A previous article discussed Eastern Ukrainian resistance. Thousands in Kharvov, Donetsk, Dnepropetrovsk, Lugansk, Odessa, Nikolayev and elsewhere reject Kiev putschists.
They want local autonomy. They want Crimean-style referendum authority to decide.
They took over Donetsk’s Security Service building. They proclaimed a People’s Republic of Donetsk.
Kharkov protesters took over the Regional State Administration. They occupied the putschist UNIAN news agency building.
They proclaimed independence.
Protesters flooded streets. It’s happening across Eastern Ukraine.
On April 8, RT International headlined “Kiev cracks down on eastern Ukraine cities after two proclaim independence.”
Police arrested at least 70 activists. Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said:
“The anti-terrorist operation has begun. The center of the city and Metro stations are closed. As soon as we finish the operation, we will unblock them.”
“The building of Regional State Administration is totally free from the separatists who seized it earlier.”
He threatened to sack 30% of Khakov’s police, adding:
“I said yesterday that a considerable number of police officers not so much had been serving their Motherland as sabotaging the process.”
“I believe at least 30% of Kharkov police will be dismissed.”
According to RT, police attacked protesters violently. They “used fire-hoses, stun grenades, and tear gas…”
In response, activists threw Molotov cocktails. They did so at the building. They avoided harming anyone. They set tires ablaze.
It spread on the building’s first floor. Fire crews extinguished the blaze. Minor damage was reported.
Eye-witnesses said putschist provocateurs triggered violence. Earlier, pro-EU elements clashed with federalization supporters.
Witnesses said demonstrators still control the building. RT said an activist used a loudspeaker.
He proclaimed Kharkov independence. He said a regional referendum will decide it up or down. Demonstrators responded supportively.
Protesters erected barricades around administrative buildings. They did so around Security Service headquarters.
Donetsk protesters reacted the same way. Mariupol Donetsk region port city conditions remain tense.
On Saturday, pro-Russian activists stormed the local prosecutor’s building. They demanded people’s mayor Dmitry Kuzmenko’s release.
Odessa residents protested against Kiev repression. Clashes erupted in Nikolaev. It’s in southern Ukraine.
Hundreds of activists tried storming the city’s administration building. Police attacked them with rubber bullets.
At least 15 injuries were reported. Eleven were hospitalized. Over 20 arrests were made.
Dnepropetrovsk authorities tried reason over violence. They moved to negotiate with protesters.
Boris Filatov is regional vice governor. Protesters agreed to refrain from “calls for separatist actions,” he said.
Authorities let them operate out of administrative building facilities. They provided free print media access.
On April 8, Voice of Russia (VOR) headlined “Tanks heading for Ukraine’s Lugansk on Kiev order,” saying:
Southeastern self-defense squads are readying “for an armed attack.” According to activist Yury Germes:
“Citizens are all wound up. Lugansk residents are demanding a referendum on self-determination. It was hard to negotiate with the interior ministry representatives.”
“We’ve just got info on six armored vehicles and soldiers heading for Lugansk. We will not give in. There must be a referendum!”
Donetsk mayor Alexander Lukyanchenko blamed Kiev. Fascist extremists ignited protests.
“New Ukrainian authorities do not quite understand what is happening in Donetsk now.”
“Indeed, the seizure of administrative buildings is illegal and bad. Separatist slogans that were voiced in city squares are unacceptable.”
“Yet all these problems are a consequence of the new authorities’ incorrect policy, their unwillingness to look into the problems to understand them.”
They have themselves to blame. Protesters reject them. They want their rights respected. Putschist extremists deny them.
On April 8, Itar Tass headlined “Federalization crucial for Ukraine – Russian lawmaker.”
According to Moscow’s lower house State Duma Education Committee chairman Vyacheslav Nikonov:
“It’s perfectly clear that if the Kiev authorities do not go the way of federalization, do not give official status to the Russian language and non-aligned status to Ukraine, it will probably be doomed as an independent and integral state.”
Growing thousands across Eastern Ukraine demand it. Protesting reflects “the extremely near-sighted nationalist policy pursed by so-called incumbent Kiev authorities,” Nikonov added.
Russia may have to intervene to avoid violence and bloodshed, he said. Doing so would exclude troops, he stressed.
Socioeconomic conditions alone are deplorable. IMF diktats assure far worse ahead. Plundering Ukraine is planned.
So is sacking thousands of workers. Increasing poverty exponentially is certain. Ukraine heads toward becoming Greece 2.0.
Horrific conditions reflect things. Growing human misery describes them. Expect angry Ukrainians becoming enraged ahead.
They’ve yet to feel neoliberal harshness full force. It’s coming. It’s planned. It’ll hit like a hammer on arrival. It’ll leave millions of Ukrainians on their own out of luck.
It remains to be seen how they’ll react. Perhaps not just in Eastern cities. Maybe nationwide. People take only so much before rebelling. A potential social explosion looms.
Maybe civil war. Maybe what opposition putschists can’t contain. Will US-led NATO forces intervene? Will mass slaughter follow?
Will Obama’s grand strategy fail? Will conflict spread cross-border? Will Russia be targeted? Will it be blamed for US-led lawlessness? These and other important questions remain unanswered.
Sergei Lavrov is a consummate diplomat. He shames John Kerry. He deserves Nobel Peace Prize recognition. War criminals alone get it. Obama is Exhibit A.
On April 7, Lavrov’s London Guardian commentary headlined “It’s not Russia that is destabilizing Ukraine.”
He called what’s ongoing a “profound and pervasive crisis.” It’s “a matter of grave concern,” he added.
External forces should be helping Ukraine, he stressed. At issue is “protect(ing) the foundations of civil peace and sustainable development…”
Moscow goes all-out to do it. Lavrov is front and center involved. Russia more than any other country. Best efforts are criticized.
Misguided Western ones substitute. Kiev was “undemocratically” seized. Putschists have no legitimacy.
No one elected them. Legal authority is absent. Self-appointing themselves mocks lawful governance. It reflects tyranny writ large.
At the same time, US-led NATO encroaches closer to Russia’s borders. Doing so is provocatively dangerous.
“No less troubling is the pretence of not noticing that the main danger for the future of Ukraine is the spread of chaos by extremists and neo-Nazis,” said Lavrov.
“Russia is doing all it can to promote early stabilisation in Ukraine.”
“We are firmly convinced that this can be achieved through, among other steps: real constitutional reform, which would ensure the legitimate rights of all Ukrainian regions and respond to demands from its south-eastern region to make Russian the state’s second official language; firm guarantees on Ukraine’s non-aligned status enshrined in its laws, thus ensuring its role as a connecting link in an indivisible European security architecture; and urgent measures to halt activity by illegal armed formations of the Right Sector and other ultra-nationalist groups.”
Moscow imposes nothing on anyone, Lavrov added. If policies benefitting all Ukrainians fairly aren’t implemented, crisis conditions may spiral out-of-control.
With “unpredictable consequences,” said Lavrov. Russia is ready to partner with Western nations. It urges “achieving (important) goals.”
Belligerent actions worsen things. Sanctions are counterproductive. They cut both ways. They’re stupid. They’re lose – lose.
“De-escalation should begin with rhetoric,” said Lavrov. It’s time to stop “whipping-up” tensions. He urges cooperation. Serious work remains unresolved.
It’s up to both sides to do it. Russia wants no less. It can’t pursue mutually beneficial policies without a willing partner.
It has none. Washington prefers confrontation. It drags its EU partners along. Doing the wrong thing assures its own punishment.
What’s worse than global war. Odds of it erupting increase with every Western provocation.
They repeat with disturbing regularity. Mainstream media echo Big Lies. Murdoch controlled Wall Street Journal editors are some of the worst.
Putin bashing writ large persists. On April 7, they headlined “Putin’s Latest Escalation.”
He’s “back on the offensive,” they said. They lied claiming it. They outrageously blamed him for Eastern Ukrainian protests.
Moscow has nothing to do with them. Claiming otherwise hypes a Big Lie. It’s featured. It’s longstanding Journal editorial policy.
Truth is systematically buried. It’s verboten. It’s not tolerated. It’s opposite the acceptable narrative.
Journal editors suggest “bloodshed could provide the excuse Mr. Putin wants to order Russian forces to take over another chunk of the country, not that the Russian has shown he needs a pretext.”
They hyped the Big Lie about Russia invading Crimea and annexing it. Crimeans acted on their own. They did so overwhelmingly.
They voted 96.77% for reunification. Record turnout made it more impressive. Ordinary Crimeans chose. International law supports them. UN Charter principles endorse self-determination.
Washington can’t deny them. Nor Journal editors. Big Lies can’t hide truth. Calling Crimea’s referendum a “sham” doesn’t wash.
Nor blaming Russia for Eastern Ukrainian activism. It’s spontaneous. It’s self-generated. It’s real. It’s legitimate. It has legs.
It’s spreading. It may go nationwide. Obama’s new imperial trophy may slip from his grasp. Maybe he’ll go to war to save it.
Maybe Journal editors will cheerlead it. They’re in lockstep with all US imperial wars. Calling them humanitarian interventions turns truth on its head.
So does saying Putin uses Russia’s “military (for) leverage.” Claiming its parliament is “rubber-stamp.”
Suggesting “Russian forces (are) green-lighted…anywhere in Ukraine to protect Russian speakers.” Lying about them ready to invade Ukraine “at any moment.”
They bury legitimate voices. They give them no say. They quoted illegitimate/fascist extremist/self-appointed president Oleksandr Turchynov. He maliciously accused Russia of:
“Debstabilization, toppling the current government, thwarting elections and tearing the country apart.”
Things were stable until he and other putschists allied with Washington and Western partners. They wrecked Ukraine doing it.
They established illegitimate fascist rule. They plan sham May elections. They’ll be manipulated to install likeminded extremists.
Democracy is strictly verboten. Ukrainians have no say. Not according to Journal editors.
They praised coup d’etat “democracy.” They hailed a “prosperous alignment with the West.” They lied claiming Putin wants things his way.
His “troops on the border are a reminder of what can happen by force if Kiev declines the offer.”
Legitimate editors wouldn’t touch this rubbish. Journal ones feature it. Propaganda substitutes for required reading. War winds head toward gale force.
A Final Comment
On April 8, John Kerry testified before Senate Foreign Relations Committee members. He highlighted the Big Lie.
He blames “Russian provocateurs” for spontaneous Eastern Ukrainian protests. He claimed Moscow may use them as a pretext to invade cross border.
He cited nonexistent Russian special forces involvement. He mentioned intelligence operatives. He said they’re acting as catalysts. They’re stoking unrest, he claimed.
“Quite simply, what we see from Russia is an illegal and illegitimate effort to destabilize a sovereign state and create a contrived crisis with paid operatives across an international boundary,” he said.
It’s hard understanding why anyone takes him seriously. He’s transparently disingenuous. He hypes one Big Lie after another. He’s been caught red-handed many times.
He’s not deterred. He blames Russia for US crimes. He blames Syria and Palestinians the same way.
He mocks legitimate statesmanship. He lacks honor. Integrity isn’t his long suit. Nor credibility. Sergei Lavrov shames him by comparison.
Mismatch describes their relationship. A diplomatic giant v. a tactless incredibly shrinking pretender.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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