Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Donetsk and Lugansk - two tales of people's Courage, Hope and Determination

Dear Readers,
on Sunday May 11th, in spite of overwhelming odds and in the midst of the Kiev Junta's punitive operation against Eastern Ukraine, the residents of Donetsk and Lugansk took part in a vote to decide on the on the future status of their regions. This Referendum on self-rule in Eastern Ukraine was launched after the formation of the Donetsk People's Republic (Донецкая народная республика), headed by Denis Pushilin and the Lugansk People's Republic (Луганская народная республика), headed by Valeriy Bolotov, which were earlier declared in April. 

As a result of Sunday's polling, and thanks to massive participation from the local population, up to 89.7 percent residents in Donetsk and 96.2 percent residents in Lugansk voted in favor of independence from the illegal Kiev Junta, and the right to self-rule. This incredible victory for the people of the Donbass region, did however not come without loss and suffering, since the mix of forces unleashed by the Kiev Junta upon the very people of Ukraine (it is useful to remind that those who voted were Ukrainian citizens), did their best to disrupt the vote and wreak havoc in and around the polling stations where the Referendum took place.

And indeed, units from the Ukrainian Army, the National Guard, the SBU, complemented with paramilitary groups such as the Right-Sector militias and other armed extremists, tried in every which way to terrorize the population, to deter people from  expressing their vote, and to deny access to the polling stations under the threat of force.
This resulted in unchecked, gratuitous violence that claimed the lives of those who tried to exercise their democratic right to vote, and left a number of civilians dead or severely wounded. While the Kiev Junta claimed to crack down on "terrorists" in Eastern Ukraine, it literally sent tanks and armored vehicles against its own citizens as can be witnessed in the following video (courtesy of RT-RUPLY) from the punitive operation in Mariupol conducted just two days before the Referendum took place:

However, the people of the Donbass were undeterred and even if Russian President Vladimir Putin had suggested to postpone the Referendum a few days earlier, they went ahead anyway as a further sign that they would not give up their right for self-determination as well as their struggle against the tyranny of the Kiev government. It is quite amazing to watch these ordinary citizens stand firm against the invading troops and literally try to stop BMP-2 Infantry Vehicles with their bare hands, and no matter how the story is told, it definitely takes some courage and determination to defy such a military machine, knowing full well that a single burst of gunfire could instantly rip a man into pieces. Would any of you be ready to do the same? Would you be ready to defend your family, your community and your city against gun-toting, ruthless invaders sent by the "central government" to force you down into submission? 

For the sheer willingness to defend their freedom, to exercise their right to vote and to defy Kiev's troops, these people deserve serious respect, even if the Western countries that claim to be beacons of democracy condemned the Referendum, branding it illegal and invalid. On the other hand, these same countries are fully backing the upcoming Presidential elections to be held in Ukraine on May 25th, in spite of a de facto state of expanding civil war, in spite of the fact that the Eastern and South-Eastern region will probably boycott the vote, and in spite of the predetermined outcome of these elections, which will see the rise of Western-appointed oligarchy (read - Petro Poroshenko). It is unashamedly obvious that when it comes to "democracy", the US and the EU will only apply that definition to the regime(s) they helped install in the first place as is the case in Kiev, though when it comes to the expression of the people's free will as happened in Eastern Ukraine, it will be thoroughly ignored and harshly condemned; worse even, it will be outlawed, and the use of force against the people will be fully justified!

With respect to this, read what Maja Kocijancic, spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton had to say:

"The so-called referenda in ... parts of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions were illegal and we do not recognise the outcome. Those who organised the referenda have no democratic legitimacy,"

The very nature of this statement is absolutely baffling, all the more when it represents none other than the official EU stance with respect to the right to exercise direct democracy through popular suffrage and consultation. In other words, the Donetsk region representing 4.5 Million citizens and the Lugansk region 2.3 Million, for a combined total of about 6.8 Million people, have expressed a vote, and the EU says it is illegal and will ignore it. Got it? The message is clear, the people's opinion doesn't count - what counts is Western-backed oligarchy instead! 

Knowing full-well that no one in the West will give any support or recognition to the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, its leaders will appeal to the United Nations to recognize their independence, but in the meanwhile they will have to fend-off for themselves, bracing for the worst. Because Kiev's offensive against the East, in full violation of the Geneva agreements that the Junta undersigned jointly with the US, EU and Russian delegations has not stopped and is actually reaching a critical point. But worse still, it cannot be overlooked that even the US and EU have de facto reneged on the Geneva agreements by their own statements with respect to Kiev's use of force against the population. US President Barack Obama called it "a move to restore order," while EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said "the state's monopoly on the legitimate use of violence needs to be respected." 

Remember, in Catherine Ashton's own words, the state's MONOPOLY on the LEGITIMATE USE OF VIOLENCE (against the people = against you!) needs to be respected. Doesn't it sound like a statement emanating straight from the leader of a totalitarian state?
It sure don't let your guard down, one day you may have to be ready to fight and defend your rights, the rights of the people...

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