The medal of the Russian Ministry of Defense “For Distinction in Combat” is presented to the servicemen directly participating in the combat operations. This truly significant decoration is awarded for “valor and selflessness demonstrated while carrying out tasks in field conditions and in the course of special operations in the death-defying conditions” as well as “for skillful and initiative actions having contributed to the successful accomplishment of the mission” etc. This war decoration is granted to the bravest and the most courageous combatants of the state.
Apparently it is a worthy order and is awarded for a good cause though there is a tiny nuance regarding that this medal is presented to the servicemen directly involved in the combat operations.
However according to the Russian government no Russian soldier has took part in any warfare beyond Russian territory. The only place where Russian troops were overtly engaged was Syria though there were exceptionally Russian Space Forces and the Army hasn’t been present on the Syrian land.
At the same time within the last 2 years (2014-2016) 4300 Russian servicemen have obtained the medals “For Distinction in Combat”. In this context there is no need to mention that hardly ever each soldier having taking part in the hostilities could be distinguished by such a decoration. The fact that during the military conflict broken out in the East of Ukraine thousands of Russian military men were decorated with military orders stirs assumptions that Russian Armed forces are involved into the Ukrainian conflict and the number of personnel fighting in the Ukrainian territory outnumbers tens of thousands of people. But for all that Russian authorities are unceasingly repeating that there are no servicemen from the Russian Federation in Ukraine! It is an open secret for the whole world that it is an impertinent and cynical lie. Then who and for which merits were given such a great deal of medals if Russian soldiers have been staying home?
This fact vividly displays how hypocritical the policy of the Russian officials may be. By withholding the information about real state of affairs in terms of Russian troops in Ukraine Russian propaganda throws the bull to the whole international community meanwhile disdaining its own people. The Kremlin’s propaganda machine is merciless and capable of grind anyone who may appear on its way. Russian media serve the government that behaves as if it was at the “peak of the world” and had completely lost ties with reality.
The whole world witnesses the full-scale war in Ukraine with tens of thousands of Russian militaries, materiel and armament. International experts, journalists and Ukrainian personnel provide incontestable evidences of the Russian troops’ presence on the Ukrainian soil but it doesn’t bring any tangible result. Current Russian officials recognize only the right of crude strength, it is convinced that nowadays nobody would risk to openly defy Russia.
Russian and pro-Russian media call the war in the Eastern Ukraine to be a “Ukrainian crisis” or “Ukrainian conflict” thereby underlining its interior nature. And they do so in spite of a huge deal of proofs and evidences testifying the presence of the large (as it was unveiled) Russian Army in Ukraine stocked within two years.
Due to Bellingcat investigation the world could make sure one more time how cynical is the policy of the Russian government and how coarse is the Kremlin’s propaganda.
Today the international community is observing with anxiety the course of actions in the East of Ukraine and realizes that it is no way an “ordinary local conflict” but the full-scale war. And in this “hybrid” though absolutely real war Ukrainian Armed forces confront many thousands strong Russian army and protects not only their own country but has become the outpost of the whole European civilization!