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Halya Coynash reporting,
25-year-old Crimean Tatar, Edem Asanov, has been found dead in an abandoned sanatorium in Yevpatoria, a week after he disappeared on Sept 29. Edem Asanov was not politically active, and according to his sister was a peaceful person who was not inclined to conflict.
There is as yet no information as to how the young man died, though natural causes can be excluded. Edem Asanov’s funeral will take place on Tuesday.
There have been four abductions or disappearances since Sept 27, and at least three other Crimean Tatar families will almost certainly be going through hell, together with the Asanov family.
In the early evening of Sept 27, two young Crimean Tatars were abducted from Sary-Su near Belogorsk in the Crimea. 19-year-old Islam Dzhepparov and his 23-year-old cousin Dzhevdet Islamov were forced into a dark blue Volkswagen Transporter and taken away in the direction of Feodosiya.
The claims from the police and FSB [Russian security service] that they know nothing about the abduction have been met with scepticism, which is exacerbated by their failure to find the young men despite having all details, including the minivan’s registration number.
Hundreds of Crimean Tatars gathered the next day outside Islam Dzhepparov’s home. Islam’s father had a meeting with the head of the occupation government Sergei Aksyonov on Oct. 1. Abdureshit Dzhepaparov says that everything was done to provoke Crimean Tatars to make measures in retaliations. “On the roofs around the building where the meeting took place there were a lot of snipers, people saw jeeps with men carrying machine guns, and around the city there were a lot of soldiers.”
Two days later, on Monday Sept 29, Edem Asanov set off for work at the Prymorye sanatorium in Yevpatoriya. We now know why he did not arrive.
23-year-old Crimean Tatar Apselymov Eskender has not been seen since Oct 3 when he left his flat in Simferopol and headed for work. He did not arrive, and there is no answer from his telephone. Shevket Namatullayev, a Crimean journalist, has passed on details about how the young man was dressed and a request from his parents to phone if people have any information
It is increasingly difficult to believe in any chance with these abductions and disappearances. They coincide with a major offensive against the Mejlis, or representative-executive body of the Crimean Tatar people and Muslims in the Crimea. Veteran Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Dzhemiliev has spoken of 18 disappearances of Crimean Tatars since Russian invaded and annexed the Crimea in March this year.
Head of the Mejlis, Refat Chubarov recalls chillingly relevant words written by Memorial about the Northern Caucuses. “Abductions are carried out by staff both of the local, and the federal enforcement bodies. A number of the abductions take place according to the classic, “Chechen” scenario, when armed men in masks burst into a home and take the person they want away. However many abductions are carried out very ‘professionally’: a person leaves his home and doesn’t return, or later he’s found murdered.”
The almost certain murder of Edem Asanov, the abduction of two young Crimean Tatars and disappearance of a fourth young man of similar age, against the background of all other repressive measures, can only heighten the suspicion that the Crimean puppet regime and those pulling its strings in Moscow want to intimidate the Crimean Tatars and force them to leave their homeland.
by Dmitry Tymchuk.
A building damaged by shelling is seen on September 23, 2014 outside the town of Komunar, some 50kms northeast of Donetsk. © AFP
Brothers and sisters!
Here’s the Summary for September 23, 2014
The bad news:
. Combats continue in Donbas. The hotspots today are Donetsk, Debaltseve, Avdiivka.
Earlier, analysts from IR (Information Resistance) presumed that the entire bloody terrorist game around the airport in Donetsk was a cover for the accumulation of Russian-terrorist forces to the north (near Yasynuvata-Panteleymonivka) for a further attack on Avdiivka [Donetsk Oblast]. Obviously, this is an option.
By shooting at residential areas in Donbas cities, as is known, the mercenaries are carrying out another function which is important for them: cultivating hatred for Ukrainian troops, who allegedly are the ones firing among the locals. We have known about this vile tactic of the terrorists for a long time, but as IR surveys prove, the local citizens, deprived of free access to information, in their majority really do religiously believe that the shootings are indeed the handiwork of ‘Banderas.’
. DNR [Donetsk People's Republic] mercenaries plan to hold elections for the ‘head of the republic’ and their own so-called ‘parliament’ on November 2nd on the territory they occupied. Meanwhile ‘DNR Prime Minister’ A. Zakharchenko claimed the terrorists would not allow carrying out the elections to the Verkhovna Rada [Ukrainian Parliament] in Donbas, which will take place on October 26.
People will soon start dying of starvation at the hands of these unique individuals, and they are still carrying on. According to our information, the local ‘commands’ in cities controlled by the DNR were given orders to prepare voters’ lists and start ‘educational work,’ threatening reprisals against those who do not show up for this ‘election.’ It looks strange: everyone understands that the ‘head of the republic’ for these soldiers of the Alcoholic Front will be appointed in Moscow. What is the reason for this circus?
. The Dnipropetrovsk Regional State Administration stated today that the morgues in the oblasts that are adjacent to the antiterrorist operation zone have over a thousand deceased Ukrainian servicemen, 552 of which have not been identified yet.
I don’t know where these numbers come from, but it’s not that – it’s true that a lot of fallen soldiers have not been identified and are listed as ‘missing in action,’ especially after the events at the end of August. Then, when in the world it is customary to consider that the war isn’t over until the last fallen soldier is buried, and if we are a civilized state and a civilized society, when making agreements regarding peace in Donbas, we cannot forget about the fallen heroes.
If we don’t know or won’t remember the names of those who gave their lives for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, then how much is this sovereignty worth?
The good news:
. The intensity of the shelling of Ukrainian troop positions has decreased significantly. Information that the Russian-terrorist troops have withdrawn artillery greater than 100 mm in caliber from the ‘front line’ is confirmed. Ukrainian troops are also withdrawing weaponry on their side.
However, the process of removing the mercenaries’ artillery was only documented in individual areas. Unfortunately, we cannot speak of a full implementation of the ceasefire conditions. But, the beginning of a positive process is launched, though we do not exclude the possibility that Russian troops and terrorists simply mimic the process of de-escalating the conflict.
. Defense Minister V. Heletey stated that the Defense Ministry is reviewing the ‘concept of the Ukrainian army.’ “We are fully reviewing the concept of the Ukrainian army – in order to understand what it is that Ukraine needs today,” he said.
To begin with, it is understood that we need a new Military Doctrine – thankfully, the Cabinet of Ministers has already set a target to develop it. And here begins the most important thing: a clear analysis and integration of reform of the armed forces, intelligence agencies and the intelligence community.
In the examples of Crimea and Donbas, we have seen that the conflicts that are relevant to Ukraine today cannot be solved using the power and resources of only one institution, but only by using all the resources, and only in close cooperation (which is exactly what our “security forces” are not very used to doing). Accordingly, the processes of reforming the Defense Ministry and the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the State Border Services, the State Security Service and the Foreign Intelligence Service should be closely related, as we cannot ensure cooperation by reforming each institution separately.
It is very unclear how this will work out, as the military structures are used to playing tug-of-war and pursuing absolute secrecy from the ‘competition.’ Without overcoming these unhealthy tendencies, we simply cannot talk about self-sufficient and effective reform within the state security sector.
. I was quite pleased by the results of a sociological survey carried out by the Russian Sociological Service Fund to Fight Corruption. According to Russian sociologists, in Odesa and Kharkiv oblasts, 34% of local residents see the future of Ukraine as being together with Europe, meanwhile only 17% see it with Russia.
In this case, 87% of respondents see the future of their region only in a united Ukraine. Comments are superfluous.
. And now from the humorous news. The Federal Space Agency of the Russian Federation stated that Russia plans to launch a “full-scale exploration of the Moon” in the late 20’s – early 30’s.
As I understand it, by hanging the subsidization of Crimea around Russian taxpayers’ necks, and seeking to ‘master’ a subsidized Donbas, the Kremlin is looking for new spaces for ‘the Russian World.’ This immediately reminds me of an old joke about the boy who comes to his father and shouts: “Father, they said on the radio that the Muscovites have gone to space!” to which the father happily replies: “What, all of them?”
Esteemed denizens of the Kremlin, if you’re not going to the Moon all together, at least send Putin there first, please. We will even chip in for this happy occasion to happen before the end of the 20’s. We, Ukrainians, are not against Russia’s space expansions – just do us a favor and don’t come back.
A large column of protesters waving both Russian and Ukrainian flags marched in central Moscow.
Tens of thousands of people are marching in Moscow in protest against Russia’s involvement in the Ukraine conflict.
People are chanting “No to war!” and “Stop lying!” Similar rallies are taking place in St Petersburg and other Russian cities.
Ukraine accuses Russia of arming rebels in the east and sending Russian troops across the border. Moscow denies this.
More than 3,000 people have died in fighting since April.
A truce was agreed on 5 September but there have been repeated violations since then.
The fighting began after Russia annexed Ukraine’s southern Crimea peninsula in March – a move condemned by Ukraine and the West.
Organisers of the anti-war march in Moscow said they hoped as many as 50,000 people would attend.Supporters of pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine held their own smaller rally in Moscow.
Demonstrators – with both Russian and Ukrainian flags – are marching from Pushkin Square to Sakharov Boulevard in central Moscow.
Organisers earlier said they hoped up to 50,000 people would take part to denounce what they described as Russia’s “aggressive foreign policy”.
Police have stepped up security, but so far there are no reports of serious violence.
It is Russia’s first major anti-war rally since the fighting began five months ago in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions.
A number of supporters of the pro-Russia separatists in Ukraine held their own rally in Moscow.
The new agreement seeks to stop the repeated violations of a ceasefire agreed on 5 September.
Earlier on Sunday, Gen Philip Breedlove, Nato’s supreme commander in Europe, said the ceasefire between the Ukrainian government and the separatists currently existed “in name only”.
He said the numbers of artillery rounds fired recently was comparable to periods before the truce came into effect two weeks ago.
“The situation in Ukraine is not good right now.
“The number of events, and the number of rounds fired and the artillery used across the past few days match some of the pre-ceasefire levels. The ceasefire is still there in name, but what is happening on the ground is quite a different story,” he added.
Anti-war protesters hold Ukrainian flags and a banner, “Hands off Ukraine,” in the center of Moscow on Sept. 21. Thousands of Russians marched through Moscow to protest against the Kremlin’s involvement in the Ukraine crisis, in the country’s first major anti-war rally since fighting erupted in April.. AFP PHOTO / ALEXANDER UTKIN © AFP.
Gen Breedlove said that since last week, some Russian forces inside Ukraine had returned to Russia but remained available to “bring their military force to bear on Ukraine”.
He added, however, that he was “hopeful” about a new agreement – the so-called memorandum – signed in the early hours of Saturday.
That deal envisages the creation of a 30km (19 miles) buffer zone and the withdrawal of heavy weaponry.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said government forces would pull back from the buffer zone only if the rebels and Russian troops did the same thing.
Minsk memorandum: Key points
- To pull heavy weaponry 15km back each side of the line of contact, creating a 30km security zone.
- To ban offensive operations.
- To ban flights by combat aircraft over the security zone.
- To set up an OSCE monitoring mission.
- To withdraw all foreign mercenaries from the conflict zone.
The Mejlis is the self-governing body of the Crimean Tatars, most of whom opposed Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in March and many of whom boycotted local elections on September 14. © Anastasia Vlasova
Russian security forces raided the Crimean Tatar assembly and the home of one of its members. Reporting from the site, an RFE/RL correspondent said 10 police officers and six armed, masked men in military uniform surrounded the Mejlis in Crimea’s capital, Simferopol, on September 16 and were not letting anyone enter or leave the building.
The Mejlis is the self-governing body of the Crimean Tatars, most of whom opposed Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in March and many of whom boycotted local elections on September 14. Police inside the building on September 16 were said to be searching the offices of the Crimean Tatar newspaper “Avdet” (Return).
Police also searched the home of Mejlis member Eskender Bariyev and confiscated his computers. On September 15, three masked, armed men removed a Ukrainian national flag from the Mejlis building.
by Brian Bonner.
This handout picture taken and released by Ukrainian presidential press-service on Sept. 11, shows Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (L) welcoming his Estonian counterpart Toomas Hendrik Ilves prior to their meeting in Kiev. © AFP
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Sept. 12 that the nation will win Crimea back from Russia not through military force, but by building a better society than Russia.
“We will win a democratic, economic, liberal competition for the minds of the Crimea people,” Poroshenko told the Yalta European Strategy conference, the 11th annual event sponsored by billionaire Victor Pinchuk. The three-day even is being held in Kyiv this year because of Russia’s annexation of Crimea, including Yalta’s Livadia Palace, the traditional venue.
Later, during a question-and-answer session, Poroshenko echoed European Parliament President Martin Schulz’s view that there is “no military solution,” even though it is just such a solution that Russia has been trying to impose on Ukraine since its Feb. 27 invasion of Crimea and subsequent backing of separatists in Ukraine’s eastern regions during the last six months.
Poroshenko called this “one of the most challenging and dangerous periods in the history of Ukraine,” but said that he would try to find a peaceful solution that does not involve “compromise on the territorial integrity” of the nation.
Poroshenko said the same non-military approach – winning the hearts and minds of two million Crimeans – will also work in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine, where Russia is backing a separatist war that has killed more than 3,000 people, including soldiers and civilians.
The president said Ukraine will build an effective, democratic and “not corrupt” state, Poroshenko said. “We will be democratic and we will be free. The standard of freedom in Ukraine outside of the administrative border of Crimea will be much better; this is the only way we can win in the fight for the minds of Crimea.”
Poroshenko praised the European Union decision to impose new economic sanctions today against Russia. “They demonstrate that Ukraine is now their top priority.”
He also said next week is a pivotal one for Ukraine, with a Sept. 16 synchronized approval of the EU-Ukraine association agreement in the European Parliament in Brussels and the Verkhovna Rada in Kyiv. The voting will be broadcast by video link in both capitals, with voting taking place at the same moment.
Poroshenko also signaled he would push for an invitation from the EU for full membership, suggesting it would be “unpolite” for the 28-nation bloc to not make such an offer considering all that Ukraine has been through. Later, he said the EU would not be whole without Ukraine and that, with Ukraine as an EU member, Europea will be “stronger from a security point of view.”
Two days later, on Sept. 18, Poroshenko will address a joint session of the U.S. Congress and meet with U.S. President Barack Obama.
Poroshenko also said that he hopes that NATO grants Ukraine the status as major non-member ally.
“It’s of crucial importance for us,” Poroshenko said. “Our European and trans-Atlantic partners that Ukrainians are not fighting for the territorial independence of Ukraine. It is fighting for global security. We need to introduce a new security structure in this very dangerous world.’
At the same time, Poroshenko said Ukraine will embark on a reform program to end corruption simultaneously to seeking peace with Russia.
“The fight against corruption is absolutely the same importance as the fight for peace. This is like a cancer that has paralyzed Ukraine,” Poroshenko said.
When challenged during a question-and-answer by Dragon Capital head Tomas Fiala on the slow pace of the anti-corruption fight, Poroshenko said that – despite the EuroMaidan Revolution – Ukraine is saddled with the old rules and old parliament. That is why he called for new parliamentary elections on Oct. 26, the president said.
“Investors will come when they feel safe in the country,” Poroshenko said. “The investors are not going to a country that is in a state of war.”
In particular, Poroshenko called for reform of Ukraine’s secretive and corrupt court system to make investment safe.
In his speech, Poroshenko said that Ukrainians are united as never before. “We have no military solution to this crisis,” he said.
“What we have now is absolutely new Ukrainian army, security forces and heroes who demonstrated that even in this difficult times we can effectively defend our values. We are defending our values; and that is why we are stronger than anybody else,” he said.
Poroshenko addressed skeptics about the peace agreement reached in Minsk on Sept. 5. He said the deal can work.
“Only a few of you can believe that we can establish a fragile peace,” he said. “From day to day, more people believe we will be successful in this important way. Even now, not everybody understands the positive thing to have possibility not to receive every night the news about death of Ukrainian solders and civilians, when dozens of Ukrainan heroes are giving their lives. That’s why this is very important for us Ukrainians to be together. We can win only when we will be united.”
The president said that “Ukraine is as united as never before. You can absolutely understand and see that. This is another reason I am proud to be Ukrainian and I am proud to be the president of this beautiful country.”
(Kyiv Post chief editor Brian Bonner can be reached at email@example.com).