Monday, November 23, 2015

Donetsk News & Beyond: November 21-22 2015

Sunday, November 22, 2015

(Updated throughout the day)

slavnov22wCrimea blackout: unidentified persons blow up electricity towers; state of emergency declared / Translated for Fort Russ by J. Arnoldski / Fort Russ / November 22, 2015 / Authorities of the Republic of Crimea have adopted a decision on the imposition of a state of emergency following the blackout on the peninsula. As was reported earlier, unidentified persons blew up remaining energy transmission poles which supplied electricity to Crimea. According to the latest information, electricity has been partially restored in Simferopol. The head of Crimea’s Ministry for Emergency Situations information department, Vladimir Ivanov, reported to RIA Novosti that “A state of emergency has been introduced in connection with the total termination of Crimea’s electric power supply from Ukraine.” Earlier, information appeared that unidentified persons blew up two power transmission towers which powered Crimea’s electricity. Residential areas of the republic have experienced a total blackout. “Important infrastructural and social facilities in Crimea are being connected to emergency power supplies. In particular, we are talking about social facilities such as the operating facilities of hospitals,” Ivanov said. According to him, generators will allow a partial supply of power to some areas of Crimea, particularly in Simferopol, where there are mobile connections. We recall that the first two electricity towers which supplied energy to the peninsula were blown up by unknown persons on November 20. Later, the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation reported that Ukraine has promised to restore damaged lines. Also, in connection with the situation, operational headquarters for supplying electricity to Crimea have been created in Russia. Quemado Institute comments: This was an obvious vulnerability. Why didn’t Russia start building power lines to Crimea in April 2014?

Russia ceases coal deliveries to Ukraine in response to Crimea blackout / Fort Russ / November 22, 2015 / Russia has ceased coal shipments to Ukraine in response to the restriction of the electricity supply to Crimea. This was stated by deputy of the Verkhovna Rada, Mustafa Dzemilev, after a meeting with Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko. “I will tell you honestly – and I spoke about this with the president – that a very difficult situation has developed. In connection with the termination of electricity, now Russia has stopped deliveries of anthracite, which means that seven power stations in Ukraine will cease work,” Dzhemilev said. On November 22, Crimea experienced a total blackout as a result of the ceasing of the power supply from Ukraine. A state of emergency has been declared on the peninsula. Earlier on Sunday, the head of Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs department on combatting drug-related crimes, Ilya Kiva, reported the explosion of electricity transmission poles which supplied Crimea. A supporter of the unrecognized [by Russia] Crimean-Tatar Mejilis, Osman Pashaev, stated that this was caused by the damage to the first two transmitters.

Ukrenergo: accident at the power lines feeding the Crimea dangerous for the NPP in Ukraine / Novorossia Information Agency / Autotranslation / November 22, 2015 / Damage to the power line poles in the Kherson region, which feed the Crimea and southern regions of Ukraine, dangerous for Ukrainian nuclear power plants. This was at the briefing said the first deputy director of “Ukrenergo” Yuri Kasich. “All of these events have led to the need for shedding of nuclear power plants in Ukraine to 500 MW. It Zaporizhzhya NPP and South-Ukrainian. I note that such emergency unloading of nuclear power – it is very dangerous, “- he said. Kasich also said that the damage to power lines that feed the Crimea, could lead to new power outage in consumers in Kherson and Mykolaiv regions. According to him, off another item on the substation “Kakhovskaya” can lead to a cascade of the accident. Electricity is supplied to the Crimea on the four high-voltage power lines: Melitopol – Dzhankoy, Kakhovskaya – Dzhankoy, Kakhovskaya – Ostrovsky, Kakhovka – Titan. On Friday, in the Kherson region have been undermined by an electricity pylon, which deliver light to the Crimea and southern regions of Ukraine. On the same day it became known that two of the four lines were de-energized, on Sunday night and the remaining two transmission lines are out of order. As a result, almost the entire peninsula was de-energized. In addition to the repair crews arrived to Crimea blockade activists who want to prevent the resumption of full deliveries of electricity to the peninsula.

slavnov22vThe Crimean Energy Blockade: What You Need to Know / Sputnik News / November 22, 2015 / On Saturday, Ukrainian police said that power lines in southern Ukraine supplying the Crimean peninsula with electricity were blown up by activists from the group which launched the unsuccessful, Kiev-sanctioned ‘food blockade’ of the peninsula in September. Sputnik brings you up to speed on the energy blockade and its potential consequences. On Friday night, two of the four electricity transmission lines in the southern Ukrainian region of Kherson supplying power to Crimea were destroyed, with the remaining two blown up on Saturday night. As a result, beginning Saturday, 1.9 million of the peninsula’s 2.3 million residents were left without power, with authorities introducing a state of emergency. Over 100 brigades armed with over 500 diesel generators have been dispatched to ensure the provision of power to socially important facilities, with authorities setting up an emergency schedule for the supply of electricity and water to areas hit by the outage. Energy-saving measures include shutting off street lights and limiting the operation of entertainment venues until 10 o’clock at night. Schools and businesses will also be closed Monday to save on electricity, a statement published on the Crimean government’s website reads. Officials from Ukraine’s state energy company Ukrenergo initially announced that they would try to repair the lines within 3-4 days. However, repair crews arriving to repair the lines have since been met by activists attempting to prevent them from carrying out their work. Ukrenergo press secretary Zinovy Butso told 112 Ukraina TV channel that the activists would not allow the workers to get down to work “in the coming days.” The ‘activists’, believed to be from the same group which unsuccessfully sought to create a food blockade of the peninsula in September, appear to have shifted tactics, and are now looking to prevent the resumption of energy deliveries to the peninsula. Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs has since opened four criminal cases in connection with the destruction of the power lines, a police spokesman in the Kherson Region explaining that the charges include one count of a deliberate attempt to damage power facilities, two of causing bodily harm to the police, and a fourth count for deliberately obstructing the work of local journalists. Officials from Ukrenergo had earlier told reporters that a single 330 kW line could be restored in one day, capable of delivering 500-550 megawatts to the peninsula, thus ensuring a minimum level of power. A second line, according to the company, could be restored within 2-4 days. Now things appear to depend on the protesters blocking engineers from fixing the lines. At the moment, the Crimean peninsula relies on four major power lines from Ukraine for much of its electricity. These include the Melitopol-Dzhankoy line (330 kW), the Kakhovskaya-Dzhankoy line (300kW), the Kakhovskaya-Ostrovskaya line (330 kW) and the Kakhovka-Titan line (220 kW). Ukrenergo emphasized that the downing of the lines to Crimea have affected the supply of power to Ukraine’s own southern regions, including Kherson and Mykolaiv. The situation is apparently so bad, Ukrenergo Deputy Director General Yuri Kasich said Sunday, that the shutdown of just one more element at the Kakhovskaya substation could have a “cascade effect,” leaving up to half of the Kherson and Mykolaiv regions without power. “I want to emphasize that the unified energy system of Ukraine is constructed in such a way that it is impossible to separate individual areas, regions or localities, and that, accordingly, any failure in the energy network, in the west or the east, can be connected,” affecting the rest of the system, Kasich noted, speaking to reporters. Meanwhile, Ukrainian energy officials have formally rejected offers for assistance from the Russian energy ministry, assuring their colleagues that the situation was under control, a source in the Russian energy ministry told RIA Novosti. Speaking to reporters on the consequences of Kiev’s apparent inability to keep its power transmission lines linked to Crimea secure, Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov noted that if Ukrainian energy companies really “believe that they do not need our market, they will lose it forever, the same as happened with food,” RIA Novosti reports. The prime minister emphasized that the present situation has only accentuated the importance of the energy bridge being built to Crimea from the Krasnodar Region, set to come online later this year. The bridge will effectively end the peninsula’s energy isolation, connecting it to the country’s united energy network. For his part, Sevastopol Governor Sergei Menyailo urged city residents to remain calm, while promising that authorities would control electricity prices for the duration of the emergency. He added that he understood perfectly well that “if a normal situation existed in the [country] from which we were cut off, such an emergency could be dealt with in a day or two.” Sevastopol’s own cogeneration plant and two mobile stations have been providing the city with electricity at 40% of its total need, with supplies directed first and foremost to social facilities, critical infrastructure, as well as heat and light to the city, its water supply and other utility networks. Franz Klintsevich, Russian senator and First Deputy Chairmen of the Committee on Defense and Security, offered a much harsher assessment of the situation, suggesting that this artificial blackout of Crimea is an act of terrorism, and a demonstration that Kiev authorities are either incapable of controlling the situation, or on the contrary, have provoked it themselves. “It was not a secret to anyone that Ukrainian nationalists would not limit themselves to a food blockade, and that they would try to supplement their effort with an energy blockade. In fact, they had repeatedly stated as much themselves,” Klintsevich noted. The senator added that “the blasts blowing up the power lines in the Kherson region near the border with Crimea have left virtually the entire peninsula without power. This is an act of terrorism.” Unfortunately, the politician suggested that a real search for the culprits should not be expected from Ukrainian authorities. Meanwhile, Crimean Prosecutor Natalya Poklonskaya suggested that Russian authorities could launch a criminal case in connection with the downed power lines, pending an interagency meeting of security officials to be held Monday. Back in September, following rhetoric from the blockade activists that they would cut off electricity supplies, Crimean First Deputy Prime Minister Mikhail Sheremet said that such a blockade would trigger retaliatory measures for Ukraine. Most, if not all of the electricity delivered to Crimea through Ukraine comes from Russia, with Ukrainian territory used as a transit point. [Tweets, photos, additional articles available at source.]

slavnov22uUncontrolled Ukrainian fighters started violating the ceasefire regime on a new scale / Novorossia Today / November 23, 2015 / Ukrainian fighters violated the ceasefire 14 times for the last 24 hours. They shelled the Donetsk People’s Republic with the use of different types of armament. It was reported to DAN by the Defence Ministry. ‘The situation in the DPR has aggravation tendency. Ukrainian criminals violated the ceasefire 14 times’, it was announced in the Defence Ministry on 22ns November in the morning. In regard to the date of the Defence Department, village Staromihaylovka occurred at the fire, close to it Petrovskiy district was also subjected to fire. Airport territory and joint to it villages as Spartak, Zhabun’ki were targeted by Ukrainian nationalistic battalions. Areas of Gorlovka were also shelled. Ukrainian forces used artillery, mortars, infantry combat vehicles and small arms’. The military information is being updated, due to the preliminary information is know that Petrovskiy district, village Alexandrovka, Spartak were shelled by Kiev fighters during the day on 22nd November.

Pete John on Twitter
November 22, 2015 19:00 UTC
(Click to enlarge.)

slavnov22sRenewed Military Escalation? Sizeable Ukraine Troop Movements Near Border with Novorossiya / Global Research / November 22, 2015 / After several weeks of apparent troop withdrawals and drawdowns, there are once again ominous military developments in Ukraine which might herald either preparations for a renewed saber-rattling to draw attention back to Ukraine following the Paris terror attacks which have led to the intensification of the Russian air campaign against ISIS and prompted the French president Hollande to seek to improve his country’s relations with Russia. This situation gives Poroshenko a considerable incentive to attempt to escalate the conflict in order to prevent a Franco-Russian improvement in relations. There are reports that Ukraine will ban males 45 years old and younger from leaving Ukraine starting in January 1, 2016 in preparation for the 7th wave of mobilization. There are also reports that Ukraine is no longer releasing individuals mobilized under previous waves of mobilization whose term of service has expired. Likewise contract soldiers who have been signed up for 6-month terms of service are not being released from service. The atmosphere of war hysteria is being kept up by Ukrainian officials with Aleksandr Turchinov in the lead are claiming that Ukraine’s top 2016 priority will be its air defenses, due to the demonstrated Russian air capabilities over Syria. The UAF has stepped up demonstrative operations near the border with Russia in the Crimea, ostensibly to “rehearse defending the border against Russian invasion”. There are also reports of sizable Ukrainian troop movements near the border with Novorossia, which raises the possibility the earlier troop withdrawals were simply part of a major regrouping of UAF forces, possibly in preparation for a renewed offensive. Ukraine has also taken receipt of two US Firefinder counter-battery radars, which were delivered to Lvov. US instructors have begun training Ukrainian soldiers in their operation. Still, would the junta really want to risk an escalation under these conditions? UAF units’ morale remains at rock bottom, with most of their casualties coming from “non-combat” incidents which are usually alcohol and even drug-related, like the recent deaths of four mechanized brigade soldiers who have just returned from a training exercise and were killed in a drunken shoot-out. Ukraine’s defense industry is continuing its downward spiral, with the Motor Sich, a key engine manufacturer, being reduced to making…meatgrinders. Which is a curious metaphor for the current state of Ukraine… However, whether or not Ukraine decides to start another round of fighting, one thing is certain: Russia Is Watching. [Original source: South Front]

VIDEO: VPE Special, Donetsk – “Save the peace!” (English subtitles) / LiveLeak / November 22, 2015 / [An on-site interview with a local resident who survived the shelling last January and February, though her next door neighbor died. Her cat was in the house during the shelling, but lived because it was hidden. She urges the world to maintain the peace in Donbass, and to not start the war again, as the people will suffer. For video, click here. –Quemado Institute editor]

Wolfgang Gehrcke, Andrej Hunko (--DAN)
Wolfgang Gehrcke, Andrej Hunko near Donetsk (–DAN)
Kiev Blasts German Legislators for Donbass Humanitarian Mission / Sputnik / November 22, 2015 / German legislators are under fire from Ukraine’s government after visiting the country’s war-stricken Donbass region to deliver humanitarian aid to a children’s hospital. Legislators from Germany’s parliament said that they were shocked after visiting the town of Gorlovka in Ukraine’s war-stricken Donbass region. The legislators visited the town of Gorlovka, said to have been pounded by Ukrainian artillery for months in its war against local independence supporters. They brought humanitarian aid for the Gorlovka children’s hospital and talked to officials of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic. “I have not seen images like that before my eyes before. After visiting these places, I can barely sleep at night,” legislator Andrej Hunko said. The legislators initially attempted to send a humanitarian aid mission to the region through Kiev, but were forced to enter through Russia after Ukraine’s government refused them entry. Ukraine’s government condemned the German legislators’ visit, calling it a “deliberate act of disrespect to the Ukrainian state.” “I did not think that war would come to Europe. It is not needed, it must be stopped. After returning home, we will demand that Germany assists in every possible way in bringing about an end to this war, as well as develops relations with Russia,” legislator Wolfgang Gehrcke said. Hunko told Germany’s Die Welt newspaper that he attempted to organize the humanitarian mission in cooperation with the Ukrainian government, but his requests were denied.

Petro Poroshenko (--Fort Russ)
Petro Poroshenko (–Fort Russ)
Do you really want Donbass back? Ukraine violates 1st, 5th, 6th, 8th, and 11th Minsk points / Translated for Fort Russ by J. Arnoldski / Fort Russ / November 22, 2015 / “Why are the Minsk Agreements not working?” Why do relations between to people come to a standstill? Practical psychology shows that any misunderstanding can be solved if such is desired. But if a desire to listen to one another is absent, then it is impossible to establish normal dialogue and relationships disintegrate. Oddly enough, the rules of inter-human interaction, with minimal amendments, can be applied to relations between states. Not long ago, a well-known Ukrainian volunteer, Aleskey Mochanov, visited Donetsk. This visit, it must be said, contributed more than a little to “opening his eyes.” Aleksey Mochanov discovered that Donbass is not home to Buryat militants, but ordinary people for whom Donbass is home and who have already lived under UAF shelling for more than a year. He also discovered that people don’t want to have anything to do with the current Ukrainian government. Mochanov has now put a very interesting question before Ukrainian society. He writes: “I have a serious question for everyone: when everyone among us says that we want to return Donbass and see it as part of Ukraine, what do you have in mind? Return the people of Donbass? Or return the territory? This, after all, is not the same thing. Judging by writers and commentators, the people of Donbass are liked and needed by few. No one believes that they will become Ukrainians in light . . . MORE>> Click here.

slavnov22y“I fled to the Crimea because I didn’t want to fight” / Translated by Alexander Fedotov / Edited by @GBabeuf / Slavyangrad / November 22, 2015 / Another fugitive from the Ukrainian Army reported that there are more and more rumours in military units of the UAF about an imminent resumption of large-scale military action against the Donbass republics. The staff of the Crimean Border Guard service detained a soldier of the 28th Mechanised Brigade of Nikolayev near the Perekop checkpoint. The colourful character could barely stand on his feet, and was covered in cuts and bruises. In addition, he reeked of alcohol. “Dressed in Ukrainian Army camouflage, the detainee had no documents proving his identity. He was in a state of alcoholic intoxication, and had multiple bruises on his face,” the border guards said. “The soldier explained his decision to desert by the fact that he does not wish to participate in the armed conflict in the Donbass. Allegedly, he said as much to his company commander, after which he was beaten by the officer of the brigade.” The fugitive said that he voluntarily left the unit on November 2, when preparations . . . MORE>> Click here.

slavnov22zThe one “tragic flaw” of the Donbass uprising–the first national uprising against the oligarchic counter-revolution, which has been raging in the East for more than 30 years / Vladimir Suchan / Logos Politicos / November 12 2015 / El Murid shared on his blog and FB page an excerpt from his forthcoming book. His main thesis is that, in reaction and response to the seizure of power and regime change in Ukraine, which brought together Western geopolitics, its long strategy, oligarchs and fascism, the south-east of Ukraine spontaneously attempted a people’s uprising and revolution (hence also the otherwise seemingly oddly named “people’s republics”). However, this uprising was or is now defeated, El Murid observes and then lists or singles out the following reasons or causes of this first major anti-liberal and anti-oligarchic people’s uprising in Russia and in the whole former East (October of 1993 in Moscow was more of a coup and anti-coup struggle than any broader uprising): 1. the lack of formulated, clear political goals, programs, and strategy; 2. to this, I would add, also the lack of any proper political organization of the uprising (the role of Boroday was to make sure that none of this would happen in the first place; and speaking of the post-perestroika . . . MORE>> Click here.

Graham Phillips Exclusive: Mikael Skillt Interview / The Truthspeaker / November 22, 2015 / Mikael Skillt, he likely needs no introduction. Do a google. Interview conducted just a few minutes ago via Twitter. GP: You told me you were contacted by someone I knew in Odessa who gave you my home address there, clearly wanting you to do something with it. Given that we are ‘on different sides’, why haven’t you? MS: Im no assassin, so if someone wants you dead, he/she can pull the trigger. GP: You’ve left Azov – what’s the story there? MS: Im going into politics and Azov is growing and doing well even without me. But if there is war . . . MORE>> Click here.
slavnov22kUkrainian nationalist leader: “ISIS is our ally in the struggle against Russia” / Novorossia Today / November 21, 2015 / A Ukrainian nationalist, leader of the “Brotherhood,” Dmitry Korchinsky proposed to offer asylum to ISIS terrorists in Kiev, the former head of UNA-UNSO [Ukrainian National Assembly – Ukrainian People’s Self-defense] wrote on his social network page. According to Korchinsky, SSU (Security Service of Ukraine) must see ISIS as “allies in the struggle with Russia.” “At the G20 summit leaders of Western countries were talking to the Moscow terrorist, like he’s a human, asking him to bomb ISIS positions. That is, their attitude towards the terrorists is pragmatic. Ukrainian security services also has to be pragmatic, and therefore, effective. It is not our business to arrest the enemies of Moscow – Islamists. We should only ask them to shoot accurately at Moscow’s terrorists in the Caucasus and in Syria. Unfortunately, security service sometimes arrests or deports recruiters-Caucasians who come from Syria to Moscovia [Russia] for their association with ISIS. It is not wise. Why should Ukraine quarrel with Islam? Mrs. Gitlyanskaya, the press secretary of the USS (Security Service of Ukraine) regularly reports about the progress of the SBU in the fight against “terrorist organization Al-Nusra Front”, instead of targeting Moscow agents. Why should Ukraine worry about the revolution of the poor in the Islamic World? Why should we pick a side of the barricades? At the moment, the oppressed peoples of the former Soviet Empire, and the proletarian peoples of the Near and Middle East are our only viable allies in the war against Moscow imperialism. We must act in accordance with our own interests. “Anyone who fights for the liberation of his people from the imperialist yoke of Moscow should have the right to asylum in Kiev,” – said Korchinskiy.

G20, Turkey, Nov 16, 2015 (
G20, Antalya Turkey, Nov 16, 2015 (–
Western leaders agreed to extend Russia sanctions by six months / Novorossia Today / November 23, 2015 / Western leaders who met on the margins of last week’s Group of 20 summit in Turkey agreed to extend sanctions imposed on Russia for its intervention in Ukraine by six months until July of next year, a senior European diplomat told Reuters. The decision was taken despite mounting calls to cooperate more closely with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the fight against Islamic State following the militant group’s November 13 attacks in Paris which killed 130 people, Reuters wrote. U.S. President Barack Obama, Germany’s Angela Merkel, Britain’s David Cameron, Italy’s Matteo Renzi and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who represented President Francois Hollande at the summit, attended the brief meeting near the conclusion of the G20 meeting in Antalya. The sanctions are due to expire in January, before full implementation of the so-called Minsk peace deal, which aims to resolve the standoff between Kiev and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. Western countries have said all elements of Minsk need to be fulfilled before they can consider easing the sanctions. In particular, the diplomat said, the leaders had concluded that it was important to maintain pressure on Russia ahead of planned elections in Donbass. “The elections in Ukraine are heavy lifting,” the diplomat said, requesting anonymity because the agreement in Antalya was confidential. “We only have a chance to get what we want if we play the sanctions card. Financial sanctions need to stay in place until the bitter end,” the diplomat added.
Donetsk International Festival
“World Ballet Stars”

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