Posted on Strategic Culture Foundation, February 23, 2015
By Alexander Donetsky
It took 16 hours of hard work to reach and sign the February 12 Minsk agreement on Ukraine. Five days later the 13-point accord was endorsed by the United Nations Security Council. On February 20, Ukrainian President Poroshenko signed a decree on the introduction of the National Security Council decision of 25 January «On emergency measures against the Russian threat and terrorist attack supported by the Russian Federation».
The classified provisions of the document prevent from coming up with a detailed assessment of what the Kiev regime is going to do. No matter that, the part of the document which is open to public makes possible to trace the evolution of political regime in Ukraine.
Kiev has toughened the police control over the compliance with the order of registration of the place of living and the place of residence of Ukrainian citizens, foreigners and stateless persons in big cities, including the capital. The media censorship is going to be toughened. It was introduced on February 22 last year right after the coup to be called «a moratorium on criticism of government.» Practically all Russian TV channels are banned on Ukrainian soil. The Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council is to take additional measures to prevent «unsanctioned» infiltration of information coming from Russia. It is done in violation of Annex 1 (Article 5) of the United Nations Security Council’s Resolution 2022, (the «Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements») which says «Ensure pardon and amnesty by enacting the law prohibiting the prosecution and punishment of persons in connection with the events that took place in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine.» The National Security and Defence Council offers the Prosecutor General of Ukraine «to take steps on the recognition of the so called «DPR» and «LPR» as terrorist organisations.» Instead of introducing laws to prevent persecutions, the President instructs to persecute opponents – the Ukraine’s partners at the Minsk talks – not in Ukraine only but also across the world.
The presidential decree calls for toughening the economic blockade of the territories under the anti-government self-defence forces’ control, in particular it orders the implementation of measures to stop deals on the electrical energy market with the plants that produce electrical energy in Novorossia. This provision is in strict violation of Article 8 of the Annex I, which envisions «Definition of modalities of full resumption of socioeconomic ties, including social transfers such as pension payments and other payments (incomes and revenues, timely payments of all utility bills, reinstating taxation within the legal framework of Ukraine).»
There have been multiple violations of signed accords on the part of Ukraine pretty soon after they were reached, sometimes in a few hours. That’s what happened after reaching the accords on gas deals and proclaimed cease-fires in the area of conflict, as well as after the «Normandy format» talks in June 2014.
There have been leaks on the classified provisions of the document. Two Ukrainian news websites posted publications informing about the January 25 meeting of the National Security and Defence Council. In a few minutes they were deleted as a result of censorship but copies were posted to social networks. It has become known that tougher measures against the «fifth column» to include anyone whose opinion differs from the one of the government were part of the meeting’s agenda. Total control over Internet, cable TV and press is under consideration, as well as the steps to repress the citizens spreading around «antigovernment» information up to physical elimination of «state enemies.»
The «emergency measures to counter the Russian threat» started to be implemented right after the presidential February 20 decree was signed. The next day the Ukraine’s Security Service recommended to strip 115 Russian news outlets of accreditation at state power bodies in Ukraine. Actually they are strictly banned from highlighting what happens in the country. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin called this decision absurd and absolutely ungrounded. Ukrainian MP Victoria Siumar has many times demanded Russian TV channels and films banned. This encroachment on freedom of speech was explained by the fact that Ukrainian journalists asked to pay attention to the fact that Russian reporters were actually involved in propaganda efforts, for instance, they allegedly recorded Ukrainian politicians to temper with or alter the recorded materials afterwards and thus distort the information. The absurdity mentioned by Deputy Foreign Minister Georgy Karasin is added by the fact that Victoria Siumar heads the Committee on Freedom of Speech and Information Policy.
Ukraine has become closer to becoming a repressive police state which has been clamping down on freedom of speech since the time of last year’s coup. Today it can be said that the process is finished. A totalitarian model to control the country’s life is about to come in full swing.