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newthinking

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Josh Cohen - Vladimir Putin calls Ukraine fascist and country’s new law helps make his case

(Note: This has now been passed and is no longer in draft)

Vladimir Putin calls Ukraine fascist and country’s new law helps make his case
Josh Cohen


A member of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) waits to depart to the frontline
in eastern Ukraine, in central Kiev, March 17, 2015. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich


As Ukraine continues its battle against separatists, corruption and a collapsing economy, it has taken a dangerous step that could further tear the country apart: Ukraine’s parliament, the Supreme Rada, passed a draft law last month honoring organizations involved in mass ethnic cleansing during World War Two.

The draft law — which is now on President Petro Poroshenko’s desk awaiting his signature — recognizes a series of Ukrainian political and military organizations as “fighters for Ukrainian independence in the 20th century” and bans the criticism of these groups and their members. (The bill doesn’t state the penalty for doing so.) Two of the groups honored — the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) — helped the Nazis carry out the Holocaust while also killing close to 100,000 Polish civilians during World War Two.

The law is part of a recent trend of contemporary Ukrainian nationalism promoted by those on the extreme right to break with the country’s Communist past and emphasize Ukraine’s suffering under the Soviet regime. In addition to the moral problem of forbidding the criticism of Holocaust perpetrators, the law hinders Ukraine’s European ambitions — and validates Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claims that the country is overrun by neo-Nazis.

The OUN was founded in 1929 as a revolutionary organization designed to liberate Ukraine from Soviet rule and create an independent Ukrainian state. Many OUN leaders were trained in Nazi Germany, and the group’s philosophy was influenced by Nazi racial theorists such as Alfred Rosenberg. OUN literature, for example, declared the need to “combat Jews as supporters of the Muscovite-Bolshevik regime… Death to the Muscovite-Jewish commune! Beat the commune, save Ukraine!”

http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2015/05/14/putin-ties-ukraines-government-to-neo-nazis-a-new-law-seems-to-back-him-up/

____________________________________________________________________________________

Ukraine bans Soviet symbols and criminalizes sympathy for communism

New laws also honor controversial nationalist groups that committed ethnic cleansing or allied with the Nazis for part of second world war


Two new laws that ban communist symbols while honoring nationalist groups that collaborated with the Nazis have come into effect in Ukraine, raising concerns that Kiev could be stifling free speech and further fragmenting the war-torn country in the rush to break ties with its Soviet past.

The first law “on the condemnation of the communist and Nazi totalitarian regimes” forbids both Soviet and Nazi symbols, making something as trivial as selling a USSR souvenir, or singing the Soviet national hymn or the Internationale, punishable by up to five years in prison for an individual and up to 10 years in prison for members of an organization.

It also makes it a criminal offense to deny the “criminal character of the communist totalitarian regime of 1917-1991 in Ukraine” in the media or elsewhere.

The second law recognizes controversial nationalist groups – including the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) – as “independence fighters” and makes it a criminal offense to question the legitimacy of their actions. While these two groups at different times fought both Soviet and German forces, they also collaborated with the Nazis and took part in ethnic cleansing. One of the authors of the law is the son of UPA leader Roman Shukhevych.


http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/21/ukraine-bans-soviet-symbols-criminalises-sympathy-for-communism

Philip Zimmermann: king of encryption reveals his fears for privacy

Philip Zimmermann: king of encryption reveals his fears for privacy

The creator of PGP has moved his mobile-encryption firm Silent Circle to Switzerland to be free of US mass surveillance. Here he explains why

When Philip Zimmermann was campaigning for nuclear disarmament in the 1980s, he kept an escape plan in his back pocket. The inventor of the world’s most widely used email encryption system, Pretty Good Privacy – more commonly known as PGP – was ready to move his family from Colorado to New Zealand at a moment’s notice.

The button was never pressed and the Zimmermanns stayed put. Until this year, that is. At 61, the Internet Hall of Fame inductee and founder of three-year-old mobile encryption startup Silent Circle has just left the US for Switzerland. In the end, it was not the nuclear threat that convinced him to leave his homeland, but the surveillance arms race.

“Every dystopian society has excessive surveillance, but now we see even western democracies like the US and England moving that way,” he warns. “We have to roll this back. People who are not suspected of committing crimes should not have information collected and stored in a database. We don’t want to become like North Korea.”

Zimmermann stopped in London to host a reception at the Victoria & Albert Museum where his cryptographic handset, the Blackphone, is currently on display, alongside the remains of a laptop destroyed on government orders by Guardian editors wielding angle grinders, because it contained a trove of secret documents leaked by Edward Snowden.


Continued:
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/may/25/philip-zimmermann-king-encryption-reveals-fears-privacy

Security forces in Odessa arrest 30 more Bessarabia People’s Rada activists

Security forces in Odessa arrest 30 more Bessarabia People’s Rada activists

http://www.bignewsnetwork.com/index.php/sid/232040941

According to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, the activists staged a meeting calling for peace and formation of cultural autonomy within Ukraine

ODESSA, April 17. /TASS/. Police in Odessa, a port city on the Black Sea, on Thursday arrested 30 more activists of the People’s Rada of Bessarabia, including member of the presidium of this public organization Vera Shevchenko. According to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, the activists staged a meeting calling for peace and formation of cultural autonomy within Ukraine.

They also protested against the arrests of their fellow activists, among them the organization’s leader Dmitry Zatuliveter. "He disappeared immediately after the rada’s foundation conference that was held on April 6. We are very much concerned about Dmitry’s health and life, we are totally against the use of unauthorized methods of influence with regard to him, including force and, possibly, psychotropic agents," Shevchenko told reporters. Zatuliveter’s relatives and friends believe that he may be held by Ukrainian law enforcers, she added.

According to local media, the organization’s members detained by police were subjected to lengthy interrogations and intimidations by Ukraine’s Security Service officers.

Bessarabia is a region in south-eastern Europe between the Black Sea and the Danube, the Dniester and the Prut rivers. The Odessa region bordering the unrecognized Transdniestria Republic occupies part of Bessarabia.

http://www.bignewsnetwork.com/index.php/sid/232040941

In Horlovka, Eastern Ukraine, a Donetsk Republic Rises

Yegor Voronov is a left-wing activist, blogger and journalist from the coal mining and industrial city of of Horlivka, Donetsk region.


In Horlovka, Eastern Ukraine, a Donetsk Republic Rises
by YEGOR VORONOV

The culmination of the Anti-Maidan movement in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine was the founding of the Donetsk People’s Republic in April 2014. A declaration was issued on April 7.

At that time, even the most marginal political figures involved could not have imagined that one year later, the new entity would be on the way to real self-affirmation as a state. Neither “Kremlin agents“, nor “separatists“, of the future Donetsk People’s Republic, occupying the regional administration building in Donetsk at several key moments in March and April of 2014, nor anyone else for that matter, could have given such a powerful momentum for the pro-federalization (autonomy) movement of Donbas as the governing officials in Kyiv.

All along, Kyiv ignored the concerns and basic democratic demands of countless rallies in eastern Ukraine of people who were defending Lenin monuments against destruction and who simply wanted the right to live and work in their language. Their rallies were also forms of popular referendums, demanding an end the reign of the oligarchs (against whom the Maidan movement allegedly fought). Officials of the new government that came to power in Kyiv in February 2014 on the back of the Maidan movement has demonstrated time and again to Donbas residents that it quite literally does not consider them as human beings.

Kyiv’s ‘Anti-Terrorist Operation‘ launched in April 2014 by the Armed Forces of Ukraine and extreme-right militias convinced thousands of indignant residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions to join self-defense militias. These were ordinary citizens who would not have imagined they could take such action, but Kyiv’s violence drove them to create not only self-defense militias but, eventually, something resembling a standing army. Similarly, the cutting by Kyiv of pensions and social payments to Donbas residents beginning last summer [1] has now led to the creation of a pension and social welfare system of the Donetsk People’s Republic.


"The fact is, and this may seem a paradox, when Kyiv authorities decided to starve elderly people already suffering from shelling and cold by cutting off their pensions, they expected this would bring the Donetsk People’s Republic to its knees. However, Kyiv officials, who hate the coal dust-tainted proletarians of the Donetsk region, have achieved quite the opposite effect. Their inhumane initiatives have served to further legitimize the new Republic in the eyes of the local residents. They realize, ‘Kyiv does not pay us pensions which we earned and deserved through a life of working hard. It has placed us in a ghetto, surrounded by guns, tanks and soldiers. Isn’t it quite natural for us to assume that this is not our government anymore, that it cares nothing about our fate?’ "


Continued here:
http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/05/07/in-horlovka-eastern-ukraine-a-donetsk-republic-rises/

German Documentary - The atrocities of Odessa on May 2, 2014

English subtitles

The anniversary of this event is today in Ukraine and is a huge event for many Ukrainians. There were so many concerns about protests in Odessa that the government sent in hundreds of police and brought in military from throughout the country to supervise Odessa.



(This was the second video on another post, but the documentary deserves to be posted on it's own and is a must see for anyone wanting to understand the events)

The Pentagon’s ‘Long War’

The Pentagon’s ‘Long War’
by PEPE ESCOBAR

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/05/01/the-pentagons-long-war/

Whatever happens with the nuclear negotiations this summer, and as much as Tehran wants cooperation and not confrontation, Iran is bound to remain — alongside Russia — a key US geostrategic target.

As much as US President Barack Obama tried to dismiss it, the Russian sale of the S-300 missile system to Iran is a monumental game-changer. Even with the added gambit of the Iranian military assuring the made in Iran Bavar 373 may be even more efficient than the S-300.

This explains why Jane’s Defense Weekly was already saying years ago that Israel could not penetrate Iranian airspace even if it managed to get there. And after the S-300s Iran inevitably will be offered the even more sophisticated S-400s, which are to be delivered to China as well.

The unspoken secret behind these game-changing proceedings actually terrifies Washington warmongers; it spells out a further frontline of Eurasian integration, in the form of an evolving Eurasian missile shield deployed against Pentagon/NATO ballistic plans.

A precious glimpse of what’s ahead was offered at the Moscow Conference on International Security (MICS) in mid-April.

Continued:
http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/05/01/the-pentagons-long-war/
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