Russian insider says Putin openly planned invasion of Ukraine since 2003

A former Russian insider says he was there when Putin began openly planning the present invasion of Ukraine back in 2003.

At a conference in Brussels this week, Andrey Illarionov, a Russian economist and former economic advisor to Vladimir Putin informed that the invasion of Ukraine has been in official planning since at least 2003.

“Since 2003. I can say that certain questions relating to the future war with Ukraine were discussed in my presence. I didn’t think the talks would really lead to a real war,” he said.

In an anguished response to the Orange Revolution a year later which brought about an ostensibly pro-Western government, Russian officials then began discussing the potential for launching a military occupation of Crimea and it’s subsequent annexation. Illarionov also discussed leaked documents which detail the operation of Russia’s future war with Ukraine.

By 2009, he stated that plans to conjure and support separatism in Ukraine began to surface. It is now known that the terrorist organization known as the ‘Donetsk Republic’ began to reassert itself online in 2008 after then Russian-backed Viktor Yanukovych lost his position as Prime Minister. Created in 2005 also in the wake of the Orange Revolution, ‘Donetsk Republic’ members attended training camps in Russia funded by the Russian Presidential Administration, where instructors from the security services taught methods of espionage, sabotage and guerrilla tactics to attendees. Syncing with Illarionov’s statement, the group began organizing local terrorist training camps as early as 2009.

Putin’s July 2013 Speech

Putin and Yanukovych in Kyiv, July 2013
Putin and Yanukovych in Kyiv, July 2013

Illarionov did not mince words, making clear that this is a very much a “Russian-Ukrianian war” or rather, as he described: “Putin’s war against Ukraine.” A war he steadfastly describes as being long in the works that will continue to play out in the long term.

“So, they were preparing the war for a long time. The other matter is that it is a long war that has been continuing for more than 16 months. It was officially launched on July 27, 2013, by Putin’s speech in Kyiv on the occasion of the anniversary of the baptism of Kyivan Rus,” he said.

The speech cited by Illarionov was on the topic of Ukraine’s “civilizational choice” and “orthodox Slavic values.” In it, Putin bloviates on alleged “common spiritual values” which make Russians and Ukrainians a “single people,” calling for the preservation of ‘ancestral traditions.’ He also convincingly ignores centuries of persecution, telling listeners that subjugation (“union”) under Russia “changed the lives of Ukraine’s population and its elite for the better, as everyone knows.”

At another point, Putin speaks glowingly of Stalin’s reforms and investment in Ukraine during his first ‘Five Year Plan,’ a disastrous policy which resulted in the Moscow-orchestrated genocide of up to 7 million Ukrainians.

Current conflict zones’ historical hallmarks were focused on in the speech, specifically calling the Donbas “one of Russia’s main mining and metals industry regions,” and Odesa “one of the Russian Empire’s biggest seaports.” The next day Putin would attend Russian naval celebrations in the Ukrainian city of Sevastopol in Crimea.

Little Green Men of Russia's navy in Ukraine, July 28, 2013
Little Green Men of Russia’s navy in Ukraine, July 28, 2013

All of this, of course, amounted to a cynical sales pitch for Russia’s unborn Eurasian Union and reunion with Russia, and to convince Ukrainians the perils of European integration. With a smile.

Let me say again that we will respect whatever choice our Ukrainian partners, friends and brothers make. The question is only one of how we go about agreeing on working together under absolutely equal, transparent and clear conditions.

 Numerous predictions

Illarionov resigned from his position within the administration in 2005, has been an outspoken critic of president Vladimir Putin since that time.

Since becoming a dissident, his words to date have been prophetic. In October 2008 he quickly exposed that the Russian invasion and occupation of Georgia in August of that year was premeditated and instigated by the Russian government, when many still debated whether Georgia fired on Russian soldiers first.

In February of this year, prior to Russia’s “green men” swarming into Crimea, he fully predicted the occupation of the peninsula and similar destabilizing actions in the south and east. In March, after this had already come to fruition, he further predicted and warned of impending Russian forces seeping into eastern Ukraine during an interview on the Ukrainian network TSN. Russian Col. Igor Girkin, “Supreme Commander” of the Donetsk Republic, openly admitted recently to Russia’s involvement in the war and told how his special forces group entered Ukraine in April to seize government buildings.

Putin: DNR will always get weapons, and we won't let them lose

Russian President Vladimir Putin says insurgent and terrorist groups in Ukraine’s east “will always get weapons,” including armored vehicles and artillery in response to questions of Russia’s material involvement the war against Ukraine.  He reiterated this position on the German channel ARD prior to the G20 Summit in Australia, days after NATO officials confirmed reports that the Russian military’s invasion of Ukraine was continuing full speed despite an agreed upon ceasefire.

The Russian president also stated he would not allow Ukraine to win the war, calling for “dialog” instead: “This points to the fact, that you want the Ukrainian central authorities to annihilate everyone there, all of their political foes and opponents. Is that what you want? We certainly don’t. And we won’t let it happen.”

Justifying his potion, the paranoid dictator expressed concerns that Ukraine would begin the “ethnic cleansing” (presumably) of Russians, and that the pro-Western government would become a “neo-Nazi state.”

RT compares Putin to JFK and the West…to Russia?

In a recent article on RT (aka Russia Today), the state-owned international network published an analysis on the aftermath of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and in it, a shocking comparison that likens Russian President Vladimir Putin to former US President John F. Kennedy, and the Western world to Cold War era Russia.

“It seems to me the curtain is being drawn closed again, only this time by the NATO nations and not Khrushchev. It’s as if our roles are reversed somehow. Vladimir Putin acting like JFK, and western leaders bent on some convoluted socialism.”

The comparison is naturally bizarre for two obvious reasons: JFK was an unapologetic liberal (while Putin is a staunch, if not radical conservative), and it’s only those among the conservative right who would ever raise the specter and threat of (presumably) Obama-brand socialism.

Butler on RT
Butler on RT

The head scratching quote was written by Phil Butler, editor-in-chief of Everything-PR.com and a regular ‘policy and public relations analyst’ for RT. The article in question was published in their “Op-Edge” section (which one can only assume is for op-eds…but, you know, edgier). For good measure, we should also point out that Mr. Butler is an MH17 truther.

The JFK comparison was not the only oddity put out by RT today, with Butler describing what can only be assumed as a continuation of his alternate bizarro reality, one where NATO expansion was designed to prevent a brain drain at gunpoint of western dissidents pining for greener pastures in Russia.

“If Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev’s erecting the Berlin Wall was to keep the best and brightest in the Soviet Union, then NATO militarism’s spread can easily be seen keeping citizens within the western fold. Let’s face it, it’s impossible to defect from the western alliance once your military is solidly encamped.”

Included are also a number factual missteps, such as the myth of aggressive NATO “expansion” (disproven), Reagan’s alleged broken promise not to all countries to join NATO (also disproven), and the following gem:

“Russia led by Putin owes nobody and seems ready to emerge as the world’s dominant economic force right along with China.”

While it’s refreshing to see RT paint Moscow as the villain for once, maybe waxing poetic on Putin has its logical limits.

How fake far-right “observers” entered Donetsk from Russia

International fake observers of the fake elections in the Donbas arrived in Moscow on the 31st of October and checked in to the 5-star Metropol Hotel. They had a late dinner at the hotel restaurant and some of them went for a walk to the Red Square:

Those “observers” who would go illegally to Eastern Ukraine, took a morning flight from Moscow to Rostov-on-Don on the 1st of November and then travelled by bus from there to the Russian town of Kuybyshevo, right on the Russia-Ukraine border.

Those "observers" who would go illegally to Eastern Ukraine, took a morning flight from Moscow to Rostov-on-Don on the 1st of November and then travelled by bus from there to the Russian town of Kuybyshevo, right on the Russia-Ukraine border.
Those “observers” who would go illegally to Eastern Ukraine, took a morning flight from Moscow to Rostov-on-Don on the 1st of November and then travelled by bus from there to the Russian town of Kuybyshevo, right on the Russia-Ukraine border.
The "observers" arriving to the Russia-Ukraine border in Kuybyshevo
The “observers” arriving to the Russia-Ukraine border in Kuybyshevo

At the border, (pro-)Russian extremists put armed escorts into the buses of “observers” and then they crossed the border. None of them passed any official Ukrainian border control.

(Pro-)Russian extremists' armed escort on the way from Kuybyshevo to Donetsk
(Pro-)Russian extremists’ armed escort on the way from Kuybyshevo to Donetsk 

They arrived in Donetsk and checked in to the Ramada Hotel.

International "observers" and terrorists of the "Donetsk People's Republic" at the Ramada Hotel, Donetsk, 1 November 2014
International “observers” and terrorists of the “Donetsk People’s Republic” at the Ramada Hotel, Donetsk, 1 November 2014 

On the same day, the “observers” were introduced to the leadership of the terrorist organisation “Donetsk People’s Republic” and issued with “international observer” cards.

Member of the extreme right Ataka party Georgi Sengalevich's card of an international "observer"
Member of the extreme right Ataka party Georgi Sengalevich’s card of an international “observer”

Some of them met with French/Serbian Eurasianist fighters. Below is Manuel Ochsenreiter, editor of the far right Zuerst! journal (far left), and Dragana Trifkovic, director of the Belgrade Centre of Strategic Research (far right), with French/Serbian Eurasianists fighting against Ukrainians in Eastern Ukraine.

Manuel Ochsenreiter, editor of the far right Zuerst! journal (far left), and Dragana Trifkovic, director of the Belgrade Centre of Strategic Research (far right), with French/Serbian Eurasianists fighting against Ukrainians in Eastern Ukraine
Manuel Ochsenreiter, editor of the far right Zuerst! journal (far left), and Dragana Trifkovic, director of the Belgrade Centre of Strategic Research (far right), with French/Serbian Eurasianists fighting against Ukrainians in Eastern Ukraine

On the 2nd of November, international “observers” began their work of “legitimising” illegal, fake elections held by (pro-)Russian extremists. Not all of them did their work in Ukraine, however. Adrienn Szaniszló of the extreme right Jobbik party, for example, stayed in the Rostov region to observe the “elections” there.

Adrienn Szaniszló (in the centre) at the "polling station" in the Rostov region, Russia, 2 November 2014
Adrienn Szaniszló (in the centre) at the “polling station” in the Rostov region, Russia, 2 November 2014

Bureaucrats denying soldiers injury status

ARTEMIVSK, Ukraine – Bureaucratic stonewalling is hurting the morale of Ukraine’s fighting men and women by denying their rights, injured soldiers have charged. Some are even taking photos of their deployment to prove their involvement to disbelieving officials.

 “The government does nothing for the volunteers,” said a soldier, 25, who was ill and on antibiotics. When his friend was shot and injured by a sniper he couldn’t get status as a casualty of anti-terrorist operations, which affects his ability to get benefits.

His brother, serving in the 95th Brigade, was advised to take photographs as proof of his war service. “The bureaucrats won’t help the men who are fighting,” he said.

Another problem is a lack of rotation. A man with a head wound said “the same people who are here for months get 20 days off and then have to return to the war. This is not fair. Others do not go to the war at all.”

The bed, helmet and kit bag of one of the soldiers alleging some of their officers are betraying them.
The bed, helmet and kit bag of one of the soldiers alleging some of their officers are betraying them.

The three, who refused to give names or be photographed for fear of punishment from the army, spoke to a Canadian journalist and his Ukrainian interpreter who were placed in their room recently at the regional hospital here while traveling with volunteers.

One of them had been injured that afternoon after the turret of a large gun on an armored vehicle swung unexpectedly and struck him, which he attributed to officer error; he bled from the ear and wears a bandage around his head.

This city of 78,000 is about 88 kilometres north of Donetsk, where fighting has raged over control of its airport, despite the Sept. 5th ceasefire. The United Nations Human Rights Office reports that at least 3,517 civilians and Ukrainian soldiers have died in the war since April. Since the ceasefire, 49 Ukrainian army servicemen have been reported killed and 242 wounded.

Normally, soldiers are not allowed to speak to the press unless officers are present.

The soldiers also said that some of their senior officers were selling information about their whereabouts to the enemy, but this could not be confirmed. They said many of their peers have died when shelled by separatists after their coordinates were sold.

One soldier said evidence of this is that on one occasion the men refused to stop as scheduled, and proceeded on. Later, the place they would have been was shelled.

The hospitalized soldiers also said the separatists have superior weapons to their own outdated guns, and this was mentioned in the report by the UN, its sixth about the war: “In a number of areas, Ukrainian armed forces reported being bombarded by the armed groups with advanced weaponry.”

The injured men described the tactics of the separatist rebels who, according to the report, are assisted by 3,000 to 4,000 Russian soldiers: “First they fire their artillery. Then they send tanks and foot soldiers. A new shell comes right down onto the trenches,” and sends shrapnel far and wide, injuring and killing, the head-wound man said.

One of the injured men said that since they lack winter clothing and other equipment, the Ukrainian army may have to shut down operations for the winter. He had to buy most of his own gear, such as body armor and helmet.

The third soldier said: “This is the bad side of the war. A journalist came to film the soldiers but the commander did all the talking. The soldiers did not have a chance to complain….And the media does not want to reveal this information.”

Mr. Bird is a Canadian journalist.

Helping international “observers” see armed men at “polling stations” in the Donbas

Graham Phillips, a controversial British reporter for the Kremlin’s disinformation serviceRussia Today, has interviewed Austrian right-wing politician Ewald Stadler, who is one of the “observers” at “elections” in the Donbas.

According to Stadler, “there is no pressure to the people. Soldiers and people with guns are outside, not inside. Everybody can vote here free”.

OK, so Stadler does not see a man in military fatigues standing behind him. So let’s help Stadler see something else, shall we?

Donbas election
Photo by Novaya Gazeta
armed2
Photo by Oleksiy Matsuka
Donbas election
Photo by RIA Novosti
Donbas election
Photo by Komsomolskaya Pravda
Photo by EPA
Photo by EPA

Right, according to Stadler, there are no armed men “inside” polling stations. This may actually be true: there are no polling stations in the Donbass because there are no elections there.

[hr] Cover photo: AP

Fake monitors “observe” fake elections in Donbas

The “Donetsk People’s Republic” (DNR) and “Luhansk People’s Republic” (LNR), the organizations which are recognized as terrorist by the Ukrainian authorities, will hold “parliamentary elections” on Sunday, 2nd of November, on the territories occupied by them with the help of the Russian army.

These “elections” are widely considered illegal and illegitimate, and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon deplored “the planned holding by armed rebel groups in eastern Ukraine of their own “elections” on 2 November, in breach of the Constitution and national law” adding that “these “elections” will seriously undermine the Minsk Protocol and Memorandum, which need to be urgently implemented in full”.

Nevertheless, the Kremlin is said to be willing to recognize these “elections”, yet again completely dismissing the advice from the UN let alone defying the laws of Ukraine that Russia has invaded in February-March 2014. The DNR/LNR “elections” will not be recognized as legitimate either by the EU or the US that threaten Russia with further sanctions for undermining Ukraine’s independence and sovereignty.

As it happened before, the Kremlin will employ puppet “election monitors” that will “observe” and legitimize the “elections” held by the terrorists. Evidence suggests that two “election monitoring organizations” have been in charge of setting up “election observation mission” for the DNR/LNR: the Eurasian Observatory of Democracy and Elections (EODE) run by Belgian fascist Luc Michel and the European Centre for Geopolitical Analysis (ECGA) run by Polish far right politician Mateusz Piskorski – both have been in the service of the Kremlin’s foreign policy since 2005-2006.

(left to right ) The leader of the DNR terrorists Aleksandr Zakharchenko and Fabrice Beaur (EODE / extreme right Parti communautaire national-européen), 1 November 2014, Donetsk
(left to right ) The leader of the DNR terrorists Aleksandr Zakharchenko and Fabrice Beaur (EODE / extreme right Parti communautaire national-européen), 1 November 2014, Donetsk
(left to right ) The leader of the DNR terrorists Aleksandr Zakharchenko and Mateusz Piskorski, 1 November 2014, Donetsk
(left to right ) The leader of the DNR terrorists Aleksandr Zakharchenko and Mateusz Piskorski, 1 November 2014, Donetsk

At the time of writing, the following names of international “observers” hired by the the EODE and ECGA the can be disclosed:

observer table

As my analysis of the movements of these international “election monitors” shows, they arrived to Donetsk from Moscow via Rostov-on-Don. This means that they have all entered Ukraine illegally, as they did not pass pass the official Ukrainian border control. Thus, they can be all persecuted for the crime of illegal border crossing.

According to Moscow-based journalist Alec Luhn, at the press conference in Donbas, the international “observers” suggested creating the Association for Security and Cooperation in Europe (ASCE), but then Stadler proposed the name “Agency for Security and Cooperation in Europe” (ASCE). The name obviously refers to the Oganisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), an international organization that, in particular, monitors elections in different parts of the world. Since it provides objective and independent monitoring of elections and referenda, the OSCE is hated by the EODE and ECGA, as well as Russian authorities.

However, while constantly vilifying and trying to discredit the OSCE’s observation missions, Russian state-controlled media intentionally present fake “election monitors” as members of the OSCE. For example, in March 2014, Russian TV channel “Rossiya 24” claimed that notorious fascist Michel was “the organizer of the OSCE observation mission” at the illegal “referendum in Ukraine’s Autonomous Republic of Crimea that Russia annexed afterwards.

Belgian fascist Luc Michel, the head of the EODE, in Crimea. The caption reads: "Organiser of the OSCE observation mission in Crimea"
Belgian fascist Luc Michel, the head of the EODE, in Crimea. The caption reads: “Organiser of the OSCE observation mission in Crimea”

This imposturous presentation of Michel to the Russian-speaking audience reveals the high status value of the OSCE even in the generally anti-Western context.

The “elections” planned for the 2nd of November may be a start of a new offensive of the DNR/LNR extremists against the Ukrainian forces. There is a non-zero chance of a false flag operation against either the “observers” or people at “polling stations”. Some of them may be killed by the (pro-)Russian extremists dressed in uniforms of Ukrainian forces to discredit Ukraine and/or divert the international attention from the illegitimate “elections” to the killing(s) of “election observers” or “voters”. The chances are low, but such a development cannot be ruled out.

[hr] Cover photo: The press conference of the international “observers” in Donbas, 1 November 2014. Third from the right is Ewald Stadler. Credit: Alec Luhn