NATO and the United States should provide more information on the Russian presence in Ukraine

NATO and the United States should provide more information on the Russian presence in Ukraine


Despite all the irrefutable evidence to the contrary, the Kremlin continues to deny any presence of its citizens in the region.

Photocopy: Mstislav Chernov

The Russian presence in the eastern part of Ukraine (Donbass) is an open secret. Since March 2014, the media, even Russian ones, have published reports on Russian forces in the region, Russian advisers and Russian citizens holding high positions in the region.

In an interview with the Russian newspaper Zavtra, the former Russian soldier Igor Girkin spoke extensively about his participation in the first armed operations in March 2014: in (Ukrainian cities) Kharkiv and Odessa. ” stated Russian citizen Alexander Borody, who was a former leader of the “Donetsk People’s Republic” In occupied Donbass, publicly that without Russian President Putin the “people’s republics” would not exist in Donetsk and Luhansk. Russian paratroopers who “lost” on Ukrainian territory are also remembered, and, of course, the Buk missile that killed 298 air passengers from occupied Ukrainian territory.

Even the few independent media left in Russia tell their readers and listeners about the Russian intervention, incidentally to the immediate danger to their own survival. Watch the websites of Exo Moskvi, Novaya Gazeta, Doshd TV and Republic.ru.

The United States, the European Union, NATO and other democracies are hammering Russia’s presence and demanding Russia’s departure. For quite a few media outlets, it took a while before they realized exactly what was happening in the Donbass. Even the BBC struggled with it and spoke for a long time about “Ukrainian separatists” fighting the Ukrainian army. But the British broadcaster eventually realized that the correct wording was “Russian-led separatists”.

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Despite all the irrefutable evidence to the contrary, the Kremlin continues to deny any presence of its citizens in the region. That is why it was important, and at the same time entertaining, that
A few days ago I read about a court ruling in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, 200 kilometers from the border with Ukraine. The Kirovsky District Court convicted A
An employee of a local supply company has been sentenced to five and a half years in prison for corruption. The man paid $13,400 to the head of the State Sanitary and Epidemiological Control Center of the Southern Military District to supply food to Russian forces in Donbass.

The verdict was published on the website of the site on November 10, but this was only recently noticed by the Ukrainian media. On December 16, the referee disappeared from the site, but a copy of the original was preserved. The verdict can still be read on various Russian media sites.

The court found that the bribery was intended to supply “military formations of the Russian Federation deployed in the territories of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic” in 2018 and 2019. The occupied Ukrainian territories “.

According to the ruling, the company in question was to deliver 1,300 tons of food to the Russian troops in Donbas twice a month. Experts estimated that this is enough to feed 26 thousand soldiers.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called the reference to the Russian military a “mistake” by court officials: “Maybe it was a mistake by someone who wrote this text. Because this is impossible, there were and there are no Russian soldiers in the Donbass, and the allegations to the contrary are false.”

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At the same time, Peskov stressed that Russia is providing and will continue to provide humanitarian aid to the people’s “Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk”. It was not made clear to whom it is intended to deliver food.

Despite the media coverage of the presence of the Russian military in the Donbass, the Ukrainian government itself should be more active in providing information. You should create a special website with verifiable information, including in English, about Russia’s participation in great detail, from the very beginning in March 2014. After all, there is a huge amount of information, the accuracy of which can be checked, from a variety of From sources: the military, the media, individual citizens, organizations such as Bellingcat, etc. The United States and NATO should also become more active in this region. After all, there are still people, also in the West, who doubt the active Russian presence in Ukraine.

The undersigned are in contact with NATO on this matter, which is behaving cautiously in a strange way. His proposal to a member of the Ukrainian government he knew personally for active communication about Russia’s role was also unsuccessful. The answer was “Yes, you’re right.” However, the easily accessible and verifiable detailed information in English has not yet materialized. Incomprehensible and very unwise.

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