Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Ukraine War update

By Stephen Wilson

(Moscow, Russia) -  Amid persistently dark ominous rumours and anxiety about a new offensive set to be launched soon, fighting has rapidly escalated along almost all the front-lines leaving the Minsk 2 agreement in shreds. A recent report by the German secret sevices reveals that the losses of this protracted war have been grossly understated by both the United Nations and the Kiev Government. Losses are reported to be almost ten times the scale of official figures dispelling any myth that this is simply a small scale civil  conflict. Efforts are being made by European leaders and diplomats to put together a proposed Minsk 3 peace agreement!

            Pity poor forlorn and forgotten Ukraine! Few people envy her predicament. A destabilised and disrupted economy, a huge unemployment rate, bleak poverty, homelessness and a huge endless exodus of refugees and too many vulnerable villages and towns exposed to gunfire, looting and the pillage of soldiers from both sides. It is as if like in one Russian folk-tale, someone, somewhere unwittingly opened the gates of hell somewhere and hordes and legions of demons flew out bringing hatred, hunger ,death,destruction, bigotry, sectarianism and pogorms. People blame each other for being the ones who opened this Pandora's box. 

            Listening to the robotic cliched blame game has become wearisome to the point of futility.

            AN UNWANTED WAR

            However, according to the people Second City teachers has spoken to in Russian and beyond, the overwhelming majority of Ukrainians don't want this war to continue. The contract soldiers who had fought in Ukraine stated most of the local people they encountered strongly yearned for peace and just wanted to return to a life of relative normality. In fact, in one interview with the Russian writer Edward Limonov, by the Russian paper Argument of the Week,' the writer admitted, 'By the way, half the population of Donbass has fled. Cowardice, this is also a modern phenomena ... Now the masses don't want to fight, and only a minority fight. In Western Ukraine the number of volunteers is also low'. Limonov was referring to the large number of young Russians who don't see any point in joining the ranks of the Separatists. (Number 10, 451, Argument of the Week, Sergie Ryazanov interview with Limonov).

           At present, scarcely a day goes by without one to five peaceful citizens dying and just over the past week as many as 17 people died and 45 were wounded. Even those reports may be a gross underestimate as many journalists are not even reporting from the front line. An American journalist who is currently reporting on the war in Ukraine informed us that hardly any journalist is operating in the war zone. 'It is just too dangerous', he claimed.


           A recent German Secret Service report estimates that the real human losses of the war in Ukraine are almost ten times the official figures claimed by the government in Kiev not to mention United Nation's report. The German report claims approximately 50,000 people have died. This is in wide contrast to a claim made a few days by Poroshenko ,who put the figure at around 5,638  since April 2014. Incidently, it may be no accident that the German intelligence source spoke to the Frankfurter Allegemeine Sonntagszeitam ,just after Poroshenko spoke in Munich. The German figure also surpasses the United Nation's figure which come to about 6500. Although the German report is far nearer the truth than the watered-down figures of official figures, it still represents a slight understatement. This is because both the Russian and Ukrainian officials have a vested interest in under reporting the scale of casualties. While neo-Nazis paramilitaries are secretly burying the victims of their actocities in hidden fields and forests to conceal their crimes, and the Ukrainian army are loathe to admit their staggering losses following a hapless offensive last summer where their army was brutally routed and pursued into a deadly minefield. The Russian government constantly denies the presence and hence casualty rate of their troops unofficially serving in Ukraine. The deaths of some Russian soldiers were explained away as 'accidents while training'. The huge losses of this war represents an indictment of the European Union who morally supported the demonstrators in Maiden. I would put the real casualty rate at between 70,000 to 100,000 losses!

           While ex-British prime-ministers such as Tony Blair are on record for condoning the killing of human citizens as 'Unavoidable casualties' and 'collateral damage' , the Germans apparently express stronger reservations and don't want to get involved in what is a pointless proxy war between Americans and Russians with poor Ukrainians caught up like pigs in the middle. This war reflects a debauched game of pig in the middle reminding you of a long unpublished story by the Brothers Grimm titled 'Children who decided to play butchers'.  In this story, a boy plays a butcher, another boy a pig and a girl a shopkeeper. The boy who plays the butcher really kills the boy who plays the pig so the mother of the dead boy runs out to kill the boy butcher.

           She then hangs herself while her husband dies of despair.

           In another variant of the story, the judges let off the boy-butcher by rewarding him with an apple. The boy butcher runs away laughing at the judge. The judge might as well be a naive representative of the European Union who doesn't wish to see too much blood and is too complacent.

           This is hardly the first time casualties of actrocities have been underestimated. When Second City Teachers spoke to one journalist who had fled from the burning Trade Union building in Odessa, he claimed that the morgue was filled with more than a hundred recovered bodies. The real figure of the Odessa massacre may well surpass 100 dead rather than the under-reported 48!

           The huge casualty list should represent an all alert signal to make serious efforts to put an end to this senseless proxy war where few people care about the plight of the poorest people. What is just a fascinating game for some , represents a traumatic nightmare for countless people who have lost loved ones. Let us hope that a new Minsk agreement will turn out to be third-time lucky. Let sober sense prevail!

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