Ukraine is purposefully blockading, terrorizing and empoverishing people it continues to claim are its own citizens
See the first part in the series here.
This is an excerpt from an article that originally appeared at Vera Graziadei
There is no law in the Ukrainian constitution which says that a person who votes in a pro-independence referendum should face the death penalty. Cancelling pensions and other state benefits, which Kiev has done recently, on the basis of someone living in an area together with many people who have separatist sentiments is equivalent to sentencing those people to slow death by starvation.
Even serial killers, by Ukrainian law, have the right to life, but Donbass pensioners, who may even have participated in a referendum, irrespective of whether they are politically illiterate or even very politically aware and who may be convinced that Donbass should be independent, are denied their right to life.
Having cut their pensions, Kiev offered them no support to reallocate to other parts of Ukraine and survive.
People simply do not have the means to move elsewhere. For many people state benefits, however meagre, are their only source of income.
This winter will be tough for those people and even if there won’t be thousands dead, even if only 10 people will die from undernourishment or even one, it will still be a tragedy for which the Kiev government will be responsible.
Aside from cutting off state benefits, Poroshenko stopped all monetary transactions and banking services, leaving millions unable to withdraw cash or even use cards to access their savings.
The Ukrainian Army keeps targeting water, wastewater, and power plants in order to damage the electricity, water and heat supply to Donetsk and Lugansk regions’ and in the winter months this could lead to people freezing to death.
Medical staff and teachers have not been paid for months and hospitals and schools are operating on a volunteer basis. Medical drugs are still available, but prices have gone up almost two-fold, as a result of hryvnia devaluation. Food is available, but just like with medicines, some people will not be able to pay for it, now that their accounts are blocked and benefits are cancelled.
Finally, trains will no longer operate between Ukraine and Donbass, thereby not only inconveniencing the already impoverished population, but impairing deliveries of industrial cargo, as well as food and other goods.
Please note that so far Russia and Akhmetov’s Fund have been the main providers of humanitarian aid to Donbass, but they cover only 10% of humanitarian necessities.
Before these events, the Ukrainian side could still claim that shells and Grads falling on Donbass civilians were ‘unfortunate accidents’, which were ‘inevitable’ as they were trying to liberate the country from ‘terrorists’ and ‘Russian invaders’.
However, the stopping of the pensions, blocking of bank accounts, transport links and energy supplies are evidently not coincidences, but conscious decisions to isolate Donbass from the Ukrainian infrastructure, while still claiming it as Ukraine’s territory.
All of the above measures would be justifiable, if Poroshenko openly said:
“Dear citizens, the Russian Federation have invaded Donbass, Ukraine cannot withstand this aggression, and therefore we announce Donbass to be an occupied territory.
And as it’s not Ukrainian land anymore, we cannot guarantee or control anything that happens on it.
We are renouncing our responsibilities in that region, but we will do everything we can to help civilians to evacuate themselves”.
No such statements were ever made.
On the contrary, Kiev’s socio-economic blockade reveals the real attitude of Kiev’s government:
Donbass’ land with all of its resources is valuable to Ukraine and its western supporters, but the people, who inhabit that land are not only of no value to Ukraine, they are a hindrance to be eliminated.
The government of a country, which calls itself European and harbours hopes of one day joining the EU, is consciously creating a humanitarian disaster in an area, where people have different political beliefs.
What exactly is Kiev trying to achieve with all these inhumane extreme measures and how effective will they be?
Firstly, Ukraine is trying to create impossible-to-live-in conditions, forcing defiant people to either move or die, thereby reducing the numbers of a ‘pro-Russian electorate’.
Secondly, they are trying to create a state of chaos, where hungry and angry people will turn against Donbass authorities.
Thirdly, there is a more simple and banal explanation – Ukraine’s economy is faltering and something needs to somehow cover its deficit. Withholding state benefits, saved Kiev $2.6 billion, as well as helping the leadership gain extra points with the Ukrainian nationalists, who believe that ‘anyone who’s not pro-united Ukraine is an enemy and deserves death.”