Monthly Archives: March 2014

Melbourne in March

This was taken from the balcony of our apartment on the 13th of March. That’s Luna Park, with Port Phillip Bay behind it.

Luna Park St Kilda Melbourne Australia 13th March 2013 Sonya Heaney Oksana Heaney


Filed under Australia, Photography, Travel

Russian kidnappings of Ukrainian commanders continue

Russian kidnappings of Ukrainian commanders continue-continue

“Kidnappings of our unit commanders in Crimea have become a norm. The occupiers are cynically calling these acts “arrests.” But neither the Russian militaries nor the so-called “Crimean self-defense” have any legal rights whatsoever (even under the Russian legislation!) to arrest anyone. Under any international norms, what they are doing is defined as kidnapping, a crime recognized by any country in the world.

Most of the “arrested” are being kept and interrogated in the commandant’s office of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol. Today, this is the Crimean peninsula’s own little Gestapo.”

How is it even possible for one country to be this evil – just because they get off on power?! Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev: the two worst cases of Napoleon complex in the history of the condition!

Ukrainian military Crimea Ukraine Russian Aggressors Kidnapping Ukrainians March 2014

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Formula One Podium

This is the Australian Formula One podium from our seats on the 16th. We sit here every year, and at the end of each race the professional photographers come and stand in our area for their pictures. I guess that means we have good seats!

I can’t tell you how annoyed I am that the result of this race was changed afterwards. It’s so bad for the fans, the sport, everything when stuff like this happens. The atmosphere afterwards was amazing (and with no Sebastian Vettel on the podium – thank God – the crowd didn’t boo anyone).

Australian Formula One Podium 2014 16th March Melbourne Sonya Heaney Oksana Heaney


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R.I.P. Reshat Ametov

Crimean Tatar Reshat Ametov is the latest Ukrainian to be found tortured and murdered for protesting for Ukraine and against Russian aggression.

Crimean Tatar Reshat Ametov is the latest Ukrainian to be found tortured and murdered for protesting for Ukraine and against Russian aggression. Before his body was found, he was last seen being dragged away by Russian men in military uniform. Prior to this, he was captured on Russian surveillance footage as part of a peaceful pro-Ukrainian protest in Sevastopol.

These are tactics that have gone largely unreported in the international media, as the focus was more on the snipers in Kyiv. However many people, before and after the mass murder in Ukraine’s capital, have been murdered this way. Many people are missing in Crimea, including two women who disappeared after trying to hand out pamphlets to counter the Russian propaganda.

The Crimean Tatars were victims of ethnic cleansing under Stalin, and now have lost their homeland all over again with Russia’s invasion.

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St Kilda on Thursday Evening

The view from our apartment in St Kilda, Melbourne on Thursday evening.

We flew down for the Formula One on Thursday, and came back on Monday.

We have been staying in this apartment overlooking the National Theatre (despite the fancy name, it’s not really the “National” anything – people in Melbourne just like sticking the word in front of place names!) for every Melbourne trip for a few years now. It has a balcony that goes halfway around the building, with views to the water in the other direction.

St Kilda Melbourne Australia 13th March 2014 Sonya Heaney Oksana Heaney


Filed under Australia, Photography, Travel

Thoughts from Kyiv on imminent invasion – 16 March 2014

Euromaidan PR

1975123_518074044976930_2071719784_n By Mychailo Wynnyckyj PhD
Kyiv-Mohyla Academy

Today, Crimeans “voted”. Given the barrage of media coverage of this event, I hardly feel it’s worthwhile to comment on it further: the “referendum” was illegal and will not be recognized by any country other than Russia; the result is a foregone conclusion. A more interesting question is “what’s next?”

After Prime Minister Yatseniuk’s return from the US on Friday, and his public statement warning that NATO would not be intervening militarily into the current dispute with Russia, Ukraine’s government seems to have finally begun real preparations for war. A law allowing for the formation of a National Guard (to consist primarily of former Maidan Self-Defense forces) was passed, troop movements and training has intensified, mass mobilization of reserves is set to begin this week. The Ukrainian Defense Minister, First Deputy Prime Minister (himself a former general), and other highly placed officials (including former…

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Today is the day for Crimea


On Sunday the 16th of March, the armed Russian occupiers will be forcing an illegal referendum on Crimea, Ukraine.

The ballot paper has no option for Crimea to stay part of Ukraine – just as in Soviet days, there aren’t options in elections.

The Crimean Tatars, victims of ethnic cleansing under Stalin, do not want this to happen. Yet again, they have no choice about what happens to their homeland.

Those residents of Crimea who didn’t flee before Russia invaded have been completely cut off from Ukraine. The internet and television stations have been blocked, replaced with Russian stations and anti-Ukrainian propaganda. The Russia media is claiming there’re American troops storming the rest of Ukraine, and so that’s why Russia had to invade. This is a blatant lie.

The international community doesn’t recognise this referendum as legal, but it will go ahead anyway, just as Russia has been able to get away with everything else they’ve done in the past few months.

I’m going to be travelling when this happens, so any crazy Russians who feel like attacking me while I am should refer to this post.

It’s disheartening – it’s terrifying – that the world is just sitting back offering “thoughts and prayers” or “diplomatic talks” while Vladimir Putin goes about creating USSR 2.0.

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