By Stephen Lendman
Kiev putschists have total control. They usurped it illegitimately. Challengers aren't tolerated. Democracy is pure fantasy. Police state lawlessness replaced it.
Dissenters are targeted. So are Russian nationals. Sham May elections will be farcical when held. Fascism operates this way.
Thought control is official policy. Aleksandr Panteleyonov learned the hard way. He was National Television Company of Ukraine (NTU) acting CEO. A previous article discussed him.
Last month, neo-Nazi thugs stormed his office. He was accused of airing anti-Ukrainian programming. He was threatened, bullied and beaten.
He was forced to resign. He's lucky to be alive. "Write your resignation," he was told. "Sit down. I told you, sit down."
"You are feating in my Ukraine…Here is a paper (and) pen. Write the resignation now quickly, you animal…You are Moskal garbage." It's a Ukrainian ethnic Russian slur.
Panteleymonov said he's Ukrainian, not Russian. Putschists called him "sh.t!"
"You campaigned for Moscow," they said. "You lied to Ukrainians for our money. NTU is Ukraine's largest state broadcaster.
Putschists want their message alone aired. They want dissenting views silenced. Independent voices are prohibited.
So are Russian TV channels. RT International said its former satellite service provider was "threatened by unknown gunmen."
Days earlier, radicalized masked elements stormed a Kiev city council meeting. They came armed with bats and hammers.
They forced anti-regime members to resign. Lots more disturbing incidents followed. Democratic governance is gone.
Oleg Tsarev is a presidential aspirant. A previous article discussed him. He's a former Yanukovych-led Party of Regions people's deputy.
On April 7, he was lawlessly expelled. During months of US-manipulated violent Maidan protests, he forthrightly opposed them.
He participated in a Svoboda Slova talk show. He paid dearly for doing so. Neo-Nazi Right Sector thugs attacked him.
He was brutally beaten. He was seriously injured. His candidacy stands. He won't withdraw. He's barred from presidential debates.
"I am the sole presidential candidate who has been stripped of the right to use government-provided bodyguards," he said.
"I agreed to participate in the TV debates via a video channel. In response, I was told that the national television company (NTU) is unable to arrange for this."
"Too bad. It would be a good chance to explain the way the people in the country's southeast feel to the authorities and to the whole of Ukraine."
Presidential candidate Mikahil Dobkin participated on the same talk show as Tsarev. En route, Right Sector thugs confronted him.
They blocked his car. They damaged it. His aides were attacked. Dobkin explained on air. He was doused with flour and green antiseptic solution.
He and Tsarvev are independent candidates. He vowed to revive diplomatic relations responsibly with Moscow if elected.
Putschists intend having one of their own become president. Unchallenged rule is planned.
Violent incidents aren't isolated. Tsarev was attacked in Odessa. His press service reported him missing.
Possible kidnapping was suggested. Later he resurfaced. Earlier, he and presidential candidate Sergey Tigipko were pelted with eggs.
These type incidents are "being carried out by the fighters, hired by local (pro-Kiev) authorities," said Tsarev.
"In all areas of the south and the east, these questions are supervised by first deputies newly appointed by the governors."
"Everyone has around 200 fighters on their allowance," he added. Right Sector neo-Nazis and "local small criminals" are enlisted.
"Present day authorities in Kiev with their Right Sector and the National Guard, consisting of former militants, have not invented anything new," Tsarvev added.
They use "language of threats and individual terror." They enforce hardline rule. They aim to "discourage not only historical memory, but also very fresh memories of 'Eurorevolution.' "
Putschists "ignored adopted laws which they passed themselves, for example, an amnesty for all participants in the riots."
They call Eastern Ukrainian protests "separatist." They call participants "terrorists (and) bandits."
Obama's new friends are militant fascist thugs. He calls them democrats. One fascist regime supports another.
Ukrainians nationwide have much to fear. So do peace-loving people everywhere. Escalating crisis conditions threaten much worse ahead.
Russian journalists are persona non grata. Over 20 were denied entry to Ukraine. Reasons given were spurious.
Moscow expressed outrage. So did the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), saying:
"Democratic governments have no business barring journalists from working based on nationality."
"Restricting media access only increases suspicion and misunderstanding."
Russian TV channel Avezda correspondent Maksim Dodonov explained his ordeal, saying:
"I spent nearly seven hours in a room they called either a hotel or a lounge."
"It was a small, very hot stuffy room with nothing but a bed and a table there."
"There are no people there. They just lock you in and leave."
Crews from a dozen other Russian news agencies were blocked. They included Russian business daily Kommersant, RT International and Forbes Russia.
Forbes journalist Pavel Sedakov said "(w)e showed our press cards, but that only made things worse."
"They told us we’re being denied entry for three years. They interrogated us for quite a long time and then filmed all the equipment we had with us."
A joint CPJ Europe/Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ornianova statement said:
"We call on Ukrainian authorities to ensure that all journalists, foreign and domestic, are able to report freely and without obstruction on the unfolding events in Ukraine."
OSCE Media Freedom representative Dunja Mijatovic called on Kiev to stop attacking Eastern Ukrainian journalists violently.
She ignored Kiev-imposed thought control nationwide. Russia's Foreign Ministry denounced her, saying:
"The emphases are often put in the anti-Russian mood. Dunja Mijatovic focuses attention on the developments that took place around the buildings of television companies in Kharkov, Donetsk and Lugansk on April 7."
"But she says nothing about the fact that the actions of the protesters were triggered by the limitations of their right to receive information after the closure of Russian television channels."
Last month, Kiev blocked four Russian TV channels. Doing so violated internationally recognized media freedom standards.
Moscow's Foreign Ministry Commissioner for Human Rights Konstantin Dolgov said banning Russian content violated "every (one's) right to watch television and have access to media in Russian."
A Reporters Without Borders statement said:
"Since Crimea's incorporation into Russia, several Russian media have reported cases of their journalists being turned back at the Ukrainian border."
"When Kommersant reporter Andrey Kolesnikov and photographer Dmitry Azarov tried to visit Kharkov on April 8 to cover the events there, border guards denied them entry on the official grounds that they did not have enough money on them."
Anti-regime figures are targeted. In early March, Donetsk's people's governor Pavel Gubarev was arrested.
He's charged with "organizing mass disorder (and) infringing the territorial integrity and independence of the state."
He's a political prisoner. He's isolated. He's on hunger strike for justice.
According to his wife, Ekaterina, his lawyer said it's "in solidarity with guys who are on the barricades now, defending our land and people."
"He would really want to be with them, but he is a hostage of the Kiev junta."
Russia's Foreign Ministry human rights commissioner Dolgov said his deteriorating health "causes concern."
His lawyer, Aleksandr Groshinsky, said he acted following the "shooting of civilians" in Slavyansk.
"This way, he wants to demonstrate that he is with those who are fighting for their civil rights and civil position."
"When Pavel learned that on Easter the Right Sector shot our militia men at the checkpoint, he voiced his discontent," his wife added.
His Facebook people's governor page said a dispute between him and Ukrainian Security Force (SBU) personnel occurred in detention.
In response, "the jail keepers took away his mattress and bed linen, so that he permanently feels uncomfortable."
On March 7, he was detained for two months. On May 7, rubber-stamp regime judges may order his term extended. Maybe indefinitely.
Geneva four-party agreement terms mandate freeing all political prisoners. It doesn't matter.
Fascists say one thing. They do another. Perhaps they want Gubarev dead. He's very much endangered. So are others like him.
Hundreds of political prisoners languish in Kiev's gulag. They're denied all rights.
Sergey Lavrov expressed concern about Ukrainians "arrested and thrown into prison because they participated in political actions."
Moscow wants immediate access to Gubarev and other political prisoners. It filed an official document with the OSCE and Red Cross demanding it.
Four-party officials discussed Gubarev in Geneva. According to Lavrov:
"He has never taken part in the seizure of administrative buildings, never carried arms."
"He simply spoke at a meeting and said that he was ready to work in interests of reforms and would speak up for a referendum on the federalization of Ukraine."
Lavrov and Kerry discussed Gubarev by phone. On Friday, Lavrov said they'd "do so again today."
"Every time I remind John Kerry about the necessity to address the problem, but he cannot say anything clear."
"Yesterday we received information that Pavel Gubarev is seriously ill, and that he has been beaten and tortured."
Police states operate this way. Kiev putschists threaten fundamental freedoms. They intend eliminating them altogether.
It bears repeating. They enjoy full US support. Two fascist states march in lockstep. Democracy is strictly verboten.
It's pure fantasy. Police state harshness gives no quarter. Dark side politics rules.
A Final Comment
G-7 partners plan new sanctions on Russia. Washington bullied its allies to do so. They'll target Putin "cronies." Perhaps Russian companies. On Monday, they're expected to be announced.
Imposing them follows Russia's failure to implement four-party agreement terms, they said.
"Instead, it has continued to escalate tensions by increasingly concerning rhetoric and ongoing threatening military maneuvers on Ukraine's border," they added.
"We have now agreed (to) move swiftly (against) Moscow."
"We have committed to act urgently to intensify targeted sanctions and measures to increase the costs of Russia's actions."
"We underscore that the door remains open to a diplomatic resolution of this crisis."
They duplicitously "praised" Kiev putschists. They claimed they implemented agreed on terms. Straightaway they violated them egregiously.
Russia's Foreign Ministry calls sanctions "inappropriate and counterproductive."
EU politicians and businessmen fear negative blow back. Various banks and energy related companies deplore sanctions.
They want them eased. They want them eliminated. They're bad for business.
According to BASF Wintershall subsidiary chairman Rainer Seele:
"Neither in energy terms, nor politically, should we turn away from Russia. Sanctions will not help anybody, they would not just hurt Russia, but also Germany and Europe as a whole."
Austrian energy supplier OMV has longstanding Gazprom relations. CEO Gerhard Roiss said:
"You cannot talk about sanctions if you don't know the outcome of sanctions Europe has developed over the last 50 years into a region where we have a division of labor and a division of resources, and this means in concrete terms that energy is imported from Russia and products automotive or machinery are exported from European countries into Russia."
Other EU executives feel the same way. Sanctions cut both ways. Targeting Russia harms their companies. In some cases more-so.
Politics trumps reason. Washington rules apply. EU partners are bullied to accept what harms their interests.
Expect heightened tensions to escalate. Unpredictable dire consequences may follow.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
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.
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