Ukraine | Scotland | Venezuela

David sent these links:
Ewen MacAskill: Ukraine crisis: bugged call reveals conspiracy theory about Kiev snipers (Guardian)
Umberto Bacchi: Ukraine Protests: Leaked EU Phone Call Suggests Kiev Snipers Were Hired by Opposition Coalition (International Business Times)

A phone conversation suggesting snipers who shot protesters in Kiev might have acted on the orders delivered by the opposition coalition – not former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich – has been leaked online.
The phone conversation features Estonian foreign minister Urmas Paet telling EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton his suspicions regarding sniper attacks on protestors that took place in Kiev in February…
Paet is heard telling Ashton that there was evidence both protesters and security forces came under sniper fire during the deadly protests in the Ukrainian capital last month.

Susann Witt-Stahl: Jagd auf Linke (junge Welt)

Ukraine: Demonstrationen gegen neue Machthaber unmöglich. Kommunisten angegriffen und mißhandelt. Faschisten patrouillieren mit der Polizei

Ulla Jelpke: Tragödie statt Revolution (junge Welt)

More on Ukraine:
Harriet Salem, Ludmila Makarova: Are oligarch appointments at odds with new sense of fairness? (Guardian)

After losing control of Crimea, the embattled new Ukrainian government in Kiev has turned to the nation’s oligarchs in a bid to calm secessionist sentiment in the pro-Russian east. But the appointment of oligarchs to positions of political power has not been welcomed in all quarters, and certainly not by the protesters who hoped last month’s ousting of President Viktor Yanukovych heralded a new era.

Julie Hyland: What the Western-backed regime is planning for Ukrainian workers (World Socialist Web Site)

Behind incessant rhetorical invocations of a “democratic revolution,” Ukraine’s newly-installed government of former bankers, fascists and oligarchs is preparing draconian austerity measures.
The plans being drawn up are openly described as the “Greek model,” i.e., the programme of savage cuts imposed on Greece by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European Union (EU) that has caused Greece’s economy to collapse by nearly 25 percent in five years and produced a massive growth in unemployment and poverty.
In the case of Ukraine, however, this social devastation is to be unleashed against a country that has already been subjected to the scorched earth economics of capitalist restoration. Even before the latest events, Ukraine was the 80th poorest country in the world based on gross domestic product per capita, behind Iraq, Tonga and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Conn Hallinan: The Dark Side of the Ukraine Revolt (CounterPunch)

[L]est one think that Svoboda, and parties even further to the right, will strike their tents and disappear, Ukrainian News reported Feb. 26 that Svoboda Party members have temporarily been appointed to the posts of Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Education, Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food Supplies, and Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources.

Marina Lewycka: Ukraine and the west: hot air and hypocrisy (Guardian)
US-Söldner: Blackwater angeblich in der Ost-Ukraine im Einsatz (Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten [sic])
Damien Gayle: Has Blackwater been deployed to Ukraine? (Daily Mail)

Speculation was growing last night that American mercenaries had been deployed to Donetsk after videos emerged of unidentified armed men in the streets of the eastern Ukrainian city.
At least two videos published on YouTube earlier this week show burly, heavily armed soldiers with no insignia in the city, which has been gripped by pro-Moscow protests.
In one of the videos onlookers can be heard shouting ‘Blackwater! Blackwater!’ as the armed men, who wear no insignia, jog through the streets.

Josh Rogin: Russian ‘Blackwater’ Takes Over Ukraine Airport (Daily Beast)

The troops who have taken over two airports in Crimea are not Russian military, but they could be security contractors working for the Russian military, and they are there to stay.
Private security contractors working for the Russian military are the unmarked troops who have now seized control over two airports in the Ukrainian province of Crimea, according to informed sources in the region. And those contractors could be setting the stage for ousted President Viktor Yanukovich to come to the breakaway region.

Peter Schwarz: What is behind the warmongering of the German media? / Was steht hinter der Kriegshetze der deutschen Medien? (World Socialist Web Site)

Veteran left-winger Tariq Ali announces his support for Scottish independence (Daily Record)

The combination of the end of the British Empire and the utter degeneration of the Labour Party means Scotland has absolutely nothing to gain from staying within the Union.
My hope is that independence will create spaces of critical thought in England as well as in Scotland because people down here are very depressed and demoralised too.

Mark Weisbrot: Venezuela is not Ukraine (Guardian)

Venezuela’s struggle is widely misrepresented in western media. This is a classic conflict between right and left, rich and poor.
The current protests in Venezuela are reminiscent of another historical moment when street protests were used by right-wing politicians as part of an attempt to overthrow the elected government. From December of 2002 through February 2003, there was strike of mostly white-collar workers at the national oil industry, along with some business owners. The US media made it look like most of the country was on strike against the government, when, in fact, it was less than one percent of the labor force.

Mark Weisbrot: US support for regime change in Venezuela is a mistake (Guardian)

On Sunday, the Mercosur governments (Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Venezuela) released a statement on the past week’s demonstrations in Venezuela. They described “the recent violent acts” in Venezuela as “attempts to destabilize the democratic order”. They made it abundantly clear where they stood.

Mia Lindeque: Marikana miners shot ‘execution style’ (Eye Witness News)

The Farlam Commission of Inquiry on Wednesday heard some striking Marikana miners were shot execution style.
President Jacob Zuma set up the hearing to determine whether police were justified in using lethal force on the day 34 miners were gunned down during a confrontation with police in the North West mining town.
The shooting at the Lonmin mine took place in August 2012.
The commission on Tuesday heard some of the striking workers were shot dead while they were surrendering with their hands raised in the air.

Patrick Martin: White House withholding documents from CIA torture probe (World Socialist Web Site)

White House officials admitted Thursday that the Obama administration is blocking the release of thousands of documents relating to the torture of prisoners at secret CIA prisons during the Bush administration. These documents apparently include the initial presidential authorization for torture and other illegal acts by US military/intelligence agencies.

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