Wednesday, May 28, 2014
War And Murder In Eastern Ukraine
Via The Daily Beast: Every day dozens of people die in the eastern regions as a result of Ukraine’s crackdown operations against rebels. President-elect Poroshenko has vowed to crush the insurgency in a matter of hours, not months. On Tuesday morning rebels claimed over 100 casualties, some of them reportedly were Chechen recruits. The sun came down over the military base. National Guard recruits were marching in the plaza singing courageous songs—over 250 units of the Second Division were packing to go east after completing their training at Novi Petrivtsy. A few of the regulars looked like former criminals or heavy drinkers. Their commander, Andrei Tiron, a fit veteran of the Ukrainian unit sent to Iraq as part of the "Coalition of the Willing" in the last decade, wore a khokhol, a long lock of hair on an otherwise shaved head reminiscent of warriors past, and a defiant reference to slurs of Russians, who use khokhol as a disparaging term for Ukrainians generally. "I trained my soldiers to be a ranger-style force, the way they trained us for Iraq", said Tiron. "We are not going to fight against any nationals—to us there are no Russians or Chechens in the Donetsk region; we’ll be fighting against terrorists", he said. Soldiers of Ukraine’s National Guard have used prohibited explosive bullets while shelling the city of Rubizhne, near Luhansk, a member of the local self-defense forces told RIA Novosti Wednesday. "They have begun firing explosive bullets in residential areas. People have started hiding in basements", he said. "Apparently, the National Guard is unaware that explosive bullets are banned by international convention", he added. Pro-federalization protests have swept across Ukraine’s southeastern regions in response to the regime change in Kiev in February and ouster of the country’s legitimate President Viktor Yanukovych. In mid-April, Ukraine’s interim government launched a special operation to crack down on federalists, but failed to gain control over the self-proclaimed independent republics. Moscow described the operation as a punitive act.