FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Crimethinks and Doublethinks in the Civil War Regime of Ukraine

DONETSK, Peoples Republic of Donetsk

February 11, 2015

Kyiv troops shelled the city of Donetsk yesterday. It was powerful and violent, as if a parting, a farewell for the last time. But I knew it was not for the last time, despite the ceasefire negotiations going on in Minsk.

This morning, their shells landed at a bus depot in the city centre. Several people died. So far, I’ve only seen pictures on the Internet because I can’t bring myself to go there and see with my own eyes the place of the tragedy. Less than two months ago, during my first trip to Donetsk, I departed several times from this bus depot. I purchased items in the now-ruined drugstore at the same location. I drank coffee while waiting for the bus there. If yesterday, somehow, I had appeared in that part of town, I would not be writing this column. I wouldn’t be writing anything at all.

A deputy of the Parliament in Kyiv from the electoral bloc of Petro Poroshenko has submitted a bill that would make it a crime to deny that “Russian aggression” is responsible for the war here in eastern Ukraine. I guess that means I’ll soon be considered a criminal because I deny the military aggression of the Russian Federation. I don’t see any Russian or Chechen soldiers here in Donetsk. I only see local militia, who are standing up to defend their homeland and their way of life. And I see civilians who, despite the fact that the city is being constantly shelled, are going about their business and doing what they think is proper – they work, they help those who are suffering from the war even more than they are suffering, and they hope for a rapid end to the war. I say this is a civil war, brought on by the aggression of Kyiv.

No proposed bill and not even an eventual law will make me afraid to do a “crimethink”. I see parallels between the novel ‘1984’ and the current Ukrainian government. It’s ludicrous, but that’s because the Kyiv government is ludicrous in the way it reproduces the sort of world portrayed by George Orwell in his book, as if it were following the novel as an instruction manual. “We have a war, but it is not a war.” (The government will not formally declare war.)

“We were attacked by Russia, and we have evidence, but we will not produce it.”

“We kill for peace.”

“We destroy the Donbas region, because we love it”,

“We do not buy goods from the aggressor, but we do have businesses on the aggressor’s territory, including producing and selling candies there.” (Poroshenko’s chocolate and candy enterprises are happily doing business in Russia.)

“We pursue in the courts those who are for peace, because they are guilty of war.”

All this and more is the new doublethink which Kyiv authorities impose upon the people of Ukraine.

The repressive bill against critics of conscription1 would legalize the persecution of those who do not want to die in this war. It allows for the tapping of the phones of relatives of suspected “criminals”. If adopted, the bill will not mark a new stage in the formation of the fascist power in Ukraine, because Ukrainian authorities did not need laws to legitimize their already existing fascism.

From now on, they can send people to prison for refusing to participate in this undeclared and officially non-existent war, while profiting from business relations with those whom they label everywhere an aggressor. The Kyiv government will continue to destroy and cripple thousands of lives in order to stay on top of the power pyramid. It will use all possible means. But it fails to notice that its power pyramid sits atop a shaky base of trash and broken chairs. It is crumbling as I write.

Artillery shells are constantly exploding outside my window, almost non-stop. Obviously, Kyiv military forces have decided to vent their spite until the last possible moment before the truce is supposed to begin on Saturday at midnight.

Yulia Malkina is a writer and editor at the left-wing Ukrainian web journal Liva.com (‘The Left’). Liva publishes a page of selected articles in English, translated from the Ukrainian and Russian-language originals.

Editor’s postscript:

Donetsk resident Dan Levy was an eyewitness to the shelling of a bus depot in Donetsk in the early hours of Feb 11, 2015. He writes the following report on his Facebook page and posted some photos there. Radio Free Europe has a brief video clip of the aftermath of the attack.

More articles by:
bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
January 24, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
A Letter From Iowa
Jim Kavanagh
Aftermath: The Iran War After the Soleimani Assassination
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Camp by the Lake
Chuck Churchill
The Long History of Elite Rule: What Will It Take To End It?
Robert Hunziker
A Climate Time Bomb With Trump’s Name Inscribed
Andrew Levine
Trump: The King
Jess Franklin
Globalizing the War on Indigenous People: Bolsonaro and Modi
James Graham
From Paris, With Tear Gas…
Rob Urie
Why the Primaries Matter
Dan Bacher
Will the Extinction of Delta Smelt Be Governor Gavin Newsom’s Environmental Legacy?
Ramzy Baroud
In the Name of “Israel’s Security”: Retreating US Gives Israel Billions More in Military Funding
Vijay Prashad
What the Right Wing in Latin America Means by Democracy Is Violence
Jeremy Kuzmarov
Biden’s Shameful Foreign Policy Record Extends Well Beyond Iraq
Louis Proyect
Isabel dos Santos and Africa’s Lumpen-Bourgeoisie
Nick Pemberton
AK-46: The Case Against Amy Klobuchar
Evaggelos Vallianatos
Promtheus’ Fire: Climate Change in the Time of Willful Ignorance
Linn Washington Jr.
Waiting for Justice in New Jersey
Ralph Nader
Pelosi’s Choice: Enough for Trump’s Impeachment but not going All Out for Removal
Mike Garrity – Jason Christensen
Don’t Kill 72 Grizzly Bears So Cattle Can Graze on Public Lands
Joseph Natoli
Who’s Speaking?
Kavaljit Singh
The US-China Trade Deal is Mostly Symbolic
Cesar Chelala
The Coronavirus Serious Public Health Threat in China
Nino Pagliccia
Venezuela Must Remain Vigilant and on Guard Against US Hybrid Warfare
Robert Fantina
Impeachment as a Distraction
Courtney Bourgoin
What We Lose When We Lose Wildlife
Mark Ashwill
Why Constructive Criticism of the US is Not Anti-American
Daniel Warner
Charlie Chaplin and Truly Modern Times
Manuel Perez-Rocha
How NAFTA 2.0 Boosts Fossil Fuel Polluters, Particularly in Mexico
Dean Baker
What Minimum Wage Would Be If It Kept Pace With Productivity
Mel Gurtov
India’s Failed Democracy
Thomas Knapp
US v. Sineneng-Smith: Does Immigration Law Trump Free Speech?
Winslow Myers
Turning Point: The new documentary “Coup 53”
Jeff Mackler
U.S. vs. Iran: Which Side are You On?
Sam Pizzigati
Braggadocio in the White House, Carcinogens in Our Neighborhoods
Christopher Brauchli
The Company Trump Keeps
Julian Vigo
Why Student Debt is a Human Rights Issue
Ramzy Baroud
These Chains Will Be Broken
Chris Wright
A Modest Proposal for Socialist Revolution
Thomas Barker
The Slow Death of European Social Democracy: How Corbynism Bucked the Trend
Nicky Reid
It’s Time to Bring the War Home Again
Michelle Valadez
Amy Klobuchar isn’t Green
David Swanson
CNN Poll: Sanders Is The Most Electable
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Our Dire Need for “Creative Extremists”—MLK’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”
Jill Richardson
‘Little Women’ and the American Attitude Toward Poverty
David Yearsley
Watching Star Wars in Berlin
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail