By DMITRIY KOVALEVICH*
On May 26, 2014 Alexander Turchinov – a leader of Euro-Maidan in Ukraine and interim president of the new coup government until the May 25 election – ordered the armed forces to launch air-strikes against rebellious cities in the Donbass.
By the end of May, Kiev was sending mostly Nazi volunteer battalions and just released criminals to “pacify” the Donbass. Most of the regular army and local police units still refused to fulfill the orders from Kiev and often shifted sides.
As participants of the events relate, at some initial points of the conflict (like that at the Donetsk airport) the opposing sides – Ukraine’s army and the Donbass rebels – still did not dare to shoot at each other. Many of them were colleagues, neighbours and friends just a week earlier. Opposing sides were often commanded by military officers from the same battalion – some remained loyal to the new Kiev government, while others handed all their arms and military equipment over to Donbass rebels.
After long standing against each other, the two sides still did not dare to shoot. Then there appeared snipers in the airport tower, who opened fire at both sides simultaneously (like earlier on the Maidan), provoking them to fight.
An artillery system of the Ukrainian regular army fired at the tower and the snipers’ fire stopped. But in a half an hour a Ukrainian bomber appeared which bombed both sides at once.
Next day those detachments of Ukrainian regular army unwilling to fight were ordered withdrawn and neo-Nazi paramilitaries (from Azov) occupied their positions instead. They tried to storm Donetsk but many were captured. Donbass rebels stripped them to show to Donetsk civilians all the swastika and other neo-Nazi tattoos on those captured – to show against whom exactly they were fighting and mobilize more people to fight.
On May 25 Petro Poroshenko won the Ukrainian presidential runoff and was sworn in on June 7, calling on “pro-Russian separatists” to lay down arms. On the same day, Biden announced $48m in US “aid” to Ukraine.
Then passed six years.