by Stephen Lendman
On April 19, Kiev putschists pledged no Easter weekend Eastern Ukraine attacks. They promised "suspension of the active phase of the anti-terrorism operation" to defuse crisis conditions.
A state security service (SBU) spokeswoman said suspension was "linked to the implementation of the Geneva agreement and the Easter holidays."
Putschist Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia added:
"The anti-terrorist operation was put on hold for the Easter time, and we will be not using force against them at this moment."
A day earlier, he said "more concrete actions" will follow next week if activists don't stop resisting. He demands unconditional surrender.
Protesters remain firm. They want their fundamental rights respected. They want local autonomy. They want real democracy.
They reject Kiev putschists. They're illegitimate. They demand they resign.
At the same time, earlier deployed neo-Nazi Right Sector thugs attacked Slavyansk activists.
Reports indicate six killed - four residents and two gunmen. Rossiya-24 TV said:
"Three residents of Slavyansk were shot dead by unidentified gunmen who attacked a block-post in the north of the town. Another person was wounded and is in hospital in critical condition."
"Several cars drove up to the block-post and then those inside the cars open fire. Self-defense fighters promptly arrived at the scene and returned the fire, killing two attackers."
Activists seized two cars. Evidence inside was incriminating. It included Right Sector paramilitary emblems, military uniforms, a machine gun, other weapons, plastids, smoke pellets, US-made night vision devices and aerial photograph maps.
According to RT International, 26 local residents manned the checkpoint attacked. They were unarmed. They had bats alone for protection.
"As (they) ran from the checkpoint, a group of 20 protesters with firearms were called from their camp in the city," said RT.
"They opened fire on the attackers, killing two of them and sending the rest running, according to a Life News report."
Casualties may rise. Gunmen retreated to a nearby forest. Hunting for them continues.
They may have planned attacking an activist-held TV tower, said RT. It's encircled on maps found in their cars.
Separately, other gunmen attacked residents in central Slavyansk. Two injuries were reported. Both victims are hospitalized.
In response to Saturday's violence, activist leaders ordered a midnight to 6AM curfew.
On April 17, Russian, US, EU and Ukrainian foreign ministers met in Geneva. Discussion focused on deescalating Ukrainian crisis conditions.
A joint document was agreed on. It's meaningless. It's not worth the paper it's written on. It calls for all sides to end "violence, intimidation or provocative actions."
It condemns "all expressions of extremism, racism and religious intolerance, including anti-semitism."
It "calls for an immediate commencement of a broad national dialogue which must be inclusive, transparent and accountable."
It stresses doing so "within the framework of the constitutional process, which must be inclusive and accountable."
Ukrainians alone must resolve things. They must do it without foreign interference.
US-led Ukrainian collusion assures doing things their way. Expect Eastern Ukrainian freedom fighters to respond accordingly. They have every right to do so.
Successfully implementing four-party agreement terms depends on real constitutional reform representing vital interests of all Ukrainians equitably, fairly and democratically.
Chances for doing so are virtually NIL! I bears repeating. The agreement isn't worth the paper it's written on. It was dead on arrival.
Kiev putschists violated terms straightaway. They acted with full US support. Obama's new friends represent the worst of societal misfits. They have no legitimacy whatever.
They rule lawlessly. They tolerate no opposition. It's targeted for elimination. Their Eastern Ukrainian aggression continues. It includes cold-blooded murder.
Calling it an "anti-terrorist" operation doesn't wash. Ukrainian terrorism is entirely state-sponsored. Neo-Nazi thugs operate as expected.
Further escalation is likely. Perhaps civil war. Maybe spilling conflict cross-border. Perhaps involving Moscow and Washington.
Great conflicts begin this way. Perhaps the unthinkable will follow. US hegemonic ambitions risk it. Obama may be damn fool enough to pursue what responsible leaders wouldn't dare.
America's rage for war, its formidable weapons, and reckless ambitions makes anything possible.
In May 2000, the Pentagon's Joint Vision 2020 called for "full spectrum dominance" over all land, surface and sub-surface sea, air, space, electromagnetic spectrum and information systems with enough overwhelming power to fight and win global wars against any adversary.
It asserted the right to use nuclear weapons preemptively. So did Bush's December 2001 Nuclear Policy Review. His 2002 and 2006 National Security Strategies reaffirmed it.
Bush and Obama administrations violated 1970 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) provisions. The 1972 ABM Treaty was abandoned.
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty provisions are ignored. So are the Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention and Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty. It prohibits additions to current stockpiles.
International laws, treaties, conventions, standards and norms don't matter. Washington rules alone apply. Might v. right reflects them.
So-called proactive, anticipatory self-defense, first-strike preemption asserts America's right to use all weapons in its arsenal. At issue is achieving unchallenged global dominance.
Obama's 2010 Nuclear Posture Review was old wine in new bottles. Policy remains unchanged. Washington "reserves the right" to do whatever it pleases.
Stop Nato editor Rick Rozoff if one of many distinguished contributors to a forthcoming Clarity Press book. It's titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks Global War."
Ukraine's geopolitical importance in US-led NATO's drive East is significant, says Rozoff. Co-opting it into the Atlantic Alliance ensures encroaching on Russia's "entire Western flank."
It'll do so from "the Arctic Ocean and Barents Sea in the north to the Black Sea in the south with NATO air bases, naval docking facilities, firing ranges, aircraft, radar installations, interceptor missiles, armored vehicles and troops."
Rozoff calls Ukraine "the decisive linchpin" in US-led NATO plans to establish "a military cordon sanitaire."
Achieving it assures cutting off Russia from Europe. Isolating and weakening it at the same time.
In December 2008, "NATO initiated its Annual National Program with Ukraine," said Rozoff. The same year, Washington "launched the United States-Ukraine Charter on Strategic Partnership."
Founding document objectives stated in part:
"Deepening Ukraine's integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions is a mutual priority."
"We plan to undertake a program of enhanced security cooperation intended to increase Ukrainian capabilities and to strengthen Ukraine's candidacy for NATO membership.
"Guided by the April 3, 2008 Bucharest Summit Declaration of the NATO North Atlantic Council and the April 4, 2008 Joint Statement of the NATO-Ukraine Commission, which affirmed that Ukraine will become a member of NATO."
"Recognizing the persistence of threats to global peace and stability, the United States and Ukraine intend to expand the scope of their ongoing programs of cooperation and assistance on defense and security issues to defeat these threats and to promote peace and stability."
"A defense and security cooperation partnership between the United States and Ukraine is of benefit to both nations and the region."
With US-installed putschists ruling Ukraine, Washington is hell bent on transforming it into a "gargantuan" Pentagon-run NATO "forward base."
It's part of America's "inexorable" longstanding drive East. Doing so more than ever threatens world peace.
It hangs by a thread. The slightest miscalculation risks anything. All bets are off given this risky scenario.
"Flashpoint in Ukraine" includes much more incisive analysis like Rozoff's. Other distinguished contributors assure it.
Content is special. It's polar opposite mainstream Big Lies. It's required reading to know what's ongoing, the threat it poses, and what's likely ahead.
On April 19, Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov highlighted the threat. US-led NATO's further encroachment "one more step towards the Russian border" changes things entirely, he said.
"(T)he entire European security architecture (will need) to be overhauled," he stressed. Further NATO enlargement poses a serious threat.
It remains a belligerent/aggressive military alliance. "Russia will have to take serious measures to ensure its own security," said Peskov.
A potential East/West confrontation looms. Reckless US policy risks it. Today is the most perilous time in world history. The worst of all possible outcomes remains possible.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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