On the night of April 12, the city of Odessa in Ukraine celebrated the 70th anniversary of its liberation from Nazi Germany. That same night, as reported by Interfax, John Brennan had a meeting with the Kiev junta and advised it, as a first act of suppression, to put down a demonstration by protesters in Slovyansk who were pushing for a referendum on federalization that would establish its autonomy. That action was to begin on April 13.
Under-Secretary of Defense Dimitri Yarosh announced a full mobilization of Pravy Sektor, the ultra-nationalist paramilitary collective, to squelch the protesters. Troops had been mobilized to Donbass by train and military vehicles, including tanks and armored troop carriers, and seven of the latter were stationed on the outskirts of Slovyansk. In his statement, Yarosh said that the Kiev government had been taking too long to respond and needed to remember that traitors in war-time are hanged.
Yarosh made no bones about his position that Kiev is now at war. He told Pravy Sektor, which is now in charge of defense and border control, to take decisive action and protect the sovereignty and integrity of the country. Interior Minister Arsen Avakov echoed his words, saying he would deliver the power of every unit as rapidly as it could bear.
On the same day the protesters were to be squelched in Slovyansk, the city of Simferopol also began celebrating the 70th anniversary of its liberation from the Nazis. Hundreds of residents placed flowers on the World War II memorial that commemorates the sacrifice of soldiers and the city's people in defeating the Nazi menace.
April 13 is also Palm Sunday for Eastern Orthodox Christians across Ukraine and Russia. It is one of the highest Christian holidays of the year. This year's celebration will be remembered as Bloody Palm Sunday.
According to RIA Novosti, all of the Kiev government forces were carefully picked from Galician Western Ukraine, which for more than 80 years has been the cradle of Ultra Nationalist thought and aspiration in Ukraine.
The First Crimes Against Humanity
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk actually said "Ukrainians hitherto have acted rationally, although I do not know what they have identified as the limits of a severe reaction.... This is a moment when the Ukrainian state should act decisively to show that it does not tolerate this kind of action [separatism]."
He also agreed with the position of the Ukrainian authorities on the perception of separatists as terrorists! This is akin to declaring half the population of a country to be terrorists! In America, the 99% may be treated like the second-class citizens of Donbass, but the Obama administration has at least enough sense not to attack them using the military.
At around 8 a.m. on April 13, people in Slavyansk noticed five military helicopters flying overhead. They then witnessed landings and soldiers at different locations, possibly mercenaries, dressed in black with no markings.
At 8:30 Pravy Sektor tried to storm a local
radio station and suffered the first casualties of the war. One man was
reported killed and two others injured. About 40 minutes later the first
checkpoint on the road (set up by residents) going into Slovyansk was destroyed.
Witnesses reported the attack was carried out by helicopter gunships and
Ukrainian Special Security Service forces using rocket-propelled grenades. At
the same time the first shots were heard on the outskirts of Slovyansk.
As this was happening
in Slovyansk, the entire population rushed to its defense. Women and girls formed
a human chain to protect their town.
Just before 10 a.m. Kiev forces accidently shot an unarmed fisherman, who suffered serious chest wounds. He was wearing camouflage and had been mistaken for a self-defense group member.