Friday, 15 August 2014

Kiev, US and EU Stall Humanitarian Aid - Why?

By Michael Collins - Posted on 13 August 2014
The United States and European Union created a horror show for millions by enabling acts in support of the extremist government of Ukraine.  The horror comes in the form of Ukraine government attacks on towns and cities in the southeastern regions, attacks initiated by the central government in Kiev. After months of these war crimes, the Kiev government now threatens to stall a massive shipment of urgent humanitarian aid for devastated metropolitan areas of nearly two million people including the large cities of Donetsk (1.0 million) and Lugansk (.5 million). (Image:  Russian aid convoy, RT)
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) identified the emerging humanitarian crisis in mid July and called for immediate aid.  ICRC executive Laurent Corbaz said:
"It is urgent that aid reaches people in Lugansk and in other areas in the eastern part of the country, which have sustained heavy fighting over the past weeks. The situation is critical – thousands of people are reported to be without access to water, electricity and medical aid." Laurent Corbaz, UCRC, Aug 8
Russia worked with ICRC and put together a 280-truck relief convoy. On August 12, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced what seemed to be agreement on safe passage for the aid convey from the Russian boarder to those in need:
"We have agreed on a route convenient for the Kiev authorities. We agreed that our trucks would have Ukrainian number plates during their way through Ukrainian territory. We also agreed to take on board not only the representatives of the Red Cross and the OSCE, but also representatives of the Ukrainian authorities." Foreign Minister Serge Lavrov, Aug 12
This seemed to settle the Kiev's fear that somehow Russia would use the trucks as Trojan Horses for a military mission.   The Irish Times ran this headline at just after midnight:
Ukraine's government wants to conduct an inspection of the aid, which could take a week according to Ukraine authorities.
The Irish Independent.IE reported support from major leaders supporting Ukraine's delay tactics. Frances President Francois Hollande, the EU's humanitarian aid commissioner, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry each endorsed the delay of food and medical supplies. Kerry said:
"Our hope is that in the next days and weeks, we can find a way for President Petro Poroshenko and Ukraine to be able to work with the Russians to provide humanitarian aid in the east." Secretary of State John Kerry, Independent.IE, Aug 13
People are suffering, the situation is urgent according to the Red Cross, and aid is on its way. Russia's foreign minister offered a space in every truck for representatives from the Ukraine government, ICRC, and the Office for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). But the word from Kiev and Washington, DC is clear - there will be at least a week delay.
Why Delay Urgently Needed Humanitarian Aid
Why indeed? Haven't the people suffered enough?
Apparently not. A blog close to the Ukrainian separatist resistance provided context for the delay:
"According to the messages from the locals, a general offensive of the junta military on Donetsk will start with a very high probability in the nearest three days."Colonel Cassad-English, Aug 11
If Kiev, with U.S. support, plans to attack Donetsk, a city of 1.0 million, in three days, they certainly don't want a bunch of Red Cross and Russian emergency aid personnel handing out food, supplies and medicine at the same time. What's the answer to this problem? Delay the convoy and accuse the Russian's of doing exactly what Ukraine plans to do - stage and carry out a military attack.
The next attack by Kiev risks more lives than those in the towns and cities currently under assault. Recently, Ukraine army shells hit a Donetsk chemical plant, Sitrol. The status of the plant is tentative. More shelling risks spreading the chemical poison in a 300-kilometer radius threatening the health of millions in that area.   The impact area includes Donetsk, Lugansk, most of the anti-Kiev areas, and the Russian Federation territory on the Ukraine border.
A chemical catastrophe will provide just one more excuse to delay aid to those in need. If that very tragic event occurs, the government and Secretary of State Kerry can say, "Sorry, this isn't the right type of aid."
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