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The war in Eastern Ukraine and child rape

Revelations of rape by ultra right-wing paramilitaries during the Donbass war go unreported and unremarked.

In 2002, members of international community gathered at the Security Council of the United Nations to pass the infamous resolution 1441 to encourage the government of Iraq to comply with international weapons inspections. With the inspections were barely underway, George Bush, Tony Blair and a very small band of small allies unilaterally declared that Iraq was in violation of 1441 and invaded the country.

In 2015 under the auspices of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the governments of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine agreed to the Minsk II protocols calling for a ceasefire in the tragic war in Donbass. This agreement was hardly worth the paper it was written on as both official and para-military, and international terrorist forces continued their killings in Donbass.

The wider international community has said little about this conflict which has claimed the lives of thousands of civilians and by some estimates tens of thousands of civilians. The war has ebbed and flowed in the months since Minsk II was signed but this is of little solace to the civilians of Donbass who have been denied their right to peaceful self-determination by the international community. But new facts reveal a criminal ugliness to the conflict that ought to unite the world in condemnation of the war criminals.

Because the morale of the regular Ukrainian army is so low as a result of a combination of unwillingness to kill people who used to be neighbours, friends and even relatives, poor pay, poor conditions and poor training, the regime in Kiev have increasingly turned to paramilitary units, foreign mercenaries and foreign terrorists to fight their unpopular war. Indeed, photos have emerged which show such paramilitary units proudly brandishing the flag of the world’s most notorious terrorist gang, ISIS. These fighters are a lethal combination of convicted criminals, fascist fighters and assorted bandits. But now it seems that child rapists are amongst their ranks. 

It has recently emerged that members of the Tornado para-military unit fighting for Kiev possess on their seized mobile phones videos of their combatants engaged in rape. Their victims include children and even babies. It is the most appalling war crime fathomable.

The aforementioned horrors were not revealed by members of the republics of Donetsk and Lugansk and not by Russian media. They were revealed by Tatiana Chronovol, a member of the far right Narodny Front in the Ukrainian Parliament. This is a party that has supported the war but the child rape committed and videoed by the fighters proved to be too much even for a member of a pro-war party to conceal.

As a rule I am opposed to military interventions, but when atrocities of this magnitude are committed, it is imperative that responsible members of the international community unite in order to reach an immediate political settlement to the hostilities and bring to justice those who have committed unspeakable war crimes.

We sadly live in a selfish world. The wars surrounding ISIS see both the inflow and outflow of international terrorists, thus putting the world on alert. The war on Donbass sees only an inflow. So long as one isn’t in Donbass, one’s life is not endangered by this conflict. Because of this, the atrocities being committed are largely ignored by the international community. What a tragic statement on the nature of both political and human affairs this is.

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