The colossal chaos, economic depression, and everyday violence that is now part of daily life in Ukraine have defied the expectations of even some of the most hardened critics of the regime which came to power during the Kiev coup of February 2014.
Journalists killed and kidnapped:
Two days ago, the Russian journalist Anna Kurbatova who works for Russia’s prestigious Channel One was kidnapped in the streets of Kiev by assailants later exposed as working for the Kiev regime’s security service, the SBU.
She was detained without being allowed to contact anyone before being deported to the Russian border.
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has described the egregious incident in the following way,
“We were shocked by the Kiev regime’s actions against Russian journalists. Qualifying this as something other than a new abduction of a Russian journalist would be difficult.
Individuals come up and do not introduce themselves. They take away a phone and documents and do not allow a phone call either to a foreign mission or relatives or even an employer,” the spokeswoman explained.
Then, the reporter disappears from the information field for several hours and it is only under huge pressure from the public, journalists, representatives of Russian state executive bodies that scanty information is provided that the correspondent was detained by agents of Ukrainian security services.We were shocked that we did not hear from any of high-placed representatives of foreign countries any qualification of such actions by Kiev”.
Far from being an isolated incident, both local and international journalists face a deluge of persecution by the Kiev regime. In some cases, journalists have been assassinated for voicing opinions which contradict the regime’s narrative.
On the same day that Anna Kurbatova was kidnapped, a civilian camera crew from Russia-24 were shot at with live rounds by forces loyal to the regime as they covered the war in Donbass.
In 2015, the local writer and journalist Oles Buzina was assassinated by unknown individuals. Buzina was targeted as an ‘enemy’ of the regime by the ISIS-style website Mirotvorets which names and publishes the personal details of figures deemed non-compliant with the regime and encourages acts of violence upon them.
In 2014, shortly after the coup, British journalist Graham Phillips was abducted by the Ukrainian SBU while covering the Kiev regime’s war on Donbass. After being held in dangerous conditions he had his possessions stolen and was thrown out of the country. A fellow journalist who was abducted at the same time as Phillips, a man called Vadim Aksyonov was savagely beaten by forces loyal to the Kiev regime.
In 2015 Oleg Kalashnikov, a former deputy of the Part of Regions, the faction which held a legislative majority in the country prior to the coup, was brutally assassinated. His death is linked with death threats emanating from the Mirotvorets website.
Other terrorist associations included state-sponsored killings of Donbass field commanders Motorola and Givi. Motorola was killed in a bomb planted in his apartment building while Givi was the target of a bomb blast in his office.
More recently, Ukrainian political assassinations have not been exclusively limited to regime opponents. In June of 2017, a car bomb killed Colonel Maksim Shapoval of the regime’s Defence Ministry while in March Denis Voronenkov, a former Communist Deputy from Russia’s State Duma was killed in the streets of Kiev.
The regime’s war on Donbass is a clear attempt to ethnically cleanse former regions of Ukraine of a population which has held democratic votes to codify the self-determination of the peoples of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics.
The regime’s economic blockade and frequent sabotage of infrastructure in Donbass as well as calls for “total war” coming from prominent politicians in Kiev, makes it clear that Kiev has no intention to adhere to the protocols of the Minsk II ceasefire agreements which have never been implemented.
However, the ethnic cleansing and political disenfranchisement in post-coup Ukraine are not limited to the People’s Republics in Donbass.
On the 2nd of May, 2014, an armed mod of neo-Nazi regimes supporters burnt alive, shot and beat to death nearly 50 people and injured over 200.
Throughout the winter and into the spring of 2014, the protests in historic Novorossiya were generally peaceful but often turned violent as fascist thugs from western Ukrainian often visited the protests in order to beat and kill the protesters.
In May of 2014, in the days prior to the 9th of May Victory Day celebrations over Hitler’s fascist forces, things started to become tense.
Knowing that the ethnic and cultural Russians of the region would be honouring their fathers and grandfathers on the 9th of May, the fascist/ultra-nationalist presence in the region grew.
Many people were severely beaten simply because they were wearing the Ribbon of St. George, the symbol of Victory Day that had been adopted by anti-fascist protesters to show solidarity against extremism.
May the 2nd: The Massacre
The 2nd of May, 2014, began as a day like any other. Although many had seen that in previous days, fascist thugs from the neo-Nazi group Right Sector, the neo-fascist party Svoboda as well as far-right football hooligans from outside the region had descended on Odessa. They continued to pour in on the morning of the 2nd.
By the afternoon, the fascist gangs started violently attacking the anti-fascist protesters. As the anti-fascists come under increasingly violent attacks, the peaceful protesters ran into the Trade Unions House, eventually barricading themselves inside for protection.
As the afternoon wore on, fascists were seen firing shots into the building and then they began to set the building on fire using a combination of Molotov cocktail and flaming debris.
As the fire raged, the fascists surrounded the front and back of the building, prohibiting escape. Many of the protesters, some in their mid-teens died of asphyxiation. Others jumped to their deaths.
Some who jumped and survived the initial fall were beaten to death. Others were tortured to the brink of death.
The authorities did nothing.
The events were videoed and I can personally remember watching as the attack unfolded. It was a barbaric brutality that one had naively hoped had no place in the 21st century. This after all was the age of Facebook, not the age of Hitler. But for those who committed the massacre, it was clearly the age of both.
Russia immediately condemned the massacre. Russia was joined by Belarus, Armenia and EU member Bulgaria.
The west remained largely indifferent while the western mainstream media did their best to whitewash the massacre.
There was and still is a kind of unspoken racism that was inherent in the west’s coverage of The Odessa Massacre. Had the events happened in the Arab world and under an ISIS flag, things would have doubtlessly got more coverage.
But because the victims were ethnic and cultural Russians, things were interpreted through the prism of two paradoxical but equally potent forms of racism.
On the one hand, European and English-speaking audiences have been racially conditioned to believe that savage atrocities only happen in the Middle East, Africa or Asia. This is of course unfair and insulting to the vast majority of peace loving people in the aforementioned places.
At the same time, Russians, a distinct ethnic group in spite of their generally white skin, can still be described in racially inflammatory ways by the west. This does not generally happen to black Africans, white Jews, African-Americans or Latin Americans in the western mainstream media. The only other group subject to the same slander as Russians are Serbs, a people who are an historical ally to Russia”.
In the nearby Black Sea city of Maripoul violence against mainly Russian speaking/culturally Russian opponents of the regime. According to left-wing Ukrainian politician Pyotr Simonenko,
“In Maripoul there was a slaughter of civilians, a mass murder. The number of those killed, first of all among peaceful civilians, is being concealed. A peaceful demonstration was shot at on May 9 and it was a show murder carried out by the current regime. There was a shooting of peaceful civilians, there was no one with weapons there. When you, using armoured personnel carrier guns, killed a family of three, shot [them] in their kitchen, this is what you must be held accountable for; there is blood on your hands today”.
The regime’s acts of violence against civilians is not however limited to the mobilisation of armed militias and thugs. Regime forces have been documented using chemical weapons against civilian populations, an act which is illegal according to international law.
A Russian investigation from 2015 found that Kiev’s forces did indeed drop chemical weapons on Dobass, thus confirming a war crime, in contravention to the Geneva Conventions. Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin reported,
“We have received irrefutable evidence of the use by the Kiev forces of weaponry similar to phosphorus bombs,” Markin said, based on the conclusion of a forensic chemical analysis from soil samples provided by witnesses in the targeted areas.
“The refugees bring in fragments of bombs and artillery shells, which maim and kill their loved ones. We have conducted more than a hundred tests, which all attest to (the war crimes committed by the Ukrainian military)”.
Regime forces and paramilitaries loyal to the regime have also committed acts of international terrorism. In the spring of 2016, Ukrainian terrorists with connections to the regime in Kiev blew up scores of power-lines which for decades had delivered electricity to Crimea. The fallout has led Crimea to hasten a drive to produce its own energy rather than pay for power-lines originating on Ukrainian territory.
The border between the Russian Republic of Crimea and Ukrainian terrorist has been rendered impassable due to terrorist activities.
Crimean leader Sergey Aksyonov has described the situation in the following way,
“They have placed gunmen from the Right Sector (an neo-fascist Ukrainian group outlawed in Russia) and the so-called Crimean Tatar Battalion near the Crimean border. The border regions have become a cesspool of extremism and terrorism”.
Two weeks ago, Russia’s Federal Security Service FSB, arrested a Ukrainian terrorist who later admitted to acting under orders from the Kiev regime. He was caught will attempting to conduct an act of violence against civilians in Crimea.
Ukraine is not only a failed state conducting a war of aggression against a people’s who have peacefully exercised their legal right to self-determination, but the regime is attempting to wage war on Russia using terrorist proxies.
Additionally, the freedom of journalists and political leaders, both Ukrainian citizens and visitors has been violently repressed, making Ukraine a country that is unsafe for foreign journalist to operate in without extreme caution.
The Kiev regime can barely pay its own electricity bills and all the while the country’s infrastructure, including its nuclear power stations, is collapsing.
The regime looks close to collapse, but in spite of this western governments ranging from major EU state to the US, continue to prop up a regime which came to power illegal and operates in a swamp of terrorism, violence, oppression and economic deprivation.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.