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|Russia Invaded Ukraine | MH-17 | Bellingcat Investigations: MH-17 | Ukraine@War Blog: MH-17|
Starting November 21st 2013 thru to Late Winter 2014, Ukraine was experiencing the Euromaidan Grassroots Civic Movement, a struggle for making sure Ukraine was leaning towards the west, to eliminate rampant corruption, and to increase the quality of life for citizens of Ukraine. This civil unrest climaxed with the massacre of approximately 100 Protesters on Maidan Square by Berkut snipers (but there is some evidence that Russian spetznatz snipers were also active) from February 18th-20th 2014. President Viktor Yanukovych fled the country during the night of February 21st-22nd.
The failure of the Yanukovych Government and the movement towards civil society was perceived as a threat to Russia's meddling in the internal affairs of Ukraine and would result in Russia having less control over the Ukrainian state. Putin's greatest fear is that he would suffer a coloured revolution that would target the totalitarian state that Russia had become and decimate the corruption used to keep that state in power.
This resulted in several aggressive moves by Russian President Vladimir Putin to destabilize Ukraine and to grab territories of Ukraine. This started with Russian spetznatz snipers in Kyiv supporting the Yanukovych regime circa February 18th. The Russians then used an obfuscating technique of using unmarked soldiers who were "labeled" by the Russians as "local rebels" but later was verified by Putin that they were Russian soldiers to then progressively seize Crimea. This was at a time when the new government of Ukraine was still being formed and sworn in and many high ranking military commanders were appointed by the Yanukovych Government with a loyalty to Moscow. Russian Government interference was started on February 23rd. On February 27th masked unidentified "green men" seized the Crimean Parliament. Over the next few days seized and/or isolated Ukrainian military installations. Independence from Ukraine was declared on March 11th. This was followed by a jury-rigged Referendum on March 16th with pre-printed ballots and turnout numbers that in some districts exceeded the registered local population by 132%. The Russian Government then signed a treaty with Crimea on March 18th which led to the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation on March 21st when the treaty was ratified by the Government of Russia.
The next major phase of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine was attacks on Donbass and what the Russians created an artificial entity "Novorossiya". As Crimea went smoothly with almost no fighting at all, the next phase of the Russian Invasion has taken a heavy death toll on Ukrainian soldiers, Ukrainian civilians, and not recognized by Russia but a heavy death toll of Russian military professional soldiers. The plan was to create "local uprisings" in major Ukrainian cities such as Odesa, Mykolayiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhya, Kharkiv, Donetsk and Luhansk. There was success in Donetsk Oblasts & Luhansk Oblasts where Russian special forces grabbed strategic locations in some critical cities with the help of the local corrupted/compromised Internal Security forces and local police forces. These failed in all other Ukrainian cities in a "grand scheme" to create a new state called "Novorossiya" which would then follow the Crimean model and declare independence and then be swallowed up by Russia -- Now why these specific cities? -- they all contain critical defence industries under the control of the Ukrainian government that Russia desperately needs. Russia needs it for it's massive re-armament campaign fueled by high energy commodity prices. Russia failed with Russian GRU spetzntaz in all the other cities to take their targets -- Ukrainians defeated them and captured many of them and identifying them as Russian citizens and Russian Government operatives. The Russian GRU under the command of GRU Colonel Igor Girken, call sign "Strelkov", managed to grab many Ukrainian cities such as Sloviansk, Kramatorsk, Horlivka. This resulted in the Ukrainian Anti-Terrorist operation with the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Ukrainian Forces had very good success starting in late May thru Mid-July where the existing Russian Forces in Donbass were minimal. The success of the Ukrainian armed forces meant a good 40% of occupied territories were retaken and the existing Russian forces in Ukraine were on the verge of collapse. There were numerous public calls for help to Vladimir Putin by the Russian proxy leader Girken. As an aside, please note Girken was a Russian GRU officer (in their pay) who took part in "Serbian war crimes" in Bosnia.
At this time there was the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH-17 on July 17th 2015. Evidence quickly emerged that this was a Russian Military BUK Surface to Air Missile Launcher. Various social media photographs and testimony indicated that this was Russian Military and was always under their control. There was a Security Bureau of Ukraine theory that this was a Missile launcher brought in specifically to shoot down a Russian Aeroflot airliner at a specific time and date and thus create the excuse to have a full scale Russian invasion because it was shot down by Ukrainian forces. Problem is in many Ukrainian Oblasts (Provinces) there are several villages that have the same name and the crews unfamiliar with Ukraine went to the wrong village -- there are SBU intercepts wireless that seem to support this. Thus the BUK Missile Crew went to the wrong village and thus at the designated time targeted the wrong airliner. Thus on July 17th 2014, at 13:19 UTC, this airliner was shot down by a BUK Surface to Air Missile Launcher provided and most likely crewed by the Russian 53rd Air Defense Unit Stationed in Kursk, Russia -- since then evidence in Social media posts has shown this unit was transported from Kursk Russia to Donetsk, Rostov Oblast, Russia and then brought into Ukraine via a Russian controlled border control point brought to Donetsk, Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine and then moved towards Torez & Snizhne (where it was photographed at multiple points along the path) and then was set up south of Snizhne in a farmers field that was later identified and then shot down MH-17. Russian officers (who were involved in the training of such units) have stated that this was a sophisticated piece of weaponry that could not be learned overnight and thus was most likely manned by Russian regular military. This was not a point and shoot manpad but a complicated piece of equipment that needed several pieces of equipment in the command and control chain of command -- and they were all located on the Russian side of the border with Ukraine. Thus Russian military from the 53rd Air Defence Unit based in Kursk, Russia was the culprit thus committed mass murder. Thus 283 passengers and 15 crew of Maylasia Airlines Flight MH-17 from Amsterdam, Holland to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was shut down over Hrabove, Donetsk Oblast in Russian occupied Ukraine by a Russian Military Unit. There have been a few very dedicated Internet Investigators who have pieced together the trail of this BUK Launcher and even the identities of their transporters and their crews. Never underestimate the desire by military crews to do selfies especially when they do not understand the ramifications of what they did or what they are going to do.
The SNAFU of MH-17 put a damper on the planned Russian invasion of Ukraine of July 2014. They delayed it by a month+ as the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Russian Media and the Russian Propaganda Warriors created a haze of who really shot down MH-17. The timetable was shifted to late Augusrt 2014 and it lead to a much lesser intervention. The Official Russian Invasion started on August 27th 2014. Of course this was all denied by Putin much as he had denied Crimea (and then later gloated that it really was them). The massive influx of Russian regular forces led to a defeat of Ukrainian forces at Ilovaisk -- what is clear that the Russians were there before the so-called official entry into Ukraine -- 24th of August 2014 and is when Russian troops were first identified in Ukraine. What is not widely acknowledged was that 1/3rd of a Russian Professional Elite VDV (Airborne Assault) unit suffered Cargo 200 (Killed in Action) & Cargo 300 (Wounded in Action) casualties at the hands of Ukrainians. Also not widely covered in the Western Media was the Russian military agreed to a withdrawal of Ukrainian forces via a narrow corridor -- when Ukrainian forces took advantage of that offer, Russian forces obliterated that corridor with artillery fire -- thus their word meant nothing and could be classified as a war crime. The battles led to the Minsk I Accord on September 12th 2014 in Minsk Belarus under the signatories of Ukraine, Russia, Germany, France and the so-called "rebel" republics (aka proxies of Moscow). Despite a ceasefire a low intensity war was being fought by the Russians. All this bought was time for Moscow to build up arms, ammunition, troops in Russian occupied Donbass.
As more Russian "Humanitarian Convoys" went into Russian occupied Donbass, a pattern was recognized that 1-2 days after such convoys, Russian forces escalated their artillery fire and attacks on Ukrainian positions. These so-called "Humanitarian Aid" convoys quickly gained the reputation of ammunition runs for Russian military units in occupied Ukraine. The next target f the Russian military was Donetsk Airport which was under Ukrainian Military control. Ukrainians had established well defined kill zones and had made use of IR sensors placed thru the entire airport perimeter. This allowed the Ukrainian Military to maintain a 3+ to 1 kill ratio and had managed to decimate another 1/3rd of a Russian Professional Elite VDV (Airborne Assault) unit nevermind the so-called volunteer units. In the end the Russians finally overran the Donetsk airport due to political interference restricting when and were Ukrainian military units could react with massive artillery fire when under attack. The result was the failure of Ukrainian troops in January 21st 2015. What is not specified in these Ukrainian failures is that 3X+ more Russians Military were killed in all these battles. Calls into question what defines Russian Professional Military and it's lack of quality.
The Minsk 2 accord was signed on February 11th 2015 -- what is not recognized by most Western Media is that there was no ceasefire and that Russian regular military used Chechen Units and Russian irregular units as canon fodder. As with Donetsk Airport, the Ukrainian military has very well defined kill zones with artillery. What Minsk 2 did wqas paralize the effectiveness of Ukrainian artillery units while the Russian army continues to disregard the Minsk 2 agreement.The result was that a Ukrainian stronghold of Debaltseve fell to escalated Russian attacks -- without their artillery option they did not stand a chance. Thus Ukrainian forces were forced to withdraw from the critical rail hub of Debaltseve on February 18th 2015. What is not very much publicized, is that the Battle for Debaltseve resulted in the final 1/3rd of a Russian Professional Elite VDV (Airborne Assault) unit was destroyed at Debaltseve. Thus a single elite Russian Professional VDV (airborne assualt) unit was destroyed by the Ukrainian army. Something that most of the Western MsM has ignored but General Clarke in his analysis report had indicated happened.
Since Minsk 2 Russian forces have tried various intrusions but had failed everytime -- in fact some Ukrainian Volunteer battallions regained ground in Shyrokene Ukraine where they recaptured high ground positions thus blocking a direct assault on Mariupol, Ukraine. the understanding is that Russia will try a new offensive against Ukraine in either late July and/or August 2015. There has been a massive buildup of tanks, APCs, artillery, self-propelled artillery, trucks and 20 combat units inside of Ukraine and another 56 combat units on the border of Ukraine right next to the occupied territories. Six EU countries are now providing lethal weaponry to Ukraine but the ones that count have yet to do so as the USA.
Hybrid War Methodology was and is being used by the Kremlin. Hybrid War can be described as Total war where massive propaganda, Information warfare, Economic Warfare, Terrorist actions behind Ukrainian lines, obfuscation of direct Russian military involvement, Energy warfare, diplomatic warfare, humanitarian warfare, war crimes, and direct warfare of select times were Russian military forces with insignia were applied. This type of warfare has high and low intensity phases but the goal at all times is to weaken the Ukrainian state and lead to it's collapse but keep the intensity low enough that the West does not intervene directly on the side of Ukraine, supply lethal weapons to Ukraine, and/or impose crippling sanctions on Russia. Russia uses it's place on the Security Council of the UN to block any Security Council Resolutions that may damage it's actions.
It must be noted that there are many untruths spread by the Russian Propaganda Machine and Western Mass Media that have not taken the time to properly research the events in Ukraine. The following are some of truths that we wish to get across.
The one fact that is ultimately clear, that this is a Russian Government Invasion of Ukraine, paid for by Moscow, armed by Moscow (where weaponry in occupied Donbass exceeds 3-4 major NATO member countries combined), soldiers supplied by Moscow, generals supplied by Moscow and under tight control of Moscow. In the end this was and is a Russian Invasion of Ukraine.
This is a work in progress and components will be added in over the next little while in hopes of dispelling the massive Russian Disinformation campaign being waged out of Moscow and St Petersburg Russia.
Staff of InfoUkes Inc.
July 16th 2015
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