Behind Crimea terror operation: U.S.-NATO escalate war drive against Russia

By Greg Butterfield

Over two consecutive nights, August 7–8, Russian government personnel thwarted a series of attempted terrorist attacks in Crimea, planned by groups crossing the border from Ukraine. A Russian soldier and a State Security (FSB) agent were killed during these actions. Several alleged terrorists and a large cache of weapons were captured, including improvised explosive devices, anti-personnel bombs, grenades and standard-issue Ukrainian armed forces weapons. 

The FSB reported that the terror ring planned to “target critically important infrastructure” and “destabilize the situation in the region as preparations for elections of federal and regional authorities are underway.”

The events in and around Crimea can only be understood in the context of the ongoing, multilayered campaign by Washington and its junior partners in the NATO military alliance to whip up war fever against Russia.
A new communist generation emerges in the former Soviet Union

By Greg Butterfield

Without trying to take away for a moment from the critical struggles unfolding right now in the Middle East, Latin America, Asia and the Pacific, and Africa, I’m not convinced that we are fully aware or prepared for the severity of the war danger that’s unfolding on the periphery of the former Soviet Union. Certainly, the antiwar and radical movements in this country are not.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that there is a young, dynamic, revolutionary left emerging in the former Soviet Union. Investigating this was my underlying motive of visiting so many places, and confirmed my impression that this is a real development. As we rise to meet the challenge of stopping new wars, it is a very hopeful development that there are new allies and comrades we can depend on to join us in that struggle.

UKRAINE. Near Donetsk. 2014. Stray cat Vasyl being cared for by a member of the 92nd detached mechanised brigade, with whom he lives alongside Murka, a female cat, tomcat Murzyk and Shashlyk, a dog.

Photograph: Ivan Liubysh-Kirdei

(Please take the following article with a good measure of critical judgement and forgive the author’s grammar mistakes; she is Ukrainian)

How our four-pawed friends help Ukrainian soldiers at the frontlines 

According to a Kharkiv group led by Natalka Zubar who travelled around the Donetsk region and saw a large number of cats at Ukrainian positions, cats actually help Ukrainians to fight. “‘The pussycat is fighting’ is not a metaphor. They serve as psychotherapists (or ‘walking happiness,’ quoting one battalion commander) and catch mice and rats. Pussycats and tomcats hear explosions before people do. They look out for strangers and warn of the danger. Cats are excellent ‘personnel officers’ and their behaviour reflects soldiers’ condition,” head of the Maidan Monitoring news agency Natalka Zubar wrote following her trip. She added that the army cats looked plump and well cared for, and there were even some who go on patrol with soldiers.

“We have a lot of cats here! And a little dog, too,” Kharkiv volunteer soldier Ivan Kravchenko said; he is now fighting in Shchastia. “They came to us of their own accord. Two of the cats were feral, others still kittens. They are kept together here and do not run away. One cat hides under any bed before every shelling, and he never failed to predict it! We noticed it, called him “the Barometer”, and now always know when danger approaches. When someone is sick, a cat always comes and lies down next to the soldier, healing him.”

Volunteers also say that cats and dogs are mostly absent at separatist positions, and tell stories of the terrorists using animals to clear minefields. Tetiana Kokhanovska, a biologist and expert of social behaviours in animals, believes that cats are an indicator of human dignity, and attitudes towards pets display a people’s degree of civilization: “Cats are social animals who live with people. They join our side, as they feel that our people are humane. Meanwhile, the way of life on the other side of the front is such that animals do not see this environment as suitable for them. Cats sense the nobleness and kindness of Ukrainian soldiers at a biological level, and pets’ presence among our men is showing how great civilisational differences between Ukrainians and Russian soldiers and pro-Russian militants are. The latter groups are brutal with both people and animals.”

By Aliona Sokolynska, Kharkiv (Ukraine)
Donetsk and Lugansk: People on the front line against fascism
Looking through the magnified sights of an anti-tank weapon in the Lugansk People’s Republic, I experienced a moment of deeper understanding of the stakes in the anti-fascist struggle in Ukraine.

By Greg Butterfield

It came as I was visiting a camp of Prizrak, the “Ghost Brigade” anti-fascist militia, on the outskirts of Kirovsk in the northwestern part of the independent Lugansk People’s Republic.

I was surrounded by volunteer fighters, not only from Donbass and Russia, but from India, Spain, Italy, Norway and several other countries, women and men. Young communists and antifascists, internationalists living in the most difficult conditions imaginable, their sleeping quarters dug into the earth, subject to torrential rains and hail, surrounded by the shrapnel, exploded shells and burned-out vehicles from past battles.

Several days earlier, Ukrainian forces had attacked a nearby bus stop in an attempt to advance. They were pushed back. Now the Prizrak fighters were digging trenches to prevent another advance by the better-equipped enemy forces.

Through a magnifier I had a better view of the Ukrainian base just across no-man’s land, which was visible to the naked eye from our position. In addition to tents, vehicles and people moving around, I could see two flags. One was the Ukrainian national flag. The other was the black and red flag of the fascist Right Sector.
Grim reports from past night: Ukrainian heavy artillery bombed Donetsk capital
August 1: Last night, intense shelling with heavy artillery (122 mm and 152 mm, prohibited by the Minsk agreements) struck the Donetsk outskirts, and were heard even in downtown.

By Christelle Néant, DONi Press

In total, the Ukrainian army has launched last night 269 mortar and artillery shells all along the front line, including 118 shells of 122 mm and 152 mm caliber, and 151 mortar shells of 82 mm and 120 mm caliber. The Ukrainian army also used infantry fighting vehicles, grenade launchers and small arms.

The shellings targeted the following localities: Aleksandrovka, Trudovskoye, Western outskirt of Donetsk, Zaytsevo, Gorlovka, Yasinovataya, Sakhanka, Kominternovo, Novoazovsk and the Leninskyi district. More information is coming hour after hour on casualties and damages due to these terror shellings led against the civilian population of the Republic.

Thus, in Yasinovataya, a civilian, born in 1968, died, and another one, born in 1996 was wounded. Four habitations and a kindergarten were damaged in the same locality. Eduard Basurin, Vice-Commander of the DPR Defense Ministry operative command, stated that Yasinovataya was mainly shelled with 152 mm artillery.

Further North, in Zaytsevo, 15 houses have been damaged by the shellings. For the moment no casualties are mentioned in this locality. In the Kuibyshevsky district of Donetsk, two houses have been damaged, and here too for the moment no casualties have been reported.

In Donetsk and Yasinovataya, gas pipelines have been damaged by the shellings in 12 areas, letting 400 households without gas. The repair work is already ongoing.

This new escalation makes us fear the worst about the evolution of the conflict, while Rio Olympic Games are approaching, and will provide to Ukraine a perfect media diversion to launch a big scale offensive.


Donbass: InterUnit salutes Fidel Castro’s 90th birthday 

In 2015, the Ghost Brigade (Prizrak) of Novorossiya created an internationalist anti-fascist military unit called InterUnit, which operates in the territories of the Lugansk People’s Republic. InterUnit is a military-political group composed of volunteers from around the world defending Donetsk and Lugansk from the U.S.-backed regime in Ukraine. It carries on the heritage of the Resistance against Nazism and other liberation struggles of the last century, and takes its motto from the Spanish Civil War: “No Pasarán!”

We, the internationalist militants of InterUnit, incorporated into the Prizrak Brigade, are honored to participate in the celebration for the 90th birthday of Comrade Commander Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz, organized by Communist Party of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Novorossiya. On Saturday, August 13, 2016, we’ll join from Donbass in the Cuban people’s celebrations, remembering the example of revolutionary struggle that Commander Fidel has given us during his whole life.

On this anniversary, from our struggle as internationalist anti-fascists in this liberation war waged by the heroic people of Donbass for more of two years, we’ll commemorate the glorious actions fought by Fidel and the Cuban people, not only in his country but in other lands, where his history of altruism and bravery offer humanity the greatest example of proletarian internationalism, such as the revolutions in Latin America and wars of liberation in Africa.

Because today more than ever, as the the fascist and militarist puppets of yankee imperialism and its followers threaten humanity, we need more Fidel Castro, more Cuba, more revolutionary internationalism, to strike together against the fascists, declaring “No Pasarán!”

Long live Commander Fidel Castro!

Long live the people of Cuba!

Long live the people of the whole world!

From the free land of Donbass,

InterUnit, August 2016
Donetsk SitRep: Bitter casualties of Poroshenko’s bloody regime – one killed, 15 wounded, including little child – 09.06.

‘The situation in the Donetsk People’s Republic deteriorated abruptly. Over the past day the Ukrainian military shelled the territory of the Republic 582 times,’ reported on Thursday the Vice-Commander of the DPR Defense Ministry operative command Donetsk Eduard Basurin…


“Donetsk Spring: The Fight for the Homeland”