“Is Ukraine United?” Conference in the University of Ottawa

An Insight and International Community Viewpoint at Euromaidan Revolution and the Rebellion in Donbass

Conference at the University of Ottawa  (December 4, 2014)

Press release

The leading political scientists and sociologists in Canada shared their thoughts on the civil war in Ukraine.  It is noteworthy, that their view of the so called “Russian aggression” and Russia’s support of the militia in Donbass is different from the official line taken by the Government of Canada and mainstream media. By the same token, the existing issue of fascism in the country and numerious cases of war crimes committed by the Ukrainian armed forces and the so called National Guard,  are kept quiet.

Ivan Katchanovski, PhD, School of Political Studies and Communication Department, University of Ottawa, shared his research paper with conference participants. He based his paper on the statistics from the Kiev International Institute of Sociology and the Alexander Razumkov Ukrainian Centre for Economic and Political Research. In his paper he tried to support the idea that except for the Lugansk and Donetsk regions, which declared themselves independent republics, there is a growth of nationalistic and patriotic (meaning anti-Russian) sentiment on the rest of the Ukrainian territory. However, the objectivity of the sociological surveys and their representation are highly questionable.

In conditions of civil war, with polarized attitudes of many ethnic and social groups, at the peak of openly Nazi and Russophobic propaganda in the Ukrainian media, acts of violence against civilians by illegal armed groups, it is highly unlikely to have to rely on the objectivity of such surveys.

The report of the independent researcher Olga Ostriichuk, PhD  “Ukraine Above All: the Role of the Extreme Right in the National Reconquista” showed the leading role of nationalist organizations such as Svoboda Party in the events on Maidan.

The report “Mobilization of Not Liable to Mobilization: Donbass Reaction to the Revolution on Donbass” by Halyna Mokrushyna, Professor of Sociology at the University of Ottawa, drew special attention of the English-speaking participants. According to the 2001 census, 74.92%  of Russian  and 24.1% of Ukrainians lived in the Donbass, what’s more, 87.8% of the population called Russian their mother tongue.

A ban on the official use of the Russian language has triggered protests and the demand for the federalization of the unitary Ukraine in order to provide more rights to the regions.

When the Acting President of Ukraine Turchinov ordered the military suppression of protests in Donetsk and Lugansk regions, it prompted civil war in the East and South of Ukraine, the referendum, and finally, independent Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics were proclaimed unilaterally. As an example, Halyna Mokrushina, pointed to the head of the Donetsk People’s Republic who requested to stop the glorification of the nationalist groups OUN (the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists) and URA (the Ukrainian Rebel Army), both of which collaborated with the German invaders during the Second World War. For many university students it was quite a discovery.

Paul Robinson, the professor in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa,  Doctor of Philosophy in Modern History from the University of Oxford, gave specific examples in his report “Russia’s Role in the War in Donbass” to rebut claims coming from the leaders of USA, Canada, and Western countries about Russian aggression in Ukraine.

‘This military conflict is not a war between Ukraine and Russia,’ said Professor Robinson, ‘90% of the rebel militia in the East are Ukrainian citizens.’

Paul Robinson noted that even the most Russophobic western journalists could not find any evidence of Russian armed forces presence on the territory of Ukraine. Moreover, according to the speaker, Russia strongly encouraged the militias in Novorossiya to negotiate with the official Kiev and try to resolve the crisis peacefully.

‘Neither Ukraine nor the United States and European Union are going to help the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, to provide residents with pensions, benefits, and food, to repair industry and infrastructure. Russia is the only country that is willing to do that,’ concluded Paul Robinson.

“Led by the United States, NATO’s Accountability for the Crisis in Ukraine” was the topic of James Bissett’s speech, the former Canadian Ambassador to Yugoslavia, Albania and Bulgaria in the 1990s. He described the current situation in Ukraine as terrible and tragic, ‘This war is absolutely unnecessary! It is very sad when Ukrainians are killing Ukrainians.’

James Bissett believes that the tragedy is not only in the East but on the entire territory of Ukraine.

Ukraine-European Union Association Agreement is not worth a dollar, while Putin signed and began to execute the agreement on granting Ukraine $ 15 billion. I believe that NATO, led by the United States, is primarily accountable for what is happening in this country, as well as for what happened in Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Somalia.

Former Canadian diplomat considers that the expansion of NATO eastward and violation of the international law is a serious mistake of the USA.

I personally witnessed how America was destroying Yugoslavia. It started  with Bosnia, when Washington took the side of the Bosnian Muslim leader Alija Izetbegovic, who was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and followed the radical views. In February 1992, US Ambassador Warren Zimmermann insisted that Izetbegovic withdrew his signature from the agreement for the political resolution of Bosnia independence. The agreement included the federalization and decentralization of power. The residents of Donetsk and Lugansk regions were trying to achieve similar goals. The result of volitions of the agreement on Bosnia is well known – 200,000 died in the civil war. The case of Kosovo was the same. Then the US falsified documents about the alleged “humanitarian catastrophe”, which led to bombing Yugoslavia for 78 days and nights. Thus, the United States not only violated the UN Charter, the international law, but also Article 1 of the NATO Charter, which explicitly prohibits the use of armed forces to settle conflicts without proper authorization from the United Nations.