Ukrainian War Crimes Whitewashed by Western Press
After more than 30 people died in a fire in the Ukrainian seaside resort town of Odessa, most of the Western press pretended that no one knows what happened or whose fault it was. For example, see these stories from the Guardian and BBC.
But USA Today reports:
Witnesses and journalists reported that as the building burned with people inside, a crowd shouted, “Glory to Ukraine!” and “Death to enemies!” [These are neo-Nazi slogans.]
[T]he Associated Press reported that the Russian sympathizers took refuge in the trade union hall on Kulikovo Field Square after government supporters rousted their encampment outside and then burned their tents. Police said the building was set on fire with Molotov cocktails.
At 5 seconds into this 15-second video, you can see a Molotov cocktail being thrown at the building in which the Russian sympathizers:
On Saturday, for instance, the dominant story from Ukraine was the killing of more than 30 ethnic Russian protesters by fire and smoke inhalation in Ukraine’s southern port city of Odessa. They had taken refuge in a union building after a clash with a pro-Kiev mob which reportedly included right-wing thugs.
Even the neocon-dominated Washington Post led its Saturday editions with the story of “Dozens killed in Ukraine fighting” and described the fatal incident this way: “Friday evening, a pro-Ukrainian mob attacked a camp where the pro-Russian supporters had pitched tents, forcing them to flee to a nearby government building, a witness said. The mob then threw gasoline bombs into the building. Police said 31 people were killed when they choked on smoke or jumped out of windows.
“Asked who had thrown the Molotov cocktails, pro-Ukrainian activist Diana Berg said, ‘Our people – but now they are helping them [the survivors] escape the building.’” [Here's the Post story.]
By contrast, here is how the New York Times reported the event in its Saturday editions as part of a story by C.J. Chivers and Noah Sneider focused on the successes of the pro-coup armed forces in overrunning some eastern Ukrainian rebel positions.
“Violence also erupted Friday in the previously calmer port city of Odessa, on the Black Sea, where dozens of people died in a fire related to clashes that broke out between protesters holding a march for Ukrainian unity and pro-Russian activists. The fighting itself left four dead and 12 wounded, Ukraine’s Interior Ministry said. Ukrainian and Russian news media showed images of buildings and debris burning, fire bombs being thrown and men armed with pistols.”
Note how the Times evades placing any responsibility on the pro-coup mob for trying to burn the “pro-Russian activists” out of a building, an act that resulted in the highest single-day death toll since the actual coup which left more than 80 people dead from Feb. 20-22. From reading the Times, you wouldn’t know who had died in the building and who had set the fire.
Not even “atrocities were commited,” just a fire “related” to clashes that “broke out.” Immaculate conception theory of war crimes.
Postscript: While the Western press tries to paint the percentage of neo Nazis within the new Ukrainian government as small, the leader of the “protests” which ousted the previous president of Ukraine is a neo Nazi and follower of WWII Nazi sympathizer Stepan Bandera, and neo Nazis are largely in control of the new government.
Whatever You Think of Putin, You Should Understand How Russia Thinks
Even if you think Putin is a tyrant with ambitions to build an imperial Russia, you can’t understand the war in Ukraine unless you understand how Russians think.
20 million Russians died fighting the Nazis in World War II.
Neo Nazis just killed at least 42 Russians when they firebombed a building in Odessa, Ukraine that the Russians had taken shelter in.
Agence France-Presse reports:
Russian official rhetoric has increasingly compared events in Ukraine to the darkest crimes of Nazi Germany, ahead of next week’s anniversary of Soviet victory in World War II.
The fire in the southern Ukrainian city of Odessa that claimed at least 42 lives on Friday has been swiftly dubbed a new “reprisal raid” and even the “new Khatyn,” a reference to the Belarussian village where 149 residents were burned alive by the Nazis in 1943.
The Khatyn massacre went down in Russian history books as one of the Nazis’ most brutal “reprisal raids,” a term the Kremlin has now adopted to describe the offensive Kiev authorities have launched against pro-Moscow rebels in the flashpoint town of Slavyansk.
“What has happened, especially in the Trade Unions House, brings to mind the crimes of the Nazis during World War II,” pro-Kremlin lawmaker Leonid Slutsky told reporters in Moscow, referring to the Odessa fire.
“These are the new Khatyn and Auschwitz.”
A senior official in the pro-Kremlin government of Crimea, Ukraine’s peninsula taken over by Russia in March, chimed in.
“The last time people were burned alive in Ukraine was by the Nazis during the Great Patriotic War,” Rustam Temirgaliyev said on Facebook, referring to the Russian name for World War II.
Russia’s losses and sacrifice during World War II remain a hugely sensitive subject in the country ….
To the extent that the U.S. and Nato are backing the right-wing Ukrainians, we are creating conditions that the Russian leadership – rightly or wrongly – considers an existential threat.