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Thursday, 19 March 2015

'Winning hearts and minds' in Eastern Ukraine: Mother and daughter's deaths at hands of drunken soldiers sparks riots in Kiev-held territory

Harrison Koehli

Two days ago, on March 16th, a Ukrainian tank ran over a mother and her two children as they stood on a sidewalk in the Donetsk town of Konstantinovka, 55 km from Donetsk city. The girl, Polina, was killed instantly. The woman apparently died later in hospital. The Ukie soldiers driving the tank were apparently drunk. The girl's death prompted riots in the town - the first big revolt behind Kiev's front line since the Odessa massacre. Right Sektor thugs have been sent in to 'restore order'.

The rioters demanded the soldiers be brought to justice. That's unlikely. Justice is a foreign concept to the Ukrainian regime. Minister of Internal Affairs Anton Gerashenko responded by announcing that soldiers will 'shoot to kill':

If someone in Kostantinovka with arms in their hands will protest against the laws of the Ukrainian authorities, using this accident to instigate mass clashes, then first one warning shot will be made, and then they will shoot to kill. If there is no time to give a warning, they will be shooting to kill immediately. Nobody is allowed to undermine the Ukrainian government with arms on the territory of Ukraine.
Kiev forbade protests, but around 100 people gathered at the site of Polina's death with toys and flowers. Kiev called them "associates of the terrorists". 

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