Antiwar protests spreading in Ukraine as gov’t wages all-out war in the southeast and NATO threatens Russia

By Roger Annis, July 31, 2014, published on Rabble.ca

Antiwar protest in city of Mykolaiv, Ukraine, July 25, 2014, blocking traffic bridge over Bug River

Antiwar protest in city of Mykolaiv, Ukraine, July 25, 2014, blocking traffic bridge over Bug River

A rising wave of antiwar and anti-conscription protest is taking place in cities and towns across western Ukraine. The protests are prompted by the announcement of Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko ten days ago that a “third” military mobilization is now required for the war that his governing regime began waging against the population of eastern Ukraine three months ago. Kyiv calls the war an ‘anti-terrorist operation’.

The protests are paralleled by a rise in Ukraine army desertions and refusals of men and women to heed conscription orders.

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Obama joins EU in sanctioning Russia as Ukraine’s civilian death toll mounts

Interview with Roger Annis on The Real News Network, July 30, 2014

Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore.

Eastern Ukraine’s civilian death toll has been rising as the fractured country continues to see its worst fighting in months. On Tuesday, Reuters reported that 19 civilians were killed in clashes between separatists and government forces. And the UN says more than 1,000 people have been killed since April.

More at The Real News
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‘Ukraine Crisis’: New video documents Ukraine army war crimes in eastern Ukraine

A new, 80-minute video compilation, Ukraine Crisis, has been produced that provides a powerful record of the war in eastern Ukraine during the past month. A warning, there are some scenes of death and destruction caused by the Kyiv government’s shelling that are disturbing, particularly in the four to six minute section, inclusively.

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Ukraine army seizes and blocks access to Malaysia Airlines crash site

By Roger Annis, July 28, 2014

Ukraine army shell struck bus shelter in Luhansk, July 27, 2014

Ukraine army shell struck bus shelter in Luhansk, July 27, 2014

July 28, 2014–Susan Ormiston of CBC News reports from Donetsk today there has been “constant and heavy shelling” by the Ukraine army during the past two days on the towns and villages in Donetsk region surrounding the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

The site was turned over to international investigators four days ago by Donetsk self-defense fighters, but the investigators have not been able to access it due to military operations of the Ukraine army. The site is either abandoned or » Read more..

Slander abounds in depictions of autonomy fighters in eastern Ukraine, while MH 17 investigation stalls and Kyiv’s war rages

By Roger Annis, July 27, 2014, published in Rabble.ca

July 27, 2014—Imperialist governments and media as well as countless other commentators abound with portrayals of the pro-democracy, pro-autonomy forces in eastern Ukraine as “Russian-backed separatists” and worse. On the ‘worse’ range of the spectrum, terms such as ‘fanatics’, ‘thugs’ and even ‘fascists’ are tossed about.

Shelling of Horlovka, near Donetsk, by Ukraine military on July 27, 2014

Shelling of Horlovka, near Donetsk, by Ukraine military on July 27, 2014

It would take a work of encyclopedic scale to answer all the charges. Admittedly, such a study would include admissions that there are human rights violations taking place on both sides of the conflict in eastern Ukraine. But the vast majority of those violations are perpetrated by Ukraine armed forces and militias, while self-defense forces are aware of concerns over their treatment of opposing combatants and are taking measures to ensure the safety of prisoners they capture. Concerning the aforementioned portrayals, let us take one prominent example from recent days and see what it tells us.

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Can Kyiv sustain its war in eastern Ukraine? The view from Canada

By Roger Annis

Grad rocket attacks in Donetsk in July 2014, documented by Human Rights Watch, HRW image

Grad rocket attacks in Donetsk in July 2014, documented by Human Rights Watch, HRW image

July 25, 2014—As the world reels from the horrific news of Israel’s shelling attack yesterday on a United Nations shelter in Gaza, killing 16 people and injuring several hundred more, one of Israel’s trusted allies, the neo-conservative prime minister of Australia, Tony Abbott, is hatching a cynical plan to land imperialist police and maybe soldiers in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine where Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 crashed on July 17.

Twenty eight Australians were on board the doomed flight, as were some 200 people from Holland.

Abbott is working on his plan together with his Dutch counterpart. He says » Read more..

Antiwar activists to Toronto Star: No to Kyiv’s war in Ukraine

July 22, 2014

Hello Toronto Star editors,

We recently attended a two day conference in Yalta, Crimea organized by antiwar activists in Ukraine and Russia. We are writing to express our disagreement and concern over your editorials of July 19 and July 22, both of which argue a belligerent ‘time to stand up to Russia’. In our view, the editorials airbrush away the murderous civil war which the Kyiv government has been waging in the southeast of the country for the past four months.

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The shelling of Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, by the Ukraine army

By Roger Annis, July 23, 2014 (also published on Rabble.ca)

The following is a 12-minute video recording of the aftermath of the shelling of the city of Luhansk in eastern Ukraine by Ukraine armed forces on July 18, 2014. There are many videos being broadcast describing the destruction and killings of the Kyiv government in its now months-long military offensive against southeast Ukraine. This video is unique because it is comprehensive and because it is subtitled in English. WARNING: the images of the citizen victims of shelling, including children, are very disturbing.

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The struggle for Ukraine language and culture

The author, Dmitry Kolesnik, is an editor of the Ukraine website Liva.com (‘The Left’). Liva includes a page of translations of articles into English. This article was edited for English language publication in consultation with the author.

By Dmitry Kolesnik, July 23, 2014

Street scene in Kyiv, photo Flikr CommonsThe statistics in Wikipedia’s entry on ‘Ukrainization’ are mostly correct when describing the general trends in education services. The numbers of students who study at secondary school and in higher education in the Ukrainian language has risen. The numbers studying in Russian have declined. (Russian language study remains required in secondary school). But the report is not a reliable measure of language in the country overall.

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Russia and the war in eastern Ukraine

By Roger Annis

The following article was written in the days before I departed Moscow on July 17, 2014 following a two week visit to Crimea and Moscow.

Miners rally in Donetsk on June 18, 2014, sign reads 'NATO out!'

Miners rally in Donetsk on June 18, 2014, sign reads ‘NATO out!’

Moscow, Russia, July 17, 2014–Bombardments of cities and towns in eastern Ukraine by the Ukraine army are not letting up. Two days ago, Russia Today reported that 18 civilians had died in Luhansk city over the previous three days from the indiscriminate shelling of neighbourhoods. Today, shelling has killed 20 and cut electricity, water service and communication in the city of 400,000 people. In a display of how the media is turning a blind eye to war crimes, the BBC called the attacks in Luhansk “fresh clashes”.

The number of dead is much higher in Donetsk region, including eleven people who died when missiles struck an apartment building in Snezhnoe July 15. It » Read more..