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Thursday, 30 March 2017

So Who Annexed the Crimean Peninsula Then?



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Due to the international media’s continued claims about the «annexation of Crimea», it’s been difficult for the citizens of the US and Europe to make sense of the details of the peninsula’s recent history. Exactly three years ago, on March 16, 2014, the Crimeans were offered a choice: to rejoin Russia or to return to the constitution of 1992 that proclaimed Crimea a legal, democratic, secular state whose relationship with Ukraine was based on bilateral agreements. That constitution was unilaterally abolished by Kiev on March 17, 1995, and here’s what’s surprising: no one at that time in the West demanded that the Ukrainian government stop violating the provisions of international law and the rights of the inhabitants of the Crimean peninsula. And then in 1995, special ops forces from the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) and the Armed Forces of Ukraine (ZSU) landed in Crimea and Sevastopol in order to establish «Ukrainian law and order», seizing the building housing the Supreme Council of the republic, where the administration of the acting president of Crimea, Yuriy Meshkov, was also headquartered, and demanding that he be turned over. Since Meshkov refused to vacate his office, they tried to poison him. Much later he described how his drink had been poisoned, and that later in the hospital he was refused proper medical care. Only an emergency evacuation to Moscow miraculously saved his life.

Yuriy Meshkov, Crimea President in 1991-1995
In this manner, the real annexation of Crimea by Ukraine, which no one condemned, was completed in 1995. It all began in 1991 with a power grab by the Ukrainian parliament, which annexed the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, forcibly joining it to Ukraine despite the results of the January referendum about re-establishing Crimea’s autonomy. The annexation by Ukraine culminated in the revocation of the constitution and the liquidation of the office of the president of Crimea. However, no one in Europe or America introduced sanctions against this new Ukrainian state that had flagrantly trampled on the right of nations to self-determination: according to the 1989 census, three-quarters of the population of Crimea were not ethnic Ukrainians.
From standpoint of the overwhelming majority of Crimea’s residents, a historical injustice was redressed in March 2014: Ukraine was stripped of what it had obtained illegally between 1991 and 1995 using deception and military force. In the eyes of Crimeans, Ukraine’s claims to the peninsula and the support of those claims by the West look very odd. In the 1990s, the world «overlooked» Ukraine’s annexation of Crimea, and no one was concerned that the rights of the inhabitants of the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic had been violated. But when those citizens again took it into their heads to determine their own destiny in 2014, an international scandal blew up that still burns today.

A rally in Simferopol in support of Crimea sovereignty, June 1992
Furthermore, Ukraine is floating the idea of dragging the peninsula «back» under its jurisdiction, knowing perfectly well that the Crimeans themselves are overwhelmingly and unequivocally opposed to this. It is very strange that over the course of the last three years the international community has not once listened to the voice of this majority. Moreover, international sanctions have not been imposed against Ukraine for its attempts to leave the inhabitants of the peninsula without water or electricity. Kiev has actually been working against the Crimeans, under the slogan:
«Crimea will either be Ukrainian or uninhabited!»
In 2014, Kiev ordered the North Crimean Canal (built by the USSR between 1961 and 1971) to be cut off, as a result of which the acreage of irrigated land in Crimea declined by 85%. At the end of September 2015, a group of Ukrainian «activists», representing the ultra-right organizations Right Sector and Azov battalion as well as several fugitives from the Mejlis of Crimean Tatar People organized a transportation «blockade of Crimea»: the highways into Crimea were shut down to prevent Ukrainian goods from reaching the peninsula, with the intention of thereby triggering a food shortage and a rise in food prices, due to the complexity and expense of obtaining supplies from mainland Russia by sea, air, or across the Kerch Strait.
Later, when it turned out that the plan had come to naught and that the «food blockade» had mostly caused harm to small shops owned by Crimean Tatars, the chairman of the Crimean Tatar Mejlis, Refat Chubarov, unexpectedly claimed that the blockade «was instigated by several people, including the leaders of the Mejlis, but it had no connection with the institution of the Mejlis itself». As a result, Ukrainian businesses, which were deprived of the opportunity to sell food to Crimea, suffered the most from the actions of the «blockaders». In the peninsular, however, wholesale merchants quickly adapted to obtaining their supplies from Russia, domestic producers got a shot in the arm, and traveling markets popped up, offering products from as far away as Belarus.
By late 2015, the sponsors of the «trade blockade» of Crimea realized that they had not achieved their goal: there was no sign of hunger, nor a significant increase in food prices, nor social protests on the peninsula. In addition, many residents of Crimea began to ridicule the blockade on social media, publishing photographs from markets and stores that showed nothing resembling a food shortage, on the contrary they documented that meat, bread, milk, and cereals were easily available and that fish and fruit were in fact abundant. Then formally uncontrolled by Kiev Crimea Tatar activists led by Lenur Islyamov blew up electricity pylons in the neighboring Kherson region of Ukraine supplying the peninsula. Crimeans were left without electricity on the eve of winter. Since at that time the energy bridge from Russia had not yet been built, a state of emergency was declared on the peninsula. Kiev then set about to blackmail the inhabitants of the peninsula: they were offered electricity in exchange for signing an agreement with an electric company that included a line acknowledging Crimea and Sevastopol to be part of Ukraine. This blackmail ended in a massive failure. Only 6.2% of the Crimean residents surveyed supported the Ukrainian proposal, and 93.1% rejected it, agreeing to endure their difficult conditions for several months. The contract with Ukraine was not finalized on Kiev’s terms.
So Who Annexed the Crimean Peninsula Then?
For three years the Western democracies have been turning a blind eye to the historical choice made by the people of Crimea. Ukraine has repeatedly tried to challenge this choice through provocations, blockades, and blackmail. However, the people of Crimea used to live without electric lights or heat and to endure inconveniences and deprivations, if only to avoid becoming once again part of Ukraine.
Another conspicuous result of Crimea’s transition to Russian jurisdiction is also telling: it turns out that, contrary to Ukrainian and Western propaganda, there are no conflicts between the Russian and Ukrainian populations in their shared home. Without the Ukrainian nationalist element in Crimea, it becomes clear that between the Russian and Ukrainian peoples there is no enmity, no tensions, and no reason to fight one other. Three state languages are officially recognized in the republic: Russian, Ukrainian, and Crimean Tatar. And Muslim mosques peacefully coexist with Russian Orthodox churches. Were it not for the warmongers who are trying to jump-start the underground activities of Hizb at-Tahrīr and other radical organizations in Crimea, Crimea would have no other problems, except one – coping with the devastation wrought by Ukraine.
New mosque in Crimean Tatar Voinka village, build in 2010 on donations by the Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov
Throughout all the years of its independence, Ukraine enjoyed what it had inherited from the USSR in Crimea, without investing a cent in the peninsula, as a result of which Crimea today lags noticeably behind Russia’s flourishing Kuban region. For the last three years Russia has been actively investing in Crimea (annual subsidies amount to more than $600 million, which does not include the multi-billion-dollar investments in the construction of the Kerch Strait Bridge, which is a separate line item in the budget). Despite the enormous pressure from the international sanctions, these measures are already bringing real benefits to people’s lives. And in the next article I’ll tell you all about life today on the peninsula.
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Sunday, 12 March 2017

the Peasants Revolution of 1381


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Fukushima Radiation, What Prospects for Humanity



A Conversation with Helen Caldicott. Global Research News Hour Episode 173

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Caldicott
Do not go to Japan. Do not under any circumstances take your children to Japan, because you don’t know what you’re eating and where the food is sourced…
And the Japanese are trying now to export their radioactive food to London and elsewhere. Taiwan has refused to receive it. But, it’s dangerous and it’s going to continue to be dangerous for the rest of time. It’s sad.Dr. Helen Caldicott (from this week’s interview.)

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Arnie Gundersen, a nuclear educator and former nuclear industry senior vice president, has referred to it as “the biggest industrial catastrophe in the history of mankind.” [1]
Six years ago this week, a tsunami, triggered by a category 9.0 earthquake, slammed into the site of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility on the north east coast of the Japanese island of Honshu. The natural disaster resulted in the failure of systems keeping the reactor cores and spent fuel rods cool, leading to core meltdowns in three of the plant’s reactors, as well as damage from consequent hydrogen explosions. [2]
Enormous quantities of radioactive particles were released into the atmosphere and the water table leading to the Pacific Ocean. Approximately 170,000 people in the vicinity of the plant were immediately evacuated.
The World Health Organization downplayed the health risks from the catastrophe, concluding in their 2013 Health Risk Assessment from the nuclear accident that the risks of contracting certain cancers in certain sex and age groups were only “somewhat elevated.” The report also concluded “no discernable increase in health risks from the Fukushima event is expected outside Japan.” [3]
Nevertheless, a health management survey examining 38,000 children in Fukushima found three children diagnosed with thyroid cancer. The natural incidence is one in one million. [4]
Further, a December 2011 peer-reviewed report in the International Journal of Health Sciences found that in the 14 weeks immediately following the event, there were 14,000 excess deaths in the United States connected with radio-active fall-out from the Fukushima meltdowns. [5]
 The Japanese government has been so successful in its efforts to assuage the concerns of the wider public that Prime Minister Abe was able to secure Tokyo as the site for the 2020 Olympic Summer Games! As of this month, the Abe government ends its housing subsidies to people evacuated from the area proximate to the nuclear facility, forcing those fearful of the lingering radiation to fend for themselves abroad. [6][7]
The nuclear accident may have profound consequences for all humanity, and possibly all life on Earth, yet the severity of the situation doesn’t seem to merit major headlines.
On this, the sixth anniversary of the start of the Fukushima crisis, we spend the hour with world renowned nuclear watchdog, Dr. Helen Caldicott.
 In this interview, conducted and recorded on International Women’s Day, Dr. Caldicott talks about the high radiation reading recently recorded at Unit 2, efforts to contain the radioactive water spilling out of the facility, projected health risks from the cesium, tritium, strontium and other isotopes spewing from the site and much, much more. Caldicott also extends the discussion to talk about Canada’s role in nuclear proliferation and the threats posed by the new Trump Administration and Cold War atmosphere in which it is situated.
 Dr. Helen Caldicott is a physician and co-founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility. She is a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize, the recipient of the 2003 Lannan Prize for Cultural Freedom, and author or editor of several books including Nuclear Madness: What You Can Do (1979), If You Love This Planet: A Plan to Heal The Earth (1992)The New Nuclear Danger: George W. Bush’s Military-Industrial Complex(2001), and Crisis Without End -The Medical and Ecological Consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Catastrophe (2014). She is currently the president of the Helen Caldicott Foundation (NuclearFreePlanet.org). Her latest book, Sleepwalking to Armaggedon: The Threat of Nuclear Annihilation will be available in bookstores in July, 2017. 
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Length (59:09)
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Notes: 
2) ibid
3) “Health Risk Assessment from the nuclear accident after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami” (World Health Organization 2013) p. 9; http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/78218/1/9789241505130_eng.pdf
4) Hisako Sakiyama (2013) from the Symposium at the New York Academy of Medicine March 11-12, 2013; quoted in Crisis Without End: The MEdical and Ecological Consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Catastrophe, p.40, edited by Helen Caldicott
5) Joseph Mangano and Janette Sherman, “14,000 U.S. Deaths Tied to Fukushima Reactor Disaster Fallout,” International Journal of Health Services, December 19, 2011, 
6) “Abe claims Fukushima radioactive water woes are ‘under control’ ” The Japan Times, October 16, 2013;  http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/10/16/national/politics-diplomacy/abe-claims-fukushima-radioactive-water-woes-are-under-control/#.WMN7VNQrLs1
7) Satoshi Iizuka (March 7, 2017), “Financial crunch time looms for Fukushima’s ‘voluntary evacuees’”,  The Japan Times;  http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/03/07/national/social-issues/financial-crunch-time-looms-fukushimas-voluntary-evacuees/#.WMN9ZtQrLs1

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Articles by: Michael Welch and Helen Caldicott
Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article. The Center of Research on Globalization grants permission to cross-post original Global Research articles on community internet sites as long as the text & title are not modified. The source and the author's copyright must be displayed. For publication of Global Research articles in print or other forms including commercial internet sites, contact: publications@globalresearch.ca
www.globalresearch.ca contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available to our readers under the provisions of "fair use" in an effort to advance a better understanding of political, economic and social issues. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than "fair use" you must request permission from the copyright owner.
For media inquiries: publications@globalresearch.ca