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Frontline | 27May2014 | James Jones  [32:05]

Battle for Ukraine

[00:00 -- 04:59]
- Interview of Dmytro Holubnichy re events in Kyiv on 20Feb2014 with film clips of him in the middle of the sniper fire.
[05:00 -- 09:59]
- Dmytro Holubnichy continues interview; Bandera, SS Galizien evolving to Right Sector highlighted on Russian TV.
- Interview of 17-year-old Oleh Demchuk as Right Sector enthusiast, signed up later that day.
[10:00 --11:59]
- Interview of Dmytro Yarosh of Right Sector.
- Vladimir Putin speech welcoming Crimea into Russian Federation.
[12:00 -- 16:54]
- Jones travels to Kharkiv.
- Huge rally chanting "Russia".
- Pro-Russian "Stronghold" organization -- street fighters, organized crime.
- Interview of "Igor" who describes 01Mar2014 takeover of Kharkiv government building -- Russians bussed in across border, were being paid $40.00/hour "to beat up the Kyiv fascists".
- Organized and orchestrated by Russian agents.
- Pro-Ukrainians beat up and humiliated.
[16:55 -- 20:34]
- Stronghold on offensive again against Right Sector office.
- Right Sector shot 2 of them dead.
- Kernes tries to stop fighting and arranges for Right Sector to leave.
- For next several days separatists roamed the streets beating up pro-Ukrainian supporters.
- Jones leaves in late March 2014 as Ukraine's control of Eastern regions "was slipping away".
[20:35 -- 22:24]
- Jones back in Kyiv in May 2014.
- Ukrainian government vacillating, fearful of Russian invasion.
- Interview of Victoria Suimar representing government -- the pro-Russians in East are puppets, whose strings are being pulled by Putin as proved by intercepted telephone conversations.
- "Armed hired Russians occupy a building; then they pass it on to the locals after training and instructing them."
[22:35 -- 26:44]
- In Donetsk pro-Russian separatists had declared their own state.
- Jones took train to Donetsk with Ukrainian tanks heading towards Donetsk.
- Separatists incorporating Stronghold were preparing for battle
- Interview of Denis Pushilin, who was planning a referendum, after which he would set up state structures and ask for Russian peacekeeping troops.
- Sergei Striliuk introduced himself as the commander of the separatist forces. "Soviet Union was the most righteous country." "Yarosh is the enemy of Ukraine."
- Jones describes 11May2014 referendum supervised by armed gunmen. Separatists claim 90% of voters supported Donetsk People's Republic.
- Although Putin did not annex the DPR as they requested, pro-Putin forces are on the ground guaranteeing instability.
[26:45 -- 28:24]
- Jones headed west and found Oleh Demchuk at a Ukrainian checkpoint.
- "In Kramatorsk we shot at them and left. Now they are hunting for nationalists."
- "Kicked in doors of building, threw in sound granades, took prisoners, killed others."
- "We are waiting for the elections, then we will attack with the army and free the territory from these bandits and terrorists."
[28:25 -- 29:09]
- Interview of Dmytro Yarosh again, who is planning new attacks on the separatists.
- "Our authorities are acting indecisively. Two months ago it was possible to avoid this fight -- taking certain people under control, containing pro-Russian activity so that none of this would happen. Now the situation has picked up momentum. Weapons have been delivered there so that they have means to fight. The situation is getting worse and worse."
[29:10 -- 31:09]
- That day Yarosh had sent his fighters to Mariupol alongside the Ukrainian army. They wanted to take back the police station. "Three of our men have been killed and several wounded." They were accused of firing indiscriminantly. Reports that 21 people were killed.
- Jones visited the town later, but found that the army and Right Sector had retreated, such that separatists were back in control.
- Each confrontation justifies more violence and death.
- "Let them come from Western Ukraine. ... Let them come and they will get what they deserve. ... There is no way they will stop us."
[31:10 -- 32:05]
- Petro Poroshenko has now been elected. He has promised to unite a divided country.
- But with each death the hatreds deepen and the politicians lose control of the gunmen. In some places, civil war is already a reality.