As most in the former USSR celebrated the 69th Victory Day over Nazi Germany today, the US-backed government in Kiev (which took power after the February coup) decided to launch one of its bloodiest military operations thus far, this time against the anti-coup protesters Mariupol, eastern Ukraine.
As much of the Ukrainian military has proven unreliable to the post-coup regime in Kiev, the new interim authorities have assembled their own "national guard" and other militias from the extreme nationalists who were behind the violence in Kiev just two months ago. The result is an extremely aggressive "shock troop" force that seems to shoot first when faced with protesters.
The US government has repeatedly claimed that protesters in eastern Ukraine who reject the legitimacy of the post-coup government in Kiev are in fact Russian agents. With an intelligence budget of nearly $100 billion, however, US authorities have only been able to put forth debunked claim after debunked claim. First it was satellite imagery proving Russian troops massing on the border. Debunked. Then it was the blatant "anti-Semitic" forgery which Kerry insisted he was certain had been issued by the anti-Kiev authorities in the east. Debunked. Then it was photos hustled by the State Department said to show Russian special forces active in Ukraine. Debunked. And so on.
It seems that to the US government, facts simply do not matter. In pre-February 22 Kiev, the legitimate government was warned against using any force to put down an armed revolt. That rebellion, now in power, is actually encouraged by the US to use military force against civilians in eastern Ukraine.
And force it uses. Here, protesters armed only with folding chairs found themselves under live fire from Kiev forces. Warning: two unarmed protesters are shot in the video, which is extremely graphic. One of them is shot in the head, to the horror of the crowd all around him. Here is another angle.
Here, Kiev forces open fire on a police station in Mariupol that announced it would no longer take orders from Kiev. You can see one of the troops -- in a civilian neighborhood -- fire a rocket-propelled grenade directly into the police headquarters. The police building was demolished with an unknown number of dead.
Still, protesters continue to resist the rule of Kiev. Today, as the pro-Kiev governor of Kerson oblast apparently spoke fondly of Hitler's forces trying to "liberate" Ukraine from communist rule, one brave mother could take it no longer. She marched right up to the podium (starting at 1:40) with her baby in arms, told the politician off, grabbed his microphone, and threw it to the ground. That's non-violent resistance at its best.
Things weren't much better for coup-installed president Turchynov and prime minister Yatsenyuk. In Kiev, capitol of the revolution, they were heckled by the crowd at the Victory Day gathering, who drowned them out chanting "Hitler Kaputt! Bandera Kaputt!"
Nevertheless, they retain support from the force that still matters: the US government and its NATO war machine, which seems totally uninterested in military violence against civilians.
In fact, the US administration has called these military operations against unarmed civilians "proportionate and reasonable." US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, who had just two months ago cheered on armed protesters seeking to overthrow the elected government in Kiev and warned that government against any response to the violent protests, was singing a different tune now that the US-backed insurgents have attained power. As Ukrainian military forces launched a bloody operation last week in the eastern city of Slavyansk, she told her UN counterparts that the Kiev "response is reasonable, it is proportional, and frankly it is what any one of our countries would have done in the face of this threat." Even Salon.com is finding it difficult to stomach the odious Samantha Power, calling her a "brazen hypocrite."
What other word could be used to describe the sickening silence from the White House and State Department as their allies burn unarmed protesters alive in Odessa (warning!), murder civilians at random in Slavyansk, and shoot Victory Day celebrators in the head in Mariupol? Hypocrisy. Sickening hypocrisy.