Ukrainian War Crimes Whitewashed by Western Press
After more than 30 people died in a fire in the Ukrainian seaside resort town of Odessa, most of the Western press pretended that no one knows what happened or whose fault it was. For example, see these stories from the Guardian and BBC.
But USA Today reports:
Witnesses and journalists reported that as the building burned with people inside, a crowd shouted, “Glory to Ukraine!” and “Death to enemies!” [These are neo-Nazi slogans.]
***[T]he Associated Press reported that the Russian sympathizers took refuge in the trade union hall on Kulikovo Field Square after government supporters rousted their encampment outside and then burned their tents. Police said the building was set on fire with Molotov cocktails.
At 5 seconds into this 15-second video, you can see a Molotov cocktail being thrown at the building in which the Russian sympathizers:
Former Associated Press and Newsweek reporter Robert Parry adds details:
As the building was engulfed in flames, some people who tried to flee were chased and beaten, while those trapped inside heard the Ukrainian nationalists liken them to black-and-red-striped potato beetles called Colorados, because those colors are used in pro-Russian ribbons.
“Burn, Colorado, burn” went the chant.
As the fire worsened, those dying inside were serenaded with the taunting singing of the Ukrainian national anthem. The building also was spray-painted with Swastika-like symbols and graffiti reading “Galician SS,” a reference to the Ukrainian nationalist army that fought alongside the German Nazi SS in World War II, killing Russians on the eastern front.
On Saturday, for instance, the dominant story from Ukraine was the killing of more than 30 ethnic Russian protesters by fire and smoke inhalation in Ukraine’s southern port city of Odessa. They had taken refuge in a union building after a clash with a pro-Kiev mob which reportedly included right-wing thugs.
Even the neocon-dominated Washington Post led its Saturday editions with the story of “Dozens killed in Ukraine fighting” and described the fatal incident this way: “Friday evening, a pro-Ukrainian mob attacked a camp where the pro-Russian supporters had pitched tents, forcing them to flee to a nearby government building, a witness said. The mob then threw gasoline bombs into the building. Police said 31 people were killed when they choked on smoke or jumped out of windows.
“Asked who had thrown the Molotov cocktails, pro-Ukrainian activist Diana Berg said, ‘Our people – but now they are helping them [the survivors] escape the building.’” [Here’s the Post story.]
By contrast, here is how the New York Times reported the event in its Saturday editions as part of a story by C.J. Chivers and Noah Sneider focused on the successes of the pro-coup armed forces in overrunning some eastern Ukrainian rebel positions.
“Violence also erupted Friday in the previously calmer port city of Odessa, on the Black Sea, where dozens of people died in a fire related to clashes that broke out between protesters holding a march for Ukrainian unity and pro-Russian activists. The fighting itself left four dead and 12 wounded, Ukraine’s Interior Ministry said. Ukrainian and Russian news media showed images of buildings and debris burning, fire bombs being thrown and men armed with pistols.”
Note how the Times evades placing any responsibility on the pro-coup mob for trying to burn the “pro-Russian activists” out of a building, an act that resulted in the highest single-day death toll since the actual coup which left more than 80 people dead from Feb. 20-22. From reading the Times, you wouldn’t know who had died in the building and who had set the fire.
Not even “atrocities were commited,” just a fire “related” to clashes that “broke out.” Immaculate conception theory of war crimes.
Postscript: While the Western press tries to paint the percentage of neo Nazis within the new Ukrainian government as small, the leader of the “protests” which ousted the previous president of Ukraine is a neo Nazi and follower of WWII Nazi sympathizer Stepan Bandera, and neo Nazis are largely in control of the new government.