Ukraine Hides its Role in the Caucasus War

Russia blames Ukraine for concealing its role in S. Ossetia events

MOSCOW.  Nov  13  (Interfax)  –  Moscow regrets that an online film about Georgia’s  attack  against South Ossetia was not shown in Ukraine, which points to Ukraine’s attempts to conceal its role in those events.
Earlier reports said that the Ukrainian Security Service foiled the release of an online film, entitled “War 08.08.08. The Art of Betrayal,” which exposes Ukraine’s role in the events in the Caucasus.
“Apparently,   the   Ukrainian  authorities,  using  all  sorts  of pretexts, are trying to conceal the truth about the real events in South Ossetia  and  Ukraine’s  involvement  in  them.  Such  actions cannot be justified  and  arouse  profound  regret,”  the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Kiev Afraid To Tell Truth About South Ossetia War

Voice of Russia, November 13, 2008

The demonstration of the film, “Voina 080808. Istoriya predatelstva”(“War 080808. The Art of Betrayal”), telling us about Georgia’s recent aggression against South Ossetia, was wrecked in the Ukrainian capital Kiev. This film is based on film footage, eye-witnesses’ evidences and documents.

On Tuesday, November 13th , this documentary film, made by the Russian film maker Alexei Akimov, should have been shown in the Hyatt Hotel in Kiev. However, the Ukrainian authorities banned the film show. The letter of the Ukrainian Security Service head, saying that the demonstration of the film may trigger aggressive youth rallies, was shown to the Verkhovnaya Rada (Parliament) deputies and to the public representatives who arrived to see the film. Therefore, the film show was banned.

Judging by the facts, the authorities did not want the Ukrainians to learn the truth about the August war in the Caucasus, as a result of which Russia faced the necessity to force the aggressor to peace. And here’s the State Duma deputy Konstantin Kosachev, offering his comment.

Our stand on the Georgian-Ossetian and Georgian-Abkhaz conflict was initially aimed at the prevention of the further bloodshed and at the exclusion of the human death losses. And this is exactly what we continue doing. And we’ll do the same, should more conflicts emerge on the post-Soviet space.

Ukraine’s President Viktor Yushchenko and his close supporters have a different interpretation of the South Ossetian events. They present Georgia, which committed an act of aggression, factually, as a victim. And try to present Russia, which brought to an abrupt halt the extermination of peaceful civilians, as an aggressor. Such interpretation is based on the anti-Russian views of the leading Ukrainian politicians and linked to the close, including kindred contacts, with the Saakishvili regime.

Not only political sympathies and tastes determine such approach. The film “War 080808. The Art of Betrayal” is about the unseemly role of President Viktor Yushchenko in the South Ossetian events. It is by his consent that the Ukrainian weapons, which were used to kill the South Ossetian citizens and peacekeepers, were supplied to the Saakishvili regime. Today a special commission of Verkhovnaya Rada (Parliament) is conducting an investigation into the case. Its leader — Deputy Valery Konovalyuk — is of the opinion that President Yushchenko and some other officials — leaders of agencies, which were involved in the export of armaments, are to blame for numerous abuses. It is not clear yet what the revenues from the arms sales to Georgia were spent for.

Thus, broad glasnost about the war in the Caucasus is at variance with the interests of the current ruling elite in Kiev.

Ukraine ‘censored’ arms sales documentary

Russia Today, November 13, 2008

A Russian film-maker claims the Ukrainian authorities prevented him from screening a documentary revealing the extent of Ukraine’s arms sales to Georgia. Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko has already admitted her country’s behaviour during the war in South Ossetia was suspicious.

Meanwhile, the Russian foreign ministry has accused Ukraine of concealing its involvement in the August conflict.

The documentary, called “The Art of Betrayal”, has been posted on the website. The film follows events surrounding August’s war in South Ossetia. Aleksey Akimov, one of the producers, travelled to the war zone three days after the conflict started. The aim, he said, was to present the truth.
“We followed Georgian troops on their way to Tskhinval. Our documentary shows footage that Georgian soldiers filmed with their cell phones – and they filmed a lot,” Akimov said.

“We want people to see the real picture of what happened there.”

Akimov is critical of how the Western media handled the story, saying “most Western channels like the BBC and CNN were on a campaign to mislead the viewer”.
After publishing the documentary on the internet, the makers decided to present their report to the Ukrainian public. They chose one of Kiev’s luxurious hotels for their initial promotion.

The team said they received permission to show the footage on large screens in the hotel’s conference room. However, at the very last minute, the Ukrainian security service stopped them, for what they said were “security reasons”.

Akimov was left with no choice but to distribute his documentary on DVD.

Ukrainian MP Valery Konovaluk heads a special parliamentary commission, which is investigating illegal arms trading in Ukraine. He believes that president Yushchenko has been involved in dirty deals and, in particular, was responsible for arming Georgia prior to the conflict – something the documentary also alleges.

Konovaluk has said several times that Ukraine’s leader has to be impeached. He’s angry over the cancellation of the documentary.

“It’s the third time in a row that we have had such an event cancelled. But in this case it wasn’t my commission who organised it, but – just think of it – the Russian Embassy in Ukraine.  We invited many diplomats from other countries, international organisations like PACE, lots of western mass-media. And at the same time, we’re being told not to hold it,” he said.

Konovaluk’s commission recently travelled to South Ossetia to investigate and said that they found proof of Ukraine’s involvement in the conflict. The deputy is preparing a report to be made public soon.

Konovaluk has been running his investigation for several months now, but the presidential administration is yet to respond to his statements. At the same time, Valery has been called to prosecutor’s office for questioning. The Rada deputy is being accused of counter-intelligence activities and jeopardising national security.

Sergey Bondarchuk, the head of the country’s main arms exporter, Ukrspetzexport, says Konovaluk fails to recignise how important arms sales are to the Ukrainian economy.

“It seems he doesn’t know that the money raised from weapons sales goes directly into the state budget, for social needs as well. So, jeopardising the sales could lead to social problems.”

He also pointed out that Ukraine had every right to sell weapons to Georgia: “For years we have been legally selling our arms to all countries, which have no weapons embargo. And we will continue doing so,” Bondarchuk said.
And he’s not alone. A crowd of around 40 came to protest at the screening of the documentary. Some banners even accused Konovaluk of being an FSB (the Russian security service) agent. But the deputy says that despite the pressure, he won’t give up in his search for the truth.

On Friday he promises to show the documentary to his colleagues in the Ukrainian parliament. However, it is unclear when he will present his potentially sensational weapons trading report.

Articles by: Global Research

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