Tuesday, 18 April 2017
On 17 April 1945, the Nazis executed Hannie Schaft, a brave Dutch communist antifascist fighter. Hannie… or the “Red-haired girl”… started her antifascist fight with small acts. She used to steal ID cards for Jewish residents. Upon leaving university, she joined the Raad van Verzet or “Council of Resistance”, a resistance movement that had close ties to the Communist Party of the Netherlands. Rather than act as a courier, Schaft wanted to work with weapons. She was responsible for sabotaging and assassinating various targets. She carried out various attacks on Germans and Dutch Nazis, collaborators, and traitors. The Nazis eventually arrested her at a military checkpoint in Haarlem on 21 March 1945, whilst distributing the illegal communist newspaper de Waarheid. After interrogation, torture, and solitary confinement, Dutch Nazi officials identified and assassinated Schaft on 17 April 1945.
17 April 2017
On Monday, Minister of Foreign Affairs S V Lavrov said after talks with his Senegalese counterpart Mankeur Ndiaye:
We again stated the need to consolidate efforts of the entire international community in the fight against this universal evil, as President Putin said some 18 months ago addressing the UN General Assembly. We should carry out all steps based on international law and the UN Charter. In this context, we discussed the illegal and aggressive steps of US aviation when they carried out strikes on an airbase in Syria, which only exacerbated the situation and hindered, maybe on purpose, the search for a political settlement.
On April 7, the US military fired 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles from warships in the Mediterranean Sea on al-Shayrat Airbase located in Syria’s Homs Governate. Reportedly, the US attack on Syrian government forces came in response to the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria’s Idlib Governate on 4 April. According to Minoborony data, Syrian warplanes carried out airstrikes on 4 April that hit workshops where terrorists were producing chemical munitions supplied to Iraq and used in Aleppo. However, Washington concluded that Damascus used chemical weapons.
Russia Demands Explanation on OPCW Investigation
Moscow will demand an explanation on the investigation into the alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria conducted by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). Recently, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson put the blame on the Syrian government, as well as on Russia and Iran who support Damascus, but failed to provide any evidence, only saying that British experts already studied the samples collected on the scene and came to the conclusion that sarin or some similar substances had been used. It’s an interesting coincidence that the British representatives heading the fact-finding mission didn’t say anything to anyone but British experts were able to study the samples. Today, we’ll file a request demanding an explanation on what’s going on. I expect that there’ll be an answer. The situation isn’t easy, but let’s hope that the majority of countries understand what’s happening. We won’t allow anyone to disrupt efforts aimed at settling the Syrian crisis based on a UN Security Council Resolution.
“We’re Convinced that the Pace Shouldn’t be Lost”
As for the upcoming meeting on Syria in Geneva, we plan it for a period after 3-4 May, that is, after a new round of talks in Astana. We hope that UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura would find an appropriate date because some hints say that the holy month of Ramadan is beginning in late May, and perhaps it’d be appropriate to wait until it is over. We’re convinced that the pace shouldn’t be lost, especially in a situation when the political process is endangered. I mean, the strike against the al-Shayrat aerodrome and the desire of many actors both inside Syria and from amongst the external opposition to exploit this situation to switch the blame fully to the Assad régime and take up a course of a departure from a political settlement to unilateral actions to overthrow the Syrian government.
17 April 2017
DNR Honcho Zakharchenko Visits Front Several Times a Week… He Expects Intensification of Hostilities Soon
Today, on an online forum beamed at the Ukrainian people, DNR Head of State A V Zakharchenko said:
What’s my schedule? Every day is different. A few times a week, I try to visit the front to chat with the guys, to help them in any way I can. In general, it’s important that if you want to know the war, you have to know what the grunts in the trenches are thinking. Otherwise, you’re just “a general without an army”.
In addition, Zakharchenko receives daily reports from the military and his ministers, after that, he holds working meetings or goes on inspections. Zakharchenko noted:
My usual day ends late at night; sometimes, I must solve urgent problems before morning. Therefore, it’s hard, of course, but not boring. What about rest? I try to find time to get away with my family. That’s the best kind of holiday.
DNR Head of State A V Zakharchenko responded to a question on online media:
In the near future, we expect further intensification [of action on the contact line between our forces]. That’s to put it mildly. Our intelligence reports that the other side is fully prepared to move to full-scale hostilities. Well, we’ve already formed strike groups in vital areas. Yes, we’re waiting for it.
14 April 2017
DAN Donetsk News Agency