A new country is born: Novorossiya has won its war of independence from Ukraine
Remember when August was considered a 'slow-news month'? Neither do we! Hot on the heels of last week's failed attempt to smear the Russian humanitarian aid convoy as a 'Russian invasion of Ukraine', US-led hysteria reached fever-pitch yesterday when blanket media coverage once again shrieked 'Russian invasion of Ukraine!' Citing 'US intel' about Russian troop movements and Porky-shenko's alleged claim that Russian military had crossed into Ukraine, the US government called - via puppet state Lithuania - an emergency UN Security Council meeting to discuss the "thousands of Russian troops crossing into Ukraine". "10,000" Russian troops in a full-scale ground invasion became "1,000" Russian troops, which became grainy satellite images of dubious quality, which became USA's UN lobbyist for perpetual war, Samantha Power, posting tweets from the UNSC meeting that amounted to 'Russia is a poopy-head'.

The timing reflects the extent to which Kiev has lost military control of the breakaway republics of Donetsk and Lugansk, now called Novorossiya, to say nothing of political influence over the people living there. As a result of this consolidating of the 'reality on the ground', the peace talks between Russia, the EU and other Eurasian partners in Minsk this week, and the upcoming EU Summit in Brussels and NATO's Summit in Cardiff next week, this latest volley of propaganda fired at Russia by the US empire-builders is a sign of their desperation to prevent the inevitable: rapprochement and back-room deals between the EU and Russia.

Aleksandr Zakharchenko
On August 7, Aleksandr Zakharchenko was made Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Donetsk People's Republic, replacing Alexander Borodai (now deputy PM). The man who assumed leadership of the Donbass Militia in April, unifying the rag-tag groups of fighters into a single fighting force, Igor Strelkov, has been replaced by Vladimir Kononov. The leadership in Lugansk has experienced a similar shuffling of personnel. Considering Strelkov's reputation in the region, this came as a shock to many, with rumors of his being seriously wounded in battle. (These rumors have been denied by Novorossiyan sources). But if recent events are any judge, the new leadership has signaled a turning point in the war of independence being fought in the Donbass.

As Zakharchenko and Kononov revealed at their press conference earlier this week (we recommend watching the whole thing, or at least reading the transcript), Donetsk have consolidated their militia into the official armed forces of the DPR, with two tank battalions, two full artillery brigades, two Grad divisions, one mechanized infantry battalion, three infantry brigades and a special purpose assault airborne brigade, including an upgraded communication system, two field hospitals and a maintenance brigade.

On Sunday 24th, they put these forces to use in Amvrosiyevka and Starobeshevo, capturing from Kiev's forces four armored carriers, three infantry fighting vehicles, three anti-tank guns, a self-propelled artillery gun, trucks and an ammunition depot. According to the Donetsk army:
During the counteroffensive, militias inflicted heavy losses on the Ukrainian troops. A total of 750 Ukrainian punitive troops were either killed or wounded. Over 150 Ukrainian troops have voluntarily surrendered to militias overnight.
The reinvigorated assault on Ukrainian troops prompted oligarch president Poro-stinko to cancel his planned trip to Turkey and call for an emergency national security council meeting in Kiev. Poroshenko knows that his government and their 'Anti-Terrorist Operation' (ATO) is hanging by a thread, as is his position as chief warlord in Ukraine. Just ask the people of Donbass what they'd like to tell "the Butcher":

This humiliating defeat comes on the heels of countless similar defeats. The anonymous hacker group CyberBerkut released data on August 16th, apparently from the Ukrainian army, showing that Donetsk and Lugansk captured "79 T-64 tanks, 94 infantry fighting vehicles, 57 armored personnel carriers and 24 Grad multiple launch rockets from June 20 to August 23 during the Ukrainian military's punitive operation." THIS is where the independence forces have acquired their weaponry: from Ukraine. Rather than admit their army is totally inept at fighting the people of Donetsk and Lugansk (preferring to fire Grad missiles from the outskirts of cities or to shell residential areas from military jets), Kiev has been spinning one line of bullshit after another. "It's the Russians!" they shriek. Nope, the Russians aren't shipping tanks and missiles across the border; Kiev is just getting its ass handed to them by the superior tactics of a determined and supremely motivated foe, despite Kiev's greater numbers and weapons. To repeat: there is absolutely no evidence that Russia is shipping arms across the border. Not even a blurry cell-phone photo.

© REUTERS/Maxim ZmeyevThe flag of Novorossiya (New Russia) on display in Lenin Square, Donetsk, July 13, 2014. The flag was chosen among many designs put to vote by citizens in Donetsk and Lugansk. Despite its remarkable similarity with the Southern U.S. Confederate States flag, its creators say it is based on St. Andrew's Cross and a historic Russian naval ensign.
Despite repeated denials by OSCE border monitors, President Putrid-shenko's lies play into the Western narrative, with NATO goon-in-chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen 'confirming' Kiev's complete misrepresentation of facts on the ground, citing, "a major escalation in Russian military involvement in Eastern Ukraine since mid-August, including the use of Russian forces" (no evidence provided), Russian artillery support was used against the Ukrainian armed forces (no evidence provided), and "transfers of large quantities of advanced weapons, including tanks, armored personnel carriers, and artillery to separatist groups in Eastern Ukraine" (no evidence provided). The point needs to be stressed: Fogghy is asking the world to simply take his word for it.

The hubris and sheer audacity of Fogh (and other Foghers like him) is astounding. Just look at what they all said about the humanitarian aid convoy that Russia successfully delivered to residents in Lugansk, people without water electricity, and with very little food. (See Harrison Koehli's previous SOTT Focus: Western propaganda exposed as Russian convoy 'invades' Ukraine with humanitarian aid)

These guys are pathologically persistent, to say the least: they do not give up, no matter how many times their claims are shown to be complete and utter fabrications spun out of whole cloth, pulled out of the air with absolutely no regard for truth or decency. They literally have no shame. It makes our blood boil, but we shouldn't be surprised: psychopaths are pathological liars. They'll stick with the most bald-faced lies, even coming up with new ones when called out on old ones, no matter how many times their bullshit is exposed with facts and proofs to the contrary.
In a vivid illustration of the mendacity of empire, US Amb to the UN Samantha Power, while sitting in on yesterday's UNSC meeting, tweeted the image on top with the comment: "A guide for Russian soldiers who keep getting lost & 'accidentally' entering Ukraine." responded to her tweet with the image above, along with the following comment: "A guide for the US military that keeps 'accidentally' launching illegal wars, invading, occupying and destroying sovereign countries."
All the while NATO continues building up its forces along the Russian border, planning for new bases and infrastructure in the Baltic and Eastern Europe, as well as the "pre-positioning" of supplies and equipment, ostensibly to "counter" Russian aggression. What's really going is this: NATO is using the lie that Russia poses a threat to Europe in order to justify their own build-up of forces along Russia's border -- they're threatening Russia and claiming to be threatened themselves. NATO is violating the Cold War Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with drones and missiles, while accusing Russia of doing the same (again, with no evidence provided).

That said, on the topic of Russians in Novorossiya, as Zakharchenko said in his recent press conference:
If you think that Russia is sending its regular units here, then let me tell you something. If Russia was sending its regular troops, we wouldn't be talking about the battle of Elenovka here. We'd be talking about a battle of Kiev or a possible capture of Lvov.

Now there is a war on our soil for our territory. We have an influx of volunteers from all over the world. Of course, the Russian help would be very desirable, but from a political point of view it is impossible and unrealistic.
As he freely admits, yes, there are Russian volunteers fighting alongside the DPR and LPR. That is no surprise, given the extent of historical, cultural, ethnic, religious, political and economic integration between Russia and Ukraine, but it's worlds apart from the Russian government actually sending troops and hardware across the border. Every conflict of this sort has its foreign advisers and volunteers, as Ukrainian army Colonel-General Vladimir Ruban reminded Ukrainskaya Pravda when confirming that there are no regular Russian forces in Ukraine.

The International Brigades and the rising fascist tide
They came to stand beside the Spanish people
To try and stem the rising fascist tide
Franco's allies were the powerful and wealthy
Frank Ryan's men came from the other side

~ Viva La Quinta Brigada, Christy Moore
People from all over Europe are volunteering to defend Novorossiya from Kiev's genocidal operation: from Spain, France, Serbia, Greece, Italy, Canada, and Poland. They obviously are not being sent by their governments, and their governments cannot be held accountable for their choices. Here's what one of the French volunteers, a former paratrooper and veteran of NATO's war of occupation in Afghanistan had to say:
We support the geopolitical idea of European unity. We are both revolutionaries and traditionalists. We came to Donbass, where civilians are being killed by agents from Kiev. Those who are conducting this terrorist operation in Donbass are the henchmen of the international mafia oligarchs.

You should clearly understand it is the third world war going on. It started in Libya then moved to Syria and now to Donbass. We can see that Russia is one of a small number of countries that challenged and is almost single-handedly fighting international globalism. It is some kind of a Reconquista. We are here to help Russia in this fight.

Do you get paid?

No, we are not here to make money; no one pays us. Moreover, we paid quite a lot to get here.
Coal miners protesting in Donetsk on May 28, 2014 against Kiev's 'anti-terrorist operation'. Their support for - and recruitment in - the Donbass militias generated a huge swing in public support towards full independence from Ukraine.
The similarity to the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War against Franco is striking. Individuals of conscience traveled the globe to fight fascism in Spain just as they are fighting the neo-Nazis from Kiev today in Novorossiya. On the other side of the equation, sadistic mercenaries who have caught a whiff of the pathocratic stench emanating from Kiev are making their way to Ukraine to get a piece of the action, to play 'the most dangerous game', hunting humans for the sick pleasure it brings them. As Dr. Andrew Lobaczewski describes in his must-read book Political Ponerology, when psychopaths achieve power and create a pathocracy, it inevitably turns against its own people, and it creates stark polarities: the true psychopaths flock to zones of conflict, take off their masks, and engage in acts of animal brutality and sadism. By unleashing this psychopathic beast on the civilian population of Novorossiya, Kiev has crossed the line, obliterating any chance it may have had of compromising with the People's Republics.

Another feature of a pathocracy is this: the deliberate use of its troops as cannon fodder, not only to kill the regime's manufactured enemy (in this case, the "terrorists" of Donbass), but also to 'keep busy' and kill off potential rivals who might turn on the regime and remove them from power. There have been countless reports coming out of Ukraine and Novorossiya showing this to be the case: from the use of untrained recruits, minors and seniors, to the murder (by Kiev-aligned forces) of wounded troops, all of which add up to massive casualties, deliberately downplayed by Kiev and not officially reported. (See here, here, here.) Despite the high number of civilian casualties in Novorossiya, the number of dead Ukrainian troops is even higher. Kiev simply tells family members their son is "missing in action". The relatives of those men sent off to die for no good reason are starting to stand up, as you can see in the following video, with protests breaking out at military bases and in major cities like Ivano-Frankovsk, Nikolaev, Lvov and Zhitomir. Just watch the woman confronting the military commander in the street to get a feeling for the outrage stirring in what's left of Ukraine:

Kiev defeated, Novorossiyan independence in sight

This weekend 62 Ukrainian troops crossed the border in Russia's Rostov region to escape the fighting. Over the last few months, over 500 Kiev troops have made this journey, seeking food, refuge and medical assistance. Kiev officially acknowledges at least 1,000 defections from the army. Donetsk officials claim over 200 Kiev troops have surrendered in just the last two days. And Ukrainian soldiers say that 70 soldiers may die in a single day, yet officials report only three to four. This matches a leaked document ("An Accounting of the Losses among the Ukrainian Military, the Militants and the Civilians in the Donetsk and the Lugansk regions for the period from July 9-15, 2014") signed by Arsen Avakov (Kiev Interior Minister) and V. Gritsak (Head of the ATO), from the head of the Ukrainian Security Service, V.O. Nalyvaichenko, to President Poroshenko. Officially, some 720 troops are said to have been killed in the operation so far, yet this document reports 1,600 dead in just one week of fighting.
Ukraine document
  1. Killed in Action: 1600
  2. Wounded in Action: 4723
  3. Tanks: 35
  4. Armoured Battle Vehicles: 96
  5. Artillery: 38
  6. Aircraft: 7
  7. Helicopters: 2
  8. Automobiles: 104
  1. Killed in Action: 48
  2. Wounded in Action: 64
  3. Tanks: 2
  4. Armoured Battle Vehicles: 0
  5. Artillery: 5
  6. Automobiles: 8
  1. Killed: 496
  2. Wounded: 762
Putin has responded to the US-led clamor for Russia to "stop invading Ukraine" by appealing to DNR and LNR forces to create a "humanitarian corridor" for surrounded Kiev forces to travel safely to Russia:
"It is clear the militia has achieved a major success in intercepting Kiev's military operation, which represents a grave danger to the population of Donbass and which has already led to the loss of many lives among peaceful residents," the Russian leader said in a statement.

As a result of the militias' counter-offense, large numbers of Ukrainian troops - many of whom were taking part in Kiev's so-called anti-terrorist operation "against their will" and "just following orders" - have been surrounded, the President added.

"I call on the militia groups to open a humanitarian corridor for Ukrainian service members who have been surrounded, so as to avoid any needless loss of life, giving them the opportunity to leave the combat area unimpeded and reunite with their families, to return them to their mothers, wives and children, and to quickly provide medical assistance to those who were injured in the course of the military operation," Putin said.
In this one brief statement, Putin at once demonstrates that he - unlike his Western counterparts - is sane, merciful, human... and that the Donetsk and Lugansk forces have effectively won their war for independence, fair and square.

Kiev POWs are paraded through downtown Donetsk by the DNR as angry crowds let them know what they think of their deeds. The Western liberal establishment cried 'war crime!' in unison at this 'un-humanitarian' sight, while conveniently forgetting that NATO forces don't even bother with POWs... they just incinerate everyone from the air.
Goodbye Ukraine, Hello Novorossiya

Kiev is heading for a fall -- with not enough gas to heat the country this winter, no economy to speak of, losing the war in the east, dissent among the troops and their relatives at home. Today and yesterday saw the reanimation of protest in the Maidan, only this time people are demanding the resignation of President Poroshenko and his Junta. Don't expect to see any violence surrounding this particular Maidan protest though, there will be no masked men with molotov cocktails, no mysterious snipers shooting at both protestors and police, no ousting of Poroshenko, that only happens when the US State Dept. is directing the drama.

Forget federalization; 'Ukraine', as such, is collapsing. Russia suggested federalization way back in March, when the DNR and LNR held referenda on seceding from Ukraine. The time for that has come and gone. Kiev "crossed the red line" when it launched its ATO to bring about submission by force. A new country has been born in the fires of Western imperialism, only this time it is a result opposite to what was intended! In attacking Russia, Washington's intense efforts to project Western imperial cohesion is weakening - while Russia and Russian allies strengthen - by the day. If we invert what Samantha Power and the Washington Crazies are projecting onto Russia, we see that she is correct: the "mask is coming off"; the empire's mask is coming off to reveal - for ever larger numbers of people - the pathocratic nature of The Beast.