I have been trying to follow events in Ukraine ever since the Maidan coup of 2014 and it has proved to be quite difficult at times to cut through the bias and propaganda to get to the actuality of events.
One good way of following events is to find videos made not by journalists or media professionals, but by the local people themselves. One of the best outlets for such material has been the Youtube Channel Ukraine War Awareness (UWA); in their mission statement is found a succinct explanation of sny such material is so valuable:
The best way to find out about the truth of a war is by Primary, non Journalist, non Media Sources, by what people from the affected region say and write. That’s why I translate their voices to reach here. How would you react if you Government did this to you:
WARNING: this video is extremely graphic, do not watch if you don’t want to see many corpses in various states of dismemberment – artillery fire is devastating to the human body.
UWA explained why he is doing the important work of compiling and translating the valuable documentary footage:
I created this account after Debaltseve in March 2015, after it became a frozen conflict. I fear however a third offensive will start soon, with Zaitseve being the prime target. If that happens (god forbid), I will be uploading and translating all the latest. By my own analysis, in my opinion, and I hope I’m wrong, but a new offensive might possibly start between mid-April – late-May.
I share his fear that a new offensive by the Ukrainians is going to take place this year an probably sooner rather than later. Despite the Minsk Ceasefire Agreement, there continues to be low intensity conflict all along the ceasefire line with several ‘hot spots’ such as the village of Zaitseve:
21st February 2016; Ukrainian Commander Sergiy Zhurko reports heavy shelling near Zaitseve. This contradicts the Minsk Agreements, since Zaitseve Village is badly damaged, and Civilians Report Shells coming from Ukrainian Side. Zaitseve is a DPR-Held Village.
Zaitseve is just to the west of Debaltseve where the Ukrainian forces suffered a severe defeat last year.
Both sides of this conflict are clearly preparing for a resumption of hostilities as we can see from the training exercises carried out this year by both sides:
– Jan 30-Feb 1, 2016 Ukrainian-American Large Scale Military Exercises in Zhytomyr before sent to ATO:
– Jan 30, 2016 Right Sector & Azov Tank Battalion’s Firing Exercises in their New Modernized T-64B1M:
– March 15-18, 2016, Ukrainian-Canadian & Ukrainian-British Training in Zhytomyr & Lviv:
DPR & LPR 2016:
– Jan 14, 2016 Motorola Unit of Sparta Battalion Winter Mechanized Infantry Training Exercises:
– Feb 4-6, 2016 Large Scale Exercises by DPR & LPR in Response to Large-Scale US-UAF Exercises:
– Mar 17, 2016 DPR “Counter-Exercises” in response to Canadian-Ukrainian-British Exercises:
April 16, 2016 Donetsk People’s Brigade Army Conduct Engineering, Refueling, Alignment, and Firing Military Exercises. This includes securing an area, repelling an offensive, and then move in on the Counter-Offensive.
You may be wondering where all the armoured vehicles, weapons and equipment is coming from. Of course, we know exactly where the Ukrainian forces are receiving their supplies from – the USA & NATO, this has been widely publicised. However, it is less clear where the Donetsk & Lugansk forces are getting their supplies. The Ukrainians claim Russia has been supplying the rebels with everything, but we can see this is not true in a series of videos which show the vast quantities of vehicles, weapons and equipment abandoned and left behind by the Ukrainians; the sheer scale of munitions and supplies abandoned probably means they don’t actually need Russia to supply military aid!
Many of the tanks and armoured vehicles are destroyed, burned out, but many are repairable. The rebels tow away all that are left on their territory to repair shops and return to service as much as they can; this is where they got all their tanks, armoured vehicles and heavy weapons. From two or three vehicles they make one working unit which is returned to action.
One particularly large haul of ‘goodies’ was obtained after the Debaltseve fighting as the Ukrainian forces withdrew in haste from a salient to avoid being surrounded and annihilated, in their haste they left behind huge quantities of stores and hundreds of armoured vehicles and heavy weapons.
Published on 4 May 2016
IN RESPONSE TO THIS ARTICLE: “Footage has emerged online showing a column of at least 35 Soviet-made armored vehicles, Some online users are asking where the rebels could have gotten the equipment from, considering Russia has consistently denied supplying the separatists with arms”. (http://www.newsweek.com/heavy-armored-column-spotted-moving-toward-frontline-ukraine-455683?rx=us)
My COMPILATIONS show more than 100 Hardware all together. PART 2 shows Stepanovka in late August 2014 was captured more than 40 pieces of Hardware alone. Debaltseve was literally a land of 100’s of abandoned hardware, both in working and repairable condition. The rest are “donors’, explained further in the description.
– COMPILATION PART 1:
– COMPILATION PART 2:
Compilation Video of Novorussian Armed Forces (NAF) of DPR & LPR capturing / seizing much of UAF Equipment, Tanks, Ammunition, etc, including Exclusive Ukrainian Tech (T-64BM Bulat & BTR-4E) and US Humvees. Video starts off in a DPR Factory of Makeevka and ends in a factory used by the “Vostok Battalion”. The NAF captures everything left behind by the UAF, from functioning armor & vehicles to completely destroyed armor for parts and scrap. When brought to the repair facilities, the DPR Mechanics gather the parts and scrap, and make a fully operational combat vehicle from 2-3 non-operational vehicles, as well as modernize vehicles with remaining scrap for extra layers of protection and defense. The most number of Ukrainian equipment seized by the Pro-Russian Separatists occurred in September 2014 (Saur-Mohila, Stepanovka), and again in February (Debaltseve), after significant battles and right before the Minsk I and II Ceasefire Agreements (signed during strategical times to halt the advancement of NAF Separatists). It’s safe to say that most of their armaments come from the Ukrainian Military.
Of course, we know that a lot of supplies are also coming from Russia, but rather than being illegal aid from the Russian government (anything lethal, such as an assault rifle or a box of ammunition is considered illegal aid) it is being given by all kinds of groups and organisations; one example is replacement batteries for the armoured vehicles, the most important of these supplies are the essentials of life – food, water, medical supplies. There are many videos showing these supplies being delivered and distributed, such as the one blow:
The uniforms and small arms ammunition are donated by a non-profit organization donation foundation called “SpasiDonbass” (SaveDonbass), and I only translated 1 of dozens upon dozens of videos that they make (they donate to both civilians and NAF) which is here:
Published on 8 Nov 2015
A translated compiled video of two (2) Humanitarian Organizations reaching Donbass.
– The first Video shows the Foundation of Novorussia “SpasiDonbass” delivering Aid to Motorola’s Unit “Sparta Battalion”. The aid includes non-lethal aid for Separatist Fighters, Food Products, and Ammunition. The Foundation of Novorussia is a Russian-Based Donation Website led by Gleb Kornilov, and all of their videos and deliveries can be found on channel “opasnie”, which is the name of Kornilov’s band (the non-profit organization is run by him and his musical band). They delivery supplies to many units of the “Novorussian Armed Forces” in DPR / LPR, as well as to civilians and children in the most affected regions that are under shelling and bombardment. Most of NAFs supplies come from this organization (including uniforms, bullet-proof vests, etc) whilst the rest is mostly captured equipment left behind by the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
– The second video shows the Official “Illegal” Russian-Government Humanitarian Aid Convoys, reaching their destinations to multiple schools throughout Donbass (only one school shown in this video to get the point, otherwise it would just be hours of teachers and students thanking Russia for the Aid). Despite what Western and Ukrainian Media write about the illegal Humanitarian Convoys, Russia has sent over 60 Convoys since 2014, with video proof of them reaching their destination, as well as the contents of the trucks in the convoys. Donbass is officially blockaded by the Ukrainian Army, as well as cutting all Electricity and Gas to the regions, leaving millions without food and utilities. Russia proceeds with the convoys “because nobody else will, and there will be nobody to send aid to by the time the blockade will be lifted”. The convoys are illegal because of Ukrainian Suspicions that they actually bring weapons and arms to the Separatists.
Another inconvenient fact exposed by the capture of all the huge piles of equipment, weapons and supplies abandoned by the Ukrainians is the existence of mercenary forces fighting on the Ukrainian side; the western weapons and equipment they left behind is clear proof that the west has been arming and equipping these mercenaries. The presence of US Humvees that were given to Georgia as military aid during the South Ossetia conflict is proof of the involvement of Georgia, not least via former Georgian President Saakashvili who was appointed governvor of the Odessa Oblast of Ukraine last year – the Humvees came from Georgia along with Saakashvili. German and Polish weapons, vehicles and supplies have also been found.
Even if Putin is sending arms to Ukraine, so was NATO before their official announcement (as seen in the part 1 Video, a stash of M-16’s will be found at the Donetsk Airport, and in part 3, a US Portable Jamming Radio with a serial number that was produced in early 2014).
1) “White Aid Trucks” are Government. This Video may change your mind about them carrying weapons, and note, I cut the Video from 1 hour to 5 minutes, because they literally made deliveries to 18 schools. I just showed the principle of it thus I only cut it to 1 school, no point in translating 17 more school teachers speaking essays of their thanks, but maybe I should have had for evidence:
2) SpasiDonbass is based in Russia, yes. But Russia is a Capitalism Nation. Having a Non-Profit Foundation isn’t as different as having for example the British Based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. If you watched the first Zaitseve Video in my previous comment, you would see them giving aid to toddler children. Here is their official channel (no eng subs) where they record all their deliveries, including to children and seniors living in bomb shelters and basements, as well as the shipments they receive to their apartment garage and list the donators and food company donations as well: https://www.youtube.com/user/opasnie Here’s the Zaitseve SpasiDonbass Video with Civilian Interviews in December 2015:
3) If you would watch the part 2 of the capturing Video I linked you, you’ll see captured Grads there too, with a warehouse captured with hundreds of shells and Grad missiles. The Ukrainian Army always fleed and literally left everything for the taking. Also, you may not know this, but Donetsk has for 70 years the largest warehouse storage of weapons of the entire Eastern Europe, made by the Soviets for Weapon Storage after WWII. Here is a Western Article showing ordinary protesters guarding the warehouse: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/24/protesters-ukraine-weapons-cache-mine
4) Yeah, Russia sends some small arms, maybe a tank here and there, but so was NATO before their “official” aid delivery after the ceasefire, and again the capturing Video shows proof of that. Cache’s of M-16’s 9 (not in service with Ukrainian Army), NATO boots and ballistic vests on almost every UAF soldier, and I’m compiling a part 3 where there’s a NATO radio and jammer that was left and captured by DPR in Debaltseve.
5) Both NATO and Russia have advisers in Ukraine. Both only admitted in 2015.
6) There are foreign volunteers from many countries on both sides. Chechnyans are both on DPR and UAF sides. Croatians on UAF, Serbs on DPR. That doesn’t mean that Serbia, Croatia, Poland, etc sent their Armies to Ukraine. The same applies to Belorussians and Russian Volunteers.
So the current situation in eastern Ukraine is quite worrying. The civilian population continues to suffer, sporadic fighting and exchange of artillery fire continues along almost the entire front while both sides are training and preparing for a resumption of large scale fighting in the near future. The fighting is likely to be more intense and deadly than before as both sides are now better equipped – the Ukrainians lavishly supplied by the West and the rebels having bolstered their arms greatly with all the ‘trophies’ left behind by the Ukrainian forces.
Clearly the war in Ukraine is far from over and what is to come may eclipse what has already happened in terms of violence, destruction and death.