Sonntag, 6. Juli 2014

Links: Ukraine

1. Ukraine: Neuer Verteidigungsminister verspricht „Siegesparade in Sewastopol“

Kiew bombt Dörfer und Provinzen und vertreibt damit scharrenweise die Bevölkerung aus dem Land. Damit können amerikanische Gaskonzerne in ruhe das Land ausbeuten.

Die Separatisten werden von der Zivilbevölkerung unterstützt. Der Osten der Ukraine möchte sich nicht mehr von den Oligarchen ausbeuten lassen.
Die Ukraine ist ein künstliches Staatsgebilde, ohne einer funktionierenden Rechtsstaatlichkeit, oder eines anderen institutionellen Staatorgans; wie zb. eines Gewaltmonopols, dass nur noch durch Kräfte von außen zusammengehalten wird.

The ugliness of war makes getting at the truth no easy matter. In the fighting in eastern Ukraine, the pro-Ukraine media is blaming all abuses on anti-Kiev insurgents and pro-Russia media is demonizing Ukrainian government forces. The intense information war, with the media and social networks spewing all sorts of horrific myths and falsehoods, has buried rather than clarified the truth in a calculated attempt to prove that this side is righteous and that side is evil. Weiter

So, if you want to find out what really happened you need to be there, speak in detail to witnesses, carefully document casualties and destruction, examine shell entry points and fragments. When we read news reports about alleged civilian casualties from the July 2 aerial strikes in the Luhansk region of southeastern Ukraine, about 15 kilometers away from Russian border, we hit the road straight away.
Ukrainian authorities denied responsibility for the attacks that hit the villages of Luhanskaya and Kondrashevka. They tried to blame the attacks on Russia first, suggesting that the villages were hit from a Russian jet, which sounded rather ludicrous as the region is controlled by pro-Russia insurgents. Then, they said that people died and homes were damaged as a result of insurgent fire from GRAD multiple rocket launchers. The latter version did not seem too credible either.
Before entering Luhanskaya village, we made a quick stop in Luhansk itself. Numerous media sources and bloggers claimed that fighting between Ukrainian forces and insurgents was in progress, but in fact the city seemed quiet, even sleepy, small children riding their bikes in the streets, shops and cafes bustling with customers. When we arrived at the local administration, however, this illusion of normalcy vanished immediately. Since April, insurgents have occupied the administration building, reportedly holding numerous captives in its basement. In the lobby, lots of men in fatigues with Kalashnikov assault rifles and combat knives were being waved through by security guards next to a sign, “Give up your weapon at this entry point.” Next to that sign, a picturesque poster featured two large photographs of a prominent journalist from Novaya Gazeta, Russia’s leading independent paper, describing her as an “enemy” and “provocateur” who was supposedly on the way to the region and had to be stopped.
I stepped outside to quickly call the paper and was almost knocked down by a slim blonde who ran after me. Tears were streaming down her face as she pulled a cigarette out of a pack and begged for a lighter. I lit her cigarette, and between deep drags and hiccupping sobs, the woman blurted out that her “dearest men in the world,” her husband and brother, were both in the basement, held by local insurgent forces on suspicion of sympathizing with the Ukrainian government. Armed men in fatigues came after them the day before. When she tried to pass some insulin on to her diabetic husband one of his captors yelled, “He won’t need it anymore, you can stick it up your ass!” We went back inside and in another 10 minutes one of the guards deigned to hear the woman out. He listened, nodded, picked up his radio, and uttered, “Basement? Yeah, listen, do you have X and Y?  I see…” He switched off the radio and turned to the crying woman. “So, why are you asking those questions? You know why they were taken away.” He finally agreed to take the insulin and the woman left.
During the 30 minutes that we spent in the building’s lobby, waiting for an official while aggressive armed men were rushing past us, we saw a mother whose son was also held captive. She said the insurgents demanded US$5,000 for his release but the family had no money, and he called her recently from his captors’ phone crying and saying he’d be killed unless the ransom is paid promptly. Then a middle-aged local businessman entered, his face black and blue and swollen, complaining to the insurgents that he was beaten by “your people” a few hours earlier, and the assailants took away his car as well as all his valuables.
I could’ve stood there all day, but I knew how important it was to go to the villages. And the villages, it turned out, sustained a nightmare of an entirely different sort.
Luhanskaya village appeared deserted. For a while, we were driving around the silent streets, then finally saw a man peeping out of a house. He said the funerals had already happened and gave us directions to the street hit in the July 2 attacks. Weiter