For days, the media have been covering efforts of pro-Russian terrorists to turn the city of Snizhne, Donetsk oblast, into another outpost of mercenaries. The Ukrainian government took no action, or, if it did take some, they were totally inadequate. Thus, Snizhne citizens were shocked by what they saw on June 13. Three Russian tanks had rolled into the city center, Donbass.ua reported.
Locals told the media that the tank crews had come from Russia, if their accent was anything to go by. “The guys wear no insignias, but the machines are, to my knowledge, absent in Ukrainian service,” Vladyslav Kornieiev told Donbass.ua. “Judging by their looks, these are T-90 ‘Vladimir’ tanks, close to the most powerful and newest model in Russia’s arsenal.”
“Early on June 13, three T-72 tanks crossed the Russia-Ukraine border. One tank has stayed in Snizhne. Two other tanks have moved out of the city. On the outskirts of Snizhne, these tanks have been intercepted by Ukrainian troops. The battle is ongoing. There is information that a Russian T-72 was hit,” Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said in comments published by Censor.net.
Leader of the Information Resistance group Dmytro Tymchuk made a similar statement on his page on Facebook: “According to the latest data available to the Information Resistance, information about Snizhne terrorist groups operating two tanks is true. According to preliminary data, these are T-72 tanks. Information on tanks in Snizhne has been confirmed by our sources as well as the headquarters of anti-terrorist operation (ATO).”
There has also been a video posted online that corroborates the tanks’ moves across Snizhne.
The Ministry of Defense, however, refused to comment on this information, telling us that it was the responsibility of the ATO headquarters. Spokesman of the ATO headquarters Vladyslav Selezniov told The Day: “I saw this information online, but I cannot comment on it until there is official confirmation or refutation” [?! – Ed.].
Situation with the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine (DPSU) was similar, as head of its department for media relations, providing access to public information and citizen appeals Oleh Slobodian was unable to comment, citing the lack of access to information. Earlier, the Euromaidan Self-Defense blocked the DPSU’s chief office demanding the resignation of its head Mykola Lytvyn.
Yevhen MARCHUK, statesman:
“This is the Russian response to the peace initiatives of President Petro Poroshenko. It is exactly as I expected, and with deep sadness wondered on naivety of some of our politicians, including the new president’s team. This is just the beginning.
“As we know, a large portion of the border is completely open, somewhere around 100 km. Russian technique has been long known: they will now engage in delaying tactics, distract us with talks, filling the region with paramilitary structures and equipment all along. Of course, at the same time they will say ‘we do not know who are these people and whose is this equipment.’
“Later on, negotiations on their part will involve a totally new component, the essence of which is something like this: ‘Comrades, you neither own nor govern the Donbas.’ I remember now how a few days ago some Russian official said that Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics are vanguard of the ‘Russian world’ in Ukraine.
“Therefore, today’s statement by Vasyl Krutov that the border will be closed in the near future means that it is not closed now. If we do not want to impose martial law, we need a new format for the ATO, although martial law does not equal to war. Martial law would allow the army to enter the border areas on the Ukrainian side.
“I think this is a devilish sign of rapid deterioration in the Donbas. If the government procrastinates for too long, Russia will obtain additional arguments in negotiations. It is their technique – to create a basis of their own for negotiations and leverage with respect to the partner.
“When our government will at least hear people who know this Russian subject?”