Ukraine War Day #350: Sad Anniversary + Deck Chairs

Dear Readers:

First a sad reminder: Today (February 8) is the 6th anniversary of the death of Givi, the legendary Donbass Commander for the Separatist forces. This is a timely reminder that this was did not start just a year ago, it has been waging for many years.

Givi: A true Russian hero

Colonel Mikhail Tolstykh was born in 1980 in the Donetsk city of Ilovaisk. Growing up, he served his obligatory term in the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF). This turned out to be useful, as it imparted some military skills that he was to need later. After the Maidan Coup of 2014 Tolstykh assumed the call sign Givi [a Russian humorous nickname for those of Gruzian ancestry; sort of like, in America, calling an Irishman “Paddy”] and volunteered in the Donbass militias. He commanded a Battalion called Somali. [He picked the name because he had read that Somali pirates and ohter fighters were the fiercest in the world.]

Givi took part in the major battles of that first period of the war: Slavyansk, Ilovaisk, the Donetsk Airport. He earned a medal as Hero of the DPR, was promoted to Colonel, became a Cavalier of two St. George crosses, and an extra medal for “Defender of Slavyansk”.

On February 8, 2017 Givi was killed when a bomb exploded in his HQ in Makeevka. He was buried in Donetsk. Givi’s legacy was his dream, which he expressed numerous times, that Donbass would someday throw off the Ukrainian yoke and reunite with Mother Russia.

Rearranging Deck Chairs On The Titanic

Next, switching from the inspiring to the disgusting in a single beat: I have this piece by reporter Darya Volkova. Who dishes to us some new names to watch out for, as the Titanic chugs on to meet its destiny.

Darya’s source is the ever-alert political analyst Larisa Shesler, who keeps her eye on what passes for “Ukrainian politics” so that the rest of us don’t have to look at those feral rodent faces too much.

Readers may be aware, from other sources, that Zelensky has just distinguished himself with a new round of purges of the establishment, even reaching into his inner circle. According to Shesler, one of the main themes here is the elimination of oligarch Igor Kolomoisky and all of his people, from the political scene. That sounds good, right? Getting rid of an oligarch…

Unfortunately, one of Zelensky’s prime motivations, in addition to just grabbing all the money for himself, is to find ever new sources of “fresh meat” for his suicide army.

Human Rights activist and political analyst, Larisa Shesler

Shesler: As his first order of business, Zelensky wants to apply more pressure against the population. Indeed, it is in the Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhie, Kherson, and also Nikolaev Oblasts, that Zelensky is imposing the most stringent tasks, in terms of mobilization into the UAF.

These pro-Russian regions form the backbone of the Ukrainian Defense industry. It is in these regions where you will find most of the production and repair facilities for military hardware, including drones.

Zelensky also wants to eliminate the possibility of any political forces arising who are not loyal to him and might challenge his power. For a long time now political life in Ukraine has been moribund; now they are burying the corpse once and for all.

For the leadership of [the aforementioned] regions, they are appointing new men who are not only loyal to Zelensky, but who were formed inside the very forge of this ideological system of personalities from the repressive organs. I think we ought to expect new waves of repressions and purges within the business circles of these Oblasts. The entrepreneur Igor Kolomoisky used to be very powerful in these regions. Therefore we should expect to see further purges of his people.

Zelensky’s new hires: Larry, Curly and Mo.

Next a specific list of new names and faces to look out for: Sergei Lysak is the new head of Dnepropetrovsk. Yury Malashko is the new head of that part of Kherson Oblast still under Kievan control. Alexander Prokudin is the new head of that part of Zaporozhie Oblast still under Kievan control.

All of these men come from service in the repressive organs. Malashko used to head the “Anti-Terrorist Center” within the SBU. Prokudin headed the “National Police” in Kherson. Lysak was head of SBU in Zhitomir Oblast up to July 2022; and now heads the SBU in Dnepropetrovsk.

With these guys in their new posts, and what with all the other personnel changes taking place in his administration, and always under the figleaf of “Fighting Corruption”, Zelensky is clearly set to tighten the screws against the Ukrainian population; especially those living in traditionally Russian-speaking and pro-Russian Oblasts.

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18 Responses to Ukraine War Day #350: Sad Anniversary + Deck Chairs

  1. Ortensio F. says:

    El capitan Igor Mangushev murio en esta madrugada e n las 6 : 12 .
    En Rusia, desde 2014 , se estan yendo , y no de forma natural, los mejores combatientes : A. Modgovoy, A. S. Pavlov “Motorola”, M. Tolstykh “Givi “, A. Zakharchenko, …..

    Si se va tambien I. Girkin “Strelkov ” y tambien no de modo natural , sino mediante asesinato ( parece ser que ya fue amenazado por sus enemigos moscovitas ), ya entiendo que Rusia se merece un infierno social , como así algunos ya intuimos .

    Rusia no abandona el asesinato como modo expeditivo de ajuste de cuentas .
    Igual que su antagonista U. S. A . En eso demasiado se asemejan .
    Y es que donde prevalecen los elegidos ………. mal asunto .


  2. Ortensio F. says:

    …………….. Los “elegidos” por Satanas . Por supuesto .


  3. S Brennan says:

    Y, I think Burns personally told Zel that his comfortable mansion in Miami had conditions. Those conditions are similar to that of a Judas-goat, Zel must lead his nation to slaughter.

    Why, a reasonable man might ask, why would your masters require that you lead your nation to slaughter when the cause is lost? Sad to say, it’s probably US election year politics in play…


    • yalensis says:

      Was just reading this morning that Zel is soon to fly off for a state visit to United Kingdom. I wonder if they are preparing his new home there, as opposed to Miami? Personally, I think he would be safer in London. Miami is a very dangerous place to live, from what I understand. Even with bodyguards!


      • Marcus Aurelius says:

        How is it even possible for Z to fly? Certainly the Russians know when his plane, or any plane for that matter, leaves the airport in Kiev? I wonder why they don’t shutter the airport with a few well placed bomb craters in the runway? As an American very much against my country’s support of Ukraine in this war, I just can’t understand a lot of the way the Russians handle things. That is not a criticism of Russian MOD, just a observation of my own.


        • S Brennan says:

          Because my dear friend, though I am not a cynic, it should be obvious to the most casual observer, having an enemy that is willing to live as a coward is to be greatly preferred to those few honorable enemies willing to accept being made a martyr.


        • yalensis says:

          I think the main reason is because, as I posted a couple of days ago (“A Profile in Chutzpah”), Putin had indirectly given his word to Zelensky that he wouldn’t kill him. I reckon Putin is the kind of man who keeps his word; and Zelensky believes that to be a fact, that’s why he isn’t skeered.


  4. Liborio Guaso says:

    I learned about Gibi from a blog in Spain, I remember him, he well deserves a tribute.


  5. the pair says:

    givi is slowly winning from the grave. always liked that picture…i’d love if they used that as the inspiration when they build a statue to him in the future. complete with the cigarette of course. (and there’s something sublime about a random guy from the russian “sticks” admiring somalis.)

    as for the deck chairs, anyone familiar with russian history should know purges never end well. maybe all the doctors should be careful as they might be next.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Daniel Rich says:

    Regardless how many people Z purges, Ukraine’s gonna lose this SMO. Perhaps Florida’s a good place to retire…?


  7. If you had a call sign, what would it be?!? Not Yalensis. That’s too long for telecomm. Should be two syllables or less. Mine, of course, would be Bukko. Built-in…


  8. Derek says:

    Givi was indeed a hero with balls of steel. Once during an interview with Graham Phillips shells started to fall all around. Everyone except Givi (and Graham) ran for cover. Givi calmly waited and then picked up shrapnel lying around to show Graham. There is a partial clip of that interview here.

    He was not only brave, but also humane. I remember an occasion near the start of the war in 2014 seeing a video where Givi’s Somali battalion had captured some Ukrainian gunners. Givi sat them down and asked them why they were shelling civilians in Donetsk, and then sent them into Donetsk to see the damage they had done, and to repair the damage. Unfortunately I cannot find that clip now.


    • yalensis says:

      I saw that video where Givi calmly picks up the fragment of shrapnel which just rolled right up to his feet. It’s still burning hot, and he has to dance it around on his fingers to cool it off so he can show Graham. The man was fearless. And yes, he was humane as well as fearless. He was a real human being and just a regular guy. Prior to the war he just worked at regular jobs. His legendary friendship with Motorola was fun to watch, as they would kid each other around. Both of them had a wonderful sense of humor.


  9. kaiser hans says:

    Givi is the man that made me side with the Donbass inhabitants and then the russians . I truly hope his dream will come true because I were from Russia or Donbass I would have followed this man through hell (the whole round trip)


    • yalensis says:

      Well said! Certain people are born leaders, no matter what their station in life. Givi had a very humble station in life, he was just a regular guy, working regular jobs. When the need arose, he stepped up to the plate and became a hero and an inspiration to others.


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