Ukrainian civilians against war


Debaltsevo in Ukraine

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

“Ukrainian soldiers booze too much”

Monday Sep 29 2014, 16:53 (Update: 29-09-14, 17:03)

“As long as we do not need to fight, we are free. Then we can drink,” said a Ukrainian military man. Together with a colleague, he is in a pub in the town Debaltsevo in eastern Ukraine, where recently there has been heavy fighting against the separatists again.

Even if there is no fighting, the military make their mark on everyday life in the city, says the owner of the pub to reporter Gert-Jan Dennekamp. He points to a hole in the bar. “That happens when a drunken soldier has a gun in his hands. If someone would have been standing there, then that person would have been dead now.”

Shelters

Two months, the Ukrainian military positioned themselves in Debaltsevo. They shoot over the town at the positions of the pro-Russian rebels. Many civilians have fled the city because of the violence. Of the more than 50,000 people, about half are left. They live mainly in shelters beneath the city.

“They came to liberate us, but from what?” cries a woman about Ukrainian soldiers in the city. “We love Ukraine, but why this? The army kills us, and they die themselves as well.” Her house is shot to pieces, but whether that was done by the Ukrainian military or pro-Russian rebels she does not know.

“They call themselves protectors, but I do not know against what they protect us,” a man agrees with her. He also has had more than enough of the Ukrainian military in the city. “It’s a bunch of alcoholics and thieves.”

German viewers criticise warmongering TV coverage on Ukraine


This video says about itself:

Ukrainians are burning their military draft cards [English subtitles]

27 July 2014

Ukrainians are burning their military writs, refusing to leave their sons to the Ministry of Defense.

By Sybille Fuchs in Germany:

German committee criticises television news coverage of Ukraine

26 September 2014

The supervisory committee of Germany’s ARD public television station has criticised the station’s coverage of developments in Ukraine. The station’s coverage had “given the impression of bias” and appeared to be directed against “Russia and Russian standpoints”, the committee declares in the minutes of its meeting of June 24, which has been published in the online magazine Telepolis.

The purpose of the nine-member committee is to represent the interests of viewers, and it has an advisory function. It is elected by the broadcasting councils of German states and consists of representatives from various associations, political parties, churches and other groups. Its current chairman is the lawyer and banker Dr. Paul Siebertz from Bavarian Radio. Also on the committee are the Catholic priest and journalist Stefan Wahl, a teacher, a natural health practitioner, a pastoral consultant and a representative of the federation of public officials.

Prior to meeting, the committee had analyzed several ARD reports on the crisis in Ukraine—a step that is regarded as unusual. The measure was taken following complaints from viewers about biased reporting. The members of the panel unanimously agreed that such criticisms were entirely justified.

The Advisory Council lists 10 points in which the reporting of the ARD was inadequate.

It criticises the absence of any fundamental analysis of the negotiations between the European Union (EU) and Ukraine on the Association Agreement. It criticises the fact that “NATO’s political and strategic intentions” with regard to its policy of eastern enlargement were not raised. Nor was any critical analysis made of the legitimacy of the “so-called Maidan council”. The same applies to the “role of the radical nationalist forces, particularly Svoboda” and their activities during the failure “of the agreement to resolve the crisis in Ukraine of 21 February”.

The “constitutional and democratic issues” involved in the removal of President Yanukovych and the role of right-wing forces in his overthrow were also not adequately investigated by the ARD. In addition, there was no critical analysis of the role of politicians such as Julia Tymoshenko and Vitali Klitschko.

The council also challenged the station’s coverage of the secession of Crimea from Ukraine. There was no proper investigation made of the procedure and legality of the Crimean referendum, its international legal status, the significance of popular participation in the vote, and the role of historical issues and the ethnic groups in Crimea in the secession process.

The criticisms raised by the committee are devastating, and confirm the assessment of the World Socialist Web Site, which wrote that news reportage on German public television had “degenerated into nightly propaganda spots”. Rather than informing the public, the reports promoted the policy of the government, which has played a leading role in the conflict in Ukraine.

Whatever does not fit into the framework of official propaganda is eliminated: the content of the Association Agreement; the subordination of Ukraine to the dictates of the EU and the International Monetary Fund; the role of fascists in the Maidan protests; the toppling of Yanukovych in a right-wing coup; and the massive rejection of the new rulers in Kiev by the Russian-speaking population in the east of the country.

The council cautiously refers to a “more or less subliminal transfer of opinion by moderators and reporters” and the selective choice of reports, “which even in the synopsis of all ten Ukraine hotspots fail to give a fairly comprehensive picture of the crisis itself.” In plain English, this means manipulation and censorship.

Television director Tom Buhrow is reported to have reacted in an “extremely agitated and in part irreverent” manner to the criticism raised by the Advisory Board. From ARD sources Telepolis learned that both Buhrow and television director Jörg Schönborn aggressively insisted on an editorial line to “defend Western standpoints”. In other words, the one-sided reporting was ordered from the highest levels. From 2002 to 2006, Buhrow was head of the ARD studios in Washington.

Nothing is likely to change after the report. The station’s deputy programme director, Thomas Baumann, vigourously rejected the council’s charge of biased reporting and praised the work of the station’s “local correspondents”.

The reporting of the country’s second main public station, the ZDF, is no better than that of the ARD. Web sites have compiled the numerous complaints from viewers detailing inaccurate and false reporting, including deliberate omissions of important information, selective cuts to interviews and conflicting standpoints in the same programme. Viewers have also criticised the lack of any comment on pictures of pro-Ukrainian forces sporting Nazi symbols such as swastikas, as well as and the trivialisation of the fascist Azov battalion, which is fighting on behalf of the Kiev government.

These reports make clear Germany’s public broadcasters are being deliberately used to bombard the population with misinformation and deception about a war it overwhelmingly rejects.

Following the withdrawal of the Ukrainian army from areas of eastern Ukraine, there have been a number of reports of mass graves in which right-wing Ukrainian militias buried the bodies of their opponents: here.

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.

USA: ‘MAJOR RENEWAL IN NUCLEAR ARMS’ “It is part of a nationwide wave of atomic revitalization that includes plans for a new generation of weapon carriers. A recent federal study put the collective price tag, over the next three decades, at up to a trillion dollars. This expansion comes under a president who campaigned for ‘a nuclear-free world’ and made disarmament a main goal of American defense policy.” [NYT]

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.