Arkadiy Babchenko is a member of nearly extinct species – a Russian
journalist trying to make sense of situation in Eastern Ukraine
without giving fan service to official position of Russian
government. He is not afraid of asking honest questions and of being
beaten up for it. Sticking to ethical principles made him a pariah of
russian journalism. His work is published in his blog and is
supported by donations from the readers. Many used his blog for
reference; many others branded him a “national traitor” because
of it. Arkadiy kept us informed on Second Chechen War, war in
Georgia, revolution in Kyrgyzstan and protests in Turkey.
He also was at Maidan in 2013 and 2014.
(Interview via Anastasiya Ryngis)
Q: What is the difference between the situation in Slovyansk and the conflicts you have worked on before?
A: All wars are the same. Nobody notices how and when exactly they start. Nobody is taking it seriously and everyone is saying that the “shootings” will end very soon and the war will not really happen. And then the conflict spins out of control and a full-scale war is on our hands. The only thing that stands out in Slovyansk is the real effort Ukrainian Army puts into avoiding the civilian casualties. I saw this with my own eyes and it is really out of ordinary.
"This war did not start when Russian special forces invaded Donetsk
and Luhansk, nor did it begin with the annexation of Crimea. In the
modern historical perspective this war began with the free Ukrainians'
rebellion against the criminal regime of Yanukovych and Russian FSB
agents' lame attempts to quell the revolution. First victims of this
war between Russia and Ukraine were Maidan activists - kidnapped,
tortured, beaten and murdered, and the Heavenly Hundred, laid to
death by the snipers."
“The skirmishes in the east of today represent the enemy’s attempt to strike back after losing the critical battle in Kyiv and almost everywhere else in Ukraine. Today the enemy is vying for the revanche in the east.”
Russian journalist Dmitry Steshyn, a reporter for “Komsomolskaya Pravda” asked the terrorists in Slovyansk to find and kidnap his German colleague Paul Ronzheimer. Ronzheimer is writing for Bild news magazine. According to Steshyn, Ronzheimer’s capture was necessary, because Ronzheimer wrote about the illegal referendum on the creation of Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) in a “wrong” way. Internet media “20 minutes” learned about this incident from russian journalist Pavel Kanygin, who works for “Novaya Gazeta”.
Pavel Kanygin was captured by separatist militants in Donetsk region. He was able to regain his freedom after another journalist, Stefan Scholl of German Sudwest Presse, ransomed him. Pavel Kanygin wrote on his Facebook page:
“Just now I met my namesake Pol Ronzheimer from Berlin’s Bild, who is hiding from the Slovyansk militants. They declared him a wanted man after he published several pieces about organization of carousel voting, in which groups of voters using absentee ballots wereshuttled between polling stationsto vote repeatedly during this referendum. He is fine so far. He said that Dmitry Steshyn from “Komsomolka” informed the militants about his articles and asked them to catch and detain him”. Kanygin also asked Dmitry Steshyn whether this information was true. Continue reading
The Ministry of the Foreign Affairs of Ukraine (MFA) offered Russian Federation a plan to make a confederation out of Russia, which involves having several official state languages to ensure equal representation of ethnic minorities in the matters of state and politics.
Yevheniy Perebiynis, the head of the MFA’s Department of Information Policy, commented on Russia’s proposal of Ukrainian federalization and upholding the rights of Ukrainian citizens, at a briefing on Monday, March 31. Mr. Perebiynis pointed out that the Russians’ forceful suggestions on Ukraine’s federal organization, political, economic and sociocultural life were grossly inappropriate.