Recall that Bolbat, who blogs under the nik “Liliya Ukrainskaya”, had exposed the misdeeds of certain ATO battalions, including the gang rape of a little girl, during the “Special Operations” of the Ukrainian armed forces in the Donbass region of the country.
The latest news is that Bolbat’s revelations about these violent criminals have brought danger to herself and her family. Just yesterday Liliya, threatened with reprisals, was forced to take her children and flee from Mariupol in the middle of the night.
From Day #1 of the Maidan coup, Liliya and her husband were staunch supporters of the Ukrainian nationalists. They volunteered for the army and went off to fight “Separatists and Terrorists” in the Donbass. But now things have changed. Liliya’s enemies are calling her a “Separatist” and an “agent of the Kremlin”. They threatened to kill her, according to Roman Sinicyn, a fellow blogger and ATO volunteer, who wrote about Liliya’s plight on his Facebook page. Roman posted this piece from the pro-regime censor.net as evidence that the Ukrainian press has started a smear campaign against Liliya.
Here are Roman’s words, which I will attempt to translate from Ukrainian, even though my Ukrainian is not that good; but I am assisted by the fact that the VZGLIAD piece renders most of this into Russian:
Взяли і затравили Лілю.
Маріупольського волонтера, яка з чоловіком допомагали ЗСУ з перших днів війни. Глобально так допомагали, з душою.
Зробили ледве не сєпаршою і агентом кремля. Погрожували вбити.
За те, що написала правду і те, що знає або бачила на власні очі.
Я колись м’ягко так написав про алкашів і небойові п’яні втрати з фотографіями – закидали гавнєцом. “Хлопчики Герої”, “підриваєш довіру”, “ви всьо врьотє”…
Ліля написала про серйозніші речі – віджими майна, вимагання, наркоманію, згвалтування… Без назв підрозділів, прізвищ і прив’язок до місцевості. Просто як ілюстрацію. Хто в темі – і так все знають.
Це війна. І розумним людям зрозуміло, що війна це бруд, гівно, сльози і расчлєньонка. У тому числі по відношенню до “мирняка”. Іноді.
Вишивата ж б’ється в священному екстазі: “вони святі”. Ватніки і сепари радуються. Азаров навіть репостить “астанавіті вайну”.
Є й не святі, раз на те пішло. Негідників не так багато але вони є і дуже [….] (Can’t read the rest of it because it’s a screenshot)
They are going after Liliya, they are persecuting her. The Mariupol volunteer who, along with her husband, helped the Ukrainian armed forces from the very first day of the war. Helped them in every possible way, with their heart and soul. They have practically turned her into a Separatist and Kremlin agent. They threatened to kill her. Because she wrote the truth, and because of what she knows and saw with her own eyes.
At one time I myself wrote, somewhat feebly, about the alcoholics and shared some photographs about the non-military drunken losses [?] — and I was showered with shit as a result of that — “These boys are heroes! You are undermining people’s faith in them! You’re lying!” Liliya wrote about more serious things — about robberies, looting, extortion, narcomania, rape…. She didn’t name names, or units, or even the locations of these events. Just as an illustration. Those in the loop – know who she meant.
This is war. And intelligent people know, that war is dirt, it’s shit, it’s tears and dismemberment. Including violence against peaceful civilians. Sometimes. The “Embroidered Blouses” [Ukrainian nationalists] writhe in a holy ecstasy: “But [our guys] are saints!” The “vatniki” [pro-Russians] and Separatists rejoice. Azarov even re-posts “End the war!” If they are not saints, then it has come to this. Fact is, there are not all that many scoundrels, but they do exist, and often they are the ones in charge.
Bottom line is, that Liliya was forced to flee from Mariupol. With her children, in the middle of the night. Because they threatened to kill her, and this was a real and imminent threat. And they are even saying that Combat-Deputy Grishin [Semen Semenchenko] has written a denunciation of her to the prosecutor’s office. Business as usual.
END OF TRANSLATION
Sinicyn has been a staunch supporter of the Ukrainian nationalists, and still is. His argument that “a few bad apples” does not necessarily stink up the whole barrel, is actually a valid one. As he points out, in every war horrendous atrocities happen, and no side has a monopoly on goodness or badness. Even the most just cause can be tarnished by scoundrels fighting for that cause. Men snap, soldiers do bad things.
In every war there are (at least) two sides. People have to take a side. Good people believe in their side and hope that their side is all good. They may be disappointed when one of “their guys” does something really bad. But they still continue to root for their team.
But here again, one has to look at the overall picture. What are the men on the ground fighting for? What was their overall goal? To defend their country, or just to punish ordinary people who voted the wrong way in the last election?
Recall that the Ukrainian government itself specifically labelled “pro-Russian” residents of Donbass as practically sub-human. “Our children will go to school, their children will cower in basements,” President Poroshenko vowed. There are accounts that Ukrainian volunteers joining the ATO were promised that they would be given land and property, and even slaves (from among the local residents). This is all factual, I am not making any of this up. What were the orders which the soldiers received from the higher-ups? They were told they were on a “punishment” mission. Were their excesses frowned upon, or condoned? Were infringements punished? Ukrainian Prosecutor Lutsenko has already proposed that “his guys” receive a blanket amnesty for anything, literally anything that they did during the ATO. Including gang-raping a little girl. Would a normal chain of command forgive such an act? Or would they demonstratively punish the wrongdoers as an example to the others? Try to keep their team looking as clean as possible?
Taking all of this in account, one can see the pattern that the excesses of, say, the Tornado Battalion were truly not just “excesses” of one of the sides in the conflict, but were actually part of the overall plan. Which was to punish the residents of the Donbass for political disobedience towards the victorious Ukrainian nationalist wing.
One also has to look at the overall ideology of the two sides. The Donbass residents themselves, as a mass of individuals, have no particular ideology. Other than a vague nostalgia for Soviet times, and a dislike for the Ukrainian central government which seized power in 2014. Prior to that, the majority of Donbass residents voted for the centrist and highly corrupt Party of Regions, a political party which was subsequently banned, after the coup. Anyone who ever voted for Regions was labelled a “vatnik” or even an “insect” and hence deserving of violent punishment and/or extermination. “Separatists” who simply wanted to escape from the new and dreadfully totalitarian, Ukrainian reality, were regarded as beings so vile and despicable that they deserved to be burned alive.
Whereas the Ukrainian nationalist side supports extremist political parties who are driven by their loyalty to the ideals of Stepan Bandera, a genocidal maniac. Also take into account that the Ukrainian nationalist battalions are led by men with an overtly neo-Nazi philosophy. This is no exaggeration. If your teenaged son decided to become a neo-Nazi, this might be an indication that he is developing violent anti-social tendencies. No?
Integrating all of these factors into a holistic view, can the “excesses” of the one side simply be written off as the misdeeds of a few bad apples? In other words, is this in-built criminality of the Ukrainian nationalist battalions just a bug, or is it a feature?