7th of March: Status in Crimean conflict

Morale falling on all sides.

Euromaidan PR

 Dmitry Tymchuk, military and political observer

The bad news:

1. Putin gave directions to his military and gangsters to expel the Ukrainian military forces from Crimea before the 16th of March (the date of “referendum”). Although the Russian soldiers in Crimea are trying their best to put on a convincing show of discipline, their morale is waning. And it is not surprising; officially, they do not exist on the peninsula. Putin denied their presence and it is not clear how they are different from Aksenov’s criminal bands in the eyes of the law. Because of this, it is necessary to utilize them immediately; otherwise, they may become a disorganized mob very soon.

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Journalists in Sevastopol beaten by Russians assaulting Ukrainian military unit

So much for press freedoms…

Euromaidan PR

Journalists in Sevastopol were severely beaten during the attack on the Ukrainian military unit #2355 on March 7.

Lilya Budjurova wrote on FB:

Ukrainian journalists that were near the military unit #2355 (tactical unit “Krym”) were assaulted by “Aksenov’s combatants”. The journalists were severely beaten, the car in which Yelena Mekhanik was in was chased. They smashed the car and took away the cameras.

Ukrainska Pravda reports that apart from Yelena Mekhanik, journalist Andriy Tapliyenko and two more cameramen from “Inter” were in the car.

Dmitriy Belotserkovets, coordinator of the youth organisation in the UDAR party, wrote on FB:

I will start writing emotionally… but I have never seen such Fascism-Nazism-Genocide in my life. I was present during the raid of [Ukrainian] military unit #2355…Russian troops smashed the gates of the unit, and between 40 and 50 soldiers of Russian army made it inside.

They blocked the unit commander, and…

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The Robert Patrick Hoffman Case: Spies, Soviets, and Subs

Robert Patrick Hoffman II, courtesy of the Daily Mail
Robert Patrick Hoffman II, courtesy of the Daily Mail

Daily Mail Reporter. “Decorated Former Navy Submarine Expert Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison for Trying to Sell Classified National Defense Secrets to FBI Agents Posing as Russian Spies.” The Daily Mail. February 12, 2014. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2557383/Decorated-former-Navy-submarine-expert-sentenced-30-years-prison-trying-sell-classified-national-defense-secrets-FBI-agents-posing-Russian-spies.html

Daugherty, Scott. “FBI Targeted Alleged Spy by Pretending to Date Him.” Virginian-Pilot. August 17, 2013. http://hamptonroads.com/2013/08/fbi-targeted-alleged-spy-pretending-date-him#

——. “Would-Be Spy Gets 30 Years from Norfolk Federal Court.” Virginian-Pilot. February 11, 2014. http://hamptonroads.com/2014/02/wouldbe-spy-gets-30-years-federal-court

FBI. “Former Sailor Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison for Attempted Espionage.” February 10, 2014. http://www.fbi.gov/norfolk/press-releases/2014/former-sailor-sentenced-to-30-years-in-prison-for-attempted-espionage

——. “Naval Espionage: Stopping a Dangerous Insider Threat.” March 7, 2014. http://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2014/march/naval-espionage-stopping-a-dangerous-insider-threat/naval-espionage-stopping-a-dangerous-insider-threat?utm_campaign=email-Immediate&utm_medium=email&utm_source=fbi-top-stories&utm_content=304333

Mather, Mike and Doris Taylor. “Former Sailor Found Guilty of Trying to Spy for Russia.” News Channel 3. August 21, 2013. http://wtkr.com/2013/08/21/former-sailor-found-guilty-of-trying-to-spy-for-russia/

RiaNovosti. “US Navy Submariner Convicted of Attempting to Spy for Russia.” August 22, 2013. http://en.ria.ru/military_news/20130822/182915811.html

Semko, Ray. “Former Navy Sailor Charged in Virginia with Attempted Espionage.” DICE Blog. December 6, 2012. http://www.raysemko.com/2012/12/06/former-navy-sailor-charged-in-virginia-with-attempted-espionage/

——. “Robert Hoffman Espionage Trial (Updated).” August 20, 2013. http://www.raysemko.com/2013/08/20/robert-hoffman-espionage-trial/

Solash, Robert. “In Colorful Case, U.S. Submarine Expert Accused of Attempting to Spy for Russia.” Radio Free Europe. March 8, 2014. http://www.rferl.org/content/hoffman-trial-belarus-submarine-expert-spying-russia/25081887.html

Robert Patrick Hoffman during his trial, courtesy of the DICE Blog
Robert Patrick Hoffman during his trial, courtesy of the DICE Blog
Loaded Dead Drop with the encrypted flash drive, courtesy of the FBI
Loaded Dead Drop with the encrypted flash drive, courtesy of the FBI