Czech press survey - August 30


30.08.2014 13:28

Prague - Russian soldiers without military insignia fighting in eastern Ukraine are illegitimate and this is why they can be labelled murderers, Zbynek Petracek writes in daily Lidove noviny (LN) today.


Ilustrační foto - Zajatí ruští výsadkáři v Kyjevě. ČTK/AP neuveden

He hints at the controversial statement by German intellectual Kurt Tucholsky who wrote that "soldiers are murderers" in a German paper in 1931, which caused a fuss then.

Petracek points out that now this sentence can be seen in a different light in view of the Russian strategy sending soldiers without insignia to a battlefield in eastern Ukraine.

Petracek asks along with Tucholsky: "When can legitimate soldiers become murderers? And he answers: "It is when they do not wear the insignia that make them soldiers."

Tucholsky´s sentence has a different meaning in eastern Ukraine. It has turned from the "canon of the fight for freedom of speech into the canon of the division into the still acceptable and the unacceptable," Petracek notes.

The Russian "green men" are wiping off the border between the rules of war and the rules of law. "They are illegitimate soldiers and as such they are murderers," Petracek concludes.

The Kremlin is just preparing for a new division of power into which the financial and economic crisis has pushed the world, Jaroslav Plesl writes in Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) today, commenting on the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

He says the conflict has entered a new phase as Russian troops are crossing Ukrainian territory, advancing to Crimea. No one doubts that a regular war is waging between Russia and Ukraine.

However, the current Russia has nothing in common with the Nazi Germany, though Russian President Vladimir Putin is now often being compared to Adolf Hitler, Plesl notes.

By the military intervention, Putin just sends a message to the West about his country´s readiness for action and decisiveness, while the leaders of the united Europe are not able to agree on any efficient retaliatory measures, Plesl writes.

He says the Kremlin´s unspoken goal is to weaken the united Europe or even disintegrate it.

Paradoxically, Russians will need West Europe and the United States more and more as their ally against the strengthening China. But they do not want to beg for aid, they want to be equal partners who are taken seriously, Plesl writes.

It is tragic that many Russian and Ukrainian soldiers, and unfortunately also Russian and Ukrainian civilians, including women and children, will pay dearly for it. This is the logic of the process which will end with a redrafted power map of the world," Plesl writes in conclusion.

President Milos Zeman should practice what he preaches, Alexandr Mitrofanov indicates in daily Pravo today.

On the one hand, Zeman sharply criticises the compromise version of the civil service bill since it includes the posts of political deputy minister, whom he considers parasites doing nothing for a high salary. On the other hand, his own office´s head Vratislav Mynar does not meet security criteria for the post, Mitrofanov says.

Mynar cannot accompany Zeman to the NATO summit in Wales since he does not have the necessary security vetting to deal with classified data, which he should have acquired a long time ago, Mitrofanov writes.

He recalls than Zeman even ordered Mynar at the end of last year to apply for the vetting at the National Security Office (NBU) immediately not to lose his job. Mynar did so, but nothing happened since then.

He neither passed the vetting, nor was he sacked, Mitrofanov writes in Pravo.

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