BERLIN/LVIV | | ukraine

BERLIN/LVIV (Own report) - The German government has supported the reconstruction of a street named after the Nazi-collaborator Stepan Bandera in the Ukrainian town of Lviv. As was confirmed by the government’s response to a parliamentary interpellation, the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) granted €72,000 for this project. Bandera was the leading Ukrainian Nazi-collaborator. Members of his group, the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) had participated in the mass murder of 4000 Jews in Lviv in late June - early July 1941. Today Bandera is widely revered in Ukraine and the commemoration of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), which had participated in the Shoah, is state-supported. The government in Kiev, which is closely cooperating with Berlin, is also supporting fascist organizations that attack and destroy Roma settlements. Endorsed by the administration, one of these organizations ("C14") is on patrol in a district of Kiev. It has also been granted state financing for a youth camp - as a contribution to "national-patriotic education." more…

BERLIN/KIEV/ANKARA | | russische-foederationukrainetuerkei

BERLIN/KIEV/ANKARA (Own report) - The German government is offering to serve as mediator in the conflict over the Sea of Azov, while demands are being made that ports be closed to Russian ships. Chancellor Angela Merkel announced on the sidelines of the G20 summit last weekend that Russian President Vladimir Putin "had approvingly received" her plea for negotiations between Russia, Ukraine Germany and France ("Normandy Format") to settle the conflict. However, Berlin's advantageous mediator role is being undermined by US measures - such as providing arms to Ukraine - and by Turkey. Last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had also offered to serve as mediator between Moscow and Kiev, based on the good relations Turkey has with both Russia and Ukraine. While the Ukrainian president reiterated his call for NATO deploying warships to the Sea of Azov, Secretary-General of Germany's Christian Democratic Party, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, suggested barring Russian vessels sailing from the Crimea region from entering EU ports. more…

KIEV/BERLIN | | ukraine

KIEV/BERLIN (Own report) - In an Italian TV documentary on the February 20, 2014 Maidan massacre, serious accusations were made against several politicians in Ukraine, including influential politicians, who are Germany's cooperation partners. In the documentary, three Georgians, incriminating themselves for their own participation, report that some of the leaders of the protests, who are today members of Kiev's parliament, had supplied weapons to the snipers, who, at the time, indiscriminately killed policemen and demonstrators. Officially, this massacre is still being attributed to Ukrainian repressive organs or to unspecified Russians. The Georgians also report that the current speaker of the parliament, Andriy Parubiy, was often seen in the hotel, from where the snipers were firing that day. As "Maidan Commander," Parubiy had been in charge of controlling armed gangs on that square. The man, whose real role at the time remains unclear, was a guest at a conference held by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and a speaker at NATO events. more…

KIEV/BERLIN | | ukraine

KIEV/BERLIN (Own report) - Fours years after the beginning of the Maidan protests, serious accusations are being leveled against leading activists of the pro-western opponents of the reigning government, at the time. Three Georgians, who incriminate themselves for their own participation, have told the Italian media that the snipers, who had unleashed the February 20, 2013 Maidan massacre, had allegedly been acting under orders - and with the practical support - of the opposition. Their statements confirm the confessions made earlier - some even in publicly - by other snipers. There has been no reaction from Ukrainian authorities. While Kiev is marking the fourth anniversary of the beginning of the protests this week, more than three-fourths of the population sees their country as plunged into ruin and chaos, according to a poll. The power of the Ukrainian oligarchs is still intact and corruption is becoming rampant. Only anti-Russian measures are being successfully executed including those massively limiting freedom of the press. more…

BERLIN/KIEV | | ukraine

BERLIN/KIEV (Own report) - Despite its involvement in violent activities, Berlin is intensifying its cooperation with the Crimean Tartars' Mejlis. Just recently, Mejlis Chairman Refat Chubarov visited Germany's Ministry of Foreign Affairs for political consultations. The talks were obviously not hampered by the fact that last September, Chubarov had announced a blockade of Ukrainian trade with Crimea and that in October, he had explicitly praised the blockade's grave consequences on the Crimean population - the shortages and significant price increases for staple foods. The German foreign ministry does not feel compelled to distance itself from the Mejlis, even after their activists blew up electric pylons causing extensive interruptions in the electrical supply to Crimea. German ethnicist organizations had established good relations with Chubarov and his predecessor Mustafa Jemilev, already years ago, intensifying these since 2010 to fortify anti-Russian circles following Kiev's change of government. Even though quite controversial among the Crimean Tatars, this cooperation with the Mejlis milieu is closely coordinated with the USA, Turkey under Erdoğan and other NATO member countries. The concurrency of the cooperation with the Crimean Tatars and their occasional violent protests is reminiscent of developments in Ukraine in the spring of 2013. more…

KIEV/BERLIN | | ukraine

KIEV/BERLIN (Own report) - On the 71st Anniversary of Europe's liberation from the Nazi's reign of terror, currently pro-western Ukraine's leading historian - responsible for the official narrative on history - denies that principal Ukrainian nationalist organizations were collaborating with the Nazis and participated in the Holocaust. In a recent commentary, Volodymyr Viatrovych, Director of the "Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance" calls accusations of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) having collaborated with the Nazi-aggressors, "xenophobia," and the allegation that they had participated in the Holocaust and committed mass murder among the Polish population, "characteristic of Soviet propaganda." The Ukrainian historian wrote his commentary in response to an article published in the US magazine "Foreign Policy." The article sharply criticized Ukraine's growing revisionism - a revisionism that had already been promoted during pro-western President Viktor Yushchenko's term of office and further accentuated in the aftermath of the pro-western coup in 2014. "Foreign Policy," which has always been loyal to Kiev's putschist regime, now warns that Ukraine "could be headed for a new, and frightening, era of censorship." more…

Crisis in Kiev

KIEV/BERLIN | | ukraine

KIEV/BERLIN (Own report) - A serious government crisis is shaking up a pro-western Ukraine. Yesterday, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk barely survived a no-confidence vote, after President Petro Poroshenko urged him to resign. Hundreds had assembled in front of the parliament building to protest against his policies, which are impoverishing large sectors of the population. Lately, people have been particularly upset over the hike in gas prices - making, for many, heating throughout the icy Ukrainian winter an expensive luxury. Berlin and Washington are worried that the country will no longer be controllable, due to the disastrous economic situation and the dramatic loss of popularity of the President and government. Western powers have therefore begun to call on Kiev to get serious about fighting corruption. Spectacular resignations of several ministers and the deputy general prosecutor have provided greater urgency to this demand and accentuated the government crisis over the past few months and the last few days, with no solution in sight. The formation of a "government of technocrats" under a longtime western diplomat is in discussion, in other words, Kiev would be placed directly under western control. more…

BERLIN/MOSCOW/KIEV | | ukrainerussische-foederation

BERLIN/MOSCOW/KIEV (Own report) - Berlin is taking steps to possibly end sanctions against Russia. Today, almost one year after the signing of the Minsk II Agreement - whose full implementation is still considered as a prerequisite for ending the sanctions - the Bavarian Prime Minster, Horst Seehofer is expected to arrive in Moscow for talks on promoting the renewal of German-Russian business relations. Seehofer can build on decades of Bavarian-Russian cooperation. His visit to Moscow is closely coordinated with Germany's federal government. The EU and NATO are also involved in Berlin's cooperation efforts. Monday, Chancellor Angela Merkel also increased pressure on Ukraine's President, Petro Poroshenko to finally obtain approval from Kiev's parliament for the constitutional amendment providing Eastern Ukraine's special status, as agreed upon in the Minsk II Agreement. Until now, nationalists and fascists have prevented this measure. more…

KIEV/MOSCOW/BERLIN | | ukrainerussische-foederation

KIEV/MOSCOW/BERLIN (Own report) - Leaders of the Crimean Tartars, who have been blocking the supply of electricity to Crimea for the past few days, have good contacts to the German political establishment. Years ago, Mustafa Jemilev and Refat Chubarov, who were involved in the sabotage action, had held talks on closer ties between Crimea and the West with officials of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs and with the German government's Representative for ethnic German immigration to Germany. Just two and a half weeks ago, they discussed with the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security, Federica Mogherini, the "de-occupation of Crimea" and the necessary "peaceful actions, in particular with respect to power supply." The Crimean Tartars, who are currently cooperating with fascist organizations and ultra-rightwing battalions, have been elected to the Ukrainian parliament on the electoral list of President Petro Poroshenko's party. According to an expert, Poroshenko is "instrumentalizing" them for "his foreign policy" objectives. Jemilev also has good contacts to the US political establishment. Among the Crimean Tartars, he and Chubarov, who in Berlin enjoy exclusive recognition, are competing with Tartar Salafists - some of whom are currently fighting on the battlefields of Syria - and with Russia-oriented Tartar organizations. more…

KIEV/MOSCOW/BERLIN | | ukrainerussische-foederation

KIEV/MOSCOW/BERLIN (Own report) - Berlin is watching with apprehension as the conflict between Kiev and Moscow escalates again following Ukraine's shutting down electrical power to Crimea. Last week, Crimean Tatars and members of the fascist Right Sector are suspected to have blown up several electric pylons, cutting off the supply of power to Crimea. Crimea receives nearly 80 percent of its electricity from Ukraine. The Berlin-sponsored Ukrainian government sees itself as incapable of repairing the power lines. It has imposed - in accordance with the embargo policies of the EU and the USA - its own trade embargo on the peninsula. In the summer 2014, the EU and the USA began imposing economic sanctions on Crimea, which was aggravated by Kiev's embargo of water and blockade of traffic for over a year. Ukraine will squander its remaining sympathy on the peninsula, warn observers. A similar development had been observed in the Georgian secessionist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia since the 2008 Georgian-Russian war. Early this week, the German government applied pressure on Kiev to restore electricity to Crimea, to avoid another escalation of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, which Germany considers detrimental. To no avail - the escalation began yesterday. more…