Pepe Escobar in eastern Ukraine: Howling in Donetsk

Asia Times’ roving correspondent Pepe Escobar just returned from a reporting trip to the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), the pro-Russian enclave in the Donetsk Oblast province of eastern Ukraine. The area’s been the scene of heavy fighting between pro-Russian rebels and the Ukrainian military. Escobar traveled to Donetsk at the invitation of  Europa Objektiv, a German-based non-governmental media project. He traveled at his own expense.

I’ve just been to the struggling Donetsk People’s Republic. Now I’m back in the splendid arrogance and insolence of NATOstan.

Quite a few people – in Donbass, in Moscow, and now in Europe – have asked me what struck me most about this visit.

I could start by paraphrasing Allen Ginsberg in Howl – “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness.”

But these were the Cold War mid-1950s. Now we’re in early 21st century Cold War 2.0 .

Thus what I saw were the ghastly side effects of the worst minds of my – and a subsequent – generation corroded by (war) madness.

I saw refugees on the Russian side of the border, mostly your average middle-class European family whose kids, when they first came to the shelter,  would duck under tables when they heard a plane in the sky.

I saw the Dylan of Donetsk holed up in his lonely room in a veterans’ home turned refugee shelter fighting the blues and the hopelessness by singing songs of love and heroism.

The Dylan of Donetsk

I saw whole families holed up in fully decorated Soviet-era bomb shelters too afraid to go out even by daylight, traumatized by the bombings orchestrated by Kiev’s “anti-terrorist operations”.

Soviet-era bomb shelter

I saw a modern, hard-working industrial city at least half-empty and partially destroyed but not bent, able to survive by their guts and guile with a little help from Russian humanitarian convoys.

I saw beautiful girls hangin’ out by Lenin’s statue in a central square lamenting their only shot at fun was family parties in each other’s houses because nightlife was dead and “we’re at war”.

Donetsk girls by Lenin's statue

I saw virtually the whole neighborhood of Oktyabrski near the airport bombed out like Grozny and practically deserted except for a few lonely babushkas with nowhere to go and too proud to relinquish their family photos of World War II heroes.

Bombed out Oktyabrski neighborhood

I saw checkpoints like I was back in Baghdad during the Petraeus surge.

I saw the main trauma doctor at the key Donetsk hospital confirm there has been no Red Cross and no international humanitarian help to the people of Donetsk.

Oktyabrski neighborhood, bombed hospital

Oktyabrski neighborhood, bombed hospital

I saw Stanislava, one of DPR’s finest and an expert sniper, in charge of our security, cry when she laid a flower on the ground of a fierce battle in which her squad was under heavy fire, with twenty seriously wounded and one dead, and she was hit by shrapnel and survived.

I saw orthodox churches fully destroyed by Kiev’s bombing.

I saw the Russian flag still on top of the anti-Maidan building which is now the House of Government of the DPR.

I saw the gleaming Donbass arena, the home of Shaktar Donetsk and a UFO in a war-torn city, deserted and without a single soul in the fan area.

I saw Donetsk’s railway station bombed by Kiev’s goons.

I saw a homeless man screaming “Robert Plant!” and “Jimmy Page!” as I found out he was still in love with Led Zeppelin and kept his vinyl copies.

I saw a row of books which never surrendered behind the cracked windows of bombed out Oktyabrski.

I saw the fresh graves where the DPR buries their resistance heroes.

I saw the top of the hill at Saur-mogila which the DPR resistance lost and then reconquered, with a lone red-white-blue flag now waving in the wind.

Top of the hill at Saur-moglia

Top of the hill at Saur-moglia

I saw the Superman rising from the destruction at Saur-mogila – the fallen statue in a monument to World War II heroes, which seventy years ago was fighting fascism and now has been hit, but not destroyed, by fascists.


The superman statue rising from the destruction at Saur-mogila

I saw the Debaltsevo cauldron in the distance and then I could fully appreciate, geographically, how DPR tactics surrounded and squeezed the demoralized Kiev fighters.

I saw the DPR’s military practicing their drills by the roadside from Donetsk to Lugansk.

I saw the DPR’s Foreign Minister hopeful there would be a political solution instead of war while admitting personally he dreams of a DPR as an independent nation.

I saw two badass Cossack commanders tell me in a horse-breeding farm in holy Cossack land that the real war has not even started.

I did not see the totally destroyed Donetsk airport because the DPR’s military were too concerned about our safety and would not grant us a permit while the airport was being hit – in defiance of Minsk 2; but I saw the destruction and the pile of Ukrainian army bodies on the mobile phone of a Serbian DPR resistance fighter.

I did not see, as Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe international observers also didn’t, the rows and rows of Russian tanks and soldiers that the current Dr. Strangelove in charge of NATO, General Breedhate, sees everyday in his exalted dreams invading Ukraine over and over again.

And I did not see the arrogance, the ignorance, the shamelessness and the lies distorting those manicured faces in Kiev, Washington and Brussels while they insist, over and over again, that the entire population of Donbass, traumatized babushkas and children of all ages included, are nothing but “terra-rists”.

After all, they are Western “civilization”-enabled cowards who would never dare to show their manicured faces to the people of Donbass.

So this is my gift to them.

Just a howl of anger and unbounded contempt.

(Copyright 2015 Asia Times Holdings Limited, a duly registered Hong Kong company. All rights reserved. Please contact us about sales, syndication and republishing.)

YuliaTymoshenko Caught in the Act


Saint Yulia Tymoshenko with friend Victoria Nuland


by Stephen Lendman –  March 26, 2014


Her leaked phone conversation was damning. She spoke with former Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council deputy secretary Nestor Shufrych. 


She called for turning Russia to ashes.  

Weeks earlier, Assistant Secretary of State for European and European Affairs Victoria Nuland was caught red-handed on tape.


Her leaked conversation circulated on You Tube. It’s more evidence of America’s dark side.


She and US ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt discussed regime change. Current putschist prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk was named as a Washington favorite.


The leaked video was damning. It’s four minutes long. It’s titled “Maidan puppets.” It refers to Kiev’s Independence Square.


In early March, Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet’s conversation with EU foreign policy head Catherine Ashton was leaked.


He was heard saying “there is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers, it was not Yanukovich, but it was somebody from the new coalition.”


Maybe more damning leaked conversations will follow. Don’t expect scoundrel media coverage.


Tymoshenko is a billionaire mega-thief. She heads the fascist Batkivshchya/All-Ukrainian Union (Fatherland) party. 


She and neo-Nazi Svoboda co-founder Andriy Parubiy co-led Washington’s 2004 Orange Revolution. He heads Ukraine’s National Defense and Security Council.


She was an illegitimate Orange Revolution prime minister. At the time, Western officials praised her as a force for democracy and freedom. So did media scoundrels.


She was imprisoned for embezzlement and serious “abuse of public office.”


Charges included illegally diverting $425 million meant for environmental projects into pension funds. A second case involved stealing around $130 million for personal use. 


Putschist extremists illegally freed her. She has presidential aspirations. She may head Ukraine’s illegitimate government after sham May elections.


At one time, evidence showed she had nearly 300 secret foreign bank accounts. Over a dozen remain open.


She controlled Ukraine’s United Energy Systems. Former Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko awarded it monopoly rights to import Russian natural gas. 


He profited handsomely for doing it. In 2004, a US court convicted him of money laundering, theft, and hiding funds in foreign accounts.


His indictment called his crime “part of a conspiracy (related to) receiv(ing) money from companies owned or controlled by Tymoshenko, including United Energy Systems, in exchange for which (he) exercised his official authority in favour of (her) companies.”


Tymoshenko was up to her ears in wrongdoing. Perhaps she remains so. She’s a mega-crook. 


US prosecutor Martha Moerosch cited “evidence that companies controlled by Tymoshenko took part in the schemes for transferring money to Lazarenko’s accounts.”


“There were bank statements” proving it, she said. Prosecutors found Tymoshenko funds worldwide. 


Ukrainian analyst Orysia Lutsevych said as Orange Revolution prime minister, “she did nothing to reform the economy and establish rule of law.”


“Instead, she focused her attention on infighting inside the Orange Revolution in order to prepare her presidential race.” 


“Most (Euromaidan protesters) were not demanding her release.” Her shady business practices earned her the nickname “gas princess.”


Her leaked phone conversation took place on March 18. She was caught saying she wants to mass-murder Russians. She wants Putin dead.


Media scoundrels reported nothing. The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and others were silent. Russia bashing lies drown out important truths. It’s standard presstitute practice.
RT International broke the story, headlining “Time to grab guns and kill damn Russians – Tymoshenko in leaked tape.”


Her vitriol was extreme. She urged scorched earth where Russia now stands, said RT. She said: “It’s about time we grab our guns and kill those katsaps (a derogatory Ukrainian term) together with their leader.”


She confirmed the call’s authenticity. She did so via Twitter, saying:


“The conversation took place, but the ‘8 million Russians in Ukraine’ piece is an edit.” 


“In fact, I said Russians in Ukraine – are Ukrainians. Hello FSB 🙂 Sorry for the obscene language.”


Shufrych’s press service went into damage control mode overdrive. It lied calling the tape fake. According to, the “conversation didn’t take place,” it said.


It followed Putin signing the Crimean reunification treaty. It kickstarted what culminated days later. 


Tymoshenko was enraged. Her inflammatory comments followed. She called what happened “really beyond all boundaries.” Her comments expressed rage to kill.


If she was in charge, she said, “there would be no f…ing way that they would get Crimea then.”


Shufrych said Ukraine “didn’t have any force potential” to keep Crimea. Tymoshenko said she would have found “a way to kill those katsaps.”


“I hope I will be able to get all my connections involved. And I will use all of my means to make the entire world raise up, so that there wouldn’t be even a scorched field left in Russia,” she added.


Referring to Putin, she said she’s ready to “grab a machine gun and shoot that m…erf…er in the head.”


She’s like Washington-installed fascist ultranationalist putschists running Ukraine. She belongs in prison. They have no legitimacy whatever. They represent mob rule.


They risk civil war. They risk spreading it cross-border. They risk confrontation with Russia. They risk the unthinkable. They threaten world peace.


Obama embraces them. He supports what demands rejection. They’re a rogue’s gallery of societal misfits. They’re hugely dangerous. They make mafia bosses look saintly by comparison.


They run an important central European country. It nearly matches France in territorial size. It’s almost double the size of Germany. It’s larger than Britain, Italy or Spain.


It’s important industrially. It’s called Europe’s breadbasket for good reason. It’s dark soil is the continent’s richest. It has over 130,000 square miles of arable land. 


Its other resources include iron ore, coal, manganese, natural gas, oil, salt, sulfur, graphite, titanium, magnesium, kaolin, nickel, mercury, and timber.


Western corporate interests plan to exploit them. They want Ukraine strip-mined for profit. Banks and other financial interests want its wealth stolen. IMF indebtedness assures taking it from ordinary Ukrainians.


The worst of conditions awaits them. They’re headed for greater than ever impoverishment, unemployment and deprivation. How they’ll react remains to be seen.


On March 23, RT International reported “(m)assive anti-Maidan rallies (across) eastern Ukraine…” They reject Kiev putschists. 


They want referendums deciding their future. Thousands rallied in Kharkov (Ukraine’s second largest city), Donetsk, Lugansk, Odessa and elsewhere.


Residents want Ukraine federalized. They want local authority free from fascist Kiev rule. Many favor joining Russia. It remains to be seen if Western Ukrainians begin acting the same way.


A previous article discussed reports about US private military contractors operating in Ukraine. Perhaps Academi (formerly Xe Services/Blackwater USA) forces are involved.


They’re mercenaries. They’re hired guns. They’re trained to kill. They operate extrajudicially. Academi maintains close CIA/Pentagon ties.


On March 2, Voice of Russia (VOR) headlined “Ukrainian leadership to hire US mercenaries to suppress eastern regions – source,” saying:


“Private military company (operatives) will be in charge of suppressing protest movements in Eastern Ukraine…” 


Itar-Tass was cited. It named Greystone Limited. It provides “protective services.” Its personnel include former law enforcement agency and military operatives. They’re skilled in the art of killing. It’s owned by Academi/formerly Blackwater USA.


VOR reported Itar-Tass saying “Ukrainian authorities believe that the Security Service is not able to suppress the protest mood and neutralize the leaders and activists of the pro-Russian movement in the eastern regions.” 


Illegitimate putschist president Alexander Turchinov believes it.


VOR reported a Ukrainian Security Service representative saying “it was decided to attract foreign mercenaries, who will serve as political police and state security protection.” 


Kiev appointed billionaire oligarchs running Dnepropetrovsk and Donetsk regions urged getting guns for hire involved. Perhaps they’re now operating in Eastern Ukrainian cities.


Separately, RT International headlined “Notorious Ukrainian nationalist militant shot dead in police raid.” Aleksandr Muzychko (aka Sashko Bilyi) was named.


He was killed in Rovno. It’s in western Ukraine. He coordinated ultranationalist neo-Nazi Right Sector elements. 


They include paramilitary extremists. They were centrally involved in Euromaidan violence. Their ranks include thousands. 


They wore hoods and helmets. They used fire bombs and other tactics. They performed sniper killings. Dmytro Yarosh is a Right Sector leader. He’s way over-the-top.


He openly boasts about “…fighting Jews and Russians till I die.”
He calls Russia Ukraine’s “eternal enemy.” He said war between both countries is inevitable.


Muzychko’s killing appeared other than what was officially reported. He was a wanted man. Perhaps others like him await the same fate.


According to Ukrainian First Deputy Interior Minister Vladimir Yevdokimov, he was shot resisting arrest.


His elimination appeared more like a political assassination. He and likeminded extremists were used to seize power.


They’re no longer needed. Regime security forces replaced them. They’re hardline. They’re controllable. 


Right Sector extremists are a power unto themselves. They promised revenge for Muzychko’s killing. They refused to disarm as putschists ordered. They formed their own political party.


What’s ongoing appears similar to Nazi Germany’s early days. Hitler used SA Brown Shirts to consolidate power. 


In 1934, its leader Ernst Rohm was eliminated during the so-called Night of the Long Knives. A potential Hitler rival was removed.


Other SA leaders were arrested. Many were shot. Rohm was given a chance to commit suicide. He refused. SS elements killed him.


Killing Muzychko may be part of an old-fashioned extremist regime purge. Other Right Sector elements may be targeted the same way.


They’re militant. They’re well armed. They’re able to fight back. How ably remains to be seen. RT International quoted Right Sector Rovno coordinator Roman Koval saying:


“According to Ukrainian First Deputy Interior Minister Vladimir Yevdokimov, he was shot resisting arrest.” Koval doesn’t believe it.


His elimination appeared more like a political assassination. He and likeminded extremists were used to seize power.


They’re no longer needed. Regime security forces replaced them. They’re hardline. They’re controllable. 


Right Sector extremists are a power unto themselves. They promised revenge for Muzychko’s killing. They refused to disarm as putschists ordered. They formed their own political party.


“We will take revenge on (Interior Minister) Arsen Avakov for the death of our brother,” said Koval.


Muzychko’s killing was “an assassination ordered by the minister. Muzychko never received any notices concerning criminal offenses and was never summoned anywhere,” he added.


Other Right Sector elements called the Interior Ministry’s version of what happen an “outright lie.” They claimed Muzychko’s hands were tied when killed.


According to a former Ukrainian intelligence official, its head, Valentin Nalivaichenko, ordered him eliminated.


“The goal of the operation was not to capture, but to neutralize Muzychko, to take him off stage,” he said.


RT said he was on a Ukrainian police wanted list. Moscow put him on an international one. It’s on charges of torturing and killing at least 20 Russian soldiers during the first 1994-95 Chechen War.


Internal Ukrainian power struggles may get nasty. They bear close watching. Washington’s dirty hands are very much involved.


Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 


His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”



Visit his blog site at 


Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 




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Breaking News: Russian draft resolution on Ukraine passed by UN Security Council

Published time: February 17, 2015 20:16

RT news




The United Nations Security Council has voted unanimously to approve a Russia-drafted resolution to support the Minsk agreements, reached by the leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine last week.

The resolution was submitted to the UNSC by Russia on February 13, a day after the Minsk deal was agreed on. It is aimed at endorsing and executing the Minsk agreements. The document also expresses concern over the continuing violence in eastern Ukraine, and stresses the importance of resolving the conflict peacefully.

“After the unprecedented diplomatic efforts last week, Ukraine has a chance to turn a dramatic page in its history,” said Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin, who expressed “gratitude” towards the other parties for endorsing the document.

Moscow would aid “in full” the realization of the agreement, he added.

The resolution calls for a “total ceasefire” and a “political solution” that respects the “sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine”.

Despite the unanimous vote on the resolution, a number of UN Security Council delegations keep selectively interpreting the new Minsk agreement, Churkin said.

“We are disappointed with the discussion, because some of our colleagues have gone on the usual rhetoric route, often the rhetoric was not harmless. Especially harmful in the present circumstances is an attempt to rewrite the Minsk agreement,” the Russian diplomat told the council.

Churkin urged the warring parties in Ukraine to create proper security conditions for the OSCE monitoring mission in the conflict zone and Debaltsevo, in particular.

“It is because of the continued shelling of cities, that the Minsk Agreement of September did not last as originally planned. Indeed, the OSCE observers should work including in the area of Debaltsevo, but in order to do so, they must be provided with security. We all have to remember that these are unarmed people, although in armored vehicles, but still without certain security conditions, it is difficult to expect that they will be able to effectively control something there,” said Churkin.

LIVE: UN Security Council discusses Ukraine


Streamed live on Feb 17, 2015

The Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations addresses the President of the Security Council in New York over the Ukrainian crisis at the 7384th Security Council meeting. The delegation of the Russian Federation requested urgent consultations regarding the situation in the country.