By Ainhoa Aristizabal
Published by Unruly Hearts – 17 July 2015
All 21 pictures published by Time Magazine under the title “Go Inside the Frozen Trenches of Eastern Ukraine” are free promotion of Kiev’s Ukrainian Army and “volunteers” of the Aidar Nazi battalion.
The 21 pictures were taken by photographer Ross McDonnell who spent two weeks working along the Ukrainian front lines in Donetsk and Lugansk. “[There was] a lot of heavy shelling all day and all night, with tactical machine and mortar fire from open trenches on what was once the main road to Donetsk.”
For the Irish photographer who’s been covering the conflict since the first days of the Maidan revolution in early 2014, the goal now is to present “a snapshot of the day-to-day life on the battlefield” from the Ukrainian side. “There’s a sense of daily life in the trenches [establishing itself],” he says. “Many of the fighters have been there for months and they are exhausted. In Debaltseve, most of the fighters were in the encircled city for three months before withdrawing in the last days.”
But Mr McDonnell fails to tell us that more than 10,000 cases of desertion have been registered in the Ukrainian army since the outbreak of the Donbass war in April 2014, that angry Ukrainian Conscripts in Lviv threatened revolt, and that 400 Ukrainian servicemen abandoned the trenches and sought refuge in Russia.
Indeed a free promotion of the Kiev regime, its Ukrainian Army, and the Nazi battalions, which shows that perhaps either Mr. McDonnell was paid well for giving Americans only one side of the story, or that he joined the Media Disinformation regarding the Donbass Military Leadership.
In none of the pictures that mention the “volunteers” of the Aidar Nazi battalion has the author of the Time article, Olivier Claurent, mentioned the word “Nazi”.
According to Mr. Claurent, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced the withdrawal of more than 2,000 government troops from “the disputed and strategic town of Debaltseve, trying to cast the move in a positive light while Russia-backed rebels claimed victory.”. But not a word about how many times has President Poroshenko broken the cease-fire.
“Despite the bitter winter and heavy losses on both sides, the spirit has remained warm”, says McDonnell. “The people are pragmatic, and “we get a sense that the soldiering life is a job and a duty,” he tells TIME. “On the Ukrainian side, at least, there’s a huge amount of pride.” As individuals, they feel let down by their new government and by the West. They want to think they are ready to defeat the pro-Russian rebels, but they can’t take on Russia itself.”
Mr McDonnell tells us a fictitious, highly fanciful story that ignores reality. Since April 7, 2014 the Kiev authorities have been waging war against Donbass self-defense forces who rejected the legitimacy of the coup-imposed Ukrainian government and declared the independent republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.
Groups of right-wing Ukrainian nationalists are committing war crimes in the rebel-held territories of Eastern Ukraine, according to a laundry stain-free and fresh report from Amnesty International, as evidence emerged in local media of the Nazi“volunteer militias” beheading their victims.
Armed volunteers who refer to themselves as the Aidar battalion “have been involved in widespread abuses, including abductions, unlawful detention, ill-treatment, theft, extortion, and possible executions” Amnesty International reported.
None of these atrocities are mentioned in the Time article.
To Mr McDonnell: The self-defense forces of Donbass know they will win because they are committed to protect their people against the imposed Kiev regime assassins. It is not a matter of pride Mr. McDonnell. It is a matter of justice and commitment.