As a sovereign nation under international law, Novorossiya can bring Kiev’s war criminals to justice: Legal analysis from an international human rights lawyer

 

Dr. Jonathan Levy
Fri, 10 Oct 2014 11:24 UTC

 Previously published by Global Research

Flag of Novorossiya

Flag of Novorossiya

Under the influence of an intense disinformation campaign much of the world has tried its best to ignore the existence of the sovereign state of Novorossiya (Federativnoye Gosudarstvo Novorossiya). The Western media when it does mention Novorossiya applies denigrating terms like “self-declared state”, “unrecognized state” and even “puppet republic” to describe the status of Novorossiya. In fact, under international law, Novorossiya has the same status as any other member of the community nations – it is a sovereign independent nation.

The “gold standard” of statehood is the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States enacted in 1933. The Montevideo Convention requires an aspiring state to have it own territory, population, a functioning government and the ability to enter into relationships with other states. Novorossiya, while not currently in control of all its territory, has maintained an undisputed presence in Lugansk and Donetsk, backed up by a seasoned army and security forces. There is a sizeable population in Novorossiya, despite ethnic cleansing attempts by the Ukraine government. There is a functioning government and diplomatic efforts are ongoing, as evidenced by the Minsk process. In a just and fair world then, Novorossiya would be welcomed into the fold of sovereign nations as its newest member. But the world is neither just nor fair and Novorossiya is attacked by enemies in the West and blocked on other fronts by economic sanctions and diplomatic boycotts.

Donbass_terror

Nonetheless, Novorossiya has friends. The Russian people of course overwhelmingly support this new nation and South Ossetia has welcomed Novorossiya by diplomatically recognizing it. Diplomatic recognition is an important first step towards international legitimacy since South Ossetia itself is recognized by four UN member states – Russia, Venezuela, Cuba, and Nauru. More recognition for Novorossiya of course would be desirable but is not necessary to establish legitimacy. Somaliland, for example, which has been sovereign since 1991 and is recognized by no other country, yet has maintained its complete independence and conducts business worldwide, issues passports and currency, and defends itself without any disapproval from the major powers. Novorossiya, unlike Somaliland, is an industrialized nation in Europe and not on the periphery of Africa; its relevance as an independent nation is assured.

But how does this relate to war crimes committed by Kiev’s political elite, Ukrainian armed forces and so-called “volunteer brigades” of fascists? Before the brilliant tactical victory by the Novorossiya self-defence forces that broke the blockade of Dontesk and Lugansk in late August 2014, it appeared as if the entire command and political infrastructure of Novorossiya might be in real danger of liquidation, summary arrest or exile if Ukrainian forces and their foreign mercenaries stormed Donetsk and Lugansk. The very real scenario of another unfair UN-sponsored tribunal like the ICTY (International Criminal Tribunal for Yugoslavia) which mainly persecuted Serbs for defending themselves was looming large in the event Ukraine prevailed.

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Mass graves with hundreds of tortured victims, found with their hands bound near Donetsk, Novorossiya

Personally, on the 4 months anniversary of the Odessa massacre, I was thinking, “Shame on the ICC (International Criminal Court), which has ignored the snipers of the Maidan and the paid thugs who burned innocents alive in Odessa.” And God forbid the UN should set up show trials to demonize the defenders of Donetsk and Lugansk. As an international human rights lawyer I believed there had to be a way for justice to prevail. I wrote an article suggesting the Council of Europe, a separate organization from the biased European Union, of which both Ukraine and Russia are members, might be a possible sponsor of a war crimes tribunal.

One of the Council of Europe’s main organs is the European Court of Human Rights. I was thrilled when, the day after my article was published, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov met with the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjorn Jagland. However, nothing concrete has emerged, and under heavy pressure from the United States the Council of Europe has proven itself no friend to Novorossiya through its inaction, and has seemingly become yet another loudspeaker for Kiev’s backers.

Nonetheless, a war crimes tribunal is an important weapon against fascism. Fascists thrive in dark places and times, and hide their identities behind masks and hoods; the threat of exposure of their identities and deeds scares them greatly. Even during the worst days of the Second World War, Himmler eased up on his murder of Jews in Hungary in fear of prosecution after the war. The cowards and the cravens in Kiev, who allow their forces to target schools and mass transit in Donetsk would likely modify their behaviour if they risked indictment for war crimes from a recognized tribunal. But the Kiev regime is currently well-protected by backers in United States and NATO, and consequently is emboldened in its attempts to intimidate the people of Novorossiya.

Therefore Novorossiya itself as a sovereign state must seize the initiative. Just as Novorossiya and only Novorossiya defended itself from Kiev, it is only Novorossiya that can move forward with a war crimes tribunal. Evidence and testimony has been already been collected, and it is abundant. Many of the perpetrators – both high and low – are known, and the rest will be discovered. The enablers, propagandists and funders of genocide outside Ukraine are also numbered, and known for the most part. There is no lack of allegations or suspects. What is lacking is the mechanism to bring them to justice.

Currently, Novorossiya is isolated. The threat of sanctions against the companies and persons of those who might help has unfortunately made the cause of justice take a back-seat to economics and politics. Yet Novorossiya can act against war criminals and not just symbolically. Section 107 of the Restatement (Second) of Foreign Relations Law of the United States [1965] states that:

“An entity not recognized as a state but meeting the requirements for recognition specified in § 100 [of controlling a territory and population and engaging in foreign relations], or an entity recognized as a state whose regime is not recognized as its government, has the rights of a state under international law in relation to a non-recognizing state…”

See also Article 74 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, which states that: “The severance or absence of diplomatic or consular relations between two or more States does not prevent the conclusion of treaties between those States.” What all this means is that under international law Novorossiya may act avail itself of all the remedies under international law as long as some other states concur.

Novorossiya can set up not just a domestic tribunal but an international one that can reach beyond its borders. This is especially important because the war criminals are, for the most, except for their foot soldiers, not on the borders of Novorossiya or inside the territory of Novorossiya. The criminals are in Kharkiv, Denepetrovsk, Kiev, Lviv, Warsaw and beyond. International reach is the key. When the oppressed people of Ukraine finally wake out of their slumber and throw out the rascals in the Kiev government and cleanse the country of Nazis and corrupt oligarchs, the criminals will find a soft landing in Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada, just as many blood-stained Banderists did after Second World War. The Vatican, MI6, and the predecessor to the CIA did all they could to help certain useful Nazis and their collaborators escape justice via the ratlines and find a new life as assets abroad. A repeat of this travesty of justice must be avoided as these rotten apples have a way of resurfacing later with their message of hate and ultra-nationalism.

It is not enough to want justice for crimes. It is not enough to investigate war crimes. The guilty must eventually be chased down and brought back to face justice for these efforts to be credible. The task is even more daunting when most of the major powers in the world are on the side of the killers. Even the international organizations tasked with enforcing human rights, the ICC, the UN, and Council of Europe have abandoned their responsibilities to the people of Novorossiya. Is a war crimes tribunal therefore a mission impossible?

Kiev war criminals

Kiev war criminals

A Modest Proposal

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The Ukrainian Army firing thousands of rounds of mortars at residential buildings in Novorossiya

It is impressive that even in the midst of current battle for the Donetsk Airport, brave people are collecting and documenting evidence of war crimes committed in the Donbass. The news media and human right activists from Russia have been particularly helpful. But who should be the recipient of the evidence? If the investigation of the downed Malaysian jetliner, Flight MH-17, is an indication of the sort of justice that can be found outside Novorossiya, I have serious doubts. Evidence has been destroyed by the Ukrainian government, and unfounded allegations of the mass murder of the innocent passengers on Flight MH-17 has been levelled not only against Novorossiya but also the Russian government, which has been defamed by the press and politicians from Kiev to Kansas City. The Dutch team who are the lead investigators of the plane crash – and from a NATO member state – are susceptible to subtle and not-so-subtle pressure. Everyone has been kept in the dark through a lack of transparency throughout the process.

On the other hand, why not turn the evidence over to a friendly country like Russia? That also creates a problem. Sanctions will flow like wine at a wedding and any results denied and discredited by a thousand naysayers in the Western press. I suggest Novorossiya must act on its own initiative against war criminals, however, not just domestically but internationally too. As pointed out above, Novorossiya as a sovereign state may engage in foreign relations. It can sue in the courts of other countries because it is an independent sovereign state under international law and its agencies are legal entities. Novorossiya may file cases with international tribunals. However, it is also blocked from membership in the major international organizations and the existing tribunals seem heavily prejudiced against Novorossiya.

Novorossiya therefore must set up its very own International Tribunal and give it independence to act in lieu of the UN, ICC, and Council of Europe. This bold act will result in recognition of the tribunal even when states may still shy away from recognizing Novorossiya itself. Progressive states will recognize the tribunal and its power to seize property and extradite criminals. Perhaps a third-party country host can be found too.

But how can this be accomplished and who will do the work when the existence of Novorossiya still hangs in the balance? Much of the field investigation is being done already. However, the most important element is: who will staff the Tribunal? Yes, people from Novorossiya and Russia, but also lawyers and jurists from around the world seeking to advance the cause of justice should be encouraged to participate. It is international participation and support that will give the proposed tribunal substance, even as the UN and ICC have failed the people of Donetsk and Lugansk.

UkraineArmyAttackingCivilians

The Ukrainian Army firing thousands of rounds of mortars at residential buildings in Novorossiya

We live in a virtual world. While court rooms are still necessary, there exists the technology to supplement traditional methods of justice. Judges often conduct hearings via Internet while the accused are held elsewhere. Jurists and attorneys from around the world could act as judges and advocates for the defence and prosecution. International lawyers commissioned by Novorossiya could file actions to seize assets of blood-stained Ukrainian oligarchs and politicians with bank accounts and property outside Ukraine for the benefit of the victims and their families. There are dozens of international lawyers who would help and they in turn know dozens more.

The war criminals are smug in the thought they have powerful friends outside Ukraine who will help them escape justice if their plans to subvert Ukraine and destroy the Donbass ultimately fail. Let us unleash a volunteer corps of a thousand lawyers, linked by technology worldwide, and undeterred by their governments. Novorossiya must give to them the commission to hunt down the war criminals and seize their assets. Give us lawyers the right to sue the merchants of death and destruction, the purveyors of deadly agitprop, and even the old networks of Nazis who are behind the Banderists.

Lawfare is a strategy of using law as a substitute for traditional military means to achieve an operational objective – in this case bring war criminals to justice and deter future crimes. The present day legal hurdles are surprisingly low and the proliferation of potential forums adds to the attractiveness of lawfare. Novorossiya can demonstrate standing and jurisdiction and is especially well-situated to take advantage of lawfare. Legal action can be accomplished without loss of life or large-scale deployment of assets. The only requirements are potential standing and a knowledgeable legal representative. A court filing often generates as much or more publicity than a military skirmish.

The world and its organizations have largely ignored, covered up, or even condoned the war crimes committed against the people of Novorossiya. The backers of fascism think they can act with impunity just as they did after the Second World War when Nazi war criminals used the Vatican-run “ratline” to escape to South America and Spain. But the world has changed, technology and access to information has levelled the playing field. Novorossiya has demonstrated it can prevail against great odds on the battle field, now let the members of the international community who abhor war crimes use their skills and technology to make the seemingly impossible happen – to bring Kiev’s war criminals to justice.

About the author
Dr. Jonathan Levy, is an attorney member of the International Criminal Bar. Dr Levy holds a PhD in Political Science and is a Senior Adjunct faculty member at two North American universities.

Wave of assassinations in Ukraine targets critics of Kiev regime

POTROLAND

POTROLAND

 

In the lead-up to the May 9 celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany at the end of World War II, there has been an accelerating wave of political assassinations targeting critics of the Western-backed, far-right regime in Kiev.

Yesterday evening, a group calling itself the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA)—the name of a Ukrainian fascist militia that collaborated with Nazi forces in carrying out ethnic genocides of Jews and Poles during World War II—claimed responsibility for the killings. In a statement emailed to opposition legislators and political commentators, it also gave “anti-Ukrainian” persons 72 hours to leave the country or be killed if they stayed behind.

It pledged to carry out the “complete extermination” of enemies of Ukraine and a “merciless insurrectionary struggle against the anti-Ukrainian regime of traitors and Moscow toadies,” according to a report in Der Spiegel .

The killing spree began this week with the murder of journalist Sergey Sukhobok. On Wednesday evening, Oleg Kalashnykov was found dead in his home in Kiev. He was a former parliamentarian from the Party of Regions and a close ally of President Viktor Yanukovych, the pro-Russian politician ousted in a NATO-backed, fascist-led putsch in February of 2014 that installed the current regime in Kiev.

According to Interior Ministry advisor Anton Heraschenko, killers were waiting for Kalashnykov outside his residence and shot him when he returned.

Before his death, Kalashnykov indicated that he had received death threats over his call to commemorate May 9. He addressed a letter to his friends warning that “open genocide on dissent, death threats, and constant dirty insults” had become the “norm” since he publicly raised the issue. He reportedly added in the letter that Ukraine was under Nazi occupation.

On Thursday, pro-Russian journalist Oles Buzyna was shot and killed near his house in Kiev by two unidentified masked gunmen firing from a car. Buzyna had edited the Segodnya newspaper, a pro-Russian publication financed by Ukraine’s richest oligarch, Rinat Akhmetov, a multi-billionaire who was also one of the leading sponsors of Yanukovych’s Party of the Regions. Also killed on Thursday was Neteshinskiy Vestnik editor Olga Moroz.

The killings were the latest in a spate of deaths of high-profile opponents of the Kiev regime. The victims have largely been political and media associates of the faction of the post-Soviet Ukrainian business oligarchy tied to Akhmetov, Yanukovych and the Kremlin oligarchy in Russia. Other deaths include:

* Aleksey Kolesnik, former chairman of the Kharkov regional government, found hanged on January 29;

*Stanislav Melnik, a Party of Regions member reportedly close to Akhmetov, found shot in the bathroom of his Kiev apartment on February 24;

*Sergey Valter, the mayor of Melitopol, found hanged before his trial on February 25, leaving no suicide note;

*Aleksandr Bordyuga, the deputy chief of Melitopol police, found dead the next day, in his garage;

*Mikhail Chechetov, a former member of the Party of Regions, who jumped from the window of his 17th floor apartment in Kiev on February 28, leaving a suicide note;

*Sergey Melnichuk, a prosecutor who fell from a 9th floor apartment in Odessa on March 14.

Russian and Ukrainian officials have traded accusations of responsibility for the killings. Speaking on a call-in television show, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his condolences to the families of the victims and said of Buzyna’s killing, “It is not the first political assassination, we have seen a series of such killings in Ukraine.”

Officials in Kiev offered up dubious arguments to blame the killings on Russia. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called the killings “a deliberate provocation which plays into the hands of our enemies, destabilizing the political situation in Ukraine.”

In the meantime, officials and far-right parliamentarians in Kiev have openly endorsed and celebrated the murders. While lawmaker Borys Filatov rejoiced that “one more piece of sh*t” had been eliminated,” Irina Farion, a lawmaker of the fascist Svoboda Party, attacked Buzyna as a “degenerate” and hoped that his “death will somehow neutralize the dirt this [expletive] has spilled… Such ones go to history’s sewers.”

Political responsibility for the killings rests with the imperialist powers that oversaw and backed the Kiev putsch. They have encouraged Kiev to wage a bloody civil war against pro-Russian regions of eastern Ukraine and covered up its reliance on fascistic, anti-Russian forces. In the resulting political atmosphere, opponents of the Kiev states can be murdered without investigation and with political impunity.

What is occurring in Ukraine is a warning to the international working class. With the support of Washington and its European allies, which are moving to train the neo-Nazi militias that make up much of the Ukrainian regime’s National Guard, an ultra-right regime has emerged in a major European country.

With Ukraine’s economy disintegrating and its population resisting Kiev’s attempts to reinstate the draft to wage war against eastern Ukraine, Kiev is seeking to crush domestic dissent and relying ever more directly on the far right. Terrified that mass opposition might coalesce around the May 9 holiday, it has banned public discussion of communism. It also rehabilitated the UPA and the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN).

This is the culmination of a series of police state measures by the Kiev regime that have enjoyed the full support of its NATO backers. During last year’s Ukrainian legislative elections, opposition candidates, including Pyotr Symonenko, the Stalinist Communist Party of Ukraine’s (KPU) former presidential candidate, were physically attacked by fascist thugs.

Even before the murder of Buzyna, Kiev regime officials and sympathizers were demanding draconian punishments of journalists who oppose the regime. Last month, Ukrainian Minister of Information Policy Yuri Stets demanded that journalists in the breakaway eastern Ukrainian Donbass region serve prison terms of eight to 15 years.

In an account on Facebook of a speech he had given at Harvard University, pro-Kiev regime commentator and political analyst Yuri Romanenko boasted that he had argued for murdering pro-Russian journalists and summarized his arguments.

“The Ukrainian army must selectively and carefully eliminate Russian journalists covering the situation in Donbass. We need to direct Ukrainian army snipers to shoot people wearing PRESS helmets, making them priority targets,” Romanenko wrote. “Since the media represent a destructive weapon and allow Russia to operate not only in the war zone but across Ukraine, taking out several dozen journalists in the conflict zone will reduce the quality of the picture presented in the Russian media and, therefore, reduce the effectiveness of their propaganda.”

The murder of Kalashnykov, Buzyna and their political associates emerges directly from the foul political atmosphere produced by such ranting. It is an indictment of the NATO powers backing the regime in Ukraine and the illusions peddled by the Western media and corrupt pseudo-left groups that the right-wing protests on the Maidan and the February 2014 putsch were part of a democratic revolution.

While these forces insisted, without any proof, that the murder of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov was a crime carried out by the Russian government, they are maintaining a hypocritical silence as the Kiev regime’s internal opponents are gunned down in the streets.

No Let Up in Intense Anti-Russian Propaganda

Anti-war

No Let Up in Intense Anti-Russian Propaganda

By Stephen Lendman

Its viciousness exceeds anything in recent memory. Big Lies bury hard truths. A February 20 Office of the Vice President statement said Joe Biden discussed “the latest situation in eastern Ukraine” with (US installed) president Poroshenko and prime minister Yatsenyuk. He lied claiming “Russian regular troops operating inside Ukraine” supported “Russia-backed separatists” in Debaltseve – “in blatant violation of (Minsk) as well as Ukraine’s sovereignty an territorial integrity.” “…Russia cannot continue to hide behind the false claim that these latest military operations are solely the work of local separatists.”

Western editorial and op-ed pages repeat these false claims. They support sanctions on Russia. Calls for tougher ones drown out good sense.

John Kerry lied blaming Russia and rebels for post-Minsk Kiev crimes.

On Saturday, Reuters quoted him saying “(i)n the next few days I anticipate that President Obama will evaluate the choices that are in front of him and will make his decision as to what the next step will be.”

“There are serious discussions taking place between us and our European allies as to what those next sanctions steps ought to be and when they ought to be implemented.”

“I am confident some additional steps will be taken in response to the breaches of the ceasefire.”

Poroshenko finds new ways to embarrass himself. His military suffered a devastating Debaltsevo defeat.

He displayed fake photos of alleged Russian involvement. T-64 tanks, Grad rocket launchers and others he showed are used by Ukraine’s military.

It’s a spent force. Poroshenko needs outside help to continue waging war on Donbass. He wants US-led NATO doing his fighting for him.

He hopes Big Lies, false flags and other dubious practices will enlist Washington’s direct involvement.

On Sunday, Kiev propaganda reports accused rebels of shelling Kiev forces near Mariupol with new type weapons.

According to Ukraine’s Unian (dis)information agency, “the enemy allegedly used tube-launched projectiles with a special feature: they burst at a height of 40 meters above the surface.”

“(M)icroshrapnel…cause(s) multiple shrapnel wounds…(S)hells were fired at…Shyrokyne” village.

Independent reports indicate rebels withdrawing artillery and other heavy weapons from front line positions. Unian claims about shelling Ukrainian forces are false – propaganda to enlist more Western support.

On Monday, it claimed “Russia (is) ‘stuffing’ Donbas with (ultramodern) weapons.”

Its security service spokesman, Markian Lubkivskiy, blamed Russia for Sunday’s Kharkov explosion despite no evidence whatever suggesting it.

Plenty indicating another Kiev false flag. MP Dmytro Tymchuk accused “militant units south of Donetsk (of) reinforc(ing)” their positions.

“The next echelon with ammunition for terrorist groups of the Donetsk People’s Republic has arrived in Ilovaisk from Russia,” he claimed.

Other Kiev propaganda reports say Russian troops captured Debaltsevo. Western media repeat this type rubbish demanding debunking.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich called Kiev accusations of Moscow’s involvement in Maidan 2014 violence “completely ludicrous.”

An “act of foolishness,” he said. Further proof of an illegitimate retime.

Instead of explaining hard truths, Kiev officials “com(e) up with the kinds of nonsensical ravings that belong in a psychiatric ward,” he stressed

London’s Telegraph sounds increasingly like Fox News. It headlined “Putin will target the Baltic next, Defence Secretary warns.”

It hyped UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon’s Big Lie about a “real and present danger.”

NATO must be ready to repel “Russian aggression,” he said. Prime Minister David Cameron says Europe can’t “turn a blind eye (to) one country…challenging the territorial integrity of another country.”

Despite no evidence whatever supporting his claims, Cameron says rebels “are using Russian rocket launchers, Russian tanks, Russian artillery.”

“(I)t’s come from Russia and we know that.” It’s come in part from abandoned or captured Kiev weapons.

According to rebel representatives, they got hold of around 25% of Kiev’s armaments.

After its devastating Debaltsevo defeat, a rebel statement said:

Their soldiers and commanders “express(ed) special gratitude to the numerous volunteer organizations, who supplied the troops of the junta so well…”

“(V)ery popular are the hundreds of night vision devices, digital radios, modern ballistic calculators and fire control devices, dressing and antishock supplies made in the West, Kevlar helmets (although the Russian are better, but still a big deficit), latest generation armor,”

Rebels presented evidence of NATO supplied weapons – including US-made ones.

The Telegraph cited Fallon saying the “former Soviet states of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia could be next to face a Russian-backed campaign to destabilize them.”

“I’m worried about Putin,” he added. Russian “tanks and armour (are) rolling across the Ukrainian border…”

Fallon’s Big Lies don’t wash. He ludicrously claimed Britain only supplies Kiev with “non-lethal equipment.” Rebel captured weapons prove otherwise. Clear markings show their points of origin.

“(S)oft coverage of HSBC” wrongdoing got former Telegraph chief political commentator, Peter Oborne, to resign.

Its “standards…collapse(d),” he said. His reporting on HSBC wrongdoing wasn’t published.

He called Telegraph editorial policy “part of a wider problem.” Oborne resigned “as a matter of conscience.”

Saying “(a) free press is essential to a healthy democracy. There is a purpose to journalism, and it is not just to entertain.”

“It is not to pander to political power, big corporations and rich men. Newspapers have what amounts in the end to a constitutional duty to tell their readers the truth.”

The problem goes way beyond the Telegraph. Western print and electronic media march to the same drummer.

Big Lies drown out hard truths on issues mattering most. All propaganda all the time is strict editorial policy.

Try finding a single MSM report on air or in print explaining the Ukraine story accurately. None exist. Rubbish substitutes.

London Guardian Putin bashing continues. It irresponsibly claims he has revanchist aims. He has “a grand plan to undermine both Ukraine and Europe…”

He “does not want to be seen to lose. His whole political position, in his own country and to an extent in the world, is based on projecting an image of being brilliantly and imperturbably on top of things.”

“(T)his emperor, we may surmise, is secretly aware of the danger of losing his clothes.”

Guardian editors turn truth on its head blaming him for damaging relations with Western countries. If Minsk fails again, for sure he’ll be held responsible.

The New York Times cited Kiev as its source claiming rebel forces “mounted a tank assault on a village near the Sea of Azov” –  despite no evidence proving it.

“…Ukrainian authorities (absurdly claim) a pro-Moscow underground movement…in Kharkov, Odessa, and other” Eastern cities with large Russian-speaking populations.

Instead of debunking this nonsense, The Times features it. Including about junta forces repelling a nonexistent rebel attack on Shyrokyne.

Kiev military spokesman Andriy Lysenk lied claiming its forces “c(ame) under fire 44 times over the past 24 hours despite the casefire,” reported The Times.

Due diligence fact-checking for accuracy isn’t its long suit. Or WaPo’s featuring fake photos of alleged seized rebel weapons indicating they’re Russian supplied.

Overt Nazi Andriy Parubiy was directly responsible for 2014 Maidan killings. He played a key role in replacing Ukrainian democracy with fascist rule.

He’ll visit Washington this week seeking more help for Kiev’s war on Donbas. He wants more heavy weapons than already supplied.

He wants direct US involvement in Kiev’s dirty war. Expect it to resume full-scale once junta forces regroup and rearm. Perhaps this time US combat troops will join them.

Obama won’t tolerate Donbass autonomy. He wants full nationwide control. Perhaps he intends bombing rebel positions. Maybe invading Eastern Ukraine will follow.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

 

Kiev Junta War Crimes

 

In-depth Report:

 

kiev-protester-handgun-400x266A new Foundation for the Study of Democracy (FSD) report is titled “War crimes of the armed forces and security forces of Ukraine: torture of the Donbass region residents.”

It provides graphic evidence of horrendous Kiev war crimes Western media ignore.

Earlier articles discussed Kiev’s dirty war. It deliberately targeted civilian neighborhoods, schools, hospitals and infrastructure.

It used of cluster munitions, white phosphorous and other chemical weapons, as well as cold-blooded murder of hundreds of captives.

Most were abducted civilians. They were brutally tortured, murdered and secretly buried. Eyewitnesses exposed the crimes.

FSD’s report provides more damning evidence of junta torture, inhumane and degrading treatment.

Over 100 former regime prisoners were interviewed – ones lucky to be alive. An unknown number of captives were tortured to death. Many others continue being held.

Ukraine’s National Guard, other military units, internal affairs ministry and security service (SBU) bear full responsibility for high crimes.

So does Washington for empowering and supporting them.

The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) protects fundamental freedoms at all times – including during “war or other public emergency threatening the life of the nation.”

It’s been in force since 1953. It established a European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). It adjudicates for anyone claiming lost rights – including nation-states and individuals.

It’s the only human rights body of its kind. ECHR says

“the State is responsible for the actions of all of its agencies, such as the police, security forces, other law enforcement officials, and any other State bodies who hold the individual under their control, whether they act under orders, or on their own accord.”

Article 3 states “(n)o one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”

Clear evidence shows Kiev culpability. ECHR so far failed to act. Whether it plans to remains to be seen.

Liliya Rodionova is Committee for Refugees and Prisoners of War (Donetsk) deputy head. She commented on junta released prisoners. Her remarks make disturbing reading as follows:

“Almost everyone released comes back with their ribs and legs broken and teeth ripped out. There is not a single person with no marks of beating.”

“Treatment does not begin until right before the exchange. There is a guy with eight gunshot wounds. Even at the hospital, he was beaten.”

“They stuck fingers in his wounds. They use pliers to rip out teeth and beat right in the wounds. Many come back with fractured skulls.”

“One of the torture tools is an awl that they use for stabbing prisoners. Lately, they have been seizing ordinary people, not members of the self-defence forces.”

“They use gunpowder and electroshock to torture people. They brand them.”

“Some were thrown into a pit with dead bodies, crushed with a shovel bucket, had a smouldering iron stuck in their mouth.”

“People were kept in iron containers with no source of oxygen. The torture techniques are sophisticated and brutal.”

“They leave the victims maimed. Those in need of medical treatment, even with diabetes, receive (none).”

“Prisoners from our side can be told by the color of their skin. It is grayish.”

“Each time an exchange is to take place, we draw up a list of acute patients, but the other side won’t release them.”

Junta torturers are US allies – installed by coup replacing Ukrainian democratic governance.

Washington has a sordid history of allying with ruthless despots worldwide for its own self-interest.

In November 2014, SBU operatives tortured Ukrainian citizen Alexander Agafonov to death. His wife, Yana, commented saying:

“They have beaten him to death simply. When they came, they took him away to torture him.”

“When they brought his body back, (his) heels were blue. (His) were blue.”

‘He’s got some traces of punctures on his hands. I don’t know what they did to him, punctured him or drove the needles under his nails.”

“There were holes on his hands. Each bone has a hole in it. They tortured him like…when there was a real war no one has tortured people the way they tortured him.”

Evidence FSD obtained showed prisoners were electroshocked.

They were savagely beaten with iron bars, baseball bats, sticks, rifle butts, bayonet knives and rubber batons. Abuse continued for days.

They were stabbed, had ribs, arms and legs broken, were branded with red-hot objects, and were shot in different parts of their bodies.

Pliers ripped out teeth. Civilians were targeted like combatants. Anyone opposing junta rule remains vulnerable.

Abducted women were repeatedly raped. Some victims had Nazi swastikas and SS symbols burned into their flesh.

They were held for days in freezing temperatures. Denied food and medical treatment.

Force-fed psychotropic substances causing extreme pain. Most endured mock firing squads.

Their family members were threatened with rape and death.

One released prisoners said junta operatives “attached wires from a battery to my hand, poured water and switched on the current.”

“I blacked out several times and just as I came to, they would pour water and after some time continued the questioning.”

Another victim said “(t)hey hit (him) in the groin with a shocker and added voltage, because it kept getting more and more painful.”

“It hurt so bad. I fell down, shouting: Just shoot me, why are you torturing me? I do not know anything.”

“Then they started hitting me on the legs and on the shoulders with a hammer, an ordinary hammer. They kept doing it until I lost consciousness.”

Other released prisoners said the following:

“They executed the beatings in groups of three to four people, used electro-shock devices, made us kneel with bags on our heads, and fired their guns near the ear.”

“Then their commanding officer came, took us and put on a chain in a pit, handcuffed.”

“I could not stand on my feet, nor could I lie down, so I was hanging on that chain because my ribs and fingers were broken.”

“The (Nazi infested) Azov battalion officers arrested me in Mariupol. I felt machine gun fire over my head.”

“After that, they drove me to the Mariupol airport, where they tried to force me to give testimony by putting a plastic bag on my head that did not let any air get to me.”

“They used a shocker on me and wanted to throw me into a pit filled with corpses.”

“I saw a guy standing waist-deep in a hole in the ground and being buried with a shovel bucket and then the truck run over him.”

FSD’s report makes disturbing reading. It called torture in Ukraine more serious than what it was able to document.

Horrific abuse made some victims “unrecognizable.” They were beaten to pulps. “Every part of their bodies was beaten with meat hanging from their bones,” said FSD.

Unknown numbers continue enduring horrific treatment – much like what CIA operatives inflict on victims in global black sites.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.  His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 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. 

Nazi Kiev Official Greeted in Ottawa and Washington

INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM

In-depth Report:

 

Kiev’s national security and defense council secretary Andriy Parubiy was feted Andriy-Parubiy-Ottawa-400x262on visits to Ottawa and Washington.

He came seeking more heavy weapons and funding than already provided. He orchestrated February 2014 Maidan killings.

As security chief, he controlled access to weapons used. He took full advantage. He positioned snipers with automatic weapons in Kiev’s Philharmonic Hall.

They murdered around 100 protesters and police. President Viktor Yanukovych was wrongfully blamed. His ouster followed.

Things were scripted in Washington. The rest, as they say, is history. Plans are to Nazify Ukraine nationwide.

Eliminate Donbass democracy. Use Ukraine as a dagger against Russia’s heartland. Perhaps a prelude to WW III.

Parubiy belongs in prison, not high office. He’s responsible for mass murder and coup following violence he and others staged.

On February 23, Canada’s Globe and Mail covered his Ottawa visit. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper marches in lockstep with imperial US policy.

Parubiy said Canada has an “authoritative voice” on what’s ongoing in Donbass. He asked for help to get Washington to supply more heavy weapons and funding than already.

He wants Canada and other Western countries helping the same way.

So Kiev can prepare for renewed aggression against its anti-fascist Southeastern citizens wanting fundamental democratic freedoms everyone deserves.

So-called “defensive” ones are for offense. Including virtually anything short of nuclear bombs. Maybe they come later.

According to the Globe and Mail, Parubiy met with “Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson and James Bezan, the parliamentary secretary to the defence minister…”

Other scheduled meetings followed with House of Commons Speaker Andrew Scheer an various MPs.

“Canada has been a kind of a leader in the world vis-a-vis Ukraine,” said Paubiy (in translation).

“Words and actions are the same in Canada, so it’s kind of an example for the rest of the world with their Ukraine policy.”

Parubiy discussed Canadian and US support for the next phase of Kiev’s planned aggression.

He called its dirty war without mercy “a global challenge, a global fight, not just a Russia-Ukraine fight.”

He sounded like a sawdust Caesar saying “we are fighting not only for Ukraine but for Euro-Atlantic and European values.”

Providing more funding and heavy weapons likely assures a deeper hole.

Following discussions, Canada’s Nicholson said Canada supports Minsk. “Any attempt to reduce or take away Ukraine’s sovereignty in that way is completely opposed by Canada,” he added.

He withheld comment on whether Ottawa would supply Kiev with weapons.

On February 25, Parubiy arrived in Washington. America’s global propaganda service Voice of America interviewed him.

Ukraine’s Unian (dis)information agency said he discussed some of the armaments he wants Washington to supply – including anti-tank systems and other heavy weapons.

“The list of required equipment has already been submitted to US President Barack Obama, but it is also planned to present it to other officials who ‘are directly involved in the decision making process,’ ” said Unian.

He’s scheduled to meet with Speaker John Boehner, Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, and Pentagon officials.

No comment on whether he and Obama will meet. Maybe quietly with little or nothing said.

Kiev and Washington are partners in high crimes. Renewed aggression on Donbass is planned at Obama’s discretion.

Parubiy is a convenient stooge. He came to get marching orders. They exclude peace, stability and good will.

Rogue states make their own rules. Oppose them and face possible imprisonment or death.

Ukrainian Law Professor Olga Zagulskaya criticized Kiev’s war on Donbass. Persecution followed.

She now suffers from hypertension. Kiev’s “psychological torture had its intended effect,” she said.

She was warned her students prepared to boycott her. They were

“set upon (her) by the ‘intelligentsia’ of Miroslav Popovich, Yuriy Vinnichuk ,and Otar Dovzhenko.”

“At least three SBU men were circling around (her), which means it’s not a purely student event.”

Journalists targeted her. Articles said “Lvov National University professor openly supports terrorists.”

She faced possible criminal charges.To avoid legal proceedings, she resigned three years before retirement.

“At one point (she) felt so dizzy (she) could no longer stand.” She sought medical care. She’s “in treatment, possibly for a long time.”

“All because” she opposes Kiev’s war on Donbass. “(A)s Taras Shevchenko once said,” she explained: ‘I incur punishment, I suffer, but I do not repent!’ ”

Obama’s Ukrainian friends are cutthroat killer Nazi thugs. Zagulskaya is lucky to be alive.

She could have been imprisoned or marked for death. Hooligans running Ukraine operate this way.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 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.

NATO Meeting in Brussels Heightens Danger of War with Russia

 

In-depth Report:

11039-400x287NATO defense ministers are meeting in Brussels today to consolidate the military alliance against Russia, increasing the risk of a direct military confrontation between nuclear-armed powers.

NATO sources have revealed plans to establish a long-term presence in Eastern Europe, according to a report in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (FAS). So-called NATO “Force Integration Units” will be established in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria. There are also plans to deploy such a unit in Hungary at a later time.

The units will consist of 40 soldiers each. They will be tasked with preparing exercises for a new NATO rapid response force and coordinating military activities in emergencies. Germany, which is spearheading the operation this year, intends to deploy a total of 25 soldiers within the units.

The ground troops of the rapid response force are to consist of a brigade of some 5,000 soldiers. The goal is for their most flexible units to have the capability to move to a new location within 48 hours. The entire brigade will be trained and equipped to be able to move to a new location within a week. The leadership of the operation will rotate yearly between NATO member countries.

According to the FAS, NATO defense ministers have already decided on the equipment to be provided during the “test phase,” which is to last until the beginning of next year. Starting in April, a company of German paratroopers will supplement American units that have been stationed in the Baltic States and Poland since last year.

Two weeks ago, the FAS revealed that NATO defense ministers will convene the Nuclear Planning Group (NPG) at the beginning of today’s meeting to discuss “the nuclear threat scenario from Russia in the past few months.”

Unlike previous years, according to the FAS, this will not merely be a routine meeting. An analysis of threat scenarios worked out at NATO headquarters will be presented to the defense ministers. Afterwards, the ministers “will for the first time discuss the consequences for the nuclear strategy of the alliance.” A separate consultation session is planned with France, which is not a member of the NPG.

NATO’s nuclear simulations underscore the fact that the imperialist powers are ready to risk nuclear war in order to force Russia to its knees. In the past week, a number of prominent figures, including former Soviet head of state Mikhail Gorbachev, have warned of the danger of a Third World War if NATO, led by the United States, continues to take aggressive measures against Russia.

Under conditions of escalating fighting between troops of the Western-backed Kiev regime and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, Gorbachev warned of a “hot war” that “could well inevitably turn into an atomic war.”

On Sunday, the Süddeutsche Zeitung quoted the Russian military expert Yevgeny Buchinsky, who warned that, in response to an offensive against the Donbass by Kiev,

“Russia will have to intervene, and then, bluntly speaking, to take Kiev. Then NATO would be in a difficult situation. Then you would have to start World War III, which no one wants.”

In spite of such warnings, the imperialist powers and their proxies in Kiev are escalating the conflict. On Monday, the New York Times revealed that the Obama administration is considering sending advanced weapons to Kiev. The newspaper listed high-ranking current and former administration officials and military officers who are pushing for such a move.

The Times report triggered opposition among sections of the European elite. The Süddeutsche Zeitung wrote that a decision by Washington to arm the Kiev regime with offensive weapons would be taken by Russia as the equivalent of a declaration of war. Russian officials and German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke against any such move during a visit to Hungary.

Washington intends to use today’s NATO meeting to bring the member states into line behind its provocative and reckless course. At the beginning of the week, Alexander Vershbow, a former US ambassador to Russia and currently the deputy secretary general of NATO, referred to “Russian aggression” in Ukraine as a “game changer in European security.”

He emphasized the necessity of deploying rapid response troops in Eastern Europe, extending NATO’s reach in the east, and arming the Ukrainian military. Referring to Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, all former Soviet republics, he said,

“The more stable they are, the more secure we are. So helping Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova—to strengthen their military forces, reform their institutions and modernize their economies—is not an act of generosity, it is in our fundamental strategic interest.”

He added,

“NATO is doing its part. To help Ukraine to modernize and reform its armed forces, we have launched five trust funds to assist in areas like command and control, logistics, cyber defense and military medicine. We are sending more advisors to Kiev and will be carrying out exercises with Ukraine’s armed forces. And we are helping Moldova and Georgia to strengthen their defense capacity in similar ways, and, in Georgia’s case, to help it prepare for future membership in the Alliance.”

At the end of his speech, Vershbow warned:

“This time around, having chosen our course, we must stick to it. We must stay united, stay firm and increase the costs to Russia of its aggression.”

Meanwhile, voices in favor of arming Ukraine are growing louder. Michael Gahler (Germany’s Christian Democratic Union—CDU), who is the spokesman on security policy for the European People’s Party in the European Union parliament, spoke in favor of sending weapons to Ukraine in an interview on Deutschlandfunk radio.

Wolfgang Ischinger, leader of the Munich Security Conference, which takes place this weekend, has adopted the same line. On ZDF Television he spoke in favor of the “announcement of possible weapons shipments” to Ukraine. “Sometimes one needs to use pressure to enforce peace,” he declared. While he cautioned that Germany should not send weapons, he said he could “imagine that other members of the alliance would want to do this.”

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, whose regime was brought to power nearly a year ago by a fascist-led putsch backed by the US and Germany, and has since waged a brutal war against the population of eastern Ukraine, made an appearance yesterday in Kharkiv, which is near the border with Russia and the contested areas. He said that “we will need lethal weapons, and I am sure that foreign weapons will be sent to Ukraine.” He continued: “I don’t have any doubt that the US and other partners will provide help with lethal weapons so that Ukraine will be able to defend itself.”

Poroshenko will take part in the Munich Security Conference along with 20 other heads of state and 60 foreign and defense ministers. He is meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Kiev today.

Kiev ready to exchange prisoners, but not those with ‘blood on hands’ — security service

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There are about a dozen people the Ukrainian security says have “blood on their hands”. Poroshenko not only has blood in his hands – He makes a pool of blood for the children of Donbass without any remorse…

KIEV, December 19. The Ukrainian Security Service is ready to exchange captives “all for all”, but not those who have “blood on their hand”, the chief of the investigative department of the service said on Friday.“We are waiting for the Minsk meeting. After the meeting, everything will be clear. We want to exchange captives ‘all for all’,”VasilyVovk told a briefing.The security service is ready to release all members of self-defense forces, but not those with “blood on their hands”, he said, adding: “There are about ten such people, no more.”The eastern region’s militia hold 684 people captive, he said.Kiev authorities earlier  stated they were ready for the “all for all” exchange, but after the meeting in Minsk.The head of the committee of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic for refugees and captives, Daria Morozova, said on Thursday Kiev for three weeks could not explain why the exchange was postponed. She linked it with organizational chaos among Ukrainian security authorities.

Putin urges Kiev to fulfil Minsk agreements and complete prisoner exchange with Donbas

“By Christmas Eve, by the New Year they (prisoners of war) must return home,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said

© Stanislav Krasilnikov