The pact between Donetsk separatists and Ukraine’s richest man

A former leader of Ukraine’s separatists and terrorist organization, the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR), has come forward with information that links the group to a pact forged with Ukrainian billionaire Renat Akhmetov that has so far protected the port-city of Mariupol and his business interests in the region.

According to Alexander Borodai, a Moscow native who was instrumental in both the Russian invasion of Crimea and insurgency in Donetsk, Akhmetov has struck a deal with the DNR that has put him in a “favorable” position.

Akhmetov currently has many enemies in the Kyiv establishment, Borodai explains, namely rival oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky. Ukraine also has a limited number of ports, the largest being in Odesa, which is consequently controlled by Kolomoisky – who he says would never allow Akhmetov to operate there. The only means of exporting goods would then be via Mariupol, the port city said to be the next target of Russian-backed forces.

Mariupol has not been taken by the DNR because of an ongoing agreement between its leadership and Akhmetov. Borodai confesses that DNR forces left the city so “so that he can export products from the occupied territory” and that he has become an oligarch financing the separatist region.

“Therefore, the only option to safely operate business for Akhmetov [is for] Mariupol to remain under the blue and yellow Ukrainian flag.”

The agreement between the two parties stipulates that, in exchange for protection, Akhmetov provide ‘humanitarian aid’ to the DNR and continue to pay the salaries of his employees, “who are nationals of the DNR.”

Borodai also dismissed suggestions that products from occupied eastern Ukraine could just as easily be exported internationally via an intermediary in Russia.

“No one of the Russian oligarchs will take it. Firstly, Russia is full of such products (iron and steel), it has nowhere to go,” and said that importers could easily trace the origin of the goods.

“And even if we did, they need Akhmetov’s salaries and aid, which if cut off would result in famine.”

Ultimately, the Donetsk insurgents can’t count on outside investment and needed a man who already held a vested interest in the region, making Akhmetov the perfect choice. For his part, Akhmetov has been forced to play both sides, fearing he could lose his liquid assets to Kyiv and physical assets to Donetsk, and with one food in each, unable to move.

The war has been an imperial revolution in the name of ‘Great Russia’

In addition, responding to the deteriorating situation in the occupied region, Borodai says that nobody promised the Donbas a “social revolution,” and that the ‘revolution’ in the Donbas is not a social-economic one, but “imperial and national, in the name of Great Russia.”

Recap

Last summer Donetsk militants and local supporters marched on Akhmetov’s Donetsk residence, but held back from raiding the compound after armed men from current DNR leader Alexander Zakharchenko’s Oplot group intervened. Others have called to nationalize his vast properties as penalty for refusing to ‘register’ his businesses and pay ‘taxes’ to the insurgent group.

DNR militia guards Akhmetov's compound

In August, Akhmetov’s Donetskgormash heavy machine factory was converted into a military repair workshop for the DNR. Other property has since fallen under their control. Representatives under Akhmetov have denied operating under the DNR, but factory workers have continued working the floors of the occupied factories.

Akhmetov, Ukraine’s richest man, is often accused of links to organized crime in the country and notoriously bankrolled deposed president Viktor Yanukovych and the Party of Regions. In a 2006 U.S. diplomatic cable, then U.S. Ambassador John Herbst referred to Akhmetov’s Party of Regions as “long a haven for Donetsk-based mobsters” and called Akhmetov the “godfather” of the Donetsk clan. Andrew Wilson, a scholar specializing in Ukrainian politics, categorized Akhmetov as a former ‘enforcer’ and ‘leader’ of  crime boss Akhat Bragin’s “Tatar clan”, and responsible for the use of “mafia methods” to rise to power.

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

Pro-Russian performers in Donetsk make Nazi salutes

Yesterday in Donetsk performers celebrating the 6 month anniversary of the self-declared “Donetsk People’s Republic” took part in a Nazi march while giving a torrent of Hitler salutes. The performers mocked Ukrainians as “Nazis” and “fascists” in Donetsk’s main square, but did so under the flag of “New Russia” while German music played in the background.

Russians enacted a similar, but much more lavish performance during a national broadcast in occupied Sevastopol earlier in the summer.

Russian official fighting in Donetsk admits locals refuse to collaborate, 90% of unit are Russians and "defending Slavs"

Locals are refusing to collaborate with Russian forces as they storm the Donetsk airport, says Communist Party member Alexander Negrabetskikh – a city council deputy and Chechen War veteran from the Russian city of Zlatoustcurrently operating in a terrorist “volunteer” cell in Donetsk.

Negrabetskikh with other soldiers
Negrabetskikh with other soldiers

Now in Ukraine, he is part of a unit involved in storming the Donetsk airport – 90% of which are Russian, half being Siberian and half from the Urals; with the remainder being self-identified Russians from Donetsk. In whole he says 7,500 men are involved in the current battle, which he says would be better handled with smaller, specialist groups. He admits his unit suffered heavy losses while attacking Ukrainian forces defending the airport on Wednesday, saying his men came under heavy shelling.

Negrabetskikh says he is fighting in Ukraine because he is a “Russian patriot” and defending racial Slavs. “I’ll be there to protect brother Slavs and Russian land from the Nazis,” he explained. “If we do not, then sooner or later this fascist abscess would come to us.”

He claims that Ukraine’s forces are replete “Poles and Germans,” a conspiracy which Poland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has dismissed. Russian media has loudly implicated Poland in other conspiracies on national television.

The reason for his unit being almost entirely foreign with little actual Donetsk citizens is that support for the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) is low, he concedes, a sentiment previously echoed by Russian terrorist leader Igor Girkin. In Negrabetskikh’s words, he was shocked at how few locals would collaborate with Russians to “protect” their land, or in other words, join the DNR. “They go to Russia, and we come here!” he exclaimed.

Ultimately, many he talked to simply care about pensions, not allegiances. Ukraine’s government has stated that public sector salaries and pensions will not be disbursed in occupied territory, while DNR officials have said salaries and pensions are being paid on time, without indicating where the vast funding was coming from.

SBU: Wiretap proves terrorists possessed ‘Buk’ missile launcher

In response to Ukrainian allegations that pro-Russian terrorists had shot down the Malaysian Boeing they denied possession of weapons capable of doing it. However, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has published an intercept of the terrorists discussing in great detail a BUK-M surface-to-air system, another “gift” from Russia, capable of downing targets like #MH17.

Video with English Subtitles

Security service of Ukraine has investigated the circumstances of the July 17 terrorist act that took about 300 people dead. The data obtained indicates that the Boeing-777 plane was shot down by Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) terrorists using a surface-to-air missile complex Buk-M brought in from Russia. On July 14 the first information appeared on the terrorists possessing a Buk SAM complex capable of intercepting airborne targets at significant heights. However, the information of the Buk being in Ukrainian territory could not be confirmed back then.

The following is a transcript of the intercept between prominent pro-Russian terrorist leaders:

Oleg – Oleg Bugrov, Luhansk Republic chief of staff, deputy defense minister
Orion – Russian citizen, Main Intelligence Directorate officer probably called Andrey Ivanovich

Oleg: The plane bombed the settlement. It missed.
Orion: Awesome. That’s revenge for the planes we’ve downed today, but that will end in a couple of days.
Orion: We already have a f***ing Buk, we’ll shoot them down.

In the morning of July 17, 2014, the day of the tragedy, counterintelligence obtained trustworthy information of the DPR terrorists obtaining at least one Buk-M unit with a crew transferred across the Russian border near the town of Sukhodolsk around 1:00 AM.

Around 9:00 AM the complex reached the city of Donetsk and later was transported to the settlement of Pervomaiskyi.

Khmuryi – Sergey Nikolayevich Petrovskyi, 1964, Russian Main Inteligence Directorate, Igor Girkin (Strelkov’s) deputy on intelligence, was in Donetsk during the intercept
Buryat -DNR terrorist (name being investigated)
Sanych
-DNR terrorist, Khmuryi’s deputy

Khmuryi: Buryat, I hear you, go ahead.
Buryat: Where do we load this beauty?
Khmuryi: Which one? That one?
Buryat: Right, the one I’ve brought. I’m already in Donetsk.
Khmuryi: Is it the one I’m thinking about? The “B”… “M” one?
Buryat: Right. The Buk.
Khmuryi: Is it on a tow car?
Buryat: Yeah. It has to be unloaded and hid somewhere.
Khmuryi: Does it have a crew?
Buryat: Right. IT HAS.
Khmuryi: You don’t have to hide it anywhere, it’ll go there now.
Khmuryi: Have you brought one or two?
Buryat: Just one. There was a mishap there. They did not transfer our tow car. They unloaded it and it went here self-propelled.
Khmuryi: So did it come self-proppelled or on a tow car?
Buryat: it crossed the “stripe” (the border) self-proppelled.
Khmuryi: I see, and now you’ve brought it on a tow truck… Don’t take it anywhere… I’ll tell where it should go now, it will go together with Vostok batallion’s tanks.
Khmuryi: Sanych, you know… My Buk-M will go with your guys, it’s on a tow, where do I get it to put it into the column?
Sanych: Next to the “Motel”, right before Gornostayevka.
Khmuryi: Right after the motel, right?
Khmuryi: Listen closely: call Bibliotekar. You’ll see you know what right after the motel ring.
Khmuryi: Take only those who came back, whoever you need to guard it. Leave the others here. When you get there, Pervomaiskoye will be close, look at the map.
DNR terrorist: Got it.
Khmuryi: Set up around there, pull out those you have left. You’ll be in reserve. And guarding the thing you’re about to drive. Gyurza will be there too. Call me if you need anything.
DNR Terrorist: Ok.

It should be noted that on July, 17, apart from the Buk-M, DNR got three Hvozdyka howitzers from Russia. The terrorists also don’t hide their knowledge of artillery strikes at Ukrainian forces from Russian territory.

Khmuryi: Hello, Botsman. I hear you. Well, we aren’t doing good, we are near Marinovka right now and it isn’t too good there. But we’re holding our ground.
Botsman: Why is it so bad?
Khmuryi: Well, what do you think? We are under Grad fire, we’ve only got a breather now. We’ve also downed a Su-25 fighter-bomber. We’ve got a Buk-M now.
Khmuryi: They are trying to escape Zelenopolye and they can only go through me. Downed two Su-25’s yesterday and another one today.
Khmuryi: Thank god we got a Buk-M in the morning. It got easier. But it’s still quite hard.
Botsman: What can I say? If you need anything, call me, I’ll be right there.
Khmuryi: Thanks, brother. In a couple of hours I’m heading to Donetsk, looks like we got a breather after all. Three Hvozdyka howitzers waiting for me there. I’ll tow the Hvozdykas here because it’s really quite tough here.
Botsman: Listen, should we shell them with a Grad?
Khmuryi: You see, we’ve got a Grad, but no spotter. However, we’re waiting for Russia to shell them from the other side.