War Resumes in Ukraine
by Eric Zuesse
Ukraine’s President Says All Ukrainians Who Reject His Government Should Die
Ukraine Violates Ceasefire Agreement w. Russia and OSCE, Re-Invades Its East
On October 30th, the Novorossian press agency announced that on the prior day, Ukrainian troops had resumed their heavy shelling of towns in the former Luhansk and Donetsk Republics, two regions which had been joined together as a new nation Novorussia, and which had originally been Ukraine’s Luhansk and Donetsk administrative districts, bordering with Russia.
This shelling went way beyond merely violating the ceasefire agreement, and the Ukrainian Government was now in open and public violation of it, and in public contempt of it. Ukraine had signed in Minsk Belarus an agreement on September 5th, the Minsk Protocol, along with the leaders of those two breakaway regions, and also with Russia’s Ukrainian Ambassador, and with the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) as the monitor of compliance with this agreement. However, now, the Ukrainian Government is no longer pretending to be complying with it. On October 29th, Russia’s RIA Novosti press agency bannered, ”Kiev Withdraws From Delineation Agreement With East Ukraine: DPR,” and reported that “Kiev has withdrawn from the delineation agreement it signed with Donetsk authorities without any explanation, the deputy prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said.” There was no announcement yet from the Ukrainian Government, however.
The reason for Ukraine’s evident unequivocal noncompliance had actually been stated on October 23rd by the country’s President, Petro Poroshenko, speaking in the Southeastern city of Odessa, the city where the Ukrainian civil war had started on May 2nd. It had started when far-right operatives who were paid by an Obama-Administration-connected Oligarch, Ihor Kolomoysky, herded dozens of separatist demonstrators there into Odessa’s Trade Unions Building and then lobbed Molotov cocktails and firebombs into the building and burnt these people alive. The Ukrainian Government refused to prosecute anyone for it, and the U.S. Government and other Western governments didn’t even request them to do so. However, this action, which was done unofficially by or on behalf of the new “pro-Western Government” that had only recently been very violently installed in Ukraine on 22 February 2014, was a massacre of regular Odessa civilians who did not like their new, coup-imposed, Government. And on October 23rd, Ukraine’s President went to the scene of the crime, Odessa, and, for the first time publicly, he endorsed it. This new regime had been imposed after an extraordinarily bloody U.S. coup (likewise uninvestigated and uncharged, with the full approval of the U.S. Government), and the people who were burnt alive in Odessa on May 2nd had been opposing it. They had been printing and distributing literature against it. That was their only offense, if such it be. (And that wouldn’t be any offense in any authentic democracy.) The people who were incinerated represented half of Ukraine. In Odessa and throughout the southeastern portion of Ukraine these were the vast majority of the residents, but after the coup, they lived in fear, and most of them just kept quiet. The people who were incinerated here were among the courageous and bold exceptions. The vast majority of Ukrainians in the entire southeastern half of Ukraine had voted for the man whom the coup overthrew. The fact that now, the leader of the coup-installed regime was even praising as heroes the perpetrators of the May 2nd massacre, would re-spark, and was probably intended to re-spark, and to cow, the mass-fear throughout the southeast, the fear that this new Ukrainian Government really did want them all dead, to such an extreme extent they would now try to finish the job that they had begun and suspended. This statement by Poroshenko was basically a pre-announcement that he would resume the bombing-campaign against the southeast.
In Poroshenko’s October 23rd statement in Odessa, he said that the May 2 massacre and burning of the Odessa House of Trade Unions was necessary “because we see now what happens if we had not stopped the attempt of the separatists.” Poroshenko called Odessa the “City of Bandera.” Stepan Bandera was a legendary hero to Ukraine’s nazis, because Bandera had worked with Hitler’s forces during World War II in order to rid Ukraine of Russians primarily, but also of Jews. He wanted a 100% Ukrainian-ethnic Ukraine. Poroshenko was now indirectly saying that hatred of Russians (such as are the vast majority of residents in Ukraine’s southeast) is a trait of the people in Odessa, and an admirable heroic one, for all true Ukrainians to feel proud of. Ukraine’s President was saying that this act of burning ethnic Russians who live in Ukraine, burning the people who had voted overwhelmingly for the previous, pro-Russian, President of Ukraine, people who rejected Ukraine’s new and rabidly anti-Russian Government, was an action of high honor to this “City of Bandera,” an act of Ukrainian patriotism.
There was no official English-language translation of that speech by President Poroshenko; but, within southeastern Ukraine, this statement by the nation’s President offended many people, because they didn’t think that such a massacre was a badge of honor at all. To the contrary. In fact, the May 2nd massacre had been the spark that had actually ignited Ukraine’s civil war, because it gave inspiration to Ukrainians in the southeast to separate themselves altogether from Ukraine’s new Government, since that Government clearly wanted them dead. And now Ukraine’s President publicly said as much.
Also on October 30th, was published to the Web an announcement which the Russian Foreign Ministry had privately communicated to the Ukrainian Government the prior day, headlined ”Russian Foreign Ministry statement on the implementation of the Minsk agreements on a settlement in Ukraine and elections in its southeastern regions.” This private “statement,” being made public now a day later, formally rejects “the ultimatum issued by Kiev and some Western capitals that elections not be held in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics.”
Ukraine’s President Poroshenko demands that elections there be delayed, and be held under the auspices of his Government, not of any separatist one. The elections, as per the Minsk agreement, are planned to occur on November 2nd. Poroshenko demands that they be postponed. Russia rejects that. And Poroshenko has already begun his renewed invasion.
Now the second round of the war starts, presumably after both sides have received new training and new armaments from their respective sponsors: the U.S. and its allies, for the Ukrainian Government; and Russia, for the separatist government.
Obviously, the separatist government does not want to be invaded again. But perhaps some way can be found to pin the blame for the war’s resumption on them. Perhaps the news media on one of the sides will be inclined to find some way to do that. In any case, the war will resume with many public disputes, just as it has been surrounded with many public disputes, up till now.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.