Deadly shelling in Ukraine despite ‘ceasefire’: Tragic farewell at Donetsk morgue

The wrath of god in all its fury will be unlocked to welcome the death of evil and all it portrays in the eyes of the good and just it shall be known…

 

 

 

Published on Oct 3, 2014

There’s supposed to be a truce in place in Eastern Ukraine, but it has been repeatedly breached. At least a dozen civilians were killed when a bus stop and a school were hit during some of the latest shelling. And as Maria Finoshina reports, local residents have learned to expect the worst. You may find some of the images in her report disturbing.

Eastern Ukraine crisis LIVE UPDATES: http://on.rt.com/1q9y34

NATO plane arrives in Ukraine with $4.5 mn worth of military aid for Kiev troops (VIDEO)

 

 

 

A massive Canadian transport plane arrived in Kharkov in August carrying US$4.5 million worth of non-lethal military equipment[really?] to help Ukraine “protect its eastern border against Russian aggression.”

The equipment includes “helmets, ballistic eyewear, protective vests, first aid kits, tents, and sleeping bags,” Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a statement on Thursday.

Canada said it received the request from the Ukrainian government. “Ukraine has asked for this and once again we are delivering,” Defence Minister Rob Nicholson Nicholson said at the Canadian Forces Base in Trenton.

The flight marks the first in a series, and all of the items will be delivered by the CC-130J Hercules plane. Canadian military personnel accompanied the equipment to Ukraine.

The technology provided will “allow Ukrainian security and border authorities to better detect and track the movement of illicit goods and people,” according to Harper.

The news comes after Russia banned the imports of fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, and dairy products from the 28 countries of the EU, the US, Canada, Norway, and Australia for one year.

Russia’s ban is set to cost Canadian pork farmers more than $500 million. But the Canadian government is continuing its current stance on the matter. “We will not be intimidated by these kinds of tactics,” Canadian Industry Minister James Moore said.

On Thursday, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen pledged that NATO will work with Ukraine on defense planning, as well as on how to reform its armed forces and institutions.

He also announced that NATO is planning joint exercises with Ukraine.The comments were made during a press conference in Kiev.

Rasmussen also mentioned that Russia has amassed 20,000 troops near the border and could be planning a ground invasion of its neighbor, mentioning that Russia “should not use peace-keeping as an excuse for war-making.”

In response, Moscow slammed NATO’s claims, calling them unsubstantiated.

“In Russia’s Ministry of Defense such statements only raise sympathy for the speakers of the Pentagon, the US State Department and NATO. It seems the people are serious, but they have to constantly improvise during their speeches to somehow add seriousness to their statements,” Ministry of Defense spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said.

Meanwhile the West blocked Moscow’s UN plea to reinstate ceasefire at MH17 crash site.

The UN Security Council failed to adopt a resolution on reinstating the ceasefire at the site of the Malaysian Airlines plane crash in eastern Ukraine after Russia’s draft was blocked by Western states.

Unfortunately, some UNSC members have reacted in their usual way as they oppose any criticism of the Ukrainian leadership,” Churkin said, adding that Lithuania, the US, and Australia began proposing inappropriate amendments to the text.

A few countries – such as Lithuania and the US – started to suggest amendments, saying that [Russia’s] draft lacks criticism towards the people they call ‘separatists’,” Churkin added.

The countries that rejected Russia’s draft resolution to the UNSC “are responsible for the endless bloodshed in the southeast of Ukraine” as they are indulging Kiev, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Moscow’s resolution did not concern the actions of the sides in the conflict, the Russian envoy to the UN said. It was rather dedicated to the announcement published on the website of the Ukrainian commission investigating the MH17 crash. According to that announcement, Kiev would not stick to the ceasefire, as international investigators had left the crash site.

As Churkin indicated, later on, the Ukrainian delegation to the UN informed the Security Council that this was not true, and the ceasefire is still in force.

Thus Russia submitted a document urging the Ukrainian authorities to publicly clarify the situation and calling on the sides of the conflict “to restrain from any actions that could violate the integrity” of the crash side.

Russia's Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin (Reuters/Lucas Jackson)

Russia’s Ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin (Reuters/Lucas Jackson)

The plane was brought down on July 17 with the loss of 298 people in the restive Donetsk region, Ukraine’s east. The UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution calling for an international investigation into the MH17 incident and demanded safe access to the site for investigators. Russia’s draft insisted the resolution should not be violated.

In the wake of the decision, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced a unilateral ceasefire in a 20-kilometer (12.4-mile) area around the site of the crash. However, shelling and fighting in the area has continued, hampering the experts’ work several times in the past weeks.

But on Thursday Kiev suspended the truce with self-defense forces at the crash site.

The ceasefire in the plane crash zone, announced by the President of Ukraine at the request of international experts, which has been thoroughly observed by the Ukrainian Armed Forces, will not be in place at the beginning of the second phase of the investigation,” the Ukrainian government said.

The government claims that the international mission has been halted because of “terrorists’ provocations” who “posed threats to the lives” of the recovery mission members.

On Friday, Kiev promised to renew the ceasefire in the 20 kilometer zone around the MH17 crash site, immediately after they receive a request from the international investigation group.

The suspension of the ceasefire in the MH17 crash area is a direct violation of the UN resolution, Vitaly Churkin stressed:

The truce was approved by UN Security Council resolution 2166, thus it is a clear violation of the resolution and will have very serious consequences for international inspectors’ abilities to conduct the investigation when they decide to return to the area.

Members of a group of international experts inspect wreckage at the site where the downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed, near the village of Hrabove (Grabovo) in Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine August 1, 2014. (Reuters)

Members of a group of international experts inspect wreckage at the site where the downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crashed, near the village of Hrabove (Grabovo) in Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine August 1, 2014. (Reuters)

Before the ceasefire was canceled, the Netherlands, who lead the international probe, announced it was halting the mission to recover victims and debris of the July 17 MH17 crash because of fighting between Ukrainian forces and rebels in the area.

The international investigating team arrived at the site days after the tragic incident, delayed for security reasons. Experts are expected to resume their efforts once the situation allows.

Currently, at least three areas containing the Boeing-777’s debris remain unexamined by the international mission, according to the Ukrainian government. The majority of experts will leave Ukraine until a decision on resuming the operation is made, it said in a statement.

Strong proof Right Sector, National Guard linked to mass graves near Donetsk – Moscow

A Donetsk People's Republic militiaman is at the site of the graves of peaceful residents discovered near Mine 22 "Kommunar" outside Donetsk (still from video courtesy of the Ruptly international news agency.)

A Donetsk People’s Republic militiaman is at the site of the graves of peaceful residents discovered near Mine 22 “Kommunar” outside Donetsk (still from video courtesy of the Ruptly international news agency.)

RT NEWS

Published time: October 01, 2014

 “We know the names of many of the commanders of military units, the militants of the Right Sector and the National Guard, who carry out criminal orders of the military and political leadership of Ukraine,” Markin said, adding that all of them will sooner or later have to answer “not only before the law, but also to their own conscience.”

There is irrefutable evidence that the National Guard and ultra-nationalist Right Sector fighters are responsible for the murder of people recently discovered in mass burial sites near Donetsk, eastern Ukraine said Russia’s Investigative Committee.

“For those who have doubts regarding who’s responsible for these murders, the Investigative Committee has irrefutable evidence – witness accounts and appropriate examinations – that directly indicates that this crime was committed by fighters from the National Guard and Right Sector,” the committee’s head Vladimir Markin in a statement on Wednesday.

The mass graves discovered in September near the city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine “are further eloquent testimony to the atrocities of the Ukrainian nationalists,” Markin said, adding that “all of the victims were tortured before their murder.”

The murders were described in detail in the testimony of a soldier from the ‘Dnepr’ battalion, Sergey Litvinov, detained in a Russian hospital as a civilian after he fled Ukraine, Markin said. Currently Litvinov is under arrest and is to be transferred to Moscow for further questioning, he added.

Litvinov “personally killed civilians not involved in the military conflict, including women and children residents of the villages Melovoye, Shiroky, Makarovo and Kamushnoye, guided by anonymous denunciations,” Markin said, quoting the soldier’s testimony.

“What is more interesting that this fighter received a money reward for the killings from his leadership sponsored by Igor Kolomoysky,” Markin said, referring the Kiev-appointed Dnepropetrovsk governor and prominent oligarch.

“We know the names of many of the commanders of military units, the militants of the Right Sector and the National Guard, who carry out criminal orders of the military and political leadership of Ukraine,” Markin said, adding that all of them will sooner or later have to answer “not only before the law, but also to their own conscience.

In the Wednesday statement the spokesman of the Investigative Committee stressed that all information and evidence of the crimes is provided by direct witnesses, primarily refugees who fled the region of military operations.

There are over 300,000 refugees who fled to Russia, according to Markin. Over 60,000 were questioned and 12,000 of them were confirmed to be victims, he added.

“In addition to eyewitness accounts, many victims have provided evidence to the Russian Investigative Committee and evidence in the form of soil samples, genetic material. These samples were thoroughly examined, confirming the testimony of witnesses and victims themselves.”

Markin slammed Ukraine’s General Prosecutor’s Office for failing to carry out its own investigation.

“What prevented andis preventing them now from conducting their own investigation into the massacres of the civilian population and to try to protect the innocent population of Donbass instead of making hysterical statements about the alleged ‘interference’ in the affairs of a sovereign republic?” he questioned.

The discovery of the graves was made on September 23 by self-defense forces, who were responding to information given to them by locals, who said that they had been dug by Ukrainian government forces. The OSCE confirmed the finding on September 25 and reported its concerns to the European Union.

‘Taped hands, gun wounds’: RT witnesses exhumation of mass graves in E. Ukraine

Mass graves with bodies bearing signs of violent death, and grieving relatives of those who were identified: That was the blood-curdling scene witnessed by an RT crew in a village near the city of Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine.

Four bodies were found in two shell craters behind a burned-out coal mine near the village of Nyzhnia Krynka, 35 kilometers northeast of Donetsk. RT’s Maria Finoshina reported from the burial site.

“All the facilities you can see here were abandoned a long time ago. It’s a very remote area and apparently those who did this didn’t want these corpses to be found,” Finoshina reported.

Among the four victims was 21-year-old Nikita Kolomiytsev, a local resident, whose grieving mother arrived at the scene of mass graves to identify her son.

“I couldn’t stand for him to be killed and thrown like a dog somewhere – I had to come and identify him,” Nikita’s mother, Galina, told RT.

Galina said she fled to central Ukraine to take her younger 16-year-old son out of harm’s way, but she felt she’d “failed to protect” her elder son.

“The Ukrainian army took [Nikita]away… my husband went there and told them – take me instead of my son. But they said they had taken him for a further prisoner swap.”

“The Ukrainian army took [Nikita]away… my husband went there and told them – take me instead of my son. But they said they had taken him for a further prisoner swap.”

“The Ukrainian army took [Nikita]away… my husband went there and told them – take me instead of my son. But they said they had taken him for a further prisoner swap.”

Galina was waiting for him to be exchanged and brought home, but he never returned to his mother.

“No one exchanged anybody for anybody. They just shot them dead here outside the village and threw them into the ground… like dogs,” she added, sobbing.

According to Konstantin Gerasimenko, chief medical examiner, “all four victims – they are all male – have multiple gunshot wounds to head and body.”

“Their hands were taped behind their backs. Some of them were only in their underwear,” he said.

RT’s crew also visited another burial area that the OSCE monitors discovered, located just 3 kilometers from the first site.

Initially the grave looked like a mound, with five names written on a plaque on top of it, all in Russian. The officials were not able to reach the area as it was mined. They have only started the exhumation now.

One of those who took part in the exhumation told RT that they have found five bodies, which have already started decomposing.

The plaque on top of the grave had four names on it, and a space for a fifth name, which was blank, with only a number there.

All four names had the victims’ dates of birth and death. The dates of death were all the same – August 27. An inscription on the plague reads: “Died for Putin’s lies.”

Screenshot from RT video

Screenshot from RT video

RT tried to find any eyewitnesses who could throw light on the incident.

“I know nothing,” said a local resident, “Ukraine troops came here and they asked us to leave and we fled… we just came back recently.”

According to Evgeniy, another local resident, “a camouflaged car with people from the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) inside came here – and all of them were gunned down at short range.”

The discovery of the graves was made on Sept. 23 by DNR forces who were responding to information given to them by locals, who said that the mass graves had been dug by Ukrainian government forces.

Two days before the bodies were discovered, Ukraine National Guard forces were stationed in the area, the locals reported.

On Friday, the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine confirmed that militia forces found three unmarked graves allegedly containing many bodies. Two of them were located in the Komunar coal mine, near the village of Nyzhnia Krynka, and one inside the village.

The burial site near the village of Nyzhnia Krynka, 35 kilometers north-east of the city of Donetsk (screenshot from RT video)

The burial site near the village of Nyzhnia Krynka, 35 kilometers north-east of the city of Donetsk (screenshot from RT video)

When asked about the discovery, the president of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, Ilkka Kanerva, told RT that “of course the OSCE monitoring mission in there must be also very concerned about that.”

On Wednesday, the head of Russia’s presidential human rights council, Mikhail Fedotov, called on the authorities to do everything to “ensure an independent international probe” and “let international human rights activists and journalists” gain access to the site in Eastern Ukraine’s embattled Donetsk region.

On Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Moscow will pursue an open and independent inquiry into the killings of people found in mass graves in the east of Ukraine.

“Already in the last [OSCE] report, which was presented in Vienna, the first signs confirmed that the victims were civilians, and that they were shot at close range, and before that they could have been abused. All this worries us very much. We cannot blame anyone until we see the results of the investigation,” Lavrov said.

 

 

 

 

 

War Crimes Committed by Ukraine Military in Donbass: From Illegal Arms Trafficking to Human Organs Trade

By Alexander Donetsky
Global Research, September 26, 2014
Strategic Culture Foundation

Region: Russia and FSU
Theme: Crimes against Humanity
In-depth Report: UKRAINE REPORT

 

ukraine-flag1Numerous reports on systematic destruction of populated areas in the Donbass and Luhansk regions by Ukrainian military have been becoming public domain. The evidence has been plentiful: photos, videos, international observers and journalists’ reports.

Neither the United States nor Europe have paid attention to this information as they considered it to be part of the «Kremlin’s propaganda». Western media outlets have painted the use of internationally banned arms and warfare tactics as legal means of waging war against terror.

Now the OSCE has to recognize the fact that the crimes have been committed by Ukrainian military and National Guard battalions. For instance in the use of non-conventional weapons, the execution of civilians and the torture of prisoners. According to the report by Amnesty International, the servicemen of the Aydar battalion practiced kidnapping and torture of civilians. Some time ago international observers discovered mass graves of tortured people.

Corpse - Ukraine

Corpse – Ukraine

Those who live in Donbass have many times reported «mysterious graves» findings. Two movable crematoriums have been bought in Germany to get rid of the bodies. The burnt soldiers were reported to be missing in action. Many corpses have been burnt without registration and leaving any trace whatsoever.

On September 23, 332 Ukrainian military were put into a grave near Dnepropetrovsk without identifying the names of the deceased.  Only 22 names were known. On September 22, in Zaporozhye 55 unrecognized corpses of Ukrainian soldiers were buried. In Dnepropetrovsk 11 more unrecognized servicemen, who had lost their lives in Ilovaisk, were put into grave.

The atrocities committed by Neo-Nazi (Right Sector) militants need to be described more in detail. Alexander from Donetsk has spent a few weeks in prison. He says they beat him up the first two days without asking questions. Then they used force during interrogations passing him from one organization to another. He did not know anything to share and finally ended up in the hands of the Ukraine’s Security Service. «They put a sack on my head and started to beat me with their legs. Still I was happy to be a prisoner of the Security Service because I knew they would not kill me while asking questions».

mass grave ukraine

mass grave ukraine

The OSCE observers discovered the mass grave near the 22-th Kommunarka mine in Lower Jug. Presumably, civilians were shot by the soldiers of the battalion Aydar. The victims were treated inhumanely, many bodies had hands tied behind their back, and they were shot in the back of the head at close range. One body belonged to a pregnant woman, the other female corpse was decapitated. The traces of torture are clearly visible, murder scheme is the same: hands tied behind the back, shot in the head. Self-defense militia forces managed to find four locals and six Ukrainian soldiers buried. Mass graves were found near Telmanovo, Yenakievo, Starobeshevo and many more in other settlements. Some graves were well hidden. In general, the pattern is similar everywhere: signs of decapitated bodies, bullet wounds, severed limbs.

 

mass grave ukraine

mass grave ukraine

Reports from Ukrainian military hospitals suggest that in some cases human organs were extracted and exported to the United States and Europe to be used for transplant… As Carla del Ponte, former Chief Prosecutor of the United Nations International Criminal Court, remembered in her book The Hunt: Me and the War Criminals, Albanian Kosovars did the same thing.

 

mass grave ukraine

mass grave ukraine

The evidence is plentiful – Ukraine has become a safe haven for human organs traffickers. Ukrainian doctors say there are foreigners working in the national hospitals and they discuss on the phone which human organs of wounded soldiers could be sold and used for transplant.

Ukrainian hackers broke and circulated the correspondence between the former lawyer of Yulia Timoshenko Sergey Vlasenko and German doctor Olga Weber. The main suppliers of the goods were referred to as the commanders of the National Guard. Allegedly donated organs are taken under the order of Western buyers. It’s not the only instance. In the first days of the Maidan protests the Neo-Nazis from the Svoboda political party headed by Oleh Tyahnybok seized the crematorium at Baykov Cemetery in Kiev. There were some doctors among them Tyahnybok had worked with before they were reported to be involved in human trafficking schemes. After that a number of mysterious disappearances of people occurred in Kiev.

 

mass grave ukraine

mass grave ukraine

The last prisoners exchanges between Novorossia self-defense units and Ukrainian military revealed the cases of fraud. The military tried to present local peasants as prisoners of war.

It will take time to identify those who were taken prisoner holding weapons in their hands – were they shot, dead as a result of torture or sold for organs? Europe can help by putting an end to the support it provides for military criminals in Kiev and the Neo-Nazi at their service.

War over? Both sides in Ukraine conflict sign treaty banning military action

Fighters of the Donetsk People's Republic militia in the village of Yasenevka. (RIA Novosti/Gennady Dubovoy)

Fighters of the Donetsk People’s Republic militia in the village of Yasenevka. (RIA Novosti/Gennady Dubovoy)

Kiev and self-defense forces signed a memorandum aimed at effectively halting all fighting in eastern Ukraine after talks in Minsk. It creates a buffer zone, demands a pullback of troops and mercenaries, and bans military aviation flybys over the area.

READ MORE: Obama declines to give Ukraine ‘lethal aid’ despite Poroshenko’s plea

The signed memorandum consists of nine points, former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma told journalists following peace talks in Minsk, Belarus.

“The first [point] is to stop the use of weapons by both sides; the second is to stop all military and militia units in their positions as of September 19. The third is to ban the use of all types of weapons and offensive action,” former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma, who represents Ukraine at the talks, told journalists.

The agreement outlines a buffer zone of 30km free from heavy weapons and bans all military aircraft from flying over the rebel-controlled part of eastern Ukrainian territory. An exception is being made for the surveillance drones used by the OSCE to monitor the situation, Kuchma said.

Kiev said it would start the pull-back of heavy weapons under the agreement starting on Saturday.

Ukrainian servicemen ride on an armoured vehicle near the eastern Ukrainian town of Pervomaysk, September 17, 2014. (Reuters/David Mdzinarishvili)

Ukrainian servicemen ride on an armoured vehicle near the eastern Ukrainian town of Pervomaysk, September 17, 2014. (Reuters/David Mdzinarishvili)

War over? Both sides in Ukraine conflict sign treaty banning military action

Fighters of the Donetsk People’s Republic militia in the village of Yasenevka. (RIA Novosti/Gennady Dubovoy)
1.8K54437

Kiev and self-defense forces signed a memorandum aimed at effectively halting all fighting in eastern Ukraine after talks in Minsk. It creates a buffer zone, demands a pullback of troops and mercenaries, and bans military aviation flybys over the area.

However, Ukraine, Poland, and Lithuania have agreed to launch a joint military force which is expected to hold its first drill next year.

The defense ministers of the three states signed the agreement in Warsaw on Friday, in the presence of Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski.

Polish defense officials told Reuters that LITPOLUKRBRIG (Lithuanian–Polish–Ukrainian Brigade) could take part in peacekeeping operations or, if necessary, form the basis of a NATO battle group in the region.

Lithuania and Poland are NATO members, while Ukraine’s recent appeal for a special status outside the bloc was turned down by US president Barack Obama.

Polish servicemen take part in military exercises outside the town of Yavoriv near Lviv, September 19, 2014. (Reuters/Roman Baluk)

Polish servicemen take part in military exercises outside the town of Yavoriv near Lviv, September 19, 2014. (Reuters/Roman Baluk)

The signed memorandum consists of nine points, former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma told journalists following peace talks in Minsk, Belarus.

“The first [point] is to stop the use of weapons by both sides; the second is to stop all military and militia units in their positions as of September 19. The third is to ban the use of all types of weapons and offensive action,” former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma, who represents Ukraine at the talks, told journalists.

The agreement outlines a buffer zone of 30km free from heavy weapons and bans all military aircraft from flying over the rebel-controlled part of eastern Ukrainian territory. An exception is being made for the surveillance drones used by the OSCE to monitor the situation, Kuchma said.

Kiev said it would start the pull-back of heavy weapons under the agreement starting on Saturday.

Ukrainian servicemen ride on an armoured vehicle near the eastern Ukrainian town of Pervomaysk, September 17, 2014. (Reuters/David Mdzinarishvili)

Ukrainian servicemen ride on an armoured vehicle near the eastern Ukrainian town of Pervomaysk, September 17, 2014. (Reuters/David Mdzinarishvili)

All foreign mercenaries must be withdrawn from eastern Ukraine by both sides of the conflict, the signed Minsk memorandum states, according to Kuchma.

“We have agreed on the withdrawal of all foreign mercenaries from both sides,” Kuchma said.

Both sides also vowed to continue the exchange of prisoners.

The OSCE has been tasked to monitor that both sides adhere to the memorandum’s conditions. The organization’s observers will be sent to observe the situation along the entire zone of the ceasefire, Itar-Tass reported.

Five hundred OSCE observers will be sent to monitor the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, Lugansk People’s Republic representative Aleksey Karyakin said, adding that the meeting was quite difficult.

“We were able to substantially increase the number of OSCE observers in the conflict zone from 300 to 500,” he said.

The negotiations were also attended by Russia’s OSCE representatives.
Kiev, rebels exchange prisoners

On Saturday, the self-defense forces of the People’s Republic of Donetsk and Ukrainian security services exchanged prisoners in accordance with the “40 for 40” formula on Saturday.

The exchange took place near the village of Konstantinovka, situated 60 kilometers south of the city of Donetsk.

 

Fighters of the Donetsk People’s Republic militia in the village of Yasenevka. (RIA Novosti/Gennady Dubovoy)

Kiev and self-defense forces signed a memorandum aimed at effectively halting all fighting in eastern Ukraine after talks in Minsk. It creates a buffer zone, demands a pullback of troops and mercenaries, and bans military aviation flybys over the area.

The signed memorandum consists of nine points, former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma told journalists following peace talks in Minsk, Belarus.

“The first [point] is to stop the use of weapons by both sides; the second is to stop all military and militia units in their positions as of September 19. The third is to ban the use of all types of weapons and offensive action,” former Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma, who represents Ukraine at the talks, told journalists.

The agreement outlines a buffer zone of 30km free from heavy weapons and bans all military aircraft from flying over the rebel-controlled part of eastern Ukrainian territory. An exception is being made for the surveillance drones used by the OSCE to monitor the situation, Kuchma said.

Kiev said it would start the pull-back of heavy weapons under the agreement starting on Saturday.

Ukrainian servicemen ride on an armoured vehicle near the eastern Ukrainian town of Pervomaysk, September 17, 2014. (Reuters/David Mdzinarishvili)

Ukrainian servicemen ride on an armoured vehicle near the eastern Ukrainian town of Pervomaysk, September 17, 2014. (Reuters/David Mdzinarishvili)

All foreign mercenaries must be withdrawn from eastern Ukraine by both sides of the conflict, the signed Minsk memorandum states, according to Kuchma.

“We have agreed on the withdrawal of all foreign mercenaries from both sides,” Kuchma said.

Both sides also vowed to continue the exchange of prisoners.

The OSCE has been tasked to monitor that both sides adhere to the memorandum’s conditions. The organization’s observers will be sent to observe the situation along the entire zone of the ceasefire, Itar-Tass reported.

Five hundred OSCE observers will be sent to monitor the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, Lugansk People’s Republic representative Aleksey Karyakin said, adding that the meeting was quite difficult.

“We were able to substantially increase the number of OSCE observers in the conflict zone from 300 to 500,” he said.

The negotiations were also attended by Russia’s OSCE representatives.
Kiev, rebels exchange prisoners

On Saturday, the self-defense forces of the People’s Republic of Donetsk and Ukrainian security services exchanged prisoners in accordance with the “40 for 40” formula on Saturday.

The exchange took place near the village of Konstantinovka, situated 60 kilometers south of the city of Donetsk.

The third convoy of Russian humanitarian aid has also crossed the border into Ukraine, Itar-Tass reported. The convoy consists of around 200 vehicles carrying some 2,000 tons of aid to the residents of southeastern Ukraine – including cereals, canned food, generators, medicine, warm clothes, and bottled water.

Before the convoy’s departure, Ukrainian border guards had been repeatedly invited to inspect the cargo by the Russian side. However, the border patrol declined all offers without citing any particular reason.

Подготовка к отправке третьего гуманитарного конвоя в Ростовской области

Gaza, Ukraine: The War Drums are Sounding the Alarm

 

By Joachim Hagopian
Global Research, August 16, 2014

Region: Middle East & North Africa, Russia and FSU
Theme: Crimes against Humanity, Media Disinformation, US NATO War Agenda

As a writer of articles reporting news events of the world, I often seek to expose the concealed truth beneath the layers of a monolithic state sponsored propaganda machine called mainstream media that simply spreads the lies our leaders tell. And as perilously out of control the earth appears to be spinning this year, no events or developments cut to the core of what it means to be human than responding to what has been taking place this summer in Gaza.

Unfortunately the human condition has never been lifted by significant enough evolutionary advancement to end genocide, war and violence on this planet. One glance at the world condition today and one might wonder if that lofty utopian-like goal and ideal to end war and violence may ever be achieved by mankind. Today’s cultural climate appears to breed extreme polarization in people and nations’ rush to war to demonize a chosen enemy through willful deceit used to justify bloodshed on a global scale. What is happening today bodes a forbidding dark cloud over humanity still early in the twenty-first century.

2014 may go down in history as the year that the West initiated the Second Cold War on its way to initiating the Third World War. Spearheaded by arrogant American Empire power lusting desperately for global hegemonic control, this year the US rush to war is backed by its usual suspects, Europe-NATO-British Commonwealth, and its usual Middle East partners-in-crime Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Right on cue the war drums are sounding the alarm, ramping up the red line in the shifting sands of tit-for-tat rhetoric. The US government has been pushing its nemesis the Russian bear’s back up against the wall with missiles on its every doorstep border. With February’s US staged coup in Ukraine, installing a corrupt and violent neo-Nazi US puppet government, Russia in defense hastily retook its old territory back after Crimean citizens voted for annexation.

The US was beaten to the punch in its obviously foiled land and sea grab for Black Sea control on the geopolitics chessboard. Putin asserted his regional dominance reclaiming control over his naval fleet long stationed in Crimea, much to the embarrassed chagrin of the sole global superpower the US. State Department neocon Victoria Nuland and President Obama misjudged the cagey bear the US thought they had effectively caged in.

But in recent weeks the fighting between the ethnic Russian separatist residents has only intensified in eastern Ukraine. Just in the last two weeks alone the death toll in the region has nearly doubled since the conflict began in mid-April. UN human rights officer Cecille Pouilley offered her “conservative estimate” that as of August 10th at least 2,086 people have been killed on both sides, up from only 1,129 as of July 26th. Nearly 5,000 Ukrainians have been wounded.

Ukraine military’s rocket attacks on the rebel controlled cities of Donetsk and Luhansk have intensified this last week, destroying several high rise apartment buildings in a Donetsk neighborhood in the southwestern portion of the city. The government troops have the two largest cities in eastern Ukraine under siege with daily artillery strikes on both residential areas housing civilians as well as power plants and pipelines, wiping out access to electricity and gas for most city residents. Water supply is also nonexistent and only the basic foodstuffs are sold in the few stores that still remain open. Humanitarian conditions are fast becoming more dire for the hapless victims whose only crime is living in separatist strongholds and supporting their desire like their fellow ethnic Russians in Crimea to be annexed as part of the Russian Federation.

In a recent admission of the truth this week by the New York Times, the strategy of the Ukraine government is to lay siege to Luhansk and Donetsk by thoroughly pulverizing the cities with artillery rocket firepower prior to sending in overly zealous paramilitary forces to conduct “chaotic, violent assaults” in a mop up campaign. The government military forces then plan to follow the paramilitary as a final push to quell the revolt and restore order.

The militia groups are apparently volunteers mostly from inside Ukraine numbering about 7,000. Many are known neo-Nazis. One of the paramilitary forces known as the Azov battalion led by a commander named Andriy Biletsky proudly displays his battalion banner the World War II German SS Wolfsangel flag. Members of the volunteer militias fighting alongside the government army in eastern Ukraine regard ethnic Russians as “Untermenschen” or subhuman. In a recent British Telegraph article, Biletsky is quoted:

“The historic mission of our nation in this critical moment is to lead the White Races of the world in a final crusade for their survival. A crusade against the Semite-led Untermenschen.”

Apparently the Ukraine civil war is attracting Nazis from all over Europe into supporting America’s “good guys” in Kiev by fighting in these extremist militia groups. According to Biletsky, he commands volunteers from Ireland, Italy, Greece and Scandinavia. The US and Kiev governments know that political right wing extremists from Nazi hate groups are participating in the anti-ethnic Russian conflict but maintain that since they are on the right side “fighting for Ukraine’s freedom,” their particular taste for ethnic cleansing and anti-Slavic and anti-Semitic mindset matters very little.

But then the US has a long track record financing, training and supporting thugs and killers all over the globe, whether they are al Qaeda terrorist mercenaries acting as US hired guns fighting our proxy wars in the 90’s Bosnia, or during this decade in Libya, Syria or Iraq, all their war atrocities aside, they remain on the “right side” with US backing. Anyone willing to fight against any designated US enemy, and since right now enemy number one is Russia, then they are the US buddies.

In America’s wars, there is no sense of ethics, rules or code of conduct, least of all a moral compass guiding US war policy, not when it comes to geopolitics. Customarily violating all international laws under the UN Charter or Geneva convention rules with impunity makes America exceptional, and a very hypocritical and poor example to the rest of the world. After all, Obama believes that if he keeps repeating his mantra lie enough that he and Americans are “truly exceptional,” then he and the rest of the world should also believe it. But at this point, Obama has no more credibility and is not fooling anyone but himself.

Meanwhile, the US this week goes from supporting Nazi hate groups on the ground in Ukraine to halting a humanitarian aid convoy consisting of 242 white trucks filled with 2,000 tons of canned meats, generators and sleeping bags being sent by Russia that it maintains have been cleared to enter Ukraine by the International Red Cross. Despite the Ukraine government initially agreeing to the aid delivery allowing the convoy to pass from Russia into Ukraine through the relatively peaceful region at the Kharkiv border, both Kiev and Washington now suddenly have backed off, suspecting that it is Putin’s Trojan Horse trick transparently concealing his actual intention to invade eastern Ukraine.

So it’s okay for Nazi hate groups to fight on the US side but when charity relief from the big bad enemy Russia arrives, it’s got to be categorically denied. The supposed change of mind and heart now prohibits the Russian convoy from serving the people living in eastern Ukraine who are in desperate need as the convoy sits idly to the south in the Russian city of Voronezh awaiting further instructions. Speculation over which border gate the convoy will be allowed to enter is the big question that no one seems to answer. Russia has said that it will cooperate with the mandated Red Cross inspection once inside the Ukraine border. But Kiev is adamantly opposed to letting Russian efforts gain access into Ukraine at a checkpoint controlled in the south by the rebel forces.

And then the latest in a series of East vs. West economic sanctions are unfurling in a game of one-upmanship that now has the US-EU once again coming out on the apparent losing end. This week’s Russian boycott of all European produce and meat exports hurt Europe the most, especially the already decimated EU nation Greece as Russia simply turns to South America for its food source with its new Bolivian trade partner.

Once Putin chooses to utilize the ace up his sleeve and threaten to cut off the gas-oil lifeline to Europe, the EU-NATO as US puppets will most likely suddenly cease their empty bandwagon rhetoric and abandon Obama once again with egg on his face. It was nearly a year ago when Obama was outwitted by Putin credited with possibly saving the world when Putin brokered the last minute deal to ward off what may have ended up World War III, leaving the lone fool, egg-faced Obama calling for air strikes on Syria over another shameful US false flag with the chemical weapons attack that the US created and backed al Qaeda rebels perpetrated against innocent Syrians in a Damascus suburb last August.

Each time Putin the shrewd former-KGB operative out-maneuvers the deceitful paper tiger Obama, the world loses even more respect for the US President who the rest of the world secretly has come to resent. His exceptionalism got him caught red-handed spying on the rest of the world. And this year with Osama leading the “hate Putin” charge, Obama has Europe inching closer to fighting Russia on their own turf and soon will be left with fruit rotting on its vines and likely freezing cold homes this winter. Let’s hope that Washington does not push Europe and America into an all out nuclear or even a conventional ground troop war with Russia for all of our sake.

In the meantime, in the face of the US-EU-NATO unsuccessful ploy to demonize Putin into becoming the aggressor and thereby justify the start of that same WWIII that got away from Obama last year, Putin has once again in self-defense rapidly rallied solidarity support from its powerful neighbor to the East, its old Communist ally Red China securing a $400 billion gas pipeline deal.

Putin then seized the opportunity to hit the US where it will hurt the most in his quest to kill the US dollar as the international fiat currency for good by coalescing an emerging, sleeping giant BRICS coalition into forming a powerful economic partnership with nations Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa all going off the US dollar. The American Achilles heal will be its likely economic collapse and severest depression with the fast approaching death of the US dollar. But as the only world superpower operating on steroids with false senses of security and immunity, the seemingly out of control American Empire’s nonstop global aggression (dancing to the tune of its oligarch puppet master), bullying, extorting and destroying so much of the world for such a long time is directly leading America to its own epical karmic downfall. What goes around comes around and America’s all too eminent doom and gloom is accelerating at the same freefall speed that the neocons took down building seven on 9/11.

With war and genocide raging in eastern Ukraine, Syria and now Gaza, and East versus West hotspots heating up on every corner of the globe, that apocalyptic Armageddon bloodbath that Christians have long been waiting for (with the promise of Jesus’ return right afterwards complete with rapture for God’s chosen ones), has jarred awake citizens around the world bracing for its feared end as we know it. Others mostly in America are sticking their heads in the sand while playing their escapist video games or too preoccupied with the latest Hollywood tragedy and/or scandalous gossip.

Meanwhile, the global stage continues unraveling for the ultimate bloodbath currently being set into motion. This week reminded the world of the atrocities of atomic warfare committed 69 years ago when America’s obsession for ultimate destruction and lies have now unequivocally been let out of the bag. In August 1945 President Truman knew Japan was desperate to surrender, yet went ahead anyway dropping the atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, of course accompanied by the diabolical lie that it was only done as a last resort to save lives. In the same way that the American Empire today seems bent on plunging us headlong into World War III, America had to show the world who the boss was back in 1945 and having never learned from history, the US today even at risk of committing suicide is still determined to show the rest of the world who the boss is in 2014.

The lie-hard diehards still believe that needlessly and senselessly massacring up to a quarter billion innocent human beings in August 1945 was the required sacrifice to hold humanity in check from ever using nuclear bombs again. They still feebly maintain that those shameful events forty-nine years ago have successfully prevented human extinction on planet earth, still desperately trying to justify that heinous US crime against humanity by holding onto the belief that those Japanese sacrificial lambs did not die in vain. What will their excuse be when the next nukes are launched as Obama and the Pentagon to this day are plotting preemptive first strike scenarios against Russia. Oh, that’s right, there won’t be any more revisionists left alive to even bother rewriting their lies into US history – because the US will be history, along with the entire planet earth.

By definition genocide is the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious or national group. Based on the aggressive, systematic and relentless attack against the Palestinian people living in Gaza since June, destroying their residential neighborhoods, their schools and their hospitals, including infrastructures like water treatment facilities and power plants, by any stretch of the definition, Israeli actions constitute genocide. Upwards of near 2,000 Palestinians have been killed compared to only 67 Israelis, all but three being soldiers. More than 10,000 Palestinians have been wounded and nearly 500,000 have been displaced. Though the Israeli government insists that at least 900 of the dead were members of Hamas, it seems far more probable that the vast majority have been innocent civilians, many of whom were women and children. Some sources claim up to 80% of the dead were civilians. The human suffering in Gaza is unimaginable.

The old biblical truism that violence begets violence comes to mind on the same ancient biblical stomping grounds where this Israeli slaughter of Palestinians is being perpetrated daily all summer long. Though through Egypt both sides agreed to a cease-fire proposal several days ago, typically it never lasts long before the killing is resumed. As the world watches in horror, Israel is taking advantage of US government’s complicit support by murdering as many innocent Palestinian people that the US and world will allow them to kill.

The June murder of three Israeli teenagers have led up to this present bloodbath unfolding on Gaza. It appeared that Netanyahu seized the moment knowing those responsible for murdering the Israeli boys were not operating directly under the Hamas authority. But the truth did not matter when the agenda was to kill Palestinians, any Palestinians.

This lopsided so called war illustrates the tragic insanity of violence, and how it never can be a just or worthy cause to making anything better. Another history lesson for the ages buried in all the lies, hatred and propaganda.

What is most clear is that war criminal Benjamin Netanyahu is using this latest war for ethnic cleansing purposes. To critics who blast anyone calling Israel’s actions a genocide, they are quick to defend reasons it cannot be called genocide. One reason cited is that if the Israeli military wanted to get rid of all Palestinians in Gaza, they have the powerful means to do so. No argument there. But by definition genocide can include partial elimination of an ethnic group as well, not always total.

Defenders of Israel always use the worn out excuse that Israel is simply defending itself as a Jewish state, another variation of the childishly lame excuse when a bully attempts to justify its unwarranted aggression claiming a smaller child “started it.” Since the Israelis are fully aware that their rockets and bombs are killing scores of Palestinians seeking safety and refuge inside UN schools because their houses have already been destroyed, prior to launching their rocket attacks the Israelis know they will be cold-bloodedly massacring defenseless women and children. Willful murder of civilians constitutes crimes against humanity. Anyone who possesses a human heart would know better. Only people steeped in hatred without a heart would commit such egregious crimes.

But in truth Netanyahu has never accepted Palestinians’ right to live just as he claims they never accept Israel’s right to exist, which is wrong. If the Palestinians were finally given what is rightfully theirs on both historical and moral grounds, possessing their own land and nation as a sovereign independent neighbor to Israel, without the blockade embargo, without the occupation, and without the apartheid stranglehold over every aspect of their lives, the Palestinians, including Hamas, would not have nearly so much reason for violence against Israel.

Although if you are beaten and killed for as long as the Palestinians have been by Israel, it takes a spiritually forgiving, advanced soul to let go of their tremendous losses and suffering not to continue hating or wanting to seek revenge. And that’s if Israelis stopped all violence forever more today. The longer the killings drag on, the more anger and revenge it instills. One can never truly kill their enemy as an enemy replacement will always continue conflict acting in revenge. All this is such basic human understanding. Yet death and destruction continue unabated for millenniums with humans.

But at least living as a free nation, the Palestinian people would finally have a chance to be happy and prosper, reason enough to leave the Israelis alone. But as long as the oppressors oppress, the oppressed have every natural reason and every human right to fight back. The PLO before and now Hamas are the freedom fighters trying to liberate themselves and their people from their criminal oppressors. You can bet that if roles were reversed, and Israel was being oppressed, it would constantly be trying to kill their oppressors every chance it could get, except with America’s undying support and protection since its 1948 inception, Israel has never ever had oppressors in the Middle East.

Instead, every year when the US is spiraling downward deeper into recession on the brink of depression and collapse, American taxpayers continue to be burdened by having to fork over an insane annual bill of more than $3.1 billion dollars year in and year out to Israel when it as a nation is far more economically solvent and flourishing than the US. Moreover, the US breaks its own law every year because under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 America is prohibited from aid to any nation that violates international law. Over a quarter of the annual Israeli defense budget is also paid for by Americans who are clearly no longer able to afford it. And all those cowardly, shameful, chicken hawk US politicians continue kissing Israel’s ass while turning their back on the genocide just to ensure that their Jewish bribe money keeps flowing into their coffers to selfishly get them reelected. That in and of itself is a sinister crime against all of humanity. The shady evil that binds US to Israel is a disgrace to this entire planet. Evil is evil and must be confronted regardless of how much power the evildoers possess.

And now anyone in Hollywood who has the compassionate heart and courage to dare speak out like Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz and Pedro Almadovar are now subject to being blacklisted by the pro-Israeli controlled entertainment industry. With claims they are anti-Semitic, as always befall anyone critical of Israeli policy, they more than likely will not be working again any time soon at least in Hollywood according to the Hollywood Reporter. Fortunately they are international stars from Spain and will not be so prone to punishment from other more objective countries.

It simply is no longer safe in America where the former bastion of free speech has always been a legal constitutional right to speak one’s mind, even if politically incorrect or offensive. No politician in Washington will even risk their political career by saying anything that might be remotely construed as anti-Jewish, anti-Israeli or anti-Semitic, proof that those anti forces wield absolute power over America, be it in Washington or Hollywood. The powerful Israeli lobbyist organization AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) buys off politicians. And should a member of Congress dare to criticize Israel, AIPAC will ensure that he or she quickly loses in their bid for reelection. A Nation article last month made the claim that with so much bloodshed inflicted on innocent Palestinians in Gaza, opposing the Israel lobby is not so likely to result in political suicide as it always has been in recent years.

One very negative repercussion of the recent Israeli aggression in Gaza is the apparent backlash of increasing hate crimes against Jewish residents throughout Europe. A British source noted that even prior to the Gaza conflict, hate crimes against Jews in Britain rose by a third. Netanyahu’s rigidly aggressive policies may in fact be designed to mobilize the Diaspora to emigrate to Israel, reinforcing the longtime “us versus the hostile world” view. It bears repeating that the vast majority of US citizens are not the US government that engages in war crimes against humanity in their name. And neither are the Jewish people around the world nor are the Israeli citizens the Netanyahu regime that is presently committing crimes against humanity. There have been protests by Israeli citizens against their government although pro-government supporters far outnumber critics.

Bigotry and prejudice are horrible injustices that should never be tolerated. Yet the global climate of political polarization and racial and ethnic hatred invariably continue to act as precursors of violence and war. The human species faces so many serious challenges threatening our very survival. To succumb to a culture of hate is succumbing to the oldest trick in the elitist playbook, a divide and conquer strategy that all through history appears to have gotten the better of humankind. It is time to finally take the lessons from history to heart and apply it to our lives each and every day. Understanding and communication are the keys to resolving our differences and conflicts. Before we kill ourselves and our planet, it would be monumental progress if the human species could finally evolve to peace.

Joachim Hagopian is a West Point graduate and former US Army officer. He has written a manuscript based on his unique military experience entitled “Don’t Let The Bastards Getcha Down.” It examines and focuses on US international relations, leadership and national security issues. After the military, Joachim earned a masters degree in Clinical Psychology and worked as a licensed therapist in the mental health field for more than a quarter century. He now concentrates on his writing.