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The west cares more about Ukrainian selfies than Donbass deaths

In this photo taken Aug. 19, 2007 soccer fans show a German Nazi flag with a swastika during an Ukrainian League Championship soccer match between Dynamo Kyiv and Karpaty in Kiev, Ukraine. With the defeat of Adolf Hitler in 1945, the Nazi's scarlet flag with a black swastika was banned in Germany and remains so today. The banner once hung from all official buildings in the Third Reich, was waved madly by the cheering crowds that supported Hitler and the Nazis, and was an integral part of military and other uniforms. Synonymous with the genocidal policies of the Nazis, the flag, the swastika and all other such symbols are illegal to display today, but remain favorites of neo-Nazis and other right-wing extremists, both inside Germany and around the world. After the war, the swastika was chiseled out of the talons of the stylized stone eagle that featured on many Nazi buildings, but today there is now a debate about whether the bird itself should go as well. (Ukrinform via AP)

It is both sad and surreal that prominent organisations in the west have been mostly silent about the attempted ethnic cleansing of Donbass people by the Ukrainian regime in a war of aggression that has all ready taken the lives of over 10,000 souls.

Civilians continue to be targeted as part of a war to punish the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics for daring to exercise their right to democratic self-determination.

The western reaction to Ukraine’s attempts to censor popular social media websites like VK  has been rather more vocal, although the western mainstream media continues to broadly ignore this story.

READ MORE: Guess which country just censored the most popular search engine and social media platform in Russian speaking countries

The US based Human Rights Watch has condemened the Ukrainian Presidential degree to remove social media network VK and popular search engine Yandex, among others, from the web in the country.

Tanya Cooper of Human Rights Watch has said,

“This is yet another example of the ease with which President Poroshenko unjustifiably tries to control public discourse in Ukraine”.

She continued,

“Poroshenko may try to justify this latest step, but it is a cynical, politically expedient attack on the right to information affecting millions of Ukrainians, and their personal and professional lives”.

What’s more is that, the censoring of social media whether by the private or public sectors is, in the year 2017, a danger to public safety.

During terrorist attacks or natural disasters, social media is often the first place where individuals can both spread and receive vital information about a dangerous situation. Law enforcement and loved ones increasingly rely on stories from social media in order to take the appropriate actions to insure safety and calm.

READ MORE: Social media censorship puts lives at risk

The fact that the Ukrainian regime doesn’t care about this should surprise no one. After all, this regime has been committing war crimes and crimes against humanity in Donbass ever since 2014. Additionally, the human rights record of the regime in areas it controls is appalling. Neo-Nazism is rampant as is violent racism against Russians, Poles, Jews and non-white individuals.

READ MORE: When Ukraine dropped chemical weapons on Donbass, the west didn’t care

Tanya Cooper further stated,

““In a single move Poroshenko dealt a terrible blow to freedom of expression in Ukraine.

It’s an inexcusable violation of Ukrainians’ right to information of their choice, and the European Union and Ukraine’s other international partners should immediately call on Ukraine to reverse it”.

Few people relate social media to public safety. This is a concerning oversight in the wider public discourse.

However, in the vainglorious 21st century, when a selfie is worth more than the lives of Donabss men, women and children, perhaps this issue may   force western eyes to examine the workings of the vile fascist regime in Kiev more than issues of life and death could ever do.

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