Now that the forces of resistance have fought the stormtroopers of the fascist junta to a standstill, obliging Kiev to moderate its warmongering bluster and creep to the negotiating table in Minsk, it is more than ever urgent for us to stand in solidarity with the people of Donetsk and Lugansk. It is their inspiring courage and endurance, reinforced by the diplomatic firmness of Russia, that has humbled the junta and created, at the least, the possibility of a just political solution of a crisis that has, from the first, been provoked by imperialism.
Back in February when the elected government of President Yanukovich was overturned in a violent putsch which installed a fascist junta acting as a catspaw for NATO expansion, the people of Crimea reacted swiftly, delivering a referendum result which freed them to rejoin Russia. Following suit, the people of Donetsk and Lugansk also declared for independence through referenda.
Enraged by this demonstration of the popular will, the puppet Poroshenko hijacked Ukraine’s regular army, backed up by the fascist National Guard, and began a summer-long campaign of military terror against the south and east of the country, with a heavy cost in human lives. In one month alone, from 16 July till 17 August , the UN registered at least 1,200 deaths and 3,250 injured, as Kiev exploited its superiority in numbers and weaponry to heap death and destruction upon Slavyansk, Donetsk and Lugansk, unleashing indiscriminate artillery and air attacks upon major population centres. The UN estimates that the death toll now tops 3,000 and continues to rise as the “ceasefire” is repeatedly breached by Kiev’s forces.
Through a long hot summer the resistance forces were heavily outgunned and outmanned. However, many soldiers of the regular army were so reluctant to fire on “their own people” that the hardcore fascists of the National Guard had to be brought in to enforce discipline. Meanwhile back at home the families of conscript soldiers due to be sent out east protested against Poroshenko’s dirty war, strewing felled trees or even their own bodies across the road to block the passage of troop transports.
Meanwhile the people’s militias, strongly motivated by the justice of their cause, gradually compensated for their inferiority in arms and numbers by resorting to classic guerilla tactics: avoiding direct frontal battles, harrying the enemy’s supply lines and encircling large numbers of troops with a smaller number of partisans, often securing the surrender of war-weary conscripts and the capture of enemy weaponry. So successful have these tactics proven to be that the beginning of September saw Kiev’s forces fought to a humiliating stalemate after a stunning series of defeats.
BBC Lie Machine
Throughout Kiev’s bloody onslaught, the West has kept up a barrage of threats and sanctions against Russia, whilst the BBC and the rest of the imperialist media disgorged an endless stream of propaganda painting the anti-fascist resistance as “rebels”, making baseless allegations over the MH17 aircraft disaster, pretending to spot “invading Russian troops” behind every bush and weeping crocodile tears over the tragic human consequences of a civil war which from the first had been instigated by the West itself, in furtherance of plans to expand NATO up to the border of Russia.
But then suddenly at the beginning of September, with the rolling back of Kiev’s offensive, the media spin doctors were at sixes and sevens. As it became clear that the Kiev forces were on the rocks, the media’s first reaction was to claim that this signalled the much-touted “Russian invasion”. But when it became obvious that no such invasion existed, that in fact the rebuff suffered by Kiev’s demoralised forces was entirely the work of the anti-fascist resistance, the media suddenly clammed up. Under no circumstances could it be admitted that it was the partisans themselves that had put such a dent in the junta’s war machine.
Now the Western campaign of disinformation has a fresh hurdle to jump, as OSCE inspectors (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) and other eye witnesses start to report back on some of the atrocities committed by the army and the National Guard during their occupation of territory that has since been liberated by the resistance. These revelations create new difficulties for those who would sanitise Kiev’s reign of terror. On 23 and 24 September, resistance forces investigating in the vicinity of the Kommunar Mine, 60 kilometres from Donetsk, an area recently occupied by Kiev forces, exhumed four bodies of three men and one woman. Their hands were tied, and one had been decapitated. On 25 September the OSCE reported that some of the victims were killed a month ago (i.e. during the period of fascist occupation). The inspectors reported seeing “a hill of earth, resembling a grave” and a sign with the initials of five people, the date of their death (27 August”), and the phrase “Died for Putin’s lies”. In addition the OSCE team found a total of three burial sites.
Worse still, Madina Dzharbusynova, the OSCE’s special representative on combating trafficking in Human Biomaterial, went on TV to report that it was possible that the bodies found in mass graves in the Donbass could has been stripped of saleable internal organs. She reported that ” At a meeting of the OSCE focusing on implementing human rights obligations, members of NGOs working in this field pointed up that there were reports of mass graves in [Novorossiya], where, according to their testimony, the bodies buried lacked their internal organs, so, they raised a concern that there might be an illicit trade in such”.
Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has demanded a thorough investigation into the discovery of mass graves in south-eastern Ukraine, warning the West that ” We are counting on the fact that western capitals will not gloss over these facts – they are outrageous. We expect western media to cover the story objectively, while they clearly are trying to hush it up. I look forward to a clear, unbiased, responsible position from international organisations. The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe is already there working. We will seek to establish the truth and punish those responsible.”
The BBC’s response to this evidence was precisely to “gloss over the facts”. Rather than support Russia’s level-headed call for a thorough investigation, the BBC is concerned only to pass off the accumulating evidence of massive war crimes as merely “Russian propaganda”.
Victory to the Resistance!
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