Maidan Community Sector, Lviv: Dear friends!
By annexing Crimea, Russia has carried out an act of aggression against Ukraine. Currently Russia is transferring terrorist and sabotage groups to Eastern Ukraine. Russia aims to prevent legitimate presidential elections from happening. Everyday life in Eastern Ukraine has turned into a continuous nightmare in the middle of Europe. Our country is being destroyed right before our eyes. We therefore take the courage to inform you about current events in Ukraine. This is just another point of view. We will do our best to remain objective.
May 13 – Acting President Alexander Turchynov said that he will ask to consider the possibility of prohibiting the Communist Party of Ukraine due to its involvement in separatist activities in Eastern Ukraine.
May 13 – There are plans to additionally train 10 thousand volunteers who could be involved in implementing counter-subversive activities. This is stated in the proposal on improving national defence system, developed by the National Defence University of Warsaw and commissioned by the Polish Ministry of National Defence.
May 13 – Unidentified terroristsused a toxic substance, which killed a number of people during the fire on May 2nd in Odessa's House of Trade Unions, stated the Chief of Security Service of Ukraine Valentyn Nalyvaichenko.
May 13 -"Referendum" held on May 11th in Donetsk can be regarded only as an opinion poll, stated the Head of Donetsk Regional State Administration SerhiyTaruta. "Donetsk Republic is not a legal or political entity. A random name was invented and there is no substance behind it", summed up Mr.Taruta.
May 13 – Separatist Coordination Council of the movement "Yugo-Vostok" (South-East) adopted a "Resolution on the protection of sovereignty and the organization of public administration in Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics".
May 13 – A group of terrorists led by the terrorist named "Abver" held the Mayor of HorlivkaYevhenKlepat gunpoint and forced him to write a statement of resignation. The leader of separatists, who calls himself a Mayor of SlavianskVyacheslavPonomaryovhasbegun to terrorize judges and prosecutors of Donetsk oblast.
May 13 -Head of Donetsk Regional State Administration SerhiyTaruta is confident that separatists will not be able to disrupt presidential elections in the region. "There are 2425 polling stations. I believe that separatists will be unable to disrupt elections everywhere", said Mr.Taruta.
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German angst is leading Europe back to Yalta
Ukraine burns; and Germany is gripped by angst. Angela Merkel has a choice to make. Did the German chancellor mean it when she said Europe cannot be divided again into spheres of influence, with its borders redrawn by bargains between the great powers? Or does Berlin's hesitant response to Russian aggression in Ukraine tell us that, deep down, she is ready to accept a return to the geopolitics of Yalta?
A few months ago Joachim Gauck gently admonished his compatriots for Berlin's failure to punch its weight in global affairs. Germany, the president told the Munich Security Conference, should stop hiding behind its guilt. It should instead match economic might with a willingness to take responsibility for the safeguarding of the international order. Mr Gauck seemed to have caught a political tide. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the Social Democrat foreign minister in Ms Merkel's coalition government, chimed in that "Germany is really too big to only sit on the sidelines and comment on world politics".
That was February. Neither man could have imagined their intentions would so soon be tested by Russia's march into Ukraine. Faced with Moscow's annexation of Crimea and its efforts to turn the rest of Ukraine into a failed state, Berlin has learnt that a serious foreign policy imposes the sort of choices it has sought to avoid. Sure, the country's elites have accepted modest sanctions against Russia, but they have had to be dragged kicking and screaming along the way.
The Christian Democrat Ms Merkel takes a tougher line than her SPD partners. Brought up in Germany's formerly communist east, the chancellor has a more clear-sighted view of the motives and methods of Vladimir Putin, the former KGB officer turned Russian president. Ever cautious, however, she is reluctant to step too far ahead of the Berlin establishment. As for Mr Steinmeier, well, to borrow a phrase, he has now made a determined dash for the sidelines.
Germany has prospered as an onlooker. Joe Kaeser, the chief executive of Siemens, spoke for many business leaders when he paid personal homage to Mr Putin after Russian troops had seized Crimea. On the political left, many still hanker after Willy Brandt's Ostpolitik. Gerhard Schröder, the former SPD chancellor, has sold himself to Gazprom and counts Mr Putin a close chum. Helmut Schmidt displays the latent anti-Americanism that once troubled his relationship with US President Jimmy Carter.
The business lobby would be the easiest to deal with were Ms Merkel to take a stand. Of course, German industry has big interests in Russia. But it also needs to do business in the US. My guess is that Mr Kaeser's admiration for Mr Putin would fade somewhat were western sanctions to threaten his company's much larger sales in the US. As for Germany's dependence on Russian gas, Moscow cannot afford to cut off supplies.
Harder for the chancellor to handle are the doubts and ambiguities rooted in German history, geography and culture – a romanticised view of Russia that looks through Mr Putin to see Tolstoy and Dostoevsky; geographic impulses that say that Germany should not take sides but chart a course between east and west; and deep guilt about Russian losses during the second world war. Russian leaders, one German diplomat observes, always get the benefit of the doubt in Berlin. The same cannot be said of American presidents. The US National Security Agency's tapping of Ms Merkel's telephone has not helped.
Still, German ambivalence presents a puzzle. Germany's success has been rooted in its membership of Nato and the EU. Its postmodern devotion to a rules-based international system has rested above all on the US guarantee of German security. Nothing could be more calculated to threaten this law-based order than Mr Putin's embrace of the great power politics of the 19th and early 20th centuries.
No one should seek confrontation with Mr Putin. If diplomacy can restore stability and democracy to Ukraine, the most hardened hawks should applaud. German politicians may have a point when they say that the west has sometimes been insensitive to Russia's grievous sense of loss. It may also be – though I have heard many European as well as US diplomats dispute this – that the west was careless in keeping promises made to Moscow during the aftermath of the Soviet collapse. In any event, looking at the world through the other side's lenses is always a smart thing to do.
The problem comes when understanding gives way to surrender – when German sensitivities extend to the assumption that Russia is owed a veto over the choices made by its neighbours, and that Ukraine does belong to Moscow's sphere of influence. Here "respect" for Russia merges into contempt for the freedoms of others: the choices available to citizens of Germany should be denied to those of Ukraine. Such logic would allow Mr Putin to march into the Baltics or to demand Poland pay homage to Moscow. This, surely, is anathema to the values that have defined postwar Germany.
Mr Putin has used military force and mendacity to dismantle Ukraine. Germany is the biggest loser from his disdain for international law. In 1945 the Crimean resort of Yalta saw the western powers effectively cede control of Poland to the Soviet Union. That set the frame for the subsequent division of Germany.
This was the world Europe – and Germany – thought had been left behind by the collapse of the Soviet Union. Mr Putin thinks otherwise. Ms Merkel has that choice to make.