Kiev Wages War on Free Expression
by Stephen Lendman
It wants truth suppressed. It wants its own message alone reported. It wants fundamental freedoms eliminated altogether.
Neo-Nazi fascist regimes operate this way. Ukraine is by far the region’s worst. It menaces its own people.
It launched premeditated aggression. It continues against Eastern Ukrainian freedom fighters. Against noncombatant civilians.
Against opposition elements nationwide. Against independent journalists. Against Russian ones.
Some were denied entry. Others were deported. Various ones were attacked.
LifeNews journalists Oleg Sidyankin and Marat Saichenk were harassed. They were arrested. They’re detained.
They’re held incommunicado. They’re lives are endangered. They’re charged with “aiding terrorist groups.”
They released damning video images. They showed Kiev military forces using UN-marked attack helicopters against their own people.
RT International stringer Graham Phillips was targeted. He was arrested. Right Sector thugs put a bounty on his head.
They offered $10,000 for his capture. They lied calling him a “Russian spy.”
Washington supports violent Kiev crimes. It urges more of the same. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki finds new ways to disgrace herself.
She regurgitated official Kiev lies. She outrageous suggested detained Russian journalists “aid(ed) terrorists.” On May 20, she duplicitously said:
“The Ukrainian Security Services, according to reports, have detained a number of people who were in possession of fake journalist credentials issued by the non-existent Donetsk People’s Republic.”
Washington supports illegitimate coup-appointed putschist rule. It opposes democratic freedoms.
It does so worldwide. It prevents real democracy at home. It’s longstanding US policy.
Putin responded to Kiev targeting Russian journalists. He called detaining them on terrorism charges outrageous.
“Now they have been accused of all deadly sins already,” he said. They include “transport(ing) some weapons…”
Claiming it “is utter nonsense,” he said. It’s “absolute nonsense and rubbish,” he stressed.
“This is absolutely unacceptable and, of course, initially big questions regarding the legitimacy of all (Kiev) political procedures will emerge.”
“I hope that the Ukrainian authorities will take necessary steps in order to dignify political processes…”
“(I)t will be very difficult for us to build relations with people who come to power on the background of the punitive operation that continues in the southeastern regions of Ukraine and impedes the work of the press.”
He urged an internationally monitored new constitution national referendum before holding elections.
“I believe it would be much cleaner and easier, from a legal viewpoint, to hold a referendum on all main issues, on the constitution, bearing in mind that the current Ukrainian Constitution does not allow elections because there is a lawful president,” he said.
“I would like to reiterate that,” he stressed. Viktor Yanukovych remains Ukraine’s legitimate president, he said.
He called a new constitution vital for electing a new president and parliament.
“In my view, it would be much more logical to do it that way, and it would lead to greater stability.” he stressed.
“We are watching very closely all movements of some radical groups in Ukraine, and some have been detained in Russia.”
He called Odessa’s May 2 massacre disturbingly unaddressed. Failure assures repetition, he said.
On May 21, US-led Western Security Council members blocked Russia’s proposal. It called for investigating Odessa’s massacre responsibly.
Moscow’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin said:
“Unfortunately, UN Security Council members have been unable to back our call to turn to the secretary general with a request to conduct an objective probe.”
At the same time, Russia’s lower house Stat Duma Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Aleksei Pushkov accused Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) members of inaction regarding Ukrainian crisis conditions.
“I think that the PACE leadership is following an absolutely vicious path turning a blind eye to what the regime in Kiev is doing, as a result of which it is getting more and more impudent,” he said.
“The Kiev authorities do not even pretend that they are trying to keep to internationally recognised norms and rules, including the documents signed and accepted by Ukraine itself.”
“They actually do not recognise or implement a so-called ‘road map’ of the OSCE (the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe), which has been negotiated and put forward as a single document serving as a basis for the settlement of the situation.”
“Instead of this, the Kiev leadership has proposed its own ‘road map’ which is aimed not at negotiations but at violent suppression, and vacuous and stupid use of forces and heavy armaments against the civil population.”
“Sloviansk has become the only place in Europe in the 21st century where people have to hide in basements sheltering from permanent gunfire by Kiev.s military.”
“All this is happening with the connivance of the US Administration, which deliberately ignores all these atrocities and human rights violations.”
On Wednesday, coup-appointed Kiev defense ministry deputy head Bogdan Senyk commented on arrested journalist Graham Phillips.
He “was detained at a National Guard checkpoint,” he said. He “was handed over to law enforcement officials for the violations he committed.”
He ludicrously claimed “he was filming facilities which are forbidden from being filmed.”
“And this was pointed out to him. His footage proved the violations, as we were told.”
Proceedings against him are concluded, he added. “He will be, or might have been already handed to the (British) consul.”
At the same time, Kiev’s Security Service refused comment. Phillips’ whereabouts remain unknown.
As of early evening May 21, it’s unclear whether or not he’ll be freed.
Britain’s Foreign Office provided little encouragement. On the one hand, it’s aware of his detention.
It knows holding him violates fundamental press freedom.
On the other, it only said it’s looking into his situation. It’s “in contact with the Ukrainian authorities.”
It’s “ready to provide consular assistance.” It stopped short of explaining further.
It suggests providing little or no help whatever. It remains to be seen what happens going forward.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry Special Human Rights Representative Konstantin Dolgov denounced Kiev aggression.
He cited “large-scale military force, including artillery and armor, against civilians in Eastern Ukraine.”
Washington turns a blind eye, he said. So do complicit EU partners.
“They actually justify (and support) arrest(ing) foreign, especially Russian journalists in Ukraine” he said.
They turn a blind eye to Kiev’s worst crimes. They include torture, intimidation, murder and premeditated aggression.
They reflect longstanding US-NATO policy. Russia’s Foreign Ministry accused Kiev of escalating Eastern Ukraine state terror.
“Contrary to the obligation of refraining from any violent actions, intimidation, and provocations, not only has Kiev not canceled a punitive operation against its own people, but it is also consistently stepping it up and regularly shelling cities in the eastern part of the country at night, including with the use of heavy weaponry,” it said.
Aggressive war continues. So does suppressing free expression. It bears repeating.
Fascist regime operate this way. Kiev putschists enjoy full US-led Western support.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
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.