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Violence flared in Odessa today as pro-unity and and pro-Russia demonstrators demonstrators clashed during a rally. According to the Ministry of the Interior, 31 people died after being chased into the trade union building and a fire started during the chaos.


10 Lies? Russians Fire Back

1. Mr. Putin says:  Russian forces in Crimea are only acting to protect Russian military assets. It is “citizens’ defense groups,” not Russian forces, who have seized infrastructure and military facilities in Crimea.

The Facts:  Strong evidence suggests that members of Russian security services are at the heart of the highly organized anti-Ukraine forces in Crimea. While these units wear uniforms without insignia, they drive vehicles with Russian military license plates and freely identify themselves as Russian security forces when asked by the international media and the Ukrainian military. Moreover, these individuals are armed with weapons not generally available to civilians.

2. Mr. Putin says:  Russia’s actions fall within the scope of the 1997 Friendship Treaty between Ukraine and the Russian Federation.

The Facts:  The 1997 agreement requires Russia to respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity. Russia’s military actions in Ukraine, which have given them operational control of Crimea, are in clear violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

3. Mr. Putin says:  The opposition failed to implement the February 21 agreement with former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

The Facts:  The February 21 agreement laid out a plan in which the Rada, or Parliament, would pass a bill to return Ukraine to its 2004 Constitution, thus returning the country to a constitutional system centered around its parliament. Under the terms of the agreement, Yanukovych was to sign the enacting legislation within 24 hours and bring the crisis to a peaceful conclusion. Yanukovych refused to keep his end of the bargain. Instead, he packed up his home and fled, leaving behind evidence of wide-scale corruption.

4. Mr. Putin says:  Ukraine’s government is illegitimate. Yanukovych is still the legitimate leader of Ukraine.

The Facts:  On March 4, President Putin himself acknowledged the reality that Yanukovych “has no political future.” After Yanukovych fled Ukraine, even his own Party of Regions turned against him, voting to confirm his withdrawal from office and to support the new government. Ukraine’s new government was approved by the democratically elected Ukrainian Parliament, with 371 votes – more than an 82% majority. The interim government of Ukraine is a government of the people, which will shepherd the country toward democratic elections on May 25th – elections that will allow all Ukrainians to have a voice in the future of their country.

5. Mr. Putin says:  There is a humanitarian crisis and hundreds of thousands are fleeing Ukraine to Russia and seeking asylum.

The Facts:  To date, there is absolutely no evidence of a humanitarian crisis. Nor is there evidence of a flood of asylum-seekers fleeing Ukraine for Russia. International organizations on the ground have investigated by talking with Ukrainian border guards, who also refuted these claims. Independent journalists observing the border have also reported no such flood of refugees.

6. Mr. Putin says:  Ethnic Russians are under threat.

The Facts:  Outside of Russian press and Russian state television, there are no credible reports of any ethnic Russians being under threat. The new Ukrainian government placed a priority on peace and reconciliation from the outset. President Oleksandr Turchynov refused to sign legislation limiting the use of the Russian language at regional level. Ethnic Russians and Russian speakers have filed petitions attesting that their communities have not experienced threats. Furthermore, since the new government was established, calm has returned to Kyiv. There has been no surge in crime, no looting, and no retribution against political opponents.

7. Mr. Putin says:  Russian bases are under threat.

The Facts:  Russian military facilities were and remain secure, and the new Ukrainian government has pledged to abide by all existing international agreements, including those covering Russian bases. It is Ukrainian bases in Crimea that are under threat from Russian military action.

8. Mr. Putin says:  There have been mass attacks on churches and synagogues in southern and eastern Ukraine.

The Facts:  Religious leaders in the country and international religious freedom advocates active in Ukraine have said there have been no incidents of attacks on churches. All of Ukraine’s church leaders, including representatives of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate, have expressed support for the new political leadership, calling for national unity and a period of healing. Jewish groups in southern and eastern Ukraine report that they have not seen an increase in anti-Semitic incidents.

9. Mr. Putin says:  Kyiv is trying to destabilize Crimea.

The Facts:  Ukraine’s interim government has acted with restraint and sought dialogue. Russian troops, on the other hand, have moved beyond their bases to seize political objectives and infrastructure in Crimea. The government in Kyiv immediately sent the former Chief of Defense to defuse the situation. Petro Poroshenko, the latest government emissary to pursue dialogue in Crimea, was prevented from entering the Crimean Rada.

10. Mr. Putin says:  The Rada is under the influence of extremists or terrorists.

The Facts:  The Rada is the most representative institution in Ukraine. Recent legislation has passed with large majorities, including from representatives of eastern Ukraine. Far-right wing ultranationalist groups, some of which were involved in open clashes with security forces during the EuroMaidan protests, are not represented in the Rada. There is no indication that the Ukrainian government would pursue discriminatory policies; on the contrary, they have publicly stated exactly the opposite.

I Am a Ukrainian - Support the Ukrainian People

Ukraine - Euromaidan | Posted by Ukraine - Euromaidan | Posted by Ukraine - Euromaidan | Posted by Ukraine - Euromaidan | Posted by

Euromaidan (facebook) - “it is our attempt to change the situation in Ukraine, to set true values, to reach real democracy, to create our future in our country without fear of the next day, without current government, without inhumanity and violence!”

PLEASE SIGNAL BOOST! Tomorrow, Ukrainians will be cut off from the world; no internet, no television, no telephones.

If you are unaware of what has been happening in Ukraine, please take the time to read this (it’s short and concise!):

What’s been going on in Ukraine, explained

Ukrainians have been peacefully protesting in Ukraine’s capital city, Kyiv for more than two months in a protest dubbed EuroMaidan (Maidan’sFacebook page in English, as well as their English blog for those who want more information). Recently, these protestors have been harassed by militia men and riot police sent out on the orders of President Victor Yanukovich. Some of the harassments have turned violent, with both protesters and police involved. Thousands of people on the Maidan are at risk, and as of Wednesday, three have died battling riot police. Here are FOUR articles depicting Kyiv as of right now:

As of January 16ththe Ukrainian parliament (under concealed orders from Russian-rule supporters) has “passed illegal, unconstitutional laws restricting political speech and the freedoms of assembly, association, and press, taking Ukraine out of the community of free nations, and placing it under a Soviet-style tyranny.” This means that the Ukrainian people have been essentially cut off from the world. Pro-revolution television updates have been either edited or unaired. Newspapers have been censored. There will be no digital access to the outside world (articlehere).  PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION TO HELP UKRAINE GET THE AID IT NEEDS AND RESTORE PEACE AND BASIC CIVIL LIBERTIES. SIGNAL BOOST AND SPREAD THE WORD. 

Cлава України!

For those in Ukraine, here is a helpful site on how to access internet during the possible censorship. Ми ще далі з Вами!

Права людини понад усе!
Human Rights Above All!

Photo by Igor Rudenko | Posted by Photo by Igor Rudenko | Posted by Photo by Igor Rudenko | Posted by Photo by Igor Rudenko | Posted by Photo by Igor Rudenko | Posted by Photo by Igor Rudenko | Posted by Photo by Igor Rudenko | Posted by


Ukraine, Kiev-based lawyer Igor Rudenko (a series of photos taken in Kiev)

"Photography, as we all know, is not real at all. It is an illusion of reality with which we create our own private world." - Arnold Newman

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