The atrocities in Odessa and Mariupol have the fingerprints of what happened in other countries where private security contractors were involved, Director of the Center for Research on Globalization Michel Chossudovsky told RIA Novosti Monday.
“What is happening in Odessa, Slaviansk and other cities bear the fingerprints of the special forces, highly trained former military, private mercenaries,” Chossudovsky said. “They have committed such atrocities in Iraq, and in Syria.”
According to the German Bild am Sonntag newspaper, around 400 elite commandos of notorious US private security firm Academi are allegedly helping Ukrainian authorities in a punitive operation against federalists in the country’s east.
The newspaper said the Academi mercenaries have taken part in attacks against federalists near Slaviansk, one of the strongholds of pro-federalization supporters in Ukraine. It is unclear who hired them, the newspaper added.
“Those reports are a little bit repetitive because we know this and I think what has to be addressed now is the role of these forces in the atrocities committed in Odessa and in Mariupol,” Chossudovsky told RIA Novosti.
“I think that the Western military alliance is committed to generating further atrocities and civilian deaths, thus dividing the Ukrainian people. What is happening in Ukraine is not necessarily a pro-Russian initiative, this is a movement against the neo-Nazi government,” he added.
Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service informed the German government about the involvement of Academi commandos in Kiev’s military operations in eastern Ukraine in late April. Academi, formerly known as Blackwater, gained notoriety for murdering civilians in Iraq, as well as conducting arms smuggling and committing other crimes.
A March 17 press release on Academi’s website called the allegations of its involvement in the Ukrainian crisis “unfounded statements.”
“Some irresponsible bloggers and an online reporter have recently posted rumors that Academi employees (operating under the name of Blackwater) are present in Ukraine,” the company said. “They are not and Academi has no relationship with any entity named Blackwater.”
Commenting on Academi’s denial, Michel Chossudovsky said this was not true. “If they were not lying they wouldn’t need a press release,” he told RIA Novosti. “The fact that they deny it doesn’t mean anything. They are not going to tell the truth.”
He also noted that Ukraine’s National Guard set up in the middle of March is financed and supported by the US, with the “the Western military alliance” having a “criminal agenda in eastern Ukraine.”
“There were also training programs and in all likelihood private mercenaries involved in training programs as well as actual formation of the National Guard. That has to be assessed. We need more information on the presence of these special forces,” Chossudovsky said.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly warned of foreign mercenaries’ active involvement in Kiev’s operations, signaling the authorities’ incapacity to maintain order in the country.
Russian Foreign Ministry Commissioner for Human Rights Konstantin Dolgov said last month information on possible foreign mercenaries participation in Ukraine’s special operation questions the role of the West in the Ukrainian crisis.