In a world of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act, George Orwell
Indignez-vous ! Stéphane Hessel
“Le courage c’est de chercher la vérité et de la dire ; c’est de ne pas subir la loi du mensonge triomphant qui passe, et de ne pas faire écho, de notre âme, de notre bouche et de nos mains aux applaudissements imbéciles et aux huées fanatiques ”.” – Djordje Kuzmanovic
samedi 27 juin 2015
The legacy of both the 1999 Kosovo conflict & that of Macedonia still echo today.
Trafficking of illegal migrants is having a profound impact on several EU countries, notably Hungry. In response, Hungarian authorities have stated they will construct an anti-migrant barrier, such to the disgust of Brussels. It has been an increasing headache since the beginning of 2015. To add to the woes, thousands of Kosovar & Macedonian Albanians have left in droves for EU countries. Just in February 2015, it was reported that “Some 10,000 Kosovars filed for asylum in Hungary in just one month this year, compared to 6,000 for the whole of 2013.” (http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/kosovo-thousands-illegal-migrants-try-enter-eu-via-serbia-hungary-1486929). Austria received 1,901 asylum applications from Kosovo in 2014, but registered 1,029 in January 2015 alone. In Germany, applications from Kosovars since January have rocketed up to 18,000. According to some media estimates, around 100,000 have left since August 2014, with a noticeable spike starting in January 2015.
The western press gives some vague reasons such poverty & political instability for departures but fails to cite that this suddenly didn’t start spontaneously. Some articles also mention the high levels of corruption in Kosovo. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/04/us-kosovo-eu-migrants-idUSKBN0L811120150204
Kosovo's Foreign Minister Hashim Thaci blamed human traffickers for spreading rumours that people could get asylum in EU countries. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/03/us-kosovo-europe-idUSKBN0LZ1FW20150303 Yes, this is the same Thaci that according to a 2010 Council of Europe report, “Hashim Thaci and other Kosovo guerrillas, ran a criminal ring in 1999 that targeted Serbs, Romas and also ethnic Albanians.” Even German intelligence sounded the alarm on Thaci, in a report that accuses Thaci of leading a "criminal network operating throughout Kosovo by the end of the 1990s”. Maybe another tiny clue is in what the Albanian Prime Minister, Edi Rama, stated in April 2015, where he hinted at his displeasure at the slow process of EU talks for Albania & Kosovo. Moreover, he said that “the two countries will be forced to unite in a classical way”, if the EU path is blocked. Did someone take this opportunity to play the migration card & open the floodgates & then realized too late the impact that it has on Kosovo? Funny way of getting Brussel’s attention?
Maybe impatience with the EU at the political level is somehow linked to Kosovo citizens’ impatience with their broken political system, leaving on mass northwards. Remember it is a political system planned & created by the US & EU; it is the ‘cherished’ example of the "Euro-Atlantic family".
“Aspects of security and lack thereof in Kosovo can easily leech through the porous borders of neighbouring countries and Europe certainly is not impervious.” Written on March 23 2015, this became a reality in May, with events in Kumanovo, Macedonia. Albanian terrorists - some from Kosovo tried to take over a village, but were eventually killed or arrested by armed police & military squads. Incidentally, the attack took place while the Macedonian President, Gjorge Ivanov, was in Moscow, for the parade celebrating the 70th anniversary of the defeat of the Nazis. http://www.atlantic-community.org/-/kosovo-migrants-and-the-road-to-european-accession
“Diplomats fear political instability may harm Macedonia's fragile interethnic peace, barely 15 years after it narrowly avoided civil war during fighting between government forces and ethnic Albanian guerrillas.” VOA article dated April 2015 http://www.voanews.com/content/united-states-macedonia-alleged-abuses-power/2722813.html . Someone heeded this message & took steps to make sure that this became reality in May.
The armed group belonged to the disbanded Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), with its deep roots in Kosovo. Macedonia blamed Kosovo for the violence, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-32680904 Radial Kosovar Albanian forces that have been dormant for 14 years, suddenly decided to re-active themselves but the reasons why & by who is not at all clear, apparently. The whole 28 hours was totally downplayed by the US & EU authorities, since the KLA, the original 90s version was the one that NATO supported by bombing Yugoslavia. Even today, there is a deep reluctance in Kosovo to look at past events in a different light, http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/06/26/kosovo-fails-to-pave-way-for-tribunal-to-try-wartime-leaders-for-alleged-war/ .
“The next happenings in those territories will reveal us what will be the purposes and outcomes of this kind of action.” http://www.ofcs.eu/2015/06/16/macedonia-is-burning-ucks-new-rising/ .
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenbergs urged “everyone to exercise restraint and avoid any further escalation, in the interest of the country and the whole region.” Notice the language, “exercise restraint”? This is just the latest in a long-running pattern, starting when the Albanians in Kosovo with help of NATO, US & EU broke off from Serbia. Similarly, the Albanians in Macedonia tried to repeat this ‘trick’ & fought in 2001 to secede from Macedonia. Essentially, the Albanians in the region are playing the waiting game to see if Kosovo gets a seat at the UN & EU. An estimated 30 percent of Macedonia's population is Albanian.
More disturbingly, anti-government protests were taking place in the capital, Skopje, largely ignored this tragic event, in which 14 civilians & 8 police officers were also killed. The Western mainstream media didn’t even batter any eyelid. http://www.telegraf.rs/english/1563955-why-is-western-media-silent-about-the-attacks-in-macedonia-nobody-mentions-that-the-war-was-initiated-by-shqiptar-terrorists Instead they played around with woolly words such as “guerrilla warriors” or “gunmen”, but not “terrorist”. Even the likes of HRW focused on the protests: http://www.hrw.org/news/2015/06/22/macedonia-police-violence-protest ; I wish that HRW could be so pedantic in their outlook, when looking at police response to protests in the US (Fergsuon), France (Paris) or Turkey, (Gezi Park). For more details -http://rt.com/news/257661-macedonia-conflict-political-unrest/
The US has been quite vocal about the current Macedonian government, in fact on a visit to Macedonia in April, Hoyt Yee, U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, stated that “there are also questions raised about the possibility of abuse of government power, which also need to be addressed.'' Furthermore, he said "possible official corruption, possible inappropriate government influence over the media, over the judiciary, possible electoral abuse and other abuses of power.'' Pity he couldn’t say the same thing about the current government in Kosovo. Could this be a green light for those planning & developing the May protests, since oddly, the issues cited by the US envoy weren’t new but had been rumbling on in the background for several months. Of course, Kosovo is part of the "Euro-Atlantic family", with the largest US / NATO base in Europe, camp Bondsteel, whereas Macedonia isn’t yet deemed to be considered as part of the family.
There’s a whole lucrative US -backed business to be had, creating ‘revolutions’, favorable to the US way of thinking. Parts of which turned up in Macedonia, notably the NED. [For an idea of the NED in Macedonia - http://www.ned.org/where-we-work/central-and-eastern-europe/macedonia. ] So what was cooked up for Serbia in 2000, in the form of the ‘Bulldozer’ revolution, dropped by 15 years later into Macedonia.
The timing of these events is remarkable, as it just happens to coincidence with the proposed plans for gas pipeline to go through the region. The proposed extension is to connect up the “Turkish stream” gas pipeline, originating in Russia. The EU had successfully stopped South Stream and it is trying hard, along with the US, to create a cordon sanitaire, free of Russia influence in the region. To this end; the EU is trying its power to prevent the construction of the pipeline through Greece, Macedonia & Serbia to reduce energy dependence on Russia gas. Even the US has been vocal on this with a political warning shot to these countries. Take for example the case of Greece. “the State Department envoy, Amos J. Hochstein, said Greece would increase its appeal to Western investors — and would help reduce the European Union’s dependence on Russian gas supplies — if it declined to play host to a pipeline proposed by the Russian state-controlled energy giant Gazprom.” http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/09/business/international/greece-us-russia-energy-pipeline.html?_r=3
Side note: Victoria Nuland, Asst. Sec. of State/Europe is going to Macedonia in July 2015. Interesting times ahead since she was a fundamental part of the script to the Ukraine Maidan «color revolution».
The situation in Serbia
Evidently the Serbian authorities are twitchy about what happened in Kumanovo, close to its border, due to potential resurgence of Albanian terrorism in the Preševo region in southern Serbia. Consequently police officers in the south of the country carry assault rifles: http://www.b92.net/info/vesti/index.php?yyyy=2015&mm=06&dd=24&nav_category=12&nav_id=1007845
More seriously, once more the timing & scale of these events are not random. Serbia has been ‘ticked off’ by the EU for not supporting the EU sanctions against Russia. Serbia is equally keen to participate in the gas pipeline project. No doubt, that there is an oblique swipe at the Serbian authorities to heed the warnings. The Turkish Stream connection in more detail - http://europeanpost.co/macedonia-between-europe-and-russia-the-turkish-stream-issue/
Intriguing events linked to the Balkans
Recently, Ramush Haradinaj was arrested at the airport in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Similarly, Naser Oric was arrested two weeks ago in Switzerland & will be extradited to Bosnia. The timings of both these arrests are intriguing & could in certain instances increase potential strife in the region.
The wider connection - The EU, immigration & the Balkans corridor
There is no will in Brussels to neither address the issues of migration nor seriously tackle the security issues in the region. Europeans have been being taught over decades, to renounce their origin, to renounce their national identity, in exchange for what? Don’t be left in doubt that these huge upheavals in populations not any way planned, as even this UN video talks about how to prepare the world for important population changes. Wonder why this is so? (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwk3bWHoFC0 )
The EU is deeply involved in changing its indigenous population, to accommodate more & more migrants from the rest of the world; hence we have “Pan-European Corridor X” being exploited as an illegal migration route. The desire to change the people of Europe through large-scale immigrant sits hand in hand with the need to dismantle nations. Is this a far-fetched statement? Well, no, look up the “Coudenhove-Kalergi Prize” http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_PRES-12-476_en.htm . Herman von Rompuy accepted the prize in 2012 – on the theme "Peace and the European idea", where he mentioned the EU enlargement plans for the Western Balkans. It was indeed interesting to discover who Coudenhove-Kalergi stood for, as he is widely cited as a as a pioneer of European integration. He published a manifesto entitled “Pan-Europa” but more controversial is his publication “Praktischer Idealismus”. What has this got to do with the Macedonia situation? The EU & the US are keen advocates for Kosovo, as a new European mini state. The creation of Kosovo effectively broke the political back of Serbia but triggered ethnic violence in neighboring Macedonia. The EU, US & NATO legacy in the region has left a bloody trail, which has been conveniently whitewashing for the sake of “EU integration”.
In fact, Brussels, despite a number of well-meaning speeches, has no serious intention to tackle the core security issues, especially in Kosovo. http://www.euronews.com/2015/05/27/eu-failed-to-lay-foundations-to-fight-corruption-in-kosovo/ Kosovo is deemed to be part of the EU fabric but there is no will to tackle the nasty criminal elements that latched on the highest levels of political power. Any attempts to lift the carpet and reveal the murky nature of Kosovo, is quickly shut down. An example of this is the case of the British EULEX whistleblower, Maria Bamieh, over allegations of corruption. EULEX was created in 2009 to help Kosovo with access to EU integration.
The Guardian article cites “During Eulex’s six-year tenure, analysts in Pristina say, corruption and organized crime in the political system since independence in 2008 has worsened.” To think that this is does not have an impact on the ordinary people in Kosovo. It seems that years & years of total frustration has vented itself into a mass exodus over out of Kosovo. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/nov/05/eu-facing-questions-dismissal-prosecutor-alleged-corruption
The significant problem with all of this is that illegal migration is heavily assisted by criminal groups, nearly all of which are Albanian / Albanian Kosovar. This is the case in the Balkans where illegals have to pay a ‘fee’ or a ransom to be able to continue with their journey northwards. Take this quote from a Channel 4 documentary: “High powered ethnic Albanian mafia – the sort of men who can take on the Macedonian state in open combat and could be relied on to violently protect their share in the profits from human traffic.” This UK programme dared to look into this - “lifted a lid on an operation that generates millions of euros a year for criminal networks” http://www.channel4.com/news/tracking-down-macedonias-migrant-kidnap-gang
Recent events has once more made Kosovo a key element & base in the US global struggle for control; to crush pro-Russian sentiment. The US is no stranger to using brutal & very heavy handed methods to ensure compliance. What could be better than to undermine & overwhelm the political order in countries such as Macedonia & Serbia with illegal migrants & "gunmen" threatening energy projects?
Kosovo reads the script well, judging by Thaci's comments back in April:"The EU should not delay the accession and enlargement processes and integration of Kosovo and the region into the European Union, but also in NATO," He then added
"Any delay in this process is a dangerous one. It opens the way for penetration and the increase of influence of Russia in political terms, economic term and military terms," http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/03/us-kosovo-europe-idUSKBN0LZ1FW20150303
A look at Macedonia
Illegal human trafficking in Macedonia
Deaths in Macedonia on the trafficking route: https://twitter.com/maledictus/status/613983837966725120
mercredi 24 juin 2015
Une prise de vue
La plupart des reportages sur la Russie ne sont pas juste - c'est simplement faux. Voici quelques faits réels: http://russia-insider.com/en/russians-pay-less-tax-you/ri8258 (en anglais) - Les Russes Paient Moins D'Impôt Que Vous Et D'Autres Surprenantes faits.
Je commence avec des infos de l’article de Russia Insider, mais j’ajoute quelques autres aussi. La banalisation des mensonges et des faits négatifs en Russie dans les medias occidentaux, est très parlant.
1. La Russie a un taux fixe d'impôt sur le revenu personnel de juste 13 %. Voyons qu’est que nous avions en France comme taux d'impôt?
2. Le secteur pétrolier et à gaz n'est pas "la moitié" de l'économie. En réalité, même en 2013, cela représenté que 35% du PIB. Il est généralement dit que "plus la moitié" de revenus russes d'état sont tiré de l'activité pétrolière et gaz. Faux.
3. Malgré les mots d'Obama, Poutine ne cherche pas à reconstruire l'Union soviétique. Il a dit « L'effondrement de l'URSS a été la plus grande catastrophe géopolitique du XXe siècle » et aussi « Ceux qui ne regrettent pas la disparition de l’URSS n’ont pas de cœur, mais ceux qui voudraient la refaire n’ont pas de tête. » En plus, de dire que Poutine est un nouvel Hitler est surprenant et très mal vu en Russie. Les russes se souviennent de l’invasion nazie du 22 juin 1941 et le fait que 25 millions de soviétiques sont morts pendant la 2eme guerre mondiale. Cette trauma n’est pas si effaçable dans la Russie.
4. Le président US Barack Obama a récemment dit : "la Russie ne fait rien. Les immigrants n'inondent pas à Moscou dans la recherche du travail. La population se réduit." Il a eu tort sur pas un, pas deux, mais sur tous les trois comptes.
Oui, l’espérance de vie chez les hommes, passée de 64 ans en 1990 à 57 ans en 1996. Mais la population de Russie était 144 million en 2014, par rapport à 2013avec 143,5 million et en 2000 146 million. Depuis 2009, la population du pays augmente légèrement, notamment du fait de l'immigration et d'une hausse de la natalité. En 2015, la population russe avec celle de la Crimée est de 146 267 300 habitants. Parlant de l’immigration en Russie, la Russie est le deuxième pays au monde qui accueille le plus grand nombre d'immigrés (après les États-Unis !).
5. "la Russie ne fait rien », peut-être c’est pourquoi les entreprises spatiales US ont vraiment besoin des fusées russes et la NASA est obligée d’utiliser le Soyuz pour les déplacements de la ISS. Sans parler que la Russie demeure le deuxième exportateur mondial d’armement, derrière les États-Unis !
6. World Bank « Doing Business Ranking » DB2015 rank : 62, DB2014 rank : 64. 2012: 112. Surprenant non?
7. Un perspective a l’arrière. Le revenu réel moyen de la population a atteint une augmentation de 8 % en 2004 et 2005 et de 10 % en 2006 et 2007. Plus d’infos sur 2011 et avant. [Jacques Sapir, “La Russie entre fantasmes et réalité (suite)”, billet publié sur le carnet Russeurope le 05/01/2013, URL: http://russeurope.hypotheses.org/674 ]
La crise économique de 2008 a bien frappé la Russie, mais nous les européens continuent de souffrir.
vendredi 19 juin 2015
The Russian EU gas pipeline saga continues with some amazing twists & turns along the way. Add in political skullduggery & you’ll get just a small glimpse in the utterly underhand attitudes of certain EU members. The latest Gazprom announcement made this week will
certainly be a tear-jerker for some very dumb politicians sitting in Sofia.
“Sputnik reports: Russian energy giant Gazprom announced Thursday that it was intending to construct two a double pipeline from Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea with E.ON, Shell and OMV.
If there are some to down to earth souls in Sofia, surely there should be some gnashing of teeth in anguish tonight. Bulgaria would have been the first beneficiary of the Black Sea undersea South Stream pipeline, with a planned capacity is 63 billion cubic metres per year (bcm/y). Bulgaria would have had gained with all of the transit fees perks attached to the project. The South Stream project got scuttled by Russia, as a result of numerous political sabotage attempts by the EU Commission & some EU member states as well as behind the scenes US administration agitation. This seriously damaged the project politically beyond repair. So President Putin had no other choice but to pull the plug on the project. Putin said: “We didn’t give up South Stream, we were not allowed to implement it.” One of these EU member states that threw away this financial opportunity was Bulgaria. Now Turkey has taken up this baton, through the planned operation of a Turkish Stream, with the European hub on the Turkish-Greek border. Putin stated that if Europe “want our gas in 2019, they should start making appropriate arrangements to collect it from the Turkish stream hub right about now".
“The memorandum demonstrates the intention of the sides to implement the project of construction of two strings of the pipeline from the coast of Russia through the Baltic Sea to the coast of Germany. The capacity of the new pipeline will be 55 billion cubic meters annually,” Gazprom said in a statement.”
Turning back to the next planned phase of Nord Stream rev 2 & rev 3, once more the sole EU beneficiary& end user of this is Germany. We live in interesting times indeed, since the existing Nord Stream only operates just under half capacity. This is due to the EU 3rd energy package, which states that 50% of the pipeline capacity has to be filled by a competitor. The EU 3rd energy package is considered to an anti-Russian trade barrier, as currently there is no other Russian competitor on the market. Essentially, the two extra pipelines direct to Germany will most likely to be only used at 50% capacity as well. That seems to be some fine & dandy footwork on the part of by both Gazprom & Germany to avoid breaching the 3rd energy package rules. Crazy as it seems, but this is a possible scenario. Nord Stream is wholly Russian owned infrastructure, built & operated by Gazprom. Germany as the end-user of Nord Stream will not be allowed by Gazprom to re-sell the gas, if the Nord Stream Terms & Conditions are the same.
With Nord Stream increasing in capacity, with a potential total of 27.5 bcm, Germany takes it all & the other EU member states can squeal as much as they want, since many of them were denied the opportunity to take part in the South Stream, once Bulgaria got cold feet about the project, due to intransigence from the EU Commission. Central European countries are looking into piggy-backing gas supplies from various sources, including the planned Turkish Stream. The latest project being mooted is called Eastring. Another gas pipeline project touted is the "Tesla" project, the idea came about from a meeting in April 2015 of the foreign ministers of Greece, Macedonia, Serbia and Hungary. The stopping of South Stream not only seriously impacted the hopes of EU members in South-East Europe but also Bosnia, Macedonia & Serbia.
Previous background information HERE
The political tone set by the EU: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-15-4842_en.htm
mercredi 17 juin 2015
Les accords de Minsk n'ont aucun valeurs pour les citoyens de Donbass, quotidiennement frappés par les forces de Kiev. Voici un seule témoignage parmi des milliers.
Donbass. La détresse du village Oktyabrsky, Donetsk [sous-titres français]
" Faites savoir que nous sommes exterminés..."
Voila pourquoi les civiles du Donbass sont frappés quasiment tout le temps. Voici un peu de contexte par rapport a la mentalité des "élites" politiques de Kiev.
Lors d’une émission en direct “Le journal de guerre” de la chaine télé 112, un homme politique ukrainien et volontaire en zone de conflit dans le Donbass Dimitri Kortchinski déclara que l’Ukraine doit éliminer les habitants de la RPD et de la RPL et déporter les survivants dans des camps de concentration suivant l’exemple des États Unis.
mardi 16 juin 2015
Donbass is a long standing industrial heartland; with a high concentration of metallurgical & chemical factories. A 2010 report stated that there were over “1,100 industrial enterprises of mining, metallurgical, chemical, power and heavy engineering industries”, located in the region.
“One fifth of the state’s industrial potential – of which 78% consists of environmentally hazardous production facilities of metallurgical and extractive industries, electricity generation and coke industry – is concentrated within the territory of Donetsk Oblast which makes up only 4.4% of the total area of Ukraine.”
The so-called "ATO"- Anti Terrorist Operation has been taking place for just over a year. The steady destruction of the industrial base of Donbass is beginning to be noticed, particularly the environmental aspects. An article by the Zoi environment network deals with this topic & stated this “Although obtaining accurate data is difficult, indications are that the conflict has resulted in a number of civilian health risks, and potentially long-term damage to its environment.” Perversely, this concern has been voiced by Kiev government officials, such as in September 2014, where the Ukrainian Ecology Minister Andriy Mokhnik spoke to Radio Liberty about flooding of coal mines. He stated that “The Russian troops and mercenaries in Donbas are intentionally ruining infrastructure, resulting in catastrophic environmental pollution”. Kiev simply denies the involvement of its army, so-called volunteer groups in the wholesale destruction of Donbass.
On a side note, it beggars belief that Kiev can put the blame squarely on the Russians, when there is ample & clear evidence of Kiev’s deliberation targeting of key infrastructure in the Donbass region. One example of this is the evidence of captured Kiev ATO maps with targeting positions written down. This pathetic political blame game shows the level of absurdity and surreal Catch-22 world that the post-Maidan Kiev government lives in. Even Poroshenko commented on the destruction later in October 2014, where he stated that “half of the infrastructure and 42 percent of the industry” of Lughansk and Donetsk (Donbass) have been destroyed as the result of hostilities. Of course there is a reason for exploiting this topic, since he also mentioned that “But my trips around the world show that we will be able to collect $1 billion from investors and restore Donbass very soon”. So it boils down to trying to get money, supposedly to help the region. He is melodramatizing the conflict since large swaths of Donbass is extremely unlikely to see any of so-called “reconstruction finance”. Indeed to put this into perspective, Kiev has withheld all social security payments & salaries in Donbass, since the beginning of the summer in 2014. By May 2014, the outstanding payments were already to the tune of 5 million hryvnas. Extrapolate this conservative figure for 1 whole year to get an idea of the figure for up to now.
In Euromaiden’s own words, the ecological destruction is briefly described: “In the course of the ATO, artillery targeting has caused fires and explosions at several ecologically dangerous production facilities. Among them are the Avdiyivka and Yasynivsk chemical plants, the Lysychansk oil processing and Kramatorsk industrial engineering plants, as well as the Tochmash and Styrol factories.” Effectively, Kiev’s media has listed the areas damaged in the conflict. Taking into consideration this information, it is possible to put together more details on the deliberation devastation experienced by the people of Donbass. Weapons used include mortar fire, artillery shells, MLRS rockets, and even powerful Tochka-U (SS-21 Scarab) missiles.
A disturbing pattern is revealed, of destruction on a large-scale, including a lengthy list of locations damage or destroyed including railway stations & junctions, hospitals, administrative buildings, marketplaces & bus stations. See the Registry for infrastructure of Donbass: http://www.реестр.укр/en/ . It is therefore not surprising that such industries are deliberately targeted by the ATO forces in order to harass, scare, and suppress the population, by firstly depriving them of a livelihood & secondly by making the physical environment unsustainable. Industrial plants are damaged, destroyed or put out of action. If a plant is hit or destroyed, a range of polluting materials can be released into the air or into the ground, potentially leaving a toxic legacy for civilians in the region.
Case examples of heavy industry shutdown or damage
Here is just a limited selection as examples of the situation in Donbass:
⦁ The Tochmash plant has been regularly targeted even as recently as June 2015,(http://sputniknews.com/voiceofrussia/news/2014_05_26/Ukraine-jets-bomb-Donetsk-airport-reports-9606/)
⦁ The burning of an oil refinery, releasing airborne pollutants. (http://www.unian.info/politics/941176-oil-refinery-is-on-fire-in-lisichansk.html)
⦁ Donetsk Plant of Chemical Products, (DZHI) was severely damaged by a shell that hit its ammunition depot on 21 Sept 2014 & finally destroyed with Scarab rocket on 8 Feb 2015. (Video footage of blast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZztelC-qSog)
⦁ Avdiivka Coke and Chemical Plant (AKHZ) has been hit by 165 mortars during the conflict. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avdiivka_Coke_Plant]
In one specific named case, the area in which the chemical plant ‘Stirol’ is located in Donetsk had been under repeated attacks since May 2014. In August 2014, plant operators feared that a toxic leak of nitrochlorobenzene could be potentially released if the plant is hit. However, the plant stopped ammonia synthesis and processing back in May 2014.
It is not clear if any monitoring is being carried on the effects of infrastructure damage & destruction of facilities. Here is just another small selection of industrial facilities targeted in Donbass, (https://youtu.be/3wOqYNlMz9c), or this twitter message: https://twitter.com/PierreCrom/status/564682462190903296
The State Factory of Chemical Products, Donetsk (July 2015 Update)
A special mention with regards to this, since several Western media outlets have produced articles on a "dirty bomb" being developed by the DNR. These simpled-minded & alarmist articles based on hearsay, provide very little background information on the numerous attacks on the State Factory of Chemical Products.
Addendum 18 June: There is a twist to the series of shelling & missile strikes, in the apparent use of a thermobaric weapon to try to wipe the State Factory of Chemical Products, off the map. It is likely that radiation levels in Donetsk could increase, since according to an expert, there is a nuclear waste storage site in the vicinity. The context of this is truly disturbing if it does happen, as it seems to show the plans of Kiev, to turn parts of Donbass into a ecological wasteland & therefore render it uninhabitable. http://www.ostro.org/general/society/news/473114/
Summary of first 7 months of conflict
In just the first 7 months of the conflict, significant industrial facilities had to be shut down due to the ATO military operations including:
May: Gorlovska chemical & coke giant Stirol, ( 4000 employees); June: Severodonetsk chemical plant “Azot” – 8700 employees, July: “Gorlivka machine-building plant”- 500 employees.
August: Enakievo Steel Plant – 7300 employees, Enakievskiy coke and chemical plant – 1200 employees, Khartsyzsk pipe plant – 2700 employees, Avdiivka Coke and Chemical Plant (AKHZ) – 4000 employees, Company-manufacturer of household appliances “Nord” – 3500 employees; Alchevsk Iron & Steel Works – 14500 employees, Yasinovskiy coke and chemical plant – 3300 employees, blast furnace at the Donetsk Metallurgical Plant– 10400 employees.
It must be noted a number of plants including the Lysychansk oil processing and Kramatorsk industrial engineering plants, along with the Severodonetsk chemical plant “Azot have been back in Kiev’s hands since summer 2014. It would be interesting to see what progress or extent of efforts made by Kiev authorities to repair damage and or deal with the environment consequences of the conflict. Can it be assumed that this theoretically ought to be part of the $1 billion aid package that Poroshenko mentioned? It remains to be seen what is the current situation & the state of play?
Underground storage & test sites
In a report, a Ukrainian Mining Union expressed its concern over a potential Donbass ecological catastrophe as uncontrolled flooding of [disused] mines could release nuclear & chemical pollution. Additional areas of significant long- term environmental concern, which is not helped by the state of current conflict:
- Yunkom mine, which was the site of a nuclear explosion in 1979,
- Oleksandr-Zakhid mine, used as underground storage for hazardous substances in the 1980s.
Coal Mines shutdown or damage
Out of a total of 95 state mines in Donbass only 24 were in normal operation; 13 mines were totally destroyed and 57 operated on a minimum capability. This seriously affects an industry that had previously employed around 70 000 miners. 9 coal mines flooded due to the destruction of the mine infrastructure & power lines feeding pumping stations. It has to be noted that inactive mines that are flooded can have a potential serious impact on groundwater due to increased contamination seepage of toxic substances. See this guide from the EPA on hazards: http://apps.environment-agency.gov.uk/wiyby/139297.aspx
Water Supply destruction & contamination
Early on in the conflict, the principal urban drinking water network were targeted a number of times, causing widespread shortage of drinking water in towns & cities across Donbass. The OSCE mentioned this in one of their June 2014 reports relating to a main pumping station and pipeline for the Donetsk city; [http://www.osce.org/ukraine-smm/119818]. We are talking about hundred of thousands of inhabitants having their water supplied cut off or disrupted by shelling.
The the Dnieper-Donbas Canal used for water supply was breached early on in the conflict. Water & sewage infrastructure were put out of service during the first half of 2015 due to the destruction of power lines during shelling an example: http://news.rin.ru/eng/news/82162/, & here http://news.rin.ru/eng/news///111248/ .
The beginning of June 2015 saw the head of the (Kiev controlled) Lugansk administration, Gennady Moskal, order the shutdown of water supply to parts of Donbass.
"The Ukrainian side almost completely stopped the supply of water. Aydar pumping station has stopped supply, and so did others" - said Makhurenko
UNICEF reported that "at least 700,000 people are without access to safe drinking water in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts." http://blogs.unicef.org/2015/03/22/in-eastern-ukraine-children-suffer-as-fighting-breaks-water-supply/
All questions should be addressed to the opposite side. What about numerous power stations, heating and sewage plants across Donbass deliberately targeted by Ukrainian artillery? What about technical teams being shot at while trying to repair them [http://uae.mid.ru/web/uae_en/-/on-the-allegations-by-the-ukrainian-embassy-in-abu-dhabi ]
Pre conflict water use has been detailed in April 2015, https://www.humanitarianresponse.info/en/system/files/documents/files/sdr_water_supply_and_sanitation.pdf,
Military operations & use of munitions
Interestingly, a Ukrainian environmental NGO, EPL, has carried out some studies in selected areas heavily affected by shelling, “EPL studied non-organic substances but shell explosions can also cause emission of organic substances that can travel for long distances via air and water ways.” Findings showed concentrations of heavy metals linked to convention munitions. These limited studies may offer a glimpse of what are the local effects of widespread use of munitions, similar to what the US army was aware since the 1980s in relation to the soil & air quality of military ranges.
ATO forces bombardment of populated areas by phosphorous munitions also can be an adverse impact on the environment, since it is a toxic chemical. The large-scale use of phosphorous in shells over a period of time is potentially harmful to the environment. " white phosphorous has destructive effects on the environment and also plants and may remain within the deep soil for several years without any changes." It also may impact local groundwater as well.
The least ecological serious issue for Donbass as it currently stands, nevertheless it is has been featured in the Kiev media. It is reported that "the most widespread problem is fires triggered by military blasts – an estimated 17% of forests and 24% of steppes in the ATO zone were affected."[MENR & an NGO Environment, People, Law (EPL)]
The tone set by officials & experts in Kiev is negative to say the least, as exemplified by this "MENR has assigned specialists to monitor the situation in occupied territories and to restore environmental safety when they are returned to Ukrainian control."
Interactive google map https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?mid=zbSMscEgA8nQ.k3-ikECY7sf0
The potential consequence of military strikes on plants cannot under estimated over the long term, if we take into consideration the effects of military operations in Yugoslavia & also Iraq. Numerous industries were targeted by NATO during the 1999 attack on Serbia. Noteworthy cases include the attacks on the Pancevo plant, where NATO deliberately destroyed storage tanks that contained the raw materials for PVC.
In Donetsk, an estimated 9,464 facilities and other structures were destroyed – including:
- 5,302 residential buildings;
- 53 hospitals and other medical facilities;
- 250 schools and pre-schools;
- 13 colleges and universities;
- 17 sports venues;
- 32 cultural institutions;
- 88 commercial enterprises;
- 56 industrial facilities;
- 605 power lines and distribution facilities;
- 148 heat supply facilities;
- 30 water supply facilities;
- 2,669 gas supply facilities;
- 53 road and transport infrastructure elements;
- Donetsk airport – turned to rubble; and
- the Saur-Monila memorial complex – entirely destroyed.
- 7,899 residential buildings;
- 65 hospitals, clinics and laboratories;
- 3 gas distribution stations;
- 33 heat supply facilities;
- 43 water supply facilities;
- 37 government buildings;
- 97 schools and pre-schools;
- 68 cultural institutions; and
- 77 churches
Munition plant blast video: https://youtu.be/K4UL_J1ZEpY