(Kiev, Ukraine) – As Labor Day passes, children in the United States can now look forward to a promising, fun-filled school year. One of their first assignments will undoubtedly be papers and/or presentations focusing on what they did during their summer vacations.
As it turns out, members of the Russian military are able to do the same thing.
Russia is suspected of providing assistance – from weapons to personnel – in the ongoing turmoil in eastern Ukraine. The fighting has Europe on edge and tit-for-tat economic sanctions between Europe and the United States against Russia.
Russian separatists continue to fight the government in Ukraine, asking that they form their own countries that will be linked politically and economically to Moscow. Ukraine insists that Russia is fomenting unrest within its territory and has accused Russia of invading Ukrainian territory.
For its part, Russia denies Ukraine’s allegations.
“I triple guarantee you, there are no Russian troops in Ukraine!” said recently reinstated Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, currently on assignment for Moscow and speaking on condition of anonymity. “I can say, and I am responsible for what I am saying, that Russia will never send Russian troops to Ukraine! Those who say that Russia has Russian troops in Ukraine and plans on invading Ukraine have no morals! They have no shame about spreading these lies and falsehoods! And those who lie and tell falsehoods will have their stomachs roasted in Hell!”
Yet there is proof – from members of the Russian military – that its soldiers are indeed on Ukrainian soil. Not that Moscow is informing its citizens of its invasion.
“Russia has supplied war materiel to its allies in Ukraine,” said a State Department spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. They’ve sent vehicles. They’ve sent artillery. And they’ve sent tanks. And their Ukrainian allies have said ‘tanks’ for the assistance.
As for the personnel, they appear to be there on a “volunteer” basis. Russian paratroopers were recently caught in Ukrainian territory. There are conflicting reports regarding why they were there. Some say Moscow ordered them to Ukraine. The soldiers, however, have another story.
“We are not under orders, we are on shore leave,” said a Russian military official, speaking on condition of anonymity. “And where best to vacation? Disneyland Paris? No. We’re not ISIS.
“We prefer something closer to home. Ukraine was just perfect. And if we’re ordered to take Kiev, we’ll be that much closer to our goal!”
While Moscow continues to insist it has no designs on Ukraine, it has suggested possible “statehood” for pro-Russian regions of eastern Ukraine. Files recently stolen from the Russian government and posted on the anti-Putin Web site Glasnostleaks show that Moscow is, once again, lying. The government has already drafted possible names – all reflecting past Soviet repression and glory – for these new states to be carved out of Ukrainian territory:
- Leningrad II
- Stalingrad II