Yesterday I learned that blogs in Moscow, at least one called Energy-Life, are posting a supposed report put out by the RAND Corporation on July 3, 2014 that contains a supposed plan for the Ukrainian government to reconquer eastern Ukraine by Sept. 1, impose martial law, set up internment camps, and then lift it by January 1. I shall quote from it below, detailing some horrific things that were supposed to be done according to this plan. I found it by googling "RAND report Ukraine Novorossiya, and there was a link at the second hit, a site called oped news and a post by David William Pear, who provided a link to the actual report (the link here only goes to the general site but not his report; you will have to google it as I described above to see it, sorry). His post went up on Feb. 4, 2015, and he posted another round the next day without the link, but referring to it and taking strongly pro-Russian positions. It would seem that this posting by him has received no attention here, but it is now hot stuff in Russia, and from what I hear, lots of people believe its contents. I note that while Pear mostly praised the releasing of this report, he did say, "The authenticity of this report is yet to be verified."
So, I am 99.9% certain that this is something cooked up by somebody in Russia. The actual Memorandum is two pages long and addressed to nobody in particular, nor does it have a date or any names on it, although the link claimed it was issued on July 13 last year. It has an opening section and then three sections, one on "Isolation," then one on "Mop-up," then one on "Return to Normal." The flavor of it is best given by simply providing a few quotes. Its two pages do have a RAND logo on their lower right corners, although I must say that I have never seen official paper of any entity, government, corporate, academic, non-profit, whatever, that had its logo in that location on its official paper, although who knows, maybe that is how they do it at RAND.
From the opening section, which describes the supposed advantages of this plan: "Activists of a pro-Russian political movement get decimated, pro-Russian voters get disorganized."
This is followed by a plan to shut down both the "coal industries" and also "the Donbass industries," with this being praised as a good idea because it will reduce eastern Ukraine's dependence on natural gas (they use gas in the coal mines?).
In the "Isolation" section imposing martial law is proposed and detailed. Near the end of this section it states that "use of non-conventional weapons shall not be ruled out."
In the second section, description of the takeovers of individual towns contains the following tidbit: "Infantry shall move in next to relocate male adults [ages 13-60] into internment camps." Apparently all of them, no testing them for ideology or views before doing so.
In the third section it says that these camps will be guarded by people with approved ideology, and then in discussing refugees returning to the area it says, "However, men aged 18-60 shall be checked for possible support of separatists in internment camps." Yes, that is sic. Why for this bunch the 13-17 year olds get off is unclear. In any case, all of these people are supposed to be released from the camps after two months.Or maybe those returnees are not to be tested in the camps but to be tested for whether or not they support those in the camps ("Hey, do you support these people in these camps, with it clear that if you say so we shall put you there?")
There is more, but you get the idea and the tone, including the rather clunky English (nothing in the future is ever "will" but "shall").
Probably the most telling detail of all that convinces me that this was indeed written by somebody in Russia (or somebody very pro-Russian, not pro-Ukrainian) is that twice it refers to "the Lugansk region." Now quite some time ago, I posted here about whether that city and its region should be spelled as "Luhansk" or "Lugansk." The former is the Ukrainian spelling, while the latter is the Russian spelling. I noted on May 1 here that the Washington Post had for a short time switched from calling it "Luhansk" in the Ukrainian way to calling it "Lugansk"in the Russian way, but only for a short while and just before May 1 it switched back to using the Ukrainian spelling of "Luhansk," which it has used ever since as has virtually every media source I have seen in the US. I seriously doubt that a report written by the RAND Corporation in early July that was supposed to be sent to the Ukrainian president would have used the Russian spelling as this one does.
I think this pretty much settles it, but I shall simply add that back in July there was in fact a fairly successful campaign by the Ukrainian government to reconquer territory held by the separatists. The cities of Slovyansk and Mariupol were reconquered, the latter a port. In August, some of this territory was reconquered by the separatists, who have more recently gained more territory, and are near the port of Mariupul, which many fear they may retake. In any case, if there was anything to this plan we might have seen some of these proposals put into action. But, I am unaware of any "decimation" of activists,any use of "non-conventional weapons," any setting up of internment camps with the male adults of Slovyansk and Mariupol being put into them, and certainly no shutting down of coal mines or any other "Donbass industries." Maybe it has been going on, but nothing of the sort has been reported that I have seen, and amusingly enough even the Russian propagandists are not claiming that any of this has occurred in those areas, even as they are now touting to their population this purported plan that was to be activated last summer that urges all this awful stuff to be done.
About all I can say is that it is a sign of how brainwashed current Russians are that so many apparently are believing this tripe. This is not a good sign.