Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Transcarpathia, Transnistria and Gagauzia SitRep 27 Oct - 09 Nov

by "Y"

Whilst the situations in Transcarpathia, Transnistria and Gagauzia remain essentially stable, the $5 billion bomb detonated at the Ukraine Maidan has set off shock waves that ripple and reflect off pre-existing dormant conflicts and tensions. These have expanded to Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, the Baltic States, Moldova and Romania in the immediate vicinity, let alone the major states at the heart of Europe.

Given these effects, I hope the reader will forgive references to actions outside the obvious immediate scope given by the title of this SitRep.



Volunteers are still collecting funds for equipment to be supplied to the troops at front. The main requirement is winter clothing and night vision imagers. A number of these imagers have been supplied by pro-regime individuals living abroad. As an expression of desperation, the proposal to transport firewood from Transcarpathia to the front takes some beating.

Casualty figures are confusing as usual and are subject to the usual caveats. A total of 29 individuals are reported as dead, with another 22 wounded. The dead include three Aidar members and one National Guard commander from block-post 32, along with another 5-6 individuals. Another soldier was killed near Lugansk possibly by a sniper. A group of seven Marines were wounded when their vehicle hit a mine, north of Lugansk, possibly near block-post 32. A member of the Carpathian Sich was severely wounded in fighting at Peski immediately west of Donetsk airport. A Transcarpathian solider from the 128th Mountain Infantry Brigade has died of wounds. He was injured on 18 October when he was a member of a howitzer unit between Lugansk and Debaltsevo. He was transferred to Lviv hospital and died 30 October. He was named as Sergeant Ruslan Vladimirovich Lishchuk of Khmelnitsky. The number of dead from Transcarpathia is one of the lowest rates per oblast in the country, along with Rivne and Chernivtsi.

To date, the military hospital at Mukachevo has treated 299 wounded soldiers. A number of wounded have been transferred to other countries for specialist treatment and rehabilitation, probably in relation to the fitting of prosthetic limbs. Fifteen individuals, including five injured at the Maidan and ten individuals from the Dnepr and other Pravy Sektor battalions have been treated in Estonia at a cost of 175,000 Euro. One individual was named as the Pravy Sektor coordinator Andrei Tarasenko, call sign Philipas. Croatia has accepted eight wounded soldiers for treatment whilst Hungary has said it will accept another ten for treatment at a military hospital. The largest contingent reported so far has 28 members of the 80th Air Mobile Battalion based in Lviv. These have been transferred to a private hospital in Poland for treatment of loss of limbs.

One of the problems for the Ukrainians regarding the dead is identification of victims. The volunteer units particularly don't use 'dog tags'. In Transcarpathia a newly formed NGO "Search-West" held a press conference in Uzhgorod. The representatives outlined a new humanitarian mission called 'Black Tulip' purposed with the task of tracking down and identifying the dead in the east. They called for volunteers and money to help with the search. They are looking for funds for 5-6 vehicles to transport volunteers and a further 1-2 refrigerated trucks to carry the remains, along with specialist equipment such as personal protection clothing. They claim to have identified 150 graves so far, in the areas around Ilovaisk, Shaktersk and Saur-Mogilla. Given the absence of dog tags, they propose to use DNA techniques to identify remains. How that will be financed was not discussed. Large numbers of volunteers would also be necessary given the psychologically demanding nature of the task.

News is slowly coming out giving an indication of the depth of discontent within the Ukraine military. Earlier a large number of soldiers from the Karpattya battalion left the Ilovaisk area without permission from high command in Kiev. One hundred of these individuals have returned to Transcarpathia, whilst a further forty have gone into hiding as they no longer wish to continue service. Thirty marines from the 80th Air Mobile Battalion based in Lviv have refused to return to the front and have been forced to go to Mukachevo military base in Transcarpathia. Given the large number of wounded reported above, it seems this unit was involved in some spectacularly horrific action, possibly in one of the cauldrons. Two individuals who absconded from the Dnepr battalion were detained at Alchevsk in the Donetsk region. They were given jail sentences of seven years for desertion. Relatives have been reported protesting outside the building where fort members of the 51st Mechanised Brigade are on trial. They were caught in a cauldron and forced, through lack of fuel and ammunition, to flee over the border into Russia. These individuals must have decided to return to Ukraine only to be charged with desertion.

The military base at Mukachevo holding the men from the 80th Air Mobile Battalion is reported to be in dreadful condition. The local authorities are seeking funding from Kiev to make it habitable. The exact nature of the problems are described as a 'military secret' though it is reported to lack basics such as beds, toilets and heating.


A major component of the local budget derives from gas transit fees derived from gas flowing out of Ukraine to the rest of Europe. These fees amounts to about $4 billion annually. Kiev leaves the region with about 2 billion UAH (~ 4%) of that amount.

Overall, Ukraine's GDP is down 5.1% to the end of the third quarter 2014 versus the same time last year. The IMF predict customer price inflation will be 11.4% for 2014 and 14% in 2015, a balance of payments decline of -2.5% and unemployment rising to 10%.

Concrete indicators of performance include a 77% decline in car production for October year on year. This sounds drastic, but the internal production is only a few thousand cars per year. Government statistics suggest inflation will reach 19% for the year. The highest components are gas heating at 10.8%, 7.8% for coal, eggs and bacon at 13.2-13.8% respectively. One of Transcarpathia's main exports is timber. The local timber is high quality furniture grade wood, but mismanagement has led to the timber being used for low quality, low profit uses. Local experts are concerned about the effects of deforestation on soil stability and the tourist trade. These concerns are reinforced by attempts to substitute wood fires for gas heating gas, both locally and elsewhere in the country.

Evidence has been released that supports the hypothesis that the UAH exchange rate was manipulated in run up to election. The graph shows that UAH / $ exchange rate was held flat at 12.95 for more than one 1 month. On 5 November control was released and the exchange rate jumped to 14.0 before falling back to 13.6 at the end of the day. The rate reached 14.3 the following day and went as high as 14.7 on the seventh of November. The Ukraine National Bank announced that it had spent $1.3 billion of foreign exchange reserves over last 6 weeks to maintain UAH exchange rate during election. This support has now stopped, hence the rising rate. The foreign exchange reserves amounted to $16.3 billion at the end of September. By 1 Nov these had fallen to $12.5 billion, a loss of 23.8% in 2 months.

A recent report on the 100 richest Ukrainians shows that only one originates in Transcarpathia. He originally made his money in the oil and energy sector, but now focusses on the local football club. The highest proportion of the high net worth individuals come from Donbass (17%) followed by Dnepropetrovsk (14%). Looking on the bright side, Igor Kolomoisky who is third on the list, has lost 33% net wealth since 2013.


In the recent election, the victory in all but one (68 Uzhgorod) of the six local electoral districts went to self-identified candidates. The candidates gained 39-62% of the votes. In district 68, Bloc Petro Poroshenko gained victory with ~21% of vote. The low percentage needed for victory is a consequence of the large number of candidates standing in Uzhgorod. Turnout varied from 31% to 68%. The city of Uzhgorod had the highest turnout; the lower figures tended to occur in the more rural districts. Bloc Petro Poroshenko gained 25.6% in Transcarpathia compared to 6-10% in Donbass, Kharkov, and Odessa (figures subject to final revision).

All three of the Baloha brothers won their seats, along with their cousin Vasily Petiovka. They propose a decentralisation of power to Transcarpathia along the lines of an EU model. To date, this local political clan claims to favour the Self-Help Party rather than the Bloc Petro Poroshenko. Of the three brothers, only Ivan Baloha has so far been appointed to the Rada.

In terms of local Hungarian representation in the Rada, Vasily Brenzovich, the Hungarian ethnic representative may receive a parliamentary mandate once all the results are in and the deals have been negotiated.

In the previous SitRep, I referred Dmitry Yarosh's visit to Uzhgorod. He is the leader of Pravy Sektor and was accompanied by his praetorian guard. The videos of an extended Q&A session were released on YouTube. He mentioned the potential for the Crimean Tartars to create problems in Crimea. My view was that this indicated he was connected with the US regime change managers. As if on cue Ukraine media started producing reports relating to Crimean Tartars. On 27 October, Mustafa Dzhemilev, a Ukrainian advocate of Crimean Tartar nationalism tried to enter Crimea to vote. As he has been banned from entering Russian territory for 5 years, he was not allowed into Crimea, as he knew very well. This low level propaganda effort was followed by others. Dzhemilev had discussion with Poroshenko covering the creation of a Ministry of Crimea to consider issues relating to the return of Crimea to Ukraine. This ministry would handle claims relating to violation of Tartar and Muslim rights in Crimea. He has also called for criminal proceedings to be opened against 387 Crimean soldiers who transferred to Russian military units. More recently, billboards promoting Dzhemilev have appeared in Prague. These criticise Czech Republic claims that the current status of Crimea should be accepted. Dzhemilev is clearly the US point man for manipulating alleged mistreatment of Tartars and Muslims in Crimea.

In contrast to peaceful well-attended elections in Donbass, election sites at some places in rest of Ukraine turned very ugly. Perhaps the worst case was the handling of the count in 59th electoral district in west Donetsk. Pravy Sektor thugs were filmed guarding the voting station, supervisors were intimidated, computers and paperwork removed under strange circumstances. Parts of the electoral committee were replaced. The outcome of the vote was not resolved by 6 Nov. Opora, an NGO monitoring voting process, described situation as scandalous. Videos show the process of intimidation in support of the Pravy Sektor candidate. Others show women adjudicators reduced to tears or being treated by medical staff. The dispute centres around the counts for two self-nominated candidates, one of whom is probably Pravy Sektor.

A similar dispute occurred in Electoral District 79 in Zaporizhzhya. A self-nominated candidate (probably Pravy Sektor) was declared the winner after a drawn-out recount process involving rejection of any vote slip with an imperfection, several bomb threats against the electoral office, intimidation by armed Pravy Sektor thugs culminating in staged provocation. The winning vote gate 22% of the total. The low proportion needed for victory is a side effect of the presence of a large number of candidates (23) on the electoral list.

It seems like Pravy Sektor are exploiting the mechanics of the Ukraine electoral system to gain control that is out of proportion to the official party support (~ 2-3%). Party candidates take half of the seats in the Rada whilst self-identified candidates take the other half. This will give the party plausible deniability - how can the government be Nazi when it only has 2-3% support? Now we know.


Gas is still a major problem. Ukraine has built up a stored capacity of about 16.6 billion cubic metres (bcm) in twelve underground storage sites that have a maximum capacity of 31 bcm. This stored amount reduced by about 1% in the first very mild week of the heating season. Once the temperature really drops, then depletion will increase rapidly.

The Ukraine government, regional and national is desperate to reduce gas consumption. One obvious approach is to increase prices. The first step has been to reduce subsidies for the poorer gas users who effectively get their gas free. This subsidy will now apply to a fixed quantity of gas. The remainder will have to be paid for. This will no doubt hit the poorer sector hard should the winter be extremely bad.

Other approaches include short term and long term substitution. In Transcarpathia, the short term solution would be to burn timber that grows prolifically in the mountainous area. One problem is that the trees are high grade wood, the last thing you would burn for fuel. In the longer term hydroelectricity may be feasible locally, given the mountainous terrain. Other fanciful options include solar and wind power, though these have high initial capital costs so maybe they will have to magic more money into existence for this to happen. Recently the coal mines in DOnbass were seen as a source of coal, rather than the dodgy South African deal. However, the recent heavy bombardment by Ukraine forces have led to the Donbass authorities calling off the potential deal. The local political big cheese, Baloha, denounced government plans to buy coal from the Donbass and the grounds that the government shouldn't deal with terrorists. His grandstanding has neatly been undermined.

The reverse gas saga continues. Slovakia has stated it will continue to supply gas in reverse through the pipeline near Uzhgorod, in spite of the fact that their gas supply has been reduced to contract minimum.

In contrast, the government of Hungary seems to take its own citizens and industry into account. It has declined to supply Ukraine via reverse flow in response to reduced supply to contractual minimums. In order to secure its own energy sources in light of Ukraine's actions, it has passed a law accelerating construction of its part of the South Stream infrastructure. This allows the pipeline to be built in advance of the granting of a licence to operate. The EU, unsurprisingly, suggests these actions may violate EU law. Orban has defended the support for South Stream noting that Germany has North Stream to allow it to cope with supply problems through Ukraine, so why not South Stream for Hungary and others?

The US is predictably not pleased with the actions of Hungary. It is trying to block a strategic deal between Hungary and Russia. The Hungarian energy group MOL is trying to sell its stake in Croatian market to a Russian company. MOL owns 49% of the Croatian energy company INA. The US does not want this to go ahead in case the Croatian company ends up under control of Gazprom.

Regarding the energy deal between Ukraine, Europe and Russia, a confusing profusion of prices have been mentioned. A useful report summarises the European gas supply situation using third party figures. In my understanding, there are three types of customer; end-user, transit and combined transit / end-user. End-users are typically at end of pipeline and simply pay for the gas the use. Transit customers receive payment to cover costs of pipeline and profit. This payment is related to the amount of gas carried through their network. Most countries are either end-user or combined (e.g. Ukraine) customers. The basic price of gas from Russia is $485 per thousand cubic metres (tcm). End-user countries are provided with a discount which is proportional to amount of gas they use. Germany, largest single user at ~40 billion cubic metres (bcm) per year pays ~$366 per tcm whilst Romania, using only ~1 bcm per year pays ~$480 per tcm. The average cost over all European countries taking gas from Gazprom is $387 per tcm. Ukraine was offered a $100 discount on the base price giving an effective price of $385 per tcm which seems not unreasonable given it is, shall we say, not a good customer. As a transit country, it also receives payment for gas transiting and exiting primarily through the Transcarpathian pipelines. This amounts to about $4 billion dollars per year. Ukraine wants to receive all of its gas by reverse supply which, to my understanding, is legitimately outside the contract between Gazprom and the prospective reverse suppliers. The reason reverse is not allowed by default is that Ukraine, in this case, would then receive transit payment for all the gas it uses as well as a lower price offered to a larger consumer providing the reverse supply. This would amount effectively to a double discount, with the extra bonus of it still being able to blackmail Russia and Europe. The current deal with Gazprom is valid until 31 March 2015 when a renegotiation for a lower summer gas price will take place. Yatsenyuk is looking for a lower price because of the drop in market prices. The current contracts are not based on spot prices in order to give stability to both customer and supplier. He has made claims that Ukraine will only pay $285 (or $268) per tcm against current price of $385 per tcm. I suspect if Yatsenyuk had his way, he would expect Russia to pay for the privilege of Ukraine deigning to use its gas.


Now the election is over, the possibility of a fourth wave of mobilisation has surfaced. Currently there are no details so this may just be rumour. The Transcarpathian SBU has launched criminal proceedings against a military recruiter. He is accused of taking a bribe of about 16,000 UAH ($1100-1300) in order to provide someone with military identification so they could evade military service.


It looks like the US may have started regime change against Orban. On 27 October, it was reported that thousands of Hungarians came out in protest at a rally in Budapest protest. The action was ostensibly about a proposed tax to be imposed on internet data. For individuals, this would have been capped at 23 Euro. However, reported comments b attendees focussed on other matters such as corruption. This may have been meant as a warning to Orban. The proposed legislation for the tax was subsequently withdrawn.

The prime motive for this manifestation of US ire is the signs of independence shown by Hungary. A useful summary of the position enumerates the reasons for the US actions. Hungary is heavily dependent on good relations with Russia. Around 80% of it's natural gas comes from Russia, via the wretched Ukraine stranglehold. Hungary also exports 2.55 billion Euros worth of goods to Russia (in 2013). It also has a 10 billion Euro contract with a Russian company to upgrade the Paks nuclear plant. Hungary has very good reason to show interest in the South Stream project, for reasons outlined above.

The US view is clearly expressed in a statement by the US Charge d'affaires Andrew Goodfriend, referring to Hungary's actions and rapprochement with Russia - "If that trend continues it may reach a level where the United States can no longer cooperate with Hungary as an ally."

This is an ominous threat given that Hungary is a member of the EU and of NATO. It seems remarkable that the US would threaten a NATO member and supposed ally. The Speaker of the Hungarian Parliament, Laszlo Kover, expressed his dissatisfaction with EU diktats over South Stream. He made the comment that in the worst case, Hungary may leave the EU. This prompted outrage from members of the opposition parties and other politicians who condemned Kover's comments. In spite of this, Hungarian politicians reject German claims of isolation within the EU.

In short, Orban appears to be on the US hit list. Obama has compared Hungary compared to Azerbaijan, Russia, Venezuela and Egypt. Nuland hysterical questions how Orban can sleep at night following his actions.


Unsurprisingly, the US will provide increasing war aid to Ukraine in spite of the Minsk protocols. Geoffrey Payette, the US Ambassador to Ukraine was reported saying that "We'll also supply high military technology, which should help troops fighting in the East, to protect themselves. Including, for example, potent radar radar systems, which we will put together a training course, how to use them, in the coming months,". With an admirable lack of self awareness, he also stated that "Russia's annexation of the Crimea is a violation of the fundamental principles of the Euro-Atlantic security system".

Transcarpathia was recently honoured with a visit by the the Elena Vasilieva, Russian human rights activist behind the NGO(?) "Cargo 200...". 'Cargo 200' refers lorries full of dead (code 200, code 300 is wounded) Russian soldiers supposedly transferred to RUssia to hide the 'true' numbers of NAF dead. She told a rapt audience that 4000 Russian troops are missing. I suppose this is an excellent example of one falsehood being necessary (cargo 200) to explain an earlier falsehood (the glorious Ukraine army must be killing countless 'terrorists').


The sanctions against Russia are causing increasing problems within Europe. In an excuse for further sanctions Russia was instructed on how to react to the Donbass elections. Austria has come out against further sanctions, whilst Germany called on Russia to reconsider its actions regarding Donbass elections. They have had a significant negative effect on Hungary. It has proposed that the EU provide compensation to those that remain loyal to the sanctions regime.

In a perfect example of the Ukrainian mindset, the Transcarpathian politician Viktor Baloha proposed that Ukraine invoke sanctions against Russia economic and trade interests in spite of any subsequent consequences for Ukraine.


The SBU and Right Sektor seem to have clamped down effectively on separatist / anti-junta sentiment, both in Transcarpathia and in other parts of Ukraine such as Odessa and Kharkov. This does not mean such sentiment no longer exists as anti-regime rallies still occur in Odessa for example.

There have been no significant follow-ups on the potential Galician separatist movement reported in an earlier SitRep. Given Galicia is the home of hard-core Banderism, it would be amusing if the Nazis were to clamp down on themselves via the SBU and Pravy Sektor. Banderite students have been reported stirring up trouble in Poland. This is ironic given Poland's assistance in training these people for the Maidan. Apparently the Ukrainian radicals claim that Ukraine should annex parts of Poland. These students are supposedly financed by the US.


The situation in Transcarpathia intensifies - an alternative view.

Ukraine electoral commission - party lists, manifestos, candidates etc.

A hit piece on Orban, by the bastion of Truthiness, the UK Guardian.

An acme of delusion, fifth columnist Nemtsov claims "Putin hates Ukraine and tries to take revenge for the Maidan". The interview with him is brought to you courtesy of that beacon of the 'Best Freedom Money Can Buy', Radio Liberty.

Trouble for Hungary Hungary could undermine the dictates of the US having stopped reverse flow putting own country first, which is totally outrageous to the Indispensable Nation.

Propaganda Pulpit or Sinkhole of Stupidity?. This site contains an onslaught of nonsense purveyed to the Ukrainian population.

How 'the world' supports Ukraine - details of financial, military and 'humanitarian' aid to Ukraine, along with EU donations(?). Japan stands out as the largest in monetary terms, making a clear loan with a specified interest rate. Are the other countries making gifts? Or are they more realistic in their expectation that Ukraine will never pay the money back?

Transnistria (aka PMR) and Gagauzia


The ongoing economic blockade by Moldova and Ukraine against the PMR continues with its consequent negative effects on the economy. There are some positive points. Russian trade representatives have pointed out that low cost, high quality PMR goods could replace those affected by sanctions against the Russian market. One PMR clothing manufacturer plans to expand into the school uniform market in Russia. This factory, Odema, already has multiple contracts for the assembly of clothing for a number well known American and Italian brands: "Warehoused", "Street One", "Calmo", "Canda", "Justina", "Martinelli", "Dolce&Gabbana", "Armani", "Belstaff", "PaJermo", "MaxMara", "Mariella Spa", "La Coccinella Spa" and "Via Nuova Spa". In this type of operation, most of the profit goes to the brand names. The organisation is now trying to make use of its skills to enter a more profitable market created by sanctions against Russia.

The blockade has not seriously affected the bilateral trade with the Czech Republic. In the past ear, the turnover has increased 40%, with exports from the PMR exceeding imports by $0.5 million.

The PMR is applying the same standards as Russia to meat products from Chernihiv region of Ukraine, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Belarus has also adopted the same approach, with the addition of a total ban on pork products. This has resulted in price deflation for agricultural goods in Moldova. For the first nine months of this year, this deflation amounted to 9.4% for crops and 14.3% for livestock. Fresh and canned fruit and vegetables are down 13.1% in August compared to the previous year. Moldovan farmers understandably desperate about this situation. The CIS is still the main importer of Moldovan wines, and the EU market accounts for only about 20% of sales. In just six months of this year, wine exports to CIS decreased by 26.8%, and spirits dropped 30% as a result of Russian reverse sanctions. Moldova is looking to the UK as a possible replacement market.

The external debt of Moldova has increased 3.6% over the value at the end of 2013 value. This amounts to a deficit of $1.3 billion. The EU has recently opened a branch of its investment bank, in order to loan Moldova even more money, subject to suitable collateral (I guess). Inflation in Moldova has reached 4.6% as a consequence of the Ukraine crisis.


The Moldovan GRES power station in PMR has increased output by 39% from last year. This is a result of increased demand from export customers (in Moldova) and large domestic customers.

Romania has started supplying Moldova with natural gas via reverse flow. Romania is largely self reliant for natural gas.


The PMR foreign minster met with the OSCE delegation for progress meeting in relation to the 5+2 talks. There has been no progress. PMR has complained of Moldovan provocations. In one incident, PMR police stopped a car carrying four males. These individuals locked themselves in the car when asked to show identification. It turns out they were part of the Moldovan peace-keeping force which is supposed to be based on the Moldovan side of the river. Moldova has refused to explain what was going on. The Special Representative of the OSCE has presented these complaints to Moldova and received no response. The OSCE has urged both sides make frequent substantive contact. Moldova proposes weekly meeting after the elections to be held at the end of November.

The Transnistrian conflict and Moldova was the subject of a round table conference held on October 30, 2014, at the European Policy Centre in Brussels, supported by the Romanian Cultural Institute. The event claimed to bring together experts from think-tanks, independent sites, members of Parliament and the EU diplomacy, as well as heads of diplomatic missions of the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. One noticeable absence was any explicit form of PMR representation.

The Governor of Gagauzia was declared persona non grata by the Ukrainians when he attempted to travel to Odessa in Ukraine. No reason for the decision was given at the time.

A Moldovan agency Vox Populi conducted a survey and found that 48% of Moldovans were against entry to NATO with only 24% for entry. The figures for EU association were much closer and more favourable, with 43% for and 40% against. No details of the methodology are provided so further comment is not possible. SHortly afterwards, Nikolai Starikov made his first visit to PMR to hold a meeting with the President and Foreign Minister. He pointed out that about half of the Moldovan population did not agree with EU integration. He included PMR, Gagauz, and the northern part of Moldova in this group. He concluded that forcing the issue may lead to further break up of Moldova.

It seems that the US favours Romania annexing Moldova. An NGO 'Civilian Youth of Moldova' promotes absorption of Moldova within Romania. One Romanian minister states that Moldova has already lost the PMR and should consider joining Romania without it. The US Ambassador to Moldova has played the 'corrupt government' card and called on the Moldovan people to act (shades of Ukraine?). There is speculation of a possible US supported Maidan in Moldova, leading the way for Romania to annex Moldova. This is certainly a possibility given the presence of outfits like 'Civilian Youth of Moldova'.


The Ukrainian SBU Ukraine reported the capture of a number of individuals carrying weapons. They claimed these weapons were smuggled from PMR to Odessa for the benefit of the so-called "Odessa National Republic". The items included a shotgun, a tin of corroded bullets, a rusty hand grenade and a set of nun-chucks. Some of the material looked as though it was discovered accidentally. The whole set formed a totally unconvincing set of equipment for a putative army.

A hapless young man was detained at Chisnau airport accused of serving in Donbass militia. The evidence for this was a collection nondescript military clothing, the sort found in any second hand military shop. The crucial piece of evidence was a tag on a jacket, stating 'G. E. Army' in English. This was considered evidence of the existence of a Gagauzian army. The man was inevitably represented as 'green man' in Ukraine media.


The possibility of Romania annexing Moldova is a grave concern to PMR and Gagauzia. In PMR, around 60% of its inhabitants are Russians and Ukrainians. They sought to secede from Moldova before the collapse of the Soviet Union, fearing that Moldova will join Romania. This led to the creation of the PMR. Whilst the Romanian Deputy Eugen Tomak says that Gagauzians have nothing to fear from unification of Moldova and Romania, the may have a different view. In an earlier response to Moldovan interest in unification with Romania, Gagauzian calls for elections were met with convoys of activists from the Popular Front of Moldova and others from ROmania intended to disrupt the elections. Posters were produced displaying text such as "Gagauzia - herpes on the body of Moldova" and "Good Gagauz - dead Gagauz". This sort of thing tends to severely mitigate against Tomak's bland statements. There is also a substantial Gagauzian population in Odessa. Mihail Formuzal, the Governor of Gagauzia mentioned earlier may be involved with the creation of a new group 'People's Movement of Gagauzia' representing the interests of Gagauzians and their diaspora. If that is the case, it may explain the actions of the Ukraine government, perceiving the potential for another separatist movement.

The Moldovan authorities are holding two young men from Gagauzia who are charged with treason. Their trial is due to start on November 7. Rallies have been called to demand their release. The parents of the two young men have stated they may seek the adjudication of the European Court of Human Rights.


A short article looking at post-Soviet frozen conflicts in Abkhazia & South Ossestia, Nagorno Karabakh and Transnistria. The authors description of the present state of Transnistria seems fair. The comments about a pro-Ukraine over pro-Russia may reflect internal politics rather than external influence.


The earlier tensions relating to the desire for autonomy by some of the ethnic groups in Transcarpathia have been suppressed, at least in major public expression, by the actions of the SBU and the extreme right wing factions such as Pravy Sektor. The wider recognition of these desires and somewhat surprisingly given the general supine nature of European leaders, a desire to act in its own national interests have give rise to conflict between Hungary and the US. The US has imposed sanctions on some individuals in or closely associated with the right wing Hungarian government of Orban. This is an indication that the US has regime change in mind for Hungary, a member of the European Community and of NATO. Given the substantial support within the government for its actions, this may lead to interesting and perhaps unintended outcomes. European people, if not their governments, are increasingly aware and resentful, of US interference within the country. The Hungarian government , for its part, is aware of the pernicious nature of NGO's opaquely funded by foreign countries and NGO's.

The PMR continues to suffer from a blockade imposed, under US direction, by Moldova and Ukraine. A further complication arises from Romania's desire to annex Moldova. A large number of Moldovan politicians have Romanian citizenship and the current Romanian Prime Minister has recently applied for Moldovan citizenship.

In my view, the presence of Yarosh in Transcarpathia served several functions. At a simple level, it raised his presence and allowed him to display his amicable public persona, something that I think The Saker has mentioned in the past. Secondly, it served to reinforce the solidarity of the Pravy Sektor forces present in Transcarpathia. Thirdly his prescient comments about the Crimean Tartars suggests an awareness of pre-planned big picture activities. Finally the presence of his praetorian guard in perhaps the safest region of Ukraine indicates things to come.

Recently, the Australian and Dutch governments have brought MH17 to the fore. When coupled with German 'intelligence' reports of possibly involvement of the aircraft, this clearly indicates the US managers have something in mind. My thought is that blame may be pinned on Poroshenko. The disastrous handling of the ATO in the east certainly has meant the Anglo-Zionist aim of a cleansed east has not been achieved. The blame could be passed on to Poroshenko (and others as necessary), and the unacceptable killing of innocents in MH17 would be the key to removing him for good. Yarosh could them be positioned to take over leading to a more aggressive approach in the east. Yatsenyuk would no doubt be keen to do this, but I suspect he doesn't have the direct support of the Pravy Sektor rank and file that Yarosh clearly has. The people in the west of Ukraine have been conditioned to blaming Russia for all atrocities, so even more atrocities would be used to paint Russia even blacker. The outcome for the managers would be expulsion of the pro-Russian citizens as plan A, atrocities sufficient to compel Russia to act overtly as Plan B or reduction of Ukraine to a failed state, causing a drain on Russia's resources as it would have to provide long term military support for Novorossia.

The antipathy of the PMR and Gagauzian populations to Romanian annexation is without doubt sincerely held. There is a potential for significant trouble in this region should the annexation go ahead. This may parallel to situation in Donbass, with the complication of no direct border connection and no voentorg. On the other hand, the presence of Russian troops would provide Russia with a causus belli should they be harmed in an potential conflict. There is no doubt that this lies behind the US driven Moldovan attempts to eject them. In the long term, depending on the will of the people in south Ukraine, this may be resolved by them joining Novorossia, once the Pravy Sektor thugs have been handled.