Responsibility for Mariupol starts but doesn’t end with Putin

Funeral for a victim of the Russian-terrorist Grad strike on January 24, 2015

Funeral for a victim of the Russian-terrorist Grad strike on January 24, 2015 

2015/01/29 • Analysis & Opinion

The killing of 30 innocent civilians in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol has sparked outrage around the world, and many people who have not thought a lot about who is responsible for the outrages in Ukraine are finally focusing on the responsibility that Vladimir Putin bears for such crimes.

But if Putin must be blamed for what has happened there and elsewhere, he is far from the only one who should be, because tragically many others bear direct or indirect responsibility for what has happened, and it is vitally important that they be identified as such, according to Moscow commentator Igor Eidman.

The reason for that is two-fold. On the one hand, it is too simple to think that Putin alone is guilty of what is happening and that were he not in the Kremlin, everything would be fine. Too many people are complicit. And on the other, those others need to know that they like officials in Nazi Germany who claimed that they were “only following orders” will ultimately discover that that is no defense.

Putin does bear primary responsibility as the author of these crimes and these deaths, Eidman says. But following him are the people in the Russian force structures “who are fulfilling criminal orders which violate the elementary laws of war. Like terrorists, secretly and concealing their citizenship, they are going on the territory of a neighboring state not at war with Russia in order to kill people.”

Then there is blood on the hands of the Russian bureaucracy as a whole, he continues, a group which “in exchange for the right to steal gives their loyalty to their ‘master’ and helps him hold on to power and carry out the war.”

Russian big business, “the so-called oligarchs including the former Yeltsin ‘family,’” also bears responsibility for Mariupol and the other places of crimes committed by Putin in Ukraine. That is because they want to preserve the system under which they profited and are now giving the Kremlin leader “the financial resources for carrying out Putin’s aggressive policy which is suicidal for Russia.”

“The world swallowed the seizure of Crimea and it got the war in the Donbas. If now, in connection with the new attack on Ukraine are not taken extraordinary international measures then a still larger and more bloody war will begin.” The victims of that war “will remain on the conscience of the conformist Western elite.”

There is also blood on the hands of “Russia’s corrupt political class which has discredited in Russia the idea of democracy and thus has opened the way for the coming of a semi-fascist dictatorship. So too there is blood on the hands of the Russian intelligentsia, some of whose members have created “the ideological base for the justification of war” and the promotion of chauvinism.

And ordinary Russians must bear responsibility for these crimes as well. “They are prepared to believe anything broadcast on television if it corresponds to their nationalistic and xenophobic complexes” and to sing praises to Putin, boosting his rating and thus providing him with the kind of support he needs for “the continuation of the war.”

But responsibility for Mariupol does not end at the borders of the Russian Federation, Eidman argues. Former Ukrainian President Yanukovych and his entourage have blood on their hands because they helped Putin unleash a war in the Donbas, a war many of them continue to help promote from their hideouts in Russia or in the war zone itself.

And the blood of the Mariupol victims also on the hands of Putin’s “friends” and “’peacemakers’” in the West because they, sometimes “for selfish reasons and sometimes out of stupidity are helping Putin to avoid punishment for his aggression. By blocking pressure on his regime, they are extending the war.”

“The world swallowed the seizure of Crimea and it got the war in the Donbas,” Eidman points out, and “if now, in connection with the new attack on Ukraine are not taken extraordinary international measures then a still larger and more bloody war will begin.” The victims of that war “will remain on the conscience of the conformist Western elite.”

Edited by: A. N.

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  • canuke

    So very true!

  • zetty

    Well said!

  • Czech Friend

    Make the global crowdfunding site and campaign for Ukrainian army and millions across the world will send money to support your right to defend the country!

    Do it ASAP.

    Our politicians are cowards but many of us want and will help.

    • LorCanada

      There are a number of websites set up to assist Ukraine, some are about medical, some about military clothing gear, even selling cookies, but not on a grand scale for defense as far as I know.

      A day ago Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced a low-interest package for Ukraine of $200 Million (Canadian dollars I presume), so that will be a tremendous help. USA was also contributing but I didn’t catch the numbers involved.

      • StumpedNoMore2

        I thought it was three billions. If the Ukrainian’s president and PM can work their magic, I think the loans can be forgiven. I have seen financial aids that are given to Egypt and Pakistan ranging in 5 to 8 billions each year.

        I can’t see why this money can be given to a people more deserving than this. They are fighting a war against an aggressive neighbor hell bent on destabilizing their country. Plus, they are transitioning to a more democratic and open society. I know three billions is a lot of money but this would signal to the free world that the US is serious about the values that they like to preach to the world.

    • disqus60

      I’ve actually been fed up with the lack of American support and am working on a cf site now and plan to do some press releases .. bypass our government and get some support and aid to Ukrainians who need it and the soldiers that are trying to defend their country. I actually have wondered if Obama was incahoots with Putin early on or perhaps afraid of being blackmailed.. who knows, but for sure the silence of American help is deafening.

      Bypass the government, raise not only money but mobilize an American “convoy” of good and food, clothing and supplies for Ukraine and its people

      • Czech Friend

        good on you and good luck. There are such initiatives in Eastern Europe including my country where we try to help but it is still small. And we have Kremlin puppet for a president who sabotages Ukraine anywhere he can.

        So yes, if one wants to help as a citizen he will find the way while governments are lingering.

        But still one global fundrising site would be an immediate success, no doubt.

        • disqus60

          Hi, can you please direct me to some of those initiatives? I believe it’s time for a worldwide effort to direct attention to Ukrainian support. Screw the politicians. We the people can do what’s right without them.

          • Czech Friend

            Hi, I personally know this group which even small and local is growing and its voice has been heard beyond the borders. It’s called Prague Maidan, check http://www.maidan.cz/anglicky and then guys from a group called Kaputin.

            It is quite local though but they could know similar groups in other countries.

            I agree that we need a global citizen movement standing for democracy and human rights and fighting Putin as a biggest threat to our world today.
            Something positive yet resolute and simple enough to join as cause.

            Will come back here with more ideas soon and encourage anyone interested to contribute as well.

  • Brent

    Let’s not forget about our own elected leaders who have given great speeches and backed them up with claims this conflict cannot be solved militarily, thus leaving Ukraine alone to defend itself. Is it criminal? No. But it’s sure not a legacy either of Obama or Merkl can be proud of, as well as NATO.

    O’bumbla made a similar miscalculation when he dismissed ISIS as the “J.V.” team last January and once the beheadings started last summer, he was scrambling to put together a coalition to takd on ISIS.

    • Betty J Rousey

      Hey Doofus, he didn’t want to give ISIL what they most wanted… to be recognized as a terrible threat, so he called them the JV. You can’t understand the politics of that, seemingly, nor can you spell the U.S. President’s name. That is an American Republican party trait…