Mysterious Deaths in Ukraine

The mainstream U.S. news media is so in the tank for the post-coup Ukrainian government that anything negative from neo-Nazi militias to apparent “death squad” operations is ignored, including a string of mysterious deaths of anti-coup politicians, as William Blum noted at Anti-Empire Report.

By William Blum

Following the murder of Russian opposition leader, and former Deputy Prime Minister, Boris Nemtsov in Moscow on Feb. 27, the West had a field day. Ranging from strong innuendo to outright accusation of a Kremlin-directed political murder, the Western media and politicians did not miss an opportunity to treat Russian President Vladimir Putin as a football practice dummy.

The European Parliament adopted a resolution urging an international investigation into Nemtsov’s death and suggested that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the European Council, and the United Nations could play a role in the probe.

Nazi symbols on helmets worn by members of Ukraine's Azov battalion. (As filmed by a Norwegian film crew and shown on German TV)

Nazi symbols on helmets worn by members of Ukraine’s Azov battalion. (As filmed by a Norwegian film crew and shown on German TV)

U.S. Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham introduced a Senate Resolution condemning the Nemtsov murder. The Resolution also called on President Barack Obama and the international community to pursue an independent investigation into the murder and redouble efforts to advance free speech, human rights, and the rule of law in Russia.

In addition, it urged Obama to continue to sanction human rights violators in the Russian Federation and to increase U.S. support to human rights activists in Russia.

So it went all over the West.

Meanwhile, in the same time period in Ukraine, outside of the pro-Russian area in the southeast, the following was reported:

Jan. 29: Former Chairman of the local government of the Kharkov region, Alexey Kolesnik, hanged himself.

–Feb. 24: Stanislav Melnik, a member of the opposition party (Partia Regionov), shot himself.

–Feb. 25: The Mayor of Melitopol, Sergey Valter, hanged himself a few hours before his trial.

–Feb. 26: Alexander Bordiuga, deputy director of the Melitopol police, was found dead in his garage.

–Feb. 26: Alexander Peklushenko, former member of the Ukrainian parliament, and former mayor of Zaporizhi, was found shot to death.

–Feb. 28: Mikhail Chechetov, former member of parliament, member of the opposition party (Partia Regionov), “fell” from the window of his 17th floor apartment in Kiev.

–March 14: The 32-year-old prosecutor in Odessa, Sergey Melnichuk, “fell” to his death from the 9th floor.

The Partia Regionov directly accused the Ukrainian government in the deaths of their party members and appealed to the West to react to these events. “We appeal to the European Union, PACE [Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe], and European and international human rights organizations to immediately react to the situation in Ukraine, and give a legal assessment of the criminal actions of the Ukrainian government, which cynically murders its political opponents.”

We cannot conclude from the above that the Ukrainian government was responsible for all, or even any, of these deaths. But neither can we conclude that the Russian government was responsible for the death of Boris Nemtsov, the American media and politicians notwithstanding.

A search of the mammoth Nexus news database found no mention of any of the Ukrainian deceased except for the last one above, Sergey Melnichuk, but this clearly is not the same person. It thus appears that none of the deaths on the above list was ascribed to the Western-allied Ukrainian government.

Where are the demands for international investigations of any of the deaths? In the United States or in Europe? Where is Sen. McCain?

William Blum is an author, historian, and renowned critic of U.S. foreign policy. He is the author of Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II and Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower, among others. [This article originally appeared at the Anti-Empire Report, .]

29 comments for “Mysterious Deaths in Ukraine

  1. April 8, 2015 at 17:48

    This is erelvent if your gonna say something back it up with evidence people thor knows what he/she is doing

  2. April 6, 2015 at 00:23

    these high level deaths in Ukraine, what is it about now? what is going on? by the way, read TabooGenocide for background on West support of Stalin during tragic Holodomor years leading to WW2 collaboration.

  3. Igor
    April 4, 2015 at 16:00

    You are stupid, if you think that the murder of Nemtsov was interested Putin. For unenlightened? I’ll remind: Putin – the former head of the FSB. If he’s whont to kill Nemtsiv – you will newer know thet Nemtsov die. Another alternative – suicide at home with handwritten suicide note or death from overdose. Believe me, if it were it was a matter of the FSB – no one international commission did not find reasons to untrusted evidence. And what happened? Murder on the background of the Kremlin to keep alive a witness, (by the way – from Ukraine) and a homemade gun. Intelligence agencies do not work so… Or wey du so in other countries, where the role of the artist could not recruit anyone, other than cattle, (professional ferry could not because of the FSB). I know^ you don’t like Putin, but one think you will agree with me: Putin is not a fool. Fools it’s you are, if you do not notice the obvious. Whom it was profitable? Protest march? It fail before the start. It could not collect significant kolichemtvo protesters; that looked particularly a failure on the background of recent rally anti Maidan. But after the death of Nemtsov, left by those who are not going to on a protest march apposition, but went to the meeting out of respect for Nemtsov. And here at this same meeting appears radical diputat Ukrainian Rada, with an impressive amount of cash, and in the USD. Fll this happend in so time, there is a series of mysterious suicides apozitsion mans in Ukraine. Are you really so stupid? !!

  4. April 4, 2015 at 08:13

    Is it a coincidence then that the current head of SBU (Nalivaichenko) has long been accused of being a CIA agent, and the CIA director visited Ukraine a few times since the February coup? The CIA and FBI agents have openly set up base in Ukraine, as reported by German newspapers.

    The February coup has many signs of a CIA operation, including the false flag sniper attack, reminiscent of Operation AP-Ajax. Who is better than the Agency at engineering waves of mysterious deaths of its opponents? Remember the two large waves of deaths of JFK assassination witnesses (over a hundred total) during the Warren Commission investigation and during the HSCA investigation? Not to mention tens of thousands of Vietnamese civilians murdered by the CIA on suspicion of collaborating with North Vietnam (the Phoenix Program) or the current victims of drone killings across the globe. All the while the news media infested by CIA-sponsored journalists are ridiculing conspiracy theorists and anyone who doubts the official cover story about promotion of “freedom and democracy.”

    Did you know that it is perfectly legal for the CIA to bribe journalists in Ukraine, according to the US laws? We are talking about the country where a typical salary is about $300 a month.

    • rodolfo
      April 4, 2015 at 14:15

      Strawmen and trolling speculation does not an argument make.

  5. Anna Ohanoglu
    April 4, 2015 at 02:18

    A hot war between Russia and NATO – Whether there will be? Arayik SARGSYAN, academician, President of Geopolitical Academy.

  6. Postsonly
    April 3, 2015 at 22:43

    These mysterious deaths have received a lot of attention in the Ukrainian media, including English language pro Kiev publications. It is likely that the Western mainstream media have not focused on them because there is as yet nothing concrete that can be said about them.

    • Oleg
      April 4, 2015 at 07:06

      Having nothing concrete to say never stopped the media before…

  7. Realist
    April 3, 2015 at 21:54

    It could just as easily have been Putin’s little green men who were responsible for those deaths …

    • Erik
      April 4, 2015 at 06:21

      That defies reason, both in the fact of the deaths and the attribution of suicides.

    • Oleg
      April 4, 2015 at 07:08

      Right… Or it could have been Martha Stuart.

    • bet
      April 4, 2015 at 20:07

      More likely the CIA’s little putzes.

  8. THor
    April 3, 2015 at 14:17

    In aggregate the deaths are curious to be sure…but none of them- individually- were even remotely as news worthy as Nemtsov’s.

    Its not really fair to compare these decidedly low profile people and their death circumstances to the most famous opposition leader in Russia being shot dead within sight of the Kremlin.

    • Oleg
      April 3, 2015 at 19:38

      With 0.5% support Nemtsov was just about as irrelevant as those fellows. And 7 “suicides” in 6 weeks is not a big deal??? Even if Kiev introduced gas chambers for the Untermenschen from the East, the Western media would turn a blind eye.

      • Thor
        April 4, 2015 at 14:01

        Irrelevant? he was assassinated 2 days before he was to lead a protest in Moscow.

        For being “irrelevant” he certainly had a much higher profile than any of the others and thus much more likely to attract western media attention. The location didnt hurt either.

        • Oleg
          April 4, 2015 at 14:22

          Irrelevant in terms of political power and popularity. The media jumped on it because that’s exactly what they needed to spread anti-Russian propaganda.
          Now imagine if those 7 “suicides” of high profile figures happened in Russia. This would have been labeled as “systematic extermination of the opposition by the murdorous Kremlin”

          • Thor
            April 4, 2015 at 15:01

            No, they jumped on it because it was a very dramatic, cold-blooded murder of relatively prominent political figure captured on camera within sight of the Kremlin.

            If you cannot rationally see why that would attract more media attention then low-level figures in Ukraine committing suicide before they go on trial…then…I cant help you.

            The media doesnt “need” a reason to “spread propaganda”- Russia readily provides the fodder.

        • Oleg
          April 5, 2015 at 09:20

          Nemtsov’s murder was “very dramatic” as it fit simpleton’s stereotypes created by Hollywood’s Cold War movies. There was nothing dramatic about it in political terms – the guy was irrelevant and the only reason we are talking about him is because he’s dead. The reaction in the media was completely disproportionate if you compare it to that from the “mysterious deaths in Ukraine”. Like I said, had this happened in Russia, it’d have been in the headlines.

          It’s just whatever Kiev’s junta does is all kosher, be it glorification of Nazism, bombing of the cities, extermination of the opposition, etc.

          • Thor
            April 5, 2015 at 17:00

            “the only reason we are talking about him is because he’s dead”

            exactly- the manner in which he was killed and the location as I have stated several times before. He may not have had any political clout but he certainly had a much higher profile than ANY of the others…and thus more “newsworthy” on an individual basis…as I stated in my original comment- thank you for agreeing with me.

            Shall we compare ALL the mysterious deaths in Russia to those in Ukraine??? I doubt you want to go there.

        • Andor
          April 5, 2015 at 15:10

          First, Nemtsov was not “leading” the “Spring” march, he was an honorable participant, period.
          Second, even his friends don’t entertain any suspicions of the Kremlin.
          You choose to be deaf and blind since it suits your theories of Kremlin “evil”.
          Two Russian journalists (and political figures) agree, “This is clearly a provocation, and it clearly doesn’t benefit Putin,” quoted Nemtsov’s friend and long-time political ally Irina Khakamada as saying.
          “If you consider Putin a calculating, smart person who precisely and coldly weighs all the pros and contras, and the whole world sees him that way, getting rid of Nemtsov was not just meaningless but damaging to him, and it did damage him,” TV host Vladimir Posner, one of Russia’s most respected political journalists, wrote on his blog.

          • thor
            April 5, 2015 at 17:04

            Andor- you are making assumptions about me that you cannot possibly know- that will only lead to your failure.

            The issue being discussed here is not who did killed him…its why the western media covered that murder more than some suicides of decidedly less well known people in Ukraine.

    • Erik
      April 4, 2015 at 06:29

      They are apparently not “low profile people” in Ukraine. The figure must be compared with the rate of such deaths of non-opposition leaders, which is probably zero over that period. We will find out in thirty years that these were all OK’d in principle if not planned in detail in Washington. And those who say so then will be subjected to surveillance and ignored by the public, for the press will be even more subservient to the dark state of economic concentrations.

      • thor
        April 4, 2015 at 14:10

        “They are apparently not “low profile people” in Ukraine”

        Perhaps not- but the question at hand is “US mainstream media” ‘s attention to this topic.

        Mayors of towns no one in the US has ever heard of, regional prosecutors and party apparatchiks committing suicide are not nearly as likely to attract western media attention as much as Murder in Red Square.

        • Robert Bruce
          April 5, 2015 at 23:17

          Thor, the reason for his murder was exactly that, it was high profile to just feed the warmongering idiots of America with more reason to hate/ fight Russia. The guy wasn’t going to hurt Putin at all. Putin has allowed protests in the past, so why give a shit about one now since he has 85% approval rating. It was a setup. I mean if Putin did it don’t you think he would have done it like the CIA with a plane crash or a drug induced heart attack or get some lone nut type of scenario going like with JFK? You might think the list does not garner main stream media attention in the West, but god damn, the list is longer than most of my grocery lists for the week!!!!!! I can’t believe that I am living in the same America I have always lived in. Americans are going into this war with Russia thing , like it will just be another Iraq war cake walk. Every empire has gone through this delusion of being exceptional before it takes the big dive, we are no exception.

    • Eddy
      April 5, 2015 at 06:17

      Excuse m ? “the most famous opposition leader in Russia being shot dead within sight of the Kremlin.” ? W.T.F. ? Since when is this A’hole supposed to be the quote, ” most famous opposition leader in Russia” ?
      When in fact he was nothing but small fry and of no consequence as many media have now recognized ?
      Clearly Thor, you really need to catch up with the REAL news from OUTSIDE the U.S. sources.

      • a
        April 5, 2015 at 15:13

        Eddy, since his death in the company of the high price girl!

      • thor
        April 5, 2015 at 17:09

        The fact remains he was much more well known then any of the people in Ukraine who died….and thus likely to garner more press coverage.


        You people let your bias cloud your ability for rational thought. Your obstinance to facts and resorting to insults is quite revealing.

        • Serg Derbst
          April 10, 2015 at 07:52

          I think the question is less why “Western” media (and politicians) covered the murder of Nemtsov, but the way they did it. Just as with MH17, this had been neither proper journalism nor proper diplomacy. The trouble with the “Western” reaction on this murder was that immediately Putin/Kremlin was blamed for the murder. That is the issue here.

          btw, the German dwn – an alternative online news outlet focusing primarily on economics and geopolitics – did report about those seven suicides in six weeks in Ukraine. They’ve also reported of about 40 bankers who have apparently committed suicide since early 2014. Both are incidents that are more than just weird and they’re definitely news-worthy, given proper journalism.

          So, the trouble is not the “Western” coverage of the murder of a former Yelzin ally and opposition guy in Russia, but rather how they covered it and what else they have ignored. This is a problem, because this is not journalism, this is a mix of propaganda and attention-whoring (driving up sales and clicks by emotional and lurid headlines).

    • Andor
      April 16, 2015 at 15:43

      Update. On March 15th Ukrainian journalist, Olga Moroz, who investigated illegal forest harvesting was assassinated.
      On April 15th, 2015, a former member of the Regions Party, ex-member of the Ukrainian Parliament, Oleg Kalashnikov, was shot dead next to his apartment door in Kiev.
      Today, April 16th, another “pro-Russian” journalist, Oles’ Buzina, was shot dead in the bright daylight in Kiev.
      Last two death Ukrainian politicians tried to pin on Russia…

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