Tonight, our guest Dan Kovalik joins Bringing Light Into Darkness on the eve of the referenda to join Russia that are being voted on between 9/23 and 9/27/22 in the Ukraine eastern oblasts of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia. Dan Kovalik graduated from Columbia University School of Law in 1993 and is an American human rights, labor rights lawyer and peace activist and teaches International Human Rights at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Show Outline, what we explicate:
1. We are told that Russia was unprovoked but invaded Ukraine. We begin the show with an historical context of information omitted or distorted in our mainstream media coverage that Russia arguably claims clearly provoked the Russian invasion, which Russia describes as a ‘special military operation’. We argue that the precipitating event was not the invasion but the February 2014 coup and provide an important timeline of subsequent events accordingly.
2. Our guest an international law expert describes the Minsk Agreement as an agreement that Ukraine agreed to abide to but refused to comply with, as a binding agreement approved by the Security Council of the UN, the governing body of the world and approved by every member including the US. He describes its provisions and how they were violated.
3. Donetsk and Luhansk repeatedly asked for Russian protection from the indiscriminate shelling by the Ukrainian Army that by the eve of the 2/24/22 ‘invasion’ had taken the lives of some 14 thousand predominantly Russian speaking eastern Ukrainians. Putin repeatedly rejected the Russian statehood requests and instead pursued the Minsk treaty mandates as a political solution, a pathway, we show, the Ukrainians consistently sabotaged by their violations.
4. We provide important historical context to the conditions that led to the breakaway status of Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk following the coup. Our guest describes the legal environment around referenda that occurred in Crimea and our pending this week, and compares them to the circumstances around the secession of various republics from the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.
5. Kovalik stresses the very right wing and anti-Russia nature of the post-coup government as not only ‘anti country of Russia’, but it was also against its own ethnic Russians. An ethnic cleansing was feared as the coup government outlawed Russian speaking in the schools and post-coup President Poroshenko said “eastern Ukrainians would spend the rest of their lives in bunkers”. Repression in the east following the coup was rampant and is described.
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