Donetsk/Lugansk News*May 20-21, 2015

Thursday, May 21, 2015
(Updated throughout the day)

BREAKING: Battle near Maryinka, Donetsk under Ukrainain fire / rusvesna.ru / May 22, 2015; 4:45 / The 28th mechanized brigade of Ukrainian occupation forces and DPR militia are fighting now at the borders of Donetsk in Maryanka area. The militia’s sabotage groups came very close to 28th mechanized brigade’s positions and were firing from grenade machine guns and large-caliber machine guns. At about 23:10 Kievskiy district of Donetsk and Putilovka area experienced heavy shelling from Ukrainian positions. The Ukrainian forces made several strikes on militia’s positions at the airport. It is to be reminded that constant combat activity is being observed around Maryinka settlement: mortar guns fire, sabotage groups activity as well as massive attacks.

Ukrainian Shelling Continues; Twitter Reports: Reliable source John Delacour tweets at 22:15 UTC May 21: “More reports of shellings & constant to & fro of ambulances — Donetsk, Kievsky, Putilovka; Gorlovka — UAF build-up at Dzerzhinsk.” Gleb Bazov tweets at 23:30 UTC “FLASH—As of 02:03, VeselayaGora (LPR/Lugansk) subjected to strikes by Ukraineian forces using tanks, mortars, light arms.” John Delacour tweets at 23:00 UTC “#DONETSK #GORLOVKA Whether tonight’s shellings, deaths & destruction will be a signal for NAF to drop all respect for Minsk, we shall see…”

Kiev refuses to guarantee human rights protection in east Ukraine conflict zone / TASS / May 21, 2015 / The Ukrainian parliament has backed a decree allowing the country to rescind its commitments outlined in a number of international agreements.

Donetsk (--TASS/Valery Sharifulin)

Donetsk (–TASS/Valery Sharifulin)

KIEV / Ukraine has refused to guarantee protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the zone of military operations in the east. The Ukrainian parliament has backed a decree allowing the country to rescind its commitments outlined in the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Social Charter. Thursday’s second reading of the decree was passed by 249 votes in the Verkhovna Rada, 23 more than the minimum required. An explanatory note to the document says that in view of Ukraine’s inability to protect human rights to the fullest extent in compliance with its obligations under the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the European Social Charter, in its revised version, and in connection with “the objective need to take measures to repel armed aggression of the Russian Federation, Ukraine has to temporarily rescind its commitments to upholding certain human rights [in the zone of military operations] within the limits permitted by relevant international agreements”.

Russian upper house speaker criticizes Kiev’s refusal to observe human rights in Donbas / TASS / May 21, 2015 /”If Kiev doesn’t think these regions are part of Ukraine, let it state its position overtly then,” Valentina Matviyenko said.

Valentina Matviyenko (--rupaper.com)

Valentina Matviyenko (–rupaper.com)

VORONEZH / Kiev shirks responsibility for the events unfolding on the territory of Ukraine as it refuses to guarantee observance of human rights in the southeastern regions of the country, Valentina Matviyenko, the speaker of the upper house of Russian parliament told reporters on Thursday. “If Kiev doesn’t think these regions are part of Ukraine, let it state its position overtly then, and if it Ukrainian territory then responsibility for what’s happening in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions rests with the Ukrainian authorities and no one else,” she said. She also believes that endorsement of a resolution on denial of guarantees for defence of human rights on the territories swept by the so-called ‘antiterrorist operation’ can be perceived as willingness to recognize Russia’s huge humanitarian contribution, considering the number of humanitarian convoys with foodstuffs and medicines that Moscow has already forwarded to the people entrapped an economic blockade.

Earlier on Thursday, the Verkhovna Rada endorsed a statement on Ukraine’s backdown from the obligations specified by the Human Rights Convention, the international pact on civil and political rights, and the European social charter. A commentary appended with the statement said that in the wake of impossibility to ensure the full scope of human rights on the territory of the ‘antiterrorist operations’ and pursuant to the ‘objective necessity to rebuff armed aggression on the part of the Russian Federation’, Ukraine needs a provisional backdown on its commitments to human rights within the limits allowed by international agreements.

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Dmitry Peskov (--newseurope.eu)

Dmitry Peskov (–newseurope.eu)

Kremlin Sets Record Straight. In response to Kiev regime leader Petro Poroshenko’s absurd remark Wednesday that Ukraine is at war with Russia, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov made it clear Russia is not involved in the war. “[U]nfortunately, Kiev is at war with its own citizens, citizens of Ukraine, they are being shelled, they are being killed,” declared Peskov. See Sputnik report Kremlin Reminds Kiev That Ukraine is Waging War Against Its Own People (May 20).

Ukrainian Troops Bomb Passenger Train in Donetsk / tvzvezda.ru / May 21, 2015 / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Insitute / On the night of May 21, Ukrainian troops led an intense mortar attack on a passenger carriage depot in Donetsk. According to the press service of the Ministry of Transport of the DPR, the shelling burned 22 passenger cars, and also damaged wall washing systems with shrapnel. No casualties were reported. According to recent accounts, the Ukrainian army [are moving] to Donetsk and Mariupol. Intelligence of the DPR militia has daily reported mass transfer of troops and military equipment to the line of contact. Video evidence is constantly emerging on the Web of the rearrangement of the Ukrainian army. On May 20 there were reports on the movement of the column MLRS “Smerch”, and previously “Grad” and “Uragan” were seen near Donetsk. At the front line were “lit up” American armored Humvee, recently received by Kiev.

Mariupol, May 9, 2014 (--Graham Phillips)

Mariupol, May 9, 2014 (–Graham Phillips)

Human Rights Watch Covers up Mariupol Massacre. Just over a year ago, on May 9, 2014, the Ukrainian army launched an attack on Mariupol and killed a number of civilians. Human Rights Watch claimed the number of dead was only 7, however many eye witnesses were reporting on Twitter as the events unfolded that the number was much higher. One hospital estimated the death toll at 100. British video journalist Graham Phillips was in Mariupol at the time of the massacre. He writes a commentary now explaining his analysis, making it appear probable Human Rights watch is guilty of a cover-up. See Russia Insider commentary with videos at The Human Rights Watch Cover up of Mariupol Massacre of May 9th, 2014 (May 21, 2015). Editor’s note: On the night of the Mariupol massacre, a member of Quemado Institute was watching Twitter running a continuous real-time search on the word “Mariupol” and saw these arguments about the number of killed. Our conclusion was that the figure was somewhere between 50 and 100 dead. It is disappointing that HRW would cover up this atrocity, as we had held them in higher esteem than Amnesty International, who prompted our commentary Amnesty International Abuses Its Mission, Deserves Class Action Lawsuit (April 9, 2015).

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Poetic Photo Essay

Donetsk.

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Donetsk The City of Love. Veteran’s Today correspondent Alla Pierce offers impressions of a peaceful Donetsk.

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Donetsk
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“Donetsk is a peaceful place, including the people that live there. They are not warmongering but kind and friendly.”

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Donetsk
“Overgrown weeds on the sides of the roads, instead of the usual decorative grass, bring a special soft effect and make it appear somehow provincial. Together with clean streets full of green trees, there is a deceptive atmosphere of coziness.”

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Donetsk
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“I saw many men with flowers, and I even regretted that I am not a Donetsk woman, because somebody would have brought flowers to me. Rows of flower stalls are open until late at night.”

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“As I walked in Donetsk, breathing in this love and peace, there were little children were playing by a fountain while only five kilometers away the thunderous roar of ‘Grad’ unguided missiles rained down on a defenseless population….” For more see Donetsk – The City of Love (May 21) by Alla Pierce, at the Axis of Logic website.

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“The Right Sector” and “OUN” Agreed Together to Kill the Population of Donbas / tvzvezda.ru / May 21, 2015 / Edited autotranslation by Quemado Institute / The leader of the radical organization the “right sector”, People’s Deputy of Ukraine Dmitry Yarosh, agreed on joint action on the foreign and domestic fronts with Commander of the nationalist volunteer OUN battalion Nikolay Kohanovskim. This was announced in a statement on Yarosh’s Facebook page. “Held a meeting with the command of the OUN battalion – Nikolai Kohanovskim and colleagues. Agreed on all the positions on joint action on the foreign and domestic fronts. Together – to victory! Glory to Ukraine!” the statement said. “OUN”, the Ukrainian nationalist fascist political organization, which reached a peak in the 1930’s under the leadership of Stepan Bandera, is one of the most famous architects of Ukrainian nationalism, and was an accomplice of the Nazis and an accomplice of Nazi crimes. In Russia, the OUN was recognized as extremist and forbidden. The “Right Sector” is an association of radical nationalist organizations of Ukraine. The movement has united disparate extremist groups which took part in some of the first protests in November 2013 Euromaidan. The main political goal of the movement is to build a national Ukrainian State and national revolution. In November 2014, Russia’s Supreme Court recognized the Ukrainian organizations the Right Sector and the UNA-UNSO as extremist and banned their activity on the territory of the Russian Federation.

Harper attends swearing-in for Poroshenko "I'm sorta known in the Ukraine for my sweetness." "That's OK." "I'm sure you and I can find some similarities." (--mackaycartoons.net)

Harper attends swearing-in for Poroshenko “I’m sorta known in the Ukraine for my sweetness.” “That’s OK.” “I’m sure you and I can find some similarities.” (–mackaycartoons.net)

Poroshenko Feels Harper’s Friendly Shoulder. According to Kiev post-coup leader Petro Poroshenko’s official website, he has thanked the regime-sympathizing Prime Minister of Canada for his “decision to send military instructors to Ukraine and supply several batches of military equipment,” and invited him to visit Kiev as well, which Stephen Harper accepted. “Prime Minister Harper emphasized that Ukraine could further count on Canada. The parties coordinated their positions on the eve of the G7 Summit that will be held in Germany in June,” says the website. Poroshenko added, “We always feel your friendly shoulder.”

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