Punitive Action in South-East of Ukraine
Alexander DONETSKY | 25.04.2014 | TOP STORY

Punitive Action in South-East of Ukraine

No matter the Geneva accords on de-escalation in Ukraine were signed on April 17, the situation in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions remains extremely tense. 

After the coup was staged in Kiev these two regions with predominantly Russian population refused to recognize the interim authorities, they declared independence and stated the intent to hold referendums to define their future.  The referendums are slated for May 11, the people will express their will answering the questions if they want the regions to remain parts of Ukraine, become independent states or join the Russian Federation.   The people’s militia took positions in the regions capitals: Donetsk and Lugansk, as well as some small towns. In response, so called acting president Alexander Turchinov, the representative of illegal regime, said that all those who supported the idea of letting the people express their free will were “separatists” and “terrorists”. 

The interim government launched what it calls an anti-terrorist (or a punitive) action operation against the people in the East. Some people who were present at the meeting of the interim rulers affirm that the decision to launch combat actions against the civilians was taken under the pressure of CIA director John Brennan.

The operation involves the military, the forces under the Ministry of Internal Affairs, including secret police, and illegal formations of neo-Nazi organization Pravy Sector dressed in fatigues as police units. It is widely reported that 400 mercenaries of US private military company Greystone are also involved in the operation. US officials refused to confirm or deny this information.

The use of MLRS and tanks by the regime to quell the unrest is  egregious.  Somearmored personnel carriers and a tank were seized by unarmed civilians near Slavyansk (the Donetsk region). Combat aviation was also used, in particular for striking the barricades erected as obstacles on the way to the city.

The first attempts of regular forces to seize Slavyansk ended up in total failure. Some soldiers switched sides filling the ranks of opposition to the Kiev-based regime. Reservists were called to active duty for ten days under the pretext of exercises. They were used for quelling the unrest instead.  The called to service soldiers have already been kept on duty in regular units for more than a month.  There was unrest in some formations like the 25th airborne brigade or 93th mechanized infantry brigade where shots were fired into the air to call the servicemen to order. Some army units refused to shoot at civilians upon the orders coming Kiev. They were urgently sent back to home bases. 

It’s clear from the start that the Kiev regime would not comply with the Geneva accords that envision disarmament of illegal armed formations, cease fire and end to bloodshed.  It was confirmed by the attack against the block post near Slavyansk on April 20, the Easter night, leading to civil casualties.  As US Vice-President Joe Biden visited Ukraine, Kiev announced that the operation to put down the unrest in Donbass had entered an “active phase”.The visits of US top officials to Ukraine coincide with the escalation of activities against civil unrest in the East. It makes one surmise that Washington is directly involved in the decision-making process. Russian Foreign Sergey Lavrov said he had no reason to believe the US is not behind the show.

The “active phase” led to shooting at the unarmed civilians guarding block posts. Helicopters and armor personnel carriers were used to increase the number of victims. Tough fighting sparked between the units of self-defense and Ukrainian military. The regular forces used snipers with gun silencers. According to the Ukrainian security service press-service, the authorities were even ready to bomb the city. The army used ammunition forbidden internationally; the evidence was produced by city self-defense fighters in the presence of journalists.

The actions undertaken by the Kiev regime in the East of the country strictly contradict the accords between the United States, Russia, the European Union and Russia signed in Geneva a few days ago. Actually it makes all the diplomatic efforts applied so far go down the drain… 

The use of army units against peaceful civilians is a crime grave enough to make those responsible face the Hague Tribunal. The actions look more like ethnic cleansing, for instance, Igor Kolomoisky, the governor of Dnepropetrovsk region, a Jewish oligarch and the second richest man in Ukraine, spends his own money on forming, supplying   and training punitive battalionsof mercenaries to be sent to the country’s East. He promises a bonus for every captured Moskal (as neo-Nazi call Russians)

On April 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin commented on the events in Ukraine. According to him, ““If it’s true that the current regime in Kiev sent the army against citizens inside its country, and then it is a very serious crime against its own nation,” Putin said attending a media meeting organized by the Russian People's Front in St. Petersburg.“It will have consequences for the people who make such decisions, including relations between our countries. We’ll see how the situation develops and we’ll make conclusions based on the reality on the ground.”

The question is how far is the United States ready to go providing support to military criminals sided with neo-Nazi and using the army against its own people?

Tags: Russia  Ukraine  Putin