Unity in a march of folly, Ukrainians and the Press lost freedoms

“Nearly every war that has started in the past fifty years has been the result of media lies.  The media could have stopped it if they had not reprinted government propaganda… Populations don’t like wars. Populations must be fooled to go to war. Populations don’t willingly, with their eyes open, go into open war. If we had a good media environment, then we would have a peaceful environment,” says Julian Assange in this video interview.

The Ukraine War poses Grave Danger to the World but delivers no gains for anyone.

“The bloodletting in Ukraine to prevent a small number of Ukrainians from self-determination of their own future will bring no gain even if the West kills all the ethnic Russian Ukrainians in Donetsk and Luhansk,” says a Ukrainian humanitarian working amidst the shelling and incendiary bombs. Alona Adamovich has worked in the Donbass region and across Ukraine since 2014.

By Melissa Hemingway in Ukraine and Micheal John
Note on bias: FPMag is published by The RINJ Foundation which is a civil society women’s group adamantly opposed to war. RINJ claims that all war impacts women and children at large more than war harms soldiers fighting the wars.

American weapons are raining down on innocent civilians

Watching American weapons rain down on her family and friends, co-workers and strangers, Alona Adamovich chewed on a raw carrot, one that her aunt had stored away for the winter. It’s not officially winter here yet, but the cold is here, and at night it is very cold when at home, muses Melissa Hemingway as blasts shake the small house.

“When we are at work, the crowded women’s shelters are actually hot from the body warmth of the crowd of women using the shelters and the small pot-bellied wood stove that is always boiling water for tea; and pans of water to heat baby bottles. But the temperature will soon drop to sub-zero past Christmas, into January. It’s going to be a cold winter for everyone, including the soldiers on both sides,” Alona commented as we stared into space, tired and depressed.

The RINJ Foundation chapters of RINJ Women in Ukraine have since 2013 created their own structured support group for women and girls in Ukraine suffering during the civil war. The group had been born in Ukraine out of need because of the massive spread of HIV disease caused by extreme spread of sexual violence. That issue continues to worsen.

“The only side we take is the feminine perspective and the fight for women’s rights while creating shelters, rape clinics and HIV test and treat centers, all in an underground environment where women helping women are often shot dead,” explained Lana, a nurse and ambulance driver in Donbass.

“Since the end of February, we have provided care for hundreds of girls raped by Ukraine Nazi militias, American and other nation’s mercenaries, and Ukraine Regular Army personnel,” explained Lana.

“In all that time,” she continued, “we only know of five Russian men who reportedly raped or tried to rape women and girls in the Ukraine conflict. Three Russian men were in Mariupol and we later found out that they were deserters from 2016 who had joined the Azov Brigade, a Neo-Nazi ideology military regiment of the Ukraine Army. The other two who are from another region in Donetsk PR, we gave to a Russian major and we had to stop him from shooting them with a side arm he was upset and so angry. He had a young daughter at home. He had a little bit of tears showing in his eyes. The accused rapists were safely then taken in handcuffs back to Russia, to the Court,” continued Lana.

“Months later a man came from Russia, by agreement, to interview the complainants because they were too scared to travel. The man recorded their evidence. We gave him a copy of the lab results from the rape-kits and he left,” she said.

“Rapists need to know that we do rape kits here and we will get them eventually,” she looked up as she spoke slowly and glared right into the interviewer’s eyes.

“From time immemorial, rape has been regarded as spoils of war. Now it will be considered a war crime. We want to send out a strong message that rape is no longer a trophy of war but a serious war crime.” ~ The RINJ Foundation

The Basic Rape Kit

“The procedures set out here are for licensed nurses or doctors. As you read through the steps you begin to understand what you need and what is supplied in the forensic kits,” explains Lana who is a nurse and Emergency Medical Response team member.

  • Step 1: Authorization for collection and release of evidence and information form
  • Step 2: Medical history and assault information form
  • Step 3: (1) 20″ x 30″ white paper sheet, (2) outer clothing bags and (1) panties bag
  • Step 4: Debris collection for nail scraping
  • Step 5: Towel and comb for pubic hair combing
  • Step 6: Envelope for pulled pubic hairs
  • Step 7: Slides: swabs and boxes for vaginal swabs and smear
  • Step 8: Slide, swabs and boxes for rectal swabs and smear
  • Step 9: Slide, swabs and boxes for oral swabs and smear
  • Step 10: Envelope for pulled head hairs
  • Step 11: Paper disk and envelope for saliva sample
  • Step 12: (2) blood vials for known blood sample collection
  • Step 13: Anatomical drawings chart

“For a decade, in the Donbass region the Nazi brigades of the Ukraine Army have been killing, looting, raping and kidnapping girls whom they sell and also spreading HIV [translated],” says Lana with a little exasperation in her voice.


Destruction of DOnbass homes

The destruction of Donetsk homes. Photo submitted by Alona Adamovich. Art/Cropping/Enhancement: Rosa Yamamoto / Feminine-Perspective-Magazine

One of the dangers posed by the war on Ukrainian separatists is not just their loss of freedom but also the loss of Press Freedom

Most people in the world have completely different perceptions from the truth.

“The Ukraine War which began in May 2014 is not about a Russian invasion, it is about a few million ethnic-Russian Ukrainians being oppressed and unhappy, leading to their attempt at separation from Ukraine in 2014, something that had been building up for years,” explains Dale Carter, security director for RINJ Women . Ms Carter has returned home for Christmas after spending six months in Ukraine helping to organize a humanitarian response to the needs of five million displaced women and girls in Ukraine.

“As a consequence of the Ukraine provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk declaring statehood in May 2014, a bold move without a doubt, their republics have been shelled incessantly by Ukraine and the West killing thousands of men, women and children,” said Ms. Carter.

“There is no doubt in my mind that the Kremlin is exploiting the will of the people of Ukraine, those who wish to separate from their former home. That does not make it wrong, but instead makes it convenient for the Ukrainian separatists that they have an ally who is finally sympathetic. Kiev has refused to talk to the separatists because that was the American instruction, and if Russia had not invaded, the people in Donetsk and Luhansk would soon be dead. But if Russia is expanding to include more of its indigenous population, because those ethnic-Russians say they have been mistreated, then so be it, because this is better for those who matter and the West forgets them: THE PEOPLE,” Ms. Carter added with loud emphasis on “the people”.

In early 2022, Vladimir Putin declared Russia would recognize the statehood of Luhansk and Donetsk people’s republics and that Russia would come to the aid of those two self-declared breakaway republics. Putin said, “We should have done this long ago. These are Russians and they are our brothers and sisters.”

“Putin then ordered Russia’s department of emergency services to begin evacuation of the most vulnerable persons from their bombed-out homes and villages, and anyone else who wanted to come to Russia and be hosted by Russian families. The evacuation continues. Estimates suggest roughly three million people evacuated the Donbass region to Russia by their own choice,” informs Ms. Carter who helped supervise the raw assets needed for that work entailing the evacuation of persons with disabilities, non-ambulatory, who needed medical care in the move.

“In North America, don’t write a story that isn’t about the persecution of Ukraine and Ukrainian bravery if you don’t want your career destroyed. To survive as a writer, you must leave out the fact that Kiev slaughtered their ethnic-Russian Ukrainian brothers and sisters for going on nine years, without ever discussing with Donetsk and Luhansk why they always wanted to leave Ukraine,” says writer Sharon Santiago.

Denial of the right to self determination

The language of disinformation and misinformation … an appalling situation. The failing of Germany and France to compel Kiev to talk to its own people in Donbass and thus prevent this appalling war. Ukraine lost this part of the country to separatists and yet refuses to talk to them and this brought on a larger war. In this photograph, the destruction of Donetsk homes. Photo submitted by Alona Adamovich in Ukraine. Art/Cropping/Enhancement: Rosa Yamamoto / Feminine-Perspective-Magazine

Denis Pushilin working toward industrializing DOnetsk

Moving carefully toward inclusion of Donetsk as part of the Russian Federation, on Tuesday, 6 December 2022, a meeting was held between the Acting Head of the Donetsk People’s Republic Denis Pushilin and Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, Denis Manturov. Photo courtesy Russian Federation via Office of Denis Pushilin. Photo is cropped and lightened for detail. Art/Cropping/Enhancement: Rosa Yamamoto / Feminine-Perspective-Magazine

In a joint statement released about the planning stages for merging the massively expanding Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) which now includes the ‘liberated’ city of Mariupol, it was stated that “Denis Pushilin drew attention to the need to conduct an audit of the state of production and technological capacities of the metallurgical enterprises of the DPR, as well as the need to integrate the production activities of such enterprises into the Russian industry.”

“Conducting a feasibility study will determine the strategic development guidelines and optimal parameters for the integration of the DPR metallurgical complex into the Russian industry,” Denis Pushilin, the Acting Head of the DPR said [translated from Russian].

Russian Federation Deputy Prime Minister Manturov who also heads the Ministry of Industry and Trade, stressed that the Russian Government is ready to provide full support.

“This will make it possible to implement measures to integrate enterprises of the southern regions into the Russian economy in order to increase the pace of industrial production, preserve and develop the metallurgical assets of the DPR,” he said.

Video: The truths, lies, misinformation and disinformation. A great ‘Inside Story’ by Al Jazeera (All sides of the story.)

Ukrainians have been subjected to some of the most intense bombardments of the nine-month-old war. Russian missiles and drones have rained down on Kyiv, Mykolaiv, Chernihiv, Cherkasy, Zhytomyr, Sumy, Kharkiv, Lviv, Poltava and elsewhere, destroying or damaging homes and severely disrupting critical services.


Conclusion of ‘Unity in a march of folly, Ukrainians and the Press lost freedoms’:

‘The U.S. government should end its prosecution of Julian Assange for publishing alleged secrets.’

Twelve years ago, on November 28th 2010, our five international media outlets – The New York Times, the Guardian, Le Monde, El Pais and DER SPIEGEL – published a series of revelations in cooperation with Wikileaks that made the headlines around the globe.

“Cable gate”, a set of 251,000 confidential cables from the US State Department disclosed corruption, diplomatic scandals and spy affairs on an international scale.

In the words of The New York Times, the documents told “the unvarnished story of how the government makes its biggest decisions, the decisions that cost the country most heavily in lives and money”. Even now in 2022, journalists and historians continue to publish new revelations, using the unique trove of documents.

For Julian Assange, publisher of Wikileaks, the publication of “Cable gate” and several other related leaks had the most severe consequences. On April 11th, 2019, Assange was arrested in London on a US arrest warrant, and has now been held for three and a half years in a high security British prison usually used for terrorists and members of organized crime groups. He faces extradition to the US and a sentence of up to 175 years in an American maximum security prison.

This group of editors and publishers, all of whom had worked with Assange, felt the need to publicly criticize his conduct in 2011 when unredacted copies of the cables were released, and some of us are concerned about the allegations in the indictment that he attempted to aid in computer intrusion of a classified database. But we come together now to express our grave concerns about the continued prosecution of Julian Assange for obtaining and publishing classified materials.

The Obama-Biden Administration, in office during the Wikileaks publication in 2010, refrained from indicting Assange, explaining that they would have had to indict journalists from major news outlets too. Their position placed a premium on press freedom, despite its uncomfortable consequences. Under Donald Trump however, the position changed. The DOJ relied on an old law, the Espionage Act of 1917 (designed to prosecute potential spies during World War 1), which has never been used to prosecute a publisher or broadcaster.

This indictment sets a dangerous precedent, and threatens to undermine America’s First Amendment and the freedom of the press.

Holding governments accountable is part of the core mission of a free press in a democracy.

Obtaining and disclosing sensitive information when necessary in the public interest is a core part of the daily work of journalists.  If that work is criminalised, our public discourse and our democracies are made significantly weaker.

Twelve years after the publication of “Cable gate”, it is time for the U.S. government to end its prosecution of Julian Assange for publishing secrets.

Publishing is not a crime.

The editors and publishers of:

and The RINJ Foundation (Feminine-Perspective Magazine)