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Group for Tomorrow's Ukraine (GTU)

Group for Tomorrow's Ukraine
Serving as an informational bridge between the West and a changing Ukraine.

Pressing Forward:
  • August 28, 2014 12:30 pm

    Not a ‘Crisis,’ but an Invasion

    It is high time to call things by their real names. This is an invasion.

    Yesterday Russian military units crossed the Ukrainian border over 100 km to the south of the current conflict zone and claimed the town of Novoazovsk and the surrounding villages as part of the separatists state of Novorossia. This action opened up a second front of sorts in the Donetsk Region, thereby diverting Ukrainian forces from the vicinity of Luhansk and Donetsk in order to halt the Russian advance. Since yesterday’s incursion by Russian forces we have seen combat between Russian and Ukrainian regular armed forces. What is happening in Eastern Ukraine is not a ‘crisis’ nor is it a ‘civil war.’ It is nothing short of an invasion of Ukraine by Russian government forces.

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  • August 26, 2014 12:44 pm

    Ukrainian Flag on Moscow Skyscraper Highlights Russian Anti-Putin Opposition

    By Zoe Ripecky

    You’ve probably heard that the Ukrainian flag was planted on a Moscow skyscraper last week, and that the building’s spire was spray-painted the Ukrainian national colors of blue and yellow. On Thursday, four Russian citizens were accused of committing the act and were put under house arrest. Since their arrest, Ukrainian extreme sportsman Mustang Wanted has taken responsibility on his popular Facebook page, posting a photo of himself allegedly atop the building. Those arrested by Russian authorities deny wrongdoing, and say they were parachuting off the skyscraper coincidentally around the same time the flag was planted. Though the story has yet to be straightened out, it brings to light activist movements within Russia that have come out in opposition to Putin and in support of Ukraine’s pro-democratic movement. This movement, led by a young, educated, and politically active population of Russians has taken a stance against a corrupt and authoritative governance.

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  • August 25, 2014 4:38 pm

    Breaking: Poroshenko Dissolves Parliament

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    President Poroshenko has called for the early dissolution of Ukraine’s Parliament. In a video address to the nation, Mr. Poroshenko said, “The composition of parliament does not represent the political leanings of Ukrainian society. Society has changed so fast that lawmakers have not been able to keep up with its historic pace.”

    Poroshenko implied that the new parliament would represent Ukraine’s now Western-leaning population. The BBC is reporting that the new general election is slated for October 26. 

    Ukraine’s new government will undoubtedly have a challenging road ahead, as Ukraine’s economy continues to decline and conflict in the country’s East rages on. 

  • August 23, 2014 11:24 am

    Russian Convoy Leaves, Steals Ukrainian Military Hardware

    Mykola Murskyj and Eugene Bondarenko

    The Russian humanitarian convoy has left Ukrainian territory. Its entrance into Ukraine yesterday was denounced by both Kyiv and Western powers. When Ukrainian border guards and foreign journalists searched a number of the trucks earlier this week, they found they were about one-third filled with food, blankets, water, generators, etc., and were mostly empty.

    Kolchuga ESM Systems

    Why send hundreds of two-thirds empty trucks into Ukraine? Maybe the motive was not bringing something in, but taking something out:

    According to the Ukrainian National Security Council Spokesman Andriy Lysenko, that something is Ukrainian military hardware. Lysenko indicated that the Russian convoy left loaded with machinery used to manufacture the Kolchuga Mobile Radiolocation System (similar to radar), as well as various pieces of equipment from the Luhansk Munitions Plant.

    In the meantime, German chancellor Angela Merkel is in Kyiv. The Chancellor promised €500M in loans to Ukraine, to help the reconstruction of the country’s war-torn Eastern regions.

    Merkel also stated that Crimea should be returned to Ukrainian hands. When many in Kyiv have given up hope and are focused on keeping Donetsk and Luhansk, this comment shows that Germany may be growing tougher on Russian agression. Read the full story from the Kyiv Post here.

  • August 22, 2014 1:50 pm

    Russia Moves Artillery Units Into Ukraine, NATO Says (NYT)

    WASHINGTON — The Russian military has moved artillery units manned by Russian personnel inside Ukrainian territory in recent days and is using them to fire at Ukrainian forces, NATO officials said on Friday.

    The West has long accused Russia of supporting the separatist forces in eastern Ukraine, but this is the first time it has said it had evidence of the direct involvement of the Russian military.

    Read the full story here.

  • August 22, 2014 1:30 pm

    Foreign Minister: Lithuanian Consul Kidnapped and Murdered by Terrorists in Luhansk

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    Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius has announced that the Lithuanian Consul in Luhansk, Mykola Zelenec, has been killed in Ukraine by pro-Russian insurgents. If true, this would be the first death of a foreign diplomat in the war in Eastern Ukraine.

    We will have more information as it becomes available, but at moment there is still very little.

    Here is the original Tweet from Lithuania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs:

  • August 21, 2014 2:16 pm

    The Russian Military is in Ukraine

    By Eugene Bondarenko

    A great degree of Russian involvement in the war in Eastern Ukraine has been undeniable since the very start of the fighting. Paid Russian “protesters” were brought into Ukrainian cities in order to try to destabilize the situation following the revolution which toppled Viktor Yanukovych’s government in February. When fighting began, mercenaries from Russia, armed with modern Russian weapons began appearing in Ukraine, soon followed by Russian military equipment. Many of the Russian mercenaries were former members of the Russian armed forces, but none were ever proven to be active servicemen. The Russian military then began shelling Ukrainian positions from inside Russian territory, a move which raised official Russian involvement in the conflict to a new level. In recent days, new evidence uncovered by the Ukrainian military suggests that elite Russian military units operating in Ukraine. To be clear, these are not former members of these units, these are not volunteers, these are military personnel who have basically been ordered to cross into Ukrainian territory (i.e. invade) and fight the Ukrainian army.

    The first evidence of undisguised Russian military presence was uncovered by the Donbas Battalion, a volunteer militarized police unit which is considered to be one of the most capable Ukrainian volunteer battalions. The Donbas Battalion reported that on August 19th, near Ilovaisk :

    “…our troops have captured 5 terrorists, all of them paratroopers from the Russian Armed Forces. One of them confessed that he is 60,000 rubles ($1,600) in debt and was told that it would be forgiven if he went to Ukraine”

    Further evidence was uncovered the following day when a BMD-2 armored personnel carrier was captured by Ukrainian troops near Latuhine. The BMD-2 contained a service and registration log which indicated that it was registered to (not decommissioned, or had been registered to in the past, registered now) to the elite 76th Guards Air Assault Division, based in Pskov, recently relocated to the Ukrainian border. Inside the BMD-2 were documents belonging to its crew, the fate of which remains unclear.

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    BMD-2

     These developments not only confirm that Putin is not willing to give up on the separatists in Eastern Ukraine, but also that while peace talks are scheduled next week in Minsk, the Russian military is only getting more involved in the conflict.