Grad with the "Death to fascists" phrase on the left door. Archive / Original

Likely the first Grad with the “Death to fascists” phrase on the left door. Archive / Original

MLRS BM-21 Grad with "Another time..." on the right door (another photogragh saved by Nikolai Dugaev)

MLRS BM-21 Grad with “Another time…” on the right door (another photograph saved by Nikolai Dugaev)

MLRS BM-21 Grad with the phrase "For the mothers and children" on the left side of the missile launcher (photograph from the VK account of the aforementioned serviceman Anatoly Gorshkov). Archive / Original

MLRS BM-21 Grad with the phrase “For the mothers and children” on the left side of the missile launcher (photograph from the VK account of the aforementioned serviceman Anatoly Gorshkov). Archive / Original

MLRS BM-21 Grad with the phrase "Victory is ours" on the right door, "Kristina" on the front bumper, "For Luhansk" on the right side of the missile launcher (photographs from Aleksandr Morshansky and Nikolai Dugaev). Archive / Original

MLRS BM-21 Grad with the phrase “Victory is ours” on the right door, “Kristina” on the front bumper, “For Luhansk” on the right side of the missile launcher (photographs from Aleksandr Morshansky and Nikolai Dugaev). Archive / Original

MLRS BM-21 Grad with the phrase "Victory is ours" on the right door, "Kristina" on the front bumper, "For Luhansk" on the right side of the missile launcher (photographs from Aleksandr Morshansky and Nikolai Dugaev).

MLRS BM-21 Grad with the phrase “Victory is ours” on the right door, “Kristina” on the front bumper, “For Luhansk” on the right side of the missile launcher (photographs from Aleksandr Morshansky and Nikolai Dugaev).

Upon returning to the Murmansk Oblast in Russia, some of the unregulated inscriptions on the military vehicles were painted over or erased (partially):

A Grad that had been in the Donbass, now returned to the Murmansk Oblast in Russia. The "For Luhansk" writing remains on the missile launcher. Archive / Original

A Grad that had been in the Donbass, now returned to the Murmansk Oblast in Russia. The “For Luhansk” writing remains on the missile launcher. Archive / Original

A Grad back in the Murmansk Oblast in Russia has had its missile launcher painted over, likely to hide the white paint used in the Donbass. Archive / Original

A Grad back in the Murmansk Oblast in Russia has had its missile launcher painted over, likely to hide the white paint used in the Donbass. Archive / Original

The previous photograph was uploaded by Yevgeny Anuchny, a Russian serviceman. The last picture from his account shows a local newspaper where it is printed that he serves in the 200th Separate Motorized Infantry Brigade. There is also an archived page from Anuchny’s account where there is a photograph with a geotag from Pechenga, the location of the 200th Brigade. There is little doubt that he is/was truly a serving member of Russia’s 200th Motorized Infantry Brigade.

There are even more photographs from the social media accounts of 200th Brigade soldiers showing Grads with painted-over missile launchers.

A photograph of one of the damaged Grads in February 2015 was published by the information agency of Murmansk and Murmansk Oblast “SeverPost.ru.” On the left side of the missile launcher, we can see the phrase “Children of Donetsk” (apparently, the full phrase was “For the Children of Donetsk”).

The remainders of the phrase "Children of Donetsk" on a Grad from the 200th Brigade.

The remainders of the phrase “Children of Donetsk” on a Grad from the 200th Brigade.

With the help of Google Street View, we can establish that this photograph was indeed taken in the Murmansk Oblast, in the city of Kola. The photograph was taken at 68°52’58.3″N 33°02’22.5″E on Privokalnaya street at the cafe “Retro,” near the railroad.

Left: Part of cafe "Retro" on the photograph of the Grad. Right: Cafe "Retro" on Google Street View.

Left: Part of cafe “Retro” on the photograph of the Grad. Right: Cafe “Retro” on Google Street View.

Among the photographs uploaded by Nikolai Dugaev (he deleted his VK account, but then later restored it, but without his most compromising pictures under the name Anatoly Grachev), serviceman of Russia’s 200th Motorized Infantry Brigade, are those showing military equipment, such as a RHM-6 reconnaissance chemical machine (in the foreground) and broadcasting station R-166-0.5 (just behind the RHM-6). On these, are also see the tell-tale writings and graffiti that is so often seen in the Donbass.

Photograph from the account of Nikolai Dugaev, showing military equipment with the Russian naval ensign and naval jack. This is not the same as the flag of Novorossiya.

Photograph from the account of Nikolai Dugaev, showing military equipment with covered up markings on the side. The equipment hoists the Russian naval ensign and naval jack. This is not the same as the flag of Novorossiya.

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Military equipment with the phrase “Donetsk” on the side, along with “USSR” and a Soviet hammer and sickle.

Finally, there are three examples showing army trucks in the 200th Brigade that show the yellow triangles that are so often seen in the Donbass.

The remainder of the article can be found here.

Askai707

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160 Comments

  1. UKUKRMAN

    Undeniable fact that Russian Armour and Russian operatives are on Ukrainian territory = INVASION!

    thank god the UN has continues to enforce sanctions against Russia until January 2017

    But its not enough…..more sanctions needed….Russia must be economically crushed into breakdown

    Reply
  2. Mad Dog

    Wait for the Trolls, They are getting their ammo ready to discredit this thread…Wonder who will be first on board…LOL

    Reply
        • UKUKRMAN

          lets check back through the history of your comments ….stranger

          I am a troll….Ukraine troll perhaps…..but russian (small r intended)…. that work i will leave to you….

          i just live for the day russia burns

          Reply
          • stranger

            That might be bad for oneown health to live for the hatred. Also you would have to wait too long until Russia burns, Russia has come through much more difficult times. That also hits Ukraine itself, by the time Russia collapses, Ukraine may first. Moreover you would have to unite together your own west and east first. That all is sad,

  3. Mr.Bushkin

    Quote: “If you doubt the fact that this photograph was actually taken in the small town of Penchenga — one of the homes of the 200th Motorized Infantry Brigade — then the following geolocation will prove the assertion.”

    Well, Russian hardware with pro-separatist inscriptions … somewhere in Russia on images published on social media.

    Looks like plenty of Potyomkin villages.

    Reply
  4. boggled

    Pretty convincing proof that it is government sponsored and not just a bunch of vehicles bought on the black market (bought by East Ukraine oligarchs and organized crime) and used by miners.
    Defacing vehicles before leaving Russia Transporting them back and forth and leaving them defaced coming back to Russia, only goes to say they have military and Kremlin approval.

    And Russia wonders why more and more nations are demanding NATO’s help and some kind of game plan and a unity to try and prevent Russia from overrunning some nations and occupying them in Europe.

    I am curious if it only has military approval and turning a blind eye to the slogans or if there is a pre approved list of allowable slogans authorized and the general’s direct the pre approved propaganda slogans to be used?

    All and all, a good reason for the UNSC and individual nations to increase sanctions. As well as to ‘shame’ Russia for this practice in global media as well as inside their own individual media.

    Russian government is waging a covert war and encouraging the resurgence of CCCP and Stalin days to Russians.
    And it appears the propaganda is brainwashing those throughout all of Russia.
    Especially those in the military that should have ways to circumvent FSB imposed firewalls and actually find out what is going on.
    Will the Red Terror begin again by the elite of the Kremlin?
    One can hope no.
    It was used in Ukraine by the Kremlin to try and squash rebellion there.
    The courts of the Hague have the reports of the torture basements of novorossiya (directed by the Kremlin) and friendly fire by them against civilian targets.

    It is a shame to see the Russian leadership directing and fueling a war inside another country.
    Ukrainians who got sick and tired of Moscow’s corrupt policies inside their country.
    Corruption leads to revolution.

    War is a sick and dirty business.
    Many times it is won by the rebels reaction to an oppressive government’s actions.
    Other times it is won by government to squash a rebellion of disenfranchised people.

    How to kick a squatter and separatist out and preventing them from stealing and living in a land they do not want to be part of?
    Do you listen to them and throw them a few bones from the banquet table from time to time?
    Do you deport them to those that want them?
    Do you make their lives so bad that they want to leave/migrate/not live in your territory?

    Democracy gives a change in the power structures and allows the pendulum to swing both ways.

    The only way democracy works is by a uncensored media (does not mean necessarily uncontrolled, they have to be punished sometimes when they break their own ethics) and a people/volunteers controlled election vote to change or leave in place the power structure.

    Dictatorships and/or Royalty prevent the transition of power and the self correction by the will of the people.
    Royalty survives on it being benevolent or stern but fair in its practices.
    It tends to work in Democracies because they are seen more as celebrities and diplomats as opposed to the ruling government.
    The good one’s tend to prevent an overbearing ruling party from getting to big for their britches.
    A lot of checks and balances tends to prevent war.
    A ruling class with morals tends to prevent war.

    When it is oppressive it becomes a dictatorship surviving on a constant fight to squash anyone who points out the wrongs of the ‘elite’ or royals.
    Dictatorships are those clinging on to power at any means.

    Keep this in mind Ukrainian leadership, as well as Moscow and others of the world who cling to power by your greed/desire for power.

    I hope the world does not experience another Red Terror OR White Terror (Da’esh and Assad are bad enough), or similar pogroms, and have to react to it.

    Fare thee well

    Reply
    • stranger

      “How to kick a squatter and separatist out and preventing them from stealing and living in a land they do not want to be part of?”
      Well, the separatists think they defend their own land where they were born at.
      May be it is time to implement or at least discuss Minsk agreements, elections and autonomy?
      The events described in the article were 2 years old. Now the struggle is around Minsk agreements, while Ukraine does everything to delay and finally decline its Minsk obligations.
      Recently Ukrainian army atracked and captured Debaltsevo, but then left. The exhausting artillery shelling continue combined with economic and financial blockade of this region. The elections assumed by Minsk should have been conducted firstly by the end of 2015, then in the first part of 2016, now it is being said they will not be conducted even by the end of the year.
      Ukraine is still looking for a military solution and do as much as it can to harm Russia. But that clinch is exhausting Ukraine much more. Russian currency has follen in 2 times, so all people became poorer in 2 times (well good for manufacturers sometimes, bad for consumers), but Ukrainian one in 3 times for the same period. The IMF loans borrowed by Ukraine are for the future generations to return, IMF requres a harsh unpopular measures which finally are going to drain the country.
      Why nobody discusses the Minsk agreements which all sides signed? May be it is the time to talk about the peace and discharge instead of constant escalation? I DONT justify Russia, I’m just asking to be honest on what is actually going on now.

      Reply
      • Andrea

        Because NONE of the parties is implementing Minsk agreements:

        Russia is still supporting rebels, and its military personnel/equipment is still in Ukraine, definitely fueling the hostilities since the beginning…

        “”Rebels”” don’t hand over the border control… they have all the interests in doing so since the moment they’ll do it they’ll lose their vital supply lines from russia…

        And Ukrainian government, logically, don’t see the point in giving to “”rebels”” any kind of legitimation until the two previous points are implemented because in no time “”rebels”” can decide to take what kiev offers and keep doing what they are now doing… this because who is supporting the “”rebels”” (aka Russia) showed no interests in a reliable foreign policy and can’t be trusted anymore (reason for many others to call for NAT0 help)…

        PS: we should focus on what should happen now (implementation of Minsk)… but forgetting what happened would be terrible for all the 10.000 and more who lost their lives. We should not forget that the very next day Minsk was signed Debaltsevo was captured by russian forces, showing once more what i have already said: no interest in respecting words given… We should not forget that Putin himself is still denying russian army activities in donbass…

        Reply
        • stranger

          Minsk is not about that, Minsk is about finding a compromise between the rebels and Kiev government. Otherwise how do you see the logic behind it and how it is supposed to work otherwise?

          If you opened Minsk 2 agreements please, you would see that the elections goes first and border control next. Otherwise having got the border control and rebels unarmed the Kiev would swipe out all ‘separatism’, kill, torture and prison the current rebels leaders and whoever would be reported as supporters and immediatelly forget its obligations including a special status of Donbas.

          You are saying Russia cannot be trusted. But Kiev cannot be trusted even more, as all the history including the sabotaging of Minsk agreements shows.

          And as for 10000 victims, the major part of them are on the Kiev conscience. That were not rebels who captured the territory, many of them were born there. While the Ukrainian armed forces and voluntary battalions came from the western Ukraine.

          I don’t justify or appreciate that Russia played on internal tensions, has inflamed and is supporting this conflict trying to put a foot in the door once official Ukraine leaves its orbit. That started at Maydan though.

          But as the matter of fact for the last 2 years the rebels have created own republic with own army and the military solution would mean another hard war.

          Ukraine doesn’t have another solution either. It is trying to exhaust rebels by the blockade and periodic shelling on the borders. On the other hand it call for the worlds powers to inscrease the sanction pressure to Russia as a revenge and a way to play a victim and reclaim support, money, visa abolishing with Europe and other benefits. So that basically Ukraine is not actually interested to get back Donbas and receive a lot of people who would hate them for shellings and to have lost its victim status and to let Russia to recover the relationships with the west.

          I don’t justify Russia, I don’t appreciate Maydan and who supported it from abroad as well.

          What exit do you see from this situation?

          Reply
          • Andrea

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minsk_II
            I see elections listed after border control… but won’t discuss so much on the order i see on wki… as you said it has to be a compromise…

            Stranger, i said russia can’t be trusted because of their recent foreign policy (crimea, support/denial in donbass, bombardments trough border, capture of Debaltsevo after minsk2, airstrikes on whatever breaths in syria ..). Is it the same than “sabotaging minsk” of which you accuse kiev? Because, on first, “rebels” implementation was laughable too; secondly it’s on a total different level (reason i didn’t include it in my earlier listing).

            Victims are victims… whoever made them… makes no difference… as long as two factions are fighting they are both responsible for them…

            I said it times ago in previous comment: they don’t even let osce control the border!! Are they scared they can set a blockade?
            And i also said that to me it seems idiotic to think that kiev would be allowed to do what they want in donbass if border would ever be handed over: they are totally dependent on foreign economical help and for sure won’t ever be allowed in EU (like turks), totally destroying the ideals that leaded to maidan and leaving ukraine to certain disaster.

            PS: rebels are now far more equipped and have previous experience on breaking encirclements trough mysterious bombardments coming from eastern direction…(any reference to russian trough border attacks is totally unintended)… they did it earlier… they can do it again… and for sure border control by ukraine don’t means sending tanks: they just need to see/document what comes from russia…

          • stranger

            “I see elections listed after border control”
            How can you see that if elections are item #4, amnesty is item #5 and the border control is only item #9? Do you mean the amendments into the constitution on decentralization? That is the last item indeed, not the same as elections.

            And I understand that the question what is before the border or the elections is related to who is going to control the available candidates and election process.

            But there could be possible to invite international observers, or start to discuss openly somehow, show the moving forward.

            The west will be supporting Ukraine as long as it serves as a leverage against Russia, whatever Ukraine do or doesn’t do.

          • stranger

            “and for sure won’t ever be allowed in EU (like turks)” unfortunately they would not be allowed to EU in any observable future, regardless of what they are doing. Germany says this question is not even discussable at the moment. The euro association is a completely different thing signed with many countries including Africa, and visa abolishment (which is still under question and is being postponed) doesn’t actually mean the absence of border control nor the right to work abroad.
            The only way is to conduct real reforms and get close to EU by laws, standards and everything, that is a good target, but not very realistic in any observable future.
            Sorry I dont wish anything bad to the people of Ukraine as some Ukrainians here above wish to Russia.

          • oui oui

            you are not at all sorry , don’t say that
            “The west will be supporting Ukraine as long as it serves as a leverage against Russia”
            you know nothing , stop your comments here
            there is no reasons for the west to be against Russia
            the west support Ukraine because Russia
            allways your snaky way to turn what is to this ma

          • stranger

            “you know nothing , stop your comments here”
            You must know more, please tell us more.

            I may be wrong and don’t insist on it as ‘the truth’, we are sharing our understanding and opinions, all the facts people are telling here (especially here) may (and even must) be dbl-checked.

            If you are saying the west supports Ukraine, why Neitherlands voted otherwise, why EU is not going to accept them?

          • stranger

            “there is no reasons for the west to be against Russia”
            I had always thought the same, before the last 2 years…

          • Andrea

            My fault, i went straight to the constitutional amendments and didn’t see point #4…
            The electoral process has to follow laws of ukraine, minsk is clear on the topic. But the problem is how real elections can take place where there is one sided propaganda, indoctrination in schools and where those expressing disagreement can face imprisonment and similar very unpleasant situations…
            It’s undoubted that there won’t be “par condicio” between the candidates, the prerequisite for any kind of meaningful election.
            Presence of international observers at the day of the vote is pointless, since physical coercion seems pretty unlikely to happen directly at the voting station…
            And, from previous international history we know that even if some organizations label some elections as illegal or with problems they aren’t taken in consideration… one example: http://www.osce.org/cio/116313 (OSCE is used to safeguard implementation of minsk… but isn’t heard on another subject… selection bias warning…)

          • stranger

            Do you believe Ukraine will conduct fare elections? They will clear out all separatists because they are considered to be state criminals. And then would propose: please vote, where are all your candidate, we cannot see anyone.
            As for propaganda, do you really believe that those people who were born there and have lived all their life can be fooled by whatever propaganda?? They can explain us what is actually going on there.
            I agree that in the current situation the elections can hardly be considered objective.
            On the other hand some international organization, OSCE or other could take a responsibility for those elections, observation, discussing approach, at least something. At least to start a discussion and show that some dialog should start.
            At least everybody agreed and signed Minsk so it was supposed to be the only solution. It has been postponed for already 2 years.

          • Andrea

            The influence of propaganda is huge and is very different basing on age, census, and education level.
            There are at least 3 generations that gained vote right while this war was going on, and they did so while still at school, the same schools where inevitable indoctrination is made…
            I don’t live there and i can’t be sure if my opinion is correct; but on my opinion a lot of the population have poor education, allowing propaganda to take hold very easily.
            Ukraine can’t do anything against rebels since in Minsk2 it’s written that they’ll have to enforce an amnesty for what happened… a violation of this point, and all the others would require the international community to take actions against the perpetrator of such violation… and what would be the result on the thin ukrainian economy? They are trying to cut all the lines towards russia because they know they can get ones towards europe… but if this later one fails… ukraine fails in 1 month too…

            PS: ukrainan army probably won’t ever enter dnr/lnr again… for the obvious reason you said… and it is not their objective: they only need, and have the right, to gain access and control the border area… Need that won’t be of crucial importance if the neighbouring country can stop providing weapons, gear and personnel…
            The whole world knows this shipping is going on, russia already bombed ukrainian units at the border… nothing happened… are they so scared to leave the control of a border that can be regained in no time if Kiev fails to implement the other points? In this case russian forces can even take direct actions like they did in georgia, ossetia…

          • Andrea

            I showed you how OSCE expressed about the crimea “referendum”… they called it illegal… they did it anyway… they recognized the result as legitimate…
            Then minsk signatories (including Russia and “rebels”) named OSCE itself as a guard to minsk implementation, showing that they trust in them…
            Where is any logic?
            Calling them again to overwatch a new vote? Why if later you don’t give a fux on what they say!!

          • stranger

            Andrea, I still cannot understand why do you believe in propaganda. First of all it takes a lot of time to work. Second it is ineffective.

            We are talking about adult formed people. Many of them saw communist propaganda in USSR times. Some of most extreme Ukrainian nationalists like Irina Pharion, was a member of Communist Party and did that propaganda themself. Now she has completely switched and preaches ultra national1sm with the same passion.

            On the collapse of USSR the swing to the other side, debunking of the communist past, reevaluation of all soviet history, destruction of Soviet memorial, etc, etc.

            Then ukrainusanion, promoting the Ukrainian language, which they have never spoken everyday, the heroisation of the historical figures who were considered betrayals in soviet times, etc, etc

            Just tell me, after all those ideological swings, how are you going to surprise those people with a whatever new propaganda? They will send one too far for too long together with all that propaganda.

            As for the education, I would not say it is poor. Soviet high school kept rather high standard of education, except the ideological bias, but the ideology started to fade from 80th may be, so many adult-now people studied already after the strong ideological influence. And then as I said – the huge swings back and forth.

            The college education was free in USSR, the the percentage in people graduated from a college is probably the highest in the world in the post soviet space. So I would not blame education.

          • stranger

            “Where is any logic?” Yeap, that is just my imho logic as the following. Some international authority, let it be OSCE, whatever should legimate, take the responsibility to say: ok guys, we understand you have stuck, let’s do the following steps, we are going to monitor how the elections are going. Then it should recognize the results and make it legimate so both sides accepted that. Completely the opposite to what they announced according to Crimea referendum.
            Utopia? Is it better to preach a war… May be unreal…

          • stranger

            And then they will find an inconvenient candidate with a shot through head, and nobody would know who and how. Well… There should be some good will anyway to take a responsibility, and some international organization to broker (as Obama said) a peaceful transition. Well, Russia to close the border, yes… Because you see what is going on now – the constant escalation, only in rhetoric so far…

      • boggled

        I tend to agree stranger, Minsk has opportunities for a pathway to peace.
        However, Is Moldova and Transnistria at peace?
        Georgia?
        Chechnya?
        Other places where the old soviets and communists beg for Kremlin help because a majority of the people chose to break from the yoke of burden?
        So we have ~ 5000 actual Separatists that are willing to die (if that) for maintaining Russian ties before Kremlin propaganda gets flooded into the region and all other forms are destroyed.
        Then with the propaganda comes 50k troops with Strelkov leading the charge from Russia and all their hardware to boost Separatists ability to retain their land that they are fighting for the allegiance to Red Square, not an allegiance to the Sovereign state they live in.

        IF a call for referendums and separation were called for before the propaganda and covert ‘help’ Russia gave…would it be peaceful?
        Depends on negotiation sticking points.
        Donbas miners wants Ukraine to maintain socialist ways and fund almost everything for pensioners and non workers alike (that the novorossiyan’s get a cut off the top for distribution) while what are they willing to give back to Ukraine?
        What are they willing to contribute to Ukraine and help MAINTAIN Ukraine’s sovereignty against all outside forces?
        IMHO, they are willing to contribute nothing to Ukraine, they want or demand those areas break away and reattached themselves to Moscow.

        The ‘West’ wants a Sovereign Ukraine and borders to remain.
        Moscow does not want borders to remain the same.
        They want the borders to change for a few reasons.
        The mineral wealth there, the land bridge, denying it to the betrayers of Red Square, and just showing to the democracy types that they will defend their ethnic nationalities in the Moscow sphere of influence with force and breaking treaties.

        Both sides have some talking points, but the fulcrum of what they both are willing to give up moves with whose POV you use.
        The ACTUAL miner’s (ethnic Russians) and actual separatist organized criminal warlords of Donbas also have different POVs of what is an acceptable outcome.

        Actual ethnic Russians who want a sovereign Ukraine but want to be allowed to travel back and forth to Moscow for summer work and college and trade etc do not want war. But they would love the Party of Regions to represent them for that.
        The organized criminals want the open borders so they can continue smuggling and making money, so they have a different motive.

        I suppose there is probably another dividing line in the Orthodox Church and the message they get from there.
        There is also another dividing line in those that cling to Marxism and Stalinism.

        A leader that represents all or most of those things to people of the Donbas might be able to secure a peace.
        Outside is what is acceptable to the outside powers.
        West – loves there elections and as long as it was fair, I think recognition of a Donbas area border change might be acceptable.
        Unfortunately, it appears that no border change or Internationally observed elections is an allowable situation for Moscow.
        They find out they are losing the vote, they come back in with force and say we are taking it because we can.
        What is the solution? Much of Donbas has been freed, and those people do like Ukrainian sovereignty and future without organized crime.

        So, of the 10 million or so in Donbas it was/is a minority that want to force their way on the majority and think they can because they have the ROC and Red Square approval (as well as the Red Square’s brainwashing mechanism)

        I think we both can acknowledge that a majority of the leadership of Separatists groups are non Ukrainians saying they are representing Ukrainians who are not strong enough by themselves to represent themselves.

        1- So these non Ukrainians, are they actually representing a majority of Ukrainian’s feelings in Donbas?
        2-Or are they just saying that but actually representing Moscow’s elite feelings?
        3-Or their own personal interests?
        Or a blend?
        Or some other?

        One thing Ukraine wants before election is FULL control of its border by either themselves or UN Peacekeepers and OSCE
        Do you think the Separatists themselves will allow that lifeline to be cut or monitored?
        Do you think the people that fuel this war will allow Ukraine or UN to control the border??

        It is Ukrainian territory until vote or an acknowledged war comes.
        They have the international obligations etc and RIGHT to control all their border.

        Unfortunately, the cross border shelling and other war crimes and cover ups show this as the Kremlin wanting Donbas (for whatever reason) and will not likely let it go.
        EVER.
        Unless it is to painful for them.

        The solution lies in Crimea.
        Russia wants it and its oil gas basin and strategic benefits.
        And to them, they do not care the will of the people there, they figure it is theirs and will not let it go.
        They will replace the population there before they allow a UN sanctioned and observed referendum to take place.
        So that is their sticking point.

        Ukraine I think wants it along the same lines, and wants to show it will never forget Crimea.
        It is also an embarrassment for them somewhat.
        Although I think that Ukraine will let it go (and the world will) with a more official referendum while not under Russian military domination or appearance of control there.
        Like I said, the world will let is borders change hands if it is the will of the people not under threat.
        Kremlin will not, it is too important to Russia’s survival.

        So Kremlin will give up Donbas if the world recognizes Crimean referendum under threat.
        Ukraine will work to reacquire Donbas and Crimea and believe it is in there interest to continue as they are two separate issues.
        Meanwhile vova says okay, if you want to play this way I will keep playing my cards until I have nothing else to lose in Donbas.

        vova says – If you want Donbas, Ukraine better give up the idea of Crimea – dictating the Kremlin rules.

        And we are we we are now, in a never ending conflict until one or the other screws up badly or runs out of money and support.

        I think vova knows the land bridge project failed, but the Separatist do not, or are not willing to, acknowledge it.
        vova can decide which way to go in the chess game, but options are fading as long as he cannot negotiate some kind of deal.
        Kerch bridge? Land Bridge? Donbas’s coal and food stuffs and industry? The support of Russians in Russia (I do not think he gives two ratpoops for those Russians in other countries unless they are Kremlin agents and money launderers)?
        Where do his priorities lie?
        I think he recognizes he is fighting a losing battle.

        As far as IMF goes, they do have a policy of seeking repayment of loans, all lenders do.
        They are not unfair practices.
        They are a bridge or support structure to help a nation get back on its feet after a crisis.
        Ukraine’s leadership has two choices ignore IMF offers or accept them.
        I think if they refused them they may still have international business support in starting up new businesses in Ukraine.
        Accepting the loans, they have even more opportunities for grow and prosperity.
        It may happen like in Greece, that the corruption just keeps practicing and it becomes a money pit.
        Greece keeps refusing to change from bad habits.

        Loans get called due.
        It happens.
        Loans do not get paid, than IMF has its collection and auctioning procedures.
        You may think it is unfair, but actually IMF is fair about extending and trying to do its best to help those who need a hand and are willing to convert and give up bad habits.

        Will Ukraine? I think the will of 95-98 % of the people want the end to bad habits of its Soviet past.
        Those 95-98% do not necessarily all agree on the methods and to what is the best direction forward for Ukraine’s future.
        And who should be in power.
        One thing is sure, they do want change.
        IMF is that bridge for them to get from point A to point B.

        Yes, I think Minsk needs to be pressure to be implemented.

        BUT it will not be able to be implemented until the Kremlin acknowledges it is the main force to negotiate with.
        Everyone seems to know this, but the Kremlin will not sit at the table as the leading party in the conflict because it means acknowledging to Russians it is fueling the war.

        Russians with broken GPS’s type Rebels are just doing the Kremlin bidding and self serving interests.
        Russian soldiers are doing those same interests.
        The people of Donbas are not that supportive of the Separatists.
        They are just attempting to bury their head in the sand and hope the cruelties of war passes them by.
        Minsk represents a path forward but as long as the Kremlin says we are not involved go ask the Separatist, nothing will ever be implemented.

        Fare thee well

        Reply
        • stranger

          You had played with fire for 20 years after the collapse of USSR and receiving of the Ukrainian independence. You tried to build national identity and unify the country basing on Ukrainian language, and on contradiction and separation from Russia. But at least half of Ukrainians have never used Ukrainian language everyday and spoken Russian instead, including the president Poroshenko. At the absence of other heroes, you gave in to the western Ukraine national1sts and glorified the nat1s and h1tler collaborationists such as Bandera, Shuhevich and others. You have rewritten the history and turned it over like a centuries of oppression by Moscow.
          And that all in the country where the western part has been under Poles since Mongol hordes invasion and extreme national1sm and the fighting for independence was born as the reaction to Polish oppression and later switched against Russia as well. While the left bank eastern Ukraine was Russian, people spoke Russian language and appealed to Russia.

          In the country separated into strong anti Russian west, and always appealing to Russia east, leaning to one side would mean to betray the other.

          At Maydan, the most active part was played by the well prepared, organized and trained groups of Ukrainian national1sts from the west. While Yanukovich with all his corruption was the candidate from the east. By overthrowing him you actually swung to the side of the historically anti Russian western Ukraine. So a small group of people mostly from the western part, via the violence (I don’t exclude the violence from Berkut side as well) and the involvement of the western countries have made a choice on behalf of the Eastern Ukraine and Crimea.

          Later after the blood bath started in the east, many people there have lost the last bonds with Ukrainian Ukraine even though they didn’t care in the beginning.

          On the other hand I understand that the last thing the revolutionists wanted was the conflict with Russia. And Russia should not have exploited the positive sentiments of the east to get them back from the leaving Ukraine. And absolutely nobody from the normal people in the eastern as well as western Ukraine wants a war.

          That is just not as simple as a Russian invasion and all unified Ukraine stands against as one. You should first of all peace together own people from the east and from the west, to ever talk about an unified Ukraine. I just believe you are trying to reinterpret that in the more idealistic and wrong way.

          Don’t you agree, am I eggagerating those reasons, that didn’t/don’t play the crucial role?

          Reply
        • stranger

          “IF a call for referendums and separation were called for before the propaganda and covert ‘help’ Russia gave…would it be peaceful?”
          Many people from Donbas were definitely ‘inspired’ by the Crimea example, they thought everything would go the same smoothly and Russia would openly interfere. That has absolutely nothing to do with whatever propaganda. I really have no idea what Russia was planning that time, but obviously didn’t dare to an open invasion.

          “I think we both can acknowledge that a majority of the leadership of Separatists groups are non Ukrainians”
          Nope, that is a wrong statement. That used to be in the very beginning, Boroday and Strelkov were from Russia, they played probably a substantial role in the organization of the rebellion.
          But for a very long time the leaders and signees of Minsk have been Ukrainians: Zakharchenko, Khodakovskiy – born in Donbas, Plotnitskiy, Pushilin – born somewhere in Ukraine, others. Do you think they are ethnical Russians? I have never seen they claimed that or if it is mentioned somewhere. I would think they are Ukrainians.

          I don’t support them and don’t understand what they are doing there. But they are there as a matter of fact and have organized a ‘republic’ with own economics and own army for defense. They would be happy to conduct elections to come into legal field of Ukraine. I have no idea on the consequences. That is one if not the single way to stop the blood shed. That is the only argument I support here.

          Reply
          • Mr.Bushkin

            Quote: “But for a very long time the leaders and signees of Minsk have been Ukrainians: Zakharchenko, Khodakovskiy – born in Donbas, Plotnitskiy, Pushilin – born somewhere in Ukraine, others. Do you think they are ethnical Russians?”

            Ah, well. Technically they are Western Russians from the region of Don Cossacks as all locals there: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Republic

          • stranger

            Well, historically this territory was conquered by Ekaterina from Crimean Khanate from Turks in the 18th century. It was populated then by Don Cossacks, migrants from present russia and right bank Ukraine as well as refugees from many other countries. As everywhere, that is a great mixture of ethnicities.
            The ethnicity is always a very slippery and risky question and the sole rhetoric of only national1sts. If you explained me where is the boundary between ethnical Russians and ethnical Ukrainians, i would appreciate, I don’t know. But I would prefer to stay away from that slippery topic. That is more a kind of self-identification.
            Those people are citizens of Ukraine, they never claimed they are Russians in contrast to Ukrainians of official Kiev, so I assume they are Ukrainians.

          • boggled

            stranger
            you –
            they played probably a substantial role in the organization of the rebellion.

            me – There is no probably about it.

            Even RussiaInsider stated – Strelkov’s importance to the success of the uprising in its critical first weeks cannot be overstated
            novorossiya movement would have achieved nothing with out the Kremlin help in Donbas.
            The people of Donbas would have slowly accepted (some quickly) and acclimatized to the changes in the rest of the country.

            As far as open invasion, that would not happen because vova knew that he did not have the support of the people of Donbas the way he did have of the ethnic Russians in Moldova in another small region.
            An open invasion would have both alienated completely those in Eastern Ukraine as well as some other nations inviting themselves to the conflict directly.
            It also may have started a civil war on all levels inside Russia, from inside military, political parties and even the ROC.
            Media, I am not sure about, maybe.
            Plus public sentiment.

            The separatism game plan by the Kremlin is a well used one and repeated.
            Backed by Russian military and Russian propaganda outlets for the Kremlin.

            Strelkov could not have succeeded without suppression of opposition tactics and Kremlin help.
            Kremlin was not going to admit it fostered rebellion and escalated it, but we all know it is true.

            The suppression by kidnapping, torture basements, and other organized crime tactics is well documented.
            I can only imagine the people of Donbas that were praying every night for a protection campaign against novorossiya by Kyiv.
            It began, but a crippled (intentionally by yanukothief at Kremlin direction?) Ukrainian military could not make much headway against special trained forces of Spetsnaz divisions.
            They did what they could but thought better of retreating and regrouping in order to be able to protect as much as they could from a possible full scale invasion.

            They also sought to get a rough headcount of both the population and the alignment of the rest of the governments in the Eastern regions.

            Kremlin used their surprise and domination of forces to get its foothold in Eastern Ukraine while destroying border posts for a porous border of smuggling.

            The question must be asked, were Donbas’s ethnic russians for first weeks under Maidan government under any threat during Crimea if there was no armed rebellion and taking over of Administration buildings, banks and attempts at military bases?
            Was the threat real or a Kremlin created and spread one?
            A false flag if you will.

            My answer would be no, not really until Odessa May 2 was spun out of control by Kremlin propagandists.

            Odessa was clearly a bunch of protesters at the direction of Kremlin agents (Strelkov? Someone else in the Kremlin foodchain?)
            With many protesters from Transdniestra attacking a proUnity parade.

            Parade of proUnity young people reacted as any group fired on, either retreat or go attack.
            A majority chose to attack, unfortunately but understandable.
            Question should also be asked, was this parade seeking a confrontation with the group at the camp in front of Trade Unions building?
            Or just going to march by and if they are attacked, they will react?
            I am sure there were instigators of fist fights on both sides, but was the intention to go further than that?
            A few of proUnity were armed, but was that personal protection or preplanned murder?
            My guess is no, it was not a preplanned murderous cleansing of Ukrainian soil as Kremlinites have portrayed it to be.
            A few discussions of fistfights, but it was not militia inspired.

            It was. however, preplanned on the proRussia side to go attack and bringing automatic weapons.
            They sought the parade bringing many weapons.

            Stopping the bloodshed is what Strelkov proposed to be doing, but was it real or imagined?
            —Was there many counterrevolutions being planned without his prodding that actually represented the will of the people of Donbas?
            —Or were those counter revolutions only planned by the Kremlin stooges with really their own self interest involved in ties to the Kremlin and the Kremlin media said it is how everyone in Donbas feels?

            My feeling is it represented the few Kremlin aligned criminals that had the weapons that the population did not and could not battle against.
            Thank goodness America still has the second amendment.

            Fare thee well

        • Dude

          Although I think that Ukraine will let it go (and the world will) with a more official referendum while not under Russian military domination or appearance of control there.

          —-
          nope .. official recognition of Crimea annexation will never happen. As a more realistic scenario, Ukraine will seek monetary retributions (together with property arrests) from Rushka in various international Courts to make as much butthurt to Rushka as possible..

          We will see whether Rushka will be able to pay those bills 🙂

          Reply
          • boggled

            I dunno.
            I mentioned my two caveats above.
            A UN (or some other arbitrary org recognized by UN) coming in and conducting the vote which would include the vote of the IDPs that had Crimean citizenship at the time of the past referendum
            And at the same time for it to be (not under Russian military threats) with an open allowed campaign of both viewpoints, as of now, it is under martial law and proclaiming Ukrainian ties or allegiance will get you time in a Russian prison (usually in mainland Russia) and a few friendly (sarcasm) visits by prison guards.

            As I said before, I do not think the Kremlin will take any chance against losing Crimea, they will not make that gamble.
            So that will never happen.

            Could Putin make an offer for Crimea (and Black Sea boundaries) and Ukraine accept it?
            It would have to be a big offer, more than I think Kremlin is willing to pay, and so therefore I doubt it , unless there was some kind of pressure by the West to accept it to prevent a larger global conflict or vova actually using nukes in Ukraine.
            EU MIGHT contribute to the offer to prevent a larger escalation, but I do not know if that is even enough to bring it up to acceptable levels for Kyiv and Ukrainians.
            If ,hypothetically, Donbas and Crimea’s natural resources were guessed at values of 500 billion and 4 Trillion and then the Kremlin offered 500 billion over annual payouts for the next 100 years.
            I doubt that Ukraine would go for it.
            Where the negotiation might actually work is anyone’s guess.

            But, I doubt the Kremlin would come with more than that to the table.
            Fact is I do not know what Kremlin would offer and what would be acceptable to Ukraine.

            I tend to think you are right, that your idea is the avenue Ukraine pursues without a better offer on the table.

            The biggest foible of that is that it means continued aggression (and possible escalation) in East Ukraine until Kremlin goes broke or Russian people revolt.

            I do not think the Kremlin will ever give up Crimea ever that is why they did what they did.

            So it becomes either
            An offer that Ukraine cannot refuse.
            A low ball offer.
            An offer Ukraine and Crimea can accept

            or the third alternative the Captain (vova) of the Kremln going down with the ship (Russia)

            1 has been tried (nuke blackmail) and 2 has been tried (I believe)
            4 is one Kremlin will avoid at any cost, but it does not want to be seen as the one that blinks first.
            I think your option falls under 4
            This has the most likelihood of leading to global war initiated by the Kremlin.

            So in the end, I think number 3 will be the most common sense solution avoiding a larger conflict.
            Will Russia bring a realistic offer as to how much they value that port?
            Giving up those parts of Georgia and other parts of Kuban it is claiming + monetary compensation?

            Time will tell IF there is that negotiation behind the scenes.
            If China for example could twist the Kremlin’s arm when the West cannot?

            And if the Kremlin will end up complying with International laws or not.
            Or if they attempt to bargain?

            Fare thee well

          • stranger

            Boggled, Russia will not be bargaining on Crimea. The understanding (close or not to the reality) is that people of Crimea wanted to go to Russia and took their land with them.

            The only way to return Crimea is to push Russia up to the collapse, as the USSR collapsed and parts broke off uncontrollably accompanied by many local wars over all perimeter. But you would need to push too hard and too long time. That would take decades of the new Cold War and economic blockade Along this way you would first suffocate Ukraine which anyway depends on Russia. I’m not sure Europe is ready for that.

            The other way is to induce a color revolution in Russia and put a temporary transitional leader, a dictator w/o a parliament and elections, who would forcefully return Crimea probably via another local war. Khodorkovskiy has already publically stated he is ready to implement this role. That is more realistic but I still don’t see what can make people to come to the streets at least in the nearest future.

            The third way is to talk over Crimeans by Ukraine to return, and bring them to the streets. But I don’t see what Ukraine can propose them other than being second grade people in nationalistic state. Ukraine now is trying to bet on Crimea Tatars and hope to raise protests playing on cross national tensions.

            May be the west should make Ukraine a prosper rich country and then Crimea would want to return and even Russia would beg to become part of Ukraine? That may be the best way. Start making Ukraine a rich country instead of pushing Russia to become poor and finally collapse. Think is a positive way.

          • stranger

            Another opportunity is if NAT0 desides to invade Crimea. There going to be NAT0 forum in Warsaw just in several days. I don’t exclude that information preparations and acute phase at Donbas fire might be coupled to that.

            That scenario also seems unrealistic, while not completely impossible, and not only because of the risk of nuc1ear war (I don’t believe Russia would answer with nukes), but rather because too many people would die. They will not take such a sin in the current situation at least until Clinton comes to the White House, and her possible future policy is not yet clear, but she is believed to be from the neocon camp, who has done a lot of mess in the Middle East (right?)

            But hardly they need a military intervention with unpredictable results if they can beseage Russia economically and ever make money on that. They just need to watch out for Europe which may sooner or later deside that business interests should prevail. By that time Russia will have been mostly pushed out from European market but would still play a significant role.

            Another idea is that Obama would wish to close off the deal with Donbass before he’s left. But I don’t believe that. I believe he has tryed to present himself as a peace maker by releasing sanctions from Iran and Cuba, didn’t manage to withdraw from Afghanistan as promised though, and initiated the global rebuilding of the oil market. While the approach to Russia is supposed to show his fidelity to principal, toughness and compensate the critics on too soft position in the Middle East. So that all is going to be at Russias expense. They just need to closely watch Europe not to escape.

            Just speculations in your style. You can call that delirium, I would ever agree.

    • Mr.Bushkin

      Quote 1: “Russian government is waging a covert war and encouraging the resurgence of CCCP and Stalin days to Russians.”

      Quote 2: “How to kick a squatter and separatist out and preventing them from stealing and living in a land they do not want to be part of? Do you listen to them and throw them a few bones from the banquet table from time to time? Do you deport them to those that want them? Do you make their lives so bad that they want to leave/migrate/not live in your territory?”

      Sounds like Stalin’s days have already been resurrected in where you are posting this from.

      Reply
  5. Docduracoat

    I will just remind everyone that taping rifle magazines together is a mistake
    It just transfers the weight of the second magazine from your load beading harness ( where it belongs) to your arms
    I know these are tankers, but if they have to walk any distance, their arms will be mighty tired very soon
    It is just as fast to reload by dropping the old mag into your dump pouch and pulling a new one out of your mag pouch as it is to pull the old one out of the rifle, inverting it and rocking the new one in
    And don’t discard your empty mags!!!
    You will need to reload them when you expend your initial combat load.
    Fresh magazines do not grow on trees in war zones

    Reply
  6. Sammy

    Stranger,

    Russia is the worlds gas station. Russian only offers cheap gas and oil that it relies on western expertise to extract.

    Russia is not an equal with China, you are fool to think so…
    China does more business with the west. Smartphones are worth more to China than anything Russia has.

    Why does Russia lash out against the EU when the EU is 50%+ of Russian trade.

    Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.

    Also, if Russia gets Crimea, then Germany should get Kaliningrad?

    You hypocrites !!!!!

    Do your political instructions/paymasters not tell you that?

    Why are Finland and Sweden considering joining NATO?

    Because Russians threatened them.

    Reply
  7. Dude

    stranger – July 5th, 2016
    But they are there as a matter of fact and have organized a ‘republic’ with own economics and own army for defense.

    —-

    That’s a piece of very stinky bullshit from a rushka-troll..

    So-called “leaders” of so-called “republics” (militarized gangs in fact) are nothing but Kremlin puppets,
    who do not even dare even to squeak without direct and detailed instructions from Moscow… Moscow also supplies them with weapons and “fresh meat” for their gang members.

    Bad work, Comrade, bad work!

    Reply
    • stranger

      Pls find the video from 9th of May parade in Donetsk. I don’t like to post it since not very comfortable they associate themselves with the Victory day. But anyway, that is the territory of 5 mil people, they have mobilized a lot, thousands of well equipped soldiers with probably Russian vehicles. That are not Russian military or Russian volunteers. That are your eastern Ukrainian people.

      Just one question – what are you, Ukraine, going to do with them all? Kill them with the help of NAT0 weapon, prison them all, or most probably besiege them infinitely until Russia has gone bankrupt and those republic fade? What alternative to Minsk do you see?

      I don’t support them. Just want to better understand your strategy?

      Reply
      • Dude

        Those military parades are perfect illustration of my statement about “simulacre”
        nature of the kremlin-puppet gangs in Donbass… Nothing real in them… weird phantome shadows of falsified “glorious” soviet past.

        As for the marching men in military uniforms, they are likely to be russians.

        General public is not numerous at all. few thousands at most? Remember, in Donbass before the occupation about 30% were for joining Rushka. Not majority at all.. 30% is quite a lot, but not majority… And the fact that russian orks hijacked power there right now, does not mean that the majority of the population on the occupied lands support them. I guess after the liberation of Donbass pro-russian local minority will be heard proportionally to their weight in the society… as happens in all democratic countries..

        Reply
        • stranger

          What simulacra, that victory is shared by Russia and Ukraine. That is only in the western Ukraine the elderly people, veterans, like those you see on the video were attacked by young national1st crowd. May be something wrong with them instead?
          At Maydan, was there a majority to start violence, open fire, and decide for the rest of the country? You failed to talk to your Crimea and your Donbas, so nobody else to blame…

          Reply
          • Dude

            > You failed to talk to your Crimea and your Donbas, so nobody else to blame…

            Bullshit! Ukraine failed to “talk” to Putler (and other Russian imperialists), more exactly to accept their delirious idea that “Ukrainians and Russians are the same people” and Ukraine is not allowed to exist as a separate state.

            Putler and Co simply got angry once they realized that Ukrainians answered them “fook off”, and then they started to flash their rusty weapons..

            This is the root of the war the Russia is waging in Ukraine.

            Nothing else. hehehe.

          • Mad Dog

            Well, perhaps because the ‘victory’ against fascism was won at the sacrifice of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians…..many of them needlessly as cannon fodder for Papa Joe. The Finns basically cried as they were mowing them down defending their country against the ‘victors’ and no one from the CCCP gave a damn. This was all on top of the mass starvation deaths Papa Joe foisted on the ‘kulaks’ (egads, what a misnomer!) before the war, destroying whole villages in the process. Marching down the streets of Kiev with a hammer and sickle raised high evokes strong emotions.

            Oh yes, in regard to another thread, you can see that the tanks here do not tear up the road during the parade.

          • stranger

            So what should soviets have done, to give up w/o resistance to Hitl3r as France and all Europe did?

            Hitl3r was not going to grant the independence to Ukraine. As you know the modern Ukrainian hero Stephan Bandera firstly met nat1s as liberators, but almost immediately was prisoned by them, when he continued to insist on national Ukrainian ideas. That was only a minority of Ukrainians who welcomed nat1s and believed nat1s would help them to solve own problems or at least leave them along.

            WW2 was controversial. You know for example that the same noble Finns, marshal Mannerhaim, helped H1tler to close the besiege of the Leningrad (Sankt Peterburg) where people were starving to death for 2.5 years of blockade? About Finn’s ethnical concentration camps?

            From the soviet side that was also controversial in many cases. But mostly it is remembered and actually was a true people’s patriotic fight for survival and own future, where all nationalities were fighting all together. That didn’t look the same for US and Britain and ever for the occupied part of Europe.

            Anyway it is a taboo to insult and attack the children and elderly veterans. I don’t understand what is there in the mentality mostly of some people from western Ukraine that allowed them to collaborate with nat1s that time and to forget any morals nowadays. Not everybody of course!!

          • stranger

            you: “many of them needlessly as cannon fodder for Papa Joe”
            Because we can say so about the invasion of Soviets to Poland, about Soviet-Finish war, but not starting from the H1tler invasion to USSR. Because you know what nat1s were doing with peaceful civilians, especially jews, don’t you?

          • stranger

            According to another thread, the tanks in question did leave the scratches, as at the video posted by CH:
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bH1nBbJhh8M&feature=youtu.be&t=38
            But i’m not sure how soon are fade away, and agree with Boggled that the camera capabilities may affect.
            Boggled still tried to post only parade videos where the tank tracks are specially prepared to avoid asphalt damage to demonstrate they were actually prepared well.
            Otherwise the Tverskaya street would turn into mess. As I said I saw real scratches after regular tanks in Moscow in 1991 at Sadovoe Ring, and they looked pretty much like on the video above, Then faded away in some time under traffic.

          • stranger

            Dude: “more exactly to accept their delirious idea that “Ukrainians and Russians are the same people” and Ukraine is not allowed to exist as a separate state.”
            Wait, don’t turn it up side down. From the fact that Ukrainians, Belorussians and Russians are basically the same people doesn’t follow that Ukraine is not allowed to exist. That means that we should not fight with each other’s. Because the hatred poring from Ukrainian side is even more strong that in the other direction. Especially because you know that the Ukrainian society is not uniform itself and divided between east and west.
            So far the only outcome was that the standards of living dropped in the both countries, and stronger in Ukraine, and that the medevil hatred, usually intrinsic only to some western Ukrainians, became an official Ukrainian policy.
            I understand Russian involvement into Crimea, Donbas, but that are people first of all, rather than territories or as Boggled recalculated in dollars, you need to talk to them probably…. Well at least to try to bring it to some kind of peace. IMHO

        • stranger

          And that is how the same Victory day was ‘celebrated’ in the Western Ukraine in Lviv. Ukrainian nationalists attacked the buses with veterans, cried ‘old b1tch’ to them. There are many videos where many people were attacked personally including children and elderly.
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sgT69aEb0w
          Feel the difference east-west as is said.
          So that is your culture of the title Ukrainian nation which you are going to propagate to Donbas and Crimea? Just don’t call it democracy, nor ‘European culture’ please.

          Reply
          • Mad Dog

            Well Gee stranger, nice to see Soviet education has still left its mark on you. If I remember correctly, France and England fought against the Nazi invaders, but were a bit overwhelmed by those forces. Of course, this has nothing to do with the fact that Papa Joe and Shicklegruber made a non-aggression pact allowing Hitler to concentrate his force on the Western front. Of course this has nothing to do with the fact that Russia joined in with the carnage in Poland, helping Germany in their quest for booty and Lebensraum. Of course this has nothing to do with the Katyn Forest, one brilliant Soviet tactic to rid a nation of its leader class, of course this had nothing to do with Finland becoming an psuedo-ally of Germany because no one else supported them when Papa Joe decided to bomb civilians and make a land grab (no wonder the Finns helped with the siege of Leningrad…they basically hated the Russians, for good reason). Of course this has nothing to do with Stalin transporting any ethnic group he suspected to the further undeveloped regions of his ‘Empire’ (talk to folks from Chechnya, the Baltic states, the Crimea, etc., about that) Which brings us back to the Ukraine and the brutal handling of those people for years before WWII and their use as cannon fodder against the Finns (nothing to do with the Nazis at that time) in the first winter war. The sad thing us Russia in Czar Putin still seeks glory for Rodina using many of the same tactics Papa Joe did, but luckily, may of those oppressed peoples have escaped the clutches of the Russian bear. I just feel immensely sorry for the folks in Chechnya and those feeling the might of Soviet (sic) arms in the Ukraine.

          • stranger

            Yes, it is also a pleasure to see your Hollywood way of thinking of it as of a Battle of Dictators in the far weak Europe, America finally scattered everybody and won the war. Some Americans still are surprised to know US and USSR were allies and believe that US won ww2 along.

            Did you hear also about Munich agreement, a similar non aggression pact between H1tler and France with Britain in 1938? Which allowed H1tler to focus on his old idea that Germany had strategic interests in the East, and gave Britain a hope to clash him with Bolsheviks, instead of the western direction. Even though Britain and France still announced him a war after his invasion to Poland.
            Accompanied with the division of Czech-Slovakia where Poland and Hungary also bit off their parts of the country?

            H1tler forces were a bit overwhelming for USSR as well, especially after joining almost all Europe with all its industry and many national battalions from various countries, including Ukrainians SS division Galitchina, including also few Russian collaborationists.

            I’m just trying to say that regardless of what Stalin did before the war, regardless of Finn campaign and division of Poland, after 1941 that war turned into a true patriotic one and was fought by people for themselfs and their children. That war is not associated with the figure of Stalin himself, at least may be since the debunking of the Cult of a Person by Nikita Khrushchev in 50th.

            Another thing, I believe the view of Ukraine as people oppressed by Stalin and then forced into an alien war is wrong.
            First of all many Ukrainians were part of the ‘Empire’ themselves, much milder Khrushchev who replaced Stalin was Ukrainian, who granted Crimea to Ukraine btw.
            Second when nat1s came most of normal Ukrainians defended their homes and their families and fought side by side with Russians, Georgians and many other nationalities of USSR.

            I understand the logical chain you are trying to draw from that times to nowdays in order first to associate no-doubt tyran Stalin with Putin and second to present Ukraine as a completely different entity and justify its separation. But that is simply wrong in such interpretation. We can look for and find analogies, but not in such a way, that is simply wrong.

          • stranger

            you: “no wonder the Finns helped with the siege of Leningrad…they basically hated the Russians, for good reason”
            hm, that sounds a bit rac1st, doesn’t it? In Leningrad more than 600 thousands civilian died from hunger for 2.5 years.The next step you may claim that nat1s hated Jews for a reason and justify Ho1ocost and call H1tler the liberator of Ukraine from the Jewish Bolshevik oppression. : ) I thought that rac1sm is not appreciated in US? For the very same reason, the country is strong by a great diversity of people.

      • Dude

        stranger – July 5th, 2016
        “there is no reasons for the west to be against Russia”
        I had always thought the same, before the last 2 years…

        ======

        Hehehe.. well, to begin with, Rushka can fook off from Crimea and Donbass
        (as well as from Transnistria, South Ossetia and Abkhesia),

        and then , quite magically, nobody is gonna be “against” Rushka…

        Are russians too dumb to understsnd that?

        Or what?

        Reply
    • stranger

      Small comment to the video: people are celebrating the victory in the Great Patriotic War aka WW2 in 1945, the 9th of May.
      They are not praising the rebel leaders, Zakharchenko at the stage (!)
      But those soldiers are probably the separatists army as it is.

      Reply
    • stranger

      On the other hand those people don’t look like being afraid or oppressed by the terror1sts, Ukrainian state criminals, as Ukraine considers those separatist leaders at the stage, are they? Again I don’t understand what all that for, just no blood should be shed and f..k any politics.

      Reply
  8. Dude

    So called “republics” in Donbass are 146% fake, fictiona objects, they have no life of their own, “simulacres” so to speak…

    Reply
  9. Dude

    boggled – July 6th, 2016
    I dunno

    The most “optimistic” scenario (Rushka-wise) for Crimea-Donbass is Nothern Cyprus like.. Remember, however, that Northern Cyprus is predominantly Turkish, whereas
    the percentage of pro-Rushka population before the occupation was only some 30% in Donbass and some 40% in Crimea…

    The rest simply gave up to the intimidation of the “little grean men”, but the rest is still there with all their doubts 🙂 …

    and the ugly “Russki Mir” (Russian World) that is exemplified now in the occuupied lands is not something to win sympathisers in the long term (especially those who already experienced it themselves! 🙂 )

    Reply
    • boggled

      Dude
      We shall see, there are both rational minds in Russia and quite a lot of irrational minds with money backing them.
      One side thinks they can win a Cold War if they begin it again and play their cards right, the other does not want to walk down that road again.
      Neither, I believe, is willing to give up Crimea at all now they have a foot in the door and are squatting illegally

      Donbas, I think most will be willing to give up and absorb that population into the Kuban fold.
      That leaves Crimea as their sticking point in negotiations.

      To acquire and gain legitimacy of Crimea, they have a few avenues of approach.
      A UN approved referendum under parameters of democracy being available and a legitimate vote and time frame for both sides to present their case not under military threats..
      Won’t happen because I feel the Kremlin will not take the chance of losing it.

      Or sitting on it in an occupation force and as far as Kremlin is concerned, to hell with anyone else’s opinion (even the residents).

      We have seen how the occupation works in Estonia, Lithuania, East Germany, Poland, Ukraine, etc.
      Rational Kremlinite’s know this as a eventually doomed policy.
      Irrational one’s don’t learn from history.
      If it happens, Cold War 2.0 with all its ramifications.
      We know how that ended in Germany and so do they, it took a lot of years but did end and Germany is now a place that Russian intelligensia is seeking.
      Poland as well.
      Ukraine will be a success, I believe just as Poland and the rest of Middle Europe is.

      That leaves what would make Ukraine cave in?
      Buying Crimea outright as a property transfer?.

      Only thing I can think of is a business offer to good to pass up.
      An amount of + 10 Trillion dollars in equity and profit is not easy to pass up

      A hypothetical –
      Russia has ~ 4 quadrillion in industrial diamonds in natural resources,
      The extraction methods make that unaffordable to use right now, plus flooding a market which would end up lower the price significantly.
      Also it is cheaper to produce synthetics with same quality.
      Although Russia take a big loss by offering that or a quarter of that, the resource does not have a realistic market.

      It would provide work, it would provide revenue, it would provide some transferring of ideas, it would provide some method for them to have to get along as neighbors.
      Would it work? I dunno.
      Russia has other resources as well.
      I can see why Ukraine would not want to be a victim of energy blackmail and corruption again.

      I think it is a logical solution to allow Ukraine to transfer those from Crimea that want to move.
      It is a way to allow some trade between the two.
      It is a way for Russia to obtain Crimea, as long as they do not cancel Ukraine’s rights of ownership of the diamonds.
      It ends oppression of those that do not want to be oppressed.
      It allows Ukraine a money flow to pay back loans and not be on war footing.
      It allows Ukraine a source of money that although does not as quickly to turn a profit as energy resources of Crimea and Black Sea, it is a profit as long as avenues of Russia allows Ukraine access to it.

      I think the biggest problems with it is the risk of Russia cancelling access before complete payment, a larger Russian military presence in Crimea, and the potential of Russia drilling in Black Sea, taking and selling the oil/gas and leaving a polluted cesspool once they build another warm water port.

      Eh, just trying to think of options outside of starting Hot or Cold War or a continuing hybrid war or continued escalations and provocations..
      1 quadrillion (value is already questionable in today’s market considering extraction costs)
      divided against 45 million Ukrainians + paying loans + paying to rebuild from Russia’s destruction of East Ukraine + paying victims of their atrocities+ pay for the loss of oil/gas revenue of Black Sea.
      Would that be enough for Ukraine to say end the war and relinquish Crimea?
      Would they hold out for more?
      Would they hold out for rebellion inside Russia?
      Would they hold out for the accountability that Russia is going to be held to for MH17, Yukos, and other acts?

      War can be expensive for both sides.
      1 quadrillion = 1, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000 = 1 million people becoming billionaires, or 1 billion people ( ~20 times Ukraine’s current population) becoming millionaires.
      To a nation without much, it would pay the bills for a while and raise Ukraine back up with its human capital and education potential increases.

      Obviously the Kremlin would not sell itself short and would only act in its interest.
      They could at any time they wanted use their other 3 quadrillion and flood the market dropping value.
      They could cut off access almost any time and use the nuke blackmail.
      The extraction costs may make it worth half of a quadrillion dollars.

      Oh well, it is just brainstorming ideas that might prevent and end a hot/hybrid/cold war between neighbors.
      Might bring Russia out from under sanctions etc.
      Obviously if Russia has made any offer at all by now, none of them have been acceptable and they perpetuate the hybrid war at a cost to them and others.
      I do not know solutions, I am just a small pea in the pod.
      Wars of any kind are expensive and senseless when their are other ways IMHO.

      Does Ukraine have a price?
      They might not, they may want to keep borders as they are.
      And if they do, is the Kremlin willing to match it?
      A realistic solution to a complex puzzle or not?

      Fare thee well

      Reply

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