Ukraine Launches Anti-Terrorist Operation, Four Separatists Dead


US Embassy Ukraine

There's reports of heavy gunfire between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian government forces as the latter initiates a "full-scale anti-terrorist operation."

After a week of armed occupations of government buildings, bomb threats, and hostage takings by pro-Russian separatists, Ukraine's government announced late yesterday evening that the deadline to disarm has passed. Interim President Oleksandr Turchynov said, "Tonight an anti-terrorist operation began in the north of Donetsk [region]. It will be conducted step-by-step, responsibly, deliberately. The goal of these actions, I want to underline, is to defend the citizens of Ukraine."

The Kyiv Post reports on the latest development that Ukrainian troops recaptured an airbase in Donetsk around 6:30p.m. local time, which is near the Russian border and is Ukraine's most populous region. Four separatists were killed in the skirmish. Writing live updates, the Post highlights:

5:54 p.m. First Deputy Prime Minister Vitaliy Yarema said several hundred armed Russian military soldiers are in Luhansk, Donetsk and Kharkiv oblasts who were covertly and gradually sent there over a long period of time …. "Right now, they've concentrated their strength in Krasniy Lyman, Horlivka, Kramatorsk and Slovyansk (all in Donetsk Oblast); the terrorists are committing violent acts against police officers and are taking over government buildings," said Yarema.

2:14 p.m. Ukraine's Deputy Defense Minister Petro Mehed said that his ministry has mobilized more than 90 percent of its resources, and activated 23 [regional] militia commissaries in response to the growing threat in the east.

CNN writes that "a National Guard battalion made up of 350 troops was sent to the Donetsk region from Kiev on Tuesday morning" and that "a CNN team… encountered a large Ukrainian military column traveling on roads leading from the city of Donetsk toward other towns in the region."

The militarized separatist forces have seized buildings in 10 localities. These include administrative buildings, police headquarters, and arms depots. They are demanding referendums for secession. Although the majority of residents in the east favor a unified Ukraine and the militants number only in the hundreds, they have have the same professional training as the masked forces that destabilized Crimea. An audio track purportedly caught separatists communicating with a "coordinator" in Russia "discussing strategy, weapon stockpiles, and requests for reinforcements."

NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen called on Russia to "stop being part of the problem and start being part of the solution." The European Union is imposing new sanctions and the U.S. is considering more as well.

Read more Reason coverage of Ukraine here.

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  1. According to my Hitler tyrant leader playbook, Putin will have to swoop in to save the Russians from further abuses.

    1. Obviously. Ethnic Russians were minding their business, setting up self-defense forces, then the oppressor Ukrainians attacked them.

      Sudetenland 1938 all over again.

      1. It is very much a replay.

        Hitler / Putin sticks his hand in the cookie jar and grabs the cookie he really wants. Looks around and braces for consequences, realized there won’t be any, none at all. Grabs whole cookie jar and starts looking for the next one…

        1. Its like Putin is intentionally mimicking Hitler and Czechoslovakia. The parallels really are uncanny so far.

          1. Using the Wilsonian notion of “self-determination of peoples” by a large & powerful “mother country” on behalf of a minority beyond its borders is a neat trick: hard to challenge it.

            The US, the EU, Ukraine and Russia is meeting in Geneva. I think a quiet Munich Conference is going on.

  2. WARBONER Trigger

  3. To break up the monotony, here’s Thomas DiLorenzo being a petty douche:

    The Neo-Confederates in Crimea and Venice are obviously plotting to enslave all their black people now that they have voted to secede from Ukraine and Italy respectively. Don’t they know that all unions are “mystical” and “perpetual,” as our own Father Abraham once pontificated? And don’t they know that secession is “the essence of anarchy” and despotism, as Our Father said in his first inaugural address?

    I would have thought Thomas would have picked up a rifle and gone to join the cause of unilateral (Russian sponsored) secession.

    1. I don’t think he is being a petty douche.

      If one advocates for secession within the United States, invariably a bunch of people will show up to fling conversational excrement ie. the charge of “neo-confederate” and “plotter-to-enslave-blacks” as if they are axiomatic to secession.

      Personally, I think he is attempting humor and failing at it, because the gibbering monkeys have nothing about them that is amusing. Poop flinging isn’t funny unless it’s pulled off with a large dose of panache.

      1. Invariably. My problem is that Tommy has such a raging hard-on for Lincoln (worse than Woodrow, FDR, LBJ, and Nixon put together) that it colors his view of everything else.

        1. Exactly. DiLorenzo is not the guy to make that argument, and Crimea is not a valid example to be upheld (nor is the Confederacy).

    2. DiLorenzo is a really bad historian. He’s not even a historian, but some kind of economist.

      He’s not credible on Lincoln or the Civil War.

  4. “a National Guard battalion made up of 350 troops…”

    Two problems with that phrase.
    1. I looked it up to make sure – the National Guard is their Reserve force, so probably not well trained or equipped. They will be clumsy and prone to get themselves and civilians killed. Where is their Airborne Brigade?

    2. 350? An Infantry battalion should be closer to 800. Sounds like they are way undermanned and probably poorly trained.

    1. Then there is always the possibility that the reporter has no clue what they are looking at. Probably both.

    2. 1. I looked it up to make sure – the National Guard is their Reserve force, so probably not well trained or equipped. They will be clumsy and prone to get themselves and civilians killed. Where is their Airborne Brigade?

      After reading this, I envisioned that scene in Rambo where the NG was shooting rockets into the cave while complaining about being weekend warriors only.

      1. The Ukrainian National Guard was disbanded in 2000 and reestablished on March 13, 2014. How well do you think they were trained over the last month?

  5. Does Turchynov have a lazy eye? I had a Spanish teacher in HS that did. He arranged all of the desks in rows, and no one was ever sure if he was looking at them or the person behind them. It was super confusing.

  6. Separatists? Is that another word for Russian army troops? My Russian and Ukrainian are both poor.

    1. So that’s where you get your slave children from…

      1. Don’t be ridiculous. Slavery is illegal. My indentured servants are all from Germany.

        1. A buddy of mine had his first child about a year ago. Both he and his wife work full time (he’s an engineer, she’s a doctor), so they were going to need a nanny. I told him he should look into a German au pair, they’ll send a usually hot 23 year old German girl to live with your family and take care of the kids and its not much more expensive.

          His wife doesn’t let him talk to me much anymore.

  7. Ukraine’s response to the ‘separatists’ ie invaders has been pretty pathetic but taking the Kramatorsk airport first and foremost was a very good move. It was through Crimea’s airports that Russia moved troops in to annex that region.

    1. It was through Crimea’s airports that Russia moved troops in to annex that region.

      Because Crimea is a peninsula that doesn’t border Russia. While airports are always strategic, I don’t think it really matters as far as moving in troops in this case. They can just storm across the border.

      1. It was through Crimea’s airports that Russia moved troops in to annex that region.

        Why is it so hard to say “invaded”?

        1. Because it’s a police action… a regulatory inspection.

  8. This article doesn’t mention that Ukraine’s central bank just hiked interest rates by 46% to 9.5%. It’s stemming the Hrynia’s fall for now.

    1. I’ll bet Ukrainian municipal bonds are quite a bargain these days.

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