Wednesday 27 August 2014

Ukraine civil war update - 08/26/2014

Watershed press conference by top Novorussian officials (MUST SEE!)

Dear friends,

There is no overstating the importance of this press conference by by Alexander V. Zakharchenko, Chairman of The Council of Ministers of The Donetsk National Republic.  As as soon as I saw it myself, I asked two of our Teams (Russian and Oceania) to work together on a translation as fast as possible.  They did as stellar job and I can now share this video with you.   I want to especially mention and thank the following people:
  • Transcription/Translation and Timecoding by Marina - Without Marina this would simply not be possible. Heavily indebted to her help!
  • English proofreading and editing by Erebus,Michael and Vaughan
  • French Translation and release by Jean-Jacques (in progress as we speak) @ The French Saker
  • English editing and video publishing: Augmented Ether
To all of you we all - and I personally - owe a huge THANK YOU for your fantastic work, professional skills and heroic dedication to bring the voice of Novorussia to the rest of the world.  In this "information war" the speed at which you made this crucial press conference available is a major victory against the Empire's propaganda machine!

This is the first time that we hear what the new - post Strelkov - commanders have to say.  This is the first time that the Novorussians are going on the offensive.  And this is the first time that we get to hear the views, values and ideas of the people fighting against the Nazi junta.  This is truly a watershed moment.

Many thanks and kind regards,

The Saker

(please press on the 'cc' button to enable the English subtitles)

Watershed press conference by top Novorussian officials - transcripts (UPDATED!)

Dear friends,

Since many of you have asked for it - here is the transcript in 3 languages:

It would be very helpful if some of you could make transcripts in other languages.  If you do - please email me the link to the transcript, or send me the text, and I will post them here.

Many thanks and kind regards,

The Saker
UPDATE: here is the download link for the Italian text in three formats (ODT, RTF, HTML):

The bizarre non-story of the captured Russian soldiers

Did the Ukrainians really catch 10 Russian paratroopers?

Vineyard of the Saker,
26 August, 2014


For one thing, this time around the Ukies have provided names, a unit number (331st Regiment, 98th Guard Airborne Division) and even a video of their interrogation.  So this might be real.

If it is, I hope that it will at least shut up the choir of naysayers who constantly accuse Russia of doing nothing, of betraying Novorussia, of selling out the Donbass and all that kind of nonsense.  The fact is that Russia as constantly been assisting the Novorussians covertly and while bloggers such as Colonel Cassad and myself can claim that (read his excellent commantary 
here in Russian and here in English), Russia cannot do the same because of the legal consequences of such an admission.  But anybody who knows what is going on has known all along that Russia was helping.

So this is war and, as they say, shit happens.  Still, there are a lot of weird things in this story.

First, we have to completely ignore anything the poor captured guys might have said.  We all know how the Ukies treat their prisoners so what they said is irrelevant.  Likewise, if the Ukies say that they captured these guys in location X, that does not mean that this is what really happened.  Having said that, there are still a of of unanswered questions:

Could these soldiers have been "lost" as Russia claims?  Hardly.  Everybody knows that the region where they were caught is not only crossed by an international border, but also that there is a real shooting war on the other side.  Russian paratroopers don't just get "lost" in a warzone, not at the age of GLONASS/GPS.  For all I know, they could have been kidnapped on the Russian side of the border (like the Israelis whom Hezbollah captured in 2006) and dragged across the border to make it look like they had crossed it.

But if they were sent in, what would have been their mission?  This is a total mystery to me.  Paratroopers are not just sent into enemy territory just like that, they would have to be in support of some kind of operation involving much bigger forces.

Then, by all accounts, these guys surrendered without firing a single shot.  If there is one thing Russian paratroopers are famous for is not surrendering, not even if that means dying.  Yet these guys did not see it fit to fight.  Weird, again.

The Ukies said that the paratroopers were caught with their documents.  That is laughable.  The Russians would never send in a recon team with their military IDs.  By the way, the Ukies *also* said that before they were sent across the border, the officers took all their documents.  Total contradiction.  Go figure.

According to the Ukies, only the officers knew that they had crossed into the Ukraine, not the privates and NCOs.  Again, this is laughable.  You don't send armed men into a combat zone without telling them - that would put everybody at huge risk and prevent them from acting appropriately.

So, honestly, this story makes absolutely NO sense to me.

But let's assume the worst.

Let's assume that these guys are Russian nationals who were somehow acting in support of the Novorussians.

So what?

It is pretty darn obvious that Russia has been covertly supported the Novorussians for months and that no Russians were ever caught.  Now they did.  Again, this is war, shit happens.  It is already remarkable that this did not happen sooner.  Sure, this is annoying for the Russian side, and the timing could hardly be worse which, by the way, is also very suspicious.

While this makes for good headlines for the BBC, this story is a non-story and it will have zero impact on the real course of the war.  It's a good PR opportunity for Poroshenko, but it's not like it will influence anybody's point of view or policies.  Hopefully in a few days or weeks we will find out what really happened.  But in the meantime, everybody should relax and focus on the real developing story: the Ukies being caught in several (up to six or seven, depending on how you count "cauldron") and on the full retreat in Mariupol.  That, and the meeting in Minsk, of course.

The Saker

August 26th combat SITREP by Juan  plus two very different maps

26 August, 2014

1. The situation has improved in Novorossiya but is still quite serious. The enemy still has an overwhelming advantage in hardware and men and in some instances shows they know how to use that preponderance.

2. As the Army of Novorossiya goes about it's task of freeing cities, towns and villages they are followed by what relief is available for the newly freed citizens. Also in the follow up are trained investigators who have been keeping detailed records and evidence of the depredations of the occupying forces. While the hanging tree will not be used, there is no doubt that some of the occupiers will be in prison for a long time.

3. The rumors of a large USA tank force in the Talakivka area are false.

4. The relief column of humanitarian aid sent to Lugansk City was welcome. It is of vast interest that USA and EU have warned RF not to do it again. Perhaps when the war is over some of those western political types should be brought to Novorossiya (preferably in chains) to explain to the citizens why they should be denied aid under the remorseless bombardments of the Ukeland army.

5. The new Cauldron in south central liberated territory of Novorossiya is being steadily reduced. The occupants have been given the choice of surrender themselves and their equipment or die. At the moment their commanders have chosen that they die. Of interest is the units trapped in the cauldron are the ones whose depredations against the innocent civilians are well documented as being the worst.

6. The rumors that Poroshenko will surrender today are false. He is still extolling his 'peace plan' of the Army of Novorossiya lays down their arms, gets investigated by Ukeland, anyone suspected of crimes against Ukeland will be imprisoned, and then he will negotiate.

7. The airfields in Donetsk City proper and Lugansk City proper have not been assaulted beyond bombardments as of 05:00 this morning. Both are honeycombed with underground service passageways and will be expensive in manpower to take by force. Perhaps the answer is to simply drive the Ukes underground, bring in truckloads of stone to seal all the exits but one and wait them out. The one exit will be their portal of surrender.

8. Mariupol was handed to the Ukes some months ago in a deal with Ahkmetov. It was to Mariupol that all the previous Uke administrations of Novorossiya fled at the beginning of the conflict with their underlings, many bringing their entire families and hangers on. The city was also the rear base of many of the oligarch's private 'battalions', a rest and replenish area thought to be totally secure. It has been known for months that there was no real security in the area for the Ukes, in other words the entire area was wide open. The attack south along the RF border then turning west along the coast toward Mariupol was a masterpiece of deception, tactics and strategy. The flight in panic of all the golden pheasants and their minions was and is epic. Their flight is spreading worry and in some instances panic as far away as Melitopol and Kerson to the south and Dnepropetrovsk to the northeast of Novorossiya.

9. Partizan activities are increasing in frequency and force in the Kharkov and Slavyansk areas to the point Kharkov is building defenses facing Novorossiya. Of particular interest was the capture two weeks ago of an entire Kamaz load of Javelin antitank missiles. These missiles were offloaded from the 'Canadian' air force planes that brought 'non lethal' aid to the Uke army according to eye witnesses. The Javelin is not listed in the TOE (Table of Organization and Equipment) of the armed forces of Canada, although I have few doubts that oversight will be rectified within minutes of this report being read in The West.

10. The entire Uke force of airworthy air assets has now been shot down one and a half times. To qualify that statement, one should remember that when Belbek Aerodrome north of Sevastopol was taken there were 5 airframes of 43 on base that were airworthy, one of which was a trainer. This is indicative of the condition of the entire Uke armed forces. The problem with this fact is where are the units coming from that are being used by the Ukes? The answer is Germany, Poland and Czech are still supplying the ukes with equipment and aircraft from their stocks of equipment left from 'the old days'. Those 3 countries are also supplying the ukes with T 72 main battle tanks in pristine condition and other AFV's. Most of the Uke T 72's were sold off and exported during the Yushenko/Tymoshenko regime. Reports of crews and maintenance personnel provided with the equipment are not 100% verified.

11. The persistent reports from Ukeland of RF columns of tanks and AFV's entering Ukeland are false as are the Uke statements of the destruction of these columns. There will be no entry of RF forces in to Novorossiya nor will there be an invasion of Ukeland by RF, wishful thinking be damned. If RF was to invade she would not send half a Rota of armor, she would send half a dozen tank armies.

12. The massive destruction of cities, towns and villages of Novorossiya is ongoing. Every day and every night the bombardments continue. Civilian areas are mainly the targets. The destruction has been carefully planned and executed. The damage is in the many billions of euros and will take years to repair. The loss of life and injuries to the innocent civilians well exceeds 5,000 since the beginning of the war in April. The time for negotiations with Ukeland are long gone. The war will end when every single occupier of Novorossiya land from Ukeland is either ejected, in a POW camp or dead. Fact. 
-------addendum from the Saker-------

Map of Operations, August 10-25, 2014 – Created by Kot Ivanov and Anthony Hartin

compare with 
BBC map:

Hilarious, no?

The Saker

The Defence Ilovaisk – Report by Ikorpus – ENG SUBS

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