The latter claim [that Russian speakers are being ethnically cleansed in Ukraine] made repeatedly by Daniel McAdams of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity is especially egregious and hypocritical. Half the Ukrainian military is Russian speaking, and the leader of Ukraine’s “Donbas” volunteer battalion is ethnically Russian. It is deeply hypocritical because while Daniel McAdams is parroting Kremlin propaganda about ethnic cleansing by Ukrainians, the real thing is being carried out by Russians:
– Starting with the torture and murder of a Crimean Tartar activist Reshat Ametov by the invading Russians, the indigenous ethnic minority has faced homes and mosques being aggressively and repeatedly raided, the displacement and harassment by helicopter of their annual remembrance of the Soviet-era genocide, the banishment of their leader from the peninsula, and the dissolution of their political bodies and seizure of their meeting places. Seventeen other Tartars have gone missing.
– One of the first things the Russians did in Eastern Ukraine was kidnap and torture outspoke pro-Ukrainian politician Volodymyr Rybak (april 2014). They made sure his body was discovered. It was covered in wounds. They seem to lead with very public, very violent acts in order to scare everyone into submission.
– Catholic priests have been kidnapped and the Church described their plight as “total persecution.”
– Four deacons of the Transfiguration Evangelical Church were kidnapped and tortured to death in the parts of Donbass (eastern-most Ukraine) controlled by Russia.
– Though estimates vary greatly, it seems tens of thousands of Ukrainians have fled Crimea following harassment and threats against expressions of Ukrainian identity. The Ukrainian language has been removed from Crimean schools. Similar bans are underway in the Russian-controlled parts of Donbass.
– A Donbass miner was kidnapped and tortured because of his “glory to Ukraine” tattoo. A Ukrainian prisoner of war with a similar tatoo had his arm chopped off by his captors. He survived and was recently freed in a prisoner exchange.
– Black medical student kidnapped and kept as slave by Russian mercenaries: http://romaninukraine.com/british-medical-student-kept-as-a-slave-by-pro-russian-rebels-in-ukraine-is-freed-after-two-week-ordeal/
– Crimean authorities order purge of “banned literature” http://euromaidanpress.com/2014/10/15/crimean-authorities-order-purge-of-banned-literature/
— English Lugansk (@loogunda) February 7, 2015
Russians execute another Tartar activist:
— olexander scherba (@olex_scherba) February 17, 2015
There has been no analogous brutality directed at Russians by Ukrainians. That’s because Ukraine’s recent revolution was not anti-Russian but anti-corruption and anti-tyranny, and thus terrifying to the corrupt, tyrannical regime in Moscow which has done everything from lie about baby crucifixions to stage massacres to make Ukraine seem savagely anti-Russian.
– Russians burn books to liquidate Crimea’s Ukrainian past: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/15/ukrainians-dump-politicians-trash_n_5989168.html
– New Human Rights Watch Reports paints picture of intimidation against Crimean Tartars
Several Kyiv Patriarchate Orthodox priests have been forced to leave the Crimea and the majority have been summoned to the FSB for questioning.
Kyiv Patriarchate churches have been shut down in Sevastopol; Krasnoperekopsk; Kerch, as well as in the village of Perevalne, which was subjected to an armed attack in June. The prosecutor’s office has refused to initiate criminal proceedings over the attack.
Kyiv Patriarchate Archbishop Clement of Simferopol and Crimea constantly receives threats. His dacha was burned down and he fears that his church could also be targeted.
Members of the Moscow Patriarchate Orthodox Church have massively increased the rent in an attempt to force the Kyiv Patriarchate to relinquish its main church in Simferopol. . . .
FSB officers have turned up at church services and demonstrably observed worshippers. Already months ago veteran Crimean Tatar leader Mustafa Dzhemiliev reported that the FSB were openly watching believers in Crimean mosques.
In June Pastor Ruslan Zuyev from the Salvation Army left the Crimea after being the object of overt harassment by the Simferopol FSB. He says that they began phoning and then turned up at his office asking strange questions. His wife and daughter had also received threats.
Rabbi Misha Kapustin left Simferopol following threats over his opposition to Russia’s occupation of the Crimea. . . .
Father Piotr, the head of a Roman Catholic parish in Simferopol and a Polish national, was forced to leave the Crimea. . . .
. . . a number of UGCC priests have been driven out of the Crimea because of harassment by the ‘self-defence’ vigilantes.
Crimean librarian fined for ‘anti-Russian’ books about Holodomor (The Famine genocide of 1932-33)
– A side note about hypocrisy: In Russia there are no Ukrainian schools whatsoever – not even in the Kuban region where Ukrainians used to outnumber Russians. (There, Ukrainian identity has been pretty much destroyed.) In Moscow, in 2010, 50 Ukrainian language fiction books were seized from a library because of “ethnic radicalism.”
Ukrainian Churches are facing imminent ban in Crimea
In #Crimea religious organizations now have to register w/#Russia or face severe punishment http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/143682/thomas-j-reese-and-daniel-i-mark/losing-their-religion-in-crimea
Amnesty International: “Crimea. One year on from annexation; critics harassed, attacked and silenced”
Article about persecution of Protestants in Donetsk: http://america.aljazeera.com/multimedia/2015/3/in-rebel-held-donetsk-religious-intolerance-grows.html
The “Russian Orthodox Army”
The report cites the aggressive actions of the 4,000-man Russian Orthodox Army (ROA) as one of the most harmful actors in eastern Ukraine. According to credible reports, the group has destroyed church property, raided a Protestant orphanage, taken a Catholic priest as a hostage, and participated in other violence.
An insurgent group, the ROA is not part of Russia’s military force, but gains support from sources inside Russia. A Russian nationalist billionaire, Konstantin Malofeev, funds a charity that allegedly supports the ROA. The evidence against Malofeev is persuasive enough that the US government and the European Union have sanctioned him.
Protestant Churches in Donbas working under threat, in secret:
Churches used to house soldiers
Detention, interrogation, death threats for wearing embroidered shirts in Crimea: