Footage from Stepanovka: A Town Heavily Destroyed by the Ukrainian Army

Footage from Stepanovka: A Town Heavily Destroyed by the Ukrainian Army

One who is exposed regularly to the Western mainstream media gains the impression or, in fact, the absolute knowledge, that Ukraine is defending itself from “Russian aggression.” My visit to Donetsk and its surrounding environment made it clear, however, that actually it is the people of Donbass who are being bombarded by the Ukrainian government. Their, supposedly, own government.  Who will defend the civilians of Donbass from their own government when it bombs them while receiving international impunity and support? Below is a video took of the town of Stepanovka in the Donetsk region on my visit there on April 21-23, 2015. Many homes were destroyed and their residents were killed. Is our media not failing us by not showing us these pictures and failing to notify us on the war crimes taking place in our name by the Western-supported Kiev...
Donetsk: A Defiant and Besieged City

Donetsk: A Defiant and Besieged City

Monday, 18 May 2015 11:31By Joshua Tartakovsky, Truthout | Op-Ed   Downtown Donetsk. Despite the ongoing war the city has made an extra effort keeping the streets clean. Residents of Donetsk have been demonized and castigated by the Ukrainian government and media. President Poroshenko famously said “their children will be holed up in basements.” (Photo: Joshua Tartakovsky) A visit to Donetsk reveals that unlike Western media portrayals, the city stands behind the rebels and refuses to accept the authority or legitimacy of the Kiev government which openly stated its admiration for Ukrainian fascist leaders. Donetsk is keen on resisting attempts at subjugation by Kiev. Its population continues to struggle to go on with its daily life as residential neighborhoods are frequently shelled. While Russia undoubtedly lends its support to the self-proclaimed republic via various means, it would be incorrect to say that the local population does not stand behind the republic. In a recent visit to the Donbass in East Ukraine, a group of journalists including myself visited Donetsk in order to better understand its reality for ourselves. The trip was organized by Europa Objektiv, a German-Russian NGO whose mission is to provide journalists with a tour of the frequently misrepresented region. We had many questions on our mind with respect to the situation in Donetsk. The image many of us had was that of acity whose streets were vacant of people and that was ruled by rebels through the use of force. Would we encounter Russian forces? Was there fighting in every area and would we be shelled? These were some of the questions. We left Rostov for Donetsk by car. Vietnamese journalists, two Englishmen from a Conservative think-tank and myself. On our way...
Mass Killing in East Ukraine and the Failure of Liberal Intellectuals

Mass Killing in East Ukraine and the Failure of Liberal Intellectuals

Photo from ‘Save Donbass People from Ukrainian Army’   by Joshua Tartakovsky, August 16, 2014 AntiWar.com blog The recent events in Ukraine where a war is slowly emerging, do not mean that progressive critics should be silent on these issues. On the contrary, intellectuals should add their voice to pressing concerns, be they the annexation of the Crimea by Russia, the shelling of civilians by the Ukrainian government or US support for toppling an elected president despite the violent actions of neo-fascist groups in Kiev. However, in any instance when intellectuals lend their voice to present day concerns, one would expect they practice some basic norms of behavior. For example, when addressing a conflict and making its existence known to an uninformed audience, one who has intellectual integrity must not omit facts regarding actions taken by an existing government such as the ruthless bombing campaign of fellow citizens that killed over 1,129 civilians so far. One would also expect from intellectuals, not to engage in hate speech or in a categorical stereotyping of a particular ethnic group. Of course, pundits should not be making baseless accusations with no evidence to back these up as such an approach is irresponsible, manipulative and dangerous especially when a real conflict is taking place. Timothy Garton Ash and Professor Timothy Snyder, the former a writer for the Guardian, known for his political activism in Poland during the Soviet period, and the latter a professor of history at Yale University, not only fail miserably in portraying events in Ukraine accurately but in fact commit the grave errors (if not crimes considering the many human lives already lost) mentioned above. Both seek to demonize East Ukrainians who are...