Former MP Exposes Coercive Measures Employed by Ukrainian Government to Stifle Dissent

The following text is an open letter by former Ukrainian MP Elena Bondarenko, detailing her experiences in parliament. Written a few months ago, it’s an insightful reflection of the current political situation in the country. The grim reality is being covered up and glossed over by the Ukrainian press and the establishment media in the US and Europe, therefore it is vital that this information be disseminated widely via alternative sources.
The criminal Kiev junta, hand-picked by Washington neocon Victoria Nuland.

The criminal Kiev junta, hand-picked by Washington neocon Victoria Nuland.

My friends, here is my declaration. I ask that you share it to the extent possible. If you can translate it into other languages, please do!

I, Elena Bondarenko, People’s Deputy from the Party of Regions, finding myself in opposition to the current power in Ukraine, wish to declare that this administration has resorted to direct threats of physical elimination of the opposition in Ukraine; has resorted to suspending the right of freedom of speech, in parliament and out, and is implicated in complicity in crimes not just against politicians, but even against their children. The everyday life of an opposition deputy is this: constant threats, unofficial ban from the airwaves, targeted persecution. Everyone who calls for peace is immediately branded as an enemy of the people, just as in 1930’s Germany, or in McCarthyite US.

A few days ago, Arseniy Avakov, the Minister of the Interior, an ardent adherent of the so-called Party of War of the Ukraine, said the following: “When Elena Bondarenko comes to the podium to speak, my hand automatically reaches for my gun.” This, I emphasize, are the words of a man entrusted with the supreme police power of the country. Further: exactly one week ago, Alexander Turchinov the Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament, deprived me of the right to speak from the podium as a member of the opposition Party of Regions, only for this: I declared “Any power that commissions its army to bomb its peaceful cities, is criminal.” After which, he magnanimously gave the radical parliamentarians the option to call for shooting the opposition. Considering that my car was shot at last year, when the extremists were already arming with weapons, [a fact on record with the police, on my complaint] such threats aimed at me must be taken seriously.

Further, I will inform everyone, who does not already know it, that the current leadership is covering up those who dared to raise a hand against the son of another opposition politician, Vladimir Oleinik. Ruslan Oleinik, performing his duties as regional prosecutor, was beaten up at his office, endangering his health, and even his life. Did they investigate the beating of a prosecutor performing his duty? No. Did they investigate the monstrous pressure on the leader of the opposition? No. Instead, this administration fired the prosecutor! Every day, from his colleagues I learn of beatings of their aides, of attacks on their companies, of threats, yes, even attacks, on their lives, their health, their property.

The Ukrainian media is completely sanitized from this information, and the typical Ukrainian has no idea that a criminal struggle is taking place against the opposition, and that the constitutional right of free speech is suppressed in every way. The journalists who overcome their fear and work honestly are subject to attack by nationalist mobs, but the organizers and participants of these pogroms are not punished, even when they are recorded on videos and photographs.

I call upon those international organizations that proclaim their support of democratic principles not just to notice this declaration, but to get involved in this struggle for the preservation and respect for the democratic rights and freedoms of the citizens of Ukraine.

The methods of the junta in their struggle for power, or rather, for the establishment of a Ukrainian dictatorship, have nothing to do with any concept of “democracy.” If the international community does nothing in the face of these egregious acts, it will look like complicity and silent approbation of all these crimes which are being committed in Ukraine. The free world will lose an outpost, Ukraine. All who fight for democracy, rule of law, and the rights of man, together, can achieve a lot. But only together can we stop the junta and the fratricidal war in Ukraine.

With my respect,

People’s Deputy of Ukraine, Elena Bondarenko.

Translated by Thomas Winter

Photos: Kiev Police Clash with Far-Right Nationalists

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Several clashes have erupted this week between police  and far-right nationalists in Kiev. Members of the Svoboda and Right Sector parties, as well as Azov battalion militants, marched through the Ukrainian capital to Independence Square on Tuesday to commemorate the 72nd anniversary of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UIA).

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President Petro Poroshenko announced the creation of ‘Defender of the Nation Day’ annual public holiday on Tuesday (October 14), thus dissolving the existing  ‘Defender of the Motherland Day’ that usually occurs on February 23 in both Ukraine and Russia; similar holidays are held on various dates in other ex-Soviet nations.

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Kiev’s decision to move the holiday to coincide with the UPA’s anniversary is a bold statement: the UIA were a Ukrainian nationalist paramilitary group whom fought alongside the Nazis against the Russian army in World War II. The group committed a number of horrific war crimes during their existence; massacring Poles and Ukrainian Jews. Members planned to win Ukraine with support from Germans and physically eliminate all non-Ukrainians; their slogan was “Ukraine only for Ukrainians”.

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UIA groups fought against Soviet and Polish underground resistance organization members in 1943-44. Following the end of the war and when the Soviet rule was restored in Ukraine, the UIA organized attacks against Soviet servicemen, law-enforcement authorities, Soviet officials and others who came from the “east”.

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After parliament failed to pass a bill that would formally recognise the UIA as war heroes on – who fought for Ukrainian independence during WWII – riots broke out outside the building. This was the seventh time parliament speaker Olexandr Turchynov, in violation of established procedures,  put this issue to a vote -and each time the motion failed to score the required 226 votes. Following this decision, groups of masked men proceeded to throw bricks, smoke bombs and explosive devices at policemen on duty at the parliament – leading the session to be terminated.

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The clashes have also been attributed to another bill that was passed on Tuesday – a law granting self-rule status to the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in the east for three years – part of a peace deal brokered by Russian President Vladimir Putin. It seems ironic that these neo-nazi groups want to both celebrate those who fought for Ukraine’s independence, whilst also quelling notions of separatism in the east. What does seem to be fueling both of these issues is extreme Russophobia, which is very worrying indeed. It is unfortunate that most of western Europe has chosen to encourage this growing prejudice and cozy up with Washington, rather than admit that Russia was right.

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Sources:

Ukraine ‘Defender’s Day’ appeases pro-Nazi group, says Russian lawmakers
http://voiceofrussia.com/uk/news/2014_10_15/Ukraine-Defenders-Day-appeases-pro-Nazi-group-says-Russian-lawmakers-0594/

Right Sector, Azov Battalion march to commemorate the Ukrainian Insurgent Army
http://www.kyivpost.com/multimedia/photo/right-sector-azov-battalion-march-to-commemorate-the-ukrainian-insurgent-army-368060.html

Right Sector nationalists protest against self-rule law for east Ukraine
http://en.itar-tass.com/world/749936

At least 15 policemen injured in clashes with nationalists in Kiev
http://en.itar-tass.com/world/754338

Crimea: Six Months On

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Speaking at the United Nations Assembly this week, Washington’s puppet Prime Minister of Ukraine – Arseniy Yatsenyuk – stood on the podium and begged world leaders not to lift their sanctions on Russia. Stating that Ukraine’s current conflict was not a domestic one but an ‘invasion’, Yatsenyuk directed his comments at the Russian president, saying: “Mr. Putin, you can win the fight against the troops. But you will never win the fight against the nation, the united Ukrainian nation.” He asked that no sanctions be lifted until Russian troops withdrew from eastern Ukraine – including Crimea.

Regardless of whether or not there are Russian troops in eastern parts of Ukraine such as Donetsk right now, what the western media failed to highlight during the annexation of Crimea was that there was always a large Russian military presence there: they did not sneak in overnight as the MSM seemed to suggest, as Crimea is the location of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet – and this has been the case since the eighteenth century.

Six months on from the referendum, it seems unlikely that Crimea will become part of Ukraine again. Ukraine’s military dolphins are now under Russian command, and most importantly: the Crimean people aren’t dying. If Russia had not moved so quickly all those months ago, who knows how much higher the death toll in eastern Ukraine would be by now?