Vitaly Portnikov: Putin’s Human Shield

426747_20140130123041By Vitaly Portnikov
20.03.2014  LiveJournal
Translated by Olya Lutska and Edited by Isis for Voices of Ukraine

It’s the dirtiest war in modern history

When, at the beginning of Russian actions in Crimea, Vladimir Putin told reporters that, “the Russian soldiers will stand behind the people – not in front, but behind,” many commentators took these words of the president to be a figure of speech. But lately Putin has started to share with journalists (more openly than during the previous years of his presidency) not emotions, but his plans.

Russian troops who stormed the Headquarters of the Ukrainian South Navy Base were actually hiding behind women and children. And just in case he can’t get women anymore, Aksenov’s “militias” should step in to ensure the safety of Russian soldiers.

Of course, the building is outfitted with a Staff tractor (hopefully, it is not the same tractor that was involved in the beginning of the protest movement on Bankova St. earlier [in Kyiv, in December, 2013] and, according to the “filmmaker’s” plan, should have enabled Victor Yanukovych to freely disperse the raging Maidan).

Modern history has never known a dirtier war than that which the armed forces of the Russian Federation have carried out against Ukrainian units in occupied Crimea. I cannot imagine what those soldiers walking behind women and children feel – shame, remorse or confidence that any order and any method by military authorities is good enough when you need to fight against “ex- brothers.”

I cannot imagine what the citizens of Russia feel, and whether they do not feel fear of the fact that tomorrow (when Russia may be fighting not only against Ukraine) they will have to stand in front of the troops themselves, in order to ensure the safety of the main pillar of power.

But I imagine what I feel myself – guilt in front of all of these women and “militias” (regardless of their views), pride in my countrymen that on small islands of freedom in Crimea they resist this irrational and frenzied onslaught; and a feeling of contempt for those who have trampled the concept of military valor and honor itself and are hiding in such a cowardly way behind the backs of women and children.

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4 Responses to Vitaly Portnikov: Putin’s Human Shield

  1. chervonaruta says:

    Reblogged this on Euromaidan PR and commented:

    Portnikov on Russian soldiers hiding behind women and children as human shields.

  2. albertphd says:

    Such behavior is typical of bullies, such as Putin. If you meet the force of a bully with force (the only language bullies understand?!), you will see the yellow streak down their backs. They will run so fast that all that is left is the yellow streak trying to catch up. Of course, history records that 85% of the so-called Russians who fought against the Nazis in WWII were (yes, you guessed it!) actually Ukrainians in Russian uniforms–fighting for Mother Russia. The “Russian” inside Russian uniforms even then was in the back-lines. That is why Russia needs Ukraine so badly, it seems. The 1,000,000 Ukrainian recruits (active reserves) would nicely round up Russia’s current active military personnel of only 1.2 million. With the Ukrainian soldiers fighting (once again?!) in the front lines, why, Russia would have a military strength to match that of China and would far exceed the current 1.5 million active soldiers of the USA. But no war has yet been fought on Ukrainian soil. This charade of posturing by unidentified masked and armed foreign invaders (which Russia still officially denies are their own troops?!) is simply Putin’s way to save face in case the Ukrainian military is allowed to meet Russian soldiers face-to-face as men. Then when these unmarked slithering snakes are sent back to their Russian masters, Putin can deny that Russia was ever in the Crimea! Great double-think, don’t you think? Typical of Putin’s propaganda machine that would make even Lord Haw-Haw rather proud?! Not to mention George Orwell’s rendition of ‘1984’ (now 30 years past the predicted year of Russia’s attempt to manipulate lies into truth, labeling bondage to Russia as Freedom or “autonomy” and calling foreign invaders violating the sovereignty of an Independent Nation as “self-defense” units who only wish to establish PEACE and security?! Orwell coined it right when he called it: “double-think”, the way Russia thinks today under it’s self-proclaimed Dictator. (It’s too bad that Charlie Chaplin isn’t around to do a version of Putin–without the Hitler mustache–in the sequel to “The Great Dictator”! But even then in 1940, Chaplin didn’t fully realize what a horrid monster this Adolph would become, all kidding aside, just as we in 2014 still are second-guessing what this double-thinking double-crossing Vladimir is really up to, except that he’s up to no good!).

  3. That’s nothing new. Growing up I heard stories about WWII from my parents and their friends about how the Soviet Army put their conscripts in the front lines of the troops, without shoes or boots, without weapons and without training to be killed by the Nazis, who would waste their bullets on these unlucky men. Women would be forced to march in front of the troops, as well. How do you think the Soviets lost more than 22 million citizens? Russian government never changed its tactics.

  4. VP says:

    Listen to me… listen to me carefully. I want you to understand me, unequivocally. If we make this decision, it is only for the defense of Ukrainian citizens. And let any one of their military personnel shoot at their own people whom… behind whom we will stand. Not in front. But behind. Let them try to shoot at women and children. And I will look at those who will give such an order in Ukraine. Vladimir Putin, Press conference on the situation in Ukraine, Moscow, 4.3.2014.

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