Voices from Russia

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Ukrainian Oppos Reject Amnesty… Yanukovich Gets the Flu

viktor yanukovich


The Rada passed an amnesty for anti-government rioters jailed during recent public unrest, but on Thursday, oppositionists rejected the initiative, describing it as an attempt to undermine their cause. The Rada, which has a Regions/KPU majority, passed the amnesty law by 232 votes, six more than the required minimum, overnight Wednesday. The law mandates the release of rioters arrested since the current anti-government protests began in November. However, it only comes into effect if the opposition vacates occupied buildings and opens up blocked streets in central Kiev.

Opposition politicians described the amnesty proposal as creating a hostage situation. According to media reports, UDAR leader Vitaly Klichko said that the new law would “raise the temperature in society”. Other opposition leaders told demonstrators gathered on the Maidan that there were procedural violations during the passage of the bill and confirmed that the activists who created a large camp protected by barricades on the Maidan would stay there. On Thursday, Svoboda chieftain Oleg Tyagnibok said that the opposition must comply with the law within 15 days or the government wouldn’t free the detained rioters. The amnesty bill is part of a package of concessions from the authorities, who have struggled to cope with a recent violent escalation of protests, during which at least three demonstrators were killed.


Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich went on sick leave Thursday, prompting oppositionists to accuse him of inaction during the current political crisis. A statement on the presidential website said that Yanukovich was on sick leave with “an acute respiratory illness accompanied by a high temperature”. A senior Regions Rada deputy, Mikhail Chechetov, said that Yanukovich “looked ill” whilst meeting with lawmakers late Wednesday to discuss amnesty for detained rioters. The Presidential Administration didn’t say how long they expected Yanukovich to be off work, or whether he was able to perform his presidential duties in the meantime. The oppositionist UDAR bloc said of the President’s illness, “[It’s] an attempt to avoid resolving the current political crisis. By being on sick leave, he can prevent the dictatorship laws from being cancelled, shun representatives of the opposition and global community, and avoid urgent measures to resolve the political crisis”.

On Thursday, Justice Minister Yelena Lukash said that Yanukovich had 15 days to sign into law a bill cancelling a series of unpopular anti-protest laws that sparked riots, leading to clashes with police. UNIAN quoted her as saying, “We’ll submit the bill submitted to the presidential administration today, and the president will have 15 days to sign it”. She said that he’d sign the bill into law after the Cabinet of Ministers and the Justice Ministry look at the legislation and tell him their conclusions.

30 January 2014



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Simonenko: How to Stop a Civil War in the Ukraine

00 KPU member. the Ukraine. 30.01.14


The KPU expresses its condolences for the tragic loss of life during the armed clashes provoked by neo-Nazi extremists on Grushevsky Street in Kiev. Responsibility for these deaths, for the bloodshed and violence, rests in equal measure on those in power and on so-called “opposition” leaders, ultra-nationalist militant factions, and foreign politicians, who urge people to “radicalise the protests” and “fight to the bitter end”. This has brought the Ukraine to the brink [of a civil war]. We demand that the government and opposition leaders immediately remove Svoboda militants and other criminal elements from the streets of Kiev, to stop the use of force, to make sure of non-interference in the internal affairs of the Ukraine by foreign powers and their surrogates. Any attempts to create parallel structures of power such as a “People’s Rada” or an “interim president” and the like will only strengthen the opposition and create a real threat of escalating the conflict into civil war. One part of the population will support the current government, and the other, the self-proclaimed opposition, which would inevitably lead to a final split of the Ukraine. The KPU is ready to present concrete proposals to resolve the situation. We believe it necessary to:

  1. Declare a referendum to define the Ukraine’s integration into foreign economic bodies
  2. Carry out political reform, abolish the office of Ukrainian President, and install a parliamentary republic, significantly enlarging the rights of territorial communities
  3. Adopt a new electoral law to return to a proportional system of elections of Ukrainian People’s Deputies in the Rada
  4. In order to overcome administrative chaos and make sure of strict control over the government and politicians, to set up an independent civilian body of ”national control”, giving it broad powers
  5. Adopt judicial reform and begin election of judges

From the beginning, the KPU warned that rejecting democratic mechanisms for solving social disputes, to ban an all-Ukrainian referendum [on EU accession], which came jointly from the government and the so-called opposition, could be catastrophic. It isn’t too late; we can still find a peaceful solution to the political crisis. We urge people to condemn extremism, not to succumb to provocations, and to demand constructive talks with the President, the leaders of political parties, and public organisations. The KPU declares that there’s no other way to stop the escalating violence and the destruction of the country!

27 January 2014

Pyotr Simonenko

The Green Star



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30 January 2014. There’s Good Shit Out There… Charity Award in Honour of Nadezhda Monetova

00 Nadezhda Monetova. Russia. 30.01.14


A friend sent me this:

The MP Synodal Department of Church Charity and Social Service established an award named after Nadezhda Monetova, an employee who died tragically in 2012. She worked for the Orthodox movement to help the homeless. This award will go to volunteers and social activists helping the homeless. When she was 20, Nadezhda was homeless, then, an Orthodox social activist found her near a church and he invited her to his facility. She worked helping homeless people for 10 years. At the end, a drunk on a train stabbed her, leading to her death.

Yes, Virginia, there’s good shit out there. It needs no comment from me. For my friend, I say, Vous savez qui vous êtes… mon amitié et de gratitude tendre la main pour vous…

Without the aid of MANY, I’d be nothing…


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Famous Singer and Social Activist Pete Seeger Died in the USA

00 Pete Seeger. 30.01.14





The famous American folksinger Pete Seeger died at the age of 94. A performer and social activist, he was at the forefront of contemporary American folk music; many called him the “conscience of America” ​​and “folk hero”. His record company Appleseed Recordings said that Seeger died of natural causes in hospital in New York. Seeger gained fame not only for his songs, but also for his leftist political views and environmentalism, being an early anti-Vietnam War activist, and later opposed the Iraq War. He once went to prison for refusing to testify before Congress about his ties with Communists {no… he ALMOST went to gaol… a higher court overturned his sentence: editor}. Reuters reported that despite his advanced age, Seeger performed until recently. In January 2009, he gave a concert to honour US President Barack Obama‘s inauguration. In May of the same year, he celebrated his 90th birthday at a concert in New York, attended by 15,000 spectators. A representative of Appleseed Recordings noted, “Like a ripple on the water’s surface, Seeger’s music went through the whole Earth, carrying a message of nonviolence, peace, and justice, as well as equality for all”.

Seeger was born in New York on 3 May 1919, the son of music teachers. His father was a specialist in ethnic music, and his mother was a cellist. Thanks to his father, he became interested in folk music. He once admitted in an interview that he and his father visited a music festival in North Carolina, and he “fell in love with the banjo“. His musical career began at the dawn of the 1940s, founding The Almanac Singers. In 1949, he was a founder of The Weavers. These groups’ influence led to the well-known music of Bob Dylan and other figures in the American folk music revival of the 1960s. The Weavers number one hit was Goodnight, Irene. By 1952, they sold over 4 million records. In 1997, Seeger won a Grammy for the album Pete; in 2009, he won it again for his recording At 89. One of his most famous songs was Where Have All the Flowers Gone?, which became an anthem of the anti-war movement. He founded the environmental group Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, focused on cleaning up the Hudson River, and he wrote several children’s books. Seeger’s wife Toshi, whom he married in 1941 and with whom he had three children, died last year.

 28 January 2014



Editor’s Note:

I’ve concentrated on the Russian reaction to Pete’s death… as he was very popular there, along with Paul Robeson. Anything else is easily obtainable on the web. However, don’t forget that there are those who’re identical in spirit to the McCarthyites who persecuted Pete. They’re concentrated amongst Republicans (especially neocons and libertarians (how ironic!)), but Interventionist Democrats are likeminded cruds, let me tell you. Pete fought Red Channels, HUAC, Joe McCarthy, and J Edgar Hoover… we have to fight the TSA, the Department of Homeland (In)Security, PRISM, Gitmo, and the whole perverted legacy of Slobberin’ Ronnie and the Bushies. The fight goes on… and Pete’s here with us… I dreamt I saw Joe Hill last night, alive as you or me … I never died, said he...


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