Saturday, December 10, 2016

Harmony Kindergarten Window Project

Harmony Kindergarten has been closed for 2 years after ukrop artillery targeted the school in Summer 2014. The school was again hit, this time with Grad rockets, in the early Spring of 2015. 150 windows were shattered by the bombs, and the school cannot be re-opened until all windows are replaced. The school lies just a few meters inside the zone still considered vulnerable to artillery attack, and because of this, the DPR administration has not funded repairs. So Суть Времени and Donbass Human Aid, Delacour Pianos and several other friends from the West, together pitched in over $1,300, and delivered and installed the first 47 windows.

Everyone who gave enough for at least 1 window (about $40) got their name and flag on the window(s) they donated. So, when the kids finally return to school, they will be able to see the names and countries of the good people all over the world who care about them and pitched in to help. So far, most windows have US flags, but there are also flags from England, Ireland, Sweden and Israel. THANKS to all who donated!

This is an ongoing project. We have completed about 30%, but still need about $3,000 for the other 100 windows that need to be replaced. Get your name on a window of a kindergarten in Donetsk! $40 buys a window. You can remain anonymous, and you can donate more than one window. 100% of donations to this project go to buying more windows for the school. If you'd like to be a part of this project and help 200 kids go back to school, you can find information on how to donate here.


Thursday, December 8, 2016


I got blocked on Facebook again today, again for 30 days. The war on information, the war on YOUR ACCESS TO INFORMATION, the war on Truth, is heating up. Truth, the real "final frontier"... when it is defeated, so dies all hope for the future of Mankind. When the automatic bullshit machines known as the "Mainstream Media" finally drown out or silence the last guy willing to die in order to know and speak the Truth, that is the moment that all is lost, forever.

Think that's a little over-dramatic reaction for being banned on Facebook again? How come Azov Battalion nazis don't get banned on FB?

I don't give a shit about FB, but those still on it sure should. That is where they get their news, just like I did, a few years back. But things have changed, and are changing fast these days, and not for the better. Zuckerberg has made a conscious decision to suppress news that does not serve his agenda, even if that news is true. Those who use disinformation as a weapon can no longer dispute the Truth without proving themselves liars, so they silence it, every way they can.

The media bias in the recent US election PROVES beyond any reasonable doubt that the US media and their Western sycophants are beyond contempt, beyond redemption, that everything they say is a lie. Same for their coverage of Syria, and of Ukraine.

And now comes the new "war" on "Fake News". Now your government masters and their media flunkies want to tell you what's real and what's not, and everything that doesn't agree with them is "not". Evidence is easily created, distorted, and suppressed these days, as never before. There is a well-funded professional campaign against the Truth, against people's ability to discern the truth, and it is growing in scope and in intensity.

As my friend and comrade, "Kot" from the Суть Времени Info Center said, people are intentionally misinformed "So that they will not understand what is being done to them, and will not be able to resist what is going to be done to them." And remember what they call the Devil - The Father of Lies. And his minions are hard at work, right now, suppressing the truth, and confusing and misleading millions of people. So, how do we spread and support the truth, and keep from getting confused?

First, consider the source. Mainstream Western media has proven beyond any doubt that they will distort information and outright lie to further their agenda. It is not unreasonable to simply take for granted that everything they print is not just a lie, but the polar opposite of the truth. Second, consider information with your heart as well as your mind. If the MSM tells you that mass-murdering cannibals are "moderates" and "allies", take a minute to consider the moral implications of that statement. If they are our friends, who can be our enemies? Personally, I prefer to be on the side that fights against cannibals. The situation in Ukrine is a good example as well. One side has genuine nazis who glorify Bandera, one of the most brutal nazi war criminals of WW2. The other side is anti-nazi. One side goes to the land and towns and homes of the other, and attacks them with every weapon in the arsenal of a modern army. The other side only defends their own homes and families. So, who do you think are the good guys and bad guys in this situation?

Finally, consider the context of information. One of the primary techniques of disinformation is to present "facts" devoid of context. Syrian and Russian military attacks Aleppo, a city with civilians, and some of those civilians get killed. Bad, right? But if you understand the context, you understand the truth behind this tragedy, and you understand that the liars who condemn the tragedy are also in reality the ones who caused it, and are trying to blame it on those who are really trying to stop it.

Our enemies count on the fact that many people who consume their disinformation are actually too stupid to think critically, too stupid to even consider the information presented may be distorted or even an absolute lie. Do not be a "useful idiot". Consider the motivations of those who want to tell you what's real and what's not. What do they have to gain by telling you what they are telling you? There is always more to the story than meets the eye at first glance. Dig deeper, look closer, keep things in context and know your history. The war against Truth and objective reality is a war against the future of Humanity. The Information War is going hot, right now, and we are all involved whether we want to be or not, whether we even realize it or not. So, choose your side and do your part.


Though I am blocked on FB, I can still read it, just not post. Going there to check my page for troll posts, I saw this in my "Newsfeed" ("Newsfeed" BTW, is now manipulated by FB to promote the "news" Zuckerberg likes, and suppress what he doesn't.)

How stupid do you have to be not to know this is disinfo, the poster itself, as well as the idiot who posted it? Antifa has its share of politically correct useful idiots, but this is OBVIOUS disinfo/propaganda. Racism against ANY race is antithetical to everything Antifa stands for. "Identity politics" is exactly the kind of shit disinfo warriors use to divide and rule the 99%.

There is only ONE Race - The Human Race. Anyone whose agenda promotes justice for THEIR group at the expense or exclusion of another, is full of, and a piece of, shit.

Do you think a butcher at a Cargill slaughterhouse, or his bosses, care about the color or gender, religion or sexual orientation, of the cow when it comes onto the killing floor? The 1% that intends to own us all and to rule the world don't either, anymore than that butcher does, and their plans for us are much the same. Those who are profitable or serve the purposes of the owners will be allowed to eat, to live, to reproduce. The rest will be slaughtered in the most expedient and profitable manner possible.

Our job is to stop them, as Malcolm X said, "By any means necessary." SOLIDARITY is the KEY. If we are fighting against each other, we are confirming the estimate of Jay Gould, a 19th Century oligarch who said "I can hire half the working class to kill the other half." Identity politics is promoted by reprehensible idiots who are willing to do that job for free.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Cynical Murders at Russian Hospital

The attack by US-backed terrorists against a Russian humanitarian field hospital in Aleppo is “not just a violation of international law... It is a pre-planned, cold-blooded murder of doctors by militants.”

Two busses full of women and kids were scheduled to be at the hospital at the time of the attack. An unexpected delay saved many lives. This is outright terrorism, and the terrorists who did it are armed, trained, directed and paid by the US government. Just as the nazi terrorists in Ukraine are.

The miserable response by the Red Cross and the failure of Doctors Without Borders to even comment on the attacks are a clear indication of the bias and political agenda of these so-called "Humanitarian" organizations. The response of the US government is as contemptible as it is expected. In a very real and direct way, it is the US government that committed these murders. This is the work of the US government, not "all of us".

This is an example of the cold, hard, obvious truth that is dubbed "Russian propaganda" and now under attack by the US government and "mainstream media". This is the kind of information that gets people blocked on Facebook or blacklisted as a "fake news" site by the professional liars whose job is to hide the truth.

Your right and access to information is under attack just as certainly as that Russian hospital was in Aleppo. The Information War is just as important and difficult as the military war, and sometimes, just as dangerous. And the Good Guys in the Info War are, as usual, outnumbered by the enemy on every front. So do something yourself, or support those who do bring the truth to light.

‘Cynical & indifferent’: Russian MoD slams Red Cross statement on shelling of hospital in Aleppo »

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Jesse Ventura is on the Right Track! (Almost...)

Today I saw a vid on FB about a "Maximum Wage" by Jesse Ventura. I really like Jesse. There were lots of stupid comments by various "free market" idiots, and Ventura's idea didn't quite get halfway, but it's a good start, and high time we started thinking about exactly that. Check out Jesse's vid...

video on YouTube

It's really a pretty simple idea, and a good one. Make a limit on how poor someone can be, and finance it by making a limit on how rich anyone else can be. How rich? Ten million dollars? No problem. Twenty? No problem. Fifty million? Well, that's gettin' on up there now, isn't it? $100 million, more than a million a year for more than the average lifetime? Well, I think that's just about enough. Don't you? Because anyone who complains that $100 million isn't enough is either an idiot or an asshole. Or both. So for those of you who are neither, let's consider the following...

First, every billionaire on this planet is a thief. Period. Nobody can earn a billion dollars, much less twenty or fifty or sixty BILLION dollars. Nobody in history ever did anything so smart or so good, or worked so hard that they deserved a thousand million dollars. And the ones that have that much today aren't that smart or good, and they didn't work that hard either. And they sure as hell don't do much good with their money for the rest of us, do they? No, in fact, it's pretty obvious they use their money to find ways to make more for themselves by screwing the rest of us as hard as they can and every way they can 24/7, 365. And they spend their fortunes finding new ways to do it, and they do it every day. And you know it. All of them are thieves and assholes, but I think if they try, if they're as smart and tough (hard working, which is the true measure of toughness) and as virtuous as they say they are, they can figure out how to scrape by on a measley hundred mil.

And we're talking about a LOT of money here. The richest 400 people in the USA "own" (i.e., control) 2.4 Trillion dollars. A Trillion is a million million dollars. That works out to an average of $6 thousand million each, for each of those 400 people. Not for you or me, not for us, but for them, six Billion dollars. Each. If those 400 people were taxed 100% on everything they "owned" over $100 million, that would leave an instant surplus of two trillion. That ".4" in the "2.4" above is $40 billion, which is also what 400 X $100 million happens to be. In other words, those 400 people have two Trillion (remember, that's two million million) dollars more than they really should. It's not just sitting there, either. It's growing. And more for them is less for the rest of us. And I sure can't see any good they're doing with it. Can you?

Here they are, by the way, the 400 richest people in the USA, who own more than the 165 million poorest Americans. The Forbes 400. Take a look at them. Notice how they're all smiling? Except, of course, for the ones who are so rich that there aren't any public pictures of them. Anywhere. So rich that they literally can't be seen, at least by regular folks like you and me...

Check out 400 smiling assholes and thieves on Forbes 400 »

So, what could we do with two trillion dollars? Well, it would actually be a lot more than $2 Trillion. Because there are a lot more than 400 people in the USA who control over $100 million, and a 100% tax on that surplus would be another astronomical number. But whatever it is, here's what we should do with it - how about free guaranteed housing, medical care and education for every citizen. Hell, how about a guaranteed minimum income of say $40,000 for every adult in the USA. The GDP split among the US adult population works out to about that, BTW. So it's doable.

The "murderous dictator" Fidel Castro provided free medical, housing and education to all Cuban citizens, and that under an economic blockade by the world's most powerful nation. The "madman" and "terrorist" Moamar Gadaffi used the wealth from Libya's natural resources to provide free housing, medical care and education to every Libyan citizen. Food and fuel prices were subsidized (gasoline was 14 cents a gallon) and electricity was free for domestic use. He also gave every newlywed couple a wedding present of $50,000 dollars, and a $5,000 birthday present to the parents of every newborn child. Think about that for a minute. And don't try to tell me it can't be done, because it already has been. Some might say it only worked on a small scale, for 11 million in Cuba and 6 million in Libya, but they conveniently forget about the Soviet Union, which with all its imperfections did basically the same for hundreds of millions of people for generations. So, yeah, it has been done, and what has been done once can be done again. And this time, even better.

There is much that can be done, and much to be done, but the starting point is to understand the real conflict and who the real enemy is. The richest 1% consider us as their livestock, their inferiors. They intend to exploit those of us who are profitable, and to dispose of the rest. They are the true enemy of Humanity, and it is up to us, the vast majority of Humanity, to understand this and to do something about it.

The idea of $100 million maximum wealth (not "wage") is a good one, at least for all of us who never have to worry about owning more than $100 million. That includes me, and most likely you.

My vision of Communism...

video on YouTube

Friday, December 2, 2016

CB Human Aid to Ilovaisk Hospital

So, I'm finally back on FB, for how long, I don't know. Either they will kick me off again, or I will finally get fed up with it. Either way, this is where I will be posting from now on.

So, today, I went with CB to Ilovaisk to deliver a ventilator to the regional hospital there. It was donated by CB Leningrad. We asked our friends in Ministry of Health where it would do the most good, and they said "Ilovaisk". The machine is a life-saver, keeps people breathing after operations or when trauma stops breathing. I am sure it will save many lives. The cost of the machine was 703,000 Rubles, over $10,000. That's some REAL human aid right there!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


It has been over 30 days since Julian Assange has been seen or verifiably heard from. There are reports that he was snatched from the Ecuadorian embassy several weeks ago. His internet access was cut, and Wikileaks official Twitter account seems to have been hacked. In reply to many questions about his status and requests for verification that he is still in the embassy and alive, Wikileaks tweeted the following - "Stop asking for proof of life. We do not control his physical environment or whereabouts. Ask Rafael Correa (Pres of Ecuador)". This is NOT what one would expect from comrades and friends of a man who risked his life and gave his freedom for the Truth.

The audio "interview" of Assange posted and promoted on Wikileaks tweets seems fake to me, and even if real, is very, very poor "proof" of anything, especially that he is alive and still safe in the Ecuador embassy. People have been asking about his well-being and whereabouts for several weeks now, and Wikileak's only response has been to tell them to stop, and to promote very dubious "proof" that he is OK.

There is a simple solution; low-tech, cost-free, and can be done in a matter of seconds, and is 100% reliable - all Assange has to do is come to the window where he has appeared scores of times over the years, show his face, and maybe make a statement or ask a question. There is no plausible reason for him not to do so, and in fact, if he is still in the embassy, no plausible reason for him not to have done it already. Audio and even video can be easily faked these days. Until I see confirmation he is still in the embassy, I think he has been snatched and Wikileaks compromised.

There are already many vids on YT about this subject. I have watched quite a few, as well as checked the official Wikileaks Twitter feed. It is my opinion that Wikileaks HAS been compromised, and all the vids I have seen saying Assange is OK are bullshit. Alex Jones and Anonymous have posted vids saying they think he has been grabbed and Wikileaks has been compromised, and I agree with them. At least until I see credible evidence of Assange still in the Ecuador embassy.

Alex Jones | Anonymous »

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Memory Of Ruslan "Filin" Shchedrov

video on source

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

What to expect from Trump?

video on source 1source 2

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Construction in Nikishino

video on source

Friday, October 21, 2016

Boxing in Donetsk

video on source

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Friday, October 7, 2016

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Monday, August 1, 2016

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Friday, July 22, 2016

Monday, July 11, 2016

Friday, July 8, 2016

Monday, July 4, 2016

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Sunday, June 19, 2016

From the Front to the Beach

video on channel

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Kids from War Zone to Seaside

video on channel

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Texas with "Drone-Bass" Ep. 10

video on channel

Texas with "Drone-Bass" Ep. 9

video on channel

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Friday, June 10, 2016

Texas with "Drone-Bass" Ep. 8

video on channel

Monday, June 6, 2016

Friday, June 3, 2016

The Poet Warriors of Donbass

video on channel

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Sophie is Home, and has a New Jacket

video on channel

Children's Day in Gorlovka

video on channel

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Texas with "Drone-Bass" Ep. 5

video on channel

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Texas with "Drone-Bass" Ep. 4

video on channel

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Texas with "Drone-Bass" Ep. 3

video on channel

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Texas with "Drone-Bass" Ep. 2

video on channel

Monday, May 16, 2016

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Texas with "Drone-Bass" Ep. 1

video on channel

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Monday, May 9, 2016

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Friday, May 6, 2016

Donbass with Texas - Ep. 7: Nikishino

video on channel 1channel 2source 1source 2

The new episode of series "Donbass with Texas" is about the village of Nikishino. It is located near Debaltsevo. The intense fighting took place here already in august 2014. The frontline was located just on the streets of the village and divided it in two parts: one, which was occupied by Ukrainian army, and another, where the forces of Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) were located. Finally, the village was liberated by the forces of Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) in February 2015 during the Debaltsevo operation. Now the village is a part of DPR. The village have been heavily damaged. More than 430 houses have been damaged, about 150 houses have been completely destroyed, almost all infrastructural objects of the village have been destroyed as well. The church, the kindergarten, the local hospital and the school have been burned. Before the war the population of Nikishino was about 900 people, now it’s less than a half of them. The citizens would like to come back to the village, but there is just no place for them to return, since their houses have been destroyed.

‘Texas’ (Russell Bentley) together with ‘Essence of Time’ Unit visited the city to meet the citizens and volunteers, who help to rebuild the village, and to see themselves how heavy the city got hit and how people are rebuilding it.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Monday, May 2, 2016

Donbass with Texas - Ep. 6: Odessa does not forgive

video on channel 1channel 2source 1source 2

A year ago we met Pekar - DPR army soldier from Odessa. On May 2, 2014, he was on Kulikovo field and by miracle alone avoided death, after armed Nazis launched carnage against peaceful protesters in Trade Unions House.

We have met with Pekar once again prior to the second anniversary of Odessa tragedy and remembered the events of those days.

Pekar forgot and forgave nothing. In Donbass he participated in the battles for Donetsk airport, Debaltsevo, and is currently participating in combat near Elenovka. He is convinced that he will return to his hometown with DPR army. And he has no doubts that those responsible for Odessa tragedy of May 2 and other crimes against humanity will face the new "Nuremberg tribunal" over fascism in Kiev.

Odessa fights, it will not forgive!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Dima received assistance from France

video on channelsource 1source 2

Happy Easter and Happy Workers' Day!

Originally published on Facebook. »

Today is an auspicious day, it is both Easter Sunday in the Russian Orthodox Church, and May 1st, the real Labor Day, when the workers of the world are honored. So, it is a very special day for the Essence of Time volunteers in the DNR and all around the world. EoT believes in Communism 2.0, and in the Russian Orthodox religion. We seek to re-invent an improved Communism, a Socialist Union of workers, peoples and nations around the world, and we realize we can only do this with God's help. But we do not expect God to do it for us. We know it will take a great deal of work, wisdom and sacrifice on our part to achieve this lofty goal.

The Russian Orthodox religion is not like most religions in the West - the phony “Prosperity Gospel”, the despicable lie which says that rich people are rich because God is rewarding their “virtues” and the poor people of the world suffer because they are somehow bad. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is the exact opposite of what Jesus taught. The Russian Orthodox religion is based on humility, generosity, ans solidarity with our fellow man. It is the true interpretation of what Jesus taught. And Jesus was a Communist. He shared equally with all. The Sermon on the Mount and the Last Supper are perfect examples.

What is the idea of EoT's Communism 2.0? It seeks to take the basic premises of Marx and Lenin, to understand what mistakes were made, to correct them, and move forward to build a more just, more sustainable, more equitable world. The true character of any society, any civilization, can and should be judged, not by the opulence of its richest members, but by the condition of its poorest, least advantaged members. If every member of that society, including the least among them, has food, housing, education and medical care, sufficient for every member to achieve their full human potential, it is a just and humane society. If some have more than they can ever earn, more than they can ever spend, while others have less than enough to live, it can hardly be called civilized, much less a just human society. It is nothing more than, as Marx said, Man's exploitation of Man. That is what we are now fighting against. It is a fight, a war, for the future of Humanity. A fight we plan to win.

Because Humanity has now only three choices – either we make a better, more just world for all who are in it, or we face extinction for the vast majority and enslavement of the rest, by a small class of people who want to rule the world in perpetuity, who want to exploit human beings like livestock, or exterminate them like insects. And they will, if we let them. And that is the work of the Devil.

No realistic survey of the human condition in the world today can come to any conclusion but that things are getting worse, every day, for the vast majority of Humankind. We have the resources to provide for all, a decent living, education, health care, a chance for everyone to fulfill their true human potential, but those resources have been diverted and added to the already obscene and unjustifiable wealth of a ruthless few. The battle for the future of humanity is a battle between us and them.

So, on this day when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, on the same day respect the contribution, and the rights, of all the workers in the world, the vast majority of Humanity, let us join together to make the world a better place for all of us, for every person in it, and to fight those who believe they can make us their slaves. As Jesus said, that which we do for the least of our Brothers, we do for Him. As Marx said, we have nothing to lose but our chains.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Friday, April 22, 2016

Test-driving a trophy truck

video on channelsource

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Donbass with Texas - Ep. 5: Questions & Answers

video on channel 1channel 2source 1source 2

Many of our supporters asked Texas questions in Vkontakte, Facebook, Odnoklasniki social networks, in our Livejournal blog. They asked him about music, life in the USA and Donbass. A lot of interesting and important topics were raised, but, unfortunately, we can't cover all of them in our program. This isn't the last Q&A episode and we will discuss the things that we didn't had time to cover this time.

A big thank you to everybody for participating and supporting!

Emergency visit to "our Family" in Gorlovka

video on channel

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Donbass with Texas - Ep. 4: Yasinovatsky Machine Production Factory

video on channel 1channel 2source 1source 2

A new episode of the series "Donbass with Texas" is about Yasinovatsky Machine Production Factory. Before the war it was the largest producer of mining roadheading machinery. In 2014-2015 the factory was shelled by Ukrainian artillery multiple times. The factory was a target - it is strategically important for the region. The building of the factory management was burned to the ground, one of the production departments collapsed, the production stopped.

But the combined efforts of workers and administration made it possible to bring the Yasinovatsky Machine Production Factory back into business. Despite the efforts of Bandera Nazis, the lathes buzz again, the work goes on! The design engineers managed to create a new modification of a roadheader!

The industry of Donetsk People's Republic is being reborn. This is what the new episode of our series is about.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Gorlovka - Dancing Under Fire

video on channel

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Monday, March 28, 2016

Combat near Yasinovataya

video on channelsource 1source 2

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Friday, March 11, 2016

Texas in Gorlovka

video on channel

Texas visits Sophie in Yasynuvata

video on channel

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Monday, February 29, 2016

Sunday, February 28, 2016

My First Battle, Troishka, New Year’s Day 2015

Published in The Greanville Post. »

I woke up on New Year’s Day 2015 without a hangover though the night before I had drunk some champagne and a fair amount of vodka. Not a lot, but about as much as I would have drunk on a regular NYE back in the States. I was always pretty careful in that respect, I never got a single DWI. But I didn’t wake up back in the States, I woke up in a convent in the middle of a graveyard in Southeast Ukraine that was a major battlefield in the opening salvos of the Third World War.

Inside my sleeping bag, I was fully clothed in the Russian Army winter fatigues I had bought, along with the sleeping bag, in Rostov before crossing the border into Novorussia. Disrobing for sleep the night before had consisted of removing my boots, steel Class IV armored vest and kevlar helmet and hanging my AK-74 on a hook with my webgear. Across the room from me, in the frozen pitch black darkness, snored the two Italian volunteers, Spartak and Archangel. Below me, Lataishik, the sniper, and in the bunk next to his, Bielka, the PKM machine-gunner. Above them, the only guy on a top bunk, lay Texas, the New Kid on the Block, who wasn’t from anywhere around there. That would be me, your humble narrator…

IT WAS PITCH DARK, totally dark, and it was freezing. The temp was not so bad as long as I only stuck my nose out of the bag. The bag itself was rated for the Arctic, and that, along with my heavy Russian uniform, kept me pretty warm. Except for my nose. The windows were filled with sandbags, to the point that they were almost airtight. They were certainly light tight, and pretty good protection against bullets and artillery shrapnel, which was the main idea. The doors were covered, inside and out by heavy rugs nailed in place over the doors. They too were pretty much airtight. The walls of the building were almost 18 inches thick, including the interior walls and doorways. Airtight, light tight, freezing cold, it was almost like being in a crypt. The only difference was I had to take a piss.

I reached around and felt for my flashlight. Besides guns, food and bullets, a flashlight is one of the most important things you can have at the Front. I’d been in some pretty primitive situations before, and I had an idea about what to bring. I brought three. Two were the kind you wear on your head, and another handheld that could be charged by cranking. I found the one I was feeling around for and turned it on. The wood stove below me was cold and dark. I climbed down and lit a candle, the only source of illumination, besides flashlights. Since I was going outside to piss, I donned my steel vest and grabbed my Kalash. I walked to the end of the hallway and walked down the stairs. There were a few openings in the windows on the first floor, and the dim light of dawn filtered through. Which meant the snipers could see me.

Our position, our building, faced enemy positions on two sides – to the North, straight ahead, the Donetsk Airport control tower raised its head like a ragged viper, 400 meters away. About halfway between was a woodline that was the launching site for the almost daily Ukrop attacks. To the right, to the West, in the direction of Freedom and Prosperity, the New Terminal of the Donetsk Airport was held by the “Cyborgs” a supposedly elite unit of the Ukrainian Army, backed by Pravy Sektor Nazis and Western mercenaries. Our toilet was a small building about 50 meters across open ground, covered by Ukrop sniper fire from the control tower. I asked the guy on guard duty (in sign language, of course) if that was where I had to go to piss. It turned out that I could piss on the floor in one of the downstairs rooms, it was only if I had to take a shit that I’d have to brave the sniper fire. I decided to try that later, and settled for a piss.

That morning it occurred to me that I was among true Freedom Fighters, men who were defending their own homes and families from foreign invaders who were bent on nothing less than enslavement of the locals. These men were not “defending freedom” by going to a foreign country and shooting people there, they were defending their own freedom, literally in their own backyards, and doing it quite well. We faced 150 infantry, Pravy Sektor and Regular Army, armor and artillery, including Grads (rocket batteries). There were never more than 20 of us there at once, usually a lot less. Firefights every night, and almost every day. Thousands of rounds, each way. Artillery every few days, fifty to a hundred rounds, incoming. But we held our own.

I returned upstairs, where things were starting to stir. The first stove to be lit was in the kitchen. Ammo crates were the preferred firewood, and the majority of what we had to burn. Coffee, nyet, but there was tea, “chai” black and strong, with too much sugar. Breakfast was the leftover potato soup from the night before. As the morning progressed, I began to interact with my comrades, and take stock of them, and them of me. The two combat commanders were Reem and Mir (“Chrome” and “Peace”.) The following equation may not make sense to the civilians or mathematicians among us, but combat vets will know what I mean – Reem was worth any 10 regular soldiers, and Mir was worth 5, but together they were worth 30, and there were plenty of times when 30 Ukrops were scared to go up against just those two. They ran the “Utes”, and they ran it heavy. The Utes is a heavy machine gun, equal to the US M-2 50 cal. Reem was the gunner, and Mir was his sideman and spotter. Reem was a big man, but he seemed even bigger. Mir was a short guy, but the scarier of the two.

Reem didn’t say much, and everything that Mir said to me seemed somehow tinged with a threat. When Mir told me he was a dentist, I figured he really meant “dentist” in the mafia sense – he knocked people’s teeth out with his fists for a living. He wasn’t the kind of guy who needed pliers. That evening, over dinner, Mir peppered me with questions, what I knew about Russian history, Russian culture. Well, I knew a bit. Come and See by Elim Klimov, Eta Vso by DDT. The Sacred War. Reem just sat back and listened. He didn’t say much, but like E. F. Hutton, when Reem talked, everybody listened. I did too, of course, but the only difference was I couldn’t understand anything he said. He was that kind of guy, a big, dark Russian with a rumbling voice like the sound of distant artillery that was slowly coming closer. He could say “Merry Christmas” and it would sound like the voice of impending doom. But I could tell he liked me, even if I was pretty sure Mir didn’t. After dinner, Mir invited me back to the Commander’s Room, at the suggestion of Reem. Of course, I went.

Each room, including the Commander’s, had two double bunks on the North and South walls, for a total of 8 bunks in each room, usually with 4 or 5 soldiers in each. Candles were the only illumination, but Reem’s stove worked better than most, and the room was actually warm. We sat down for some Green Tea.

Sitting there, warmed by a wood stove, lit by a candle, listening to the soft, deep and ominous rumble of Reem’s voice, I felt about as far away as it was possible to be from the conventional reality of my friends and family back in the States. I was living like an outlaw cowboy from the 1800’s, but I was doing so in Eastern Europe in the 21st Century. It was crazy, it was weird, it was hard and it was scary, but there was no place on Earth I would rather have been.

We had some tea, a Russian tradition that while not as formal as the Japanese ceremony, had its protocols. I sat in a dark room, lit by a single candle and listened to Reem give combat instructions to the other 3 soldiers who were there, then he turned to me and made me understand it was time to fight. The Ukrops would start their attack within the next 10 minutes. I was to get to my room, don my vest, helmet and webgear with 4 loaded magazines and be ready to work. In Russian military circles, the word “robota”, “to work”, means to start shooting. I did as I was told. In my room, I paused for a moment to say a prayer, then donned my gear and reported to the guys who were setting up near the Utes at the front of the building, facing the control tower. I was instructed to take a firing position on the 3rd floor, along with Arik the sniper. It was about 8PM, and a light snow had started to fall. We took up our position just as the Ukrops began to open fire.

One of the first things you learn, instinctively and without instruction, is to tell the difference between bullets being fired in your general direction and bullets being fired directly at you. The latter have a distinctive “crack!”, a mini-sonic boom as they pass, or else you can hear their impact on whatever cover you happen to be using for protection. The tempo and intensity of fire from the Ukrops quickly increased. There were at least 3 separate groups in the woodline, 150 meters to our front – one on the left and two to the right. Probably between 12 and 20 soldiers, laying down a steady stream of fire. …It was a surreal existence, dark, cold, deadly danger. In a strange language. Operating mostly on vibes. They’d look at me and tell me something important, and I’d have absolutely no idea what the words they’d just said meant, but I could catch the vibe. And I have to say I caught on pretty quick. It only took me two days to figure out I was wearing my body armor backwards. Russians don’t teach you, they let you figure it out. And we all had a good laugh when I did. The trick to doing everything the right way, the best way it can be done, is to do it like they do.

Arik and I would take turns firing out the window, then take cover and await the return fire. I would pop up, fire off 5 or 6 rounds in 4 seconds or so, then get down. Arik would wait about 10 or 15 seconds, then take a position at the window and fire 2 or 3 aimed shots with his SVD. We were effective, and soon came under sustained fire. At one point, a green Ukrop tracer came through the window right between us. And of course, when you see a tracer, there are 3 or 4 more non-tracer bullets that you do not see, coming along with it. We both saw the tracer come through the window. We looked at each other and laughed, then got back to work. It did not take for me to empty my 5 magazines, and I headed down to the second floor to reload. The battle was in full pitch. Reem and Mir manned the Utes, and Bielka had the PKM working from the window to the left of the Utes. Reem had a highly effective method of shooting – although the Utes is a fully automatic machine gun, Reem had perfected the technique of firing single shots. It was a steady drumbeat of fire, about one round per second, each round at a different target. The PKM and other shooters developed a rhythm with the Utes, which created a solid stream of hot lead covering all Ukrop firing positions almost constantly. Though we were outnumbered, we maintained the initiative, and controlled the battle.

I reloaded my mags as quickly as I could, and learned many important lessons in the process. Often, in battles at Troishka, both sides would need to reload at pretty much the same time. Being able to reload quickly is as important as being able to unload accurately. I was pretty slow that first night, but soon learned to get much, much better. I returned to the window where Arik was still working, and took up my firing position. I fired a round, then pulled the trigger again. Nothing happened. I looked down at my rifle and saw the bolt was jammed in a half open position. I tried pushing forward and pulling back, but it was stuck. Fuck…CB-tower-scope2 The Kalashnikov series of rifles are among the best combat weapons ever produced, and their superior quality has always been their reliability. I thought that either a Ukrop bullet had hit my rifle, or a bad bullet had exploded in the chamber. I went downstairs, not relishing the idea of sitting out the rest of the raging firefight with an inoperable weapon. I showed my rifle to Mongoose, the commander. He also tried to get it to function, to no avail. So he gave me an RPK that was in the arms room, and I continued the fight with that. The battle continued for several hours, until the Ukrops finally withdrew back to the control tower complex. We gathered in the arms room to reload and to smoke cigarettes. It was about midnight, and it had been a long night. I left my AK in the arms room, and took the RPK with me to my bunk. I removed my webgear, helmet, boots and vest, and crawled up onto my bunk. The room was still of course freezing cold, no fire in the stove, only a candle for illumination. I slid into my bag, said a prayer of thanks, and went to sleep, with only my nose sticking out. Tomorrow would be another busy day.

The days and nights consisted of taking care of day to day chores while waiting, and being ready, to be attacked by numerically superior forces at any time. We usually had about 5 minutes warning, from radio intercepts or observation that the attack was coming in the next few minutes, or some Ukrop would open fire early, and let us know they were coming. When we hit back, it was hard. Reem and Mir were on the Utes heavy machine gun, and we had an AGS automatic grenade launcher, plus maybe 10 or 12 more guys with rifles. Plenty of ammo. Supplies were delivered every day or so, water, food, ammo. At dawn the car or van would arrive, 3 or 4 of us would run across the open terrain to the relative cover in front of the church. And back with heavy burdens, two or three trips. Firewood was a rarity, though there was a big pile of wooden construction debris about 300 meters away, across sniper scanned fields. And we went and got it there too. Nobody got hit, but in retrospect, it seemed crazy. No matter. Within a few days of my arrival, we were shooting so much ammo we had plenty of wooden ammo crates to burn. Plenty.

One night, I was assigned to AGS duty. The AGS is a machine gun that shoots grenades that will cut any exposed meat within a 5 meter radius of where they hit. But totally ineffective against armor. As the nightly Ukrop attack began, Lataishik, Mas and I unsheathed the monster and prepared for battle. It was pitch dark, and I couldn’t see a thing. We couldn’t use our flashlights because light draws fire, so it was literally touch and go. Lataishik let off about 5 rounds and then turned to me and said “Te agon”, “You shoot”. I felt my way over and went ahead and did. All the while, bullets are impacting within a foot or two of the edge of the window we are firing out of. You just have to ignore them and keep on working. When they shoot at you, you can see the muzzle flash from the rifles. Then you know where to shoot back with a grenade machine gun. I laid some down. I had learned from Mir on the Utes that you never shoot the same target twice, a different one every time, every few seconds, so they never know if the next one’s for them. We ran through six 25 round drums, then it was time to reload. Quickly, because the battle was not over.

Lataishik assumed sniper duty at the window with his SVD. Mas and I headed up to the ammo room to reload. Reloading AGS belts, under optimum conditions is not an easy task. Barehanded in the freezing dark, for the first time, in the middle of a battle, I have to rate as among the toughest things I have ever done. And that’s how it went. OJT, On the Job Training, but I was catching on. I hadn’t gotten killed yet, or gotten anyone else killed, so I was doing pretty good. I did my share of guard duty – on the stairs by the AGS, guarding the entrance against “surprise visitors” in the form of Pravy Sektor commandos stationed half a kilometer away. The other guard post, manned 24 hours a day, was the PKM window beside the Utes. We had a night vision (light amplification) scope for the Utes, and a handheld thermal imager for observation. Beyond bullets, beyond Grads, my biggest fear was that I would drop the thermal imager on guard duty. I t was one of our most important weapons. Technically, “Non-lethal”, but it multiplied the power of every weapon 20 times, because it could show us where to shoot. Remember that when US government hacks talk about non-lethal aid. Some of the most important weapons in war cannot kill people by themselves.

THE BATTLES OCCURRED WITH REGULARITY, pretty much every day, and every night. Battles lasted at least an hour, sometimes many hours, with literally thousands of rounds fired by each side. One night, Mongoose was at the next position, Milnitsa, (“Windmill”) meeting with other commanders when the Ukrops attacked Troishka. It was a heavy battle, and we soon needed to reload. Unfortunately, Mongoose had the key to the main ammo room, and fire was too heavy for him to make his way back. It was not a pleasant situation – We were literally running out of bullets for all our weapons, and it wouldn’t take the Ukrops and Pravy Sektor nazis long to figure it out. 150 meters across semi-open ground, and they would be at the door. We would be fighting with knives against psychos with loaded machine guns.

Fortunately, Orion, who had arrived a few days after me, came up with a solution, not elegant, but effective – a wood-splitting maul makes a passable field expedient door key when your life is on the line, and within minutes, the door was in splinters, and we were opening ammo cans and reloading mags and ammo belts as if our lives depended on it. Which, of course, they did. Reloading is as important a skill as shooting. There are tricks to it, as with everything here. When you’ve loaded up all your mags, you take a big handful of loose rounds and put them in the right hand pocket of your coat. Not the left side pocket, because then you have to transfer every round to the right hand before you put it in the mag, and it takes almost twice as long to re-load. With our mags topped off, we suddenly began returning heavy fire towards the Ukrops who were advancing, much to their surprise and dismay. We owed a debt of thanks to Orion, and after the battle, we all gave him a pat on the back.

Each day was like a week, and filled with learning experiences. I was promoted to a front firing position, to the right of the Utes, my “office” with a small firing port that had been chipped out of the wall. I often shared my office with Mars, the top sniper in the Essence of Time combat unit and one of the best snipers in the NAF.

I was asked if I wanted to train as a sniper, but declined. Sniper is a young man’s job, and I was a bit old, and my eyesight was not quite up to snuff. I was pretty good with the Kalashnikov and PKM, but was reluctant to take up the sniper’s SVD. The war continued…

On the 12th of January, Motorola and Spartak Battalion moved into the Cachigarka position under heavy fire. Cachigarka is halfway between Troishka and the New Terminal. That evening, the Utes was moved from it’s usual position to a window facing New Terminal. We were given a warning order that Sparta would assault the New terminal that night, and we would provide covering fire for their approach.

At 22:00 Hours (10 PM) the attack began. The entire New terminal was lit by muzzle flashes and incoming tracers. Mortar and artillery fire was constant. It was an important engagement with more than a hundred soldiers on each side. As Sparta entered the Terminal on the left, we were instructed to shift our fire to the right end of the Terminal. At about 1 AM, a magazine of green tracer was fired straight up into the air, the signal that the New Terminal had been taken. It was a major victory for the NAF. At 4 AM, I was posted to guard duty at the door. In the last few minutes of my 3 hour shift, exhausted, I started to doze off, only to awaken moments later to Mars standing above me on the stairs, understandably very angry. I would be assigned “robot duty” as punishment for my infraction. Orion would also be joining me. Under artillery attack the night before, he was reporting to Milnitsa, and was saying over open radio frequencies that Ukrop rounds were landing “300 meters to our left.” As Mars pointed out, he was inadvertently acting as an artillery spotter for the Ukrops. So, the next day, Orion and I made our way under intense artillery fire to the Gavin position.

They had a basement there that was to be used as a bomb shelter, but was filled with junk, old food and other miscellaneous debris. Our job was to clean the basement. Although it was a punishment mission, the weather was clear and not too bitterly cold, and we were several hundred meters back from Troishka, in relative safety. It was almost a holiday. We spent a few hours working hard to clear out the basement, then lounged around in the sunlight and clean, crisp, smoke-free air. While we were there, Somali Brigade brought up several tanks and began a sustained fire attack on the control tower. Just after lunch, it was cut down. The ukrops still held the buildings in the control tower complex, but had been deprived of an important observation post, at the probable cost of several of their lives. Another major victory for us. We were kickin’ ass and taking names…

I had picked up a bad lung infection in training at Ysynavada, and I continued to have a serious cough. During my weeks at Troishka, it had not gotten any better. It could not have gotten any worse, because it was already as bad as it could get. The frigid temperatures and dense smoke that were ever-present did not help any, either. It was really bad, but not bad enough for me to ask to go to the hospital. I had not come to Donbass to check into a hospital of my own volition. But on the 14th of January, the Vostok Battalion doctor came to Troishka to visit me. He asked many questions, listened to my chest and noted the lung-crushing conditions of smoke and cold. He did his best to talk me into coming back with him, but I refused. I did not intend to leave before my comrades did. But the next evening, having green tea with Reem, a message came over the radio – I was ordered to be ready to move to the hospital the next morning at dawn, and to leave when the supply van departed. Conditions were very harsh, and honestly, I was very sick, but I was more dismayed than relieved by the order. In my rudimentary Russian, I conveyed to Reem that I did not want to go and had not asked to. He understood.

At dawn on the 16th of January, I bid my comrades good luck and boarded the van back to civilization. After a little over two weeks in heavy combat, my entire perspective on life had changed, and I finally had a realistic idea about what my new life was really going to be like. As the van made its way from combat zone to city center, it was like going from one world to another, though separated by only a few thousand meters. At the Vostok hospital, I was prescribed 4 days of bed rest. Rather than stay at the hospital, I prevailed on my doctor to allow me to stay ay the apartment of my friend Christian Malaparte. Ti was warmer and more comfortable, the food was better and most of all I could communicate in English. Between basic training and combat at Troishka, it had been over a month without a single day off, without a doubt, the hardest month I had ever spent in my life. I was ready for a little R&R, and felt I deserved it. I got to Christian’s apartment, was fed royally, chugged down most of a bottle of Armenian cognac and passed out for the next 16 hours. Meanwhile, back at the airport, Troishka was about to become the scene of one of the biggest and most important battles of the war…

video on channelsource

Friday, February 26, 2016

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Monday, February 15, 2016

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Humanitarian aid for Gorlovka residents

video on channelsource

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Friday, January 29, 2016

Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Lesson of Grom and Shiba

Published in The Greanville Post. »

There’s nothing like facing Death on a daily basis to CB patchmake you understand the true essence of time, and Shiba and Grom (“Grom” means “Thunder”) certainly do. They joined Vostok and EoT in the first days of the war, fought at Saur Mogila, then moved to the airport when we took up positions there in December 2014. They were soldiers, but their main duty was driving journalists from Donetsk city center to the Front, near the airport, which was a very hot area back n the first months of 2015.I know, I was there. On Easter Sunday, April 12th, 2015, in the village of Zhabunki, near the airport, while driving a TV crew in a clearly marked civilian car, the Ukrainian Army opened fire on them with anti-tank rockets. The journalists in back were relatively unharmed, and eventually completely recovered. Shiba and Grom both lost their legs. Both lost both their legs, blown off by a rocket. It’s a miracle that either of them survived. But they both did. They were taken to the Army hospital in Donetsk, and 4 months later to hospitals in Russia. On December 22nd, they returned to Donetsk, their hometown. They brought new legs with them, and they’ve both had smiles on their faces ever since. Because they came back with new legs to kick some more fascist ass. That’s what they like to do. And they’re good at it…

Grom and Shiba did not know each other before the war. Grom was a truck driver in Donbass, Shiba had businesses in Moscow, and had moved there. But as soon as the war in Donbass broke out, Shiba returned to Donetsk and joined the Army – Vostok Battalion and Essence of Time. That’s where he met Grom and Volga, the EoT Commander. They all became fast friends. Grom and Shiba worked together, and they were quite a pair, like Socrates and Hercules, and always with a smile and a joke. Even during some of the toughest fighting of the war, they were unstoppable and unflappable. A pair of super heroes, not like Batman and Robin, more like Batman and Superman.

Vostok and EoT worked at the airport in some of the hottest positions there. All of us who worked there faced death on a daily basis. (By Easter, EoT [a relatively small formation] had already lost 5 guys KIA.) But we all agreed that a prospect worse than death was to be gravely wounded. We all felt that way, but Grom and Shiba proved us wrong. Because they were gravely wounded, and they never showed a single second of self pity or regret. And now they’re back, not just in Donetsk, but in the Army, and they’re going back to the Front, because even if they’re still getting used to their new legs, their trigger fingers work just fine. And they’re smiling all the way. Even before they got hit, they were always joking. It calmed the nerves of the civilian journalists that it was their main job to drive around through combat zones. And it came to them naturally. Even in the face of Death.

Now, they joke more than ever. They are not known as Grom and Shiba, “The two guys who got their legs blown off”, they are not even mostly known as “Those two incredible Heroes”. They are known as “Those two guys who are always joking”. And they are way funnier than Cheech and Chong. Seriously.

HOW DO PEOPLE OVERCOME SUCH CHALLENGES, such tragedies? Well, it takes a strong and heroic nature, of course, but it is almost impossible to do without one other factor – a family that loves and supports you, and won’t let you down. And EoT and Vostok are a family just like that. A REAL family, not just a shared name or a shared Christmas dinner, or a phone call on your birthday. The Human Family, of which we can all be members, if we are willing to do our part.

Grom and Shiba did theirs, and we weren’t about to let them down. Essence of Time, Vostok and friends raised over 1.5 million rubles for these guys, to help pay for care, medicine and prosthetics. But Grom and Shiba did not accept all of the donations for themselves, of course. They also sent some of the money raised for their treatment to wounded kids from Donbass who were also being treated in Moscow. Because what comes around, goes around, and that’s what Heroes do. They know that, and so they do it.

When they were recovering in Moscow, sharing a room, they had a lot of time to reminisce, and one day, trading childhood memories, discovered that one of Shiba’s grade school teachers, Svetlana Drouzhina, had later become a professor and taught Grom in university. Needless to say, when they got back to Donetsk from Moscow, they went to visit her. Imagine the pride she must have felt at seeing these two Heroes, whose magnificent characters she had helped to mold, show up to honor her and her students with their presence and their examples. It gives me goosebumps to even think about it. Men who risked everything to defend those who could not defend themselves, the innocent and the powerless, these men who said we will not just risk all and give all to protect you, we will win, we will protect you from those who menace you and want to enslave you, and we will defeat them. The US-backed fascists can shoot off our legs, but we will return to fight again, and as long as we are alive, we will continue to fight them, and we will defeat them, or die trying. The Nazis can kill us, but they cannot kill us all, so we can never be defeated.

Grom and Shiba gave a lecture on courage that should be taught in every school classroom in the world. Men who have had both their legs blown off defending a righteous cause have a right to say “I’ve done my share, I believe I’ll rest now.” Heroes like Grom and Shiba say “We are still alive, we can do more, so we will.” Because a Hero’s share is simply all he can give, and these guys still have more to give, and they will give it. Because that’s what it takes.

Those of us reading this today may die before the world goes through a horrific transformation as significant as the extinction of the dinosaurs.Then again, we may not. One thing’s for sure, the way things are going now, our children’s children won’t, unless we change things. Which is still possible, and Donbass proves it. Grom and Shiba prove it. We’re talking about the future of Humanity here. Our children. All children. You know what it’s worth to Grom and Shiba. What’s it worth to you?

video on source