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this is the first time you see a Special of the European Union Foreign Affairs Journal. But we think we owe it to the respect for Boris Nemtsov (see the pic.), a Russian opposition personality and former Deputy Prime Minister under President Boris Jeltsin. As everybody knows, he was shot on a bridge near the Moscow Kremlin on 27th February, 2015. The "killer" who was arrested turned out to have been not present in the theatre, and who did it walks around free, at present.
One has not necessarily to agree to all what he once did and said, in particular when he was Deputy Prime Minister or Minister of Energy etc. His policy is explained by the system of the outgoing Soviet Union and beginning of a Russian system - but here he can be named as one of the architects of market economy reforms. Later, he became one of the leading opposition personalities against the present president, who ran and runs the country more and more autocratically. Boris Nemtsov was a politician who would have coped very well with the European Union in a common tradition of values, of liberal views, respect of human rights and the rule of law.
He was shot just shortly before publishing a report on the Russian involvement in the Ukraine conflict. His death was useful to keep down opposition activities, who could fear a likewise end of their activities. But Nemtsov who was always in favour of peaceful relations between Russia and e.g. Ukraine, and therefore totally against the Kremlin's policy, had friends who produced the paper in this Special some weeks after his death. We publish this paper in the Russian original, also for our readers reading Russian, but also in English. We have taken care for an unofficial English translation. This paper is too interesting, too authentic not to be translated and republished. We thank our translators - they were thrilled by what they translated, too. And we wish to our readers an interesting reading time, which they will have without a doubt.
"War" for the Kremlin began on the Maidan in Kiev in the late fall of 2013. In the statement of the official Russian media, the resistance in the Ukrainian capital was shown in the way as if the proponents for the European integration (as it was the only issue at the time) were the heirs of the collaborators of the Second World War and the radical nationalists, almost ready to ethnic cleansing. Mentioning the Ukrainian nationalist organization "Right Sector" in the Russian media at some point significantly prevailed over that of Putin's party "United Russia" - despite the fact that the "Right Sector" received less than 2% of the vote at the Ukrainian elections.
This report, the result of an Atlantic Council Working Group launched to examine direct Russian military involvement in Ukraine, has five key findings:
1.Satellite images confirm the movement of Russian troops and camp buildups along the Ukrainian border.
2.Russian training camps stationed along the Ukrainian border are the launching points of Russia's war in Ukraine. These camps are the staging ground for Russian military equipment transported into Ukraine, soon to join the separatist arsenal, and for Russian soldiers mobilized across Russia to cross into Ukraine.
3.Commanders order Russian soldiers to conceal the identifying features of military vehicles, remove insignia from uniforms, and travel across the border to join separatist forces in eastern Ukraine.
4.A variety of Russian manufactured arms and munitions—not used by the Ukrainian military—have appeared in the hands of separatists, including shoulder launched surface-to-air missiles (MANPADS), various types of rocket launchers, anti-tank guided missiles, landmines, and various small arms.
5.During key offensives, Russian forces in Ukraine have received cover from Russian territory. A combination of satellite data, crater analysis, and open source materials confirms that many attacks originated in Russia.