Eastern Ukraine Had Good Reason to Join Russia, After Kyiv’s Aggression

Once a Pittsburgh sister city also known for its steel industry, Donetsk, and the greater Donbas region in which it is located, has been at war since 2014. According to the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, 14,000 people died in this conflict, even before Russia began its military operations in February. I’ve just returned from there.

Before Russia’s intervention, the conflict had been between the people of that region and the government in Kiev, after an unconstitutional coup took 2014. This coup, known as “Maidan,” was — as then US Ambassador to Ukraine Victoria Nuland explained in a recorded telephone conversation — managed by the United States.

The coup brought to power a pro-Western, anti-Russian, government, which contained elements which were far-right and even Nazi. The best known element, as the Nation Magazine reported in 2019, is the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion, which has been part of Ukraine’s National Guard since 2014. Its commander Andriy Biletsky once wrote that Ukraine’s mission is to “lead the White Races of the world in a final crusade…against the Semite-led Untermenschen.” . . .

However, the people of Donetsk, who have lived this reality now for almost nine years, are very clear that all of this is real. Indeed, I met people in Donetsk (some quite elderly) who volunteered back in 2014 to defend their land and their people from the Kiev government’s aggression.

Much of the government views the predominantly ethnic Russian people of the Donbas as inferior beings whose language and culture, including the Russian Orthodox Church, should be eradicated. I actually traveled to Donestk in a vehicle laden with clothes destined for a Russian Orthodox monastery in Donetsk that is constantly being shelled by the Kiev government. These monks now live in underground rooms beneath the increasingly-destroyed monastery. (Read more from “Eastern Ukraine Had Good Reason to Join Russia, After Kyiv’s Aggression” HERE)

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