Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

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FTR #817 Can You Put Lipstick on a Nazi? (Part 2): Update on Ukraine

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash dri­ve that can be obtained here. The new dri­ve is a 32-giga­byte dri­ve that is cur­rent as of the pro­grams and arti­cles post­ed by 10/02/2014. The new dri­ve (avail­able for a tax-deductible con­tri­bu­tion of $65.00 or more) con­tains FTR #812.  (The pre­vi­ous flash dri­ve was cur­rent through the end of May of 2012 and con­tained FTR #748.)

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FTR #817 fea­tures ONE SIDE of approx­i­mate­ly 60 min­utes, avail­able HERE.    

Svo­bo­da leader Oleh Tiah­ny­bok salutes.

NB: This descrip­tion con­tains infor­ma­tion not con­tained in the orig­i­nal broad­cast.

Intro­duc­tion: In jour­nal­is­tic cov­er­age of Ukraine, there is a ten­den­cy to dif­fer­en­ti­ate between the “neo-Nazi” mili­tia com­bat­ants and their asso­ci­at­ed polit­i­cal par­ties and “main­stream,” “cen­trist” and, there­fore, some­what more respectable ele­ments. Recent events in that unfor­tu­nate coun­try illus­trate that such a dichoto­my is essen­tial­ly false.

Both par­ties like Svo­bo­da and Pravy Sek­tor (and their asso­ci­at­ed com­bat­ant ele­ments) and the so-called “con­ser­v­a­tive” par­ties such as those of Pres­i­dent Poroshenko and Arseniy Yat­senyuk incor­po­rate fas­cist heirs to the OUN/B Nazis of Stephan Ban­dera. Advised by Roman Svarych, OUN/B World War II leader Jaroslav Stet­sko’s per­son­al sec­re­tary, Poroshenko is also advised by Oleh Makhnit­sky, the for­mer Jus­tice Min­is­ter from Svo­bo­da.

Maid­an demon­stra­tors cel­e­brat­ing the Nachti­gall Bat­tal­ion (Ein­satz­gruppe Nachti­gall) that liq­ui­dat­ed Jews and Poles dur­ing World War II.

In a sig­na­ture ges­ture, Poroshenko advo­cat­ed pro­vid­ing vet­er­ans’ enti­tle­ments to mem­bers of the UPA (UIA)–the com­bat wing of the OUN/B and a mil­i­tary ally of the Third Reich. The UPA con­tin­ued its gueril­la war against the Red Army until 1952, with the assis­tance of the OPC, a fac­tion of the CIA.

Lvov Pogrom, 1941–Einsatzgruppe Nachti­gall youth in action. See Nachti­gall cel­e­brants at the Euro­Maid­an demon­stra­tions at right. A street in Lvov was renamed in hon­or of this group.

Yat­senyuk’s Peo­ple’s Front (or Nation­al Front) has incor­po­rat­ed mem­bers of the Nazi Azov Bat­tal­ion, includ­ing Andriy Bilet­sky, its founder. Bilet­sky has weighed in that: “the his­toric mis­sion of our nation in this crit­i­cal moment is to lead the White Races of the world in a final cru­sade for their sur­vival,” in “a cru­sade against the Semi­te-led Unter­men­schen.”

Hey, sure sounds mod­er­ate to us, no?!

As the smoke clears fol­low­ing the Ukrain­ian elec­tions, not only have the par­ties of Poroshenko and Yat­senyuk won seats in par­lia­ment, so has Svo­bo­da. Dim­it­ry Yarosh, leader of Pravy Sek­tor has also won a seat. The Rad­i­cal Par­ty of Oleh Lyashko also had a strong show­ing. (Lyashko helped form some of the fas­cist mili­tia bat­tal­ions, includ­ing.)

Azov bat­tal­ion’s insignia

The recent com­bat in East­ern Ukraine has min­i­mized elec­toral par­tic­i­pa­tion by the Russ­ian eth­nic minor­i­ty, in effect, real­iz­ing an eth­nic cleans­ing dynam­ic.

Illus­trat­ing the type of gov­er­nance insti­tut­ed by the OUN/B heirs, an inves­ti­ga­tion of the Maid­an shoot­ings ear­li­er in the year has omit­ted any sub­stan­tive inves­ti­ga­tion of the shoot­ers of police­men, and focused on a for­mer gov­ern­ment secu­ri­ty offi­cer, Dmytro Sadovnyk, who–supposedly–was pho­tographed hold­ing a rifle. Sup­pos­ed­ly, he was using the rifle in the sniper attacks on the Maid­an demon­stra­tors.

The prob­lem with that analy­sis lies in the fun­da­men­tal fact that Sadovnyk only has one hand, hav­ing lost the oth­er to a grenade in a train­ing acci­dent!

Insignia on Azov sol­diers’ hel­mets

This “evi­dence” was unearthed dur­ing the “inves­ti­ga­tion” presided over by the Jus­tice Min­is­ter of the pro­vi­sion­al gov­ern­ment, Oleh Makhnit­sky of the Svo­bo­da par­ty. Makhnit­sky is now an advis­er to Poroshenko.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: Dis­cus­sion of Ukrain­ian fas­cist sab­o­tage in the U.S. dur­ing World War II; Amer­i­can jour­nal­is­tic mock­ery of Putin’s accu­rate state­ment that the U.S. is sup­port­ing “neo-Nazis” and “Islam­ic rad­i­cals;” a Ukrain­ian mili­tia fight­er’s nick­name of “Panz­er;” the Ukrain­ian gov­ern­men­t’s use of clus­ter muni­tions against its own cit­i­zens; Svo­bo­da’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in street demon­stra­tions in sup­port of estab­lish­ing a Ukrain­ian hol­i­day to com­mem­o­rate the found­ing of the UPA; the role of Cit­i­zen Green­wald’s finan­cial patron Pierre Omid­yar in pro­mot­ing fas­cist sym­pa­thiz­ers with­in Poroshenko’s par­ty; the appoint­ment of the deputy com­man­der of the Azov Bat­tal­ion to be may­or of Kiev; Poroshenko’s comem­o­ra­tion of Octo­ber 14–the anniver­sary of the found­ing of the OUN-UPA–as a nation­al hol­i­day.

1a.  In a recent talk, Pres­i­dent Putin got it right, when he charged that the U.S. was back­ing “neo-Nazis” and “Islam­ic rad­i­cals.”

Since the “New Cold War” began in Ukraine, with the Maid­an Coup of 2014, things in the U.S. have dis­in­te­grat­ed to such an extent that Put­ing or For­eign Min­is­ter Sergei Lavrov could say that 2 + 2 equald 4 and that would be dis­missed by our main stream media as “typ­i­cal Russ­ian math­e­mat­i­cal pro­pa­gan­da.”

“Putin Lash­es Out at U.S. for Back­ing ‘neo-Fas­cists’ and Islam­ic Rad­i­cals’ ” by Neil Mac­Far­quhar; The New York Times; 10/25/2014.

Pres­i­dent Vladimir V. Putin of Rus­sia on Fri­day unleashed per­haps his strongest dia­tribe against the Unit­ed States yet, using an inter­na­tion­al meet­ing of Rus­sia experts to sell Moscow’s view that Amer­i­can med­dling has sparked most of the world’s recent crises, includ­ing those in Ukraine and the Mid­dle East.

Instead of sup­port­ing democ­ra­cy and sov­er­eign states, Mr. Putin said dur­ing a three-hour appear­ance at the con­fer­ence, the Unit­ed States sup­ports “dubi­ous” groups rang­ing from “open neo-fas­cists to Islam­ic rad­i­cals.”

“Why do they sup­port such peo­ple,” he asked the annu­al gath­er­ing known as the Val­dai Club, which met this year in the south­ern resort town of Sochi. “They do this because they decide to use them as instru­ments along the way in achiev­ing their goals, but then burn their fin­gers and recoil.” . . . .

 . . . . . Mr. Putin, how­ev­er, specif­i­cal­ly denied try­ing to restore the Russ­ian Empire. He argued Rus­sia was com­pelled to inter­vene in Ukraine because that coun­try was in the midst of a “civ­i­lized dia­logue” over its polit­i­cal future when the West staged a coup to oust the pres­i­dent last Feb­ru­ary, push­ing the coun­try into chaos and civ­il war.

“We did not start this,” he said. “State­ments that Rus­sia is try­ing to rein­state some sort of empire, that it is encroach­ing on the sov­er­eign­ty of its neigh­bors, are ground­less.” . . . .

1b. Robert Par­ry nailed it, as well, not­ing the retreat from real­i­ty in the main stream media and Wash­ing­ton D.C.

“Treat­ing Putin Like a Lunatic” by Robert Par­ry; Con­sor­tium News; 10/25/2014.

. . . . Of course, all the “smart peo­ple” of Offi­cial Wash­ing­ton know how to react to such state­ments from Putin, with a snick­er and a roll of the eyes. After all, they’ve been read­ing the nar­ra­tives of these crises as fic­tion­al­ized by the New York Times, the Wash­ing­ton Post, etc.

Ratio­nal­i­ty and real­ism seem to have lost any place in the work­ings of the main­stream U.S. news media. . . .

1c. A pass­ing tid­bit in a New York Times sto­ry about Ukraine caught our eye. The Gray Lady–predictably–didn’t expound on it. A fight­er in one of the Ukrain­ian gov­ern­men­t’s “vol­un­teer” bat­tal­ions was opin­ing about the Russ­ian army and gave “only his nick­name, Panz­er.”

Fun­ny nickname–“Panzer.” Won­der where he got it?

“Ukraine Town Bears Scars of Russ­ian Offen­sive That Turned Tide in Con­flict” by Car­lot­ta Gall; The New York Times; 9/9/2014.

. . . . ‘The Russ­ian Army is very good,” said a sol­dier in one of Ukraine’s vol­un­teer bat­tal­ions far­ther south, who gave only his nick­name, Panz­er. . . .

2. Ukrain­ian pres­i­dent Poroshenko is lean­ing toward giv­ing gov­ern­ment enti­tle­ments to vet­er­ans of the UPA–the Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors com­pris­ing the mil­i­tary wing of the OUN/B.

The UPA over­lapped the Waf­fen SS and Gestapo and was deeply involved with eth­nic cleans­ing liq­ui­da­tions of Jew­ish and Pol­ish cit­i­zens of Ukraine.

After V‑E Day, they com­prised the core of the “fas­cist free­dom fight­er” pro­gram in Ukraine, sup­port­ed by the OPC/CIA. (For more about this, see AFA #1, FTR #465, 777.)

As dis­cussed in FTR #800, Poroshenko has basi­cal­ly recon­sti­tut­ed the old Yuschenko team, includ­ing Jaroslav Stet­sko’s per­son­al sec­re­tary, Roman Svarych. Yuschenko, in turn, man­i­fest­ed an OUN/B revi­sion­ist agen­da, as dis­cussed in FTR #781. Svarych was his Min­is­ter of Jus­tice, as he was dur­ing both Tymoshenko gov­ern­ments.

“OUN-UPA Vet­er­ans Could Be Giv­en Com­bat­ant Status—Poroshenko”; Inter­fax-Ukraine; 9/25/2014.

Ukrain­ian Pres­i­dent Petro Poroshenko said it is worth con­sid­er­ing assign­ing the sta­tus of com­bat­ant to vet­er­ans of the Orga­ni­za­tion of Ukrain­ian Nation­al­ists — Ukrain­ian Insur­gent Army (OUN-UPA).

“This is a very impor­tant issue and one that was raised in a very time­ly man­ner. Pre­vi­ous­ly, this issue split the coun­try and was not on the agen­da... Now is the right time,” he told a press con­fer­ence in Kyiv on Thurs­day.

The pres­i­dent also added that he sees OUN-UPA fight­ers as exam­ples of hero­ism.

3. Svo­bo­da demon­strat­ed out­side the par­lia­ment in Kiev on behalf of the UPA (UIA).

“Ukraine’s Par­lia­ment in Kiev” by Peter Leonard [AP]; Yahoo News; 10/14/2014.

Clash­es broke out Tues­day between demon­stra­tors and police in front of Ukraine’s par­lia­ment in Kiev as deputies inside repeat­edly vot­ed down pro­pos­als to rec­og­nize a con­tentious World War II-era Ukrain­ian par­ti­san group as nation­al heroes.

Thou­sands of Svo­boda nation­al­ist par­ty sup­port­ers ral­lied ear­lier in the cap­i­tal in cel­e­bra­tion of the Ukrain­ian Insur­gent Army, whose strug­gle for inde­pen­dence for Ukraine was taint­ed by its col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Nazis.

Lat­er, masked men attacked and threw smoke grenades at lines of police out­side par­lia­ment as law­mak­ers met inside. The Inte­rior Min­istry said 36 peo­ple were detained by police.

Mean­while, at least 14 peo­ple, includ­ing sev­en civil­ians and sev­en ser­vice­men, were killed in fight­ing between pro-Russ­ian sep­a­ratists and gov­ern­ment forces in east­ern Ukraine. A cease-fire has been in place since ear­ly Sep­tem­ber but vio­la­tions are report­ed dai­ly.

Svo­boda said its mem­bers were not respon­si­ble for the unrest in Kiev, which police said was orches­trated by a small group of peo­ple at the ral­ly.

The unrest over­shad­owed the pas­sage of laws the gov­ern­ment hopes will con­tain the gal­lop­ing cor­rup­tion that has long hin­dered Ukraine’s scle­rotic econ­omy. Pres­i­dent Petro Poroshenko urged law­mak­ers to keep up the fight against cor­rup­tion, a prob­lem that he equat­ed with ter­ror­ism.

One law backed by 278 out of the 303 reg­is­tered deputies cre­ates an anti-cor­rup­tion bureau to fight graft. Oth­er approved pro­vi­sions includ­ed laws to stem mon­ey-laun­der­ing and to increase cor­po­rate trans­paren­cy.

Par­lia­ment also approved a new defense min­is­ter — for­mer Nation­al Guard head Stepan Poltorak — a press­ing pri­or­ity con­sid­er­ing the clash­es with pro-Russ­ian sep­a­ratists in its indus­trial east­ern regions.

...

4a. More about Swo­bo­da and their allies push­ing for comem­o­rat­ing the UPA:

“Ukraine’s Neo-Nazis Demand Respect” by Robert Par­ry; Con­sor­tium News; 10/15/2014.

For months, the New York Times and oth­er major U.S. news out­lets have insist­ed that it’s just Russ­ian pro­pa­gan­da to say that a sig­nif­i­cant neo-Nazi pres­ence exists inside Ukraine, but thou­sands of these “non-exis­tent” neo-Nazis bat­tled police on Tues­day out­side the par­lia­ment build­ing in Kiev demand­ing recog­ni­tion of their Hitler-col­lab­o­rat­ing fore­bears.

The par­lia­ment, aware of the obvi­ous pub­lic rela­tions fias­co that would fol­low if it bowed to far-right demands to hon­or mem­bers of the Nazi-affil­i­at­ed Ukrain­ian Insur­gent Army (or UIA), defeat­ed the pro­pos­al. That touched off riots by an esti­mat­ed 8,000 pro­test­ers led by Ukraine’s right-wing Svo­bo­da par­ty and the Right Sek­tor.

His­to­ri­ans blame the UIA and oth­er Ukrain­ian fas­cist forces for the exter­mi­na­tion of thou­sands of Poles and Jews dur­ing World War II as these right-wing Ukrain­ian para­mil­i­taries sided with the Ger­man Nazis in their fight against the Sovi­et Union’s Red Army. Svo­bo­da and the Right Sek­tor have ele­vat­ed UIA leader Stepan Ban­dera to the lev­el of a Ukrain­ian nation­al hero. . . . .

4b. Poroshenko made Octo­ber 14 a nation­al hol­i­day, hon­or­ing the found­ing of the OUN-UPA.

Ukrain­ian Schutz­mannschaft, OUN/B Nazi Col­lab­o­ra­tors

5. In FTR #779. we not­ed the dom­i­nant pres­ence of Svo­bo­da and Pravy Sek­tor min­is­ters in the inter­im gov­ern­ment in Ukraine. This may well have affect­ed the inves­ti­ga­tion of the sniper deaths that take place dur­ing the demon­stra­tions that brought about the fall of Vik­tor Yanukovych.

Oleh Makhnit­sky is from Svo­bo­da and has been cen­tral to the “inves­ti­ga­tion” of the sniper attacks.

Evi­dence has been destroyed, inves­ti­ga­tors have made prej­u­di­cial pub­lic state­ments about the accused, the deaths of the police­men have not been inves­ti­gat­ed and at least one pho­to­graph of the accused has obvi­ous­ly been doc­tored.

“Spe­cial Report: Flaws Found in Ukraine’s Probe of Maid­an Mas­sacre” by Steve Steck­low and Olek­sandr Aky­menko; reuters.com; 10/10/2014.

For mil­lions of Ukraini­ans, it was a crime against human­ity. In Feb­ru­ary, more than 100 pro­test­ers were gunned down in the Maid­an upris­ing that top­pled the pres­i­dent, Vik­tor Yanukovich. The vic­tims are now known as “the Heav­enly Hun­dred.”

In April, pros­e­cu­tors arrest­ed three sus­pects, mem­bers of an elite unit with­in the “Berkut” riot police. Senior among them was Dmytro Sadovnyk, 38, a dec­o­rated com­man­der, who was accused of order­ing his men to fire on the crowds on the morn­ing of Feb. 20. The three stand accused of mas­sacring 39 unarmed pro­test­ers.

On Sept. 19, the case took a turn when a judge released Sadovnyk into house arrest – and, two weeks lat­er, he went miss­ing.

Maid­an activists were out­raged, con­vinced that a cor­rupt sys­tem had let a killer escape. The judge was placed under inves­ti­ga­tion. The pros­e­cu­tor said in a state­ment: “D. Sadovnyk, sus­pected of com­mit­ting an extreme­ly griev­ous crime, aim­ing to avoid pun­ish­ment, dis­ap­peared from his place of per­ma­nent res­i­dence.”

But in a coun­try where jus­tice often isn’t blind, there’s anoth­er pos­si­bil­ity: Sadovnyk was being framed, and saw flight as his best option. In court last month, he called the case against him “a polit­i­cal lynch­ing.” In the days before he van­ished, his wife and his lawyer say, Sadovnyk and his fam­ily received death threats.

A Reuters exam­i­na­tion of Ukraine’s probes into the Maid­an shoot­ings — based on inter­views with pros­e­cu­tors, defence attor­neys, pro­test­ers, police offi­cers and legal experts – has uncov­ered seri­ous flaws in the case against Sadovnyk and the oth­er two Berkut offi­cers.

Among the evi­dence pre­sented against Sadovnyk was a pho­to­graph. Pros­e­cu­tors say it shows him near Kiev’s Inde­pen­dence Square on Feb. 20, wear­ing a mask and hold­ing a rifle with two hands, his fin­gers clear­ly vis­i­ble.

The prob­lem: Sadovnyk doesn’t have two hands. His right hand, his wife told Reuters, was blown off by a grenade in a train­ing acci­dent six years ago. As pros­e­cu­tors intro­duced the image at a hear­ing in April, said Yuliya Sadovnyk, her hus­band removed a glove and dis­played his stump to the court­room.

“He can’t real­ly shoot,” said Ser­hiy Vilkov, Sadovnyk’s lawyer. “To blame him for the crime is a polit­i­cal game.”

The probes into the killings have been hin­dered by miss­ing evi­dence. Many guns alleged­ly used to shoot pro­test­ers have van­ished; many of the bul­lets fired were tak­en home as sou­venirs. Bar­ri­cades, bul­let-pierced trees and oth­er items of foren­sic evi­dence were removed, lawyers say.

A for­mer Berkut com­man­der told Reuters that Berkut offi­cers destroyed doc­u­men­tary evi­dence that poten­tially could iden­tify fel­low offi­cers. They did so, he said, because they feared the Berkut’s head­quar­ters would be attacked by a mob of revenge-seek­ing pro­test­ers after Yanukovich fled to Rus­sia.

The for­mer pres­i­dent isn’t the only key fig­ure miss­ing. In an inter­view before Sadovnyk van­ished, Ukraine’s gen­eral pros­e­cu­tor, Vitaly Yare­ma, said inves­ti­ga­tors had iden­ti­fied 17 Berkut offi­cers as alleged par­tic­i­pants in the pro­tester shoot­ings, based on sur­veil­lance cam­era videos and mobile-phone loca­tion data. Of the 17, he said, 14 had fled to Rus­sia or Crimea, includ­ing the Berkut’s top com­man­der in Kiev. Sadovnyk and his two co-defen­dants were the only iden­ti­fied sus­pects who had remained behind.

MILESTONE

Inde­pen­dence Square was the ral­ly­ing point in Kiev where the anti-Yanukovich rev­o­lu­tion large­ly unfold­ed between Novem­ber and Feb­ru­ary. (The word Maid­an means “square” in Ukrain­ian.) The killings there quick­ly were recog­nised as a mile­stone in mod­ern Ukrain­ian his­tory, part of a chain of events that set off a sep­a­ratist con­flict and Russ­ian incur­sions that have shak­en the coun­try to its core.

Videos and pho­tographs appear to show how Berkut offi­cers shot at pro­test­ers and beat them with sticks. In one video, the Berkut are seen mak­ing a man stand naked in the snow.

The pub­lic is demand­ing answers and jus­tice. But the inves­ti­ga­tions are test­ing Ukraine’s abil­ity to rise above the kinds of fail­ings that have hob­bled the coun­try ever since its inde­pen­dence from the Sovi­et Union in 1991.

In con­trast to, say, Poland, Ukraine has nev­er gelled into a robust state. Kiev has had two rev­o­lu­tions since inde­pen­dence. A host of endem­ic prob­lems — polit­i­cal cor­rup­tion, rack­e­teer­ing, a divide between speak­ers of Ukrain­ian and Russ­ian — have left it fee­ble and frac­tious. Anoth­er of the state’s chief fail­ings, out­side observers say, is a bro­ken jus­tice sys­tem.

Under Yanukovich and his rivals before him, courts and cops were polit­i­cal instru­ments. Yulia Tymoshenko, run­ner-up to Yanukovich in the 2010 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, lat­er was jailed in a case wide­ly crit­i­cised as polit­i­cal.

In its 2013 report on human rights, the U.S. State Depart­ment cit­ed the Tymoshenko con­vic­tion in observ­ing that Ukraine’s courts “remained vul­ner­a­ble to polit­i­cal pres­sure and cor­rup­tion, were inef­fi­cient, and lacked pub­lic con­fi­dence. In cer­tain cas­es the out­come of tri­als appeared to be pre­de­ter­mined.”

The post-Yanukovich gov­ern­ment acknowl­edged as much this July, in a report it pre­pared with the Inter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund. “The tax admin­is­tra­tion, the police, the Pros­e­cu­tor General’s Office, the State Enforce­ment Ser­vice, and the judi­ciary were not­ed as hav­ing tra­di­tion­ally been viewed as among the most cor­rupt pub­lic insti­tu­tions,” the report found.

The past shows signs of repeat­ing itself.

The two pros­e­cu­tors and a gov­ern­ment min­is­ter who have led the Maid­an shoot­ing probes all played roles in sup­port­ing the upris­ing. One of these offi­cials told Reuters that the inves­ti­ga­tors gath­er­ing the evi­dence are com­pletely inde­pen­dent.

Anoth­er gap in the pros­e­cu­tion: To date, no one has been appre­hended in the shoot­ing of police­men. Accord­ing to Ukraine’s Min­istry of Inte­rior Affairs, between Feb. 18 and 20, 189 police offi­cers suf­fered gun­shot wounds. Thir­teen died.

In addi­tion, the for­mer act­ing gen­eral pros­e­cu­tor who over­saw the arrests of the three Berkut offi­cers declared on tele­vi­sion that they “have already been shown to be guilty.” That state­ment, said legal experts, could prej­u­dice the cas­es. Ukraine is a par­ty to the Euro­pean Con­ven­tion on Human Rights, which states that crim­i­nal defen­dants are pre­sumed inno­cent until proven guilty.

“A pub­lic state­ment by a pros­e­cu­tor that direct­ly chal­lenges that pre­sump­tion is a denial of due process,” said Richard Har­vey, a British bar­ris­ter who spe­cialises in inter­na­tional crim­i­nal law.

Even some of the bereaved fam­i­lies ques­tion the fair­ness of the pro­ceed­ings. Ser­hiy Bon­darchuk, a physics teacher, died of a gun­shot wound to the back on the morn­ing of Feb. 20. His son, Volodymyr Bon­darchuk, said the killing is one of the 39 in which Sadovnyk and his two col­leagues are sus­pected. Volodymyr said that based on his own inquiries, he doubts the three were respon­si­ble for his father’s death.

“They are try­ing to close the case because their boss­es and the com­mu­nity just want to have some­one to pun­ish,” he said. “The inves­ti­ga­tion does not have enough evi­dence to prove the guilt of these three peo­ple.”

Volodymyr Bon­darchuk recent­ly helped organ­ise an asso­ci­a­tion of about 70 fam­i­lies of dead pro­test­ers. “The main aim for us,” he said, “is an objec­tive and accu­rate inves­ti­ga­tion.”

GOLDEN EAGLES

Feb­ru­ary 20 was the blood­i­est day of the Maid­an upris­ing. Scores of pro­test­ers and police offi­cers were shot and killed. A day lat­er, oppo­si­tion lead­ers signed a Euro­pean Union-medi­at­ed peace pact.

Pub­lic pres­sure mount­ed to pros­e­cute the per­pe­tra­tors. With­in a week, Yanukovich, by then a fugi­tive, was indict­ed for the mass mur­der of pro­test­ers. An inter­im gov­ern­ment dis­banded the Berkut, a force of sev­eral thou­sand whose name means “gold­en eagle.”

On April 3, Ukrain­ian author­i­ties announced the arrests of sev­eral mem­bers of an elite spe­cial unit with­in the Berkut. One was Sadovnyk, the unit’s com­man­der. A father of three, he first joined the Berkut in 1996 after serv­ing in the Ukrain­ian army. He lat­er won numer­ous com­men­da­tions for his police ser­vice.

Also detained were two younger offi­cers: Ser­hiy Zinchenko, 23, and Pavel Abroskin, 24.

An inter­nal pros­e­cu­tion doc­u­ment, reviewed by Reuters, sketch­es out inves­ti­ga­tors’ ver­sion of events. It is a “Notice of Sus­pi­cion” for Zinchenko, dat­ed April 3.

The doc­u­ment alleges that on Feb. 18, the Berkut’s top com­man­der, Ser­hiy Kusiuk, gave an oral order to Sadovnyk to deliv­er auto­matic rifles to his unit. Kusiuk is among the Berkut offi­cers who fled to Rus­sia, pros­e­cu­tors say. He couldn’t be reached for com­ment.

On the morn­ing of Feb. 20, sev­eral mem­bers of Sadovnyk’s unit were shot. At around 9 a.m., the doc­u­ment alleges, Sadovnyk ordered his men to fire in the direc­tion of unarmed pro­test­ers walk­ing up Insty­tut­ska Street in down­town Kiev. The shoot­ing last­ed near­ly two hours, and more than nine pro­test­ers were killed, the doc­u­ment states.

Sadovnyk’s order to shoot was an abuse of pow­er, “giv­en that there was no imme­di­ate threat to the lives of the police offi­cers,” the doc­u­ment alleges.

Vilkov, Sadovnyk’s lawyer, dis­putes that account. Although the doc­u­ment indi­cates Sadovnyk was at the scene, Vilkov said his client was not on Insty­tut­ska Street when the pro­test­ers were killed the morn­ing of Feb. 20. Vilkov declined to dis­cuss Sadovnyk’s where­abouts.

In a tele­phone inter­view on Sept. 30, Sadovnyk told Reuters he was at a meet­ing on the morn­ing of Feb. 20 at Kiev police head­quar­ters. It began some­time between 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., he said. The pur­pose, he said, was to deal with reports that many armed pro­test­ers would be arriv­ing in Kiev after a call by protest lead­ers to mobilise.

Sadovnyk said about sev­en police offi­cials and offi­cers were present, and he named three of them. Reuters was unable to locate the three for com­ment.

At the meet­ing, Sadovnyk said, the atten­dees heard gun­shots and screams over police radios. The radios car­ried reports of the death of a Berkut offi­cer and of oth­er police wound­ed on Insty­tut­ska Street.

Sadovnyk said at that point, he left and drove to the scene, tak­ing about 15 min­utes to get there. He said he does not remem­ber what time he arrived, but that inves­ti­ga­tors could fig­ure it out by track­ing his mobile phone. He said he brought a gun and pro­tec­tive equip­ment.

When he arrived, he said, he found a near­ly emp­ty scene, with police offi­cers run­ning and the sound of ric­o­chet­ing bul­lets. He said he nei­ther received nor gave any order for his unit’s mem­bers to shoot at pro­test­ers, nor did he fire at any­one him­self.

“I deny killing,” he said.

Vadim Ostanin, an attor­ney for the Berkut’s Kiev branch, gave a sim­i­lar account to Reuters. He said there is a video show­ing that Sadovnyk attend­ed the meet­ing at police head­quar­ters. Ostanin said that when Sadovnyk arrived at the scene of the shoot­ing, his unit’s men already were retreat­ing.

“GUILTY”

The gen­eral prosecutor’s office declined to dis­cuss the defence’s account. In a state­ment, the office said it has plen­ty of evi­dence against Sadovnyk. This includes videos of a pro­tester being shot by a gun­man. The office believes the gun­man is Sadovnyk, based on the “spe­cial way” the shoot­er is hold­ing the weapon. In a pre­vi­ous state­ment, the office said: “The ques­tion of guilt or, con­versely, inno­cence of men­tioned per­sons will be resolved by the court.”

Oleh Makhnit­sky was Ukraine’s act­ing gen­eral pros­e­cu­tor until June. In an inter­view, Reuters asked him about the pur­ported pho­to­graph of a two-hand­ed Sadovnyk, which was cit­ed at a hear­ing in April.

The pur­pose of that hear­ing, Makhnit­sky said, was not to judge the reli­a­bil­ity of the evi­dence but to deter­mine whether Sadovnyk was a flight risk. He said the evi­dence against Sadovnyk would be pre­sented at a future tri­al.

Makhnit­sky, now an advis­er to Pres­i­dent Petro Poroshenko, said he was a leader of a lawyers’ group that pro­vided legal assis­tance to anti-Yanukovich pro­test­ers dur­ing the Maid­an demon­stra­tions. He said pol­i­tics played no role in the pros­e­cu­tion of the three Berkut offi­cers. . . .

6. The result of the ascent of Swo­bo­da, Pravy Sek­tor and the oth­er OUN/B‑related ele­ments in Ukraine has had the effect of elmi­nat­ing much of the pro-Russ­ian vot­ing bloc in the East­ern part of the coun­try.

“War Heroes and Activists to Shape New-Look Ukraine Par­lia­ment” by Richard Balm­forth and Pavel Poli­tyuk[Reuters]; NewsWires:euronews; 10/21/2014.

Out will go the body­guards and mis­tresses, in are like­ly to come the street activists and war vet­er­ans: Ukraine’s next par­lia­ment will be pro-West­ern and strong­ly nation­al­ist, and it won’t be to Russia’s lik­ing.

Can­di­date lists for the Oct. 26 elec­tions show how per­sonal favourites backed by old school power­bro­kers in the out­go­ing par­lia­ment are set to make way for peo­ple who made their names in Kiev’s “Maid­an” rev­o­lu­tion last win­ter, or in resist­ing Russ­ian encroach­ment in east­ern Ukraine.

> Army pilot Nadia Savchenko is top can­di­date for one of Ukraine’s biggest par­ties – even though she is being held in a Moscow psy­chi­atric clin­ic, accused of involve­ment in the deaths of Russ­ian jour­nal­ists.

> Air­force colonel Yuly Mam­chur – who became an instant hero in March when he defied pro-Russ­ian forces by refus­ing to leave his post in Crimea – is run­ning for the bloc of Pres­i­dent Petro Poroshenko and is set to win a seat on Sun­day.

> The bat­tered face of Tetyana Chornovil, an activist beat­en by thugs of the oust­ed rul­ing elite, made her a Maid­an icon. Already a war wid­ow at 35, she is a can­di­date for Prime Min­is­ter Arse­ny Yatseniuk’s par­ty.

With many out­go­ing deputies in the pay of busi­ness oli­garchs, the old 450-seat par­lia­ment was a mar­ket place for deals to be cut rather than vot­ers’ inter­ests to be defend­ed. This may be about to change.

“We shan’t be see­ing any more body­guards and mis­tresses in the new par­lia­ment. We will see peo­ple with a mil­i­tary back­ground, though they will not have polit­i­cal and juridi­cal knowl­edge,” said polit­i­cal ana­lyst Mikhai­lo Pogre­bin­sky.

The make-up of the new assem­bly will reflect months of war and a con­fronta­tion with Rus­sia that has cre­ated a Cold War-style cri­sis between Moscow and the West around Ukraine and redrawn its polit­i­cal land­scape.

The Maid­an rev­o­lu­tion drove out Moscow-backed pres­i­dent Vik­tor Yanukovich in Feb­ru­ary. Krem­lin alarm at his oust­ing and the prospect of a pro­nounced shift west­wards by Kiev led to Rus­sia annex­ing Crimea in March and pro­voked pro-Moscow sep­a­ratist rebel­lions in Ukraine’s east.

The loss of Crimea and pre­ven­tion of nor­mal vot­ing in the east, where vio­lence per­sists despite a cease­fire between Ukrain­ian forces and the rebels, will mean the num­ber of seats occu­pied in the new par­lia­ment will shrink to 424, accord­ing to cen­tral elec­tion author­i­ties. The oth­ers – and Savchenko’s if as expect­ed she is elect­ed – will remain vacant.

Com­men­ta­tors expect a strong pro-Europe major­ity to emerge. “At least half of par­lia­ment, at the very least, will be changed now. There will be utter­ly dif­fer­ent par­ty struc­ture in par­lia­ment,” said Volodymyr Fes­enko of the Pen­ta think-tank. “The absolute major­ity will be with those polit­i­cal forces linked to Euro­pean inte­gra­tion and the ‘Maid­an’.”

Even in the new-look assem­bly, Poroshenko will have to work hard to win sup­port for his plan to bring peace in the east as sev­eral oth­er pro-Europe par­ties fear a sell-out to Rus­sia and the sep­a­ratists.

...

Pro-West­ern Poroshenko called the elec­tion to secure fur­ther legit­i­macy after the rev­o­lu­tion, which Rus­sia denounced as a fas­cist coup to jus­tify its back­ing of the sep­a­ratists.

But there is lit­tle sign of nation­al rec­on­cil­i­a­tion, with the rebels threat­en­ing to hold their own elec­tions in ear­ly Novem­ber, peo­ple still dying every day in the east despite the cease­fire and anti-Russ­ian feel­ing high in the cap­i­tal.

Ukraini­ans are also express­ing increas­ing dis­en­chant­ment with the slow pace of reforms to improve liv­ing stan­dards.

“There is a risk of a protest mood spring­ing up again if there is no reform. Time is not on Poroshenko’s side. I hope he under­stands this and will under­take steps towards reform,” said Mustafa Nayem, a jour­nal­ist and Maid­an activist who is run­ning for the Poroshenko bloc.

THE MAIDAN VOTE

Pro-Russ­ian forces, includ­ing Yanukovich’s Regions Par­ty, are cer­tain to go from the assem­bly. The Com­mu­nists, who usu­ally backed him, might lose all rep­re­sen­ta­tion for the first time since inde­pen­dence in 1991.

All oth­er par­ties are seek­ing the vote of the Maid­an – the local name for Kiev’s Inde­pen­dence Square where tens of thou­sands protest­ed against Yanukovich and which com­mands moral author­ity in polit­i­cal life.

With the par­ties enlist­ing war vet­er­ans, vol­un­teer bat­tal­ion lead­ers and heroes such as Savchenko, Chornovil, Mam­chur, the new assem­bly is like­ly to be hos­tile to Moscow.

“There might be no oppo­si­tion at all in this par­lia­ment. But there might be com­pe­ti­tion to see who can be the best nation­al­ist and the biggest ene­my of Rus­sia,” Pogre­bin­sky said.

Poroshenko is hop­ing for a man­date to pur­sue the peace plan for the east which he reluc­tantly accept­ed after bat­tle­field defeats in which hun­dreds of Ukrain­ian sol­diers may have died.

But even with a strong pro-Euro­pean major­ity, Poroshenko, a 49-year-old con­fec­tionery tycoon, may not find it easy to win sup­port for his plan and his deal­ings with Russ­ian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin.

Anti-Krem­lin feel­ing runs high in the cap­i­tal. On the Maid­an, stalls are sell­ing toi­let paper print­ed with Putin’s image. At inter­na­tional foot­ball match­es an obscene chant about Putin is now as much a fix­ture as the singing of the Ukrain­ian nation­al anthem.

Some sup­port­ers of the old elite have come under attack while out cam­paign­ing. Sev­eral have been seized, pelt­ed with eggs and dumped in rub­bish bins.

POROSHENKO’S PLAN

Opin­ion polls sug­gest Poroshenko’s bloc, which includes the Udar par­ty of retired heavy­weight box­ing cham­pion Vitaly Klitschko, could take up to 30 per­cent of the par­ty list vote which decides 225 of parliament’s seats.

He is assured of the sup­port of Prime Min­is­ter Yatseniuk’s People’s Front Par­ty if the lat­ter – a favourite of the West because of his role in nego­ti­at­ing a $17 bil­lion bailout from the IMF – man­ages to reach the five per­cent thresh­old for rep­re­sen­ta­tion in par­lia­ment.

But he could still find him­self in need of sup­port from two poten­tially cru­cial play­ers – for­mer prime min­is­ter Yulia Tymoshenko, an old adver­sary who heads the Father­land par­ty, and pop­ulist fire­brand Oleh Lyashko who leads the Rad­i­cal Par­ty.

Both have sharply crit­i­cised parts of Poroshenko’s peace plan and say his pro­posal for giv­ing lim­ited self-rule to the sep­a­ratists for a pro­vi­sional peri­od will only encour­age the rebels to press ahead with plans to form a break­away enti­ty.

7. Dmitro Yarosh, leader of Pravy Sek­tor, is head­ing to par­lia­ment:

“Poroshenko Claims Land­slide Vic­tory for Pro-West­ern Par­ties in Ukraine Elec­tionsby Andreas Stein, Niko­laus von Twick­el; Haaretz ; 10/27/2014.

Over 75% of vot­ers sup­ported Ukraine’s ‘course towards Europe,’ says Poroshenko.
Ukrain­ian Pres­i­dent Petro Poroshenko on Sun­day claimed a landl­side vic­tory for pro-west­ern par­ties in the country’s key par­lia­men­tary elec­tions.

More than half of the votes went to pro-gov­ern­ment par­ties, and “a con­sti­tu­tional major­ity” of more than 75 per cent of vot­ers sup­ported the country’s course towards Europe, Poroshenko said in a state­ment.

“The Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment won a com­pelling vote of con­fi­dence from the peo­ple,” he said, adding that he will speed up reforms in the cri­sis-hit coun­try.

And exit poll released after polls closed on Sun­day said that the President’s new­ly formed par­ty, the Poroshenko Bloc, stands to get 23 per cent, fol­lowed by prime min­is­ter Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s Nation­al Front with 21.3 per cent. The pro-Euro­pean Samopomich par­ty, led by the may­or of the west­ern city of Lviv, came in third with 13.2 per cent.

For­mer prime min­is­ter Yulia Tymoshenko’s Pro-west­ern Father­land par­ty man­aged to just meet the 5‑per-cent hur­dle for stay­ing in the leg­is­la­ture by get­ting 5.6 per cent, accord­ing to the nation­al exit poll con­ducted by three polling insti­tutes.

Yat­senyuk and many oth­er promi­nent fig­ures left the Father­land par­ty in August.
Also in par­lia­ment, accord­ing to the poll, are: the nation­al­ist Svo­boda par­ty (6.3 per cent); the Rad­i­cal Par­ty of pop­ulist politi­cian Oleh Lyashko (6.4 per cent);
and the Rus­sia-lean­ing Oppo­si­tion Bloc par­ty (7.6 per cent).

Among those who failed to get in are the Com­mu­nists with 2.9 per cent and the nation­al­ist Right Sec­tor par­ty with 2.4 per cent. How­ever, exit polls pre­dict that Right Sec­tor leader Dmytro Yarosh won a direct seat in his native Dnipropetro­vsk region, accord­ing to Svy­atoslav Oliynyk, a deputy region­al gov­er­nor.

The Ukrain­ian Elec­tion Com­mis­sion said that the turnout stood at 52.9 per cent per cent, based on fig­ures from 115 of the 198 vot­ing dis­tricts, the Inter­fax Ukraine news agency report­ed.

A dom­i­nance of pro-West­ern groups in the 450-seat uni­cam­eral par­lia­ment, the Verk­hovna Rada, means a sharp break with the pre­vi­ous Rada, elect­ed for a five-year peri­od in 2012, which was dom­i­nated by Rus­sia-lean­ing forces.

Poroshenko has said he hopes that the snap elec­tion will bring more sta­bil­ity to the cri­sis-hit coun­try, where more than 3,600 peo­ple have been killed in a con­flict with pro-Russ­ian sep­a­ratists in the east.

“I vot­ed for Ukraine — sin­gle, indi­vis­i­ble, Euro­pean,” Poroshenko said on Twit­ter after cast­ing his bal­lot in Kiev Sun­day after­noon.

Ear­lier, the pres­i­dent showed up dressed in fatigues in a polling sta­tion in Kram­a­torsk, a city in the east­ern Donet­sk region that was recap­tured by gov­ern­ment forces in July.

Poroshenko said that he aimed to pro­tect the right to vote of the more than 10,000 sol­diers serv­ing in the region.

Observers doubt, how­ever, that a new gov­ern­ment — expect­ed to be formed as ear­ly as next week — will be able to end the fight­ing with pro-Russ­ian sep­a­ratists in the east quick­ly.

Secu­rity was tight on Sun­day, and some 84,000 police offi­cers were on duty through­out Ukraine to ensure a peace­ful vote, the Inte­rior Min­istry said.

Vot­ing did not take place in the dis­tricts con­trolled by the sep­a­ratists, whose lead­ers have vowed to ignore Sunday’s polls because they con­sider Ukraine a neigh­bour­ing state. They have set their own elec­tions for Novem­ber 2.

Turnout in the Donet­sk and Luhan­sk regions, which are part­ly rebel-held, was much low­er than else­where — just 31 per cent in Donet­sk and 27 per cent in Luhan­sk, accord­ing to offi­cial fig­ures.

Some 1.83 mil­lion vot­ers were reg­is­tered in both regions — only a frac­tion of their com­bined peace­time pop­u­la­tion of almost 7 mil­lion.

Over­all, 36 mil­lion Ukraini­ans are eli­gi­ble to cast a bal­lot.

...

Pravy Sek­tor: “Anti-Ter­ror­ist” Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment mili­tias are drawn from this group and Swo­bo­da

8. More depth on the nature of the “new” polit­i­cal make­up of the Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment is pro­vid­ed by German-Foreign-Policy.com. Note that the “mod­er­ate” Yat­senyuk’s par­ty has Andriy Bilet­sky, founder of the Azov Bat­tal­ion as an advis­er. Poroshenko has Svo­bo­da mem­ber Oleg Makhnit­sky as an advis­er, as well as Roman Svarych, the per­son­al sec­re­tary to Jaroslav Stet­sko.

“Nation­al­ist Upsurge”; german-foreign-policy.com;  10/24/2014.

The elec­tion cam­paign, end­ing this week in today’s pro-West­ern Ukraine, is char­ac­ter­ized by extrem­ist nation­al­ism. Accord­ing to opin­ion polls, the par­ty of the politi­cian, who had pro­mot­ed him­self using videos of his vio­la­tions of the human rights of alleged pro-Russ­ian sep­a­ratists, is set to become sec­ond in Sun­day’s elec­tions. Con­sid­er­ing the civ­il war’s nation­al­ist upsurge, oth­er par­ties have begun accept­ing mili­ti­a­men into their ranks. The com­man­der of the fas­cist Asov Bat­tal­ion, for exam­ple, is a mem­ber of the “mil­i­tary coun­cil” of Prime Min­is­ter Arseniy Jazen­juk’s par­ty. Last week, Asov Bat­tal­ion mili­tia mem­bers par­tic­i­pat­ed in the vio­lent attacks on the Ukrain­ian par­lia­ment. Dur­ing the elec­tion cam­paign, it was alleged that Kiev’s troops had used inter­na­tion­al­ly banned clus­ter muni­tions in the Donet­sk region. New social cuts are antic­i­pat­ed — regard­less of the win­ner of the elec­tions — to pay for the essen­tial sup­plies of Russ­ian gas. Berlin and the EU, whose hege­mon­ic sphere Ukraine joined this year, are refus­ing to give Kiev addi­tion­al mate­r­i­al assis­tance. Aside from these issues, the for­mer Pol­ish for­eign min­is­ter, Radoslaw Siko­rs­ki, admit­ted that he had com­plete­ly invent­ed the seri­ous alle­ga­tions he made against the Russ­ian pres­i­dent. Ger­man media have wide­ly report­ed on these alle­ga­tions.

Sum­ma­ry Exe­cu­tion

The elec­tion cam­paign in today’s pro-West­ern Ukraine has been shaped, to a grow­ing extent, by extrem­ist nation­al­ism. Opin­ion polls pre­dict the vic­to­ry of the “Petro Poroshenko Bloc,” whose top can­di­date, Vitali Klitschko, had been sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly groomed by the CDU-affil­i­at­ed Kon­rad Ade­nauer Foundation.[1] For months already, poll­sters have been unan­i­mous­ly pre­dict­ing that Oleh Lyashko’s “Rad­i­cal Par­ty” will come in sec­ond. With his vio­la­tions of the human rights of alleged pro-Russ­ian sep­a­ratists, (german-foreign-policy.com report­ed [2]) Lyashko seems to attract a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of poten­tial­ly fas­cist vot­ers. Most recent­ly, he aroused atten­tion, when, in a TV talk show, he pre­sent­ed a pris­on­er — whom he claimed was a Russ­ian soldier.[3] Lyashko also announced that, in the future, he will have cap­tured sep­a­ratists sum­mar­i­ly exe­cut­ed. Polls give Lyashko more than ten per­cent of the vote. The Svo­bo­da Par­ty, which, up to now, had been the strongest force with­in the fas­cist spec­trum, is expect­ed to lose so many votes to Lyashko’s par­ty that it will have to wor­ry about whether it will achieve the 5% hur­dle or have to depend on direct man­dates. Svo­bo­da may also lose votes to the “Right Sec­tor,” which hard­ly has a chance of win­ning seats in the Verk­hov­na Rada.

“Cru­sade Against Unter­men­schen”

Beyond the spec­trum of overt­ly fas­cist par­ties, par­tic­u­lar­ly the “Peo­ple’s Front” — the par­ty of Prime Min­is­ter Arseniy Yat­senyuk, who had been put in pow­er by the West — is cam­paign­ing with well-known rightwing extrem­ists. Tetiana Chorno­vol, the for­mer press sec­re­tary of the fas­cist UNA-UNSO orga­ni­za­tion, who, in the mean­time has joined the Asov Bat­tal­ion, is the sec­ond can­di­date on the bal­lot of the “Peo­ple’s Front.” The “Peo­ple’s Front” has also estab­lished a “Mil­i­tary Coun­cil” to prof­it from the coun­try’s nation­al­ist war fren­zy. The “Mil­i­tary Coun­cil” also includes Asov Bat­tal­ion com­man­der Andriy Bilet­sky. Bilet­sky once declared, “the his­toric mis­sion of our nation in this crit­i­cal moment is to lead the White Races of the world in a final cru­sade for their sur­vival,” in “a cru­sade against the Semi­te-led Unter­men­schen.”[4] His Asov Bat­tal­ion had par­tic­i­pat­ed in the vio­lent attacks on the Ukrain­ian par­lia­ment. These attacks began Octo­ber 14, when the major­i­ty of the deputies reject­ed the motion for declar­ing Octo­ber 14 an offi­cial hol­i­day. The Ukrain­ian Insur­gent Army (UPA), which had also com­mit­ted mas­sacres on more then 90,000 Chris­t­ian and Jew­ish Poles, was found­ed Octo­ber 14, 1942.

Clus­ter Muni­tions

Dur­ing the elec­tion cam­paign, there were also seri­ous alle­ga­tions raised against the gov­ern­ment. Accord­ing to recent reports — includ­ing those by west­ern human rights orga­ni­za­tions — Kiev gov­ern­ment forces, par­tic­u­lar­ly fas­cist mili­tias, are com­mit­ting seri­ous human rights vio­la­tions in the civ­il war in east­ern Ukraine. It has also been report­ed that gov­ern­ment units have used inter­na­tion­al­ly banned clus­ter muni­tions in the Donet­sk region. Clus­ter muni­tions are par­tic­u­lar­ly dan­ger­ous to civil­ians. To date, 114 coun­tries have signed the treaty ban­ning clus­ter muni­tions. The Ukraine has not joined the treaty even after the pro-west­ern coup in Kiev. Accord­ing to Human Rights Watch (HRW), there is strong evi­dence of Kiev’s gov­ern­ment forces hav­ing used clus­ter muni­tions in attacks in ear­ly Octo­ber — at the time, the cease­fire was already in effect. Accord­ing to HRW, at least six peo­ple have been killed and dozens wound­ed by these inter­na­tion­al­ly banned muni­tions. The real num­ber of vic­tims is prob­a­bly high­er, accord­ing to the human rights organization.[5]

Verge of Col­lapse

For the peri­od fol­low­ing the elec­tions, regard­less of elec­tion results, there are already indi­ca­tions of new social cut­backs. Eco­nom­i­cal­ly, Ukraine is on the verge of col­lapse. This year’s eco­nom­ic per­for­mance will shrink by up to ten per­cent, cor­re­spon­dents report. The bud­get could reach a deficit of more than sev­en per­cent of the gross domes­tic prod­uct. Since the begin­ning of the year, the Ukrain­ian cur­ren­cy, the hryv­na, has lost well over half of its val­ue vis à vis the US dol­lar, caus­ing the price of import­ed goods to soar. In addi­tion, the costs of ener­gy have also been ris­ing; infla­tion is run­ning at around twelve per­cent. No one expects the US $17 bil­lion in IMF bailouts — up to 2016 — to suffice.[6] There­fore, now that Kiev has joined the West­ern hege­mon­ic sphere of influ­ence, it is insist­ing on finan­cial sup­port from Berlin and the EU. The Ger­man gov­ern­ment is only will­ing to par­tic­i­pate in lim­it­ed financ­ing. At best, a lim­it­ed share of the costs for Russ­ian gas deliv­er­ies to Ukraine could be cov­ered, accord­ing to the EU’s Ener­gy Com­mis­sion­er Gün­ther Oet­tinger’s entourage. The Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment must revise its bud­get. This implies wide-rang­ing social cuts. The fact that no final agree­ment has been reached with Rus­sia on the sup­ply of nat­ur­al gas is advan­ta­geous to Pres­i­dent Petro Poroshenko and Prime Min­is­ter Arseniy Yat­senyuk. The absolute­ly essen­tial agree­ment and, with it, also the debate on more cuts, are, there­fore, post­poned until after elec­tions.

Lies

Recent Ger­man media reports have demon­strat­ed to what extent the west­ern “free­dom” PR cam­paign, even beyond the Ukrain­ian elec­tion cam­paign, is resort­ing to obvi­ous lies for their pow­er strug­gle with Rus­sia. Last week­end, Radoslaw Siko­rs­ki, until recent­ly, as Poland’s For­eign Min­is­ter, one of the EU’s most involved politi­cians in the Ukrain­ian con­flict, was quot­ed claim­ing that in Feb­ru­ary 2008, the Russ­ian Pres­i­dent, Vladimir Putin, pro­posed to him and the Pol­ish Prime Min­is­ter, at the time, Don­ald Tusk, that Ukraine be divid­ed up between Poland and Rus­sia. “Tusk, for­tu­nate­ly, did not answer. He knew that the room was bugged,” claimed Siko­rs­ki. By Wednes­day, it was claimed that the “sus­pi­cion” of Rus­sia cur­rent­ly pur­su­ing “an old plan of con­quest,” has now “been fur­ther rein­forced” by Siko­rski’s declaration.[7] How­ev­er, by then, Siko­rs­ki already had had to admit that, con­trary to his ear­li­er alle­ga­tions, he had not even been present at the said meet­ing. He had been told that “a sim­i­lar” state­ment had been made. He has now also admit­ted that the meet­ing in ques­tion had not even tak­en place.[8] This inci­dent is but one in a long line of absur­di­ties being prop­a­gat­ed by west­ern polit­i­cal PR and media. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[9])

Oth­er reports and back­ground infor­ma­tion on Ger­many’s pol­i­cy toward Ukraine can be found here: The Kiev Esca­la­tion Strat­e­gy, The Free World, A Fatal Taboo Vio­la­tion, The Euro­peaniza­tion of Ukraine, Cri­sis of Legit­i­ma­cy, “Fas­cist Free­dom Fight­ers”, The Restora­tion of the Oli­garchs (IV), Sec­ond-Class Stake­hold­ers, Ukrain­ian Patri­ots, Ukrain­ian Maneu­vers, A Les­son Learned and Under Tute­lage.

[1] See Our Man in Kiev.
[2] See Radikalisierung im Par­la­ment.
[3] Ben­jamin Bid­der: Rechter Poli­tik­er Ljaschko: Der Mann, der die Ukraine aufhet­zt. www.spiegel.de 22.10.2014.
[4] Ukraine cri­sis: the neo-Nazi brigade fight­ing pro-Russ­ian sep­a­ratists. www.telegraph.co.uk 11.08.2014.
[5] Ukraine: Wide­spread Use of Clus­ter Muni­tions. www.hrw.org 20.10.2014.
[6] Matthias Benz: Ein Land im Stresszu­s­tand. www.nzz.de 22.10.2014.
[7] Kon­rad Schuller: Ein schlechter Scherz? Frank­furter All­ge­meine Zeitung 22.10.2014.
[8] Siko­rs­ki entschuldigt sich. Frank­furter All­ge­meine Zeitung 23.10.2014.
[9] See “Moskaus Drang nach West­en”.

9. It turns out one of the key fig­ures in the Poroshenko admin­is­tra­tion, who was also heav­ily backed by Pierre Omidyar’s pro-Maid­an out­fits, was the per­son in charge of push­ing the lus­tra­tion laws. (This sto­ry was not includ­ed in the orig­i­nal pro­gram.) Of par­tic­u­lar sig­nif­i­cance is the fact that Svit­lana Zalis­chuk, the recip­i­ent of Omid­yar’s fund­ing, was a key play­er in coor­di­nat­ing the activ­i­ties of the so-called “respectable,” “mod­er­ate” pro-EU polit­i­cal cadre with the overt­ly fas­cist par­ties such as Svo­bo­da and the Rad­i­cal Par­ty.

“Omid­yar-Fund­ed Can­di­date Takes Seat in New Ukraine Par­lia­ment” by Mark AmesPan­do Dai­ly; 10/30/2014.

Ukraine just held its first post-rev­o­lu­tion par­lia­men­tary elec­tions, and amid all of the oli­garchs, EU enthu­si­asts, neo-Nazisnepo­tism babies, and death squad com­man­ders, there is one new­ly-elect­ed parliamentarian’s name that stands out for her con­nec­tion to Sil­i­con Val­ley: Svit­lana Zal­ishchuk, from the bil­lion­aire president’s Poroshenko Bloc par­ty.

Zal­ishchuk was giv­en a choice spot on the president’s par­ty list, at num­ber 18, ensur­ing her a seat in the new Rada. And she owes her rise to pow­er to anoth­er oli­garch besides Ukraine’s pres­i­dent — Pierre Omid­yar, whose fund­ing with USAID helped top­ple the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment. Zalishchuk’s pro-Maid­an rev­o­lu­tion out­fits were direct­ly fund­ed by Omid­yar.

Ear­lier this year, Pan­do exposed how eBay bil­lion­aire and Inter­cept pub­lisher Pierre Omid­yar co-fund­ed with USAID Zalishchuk’s web of non­govern­men­tal orga­ni­za­tions — New Cit­i­zenChes­noCen­ter UAAccord­ing to the Finan­cial Times, New Cit­i­zen, which received hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars from Omid­yar, “played a big role in get­ting the [Maid­an] protest up and run­ning” in Novem­ber 2013. Omid­yar Network’s web­site fea­tures Zalishchuk’s pho­to­graph on its page describ­ing its invest­ment in New Cit­i­zen. Zal­ishchuk was brought into the NGOs by her long­time men­tor, Oleh Rybachuk, a for­mer deputy prime min­ster who led the last failed effort to inte­grate Ukraine into the EU and NATO.

Zalishchuk’s pho­tos also grace the Poroshenko Bloc’s web­site and twit­ter feed, as she emerged as one of the pres­i­den­tial party’s lead­ing spokesper­sons. The Poroshenko Bloc is named after Ukraine’s pro-West­ern pres­i­dent, Petro Poroshenko, a bil­lion­aire with a lock on Ukraine’s con­fec­tionary indus­try, as well as own­ing a nation­al TV sta­tion and oth­er prized assets. He came to pow­er this year thanks to the rev­o­lu­tion orig­i­nally orga­nized by Zalishchuk’s Omid­yar-fund­ed NGOs, and has reward­ed her with a seat in the Rada.

The president’s par­ty tasked Zalushchik with pub­licly sell­ing the high­ly con­tro­ver­sial new “lus­tra­tion law” — essen­tially a legal­ized witch-hunt law first pro­posed by the neo-fas­cist Svo­boda Par­ty ear­lier this year, and sub­se­quently denounced by Ukraine’s pros­e­cu­tor gen­eral and by Human Rights Watch, which described a draft of the law as “arbi­trary and over­ly broad and fail(s) to respect human rights prin­ci­ples,” warn­ing it “may set the stage for unlaw­ful mass arbi­trary polit­i­cal exclu­sion.”

The lus­tra­tion law was passed under a wave of neo-Nazi vio­lence, in which mem­bers of par­lia­ment and oth­ers set to be tar­geted for purges were forcibly thrown into trash dumps.

Zal­ishchuk, how­ever, praised the lus­tra­tion law, claim­ing that the legal­ized purges would “give Ukraine a chance at a new life.”

Short­ly before the elec­tions, on Octo­ber 17, Zal­ishchuk used her Omid­yar-fund­ed out­fit, “Ches­no,”to orga­nize a round­table with lead­ers of pro-EU and neo-fas­cist par­ties. It was called “Par­lia­ment for Reform”and it brought togeth­er lead­ers from eight par­ties, includ­ing Zalishchuk’s “Poroshenko Bloc” (she served as both NGO orga­nizer and as pro-Poroshenko par­ty can­di­date), the prime minister’s “People’s Par­ty” and lead­ers from two unabashed­ly neo-Nazi par­ties: Svo­boda, and the Rad­i­cal Par­ty of Oleh Lyashko, who was denounced by Amnesty Inter­na­tional for post­ing YouTube videos of him­self inter­ro­gat­ing naked and hood­ed pro-Russ­ian sep­a­ratist pris­on­ers. Lyashko’s cam­paign posters fea­tured him impal­ing a car­i­ca­tured Jew­ish oli­garch on a Ukrain­ian tri­dent.

Mean­while, Zalishchuk’s boss, Pres­i­dent Petro Poroshenko, has led a bloody war against pro-Russ­ian sep­a­ratists in the east of the coun­try that left at least 3700 dead in a half year of fight­ing. Human Rights Watch recent­ly accused Poroshenko’s forces of “indis­crim­i­nate” use of clus­ter bombs in heav­ily pop­u­lated areas, that “may amount to war crimes.” Poroshenko’s forces include neo-Nazi death squads like the noto­ri­ous Azov bat­tal­ion.

Last month, Poroshenko fur­ther cement­ed his ties to the extreme right by hail­ing Ukraine’s wartime Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors, the vio­lently anti-Semit­ic UPA, as “heroes.” The fas­cist UPA par­tic­i­pated in the Holo­caust, and were respon­si­ble for killing tens of thou­sandsof Jews and eth­nic Poles in their bid to cre­ate an eth­ni­cally pure Ukraine. Many UPA mem­bers filled the ranks of the Nazi SS “Gali­cia” Divi­sion. The neo-Nazi Right Sek­tor, which spear­headed the vio­lent lat­er stages of the Maid­an rev­o­lu­tion, sees itself as the UPA’s con­tem­po­rary suc­ces­sors; Right Sektor’s leader, Dmit­ry Yarosh, believes that any “eth­nic minor­ity that pre­vents us from being mas­ters in our own land” is an “ene­my.” Yarosh was just elect­ed to the new par­lia­ment.

This week, Omid­yar Network’s “invest­ment lead” for Ukraine, Stephen King, accept­ed an award for Omid­yar Network’s role in a major new USAID-backed project, Glob­al Impact Invest­ing Net­work. . . .

...

10.  Deputy com­man­der of the Azov Bat­tal­ion, Vadim Troy­an, just become Kiev’s chief of police (Google trans­lated):
“Avakov Appoint­ed Chief of Police of Kiev Region Zamkom­bata ‘Azov’ “; 10/31/2014.

Ukrain­ian Inte­rior Min­is­ter Arsen Avakov appoint­ed chief of Research Affairs in Kyiv oblast par­ty ATO, deputy bat­tal­ion com­man­der “Azov” Vadim Troy­an.

He announced from the stage of the Cen­ter of Cul­ture and Arts of Ukraine Min­istry of Inter­nal Affairs on Fri­day, Oct. 31, trans­mits “Ukrin­form”.

“I have an order that has appoint­ed Lieu­tenant Colonel Vadim Troy­an depart­men­tal head of the Kiev region, and I hope that the patri­ots who proved his loy­alty in bat­tle coun­tries that are com­pe­tent, able, togeth­er with the old experts to form qual­i­ta­tively new mili­tia, which we expect,” — said the Min­is­ter.

Avakov added that Troy­an is a grad­u­ate of the Police Acad­emy, has expe­ri­ence, trust him, because he is well estab­lished in the ATO. “It frees Mar­i­upol with” Azov “, fought under Ilo­vaiskaya, par­tic­i­pated in the bat­tles of Shi­rokino. We trust him. And today, the deci­sion of the min­is­ter, he’s a police chief of Kiev region “- said the head of the Inte­rior Min­istry.

In reply, Vadim Troy­an assured that the Ukraini­ans will not let such a respon­si­ble posi­tion. “When I was study­ing, I dreamed of chang­ing the sys­tem and the fight against crime, to help the peo­ple of Ukraine. I think that this case is that God has giv­en me — the bat­tal­ion, the min­istry and the peo­ple — I will not fail, “- he said.

...

11. To gain a sense of how long the OUN/B milieu has been oper­at­ing and build­ing its sup­port base in the U.S., we revis­it a por­tion of FTR #26. (The pro­gram was record­ed in Decem­ber of 1995 and fea­tures an excerpt of the book Sab­o­tage by Michael Say­ers and Albert E. Kahn.)

 

Discussion

3 comments for “FTR #817 Can You Put Lipstick on a Nazi? (Part 2): Update on Ukraine”

  1. Oh look, deputy com­man­der of the Azov Bat­tal­ion, Vadim Troy­an, just become Kiev’s chief of police(Google trans­lat­ed):

    http://www.20khvylyn.com
    Avakov appoint­ed chief of police of Kiev region zamkom­bata “Azov”
    Octo­ber 31, 2014, 15:17 | 20 hvilin
    Ukrain­ian Inte­ri­or Min­is­ter Arsen Avakov appoint­ed chief of Research Affairs in Kyiv oblast par­ty ATO, deputy bat­tal­ion com­man­der “Azov” Vadim Troy­an.

    He announced from the stage of the Cen­ter of Cul­ture and Arts of Ukraine Min­istry of Inter­nal Affairs on Fri­day, Oct. 31, trans­mits “Ukrin­form”.

    “I have an order that has appoint­ed Lieu­tenant Colonel Vadim Troy­an depart­men­tal head of the Kiev region, and I hope that the patri­ots who proved his loy­al­ty in bat­tle coun­tries that are com­pe­tent, able, togeth­er with the old experts to form qual­i­ta­tive­ly new mili­tia, which we expect,” — said the Min­is­ter.

    Avakov added that Troy is a grad­u­ate of the Police Acad­e­my, has expe­ri­ence, trust him, because he is well estab­lished in the ATO. “It frees Mar­i­upol with” Azov “, fought under Ilo­vaiskaya, par­tic­i­pat­ed in the bat­tles of Shi­roki­no. We trust him. And today, the deci­sion of the min­is­ter, he’s a police chief of Kiev region “- said the head of the Inte­ri­or Min­istry.

    In reply, Vadim Troy­an assured that the Ukraini­ans will not let such a respon­si­ble posi­tion. “When I was study­ing, I dreamed of chang­ing the sys­tem and the fight against crime, to help the peo­ple of Ukraine. I think that this case is that God has giv­en me — the bat­tal­ion, the min­istry and the peo­ple — I will not fail, “- he said.

    ...

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | November 1, 2014, 6:00 pm
  2. It turns out one of the key fig­ures in the Poroshenko admin­is­tra­tion, who was also heav­i­ly backed by Pierre Omid­yar’s pro-Maid­an out­fits, was the per­son in charge of push­ing the lus­tra­tion laws:

    Pan­do Dai­ly
    Omid­yar-fund­ed can­di­date takes seat in new Ukraine par­lia­ment

    By Mark Ames
    On Octo­ber 30, 2014

    Ukraine just held its first post-rev­o­lu­tion par­lia­men­tary elec­tions, and amid all of the oli­garchs, EU enthu­si­asts, neo-Nazis, nepo­tism babies, and death squad com­man­ders, there is one new­ly-elect­ed parliamentarian’s name that stands out for her con­nec­tion to Sil­i­con Val­ley: Svit­lana Zal­ishchuk, from the bil­lion­aire president’s Poroshenko Bloc par­ty.

    Zal­ishchuk was giv­en a choice spot on the president’s par­ty list, at num­ber 18, ensur­ing her a seat in the new Rada. And she owes her rise to pow­er to anoth­er oli­garch besides Ukraine’s pres­i­dent — Pierre Omid­yar, whose fund­ing with USAID helped top­ple the pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment. Zalishchuk’s pro-Maid­an rev­o­lu­tion out­fits were direct­ly fund­ed by Omid­yar.

    Ear­li­er this year, Pan­do exposed how eBay bil­lion­aire and Inter­cept pub­lish­er Pierre Omid­yar co-fund­ed with USAID Zalishchuk’s web of non­govern­men­tal orga­ni­za­tions — New Cit­i­zen, Ches­no, Cen­ter UA. Accord­ing to the Finan­cial Times, New Cit­i­zen, which received hun­dreds of thou­sands of dol­lars from Omid­yar, “played a big role in get­ting the [Maid­an] protest up and run­ning” in Novem­ber 2013. Omid­yar Network’s web­site fea­tures Zalishchuk’s pho­to­graph on its page describ­ing its invest­ment in New Cit­i­zen. Zal­ishchuk was brought into the NGOs by her long­time men­tor, Oleh Rybachuk, a for­mer deputy prime min­ster who led the last failed effort to inte­grate Ukraine into the EU and NATO.

    Zalishchuk’s pho­tos also grace the Poroshenko Bloc’s web­site and twit­ter feed, as she emerged as one of the pres­i­den­tial party’s lead­ing spokesper­sons. The Poroshenko Bloc is named after Ukraine’s pro-West­ern pres­i­dent, Petro Poroshenko, a bil­lion­aire with a lock on Ukraine’s con­fec­tionary indus­try, as well as own­ing a nation­al TV sta­tion and oth­er prized assets. He came to pow­er this year thanks to the rev­o­lu­tion orig­i­nal­ly orga­nized by Zalishchuk’s Omid­yar-fund­ed NGOs, and has reward­ed her with a seat in the Rada.

    The president’s par­ty tasked Zalushchik with pub­licly sell­ing the high­ly con­tro­ver­sial new “lus­tra­tion law” — essen­tial­ly a legal­ized witch-hunt law first pro­posed by the neo-fas­cist Svo­bo­da Par­ty ear­li­er this year, and sub­se­quent­ly denounced by Ukraine’s pros­e­cu­tor gen­er­al and by Human Rights Watch, which described a draft of the law as “arbi­trary and over­ly broad and fail(s) to respect human rights prin­ci­ples,” warn­ing it “may set the stage for unlaw­ful mass arbi­trary polit­i­cal exclu­sion.”

    The lus­tra­tion law was passed under a wave of neo-Nazi vio­lence, in which mem­bers of par­lia­ment and oth­ers set to be tar­get­ed for purges were forcibly thrown into trash dumps.

    Zal­ishchuk, how­ev­er, praised the lus­tra­tion law, claim­ing that the legal­ized purges would “give Ukraine a chance at a new life.”

    Short­ly before the elec­tions, on Octo­ber 17, Zal­ishchuk used her Omid­yar-fund­ed out­fit, “Ches­no,” to orga­nize a round­table with lead­ers of pro-EU and neo-fas­cist par­ties. It was called “Par­lia­ment for Reform” and it brought togeth­er lead­ers from eight par­ties, includ­ing Zalishchuk’s “Poroshenko Bloc” (she served as both NGO orga­niz­er and as pro-Poroshenko par­ty can­di­date), the prime minister’s “People’s Par­ty” and lead­ers from two unabashed­ly neo-Nazi par­ties: Svo­bo­da, and the Rad­i­cal Par­ty of Oleh Lyashko, who was denounced by Amnesty Inter­na­tion­al for post­ing YouTube videos of him­self inter­ro­gat­ing naked and hood­ed pro-Russ­ian sep­a­ratist pris­on­ers. Lyashko’s cam­paign posters fea­tured him impal­ing a car­i­ca­tured Jew­ish oli­garch on a Ukrain­ian tri­dent.

    Mean­while, Zalishchuk’s boss, Pres­i­dent Petro Poroshenko, has led a bloody war against pro-Russ­ian sep­a­ratists in the east of the coun­try that left at least 3700 dead in a half year of fight­ing. Human Rights Watch recent­ly accused Poroshenko’s forces of “indis­crim­i­nate” use of clus­ter bombs in heav­i­ly pop­u­lat­ed areas, that “may amount to war crimes.” Poroshenko’s forces include neo-Nazi death squads like the noto­ri­ous Azov bat­tal­ion.

    Last month, Poroshenko fur­ther cement­ed his ties to the extreme right by hail­ing Ukraine’s wartime Nazi col­lab­o­ra­tors, the vio­lent­ly anti-Semit­ic UPA, as “heroes.” The fas­cist UPA par­tic­i­pat­ed in the Holo­caust, and were respon­si­ble for killing tens of thou­sands of Jews and eth­nic Poles in their bid to cre­ate an eth­ni­cal­ly pure Ukraine. Many UPA mem­bers filled the ranks of the Nazi SS “Gali­cia” Divi­sion. The neo-Nazi Right Sek­tor, which spear­head­ed the vio­lent lat­er stages of the Maid­an rev­o­lu­tion, sees itself as the UPA’s con­tem­po­rary suc­ces­sors; Right Sektor’s leader, Dmit­ry Yarosh, believes that any “eth­nic minor­i­ty that pre­vents us from being mas­ters in our own land” is an “ene­my.” Yarosh was just elect­ed to the new par­lia­ment.

    ...

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | November 1, 2014, 7:06 pm
  3. The head of the Don­bas Bat­tal­ion threat­ened to over­throw Poroshenko if a sin­gle city is sur­ren­dered to the rebels:

    Euro­maid­an Press
    Don­bas Bat­tal­ion deliv­ers ulti­ma­tum to Poroshenko
    2014/11/04

    The Don­bas Bat­tal­ion declares: “Should a sin­gle city be sur­ren­dered, the pres­i­dent will fly off his chair, there will be a mil­i­tary coup and the sol­diers will take pow­er into their own hands.”

    In an inter­view with chan­nel TVi, the com­man­der of the Don­bas Bat­tal­ion, Taras Kon­stanchuk, stat­ed that if the Pres­i­dent of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, sur­ren­ders a sin­gle kilo­me­ter of Ukrain­ian land in nego­ti­a­tions with the “DNR” and “LNR”, he can expect a mil­i­tary coup and the cen­tral gov­ern­ment will be seized by sol­diers.

    He added that every time the sol­diers feel that the deputies of the Verk­hov­na Rada are adopt­ing incor­rect or use­less laws, they will come and set fire to tyres before the par­lia­ment build­ing.

    “Until we start con­trol­ling what they actu­al­ly do, noth­ing will make sense. We should come into the build­ing and say: “What kind of laws are you adopt­ing, you lazy bums? There’s only one way you’ll leave here, and that’s feet first.”- said Kon­stanchuk.

    On Tues­day, Octo­ber 4, the Pres­i­dent of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, repealed the law on the spe­cial sta­tus of Don­bas.

    With that per­ma­nent coup threat in mind, note that it does­n’t look like the Don­bas Bat­tal­ion will be feel­ing the need to car­ry out a coup any time soon:

    School shelling deaths in Ukraine hurt peace hopes
    By NATALIYA VASILYEVA
    Nov. 6, 2014 11:13 AM EST

    DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) — The shelling of a high school in Ukraine’s rebel strong­hold of Donet­sk has chilled even the bat­tle-hard­ened in this weary nation.

    The killing of two teenagers as they were play­ing soc­cer after lunch Wednes­day is a stark reminder that the cease-fire agreed upon in Sep­tem­ber has only real­ly ever exist­ed on paper. Four oth­er stu­dents were wound­ed, accord­ing to Dr. Vladimir Voro­payev, chief of the chil­dren’s trau­ma unit at the region­al hos­pi­tal in Donet­sk.

    The war­ring sides — gov­ern­ment troops on one side and pro-Russ­ian sep­a­ratists on the oth­er — now look as far from any last­ing set­tle­ment as they ever were.

    In the soc­cer field at Donet­sk’s school No. 63, two blood­ied coats still lay out in the open Thurs­day as rel­a­tives and staff gath­ered at the scene.

    Alexan­der Yeliseyev, the father of one vic­tim, 18-year-old Andrei, walked by in shock as he gath­ered belong­ings left behind when his son’s body was removed — a dark brown coat and a pair of sneak­ers.

    “They went to play foot­ball at about 2 p.m., while I was at work. And then the shelling began. Here you see the result,” Yeliseyev said, gulp­ing back sobs.

    He said 14-year-old Danya, anoth­er stu­dent, was also killed.

    Author­i­ties in the Ukrain­ian cap­i­tal, Kiev said the secu­ri­ty ser­vices will inves­ti­gate the shelling of a school, but offi­cials already appear to have made their mind up. Secu­ri­ty spokesman Andriy Lysenko said pre­lim­i­nary infor­ma­tion indi­cat­ed the shells flew into the school from a loca­tion con­trolled by sep­a­ratist forces.

    The rebels, how­ev­er, swift­ly blamed Ukrain­ian forces for the dead­ly attack, say­ing gov­ern­ment troops often indis­crim­i­nate­ly tar­get res­i­den­tial areas in east­ern Ukraine.

    All that is cer­tain so far is that the school where the shells land­ed is at least 2 kilo­me­ters (1.2 miles) from the near­est gov­ern­ment posi­tion but close to rebel posts. That would appear to lend weight to claims of Ukrain­ian cul­pa­bil­i­ty — gov­ern­ment troops shelling the rebels — but Lysenko said the shelling was planned in advance by the rebels to dis­cred­it gov­ern­ment forces.

    Gov­ern­ment offi­cials have failed to pro­duce cast-iron evi­dence of such claims in the past, and inde­pen­dent rights groups say there’s evi­dence that gov­ern­ment artillery has hit homes in east­ern Ukraine. Res­i­dents of strick­en areas have fre­quent­ly com­plained that rebels deploy artillery near homes, invari­ably draw­ing return fire.

    The UN esti­mates more than 4,000 peo­ple have been killed over six months of fight­ing between Ukrain­ian gov­ern­ment forces and pro-Russ­ian sep­a­ratists in east­ern Ukraine. That includes sev­er­al hun­dred who have died since a much-vio­lat­ed cease-fire was signed in ear­ly Sep­tem­ber.

    At school No. 63, which was lav­ish­ly refur­bished last year with funds pro­vid­ed by local bil­lion­aire Rinat Akhme­tov, a dozen teach­ers and sob­bing par­ents hud­dled by the soc­cer field Thurs­day as the roar of out­go­ing mis­sile fire was heard a few kilo­me­ters (miles) away.

    Two mor­tars had land­ed on the school premis­es Wednes­day: one next to a con­crete porch by the school, shat­ter­ing a few win­dows. The one that killed the stu­dents land­ed behind a goal­post, scorch­ing the ground and leav­ing a small crater.

    ...

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | November 6, 2014, 12:11 pm

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