Ukrainian government bans BBC, other journalists

This video from the USA says about itself:

Princeton University professor Stephen Cohen on Ukraine and media blackout / censorship – 10.10.2014

From Associated Press news agency:

Ukraine Bars 3 BBC Journalists From Entering Ukraine

By Nataliya Vasilyeva

Sep 17, 2015, 6:00 AM ET

Ukraine has barred a few dozen reporters, including three BBC journalists, from entering the country as an unspecified security threat.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko late on Wednesday signed a sanctions list barring nearly 400 individuals from entering Ukraine, including BBC correspondent Steve Rosenberg and producer Emma Wells, both British, and Russian cameraman Anton Chicherov.

This is the first sanctions list against Russia and foreign individuals that Kiev has introduced since a conflict broke out in April 2014 in eastern Ukraine, claiming more than 8,000 lives so far.

The decree which was published on the president’s website said the reporters and media executives on the list presented an unspecified “threat to national interests, national security, sovereignty or territorial integrity.”

It did not specify why the long-serving Moscow-based BBC journalists were singled out but a spokesman for the presidential administration said late Wednesday night that the Ukrainian Security Service would give an explanation on Thursday.

The BBC’s foreign editor, Andrew Roy, described the ban as “a shameful attack on media freedom.”

“These sanctions are completely inappropriate and inexplicable measures to take against BBC journalists who are reporting the situation in Ukraine impartially and objectively, and we call on the Ukrainian government to remove their names from this list immediately,” he said in emailed comments.

Also on the list of the banned journalists are Antonio Pampliega and Angel Sastre, two Spanish reporters who disappeared in Syria in July and are believed to have been kidnapped by the Islamic State group, and two reporters for Russian news agencies in South Africa and Turkey with no clear links to Ukraine.

The Russian news agency Tass on Thursday described the decision to blacklist three of its reporters, one based in Washington, D.C., one in South Africa and one in Moscow, as “odd” since two of the three journalists do not even cover Ukraine. …

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said in a statement that it is “dismayed” by Poroshenko’s actions.

“While the government may not like or agree with the coverage, labeling journalists a potential threat to national security is not an appropriate response,” said the committee’s Europe and Central Asia program coordinator, Nina Ognianova.

Ukrainian nazi leader questioned as witness in murder of National Guardsmen

This video says about itself:

31 October 2012

Ukraine far-right Svoboda party anti-Semitism:

Ukraine’s far right-wing Svoboda party has secured nearly 12% of the vote in the country’s recent parliamentary election, provoking concern among European Jewish groups.

This is the first time in Ukraine’s brief history — the country only became independent in 1991 – that a far-right faction has entered parliament; the party received just 1 percent of votes cast at the previous election in 2007. Svoboda — which translates into English as “Freedom” – performed strongly in western Ukraine, which borders the European Union.

Member of the European Jewish Parliament Rabbi Levi Matusof implored people to “vigorously condemn, unambiguously isolate and unequivocally ostracize those seeking the revival of the darkest ideology of European history“.

The EU has witnessed a general rise in support for far-right parties since the onset of the global economic crisis in 2008, with parties such as Jobbik in Hungary and the Golden Dawn in Greece entering their respective national parliaments despite openly professing anti-Semitic views.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Fascist leader questioned over party’s role in riot

Saturday 5th September 2015

UKRAINIAN far-right leader Oleh Tyahnybok was questioned by police yesterday over his Svoboda party’s involvement in clashes that left three National Guard officers dead.

Sixteen members of the fascist group have been arrested on suspicion of orchestrating the riots, but Mr Tyahnybok was merely questioned as a witness.

Alongside the neonazi Right Sector group, Svoboda members have been behind attacks on socialists and trade unionists and have joined far-right paramilitary organisations fighting the anti-fascist resistance in the country’s east.

The party reveres nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera and Mr Tyahnybok, who famously posed with US senator John McCain when he visited Ukraine to show support for the Maidan movement, has praised the genocidal Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists he led for killing “Muscovites … Jews and other scum.”

He has also called in parliament for an official investigation into the “criminal activities of organised Jewry” in the country.

The party mobilised large numbers of thugs who attacked police with truncheons and planks with nails in them on Monday, while parliament was debating a constitutional proposal which would devolve more power to the regions.

Rumours that the far right are mobilising to seek to derail any negotiated solution to Ukraine’s civil war are rife in the country.

Armed fascists provided the muscle in the EU-backed overthrow of the Viktor Yanukovych government last year, and Kiev has since given them numerous political and security posts, making it difficult for the government to clamp down on their activities.

After war in eastern Ukraine, neo-nazis make another civil war in the capital

This 2014 video shows neo-nazi indoctrination of Ukrainian children. At 0:50 in the video, they do nazi salutes, shouting ‘Sieg Heil‘.

By Alex Lantier:

Ultra-right Maidan forces riot in Kiev over eastern Ukrainian autonomy law

2 September 2015

On Monday, elements of the Ukrainian far right rioted in Kiev outside the Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian parliament, as it passed a law on eastern Ukrainian autonomy.

The protest was called by forces in and around Ukraine’s US- and NATO-backed government, who denounced the bill as an intolerable concession to Moscow and Russian-backed separatists fighting the Kiev regime’s forces in eastern Ukraine. The protest was led by Svoboda, a fascist party that played a key role in last year’s Maidan protests and the ensuing coup that brought the current regime to power. Elements of the Radical Party, part of the government coalition led by President Petro Poroshenko, also reportedly joined the protest.

Several thousand people gathered before the Verkhovna Rada, which was ringed with riot police. Clashes between a few dozen toughs and security forces escalated as news emerged that the parliament had adopted the bill. Far-right protesters threw at least one grenade at the riot police and there were reports of fascists shooting at police.

According to a report by Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov on Facebook, “One person was killed, 125 were injured, 12 people are being operated on, and one soldier is in deep coma. Doctors have refused to give any forecasts on the condition of another five people.” He added that Deputy Interior Minister Vasily Paskal, Ukrainian TV journalists, and one French journalist were among the injured.

Later, reports emerged that two of the injured Ukrainian National Guardsmen had died.

In a press conference, Avakov said most of the casualties were caused “by several explosive devices thrown by people wearing Svoboda Party T-shirts, who provoked clashes with the National Guard in front of the Rada.” He added, “Thirty people have already been detained. But there will be more arrests. The grenade thrower has been captured, several grenades, including a maximum damage F1 grenade, have been seized from him.”

Avakov said he “directly blames” Svoboda party leader Oleh Tyahnybok for the riot, calling it “a crime, not a political stance.”

Ukrainian fascist organizations responded by denouncing the government and blaming it for the murder of the riot police. “I say that today we saw that Poroshenko has shed this blood,” Artem Skoropadskiy, the spokesman of the fascist Right Sector militia, told 112 Ukraine TV.

In a statement, Svoboda said that “responsibility for the attack near the parliament … lies with the current government,” calling it a “pre-planned provocation against Ukrainian patriots.”

The riot underscores the reactionary character of Washington’s client state in Ukraine. The US and Germany led the push for regime-change in Kiev in order to swing Ukraine into the geo-strategic orbit of NATO and the European Union. They supported the Maidan protests, led by a thin layer of far-right parties committed to waging all-out war against Russia and against ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine, which toppled the pro-Russian regime of the elected president, Viktor Yanukovych. The right-wing nationalist regime that was then installed pledged to carry out a free-market restructuring and austerity offensive aimed at the working class.

This operation had no substantial support outside these far-right parties and their allied paramilitary militias. These forces subsequently emerged as NATO’s key supports in prosecuting a civil war against opposition in mainly Russian-speaking areas in eastern Ukraine. Their militias are financed by various oligarchs and trained by the armed forces of NATO countries, including Poland and the United States.

The Kiev government glorifies the genocidal history of Ukrainian fascism. It has banned all reference to communism and granted formal recognition and pensions to the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), the World War II-era fascist army that aided the Nazis in massacring Jews and Poles in occupied Ukraine. The Radical Party, led by Oleh Lyashko, includes Yuri Shukhevych, whose father, Roman, was the UPA’s leader.

Nonetheless, the Kiev regime is unable to control the various fascist formations, such as the Right Sector and Svoboda. They represent a faction of the Ukrainian political establishment, with close ties to US and European military and intelligence agencies, that is seeking to push the NATO powers into a policy of outright war with Russia, a nuclear power.

They are incensed by any attempt to make concessions to ethnic Russian interests in the context of the Minsk truce between the Kiev regime and the eastern Ukraine separatists, which was brokered by Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine in February.

The law passed yesterday is part of a broader series of bills aiming to create the legal framework for autonomy in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine. Separate legislation would allow Russian to be the chosen language of people living in separatist-held areas and potentially allow them to form their own separate courts and militias. It would also grant amnesty to separatist forces who took part in military action against the Kiev regime.

The second reading of the bill passed Monday is expected by the end of the year. It is unclear whether the bill will pass, as it will need at that stage a two-thirds majority of 450 delegates. The bill passed Monday with only 265 votes.

Numerous Kiev regime parliamentarians said they opposed the bill, claiming it played into Russia’s hands and would lead ultimately to the Kiev regime totally losing control in the east. While the Donetsk and Luhansk regions are the only ones to have staged armed revolts against the Kiev regime, the government is broadly unpopular, particularly in cities of eastern Ukraine such as Kharkiv.

Victoria Voytsitska, a member of parliament from the Samopomich party, told the Guardian she was concerned that the granting of autonomy to Luhansk and Donetsk could set off a “domino effect,” with other parts of the country demanding autonomy. “For me, it’s like introducing cancer cells into a body that is already not as healthy as it should be. The cancer can spread very fast,” she said.

Former Prime Minister Yulya Tymoshenko said, “This is not a road to peace and not a road to decentralization. This is a diametrically opposite process, which will lead to the loss of new territories.”

5 Sep 2015. On a proposal from SP [Dutch Socialist Party] Senator Tiny Kox, an investigation will be carried out into whether recent legislation passed in Ukraine, which is leading to bans on left parties, conforms to the rules of the Council of Europe. Ukraine, in common with all other European countries, is affiliated to this organisation and every member state is obliged to ensure that its laws do not transgress human rights or the rules for a democratic constitutional state: here.

Ukrainian Svoboda neo-nazis kill three National Guardsmen

This video, by the (pro-present Kyiv government) Euromaidan PR says about itself:

Grenade Blasted Near Verkhovna Rada In Kiev Ukraine

31 August 2015

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Officer killed as far right clashes with Kiev police

Tuesday 1st September 2015

CLASHES erupted between Kiev police and members of the far-right Svoboda Party yesterday, with one officer being killed by a grenade.

Alongside the even more extreme neonazi Right Sector, Svoboda played a key role in overthrowing the elected Viktor Yanukovych government in 2014 and replacing it with the current regime.

It has also assisted Kiev in its war against anti-fascist resistance in Donbass — but has grown increasingly prone to turning on the authorities when it doesn’t get its way.

Parliament was discussing constitutional reforms that Svoboda opposes when masked thugs carrying sticks and truncheons attacked police outside the building.

Communist Party leader Petro Symonenko said there was “fierce competition” between the “clans” of the far right and noted that they had had tactical disagreements in their joint “dirty war in the Donbass” already.

Perhaps Svoboda was inspired by the violence of their fellow nazis in Heidenau and elsewhere in Germany …

Translated from daily De Volkskrant in the Netherlands:

Third death after riots in Kiev

The violent protests in the Ukrainian capital Kiev on Tuesday killed another two military men. Two members of the National Guard died on Tuesday at the hospital from injuries they had sustained a day earlier when a grenade exploded in clashes between protesters and riot police. On Monday also a soldier had died.

September 1, 2015, 12:03

About 130 people are still in hospital, five of them critically injured. Eighteen people arrested on Monday were still in custody on Tuesday.

The riots broke out after the parliament voted for a bill which provides more independence to the regions that are in the hands of the pro-Russian rebels.

Supporters of ultra-nationalist parties like Pravy Sektor (Right Sector) and Svoboda (Freedom) then tried to storm the parliament building, but encountered a hedge of members of the National Guard. They attacked the guards with bottles and stones and beat them with clubs. The leader of Svoboda, Oleh Tjahnibok, also took part in the fighting. Earlier, he had vainly tried to sabotage the vote in parliament, along with the ultra-nationalist deputy Oleh Lyashko.