October 1, 2016 –
By Eduard Popov for Fort Russ – translated by J. Arnoldski –
On September 29th, an article appeared on the popular internet resource Eurasia Daily discussing the participation of Polish soldiers in the war in Donbass. The article’s author specifically emphasized that we are not dealing with mercenaries from private military companies, but regular military servicemen from commando units. In the opinion of the article’s author, 3 groups of 6 commandos each have been sent to Eastern Ukraine.
Such a small number of soldiers should not be misleading. Any highly professional fighters from elite units can significantly change the situation on a frontline even with such modest forces. In the article cited above, yet another aspect is confusing, namely the lack of references to sources of such information and the absence of any specific facts. Whether or not the author was referring to Polish media or has insider sources is unknown. As a result, the evidential base of the article harshly suffers. We thus have before us a typical example of unconfirmed rumors. Perhaps even more intriguing is the fact that the Polish defense ministry has ignored an official request by the political party Zmiana to answer whether Polish armed forces are in Ukraine.
In my opinion, the article’s conclusions, which reduce the cause of Polish participation in military hostilities in Donbass to the order of Polish Defense Minister Macierewicz, are too narrow.
I would not dismiss the article only on the grounds that, upon reading it, reasonable questions arise as to its sources. There are two reasons for such. Firstly, NATO countries have consistently made efforts to present Russia as a party to the conflict in Donbass, yet their evidence for such is of the same quality as the article’s. In other words, it is very weak.
Secondly, NATO has already been participating in the war in Donbass, and one does not need to resort to conspiracy theories or dubious sources to prove this. In a recent article, I expressed the opinion that three NATO member countries, France, Germany, and Poland in fact gave a powerful impetus to the war in Donbass. At the initial stage, the Euromaidan was mainly a German project with noticeable participation on the part of Poland, whose law enforcement, as is known, trained Right Sector militants. The Americans took over the Maidan at a later date.
NATO countries’ participation in the armed conflict in Donbass has not been limited to this important, albeit indirect (in the sense of not directly linked to the Donbass war) support for those who committed the coup d’etat in Kiev.
NATO countries have actively supplied Ukraine with military vehicles and, recently, former members of the Warsaw Pact saved the Ukrainian army from defeat. Independent media have reported that Poland, Czech Republic, and Hungary have supplied old military equipment to the UAF. This equipment is of old Soviet production which has been sitting in military depots for a long time. But it is precisely such military and technological aid that Ukraine was in dire need of, as its army is equipped with old Soviet weaponry or more modern Ukrainian weapons which are essentially a modernized form of the former.
Information on the supply of lethal military equipment to this warring country by former Eastern bloc countries was even revealed in an interview with the Ukrainian publication “Alostrof” by a senior analyst on Eurasia and the former USSR countries from the American analytical intelligence company Stratfor (the “shadow CIA”), Lauren Goodrich. According to her, Lithuania, Czech Republic, and Hungary are providing Ukraine with what can be considered lethal military means. It would be interesting to produce the statistics of Ukraine’s military procurements from these countries. It cannot be ruled out that the financial costs of these needs are either kept in the secret pages of the Ukrainian budget or are carried out on a partially pro bono basis.
Another form of military aid to the Ukrainian punitive army has been the participation of NATO countries’ military personnel in training and preparing Ukrainian soldiers. If military equipment supplies are semi-hidden, then NATO officer’s instructing of Ukrainian soldiers are not only not hidden, but even advertised, including Western commandos’ training of Ukrainians.
One can argue that Czech Republic, Hungary, or Poland are not violating international law by supplying Ukraine with weapons and military equipment insofar as such deliveries are legal according to these countries’ governments. However, this is indeed a violation of international law. The UN Charter prohibits the supply of weapons to a country engulfed in civil war. Ukraine has been such a country for already 2 and a half years. The residents of the South-East of former Ukraine have the right to see these countries as accomplices to Ukrainian troops’ punitive operation in Donbass.
Eight years ago, Ukraine was an accomplice to Georgia’s armed invasion of South Ossetia. Ukrainian special forces and Buk rocket complexes were alongside Georgian troops in the invasion. Then, Russia stayed quiet. Today, the governments of Eastern European countries are doing what Ukraine did.
These governments are not independent or at least not independent in the fullest sense. Yet their actions harm not only the peoples of Ukraine and Donbass, but Europe itself. Once a military tribunal will finally be held for the former Ukraine and will interrogate Ukrainian war criminals, it will become clear just what kind of aid and military assistance they received from former Eastern bloc countries. This in itself is a quite serious charge, not to mention the evidence of the presence of NATO soldiers and mercenaries in the so-called ATO zone.