From Amnesty International, December 24, 2014
Comments from Eric Zuess follow.
Pro-Kyiv volunteer battalions are increasingly blocking humanitarian aid into eastern Ukraine in a move which will exacerbate a pending humanitarian crisis in the run up to Christmas and New Year, said Amnesty International.
“As winter sets in, the already desperate situation in eastern Ukraine is being made even worse by the volunteer battalions preventing food aid and medicine from reaching those in need. It is no secret that the region is facing a humanitarian disaster with many already at risk of starvation,” said Denis Krivosheev, acting Director of Europe and Central Asia for Amnesty International.
“These battalions often act like renegade gangs and urgently need to be brought under control. Denying food to people caught up in a conflict is against international law and the perpetrators must be held to account.”
Amnesty International has received information that the pro-Kyiv battalions, which include Dnipro-1 and Aidar, have blocked aid entering territories controlled by the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DNR and LNR).
The Dnipro-1 volunteer battalion, along with members of Donbass battalion and Pravyi Sector militia, are reported to have blocked 11 roads leading into the DNR-controlled territory. They have refused to allow most aid convoys through, because they believe food and clothing are ending up in the wrong hands and may be sold instead of being given as humanitarian aid. They also insist on the release of prisoners held by the separatist forces as a condition for granting access to the humanitarian aid to the east.
At least four convoys sent by the humanitarian foundation of Rinat Akhmetov, one of Ukraine’s richest men, were blocked on the roads leading to the separatist-controlled territory by the Dnipro-1 battalion last week.
After stopping one of the convoys Vladimir Manko, deputy commander of the Dnipro-1 battalion, told the Ukrainian media:
“We don’t have any control on the other side. It turns out that we’re at war with them and we’re spilling our blood, but in the same time we’re feeding them.”
Over half of the population in these areas are now entirely dependent on food aid as wages, pensions and social benefits are not being paid regularly as a result of the conflict that began in May. The decision of the Ukrainian authorities in Kyiv to essentially cut off the region from the Ukrainian financial system in November is also contributing to the hardship of the local population.
An aid worker from the Luhansk Region has informed Amnesty International that Aidar battalion is also stopping and searching cars that travel from Starobil’sk to Luhansk and vice versa. Members of the battalion, which was previously implicated in arbitrary detention and torture, are reportedly stopping food and medicines getting through to the region.
The aid worker recalled a particular case when medicines for four elderly people in Krasnodon, who are suffering from heart and blood pressure conditions, were snatched from a bus at a checkpoint.
“Checking the content of humanitarian convoys crossing frontline is one thing. Preventing it is another. Attempting to create unbearable conditions of life is a whole new ballgame. Using starvation of civilians as a method of warfare is a war crime,” said Denis Krivosheev.
The population of the region has suffered from six months of fighting between Kyiv-controlled and pro-Russian separatist forces. More than 4,700 people have died and thousands more live in fear of being caught in the crossfire or being entirely cut off from vital food and medical supplies.
Amnesty International reiterates its call for the Ukrainian authorities to reign in the volunteer battalions and to ensure that humanitarian aid reaches those who desperately need it.
Comments: By Eric Zuesse
Ukraine’s Government is Starving Residents of the Breakaway Region
December 26, 2014
Amnesty International has found that “the already desperate situation in eastern Ukraine is being made even worse by” so-called ‘volunteer’ or mercenary forces for the Ukrainian Government, which are blocking the supply of food to residents in that region, and trying to starve them to death.
Thus, “The region is facing a humanitarian disaster with many already at risk of starvation,” said Denis Krivosheev, acting Director of Europe and Central Asia for Amnesty International, on Wed, December 24th.
Amnesty International reports that, “Over half of the population in these areas are now entirely dependent on food aid.”
The AI report quotes one commander of these mercenary forces as giving his reason for blocking the humanitarian supplies, as being: “We’re at war with them and we’re spilling our blood, but in the same time we’re feeding them”; so, they refuse to allow the aid convoys through.
Germany’s Nazi forces during World War II gave the same explanation for why they treated the entire population in their conquered regions as being the enemy: they were the enemy, to be exploited and not served; they were thus to be cleared out, or else slaughtered, in order to provide “lebensraum” for the conquering people (‘Aryans’), who would be moving in and taking over the natural and other resources of the region, to be used by the Nazi state. (In the present instance, gas is one of the main resources in the rebelling region, which is the site of the vast Yuzivska gas field, and Obama’s people want it; and one of the Obama team’s appointed leaders there, the billionaire Ihor Kolomoysky, hired Joe Biden’s son and a friend of John Kerry for the board of his gas-exploration company.)
The situation is similar in southeastern Ukraine to that during WW II. The United States Government (in the person of Victoria Nuland of the State Department) chose Arseniy Yatsenyuk on 4 February 2014, which was 18 days prior to the coup, to become the new leader of Ukraine as soon as the democratically elected leader, Viktor Yanukovych would be overthrown, which turned out to be on February 22nd (though Nuland had no way of knowing at the time what the specific date of the overthrow would be). Almost immediately after Yatsenyuk became the leader of Ukraine, on March 5th, he sacked the existing three Deputy Defense Ministers, and replaced them with three rabidly anti-Russian racist-fascists or nazis, who were committed to the policy of bombing the residents in that area, the area that had voted 90% for Yanukovych. The person who was made the Minister of Defense, Mikhail Koval, then announced his intention to ethnically cleanse from southeastern Ukraine the “subhumans” who voted for Yanukovych, who will “be resettled in other regions,” meaning either Russia (if Russia accepted these Ukrainian refugees) or else concentration-camps inside Ukraine (and then perhaps death). Their property was to be confiscated, and “Land parcels will be given out for free to the servicemen of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and other military formations, as well as to the employees of Interior Ministry and the Security Service of Ukraine that are defending territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country in eastern and southeastern regions of Ukraine.” That’s the euphemism for the ethnic cleansing, and mass-theft. In other words, Obama’s new rulers of Ukraine were offering their soldiers the opportunity to grab legally the property of their victims. Ukraine doesn’t have the money to pay for all the soldiers that are needed to do this ethnic cleansing; so, they’re being promised war-booty, instead. Destroying the residents is the way to get it.
Amnesty International cannot afford to say this. According to sourcewatch (before they took their site down) Amnesty International is largely funded by Western aristocrats, and the famous Professor Francis H. Boyle has said, “Amnesty International is primarily motivated not by human rights but by publicity. Second comes money. Third comes getting more members. Fourth, internal turf battles. And then finally, human rights.” So: they’re heavily dependent upon Western, and especially upon American, aristocrats, including such people as George Soros and his Open Society Foundation, and his International Renaissance Fund (which donated heavily to promoting the coup). In other words: AI needs to watch out.
Here is an uncensored description of the situation in that region of Ukraine, which is called “Donbass.” It comes from George H. Eliason, an American who lives there, and whose reports on the situation in Ukraine I have always found to be true in the past.
[George Eliason’s description is also posted at http://www.globalresearch.ca/kiev-regime-is-forcing-death-by-starvation-and-relocation-in-east-ukraine/5420460