Ukraine: New Provocations Against Russia

May 28, 2015

For months, there's been a low volume but steady drip-drip-drip of news stories by Western news agencies with correspondents in Russia claiming that Russian soldiers have been dying in Ukraine in large numbers and that Moscow is covering it up. The latest comes from Bloomberg's Josh Rogin, who quoted House Armed Services Committee chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Tex.) and other Congressmen who had accompanied him on a trip to Ukraine in March, to the effect that Russia is so desperate to cover up its involvement that it has been sending in portable crematoriums to burn the bodies of Russian troops killed in Ukraine. Exactly where the evidence is coming from is not clear, however. Thornberry insisted that his sources were other than the Kiev regime, but he wouldn't say from where, because it's all classified.

The Daily Mail, doing its part to stir up paranoia against Russia, published several photographs purporting to show Russian tanks being shipped to the town of Matveev Kurgan, 17 miles from the Ukrainian border and 72 miles from Donetsk, and then maneuvering in the town after being offloaded from the train carrying them. The Mail reports: "The arrival of the convoys will no doubt be seen as more aggression from the Russians towards their neighbors."

The problem is, the OSCE monitoring mission in Ukraine has not documented the kind of large-scale Russian military occupation in southeast Ukraine that the backers of the Kiev regime claim is there. The monitors did report on May 24, however, that four multiple launch rocket systems and 12 anti-tank guns were missing from Ukrainian army holding areas, weapons that had previously been accounted for under the terms of the Minsk cease fire agreement. This report is certainly coherent with claims from officials of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic of heavy weapons being used in repeated ceasefire violations in the area of the Donetsk airport, including rocket launchers and heavy artillery.