On War Crimes and Double Standards in Ukraine

February 9, 2015 at 10:34 AM

Donetsk-shelling-3The Western media has been abuzz in recent days with the claim that videos posted to youtube, which show Ukrainian prisoners being “mistreated” by anti-Kiev rebels, amount to war crimes. Naturally, such claims deserve attention as violations of international laws governing war and treatment of prisoners are of concern to all. However, it is equally true that those calling for prosecution of the anti-Kiev rebels are applying a farcical double standard as they have utterly ignored the exponentially more egregious war crimes committed by the Ukrainian military and its neo-Nazi auxiliaries.

This complete whitewashing of countless war crimes committed by Kiev is not coincidental, nor is it a mystery. In fact, it is part of a coordinated campaign by the western media and western non-profit industrial complex to frame the narrative in such a way as to cast Kiev ‘s forces as righteous and just, while the anti-Kiev rebels are terrorist criminals. This complete inversion of reality is par for the course for the West, which, recognizing it cannot achieve its geopolitical ambitions in Ukraine by force, instead will seek to do it through propaganda.

What the Evidence Shows

The videos that surfaced on youtube which allegedly show evidence of war crimes committed by the anti-Kiev rebels have sparked much debate internationally. The western media has seized on claims of “torture” and “war crimes” made by individuals whose objectivity is certainly in doubt. Take for instance the article in the pro-Kiev outlet “Kyiv Post” entitled Kremlin’s mercenaries post videos of captive Ukrainian soldiers; human rights activists charge war crimes committed which presents an entirely one-sided account of the alleged crimes, entirely laden with insinuation but conspicuously short on verifiable facts.

The article cites Yulia Gorbunova, a researcher affiliated with Human Rights Watch, who stated, “Tortures and killings could be qualified as war crimes…During the parade of prisoners in Donetsk, the prisoners were subjected to humiliating and degrading treatment. It is a violation of international humanitarian law regarding the prohibition of outrages upon personal dignity.” Indeed, she is correct that torture and killings could be regarded as war crimes. However, what is deliberately left out of the narrative is the context in which these actions took place. Providing this context casts very serious doubt as to the objectivity and reliability of Gorbunova and the NGOs working in Ukraine.

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