Comment: This piece provides a good overview of the latest developments in Ukraine: the success of the Novorossiya Armed Forces, the defeats suffered by the Ukrainian Army, and the psychological operations put into effect to save face and provide the necessary 'interpretation' to the victims of mainstream media. Be sure to see our analysis of some of the same topics:
Ukraine on verge of collapse as Kiev forces capitulate: U.S. 'catapults the propaganda' with another desperate 'Russian invasion' ploy
The Ukrainian civil war saw yet another decisive turn of events this week as the NAF (the Novorussiya Armed Forces) went on the offensive for the first time in the war. The Response by Kiev and the west was to hype up an imaginary Russian invasion. Once again the US State Department, NATO, and the western press made complete fools of themselves. The information war has also seen a decisive turn as well. To use the terminology of the civil war recent days have seen the mainstream media yet again trapped in a cauldron by their own stupidity. Now they will be hammered away at and discredited yet again by articles such as this one. Sites like Vineyard of the Saker and Slavyangrad.org were vindicated in their analysis while media dinosaurs like the New York Times were exposed once again as liars and incompetents. A lone blogger in Crimea writing under the name Colonel Cassad provided better military analysis then professionals like Janes Defense weekly.
In my last article I predicted based on reading the above mentioned sites that the mainstream media which was foolishly predicting the imminent victory of the Ukrainian army was in for a major embarrassment. The Ukraine Junta's latest offensive had resulted in them being trapped yet again in what the NAF call cauldrons (a trapped pocket of the UA army brought to boil by NAF rocket and artillery strikes). Basically the strategy has been for the Ukraine Junta to launch an offensive, the NAF allow them to enter and once they are deep into Novorussiyan territory they are surrounded, their supplies cut off and they are shelled day after day by distant artillery. The new offensive resulted in the Ukrainian army trapped yet again in a number of different pockets. After months of catastrophic losses the Ukrainian forces no longer had the troops to properly defend their territory. The NAF seized the opportunity to go on the offensive, outflanking and surrounding the forces committed to the assault on Iloviask. Then it launched an attack south and west towards Mauripol which they have since surrounded. Kiev Forces panicked and fled in abject terror. It was this dramatic turn of events which led to the story of a Russian invasion.
Since Kiev and western media had been busy turning truth on its head, how could they explain this sudden reversal? They had been promising victory and the collapse of Novorossiya. Now for the first time Novorossiya was recapturing territory lost months before. In paranoid fascist Kiev people believe that they are being actively betrayed and that their generals are secretly paid by the Russians to intentionally send their troops to their deaths. Actually, in the notoriously corrupt Ukraine this might be possible. After all, the US and NATO frequently bribe generals into betraying their country; many an Iraqi and Libyan general was rewarded with suitcases of cash and safe passage to western Europe or the US. To sort out what is truly going on behind the scenes will take years. War breeds chaos, paranoia, madness. Wild rumors proliferate since no one can trust official information which is invariably mere war propaganda.
Just as in Iraq, Americans were told day after that victory was "just around the corner" if we stayed the course. Ukrainians have been lied to in the same Orwellian manner. They are also paradoxically told that they are battling not the people of South Eastern Ukraine but the Russian Army. The two are completely contradictory; Russia is undoubtedly the second greatest military power in the world. In the Georgia war they managed to beat the Georgian army in hours. Georgia had been receiving massive supplies and training from the US and NATO for years, unlike Ukraine which is has been using mass mobilization to rebuild its army, which was in a sorry state since at the start of the war. My point is that if Russia launched an invasion of its regular army it would be preceded by a barrage of missiles and airstrikes and could conquer Ukraine in a day. It would not look like the modest offensive aimed at liberating Mauripol which sparked the Hysteria of a Russian invasion. If the Kiev forces were battling a Russian invasion rather than the local population the war would already be over.
It's becoming a familiar pattern in world affairs that I've already remarked upon several times before. Whenever one of America's enemies manages to achieve a decisive victory, what is known as a "psychological operation" is launched. In Syria for example decisive victories by the Syrian army were followed by chemical weapons attacks by the rebels and attempts to blame the Assad regime. Last month in Ukraine after a massive southern cauldron of trapped UA (Ukrainian Army forces) was formed. MH17 was blown out of the sky by Kiev. One month later the lies advanced by the Obama administration, the media and Kiev about MH17 have been debunked while increasing evidence piles up against Kiev, the question of who shot the plane down is now ignored.
Comment: See also Joe Quinn's MH 17 Who Dunnit? Western Media Silent on the Evidence
Now in Retaliation for the latest NAF victories yet another psychological operation was launched, this time a mass media campaign accusing Russia of invading. Poroshenko started it by claiming that a massive Russian force had crossed the border. Embarrassingly the New York Times published a sensationalized account that they quickly retracted claiming a massive force of artillery, tanks, and anti-aircraft vehicles had crossed the border. However they quickly issued a new version that used the same hyperbolic tone but instead alleged that a mere 5 APCs had crossed the border. Below I'll address the Issue of the border and Russian aid to the rebels. For now I'll just say that these APCs, if they existed, are hardly an invasion. Earlier in the week a lone Russian APC was captured under extremely mysterious circumstances. Then some extremely dubious satellite photos claiming to show Russian artillery and tanks in Ukraine were released. The photos failed to show the artillery crossing over the border and so are more likely merely NAF artillery, which they have been using to great effect for months. Given that it was only the week before that the west was claiming the Russian aid convoy was secretly an invasion force made up of "military vehicles", i.e. trucks, Western credibility is at an all-time low. The convoy returned to Russia without incident. Russia is already preparing another aid convoy. Apparently none of them have heard the tale of the boy who cried wolf. Embarrassingly the OSCE observers refused to corroborate their claims of a Russian invasion; they monitor the border and denied the whole tale.
Comment: For more on the aid convoy, see our SOTT Focus: Western propaganda exposed as Russian convoy 'invades' Ukraine with humanitarian aid
The timing of this Russian invasion media campaign was not only a response to the military disaster suffered by UA; it was also meant to derail the Minsk peace talks which took place the same week and build hype for the NATO Wales summit scheduled for the following week. Putin had been working on a diplomatic solution with Angela Merkel. Europe already in economic trouble thanks to its austerity policies is now suffering from the economic war with Russia the US pushed them into. In addition the US is constantly trying to extort more money from its European vassals for NATO. Year after year US officials complain that Europe does not live up to its responsibilities and must increase their funding for America's wars. Thus the Russian invasion scare was a response not just to events in Ukraine but an attempt to manipulate Europe's leaders into obeying the US.
Is Russia providing covert support to the rebels? Probably, however Russia knows how to keep its mouth shut, unlike the US which loudly announces that it is participating in a covert war, i.e. Syria, passing bills in Congress and sending senators to pose with terrorists, then when convenient pretending to have nothing to do with it. Russia isn't going to admit anything. The only actual proof would have to be supplied by the US and NATO and for some reason they seem unable or unwilling to provide any. The question misses the real point however. The US and NATO have been quite openly involved at the beginning of the war; CIA director Bremer himself showed up to advise the Junta as I discussed in "Ukraine, Lies and Death." It was massive US and NATO covert involvement that overthrew Yanukovich and placed the ultranationalists and oligarchs in power who provoked the civil war in the first place. This was the second such coup. In other words western covert involvement in the Ukraine goes back decades and as I've discussed in "Nazi's and the CIA", the US has been using fascists to destabilize Ukraine since the 1940's and Ukraine itself owed its existence to decades of prior German interference.
Currently operating in Ukraine, off the top of my head, there have been reports of western mercenaries, Israelis, most numerous are the numbers of Poles, plus you have US and NATO member special forces. In fact while Jen Psaki was spouting false accusation at the UN Security Council against Russia, the Pentagon was issuing a press release on the retirement of Admiral William Mcraven, Commander of Joint Special Operation Command (JSOC); the Pentagon couldn't resist bragging about having special operations forces heavily involved in Eastern Europe. (I only know because I recently followed a bunch of NATO and Pentagon twitter accounts.) No doubt they are involved in both training forces for the Ukrainian civil war plus the secret armies sent by places like Poland and Latvia. In addition they are conducting covert ops in Ukraine. There have already been reports by the NAF that Americans have died. It's all standard practice in America's endless dirty wars. Yes many countries are involved In the Ukraine.
The point is that the US and its allies are supporting a genocidal war against the Russian minority in the South Eastern Ukraine. More then a million have already been forced to flee their homes. Thousands have been killed. Officially around 2000 but these numbers are undoubtedly too low. In western Ukraine many people have been kidnapped and murdered for daring to criticize the regime. A haunting report appeared on Slavyangard from a refugee who returned to discover that the original inhabitants of Slavyansk had largely disappeared and the houses has been given to people from western Ukraine. Kiev won't even release accurate figures on the number of troops they lost let alone those murdered by the government or the fascist paramilitaries. Any Russian aid on the other hand is intended to help the NAF defend the people of Novorossiya against the Kiev regime. At the beginning of the war Putin promised to protect ethnic Russians in Ukraine. Russian aid is his way of keeping this promise without possibly starting World War 3 by direct intervention.
Now lets discuss the question of where the NAF get their arms. This is based on various assertions by Colonel Cassad. Most are looted from the defeated Ukrainian army. The NAF calls them trophies and every victory has increased their supply of equipment like artillery, tanks, and APCs. In fact they have more than they know what to do with and many are idle while new people are trained to operate them. Some are purchased from corrupt Ukrainian commanders. There are also mysterious criminal arms dealers operating in the area that sell to both sides. Plus there are supplies donated by private citizens in Russia who understandably do not want to see their fellow Russians slaughtered in Ukraine and are also proud of the successes achieved by the NAF. Most of the donors are ordinary citizens but supposedly a few Russian oligarchs send aid. In addition there is covert Russian aid. The border since the collapse of the UA attempt to encircle Novorossia from the south is a chaotic place with people crossing back and forth frequently. The NAF have claimed to have over 3000 Russian volunteers in their ranks. Some doubtless are covert military advisers; many are simply courageous people who have gone to help defend the people of Novorossiya. They have trickled in over the months of the war. Thus they hardly constitute an invasion. Currently there are an estimated 15,000 people in the NAF, the vast majority of them ordinary people from the region, miners, workers, schoolteachers. Many of them are women. A small number of people from around the world have gone to Novorossiya to risk their lives in what they see as a fight against fascism. Men and women from Spain, France, Germany and many other places have gone off to fight on behalf of Novorossiya. On the other hand neo-nazis from all over the world are enlisting to aid what they hope will be the rebirth of fascism. Even more shocking are the reports that the UA are charging rich tourists for the opportunity to murder people in what are dubbed Human Safaris.
Yes, in reality the Ukraine situation is already completely chaotic with all sorts of outside forces interfering in the conflict, which was of course started from outside to serve US NATO strategic interests. There are also all sorts of shady criminal elements and crooked businessmen involved. There is covert military support flowing in both from Russia and the West. There are intelligence agencies advising both sides. If you want to sift through the strange world of rumor and scandal I'd suggest the Colonel Cassad blog; even the Ukrainians themselves are confused about what is going on so it is impossible for an outside observer to really guess all that is going on behind the curtains in the Ukraine crisis. Paranoia has long ago set in on both sides of the conflict and there is endless speculation about plots and schemes behind the scenes.
More important is what is right in front of our eyes. Namely the billions of dollars being loaned by the IMF to Ukraine are being used not to salvage its rapidly collapsing economy but is instead being used to make war on its own people. This surely dwarfs whatever covert support Russia may be supplying. NATO's Eastern European members are also funneling men and equipment into the conflict. Thus the NAF remain outgunned and outmanned. Russian aid alone does not explain their recent victories. Instead there is first the fact that they are motivated by the desire to defend their homes. Second because they are undermanned their commanders have been very careful with the lives of their men. Thus many have managed to gain valuable experience in the war. Kiev on the other hand has already sacrificed many of their most experienced units in their endless reckless offensives aimed at crushing Novorossiya before independence day August 24th.
There is no avoiding a tangent here as I must discuss Ukraine's independence day. Poroshenko claimed his troops would be marching in a victory parade on that date through the streets of Donetsk and so partly in mockery, partly as emulation of the march held in Moscow of German prisoners of war before the final offensive that would crush Nazi Germany began, the NAF forced their UA prisoners to parade before the populace. As someone obsessed by classical history I can't help but point out that it was how the Romans celebrated their victories; this is where we get the word triumph. Although the march was a violation of international law which forbids the use of POW's for propaganda purposes, at least they were still physically able to march. Given that they were all involved in a genocidal war on the locals they seemed in fairly good condition. Contrast this with the fate of captured NAF who are shot, hung, or at the very least so severely beaten that they wouldn't have been able to march anywhere. Thus while the march proved a public relations disaster in the west (the New York Times impudently claimed that they were holding an anti-independence march), It was a relatively minor crime compared with all the homes, schools, hospitals, factories, etc., bombed and shelled by the Kiev regime, killing thousands. Only weeks before, the situation had seemed extremely perilous with Donetsk and Lugansk in danger of being cut off from each other and encircled. Thus they can be forgiven this celebration aimed at humiliating Poroshenko. And perhaps I can be forgiven if it made me smile.
To return to my point, Ukraine has lost many experienced men who are replaced with raw recruits who provide easy prey for the NAF. The NAF on the other hand are becoming battle hardened veterans and are clearly doing a good job of training their new volunteers. It's poetic justice the Kiev regime's total disregard for the lives of its people has come back to haunt them. They face a well motivated and experienced enemy. This not a "Russian invasion" is what explains their recent defeats. Meanwhile before the NAF counter offensive began, Poroshenko dissolved his parliament and he faces mass protests both from those demanding a halt to the war and those demanding he do more to win. The fascist national guard units are in open rebellion. Putin called upon the Novorossiyans to open a humanitarian corridor for the surrounded troops to retreat. Poroshenko on the contrary called on them to fight to the death.
The Western press is already being forced to back away from the Russian invasion narrative. In a month doubtless the whole episode will be forgotten and they'll be telling some new big lie probably yet another Russian invasion story, but who knows. The louder they shout about a Russian invasion the less anyone will care about the covert aid Russia provides, and the more they'll damage their credibility. Meanwhile we will struggle against overwhelming odds to spread the truth, Just as the NAF will hopefully still be struggling against the odds for independence from the murderous Kiev regime installed by the US and NATO.
First let me salute all the great people who provide analysis and translations for Vineyard of the Saker, Slavyangrad, and Colonel Cassad in English for being right about the situation when all the mainstream sources were wrong. The New York Times offered not one word the day after the counteroffensive for example. Their work is invaluable. I'm a complete civilian so any insights into the war I get from them. Any mistakes are my own.
Here is a great post from Slavyangrad about the recent victory
And a whole compilation of reports on the recent victories
Anyone wanting to keep track of events in Ukraine should visit these 3 sites
The Vineyard of the Saker
And here is a great article on the "Russian Invasion" by Mike Whitney
And another from Stephen Lendman
More on decades of covert US involvement in Ukraine
Colonel Cassad on arms dealing
Some great analysis from the Saker
The Saker explains cauldrons
James Corbett did an excellent video report sifting though the evidence on MH17