View Ukraine: April, 2014 in a larger map
For links to individual updates click on the timestamps.
For the latest summary of evidence surrounding the shooting down of flight MH17 see our separate article: Evidence Review: Who Shot Down MH17?
As we can tell from the dialogue in the video, the police were not in the city of Dnepropetrovsk, but in Peski, a town immediately to the northwest of the Donetsk airport. The unit that captured the separatists is named Dnipro-1, which is a territorial defense battalion under the Interior Ministry police patrol based in Dnepropetrovsk.
In a video uploaded to YouTube by Andriy Dzinzia on December 7 labeled “Dnipro-1 captures Donetsk DAIshnik [traffic police] terrorist,” a policeman shows passport covers from the self-declared “Donetsk People’s Republic” (DPR) as well as identification issued by the Ukrainian government showing that one individual, Gennady Pavlovich Fedosov is from the Ukrainian traffic police (DAI). Another man arrested is identified as Vladislav Grigoryevich Chernous from Donetsk, but his occupation was not indicated.
A third, Mykola Oleksandrovich Petrov from Sakhnovshchina in Kharkiv Region was a retired former officer of the Soviet-era KGB (Committee for State Security) and the SBU (Ukrainian Security Service). The name of the fourth was not indicated although four men were shown locked in the back of the police van.
Fedosov still had his traffic police badge:
They also found papers signed by DPR Vice Premier Andrei Purgin granting a Donetsk security firm named Medved (Bear) permission to ride in vehicles outside of curfew hours.
The policeman says the law-enforcers sided with the separatists and were brought in to guard the private home of Petrov, the former KGB/SBU officer who is now living on his pension. As they were found in the Peski battle zone, they were accused of “aiding terrorism” and serving as correctors of artillery fire.
The list of 22 men in the Medved security firm with a description of the make of their cars and their license plates would likely enable the Ukrainian police to make more arrests — or go into hiding, if these DPR supporters learn about the sole copy of the YouTube video uploaded by Andriy Dzindzya with already more than 24,000 views.
The arrested men tried unsuccessfully to offer a bribe of 20,000 hrivnia (US $1,270) to the arresting officers, which was confiscated as evidence.
The arrestees also said they had “friends in Kiev” and a Kiev lawyer called the police to say he would be defending his client. He threatened the Dnipro-1 battalion with reprisals because the “[Ukrainian] Cabinet of Ministers already knows about this” and that the men were “unlawfully detained.” He implied he had connections in the Ukrainska Rada or parliament who would vouch for him as well.
But police say they were working for the DPR, based on the contract for the services of the security service signed by Petrov, and Purgin’s travel authorization.
“So, let’s see how our lustration has gone through and all the rest, and how they will react to this,” said the policeman, referencing a recent law to root out corrupt officials and those loyal to Russia.
Dzindzia, an activist from AutoMaidan, himself has been accused of beating pro-separatist policemen in detention in the May 9 storming of Mariupol and appears in a June 28 video of a masked man mistreating “Streamer Vlad” a young pro-separatist blogger. In November, Road Control reported that Dzindzia, who works for them as a reporter, was beaten by 20 men and hospitalized after filming an illegal traffic fining scam which gang members were running in cahoots with corrupt traffic police.
On December 11, we reported on claims by separatist spokesman Denis Pushilin that the Russian-backed fighters were partially withdrawing their armor. The Ukrainian military meanwhile reported that day “militants several times fired upon the government forces’ positions near Mariupol and Pervomaiske.”
On December 12, we reported on several videos showing a huge military convoy, complete with Russian tanks marked “To Mariupol,” headed south. Some but not all of these videos were geolocated.
The blogger djp3tros from Ukraine@War has now geolocated the first in a set of such videos which thus shows the Russian-backed separatists were in Michurino two days ago with Russian tanks.
Among the armor displayed in this convoy is this tank:
It is a T-72BR which is not in the Ukrainian military arsenal. This is strong evidence that it was supplied to the separatists from Russian military stockpiles. As can be readily seen by comparing the pictures, this modernized T-72BR is not the same tank as sold by Hungary to a Czech Republic firm or claimed by conspiracy bloggers to have been sold directly by Hungary to Ukraine to “frame Russia.”
@djp3tros geolocated the convoy with the Russian tank shown in this video as follows.
Here is one scene from the video with telephone poles, trees and a local landmark in the background:
These are marked as follows:
No. 2 is a tower with a cross which can be made out in the fog:
Here’s a picture of it from Panoramio:
Here’s a screenshot of the Panoramio/Google Earth map location in Michurino (Michurine) showing the tower with trees and telephone poles lining up:
A closer shot of the utility poles on Here.com which has a more clear image of the poles from its satellite photo:
Here’s a zoom out of the map from Google Earth showing in red where the convoy was traveling south:
@djp3tros was also able to show that all the videos (which we published December 12) were parts of the same convoy:
So now the question now, two days later: where did the convoy go next? As it headed south, did it turn
right to toward Mariupol, as marked on the tanks, or left toward
Novoazovsk and back into Russia?
One blogger @raging545 said there were “unconfirmed reports” of the
convoy in Pervomaiske (there are a number of towns of the same name,
but what is meant is this one on Google maps in Donetsk Region.
It’s hard to know what may be going on there as OSCE observers were blocked:
Translation: DPR and LPR are not allowing OSCE into the cities of Antratsit and Novoazovsk.
There’s been some question whether these “to Mariupol” tank videos are amateur or professional, i.e. made by the DPR fighters themselves. But as Ukraine@War has pointed out, they were taken from at least two camera positions, inside military trucks and from a viaduct and they show close-ups of fighters and the same vehicle in the convoy repeatedly.