Volodymyr Ishchenko is a sociologist studying social protests in Ukraine. He is the deputy director of the Center for Social and Labor Research, a member of the editorial board of Commons: Journal for Social Criticism and the LeftEast web-magazine, and a lecturer at the Department of Sociology at the Kyiv Polytechnic Institute. His is the author of the report The Ukrainian Left During and After the Maidan Protests.
Music: Public Enemy, “Welcome to the Terrordome,” Fear of a Black Planet, 1990.
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By Sean — 4 years ago
The media is abuzz with claims that Russia has sent three T-64 tanks over the border in Ukraine. Reports the Wall Street Journal:
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization provided satellite imagery Saturday that appeared to reinforce Ukrainian and U.S. claims that Russian tanks had crossed into Ukraine in recent days.
On Thursday, senior Ukrainian officials, including President Petro Poroshenko,accused Russia of allowing tanks and heavy artillery to cross into Ukraine in what could be a significant escalation of the conflict.
. . .
Ukraine’s Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said Thursday that a “column” of armored vehicles had crossed from Russia through border-control points controlled by separatists near the village of Dyakove in eastern Ukraine. He said three tanks went to the town of Snizhne, about 25 miles from Dyakove, one vehicle stayed at the border and two headed toward Horlivka.
The newly released images, which come from open sources including commercial satellite contractor DigitalGlobe Inc and from videos posted on YouTube, were provided by a NATO military official. Most of the images are grainy and it is difficult to independently verify the details provided by the official.
Did Russia really send three tanks? Mark Galeotti has a good post questioning the whole incident, but concludes with uncertainty. I’m with him on that. But to further cast doubt on the appearance of Russian tanks, here’s a news item from Svobodnaya pressa from June 10 that claims that separatists in Lugansk seized three T-64s from the Ukrainian military:
In Lugansk three T-64 tanks were seized from Ukrainian forces. One of them successfully crossed the border at the crossing “Dolzhansk” on the border with Russia . . . The permission to cross the border into the Lugansk People’s Republic was given by representatives of the local police, who surrendered to the separatists.”
Another report from June 9 states:
According to Russian and Ukrainian media, citing reports from representatives from the self-proclaimed Lugansk People’s Republic, three T-64 Ukrainian tanks have fallen under their control.
It was reported that as a result of a drawn out battle in Lugansk, which lasted a day, Ukrainian forces were forced to retreat and abandon some heavy equipment and weapons, including three T-64 tanks.
Could these be the tanks everyone is talking about? Could be.Post Views: 923
By Sean — 4 years ago
It was nothing short of amazing in Kiev last night. Over 1000 Berkut, the Ukrainian riot police, faced off with a few thousand protesters in central Kiev. There was little violence, mostly pushing, with the Berkut eventually dismantling barricades and then retreating. According to the NY Times:
The police had taken control of a large section of the square and brought in front-end loaders and other heavy equipment to clear it. But by 11 a.m., the police presence had dwindled and pedestrians were walking freely through the square.
The interior minister, Vitaliy Zakharchenko, issued a statement on Wednesday saying the overnight crackdown had been needed to ease traffic congestion in Kiev and promised that there would be no dispersal of the protesters in the square.
“No one infringes on citizens’ rights to peaceful protests,” he said. “But we cannot ignore the rights and legal interests of other citizens.”
He said the clearing of the streets was carried out in accordance with a court order. Many protesters had been calling for Mr. Zakharchenko’s dismissal after a bloody crackdown on demonstrators on Nov. 30. Although the police pushed forcefully through the crowd in the square early Wednesday, they did not use their truncheons and there was no repeat of the flagrant violence of two weeks ago.
Officers descending a slope past the Hotel Ukraina punched an opening through a barricade that protesters had heavily reinforced. Officers later winched a rope to the barrier and ripped it down entirely. Ice and slush on the streets added to the unfolding confusion as some officers slid into a confrontation with demonstrators, who chanted “Peaceful Protest! Peaceful Protest!”
There were fights and shoving matches as officers pushed into the plaza from virtually all sides, taking up positions and blocking the crowd’s movements with interlocking shields. At least one of the tents or another makeshift structure erected by demonstrators caught fire. Officers in helmets pushed through the crowds with shields but did not use the truncheons hanging at their sides.
As the security forces spread throughout the square, a large crowd of protesters brandishing sticks, clubs, metal rods and anything else they could find massed in front of the Trade Unions building, which leaders of the demonstration had turned into the headquarters of what they call the National Resistance.
This will undoubtedly bring out more people to the Maidan to save the “revolution.”
The situation remains a tense stalemate. The opposition’s not budging and neither is Yanukovich. As many people have pointed out, Ukraine is divided mostly between a pro-EU, anti-Yanukovich West and Center, a hesitant South and an anti-EU, pro-Yanukovich East. How divided? There’s finally an opinion poll suggesting how much. It was conducted between December 4th and 9th by the Research & Branding Group on Euromaidan 2013. Here are some of the results.Post Views: 1,068