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Fighting in Ukraine Escalates as Militia Groups Flock to Donetsk
vice.com ^ | May 27, 2014 | Harriet Salem

Posted on 05/27/2014 4:44:13 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe

"Our president [Ramzan Kadyrov] gave the order. They called us and we came,” 33-year-old Zelimhan tells VICE News. The bearded fighter, a member of a unit known as the “Wild Division,” says he arrived a week ago with 34 Chechen men who volunteered to come and support their “brothers” in the People’s Republic of Donetsk.

Russia and the authorities of the rebel republic have repeatedly denied allegations that foreign groups are crossing into Ukraine to fight alongside the rebels.

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry has said that the country is under “undisguised aggression” from Moscow, which is “exporting foreign terrorism” to the country.

The Wild Division is just the latest unit to join the swirling mix of militia groups that are descending on eastern Ukraine to join in a conflict that increasingly looks to be turning into a civil war.

Fighting in the region has killed scores in the last week.

“We know how it looks when people are humiliated, so we have come to help,” says 30-year-old Magomed, another member of the Chechen unit. The fighter reclines against a wall outside the hospital, dragging heavily on a cigarette. His ragtag military fatigues are bloodstained and he looks exhausted. Yesterday he was shot twice, once in the ankle and once in the groin, during the fierce clashes between pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian forces for control of Donetsk airport.

On his chest is a home-inked wolf tattoo: “It’s like me, independent and self-sufficient,” he says with a broad grin.

The battle over the airfield in the administrative capital of the region came just one day after Ukraine elected a new president: the so-called “Chocolate King" Petro Poroshenko. The oligarch-cum-politician has made clear that he will not negotiate with the “terrorists” operating in the country’s east, who he says are leading Ukraine to a Somalia-like scenario.

Following a bid by the rebels to take over the airport, Ukrainian helicopters and fighter jets fired overhead as a gun battle raged below. The rebels claim they were caught unawares after being lured inside for "negotiations," but what sparked the fighting is unclear.

Most of the pro-Russia militia groups operating in the area are local, but many have traveled from neighboring regions of the country, including Crimea, which was annexed by Moscow last month following a Putin-backed putsch.

Numerous loosely coordinated paramilitary units now operate in the country’s east. Some, such as Oplot, a Russian nationalist group based in Kharkiv, pre-date the crisis, while others like the Unit of Bes ("demon" in Russian) have formed in response to it.

On the other side of the fence, pro-Ukrainian fighter groups are also weighing into the conflict.

Last week, “Right Sector,” a nationalist group with strong ties to neo-Nazism, attacked a rebel checkpoint in Karlovka. The fighting, which raged for several hours just meters away from residential houses, killed at least a dozen. The far-right group coordinated the assault with Donbass Battalion, a newly formed group of so-called “patriotic volunteers” rumored to be financed by the Kiev-appointed Governor of Dnipropetrovsk and owner of Privat bank Igor Kolomoisky.

Another Ukrainian paramilitary unit, financed by Oleh Lyashko, leader of the Radical Party and presidential candidate in the recent election, were implicated in a botched anti-terrorism assault led by the Ukrainian army in Mariupol. The operation killed several unarmed citizens when nervous troops opened fire on an angry crowd. Lyashko’s unit openly claimed responsibility for another operation which “cleansed” pro-Russia rebels from an administration building in Torez; one was killed and two were wounded in the attack.

Both Russia and the West have engaged in mutual finger-pointing over the deepening Ukraine crisis, which has rocked the country since the Maidan revolution ousted the pro-Russia president Viktor Yanukovych in February.

America has openly supplied the Ukrainian army with food rations, but the rebels accuse the West of sending weapons and mercenaries to fight in the region.

The Ukraine’s porous borders with Russia allow easy access for those who want to send weapons, or men, to aid the rebel groups operating the country’s east. Ukraine’s border guard has made numerous reports of trucks with arms crossing into the country in the last few weeks.

Vasya, a 25-year-old formersmall-time gangster who now runs an intelligence and police unit for the rebels in Gorlovka – a town just thirty minutes drive from Donetsk city – told VICE News that he had run two trucks of weapons across Russian border into Ukraine this week. “It’s easy,” he bragged. “There’s nothing to stop you doing it.” The pro-Russia rebels are appearing on the streets with increasingly sophisticated weaponry including rocket-propelled grenade launchers and air to land missiles.

The journey from their native Chechnya via Rostov to Donetsk was equally straightforward, Sayid, one of the Wild Division’s fighters told VICE News. The Chechen unit tells VICE News they are fighting alongside 16 “brothers” from Ossetia, who have been on site for around two months.

Today, fighting continued to flare on the outskirts of Donetsk. Standing at a police cordon that marks a three-kilometer zone around the airport, the intermittent dull boom of shells was audible. A few anxious rebels armed with automatic weapons paced near the barricade, keeping their fingers on their triggers. Molotov cocktails were stacked up at the side of the road.

Speaking to VICE News, head of the Donetsk municipal police Yuriy Sednyev called the situation was a "mess," and reported that "neither side bothered to inform police about military actions."

"We are advising all civilians to stay inside their homes," he added.

In the city where most shops were closed and the streets were quiet, rebel leaders today announced a 10 PM curfew.

At the morgue the bodies continue to pile up. According to the police officer, stationed outside the cordoned-off hospital building, there were at least 35 bodies stretched out inside, including 10 civilians caught in the crossfire. Many were nearly unidentifiable due to their heavy wounds, he said.

Signs of war were visible on the streets of the Donetsk center this morning. Less than a kilometer down the road from the city’s central trauma hospital, the carcass of an overturned Kamaz truck lay outside a block of administrative offices. Another of the Soviet-era military vehicles sprawled across the highway near the bridge, body parts scattered on the road around it. The Chechen fighters told VICE News that they were transporting the rebels’ dead and wounded from battle in the vehicles when they were hit by heavy sniper fire.

Alexei Dmitrashkovsky, a spokesperson for Kiev’s “counter-terrorism” effort, claimed that his forces have killed at least 200 men. “The anti-terror operation in Donetsk will continue until all the terrorists will be destroyed or until they surrender,” he said in a statement.

The depths the country will sink to before that goal is achieved, however, could be catastrophic. “In our country there is a meaning to 'blood feud',” says tattooed Chechen fighter Magomed whose lost one comrade in the battle yesterday. “We will not forget this. If you kill one of ours, we will kill one hundred of yours.”


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; Russia
KEYWORDS: chechens; donetsk; jihad; ukraine; ukrainecrisis
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1 posted on 05/27/2014 4:44:13 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
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To: Tailgunner Joe

As long as the Russian invaders and their supporters take a much deserved dirt nap...


2 posted on 05/27/2014 4:50:25 PM PDT by Clemenza (Lurking)
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To: Tailgunner Joe
But remember, the Ukrainians fighting for their country are the anti-Semites - not these Muslim terrorists hired by Putin.

Right, FR Putinolators?

3 posted on 05/27/2014 4:52:31 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: Clemenza

Dude, it’s like you’re making the KGB out to be bad guys or something.


4 posted on 05/27/2014 4:53:49 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: Tailgunner Joe

Why do Chechens fight for Russia?


5 posted on 05/27/2014 4:53:54 PM PDT by 2banana (My common ground with terrorists - they want to die for islam and we want to kill them)
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To: wideawake

They’ve gotten quiet now that the Ukrainians are stacking up Russian national terrorists like cordwood at the morgue.


6 posted on 05/27/2014 4:56:43 PM PDT by lodi90
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To: 2banana

My question too. Why would Chechens fight for Russia. Must be for hire.


7 posted on 05/27/2014 5:13:36 PM PDT by samtheman
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To: 2banana
Why do Chechens fight for Russia?

Chechnya has a pro-Russian government and anti-Russian rebels fighting against it. Right Sector Ukrainians have been fighting on the rebel side in Chechnya for years (right alongside Al Qaeda), so my guess is these 'wild brigade' Chechens are pro-Russian and looking for some payback.

8 posted on 05/27/2014 5:31:15 PM PDT by mac_truck ( Aide toi et dieu t aidera)
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To: samtheman

Winner, winner! chicken dinner!


9 posted on 05/27/2014 5:32:08 PM PDT by meatloaf (Impeach Obama. That's my New Year's resolution.)
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To: 2banana
Why did ex-Wehrmacht Germans fight for the French Foreign Legion in Algeria and Vietnam?

Cash money and an official pardon.

10 posted on 05/27/2014 6:17:46 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: mac_truck

Nice fictional story about Ukrainians and Al-Qaeda.


11 posted on 05/27/2014 6:19:23 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: wideawake

~Nice fictional story about Ukrainians and Al-Qaeda.~

What makes it fictional?


12 posted on 05/27/2014 6:30:27 PM PDT by wetphoenix
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To: wetphoenix

Your inability to verify it renders it fictional.


13 posted on 05/27/2014 6:39:42 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: wideawake

You don’t need too much cognitive skills to find connections between Ukrainian ‘right-wing’ groups and Chechen insurgency.
It is not like all the Ukraine is guilty because of that, but it’s a fact.


14 posted on 05/27/2014 6:46:03 PM PDT by wetphoenix
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To: wetphoenix
Except, of course, that there are no connections.

Every "news item" that makes this connection ultimately links back to claims made in Russia Today, the propaganda arm of the Putin regime.

15 posted on 05/27/2014 6:52:35 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: wetphoenix
You don’t need too much cognitive skills to find connections between Ukrainian ‘right-wing’ groups and Chechen insurgency.

That is correct.

The Gruppenführer of Right Sector, Dymtri Yarosh, stated in an interview he gave late last year that his organization had sent fighters to Chechnya and that he himself had fought against Russians there.

Sashko Muzychko was another Right Sector trizub who bragged about killing Russians in Chechnya, and I'm sure there are others.

16 posted on 05/27/2014 7:21:58 PM PDT by mac_truck ( Aide toi et dieu t aidera)
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To: mac_truck
All of these "facts" are courtesy of Russian state organs.

Yarosh has denied any connection with Chechnyan rebels, even though given the heat of the moment in Ukraine, he could be expected to boast of any exploits in fighting Russians if he had them.

17 posted on 05/27/2014 7:31:09 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: mac_truck

“my guess is these ‘wild brigade’ Chechens are pro-Russian and looking for some payback.”

You are most likely correct...
The now-dead Sashko Bily/Oleksandr Muzychko, a Right-Sector Leader at the Maidan protests, and definitely involved in the violence, was wanted internationally for the torture murders of some 20+ captured Russian POWS in a Chechnyan jail.

This was a BIG issue to the Russians after the coup, and was likely the reason why Avakov had him killed.

OOPS... I mean, per Avakov, he shot himself... TWICE... while fleeing police outside of a nightclub.


18 posted on 05/27/2014 7:38:12 PM PDT by tcrlaf (Q)
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To: wideawake

Your inability to use Google must be a real burden:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/03/27/who-killed-one-of-the-most-notorious-right-sector-leaders-in-ukraine.html


19 posted on 05/27/2014 7:41:40 PM PDT by tcrlaf (Q)
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To: wideawake

Right Sector most certainly DID fight against the Russians in Chechnya:

“During the first Chechnya war in 1994, Muzychko commanded a UPSD “Viking” squad and fought the Russians alongside Chechen field commander Shamil Basayev, the leader of the radical wing of the insurgency.

In Ukraine it has been reported that the president of the rebel Chechen republic, Dzhokhar Dudayev, decorated Muzychko with the order “Hero of the Nation” and named a street after him.

Moscow authorities claimed that Muzychko killed at least 20 Russian soldiers in the Chechen war and brought a criminal case against him for that.”


20 posted on 05/27/2014 7:44:31 PM PDT by tcrlaf (Q)
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To: tcrlaf

What’s a burden is being the only one who can read, and who can see that The Daily Beast sources none of its claims, is merely repeating claims from Russian propaganda sources without independent confirmation, and ignores the obvious contradictions in the story.


21 posted on 05/27/2014 7:52:31 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: tcrlaf
Quoting the exact same unsourced blog post you linked is pretty sad, tcrlaf.

But that's what Putin lovers like you do: lie in the service of a dictator.

22 posted on 05/27/2014 7:53:55 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: wideawake

The Daily Beast is Tina Brown’s reincarnation of TIME MAGAZINE.

Are they Putinista toady’s, as well now?

Really dude, your schtick has gotten laughable.


23 posted on 05/27/2014 8:05:28 PM PDT by tcrlaf (Q)
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To: tcrlaf
This Muzychko was "wanted internationally" for nothing.

Russia accused him, without any evidence - and many years after the supposed incidents alleged - of crimes in Chechyna.

Yet, Russia never sought extradition.

However, you yourself are excitedly bragging that Muzychko was murdered by Russians extrajudicially on Ukraine soil.

That tells us a lot about who you are and what you value.

24 posted on 05/27/2014 8:11:16 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: wideawake

Blah, blah, blah...
I know, if it isn’t EuroMaidanPR-approved as printed in the Kiev Post, it cannot be sourced, right??


25 posted on 05/27/2014 8:12:59 PM PDT by tcrlaf (Q)
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To: tcrlaf
It is a blog which repeats sensational articles from around the world without doing their own factchecking.

You do nothing on this site except praise Vladimir Putin. You should probably refrain from accusing anyone else here of having a schtick.

26 posted on 05/27/2014 8:14:07 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: wideawake

lol...

And I’ll bet you believe that he killed himself.... TWICE... too?

Thanks, I needed a good laugh tonight, after the Pacers stinkathon.


27 posted on 05/27/2014 8:16:00 PM PDT by tcrlaf (Q)
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To: tcrlaf
When have I ever posted anything from a Ukrainian site?

I try to actually think about what I read, not match propaganda with propaganda.

28 posted on 05/27/2014 8:16:50 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: tcrlaf
Why would I think that he killed himself?

After all, you have just informed us that he was extrajudicially murdered by Russian thugs, right?

29 posted on 05/27/2014 8:18:10 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: wideawake

“You do nothing on this site except praise Vladimir Putin.”

I’ll bet you say that to all the boys, doncha?

OH WAIT.... You do. You call anyone who doesn’t completely tow the approved propaganda line names, like a Jr. High bully.

I can’t help but note YOU haven’t provided, or ever provide, any evidence to dispute the claim?


30 posted on 05/27/2014 8:18:18 PM PDT by tcrlaf (Q)
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To: wideawake

“that he was extrajudicially murdered by Russian thugs, right?”

So, you are CONFIRMING for us that Arsen Avakov is a “Russian Thug”, right?

That’s the thing about flame-trolling, you see. It never works on someone who has taken the time to inform themselves.


31 posted on 05/27/2014 8:20:17 PM PDT by tcrlaf (Q)
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To: tcrlaf
I’ll bet you say that to all the boys, doncha?

Projection instead of reasoning? I'm not surprised.

After all, you seem to think that the burden lies on me to prove a negative, instead of you backing up the unsubstantiated charges you made in the first place.

32 posted on 05/27/2014 8:21:47 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: tcrlaf
No, I'm agreeing that he did not shoot himself twice.

You're the one blaming Avakov, while claiming that Russians wanted him dead.

33 posted on 05/27/2014 8:24:26 PM PDT by wideawake
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To: wideawake

I provided the link, from a western media source. All you have provided is the whining. And the insulting...


34 posted on 05/27/2014 8:38:27 PM PDT by tcrlaf (Q)
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To: wideawake
The Daily Beast sources none of its claims, is merely repeating claims from Russian propaganda sources without independent confirmation...

Good point.

35 posted on 05/27/2014 9:08:22 PM PDT by FreeReign
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To: tcrlaf
This was a BIG issue to the Russians after the coup, and was likely the reason why Avakov had him killed.

Who ever killed him...did the world a favor.

36 posted on 05/27/2014 9:09:20 PM PDT by mac_truck ( Aide toi et dieu t aidera)
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To: wideawake

Do you deny that it was Avakov that ordered his arrest?

Or that Right Sector Demanded his resignation for ordering “the Murder” of Bily??

As I said, Google can be your friend. Try it sometime.


37 posted on 05/27/2014 9:18:16 PM PDT by tcrlaf (Q)
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To: mac_truck

“Who ever killed him...did the world a favor.”

Lots of reasons for the coup Gov to take out Bily at the time.

He was one of the ones pronouncing the end of Russian Culture in Ukraine, was directly involved in the Maidan violence, and more than once the Russians suggested that he was directly involved in the sniper attack that set off the coup, (those men have never been identified). In addition, he was making threats against people like Avakov, publicly.

His involvement in killing Russian POW’s in Chechnya was being played up by Russian Media. That was a HUGE dog-whistle to average Russians.

Removing him from the field of play was likely a good move.

Easier to kill him, than to deal with him, and his Right Sector buddies, if he is in Jail.


38 posted on 05/27/2014 9:25:56 PM PDT by tcrlaf (Q)
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To: tcrlaf

You are Russian correct comrade?


39 posted on 05/27/2014 10:55:37 PM PDT by free_life (If you ask Jesus to forgive you and to save you, He will.)
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To: All

All information coming out of Russia including RT media and territory held in eastern Ukraine by Russian terrorists is disinformation. You can pretty much be sure any information the Kremlin-waterboys here at FR are spreading is the same. Want facts? It is the opposite of what the Russians and their useful idiots are saying.


40 posted on 05/27/2014 11:04:14 PM PDT by free_life (If you ask Jesus to forgive you and to save you, He will.)
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To: tcrlaf
No matter how hard you try, you will not change a fact that islamists are fighting against Ukraine on the side of a russian trash state.

Go get a real job.

41 posted on 05/28/2014 2:06:47 AM PDT by Grzegorz 246
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To: wideawake

~Except, of course, that there are no connections.
Every “news item” that makes this connection ultimately links back to claims made in Russia Today, the propaganda arm of the Putin regime.~

It looks like you distrust Russia Today (probably for a reason, but..) so much that everything opposite to it is eternal Verity for you.


42 posted on 05/28/2014 2:11:54 AM PDT by wetphoenix
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To: mac_truck

~Sashko Muzychko was another Right Sector trizub who bragged about killing Russians in Chechnya, and I’m sure there are others.~

There is a video of this idiot screaming crap to a crowd of muslims in Grozny back to 1990s.


43 posted on 05/28/2014 2:15:32 AM PDT by wetphoenix
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To: mac_truck

~Sashko Muzychko was another Right Sector trizub who bragged about killing Russians in Chechnya, and I’m sure there are others.~

There is a video of this idiot screaming crap to a crowd of muslims in Grozny back to 1990s.


44 posted on 05/28/2014 2:15:33 AM PDT by wetphoenix
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To: tcrlaf

The “Western media source” cribbed all its “information” from Russia Today - a propaganda machine. The Daily Beast did not do any investigation.


45 posted on 05/28/2014 4:43:32 AM PDT by wideawake
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To: tcrlaf
Calling for someone to be arrested, asking for him to resign from a group, etc. is not evidence of anything.

You yourself said that Russians were the ones who had a motive to kill him.

46 posted on 05/28/2014 4:46:14 AM PDT by wideawake
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To: wetphoenix
You are completely in error.

If I were to believe the exact opposite of RT's line, I would think that Yarosh and friends were shining Ukrainian patriots and that the Right Sector is an admirable organization.

They are neither.

They are loudmouths and opportunists trying to bask in the glory of an independence movement that they did not create, and they are trying to take credit for a victory they did not achieve.

47 posted on 05/28/2014 4:50:02 AM PDT by wideawake
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To: Grzegorz 246
...you will not change a fact that islamists are fighting against Ukraine on the side of a russian trash state.

You are using the term 'islamist' incorrectly...either from ignorance or to mislead.

48 posted on 05/28/2014 5:55:57 AM PDT by mac_truck ( Aide toi et dieu t aidera)
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To: mac_truck
You are going to tell me a story about “good” pro-Russian Chechens and “bad” anti-Russian Chechens ? Majority of secular rebels were finished off years ago and there are elements of Sharia law implemented in Kadyrov’s Chechenya, with Puti’s blessing. Now paste something from RT.
49 posted on 05/28/2014 8:08:42 AM PDT by Grzegorz 246
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To: wetphoenix; tcrlaf
I love the knee jerk reactions from the bobble heads regarding any information that runs counter to the western government propaganda they imbibe.

Yesterday there was a thread about US military training Syrian 'rebels' in Qatar and the news source was RT. Of course some slug posts a comment about Russian propaganda when in fact the article was about a Front Line documentary that was produced and broadcast on American public television.

That gave me a chuckle.

50 posted on 05/28/2014 11:57:41 AM PDT by mac_truck ( Aide toi et dieu t aidera)
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