Ukrainian government threatens nuclear weapons proliferation


This video from the USA is called Noam Chomsky (2014) “How To Solve Nuclear Proliferation?”

As if the continuing Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster, and the non-nuclear weapons are not already killing far too many people in Ukraine

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Tuesday 16th September 2014

Ukrainian Defence Minister Valeriy Heletey warned on Sunday night that his country could restart its own nuclear programme.

The minister said that the programme would be revived if Kiev does not receive satisfactory military support against what he alleged was a nuclear threat from Russia.

“If we fail to defend Ukraine today, if the world does not help us, we will have to get back to the creation of such weapons which will defend us from Russia,” he threatened.

Mr Heletey stressed that his country sought military support from Nato, the United States and Britain in particular.

And he claimed that his country was already receiving arms from Nato.

Those claims were repeated by another senior official but were later denied by four of the five Nato countries he mentioned.

Meanwhile, government troops resumed shelling rebel-held Donetsk.

Shelling killed six people and wounded 15 others in the city, its council reported yesterday — the worst violation yet of the ceasefire that took effect on September 5.

The city had been heavily shelled on Sunday, damaging both residential and administrative buildings, the council said.

Observers from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe said that they had been only 650 feet away from where four shells burst in the embattled city.

Nevertheless, prisoner exchanges continued despite the hostilities and another 73 Ukrainian soldiers were freed late on Sunday night in an exchange with the rebels.

Donetsk rebel leader Andrei Purgin confirmed that 73 rebels had been released in return.

Ukrainian peasant woman curses President Poroshenko for war


This video says about itself:

A news broadcast by German ZDF station on September 8 [2014] showed soldiers of the Ukraine Azov Battalion in Mariupol with nazi symbols on their helmets.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

“Poroshenko is an unscrupulous leader”

Added: Tuesday 16 Sep 2014 06:35
Update: Tuesday 16 Sep 2014 09:47

By our reporter Gert-Jan Dennekamp in Ukraine

The 60-year-old Nadezhda Jakovna keeps rattling on, hounded by despair and fear. She barely has time to breathe, the story must be told. Occasionally in the conversation her grief stops her. Then the tears come. She points to the houses down the street: all the people who lived there are dead. Besides the shot out homes are burnt armoured vehicles of the Ukrainian army.

Nadezhda lives in Chrasjtsjevatoje on the edge of Lugansk, the capital of the People’s Republic of Lugansk, proclaimed by the rebels. On August 13, the Ukrainian army occupied the village and then the bombing started. The Ukrainian military maintained themselves there for two weeks, but in the battle between the army and separatists a big part of the village was destroyed. Certainly fifty homes were completely destroyed or burned.

Neighbours

With her 86-year-old mother Nadezhda spent two weeks in the basement. “We were like moles under the ground.” Initially in her own home, but when the house was hit by a grenade, she fled to a small apartment building not far away. Her mother was wounded in that attack.

A few days later, on August 19, the Ukrainian army evacuated people from her street. But they were not yet out of the village when the truck was fired at. All her neighbours were killed.

Ukrainian President Poroshenko is to her an unscrupulous leader. “The Ukrainian army came here to liberate us, but from whom or from what? From ourselves? He has done us so much harm. I curse him to his tenth generation. His grandchildren should experience what it is like to be bombarded.”

Her daughter occasionally adds to Nadezhda’s story. She suddenly almost casually says her father died the first day of the bombing. He was killed on 14 August in a village nearby. She was already hiding in the shelter. The phones were not working. Nadezhda heard it two weeks later. The house where he was was hit by a shell and burned down. He is not buried yet. “There is not enough left over of him to set up a cross on a grave,” she says.

Senseless war

Who fired at the truck with refugees is unclear. It may be that the separatists thought to kill fleeing soldiers but according to neighbour Irina Brisovna it is unlikely that the rebels have shot her neighbours. “They were shooting from an armoured vehicle. This area was controlled by the Ukrainians. It cannot have been the rebels.”

Irina lives just around the corner, her house is battered by shrapnel, but she can still live there. There is no gas or electricity, so tea is put on a wood fire. She says it is a pointless war. “It does not matter what name the region has, if there is only peace and no one dies. Brothers should not kill each other.”

“Every day you walked here on the street and you talked to them and now there is absolutely no one. We buried people for two days. But imagine, imagine how many soldiers have been slain. Boys of 18 or 20 years. In West Ukraine the mothers do not know where their sons are buried. “

At about twenty yards from her home along the highway is a cross. “There’s a soldier. Nobody knows who he is.”

How?

A few blocks further a woman pushes against her wheelbarrow. Also on this side of the village, the houses are almost all shot to pieces. A man knows who is responsible. “Putin,” he says. But most people blame the [Ukrainian] army. …

The woman stands still in front of a house that is directly hit by grenades. She did not give her name but she is 57 years old she says. “We’ve built my house for 30 years. Everything is burned. We are now homeless.” She stands at the home of her sister, also there is nothing left. “The house of my son’s destroyed. My mother’s house is completely burned. We are five families and we have nothing.”

“How shall we rebuild it. There is no work. How?”

US and NATO hold military exercises in western Ukraine, as ceasefire begins to fray in east: here.

Ukraine: Odessa: Leftists again arrested and tortured: here.

Ukraine’s neo-nazi Azov battalion


This video says about itself:

Neo-Fascist Mercenaries From Europe Fill the Ranks of Ukraine’s Army Azov Battalion

9 June 2014

One special forces group, fighting separatists in Eastern Ukraine, is bringing together many self-declared neo-fascists.

The volunteers joining the so-called Azov battalion, raised by Ukraine’s interior ministry, includes men from Russia, Sweden and Italy who believe in national socialism.

Al Jazeera’s David Chater reports from Mariupol.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Azov fighters are Ukraine’s greatest weapon and may be its greatest threat

The battalion’s far-right volunteers’ desire to ‘bring the fight to Kiev’ is a danger to post-conflict stability

Shaun Walker in Mariupol

Wednesday 10 September 2014 13.36 BST

“I have nothing against Russian nationalists, or a great Russia,” said Dmitry, as we sped through the dark Mariupol night in a pickup truck, a machine gunner positioned in the back. “But Putin’s not even a Russian. Putin’s a Jew.”

Dmitry – which he said is not his real name – is a native of east Ukraine and a member of the Azov battalion, a volunteer grouping that has been doing much of the frontline fighting in Ukraine’s war with pro-Russian separatists.

The Azov, one of many volunteer brigades to fight alongside the Ukrainian army in the east of the country, has developed a reputation for its fearlessness in battle.

But there is an increasing worry that while the Azov and other volunteer battalions might be Ukraine’s most potent and reliable force on the battlefield against the separatists, they also pose the most serious threat to the Ukrainian government, and perhaps even the state, when the conflict in the east is over. The Azov causes particular concern due to the far-right, even neo-Nazi leanings of many of its members.

Dmitry claimed not to be a Nazi, but waxed lyrical about Adolf Hitler as a military leader, and he believes the Holocaust never happened. Not everyone in the Azov battalion thinks like Dmitry, but after speaking with dozens of its fighters and embedding on several missions during the past week in and around the strategic port city of Mariupol, the Guardian found many of them to have disturbing political views, and almost all to be intent on “bringing the fight to Kiev” when the war in the east is over.

The battalion’s symbol is reminiscent of the Nazi Wolfsangel, though the battalion claims it is in fact meant to be the letters N and I crossed over each other, standing for “national idea”. Many of its members have links with neo-Nazi groups, and even those who laughed off the idea that they are neo-Nazis did not give the most convincing denials.

“Of course not, it’s all made up, there are just a lot of people who are interested in Nordic mythology,” said one fighter when asked if there were neo-Nazis in the battalion. When asked what his own political views were, however, he said “national socialist”. As for the swastika tattoos on at least one man seen at the Azov base, “the swastika has nothing to do with the Nazis, it was an ancient sun symbol,” he claimed.

The battalion has even drawn far-right volunteers from abroad, such as Mikael Skillt, a 37-year-old Swede, trained as a sniper in the Swedish army, who described himself as an “ethnic nationalist” and fights on the front line with the battalion.

For the commanders and the generals in Kiev, who many in Azov and other volunteer battalions see as responsible for the awful losses the Ukrainian army has suffered in recent weeks, especially in the ill-fated retreat from Ilovaysk, there was only contempt.

“Generals like those in charge of Ilovaysk should be imprisoned for treason,” said Skillt. “Heads are going to roll for sure, I think there will be a battle for power.”

The Ukrainian armed forces are “an army of lions led by a sheep”, said Dmitry, and there is only so long that dynamic can continue. With so many armed, battle-hardened and angry young men coming back from the front, there is a danger that the rolling of heads could be more than a metaphor. Dmitry said he believes that Ukraine needs “a strong dictator to come to power who could shed plenty of blood but unite the nation in the process”.

Many in the Azov battalion with whom the Guardian spoke shared this view, which is a long way from the drive for European ideals and democracy that drove the protests in Kiev at the beginning.

The Russian volunteer fighting with the Azov said he believes Ukraine needs “a junta that will restrict civil rights for a while but help bring order and unite the country.”

This disciplinarian streak was visible inside the battalion itself. Drinking is strictly forbidden. “One time there was a guy who got drunk, but the commander beat him in his face and legs until he could not move; then he was kicked out,” recalled one fighter proudly.

Other volunteer battalions have also come under the spotlight. This week, Amnesty International called on the Ukrainian government to investigate rights abuses and possible executions by the Aidar, another battalion.

“The failure to stop abuses and possible war crimes by volunteer battalions risks significantly aggravating tensions in the east of the country and undermining the proclaimed intentions of the new Ukrainian authorities to strengthen and uphold the rule of law more broadly,” said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International Secretary General, in Kiev.

Fighters from the battalion told the Guardian last month they expected a “new revolution” in Ukraine that would bring a more decisive military leader to power, in sentiments similar to those of many Azov fighters.

Despite the desire of many in the Azov to bring violence to Kiev when the war in the east is over, the battalion receives funding and assistance from the governor of Donetsk region, the oligarch Serhiy Taruta.