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Commentary :: War and Militarism
Russia's Foreign Ministry on Ukraine
31 Aug 2014
Russia's Foreign Ministry on Ukraine

by Stephen Lendman

Russia's efforts to end Ukrainian crisis conditions are heroic. Washington obstructionism prevents it.

Complicit EU states share blame. So does Kiev's illegitimate putschist government.

Daily Western propaganda rages out-of-control. It represents upside reality. Truth is repeatedly suppressed. Big Lies substitute.

Russian Federation Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov is a world class diplomat. He deplores war. He champions peace.

He tirelessly pursues it. His heroic efforts to end Syrian and Ukrainian conflicts stand out.

He's done it despite ruthless US-led Western opposition. He deserves Nobel Peace Prize recognition.

War criminals most often get it. Obama is Exhibit A. Nobel committee members believe war is peace. They disgrace themselves in the process.

On August 29, Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) addressed ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

It debunked spurious claims about Russian aggression. About so-called cross-border incursions of its troops and armored vehicles.

"(S)erious questions" are raised, it said.

"Why do those clamouring for an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council consistently block our proposals for a comprehensive discussion of the origins of the Ukrainian tragedy and for collective action on a solution that serves the interests of all Ukrainian people, and instead treat Ukraine like a bargaining chip in unilateral geopolitical schemes?"

"Why do our partners in the UN Security Council, the OSCE and other international organisations consistently refuse to discuss the aerial bombardment and shelling of Ukrainian cities and towns, where entire neighbourhoods, schools, kindergartens, hospitals and Orthodox churches are destroyed and civilians continue to be killed?"

"Why do the Western capitals continue only to urge the Kiev government to use 'proportionate' force instead of denouncing these crimes?"

Why does Western rhetoric belie its policies? Why do its leaders block efforts to end actions harming civilians?

Why do they choose war over peace? Why do they consistently, violate core international laws? Why repeatedly? Why flagrantly?

Western nations "surely understand that the military objective of the self-defence forces in the Lugansk and Donetsk regions is to push back Ukrainian forces to a distance where they are unable to use heavy weaponry, including multiple-launch rocket systems and ballistic missiles, against cities, killing innocent civilians and destroying critical infrastructure," said Russia's MFA.

When Kiev demands "capitulation" as a precondition for negotiations, self-defense forces have "no choice but to keep fighting to defend their homes and families."

Parts of the Russian/Ukrainian border aren't clearly demarcated. Nationals and military personnel on both sides often cross over unwittingly.

Russian authorities avoid incidents. They "expect Ukraine to act in a reciprocal way and without delay," said Russia's MFA.

Ten Russian detained paratroopers were finally returned home. It was days after very difficult negotiations.

Airborne Forces deputy commander Major-General Aleksey Ragozin said "we never abandon our own."

At the same time, he "consider(s) it unacceptable that for so many days our soldiers were held by the Ukrainian side and, moreover, were transferred to Kiev."

"(H)undreds of Ukrainian soldiers who found themselves on the territory of Russia, after the provision of comprehensive care by the relevant authorities were immediately transferred back to Ukraine."

Most recently, 63 Kiev troops crossed into Russia this week. They were transported to the Ukrainian side without incident.

Russia's MFA "call(ed) on Kiev to end provocations against Russian diplomatic missions and staff in Ukraine."

The latest outrage occurred on 28 August in Kiev. Russian Embassy security staff were involved, "including the bodyguard of the Russian Ambassador."

"They were detained while exiting a cafe under the patently fabricated charge of carrying grenades, even though they showed their diplomatic passports."

"We insist on the immediate release of all Russian Embassy staff and urge Kiev to refrain from further violations of international conventions on diplomatic immunity."

Regarding combatants in Southeastern Ukraine, foreign volunteers fight for both sides.

Those supporting self-defense forces are wrongfully called Russian troops. Kiev volunteers and mercenaries go unmentioned.

Russia's MFA "repeatedly inquired about specific media reports on this matter with our partners, including the 'work' of retired US Special Forces soldiers in Ukraine and the role of US advisers and instructors in planning the operations of Ukrainian forces."

The international community's "selective outrage" over this issue won't help end crisis conditions.

Key is what's most important, said Russia's MFA: "the need for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire followed quickly by an inclusive national dialogue in Ukraine."

All sides agreed on this earlier. Russia honored its agreement. Kiev violated it straightaway. Washington and key EU partners "torpedo(ed)" implementation.

Ukraine's multiethnic population "depends on national reconciliation."

Russia is committed to keep "work(ing) persistently to create conditions for negotiations by fostering trust between the opposing sides and taking practical measures to de-escalate the situation and help people who are suffering from the humanitarian crisis."

"This is the message expressed by President Vladimir Putin in his address on 29 August."

"We are urging all sides in Ukraine and all Western partners to show the good will to find a purely peaceful solution to the problems we face."

Good will isn't a Washington attribute. Or EU one. Or what characterizes Kiev fascists.

War without mercy takes precedence. So does advancing America's imperium.

It includes making the world safe for Western monied interests. It lets popular needs go begging. It's raping and pillaging nations for profit.

It's stealing their resources. It's exploiting their people. It's risking humanity ending nuclear war to achieve imperial objectives.

It's madness. It's official US policy. It's longstanding. It risks the unthinkable if not stopped.

Separately, Russia's MFA addressed a new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights report on Ukraine.

Despite "hundreds of thousands" of Southeastern Ukrainians fleeing cross border to Russia for safety, Moscow's efforts to help them are ignored.

So is blocking an investigation to learn Kiev's responsibility for downing MH17. "(S)elf-defense fighters (were) falsely accused of barring the access of experts to the crash site."

"…Ukrainian security forces…directed tank fire at roads leading to (it) to keep the experts out."

UN report authors regurgitated "propaganda of Kiev and the West," said Russia's MFA.

They "spread false allegations about the self-defence forces of Donetsk and Lugansk and heap praise on the efforts of the Kiev authorities in 'liberated' areas."

At the same time, the human death, injury, displacement and destruction tolls are so "horrifying," it's impossible to let it go unmentioned.

The report partially addresses Kiev's high crimes against peace.

They include air, artillery, ground forces and mercenary battalion attacks, as well as "mass abduction(s), detention(s), torture and murder of people and in cleansing operations targeting dissenters."

The report notes "the absence of any progress in" investigating the Odessa and Mariupol massacres.

Since May, Russia called for genuine independent investigations to no avail. Or to who bears responsibility for Maidan violence.

Culpable neo-Nazi thugs are called heroes. They "enjoy complete immunity."

"Kiev continues its witch hunt," said Russia's MFA. It includes "harsh media censorship, a ban on Russian TV channels, the suppression of any dissent, and growing hate speech."

Kiev has done nothing to ease tensions. "It has not carried out promised constitutional reforms, nor has it passed a law protecting minority rights…"

Socio-economic conditions are deplorable. They keep deteriorating.

Calls by human rights observers on Kiev to end hostilities comes too late. It's "after thousands of civilian deaths."

Casualties mount daily. Moscow demands accountability. Kiev's war without mercy continues. Washington supports and encourages it.

Russia bashing persists. Putin is public enemy No. 1. Conflict resolution hopes look grim.

Expect worse ahead, not better. EU leaders and Ukraine's Poroshenko call things heading for a "point of no return."

They omit acknowledging complete responsibility complicit with Washington.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen (at)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

This work is in the public domain
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Stephen Lendman - Progressive?
31 Aug 2014
Modified: 08:11:38 PM
Click on image for a larger version

The apolitical vaguely 'leftist' flavored repeat posts of the days news with hyperbole thrown in is Stephen Lendman's style. Like Walter Wintchell of days gone by.

Of Wintchell - "He wrote in a style filled with slang and incomplete sentences. Winchell's casual writing style famously earned him the ire of mobster Dutch Schultz, who confronted Winchell at New York's Cotton Club and publicly lambasted him for using the phrase "pushover" to describe Schultz's penchant for blonde women.[14] Some notable Winchell quotes are: "Nothing recedes like success", and "I usually get my stuff from people who promised somebody else that they would keep it a secret".

Winchell opened his radio broadcasts by pressing randomly on a telegraph key, a sound that created a sense of urgency and importance and the catchphrase "Good evening, Mr. and Mrs. America from border to border and coast to coast and all the ships at sea. Let's go to press." He would then read each of his stories with a staccato delivery (up to a rate of 197 words per minute), though in an interview in 1967, claimed a speed of well over 200 wpm.[15] noticeably faster than the typical pace of American speech. His diction can also be heard in his breathless narration of the Untouchables television series as well as in several Hollywood films

Dick Cavett had him on a talk show -

"Several readers raised the subject: what of the time when fame has fled? I’m grateful to them because it reminded me of an almost vanished memory of that very thing.

Readers who’ve achieved a number of years nearer the minimal end of the age scale might feel the need of a dose of Wikipedia upon hearing the moniker “Walter Winchell.” It had been a name to strike terror into the cardiac area of even the powerful. (Burt Lancaster’s character J.J. Hunsecker, the powerful newspaper columnist in “Sweet Smell of Success,” was based on Winchell.) This notorious figure, in his time as household a name as can be, outlived his fame and died forgotten. And widely unlamented.

There was quite a stretch between the time I first tuned in — with most of America — to the distinct and famous voice on Sunday night radio and my meeting him.

For some reason, I recall that my dad and I were in our Nebraska basement, shelling black walnuts we’d gathered in the woods. On this particular night, the famous voice, akin to heavy dice being rattled in a metal cup, fired off at lightning speed the show’s signature opening: “Good evening, Mr. and Mrs. America and all the ships at sea, let’s go to press! Washington . . . ” Etcetera.

On that memorable night, “W.W.” stunned the nation with the unthinkable words, “. . . and a president who does not know what the h-e-double-l is going on.” (H.S.T. Harry S Truman was the sitting White House occupant so described.) It was a bombshell, almost as if full-frontal nudity had been displayed on the cover of The Reader’s Digest. But Winchell’s accreted clout at the time was sufficient armor. He was a media figure full of unprecedented power. Among other things.

Much of Winchell’s fortune was his voice. Sharp, tangy, forceful and dramatic, it produced goosebumps over the radio, where voice was all. It was a favorite of “impressionists” (not Monet and so forth, you understand). Walter Winchell had been a veritable king and he had a good, long reign. Then fame ended. But he did not, doomed to years and years of has-been-ism.

He was old and I wasn’t when we met. The mirror had turned around: I was on T.V. by then, so the faded Winchell knew of the hot kid on the cover of Time who had shelled walnuts in Nebraska to the sound of his voice.

I got a close-up look of what it means when fame has fled. It ain’t a pretty thing.

Surprised that he was still alive, I had him on my show. This must have been in the late ’60s. He was elderly but not creaky, and gamely agreed to exhibit a bit from his early vaudeville dancing days. The old boy brought down the house with a skillfully executed tap routine. My wife cried, watching it. His celebrity was, by then, a dim memory, and he was grateful to me for causing some renewed recognition on the street after a very long time.

My reward? An evening out with Winchell at the Copa. Yes, the legendary Copacabana night club, which, like him, had seen better days. The headliner, the popular (and cheerfully bibulous) Tony Martin warbled a medley of his past hits for us, surrounded by the renowned and luscious Copa Girls — many now Copa Grannies, I should think.

W.W. had collected me, driving his own car. He was fadedly elegant in a tuxedo not of the latest cut, the butt of a snub-nosed .38 peeping from the cummerbund.

“Expecting trouble, Walter?” I ventured.

“Always, my boy. In my game, you have to.”

Winchell had fear-induced influence most everywhere, and in his heyday had acquired from his cop friends the sort of official police car radio forbidden to ordinary citizens, allowing him to habitually cruise the night and, upon hearing of a crime in progress, speed there for a column item.

“They never give me a ticket for speeding,” he boasted to me. A moment too soon. Minutes later, we got one. Somewhere on lower Park Avenue, while responding to a police call.

To his chagrin, my companion of the night’s name and visage cut no ice with the young rookie.

Despite the lives he purportedly ruined when at his peak — careers made and destroyed with a few words in his column or on the air — it was still sad to see the old lion now toothless. At one precinct we’d visited earlier, where in better times a chorus of, “Hey, Walter!” would have gone up, only an ancient sergeant knew who he was. Walter devoured the scrap.

To the young cops, he was a cipher. My knowledge of his past victims — said, even, to include a few suicides — at that moment didn’t matter. That evening, as I accompanied him on his nightly prowl, I felt like quietly paying someone to say, “Hey, ain’t you Walter Winchell?”

And then it happened. At one precinct, a young gendarme with a good ear suddenly said, “Hey, Pop. Say something else! Talk again.” He did.

“Oh, my God! I know who you are!”

W.W. beamed.

“You’re the announcer on ‘The Untouchables’!”

Someone had been smart enough to cast the uniquely voiced Winchell — an excellent actor with, once, the most instantly identified voice in America — to narrate “The Untouchables,” the then popular T.V. crime series about the tough cop Eliot Ness in Prohibition Chicago. Winchell’s staccato delivery was perfect for the intermittent narration bits.

At the moment of recognition, Winchell grinned and seemed to visibly drop 20 years. To almost anyone not a victim of his past predations, it would be hard not to be moved by that moment, seeing the effect on the old fellow. Fame — though vastly reduced to a voice-over — had administered a craved injection.

Delighted, the former giant grabbed a pen and, eagerly and gratefully — although it had not been sought — signed an autograph."