Skip to main content

Whose snipers in Kiev?

This is a partial transcript of an intercepted phone call between Estonian foreign minister, Urmas Paet, and European Union high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, Catherine Ashton, which seems to have taken place about 1 March 2014. Paet had visited Kiev briefly, and Ashton asked for his impressions. Paet remarked how low public trust is in the new Ukrainian government. These people have ‘dirty pasts’, he said. Then he talked about ‘Olga’, who is a medical doctor. Ashton had also met her. Olga told Paet how the same snipers killed both civilians and policemen in Kiev. To Ashton’s evident surprise, Paet says ‘… behind the snipers it was not Yanukovitch but it was somebody from the new coalition.’ This transcript, which the Russell Foundation has compiled, is taken from the last three minutes or so of the conversation. The web link to the intercept itself is given at the end.

ASHTON: ... I’ve said to the opposition leaders, shortly to become government, you need to reach out to Maidan, you need to be, you know, engaging with them, you also need to get ordinary police officers back on the streets under a new sense of their role, so the people feel safe. I said to the Party of the Regions’ people you have to go and lay flowers where the people died, you have to show that you understand what has happened here.

PAET: Absolutely.

ASHTON: Because what you’re experiencing is anger of people who’ve seen the way that Yanukovitch lived, and the corruption, and they assume you’re all the same. And also the people who’ve lost people and who feel that, you know, he ordered that to happen. There’s quite a lot of shock, I think, in the city, a lot of sadness and shock, and that’s going to come out in some very strange ways if they’re not careful. I think all of this we just have to work out, so we’ve done a big meeting here today—

PAET: Ok…

ASHTON: —to try and get this in place – but yeah, very interesting, your observation.

PAET: It is and, well, actually the only politician the people from civil society have mentioned positively was Poroshenko.

ASHTON: … Yeah. Yeah.

PAET: So that he has some sort of so-to-say trust among all these Maidan people and civil society in fact, and what was quite disturbing, the same Olga told that, well, all the evidence shows the people who were killed by snipers from both sides, among policemen and people from the streets, that they were the same snipers, killing people from both sides.

ASHTON: Well that’s… Yeah, that’s…

PAET: And then she also showed me some photos, she said that as a medical doctor she can, you know, say that it is the same handwriting, same type of bullets, and it’s really disturbing that now the new coalition don’t want to investigate what exactly happened, so there is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers it was not Yanukovitch but it was somebody from the new coalition.

ASHTON: … I think they do want to investigate, I mean I didn’t pick that up. That’s interesting. Gosh.

PAET: Yeah. So this is disturbing that if it starts now to live its own life very powerfully that it already [discredits] from the very beginning also this new coalition.

ASHTON: I mean, this is what they’ve got to be careful of as well – that they need to demand great change but they’ve got to let the Rada function. If the Rada doesn’t function then there could be chaos – complete chaos. So that, it’s all, you know, being an activist and a doctor is very, very important but it means you’re not a politician, and somehow they’ve got to come to a kind of accommodation for the next few weeks, with how the country’s actually going to run – and then we get the elections and things can change, and that’s, I think, going to be quite important. I’m planning to go back early next week, probably on Monday, so […]

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

'Not as dumb as he looks' - Muhammad Ali on Bertrand Russell

In his autobiography The Greatest: My Own Story, Muhammad Ali recounts how Bertrand Russell got in contact with him, and their ensuing correspondence:


***
For days I was talking to people from a whole new world. People who were not even interested in sports, especially prizefighting. One in particular I will never forget: a remarkable man, seventy years older than me but with a fresh outlook which seemed fairer than that of any white man I had ever met in America.
My brother Rahaman had handed me the phone, saying, ‘Operator says a Mr. Bertrand Russell is calling Mr. Muhammad Ali.’ I took it and heard the crisp accent of an Englishman: ‘Is this Muhammad Ali?’ When I said it was, he asked if I had been quoted correctly.
I acknowledged that I had been, but wondered out loud, ‘Why does everyone want to know what I think about Viet Nam? I’m no politician, no leader. I’m just an athlete.’
‘Well,’ he said, ‘this is a war more barbaric than others, and because a mystique is built up around a cham…

Brexit Diary: Generous to a Fault

Generous to a Fault

Hapless Theresa May stepped nervously into the June European Council in Brussels. Her own status at such meetings is now qualified by the UK’s notification to withdraw from the European Union, which takes effect in March 2019. She can no longer participate in Council discussions about Brexit and has to leave the room. Before she departed the dinner table last night, however, Mrs May outlined an ‘offer’ on the rights of European Union citizens residing in the UK once that country has left the EU. The full ‘offer’ is due to be submitted in writing on Monday 26 June.

Of course, citizens’ rights are codified in law and guaranteed by treaty, to which the UK has acceded. Accordingly, millions of people have moved around the European Union, with many of them settling in the United Kingdom to live and work. The UK has legal obligations towards them. Continuity in their rights is required, if and when the UK leaves the EU. 

The initial response to Mrs May’s remarks from group…

Nuclear Posture Review: Two letters of protest from Japan

The Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation received copies of the following letters, dated 6 February 2018, from the Japan Council against A and H Bombs. The letters, written in response to the publication of the US Nuclear Posture Review, are addressed to President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. We ask that as many people and organisations as possible circulate these letters as an act of solidarity with anti-nuclear campaigners in "Japan, the A-bombed country".

* * *

To President Donald Trump United States of America 6 February 2018
Letter of Protest against the US Nuclear Posture Review
We, of the people of Japan, the A-bombed country, strongly protest against your nuclear policy formulated in the newly released ‘Nuclear Posture Review’, which brings the US much closer to the actual use of nuclear weapons by modernizing your nuclear arsenals and developing new nuclear weapons.
Trying to justify that nuclear weapons are necessary for security, the Nuclear Post…