Kharkov Is Forcibly Prepared for the Status of a NATO Base: Part 2

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


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2018 arrived. Believe or not, but the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany couldn’t visit Donbass (Mariupol) because of fog, but was criticised by the West for scepticism concerning the US’ granting of lethal weapons to Ukraine. But the Ukrainian President stated on December 31st “sincere festive congratulations to international partners” for deliveries of “modern defensive weapons”.

Hidden behind the political battles concerning the weapons and peace in Ukraine are systemic changes in the domain of the transformation of the territory of Ukraine into a springboard for the fight against Russia, and the citizens of Ukraine – into hostages.

In this regard the West lays special hopes on the Kharkov region.

Having involved Kharkov in a full-speed energy war against Russia, and having made this region the main rear stronghold in the fight against the republics of Donbass, the Kiev regime doesn’t stop its attempts to turn it into a NATO base in the East of Ukraine.

The recent decision of Americans concerning military aid to Kiev only increases the region’s weight in this whole affair.

For representatives of NATO the region was interesting not only in respect of the standoff with the people’s republics of Donbass, but also as a good base for the preparation of officers. And when the frenzied pastor Turchynov in the presence of the Secretary-General of the alliance Jens Stoltenberg declares that Russia “methodically turns Crimea into a powerful military base”, because of which supposedly the military threat for NATO member States constantly grows, at this same time at the Russian borders they try to make Kharkov the main military outpost of Americans.

The I. Kozhedub Kharkov national university of Air Forces, legendary in the Soviet period, is involved in the preparation of military officers according to NATO standards and programs.

Now this university trains military pilots, navigators, specialists of anti-aircraft rocket troops, radio-engineering troops, aviation maintenance, etc.

Representatives of NATO member States became constant guests of the university. Thus, during the 2015-2016 academic year the university was visited by more than 20 foreign delegations from the US, Germany, Poland, France, the Czech Republic, Great Britain, Canada, and other countries. Representatives of foreign delegations visited the university as a part of a delegation of NATO experts three times. At the same time, chosen military personnel of the university began to be trained in Great Britain, Canada, and Hungary according to the NATO elite programs.

And representatives of the alliance began to train the rest in Kharkov.

As the head of the university Major General A. Alimpiyev noted in this regard: “For the university, cooperation with NATO representatives is invaluable, because it supplements the process of reforming our Armed Forces and makes the integration of the university into the European and euroatlantic system of military education comprehensive”.

In February, 2016, at this university representatives of the “Partnership for Peace” NATO program held a seminar on developing the professional skills of scientific-pedagogical staff and increasing the effectiveness of the educational process. During the period from October 29th to November 11th, 2016, officers and cadets of the university completed a course on tactical medicine and survival on terrain according to the modern requirements of NATO, which was led by instructors of the Armed Forces of Great Britain. A peculiarity of these survival courses was that classes were given during the winter period and in the conditions of limited food and hardware supply. Visibly the Russian winter haunts NATO officials – that’s why they teach how to survive during military operations in cold weather!

On October 20th-21st, 2016, representatives of the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, using the university as a basis, gave classes in national security, defense reform, and democratic civil control for the final year students of the Ukrainian highest military university. And in November (from 07.11.2016 to 25.11.2016) specialist-psychologists from Croatia provided moral-psychological training according to the Psychological Stability of the Soldier program. Obviously, these specialists in psychological training are from the notorious Croatian scenario!

During this same time, within the framework of the NATO “Defence Education Enhancement Program” (DEEP) program, representatives of the university participated in five actions of the alliance. In particular, they took part in the doctrines “Trident Juncture-2016” (Stavanger, the Kingdom of Norway).

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2017 was no less intense. In March the university was visited by representatives of the Armed Forces of Great Britain, who conducted verification of the condition of the preparation of university staff according to the modern requirements of NATO.

At the end of October a meeting took place at the university with a delegation of the North Atlantic alliance, which was headed by Major General Odd Egil Pedersen. And at the end of November, already within the framework of the NATO program “Military Education Enhancement Programme”, representatives of the alliance visited the I. Kozhedub Kharkov national university of Air Forces for acquaintance with the current training of military experts at the university according to NATO standards. It is characteristic that this time communication in educational audiences with cadets and teachers was held in English.

The round table “Ukraine’s Safety Data Sheet: Kharkov Regional Dimension” took place in November at the university with the help of the NATO Information and Documentation Centre in Ukraine. By the way, at the time its director Barbora Maronkova spoke to the listeners about the aspects of NATO’s cooperation with Ukraine and increased support for the power bloc of the Kiev regime “after the events of 2014”, including financial support. “This work will be continued further,” she assured. The officials of Kharkov weren’t to be outdone, and reminded that the question of public safety is one of the most actual for the region, because there is 315km of border with the Russian Federation. It’s like saying – spare no expenses!

By the way, the bureaucrats of Kharkov offer a reminder about this “threat” like a mantra at any opportunity. On November 24th at the Karazin Kharkov National University the seminar “Ukraine – NATO: security formula” took place. The head of the regional administration Y. Svetlichnaya, who was also present here, also spoke about the 300km common border with the Russian Federation. But the most horrible thing for her, apparently, was that “there is only 48km between the central square of Kharkov and the aggressor country”. According to the official, only NATO can rescue the region.

The work with NATO officials in Kharkov, of course, doesn’t come to an end with just one university. For example, in August, 2017, officers of the National Guard were trained according to NATO standards in the village of Rakitnoye of the Kharkov region. Recently it became known that the educational-training mission of Canada in Ukraine is also ready to participate in the process of training future officers of the National Guard. According to the defense attaché of the Embassy of Canada in Ukraine B. Irwin, the mission “is ready to provide instructors for the training of staff, who will based and trained at the academy” of Kozhedub.

Here it is necessary to add that in the summer of 2017 the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine approved the creation of tank troops in Kharkov at the faculty of military preparation of the National Technical University “Kharkov Polytechnic Institute”. And in the autumn representatives of the Kiev association of military attachés from 17 countries during two days visited a number of city facilities (Malyshev Factory, Morozov design bureau) and the aforementioned institute that was created.

In Kharkov NATO is also interested in the remains of the Soviet military-industrial complex. Of course, it’s not the technologies of Kharkov citizens themselves that are needed by them, but the analogs of the Russian military equipment that have a common history of creation in the USSR.

During the so-called ATO it was succeeded to reanimate the plant of V.A. Malyshev. As the official data testifies, in comparison with 2014 the production of the plant grew from 380.9 million UAH to 1.8 billion UAH (in 10 months of 2017). According to the Director of the enterprise A. Khlan, during this time the portfolio of orders of plant grew from 170 million UAH to 3 billion UAH.

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Following the results of work for 2016 the enterprise for the first time in recent years got profit, and during 2017 the profit sum significantly increased. If, as of May 1, 2015, the debt on salaries was 15.5 million UAH, then in February, 2016, they had already been completely paid off. And since that moment it’s been absent. In less than 3 years the staff of the enterprise increased by more than 1100 workers. During this time 17 new structural divisions were also created at the plant.

Of course, transformations at the plant take place under the close supervision of NATO curators. For example, on November 11th the Malyshev plant accepted a delegation of foreign specialists of the Kiev association of military attachés.

As the Director of the plant A. Khlan says, their previous arrival to the enterprise was “two years ago, and now they note cardinal changes in the activity of the enterprise”. “It is very important that after their trip, the attachés will describe in their analytical reports the activity of our enterprise and the level of its readiness for the performance of work,” he said, while bootlicking.

In September, the Ukroboronprom Group and the Polish Bumar-Labedy presented the PT-17 tank (a T-72 tank upgraded according to NATO standards) at the international MSPO-2017 exhibition. The fighting vehicle received a KBM2 cannon of NATO 120 mm caliber, which was made at the state enterprise “Morozov Kharkov Design Bureau of Mechanical Engineering”. Its optical-electronic sight is made at the Izyum instrument-making plant.

The main “trick” is that the tank was “created” together with the military-industrial complex of Poland. Allegedly, the Ukrainian defense industry, including Kharkov, can work without Russia. Of course, if to look narrowly at this Soviet tank, its modernisation consists only of replacing the Russian and Ukrainian components with foreign ones: the engine is German, the transmission is American, etc. The Poles, in fact, fitted to the tank only the GOC-1 Nike and GOD-1 Iris from PCO S.A. Whether there will be any orders for the tank, time will tell. Here, for the curators of the region the PR fact of “Polish-Ukrainian cooperation” itself is important!

Within the framework of NATO defense programs attempts are also made to involve the Kharkov engineering plant FED, which develops headlights and searchlights on the basis of light-emitting diodes for the armored machinery of Ukraine, in particular for the Malyshev “Oplot” factory. Now the plant started testing the introduction of NATO technical standards for production. The enterprise has bigger cooperation with Russia, that’s why the aims of NATO standardisation are more than obvious.

Of course, the work of Americans in Kharkov includes first of all buttering up the local elite. Officials are being attracted to projects and credits, and representatives of business – investments. We already wrote about the so-called Washington office of the Kharkov regional administration in the US, which was opened on September 22nd, 2015, in close proximity to the White House.

In 2017, the Americans began to actively butter up city officials too. In one year Donald Trump’s adviser and the former mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani visited Kharkov twice. He is interested in the power bloc – work with local police. In May, 2017, the deputy mayor M. Fateyev met the chief representative of NATO in Ukraine A. Vinnikov. At the time the latter noted that NATO realises in Ukraine 40 projects in 13 directions: in Kharkov, via the City Council, it represents educational programs for specialists in the domain of prosthetics and the program of social adaptation for former military personnel. According to him, in recent years about 1000 former servicemen from Kharkov and the region attended these courses.

Thus, it is characteristic that, despite the mass of work with Kharkov officials and the local elite, the population of the region remains hostile towards NATO. And no matter what is said in Kiev – that the attitude towards the alliance changes – the reality meanwhile still says the opposite. And regularly carried out opinion polls testify to this. In fact, if it was on the contrary, then a referendum on accession to NATO would’ve been held long ago as another PR show in the style “the final farewell to the USSR”. But it hasn’t happened.

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This is more than obvious in regards to Kharkov. The recent poll that was carried out by the German fund of Friedrich Ebert “Ukrainian ‘Generation Z’: values and reference points” once again showed that not only is the entire country split, but also the pro-Russian southeast is too.

And the response of youth to the question “who is to blame for the war” turned out to be something unexpected for sociologists in focus groups. Diana (28 years old, Kharkov): “This conflict is profitable for the West, it seems to me. Ukraine is a springboard for war”; Kirill (21 years old, Kharkov): “Something must be done with the people who launder money on it. The money will end – the war will end too”; Aleksandr (29 years old, Kharkov): “It seems to me that it is geopolitics. One side is NATO, the other is Russia. Because we are in the middle. We are neither here nor there”.

Besides polls on NATO, it should be noted that with the beginning of the so-called ATO the inhabitants of the pro-Russian part of Ukraine cardinally changed their attitude towards the army and soldiers. In the Soviet period it was a point of pride to serve in the army. During the days of Ukraine’s independence people tried to flee service because of general corruption and dedovshchina in the UAF, which, in fact, became the predecessor of the current “special” position of the army in society.

Now the Ukrainian soldier is perceived precisely as an ATO member – rough, drunk, and angered by people around, but considering that all is allowed for them by the right of a “defender of the nation”. They can steal, kill, kick up a fuss – war will write off everything. ATO members are sincerely convinced by it, and behave suitably. It is characteristic that in this regard they completely meet the American requirements – to fight against their own people, and only such people will be able to participate in various anti-Russian military operations.

The actions of such fighters in Kharkov in this plan are indicative and eloquent. The aforementioned chief of university of Kozhedub Major-General A. Alimpiyev was detained on November 17th, 2017, on suspicion of embezzling 2.4 million UAH. This topic is worthy of Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin! The chief military prosecutor A. Matios explained the reason: it turns out that cadets are fed with cockroaches and worms.

On his page on Facebook he published a photo of the food in the university canteen. But already on November 25th the Dzerzhinsk district court of Kharkov took the decision to not discharge him as the head of the university.

The inhabitants of the Kharkov region are no less outraged by the arbitrariness that takes place in the 92nd brigade – the main military base of ATO members in the region. The brigade regularly appears in loud scandals. Alcoholism, uproar, and rudeness towards fellow countrymen became an obligatory component of the life of these fighters. Spring of 2017, for example, a soldier in the brigade who was forcibly called for conscription committed suicide. The guy was from Donbass, but was taken in the ranks of UAF during mobilisation – he couldn’t tolerate being humiliated by his military “comrades”.

And the last incident happened in December – the police initiated criminal proceedings for the attempted murder of a serviceman. The incident happened in Chuguev on the territory of a military unit of the 92nd brigade in the night of December 7th. The drunk commander of the brigade Lieutenant-Colonel V. Kokorev nearly beat to death his deputy – a certain Lieutenant-Colonel Bizonych – just because he didn’t congratulate him on the holiday of the Ukrainian fighters. Moreover, he was together with two more fighters – here you have the honor and principles of Ukrainian officers!

Most likely, these are indeed the real standards of NATO for such army formations.

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