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Published On: Fri, Jun 6th, 2014

Kiev Continues Onslaught Against Slavyansk

nsnbc : Ukraine’s government continues its military onslaught against rebelling pro-federalization regions in southeastern Ukraine. Military forces carried out sustained artilley attacks and air raids against the city of Slavyansk.



Stella Khorosheva a spokeswoman for Slavyansk Mayor Ponomaryov told media that salvos of howitzer fire, rocket propelled grenades and other projectiles are being fired into the city.

Khorosheva added that the highway between Slavyansk and the village of Semyonovka is packed with heavy military hardware.

The spokeswoman stressed that the residents of the Slavyansk municipal district of Mandrychino have sustained heavy civilian casualties due to the shelling.

She stressed that ambulances cannot reach the injured and that people are bleeding to death in their basements while troops loyal to the government in Kiev target ambulances.

Arguably, the targeting of ambulances falls under the provisions of the First and Second Geneva Conventions and their additional protocols, stressed Christof Lehmann, who cites the International Committee of the Red Cross as stating:

Part II (Articles 8-34) develops the rules of the First and Second Geneva Conventions on wounded, sick and shipwrecked. It extends the protection of the Conventions to civilian medical personnel, equipment and supplies and to civilian units and transports and contains detailed provisions on medical transportation.

Part III and several chapters of Part IV (Articles 35-60) deal with the conduct of hostilities, i.e. questions which hitherto were regulated by the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 and by customary international law. Their reaffirmation and development is important in view of the age of the Hague Conventions and of the new States which had no part in their elaboration. Article 43 and 44 give a new definition of armed forces and combatants. Among the most important Articles are those on the protection of the civilian population against the effects of hostilities. They contain a definition of military objectives and prohibitions of attack on civilian persons and objects. Further Articles (61-79) deal with the protection of civil defence organizations, relief actions and the treatment of persons in the power of a party to a conflict.

Self-defense forces put WWIItanks back into service. © ITAR-TASS/Boris Kavashkin

Self-defense forces put WWII tanks back into service. © ITAR-TASS/Boris Kavashkin

The situation in the southeast of Ukraine has been deteriorating rapidly, and seriously, since the presidential election victory of Petro Poroshenko, who promised to increase military operations against the regions which demand a federalized Ukraine and who reject the legality of the post February 21 governments in Kiev.

Stella Khorosheva described the military operations against Slavyansk as “genocide on full steam”, adding that pensioners paid taxes all their lives while the new authorities terminated the payments that were intended for them.The city is facing a humanitarian catastrophe as provisions of food, medicine and other vital supplies run low.

She added  that the situation is also grave with regard to medicines in the city as there was an extreme shortage of antibiotics, painkillers and bandaging materials.

The military resistance of the self-defense forces continues, in part with World War II equipment that belongs into a museum rather than a theater of war, confronting a modern army. There are growing mass protests against Kiev in Donets and Lughansk.

Russian President Vladimir Putin repeatedly dismissed Western claims that Russia could in any way be involved in the protests in Ukraine’s southeast or the self-defense operations. Meanwhile, recent days have seen a growing, apparently coordinated disinformation campaign in social media, claiming Moscow had sent advanced air-defense missile batteries to the region, or that hundreds of US special forces, CIA agents and contractors had been killed by self-defense forces.

Russia does however, along with Germany and France, insist that Kiev immediately halts its military onslaught and initiates meaningful talks with representatives of the rebelling regions.

Ch/L – nsnbc 06.06.2014

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