March 10, 2014
If a video appearing on Youtube can be believed, it appears Ukraine’s coup government may have employed mercenaries in a bid to shut down a move in Donetsk to expand the industrial city’s autonomy.
Pro-Russian citizens have twice stormed the regional administration headquarters in the east Ukrainian city. SBU, Ukraine’s security service, arrested Pavel Gubarev, a Donetsk businessman who called himself the “people’s governor.”
On Friday Press TV featured a video showing men with weapons and body armor on a street where a pro-Russian demonstration was held. On Wednesday a Russian diplomat told Interfax that 300 employees of Blackwater, now known as Academi, had arrived in the pro-Russian city.
The security outfit is notorious for its trigger-happy posture. In 2007, contractors from the company killed 17 Iraqis in Baghdad as they cleared the way for U.S. State Department vehicles transporting Bush administration diplomats en route to a meeting with U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) officials.
USAID is known for its collaboration on “themed revolution” efforts with the National Endowment for Democracy and the George Soros Open Society Institute. “USAID has become a critical part of the security, intelligence and defense axis in Washington,” writes Eva Golinger. “Wherever a coup d’etat, a colored revolution or a regime change favorable to US interests occurs, USAID and its flow of dollars is there.”
The mercenaries in Donetsk “are soldiers of fortune proficient in combat operations,” the diplomatic source told Interfax, according to the Daily Mail. “Most of them had operated under private contracts in Iraq, Afghanistan and other states. Most of them come from the United States.”
“On the face of it, the uniforms of the people in the videos are consistent with US mercs – they don’t look like Russian soldiers mercs,” said Dr. Nafeez Ahmed, a security expert with the Institute for Policy Research & Development. “Of course the other possibility is it’s all Russian propaganda.”
In February it was reported troops without insignia appearing in Crimea belonged to Vnevedomstvenaya Okhrana, a private security company contracted by the Russian interior ministry to protect Russian Navy installations and assets.
“They don’t have Russian military uniforms and the Russia government is denying they are part of the Russian military. Actually most of them may be Ukrainian citizens. But these are people that are legally allowed to perform services to the Russian fleet,” Dimitri Simes, president of the Center for the National Interest, told The Daily Beast.