Battling for Ukraine’s Soul

Battling for Ukraine’s Soul 
by Stephen Lendman
Eastern Ukrainian freedom fighters aren’t quitting. They reject Kiev putschists. 
They deplore fascist governance. They want fundamental democratic rights everyone deserves.
So do Maidan activists. Nonviolent ones. Thousands. On Sunday, they convened a People’s Veche (assembly).
The first in two months. In Kiev’s Independence Square. Thousands participated. To decide whether to continue tent city activism.
“We are not going to go away,” they said. They’re watching president-elect Poroshenko. They’ll give him a month to deliver on promises made.
On Sunday, activists spoke publicly. They said they protested “to change the system of power.” They saw “no changes so far. 
Maidan must stand firm until the goal is achieved,” they stressed.
They passed a manifesto. It says “Maidan will not be dissolved until all (their) demands are met.”
They include:
  • “punishing criminals, lustration, a package of laws to change the structure of power bodies, punishing those involved in the killings and torture of activists,
  • changing the structure of Maidan;
  • developing a system for dialogue with the authorities,” and
  • including Maidan activists in municipal police.
Where this goes remains to be seen. What’s ongoing is encouraging. Perhaps growing numbers of Western Ukrainians will join their Eastern counterparts.
Perhaps Obama’s newest imperial trophy isn’t as secure as he thinks. Perhaps defeat will be snatched from the jaws of victory. 
Perhaps the battle for Ukraine’s soul looks more promising than earlier thought. The fullness of time will tell. 
Eastern Ukrainian fighting continues. On May 31, Itar Tass headlined “Ukraine forces resume massive shelling on Semenovka near east Ukraine’s Slavyansk.”
Sirens warned area residents. Gunfire was heard. Heavy shelling began Friday evening.
Intensive mortar and howitzer fire lasted hours. On Saturday, center city was attacked.
Residential areas were targeted. Revolution and Lenin Street houses were partly destroyed.
On June 1, Itar Tass headlined “Six killed as self-defense forces come under attack at Donetsk airport.”
According to Donetsk People’s Republic’s (DPR) press office:
“During an attempt to take away the bodies of self-defense militiamen, the Ukrainian army fired at an ambulance and self-defense fighters, killing six people.”
Ukrainian forces killed dozens of self-defense fighters and civilians. They did so in battles for Donetsk’s international airport.
Regime snipers target anything that moves. Civilians are fair game. They’re as vulnerable as freedom fighters.
According to DPR Prime Minister Alexander Borodai:
They “continue to be killed every day. No one can give exact figures because access to the airport area is now impossible.” 
“We still can’t take away all the bodies and give the exact figure of how many people were killed.”
On June 1, Voice of Russia (VOR) headlined “Chinese military official speaks of need to stop punitive operation against civilians in east Ukraine.”
Russia’s Defense Ministry press service was quoted saying:
“During the discussion of topical international security problems, separate attention was paid to the situation in Ukraine.” 
“The head of the Chinese delegation expressed support for the Russian position and voiced serious concern about the developments in Southeastern Ukraine stressing the importance of stopping Kiev’s punitive operation against civilians.”
According to China’s Deputy Foreign Minister Cheng Guopin:
“Concerning the ongoing violence in Ukraine, I think this is the result of the toppling of the legitimate authorities of this country in the course of disturbances and provocations staged on Maidan.” 
“This is the direct cause of the crisis.” So is interventionist Western policy, he added.
He stressed “(e)xternal influence, primarily, that of the United States and Western countries which are trying for force Ukraine to follow the(ir) development path…”
“This has an extremely negative effect on the stability and economic development of Ukraine.”
“The Ukrainian issue is an internal affair of Ukraine, which needs to be resolved by the Ukrainians themselves.” 
“We are opposed to any forms of external interference.” Cheng called sanctions on Russia counterproductive. Destabilizing.
“We believe (they’re) unable to help resolve the Ukrainian crisis” responsibly, he added. They make crisis conditions worse.
China “is ready to play a constructive role in the cause of resolving the Ukrainian issue by political methods based on the principles of objectivity and justice and in compliance with international law.”
“(D)omestic affairs in Ukraine should be settled by the Ukrainian people” alone. “The legitimate interests of all peoples in Ukraine should be respected.”
Resolving crisis conditions should “meet the just, legitimate and reasonable demands of the parties comprehensively, in a balanced way and in full measure.”
“(O)n the basis of law and order.” Without no outside interference.
On June 1, VOR headlined “US/NATO/EU nazi thugs continue killing Ukrainians.”
Noncombatant civilians as well as freedom fighters. In cold blood. With impunity. With full Western support.
According to VOR:
America’s “foreign policy establishment” is mindless of other people’s interests.
Washington’s “backed armed coup d’etat in Ukraine (took) this egregious inexcusable ignorance to the next level…”
Ukraine “show(ed) the world that not only is the US completely out of touch with the peoples of the world but in fact has proven to anyone who may have had a doubt that the US not only has no interest in the people being affected and killed by its policies but in fact is completely contemptuous of anyone that is not of use to their waning empire.”
Junta power runs Ukraine. War without mercy rages. Calling it an “anti-terror operation” doesn’t wash.
It’s to institutionalize what growing numbers of Ukrainians reject. Imagine shelling residential areas.
Imagine targeting apartment buildings, hospitals, daycare centers and schools.
Imagine indiscriminate bombing runs. Imagine shooting anything that moves. 
Imagine dead women and children. Imagine US-supported fascist ruthlessness. 
Imagine ongoing atrocities. Imagine media scoundrels ignoring them. 
Imagine propaganda substituting for real news and information. Imagine supporting what demands condemnation.
Imagine lawless aggression without mercy. Imagine bashing Russia irresponsibly. 
Imagine risking possible East/West confrontation. Lunatics infesting Washington make it possible.
So does rogue administration policy. Bipartisan complicity. Criminals making policy.
Imperial madness writ large. War on humanity persist. Risking eventual mass annihilation. 
It bears repeating what previous articles stressed. Today is the most perilous time in world history.
Daily events should scare everyone. Wars rage without end. Popular needs go begging.
Today’s upside reality threatens everyone. Criminality is rewarded, not punished.
One country after another is ravaged and destroyed. Wars are the national pastime. 
Maybe until all nations are turned to rubble. Until societies no longer exist. 
Until roaches and bacteria alone remain. Until it’s too late to change things.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at 
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