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..

Robert Parry: ‘Recklessness and a rush to judgement’ over the crash of Malaysia Airlines in eastern Ukraine

Introduction by Roger Annis, July 21, 2014

Two articles by Robert Parry of Consortium News, published on July 20 and 21, raise serious concerns and doubts about the integrity of a needed, thorough and impartial inquiry into the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on July 17.

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 17 crash site, screenshot image frmo The GuardianParry’s article today slams U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for a “reckless rush to judgement” as voiced by Kerry on the Sunday, July 20 television talk show circuit in the United States. Parry writes, “[Kerry] essentially dictated the outcome of an inquiry that risks pushing the world into a new and dangerous Cold War.”

And in an article on July 20, Parry writes, “In the recent past, this sort of sloppy American journalism has led to mass slaughters in Iraq – and has contributed to near U.S. wars on Syria and Iran – but now the stakes are much higher… this » Read more..

Escalation of shelling in eastern Ukraine by Kyiv gov’t after the tragic crash of Malaysia Airlines flight

By Roger Annis, July 19, 2014

Shelling of Luhansk July 18,, 2014, photo RIA NovostiI learned of the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 when my plane landed in Montreal the same day, July 17, on my way home from Moscow. The Moscow-Munich leg of my flight departed one hour before the (delayed) departure of Flight MH17 from Amsterdam at 12:30 pm local time. I reckon the respective flight paths crossed each other somewhere just west of Ukraine.

Flight MH17 went down over territory controlled by self defense forces of the autonomous regions of southeast Ukraine, near the village of Grabovo (Hrabove), halfway between Donetsk and Luhansk cities, 50 km north and 100 km west of the Russian border. There are 298 reported victims. Here is the fateful flight’s route map.

A typical western media headline graced the front page of the Vancouver Sun the day after. It read, ‘Malaysian plane shot down by rebels’. Case closed. Guilty as charged.

» Read more..

It’s war in eastern Ukraine as Kyiv gov’t bombards cities and towns

By Roger Annis

Ukraine army in Kramatorsk, photo Ukraine gov't

Ukraine army in Kramatorsk, photo Ukraine gov’t

MOSCOW, Russia, July 14, 2014–Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko is trying to make good on his announcement on July 11 that his army or the fascist militias fighting alongside it will kill “dozens and hundreds” of people in the east of the country for every Ukraine soldier dying in the war his regime is waging there.

Since his pronouncement, his armed forces have been bombarding cities and towns in southeast Ukraine. Fighter aircraft, tanks and other armoured vehicles are engaged. » Read more..

Manifesto of the People’s Front for the Liberation of Ukraine, Novorossiya and Transcarpathian Rus

The following manifesto was issued by delegates from Ukraine participating in the antiwar conference that took place in Yalta, Crimea on July 6, 7, 2014. You can read the Russian language original of the manifesto here.

Yalta 3What is the aim of our struggle?

The building, on the territory of Ukraine, of a just, socially-oriented people’s republic without oligarchs or a corrupt bureaucracy.

Who are our enemies?

The liberal-fascist ruling elites – the criminal alliance of oligarchs, bureaucrats, military and security forces and straight-out criminals who serve the interests of foreign states. While officially declaring their support for European liberal values, these forces keep the country under their control, relying on bands of ultra-rightists, unleashing chauvinist hysteria and poisoning ethnic groups against one another. » Read more..

No to the war in eastern Ukraine! Declaration of Yalta, Crimea antiwar conference

Declaration of the assembly of citizens of Ukraine and representatives of international solidarity networks, issued in Yalta, Crimea, July 7, 2014.

Relatives of soldiers drafted into Ukraine army demand their return home, photo Reuters on BBC

Relatives of soldiers drafted into Ukraine army demand their return home, photo Reuters on BBC

A major human rights and humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding in Ukraine. The government that took power in Kyiv in February 2014 is conducting a brutal military assault in the southeast of the country.

The European Union Association Agreement signed by the government on June 30 and its austerity program promise to sharply reduce living standards and effectively demolish industry, largely located in the southeast. The government includes ministers from far right parties and one measure of its early extremism was a measure, soon withdrawn, to make Ukrainian the only official language, violating the language rights of millions of speakers of Russian, Hungarian and other languages. » Read more..

Letter to Globe and Mail: Ukraine and the rise of fascism

Moscow, Russia
July 14, 2014

Hello Globe and Mail editor,

In her Globe and Mail commentary today (A conflict over ‘Mother Russia’), Erna Paris gives herself over to the right wing regime in Kiev that is bombing its own citizens in the southeast of the country. Worse, she is silent and therefore complicit in the regime’s reliance, if not captivity to, the right wing and fascist militias that are its shock troops.

» Read more..

Michael Hudson: IMF is pushing Ukraine to ‘voluntary suicide’

Interview with economist Michael Hudson, on Russia Today, July 07, 2014. Michael Hudson is Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri.

Rally earlier this year in Ukraine under the theme 'No to currency slavery', photo RIA Novosti

Rally earlier this year in Ukraine under the theme ‘No to currency slavery’, photo RIA Novosti

Western support will allow more IMF and European lending to prop the Ukrainian currency so the Ukrainian oligarchs can move their money safely to British and US banks, economist and author Michael Hudson tells Russia Today’s Truthseeker.

Russia Today: Could you summarize for us the tried and tested steps that will lead from IMF loans, to Ukraine’s best assets ending up in private Western hands – the IMF’s ‘knee-breaker’ role as you memorably described it as? » Read more..

Russia cancels Cuba’s debt as Vladimir Putin begins state visit to Latin America

In face of NATO military threats, Belarus acquires advanced air defense systems from Russia

By Roger Annis, updated, July 12, 2014

Vladimir Putin state tour of Latin America, July 2014, pictured with Cuban President Raul CastroMOSCOW, Russia–While corporate media’s news of Russia is focused on its man of the hour in Kyiv, Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko, and speculates on his next move in the shooting war he is waging against citizens in the east of the country, the news here in Moscow is considerably broader in scope and quite dramatic.

On July 9, the Council of the Russian Federation (the upper house of Russia’s Parliament) voted to annul ninety per cent of the $35.2 billion in debt which Cuba was said to owe to Russia dating from the era of the Soviet Union. The Duma (Russia’s lower house) voted in favour of the proposal five days earlier. » Read more..

Oil train derailment on Toronto-Montreal main line ‘could have been worse’

By Roger Annis, July 11, 2014

Derailment Ontario July 10, 2014Yesterday at 4 am, a 26-car CN train derailed on the main line that connects Toronto and Montreal (and connects the Alberta tar sands and North Dakota Bakken oil field to Montreal via Toronto). The train was reportedly traveling eastbound at 100 kph (60 mph).

» Read more..