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West Guilty Of Ukraine War Crimes

By Finian Cunningham

February 21, 2015 "
ICH" - The Western-backed Kiev regime has committed heinous war crimes and crimes against humanity over the past year. So, too, guilty of war crimes are its sponsors, Washington and European governments, as well as the Western corporate media.

But ludicrously, the warped Western focus is on alleged Russian aggression and violations. The latest release of satellite images by NATO purport to once again infer Russian military presence inside east Ukraine. The relentless Western focus on tenuous claims of Russian "aggression" incredibly precludes any question of the far more provable culpability of aggression by Washington and its allies in Ukraine.

The extension of new European Union sanctions on Moscow last week underlines the warped focus of Washington and its Western allies in their depiction of what is really happening in Ukraine, laying the blame for Western-orchestrated violence at Russia's door. This irrationality is part of the mounting danger of an all-out East-West war.

Russia is warned by Washington to not breach the latest ceasefire, even though it was Russian President Vladmir Putin who brokered the truce in Minsk on February 12, whereas the Americans contributed nothing to the peace effort.

This warped Western focus is understandable, albeit deplorable. It is not just a matter of misinformed, arrogant politicians or bad journalism. It is a systematic propaganda campaign - which is itself a war crime under international law - to bury Western complicity in Ukraine's appalling violence.

The Western media reported that Kiev regime's shelling of Donetsk city halted last weekend, promptly after the Kiev President Petro Poroshenko had given the ceasefire order.

Such "good news" reports in the Western media are intended to convey a faint hope that the latest truce in the Ukraine conflict might just hold, and thus pave a political way forward to resolve the deadly unrest gripping the country for the past year.

But that is surely missing the far more important point. The Kiev regime's forces should not be shelling Donetsk city or any other civilian centre in eastern Ukraine in the first place. Such an admission, however trite, should be a damming indictment not just of the Kiev regime but also of the Western sponsors of this regime, including the Western media, which has systematically whitewashed the extent of criminality.

Shelling of civilians, which has been routine over the past 10 months, constitutes a grave war crime on the part of Kiev's military forces and their commanders. Yet this is never said in the Western media.

Contrast the volume of media coverage on allegations against the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad over the bombing of civilians, allegations which in Syria's case are often baseless anyway.

That the Donetsk shelling ceased promptly on the orders of Poroshenko - at least for the brief now perhaps - nevertheless evidently shows that the Kiev authorities are able to exert control over their military forces pursuing a deliberate tactic of targeting non-combatants.

That means that all past offensive operations against civilians and any future breaches of the tentative ceasefire should be accountable to the Kiev government and its supporters in the West, including Washington, Brussels and the International Monetary Fund. Last week, the IMF announced $40 billion in funds to the Kiev regime. Where are the Western warnings of sanctions against the Kiev killers? There are none because the West is fully complicit in war crimes. Hence, the need to cover-up.

Somebody must be held accountable under international law for the killing of thousands of civilians among the ethnic Russian population in east Ukraine. Homes, schools, hospitals, streets, even kindergartens have not been spared. In one horrific attack, on January 21, some 13 people were killed when Grad rockets fired by Kiev forces slammed into a busy market area of Donetsk city. The Western media gave prominence to the Kiev regime's claims that the separatist militias were shelling their own people.

Donetsk and surrounding towns, like Gorlovka, have been subjected to constant bombardment from Kiev's warplanes, artillery, mortars and rockets, including cluster bombs. Even the pro-Western Human Rights Watch group had to admit the evidence of banned cluster bombs being used.

It would be naive to claim that the separatist rebels are entirely blameless. But whatever violence may have been incurred by citizens as a result of rebel action is incomparable with the wanton, systematic
targeting of civilians by the Kiev regime. The separatists are acting in self-defence from an aggressor and thus have a moral and legal cause to use violence, even though it might have unintended consequences of civilian fatalities.

Also, the regime is implicated in carrying out false-flag terror attacks to smear the rebels, such as last week in the Smerch rocket assault on Kramatorsk in which up to 17 people were killed. Check incriminating details on The Saker or Fort Russ websites, as well as in a column by this author at the Strategic Culture Foundation online journal (February 14). See also the Mariupol massacre on January 24, or the bus bombing at Volnovakha on January 13. All these incidents of mass murder bear the hallmarks of false-flag events, which the Western media misattributes to "Russian-backed rebels".

Where a false flag is not involved and it is just a straightforward matter of gratuitous killing of civilians by the Kiev regime, the Western response is usually muted or vague.

The day before the Minsk ceasefire came into effect on Saturday night, three children were killed when their home in Gorlovka was hit by a shell from Kiev's military. Gorlovka is a rebel-held town. This was no stray, tragic mis-fire. Gorlovka's residents, like those of Donetsk and other civilian areas of the eastern Donbas provinces, have been living under a siege-of-terror by Kiev's military and its paramilitary neo-Nazi volunteer brigades, with families forced to huddle in freezing cold basements and other makeshift bomb shelters for days on end. But there were was no outcry in the Western media. For many, there was just silence.

The New York Times did report on the above Gorlovka atrocity and apportioned blame to the regime forces. But the detail was carried only briefly in one paragraph and in a context that suggested it was a random event, part of a spiral of violence between regime and rebels, not part of an ongoing murderous campaign of civilians by the Kiev regime.

Why such crimes have not duly shocked international public opinion is because the Western media have largely shielded the public from the true horror, by shameful dereliction in reporting specifics. The systemic nature of this dereliction suggests a deliberate media policy to disinform. Western media omit how the Kiev regime's forces have been indiscriminately and systematically firing on residential districts since it launched the so-called Anti-Terror Operation last April. Western outlets, AP, Reuters, BBC and France 24 among others, routinely report in vague terms, such as: "Another day of violence in Ukraine saw more civilians killed in shelling." But typically such reports rarely disclose who the perpetrators of the shelling are, even when it is clearly the regime. Worse, it is often inferred that the dead were victims of "cross-fire" between regime forces and the rebels.

More than 5,500 people have died in the Ukraine conflict over the past year. German intelligence recently disclosed that the actual death toll could be ten times higher. Most of the victims have been
civilians, including women and children. And most of these civilian casualties have been inflicted by Kiev's military. That assessment is not just based on figures tallied by the officials and media agencies
representing the self-proclaimed independent republics of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Obviously, the pro-independence cities, towns and villages are not being shelled by self-defence militia from within their own environs. These locations are, by definition, under siege by Kiev's forces. The latter are attempting to ruthlessly wipe out dissent towards the regime, which came to power last February after ousting the elected government of President Viktor Yanukovych. The Donbas eastern
population remains loyal to the deposed Yanukovych and his Party of Regions. They see the Kiev regime under President Poroshenko as illegitimate, brought to power by an illegal coup supported by the United States and European Union members, including Germany, France and Poland.

The fact that the Donbas population formed militia and occupied public buildings in defiance of the usurpers in Kiev does not in any way justify the latter's unilateral military campaign to crush. After all,
the Donbas people were merely carrying out protests and occupations that elements of the Kiev regime had similarly conducted before they ousted Yanukovych. Indeed, the Donbas people showed much more restraint and less violence than did the Svoboda and Right Sector neo-Nazi paramilitaries during the Maidan Square demonstrations in Kiev. Western deceit facilitates this gross double-think and

So, the disturbing fact is that the Western-backed political rulers residing in Kiev have overseen a criminal war of aggression on eastern Ukraine involving the mass killing of civilians. That constitutes
multiple war crimes. Moreover, Washington and its European allies have shown unabashed support for the murderous Kiev junta and its military machine, while Western media deliberately misinforms on a provable litany of crimes. That makes Western governments and media complicit in war crimes.

Yet these Western institutions have been running a relentless campaign of calumny against Vladimir Putin's Russia as "an aggressor" in Ukraine, without the slightest evidence. There is also a clear distortion in Western media that absolves the Kiev regime while seeking to malign the "Russian-backed separatists" for the violence. People defending themselves from ethnic cleansing are being demonised by the cowardly Western media.

Hours before the ceasefire commenced last weekend, the US State Department was openly reiterating accusations of "Russian aggression".

Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the US was "confident" that military equipment, including multiple-rocket launchers, in the conflict zone of Debaltsevo belonged to regular Russian army. Washington warned that any breaches of the ceasefire will see further sanctions imposed on Moscow. US President Barack Obama also reportedly vowed to "coordinate" a response with the Kiev regime to alleged Russian violations, suggesting American weaponry on the way.

What are US assertions against Russian based on? Not on verifiable proof, but largely on the word of the Kiev regime - the very protagonist that is responsible for instigating the conflict and a host of crimes against humanity.

American ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt (who was caught plotting the overthrow of Yanukovych last February along with US State Department official Victoria Nuland) was recently rumbled for posting a false picture of Russian armoured vehicles allegedly in the embattled Debaltsevo enclave. His source was revealed to be Kiev regime propagandists who had tried to peddle the same fake photograph months ago falsely claiming Russian military presence in another Ukrainian location.

US Senator Jim Inhofe earlier this month had to issue an embarrassing retraction after he made claims that he had photographic evidence of Russian T72 tanks in eastern Ukraine. Turns out the photograph supplied to Inhofe by the Kiev regime was of Russian tanks legally in South Ossetia back in 2008 during the NATO-instigated crisis with neighbouring Georgia.

These recent examples of the US indulging in false information and lies are reminiscent of the photograph published last Year in the New York Times purporting to show Russian troops in Ukraine. Again, the story turned out to be completely false and the Times was subsequently compelled to issue an apology.

Nonetheless, that apology has not stopped the American "newspaper of record" continuing with its anti-Russian boilerplate so-called reportage. Just this weekend in a report chock-full with hackneyed
claims of Russia assisting the Donbas rebels, the New York Times actually conceded in one brief sentence that it "had no firsthand evidence" to back up its claims.

So this is the basis for the US State Department's "confident" accusations against Putin's Russia, which are leading to sharper economic warfare between Moscow and Europe and possibly to a further
escalation of violence in Ukraine, if Obama "coordinates" with Poroshenko, as promised. An even bigger catastrophic nuclear war with Russia is recklessly being provoked.

Western pretensions of democratic rights, rule of law and independent free media are glaringly exposed in Ukraine as the most grotesque travesty. The West is facilitating a criminal regime in the murder of civilians. And while a shaky ceasefire might have been called for now, the West's deceitful double-think is preparing the ground for even more war and further war crimes in Ukraine.

The Western public needs to urgently do something about this abomination, otherwise they too are complicit - through their silence.


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