суббота, 31 января 2015 г.

The heroes of russian folk-tales - kolobok


Don’t eat me. I will sing you a song.”
 So the Kolobok sang,
“I'm a happy Kolobok, crunchy and brown. In the oven I was baked, on the window sill cooled. From Dedushka I ran away, from Babushka too. I ran away from the Rabbit, Wolf and Bear, and now I’ll run away from you.” 
This is the trick of the Kolobok (pronounced kah-lah-bohk, it means “roundie” in Russian), a tasty round ball of dough. He used it to distract his hungry adversaries long enough to make his escape. He’s a famous Slavic folktale character, and his story is known by children across Eastern Europe to this day.
The story starts in a small cottage where a Babushka and her hubby – Dedushka - are cooking some dough. They place their round dough ball on the window sill to cool. But this is no ordinary dough ball. The Kolobok decides he must make his escape. He rolls off the window sill and out into the countryside beyond, chased by his “masters”.
Once he has escaped, he bumps into a rabbit. The rabbit is hungry and views the Kolobok as his next meal.
“I will eat you up!”
The Kolobok, thinking quickly, offers to sing him a song.
The rabbit listens as the Kolobok sings:
“I'm a happy Kolobok, crunchy and brown. In the oven I was baked, on the window sill cooled. From Dedushka I ran away, from Babushka too, and I now I’ll run away from you.”
The distracted rabbit isn’t quick enough to catch the Kolobok and loses his meal.
Next the Kolobok meets a wolf, also hungry. 
“I will eat you up!”
The Kolobok decides to use the same trick, distracting the wolf with his song as he makes ready his escape.
“I'm a happy Kolobok, crunchy and brown. In the oven I was baked, on the window sill cooled. From Dedushka I ran away, from Babushka too. I ran away from the Rabbit, and I now I’ll run away from you.”
The wolf is left in the dust.
Next he comes to the mighty bear, and guess what, he’s hungry!
“I will eat you up!” says the Bear.
But why change a tactic when it works so well, thinks the Kolobok. So he sings for the bear:
“I'm a happy Kolobok, crunchy and brown. In the oven I was baked, on the window sill cooled. From Dedushka I ran away, from Babushka too. I ran away from the Rabbit, the Wolf and now I’ll run away from you.”
The bear is left floundering.
Lastly, he comes across the fox, well known as the most cunning of animals. But the fox too is not beyond hunger, saying,
“I will eat you up!”
So sure is he of his escape with his song, the Kolobok has grown boastful. He sings his song for the fox. But before he can make off, the fox stops him.
“Dear Kolobok, your song was beautiful, but alas, I’m hard of hearing. Could you come and sit on my nose and sing it again so I can hear properly?”
The Kolobok, wrapped up in his own genius, agrees. After the next recital, the fox again interjects.
“Dear Kolobok, your song is wonderful, but alas I just didn’t quite hear all of it. Could you do me the honor of sitting on my tongue and delivering it to me again?”
The Kolobok can’t resist such flattery, and jumps onto the fox’s tongue.
Quick as a flash, the fox snaffles up the poor Kolobok, and he is no more.
This fable-like fairytale serves as a lesson against hubris, the feeling that after some initial success one can do no wrong. But as children all over Russia learn, there will always be a cunning fox ready to catch a young Kolobok who gets too cocky!
Written by Tom Barton, RT correspondent

Potential conscripts evade draft, flee country amid escalation in E. Ukraine

The most recent military draft in Ukraine has been described as “problematic” by Kiev's army spokesman. The recruitment effort, coming amid ever more intense fighting in the country’s east, sees a lack of enthusiasm on the part of potential soldiers.
The fourth wave of mobilization is problematic,” Ukraine army spokesman, Vladimir Talalay acknowledged on Saturday, according to Tass. “The biggest difficulties are seen in Sumy, Kharkov, Cherkassy, Ternopol, Zakarpatye and other regions.”
The comment comes as Ukraine’s Joint Staff reported of the first stage of the draft – sending out conscription notices – being over. The military warn of blacklisting deserters and passing on the information to police.


A little less than 7,500 Ukrainians are already facing criminal charges for evading military service, the country’s Defence Ministry announced on Saturday.
The Ukrainian president’s adviser, Yury Biryukov, was more specific earlier this week. He did cite preliminary draft statistics, showing evasion was primarily a problem in western Ukraine, traditionally a major source of anti-Russian sentiment.
According to Biryukov’s figures, 57 percent of Ivano-Frankovsk potential conscripts would not show up at enlistment offices, while 37 percent fled Ukraine.
He mentioned that local authorities in the Ternopol region were sabotaging the draft, refusing to help distribute notices.
Ukrainian servicemen ride on an armored personnel carrier (APC) at a checkpoint near the eastern Ukrainian town of Debaltsevo in Donetsk region, December 24, 2014. (Reuters/Valentyn Ogirenko)
Ukrainian servicemen ride on an armored personnel carrier (APC) at a checkpoint near the eastern Ukrainian town of Debaltsevo in Donetsk region, December 24, 2014. (Reuters/Valentyn Ogirenko)

Nineteen percent of Volynskaya region men, bound to military service, cited religious motives for not joining the army. Previously not more than 0.7 percent would use this pretext.

Mass reluctance to serve has not gone unnoticed by international monitors. Members of OSCE mission in Ukraine spoke to a city official and a volunteer battalion commander in Krivoy Rog, both sharing fears over draft evasion.

According to the plan, about 800 individuals are supposed to be mobilized within a week. However, a considerable number of people are trying to avoid mobilization by various means, the interlocutors said,” the January 27 OSCE report reads.

[The draft dodger] is a cowardly animal,” Biryukov’s angry Facebook post, deleted by now, concluded. “With his tail between his legs, he hides from the mobilisation, changes his phone number, he gathers his stuff and runs off to Hungary, Romania, Slovakia or Poland. And he sits there, happy that he is so clever”.
Ukraine’s president signed a decree on Friday on additional measures to ensure successful draft in 2015. A major provision is temporary restriction on leaving the country for men, bound to military service.

Neither appeals to patriotism, nor threats, nor insults made Aleksey, a young man from Mariupol want to find himself on the battlefield. He’s one of those who chose to flee to Russia.

We don’t want to fight, but nobody asks whether we want to or not,” Aleksey told RT’s Roman Kosarev. “Recently a friend of mine was on her way home from work, when the National Guards got on the bus. They told the women to leave the vehicle, and made the young men stay inside. And then they drove off somewhere. What do we need this war for? They’ll kill us and no one will care.”
Members of the Ukrainian armed forces drive armored vehicles in the town of Volnovakha, eastern Ukraine, January 18, 2015. (Reuters/Alexander Ermochenko)
Members of the Ukrainian armed forces drive armored vehicles in the town of Volnovakha, eastern Ukraine, January 18, 2015. (Reuters/Alexander Ermochenko)

Russia welcomes Ukrainian mobilization evaders, President Vladimir Putin said earlier this week, promising to legalize longer stays in Russia for bound-to-service Ukrainians.

They do it right, because they are just being pushed their under the bullets as cannon fodder,” he said. “According to the new law Ukrainian citizens can only stay in Russia for 30 days. They return, get snapped and sent out there under the bullets again. So, we are going to change something here.”
This one is the fourth wave of mobilization since Kiev launched a military operation against anti-government forces in eastern Ukraine. Each was accompanied by massive protests from the draftees’ relatives.
Noone wants to send their children to war," a Ukrainian political analyst, Vladimir Kornilov, told Sputnik radio. “Kiev now recruits the young ones. And the young ones die. I think that these sporadic protests, which now happen in villages and towns, will eventually grow in size and get more organized.”

Kiev resumed its military operation in the east of Ukraine in January, following months of relative respite.

Reports of residential areas coming under fire have since come almost daily, with human rights organizations calling on both sides of the conflict to protect civilians.

Some 8,000 Ukrainian troops are currently believed to be surrounded near the village of Debaltsevo in Donbass, as militia units cut off the only road linking the pocket to Kiev-held territory. 

пятница, 30 января 2015 г.

Multiple deaths after shelling of humanitarian aid center, bus stop in Donetsk


At least 12 civilians have been killed in a rocket attack in Donetsk, RIA Novosti reported, citing Donetsk People’s Republic officials. Ukraine’s military has blamed the separatists for the attack, calling it an attempt to undermine Minsk peace talks.
Two civilians were killed at a trolleybus stop, and five others died while waiting in a line for humanitarian aid. Five more people died in the Azotnoye district of the city.

The Dontest People's Republic Defense Ministry claims the attack was carried out from nearby residential area which is according to them "a neutral zone located to the north of Donetsk Airport." The spokesman says "the Ukrainian forces approach, attack and then step back to their positions."

The humanitarian headquarters has stopped aid distribution across Donetsk in order to keep locals and volunteers safe.
On January 24, a residential area in the port city of Mariupol came under fire, killing 30 people and injuring 100.
On January 22, 15 people were killed when shells hit a trolleybus stop in Donetsk.
On Monday, Kiev announced a state of emergency in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, and put other Ukrainian regions on high alert.
On Friday, talks between the contact group’s members on the Ukrainian conflict should have taken place in Minsk, but were canceled due to the absence of the Kiev representative, Lugansk and Donetsk representatives told RIA Novosti.
"Unfortunately, the Ukrainian side didn't join. Ukraine is still avoiding dialogue," Lugansk's Vladislav Deinego said.
The Minsk peace accord on September 5 was signed by representatives of Russia and Ukraine, as well as Lugansk and Donetsk representatives. The deal was aiming to stop the military conflict in the Donbass region.
Since September, all sides have repeatedly accused each other of ceasefire violations.



вторник, 27 января 2015 г.

Ukraine: Military-Clad English-speakers Caught on Camera in Mariupol Shelling Aftermath. Who Are They?


Armed people in uniform speaking fluent English with no accent have been spotted in Mariupol in the aftermath of the rocket hit, fuelling allegations that foreign private military contractors are serving among Ukrainian troops.
The port city in eastern Ukraine, under Kiev’s control, saw a surge of violence on Saturday, when several rockets hit a residential area in the east of the city, reportedly killing 30 civilians. Numerous videos from the scene showed destruction in the aftermath of the attack, for which local militia and Ukrainian troops blamed each other.
But among footage shot in Mariupol, there are some videos showing armed men in military uniform, who speak English fluently.
One video uploaded on YouTube is apparently raw footage of a local news channel MSN (Mariupol News Service). One episode shows a man passing resolutely by the camera.
The man holds a carbine in his hand and is wearing a tactical vest. As the correspondent points her microphone with a request to comment, the man covers his face with the other hand and says, “Out of my face, out of my face!”
The other piece is longer and apparently shows another armed man in uniform sweeping the area for unexploded munitions. The man behind the camera is apparently a guide, as he speaks in English with a clear accent. But the person he films speaks as if her were a native speaker.
“May be exploded, may be not, so blow up in situ,” he instructs at a crater left by an artillery hit.
The footage then shows a building with shattered windows signposted as the No 42 kindergarden in Mariupol. The building is in Kiyevskaya Street where the barrage hit.
The video description claims the person is an American member of the Azov voluntary battalion, but offers no proof of this. The uniforms features a round blue-and-yellow patch on shoulder, but its details are indistinguishable as is the man’s face.
The presence of foreign volunteers among Ukrainian voluntary battalions is no secret. Earlier media reports said many of them have right-wing leanings or even Nazi sympathies.
However, so far claims of private military contractors (PMCs) like the infamous Blackwater working in Ukraine remain unproven. Such a presence would indicate a more substantial military support for the Ukrainian government by its foreign backers, since governments usually keep an eye on PMCs working in politically challenging environments.

If a Western government didn’t want a PMC to sign a contract with Ukraine, it would find a way to put leverage on it. Finding such specialists complimenting Ukrainian troops would suggest the actual support for Kiev is a tad higher than the purely non-lethal assistance officially offered to Kiev by the West.
P.S. The day right before the shelling there wasn't electricity and water supplying in the Vostochny district. Does anybody belive in such coincidence?

Mariupol spotter ‘confession’ another fake by Kiev – Russian Defense Ministry

Published time: January 26, 2015 22:20 
Edited time: January 27, 2015 09:38

http://rt.com/news/226451-ukraine-mariupol-spotter-confession/

An internet video reportedly showing the confession of a man saying he was a spotter in the deadly shelling of Mariupol is just another low-quality fake created by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), the Russian Defense Ministry said.
The ministry also hinted that closer examination of the footage actually points to the fact that Ukraine forces were responsible for the bombardment.
The video was published on the internet on Sunday, one day after shelling in the eastern Ukrainian port city killed at least 30 people and left another 100 injured.
“The SBU needed 24 hours to force this story out of a man, which – as we see in the clip – is read by the detainee from a piece of paper located left to the screen,” the statement by the Russian Defense Ministry said.
In the video, the person – identified by the SBU as Valery Kirsanov – says he has been working as a spotter for the self-defense forces of the Donetsk People’s Republic since being contacted by a rebel unit commander nicknamed Pepel (“Ash”) two weeks ago.
During this period, the man in the video said that several checkpoints of the Ukrainian military were shelled after he sent their coordinates via text messages to the rebels.

According to Kirsanov, Saturday’s shelling was also performed according to his sighting, but the militia’s artillery missed the checkpoint on Taganrogskay Street, which they were aiming for.
“They were supposed to ‘do the work’ during the night, but they did it in the morning, at around 8:00 AM. I went to see how things were there and told Pepel that they were a kilometer off the mark,” he said in the video.
There is also a cut closer to the end of the footage, after which the detainee adds that Pepel is actually“an officer of the Russian army in charge of an artillery battalion” which shelled Mariupol, located in the Donetsk region, on Saturday.
The Russian Defense Ministry stressed that “the knowledge of the nicknames of his contacts (Pepel and another rebel commander he mentioned), their passport details, citizenship, and the composition of their subordinate forces and weaponry makes Kirsanov at least a resident agent, not some appointed spotter.”
“This whole story would be more in place in a spy novel,” the statement said.
The ministry also pointed out “a notable inconsistency, which the SBU...neglected for some reason” while crafting its video.
“At 1:42 of his ‘confession’ video, Kirsanov said that he sent his contacts the coordinates of a stationary checkpoint of Ukrainian troops in Vinogradnoe village...At 2:22 of the clip, when answering the question: ‘From where did the fire come?’ Kirsanov said with confidence: ‘From the direction of Vinogradnoe.’ In other words, from the direction where the Ukrainian military checkpoint was stationed,” the statement said.
The Defense Ministry also pointed out that Vinogradnoe is located 3.5 kilometers away from the shelled residential areas in Mariupol, which is just about the minimum range of Grad missile launchers, which were allegedly used in Saturday’s bombardment.
“Further comments on this fake – or as one may call it a 'self-disclosure session' – by the SBU would be excessive,” the statement concluded.
Kiev’s troops and Donbass militia forces are locked in renewed hostilities in southeastern Ukraine after a shaky ceasefire reached by the sides in September utterly collapsed.
The Ukrainian military launched a massive offensive in mid-January, but failed to gain ground despite employing tanks, artillery, and aviation.
The Ukrainian conflict began last April when Kiev launched a military operation in the southeastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions, after the regions refused to recognize the country’s new coup-imposed authorities.
The death toll in the Ukraine conflict has exceeded 5,000 people. Over 10,000 have been injured, according to UN estimates.

Liberation of Auschwitz – Heroic Deed of Red Army

Yury Rubtsov
27.01.2015 00:00

Soviet soldiers escorting two prisoners on the day of liberation, Auschwitz-Birkenau, Poland. Photo: yadvashem.org

If you ask the prisoners of Auschwitz or at least those who have ever visited the memorial and museum about what they felt – they will tell you that the place where hundreds of thousands died is under the effects of cursed seal. One gets the impression that the death silence of the cemetery is still broken by cries and moans of inmates pushed into gas chambers…piles of shoes of all sizes, tooth brushes, glasses… all these objects still appear to preserve the warmth of hands of the people they belonged to. 

* * *

Grzegorz Schetyna, the Poland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, suggested that Ukrainian troops should be celebrated for liberating the Hitler’s camp of death camp, and not the Soviet Red Army. («Since the Ukrainian soldiers were there on that January day, it was they who opened the camp’s gates», Schetyna said). It’s not the first and, probably, not the last attempt to distort the events related to Auschwitz liberation and the whole history of WWII. In April 2007 Poland closed the Russian exposition in Auschwitz which was located on the grounds of the former camp since 1961. The administration of the museum in the former Auschwitz concentration camp said it could be reopened only if Russia acknowledged occupation of Poland by the USSR. The Polish side insisted that Western Ukraine and Belarus were Polish territories till 1939 and the inmates from these territories were Polish not Soviet. 


Poland also wants the territories «annexed» by the USSR in accordance with the Soviet-German treaty of 1939 to be marked on the map at the exposition’s entrance. 
Now they have started «to make precise» the information on blood composition and nationalities of the camp’s liberators. Schetyna has been rebuffed by the users of social networks (the user under the nickname 20portalreplied to a critical article in Polish Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper writing «My stepfather survived Auschwitz. If he were alive he would strike Schetyna in the face»). But the Polish Minister stood his ground. In two days after he scandalous statement he went back to the subject («I told the truth») and said that the first tank to crash the gate of Auschwitz-Birkenau was commanded by Ukrainian Igor Pobirchenko. The Minister did not care about the fact that Russians, Ukrainians and the people of many other nationalities fought in the ranks of the First Ukrainian Front. He just tried to explain publicly why Russian President Vladimir Putin was not invited to take part in the ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

 Perhaps Pan Schetyna has no access to the information that in reality the camp’s gate was broken down by Major Anatoliy Shapiro, a Jew - the battalion he commanded was the first unit to enter Auschwitz. OK, even if it were not Shapiro, but Pobirchenko (an honored veteran who became a famous lawyer and an academician in the Soviet Union) – what does it change in the history of camp’s liberation by Red Army? Grzegorz Schetyna needs to be given a little lesson of history. The names of Soviet fronts changed to reflect the directions of advance. The front in question was called the First Ukrainian Front on October 16, 1943 to take part in the Kiev strategic offensive operation. Before that the First Ukrainian Front had the official name of the Voronezh Front prior to November 1943 and before that it was the Bryansk Front. The Red Army units had the servicemen of numerous nationalities within their ranks (with the exception of a few dozen of divisions manned by servicemen of certain nationalities (the 201st Latvian, the 16th Lithuanian etc.) as reinforcements were coming from all parts of the Soviet Union. The First Ukrainian Front was manned according to the same principle. According to the study prepared by a group of Soviet General Staff researchers headed by Colonel General G. Krivosheev, the Front included the servicemen of different nations to include: Russians - over 66%, Ukrainians – around 16%, Belarussians – around 3%, Tatars – around 2, 2%, Jews – over 1, 6%, Kazakhs –around 1,5%, Uzbeks – 1, 4%, others (a few dozen nationalities) – at least 1%. Auschwitz was liberated on January 27, 1945 during the Red Army's Vistula–Oder Offensive by the 59th and 60th armies of the First Ukrainian Front operating in coordination with the 38th Army of the 4th Ukrainian Front. 
Auschwitz concentration camp was a network of German Nazi concentration camps and extermination camps built and operated by fascist Germany. The 100th and 322dinfantry divisions of the 60th Army liberated Auschwitz III-Monovitz. About 3 o’clock at night on January 27 the 454thregiment of Lviv 100th infantry division (under the command of Major General F. Krasavin) burst into Auschwitz (the original camp). The very same day one more concentration camp - Jaworzno was liberated by the 286th infantry division (under the command of Major General M. Grishin) of the 59th Army. The next day the 107th infantry division (under the command of Colonel V. Petrenko) liberated Auschwitz - Birkenau. It’s all crystal clear. The affirmations that the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs lacked information sound unconvincing. Making fun of the Minister’s ignorance Polish journalist Mariusz Novik made a crib sheet for the Pan Schetyna containing some historic information to allow making bold statements. It introduces him to the facts that the servicemen of many nationalities served in the ranks of First Ukrainian Front, Christopher Columbus did not hail from Colombia and Indians (meaning American Indians) are not residents of India. Mariusz Novik does not believe in the gross ignorance of the Minister. It’s something else, something much more dangerous. 

The attempts to destroy the memory of the liberation mission fulfilled by the Soviet Union and its Army during WWII have become so frequent that it starts to look like historic vandalism. Kiev does the same thing. «Ukrainians made up the majority of those who freed Auschwitz - the Ukrainian Front», Valeriy Chaliy, deputy head of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s administration, told a January 23 press briefing. The botched statement made by Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk about the Soviet Union’s invasion of Germany and Ukraine is well known. At that German Ministry of Foreign Affairs cites diplomatic protocol refusing to comment the ridiculous statements made by a top official of another state no matter he completely distorted the most important facts related to the German history in the 20th century. Here is one more example: Latvia has declared its SS-legionaries to be «freedom-fighters» since a long time ago. It has cancelled a Holocaust exhibition in Paris devoted to the international day of holocaust victims. The display was organized by historians from Latvia, Russia and Belarus and was scheduled to open on January 25 under the title ‘Hijacked childhood. Victims of Holocaust as seen by the child prisoners of Nazi concentration camp Salaspils (Salaspils is southeast of the Latvian capital, Riga).
There are many more examples to prove that there is an information-psychological war unleashed against Russia and Russians. The objective is «to revise» the results of WWII and show in different light the contribution of the Soviet Union into the victory over Germany and the liberation of Europe. 
We’d better listen to the victims of German concentration camps who are still alive and who greeted the Soviet liberators than pay attention on what Neo-Nazi sponsors from Washington, Berlin and Kiev have to say on the occasion. Noah Flug, the late Chairman of the Center for Holocaust Survivor Organizations in Israel, has said that Jews remember that 65 years ago Majdanek and Auschwitz were liberated by Soviet soldiers and the Red Army. In ghettos and concentration camps, the Red Army was the people's last hope, it saved them, defeated Hitler, and saved Europe.

Kiev ‘punishes’ civilians in Donetsk with travel permits and drugs blockade

Ukrainians in disputed areas suffer as Kiev restricts access to food, electricity and medicines
Shaun Walker in Donetsk
The Guardian, Monday 26 January 2015 15:30 GMT

Patients at a hospital in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, on Monday. Photograph: Stringer/Reuters

As the conflict in East Ukraine enters another hot phase, residents of the rebel-controlled territories say they are now stranded due to a new travel permit system introduced by Kiev, while aid organisations have warned that a medical crisis could be on the horizon as Ukrainian authorities refuse to let through vital medicines.
“Since November, a series of measures taken by the Ukrainian government has effectively cut off civilians living in rebel-controlled areasand made it increasingly difficult to provide humanitarian aid,” said a statement by Médecins sans Frontières. The organisation said it had tried to deliver medical supplies to hospitals in the frontline city of Gorlovka on two occasions last week and failed to get through.
The situation will only be exacerbated by a permit system introduced last week, requiring anyone who wants to cross the line between Ukrainian-controlled territories and the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics to apply for a special pass. Applications are only accepted in Ukrainian-held territory, with the catch-22 situation that those in rebel-held territories cannot get to the permit application centre because they need a permit to get there.
Oleg Izmailov, a local journalist, called the new system “both idiotic and a breach of human rights”.
The only option for residents of Donetsk and other rebel-held towns to obtain the permit is to drive to the first Ukrainian checkpoint and hand over the application to soldiers, explaining their reasons for wanting a permit. However, the soldiers only accept a few applications per hour, meaning people wait for hours in the cold to hand over the documents, and then have to drive back 10 days later to find out if they have been granted permission. On Monday morning there was heavy shelling around the checkpoint, forcing cars to turn back to Donetsk.
“I wanted to get the permit so I could go to Dnipropetrovsk to pick up a parcel, I ordered spare parts for my car and the post doesn’t work to Donetsk any more,” said Andrei, a Donetsk resident who did not want to give his surname. Having waited for more than four hours at the checkpoint to hand over his application, he heard shelling and got scared, and decided to return to Donetsk.
“I used to be for a united Ukraine, but the way they are treating us is beyond all limits. They say they are fighting the Russians, so why are they making life difficult for all of us?”
Officially, the move is to improve the security situation. Unofficially, part of the philosophy behind the move appears to be to demonstrate to those people living in rebel-held areas how miserable life under separatist rule can be, and it is also based on an assumption that most pro-Kiev people have already left the region. On Monday, Kiev announced a “state of emergency” in east Ukraine that is likely to make things tougher.
“All the people that are left on the occupied territories have made their choice, and refused to leave,” said Semyon Semenchenko, commander of the Donbass Volunteer Battalion and a newly elected Ukrainian MP, in a December television interview explaining why volunteer battalions had blocked convoys of humanitarian aid from reaching the region. “All this nonsense that old people and children are starving, it’s not true and it’s a manipulation of the facts.”
However, many of the people remaining in the rebel areas are the most vulnerable – the old and infirm and those with nowhere else to go – and Kiev’s policies risk alienating them even further from Ukraine.
While Donetsk markets are still reasonably well stocked – traders say they offer fruit and other foodstuffs to both Ukrainian and rebel soldiers as bribes to allow them through checkpoints – there are few locals with the funds to buy them. Ukraine has cut off pension and other social payments to those living in rebel areas and the rebel governments have been unable to pay more than symbolic amounts. In smaller settlements, people with limited mobility have faced difficulty in accessing foodstuffs, while many are living without proper heating or electricity for long stretches. Bank accounts have been frozen, and there is no way to access money in rebel-held areas.
At Donetsk’s drug addiction treatment facility, doctors received their last shipment of medicines from Ukraine in September. Russia has stepped into the breach, and the clinic has received insulin, painkillers and other necessary medications from the humanitarian convoys sent by Moscow. But it has not received buprenorphine or methadone, because drug-substitution therapy is illegal in Russia. Earlier this month, the remaining 52 patients prescribed buprenorphine had their medications stopped, and while there are dwindling supplies of methadone remaining, doses will be scaled down starting this week, and will run out completely on 1 March.
There are 155 patients remaining in the clinic on methadone, and 380 across the region.
“Sixty per cent of them are HIV-positive and many of them also have Hepatitis C and tuberculosis,” says Yulia Drozd, the deputy director of the Donetsk centre. “This is essentially a death sentence for them.”
The doctors at the clinic have worked six months without payment, receiving one small subsidy from the new Donetsk rebel authorities. One nurse has left after her house was destroyed, but the majority of clinic workers have stayed, despite the lack of salary. Now they have to explain to the patients that their treatment will end.
“The International Committee of the Red Cross just needs an official memo to take it across but we can’t get the documents signed,” confirms Pavlo Skala of the HIV Alliance in Kiev.
The methadone is not even paid for out of Ukraine’s budget, but funded by a grant from the Global Fund to fight Aids, tuberculosis and malaria. All that is required of Kiev is to provide a document allowing for the drugs to pass through checkpoints. It has not been forthcoming.
In December, more than 300 patients on methadone in Donetsk region signed an open letter to President Petro Poroshenko and Ukraine’s health minister, Aleksandre Kvitashvili, begging them to allow the supplies through. The patients wrote they would seriously consider suicide over “returning to street drugs and criminal life”. They have not received an answer.
“I’m a doctor and I swore to save lives; I am not sworn to Ukraine, or to the Donetsk Republic or to Mongolia,” says Drozd. “If you claim it’s your territory, why would you let people die here?”

среда, 21 января 2015 г.

The East Ukraine Bus Disaster. The Propaganda War Goes Ballistic. Testimony of Bus Driver points to Kiev Regime

On January 13th in Volnovaha, Donetsk 11 people were killed in what looked like a spectacular rocket attack. Video footage from the scene showed how deadly a Grad rocket (Hail) attack can be. The spread of the rocket attack left small craters on both sides of a highway running through Vonovaha. The camera then turned and showed a medium sized yellow bus that looked like it was hit in the attack.
The governments of Ukraine and the United States immediately called for an investigation while at the same time concluding that the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics were behind the attacks.
The OSCE investigated concluded that the GRAD (HAIL) rocket attack came from north north east of the city. According to the OSCE both sides are still accusing each other. In the meantime Ukraine has cleaned up the attack scene and most of the evidence is now moved. Social propagandists are weighing in where ever they will be heard to try to sway opinion.
What’s at Stake
If the propaganda is starting to sound like the Boeing MH-17 attack all over again its because the stakes are that high. If Poroshenko’s government did this, the entire government is discredited. The Ukrainian army attacked its own people on video. Marie Harf placed the moral, political, and diplomatic weight of Barrack Obama’s presidency behind Kiev’s version of events.
The MH-17 Bus- Kiev’s New Opportunity to Justify a Massive Attack
What would have happened if the pilot of Malaysian flight MH-17 had miraculously survived and said exactly what he saw that day? Would anything Russia, Ukraine, or the USA have to say counter that? If he said he saw fighter jets would it matter? If he said it was a BUK missile could anyone argue?
This time the pilot survived. Sergei Cherenko was the bus driver when that bus was attacked in Volnovaha. He not only survived, he tried to help his passengers. Yesterday he gave an interview with Korrespondent.net and told exactly what happened, and the direction he saw the rockets come from. Mr. Cherenko who has worked for 21 years as a bus driver is still working the same route today with no time off in between.
He was driving to Donetsk when they stopped at the checkpoint. On his left was Volonavaha. He stated clearly if a Grad landed near the bus no one would have survived. He saw the Grad rockets coming from his left which was north toward the city. According to his testimony which is in line with other survivors, the Grad attack came from Ukrainian controlled territory.
The passengers were killed by the mine. This time the pilot survived. Will anyone believe him?
Blowback
Will the Ukrainian government admit its guilt in this apparent attack?
Can the US government muster any moral outrage at the thought that Kiev is spending all the good will America may have left in the world for a long time?
Kiev is using the incident as a pretext to level the city of Gorlovka. The Ukrainian military have dropped 250 lb bombs on the city. Shelling, rocket, and missile strikes are leveling portions of it. Across Donbass this is going on. In the small town of Slavanosbersk over 140 homes have been destroyed and the town has no military targets.
Across Donetsk artillery and missile strikes have not ceased and are at levels higher than the last time the war was hot. The attacks on civilian populations is now non stop in the front line cities.

Rewriting history? Polish FM says Ukrainians liberated Auschwitz, Russia puzzled



The Polish FM’s statement that it was the Ukrainians who liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp has puzzled Moscow. Russia’s UN envoy remarked that the Soviet Army, which liberated the camp, was actually multinational.
“The 1st Ukrainian front and Ukrainians liberated [the concentration camp], as on that January day there were Ukrainian soldiers, so they opened the gates of the camp,” said Foreign Minister of Poland, Grzegorz Schetyna, speaking on Polish radio on Wednesday.
Poland's Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna (Photo from wikipedia.org)
Poland's Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna (Photo from wikipedia.org)
He was answering a question related to invitations to join the ceremonies marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau by the Red Army on January 27, 1945.

Following the comment, Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin reminded Schetyna that the Soviet Army had liberated the concentration camp, adding that the front was called first Ukrainian “as it liberated Ukraine from the Nazis before reaching Poland through battles.”
Like all other parts of the Red Army, [the front] was multinational and consisted of Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Georgians, Armenians, Azerbaijanis, representatives of the peoples of Central Asia, and many others – more than 100 ethnic groups of the Soviet Union,” Churkin said addressing the Polish UN envoy, Bogusław Winid, speaking at the UN conference commemorating the liberation of the camp on Wednesday in New York.
Churkin urged Winid to explain the grave mistake to the Polish FM saying that: “I’m sure he didn’t intend to offend so many peoples.”

Memory of WWII must be respected – Moscow

“It is our common duty to the victims of genocide and future generations – to protect the truth about WWII,” said Churkin.
“Despite the shocking number of genocide victims, we see Waffen-SS veterans marching in European cities, which Nazis tried to demolish during at whatever cost. The Nazi past is being glorifies, neo-Nazism is on the rise,” he added.
It is important to respect the memory of all those who liberated Europe, Russia’s Foreign Ministry also said on Wednesday commenting on the Polish FM’s statement.
“It is really difficult to imagine that a government official of a level as high as Schetyna’s could be so ignorant,” the comment said. “Incidentally, the 1st Ukrainian Front had the official name of the Voronezh Front prior to November 1943, and before that, it was the Bryansk Front.”
“We believe some individuals should stop deriding history and letting their anti-Russian hysteria push them to the brink of disrespect for those who didn't spare their lives to liberate Europe,” the ministry added.
UK-based journalist and writer Neil Clark told RT that today, history is being rewritten for political purposes.
“The fact of the matter is that it was the Soviet Red Army which liberated that appalling camp Auschwitz...” he said. “Yet now in 2015 we are rewriting history to write out the role of the Red army liberating Auschwitz for political purposes.”
In 2015 no specific invitations for the commemoration event were issued, as Polish authorities have passed this duty to the Auschwitz Museum and the International Auschwitz Council. The organizers of the ceremony stated that all nations, contributing funds to the site, had been asked if they were going to participate, without personal invitations.
Putin will not be attending the event, as he has not received any invitation, said his spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Russia will be represented by the Head of the Presidential Administration Sergey Ivanov.
The commemoration of the liberation of the Nazi death camp is set to take place on January 27. It comes 70 years after the Soviet troops liberated it in 1945. About 1.5 million victims were imprisoned in Auschwitz, many of them Soviet citizens.