by Vitalii Usenko and Mat Babiak
As reported by witnesses to InfoResist, two new tanks with a complete set of armaments arrived in the Varna district of the town of Snizhne, Donetsk region, Ukraine. Local residents identified that the crew is from Russia. Details have yet to be specified.
As previously reported by InfoResist, the recruitment of airplane and helicopters pilots and tank crews for T-72 tanks is being conducted through the internet. The T-72 tanks are produced by Uralvagonzavod, Nizhniy Tagil, Sverdlovsk region, Russia and are used in the Russian army; Ukraine does not produce or use this model of tanks. In addition to this, the so-called “army of the south-east” is recruiting operators for grenade launchers and flamethrowers, as well as operators of anti-tank rocket complexes, mobile air defense complexes, anti-aircraft rocket complexes, and AGS-17 automatic grenade launchers.
The news was so unbelievable that many people have asked for confirmation. The information was confirmed by Dmitriy Tymchuk and posted in his FB account: “According to the operative information of the Information Resistance group, reports about the delivery of the two tanks by terrorist groups to the town Snizhne, Donetsk region is true. According to preliminary data, these are T-72 tanks; however, it could be modifications of T-64 tanks.
Information about the presence of the tanks in Snizhne is confirmed both by our sources and by Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO) staff. In Ukraine, these tanks were decommissioned and are not used by the [Ukrainian] army. However, they are in service in the Russian army. Also, there is evidence that the armored personel carriers used by terrorists in Snizhne were previously captured by the Russian military in the Crimea from the Ukrainian coastal defense units. The Ukrainian agency Liga.Net has also re-confirmed this news and posted it with a reference to Dmitriy Tymchuk. The Ukrainian agency UNIAN, quoting the ATO, has confirmed this information as well and put a video with additional information citing the Ukrainian Minister of the Interior, Arsen Avakov: “Russia has used tanks during the battle with Ukrainian army. Three tanks crossed Ukrainian border from Russian side. One tank is in Snizhne, two other tanks have left the town. Two tanks were intercepted by the Ukrainian army in Snizhne’s surburbs. A preliminary report states that during combat one tank was destroyed”.
Military specialist Nick de Larrinaga (Editor for Janes Defense) has debunked the video of a supposed Russian tank in Donetsk, stating that it is a actually a Ukraine-built T-64B, not a Russian T-72: “There are several ways to differentiate. Road wheels and infrared searchlight locations are two key ones.” T-64 tanks produced at the Kharkiv transport machine building plant, now Malyshev State Enterprise. T-64 tanks were in service in USSR and many of them are left in both countries in different modifications since then. Currently, slightly fewer than 2,000 of the old Soviet inventory of T-64 tanks are in service in the Ukrainian armed forces and about 4,000 remain in service with theRussian Ground Forces. The current Ukrainian modification is the T-64BM Bulat, which is a Ukrainian upgrade of the T-64B.
Another video of tanks in Snizhne has appeared in the internet, but it is difficult to determine its exact modification.
The exact modifications of the tanks which crossed the Ukrainian border is not central to this issue. The fact that Russia has started to supply terrorists with tanks further exacerbates the conflict. Some Russian media (ex.: politicus.ru), referring to social networks, allege that the three tanks were captured by terrorists on 9 June 2014 after the battle with the Ukrainian army; this information, however, can not be verified.
This approach is not new to Russian tactics and was first used by Russia in November 1994. The November 1994 Battle of Grozny was an abortive coup d’état attempt by Chechen opposition forces, sponsored and aided by the government of the Russian Federation, to seize the Chechen capital of Grozny and overthrow Chechen President Dzhokhar Dudayev. The attack was conducted by armed formations of the Chechen opposition council with the clandestine support of Russian federal armored carriers, tanks and aircraft on 26 November 1994.
What was supposed to be a quick underground operation against the separatist government of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria (ChRI) ended in a spectacular fiasco, prompting the government in Moscow to initiate a large-scale military invasion of the republic beginning in December 1994.
Russia denied that Russian tanks and military participated in this operation. The 26 November 1994 defeat was catastrophic, not only in military but also in political terms. Russian complicity in and knowledge of the operation was at first denied by Moscow, but then acknowledged after 20 captured Russian servicemen were paraded before television cameras and Dudayev threatened to shoot them should Yelstin not recognize his own soldiers.
On 1 December, Yeltsin vowed to help the Russian prisoners, which was the first indirect acknowledgement of Russian involvement.
Compilation, translation and comments by Vitalii Usenko, edited by Myron Spolsky
2. Dmytiry Tymchuk, Informational Resistance, FB Account – June 12. 2014
6. Танки в Снежном 12.06 – Video and comments and another video of tanks in town Snezhniy
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