The Ukraine crisis rumbles on with blame being thrown about left right and centre. Voicing opinions if you are a westerner can be viewed as disloyal to the west but we are allegedly free to do so in western countries and our leaders are always at pains to comment that is not true in Russia, China, North Korea and more.
If war breaks out that will change, but for now reporting events is important.
Perhaps one reason it is increasingly easy to disbelief the west is not just the track record of lying but events of the last few months. One prime example was an apparently bugged phone conversation which hit news sources online February 7. In the call a senior US diplomat disparaged the EU over the Ukraine crisis. It was quickly posted online.
As BBC News reported a voice resembling that of Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland referred to the EU using a graphic swear word, in a conversation apparently with the US ambassador to Ukraine. As she apologised for her words it is fair to say it was true. The US said Ms Nuland had "apologised for these reported comments".
The irony is not wasted either. Accused of spying on numerous people, a US diplomat is bugged. A private conversation should be just that - and it hurts when you are bugged.
The words however "F**k the EU" show great contempt for Europe and its peoples.
Wednesday there are reports and footage online claiming that another bugged phone call shows that the Ukrainian snipers in Kiev were not who or what they seemed.
Adding salt into the wounds of Europe is the news that the EU is going to dig deep into its allegedly financially strapped coffers to bail out the Ukraine. Remember the Ukraine is not a member of the EU, not yet at least. But we have money to offer, yet weeks ago the EU told Scotland there would be no automatic entry into the EU if they voted for independence from the rest of the UK.
More hypocrisy? It has to be.
Meanwhile, the European Union is set to offer Ukraine a aid package that could be worth as much as $15 billion over the next two years. From the New York Times:
All of that means we better get used to dipping into our pockets. Yet in EU countries such as Greece, Spain, Ireland, the UK and Portugal it is a case of implement austerity measures and tighten your belts.
Too much in all of this has a nasty smell.
Ironically the Ukraine want to get into the EU as many people want to get out.
You may think that the EU cannot afford to fail the Ukraine but neither can it fail its own citizens. The EU and parts of Europe are crumbling and the future looked uncertain before the Ukraine crisis.
Those meddling in Ukaranian affairs for months could end up laughing all the way to the bank as the crisis inflates the value of gold. But only time will tell.
For citizens with paper investments the future is not so rosy. Plummetting share prices will affect pensions, savings and more. As usual the rich will get richer and the poor poorer.
Diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis
An Interview with Mr. Gold
Matthew Price BBC News, Brussels
They however also reported that "In a sign of Putin's reach, Ukraine's head of navy has defected - and been charged with treason."
Again we are receiving mixed messages by way of mainstream news reporting.
The Crimea is home to the Russian Fleet and therefore has obvious strategic uses for the West and Russia.
The situation remains grave and President Putin experienced a backlash against troop intervention in the Ukraine from his own people Sunday.
The traditional day of rest, Sunday, became a day of protest in many parts of the world.
Dozens of protesters in Moscow were arrested Sunday. "40 people were detained for "attempts to violate public order" at a protest near the defence ministry in central Moscow, the Interfax news agency said." They oppose Russia's military intervention in Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin won approval from senators to send in troops to the crisis-hit country but that decision has had a very mixed response.
British based Ukrainians staged protests outside the Russian embassy in London. They walked from the US embassy to the Russian one to stage their protest. London 24 reports "The demonstrators chanted and held banners demanding “Hands off Ukraine”, and waved placards accusing president Vladimir Putin of being the “Russian aggressor” whilst singing: “Putin is a murderer” and “stop the occupation”." Similar protests took place in Washington. But across Washington some Keystone pipeline proesters were arrested.
The right-wing Telegraph asks if Russia’s anti-government movement, inspired by last week’s extraordinary events in Ukraine, could topple Putin but concludes it still has much work to do.
The west has threatened to boycott the next G8 summit scheduled to be held in Sochi in June. Sunday the UK joined France, the USA and Canada in suspending preparations for the summit. The chess game continues.
There are reports that Russian trrops have been seen digging trenches along some Ukrainian borders. There is a great deal of sabre rattling taking place but somewhere along the line the bluffing will stop and reality will take over unless we can pull back from the brink.
Channel news Asia
Ukraine and Poland are hosting the UEFA Football Championships in 2012. The event kicks off, literally, on June 8 in Warsaw, Poland.. On the face of it this is all good news for football fans in the Ukraine and Poland and for the countries as a whole. An increase in visitors and the money which they spend is good news, isn't it?
Well in these two countries it may not be.
We recently published a report from PETA regarding the killing of dogs in the Ukraine. According to PETA, "Did you know that in Ukraine, dogs are being shot or poisoned and left to endure agonizing deaths? Watch the new PETA video to see the shocking animal abuse that the Ukrainian government is trying to hide from the rest of the world.
The 2012 European Football Championship will begin next month, and host countries Poland and Ukraine are busily preparing for the games. In Ukraine, this preparation includes a barbaric attempt to purge the streets of homeless animals in order to keep the misery of abandoned and neglected dogs out of the public eye.
While the clearest solution to animal overpopulation is to promote spay-and-neuter initiatives, homeless animals in Ukraine are being caught and then shot or poisoned and thrown into mass graves or crematoriums to be burned."
An email from a concerned animal volunteer today, May 31, 2012, included an update. Elaine has been contacting mainstream news agencies in order to publicise this senseless and brutal killing. Here is what she wrote,
The slaughtering of dogs and cats (mostly dogs and said to be in the many thousands) is still going on in the Ukraine but the emphasis lately seems to be on the racism of football fans in the Ukraine and Poland.
It seems The People newspaper is the only British paper to have done a follow up on this massacre last month!!
So what can you do? Sign any petitions you can find online. Contact embassies and get the news out. Use Facebook, Twitter and other means online to make sure this terrible killing is not swept under the carpet. It must be stopped. A boycott of the football would be a good course of action but football fans may balk at that. However just how safe foreign fans will be in the Ukraine and Poland is debatable.
In recent days we have seen footage of police in the Ukraine wielding their own rough justice plus neo nazis threatening foreigners to stay away, especially if they are not white skinned. Ukrainian officials have hit back at allegations of racism but the evidence is there. Even Ukrainian Sex Shops are hoping for a boom in industry but it is worth noting that HIV rates in the Ukraine are the worst in Eastern Europe.
So visit the European football competition in Poland or the Ukraine and you could come back home with far more than you bargained for. UK BBC program Panorama aired earlier this week, showing a stark picture of football violence in the Ukraine but the authorities have promised to protect foreign visitors.
The Ukraine has a terrible human rights record. It needs the UEFA champions to be a success. It needs the money. However unless it cleans up its act it will be far from a success.
For this blogger cleaning up the streets by killing dogs will not help their cause. It is unnecessary, costly and cruel. Time is running out for the Ukraine and Poland. For too many dogs time has already run out. Stop the killing NOW.
Eileen Kersey manages TEK Staff Blog