Several columns of Ukrainian APCs and light tanks were either “seized,” or defected, or turned around late yesterday and today in the Donetsk Region, eastern Ukraine, where they had been sent to suppress “terrorists” and “separatists.” By yesterday afternoon, Acting Minister of Defense Mykhaylo Koval was on his way to the city of Kramatorsk to find out what was going on, because it was clear that nobody in Kiev was sure. After a closed session of the Supreme Rada, at which Koval and Ukraine Security Service (SBU) head Valentyn Nalyvaychenko gave reports, some MPs told TV journalists the officials had provided no explanation of why several Ukrainian armored vehicles were seen today in Slavyansk, Donetsk Region, flying the Russian tricolor and flags of the “Donetsk People’s Republic” or the “Donbass People’s Militia.” Udar Party leader Vitali Klitschko opined, “These must have been the APCs that were seized.” The deputy head of Arseni Yatsenyuk’s Batkivshchyna Party caucus, Serhiy Sobolev, told press that the Ukrainian APCs had raised the Russian flag as a deception operation “to fool pro-Russian separatists.” Later, the Defense Ministry acknowledged that it had, indeed, lost several APCs, but gave no account of what had become of their crews.
Dozens of YouTube and other videos show the “loss” of the armored columns. In one film, the APCs turn around and drive away, in the face of civilians blocking the road. Another, a 12-minute video, shows a tense standoff outside Kramatorsk, resolved after an officer on a tank shouted “The Army is with the people!” The crowd took that up as a chant, and the troops piled out of their equipment, with people in the crowd yelling, “We love you boys, but you’ll be better off at home!” and “Way to go, guys!”, as well as chanting “Donbass, Donbass!”, referring to the Donets River Basin region. In a video from yesterday evening at the Kramatorsk airfield, after forces from Kiev landed, SBU deputy chief Krutov shouts, “I am the head of the anti-terrorist operation!”, while locals swarm over him, demanding, “Who’s the terrorist?!”
Both the Ukrainian Internal Affairs Ministry (MVD) and Russian TV tonight warned of potential violence tomorrow in the city of Donetsk (pop. ~1 million), where the fascist Right Sector reportedly plans to hold a street action “to protect the population from separatist terrorists.”
Prosecutor General Oleh Makhnitsky, the Svoboda Party lawyer otherwise famous for getting Oleh Tyahnybok off when he was taken to court in 2004 for a “Muscovite-Yid Mafia” rant, today announced that 214 criminal cases have already been opened against “separatists,” with 92 arrested, since laws forbidding “encroachment on the territorial integrity of Ukraine” were rushed through last week. In particular, he said he was preparing a consolidated case against Party of Regions MP Oleh Tsaryov. In Donetsk today, Tsaryov, sporting a black eye from a beating by Right Sector thugs in Kiev two days ago, addressed a conference of self-defense militias from throughout southeastern Ukraine. According to Channel One Russia, they formed a regional coordinating council. Tsaryov said they are demanding amnesty for all Berkut police and recently detained activists, disbanding of paramilitary gangs, dropping of “Nazi ideology,” and the holding of Presidential elections only after the national Constitution has been changed. The Party of Regions proper also held a congress in Donetsk, attended by one MP — Yelena Bondarenko. She called for a referendum on the decentralization of power, budgetary autonomy for the eastern regions, and Russian as a second official language.
The Kiev regime continued to trumpet that any and all protests in the country’s southeast are directly run from Moscow. SBU Counterintelligence chief Vitali Nayda claimed that commandoes deployed by the Russian General Staff’s intelligence unit, the GRU, had attacked the Ukrainian “anti-terror” operation in Slavyansk. Meanwhile, questions remain unanswered about Nayda’s boss, Nalyvaychenko. Two days ago Russian TV flatly alleged that he was a U.S. agent, recruited in the 1990s when he worked two years as Ukrainian Consul General in Washington. Nalyvaychenko boasts of being the last Ukrainian graduate of the Soviet KGB Institute. He headed the SBU in 2006-2010, under President Victor Yushchenko, during which time a scandal broke out over Nalyvaychenko’s giving a CIA team from the U.S. Embassy full access to SBU archives for purposes of profiling Russian practices. Nalyvaychenko wrote an introduction to a book by Right Sector chief Dmytro Yarosh and has been seen on videos, addressing summer camps of Yarosh’s Bandera Trident (Tryzub) organization, which was founded in 1993 as a youth wing of the Congress of Ukrainian Nationlists (KUN) of Slava Stetsko, the widow of World War II-era fascist Stepan Bandera’s deputy Yaroslav Stetsko.