For years, Russia has been calling on Western nations to investigate cases of human rights abuse, illegal killings, and war crimes committed by the Ukrainian authorities that came to power after the 2014 coup. Moscow pointed out that many of them were committed by neo-Nazis against Russians or Russian-speaking people. Here is what Vladimir Putin meant by Russia’s Special DeNazification Operation in Ukraine.
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On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the commencement of a special operation to safeguard the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR), describing the objectives as “demilitarizing and denazification” of Ukraine. Subsequently, his spokesperson clarified that “denazification” refers to Russia’s intention to cleanse Ukraine of neo-Nazis, their followers, and their ideas.
After the West-backed coup in Ukraine in 2014, Moscow has regularly cautioned foreign countries about neo-Nazis assuming leadership of the country. Western countries, on the other hand, opted to disregard the Kiev regime’s human rights atrocities.
What exactly were these offences?
Putting the House of the Trade Unions on Fire…. With Individuals Inside
During the unlawful seizure of power by nationalists and neo-Nazis throughout the country, they were met with resistance by the so-called “anti-Maidan” movement, which was opposed to the coup. Neo-Nazis and anti-Maidan protestors clashed all over the country, but what transpired in Odessa on May 2, 2014, will go down in history as one of the darkest chapters in Ukraine’s history.
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The anti-Maidan demonstrators barricaded themselves in a local trade union home after street clashes with neo-Nazis. Their adversaries encircled the building and set it ablaze with petrol bombs, aided by the new Ukrainian government.
When the fire broke out on the building’s second and third levels, hundreds of individuals stuck inside struggled frantically to flee. Ten of them died as a result of their actions. 32 more people perished as a result of severe injuries and smoke inhalation. As firefighters responded an hour after the fire broke out, 250 others managed to exit the death trap with varying injuries.
Nationalist Volunteer Battalions Committed War Crimes, But They Were Not Prosecuted
Besides sending regular forces to shell DPR and LPR cities, the new Kiev administration enlisted the help of several “volunteer battalions” – ragtag factions of individuals, often nationalists and ex-convicts, who were financially backed and armed by Ukrainian oligarchs and businessmen with affiliations to the new administration. Their troops were frequently engaged in a variety of war crimes, spanning from looting to rape and the massacre of civilians. After many reports of its atrocities, Kiev dissolved one such battalion, called “Tornado,” in December 2014, however its personnel were never convicted, and several of them were transferred to other battalions.
The Amnesty International non-profit researched, recorded, and uncovered the crimes (read below) of another infamous volunteer battalion, “Aidar.” Nevertheless, its heinous crimes would go unpunished. The DPR militia discovered the bodies of four women and six men – all civilians – near the “Kommunar” mine, which was one of the many atrocities committed. They’d been bound, tormented, and either shot in the head or decapitated. One of the ladies was raped by the battalion’s fighters, according to reports.
Opposition Members And Journalists Have Been Persecuted, Incarcerated, And Killed Without Due Process
Nationalists and neo-Nazis in Kiev’s government have a long history of breaching human rights and committing crimes, many of which are painstakingly documented in the Russian Foreign Ministry’s 80-page White Book. By mid-June 2014, just under five months after capturing control, the new Ukrainian authorities had begun to infringe on people’s right to free expression and press freedom, executing inspections and detentions of protestors and journalists, and barring international journalists from entering the country.
Political opponents — politicians and even MPs who condemned the war against the DPR and LPR, as well as others who opposed to the coup – were also threatened and kidnapped by the new Kiev authorities. Some opposition politicians and independent journalists were assassinated as well, allegedly by the very same nationalists and neo-Nazis, with many cases still unresolved.
One of the most well-known incidents is the assassination of Oles Buzyna, a Ukrainian journalist known for his pro-Russian sentiments. Unknown individuals shot Buzyna outside his home in Kiev just a day after ex-MP Oleg Kalashnikov was killed in his home. The incidents were never resolved, but they are thought to be connected to the victims’ anti-Maidan activities.
Discrimination Against Anything Russia Related
The Ukrainian government, in addition to permitting war crimes to go unchecked and hunting down political opponents, frequently appeased and encouraged widespread discrimination against everything associated to Russia or the Russian language.
This policy manifested itself in a variety of ways, including the dismissal of Russian academics teaching Russian literature, the detainment of Russian-speaking tourists without legal basis, formal bans on certain Russian products, the drawing of swastikas on memorials to the Second World War and Holocaust victims, and enabling neo-Nazi marches with calls to “kill Russians” living in Ukraine.
Large groups of Russians, many of whom have family in Ukraine, were also barred from entering the nation by the new government, limiting their freedom of movement and splitting families.
There are many more atrocities perpetrated by Kiev’s nationalist leaders over the last eight years that are not mentioned in the White Book.
Read the document below: