Tribunale contro la NATO in Ucraina

Cronaca dall'International Action Center

KIEV, Ukraine--President Clinton and other NATO leaders were found guilty of crimes against peace by an International Peoples Tribunal on NATO War Crimes Against Yugoslavia (English translation) that met Jan. 23 in the parliament building of this beautiful ancient capital. The hearing was held in defiance of the U.S.-backed regime of President Leonid Kuchma, who wants to bring Ukraine into NATO.

Delegates from Ukraine, Belarus, Russia, Yugoslavia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Germany and the United States took part in the hearing. The U.S. was represented by Larissa Kritskaya and Bill Doares of the International Action Center. Kritskaya and Doares were shown on the front page of the major daily Kievsky Vedomosty under the headline "Americans Who Dream of Destroying NATO."

The Kiev tribunal was the second in a series of hearings organized by the International Peoples Tribunal, which was initiated in Russia by All- Slavic Assembly. The first was held in the Russian city of Yaroslavl Dec. 14. Others are planned for Belgrade (March 27), Warsaw and Minsk. The Kiev tribunal focused on charges of crimes against peace- conspiracy to cause a war. IPT organizers plan to coordinate their efforts with the Commission of Inquiry on U.S./NATO War Crimes Against Yugoslavia organized by the International Action Center and former U.S. attorney general Ramsey Clark.

The Ukraine hearing, which was chaired by Prof. Mikhail Kuznetsov of Moscow, got considerable support from the Socialist, Communist and other Ukrainian opposition parties. Socialist Party deputy Vil Nikolayich Romashenko was vice president of the tribunal.

The judges and participants heard eyewitness testimony from Yugoslav delegates who told of the death and destruction inflicted by NATO bombs and missiles, which took 2,000 civilian lives. They also heard several parliamentarians who had visited Yugoslavia during the war.

Deputy Sergei Kaszian of the Belarus parliament told of his meetings with ethnic Albanian Kosovar leaders who condemned the NATO bombing and held the U.S. responsible for the destruction of their country. Kaszian said that NATO forces used had brutalized Kosovar refugees, separating children from mothers and sending them to different countries. He also testified to the large number of children killed or wounded by NATO bombs and missiles.

Ukrainian Communist deputy Vladimir Moiseenko represents the Donbass coal-mining region and chairs the Ukraine Association to Restore the Soviet Union. He pointed out that NATO was from its inception an aggressive alliance aimed against East Europe and the Soviet Union and compared the U.S.-NATO strategy used to break up Yugoslavia with its current strategy toward Ukraine. He quoted U.S. strategist Zbigniew Brzezinski's description of Ukraine as a "military platform" for NATO's expansion to the east. A NATO Ukraine would become a base to invade Belarus and later Russia, Moiseenko said. He condemned Ukraine's U.S.-backed president Leonid Kuchma for facilitating NATO's expansion but said, "The Ukrainian people are waking up to resist Ukraine's colonization." He also called on the rest of the world to apply economic sanctions against the U.S. and other NATO states if NATO is not dissolved. "But the world is not insane yet and has the strength to stop NATO and its 'spiritual leader' the United States."

Retired Soviet admiral Anatoli Yurkovsky, now a member of Ukrainian parliament, testified that NATO was also aimed at the Albanian people. He told of the 1996 mass uprising in southern Albania against the U.S.-backed Berisha regime. The insurgents "formed committees of national salvation that were like the workers' councils in Russia in 1917. But they were smothered by the massive intervention of NATO troops."

Larissa Kritskaya, a member of the International Action Center, said that "corporate America has dominated Ukraine long enough to deliver the country to the point of total destruction. But there is another America inside the land of giant corporations, and that is conscious people in the U.S. We are happy to be here today representing these people as your friends and supporters in your struggle against the coming colonization planned by U.S.-led NATO."

IAC spokesperson Bill Doares condemned the war against Yugoslavia "as a cynical maneuver carried out to enrich giant U.S. corporations that profit off death and destruction." He said that "bombs and missiles are not the only agency of destruction. When the International Monetary Fund orders Ukraine to close down its coal mines and steel plants, reducing workers to starvation, is that not an act of war?" He denounced NATO as "the strike force of the International Monetary Fund."

Yugoslav ambassador to Ukraine Goiko Dapcevic said, "the fact that the war crimes tribunal took place here in Ukraine and the fact that there were many representatives of your country willing to testify in the name of truth about the horrible crimes committed during this unlawful war that brought a human tragedy to Yugoslavia speaks to our unity. Yet the war in Yugoslavia is still far from its end," he continued. "Though there are no missiles and bombs falling from the sky right now, there is also no peace for us at this time. And the most difficult thing now is our incapacity to break the blockade on information. Therefore an event like the war crimes tribunal has special value in our struggle to tell the world the truth about this war and the present condition of my country."

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