In Digest, Roger Annis, Ukraine

By Roger Annis, Aug 5, 2014

In a move that would make the warmakers in Tel Aviv who are bombing hospitals and UN schools in Gaza blush, the governing regime in Kyiv has told the populations of the cities of Donetsk, Luhansk and Horlivka in southeast Ukraine to flee or face the consequences of an artillery blitzkrieg it is preparing. Below is the text of a news report on Interfax-Ukraine as well as a link to an original, Russian-language announcement on August 4 by the junta, via its propaganda outlet called the ‘Ukrainian Crisis Media Center‘.

The announcement warns the populations of the three cities, respectively 1.1 million, 450,000 and 300,000 in number before Kyiv launched its ‘anti-terrorist’ war in April, to leave or be shelled and bombed. It orders them to wear white markings on their clothing to avoid being bombed or shot.

The announcement is part deadly threat, part last-ditch bluster in Kyiv’s war against its rebellious population in the south, east and southeast of Ukraine. The ‘last-ditch’ is evidenced by the large numbers of desertions from the junta’s army in recent weeks, including a widely-reported decision on Aug. 3 of 438 Ukraine soldiers and border guards to cross the border into Russia and seek refuge.

The conscripts are leaving duty for a variety of reasons. Some don’t want to kill their fellow citizens. Others say there is chaos in the army command and they are not being supplied with food, water or ammunition.

The conscript army defections underscore why, in its early days in March, the junta turned to reviving the Ukraine National Guard that was disbanded in 2000. ember sof the extreme right and fascist parties and militias in Ukraine are joining the resucitated National Guard in large numbers because it gives them access to weapons and military training, including from the NATO countries. The U.S. has created a new program to finance the training and equipping of the Guard,

But even the rightist and fascist shock troops are inadequate for defeating an organized civilian population, hence the turn, beginning in the city of Slavyansk, Donetsk region, in May, to the use of artillery, rocket and air strikes to cow and demoralize civilian populations and self-defense fighters in urban centers. This was a turn, in other words, to the use of war crimes.

News reports from Russia make no mention of whether Ukraine soldiers fleeing into Ukraine will be investigated for war crimes. Russian courts have opened cases against Ukraine army and political leaders. It would seem that Russia is not raising the matter now in order not to impede refuge seekers, both for humanitarian and for political reasons.

According to Reuters, Russian border authorities say that some of the soldiers who crossed the border in recent days have asked for asylum.

Last month, several groups of Ukraine soldiers who took refuge in Russia were allowed to return home after receiving medical care. Kyiv has warned soldiers who desert or take refuge that they will be prosecuted under military law. This policy dates back to April, but it’s not known if Kyiv has the means to enforce it or if it is politically advised, given the large numbers of examples over the past three months of soldiers refusing to fire on citizens, deserting or seeking refuge. This recent Ukrainian language news report says that in some areas of the country, 10-15 per cent of men are refusing to obey their conscription call-up order.

* * *

ATO command suggests militants establishing humanitarian corridors from Luhansk, Donetsk and Horlivka

Interfax Ukraine, Aug 4, 2014

Anti-terrorist operation (ATO) command authorities have reminded representatives of the self-proclaimed ‘Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics’ about the norms of international humanitarian law and suggested establishing humanitarian corridors for civilian population to leave the cities of Luhansk and Donetsk and the town of Horlivka.

“According to ATO command authorities, it is necessary to establish following humanitarian corridors for civilian population to leave Donetsk: along Leninsky Avenue up to bypass road, then along Donetsk-Kurakhove highway through Maryinka. To leave Horlivka: along Lenina Avenue, Marshala Zhukova Street, Vitchyzniana Street, Plekhanova Street and then along Horlivka-Druzhkivka high road through Dzerzhynsk. To leave Luhansk: along Radianska Street, Linia 16 Street, Frunze Street, Shevchenko Street, Linia 7 Street, Kominterna Street, then along Luhansk-Schastia high road through Metalist,” reads a relative report posted by the ATO press center on Facebook.

To identify civilian population is possible with white markings for groups of people and white band on every citizen’s sleeve.

Citizens can take personal things with them. From 1000 until 1400 p.m. every day fire will be seized on the distance of 200 meters to the right and to the left from the mentioned corridors.

“People violating international humanitarian laws regarding civilian population (keep civilian populations in a combat area impeding their exit through humanitarian corridors) are considered war criminals and are prosecuted according to the international laws,” ATO press center said.

Original Russian here.



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