The researcher and editor Chris Nolan (Watchdog Media) has done a remarkable documentary named "8 Months in Ukraine", which was published just short while ago in July 2017. Huge over 5 hours of important timeline history can be followed from the events in Maidan, to the small village of Grabovo in 2014, where Malesian airlines flight MH17 was shot down in the Donbass sky.
After watching the full documentary series, I can just say, based on my wide experience and first-hand knowledge of the events in Ukraine and especially here in the former Ukraine in Donbass, that this documentary is a true "reality war movie", touching and also most teaching for everyone.
As the director of the DONi Donbass International News Agency, I feel the need to offer some constructive comments and give my analysis about this impressive documentary, which gives all viewers a great possibility to really timetravel to recent history and understand with their own conclusions the factual basis of the crisis in Ukraine and the ongoing war in Donbass.
The documentary shows the full blown information war, which has led to the events, and touching timeline remind us powerfully of the all key players behind the coup in Maidan, and about those powers who actually fueled the civil war, and what's most important, how the truth was distorted for the western population.
"This video thoroughly reveals that the western mainstream media’s narrative related to events in Ukraine was not accurate in relation to what the first-person captured videos show. It also clearly shows that there was a substantial amount of video footage placed online that revealed that fascist battalions from Kiev attacked innocent ethnic Russian Ukrainian civilians in a number of locations and repressed dissent in horrific and murderous ways……on camera." (Clarity of Signal)
Analysis about the documentary
Generally, truth is truth, and I really don't have any objection against the material that has been gathered to the timeline - it's just a great work and good editing. I understand that from tons of material you just have to make decisions between many difficult choices, what should be left to the final version, and what to exclude?
Editing from over 35 hours of video material to the final 5 hours timeline leaves no other choice than to make a stand, and keep the timeline understanding as clear as possible. I really do understand the challenge Chris Nolan has taken with this historic masterpiece, what teaches about the reality, politics and geopolitics above the events in the beginning of the Ukrainian crisis and conflict.
I have been chief editor since 2011 and when situation turned very ugly in the Maidan in 2013, I have been basically dealing daily with information from the region up to this day. So, after all, I do have my own strong view about the reality and what really happened in Ukraine, the Crimea and Donbass, and what were the leading news to make my own timeline understanding.
So, for me it really was a teaching opportunity to follow the documentary and compare Nolan's points to my own, which also in the end led me to found and run an official news agency for the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics - to defend the truth as the main task of my life in 2015.
If I were the editor of this documentary, I would also add something, what I saw important that time, and what has also come clear in the aftermath of the events. My notes are meant to be only constructive for further understanding and discussions, so, just watch and enjoy the documentary, and I hope that people will keep in mind also some issues and events, which in my point of view, should be remembered in this timeline of the events in and around Ukraine over these 8 months.
1. Three Maidans - and the last what I observed there myself
Basically the documentary shows the keypoints what were important also for me when I dig deeper to the truth in the events in Maidan. US and western hands have been all around the events from the beginning and in the end armed extremists executed the coup with huge funding, training and support from abroad.
What I personally saw and witnessed in first-hand in a week tour in Maidan in March 2014 is very important to share. It was not only the events in January-February, when huge violence of ultra-extremists (Nazis) and when this armed coup was praised as "peaceful demonstrations and desire of democracy" for western population, but in those days and weeks after the coup in March, when thousands of Ukrainian demonstrators were still in Maidan.
So, why they were still there, behind the barricades until the late spring, even when the coup was done already in February? We need to understand that actually there happened three Maidans in Kiev. The first Maidan was a kind of a 'peaceful' CIA-handbook Color Revolution (tm) organized by several foreign funded NGOs (George Soros & Co), western support, and it was called the "Euro-Maidan". These events started in October-November 2013.
After the first Maidan came, the second one took place, when the Right Sector was formed and after massive amount of famous Nazi symbols was raised over the Maidan. By the end of the year, Euro-Maidan was abolished and recruiting offices for extremists right-wing activists started. People were paid to continue their violent actions against the Ukrainian government. This second Maidan had basically nothing to do with the first one on the Ukrainian public level, and it was a Color Revolution (tm) with steroids. But many patriots in Ukraine were fooled to believe the lies.
After the coup in February, all contracted Right Sector extremists were almost immediately moved from Maidan to the military training camps. Rise of the "Ukrainian National Guard" was done with almost zero coverage in the western mainstream media, and new nationalist battalions were ordered to get ready to be sent to the east - against the Russian population. Just to remind and understand, one of these extremist unit was named "Slave Makers".
That development led to resistance among Ukrainian patriots, and thousands of Maidan-activists refused from "their second task" to operate as nationalist soldiers for new junta-regime. What I saw in March 2014 was not anymore a nationalist coup, but resistance of betrayed Ukrainian patriots, who took control of the central square, and I personally witnessed how these people were heavy fighting against Right Sector Nazis, who were not allowed to enter Maidan anymore that time. They were beaten by force out from the Maidan!
In my point of view, it was very sad that no influencial body or any country were willing to fund this Ukrainian patriot uprising against nationalist coup in Ukraine, and those counteractivists who I met there were cut off from all money, support and what's most crucial, all media coverage what was strong until the coup was executed. So, after a few months, this third Maidan was demolished by Ukrainian officials together with Right Sector militants.
Only after that moment and after months of tense situation in the center of the Ukrainian capital, western-backed fascism and Nazis took full control over Kiev, and also it was that time the actual war in Donbass was ready to begin.
2. The Crimea - democratic process with local self-defence units
At the time of the coup and in the aftermath, I kept my full focus on these Banderists, Right Sector militants and formation of nationalist battalions, which were funded by multinational oligarchs.
This develoment was well covered in the Russian media as well, and it led to wide understanding of the growing threat the a new fascist regime and Nazi militants were posing for the Ukrainian Russian population and their regions in the Crimean peninsula and Donbass. When Right Sector was send from the Maidan to the military training camps, Crimeans were the first to react to the new great threat.
The documentary gives a good general outlook to the events in the Crimea, but it forgets to highlight some major issues, and those were forming of the self-defence units from Crimeans and Ukrainian officials, who gave their oaths in public events for the Crimean government. These local security troops didn't include Russians and Russian military basically stayed in their base in Sevastopol.
When situation evolved to a stand off between self-defence units and few Ukrainian units, who were not willing to stay calm and in their barracks, some important support tasks were given to Russian special forces to keep the situation in control around these bases, but everything was executed with very limited goals, and Russian military could be seen only in few military installations.
This all means that Russia didn't occupy the Crimea and this is a fact that happened only in Ukrainian and western propaganda. What is also truth, Russia was ready to give strong political support to the Crimea, but they had very different attitude to Eastern Ukraine.
In the end, the Crimean process was strongly and foremost a democratic, and a looming conflict was averted. Another important highlight should be those 97% of Ukrainian troops and officials, who decided to join the Russian army and other institutions after the referendum, and the Russian Federation decided to accede the Crimea back to Russia.
3. Donbass - the war
The basis of local resistanse in Donbass was laid already in 2004-2005 when the first western-backed Color Revolution (tm) happened in Kiev. At that time a threat from hostile coup was acknowledged in among Donetsk politicians, businessman, and activists. When the coup in the Maidan took place, political movement for local autonomy and demand for federalization of Ukraine had taken long preparation.
What was not prepared was local self-defence units, and formation of armed resistance against nationalist batallions was done in great hurry and under huge pressure. As I know the facts of how everything evolved in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, there was lots of confuse and lack of supplies, arms and organizations at the beginning. When Ukrainian attacks started in the Slavyansk area and first armed units were fighting in the outskirts of Kramatorsk and Slavyansk, wider mobilization of local residents took place in other parts of Donbass.
The documentary states clear the truth, that it was Ukraine who declared the war and also started the fighting after huge problems to gather enough extremist forces to overtake the region. The first junta-president Turchinov gave the orders to execute military operations with all weapon systems, as escalation still surprises many locals.
What should be highlighted are those thousands of Donbass miners who stood up and took the arms against Kiev troops to protect their homes. That great uprising was fueled with referendum for the self-governed Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, what was seen as "Russian-backed separatism" in the western propaganda.
When we are talking about arming new units of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, everyone should keep in mind that local former Ukrainian soldiers, security officers and also their bases turned to the side of independence movement after the administration was taken over by political coalition of independence supporters. That means also their equipments were handed over to the new DPR and LPR People's Militia units.
There was also trading of weapons taking place, because many Donbass-born businessmen were on the side of resistance, they allocated a lot of money to buy needed military hardware from Ukrainian installations. These trades were happening in the night and certainly without cameras. These are just facts from the ground, and this trading between militia forces and Ukrainian forces also included heavy weapon systems with ammunitions.
The documentary gives some hints that Russia was behind arming of the Donbass defenders, but there is no evidense, that Russia has delivered weapon systems or sent military units to fight the war in Donbass. It's just a fact and these evidences haven't been in hands of any international organization either. What we know is, that Russia is actively supporting Donbass with humanitarian aid and just recently, also political steps have been done.
After the military achievements, the trophies start to flow to the DPR and LPR militia forces. Those weapons were immediately turned against Kiev forces. Tanks, artillery, Grads... all of those hundreds of weapons were taken from the cauldrons, which is also covered in the documentary. Only in the biggest cauldron in the Ilovaisk area, over 3,5 Ukrainian brigades lost most of their weapons and materials, which were later grabbed by the DPR People's Militia. The same huge amount of material was taken from the Kiev forces in the LPR side.
Eventually these remarkable military events led to the situation that followed, when the DPR and LPR armed forces were ready to start their counter offensives, and after that Ukrainian military defeat in Donbass was seen. Military situation of the Ukrainian armed forces had turn to critical by the shooting down of the flight MH17.
In this documentary it's also covered that military situation in the Ukrainian side had turned into a catastrophe. But as western media still hailed "liberations of the Donbass regions from pro-Russian separatists" was steaming high, the reality was totally different. There are thousands of reasons why the West and Ukraine needed some new and "nasty surprise" to turn people's attention away from war situation and hide the military catastrophe.
Shooting down the MH17 came as a present for the stressed Kiev regime ,and world forgot that they had just lost a war to occupy Donbass with Ukrainian armed forces and extremist batallions.
Just watch the documentary and keep the discussion going on. There is nothing more important than the truth, and we here in the DPR and the LPR need your help to spread the wider understanding - why we need to fight back and then end this absolutely crazy war, which has claimed alraeady tens of thousands of lives.
DONi News Agency
Editorial article, Janus Putkonen, director and chief editor of DONi Donbass News Agency
Links to video series: http://www.watchdogmediainstitute.com/