by Eric Zuesse
A group of residents in the region of Odessa, one of Ukraine’s largest cities, is trying to break away from the Ukrainian government that was formed after the coup in Kiev in February 2014.
As the first anniversary approaches of the May 2, 2014 massacre by U.S.-backed Ukrainian government thugs against pamphleteers in Odessa’s Trade Unions Building who had opposed the 22 February 2014 coup in Ukraine, there has been forming in Odessa a movement for complete independence from the U.S.-coup-imposed Kiev regime.
Ukraine’s U.S.-imposed regime’s response is to crush this incipient movement before word of its existence can even get out to the rest of the world.
The Mariupol atrocity and the May 2nd massacre in Odessa sparked Ukraine’s civil war by terrifying all Ukrainians who respected Russian culture and who considered themselves to be part of it (and such Ukrainians are the numeric majority in the southeastern half of Ukraine). It showed them that the rabidly anti-Russian regime, with its tolerance for and co-operation with nazis* and Ukrainian fascists, which had recently been installed by the U.S., was seeking nothing less than their own destruction. (The scenes from the massacre, and testimony from its witnesses, were absolutely horrific.) Throughout the entire southeastern half of Ukraine’s territory, the last constitutionally elected Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych, whom Obama’s coup overthrew, had received large majority electoral support, as a consequence of which Ukraine’s southeastern half became — after Obama’s coup in Kiev — a tinderbox for civil war and for potential separation from the northwestern, Nazi-tolerant (often even overtly pro-Hitler), half of Ukraine.
Thus, on April 7, in his “Odessa People’s Republic declared its independence and secession from Ukraine”, P.S. Kovalenko revealed that some courageous individuals had attempted to establish the Odessa People’s Republic on April 6. This was a naive thing for them to do — publicly and without any military of their own — opposing a heavily armed regime backed by nazi* volunteer battalions, as they are doing.
Then, on April 8 came the news that “The head of the Odessa National Republic declared the intention to unite with the Donbass.”
Donbass is the region — encompassing two major cities to the east of Odessa, Luhansk and Donetsk, and their surrounds — the entire area of which had voted 90%+ for Viktor Yanukovych, the president whom the Obama administration had helped overthrew in the February 2014 coup. While the exact details of who did the killing are not yet clear, there are reasons to believe that the Right Sector army of the Hitler-admiring Dmitriy Yarosh had been paid to dress like state security troops and then to gun down anti-Yanukovych demonstrators, so that Yanukovych would be blamed. Yarosh had the key assistance of the head of the other major far-right party in Ukraine, Andriy Parubiy, who had led the Maidan protests that served as the PR cover for the coup. But, as all the available evidence suggests, the actual troops were Yarosh’s. They were the Right Sector: the same far-right group believed to have organized and largely executed the May 2 massacre in Odessa.
On April 11. P.S. Kovalenko followed his earlier announcement with “About the situation in the capital of the Odessa national Republic”, which reported that the security forces (SBU) had arrested several dozen residents of Odessa, supporters of New Russia, and that those arrested had been subjected to severe torture.
During the months following the May 2nd massacre, the Kiev regime had repeatedly insulted Odessans, and reasserted its hostility and contempt toward them. In fact, President Poroshenko, who was ‘elected’ in an election among only far-right candidates that was held only outside Donbass and mainly in the northwest, actually went to Odessa on 13 November 2014 and insulted the people there by saying, in a nationally televised “us” versus “them” tirade that clearly left the vast majority of Odessans in the “they” category:
We will have our jobs. They will not. We will have our pensions. They will not. We will have care for children, for people, and retirees. They will not. Our children will go to schools and kindergartens. Theirs will hole up in basements [from our bombs].
And that’s what he actually did; he specifically targeted schools. A retired Ukrainian general whose sympathies had been with Hitler’s troops displayed the nerve to respond to a Ukrainian soldier’s statement that his function was ethnic cleansing, by saying on a U.S.-funded television station in Ukraine, “I want to offer the Ukrainian artillerists medals, to those who shell the city [Donetsk], the houses and the civilian population, … for they [artillerists] have deserved it [medals]. … The shelling there is done as intimidation, … not just object destruction, but intimidation [to get the population to flee to nearby Russia].”
In other words: by bombing and shelling the schools, hospitals, etc., in Donetsk, Lugansk and the surrounding regions, that land will become uninhabitable, so that even the survivors will need to flee to nearby Russia. This way, the Western corporations and individuals who want to buy dirt-cheap access to that region’s natural resources (and such privatization of state assets is demanded ‘reform’ of Ukraine by the U.S.-controlled IMF) will not be bothered by the locals who object to the ripping-up of the land on which they live. Those locals will be dead or otherwise gone.
While the residents in Odessa are probably overwhelmingly in support of the local separatists’ goal, they will be too terrified of the U.S.-imposed regime to back publicly any such breakaway movement.
This land-clearing, ethnic-cleansing operation in Donbass is being done with tanks and bombers, not with bulldozers. Bullets, bombs, and often landmines are the means being used. The residents of Odessa aren’t likely to want to join that type of fate.
* Op. ed.: the author of this article prefers the term “nazi’, in lowercase, to the more commonly used neo-Nazi to refer to the Ukrainian groups who self-identify with the racist, anti-Semitic and Russophobe ideology developed in Germany during the first part of the 20th century. He uses “nazi” to designate “the ideology of racist fascism, versus “Nazi” the particular political party that Hitler headed.”
Investigative historian Eric Zeusse is the author of They Are not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records 1910-2010, Christ’s Ventriloquists: The Events that Created Christianity, and Feudalism, Fascism, Libertarianism and Economics.