By Staff of Organizing Notes and Rusvesna – Residents of Kharkov walked on a march called “Prayers for peace and love in Ukraine”, which began from the Sviatohirsk Lavra in Donbass and has already made it to Kharkov. In the video filmed by eyewitnesses, people with St. George ribbons [honoring the Soviet defeat of Hitler's Army at the cost of 27 million Soviet lives - the ribbons now declared illegal to wear in the post-coup Ukraine] and badges with Nicholas II are visible among the participants.
By Phil Wilayto for Counter Punch – At the end of World War Two, the city of Odessa in present-day Ukraine was declared a Hero City by the Soviet Union for its determined resistance to Nazi occupation. It’s a designation still valued by the people of this multicultural metropolis of a million people on the western shore of the Black Sea. On May 2, 2016, Odessans once again showed their great capacity for courage. Defying threats by local and national fascist organizations, thousands of city residents, accompanied by international monitors from across Europe and the United States…
By Bruce Gagnon, Phil Wilayto and Regis Tremblay for the United National Antiwar Coalition. Odessa, Ukraine – The three members of UNAC’S delegation that traveled to Odessa on the Black Sea to help monitor the May 2 memorial in Kolikovo Square. From left, Bruce Gagnon, who coordinates a global network opposing nuclear weapons in space; Phil Wilayto, editor of The Virginia Defender newspaper: and Regis Tremblay, an independent documentary filmmaker who will be producing a video about this issue. Many feared that there would be more violence in Odessa, Ukraine yesterday similar to what took well over 50 lives on May 2, 2014. But in fact the day was peaceful when up to 10,000 people gathered near the Trades Union Hall to place flowers and stand with the Mothers Committee in a make shift memorial.
By Bruce K. Gagnon for Space 4 Peace – Many feared that there would be more violence in Odessa, Ukraine yesterday similar to what took well over 50 lives on May 2, 2014. But in fact the day was peaceful when up to 10,000 people gathered near the Trades Union Hall to place flowers and stand with the Mothers Committee in a make shift memorial. The public was blocked from having direct contact with the Trades Hall by huge numbers of local police, national security services and fully armed neo-Nazi Azov battalion members who have been incorporated into the newly formed ‘National Guard’ in Ukraine
By David Swanson for Tele Sur – Obama said the U.S. is number one in the fight against climate change, when in reality the United States is by far the worst offender. President Barack Obama used his final State of the Union speech to claim that, “America is leading the fight against climate change,” while in reality the United States is far and away the worst offender, per capita, in the ongoing mad race to render the earth’s climate uninhabitable. We “cut our imports of foreign oil,” Obama brags, as if earth cares what flag its pollution belches into the air under. “Gas under two bucks a gallon ain’t bad,” said the President, wildly missing the mark. Yes, it is bad, if you’re trying to preserve a livable planet, not just win cheap applause.
By Robert Parry for Consortium News – Nearly two years since U.S. officials helped foment a coup in Ukraine – partly justified by corruption allegations – the country continues to wallow in graft and cronyism as the living standards for average Ukrainians plummet, according to economic data and polls of public attitudes. Even the neocon-oriented Wall Street Journal took note of the worsening corruption in a Jan. 1, 2016 article observing that “most Ukrainians say the revolution’s promise to replace rule by thieves with the rule of law has fallen short and the government acknowledges that there is still much to be done.”
By Jack Balkwill for Dissident Voice. There have been many victories and we need to celebrate them. Among the victories was stopping the northern portion of the KXL pipeline, various new laws in 24 states to prevent police violence and an increase inprosecutions of police who commit violence, and the increase in wages across the country and winning the critically important battle for net neutrality. These were people-powered victories that showed when we act together we have the power to defeat corporate interests. Another ongoing series of victories is seeing local people, who have not been involved in activism, working along with experienced, often young, energy activists, taking on big energy companies in an aggressive way. This is a victory.
By Jack Rasmus in Information Clearinghouse – A new form of colonialism is emerging in Europe. Not colonialism imposed by military conquest and occupation, as in the 19th century. Not even the more efficient form of economic colonialism pioneered by the U.S. in the post-1945 period, where the costs of direct administration and military occupation were replaced with compliant local elites allowed to share in the wealth extracted in exchange for being allowed to rule on behalf of the colonizers. In the 21st century, it is “colonialism by means of financial asset transfer.” It is colony wealth extraction by colonizing country managers, assigned to directly administer the processes in the colony by which financial assets are to be transferred. This new form of colonialism by direct management plus financial wealth transfer is now emerging in Greece and Ukraine.
By Patrick L. Smith for Salon – It is not a matter only of countering entrenched interests—the Pentagon, the defense industries, the intelligence and national security apparatus. I conclude that the American consciousness must also sustain a certain kind of violence before we will imagine our place in the world anew. This seems to me the colonel’s thought: We failed in Ukraine “pretty much completely,” and we can learn from this to think differently. I see two major misapprehensions immediately at issue. One is the neoliberal model, arising as it does out of the Chicago School’s free-market ideology, econometrics, rational choice theory, and the drastic tilt toward mathematics and computer modeling in postwar social sciences. It strips all history, culture, tradition and human preference out of our thinking such that we can pile into Ukraine and expect to win the day. Impossible. This is the irrationality of hyper-rationality. It is a proven loser. Let the losses pile up.
By Brian Wise in New Cold War – KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has dropped a recording of the pianist Valentina Lisitsa from its in-flight entertainment system after receiving complaints about her Twitter commentary on the Ukraine-Russia conflict. Lisitsa, an ethnic Russian born in Ukraine who now lives in Paris, has drawn attention in recent months for her polarizing social media commentary about the conflict in Ukraine. She has compared President Petro Poroshenko’s government to Nazi Germany; her tweets about Ukrainians have been criticized as vulgar and offensive. Lisitsa maintains that her remarks have been misconstrued and are intended as satire. On Sunday, a Canadian-Ukrainian who identifies herself as Inna Thorn [an assumed name] wrote an e-mail to KLM stating she was “appalled to see Valentina Lisitsa being featured” in the Dutch airline’s in-flight entertainment system, which she spotted during a trip from Kiev to Calgary.
By Jack Hanick for the Observer – When the president of Ukraine was overthrown, from a Russian viewpoint this was a Western organized coup. The overthrow of a democratically elected president signaled that the West was interested in an expansion of power, not democratic values. The leaked recorded conversations of Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt suggested that the US was actively involved in regime change in the Ukraine. For Russia, the Ukrainians are their brothers, much more than any other group. The languages are similar; they are linked culturally and religiously. Kiev played a central role in the Christianization of Russia. Many Russians have family members in Ukraine. For Russians, this special relationship was destroyed by outside forces. Imagine if Canada suddenly aligned itself with Russia or China. The US would surely see that as a threat on its border and act decisively.
By Lee Fang in The Intercept – The United States Institute of Peace is a publicly funded national institution chartered by the U.S. government to promote international peace through nonviolent conflict resolution. But its chairman, Stephen Hadley, is a relentless hawk whose advocacy for greater military intervention often dovetails closely with the interests of Raytheon, a major defense contractor that pays him handsomely as a member of its board of directors. Hadley, the former national security adviser to President George W. Bush, was an advocate for the 2003 invasion of Iraq and more recently appeared in the media to call for massive airstrikes in Syria. Over the last year, he has called for escalating the conflict in Ukraine. In a speech at Poland’s Wroclaw Global Forum in June, Hadley argued in favor of arming the Ukrainian government in part because that would “raise the cost for what Russia is doing in Ukraine.”
By Robert Parry in Consortium News – As the Ukrainian army squares off against ultra-right and neo-Nazi militias in the west and violence against ethnic Russians continues in the east, the obvious folly of the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy has come into focus even for many who tried to ignore the facts, or what you might call “the mess that Victoria Nuland made.” Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs “Toria” Nuland was the “mastermind” behind the Feb. 22, 2014 “regime change” in Ukraine, plotting the overthrow of the democratically elected government of President Viktor Yanukovych while convincing the ever-gullible U.S. mainstream media that the coup wasn’t really a coup but a victory for “democracy.” To sell this latest neocon-driven “regime change” to the American people, the ugliness of the coup-makers had to be systematically airbrushed, particularly the key role of neo-Nazis and other ultra-nationalists from the Right Sektor.
The Kiev regime wants to forcibly impose on the entire population of Ukraine its system of values which totally rejects the Soviet period in the history of Ukraine. It is based on the traditions of Ukrainian integral nationalism, which is the local Ukrainian variant of fascist ideology. These ideas of integral nationalism inspired such figures as Stepan Bandera. For a significant part of Ukrainian society, such attitudes are unacceptable. That is why opposition appeared. Despite all the repression, people have been fighting against the reactionaries and actively looking for an alternative. But the forces of resistance in Ukraine are split, and some of them are not guided by consistently democratic principles. Some of them receive help from Russian nationalists and therefore think that the alternative to Ukrainian fascism is Russian nationalism. But this is wrong and a dead end road. Therefore, the solidarity of international left forces with the liberation struggle against the Kiev regime will help the people of see they have friends and strengthen the democratic tendencies in the camp of resistance.
The worst thing that can happen to any country is fratricide war, people seeing each other, their neighbors as enemies to be eliminated. This is what has befallen my beautiful Ukraine. My heart was bleeding. You all saw on TV screens all over the world a magnificent revolution, the people of Ukraine raising in fury against their corrupt rulers, for a better life. I was so proud of my people! But the ruling class doesn’t let go easily. They managed to cunningly channel away the anger, to direct it to other, often imaginable, enemies – and worse, to turn people upon themselves. Year later, we have the same rich people remaining in power, misery and poverty everywhere, dozens of thousands killed, over a million of refugees. So, I took to Twitter under a name “NedoUkraïnka” – a word roughly meaning “Sub-Ukrainian”, a stab at Ukrainian Prime Minister who called Russian-speaking Southern and Eastern Ukrainians “SUBHUMANS”!