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Slightly Skeptical EuroMaidan Chronicles, December 2013

News From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss Color revolutions Fifth Column of Neoliberal Globalization Compradors Ukrainian Compradors Democracy as a universal opener for access to natural resources

Greenwald explains why US and British media are so one sided (Greenwald US, British media are servants of security apparatus, RT, Dec 27, 2013):

Dec 27, 2013 | RT News

...When Greenwald and his colleagues began working with Snowden, he said they realized that they’d have to act in a way that wasn’t on par with how the mainstream media has acted up until now.

We resolved that we were going to have to be very disruptive of the status quo — not only the surveillance and political status quo, but also the journalistic status quo,” Greenwald said. “And I think one of the ways that you can see what it is that we were targeting is in the behavior of the media over the past six months since these revelations have emerged almost entirely without them and despite them.”

[W]e knew in particular that one of our most formidable adversaries was not simply going to be the intelligence agencies on which we were reporting and who we were trying to expose, but also their most loyal, devoted servants, which calls itself the United States and British media.”

It really is the case that the United States and British governments are not only willing but able to engage in any conduct no matter how grotesque,” Greenwald said.

Nevertheless, he added, journalists tasked with reporting on those issues have all too often been compliant with the blatant lies made by officials from those governments.

Halfway through his remarks, Greenwald recalled a recent quip he made while being interviewed by BBC about the necessity of a functioning media in an environment where government officials can spew untruths to reporters without being questioned.

[A]t one point I made what I thought was the very unremarkable and uncontroversial observation that the reason why we have a free press is because national security officials routinely lie to the population in order to shield their power and get their agenda advanced,” recalled Greenwald, who said it is both the “the goal and duty of a journalist is to be adversarial to those people in power.”

According to Greenwald, the BBC reporter met his remark with skepticism.

I just cannot believe that you would suggest that senior officials, generals in the US and the British government, are actually making false claims to the public,” he remembered being told on-air.

It really is the central view of certainly American and British media stars, that when — especially people with medals on their chest who are called generals, but also high officials in the government — make claims that those claims are presumptively treated as true without evidence. And that it’s almost immoral to call them into question or to question their voracity,” he said.

Obviously we went through the Iraq War, in which those very two same governments specifically and deliberately lied repeatedly to the government, to their people, over the course of two years to justify an aggressive war that destroyed a country of 26 million people. But we’ve seen it continuously over the last six months as well.”

From there, he went on to cite the example of US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who earlier this year made remarks to Congress that were quickly proved false by documents leaked to Greenwald by Mr. Snowden. The very first National Security Agency document he was shown, Greenwald said,

revealed that the Obama administration had succeeded in convincing court, a secret court, to compel phone companies to turn over to the NSA every single phone record of every single telephone call.”

Clapper “went to the Senate and lied to their faces...which is at least as serious of a crime as anything Edward Snowden is accused of," Greenwald added.

But DNI Clapper aside, Greenwald said that the established media continues to reject the notion that government officials spew lies. Snowden’s NSA documents have exposed those fibs on more than one occasion, he noted, yet reporters around the world continue to take the word of officials as fact rather than dig from the truth.

Their role is not to be adversarial. Their role is to be loyal spokespeople to those powerful factions that they pretend to exercise oversight,” Greenwald said.

But as the US, UK and other governments continue to feed the media lies, Greenwald said their operations are far from being single-pronged. The US

knows that its only hope for continuing to maintain its regiment of secrecy behind which it engages with radical and corrupt acts is to intimidate and deter and threaten people who are would-be whistleblowers and transparency activists from coming forward and doing what it is that they do by showing them that they’ll be subjected to even the most extreme punishments and there’s nothing that they can do about it,” he said. “And it’s an effective tactic.”

Ironically, he added, those nations are “fueling the fire of this activism with their own abusive behavior.”

... ... ...

The NSA’s goal, Greenwald said, is to “ensure that all forms of human communication . . .are collected, monitored, stored and analyzed by that agency and by their allies.”

Darya Aslamova explains why Russia lost Ukraine

[Dec 23, 2013] Why Russia lost Ukraine Darya Aslamova

The main driving force pulling Ukraine to Europe are Ukrainian nationalists from three provinces of Western Ukraine. Which fought with Nazi Germany against Soviets in WWII...  They are much like tea party in the USA are not ready to accept any compromises. It's my way or highway.
kp.ru

To answer this question, a special correspondent for "KP " Daria Aslamova went to Maidan.

Here is what she reports:

" That's imagine the driver named Yanukovich, who speed the car called the Ukraine towards the western border, and at the last minute slammed the breaks and hit the border post. Completely smashing the front, them  whole hood, passengers hit the windshield, the international community is in hysterics. All ran to the crash site and give tips on what to do. And Yanukovich himself, pale, keeps saying I am not guilty, car mechanics are guilty, I'm driving it for only three years and for all this time did not notice that brakes were completely disabled by infiltrated hostile elements. I've saved all the last moment. Galichina is shocked -- the man who turned on a giant propaganda machine to brainwash the population for joining the EU, went to Europe and changed his mind at the last moment. East was  long offended Yanukovich betrayal but is silent -- they mistaken still thing that he is one of them and represent their interests. Tribalism, tribal consciousness , In short, Yanukovich managed betrayed and confused everybody."

Ukrainian writer Oles Elder is ironic, take no prisoners in his judgments, but pragmatic, as a true citizen of Independent Ukraine:

" And then came Putin with 15 billion dollars. And once it became clear that cheap Ukrainians ended. Ukrainians rednecks are now expensive."

How Ukraine again reached Maidan

You are still going to laugh till you drop, as people from Odessa used to say, but essentially nobody ever read the famous Ukrainian Association Agreement with the European Union (by the way , written in English). Or rather, it was only read by completely zombified, from college bench nurtured by Americans fifth column who served as experts from Ukrainian side. Or let's call them agents of influence . Actually, when Yanukovich babbled in terror that it would be good to find out who so blatantly betrayed the national interests of Ukraine in the negotiations on the Association with the EU, and that it smells like treason - he was absolutely right .

"People who prepare documents for initialing, unfortunately, are not paid agents of influence. They are unpaid volunteers, and it's really scary - the Oleg Havic expert told us. - With  paid agents it's pretty  understandable. But here are ideologically brainwashed zombies, fluent in English and German, who got an excellent education in the West and they sincerely believe that those conditions of full capitulation and betrayal of national interest is what  Ukraine needs. Yes, bottom three quarter of population will suffer and starve,  an economic will collapse , country become a colony, but Ukraine will be forever cut off from Russia."

"In our country about 10 thousand employees of non-governmental organizations - says Ukrainian Parliament (Rada) deputy Oleg Tsarev . - More than Ukraine, Soros spends only in Africa. We can hardly find any minister or administration official who did not spend some time in training in the NGO or was not at some time an employee of the NGO . These are people who for twenty years were prepared for the task: to change the matrix Ukrainian people. And they almost succeeded."

Here is what Oleg Tsarev, the leader of the Party of Regions stresses: " We're already Europe , we are its center, so in no way will perish without  European Union -- "

But there were also true patriots in Ukraine, which this summer became alarmed and demanded to translate text of the agreement into Ukrainian and post it on the government website. This despite the fact that part of the Russian-speaking deputies does not fluently speak  Ukrainian, and that this  economic agreement has the size of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia . Somebody hurried up. Later our people from the Customs Union were not to lazy and managed to translate the text into Russian as a gesture goodwill.

However, summer, hot, singing birds , MPs and businessmen are leaving on vacation. The mood was, why you are bothering me with you f**n Association ? But then came the "the trade war between Ukraine and Russia " ( as Ukrainian media called it) . And in fact , Russia has shown that in the case of sighing of a trade agreement between Ukraine and the EU and the abolition of customs duties it will protect its market and erect strong customs barriers to the flow of goods from the West, which will transit through Ukraine. This means that the window of opportunity closes for Ukrainian producers. Local businessman has had a stroke , and the business instantly appealed to the President of Ukraine to postpone the Association at least a year.

As the representative of the Government of Ukraine in the Eurasian Economic Commission Viktor Suslov noted

"Business was initially inert: we say, do not study the projects we will studying law when it will pass. Business is not accustomed to participate in government - says ex-Minister of Economy of Ukraine.  When the serious decline in the volume of trade with Russia happened, it became clear that the inevitable consequence of signing will be the de-industrialization of the country, the loss of manufacturing, and possible  death of agriculture. And that this is not a horror story, but pretty realistic scenario.

But the problem is that most of the media and most experts in Ukraine is paid by Western funds. There was a massive brainwashing of public via MSM, which all claimed that the Association with the EU is a huge plus for our state. And any government is dependent on the MSM. In essence, the government was misled by people who have entrusted to negotiate with EU."

The best way to lose independence ("nezalezhnost" in Ukrainian)

By October, the Association Agreement became a hit , the most popular detective reading matter among politicians in Ukraine . And there really was something to read . It suddenly became clear that Ukraine is committed to follow the instructions of the EU in the field of its foreign and security policy (without the right to vote and the possibility of future membership in the EU) , to participate in all civilian and military EU operations in conflict zones , to cooperate with the European Defense Agency ( I mean to abandon the remaining military technologies , which, incidentally directly affects Russia ) . With regard to moral standards the Orthodox part of Ukrainian population in the spirit of political correctness was ordered to follow certain directives. But were even curious  people who tried to read very directives that Europeans do not even dare to publish in English in order to avoid scandal.

" In fact, we impose common European homosexual dictatorship - said the deputy of the Verkhovna Rada Kolesnichenko . - Protection of the rights of sexual minorities and in the future legalization of gay marriage. In addition, abolished the presumption of innocence in the employment relationship . For example, if I did not take a gay to work for some reason, he does not have to prove in court that he was discriminated against because of his sexual orientation, its me who need  to explain and justify that gay was not discriminated against."

It turned out that the West does not plan to giving anything to Ukraine for free and that 25 percent of foreign trade of Ukraine already lost. And that money in the treasury is enough only for three months.

But it's just nuisance. The real deal was the establishment in Ukraine EU economic dictatorship.

"These trade agreements the EU has with many countries in North Africa , but none of them had the enslaving demand, which does not allow Tunisia or Algeria to join  whatsoever trade agreements with third countries with which the EU will not agree - says economist Michael Kuhar . - In fact, the treaty of Association of Brussels gave authority to decide whether, for example, sovereign Ukraine can join any trade agreement with Russia or China or not. This is a dishonest approach. "

But the main jewel of  the Association Agreement - the introduction of European standards . The word " European standards" sounded so beautiful (almost as high quality home renovation using best European materials ) that local Liberasts were awash with happiness. But ...

"This document , which is physically impossible to comply with , - assured us the analyst Rostislav Ishchenko . - In order to prevent the market to sell grandmothers homemade pickles and jams, you need to occupy Ukraine with at least half-million army. No, theoretically grandmother can produce coleslaw, but she can not sell it. Not because the coleslaw  can not be made , but because it does not meet European standards. Even Lithuanians, who entered EU long ago and on more decent conditions, almost lost their agriculture, as they never managed to fit to rules."

"Yes, Ukrainian grandmothers did not produce chicken and bacon according to EU standards . And you know why ? Because they make it to a higher standard - said Ukrainian writer Oles Elderberries . - And to lower standards they can just go to Western technology and this pump chicken with hormones and water. The most striking example of European standards : express train number one Kiev - Moscow, which consists entirely of Polish wagons. I rode on it from Moscow during really low temperatures. So their clever eurowashers sensors did not work because Russian low temperatures are not Euro Low temperatures. And how conductors solve this problem ? They are pore boiling water into a bottles and pour it into the toilets to unfreeze them .

We can assume that German tanks that invaded Russia in 1941, were made by European standards. They have narrow tracks and run on petrol. But they all became a useless pile of metal near Moscow when temperatures dropped in winter of 1941. In France, the tank worked, but in Russia it ceased to start. You see, we have ( ha ha!) quote different isotherm for January"

The signing of the Association means not just operetta Maidan protesters, but real hungry and angry crowd of unemployed on the streets next year

What is EuroStandart and how much it cost to convert Ukraine to them?

According to conservative estimates , the conversion to euro standard will cost Ukraine about 160 billion Euros. After the conclusion of the Agreement with the EU all that Ukraine has - all the infrastructure, railways, roads , businesses and even the Ukrainian soil (best in Europe) ceases to comply with the technical regulations of the European Union. As economist Michael Kuhar noted:

"The basic difference between agriculture in Europe from Ukrainian that the certification of land there , that we do not have. It is necessary to make a chemical analysis of the soil, in order to determine how much herbicides it contains, and whether it is suitable, for example, to grow tomatoes. This is an expensive procedure, which costs 800 Euros per each hectare of land. And in Ukraine, 33 million hectares of arable land -- That is billions of Euros. I'm not talking about the requirements for infrastructure , on the chemical and metallurgical plants, all of which do not meet the emission standards. "

EU condescending recommends Ukraine to pay special attention to "micro enterprises and craftsmen  (!)"  This despite the fact that Ukraine can produce nuclear stations equipment, aircraft, rockets, military vessels, engines, railway cars, etc.

As the representative of the Government of Ukraine in Eurasian Commission Viktor Suslov  noted:

"There are two key points in the agreement with the EU. First, the Ukrainian economy is not competitive with European and when imposed on a free trade zone and mutual zero custom duties. It will inevitably perish in this struggle, . - Zero custom duties  calls into question the existence of entire industries . For example, Ukraine is the largest producer of sunflower seeds and sunflower oil. Export seeds we set the export duty, so we are making it more economical to process seeds within the country, and Ukraine has one of the most powerful oil extraction industry. When you abolish custom duties, the same EU will directly procure seeds and will process them outside of Ukraine. Therefore, local oil extraction industry will die.

Generally, few people understand that when you cancel the import duties, incentives for foreign investment might not increase but actually decrease. Contrary to common opinion it might be that for foreign companies it does not make sense to build new factories in Ukraine and create jobs. In this case  Ukraine is becoming just a new market for EU goods. Investments in the country are often made only if they serve as a means of overcoming trade barriers when the country can not enter with the goods, and with the investment company organized in its territory. ( For example creation foreign car assembly  plants in Russia. )

And the second important point: the introduction of the EU technical standards, Yes it is a revolution. Let's assume that they are the best in the world, but who will pay for such a transition ? This way a unique situation is created: the more competitive European manufacturers come here not just free of duties, but also by dictating their own rules of the game! So all Ukrainian companies do not comply , for example, environmental standards , must be shut down and give up their market share -- And again, very few people saw in this the additional problem: the introduction of European standards means cutting the whole body of the economy of the former USSR in two parts. It breaks existing economic ties and in some cases (railways) make standards incompatible with the rest of former USSR.

Destruction of cooperation means a sharp weakening of Russia as Ukraine still has some enterprises that are part of the former USSR military-industrial complex, including Russia's nuclear shield. Missiles that carry Russian nuclear armor are made by ​​famous Ukrainian YUZHMASH factory. Engines for military helicopters are produced by Ukrainian "Motor Sich" plant. And the newest fifth-generation fighter " T-50 " will not fly without Ukrainian details. These are the key things for Russian military-industrial complex . In addition, we have lots of joint major projects : the resumption of production of aircraft type "Ruslan" , the construction of a bridge between the Kerch Crimea and the Caucasus .

Yes, Ukraine is now got between Scylla and Hayrides. When the West felt that fish can let off the hook , it made unprecedented pressure on our elite , and now actually provokes the creation of the EuroMaidan . It is time to call a spade a spade . It's not just about money . Former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski said it absolutely correctly: there is a geopolitical battle for Ukraine! "

Who is behind the Maidan

EuroMaidan - is a giant business project, the furnace in which  hundreds of thousands of dollars are burned every day. Need to transport people from the West of Ukraine, feed them , clothe  them, give them accommodation, to provide them with toilets and comply with the minimum standards of hygiene, to compensate for daily expenses. It is necessary to monitor their health, protect them, constantly entertain them, so they do not get bored and do not melt away, led them dance and walk on any pickets and demonstrations. For "Not Yet Perished" crowd (from the Ukrainian national anthem " Ukraine Has Not Yet Perished ") sing and dance well-known artists.

To understand where the money for such a huge, multi-day show come from, we must understand the system of government in Ukraine. This is an oligarchic republic in spirit Russian  90s. Ukraine is like Yeltsin's Russia in miniature with local variants of Khodorkovsky, Berezovsky, and Gusinsky  running the snow.

But there is a difference between the current Ukrainian and current Russian oligarchs. As Oleg Havich noted:

"Current Russian oligarchs are more or less like technocrats. Well, they have their money, but they have provide some vital service. Much like people who work as custom officer, or policemen. Similarly some people work as oligarchs. Such people proved  that he is capable to run particular business. This is quite in the tradition of the Russian Empire.

That's why Ukrainian oligarchs are so afraid of Russian oligarchs.  First  of all, the scale of enterprises is quite different, with Ukrainian much smaller.  Secondly, the Russian oligarchs , who will come to Ukraine and will buy this company or that  company, are not simply "new rich" personalities. They are simultaneously representatives of the Russian state. They might be not be Russian by nationality, but are all Russian in their actions."
 

As  Member of Ukrainian Parliament (Rada) Oleg Tsarev noted:

"In Russia there is powerful administrative apparatus, the presidential model of republic, and the president is still the strongest player. But Ukraine is the country were the oligarchs won the political power. To explain the difference , let's assume that some sheiks from Saudi Arabia come to Russia with bags of money and ask Putin to hand Syria to them. They will be rejected as in Russia there are things that are not for sale, period. . Sheikhs will be listened politely, their money will be rejected and Russian will not surrender Syria to them.

And in Ukrainian politics such a decision is hard to imagine . For oligarchic capitalism ideal system of government is a parliamentary republic. In this case  Parliament works simply as a negotiating platform between the oligarchs . Each of them have their own media , their elected representatives, which perform the function of negotiating their interest in their name: who would be given which state property,  what is the cost of energy resources, and what is the level of  taxes. That is, we have a basis in the form of oligarchic capitalism and superstructure in the form of a presidential republic. It's clear that there is a  contradiction between two. From the point of view of oligarchs, the President has too much power"

No wonder a few days ago opposition deputy Yatsenyuk said that the opposition will fight for a return to the old Constitution , restoring Ukraine parliamentary republic in which the president is a figurehead , and actually cementing the polyarchy in the country .

As journalist Alexander Chalenko noted:

"Why oligarchs advocate signing the Association Agreement with the EU? Their business entities are all in south- east Ukraine, but the money, children, wives, mistresses, villas, accounts - are all in Europe. Everything was mover their , you know? Now if they misbehave, the Americans can closed and/or arrest them account and deny visas.

Russia began to move from this dependency in the summer. Prior to this, the oligarchs were thinking that they can settle things with Putin. But now became clear that Russia was not joking: it might close the market for Ukrainian goods. This means that there will be terrible losses and huge unemployment in the 2014, which is the election year. And that means that the opposition comes to power and will be forced to release Tymoshenko. And then Tymoshenko will put Yanukovich in the same prison were she used to be jailed.  "

Politolog Rostislav Ishchenko made the following point.

"Experts and the whole Yanukovich entourage tried to convince him that in the fall of the IMF will give a lot of money without any conditions, and that he do not need to release Tymoshenko , that Putin is bluffing and will never close the Russian markets. But then it became clear that the West will give no money with pre-conditions and that 25 percent of foreign trade of Ukraine already disappeared and that the treasury has money just for three months, Yanukovich at last understood that came the signing of the Association Agreement with EU this is not an operetta Maidan, but real hungry crowd of unemployed on the streets the next year. Really angry masses who will sweep everything. That is, he will have nothing: no pants , no hat, and no horse. And the only solution exists. Even if you hate mortally Russia , no treaty with it does not obligate you to love her. Enough to stabilize the situation, to sign certain agreements, and then you can argue with Putin as you want , as it does Lukashenko . "

But once Yanukovich said that Europe can wait, oligarchs entered the game  .

Oleg Havich:

 "Maidan is not three heroes who are standing on the podium: Klitschko Yatsenyuk Tyahnibok . All of them are puppets. Behind them stand really serious people like Dmitry Firtash, Poroshenko , Viktor Pinchuk , and Rinat Akhmetov . The way oligarchs controlled MSM cover events on Maidan proves that their owners are the co-conspirators of the action or at least implicitly support it. That means that we see a classic scenario of palace  coup attempted by oligarchs. "

writer Oles Busina:

"There is a " family " - Yanukovich , son and people close to them. Old oligarchs fear the family who in recent years has greatly increased its share . Their goal - not to destroy the family, but to limit its appetites. I.e. drive Yanukovich into more controllable limits . Why they do not want to remove Yanukovich? Because there is no good alternative to replace him. If they get rid of Yanukovich , then radical extremists like Tyagnibok will climb out of the woodwork"

How West Ukraine launched and is winning the offensive against east Ukraine

Since Soviet times, it happened that the south-east of Ukraine worked ( there were all major enterprises ), and west mainly taught and was responsible for the culture. I. e. it was West to which ideology was farmed out. After the collapse of the USSR it was the Western Ukraine which raised and promoted the Ukrainian nationalism, Ukrainian national idea, because the east had nothing to say on this subject : the people there did not feel the Ukrainians , and most importantly there never were opposed to Russian .

Oleg Havich:

"There is the expansion of the west to the east of Ukraine. Galicians are all slaves of size, they think "Bigger is better". I'm tired of shouting after them : " Dude , you should not go there -- You can't digest all of Ukraine -- "

journalist Alexander Chalenko

"As soon as a team there are two Western Ukrainians Nationalists ("zapadentzi") , they all begin to remodel for themselves, - says  . - This totalitarian mentality that if you're not with us, you Western Ukraine Nationalists Moscow. To the whole of Ukraine zapadentsy are associated with the name of Bandera. And we have to admit honestly : Ukrainians are simply afraid of them. Why ? Bandera led nationalist ("banderovets") were a terrible people real beasts in Soviet time . I remember that my grandmother told me that the Soviet government sent to teach the west. (Incidentally, the Ukrainian school appeared in the West only with the advent of the Soviet Union. Before there were only Polish schools . ) Her stories struck me with unimaginable cruelty of Bandera fighters. For them it was not enough to shot people dead, they beheaded man, they cut open stomachs in women, they burned babies , that is, they committed terrible inhuman crimes...

Before the collapse of the USSR the power of central government protected us from Western Ukraine extremists. They were always for us as for you Chechens . That is, you can kill a Chechen , but then come ten Chechens and cur your throat . And our people are cowardly intellectuals . And now all of Kiev and all Ukraine is infected with Stockholm syndrome. This is when the victim begins to play along with the terrorist. We hate them so to speak conditionally: if we have an opportunity to eliminate them, we would eliminated them long too. We have way too different culture codes. And the current Maidan is Ukrainian Nationalist Maidan. On TV show only cheerful, happy faces of students and not the Bandera Gopniks, who come in large numbers from Galicia.

On Independence 2004 Yushchenko did not behave as a nationalist. He spoke of his friendship with Russia. What Bandera ? I do not even know his followers. Then you can speak in iether Ukrainian or Russian from the podium. And now, if you speak Russian, they shout "Shame! " ("Ganba! ").

Why Maidan is not a Revolution

Maidan consists of four groups of people:

Kievites morally support Maidan, come there for just to see the show , but do not believe the opposition . They have completely "give me decent life style" perceptions about Europe . As a security guard in the parking lot told ne: I want to finally live like human beings. People here are somehow convinced that Europe will feed them , clothe , shoe .

Now we have a paradoxical situation : there is a rebellion, called the revolution, which has one hundred times could win. And there is a power that can the same hundred time to crush them . But neither the government does not disperse  the rebellion, nor the opposition is ready to takes power . Existing leaders have exhausted their moral capital . The only person who could make a revolution - Tymoshenko , but she in jail. Like all sociopath she does not have self-preservation instinct, she does not believe that she can be killed, and is therefore able to lead the people into fire.. Such people without moral brakes in such a situation feel like a fish in water. That is why she is equally dangerous for the authorities and the opposition. But with Tymoshenko for current revolutionaries  situation will be much worse. She will not stop at half-measures like Yanukovich . She will strangle them all or send them to jail for betrayal. "

The fact that the leaders of Maidan do not have guts , is now clear to everyone. That's what I told people close to the government: "When one of the three opposition "heroes" was asked why they are not going to storm the building of the presidential administration, he said in dismay :" What do you mean ? They can jail me for that -- "

It can not be the leader of the revolution who is afraid of jail (a revolution - it is always a violation of the law ) , which fears to make a move for which he/she can be jailed. It would be helpful if vandals who crashed the statue of Lenin read his works. Type "Marxism and Insurrection ." in Google. And you instantly come across the famous slogan by Lenin " Procrastination in such situations is equal to  death ."

Maidan now turned into idle people and crazies asylum paid by the USA.  Because they does not have a leader who understands the theory of revolution . No Lenin-level figure capable of directly from the armored car to announce the "April Theses". But truth be told now in Ukraine there is no public demand for great people. It's just a cockroach races where everyone is running for their shallow goal. "

With whom Russia can speak ?

With no one. And we have ourselves to blame . That's what I was told on condition of anonymity, people from " Party of Regions ":

" Our government and our oligarchs panic fear of awakening Russian reunification movement. They are willing to finance fascist Tyagnibok, but in any case will not allow Russian reunification movement to at the East. That's a night horror for Yanukovich that someone will work with his electorate. And as long as your Putin will meet with Yanukovich and enter with the gentlemen's agreements that you do not interfere in the internal affairs of Ukraine, you will lose here.

Americans working here for twenty years. For them to make a step forward , they need to spend a thousand dollars. And Russia could spend a dollar and make the same one step forward, because it is an enormous affinity with Russia in the heats of people. And now you've lost the Ukraine, because total propaganda of hatred will always be successful. People even in the east are already embarrassed to talk in Russian. Nevertheless, they still can raised against West Ukrainian fascists"

I will never forget the intensity of hatred on the evening on Maidan Square when the news came that Russia is ready to give $15 billion to save sinking Ukrainian economy and decide to lower gas prices by one third. As people shouted : "No Taiga Union -- " ( So here mockingly called the Customs Union ) . How to know that I am from Moscow, Western Ukrainians shouted at me : "You can't buy us! We are not selling Motherland your thirty pieces of silver -- We'll take your money, spend them and then spit in your face -- "

writer Oles Busina:

"And what do you want? Pro-Russian organizations in Ukraine today simply do not exist -- But there are way too many thriving grant-sucking gangs. A new generation is oriented to the west, for which the word "three fraternal nations" an empty phrase for them. Why do young  people believe Liberasts? When I was a student I was also for Perestroika, and you also was for Perestroika. And we both now know how that ended.

None of us could expect that the next Russian president will be an alcoholic, that the Soviet army unconditionally withdraw from Europe that Russia will survive a demographic catastrophe, there will be first and second Chechen wars . Well we did not know that the Liberasts can not do anything.

And Kiev students also do not know that. But we  need to  explain that to them. We need to create a support group . Russia is trying to act through diplomatic channels and negotiate directly with officials , but this tactic does not work anymore . "

Political analyst Rostislav Ishchenko:

"On the political field, where Yanukovich is dancing  , now there is no other politician. This is a trampled field. In the near future you  have no one to talk to Ukraine. Americans themselves have created their partners for twenty years. You have a huge pro-Russian population in the east and in the Crimea, but you do not want to talk to them. Why ? Because it is your position : we will only work with the current legal authority. We do not want to upset Viktor Yanukovich .

If we work with the pro-Russian opposition to his course , Yanukovich will be offended us. Well, now, he likes your behavior. It's all good with him now, until his next betrayal. It's just with Ukraine you are in deep shit."


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It's easy to pretend to be a great strategist,
while sitting on the top of the hill,
at the safe distance from the battle in the valley

Shota Rustavelli(1172–1216)

[Dec 20, 2014] Stephen Cohen: We Are Promoting "Anti-Democratic Action" in Ukraine

You should listen to the interview. Stephen Cohen is one of the few specialists in the region. Here are some point made: Stephen Cohen thinks that McCain visit to Ukraine was essentially bipartisan attempt to continue the Cold War. As Georgia War was a proxy war cheerleader by the same players, the same is true about Ukraine. People like "We are all Georgians" McCain are not only unwise, they are reckless. European deal offers Ukraine only austerity. It is not democratic to overthrow a democratically elected government is anti-democratic. Both EU and US are hypocritical and anti-democratic in their support of Maidan. Economically Ukraine is a basket case with over 18 billion of debt coming due the next year. Russian and East and central Ukraine is one civilization. West is playing hardball. Ukraine is for sell. And Russia make better offer. This is not bulling, that's bidding. Moreover there are two Ukraines. There are at least at least two nations in Ukraine, the fact there is ignored in Western media. Eastern Ukraine heavy industry will die if Ukraine joins association with EU. It will slowly die. Cold War never really end. Starting from Clinton administration US administration pursued "winner takes all" policy. This is a disease of the US political elite. The great example here is senator McCain, with his pathological, obsessive hate for Russia. Magnitsky act is another move if the same direction, McCartyism in disguise. Senator Schumer is the same, despite belonging to other party. It's bipartisan disease. The US elite is enemy of peace in post war space.
Dec 20, 2013 | The Nation

http://counterpointradio.org/2013/mp3/131217-ctpt-cohen.mp3

As Ukraine remains divided over whether or not to sign an agreement with the European Union, the US media continues to spread myths about the protests surrounding the conflict, according to Stephen Cohen.

The Russian studies professor and Nation contributor joined Between the Lines to debunk those myths and explain what the protesters are actually demanding and what role the United States is playing, adding to his critique of the US media's coverage of the protests on the John Batchelor Show last week.

-Rebecca Nathanson

theshadowknows

Great comments on the continuation of the Cold War under the Obama Administration. And you thought it ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall!

Sheila

A very helpful interview. I'm glad it pointed out how useful the continuing cold war has been for the military-industrial complex. It's also been useful to the Ayn Rand bunch. I'm amazed these people have been getting away with this for so long. They should be laughed out of town -- together with their stinky cold war zombie.

Dienne

That's what we do. Promote anti-democratic action.

[Dec 29, 2013] Take a pity toward retarded Maidan participants by Irina Ukraine

Slightly edited Google translation. The interesting points that Yanikovich association agreement with EU was a bluff from the very beginning. And that the West playing the disaster capitalism game in Ukraine?
Dec 20, 2013 | Ukrnovosti.net

Everyone runs his own movie on EvroMaidan, but its time to stop it. Time is over! Please understand that there was never any real desire to sign documents about " EU association status" -- You was brutally deceived, or by your own folly engaged in wishful thinking !

Your diagnose can be vary among the following options: Thoughtlessness, hypoplasia , inability to think deeply and thoroughly, failure to properly understand anything ; stupid brainless stupidity , simple stupidity , idiocy , cretinism, mental retardation , mental retardation, etc.

Our dear mentally retarded (as in "Dobkin realized that rally on Independence is staffed with mentally retarded "), performing the role of extras -- Nobody was waiting you in Europe now, and probably in the near and distant future too. And here's why.

The agreements signed by Putin and Yanukovych really surprised many observers, with some entering the state of a strong bewilderment. But it is only at first glance.

Political Science Mikhail Alexandrov ( Head of the Department of Baltic Institute of CIS countries ) , analyzing the recent agreements presidents of Russia and Ukraine, said it is too difficult to explain the actions of the Russian leadership at Russia's expense desire to maintain the integrity of Ukraine.

The view that the Russian leadership was so naive that succumb to Ukrainian racket and rushed to help Ukraine to prevent the overthrow of Yanukovich does not look too convincing. Same about possibility of a coup by powerful pro-Western circles, which supposedly are ready to sign an association agreement with the European Union on any conditions.

Such an agreement would not have saved the Ukrainian economy from collapse, but instead would accelerate it. The West is now simply has no money to save Ukraine. They can' even safe their full EU member states. And the Kremlin is well aware .

The truth is that from the very beginning there was no real interest of the Ukrainian authorities in the agreement. The idea was different: it was playing the EU against Russia. Plan. I must say quite well known, polished trick , and which was used repeatedly in the past.

That is why the Association Agreement was prepared with Kiev not looking into any details, and not even bothering to translate it into Ukrainian or Russian language, which means that key players never read it and, especially, delve into the meaning for Ukraine of the pretty humiliating requirements of the agreement. It is because it was simply as an instrument of pressure on Russia and the Ukrainian side from the very beginning did not intend to sign it. And in this case - what's the difference what is written there ?

The same was true for the European Union . That is why just before the Vilnius summit IMF toughens conditions of the new loans to Ukraine (required to raise tariffs for gas and electricity for the population). Existing tariffs are already almost unbearable for Ukrainians with their low salaries and and hence represent clearly unacceptable conditions.

That is why, when the idiots from Maidan, so successfully make a dirty camp of the central square of of the capital of Ukraine, and started to want to Europe way too much, the condition of release of release of Tymoshenko about which they actually dreamed three years, resurfaced .

But the release of the Iron lady with the scythe is extremely undesirable to the current leaders of Ukrainian " ass-position", because as soon as Tymoshenko became free that first thing she does is to sent those nice guys packing. Because they are not in the same league with clever, ruthless and cunning Tymoshenko.

Nobody really wanted the civil war and the collapse of Ukraine, nether the government not the opposition. Simply when neither Moscow nor Brussels flinch, Kiev has decided to raise the level of tension to a new level -- to imitate the political crisis in Ukraine to get loans. With unpredictable consequences . Ukrainian oligarchs, and Western NGO which support the opposition were happy to help.

The theatric of this staged event is just conspicuous. Both sides restrained from moving their extras over a certain limit. Looks like they acted if not in coordination, but at least within a certain agreed plan .

Militants of SBU agent Dmitry Korchinskiy did stage a nice fight with the " Berkut ". Also "Berkut" kicked asses of some protesters, but whom exactly is unclear, as it was night . But in the media began such hysterics as if Russian tanks entered the Baltic.

NATO Secretary General began to seriously ask what steps should the alliance take, if Russia were to move troops to Ukraine and in Sevastopol some deputies demanded Russian troops , although they were already there.

Funny, but President Yanukovych in the midst of crisis flew to China to ask for money . But because China is far and events on Maidan excite China very little, the Chinese comrades did not give loans to Ukraine .

The question is, did the Kremlin understand the meaning of all this freak show on Independence Square ? Certainly it understood . But it decided to help Ukraine anyway. And in a very nice way -- that the Ukrainian side has not incurred any counter -- commitments for the development of integration with the Customs Union . Well, except , perhaps, the construction of a bridge across the Kerch Strait .

It looks like Putin agreed to concessions to Ukraine for geopolitical reasons. The collapse of the Ukrainian state for Russia can hurt Russian economy, and that's why Ukraine was allowed for some time to stay afloat.

What were exact considerations, we can only guess . But Russian President probably has has pretty full information, including intelligence, about how grade the economic situation in Ukraine became. Most likely, Putin is aware that in the near future in the West expected some serious events such as default. And the West is trying to divert attention and resources of Russia in the other direction , to bind Russia with the collapse of Ukrainian economics.

It's only Yanukovich and his entourage think they play their own game. In reality they are just pains in a wider global game. That's why Western emissaries are so actively involved in the events on Independence Square trying to convert them into full fledged color revolution. But they might be so active for a different reason that the intense desire to force Ukraine to sign the treaty of association with the European Union on the conditions previously specified.

Indeed, if the Ukraine split as the result of this signing and the Civil War started, then most probably Russia would have to get involved in the conflict , including by military means. And that effectively ended Russia abilities to to influence events in other parts of the world, and in general at the global level, for example, at the level of global finance for a long time.

... ... ...

[Dec 28, 2013] The World According To Ron Paul

See also Ron Paul -- one of the few true statesmen among all the politically corrupt politicians on Capitol Hill
Zero Hedge

With 72% of those polled believing "big Government" is more of a problem now than 4 years ago, it is hardly surprising that Ron Paul blasts "the failure of government is all around us" in this brief FOX news interview. Perhaps it is the fact that "Obamacare has been such a trasparent failure of big government," along with Keynesian economics, and the NSA debacles; that more and more of even the most liberal are realizing just what America has become. "It's really great news that people are starting to recognize this," Paul adds, because there is no way to replace the status quo "until people give up on what we have."

FreedomGuy

I love that guy. He is persistant and consistant in his stances and resistant to the corruption and compromises of power.

I think I just like his no-pretenses style of speaking even though it doesn't glitter like a Romney or Obama.

I am hopeful that the truth will have it's day.

seek

If a "real leader" emerged, he'd be terminated.

We will get a faux behind-the-scene-appointed leader, at best. If he doesn't follow the script, he gets terminated as well.

More than likely we get an obvious pre-appointed party apparatichik like Hillary, just so they can rub people's noses in the level of control they have over the elections.

Jack Burton

Off topic. From a former 20 year World Bank insider. "The goal is control. They want all of us enslaved to debt, they want all of our governments enslaved to debt, and they want all of our politicians addicted to the huge financial contributions that they funnel into their campaigns. Since the elite also own all of the big media companies, the mainstream media never lets us in on the secret that there is something fundamentally wrong with the way that our system works."

[Dec 27, 2013] Greenwald US, British media are servants of security apparatus

RT News

...When Greenwald and his colleagues began working with Snowden, he said they realized that they'd have to act in a way that wasn't on par with how the mainstream media has acted up until now.

"We resolved that we were going to have to be very disruptive of the status quo - not only the surveillance and political status quo, but also the journalistic status quo," Greenwald said. "And I think one of the ways that you can see what it is that we were targeting is in the behavior of the media over the past six months since these revelations have emerged almost entirely without them and despite them."

"[W]e knew in particular that one of our most formidable adversaries was not simply going to be the intelligence agencies on which we were reporting and who we were trying to expose, but also their most loyal, devoted servants, which calls itself the United States and British media."

"It really is the case that the United States and British governments are not only willing but able to engage in any conduct no matter how grotesque," Greenwald said.

Nevertheless, he added, journalists tasked with reporting on those issues have all too often been compliant with the blatant lies made by officials from those governments.

Halfway through his remarks, Greenwald recalled a recent quip he made while being interviewed by BBC about the necessity of a functioning media in an environment where government officials can spew untruths to reporters without being questioned.

"[A]t one point I made what I thought was the very unremarkable and uncontroversial observation that the reason why we have a free press is because national security officials routinely lie to the population in order to shield their power and get their agenda advanced," recalled Greenwald, who said it is both the "the goal and duty of a journalist is to be adversarial to those people in power."

According to Greenwald, the BBC reporter met his remark with skepticism.

"I just cannot believe that you would suggest that senior officials, generals in the US and the British government, are actually making false claims to the public," he remembered being told on-air.

"It really is the central view of certainly American and British media stars, that when - especially people with medals on their chest who are called generals, but also high officials in the government - make claims that those claims are presumptively treated as true without evidence. And that it's almost immoral to call them into question or to question their voracity," he said.

"Obviously we went through the Iraq War, in which those very two same governments specifically and deliberately lied repeatedly to the government, to their people, over the course of two years to justify an aggressive war that destroyed a country of 26 million people. But we've seen it continuously over the last six months as well."

From there, he went on to cite the example of US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who earlier this year made remarks to Congress that were quickly proved false by documents leaked to Greenwald by Mr. Snowden. The very first National Security Agency document he was shown, Greenwald said,

"revealed that the Obama administration had succeeded in convincing court, a secret court, to compel phone companies to turn over to the NSA every single phone record of every single telephone call."

Clapper "went to the Senate and lied to their faces...which is at least as serious of a crime as anything Edward Snowden is accused of," Greenwald added.

But DNI Clapper aside, Greenwald said that the established media continues to reject the notion that government officials spew lies. Snowden's NSA documents have exposed those fibs on more than one occasion, he noted, yet reporters around the world continue to take the word of officials as fact rather than dig from the truth.

"Their role is not to be adversarial. Their role is to be loyal spokespeople to those powerful factions that they pretend to exercise oversight," Greenwald said.

But as the US, UK and other governments continue to feed the media lies, Greenwald said their operations are far from being single-pronged. The US

"knows that its only hope for continuing to maintain its regiment of secrecy behind which it engages with radical and corrupt acts is to intimidate and deter and threaten people who are would-be whistleblowers and transparency activists from coming forward and doing what it is that they do by showing them that they'll be subjected to even the most extreme punishments and there's nothing that they can do about it," he said. "And it's an effective tactic."

Ironically, he added, those nations are "fueling the fire of this activism with their own abusive behavior."

... ... ...

The NSA's goal, Greenwald said, is to "ensure that all forms of human communication . . .are collected, monitored, stored and analyzed by that agency and by their allies."

[Dec 27, 2013] Why Political Protests Ultimately Always Fail

Not all of them ;-) See Color revolutions
Zero Hedge

As posted yesterday at https://www.smartknowledgeu.com/blog , by JS Kim, Managing Director, SmartKnowledgeU

Currently in Bangkok, Thailand, protests against the government remain strong with tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands regularly gathering across the city in an attempt to oust Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra from office. However, there are many reasons why such protests never achieve their long-term goals, even when they achieve their short-term objectives. For example, were the protestors to successfully oust current PM Yingluck Shinawatra from office as they so desire, the political system is so corrupt that another corrupt PM would just replace her.

Therefore, the protestors, who fail to understand and attack the root of the underlying problems of corruption- the bankers that monopolize control of the country's monetary supply- instead attack the symptoms and manifestations of the corruption. Thus, corruption will always remain.

When a Prime Minister or President anywhere in the world states, and actually does, the following: "I will rout out all bankers that manipulate interest rates, stock markets, commodity markets, real estate markets, forex markets and every single banker that prevents free markets from operating within my country", then that will be a politician worthy of the people's support. Any politician that fails to do this is unworthy of leading their country and unworthy of the respect of the citizens whom they supposedly serve.

Though there have been some violent confrontations among Thai protesters and police thus far, since the bankers that run all countries know that the people's focus on a corrupt politician is a welcome distraction from the true culprits of economic malaise (them), they are willing not to escalate violence against the protesters.

However, if the protesters ever turn their protests to the people they should be trying to kick out of their country - the banking elite - such tolerance will go right out the window, as it did with the US police and Occupy Wall Street protesters when the Occupy Wall Streeters brought much too much attention upon the corrupt banking cartels for their comfort.

Kicking Yingluck Shinawatra out of Thailand, as is the misinformed goal of the protesters, will bring no sustainable change to Thailand despite the minformed hope among the protesters that doing so will bring about a "better tomorrow" for their country. Leave the same corrupt bankers in control of your country and they will replace an ousted corrupt politician with another. One merely needs to learn from the mistakes of other misguided citizens.

There is an old saying that we must be the change we desire to be. The problem with this saying is that many of us will support corruption as long as we benefit from that corrupt leader because we have a "what's in it for me?" mentality that is detrimental for not only the citizens of the countries in which we reside, but also for the citizens of the world. Until we can expand our horizons beyond our socio-economic demographic and beyond our countries to support integrity, honor, courage and justice for all peoples in all countries outside of our race, religious and political affiliations, and socio-economic statuses, we will continue to fail to bring about real positive change in this world no matter how many hundreds of thousands of people stand beside us and protest corruption in this world.

In the end, ousting political leaders is just about cutting off one of the snakes from the head of Medusa only to see another one grow back in its place. I spoke today to a good friend that attended the protests. He said that he spoke to an elderly woman that told him she was participating in the anti-government protests so she could leave a better country for her grandchildren. This false belief is precisely what is wrong with political protests of this nature, because ousting Yingluck Shinawatra from Thailand will accomplish nothing long-term in preventing corruption if the criminal bankers that back all corrupt politicians are not ousted along with her. If we desire real change, we must unite with all of our brothers and sisters engaged in similar struggles around the world and attack the individuals that fund these corrupt politicians and rout the money masters behind these politicians out of our countries first and foremost. And that is how we can bring about real, sustainable positive change for all of humanity. If political protests focused on the real culprits of economic instability within their countries, then they could be immensely successful in bringing about real change. However, as long as they focus on distractions and the players of the game rather than the real culprits, politicians will continue to sell all of us "hope" and "change we can believe in" and continue laughing behind our backs all the way to the bank.

moneybots

"In America in 2009, corrupt Barack Obama replaced corrupt George W. Bush"

Any protest is going to co-opted by those with an ulterior motive. The Tea party began as a ground roots effort and was then co-opted by support from Koch. No billionaire is grass roots.

putaipan

you are on the ground there kim, but you gotta start somewhere. i so admire the Thai people for trying and their short term goal seems right on target. also- gatherings like this are the place to spread the correct meme. otherwise, it's like rossana rossanadanna used to say- " mai pen rai ka "

[Dec 27, 2013] Unease as an Opposition Party Stands Out in Ukraine's Protests By ANDREW E. KRAMER

An interesting friend of EU elite. If I remember correctly the same people used to love NSDP in 30th. They hoped to turn it against the USSR. See also Neo-fascism, and Exploring Anti-Semitism in Hungary
December 16, 2013 | NYTimes.com

...Members of Ukraine's Parliament saw things differently a decade ago. In 2004, they voted to expel Mr. Tyagnibok over a speech in which he described World War II-era partisans bravely fighting Germans, Russians, Jews and "other scum." He went on to slur what he called the "Jewish-Russian mafia" running Ukraine.

Until 2004, Svoboda had been called the Social-Nationalist Party, which critics said was just a word flip away from its true ambitions and a deliberate reference to the National Socialism of the Nazis. Unabashed neo-Nazis still populate its ranks, organizations that study hate groups in Europe say.

Svoboda never won more than a fraction of a percent of the national vote, in spite of having strongholds in city councils and regional legislatures in its base in western Ukraine. Its fortunes changed with the election of Mr. Yanukovich. Serhiy Rudyk, a party official, said the new president's pro-Russia policies angered Ukrainians, helping Svoboda in the ballot box.

Critics of the party's role in Ukrainian politics have another explanation. The party, they say, drew strength from an orchestrated policy of Mr. Yanukovich to foster a right-wing competitor to his main political rival, Yulia V. Tymoshenko, who had previously enjoyed strong support in the country's west.

The next year, however, the party won 8.5 percent of the seats in Parliament, provoking warnings from Israel about rising anti-Semitism and xenophobia in Ukraine, a country with a rich history of both. On their first day in Parliament, Svoboda lawmakers started a fistfight with members of Mr. Yanukovich's party.

In 2011, for example, Mr. Yanukovich's supporters unfurled the flag of the Soviet Union during marches in Lviv on Victory Day, a holiday that commemorates the end of World War II, despite a municipal law banning the display of Communist flags in the city limits. It was a wedge issue that gave Svoboda a lift in the polls. Svoboda denies this assessment, and it is a stated ally of Ms. Tymoshenko.

The party, critics say, became something of a Frankenstein's monster for Mr. Yanukovich, and it has grown beyond all expectations with its activists now playing an integral role in the barricading of Independence Square.

... ... ...

As Svoboda has entered the mainstream, so have its symbols, particularly a black and red banner, ubiquitous on Independence Square, that was the flag of the partisans. This year, the flag was banned as a racist symbol at soccer matches by FIFA, the sport's governing body, after Ukrainian fans waved it while making Nazi salutes and monkey chants in a World Cup qualifying match.

Western diplomats say they respect Mr. Tyagnibok for keeping control of the unruly nationalist wing on the streets. During the police action outside City Hall, bystanders found a bag of gasoline bombs made from half-liter beer bottles, but Svoboda officials maintain that the police planted them there, to frame the party.

Selected comments from The Kremlin Stooge

kirill:

...These Banerovites are a minority and the only way they can impose their will on Ukraine is through dictatorship. The bottom line is that over 70% of Ukraine's population do not subscribe to Banderovite ideology and NATO-philia. The only way around this constraint is to fake a centrist platform that supposedly incorporates the views of the majority. Yuschenko and Tymoschenko played exactly this sort of game. Any political movement that tries to polarize the population loses automatically. So Tyagnibok cannot get far without support. He needs to shuffle into place as part of some coalition. Then he can launch his coup.

But I doubt there is any base for such dramatic political developments in Ukraine. Germany in the 1930s was stressed by a combination of the Great Depression, social dislocation associated with urbanization and was afflicted by the Versailles Treaty syndrome. Ukraine has economic problems, but not so dire that its going to go up in flames at any moment.

In fact, most of the political drama in Ukraine is orchestrated by foreign meddling. NATO desperately wants to have a wedge outpost into Russia like Ukraine. It is pumping up fringe regional movements like Svoboda into some sort of national scale parties. Various yellow media outlets in Ukraine try to hoodwink the population that support for European values implies support for NATO and Tyagnibok. The brazen nature of the association agreement underlines the distortion of Ukraine's political scene. Something like this can only be foisted on a country when there is an irrational response: any association agreement is equivalent to joining the great civilization called EU and move away from barbarism. People have to be conditioned by the media to drool this way without even trying to think about the details. Any economic relationship with Russia, even if it benefits Ukraine and has no impact on its sovereignty is at the same time turned into some sort of nightmare to be avoided at all costs. This is clearly not the result of natural political evolution in the country.

marknesop:

Speaking personally, I'd like to see that realization come a bit closer to the election, when his supporters have no time to throw their weight behind an alternative leader. Yanukovych's best chance lies in a split opposition vote, and the fewer among the opposition who drop out prior to the election, the better the odds grow in his favour.

Ideally, Yanukovych would not run either because he is a scoundrel, but of course he will – not too many jobs come with your own galleon. But he at least knows how to run a country, while the opposition displays no expectation of its own beyond that they beat Yanukovych. That does not require a plan for the country, and true to form, it hasn't got one.

The amazing thing about opposition forces who seize control of a country in crisis is that they usually make the crisis worse, and the experience of that should still be pretty fresh in Ukraine. I'd like to see Yanukovych put on the road with his suitcases, but not if the alternative to him is Klitschko, or even a Klitschko-Yatseniuk coalition, because the first thing they would do would be to beg to be allowed to sign the EU agreement, regardless what it bound Ukraine to do. They seem to think like Yeltsin, who so thoroughly wrecked the Soviet Union that a return to Communism was not possible, and was quite happy to state that had been his intention. That was probably good in the long run, but the wrong leader after him would have meant curtains, I think.

kirill says:

The problem is that Tyagnibok is not a lone element. The other orange Banderovites are from the same subspecies. Their trick has been to paint themselves as democrats who only follow the highest European values. Yuschenko promoted the Banderovite cause including rehabilitation of the UPA as some sort of freedom fighters. Ukraine needs something better than Yanukovych, but the so-called opposition is not a sane alternative.

Moscow Exile
So it is Tyagnibok that is solely responsible for this site, for example, and the thoughts therein, as expressed in such articles such as this: Bandera Non Grata and this: The Undefeated, and that Valeria Burlakova and Oleksandr Pahiria, the names given as the authors of said articles, are really pseudonyms used by the lone Tyagnibok and not members of a fascist sub-species?
yalensis
Exactly.
The myth of the "moderate Ukrainian nationalist" who professes democratic values and who is not a Banderite – is on the same level of reality as the myth about the "moderate Libyan rebels" who were supposedly not affiliated with Al Qaeda.

AP:

Tiahnybok is the only major opposition leader who would lose to Yanukovich in that second round.

People I know in Kiev, who are pro-Opposition (like most of Kiev's population), strongly dislike Svoboda, not only due to its neofascist ideology that they abhor, but because they suspect it is being helped by Yanukovich in various ways. for example, Svoboda won local elections in western Ukraine because Yanukovich crippled Tymoshenko's party in that region during those elections (thereby enabling Svoboda to win), during its rise Svoboda was given ample media coverage (even when it was still a small party) by government-controlled stations, etc. It is possible that Yanukovich is pursuing a strategy of building up Svoboda at the expense of more moderate groups within the opposition.*

On the list of foreigners to be expelled from Ukraine is the German researcher Andreas Umland, a consistent critic of Svoboda. He has written a pretty good article about Svoboda here:

http://www.kyivpost.com/opinion/op-ed/how-spread-of-banderite-slogans-and-symbols-undermines-ukrainian-nation-building-334389.html

*This does not imply that Tiahnybok is merely a tool of Yanukovich. He may be pursuing Lenin's strategy of allowing the capitalists to sell him the rope he will hang the capitalists with.

yalensis:

I read Umland's analysis, and it is pretty good overall.
I like that he points out the illogic of a fascist party like Svoboda being pro-EU, when their right-wing counterparts in the real Europe (like Le Pen in France, etc.) are anti-EU.

... ... ...

AP:

... To repeat what I had written earlier: in surveys only 14% of Ukrainians express a positive view of Bandera. Since these 14% are presumably all among the western half of Ukraine, this means that 28% of pro-West Ukrainians have a positive view of Bandera. Less than a third. And therefore over 2/3 of pro-Western Ukrainians do not have a positive view of Bandera.

Claiming that half of Ukraine are Banderites, or that being pro-West is the same as being a Banderite, is mistaken. It is misleadingly alarmist and giving Bandera and his followers much more credit than he and they deserve.

The info on Ukrainian opinions:

http://www.cpsa-acsp.ca/papers-2010/Katchanovski.pdf

[Dec 23, 2013] Add the EU to the list of myths we're brainwashed to believe by Boris Johnson

"I am not sure: but at the moment it feels as if the EU is the Bakelite handset of 21st-century geopolitics"
Dec 22, 2013 | Telegraph

Well, look at Russia today. The main dispute is now about whether Ukraine should be more aligned with Brussels or with Moscow, and even then, no one in western Europe is much exercised. Communism is dead. The threat has been exploded. The "bulwark" argument has been shown to be, er, total bulwarks.

In the next couple of years we are entitled to pose the question: what is the POINT of the EU? I don't mean, what ghastly penalties will Britain suffer if we should decide to get out. We all know the kind of scaremongering we can expect from the likes of Nick Clegg – the "millions" of lost jobs, the vanishing foreign investment, the giant mutant rats with gooseberry eyes: the kind of stuff they said would happen if we failed to join the euro. I want to hear the positive arguments FOR the EU.

Why have we bubblegummed together this hapless congeries of independent states? Is it to be a united force in international trade negotiations, when the EU's agricultural subsidies so royally stuff the farmers of developing countries? Is it to have a joint foreign policy, when the EU has been so ludicrously disunited on everything from the Falklands to Libya? Is it to agree standards for widgets, when that could surely be done without this apparatus of supranational law?

Maybe there is a positive vision to be set out – I am just not hearing it yet. Let me give a final example of this phenomenon – the lingering of old ways of thinking, old habits, to the point where they become superstitions. As I was writing this, there was an unfamiliar ringing noise behind me. Prooot proot, it went. It was the landline! I don't know about you, but in our house the landline has passed into virtual disuse.

The only people who ring it are cold callers; everyone else calls the mobile phone of the person they want to reach. I am starting to wonder whether the landline is actually necessary these days. Is there some elf 'n' safety reason why a household needs a landline, as we career towards 2014? Do we need a fixed line telephone, or can we do perfectly well without?

I am not sure: but at the moment it feels as if the EU is the Bakelite handset of 21st-century geopolitics, yesterday's answer to the problems of the day before yesterday. If there is a positive case for this spatchcocked federation, we need to start hearing it now.

[Dec 23, 2013] Why Russia lost Ukraine

The main driving force pulling Ukraine to Europe are Ukrainian nationalists from three provinces of Western Ukraine. Which fought with Nazi Germany against Soviets in WWII... They are much like tea party in the USA are not ready to accept any compromises. It's my way or highway.
kp.ru

To answer this question, a special correspondent for "KP " Daria Aslamova went to Maidan.

Here is what she reports:

" That's imagine the driver named Yanukovich, who speed the car called the Ukraine towards the western border, and at the last minute slammed the breaks and hit the border post. Completely smashing the front, them whole hood, passengers hit the windshield, the international community is in hysterics. All ran to the crash site and give tips on what to do. And Yanukovich himself, pale, keeps saying I am not guilty, car mechanics are guilty, I'm driving it for only three years and for all this time did not notice that brakes were completely disabled by infiltrated hostile elements. I've saved all the last moment. Galichina is shocked -- the man who turned on a giant propaganda machine to brainwash the population for joining the EU, went to Europe and changed his mind at the last moment. East was long offended Yanukovich betrayal but is silent -- they mistaken still thing that he is one of them and represent their interests. Tribalism, tribal consciousness , In short, Yanukovich managed betrayed and confused everybody."

Ukrainian writer Oles Elder is ironic, take no prisoners in his judgments, but pragmatic, as a true citizen of Independent Ukraine:

" And then came Putin with 15 billion dollars. And once it became clear that cheap Ukrainians ended. Ukrainians rednecks are now expensive."

How Ukraine again reached Maidan

You are still going to laugh till you drop, as people from Odessa used to say, but essentially nobody ever read the famous Ukrainian Association Agreement with the European Union (by the way , written in English). Or rather, it was only read by completely zombified, from college bench nurtured by Americans fifth column who served as experts from Ukrainian side. Or let's call them agents of influence . Actually, when Yanukovich babbled in terror that it would be good to find out who so blatantly betrayed the national interests of Ukraine in the negotiations on the Association with the EU, and that it smells like treason - he was absolutely right .

"People who prepare documents for initialing, unfortunately, are not paid agents of influence. They are unpaid volunteers, and it's really scary - the Oleg Havic expert told us. - With paid agents it's pretty understandable. But here are ideologically brainwashed zombies, fluent in English and German, who got an excellent education in the West and they sincerely believe that those conditions of full capitulation and betrayal of national interest is what Ukraine needs. Yes, bottom three quarter of population will suffer and starve, an economic will collapse , country become a colony, but Ukraine will be forever cut off from Russia."

"In our country about 10 thousand employees of non-governmental organizations - says Ukrainian Parliament (Rada) deputy Oleg Tsarev . - More than Ukraine, Soros spends only in Africa. We can hardly find any minister or administration official who did not spend some time in training in the NGO or was not at some time an employee of the NGO . These are people who for twenty years were prepared for the task: to change the matrix Ukrainian people. And they almost succeeded."

Here is what Oleg Tsarev, the leader of the Party of Regions stresses: " We're already Europe , we are its center, so in no way will perish without European Union -- "

But there were also true patriots in Ukraine, which this summer became alarmed and demanded to translate text of the agreement into Ukrainian and post it on the government website. This despite the fact that part of the Russian-speaking deputies does not fluently speak Ukrainian, and that this economic agreement has the size of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia . Somebody hurried up. Later our people from the Customs Union were not to lazy and managed to translate the text into Russian as a gesture goodwill.

However, summer, hot, singing birds , MPs and businessmen are leaving on vacation. The mood was, why you are bothering me with you f**n Association ? But then came the "the trade war between Ukraine and Russia " ( as Ukrainian media called it) . And in fact , Russia has shown that in the case of sighing of a trade agreement between Ukraine and the EU and the abolition of customs duties it will protect its market and erect strong customs barriers to the flow of goods from the West, which will transit through Ukraine. This means that the window of opportunity closes for Ukrainian producers. Local businessman has had a stroke , and the business instantly appealed to the President of Ukraine to postpone the Association at least a year.

As the representative of the Government of Ukraine in the Eurasian Economic Commission Viktor Suslov noted

"Business was initially inert: we say, do not study the projects we will studying law when it will pass. Business is not accustomed to participate in government - says ex-Minister of Economy of Ukraine. When the serious decline in the volume of trade with Russia happened, it became clear that the inevitable consequence of signing will be the de-industrialization of the country, the loss of manufacturing, and possible death of agriculture. And that this is not a horror story, but pretty realistic scenario.

But the problem is that most of the media and most experts in Ukraine is paid by Western funds. There was a massive brainwashing of public via MSM, which all claimed that the Association with the EU is a huge plus for our state. And any government is dependent on the MSM. In essence, the government was misled by people who have entrusted to negotiate with EU."

The best way to lose independence ("nezalezhnost" in Ukrainian)

By October, the Association Agreement became a hit , the most popular detective reading matter among politicians in Ukraine . And there really was something to read . It suddenly became clear that Ukraine is committed to follow the instructions of the EU in the field of its foreign and security policy (without the right to vote and the possibility of future membership in the EU) , to participate in all civilian and military EU operations in conflict zones , to cooperate with the European Defense Agency ( I mean to abandon the remaining military technologies , which, incidentally directly affects Russia ) . With regard to moral standards the Orthodox part of Ukrainian population in the spirit of political correctness was ordered to follow certain directives. But were even curious people who tried to read very directives that Europeans do not even dare to publish in English in order to avoid scandal.

" In fact, we impose common European homosexual dictatorship - said the deputy of the Verkhovna Rada Kolesnichenko . - Protection of the rights of sexual minorities and in the future legalization of gay marriage. In addition, abolished the presumption of innocence in the employment relationship . For example, if I did not take a gay to work for some reason, he does not have to prove in court that he was discriminated against because of his sexual orientation, its me who need to explain and justify that gay was not discriminated against."

It turned out that the West does not plan to giving anything to Ukraine for free and that 25 percent of foreign trade of Ukraine already lost. And that money in the treasury is enough only for three months.

But it's just nuisance. The real deal was the establishment in Ukraine EU economic dictatorship.

"These trade agreements the EU has with many countries in North Africa , but none of them had the enslaving demand, which does not allow Tunisia or Algeria to join whatsoever trade agreements with third countries with which the EU will not agree - says economist Michael Kuhar . - In fact, the treaty of Association of Brussels gave authority to decide whether, for example, sovereign Ukraine can join any trade agreement with Russia or China or not. This is a dishonest approach. "

But the main jewel of the Association Agreement - the introduction of European standards . The word " European standards" sounded so beautiful (almost as high quality home renovation using best European materials ) that local Liberasts were awash with happiness. But ...

"This document , which is physically impossible to comply with , - assured us the analyst Rostislav Ishchenko . - In order to prevent the market to sell grandmothers homemade pickles and jams, you need to occupy Ukraine with at least half-million army. No, theoretically grandmother can produce coleslaw, but she can not sell it. Not because the coleslaw can not be made , but because it does not meet European standards. Even Lithuanians, who entered EU long ago and on more decent conditions, almost lost their agriculture, as they never managed to fit to rules."

"Yes, Ukrainian grandmothers did not produce chicken and bacon according to EU standards . And you know why ? Because they make it to a higher standard - said Ukrainian writer Oles Elderberries . - And to lower standards they can just go to Western technology and this pump chicken with hormones and water. The most striking example of European standards : express train number one Kiev - Moscow, which consists entirely of Polish wagons. I rode on it from Moscow during really low temperatures. So their clever eurowashers sensors did not work because Russian low temperatures are not Euro Low temperatures. And how conductors solve this problem ? They are pore boiling water into a bottles and pour it into the toilets to unfreeze them .

We can assume that German tanks that invaded Russia in 1941, were made by European standards. They have narrow tracks and run on petrol. But they all became a useless pile of metal near Moscow when temperatures dropped in winter of 1941. In France, the tank worked, but in Russia it ceased to start. You see, we have ( ha ha!) quote different isotherm for January"

The signing of the Association means not just operetta Maidan protesters, but real hungry and angry crowd of unemployed on the streets next year

What is EuroStandart and how much it cost to convert Ukraine to them?

According to conservative estimates , the conversion to euro standard will cost Ukraine about 160 billion Euros. After the conclusion of the Agreement with the EU all that Ukraine has - all the infrastructure, railways, roads , businesses and even the Ukrainian soil (best in Europe) ceases to comply with the technical regulations of the European Union. As economist Michael Kuhar noted:

"The basic difference between agriculture in Europe from Ukrainian that the certification of land there , that we do not have. It is necessary to make a chemical analysis of the soil, in order to determine how much herbicides it contains, and whether it is suitable, for example, to grow tomatoes. This is an expensive procedure, which costs 800 Euros per each hectare of land. And in Ukraine, 33 million hectares of arable land -- That is billions of Euros. I'm not talking about the requirements for infrastructure , on the chemical and metallurgical plants, all of which do not meet the emission standards. "

EU condescending recommends Ukraine to pay special attention to "micro enterprises and craftsmen (!)" This despite the fact that Ukraine can produce nuclear stations equipment, aircraft, rockets, military vessels, engines, railway cars, etc.

As the representative of the Government of Ukraine in Eurasian Commission Viktor Suslov noted:

"There are two key points in the agreement with the EU. First, the Ukrainian economy is not competitive with European and when imposed on a free trade zone and mutual zero custom duties. It will inevitably perish in this struggle, . - Zero custom duties calls into question the existence of entire industries . For example, Ukraine is the largest producer of sunflower seeds and sunflower oil. Export seeds we set the export duty, so we are making it more economical to process seeds within the country, and Ukraine has one of the most powerful oil extraction industry. When you abolish custom duties, the same EU will directly procure seeds and will process them outside of Ukraine. Therefore, local oil extraction industry will die.

Generally, few people understand that when you cancel the import duties, incentives for foreign investment might not increase but actually decrease. Contrary to common opinion it might be that for foreign companies it does not make sense to build new factories in Ukraine and create jobs. In this case Ukraine is becoming just a new market for EU goods. Investments in the country are often made only if they serve as a means of overcoming trade barriers when the country can not enter with the goods, and with the investment company organized in its territory. ( For example creation foreign car assembly plants in Russia. )

And the second important point: the introduction of the EU technical standards, Yes it is a revolution. Let's assume that they are the best in the world, but who will pay for such a transition ? This way a unique situation is created: the more competitive European manufacturers come here not just free of duties, but also by dictating their own rules of the game! So all Ukrainian companies do not comply , for example, environmental standards , must be shut down and give up their market share -- And again, very few people saw in this the additional problem: the introduction of European standards means cutting the whole body of the economy of the former USSR in two parts. It breaks existing economic ties and in some cases (railways) make standards incompatible with the rest of former USSR.

Destruction of cooperation means a sharp weakening of Russia as Ukraine still has some enterprises that are part of the former USSR military-industrial complex, including Russia's nuclear shield. Missiles that carry Russian nuclear armor are made by ​​famous Ukrainian YUZHMASH factory. Engines for military helicopters are produced by Ukrainian "Motor Sich" plant. And the newest fifth-generation fighter " T-50 " will not fly without Ukrainian details. These are the key things for Russian military-industrial complex . In addition, we have lots of joint major projects : the resumption of production of aircraft type "Ruslan" , the construction of a bridge between the Kerch Crimea and the Caucasus .

Yes, Ukraine is now got between Scylla and Hayrides. When the West felt that fish can let off the hook , it made unprecedented pressure on our elite , and now actually provokes the creation of the EuroMaidan . It is time to call a spade a spade . It's not just about money . Former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski said it absolutely correctly: there is a geopolitical battle for Ukraine! "

Who is behind the Maidan

EuroMaidan - is a giant business project, the furnace in which hundreds of thousands of dollars are burned every day. Need to transport people from the West of Ukraine, feed them , clothe them, give them accommodation, to provide them with toilets and comply with the minimum standards of hygiene, to compensate for daily expenses. It is necessary to monitor their health, protect them, constantly entertain them, so they do not get bored and do not melt away, led them dance and walk on any pickets and demonstrations. For "Not Yet Perished" crowd (from the Ukrainian national anthem " Ukraine Has Not Yet Perished ") sing and dance well-known artists.

To understand where the money for such a huge, multi-day show come from, we must understand the system of government in Ukraine. This is an oligarchic republic in spirit Russian 90s. Ukraine is like Yeltsin's Russia in miniature with local variants of Khodorkovsky, Berezovsky, and Gusinsky running the snow.

But there is a difference between the current Ukrainian and current Russian oligarchs. As Oleg Havich noted:

"Current Russian oligarchs are more or less like technocrats. Well, they have their money, but they have provide some vital service. Much like people who work as custom officer, or policemen. Similarly some people work as oligarchs. Such people proved that he is capable to run particular business. This is quite in the tradition of the Russian Empire.

That's why Ukrainian oligarchs are so afraid of Russian oligarchs. First of all, the scale of enterprises is quite different, with Ukrainian much smaller. Secondly, the Russian oligarchs , who will come to Ukraine and will buy this company or that company, are not simply "new rich" personalities. They are simultaneously representatives of the Russian state. They might be not be Russian by nationality, but are all Russian in their actions."

As Member of Ukrainian Parliament (Rada) Oleg Tsarev noted:

"In Russia there is powerful administrative apparatus, the presidential model of republic, and the president is still the strongest player. But Ukraine is the country were the oligarchs won the political power. To explain the difference , let's assume that some sheiks from Saudi Arabia come to Russia with bags of money and ask Putin to hand Syria to them. They will be rejected as in Russia there are things that are not for sale, period. . Sheikhs will be listened politely, their money will be rejected and Russian will not surrender Syria to them.

And in Ukrainian politics such a decision is hard to imagine . For oligarchic capitalism ideal system of government is a parliamentary republic. In this case Parliament works simply as a negotiating platform between the oligarchs . Each of them have their own media , their elected representatives, which perform the function of negotiating their interest in their name: who would be given which state property, what is the cost of energy resources, and what is the level of taxes. That is, we have a basis in the form of oligarchic capitalism and superstructure in the form of a presidential republic. It's clear that there is a contradiction between two. From the point of view of oligarchs, the President has too much power"

No wonder a few days ago opposition deputy Yatsenyuk said that the opposition will fight for a return to the old Constitution , restoring Ukraine parliamentary republic in which the president is a figurehead , and actually cementing the polyarchy in the country .

As journalist Alexander Chalenko noted:

"Why oligarchs advocate signing the Association Agreement with the EU? Their business entities are all in south- east Ukraine, but the money, children, wives, mistresses, villas, accounts - are all in Europe. Everything was mover their , you know? Now if they misbehave, the Americans can closed and/or arrest them account and deny visas.

Russia began to move from this dependency in the summer. Prior to this, the oligarchs were thinking that they can settle things with Putin. But now became clear that Russia was not joking: it might close the market for Ukrainian goods. This means that there will be terrible losses and huge unemployment in the 2014, which is the election year. And that means that the opposition comes to power and will be forced to release Tymoshenko. And then Tymoshenko will put Yanukovich in the same prison were she used to be jailed. "

Politolog Rostislav Ishchenko made the following point.

"Experts and the whole Yanukovich entourage tried to convince him that in the fall of the IMF will give a lot of money without any conditions, and that he do not need to release Tymoshenko , that Putin is bluffing and will never close the Russian markets. But then it became clear that the West will give no money with pre-conditions and that 25 percent of foreign trade of Ukraine already disappeared and that the treasury has money just for three months, Yanukovich at last understood that came the signing of the Association Agreement with EU this is not an operetta Maidan, but real hungry crowd of unemployed on the streets the next year. Really angry masses who will sweep everything. That is, he will have nothing: no pants , no hat, and no horse. And the only solution exists. Even if you hate mortally Russia , no treaty with it does not obligate you to love her. Enough to stabilize the situation, to sign certain agreements, and then you can argue with Putin as you want , as it does Lukashenko . "

But once Yanukovich said that Europe can wait, oligarchs entered the game .

Oleg Havich:

"Maidan is not three heroes who are standing on the podium: Klitschko Yatsenyuk Tyahnibok . All of them are puppets. Behind them stand really serious people like Dmitry Firtash, Poroshenko , Viktor Pinchuk , and Rinat Akhmetov . The way oligarchs controlled MSM cover events on Maidan proves that their owners are the co-conspirators of the action or at least implicitly support it. That means that we see a classic scenario of palace coup attempted by oligarchs. "

writer Oles Busina:

"There is a " family " - Yanukovich , son and people close to them. Old oligarchs fear the family who in recent years has greatly increased its share . Their goal - not to destroy the family, but to limit its appetites. I.e. drive Yanukovich into more controllable limits . Why they do not want to remove Yanukovich? Because there is no good alternative to replace him. If they get rid of Yanukovich , then radical extremists like Tyagnibok will climb out of the woodwork"

How West Ukraine launched and is winning the offensive against east Ukraine

Since Soviet times, it happened that the south-east of Ukraine worked ( there were all major enterprises ), and west mainly taught and was responsible for the culture. I. e. it was West to which ideology was farmed out. After the collapse of the USSR it was the Western Ukraine which raised and promoted the Ukrainian nationalism, Ukrainian national idea, because the east had nothing to say on this subject : the people there did not feel the Ukrainians , and most importantly there never were opposed to Russian .

Oleg Havich:

"There is the expansion of the west to the east of Ukraine. Galicians are all slaves of size, they think "Bigger is better". I'm tired of shouting after them : " Dude , you should not go there -- You can't digest all of Ukraine -- "

journalist Alexander Chalenko

"As soon as a team there are two Western Ukrainians Nationalists ("zapadentzi") , they all begin to remodel for themselves, - says . - This totalitarian mentality that if you're not with us, you Western Ukraine Nationalists Moscow. To the whole of Ukraine zapadentsy are associated with the name of Bandera. And we have to admit honestly : Ukrainians are simply afraid of them. Why ? Bandera led nationalist ("banderovets") were a terrible people real beasts in Soviet time . I remember that my grandmother told me that the Soviet government sent to teach the west. (Incidentally, the Ukrainian school appeared in the West only with the advent of the Soviet Union. Before there were only Polish schools . ) Her stories struck me with unimaginable cruelty of Bandera fighters. For them it was not enough to shot people dead, they beheaded man, they cut open stomachs in women, they burned babies , that is, they committed terrible inhuman crimes...

Before the collapse of the USSR the power of central government protected us from Western Ukraine extremists. They were always for us as for you Chechens . That is, you can kill a Chechen , but then come ten Chechens and cur your throat . And our people are cowardly intellectuals . And now all of Kiev and all Ukraine is infected with Stockholm syndrome. This is when the victim begins to play along with the terrorist. We hate them so to speak conditionally: if we have an opportunity to eliminate them, we would eliminated them long too. We have way too different culture codes. And the current Maidan is Ukrainian Nationalist Maidan. On TV show only cheerful, happy faces of students and not the Bandera Gopniks, who come in large numbers from Galicia.

On Independence 2004 Yushchenko did not behave as a nationalist. He spoke of his friendship with Russia. What Bandera ? I do not even know his followers. Then you can speak in iether Ukrainian or Russian from the podium. And now, if you speak Russian, they shout "Shame! " ("Ganba! ").

Why Maidan is not a Revolution

Maidan consists of four groups of people:

Kievites morally support Maidan, come there for just to see the show , but do not believe the opposition . They have completely "give me decent life style" perceptions about Europe . As a security guard in the parking lot told ne: I want to finally live like human beings. People here are somehow convinced that Europe will feed them , clothe , shoe .

Now we have a paradoxical situation : there is a rebellion, called the revolution, which has one hundred times could win. And there is a power that can the same hundred time to crush them . But neither the government does not disperse the rebellion, nor the opposition is ready to takes power . Existing leaders have exhausted their moral capital . The only person who could make a revolution - Tymoshenko , but she in jail. Like all sociopath she does not have self-preservation instinct, she does not believe that she can be killed, and is therefore able to lead the people into fire.. Such people without moral brakes in such a situation feel like a fish in water. That is why she is equally dangerous for the authorities and the opposition. But with Tymoshenko for current revolutionaries situation will be much worse. She will not stop at half-measures like Yanukovich . She will strangle them all or send them to jail for betrayal. "

The fact that the leaders of Maidan do not have guts , is now clear to everyone. That's what I told people close to the government: "When one of the three opposition "heroes" was asked why they are not going to storm the building of the presidential administration, he said in dismay :" What do you mean ? They can jail me for that -- "

It can not be the leader of the revolution who is afraid of jail (a revolution - it is always a violation of the law ) , which fears to make a move for which he/she can be jailed. It would be helpful if vandals who crashed the statue of Lenin read his works. Type "Marxism and Insurrection ." in Google. And you instantly come across the famous slogan by Lenin " Procrastination in such situations is equal to death ."

Maidan now turned into idle people and crazies asylum paid by the USA. Because they does not have a leader who understands the theory of revolution . No Lenin-level figure capable of directly from the armored car to announce the "April Theses". But truth be told now in Ukraine there is no public demand for great people. It's just a cockroach races where everyone is running for their shallow goal. "


With whom Russia can speak ?

With no one. And we have ourselves to blame . That's what I was told on condition of anonymity, people from " Party of Regions ":

" Our government and our oligarchs panic fear of awakening Russian reunification movement. They are willing to finance fascist Tyagnibok, but in any case will not allow Russian reunification movement to at the East. That's a night horror for Yanukovich that someone will work with his electorate. And as long as your Putin will meet with Yanukovich and enter with the gentlemen's agreements that you do not interfere in the internal affairs of Ukraine, you will lose here.

Americans working here for twenty years. For them to make a step forward , they need to spend a thousand dollars. And Russia could spend a dollar and make the same one step forward, because it is an enormous affinity with Russia in the heats of people. And now you've lost the Ukraine, because total propaganda of hatred will always be successful. People even in the east are already embarrassed to talk in Russian. Nevertheless, they still can raised against West Ukrainian fascists"

I will never forget the intensity of hatred on the evening on Maidan Square when the news came that Russia is ready to give $15 billion to save sinking Ukrainian economy and decide to lower gas prices by one third. As people shouted : "No Taiga Union -- " ( So here mockingly called the Customs Union ) . How to know that I am from Moscow, Western Ukrainians shouted at me : "You can't buy us! We are not selling Motherland your thirty pieces of silver -- We'll take your money, spend them and then spit in your face -- "

writer Oles Busina:

"And what do you want? Pro-Russian organizations in Ukraine today simply do not exist -- But there are way too many thriving grant-sucking gangs. A new generation is oriented to the west, for which the word "three fraternal nations" an empty phrase for them. Why do young people believe Liberasts? When I was a student I was also for Perestroika, and you also was for Perestroika. And we both now know how that ended.

None of us could expect that the next Russian president will be an alcoholic, that the Soviet army unconditionally withdraw from Europe that Russia will survive a demographic catastrophe, there will be first and second Chechen wars . Well we did not know that the Liberasts can not do anything.

And Kiev students also do not know that. But we need to explain that to them. We need to create a support group . Russia is trying to act through diplomatic channels and negotiate directly with officials , but this tactic does not work anymore . "

Political analyst Rostislav Ishchenko:

"On the political field, where Yanukovich is dancing , now there is no other politician. This is a trampled field. In the near future you have no one to talk to Ukraine. Americans themselves have created their partners for twenty years. You have a huge pro-Russian population in the east and in the Crimea, but you do not want to talk to them. Why ? Because it is your position : we will only work with the current legal authority. We do not want to upset Viktor Yanukovich .

If we work with the pro-Russian opposition to his course , Yanukovich will be offended us. Well, now, he likes your behavior. It's all good with him now, until his next betrayal. It's just with Ukraine you are in deep shit."

[Dec 21, 2013] Yanukovich tells West to keep out of Ukraine crisis

Yanukovich created crisis but trying to push the country into EU but then realizing that he will kill Russian market for Ukraine going full stop. Classic "BSE" (="Blame Someone Else"). Did this guy read the contents of the EU association agreement before he was going to sign it?
19 December 2013 BBC News

Asked why the Ukrainian economy was in such trouble, Mr. Yanukovich said the gas contract signed with Russia by former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in 2009 had incurred a loss of $20bn.

Another problem, he said, was the repayment of an IMF loan of $16.4bn negotiated in 2008, and a third factor was the recent fall in trade with Russia and other ex-Soviet states.

Asked about his position on the Customs Union, he said that Ukraine only had observer status but he suggested that it could adopt certain clauses.

"Ukraine's government is studying these clauses and, once conclusions are drawn, the corresponding transparent decisions will be taken on which clauses we will adhere to," he said.

Ukraine's pro-EU protesters have rejected any move to join the Customs Union, which was set up in 2010 and includes Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

'Agricultural appendage'

"We always say seriously that Ukraine for us is a fraternal country," Mr Putin told a separate news conference in Moscow.

"And in a difficult situation, we are always ready to support a fraternal people. I assure you, that is the only objective reason [for the financial aid]."

"We cannot leave our economy unprotected if Ukraine joins the association [agreement]," Mr Putin said.

He gave as an example of close industrial relations the fact that "nearly 100%" of helicopter engines for Russia's armed forces were manufactured in Ukraine.

Ukraine, he argued, would not find a market for the engines elsewhere. The EU, he suggested, was only interested in Ukraine as an "agricultural appendage".

[Dec 21, 2013] Russian bailout masks Ukraine's economic mess

Ukraine is unable to pay for Russian gas and IMF loans (taken by Yushchenko government) without new credits. As simple as that. Yushchenko took a huge loan and mostly blew the money, and the IMF denied a second one because they didn't like the deficit of reforms they had made conditional on the first loan, one of which was the same removal of home-heating subsidies for gas they tried to force on Yanukovych. Also Ukraine under democratizing wunderkind Viktor Yushchenko and his Amazingly Dysfunctional Government sank steadily down the ranks in Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index, even though TI is friendly to the point of fawning to "nascent democracies" like Mikhail Saakashvili's Georgia.
BBC News

Ukrainian consumers pay approximately 20% of the wholesale price of gas, leaving the state with a huge bill and destabilizing the state-run energy monopoly Naftogaz Ukrainyi.

... ... ...

To help pay for the gas, Ukraine's central bank has been propping up the Ukrainian currency the hryvnia.

Reports say the central bank has recently spent around $800m defending the currency, which has helped deplete the nation's foreign currency reserves.

The expense of propping up the currency and subsidising gas has made international investors reluctant to lend money to Ukraine.

To borrow money on the international markets, Ukraine was facing interest payments of more than 8%, which is extremely high for a national government.

Financial crunch

But Ukraine needed fresh funding.

Next year it has to refinance around $7bn worth of foreign debt and almost $3bn of that was owed to the International Monetary Fund.

That pressure meant Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovich badly needed the $15bn of financing from Russia.

But it will not fix Ukraine's deeper economic problems.

Lilit Gevorgyan Senior Economist at IHS Global Insight says Ukraine has suffered from a "toxic combination" of poor economic policy making and a slump in demand for its exports of steel and capital goods, like industrial machinery.

As mentioned above the nation's currency is kept artificially high to help pay for imports, including gas, as well as keeping foreign debt servicing low.

But that has made Ukraine's exports much less competitive on the international markets. Ukraine is a big exporter of steel and machinery but those exports have slumped, partly because of the strong currency, but also weak demand from customers in Europe.

[Dec 21, 2013] Putin gambles on Ukraine bailout

Putin regards Ukraine, with its large population, mineral resources and ability to act as a bridge to the EU market, as vital to the success of a Eurasian Union he wants to create to match the economic might of the United States and China.

But two decades after the collapse of communism broke a centuries-old link between Kiev and Moscow, Ukraine's GDP per head is not just well below that of Russia but is only half that of Bulgaria, the poorest country in the European Union.

Ukraine's needs are great - it has to cover an external funding gap of $17 billion next year - almost the level of the Ukrainians central bank's depleted currency reserves.

"At some point investors will realize that Russia is increasing its credit exposure to Ukraine, which is a much lower credit-quality sovereign," said Stanislav Petrov, a strategist at BNP Paribas in London.

Standard and Poor's rates Russia's long-term debt BBB and Ukraine's B-, several notches below.

Russia's economic gain from Tuesday's deal is hard to see, prompting speculation that Putin may have won more than what has been made public or that talks are still under way.

Although unannounced deals might include, for example, agreement for Russia to control pipelines in Ukraine that carry Russian gas to Europe, the uncertainty in unsettling for some investors.

[Dec 20, 2013] Mikhail Khodorkovsky freed after pardon from Vladimir Putin

Pretty much western media coverage of Khodorkovsky has detached itself from any semblance of reality and is just a spew of propaganda. These pieces are laughable. Only comments makes sense. Post-Communist Russia was plundered by the West, a basket case in which the only internal winners were the complicit oligarchs. That rot has been stopped.
The Guardian

HoofItLong

Yay for Putin! Such a nice guy!

Flyper -> HoofItLong

I don't agree with many political opinions with Putins government but incarceration of this guy was one of the best actions Russian government has done for years.

This chap misappropriate almost the entire energy resources of the country in in the recent turbulent past and Putins government Nationalized all natural resources into a government managed enterprise.

So Khodorkovsky is a nasty mafia boss and that's why he has been in jail for years.

harryphilby

Russia can still put billionaires in jail. That's just a pipe dream in the UK.

Paul Davies

Should have got twenty years. He committed the biggest fraud in history. No doubt the west will welcome him.

Scipio1

Yes, Russia is ruled by a corrupt elite, we in the west do not go in for that sort of corruption and bribery and .... oh wait a minute.

Mario Draghi - Ex Goldman Sachs
Mark Carney - Ex Goldman Sachs
Hank Paulson - Ex Goldman Sachs
Timothy Geihtner - Ex Goldman Sachs
Robert Rubin - Ex Goldman Sachs
John Corzine - Ex Goldman Sachs
Mario Monti (Italian PM) Ex Goldman Sachs.

I could go on but I will stop there. As C Wright Mills (The Power Elite) in the 1950s there was a revolving door between the financial and political elite. So you see it is not only Russia which has a system of corruption, clientelism, cronyism and nepotism. We have our own collection of financial oligarchs who form a political-financial complex. Democratic, open, tell that to Assange, Snowden and Bradley.

FrankTheFrank -> Scipio1

Indeed. But Russia is ranked 127th in the world corruption index while the USA ranks 19th. Massive difference there.

smuglyfrombrazil -> FrankTheFrank

The difference also lies in who influences the ranking.

meffisto

To the everlasting ire of Russophobes everywhere, who revelled in the implosive Yeltsin years, Putin has managed to halt Russia's disintegration and descent into anarchical chaos, often brutally, but certainly effectively. Post-Communist Russia was plundered by the West, a basket case in which the only internal winners were the complicit oligarchs. That rot has been stopped.

It is irrelevant whether Putin is admired outside Russia; within, he enjoys massive popularity, and irrespective of international opposition, Putin has engineered Russia into emerging as a global driving force once more, rather than a drunken passenger whose pocket was picked and shoes stolen. It has been a remarkable achievement, and deserves noting.

MartynInEurope

Oooh, another potential buyer for Valencia CF or Aston Villa?

Oscarsusername

Khodorkovsky's reputation has benefitted from being banged up, but of all the oligarchs he probably did most damage to the prospects of Russia's economic transition. He helped the Communist Party transfer huge sums out of Russia, worked out how to asset-strip Soviet industry through accounting fraud, and in all of this he was protected by the establishment whose dirty dealings he was facilitating through his banks.

It wasn't just Putin who brought him down, a lot of the Family were very happy to see him go after his "conversion" to transparency, probity and integrity, he knew and still knows where the bodies are buried, but a lot of good it did him.

SurvivalMachine

Lots of people here seem to know nothing about Russia and just repeat what they read in the media.

Putin is no tyran, he s been democratically elected, and by a bigger majority than most presidents/PMs.

Those oligarchs are thieves, and they were running the country in the 90s and drove it to chaos and default. The IMF and the West has a massive responsibility here.

Then one man appeared and asked those thieves to stay away from power. Some accepted it (eg Abramovich), some didn't.

How can some people side with those thieves who drove their country to complete chaos??

thomasnobody

Khodorkovsky & the Bush Regime!!

"The Khodorkovsky arrest followed an unpublicized meeting earlier that year on July 14, 2003, between Khodorkovsky and Cheney. Following the Cheney meeting, Khodorkovsky began talks with ExxonMobil and ChevronTexaco, Rice's old firm, about taking a major state in Yukos, said to have been between 25% and 40%.

That was intended to give Khodorkovsky de facto immunity from possible Putin government interference by tying Yukos to the big US oil giants and, hence, to Washington. It would also have given Washington, via the US oil giants, a defacto veto power over future Russian oil and gas pipelines and oil deals. Days before his October 2003 arrest on tax fraud charges, Khodorkovsky had entertained George H W Bush, the representative of the powerful and secretive Washington Carlyle Group in Moscow. They were discussing the final details of the US oil company share buy-in of Yukos.

Yukos had also just made a bid to acquire rival Sibneft from Boris Berezovsky, another Yeltsin-era oligarch. YukosSibneft, with 19.5 billion barrels of oil and gas, would then own the second-largest oil and gas reserves in the world after Exxon-Mobil. YukosSibneft would be the fourth-largest in the world in terms of
production, pumping 2.3 million barrels of crude oil a day. The Exxon or Chevron buy-up of YukosSibneft would have been a literal energy coup d'etat. Cheney knew it; Bush knew it; Khodorkovsky knew it.

Above all, Putin knew it and moved decisively to block it."

"Moscow plays its cards strategically"
By F William Engdahl
Asia Times

ChrisKlein

When Putin came to power in 2000, he offered an informal deal to Russia's oligarchs – t hey could keep their wealth but they were not to dabble in politics. Khodorkovsky broke the deal.

This clearly indicates that Putin knew by then that the Oligarchs were basically nothing elese then mafiosi and that they had adquired their wealth thru largely illegal means. Offering the deal was probably the most sensitive way of dealing with them without causing a bloody war as the country has not been that stable by then and nobody could be really sure how far the power of their money would reach. In the light of this micro analisis Khodorkovsky's imprisonment could be seen as some sort of state self defense to avoid that mafiosi finally proliferate into politics and take positions of political power which undoubtedly would have massive corrosive effects at a society and its evolution at every level.

RussianVoice -> ChrisKlein

This clearly indicates that Putin knew by then that the Oligarchs were basically nothing elese then mafiosi and that they had adquired their wealth thru largely illegal means.

Yes, and from my personal point of view, this is his biggest achievement that he stopped 'business' taking over politics completely. In a way, at some point he put a wall between the two, and stopped them from merging. If that didn't happen, Russia today would've been similar to China, where there is an elite that operates manufacturing business for the world market, and those that are used as labour. Well, Russia would've been elite that has Russian resources, and the rest would've been just mere labor force that helps to extract natural resources...

Quiescentkiev21 -> kiev21

Khordorkovsky was a part of the gangster elite and the mob just let him out, but if it were a real mafia he would be 'sleepin with the fishes'.

frothwrath

Generally I approve of amnesties, and it's a sign of the cruel and hard moral backwardness of the UK that we don't do them. Even the US pardons people now and then.

It's high time to free Khodorkovsky; he's been giving indications that he's ready for it and won't cause trouble, so, contrary to the nonsense in this article, it's really not a surprise. It's also a suitable way to resolve the problem of those Greenpeace types. But I do wish he wasn't including those unrepentant church-desecrating provocateur sluts in the amnesty. They belong in jail until they see why their behaviour was beyond the pale, and including them in this pre-Olympic amnesty just panders to the deluded idiots in the west who swallow the lies about them being musicians or political dissidents.

Quiescent

The reality is that american funded civil society initiatives run around Russia funding and creating 'human rights scandals' for the West to wring their hands at.

This is all so well known and yet never really published in the msm. America and Russia have conflicting spheres of influence and both are intolerant of real dissent at home and welcoming of it abroad when it suits their interests.

[Dec 19, 2013] Tech Leaders and Obama Find Shared Problem: Fading Public Trust

Dec 18, 2013 | NYT

For months, leading technology companies have been buffeted by revelations about government spying on their customers' data, which they believe are undermining confidence in their services.

>"Both sides are saying, 'My biggest issue right now is trust,' " said Matthew Prince, co-founder and chief executive of CloudFlare, an Internet start-up. "If you're on the White House side, the issue is they're getting beaten up because they're seen as technically incompetent. On the other side, the tech industry needs the White House right now to give a stern rebuke to the N.S.A. and put in real procedures to rein in a program that feels like it's out of control."

>The meeting of Mr. Obama, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and 15 executives from the likes of Apple, Google, Facebook and Yahoo came a week after those companies and other giants, usually archrivals, united in a public campaign calling for reform in government surveillance practices.

>On Monday, a federal district judge ruled that the N.S.A. sweep of data from all Americans' phone calls was unconstitutional, a ruling that added import to the discussions.

>...Several executives, including Ms. Mayer, the chief executive of Yahoo, expressed concerned that foreign countries may now decide to prevent all the user data generated by users in a foreign country from flowing to the United States, the people said. One such law has been proposed in Brazil. The executives said these laws would significantly hurt their businesses and America's start-up economy.

>...The meeting reflected a shift in the tech sector's once-close relationship with Mr. Obama, whose 2008 election many industry executives generously supported.

>Chuck Woods, ID

>I don't see how there can be any trust restored until the administration changes it's outlook on Edward Snowden. Without the revelations about wholesale spying and illegal data collection by Snowden we would not even be having this national discussion. President Obama will be on the wrong side of history if he doesn't recognize the value of this issue. It would be sad if he is remembered as the president of drones and spying on citizens. Perhaps healthcare will save him from that. But isn't about time he stood up to the spooks and hawks who pull many of the levers.

> Deregulate_This, Oregon

>President Obama meets with these particular tech CEOs? The same ones who claim there are no CS graduates in America? The same ones who abuse the H-1B visa program and undercut American wages? The same ones who happily signed on to sell information to the C.I.A. and N.S.A.? (Our tax dollars pay for access to their data - see previous NYT articles about payouts to tech companies)

I've worked in the tech industry for 15 years and have seen massive layoffs of Americans while they send jobs overseas. Now, they are being used as Obama's advisers? What could they possibly advise? "Lower Wages" "Allow us to outsource more" "Allow us to have permanent unpaid interns" "keep paying us for private user information"?

>eric glen, Hopkinton, NH

>"The Adminstration told executives that government action related to NSA surveillance would happen in the new year. . . "

Yeah, and if you like your plan you can keep your plan, period.

This article to some degree depicts our President as somehow an outsider to the NSA workings.

He's the commander in chief. He could have changed the system five years ago if he wanted to.

Our President has authorized the spying that has gone on and seeks to prosecute Snowden to the fulll extent of the law. Why, because President Obama believes the government should spy on us.

If only Snowden were an "undocumented worker", he would be safe from prosecution whatever his crimes.

>AdamOnDemand, Bloomingdale, NJ

>Unchecked power to spy is like any other unchecked power: it corrupts, and while it may be intended for only the best reasons, it won't be used only or even primarily for them for long...

>senatordl, new jersey

>"The president made clear his belief in an open, free and innovative Internet ". Anyone who believes that is delusional! this president and his congressional co=conspirators are the worst thing that has ever happened to the US. the last thing they believe in is something that is open let alone free. we are no longer free because they take our freedom of choice away on virtually everything. The worst part is people on the government dole don't see it or don't care. if we have not lost what we fought for during several wars then this war is even more insidious because most people are not even aware that it's being waged against them.

>Brooklyn Song, Brooklyn, NY

>Facebook and Google are 1) speaking with Obama about how bad the NSA spying is for business, and b) buying fiber optic cables to evade government spying out their customers (us).

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2525732/Facebook-Google-b...

In other words, giant corporations are the good guys now. Brave new world.

>rcrogers6, Durham, NC

>It's a little late to install a competent IT professional to run the website development contract - or should I say contracts. The mismanagement began when President Obama eschewed competent advice and turned the ACA implementation over to the White House staffers who shepherded it through Congress. This concrete demonstration of the President's lack of any managerial background and unwillingness to accept expert advice has permeated his presidency and led to the disappointment of those of us who voted for him - twice.

I cannot imagine anything concerning either of the meeting's subjects that would warrant that grin or the reciprocating smiles of the apparent sycophants. We will soon see what impact this president's ignorance and arrogance has had on the fortunes of the Democratic Party in the 2014 elections. Next time, I will try not to be influenced by a charismatic candidate and look for one who brings some experience to the table. I honestly had looked forward to change and a new era in politics. Well, in regard to the Legislative Branch, that's what I got - in the form of a disaster. The Executive, in lieu of change, has just delivered more of the same with a soupcon of additional incompetence.

>alan, United States

>Since it is obvious to even a blind man that the government has no real desire to protect Americans from illegal spying< I hope Brazil and other nations will pass laws that forces tech companies to keep their citizens data in their respective countries.

This will costs the tech industries billions of dollars. That is the only way they will get out of bed with the government. They can cry foul all they want to but it sounds hollows. After all, AT&T and the other phone companies turned over call records to the government after 911 without a whimper.

Maybe when enough people stop using their services or go with a company that is serious about users' privacy, Microsoft and the rest will do the right thing.

>Nathan an Expat, China

>The Internet companies' real concern is loss of overseas markets due to revelations they were providing voluntary and/or unwitting back door access to their customer data to US intelligence services. If their overseas clientele and their governments wake up this might lead to a "balkanisation!" of the Internet -- that translates into loss of market share for the major players. Most amusing is that major telecommunication companies like CISCO, Juniper and Alcatel who by definition have to be major players in this activity have managed with the collusion of mainstream media to keep a low profile on this. No visits to the White House for them because they are fully in line with these programs and have been for decades. Meanwhile, the US senators advise/warn foreigners not to buy telecommunication systems from China's Huawei because you know . . .

>Jerry, New York

>It's nice when the families get together to decide how to divide control over citizens and their money. God bless them.

>Trenton, Washington, D.C.

>The tech moguls are creating the devices and application that track the 99 percent's every move, thought and action--technology they sell to the federal government. They lobby for privatizing of public services so they can exert even greater control.

And, yeah, if they're not Libertarians feeding at the public trough, they're Democrats.

All it will take is one well-coordinated nationwide terrorist attack and we'll all be in virtual lock-down via technology created and peddled by these children.

Watch for the false flag.

>Jim Michie, Bethesda, Maryland

>What amazes me is how and why Barack Obama keeps flashing those toothy smiles. Here is a man who "gave us hope" and "promised" us so much, but delivered so little, continuing many of the ugly, dark policies of the Bush regime and adding his own. Among so many betrayals, Obama has failed to close his gulag, Guantanamo, failed to bring all of our troops home, expanded his war capabilities, failed to prosecute his felon friends on Wall Street and in the too-big-to-jail banks, launched a war on both whistleblowers and journalists, worked closely with the for-profit "health insurance industry" to create a "Frankenstein health care plan" and I could go on and on and on and on. "Fading trust," you say, New York Times? Shouldn't your headline read, "Tech Leaders and Obama Find Shared Problem: Lost Public Trust"!

>John, Hartford

>Reflects a shift? It actually reflects the closeness and interdependence of the relationship between government the tech industry. At times I wonder who writes these articles, 28 year old techno whizzes who may know all about IT but very little about the realities of power?

>66hawk, Gainesville, VA

>This article feel like empty calories to me. The characterization of the meeting is mostly critical when it seems that the fact that the meeting was held and that an exchange of viewpoints was accomplished made the meeting a success. I have no doubt that Obama will address some of the concerns that the tech industry has while still maintaining the ability to protect our nation from terrorists. The problem of getting people to trust that social media and the internet are totally secure is probably unsolvable. If you don't want someone to have access to your information, you certainly don't want to use Facebook.

>Pat Choate, Washington, Va.

>The expose of the NSA excesses and that Agency's linkages with these corporations is taking a heavy tool on these companies' foreign-derived bottom line and global reputation. What citizen or company in any foreign country wants to do business with a corporation that is secretly funneling their clients' data to US spy agencies.

Big Tech's concern for their profits will result in more pressures for "reforms" at NSA than anything the Congress, Courts or Administration would ever do on their own.

>Steve Fankuchen, Oakland CA

>The information Americans gladly give to private companies is more of a threat to individual well-being and collective democracy than the egregious data collecting of the government. The real danger is that Apple is much more popular than the government, because people understand what their iPod does for them but not what the government does for them.

The workings of the government are, compared to that of the big tech corporations, quite transparent. You may or may not like the influence of the Koch brothers money on politics, but at least it all plays out in a relatively public arena. Google not so much. And, while our electoral process is very far from perfect, you have more of an influence on that than you do on corporate policy. Have you tried voting Tim Cook or Mark Zuckerberg out of office?

What the government is doing now it has done for decades, spying with whatever tools were available. They may have new tools, but so do those they want to spy on. What is different now is that there are huge, wealthy corporations whose profit largely come from spying and espionage i.e. the collection of your info with or without your permission. And to the extent that you may have become dependent on the internet and these companies, they simply make you an offer you can't refuse.

>Dean Charles Marshall, California

>Steve your comment is "spot on". Our deification of technology is beyond absurd. At the end of the day the Internet has become a vast "sink hole" of distraction where tech companies rake in billions covertly pimping off our private information in exchange for bits and bits of superfluous and dubious information we crave, but for reasons we can't explain. Thanks to companies like Google, Apple and Facebook we've become a nation of techno zombies enamored with the trivial pursuit.

>ronco, San Francisco

>Those private companies don't intentionally weaken security and encryption standards in order to make breaking into encrypted data streams easier. Those companies make a living by ensuring the integrity of the data that you host with them. One has choices whether to give data to those companies in order to get services from them or to pay in a more traditional model. When a company is found to play loosely with data they are sussed out very quickly and very publicly. We don't have a recourse against the NSA - voting is a very slow process.

>While researchers have known about the weaknesses introduced into data encryption standard algorithms by the NSA, none of them spoke up about it because of the chilling effect it would have on getting grants for their research.

>It is a vicious circle that is not only strengthened by criminal prosecution but also character assassination and black listing at government levels. There's nothing inherently good or evil about corporations or their motives but I usually have a choice about where I purchase goods and services or even build my own company to compete. The fact that we can't trust our government to do the right thing and haven't been able to have that trust since 9/11 is a problem because one either has to wait for the voting process to eventually work (a generation?) or just vote with their feet.

>Scientella, palo alto

>Spying by the NSA is unconstitutional.
Silicon Valley has changed from a benevolent geek town to run by ruthless, parasitic, dishonest, money crazed functionaries of the policed state.

>Jack O'Hanlon, San Juan Islands

>Where was Cisco? If you want to ask some deep questions about a technology company that has sold billions of dollars worth of IP routing and switching equipment worldwide that now seems to have engineered back door access for the NSA, Cisco would be the banner carrier.

No subsea system, no terrestrial network can function without Cisco equipment in line somewhere. When Cisco claims it drives the Internet, it is not kidding.

Ironic in this is the fact that Cisco has lobbied to keep Huawei out of U.S. carrier networks based on "security issues" that have been discussed in general terms, ie, backdoors that would allow the Chinese to compromise U.S. communications.

It now seems that Cisco had some direct experience in understanding this sort of activity.

You can't pick off photonic transmissions (the fiber optic cable hacks revealed in the Snowden documents) unless you can hack the IP routers that send the traffic across the cables. A pure photonic hack is a futuristic endeavour, one that can be conducted so long as the producer of all optic routing has built in back door access at the laser level. Not so easy. All optic routing is called O-O-O, for optical-optical-optical transmission and destination routing of Internet Protocol traffic.

>Bill Appledorf, British Columbia

>Give me a break.

Corporate America spies on everyone to personalize the limits of the cognitive sandbox each consumer wanders in.

The NSA's job is to make sure no one extricates themselves from virtual reality, discovers the planet Earth, and finds out what global capitalism has been doing to it and the people who live here.

Information technology and covert intelligence are the public and secret sides of one and the same coin.

Cisco, Juniper, Alcatel, Huawei and a scant few others build what are called - O-E-O routers, for optical-electrical-optical transmission. The NSA is hacking the E part of this, with the vendors' potential help, obviously.

>Bruce, San Diego, CA

>I believe I have a way to regain the public trust: Give Mr. Snowden permission to re-enter the US, give him a Presidential pardon and award him the Congressional Gold Metal. Mr. Snowden maybe labeled a traitor by some in government; if so he is in fine company: Mr. King, Mr. Gandhi, Mr. Mandela, Mr. Patrick Henry. All of whom have been called "Traitor" and all of whom like Mr. Snowden shook up the established order for the betterment of society. Some like Mr. King, Gandhi & Henry paid the ultimate price for their beliefs.

Mr. Snowden has done more to advance the cause of freedom in the US and around the world than anyone for a long, long time. In the process he has made the "Powers That Be" very uncomfortable. Well done Sir!

>borntorun45, NY

>Do you feel that Snowden should be granted a Presidential pardon for cheating on the exam to obtain employment as a contractor for the NSA in Hawaii with the specific intent of mining data that he should not have had access to in the first place? Maybe you feel that Snowden should be pardoned for absconding to Hong Kong with his stolen files - do you find his fleeing the country of his own accord particularly heroic, proper, or necessary? Or, should he receive a pardon for then making that intelligence available to people who have profited by the purloined intelligence by publishing it for all the world to see, jeopardizing America's security and causing a strain on foreign relations?

Snowden carefully planned his mission, he didn't simply come upon the "leaked files" through his work in Hawaii - he has admitted to taking the job with Booz Allen specifically to obtain the files he stole. He was so much more than a whistleblower - he broke into and entered areas of the NSA he had no legal access to, and he download millions of files. Imagine anyone working in private business doing such a thing, let alone someone who took an oath of secrecy.

How exactly has "Mr. Snowden... done more to advance the cause of freedom in the US and around the world"? We are all being watched whenever we use our computers, cell phones, debit cards - it's the digital age, my friend, and the US government's surveillance of you should be the least of your worries.

>Che Beauchard, Manhattan

>Can't the photo shown with this article be used as evidence in a trial for a RICO violation? Surely the government has become a Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization in collusion with these corporations.

>infinityON, NJ

>Sorry, I am having a hard time believing that Google and Facebook are concerned about their users privacy. They are more worried about their bottom lines due to the Snowden revelations. And we can add in the Obama Administration not being concerned about Americans privacy.

>Patrick Dugan, Berkeley, CA

>Google's entire business is built on respecting the privacy of their users. Sure they've misstepped in the past, usually not on purpose, but the presumption that they blatantly disrespect users and their privacy is uninformed.

>Colenso, Cairns

>'Try working part time at WalMart for awhile and then tell me that the NSA is your biggest problem.' ~ paul, CA

I sympathise. Nevertheless, if you are a resident of a US town where there's a Walmart or some such, you can choose whether or not to work for Wal-Mart Stores Inc or for some other exploitative US employer. If you don't like it, then you can improve your qualifications or skills, move to another town or even another country. That's always been the American way.

No one, however, US citizen or non-citizen, resident or non-resident in the USA, has any direct say whatsoever in what the US National Security Agency decides to do to you. Even the so-called 'courts' that oversee the NSA admit no litigant to the proceedings.

To take up your challenge, therefore, with the exception of those who live in North Korea and similar jurisdictions, I say yes - the NSA *is* everyone's biggest problem.

[Dec 19, 2013] Russia Offers Cash Infusion for Ukraine By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN and ANDREW E. KRAMER

While the quality of the article clearly point out to "talking points" and is unsurprising (foreign correspondents those days are de-facto members of State Department), the level of brainwashing demonstrated in this NYT thread by the readers is something to worry about, if you compare those comments with the Guardian,. But there are some sober comments too although few understand cultural affinities and history of the region. One strong impression from reading comments is that imperial thinking is probably a mousetrap for the nation. Any nation.

Dec. 18, 2013

Anton, Kharkov

Oh, really Mr. Keith??? I think American politics knows how to play this game better than some one else!!!!!!!!!!

James, Midwest

Well, it looks like another artificial Western controlled "Color Revolution" is about to fall flat on its face. Predictably, the NYT is upset.

vadne, Coldstream, BC CANADA

The opposition politician in the Ukraine, Mr. Arseniy O.Yatsenyuk, is quoted as saying "Free Cheese is only found in a mousetrap". He might also want to warn the Ukrainian government leader that it is the second mouse to the trap that actually gets the cheese.

Dmitry Mikheyev, Moscow, Russia

Ukraine has been knocking at EU door during its entire existence as independent state. In 2003, 1,650 Ukraine troops were sent to Iraq and 18 died there. In 2004 the West engineered victory of Ushchenko who was as pro-western as one can be. So why didn't EU adopt Ukraine? Meanwhile Ukrainian economy was plummeting. During the Soviet times, Ukraine's living standards were slightly higher than those of Russia; today they are significantly lower. Today, Russia's GNP per capita is four times that of Ukraine. Ukrainian population has shrunk by six million people including four million Ukrainian Gastarbeiters who work in Russia. Ukraine's once powerful machine-building industry is dying. Neither the US nor Europe need Ukrainian machines, aircraft, rockets, ships and healthy agro products from famous Ukrainian black soil. That's why EU offered Ukraine lots of verbal encouragement and only $1 billion of real help. Only Russia is really interested in Ukraine's integrity and prosperity, after all they are Slavic brothers. Only Russian capital and markets can help resuscitate and modernize Ukrainian heavy industry. Only with Russian help Ukraine can survive as a major industrial-agricultural power of Europe.

Onno Frowein, Noordwijk, The Netherlands

A wise decision by President Yanukovich showing he could stand the pressure from the EU and the USA to make a decision in the best interest of the Ukrainian people. A country like the Ukraine with 46 million people was too big a fish for the EU to handle. The western intrigues and attacks against Russia are unfair and politically unwise. It only shows again that the Cold War between East and West is not over and Ukraine was a strategic opportunity to push Russia back into the defense. However, Putin decided that the best defense is the offense and decided to help a neighbor in need. Nothing wrong with that.

Rikal, DC

The EU behaves as if welcoming Ukraine is a favor, and as if Ukraine desperately needs the EU. So the EU imposes all kinds of conditions, and gives abstract promises of better markets, governance, etc. They ignore all the complex preferential economic ties to Russia that they need to compete with.

Of course the young only dream of "becoming" Europe, but the politicians are looking at hard numbers, and Putin looks waaay better. Even the German foreign minister conceded that the EU's offer can't match Russia's.

G.O'Poller, West Village

"Kremlin threatened draconian economic sanctions"
Is it to make Ukraine pay for gas as much as anybody else?

Dr. O. Ralph Raymond, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315

Listening to Sen. John McCain's empty rhetoric on Independence Square, I cannot help but recall President George H. W. Bush's notorious August 1991 warning to the Ukrainian parliament against "empty dreams of independence" and "suicidal nationalism," and urging Ukrainians to stay in a refurbished Soviet Union. That speech, crafted by Condolezza Rice and dubbed Bush's "Chicken Kiev speech" by Times columnist William Safire, did as little to determine Ukraine's fate as McCain's words will now.

Still, it is a useful historical exercise to recall that the elder Bush was among the last hold-outs to join with Mikhail Gorbachev (and the still obscure KGB colonel named Vladimir Putin) to try to prop up the floundering Soviet Union.

Roger, Palmetto Bay, Florida

Say what you want, but one thing is sure. Russia is in a much better economic position to help and influence the Ukraine than the US. Just compare the numbers: Russia has a $179 billion trade surplus vs. the US trade deficit of $716 billion, a 0.5% of GDP budget deficit as compared to our 4.1% deficit and a current account surplus of $40 billion vs. a US current account deficit of $413 billion. Russia's unemployment rate is 5.5% vs. the US at 7.0%.

Stafford Smith, Seattle

"Experts say that unless Ukraine carries out overhauls,... the country's economic problems will continue, raising the likelihood that the aid will be wasted."

For Yanukovich, who is not known to be a deep thinker, the money will not be regarded as wasted if it assures his political survival until the February, 2015, elections. It gets the weight of a bad bargain with Russia over gas prices off the country's back and buys him some time. When you are up against the wall, that's got to look pretty good.

Onno Frowein. Noordwijk, The Netherlands

Well Tim the EU is now being flooded with Bulgarians and Romanians since the EU ended their employment opportunities at home. Large companies subsidized with hundred of millions off Euro's like US Smithfield Foods put 90% of Polish and Romanian hog farmers out of business. The same happened to the many Bulgarian tomato- and 'Bulgarian Pepper' growers. Cheap labor taking jobs away from the domestic workforce will put even more pressure on the European social systems. It seems that the EU policy of expansion and austerity are directed to killing the SME's of the EU countries and contributing to the high unemployment of 27 million or 12.1% in the EU.

The Ukraine is lucky that Yanukovich decided for the aid from Russia since a trade pact with the EU would be nail to the Ukrainian coffin.

TMMSR, Chicago, IL

Well, I didn't know McCain was there....I guess he figures the third time is the charm since he couldn't get the U.S. involved in Libya or Syria. To all the critics of Putin (especially those of the U.S.) I really think it's time to realize that we have lost at the "game" we have exported to the world. No, not democracy, but that the dollar/ruble, currency rules. That's the game we play everyday in running our government. I don't see any difference in Putin offer, than those we seen in the last several weeks by states "bidding" for the new Boeing plant. Same game, same tactics. The money talks....the people just listen.

Joseph Huben, upstate NY

If McCain is involved we should flee. His primary goal is to defeat Obama anywhere and anyhow.

Bribery does work, until it doesn't.

BC, Hoboken, NJ

So, according to this report, "Senator John McCain ... told hundreds of thousands of demonstrators that the United States stood with them."

I'm surprised that he was in the Ukraine, why wasn't he in the Senate working on the budget deal? Did the State Dept. send him on this mission? Is he making official U.S. policy commitments ?

It is admirable that the people of the Ukraine are demonstrating to make their values known - but are they in for a 'let-down'? If a top Russian official had addressed the Occupy Wall Street protesters last year, asserting support , wouldn't Americans have had a justifiable feeling of 'mind your own business' ? Is there a definite need for the US to take an aggressive role in this situation?

Senator McCain: there are many problems Here In America that need to be addressed: briefly, Repair of infrastructure, Veterans care, Healthcare, Unemployment, Social Security, Minimum Wage, etc.

Patrick, Long Island NY

Dumb......spending over a trillion dollars and thousands of lives to win the love of another nation like Iraq.

Smart.....spending only 15 Billion dollars, in loans that is, and discounting the price of fuel to win the love of another nation.

Diplomacy is the way to a peaceful world, not military strength and conquest.

Strength through Peace!

Tim Kane, Mesa, Arizona

In 2002, the year before the invasion, Iraq's GNP was around $54 billion.

We should have gotten it lock, stock and infrastructure in tact with a few well placed bribes of under a billion dollars. Boy George was a stupid as Hitler marching into Russia and declaring war on the US. They just wanted to have a war to justify their existence.

[Dec 18, 2013] The who choices for Ukraine

The voice of CIA ;-)
svoboda.org

Q: Kiev announces that approximately 20 billion euros needed as financial assistance . To what extent do you share such evaluations ?

Vasily Astrov :

It's very difficult to define a certain amount, cost implementation of the requirements of the European Union for Ukraine ... After all, a lot depends on how soon she can handle it ? We do not know , is it about a 5- or 10 years , or for 15 ?

But experience has shown that fpr all the countries that recently joined the EU, thre convertion cost a lot of effort and money. Yes, to some extent, they were lucky - the necessary transformation of their economies was facilitated by the inflow of foreign investment. Based on their recent experience , we can cautiously hope that this could happen with Ukraine .

The estimate of 20 billion euros , in my opinion , is not exaggerated. Ukraine - a huge country , compared to other new Eastern European members of the EU , and the level of technological development is noticeably inferior to many of them .

Q: The European Union already has free trade agreements not only with Europe , non-EU countries ( Switzerland, Norway or Iceland) , but also with a number of others - in particular, with South Korea or Chile. Furthermore, the EU began negotiations on such an agreement with the United States . But the U.S. has a current c 1994 Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico (NAFTA). And the U.S., even concluding an agreement with the EU, have not renounced it . As well as the EU - from their previous agreements . That is, they are parallel to participate in several .

In turn , the Customs Union (Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan ) there no possibility of " parallel" participation in other similar agreements...

Vasily Astrov :

The rules in force in the free trade area and customs union differ greatly .

In the first case, the country may enter into new free trade agreement at its discretion. In a customs union - it's different. Its members must have a common customs rules and general tariffs on imports from third countries. That's why, if Ukraine joins the Customs Union of the CIS , it should comply with all the rules of the organization.

For her, it would mean, first, increasing their import tariffs, which are still quite low . And, secondly , Ukraine loses the opportunity to conclude a free trade agreement with the EU. Currently Customs Union has relatively high customs duties on imports from the EU . So here one excludes the other, there is a complete incompatibility .

[Dec 18, 2013] Ukrainians Protest Oligarchic Rule That Has Stripped the Country of Its Wealth

Sommers iether does not understand or does not want to talk about the fact that neoliberal model is about stripping assets from population and enriching Western banks and few local oligarchs who serve as a tool for transferring assets tot he West (aka neocolonialism) with IMF as a primary tool. The USA geopolitical game in the region since 1991 is to weaken and, if possible, partition Russia, so if to reach this goal Ukraine needs to converted into another Yugoslavia it's just a collateral damage to Washington politicians. There will be no Marshall Plan for Ukraine. Both EU and the USA are too neoliberal and shortsighted for that. Western Ukraine objectively is playing the role of fifth column for those neoliberal plans, despite the fact that their protest against oligarchic rule is genuine.
The Real News Network

SOMMERS: Well, John McCain essentially has been fighting the Cold War even after the Cold War's been over for some 20 years. So for some four decades he has actually been engaged in this protracted struggle against the Soviet Union and now its post Soviet Union incarnation in Russia. Essentially, he's interested in making sure that a Russian state does not get reconstituted, which could include some of the other former Soviet republics.

Now, this has geopolitical implications for U.S. interests in terms of ensuring that there's not a very, very strong bloc in Eurasia that controls this vast store of energy and minerals and brings into its orbit the countries around its border.

McCain has been very active in terms of trying to break Belarus, trying to get Lukashenko out of power. Of course, he was very active in terms of supporting Saakashvili and the republic of Georgia, and had some part, really, in instigating the state of affairs in the Republic of Georgia which led to the disastrous little war that occurred there a couple of years ago.

So this is just all part of his ongoing efforts in the region.

NOOR: Now, talk about what's driving these protesters, which are focused mostly on Western Ukraine, to oppose the closer ties with Russia and why they want closer ties to the European Union. And the deal with Russia will be part of the Customs Union, which is the Eastern European equivalent to the E.U.

SOMMERS: Sure. Well, Ukraine is a deeply divided country. If you think about the economy of the United States prior to the Civil War you see something analogous to the Ukraine today, although it was even worse--or, I should say, it's even worse today in Ukraine than it is [incompr.] the situation that we had before the Civil War in the United States. It's a country which has half of its population more or less linked to the economic interests in terms of heavy industries supplying the economy of Russia with both raw materials, leather goods. And then, of course, you have Western Ukraine, which is really not linked into that Russian economy in the same way that the Eastern part of the country is. And ethnically it's different as well. So you have a very, very significant ethnic division.

Now, in terms of the protesters in West Ukraine, I actually have a lot of sympathy with them. They've been misruled by an oligarchy for the past two decades in post-Soviet Ukraine that's done nothing but just strip the country of its wealth and sent it off via offshore financial structures to banks in Latvia, Cyprus, London, etc. So the country has not been developed. Its wealth has been looted.

And so you have a young population that feels as if they have nowhere to turn to, as if they need some kind of external solution to their problems. And I very much sympathize with that. I just don't think that it's going to come through the E.U. as the trade agreement was constituted.

NOOR: And can you break down the role of energy and gas pipeline politics in the region? It's been widely reported now that the Ukrainian president is going to meet with Russian President Putin to discuss a possible deal with Gazprom, who currently supplies Ukraine with 60 percent of its gas supplies.

SOMMERS: Well, this, of course, has always been an important issue throughout Eurasia, and that is the transportation or the transshipment of energy, although becoming a little bit less significant as new energy drilling technologies are coming online. But still, nonetheless, quite important. It's over the course of the past couple of decades. Ukraine has served as one of the primary transshipment pipelines for natural gas from Russia, which goes through Ukraine, which then goes to Europe, the European Union. So they are very concerned about making sure that those supplies are safe and secure.

Ukraine has been more or less pilfering gas from these pipelines for a couple of decades, and the Russians have more or less just had to put up with this. But also they've been playing hardball with Ukrainians by charging them really, really quite high prices for gas, which Ukraine really cannot afford. So now Ukraine is carrying some significant debt, in part because of very, very high prices. Russia is now offering to bring those prices down, trying to [incompr.] break and perhaps, you know, create a more sustainable situation.

NOOR: Finally, I want to end with a question that isn't often discussed in the mainstream media: what would a economic deal or economic reform in Ukraine look like that would actually benefit the people of Ukraine?

SOMMERS: I'm so glad you asked that question. That's the important one that's never asked. There's nothing wrong intrinsically with an agreement with the E.U. or the Russian customs union, and there's no reason that one cannot have an agreement with both, but it has to be a very different agreement. It has to be one which delivers resources to Ukraine, which is still a relatively poor country. It has to develop its economy in the fashion of, say, China over the past 30 years or, say, Japan in much of the 20th century. You need an agreement which invites investors in to partner with Ukrainian enterprises, not to buy Ukrainian enterprises up, but to partner with the Ukrainian create enterprises and help them develop the country.

An E.U. agreement, if one was signed, it should deliver significant structural funds to develop the country's infrastructure. It should have an agricultural regime of supports that doesn't drive Ukrainian farmers out of business, nor that just merely turns them into only exporters of grain to markets in the West. So an agreement which really develops Ukraine. And as Ukraine develops and produces goods, it therefore would have something to trade, and all parties would benefit. Everyone would become more prosperous as a consequence.

But that's not how trade agreements are constructed today. So, essentially I'm talking about a post-World War II Marshall plan for Ukraine and the kinds of trade agreements that were signed at that time, not just in terms of the aid, but in terms of how the actual trade agreements are constructed.

JEFFREY SOMMERS is ASSOC. PROF. of UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MILWAUKEE

[Dec 18, 2013] Ukraine is part of Europe (with or without the EU)

"For the protesters across Ukraine, Yanukovich stole the dream... Young Ukrainians may not know who they are anymore and may have been seduced by global consumer culture and media, just as their parents were seduced by Coca-Cola and blue jeans a generation ago. " Yanukovich is the same member of newly minted "offshore aristocracy" as Yushchenko, Kuchma and Kravchuk. They all try to steal from the country as much as possible for themselves and their friends. That's the nature of oligarchic republics. Until oligarchic republic exist it does not matter whether Ukraine adopt association with EU (they will never permit joining it) or Custom Union.
December 18, 2013 | RT

Unlike most Western pundits, I have spent time in Ukraine, dwelled in Khrushchev's Kiev apartment blocks, journeyed by train to Odessa and seen the city's port from the steps where Eisenstein filmed.

This is the land of Shevchenko, and the birthplace of Gogol and Prokofiev, Trotsky and Gorbachev. This is where Catherine the Great brought her empire to the Black Sea. Today, 40 percent of Russian Orthodox parishes are in Ukraine.

Vladimir made Christianity the official state religion of Kievan Rus in the year 988. By comparison, Spain was still a Muslim country.

In the 20th century, Ukraine suffered immensely under Stalin's insanity, designed and produced the T-34 tank that helped him defeat Hitler and was crucial to the greatest social engineering experiment in the history of man, a vast laboratory based on the theories of Europe's most influential thinker since Aristotle: Karl Marx.

Who would now suppose that Ukraine is not really part of Europe?

National identity crisis

Like many people in Russia today, Ukrainians feel that history cheated them. While Russians blame the Bolsheviks, the end of the Romanov dynasty and the brutal Communist system that dominated for so long, its atheism, structural mismanagement and inefficiencies... Ukrainians just blame the Russians as a bad influence, period. A generation after the triumph of Ronald Reagan and the Soviet Union's curtain call; the promise of free markets, free people and great hopes for a sunny future, Ukraine is not improving and many see Yanukovich as a relic from a bygone era. He even looks like a 1950s version of Soviet man.

Twenty-two years after the red flag was raised for the last time at the Kremlin, Lenin's statue has been toppled and beaten with a vengeance by sledgehammer wielding toughs in Kiev. What does Lenin have to do with the EU? (I have fond memories of eating lunch in a fast-food joint across the street from this fine, granite specimen of Socialist Realism, which had gazed down on passersby since 1946.)

Rage sweeps across Maidan Square. Young Nationalists and Westernizers dream of a prosperous, democratic and sovereign Ukraine where transparency and the rule of law hold sway. The 1,300-page Association Agreement with the European Union was going to provide the template, require the adoption of 350 EU laws and eliminate tariffs. Monopolies would be dismantled and the Ukrainian economy would be rescued from stagnation. Finance would become available and the country saved from impending economic doom.

For the protesters across Ukraine, Yanukovich stole the dream. Their outrage at the president's decision to say no to the EU has much to do with deep Ukrainian identity politics and is actually a vote of no-confidence in Ukraine's past and present. No politician wins re-election when the economy is shrinking. Yanukovich may need to retire for the sake of his Party of Regions. The Ukrainian oligarchs will have the final word about his fate; they control the media in Ukraine.

Young Ukrainians may not know who they are anymore and may have been seduced by global consumer culture and media, just as their parents were seduced by Coca-Cola and blue jeans a generation ago. They do have real grievances, but the European Union and the International Monetary Fund will not affirm Ukrainian identity and bankroll the journey to the freedom and prosperity that was supposed to be delivered after independence from the Soviet Union in 1991.

Last crumbs of the European pie

On the contrary, Yanukovich could not do the deal because the EU insisted on a sharp increase in gas prices to Ukrainian homes and the adoption of a neo-liberal agenda in Ukraine, among other requirements. Brussels designed the EU proposal to either be accepted, causing Yanukovich to fall from power, or to be rejected and cause Yanukovich to fall from power.

Ukraine signing the Association Agreement with the EU would undermine Russian export markets in Ukraine and open the door to US military bases in that country. The EU negotiations excluded Russia and attempted to force Ukraine to choose the EU at the expense of its big northern cousin. This strategy backfired and sent Ukraine into Putin's arms. But the young people and the naive people in Ukraine don't care about geopolitical chess games; they just want their piece of the pie... but it is pie in the sky to think the EU will make Ukraine rich.

The European Union is not a charity. It is an economic and political bloc designed to compete with the United States. The euro was created to compete with the US dollar. This bloc unified countries that were bitter enemies in the past and made them stronger by reducing the cost of doing business and facilitating trade among themselves. The end of the Council of Mutual Economic Assistance (barter club) in the east and the unification of Germany set the stage for the European Union to be what it is today: an economic giant with Germany leading the way. Today, when you board a commercial airliner, chances are about 50/50 you will be on board a European Airbus or an American Boeing.

Yanukovich made the right decision to avoid ceding control of Ukraine to the EU and IMF. The aim of the EU is to expand influence and the International Monetary Fund is notorious for policies and recipes that lead to perpetual debt and dependency of nations, especially in Africa and Latin America. Their agenda is to privatize industry and ensure compliance with American geopolitical goals.

Privatization can increase prosperity and sometimes American goals are altruistic, but it is naive to believe that Ukraine's association with the EU would solve Ukraine's economic problems and bring material benefit without ceding control to Western powers. Association with the EU and IMF would alleviate some problems in the near term and create new economic problems thereafter because Ukrainian industry cannot compete with Western corporations.

The Eurozone is sick

Spain has 25 percent unemployment, bankrupt provinces and a secession movement centered around wealthy Barcelona. Italy and Portugal can barely pay the interest on their bonds, which can never be paid off in full without creating euros out of nothing. Germany will not permit this. Hungary is in deep economic trouble and is experiencing a fascist revival. Then there is Greece. Ukrainians need to take a hard look over the horizon and take stock of what happens when the Eurozone suffers the structural failure of a member state. It's called austerity, and it's the new watchword all over Euroland. The details of the Greek default and tragedy are well known and do not need repeating here.

The situation in Cyprus doesn't give much hope, either. In March, the European Union stole billions of euros from depositors at Cypriot banks. The EU called it a bail-in. Now they say they will be forced to do the same in other EU countries in the near future. In Cyprus, many of the victims were Russians. To be frank, the EU's attitude was that they had it coming because most of the Russian depositors are gangsters and oligarchs anyway. As for the Greeks, they are lazy and need to learn some discipline. Once Ukraine is associated with the EU and needs help, they will be viewed with similar disdain by Western Europeans.

The European Union and the International Monetary Fund don't give anything away for free. They buy influence, interfere in the internal affairs and dictate the foreign policies of vulnerable nations in the interest of global banks and Western governments. Debt is their primary tool.

In Ukraine, the EU sabotaged itself by meddling in the Yulia Tymoshenko case before it had enough leverage over the country to dictate policy. President Yanukovich is holding out for a sweeter deal from the EU and Russia but patience has worn out and sitting on the fence is no longer an option. He opted for Russia but is unwilling to meet Russian requirements for more substantial financial relief, which Ukraine must soon obtain to avoid a deeper crisis and the fall of his government.

The Shanghai Cooperation Council may be the best option for Ukraine. In concert with Russia and China, Ukraine could partner with the BRICS. Muslim Turkey, long snubbed by the EU, has said it will also join the SCC if the European Union continues to deny it membership in the bloc.

Economic opportunity and democracy, the rule of law and transparency... are home grown, not imported from the EU. At the end of the day, Ukraine can, by itself, change for the better, uphold Western European standards, observe the rule of law, encourage entrepreneurship, encourage foreign investment and make Ukraine a great place to do business. If Ukraine continues to improve in these areas, it will, in time, be in a strong position to negotiate terms of trade with the rest of Europe and the world.

Daniel Bruno for RT

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

K C SARKAR 18.12.2013 13:10

USA never allows any country to flourish by taking different path except the one prescribed by IMF W BANK the surest&inevitable road to doom as already experienced by countries in EU Latin America and others.

Latin Americans countries after enduring grave sufferings under IMF World Bank tyranny had to choose alternative path from development after decades of incarceration.

Neo-liberal policies has never been able to benefit common people and economy of any country. Now Ukraine is now saved temporarily but it must be vigilant. Yanukovich showed statesmanship by resisting enormous pressure and taking correct decision.

[Dec 18, 2013] Russia Offers Cash Infusion for Ukraine

No default at least for the next year. Essentially Putin saved Ukraine from default which was expected within three months. Probably some speculators in Ukrainian bonds who put eggs in a wrong basket were burned.
NYTimes.com

>The implications for the protest movement were not immediately clear, but Mr. Putin's announcement, at a Kremlin meeting with Mr. Yanukovich, substantially alters the political landscape. It throws Mr. Yanukovich an economic and political lifeline that will spare him for now from negotiations with the International Monetary Fund, which was demanding significant changes to the government, judiciary and the economy in exchange for aid.

>While Mr. Putin portrayed Russia's assistance as a gallant move, requiring Ukraine neither to commit to the customs union nor to put in place any of the austerity measures demanded by the I.M.F., the rescue plan carries serious long-term economic and political risks. Experts say that unless Ukraine carries out overhauls, including increases in household utility rates, limits on government spending and pension increases, and improvements in the business climate, the country's economic problems will continue, raising the likelihood that the aid will be wasted.

>In addition, the political uncertainty raises the possibility of changes at the highest levels of government, perhaps even sooner than the presidential elections in February 2015.

>Then there is the immediate investment risk. Russia's rules for its national welfare fund require investments in countries with long-term bond ratings of AA or better; both Fitch and Standard & Poor's rate Ukraine at B-.

[Dec 18, 2013] Russia will buy two-year Eurobonds Ukraine $ 3 billion

Dec 18, 2013 | REGNUM

Russia plans this week to buy a two-year Eurobonds issues by Ukraine for three billion dollars , said yesterday the Minister of Finance Anton Siluanov , "Businessman " . According to him, they will be purchased by the National Welfare Fund. " Ukrainian government Eurobonds will be issued under English law on the Irish Stock Exchange. Coupon of 5% per annum," - said Siluanov .

He noted that total purchase of Eurobonds may reach $ 15 billion for 2013 - 2014 . "This year we decided to buy Ukrainian Eurobonds for three billion dollars," - said the Minister.

[Dec 17, 2013] 'Washington's dirty hands are involved' in ongoing Ukrainian protests by Angela Davis

I think Angela Davis is wrong with the idea that swarming was used. Deception was not necessary as Western part of Ukraine desperately wanted to go to Maidan since 2010. They just needed pretext. Media dominance helps to brainwash people, but also is limited as people do not read sites or newspapers they don't like :-). After all Ukraine was under the power of completely pro-West Yushchenko government for six years (after famous Orange revolution). It's enough time to sign association with EU, if you wish that. And Yushchenko would sign such a treaty without any hesitation. So if this is just an operation of the US agencies, it is sign of incompetence. Far from a real masterpiece which should be included in a color revolutions textbook like Orange revolution was... Moreover, it was Yanukovich government which initiated and conducted long negotiations with EU. And then changed its mind. As for Maidan, I think the separation of Ukraine on Catholic West and Orthodox East make this far less interesting; in those circumstances creating new Maidan is not that difficult. Money needed are minimal. Let's say $30 millions would do it. In such a country latent protest is always present and you need just matches to get fire. After that it's self-sustaining as both parts of the country do not trust each other and are expecting provocations...

VR

America thought it won Ukraine back in 2004 and it did for several years. But then Yanukovich was reelected, Yanukovich was democratically elected in 2004, the Supreme Court nullified the election, you remember all of this, and then the subsequent election elected his opponent Yushchenko and America had great advantage from that. When Yanukovich was reelected several years ago and America either liked him co-opted or ideally replaced. I am certain America would be very happy with simply co-opting him. The issue was really this: on one hand, getting him into the EU means it will be exploited for profits by US and by other western corporations.

The other issue was geopolitical, America has got a great length to isolate Russia, to isolate China, it encircles both countries with US military basis, it is installing so-called defensive missiles, that absolutely are intended for offense, they have nothing to do with defense. And the idea is pulling away all of the former Soviet republics and getting it into US orbit where we've got 3 former ones that are a part of NATO. We've got OPEC countries, a number of them as part of NATO. NATO was US-led absolutely. Washington wants all former Soviet Republics being part of NATO, again a long-term scheme to isolate Russia, to weaken Russia, do the same thing to China because America above all else wants unchallenged global dominance and the only two countries that really matter are China and Russia standing in its way of getting that. So, this is what this is all about.

So, you say that the US is involved in the current conflict and protests in Ukraine. Can you give us the idea of the mechanism?

They are funding the opposition, recruiting the so-called street hubs and the leaders of these protests different groups, former Ukraine boxing champion being one of them. Some years ago in the 1990 Turan corporations in America wrote two papers and they came up with the term "swarming". The idea of swarming is essentially to do by manipulation what is going on in Ukraine right now. You get people arose for the wrong reason, you manipulate them, you make them believe that what is going on in their country is threatening their wellbeing and you convince enough people to take action by going out into the streets and protest and America enlists leaders and street hubs. That is what is happening in Ukraine right now.

[Dec 17, 2013] Ukraine: tale of two nations for country locked in struggle over whether to face east or west by Shaun Walker

West of Ukraine is the center of Ukrainian nationalism and is much better organized politically. Likr Ireland Catholics they have its own paramilitary organization. And while numerically weaker Catholics from West are supported by EU and the USA much like Croats vs Serbs in former Yugoslavia. In a way Yanukovich is a hostage of those forces and can do nothing about it without dissolving the country into two parts.
The tragedy of Ukraine is that it is close to default and can stay afloat only with new loans. From 2011 to 2013 export of Ukraine to Russia dropped ~25% (10.8% and 15.2%). In view of Maidan protests and EU interference (which can lead to fall of Yanukovich government, as the USA can pull the stings on oligarchs who control the media and part of parliamentarians) rating of Ukrain dropped further. While Russia gave the current government a quick bridge loan without excessive neoliberal demands it does not solve Ukrainian economic problems and first of all loss of Russian market. EU can't compensate that. If another Yushchenko come to power Russian market can shrink even further. And EU is not ready to compensate Ukraine for losses, moreover Poland can now demand a restitution. IMF wants neoliberal reforms, poor part of population be damned. With the the economic power of the USA and EU they can well push it through Ukrainian throat (with some help from financed by the same players (at ~$30 a day per protester) Maidan). Devaluation of grivna the IMF insists is a huge, possibly mortal blow for many Ukrainian who are already living on subsistence level with $300 per month salaries and US level of food prices.
December 15, 2013 | The Guardian

The core of the anti-government protest movement has come from western Ukraine, a region where Ukrainian nationalism is rife and people consider themselves already part of Europe. Unlike eastern Ukraine, the western area was not brought under Soviet control until the second world war, and distrust of Russia remains strong.

At a popular restaurant in Lviv, the biggest city in the west, a heavily armed man dressed in anti-communist resistance fatigues greets arriving diners with the words "Glory to Ukraine!" and demands to know whether there are any Moskali, a derogatory term for Russians, among the group. If Moskali are detected, a mock execution is carried out on the spot, gunshots ringing out as other diners tuck into their borscht and sausages.

The restaurant may be gimmicky, but the anti-Russian sentiment is real. In addition to the aspirational EU flags decking everything from the town hall to a statue of Neptune, there are also handwritten posters dotted around town proclaiming, possibly somewhat prematurely: "Russia Goodbye!"

... Many Ukrainians are still suspicious of the EU and of the nationalist west,

For their part, the eastern Ukrainians see the west as naive and lazy, out on the streets protesting while the workers of the east toil hard in coal mines and metal plants to keep the economy going.

"You're protesting. We're working," read a common sign at the pro-government rally.

As evening falls in Kiev, the two rallies continue to coexist more or less peacefully. But even if the truce is kept, and whatever Yanukovych does in the coming weeks, the long-term task of uniting the very different parts of this country is likely to vex Ukrainian leaders for many years to come.

x233

Pro-government rally, my ass. They are mostly the most vulnerable cut of the society: a) brought to Kiev under the threat of losing their jobs in state run organizations, b) paid per hour poor trash, c) pensioners from the southeast who actually believe the BS they are told.
I know that because some of my relatives were almost forced to go lest they lose their job.

doctorrobert -> x233

I wouldn't be at all surprised if the pro-government protesters were being paid and bussed in, but my suspicion is that much of the pro-EU protests are also being organised by someone else, too.

More to the point, it's just unrealistic to imply (if that's what you're doing) that there isn't genuinely a great deal of pro-Russian feeling (or at least wariness about the EU) in Eastern and Southern Ukraine.

Could also note here that the map provided doesn't tell us everything. The part labelled Western Ukraine is bigger, but the people and industry are mostly in the East.

RussianPete -> x233

More like those who don't have anything better to do and stand in the street (some get paid for it), and those who realize more time is needed for old soviet block including Russia to create good living standards for citizens. Meanwhile real financial, political, geopolitical agenda is hidden.Ukraine has many problems,when you can't be bothered to think of them all just blame Putin.Any mention of how US heavily sponsored orange revolution in 2010?To whom instability in the region is favorable and whom it sets back?

RobertDutch -> Wickywickyman

No way of splitting!!

Only Crimea region the majority is ethnic Russian, all other regions (including the eastern regions) the ethnic Russians are a minority and the number of ethnic Russians is decreasing every year (lowest fertility rate of Ukraine and most of the ethnic Russians are pensioners, who according to statistics, will die in the next 10 years).

Davo3333 -> doctorrobert

That is not correct. The Russians in the east and south of Ukraine identify themselves proudly as Russians, not Ukrainians.

There is a real possibility that the country will split into two with the West moving into the EU and the West and South into Russia and the Russian side offers both short and long term advantages over the EU option. With Russia they will have advanced industry opportunity but with the EU they will become mainly supplier of cheap labour to the EU countries with no industry remaining.

Nobul

The west Ukraine had been under "European" rule for over 300 years, but it remained backward, agrarian and poor, so why is it going to change this time?

giltedged

Basically the industrialised East which also includes the seaside resorts is subsidising Lviva. People in the East work whilst students in Kiev pout to American and other foreign media folk practising their English and the tough Svoboda organisers dream that a Fascist Ukraine will join the EU. The Svoboda people are the spiritual inheritors of the Bandera fascists who massacred Poles, Russians,Jews, Lvivians and Ukrainians

Czech and Slovaks split when they pretty much no reason to. The two nations in Ukraine should do so for every reason.

UralMan -> DeathByPartisanship

By the way, about looks and faces.

What an unpleasant photo. And is so different from headline photos of the articles about the anti-government protesters. With such images you don't have to read the piece to choose who would you like to be associated, at least on the subconscious level. Now, where did I see similar ways of propaganda?

Oh, yes, I do remember. There were posters with the attractive fit straight looking (and presumably talking) young people as opposite to the old overweight ones with canny looks and big noses.

Those posters were quite a few dozens years ago and somewhere in the middle of Europe... Strange some ways of propaganda seem to never die.

[Dec 17, 2013] Ukraine protesters return en masse to central Kiev for pro-EU campaign

December 15, 2013 | The Guardian
Some were disturbed by events on the maidan. "Their maidan could lead to a civil war, and we do not need that," said Mikhailo Karavayev, a 20-year-old businessman from Zaporizhia in eastern Ukraine.

"It's impossible that these people are just not working for a month, the country needs to work," said Alla Kravchenko, 59, who had come for the day by chartered bus and was dancing with a Party of Regions flag. She said the conflict should be resolved by negotiations and not by street protests. "We are one country, and nobody should be allowed to split us up."

With the often changing demands of the opposition leaders, the surprising durability of the Maidan protest, and the unpredictability of Yanukovych's decision making, few are brave enough to predict how the standoff will end.

Wackyjacky

Millions of Turkeys demanding to vote for Christmas.

debt2zero

Ok, Russia & US/Europe fighting over it. Bet you it has nothing to with democracy at all. What does it have?

"on the crossroads of major transportation routes from Europe to Asia ... Ukraine possesses considerable volumes of natural resources." (research 'googled-on-the-fly : not much oil/gas remaining to export, 9th world production Uranium)

Strategic importance / quite a broad range of mineral resources.

debt2zero -> debt2zero

Largest European country by area outside Russia / borders Russia / gas pipelines /

Currently base of Russian Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol

Would make potentially excellent location for US military base once accepted into EU

debt2zero -> debt2zero

And in soon to be news ... CIA operatives spotted handing chunky brown envelopes to Ukrainian 'opposition'.

Generalisimo -> debt2zero

Ukraine will never be in the EU, make no mistake it is the world's greatest black-hole when it comes to money disappearing, it would be Greece x 1000 and the EU know it. The only chance for Ukraine to join EU would be if the country split in half and there was massive administrative reform in Western Ukraine.

inkyblob -> Generalisimo

Agreed. Ukraine will never be an EU member state and the EU officials brockering the deal know it too. With that in mind, what is the EU's interest in the Ukraine?

My guess would be that the initiation of an accession process would result in the opening up of the Ukrainian economy to foreign (i.e. EU and US) trade and the dismantling of state-owned enterprises - a process that EU and US corporations stand to profit from handsomely, as they have in other former communist states across Eastern Europe. During this process the Ukrainian government will quickly find it cannot balance its books and will have to borrow heavily - a shot in the arm for western financial institutions and a neat way for the country to come under the control of its debtors.

For the Ukrainian people this will mean a massive loss of jobs and either low-skilled labour for western companies or migration to the west to seek low-skilled labour in host countries. Of course, a small educated elite will prosper from EU money and projects and the proEU politicians will do quite nicely too. Meanwhile, the wealth of the country will slowly cross the border into the EU and the country will never again stand on its own feet (well, not for a generation or two at least). Of course, the kids on maidan don't see this - they think their country can become Germany over night.

I've seen it all happen already in Serbia and am quite sad that a whole generation of the Ukrainian youth are making the same mistakes.

All of that is not to say that the current leadership or closer ties to Russia are a particularly palatable alternative. Its definitely a case of being stuck between a rock and a hard place. In an ideal world the Ukraine would do well to emulate countries like Turkey ... But this is not an ideal world.

RedMangos

Is it true Western politicians, not NGO by the way, have been seen in Kiev?

Imagine say, the Brazilian president a senior politician to Occupy wall street.

Actually to be fair, there is no evidence yet, that McCain ( cold war warrior that he is ) is on anything but a solo mission.

P212121 -> RedMangos

but a solo mission

US assistant secretary of state Victoria Nuland was serving cookies on Maidan just yesterday or the day before. Add to this several remarks from US political figures, suggestions of sanctions and other types of pressure.

It beggars belief though that Ukraine just barely came out of the Orange Revolution, and here they go again, for a Lemon.

butchikatopulinka

What does Putin have to say about Ukraine? Let's hear it straight from the horse's mouth:

Regarding the events in Ukraine, they remind me less of a revolution than of a pogrom. And strange as it is, this all has little to do with Ukraine-EU relations. Because if you pay attention, no one is delving into these draft agreements, no one is looking at anything or listening to anything.
...
We believe that the situation will nevertheless become more normal, and that in the end the Ukrainian leadership, and Ukrainian people themselves, will determine their next steps for the near future and the long-term. Let me repeat once again, and I want to stress this: whatever choice the Ukrainian people make, we will respect it.

strangetown

Yet another article with no mention of Svoboda. A fascist far-right party is playing an important role in the events in Ukraine and not one word.

Tilipon -> strangetown

In Suria Islamism.
In Ukraine nazism.
But those facts is not used in EU press

BristolOn -> strangetown

Yes, that's quite "interesting" indeed. On the other hand you simply cannot read a single article about neighbouring Hungary, with some exaggeration not even about Hungarian cousine, which wouldn't mention Jobbik, a far-right party ... which seems to be a lot less extreme than this "pro-EU" Svoboda.

RussianFriend -> Tilipon

Naturally they are not.Otherwise they would have to provide intriguing details on the on the Ukrainian far-right. And this would trigger uneasy questions on who John McCain, Catherine Ashton, and all those top-rank Poles, Germans and Lithuanians have been actually meeting with.

Эд Остин

Having live and worked in Ukraine (and Russia for many years) the people are far more aligned to Russia both in mentality and economically (as well as a closely related language and many Russian speakers) that one wonders who is funding (=encouraging) these protests?

Putin makes many valid points.

itsmerob

If the Americans want you in the EU, the Ukrainian people should do the opposite. For the Americans this is a geo political issue aimed at further isolating and surrounding the Russians. If the Ukraine goes ahead with joining the EU they will find there country pillaged for its resources and have American missiles on it aimed at Russia thus making the Ukraine a target for the Russians. The fact that McCain is there spouting his bile should be of concern to every Ukrainian. The US couldn't give a dam about freedom and democracy. In fact they dislike freedom and democracy because they lose control.

Johnny Kent -> itsmerob

Spot on, and disgracefully, certain EU /Nato countries are fully supporting the US in this encirclement scheme.

Zaur Mugutdin -> ChukTatum

We will have to ask Ukrainians how air of freedom tastes, being out of work but closer to EU:)))

[Dec 16, 2013] Kiev Protests: Another CIA-Coordinated Color Revolution In Progress by Michael Thomas

December 13, 2013 | ronpaulinstitute.org

Who could argue that the moves and maneuvers taking place on the Ukraine geo-political chessboard are as surreal as they get?

The events occurring in Kiev are so transparent as to motive and purpose that one wonders if the CIA has all but abandoned their cloak and dagger MO of the past … in favor of living color revolutions taking place in real time. CNN must be jumping for joy at the prospects of improving their ratings plummet. They get to advertise and propagandize yet another CIA-conceived, coordinated, and controlled-from-the-top COLOR Revolution.

Can the reader imagine high level representatives from other countries, showing up in the midst of the most tense political standoffs in Washington DC, offering every kind of support to those Americans protesting against the US Federal Government? That's exactly what US Assistant Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland is doing in the Ukraine at this very moment.

Were any other nation to meddle in US internal affairs, they would become an immediate target of terrifying Yankee gunboat diplomacy. The individuals involved would be promptly placed on the TSA No-Fly List list for the rest of their incarnation. That is, of course, if they even made it out of the US alive.

Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me

What is particularly surprising about the current color revolution unfolding in the Ukraine is that this nation was the site of the very same CIA implementation plan back in 2004/2005. The Orange Revolution, as it was known at the time, was a classic CIA-engineered plot to impose their political outcome on the Ukrainian people. And they succeeded with flying colors.

That CIA-sponsored coup d'etat was so successful that it has since been used as a model for every other CIA-manufactured scheme that has toppled governments and reversed fair election outcomes the world over. In fact, the Ukraine is where the various social network utilities were used so effectively that the new MO has become known as the digital blitzkrieg. Never in human history have so many citizens been stampeded in the direction of overthrowing their government while being completely ignorant of the real forces manipulating the cattle prods.

Many commentators have wondered how the current protests have been so successful in light of their leaders previous experience with EU-US meddling in their domestic affairs. It was so obvious during the Orange Revolution 1.0 that the Western powers wanted to annul one election only to subsequently secure the victory of their chosen representative, Viktor Yushchenko. Can the Ukrainian people still be that unaware of the outright interference by foreign powers in their electoral process? Or, to overturn the recent presidential decision to postpone the signing of the EU deal.

Amassing a few hundred thousand people on the Capital square has become the weapon of choice for the CIA.

Ironically, if a few thousand angry protestors ever tried to congregate around the US Capitol building, they would be swiftly herded into fenced-in holding pens out of earshot of the closest Congressman. They would then be arrested, fingerprinted and ferried as far away from the scene of the crime as possible . . . never to fly again.

US-EU-NATO Juggernaut rolls into any town, any time it wants to

What is especially striking about the blatant intervention by the EU et al. in Kiev is their carelessness. The various 'diplomats' and leaders who are meddling seem not to care a whit about their extraordinarily aggressive and unrelenting intrusions. They just proceed to act with complete impunity. Then, the host nation - the Ukraine - permits them every opportunity to meddle without consequence. Every proxy is given an apparently free hand to execute their agenda unimpeded on behalf of the IMF & Company.

As a matter of fact, the Ukraine government response has been so dysfunctional and inappropriate that one wonders if the current Administration has been unwittingly co-opted by the same CIA subterfuge. It's as though the President, Prime Minister and Parliament have been wired in such a way as to be perfectly reactive to the many strategically placed CIA cattle prods. Likewise, who has ever seen a body politic herded so easily as those who have shown up in the city square working for foreign interests which operate against their own national interests?!

The European Union has been nothing but a slow sinking Titanic.

This is precisely why the protests have been so fast in the making and fierce in their effect. With the southern flank of the EU (PIIGS) in such disarray, and the main economic engines of Germany and France ready to blow a gasket, the EU leadership is downright desperate. The Ukraine represents their last hope to prevent the final submersion of the Eurozone ship.

The Ukrainian people don't even know that they are being corralled onto a ship in order to save a Titanic that has already hit an iceberg. Why would any nation at this point join the European Union in view of its gross mismanagement, trampling of national sovereignty, and frightful financial condition? The EU is clearly a quasi fascist/communist political construct designed to thoroughly disempower the citizenry of each participating nation. In this way it can be used as a very large and monolithic political, military and economic bloc to carry out the wishes of those who ultimately oversee the Eurozone.

The EU has become such an economic drain on the rest of the world, especially the US Federal Reserve, that its current and future indebtedness and unfunded liabilities are simply untenable. Hence, the Ukraine is looked to as a temporary savior because of its many large and robust markets, well established industrial base and transportation links to Asia, as well as it vast natural resources and raw materials.

Coup d'état by way of consensus, especially within US, EU, NATO leadership

Now you know why Western leaders, near and far, have snapped into action at the failure of the Ukraine to sign the landmark deal at the EU Summit. Also, why every CIA black op is being implemented and surrogate mobilized to reverse the President's decision. In reality, the very existence of the EU depends on Ukrainian wealth because of its critical need to feeds its predatory version of corrupt, crony, corporate capitalism*.

What reigns supreme across the global landscape is the terror "ism" known as naked, predatory capitalism. It utilizes faux democracy and bogus 'rights' and globalization (aka resource theft) as its main mantras. The ability of its promoters to take down a nation using other tools like economic terrorism, currency manipulation, financial sabotage, and corporate espionage is now the most feared force on the planet among those victimized by such criminal conduct.

Truly, a slick and sophisticated form of New Age colonialism has been advanced with awesome speed and success throughout this New Millennium. With the penetration of the internet into every national nook and cranny, revolutions and civil wars can now be twittered and facebooked from the CIA offices at Langley. Even YouTube and Instagram have gotten into the 'picture'.

As more of the world population becomes digitally connected, greater numbers of unsuspecting souls fall prey to every MSM fabrication that originates in the bowels of the CIA Directorate of Operations (now known as National Clandestine Service). The end result just may be a Color Revolution coming to a theatre near you … in a format, mind you, that is much more than the traditional living color!

*The authors have no problem with genuine free market capitalism that respects the sovereignty of each and every nation; however, that is not the predominant form operating worldwide today.

Reprinted with permission from author.

[Dec 16, 2013] The West's "False Promise" to Ukraine

In 2013 export of Ukraine to Russia dropped 25%.
The American Conservative

Simon Shuster reports on the gap between Western rhetoric about the Kiev protests and what the governments are willing to offer:

So it remains to be seen whether Europe's generosity can match Ukrainian needs. To save the country from defaulting on its debts, the government says it requires more than $20 billion just to pay off its immediate obligations, including at least $2 billion owed to Russia for natural gas supplies. Over the next seven years, Ukraine would need more than $200 billion to fund the reforms the E.U. is demanding [bold mine-DL], according to Prime Minister Mykola Azarov. And there is no way the E.U. would pony up anywhere near that kind of money, especially considering Ukraine's reputation for corruption. "It's a black hole," says Stefan Meister, a Ukraine expert at the European Council on Foreign Relations. "If you put money into it, half of it ends up in secret accounts somewhere in Switzerland." [bold mine-DL]

I'm trying to imagine a scenario in which leading European governments throw that much money at a corruption-riddled non-EU state, but I can't see it. It would be a huge waste of resources on their part, and especially right now that is something that European governments couldn't sell to their parliaments or their publics. That is especially true of EU member states that are suffering from their own severe economic and fiscal problems. Shuster concludes:

This week, the rotating presidency of the E.U. went from Lithuania, which has championed Ukraine's integration with Europe, to the debt-wracked nation of Greece, which has little patience for charity cases other than its own. So in the next few months, just as Ukraine edges toward financial ruin, the concern of its western neighbors will likely fade away.

If that's right, then the recent talk from Western diplomats and politicians of showing solidarity with the protesters will be revealed as so much empty bluster. Shuster writes:

But apart from these gestures, it is far from clear whether the West is willing or able to pull Ukraine out of its ongoing crisis. "It's a false promise," says Stephen Szabo, the head of the Transatlantic Academy, a policy research center based in Washington. "It's going to lead to disillusionment in Ukraine."

That should make us all wonder what the point of these shows of "support" really was, since there was never much chance that they would translate into real support. It would have been less misleading not to pretend that "the West" was coming to provide meaningful assistance when words appear to be the only thing that Western governments are prepared to offer.

philadelphialawyer
In the Shuster article, there was this too:

"But could the West have acted any differently? Could they have simply ignored the protests? Since the onset of the European financial crisis, talk of E.U. members pulling out of the bloc have become a lot more common than countries wanting to join. So these demonstrations gave the E.U. a badly needed ego boost. 'The Europeans have been kind of inward-looking, even somewhat cynical about European membership and European values,' says William Taylor, the former U.S. ambassador in Ukraine. So when they looked over at the crowds in Kiev waving E.U. flags, the Europeans realized that 'these guys really put a high premium on the things we have,' Taylor says. 'And hey, maybe we should take inspiration from these Ukrainians.'

"But taking inspiration and posing for pictures is one thing. Offering membership and financial bailouts is another. So far, no one is inviting Ukraine to join the E.U., which has had enough trouble in the last few years absorbing the troubled economies of Romania and Bulgaria…."

In other words, while the EU has no intention, and never had any intention, of actually helping to solve Ukraine's economic problems, indeed, the treaty was going to exacerbate them in several ways (costs of meeting EU demands for "reforms," costs of paying back Russian loans, costs of increase in Russian natural gas prices), European leaders did get an "ego boost" and some sort of vague, Euro "inspiration" out of their encouraging the mobs.

That clearly makes it all worth it!

Some additional points…the article makes it clear that accepting the EU "reforms" would require (just as the last time that the Westernizers took over and instituted their "reforms"), massive hardships for Ukraine's poorest citizens. Somehow, it is only rarely mentioned in reports about the brave protesters that they want to solve their country's problems on the backs of their most vulnerable fellow Ukrainians. They don't quite seem so noble when viewed in that light.

And, finally, can anything be more patronizing, more indicative of US condescending meddling, than the spectacle of Victoria Nuland, the official US State Department representative, attempting to hand out bread to the protestors in Kiev. As is they were street beggars, one and all, dependent on the West even for their basic calories!

Puller58

Exactly! With Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy, the EU already has enough financial disasters to contend with so the Ukraine is a non-starter.

TomB

What's depressing is that Europe and the U.S. didn't take the opportunity to suggest a sit-down with Ukraine and any other interested countries in the Ukraine's position-*and Russia*-and try to work out some joint, mutual, reciprocal easings of trade barriers between Europe and the U.S. and *everyone* at the table, including once again the Russians.

In other words, offer *Russia* itself such advantages of trade with the Euros especially that it overcomes their advantages of trying to deny such advantages to its former satellites.

And who would deny that it couldn't *help* Europe to open up new markets for its good?

*That* seems to me to be real strategic thinking, rather than the shorter-than-short-term brain farts that we in fact see being acted upon.

[Dec 16, 2013] The main objective and purpose of the Ukranian opposition to this week to topple the Cabinet

Dec 16, 2013 | http://www.kommersant.ru/doc/2369714

...Most of the country can not understand how it was possible to pre-approve the agreement in 2012 , a year to discuss it , and then a week before the signing, it turns out that it is not suitable for the Ukrainian economy.

Western Diplomats Are Going to Disappoint Ukraine's Protesters By Simon Shuster

Dec. 13, 2013 | Time

In the coming months, Ukraine faces some of the toughest economic times in its history, and the West's proposed rescue package comes with some very painful strings attached. An emergency loan worth $17 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a global lender backed mostly by the U.S. and Europe, would force drastic reforms on the Ukrainian economy. By accepting the loan, the government would commit to devaluing its currency, slashing its budget and cutting subsidies on the price of natural gas for all but its poorest citizens. That would lead to a sharp spike in the cost of basic goods, including the bread that Nuland brought to the square on Wednesday.

For President Viktor Yanukovych, who is up for re-election in just over a year, these measures would amount to political suicide. On his watch, the economy has already fallen into a yearlong recession, pushed down by weak demand in Europe for Ukrainian exports, and in August, Russia made matters worse by cutting off trade with Ukraine as punishment for its drift toward the West. Squeezed from all sides, Yanukovych then turned away at the last minute from the E.U. integration deal, thus putting all aid from the IMF on hold.

On Thursday, as the pro-E.U. protests showed no sign of easing in Kiev, his government seemed to make another U-turn. It sent a delegation to Brussels to resume cooperation talks with the E.U., whose commissioner for integration, Stefan Fuele, said afterward that the E.U. would provide "more and more" assistance to top up the aid from the IMF. Fuele did not, however, provide any specific figures. So it remains to be seen whether Europe's generosity can match Ukrainian needs. To save the country from defaulting on its debts, the government says it requires more than $20 billion just to pay off its immediate obligations, including at least $2 billion owed to Russia for natural-gas supplies. Over the next seven years, Ukraine would need more than $200 billion to fund the reforms the E.U. is demanding, according to Prime Minister Mykola Azarov. And there is no way the E.U. would pony up anywhere near that kind of money, especially considering Ukraine's reputation for corruption. "It's a black hole," says Stefan Meister, a Ukraine expert at the European Council on Foreign Relations. "If you put money into it, half of it ends up in secret accounts somewhere in Switzerland."

Commentary: Ukraine Another Egypt

Can this new Roman Empire size union called EU be governed ? It's too huge and interest of the constituents are too diverse. Ukraine might make the situation even worse with its Western provinces labor market already by-and-large oriented on EU economic space. even couple of million if Ukrainians from Western provinces can tip the scales in many EU countries.
The National Interest

While Yanukovych has demonstrated an awareness of the unexpected severity of the backlash against his decision to not sign the agreement with Europe, in truth there is little he can do at this point, even if he wanted to. Ukraine has $17 billion in outstanding gas bills and debt payments. The IMF has declined to restructure its lending. The future course of this country of forty-five million people hangs in the balance.

... ... ...

This breakdown in transatlantic consensus on eastern Europe was on full display at the 2008 NATO Bucharest Summit, where President George W. Bush's premature push for Georgia was rebuffed by Europe. The subsequent miscalculations by Georgia and Russia led to a very preventable war.

The crisis in Ukraine is more of the same-but with perhaps even greater risks. This time, it was the EU that advanced a strategy that was overconfident, unrealistic, and premature, while the US looked on with a distracted eye.

...Facing reelection in 2015 and presiding over an economy that is both highly dependent on the Russian market and Russian gas, and ill-equipped to benefit from European trade and to support EU mandated reforms, it would have been political suicide. One need not empathize with Yanukovych-a thuggish politician who corruptly rules an oligarchic economy-to appreciate the unenviable choice he was forced to face.

...Yanukovych was not simply being venal-although there was undoubtedly some degree of venality in his actions-when he dismissed as inadequate the $800 million EU financial assistance package; he was just being rational.

Building a stable security architecture is a competitive business. Under the Freedom Support Act, the US has invested over $3 billion in assistance to the Republic of Georgia, a country one-ninth the size of Ukraine. During Yanukovych's meetings in China last week with President Xi Jinping, Ukraine already secured a $3 billion port development project. It costs to play.

...Alternately, suggesting that the best way forward is for Ukraine to move to an interim government is both impractical and irresponsible. Yanukovych has shown he won't let it happen peacefully. And nobody has the votes to do so politically, as the failed no confidence vote recently showed.

...The region has had enough color revolutions and desperately needs to focus on more normalized processes of governance. Otherwise, it risks following the pathway of Egypt, locked into a series of popular revolts that prevent any leadership from effectively attempting to deal with the country's dire problems.

Commentary: Ukraine Rejects Europe A Blessing in Disguise E. Wayne Merry

December 6, 2013 | The National Interest

Yes, the western part of Ukraine profoundly wants to join "Europe." Yes, the Ukrainian oligarchs from the eastern part of the country very much want, as one Ukrainian commentator has put it, to "have one foot in Europe and one foot out" (not, mind you, one foot in Russia). However, that is not enough. The regime of Viktor Yanukovych is both strong enough and legitimate enough-for the time being-to pursue its "third way" option of seeking improved economic access with both Europe and Russia.

Therein lies the core problem: for twenty years, independent Ukraine has expected, demanded, and all-too-often received a special status, allowing it to benefit from its geography while playing by its own set of rules. Western governments-with Washington at the fore-have encouraged the Ukrainian political class to believe their country can forever have its cake and eat it too, and obtain the benefits of a dual orientation without reforming itself even to Russian standards, let alone to Western ones.

In the EU negotiations, Brussels bent over backwards to encourage Kiev to sign up to association status. Indeed, the European mistake-under pressure from Warsaw and Stockholm-was to treat Ukraine as if it already was in essence "European" and merely needed to adopt a few formalities. This did no favors to the people of Ukraine, and reflects a sad but established EU tendency of not rigorously enforcing standards with applicant states for either membership or association status.

This practice began with Greek membership in 1981 and includes accepting a divided Cyprus, admitting Greece and Cyprus into the Eurozone, and the premature memberships of Romania and Bulgaria, which by rights should today enjoy association status rather than full membership. The consequence is recurrent buyer's remorse among EU governments and growing skepticism toward the European project among their populations.

[Dec 14, 2013] Thousands hit Kiev streets in rival rallies as mayor suspended over protest crackdown

Strategically it's oligarchs who are connected with West are the trump card of the West in Ukraine. Ukraine need to pay 2 billion in January and 7 billions of so in 2014 just a interest on state debt. The idea might be to sell sovereignty to highest bidder and get new loads from IMF . See Ukraine starts new talks with IMF on $15bn loan
RT News

Tens of thousands of people from across Ukraine have gathered in central Kiev for rival anti- and pro-government rallies. President Yanukovich suspended the city's mayor and top security official over the brutal eviction of protesters.

The Ukrainian ruling Party of Regions has estimated that some 200,000 of its supporters have come to Kiev's European Square to back President Viktor Yanukovich and his cabinet's anti-EU move.

Despite the Party of Regions' estimate, local police have put the number of activists at around 60,000 people.

Many of the banners read, "We'll save Ukraine!"

"There are many Kiev residents among protesters, who came to support the alternative point of view, which is different from the one being promoted at the nearby rally on Independence square," the ruling party's press office said. "They all unite in the opinion that it is necessary to stop the civil confrontation and restore peace and tranquility in the society."

Many Party of Regions activists arrived in Kiev on Friday, with the largest groups coming from the major cities of Donetsk - where Yanukovych once served as regional governor - Lugansk, Sevastopol, and Dnepropetrovsk.

"There are students, factory workers, coalminers and retirees," the rally's coordination center said.

"I have supported the Party of Regions since 2004. I should be here. It is my duty to be here because I trust our President," one of activists from the eastern city of Lugansk told AP.

The Party of Regions has ruled out the possibility of resolving the country's political crisis by force.

"Any conflicts, the most difficult matters should and can only be solved by the negotiating table. People should not be driven away from their work, from their families," Prime Minister Nikolay Azarov told supporters as he opened the rally at 2:00 p.m. local time.

The rally, which is set to last for two days, is just 200 meters away from Maidan - or Independence Square - where the opposition's supporters have been camping out for three weeks of protests sparked by Yanukovich's refusal to sign an association deal with the European Union.

Follow RT's LIVE UPDATES on protests in Kiev.

Foreign Agent

Joining EU is out of question, to get Ukraine's infrastructure at EU level will cost over two trillion $, the bad roads, the clean up of collapsed polluted industrial complexes and not to forget Chernobyl would be a very heavy burden. The EU only needs markets to sell their products, even to countries that can not afford it.

See Greece that organized Olympics, but could not afford it. Many EU companies made their profit in Greece and now the EU taxpayer can pay the bills. Russia only needs Ukraine as a buffer against the EU. Maybe that is your fate when you are called оукраина, or borderland.

[Dec 13, 2013] Ukraine's protests are not about a yearning for European values

The Guardian,

... just one illustration of the fallacy of the concept – better said, the prejudice – that what is going on in the streets of central Kiev revolves around "European values" that are alien to Russia, and that Ukraine is once again facing a civilisational choice between "Europe" and Russia.

The notion that Ukraine needs to be detached from any links with Russia has been the primary error behind the European Union's clumsy and provocative approach to Ukraine under its so-called eastern partnership. The partnership initiative came from Sweden's Carl Bildt and Poland's Radek Sikorski, two of the EU's most anti-Russian and abrasive foreign ministers. Even after it was adopted by the EU in 2009, they continued to push themselves forward as its main champions instead of leaving the job to the more diplomatic Catherine Ashton and the EU's enlargement commissioner, Stefan Fule.

It is no accident that the Bildt-Sikorski ideas took wing as Nato's hopes of getting Ukraine to join the ever-expanding Atlantic alliance were foundering on the unwillingness of most Ukrainians to take sides in the west's new cold war against Russia. Instead, Ukraine opted for neutrality. With Nato enlargement on ice, the hawks' new focus switched to dangling EU links in front of six former Soviet republics, from Azerbaijan to Ukraine. It is the classic stuff of zero-sum games which Russia has also adopted by recently creating a rival Eurasian Union with the same potential ex-Soviet members as well as the central Asian "stans".

Ukraine has long been a complex structure. This year is the 1,025th anniversary of the formation of Kievan Rus, the assemblage of east Slavic tribes under Christianity, and a timely reminder that many Slavs still see Kiev as Russia's mother city, long pre-dating Moscow. The western parts of what is today's Ukraine were later in the Austro-Hungarian empire, while the eastern part was under the Russian tsars. The split between Orthodoxy and Catholicism created further divisions.

Twenty years since the collapse of the Soviet Union and Ukraine's independence, the country's economy is almost equally linked to Russia and the EU. Its trade turnover with the EU is exactly the same as its turnover with Russia, and in both directions it has the same deficit, exporting less than it imports.

So the logical message from history, politics and current economics is surely that Ukraine should be allowed to co-operate with both sides without having any doors slammed. Yet the EU has consistently told the authorities in Kiev that even to sign an association agreement with the EU (full membership is not on offer) would not be compatible with being part of the Eurasian Union.

When Ukraine's president, Viktor Yanukovych, turned down the agreement which he had been expected to sign at an EU summit in Vilnius a fortnight ago, the surprise should not have been his abrupt change of mind but the fact that he had continued the negotiations with Brussels for so long. Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, prompted the volte-face by threatening Ukraine with economic penalties but here, too, the surprise is that the Russian leader had not reacted to the EU's hard line sooner.

A comparison with Georgia is instructive. When the small Caucasian republic was led by the confrontational and rabidly pro-Nato Mikheil Saakashvili, the Kremlin could barely tolerate anything he did. With his departure, Putin accepted Georgia's signature at the Vilnius summit on a similar EU deal to Ukraine's while also improving Russia's own trade relations with Georgia.

... ... ...

The most urgent requirement is political rather than economic: how to end the confrontation on the streets. Yanukovych is right not to resign, as the more extreme of his opponents are demanding. He would be falling victim to the "curse of Cairo" whereby an elected leader is forced out by crowds. The street uprising against Slobodan Milosevic in Belgrade in 2000 and the Orange protests in Kiev in 2004 were sparked by fraud and ballot-rigging. What took place in Egypt this year was not, yet its undemocratic echo spread to Bangkok last month, and now to Kiev.

Jonathan Steele is a former eastern Europe correspondent for the Guardian

loutraki

Every Scot I speak to cites his own personal financial situation as the criterion for next year's independence vote.

Every Ukrainian I speak to cites a "better future" in the European Union, i.e. better standard of living.

If hard cash is the most important criterion for seeking alliances and unions, then perhaps both Russia and Germany should agree to give Ukrainians a few billion in return for strict neutrality.

BlackHorse101 -> loutraki

Every Ukrainian I speak to cites a "better future" in the European Union, i.e. better standard of living.
In which Oblast is every? West, East, North, South. Have you spoken to the people in Odessa, Crimea....? How many Ukraines have you spoken to one, ten, hundred, thousand, million, forty five million?

Hmm always an absolute.

Taku2

Very informative and cogent article.

What this tells us, I suppose, is that America and Western Europe, in the form of the Empire building EU, are still fighting the cold war against the Russian Federation, with a view to stripping Russia of all her allies and weakening the Russian State.

Russia does have good cause to be suspicious of the Americans and the EU, both of which says, and probably also does one thing, but have the dissolution and/or emasculation of the Russian Federation as their eventual objective. If they continue to pursue the policies they are pursuing, America and the EU will see further wars and strife amongst the coountries of the former Soviet Union.

These or some of these countries could become as unstable as the warring countries in the Middle East. It certainly is not the way to achieve lasting peace.

There is also the question of what is the driving force behind this increasing encroachment of America and the EU into the former constituent countries of the Soviet Union; is it about exploiting their resources and cultivating them as markets for the Americans and EU countries?

CaptainChien

democracy, freedom and the rule of law.

Well thats western values in a nutshell.

How odd that people who have actually experienced the oppression of a marxist state and fear the reimposition of the ex KGB officer Putin's dictatorial values should choose to want such nonsense.

YojimboBeta -> CaptainChien

What are you even on about? The protests are about a trade agreement, not political reform, and not even to do with EU membership (which the EU has firmly hinted is *not* on the cards). They're objecting to a diplomatic decision by a democratically elected head of state who enjoys support from a large part of his nation.

This has nothing to do with some clumsy, binary "NATO vs Warsaw Pact" thinking - it's not 1983, you know.

hfakos -> CaptainChien

As opposed to the democratic paradise of the USA at one point run by George H W Bush, ex-head of the CIA, and then his son W. Given the Snowden revelations, it seems the West is far ahead of Russia in building a complete police state.

Spinozist

Catherine Ashton is "more diplomatic" is she? This morning in an interview carried by the Today programme she referred to "Yanukovych" (not President Yanukovych). Very revealing of the EU's attitude to anyone who resists their "diplomacy". Not that the Putin-dictatorship alternative is in any way attractive, but the hypocrisy of the EU and the US, supporting mass occupations of Kiev's main square while ignoring repression of the Occupy protesters and the anti-austerity protesters in the "democratic West", is breathtaking.

edwardrice -> KMAA

Ukrainians are pushing for an independent state that is democratic and therefore free from Russia.

Ukrainian is run by a few billionaire oligarchs. They'll decide what's best.

If the Ukrainians in the streets were threatening the billionaires right to
loot then the police would have cleared the protesters a couple of weeks ago.

''freedom and democracy'' are meaningless neo-liberal slogans when the majority are up to their necks in debt and can't earn enough to put food on the table.

Victor999 -> KMAA

Ukraine is a weak and impoverished state subject to the rape and pillage of its people and resources by Russians, Europeans and its own oligarchs. Russia is not the only country to have miss-used Ukraine - Poland, Prussia, Austro-Hungarian Empire - they all have had huge parts in the past subjugating the people of Ukraine.

The current EU, if it has a chance, will also rob Ukraine of its resources and force devastating economic restructuring upon them and forcing their markets open to rapacious European corporations.

That is what the current demonstrations are all about - when Ukraine failed to sign the rapacious economic agreement with the EU, they sent in the provocateurs to destabilise the country, just as happened with the Orange Revolution.

The European Corporate State smells blood.

Batcow

The protesters camping out in Kiev have more in common with yellow-shirt protesters in Bangkok than Europeans. They are a minority who believe that their whole country should be focused on making life better for them. They don't believe in democracy because they know they are outnumbered, so they seek power by coup d'etat or 'revolution'.

With closer ties to the EU they will soon be off to seek their fortunes in Hamburg or London, or better still by exploiting their own countrymen.

Wickywickyman

If you look at post-Soviet republics and Ukraine's other neighbours, in which are ordinary people's standards of living better, those which are now in the EU (the three Baltics, Poland, Slovakia), or those which are not (Belarus, Moldova, Armenia, Georgia)?

It's not hard for Ukrainians, especially younger ones with an education who have travelled a bit, to see that whatever the downsides of moving towards the EU, they have a better chance of moving forward that way than as Russia's little brother. The prevailing Euroscepticism in the UK makes it hard for people over here to understand what is going on in Ukraine.

edwardrice -> Wickywickyman

Read this: Latvia's Economic Disaster as a Neoliberal Success Story

stuperman -> edwardrice

You continue to denigrate Latvia, as you have done over the last few days. Facts. It entered the economic crisis along with most other EU countries in 2008. Its economy was overheating anyway with people taking out loans denominated in euros. Wages were cut and jobs lost as the economy faltered. The local currency lost value against the euro making loan repayments more costly. Citizens when to other countries for work (which they had been doing since 2004). The economy has now stabilised and the country introduces the euro 1st.Jan.2014. The UK could not qualify for the euro presently (debt/GDP too high). There are not enough jobs in the country to attract its citizens back, and wages are still low. Its economy is no different to many other countries in the EU. At least its citizens had the get up and go instead of sitting at home and complaining about foreigners taking their jobs (2.5m unemployed in the UK and 500,000 jobs advertised).

edwardrice -> stuperman

You continue to denigrate Latvia, as you have done over the last few days.

You continue to ignore the fact that the Latvian economy has been devastated by neo-liberal economic 'reforms'. That's why the economy was 'overheated'. Neo-liberalism caused the global financial melt-down!

At least its citizens had the get up and go instead of sitting at home and complaining about foreigners taking their jobs

If the economy was strong people won't have to go abroad to work for shit wages in shit jobs. It really is that simple.

yugo

Attempting to "liberate' Ukraine may be high-minded of the EU, but it begs important questions.

Are there any geographical limits to an expanding EU? Include Armenia, Georgia and Turkey, and the EU would border Chechnya, Syria, Iraq and Iran.

Should Kiev's young be encouraged to believe that the accord on the free movement of peoples will remain a bedrock principle of the EU? This accord will be further tested with the end of transitional restrictions on Bulgarian and Romanian migrants come the New Year, as well as Moldovan migrants given the ease with which Moldovans can acquire Romanian citizenship. The scale of uncontrolled immigration into Western Europe will be further augmented from Croatia, which recently joined, and in due course from six other western Balkan states.

Was it wise of the EU to entice Ukrainians into abandoning their economic dependence on Russia without offering transitional aid? Do we want a basket case on our hands? Will the EU's taxpayers consent to bailing out Ukraine?

BlackHorse101 -> yugo

'as well as Moldovan migrants given the ease with which Moldovans can acquire Romanian citizenship.'

The Serbs and Macedonians are also getting Bulgarian passports. I'm not sure of the numbers but the practice has been going on for a few years now.

The Romanian and Bulgarian Roma can also migrate to the wealth. The French and Italian governments would be tearing their hair out knowing the human Roma wave is coming. Bulgaria has built a fence to keep the refugees out from Syria/ Africa. In my opinion the Eu has turned into a mess with the open border policy.

KMAA

I am not sure what makes Radek Sikorski "anti Russian". The current Polish government, of which he is Foreign Secretary, has good relations with Russia and has been working to build a constructive relationship with Russia.

Jeremn -> KMAA

Good relations? Only compared to the last Polish government, now that was a thoroughly anti-Russian government.

Look up Sikorski, who he is married to (Applebaum), who his friends are (Edward Lucas), what he did at university (Bullingdon Club) and what his early career was (Murdoch).

Perhaps he represents Polish interests, perhaps he represents something else.

hfakos -> KMAA

Good relations underpinned by hosting part of the US strategic nuclear forces aimed at Russia. Sure.

slimriversofbabylon

The oligarchs are laughing all the way to the bank....kerching!

Jeremn

Credit where credit is due, this is a good article.

That Polish-Swedish-Lithuanian drive to isolate Russia will only push it towards developing Siberia and seeking friends with China. It will have no other place to go.

This will be bad news for Europe.

stuperman -> Jeremn

How did you get Lithuania into this? China has already commenced exploitation of minerals and energy in Siberia.

Jeremn -> stuperman

Lithuania has been really active in Ukrainian politics. From the Lithuanian embassy handing out gloves to protesters to actively supporting the opposition at the highest level:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-18039795

GrelsM

This article helps fill in the blanks behind why the Russians are claiming some form of revanchism from Poland and Sweden behind this from the EU side.

BlackHorse101 -> GrelsM

It's not just Poland and Sweeden. Add Chek republic, Germany, Lithuinia, Holland, Denmark, Nato, USA. Kiev is Russia's birth place and they will fight for it tooth and nail. Just like the jews in protecting Israel, Russia will protect Kiev.

5abi

One thing no one seems to disagree with is that the Ukrainian government was elected after fair and free elections. If the protesters genuinely represent the majority of the population surely they can wait until the next elections. Of course if they are a vocal minority, instigated and financed by the usual suspects, then they are doing exactly what they are paid to do.

Just imagine before the illegal Iraq invasion if the protesters had decided to occupy government offices and set up barricades on London roads whether the BBC or other media outlets would have shown these demonstrators in such positive way?

hfakos

This silly drive by the EU to further isolate Russia will cost Ukraine deeply, especially in its high-tech sector. Roscosmos has just announced that it will no longer order and pay for Zenith rockets from the Russian federal budget, and who can blame them.

This practically will mean the end of Yuzmash, because the EU has no need for the Ukrainian (rocket) industry. But hey, you might gain the right to emigrate to the West and never return.

Lecovreur

The article makes a lot of sense.

May I add that this is what always happens when countries which never existed are created on wrong fault lines in the heat of the moment.

Ukraine was actually never a country and still isn't.

The east belongs to Russia and it's inhabitants are all in but name Russian. (I am just back from the east, by the way).

The west has remnants of the period when it belonged to the Hapsburg with some Catholic influence and it is further confused by the spell under the Soviet Union which shuffled the cards even more.
The world is sadly full of cases like this. The Middle East map was drawn on a table by post-colonialists who had no knowledge of tribal allegiances and long-held ethnic hatred. The results are all there for us to see.

Africa is in a league of its own. Hardly any country bears any relation to tribal fault lines, again the results have brought upon the continent unprecedented levels of mass violence and genocide.

Any Russia historian will tell you the the country reacts with fury and anger when it feels encircled and threatened by the Western powers (Napoleon, Crimea, Hitler, USA, EU), it had a thousand years of autocracy, seventy years of Bolshevik dictatorship and a quasi-mafia oligarchy for the past few years. Russia holds a deep complex of inferiority and suspicious paranoia towards the west and it is not about to change soon.

Going in like a bull in what they consider (rightly or wrongly) their china shop is never going to help.

[Dec 09, 2013] Whose sarin by Seymour M. Hersh

December 8, 2013 | LRB

But in recent interviews with intelligence and military officers and consultants past and present, I found intense concern, and on occasion anger, over what was repeatedly seen as the deliberate manipulation of intelligence. One high-level intelligence officer, in an email to a colleague, called the administration's assurances of Assad's responsibility a 'ruse'. The attack 'was not the result of the current regime', he wrote. A former senior intelligence official told me that the Obama administration had altered the available information – in terms of its timing and sequence – to enable the president and his advisers to make intelligence retrieved days after the attack look as if it had been picked up and analysed in real time, as the attack was happening.

The distortion, he said, reminded him of the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, when the Johnson administration reversed the sequence of National Security Agency intercepts to justify one of the early bombings of North Vietnam. The same official said there was immense frustration inside the military and intelligence bureaucracy: 'The guys are throwing their hands in the air and saying, "How can we help this guy" – Obama – "when he and his cronies in the White House make up the intelligence as they go along?"'

[Dec 09, 2013] Guest Post The Triumph Of Ron Paul-ism

"Please continue to support the Ron Paul Institute's efforts to advance Ron Paul's important work. Read our website, share the articles, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and if you can please financially support our efforts. Ron Paul is winning. Let's help him!"
Dec 08, 2013 | Zero Hedge

The American people are coming to the realization that everything Ron Paul has stood for in the last 40 years is true. He has been proven right regarding the Federal Reserve, the Military Industrial Complex, and the Warfare/Welfare Surveillance State. The American people have grown weary of inflation, wars of choice and being spied upon. Ron Paul's consistently right message is finally making headway. He is a true American patriot.

America's Place In The World...

We Are All Non-Interventionists Now!

Daniel McAdams

Thursday December 5, 2013

We are witnessing the triumph of Ron Paulism in the United States. The corporate media will avoid reporting it. They try their best to ignore Ron Paul's 30 plus year intellectual march through our institutions.

But the facts in Pew Research's 50 year survey of US views of "America's place in the world" do not lie: This year the highest percentage of Americans ever - 53 percent - agree with the statement that "the US should mind its own business internationally and let other countries get along the best they can on their own." (See illustration below)

This means that despite the Mephistophelian temptations of the neoconservatives, offering war, interventionism, "responsibility to protect," and humanitarian bombs, Americans are behind Ron Paul and the peacemakers - more than ever.

There is no major political figure in the United States who has more clearly identified himself with the cause of non-interventionism both at home and abroad.

When the Georgia/Russia war broke out in 2008, arch-neocon Senator John McCain incomprehensibly said that "we are all Georgians now." He meant that we should go to war with Russia to back up a Georgian provocation. His slogan is laughable now, particularly as the facts have come out about the war.

But we can say this with all the facts to back us up: "We are (mostly) non-interventionists now!" We are in the growing majority, but still we have to fight the powers-that-be to get our message heard. The censorship and propaganda against our message is strong. The war machine does not give up easily.

Please continue to support the Ron Paul Institute's efforts to advance Ron Paul's important work. Read our website, share the articles, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and if you can please financially support our efforts. Ron Paul is winning. Let's help him!

Pareto:

Dream is never gone. Just the dreamer. My favorite:

"Speak up, speak often
and don't worry about those that
at this point cannot understand,
as they can never un-hear
what we tell them."

~ Ron Paul ~

rubiconsolutions

"I am Ron Paul....."

Okay......so what now? Sure, Ron Paul has been right about a lot of things but that and $4.50 will get you a cup of coffee at SBUX. Then there's the real work to undo it all. How is that gonna be done now that everyone has been inculcated into passivity?

Ignatius

" ... - 53 percent - agree with the statement that "the US should mind its own business internationally and let other countries get along the best they can on their own."

And people wonder 'why 9/11 and why the police state?'

Ignatius

I'm speaking to 'why' JFK was killed. He went off the reservation.

He was 'going his own way and as he saw fit' and was killed for it by TPTB

Disenchanted

and...Told Israel to terminate their developing nukes for weapons program.

Funny how that one is rarely mentioned.

[Dec 09, 2013] Edward Lucas Satuday provocation: dezo about Ukraine joining Custon union played its role for mobilizing opposition on Sunday rally

Slightly edited Google translation... What a master of hypocrisy and deception this particular British journalist is... His colleagues from MI5 probably are really envious.
Dec 07, 2013 | vzglyad.ru

One of the major news Saturday in Ukraine and Russia was the twit of a British journalist , which eventually had to refute both Russia and Ukraine . In it he stated that that Yanukovich at a meeting with Putin in Sochi allegedly signed an agreement obliging Ukraine to join the Customs Union. Who injected this dezo and to whom it may be beneficial ?

" The eventual accession to the Customs Union of Ukraine was achived during the meeting did not specify... The agreement includes a one-time Ukraine tranche in the amount of $ 5 billion , as well as the conclusion of a new contract for the supply of gas at a price of 200 dollars per thousand cubic meters of gas instead of serving from 2009 rate of $ 500 ."

This twit message was published Saturday in his "Twitter" employee magazine The Economist Edward Lucas . According to him, Western governments shocked by such developments .Journalist insists that his information obtained from reliable sources. However, for some reason, he published such a sensational information on Twitter, not in the media and on his page on the social network.

This Twitter message was picked up by the media who actually passed it as news. It immediately aroused very strong reaction among the Ukrainian opposition. Not surprising, since some of the headlines sounded extremely provocative - "Yanukovich sold Ukraine to Putin."

For example, one of the leaders of the Ukrainian opposition Yatsenyuk said in an interview with Reuters, that the signing of the President of Ukraine of any agreement related to the entry into the Customs Union, will lead to a new protest . His colleague in the party "Fatherland" Mykola Tomenko Yanukovych demanded unveil text of the agreement with Russia, which he allegedly signed in Sochi.

... ... ...

On Saturday, President's press secretary , Dmitry Peskov, Russia was forced to officially declare that Vladimir Putin and Viktor Yanukovych at a meeting in Sochi on Friday did not discuss the possibility of Ukraine's accession to the Customs Union .

He added that in the context of the forthcoming meeting of the interstate commission Russia - Ukraine presidents of the two countries " exchanged views on the possible continuation and development of cooperation in industry and high-tech fields , particularly in the aerospace and shipbuilding, rocket and space industry ."

According to Peskov , the presidents discussed bilateral cooperation in energy, closer positions on this issue , but did not reach a final agreement .

" The eventual accession to the Customs Union of Ukraine during the meeting did not specify . No documents to be signed during the meeting was not planned and have been signed ", - assured the administration of Ukrainian President also . Earlier, a source in the Ukrainian government said that the signing of the documents would be impossible as documents did not passed a standard Parliament discussion process.

[Dec 08, 2013] An Old Game With New Rules In Russia's Backyard by Edward Lucas

That's the same British Russophobe Edward Lucas who Sat, Dec 7, 2013 engineered a provocation about Ukraine joining Custom Union...
December 09, 2013 | RFEL

A former Soviet republic has its sights set on moving closer to Europe, a move staunchly opposed by Moscow.

With the Kremlin's tacit support, one of its majority ethnic-Russian cities votes to secede, sparking fears of violent conflict. Officials in Moscow vow to defend the rights of its smaller neighbor's Russian-speaking residents.

Ukraine or Moldova in 2013? Not quite. This scenario played out, peacefully in the end, in the Estonian city of Narva during the summer of 1993, less than two years after the Soviet Union dissolved. Today, the Russian-speaking residents of Narva -- EU passports in hand -- are far less restive.

The Kremlin's current drive to prevent Ukraine, Armenia, and Moldova from signing Association Agreements with the European Union has again focused attention on Moscow pressuring its neighbors into remaining Russia's sphere of influence.

But as the averted conflict in Estonia two decades ago illustrates, this is nothing new. Almost from the moment the Soviet Union broke up in 1991, Russia has been leaning hard on its former vassals -- stoking conflicts in Georgia and Moldova and stirring unrest among Russian speakers in the Baltics and in Ukraine.

But while Moscow's policy toward its so-called "near abroad" has been consistent, analysts say the game in the post-Soviet neighborhood has changed dramatically. The West -- and particularly the European Union -- is becoming more proactive. The Kremlin has become more focused in pursuing its interests. And Russia's former Soviet neighbors have become increasingly confident in charting an independent course.

According to John Lough, a former NATO official who is now a fellow at Chatham House's Russia and Eurasia Program, this all adds up to the region becoming "an area of increased competition" between Moscow and the West.

"I think the Russian approach has become more coherent," he says. "But at the same time, those countries around it have become much stronger."

EU Gets Tough

Observers say the EU's more forward leaning profile in places like Ukraine and Moldova is a direct result of Moscow's tactics in the region, which have included boycotts, threats of trade wars, using energy to gain political leverage, and inciting unrest among Russophone minorities.

He believes the current situation "is teaching the EU that whether they like it or not they are in a geopolitical clash with Russia."

"There has been this naive assumption in the EU in the past that there are lots of win-win [situations] out there and if we only talk nicely to the Russians then everything will be fine," he says. "It's not. It's pretty much a zero-sum game and either you go with Russia or the EU. And I think the EU has had to fight much tougher than it's done in the past."

Moreover, as memories of the Soviet Union fade and Russia's neighbors become more comfortable with their sovereignty, they have become more willing to resist pressure from Moscow. Lucas says this tendency has been reinforced by the stronger European presence.

"The West has gotten much more entrenched in these countries and the national consciousness is more developed," he says. "People in Belarus or eastern Ukraine genuinely believe they are in a real country, whereas back in the early 1990s it hadn't clicked for a lot of people that the Soviet Union was over. So the national identities are stronger."

Lucas adds that trade in many post-Soviet states has been "hugely reoriented" toward the West creating "a stronger base for European influence."

Old Habits Die Hard

Nevertheless, Moscow still has cards to play.

Strong networks continue to exist between Russia's political and business elites and those in its former Soviet neighbors. Corruption remains rife and many prefer the clannish post-Soviet style of doing business than the more transparent model that integration with Europe would entail.

"The Russians know that their way of doing business is widely accepted in many of these countries and that there are people in the business and political elites in those places who would prefer to operate in the Russian way," says Lough.

Lough adds, however that even these elites are resistant to accepting a "diktat from Moscow" and that too much Kremlin pressure could drive them away. And, he says, others already "see what the Russians are offering as a scary proposition."

Nevertheless, Russia appears determined as ever to prevent Ukraine, Moldova, and Armenia from signing Association Agreements with the European Union at a summit in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius in November.

Instead, Moscow is pushing these countries to join a Russian-led customs union that already includes Belarus and Kazakhstan -- something Brussels says would be incompatible with an Association Agreement.

And at least in the case of Armenia, Russia appears to have been successful. On September 3, Armenian President President Serzh Sarkisian announced that his country would join Moscow's customs union project, in essence, scrapping years of work toward an EU Association Agreement.

Analysts say the unexpected move came after Russia threatened to cut off its military aid to Armenia, which would leave Yerevan vulnerable to its main regional rival Azerbaijan.

"The Armenians took the hint: If they signed the trade deal with Europe, Russia might sell more arms to their rival and expel the Armenians who live in Russia," Anne Applebaum, author of the book "Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1945-56," wrote in Slate.com.

Counterproductive Pressure

But having apparently cowed Armenia, Russia is having less success with Ukraine -- which Lough calls "the key prize" -- despite placing boycotts on Ukrainian goods and threatening Kyiv with rising gas prices, trade wars, and bankruptcy.

And on September 21, Sergei Glaziyev, a senior adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin, upped the ante, darkly warning that Russian speakers in Ukraine's east and south would seek secession if Ukraine goes ahead and signs the Association Agreement.

But Glaziyev, who made his remarks at a conference in the Black Sea resort of Yalta, was met with boos, jeers, and catcalls.

"For the first time in our history more than 50 percent of people support European integration, and fewer than 30 percent of the people support closer ties with Russia," Ukraine's former Trade Minister Petro Poroshenko said in response to the Kremlin adviser according to press reports. "Thank you very much for that Mr. Glazyev."

Indeed, Ukraine's move closer to the EU -- and its defiance of Moscow -- comes under President Viktor Yanukovych, who won election in February 2010 on a platform of closer relations with Russia.

And the country's powerful Russian-speaking oligarchs in eastern Ukraine, once staunchly pro-Moscow, have been making it increasingly clear that they prefer closer relations with the EU.

Analysts say Russia's deep historical ties to Ukraine often cause Moscow to overplay its hand in dealing with Kyiv.

"Russia finds it terribly difficult to deal with Ukraine because it is such an emotional issue," says Lough. "The heart seems to get in the way of the head and invariably they seem to adopt policies that are counterproductive and wind up driving Ukrainians away."

Like in Ukraine, Moscow's efforts to persuade Moldova to forego an EU Association Agreement are also making little headway. On September 11, Russia banned Moldovan wines and spirits, claiming they contain impurities.

In response, Dacian Ciolos, the EU's commissioner for agriculture has proposed eliminating all restrictions on Moldovan wine imports ahead of Moldova's initialing of an Association Agreement. Moldova's Foreign Minister, Natalia Gherman, told RFE/RL that Chisinau is "strong enough to resist any pressure" from Russia as it strengthens ties with the European Union.

Analysts nevertheless expect Russia to continue ramping up the pressure on Kyiv and Chisinau in the two months remaining before the EU's Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius.

"We're still more in the overture to the opera than in the opera itself," says Lucas. "The people in the countries concerned know that there is a lot more that Russia can do. If you have an unpleasant dog and it growls you don't need for it to bite you in order to be scared."

Longtime Kremlin-watcher Edward Lucas is the International Editor for the British weekly "The Economist" and author of the book "Deception: Spies, Lies, and How Russia Dupes the West."

Economist Editor's Tweets Create International Incident As Ukraine Frets Over Russia Deal

A rumor Ukraine's president had agreed to join a customs union with Russia provoked fury in Kiev, where protesters are calling for a million people to demonstrate Sunday. "Twitter is like striking matches and throwing them into the dark."

[Dec 08, 2013] Ukrainian president agrees to join Customs Union

Funny that The Voice of Russia repeated this disinformation... Is not this voice of London ?
The Voice of Russia

Lucas writes that Yanukovych signed a strategic agreement with Russia in Sochi today. The agreement comprises $5bln with advanced payment, $200 gas price and joining the Customs Union. In addition, he reports, Yanukovych may receive $15bln from Moscow.

Lucas writes that western governments are shocked. This is unconfirmed information but the sources are good, he adds.

Voice of Russia, RBC

Read more: http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2013_12_07/Ukrainian-president-agrees-to-join-Customs-Union-source-1274/

[Dec 08, 2013] Yanukovych's secret meeting with Putin raises questions of Customs Union promise

In Ukraine this provocation is like a petrol for the fire...

kyivpost.com

A secret meeting between Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Sochi on Dec. 6 has fueled speculation as to whether a deal was made for Ukraine at a later date to join the Kremlin-led Customs Union.

Yanukovych stopped in Sochi on his way back to Ukraine from a three-day working visit to China, where he met with officials in hope of shoring up investment deals in order to stave off serious economic problems in Ukraine.

He and Putin met in the Black Sea resort city to discuss new agreements on "trade and economic cooperation in different economic spheres and preparation to the future Strategic Partnership Agreement," according to a statement released by the president's press service.

But the fact that the meeting was the fourth of its kind in recent weeks further fueled speculation that a plan had been hatched for Ukraine's accession to the Customs Union, which includes Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia. Armenia in recent weeks agreed also to join.

Prime Minister Mykola Azarov told journalists previously that the president would at some point soon visit Moscow, where a "major agreement" would be signed.

That "major agreement", according to a Kyiv Post source within the Ukrainian government who asked to remain anonymous because he was not allowed to speak publicly about the presidents' meeting, confirmed that a money deal was reached, but provided no specifics.

But Edward Lucas, a senior editor at The Economist, said via Twitter that the results of the meeting between the two presidents were much bigger than a deal for Russia to supply cash-starved Ukraine with much necessary financing.

"Wow! Hearing Yanukovich in Sochi today signed strategic agrt w Russia includes $5BN+ up front, gas price $200 + agrt to join customs union," Lucas said, citing his own sources.

The details of the agreement to join the Customs Union, which reportedly include billions up front for the country, as well as a huge price cut on gas, were being hammered out in Moscow late on Dec. 6, Lucas wrote.

The Kyiv Post could not independently confirm Lucas' news. A Kremlin official contacted by Kyiv Post denied to comment and said only to look for statements on the Kremlin's official website. As of 11:40 a.m. on Dec. 7, the only statement posted to the site confirmed a visit by Yanukovych to Sochi.

However, RIA Novosti, the Russian state-owned news agency, quoted Putin's head spokesperson Dmitry Peskov as saying that "Putin and Yanukovych at a meeting on Friday in Sochi did not discuss the possibility of Ukraine joining the Customs Union."

"Putin and Yanukovych did discuss the current state and prospects of bilateral cooperation in the financial sphere (between Russia and Ukraine)," Peskov added. "On all these topics in the near future negotiations will continue at the expert level."

Whether true or not, the news of a potential deal for Ukraine to join the Kremlin-led trade bloc is certain to incite anger on the streets of Ukraine, where tens of thousands have protested for more than three weeks the Ukrainian government's decision to abandon long-anticipated agreements on association and free trade with the European Union.

Ahead of Lucas' news, Arseniy Yatseniuk, leader of the Batkivschyna faction, warned that the signing by Yanukovych of any agreement aimed at joining Ukraine to the Customs Union will cause a second wave of mass protests here.

"Their attempts to sell Ukraine to Russia will not lead to anything except one thing, and we are officially warning you: if Viktor Yanukovych tries to sign any agreement aimed at joining Ukraine to the Customs Union, it will cause another wave of protests in Ukraine," he said. "No one will let Yanukovych sell the country."

Kyiv Post editor Christopher J. Miller can be reached at miller@kyivpost.com

[Dec 08, 2013] Protesters in Kiev Topple Lenin Statue as Rallies Grow by and

There is a shadow of Yugoslavia (or Libya) over Ukraine in a sense that three Western Ukrainian oblast (regions) representing probably less then 10 million of people have political desires and affiliations that the other 40 million and all industrial regions do not share... Ukrainian nationalists are as antagonistic to Russian and Jews (and by extension Russian speaking Ukranians of Estern regions) as Croatians. Similarly Western regions are Catholic, while the rest of the country is Orthodox and have different history with Western regions being the part of Habsburgs empire and Eastern regions part of Russian empire. Attempt of those regions to force the political will over the whole Ukraine might results in huge backlash which can split the country. Radicalism of Ukrainian nationalists from those three "oblast" is very similar to the radicalism of fundamentalist Muslims. They don't accept any compromises and are adamantly anti Russian and anti-Jewish (head of ultra-nationalist All-Ukrainian_Union "Freedom" party (founded in 1991 as the Social-National Party of Ukraine) Oleh Tyahnybok is listed as one of the most prominent antisemites and was denied on those grounds entry to the USA)... In the last parliamentary elections five years ago, Svoboda managed only 0.7% of all-national vote, but close to 40% in the Lviv region (BBC, Svoboda: The rise of Ukraine's ultra-nationalists, December 2012). In 2004, Tyahnybok was kicked out of former President Viktor Yushchenko's parliamentary faction for a speech calling for Ukrainians to fight against a "Muscovite-Jewish mafia" - using two highly insulting words to describe Russians and Jews - and emphasizing that Ukrainians had in the past fought this threat with arms.
Lviv obkast (2.7 million) is the center of what is called Galicia (regions that were previously part of Habsburgs Empire and under Poland rule (Poland's Lwów Voivodeship (19211939)) from the end of the first to the beginning of the second world war). BTW Galicia was the center of the branch of Orthodox Judaism known as Hasidism.
December 8, 2013 | NYT

With the police nowhere to be seen in the city center, protesters in Bessarabia Square toppled the Lenin statue using steel cables and cranks as a crowd gathered to watch. "People were waiting for this for decades," said one man in the crowd, Leon Belokur. "Now it's happened."

He pulled from his pocket a chip of granite. "This is a piece of Lenin's hand," he said.

Once the statue was down, men took turns smashing it with the sledgehammer. Onlookers chanted, "Glory to Ukraine!" and cheered the hammerers with cries of "Good job, guys!" as they shielded their faces from flying splinters of stone. One of the hammerers wore his hair in a Mohawk; another was a priest in black vestments. The protesters mounted a Ukrainian flag on the empty pedestal.

... ... ...

Heightening the tension is a severe and urgent economic crisis, along with Ukraine's need to secure a financial aid package worth $18 billion or more. At the moment, that help seems most likely to come from Russia, but any agreement with the Kremlin is likely to spur further public fury.

Bill Appledorf, British Columbia

Looks like a rock and a hard place to me.

Russian oligarchy is obviously worse, but social democracy in Europe has long been teetering under the weight of neoliberalism.

DHK, Canada

> The blackmail of Ukraine

Can you please bring up specific examples of Russia blackmail.

Ukraine has been an independent country for 20 years. The voters elect freely the president and the parliament.

Once again, the revolt of the minority creates illusion of their deeply rooted problem - an unbridgable division inside the country. Of course, it is easy to blame an external force for your own troubles.

John

This article has absolutely no context. It assumes that a the majority of the country is interested in the rule of law and capitalism. They are being held in check by rigid authoritarian leaders who prefer to look backwards towards isolation and dictatorship.

The reality is that Ukraine is a confused country. About half of the people live in the western half of the country. They are Catholics and consider themselves Europeans. The eastern half of the country is Orthodox and considers Russians to be allies.

In this situation, having a cohesive political culture is almost impossible. Half the country will always be at odds with the other half. Simple "majority rule" politics do not make sense in this context.

SAK, New Jersey

Hard to understand why Ukranians are so hung up on joining EU. Look at Greece and Portugal. Do they want to be like them?

I don't think they have many products that Europeans are dying to buy from them. The great benefit probably will be that they can go to London and Paris and work their in restaurants and bars just like Romanians and poles.

Marla, Geneva, IL

NYT Pick

It seems that Mr. Yanukovich has mis-calculated. He may not have expected this level of protest when he announced that he would not sign the Vilinus accords and the actions of the Berkut have given the protest an additional urgency.

In 2004, people did not want him as president because they feared he would bring the country closer to Russia.

The disappointments of the Yushenko administration (economic conditions and corruption) led the people to elect Yanukovich. A mistake on their part, but now they know that Yanukovich cannot be trusted to bring the country closer to Europe.

This is a second part to the Orange Revolution. And it is a wake up call to the U.S. on the dangers of our increasingly unequal society. We may not consider our 1% to be oligarchs, but they do have the ear of many of our politicians.

augustians, Chicago

Yanukovich miscalculated? Even if he did, there is another election right around the corner, throwing bricks at police and taking over state property is not the brightest idea that turns all of the protest into violence.

Somehow EU and US trying to inflame it more, by throwing some gas on fire instead of trying to calm the situation, where political process can take place instead of street skirmishes.

David, Brooklyn

Do they really want to become a member of a club that would have them as members? It's won't be as economical as they think with Putin's sanctions in place.

Market decisions are about timing, not impulse buying. Can the EU handle yet another Greece? Predatory lenders: On your Mark...Get Ready...Nyet!

Judyw, Cumberland, MD

Nothing is gained by mob violence egged on by the EU. The EU felt slighted at Vilnius and is now using street mobs to restore its position.

While this violence is all about western Ukraine,. nothing is wirtten by Easter Ukraine. And deal with the EU will disadvantage the east with its coal plants and coal workers. The selfish people in the streets of Kiev care nothing about those in the Donbass section which will be hurt the most by the EU.

The better economic deal is with Russia. The EU is smoke and mirrors and a lot of pain - look at Greece, Spain, Portugal etc. and you will what the future of Ukraine will be. The populace's view of a brighter future with the EU is based on the false promised the EU makes to every country - only with membership does the harsh reality set in -- that they are 2nd class countries and the EU is two tier zone and they are in the lowest tier in which Economic progress is a promise not a reality. The reality is AUSTERITY. Their view of the EU is a mirage and they need to take off their rose-colored glasses and see the reality of the EU.

Yanukovich is making the right deal for the WHOLE country and the people need to understand that and not be swayed by rabble rousers like Klitschko. This whole think reads more like the failed Orange Revolution trying to get control again despite the fact that it was a huge failure.

augustians, Chicago

Ukraine is not Russia, not first nor the last. It is not urban, nor cosmopolitan. Somewhat more educated than your average third world country.

There is a distinction between protesting against war, and throwing capital city into chaos because of a political decision, that could easily be reversed during the next election cycle. Ukraine is on the brink of the civil war, need we have another Syria?

bruce, nara, japan&greensville, ontario

Vitali Klitschko.....hmmm. if he was in the states, he'd probably be afraid of sticking his neck out. might lose endorsements from 'blue chip' companies.....

brooklynforchange, New York City

So, basically, when protesters throw rowdy raucous, gets violent, decapitates a Lenin's statue destroying history, and U.S. media finds continuous top-of-the-news coverage, we already know what's going on.

And I am not even a leftist.

Now that Syria didn't work out, maybe, it's Ukraine.

Simon, Tampa

The tone of the Times' articles on the Ukraine protests are so hopeful that this is another Western instigated "Orange Revolution." All Yanukovich has to do is out wait the protesters as winter hits. Our politicians/corporations did the same with the Occupy protesters. However, it is good to see that the Times cares so much about the Ukrainian protesters because it certainly never did about the Occupiers.

Jim, Paris

Occupy never raised the crowds and the sympathy of the American people like this Occupy never really knew what it wanted And it withered away for just that reason

Thomas Zaslavsky, Binghamton, N.Y.

Police power also had a lot to do with eliminating our Occupy movement.

TJS, New York

The Lenin statue in central Kyiv opposite the main market almost had the status of a historical monument. It was part of the background of daily life in Kyiv. When my wife and I served in the Peace Corps (1994-96) we walked past the statue each day. That this statue has been toppled is a rather ominous sign for the regime. The statue had survived Independence, the Orange Revolution and numerous Nationalist protests. Times have changed. During my last visit to Kyiv I drank my Starbucks coffee while seated below the statue. I suppose that scene itself was a revolutionary one. This current protest, the toppling of the Lenin statue, I suspect marks a change in the quality of Ukrainian political life. I suspect the gloves are off.

Ladislav Nemec, Big Bear, CA

You prefer to spell Kiev 'Kyiv'? Closer, I think, to the Ukrainian spelling but, I think, there are no generally accepted rules how to transcribe words written in Cyrillic.

Gloves may be off but, hopefully, real weapons will not be used. Ukraine is not Egypt, Syria or Lebanon. Will it become a real battleground? Not impossible

Perfect Gentleman, New York

I too walked past the Lenin statue, and spent time in Independence Square after the Orange Revolution. I hardly think the freedom to drink Starbucks coffee is revolutionary. Rather, I think it symbolizes replacing totalitarianism with the forces of corporate capitalism and greed, a different kind of totalitarianism. Meet the new boss ...

Ukraine and Russia: A Readjustment for Survival by Lyndon LaRouche

December 6, 2013 | larouchepub.com

And so by deduction or reduction, Ukraine is now going back to be part of Russia-not entirely that, but that's the direction it's going in. This is going to other parts of Asia, which is going to also roll up in this same direction. And you have the euro system about to be chopped up; it's not viable. Spain is not viable in its present form; Portugal is not viable. Italy has a quasi-viable aspect, but it's not totally viable. What's happened to Greece is a crime, and so on and so on. Everything is changing on a global basis.

You cannot take these cases one at a time. You can talk about them on a one-at-a-time basis, but you cannot define them in terms of a one-at-a-time case, or even if you pair them. What is happening between Ukraine and Russia, which has a reaction against it from Western Europe, is part of the picture.

So everything goes on a countdown. If Ukraine were to accept being gobbled up by Western Europe, Ukraine's population would go through a death spiral. So everything is interlocked, more or less intensely, and this thing is going to change from day to day, week to week. The world as a whole is in an upheaval in which the parts are in a sense interacting as if they were one process. It's a global process. There may be parts that are on the edges, or the fringes, of the operation, but in general this thing is going. The present system is finished. The present global system will no longer exist; something new will emerge. What is not certain, is what is going to emerge with what. But this is a wild-eyed situation, and there are no simple explanations available; except that the world in its present form is bankrupt.

And Ukraine is opposing being gobbled by Western Europe because they couldn't live under those conditions. And that's the kind of process you're getting. So, simple explanations, simple motives, simple kinds of schemes don't mean much anymore. This is a new world order, and we don't know yet know-even approximately-what the outcome is going to be.

Behind Ukraine's Rejection of the EU

Jason Ross: For those who aren't aware of this, during the last week, Ukraine stunned many people-although it didn't surprise people in the know-when it did not move forward on agreement on association with the European Union (see "Ukraine Stuns EU by Suspending Free-Trade Pact Preparations," EIR, Nov. 29). This was a decision that Ukraine made a week ago. This agreement would have been signed today at a meeting of EU Eastern European nations.

However, Ukraine's Prime Minister Mykola Azarov, invoking national security interests, said they would not accede to this deal with the EU, which would have forced the Ukrainian markets to open up, under the ominously named "Deep and Comprehensive Free-Trade Agreement." Seems like being buried very deep underground. The closer alliance with these disastrous EU policies would be a death sentence for many in Ukraine, where already, their markets are 60% made up of imports-a lot of that, just since their joining the WTO five years ago.

Instead, they are pushing for closer ties to the Russia-Belarus-Kazakstan Customs Union, which would strengthen their ability to grow. The head of the Progressive Socialist Party of Ukraine, Natalya Vitrenko, whom you are very familiar with, explained that Ukraine's exports to Russia are 60% finished goods, and their exports to the EU are 18% finished goods; meaning that the EU has a relationship with Ukraine of importing raw materials from them. And she views joining the EU more closely in this manner as like a form of colonialism.

Some, including Russian President Putin, have pointed out that, why would anyone in their right mind want to join the European Union economic policy right now? You've got an increasing number of nations in the European Union which have youth unemployment over 40%. Why would you want to sign a 1,200-page agreement with them on economics? Putin did point out that unemployment in the Russian Federation is about 5.3%.

What you just said about Germany and orienting towards the East-would you like to say more on this?

LaRouche: Well, that's part of it. The point is, you have to really look at history in a longer term than recent events in order to understand this one.

What you had is, you had a process which I was involved in organizing, in a number of ways, which is one of the reasons why I got into big trouble. We were organizing a collaboration between what is now the former Soviet Union and the United States and others, which is what became known as the Strategic Defense Initiative. And this has a long prehistory to it as well, in that the British and others had moved in by killing President John F. Kennedy. They began to move in a way to break up physical economies, and that led into the disintegration of the Soviet Union.

It was not a natural collapse of Russia, or of parts of what had been the Soviet Union. It was actually a different kind of collapse; it was an organized collapse. So today you still have the relics in the relationship between Ukraine and Russia, for example, which is crucial in this case, that actually the separation of Ukraine from Russia was forced on these nations, and meant crushing their productive capabilities.

Now Ukraine is going back, knowing that the European system is collapsing, which makes everything worse throughout Europe. They're now going back to reconcile with Russia, because they know in Ukraine that they are going to back into production, because they're going to be employed, their income is going to come from things that are productive-actual product, not these fictitious gambling games, money games.

So the point is that what you're having is a natural development, a natural coalition from central Europe, which may include Germany, because Germany does not want to be part of the euro system. It can't survive as part of the euro system. It has the same problem that Ukraine would have, the same kind of thing. So what you've got now, is a process which is leading into a reorganization of the type that I've been talking about.

A Non-Survivable Policy

What you have is a world which, at the present moment, is divided, between what? On the one hand, the Asian part of the world, going across the Pacific-that's one part of the world. And all the nations that are involved in that, in greater Asia-that's one thing. That is what can survive. Right now, the United States is disintegrating; the British economy disintegrating; the French economy; the Italian economy. Spain has collapsed, and so forth and so on.

So therefore, you're at a non-survivable policy now. The United States policy now is a non-survivable policy. Europe is a non-survivable part of the world, and one part, Germany, is now being pulled, by a big suction draw, into moving in the direction of the reunification, in fact of practice, between Russia and Ukraine.

And the resumption of those relations as now in the form of so-called special trade relations, has now created a basis for defending that part of Europe and Germany, if they want to come along. It's going to have a relatively protected development, whereas the area to the west, that is, France, England, and so forth, and across the Atlantic, is now, under its present conditions, doomed, unless we in the United States do something to connect in cooperation with the Eurasian complex.

So now the fate is being dictated to us by reality, not much by choices. People find themselves taking the pathway of least problem-or optimal problem, as in this case. And the whole planet, which is about ready to go into a general economic-financial collapse, the entire planet is now moving to try to find some sections that can live together and survive this process. And that's what happened in Spain, Portugal, large parts of Africa, and so forth; these parts are right in the area with the United States right now, in the doom category.

And only by dumping Obama and what he represents, and dumping Wall Street, which is much more important in this, we can save the existence of the United States now. And that option, what has happened with the Ukraine-Russia-etc. complex, which touches Germany and so forth-this now becomes the option of reality for the United States itself. If we don't make that kind of choice, which means dumping Obama immediately, this United States economy is finished.

Behind Scenes, Ukraine's Rich and Powerful Battle Over the Future By ANDREW E. KRAMER

December 6, 2013 | NYTimes.com

They are not sleeping in tents in Independence Square, but Ukraine's ultra-wealthy businessmen, known as the oligarchs, perhaps pose as grave a threat to President Viktor F. Yanukovich as the demonstrators on the streets of this capital city.

Petro Poroshenko, a pro-Western businessman, said demonstrators and Ukraine's oligarchs both want "modernization."

"Do you think there is a big difference between people on the street and people with big business?" said the most visible, and the most pro-Western, of the oligarchs, Petro Poroshenko, a shipping, confectionery and agriculture magnate whose television station has been broadcasting round the clock from Independence Square.

"There is no difference in their love of their own country," he said in an interview in the lobby of the Ukraine Hotel, overlooking the square, where the protesters appeared as miniature silent figures, waving flags and milling about bonfires. "At the end of the day, we are all talking about the modernization of the economy and the country."

Protesters may be occupying government buildings and staging loud rallies calling for the government to step down, but behind the scenes an equally fierce - and perhaps more decisive - tug of war is being waged among a very small and very rich group of oligarchical clans here, some of whom see their future with Europe and others with Russia. That conflict was ignited, along with the street protests, by Mr. Yanukovich's decision to halt free trade talks with the European Union last week.

Like other tycoons scattered throughout post-Soviet countries, Ukraine's rich capitalized on the flawed privatization of publicly held assets to establish enormous fortunes, presiding over news media, banking, telecommunications, steel, coal and heavy industry empires. But in contrast to Russia, where President Vladimir V. Putin has barred the oligarchs from politics, Ukraine's wealthy clans retain enormous influence, acting as a shadow cabinet with identifiable factions in Parliament. Mr. Poroshenko is himself a member of Parliament.

Their political stances tend to align with their places in the economy, with the more established families favoring integration with the West and a newer group - analysts say rapacious - around Mr. Yanukovich's son favoring the Kremlin.

In this battle of the titans, the street becomes a weapon, but only one of many. And then looming over all the political battles is an imminent financial crisis. Ukraine, shut out of world markets and facing a yawning budget deficit, will need a cash infusion of around $18 billion by March to avoid default and an economic crisis with unknown but presumably dire consequences.

The warring camps of oligarchs have distinctly divergent interests that dictate how they approach both relations with Europe and the financial crisis.

On one side you have businessmen like Mr. Poroshenko, whose fortune was estimated by Forbes at $1.6 billion. He is typical of the older money here, people interested more in marketing their assets, whether through initial public offerings or attracting international partners, than grabbing quick profits.

They were hoping that an affiliation with the European Union and its more stringent protections of property rights would protect their interests. They are also more open to a proposed loan from the International Monetary Fund that would require a reduction in government energy subsidies and structural overhauls, including revamping the judiciary.

Mr. Poroshenko has been joined by Victor Pinchuk, the billionaire son-in-law of a former president, Leonid Kuchma, who on Wednesday joined several former Ukrainian presidents in signing a letter of support for the demonstrations. Ukraine's wealthiest man, Rinat Akhmetov, is usually seen as a staunch backer of Mr. Yanukovich. But Mr. Akhmetov's company, System Capital Management, issued a largely neutral statement saying Ukraine should seek integration with both Russia and Europe.

The trade deal with Europe, Mr. Poroshenko said, "is a way to modernize the country, to fight corruption, the way to have a fair court, freedom of press, democracy."

"Modernization of the country is possible," he said. "And unfortunately, by not signing, somebody is stealing the hope of the people," the wealthy included.

On the other side is a group around Mr. Yanukovich, a coterie of secretive oligarchs, many with longstanding, close business interests in Russia, and none with a particularly strong interest in good governance, opposition politicians say.

"We don't expect any of them to come to our side," Yuri Levchenko, an official with the nationalist Svoboda party, said in an interview. "It is highly unlikely, because they know they won't find a better partner than Yanukovich."

Mr. Yanukovich's son, Oleksandr, a dentist, who has become one of the richest men in the country during his father's time in office, leads a group known as "the family" that has elbowed out competitors operating through a conglomerate called Management Assets Company, with interests in construction, banking and coal mining in the traditionally pro-Russia eastern Ukraine.

Another in the Yanukovich camp is Dmitry V. Firtash, another one of Ukraine's wealthiest men, who made his fortune primarily as a "gas middleman" in Eastern Europe, one of the few allowed by Russia to act as a go-between in natural resources deals.

Through successive Ukrainian governments, Mr. Firtash cut deals to operate as an intermediary through a Swiss-registered company, RosUkrEnergo, in sales by Gazprom, the Russian natural gas monopoly, to Ukraine, a business worth billions. However, in 2009, the prime minister at the time, Yulia V. Tymoshenko, insisted that the Ukrainian national energy company buy directly from Gazprom.

Mr. Firtash's longstanding ally in government, a deputy prime minister, Yuri Boiko, was in Moscow this week reportedly negotiating a three-month reprieve in Ukraine's payments to Gazprom. If achieved, it would provide a critical financial prop to Mr. Yanukovich.

Mikhail B. Pogrebinsky, a political analyst in Kiev, said in an interview that some Yanukovich allies were enticed by the prospect of cheaper gas prices, which create instant profits in Ukraine's energy intensive industries and opportunities for plunder. "They want to solve their problems with cheap gas," he said.

Having controlled the presidency for only three years, many of the oligarchs want to postpone economic overhauls until they have amassed greater wealth, Serhiy Taran, the director of the International Democracy Institute in Kiev, wrote in the Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta. "The young ones would like to go on frolicking for a while," he wrote.

With their short-term focus, analysts say, these oligarchs are far more comfortable dealing with Russia than with Europe and the I.M.F., with their demands for fairness and transparency. From this perspective, it made sense for Mr. Yanukovich to play along with Europe as long as possible, to extract the best possible deal from Russia.

If this was the plan, as many analysts say, it was dealt a severe blow this summer, when the United States Federal Reserve sent signals that it might be ready to wind down its loose money policies, the so-called tapering. The Fed decided to hold off, but interest rates spiked anyway, and the damage to Ukraine was done. Already struggling with a trade deficit and plummeting reserves, it lost access to the financial markets, setting up the deadline to obtain financing early next year.

Among Russia's strategic interests in Ukraine are the gas pipelines that provide access to European markets, as pivotal to the Russian economy as the Persian Gulf shipping lanes are to America's. For the Kremlin, its national interest lies in keeping trade routes open to consumers of energy, rather than suppliers, and Ukraine - one of the most energy intensive economies in the world, with antiquated steel mills, train and car factories and fertilizer plants burning vast volumes of natural gas and coal - is an important consumer.

Russia has also emphasized to the Ukrainian elites the risks they run in joining forces with Europe. Roman Khudyakov, a member of the Russian Parliament, told journalists that "the majority of the businessmen in Ukraine know that in the event of joining the E.U., their plants will collapse overnight," unable to compete on equal terms with Western companies.

Mr. Yanukovich has reached out to Beijing, traveling there this week during the height of the protests in Kiev in search of assistance, but came back with only some business deals, not cash. The Chinese, experts say, have no interest in interfering in a matter of vital interest to their ally in Moscow.

It remains to be seen whether Russia will help Mr. Yanukovich dodge the financial crisis next year. To date, Moscow has proposed solving Ukraine's balance of payments crisis by reducing gas prices, but that approach, analysts say, is just as likely to produce profits for insiders as it is cash for the government.

[Dec 07, 2013] Maidan hangover

This is very weak, amateur analytics... Example of the author who does not understands the realities and mechanisms of color revolutions. See comments
Maidan, like any public event without a purpose, inevitably turns into a show. It attracts not only local city freaks, which always are present in any large city, but also freaks of larger caliber .

Apparently, Kiev attracted sex showman Dzhigurda and "Bulldog" Kharlamov . Ukrainian colleagues are not far behind - Ruslana solemnly and publicly threatened to burn herself, "if there are no changes "

If you remove the inevitable waste and psychosis characteristic of mass action, then announced on Sunday the next meeting must inevitably became a moment of truth for the opposition.

Deflated if might die. In fact, a week ago Maidan was obviously unprepared event, and simply did not have the resources for a prolonged confrontation with the authorities. Power behaved, in principle, quite sensibly, allowing Maidan fizzle out, although it is possible that this procrastination is not a virtue, but just demonstrates the inability to adopt any course of actions.

Nevertheless, Sunday will be the culmination obviously, during which iether the government should fail, or Maidan finally run its course. Keeping indefinitely the situation in limbo is possible, but in this case the whole country should all fall into nirvana of revolution.

Kiev half hectare territory is clearly not the whole Ukraine. And opposition fills with supporters even this area with great difficulty. So the apparent dissatisfaction on both sides of the Dnieper with the authorities did not translated into desire to support opposition. There are few people ready to stand on the Maidan.

Rumors are thrown about preparing for Sunday provocations blood planned victims , but this development is not probable . Militants from "Svoboda" and Korchinskog's Bratsvo fired with blank the last week. It is doubtful that they will be able to rise for an attack this time.

Victims already exist, and if this "color revolution" were ready for them, the campaign for amplification of this topic would be completely deafening. If such standard government discrimination campaign was not launched, then it looks like for some reason currently there is no need for them.

Of course, in real revolution there is always a place for heroes (especially dead heroes --NNB), but the heroes from the opposition are not visible. Looks like they are mostly interested in obtaining beautiful life for themselves, not so much in sacrificing their head on the altar of revolution.

"There are very few real madman" (phase from Vissotski --NNB) -- and thank God that they are mainly represented by showmen

Denis Eroshenko, Simferopol

"I visited Maidan. Want to share some impressions. This is really depressing. Please repost on any patriotic sites freely. There is real lack in Internet of objective view on Maidan.

Yesterday I was able to visit for Kiev while on a business trip. After finishing my business part of the trip I deciding to visiting the Independence Square (Maidan), where protesters now settled .

It was a depressing experience. The capital of Kievan Rus captured by aggressive anti-russian mob. Kiev is occupied again. In social networks are already calling it Ragulya City. Descendants of those who in 1941 joined Hitler armies, whoi served in the occupation police , who shot Jews in Babi Yar, fought on the front with the Russian and Ukrainians in the division SS "Galicia " , conducted ethnic cleansing of Poles. Who in Bandera gangs , hung , shot and cut the Ukrainians , Russian , Slovak , Belarusians, Poles , Jews, is now completely free to roam the streets of Kiev and proclaim thier ideology from the stands. Today they changed only master...

First they tested thier power by sending several thousand of Galicia people and organizing march of UPA. Authorities looked at it favorably. Moreover, they sent the police to storm the apartment where barricaded several patriots, who hung out the red flag and transmitted the Soviet songs. Neonazis liked that attitude and they realized that no one will stop them. The dispersal of "evromaydaunov" was a pre-planed provocation. After that they began open clashes with police officers storming government agencies and capturing buildings. Now there are very few people of Kiev on Independence Sqare. Mostly those are are present are iether overexcited students and shopkeepers , or marginal, or representatives of fifth column . Everywhere heard Galician dialict. Near the stage there is a crowd who came to listen to the speeches of politicians and look at them closely, although they can be seen on the gigantic screen, located on the wall of a building . On the periphery roam groups the athletic lads . Along Khreschatyk roam in groups of 5-10 people young neo-Nazis, some with swastika armbands . On approaches to Maidan sell "color revolution" symbols such as ribbons, flags of Ukraine and the EU, in all sizes . Some businessmen made a tidy profit from this psychosis . Prices start at 10 hryvnia , rising gradually . People say that on Maidan of 2004 reigned elation and euphoria . Here aggressive depressed mood dominates. Romantics , published pursue European integration is no longer seen. and slogans about joining the European Union no longer heard. From the podium there are calls to overthrow the government , to block government agencies , threats to the president. One speaker described how the blocked blocked 730 special forces in Vasilkovo. "(c ) samson

Ivan Shahov

Sensible article, thank you! Especially "There are very few really violent madmen, that's why there is always lack of leaders" (Vladimir Vysotsky). But the law of this genre, of this circus is that it can't be immediately dispersed, and even more so when it is not all of the clowns performed ;-). Although at the end of the show they can drew some blood from kievites, village always hates city in any country in the world :-(.

[Dec 07, 2013] Opposition and Western countries which support it want to repeat Orange Revolution of 2004

Slightly corrected Google translation...
December 8 , 2013 | KID

The opposition and the West supports them want to repeat Maidan -2004 - expert

The opposition wants to use people's desire to improve thier living standards only for graqbbing political power, not to change living standards for the better - says Eugene Filindash , director of the Ukrainian Center for Social Intelligence (as reported by UNN).

When we come to the question " what next? ", opposition has ready-made answer. And it boils down to one thing: hold a new election and give us power . In other words , the opposition and the West supports them want to repeat the Maidan-2004 and install in power the new Yushchenko with just a different last name"- said E.Filindash .

According to him, apart from the regular rotation of the names and parties in power, most of those who now stands at EvroMaidane will receive nothing.

"That's because both the government and the opposition does not fundamentally differ from each other . They change each others in power for over ten years . With the invariably the same bad result for common folk. Both are integral part and supporters of the neoliberalism and do not want to change it. The only change is to which pockets country wealth will flow before being transferred to the foreign banks. That what they mean by "evrointegation". They want to join "evroelite", while the majority of the population will join "eurolumpens" and will be be forced to take evro-Mcjobs - the analyst said .

"It's not even against the local Predators vs Aliens Predators . This is just Alien Predators vs Predator Aliens" - he concluded.

[Dec 07, 2013] Yatsenyuk discussed plan of action for EuroMaidan with prominent Serbian specialis in color revolutions.

Google translation...
Dec 07, 2013 | RBC-Ukraine

On Wednesday a meeting in Kiev between Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Marko Ivkovic was held, According to sources close to Yatsenyuk they discussed issues of further coordination Maidan , said RBC-Ukraine.

Mr. Ivkovic - U.S. citizen of Serbian origin . Hi is 32 years old. Marko Ivkovic is one of the members of the National Democratic Institute, the United States. Persona non grata in Russia . He led the organization of the Serbian "Otpor" that overthrew Slobodan Milosevic.

He was instrumental in creation the Georgian protest movements " CIDA " and Ukrainian "Pora"(time).

He also participated on organization of color revolution in Kyrgyzstan in 2010 - when President Kurmanbek Bakiyev was deposed. During the revolution in Kyrgyzstan, killing 268 people and more than 1.5 thousand injured.

Marko Ivkovic was trying to organize something similar in Russia, but was deported and received the status of Persona non grata.

[Dec 06, 2013] There Is No Global Struggle Between Democracy and Authoritarianism By Daniel Larison

December 6, 2013 | The American Conservative

Chrystia Freeland joins in exaggerating the significance of protests in Ukraine:

But as in 1989 the most important fault line in the world [bold mine-DL] today runs through a cold, crowded, euphoric public square in Eastern Europe.

Freeland is wrong about this, but her op-ed is interesting as a window into the thinking of people that say such things. If one assumes that there is a "global struggle between democracy and authoritarianism" going on, and if one also believes that the competing factions in Ukrainian politics represent different sides in this struggle, it might almost make sense to think that the most important fault line in the world runs through Kiev.

It would still be overlooking a number of more important and dangerous fault lines in East Asia or the Near East, but it would make a certain amount of sense. Since there is no such global struggle to speak of, and the different factions in Ukraine represent competing interests inside one country, all of this effort to impose a grand ideological interpretation onto these events is misguided and wasted.

If there is competition today between "democratic capitalism" and state capitalism, that is obviously a dramatically different kind of competition from the one between the U.S. and the USSR. Thinking of it as a continuation or extension of the latter, as Freeland does, is simply wrong. There is nothing like the Cold War going on today, nor is there even a "cool war" between two ideological camps. Democracy is not at stake in the contest in Ukraine, so we should stop pretending that it is.

[Dec 03, 2013] Putin: Kiev protests have nothing to do with Ukraine-EU relations, prepared ahead of elections

The Ukraine presents an interesting variant of Serbs vs Croats problem former Yugoslavia struggled with. Schemes of cooperation have been tried and have not worked. Now foreign powers capitalized on this. It is striking for some observers that the EU's "liberal democracy" regime is propelling the West Ukrainian nationalist movement and considers them to be an ally in "eurointegration". Eurointegration with whom? But if we look at Croatia, it's not that surprising.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that riots in Kiev have no direct relation to Ukraine and the EU deal, but rather it's an attempt by the opposition to undermine the country's legitimate government.

"As far as the events in Ukraine are concerned, to me they don't look like a revolution, but rather like 'pogrom'. However strange this might seem, in my view it has little to do with Ukrainian-EU relations," Putin said.

Speaking in Yerevan during his official visit to Armenia, Putin argued that the protests in Ukraine had been prepared by the opposition in advance to undermine the legitimate government of the country. However, it is "apparent" that the opposition had meant them to take place during the Ukrainian presidential campaign in March 2015, the Russian President said.

"What is happening now is a little false start due to certain circumstances… This all has been prepared for the presidential election. And that these were preparations, in my opinion, is an apparent fact for all objective observers," Putin stressed.

He has said that now the Ukrainian opposition is either not in control of the protests, or it may serve as a cover-up for extremist activities.

The footage from Kiev clearly shows "how well-organized and trained militant groups operate," the Russian President said.

Nobody seems to be concerned with the actual details of the Ukrainian-EU agreement, Putin said.

"They say that the Ukrainian people are being deprived of their dream. But if you look at the contents of the deal – then you'll see that the dream may be good, but many may not live to see it," he argued.

Putin then explained that the deal offered to Ukraine by the EU has "very harsh conditions".

The Russian government presumes that the situation in Ukraine will be back to normal, and that the Ukrainian government and the Ukrainian people will determine their future on their own.

"I want to stress that, regardless of the choice of the Ukrainian people, we will respect it," Putin said.

'Kiev riots show signs of coup' – Ukrainian PM

The Ukrainian authorities see "signs of a coup" in the attempts to block the government agencies by the protesters, but are exercising restraint, Prime Minister Nikolay Azarov said during a meeting with ambassadors from EU states and the US in Kiev.

Azarov said that some political forces have "an illusion" that they can topple the government, adding that the opposition is developing a plan, which involves taking the Ukrainian parliament building by force.

"Things have changed. On the one hand, we aren't exonerating the law enforcement agencies, but on the other hand, politicians who are joining the action now are dramatically radicalizing the situation. The mass character of the action became uncontrollable or rather controlled by certain political forces," the Ukrainian Prime Minister was cited as saying by RIA Novosti.

He then assured the diplomats that the government guarantees that force won't be used against peaceful demonstrators in the capital, and that the necessary orders to the police not to use such force have been given. The Ukrainian authorities are expecting that the opposition will also abstain from provocation, he added.

Azarov told the diplomats that Ukraine has proposed some changes to the association agreement with the EU.

"We'd like to discuss the provisions, which bother us. We'd like our initiative to be treated attentively and maybe we'll be able to achieve compromise," the Ukrainian Prime Minister stressed.

He explained that some of the Ukrainian industrialists have appealed to the government with request for the changes, as the deal would otherwise "make the Ukrainian market too open".

As the Ukrainian officials assured the EU that they had not given up on the bilateral deal, President Viktor Yanukovich on Monday stressed that he "was, is, and will be a supporter of European democratic values and standards."

Yanukovich stressed that Ukraine wants more favorable conditions for the deal because the country's economic interests are at stake. He said that a public debate must be held "so that society can give its evaluation of what we want to achieve, on what terms and why we put the problem as it is… It must be made clear that we are protecting our interests."

[Dec 02, 2013] A readers guide to the protests in ukraine

Is this Arab Spring drama translated to Ukrainian ? Is this standard plot of color revolution which uses a large amount of young unemployed people, recession in economics which is balancing near bankruptcy plus money which can organize this mass and throw it against the corrupt government in order to get even more corrupt government and higher unemployment. Or, as Putin suggested, this is a premature start of Orange Revolution II planned for next presidential elections (the second occupation of Kiev by people from Lviv) ?
Dec 02, 2013 | washingtonpost.com

What's in it for Ukraine?

The European Union offered an "association agreement" that would have given Ukraine loans and favorable trade relations with Europe, conditions providing long-term benefits but probably little short-term relief for an economy verging on bankruptcy.

[Dec 02, 2013] Ukrainian protesters besiege government buildings

The turbulent situation doesn't bode well for Ukraine's troubled economy, which has been in recession for more than a year.

"The blockade of government offices and the National Bank of Ukraine, and the risk of a general strike, leaves me concerned now over Ukraine's ability to pay its way in the very short term," said Tim Ash, chief emerging markets economist at Standard Bank in London.

Opposition calls for a strike were being headed by local governments in western Ukraine, where most people speak Ukrainian and lean toward the EU. In the industrial east of the country, most people tend to speak Russian and have a closer affinity for Russia.

... ... ...

"Yanukovych is now fighting for his political survival, and time is no longer on his side," Ash said.

The opposition also was getting some support from Ukraine's main television channels, which are owned by the country's wealthiest businessmen. Instead of largely toeing the government line, the channels have begun to give a greater platform to the protesters.

This was a sign that the channels' owners were unhappy with the government's refusal to sign the EU deal and pursue better trade ties with Russia instead, said Natalia Ligacheva, head of media watchdog Telekritika.

TheStraightDope

"...The opposition also was getting some support from Ukraine's main television channels, which are owned by the country's wealthiest businessmen...."

Sounds like the Tea Party in the US or the moveon crowd that put Obama in office. Is there such thing as an opposition not owned by wealthy and powerful interests? I guess we wouldn't be reading about it if there was.

[Dec 02, 2013] Ukraine Defends Its Sovereignty by Justin Raimondo,

December 02, 2013 | antiwar.com

You'll be forgiven if you don't: Ukraine's "color revolution," organized, financed, and planned in the West, blends into the rainbow gallery of failed Western-backed regime-change operations launched in the wake of the Soviet Union's fall

... ... ...

The failure of the economy to improve, and the authoritarian impulses of the Orange revolutionaries, both played into the country's growing disillusionment and the reversal of fortunes that put Yanukovich back in power. When Yushchenko, the former Hero of the Orange Revolution, ran for a second term in 2010, he received a little over 5 percent of the vote, and was eliminated in the first round.

If you thought this meant the end of the Western attempt to tear Ukraine out of the Russian orbit, think again: these people never give up. And they seem to have learned their lesson, this time refraining from personifying their cause in a fallible human leader, such as Yushchenko – or the even more flawed Tymoshenko – and instead latching on to an abstraction – the EU – as the flag around which to rally their troops.

... ... ...

The Eurocrats have their Ukrainian fifth column out in the streets of Kiev, attacking government buildings, engaging in hand-to-hand fighting with the police, and deploying the aggressive tactics we have come to know so well from the "color revolutions" of the past. Yet this Orange movement is dried up and rotten to the core, a juice-less phenomenon which holds up as a political ideal the faceless bureaucracy of Brussels, which is rightly hated from Greece to Spain to what used to be the free country of England. Good luck with that!

The pro-EU hooligans in the streets of Kiev are pawns in a larger game: the new cold war with Russia. This battle is being waged with the Europeans in the front lines and the Americans finagling and maneuvering behind the scenes, eager for vengeance against the one man who has successfully defied and outsmarted them at every turn: Vladimir Putin.

The end of the first cold war changed many things, but one indisputable fact of geography remained constant: the lands of the former Soviet Union constituted the single largest landmass out of the control of the Western powers. With the temporary power vacuum in the Kremlin, the West quickly moved in on the ruins, but their success, as in Ukraine, was limited.

... ... ...

The EU summiteers had to content themselves with inaugurating the entry of Georgia and Moldova into "associate" EU status – two countries which are the least European of any other EU candidate, with the possible exception of Turkey. If Georgia is part of Europe, then so is Mongolia – and that about defines the parameters of the EU's ambitions, as the Eurocrats seek to extend their authority over a territory approximating the old Roman empire at its height. The next step for Georgia and Moldova is full EU membership – and assimilation into NATO's military machine.

Pointed like a dagger at the heart of Russia, the Western military-political advance into the steppes of Eurasia is a challenge that isn't going unanswered in Moscow. Yes, we really are going backwards in time: retro chic rules in the realm of Russo-American relations.

Ordinary Americans, naturally, derive no benefit from this renewed rivalry: indeed, we suffer, as international tensions drive commodity prices – like oil – through the roof and the ever-present threat of war looms large. Who profits? The weapons-makers who will outfit Georgia and Moldova with all the latest NATO-approved hi-tech military hardware. The banks who will make loans to "pro-Western" governments, and who will sell their debt: the politicians who will ride the wave of anti-Russian feeling whipped up by the Western media and piped into places like Ukraine by our "democracy-promoting" government.

The EU is a failed socialist experiment that exists to fund a huge (and hugely arrogant) bureaucracy and impose a bloodless ideological abstraction over and above the authentic nationalisms it seems to subsume. It is deeply authoritarian in that it provides no mechanism for member states to withdraw, and its super-centralist model is a prescription for tyranny if ever there was one. When a referendum is held on EU membership, and the results aren't to the pro-EU side's liking, the election is simply ignored and the Eurocrats mount yet another campaign until the "right" result is achieved.

[Dec 02, 2013] Ukrainians stage mass rally against Yanukovich's U-turn on Europe

Another color revolution ?

Reuters

f00:

Tyaniboh's right-wing, nationalist Svoboda is pro-EU? The EU is anti-nationalist, barely-concealed Communism Lite.

"I want my children to live in a country where they don't beat young people …"

Yeah, you'd rather live with the Third World scum that EU-mandated open borders will bring.

Whatever. Half of Ukraine is pro-Russia. Joining the EU is a non-starter, no matter what these "orange" rent-a-mobs want.

chyron:

Yanukovich fails because he thought he still can "suck from both teats" doing nothing. Or at least make Russia to pay Ukrainian bills permanently.

But times, they are changing. Most beloved animal in Ukraine is pig. So let's put that way – nationals are trying to choose "animal farm with best feeding" not understanding really that they choose who will do the slaughtering soon.

yurakm:

Nice picture. Nice democratic demonstrators.

For those who do not understand Ukrainian:

The banner on an Ukrainian flag that the nice young people hold reads: "A day will come when we will hung Vitya!"

where Vitya is a diminutive for Victor, a first name of Ukrainian president.

[May 27, 2013] Non-stop expansion

Edited Google translation from Russian
March 6, 2013 | Evrasia.org

Today, March 6, the 68th U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry completes first overseas tour. The list of the countries he visited, beginning on February 24, is impressive: the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

Some experts heard in the statements that the new head of U.S. diplomacy systematically made throughout his journey, an attempt to remedy the situation, into which Hillary Clinton plunged the U.S. foreign policy - raffling feathers of the U.S. opponents and alienating allies. Once again they are talking that, at least for now, the U.S. expansionist pressure eased somewhat. There are opinions that Barack Obama will give us a chance to take a breath. Never mind that the first time "reset" did not work. There are even opinions that now Obama is starting to build a new foreign policy framework. And even that the time is not far off, when America will be forced to abandon its expansionist plans.

Americans are constantly finding new and new ways, new approaches and apply tremendous pressure as soon as existing technology of keeping vassals under control start failing and cease to work. That include tough scenarios that we have seen Afghanistan or Iraq.

Indeed, the American foreign expansion slowed somewhat, and pressure from the U.S. to other countries weakened - for objective reasons. However, the crisis faced by the American elite, the crisis of promotion of their interests, their values, like any crisis, even on a global scale - was never a reason for the Americans to retreat. The emergence of such difficulties for persistent, bend on world domination elite, with is the type of elite that the US has, the elite which relentlessly try to increase their sphere of influence, can not be something that will knock them out of the saddle, demoralizing and/or cause to abandon their plans.

This situation can develop into to separate paths. First, the current crisis for American expansion will create some kind of immunity among the American elite, meaning that they adapt to this crisis, amend exposed the weaknesses, strengthen them and will continue to move toward their goal of word domination, but using other methods, and other technologies.

What we have, in principle, and have seen in recent years. Americans take any technology to promote their interests, for example, the technology of "color" revolutions, deploy it once, twice, three times ... and then a fourth, and fifth. But on the sixth time it begins to falter as states and nations are beginning to resist the technology by solving its nature, and better understanding its meaning, its consequences. At this point they immediately abandon it, or postpone until better times. But at this very moment they adopt a different, alternative technological model, which they begin to implement immediately.

American intellectuals pursue non-stop development of new technologies of subduing and controlling other nations by manipulation of social processes, contradictions in the societies, and, in fact, by working with elites of those societies. History of selection of such technologies can be traced for the last several decades. We still remember how in the Soviet period, they used economic leverage to get a foot in those States, which tried to rely more on the Soviet bloc. This, incidentally, is fine details was described by former U.S. political consultant John Perkins in his book "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man." But when this technology has ceased to operate, has exhausted its possibilities, they moved on to the "color revolutions" technology developed by Gene Sharp. When the "color revolutions" technology begun to fail, they moved on to the theory of controlled chaos by Steven Mann, which is implemented today in the Middle East. And on the other approach is in the pipeline.

Americans are constantly finding new and new ways, new approaches and apply tremendous pressure as soon as existing technology of keeping vassals under control start failing and cease to work. That include tough scenarios that we have seen Afghanistan or Iraq.

Therefore it is naive to argue that stopping or slowing U.S. expansion due to economic crisis will cause them to abandon their idea of ​​global domination. Especially, taking into account that the historically expansionist policy of the United States can't be changes by election of the next U.S. president, no matter what are his own views and approaches. He is only a nominal representative of the entrenched for the last two centuries American elite, a hired manager, recruited by the powers that be.

But there is another scenario - a situation in which the number of failures, errors and blunders will increase, and the errors can became self-reproducible. In this case a single failure will entail two new additional failures, which in their turn will cause another four, and so on. This is what is called a systemic crisis, which can be eliminated only by the change of the elite.

[Feb 28, 2013] How To Deal With NGOs – Part I, China by Paul Mooney

August 1, 2006 | YaleGlobal online

Both China and Russia sat up and took notice of the role played by nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in the political unrest and subsequent color revolutions in Georgia, the Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan. This two-part series examines the two governments' responses to NGO activity within their borders. China dispatched intelligence officers to research the NGO role in Central Asia and also conduct background checks on NGO members in China – though no arrests, detentions or restrictions are known to have occurred. China expects local partners of foreign NGOs to report on activities to the central government, a policy that has slowed approval for some NGO projects. The organizations pose little threat to China's one-party government, studies suggest, and public-policy experts anticipate that the surveillance will subside. In fact, local governments tend to thwart central-government goals more than the NGOs do, according to one political scientist. NGOs take the increased attention in stride, hoping for more visibility and perhaps even appreciation for their diverse efforts to improve Chinese communities. – YaleGlobal

[Feb 20, 2013] The Essential Role of Non-Governmental Organizations in the Development of Democracy

June 8, 2006 | 2001-2009.state.gov

Barry F. Lowenkron, Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
Remarks to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Washington, DC
June 8, 2006

Chairman Lugar, Members of the Committee, thank you for your active interest in the essential role that non-governmental organizations play in the defense of freedom and the development of democracy across the globe. I welcome this opportunity to highlight the contributions of NGOs, to share with you our concerns about the restrictions that a growing number of governments are placing on NGO activities, and to offer suggestions on how we can protect NGOs' vital work. I will summarize my prepared remarks, Mr. Chairman, and request that my full testimony be entered into the record.

When I appeared before this Committee last September seeking confirmation as the Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, I stated that, if confirmed, one of my highest priorities would be "to consult and partner closely with the many dedicated and capable NGOs working on human rights and democracy." I also pledged to "make every effort to protect the work of NGOs against efforts by foreign governments to constrain, harass, intimidate, and silence their work."

As Assistant Secretary, I have had the privilege of meeting with many NGOs, both here and abroad, and I have greatly benefited from their information, their insights and their ideas. As President Bush stated in his second inaugural address: "… it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world." The work of NGOs is crucial to reaching that goal.

A Wide World of NGOs
The rise of NGOs as international actors as well as shapers of national policy is one of the most important trends in international relations. NGOs encompass the entire range of civil society: from lobbying for better health, protection of the environment, and advancement of education for all; to delivering humanitarian relief and securing and protecting basic civil and political rights.

There are NGOs devoted to specific health issues, such as women's health care or HIV/AIDS. I note the tireless effort and good work of the Whitman Walker Clinic here in the Washington Metropolitan area. There are also NGOs based thousands of miles away that are battling these same concerns. For example, the Kenya AIDS NGO Consortium is a coalition of some 600 NGOs and religious organizations that deal with AIDS-related activities in Africa. Indeed, the AIDS pandemic has spawned a host of indigenous NGOs in sub-Saharan Africa.

Environmental NGOs in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe played a vital role in the political, social and economic changes of the 1980s. Today, they continue to have an enormous impact in countries across the globe, pushing for governmental transparency and accountability which in turn can fuel political reform.

Today, my primary focus will be the so-called political NGOs -- those that advocate for human rights and democratic principles and practices. Although they constitute only a small component of the global NGO community, they are the ones that draw the most fire from governments who view them as a threat to their power.

These NGOs build on a legacy of championing human rights through norm-setting and monitoring. They have helped to shape international agreements, instruments, institutions and human rights mechanisms over decades. NGOs were key to shaping the language on human rights and fundamental freedoms in the United Nations Charter and of the U.N. Universal Declaration on Human Rights itself. These NGOs courageously defend human rights activists, often while risking reprisal themselves.

Together with the increasing worldwide demand for greater personal and political freedom often reflected in the work of these NGOs is the growing recognition that democracy is the form of government that can best meet the demands of citizens for dignity, liberty, and equality.

Today, all across the globe, NGOs are helping to establish and strengthen democracy in three key ways:

These efforts by NGOs mirror the discussions I have had with Secretary Rice on democracy promotion in which she outlined the three main areas that inform our democracy activities: electoral -- the right of assembly, free speech and all other elements that constitute representative democracy; the importance of good governance -- a government by the people that is accountable, transparent, and willing to accept constraints on power and cede it peacefully; and a flourishing civil society. NGOs play a vital role in all three areas.

U.S.-based NGOs such as the National Endowment for Democracy, the Center for International Private Enterprise, the American Center for International Labor Solidarity, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, the International Republican Institute, IFES and Freedom House actively promote democracy across the globe. This type of activity is not unique to the United States. The German political Stiftungen served as models for the creation of the NED family in the 1980s. The British Westminster Foundation is a leader in democracy promotion. The Danes promote worker solidarity and labor rights. The Czech Aide to People in Need actively supports human rights. All of these efforts are conducted openly and transparently and are consistent with international standards and practices.

The Push-Back

Not surprisingly, there are those in power who do not welcome NGOs and other agents of peaceful, democratic change. After all, the work of NGOs may vary widely, but what they all have in common is enabling individuals to come together to create an independent voice distinct from, and at times in disagreement with, the government's views.

Mr. Chairman, I experience this every day as Assistant Secretary when I meet with NGOs who want to discuss the U.S. Government's human rights record here and abroad. I often agree with NGOs. At times, I disagree with them. But I never view them as a threat to our democratic way of life. Indeed, their contribution to our debate on America's role in the world can only strengthen our democratic ideals at home and advance them abroad.

Other governments, however, feel threatened by their work. In many countries, we see disturbing attempts to intimidate NGOs and restrict or shut them down. The recent assessment of the National Endowment for Democracy captures this growing challenge. The conclusions are sobering. States are developing and using tools to subvert, suppress and silence these organizations. They invoke or create restrictive laws and regulations. They impose burdensome registration and tax requirements. Charges are vague, such as "disturbing social order," and implementation and enforcement are arbitrary, fostering a climate of self-censorship and fear. Governments play favorites, deeming NGOs "good" or "bad", and they treat them accordingly. NGOs deemed "good" are often ones created by governments themselves -- Government Organized NGOs or "GONGOs." The Tunisian government established a GONGO staffed by members of its intelligence service to attend conferences and monitor what is being said about the government. China sends GONGOs to UN NGO functions to defend China's human rights policies.

When states find that their efforts to pass or apply restrictive laws and regulations against NGOs are not enough, they resort to extralegal forms of intimidation or persecution. Often these regimes justify their actions by accusations of treason, espionage, subversion, foreign interference or terrorism. These are rationalizations; the real motivation is political. This is not about defending their citizens from harm, this is about protecting positions of power.

From Russia to China, Zimbabwe to Venezuela, no region has been spared this push-back. Mr. Chairman, we can point to individual cases unique to each country. A key impetus for the recent crackdown has been reaction by many rulers to the "Color Revolutions" of 2003-2005. They believed that the popular pressure for change was instigated and directed from abroad through U.S and other foreign support for NGOs on the ground. They have not grasped that the "Color Revolutions" were examples of citizens standing up for their right to free elections and demanding accountability when election results did not reflect the clear will of the people because of manipulation.

During my trip to Moscow in early January, the deep suspicion that Western states had manipulated election outcomes was evident from my discussions with officials and lawmakers. Our promotion of democracy is seen as part of a zero-sum game of geopolitical influence. I emphasized to my Russian interlocutors that they were fundamentally mistaken about what happened in Ukraine and Georgia, that our NGO funding and activities there were transparent, fully in keeping with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's and other international norms, and designed to help ensure that elections are free and fair, not to pick winners and losers.

After he had signed the restrictive new NGO law in January, Russian President Putin acknowledged that NGOs can and do contribute to the well-being of society, but he added that their financing must be transparent and efforts to control them by "foreign puppeteers" would not be tolerated. The new Russian law has the potential to cripple the vital work of many NGOs, including foreign NGOs there to support the local NGOs, and could retard Russia's democratic development. The new law is now in effect. Recently, the Russian Ministry of Justice issued extensive implementing regulations along with dozens of forms for NGOs to complete. These detailed reporting requirements on NGOs' financial and programmatic activities allow for broad review and oversight by Russian officials that could go beyond international norms. The authorities have wide discretion to implement the law. The authorities can request various documents and information or attend any NGO event to verify that an organization's activities comply with the goals expressed in its founding documents. Foreign NGOs appear to be singled out for even more extensive reporting requirements, including quarterly financial reports and annual reporting on planned activities, subject to review by authorities. Officials could order a foreign NGO to cease funding a particular program, ban the NGO from transferring funds to certain recipients or shut it down completely. While we are told such measures would be subject to court approval, this could entail lengthy and expensive litigation that could cripple an NGO.

The Russian government has claimed that the new NGO law is similar to U.S. and other Western regulations regarding civil society. As a basis for that claim, the Russian Federation's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has posted an unattributed chart on its website comparing selected provisions from the new NGO law with the laws of the United States, France, Finland, Israel and Poland. An NGO called The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law has done a careful analysis of the chart and the laws of the various countries cited and has found the contrary. According to this center of legal expertise, the Russian law is "substantially different from the laws of the selected countries" and is actually "more restrictive", both in terms of the specific provisions of the Russian law and in its cumulative effect. We continue to urge the Russian government to implement the new law in a way that facilitates, not hinders, the vital work of NGOs and is in compliance with Russia's international commitments.

Russia is not the only country where NGOs face serious challenges. In Belarus, the Lukashenko government increasingly uses tax inspections and new registration requirements to complicate or deny the ability of NGOs, independent media, political parties, and minority and religious organizations to operate legally. All but a handful of human rights NGOs have been deregistered or denied registration. In February, Belarussian KGB spokesman Valeriy Nadtochayev stated: "Such political events inside our country as … elections attract the attention of foreign secret services, diplomats, and representatives of various non-governmental organizations and foundations like magnets. All of them are united by a common task involving the collection of biased information about events in our country and the creation of newsbreaks, especially those connected with so-called human rights violations …"

The Chinese government applies burdensome requirements to groups attempting to register as NGOs. They must first find a government agency sponsor before they can register with the Ministry of Civil Affairs. NGOs must have more than fifty individual members -- a Catch 22 situation since hosting such large gatherings without a license can lead to official persecution. This means that groups that do not have adequate government ties have no hope of meeting legal requirements to register. The financial requirement of $12,000 makes it difficult for many nascent, cash-strapped organizations to register. Moreover, sponsoring agencies and the Ministry of Civil Affairs can refuse applications without cause or recourse.

The government closely scrutinizes NGOs working in areas that might challenge its authority or have implications for social stability, such as groups focused on human rights and discrimination. It is more amenable to groups that it sees as supporting social welfare efforts rather than operating in a political role. In this context, some NGOs are able to develop their own agendas and, in some cases, even undertake limited advocacy roles in public interest areas like women's issues, the environment, health, and consumer rights.

The Chinese government studied the role that NGOs ostensibly played in the "Color Revolutions" and ordered an investigation into the activities of both foreign and domestic NGOs in China. The government also established a task force to monitor the activities of NGOs, especially those with links overseas.

In Venezuela, the leadership of the electoral watchdog NGO Sumate awaits trial on charges of conspiracy and treason for accepting a $31,150 grant from the NED for voter education and outreach activities consistent with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. While Sumate is the most well known target of harassment by the Venezuelan government, it is not alone. The government continues to restrict the ability of NGOs to conduct their activities and to cut off sources of international support for their work.

In May 2005, Eritrea issued an NGO Administration Proclamation that imposes taxes on aid, restricts NGOS to relief and rehabilitation work, increases reporting requirements for foreign and local organizations and limits international agencies from directly funding local NGOs. All NGOs must meet demanding annual registration requirements. The few local NGOs that are allowed to register also face new funding barriers. In a televised speech last November, Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki stated: "In many cases, spy agencies of big and powerful countries use NGOs as smokescreens." In March 2006, in the midst of a devastating drought, Eritrea expelled the U.S.-based humanitarian NGO Mercy Corps, the Irish NGO Concern and the British NGO Accord.

In March 2005, the Ethiopian government expelled IRI, NDI and IFES shortly after their arrival in advance of the May national legislative and regional council elections. The three organizations had never before been expelled from any country. They had made numerous attempts to register with the government. The government cited "technical difficulties related to their accreditation and registration" as reasons for the expulsions.

Blatantly disregarding the welfare of its people, the concerns of its neighbors and the call of the United Nations, the regime in Burma has not eased, it has increased, restrictions on UN agencies and international NGOs doing humanitarian work in Burma, particularly in ethnic areas. For example, Medecíns Sans Frontiéres was forced to close its French Section that was responsible for programs in the conflict-ridden Mon and Karen states. As the manager of the French Section put it: "It appears the Burmese authorities do not want anyone to witness the abuses they are committing against their own people."

The cases I mentioned are only a few examples what I call rule by law -- of governments seeking to control, restrict or shut down the work of NGOs by appropriating the language of law and the instruments and institutions of democracy. When states wield the law as a political weapon or an instrument of repression against NGOs, they rule by law rather than upholding the rule of law. The rule of law acts as a check on state power; it is a system designed to protect the human rights of the individual against the power of the state. In contrast, rule by law can be an abuse of power -- the manipulation of the law, the judicial system and other governmental bodies to maintain the power of the rulers over the ruled.

To suppress the work of NGOs, states also employ more blatant forms of persecution. Since the uprising and violent suppression in Andijan, Uzbekistan in May 2005, the government has harassed, beaten and jailed dozens of human rights activists and independent journalists, sentenced numerous people to prison following trials that did not meet international standards, forced many domestic and international NGOs to close, including Freedom House. Those that continue to operate are severely restricted. Local NGO employees have been convicted of criminal offenses for their work making it virtually impossible for them to find other jobs.

The Sudanese government's obstruction of humanitarian assistance and support for civil society has severely hampered relief efforts in Darfur. Domestic and international NGOs and humanitarian organizations are constantly harassed and overburdened with paperwork. The Sudanese government has expelled international NGO and humanitarian personnel, delayed their visas, and placed restrictions on their travel inside Darfur. Sudanese police and security forces have arrested, threatened and physically harmed NGO and humanitarian workers. In April 2006, the Sudanese government expelled the Norwegian Refugee Council from Kalma Camp, the largest internally displaced persons camp in Darfur with over 90,000 internally displaced persons. Prior to its expulsion, the Norwegian Refugee Council had served for two years as the Kalma "camp coordinator", in charge of coordinating all humanitarian programs and protection for the camp's residents and serving as a liaison for community leaders, government officials, humanitarian agencies, and African Union peacekeepers. On May 31, the South Darfur State Security Committee approved an agreement allowing the Council to return as camp coordinator. Nevertheless, Sudanese government obstructionism caused Darfur's largest IDP camp to go without a camp coordinator for two months, during which time insecurity and tension rose.

The last remaining civil society discussion group in Syria, the Jamal al-Atassi Forum, has been prevented from meeting for almost a year and many of its members have been arrested or intimidated into silence. The Forum is a predominantly secular group encouraging dialogue among political parties and civil society to promote reform.

We are concerned that the situation in Egypt for politically active NGOs is deteriorating. For example, last week Egyptian civil society activists Mohammed el-Sharkawi and Karim Shaer were beaten and arrested for participating in demonstrations in support of the independence of the judiciary. Reportedly, they were subsequently tortured while in custody and denied medical treatment. International democracy NGOs active in Egypt are also facing increasing government pressure.

What We and other Democracies Can Do to Defend and Support NGOs
Mr. Chairman, in today's world, the problems confronting states are too complex even for the most powerful states to tackle alone. The contributions of NGOs are crucial in addressing a host of domestic and international challenges. Restricting the political space of NGOs only limits a society's own political and economic growth. A strong nation fosters the development of NGOs and other elements of a vibrant civil society; a state that tries to control everything from the center becomes brittle. A society that allows broad participation by its citizens in national life is a society that will flourish from the contributions of its own people.

When NGOs are under siege, freedom and democracy are undermined. How then can we best support and defend the work of NGOs in countries across the globe?

The United States must continue to stand up for what President Bush calls "the non-negotiable demands of human dignity" and that includes the exercise by individuals of their rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly through their membership in NGOs.

As we monitor and report on conditions for human rights and democracy in countries worldwide, we in DRL, our posts overseas, and the State Department generally must sharpen our focus on the increasing pressures governments are putting on NGOs. We must think creatively about how we might help to open political space for NGOs and create opportunities for NGOs and their governments to exchange views in an honest and constructive manner. We must ensure that a government's treatment of NGOs is an element in our bilateral dialogue and that it factors into the decisions we make on developing our bilateral relationships.

Mr. Chairman, we need to defend human rights and democracy promotion. To do so, we need to defend the defenders. In short, we need to push back. Let me suggest seven ways:

First, we need to speak out. We must be prepared to counter what I call the NGO "Legal Equivalency" argument made by governments that unduly restrict NGOs, namely that since all countries regulate NGO activity in some fashion, criticism is unwarranted. For example, there is a difference between giving NGOs the opportunity to register for non-tax status, and demanding that NGOs register to simply function. Most countries, including ours, only require notification of registration, not permission from authorities, in order to operate as a formal, legal entity.

We must not succumb to arguments that the prime reason that governments which impose burdensome registration and other reporting requirements on NGOs is to combat terrorism or other criminal behavior. All governments have a responsibility to protect their populations from acts of terrorism and crime, and it is of course appropriate to subject NGOs to the same laws and requirements generally applicable to all individuals and organizations. At the end of day, however, a burdensome registration and reporting process is unlikely to sway determined terrorist organizations, but very likely to weaken legitimate NGOs.

We must counter false charges that US activities tied to NGOs are led covertly by the United States and other democracies. We must reiterate that our support is out in the open and that thousands of NGOs never even approach our government. And when they do, it is more likely than not that they are pressing us on our own behavior, or on individual cases, and not soliciting funding.

Second, we need to ensure that NGO protection is an integral part of our diplomacy. We must highlight the protection of NGOs as a legitimate issue on our government-to-government agenda. This spring, when Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov came to Washington, Secretary Rice had an extensive discussion with him on our NGO concerns, a discussion in which I participated. The Secretary raises our concerns in her bilateral meetings as do I and many of my colleagues at the State Department. When I travel, I insist on seeing NGO representatives, as does the Secretary.

We must also continue to multiply our voices. Time and again NGOs have told me that their work would be further protected if others would join us. Russian NGOs were heartened that, just prior to my arrival in Moscow in January, German Chancellor Merkel paid an official visit and not only spoke out in defense of NGOs but met with them to hear first-hand their concerns. In the case of China, my Bureau has taken the initiative to develop a coordinated approach among all members of the so-called Bern process -- the process that brings together all countries which have human rights dialogues with China. We meet twice yearly, to exchange lists of political prisoners, to compare best practices, and to monitor Chinese behavior toward NGOs.

Third, we must expand the role of regional organizations in protecting NGOs. Acting in defense and support of NGOs on a bilateral basis is essential, but it is not sufficient. NGOs are a global phenomenon; they are facing pressures in countries in every region. I believe that there is greater scope for us to partner with leading regional democracies and to work with regional organizations to defend and support the work of NGOs.

The OSCE and the European Union have adopted some of the most advanced provisions regarding the role and rights of NGOs, as well as guidelines on how they can interact and participate in OSCE and EU activities. In the OSCE context, the role of NGOs in pressing for adherence to democratic standards and practices including monitoring elections remains vital. We will do all we can to ensure that the defense and promotion of human rights and democratic principles remain central to OSCE's mandate. Every quarter I hold consultations with the EU on a host of human rights and democracy issues worldwide. These consultations are also a good vehicle to take up the cause of NGO protection.

The OAS has formal structures for NGO participation and Secretary General Insulza has said that he seeks greater engagement by civil society organizations. Last month, I held a roundtable with a diverse group of NGOs from Latin America. The NGOs were in Washington to attend an OAS ministerial. We intend to build on that dialogue: through the OAS and among the NGOs themselves as they press for implementation of the OAS Democratic Charter.

NGO engagement with the African Union remains limited. However, prior to the AU Heads of State Summit July 1-2 in Banjul, the AU will host a Civil Society Forum and a Women's Forum. Later this year I hope to travel to Addis Ababa to meet with the AU and place protection of NGOs on our agenda

ASEAN has formal guidelines for NGO participation in its activities. To date, the NGOs affiliated with ASEAN do not tend to have a democracy or human rights focus, but operate in other fields such as business and medicine. ASEAN's recent steps to press the regime in Burma is an encouraging sign that countries in the region are beginning to recognize that the protection of human rights, and of human rights defenders, is a legitimate issue, and not one to be dismissed as interference in the sovereignty of its neighbors. We will encourage ASEAN to take further steps on this path.

Fourth, we must maximize global opportunities to raise concerns about the treatment of NGOs and take coordinated action in their defense. We will work to that end with like-minded members of the new U.N. Human Rights Council. I would note that in negotiating the creation of the Council, the United States successfully insisted that NGOs must retain the same access to the new body that they had to its predecessor.

The UN Democracy Fund, proposed by President Bush in September 2004 and launched in September 2005, is another important instrument for supporting NGOs. The Fund will support projects implemented by NGOs as well as governmental and multilateral entities. Recognizing the important contributions that NGOs make, the designers of the Democracy Fund ensured that two of the 17 members of the Fund's Advisory Board are NGO representatives. To date, 19 countries have contributed or pledged approximately $50 million to this voluntary Fund. The United States has contributed $17.9 million to date, and the President's Budget has requested an additional $10 million to support the Fund in FY 2007. We have successfully pushed for the Fund to focus on support for NGOs and other elements of civil society in states transitioning to democracy, complementing existing UN programs on free and fair elections and the rule of law.

The Community of Democracies and the collective action of its members can be an important focal point within the international community and international organizations in helping sustain and protect NGOs across the globe. The time has come to institutionalize the Community itself, and to use its members to press for fundamental freedoms, including with regard to the protection of NGOs.

Fifth, we must protect and nurture new organizations that allow NGOs to flourish. Here let me single out the Middle East. The Forum for the Future was established in the summer of 2004 at the G-8 Summit in Sea Island, Georgia. In partnership with the countries of the Broader Middle East and North Africa, the Forum seeks to advance political, economic, and educational reforms in the region. From its inception, we have pressed for inclusion of NGOs indigenous to the Middle East. At the first meeting of the Forum in Rabat in December 2004, there were five NGOs. By the time I accompanied Secretary Rice to the second meeting, held in Bahrain a year later, the five had grown to 40. At the conference, leaders of these NGOs participated, pressing an agenda of political reform, economic opportunity, educational advancement, and gender equality.

Among those serving on this civil society delegation in Bahrain were representatives from the Democracy Assistance Dialogue (DAD) -- a dialogue led by the Italy, Turkey, and Yemen as well as three NGOS from each country. The DAD presented the outcomes of discussions and debates held over the course of the year between civil society leaders and their government counterparts. The growing DAD network includes hundreds of civil society leaders from the region. The level and depth of civil society participation at the Forum was historic and positive, and has set an important precedent for genuine dialogue and partnership between civil society and governments on reform issues.

At Bahrain all the participating countries agreed to establish a Foundation for the Future to help fund NGO activity. We did not agree on a Bahrain declaration of principles, however, because a number of countries wanted to include in that declaration language to constrain NGOs. In the end, the United Kingdom as G-8 co-sponsor that year, supported by us and others -- walked away from the declaration. Our reason was simple: We could not cripple in the afternoon what we had created in the morning. I applaud the host of the next Forum, Jordan, for its unwavering commitment to a continued robust role for NGOs.
We are already acting in concert with the Jordanian government and others to ensure that the NGO presence grows for the meeting this December.

Sixth, we must ensure that NGOs have the resources they need to carry out their vital work. Many NGOs look to a variety of funding sources, both government and private, to ensure a diverse support base. Many of them never approach the U.S. government for any funding at all.

A number of private, grant-making foundations specialize in supporting the work of other non-governmental organizations, and here I cite the MacArthur Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Open Society Institute and other well-known foundations. Organizations such as the independent, nonprofit Pew Charitable Trusts, the International Crisis Group, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and its Moscow Center often fund or produce reports on topics which contribute to public policy discourse on the development of civil society, conflict prevention and management, and other goals compatible with advancing freedom and democracy. We must continue to encourage more private sector support.

We in government can often provide the needed seed money for democracy promotion programs, or assistance to maintain on-going programs. This is a dynamic process that adjusts to new demands, shifting priorities, and different emphases. We must continue to seek out innovative solutions that merit our support, for example, programs that monitor and publicize attacks on NGOs, much as the MacArthur Foundation has funded the Berkman Center at Harvard University to monitor worldwide constraints on internet freedom.

I also want to express my appreciation to the Congress for its support of the Human Rights and Democracy Fund, a program managed by my Bureau. I call it the "venture capital" of democracy promotion for it gives us the flexibility to support innovative programming by NGOs targeted at key countries and issues. We are able to make hundreds of grants a year to organizations around the world addressing vital democracy and human rights issues.

All free nations have a stake in the strengthening of civil societies and the spread of democratic government worldwide, and we welcome and encourage contributions from other donor countries and institutions in support of the work of NGOs.

Seventh, we should consider elaborating some guiding principles by which we as a country would assess the behavior of other governments toward NGOs, and which we would take into account in our bilateral relationships. I would welcome consulting with Congress on the drafting of these principles. I would envision a short list of principles -- no more than a page. They would be user-friendly in non-legalistic language. The principles would proceed from the premise that NGOs, as elements of a vibrant civil society, are essential to the development and success of free societies and that they play a vital role in ensuring accountable, democratic government. The principles should pass the "reasonableness test" in any open society. We would pledge our own adherence to the principles and we would of course encourage their embrace by other countries as well.

I do not see these principles as being duplicative of other efforts. The best word is still the plainspoken word, and in plainspoken words, these principles would distill the basic commitments to the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly enshrined in such documents as: the U.N. Universal Declaration on Human Rights and other international documents such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, relevant International Labor Organization Conventions, the Helsinki Final Act and subsequent OSCE Copenhagen and Moscow documents, and the European Convention on Human Rights and relevant documents of the Council of Europe.

Among the possible principles we could elaborate could be:

Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee, in closing I cannot emphasize enough the value of the continued active involvement of this Committee and of other Members of Congress in the worldwide defense and support of the work of NGOs. It greatly strengthens my hand when I meet with foreign officials to know that I have your strong bipartisan backing. It is profoundly important that you continue to demonstrate your support for NGOs and raise concerns about their treatment to foreign governments. And any efforts you could make to encourage your counterparts in the legislatures of other democracies to press these issues and to work in concert on them would be extraordinarily helpful.

As President Bush has said: "Freedom, by its nature, must be chosen, and defended by citizens, and sustained by the rule of law and the protection of minorities. … America will not impose our own style of government on the unwilling. Our goal instead is to help others find their own voice, attain their own freedom, and make their own way."

By America's leadership in supporting and defending the work of NGOs, that is exactly what we are doing -- helping men and women across the globe shape their own destinies in freedom, and by so doing, helping to build a safer, better world for us all. Thank you.

[Jul 4, 2012] Protest Movements as Political Strategy by Ben West

Jul 4, 2012 | Stratfor

Recent protests throughout Sudan are the latest in an ongoing trend of protest movements around the world, from Muslim Brotherhood supporters in Egypt to oil workers in Norway and opposition parties in Thailand. Protests have proved an effective strategy against autocratic regimes, political repression and austerity measures. As with insurgency strategy, protests rely on underlying support from the population rather than on superior weapons. Both insurgency and protests are forms of asymmetric opposition in which the insurgents or protesters cannot succeed by using force to overwhelm the state but must find (or create) and exploit specific weaknesses of the state.

However, protest movements are not as aggressive as insurgencies. Violence is integral to insurgent strategy, but protest movements may be simply a negotiation tactic to extract concessions from a state or a corporation. Strikes are one of the most common forms of protest used to leverage labor resources for higher wages or more benefits. Thousands of protests, such as strikes, occur around the world every week. Most are small and insignificant outside the protesters' community. In order to address the geopolitical importance of protest movements, this analysis will focus on protests intended to create political change.

Sometimes protests can spur insurgencies. In the case of Syria, civilians congregated in the streets and public places to call for political change. As the state's responses became increasingly violent, elements of the movement formed a militia that began a parallel insurgency. As violence escalated in Syria, insurgent tactics eventually replaced protest tactics.

Not all protests evolve into insurgencies, though. Some are repressed by the regime, while others are able to achieve their objectives through other means. The ultimate challenge of analyzing protest movements is to distinguish between movements that could successfully change the order of a country and movements that fizzle after grabbing a few headlines. Stratfor distinguishes the two by looking at the tactics a given group of protesters uses and the strategic imperatives of the state against which the protesters are demonstrating.

Protest Tactics

Protest movements usually start with far fewer resources and far less organization than the established entity against which they are protesting. They are fighting an asymmetric battle against a state that has far more resources to use against protesters. For example, the April 6 movement that was behind Egypt's 2011 protests got its name from April 6, 2008, the day Egyptian authorities clamped down on a fledgling political youth movement with a series of arrests. The Egyptian state was able to end the 2008 protest movement relatively quietly; this is how most protest movements end.

Those groups that do survive must have a fluid yet responsive organizational capability, and they must control the perception of what they -- and their opponents -- stand for.

Organization

Organizing protests becomes increasingly dangerous as the movement becomes more successful. Most authorities will tolerate a certain amount of activism because it is seen as a way to let off steam. They appease the protesters by letting them think that they are making a difference -- as long as the protesters do not pose a threat. But as protest movements grow, authorities will act more aggressively to neutralize the organizers. Sincere protest movements may prove successful if they can survive a round of arrests, a baton charge from the police or a counterprotest from government supporters.

Another element to look for in protest organization is the unity of message. Using the same slogans and carrying mass-produced signs, especially if the protesters are in multiple cities, shows a level of unity that indicates a single organizer, whether that be an individual or a committee. The centralization of a protest movement is key because it means better coordination and swifter decision-making in response to obstacles. And later on, if the protest movement is successful, there is an individual or small group of individuals who can exploit the power generated by the protest movement for political gains.

The level of discipline shown by the members is another important indicator of a movement's organization. It is absolutely critical that a protest movement maintain the moral high ground; otherwise it is too easy for their opponents to smear the protesters as thieves, thugs or hooligans. Once protest movements number in the tens or hundreds of thousands it is impossible for organizers to enforce discipline themselves. However, organizers can recognize the importance of discipline and instill a zero-violence rule across the movement, while relying on grassroots security efforts to enforce it.

Protest movements become successful when large groups of people gather, yet abstain from the obvious power they have to loot, steal or commit other crimes in the chaos of street protests. That abstention shows discipline, and discipline indicates control over what is effectively a civilian army.

Perceptions

In the beginning, protest organizers must overcome the authorities' attempts to disperse the movement as well as the movement's initial lack of legitimacy. Protest movements typically start small and represent a fringe opinion. In order to increase the movement's numbers, organizers have to convince others that their interests are best pursued through protest. One way to do this is to make the smaller demonstrations appear larger in order to convince people that the protests represent the interest of more of a majority.

Protest movements often frame their demonstrations to make them appear larger. If a protest only has a few hundred people, it will look small and insignificant huddled in the middle of a massive central square. It will look much more formidable walking down a narrow, winding street that conceals the length of their procession and amplifies their noise. This doesn't mean that protest movements demonstrating on narrow, winding streets are necessarily small, but if they are, it is likely someone skillfully picked an appropriate venue for their demonstration. Knowing when and where to demonstrate indicates the sophistication of a protest movement.

Many times, the availability of imagery of a protest indicates how media savvy a protest movement is. A sophisticated movement will alert the media ahead of a demonstration to ensure it is broadcast -- more sophisticated movements will make sure to provide symbolic images for the media to disperse. A good example of this is when Iranian students breached the perimeter of the British Embassy in Tehran in November 2011. Dozens of journalists and cameramen (many with pre-positioned tripods) were on hand to record the symbolic moment. In that case, the actual breach did not cause much damage, but the degree to which Iranian authorities flaunted their disregard for embassy security eventually led to the British abandoning the mission. Imagery of protest scenes is crucial to analysis of a protest; if the scenes are set up well, it's likely someone organized it that way to ensure the message got out.

Perception becomes reality when fear of the regime evaporates. Despotic regimes rule through fear, and when demonstrators lose their fear of the regime and begin to realize that they have power to make changes, the protests often can make some quick progress -- as seen with the rapid fall of former Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu in 1989. However, this loss of fear does not always guarantee success; the government sometimes can drastically increase violence to counter protesters' lack of fear -- as seen in Tiananmen Square in 1989. In the Syrian uprising in 1982, fear of the regime never evaporated, and the movement was quickly and firmly put down in a few weeks. In the Syrian opposition's current iteration, the fear of the regime has been broken, and the movement has persisted for more than a year.

Pillars of the State

Once the tactics of a protest movement have been assessed as organized and sophisticated, it's time to assess strategic weaknesses of the state that the movement can attack. Governments rule by controlling key pillars of society, through which they exercise authority over the population. These pillars include security forces (police and military), the judicial system, civil services and unions. If the protest movement is trying to overthrow the government and not just extract concessions, the movement will work to undermine the pillars of the state. Removing the support of one or more of these pillars will erode a government's power until it can no longer effectively govern, at which point protest movements can begin assuming institutional control.

It's important then to assess the key pillars of the government that a protest movement is targeting. Stratfor has done this in Syria by identifying the al-Assad clan, Alawite unity, supremacy of the Baath party and control over the military-intelligence apparatus as the key pillars of the Syrian state. The Syrian opposition may employ the most sophisticated tactics possible, but unless those tactics erode one or more of those pillars, the government can continue to exercise power over the state.

Context

Finally, when considering the overall impact of a protest movement, context is crucial. Some states have a higher tolerance for protests than others. Typically, open democratic states tolerate protests more than closed repressive states because security is not as crucial a pillar in open states as it is in closed states. For example, Thailand regularly sees protests with participants numbering in the tens of thousands. Protests have effectively shut down Bangkok and even disrupted the Association of Southeast Asian Nations conference in 2009, but the basic pillars of the state have remained intact.

Meanwhile, the protests that began June 16 in Sudan have numbered only in the hundreds but are grabbing media attention. Due to Sudan's reputation as being repressive, even such small protests could trigger dramatic responses from the state. Thailand has a number of state institutions -- particularly the monarchy -- with which it wields authority, whereas the Sudanese regime relies much more on security and energy revenues to assert its authority. Sudan has less tolerance for even mild threats to either pillar. Stratfor is watching Sudan carefully to see if the protest movement there can survive the ongoing security crackdown.

By understanding how a protest movement works and how well it targets and exploits the weaknesses of the state it is demonstrating against, we can assess how successful movements are likely to be.

НГ В Киеве опасаются переворота в Крыму - Korrespondent.net

16 декабря 2013 | Независимая газета

НГ: В Киеве опасаются переворота в Крыму

Фото: АР

Ситуацию в автономии может взять под контроль Черноморский флот

От итогов запланированного на 17 декабря визита Виктора Януковича в Москву зависит, будет ли реализован сценарий дестабилизации в Крыму.

Об этом НГ заявил член комитета Верховной Рады по вопросам нацбезопасности и обороны, депутат от партии Свобода Юрий Сиротюк. "Если украинская власть не придушит Евромайдан, а позиция Януковича не устроит российскую сторону, то ситуацию в автономии может попытаться взять в свои руки Черноморский флот", - сказал он, - пишет Татьяна Ивженко в российской Независимой газете.

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Радио Свобода: Европа, Майдан и гнев Москвы

Радио Свобода: Европа, Майдан и гнев Москвы

13 декабря 2013, 10:09

Сиротюк сослался на надежные источники в спецслужбах, информацию которых получает профильный парламентский комитет: "На днях в консульстве РФ в Симферополе консул Вячеслав Светличный встретился с руководителем партии Русский блок Геннадием Басовым, главой партии "Русское единство" Сергеем Аксеновым, встреча проходила при участии некоторых народных депутатов от Партии регионов. Обсуждали возможность масштабного антимайдана, ключевым требованием которого будет проведение референдума о государственной независимости Крыма". Депутат отметил, что команда Януковича распорядилась перебросить в Киев украинские воинские части из Крыма: "Там остался Черноморский флот, который именно сейчас собирается подать заявку на проведение военных учений, легенда которых предусматривает, в частности, захват административных зданий".

Лидер Свободы Олег Тягнибок сделал вывод, что готовится сценарий раскола Украины и отделения Крыма. По его сведениям, реализация такого сценария намечена на 23-27 декабря. Тягнибок уточнил, что российская сторона требует от Януковича 17 декабря подписать двустороннее соглашение, которое даст разрешение на перевооружение ЧФ без соблюдения принципа "тип на тип, класс на класс", против чего Киев выступал с 1997 года. "Подписание такого соглашения в корне изменит нынешний баланс сил в Черном море в пользу России, а также даст потенциальную возможность Российской Федерации разместить ядерное вооружение на территории базирования российского флота", - передала слова Тягнибока пресс-служба партии.

Российская сторона требует от Януковича 17 декабря подписать двустороннее соглашение, которое даст разрешение на перевооружение ЧФ без соблюдения принципа "тип на тип, класс на класс", против чего Киев выступал с 1997 года

Ранее Верховная Рада Крыма, большинство в которой составляют депутаты от Партии регионов, дважды обращалась к президенту Украины с требованием навести конституционный порядок в стране. Крымские депутаты призвали главу государства в случае необходимости ввести режим чрезвычайного положения, чтобы не допустить реализации западного сценария. По их мнению, целью евромайдана является хаос в Украине.

Всю прошлую неделю руководство США и ЕС, с одной стороны, и российское руководство - с другой призывали друг друга не вмешиваться во внутренние дела Украины и не давить на украинское руководство. Обе стороны предложили Киеву свои посреднические услуги в урегулировании ситуации. Запад призывает команду Януковича не применять силу к участникам мирных акций, в противном случае грозит санкциями. В пятницу министр иностранных дел РФ Сергей Лавров в телевизионном интервью обнародовал свою точку зрения на ситуацию, назвав евромайдан постановочным. По мнению российского министра, у граждан Украины не было никакого повода для демонстраций из-за того, что власть просто приостановила подготовку к подписанию соглашения с ЕС: "На улицу выходит демонстрация в таких масштабах и с такими ожесточенными лозунгами, как будто страна объявила войну некому миролюбивому государству вопреки воле народа Украины. Это не умещается в рамки нормального человеческого анализа. В том, что за этим стоят провокаторы, сомнений нет".

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ЕЖ: Европа и Майдан

ЕЖ: Европа и Майдан

13 декабря 2013, 12:33

Участников акции в Киеве возмутило заявление Лаврова. Они напомнили, что на демонстрацию в поддержку евроинтеграции вышли 24 ноября около 100 тыс. человек. Когда Янукович на саммите в Вильнюсе не подписал соглашение, масштабных протестов не было. Начались они только после того, как спецподразделение Беркут в ночь на 30 ноября жестоко расправилось с сотнями студентов, собиравшихся утром закрыть так называемый евромайдан и разойтись.

Люди потребовали от власти наказать виновных, выступили против произвола и беззакония. Поскольку эти требования не были удовлетворены, хотя власть признала необоснованность и незаконность действий "Беркута", протестное движение набрало силу. Каждая новая атака на майдан прогнозируемо приводила к радикализации протеста. Вчера на традиционном воскресном народном вече снова собрались сотни тысяч людей. Вече началось с молебна, который провели представители всех церквей и конфессий из разных регионов Украины. На сцене традиционно не было только представителей Московского Патриархата, которые обычно поддерживают украинскую власть и благословляют бойцов спецподразделений перед каждым штурмом. Люди не разошлись, а масштабы акции даже увеличились, хотя в конце прошлой недели власть стала выполнять требования, звучавшие на евромайдане в ноябре.

На улицу выходит демонстрация в таких масштабах и с такими ожесточенными лозунгами, как будто страна объявила войну некому миролюбивому государству вопреки воле народа Украины. Это не умещается в рамки нормального человеческого анализа. В том, что за этим стоят провокаторы, сомнений нет

Сергей Лавров, глава МИД РФ

В четверг вечером правительственная делегация под руководством первого вице-премьера Сергея Арбузова провела переговоры в Брюсселе. По их итогам стороны заявили, что пауза в евроинтеграции отменяется, а соглашение об ассоциации между Украиной и ЕС будет подписано в ближайшее время. Арбузов сказал журналистам, что осталось создать "дорожную карту": "Это рабочий документ, который шаг за шагом будет характеризовать путь наших переговоров. "Дорожная карта" покажет в сроках, в графиках, в конкретных действиях, когда мы придем к подписанию соглашения". Предполагается, что это произойдет на саммите Украина-ЕС в марте.

Еврокомиссар Штефан Фюле, принимавший украинскую делегацию, отметил, что обсуждался вопрос предоставления Украине финансовой помощи для проведения реформ: "Мы не обсуждали конкретную цифру. Мы говорили, что нужно для соглашения об ассоциации, чтобы оно было подписано и имплементировано. Тогда мы предоставим нашу поддержку".

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НГ: В Киеве назвали новую цену евроинтеграции

НГ: В Киеве назвали новую цену евроинтеграции

13 декабря 2013, 11:57

Вчера Штефан Фюле сообщил, что ЕС приостанавливает подготовку к подписанию соглашения с Украиной. По сообщению информагентств, он пояснил: "Слова и действия президента и правительства в отношении соглашения об ассоциации расходятся все глубже и глубже. Их аргументы не имеют никакой связи с реальностью".

Украинская власть попыталась дать ответ и на требование майдана о наказании виновных за зверское избиение мирных граждан. Подозреваемыми по делу о превышении полномочий и преступном приказе Беркуту в ночь на 30 ноября проходят три чиновника: глава киевской горадминистрации Александр Попов, замсекретаря Совета нацбезопасности и обороны Украины Владимир Сивкович, начальник киевской милиции Владимир Коряк. Они были вызваны на допросы в Генпрокуратуру.

Пока одна группа окружения Януковича явно ищет примирения с участниками протестного движения, другая так же явно нацелена на войну. Накануне выходных представители Партии регионов лично участвовали в организации приезда в Киев спецпоездов и десятков автобусов с тысячами людей, которые приняли участие в альтернативном митинге, получившем название антимайдана. Его устроили в субботу на расстоянии всего 200 метров от так называемого евромайдана. Перед собравшимися выступил премьер-министр Николай Азаров. Глава правительства не упоминал о том, что еще летом он восхвалял евроинтеграцию.

Пока одна группа окружения Януковича явно ищет примирения с участниками протестного движения, другая так же явно нацелена на войну

Людей на альтернативном митинге подстрекали к агрессии в отношении расположенного рядом евромайдана. Но в субботу ситуацию спасла инициатива певца Святослава Вакарчука. Он на один вечер собрал первоначальный состав группы Океан Эльзы для концерта на майдане. Послушать группу пришли сотни тысяч людей, а большинство участников антимайдана, отстояв положенное, тоже отправились на концерт. Ни одна сторона не проявила агрессии.

Между тем источники НГ вчера уверяли, что чрезвычайная ситуация могла возникнуть в воскресенье вечером. Кроме сотен тысяч людей на евромайдане и десятков тысяч на антимайдане в Киеве находились несколько тысяч переодетых в штатское спецназовцев, а также спортсмены-провокаторы. Накануне Служба безопасности Украины подтвердила информацию о переведении в режим готовности Антитеррористического центра: "С целью предотвращения возникновения угрозы жизни и здоровью жителей и гостей Киева, подтверждения или опровержения версии об угрозах террористического характера осуществляются мероприятия по проверке анонимных угроз совершить взрывы и устанавливаются правонарушители, выясняются их мотивы".

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МК: Восток и Запад сойдутся в Киеве

МК: Восток и Запад сойдутся в Киеве

13 декабря 2013, 10:58

Лидеры оппозиции заявили, что во власти есть силы, готовящие инсценировку теракта, чтобы под шумок зачистить евромайдан. Один из лидеров оппозиции, Арсений Яценюк, предположил, что в кровавом развитии событий может быть заинтересована Россия, поскольку такой путь отрезал бы команде Януковича путь в ЕС. "Мы предостерегаем всех, кто хочет реализовать такой сценарий. И обращаемся к руководителю внешнеполитического ведомства России и президенту России - проявлять сдержанность и уважение к украинскому народу", - заявил Яценюк со сцены.

Руководитель консалтингового агентства Гардарика Константин Матвиенко сказал НГ: "Россия сейчас действительно ведет против Украины закулисную войну, используя в качестве инструмента некоторых представителей украинской власти". Он отметил раскол в команде президента: "Молодые понимают, что спасти Януковича может только евроинтеграция. На этой стороне и многие олигархи, у которых крепкие бизнес-связи с Западом. Старшее поколение пытается защитить традиционные для них источники доходов - систему коррупции и разваливающееся производство, продукция которого может интересовать только Россию. Оба лагеря поддерживают Януковича - другого кандидата у них нет. Но вопрос в том, в каком статусе президент выйдет из кризиса: будет ли он лидером, который сможет выезжать в ЕС, вести самостоятельную политику, или превратится во второго Лукашенко, а поэтому станет мешать олигархам".

Россия сейчас действительно ведет против Украины закулисную войну, используя в качестве инструмента некоторых представителей украинской власти

Константин Матвиенко, руководитель консалтингового агентства Гардарика

Матвиенко считает, что ни олигархи, ни лидеры оппозиции не управляют протестным движением, олицетворением которого стал евромайдан. Но указывает на проблему: общество не выдвинуло новых лидеров, а представители оппозиции не продемонстрировали сплоченности и не предложили программы действий, которая устраивала бы общество. В таких условиях президентству Януковича до выборов 2015 года ничего не угрожает. "Люди на майдане Независимости не будут стоять вечно. Но они разойдутся, если получат справедливое решение, если ощутят, что стояли не зря, что власть выполнила их требования. Они смогут почувствовать себя победителями, если Янукович все же примет решение об отставке правительства", - сказал эксперт.

Руководитель Института украинской политики Константин Бондаренко согласился: "В сложившейся ситуации Виктору Януковичу нужно принять решение о наказании виновных в бесчинствах "Беркута", а также об отставке правительства во главе с Азаровым, который шарахается из стороны в сторону. Сами готовили соглашение с ЕС, сами парафировали его, утвердив каждое слово своей подписью, а потом сами же остановили процесс подписания документа в последний момент. Сначала Азаров уверял, что документ чрезвычайно выгоден Украине, затем стал говорить, что страшно невыгоден и даже опасен. За свои слова и действия нужно отвечать".

Тревожные сигналы о заминировании объектов (звучавшие на прошлой неделе. - НГ) могут стать реальностью. Не хочется верить в то, что исполнителями таких действий могут стать сотрудники спецслужб Украины

Эксперты отмечают, что этот выход из ситуации действителен до тех пор, пока в Киеве не реализован сценарий терактов и чрезвычайных ситуаций с параллельной силовой зачисткой майдана. Такой вариант развития событий вчера считался весьма вероятным. Руководитель комитета Верховной Рады по вопросам законодательного обеспечения правоохранительной деятельности, депутат от Батькивщины Андрей Кожемякин заявил, что угроза существует в метро, торговых центрах, на майдане Независимости: "Тревожные сигналы о заминировании объектов (звучавшие на прошлой неделе. - НГ) могут стать реальностью. Не хочется верить в то, что исполнителями таких действий могут стать сотрудники спецслужб Украины. Об этом я говорю небезосновательно. Весь цинизм состоит в том, что авторы подобных идей планируют переложить ответственность на оппозицию".

Эксперты отмечают, что если нечто подобное произойдет, то ситуация может стать неконтролируемой и непрогнозируемой: от череды досрочных выборов до раскола страны, межрегионального противостояния и внешнего вмешательства.

***

В рубрике Мир о нас статьи из зарубежных СМИ об Украине публикуются без купюр и изменений. Редакция не несет ответственности за содержание данных материалов.

[Jan 28, 2015] Must watch: Ukrainian Deputy: US to stage a civil war in Ukraine! This was 20.11.2013!! BEFORE Maidan

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9hOl8TuBUM

–––––TRANSCRIPT–––––


Deputy Oleg Tsarov has the word

Honourable Colleagues
Honourable Vladimir Vasiljevitch

In my role as a representative of the Ukrainian people…
…activists of the public organisation "Volya" turned to me…
…providing clear evidence…
…that within our territory…
…with support and direct participation
…of the US Embassy in Kiev…
…the "TechCamp" project is realised…
…under which preparations are being made for a civil war in Ukraine.

The "TechCamp" project prepares specialists for information warfare…
…and the discrediting of state institutions using modern media…
…potential revolutionaries…
…for organising protests…
… and the toppling of the State Order.

The project is currently overseen and under the responsibility…
…of the US ambassador to Ukraine…
…Geoffrey R. Pyatt.

After the conversation with the organisation "Volya"…
… I have learned…
…that they succeeded to access Facilities in the project "TechCamp"…
…disguising as a team of IT specialists.

To their surprise, briefings on peculiarities of modern media were held.

American instructors explained how social networks and Internet technologies…
…can be used for targeted manipulation of public opinion…
…as well as to activate protest potential…
…to provoke violent unrest on the territory of Ukraine…
…Radicalisation of the population and triggering of infighting.

American instructors show examples of successful use of social networks…
…used to organise protests
…in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya.

"TechCamp" representatives currently hold conferences throughout Ukraine.

A total of five events have been held so far.

About 300 people were trained as operatives, which are now active throughout Ukraine.

The last conference "TechCamp" took place on 14 and 15 November 2013…
…in the Heart of Kiev on the territory of the US Embassy!

You tell me which country in the world would allow…
…a NGO to operate out of the ​ US Embassy?

This is disrespectful to the Ukrainian government, and against the Ukrainian People!

I appeal to the Constitutional Authorities of Ukraine with the following question:

Is it conceivable that representatives of the US Embassy…
…which organise the "TechCamp" Conferences…
…misuse their diplomatic mission?

–– Let him speak ––

Carry On

UN Resolution of 21 December 1965 regulates…
…inadmissibility of interference in the internal affairs of a state…
…to protect its independence and its sovereignty…
…in accordance with paragraphs one, two and five.

I ask you to consider this as an official beseech…
…to pursue an investigation of this case
Thank You!

Anonymous:

Ihor Kolomoisky offers $ 1 million to murder Oleg Tsarev

http://www.voltairenet.org/article183839.html

Anonymous:

more on this can be found on US Embassy website
http://ukraine.usembassy.gov/events/techcamp-2013-kyiv.html

MJ:

Just a note on the dates. At the top of the video, it claims to be a year before Maidan. That is incorrect. Maidan started end of November 2013. This video was therefore 10 days before Maidan not a year.

Mats:

Lucky guess.

Putin started it all.

It's those damn Russians who want nothing but Communist domination over the entire planet. They'll do anything in their godless pursuits.

The western press might need some help with covering this story. So I pitched in.

Anonymous:

Greece Begins The Great Pivot Toward Russia
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 01/27/2015 - 21:50

"Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias is due in Brussels on Thursday to discuss possible additional sanctions on Russia over the conflict in Ukraine. Before the cabinet even meets for the first time tomorrow, the Greek government:at it disagreed with an EU statement in which President Donald Tusk raised the prospect of "further restrictive measures" on Russia." The punchline: In recent months, Kotzias wrote on Twitter that sanctions against Russia weren't in Greece's interests. He: a blog that a new foreign policy for Greece should be focused on stopping the ongoing transformation of the EU "into an idiosyncratic empire, under the rule of Germany." And when it comes to the natural adversary of any German imperial ambitions in recent history, Europe has been able to produce only one answer...

woogs:

Ukrinform ran an article on this when it happened. TechCamps were part of Hillary Clinton's Civil Society initiative.

Here's the Ukrinform piece:

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tsariov accuses US Embassy of preparations for inciting civil war in Ukraine Ukrinform

November 20 /Ukrinform/. A member of the Party of Regions faction in parliament, Oleh Tsariov, has sent a deputy's request to the Ukrainian authorities to take measures to stop and prevent representatives of foreign countries from interfering in the internal affairs of Ukraine. He:at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv is promoting preparations for inciting a civil war in Ukraine.

He:is from the parliament's rostrum on Wednesday, the press service of the Party of Regions reported.

"Activists of the Volia public organization addressed me as a people's deputy of Ukraine and provided strong evidence that the TechCamp project is being implemented in our state with the support and direct participation of the U.S. Embassy, as part of which preparations for inciting a civil war in Ukraine are underway. The TechCamp project is aimed at training information war experts and potential revolutionaries to organize protests and overthrow the regime. The project is being implemented under the patronage of U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt," the politician said.

Tsariov:at under the guise of teaching the peculiarities of the use of modern media, U.S. instructors are talking about the use of social networking and Internet technologies for purposeful influence on public opinion and the intensification of the protest potential n order to organize protests and radicalize the struggle for power. "As examples American instructors provided the use of social networks for the organization and management of street riots in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya," he said.

He:at TechCamp graduates are conducting subversive activities in Ukraine, openly recruiting like-minded people on the Internet for organizing riots, protests and provocations, while citing the support of the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine.

Tsariov demanded that law enforcement agencies find out whether representatives of the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv violate the United Nations Declaration on the Inadmissibility of Intervention and Interference in the Internal Affairs of States.

Anonymous:

One more nail in the coffin of Western denial of plotting the coup.We've all known for a year what they did.Its a violation of international law and the UN Charter.But they continue to get away with these crimes.In past ages countries went to war over that type of meddling in their affairs.I firmly believe that was/is the proper response. The Russian FM minister should have privately informed the US that they risked full scale war if they went ahead with their plot.

And put their nuclear force on alert. Only when the Empire is fully aware they risk their own personal deaths will they stop their evil deeds.It must be made 100% clear that they will face annihilation in their homeland itself to stop them and make the world safe.

There is a saying that stands the test of time,"if you want peace, be prepared for war".

Paul II:

This raises the question of what Russia's strategy was for handling the problem? One imagines that they had a plan for protecting the Crimean bases, but is what we have seen over the last year the best that the Kremlin could come up with?

A cynic could make the argument that cynical politicians/oligarchs in the Ukraine and cynical politicians/oligarchs in Russia only saw nationalism as a tool to be used on the suckers, and never imagined what the outcome might be. This is because they have no ideology, and come out of the late stage of the USSR. They only pretend to believe in things.

Anonymous:

To me the most interesting part is the crowd booing Tsarev and trying to shut him up.

This illustrates the holistic approach to subversion of the US. Organising a colour revolution can only happen when you have a presence in the crucial institution, in this case the Rada. It would be surprising if the booing deputies were not US puppets.

Rose-Marie Mukarutabana:

The cells created by those 300 are only waiting for the mot d'ordre to get into action.Biletsky's message may be such an order: "This war cannot be a war of generals and politicians. They already lost their war. This is a war of an armed people."
http://fortruss.blogspot.com/2015/01/azov-commander-freaks-out-calls-war.html

HadEnough:

They had intelligence for the US plans for war in Ukraine back then but we all knew of the AZ's geopolitical plans long before maiden...

Zbigniew Brzezinski, in his book The Grand Chessboard, revealed that to weaken Russia, the US must first control Ukraine.

General Wesley Clark revealed the AZs plans "We're going to take out 7 countries in 5 years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan & Iran" just after the 911 hoax.

In other words, the wars today and of recent times were scripted a long time back even though the MSM are spinning these wars any way they can.

Yes, they blatantly lie to us sheeples because they believe we are idiots, incapable of critical thinking.

Anonymous:

300 operatives in kiev, in nov 2013.

The empire had just been defeated in front of the syrian beaches. And their fleet forced by russia to retreat home without attacking Assad.
Then there was maidan.
There was the explosion of Victoria Nuland´s deepest feelings..remember?
There was the outright outspoken preference for the dear "Yats" to replace the former government.
All the rest is history.

Kevin:

And for trying to save his own country Tsarov is on the run. Disgusting.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oleg_Tsarov

Anonymous:

Back in 2011 Ukrainian nazis have already threatened to attack Donetsk because a court ruled that Bandera is no longer "Hero of Ukraine". The nazi uprising was called "maidan" back then, too. People were afraid that this could lead to a civil war.

"Yesterday near the monument to Bandera was a big rally. All Western Ukraine has risen. I'm afraid, as if all this has not led to civil war"
http://translate.yandex.net/tr-url/ru-en.en/www.segodnya.ua/politics/power/za-banderu-tjahnibokovtsy-hrozjat-forcirovat-dnepr-i-atakovat-donetsk.html

And in 2009 German military circles debated NATO's continued eastward expansion and the partitioning of the Ukraine. Also it was Germany to be first to publicly declare that NATO should expand eastward in 1993.

"As a former advisor in the Amt für Studien und Übungen (Bureau for Research and Training) of the German Bundeswehr writes, the question of expanding the western war alliance to the territory of the Ukraine is still on the table. If this step is taken, "probably only the western Ukraine" will join NATO. The "eastern Ukraine" would "in this case, become independent or a de facto nation like Abkhazia." The author, a lieutenant colonel of the reserves, presented his ideas in a military magazine, embedding them in a retrospective on the entire past twenty years of NATO's eastward expansion. According to the author, a "cordon sanitaire" separating this war alliance from Russia, conceded by the allies of World War II to the Soviet Union, has, for the most part, been absorbed into NATO, essentially crossing every "red line" drawn by Moscow.
...
In March 1993, Bonn's Minister of Defense at the time, Volker Ruehe, was the first to publicly declare that the war alliance should be expanded to include several East European nations, says Brill."
http://german-foreign-policy.com/en/fulltext/56303
http://german-foreign-policy.com/pics/spaltungukrainegross.jpg
Original source:
http://www.bmlv.gv.at/pdf_pool/omz/oemz2009_06.pdf

Mats:

Ukrainian Nationalism, a brief history by South Front.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?x-yt-ts=1422411861&x-yt-cl=84924572&v=ndEaDCQNjbk#t=22

Anonymous:

So? Everyone paying attention already knows this.

When is Russia going to do something? That's the real quesion.

They are completely cornered. Putin is completely immobilized. He does not know what to do.

Those negotiations over Easter Ukraine are completely worthless because that's not the main issue. The main issue is that the West will never accept to have an independent Russia.

So, even if the current Kiev regime was toppled and a pro-Russia government took its place, nothing would be resolved. The west would find something else.

Also, you have to understand that when the west talks about the territorial integrity of Ukraine, they mean that they want Russia to give back Crimea. Anything falling short of that demand will not do.

Finally, all it takes is to visit the Russian media today to see that things are not good. The situation is actually terrible. The fact the Medvedev made those comments about SWIFT is a huge sign of weakness: it shows that Russia is extremely worried about that (by the way, whatever happened to Orlov's "Russians don't threaten, they act" comment... clearly Medvedev's comments prove it's not true).

Also, this new "Crisis Budget" measure is so freaking stupid. They basically advertise to everybody that the western sanctions are working extremely well (despite months of denial by Saker, Orlov and others).

On top of that, they announce that things will get better once the price of oil gets back to $70. How freaking stupid can you be? The west must be laughing so hard. That tells them, "Oh ok, let's keep oil in the 40s for as long as it takes, then."

And don't for a second think they can't do it. There's a reason Obama and a massive U.S. delegation was in Saudi Arabia yesterday.

At this point it would take a miracle for Russia to prevail.

Anonymous:

This is the same guy who was beaten when he ran for the Presidency of Ukraine....

http://rt.com/news/ukraine-presidential-candidates-attacked-516/

Anonymous:

Well, Oleg Tsarov was from the beginning of the crises my favorite guy in the Ukraine!

It's a pitty that he somehow disappeared from the scene...pushed away by the developments (the war).

I was thinking that he would be a perfect person for the leader of Novorussia. Who knows, maybe one day? In a year or two perhaps.

But anyway, going back to the very beginning of the crises, it was clear even then that Americans will prevail. I was reading Kyiv Post from November to the coup (they even attacked my computer with viruses because of my comments I was posting there), and I was in absolute disbelief that such obvious American propaganda-machine can be the leading Ukrainian news-portal or online newspaper... Yanukovich didn't stand a chance! Everything was prepared thoroughly, and Kyiv Post was the main indicator to me about what will happen.

The Wend.

Alien Tech:

The Ukrainian Government's problem is that there just aren't enough nazis, and there's also not enough money, to do the amounts of killing that need to be done in order to enable Obama's Ukrainian regime to retain the land in Donbass while eliminating the people there.

Also on January 26th, the Fort Russ blog bannered, "Azov Commander Freaks Out, Calls the War 'Lost'. Blames Everybody," and reported that, "Ukrainian politicians and generals 'already lost the war,' and 'the West did not help.' That's the core of the statement by Azov punitive [meaning: to 'punish' the residents in the anti-Government region, for their not supporting the Government] battalion commander's, and currently also Rada [Parliament] Deputy's, Andrey Biletsky, in his 'Address to the Nation.'" According to Biletsky, after the fictitious "thousands of supposedly killed enemies and burned out tanks, the wake-up can be very painful," because of disappointment felt from the Government's lies.

The Ukrainian news agency RIAN headlined on January 26th, "Mobilization in Dnipropetrovsk Almost Drowned," and reported, "In Dnipropetrovsk region [which is run by the U.S. White House's friend, the Ukrainian-Swiss-Israeli billionaire Ihor Kolomoysky, whose longstanding personal mercenary army has, alone, more than 5,000 fighters], thousands of men are hiding from the draft. Enforcement officers recognize that accomplishing their task will be very difficult." More than 2,000 people there who were drafted "did not show up, they evaporated."

Consequently, the Government is dragooning-in, or "ambushing" (as the article says), virtually anyone who seeks help from the Government, "mobilizing the unemployed" and other "desperate" people. "Military enlistment offices complain" that some draftees are too sick to be able to fight at all.

Whereas Ukrainian conscript soldiers are not eager to risk their lives in order to impose the current Ukrainian Government (which had resulted from Obama's coup in Ukraine in February 2014), upon the residents in Ukraine's Donbass region, which had voted 90% for the man whom Obama overthrew, the residents who still survive there are very eager not to allow this new regime to kill them; and, so, the motivation on the part of the people whom Obama's forces are trying to kill, is vastly higher than is the motivation on the part of conscript troops, from the rest of Ukraine, to kill them. The only troops who are that eager to kill them are supporters of Ukraine's two nazi (or racist-fascist) parties, the "Freedom" (renamed by the CIA from their former "Social Nationalist") and the Right Sector, Parties. Those parties have always gotten only a small percentage of the popular vote in Ukraine, though Obama's people have placed them into power. Once in power, they passed laws to lock-in that power.

And that's the real reason why Obama's war in Ukraine is failing: there's just not enough blood-lust for the task, either in Ukraine, or in "the West."

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2015/01/ukraines-government-losing-war.html

woogs:

Would you take the word of a two time medal of honor winner?

~~~~~~~~~~

-- Excerpt from a speech delivered in 1933, by Major General Smedley Butler, USMC.

War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.

I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we'll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.

I wouldn't go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.

There isn't a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its "finger men" to point out enemies, its "muscle men" to destroy enemies, its "brain men" to plan war preparations, and a "Big Boss" Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.

It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty- three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

GrandmaR:

Read all about it. Here's the "story." Find Ukraine at the wiki tab.

http://techcampglobal.org/learn-about-techcamp.php

Anonymous:

And in 2009 German military circles debated NATO's continued eastward expansion and the partitioning of the Ukraine. Also it was Germany to be first to publicly declare that NATO should expand eastward in 1993.

"As a former advisor in the Amt für Studien und Übungen (Bureau for Research and Training) of the German Bundeswehr writes, the question of expanding the western war alliance to the territory of the Ukraine is still on the table. If this step is taken, "probably only the western Ukraine" will join NATO. The "eastern Ukraine" would "in this case, become independent or a de facto nation like Abkhazia." The author, a lieutenant colonel of the reserves, presented his ideas in a military magazine, embedding them in a retrospective on the entire past twenty years of NATO's eastward expansion. According to the author, a "cordon sanitaire" separating this war alliance from Russia, conceded by the allies of World War II to the Soviet Union, has, for the most part, been absorbed into NATO, essentially crossing every "red line" drawn by Moscow."

Thank you for this. This is what I talked about before (but lost the link to). NATO has gamed for and known since 2009 Ukraine would break up under pressure. And from the maps, they even figured out the right areas (Novorossia in full). All this talk of them sending troops is only trash talking. They knew it would happen. Once its complete they will accept it (with bad grace,certainly). Novorossia just needs to be liberated to end this crisis. Because right now is the scramble for territory. Whoever holds what areas of the former Ukraine will be decided this year.

Uncle Bob

Anonymous:

Additional details about mercenaries in Ukraina:
http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.ca/2015/01/email-from-us-special-forces-veteran.html

Anonymous:

The disruptions one hears in the background of the speech remind of tactics used by the nazi party in the Reichstag to disrupt legislative proceeding. This was bef H. gained full power and when the nazis were still in a minority. Works great...

elsi:

trailer of the documentary Maidan Sergei Loznitsa, I endured yesterday.
See for yourselves. A real propaganda pamphlet.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSv0Ug4G0UA

P.S: Guys, someone, Russian or Ucrainian can provide me the title of the funeral song that you can hear a littel at the end? Yesterday, whnw was going on the soundtrack in the credits I was talking to a gentleman on the "curious presentation" and the absence of discussion.

The nd with this lovely funeral song is the best on this documentary, and evokes the disaster and destruction that has taken the Ukrainian people.

More than "Maidan", should carry the most appropiate title of "Funeral song for The Ukraine"

donald eugene1

This is more evidence of the US gov'ts destabilization efforts towards a NWO. Those behind the curtains pulling the strings of world leaders are getting excited because they are close to their goals of world domination. These societies of the elite have been planning this for hundreds of years now, if not thousands. It makes me wonder where they get this power of deception? Could it be demonic? I am American, and yes, we are deceived by MSM and our leaders, but, not all of us.

And most of you that live in the East know what's going on. I ask again, are these global elite people using some kind of supernatural deception power given to them by Satan? Do they worship him? And do they do rituals of human sacrifice?

John Brown

Ukrainian ultra-nationalist Right Sector activists and drunk mob beating up Presidential Candidate Oleg Tsarev at the exit from ICTV studio in Kiev on Monday, April 14, 2014. He was transfered to a hospital afterwards. Sponsored by Kholomoisky.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvzvzpn13Ig

M vD

Proof. And Putin was supposed to allow the AMERICANS to get covert control over CRIMEA ? And the ONLY RUSSIAN warm water port ? 

Mandems96

The whole world should see this

Ukriane libya syria Egypt all a planned coup

It'd funny how when the western backed muslim brotherhood were kicked out of Egypt they stopped all of s a sudden funding them.

Stop arming terrorists usa uk saudi turkey Qatar nato france 

bdiscer88

All the chanters in the back are mentally ill sociopaths.

If a normal person sees someone is going to speak on a subject they have no interest in or don't agree with, they simply don't go to it. If a sociopath sees the same thing they feel they are entitled to try and stop it from happening. This displays several of the delusions from which sociopaths suffer.

Namely delusions of importance, superiority, expertise and authority. They falsely believe their opinions are more valid than anyone else's and they have the right to dictate the behavior of others.



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