Breaking: Russian, Ukraine forces begin fighting near border; Update: Convoy trucks “mostly empty,” BBC reports; Update: Russians: Hey, we didn’t cross the border

posted at 11:21 am on August 15, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Remember how tensions appeared to have calmed down on the Russia-Ukraine border earlier today? Good times, good times. Both countries now acknowledge that fighting has erupted between their two military forces, although they disagree on the nature of the conflict. Ukraine insists that it’s in their country, and that they have managed to destroy part of an armored column that invaded their territory:

Ukraine said its troops attacked and partially destroyed an armed convoy that had crossed the border from Russian territory.

Ukrainian government troops engaged the vehicles that had arrived overnight through a rebel-held section of the border, Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for the country’s military, told reporters in Kiev today. Ukrainian soldiers continue to come under shelling, including rounds fired from Russia, he said.

Nyet, say the Russians. It’s the Ukrainians who attacked the military units protecting a convoy of humanitarian aid that started the conflict, although they seem to concede that the action’s taking place across the border:

Russia’s foreign ministry, meanwhile, said Ukrainian forces are engaging in intense fighting in Eastern Ukraine to stop humanitarian aid to the region.

Well, who could have seen this coming? Just about everyone when Vladimir Putin began putting together his provocative aid convoy. Let’s not forget that Putin sold this as a Red Cross effort to the Russian media while the ICRC denied any involvement in it at all. Today’s inspections were intended to get the Red Cross’ imprimatur on the project, but that didn’t stop Russia from sending in armored personnel carriers — although it did mark the first time they’d been caught at it by the media.

The EU reacted with alarm at the earlier incursion, but may find themselves in the first European war since the Balkans:

Europe voiced alarm on Friday over reports that Moscow had sent military hardware into conflict-torn eastern Ukraine, as Kiev prepared to inspect a controversial Russian “aid” convoy parked up at the border.

Tensions, already high over fears Moscow could use its humanitarian mission as a “Trojan horse” to help rebels, spiralled further after Ukraine’s military confirmed British media reports that a small convoy of Russian armoured vehicles was seen breaching the frontier.

“If there are any Russian military personnel or vehicles in Ukraine they need to be withdrawn immediately or the consequences will be very serious,” British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said.

Moscow has denied the allegations, the latest claims from the West that it has sent armour across the border to help pro-Kremlin separatists who launched an insurgency against Kiev in April.

Moscow isn’t denying it now, apparently, just claiming that it was part of the humanitarian effort.

We’ll keep our eye on further developments.

Update: The UK has summoned the Russian ambassador to explain their actions:

No word yet on an official reaction from the Obama administration.

Update: Russia says it’s still in talks with Ukraine over the aid, according to a flash update at CNBC, but warns Ukraine not to disrupt the aid convoy:

Russia, meanwhile, accused Ukraine of attempting to disrupt its humanitarian aid mission to eastern Ukraine and called for a ceasefire in the region to allow for the deliveries. The Kremlin has continuously denied sending weapons and troops into Ukraine.

“We draw attention to the sharp intensification of military action by Ukrainian forces with the apparent aim to stop the path, agreed on with Kiev, of a humanitarian convoy across the Russia-Ukraine border,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

That depends on which side of the border the Russian APCs were engaged, no?

Update: Now the EU has responded by telling Russia to back off:

Still no word from the White House or Martha’s Vineyard. Nothing on the State Department website as of 11:39 ET either.

Update: As of 12:30 ET still no statement from the White House. The Financial Times reports that it’s been grim for the rebellion even before now, and will get even more so:

The resignation of Igor Girkin, the Russian military mastermind behind the takeover of large parts of eastern Ukraine by rebel fighters, this week was the latest crack to appear at the top of the months-long rebellion that has become increasingly strained.

His departure is the third high-profile change in the rebel hierarchy in the past week. Alexander Borodai, also a Muscovite, stepped down last week as prime minister of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic. With Mr Girkin, he was part of Russian-backed separatist forces in Moldova’s breakaway region of Transnistria in the early 1990s.

The replacement of both with Ukrainians marks a transition in the leadership from highly trained Russian military officers to locally recruited warlords in an increasingly tense stand-off with Ukrainian forces.

“It will be like Stalingrad,” an armed rebel nicknamed Taipan recently told the Financial Times, referring to the battle between the separatists and government forces that is expected in coming days and weeks.

Or hours. Or minutes.

Update: But what about the aid? Turns out it’s mostly vaporware:

A convoy of Russian trucks carrying aid for eastern Ukraine has been opened up to journalists at the border. …

The BBC’s Steve Rosenberg noted that many of the trucks were “almost empty”.

Update, 13:21 ET: The Russians have finally gotten around to denying everything:

The Russian defence ministry denied Friday that it had sent a military convoy into Ukraine after officials in Kiev said they destroyed part of the armoured column.

Major-General Igor Konashenkov said “there exists no Russian military convoy that supposedly crossed the Russian-Ukrainian border…”, but better that Ukraine’s armed forces “destroy phantoms instead of refugees or their own soldiers,” he added, according to Russian news agencies.

Yeah, well, except …

NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen backed reports of the “Russian incursion” after British media said it had seen the convoy of some 20 vehicles cross the border.

Still no word from President Obama, either.


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Wow. Just wow.

stvnscott on August 15, 2014 at 12:39 PM

Just want to clarify that the article I linked is from March before Walter jumps on me for it.
It does not pertain to current “fighting” but I linked it to show the # mentality and those two State Dept. spokes-babes idiocy.

Brat on August 15, 2014 at 1:03 PM

Those Russian aid trucks were as empty as an IRS hard drive.

faraway on August 15, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Maybe so, but they were full of Putin’s love. Love, unicorns, and rainbows.

Fenris on August 15, 2014 at 1:05 PM

No word yet on an official reaction from the Obama administration.

Dear Leader to come out soon and say that both the Russians and Ukraines are doing bad things, and that they should stop and restore the calm….oh, wait…that was yesterday.

NOMOBO on August 15, 2014 at 1:05 PM

It takes time for an army to mobilize, especially when most of its equipment has been mothballed.

Walter Sobchak on August 15, 2014 at 1:02 PM

The Ukrainian equipment is mostly Russian. They are dependent on Russia for spare parts. The last I read a large percentage was not functional.

Kaffa on August 15, 2014 at 1:07 PM

The trucks are not empty. They are full of love from the Russians.

Rocks on August 15, 2014 at 1:08 PM

The Russians forgot about the time zone differences. They thought that these developments would hit the US around the late Friday evening document dump and be missed over the weekend.

Silly Russians.

Walter L. Newton on August 15, 2014 at 1:08 PM

Trucks are most all empty — CNN

Schadenfreude on August 15, 2014 at 1:10 PM

But what about the aid? Turns out it’s mostly vaporware:

Found on the beds of the trailers: “IOU one truckload of Russian imported Western goods. — Vlad”

Dusty on August 15, 2014 at 1:11 PM

So why are they mostly empty? Diversion, trojan horse, It’s a trap!, bad plannig? It doesn’t make sense.

vcferlita on August 15, 2014 at 1:12 PM

Russia was hoping that Ukraine would blow up a convoy of empty trucks to make it seem like they were denying humanitarian aid to the rebels. They didn’t want to put a lot of money into supplies that would be blown up but they still wanted there to be something in the wreckage to support their claims that it was strictly aid.

blammm on August 15, 2014 at 1:12 PM

A convoy of Russian trucks carrying aid for eastern Ukraine has been opened up to journalists at the border. …

The BBC’s Steve Rosenberg noted that many of the trucks were “almost empty”.

You’d think Putin would at least want to give himself the cover that these were aid trucks by at least putting something in them.

He’s about as competent as our own Dear Leader.

Bitter Clinger on August 15, 2014 at 1:13 PM

Russia was hoping that Ukraine would blow up a convoy of empty trucks to make it seem like they were denying humanitarian aid to the rebels. They didn’t want to put a lot of money into supplies that would be blown up but they still wanted there to be something in the wreckage to support their claims that it was strictly aid.

blammm on August 15, 2014 at 1:12 PM

Ok, that makes sense.

Bitter Clinger on August 15, 2014 at 1:14 PM

Ukraine, Russia political crisis
14m

Kremlin: Ukrainian, Russian chiefs of presidential staff met in Russia on Friday – @Reuters

canopfor on August 15, 2014 at 1:15 PM

I kind of think Putin is having a worse day then planned. It looks like his plan was for the Ukranians to challenge the “aid” convoy and then his reactionary force to swoop in and save it from the Nazi fascists. Instead the Ukranian generals were on their toes and intercepted the Russian armed military force on their territory first, and then let the world press discover for themselves that the aid convoy was an empty decoy.

Now Putin finds himself in a near unsinkable position. He has suffered Russian combat losses on foreign territory publicly. Europe looks pissed off enough to drop the real sanctions hammer. Heck the fact that London has summoned the Russian Ambassador to explain is an indication that the Oligarchs and Russian billionaires are about to be cut off from most of their hidden money. Even if the rest of Europe is fearful of energy supplies England is not. And Putin seems to suddenly have a ground war that he likely cannot win through conventional means. At least not quickly painlessly or with minimal Russian losses. His dreams of a Greater Russia and the near a broad ended today, whether he or anyone realizes it or not.

patches on August 15, 2014 at 1:17 PM

We need a good Soviet Russia joke.

faraway on August 15, 2014 at 1:18 PM

The BBC’s Steve Rosenberg noted that many of the trucks were “almost empty”.

You’d think Putin would at least want to give himself the cover that these were aid trucks by at least putting something in them.
Bitter Clinger on August 15, 2014 at 1:13 PM

“Let’s send a convoy of empty trucks just for the helluvit”.

whatcat on August 15, 2014 at 1:18 PM

Russia was hoping that Ukraine would blow up a convoy of empty trucks to make it seem like they were denying humanitarian aid to the rebels.

blammm on August 15, 2014 at 1:12 PM

Exactly. Thread winner.

faraway on August 15, 2014 at 1:18 PM

My personal theory re the empty trucks: they had been packed with mostly arms, with a few aid boxes at the back so you could open the flap/door and see food/water. When it became clear the Russians would not be able to get trucks into Ukraine without some actual inspection, the military equipment was quickly offloaded, leaving only a few civilian goods per truck.

Zumkopf on August 15, 2014 at 1:19 PM

No word from the alleged SoS. Kerry was here in Hawaii talking about Global Warming and how China is committed to reducing carbon emissions. While I was pondering how stupid that sounded on the face of it, I noted no comment on Ukraine, Iraq, ISIS and the fact that the chinese are hacking the crap out of our government and business data bases. In the obama administrations mind global warming is the top priority over the rest of the world going to hell. I mean really what the hell??!

warmairfan on August 15, 2014 at 1:19 PM

Soviet citizens: “We thought all Soviet food trucks were empty”

faraway on August 15, 2014 at 1:21 PM

The Russians acted stupidly.

- Barack H. Obama

307wolverine on August 15, 2014 at 1:21 PM

His dreams of a Greater Russia and the near a broad ended today, whether he or anyone realizes it or not.

patches on August 15, 2014 at 1:17 PM

Sure. And I bet he’s stomping his feet and screaming for his blinky.

Get real.

Walter L. Newton on August 15, 2014 at 1:23 PM

Soviet citizens: “We thought all Soviet food trucks were empty”

faraway on August 15, 2014 at 1:21 PM

Or “Everyone thought they were delivering the washing machines we ordered in 1985″.

whatcat on August 15, 2014 at 1:28 PM

The Russians arranged a press showing of the aid and then showed them empty trucks?

Come on.

p0s3r on August 15, 2014 at 1:29 PM

My personal theory re the empty trucks: they had been packed with mostly arms, with a few aid boxes at the back so you could open the flap/door and see food/water. When it became clear the Russians would not be able to get trucks into Ukraine without some actual inspection, the military equipment was quickly offloaded, leaving only a few civilian goods per truck.

Zumkopf on August 15, 2014 at 1:19 PM

That makes sense. It’s a variation on having a false shelf so anyone who opens the box just sees what’s on top.

whatcat on August 15, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Either rooty poot has a master plan that’s weirdly complex or he’s stumbling along like our guys seem to these days. Occam’s razor suggests the latter.

WitchDoctor on August 15, 2014 at 11:39 AM

I increasingly am thinking it’s the latter. I consider it a minor miracle that Ukraine has managed to resist them so long with such tepid support from the US (are we even giving them arms?). Putin is clearly going to have to invade or else give up soon. Once the rebels lose their last stronghold, he’ll be out of options, and it sounds to me like they are presently collapsing.

Pretty impressive for a near-bankrupt basket case that’s spent the last few months being terrorized by Russia.

Doomberg on August 15, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Update: As of 12:30 ET still no statement from the White House.
===============================================================

PETER MAER @petermaercbs · 35m

Hey guys, nice day, huh?”: Pres Obama to reporters as he bikes with @FLOTUS and Malia in#MarthasVineyard .

canopfor on August 15, 2014 at 1:31 PM

“It will be like Stalingrad,” an armed rebel nicknamed Taipan recently told the Financial Times, referring to the battle between the separatists and government forces that is expected in coming days and weeks.

Well, the most important consideration here is whether or how any of this might deleteriously impact Obama’s vacation.

MistyLane on August 15, 2014 at 1:32 PM

Maybe the trucks are not there to bring stuff in but rather the opposite.

Egfrow on August 15, 2014 at 1:33 PM

Zumkopf on August 15, 2014 at 1:19 PM
whatcat on August 15, 2014 at 1:30 PM

So perhaps they will just move the arms over the border at some other point.

It was my first guess as well … but I think the decoy theory is good too. Putin trying to draw fire.

Or perhaps he’s just as smart as Obama and was winging it.

gh on August 15, 2014 at 1:37 PM

Empty trucks? Nah, just super-concentrated aid.

BobMbx on August 15, 2014 at 1:45 PM

As of 12:30 ET still no statement from the White House.

Our semi-retired president can’t be bothered with such matters.

changer1701 on August 15, 2014 at 1:47 PM

“Potemkin Aid” transports.

Another Drew on August 15, 2014 at 1:47 PM

WHY HASN’T RAND PAUL ISSUED A STATEMENT ON THIS YET?

slickwillie2001 on August 15, 2014 at 1:54 PM

Our semi-retired president can’t be bothered with such matters.

changer1701 on August 15, 2014 at 1:47 PM

He’s now a PINO (President In Name Only).

Bitter Clinger on August 15, 2014 at 2:03 PM

I’m sure Obama will manage to work this into his busy partying schedule somehow.

WestVirginiaRebel on August 15, 2014 at 2:04 PM

Of course they were empty! You can’t haul troops across the border in trucks already full of “humanitarian aid”/

GarandFan on August 15, 2014 at 2:10 PM

“Putin’s just biding his time – just wait until Ukraine tries to attack, then watch what Putin will do!!!”

- hotair, going on 6 months now.

everdiso on August 15, 2014 at 2:11 PM

Well now we have a president who has long since checked out while the world goes to hell and a hand basket.

sorrowen on August 15, 2014 at 2:11 PM

I consider it a minor miracle that Ukraine has managed to resist them so long with such tepid support from the US (are we even giving them arms?).

Pretty impressive for a near-bankrupt basket case that’s spent the last few months being terrorized by Russia.

Doomberg on August 15, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Yeah, it’s real impressive and a minor miracle that 30,000 troops armed with tanks, helicopter gunships, and an air force, have taken months to roll back a rebel force of only 5,000, which has only a handful of tanks, no gunships, and no airplanes.

Jon0815 on August 15, 2014 at 2:12 PM

“World’s going to hell!!!”

because Israel/Palestine, Russia/ex-russian state, and middleeast terror conflicts are new things.

everdiso on August 15, 2014 at 2:14 PM

I consider it a minor miracle that Ukraine has managed to resist them so long with such tepid support from the US (are we even giving them arms?).

it’s not a minor miracle. The US has led the western world in enacting crippling sanctions against russia that have cut off Putin’s balls.

the tiny rebel force has no chance of success without full russian military support.

everdiso on August 15, 2014 at 2:16 PM

It takes the Russian state media at least two hours (apparently) to fully deny everything? Wow, they’re off their game.

I can’t wait for the inevitable Hillary response claiming that she tried to warn the Obama Administration about the threat of Russia but was shot down by administration insiders for behaving too much like Mitt Romney.

Aizen on August 15, 2014 at 2:29 PM

The US has led the western world in enacting crippling sanctions against russia that have cut off Putin’s balls.

everdiso on August 15, 2014 at 2:16 PM

And ISIS is the Junior Varsity.

Kaffa on August 15, 2014 at 2:29 PM

“Poland invaded us!”

Ward Cleaver on August 15, 2014 at 2:41 PM

Yeah, it’s real impressive and a minor miracle that 30,000 troops armed with tanks, helicopter gunships, and an air force, have taken months to roll back a rebel force of only 5,000, which has only a handful of tanks, no gunships, and no airplanes.

Jon0815 on August 15, 2014 at 2:12 PM

Did they have that at the beginning? My understanding was the Ukrainian army had all but collapsed when Yanukovych was forced from power, and they were humiliated in Crimea. Everyone expected Russia to stomp them in short order.

it’s not a minor miracle. The US has led the western world in enacting crippling sanctions against russia that have cut off Putin’s balls.

the tiny rebel force has no chance of success without full russian military support.

everdiso on August 15, 2014 at 2:16 PM

The sanctions have done jack and squat to actually slow down Putin’s war machine. If Putin was willing to take the risks of invading, he’d do it. I’ve long thought the Russian army was a paper tiger given their miserable performance in Georgia in the closing years of the Bush regime, and I’ve been suspicious that in the event of an actual invasion of Ukraine, they might outright be repelled by Ukraine’s military or else get hopelessly bogged down.

Obama should not have given the Ukrainians encouragement if he wasn’t even going to arm them, though. The (seeming) victory here belongs to Ukraine, who pulled it off by the skin of their teeth, and not Obama or the equally feckless EU.

Doomberg on August 15, 2014 at 2:50 PM

When Putin says “Our tanks never crossed the Russian border!” he means “We are not in Paris yet.”

2ndMAW68 on August 15, 2014 at 2:54 PM

No word yet on an official reaction from the Obama administration.

Just you wait until Obama finishes on the links this afternoon. Then you’ll find out just how mad and hurt he is.

Yeah, just you wait…you’ll see…just you wait, Henry Higgins, just you wait.

timberline on August 15, 2014 at 2:55 PM

Still no word from President Obama, either.

It’s a 36-hole day.

Bitter Clinger on August 15, 2014 at 2:56 PM

Empty Trucks?
This clearly was slight of hand.
It was always about the military “escort” of the convoy.

JusDreamin on August 15, 2014 at 2:57 PM

Did they have that at the beginning?

Yes, though it took them a few weeks to get their act together enough to launch the “anti-terrorist operation” in April.

My understanding was the Ukrainian army had all but collapsed when Yanukovych was forced from power, and they were humiliated in Crimea.

In Crimea they were actually facing the Russian military, not poorly armed, untrained rebels.

Everyone expected Russia to stomp them in short order.

Russia would have stomped them in short order, and still would today, if they ever actually invaded in a serious way.

Nobody expected the rebels to stomp the Ukrainian army. Porshenko claimed months ago that the rebels should be defeated in “days.”

Jon0815 on August 15, 2014 at 3:10 PM

The sanctions have done jack and squat to actually slow down Putin’s war machine.

Which is why…..putin’s war machine has been stopped in its tracks since the sanctions were imposed, as ukraine continues to call bluff after putin bluff.

everdiso on August 15, 2014 at 3:30 PM

Ukraine insists that it’s in their country, and that they have managed to destroy part of an armored column that invaded their territory

The Russians better watch out or those mighty Ukraine troops will chase them all the way back to Moscow. One thing is for sure, they certainly don’t need us. The Russians will soon be begging us to save them from the advancing Ukraine onslaught.

VorDaj on August 15, 2014 at 3:46 PM

The US has led the western world in enacting crippling sanctions against russia that have cut off Putin’s balls.

everdiso on August 15, 2014 at 2:16 PM

I try to avoid making myself look stupid on the internet. You apparently feel differently. How long have we had “crippling sanctions” on Cuba? How long did we have “crippling sanctions” on Saddam? Yet somehow, some way, they managed to survive them. Do you really think that Putin’s people haven’t figured a way around the sanctions? Really?

307wolverine on August 15, 2014 at 4:01 PM

patches on August 15, 2014 at 1:17 PM

I will argue against Walter and think this is closer to the truth with this caveat – Putin thought he could force the Ukraine to do something stupid here that would justify more force – clearly whoever is running the Ukraine forces deserves a big raise. I am curious now what happens in Crimera as well.

The UK summoning the ambassador is part optics of course, but it is telling the Russians that your string is as far as it goes and you better unwind this thing now – nice try, but its done. They can sign all sorts of non-dollar dominated trade deals with China they want – their currency isn’t worth much and China’s currency has never free floated and as their own real estate crash is just starting it isn’t going to hold very well.

The oligarchs are rich and have no desire to not be rich. I could care less if Obama says anything – in fact it is probably better to say nothing because we would screw it up with some stupid hashtag moment. The world is already waiting for the next US president. They are paying no attention to Obama anymore, and if what my friends in Europe are saying is true – all former Obama lovers I might add – the political elites over their hate his guts.

Zomcon JEM on August 15, 2014 at 4:09 PM

I try to avoid making myself look stupid on the internet. You apparently feel differently. How long have we had “crippling sanctions” on Cuba? How long did we have “crippling sanctions” on Saddam? Yet somehow, some way, they managed to survive them. Do you really think that Putin’s people haven’t figured a way around the sanctions? Really?

307wolverine on August 15, 2014 at 4:01 PM

Putin has been impotent since the day the sanctions were imposed, and threat after threat of his has turned out to be bluff after bluff.

them’s the facts.

everdiso on August 15, 2014 at 4:14 PM

If this is really all that comes of this, Putin has drastically overplayed his hand, as Ukraine will have effectively humiliated him.

Tom Servo on August 15, 2014 at 4:15 PM

Putin has been impotent since the day the sanctions were imposed, and threat after threat of his has turned out to be bluff after bluff.

them’s the facts.

everdiso on August 15, 2014 at 4:14 PM

In your dream world maybe, but Putin did not get to be the Top Dog in Russia by being stupid. He’s a former KGB head honcho. He knows a thing or thing about a thing or two. I gave you two examples of how sanctions failed to do what they’re supposed to do. We can add South Africa to the list too.

You saying they are facts doesn’t make them so.

307wolverine on August 15, 2014 at 4:21 PM

ah yes, the “you just wait – Putin’s got more tricks up his sleeve” argument.

that’ll work as well as the “just you wait – obamacare is gonna blow up real good” argument did.

everdiso on August 15, 2014 at 4:25 PM

The sanctions have done jack and squat to actually slow down Putin’s war machine. If Putin was willing to take the risks of invading, he’d do it. I’ve long thought the Russian army was a paper tiger given their miserable performance in Georgia in the closing years of the Bush regime, and I’ve been suspicious that in the event of an actual invasion of Ukraine, they might outright be repelled by Ukraine’s military or else get hopelessly bogged down.

Doomberg on August 15, 2014 at 2:50 PM

What’s stopping Putin isn’t fear of the Ukrainian army, its fear of more sanctions, and the fact that he doesn’t really want eastern Ukraine.

The Russian army is no paper tiger, but Putin himself is increasingly looking like one.

The Russian performance in Georgia was hardly “miserable.” They had a few embarassing incidents, but they still won the war in days. And the quality of their armed forces has clearly increased since then (along with their military budget), as military analysts observed during the Crimea operation.

If anyone needs to fear getting bogged down in eastern Ukraine, it’s the Ukrainian army, not the Russians. They’ve already lost 600 troops in four months- per capita, that’s six times the US casualty rate in Iraq- and even if they eventually take Donetsk and Luhansk, they could still face a guerilla war in which they continue to take casualties and lose military assets they can’t afford to replace.

Jon0815 on August 15, 2014 at 4:27 PM

Winter will soon hit Europe. Will sanctions against Russia hold when the gas runs out? I don’t think the voters in Europe will really care who controls Ukraine at that point.

Kaffa on August 15, 2014 at 4:32 PM

ah yes, the “you just wait – Putin’s got more tricks up his sleeve” argument.

I feel like I’m arguing with a child. Personally, I’m reluctant to declare victory in the 2nd Inning of the game. This is a LT chess match. But you continue to live in your fantasy world.

I know that you have tons of emotional energy invested in Obama. I realize that in your eyes Obama can do no wrong, despite the evidence to the contrary. But Do try to use your brain for once and think.

that’ll work as well as the “just you wait – obamacare is gonna blow up real good” argument did.

everdiso on August 15, 2014 at 4:25 PM

Obamacare? Who’s talking about Obamcare? We’re talking about Putin. Focus.

307wolverine on August 15, 2014 at 5:02 PM

Evidence to the contrary?

here’s the evidence:

1. Putin invaded Ukraine.
2. Santions were levied.
3. Putin stopped invading Ukraine.

evidence.

everdiso on August 15, 2014 at 5:15 PM

“Potemkin Aid” transports.

Another Drew on August 15, 2014 at 1:47 PM

Maybe the trucks were supposed to take the Russian Mercenaries back with them on a return trip so Putin could deny that the “rebels” were mostly hired thugs from outside the country.

KW64 on August 15, 2014 at 5:38 PM

Still no word from President Obama

August 14, 1945: Japan Surrenders. US victorious in WWII

August 15, 2014: Ummm…well…oh, just forget it.

kcewa on August 15, 2014 at 5:40 PM

“Potemkin Aid” transports.

Another Drew on August 15, 2014 at 1:47 PM

Maybe the trucks were supposed to take the Russian Mercenaries back with them on a return trip so Putin could deny that the “rebels” were mostly hired thugs from outside the country.

KW64 on August 15, 2014 at 5:38 PM

I hope they are full of the bodies of Russian soldiers headed back to Russia.

slickwillie2001 on August 15, 2014 at 5:49 PM

Evidence to the contrary?

here’s the evidence:

1. Putin invaded Ukraine.
2. Santions were levied.
3. Putin stopped invading Ukraine.

evidence.

everdiso on August 15, 2014 at 5:15 PM

Wow!! Such a compelling “argument.” You got me. Putin is just gonna tuck his tail between his legs and go home for good.

I sincerely doubt that we know all that is going on. All we “know” is what has been leaked to us so far. That may or may not be a accurate picture of what they see at the CIA, Pentagon, and NSA.

In fact, I’m going to go so far as to say that we only know a sliver of what is actually going on right now. The fog of war and all that jazz.

My God, how easily you dive into the tank if anything can remotely make Obama look good. You don’t wait to see how things play out. I’m willing to bet that if things go south for the Ukraine that you’ll be nowhere to be found.

I certainly hope you display better impulse control and a greater degree of fact attainment in other areas of your life.

307wolverine on August 15, 2014 at 5:51 PM

The Russians have finally gotten around to denying everything:

Why shouldn’t they deny everything? Obama and his administration have set the modern day precedent for lying through your teeth with a “what the f*** are you going to do about it” expression on your face. The entire world now has an excuse for telling unbelievably stupid lies while getting away with it.

phxconservative on August 15, 2014 at 8:20 PM

What did everyone expect?

It’s 3:00 am……………..

Tenwheeler on August 15, 2014 at 9:07 PM

Potemkin Convoy.

Putin’s new CB handle “Rubber Dacha“.

profitsbeard on August 16, 2014 at 4:42 AM

“Russia responded when the Russian defense ministry said that there was no Russian military column that crossed into Eastern Ukraine, and that the above reports are based on “some fantasies.”

This is where the breakdown of logic occurs, because for Russia to make such a formal statement it clearly implies that Russia believes there is no evidence of destruction of a Russian convoy in Ukraine territory, something which obviously would exist if indeed as Ukraine’s president had claimed, the “majority of the machines had been eliminated.”

If true, it also implies that either Ukraine had fabricated the entire story, and certainly the part about the destruction of the convoy and by extension that Russians had ever entered into East Ukraine. Furthermore, that would also suggest that the reports of the British reporters were also a fabrication.

Unless, of course, there is evidence, in which case the credibility of the both the Guardian and Telegraph reporters can be preserved, Ukraine can not be accused of fabricating a story to suit what some may say its own warmongering ambitions, and the onus is on Russia to explain why it lied about there being no invasion.”

Viator on August 16, 2014 at 10:31 AM

So why are they mostly empty? Diversion, trojan horse, It’s a trap!, bad plannig? It doesn’t make sense.

vcferlita on August 15, 2014 at 1:12 PM

They decided to take the weapons out at the last minute.

Count to 10 on August 16, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Lots of destroyed convoys but they’re not Russian:

Voenkor ikorpusa with the best parts of an army liberated the NPT entered into on August 14 Stepanovka having great strategic importance. In Stepanovka Ukrainian army left dozens of pieces of equipment, a large quantity of ammunition, classified material. Locals said that the Ukrainian officers fatten when their soldiers were starving. In the Ukrainian army thrives drunkenness and panic.
(Google translation)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYBbwnBrabI#t=51

“Destroyed or abandoned Ukrainian equipment in/near Stepanovka in the south, the first of two Stepanovka videos. The first couple of minutes are very interesting, with lots of destroyed or abandoned equipment and milia carting off captured munitions and rummaging through stuff. Then a funky local man who tells the cameraman about how the Ukrainian officers didn’t take care of their men and darted off leaving their men stranded, how the Ukrainians all drink heavily, how their morale is low and they panic during any kind of battle, and how they don’t want to engage the militia up-close. Also you can see a stack of grad rockets on the ground around 5:50 and then again around 7:20.”

quote is from around 7:18 to 7:52, as follows …

“In the Stepanovka area, guys are jumping to go into battle, to kill the enemy even with bare hands. In particular, in the assault units that captured Stepanovka, there are very many volunteers from Semyonovka [a town near Slaviansk that was largely destroyed by Ukrainian shelling], who are just burning with a thirst for vengeance for the acts of genocide that the fascists waged there. I think that for Ukrainian soldiers, it’s really best not to run into these guys. This is the mindset the Ukrainian army is fighting.”

Viator on August 16, 2014 at 6:04 PM

Putin is clearly going to have to invade or else give up soon. Once the rebels lose their last stronghold, he’ll be out of options, and it sounds to me like they are presently collapsing.

Pretty impressive for a near-bankrupt basket case that’s spent the last few months being terrorized by Russia.

Doomberg on August 15, 2014 at 1:30 PM

The only reason they’ve lasted is that Russia is very little better off in terms of finances. Yeah they got all the loot from their “satellites” but the Commie stupidity was arguably the strongest there. If this were even as late as 1990 the rebels would be in a very sore spot.

LawfulGood on August 17, 2014 at 2:17 AM

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