President of Russia Vladimir Putin scoffed at the defeat of the Ukrainian military in Debaltseve, pointing out that it was especially shameful, since they’ve lost the battle “to yesterday’s coal miners and tractor operators.” In reality, Ukraine is fighting against Russian military that is hiding behind the fraying veil of local rag-tag team of “separatists.” Russia is using its most sophisticated weaponry in eastern Ukraine, including the truck-mounted SA-22 surface-to-air missile system (Pantsir-S1). Ukraine does not possess these types of weapon systems.
The so-called “rebels” are comprised of two key ingredients. The first component consists of Russian soldiers, whose participation is covert and their deaths are considered a “state secret.” Another component includes paid local militiamen. The “separatist movement” was artificially fomented in Ukraine, since it did not exist before Russia commenced its Hamas-style invasion.
Contrary to President Putin’s gleeful taunting of the Ukrainian military, they weren’t facing off against humble tractor drivers and coal miners. Suspicions swirled that Russian soldiers and local terrorists of the so called “Lugansk People’s Republic” (LPR) are being commanded by no other than Lieutenant General Alexander Lentsov, Deputy Commander of the Russian Armed Ground Forces. Lentsov was initially invited to Ukraine to seek a peaceful resolution and is now involved in observing the adherence to the latest ceasefire. According to the OSCE, Lentsov met with Luhansk and Donetsk separatist representatives of LPR and DPR in Debaltseve in December 2014, in his official capacity as head of the Russian Representation in southeast Ukraine. Terrorist groups under Russian leadership led the bloody siege of Debaltseve.
In spite of the Minsk-2 ceasefire, OSCE reported constant artillery fire approximately 25km north-east in the direction of Debaltseve. Numerous Ukrainian soldiers were killed during this offensive by the terrorists, who openly stated that they were not going to abide by the terms of the ceasefire in Debaltseve, claiming that the territory was not specifically mentioned in the second Minsk agreement. “The terrorists have been given the order to take Debaltseve at all cost,” said military spokesman, Anatoly Stelmakh.
In video interviews, a man that bears striking resemblance to Lentsov attempted to masquerade as a simple local terrorist (perhaps, a wayward tractor operator), while using military lingo. He was identified only by his code name “Palych” and described as the Commander of the Fifth Artillery Brigade, fighting against the Ukrainian military. In another video, a man who looks remarkably like Lentsov admitted on-camera that he was directly involved in convincing Ukrainian soldiers to surrender and taking POW’s, without revealing his true identity. The man in question is likely Russian Colonel Nail Nurulin, who served in the FSB. Russian newspaper Kommersant openly admitted that Debaltseve was taken by regular Russian troops and not local militants. Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine is clearly undeniable at this point.
During the recent Minsk summit, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko and President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko concurred that President of Russia Vladimir Putin is dishonest and plays underhanded games. In light of continued revelations that directly contradict Russia’s deceitful narrative, the reality of Putin’s dirty war in Ukraine is no longer a secret.
[UPDATE] In response to media coverage, Lentsov issued an unspecific video statement. In a video, released on Feb. 18, 2015, Lentsov states that on his way to Mayorsk he was informed by unnamed officials that he “must deny” being “present in Debaltseve today.”