By Dmytro Tuzov
On June 19, 25 armored vehicles crossed Ukraine’s border from Russia through the Dovzhansky checkpoint: a convoy of APCs, curtain-sided KamAZ trucks, an AA gun, and three Grad-type multiple rocket launchers. Another armored column under Russian flag moved to the village of Rubizhne from the city of Luhansk. Militant sources report that they have as many as 250 T-64 tanks. The armed insurgents have been using their websites to claim the capture of vehicles from Ukrainian army depots.
Journalists at Ekho Moskvy radio in Saint Petersburg responded with some wicked humor by reporting that militants of the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics had procured some 250 tanks. “Procured,” say what? Well, maybe they’re getting some corporate donations? Or reinforcements from a kolkhoz in neighboring Rostov Oblast? Why not? Through the non-existent border?
We can’t rule out that the Kremlin and its militants have started an information campaign to cover the fact that armored vehicles are being deployed to Ukrainian territory. At least 8 and possibly up to 15 tanks with Russian flags on them in a column of separatists have been confirmed. All in all, it is typical for Putin-style propaganda: make it look like the Kremlin had nothing to do with the illegal occupation of Crimea until the peninsula was annexed by Russia and then decorate the Russian occupiers in a grand ceremony. The same goes for the actual invasion of groups of saboteurs in eastern Ukraine.
Given how difficult EU leaders are having making up their minds to launch further sanctions against the aggressor country, it might make sense to remind them (again) of some episodes from our common history. In his book “The Second World War,” Winston Churchill wrote: “We will see how calls for moderation may become the main source of fatal danger; how the middle position, taken under the influence of pursuit of safety and welfare, might lead to a catastrophe. We will witness the absolute necessity of broad international actions taken by many states, regardless any changes in their internal policies.”
And the kicker is, we already know the decisions that should have been made yesterday by Ukrainian and European politicians alike, starting with shutting down the state border and implementing real sanctions against the aggressor—and ending with proper equipment and support for the Ukraines Armed Forces.
Translation: Ivan Zhezhera, Edit: Lidia Wolanskyj