Another strong humanitarian move from Russia
On August 28, 2014, Russian President Putin addressed
the militia of Novorossia with a request to open a humanitarian corridor for the Ukrainian military.
Putin said that the actions of the militia resulted in surrounding a large number of Ukrainian troops that were in battle against their will, just carrying out the orders. In order to avoid increasing the number of pointless victims President offered to provide a possibility for Ukrainian forces to withdraw from the area of operations, reunite with their families and return to their mothers, wives and children. The wounded in military operations could receive the urgent medical aid they need.
Putin also urged Kiev to cease hostilities immediately and to negotiate with representatives of the Donbass. For its part, Russia is ready to provide humanitarian assistance to the population of the south-east of Ukraine.
This decision of President Putin is a strong and humane step, once again demonstrating the peacefulness of the Russian foreign policy, the willingness to contribute to peace and to the settlement of the Ukrainian crisis. Stating that the Novorossia is already a de-facto geopolitical reality, Putin suggested that the Ukrainian authorities cease hostilities immediately, stop the fire, sit down at the negotiating table with representatives of the Donbass, and solve all the accumulated problems peacefully.
The actions of the Russian government are completely in line with the international efforts to protect the population of countries in a state of armed conflict from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.
UN has adopted the concept of “responsibility to protect” at its World Summit in 2005. “Each individual State has the responsibility to protect its populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. This responsibility entails the prevention of such crimes, including their incitement, through appropriate and necessary means.” This concept is adopted in connection with the experiences of Rwanda and Srebrenica, states that sovereignty is not a privilege, but an obligation. In accordance with this concept, sovereignty does not only provide to the states the right to control their own internal affairs, but also imposes direct responsibility for the protection of people living within the borders of these states. In those cases where the state is unable to protect the people, the responsibility shifts to the international community.
This provision aims to prevent and stop genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing (ie, mass criminal atrocities).
In those cases where the state “clearly fails to” protect their populations from these crimes outsiders may intervene to protect the population from genocide and ethnic cleansing, including from the state itself that no longer performs its function.
The latest report of the UN Secretary General said that the UN member states are obliged to contribute to the protection of the population, using diplomatic, humanitarian and other means, as well as their willingness to take collective action in a timely and decisive manner, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, should peaceful means be inadequate and national authorities are manifestly failing to protect their populations.
All the actions of Russia – the international negotiations, attempts to seat parties to Ukrainian conflict at the negotiating table, the efforts of the Russian human rights activists and volunteers to rescue the children of Donbass, delivery of humanitarian convoys to prevent a humanitarian disaster in the Novorossia – correspond squarely to the international legal field practices and are fully consistent with UN standards.
Attempts to interpret the actions of Russia in any other way – nothing more than using double standards.
The militia command already announced their support for the call by Russian President Vladimir Putin to establish a humanitarian corridor for the surrounded Ukrainian military on the condition that they surrender their weapons. Alexander Zaharchenko, Prime Minister of DNR, said: “With all due respect to Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, the president of the country, which primarily helps us with moral support, we are ready to provide humanitarian corridors to Ukrainian troops surrounded in “pockets”, subject to the surrender of heavy weapons and ammunition, so that these weapons and ammunition could not be used against us in the future.”
The ball is now on the Ukrainian side of the field and it all depends on them – whether they can turn their efforts to healing the wounds inflicted by civil war or Ukraine will continue the escalation of the conflict. Most likely, Kiev will sabotage the initiative in every possible way, as well as the next humanitarian aid convoy that Russia is preparing with the participation of the International Red Cross and the Russian Red Cross for the civilian population of Luhansk and Donetsk regions who require help on a massive scale. Ukraine has already received a note from the Russian Federation concerning its intention to deliver the second part of the humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
And it is possible that the hysteria that Kiev displays is connected with the speedy delivery of this much-needed assistance to the civilian population. Ukraine wants Russia to remain an “aggressor” in the eyes of the population and the blood to continue to shed.
Vladimir Putin once again called on Kiev to join the negotiating table and stop the violence in his appeal. In response to the peacekeeping efforts of the Kremlin, Kiev shouts hysterical accusations that have nothing to do with reality. Yatseniuk urged to freeze all Russian assets. An advisor to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Anton Gerashchenko stated that Kiev should break off diplomatic relations with Russia. And Petr Poroshenko announced “the invasion of Russian troops in Ukraine.”
And while waiting for the reaction of Kiev to Russian initiative, the army had already begun seeing hunger riots and Ukrainian troops have started to voice openly their dissent with Kiev command. Those, who disclose information about the actual losses and the defeats of the Ukrainian army, are declared enemies of the state. Currently Ukraine has opened thousands of criminal cases on Army defections. Even the volunteers are not willing to pay more with their lives for the incompetence and corruption of military leaders. And the soldiers escaped from the bloody grinders of war massively desert and prepare to march to Kiev.