HAMMERNEWS- Michael Hammerschlag

Current Political Commentary by journalist Michael Hammerschlag; Thoughts on foreign policy, Republican outrages, liberal strategies, science by 8 year correspondent in Russia/Ukraine over 22 years and longtime commentator; Website: http://HAMMERNEWS.com

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

REVOLT-PUTINVASIONS IN UKRAINE: UPRISING DEFEATS YANUKOVICH KLEPTOCRACY

UPDATED July 23 5am (GMT+2)  EASTERN PUTINVASION!  HAMMERNEWS.com
                                                     
GET (Petition toTURKEY TO CLOSE THE BOSPHORUS TO WARSHIPS UNTIL RUSSIA WITHDRAWS ALL INVASION FORCES FROM CRIMEA- 3/4, MH Questions Grytsenko/Klitschko on it - 3/14;  Turkey WARNS Russia 3/17    
  - Sep looting gold ring from dead
SEPARATROCITY, DONETSK FIGHT, 3 UKR PLANES DOWN, SLOVYANSK TAKEN!!! UKR WINNING!, UKR STARTS ATTACKS, SEPS TAKE 2 BASES- KILL 40?, DREAMWEAVER, TRANSPORT LOST- 49k, DEMOs at RUS EMBASSY, LUGANSK BORDER OPEN, 3 BASES, 3 Border crossings CAPTURED!, AIRPORT WIPEOUT, PORONATION, 17 SOLD. KILLED 27 w in AMBUSH, AHMETOV STEEL PATROLS- "DONBASS FUTURE is UKR!","INDEPENDENCE", MARIUPOL BATL (below press confs)      CHARACTERISTICS OF FASCISM     TWIT: @mkham11  Yatseniuk - "Enough is enough!...272 bodies recovered"

MIKE ON NPR
US radio network on tragedy-  Jul 18 @42:10 min 
Jul 21 7p Fighting Donetsk Airport + Train Station

9pm 7-20 Daria Sipa reports that 48 MORE bodies all still lined up along the highway in Grabovo rotting in the sun (makes more sense- people too widely dispersed to burn up). Maybe the discrepancy is the 20 body fragments, which each have their own bag- presumed unidentifiable- esp since the bastards looted almost all wallets, cameras, mobiles. 
                 rt side cockpit shredded by missile shrapnel -
  --- Said Yury Lutsenko, advisor to the president on TSN: "In Slavyansk, I met with the group for the Interior Ministry's criminal investigation department. They discovered a burial ground with civilians of Slavyansk who had been tortured to death. There were dozens of them. They were tortured, stabbed, and burned alive. There are witnesses to all of this,"  [I questioned Lutsenko for 4-5 min near elevator in Media Center w 20 photogs who blasted away for 2 min- thought we would be in every Slavic paper in world.
3am July 22 The Seps have turned over the Black Boxes to international agencies, and the train is on it's way- presumably to Kharkiv. Putin, under incredible pressure, made nice and diplomatic. Proof has emerged of Russian territory GRAD attacks on Ukr, maybe the devastating July 11 attack that killed 19.

In an act of incredible carelessness, cruelty, and criminality; Seps blasted a Malaysian airliner out of the sky over Donetsk with an advanced BUK truck launched 4 rocket missile system (SA-11 Gadfly), bragging to Russians that they had bagged another Ukr military plane. Although there were reports of a BUK at an Eastern Ukr airbase taken over by Seps, that was apparently a cover story and separatists were given a Buk rocket system by their Russian sponsors- NATO reported truck-mounted missiles there June 30. 298 are dead (3 infants unreported before).
 
 NEW audio calls released by Ukr SBU have Seps (Gurkin Deputy + GRU officer Sergei Petrovsky) discussing with his Russian GRU handler the disposition and siting of the BUK, Grad multi-missile systems, and 3 self-propelled artillery guns - Gvozdikas. It ends "We are waiting, it is likely Russia is to strike at their positions from their side"!!! Flying at 33,000ft, 10,000M on the regular airline transit corridor (70 airliners had transited it in previous 2 days), the criminal fools just fired at anything they thought was a Ukr plane. Apparently no Russian overseers decided to add an IFF Detector to read the transponders that all civilian + military aircraft beep out: Identification: Friend or Foe. Strelkov proudly tweeted that they had downed a Ukr transport plane w pics of the smoking ruins until he realized the truth: "We warned them - don't fly 'in our sky.". AUDIO of Seps reporting to some Russian colonel http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnuHxAR01Jo
Report at crash site- burning parts, bodies strewn around
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZFAFTI8ORQ (graphic)
         seat belt securely fastened --
My friend, intrepid Aussie fearless photog Demjin Doroschenko (also info about journo friend Andre Mirinov's death) , spent the night at the crash site (with only 4 other journos- 3 fm Al Jazeera), and has many pics of Separatists looting the possessions of the victims. He counted 65 bodies in the mile square he explored, and said it was a charnal house, with pieces of children strewn about (80 died), "I saw things I never want to think about again." His pics should imminently be on Aussie TV/Websites + here. Reuters has the incredible story:
 
   ---- First came the loud explosion that made buildings rattle: then it started raining bodies.One of the corpses fell through the rickety roof of Irina Tipunova's house in this sleepy village, just after Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 exploded high over eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists are fighting government forces.    "And then I heard a roar and she landed in the kitchen, the roof was broken," she said, showing the gaping hole made by the body when it came through the ceiling of the kitchen in an extension to the house."---  It's raining men
        Ukr Mortar -


They found the orange black boxes- and say they will turn them over to aviation authorities. "Our friends from high above are very interested in the fate of the black boxes, I mean people from Moscow." says another intercept. The excellent VICE NEWS has Simon exploring the area in Dispatch 60 +61, 57 has heart-rending residential damage (always from the "fascists"); 58 has Seps gloating over annihilating Ukr Lugansk Airport reinforcements, and more damage. There is never a speck of remorse or responsibility in the shelling victims at the Sep aggression and brutality (Horlivka councilman + 2 students had their stomachs slit open before being dumped in the river just for raising an Ukr flag- saw pics) that launched all this- "Why do they attack innocent people?" they cry (after voting for seccession). This is the natural consequence of violent secession and armed rebellion in the name of an enemy country (defined as treason)- collateral damage.... and while it's likely most shelling is Ukrainian (they aren't experts in war and avoid direct soldier conflict), Strelka and his goons are perfectly capable of blasting their charges to create propaganda, incompetent enough to do it by mistake, and they constantly hide and attack from residential areas to deliberately create such tableau's. This whole situation is out-of-control because Kyiv was afraid of causing ANY casualties for the longest time, when this insurrection could have been easily crushed in it's infancy (really the most moral option). I KNEW this would happen every day they allowed these Gov Bldgs to be occupied, that it would escalate to 1-2000 dead, and it has been agonizing to see that realized.

This is what happens when you give advanced missile systems to criminal rabble. Of course it was an "accident" - nobody except maybe Al Qaida or Taliban would knowingly shoot down an airliner- but an accident created, enabled, and eminently foreseeable by Mr Putin. These missiles reach 72,000 ft, 14 miles, and those imbeciles just saw a contrail in an established airroute and pressed the launch trigger. This is after Russia flooded Ukr with hundreds of IGLA Stinger-like shoulder-launched missiles, and the Strella vehicle-mount system (3 miles range). American UN Ambassador Samantha Power claimed that the systems were too advanced to be used without Russian advisors on-scene- many experts agree. US Embassy here says they saw the missile launch, they know Seps were training at air defense facility in SW Russia, 150 vehicles crossed over from Russia last weekend, inc. tanks, APC, artillery, and rocket launchers and confirmed the veracity of intercepted Sep-Russian phone conversations.,
According to my sources in the East, where I was about to go, Ukraine has been hamstrung by all these anti-aircraft systems, which almost all came from Russia: Ukr didn't even use aircraft against the rebels fleeing Slovyansk (though they wiped out one column of 3 with tanks and/or artillery). Had they annihilated all of them, and started to move on Donetsk from the West, I think they could have panicked the Seps into fleeing to Lugansk, where they could have been slowly pushed into Russia.
        Ukraine was close to winning in the East, which Putin can't allow- so Russian volunteer/mercenaries and weapons have been flooding across the still-porous border in the last 3 days. With the vast missile hazards to Ukr, the scales are again more even.
         Ukr devastation from mass Sep Grad rocket attack-
Ukr has suffered grievously from these anti-aircraft missiles- 6-8 helicopters lost, 2 large cargo planes (one with 49 soldiers-IL76), inc one in the last 4 days-2 pilots dead, and 2 recent SU-25 attack jets, one by missile (perhaps BUK), one by an air-to-air missile from a Russian jet (Ukr military claims it was infrared, actually produced in Ukr, so not pointing towards Russia), which may have actually been on the Ukr side of the border. As well 20-30 Ukr soldiers were killed by a Grad multiple missile attack- ("we are launching them nonstop"- Petrovsky) a wide field terror weapon that can hit everything in maybe a 3 football field zone- both sides have these, but ex-military Demjin says they aren't the wildly inaccurate systems of yesteryear- that they now have laser targeting.
- Seps at Site- "Who's got kids?"
Only 6 of contingent of Dutch anti-AIDs experts were killed (earlier reports had ~100) going to a Sunday Sydney AIDs conference, but the acclaimed expert Joop Lange was a great loss, and there is great sorrow in Holland at the 189-odd nationals killed.  From my rudimentary calcs, if the plane was 8 miles from the Buk, flight time to impact would have been 15 seconds- wonder if some sharp-eyed passenger sounded the alarm, only to be restrained as a terrorist threat. This may provoke further sanctions on Russia, who furiously started lying about the cause, but the weight of evidence has ensured the massive approbation of the world. The Napoleon of the North rubbed salt in the wounds- incredibly venally blaming Ukr for the fighting in the East in a conflict he single-handedly created out of nothing. The Seps recovered the black boxes and said they would be sent to Moscow, now they found "nothing", as all evidence of their evil is erased- police video shows an empty missile slot (only 3) Buk heading to Russia near the border. Saturday, OSCE observers were threatened and forced to leave as 38 bodies, now rotting in the sun, were taken to Donetsk- Kyiv has a facility ready in Kharkiv, but the Seps must display their "authority", even after this outrage. About 198 corpses have been removed by Seps Sunday in refrigerated trucks and rail cars, waiting at Torez, probably go to Donetsk- many were apparently incinerated in the hot fires. Daria Sipa reports 6pm that 48 MORE bodies all still lined up along the highway (pic out there) in Grabovo rotting in the sun, NOT oart of total, so that would make 246 found bodies (makes more sense). They have been scouring the area to hide pieces of the missile, but that would prove nothing- Ukrs have some 57 of the Buk platforms themselves.
  UKR howitzers- when you see blasted bldgs, often from these
When I think about this- how does this clown know what the pilot thought or did? Am dubious of this, smells like Russian excuse- commercial jets don't change course 90 degrees on a hunch-yes, based on Russian media lies. A Brit Russian research fellow Igor Sutyagin says
 'There is a Ukrainian mechanized brigade blocked by separatists near the Russian border. The Ukrainians try to resupply them from the air by transport aircraft.
'Now, the pilot of MH17 said that he "felt bad" and wanted to change course to get out of the danger zone. But several kilometers to the south is a Ukrainian Army heavy transport plane, an IL76, or Candid, which has the same echo as a 777 on a radar screen. [this was same plane w 49 Ukrs shotdown-ed].
'The two planes came close. They believed that they had been firing at a military plane, but they mistakenly shoot down a civilian airliner.   

Grad missile strikes near Lugansk Airport? -
In other news, heavy fighting has occured around Lugansk w 20 dead, and the Ukr Gov has reported taking back northern portions of the city. One pic showed bodies of "fleeing civilians" with Seps proudly guarding area. The half-mil Lugansk is suffering, they are +80% without power and water as the Ukrs besiege the gateway to Russia- why do Easterners believe the wild Russian propaganda about Nazi's + fascists- when they know better, when they've been to Kiev, and
 unverified pic, but heard Seps were impressing men into their army and not letting people leave
know the people? "They are STUPID: really really stupid!!!! Many of them have never left the area," says translator Vadim-Lugansk, a refuge from there in the West: "I can't live there anymore. My father and brother are Separatists! I want to get my 7 year old daughter out but my ex-wife won't let me. She asks (from a city under bombardment with no power, water, or phones), 'What conditions do you have there'? " My friend Prince Alex Romanov is heading out there Sun to rescue his GF's mother- with no power there is no communications- mobile or land. A Tass report says the Seps have taken over the Lugansk Airport, where they've besieged Ukrs for weeks, though Oleg-MT (who recently returned) says not true- that Ukrs are more firmly entrenched.   

             - got gas?
JULY 10 7pm   GIVE BACK FLIPPER!; NO CEASE FIRE, PORO AVAK in SLOVYANSK, REBELS CUT OFF DONETSK, TEFTLON BACK, SIMON SAYS SLOVYANSK
     
Ukr demands Krim combat dolphins back, but Russia has plans for them. Poro has turned down a cease fire, as he and Avakov visited Slavyansk July 8th. But what next- attack Donetsk? Seps reinforced by ALL the men and equipment from the fallen cities, blew up 7 RR bridges into Donetsk- they mean to make it as bloody as possible, which is why they should have been exterminated before they reached it.
                                                            the smell of victory in Slovyansk
Meanwhile there is serious proposal to BAN the Communist Party in Ukr - quite justified considering they supported whichever thug in Russia or Ukr most emulated Soviet leaders (interesting when they were major league crooks like Yanu- apparently most durable aspect of Soviet Communism is their love of corruption) and quite blatantly supported the greater Russian Empire.
That makes them traitors to any modern Demo values, which people  demonstrated in ripping down 2 more Lenin statues in Sumy + Kherson areas, only Ukr fascist troops stopped activists from ripping down the one in Kramatorsk.
    - hang him high!
Meanwhile my neo-bud, hearty portly longtime State Dept hand and Amb. to Ukr, Georgia, Lithuania where he managed to gin up 2 color revolutions (Russians think), John Tefft will be the next Amb to Russia.
       Coming from Madison, WI, where I just happened to write for the Capital Times for 24 years, Tefft mixes a folksy MidWestern demeanor with a sly skill for power politics, and is a good choice for the new aggressive Roosia and their PutInvasions.
                       Want to play w my grenade ball? -
Simon returns to SY, where he was held hostage and tortured ("worst experience of my life") - not too much info on % damage but illuminating in  UKR soldat telling demanding townsfolk- "My friends died for this town!!". UKR is coming to liberate the East.. and sometimes (like WW2 France, that entails, uh, destroying it) - this neocon German intellectual at the Thinking Ukraine Conf said about the horrific very 1st fire-bombing of Hamburg (where people melted): 'my mother led me out into the burning streets (@10yo) and said, "See those planes, they are our friends, they are coming to free us!!" '     (only 2-3 European bombings were real firestorms- Hamburg, Berlin, even Dresden didn't really qualify- Curtis Lemay, neo-fascist General+ scientist of death, perfected the 2000 plane "tactic" in Japan- Tokyo firebombing killed more than Hiroshima, by which time Japan had already burned to the ground). New episode 55 shows some of carnage- VICENEWS is now the gold standard for gonzo video journalism in conflict zones around the world.
  SLOVYANSK or SLAVYANSK- Journos are almost evenly divided on usage- it is spelled Slovyansk but O in Russian can be pronounced O or A, leading to great bemusement at the dirty foreigners when a word has 3 O's. The people are, of course, Slavs (except in Slovakia), but that spelling was behind 2.1 mil to 2.7 says my close personal friend Mr. Google, a few days before that was reversed. My friend is really a flake.

abandonned Sep APC in Slovyansk
KIEV:  July 6 5:30pm SLOVYANSK TAKEN!!! Good news for a change- the ATO is rolling - The Seps have abandonned Slovyansk, Ukr are close to full control and have raised the UKR flag over the City Council Bldg!!!!! Kramatorsk also abandonned as they retreat to Donetsk. Artyemovsk + Druzhkova  also taken. According to the map UKR forces are almost in Lugansk, and there is fighting on the outskirts -video there Sun shows smoke rising. The Seps should have been intercepted so fighting in Donetsk won't be too destructive. I think no mercy should be given to Russians- the message should be: Come to Ukraine to fight, come to die! 1000-2000 Sep sympathizers rallied in Donetsk Sq to stop the "genocide". 

     Horlivka Mayor busted -
"Andriy Parubiy said Friday that Ukrainian forces are still attacking rebel positions with artillery and planes. He said 17 villages had been secured by government forces since a unilateral cease fire expired Monday. He said Ukrainian forces now control 23 of 36 local regions within Donetsk and Luhansk." The Sep "Mayor" of Horlvka was arrested, hooded, and frog marched to a waiting van by SBU. Well he got to be Queen for a Day- now Sep statements sound more desperate and panicked. Finally they seem to have some effective military commander- corruption is so endemic here that they will try somebody, find out that they are corrupt, try somebody else, find out they are incompetent, try somebody else- corrupt again, maybe with 4th or 5th effort they get somebody who actually performs well (though Lincoln had the same problem). Also no news is solid: every report is subject to reversal in a week, re-enactment the next, re-reversal the week after that, which means everything should be taken with a shaker of salt. Lets hope Poro pushes forward to complete victory and doesn't succumb to sitting on his laurels- no, he's talking about another cease fire. You negotiate with Seps when you've beat them, unless you want your country partitioned- Poro may be succumbing to the good Czar lure. Tragically they allowed several Sep columns to escape to Donetsk, insane to let hundreds of fighters and heavy weapons into a major city.

There is of course collateral damage to Slovyansk (+10% destroyed?- Oleg MT says really only a few bldgs) and other targets- some by the Gov, others by jumpy Seps who see their world crashing down and fire at anything- they also hide in apartment blocks (normal guerrilla tactic), forcing the authorities to blast residential bldgs, getting immense propaganda value. Kiev has finally overcome their reluctance to collateral damage (sad but as I demanded of Gov ministers 5 times: "If your highest priority is preventing deaths, you will LOSE!" streaming aud-TYMCHUK@8:00min) and on a roll now, so fast that I don't think any cease fire will occur- detestable Ukr Kremlim agent (Putin is literally his Godfather- of kids) Medvedchuk has been banned from the Contact Group negotiating a cease-fire- I was long screaming this guy should be jailed, having coordinated the whole insurrection. Russia, reacting to these events, may have sent 20 more APC + tanks into Ukr, SBU chief Nalyvaichenko accused.
 
Finally finally Ukr is acting like a country- as I said, Rwanda's military could have wiped out these Seps in a week!! Another heartening sign- the OSCE voted 92 of 150 Friday to condemn Russia for their violent and evil subversion- their 2 sets of hostages were just released (right)- my semi-bud Sen. Ben Cardin, US OSCE rep, pushing for it. To show their brutality, they banned the 2nd Tatar leader Rafik Chubarov from returning home after they held a Majlis (Tatar Parl.) in Kherson; already did it to Jemeliev (aud@11:00min). In retaliation (+as a possible byproduct of my agitation), Turkey is banning docking of any ship registered in Russian Crimea.

WHY SLOVYANSK? What made this town and environs so important or interesting? Well, besides the biggest arms depot in Europe in Artyemovsk- 5 mil Kalashnikovs (now retaken!), there is a massive amount of shale gas, 3.6 trillion CuM in a 90km square that Slovyansk, Kramatorsk, Horlivka are in the middle of! This also explains why Ukr concentrated on subduing (or Vietnam era people might say, "pacifying", not to a baby) Slovyansk rather than the do or die emergency of the open Lugansk border. It also means Papa Putin Vladimir Vladimirovich has now ripped off the massive Black Sea subsea gas, the Crimean gas, and was trying to get the Donbass gas- and the rapist (via Gazprom) dares to bitch about Ukr not paying it's gas bills- the value of all that (and all the property and industries of Crimea-Donbass is almost impossible to estimate, hundreds of billions $ not unlikely, but UKR sued Russia for $90 bil. Let's hope the arbitration court hearing Ukr's dispute takes that view ("In light of all violations + incursions to the world order........ all debts to Gazprom for the next 10 years are hereby forfeit!!!!!")- course Russia would have to agree to accept the verdict. An auditor friend with a Slovyansk client there clued me in to this.

LNG- longtime no gas- the long hoped for panacea for Ukr gas addiction (by me and others- Algerian LNG is only 30% of Russia's price!) got a boost with talk of a terminal near Odessa, but the problem explained to me by the EIR's Glamazdin in 40 min of interviews (ENERGY CONF. - LNG PORT, Firtash Corruption+SLOVAKIA return gas- aud@7:35); is that Turkey bans Straits passage of LNG (KP says cause of NATO terrorism fears, but more simply world paranoia of these supposed massive floating bombs). LNG though, which is a brisk -178C is NOT EXPLOSIVE, the gas isn't either- it's what come out of your stove- only the proper mixture with air is- about 10% gas- that's what brings down aptmt bldgs- undetected 12-24 hour leaks. AFAIK, no LNG tanker has ever exploded, there have been 2 historic near-nuclear sized (10-20% Hiroshima) ship explosions- Ammonium Nitrate in Texas City, and ammunition in WW1 Halifax, Nova Scotia... both of which annihilated the cities. Looking at one of these monsters though, one can understand villagers' squeamishness.
 there 
JULY 4 4pm There is more talk of a cease fire, which might just solidify the fact that the East is gone, and allow the Seps to gather the strength to drive out the Army + Nat. Guard. In fact, they are claiming to have the strength to attack the ATO head-on, with wild claims of 5000 fighters (many astronomical claims from these clowns), unknown how many Russians have flooded in in the last month- but 1000-2000 not unlikely. In a strange move, Poro has fired the 2nd Defense Min. to appoint the fmr head of Yanukovich's Guard, maybe a sign of his resignation to the terrible loss of the East. [Of whom little is expected, little will be done]. Incredibly, on June 30th, thousands of Ukrainians rallied outside the Pres Admin building and in Maidan in a pro-war rally, desperate to not concede the East to the brigands and outlaws of the new DNLPR, maybe why Poro's attack on July 1-5 were so robust. That is what "peace" means here, not peace from fighting and hatred, but another piece of Ukr ripped off forever, allowing Russia to twist the knife at will, whenever they want to exert pressure.

Ukraine needed to kick the ass of the handful of the Seps when they were starting- see how easily the Vostok Battalion tossed out the DNR people from the Donetsk Admin Bldg, like they were errant kids. Separatism and rebellion have their own arc, and the only way to deal with it is crush it at birth- every day it goes on, the cost to stop it increases exponentially, as each side expands their skill, brutality, and hatred. Now, sadly, it will probably become a Trans-Dniester, or Ngorno Karabak, a frozen festering conflict that will weaken and wound Ukr (and Donbass more) for decades to come. They showed their thuggish stripes in immediately punishing Moldova by banning "imports of processed beef, horse meat, lamb, and pork the same day it ratified an EU trade treaty- 59 to 4".

Besides the Strelkov Forces, the Vostok Battalion, there is also the alarming contemptible Orthodox Army, disparate extremist Russians who believe in invading and subduing lands (all of Ukr!) as a Holy mission of spreading the Orthodox NovaRuskie order- these people are essentially uncontrollable fundamentalists as crazy as any Taliban- a real player there, Demjin says, and it is truly evil to introduce a religious component, condemned by the 78yo Ukr Moscow Metropolitan Volodymir (who then promptly died July 5, perhaps heartsick at Rukrainians killing each other..again - services are Monday in Lavra). RFE's Power Vertical dedicated a radio show to the new Russian messianic ideal. I taught a big class of all priests English in the Lavra once- quite strange- who's your daddy (father)?

In what might be a shred of good news, Seps claim (a careless estimate) that maybe 1000 Sep fighters have been killed, with burials (even secret) common- the only piece of info verifying often huge + dubious casualty figures of the Gov (300, 200). My own estimate from reading everything over months is that somewhat LESS Seps have been killed than Gov forces, since A. they are doing the attacking 80-90% of the time, B. they have the most modern Russian gear, C. the Russian holy-rollers are trained and experienced soldiers (killers, when it comes to Chechnya + Afghanistan), D. the manifest incompetence of much Gov tactics, E. the natural advantage of guerrilla ops, F. the propaganda value of being the "victim" of the evil fascist junta- they can't be so evil if they get beaten so regularly; so given 400 dead Gov troops, maybe 300 dead Seps, 700-800 dead total soldiers.

"See me and Julio down by the schoolyard"- the Putin Hulio (dickhead) meme has spread from a Kharkov soccer game to throughout the (video) world- its time this is chanted every time the Little Big Man shows up- this brutal Napoleonic twit should be tortured for his crimes. 

JULY 1 7am  Just as I feared, the news has been too grim and depressing to even look at. A big Nat Guard base in Donetsk was taken over after a 3 to 1 superior Sep force: beseiged and blasted for 7-8 hours. 4-5 Sep tanks attacked another Ukr force at a checkpoint, blasting 2 APCs (video) VICENEWS to smoldering hulks, killing 6-20 (Seps showed the ID's of the victims). 

Demjin- intrepid AusZealander, says he saw 20 more tanks rolling into
Lugansk from Russia (now apparently on flatbeds) on June 26 alone- T64s, + T72's! Think THAT warrants sanctions West- think that is Putin doing everything to stabilize the situation??????  Obviously sanctions are totally over by the categorical refusal of world leaders to even mention this. The amount of Sep firepower, experienced killers, military expertise has probably increased 5-10 fold and they may be unstopable by the Ukr military- at their level of skill, resources, and competence. Didn't carefully add them up, but from the Live Blogs of just the last 5 days, think some 50 more Ukrs (27 says ATO) have been killed in the "ceasefire", including another helo, again at the deadly shooting gallery of Karachun Hill (where the General and at least one other helo was bagged). As I asked Paruby, "doesn't the offense have a huge advantage over defense," so if you sit in place, you will suffer more casualties. AUDIO@3:37. Time to call the troops back from the killing fields, and avoid WW2 like devastation, what Ukr can do effectively- artillery is one thing they have, far back enough to be safe, and by troops that are reliable. 

It seems they will make an example of Slovyansk (VICENews), which is fine by me- they missed a golden opportunity to wipe out the cream of the Russian invaders when the terrorists took their oath to the DNR in the Donetsk square- 2 or 3 drone launched Hellfires could have spared Ukr soldiers alot of death and destruction. The DNR now has unified with LPR to create US radio network NPR. No, I jest.

IMPERIAL STRETCH : Putin's Crimean Invasion

A Bridge Too Far  - Yahoo   With his reckless invasion Putin has unleashed titanic forces that may sweep him from power in 4-5 years: inspiration to 6 separatist regions of Russia, economic devastation from sanctions, Euro resource diversification, + capital flight; reinvigorated NATO + EU, EU pushed into Ukraine's arms, EUAA signed, $36 billion of loans + grants; outraged Russian liberals, desperate oligarchs, world economy closed    LOCAL (updated 4/19)

SPECTACULAR VIOLENT KIEV PROTESTS VIDEO- Hrushevskogo St., New Jan 19, 2014 11:30pm-12:30am  YOUTUBE Video 10:24m- by Michael Hammerschlag with STANDUP NEWS REPORT@ 5:00 min in front of burning Dynamo ticket office --- 6 police blockading buses and Dynamo ticket office burned; 1 thousand Molotov cocktails thrown, many thousand paving stones ripped out and thrown; 6 hours of full battle with riot police- photo below  MH YOUTUBE CH
 
Violent protester hurling paving stone at police behind torched police bus barricade 11:46pm Jan 19, Hrushevskogo St., Kiev Michael Hammerschlag©2014
Did big article on the genesis of this protest here, where I predicted Yanukovich wouldn't sign EU deal- for 3 weeks all signs were bad- apparently he was just playing Russia, EU, and his downtrodden people the whole time.

COUNTDOWN: LAST CHANCE FOR UKRAINE - Yahoo
KIEV: Ukraine at crossroads between East and West: join the Russian Eurasian Customs Union or sign the EU Association Agreement  and Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) in Lithuania. Incredibly, after 15 years of negotiation, Pres. Yanukovich scotched the deal a week before.LOCAL (w pics)

MIKE ON NPR's On Point Nat. Radio Talk Show on INVASION @ 29:10`min point, 3:10 min 

MIKE QUESTIONS US AMBASSADOR GEOFFREY PYATT (YTvideo @18:27 -21:52); AUDIO   TEXT (1st para) - Ukr's choice- crack down or lose East; US reaction to full Russian invasion PLUS  give Ukr encrypted communications;   - April 29
 AUDIO- mp3  DONETSK ACTIVIST on ATTACKS Oleg Saakyan -30s- % of  Donetsk want Russia; biggest Ukr + ProRus (PR) rally 1:45, PR Pay 3:45;   EIR ENERGY CONFERENCE  - 4:10 min MP Zubkov,, Min Reg Dev Cons Malezhik, Glamazdin; LNG PORT + Firtash Corruption+SLOVAKIA return gas-gd aud 7:35; GLAMAZDIN INT - 11:05 Turkeys reason, Industrial Users-14:05, Black Sea Leases- 14:55; Ministers' positions 17:10  CONF 2 AUD - pvt interviw Minis. Housing Olena MALEZHIK+ Vadim GLAMAZDIN (EIR)  - apt central heating losses- 1:23, Ideal Cent. Plants- cogeneration+Vilnius 5:40; SLOVAKIA Reverse Flow- 8:27 - Apr 30
Mar 4   pic below- Klitschko MH©2014
MIKE QUESTIONS VITALY KLITSCHKO (YouTube VIDEO UPDATED w Eng trans) about  whether Ukr. would find loyal militsia-police to replace traitorous ones to stop Russian"tourist' rioters; Totally ducks question . Crisis Media Video 18:45-21:00 (Ukr only)   CLOSE BOSPHORUS? (YTvid)
 AND Fmr Const. Court Judge Kozubra (cu Video YT- if the Const. Court and other Judiciary was purged of the Yanukovich hacks; he said "most judges should be replaced"- Mar 17
MIKE QUESTIONS FMR INTERIOR MIN. LUTSENKO - (AUDIO-mp3) 2 1/2 year political prisoner Yury answers "Are you bitter". He read 300 books inc. Buddhist bible. Sound Activation lost half recording. Vasyl got exc. video, but deleted it by mistake Mar 18 pic below- Lutsenko MH©2014
MIKE QUESTIONS PUTIN ADVISOR ANDREI ILLARIANOV (YouTube VIDEO)`on whether US Battle Group in the Black Sea would have stopped Putin's Invasion Mar 14th
+ FORMR DEFENSE MIN. GRYTSENKO -  (VIDEO) @7:15- 14:40min About whether Ukr. would find loyal militsia-police and send to East to control border and stop Russian"tourist' rioters.who killed people in Donetsk. Said nobody will help Ukr if it doesn't help itself  pic above rt. MH
MIKE QUESTIONS  SVOBODA updated LEADER TYAHNIBOK  - (YT VIDEO) If time to appoint war pres.- Messed up question- meant to say  "Emergency War President" Of course "acting Pres". is Turchynov, though he hasn't acted like one in rallying people against Russian threat   ALSO @ CMC video at 23:10 pic - Mar 13, 2014 MH
MIKE QUESTIONS DEPUTY LESYA OROBYETS (YouTube-VIDEO)- Maidan Crisis Press Cent- Mar 8- 65mb mp4
pic- Vasyl Ponomariov
+ BRIT AMB. SIMON SMITH, Food to Police Org Inga V, Miss Ukraine AUDIOMike's Questions: Orobyets- Police Lustration 0, Oligarch Governors 3.03; Smith- when sanctions, US ships to Black Sea -4.42, reason Yush's attempt to evict BSF 9.05, Food to Police Inga-9.28 min
Crimean Tatar Reg. Admin Head Ili Umarov (aud) 1:27min  Crimea Tatars plan to boycott vote, but polls have only 42% for joining Russian; Asked why don't they ALL vote, cause without their 13%, Russians sure to win - Mar 10
MIKE QUESTIONS Fmr Foreign Min. BORYS TARASYUK (vid-14:20-23:30)- if ensuring BSF tenancy could've forestalled Invasion  Soldier about Russian Attack- 8:44;  Sailors Union Pres. Volodomir Voloshyn- 9:55 could Ukr ships have escaped (aud-mp3) 12min - Mar 24
Invasion;  CLOSE THE BOSPHORUS-21:23Vid, 6:45m Aud; ( lf)
MIKE QUESTIONS FOREIGN MIN. AND. DESHCHYTSIA  (YT-@24:50 - 28:00min)   Will UN punish Russia Mar 29 YT CU (Mike) question only AND
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT + TRADE MIN. PAVLO SHEREMYETA  (YT 34:25 - 37:46) How hryvna's collapse good + bad what's best rate  (PIC below lf) and   
DEP. DEFENSE MIN. LEONID POLYAKOV (YT-SB cu) Military penetrated top to bottom by Russian agents- U rooting them out?
 AUDIO (Sherameta-exchange rate, Gas LNG port 3:24, Polyakova- Rus Agents 4:10, in SBU 8:46)
MIKE QUESTIONS Dep Foreign Minister Danylo LUBKIVSKY  VIDEO (rt) April 14  AUDIO mp3 19m (Willing to kill? - 0:36 Aud;  11:52-Video ;  Sympathetic Russian diplomatsAud 2:16 ;  Video - 29:00-33:53 )   AND
Health Minister OLEG MUSIY  VIDEO (Aud-7:07min Can't Minister fire people) + Deputy + Head of Tatar Mejlis MUSTAFA JEMELIEV  TEXT (2nd para),  VIDEO (Attacks on Tatars 0:52, Close Bosphorus 27:00) (Aud- 11:00 min Attacks on Tatars, 15:07- Close the BOSPHORUS) - April 17
DESHCHYTSIA. ,Kerry use big stick in Geneva? (vid@11:47)  - April 18 +  SHEREMETA - why Hrv stronger? (13.50 to 10.80/$ in 4 days) VIDEO @19:50-22:53
ITAL SENATOR MARIO MAURO-What do Ital people think of Maidan? VIDEO@14:06  AUDIO ;   FMR. UKR FSB GEN MALOMYZH-AUD@2:43- really possible Russia would return Crimea+ time to clean up Maidan?- answers neither; NEW UKR DIR. A. YERMELIEV - AUD@6:16 Terrorist threat- Nukes + targets guarded more; if can't protest SBU HQ, how protect 4000 installations 
MIKE QUESTIONS BRIT. FOREIGN MINISTER WILLIAM HAGUE (Video@18:00min- Is England pulling its punches due to power of London oligarchs- May 7
NEW MIKE QUESTIONS PRES. ADMIN. HEAD SERGEI PASHINSKY - (Video 20:50)- will you secure voting sites or make new ones outside of cities TRANS Aud
DANILO LUBKIVSKY -May13- any movement in Rus troops or Separatists? -if not, why would you trust negotiation AND  GENNADY DRUZENKO (0) - Reserve Army (part-time Home Guard) + ANDRIY ANTONYSCHYAK (@1:14) - National Guard Coordinator- fought in Slovyansk - May 13 AUDIO of Both (extended interview Anton)

SWED. FM CARL BILDT (vid)- will EU follow through with long-term resource diversification away from Russia AFTER aud   +
 DIMA TYMCHUK AUD@8:00m military analyst- If not willing to kill people how can you win war; extnd interview (Aud@4:01 mp3-May16
YALE PROF. TIMOTHY SNYDER (YOUTUBE) author Bloodlands THINKING TOGETHER CONFERENCE - why you say Eurasian Union rather than Soviet; without China not Asian; failure of the Western Left in reacting to Putin's lies - Mohyla Acadamy May 15 ; After Speech-AUD
MIKE QUESTIONS UKR AL QAIDA -   YT Video - Rada MP, funny

NEW Pravy Sector DMYTRO YAROSH - YT Vid@5:05m Pres Cand.  AUDIO ; What is ur relationship w Gov + see yourself part of it; Pravy Sector in danger in East-  AND
Nat. Security Council ANDRIY PARUBIY YT Vid-@32m; AUDIO@3:37 Offense has advantage over defense, finally doing offense after election? - May 22
HRYTSENK -O YT Vid@26:56 Pres. Cand.- What would you do w. the Separatists if Pres.? May 21 
SBU HEAD VALENTYN NALYVAICHENK O-AUDIO -U cleaned out the SBU of Russian agents so betrayal capture forestalled? Pvt Interview May 23
GEORGIAN REFORMER BILLIONAIRE KAKHA BENDUKIDZE  AUDIO (extended interview 7:55) on temptations of power, new Georgian Gov.
ELECTION HEAD ANDRIY MAGERA YT VIDEO (AUDIO@8:25) - Central secure voting sites OUTSIDE city; INTERNET VOTING through Banks

 SEN. BEN CARDIN + ROB PORTMAN - YT VIDEO -Porter: Will US provide Ukr desperately needed military gear;
CARDIN- Exclus. Inter. VIDEO (low res)- Would US support Poroshenko Eastern crack-down if 500-1000 killed? Answer not encouraging.

ANTICORRUPTION HEAD TANYA CHERNOVOL - YT VIDEO (@47:57ans Ukr) Corruption in awarding sales contract of Yanu front man's $900M gasoline; AUDIO- Eng 6:31 min of Turchenov's AntiCorruption Olena Tyshchenko

MAIDAN VICTORY EXPLAINED  (YouTube) exc- 2/22 midnight by Michael Hammerschlag w Fireworks + INFO TITLES on Kreshatuk by MAIDAN Post Office
 
VIDEO: MIKE RAPS ABOUT CRIMEAN INVASION Mar 1  9pm
 http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/44375635  12:52min Maidan 1 March P2 All pitiful quality
http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/44372201 37:22m Maidan 1 March
http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/44374231 12:32m   International Spilno
VIDEO (ustream live) Feb 9 4:12p - Mike Tours Maidan on 12th Sunday of Protests international-Spilno.tv - 19min
VIDEO:  UTUBE `HISTORIC VIDEO- Feb 9 4:55pm - Mike Tours Maidan Inter. Press Center- Trade Union- Interview w Foreign Euromaidan Sites 17 yo manager Sviat Urash- 16min NOW BURNED
VIDEO ustream) same as above  NOW BURNED  Riabchuk
CNN IREPORT:  Feb 24  PICS of FLOWER COVERED MAIDAN- memorials to the dead-1am

Audio- Protester  Lyuba City Hall; Day of Takeovers + 400K rally  Dec1 - 21s mp3
EUROMAIDAN site (english) - latest news, bulletins, from the Revolt 

burning Dynamo ticket office Hrushevskogo Ul., Jan 19 23:59


SLOVYANSK TAKEN!!! UKR WINNING!, UKR STARTS ATTACKS, SEPS TAKE 2 BASES- KILL 40?, DREAMWEAVER, TRANSPORT LOST- 49k, DEMOs at RUS EMBASSY, LUGANSK BORDER OPEN!, 3 BASES, 3 Border crossings CAPTURED!, CLEAN-UP MAIDAN, PORONATION, DON. AIRPT BATTLE, 17 SOLD. KILLED 27 w in AMBUSH, AHMETOV STEEL PATROLS- "DONBASS FUTURE is UKR!" EU-OSCE RADA CONF NAT. UNITY, 6d Ukr-9w Ambush, REFERENDUM SURPRISE, MARIUPOL EXPLODES- 10? Dead; PUTIN in KRIM, HVY FIGHTING SLOVYANSK - 22d, 55w; 4th HELO DOWNED ; 46 DEAD in FIREBOMBED ODESSA TRADE CEN after 5 UKTRAS KILLED, 9 DEAD in SLOV.,  3 HELOS DOWN, GOV "HELPLESS"; DONESTSK KILLING of UKR RALLIERS; KIDNAPPING + KILLING 2 BATKIV; 90 Captive, 5 Killed Slovyansk Shootout,   EAST GOV.  BLDGS TAKEOVERS; PRAVY SECTOR SHOOTING; KLITSCHKO QUITS PRES. RACE for KIEV MAYOR, ENDORSES POROSHENKO, CRIMEAN INVASION!!!!, UKR KILLED, CARRIER BATTLE GROUP IN AEGEAN, RUSSIANS RETURN TO BORDER, SEIZE ISTHMUS, AIRPORTS, PARLIAMENT+MINISTERS, BALACLAVA BASE,   YANU, Zakar, Pshonk FLEE to RUSSIA; NEW GOV PRESENTED TO MAIDAN WED, YANU REMOVED 328-0, TYMO SPEAKS IN KYIV; TURCHYNOV SPEAKER/ PRES., COM. KUBIV NEW CENTRAL BANKER, HALF POR + COMS DEFECT; KLYUYEV SHOT, 23 PRISONERS RELEASED, NEW OPPO Min INTERIOR, PROSECUTER; ADMIN + MYEZH OPPO's, MAY ELECTIONS! ; BLOODY THURSDAY    Sep= Separatist (or sepsis)



 JUNE 23 7pm  All Poro's plans are pie in the sky- first he foolishly says wrapping up the rebels would be "a matter of hours", then he says we magically can declare a cease fire, certain to be loved by the Seps who will use the lull to kill many more soldiers, "then once the border is secure", we can negotiate or quit or whatever. (indeed Fighting erupted today West of Slavyansk-4d Ukr, 20w)
protesters at Kyiv Russian Embassy after 49 Ukrs killed

Consider all the death, mayhem, insurgent activity in Donbass to date- now consider that the Russians, in the 20 terrible days 35-110 miles or so of the border were OPEN, pentupled their hard-core fighters and heavy weapons in Ukraine (conservatively), and one must understand that no matter what daddy Putin says, Kiev has probably lost the East- these thousands of Seps and invaders probably aren't beatable anymore by a full attack- given the capabilities and capacities of the Ukr military. Until the open border, they were.

What that means is that this defacto independence, Donestsk Rep., and lawless jungle in Dongansk will continue for months, the economy there will be destroyed, and hundreds of thousands will flee the fighting, rebel threats and bullying (already 40k), and lack of functioning services... like my good friend Vadim-Lugansk, now a refugee in Western Ukr, convinced his apartment has already been "appropriated" by the motley Sep thugs.  
WHO DE NAZIS? - pic lf. Contract killer, Putin pal, Crimean PM Aksyonov; rt. - DPR peoples Gov Pavel Guberov @bot. lf.

Cen. Bank's Stepan Kibiv -Maidan commandante in old Trade Center Dec 2013 - MH
In what I thought was bad news, Poro replaced Central Banker Stepan Kubiv, the brilliant strategist who organized Maidan like a fine Swiss watch, who has stabilized the hrv @ 11.80/$ and maybe saved the country... with perhaps someone more politically pliable. NO- that's what got this country into such sht! Maybe it was some kind of sop to Putin to can the architect of Maidan, but it seemed a bad portent- Kubiv is probably incorruptible, and the first thing any leader does is try to get control of the money supply. Had the hrv collapsed to 16-20/$ there was no way that Ukr could ever have paid back loans, and default would have been inevitable.  MIKE QUESTIONS TRADE Min.  SHEREMETA - why Hrv stronger? Kubiv help? (13.50 to 10.80/$ in 4 days) VIDEO


      Apparently lightning strikes fast- Kubiv resigned June 18 to become supposedly head of Lviv Reg Admin., replaced by Valeria Hontareva the next day, a well regarded banker who chaired Investment Capital Ukraine and built it into the biggest investment bank- she sold her stake on June 20. She declared a salary of ~$340,000; previously she held high positions at ING and Societ General, a Dutch + French bank resp.

       Poro has also replaced the competent, passionate, fluent-Eng FM Andrei Deschytsia (whom I questioned 4 times), a poor move I thought, considering his burgeoning relationships with Western leaders, and the time needed to re-form relationships- when Ukraine has desperate needs now.... with the moderate young Ambass. to Germany, Pavlo Klimkin, who has "a reputation as a skilled negotiator and consummate diplomat". Born in Kursk and schooled in Mockba, Klikmkin may get along a little better with Russia, which had demanded Deschitsia's firing after he agreed with the rioting crowd at the Kyiv Rus Emb. that, yes, "Putin was a khulio (dickhead)", in trying to calm them down (overturned cars above).

A new prosecutor, tough guy Vitaly Yarema (fmr Dep. Prime Min.), was also chosen.

In a bad sign I questioned Anticorruption advisor Tanya Chervonol YT VIDEO for 10 min before + after press conf about the attempt by her own (putative) Justice Min. to sell $900M of Yanu's front Kurchenko's gasoline through a private seller, an obvious source of diversion and kickbacks, rather than directly by the Gov., an Inter. Min. plan she and anti-corruption head of Pres Admin. Olena Tyshchenko endorsed. She was sprightly and charming- when I asked why she didn't just crush the passanger side thug when he came to beat her in her famous Christmas rundown (15 min car chase) and mugging considering she had 1200kg weapon, "I wasn't thinking like that- to attack. I ran away from the car into the field because I didn't want them to say it was a car accident, in which I was injured or killed. I wanted to stay in the car."  She was supposed to get a whole FBI like investigatory org to go after the 70% dirty politicians and gov officials, BUT it never got more than 182 votes in Rada (226 to pass), according to Olena, so sadly she remains in limbo, with no real power to compel or punish anybody. Had great 5 min interview after, but I had scrupulously replaced the batteries with dead ones.

In a display of the continued political immaturity of the Ukr populace, 42% of Poro supporters also would like to see all oligarchs stripped of their big corps (long political art-Tizhden). Yeah, uh huh. Why they locked onto him as their savior is still mysterious- he went from 0 to 100mph in a week or 2 and had the Presidency locked up for 2 months when he wasn't much of a presence on Maidan. There is no way their fantastic and messianic expectations will be realized, so disappointment is inevitable- Poro is a dealmaker and compromiser who will never hold out for the whole loaf.                     

JUNE 14 V. Bad News: Lugansk Aircraft Transport lost- 49 dead
Good News: Mariupol Retaken by Gov, 75 miles of 100 miles border controlled by Seps was retaken by Ukr Gov;
BN: Russians + heavy weapons probably trippled in the time it was open
GN: UKRS finally attacked Russian Embassy- only w eggs unfortunately


JUNE 6 8am EAST IS LOST.
With 3 major border and national

guard bases overrun in the last 2 days, and maybe 3 actual border crossings in control of Seps, 15-30 Russian APC (BMP), machine-gun mounted Kamaz trucks and buses have crossed into Ukr- the border is open and the barbarians are flooding in. ATO Idiots, letting the border fall. Lugansk is now completely in the hands of the Seps, as the proficiency of the Vostok Bat. promised, the floodgates are OPEN. Ukraine has managed to lose the East by allowing steady escalation and humiliations at the hands of a few hundred fighters escalate to a de-facto foreign invasion:
     Seps attacking Border Guard Post --

---- "Before today's fighting at various border checkpoints, Russian-backed separatists had already opened a hole in Ukraine's border that allows Russians -- even armed ones -- to flock into Ukraine. In a report for The Daily Beast, Anna Nemtsova says that, despite claims that Russia is deescalating the situation by claiming to withdraw from Ukraine's borders, now that this hole has been opened "the real war is about to begin."
      Two local taxi drivers, Aleksei and Vladislav, drove us to the crossing point, which is called Krasny Partizansk in Russian or Chervono Parizansk in Ukrainian. Shortly before we arrived, armed rebels took over the base and took down the Ukrainian flag.
      There is now no flag at the border. It is now nobody’s border, the locals are joking. One of the rebels told us that no passports or identity papers had to be checked on this side of the frontier any longer. We saw cars crossing into Russia with only Russian customs checking their papers.
     This was published by Nemtsova yesterday. Below we have several reports of fighting along the border, and at least one of the battles is fierce enough that it is still ongoing and Ukraine has had to conduct airstrikes to defeat the attackers. Several more border posts have fallen since this was published, and it looks like this trend will only accelerate.
    Ukraine has essentially lost the border, and with it Kiev may now lose the east." ----


YOU'RE IN THE ARMY NOW:
May go out on Home Guard training this weekend and get proficient in Kalashnikov use- never know when you might have to take one off someone and wipe out AH's holding you hostage, and very embarrassing to not know the saftey is on!! I will be the famous American who takes down 20 Seps before they get me- somebody's gotta be a hero for these downtrodden people.
-- Shot up surrendered Nat Guard Base
 

1am After a big attack against a large sprawling rural border guard HQ was repulsed with lots of Sep casualties (300? Avakov claimed)... they came back and took it over!!!! And also another Nat. guard base- these are the tough harderned Russian killers of the Vostok Battalion that led 2-3 slaughters of Ukrs (and were on recieving end in DonAirport attack). Argh!! The Gov, which is going to declare martial law 3 months late on Sat, when Poro is inaugurated, should have used Vostok's takeover of the Donetsk reg bldg to attack in force and wipe out the Russian invaders- couldn't claim they were just poor Easterners w a grievance when they sent 40 bodies back to Mother Roosiya. We are going to have a big slaughter of all the journos embedded with the Seps soon. Missed a great op to hobnob, make connections, and/or drunk (which have been very rare with ridiculous workload) at Poro's victory Party May 25- heard about it too late. Also big shindig at Ambassadors residence for election observers Tues- questioned and chatted with him 5-6 times (gimme 5 Jeff!, Pyatt means 5 in Russian)- forgot had chatted with head of WCU (UCCA is US vers.) World Congress of Ukrs- 20 million diaspora around world for 10 min former Fed Judge Futey, and Amb. people might have given me invite. Need a good dyev to be my appt secretary.


Lugansk is now a gangster paradise- 60% of businesses in Donbass have closed inc. huge industries, few banks are open and tens of thousands are fleeing the economic disaster and WAR zone. 
-- Rada's Nat. Sec. Sec. Kaplin said:  "Businesses with complex production cycles were halted! This includes machinery, metallurgy, food industry and coal mining.”
     Not surprisingly, the International Monetary Fund expects Ukraine’s economy to shrink by 5 percent this year, while the European Bank for          Reconstruction and Development thinks contraction will reach 7 percent.  Sep thugs breaking into Privat Bank
     Violence in the region, instigated by Moscow-backed separatists, has pushed energy and chemicals mogul Dmytro Firtash to shut down two of his chemical giants in Donbas – Stirol in Horlivka and Azot in Severodonetsk – on May 7-8, respectively.
      On May 19, separatists caused a blackout at Kolomoisky’s Stakhanov Ferroalloy Plant in Luhansk Oblast. Also the owner of Privatbank, Ukraine’s biggest privately-owned bank by assets, he has had to close 74 branches in Luhansk and 117 in Donetsk Oblasts in May due to heavy looting and theft of armored money trucks.
        Overall, Kolomoisky’s Privat Group has incurred at least Hr 15 million in losses in the east. The latest theft took place on June 4 in Makiyivka where separatists robbed a delivery truck of Hr 3.7 million.
       Almost all of Privatbank’s cash delivery vehicles have been stolen by separatists, said the bank’s chief security officer Stanislav Kryzhanovsky. “Possibly, these vehicles are being used by the militants of terrorist organizations for armed attacks on Ukrainian army and civil population in Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts,” he said.----



JUNE 2 10am  New Mayor Klitschko called on Maidan holdouts to disband and started removing some barricades, thank God, to their displeasure- they booed him in Maidan Sunday. It is long long overdue and nobody would be unhappy about it- they have degenerated into a half homeless rabble, rousting people for passports and money. I even had them try to "arrest"/rob me, and they knew I was an American reporter after I chatted in a tent I was ushed into escaping a torrential downpour. I'm sick of the dirt, the tires, the damn barricades everywhere - the dying businesses and restricted hours all across downtown because people are afraid to deal with it. Many businesses have closed, some never to reopen and dozens were occupied at some point, Even a Nat. Guard fighter who commanded units at the Slovyansk checkpoint battle that kiled 12 Seps, said, "I don't know what they're still doing here- many haven't been in the fighting, strutting around in their designer camoflague- the battles are in the East!" They have presented a new list of demands, and even burned tires Sat..

 Of course Putin's great "victory" is so terrorizing Ukr that they turned in panic to the oligarchs that they needed to remove to fulfil they promise of Maidan.. so the election of Poro is, while a momentous turning point, also a tragedy! Putin's great strength is subversion and poisoning the body politic, what the KGB excelled at.

Having been reading about Ruskie manpads, the Igla antiaircraft shoulder-launched missiles, and they are evil and impressive toys- Mach 2 speed, 3 mile range (5km), 18-19kg (40lbs, about 33% more than US Stingers, but they still are very similar) with a 3kg warhead- actual hits supposedly vary from 20-40%. There is little doubt these have been flooding into Ukr, and the next Gov use of concentrated airpower could be a disaster.

Think again, the pause after the Airport Battle was a terrible mistake, allowing Seps to regroup, resupply, infiltrate more- in Civil War scenarios the worst thing is a step by step excalation as each side gains experience, proficiency, and bitterness (at their deaths). Much better to END everything with a decisive show of force, and break the Rebels

MAY 30-27 9am
Huge battle at Donetsk Airport has ended with resounding victory- 45-50 Rebels wiped out with the aid of helicopters, jets, paratroops- though too bad they destroy the gleaming new airport + control tower. Good- in first action of Poroshenko's he had to be effective and wipe these bastards out- that could provoke many to quit or end their resistance. In fighting separatists, quick overwhelming force is best policy. In the final immolation of Putin's absurd denials, everyone admits they are were Russians, and 33 of the dead are being repatriated to Roosiya. The so-called Lugansk Vostok Battalion admits they are Russian, and dramatically proved their provenence by throwing out the chumps of the Donetsk Republic from the Donetsk Regional Blg without firing a shot, and calling the place NovaRoosia- apparently they were furious at the DR looting of giant Metro Supermarket, and their stealing a Vostok bus to remove the spoils, after they had died at the Airport and big battles at Volnovakha. That catastrophic battle-16 dead Ukrs, was according to NYT, a result of airforce friendly fire in the first serious use of the Gov's overwhelming force. The Guardian reports how they recently infiltrated in groups of 5-10 to "visit relatives"- bad news cause these seem volunteers voluntarily supplied with latest gleaming weapons by Russia, and there is probably a near infinite supply of these "patriots", by Ukr standards.  Military leaders are desperate to prove themselves before 
Poroshenko cleans house of the supposed incompetents, or Poro has ordered this crackdown, what he has been agitating for for months (says one source). I was hoping for a 2-3 stroke victory- say that Donetsk Regional bldg., which with the right subterfuge (St. George + Russian armbands), they could have strolled in and taken during Separatist infighting. There was a window to do this in a burst- now alot of Igla missiles will flood in and the next attacks will be much more costly- already proved in
the tragic downing of another Mi-8 helicopter (5-6th) and death of 13, including Major General Kulchytsky, a trainer of the new Nat. Guard. Large numbers of Russian fighters have been infiltrating the border as the lying Putin continues his supposed "peace" offensive- several shootouts have occured on the "granitsa". Well, they call themselves the Vostok (East) Battalion- the only thing East of Lugansk is.... Russia!!!! Great, now Poro can call in airstrikes and level the Bldg without even killing Ukrs, just alien invaders... and theoretically Ukrs will come together to fight this foreign menace.    
            Donetsk airport fatalities Vostok Bat. -
 These twits have adopted a copy of US Confederate flag, worse than all other wars in US history combined (750,000 killed), which could have been won in the first big battle, if McClellen wasn't a Southern sympathizer desperate to avoid casualties. There was another huge battle May 22 near Lugansk in Rubizhne when a column of armored cars and 100 soldiers was attacked by Seps across the river, reinforced to 300- likely dozens killed because helicopter gunships were called in, but 3 APCs destroyed, 3 captured, and Ukrs retreated.. so think they got the worst of this. Very heroic story of the Karlovka ambush of Donbass Battalion May 23 by a massively superior force, and the hero's who paid with their lives. They say "5 persons were killed and 6 were wounded from the Donbas battalion, while the Vostok Battalion suffered losses of 11 killed and 6 wounded", as Gov troops 15km away sat on their hands for 4 hours.

MAY 26 9am PORONATION: Absent much vote from the East, Poroshenko has achieved a crushing victory, nay coronation, receiving 55% as of May 27 5pm, Tymo 13.5%, Lyashko 8.5% in a big surprise, Hrytsenko 6.5%, with Tigypko, denied his base in the East, only 4%. Only 20-30% of districts were running in Donetsk- reportedly only 12% voted in the Donetsk Republic.
Klitshko won Kyiv Mayor by a resounding 57% over the next challenger, my neo friend Lesya Orobyets @10%. Klitschko was one of the great heroes of Maidan, always putting himself
into the fray when other leaders were AWOL- I watched him negotiate with the IM troops in the dark Ukr Dom Jan 29 + talk them into leaving in the Taking, probably averting real bloodshed as the aggressive protesters pelted them with firecrackers and abuse from 5 M away. Election Head Magera and Voter's Committee head said only about 30% of Don-gansk districts would hold a vote, maybe only 20% actually did, so the 12% turnout would have been a resounding 60% of the actual possible voters- showing how desperately the Ukr patriots wanted to make their feelings heard. The laughably dishonest Russian 1st Channel TV showed Yarosh getting 37%, when he actually got ~1%- this is the garbage that fills the head of the dimwitted Separatists, and shows the longtime danger of vicious lying propaganda (pull FoxNews Gov license!)                 

    - only blue-yellow zones had votes in Donetsk region, red were high danger
RIP: Andrey Mironov - My friend Andrey was killed along with Ital. photog Andrea Rocchelli yesterday 7pm (French photog William Roguelon was wounded + evacuated to France), translating for him, after their car was riddled by gunfire, and they jumped into a ditch near a Slovyansk checkpoint, then mortar shelled by murderous Separatists, says gonzo Aussie Demjin (probably most endangered journo there cause of his passionate diaspora beliefs). A Ukr base
on Mt Karachun-1.6 km away is subject to endless shelling by Rebels, so these goons know how to target mortars- this was obviously intentional murder. Andrey, a dapper sophisticated helpful little Russian was a Memorial member + longtime human rights campaigner and was a longtime presence in the old burned Press Center and new Crisis Media Center, where we grew friendly-- he was one of my chain of field reporters with whom I practiced my patented parasitical journalism, pumping on-scene pals in the East + South for bulletins and reports- many welcomed the interest. But I always had another purpose- I was checking to see if they were OK, not kidnapped or wounded or dead, as the terror of being taken or wounded in enemy country (and ALL the East is enemy country for journos, if you aren't a Putin pimp, like the despicable G. Phillips, who sadly was released from Ukr custody instead of being deported) is intense.. I even thought somehow that my`periodic contacts could keep them safe- if they    Andrey with another Italian: he spoke at least 5 languages fluently
talked to me once in a while, nothing could or would happen to them. Unfortunately hadn't talked to Andrei in 2 weeks or so... so maybe I was right. Demjin was much closer to him, having many hour conversations, Andrei was always somewhat annoyed at my lack of fluency. 60 yo Andrey, originally from the far Siberian city of Irkutsk (where I spent a week) was shot in the head, so hopefully didn't suffer- hit by multiple shells, Rochelli was decapitated. Mortars, handled by adept users, are fearsome weapons, able to slaughter many quickly. Roguelon, though wounded in the legs, incredibly, ran under fire screaming PRESS!!! to the Separatists' line, and was bundled into a car to the hospital. Andrey survived multiple missions to the Chechen killing fields, even negotiated with the incredibly dangerous Chechen leader Basyiev.. only to die in that dump Slovyansk, which I hope PP carpet-bombs.


 I had alot of close calls in the old days, none worse than being driven far into the woods and robbed at gunpoint by Mafiya thugs in St. Petersburg I'd accepted a ride with a few days after the SU collapsed- only my total cool and very recent mastery of BPR (butchered pigeon Russian) saved me... but the ice cold eyes of the killer leader and the Moslem guy pleadingly grabbing his gun arm (presumably "don't kill this one like you did the last one") as I backed up in the -18C snow, trying to move to one side to be out of his field of fire... and his relentless tracking it on the center of my chest.... was the worst moment of my life. I almost went to Donetsk with the nerdish but enterprising neocon pro-Ukr Oleg MT 2 weeks ago..... very very close... but simply I would almost instantly get detained, investigated, and unless I purge this whole Blog (which I won't) I would probably end up in a ditch or river myself. So though it is maddeningly frustrating, I stayed put.           


INVADING THE EMPIRE'S CASTLE-`A large crowd of 1000-2000 Seps courted instant death trying to penetrate AKHMETOV's imperial compound in Donetsk, but never made it through the outer gate (which looks like a huge bldg in itself). According to Demjin, who witnessed whole thing, Rinat has an 3000 strong army of top-flight security people who wouldn't hesitate to annihilate any invaders. As well, Rinat has apparently bought the loyalties of many of the balaclava-decked Separatists fighters, who formed a protective ring shielding the compound from the motley crowd. The compound is immense, with 2 main bldgs and a 5-6M wall.   pic- Demjin Roshed

American CONGRESSMEN Flood Kiev - A torrent of US Reps are coming to Kyiv to show solidarity in this time of troubles and fawn over the "hallowed ground" of Maidan- not to be cynical, but now all the Maidan hagiography has been appropriated by the Separatists in the Kremlin's fiendish false equivalence PR, and every bit of hero worship here is emulated there!!

WaPo: Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, is leading a delegation to Kiev that includes Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas) and Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas).
Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) are going with a group from the International Republican Institute. The National Democratic Institute has former secretary of state Madeleine Albright, former senator Ted Kaufman (D-Del.), and former congresswoman Jane Harman (D-Calif.) on the ground. I collared Cardin + Porter Saturday- asking about US military aid; Cardin gave surprising answer when I asked if US would support Kyiv crackdown on East, if it kills 500-1000 people.  VIDEO
May 23 9am In yet another horrible  
 humiliation 16 soldiers were killed in a coordinated attack (1 in Lugansk)- Rebels were waved through their checkpoint in an armoured car (Brinks) near Volnovakha just south of Donetsk, who then slaughtered them with anti-tank weapons, 50cal machine guns, blowing 3 APC's to pieces in the worst loss for Kyiv to date. UPDATE: NYT says it was friendly airpower that caused much of carnage. The GOV must respond to this butchery, despite the eve of elections. The press pool has doubled from Wed to Thur, and will double again today- finally collared Defense Secretary Parubiy and the legendary PS Yarosh, responsible for all the evil in the world.         
May 24  9pm Jeez lost entire 2 hr post- forgot to click on Update.  CMC was insane zoo today with 200 people waiting for metal detector when main room already full, blew through whole line, cursory inspection, and took customary
seat in front row. All 3 Security Min heads were supposed to be there- Interior, Prosecutor, SBU- but 2 sent Deputys, only SBU head Nalyvaichenko showed up- in just about only occurrence, didn't get a question, but chased him down in lobby (Audio) to answer if they cleaned out spies in SBU for a minute- actually interupted his answer to get follow up about condition of underwear captives, traded for the twit Gubarov.
2nd sequential disaster was the ambushing of the cowboy Donbass Battalion as they approached a checkpoint at 6am today, by a large Rebel force 190 vs 30, a devastating 6 to 1 advantage. They were pinned down and near annihilated by 50 cal and mortar fire for an hour- Gov troops 15 km away didn't come, but supposedly Pravy Sector helped them break out w 70% casualties- 20 wounded, 1-3 dead, 1-3 captured. Obviously another case of blown communications or spies in the ranks, what I asked Nalyvaichenko about. According to Media Sotnia, SBU harbors a high- ranking traitor tied to Russia.


 May 21 10am Avakov admitted that there will be little-no Eastern elections (Don + Lug reg. 15% of country voters) in some of the first honest realism about the total loss of Gov control, as devastating Separatist-Terrorist Monday (here the term is deserved) raids against 11 District election offices threatened + terrorized workers, stealing voter lists, and ensuring turnout in Donetsk would be negligible. I asked Pres. ChiefOStaff Pashinsky if they would secure voting sites or make new ones outside of town (Video 20:50 answer pend). Meanwhile it's possible the local public tide is turning against the Rebels- angry Slovyansk residents besieged Ponamariov after shelling damaged or destroyed their home- he pledged to reimburse them. And Akhmetov has sponsored a 3 hour daily strike until peace is restored (Separatists clear out?)- though not sure how much these chumps care- they are already ignoring most of nuts and bolts of governing in their incompetent arrogance- Pushlin threatened to nationalize Akhmetov's holdings. Hope he has his dimensions recorded for his next of kin. And in Dnepropetrovsk, a friend says there's a giant banner on a bldg saying 100 million hrv.($?) for the overthrow or removal of VVP, sponsored presumably by Special K. Dualing bounties- that's some kind of oligarchic pissing contest!! And it looks like Poroshenko may breech 50% and win in the first round- let's hope- it was disastrously stupid they didn't push this election 2 months forward to end of March at the Russian Invasion- the acting Gov has proved themselves utterly incapable of running a War.     

   Akhmetov's front gate besieged by Seps May 25 - Demjin Roshed
May 19 6pm Akhmetov weighs in. In the best news I've heard in weeks, Ukrs richest man, alarmed at the anarchy and brutality seizing the East, has come out firmly against the Separatists- initiating patrols in Mariupol and elsewheres- 6 steelworkers and 2 cops (though separatists are parts of some). They booted the Separatists out of one bldg in Mariupol and have already calmed the city enormously. Meanwhile the dumbass Separatists, unaware of the disposition of forces (AKH has 3000 person security force + experienced commandos, and there is no question about their loyalty) did the one thing that will ensure their evaporation- threatened Rinat, saying he must subordinate himself to the new authority and that he had no place in the Donbass- but the kicker is his statement; "Independence or absorption into Russia would be an economic catastrophe for the region. The Donbass should be part of Ukraine." This is like threatening Walter White- do they remember how he came to power? 
May 20 5am Unfortunately Oleg tonight returned from Mariupol and says there is some improvement, but you don't see many patrols and it is still lawless and dangerous. And Demjim, still kicking in Donetsk, went back to the bldg they held him hostage at to get his spanking new DONETSK REPUBLIC PRESS badge with a pic of a jackass.

They held another fruitless Unity Conference in Kharkiv Sat Mar 17 (first was at RADA May 14), with predictably no real result, talking to various Eastern leaders (not Separatists) who demanded greater autonomy. Meanwhile, re. the Tartars and their sauce- Aksyonov cruelly and foolishly denied them the ability to rally on the 70th anniversary of their murderous exile from Krim. This was after banning Majlis + spiritual leader Jemeliev from (Russia) his homeland for 5 years- Putin helpfully explained, "how can a member of a foreign parliament lead his people in Russian Fed". Obviously the policy is to exert greater and greater pressure of Tatars- accede or get out- Mustafa himself said, "There was no alternative to Russian citizenship- you need it to live." This thuggish behavior will (intentionally?) provoke mass flight from Krim- but every Tatar + Ukr who is driven out will push Krim further and further into abandoned backwater status... because Kiev will have no reason to keep supplying, supporting, and sustaining it. Orobyets has reportedly won in court and is back on the ballot.

In another sickening display of divided loyalties (to put it nicely), police, led by commander simply surrendered the Lugansk Regional Police station to a hundred odd protesters, with some a-h General taking "command". They had resisted 3 former attempts to take it


MAY 15 4pm UDT  LESYA OROBYETS DIS-RE-QUALIFIED- on last day the Territorial Election Commission, in an incredibly sleazy trick from yesteryear, disqualified primo anti-corruption Kyiv Mayoral candidate Lesya Orobyets (Orobets) for some clerical (deliberate?) - 1 digit wrong in a phone number. The TEC apparently is packed with Communist and POR holdovers- incredibly not cleaned out in the first days after Oppo victory. I said again and again - they must simply disband and rehire all the election officials and judges to clean out the Yanu offal that he filled every office with- nothing else was possible till that was done. It is incredible that after this sweeping revolution, that was neglected and Orobets + Ukr is paying the price- she is appealing- more details from horse's mouth to follow.

RADA UNITY CONFERENCE held yesterday- no investigation yet, but I can say with almost absolute confidence that NOTHING was decided  or determined- Kyiv must solve this militarily- the political solution forced on them by Mockba involves their de-facto surrender. And of course their resolution to not deal with terrorists is what every Gov facing a violent insurrection says, till it DOES. Of course as military analyst Dima Tymchuk said in after-conf interview: "Whom do you deal with?- there are 5 various factions, warring with each other in what is just anarchy". Indeed none of the disparate scum that have assumed power in the east deserves a seat at any table, except a Putin pimp gala.

 MAY 13 8am  No surprise in the 90% Independence Vote
 Armed gunman threatening, kidnapping, bullying, ensuring "order"; Clear ballot box with open ballots visible; People able to vote anywhere (5x) + for any family member; No proper voter list; Russians allowed to vote;  hundreds of thousands of extra Mickey Mouse ballots; 100,000 alleged pre-marked YES votes intercepted;  no checks of voter ID's + documents-- all this made the referendum resulta a sick joke. Practiced brilliant parasitical telephone journalism, from 4-5 journo friends in the East (docu Andre all over, Oleg MT in Mariupol + Donetsk, Demjin NZ in Donetsk, Vadim Trans in Slovyansk, Lugansk, Donetsk). Oleg now thinks perhaps +50% turnout (though he is from Moscow and may need to be PR to get a new job)- polls were reasonable crowded in the morning, but almost empty in afternoon and evening- he said most of 6 or so voting sites he went to didn't have armed gunman, but in one- they came in and terrorized reporters A US election observer thinks that is a normal pattern, but he is PR- of course the supposed big lines were caused by having 50x less polling stations in the hasty half-baked corrupt election. Oleg and Demjin saw little evidence of any kind of document or ID checks, and of course all the normal people didn't want to risk showing up, esp. when the clear ballot boxes clearly displayed the open ballot votes. If in fact 30-40% showed up, that parallels the amount of Separatists, so virtual unanimous vote for Independence makes sense, also this was a Russian style farce, so mass cheating is built in. He  also saw the burning of the captured broken down APC in Mariupol, and explosions of ammo.         -- happiness is a warm gun
Every poll only gave Separatist support at 30% in Donetsk, less everywhere else (16% Kharkiv)- in the enthusiasm and terror of the PR's takeover- maybe that increased to 40%, but the 60% non-traitors are now trapped in a lawless violent place ruled by armed thugs and criminals, where just showing a Ukr flag can get you beaten, kidnapped, held prisoner, or killed (like Horlivka Councilman). That's not freedom or liberation- and the outflow of Eastern refugees will become a torrent with the Crimean Tatars and Ukrs, contributing to Ukr's economic disaster. Demjin chuckled as he described seeing premarked YES ballots in one of 3 polling stations in Donetsk-  "a few people objected and left, but most people were going to vote that way anyway." Vadim translator, from  Lugansk, fleeing to sanity in the West moaned that even his mother voted for Independence, "Are you CRAZY, what are you doing; how could you vote to join those criminals!" he yelled at her.
        Tymoshenko in the belly of the beast --
Demjin had huge problems in Donetsk, which simply isn't safe for any Westerner- course he's a passionate diaspora. Just walking, some girl came up to him, asked a question, and immediately called the goons on hearing his accent. He tried to get away, chased, walking through parking lot, between bldgs, but was confronted by 2 guys  with a knife and pipe, who he claimed to have disarmed, a 3rd threatened to shoot him with a Makarov, though his 20kg of vest would have stopped it, but there was a 4h + 5th w a Kalashnikov. He was marched to the Donetsk Admin Bldg, interrogated for 2 hours, and tossed in the 3rd fl, he said the whole place was chock full of heavy armament: anti-tank rockets, 50 cal machine guns, grenades, mortars. Luckily some friend girl who saw him taken and called the UN sounded the alarm, getting him released in a few hours. He speaks pretty good Ukr, so yours truly, who almost debarked there on Friday wouldn't last too long. Vadim also saw that in Slavyansk- multiple people informing on the dirty foreigners within minutes- he had a famous episode guiding Canadian The STAR journo Mitch Potter, who managed to escape imprisonment by pretending to be French-Canadian- I could do that, having actually studied it, but I would keep mixing Russian in- Amurkins can only hold 1 foreign language in their heads at once. A tale of a guy held for a few weeks, with the chilling info that he was kept with the 2 students-19 and 24yo, tortured, murdered, and tossed in the river w the Horlivka Counsilman who dared raise the Ukr flag- he says they admitted they were Pravy Sector..
Incredibly, wonderfully, real fascist Russian Col. Stelkov, has declared himself absolute dictator of the region and that all military units must immediately obey him, provoking at least one shootout between his thugs and Slavyansk's "mayor"Ponamariov's thugs. Great, kill each other, then maybe the Center can come in on a "peacekeeping mission" and clean house. The Rebels are understanding the cost of Imperial control (missing Ukr yet?), and will be far less likely to jump into Moscow's arms now. He also declared all Ukr miltary would be enemies and issued warrants for Yulia, Ass. SOS Nuland, and a host of others. Yulia, showing her brass balls, toured Donetsk and Lugansk, meeting protesters a week or 2 ago. In a outlier event, a Dnepropetrovsk National Guard unit took over Krasnoarmeisk 30 km from Donetsk and stopped the vote, attacked by the crowd, they killed 2, and no amount of innocent citizen talk removes the danger of being taken, tortured, and killed by extremely violent PR's- even unarmed, that only lasts till they rip away your weapon. 
Richest oligarch Akhmetov is alarmingly creating his own company security police, and has funded the Separatists, according to "People's Governor" Gubarov - I think he is alarmed by the criminals roaming the streets- I would trust a MetlInvest patrol more than a random Separatist thug and think he sees the East is probably lost to Kiev so is hedging bets. He denied supporting the Rebels:

 "I am strongly convinced that Donbass can be happy only in the united Ukraine." Indeed it's hard to see how Kiev can negotiate back control, they don't seem to have the courage to fight for it, and every day.. the barrier and task becomes steeper. They had to seize enough places to stop the rump referendum, now there is more momentum for these criminals, and Kyiv's primary objective of avoiding loss of life is ensuring loss of the East, and probably more loss of life.
           From a WaPo oped, Churchill's word's about Germany's parallel protective eating of Sudetenland and Austria ring ominously-  "Don't suppose that this is the end. This is only the beginning of the reckoning."     Ukr holds back threatening Rebels-
MAY 9 9:30pm Putin takes victory lap in Crimea- Putin celebrated Victory Day in Crimea, to the distress of Kyiv, but Sevastopol is the scene of Russias greatest literary military accomplishments, in the Crimean War and WW2 defense- it is natural for the Little Big Man to go there. And of course he wants to rub salt in the wounds- Crimea however is descending into poverty, shortages, and great fear as food is being rationed, supermarkets cleared out, and the tourist season simply not going to happen. They're going to have an Olympian case of buyers remorse.    Russian Dep PM Rogozin went to Trans-Dniester to stir up more trouble and put more pressure on Kyiv., Kiev and Romania allegedly closed their air space to his flight, trapping him there   -- Putin reviews BSF 5-9 
 Mariupol Police Station -
 Mariupol Shootout Claims 8? dead (earlier 20)- the Gov Mariupol police station was retaken by Gov, then attacked by 60 Separatists in a violent battle-reinforcements were called- 10 killed (20 according to Avakov) including police- the station was burned down; the commander of Dneitropetrovsk Brigade was killed and mutilated by Seperatists, 
Nat Guard commander seriously wounded, Police Chief kidnapped in a trunk, says nationalist MP Liashko; Attacks on Interior Ministry bldg also, some reports artillery was used;

  Lughansk couple machine gunned at checkpoint killed on the way to the border in separate cars which were riddled with bullets. The couples 10 year old daughter in the back seat was wounded- so don't sympathize too much with the poor villagers manning the checkpoints killed by the Gov - checkpoints are life and death affairs if you don't pass some yahoo's loyalty test, and terrifingly, there is no way to know what side the gunman are on, whether it's Baghdad, Bosnia, Beirut, or Donetsk.  
NO movement in Russian border troops    
  burning Mariupol City Council Bldg 1am 5/10 -
So-called "Donetsk Republic" election commission, UNIAN and Interfax are reporting that an armed group of more than 100 men surrounded and seized a sanatorium in Donetsk and captured some 120 Ukrainian Interior Ministry police. The troops were said to have been using the sanatorium as a barracks when it was surrounded by gunmen from the "Donetsk People's Republic." Reports said shooting broke out and parts of the sanatorium caught fire, and that the troops eventually agreed to surrender their weapons and were put on buses and taken away from the area. It was unclear where they were taken. Ukraine's UNIAN news agency reported the armed group arrived at the sanatorium riding on Kamaz trucks. Our Russian Service cites a similar report in "Novosti Donbassa. Later reports said they safely left w weapons after negotiations. 
MAY 8 8pm  Ignoring the request from the concerned "caring person" to delay it, the Separatists plans for the Sun referendum are going ahead- only question- Do you support the formation of the independent Donetsk Republic, yes or no?   Gee, big question what the result will be- only 30% of Donetsk region wants to be swallowed by Russia, but judging by the insane 97% YES number in Crimea (where polls said only 41-2% wanted that), the violence and lawlessness, and dangerous armed thugs everywhere (more than in Crimea).. they will vote independence. 

Many expect some attack in Kiev May 9 (Victory Day VE- Rukrainians have no VJ day, since they didn't fight them)- good insurgent strategy to spread disorder, paranoia, and take the attention off the East. I think it's possible. Pravy Sector has tried to calm things, pledging to respect veterans and do no actions, but rumors are that hundreds or thousands of insurgent Rebels are lurking in Kiev. Meanwhile in Lugansk, 3 shot, 1 killed, in a terrorist/criminal challenge or robbery; and my friend there Vadim is fleeing West- due to arsons + attacks on Privat Banks, ATMs, cars... they suspended all operations in Donetsk+ Lugansk regions, which provoked a panicked run on banks- he says there's no money in any ATMs.

A few days ago Putin held his PP AWARDS (Putin Pimps) handing out awards to 300 journalists for their outstanding objective coverage of Crimea Invasion, like somehow never noticing the Green men were RUSSIANS. I guess if you force people into prostitution in order to practice their profession, it behooves you to give them presents.


Just called Ukr MP Mustafa Jemeliev, leader of the Tatars VIDEO (Attacks on Tatars 0:52, Close Bosphorus 27:00), banned for 5 years from his homeland (+ anywhere in Russia) for 15 min, turned out he was in Vienna and call was probably costing $50- said he'd tried to get friend Turkish PM Erdogan to close the Bosphorus to Russian (or ALL) warships at start of invasion, but he said that he could only do it "if a state of war exists". Apparently at the time I questioned Hrytsenko and Klitschko (later Tarasyuk, Umarov, + Jemeliev) about that, Turkey WARNED Russia that they might do that, so apparently I changed entire equation. The world-renown human rights campaigner has some hope that his banning will be reversed- he has a wide network of friends and allies, and this is the thuggish rascist crap that exposes the idiotic hypocrisy of Russia's neo-Nazi and racist propaganda against Ukraine. I've lived in both places, and in Russia, a black might be beat to death, in Ukraine, he might not be offered a seat on the bus. Ironically, in the midst of all the neo-Nazi nonsense, the east + Krim before that, was flooded with various RW scum from all over the Russian Empire- motorcycle thugs, real neo-Nazi super-Slavs, Chechens, xenophobic Cossacks- one commentator says Ukraine has non of the characteristics of fascism,. but Russia does.
PS:Apparently Mustafa is picking up a cool EU 1 mil award from Poland June 3rd (250EU personal), so $50 phone call isn't a problem. 


--  5am Putin says he will pull troops back from the border, but he did before too without doing anything, and nobody has reported movements today. As Reagan said, don't trust, verify, and still be dubious (I changed it). He also advised the Separatists to delay their May 11 referendum on "independence" for their so-called Donetsk Republic. He emphasized his new peace offensive by launching dozens of missiles, including an ICBM, and multiple IRBMs for Victory Day hupla. Government forces in Mariupol took back the City Council bldg from PR's, then abandoned it within 2 hours when a large PR group showed up; then took it back on Wed. On would need a huge scorecard to count the number of times these 40 or so Gov bldgs have fallen and been retaken- some 5 times  On the other hand the police repelled a crowd of 100 or so by firing into the air or ground., when they tried to take over/+ free the 16 imprisoned separatists. Mariupol was also where the first real defense of Ukr occurred, when an army base killed 13 and wounded 25 attacking PRs 2 weeks ago. The Donetsk airport was closed Tues by Gov edict, except for flights to Kiev, I thought to stop spread of PR's and Russian infiltrators from Crimea, TransDniester, Odessa, and Russia itself, but then reopened 2-3 hours later. One source said he thinks they were bringing in military shipments that they didn't want people to see, "they" being the Gov. And Oleg from the Moscow Times arrived with the sad news that the new Russian publisher and the Dagestani editor have instituted censorship, everyone has quit, and the one Western fair voice for 22 years in Russia has been destroyed! I had a few things in them in the old days.

MAY 7 5:30am - 5 more
Ukr soldiers dead in Slavyansk, 30 wounded, and 4-6 times that number of separatists (Avakov says 30 Rebels dead, Tymchuk 17d yestrd, 25 wounded), as 800 Russians + PR attacked oncoming Ukrs with mortars and heavier weapons- another Ukr Mi-24 Hind helicopter was shot (4th) down by heavy machine gun fire, and crash landed in a river w no loss of life (nice flying). Operational equipment-poor Ukr can little afford such losses. Ukr will imminently start shooting back w helicopters or jets, in full air ops that will annihilate many, inc. buildings. Sad, but it's war, in which the objective is to win overwhelmingly, ASAP, and the most humane thing may be to reduce the Slovyansk Rebel HQ (+ Green Men HQ) to rubble as an object lesson of the real price of their Russian "adventure". Doubtful Kyiv has the eggs for such a bold and audacious move. The new Gov is paying the price for letting this fester and metastasize for 2 months without any decisive reaction.At every step, the Russian waited to see the counterreaction- when there was none they moved on to the next phase. Desperate concessions by Yatseniuk to hold a federalization referendum were proof the Russians were winning, and so provoked even greater attacks.
The capture of 6 APC's turned over by lame soldiers who let themselves be stopped by a "citizen" blockade will probably prove tragic- the Rebels have some serious military training, Green Men advisers, and armament like Stinger missiles and anti-tank rockets- that armor will let them cut up unarmored Ukr positions, unless Ukrs have their own competent anti-tank rocketeers (yes- photo in link above). One of those APCs saved a PR detachment from destruction by a well-executed Ukr 3 pincer attack (inc paratroop drop), according to Russian site. That also has a video showing an apparent  shoot-down of a jet, but the time and location are impossible to verify. Reason for the disparity in casualties, "They have more vests and armor" said Russian Col. Strelitsky morosely.

In Odessa Sunday, a large crowd, maybe 3000 PR's, attacked the police station, who gave up all their 67 prisoners from the previous day- sadly many have divided loyalties. In the spectacular tone-deafness and incompetence that characterizes this Gov, Yatseniuk savagely castigated the Odessa police, which will only convince the pro-Ukr police that there is no point to fighting for Ukr, since they are ALL the enemy!! Video's do show the Odessa police blockading-defending PR's in an alley, working in concert- amazingly 100 fully equipped cops hunkering down and retreating before only 4 attacking soccer fans.

Odessa has had a complete housecleaning of leaders- Gov. Nemyrovsky replaced by Palitsu (a Kolomoisky ally), IM chief replaced along with 3 deputies, Police Chief replaced. Instead of finding the loyal Odessa police and forming a nucleus around them, Avakov is replacing ALL of them with some Samobarona (self-defense) force called Kiev-1- a questionable idea- these people, in my experience, are not ready for prime time- they don't have the confidence and authority of police, or investigatory smarts (not that any cops DO that here), and as alien "fascists", they will be considered invaders. Odessa is a relaxed Russianish international port city, with people of all stripes, serious corruption and sometimes rough, but contradictorily a sense of fair play and balance- hence the macho pushback by the Ultras. In Donetsk police were much worse- video during the vicious attacks a week ago on a Ukr rally show police nonchalantly chatting on the phone and half-heartedly pushing one back as 3-4 PR thugs spray tear gas, and smoke bomb a bus with Ukrs, who after they are forced to evacuate bus wiggling through windows (it didn't leave!!), huddle in a tight pack, like sad sheep among marauding packs of wolves. I think they were among the ones killed that day.      armed Odessa PR (Pro-Russian), who shot 5 Ukrs dead -

And in retaliation for Kolomoisky's $10K bounty for Russian scalps: “as a result of arson, assault and wanton destruction of property in 38 ATMs and 24 branches of his Privat Bank have suffered and 11 vehicles were stolen” including the torching of branches in Mariupol, Mykolaiv, + 3 other places.. so are closing all operations in Lugansk + Donetz regions. Time to nationalize Sberbank (Russian Nat. Bank). Privat, for you foreigners, is Ukr biggest bank, and their payment system (into accounts on ATMs or payment machines) by far the biggest, and takes the place of VISA-MC (esp in mail-order) which most people + businesses don't have or can't accept. So this will really hurt ALL the people in the East, which may finally provoke the local Ukrs into fighting back against the PRs. They, like Crimea, will descend into poverty and isolation as and if they get absorbed by the toxic Russian amoeba.
the cities of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts,
  - Odessa Trade House
The deep brutality and cruelty of Putin and his 80% imperialist brethren is apparent- they are happy to push Ukraine into a bloody civil war and even suffer economic devastation from a 10 year renewed Cold War... just to enlarge their domain and fuel their imperial dreams of Greater Russia. The terror Kiev-supporters are living under in Donetsk, with kidnappings, death threats, and attacks rife is graphically displayed here by a Buzzfeed reporter, also briefly taken hostage and KP details the lawlessness and random "arrest" in Donetsk. Andre, my doc producing friend for INTER, after being savagely beaten by carloads of Russian soldiers in Crimea (6 broken ribs filming Ukr naval base), healed for 5 weeks, then went East where he narrowly dodged kidnapping by 10 thugs when, sitting in a cafe unseen, he heard them searching for his car. He now carry's a locked and loaded Kalishnikov, "I'm not going to get taken again, he said with a strained chuckle. Kyiv Post counts 26 hostages still held, mostly in Slovyansk (spelled in Russian w an O, butanned for 5 years from Russia, that is also pronounced as an A, so spelling varies). Mustafa Jemeliev, Majlis leader and longtime human rights campaigner, b was denied entrance to Crimea again, and the Crimean "authorities are threatening the 3000 Tatars that went out to the border to protest for him. One was beaten by unknown vigilante thugs in Crimea. 

It is quite obvious that the thugs across the East are not going to allow any Prez election on May 25, so a major priority for the Gov, what I almost asked Tyahnibok today (if another reporter hadn't asked something similar), is to immediately occupy all election HQs, maybe ship out or copy the voter lists, and prepare alt voting sites outside the PR occupied areas that can be rendered impregnable


MAY 4 1pm- Terrible fatal fire in  separatist-occupied Odessa Trade Center- at least 46 dead, 88 hospitalized, says Odessa website, after an attack by Separatists on a soccer Ultra march  (4 soccer Ultra fans shot to death in a park before), PR's were attacked by a diverse crowd, who maybe burned their camp at Kulikova Field, whereupon they took over the Trade Center and were allegedly throwing Molotovs and shooting down at the crowd. Videos show only firebombs hurled from the furious people outside, in reaction.  This is truly tragic, but if you play with fire...  A hideous video of the inside shows a dozen grotesque frozen corpses.  TSN says 15 Russians and 5 TransDniester people were killed- I long thought, once Ukr starts killing these rebels/invaders, we will find many are Russians!  Of the 172 arrested in the Odessa fighting, HALF are Russian or Trans-Dniesterans (Russian-protected breakaway Moldovan strip-province along Ukr border)!!! The SBU says fled fat men Yanu loyalists fmr PM + Central Banker Sergei Arbuzov, and Dep PM Klymenko financed the attacks.        PR shooter -

This is standard Soviet tactic, to burn out occupiers, like at our (Kiev) Trade Center (when I was close to last person out at 11:00pm) or '93 Revolt Russian White House, and maybe for the murderous separatists it is OK. Since now they've moved from kidnapping, torture, treason, to military warfare, like shooting down observation (+medical) helicopters. And if the useless incompetent Gov is helpless in the face of Russian financed and sponsored attacks.. apparently the Ukr people aren't..(at least the Ultras).  In Slavyansk, the separatist terrorists shot down 2 helicopters (killing 2 pilots and capturing a badly injured 3rd, killed 2 other Ukr soldiers elsewheres in town) and wounded people on a massive 3rd medical one- time to bring in heavy armament. Today, in reaction to the Gov. assault, they freed 12 hostages, inc the 7 OSCE Observers. Not used to the Ukrs shooting back.
  -  pic- dead Ukr Ultra? in Odessa May 2  
Yes, Operations have started in Kramatorsk where the Army just cleared checkpoints, one of which was promptly attacked, killing 2 (5 dead Ukr thin East May 2-3, so far) rolling into city w 4 APC's,  They have cleared the airport, SBU building, and TV tower in what looks to be a serious operation, FINALLY. The gloves are coming off all over Ukraine, and honestly, the disparate scum Russia has mobilized from across Ukr, Russian "Cossacks" (Ukrs are the real Cossacks), PR tutushkis, and Soviet-addled "citizens" would fade away, and could really be mopped up in a day by any competent military, though the Green Men must be dealt with by Ukr Special Forces (if we still had any after Maidan). Once the inhibition against killing has been overcome (and after many killed, humiliated, and captured Ukrs, it has), few propaganda adrenalin fueled locals will show themselves. 7 highly outfitted RPG and new weapon "Green Men?" have been seen in Kramatorsk, so expect some of these APC's to get blasted and serious battle to enjoin.    

The bells are ringing again at Mikhailovsky Church Sat 4:45pm, which always announced some slaughter or Yanu Gov attack on the Kyiv protesters- now it means , what, the Russians have crossed the border???????

Simon Ostrovsky was released after 6 days in captivity and discusses it at length in Episode 31 of VICE's RUSSIAN ROULETTE, but a dozen other journos and unfortunates are still held by the radical separatists.    

MAY 2 4am - Well stick a fork in it- this country is done as a contiguous entity- when the Gov (act. Pres. Turchyanov) declares it is "HELPLESS", it of course is, because it did nothing to clean out the rotten  Ruskie sympathizing militsia or IM or SBU in the East. As I said to fmr. Def. Min. Grytsenko, "if Ukraine won't help itself, nobody else will." And sadly, pitifully, shamefully... it won't- paralyzed into catatonia by Putin's threats, they are letting him take over half the country with only 500 soldier/fighters and 1000 paid "citizens"; maybe another 1-2000 elderly or propaganda addled locals .  On Sun April 28 a few dozen thugs backed by a few hundreds paid PR's attacked a large pro-Maidan demo, beating them with pipes and knives as police stood by semi-passively, killing 3!. Oleg Saakyan, Donetsk UKR activist was beaten and explains:
 (Audio): "The police have never arrested the PR's, they only arrest and hassle us; Only 25-30% of Donetsk supports Russian integration (consistent w all polls, much less elsewhere);
biggest Ukr demos were 10,000, PR's 5-6000; PR's are paid $500 to storm a building, 500-700hrv/day to protest (now $45-65)." This is the most important thing for Westerners to understand- this is ALL a paid constructed force by Russia or Yanukovich (estimated to have shipped $32 Billion in cash out of the country!!) - NOTHING would have happened without being instigated (only 7% of Easterners say they need protection from discrimination). Sadly the traitors are hijacking the East from the 80% that DON'T want that- that want to remain part of Ukraine. This is why a much more muscular response early from America (+ Kiev) might have prevented this dangerous and violent escalation. Putin will bite off as much as he can chew, unless he is smashed in the mouth, or sees some serious resistance.

APRIL 26 4pm Another "anti-terrorist" push has occurred, inevitable after tye savage kidnapping, torture, murder of 2 Batkikvchina guys - Ukr forces took 4 checkpoints around Slavyansk and all now blockading it in a seige, yet another medieval tactic in this bizarre rerun of the past. So far 3-4 PR's (proRussians) have been killed- unfortunately, as a Slavyansk guy said the barricades are mostly occupied by locals. Too bad- secession is a violent bloody business and if you want to back foreign invaders you must bear the costs.   

APRIL 24 8:00am  The
big strange story is the shootout at the checkpoint near Slovyansk, which is turning into a center of  battle, maybe because it's a longtime base of Yanu support, says a returning Lugansk agricultural friend who claims Russia is forking over $2 mil a day to fund the whole operation- "Most of the people don't support it- it's just a few hundred people", backed by a thousand or 2 rent a mob. He says ex-prosecutor Pshonka is also involved, being a wheel in Kramatorsk. NY Times reporter Andy Roth said in a conversation tonight from  Slovyansk, "Well they produced 3 bodies (of the pro-Russian "heroes")" in a funeral  "but the 2 supposedly killed Pravy Sector people were taken away". A Russian propaganda website LIFE animation shows 4 loaded cars of armed Kievites approaching the checkpoint of 15-20 so ProRussian defenders armed with only clubs- no word how they managed to shoot up the attackers car, kill 2, and set 2 cars on fire with... ah, clubs. Of course, for Maidan people, the checkpoints are Life and Death affairs and indicators of separatists' metastasizing control that must be resisted, so battle is unavoidable. How dangerous it is for pro-Ukrainians was displayed when fervent centrist and Horlivka councilman Vladimir Rybak was kiodnapped in public, tortured, and murdered along with another Batkivchina friend, and dumped in a stream..

      Head NYT guy here (3 named Andrew) and Magnum PI landlord-curmudgeon-butler Higgins used my question's answer by Dep. Defense Minister Polyakov  AUDIO (Russian Agents 4:10, in SBU 8:46) in an article (nr bottom) after I  let him listen to my audio for 25 min of several ministers answering my questions, admitting to my after press conference badgering that the Armed forces and SBU were riddled with Russian spies from top to bottom. It is called leading the witness since he just repeated my earlier question, but everyone knows it sadly is true.  Updated the Klitschko video (now YT) with much better video from Crisis Media Center, and English translation. Now am working on Feb 18 video- day of huge police attack on Maidan, 28 deaths, and the burning of the iconic Trade Center, where I was about the last out at 10:30pm into the pitched battle at the edge of the bldg (photo protester w rifle) and first in (w intrepid Kharkiv cameraman Vasyl) at 8am the next morning, stunned that Maidan had held. Also coming: 3 -4 new ministers/leaders audio/video. 
       Asked head of Tatar Majlis Mustafa Jemeliev (3-4 spellings), who is great friends with the coolest-named Turkish PM Recip Tayyip Erdogan and just received an award from Turkey, to ask him to CLOSE THE BOSPHORUS to Ruskie warships (gave him petition); he said the Montreux Treaty said they could only if there was a state of war with Russia, but I think Turkey has much more power from '85 Amendment AUDIO mp3 (11:00 min Attacks on Tatars, 15:07- Close the BOSPHORUS). With brilliant timing and typical subtlety, the Russians incredibly just banned him from entering Crimea + Russia for 5 years as punishment for his longtime human rights activism- he was instrumental in helping Tatars return from Khazakh gulag Stalin sent them 2 (half died). Gotta love a guy who ruefully nonchalantly admits in chat, "I learned English in prison". I will question him about upshot and fallout from that tmro- nothing moves a people to support invaders more than banning their leader from his homeland. The Tatars heroically resisted massive Russian bribes to back their Invasion, and will probably suffer for it- hundreds-thousands have already fled, and the inbred racism of the Russian Imperium will drive many more out. 
        And the separatist rabble has taken hostage 10 people in Slavyansk, inc 3 journos, one the excellent Simon Ostrovsky, a Russian speaking US diaspora guy whose access to Separatist bldgs in 25 VICE-TV videos has been amazing- their 28-part report high quality YT series RUSSIAN ROULETTE is positively brilliant, tracking events from Jan 22. Finally their luck ran out- my courageous doc-producing friend Andre, badly beaten by Russian forces (6 broken ribs) after filming a Ukr military base, has beaded back to the East after a month recup.                             .          

APRIL 15 7am  
4 have been killed in Slovyansk by Russian commandos and pro-Russian terrorists- one a video of masked Green Men shooting a car that didn't stop (without any checkpoint); 2 were SBU officers- one an Alpha commando killed as he walked away after negotiations. Scum that shoots people in the back- that should motivate the security services to fight the real threat.

 Incredibly, after Reg. Gov admin buildings in Donetsk, Lugansk, Kharkiv were invaded and occupied by Russian subversives; then cleared 3 times, they let them do it again on April 6th- now to stay. This was to be expected after the 3 month training film of EuroMaidan- they knew 2 days before Unity separatists were stockpiling tires. I asked Klitschko and former Defense Minister Hrytsenko March 15+17 if anybody had sent some loyal (Western) militsia and/Internal Ministry troops East to purge the Separatists and Russian loyalists among the local militsia, who stood by passively when a large crowd ransacked and destroyed a building housing a Pravy Sector office, or seal the borders against busloads of Russian “tourist”  infiltrators. Klitschko (dnld video) totally ducked the question; Grytsenko said he’d recommended doing that and mobilizing the military 2 weeks before, but nothing was done. In exactly the wrong signal, Yatseniuk crumbled on Friday, offering the region greater autonomy, as if that would stop the Russian subversion. Of course it was a spur to do more: on April 12 more takeovers of Donetsk area police + SBU stations by Russian “green men” armed with the new Kalashnikov 100’s occurred, liberating hundreds more weapons.
     - Miss Ukraine World
It seemed Kiev was getting the upper hand in the East- the extremist separatists had split apart and the Center was hunting some leaders down. Some 9000 Russian suspected provocateurs were denied entry at Ukraine's borders as the guards seemed to finally get their act together. Likewise the last ministers I questioned- foreign, dep. defense, and econ. trade and development spoke flawless English, seemed to have a good grasp of the problems and some solutions, and answered questions frankly. Obviously (as I said on NPR) it’s 10x easier to protect a building than dislodge violent occupants who’ve had many days to fortify the place- in Kharkiv, home of Int. Min. Avakov, the SBU cleared and arrested them in a lightning raid, but in Lugansk, the enemy invaders at the SBU got their hands on hundreds of guns inc. machine guns, and nothing was done in Donetsk. Any action needed to be taken in 1-2 days; now it’s likely to be a protracted mess. Only 1-2 thousand were involved in the takeovers, and now only 100-300 hundred congregate outside; of the occupiers that talk, they aren’t even local, they come from extremist Russian Unity groups in Mariupol and Kherson – undoubtedly recruited and paid by Moscow; they claim to not  have Russians among them, put to lie by a Russian TV report.  The US responded with a third wave of sanctions, too little- against Crimean officials.

But dissension has also smashed the Opposition with a fatal police raid on Pravy Sector’s notorious radical Olexander Myzechko, who had fought Russians in Chechnya, and starred in famous videos terrorizing Gov officials (the prosecutor deserved it, allegedly freeing a brutal rapist for a bribe). PS’s leader Yarosh, now a Pres. candidate and decked in a suit at a recent press conference, threatened Interior Minister Avakov (who replied in kind), and demanded his ouster.  After a Mar 31 Kreschatuk shooting of 3 by a Pravy Sector guy, inc. a deputy Mayor, police ringed their Dniepre Hotel HQ and eventually forced them to give up their weapons and leave.
EXCELLENT HQ VIDEO ENG MINIDOC SERIES from VICE TV

Mar 29 2am - In a stunning development, Klitschko withdrew from the Presidential race March 29, throwing his support behind chocolate/shipping billionaire Petro Poroshenko (who was significantly leading Pres. polls now), amazing since he wasn’t even a candidate and has barely existed at Euromaidan. He did however help Maidan enormously, and his victory would prevent the divisive populism of Tymoshenko. "I always said it should be the candidate who people support the most and who has the highest chance of winning. Petro Poroshenko is such a candidate,” said Klitschko. Entrusting the country to another oligarch may be the Ukrainian version of the Russian “strong leader” syndrome, ironically used to excuse Putin’s excesses. Sadly for Opposition unity, Klitschko is running for Kiev Mayor, already being contested by primo anti-corruption crusader + Rada Deputy Lesya Orobyets. "I will make Kyiv a truly European capital," promised Klitschko. But Orobyets, whose husband was in exile 2 1/2 years from Yanu persecution, would have gone after the corrupt bastards directly: "I have my list," she said, "of who stole how much, and I'm not forgetting anything." Tymoshenko, partially recovered from her political prisoner ordeal, has been aced out, but magnanimously spoken well of Poro and Klitschko, and promised to support them if they win. Hope they reward her with something suitable to her demagogic gifts of gab- maybe a Prosecutor's spot (which should make the Regioneers and half country sht themselves). KIEV GETTING UPPER HAND in EAST AS SEPARATISTS FEUD

Mar 25- Beautiful days 17-19C, finally for 5 days. On Mar 21, got the phone SMS that the EU AA was signed- finally the supposed Holy Grail after all the blood sweat and tears; but almost simultaneous w the Little Big Man signing Crimea's formal annexation, so deep pain and shame over that. I'm still angry Ukr didn't get their $ billion of Mig-29's (only 3 operational according to a Russian journo) or their capital ships out to the mainland (9:50min), even if they had to fight their way out.  These are necessary for Ukr's future defense, and frankly some Russians should have paid the ultimate penalty for this outrage. Russian journo said he'd never seen such well-trained elite soldiers. Yanuman, in appointing 5 Russians to top + security positions, inc. Azarov,  was deliberately trying to subvert Ukraine. Have a huge article about the Invasion and ramifications for Vlad, all bad, in fact I think he's unleashed tidal forces that will sweep him away in 5 years or so. Everything he was trying to accomplish: more security for the BSF, resistance to democratic Color revolutions like Maidan, greater respect in the West, more popularity.... he actually undermined... and the fallout of devastated economy and foreign opprobrium will come down for years.


Puta (see Spanish) does get to steal billions of $ of property and perhaps the incredibly valuable Black Sea gas/oil leases that would let Ukr break loose from the Russian gas chokehold. This is something the world should  weigh in immediately on, with some US ships sitting station on them until Putin agrees to not seek control. Andre Tech guy was telling me how Visa + MC have shut down 2 Russian banks now, and he gave some Russian journo cash who'd been thrown out of his hotel. Since 70-80% of Russians think this is neat, a little general pain and disruption is appropriate- with Putin's giant firework display last night, there should be some other explosions through their whole economy.. Biggest Ukr bank Privat has stopped operating in Crimea- leaving many people desperate for cash. Owned by Tymo supporter (now Dnepropetrovsk Gov) Kolomoisky, maybe he can figure out how to only shut off Russians, since they've shutdown his banks in Russia and Poro's chocolate factory. Ukrainians who don't become Russian citizens probably face escalating discrimination and bulllying to leave, but nobody is buying property in Krim (and if they leave it'll be stolen)- the pain  and dislocation of this Anschlutz will echo for years.

 MAR 19: Well, he thugs finally did it- killed a Ukrainian: a Russian self-defense fighter and Ukr "serviceman has been killed during an assault by Russian military on the Army photogrammetric information center in Simferopol"; 2 wounded.

Mar 17: Life continues bizarrely bifurcated in Kiev- on one hand, the stunning complete victory of Maidan is paying off- $15 bil from the EU (1 from US?), the EU AA signed within the month, the East swinging back to the center (fake Donetsk Governor Gubarov arrested, Kernes questioned); while at the same time, the Crimea seems lost forever, killing could erupt at the thuggish Russian Invasion at any moment, and peace is still not in sight.. The Russian puppet ex-criminal Crimean Gov (Aksyanov's party got 4%) and the Parliament, after voting 78 of 100 to join Russia, may have made a big mistake in holding a referendum on it- they could easily lose (poll says only 42% for), so the Ruskies will massively cheat, probably letting their invading troops and tourists vote, because losing would be catastrophic to Vlad. They so-called election on Mar 16 is a joke- the choice is "Join Russia now", or "Declare Independence" by reverting the slapped-down-then 1992 Crimean Constitution, there IS NO "NO" or "STAY THE SAME" OPTION !!!!!! Tatars (13%), the rulers for 300 years before the Russians, have stupidly ensured the Russia Option will win by demanding a boycott- I asked their leader why (Ili Umarov (aud)). Crimeans are justifiably terrified that their tourist economy (70% Ukr) will be devastated by the occupation and conflict. The Gov Admin buildings in Donetsk, Kharkiv, Lugansk are back in Central Gov. hands (no, Lugansk just attacked + occupied) and the public is turning against the Russian tourist tool demos. CrimRuskies attacked and took over a hospital + several more Ukr military bases. Along with the host of sanctions, encouragement of Russian's own separatists, decimation of Russia's economy, attention to Vlad's own ill-gained wealth (does he have any friends who aren't criminals?), this Invasion has the potential to fuel popular insurgency against the Ruskies and their quislings in Krim (as they call it)- terrorism against the occupiers (all part of new piece I'm finishing). I am quite pissed- thugs at the Crimean border kidnapped + beat a very nice girl I interviewed- Katya Butko. of AutoMaidan-- now 4 people beaten, tortured, arrested that I knew- and I think I know 5-6 of the heavenly hundred (as victims are called). She is OK, called her the 17th to find she was doing a press conf the next day- held for 3 days in Sevastopol. Fmr Defense Min. Grytsenko, showing amazing self-control, opened his press conf to say his son had been kidnapped that morning (beat him and kept him a week). These paramilitary scum from Russia, Serbia, Chechnya, etc are animals- they beat journalists, even Russian (inc a journo staying at my hotel), and are out of control. COMING: spectacular standup TV report of me in front of burning bldg (pic above) when guy runs by me and guns a Molotov. Finally digitized half my 4 hours of Protest video.

       A new poll March 3, showed that only a third of Donetsk region residents believe that they should be part of Russia- In Luhansk and Odessa lower still, at 24 percent..Other supposedly pro-Russian regions -- Zaporyhzhia, Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk -- have 16, 15 and 13 percent of supporters." In the now full-spectrum Russian attack, fiendish super-virus Stuxnet-like CyberSnake is infecting Gov computers throughout Ukraine, forged by Russia apparently.

 In a desperate move to consolidate power in threatened areas, the Oppo Gov appointed oligarchs Kolomoisky and Taruta to run Dnepropetrovsk and Donetsk regions, figuring their endless resources could pay for whatever muscle is needed to combat the Russian invaders (fake citizens that are fueling the protests). But is this why 100 people died, to appoint crooked oligarchs who will game the whole region for their advantage?  Kolomoisky, head of biggest bank Privat, has been linked to Most of the raider attacks, where 100 thugs with clubs and zip guns invade a company, beat up and throw out the employees, and take it over, armed with a decision of some corrupt judge that THEY are the owners. Even Putin said he had cheated Russian tycoon Abramov- Putin in another marathon press conference, actually displayed shockingly astute insights of the problems of Ukraine.Taruta is former director of the Industrial Union of Donbass trade group, since bought out by Russians. Lesya Orobyets, Rada Deputy and likely next Kiev Mayor, in an interview Mar 8, embarrassed, said that they were only "interim appointments" because of the pressures of the situation and would be changed relatively soon.

The latest polls for Ukr President have Petro Poroshenko ahead, followed by Klitschko, and Tymo- Poro is a Batkivshina Deputy, worth $1 bil, and owner of Roshen Chocolates, Ch. 5 TV, and Leninsky Kuznya shipyard.

A huge false tempest was created by a tapped released (by Russians in RT) conversation between Estonian and EU foreign ministers where he accuses Organizers of hiring snipers to shoot militia AND protesters based on conversations w doctor Olga Bolgomolets, and how he doesn't trust the new "dirty" Gov. based on his one day in Kiev talking to impossible to please Protesters (they did boo undistinguished Turchenov when the new Gov was displayed). First, the Russians are probably distorting and slanting this (though the Estonians confirmed it), second Slavs often confuse Subject + Object, so who is acting on whom is inverted, 3rd  this could simply be the flakiness of Olga, I think, to make that wild presumption that it was the Opposition, and an insane stretch by the Estonian to believe her. Westerners report things as fact here, when people must understand that most Ukrainians are wildly speculative, obsessed w conspiracies, and sometimes foolish- connecting dots to make nonsense constellations.

It is totally consistent that Yanu or Russian snipers would kill policeman or Berkut: how better to cause rage and motivate them to completely crush Maidan? She even says it was the same bullet, the same signature, which means since the real prof. sniper were ALL on Gov side, THEY did it just to sow rage among the cops and militsia. Or is she saying that the Opposition was slaughtering Protesters- it's idiotic, and she should be ashamed her deductive powers are so weak as to spread such vicious rumors.
There is plenty of evidence that Russians were directing/and/or participating w the snipers. Supposedly a PoR guy checked in a Russian military team into a room at the Ukraine Hotel. If there is guilt look there.

The SBU/FSB do these kind of monstrous provocations all the time- we just saw how Putin apparently wanted Ukrs to kill some Russians so he could escalate things: "Are they shooting?? Are you provoking them?." See my witnessing and photo/video of caught provocateur below.
                                                                       

Ukrainians watch presentation of new Gov Feb 26 8pm in Maidan - M.H.©2014
    PROTESTER TAKING AIM 11:30pm Feb 18 corner of Trade Union barricade Copyright 2014 MH --

Of course, some Protesters were shooting Berkut and militsia -  I thought with hunting rifles. But a friend explained that single shot Mosin sniper rifles were plentiful and cheap 2-3 years ago- only $100, and many bought them, "How else did they stop that massive attack on Institutskaya" Feb 18-19. Maybe 13 militsia were killed Feb 18-20 vs about 70-80 protesters, so the real killers and defenders were obvious.

Marc 5: Putin has ordered soldiers back to base at the Ukr border (wasn't done)- apparently it was all a feint designed to take attention OFF their Crimea takeover, which is now complete. Amazing that not one humiliated Ukr soldier has opened up on the invaders and the Gov has been so docile- it would be nice for Ukr honor that the Russians incur some costs for this outrage. But some Russian deaths are apparently wanted by Putin as a pretext for full Invasion, and Ukrs have been incredibly patient and stoic in avoiding them.  The lie machine is in overdrive as the Kremlin tries to justify this. The Invasion continues apace- Obama has expressed deep bookish concern and will punish the Russians (with sanctions). But the Budapest Agreement where Ukr foolishly gave up her nukes guaranteed her territorial integrity, US UK, and Russia are SWORN to do that, not rape  Ukraine!!! I always wondered esp w Ukraine when they would be sorry they did that- give up their Bomb. Ukraine has been procrastinating, pleading for moderation by their invader- Avakov should have predicted and plotted for this- even now he seems to be doing little in reacting. Time for a NEW Inter. Minister!!! Yatseniuk is also meandering, making impotent pleas and threatening  imaginary repercussions. Crimea may really be already lost- if Ukr wants to save the East, they should appoint Klitschko President and give him temporary emergency power- he can command the respect of many factions, inc those in the East. Ukr is hopelessly outmatched 25K Russian soldiers (+15-40K new flown in) to about 14KUkr in Crimea, with Russians much better trained and equipped, and far better at killing. Interestingly all Crimea water and electricity comes over the Isthmus from Ukr- they can cut them off, but that would punish Crimean Ukrs and Tatars AND maybe provoke the invasion of all of Ukraine!! Answering my and many prayers a big US carrier task force USVN George Bush + 17 ships + 3 subs has reached Greece after 4 days from Gibraltar (this link claims 3 boomers, which is baloney, so all is suspect- don't think boomers even travel with a task force- they hide solitarily in the wide deep blue). Don't know if a carrier can transit Bosporus, but they also claim (w video) that Russia is sending dozens of S400 anti-aircraft missiles to Crimea- maybe the most advanced such missiles in the world. 

In an almost cartoonishly bad turn, the new Admiral pointed to run the Ukr Navy there (after the last one was appointed to lead the planned martial law slaughter in Kiev by Yanu), Dennis Berezovsky, after being circled by gunmen, switched side to the Russians, and was appointed head of the Russian  Crimean Navy, and was personally urging his former comrades to surrender, countered by a loyal Ukr commander, who won the day. I was thinking it was a ploy, and he might send some loyal Ukr captain on a suicidal attack- well good luck visiting the mainland, where he's a wanted traitor. Russians gave the third deadline of 5am Mar 4 to surrender or be stormed, which passed uneventfully, like the first 2. Russians took over the Kerch Strait ferry terminal and landed troops there. Odessa Regional Admin was stormed by 500 people, and Donetsk RA also attacked. Russian troops and gear has been massing at the Eastern borders of Lugansk, Donetsk, Kharkiv, with tanks seen near Chernigiv (90 miles NE of Kiev)

 This is a long term result of Yushchenko's threats to boot out the Black Sea Fleet and flirtation with NATO- no doubt Vlad started considering it then. As a student who is ag expert and worked in Crimea explained, Russians only controlled Crimea for 200 years, before that it was Tatars/Ottoman Turks for 300-400 years, Genoans for 200, Greeks for 600- these historical claims to land are always murky and subjective. Russia probably won't annex it, but call it independent Crimea. All Russians aren't on board over this- this prof wrote a critical article and was instantly fired..

FEB 28 - 6am  Yanu has surfaced in Russia, claiming to be the legal President and doing a Press Conf on Friday 5pm in Rostov on Don, a useful fool for Putin's destabilization program, which also sponsored the armed takeover by 120 Russian Separatists of the Simferopol Crimean Parliament and Council of Ministers 4am Thurs (2 dead). Jeeze- it looks like the invasion is on: 6 trucks w 150 soldiers have surrounded Sevastopol Airport and Simferopol  Airport was also raided, looking for Ukr Airborne Forces. Before landing troops and supplied the FIRST STEP of any INVASION is secure the airport. It's the Abkhazia/Transdneister/Ossetia Russian-protection partition ploy. 2 big Russian landing ships- Kaliningrad + Minsk - of the Northern Fleet (Murmansk) sailed into the Black Sea Wed, obviously sent 3-7 days ago. This writer called it right a day ago. And the Russians are using the transparent idiocy of claiming Yanu is still the Prez, the defunct Feb 21 agreement is being violated, and of course, Russians are at risk by bandits in Crim. This is why Yanu appointed that Sevastopol Admiral Chief of Staff Feb 17- to control the planned treasonous insurrection from the inside.
  -Russian? troops at Simferopol
Previously Yanu had gone to ground w Andrei Klyuyev (who quit, + was shot in the leg) after Balaclava, the famous Crimean fiord village between cliffs I spent 10 days at (huge cave nuke sub pens, Genovese castle, 200M cliffs, and Battlesite)- probably hopped a yacht for  Russia, where Justice, Int. Min and Prosecutor have also already fled. The new GOV is ALL Batkivsshina and Svoboda, NO UDAR, a huge mistake, I think but Arseny can't resist handicapping Klitschko vs Tymo. Meanwhile the POR has stopped blubbering apologies (seems they were taken advantage of by an evil Family) and gone into the Opposition, where they will clog up most action, and a new Gov has to do many things FAST in this window of unlimited power, a weak caretaker Gov could be disastrous...

VIDEO OF INSTANT IMMOLATION OF APC

The separatists scum in Crimea, Kharkiv + Donestsk  should be immediately deposed- that is pretty clear treason- that's where the need for swift cauterizing action is most pressing. Even Eastern Ukrainians don't want to be part of Russia, or under their thumb- they want easy travel, trade, no visas; because they often have family there. America must stop it's waffling at outrageous Russian threats to Crimea.- a US Battle Group of ships in the Black Sea would emphasize the danger of "intervention" and be a valuable prophylactic measure. Otherwise the consequences of Russian separatist meddling could be catastrophic (inc to to Russia)! Ukraine firmly shut down a rump Russian Independence movement there in 2005 too, but Putin's rage at the collapse of his imperial reconstruction project makes this worse.

The West (EU, US, IMF) must step up and put it's money where it's mouth is- forget the strict IMF requirements for the moment and pop for $3 in the next week (Hrv dropped .63 hrv in one day 24th-25th!). This new government needs maximum support now- the hrv dropped to 11.20-11.80/$ today temporarily.  I ran into Batkivschina MP Maidan Commandante Stepan Kubiv, (the wizard who organized Maidan like a fine Swiss watch from the beginning) late Mon night in the new Press Center  on 28 Kreshatuk- he was warm and chatty, having just been made new Head of the Central Bank!! (Had questioned him before) He headed 2 banks, reportedly is quite competent, and certainly wired into the new power structures.

Feb 22 COMPLETE VICTORY MAIDAN VICTORY EXPLAINED  (YouTube) - 2/22 (see titles above) 1am Maidan quiet Dec 20 night 1-6am after the apocalyptic battles- the Samaritans tended incredibly stocked food tables- w cheesecake, yogurt, chocolet.  
Feb 21 (first) Yanu has agreed to early Dec ELECTIONS w EU reps, AGREEMENT Signed w OPPO, CONSTITUTION RESTORED. Opposition MAJORITY (239! of 450) in RADA passes miltsia stand-down bill + Frees TymoYanu tried to declare State of Emergency but nobody from the National Security and Defense Council would sign!

Feb 20 - 9 killed people laid out by Kozak Hotel of 50 that day, many unarmed protesters shot by snipers 

Feb 22: The Fri agreement supposed new elections aren't much change- only 3 months earlier than the next scheduled 2015 one- (23% earlier) than normal... and there is no question that they won't be good enough for the radical Protesters, who want Yanu OUT NOW!  but the Protesters are now on cruise control with their own agenda- their job is fight and attack- they take a day off, then attack; there are no plans or movement to disband EuroMaidan (they took over 6 more buildings by Mon, and many center businesses are closing for good. They have no real leader, authority, or boss. They don't want Tymo, or any old politician, what they will accept isn't clear.  Tymo was freed not by any Pardon or Judge but by the idiotic bizarre legislative tactic of decriminalizing the crime she was accused off, the amorphous "abuse of authority". Tymo's Sat. speech in Maidan tried to co-opt Protesters by apologizing for all government and encouraging them to not leave till they get what they want (her, she hopes)


FEB 21 Another day of the WORST tragic violence occurred Thurs as Pravi Sector radicals attacked police in the northern side of Maidan and Institutskaya- police opened up with shotguns, snipers, rifles, now using real ammunition from the high ground of Ukraine Hotel and its skybridge. At least  50 killed Thur, inc. 10 police, bringing total current 3 day death toll to 78, 85 for the last month. Young men's shot bodies were laid out by Kozak Hotel + McDonalds- 15, Ukraine Hotel 12, Post Office- 8, Kreshatuk-8. many were shot in the head,  chest, many multiple times, some with penetrating bullets that ripped right through bullet-proof vests (made usually for handguns).

"I had 3 men die no matter what we did, 8 others I saw" said doctor journalist Andrei of the medical team to me in the foyer of the Ukraine Hotel  at 4am Fri Feb 21. "Police weren't letting us operate on them at first- there was 1 or 2 we could have saved, I think." The Ukraine Hotel, on the South edge overlooking Maidan had been conquered from Protesters on Feb 18, retaken in the costly fighting Feb 20th- 50 lives for 2 more blocks. Access up the devastated Instituteskaya was in absolute pitch darkness, but with people exhausted from the days travails... relaxed.  The new Mayor of Moscow Makeyenko (Yanu appointed administrator 1 month ago) has quit the Party of Regions, pledged to serve the people, and opened the Metro (indefinitely closed, paralyzing the city), and 11 (50 now) more POR members have declared semi-independence from POR- forming a NEW OPPOSITION MAJORITY in the RADA. 150 Interior Ministry troops/+ police have been captured or surrendered to Protestors, and are being held at the City Hall (now released) - another unique feature of Ukr (they fought the law + the law DIDN'T win). 
          burning Maidan Jumbotron TV screen- Trade Center Feb 21-

Feb 20 7am Reportedly (Pravda) 2000 fully equipped Airborne troops have been ordered to Kyiv from Mykolayiv and Dnetropetrovsk by the (ex-Russian)  Defense Minister, a bad sign- I thought for some time this would be resolved by the Army, but I thought some General who had enough and came in on Maidan side to force new elections and the Removal of Yanuman. Such a counter-force is still a possibility and would result in shades of Civil War. [Feb 21- Armed Lviv militsia have arrived to form a human shield between protesters and police.]  Even worse, Yanu has replaced Military Chief of Staff Zamana with Sevastopol Admiral Yuri Illin, presumably wildly pro-Russian and not adverse to force, and they have declared an anti-terrorist action that justifies any violence. 

After another 11pm meeting between Yanu + Oppo leaders Wed, a truce was declared- absolutely meaningless- like so many of Yanu's promises have been- another full scale attack is very likely tonight, and then martial law-large explosions as I speak. Before this is over., 100-200 will die. Another guest here was terrorized and interrogated by 4 masked men on Mikhailovsky who photographed him- rightist protesters probably looking for Titushkies, but very tense, since he was a non-Western foreigner. A Vesti journalist was dragged from taxi, beaten, shot to death only 100M up St from me, I almost headed there at that time. With most business in Maidan and downtown closed, the Metro closed indefinitely, schools closed till Monday, and roving thug bands of various persuasions... the capital has become a dangerous scary place late after dark. As an American journo, I get welcoming generous treatment from the Protestors, but even they have become more hostile, contemptuous, and provocative in the last 2 weeks as the spirit decayed; and even the suspicion of Titushky-hood can earn one an instant mass attack- the real Titushkys can be scared 16 yo kids, or monster-killers.
- captured Interior Ministry marched to City Hall

Feb 19 10am LATEST CASUALTY numbers: F20- 70 dead (inc 20 police)- maybe 500 wounded (gunfire), 1500-3000 injured.  INCREDIBLY against all odds MAIDAN HELD OFF GOV ASSAULT!!  PROTESTERS RETOOK CITY HALL, the CENTRAL POST OFFICE, and a Gov RADIO/TV Bldg on Prorizna-Kreschatuk. Gov Shut off our Internet at 2:10am on Mikhailovsky- really bad timing for radio report.. TRADE UNION burnt out- destroyed, including 2nd Fl Press Center. Went down there from 7:30-9am- still burning in 4 places, inc. the former Jumbotron TV screen. Went into the utterly gutted Press Center- still on fire, trying to avoid melting shoes, and 10cm water from flooding. One wild and crazy Batkivshina video tech Vasil from Kharkiv, was wearing the strewn about new rubber gas masks over his shoes like slippers.

In another poor portent for Ukraine, the economy is getting hammered.- the hryvna broke 9?$ again Wednesday, and the Credit Default Swap rate- the price to insure Ukraine bonds if they go bad, rose to a stunning 12.24 %. (USA's is only 0.03%.).

Feb 19 7am Well, still alive, but about to check out Maidan- reportedly Titushky (gov paid thiugs) are roaming my immediate area and beating people; they shot a Vesti journalist  dead on Veliky Zhitomhyrskaya after dragging him from a taxi only 80M up from my place on Mikhailovsky.  I was sure people were killed in the burning Trade Center: 2 were, said Commandante Kubiv at new Kreschatuk Press Center- 9 floors packed with people desperate for sleep, hiding from noise and commotion in closets with earplugs- the Sovs still lock all fire exits in their perverse lust for "security" and burn a few hundred people to death a year in nursing homes, hospitals, aptmts for no reason [Feb 21- one report of 4 bodies found in it]. Police deaths are suspect (they claimed 3 before but never offered confirmation-now confirm 5)- but protesters have some guns- Afghan veterans know how to use them, and 1 of 2 APC's trying to fruitlessly break through high barricades of Kreshatuk was immolated... protester we fed at out hotel with a monster bruise on thigh from when barricades hit by APC collapsed on him said soldiers got out - the other APC barely escaped.
Roasted Trade Center Bldg 8am Feb 19 8am- gutted from second fl,inc Press Center- Jumbotron on right side on fire MH
Opposition leaders met with a triumphant Yanukovich at midnight -2:30am, where he demanded total surrender- how their position has changed from IF they had taken the PM + DPM jobs- they were said to plead for restraint. Nothing was achieved.

Western Provinces have virtually seceded, with SBU Hdqtrs seized in multiple regions, and some Int. Ministry units going over to protesters.
Maidan War Zone-11:50pm Feb 18 with paving stones ripped up en masse MH

FEB 18 10pm I think that deal w Yatseniuk was real and true but PUTIN said NO, and demanded a crackdown in exchange for the next tranche of bucksy, and Yanu agreed- that would explain the release of money, which didn't make sense with Arseny becoming PM- not exactly a Russia-friendly guy. Yanu actually doing Putin's bidding was the nightmare of all real Ukrainians, and seems Elm St. has arrived. Actually don't think this will cease at all- Yanu will be at serious risk of assassination in Ukr, and like Sadat... he can't trust his own security men- even many from the East feel he's betrayed the country.

Casualties Maidan Feb 18 midnight MH
My friend Yevgeny collapsed sleeping on the floor after Berkut had fire-bombed their tent near the Stella Tower from the bridge over Institutskaya and he fought all day, and lovely sweetheart Julia was near a sobbing breakdown at the death + destruction when peace had seemed so close. Constant explosions now CLOSE. Don't know if they're stupid enough to attack Press Center and win worldwide approbation, but watching videos of Berkut beating innocent residents exiting their aptmt bldg.... sure they are. I don't have a helmet- never liked them even for Motorcycles, but just grabbed one- a metal beast. Tear gas masks are ancient but effective Soviet designs- look like British sci-fi horror movie things, but effective- got virgin cylinder from new case of 1950 masks..
Maidan tire fires- Feb 19 8:30am
8pm Feb 18 Man, was I wrong, or RIGHT. KIEV HAS EXPLODED- latest info has concerted Berkut/police attack on protesters on Hruhevskogo after radicals burned more police buses trying to get to the Rada to blockade it starting from ~10am. Gunfire erupted at maybe 11:30am- both on Hrushevskogo and Institutsakya, where another group tried to get to the Rada to blockade it and also burned police buses, other battles erupted on cross st. to Marinsky Park (next to Rada), and Marinsky itself as massive concerted police attack started in 4 different locations. Gov snipers were shooting people off a building at 17 Instituteskaya- enraged protesters seized the bldg and captured Berkut, then were driven out again. Protesters attacked and burned the Party of Regions headquarters on Lipsky St., with Chornovol leading the charge, getting a little payback for being hunted down on the highway, banged, blockaded , and beaten by thugs in a Porsche SUV. 
   20,000 yard stare of exhausted wounded soldier

Huge constant booming explosions outside now as they assault Maidan- Berkut supposedly on first floor, tried to get in back door to Press Center; they distributed gas masks- finally took one. 11 dead protesters, ~150 shot, maybe 1-2 militsia dead (though never provide confirmation).
BERKUT ATTACKING PRESS CENTER- one order to evacuate- into deadly street? Flashes + explosions right outside windows now. Tracer sniper fire from roof at someone below as car car burns intensely with Protesters behind it- strange bullets- incendiary or tank busting? they explode a second after hitting.. 5:50am Got out right after final order to evacuate- smoke was filling 2nd fl, and tear gas confronted us on exit- first use of mask-10pm?. No police in view, but watched the battle from barricades just on corner of building- took 2 past me on stretcher, 3 other covered in blood from head wounds. One guy was aiming or shooting at police with what looked like 30-06 rifle (photo).
FEB 17: BEGINNING OF THE END, PROTESTERS RETURN CITY HALL, HRUSHEVSKOGO; GOV FREES PRISONERS, CITY HALL TRASHED by ?; RUSSIA RELEASES NXT TRANCHE

 In a final break in the 3 month standoff, protestors have begun to withdraw from positions inc. the City Hall, and apocalyptic Hrushevskogo battle zone, in return for Prosecutor Pshonka's promise to release hostages (already violated?). I think that means that ARSENIUK has ACCEPTED THE PM Position (latest statement was conditionally accepting). If Klitschko is on board as Dep PM isn't clear- he was NOT present at these ground-breaking negotiation. After the City Hall being "turned over" to the Swiss Ambassador/Gov, Svoboda continued to restrict access- either some new group NARNIA, or another group of supposed invaders apparently trashed inside of the City Hall (which was quite virginal every time I saw it, as all interiors of all occupied bldgs were). Yatseniuk + Klitschko flew to Germany Mon to meet with Merkel, as if they were already the Government on a state visit. Even Putin seems to have given his consent, since he was waiting to see if the new PM was pro-Russian enough before paying up the next installment in his independence-subsuming loan. Or possibly the new PM is Poroshenko, not the dreaded Opposition leaders, and they can remain free of the taint of the Yanuman. Note Yanu's theft extended, according to many sources, to raiding and robbing half of Roshen Chocolets from his own minister- which would make for .highly interesting gov. dynamics..
.
FEB 8  Hryvna currency collapsing from 8.4 to 9 in last week.  Contest has degenerated into War of Attrition - with vicious kidnapping, torture, killing campaign; burning cars (117 to Feb7) against Automaidan and other activists: Dima Bulatov just fled to Lithuania after being held 8 days, ear mutilated, face slashed, and nailed by hand to tree- he was booted out (now only 10F) and wandered into upscale suburb of Vishinky (where I lived in mansion teaching Eng to some banker); another activist- Yuriy Verbitsky was kidnapped from a hospital by suspected police/special forces, beaten to unconsciousness, duct-taped, and dumped to freeze to death in the -5F woods near there (believe I'd met him), apparently a nest of these killers lives there. Katya B, spokesman for AutoMaidan  in the occupied Ukr Dom, said in a Jan 30th interview they were very worried about the kidnapped members Alexander Sevchenko + Alex Onashin, "I think the chances that they are dead is very high- they put grenades to blow up their car (and burn it)." Another 23 were arrested after being lured to locations by fake distress calls from "activists" in trouble- their cars were smashed and often burned by Berkut riot police.

On Feb 7, was challanged by drunk thuggish guy with bruise under eye near North end Maidan by McD + Kozak hotel who grabbed arm- thought he might be titushki thug, so screamed at him in coarse Russian to "get TF away"- turns out titushkis smashed up 2 POR connected restaurants dressed as protesters Feb 6th night, and someone sent a bomb in medical supplies that detonated on the 5th floor of the Trade Union... so Protest heavies were patrolling the fringes of Maidan.

And BIG NEWS, latest poll in Interfax has every Oppo leader decisively beating Yanu in a second round, even Tyahnybok. Klitschko crushes him by almost 2:1- what he will need with the massive fraud sure to happen, but almost beats him in the first round. % 2nd round leads are Klitsch 28 pt, Poroshenko 25, Arsen 18, Tymo 15, Tyahny 9. Entire ball game is whether Oppo can settle on ONE SINGLE UNIFIED CANDIDATE, rather than lose it all with internecine jealous squabbles.

Big little scandal was Nuland's bugged call to Amb. Pyatt (gimme 5, Geof), where she says F the EU, as I said simply slightly un-diplomo shorthand for "too bad the EU needs unanimous consent from all 28 members before taking any action"! See my posts on the RT story + psychotic response.

Chatted with a Speaker of French  EU Commission, Oliver Vedrine Monday- he said meeting Yanukovich was strange; "There was a feeling (air) of violence, I got little sense of intelligence or subtlety."


Jan 29  VICTORY?: TAKING OF UKR DOM (article), AZAROV RESIGNS, YANU OFFERS PM, DepPM to YATS, KLIT, 8 (Fed) Regional Admins Fall to Opposition (of 25), Attempts + Mass Protests at 6 more, Coms banned at 7, Justice + Agriculture Ministries Occupied, Attempted Attack/Kidnapping on Svoboda Defense leader- END GAME EVENTS

In a stunning raft of developments, Yanukovich cracked today, offering concessions that seemed unimaginable only a day before. It seemed the Protest has won, finally born fruit after so much suffering and sacrifice. Of course, Ukraine being Ukr, Opposition
leaders are not happy w 80% of the pie- they are holding out for 100%, which may lead to total victory or a little bloodbath. According to voluble Fatherland deputy Lesya Orobets Feb 6: "There was no offer on the table- it was a trap to make the Opposition fight among themselves!!" Nobody trusts Yanu now, even his POR- they broke big time in almost voting for a complete amnesty, Yanukovich had to threaten them with dissolution to get his amnesty after stopping occupation bill passed. There is some sense some POR would actually prefer Yanu out now.
.

1186    People crowding smashed windows Ukrainian House (Ukrainsky Dom) 3:18am Jan 26

SPECTACULAR PHOTOS HRUSHEVSKOGO STANDOFF

    Line of frightened Interior Ministry troops 5m behind shattered façade UkrDom 3:20am Jan 26 -MH -19C
Shortly after, they fled out the back, convinced by Klitschko in an hour of negotiation that I believe saved lives; Earlier 3 red laser gunsight spots had appeared on the heedless protesters crowding the shattered windows (from the soldiers rifles), who terrifyingly ignored the danger, despite screamed warnings!! 3 minutes later, they escalated situation lobbing big firecrackers onto the Int. Ministry troops.

1204   Vitaliy Klitschko on pitch dark, wet stairs inside UkrDom  4:04am Jan 26 after protesters poured in at 3:50am  Jan 26                           





  o  Smashed facade of Ukr Dom windows from inside after protesters seized it 5:26sm; Repairs were underway Jan 26 


Jan 22 New Deaths at 5 as police use live ammo: 3 people were killed in a morning police counterattack; 2 more were killed by gunfire in the afternoon- all men,  In the early evening Klitschko + Tyagnibok held a press conference I just missed- Klitschko then gave a long emotional speech on the EM stage, his voice growing more and more hoarse, sobered by the lethal turn of events, because - Mykhailo Zhyzdnevskiy, citizen of Belarus and part of Klitschko's youth team from Bila Tserkva was shot and killed  today during the Berkut's attack on the protesters. He was wounded in the chest near the heart region. This is what happens when you throw 1000 Molotov cocktails - cops will kill you- there are terrible pics of militsia engulfed in flames! 2 were shot by snipers hiding on the roofs- with 7.62mm Degatyrev sniper rifle, one shot 4 times, pretty cold blooded murder.
     
Kyiv Post  In Kyiv, 48 people said to be "active participants in the riots" on Hrushevskoho Street have been detained by police, according to an official Interior Ministry statement. Thirteen are suspected of violating the Criminal Code st.294 "Riots," a crime punishable by up to 15 years in prison under new laws signed by President Viktor Yanukovych on Friday which went into effect today. I must say, when the entire corps of the press center stands with their hands on their heart and sings the national anthem at midnight along with the TV of the ten thousand on Maidan, it's impossible to not be moved at the depth of feeling and patriotism these people feel towards there much-abused country. The big 3 met with Yanukovich at 2pm  in  an emergency summit.  Fires are still burning in a solid line across the road on
Hrushevskogo, fed by a constant deposit of tires + Molotov Cocktails, creating a wall of impassable choking black smoke- the protesters uncowed by the live ammunition that has cut down 5 and wounded 2-3 times more or the now enacted 15 year sentence for violent protest. Ukrainians are relentless, and many here are really prepared to die for this cause, which I didn't really believe before- they have the almost suicidal courage of Poles.
   
captured paid Gov thugs being marched to Trade Union

-sober Klitschko
Berkuts brutally attacked a Red Cross station- smashing it up and shooting the doctor with rubber bullets.   

IGOR Lutsenko (no relation to fmr Justice Minister), EM human rights activist was violently kidnapped from the hospital with his friend by 10 goons- likely ex-police- he was blindfolded and mock-executed in the woods, whereas his friend Yuriy Verbytskiy, was tortured, beaten, and dumped in a field in Gniden to freeze to death (I used to drive through it when I lived in a banker's 20 rm mansion in Vishinky, teaching him English.). I think I've met him.      LIVE TV HUSHEVSKOGO- expreso.tv

Tutushkis- paid government thugs ($25/day) were wilding- smashing car windows with meat hammers, and slashing tires to create chaos- in several operations, AutoMaidan people tracked and captured them, as young as 16, and a column of 40 were marched to the Trade Center to be interrogated and browbeaten.


Jan 20 New Kiev exploded into violence Sunday night as protesters attacked a police blockade by Europe Sq, leading to the Rada, torching 4 buses and a Dynamo Stadium ticket office, throwing 400 Molotov cocktails, 10,000 paving stones from 10pm-2:30am. Police responded with 2000 flash bang grenade, dozens to hundreds of tear gas canisters, and rubber bullets - the invisible sides separated by the charred hulks of buses lined up to block the street. One flash-bang hit exactly from where I moved 2 seconds before (3 ft away) and blew up 10ft away-2nd at that distance- when I saw police were doing counter-battery fire against rock throwers next to burning ticket office, who were gunning the stones hard enough to really reach the police, without baseball many Ukrainians throw like girls.
Then got hit by tear gas for the first time in life, clenched eyes shut, held my breathe and ran back out 150M, and got none in me- the stuff on my outside face burned when tried to wipe it of with water- think it is activated by that- use alcohol (vodka). A life of scuba-snorkle pays off. Another protester showed me the shattered bottom back of his helmet from an canister projectile- at the base of the skull that probably would have been fatal without a helmet!! At 2:20am the riot police, who  suffered numerous casualties from the incoming paving stones and firebombs, charged and captured 2 hapless protesters, then were driven back by a furious crowd response attack. According to the 2, who showed up at the Trade Union Press Center at 5am, they were stripped naked, doused with cold water, forced to run for safety in the -10C cold, as they were shot by runner bullets- one dropped his drawers to show his 5 buttock bullet bruises (video ,I'm on rt) Another famous "Cossack" guy was forced to strip naked in -18C and pose with cops putting him in headlock and buddy-buddy; which he handled w incredible aplomb- reportedly he swims in icy river in Jan!


Protesters were reputedly from a mysterious extreme nationalist faction: Right Sector along with Ultras Dynamo fans (footbal hooligans for justice).- Svoboda nationalists reportedly had strict instructions to NOT attend, though I have no confirmation on this. It is possible some of these were provocateurs endeavoring to justify the most savage police roundup. 120 protestors (KP or Euromaidan) and 50 hospitalized were injured from rocks, paving stones, metal bars, fired canisters, explosions, and rubber bullets, supposedly 130 police, with 80 hospitalized. 60 protesters arrested.
 - gas-masked protester Jan 20 2am Europisky Sq
It seems to me THIS is exactly what the government hoped for to provide a good reason for employing the outrageous new laws that make a mockery of any democracy, and criminalize any protest, journalism, or demands to the government. For almost anything I've written, I could be subject to 2-3 years of hard labor on 3 different charges.
       Police tortured old woman who begged them to stop torturing another elderly man -
Earkier Sunday, maybe 100,000 people rallied again for the 9th Sunday on Maidan, and Klitschko was seen aggressively getting between protesters and police to minimize violence- police think twice about swinging a baton at Vitaly,t but protesters blasted him with a fire extinguisher- reportedly he had to be restrained from attacking the radicals - at the Maidan stage, the crowd had even booed the most radical leader- Tyagnibok, tired of the same worn out phrases- Glory to Ukraine, Glory to the Heroes..
     Babooshka begs Berkut to not beat old man, but her-hey comply
SECOND TRY AT DEPOSING YANUKOVICH GOVERNMENT     Kiev: According to Arseniy Yatseniuk, Opposition forces arrayed against President Victor Yanukovich may be poised for another attempt to remove his Prime Minister and Government in a No Confidence vote in the Rada, the Ukrainian Parliament. The last time on Dec. 3rd, they received only 189 votes, far short of the 226 needed to succeed. - Scoop   Dec 18   NOTE: After the DEAL w Putin, of course, the Communists reneged.

 ex-Rada Speaker + protest leader Arseny Yatseniuk- fm video Fri Dec 13


Jan 17  New Really bad news- a host of lunatic repressive laws that make every protester, every journalist, every citizen... a criminal! Passed by a criminal party led by .. well, you know, through an illegal RADA voice vote without any actual counting, without proper vetting, or committee examination, or anything by the POR. There were only 204 POR coalition members present, way below even a majority of 225, but the hack Speaker repeatedly passed every provision with a made-up 235 votes.This allows draconian penalties on every journalist, every activist, every person protesting ANYTHING- it is something out of the SU or China- no even they weren't so brazen- they dressed up fascist laws w nice double- talk. This is obviously preparatory for the giant raid/attack on Maidan bound to come soon- a thousand Tutushki (government goons) are back in Marinsky Park and masses of riot police have been seen.

 Well, I'm totally sympathetic to this protest, but almost no
Maidan Nezheleznesty (Independence Sq) - Nov 24 MH-
government in the world would allow such a free wheeling takeover of the entire downtown by a 10,000 person city for 2 months... but these laws allow the gov to clean house and jail anyone and everyone they want, which is obviously their intention, as a friend said,"I think they're afraid to go home- the police will just come and arrest them one by one- look at how little protest Tymochenko's arrest provoked" - indeed the time to stop this outrageous erosion of liberty and decency was WHEN Yulia was jailed for doing her job by that rookie "trial" (like tryout) judge. Yanu is about to make this Belarus 2. On the other hand, the utter humiliation of Berkut guy trapped by protesters in taking off their helmets and balaclavas and running gauntlet of abuse is understandable if this was AFTER the police violence Jan 11, but can lead to savage retaliation. Hard cold is coming Sat Sun Mon -10,-12 C , 10-14 F,  that will reduce numbers but the stage has been set for some huge apocalyptic battle between gov soldiers and citizen/protesters. I am now temp. staying right next to Maidan (not in camp or bldgs) so hopefully I will have an intimate view.

]       



- former Justice Minister Lutsenko beaten Jan 10 by disgruntled employees
Jan 14  On Friday Jan 10 late night- a protest outside a Sviatoshin court that sentenced 3 guy alleged to have plotted to blow up a Boryspol Lenin statue 2 years ago that was actually dismantled by the city before they even plotted.... to 6 years in prison (on top of 2 pre-trial- maybe a sign for Kiev persecutions for Lenin-toppling) was violently broken up by police, with 10 injured (some badly w broken bones), including Yuri Lutsenko, former Justice Minister jailed with Tymoshenko and only (cont 1/11) recently pardoned and released. The gov had reason to hate him- he led the blockade of the Pres Admin bldg on Dec 8, but he was their former BOSS! Video shows the crowd trapping and forcing Berkut police into removing their helmets and balaclavas so they can be identified- quite amazing- if this came first, the violent response is understandable, but in this FSU country, the masses always carried some weight in a way they don't in the West at all- in America police are immune from almost any violent actions (almost all interactions are when driving), unless there is video- even then police are usually above reproach, which sometimes gives them a license to kill. The moment one resists or fights w any cop, he can legitimately kill you, because they just say, "He was trying to get my weapon." Some gonzo friend in Atlanta was probably murdered by a cop who was attacking him in a traffic stop.

In the 8th week, things have slowed down in Maidan and downtown with food more scarce; I thought before that the organizing parties may wrap this up within a week- after Jan 15 Old Slavik New Years that ends this infinite vacation period- there are no doubt factions in the government who want to drive them out by the most brutal means possible- any such protest, in their minds, is crossing the line of treason: they never accepted the results or even apologized for the fraud that caused the Orange Revolution- it's the way the game is played in Yanu-world. But each violent police attack causes a wave of new recruits and outrage. Now defender protesters are armed with all kinds of tools and weapons- whether they would use them is another story- everyone, including them, are exhausted by this standoff, and all the businesses downtown are losing millions.

-- festive protesters by toppled Lenin; Kiev is a joyful place; like long-abused wife who finally gets the courage to fight back Dec 8

      It seems clear they should have had other smaller big demands besides fire the people who beat the students Nov 29, like FREE TYMOSHENKO, or FIRE THE GOV, because to a man who spent 3 1/2 years in prison, this isn't real pressure. It's striking that in this whole thing, Yulia has not come up once- except maybe when she sent a New Years message- she is the woman who never was. Yatseniuk thinks he can be President, and her shrill demagogic style is disliked by many- so she may have a long stay in the nasty penal colony they sent her.

Dec 31 - Euromaidan is now in  it's 6th week- on Sun 29th, the protestors took their battle to the enemy, taking a 1000 car column to the doorstep of Yanukovich's palatial compound in Mezhigiriy - 15 km N of Kiev, where they held a 3000 person rally 300 M from his home (incredibly the police opened the blockade at the turnoff). After, spurred on by the 3 opposition leaders, they traveled to the homes of Russia booster Medvedchuk and destroyed his fence (provoking furious threats that "he knew how to play rough too"), Int Minister Zakharchenko, PM Azarov, prosecutor Pshonka to vent their displeasure. New Years  is the biggest holiday in Ukraine, with hundreds of thousands in the capital, so protest leaders expect new recruits, if temporarily, why NYE Metro closed early at 1am (instead of 2-3am that's been normal).    Dec 29 - Protest at Yanukovich home- Mezhigiriya -
Dec 29 saw 20,000 people still in Maidan for the 6th consecutive Sunday, and I collared the so-called Commandante (of Maidan) Stepan Kubiv briefly, the bank CEO that set up the entire occupation like a finely oiled machine. He was just having meetings w his lieutenants and then fled, but also interviewed his assistant.
     Primary organizer of brilliant operation of EuroMaidan/Trade Center/CityHall/OctPalace OCCUPATIONS - ex bank CEO- Stepan Kubiv - fm video

There was a piano-hammer dulcimer classical music concert in City Hall Sunday, an example of the wide range of entertainment in what has become a 5 week non-stop concert. They are using 6 tons of bread and 1 1/2 tons of cheese and sausage a day in the industrial food operation in  the Trade Center. Guarded like Fort Knox, I only got a glimpse of the massive kitchen in the Trade Center before being virtually attacked by some elderly self-styled security guy. They are trying to consolidate all the protest groups under a new social org named simply MAIDAN, and were signing up people on Sunday.

Dec 25: How this will end with a bang or a whimper isn't clear- numbers are clearly reduced CHRISTMAS, but thousands of ex-resident holiday partiers are coming to town for giant NYE (biggest Holiday where they give gifts) celebrations. Orthodox Christmas is Jan 7, but the Communists destroyed it as a Holiday. Andrei Stranikov, City Councilman presiding over the Occupied City Hall, told me Dec 22, that he "doesn't think the Gov will use force to clear it out," in our 2nd long interview. The following is a big reason for persistence of protests (might interview trooper w camera- neither rain nor snow nor blood in the eyes):       CHRISTMAS on EUROMAIDAN

T
Beaten reporters- mostly from Dec 1 police rampage at Pres. Admin bldg- KP

Dec 27: Somebody sure used force on Tanya Chornovol (bot. rt) Christmas Day, gadfly journo who had just taken photos of arch villain Interior Minister Zakharchenko's (whose resignation is already a demand of protestors) luxurious home, chased for 15 minutes by Porsche SUV that bumped, boxed, and finally managed to block and stop her; thugs dragged her out of the car, and beat her face in.

DEC 19: Well Yanukovich did it- went and signed a trade pact in Russia for $268 gas and a $15 bill loan on Dec 17-what he gave away isn't clear (maybe ownership of the pipelines, and a hard promise to join the CU, but it is a disaster. If enacted - Ukraine needs the money, it is finished as an independent country. Tragically, the EU said yesterday that they would have come up with Eu19 billion ($26b) over 6 years... but they never told the Ukrainians that. These are LOANS just like the evil IMF, what does Ukr have to pay them back with but selling off their infrastructure?

I predicted the Dec 11 crackdown Tues night-Wed morning to my friends here- it was obvious the Yanumen were fed up with the takeover of Kiev by people whose main purpose was his removal- he will quit when pigs fly, and sadly he has corrupted every authority in the country within his first 8 months in 2010.  Lately he appointed new heads of Constitutional Court and Central Election Commission- who are now 30 year crony's from his time as a Donetsk transport manager. Luckily the police were not beating people and a 4 hour shoving match ended when the protesters divided off a group of Berkut, then let them rejoin their mates.. and they withdrew.

Here are some exc. pics of Dec10-11 attempted police clearing of Maidan from a friends brother.



KIEV POLICE LINE NEAR MAIDAN - Dec 11, 2013
All following photos + first 3-4  Copyright©2013-Michael Hammerschlag           

Immense barricades to Maidan  5M high Dec13- rebuilt 3 times bigger after police attack destroyed them Dec 11

- Kiev City Hall- occupied since Dec 1 by protesters- Kreschatuk St. Dec 1
Can't see Yanukovich resigning, and he can't use excessive force cause the whole world is watching- EU Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton lectured him for 4 hours Tuesday, and Assis. Sec. State Victoria Nuland showed the flag and gave breas to the protesters Wed, after Kerry had petulantly snubbed Ukraine + the protesters to send a message to Yanuman on his recent visit. I must say I was impressed with the crazy Svobody fighters holding their own fighting with fully armed riot police, throwing giant paving stones  and wielding bars and cans of tear gas- never ever seen that in any protest anywhere. In America, protesters doing that would probably be killed.  
  Protesters on Institutskaya who want a clean sweep of Gov 12-8 MH
UPDATE 12/15: Due to a number of factors, I now believe that attack was staged by gov thugs, so-called provocateurs, because of the extraordinary armament, organization, lack of gov response and fact police run and don't fight back (video), then the savage pounding journos got later. In the video on that page (actually from Lenin Monument so N/A for this argument), one guy breaks a long pipe over police heads over 12 blows, and doesn't even get a 1 Mace in the face or baton stroke for his efforts. I first thought the  were hard-core Svobody guys (some of whom are thugs), but experiences seeing a fake attack (read down) and and fact there are now thousands of these government rent-a-thugs in the capital swayed me. NPR report on it  More violent videos at bottom.
- Deputy Speaker of the RADA (Parliament) dep.chair of Svobody Party  Ruslan  Koshulynsky
I interviewed the Vice-Speaker of the RADA (Parliament) Svobody Party Ruslan  Koshulynsky for 10 minutes, who said violently breaking up these demonstrations "would lead to civil war"- see radio report soon. After protesters resisted police tearing down the Maidan tents + the special forces retaking of the City Hall, protesters rebuilt the torn down barricades, bigger  and better than before, huge 5-7M high triangles of junk, snow bags, frozen water. City Hall was blocked and covered with ice from hoses.

Dead Lenin- soon to be fragments + Vitaly + Volodimir Klitschko on Maidan stage midnight Dec 8     
Questioned Dr. Ironfist Vladimir Klitschko, the great clean hope of Ukraine, but he was doing another interview, then bolted. He is always in a violent scrum, and must fight to get near him, but he is the one guy who might unify this country- he speaks 4 languages, has a doctorate, a clean reputation, knows how to kick ax, and would crush Yanu, but the Rada ruled a nonresident ineligible. He was a German resident for 13 years, Ukr for last 6, but as long as you don't change your propiska (residence permit) in passport, you are an Ukr resident.
Vitaly Klitschko Dec 4 Trade Union Bldg. fm video -

In a bad sign, 5 precincts that had massive fraud in the elections a month ago, had new ones tainted by (you guessed it) massive fraud and vote buying. Exit polls showed 4 of 5 opposition candidates winning, in reality 4 of 5 Party of Regions candidates won!  Klitschko, Tymoshenko Party former speaker Arseny Yatsenyiuk, and Svobody's Oleg Tyagnibok rallied the protesters admirably all night and morning of Dec 11 as thousands of troops converged on the square around 1:30am- temp 10F (-12C). They successfully resisted the police attempt amid alot of pushing- police didn't beat people, and half-heartedly removed a couple of tents before retreating- actually some of them are with the protestors.
VK had 1 heavyweight championship belt (just gave it UP! -D16) + has never even been knocked down, his brother has 4. If he runs though, with Yanu's total control of all judges and election officials, he'd have to win by 2 to 1 to actually win, why this crowd wants Yanu gone!!!!

      
  - pounding on Lenin statue, Dec 8 - 1 hour after toppled
Caught up with the action a half hour after the toppling of Lenin statue Dec 8th (22 years late), where I bulled my way up to concrete wall above it and got great video of guys beating it with sledgehammers, and handing out slivers. The Communists have been guarding it for years, since someone decapitated it, and Vlad needed serious repairs. One city in Ukraine incredibly erected a Stalin statue a few years ago, Zaporizhna, which is just (D14) sending Kiev a special train of 1000-1500 paid gov thugs! If this is happening in the big eastern/southern Russified cities- Donetsk, Kharkiv, Lugansk, Sevastopol, Odessa...  Kiev could become the scene of bloody end of the Wiemar street fights.


Protesters in the occupied City Hall Bldg,12/1 apparently w aid of some City Councilmen --

Incredible food table in City Hall- unlimited free sandwiches, tea, cookies, cakes. At the occupied Trade Union Bldg on Maidan, where the Press Center is, even at 3am, people are hurtling out the door every minute with full platters of sandwiches, tea, cakes, cheese for the protesters in 10 deg F (--12C) snowy weather. Everywhere the spirit is incredible- festive, congratulatory, open, generous- everything is free. On Wed I almost stopped to buy gloves but didn't want to spend the time- coming out of Metro on Maidan within 10M there was a kiosk with warm clothes- coats, hats, scarfs. "Got some gloves?," I asked and guy threw me a new pair of beautiful warm cloth 
gloves sealed in plastic. Price? Nitchivo! Total opposite and I think a joyful counter-reaction to normal dour cheap uncooperative Slavic personality (normal customer service here is: NO!, a packet of McD ketchup is 40c, no free water or milk for tea or coffee in restaurants).  It is similar to the best hippie spirit of the 60's-70's, minus the sloppiness and drugs. Never seen such generosity and good will since we (foreigners) were rich near-gods in heyday of early independence '91-93. "Now you think differently about Ukraine?" said my local friend sarcastically. The organization of the food supply and medical services is better than any military could manage- apparently 30% of the mothers of Kiev are cooking for this protest too and several doctors volunteered, but they admit spending about $250,000 as of end of Dec.
  medical supplies in City Hall

 The painless takeover may have been helped by insiders on the 120 member City Council- I questioned one of the bigwigs in control of the building- a Deputy of UDAR, who is in charge of the impressive medical services- I got my astronomical BP checked and rapped drug combos. There were only a couple of security guards at the door when the crowd barged in- why defend against a threat that's never happened.

They even brought food, many times to the militsia- police are militarized here under the Internal Ministry; other girls stuck flowers on their shields, to their amusement. It probably helped minimize broken heads. After the vicious battle between police and masked militants Dec 1 in front of Pres. Admin Bldg, Berkut, the fiercest riot police, savagely attacked journalists, sending 40 to the hospital and deliberately breaking their equipment. Maybe 500
paid ($50-62/day) Government thugs, called "sportsmen"  cause of their penchant for cheap Soviet-era tracksuits and Titushki after an identified member,  have been congregating in Marinsky Park near the RADA (Parliament)- they roughed up a few journalists in Nov. On Dec 8th a huge contingent of Svobody fighters (500-800) went to fight them but they reportedly fled. When they attack reporters, police stand by and do nothing, and they are given gov. assistance. Latest reports (14th) are of well over a thousand of them being sent to the capital in a private train from the smallish city Zaporizhna- if they come from Donetsk, Kharkiv, Sevastopol in  sizable numbers- Maidan could see end of the Wiemar-style street fighting; a desperate Yanukovich may do anything to hold power.


There are many stories of government provocateurs- causing violence to give cops an excuse to go crazy, which I always took with a grain of salt- Rukrainians think everything is a conspiracy. But seconds after I took the pic of cops above on Institutskaya, this guy (dn) ran up and punched a cop and bolted, they surged forward like an enraged school of fish (scary when you're 10 ft away), and somehow protesters chased down + tackled this guy, held him, and grilled him under extreme duress. He admits to working for Bureau for State Protection (some Police agency) in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vx0fXpOeto&feature=youtu.be  - of capture.  Amazing. I now believe the crazy masked guys fighting the police at the Pres. bldg Dec 1 were provocateurs- fake protesters.

 --police provocateur- fake protestor who does violence so police can go crazy

 One guy drove a bulldozer (video) towards the Pres. gates into the police lines, sure to set off the cops- these photos seems to show the "construction worker" clearing his path was a Berkut officer. He, Sergei Kuzyuk, is later interviewed by Ch 5 in uniform, and was also apparently present at the Nov 30 attack. Luckily after pushing police lines back a meter the driver stopped or protesters stopped him, but the savage targeted pounding journos (the worst event of this revolt) and the demonstrators received indicates it may have been a setup. Reportedly there are photos of the driver within police lines. According to this NPR report , the troops there were green soldiers, 1 hour later they brought in hardened Berkut goons who ran amok. From this incredible video at the Lenin monument on Shevchenko where 100 police run into a bus and don't fight back (find video) while a guy breaks 3M pipe over their heads,  believe they were told NOT TO FIGHT BACK (though this is N/A for Pres. Admin argument). This amazing video from Hromadske TV has an interview with my provocateur where they show his state ID and docs- he is a Captain Litvak of YDU (OOO-D-YOU). Amazing- sending their one security service to hurt their, ah, security service. So the chance that the vicious attack on the journos at Prez Admin Bldg was a planned operation is quite high.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bug_O40UfLU    Dec 1 NoCom 3:46 Dec 1 Pres Admin violent
http://youtu.be/NzGBJyDit1M   NoCom RT Video-Clashes outside Pres. explosions, paving stone impacts
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9_TQekf0W0    Violent video- Ukraine cops clobber.. RT Nov 30
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tINXb8cWIwk  Shevchenko Blvd- protesters break pipe over cops head
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9dI2HYBfgXY   Prez Admin- bulldozer pushing cops

One must remember, unreconstructed killers remain in the KGB - SBU now, this is a place where the Pres ordered the "taking care of" of an Internet journalist back (2000) when the Internet was a fringe activity almost nobody had (3%?)- he was kidnapped, killed, and decapitated by high police officials... and much more incredible- the youthful good-looking future President was turned into Machete by a "security service" Dioxan poisoning, and   nobody was ever punished.  I must interview one of the cops seriously injured by gov-sponsored "oppositionists"- they must be thrilled to have their tax dollars paying to hospitalize them. No, forgot- nobody pays taxes.


City Councilman  and leader of City Hall occupation UDAR party Andrei Stranikov Dec 4-

This entire protest was dying down when Yanu brilliantly sent Berkut to violently disperse the 70-200 protesters huddled around the Maidan tower at 4am on Nov 30. "They moved in like sharks.. and just laid a beating on them.. that's why this mushroomed," says Can-Ukr filmmaker Richard Bachinsky Hoover, who witnessed it. With all the camera phones out there, such an outrage is impossible to keep secret or low-key, within hours, protesters were streaming to Maidan- the next day Dec 1 there were as many as 2/3 million packing every street downtown- biggest demos maybe including 2004, a week later on Dec 8th there were also maybe 200-400K people out, with +100K every day, at some point.

Protester beaten by riot police by Pres. Bldg. Dec 1 in Trade Union--Dec 8 below




Jingle Bell barricades at entrance to Maidan, made from pieces of giant metal Christmas tree- now since police dismantled them Dec 11, rebuilt much stronger with ice hardening (above freezing for 2 weeks now though)- dn



Beirut, Ukraine- 
piles of debris in Maidan Nezheleznesty or ah.... firewood

Ruslana- big organizer and entertainer of protests + and famous Ukr singer- won Eurovision Contest (huge in Europe, but somewhat cheesy). Asked her a question and after she came up and grabbed my arm intimately- think she didn't understand it. She has been indefatigable, keeping the 24 hr live entertainment going on the big Maidan Stage, telecast on the Jumbotron and Svobody + web TV channels; giving interviews, providing supplies- in fact she may be the central person keeping this alive... so of course the Yanumen are talking about prosecuting her.

Downtown is one giant crash pad, with thousands sleeping in the occupied City Hall and 9 fl Trade Union Bldg on Maidan (left) - on Tuesday an order came down from District Court to evacuate bldg, but same day protesters cleverly signed an official lease with the manager of the bldg, so they are legal - Dec 8-9

Sleepy Time in the big hall of City Hall



 Protestors have, since this started Nov 21, braved  downpours, snowstorms,
 -12C cold, howling winds, and police attacks. Heated electrified tents, and heating barrels help. In front of Trade Union Bldg - Maidan (Moyo electronic store)

 Svobody leader Oleg Tyanibok - radical Ukr nationalists, they also have some racist anti-foreigner-Semetic elements; but they do have real courage and energy.-below

Broken window in- front door of the City Hall Dec 1, taken over at 3pm that day, with only a couple of  security guards present. About 3 weeks ago, Democrats Abroad held their Europe-Middle East convention here, in the opulent but empty grand hall.- rt