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by Stephen Lendman
Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015 at 11:04 AM
Bashing Russia and Rebels for Kiev Crimes
by Stephen Lendman
The same Big Lies repeat since conflict began last April. No letup whatever followed the latest attempt to resolve things diplomatically in Minsk on February 12.
Russia and rebels are consistently blamed for naked Kiev aggression, brutal atrocities, and post-Geneva/Minsk I and II violations.
Joe Biden spoke to Poroshenko following rebel forces routing junta troops in Debaltsevo. Thousands were forced to surrender.
Kiev abandoned them. Rebel forces won a strategic victory. German intelligence says Kiev's military is disintegrating. They're outmaneuvered, outsmarted, outfought and soundly defeated.
Biden and Poroshenko condemned Russia and rebels for junta crimes. A White House press secretary statement lied saying "if Russia continues to violate the Minsk agreements, including the most recent (one) signed on February 12, the costs to Russia will be high."
Canada marches in lockstep with Washington. Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a statement saying "(i)n coordination with our EU and US partners, Canada is once again intensifying its response to the situation by announcing further sanctions against Russian and Ukrainian individuals and entities."
Its blacklist includes 37 Russian and Donbass officials, 17 Russian and Donbass entities, as well as oil giant Rosneft and industrial/defense company Rostec's CEO.
Russia's Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said "Canada's bet on sanctions will definitely be answered."
"However, we hope that Ottawa will think about the consequences of its actions, which in fact fuel the further armed standoff in Ukraine, and realize that pressing Russia with sanctions has no perspectives."
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg bashed Russia and rebels irresponsibly. On February 18, he said "(t)oday I am deeply concerned by the deteriorating situation in and around Debeltsevo."
"The refusal of the separatists to respect the cease-fire threatens the agreement."
"As does their denial of access to the area for the OSCE monitors.
Russian forces, artillery and air defence units as well as command and control elements are still active in Ukraine."
"Russia has supported the separatists with forces, training and advanced weapons."
"And there has been a steady buildup of tanks and armoured vehicles across the border from Russia to Ukraine."
"I urge Russia to end its support for the separatists.
And withdraw its forces and military equipment from eastern Ukraine in accordance with the Minsk agreement."
"The separatists should halt all attacks immediately."
Fact: No Russian troops operate in Ukraine. No evidence proves otherwise.
Fact: None threaten its territory.
Fact: No Russian buildup near its border exists.
Fact: Or rebel support with "forces, training and advanced weapons."
Fact: No Russian or rebels violations of Minsk occurred. Its terms didn't mention Debaltsevo. Rebels respond in self-defense when fired on. It's their universal right under international law.
Fact: Lots of junta violations occurred post-Geneva, Minsk I and II. Stoltenberg didn't explain.
EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini bashed Russia and rebels. She lied saying their actions in Debeltsevo "are a clear violation of the ceasefire."
"The EU stands ready to take appropriate action in case the fighting and other negative developments in violation of the Minsk agreements continue."
Clearly threating more sanctions on Russia. What little hope followed Minsk seems on a fast-track toward collapse.
Reuters reported continued fighting around Debeltsevo despite surrender.
Its correspondent "saw black smoke rising over the town and heard loud blasts hours after the withdrawal began."
Junta commanders abandoned their troops. Some likely kept fighting, not knowing surrender was ordered. Rebels responded in kind.
AP reported junta forces leaving in trucks or on foot - "unshaven and visibly upset."
"One soldier spoke of heavy government losses, while another said they had not been able to get food or water because of the intense rebel shelling."
"A third spoke of hunkering down in bunkers for hours, unable to even go to the toilet because of the shelling."
"We're very happy" to get out, a hungry soldier told AP. "We were praying all the time and already said goodbye to our lives a hundred times."
Retreating troops said they got no help from Kiev. They weren't sure if they were surrendering or being rotated.
"I don't know," said one. "Our commanders didn't tell us" anything. "They just told us to change our positions because our unit had been staying there for quite a long time and we had sustained big losses."
Rebel commander Viktor Ponosov said Kiev forces apparently ran out of ammunition and food.
"We heard they were calling their friends and relative saying: "Please help us because they are killing and destroying us."
Rebel forces consistently say they won't fire on Kiev troops unless fired on.
The New York Times lied claiming junta forces "fought their way out of (Debaltsevo), choosing a risky overnight breakout rather than surrender…"
Poroshenko ordered surrender. He called it withdrawal. RT International reported Kiev forces "surrendering en masse."
Sputnik News and other Russian media reported the same thing. Junta ranks were routed, shattered. They had two choices - surrender or die.
The Times portrayed junta forces as heroes, courageous rebels as villains.
It quoted Poroshenko ludicrously saying "(t)oday, the world must stop the aggressor."
Donbas self-defense forces fight for democratic rights everyone deserves. They reject fascist rule. So should everyone.
They deserve universal support. Don't expect The Times or other media scoundrels to explain.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.
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