07 July 2014

Pro-Russian Donetsk Rebels Paid In Dollars?

Walls closing in

Interestingly, an AP reporter yesterday spotted a line of rebels at a Donetsk foreign-exchange shop, trading handfuls of US dollars for Ukrainian currency
(as the country's legitimate armed forces approach)...

Of course they 'refused to talk to reporters', but the AP guy observed that
mood appeared black'. Obviously changing their money over to Ukrainian bills speaks volumes on who they expect to be in charge of the Donbas' largest industrial city (Donetsk) a week from now
(seeing as how the Ukrainian Army chased them out of
Sloviansk and two other SE cities over the weekend). 

But who paid them in dollars?

Since the greenback can be more readily exchanged for either Rubles or Hryvnas, perhaps this was just practical. But of course whoever is financing them was covering their tracks- same reason the uniforms, APCs, and tanks of the Kremlin's mercenaries in Ukraine are all unmarked. 

In an amusing attempt to blend in with the civilian population, yesterday groups of rebels were spotted around Donetsk in identical summer sport shorts/t-shirts... (while carrying automatic rifles). Not sure who that was supposed to fool-

And now that his guys are losing, Putin wants to have 'peace talks', same as the US/EU- since they're all on the same page, good to see Kiev remains unconvinced and has chosen to fight the Russian-backed (created?) terrorists instead.

Moscow GUM department store: Putin partying in Crimea! Get it? ha ha ha!

Meanwhile, ordinary Russians have even soured on the Kremlin's Crimea land-grab: now that they are being taxed and pressured for 'humanitarian contributions' -and friends/family have returned from Crimean vacations with stories of crap service and shabby Soviet-era facilities- the country also faces the bite of western sanctions as it's economy teeters on the brink of recession. For many, the negatives already outweigh the positives.

As the Obama White House and EU dither and speak of 'talks' with the Russians, the new Ukrainian Defense Minister has vowed to stage a victory parade in re-conquered Crimea. With the way he's turned-around the war in SE Ukraine, seems he and President Poroshenko have decided to give the Kremlin a fight they didn't expect.

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