Nobody wants to think of the people behind the facade of an angry soldier. We don’t want to accept their humanity or their pain – not when they are Russian rebels, right? But their pain is real, their fear for their loved ones is real, and their anger is very real.
Over the weekend, several international journalists from all over the world, including a cameraman from Russia, were held in the Ukraine Security Service, the SBU complex, now controlled by DNR [Donetsk People’s Republic] forces. While detained, they heard many stories from several of the gunmen of their narrow escape from attacks on their towns, their harrowing loss of loved ones and the horrors they had seen inflicted on people they knew.
A journalist who was among those detained reported for The Daily Beast:
Our interrogators, a group of militiamen from the security service of the Donetsk People’s Republic, or DNR, as it’s known, wanted to tell us why America is to blame for the civil war tearing apart town after town in Donbass, the eastern Ukraine.
The rebels are not alone in these beliefs. Many people in pro-Russian Donbass are convinced that the United States orchestrated the anti-Russian revolution in Kiev, supported Ukrainian military forces fighting the war against pro-Russian separatist troops; and now it is America accusing them of shooting down the Malaysian Boeing 777 earlier this week that cost the lives of almost 300 innocent people.
The journalists were arrested when they tried to visit the morgue where the bodies from the MH17 crash are being held to investigate more details of the crash. When they were eventually released, they were taken to a press conference:
Later in the day, after all of us were released, including Simon Shuster and a detained BBC crew, we attended a press conference by the DNR prime minister, Alexander Borodai, who said he had something to tell us about the Flight MH17 catastrophe investigation. […]
The rebel official told us that he never tried to limit access for international observers and investigators to Donbass and the crash site. In a way, he was in a situation to the detainees Anton asked him about – nobody was coming to hear his truth. For four days, he said, he had been expecting professional international investigators to arrive in Donetsk to look at the fragments of the plane and “boxes” his militia collected on the site of the airplane crash.
Borodai insisted that the victims’ bodies kept in refrigerators in the town of Terez, as well as the “needed material” for the investigation, waited for Western professionals. But Kiev, according to Borodai’s theory,
deliberately did not let them come, claiming there were safety issues.
What is obvious at this stage is there are immensely complex power games at play here. The tragedy is the number of innocent bystanders that are being caught in the crossfire between egos and superpowers.
Read more details of the journalists’ detainment at The Daily Beast.
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