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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 10/17/19

Under Fire From Ukraine and Misperceived by the West

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There is a Nazi state in the middle of Europe in the 21st Century. They are dangerous both for us and for the Western world. If they finish with us, they will do the same in the Western world.

Ukraine has a big propaganda machine, and the censorship of Western media helps.

I was raised believing in the Western ideals of human rights and democracy. And what do I have? I have no human rights. Ukrainian Nazis can kill me and they can go to the European Parliament and they will be considered heroes. They can kill without court, without justice, without anything.

Western countries support war crimes, support the killing of our people just because we speak our native language, Russian. That's the only reason to kill us, just because we like Russia and speak Russian.

They can kill you. They consider all the journalists as Russian propagandists. Their military can shoot you and never face justice. That goes against my understanding of human rights."

Mine 6-7 Area residents terrorized nightly

"Don't film the soldiers with us," Dmitry instructed as we drove. "They are afraid for their families because the Ukrainians sometimes take the families of the military as hostages."

The road was overgrown with weeds, grass, and unpruned tree limbs. Maintenance is impossible during wartime. The positive side is that in areas close to the frontlines, such growth prevents snipers from seeing people are on the road.

"We're very close to the front line," Dmitry announced.

We got out of the car and walked down the lane to the first of a few houses in the area. Some residents agreed to have their testimonies recorded on video; others did not, believing that if Ukrainians saw their houses published on video, they would be targeted. Others are still worried about repercussions when they make the monthly, time-consuming trek to Ukraine to receive their pensions (involving slow bus travel, long lines, and the fear of being singled out for having spoken to journalists about their lives under Ukraine's war).

A spunky 74-year-old woman, whose home has been shelled on more than one occasion, agreed to be filmed and took me to the back of her house to show me the latest damage. There were two strikes there; her basement is destroyed. The outer wall of her house is damaged and leaning. She worries the wall will collapse, as with a similarly damaged front wall, and worries about how she'll be able to patch up the damage before winter comes. She lives alone.

"I'm afraid at night; that's when they start shelling heavily," she tells me. The nights are terrifying, hell for her. I ask if she ever considers leaving. "To where? I have nowhere to go. My husband is dead."

I asked her who is firing these shells. She gestured in the direction of a village under Ukrainian control.

I asked if things had changed since Zelensky became president of Ukraine.

"It became worse. Before, I at least had windows. Now, they constantly shell, especially in the evening and early morning."

I asked if she feels the OSCE are being effective. "No, they change nothing, especially not here."

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Republished from Eva Bartlett In Gaza:  Eva is a Canadian independent journalist and activist. She has spent years on the ground covering conflict zones in the Middle East, especially in Syria and Palestine. She is a recipient of the International Journalism Award for International Reporting. Visit her personal (more...)
 

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