A Comment About NATO 'Vacationers', Mercenaries/'Foreign Legionnaires'
For two years, the claims of the Russian media and Donetsk/Lugansk People's Republics that U.S., Polish, and other NATO country 'volunteers' or advisers have been spotted at or just behind the frontlines in the conflict have faced an organized campaign of ridicule online. Part of this is indeed the Russians fault for exaggerating the number of foreign mercenaries or volunteers the LDNR have faced (especially the never photographed black mercenaries), just as Ukrainian Army regulars and ultra-nationalists complain that any LDNR unit fighting them effectively must be made up of Russian Army regulars. However, in many cases those dismissing allegations of 'son of Blackwater' or Greystone mercs involvement on Kiev's side of the war since March 2014 have been professional propagandists like the State Department and Soros-funded 'journalists' at StopFake.org, or RFE/RL (formerly with the Manhattan, New York based, oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky-funded Interpreter Mag) Catherine A. Fitzpatrick.
In Ms. Fitzpatrick's case, when in late January 2015 Zerohedge ran a headline blaring story that went viral in the alternative media about native English speaker mercs spotted in the ranks of the Nazi SS Das Reich rune flag waving Azov Battalion, Fitzpatrick was brought in for damage control. The propaganda line adopted by StopFake and others was that the voice heard on the 'out of my face please' video was that of Chris 'Swampy' Garrett, a British de-mining 'volunteer' working to collect GRAD munition pieces in a school yard. The only problem with the Interpreter's slick lie? 'Swampy' has ruddy to blonde hair and a thick beard in the videos, whereas 'out of my face please' guy hides his head from the Mariupol TV reporters' camera and has dark hair. 'Out of my face please' guy is clearly shorter than 'Swampy', though the Interpreter obfuscates this fact Bellingcat style by drawing a circle around Swamp rather than the other guy who covered his face on camera.
There are many other such 'issues' with the 'explanations' used by U.S./NATO and Kiev propagandists. But the bottom line is they must pretend the U.S. and several NATO countries aren't parties to the Donbass conflict, while accusing Russia of being the only country to have sent volunteers or paid military men on 'vacation' to fight in eastern Ukraine. The various examples of these denials will be explored in our upcoming piece.
LDNR Claim More Polish and Georgian Mercenaries Killed in Donbass Fighting, U.S. Sniper Instructors Are Working Just Behind the Front Lines
By definition one cannot 'prove a negative' in war (think back to Iraq's 'WMDs' which turned out to be either non-existent or old useless chemicals buried in the desert). But at the same time, the notion that NATO couldn't possibly deploy very small numbers of mercenaries particularly Poles to the front while giving them strict instructions not to be filmed speaking their native languages isn't so far fetched. Nor is it crazy to imagine that the patriotism of Polish journalists combined with strict censorship is keeping a lid on the couple dozen dead Polish servicemen or recently discharged PL Army veterans killed or injured in 'training accidents' since May 2014. Perhaps NATO's vacationers really are better at OPSEC than their vacationing Russian counterparts, or perhaps the clubs they hang out in Mariupol collect camera phones at the door. The use of cellular phone jamming devices in convoys, first developed in the Iraq occupation by the U.S. to stop call-activated IEDs, is often associated by the LDNR with the presence of foreign advisers with the Ukrainians near the front lines.
A dead Pole in a Ukrainian Army/volunteer battalion uniform without insignia killed by mortar or artillery fire at the Donetsk Airport or Debaltsevo looked just like a dead Ukrainian (and the rage of Polish spokesman invited on to Russian TV for one on three debates suggests to me that they know some of their countrymen have indeed died fighting for Kiev's forces in the conflict). But contrary to Kiev's propaganda, neither Russian nor NATO 'vacationers' especially of the GRU spetsnaz or Polish GROM are allowed by officers to carry their passports into battle.
If Social Media 'Proves' Russia Fought a Covert War in Donbass and Lied About It, Why is Social Media Proof of Foreigners and Clearly Non-Slavic, Non-Ukrainian/Russian Speakers in the UAF Invalid? How We Plan to Turn the Tables on @Bellingcat #Bellingcrap
For several months the Russia Analyst has been putting together a report on the social media evidence for U.S./NATO mercenary involvement in the Donbass war that's been accumulated from multiple sources over the last two and a half years. We plan to publish it after the November elections. If Hillary Clinton is elected expect more American and NATO 'vacationers' on the Ukrainian side of the contact line, and more 'Taliban suicide bombings' in Afghanistan that nobody witnessed to cover up U.S. coffins coming from Syria, Yemen or the Donbass.
What is certain is that the window for any significant armored advances is likely closing in the Donbass until the ground hardens in late December to January. If Kiev wants to test the tactics and coordination with foreign advisers and mercenaries it will need to achieve some sort of operational breakthrough with the war hag Hillary's help by 2018, it will need to do so soon -- or wait until winter to attack.