We're All Ukrainians Now
By Stephen Lendman
On February 22, 2014, Ukrainian freedom died. Western-supported fascist putschists seized power. They ousted Ukraine's democratically elected government.
Mob rule replaced it. Illegitimate xenophobic, ultranationalist, neo-Nazi, anti-Semitic thugs run things. They do so with full US backing.
Eastern Ukrainians reject Kiev putschists. They want democracy. They want the real thing. They want what Americans don't have. They're going all-out to get it.
They're a role model for freedom fighters everywhere. They deserve universal support.
They continue rallying across Eastern Ukraine. They seized government buildings. They're peaceful. They're courageous.
They want local autonomy. They want Crimean-style referendum authority to decide. They want their democratic rights respected. They're entitled to demand them. So do people everywhere.
Illegitimate putschist prime minister Arseny Yatsenyuk backed off from earlier threats. He promised legislation granting regional referenda.
He spoke as a 48-hour deadline given protesters to evacuate public buildings expired. He'll support greater autonomy, he said.
His U-turn was short-lived. He ordered crackdowns on Slavyansk protesters. Kiev calls them terrorists. They're in Donetsk's industrial region. They're under attack.
Transport helicopters ferried in troops. They besieged the city. Fighting erupted. Gunfire was heard. Injuries were reported.
Illegitimate putschist interior minister Arsen Avakov called protesters "Russian aggression." He announced a "zero tolerance policy." He ordered an "anti-terrorist operation." He issue a statement saying:
"An anti-terrorist operation has begun in Slavyansk. It is being directed by the anti-terrorist center of the state security service."
"Forces from all the security units of the country have been brought in."
He claimed one Kiev security force member killed. Another five injured. Protesters sustained casualties, he said. He gave no further details.
Donetsk region health authorities reported one person killed. It happened on a road connecting Slavyansk with Artymovsk. Another five Slavyansk residents were injured.
It's unclear whether these casualties are ones Avakov reported. Slavyansk protesters reported one death. Two other protesters were injured. Two Kiev troops were killed, they said.
Barricades were set ablaze. New ones were erected. Activists persist courageously. Freedom fighting entails risks.
Protesters still control Slavyansk police headquarters. They reinforced it with barricade protections. They're confronting siege conditions valiantly.
Reuters said "(a) group of up to a 100 civilians, many of them elderly women, stood in front of (an occupied government) building, chanting messages of solidarity to the protesters inside, including "Referendum!"
Conditions are fluid. Local security forces refused orders to attack protesters. Western Ukrainian elements came in.
John Kerry blamed Russia for Eastern Ukrainian protests. He lied calling called them "orchestrated and synchronized."
They're "similar to 'previous attacks' in Eastern Ukraine and Crimea," he claimed. He warned Sergei Lavrov.
"If Russia didn't take steps to deescalate in Eastern Ukraine and move its troops back from (its) border, there would be additional consequences," he said.
Russia's Foreign Ministry dismissed Kerry's arrogance. Lavrov justifiably blamed crisis conditions on Kiev's failure "to take into account the legitimate needs and interests of the Russian and Russian-speaking population."
He denied Kerry's allegations about Moscow's involvement. In diplomatic language, he said put up or shut up.
No evidence whatever links Russia to Eastern Ukrainian protests. They local. They're homegrown.
They're spontaneous. They're glorious. They're growing. They're spreading. They reflect the best of legitimate resistance.
Lavrov warned Kerry saying:
"If Kiev’s threats to use force against people driven to despair in the southeast are carried out, prospects for further cooperation on the Ukrainian issue, including a planned four-party meeting in Geneva, will be foiled."
A Russian Foreign Ministry statement said "the acute political crisis in Ukraine in general and in its south-eastern regions in particular was caused by the present Kiev authorities’ failure to take into account the legitimate needs and interests of the Russian and Russian-speaking population."
"The leadership in Kiev is showing its inability to assume responsibility for the fate of the country and to effectively engage all political forces and regions in an inclusive process of drafting a new constitution."
Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt pointed fingers the wrong way. He condemned Eastern protests.
He lied calling them "a coordinated armed action to seize control over key parts of Eastern Ukraine."
US-led NATO lied. It issued a so-called "Fact Sheet." It's titled "Russia's accusations - setting the record straight."
It twisted reality to fit Western policy. It accused Russia of "aggression." A litany of lies followed. So-called "facts" were invented to do so. It's longstanding US policy.
"To divert attention away from its actions, Russia has leveled a series of accusations against NATO which are based on misrepresentations of the facts and ignore the sustained effort that NATO has put into building a partnership with Russia," it said.
"Russia has also made baseless attacks on the legitimacy of the Ukrainian authorities and has used force to seize part of Ukraine's territory," it added.
"…Russia now appears to be attempting to recreate a sphere of influence by seizing a part of Ukraine (and) maintaining large numbers of forces on its borders…"
On Sunday, Itar-Tass said Kiev putschists "may impose a state of emergency in Eastern Ukraine. (They) would not have happened without Russia," they claimed.
Voice of Russia headlined "Operations begin in three cities in east Ukraine('s) (Donetsk region) to knock protesters out of seized administrative buildings."
Putschist appointed Donetsk regional governor Sergei Taruta said:
"In connection with the current developments the decision has been made to reinforce law enforcement agencies of the Donetsk region."
"We will use all legal means for prompt restoration of order."
Former Berkut riot police refused to obey orders. They side with protesters. They offered security and protection.
They occupied Donetsk police headquarters. They tied St. George ribbons to their uniforms. A representative said:
"Berkut has always been and will remain with (Ukraine's) people. I want to assure you that if you're faced with threats, any type of threat, we will all rise up and come to your rescue."
Crowds cheered his statement. They shouted "Berkut! Berkut!" Protesters demanded Donetsk's police chief resign. Major General Konstantin Pozhidaev obliged.
Neo-Nazi Right Sector leader Dmitry Yarosh ordered militants he controls mobilized. He issued a statement saying:
"Considering the current situation, I order all of the Right Sector structures to conduct full mobilization and prepare for decisive actions to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country."
He urged law enforcement authorities "not to block" him. He accused Kiev officials of failing to act decisively.
Kiev's interior ministry said protesters occupied Kramatorsk's police headquarters. The city is an important mechanical engineering center.
Three administrative buildings in Enakiyeve were seized. Others were occupied in Druzhkovka, Krasny Liman, Konstantinovka, Snezhnoe, Mariupol and elsewhere.
Eastern Ukrainian activism is growing. It's spreading. Perhaps it's just a matter of time until Western Ukrainians react. '
Repression gets people to react. Combined with force-fed neoliberal harshness, conditions are potentially incendiary.
Perhaps hindsight will show Washington reaped the whirlwind in Ukraine. It's post-9/11 agenda did so. Perhaps its entire post-WW II one.
It hasn't won a war since then. It makes more enemies than friends. Its influence is waning. Eventually it'll go the way of all empires.
None survived. Nor will America. Extremism is its own worst enemy. Washington is worst of all.
Will Ukraine be its Waterloo? Will people power show its strength? Will ordinary Ukrainians defeat its might?
Will dismissive Americans be awakened? Will they act in their own defense? Public anger across Europe is encouraging.
"When people lose everything and have nothing left to lose, they lose it," says Gerald Celente.
When pain levels cross a threshold of no return, all bets are off. Change never comes top down. Bottom up alone works.
Hindsight is the best foresight. The moment of truth perhaps draws closer. It can't come a moment too soon. The fullness of time will tell.
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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