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Slightly Skeptical EuroMaidan Chronicles, February 2014

Nulandgate, SniperGate, Kiev putch

News From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss Color revolutions EU-brokered agreement on ending crisis Compradors Ukrainian Compradors The Far Right Forces in Ukraine Democracy as a universal opener for access to natural resources
Galicia -- Ukraninan Benhazi Revolt of diplomats Nulangate: Queen of " Khaganate of Nuland" appoints new prime minister EU-brokered agreement on ending crisis Provisional government and Presidential Elections in Ukraine Ukraine's oligarchs Russian Jokes about Neoliberal Fifth Column and Color Revolutions Etc

According to the former interior Minister of Ukraine Viktor Zakharchenko a strong flow of  imported weapons, cash and drugs hit Kiev's Independence square during the winter of the last year. In his interview in Sevastopol he said:. ( http://versii.com/news/320006  )

"First there were calls bring weapons from home. Then we got the information that Maidan has received weapons from abroad: automatic pistols. then there was a mass capture of police stations and warehouses in Western Ukraine and this flow of weapon dramatically increased. Then from the scene on the Independence Square we started to hear the calls shoot police" said Zakharchenko

According to him, Ukrainian law enforcement began to study this information, but did not manage to document the facts and implement operational measures, but all those efforts were overturned when Kiev putsch succeeded.

"Weapons went through the Black sea and Moldova. We knew the people who imported and distributed them. But we could not detain them. Because guns are distributed via hidden channels that police did not control. Presence of police operatives on Maidan was very limited. There were cases when covert police operatives were detained and tortured" said Zakharchenko.

The former Minister also said that there was massive flow of amphetamine to Maidan.  A supplies typically came from European countries. Persons who were doing it were officially doing medical business and private security.

"Everyone who threw Molotov cocktails at police, knew that it is a criminal offence. These young people were given a tablet for courage", a powerful substance, and then they throw this Molotov cocktail at police.  Later they were explained that now they can get prison term up to 15 years and the he is now ties to the success of the protests," said Zakharchenko.

The second Ukrainian color revolution succeeded in Ukraine on February 22, via armed putsch driven by far right and ultranationalist squads. Yanukovich fled the county.

First of all on it is important to understand that on February 22 in Ukraine, like it or not, occurred armed coup d'état supported by the USA. My impression is that they launched the coup specifically to destroy EU brokered agreement to end the crisis which was achieved one day earlier. But it can be that armed gangs just fled the vacuum as law enforcement melted away completely demoralized by Yanukovich betrayal and capitulation (which was the essence of the agreement he signed). Yanukovich wanted to preserve his ill gotten gains and as such was just another puppet in the hands of both EU ambassadors and Washington Obcom. Only excessive greed and complete lack of the sense of political reality can explain his capitulation. He is lucky to stay alive and out of jail.

But as the USA exercised tight control over the opposition to the extent that leaders were in constant contact with the embassy I doubt the such move could be unleashed without the USA blessing. They also controlled Nalivaychenko as that means indirectly Yarosh, the Napoleonic commander of the Right Sector. For some reason they did not like the EU deal (and that antimony toward EU trying to play its own role was the meaning of famous "f*ck EU" comment by Victoria Nuland ).

If the events of February 20-22 can be considered to be a "revolution" it is a "color revolution" with elements of "Arab spring." (with Galicia militants playing the role of Muslim Brotherhood). Or like evil people say it was the "orange revolution " which due to its age eventually darkened and turned brown .

In any case agreement dated 21 February, reached through the mediation of France, Germany and Poland ( informal long-term " Group of Friends of Ukraine") was broken due to the actions of the opposition which leaders signed the agreements. Or was they real leaders or just puppets?

As a result of armed revolt led by right Sector the group of pro-USA politicians exactly in roles outlined by Nuland came to power. The next session of Parliament was urgently held, and was conducted with armed militant present in the building (who for fun beat a couple of Deputies) and which naturally stamped all the Nulandgate candidates into power (tellingly Klitchko did not get any post in the new government, despite being Germany favorite), forming the Provisional Government. Constitutional provisions of removal of legitimate President were not met (neither the necessary number of votes, not the procedural element of impeachment as defined by Ukrainian Constitution) so the legitimacy of the people who came to power was and is based solely on the fact the USA recognized them as a legitimate government and the USA of course know better. It was also instantly recognized by major Western powers including the EU nations.

But the fact that they were unable (or unwilling) to follow the constitutional procedure of removal of Yanukovich from power and Yanukovich himself managed to escape hunt them ever since. First of all they were not recognized as a legitimate government by a large part of army personnel, which remain neutral and that forced the urgently create out of Western Ukrainian militants the National Guard, which is the only (and even here conditionally) loyan to junta. So in a way junta became hostage of Right sector. See Broken February 21 accord is a Sword of Damocles over heads of "Provisional Government"

Radical nationalist forces not only exert a strong influence in junta due to the fact that they along with the part of SBU represent the only loyal military organization in junta disposal, they also managed to get several positions including key position of Secretary of National Security Council which went to well known person from Yushchenko government, the former chief of SBU who was under investigation for treason during Yanukovich time in office, "American's Valik" Valintin Nalivaychenko.

The initial mode was triumphant and they misgauged the mood of Eastern Regions and were too quick to start enforcing their far right agenda. Two of their first major legislative initiates were:

  1. Removal of so called "the Language Law" which gave Russian the status of official language in regions where more then 10% of population speak Russian
  2. Removal of the law that make it illegal to display Nazi symbols in public.

.For exact chronology of EuroMaidan events see Wikipedia. What is highly suspicious that the main events took place during Sochi Olympics do during the time were Russian hands were in a way tied.

It's quite disturbing, if not sinister, how the USA pushed for the coup using Ukrainian far right groups. And this role of the USA is now well established and is known to many people in the world. Look for example at  the following comment in Guardian: 

Danish5666  -> ArundelXVI,  16 August 2014 7:47am

Yes let us forget EU and the US involvement in creating this Ukrainian crisis, like the "investment" of 5 billion dollars according to estimate by US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland all the while she had cookies for the demonstrators on Maidan, and not to mention her infamous phone conversation spelling out who would be in the new government.

The political crisis in Ukraine reached a boiling point Feb. 20-22 as the demonstrations turned increasingly violent and the death toll among police and protesters mounted. On Feb. 21, three European foreign ministers reached an agreement with Yanukovych in which he agreed to limit his powers and accept early elections to vote him out of office. He also pulled back the police, as Vice President Joe Biden had demanded.

At that point, however, well-trained neo-Nazi militias – organized in brigades of 100 – took the offensive, seizing government buildings and forcing Yanukovych’s officials to flee for their lives. Instead of trying to enforce the Feb. 21 agreement, which would have safeguarded Ukraine’s constitutional process, the U.S. State Department cheered the unlawful ouster of Yanukovych and quickly recognized the coup regime as “legitimate.”

The Feb. 22 coup set in motion a train of other events as “ethnically pure” Ukrainians in the west were pitted against ethnic Russians in the east and south. The crisis grew bloodier as the ethnic Russians resisted what they regarded as an illegitimate regime in Kiev.

Meanwhile, the U.S. mainstream press – always enthralled to the neocons – pushed a false narrative about Ukraine that put nearly all the blame on Putin, though he clearly was reacting to provocations instigated by the West, not the other way around.

As a result the EU empire spread Eastwards:  Ukraine became another source of cheap labor for EU and new market for Garman goods.  Cheap labor, cheap agricultural land to be bought up by western multinationals, cheap urban sites for building supermarkets and McDonalds, a warm sunny coastline ripe for apartment complexes, mafia already in place: sounds perfect for western expansion. At the same time (The Guardian, Feb 2, 2014)

Viktor Yurchenko -> Streatham

03 February 2014 3:24pm

The only interest the EU capitalist leaders have in the Ukraine is another source of cheap labour...

I am really scared :)))

What Ukrainians are having now? - cheap labour, brutal police, corrupted courts, oligarchical government and the president who has been twice condemned. So, what we can loose? NOTHING.

Aborigen -> Viktor Yurchenko

04 February 2014 9:37am

But what did you have before Yanukovitch being elected ? - cheap labor, brutal police, corruptive courts, oligarchical government and good-for-nothing puppet-President.
So, right you are. You have nothing to loose...excepts the State. And you have nothing to win (just to have present "pool of oligarchs" back to pervious one). Go ahead !

And in an almost entirely opposite direction a significant proportion of the population of "the low-wage" xUSSR countries of Eastern Europe continues to spread westwards.

Pera Zdera -> Biffinsbridge

05 February 2014 2:35pm

come to Eastern European country, live there for a while, taste that western colonialism (capitalism as you've put it..)
 

February events at a glance

This color revolution was the event very similar in cast of producers and major players  to Orange revolution. While it was more violent coup d'état, similarities with Orange Revolution are abundant including Western money and political influence (used for neutralization of Ukrainian law enforcement and bribing some political figures to became a turn-coats). And to power came the same forces as after Orange Revolution: an alliance of Yulia Timoshenko Batrkivshchina and Western Ukrainian far right groups (including Svoboda party and Right Sector). 

As one commenter in The Guardian put it:

FrankLondon1975 -> SeattleSeahawks

17 April 2014 7:44pm

Myself and many others believe that the overthrow of the Ukraine government (however bad they were) was a carefully calculated plan by Western powers (and their nefarious "security" agencies) with the intention of increasing NATOs sphere of influence and further isolating/weakening Russia.

It's NATO who have been advancing east towards Russia and setting up missile defence shields in the bordering countries. Russia has simply had enough and Ukraine (with its Russian roots) appears to be their 'red line'.

A political union of Western Ukraine Nationalists, far right from all regions of Ukraine (including football ultras) and Dnepropetrovsk oligarchs (Yushchenko clan) came to power  ousting Donetsk clan which was represented by Yanukovich government. Western Nationalist paramilitary organization is football ultras hardened with clashes with the police formed the core of "gladiators of non-violent struggle" which were thrown against pro-Western and corrupt Yanukovich government (although it was less corrupt the previous Orange Revolution government with Gas Princess Timoshenko at the helm).

This was an easy task as Ukraine did not have a law Foreign Agents Registration Act  and Western NGO have free hands in the country for a long time. Due to legacy of Yushchenko government there were also substantial fifth column within law enforcement, especially within SBU.

This event was essentially unnecessary and was unleashed due to greed and incompetence of Western politicians, especially in EU, who did not throw Ukraine which was on the brink of financial collapse a lifeline of 15 billion dollars which it desperately needed. Then Putin did this is the button was pushed to launch EuroMaidan, which initially was planned as event for Presidential election of 2015 and was already in early stages of preparation. They improvised as events unfold with snipergate as the crescendo of this improvisation

Inside Ukraine this was a struggle for power of two major oligarch clans. In geopolitical context it was the USA attempt to weaken and isolate Russia (task in which they spectacularly succeeded at the expense of Ukrainian people)

EuroMaidan events fits the framework of  color revolution specifically designed to implement further push of neoliberalism in the xUSSR space and cornering of Russia. So by-and large it is part of larger geopolitical games. And the real driving force behind the events is not Ukrainian people. It is foreign powers and first of all the USA and several of its EU allies such as Poland Sweden and Lithuania.

In other words events in Ukraine are far from back and white picture presented in Western MSM and the role of Russia in them is secondary and it played mostly the reactive not proactive role. It played defense not offence.

Again, I would like to stress that Ukraine is the county in which organizing a color revolution is no-brainer -- Ukraine is a split country, much like Libya. Four provinces of Western Ukraine can be collectively viewed as Ukrainian Benghazi and they played the role very similar to the role of Benghazi in Libya revolution: they provided the muscle behind the protests. Historically Western Ukraine sided with Germans in the WWII and it carry within itself pretty strong neo-Nazi movement ("Ukraine uber alles" type of movement) which existed all the time since WWII and was grown dramatically under the Presidency of Yushchenko, who can to the power as a result of another color revolution -- Orange Spring.

Western MSM (with few exceptions) completely ignore the decisive role of far right militia from Western Ukraine (so called Right Sector) in EuroMaidan events. And they stubbornly called "peaceful protestors" people who throw Molotov cocktails at police. Which is a trick from Newspeak playbook of Orwell's 1984.

With time it becomes more clear that  EuroMaidan was conceived and organized the same set of players as Orange revolution. All these players were trying  to bake the same product which is an easy task in completely unprotected from foreign involvement oligarchic Ukrainian state.

All they need is to play on contradictions west and east of the country , the presence of huge pool of unemployed young people, mostly from Western Ukrainian far right groups .

While all those technologies West already used in "Orange revolution", the final part,   "arm apprising part" with "sniper gate" as the peak of "non-violent struggle" was polished during series of recent color revolutions in the  Middle East.  Leaflets for armed protested were actually a copy of the same from Arab string. This is a documented fact.

The power Ukrainian state to fight back was reduced by buying some key figures in administration (and opposition) and providing pressure on oligarchs to "behave".

Existing social problem is neoliberal state (and Ukraine is typical vassal neoliberal state)  were used groups to aggravate the situation and "dollar bombing" was used to recruit and maintain army of "graduators of non-violent struggle" from mostly Western part of Ukrainian but with notable present of football extremist gangs from the East and South.

They also exploited deep divisions in the power structures,  Verkhovna Rada (Parliament), and the president administration. Some close to Yanukovich people betrayed him not without help of corresponding Western structures, much like in events in Iraq, Libya and Syria.

But the project produced understandable "blowback" in a form of political awakening of Eastern and Southern part of Ukraine which no longer want to live under the cultural and political occupation of Western Ukraine.

Another problem is the West in in particular the USA behavior violated the international law, so their complains about actions of other now look completely hypocritical to the majority people on the globe. In other world they lost moral advantage. distorted perception of the situation by the European community. Despite all efforts of propaganda people started gradually realize what is happening.

Also the result they got in Ukraine will not a desired result. Instead of nice and promising for further exploitation trophies they got economically  devastated country, the country in deep economic crisis. And now the country really need a lot of money to avoid bankruptcy.

No accident today in Brussels started to look at the situation differently then the USA.

Yanukovish went to exile in Rostov-on-don (Russia). Justin Raimondo  provided a good summary of Coup in Kiev

Antiwar.com

Ukraine is exploding, and the force of the eruption may plunge not only the country but also Europe and the US into an abyss out of which there is no easy extrication.

First, a primer for those who have missed the rapidly escalating events of the past few days: mobs of protesters have taken over Kiev and the government of Viktor Yanukovich has been effectively overthrown. Impeached by the Parliament, and opposed now even by members of his Party of Regions, Yanukovich has fled the presidential palace for parts unknown (probably to his home town of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, near the Russian border). The police and all signs of organized authority have simply disappeared from the streets of the city: armed bands dressed in medieval armor, carrying bats, crowbars, and sometimes guns roam the streets, dispensing victor’s "justice" to anyone perceived as a Yanukovich supporter.

It’s a coup d’etat, pure and simple, the violent overthrow of a duly elected official, and it is being hailed not only by that champion of "democracy," the United States government, but also by our clearly biased media, which is using this as a bludgeon to beat the hated Vladimir Putin – the latest in a series of overseas villains, second only to Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro.

The Western media can hardly contain its collective glee: "journalists" eagerly tweeted a photo of a golden toilet supposedly found on the grounds of Yanukovich’s looted estate.

The photo is a fake: it has nothing to do with the fallen Ukrainian leader. The quickness – and carelessness – with which the photo was seized on by members of the Fourth Estate speaks volumes about their biases and their willingness to jump on any bandwagon so long as its being propelled by their bosses friends in Washington.

It would be easy to dismiss the protesters as pawns in just another of a long line of US-sponsored "color revolutions" aimed at the states of the former Soviet Union – and Putin, Washington’s chief antagonist in the international arena. After all, evidence of direct financial and political support to the Ukrainian opposition is a matter of public record, and there is no doubt more we don’t know about.

Yet no one can deny the Ukrainian people have suffered under competing gangs of outright thieves: politicians who are merely extensions of this or that "oligarch," i.e. the post-Communist elite who looted "public" industries under the guise of a phony "privatization." The best example is the most well-known: Yulia Tymoshenko, who stood on the stage at the Maiden and hailed the victory of the glorious "revolution."

Formerly known as the "Gas Princess," the canny Tymoshenko was an unindicted co-conspirator in a corruption trial held here in the US, where the feds locked up Pavel Lazarenko, former Ukrainian Prime Minister, for embezzling $200,000,000 – that’s two-hundred million dollars! – from the Ukrainian government. His tenure was marked by a very close political and business relationship with Ms. Tymoshenko, who ran United Energy Systems of Ukraine, a state monopoly. Lazarenko was determined to crush his enemies, the oligarchs headquartered in Donetsk – Yanukovich’s home town – and Ukrainian prosecutors built a case against the former Prime Minister and Tymoshenko, who were accused of arranging the 1996 murders of Donetsk businessmen Yevhen Shcherban and Alexander Momot. Tymoshenko was jailed for corruption, and her release – one of the demands of the US/EU, who elevated her to the status of a "political prisoner" – is now being hailed as the beginning of a new era for the country.

Yes indeed, a new chapter in the long-running story of Ukraine as one of the most corrupt countries on earth.

So how did a thieving dicey oligarch make her way to the head of an insurrection against corruption? Listen to the infamous tape of US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland, where she cursed out the European Union for its timidity in stage-managing the opposition leadership: she told the US ambassador that Vitali Klitschko, the champion boxer and head of the UDAR ("Punch") party is too combative to be able to get along with the State Department’s chosen candidate, former Prime Minister and head of the National Bank Arseniy Yatsenyuk – who heads up Tymoshenko’s party, known as "Fatherland."

This stage-managing illustrates the essential principle that must inform our understanding of the Ukrainian events: the role of the United States government in this affair is utterly pernicious. While funding and encouraging the Ukrainian people to rise up against a gang of kleptocrats, Washington plots behind the scenes to install their own favored thieves in power. But that is only the beginning of the Obama administration’s crimes.

The larger game being played here is a geopolitical one, with Ukraine in the role of a pawn. As Reuters reports, Washington has already raised the stakes to the level of a military crisis:

"The United States and European allies warned Russia not to send forces into Ukraine on Sunday as rival neighbors east and west of the former Soviet republic said a power vacuum in Kiev must not let the country break apart….

"Scuffles in Russian-speaking Crimea and some eastern cities between supporters of the new, pro-EU order in Kiev and those anxious to stay close to Moscow revived fears of separatism that a week earlier were focused on the west, where Ukrainian nationalists had disowned Yanukovich and proclaimed self-rule.

"President Barack Obama’s national security adviser, Susan Rice, was asked on U.S. television about the possibility of Russia sending troops to Ukraine, which President Vladimir Putin had hoped Yanukovich would keep closely allied to Moscow.

"’That would be a grave mistake,’ Rice said. ‘It’s not in the interests of Ukraine or of Russia or of Europe or the United States to see a country split. It’s in nobody’s interest to see violence return and the situation escalate.’"

It’s the old familiar cold war propaganda, updated to be sure but all the more tired for that: The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming! The fantasy life of a national security advisor is apparently a rich one, but Ms. Rice is playing with fire here – and plenty of people stand to be burnt in the ensuing conflagration.

Those reports of "scuffles" in Crimea are particularly ominous, for this is the site of the Russian fleet stationed at Sevastopol, as well as the heart of the Russian-speaking Cossack population. As Kiev burned, Crimeans rallied in their tens of thousands calling for unity with Russia.

Rice is completely wrong: the present borders of Ukraine no more represent a real nation than do the borders of African states set by nineteenth century European colonialists. The boundaries of the "Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic" were established by Lenin and Stalin, and included a preponderance of Russian-speakers in order to quash any remnants of nationalist sentiment. The great irony here is that Washington and the Ukrainian protest leaders are holding up this arrangement as somehow sacrosanct.

Take a look at this ethno-linguistic map of Ukraine: now take a look at this map of the last election results in which Yanukovich was the winner. As Max Fisher, formerly foreign policy writer at the Washington Post, puts it: this juxtaposition does much to explain Ukraine’s protest movement.

The Western half of Ukraine speaks Ukrainian, and yearns to be part of Europe: thus the amazing spectacle of mass demonstrations in favor of a treaty with the EU, which was rejected by Yanukovich. The sight must have been a great relief – and surprise – to the Euro-crats, who are used to demonstrations against them, as in Greece. Bankrupt Ukraine would be another Greece times ten, and it’s unlikely they’d be admitted (although NATO might find them quite useful). Pro-EU sentiment is purely symbolic of the underlying nationalist impulse driving the protesters: it has little to do with sympathy for the bureaucrats of Brussels and everything to do with the fact that the EU is not Russia.

Rice is utterly wrong about it being in "nobody’s interest" to "see a country split." What about Czechoslovakia? That divorce, which established a Czech Republic entirely separate from the nation of Slovakia, was amicable: there was no violence. The same outcome is possible in Ukraine – if only Washington and its Ukrainian sock-puppets would permit it.

The US favors separatism when it serves Washington’s geopolitical goals, Kosovo being the outstanding example. Yet when Putin attempted to apply the same principle of national self-determination to Abkhazia – a former province of the republic of Georgia that voted in a plebiscite to merge with Russia – the Americans denounced it as "Russian aggression." Hypocrisy doesn’t even begin to describe the brazen cynicism of US policy in this regard.

As I wrote two weeks ago:

"What’s happening today in Ukraine is a replay of an old struggle that cannot be resolved except by the partition of the country, which is not a real nation but merely an administrative unit of the old Soviet Union. This article explains the cultural divide well: the truth is that Russian is the language of choice in Ukraine, and as far as the Internet is concerned, Ukrainian language sites come in third behind Russian and English."

Putin could outwit the regime-changers by proposing a plebiscite in which the Crimean people and other Russian-speakers could choose to go their own way – and make Western leaders look like the warmongering cold warriors they are. Civil war – and a confrontation between Russia and the US/EU – in "nobody’s interest," as Ms. Rice would put it. Yet that is precisely what American insistence on the "unity" of Ukraine will lead to.

The costs to Putin if he "loses" Ukraine to the West are going to be steep. While Western media depict the Russian leader as some kind of ultra-nationalist maniac intent on "revanchist" dreams of rebuilding the old Russian Empire, in the context of Russian politics he is a relative moderate. There are real ultra-nationalist forces that would come down on him like a ton of bricks if the historic land of the Cossacks was "lost" to the anti-Russian EU and their American allies. Indeed, two of the most visible anti-Putin "dissidents" – Alexei Navalny and Eduard Limonov (of the fascistic National Bolshevik Party) – are rabid nationalists who make Putin look like the kind of liberal who listens to NPR and strongly favors Birkenstocks. Naturally these two are celebrated by the Western media, who don’t care to look too closely at whom they are lionizing.

The same goes for the "dissidents" who have taken over Kiev: many of these "heroes" – as Tymoshenko calls them – are militant neo-Nazis, with several shades of ultra-nationalists well-represented. There is Svoboda, formerly known as the "Social National" party, which idolizes World War II Nazi-collaborator Stepan Bandera, who fought on the side of Hitler’s SS against the Red Army. The leader of Svoboda was once expelled from Parliament for calling pro-Russian leaders agents of "Moscow’s Jewish Mafia." Then there is the "Right Sector," a gang of football hooligans which is openly fascist and has been used as the "muscle" of the movement as the insurrectionists took over public buildings and fought the police in the streets.

Another good summary  Debate Is Ukraine’s Opposition a Democratic Movement or a Force of Right-Wing Extremism Democracy Now! (Feb 22, 2014)

Compare with 'I'll be fighting Jews and Russians till I die' Ukrainian right-wing militants aiming for power

... ... ...

STEPHEN COHEN: Well, it’s not what Anton said. Where to begin? Can we begin at the beginning? What’s happening in Ukraine, what’s been unfolding since November in the streets, is probably the single most important international story underway today. It may impact for a very long time the geopolitics of Europe, Russia, American-Russian relations, and a lot more. At the same time, media coverage of this story, particularly in the United States, has been exceedingly misleading, very close to what Anton just told you. I would characterize Anton’s characterization, to be as polite as I can, as half-true. But a half-truth is an untruth.

The realities are, there is no "the Ukraine." All this talk about Ukraine is on the front line of democracy—there are at least two Ukraines. One tilts toward Poland and Lithuania, the West, the European Union; the other toward Russia. This is not my notion. This is what every public opinion poll has told us since this crisis unfolded, that about 40 percent of Ukrainians want to go west, 40 percent want to stay with Russia, and, as usually true in these polls, 20 percent just don’t know or they’re not sure.

Who precipitated this crisis? It was the European Union, in this sense. It gave the Ukrainian government, which, by the way, is a democratically elected government—if you overthrow this government, just like they overthrew Morsi in Egypt, you’re dealing a serious blow to democracy. So if the crowd manages to essentially carry out a coup d’état from the streets, that’s what democracy is not about. But here’s what the European Union did back in November. It told the government of Ukraine, "If you want to sign an economic relationship with us, you cannot sign one with Russia." Why not? Putin has said, "Why don’t the three of us have an arrangement? We’ll help Ukraine. The West will help Ukraine." The chancellor of Germany, Merkel, at first thought that was a good idea, but she backed down for various political reasons. So, essentially, Ukraine was given an ultimatum: sign the EU economic agreement or else.

Now, what was that agreement? It would have been an economic catastrophe for Ukraine. I’m not talking about the intellectuals or the people who are well placed, about ordinary Ukrainians. The Ukrainian economy is on the brink of a meltdown. It needed billions of dollars. What did the European Union offer them? The same austerity policies that are ravaging Europe, and nothing more—$600 million. It needed billions and billions.

There’s one other thing. If you read the protocols of the European offer to Ukraine, which has been interpreted in the West as just about civilizational change, escaping Russia, economics, democracy, there is a big clause on military cooperation. In effect, by signing this, Ukraine would have had to abide by NATO’s military policies. What would that mean? That would mean drawing a new Cold War line, which used to be in Berlin, right through the heart of Slavic civilization, on Russia’s borders. So that’s where we’re at to now.

One other point: These right-wing people, whom Anton thinks are not significant, all reports—and I don’t know when he was in Ukraine, maybe it was long ago and things have gone—but the reports that are coming out of Ukraine are the following. One, the moderates—that’s the former heavyweight champion boxer, Vitali Klitschko, and others—have lost control of the street. They’ve asked the people who have been attacking the police with Molotov cocktails, and to vacate the buildings they’ve occupied, to stop. And the street will not stop, partly because—I’d say largely because—the street in Kiev is now controlled by these right-wing extremists. And that extremism has spread to western Ukraine, where these people are occupying government buildings. So, in fact, you have a political civil war underway.

What is the face of these people, this right wing? A, they hate Europe as much as they hate Russia. Their official statement is: Europe is homosexuals, Jews and the decay of the Ukrainian state. They want nothing to do with Europe. They want nothing to do with Russia. I’m talking about this—it’s not a fringe, but this very right-wing thing. What does their political activity include? It includes writing on buildings in western Ukraine, "Jews live here." That’s exactly what the Nazis wrote on the homes of Jews when they occupied Ukraine. A priest who represents part of the political movement in western Ukraine—Putin quoted this, but it doesn’t make it false. It doesn’t make it false; it’s been verified. A western Ukrainian priest said, "We, Ukraine, will not be governed by Negroes, Jews or Russians." So, these people have now come to the fore.

The first victims of any revolution—I don’t know if this is a revolution, but the first victims of any revolution are the moderates. And the moderates have lost control of what they created, helped by the European Union and the American government back in November. And so, now anything is possible, including two Ukraines.

.... ... ...

STEPHEN COHEN: I’ve already responded to what Anton has said. To me, it’s a fundamental misrepresentation, and it raises questions in my mind, though he’s entitled to his political allegiances, who he represents in Ukraine. He is clear where he stands. But even the American media, which deleted this right-wing element for two months, now has gotten worried about it. There was an article in Time magazine, I think the day before yesterday. I think, because I saw it on the Internet, but today’s New York Times, January 30th New York Times editorial, is now worried about these people. So, Anton is not worried about them, for his own reasons, but the plain reality is that the so-called moderates, who are democratic, have lost control of the situation.

And here’s the evidence. The moderate leaders, including Klitschko, the boxer, who wants to be president of Ukraine, entered into a negotiation with Yanukovych, the democratically elected president of Ukraine. And what did he offer them? He offered them a coalition government, which is a traditional democratic solution to such a crisis. He said, "We will give Klitschko and the other Ukrainian democratic leader the prime ministership and the deputy prime ministership." That’s a colossal concession. It’s power sharing. That’s what you do in a crisis. They didn’t accept. Now, they didn’t accept for several reasons.

AMY GOODMAN: The protesters didn’t accept.

STEPHEN COHEN: No, wait a minute. Klitschko and the other democratic leader didn’t accept. One reason, the main reason, is the street wouldn’t accept it. And since both of these guys want to be president, when there’s elections in 2015, if there are elections, they’re not going to go against the street. They’ve become captives of the street. Now, the street, increasingly, is in the control of these right-wingers.

Let me make a point, and it would be interesting to hear what Anton thinks about this. Many young thugs in the street are trying to kill policemen. They’re throwing Molotov cocktails at them. They’re beating them up. Now, the police are brutal also. But name me one democratic country that would allow mobs to attack policemen in the street of a capital city and not crack down? And, in fact, the Ukrainian police haven’t cracked down.

... ... ...

AMY GOODMAN: I want to—I want to get Stephen Cohen’s response to last month Senators John McCain and Christopher Murphy visiting the protesters at their hub in Kiev’s Independence Square and voicing support for their cause.

SEN. CHRISTOPHER MURPHY: We are here to tell you that the American people and the United States Congress stands with the people of Ukraine.

SEN. JOHN McCAIN: I am a Republican. Senator Murphy is a Democrat. We are here together speaking for the American people in solidarity with you.

AMY GOODMAN: Professor Stephen Cohen?

STEPHEN COHEN: Well, that’s Anton’s position. I mean, Anton represents—at least his description of the situation—the mainstream American media political view of what’s going on in Ukraine. And when I say "mainstream," I mean it extends from the right wing in America to MSNBC, to the so-called liberals and progressives, to Bill Maher, who did this on his show the other night. There’s no alternative voice in America, except what I’m trying to say to you today. It’s wrong—it’s wrong factually, it’s wrong in terms of policy—for McCain to go, as he’s done in other countries. He once said, "We’re all Georgians." Now he’s saying, "We’re all Ukrainians." If he understands the situation in Ukraine—and he may not—then he’s being reckless.

But a true understanding of Ukraine begins with the fact that there are at least two Ukraines, two legitimate Ukraines, culturally, politically, ethnically, economically, culturally. This isn’t Putin’s fault. This isn’t Yanukovych, the president of Ukraine’s fault. It’s either God’s fault, or it’s history’s fault. This is what came down through the centuries. The situation has been explosive since the end of the Soviet Union 22 years ago. When Western politicians go there, they’re playing with fire, metaphorically, and now they have real fire.

AMY GOODMAN: Do you think this is about the media’s vilification of Putin?

STEPHEN COHEN: I think that the vilification of Putin in this country, demonization, is the worst press coverage by the American media of Russia that I’ve seen in my 40 years of studying Russia and contributing to the media. It’s simply almost insane. This idea that he’s a thug— and that explains everything, passes for analysis in America today

And another apt analysis from professor Cohen( A New Cold War Ukraine Violence Escalates, Leaked Tape Suggests U.S. Was Plotting Coup)

Feb 20, 2014 | Democracy Now!
... ... ...

STEPHEN COHEN: Where do you want me to begin? I mean, we are watching history being made, but history of the worst kind. That’s what I’m telling my grandchildren: Watch this. What’s happening there, let’s take the big picture, then we can go to the small picture. The big picture is, people are dying in the streets every day. The number 50 is certainly too few. They’re still finding bodies. Ukraine is splitting apart down the middle, because Ukraine is not one country, contrary to what the American media, which speaks about the Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. Historically, ethnically, religiously, culturally, politically, economically, it’s two countries. One half wants to stay close to Russia; the other wants to go West. We now have reliable reports that the anti-government forces in the streets—and there are some very nasty people among them—are seizing weapons in western Ukrainian military bases. So we have clearly the possibility of a civil war.

And the longer-term outcome may be—and I want to emphasize this, because nobody in the United States seems to want to pay attention to it — the outcome may be the construction, the emergence of a new Cold War divide between West and East, not this time, as it was for our generation, in faraway Berlin, but right on the borders of Russia, right through the heart of Slavic civilization. And if that happens, if that’s the new Cold War divide, it’s permanent instability and permanent potential for real war for decades to come. That’s what’s at stake.

One last point, also something that nobody in this country wants to talk about: The Western authorities, who bear some responsibility for what’s happened, and who therefore also have blood on their hands, are taking no responsibility. They’re uttering utterly banal statements, which, because of their vacuous nature, are encouraging and rationalizing the people in Ukraine who are throwing Molotov cocktails, now have weapons, are shooting at police. We wouldn’t permit that in any Western capital, no matter how righteous the cause, but it’s being condoned by the European Union and Washington as events unfold.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And when you say the Western countries who bear some responsibility, in what sense do they bear responsibility? I mean, clearly, there’s been an effort by the United States and Europe ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union to pull the former Soviet states into their economic sphere, but is that what you’re talking about?

STEPHEN COHEN: I mean that. I mean that Moscow — look at it through Moscow’s eyes. Since the Clinton administration in the 1990s, the U.S.-led West has been on a steady march toward post-Soviet Russia, began with the expansion of NATO in the 1990s under Clinton. Bush then further expanded NATO all the way to Russia’s borders. Then came the funding of what are euphemistically called NGOs, but they are political action groups, funded by the West, operating inside Russia. Then came the decision to build missile defense installations along Russia’s borders, allegedly against Iran, a country which has neither nuclear weapons nor any missiles to deliver them with. Then comes American military outpost in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, which led to the war of 2008, and now the West is at the gates of Ukraine. So, that’s the picture as Moscow sees it. And it’s rational. It’s reasonable. It’s hard to deny.

But as for the immediate crisis, let’s ask ourselves this: Who precipitated this crisis? The American media says it was Putin and the very bad, though democratically elected, president of Ukraine, Yanukovych. But it was the European Union, backed by Washington, that said in November to the democratically elected president of a profoundly divided country, Ukraine, "You must choose between Europe and Russia." That was an ultimatum to Yanukovych. Remember—wasn’t reported here—at that moment, what did the much-despised Putin say? He said, "Why? Why does Ukraine have to choose? We are prepared to help Ukraine avoid economic collapse, along with you, the West. Let’s make it a tripartite package to Ukraine." And it was rejected in Washington and in Brussels. That precipitated the protests in the streets.

And since then, the dynamic that any of us who have ever witnessed these kinds of struggles in the streets unfolded, as extremists have taken control of the movement from the so-called moderate Ukrainian leaders. I mean, the moderate Ukrainian leaders, with whom the Western foreign ministers are traveling to Kiev to talk, they’ve lost control of the situation. By the way, people ask—excuse me—is it a revolution? Is it a revolution? A much abused word, but one sign of a revolution is the first victims of revolution are the moderates. And then it becomes a struggle between the extreme forces on either side. And that’s what we’re witnessing.

... ... ...

AMY GOODMAN: Let’s go to President Obama. He’s in Mexico for the big Mexico-Canada-U.S. summit talking about Ukraine.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: With regard to Ukraine, along with our European partners, we will continue to engage all sides. And we continue to stress to President Yanukovych and the Ukrainian government that they have the primary responsibility to prevent the kind of terrible violence that we’ve seen, to withdraw riot police, to work with the opposition to restore security and human dignity, and move the country forward. And this includes progress towards a multi-party, technical government that can work with the international community on a support package and adopt reforms necessary for free and fair elections next year. Ukrainians are a proud and resilient people who have overcome extraordinary challenges in their history, and that’s a pride and strength that I hope they draw on now.

... ... ...

STEPHEN COHEN: To what he just said? Shame. Shame. He is saying that the responsibility for restoring peace is on the Ukrainian government, and it should withdraw its security forces from the streets. But let me ask you, if in Washington people throwing Molotov cocktails are marching on Congress—and these people are headed for the Ukrainian Congress—if these people have barricaded entrance to the White House and are throwing rocks at the White House security guard, would President Obama withdraw his security forces? This is—this is—and do you know what this does? And let’s escape partisanship here. I mean, lives are at stake. This incites, these kinds of statement that Obama made. It rationalizes what the killers in the streets are doing. It gives them Western license, because he’s not saying to the people in the streets, "Stop this, stop shooting policemen, stop attacking government buildings, sit down and talk." And the guy you had on just before, a so-called moderate leader, what did he just tell you? "We have lost control of the situation." That’s what I just told you. He just confirmed that.

So what Obama needs to say is, "We deplore what the people in the streets are doing when they attack the police, the law enforcement official. And we also don’t like the people who are writing on buildings 'Jews live here,'" because these forces, these quasi-fascist forces—let’s address this issue, because the last time I was on your broadcast, you found some guy somewhere who said there was none of this there. All right. What percent are the quasi-fascists of the opposition? Let’s say they’re 5 percent. I think they’re more, but let’s give them the break, 5 percent. But we know from history that when the moderates lose control of the situation, they don’t know what to do. The country descends in chaos. Five percent of a population that’s tough, resolute, ruthless, armed, well funded, and knows what it wants, can make history. We’ve seen it through Europe. We’ve seen it through Asia. This is reality. And where Washington and Brussels are on this issue, they won’t step up and take the responsibility.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, even in most recent history, whether you look at Libya or whether you look at the situation in Syria, where those presidents warned that there were extremist elements inside a broader popular movement that were eventually going to gain control, this seems like a replay in terms of what’s going on here in the Ukraine of a popular movement, but yet a very, very, as you say, right-wing movement—not only a right-wing movement, but a fascist movement with a history. Ukraine has had a history of a fascist movement going back to the days of Nazi Germany.

STEPHEN COHEN: Let’s go to real heresy. Let’s ask a question: Who has been right about interpreting recent events? Let’s go to the Arab Spring. Obama and Washington said this was about democracy now, this is great. Russia said, "Wait a minute. If you destabilize, even if they’re authoritarian leaders in the Middle East, you’re not going to get Thomas Jefferson in power. You’re going to get jihadists. You’re going to get very radical people in power all through the Middle East." Looking back, who was right or wrong about that narrative? Have a look at Egypt. Have a look at Libya. Who was right? Can Russians ever be right about anything?

Now what are the Russians saying about Ukraine? They’re saying what you just said, that the peaceful protesters, as we keep calling them—I think a lot of them have gone home. There were many. By the way, at the beginning, there were hundreds of thousands, tens of thousands, of very decent, liberal, progressive, honorable people in the streets. But they’ve lost control of the situation. That’s the point now. And so, the Russians are saying, "Look, you’re trying to depose Yanukovych, who’s the elected government." Think. If you overthrow—and, by the way, there’s a presidential election in a year. The Russians are saying wait 'til the next election. If you overthrow him—and that's what Washington and Brussels are saying, that he must go—what are you doing to the possibility of democracy not only in Ukraine, but throughout this part of the world? And secondly, who do you think is going to come to power? Please tell us. And we’re silent.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to go to the famous leaked tape right now. The top State Department official has apologized to her European counterparts after she was caught cursing the European Union, the EU, in a leaked audio recording that was posted to YouTube. The recording captured an intercepted phone conversation between the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, and Victoria Nuland, the top U.S. diplomat for Europe. Nuland expresses frustration over Europe’s response to the political crisis in Ukraine, using frank terms.

VICTORIA NULAND: So that would be great, I think, to help glue this thing and have the U.N. help glue it. And, you know, [bleep] the EU.

AMY GOODMAN: While Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland’s comment about the EU dominated the news headlines because she used a curse, there were several other very interesting parts of her conversation with the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.

GEOFFREY PYATT: Let me work on Klitschko, and if you can just keep—I think we want to try to get somebody with an international personality to come out here and help to midwife this thing. Then the other issue is some kind of outreach to Yanukovych, but we can probably regroup on that tomorrow as we see how things start to fall into place.

VICTORIA NULAND: So, on that piece, Geoff, when I wrote the note, Sullivan’s come back to me VFR saying, "You need Biden?" And I said, "Probably tomorrow for an attaboy and to get the deets to stick." So Biden’s willing.

AMY GOODMAN: That’s the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Pyatt, speaking with Victoria Nuland. The significance of what she is saying? She also had gone to Ukraine and was feeding protesters on the front line.

STEPHEN COHEN: Cookies, cookies. Well, here again, the American political media establishment, including the right and the left and the center—because they’re all complicit in this nonsense—focused on the too sensational, they thought, aspect of that leaked conversation. She said, "F— the European Union," and everybody said, "Oh, my god! She said the word." The other thing was, who leaked it? "Oh, it was the Russians. Those dirty Russians leaked this conversation." But the significance is what you just played. What are they doing? The highest-ranking State Department official, who presumably represents the Obama administration, and the American ambassador in Kiev are, to put it in blunt terms, plotting a coup d’état against the elected president of Ukraine.

Now, that said, Amy, Juan, you may say to me—neither of you would, but hypothetically—"That’s a good thing. We don’t like—we don’t care if he was elected democratically. He’s a rat. He’s corrupt." And he is all those things. He is. "Let’s depose him. That’s what the United States should do. Then the United States should stand up and say, ’That’s what we do: We get rid of bad guys. We assassinate them, and we overthrow them.’" But in Washington and in Brussels, they lie: They’re talking about democracy now. They’re not talking about democracy now; they’re talking about a coup now.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, this is more from—

STEPHEN COHEN: And we—excuse me—and we should—we, American citizens, should be allowed to choose which policy we want. But they conceal it from us. And I’m extremely angry that the people in this country who say they deplore this sort of thing have fallen silent.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Let’s listen to little bit more of the leaked conversation between the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, and Victoria Nuland, the top U.S. diplomat for Europe.

VICTORIA NULAND: Good. So, I don’t think Klitsch should go into the government. I don’t think it’s necessary. I don’t think it’s a good idea.

GEOFFREY PYATT: Yeah. I mean, I guess, you think—in terms of him not going into the government, just let him sort of stay out and do his political homework and stuff. I’m just thinking, in terms of sort of the process moving ahead, we want to keep the moderate democrats together. The problem is going to be Tyahnybok and his guys. And, you know, I’m sure that’s part of what Yanukovych is calculating on all of this. I kind of—

VICTORIA NULAND: I think—I think Yats is the guy who’s got the economic experience, the governing experience. He’s the guy—you know, what he needs is Klitsch and Tyahnybok on the outside. He needs to be talking to them four times a week. You know, I just think Klitsch going in, he’s going to be at that level working for Yatsenyuk. It’s just not going to work.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: That was Victoria Nuland, the top U.S. diplomat for Europe, speaking with Geoffrey Pyatt, the U.S. ambassador to the Ukraine. Stephen Cohen, this—this chess game—

STEPHEN COHEN: You don’t need me here. What do you need me for?

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: —this chess game that they’re conducting here?

STEPHEN COHEN: There it is. There it is.

... ... ...

AMY GOODMAN: And yet, here you have President Obama, again, speaking yesterday in Mexico.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Our approach as the United States is not to see these as some Cold War chessboard in which we’re in competition with Russia. Our goal is to make sure that the people of Ukraine are able to make decisions for themselves about their future, that the people of Syria are able to make decisions without having bombs going off and killing women and children, or chemical weapons, or towns being starved, because a despot wants to cling to power.

AMY GOODMAN: Who benefits from the instability, Professor Cohen, in Ukraine? And what does it mean for Putin? Is he concerned about this?

STEPHEN COHEN: Of course he’s concerned. It’s right on his borders, and it’s all tainting him. I mean, The Washington Post wrote an editorial yesterday. Putin is happy that the violence has broken out in the streets. Everybody understands, even The Washington Post understands, which understands almost nothing about Russia, but they got this, that during the Sochi Olympics, the last thing Putin wants is violence in Ukraine. So why is he happy about it? He deplores it. He’s unhappy. He’s furious at the president of Ukraine. He read him the Riot Act on the phone last night, that why doesn’t he get control of the situation? What is he doing? So Putin is not responsible for this. Can we speak about Obama?

AMY GOODMAN: Very quickly.

STEPHEN COHEN: Very quickly. I grew up in the segregated South. I voted for him twice, as historical justice. That’s not leadership. That’s a falsification of what’s happening in Ukraine, and it’s making the situation worse, what he says, is that we deplore the violence and call upon Ukrainian government to withdraw its forces and stop the violence. He needs to talk about what’s happening in the streets.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And is it conceivable, if Ukraine descends into a further civil war, that Russia might intervene?

STEPHEN COHEN: It’s conceivable. It’s conceivable. Here — I mean, Yanukovych — you might say, as an adviser to Yanukovych, the president of Ukraine, "Impose martial law now, because you’ve got bad PR in the West anyway, and you’re not in control of the situation." The problem is, Yanukovych isn’t sure he controls the army.

... ... ...

One of first analysis of connection of neocons to Ukraian coup d'état was made on Feb 25, 2014 By Robert Parry ( Neocons and the Ukraine Coup):

 February 25, 2014 Consortium News

American neocons helped destabilize Ukraine and engineer the overthrow of its elected government, a “regime change” on Russia’s western border. But the coup – and the neo-Nazi militias at the forefront – also reveal divisions within the Obama administration, reports Robert Parry.

More than five years into his presidency, Barack Obama has failed to take full control over his foreign policy, allowing a bureaucracy shaped by long years of Republican control and spurred on by a neocon-dominated U.S. news media to frustrate many of his efforts to redirect America’s approach to the world in a more peaceful direction.

But Obama deserves a big dose of the blame for this predicament because he did little to neutralize the government holdovers and indeed played into their hands with his initial appointments to head the State and Defense departments, Hillary Clinton, a neocon-leaning Democrat, and Robert Gates, a Republican cold warrior, respectively.

Even now, key U.S. diplomats are more attuned to hard-line positions than to promoting peace. The latest example is Ukraine where U.S. diplomats, including Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, are celebrating the overthrow of an elected pro-Russian government.

Occurring during the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, the coup in Ukraine dealt an embarrassing black eye to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who had offended neocon sensibilities by quietly cooperating with Obama to reduce tensions over Iran and Syria, where the neocons favored military options.

Over the past several weeks, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was undercut by a destabilization campaign encouraged by Nuland and Pyatt and then deposed in a coup spearheaded by neo-Nazi militias. Even after Yanukovych and the political opposition agreed to an orderly transition toward early elections, right-wing armed patrols shattered the agreement and took strategic positions around Kiev.

Despite these ominous signs, Ambassador Pyatt hailed the coup as “a day for the history books.” Most of the mainstream U.S. news media also sided with the coup, with commentators praising the overthrow of an elected government as “reform.” But a few dissonant reports have pierced the happy talk by noting that the armed militias are part of the Pravy Sektor, a right-wing nationalist group which is often compared to the Nazis.

Thus, the Ukrainian coup could become the latest neocon-initiated “regime change” that ousted a target government but failed to take into account who would fill the void.

Some of these same American neocons pushed for the invasion of Iraq in 2003, not realizing that removing Saddam Hussein would touch off a sectarian conflict and lead to a pro-Iranian Shiite regime. Similarly, U.S. military intervention in Libya in 2011 eliminated Muammar Gaddafi but also empowered Islamic extremists who later murdered the U.S. ambassador and spread unrest beyond Libya’s borders to nearby Mali.

One might trace this neocons’ blindness to consequences back to Afghanistan in the 1980s when the Reagan administration supported Islamic militants, including Osama bin Laden, in a war against Soviet troops, only to have Muslim extremists take control of Afghanistan and provide a base for al-Qaeda to plot the 9/11 attacks against the United States.

Regarding Ukraine, today’s State Department bureaucracy seems to be continuing the same anti-Moscow geopolitical strategy set during those Reagan-Bush years.

Robert Gates described the approach in his new memoir, Duty, explaining the view of President George H.W. Bush’s Defense Secretary Dick Cheney: “When the Soviet Union was collapsing in late 1991, Dick wanted to see the dismantlement not only of the Soviet Union and the Russian empire but of Russia itself, so it could never again be a threat to the rest of the world.”

Vice President Cheney and the neocons pursued a similar strategy during George W. Bush’s presidency, expanding NATO aggressively to the east and backing anti-Russian regimes in the region including the hard-line Georgian government, which provoked a military confrontation with Moscow in 2008, ironically, during the Summer Olympics in China.

Obama's Strategy

As President, Obama has sought a more cooperative relationship with Russia’s Putin and, generally, a less belligerent approach toward adversarial countries. Obama has been supported by an inner circle at the White House with analytical assistance from some elements of the U.S. intelligence community.

But the neocon momentum at the State Department and from other parts of the U.S. government has continued in the direction set by George W. Bush’s neocon administration and by neocon-lite Democrats who surrounded Secretary of State Clinton during Obama’s first term.

The two competing currents of geopolitical thinking – a less combative one from the White House and a more aggressive one from the foreign policy bureaucracy – have often worked at cross-purposes. But Obama, with only a few exceptions, has been unwilling to confront the hardliners or even fully articulate his foreign policy vision publicly.

For instance, Obama succumbed to the insistence of Gates, Clinton and Gen. David Petraeus to escalate the war in Afghanistan in 2009, though the President reportedly felt trapped into the decision which he soon regretted. In 2010, Obama backed away from a Brazilian-Turkish-brokered deal with Iran to curtail its nuclear program after Clinton denounced the arrangement and pushed for economic sanctions and confrontation as favored by the neocons and Israel.

Just last summer, Obama – only at the last second – reversed a course charted by the State Department favoring a military intervention in Syria over disputed U.S. claims that the Syrian government had launched a chemical weapons attack on civilians. Putin helped arrange a way out for Obama by getting the Syrian government to agree to surrender its chemical weapons. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “A Showdown for War or Peace.”]

Stirring Up Trouble

Now, you have Assistant Secretary of State Nuland, the wife of prominent neocon Robert Kagan, acting as a leading instigator in the Ukrainian unrest, explicitly seeking to pry the country out of the Russian orbit. Last December, she reminded Ukrainian business leaders that, to help Ukraine achieve “its European aspirations, we have invested more than $5 billion.” She said the U.S. goal was to take “Ukraine into the future that it deserves.”

The Kagan family includes other important neocons, such as Frederick Kagan, who was a principal architect of the Iraq and Afghan “surge” strategies. In Duty, Gates writes that “an important way station in my ‘pilgrim’s progress’ from skepticism to support of more troops [in Afghanistan] was an essay by the historian Fred Kagan, who sent me a prepublication draft.

“I knew and respected Kagan. He had been a prominent proponent of the surge in Iraq, and we had talked from time to time about both wars, including one long evening conversation on the veranda of one of Saddam’s palaces in Baghdad.”

Now, another member of the Kagan family, albeit an in-law, has been orchestrating the escalation of tensions in Ukraine with an eye toward one more “regime change.”

As for Nuland’s sidekick, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Pyatt previously served as a U.S. diplomat in Vienna involved in bringing the International Atomic Energy Agency into a line with U.S. and Israeli hostility toward Iran. A July 9, 2009, cable from Pyatt, which was released by Pvt. Bradley Manning, revealed Pyatt to be the middleman who coordinated strategy with the U.S.-installed IAEA director-general  Yukiya Amano.

Pyatt reported that Amano offered to cooperate with the U.S. and Israel on Iran, including having private meetings with Israeli officials, supporting U.S. sanctions, and agreeing to IAEA personnel changes favored by the United States. According to the cable, Pyatt promised strong U.S. backing for Amano and Amano asked for more U.S. money. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “America’s Debt to Bradley Manning.”]

It was Ambassador Pyatt who was on the other end of Nuland’s infamous Jan. 28 phone call in which she discussed how to manipulate Ukraine’s tensions and who to elevate into the country’s leadership. According to the conversation, which was intercepted and made public, Nuland ruled out one opposition figure, Vitali Klitschko, a popular former boxer, because he lacked experience.

... ... ... .

 


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[Feb 28, 2014] Transcript of Obama's Remarks on Ukraine

Feb 28, 2014 | NYTimes.com

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Good afternoon, everybody.

Over the last several days, the United States has been responding to events as they unfold in the Ukraine. Now, throughout this crisis, we have been very clear about one fundamental principle: the Ukrainian people deserve the opportunity to determine their own future. Together with our European allies, we have urged an end to the violence and encouraged Ukrainians to pursue a course in which they have stabilized their country, forge a broad-based government and move to elections this spring.

I also spoke several days ago with President Putin, and my administration has been in daily communication with Russian officials. And we've made clear that they can be part of an international community's effort to support the stability and success of a united Ukraine going forward, which is not only in the interest of the people of Ukraine and the international community, but also in Russia's interests.

However, we are now deeply concerned by reports of military movements taken by the Russian Federation inside of Ukraine. Russia has a historic relationship with Ukraine, including cultural and economic ties and a military facility in Crimea. But any violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity would be deeply destabilizing, which is not in the interests of Ukraine, Russia or Europe. It would represent a profound interference in matters that must be determined by the Ukrainian people.

It would be a clear violation of Russia's commitment to respect the independence and sovereignty and borders of Ukraine, and of international laws. And just days after the world came to Russia for the Olympic games, it would invite the condemnation of nations around the world. And indeed, the United States will stand with the international community in affirming that there will be costs for any military intervention in Ukraine.

The events of the past several months remind us of how difficult democracy can be in a country with deep divisions. But the Ukrainian people have also reminded us that human beings have a human universal right to determine their own future.

Right now, the situation remains very fluid. Vice President Biden just spoke with prime minister -- the prime minister of Ukraine to assure him that in this difficult moment, the United States supports his government's efforts and stands for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and democratic future of Ukraine.

I also commend the Ukrainian government's restraint and its commitment to uphold its international obligations. We will continue to coordinate closely with our European allies, we will continue to communicate directly with the Russian government, and we will continue to keep all of you in the press corps and the American people informed as events develop.

Thanks very much.

[Feb 28, 2014] Поздно пить Боржоми

МОСКВА, 28 фев - РИА Новости. Группа депутатов Верховной Рады выступила с обращением к гражданам, мировому сообществу и политикам, в котором призывает не сотрудничать с "преступниками", захватившими путем госпереворота власть в стране, не признавать эту власть и дать отпор "зарвавшимся боевикам".

"Мы, группа народных депутатов Верховной Рады Украины, обращаемся к вам в связи с трагическими событиями в нашей стране. У нас нет сомнений, что в столице нашей родины - в городе Киеве - военизированными формированиями нацистов фактически совершен государственный переворот при полной поддержке так называемой демократической оппозиции и полном бездействии президента Украины", - говорится в документе, поступившем в РИА Новости.

Авторы обращения отмечают, что "растоптана Конституция Украины", страну "захлестнула волна насилия, погромов, убийств, поджогов", она "медленно погружается в хаос, беззаконие и насилие". "Верховная Рада, грубо нарушая Конституцию, стала абсолютно нелегитимным органом власти и не отражает мнение народа Украины", - говорится в документе.

"Те, кто сегодня сотрудничают с бандитами, кто бездумно штампует в Верховной Раде антиконституционные законы, совершают это либо из-за страха и под давлением, либо не понимая сути того, что в Украине к власти рвутся фашисты", - заявляют депутаты. Авторы обращения выражают сожаление, что "так называемые демократические страны через различные санкции также прибегают к шантажу и давлению не только на сопротивляющихся беззаконию политиков, но и членов их семей", и это делается с целью "запугать, лишить возможности сопротивления".

Депутаты Верховной Рады, в том числе Игорь Калетник и Владимир Олейник, в этой ситуации призывают своих коллег по парламенту, депутатов всех уровней, "всех, кому дорого будущее нашей страны, не сотрудничать с преступной властью, не признавать ее", "создавать повсеместно добровольные дружины по поддержанию порядка", "налаживать между собой связи и давать организованный отпор зарвавшимся фашистским боевикам".

"Мы верим, что коричневый кошмар, обрушившийся на нашу страну, волна хаоса и беззакония скоро уйдут в прошлое. Мы уверены в здравом смысле украинского народа, который никогда в истории не признавал над собой власть, установленную на штыках. Мы не позволим растоптать Конституцию страны, законные права, демократические свободы и гарантии безопасности граждан. За совершенный государственный переворот преступников и их пособников ждет неотвратимое наказание", - заявили авторы обращения.

[Feb 28, 2014] There is absolutely no reason for Russia to support this government

marknesop says:

...Two, they only get mealy-mouthed and "reasonable" after they've had a chance to look through the Books Of Financial Realities. They therefore still do not see Russia as a friend and potential partner, merely as a big donor nation with deep pockets who might finance their march toward EUtopia, in return for nothing but all Ukraine's inferior goods it cannot sell to the EU, at premium prices. They have only become "anxious to talk to Russia" since the coup is accomplished and Kiev is made safe for the return of western diplomats and EU ministers, who are funneling through everything the previous government left and advising the current crop of unelected no-hopers on what they need to do to find money from somewhere other than the west. The west probably will come up with an aid package – which is what they call a loan in these days of no discretionary spending – but it would be so much better if Russia would pay to restore its own enemies to health.

Three, Ukraine and its western patrons probably hopes Russia will seize Crimea, maybe even the Southeast, because they are restive regions that might otherwise need to be pacified with further violence or at great expense and in which an Orange majority is otherwise unlikely to develop. It will be simpler to be able to weep indignantly that Russia stole them, which will always be good for western sympathy and may possibly lead to cultural institutions developing in western countries which will funnel money to Ukraine.

This unelected government has already shown its first instinct is to go for the cheap laugh, the visceral reaction, and to pander to nationalist instincts with visions of the red menace stoking insurrection in Ukraine and portraying Russia as fully deserving of nothing but loathing. They hastily backtracked on their language law – passed while Kiev was still smoldering – only because their western masters were a little uncomfortable with its scope and its potential to be unpopular with some of the regions, which is further indication that it is the voice of the Banderite haters which is being listened to. Here's a fine example; despite ample evidence that it is the Crimea's own citizen who desire to be free from the Kiev central government and that it is Crimean citizens who have taken over public buildings in exactly the same manner glorious Kiev revolutionaries did, to heady praise from the group that now as appointed itself the central government, it's all KremlinKremlinKremlin and what is going on now in Crimea is "a military intervention and occupation by the Kremlin".

Russia owes them nothing. I hope Putin continues to stall them with bland platitudes while not committing to anything, and even if they were the best friends in the world it would be a financially unsound notion to lend them money; anything Ukraine gets now might as well be considered a gift, and why would you give gifts to people who hate you?

[Feb 28, 2014] Details are starting to emerge of some of the more shadowy players in the events of the last few weeks in Ukraine

... one of whom is US billionaire Pierre Omidyar. He recently set-up a new media venture, 'The Intercept' with Glen Greenwald, Laura Poitras (both of Snowdon's NSA cache fame) and Jeremy Scahill.

As Mark Ames says in the linked article:

"What all this adds up to is a journalistic conflict-of-interest of the worst kind: Omidyar working hand-in-glove with US foreign policy agencies to interfere in foreign governments, co-financing regime change with well-known arms of the American empire - while at the same time hiring a growing team of soi-disant "independent journalists" which vows to investigate the behavior of the US government at home and overseas, and boasts of its uniquely adversarial relationship towards these government institutions." http://pando.com/2014/02/28/pierre-omidyar-co-funded-ukraine-revolution-groups-with-us-government-documents-show/

As someone once said, funny old world.

Yanukovych Legally Still Is President of Ukraine Fluent Historian

As I write this, a violent coup is going on in Kiev, Ukraine. The opposition claims to have ousted President Yanukovych and is appointing a self-styled government right now. One story the media is reporting on is the alleged impeachment of Yanukovych by a select group of parliamentarians. This is illegal and since no journalist will tell you this (they are all too lazy to look up the intricacies of Ukrainian constitutional law), I'm going to explain.

Title V, Article 111 says:

The President of Ukraine may be removed from the office by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine in compliance with a procedure of impeachment if he commits treason or other crime.

The issue of the removal of the President of Ukraine from the office in compliance with a procedure of impeachment shall be initiated by the majority of the constitutional membership of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine shall establish a special ad hoc investigating commission, composed of special prosecutor and special investigators to conduct an investigation.

The conclusions and proposals of the ad hoc investigating commission shall be considered at the meeting of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.

On the ground of evidence, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine shall, by at least two-thirds of its constitutional membership, adopt a decision to bring charges against the President of Ukraine.

The decision on the removal of the President of Ukraine from the office in compliance with the procedure of impeachment shall be adopted by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine by at least three-quarters of its constitutional membership upon a review of the case by the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, and receipt of its opinion on the observance of the constitutional procedure of investigation and consideration of the case of impeachment, and upon a receipt of the opinion of the Supreme Court of Ukraine to the effect that the acts, of which the President of Ukraine is accused, contain elements of treason or other crime.

Here's what's wrong with the alleged impeachment that has just taken place.

  1. I don't think either the two-thirds majority or the three-quarters majority were met at all.
  2. There was no investigating commission appointed-just one session of voting.
  3. There is no mention of what crime specifically Yanukovych allegedly committed. Impeachment has to take place for a reason, you know.

By the way, that quoted section up there was already in English. I'm not sure how qualified I would be to translate legal Ukrainian, so I thought I'd point that out.

[Feb 28, 2014] Ukraine and the Rebirth of Fascism by ERIC DRAITSER

January 29, 2014 | CounterPunch

The violence on the streets of Ukraine is far more than an expression of popular anger against a government. Instead, it is merely the latest example of the rise of the most insidious form of fascism that Europe has seen since the fall of the Third Reich.

Recent months have seen regular protests by the Ukrainian political opposition and its supporters – protests ostensibly in response to Ukrainian President Yanukovich's refusal to sign a trade agreement with the European Union that was seen by many political observers as the first step towards European integration. The protests remained largely peaceful until January 17th when protesters armed with clubs, helmets, and improvised bombs unleashed brutal violence on the police, storming government buildings, beating anyone suspected of pro-government sympathies, and generally wreaking havoc on the streets of Kiev. But who are these violent extremists and what is their ideology?

The political formation is known as "Pravy Sektor" (Right Sector), which is essentially an umbrella organization for a number of ultra-nationalist (read fascist) right wing groups including supporters of the "Svoboda" (Freedom) Party, "Patriots of Ukraine", "Ukrainian National Assembly – Ukrainian National Self Defense" (UNA-UNSO), and "Trizub". All of these organizations share a common ideology that is vehemently anti-Russian, anti-immigrant, and anti-Jewish among other things. In addition they share a common reverence for the so called "Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists" led by Stepan Bandera, the infamous Nazi collaborators who actively fought against the Soviet Union and engaged in some of the worst atrocities committed by any side in World War II.

While Ukrainian political forces, opposition and government, continue to negotiate, a very different battle is being waged in the streets. Using intimidation and brute force more typical of Hitler's "Brownshirts" or Mussolini's "Blackshirts" than a contemporary political movement, these groups have managed to turn a conflict over economic policy and the political allegiances of the country into an existential struggle for the very survival of the nation that these so called "nationalists" claim to love so dearly. The images of Kiev burning, Lviv streets filled with thugs, and other chilling examples of the chaos in the country, illustrate beyond a shadow of a doubt that the political negotiation with the Maidan (Kiev's central square and center of the protests) opposition is now no longer the central issue. Rather, it is the question of Ukrainian fascism and whether it is to be supported or rejected.

For its part, the United States has strongly come down on the side of the opposition, regardless of its political character. In early December, members of the US ruling establishment such as John McCain and Victoria Nuland were seen at Maidan lending their support to the protesters. However, as the character of the opposition has become apparent in recent days, the US and Western ruling class and its media machine have done little to condemn the fascist upsurge. Instead, their representatives have met with representatives of Right Sector and deemed them to be "no threat." In other words, the US and its allies have given their tacit approval for the continuation and proliferation of the violence in the name of their ultimate goal: regime change.

In an attempt to pry Ukraine out of the Russian sphere of influence, the US-EU-NATO alliance has, not for the first time, allied itself with fascists. Of course, for decades, millions in Latin America were disappeared or murdered by fascist paramilitary forces armed and supported by the United States. The mujahideen of Afghanistan, which later transmogrified into Al Qaeda, also extreme ideological reactionaries, were created and financed by the United States for the purposes of destabilizing Russia. And of course, there is the painful reality of Libya and, most recently Syria, where the United States and its allies finance and support extremist jihadis against a government that has refused to align with the US and Israel. There is a disturbing pattern here that has never been lost on keen political observers: the United States always makes common cause with right wing extremists and fascists for geopolitical gain.

The situation in Ukraine is deeply troubling because it represents a political conflagration that could very easily tear the country apart less than 25 years after it gained independence from the Soviet Union. However, there is another equally disturbing aspect to the rise of fascism in that country – it is not alone.

The Fascist Menace Across the Continent

Ukraine and the rise of right wing extremism there cannot be seen, let alone understood, in isolation. Rather, it must be examined as part of a growing trend throughout Europe (and indeed the world) – a trend which threatens the very foundations of democracy.

In Greece, savage austerity imposed by the troika (IMF, ECB, and European Commission) has crippled the country's economy, leading to a depression as bad, if not worse, than the Great Depression in the United States. It is against this backdrop of economic collapse that the Golden Dawn party has grown to become the third most popular political party in the country. Espousing an ideology of hate, the Golden Dawn – in effect a Nazi party that promotes anti-Jewish, anti-immigrant, anti-women chauvinism – is a political force that the government in Athens has understood to be a serious threat to the very fabric of society. It is this threat which led the government to arrest the party's leadership after a Golden Dawn Nazi fatally stabbed an anti-fascist rapper. Athens has launched an investigation into the party, though the results of this investigation and trial remain somewhat unclear.

What makes Golden Dawn such an insidious threat is the fact that, despite their central ideology of Nazism, their anti-EU, anti-austerity rhetoric appeals to many in the economically devastated Greece. As with many fascist movements in the 20th Century, Golden Dawn scapegoats immigrants, Muslim and African primarily, for many of the problems facing Greeks. In dire economic circumstances, such irrational hate becomes appealing; an answer to the question of how to solve society's problems. Indeed, despite Golden Dawn's leaders being jailed, other party members are still in parliament, still running for major offices including mayor of Athens. Though an electoral victory is unlikely, another strong showing at the polls will make the eradication of fascism in Greece that much harder.

Were this phenomenon confined to Greece and Ukraine, it would not constitute a continental trend. Sadly however, we see the rise of similar, albeit slightly less overtly fascist, political parties all over Europe. In Spain, the ruling pro-austerity People's Party has moved to establish draconian laws restricting protest and free speech, and empowering and sanctioning repressive police tactics. In France, the National Front Party of Marine Le Pen, which vehemently scapegoats Muslim and African immigrants, won nearly twenty percent of the vote in the first round of presidential elections. Similarly, the Party for Freedom in the Netherlands – which promotes anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant policies – has grown to be the third largest in parliament. Throughout Scandinavia, ultra nationalist parties which once toiled in complete irrelevance and obscurity are now significant players in elections. These trends are worrying to say the least.

It should be noted too that, beyond Europe, there are a number of quasi-fascist political formations which are, in one way or another, supported by the United States. The right wing coups that overthrew the governments of Paraguay and Honduras were tacitly and/or overtly supported by Washington in their seemingly endless quest to suppress the Left in Latin America. Of course, one should also remember that the protest movement in Russia was spearheaded by Alexei Navalny and his nationalist followers who espouse a virulently anti-Muslim, racist ideology that views immigrants from the Russian Caucasus and former Soviet republics as beneath "European Russians". These and other examples begin to paint a very ugly portrait of a US foreign policy that attempts to use economic hardship and political upheaval to extend US hegemony around the world.

In Ukraine, the "Right Sector" has taken the fight from the negotiating table to the streets in an attempt to fulfill the dream of Stepan Bandera – a Ukraine free of Russia, Jews, and all other "undesirables" as they see it. Buoyed by the continued support from the US and Europe, these fanatics represent a more serious threat to democracy than Yanukovich and the pro-Russian government ever could. If Europe and the United States don't recognize this threat in its infancy, by the time they finally do, it might just be too late.

Eric Draitser is the founder of StopImperialism.com. He is an independent geopolitical analyst based in New York City. You can reach him at ericdraitser@gmail.com.

Analysis: Russia's shadow boxing over Ukraine

February 28, 2014 | BBC News
The picture being presented from Moscow is that events in Crimea are spontaneous - the natural response of local Russian-speakers who felt threatened by the new government in Kiev.

Continue reading the main story

"And why not?" argues Moscow. After all, using people-power and self-styled militias to challenge the status quo was exactly what the opposition in Kiev did.

... ... ...

Certainly it is not being admitted openly, but there are signs the Russian government is hardening its stance.

Mr Yanukovych has been given sanctuary, allowed to declare he is the rightful president and the new Kiev government the result of an illegitimate coup by extremists.

These assessments are now being echoed by senior Russian parliamentarians close to the Kremlin.

Crimea

Source: Ukraine census 2001

[Feb 28, 2014] Ukraine, Crimea, and Washington's Pointless Geo-Political Contest With Russia

Antiwar.com Blog

... ... ...

Today, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel warned Russia not to intervene, failing to mention that (1) Washington has been intervening in Ukraine from the start, and (2) it's really none of our business what Russia does.

"We expect other nations to respect Ukraine's sovereignty and avoid provocative action," Mr. Hagel said. "That's why I'm closely watching Russia's military exercises along the Ukrainian border…"

In any case, telling Russia to behave itself has about zero chance of helping the situation. "Russian leaders believe, rightly or wrongly, that the West drove events in Ukraine to the brink of collapse to secure geopolitical advantage over Moscow," Trenin and Weiss say. "Thus, Western appeals for Russian restraint in the event of a crisis over Crimea are unlikely to resonate."

But the eagerness in Washington to steer events in Ukraine and beat out Russia in some pointless geopolitical game has not yielded. In this Daily Beast report, Republican leaders Buck McKeon and James Inhofe berate Obama for being too soft on Russia; they both express a deep longing for the Cold War era when it was easier to justify any reckless military action abroad on the grounds of opposing Soviet designs.

David Rhodes, a Reuters columnist, quoted former Romney adviser Nile Gardiner as reiterating Romney's 2012 line that Russia is America's greatest geo-political foe and arguing that "an 'ideological war' was underway and Putin is winning."

Gardiner then worries that Washington's inability to force Russia to lay prostrate at the feet of American power is encouraging other countries to defy their American master: "Putin is viewed by American adversaries and competitors as someone who has stood up to American influence and gotten away with outflanking the United States. Adversaries take note of this and they sense weakness and that's dangerous. Dissidents also take note."

Obama's State Department, which as we know has quietly tried to pull off regime change in Ukraine (only to be outed by a leaked phone conversation), prefers to apply the Republican bellicosity, just to do it quietly:

"What we're trying to do is work through diplomatic channels with the Russians," a senior State Department official told Rhodes. "That doesn't mean going public with some tough rhetoric that might please some domestic constituencies. This is not an era where tough talk gets the job done."

Tough talk is so 1980. Secrecy is now the American way.

[Feb 28, 2014] False Cheers for Democracy The National Interest Blog

When democratizing start meaning killing (as in "the USA democratized half million of Iraqis") this is ultimate death of the word.

There are many criteria by which we in the West can assess what is good and what is bad about the events in these countries and any others in which similar political change occurs. What happens to democracy is only one of those criteria. There are the various issues of human rights and governmental integrity, and in this respect an end to the more thuggish and corrupt aspects of Yanukovych's presidency may be a good thing. (Zbigniew Brzezinski describes Yanukovych as "a mendacious schemer, a coward and a thief.") And for realist observers, the foreign policy orientation of a government may be at least as important as any of the internal considerations.

Each individual case is worthy of assessment in its own right. The two cases mentioned here are quite different in important respects. Some of the cheering over Morsi's ouster reflected an ignoble Islamophobia that is not a factor in Ukraine. The alternatives to the ousted leadership are also quite different; in Egypt it is a restored authoritarian military regime, while in Ukraine we can still hope it will be something not just different but more to the benefit of the Ukrainian people.

In any assessment, we should be clear and honest about our concepts and terms. We should not apply the label of democracy where it does not belong. We should not automatically apply it to phenomena that involve in some messy way "people power"-while bearing in mind that people in the streets of a capital are not necessarily speaking and acting for most of their countrymen, or for people in the streets of, say, Kharkiv or Donetsk.

Misuse of the term democracy exacerbates confusion in our own thinking about the criteria we are applying to assessments of foreign situations and the reasons we do, or should, favor or oppose a particular development. It also cheapens the concept of democracy itself and encourages cynicism about it.

Yanukovich denies ouster, says 'ashamed & guilty' for not preventing chaos

RT News

Ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich pledges to fight for Ukraine. He addressed a press conference in southern Russia, appearing in public for the first time since he fled Kiev amid bloody riots.

Dozens of international reporters have flocked to the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don after the fugitive Ukrainian president announced he would hold a press conference there.

Before anyone was allowed to ask questions, Yanukovich decided to set the record straight, saying he considers himself the only legitimate president of Ukraine.

"No one has ousted me," he told reporters. "I had to leave Ukraine because of a direct threat to my life and the lives of my family."

It is the current Ukrainian parliament that is "not legitimate," the Ukrainian leader said, adding that the people who took power in Kiev are "spreading the propaganda of violence."

"As you know, the power in Ukraine has been seized by nationalist fascist-like fellows representing the absolute minority of Ukrainians. The only existing way out of the situation is fulfilling all that was stipulated in the [February 21] agreement between the president of Ukraine and the opposition with participation of the foreign ministers of France, Germany and Poland, and a representative of the Russian Federation," Yanukovich said.

#Yanukovich: I'm an acting president; I haven't resigned, I haven't been impeached, and I'm still alive (3ways a pres could be ousted - IG)

- Irina Galushko (@IrinaGalushkoRT) February 28, 2014

He described the situation in Ukraine as "complete lawlessness," "terror" and "chaos", saying that the politicians, including MPs, have been threatened and are facing threats of violence. It has nothing to do with the unity government that was negotiated with the opposition, he added.

According to Yanukovich, the early Ukrainian elections announced for May 25 are also completely "illegitimate" and he will not take part in them.

#Yanukovich "i suggest to to hold a national referendum" on the future of the country pic.twitter.com/DKSm1y8iTN

- Paulina Leonovich (@Polly_evro) February 28, 2014

Despite that, the ousted leader said he will "remain in politics," "keep on fighting for the future of Ukraine" and return to his home country as soon as he receives "international safety guarantees."

'Irresponsible politics of the West'

Yanukovich left Ukraine's capital Kiev amid the worst surge of violence in the country's post-Soviet history, which left dozens of people dead and hundreds injured. The pro-Maidan opposition immediately capitalized on his absence from the city, dominating the parliament, which then voted to strip the president of his powers and announced early elections. It also placed the full blame for the tragic events in central Kiev on Yanukovich, making it a nearly indisputable allegation in local and Western media.

Yanukovich gave his own clear assessment of the events for the first time in weeks, drawing a very different picture. The violence and deaths in Ukraine are the "result of the irresponsible politics of the West, which has encouraged Maidan," Yanukovich said.

US and other Western countries' representatives "must take full responsibility" for the fact that the agreement between the president and the opposition leaders was not honored, he said.

There remains, however, a chance for the country to change its course and not to slip into chaos, Yanukovich said.

'I lacked strength, I am sorry'

When asked if he feels ashamed of any of his own actions, Yanukovich replied that he feels both ashamed and sorry for "not having been able to stabilize the situations and stop the mayhem" in Ukraine.

"I want to apologize to the Ukrainian people for what has happened in Ukraine and that I lacked strength to maintain stability," he said.

Yanukovich also apologized to the Ukrainian riot police, Berkut, for having to "suffer" while doing their duty of maintaining peace and order. Police officers were "burned and poured over by petrol bombs," were "fired at and killed by rifles" but still stood their ground, he said.

The Ukrainian leader then said he had not given any order for police to fire live rounds until the rioters started using firearms, putting the officers' lives under threat.

Yanukovich refused to comment on the Ukrainian parliament's intention to try him in the International Criminal Court, saying that an independent investigation has to be carried out first. However, he stressed that "the scenario of bloodshed… was drafted not in Ukraine."

'Crimea part of Ukraine, Russian presence a rumor'

Even as Yanukovich was speaking, the situation in Ukraine's Russian-speaking Autonomous Republic of Crimea was increasingly getting out of the capital's control. The Crimean parliament was forming a new regional government while local "self-defense squads" started actively patrolling strategic sites to prevent provocations from Ukrainian radical groups.

Yanukovich said he understands the concerns of Crimeans, who want to "protect their homes and families" from "bandits."

However, he then urged the people of Crimea not to let any bloodshed or civil war happen. Crimea must remain a part of Ukraine while maintaining broad autonomy, Yanukovich said.

The fugitive president ruled out any possibility that he will ask Russia for military help to resolve the situation there. Also, there is no confirmed information about Russia's alleged military presence in the region, Yanukovich said.

"I do not have any such official information," he said. "I did not have it back then [in Ukraine], and there isn't any now. This all has been on the level of some rumors spread by somebody," he told journalists.

Yanukovich made it to Russia from Crimea thanks to "patriotically-minded officers," who helped to "save his life." He has not yet met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but they have already talked over the phone.

When asked why he chose to leave Ukraine for Rostov-on-Don, Yanukovich said that he has "an old friend there," who can provide him with a "temporary safe haven."

'Russia cannot abandon Ukraine'

Yanukovich received a lot of questions on Russia's role and possible actions in the Ukrainian crisis.

While saying "it is not correct" to tell Moscow what to do, Yanukovich said he believes "Russia cannot abandon Ukraine to its fate and should use all possible means to prevent chaos and terror in its neighboring country."

#Yanukovich: #Russia cannot stay indifferent to problems of neighbor #Ukraine. http://t.co/kVsSim0J4M

- RT (@RT_com) February 28, 2014

With that, Yanukovich made it clear he was "categorically against any intervention into Ukraine and breach of its territorial integrity."

"The truth will prevail," Yanukovich said in an emotional conclusion to his comments to journalists, urging the politicians that have seized power in Kiev to "leave" for the sake of the Ukrainian people.

So far, there has been no indication that the new Ukrainian authorities are considering returning to a dialogue with what they consider an overthrown rival. A Kiev court on Friday issued an order for Yanukovich's arrest, while the Ukrainian parliament (the Verkhovna Rada) earlier voted in favor of trying him at the ICC in The Hague for alleged "crimes against humanity during the recent peaceful protests."

[Feb 26, 2014] The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!

Moscow Exile
Russian Ships Arrive On Ukraine's Crimean Coast As Fears Mount Over Russian Invasion In the Region

The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!

To their own base, perhaps?

Situated in Sevastopol.

In the Crimea.

I wonder if that Yankee warship is still stuck on a sandbar in a harbour on the facing coast?

In February 1988, USS Caron operating with USS Yorktown, entered 7 miles into Soviet territorial waters in the Black Sea off the Crimean Peninsula. Under international law, this act could be permissible if the ship was progressing from one point in international waters to another point in international waters via the shortest course possible, but according to the Soviet Union, it was the right of the USSR to authorize or prohibit travel in selected areas within the 12 mile limit. The United States however did not recognize the Soviet claim in this case. To prevent it from becoming accepted precedent, the US Navy claimed that it had sailed warships through such areas at regular intervals in the past, which it had last done two years previously.

On this occasion, USS Caron had onboard a ships signal exploitation spaces system, operated by a crew of 18 in support of the U.S. National Security Agency. This system was capable of recording data on Soviet defence radars and communications.

In response, the Soviets deployed a destroyer and a Mirka II class light frigate as well as other "spy" ships to intercept the U.S. ships. Several times Soviet vessels obtained radar "lock" on the Caron and Yorktown. Both American ships maintained a constant course and speed throughout the incident. Eventually, the Soviets lightly rammed both ships. No significant damage resulted to any of the ships involved.

Al
"I wonder if that Yankee warship is still stuck on a sandbar in a harbour on the facing coast?"

I think it was a deliberate grounding. Sailors heard drinks were free at the sandbar!

Must stop. I am convinced that every time I make a bad joke (often), a kitten dies somewhere in the world.

Moscow Exile
I was wondering because it might be a bit of a job getting her of the bar as there's bugger all of a tide in the Black Sea. Every time I go there I tell Mrs. Exile it's only a big lake. When I first took her back to the old country, she was amazed with the tides and also with the speed of the tide race. Having only seen the Baltic and Black seas before, she was very impressed with the North Atlantic.
Al
Never been. Not fair! Sticking to a naval theme, my old Moscow landlord used to be a SIGNIT officer in the Pacific Fleet listening and translating yankee capitalist navy traffic. It served him well in his job, translating computer manuals in to Russian, for IBM.
marknesop
You can kedge yourself off using your own anchor; ideal if you have two (port & starboard) but I imagine CARON, like most modern USN construction, has only one. She wouldn't have been there all this time; if they couldn't reverse off on their own they would have whistled up tugs by now.
marknesop
The NIKOLAI FILCHENKOV is indeed based in Sevastopol, and could carry only about 425 troops anyway – or 20 tanks, which would be a much bigger worry. But I don't see Russia carrying out a military invasion of the Crimea. Why would it need to?

I continue to deplore the newspapers' policy of just sticking a photo of a Russian ship in with its article, there, that's good enough. This beautiful lady is a Kresta II, and there haven't been any of them since the end of the cold war. Ironically, the original project name was "Berkut"; "Kresta II" was just what NATO called them.

[Feb 25, 2014] Here is what is going on in Sebastopol.

yalensis

February 25, 2014 at 4:35 pm

If there is going to be a war, then this is where it will be fought.
Back story: Sebastopol mayor is technically appointed by Kiev (not an elected position).

Kiev-appointed Mayor Fedor Rubanov, does not want to give up his post, even though he was "democratically" overthrown by a pitchfork-toting crowd estimated at 30-50K. The crowd (I won't call them a "mob" because I like them) overthrew Rubanov in favor of their new candidate Aleksei Chalyj.

However, since Rubanov still insists that he is Mayor, and still refuses to allow Chalyj into the Mayor's office; then there exists a state of dual power in Sebastopol.

Meanwhile, Orange "guests" from Lvov and Kyiv are threatening to invade Sebastopol, on their so-called "Friendship Train" (which is an ironic name, it goes without saying). Because the purpose of this "train" is to instigate a big fight between pro- and anti-Russian forces.

Sebastopol locals are preparing to meet this "train", possibly in armed groups.
Some are begging Russia to give them weapons to fight against the Banderite incursion that is expected any day now.

Already thousands of men have signed up for armed defense of Sebastopol against the roaming gangs of unemployed Banderites.

[Feb 25, 2014] Ukraine leader warns of separatism threat amid fears over Crimea

The Guardian

"If the life and health of our compatriots is under threat, we will not stand to one side," the parliamentarian, Leonid Slutsky, said after arriving in the regional capital of Simferopol for a one-day visit.

Slutsky, who leads the Russian Duma's committee for relations with former Soviet states, declined to say what sort of action Russia might take.

AFP reported that two armoured personnel carriers were deployed near Russian military installations in Ukraine's second port of Sevastopol on Tuesday. One of the vehicles was on a base belonging to Russia's Black Sea fleet while another was parked in the courtyard of a navy building in the city centre. A spokesman for the fleet in Sevastopol refused to comment on the deployment of the vehicles but local media reported that they had been sent out in case of "terrorist attacks".

joeyjojojunior
25 February 2014 8:49pm

Ukraine's interim president warned on Tuesday that the country faced a "serious threat" from separatism amid fears that the Kremlin – deeply unhappy about the revolution in Kiev – might be stoking pro-Russian sentiment in the Crimea peninsula.

"...The Kremlin - deeply unhappy with the violent overthrow of a democratically elected president- may act to protect Russians in the East of the country from fascists backed by the EU."

There, fixed that for you.

joeyjojojunior joeyjojojunior
*South of the country. Whoops. Still more accurate than the crap above the line. What happened to the Guardian?! Are there any honest commentators left? It's obvious from the comments below the line that everyone can see what's really happening, thankfully.
terziev joeyjojojunior
Unfortunately it does seem that anti-Putin sentiment is much more stronger than anti-nazi one. Such a shame, plus it makes Putin's Russia the sole champion of what is left from the international law and in case of Ukraine the only defender of sanity.

Austin15

That's nice: 'Ukraine leader warns of separatism threat amid fears over Crimea'. How fast they become leaders there... He should have being worried about it before flaring up all this mess...

Mikhail Babaev Austin15

Exactly! If you try to play to certain nationalistic interests and ignore the needs and wishes of 40% of the country's population (ethnic Russians), the !!!! will hit the fan sooner or later. Almost nobody in Kiev even speaks Ukrainian.

Mikhail Babaev

The Crimean peninsula, which is the only region of Ukraine with a majority of ethnic Russians, was Russian territory until 1954. Moscow recently extended its lease on a large naval base in Sevastopol to 2042.

Nearly 80% of the population is Russian with a further 10-12% ethnical tatars. There are almost no ethnic Ukrainians in the region, which was gifted to Ukraine by Khruschev in 1954, while all of the territory was part of the Soviet Union. Sevastopol is also a strategic military location. Now, try telling the population is the Krimea that they are now all meant to be speaking Ukrainian, which they never have. It's already creating issues there. The current Ukrainian government should really be a little more sensitive to certain parts of the country's population and not play solely to the nationalistic tune, if they want to avoid splitting the country. It's in their hands right now, not Russia's.

Beckow

Ukraine is divided. The West - and the partially scripted, partially ignorant Western media - pretend that only one half exists. To that are added a few emotional simpletons with historical grudges and maybe some personal problems, and we get the coverage we get. That's how you start crazy civil wars that in retrospect nobody wants and the guilty (in the media) pretend that they were just swept up in the emotions of the moment.

Ignoring half of Ukraine's population (Russians and Russian-speakers) in the east and south is madness. It can only be done if the goal is to demonize them, maybe suppress them, whatever. It happened before and it always start with media demonizations.

There will be elections: Yanukovitch won the last ones because what he at that time represented had (and maybe has) close to 50% of the population behind
them.

Does Western media want a civil war in Ukraine? Why? Who could possibly benefit, other than the arms lobbies in US-UK?

By the way, Ukrainian parliament is not in session. Majority of MPs left for east and south, so the remaining group has no authority to legally pass anything. Normal journalism would at least note that, even if it is a contraversial point.

write2read AndreyP

When those peaceful protesters killing journalist and law enforcement officers the West never said anything else to the protesters to stop it but warned to the elected govt. It was an insult to the whole world.

Beckow Vergilius78

Well not really, not "widely reported". The Russian half of the population is described as "separatist" or worse. The fact that Yanukovitch won in a fair elections in 2010 (against Tymoshenko, who is now somehow again the "legal" part of government) was almost never mentioned.

The sympathies, the spin, the script (nationalist Ukrainian half good, Russian half always bad) are dominant in the western media. The article above didn't mention "outlawing" of the Russian language. It implied some heave meddling by Russia as if Russians in Ukraine or Crimea had to be told that they were Russians. It called them separatists to be suppressed. What the hell were the yahoo nationalists from Western Ukraine who occupied Kiev?

So no, the reporting is heavily biased and not truthful about half of Ukraine's population. It is half-reporting. And that is really not journalism. Half-reporting of only one side is actually a definition of propaganda.

jb10001 Beckow

There are no excuses for the Press...they are criminally culpable....we see it time and time again, where one half (or more) of a situation is deliberately obscured to push for some unlawful, evil, unjust hegemonic objective. we saw it in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Sochi, Iran, Israel/Palestine, Ivory Coast...and more.

These guys who call themselves journalists, who should follow some professional code of ethics, have opted to ignore their consciences and have signed up knowingly with the forces of duplicity and injustice.

When one or a few of them dares stand up and do the right thing, he/she is shunned/criticized, excoriated (case in point: David Gregory vs Glenn Greenwald). The Press has blood on its hands.

Spinozist

When I read the statement by the "interim president" (elected by whom?) to the effect that the new government is "not allowing any signs of separatism and threats to Ukraine's territorial integrity" I wonder how the support for this new government tallies with the "Western" criticism of (for example) the Chinese refusal to engage with the Dalai Lama. The EU should insist that whatever new Ukrainian government emerges from free and fair and properly conducted (under surveillance) elections, respects the linguistic and ethnic diversity of Ukraine.

Brunotheface

If they want to be with Russia, why not?

Didn't we support Kosovo's independence? It wasn't that long ago. So what exactly is the difference?

westofoxford Brunotheface

None, if it comes about through peaceful fair referendum as in Kosovo and not through Putin sending his army in to 'protect' people

Askel westofoxford

Paceful fair referendum as in Kosovo. You must be joking here!

VladK02
I am Ukrainian living in the West.

To give some perspective and info as I have relatives there:

1 - opposition is not unified. Majority are peaceful normal people, but 15-20% are hardcore ultra-right/fascist - incidentally they are the ones with guns.

2 - current parliament is afraid of the ultra-right, and first law they passed was to abolish Russian as minority language - very stupid mistake as normal people dont care one bit who speaks what language and it only antagonized Odessa

3 - normal average people are very very ambivalent towards the opposition politicians - all of them are tainted, and in private people say that its better if all of them are disposed of, not just Yanukovich. problem is, there is nobody else except the ultra-right

4 - ultra-right militias are right now conducting pogroms on former officials and their families, similar to what Lenin did in 1917 - basically they have a list of addresses and names, and they are breaking in and taking everything. Its not reported in the west, but its happening. Danger is, it might spread into a general pogrom.

5 - police and army melted in the end because they are not paid. Guys that stood in uniform on the Maidan for 3 months with no showers got paid 60$ per month roughly (they were promised 250$ per month). Standing with shields vs unarmed mobs is one thing, but would you risk your life under live fire? A lot of police officers have fled by the way. No money in treasury to pay for anything - not salaries, not police, not army, nothing.

So those are some interesting tidbits not widely reported.

Now to any normal person it is clear that the only future of Ukraine is with Europe, even if we have to be economic slaves for a decade or two. People look at Poland and what Poles did in 2 decades. However, russia is not an enemy either, and thats the dilemma. US meddling and financing unpopular opposition factions doesnt help.

Long-term, not only Ukraine should join the EU, but Russia as well. Peter the Great in 16th century already saw which way the wind was blowing, Russia should swallow their pride and just apply to Nato and EU.

Tacty VladK02
in short, nobody knows why they were on the streets protesting...i wonder what is better, to have a little bit corrupt politicians or lawless state running by nazi lunatics?
write2read
"We discussed the question of not allowing any signs of separatism and threats to Ukraine's territorial integrity and punishing people guilty of this," Olexander Turchynov said after meeting with key officials." To whom the USA and EU warn now? When the protesters captured weapons they warned to the govt not to use force.
AnarchoConservative
One thing US has taught us British the last two decades, There are good terrorists (Syrian opposition) and bad terrorists (Taliban). Good (Turkey,Saudis) and bad (Ukraine,Syrian govts) corrupted leaders/regimes. Good disintegration called independence (Yugoslavia, USSR) and bad one called separatism (Ukraine, Scotland,Basque,Catalonia)... I am more than sure there soon will be good Pedophilia among many EU officials and bad practiced by many rogue regimes...
Mikhail Babaev AnarchoConservative
Your forgot to mention Ireland and the fact that the Taliban were considered 'freedom fighters' during the Soviet invasion. Otherwise, spot on!
dion13
Concise, lucid analysis that's worth reading:

Will NATO annex Ukraine? by Pepe Escobar

This is how it ends:

Here's a very possible scenario. Eastern and southern Ukraine become part of Russia again; Moscow would arguably accept it. Western Ukraine is plundered, disaster capitalism-style, by the Western corporate-financial mafia – while nobody gets a single EU passport. As for NATO, they get their bases, 'annexing' Ukraine, but also get myriads of hyper-accurate Russian Iskander missiles locked in their new abode. So much for Washington's 'strategic advance'.

Vaska Tumir dion13

An optimistic scenario, imo, but not necessarily unrealistic.

What does worry me is the complete willingness of the EU and the US to "do business" with neo-Nazis -- and their populations' apparent tolerance of such policies (and they are policies, viz. their readiness to play nice with Islamic versions of fascism, too).

Askel Vaska Tumir

Why not. Not so long ago they created Al-Qaeda...

Venik

Ukraine's new national-socialist "government" will use the situation in Crimea as a distraction, to draw the people's attention away from crumbling economy. Once the situation in Crimea escalates to an armed confrontation, Russia will intervene. That's what they are waiting for in Moscow. And until then, the Russians will play nice (sort of).

pretendname

Stand by for a replay of south ossetia

Mikhail Babaev pretendname

South Ocetia was not (officially) Georgian territory. The US induced the Georgians to invade in order to test Putin. They simply wanted to see what he would do, tolerate it or react. It was a research project. Russia reacted. Simple as that. Georgia was never invaded by Russia, as the western press claimed at the time and the Hollywood film about it was disgraceful.

pretendname Mikhail Babaev

Yes.. this situation is almost identical. I think Putin probably should go all the way this time.

Last time Russia should have gone all the way into Tbilisi and taken Saakashvilli, and referred him to the Hague, before withdrawing again.

This time I think Russia should go all the way to Kiev, take a few of the ring leaders, and then withdraw.

America would not suffer this kind of provocation on it's doorstep, I don't think Russia will either.

[Feb 25, 2014] Ukraine crisis 'If these new Nazis come here from the Maidan, we will fight them as well' - Crimea has no love for Yanukovych,

In Sevastopol, the city with the largest Russian population in the country, a Russian citizen, Aleksei Chaliy, was made mayor by the city's authorities, replacing Vladimir Yatsuba, who had been appointed by the government. Officials in Kiev condemned the move, but the local police chief, Aleksandr Goncharov, declared that he would do nothing to remove the new incumbent; he had no intention of following "criminal orders", he said, from the "false" administration which had taken over in the capital.

Road blocks had been set up into roads coming into Sevastopol and Balaclava, supposedly to stop armed opposition groups from coming into the area from Kiev and the west of the country. At one checkpoint a policeman claimed that a coach-load had already been turned back 24 hours earlier. "They had seen on the news that Yanukovych was seen in the area and said they had come to arrest him. We told them to go away, there would have been trouble if they had come in."

In these parts many see the [coming] elections as being unconstitutional, engineered by violence.

... ... ...

At the other side of the facing yachting marina, Vladimir, a watchman, declared: "What we need in Crimea now is a Stalin. You'll laugh at me for saying this, but we need someone like him to save us from those fascists in Kiev."

His second choice was Pyotr Wrangel, the brutal White Russian commander who had based himself here while fighting the Bolsheviks – "Russians make strong leaders," he says.

Russia's Black Sea fleet is based here and is a prime source of revenue. There is a constant complaint that the vast bulk of that flows to Kiev, with little going towards local development. The 50-year-old Vladimir was prepared to fight for Crimea to join Russia, claiming weapons have already been handed over by the local authorities to self-defence groups. "The only defence we will have would be with Russia. This is not about Yanukovych, he has looted the country, if I see him, I'll throw him in the water. But I don't owe anything to the thieves who had been running Ukraine; I have two degrees and this is the only job I have been able to get in the last seven years."

For Stefan Komorowski, defending Crimea will give a chance to avenge comrades. An officer in the riot police Berkut, or Golden Eagles, he was deployed on the frontline of action at Independence Square, the Maidan, in Kiev.

"There were policemen getting killed, but you did not see any of that on TV. When we eventually fired back, after all this provocation, we were made to be the devils. We have left behind colleagues who are badly wounded, paralysed. This was named a city of heroes because of the way we fought against the Germans. Now if these new Nazis from the Maidan come we shall fight them as well."

Calls to break away from Kiev continued in Sevastopol's Nakhimova Square. Leonid Gorskin, a teacher who has joined the self-defence force, said: "It's people like him who are trying to break up the country; they are being encouraged to do that by the West. It is the Russians who are going to help us to defend what's ours. There's no point in talking on about Yanukovych, he will get beaten up if we see him here. It is the future of our country we will be fighting for and it will start here, in Crimea."

[Feb 25, 2014] Will Russia's Putin Try To Split Crimea from Ukraine " Russia Watch by James Brooke

Quote: Today's draft-age Ukrainians, aged 18 to 35 years, have been taught in school and by the media to revere the UPA. Some have assimilated these teachings. Some have not.
blogs.voanews.com

But Putin is cold and calculating, one of the world's most astute geo-strategists. Last week, he skipped watching a young Russian woman win a gold medal in figure skating. He was back in Moscow Friday preparing to lead a meeting of his Security Council, about Ukraine.

What will Putin do?

In the past, Putin has stated publicly what many Russians think privately: that Ukraine is not a nation.

... ... ...

Before Putin, a normally cautious leader, sends Russian peacekeepers into Ukraine, he should remember that wars are often easier to get into than to get out of. I write "war" because any Russian "peacekeepers" dispatched to Crimea or eastern Ukraine might be supported by Russian public opinion, but also face a possible guerrilla campaign of violent opposition.

The tenacity of Kyiv's winter protesters gives a taste of what could come.
A few years ago, I visited the regional museum in Nikolaev, a Russian-speaking city in southeastern Ukraine. The city has historic ties with Russia. It was founded by Grigory Potemkin in 1789 as a shipyard for the Russian navy. The museum followed Ukrainian history up to the end of World War II.

Then, starting in 1945, Soviet-era panels were blocked by life-size portraits of handsome, sandy-haired men wearing uniforms that were unfamiliar to me. After studying the Ukrainian-language explanations, I realized that they were soldiers of the post-war Ukrainian Insurgent Army, the anti-Soviet guerrilla group.

Little known in the West, these guerrillas turned western Ukraine into a hellish assignment for police and soldiers sent from Moscow. In turn, Moscow's agents killed an estimated 150,000 UPA soldiers and supporters, some by shooting, some through torture.

Today's draft-age Ukrainians, aged 18 to 35 years, have been taught in school and by the media to revere the UPA. Some have assimilated these teachings. Some have not.

But keep this history in mind when you read that young men in western Ukraine have invaded Ukrainian army bases and seized weapons armories.

Russian "peacekeepers" who enter Ukraine will face the grandsons and granddaughters of the UPA.

James Brooke is the Russia/CIS bureau chief for Voice of America. A lifelong journalist, he covered West Africa, Brazil, the American Rocky Mountain States, Canada, and Japan/Korea for The New York Times. A resident of Moscow since 2006, he was first Bloomberg bureau chief for the region. In 2010, he joined VOA. In addition to writing Russia Watch, his weekly blog, he also does video, radio and web reports from Russia and the former

Daria
February 24, 2014 at 10:46 am

It's so easy to sit there in a chair in a million of kilometers and post this c**p about "new ukrainian heroes". Just come and see them. FYI, I'm 20 years old, I don't support none of the politicians and I don't have any soviet-produced xenophobia.

I'm just afraid to walk in my homecity for the past 3 days. I really sympathized people who came to the maidan to express their opinion but now they came to Kharkov and what an I see? They are just drunk invaders destroying everything they see and establishing bandit dictatorship. These are disorganized troops of stupid freaks who do everything they come to mind under the guise of honest citizens of Kiev protest, and will escape the punishment.

The most frustrating thing is Ukrainian television, which is teeming with misinformation and brainwashing. Any person who speaks the truth not suiting them, immediately becomes a "provocateur" or "titushka" if you heard about this. Really, there are no channels where you can see objective information.

I'm not a fan of Yanukovych but it's really strange to make him a scapegoat for all the horror that was going on here for last 3 months.

Why not to junde the liars Klitchko and Yatsenyuk who called people to arms saying "bullet to the head, so bullet to the head", thanks to them over 50 protestants and over 20 soldiers of Berkut have died. Most of the soldies are cadest 18-19 years old!!! So that's what you call people? That's what you call justice? If you don't like the president, go and find the president. Why killing literally children?

If everyone is so concerned about his reidence why don't we speak of Timoshenko's appartments in London? Why don't you visit Yatsenyuk's mansion? I'm sure you'll find one more golden toiled bowl.

I was indifferent to politics and all this stuff until today. Now all I can say is that history is the prostitute among the sciences and the journalist is the most deceitful among the professions.

Best regards.

ofianitz

It is a US organized covert operation that is trying to split Ukraine, not Putin, although of course, the majority of the Ukranian population are Russians. These "covert operators" use violence, kill people. We've already seen this movie, Mr. Brooke. Many times over. As the US assistant secretary of state said, "F… the EU.

Arthur:

Ukraine is an independent and soverign nation – no doubt they will defend themselves from any military invasion from any country as is their right. Let wise thinkers realize that an invasion of forces is a big mistake! That being said – Ukranians have proved they are brave, courageous and resiliant – let us hope they are just as resiliant to stabalize their government with trustworthy leaders while keeping constructive relations with the nations that surround it. Not an easy task to do! Daria, you are a local resident of your country – be a positive force for positive change – be safe – be bold with your ideas – and discourage those that promote violence – there are better ideas to get things done without the use of violence!

[Feb 25, 2014] Amid Political Upheaval, Ukraine Faces Dire Need for Economic Help By STEVEN LEE MYERS

Feb 24, 2014 | NYTimes.com

The new speaker, Oleksandr V. Turchynov, admitted as much, warning in an open letter to the Ukrainian people on Sunday that "Ukraine is now in a pre-default condition and sliding into the abyss."

On Monday, Parliament accepted the surprise resignation of Ihor Sorkin, the head of the Ukrainian National Bank, and approved a replacement, Stepan Kubiv, who said one of his top priorities would be to secure aid from the International Monetary Fund.

Russia had extended a lifeline of $15 billion in loans and cheap gas, but the Kremlin has suspended that aid in response to the political uncertainty in Ukraine. Russian officials continued their saber-rattling on Monday, with Prime Minister Dmitri A. Medvedev dismissing the current government as backed by "Kalashnikov-toting people in black masks" and saying that the leaders in Parliament were not legitimate.

It was not clear when or if financial assistance promised by Europe and the United States would arrive. Though the West is claiming victory in the tug of war with Russia over Ukraine, neither the European Union nor the United States has done anything more than make promises.

[Feb 25, 2014] Wary Stance From Obama on Ukraine

Feb 25, 2014 | NYTimes.com

One of the strongest advocates for democracy promotion in Mr. Obama's circle has been Michael A. McFaul, first the president's Russia adviser and then ambassador to Moscow. But Mr. McFaul is stepping down. Mr. Obama's nominee for the assistant secretary of state who oversees democracy programs, Tom Malinowski, has been languishing since July waiting for Senate confirmation.

For Mr. Bush, the focus on spreading democracy preceded his decision to invade Iraq, but it was inextricably linked to the war after the failure to find the unconventional weapons that had been the primary public justification. The goal of establishing a democratic beachhead in the Middle East began driving the occupation, but it became tarnished among many overseas because of its association with the war.

After winning re-election in 2004, Mr. Bush decided to broaden his ambition by setting a "freedom agenda" for his second term. Even as he and his aides were working on his inaugural address, images of Ukrainian protesters wearing orange scarves and resisting a corrupt election exhilarated the West Wing. In January 2005, Mr. Bush declared it his policy to support democracy "in every nation" with "the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world."

For a time, Ukraine was a model. The newly elected president, Viktor A. Yushchenko, was welcomed at the White House and addressed a joint session of Congress. "It was the poster child for 'democracy can work, we're on a roll,' " said Steven Pifer, a former ambassador to Ukraine now at the Brookings Institution.

Yet like other places, the heady days in Kiev eventually gave way to political paralysis and retrenchment. Mr. Yushchenko failed to consolidate support and ultimately was replaced by his nemesis, Mr. Yanukovych, in a democratic election. The unresolved debate over whether Ukraine should be more tied to Europe or Russia led back to a similar showdown over the past weeks and months, this time more violent, with more than 80 killed.

[Feb 25, 2014] Infighting Hurts Ukraine Efforts to Form a New Government

Feb 25, 2014 | NYTimes.com

Ms. Ashton said she had been in contact with the Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, about the situation in Ukraine, and had stressed the importance of preventing violence and safeguarding the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

The Kremlin has said that it views the ousting of Mr. Yanukovych and other actions by the Ukrainian Parliament as illegal, and on Tuesday the Russian Foreign Ministry said it opposed the plans for a presidential election in May because that violated an agreement brokered with Mr. Yanukovych on Friday that had called for elections in December.

Russia's representative at those talks had declined to sign the document, and the agreement seems to have been rendered virtually meaningless by subsequent events.

Patricia, Pasadena

I'm having doubts over whether that country will ever be a democracy again. The nationalists now know that they can take down any government they don't like. And now we can see just how deep their hatred for the Russian half of their population really is. The hate festival is still going strong online. So good luck trying to rebuild their democracy with all that going on. It could go either way now. But it doesn't look like the nationalists are interested in compromise. Their hatred is just too hot and too strong.

Ricky, PA

Unfortunately the Ukrainian people will be the ones that suffer the most from another "popular uprising" perpetuated by groups that act in their own interests, and not the public at large, once they get their hands on power. Here there is lawlessness in the streets, mobs, clubs and shields. And this is what victory looks like?

These protesters showed their violent aspirations from the beginning, and the fight is just getting started. As in Egypt, many commenters here condone subverting the democratic process when our ideological or political enemy suffers. Whatever level of democracy that existed in the Ukraine is now gone. Meet the new boss.

Judyw

The mob of aronists, and neo-nazis, currently in power in Kiev, want to eliminate Russian influence. They passed a law eliminating Russian as the 2nd language. Hardly a confidence building measure for the Russian half of the country. Ukraine's anti-Russian drive is targeting war monuments. The statue of the Russian army commander, Kutuzov, who forced Napoleonic troops back to Paris, was destroyed in Brody.

The red-black flag of the neo-nazi Svoboda (Freedom) party has been hoisted in the entrance of the Verkhovna Rada.

There are things the NYT won't tell you. Sevastopol has made a Russian Businessman its mayor. The laws states that the Mayor of Sevastopol is choses by the Kiev Rada.

Sevastopol police chief Alexander Goncharov said that his officers would refuse to carry out "criminal orders" issued by Kiev.

Similar demonstrations have taken place across Crimea, including the regional capital of Simferopol and the coastal town of Kerch. Self-defence militias are also being formed.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/25/ukraine-sevastopol-installs...

Make no mistake separatism is on the rise. The Russians in the south know that the mob in Kiev will NOT respect Russian rights. They are begging Russia to protect them. They know that neither the EU or the US will protect them.

Crimea has been Russian for 2 centuries. In 1954 the USSR gave Crimea to Ukraine. Crimea is an autonomous Republic within Ukraine. It must now return to Russia where it belongs.

Coolhunter

'Show me the money', the best way to describe what this is all about. Infighting is all about 'spoils', nothing else. Who can bring in the most money will have the most power, at least for now. So, the goal is to gather an interim government so the funds will flow from the IMF and the US, suckers if there is ever one.

Remember, like the Greek mess, once you start the money flowing it will be hard to stop. These Ukrainian's are smarter then the Greeks, they have a world class corruption system, unlike the Greeks that was a working class system. As for the IMF getting reform, that is all 'happy talk' as all the IMF 'gifts' have. Your move Putin.

RFMollison, Chicago

The published list of Ukrainian government bond holders are almost uniformly American hedge funds. These are the people who will take the biggest hit if Ukraine defaults and these are the people demanding IMF money for repayment. Not rubles, Oh No!

Funny how the NYT seems to overlook the acting president Turchynov's connection to a Uke mobster named Mogilevich. A guy on the FBI's most wanted list by the way as a major crime boss.

When Turchynov was head of Ukrainian State Security (home grown KGB) he was indicted for destroying state records of the mobster, a case that went quietly away when his business associate Julia Timoshenko became prime minister.

Paul King, USA

Billionaires controlling blocks of politicians in their government… wow, how…blatantly corrupt and undemocratic. Small cadres of wealthy with such outsized influence over policy.

Wow, how…oddly, American.

Colenso, Cairns

It's all very well the Russophiles on this forum insisting that the Ukraine should split into two with the southern and eastern part of the country seceding from the North. That would leave the North landlocked, with no access to the Black Sea and thus to the Mediterranean.

The Russian Empire, and its remnant, the Russian Federation, under its new despot Prince Putin of Muscovy, has encouraged ethnic Russians to colonise the Ukraine since the early days of the Romanovs. No different to the English colonising overseas territories controlled by the 'British' (English) Empire in its heyday.

Russophiles will just have to get used to living in a country where the Kremlin no longer calls the shots. On the other hand, if they're not prepared to do that, then they can get on the next plane or train back to Moscow.

MT, Moscow

What a Russophobe comment.

Several hundred thousands of Ukrainians are currently work (mostly illegally and not paying taxes) in Russia. And, for example, most Ukrainian workers in construction industry are from the Western Ukraine ("real Ukrainians" according to your false merit). I personally know several people from Ukraine and Moldova, and they say that they are better paid in Russia than in Italy (another popular place for Moldavian workers). And Ukrainians in Russia, compared to Western Europe, can work not only as unskilled walkers but as doctors or engineers.

Russians fought for Crimea for decades (all Southern Europe would speak Turkish without Russians) and earned that land. If Ukrainians want that only for "Ukranians", they will need to fight for it (or leave it as it is with wide autonomy). So far, Ukrainians fail to establish its own state and, I'm afraid, they have lost the chance.

By the way, are you native Australian?

Simon Sez, Maryland

It will certainly further trust and the confidence of the Russian population which dominates the East and South of Ukraine that the first day of the takeover, the parliament banned Russian as an official language.

If this is a sign of things then there is no future for Ukraine as it presently exists.

Let the West and East/South go their separate ways.

Helene S, Rochester NY

Rather than "banned," Parliament dropped the required use of Russian as the second official language in a bid to overcome years of Russian hegemony on Ukrainian and other non-Russian populations. Russian was the official language of the Soviet Union, even in non-Slavic nations with a Roman non-Cyrillic alphabet like Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Native Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians, Crimean Tatars and Ukrainians were resettled to eastern and central Russia by the Soviets, and their lands resettled by Russians, to increase loyalty to Moscow.

Attempts at Russification of the Ukrainian language included replacing the sound and letter for "h", which does not exist in Russian but does in Ukrainian, with the "g" letter and sound, so that even the Ukrainian national dance the "Hopak" was Russified into the "Gopak." And how would you geographically define West, East and South? The Crimean Tatars (South) were forcibly resettled by both the Russian empire in the 18th century and by the Soviet empire in the 20th century, so should Crimea be independent, or go back to the Tatars? Poltava on the Right Bank (East) is quintessentially Ukrainian, in embroidery, in art, in cultural practices; should it be forced into the Russian sphere of influence?

Perhaps Russians should learn to speak and write the language of their "adopted land," much as immigrants learn to speak English in the United States, Or, if they're too old to learn, then have others translate for them.

Stephen J Johnston, Jacksonville Fl.

German reunification freed up a pool of excess labor which was used by capital to internally devalue labor, break the unions and set the stage for Germany to become the vendor nation to the EU. It certainly did not occur to the advantage of everyone, and it has ened as the disaster which we have seen a the EU periphery. All of Europe has become infected by Germany's irresponsible lending to perpetuate its status as vendor economy to countries which could no longer afford to buy its manufactured goods. Beggar thy neighbor always returns home to beggar the native population of the temporarily dominant economy. It is now returning home to Germany to no good end.

[Feb 25, 2014] Situation in Ukraine Puts Putin in a Difficult Spot by Uwe Klußmann

SPIEGEL ONLINE

On several occasions in the past year, Putin has made clear just how important Russia's neighbor is to Moscow. At a conference held in Kiev in July 2013, he held a speech focusing on "Orthodox-Slavic values." He paid tribute to "our common forefathers," who, by choosing to adopt Orthodoxy, "made a choice for the entire holy Rus." He mentioned the 17th century unification of Ukraine and Russia.

Putin also spoke of the cultural and economic advances Ukraine made within the czardom and as part of the Soviet Union. No mention was made of the victims of Soviet collectivization: his statements were more focused on the future. The two countries' "shared past" should be the "foundation for the creation of new integral ties." His appeal to Ukraine, Russia's "partner, friend and brother," was clear: The country should not become a partner to the European Union, it should instead join the customs union with Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus.

At a September 2013 meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club, which brings together leading Russia experts from around the globe each year, he went even further. Speaking of Russians and Ukrainians, he said: "We are one people." He said the two countries not only had a shared history, mentality and culture but also similar languages.

But the now deposed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych treated Russia like a bride who begins looking for a better match at her own engagement party. And it has become clear that Putin's approach to Ukraine has suffered from the same strategic failing that accelerated the collapse of the Soviet Union: Moscow has made a habit of supporting straw-men in neighboring countries -- corrupt leaders that are ultimately toppled by their own people.

The picture currently being painted by Ukraine experts at the Kremlin is a dark one. Oleksandr Turchinov, the interim Ukrainian president, is considered in Moscow to be a pragmatist, one who seeks a businesslike relationship with Russia. But experts in the Russian capital believe that Ukraine's new political leadership will have difficulties in stabilizing the situation, partially because, in addition to the deep divide running through the country, it is also on the brink of bankruptcy. Russian-speaking provinces in Ukraine's eastern half are worried about the right-wing extremist, Russo-phobic nationalists, whose support is rising rapidly. They already are well represented on the streets of Kiev.

A Difficult Decision

The situation in Kiev reminds historically aware Russians of the revolutionary chaos in 1917-1918, an episode expertly immortalized by author Mikhail Bulgakov in his novel "The White Guard."

The further the Ukrainian state crumbles and the greater the separation becomes between Kiev and eastern and southern Ukraine -- particularly the Crimean Peninsula -- the more intense will be the need among Ukraine's huge Russian population for protection from the "Russian brother" to the east.

Putin and his foreign policy advisors are well aware that these developments increase the risk of a confrontation between Russia and the West. But they are also aware that the current, relatively moderate leadership in Kiev could -- should it display incompetence or, worse, corruption -- easily become the victim of the next revolutionary wave. That wave could very well propel the well-organized ultra-nationalists to power. Their leader, Dmitry Yarosh, received a louder ovation on Independence Square on Saturday than did Yulia Tymoshenko. Moscow noticed.

Russia's Black Sea fleet is located in the Crimean city of Sevastopol, with its majority Russian population. Nobody in Russia would ever forgive Putin were he to allow this city, the fleet and the families of the navy personnel stationed there to fall into the hands of Ukrainian nationalists. The Russian president could soon be faced with the most difficult decision of his life.

[Feb 25, 2014] How Oligarchs in Ukraine Prepared for the Fall of Yanukovych

SPIEGEL ONLINE

Yet by then, it had long since become clear that a solution to the crisis would not be found on Independence Square. Nor would it come from Moscow, Washington, Berlin or Brussels. Rather, it would have to come from parliament -- together with those people who had supported the president. The opposition was faced with the prospect of winning them over in order to establish a political majority.

More than anything, though, the opposition had to reach an understanding with the two men who controlled roughly half of Yanukovych's party: Rinat Akhmetov and Dmitry Firtash, the two most influential oligarchs in the country.

"The two knew that, were Yanukovych to fall, they would be the biggest losers. That is why they did everything to prevent the radical solution sought by the protesters on the Maidan," says Vadim Karasev. Karasev was an advisor to President Viktor Yushchenko, who came to office following the 2004 Orange Revolution only to lose it a short time later due to deep differences with his one-time ally Tymoshenko. Currently, Karasev heads up one of Ukraine's most important think tanks.

Our meeting with Karasev took place in an empty café at the Premier Palace Hotel, across from where Kiev's Lenin monument stood until it was pulled down by radical nationalists in December. "If Yanukovych had attempted to solve the crisis with violence, he would have lost, but the oligarchs would have too," Karasev says. "Tymoshenko would have replaced him immediately and then we would have seen a repeat of what happened after the Orange Revolution: the dispossession of the rich. But all of Ukrainian politics depends on them. The men who became rich thanks to Yanukovych want guarantees for their holdings."

Pulling Strings

Akhmetov and Firtash: Those two names have repeatedly surfaced in Kiev in recent weeks. But they have been careful to stay out of the spotlight and declined interview requests. It was reported over the weekend that they were both in London. Still, they both have been busy pulling strings in recent weeks.

Akhmetov is the more important of the two. The 47-year-old is worth $15 billion and is head of the holdings company System Capital Management, which controls more than 100 companies with some 300,000 employees. They include metallurgical and pipe factories, banks, real estate firms, mobile phone enterprises and a large media company. He is the de-facto ruler of Donbass, the home of Ukrainian heavy industry, and owns the football team Shakhtar Donetsk. He is also among the leaders of Yanukovych's Party of Regions.

In recent weeks, Ukrainian protesters have staked out houses of his in both Donetsk and London. They held up signs reading: "Just one phone call from him and the killing will stop."

Only once did Akhmetov show himself to the protesters. He drove up in his Mercedes and told them that he was prepared to talk. The worst for him, he said, would be if he "could no longer walk through Donetsk and breathe Ukrainian air." Akhmetov, who started "at zero" 25 years ago, as he likes to emphasize, didn't want to belong to the losers.

He comes from a poor mining family. "We lived in just 20 square meters (215 square feet) and had no toilet or sink at home," he has said. But then, at the beginning of the 1990s, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, he made his first million trading coal in the mining city of Donetsk.

Nobody knew him at the time. He only entered the spotlight when Akhat Bragin, who was president of the Shakhtar football team at the time, was assassinated in an explosion during a game in 1995. Bragin was the godfather of Donetsk.

Akhmetov had had business dealings with Bragin and became his successor at Shakhtar. Just before, he had founded his first bank in Donetsk. He later said that he became rich via "a few risky deals immediately after the disintegration of the Soviet Union."

A short time later, the former automobile mechanic Viktor Yanukovych, previously convicted of robbery and assault, was named head of the Donetsk regional government. A business relationship developed between him and Akhmetov -- one which ultimately blossomed into a friendship. When Yanukovych became head of government in Kiev in 2002, Akhmetov's career looked to be on the rise.

The Rise

The budding oligarch of course went on to back Yanukovych's 2004 presidential candidacy. But when he failed -- after seeking to ride Russian support and clumsy electoral fraud to the presidency, and touching off the Orange Revolution in the process -- things began looking grim for Akhmetov as well. The country's new leadership, under Yushchenko, began confiscating parts of his steel conglomerate, accusing him of having obtained them illegally.

Then, in 2005, he was accused of involvement in economic crimes and police began raiding his properties and offices. He fled to Monaco and stayed there for a time, avoiding the unpleasantness at home. Ultimately, though, he returned and became a key sponsor of Yanukovych's Party of Regions. When Yanukovych finally did become head of state in 2010, the future looked bright for Akhmetov.

The second oligarch, Dmitry Firtash, 47, followed a similar path to his riches. After serving in the army, he became a fireman and began his business career with a deal that profited him $50,000: In Hong Kong, he traded 4,000 tons of evaporated milk from Ukraine for cotton from Uzbekistan.

Later, he went to Moscow where he lived in the Rossiya Hotel in Moscow, located across from the Kremlin. It is where Soviet businesspeople gathered and while there, he got to know key players in the Turkmen natural gas industry. He quickly entered the trade, receiving natural gas in exchange for foodstuffs.

He too advanced quickly. He bought a chemical factory in Estonia and later purchased an Austrian firm which specialized in natural gas transportation. In 2004, he joined the Russian gas company Gazprom in opening the company RosUkrEnergo, which specialized in transporting natural gas to Western Europe.

It was this company which later put him at odds with the Orange Revolution: A dubious 2009 deal between Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and her Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin ruined Firtash's business. He and Tymoshenko became bitter enemies.

When Yanukovych ascended to power, it was good for Firtash as well. He expanded his empire and today, with his media conglomerate Inter Media Group, controls several television channels.

There are, of course, differences between Akhmetov and Firtash. For one, Firtash is worth less than a billion dollars, in contrast to the monumentally rich Akhmetov. Furthermore, he works closely with partners in Russia whereas Akhmetov's business empire is more focused on Europe. But the two have divided the political playing field between them and they control their country's political scene as though it were a business joint venture. Key positions, whether in ministries or in parliament, are all occupied by their people. Yanukovych's economics minister, for example, came from Akhmetov's team while the deputy prime minister, in charge of natural gas issues, answered to Firtash. It is a loveless marriage of convenience, but it has held.

In the last parliamentary elections, Akhmatov filled roughly 60 spots on the Party of Regions list with his people while Firtash chose 30. That is how politics in Ukraine is done: Whereas Putin took power away from the oligarchs in Russia, they are still at the controls in Ukraine.

The pair came to the conclusion well before the current crisis that Yanukovych would not be around for much longer. They began carefully looking around for alternatives. Akhmetov, for example, had always gotten along well with Tymoshenko, in contrast with Firtash, and began supporting Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who took over the leadership of her Fatherland alliance when she was incarcerated. Firtash, for his part, backed Vitali Klitschko's party UDAR.

"In reality, Firtash early on placed people in Klitschko's UDAR Party, a former head of secret service, for example," says Vadim Karasev. "The contacts were made via the head of the presidential office."

"It may sound hard to believe," Karasev says, "but Firtash was looking for an alternative for the eventuality that Tymoshenko was released and claimed the right to the presidency. It would have been advantageous were Klitschko already there, as a puppet of Firtash."

That's how Akhmetov and Firtash built up options for a possible future without Yanukovych. When the protests broke out on Independence Square in November and both oligarchs saw how obstinately Yanukovych reacted, they began to distance themselves. It was clear to both of them that if worse comes to worst, and the West imposed sanctions on Ukraine, their businesses would be the first to be affected.

Akhmetov made it known that he was in favor of negotiations between the government and the opposition. Firtash also quickly called for a peaceful resolution of the conflict, emphasizing that people on both sides of the barricades were Ukrainians.

Letting Yanukovych Fall

Last Tuesday's bloody conflicts tipped the scales. On Wednesday both Akhmetov's and Firtash's TV stations changed their coverage of Independence Square: Suddenly the two channels, Ukraina and Inter, were reporting objectively on the opposition. The message of the oligarchs was clear: We're letting Yanukovych fall.

And in parliament -- where the majority party had barely budged a millimeter in the past weeks -- the mood suddenly changed: Suddenly they were looking for a compromise after all. It became clear on Thursday what this would mean: the forming of a broad coalition, the return of the old constitution and, with it, a reduction of the presidential powers as well as an accelerated presidential election.

Friday was a cheerful day, with bright blue skies. There was still sporadic gunfire but on Independence Square it was hard to believe that, just a few days earlier, people had been gunned down there.

Shortly after noon Yanukovych addressed the people as though he were still calling the shots. He declared that he would "initiate" new elections, constitutional reform and the formation of a new government with national support. Then, things began moving very fast. On Friday evening, parliament got back its full former powers, dismissed the hated interior minister and ultimately Yanukovych himself and smoothed the way for the release of Yulia Tymoshenko.

[Feb 25, 2014] Biden at center of U.S. diplomacy with Ukraine by Associated Press

February 25, 2012 | The Washington Post

Sergei Chuzavkov, File/Associated Press - This July 21, 2009 file photo shows Vice President Joe Biden meeting with Viktor Yanukovych, the then-Moscow-backed presidential candidate in Kiev, Ukraine. In the hours before he fled Ukraine's capital, Yanukovych huddled on the phone with Biden, a longtime associate and close contact throughout the political crisis that gripped the former Soviet republic. Biden and Yanukovych held nine lengthy phone calls during the crisis, building up a level of trust the U.S. officials say was crucial to getting the Ukraine leader to sign an agreement that way for a fragile peace.

WASHINGTON - Two days before he fled Ukraine's capital, President Viktor Yanukovych huddled on the phone for more than an hour with Vice President Joe Biden, his primary conduit with the U.S. government throughout the political crisis consuming the former Soviet republic.

The window for a resolution to the crisis was closing quickly - and may already have closed, Biden warned Yanukovych, according to a senior administration official familiar with the conversation. Yanukovych was initially defiant, the official said, and accused the protesters in the streets of Kiev of being terrorists. Though Yanukovych became less resistant to Biden's appeals as the call continued, the vice president hung up the phone uncertain of the embattled leader's next move.

What followed was a rapid series of developments that left Yanukovych's fate - and the broader political situation in Ukraine - highly uncertain. On Friday, Yanukovych agreed to form a new government and hold an early election. Ukraine's parliament slashed the president's powers and voted to free his rival, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, from prison. And on Saturday, Yanukovych fled Kiev, reportedly holing up in Crimea, a pro-Russian area of Ukraine.

The tenuous political agreement was orchestrated by European diplomats, with the U.S. and Russia playing supporting roles.

Biden, who had built a working relationship with Yanukovych since becoming vice president, was at the forefront of the delicate diplomatic maneuvering for the Obama administration. He spoke to Yanukovych on the phone nine times during the three-month political crisis, an unusual level of contact that underscored the heightened U.S. concern about stability in Ukraine, a strategically located nation that shares a border with Russia.

The vice president also met throughout the crisis with Ukrainian religious leaders and Ukrainian-American groups, according to the administration official, who was not authorized to discuss the vice president's involvement by name and insisted on anonymity.

... ... ...

Biden and Yanukovych first met in 2009 when the newly sworn-in American vice president traveled to Ukraine. Yanukovych was an opposition political leader with an eye on the presidency. Ukraine's conflicted loyalties between Europe and Russia, which are at the center of the current crisis, were already bubbling to the surface during that visit.

... ... ...

As the protests grew, Biden warned Yanukovych that he had seen similar situations play out before around the world. The vice president, speaking to Yanukovych through a translator from his office in the West Wing, used an American expression to make his point, telling the Ukrainian that leaders are often "a day late and a dollar short" with their attempts to appease political protesters.

Yanukovych often seemed torn between the choices before him and rarely gave Biden a clear signal of his next move, the official said. Biden and Yanukovych have not spoken since the Ukrainian leader fled Kiev over the weekend.

Yanukovych's hasty retreat from the capital has left the Ukrainian parliament speaker nominally in charge of the country, though Russian officials say they question the legitimacy of the acting government, raising concerns about the fragile state of the current agreement.

Follow Julie Pace on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jpaceDC

[Feb 25, 2014] US tells Russia to keep troops out of Ukraine as Crimea flashpoint looms

Telegraph.co.uk

"It's in nobody's interest to see violence return and the situation escalate," Mrs Rice said.

Her warning to the Kremlin followed concerns over renewed tumult in Ukraine if eastern regions of the vast country side with Russia against the overthrow of Viktor Yanukovych.

Ukraine is deeply divided between its eastern regions, which are largely pro-Russian, and western areas that widely detest Mr Yanukovych.

Tensions mounted in Crimea, in the south-east of Ukraine, where pro-Russian politicians are organising rallies and forming protest units, demanding autonomy from Kiev.

The region is now seen as a potential flashpoint because of its deep strategic significance to Moscow.

The Crimean port of Sevastopol may be part of Ukraine, but it is the Russian tricolor that flutters proudly above the port's barrack blocks and warships.

Coup in Kiev by Justin Raimondo

Antiwar.com

Ukraine is exploding, and the force of the eruption may plunge not only the country but also Europe and the US into an abyss out of which there is no easy extrication.

First, a primer for those who have missed the rapidly escalating events of the past few days: mobs of protesters have taken over Kiev and the government of Viktor Yanukovich has been effectively overthrown. Impeached by the Parliament, and opposed now even by members of his Party of Regions, Yanukovich has fled the presidential palace for parts unknown (probably to his home town of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, near the Russian border). The police and all signs of organized authority have simply disappeared from the streets of the city: armed bands dressed in medieval armor, carrying bats, crowbars, and sometimes guns roam the streets, dispensing victor's "justice" to anyone perceived as a Yanukovich supporter.

It's a coup d'etat, pure and simple, the violent overthrow of a duly elected official, and it is being hailed not only by that champion of "democracy," the United States government, but also by our clearly biased media, which is using this as a bludgeon to beat the hated Vladimir Putin – the latest in a series of overseas villains, second only to Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro.

The Western media can hardly contain its collective glee: "journalists" eagerly tweeted a photo of a golden toilet supposedly found on the grounds of Yanukovich's looted estate.

The photo is a fake: it has nothing to do with the fallen Ukrainian leader. The quickness – and carelessness – with which the photo was seized on by members of the Fourth Estate speaks volumes about their biases and their willingness to jump on any bandwagon so long as its being propelled by their bosses friends in Washington.

It would be easy to dismiss the protesters as pawns in just another of a long line of US-sponsored "color revolutions" aimed at the states of the former Soviet Union – and Putin, Washington's chief antagonist in the international arena. After all, evidence of direct financial and political support to the Ukrainian opposition is a matter of public record, and there is no doubt more we don't know about.

Yet no one can deny the Ukrainian people have suffered under competing gangs of outright thieves: politicians who are merely extensions of this or that "oligarch," i.e. the post-Communist elite who looted "public" industries under the guise of a phony "privatization." The best example is the most well-known: Yulia Tymoshenko, who stood on the stage at the Maiden and hailed the victory of the glorious "revolution."

Formerly known as the "Gas Princess," the canny Tymoshenko was an unindicted co-conspirator in a corruption trial held here in the US, where the feds locked up Pavel Lazarenko, former Ukrainian Prime Minister, for embezzling $200,000,000 – that's two-hundred million dollars! – from the Ukrainian government. His tenure was marked by a very close political and business relationship with Ms. Tymoshenko, who ran United Energy Systems of Ukraine, a state monopoly. Lazarenko was determined to crush his enemies, the oligarchs headquartered in Donetsk – Yanukovich's home town – and Ukrainian prosecutors built a case against the former Prime Minister and Tymoshenko, who were accused of arranging the 1996 murders of Donetsk businessmen Yevhen Shcherban and Alexander Momot. Tymoshenko was jailed for corruption, and her release – one of the demands of the US/EU, who elevated her to the status of a "political prisoner" – is now being hailed as the beginning of a new era for the country.

Yes indeed, a new chapter in the long-running story of Ukraine as one of the most corrupt countries on earth.

So how did a thieving dicey oligarch make her way to the head of an insurrection against corruption? Listen to the infamous tape of US State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland, where she cursed out the European Union for its timidity in stage-managing the opposition leadership: she told the US ambassador that Vitali Klitschko, the champion boxer and head of the UDAR ("Punch") party is too combative to be able to get along with the State Department's chosen candidate, former Prime Minister and head of the National Bank Arseniy Yatsenyuk – who heads up Tymoshenko's party, known as "Fatherland."

This stage-managing illustrates the essential principle that must inform our understanding of the Ukrainian events: the role of the United States government in this affair is utterly pernicious. While funding and encouraging the Ukrainian people to rise up against a gang of kleptocrats, Washington plots behind the scenes to install their own favored thieves in power. But that is only the beginning of the Obama administration's crimes.

The larger game being played here is a geopolitical one, with Ukraine in the role of a pawn. As Reuters reports, Washington has already raised the stakes to the level of a military crisis:

"The United States and European allies warned Russia not to send forces into Ukraine on Sunday as rival neighbors east and west of the former Soviet republic said a power vacuum in Kiev must not let the country break apart….

"Scuffles in Russian-speaking Crimea and some eastern cities between supporters of the new, pro-EU order in Kiev and those anxious to stay close to Moscow revived fears of separatism that a week earlier were focused on the west, where Ukrainian nationalists had disowned Yanukovich and proclaimed self-rule.

"President Barack Obama's national security adviser, Susan Rice, was asked on U.S. television about the possibility of Russia sending troops to Ukraine, which President Vladimir Putin had hoped Yanukovich would keep closely allied to Moscow.

"'That would be a grave mistake,' Rice said. 'It's not in the interests of Ukraine or of Russia or of Europe or the United States to see a country split. It's in nobody's interest to see violence return and the situation escalate.'"

It's the old familiar cold war propaganda, updated to be sure but all the more tired for that: The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming! The fantasy life of a national security advisor is apparently a rich one, but Ms. Rice is playing with fire here – and plenty of people stand to be burnt in the ensuing conflagration.

Those reports of "scuffles" in Crimea are particularly ominous, for this is the site of the Russian fleet stationed at Sevastopol, as well as the heart of the Russian-speaking Cossack population. As Kiev burned, Crimeans rallied in their tens of thousands calling for unity with Russia.

Rice is completely wrong: the present borders of Ukraine no more represent a real nation than do the borders of African states set by nineteenth century European colonialists. The boundaries of the "Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic" were established by Lenin and Stalin, and included a preponderance of Russian-speakers in order to quash any remnants of nationalist sentiment. The great irony here is that Washington and the Ukrainian protest leaders are holding up this arrangement as somehow sacrosanct.

Take a look at this ethno-linguistic map of Ukraine: now take a look at this map of the last election results in which Yanukovich was the winner. As Max Fisher, formerly foreign policy writer at the Washington Post, puts it: this juxtaposition does much to explain Ukraine's protest movement.

The Western half of Ukraine speaks Ukrainian, and yearns to be part of Europe: thus the amazing spectacle of mass demonstrations in favor of a treaty with the EU, which was rejected by Yanukovich. The sight must have been a great relief – and surprise – to the Euro-crats, who are used to demonstrations against them, as in Greece. Bankrupt Ukraine would be another Greece times ten, and it's unlikely they'd be admitted (although NATO might find them quite useful). Pro-EU sentiment is purely symbolic of the underlying nationalist impulse driving the protesters: it has little to do with sympathy for the bureaucrats of Brussels and everything to do with the fact that the EU is not Russia.

Rice is utterly wrong about it being in "nobody's interest" to "see a country split." What about Czechoslovakia? That divorce, which established a Czech Republic entirely separate from the nation of Slovakia, was amicable: there was no violence. The same outcome is possible in Ukraine – if only Washington and its Ukrainian sock-puppets would permit it.

The US favors separatism when it serves Washington's geopolitical goals, Kosovo being the outstanding example. Yet when Putin attempted to apply the same principle of national self-determination to Abkhazia – a former province of the republic of Georgia that voted in a plebiscite to merge with Russia – the Americans denounced it as "Russian aggression." Hypocrisy doesn't even begin to describe the brazen cynicism of US policy in this regard.

As I wrote two weeks ago:

"What's happening today in Ukraine is a replay of an old struggle that cannot be resolved except by the partition of the country, which is not a real nation but merely an administrative unit of the old Soviet Union. This article explains the cultural divide well: the truth is that Russian is the language of choice in Ukraine, and as far as the Internet is concerned, Ukrainian language sites come in third behind Russian and English."

Putin could outwit the regime-changers by proposing a plebiscite in which the Crimean people and other Russian-speakers could choose to go their own way – and make Western leaders look like the warmongering cold warriors they are. Civil war – and a confrontation between Russia and the US/EU – in "nobody's interest," as Ms. Rice would put it. Yet that is precisely what American insistence on the "unity" of Ukraine will lead to.

The costs to Putin if he "loses" Ukraine to the West are going to be steep. While Western media depict the Russian leader as some kind of ultra-nationalist maniac intent on "revanchist" dreams of rebuilding the old Russian Empire, in the context of Russian politics he is a relative moderate. There are real ultra-nationalist forces that would come down on him like a ton of bricks if the historic land of the Cossacks was "lost" to the anti-Russian EU and their American allies. Indeed, two of the most visible anti-Putin "dissidents" – Alexei Navalny and Eduard Limonov (of the fascistic National Bolshevik Party) – are rabid nationalists who make Putin look like the kind of liberal who listens to NPR and strongly favors Birkenstocks. Naturally these two are celebrated by the Western media, who don't care to look too closely at whom they are lionizing.

The same goes for the "dissidents" who have taken over Kiev: many of these "heroes" – as Tymoshenko calls them – are militant neo-Nazis, with several shades of ultra-nationalists well-represented. There is Svoboda, formerly known as the "Social National" party, which idolizes World War II Nazi-collaborator Stepan Bandera, who fought on the side of Hitler's SS against the Red Army. The leader of Svoboda was once expelled from Parliament for calling pro-Russian leaders agents of "Moscow's Jewish Mafia." Then there is the "Right Sector," a gang of football hooligans which is openly fascist and has been used as the "muscle" of the movement as the insurrectionists took over public buildings and fought the police in the streets.

Euromaidan The Dark Shadows Of The Far-Right In Ukraine Protests

The most controversial element of the anti-government alliance is Svoboda (Freedom), an extreme right-wing political party that not only has representation in parliament, but has been dubbed by its critics as a neo-Nazi organization. Britain's Channel 4 News reported that Svoboda has assumed a "leading role" in the street protests in Kiev, with affiliated paramilitary groups prominently involved in the disturbances. Svoboda flags and banners have been featured in the demonstrations at Kiev's Independence Square. During the continuing street riots, one Svoboda MP, Igor Myroshnychenko, created an iconic moment of sorts when he allegedly helped to topple the statue of Vladimir Lenin outside a government building, followed by its occupation by protesters.

[Feb 25, 2014] Neocons and the Ukraine Coup By Robert Parry,

February 25, 2014 | Consortium News

Protesters at Hrushevskogo street on January 26, 2014 in Kiev, Ukraine. The anti-governmental protests turned into violent clashes. (Photo: <a href=" http://www.flickr.com/photos/112078056@N07/12192000415/"target="_blank"> Sasha Maksymenko / Flickr</a>)Protesters at Hrushevskogo street on January 26, 2014 in Kiev, Ukraine. The anti-governmental protests turned into violent clashes. (Photo: Sasha Maksymenko / Flickr)

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American neocons helped destabilize Ukraine and engineer the overthrow of its elected government, a "regime change" on Russia's western border. But the coup – and the neo-Nazi militias at the forefront – also reveal divisions within the Obama administration, reports

American neocons helped destabilize Ukraine and engineer the overthrow of its elected government, a "regime change" on Russia's western border. But the coup – and the neo-Nazi militias at the forefront – also reveal divisions within the Obama administration, reports Robert Parry.

More than five years into his presidency, Barack Obama has failed to take full control over his foreign policy, allowing a bureaucracy shaped by long years of Republican control and spurred on by a neocon-dominated U.S. news media to frustrate many of his efforts to redirect America's approach to the world in a more peaceful direction.

But Obama deserves a big dose of the blame for this predicament because he did little to neutralize the government holdovers and indeed played into their hands with his initial appointments to head the State and Defense departments, Hillary Clinton, a neocon-leaning Democrat, and Robert Gates, a Republican cold warrior, respectively.

Even now, key U.S. diplomats are more attuned to hard-line positions than to promoting peace. The latest example is Ukraine where U.S. diplomats, including Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, are celebrating the overthrow of an elected pro-Russian government.

Occurring during the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, the coup in Ukraine dealt an embarrassing black eye to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who had offended neocon sensibilities by quietly cooperating with Obama to reduce tensions over Iran and Syria, where the neocons favored military options.

Over the past several weeks, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was undercut by a destabilization campaign encouraged by Nuland and Pyatt and then deposed in a coup spearheaded by neo-Nazi militias. Even after Yanukovych and the political opposition agreed to an orderly transition toward early elections, right-wing armed patrols shattered the agreement and took strategic positions around Kiev.

Despite these ominous signs, Ambassador Pyatt hailed the coup as "a day for the history books." Most of the mainstream U.S. news media also sided with the coup, with commentators praising the overthrow of an elected government as "reform." But a few dissonant reports have pierced the happy talk by noting that the armed militias are part of the Pravy Sektor, a right-wing nationalist group which is often compared to the Nazis.

Thus, the Ukrainian coup could become the latest neocon-initiated "regime change" that ousted a target government but failed to take into account who would fill the void.

Some of these same American neocons pushed for the invasion of Iraq in 2003, not realizing that removing Saddam Hussein would touch off a sectarian conflict and lead to a pro-Iranian Shiite regime. Similarly, U.S. military intervention in Libya in 2011 eliminated Muammar Gaddafi but also empowered Islamic extremists who later murdered the U.S. ambassador and spread unrest beyond Libya's borders to nearby Mali.

One might trace this neocons' blindness to consequences back to Afghanistan in the 1980s when the Reagan administration supported Islamic militants, including Osama bin Laden, in a war against Soviet troops, only to have Muslim extremists take control of Afghanistan and provide a base for al-Qaeda to plot the 9/11 attacks against the United States.

Regarding Ukraine, today's State Department bureaucracy seems to be continuing the same anti-Moscow geopolitical strategy set during those Reagan-Bush years.

Robert Gates described the approach in his new memoir, Duty, explaining the view of President George H.W. Bush's Defense Secretary Dick Cheney: "When the Soviet Union was collapsing in late 1991, Dick wanted to see the dismantlement not only of the Soviet Union and the Russian empire but of Russia itself, so it could never again be a threat to the rest of the world."

Vice President Cheney and the neocons pursued a similar strategy during George W. Bush's presidency, expanding NATO aggressively to the east and backing anti-Russian regimes in the region including the hard-line Georgian government, which provoked a military confrontation with Moscow in 2008, ironically, during the Summer Olympics in China.

Obama's Strategy

As President, Obama has sought a more cooperative relationship with Russia's Putin and, generally, a less belligerent approach toward adversarial countries. Obama has been supported by an inner circle at the White House with analytical assistance from some elements of the U.S. intelligence community.

But the neocon momentum at the State Department and from other parts of the U.S. government has continued in the direction set by George W. Bush's neocon administration and by neocon-lite Democrats who surrounded Secretary of State Clinton during Obama's first term.

The two competing currents of geopolitical thinking – a less combative one from the White House and a more aggressive one from the foreign policy bureaucracy – have often worked at cross-purposes. But Obama, with only a few exceptions, has been unwilling to confront the hardliners or even fully articulate his foreign policy vision publicly.

For instance, Obama succumbed to the insistence of Gates, Clinton and Gen. David Petraeus to escalate the war in Afghanistan in 2009, though the President reportedly felt trapped into the decision which he soon regretted. In 2010, Obama backed away from a Brazilian-Turkish-brokered deal with Iran to curtail its nuclear program after Clinton denounced the arrangement and pushed for economic sanctions and confrontation as favored by the neocons and Israel.

Just last summer, Obama – only at the last second – reversed a course charted by the State Department favoring a military intervention in Syria over disputed U.S. claims that the Syrian government had launched a chemical weapons attack on civilians. Putin helped arrange a way out for Obama by getting the Syrian government to agree to surrender its chemical weapons. [See Consortiumnews.com's "A Showdown for War or Peace."]

Stirring Up Trouble

Now, you have Assistant Secretary of State Nuland, the wife of prominent neocon Robert Kagan, acting as a leading instigator in the Ukrainian unrest, explicitly seeking to pry the country out of the Russian orbit. Last December, she reminded Ukrainian business leaders that, to help Ukraine achieve "its European aspirations, we have invested more than $5 billion." She said the U.S. goal was to take "Ukraine into the future that it deserves."

The Kagan family includes other important neocons, such as Frederick Kagan, who was a principal architect of the Iraq and Afghan "surge" strategies. In Duty, Gates writes that "an important way station in my 'pilgrim's progress' from skepticism to support of more troops [in Afghanistan] was an essay by the historian Fred Kagan, who sent me a prepublication draft.

"I knew and respected Kagan. He had been a prominent proponent of the surge in Iraq, and we had talked from time to time about both wars, including one long evening conversation on the veranda of one of Saddam's palaces in Baghdad."

Now, another member of the Kagan family, albeit an in-law, has been orchestrating the escalation of tensions in Ukraine with an eye toward one more "regime change."

As for Nuland's sidekick, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Pyatt previously served as a U.S. diplomat in Vienna involved in bringing the International Atomic Energy Agency into a line with U.S. and Israeli hostility toward Iran. A July 9, 2009, cable from Pyatt, which was released by Pvt. Bradley Manning, revealed Pyatt to be the middleman who coordinated strategy with the U.S.-installed IAEA director-general Yukiya Amano.

Pyatt reported that Amano offered to cooperate with the U.S. and Israel on Iran, including having private meetings with Israeli officials, supporting U.S. sanctions, and agreeing to IAEA personnel changes favored by the United States. According to the cable, Pyatt promised strong U.S. backing for Amano and Amano asked for more U.S. money. [See Consortiumnews.com's "America's Debt to Bradley Manning."]

It was Ambassador Pyatt who was on the other end of Nuland's infamous Jan. 28 phone call in which she discussed how to manipulate Ukraine's tensions and who to elevate into the country's leadership. According to the conversation, which was intercepted and made public, Nuland ruled out one opposition figure, Vitali Klitschko, a popular former boxer, because he lacked experience.

Nuland also favored the UN as mediator over the European Union, at which point in the conversation she exclaimed, "Fuck the E.U." to which Pyatt responded, "Oh, exactly …"

Ultimately, the Ukrainian unrest – over a policy debate whether Ukraine should move toward entering the European Union – led to a violent showdown in which neo-fascist storm troopers battled police, leaving scores dead. To ease the crisis, President Yanukovych agreed to a power-sharing government and to accelerated elections. But no sooner was that agreement signed then the hard-right faction threw it out and pressed for power in an apparent coup.

Again, the American neocons had performed the role of the Sorcerer's Apprentice, unleashing forces and creating chaos that soon was spinning out of control. But this latest "regime change," which humiliated President Putin, could also do long-term damage to U.S.-Russian cooperation vital to resolving other crises, with Iran and Syria, two more countries where the neocons are also eager for confrontation.

[Feb 24, 2014] Ukraine asks Poland for $1 billion, but Poland demurs.

yalensis

Ukraine asks Poland for $1 billion, but Poland demurs.

New Ukrainian government announced to the world that they need $35 billion to get through the fiscal year 2014-2015.

In order to raise the money, Ukraine will have a donathon. They are hoping to get bucks from America and Poland. Donors will get a tote-bag and a coffee mug! Yay!

Unfortunately, Donald Tusk says he is not willing to open his wallet. Not just yet.

AP

Yes, Yanukovich did a great job running Ukraine into the ground while building his 70 million dollar palace (assuming this is how much it cost).

Photos of what government officials in the Yanukovich era were building as the country went bankrupt:

yalensis:

I am not defending Yanukovych. I stipulate that he and his pet oligarchs looted the country. They took a mostly bankrupt country from Yushchenko's oligarchs and then pounded in the final nails.

I wouldn't have minded seeing them all swept away by forces who would expropriate the oligarchical loot and create a fair, socialistic society. People such as, er… Lenin?

Instead, we get anti-Leninists who will now proceed to loot the country for a different set of oligarchs.

Like Marx used to say, it's all about which class is in power, baby.
Now the fascists are in power, and fascists, as we know, are even more hierarchical and capitalist than the other side. Expect the new rulers to move into the fancy palaces.

Southerncross

Anyone expecting personal integrity from ultranationalists should remember how many sticky-fingered vermin Hitler had in his entourage. Not least the delightful Erich Koch, who was as corrupt as Gauleiter of East Prussia as he would be as Reichskommissar of Ukraine.

Really lovely fellow, Herr Koch. Once said that if he ever met an Ukrainian worthy of sitting at his table, he would have him shot. Used to carry a whip to deal with the Ukrainian "n***ers". Just the man to carry through Hitler's Generalplan Ost. One might think that even a Banderite would allow that the Soviet army deserved some credit for driving this modern-day Verres from Ukraine, but apparently one would be wrong.

Fern

A few more details have emerged about the possible financial package on offer to Ukraine and it's not looking that good.

Against the $35 billion identified by Yatsenyuk as needed to get through the 2014-2015 fiscal year, the figure mentioned as the likely EU offer is $20 billion – so, quite a big gap. Unfortunately, it gets worse because the $20 billion is being offered over 7 years and includes profits from joint Ukraine/EU investments stipulated in the EU Association Agreement.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/fec6c296-9c4b-11e3-b535-00144feab7de.html#axzz2uIk5IWXQ

Other reports I've looked suggest that at least one-third of government employees in Ukraine will be laid off, wages and pensions will be, at best frozen and, at worst, cut, and all energy subsidies will be abolished. Hard to see how this can end well.

in other news, Francois Hollande has joined the long line of European leaders on the 'phone a friend in Moscow' gig and has been trying to persuade Putin to recognize the new crowd in Kiev as its legitimate government. He's also encouraged Russia to cough up funding – a new definition of chutzpah, perhaps.

On the 'ever so small you'd hardly see it' support for Svoboda front, not all Chechens are Wahabis and not all Kosovar Albanians supported the KLA but that didn't stop those groups from exercising significant influence over events in their respective spheres.

Stephen Cohen put this very well in a interview he gave the other day:

"What percent are the quasi-fascists of the opposition? Let's say they're 5 percent. I think they're more, but let's give them the break, 5 percent.

But we know from history that when the moderates lose control of the situation, they don't know what to do. The country descends in chaos.

Five percent of a population that's tough, resolute, ruthless, armed, well funded, and knows what it wants, can make history. We've seen it through Europe. We've seen it through Asia. This is reality.

And where Washington and Brussels are on this issue, they won't step up and take the responsibility."

[Feb 24, 2014] Ukrainian Neo-Nazi Party Svoboda gets prize of General Prosecutor post in new government

yalensis:

Extry! Extry!

Ukrainian Neo-Nazi Party Svoboda gets prize of General Prosecutor post in new government . New General Prosecutor name is Oleg Makhnitsky.

but.. but… wait a minute… didn't AP assure us that Svoboda would not come to power becase democracy-loving Oranges on street give Svoboda low poll ratings?

And I believed him!
And I feel so betrayed now!
Boo hoo!

marknesop

And naturally Svoboda will not be in a position to exercise any malign influence as General Prosecutor.

A Svoboda lawyer will be the perfect attack dog for going after Yanukovich and his cronies. Turchinov was connected to Yanukovich at times.

marknesop

And Tymoshenko. And Yushchenko, who testified against Tymoshenko at her trial. Oh, what a tangled web we weave.

yalensis

Dear AP:

No, actually I wasn't surprised at Svoboda's ascent into key government posts. I was being sarcastic.

Those posts and who gets what are being decided in Germany and in Washington, based on whom Western leaders like and feel comfortable with; not on Ukrainian poll numbers.

I predicted from the beginning that the most radical elements would end up coming to power. That's the nature of revolutionary technologies.
Without or without strong poll numbers.

Since you don't get sarcasm, maybe I better spell it out for you: You have been dishonest from Day #1, trying to ease people into feeling more comfortable with the big Orange Rape that is going on:

"Just like down, take a deep breath, relax… it won't be so bad, you'll see… You can trust me because I'm a reasonable person, and I'm telling you that it's all okay…"

Al

Lenin appointed Stalin to a 'safe' position too.

Svoboda & Right Sector will benefit (or more accurately, lose much less credibility than other parties) when the reforms are enforced and the population is enraged through mass lay-off, price rises etc..

It will be easy to take advantage of this by a grouping that could, and probably will jump ship from any coalition government as soon as it gets too tough.

[Feb 24, 2014] Has anyone read up on Turchynov?

KenM
February 24, 2014 at 2:49 am

Has anyone read up on Turchynov?

Or why the hell haven't journalists been putting the available information on this character out there?

"…From 1987 to 1990, he served as head of the agitation and of the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast Komsomol (Communist Youth League) Committee, which was led by Sergei Tigipko.[9] Tigipko and Turchynov became political patrons of Leonid Kuchma…"

"… In 1994 he created the political party Hromada together with Pavlo Lazarenko…"

"…On 4 February 2005, Turchynov was appointed and served as the first‐ever civilian head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU). In February 2006 state prosecutors opened a criminal case against Turchynov and his SBU deputy Andriy Kozhemyakin for destroying a file about FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitive Semyon Mogilevich from the SBU archive. The case was dismissed four months later…"

"…In August 2007, Turchynov replied to the accusation that his stance on same-sex marriage is typically conservative, "I do not agree. If a man has normal views, then you label him a conservative, but those who use drugs or promote sodomy – you label them a progressive person. All of these are perversions."[20]

Wikileaks documents mention Turchynov, then head of Ukraine's SBU, as having destroyed documents implicating Yulia Tymoshenko's alleged connections to organized crime boss Semion Mogilevich…"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oleksandr_Turchynov
-

This is who they put out there as the 'hero of the revolution', the champion against the corruption of Yanukovich, the champion for transparency & EU values!?!

This is the great leader currently passing laws by the bucketload rewriting the Ukrainian constitution…

Couldn't they find anyone more obviously corrupt, more dubious than this piece of garbage?

(couldn't get Lazarenko out of jail in time for the coup perhaps?)

What a farce…

[Feb 24, 2014] Ukraine's new government is not legitimate – Dmitry Medvedev

The Guardian

Dmitry Medvedev has said. "If people crossing Kiev in black masks and Kalashnikov rifles are considered a government, it will be difficult for us to work with such a government," the prime minister said.

"Some of our foreign, western partners think otherwise, considering them to be legitimate authorities. I do not know which constitution, which laws, they were reading, but it seems to me it is an aberration of perception when something that is essentially the result of a mutiny is called legitimate."

He also called the legitimacy of many of Ukraine's governing bodies "doubtful", adding: "There is no one to deal with there [in Ukraine]; masked and armed people are no partners for dialogue."

The Russian PM said he did not understand what was happening in Ukraine. "There is a real threat to our interests and to the lives of our citizens," he said. "There are big doubts about the legitimacy of a whole series of organs of power that are now functioning there."

But Medvedev also said any legally-binding Russian-Ukrainian agreements "must be honoured". There are fears about the future of a gas deal agreed in December under which Russia reduced the gas price for Kiev to $268.50 per 1,000 cubic metres, from the $400 which Ukraine had paid since 2009.

"Those agreements which are legally binding must be honoured," Medvedev said. "We are not cooperating with personalities or isolated individuals. These are inter-state relations. We are neighbours, close nations, and we cannot run away from one another. Whatever has been signed must be honoured. For us, Ukraine remains a serious and important partner."

... ... ...

The US ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt said America was ready to help Ukraine get aid from the International Monetary Fund. The EU is reviving efforts to strike a deal with Ukraine that could involve billions of euros in economic perks. The EU foreign policy chief, Lady Ashton, is visiting Kiev on Monday and Tuesday.

The protest movement has been in large part a fight for the country's economic future – for better jobs and prosperity. Ukraine has struggled with corruption, bad government and short-sighted reliance on cheap gas from Russia. Political unrest has worsened the deficit and caused volatile exchange rates, and may have pushed the economy back into a recession.

Per capita economic output is only around $7,300, even adjusted for the lower cost of living, compared with $22,200 in Poland and around $51,700 in the US. Ukraine ranks 137th in the world for output, behind El Salvador, Namibia, and Guyana.

butchikatopulinka

If tomorrow Russia were to support the Scottish independence movement to the tune of $5.000.000.000, we would be incensed.

If tomorrow Russia were to provide the Scots with favourable worldwide media coverage and ex-paramilitary consultants on how to better tackle the police, there would be outrage.

And if, after secession, Salmond were to ask Russia to establish a military base there, ostensibly to safeguard Scottish independence, but in reality with nuclear-tipped missiles aimed at London, there would be outrage.

This is the hellish brew we are all complicit in making. The United States, with our active help, has invaded, bombed, funded revolutions, and overthrown more democratic governments than any other country. We are guilty, at least of appeasement. Like Chamberlain, we refuse to see reality in the face and believe that, if the US has one more military base encircling Russia, if another country joins NATO, its appetite will be sated. May heaven help us all.

Benulek butchikatopulinka

There were an awful lot of Ukrainian people who took their own initiative to start a revolution, and did so (a) without our permission, and (b) in large measure without our help, at least until the point at which it was too late for 70-something of them. Why do they disappear from your simplistic narrative of The Big Bad West?

mauman jubbler

about the same minority would welcome Russia as the minority in Ukraine welcoming the EU.

harryphilby

Even Nazis have to pay their gas bill.

maywebringtruth harryphilby

Given the violence of the last turbulent two weeks ... and the plethora of Guardianista posts on such ....

Who is taking credit for the "armed" protesters (molotov cocktails, sippers & automatic weapons)?

Credit Candidates:

(a) far right
(b) far left

third_eye maywebringtruth

Far West...

Ishowerdaily

Still not bothered about armed Nazis being in control of Kiev, not bothered by war memorials being replaced with fascist symbols?

Liberals are so full of shit.

PeterBrit

I find it curious nobody in the press is mentioning the Moldova experience, currently split, after a war, into a western, Romania-speaking, pro-Europe part and an eastern Russian-speaking pro-Russia part. Over the weekend, one of the nationalist Ukrainian parties allegedly discussed banning Russian in the Ukraine. Putin isn't going to let that happen. A war and division in the Ukraine as in Moldova is now quite likely unless a new Kiev government goes for reconciliation rather than retribution. Going after Yanukovych at this point doesn't exactly seem the priority. It looks too much like victors' justice. Leave Yanukovych to a newly elected government after May.

panpipes PeterBrit

Russian has not been banned but it will no longer be the 2nd official language for governmental work.

brudda

Any chance of the UK media calling it as it is in Ukraine, a smash and power grab, a coup, a dereliction of democracy?? Or are they allowed to do so...


Miamijim

A 2nd Crimean war, is not off the table, but by god let's hope that does not happen.

Carlillvs Miamijim

Can we scrape together 600 spare troops?

panpipes

Russia maintains a big naval base in the Crimean port of Sevastopol that has complicated relations between the countries for two decades.

but.....only the US maintains foreign military bases!

putin_the_fabulous panpipes

That also why Russia is interested in syria, it has a naval base in tartus!

PeterBrit panpipes

Slightly different situation in that Russia has had naval bases in the Crimea for about a century and a half dating from the time when the Crimea was part of Imperial Russia, and just maintained it there when the USSR broke up a couple of decades ago.

panpipes PeterBrit

What some here don't appreciate is that Russia's imperialistic designs neither began nor ended with the USSR.

And....I'm thinking that Russia's base has been updated significantly in the last 150 years or so.....

Grandfather clauses for military bases.....don't change the similarity.

laguerre

I see the new president, Oleksandr Turchynov, is expecting large subsidies from the EU. It will completely discredit Brussels if they give in. It is not our affair. We don't have to put Ukraine on the straight road (which they are not on anyway - there is is no evidence this new regime will be better than the previous, in spite of all the revolutionary freedom guff spewed on these Guardian threads).

hodgeey

What has Yanukovych done other than be ousted in an EU-supported coup?

If arrest warrants are needed for justice, how about murderers and thieves like Blair who are still loose?

panpipes hodgeey

Read the article.

hodgeey panpipes

I did. The current regime is illegal.

Mulefish

Sounds familiar: charge Yanukovich for violence against peaceful citizens.

Just as the mob are doing to Morsi..

Does the CIA produce a printed sheet now for their rent-a-mob puppets to follow?

exiledoffmainstreet

Yankee dollars are creating civil war conditions in the Ukraine.


panpipes exiledoffmainstreet

and Russian money did what?

edwardrice panpipes

The Russians didn't overthrow the government. You missed that bit.

Ukraine is near bankrupt.

Now Ukraine has no choice but to except IMF/EU austerity big time.

Ukrainian will longer be a sovereign state. Disaster capitalism in action!

Yippy!

Rodneyhorace

George Osborne, the Chancellor, said that Britain and other countries will be ready "with a chequebook" to help "rebuild" Ukraine following the bloody violence that has seen 88 killed and hundreds more injured.

Really! I didn't know we had money to chuck around for causes such as this. One does have to ask whether the offer is entirely altruistic.

Once again we are taking sides in another country's dispute, giving the reason that we are concerned for 'the Ukrainian people'. Translated that means that we want to woo Ukraine towards Europe and the west so that we can get our hands on their mineral resources. Secondly, I have to ask who are the Ukrainian people?

If ever the Ukraine was persuaded to join the EU I can only see it as a bad move for them and for the EC. Once they take EU money they will for ever be in hock to the Europe banks, and will have to accept the EC dictatorship as to how they manage their affairs. From our point of view it would open the gates to another stream of East Europeans who see Britain as an escape from the turmoil of their own country.

When will our politicians learn to keep their grubby hands of other country's affairs?

Duende Rodneyhorace

Wonder what struggling Greece, Spain and Italy will think about such genorosity!


EasternEuropeanSol

The NSA should be put to good use.

All the Church of Putin monks and worshippers should be identified and their Western citizenship retired.
They should then be expelled to Rassiah to enjoy the benefits of living in the Free Holy Land of Rassiah.

After all, why torment the Cult of Putin adepts to live in the Zionist-Masonic-Illuminati Satanical-Talmudic-Babylonian West?

Many like to criticize the West because they are fringe idiots, failure in their economic and social lives. Expel them all to Rassiah.

I'm sure many young bright and intelligent Eastern Europeans would love to work and live and die in the West.

EnoughIsEnoughUS EasternEuropeanSol

So you're against Free Speech?

"Many like to criticize the West because they are fringe idiots, failure in their economic and social lives. Expel them all to Rassiah."

Captain_Smartypants EasternEuropeanSol

After all, why torment the Cult of Putin adepts to live in the Zionist-Masonic-Illuminati Satanical-Talmudic-Babylonian West?

Presumably because freedom of expression and a right to live in a society you don't fully with is one of the things that make our lot of countries the greatest in the world. Morons like you are no better than Putin's cyber-army of trolls – you would happily accept Russian degrees of freedom if it had the right label, just like they do.

Avranches

While they're about it they need to issue another arrest warrant for EU Commission president José Barroso, for facilitating the destruction of Ukraine and fanning the flames which led to the deaths of dozens of its policemen.

Duende

None of the protests in Ukraine or Thailand or Venezuela have been 'peaceful' as the Western media never ceases to portray - and certainly in the case of Ukraine and Venezuela they have been engineered by the US. Victoria Nuland recently boasted to the National Press Club that the US had spent US$ 5 billion over the years to pull Ukraine West - and Venezuela has sent three US diplomats packing for being provocateurs.

write2read Duende

Right or wrong is another thing but many Muslims went to Syria for war but it won't happen in Ukraine. Many people knew all these protesters are not peaceful but the EU, USA and UK keep telling us they are peaceful. What should we do? When the protesters attacked the law enforcement officers, all these countries keep warning the govt to sanction, they warned to the wrong side. The protesters have prepared their weapons very well in advance. I am not supporting Yanukovych but I am telling the fact what we have seen. Every govt should condemn such type of protest, it is destroying democracy.

Torvean

The one thing that is certain is that post communism the further east you travel the more corrupt the politicians are and the more they are feathering their own nests.
Certainly true of the Ukraine's political class since 1990 but maybe that is how they do business and perhaps endemic within their culture.
Is it all about Nationalism or about their country having a corrupt free governing system moving forward?
My only information about Ukraine comes from the media and (being a sad act) I tune into BBC, Sky, Al Jazeera and RT and boy am I confused as to what is really going on.
Is any of this going to affect me or mine in the UK?
Future immigration issues, gas supplies, holidays to Eastern Europe?...a rerun of issues pre 1914 ...

Fabmacca Torvean

How dare you take an even-handed, open-minded approach to all this.

There are so many wildly differing views on here, many of them comically black and white. Russia bad, EU bad, USA bad, fascists everywhere, Russia good, EU good, USA good (ok, not so much of that), protesters bad, protesters purer than pure.

I fear the reality is that this is yet another world event that will reveal tawdriness all round when it comes to writing the history books down the line. I just hope that those same history books won't be providing an analysis of a prelude to much, much darker times.

RadioPartizan Fabmacca

Apart from the Kremlin astro-turfers, most of those taking a critical view are in no way supporting putin or yanucovych. We are expressing extreme alarm at the significant role that fascistic ultra-nationalist groups have been at the forefront of the conflict and how this has been systematically airbrushed out by the media which has been trying to portray what is unfolding as democratic people power.

Now these groups seem to have the whip hand in what is unfolding in Kiev - and our fears look to be justified as events seem to skittering towards greater violence and conflict - even civil war.

Rob Purcell

I think Putin has won this one already, and he didn't even have to lift a finger. Now, whether Eastern Ukraine breaks away or not, the EU will be left with an impoverished, hopelessly corrupt lump of a country, and will itself have to deal with the costs (financial and political) of satisfying its many discontents.

If the EU and US renege on their pledges of support (given, of course, without consulting the views of those who pay them their taxes) then they will end up despised by the Ukrainians, and the Ukrainians will flee willfully and lovingly back to Putin, begging to be embraced with a Russian bear hug once again.

You can hear the temerity of the EU and US now in their announcements. They already regret this accidental regime change. Where before they were proclaiming that Ukraine must free itself of the oppressive Russian yoke, now they are whining for 'cooperation' and 'safeguarding mutual interests'. They are pleading for Putin's help in sorting the mess they have created.

carnageuk

Meanwhile, in other news

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/feb/24/hsbc-bankers-multimillion-pound-eu-bonus-cap

Freedom is coming your way Ukraine, enjoy swimming in the pool at the presidential palace while you can......

retsdon

The speaker, Oleksandr Turchinov, said top priorities included saving the economy and "returning to the path of European integration",


Per capita economic output is only around $7,300, even adjusted for the lower cost of living there, ...


First came the Poles, then came the Rumanians, then came....

A bit of a pattern developing, no?

RoyRoger

Ukraine's acting interior minister says former president is suspected of involvement in killing of civilians

The same old arrogant Corporate White House and their British lackey's format for their placed dictators:

Eygpt
Kiev
Syria?
Venezuela?
Iraq
Lybya.
Iran?

Who will curtail these arrogant bastards? Does the, Taliban, know something we don't?

Justice53 RoyRoger

the list is longer...

Iran (1953)
Guatemala (1954)
Congo (1960)
Dominican Republic (1961)
South Vietnam (1963),
Brazil (1964),
Chile (1973).
Iraq
Afghanistan
Mali
Turkey
Yugoslavia
Libya
Egypt
Ukraine

fresher

Calls are mounting in Ukraine to put Yanukovych on trial after a tumultuous presidency in which he amassed powers, enriched his allies and cracked down on demonstrators

Although it's true that as a general rule Western democracies don't shoot protestors, all of our governments can equally be accused of "amassing powers and enriching their allies".

We have come to a point where that pretty much describes government in general.

And who's to say that Cameron or Obama wouldn't order in the troops if he was confronted by a serious uprising?

Fundamentally, having surrendered the moral high ground with our illegal wars, torture and rendition and now mass surveillance of the population, is it any wonder that the Russians can so effectively propagandise all this as a Western coup?

panpipes fresher

the Russians can so effectively propagandise all this as a Western coup?

The audience that is affected by this propaganda already made their minds up quite awhile ago.

The CIA has been meddling in other countries for a long time. This isn't a recent occurrence. Those who suddenly claim that Obama is doing something different haven't been paying attention for the past 60 years.

And those who champion Putin as the anti-Obama are just fools.

RadioPartizan fresher

western governments have used lived ammo on demonstrators in the past - Bloody Sunday and Kent State. More recently Genoa and Gothenburg in 2001 and the UK and US have used live ammo on demonstrators in Iraq.

Any state faced with the level of violent protests seen in Kiev would resort to bullets.

We have machine gun wielding cops guarding the houses of parliament. If thousands of protestors armed with clubs, catapults, petrol bombs and even fire arms launched an assault on westminster does anyone think they wouldn't use them?

Strober

The EU has made a mistake. It can't afford to bail out Ukraine. Not only that, the country is so corrupt it would be like throwing money away.

It's a total balls up. From the ill concieved EU Eastern Partnership, to the geo-political games with Russia, to basically forcing Ukraine to choose between the EU and Russia. All for what?

For democracy? American style? Like in Egypt or Bahrain or Thailand or other US client states? What signal has the EU just given to people in Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Hungary and other member states with massive unemployment and resentment at government and EU policies?

Roskosmos Strober

Too late. They have to pay now...
The bill is ready.

panpipes Strober

So....if the EU doesn't bail out Ukraine and they default the EU will be hurt by Russian banks being losing money?

Doug_Niedermeyer

Issuing a warrant for Yanukovych's arrest is a little ill-judged at this delicate point in proceedings; its only going to further inflame his supporters in the east of the country. The people nominally in charge in Kiev should really be trying to diffuse the tension, not ratchet it up.

EnoughIsEnoughUS

MSN:

"Standard & Poor's ratings agency predicted on Friday that if Russia scrapped the bailout, Ukraine would default on the $13 billion of debt it is due to pay back this year."


Doug_Niedermeyer EnoughIsEnoughUS

But who are the debt holders? Not such a problem if its Russia ;)

EnoughIsEnoughUS Doug_Niedermeyer

Good question, so I did a DuckDuckGo search on that:

Telegraph:

"Regis Chatellier, from Societe Generale, said there is a "high risk" that Ukraine will be pushed into default on its €60bn sovereign debt, triggering a credit shock for Russian banks. Sberbank and VTB are both large holders of Ukrainian bonds. Global emerging market bond funds hold 3pc of their portfolio in Ukrainian debt. "The spillover effect of a Ukrainian default would be significant, but not systemic," he said."

fishpaprikash

European Commisioner for the foreign affairs Elmar Brock said that Ukraine is in need of 35 billion usd to stabilize its economy.That is 20 bil.from the EU and previous 15bil.promised from Russia.Both Russia and EU are waiting for the stable government? This of course it is another briliant move by Putin. Let Barroso and Ashton deal with brown shirts and street thugs. In the mean time China have pledged 3bil usd invesment in South east Ukrain with construction of grain elevators and ports on the black see for the grain and pork shipping. In the deal its included construction of the roads and highways to support entire logistics. Also they will buy all the machinery for the initial 100.000 hectars of land. Plan is for a total of 1.000.000 hectares to be worked. The EU is bankrupt and already counting on 15bil.from Russia?

Bcs those 15bil will probably go into the East and South w China. Putin can actualy now put strings attached just like EU is doing on their money.

Conclusion. More investments and developments in true economy of East and South vs Austherity for the revolutionaries in the west.

inkyblob

If the West bails out the Ukraine to the tune of USD35bn the country will forever be in debt to western banks - is that really what the revolution was about?

I'm sure western bankers are rubbing their hands together in glee but I'm not sure its the best thing for the Ukrainian people.

EnoughIsEnoughUS

Obama and Boehner said there's no money to pay for extending unemployment benefits for the long term unemployed Americans, yet they have US tax payer money to give to Ukraine:

Bloomberg:

"White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice said yesterday the U.S. will work with its European partners to help finance Ukraine's economic recovery.

"They need to reform, and they need financing," Rice said on NBC's "Meet the Press" program. "And that will be very much a part of our shared efforts." "

panpipes EnoughIsEnoughUS

But, as the McWorld article demonstrated, the leaders of the neo-liberal, corporate world don't care about citizens - only customers.

fishpaprikash EnoughIsEnoughUS

What a nice girl ms Rice. She didnt talk about few patriot missiles to protect from the N.Korea?(bcs u know they are coming any minute) and instaling few NATO compaunds in Ukraine to protect over whom?

sebastiano

Yanuchovich has fallen down, Maduro is almost mature. From Mossadeq to Allende, this is the end of unarmed democratic governments if unwelcome to USA
oat876 sebastiano
I doubt Yanukovich's downfall has anything to do with the USA....it has more to do with the mass of his population who think that joining the EU means more investment and jobs and their war with those who think that getting close to the Russians means jobs saved... The USA is not the Almighty, you know....

rudaskaipsudas oat876

And Hitler was so much of a clown at first Chaplin made a film about him.
Ian A Guthrie
Nice to see the reunification of the liberal elite and their wayward bride the Fascists, happy once again now that Kiew is controlled by thugs from the right.

These protestors, this Revolution, this campaign on the streets fighting for free elections against a Regime, oh yes our liberal hearts beat quicker when we think of our brave new heroes goose stepping through Kiew, the dog is well and truly off the leash now

brudda tweetingpie
The British seem to hate Russia and Putin. Wooldridge in the Times yesterday wrote something similar. Why? Elections had sorted this out in 2010 by the way, and were due next year. Instead the EU US etc have gone in and assisted in Fcukeng the current leader out of power in a totally undemocratic fashion, but sure who gives a damn. Elections May 25th will be held, one hopes that anyone who wishes to stand can and that no party is banned from standing,.

Also perhaps a refernedum on EU issues would sort that aspect out ??

mmmmmx
Ukraine is basically bankrupt. Economy is failing apart. Investors and capitals are on the run. Thugs are controlling the capital. No central government. Theres no single bank that will give a cent to Ukraine today.

What Ukraine have to pay now or in near future

About $15bln annually for future gas purchases. Gas price will be raised up again. I predict addition -$10bln annual losses for Ukraine's exports to Russia.

So we are wanting for EU's taxpayers money now. And another revolution in about a year.

Yuno Gasai mmmmmx

All of that is easily solved.

Just declare that Ukraine is no longer the Ukraine it used to be and state that it doesn't need to repay debts owed by the predecessor.

Remember that when the USSR split, Russia, and Russia alone, shouldered the USSR's external debts. The ex-republics started from a clean slate.

PeterBrit
It's amazing how much some western journalists love a violent revolution as long as, it's not against a western ally (Bahrain), not in their own country (Tottenham riots) and not in a country that's hard to understand, hard to reach and has lousy hotels (South Sudan and Central African Republic)
Justice53
Good pictures about Neo-Nazi Party.

Svoboda is a Neo-Nazi Party, Ukraine's fourth biggest party holding 36 seats out of 450 in parliament.

They're also part of the Alliance of European National Movements along with the BNP and Jobbik.

Svoboda is supported directly by Washington.

This is Svoboda, the Neo-Nazi group that is doing the fighting in Ukraine John McCain with leader of the Neo-Nazi Svoboda Party (right) Business Insider, Business Trip to Kiev

There are No Neo-Nazis in Ukraine.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/there-are-no-neo-nazis-in-the-ukraine-and-the-obama-administration-does-not-support-fascists/5370269

maschine
So the new unelected Government in Ukraine are now asking Russia not to raise the gas price? Bet they're really thrilled of another NATO missile system pointing towards them (Or Iran, depends if you buy into the gullible guff). Report
boynamedsue
I don't care what Ukrainians want, I don't want the EU to have a massive land border with Russia, and a massive area where the people consider themselves Russian. Anyway, this isn't over by a long shot. Self-determination for Eastern Ukraine anybody?

yermelai

It can hardly be an an encouraging sign that Yulia Timoshenko has been so swiftly released by a vote in a revolutionary parliament. Surely the release should have gone through the proper legal process for it to be deemed legitimate!?

brudda yermelai

Exactly....But the same laws do not apply when the US/EU wants to take over a country as it would to normal circumstances....

VoiceFromNowhere

The nearest future of Ukraine is default. Economically, Ukraine is a bankrupt state. Neither EU nor the US will be able to bail it out. Too much money is needed. Vladimir Putin is the only one who could resolve the situation somehow, but he won't allow contacts with him by these new "rulers" in the nearest future.

Grabbing power is one thing, keeping it and decently governing the country is something very different.

Nobudget

In Britain, if a protest against the government knocks over a few dustbins the protest in condemned and the government orders a water canon and more riot gear. If it happens overseas the government demands that the protestors' voice is heard, even that the foreign government steps aside immediately.

The media always distills these conflicts down to government vs. 'the opposition'. In the UK this would be like saying Cameron faces an alliance of Labour, the Greens, UKIP, the SWP and Combat 18. Much of the violence in Kiev was elements of the far-right clashing with police and it's this which ultimate brought down the government, not fresh faced young EU supporters. As in Syria, the West doesn't care who its ultimately supporting so long as another nation can be shackled with a package from the IMF.

rudaskaipsudas Nobudget

"The media always distills these conflicts down to government vs. 'the opposition'. In the UK this would be like saying Cameron faces an alliance of Labour, the Greens, UKIP, the SWP and Combat 18."

Brilliant. Wish I could recommend twice!

YGHome3

What happened in Ukraine looks like a fascist coup sponsored by America.

westofoxford YGHome3

Mmm..just a few tiny problems there. Such as: fascist states cant join NATO or the EU

I really think hatred of Americans needs to become a hate crime

boynamedsue westofoxford

The government has been replaced violently by an opposition who receives money from America and includes parties of the extreme right.

You can kind of see what he's getting at.

WillyMarz

Government by riot, riot advised by foriegn embassies, funded by foreign sources - ah could international capital find any better way of getting rid of governments it does not like? Why bother with the popular vote, I'm sure the USA and the EU has all our interests at heart.

efreelittlehelps

What should be very worrying for Ukraine are the catches of borrowing from private international central banks, ie the federal reserve via the IMF(the central bank of central banks) are the catches that go with lending from them.

Agenda21 , carbon taxes , The too big to fail monopoly banks will dominate , your economy , your industry, energy , security , health , education , public services , private pensions , banking and political sectors .

Its called the sovereignty

maureenincork efreelittlehelps

IMF, European Central Bank, European Commission - it's called The Triage and other vernacular names too. The bag-men arrive to collect on the due date; they wear dark Armani suits and their briefcases are made from crocodile skins. They don't take "No" for an answer.

VoiceFromNowhere

Ukrainians in the country have their own food and won't need much money to buy it. And what about cities? Famine is almost inevitable. Who will be to blame for the Holodomor this time? Russia again who did her best to prevent this revolution and illegal grabbing of power or the EU/US who did their darnedest to make the ultranationalists grab power in Ukraine? Rhetorical questions.

ID7776906 VoiceFromNowhere

Poland and Ukraine always looking to afix blame on someone or something for all their misforrtune and failings.Stand on your own two feet

maureenincork

is there any news of Baroness Ashton's visit to Kiev? She will lob some powder-puffs at the unruly elements who will immediately surrender. If anyone can do it, she can; after all, she's a Baroness. Awesome!

RussianPete

Confirmed up to 19th Feb.Source Vedomstvo Bogatirevovoi: hospitolised 79 cops, 5 journalists, 1 MP (Pozenyak V.S.). All cops with gunshot wounds.

Overall count so far this is not accurate should be higher - Over 500 hospitolised, over 100 with GSW, at least 10 dead.

During clashes.

Police only got guns after terrorists used guns against them. All well done good op from "opposition".

Support your side! Guardian and bots for "free" Ukraine! Where have you been all this time? Help Greece, Portugal, Iceland? No they are in wrong place on the map aren't they?

lids RussianPete

Can you explain why the police change sides and came out on the side of the protesters?

RussianPete lids

Forced to, like politicians, it was that or die.

RussianPete lids

Police station was surrounded. I came back to Guardian for a peek, I am just amazed...like you guys did not see anything?! I was glued to pc and tv past week. Like out of all the info there is what you get has gone through a thick thick filter. Feed b*tches!

xpeters RussianPete

Are you really saying that the protestors had more guns than the Ukrainian military, which is the body that switched sides and changed the outcome? I think your credibility is struggling with that one.

RussianPete xpeters

Guardian credibility struggling not mine. Don't care one of my last posts on this forum. Guardian gone to dogs after Snowden chose them, Heavily filtered news now and science articles got worse and worse.

They did indeed had a hell of a lot of guns and sniper rifles! Are all those pro EU and US (democratic Ukraine) blind? Don't you have internet or YouTube???

Swithed sides and changed outcome? What are you on about? Is that what they have been feeding you. Oh man lol))))

I am not saying anything made up only what I have seen just look it up damn...

lids RussianPete

Was the threat to the families of police or did the police feel as if en masse they would not survive the mob?

RussianPete lids

Of course everyones family was at threat how would not comply. All I am saying they did not shoot themselvs!) I know who fired first, "Berkut" was amazing, those are real men, to stand up to molotovs and angry mob for so many days without weapons. Have you seen the video with one Berkut with hs eye shot off? Sick stuff man. Battle is not over anyways. Other cities will not lay down to nazis.

englishinpoland

The Naivety of the West by creating a Vacuum in Ukraine will hopefully not come back to bite them on the backsides. I very much doubt that the 20% or so Russians in the Ukraine will take kindly to being made 'European.'

Russian trade accounts for 80% of Ukrainian exports...who will fill the void left if the Russians stop trading? Easy! The working classes in the old west will become more unemployed by a new wave of cheaper employees and products.

ID7776906 englishinpoland

About time this area of the world stood on it`s own two feet and that yes includes Poland.

Trevorx

Try reading yesterday's Peter Hitchens's Mail on Sunday column for the truth about what's happened in Ukraine.

Things have come to pretty pass when rabid right-wingers like him are spelling out the facts whilst the supposedly "impartial" BBC continually spouts one-sided propaganda in support of fascist hoodlums.

Justice53 Trevorx

Global Research Canada reports: CNN and BBC usually use Fake Image and Video Footage

The Routine Use of Fake Images and Video Footage by the Western Media

"It has become routine for the mainstream media including network TV to present fake images and footage of protest movements.

This process of manipulating the truth and presenting fake images is nothing new. When it is discovered, CNN or the BBC will invariably apologize for having used the "wrong image", from the "wrong country" from its extensive archives.

The February anti-government riots in Venezuela were "documented" by numerous fake images.

"Here are some brutal cops, with nice woolly caps and fur collars to guard against the 24°C Caracas weather."

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-routine-use-of-fake-images-and-video-footage-by-the-western-media/5370097

yermelai

What chance of a properly functioning government from this revolutionary rabble some of whom have all ready been in power?

It is interesting that just a year before a scheduled election the 'opposition' used all means to derail democracy.

If Yanukovitch is so unliked and distrusted surely it would have been more logical to defeat him in an election. Are the current crop of revolutionaries capable of submitting an electoral program to the people - to whom in reality they show little if no respect - and winning at the ballot box?

Felipe1st

Where do they get lions and tigers and bears from anyway?

Perhaps?

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/feb/07/fixers-super-rich-quintessentially-concierge-millionaires

Oh my!

KyKaH

Kiev, Ukraine.

Revolutiioners shout "Bandera, Shukhevich are heroes of Ukraine", "Kill the communist", "Kill moscovites (russians)"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=48D-7ZZieeE

KyKaH

Note: Jan 10 2014

JonCymru

This will cost Europe and the West billions, the economic heart of Ukraine will split and join Russia, We will be left throwing money at West Ukraine who bring nothing to the table, well maybe not nothing, plenty of cheap labour ripe for exploitation.

xpeters
Ukraine would be fully justified in preventing the secession of the eastern third. I suspect the trade off will be that Russia will be allowed to keep its Crimean port in exchange for ensuring no secession and continued trade.

Putin will be relieved that it will be the EU and not Russia that pays to bring Ukraine's economy into the 21st Century and save it from imminent bankruptcy. Even with Russian trade, Ukraine is currently a basket case and the manufacture of arms and heavy machinery for Russia is insufficient to keep the country afloat.

paulnick
Ukraine signed a large Gas deal with Chevron for the Olesska field situated around Lvov in west Ukraine.

Shell also signed a deal for the east around Donetsk Yuzivska field.

kabscorner
Chaos is Ukraine is far from over. It is highly likely that the nation will end up with a civil war on her hands as pro-westerners and pro-Russians fight it out. And, to top it off, the nation is desperate for money which is going to be damn difficult to get out of the EU and the IMF.
Mass mobilization of anti-radical resistance
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=R_l9My5fG-E

efreelittlehelps

"Money is a new form of slavery, and distinguishable from the old simply by the fact that it is impersonal – that there is no human relation between master and slave." Leo Tolstoy, Russian writer.

http://www.themoneymasters.com/the-money-masters/famous-quotations-on-banking/

maschine
Medvedev: The situation in Ukraine is unclear, but there is now a direct threat to the life and health of our citizens.

This is going to get real ugly.

maschine
How is Russia going to get back 3.3 billion dollars I don't know. They got no money, not even to fix the mess they have made.
Kapone78
One thing has to be done since the Russian language seems to have lost its official status, that is returning the Crimean peninsula to Russia as well as the Russian speaking areas by allowing a referendum to take place....if not, blood will be spilt....self-determination applies to everyone.
IranCorrespondent
Ukraine: another piece in US-NATO-EU neo-con puzzle

http://voiceofrussia.com/2014_02_21/Ukraine-another-piece-in-the-neo-con-puzzle-0151/

A monstrous crime is being committed in Ukraine right before the eyes of the world and the western media is helping to cover it up and distract the attention of the entire world from the core fact that the events in Ukraine are not a popular uprising but a carefully orchestrated synthetic coup d'état brought about by long entrenched western color revolution infrastructure that was installed by US/NATO/EU to bring about the illegal act of regime change on the sovereign country of Ukraine.

billfreuchie
I despair of the Guardian's ignorance of history–Tisdall included. Isn't it obvious that the events in Ukraine are a virtually-identical replay of the 'Orange' revolution of ten years ago funded by the US: even the main players are the same, such as Timoshenko.

The US has "invested" $5 billion in the "democratisation" of the Ukraine over the last 20 years, in an attempt to get it into NATO. Of course, the faithful UK ally is right alongside.

The Guardian has also forgotten the days of Reagan and the "missile shield" with wished-for emplacements in Poland and the Ukraine. The cold war antagonism between the US and Russia is undiminished, with Putin consistently demonised even in the international love-fest of an Olympics.

Don't be surprised if the Russians turn off the gas taps. Don't be surprised if Merkel yelps in pain.

But then after all the days she spent in Kiev, the US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland phoned the US ambassador and said "F*ck the EU".

www.youtube.com/watch?v=KIvRljAaNgg&src_vid=CL_GShyGv3o&feature=iv&annotation_id=annotation_1604741885

laurab74
voters with short memories make good voters

Justice53

Washington's Hegemonic Ambitions in Ukraine: Sleepwalking Again into a Destructive Conflict

"Regime change in Ukraine for a mere $5 billion dollars would be a bargain compared to the massive sums squandered in Iraq ($3,000 billion), Afghanistan ($3,000 billion), Somalia, and Libya, or the money Washington is wasting murdering people with drones in Pakistan and Yemen, or the money Washington has spent supporting al Qaeda in Syria, or the massive sums Washington has wasted surrounding Iran with 40 military bases and several fleets in the Persian Gulf in an effort to terrorize Iran into submission.

So far, in Washington's attempt at regime change in Ukraine large numbers of Americans are not being killed and maimed. Only Ukrainians are dying, all the better for Washington as the deaths are blamed on the Ukrainian government that the US has targeted for overthrow.

The problem with Washington's plot to overthrow the elected government of Ukraine and install its minions is twofold: The chosen US puppets have lost control of the protests to armed radical elements with historical links to nazism, and Russia regards an EU/NATO takeover of Ukraine as a strategic threat to Russian independence.

Washington overlooked that the financially viable part of today's Ukraine consists of historical Russian provinces in the east and south that the Soviet leadership merged into Ukraine in order to dilute the fascist elements in western Ukraine that fought for Adolf Hitler against the Soviet Union. It is these ultra-nationalist elements with nazi roots, not Washington's chosen puppets, who are now in charge of the armed rebellion in Western Ukraine.
If the democratically elected Ukraine government is overthrown, the eastern and southern parts would rejoin Russia. The western part would be looted by Western bankers and corporations, and the NATO Ukraine bases would be targeted by Russian Iskander missiles.

It would be a defeat for Washington and their gullible Ukrainian dupes to see half of the country return to Russia. To save face, Washington might provoke a great power confrontation, which could be the end of all of us."

http://www.globalresearch.ca/washingtons-hegemonic-ambitions-in-ukraine-sleepwalking-again-into-a-destructive-conflict/5370221

Russia denounces Ukraine 'terrorists' and west over Yanukovich ousting

The Guardian

lonelysoul72

lets be honest, they have a point

haribol lonelysoul72

Well, Thatcher did call Mandela a terrorist.

One mans terrorism is another mans freedom fighter.

However, we must appreciate that master strategists in the form of the Foriegn and Commonwealth office have made monumental errors, the three biggest being Palestine/Israel and Kashmir/Partition and Ireland.

These 3 festering sores have played the biggest part in world terrorism.

Lets hope the situation in Ukraine does not lead to another festering sore supported by Hague and the F&C office.

RhysGethin lonelysoul72

No, they don't.

joeyjojojunior RhysGethin
I think it's always dangerous to support the overthrow of another government, but this is really worrying.

That the EU are supporting lunatics whispering ominously about a Jewish conspiracy in order to overthrow a democratically elected leader is bad enough. That they're doing it to a bankrupt country in Europe with 45 million people is even worse. That they're doing it to a country with such historic ties to Russia is absolutely insane.

It will be the easiest thing in the world for Putin to rally his people against this, as a matter of fact given that Ukraine is the historic origin of Russia I would imagine he would have a hard time restraining them.

I've always been a staunch defender of the EU but this has completely transformed it in my eyes, I no longer see it as a stabilising force whose main aim is to be a large trading block.

It has morphed into an aggressive, imperialist even, body more interested in its eastward march whatever the consequences than it is in stability and prosperity.

How the hell did they think Russia was going to react to its encouraging the violent overthrow of a democratically elected leader of its largest neighbour?

Scary times ahead.

CrumpsallLass haribol
One mans terrorism is another mans freedom fighter.

Not in the case. They are not being occupied by another country against their will. They have a democratic government and President already (still there despite the terrorists occupying parliament).

The French Resistence during WWII were Freedom Fighters, the Vichy Government were the terrorists.

joeyjojojunior CrumpsallLass

We had Susanna Reid on the BBC this morning asking some "expert" about Ukraine's "transition to democracy".

I don't think Reid's that stupid, so presumably this is the line she's been told to promote. Naked lying propaganda- is it any wonder so many people here are so misinformed? A violent coup against an elected leader is a "transition to democracy" at the BBC these days.

[Feb 24, 2014] Is It Time for Ukraine to Split Up by Brian Whitmore

The Atlantic

In your recent commentary piece "Should There Be One Ukraine?" you made a rather provocative argument that it might be time for the country to split up. Could you elaborate on that argument?

I'm not arguing necessarily that Ukraine should split up. I am saying, however, that were it to split, were something like that to occur, and especially if those three problematic provinces-the two in the [eastern region of the] Donbas, Luhansk and Donetsk, and arguably even the Crimea-were to leave, Ukraine frankly would be better off. Not because there is some kind of instinctive incapacity on the part of Ukraine to be a diverse country, that's precisely one of the points that the article makes-that every country in the world is diverse, it has divisions between east, west, north, south, and so forth. So in that sense Ukraine's vaunted east-west division is not that unusual.

DrOph

Putins involvement is miniscule in orchestrating events vs the US and EU meddling. This is a huge horror show, and threatens to start civil war on Russia's border. This makes it a huge international destabilization. This article makes very bare mention of Yulia Timoshenko's equally (if not more) corrupt past, and her particular dealings with the neo-con ghouls from the still much reviled G.W. Bush administration. But I think far more important is the barely referenced "F the EU" conversation between Victoria Nuland and our ambassador to the Ukraine, Pyatt - where the main discussion was about "mid-wifing" the protests, and about pushing their people into power over the German backed Klitchko. So, I think calling this is an EU/US backed coup is pretty clearly not exaggeration. We quickly moved everything in out power to topple a democratically elected governement, after forcing them to choose between Russia or the EU, despite the option on the table for a tripartite agreement, backed by Putin who asked " why should they have to choose?" Sanctions were called down, and license was given to the protesters to take bolder action, while the government forces were facing pressure from the US and EU to step down. Those of you picking sides and foaming at the bit over The President of Russia are in sore need of a post-soviet history lesson. The chickens will come home to roost.

DrOph > Tim_Sims

Saying "who leaked it" as if the fact that the US ambassadors to the EU and Ukraine are actively involved in shaping and provoking the events unfolding on the ground, while maintaining a hypocritical stance of protecting Ukraine from Russian influence were not the issue at hand, is the real slight of hand going on. If you want to bring a whistle blower like Edward Snowden into this, then if Russia is responsible for exposing the covert regime change and meddling in sovereign nation's affairs - i.e. gross manipulation and wrong doing, then they should be praised.

As far as the carrots and sticks of the EU, you see what happens there as in Greece, Ireland and Spain. They only wish that there was a carrot. So, why do we go to such lengths to stop the economic advancement of Russia? Looking back at the past decade of regime changes, what has been the result? these petty proxy conflicts we're igniting will keep fires raging perhaps for decades. How much untold

hailexiao > DrOph

1) If our government were as corrupt and dictatorial as that of Yanukovich, I would definitely support a march on Washington, and if the government used live ammo and hired thugs on the protesters, I would definitely support retaliation. Hell, I would even accept Chinese and Russian support. Meanwhile in the real world, even the worst of the Bush administration and its cronies weren't nearly as corrupt and repressive; otherwise there'd be a couple of trillionaires running around Halliburton and Lockheed Martin and the government would be shutting down TV stations and talk shows left and right.

2) "Spheres of influence" is an obsolete and morally abhorrent concept. If Russia wants to be chummy with Cuba and Nicaragua, that's none of our business. On the other hand, if we want a certain outcome in Ukraine, that's between us and Ukraine and is none of Russia's business.

3) I would dance with glee the day the US government says FU to Saudi Arabia and its repressive, reactionary GCC cronies and embraces Iran instead as an ally. Israel may complain, but again that's none of their business.

4) As an ally Russia has nothing to contribute except modest leverage over Iran, Syria and possibly North Korea and some oil. Iran is a natural US ally anyway, Syria isn't a problem for the US, China is far more useful and ideologically and economically compatible ally than Russia when it comes to North Korea, and a combination of increased domestic production, greater energy efficiency, and friendliness with Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia makes Russia's contribution less and less relevant.

DrOph > hailexiao

That's wholly naive as to why corruption seems so endemic in that part of the world: you really have no idea what happened there after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the frightening "schock therapy" that we brought.

Also known as raping, looting, and pillaging. We are almost a generation later and these are real issues. Comparing their situation with ours is what Is laughable man. Other than that, you're making the assumption that Russia is still the a Soviet Union and is trying to consume Ukraine, and using that as a justification for igniting civil conflict in a country not our own, spilling their blood to justify the action, since we're saving them from those dirty uncivilized barbarians called Russians.

Europe is a doomed project. Germany is the only real economy, and their monetary system is not sovereign, but private. It's collapsing! They're desperate to consume Ukraine, push NATO to Russia's border, and cut off economic access to the Black Sea - I'm not sure if you see the arrogance and danger in your views. How can Russia not see that as a great threat to its ability to maintain it's independent status? How can you miss that it's not for us to decide?

[Feb 24, 2014] Russia recalls ambassador in Ukraine for consultations

Reuters

Russia said on Sunday it had recalled to Moscow its ambassador in Ukraine for consultations on the "deteriorating situation" in Kiev, a day after the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovich.

Western nations scramble to contain fallout from Ukraine crisis Ian Traynor in Brussels and Shaun Walker in Kiev

Shaun Walker is a despicable Guardian presstitute so his reporting is highly suspect... Only commnets are reproduced...
23 February 2014 | The Guardian

klemetr

It said on the news they are passing a law to ban the speaking of russian in the Ukraine. I wonder if that could be true.

indoorain -> klemetr

they did it in Lituania, Latvia, Estonia and all under vigilant EU human right watch eye. Why not in Ukraine. What is the difference? Same sort of state sophisticated genocide.

ID4739206 -> klemetr

That was just a proposal by Mr Tyagnibok, who is one of the three main leaders now. He is effectively a neo-Nazi and famous for his antisemitic remarks.

However, earlier today the Rada (Parliament) passed the law that deletes the status of Russian as a regional language. I believe this law was adapted by Yanukovitch and involved giving the regional status to several non-Ukrainian languages (Russian, Hungarian and Romanian). I think, there are around 10 million Russian-speakers in Ukraine.

jefferryw -> indoorain

No. Russian is not banned in any of the Baltic states. You will hear as much Russian as Estonian/Latvian in Tallinn and Riga, and more Russian than Estonian/Latvian in Narva and Daugavpils. There may be discriminations against Russian speakers but I'd like to see actual evidence of laws banning the Russian language in these countries. Even their government's websites have Russian options fgs.

ID4739206 -> Lemming81

Russian had a status as a regional language along with Romanian and Hungarian. It had this status between 2012 and today. The only official language in Ukraine has been Ukrainian.

ID4739206 -> jefferryw

There is continuing policy of closing down Russian schools. I heard this from a Russain-speaking MP and teacher from Daugavpils, the area where Russians lived for centuries. I read several reports of Russian-speakers being beaten up for using their language in public. Now, Russian-speakers include most non-Latvians in Latvia. There are Russian options in Latvian websites, which is hardly surprising for places like Riga or Daugapils, where Russian speakers are in majority.

Yet the literacy in Russian among young Russian-speakers, who are denied the right of education in their home language is decreasing. I know a family from Yurmala, Latvia here in London, who use Russian when messaging. There is a spelling error in every word!

lkongo Lemming81

no, Russian was never 'a primary language' in independent Ukraine. Ukranian is the only language in legal affairs, for example. They have eliminated the status of 'regional language', and debate to forbid Russian for TV broadcasts.

stuckinaloop klemetr

Hi. i joined this forum today so I know that for the large majority of participants my opinion has no weight at all. After this disclaimer, I must say I have visited Ukraine several times to do business (railway sector) and so I study Ukrainian history as a hobby.

Ukraine's Verkhovna has abolished the law on the foundations of the state language policy that was adopted and voted on July 3, 2012, by 232 out of 334 votes. The law came into force on August 10, 2012. It permitted the use of two official languages in regions where the size of an ethnic minority exceeds 10%.

Russian was declared the second official language in Odesa, Kharkiv, Kherson, Mykolaiv, Zaporizhzhya, Sevastopol, Dnipropetrovsk, Luhansk and Donetsk regions.
Hungarian, Moldovan and Rumanian were declared official languages in several towns in Western Ukraine.

Onlinereader40 klemetr

I have no idea why the Russian speaking East should sit there and take this coup by the EU sponsored elite. This is the 2nd time they remove the elected president by force just because they have majority in Kiev. The people of the East should take their fate in their hands and create their own country

[Feb 23, 2014] Russia feels double-crossed over Ukraine – but what will Putin do?

The Guardian

But there is no doubting the depth of anger in Moscow over what it sees as the double-cross in Kiev – or the visceral fear in European capitals that Russia could react militarily.

... ... ...

With some justice, Russia views the parliamentary opposition's actions in toppling Yanukovych, freeing his arch rival Yulia Tymoshenko, arresting ministers and in effect sacking the government as a cynical betrayal of the settlement mediated by EU foreign ministers, which envisaged a more gradual, less divisive transition.

... ... ....

A key question now is whether Putin will decide to back the disappeared Yanukovych in his desperate attempt to hang on to power, by rallying supporters in eastern Ukraine. Even if he dumps his discredited ally, Putin could still opt to encourage eastern regional leaders to reject Kiev's authority and pursue forms of greater autonomy. Down this road lies the dread prospect of partition, peacefully achieved or not.

cjv123

Putin offered $15 billion, the EU/IMF $610 million. But the EU continues to preach on about Putin's "heavy-handedness." Ukrainians will freeze to death next winter waiting for EU cash to materialize, which it won't, of course. But EU "technocrats" will take over the government, of course, and privatize key state functions to crony insiders with nothing to show for average Ukrainians, of course. This is the EU/IMF model of predation.

A solid majority of Ukrainians opposed the Maidan. Simon continues to lie about this. This solid majority of Ukrainians will soon be heard, loudly. Because we know the CIA-backed terrorists will be armed and will fire, the Eastern regions of Ukraine must raise a formidable militia. This will be the next shoe to drop.

WalneyGirl

At the bottom of all this is the blatant but unspoken fact that there is no unified Ukrainian nation. Ukraine, after all, is a borderland; the name means "at the edge" in Russian. Over many centuries its territory has been swapped between Russia and Poland and its people shunted all over Europe (the city of Lvov was conveniently transplanted after WW2 to turn the German city of Breslau into the Polish city of Wrocław overnight, and Kiev was the medieval capital of Russia). Poles and Russians are not famously happy bedmates, for reasons that have nothing to do with communism by the way). Perhaps Ukraine will never be happy as an undivided entity

IamNatasha

My relatives live in Kharkiv, Kiev, Krym. None supports Maidan. But they are afraid to tell anything because thugs are very agressive.

They do not like Yanukovich as well and they were waiting for 2015 elections. Who needed the revolution to happen 1y before the elections? I thinks it's purely about Ukrainian sick people who want to get power and the price does not matter for them.

deuxcafes -> IamNatasha

This side of the story is being ignored by the Western media & Russian media alike.

PaulM222

What would I do if I was Putin?Firstly as another poster has said,I would cancel the loan and demand immediate repayment of the balance.
Then I would say we will still sell you gas but in view Ukraine's payment record I would require a a deposit equivalent equal to three months estimated cost of gas,then I would look across to Afghanistan and maybe slip some Stinger type missiles To the democratic wing of the Taliban to level the playing field as they say in the West also I would make sure Iran and Syria got state of the art air defence missiles.

Then I would sit down and smile.

Jiri -> PaulM222

I don't think Putin put 15 billion in Ukraine's bank account. It is probably more like an overdraft limit.

Now the EU will have to foot the bill. And of course there will have to be austerity like with the other countries of the EU.

Not sure what the terms of the gas sale were. Perhaps the Guardian will let us know. Would be very interesting.

Looks like the EU might have to provide an extra loan for Ukraine to purchase gas. Where will the money come from? The Eu budget, of course. And that should mean additional austerity for the UK too.

outfitter

Even paranoids have enemies and the USA and EU have been aggressively pushing NATO to the borders of Russia, ringing Russia with missiles, funding NGOs inside Russia that have been aiding opposition candidates and attempting to push Ukraine towards the West. During this crisis Obama was openly been calling for a coup in Ukraine - would he withdraw the police if riots broke out in Washington and rioters started burning public buildings and shooting officers?

Baiting the Russian bear has its limits (as we found out after the Boston bombing). There is a small but determined bunch of very bad characters - antisemitic fascist ultra nationalists - taking advantage of the chaos in Ukraine. Neither the West or Russia can afford to reprise Germany 1933.

worksforcommunityorg

"EU leaders should restrain these "rampaging hooligans", he said."

And how should they do this Mr Lavrov? Send the non-existent EU army to invade Ukraine?

It seems to me that the EU was involved in coming up with a proposal, one which various groups in Ukraine agreed to. However, the people were distinctly unimpressed by this proposal, as a result of which we now have the current situation.

Jiri -> worksforcommunityorg

They could start by stopping their allowances.

AriRusila

The tension between the regions is real, and heavy pro-EU pressure could split the country which on the other hand might be not so bad outcome. Let's hope that whatever way Ukrainians choose they can make it in future without interference from abroad. More in Ukraine's Would-be Coup As New Example About US Gangsterism.

Wackyjacky

It doesn't matter what Putin does. The EU and their masters in the US have already lost the war for hearts and minds in Ukraine and have shown us only too clearly that the EU is simply a means of continuing WW2.

The East has largely got free of Russia so how come we still have 150 US bases in the UK alone?

NorthWestFeather

Putin and Russian leaders have shown magnanimity, political maturity and vision about Ukraine and Syria, while EU and US leaders have acted with characteristic immaturity drumming on war drums, providing weapons to terrorists, exciting angry crowds, and then heartlessly refusing to take in Syrian, Libyan or Malian refugees. Now they just finished handing over power to extreme rightist groups in Kiev, and promising them money that they intend to steal from their own taxpayers.

Aspadana

From 10 years ago ;

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2004/dec/07/ukraine.comment

In 1989, our security services honed an ideal model as a mechanism for changing regimes, often using genuine volunteers.

Dislike of the way communist states constrained ordinary people's lives led me into undercover work, but witnessing mass pauperisation and cynical opportunism in the 1990s bred my disillusionment.

Today:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2565792/Why-eruption-Kiev-set-tsunami-engulf-As-Ukraine-burns-stark-warning-authoritative-historian-Eastern-Europe.html

Many Ukrainians want to join the EU and Nato – not for reconciliation but to recruit allies against their old enemy.

This combination of a looming Ukrainian default threatening West European banks and a potential conflict with the EU's major energy supplier, Russia, means that Ukraine's troubles are not only on our doorstep but threatening to flow across it.

Vladmir Putin has had numerous struggles with the West in recent years, but is a new struggle over territory on the cards with Ukraine?

The violence in Kiev and inflammatory rhetoric of the hard core of the Ukrainian demonstrators now met by pro-Russian groups in the East shows that no one has things under control.

Putin had hoped to manipulate events through backing the ousted president, but the West has a problem with its vocal supporters too.

The paramilitaries who toppled Yanukovych pay lip-service to the new European values of integration but they mask loyalty to the older European demons of nationalism and anti-Semitism.

But as disaster looms, there is a glimmer of hope. Russia and the West have a common interest in avoiding a geo-political fight.

Both Moscow and Washington should make it clear they will not tolerate either side causing more violence. Nor will they stand by their self-proclaimed friends if they do.
Otherwise, East and West could find themselves dragged on to the slippery slope of confrontation for causes that are not their own.

The so called ' dispensers of democracy ' aka 'human interventionists' have so little US public support that our administration obscures it's participation i.e. supplying jihad / turning a blind eye in Syria, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia. Judging from public response in these British publications I'd say you have an equally hard sell ahead.
A couple of years ago, Fox News [yeah - Fox!] was inundated with callers backing the Russian position Vs Georgia, this eventually ending up a no-sale.
Seems to me, the only people pushing these blow-back ridden conflicts are ahistorical fruitloops and their media lackeys.

Aspadana

Thank you for the link from Guardian

Celtiberico

After the British and French gave the USSR the cold shoulder in 1938 over Munich, the Soviet Foreign Minister remarked to the French Ambassador:

"My poor friend, what have you done? For us I see no other way out than a fourth partition of Poland''.

I fear the consequences for Ukraine may be equally grim.

Celtiberico -> Keo2008

If the article's premise is correct, the Russians thought they had come to an agreement over Ukraine with the West, which they now feel has been broken.
If General Montgomery was right and one of the first principles of war is "Never march on Moscow", then one could argue that one of the first principles of geo-politics is "Never try to double-cross Moscow", as they have a tendency to have the last say.

ExuroPythonissam

Russia feels double-crossed over Ukraine – but what will Putin do?

What will Putin do? Nothing

Putin is quaking in his boots after this warning from the UK Government:

William Hague warns Russia not to intervene in Ukraine.

Our little Willie is well hard. He drank drank 14 pints of beer a day when he was a teenager.

Vladimir Vladimirovich won't mess with him!

Spicio

I didn't realize such enjoyment could be got from hate. All that hate should be directed elsewhere, try the US, complete justification there on so many levels.

The UN, a useless and dangerous organisation deep in America's pocket. The UK, like the US, a corrupt land that outshines any mafia.

The pro-gay lobby, a lobby in love with its fellow man and yet seethes with hate. All that hate and yet it wants to brainwash people into thinking that Russia and Putin are the bad guys!

pagon001 -> Spicio

I am very tired of all this ... many people do not realize that Russia is not the Soviet Union ... me it is insulting

StephenStafford

For Putin to support such a collaborative solution would require a degree magnanimity, political maturity and vision that he has signally failed to show in the past.

Putin has been remarkably restrained and not reacted as the US/UK et al have in places such as Iraq and Libya.

Just as much as the terrorist activities in Syria are a Western supporter gambit towards securing Iran's oil & gas reserves, the unrest formented in Ukraine is a part of the Neo-con gambit to secure the natural resources of Russia, much as Putin joked with Bush about almost a decade ago.

The US model for supporting and indeed encouraging local dissent has moved from rowdy demonstrations and civil disobedience, to supporting more violent attacks on the local Governments. In the case of Ukraine the underlying problem seems to be the underlying stupendous corruption practised by the political classes, plundering State funds for their own benefits prior to actually doing anything for their electorates.

Putin is very well aware of the problems ensuing from the plundering of State assets in Russia during the Yeltsin years, and how much that was supported by the Neo-con political class in the USA and UK.

At the moment he must sense a Libyan deja vu moment with the USA & EU over Ukraine. Since Ukraine will probably default without outside financial support ( see S&P comments) and if Russia selects its eastern regions for selective support, whereas the West will find difficulties financially supporting the western areas Putin may well win out in the end. Of course if Ukraine were in the EU, then just as the UK is the screwdriver assembly line for Japanese cars etc so Ukraine might become a screwdriver assembly line for Russian exports, but the price of gas will be very much higher.

Yanukovych has no doubt been a failure in Putin's eyes, but the West's Oligarch puppets should fare no better, especially with a stronger Russia very aware of the gambits applied by the West, primarily the USA (see the comment by Nuland et al ) as the USA and the UK struggle under an impossible indebtedness and desperate to achieve some rape of others assets to stabilise their permanently corrupted economic system.

Niall_Bradley

The aim would be acceptance, in principle and in practice, that Ukraine cannot and must not be forced to choose between east and west, and that its future peace and prosperity depends on balanced and respectful economic and other relationships with Europe and Moscow.

As yet this is a fond hope. For Putin to support such a collaborative solution would require a degree magnanimity, political maturity and vision that he has signally failed to show in the past.

This was PRECISELY Putin's stance in November! Washington and Brussels forced this ultimatum on Ukraine, not Russia. They said: choose EU or Russia! Putin's response, not reported anywhere in the West, of course, was "Why does Ukraine have to choose? Why is it 'either/or'? And what's with the urgency? Ukraine has presidential elections coming up next year! Why don't we work together to improve Ukraine's economic situation?"

And then the protests started. McCain flew out there, followed by Bernard Henri-Lévy, then Victoria Nuland handed out cookies to protesters while George Cloo-less donned t-shirts of Tymoshenko, the 'gas princess', ice-maidan and corrupt oligarch if ever there was one.

Oy vey, have Pravda and Izvestia ever switched places.

OrsonWills

My grandfather was born in 1900 and died in his nineties. I recall him having a little chuckle to himself about some piece of Cold War propaganda and telling me that Russia was always a UK bogeyman and that he could recall almost identical propaganda when Russia was Tsarist.

Plus ça change...

Austin15

What are these Ukranian radicals carrying Bandera flags and chanting 'Death to Jews and Moskali' (derogatory for Russians), displaying Nazi swastika, SS signs in their 'freedom-loving' Western Ukraine and trying to impose these things on the rest of the country? The first thing they did now in the 'new' parliament was to abolish the law passed in 2012 about the regional status of the Russian language in the areas where Russian-speaking population is majority. How would EU react if German-speaking cantons deprived French-speakers in Switzerland their right to speak their language? This sort of ideology is banned in EU, but it's OK for 'democratic Ukraine' just to piss off Putin? By the way, Rabbi of Kiev issued a warning to Jews there to flee the city.

gymnutkamal -> Austin15

That's exactly what's been troubling about all this - it's a very thin line between nationalism and intolerance.

I've found it very hard to identify the good guys in all this. I don't forget the last time Ukrainian nationalists got the underhand thanks to the Germans. A disproportionate number of concentration camp guards were Ukrainian nationalists. But people forget history in these days of newspeak.

gregmedia1

Vlad, it is October 1917 for Ukraine. You are next.

StephenStafford -> gregmedia1

More Berlin 27th February, 1933.

The most obvious opposition activists in Ukraine seem to be more Fascist than namby-pamby EU liberal/socialist types. There has seemingly been a resurgence in Fascist or similar thinking throughout Europe and Ukraine has contributed its bit along with those more visible in Greece and Hungary.

The problem, for the Ukrainians, is that the EU has little ability to stave off their likely default and the US is unlikely to help financially as this will mean supporting Putin's deal and Russian exports. This will lead to infighting and in the western regions perhaps the rise of an assertive 'Right'.

Follow the money

Adamastor

Well, the present internal and external borders of Ukraine were arbitrarily established- Crimea was transferred from Russia in 1954 by an arbitrary decision of the Supreme Soviet and much of the Western Ukraine was historically part of Poland, to cite obvious examples. Does it really matter if it redivides in ways that suit the inhabitants and geographical logic?

NWClerical -> Adamastor

Not that simple.

Many districts are 80/20 % 60/40% or even 50/50% divided.

The Russian speakers are not all keen to be part of Russia.
If offered a choice, Crimea and the Don Bas might vote to leave, but just drawing a line down the middle will please nobody.

Adamastor -> NWClerical

just drawing a line down the middle will please nobody.
Agreed, but the sanctity of Ukraine's present borders- internal and external- shouldn't be absolute. For example, how many Russian-speakers are descended from people who were shipped in after World War 2, and how many regard themselves as exiles? Quite a large percentage of Russian-speakers in the Baltic states did, and the native population didn't encourage them to identify with the countries they lived in. One part of Ukraine's problems is the apparent insistence on absolute all-or-nothing top-down exercise of power.

Jo Vince -> vincent19

no the US do not want to let go of their EU interests, far too much profit and influence are at stake...

the mistake they are making though is they think Russia is as easy as Iraq...

they seem to think they can finish the job they started by dismantling the Soviets using Afghanistan's Mujahideens, then playing Eastern Europe, then using neoliberal trickeries to tank the remaining Russian economy...

well they split the ex Soviets, but Russia remains and her sphere of influence is still strong...

they heave tried both in Georgia and now in Ukraine to create an atmosphere of instatbilty the same as was tried in Afghanistan then Chechnya, and they failed both in Afghanistan and in Chechnya despite the help of the Saudis in Chechnya too, and with the fact of having lost an incredible amount of money in the adventures, almost bankrupting the US economy...

It will not be that easy to repeat the trick in Ukraine...

My view is that partition of Ukraine is now inevitable, and Putin might well push for it.

soopermouse

To think Putin has lost is to be a moron.
here's what going to happen.
Ukraine, who is a pretty artificial entity with no sense of national identity, will split.
The eastern regions, who are industrialised AND majoritary Russian, will secede. See Transnistria and Moldova. It has happened before.

Those eastern regions will be quasi autonomous and will end up as "independent" or just joining Russia.
The rest of Ukraine will be the impoverished Western regions who will never meet the EU criteria, thus together with Moldova will create a natural grey buffer between Russia and the EU.
Putin wins. Ukraine loses. the west loses and the Ukrainians pay because the west hasn't yet learned that
NATIONBUILDING NEVER WORKS

Quote me on this

MakeBeerNotWar

Russia feeling double crossed?- that's funny. They should go cry on the shoulders of their Polish neighbors on the subject of great betrayal and still illegally occupy hundreds of square miles of their territory:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molotov%E2%80%93Ribbentrop_Pact

pagon001 -> MakeBeerNotWar

after France and Britain refused to create an anti-fascist coalition with the USSR. USSR had to be like that to gain time for that would prepare for war

pagon001 -> MakeBeerNotWar

March 18, in connection with the news of the German ultimatum to Romania, the People's Commissar of Foreign Affairs Maxim Litvinov through the British Ambassador in Moscow proposed to convene a conference of six countries: the USSR, Britain, France, Romania, Poland and Turkey to prevent further German aggression. However, the British side has found the proposal "premature"

April 16 Litvinov, in response to the British proposal to give unilateral guarantees Poland and also from the Soviet Union, proposed a draft tripartite agreement stipulating "to provide full, including the military, help the Eastern European States, situated between the Baltic and the Black Sea and bordering on the USSR, in case of aggression against these states. "Proposal for a tripartite alliance was perceived in the West as too radical

slorter

How would the American empire behave if this was all happening in Mexico? The American's aim is to use NATO to break up the Russian Federation. They have a list and they have an agenda and they are going to carry it out. If the working people of the Ukraine think that the west will look after them. They should have a look at what the global economy is doing to ordinary working people in the west.

ELBEEBEE

I hold no particular brief for Putin but believe that his is the unenviable task of sorting out the mess that has been allowed to develop in the Ukraine. There is no doubt that Yanukovich was both a thug and fraudster but that does not make his recently released predecessor a saint - far from it. Effectively a coup has taken place by mob-power with the open support of both the EU and US. Obama then opines about the ensuing loss of life. The draconian attempts to control the mob are of course totally unacceptable in any civilised society but I am left wondering what might have been the response had Putin offered similar support to protesters in either Washington or Berlin. I recall the response of the National Guard at Kent State University and am aware that during the course a year the US Police kill many more Americans when preserving law and order than the number that died in Kiev.

Threatening warnings such the one issued by the National Security Adviser do little to assist anyone especially when the US has no way of backing them up. If anybody is viewing current proceedings through "cold-war" spectacles it is surely the US.
My concern is that the rhetoric and posturing being carried out by those not having a handle on the real-politic may trigger a gung-ho chain reaction and international disaster. It may have already afforded tacit backing to supporters of Stepan Bandera and their attempts to prove themselves "true Ukrainians" by stepping-up attacks on Jews and Russian speakers in Ukraine.

Putin is a pragmatist and clearly wishes to protect Russian interests in the area which includes Naval bases and oil/gas deposits in the Caspian Sea. Ideas of Soviet style expansion aren't worth a carrot. If Ukraine does stay together then so much the better but if it does split then the east and the Crimea will head naturally towards Russia thereby protecting the prize assets. The EU can have the farmland in the west to add to its existing over capacity.

Being a natural cynic leads me to the suspicion that the West's interest in the Ukraine is not so much the well-being of its citizens but the eventual expansion of NATO into the region. The cold-war is not over it's simply called something else nowadays and the big fear remains that Ignorance in Gallumping Boots can still have horrendous ramifications. In my view, of all the political leaders involved it is only Putin that seems to have the gravitas and deeper understandings of the real problems involved . Other parties playing games won't help in reaching the desired objective of avoiding another Yugoslavia or, heaven forbid WW1.

ELBEEBEE -> tramor

I agree with you in that Putin can be no true mediator since he will only be concerned with protecting the interests of Russia. That, in my view is his best feature since all involved know him to be a hard man seeking to protect Russia's sphere of influence; hence the Ukrainians know what they're dealing with. Regrettably the same cannot be said of the involvement of others.
One commentator likened the EU's approach as to bringing a baguette to a knife fight. Quite what the US is up to is beyond me as they up the rights of the Ukrainian mob whilst maintaining sanctions against Cuba. Like you I cannot see why either the EU or the US would seek to destabilize the Ukraine but that's just what they have done by creating expectations which they simply cannot match.

What is needed is somebody of consequence to stand with, not oppose, Putin. As far as I can see that can only be Angela Merkl who holds the purse strings of the EU. Together they can arrange the financial and strategic security of the Ukraine whilst allaying Russian fears of NATO creep.
Two potential problems might be German public opinion at having another bailout on their hands and the advance of rampant nationalism which has been given credibility by some very loose talk

retsdon

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2y0y-JUsPTU

Victoria Nuland, boasts of spending $5 billion of US taxpayers money to pull Ukraine out from the Russian orbit of influence. Very generous of her, no?

Or did she get the money from Chevron, whose logo she's speaking alongside?

The fly in the ointment is not Putin. Putin and the Russian government are just trying to maintain a 500 year old partnership. The fly in the ointment is the pursuit of American and western hegemonic ambitions by seeking out every little local dispute, feeding in the funds, buying or creating a photogenic opposition, and then having a pliant media create a parallel distractor discourse in the media to dupe the home front. Take your bow Tisdall. The modus operandus stays pretty much the same every time.

I thought Ukraine was a local thing - basically because I could scarcely credit that these people would be so reckless as to goad Russia in its own backyard, but it seems they are. Nuland could almost be miming along to a Colin Powell speech circa 2003. Nothing has changed. The PNAC plan is still on the rails.

merlin2

The spectacle of a western engineered regime change in the Ukraine is truly a horror show - a hoax perpetrated on the backs of the Ukrainian people, for whom the EU/US/Nato care not a hoot. Those "sweet" opposition people on maidan square were in reality the worst of the worst thugs - almost the entire demonstrations were led by the Svoboda group of neo-nazi, far right hooligans. Just as the US/EU supported and colluded with Al-Queda in Syria, so they made common cause with the lowest rabble in the Ukraine.

Hopefully Putin will do what needs to be done. having come off a highly successful Sochi games (that despite the fear-mongering and catcalls by the versailles shills of the Western press) he will no doubt do something that will be both measured and calculated to win. Clearly, the Russians were not caught unaware by the duplicity of the Ukrainian "opposition" or their paymasters in the West. The plan afoot will no doubt be a combination of moves - they already cancelled the bond sale for the remainder of the $15B bail out, with the Russian finance minister coyly calling for the IMF to step in. Knowing of course, what the IMF does. They have carefully avoided calling for "calm" in the eastern/southern provinces or showing any inclination to tamp down on the ever increasing secessionary interests. I doubt they'll want to intervene militarily but neither can they afford to lose Crimea or Odessa to the thugs now in charge or their corrupt blond oligarch sister-in-arm.

Ultimately, we now realize that the Ukraine was perhaps never really a viable country. One of Stalin's big mistakes was the cobbling together of this ill-matched union. being optimistic, I'd say that letting east and West part amicably may well be the best solution for all. Western Ukraine can join Poland in some federation of interests and east/south Ukraine can go its own way.

Orkney94

Gloating mixed with fear and a huge dose of wishful thinking, Mr Tisdall.
If only the "monster" Putin would please please "behave", goes the prayer.

Why should he ? Even if he does follow your worldly advice, you'd have nothing but contempt for him. He can't do right.

In reality, the split of the country seems inevitable. Putin will get the juicy parts, and the Svoboda-led thugs will lord over an impoverished, landlocked rump, with its western and southwestern borders guarded by UE and the rest by hostile Belarus and East Ukraine.

Lurking Monsanto and frackers notwithstanding, the honeymoon will soon be over.

Of course, the only losers would - as always - be the people of Ukraine.

Cirilo77

Oh boohoo...poor Russia. Military intervention?? After all those no votes on Syria? Ha.

Russia won't do anything except more backhanded maneuvering. Ukraine is a sovereign country, it is not part of Russia, and it won't partition.

The Ukrainians will work it out themselves, probably slowly and painfully, but this will not be another Egypt, Syria, WW3, or whatever hysteria the Guardianistas seem to crave.

Joeybegood -> Cirilo77

"The Ukrainians will work it out themselves": what an ignorant statement.

Given the clear evidence of deep interference in the Ukrainian political process (see Nuland-Pyatt telephone conversation), the Ukrainian people will have the job of merely rubber stamping whichever 'leaders' are chosen for them.

tupperhouse -> Cirilo77

The No votes were because the EU and America introduced a no fly zone into Libya to protect civilians and Russia bought in.

Nato used that bomb the hell out of government loyalists. The EU just broke the latest agreement for Dec. elections etc.

You only poke the bear so often.

Joeybegood

Ya know, the way you phrase things Mr Tisdall, like:

"Putin, who had no hesitation in ordering military intervention in another former Soviet republic, Georgia, in 2008 when events threatened Russian interests"

makes it sound like no Western nation would ever do such a thing. Here's an idea: why don't you and your colleagues quick the damn hypocrisy for once and call things as they are.

The US invaded and occupied Iraq for 10 years because its "interests" were "threatened". Jesus Christ, do you think we're all imbeciles?

tramor

> Down this road lies the dread prospect of partition, peacefully achieved or not.

Why would peaceful partition be a 'dread prospect'.
If the east wants to speak Russian and hang out with Putin, why shouldn't they?

I don't believe there is anything sacred about the boundaries of states. Only problem I see is that Russian imperialists and Ukrainian nationalists may think that the boundaries are altogether sacred and worth fighting about, and 'peaceful' may not be an option.

si777mon

Some one already mentioned that these protesters in military uniforms are no ordinary citizens, they are extremists who loves this sort of action, they are trained and were waiting for revolution and will eventually fight any one who is not with them. If you watched carefully TV news you probably seen red and black flags which represent UPA and Stepan Andriyovych Bandera, take a look at wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stepan_Bandera

to see what a lovely guy he was, bad Russian system or bandera Ukraine are worth each other! This part of the world has serious demons which makes you wonder and certainly these countries need several decades before they become more humane states.

Joeybegood

"Yet for Putin to agree such a collaborative solution would require a degree of magnanimity, political maturity and vision that he has signally failed to show in the past."

Putin has more maturity and vision in his little finger than that of all Western 'leaders' combined. Tisdall, you're a shill for Western corporate interests. Go ahead and have the lobotomy, you clearly don't need a functioning brain since your 'opinions are preformed and provided to you by someone else.

Joeybegood

Stick this in your pipe Tisdall:

To the people of Ukraine,

make sure to let us know in a couple of years when you realise that Tymoshenko (or whichever oligarch we choose for you, we're not quite sure yet) is as bad as the last one, and we'll be sure to send in the 'black block' protestors to stir some more shit up again in your country and get a few dozen of your family members killed. We're only too happy to help. The IMF says 'thank you' also for the upcoming 'austerity' measures that'll make you wish you were back in the Soviet Union.

Nice doing business with ya suckers!

Yours psychopathically

Victoria Nuland
US Asst. Sec. of State for f**king up Eastern European Countries

davidncldl
Reuters reports:

.....local television in Kerch, in eastern Crimea, showed a crowd hauling down the blue-and-yellow Ukrainian flag in front of the town hall and hoisting the white, blue and red Russian tricolour...

LeDingue
Inspired thinking by the CIA managers to get the neo-nazis and football hooligans on side.

It's almost a carbon copy of Kermit Roosevelt's 1953 staged coup in Iran except that in Ukraine at least the guy they staged the coup against was a hideously corrupt, mafiye connected murderous embezzler. Usually that's the kind of guy the US instals as its puppet.

With their usual lack of imagination they probably called this 'Operation Bear Bait'. The Pnac boys and McCain patriots would love a bit of direct sanctions and asset freezing if Putin is daft enough to take the "bait" and send troops in. I think he's smarter than that.
All this just so we get to buy Qatari gas and not Iranian... these corporate resource wars and covert ops are so damn expensive

JohnEnd

Ukraine is indebted to Russia to the tune of 60 billion dollars. If they default Russia, with the rouble already sliding, will tip into a recession. For Russia Ukraine is part of the motherland, to use a frightening metaphor from the Soviet era 'our countries are two lungs in the same body'.

Have the American satellites picked up Russian tank movements toward the border yet? Because now the Sochi Russian Federation Rally is over ...

tupperhouse

" the settlement mediated by EU foreign ministers, which envisaged a more gradual, less divisive transition."

That agreement was for Dec. elections, withdrawal of security forces and the President taking limited power. The president did all that, the opposition did not live up to anything.

BringBritainBack

The rioters yes rioters because that is what they are must now face the consequences of their actions be they good or bad. I personally believe he will either cut off supplies or quadruple them. As for EU integration well that is sadly going to happen at least I suspect for half of the Ukraine whoppee. I wonder how supportive the EU would have been if these riots had been to exit the EU.

TrueUkrainian -> guardiansek

Those who are these days spoken against Ukrainian opposition in Ukraine are also beaten, jailed and what is more, risk their families to be terrorized too. So much for rule of law...

TrueUkrainian

The wisest thing he can do at the moment is to do nothing. The West will keep guessing and then the final decisive blow will be dealt. Of course, he will only play if he certain to win.

By doing nothing he does not create an image of a bully, an image that Ukrainian opposition bad needs to hold together (remember they hate each other as much as they used to hate Yanukovich), they will fight over influence and money, exactly as they did back in 2004.

Right wing thugs/neonazis with nothing to do will start to terrorize people that have not yet been involved in protest, this unfortunately means east and crimea. At the moment, they are just fighting with statues of Lenin, but stock of these will run out soon. Chaos will ensue.

East and Crimea will beg for Russian intervention and by then there will be plenty of evidence for it.

Remember the South Ossetia and georgian tie-eating president Saakashvilli. He also hoped the cowardly attack on civilians will go unnoticed (quite incidentally done Beijing olympics). The west was just watching and then crying foul, but did not intervene. It WILL NOT intervene in Ukraine too, no one has appetite for WW III after all

iamputin TrueUkrainian

If Russians are attacked in Ukraine, we will defend them, like we did in South Ossetia. USA/EU would not intervene if it is clear that Russia is saving human lives as usual.

Bogdanich iamputin

You are delusional if you think the U.S. even has the ability to "respond." With what? Our troops are spread so thin already you imagine that we are going to stage an armored assault from Poland? Are the Germans going to give permission to use their territory? Also the U.S. can't use it's favored solution of air assault on a defenseless nation with no ability to respond in kind. Russia can match the U.S. cruise missile for cruise missile. A U.S. response. You are either quite undereducated or mad. It would be as if we decided to do something in Mexico. Who's going to stop us? Ukraine is on Russia's border. Do you even know that?

manofpeace

Tisdall is being somewhat disingenuous when he states the Putin ordered the invasion of Georgia after it 'threatened Russian interests'. More precisely it was the invasion of South Ossetia by Georgia that prompted a Russian invasion of Georgia.

LordJimbo

Tricky few days coming up. Russia may have scored on Syria but has taken a serious hit on Ukraine. A lot of this comes down to Yanukovych's leadership and the nature of Ukraine in the post-Soviet era, some of these issues have merely played themselves out, you simply cannot have Ukrainians on ridiculously low wages, stagnating economy while their leaders spend millions upon millions on crap (floating replica galleon - WTF?), there are also historic issues, the usual desires for greater freedoms and improvement in the standard of living which the EU represents for many.

Suspect the pragmatist in Putin will deal with the political reality on the ground while condemning what has taken place, he may also move faster on a Eurasian Union in an attempt to shore up the ground around Russia and save the political and economic price to be paid on this for a later day. The Russians may be less willing to compromise on issues like Syria and adopt a generally tougher and colder stance especially towards the EU. Ultimately Putin may accept, some you win, some you lose depends on the pressure in Russia and whether events take a turn for the worst in Ukraine. Seems unlikely he will send military forces as that would put him in a corner (like Khrushchev in Cuba), will prefer to keep options open, doesn't want to be seen as an old school aggressor, think he is more nuanced than that and plays the long game but will probably seek assurances around the Russian naval base in the Crimea, among other things. One thing is sure, the lights will be on long into the Kremlin night.

Dessie Deratta

"Yet for Putin to agree such a collaborative solution would require a degree of magnanimity, political maturity and vision that he has signally failed to show in the past."

What??!

If Putin agreed to the de-facto dismantling of Ukrainian constitutionality with Western support and the deliverance, against their will, of the Russian East into Western bondage he will be showing political cowardice of the highest order; not "maturity".

Bogdanich

The author says, "Yet for Putin to agree such a collaborative solution would require a degree of magnanimity, political maturity and vision that he has signally failed to show in the past."

Political maturity he says while Janet Nuland American Under Secretary of State is orchestrating the violence and selecting candidates to replace Yanukovych. Combine that with the missiles in Poland, Turkey and the intrusions into the Black Sea and that's what the Russians view as the problem. U.S. Policy.

So what is the author advocating? Every time the U.S. intentionally stirs up trouble somewhere (even on Russia's border) it is Russia's responsibility to act "collaboratively" in the solution that advances U.S. policy? At what point does Putin say to the U.S. you bit off more than you can chew and take advantage of the U.S. encouraged chaos to advance Russian interests like changing the status of the Crimea?

The corollary situation would be if the Russians were behind political upheaval and a coup in Mexico. Does anyone really believe a U.S. President would work for a "collaborative" solution with the Russian backed interests that felled the government? Get real.

In conclusion the article is a fairly subtle, well written, piece of imperial propaganda. Little more.

Orphadeus

The banning of Russian as a second language is worrying. If something similar happened in another country, the Guardian would be screaming.

Putin maybe would find advice in (the book) The Godfather.

'If possible -- so far as in you -- with all men being in peace;

not avenging yourselves, beloved, but give place to the wrath, for it hath been written, `Vengeance [is] Mine,

I will recompense again, saith the Lord;' if, then, thine enemy doth hunger, feed him; if he doth thirst, give him drink; for this doing, coals of fire thou shalt heap upon his head;

Be not overcome by the evil, but overcome, in the good, the evil.

Romans 12:18-21

'and if seven times in the day he may sin against thee, and seven times in the day may turn back to thee, saying, I reform; thou shalt forgive him.'

Luke 17:4

delija

What a load of rubbish. Pure propaganda without any substance or credible evidence. How does this fool really know what strategy the Kremlin is pursuing?
He must get it from the state department. The most incredible rubbish are his quotes of Lavrov's conversation with French, German and Polish leaders. Really!! Were you privy to these or did someone give these to you to publish?
I always thought the Guardian had a bit more integrity and independence from the standard govt line. You have become a joke as a source of independent journalism.

Jack Keane

Russia didn't intervene in Georgia to protect its interests. Georgia mounted a full scale military campaign against South Ossetia, a part of the Russian Federation. This is fine for the west to do, take Falklands as just one example, but when Russia does it everyone decries their actions. The Guardian in particular paints a very strange picture of Russia, and having lived here for 7 years, one that is far from recognizable.

LouisGodena

*Of course* the West wants Ukraine to remain intact. The point of this entire debacle is to gain for the West natural resources of which there are precious few in Kiev. More importantly, NATO must not be deprived of its natural right to put missles on Russia's western border. These considerations figure much more highly than do any concerns about Ukrainian democracy.

Zaner

I am sure that Putin views this as a US backed coup, and there is little doubt that he is right. He has little other option but to intervene as the US has done and by its actions, further destabilized this divided country.

The nature of his intervention is yet to be seen. Can you imagine the diplomatic incident if Russian politicians and diplomats had stoked the fire during the 'Occupy Wall Street' protests?

This is heading towards a new Cold War. It seems that the US was given a bloody nose over Syria have delivered a sucker punch of their own and I believe there will be little respite from this political tit for tat.

Conveyancer

If Putin is thinking with his head and not his emotions, he will demand that Ukraine remain militarily neutral (i.e. no NATO membership or western alliances), and then let the Europeans and Americans pay for the $15 to $20 billion dollar bailout. A politically stable and economically prosperous Ukraine is in Russia's best interest, too, and it's even better if Russia does not have to pay for it.

And the talk about war by some of the bloggers on the Guardian site is absolutely ridiculous. NO ONE should be suggesting anything about a war between Russia and the West. NO ONE.

Western nations scramble to contain fallout of Ukraine crisis

February 23, 2014 | The Guardian

EU leaders worry about country fracturing into pro and anti-Russian factions in aftermath of Viktor Yanukovych's ousting

BBC News

Cautious Kremlin

Much speculation has been devoted to whether or not there is an East-West split in Ukraine. There is. Even if separatism is not an immediate threat - and this remains to be seen - the east and south have their own economic and cultural concerns, which have contributed to Ukraine's long-standing political dysfunction.

It should be remembered that many in the industrial east echoed Mr Yanukovych's concerns over the possible economic consequences of the planned association agreement with the European Union.

Although his popularity has waned amongst traditional supporters, that does not mean they necessarily back the people that were - until Saturday - the opposition, or their new administration.

Already there have been demonstrations against the incoming government. In Sevastopol in Crimea on Saturday thousands of people waved placards calling for "Mother Russia" to save them.

Many in the east and south greatly distrust the Euromaidan movement and its leaders. Even if they acquiesce for now, that does not mean they will continue to do so in the months to come.

Protesters in Sevastopol hold up a sign reading "Russia, we have abandoned your children, we ask you to help in our fight against fascism" Protesters in Sevastopol hold up a sign reading "Russia, we are your abandoned children, we ask you to help in our fight against fascism".

[Feb 23, 2014] Ukraine revolution West urges calm and quick formation of a unity government

According to ROSBALT , Azarov has also fled to Russia. There are probably enough Ukrainian defectors now to form a government in exile – LOL!
Telegraph

Mr Yanukovych called it a coup and insisted he would not step down.

Versage -> RealDemocracy
February 23 2014 5:51 AM"l

Tyrant????

1.--- A simple parliamentarian majority is NOT empowered to depose / impeach an invested president.
2.----- Any such impeachment/deposition requires a formal court hearing with
the Upper House of Parliament and the Chief Justice of the Constitutional
High-Court presiding over such a hearing.
3--- No such procedure has been met.
4.--- Yanukovych remains the only legally empowered president up to the time,
when his assignment to office expires, OR when points 1. + 2. have been met.

---> GUESS YOU DONT UNDERSTAND "Real Democracy" as your nick implies. You are a confused poster. Very confused.

RealDemocracy
Do you know where revolution can't be? In US. Why? Because there are no US embassies.

Better Than You

Who gives two hoots about Ukraine? No one!!

DaiWales > Better Than You

"Who gives two hoots about Ukraine? No one!!"

What a silly airhead comment. This is the Telegraph not the Sun.

The future of Ukraine - and Europe affects us all - if not immediately now - then certainly in the future.

Better Than You > DaiWales

Don't be so melodramatic laddie. These lesser nations lurch from one crisis to another - and have done since time immemorial.

You're obviously a limp wristed liberal pansy who panics at the first sign of violence. Man up laddie!!!

[Feb 23, 2014] Russia Ukraine should seek bailout loan from IMF

Feb. 23, 2014 | AP

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said Sunday that Ukraine should seek a loan from the International Monetary Fund to avoid an imminent default, but would have to meet demands for difficult structural reforms.

Russia in December offered Ukraine a $15 billion bailout, but so far has provided only $3 billion, freezing further disbursements pending the outcome of the ongoing political crisis.

The loan was promised to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych after he ditched an agreement with the European Union that Moscow opposed. But Yanukovych left Ukraine's capital on Saturday after parliament voted for his removal, and protesters calling for closer ties with the West now have the upper hand in Kiev.

Finance ministers from the Group of 20 countries meeting in Sydney, Australia, discussed the possibility of Ukraine turning once again to the IMF.

"We consider that such a situation would meet the interests of Ukraine, would put the country on the path toward major structural reforms," Russian news agencies quoted Siluanov as saying.

"We wish them success in this undertaking and in the rapid stabilization of the political and social situation."

Following the 2008 world economic crisis, the IMF twice offered Ukraine loan packages, but each time it stopped issuing the money after Ukraine refused to fulfill policy requirements, including raising the price Ukrainian customers pay for natural gas and reducing spending on government salaries and pensions.

Siluanov insisted that Ukraine would have had to have introduced reforms under the Russian loan agreement, but Moscow's main condition in the past weeks was for a stable government and one presumably still loyal to Moscow.

[Feb 23, 2014] EU writes Ukraine's eulogy by Peter Lavelle

RT Op-Edge

The EU's so-called "crisis plan" for Ukraine is itself a recipe for catastrophe. It is a brokered plan by the wrong people, under extreme (Western) outside pressure, and on behalf of a small group of backward looking and dangerous ideologues.

The plan essentially leaves Ukraine ungovernable and inadvertently promotes a secessionist agenda.

The EU's really bad plan

The idea to return to the constitutional order of 2004 is pointless and truly bizarre. One of the key issues during the Orange Revolution was which institution should predominate – the presidency or parliament. Well, the Ukrainians have now tried both with the same result – failure. Why a parliamentary-centered system will work now is not explained. What is worrisome is the fact that Viktor Yanukovich has agreed to give away to parliament control over the police and security forces. Don't expect any investigation into extreme violence committed by the rioters. But do expect a witch-hunt against the police and security forces!

The brokered deal calls for a "national unity government" within days. Will this include the Right Sector? How about those who used violence against the legally established constitutional regime? If this is the case, then it is akin to allowing arsonists to become firefighters. While Dmitro Yarosh's Right Sector controls the streets of Kiev, national unity is an illusion.

Another point is constitutional reform. This is laughable on its face. The opposition (and their riotous thug friends), as well as the EU, have trampled upon the constitution for months. Ukraine has conducted two elections recently (presidential and parliamentary) and been given a clean bill of health from Brussels and Washington. With such blatant abuse of the rule of law in Ukraine, it is hard to believe that ultranationalist bigoted rioters have any use for any constitution.

The deal also includes a presidential election no later than December 2014 (only a few months before the current president's term expires). However, there must be a new constitution in place before this happens. Again, this does not pass the laugh test. We should expect Ukraine's eastern and southern region to demand considerable autonomy from Kiev under a new constitution. Western Ukraine will surely object to this. Thus, don't expect a new constitution soon or a presidential election this year.

Then there is the issue of investigating recent acts of violence. This is to be conducted by authorities, the opposition, and the Council of Europe. Who is the opposition in this case? Dmitro Yarosh's Right Sector? Are we to believe just because a racist thug will wear an expensive (EU paid for) suit, he will be respectable and legitimate?

There is even more naivety: The authorities will not impose a state of emergency and both the authorities and the opposition will refrain from the use of violence. This element of the deal is hardly worth commenting on. The government should have declared a state of emergency weeks ago and cleared Maidan. Indeed, violence has been used on all sides. However, when any so-called political opposition resorts to arms, it is called insurrection (and is illegal and illegitimate).

Beyond the bad plan and Yanukovich's incompetence

While the EU and the US (i.e. the leaked Victoria Nuland tape) have been shown to be relentlessly attempting to destabilize Ukraine, Yanukovich is no less to blame for Ukraine's dire state. He has been indecisive and irresponsible. All of this could have been avoided had he been more presidential. Instead, it appears he only was concerned with his re-election ambitions. Needless to say, today he is practically irrelevant. This is quite extraordinary considering virtually all state institutions across the country remained loyal to Yanukovich during this artificially created crisis (coming from the West). Yanukovich betrayed them. And he betrayed Ukraine and its partners.

Bleak future: The break-up of Ukraine?

It is hard to think of a scenario in which Ukraine can remain the sovereign state it is today. During the failed Orange Revolution, there was a united opposition. Viktor Yushchenko was recognized and seen as a legitimate leader by a wide range of opposition groups. Sadly for all Ukrainians, Yushchenko's time in office was an unbelievable failure. Today the situation is acutely worse. Ukraine has a shockingly weak and indecisive president and oppositions that are hardly reading from the same page. Who is running whom: Dmitro Yarosh or Vitaly Klitschko? Klitschko is certainly "politics-lite" and happy to be run by the likes of Victoria Nuland, but Yarosh is a different and very extreme figure – only a small minority in the country will ever follow him.

In a country like Ukraine, where the central leadership is weak and the opposition is also weak and fragmented, the logic of secession starts to enter the imagination. Before the events of the Orange Revolution, Ukraine was divided; the current crisis begins to force the question of why the status quo should be maintained. There are ample reasons why Ukraine's east and south will now consider ending any meaningful relationship with those who now control Maidan and all of Kiev.

Beyond what was called the "civilizational choice" is who actually contributes to the country's budget. The east and the south pay Ukraine's bills today. Is the EU interested in adopting a poor and backward western Ukraine? If so, where will the money come from? Will western Ukrainians be allowed to freely work within the EU? Many other questions come to mind.

It is the economy, stupid!

While the EU and the US State Department have been ceaselessly recruiting proxies on the ground and media spinning Ukraine, this former Soviet republic faces economic collapse and financial default. The economic situation in Ukraine is grave. Russia has decided to step away from its gesture of economic aid in the amount of $15 billion. When it was promised, there was a legitimately elected government in Kiev. Now the EU plan up-ends the political playing field. Will Victoria Nuland and Brussels bail out the rioters on the streets of Kiev? The good folks of eastern and southern Ukraine would like to know.

Some final thoughts...

Washington and Brussels have long wanted and planned regime change in Ukraine. This just might happen. But both should be wary of wishes coming true. The end result may be a failed western Ukraine state on its border – populated with people with less than "euro values" to say the least. Then there is Russia and its interests. Western mainstream media again are at their best when it comes to mediocre, lazy, and biased reporting. The fact is, Russia doesn't trust the political class in Ukraine – irrespective of its political tastes and preference. Whether it is Viktor Yanukovich, Viktor Yushchenko, or Yulia Tymoshenko, from the Kremlin's perspective they are all political losers and unreliable partners.

Ukraine is being torn apart. It is my guess that Washington and the EU will get the least desirable piece of the action. Regime change is a bad habit that historically leads to even worse outcomes. Sadly for Ukrainians, Western bad habits do nothing to make their lives better.

Peter Lavelle is host of RT's political debate program "CrossTalk" and monthly business program "On the Money." His views are his own and not necessarily those of his employer.

Souza

"Washington and Brussels have long wanted and planned regime change in Ukraine.".

Indeed, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya's lecture in the School of International Relations of the National Institute of Advanced Studies of Ecuador last December has clarified that the US is seeking dominance of the 'HeartLand' (Eastern Europe plus Russia) saying who rules Eastern Europe (beyond Moscow) commands the HeartLand, who rules the HeartLand commands the World Island (Europe+Asia+Africa) and therefore controls the World. An old British-turned-U.S-s trategy taken from Roman's divide and conquer equation and updated by MacKinder.


tateishi

Peter Lavelle is correct. Only thing missing or stated weakly is that EU and euro will not last too long, ie.will disappear very soon. UK is not in euro zone, & Iceland will be out of EU. EU is bankrupt due to the dominance of financial force & very corrupt beaurocrats in Brussel. France may have another revolution, Spain might not exist in corrent form. Germany is economically weak: 6 million unemplyed,16.1% may fall into poverty. Many homeless in Berlin, & no minimum wage now, some people work at 1 to 4 euro/hr. No democracy in EU; statistics are cooked. UK/EU are governed by big debt-ridden banks such as HSBC, Deutche Bank

[Feb 23, 2014] With President's Departure, Ukraine Looks Toward a Murky Future

NYTimes.com

Fear of the establishment of rival power centers gained ground on Saturday when Mr. Yanukovych, having left the capital, popped up on television from Kharkiv, a Russian-speaking and strongly pro-Russian city in the east of the country near the Russian border. He said he had not resigned, had no plans to do so and was consulting with supporters in the east about what to do next.

"I am a legitimately elected president," he said defiantly. "What is happening today, mostly, it is vandalism, banditism, and a coup d'état."Kharkiv has strong ties to Russia. Early Soviet leaders - doubtful of Kiev's loyalty, fearful of Ukrainian-speaking regions farther west but determined to anchor Ukraine under Moscow's control - chose Kharkiv as the capital of their newly established Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, a nominally autonomous entity but entirely controlled by Moscow.

Southern Ukraine, especially the region of Crimea, also has strong ties to Russia. Pro-Russian politicians in Crimea have been demanding autonomy from Kiev and even "protection" for their aspirations from Moscow, which has a large military presence in the Black Sea region, notably in Sevastopol, a port city with a huge Russian naval base.

If Mr. Yanukovych sought to rally the east of Ukraine to his side, the west of the country, long a bastion of fierce Ukrainian nationalism, would almost certainly respond by mobilizing its own forces to protect the idea of a single nation.

All this presents an unwelcome distraction for President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, who has been busy at the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi trying to present a softer, friendlier image of his country to a suspicious world. But, with the Olympics set to end on Sunday, Mr. Putin will no doubt turn all his attention to a drama that has driven a key Russian ally from Kiev and now threatens to install a new government dominated by people Moscow has characterized as extremists, terrorists and even Nazis.

The east-west divide has bedeviled Ukraine since it first emerged as an independent state after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union. In each election since, voters have split along a line running roughly through the middle of the country.

But these divisions have grown into a gaping chasm in recent months as the Ukrainian-speaking west has rallied unambiguously behind protesters in Kiev's Independence Square while many in the east, their views shaped in part by doom-laden reports on widely watched Russian television, have recoiled in horror at what they saw as an attempt to oust a legitimate, democratically elected leader viewed as one of their own.

Mr. Yanukovych built his political career in Donetsk, an eastern coal-mining and industrial center whose bleak Soviet-era urban landscape is a world away from the elegant and proudly European splendor of western cities like Lviv.

These stark divisions, rooted in history, language and culture, have put Ukraine on a fault line that has shaped not only the country's domestic politics but also a geopolitical struggle between Russia and the West at the heart of Ukraine's current tumult. The protests in Independence Square began in November after Mr. Yanukovych rejected a sweeping trade and political deal with the European Union and turned to Moscow for help.

[Feb 23, 2014] Neocons and the Ukraine Coup

February 23, 2014 | Consortiumnews

Exclusive: American neocons helped destabilize Ukraine and engineer the overthrow of its elected government, a "regime change" on Russia's western border. But the coup – and the neo-Nazi militias at the forefront – also reveal divisions within the Obama administration, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

More than five years into his presidency, Barack Obama has failed to take full control over his foreign policy, allowing a bureaucracy shaped by long years of Republican control and spurred on by a neocon-dominated U.S. news media to frustrate many of his efforts to redirect America's approach to the world in a more peaceful direction.

But Obama deserves a big dose of the blame for this predicament because he did little to neutralize the government holdovers and indeed played into their hands with his initial appointments to head the State and Defense departments, Hillary Clinton, a neocon-leaning Democrat, and Robert Gates, a Republican cold warrior, respectively.

Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland.
Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland.

Even now, key U.S. diplomats are more attuned to hard-line positions than to promoting peace. The latest example is Ukraine where U.S. diplomats, including Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, are celebrating the overthrow of an elected pro-Russian government.

Occurring during the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, the coup in Ukraine dealt an embarrassing black eye to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who had offended neocon sensibilities by quietly cooperating with Obama to reduce tensions over Iran and Syria, where the neocons favored military options.

Over the past several weeks, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was undercut by a destabilization campaign encouraged by Nuland and Pyatt and then deposed in a coup spearheaded by neo-Nazi militias. Even after Yanukovych and the political opposition agreed to an orderly transition toward early elections, right-wing armed patrols shattered the agreement and took strategic positions around Kiev.

Despite these ominous signs, Ambassador Pyatt hailed the coup as "a day for the history books." Most of the mainstream U.S. news media also sided with the coup, with commentators praising the overthrow of an elected government as "reform." But a few dissonant reports have pierced the happy talk by noting that the armed militias are part of the Pravy Sektor, a right-wing nationalist group which is often compared to the Nazis.

Thus, the Ukrainian coup could become the latest neocon-initiated "regime change" that ousted a target government but failed to take into account who would fill the void.

Some of these same American neocons pushed for the invasion of Iraq in 2003, not realizing that removing Saddam Hussein would touch off a sectarian conflict and lead to a pro-Iranian Shiite regime. Similarly, U.S. military intervention in Libya in 2011 eliminated Muammar Gaddafi but also empowered Islamic extremists who later murdered the U.S. ambassador and spread unrest beyond Libya's borders to nearby Mali.

One might trace this neocons' blindness to consequences back to Afghanistan in the 1980s when the Reagan administration supported Islamic militants, including Osama bin Laden, in a war against Soviet troops, only to have Muslim extremists take control of Afghanistan and provide a base for al-Qaeda to plot the 9/11 attacks against the United States.

Regarding Ukraine, today's State Department bureaucracy seems to be continuing the same anti-Moscow geopolitical strategy set during those Reagan-Bush years.

Robert Gates described the approach in his new memoir, Duty, explaining the view of President George H.W. Bush's Defense Secretary Dick Cheney: "When the Soviet Union was collapsing in late 1991, Dick wanted to see the dismantlement not only of the Soviet Union and the Russian empire but of Russia itself, so it could never again be a threat to the rest of the world."

Vice President Cheney and the neocons pursued a similar strategy during George W. Bush's presidency, expanding NATO aggressively to the east and backing anti-Russian regimes in the region including the hard-line Georgian government, which provoked a military confrontation with Moscow in 2008, ironically, during the Summer Olympics in China.

Obama's Strategy

As President, Obama has sought a more cooperative relationship with Russia's Putin and, generally, a less belligerent approach toward adversarial countries. Obama has been supported by an inner circle at the White House with analytical assistance from some elements of the U.S. intelligence community.

But the neocon momentum at the State Department and from other parts of the U.S. government has continued in the direction set by George W. Bush's neocon administration and by neocon-lite Democrats who surrounded Secretary of State Clinton during Obama's first term.

The two competing currents of geopolitical thinking – a less combative one from the White House and a more aggressive one from the foreign policy bureaucracy – have often worked at cross-purposes. But Obama, with only a few exceptions, has been unwilling to confront the hardliners or even fully articulate his foreign policy vision publicly.

For instance, Obama succumbed to the insistence of Gates, Clinton and Gen. David Petraeus to escalate the war in Afghanistan in 2009, though the President reportedly felt trapped into the decision which he soon regretted. In 2010, Obama backed away from a Brazilian-Turkish-brokered deal with Iran to curtail its nuclear program after Clinton denounced the arrangement and pushed for economic sanctions and confrontation as favored by the neocons and Israel.

Just last summer, Obama – only at the last second – reversed a course charted by the State Department favoring a military intervention in Syria over disputed U.S. claims that the Syrian government had launched a chemical weapons attack on civilians. Putin helped arrange a way out for Obama by getting the Syrian government to agree to surrender its chemical weapons. [See Consortiumnews.com's "A Showdown for War or Peace."]

Stirring Up Trouble

Now, you have Assistant Secretary of State Nuland, the wife of prominent neocon Robert Kagan, acting as a leading instigator in the Ukrainian unrest, explicitly seeking to pry the country out of the Russian orbit. Last December, she reminded Ukrainian business leaders that, to help Ukraine achieve "its European aspirations, we have invested more than $5 billion." She said the U.S. goal was to take "Ukraine into the future that it deserves."

The Kagan family includes other important neocons, such as Frederick Kagan, who was a principal architect of the Iraq and Afghan "surge" strategies. In Duty, Gates writes that "an important way station in my 'pilgrim's progress' from skepticism to support of more troops [in Afghanistan] was an essay by the historian Fred Kagan, who sent me a prepublication draft.

"I knew and respected Kagan. He had been a prominent proponent of the surge in Iraq, and we had talked from time to time about both wars, including one long evening conversation on the veranda of one of Saddam's palaces in Baghdad."

Now, another member of the Kagan family, albeit an in-law, has been orchestrating the escalation of tensions in Ukraine with an eye toward one more "regime change."

As for Nuland's sidekick, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Pyatt previously served as a U.S. diplomat in Vienna involved in bringing the International Atomic Energy Agency into a line with U.S. and Israeli hostility toward Iran. A July 9, 2009, cable from Pyatt, which was released by Pvt. Bradley Manning, revealed Pyatt to be the middleman who coordinated strategy with the U.S.-installed IAEA director-general Yukiya Amano.

Pyatt reported that Amano offered to cooperate with the U.S. and Israel on Iran, including having private meetings with Israeli officials, supporting U.S. sanctions, and agreeing to IAEA personnel changes favored by the United States. According to the cable, Pyatt promised strong U.S. backing for Amano and Amano asked for more U.S. money. [See Consortiumnews.com's "America's Debt to Bradley Manning."]

It was Ambassador Pyatt who was on the other end of Nuland's infamous Jan. 28 phone call in which she discussed how to manipulate Ukraine's tensions and who to elevate into the country's leadership. According to the conversation, which was intercepted and made public, Nuland ruled out one opposition figure, Vitali Klitschko, a popular former boxer, because he lacked experience.

Nuland also favored the UN as mediator over the European Union, at which point in the conversation she exclaimed, "Fuck the E.U." to which Pyatt responded, "Oh, exactly …"

Ultimately, the Ukrainian unrest – over a policy debate whether Ukraine should move toward entering the European Union – led to a violent showdown in which neo-fascist storm troopers battled police, leaving scores dead. To ease the crisis, President Yanukovych agreed to a power-sharing government and to accelerated elections. But no sooner was that agreement signed then the hard-right faction threw it out and pressed for power in an apparent coup.

Again, the American neocons had performed the role of the Sorcerer's Apprentice, unleashing forces and creating chaos that soon was spinning out of control. But this latest "regime change," which humiliated President Putin, could also do long-term damage to U.S.-Russian cooperation vital to resolving other crises, with Iran and Syria, two more countries where the neocons are also eager for confrontation.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his new book, America's Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com). For a limited time, you also can order Robert Parry's trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America's Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.

  1. F. G. Sanford on February 23, 2014 at 6:57 pm said:

    Most Americans think the scandal is all about the F-bomb, failing to realize what these "not ready for prime time" amateur diplomats actually accomplished.

    With credentials based largely on consensus conferred by Neocon think-tanks and Zbigniew Brzezinsky, (Remember, Brzezinsky is President Obama's Columbia mentor and foreign policy guru.) our neocon foreign policy "experts" are following a script based largely on the Middle Eastern dictum, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend". Here's the Neocon subversion strategy in a nutshell:

    A militant, vocal minority who lost the free and fair elections takes to the streets in protest, and the U.S. Government supports them through NGO's, media hype and celebrity appearances from American politicians. When violence ensues, the U.S. Government and the media portray the democratically elected, legitimate government as repressive, claiming the violence represents a crackdown on a grass roots democracy movement. The elected, legitimate government is accused of repression and human rights violations against the "peaceful" protestors. It's the same strategy they're also using right now in Venezuela.

    But this time, the Neocon grand plan has hit a snag. The "peaceful" protestors in Ukraine represent some of the worst Neo-Nazi elements Europe has to offer. One of their leaders has announced that, "Ukraine will not be ruled by Negroes, Jews or Russians". Gangs of thugs have been roaming the streets painting "Jews live here" on Jewish homes, and a prominent Rabbi has advised Jews to leave Kiev. All this was intended to spite Putin, whom the Neocons and Brzezinsky see as their arch enemy. The gold medal for olympic stupidity in the Neville Chamberlain appeasement event is definitely going to Team Neocon and their proud Captain, Victoria Nuland. That tape recording will be immortalized in the halls of diplomatic incompetence when the real trouble starts. These aren't just right-wing rabble-rousers. These are the sons and grandsons of the Galician Waffen SS who were among the worst perpetrators Nazi atrocities in Eastern Europe. Ms. Nuland has effectively rendered successful the 21st Century equivalent of the Beer-hall Putsch.

    Putin, as a student of history, is likely to be mindful of General Badoglio's advice to the King of Italy when Mussolini marched on Rome: "Five minutes of gunfire would end fascism forever". Our ingenious "diplomats" may have created another blunder for the Obama Administration which only Putin can resolve. The smart move would be to stay out of his way and let him fix it.

[Feb 23, 2014] A 'dangerous' moment as dust settles in Ukraine

USA Today

Tymoshenko said Saturday that she will challenge Ukraine's Russian-backed president, Viktor Yanukovych, who had left the capital. The Rada, the country's parliament, sacked him and replaced the minister of the interior whose security forces were implicated in the violence that resulted in more than 80 deaths last week. The defense minister and attorney general were also voted out.

STORY: Ukraine parliament votes to remove president

Meanwhile, Russia's foreign minister on Saturday accused Ukraine's opposition of failing to fulfill its side of a peace deal intended to end the nation's political crisis and urged Western mediators to intervene.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called his German, French and Polish counterparts, who helped broker Friday's agreement between Yanukovych and the opposition. Yanukovych agreed to hold early elections in December and surrender much of his powers, but opposition supporters have kept pushing for his immediate dismissal, and parliament voted Saturday to move the elections to May.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said Lavrov urged his counterparts to use their influence with the Ukrainian opposition, which he said "not only has failed to fulfill any of its obligations, but keeps making new demands under the influence of armed extremists and rioters."

Their actions "pose a direct threat to Ukraine's sovereignty and constitutional order," he said.

Lavrov's angry words raise the dangerous prospect that Moscow may try to disrupt Ukraine's transition to a European, rather than Russian, orientation, Bugajski said.

It could "put an economic squeeze" on Ukraine by withholding or raising prices on natural gas sales that Ukrainians use to heat their homes, abandoning a $15 billion aid package Russia agreed to in November to persuade Yanukovych from joining a trade alliance with the European Union, Bugajski said. And it could support separatism, particularly in Crimea, a majority ethnic Russian province that is home to Russia's Black Sea fleet.

"When the Ukrainian Interior Ministry issued a statement a couple days ago warning against any separatism supported by foreign powers, what they have in mind is Russia fomenting separatism in the Crimea," he said.

President Obama spoke to Putin for about an hour Friday, but "there's not been any strong statement by the European Union or the U.S. deterring Russia, telling them any intervention will be unacceptable and there will be consequences from the West," Bugajski said.

The problem is that if Ukrainian politicians seek to join the European economy, they face a period of economic pain while reforms are implemented that will be politically difficult, and the Western toolkit for opposing Putin there "remains rather meager," Weiss said.

"The Russians have made it abundantly clear they view Ukraine as an issue of cardinal importance," he said. "They have a much bigger checkbook than we do. They put money on the table, and the West has relatively limited political levers inside Ukraine."

[Feb 22, 2014] Ukraine's former PM rallies protesters after Yanukovych flees Kiev

The Guardian

Christopher Cole

Also interesting, did not know Yanukovich had a political consultant from the US advising him from 2005-2008. Have a read of this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_J._Manafort
Then have a read of this NY Times article from 2007:http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/30/world/europe/30ukraine.html?fta=y

Diogenes44 Lifesaparty

"The president being good or bad - but since when do foreign governments, in this case the EU, support actions to over-throw a government in a fragile democracy?"

It's called OIL: euros or $$s.

Obama recently sent 5$BILLION to the Ukraine's "protesting" the issues in Kiev. Meantime, there's Victoria Nuland, a hangover from the GW Bush/Cheney administrator. See Paul Craig Roberts blog. He explains in full

Lifesaparty

The voice of the peopel, as told by western media:

So many things have happened these days, some pleasant, some not, it is hard to know how I feel," said Denis Romanov, 30, an engineer. "Ukraine won't ever be the same again, and I mean this in a good way. Ukraine has been reborn in these events."

How can anyone be happy about a coup d'état without knowing anything about who is going to seize power or what kind of politics will reign? This sounds pretty weird.

Diogenes44 Lifesaparty

What was the name of that book Naomi Klein wrote? Thesis: in the nexus of chaos, the powerful corporations/EU/US, etc. take over.

Ian A Guthrie EchoGauge

The role that the far-right will take in the political reconstruction of Ukraine now remains to be seen

the dogs of war have been unleashed.
and idiot liberals like you will cause us all untold damage

Иван Галицин

The next revolution turns into a farce. Ordinary people who spoke out against corruption and lawlessness were just used as extras. And now no one is listening to us now. Instead of it, opposition leaders began to destroy monuments, to justify Nazism and chase law enforcement officers and their families. Chaos and anarchy – that's the result. But we haven't fought for it.

numinous

Right-wing neo-liberal coup, US-inspired. More shit from the Evil Empire.

edwardrice cronshaw

The Ukranian parliament is now in control

A parliament surrounded by hard-men who were killing policemen a couple of days ago.

Alan Andrei

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKH9bmH2YII
interesting take on the ukranian crisis

Zippydoo -> Alan Andrei

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts has summed it up very well!

stevesharrison

News of the Ukrainian Civil War/ Internal needs to be 'balanced' and 'fair': Firstly, there has/ continues to be much violence and death on both sides; Secondly, the Government's opponents include extreme Right Wing Elements, most notably, Svoboda (Social national Party) which is the second largest party in the Ukraine; whose leader was voted 'Man of the Year' in Ukraine: They have as their emblem the Wolfsangel (a SS Symboll) and have made numerous Anti Jewish statements describing Moscow as a 'Muscovite-Jewish Mafia': This is the largest faction in opposition to the democratically elected Ukrainian Government, who the EU on our behalf, with the US, has acted to support with Sanctions on the Yanukovych Government. I resent any support for an Anti-Jewish Ultra Nationalistic Opposition to a Democratically Elected Government and Shame on the West for even negotiating with this National Socialist Scum. Now we learn that this same Svoboda will be the largest member of the Coalition Government which has now ousted a Democratically Elected Government. Tymoshenko is helping this undemocratic extreme Right Wing Party 'into' power and believes she can control Svoboda – Now where have we heard something like this before? Von Papen to Hitler 1932

edwardrice -> stevesharrison

Svoboda (Social national Party) which is the second largest party in the Ukrain
I thought they got about 10% of the vote last election. Less than the Communist Party.

peacefulmilitant

One day "the opposition" might live to regret seeing Tymoshenko free (although she was in prison on purely political charges to begin with and they had little choice but to set her free). That aside, nothing good is in Ukraine's immediate future. And for the first time Russia can legitimately claim to be aggrieved by the West regarding Ukraine. Conversely the West will live to regret its involvement in this mess.

Cusperi

I said it here a week ago - protesters will get nothing nor will they be consulted, intelligence agency which wins out gets to annoint leader of Ukraine - Protesters get to decide nothing.
Same in Syria if they won, these terrorist/rebels would not be leading the country - likely a Washington educated businessman would be bussed in.

Gangoffour Cusperi

Get it right. They're educated at Harvard and know less about business than your average street sausage vendor. Same school that provided the most enlightened human being ever.

M of A - Ukraine From the spirits that I called - Sir, deliver me!

M of A: The sorcerer's apprentices in Washington and Brussels will come to understand that they can not control the spirits they called upon.

M of A

What a deluge! What a flood!
Lord and master, hear my call!
Ah, here comes the master!
I have need of Thee!
from the spirits that I called
Sir, deliver me!
J.W. Goethe - The Sorcerer's Apprentice

The opposition in the Ukraine and its paymasters in the U.S. and EU called up the spirits of the right, the fascist, to wage a coup against the elected president and to push their selfish objectives onto the Ukrainian public.

Now those spirits won't go away:

It was difficult to know how much of the fury voiced on Friday night in Independence Square was fiery bravado, a final cry of anger before the three-month-long protest movement winds down or the harbinger of yet more and possibly worse violence to come.

Vividly clear, however, was the wide gulf that had opened up between the opposition's political leadership and a street movement that has radicalized and slipped far from the already tenuous control of politicians.
...
Dmytro Yarosh, the leader of Right Sector, a coalition of hard-line nationalist groups, reacted defiantly to news of the settlement, drawing more cheers from the crowd.

"The agreements that were reached do not correspond to our aspirations," he said. "Right Sector will not lay down arms. Right Sector will not lift the blockade of a single administrative building until our main demand is met - the resignation of Yanukovych."

Even if Yanukovych resigns the demands of the fascist rioters will not end. Ukraine's chief rabbi tells Kiev's Jews to flee city and he has very good reasons to do so. Right Sector and the Svoboda party are well known for acute anti-semitism.

Yesterday sixty eight members of the ruling party of the regions changed over to the opposition which now has a majority in parliament. The parliament then changed the constitution to dismantle presidential powers, fired the interior minister who commanded the police force to defend government buildings and freed the corrupt gas-princess Tymoshenko from jail.

Putin will be smiling.

What the propagandists in the "west" always fail to mention is that Tymoshenko was jailed for a gas deal that favored Russia. She was in jail for agreeing to pay, allegedly, too high prices. Yanukovych, the man Putin hates and despises as a loser, is now out. Tymoshenko, the woman Putin loves signing lucrative trade deals with, is in. As the Ukrainian industry is not viable without access to Russian markets and the Ukrainian energy supply depends on Russian gas deliveries Moscow still has, and will continue to have, the upper hand over the Ukraine. At least half of the Ukrainian population is pro-Russian. No color revolution version 1.0, 2.0 or 3.0 and no IMF austerity loan will change those facts.

Parts of the Ukraine will soon show signs of anarchy with those that protested and rioted without having any real aim moving towards criminal activities. The opposition, which is now empowered and will have to deliver results, will soon squabble and will again fall apart. The fascist forces, euphemistically called "nationalists" in "western" media, will win more power.

The sorcerer's apprentices in Washington and Brussels will come to understand that they can not control the spirits they called upon. They will need to call the master to put the spirits they awoke back into their holes. The international number they will need to call starts with 007 495.

[Feb 22, 2014] How the West Manufactures "Opposition Movements"

CounterPunch

Government buildings are being trashed, ransacked. It is happening in Kiev and Bangkok, and in both cities, the governments appear to be toothless, too scared to intervene.

What is going on? Are popularly elected administrations all over the world becoming irrelevant; as the Western regime creates and then supports thuggish 'opposition movements' designed to destabilize any state that stands in the way of its desire to fully control the planet?

... ... ...

And those thugs, in the countries that elected their own patriotic or progressive governments, were hired by local elites on behalf of the Western Empire.

And before that, the so-called 'elites' were hired, funded, or at least trained/'educated' by the West.

On an 'intellectual' level, the private media outlets have been fiercely competing with each other, over which one would become more submissive towards the foreign handlers. The militaries and the most regressive feudalist, even fascist forces all over the world (see Ukraine, for instance) are clearly getting back into the saddle, benefitting and taking full advantage of the trend.

All this has been happening in different degrees and with variable levels of brutality, in Thailand, China, Egypt, Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil, Zimbabwe and many other places all over the world.

Right after reading my article about the situation in Thailand, published on 30 January, my Brazilian reader reacted:

"Similar to our Brazil: though in a faded… somewhat lighter environment but substantially the same… the local elites, right now in January 2014, are doing whatever they can, to prevent the re election of Ms Dilma Roussef… You are an experienced Latin America´s observer, you know very well…"

The process, the tactics, are almost always the same: Western-paid media, or Western media directly, discredit designated popular governments, then 'scandals' are created, colors designated to some newly constructed 'opposition' movement, thugs selected and paid, and finally deadly weapons 'miraculously' appear at the 'protest sites'.

As long as the government is 'nationalist', really patriotic and defending the interests of its own people against international plunder, (not like the Abe's government in Japan which is peculiarly described as 'nationalist', but in reality it fully sides with US foreign policy in the region), it gets marked, and it appears on an invisible but powerful hit list, old-fashioned mafia-style.

As Michael Parenti correctly and colorfully described: "You do it our way, or we break your leg, capice?"

I witnessed President Morsi of Egypt (I was critical of his rule at first, as I was critical of the government of Mr. Shinawatra, before real horror swept both Egypt and Thailand), being overthrown by the military, which, while in its zealous over-drive, managed in the process to murder several thousands of mainly poor Egyptian people.

I was then in Egypt, in and out, for several months, filming a documentary film for the South American television network, Telesur.

In disbelief and dismay I witnessed my revolutionary friends going into hiding, disappearing from the face of the earth. This happened as outrageously arrogant families cheered on the military murderers with no shame, openly.

The logic and tactics in Egypt were predictable: although still capitalist and to a certain extent submissive to IMF and the West, President Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood, were a bit too unenthusiastic about collaborating with the West. They never really said 'no', but that had not appeared to be enough for the Euro-North American regime, which, these days, demands total, unconditional obedience as well as the kissing of hands and other bodily parts. The regime demands old-fashioned, Protestant-style obedience, complete with self-deprecation and a constant feeling of guilt; it is ordering true and 'sincere' servility.

It appears that almost no country, no well-liked government can escape annihilation, if it does not fully submit.

It went so far that unless the government in a developing countries such as Philippines, Indonesia, Uganda or Rwanda, sends a clear message to Washington, London or Paris that "we are here simply to make you, in the West, happy", it would risk total annihilation, even if it was elected democratically, even if (and actually 'especially if') it is supported by the majority of the people.

All this is nothing new, of course. But in the past, things were done a little bit more covertly. These days it is all out in the open. Maybe it is done on purpose, so nobody will dare to rebel, or even to dream.

And so, the revolution in Egypt has been derailed, destroyed, and cruelly choked to death. There is really nothing left of the so-called 'Arab Spring', just a clear warning: "never try again, or else".

Yes, I saw the 'elites' of Egypt dancing, and celebrating their victory. The elites love the army. The Army guarantees their continuous place at the zenith, their power. The elites even make their little children hold portraits of the military leaders responsible for the coup, responsible for thousands of lost lives, responsible for breaking the great hopes and dreams of the Arab world.

What I witnessed in Egypt was chilling, and it resembled the 1973 coup in Chile (a country which I consider my 'second or third home'); the coup, which I am not old enough to remember, but footage of which I have seen again and again, in silent and never diminishing horror.

'Or else' could be the torture and murder of people in Bahrain. 'Or else' could be Indonesia in 1965/66. Or it could be the 'collapse of the Soviet Union'. 'Or else' could be civilian airliners exploding mid-flight; a Cuban plane was destroyed by CIA agents. It could be ravaged Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, or Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, bombed into the stone ages. 'Or else' can easily be some fully devastated country like Nicaragua, Grenada, Panama or the Dominican Republic. Or 'or else' could mean ten million people butchered in the Democratic Republic of Congo, for both its natural resources and for the anti-imperialist outspokenness of its great leader, Patrice Lumumba.

Now in Egypt, Mubarak's clique is rapidly coming back to power. He was a well-trusted 'devil', and the West quickly realized that to let him fall would be a serious strategic blunder; and so it was decided to bring him back; either personally, or at least his legacy, at the coast of thousands of (insignificant) Egyptian lives, and against the will of almost the entire nation.

The military of Egypt, of course, cannot be allowed to fall, either. The US has invested billions and billions of dollars in it, and the soldiers are now literally in control of half of the country. And it is a very reliable organization: it murders without scruple any being attempting to build a socially just society in this the most populous Arab nation on earth. And it plays with Israel. And it loves capitalism.

Two countries are separated by thousands of miles, and belong to two different cultures, located on two continents; Thailand and Egypt. In both countries, people spoke. They voted in their leaders. Not some Communist government, mind you: just a moderately socially-oriented one in Thailand, and a moderately nationalist/Islamic one in Egypt.

In both cases, the feudal and fascist elites went to work, immediately. Those that are behind them, that are financing them, and 'morally' supporting them, is, I believe, absolutely clear.

***

Ukraine is not a fresh victim of destabilization tactics of the European Union, which is so sickly greedy that it appears it, cannot contain itself anymore. It salivates, intensively, imagining the huge natural resources that Ukraine possesses. It is shaking with desire dreaming of a cheap and highly educated labor force.

European companies want to get into Ukraine, by all means. But one has to be careful not to allow the Ukrainian hordes to enter that sacred and thoroughly racist fortress – the European Union. Europe can plunder all over the world, but it is strict and brutal to those who want to get in and 'steal its jobs'.

Of course the EU cannot do in Ukraine, what it freely does in many places like the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It cannot just come and pay some proxy countries, as it pays Rwanda and Uganda (that are already responsible for the loss of over ten million Congolese lives in less than 2 decades), to plunder Ukraine and kill almost all those people that are resisting.

Europe, again and again, for centuries, has proven that it is capable of massacring entire nations without the slightest mercy, (while showing almost zero historic memory) and with almost no moral principles, at least compared to the rest of the world. But it is canny, and unlike the United States, it knows plenty about tactics, strategy and PR.

What the EU did in Libya is clear. Anyone claiming that the United States is acting on its own, must be exercising enormous discipline not to see how closely linked are the interests and actions of the old and new usurpers of Africa, Asia, Latin America, Middle East, Asia and Oceania. France is acting, once again, as the arch neo-colonial thug, particularly in Africa.

But Ukraine is 'right there', too near geographically, to the EU itself. It has to be destabilized, but it all has to appear very legitimate. 'The rebellion', 'revolution', 'uprising of its people'; that is the way to handle things 'properly'.

More than a month ago, a bizarre deal was proposed, where European companies would be allowed to enter and clean Ukraine of its natural resources, but the people of Ukraine would not be allowed to even come and work in the EU.

The government, logically and sensibly, rejected the deal. And then, suddenly, Thai-style or Egyptian-style thugs appeared all over the streets of Kiev, armed with sticks and even weapons, and went onto trashing the capital and demanding the democratically elected government to resign.

The groups of thugs include many neo-Nazis, anti-Semites and common criminals. They are emboldened by the Thai-style fear of the Ukrainian government, to use force. They are setting on fire police officers, blocking and occupying government buildings, preventing the administration from serving the people.

Just as their 'orange' predecessors, they have been manufactured and carefully crafted, before being released into the wider world.

Russia, like China, Cuba or Venezuela, is demonized relentlessly, every day and every hour. Any oligarch, any deranged pop figure, who criticizes the government of President Putin, is immediately elevated by the US, German and other Western governments, to the level of sainthood.

All this is definitely not because of the Russian human rights record, but because Russia, like the Latin American countries and China, is determinedly blocking Western attempts to destabilize and destroy independent and progressive countries all over the world. It is also due to the increasing influence of the Russian media, particularly RT (Russia Today), which became a commanding voice of resistance to Western propaganda. Needless to say, this writer is proudly associated with RT and its efforts.

***

It is certain that what the world is experiencing now, could be described as 'the new wave' of a Western imperial offensive. This offensive is taking place on all fronts, and it is rapidly accelerating. Under the proud Nobel Peace Price winner, Barack Obama and his closest European Neo-cons and 'socialists with brown insides', as well as the re-elected fascist Prime Minister of Japan, the world is becoming an extremely dangerous place. It feels like some frontier town invaded by violent gangs.

The biblical perception of 'those who are not with me are against me' is gaining new depth.

And be aware of the colors. Be aware of the 'uprisings', or anti-government 'protests'. Which one is genuine and which one is unnaturally created by imperialism and neo-colonialism?

It all appears to be extremely confusing to the majority of people who are getting stuffed on the corporate media feed. Actually, it is supposed to be confusing! The more confused people get, the less capable they are to rebel against real dangers and oppression.

But in the end, despite everything, on the 2nd of February, the people of Thailand voted! They climbed the barricades; they fought with those who were attempting to close polling stations.

And in Ukraine, the majority still supports their government.

And Venezuela and Cuba have not fallen.

And the jihadi cadres are not yet in control of Syria.

And Eritrea and Zimbabwe are still behind their leadership.

People are not cattle. In many parts of the world they are already realizing who their real enemies are.

When the US sponsored a coup against Chavez, the military refused to follow, and as a handpicked businessman was sworn-in as President, the military began moving tanks towards Caracas, in defense of the legitimate and elected leader. The revolution survived!

Chavez passed away, and some say that he was poisoned; that he was infected with cancer, that he was hit from the North. I don't know whether it is true, but before he died, he was photographed, bold and sweating, suffering from an incurable disease, but determined and proud. He was shouting: "Here nobody surrenders!" And this one image and one short sentence, inspired millions.

I remember, last year in Caracas, standing in front of a huge poster depicting his face, spelling out his words. I would thank him; embrace him if I could, if he were still alive. Not because he was perfect – he was not. But because his life and his words and actions inspired millions, pulled entire nations from depression, from gloom and doom, from slavery. I read from his face this: "They try to screw you by all means, but you fight… You fall but you fight again. They try to kill you but you fight… For justice, for your country, and for a better world." Chavez did not say this, of course, but that is how it felt, looking at his photograph.

By then, most of South America was free and united against Western imperialism, and hard to defeat. Yes, here, nobody surrendered!

The rest of the world is still very vulnerable and mostly in shackles.

The West is continuously manufacturing and then supporting oppressive forces, be they feudal or religious. The more oppressed people are, the less disposed they are to fight for justice and for their rights. The more scared they are, the easier it is to control them.

Feudalism, religious oppression and cruel right-wing dictatorships, all that serves perfectly well both the market fundamentalism of the Empire, and its obsession with controlling the planet.

But such an arrangement of the world is abnormal, and therefore temporary. Human beings are longing for justice and, in their essence, are a sharing and decent species. Albert Camus, correctly, arrived at the conclusion in his powerful novel "The Plague" (analogy to fight against fascism): "there is more to admire than to despise in humans".

What the West is now doing to the world; igniting conflicts, supporting banditry and terror, sacrificing millions of people for its own commercial interests, is nothing new under the sun. It is called 'ordinary fascism'. And fascism came and was defeated, in the past. And it will be again. It will be defeated because it is wrong, because it is against natural human evolution, and because people all over the world are realizing that the feudal structures that Western fascism is trying to administer all over the world, belong to the 18th century, not to this one, and should never again be tolerated.

Andre Vltchek is a novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. His discussion with Noam Chomsky On Western Terrorism is now going to print. His critically acclaimed political novel Point of No Return is now re-edited and available. Oceania is his book on Western imperialism in the South Pacific. His provocative book about post-Suharto Indonesia and the market-fundamentalist model is called "Indonesia – The Archipelago of Fear". He has just completed the feature documentary, "Rwanda Gambit" about Rwandan history and the plunder of DR Congo. After living for many years in Latin America and Oceania, Vltchek presently resides and works in East Asia and Africa. He can be reached through his website or his Twitter.

Russian media paint a dark picture of Ukraine Europe

DW.DE 21.02.2014

Izvestia, a pro-Kremlin daily, leads with a report on the life of ordinary citizens living in or near Kyiv's Maidan, the center of ongoing anti-government protests, which the paper calls a "war zone." It describes empty stores, closed banks, and fearful citizens, and claims that on February 20 alone, 129 charter flights left Kyiv for Russia, while flights to other destinations from the city were packed. The story's title quotes an interviewee as saying: "This kind of thing only happened in Kyiv during the Fascist occupation." The article also compares the emptiness of Kyiv's center to the deserted streets after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

Komsomolskaya Pravda, a tabloid that is one of Russia's best-selling daily newspapers, writes that "what is happening in Kyiv will hardly leave anyone in Russia indifferent." It also reports the view of Ukrainians living in the Russian city Tver, one of whom says even relatives in Kyiv "can't understand" what's happening there.

Early on Friday (21.02.2014), the daily newspaper Kommersant published an article titled "Time for Viktor Yanukovych to get out." The article claims that the US and EU's initial "outwardly careful approach to the Ukrainian crisis ... has been replaced with open pressure on Kyiv." Moscow, it adds, "won't be rushing to be an intermediary in the situation." The fact that Yanukovych agreed to an early election is seen as a "capitulation" by the paper, which goes on to write that the EU thinks "Viktor Yanukovych himself as well as the leaders of the Ukrainian opposition are increasingly losing control of the situation in the country."

The popular weekly newspaper Argumenty i Fakty seems to agree that Ukraine is spinning out of control. "From the night of February 20-21, 2014, Ukraine de facto ceased to be an independent government," the paper wrote, pointing to the fact that it was the Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, rather than a Ukrainian official, who had first announced that Ukraine had agreed to hold early elections in 2014.

"Argumenty i Fakty" also points out that the street fighting in Kyiv - which it says includes "neo-Nazis" - and the paralysis in the government will impact on the Ukrainian economy. According to the paper, "Ukraine's perspectives for European integration, which weren't the best to begin with, are now becoming completely illusory."

[Feb 22, 2014] Would a federal Ukraine be viable Europe

DW.DE 22.02.2014

Article 2 of the Ukrainian Constitution defines Ukraine as a unitary state. Its capital and center of power is Kyiv. The country, which regained its independence following the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, is divided into 24 districts (oblasts) and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.

So far, the president, the government and parliament have always had authority over nearly everything, from taxes to language policy. But now it seems that the continuing political upheaval in Ukraine is threatening to rip the country apart.

Today (22.02.2014) legislators and officials sympathetic to Yanukovych as well as some Russian lawmakers gathered in Kharkiv, a city in the Russian-speaking east of Ukraine. As pro-Western protesters outside shouted "Ukraine is not Russia!", the officials, from predominantly Russian-speaking areas, approved a resolution for regional leaders to take full responsibility for constitutional order in their territories.

There has been vocal support for Viktor Yanukovych's ruling Party of Regions in the east and south of the country - traditionally strongholds of the party - which could embolden the party to try to exploit the current political crisis in order to turn Ukraine into a federation.

Party of Regions warns of disintegration

The idea is not new. In early February, the parliamentary newspaper Holos Ukrainy (Voice of Ukraine) printed a proposal by the Communist Party "regarding possible amendments to the Constitution." According to these amendments, Ukraine should become a federal state. The Communists are allies of the ruling Party of Regions and often vote together.

A few days before the proposal was published, a Party of Regions parliamentarian, Vadim Koleznichenko, spoke in favor of a "federalization of Ukraine," since the country was on the brink of civil war, as the online newspaper Ukrainska Pravda quoted him saying. He said that citizens in the east and south of Ukraine see the opposition protests in Kyiv as a "threat" to them. Federalization, he said, would help to prevent the country from falling apart. According to media reports, this would mean Ukraine could be divided into up to seven large states, each with its own parliament.

[Feb 22, 2014] [Feb 22, 2014]Schneider-Deters Accord 'mere stalling tactics' Europe

DW.DE 22.02.2014

Vladimir Lukin, who was part of the negotiations on Russia's behalf, hasn't yet signed the agreement. How do you see Russia's role in the conflict?

Very negatively. Russia doesn't want to play a constructive role in Ukraine. Russia doesn't want to lose the prize it got its hands on after the failure of the association agreement between the EU and Ukraine. Lukin was sent to the negotiations to ensure that there won't be a separate deal between Yanukovych and the EU.

... ... ...

Winfried Schneider-Deters is a political commentator. He used to work for the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, which is affiliated with Germany's Social Democratic Party (SPD), and was director of íts Kyiv office.

[Feb 22, 2014] A House Still Divided by Christian Caryl

Christian Caryl: That Eastern Ukrainians aren't taking to the streets in defense of the government is about as meaningful as the fact that Richard Nixon's "silent majority" of disgruntled conservatives in the United States didn't take to the streets to demonstrate against 1960s radicals.

FP.com

In 2010, there were enough Ukrainians like these to give Yanukovych a victory in that year's presidential election. (He won with 49 percent over main rival Yulia Tymoshenko, who garnered 45 percent.) His political machine, the Party of Regions, increased its support among the electorate enough to win parliamentary elections in 2012. It may well be that those who supported President Yanukovych then no longer do, especially now that he's shown himself willing to kill his compatriots. There are many indications that his legitimacy is ebbing by the day.

But his party isn't going to disappear even if the president leaves the scene. That's because it has deep roots in the East. The Ukrainians who voted for Yanukovych aren't going anywhere, and I'm really not convinced that they side with the protesters in the center of Kiev. A poll published earlier this month by the respected Ukrainian pollster SOCIS showed that Yanukovych still enjoyed the highest approval rating of any potential candidate for the presidency (about 21 percent). To be sure, the combined forces of the opposition would still be enough to beat him (assuming they could agree on a common candidate, hardly a given in the highly fractious world of Ukrainian politics). Over the years, though, presidential candidates from the East have been able to count on core support of some 30-40 percent of the Ukrainian electorate. I doubt this will change even if Yanukovych resigns from the presidency (which, by the way, I'd be happy to see him do -- it would probably spare everyone a lot of anguish).

Some observers argue that the long-standing regional divides are exaggerated or "oversimplified." They say that Ukrainians are unified in their desire to vanquish the corruption and authoritarianism embodied by the president. According to this interpretation, the Ukrainian people are entirely unanimous in their struggle against the arrogance of one man: Yanukovych. By this logic, the fact that Ukrainians in the East haven't taken to the streets in his defense means that they tacitly approve of the opposition's handling of events. (Actually they have: the photo above shows members of the party demonstrating in Donetsk in December. But never mind.)

If this view is correct, removing Yanukovych will solve everything. As soon as he's gone, Ukraine can move forward to the wholehearted embrace of Western norms. Corruption will evaporate. Those Ukrainians who want to maintain closer ties with Russia will quietly acquiesce. Everything will be fine.

This is wishful thinking. The fact of the matter is that Ukrainians have deeply divergent views on the future of the country, and that these views are strongly shaped by which part of the country they're from. And since these views are strongly reinforced by geopolitics, language, and economics, the differences are not momentary, but deeply rooted. That Eastern Ukrainians aren't taking to the streets in defense of the government is about as meaningful as the fact that Richard Nixon's "silent majority" of disgruntled conservatives in the United States didn't take to the streets to demonstrate against 1960s radicals.

To emphasize these complexities is not -- as some would claim -- to deny Ukraine's viability as a state. Nor does it imply that Ukraine ought to be carved up into constituent units. Ukraine is perfectly capable of continuing its existence as a state if it can find an institutional framework that will take its political diversity into account -- instead of lurching from one crisis to the next as it has over the past 15 years.

Ukraine's regional differences do, however, mean that we should take the possibility of civil conflict seriously. Reporters in Kiev have already described the rise of quasi-military "self-defense units" among the protesters. What has gone largely unremarked is the rise of similar paramilitary groups in the East. As this map by political observer Sergii Gorbachev shows, Yanukovych's political machine has been busily standing up "militia units" throughout the East, sometimes with overt ties to local gangland structures. Here, for example, is a Russian-language interview with one ex-convict who's setting up his own pro-Yanukovych militia in the Eastern city of Kharkov. He won't say how many members the new group has, but he's quite open about its aims: "I'm preparing my population and my people for war."

(This, by the way, is just the sort of thing that Russia has been happy to exploit for its own purposes in other parts of the ex-Soviet Union, exploiting conflicts to establish separatist territories in Georgia and Moldova that are happy to do Moscow's bidding.)

In any case, acknowledging the existing divides, rather than trying to wish them away, is the first step to developing viable reforms. I'm glad to hear that there is once again talk of constitutional change in Kiev, and that many members of the political elite understand that a new system is needed. (As I've argued elsewhere, the first purpose of any such reform should be to limit the powers of the president and give greater powers to parliament.) Believing in the myth of happy national unity despite all evidence to the contrary, however, is not the way to go.

Christian Caryl is the author of Strange Rebels: 1979 and the Birth of the 21st Century. A former reporter at Newsweek, he is a senior fellow at the Legatum Institute (which co-publishes Democracy Lab with Foreign Policy) and a contributing editor at the National Interest. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Center for International Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books.

Deeply Bound to Ukraine, Putin Watches and Waits for Next Move

Only hours before the closing ceremony in Sochi, Mr. Putin spoke by telephone with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany. The Kremlin said in a statement only that they discussed the situation in Ukraine, Germany's foreign office went further, saying that the two leaders agreed that "the territorial integrity of Ukraine must be preserved."
NYTimes.com

Vladimir Lukin, the envoy Mr. Putin sent to Kiev at Mr. Yanukovych's request during the negotiations with the Europeans, returned to Moscow and criticized the European foreign ministers for siding with "the nationalist-revolutionary terrorist Maidan," referring to the square that has been the nucleus of the protests, and not the "legitimate government that they recognized."

Only hours before the closing ceremony in Sochi, Mr. Putin spoke by telephone with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany. The Kremlin said in a statement only that they discussed the situation in Ukraine, Germany's foreign office went further, saying that the two leaders agreed that "the territorial integrity of Ukraine must be preserved."

Russia's foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, spoke with Secretary of State John Kerry for a second time in two days, and Russia later announced that it had recalled its ambassador in Kiev because of "the deteriorating situation" in the country. The State Department released a statement saying that Mr. Kerry expressed support for the votes in Ukraine's Parliament and called on Russia to support the transition now underway.

As in Ukraine itself, there were already some signs that Russia had given up on Mr. Yanukovych, but that hardly meant that officials in Moscow would welcome the new government that emerges. Russia's Foreign Ministry posted a photograph on Twitter of a World War II memorial being toppled in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, joining the many Lenin statues that have been pulled down. "Nazis comeback," it said in muddled English.

A vote by Ukraine's Parliament to curtail the Russian language's role in its school curriculum, one of a flurry of new laws adopted, also prompted a similarly ominous warning from one of Russia's deputy prime ministers, Dmitri O. Rogozin. "The main enemy - the Russian language," he wrote on Twitter. "Then - all Russians in Ukraine. Then - all who are for a union with Russia."

Others sounded more tempered. Russia has suspended the $15 billion in financial assistance it pledged to Ukraine in December, but its finance minister, Anton Siluanov, said Sunday that it was still possible to continue with the loans once a new government was formed. He also said Russia would abide by its current contracts to provide natural gas, something it has previously used as a lever when relations soured.

In the end, of all the problems that threatened to overshadow the Olympic Games in Sochi - terrorism, construction delays, even the weather - the one that materialized in Ukraine was one few expected.

Sergei A. Markov, a political strategist who advises the Kremlin, criticized what he called the "cynical geopolitical games" that European leaders have played in Ukraine, but also suggested that Russia, too, needed a new approach now. "It's simply necessary for Moscow to reformat the Ukraine element of its foreign policy," he told Interfax.

[Feb 22, 2014] The geopolitics of the Ukrainian conflict back to basics

The Vineyard of the Saker

Looking at the amazing footage coming out of not only Kiev, but also from many other cities in the Ukraine, one can get the idea that what is taking place is absolute total chaos and that nobody controls it. This is a very mistaken impression and I think that this is a good time to look at who the actors of this conflict are and what they really want. Only then will we be able to make sense of what is going on, who is pulling the strings behind the curtain, and what could happen next. So let us look at the various actors one by one.

[Feb 22, 2014] Ukrainian revolution 'It is vital the West works with Putin, not against him'

By Tony Brenton, Former ambassador to Moscow
22 Feb 2014 | Telegraph
For exponents of the "New Cold War" view of European politics, the Ukrainian crisis has been a godsend.

The country is split between a Russian-oriented eastern end and an EU-oriented western end. The past few months have seen a sharp competition for influence between the European Union, offering a "Partnership Agreement", and Russia, offering £9 billion of hard cash. When Ukraine's president Viktor Yanukovych went for the cash (unsurprisingly in view of the country's parlous economic state) protests, largely driven from west Ukraine, erupted and have brought Mr Yanukovych down.

It is easy to see things going very badly from here. Mr Yanukovych was a rotten president – corrupt, brutal and incompetent – but he was regrettably representative of the Ukrainian political class. His most likely successor, Yulia Tymoshenko, newly released from political imprisonment, herself contributed to a period of bad and corrupt government which led up to Mr Yanukovych's election in 2010. Meanwhile, east-west tensions within the country have undoubtedly intensified.

Quasi-fascist gangs from the western region are pressing their own form of violent extremism. And talk has revived in the eastern region, notably the Crimea, of separation. From our Western perspective, the black hand of Russia has been seen behind a lot of this. If we are to help get Ukraine back on course it is important to put this in perspective.

Certainly, Russia has been determined to keep Ukraine out of the Western camp. Of all the ex-Soviet states Ukraine is the one closest to Russia, historically, culturally and economically. The relationship, with its intimacies and tensions, is not unlike that between England and Scotland. Hence the £9 billion. But that does not mean, as many commentators have suggested, that Vladimir Putin has been pushing Mr Yanukovych in the direction of brutal repression.

The last thing Mr Putin has wanted in the middle of the Sochi Olympics is a Ukrainian bloodbath with Russian fingerprints on it. Faced with demonstrations of his own two years ago, Mr Putin played a waiting game and eventually the protesters went away. Indeed, he must be experiencing a feeling of déjà vu. In Ukraine's 2004 "Orange Revolution", Mr Putin backed Mr Yanukovych, who fell (the man is a Jonah), but Russian interests and links with Ukraine still remained strong.

As Russia looks at Ukraine now, its principal concern is not the maintenance of Mr Yanukovych, but the avoidance of a slippage into chaos and civil war which would damagingly affect its trade with Ukraine and the huge number of Russian passport holders who live there.

It follows that we in the West should not be demonising the Russians, but trying to work with them. President Obama's hour-long "constructive" conversation with Mr Putin on Friday may well be a start. Both sides have real assets to contribute. Russia, apart from the money, still exercises huge social and political sway and probably has particular influence with the shadowy Ukrainian security organs whose acquiescence could well be key to a successful solution.

The West offers a model of clean, democratic, law-bound government which is, rightly, a beacon for a very large number of Ukrainians.

Ukraine is not doomed. It has a democratic, constitutional order that so far continues to function. It is well-educated and potentially wealthy. Up until the latest disturbances, even despite the appalling quality of its governance, it had a growing feeling of national unity and permanence.

There is every reason to feel Ukraine can be put back on the road to a prosperous future. But we will need to work with Russia to do it.

[Feb 22, 2014] Situation in Ukraine

The first question was from Andrea Michell, the NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent, who exposed Valerie Plame's identity. Compare with Yanukovich interview Feb 22, 2014 (In Russian) http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ld1b9yVkIdQ and Poroshenko remark to Novinsky http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=KNQr2UCJDBc
February 21, 2014 | Via Teleconference Senior State Department Official

And our first question, from the line of Anne Gearan. I'm sorry, the first question from Andrea Mitchell, NBC News. Your line is open.

QUESTION: Thank you so much. Thanks for the briefing. And I'm wondering if you could elaborate a bit on the relationship between the U.S. and Russia on this, Russia's role in supporting the agreement and the commitments from Putin to the President going forward. How – from your interpretation, how Putin sees Russia's role in supporting the economy of – his feelings about the economy, stabilizing the economy of Ukraine, and whether he acknowledges the role of Europe as well. Thank you.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Thanks for that, Andrea. First, I neglected to mention one other piece of American diplomacy today. Secretary Hagel was able to reach the defense minister today, and my understanding is that they had a very positive conversation as well, and that the defense minister made clear that the armed forces of Ukraine will not – will stay in barracks and participate – and will not participate in any movement against the civilian population.

With regard to the conversations with President Putin, as I said, it was constructive today. As you likely saw, Chancellor Merkel talked to President Putin yesterday and talked to him again today while the diplomacy was ongoing on the ground. He had been invited by the European ministers and the European governments to send an observer, a witness to the talks. The Russians did avail themselves of that. Vladimir Lukin, a Duma deputy, was part of the negotiations, so they had a chance to see and witness and be part of the dynamics and part of the process of bringing the sides together. This clearly helped to create an environment where Russia could be part of ensuring that the bloodshed ended, and part of understanding what needs to be done to ensure that things don't flare up again.

(Interrupted by telephone call.)

Sorry, that was my other phone there. Anyway, it's clearly an important signal that the President and President Putin were able to talk positively about implementing this agreement, and that it's not simply about implementing this agreement and ending violence, and that that is in both the interest of Ukraine, the interest of Russia, the interest of Europe, and the interest of the United States, that we clearly share interests there, but that we have to move on from there and ensure that this very, very fragile Ukrainian economy is stabilized. Russia has an interest in that, given its deep trade and investment ties in Ukraine – we've talked about this before, some $40 billion in Russian bank exposure in Ukraine – so a default, a crash, is not in Russia's interest either.

So we consider it constructive that Putin has been engaged, not just with us but also with European leaders as this has gone forward, and that he chose to avail himself of the opportunity to participate, which gives us an opportunity to kind of – to work together to implement going forward.

... ... ...

QUESTION: Thank you for doing this. Just one quick follow-up on the Russian element. Lukin, though, did not sign this agreement. Did the EU foreign ministers consider that significant or at all troubling? And also, as we know, initially Putin essentially trumped the EU and came up with this $15 billion late last year. Is it your view now that Russia is ready to see Ukraine sign this accession agreement with the EU and has essentially folded its tent when it comes to competing with the EU in that way?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: First of all, with regard to Lukin's posture, I think you need to ask the Russians about that. Our understanding was that in the end they chose to be recorded as a witness rather than a signator. That's a decision that they made. But again, as I said, the President and President Putin had a constructive conversation about it, about the deal going forward and the need to continue to implement it.

With regard to the association agreement, you'll note that the work that was done over the last 24 hours is silent with regard to Ukraine's future orientation – customs union, association agreement, any of those things. The sense here is that both the government and the opposition understand that job one is to end the violence, restore stability, restore political balance, get a government of unity that can take the country back to economic stabilization, ideally through the IMF, and then have new elections, new elections that will allow Ukraine to make a democratically elected choice about its future going forward.

... ... ...

QUESTION: Hi, if I could just – if we could just make it absolutely clear, did Putin tell the President that he, in fact, supports this agreement that was made, including all of the various elements, whether it's constitutional reform and new elections and so forth. And did he give any indication of whether Russia's going to go ahead with the plan that it had previously announced to purchase Ukrainian bonds?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: With regard to bonds and future Russian-Ukrainian economic arrangements, I don't have any information to indicate that that was discussed. And again, the conversation here was about the opportunity that this agreement gave to stabilize Ukraine, to end the violence, to get a peaceful outcome, that Russia wants to be part of implementing the deal.

I don't think, Jackson, that they went through it point by point, "Do you like this one, do you like that one?" It was more a commitment that Ukraine has now been pulled back from the brink and everybody needs to be supportive of getting stabilization, getting political unity, getting the economy back together, and getting the violence ended, obviously.

... ... ...

OPERATOR: Our next question from the line of Laure Mandeville with French Daily Le Figaro. Please go ahead.

QUESTION: Hi, thank you very much for doing this brief. I had a question about the negotiations that went on between the European ministers and the – and President Yanukovych. Do you know what the minister had to give up in the list of things they were negotiating, let's say, on the president having to leave his post or --

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: I think the --

QUESTION: -- what was – I mean, what did they have to give up, and what did the Yanukovych didn't want to give up? I mean, how did it go?

And then I had a question again about Putin. I wanted to know, what is, according to your – I understand what you say about the conversation with President Obama, but we know that in the last few days, the Russian Government was extremely pushing for a very strong position on the part of Yanukovych, the French TV – the Russian TV, sorry – very anti-Western, the Prime Minister Medvedev having very, very, very, strong words against the terrorists in the street, et cetera.

So what was, according to you, the calculation of Putin? Did he realize your position of the --

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Again, I think you're asking – I'm going break in here because we've had a long question.

Let me just say that with regard to what went on in the room between Yanukovych and the European ministers, I think you need to ask the European ministers, because as you know, they were in the room and we were not. And with regard to the calculation of Putin, I think you should ask Mr. Putin. But one can only imagine that Russian TV screens were as filled with the brutality and violence as our TV screens were filled with, and there were – there was real risk in terms of the country devolving into very, very serious violence. But again, in terms of the calculations that they made, perhaps having had a witness in the talks gave more depth to the perspective with which they came to the – to Kyiv. I don't know. You'd have to talk to the Russians. But it certainly seemed to help to invest them in the deal to have had them be part of it.

MODERATOR: Can we have the next question, please?

OPERATOR: We'll go to Lesley Wroughton with Reuters. Your line is open.

QUESTION: Yes, good afternoon. I was wondering when you spoke about that President Obama and Putin agreed on the need to stabilize the economy, how – there is a discussion now about whether the Russians would be prepared to stump up the remaining money that they have promised the Ukrainians. On the other hand, if they don't, that would make the EU and the U.S. – you'd have to come up with some of that support. How far is the U.S. prepared to go when it comes to financially backing Ukrainians, considering this is a big issue for them? Or – and would you have to go through the IMF or could you do it bilaterally?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Our view, the United States view – and I believe this view is shared by our European allies and partners – is that the only viable route back to sustainable economic health for Ukraine goes through the IMF. So what we are hoping to see when this national unity government is established is a group of people who are empowered and prepared to roll up their sleeves extremely quickly with the IMF to take stock of what needs to be done in terms of reform, so that Ukraine can very quickly be eligible for IMF support, and of course, the nation-states represented in the – at the negotiations and the United States and Russia have a role to play in support that would come through the IMF. But then, as you know, an IMF agreement unlocks all kinds of other vehicles – EU vehicles, U.S. vehicles, EBRD, other kinds of international support – that could help the Ukrainians make the structural adjustments and transition their economy back to good health.

So we've been talking about the opportunities that are available through the IMF for months and months and months with the Ukrainians. But we have particularly accelerated those those discussions in very concrete terms with the government and with the opposition over the last month or so, including, as I said, through these many calls between Vice President Biden and President Yanukovych, making clear to him that if he were prepared to adopt constitutional reform, if he were prepared to have a broad-based national unity government that knew what needed to be done with the IMF and was empowered to do it, that he would have strong support from the United States during that process and after that process, and we expected we – from our European partners as well, and that that was a far more sustainable path to stabilizing the Ukrainian economy than any other path on offer.

QUESTION: Just one other thing. Do you believe that elections in such a short time – I mean credible elections that could be free and fair can be organized in such a short time?

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: As you know, there is an enormous demand for new elections, and it's very deep and broad across the political spectrum in Ukraine. We certainly share the view of the opposition that there needs to be a new electoral law and there needs to be a new electoral commission which is more proportional to the balance of power inside Ukraine before elections happen. So we were gratified to see that that was an agreed tenet of the agreement that was made, but we think that once those things are in place, assuming goodwill on all sides and international observation as is the norm in OSCE space, that there can be free and fair elections, yes, before the end of the year, if not sooner.

MODERATOR: Okay, and this will be our final question. Operator, please open up the line for our final question.

OPERATOR: We'll go to Peter Baker with The New York Times. Please go ahead.

QUESTION: Thanks very much for doing the call. I appreciate it. Hey, just – you may have said this – and if you did, I apologize I missed it – but who initiated the call between the two presidents today, President Putin and President Bush? And --

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: President Putin and President Obama?

QUESTION: Sorry. (Laughter.)

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: Are you the guy who wrote a book about (inaudible)?

QUESTION: On the brain. Sorry. Yes, stuck in the past. (Laughter.) President Obama and President Putin.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: It was our initiative today.

QUESTION: Okay. And then you mentioned that Vice President Biden had an hour on the phone with Yanukovych. Is there any more you can say about how that conversation played out? That's an awfully long time, obviously, at a time when Yanukovych obviously had a lot of things going on.

SENIOR STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: The – yeah. I mean, this conversation took place in the late afternoon yesterday, so they were really in the middle of negotiating this deal and the Vice President was extremely firm that particularly and in light of the horrific violence and the actions of Ukrainian security forces over the preceding hours, that the space for a democratic peaceful outcome here was closing extremely fast, that as leader of his nation it was in Yanukovych's power to make wise choices to de-escalate, and that the first thing that had to happen was to end the violence, call his forces off the streets, call for them to stand down, and that only if that first step was made would there be the space for the kind of political compromise that they were negotiating, and then assuming that that could happen, to work as quickly as possible to conclude an agreement that allowed for real political reform, a real government of national technical unity, a road back to the IMF, and elections.

So very much in lockstep with what the EU was working on in the room with him, but the first emphasis was on the fact that there would be no space for the opposition to make a deal if the killing of innocent Ukrainians did not stop. And it is because these guys have this longstanding relationship, because the Vice President has been so involved at every key twist and turn in this, that he has some trust and credibility in the bank with President Yanukovych at these key moments, and to make it clear that if Yanukovych made wise decisions, the United States would be with him, but if he did not, he would be increasingly isolated, was an important point to make. Yanukovych very much took it on board, he listened, he pledged to make wise decisions. But I think the timing of the call was particularly important.

More broadly, I think we've been able to be – to have an impact at key moments throughout this. As I said, nine calls at key moments by the Vice President to Yanukovych, but also very strong intersections at key moments by Secretary Kerry, including, you'll remember, the night that Yanukovych moved his forces the first time against the Maidan, which was the night of December 10th, and Secretary Kerry was the first to come out and call it a disgusting move. It sort of shocked the system in Ukraine, brought people into the Maidan, and helped end – avoid further bloodshed that night.

Then you remember when the black laws were passed, which closed – on January 16th, which closed the space for political opposition. Kerry again came out the next day and made clear that these were absolutely unacceptable and had to be repealed – one of the first public statements to say that this had to end – even before the street turned to violence. And then again, his work with the opposition throughout this period in Munich since then and again today.

[Feb 22, 2014] Ukrainians Are Having a Delightful Day at the Abandoned Presidential Palace by Adam Chandler

Slides of Yanukovich's luxurious mansion. Actually pretty typical for neoliberal ruler. Aren't they "creative 1%" that deserve such things?

As the reports continue to trickle in about developments in Ukraine (check in with our live blog here), the grounds of the opulent presidential palace have become the choice destination for Ukrainian protestors and tourists alike. Security has fled, leaving the estate of semi-President Viktor Yanukovych open to the public.

[Feb 22, 2014] Debate Is Ukraine's Opposition a Democratic Movement or a Force of Right-Wing Extremism Democracy Now!

Compare with 'I'll be fighting Jews and Russians till I die' Ukrainian right-wing militants aiming for power

ANTON SHEKHOVTSOV: Well, first of all, thank you for the invitation to Democracy Now!

I wrote the piece to highlight a very dangerous trend, in my opinion, is that many people in the West buy into Russian propaganda which is saying that Euromaidan is infiltrated by the neo-Nazis and anti-Semites. And this is completely untrue. There is a far-right element in the Euromaidan protests, but it is a minor element. And Euromaidan protest is basically a multicultural, democratic movement which is trying to build a new Ukraine, a democratic Ukraine. And sometimes, by the name "far right," there goes Ukrainian nationalism, and Ukrainian nationalism has-its main thrust is building of a truly independent Ukraine, a Ukraine which would be a national democratic state and not a colony of Russia, as Ukrainian nationalists think Ukraine is.

So the move towards Europe is a move towards democracy and away from the authoritarianism of Russia and its projected Eurasian union, which would unite several authoritarian states, like Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia. So Ukrainians do not want this. They want to be away from authoritarianism, and they struggle for democracy now in Ukraine. So, basically, Ukraine is now a front line of democratic Europe. And they're not-Ukrainians are not only fighting for their own freedom, but they are fighting to stop authoritarianism to spread westwards.

STEPHEN COHEN: Well, it's not what Anton said. Where to begin? Can we begin at the beginning? What's happening in Ukraine, what's been unfolding since November in the streets, is probably the single most important international story underway today. It may impact for a very long time the geopolitics of Europe, Russia, American-Russian relations, and a lot more. At the same time, media coverage of this story, particularly in the United States, has been exceedingly misleading, very close to what Anton just told you. I would characterize Anton's characterization, to be as polite as I can, as half-true. But a half-truth is an untruth.

The realities are, there is no "the Ukraine." All this talk about Ukraine is on the front line of democracy-there are at least two Ukraines. One tilts toward Poland and Lithuania, the West, the European Union; the other toward Russia. This is not my notion. This is what every public opinion poll has told us since this crisis unfolded, that about 40 percent of Ukrainians want to go west, 40 percent want to stay with Russia, and, as usually true in these polls, 20 percent just don't know or they're not sure.

Who precipitated this crisis? It was the European Union, in this sense. It gave the Ukrainian government, which, by the way, is a democratically elected government-if you overthrow this government, just like they overthrew Morsi in Egypt, you're dealing a serious blow to democracy. So if the crowd manages to essentially carry out a coup d'état from the streets, that's what democracy is not about. But here's what the European Union did back in November. It told the government of Ukraine, "If you want to sign an economic relationship with us, you cannot sign one with Russia." Why not? Putin has said, "Why don't the three of us have an arrangement? We'll help Ukraine. The West will help Ukraine." The chancellor of Germany, Merkel, at first thought that was a good idea, but she backed down for various political reasons. So, essentially, Ukraine was given an ultimatum: sign the EU economic agreement or else.

Now, what was that agreement? It would have been an economic catastrophe for Ukraine. I'm not talking about the intellectuals or the people who are well placed, about ordinary Ukrainians. The Ukrainian economy is on the brink of a meltdown. It needed billions of dollars. What did the European Union offer them? The same austerity policies that are ravaging Europe, and nothing more-$600 million. It needed billions and billions.

There's one other thing. If you read the protocols of the European offer to Ukraine, which has been interpreted in the West as just about civilizational change, escaping Russia, economics, democracy, there is a big clause on military cooperation. In effect, by signing this, Ukraine would have had to abide by NATO's military policies. What would that mean? That would mean drawing a new Cold War line, which used to be in Berlin, right through the heart of Slavic civilization, on Russia's borders. So that's where we're at to now.

One other point: These right-wing people, whom Anton thinks are not significant, all reports-and I don't know when he was in Ukraine, maybe it was long ago and things have gone-but the reports that are coming out of Ukraine are the following. One, the moderates-that's the former heavyweight champion boxer, Vitali Klitschko, and others-have lost control of the street. They've asked the people who have been attacking the police with Molotov cocktails, and to vacate the buildings they've occupied, to stop. And the street will not stop, partly because-I'd say largely because-the street in Kiev is now controlled by these right-wing extremists. And that extremism has spread to western Ukraine, where these people are occupying government buildings. So, in fact, you have a political civil war underway.

What is the face of these people, this right wing? A, they hate Europe as much as they hate Russia. Their official statement is: Europe is homosexuals, Jews and the decay of the Ukrainian state. They want nothing to do with Europe. They want nothing to do with Russia. I'm talking about this-it's not a fringe, but this very right-wing thing. What does their political activity include? It includes writing on buildings in western Ukraine, "Jews live here." That's exactly what the Nazis wrote on the homes of Jews when they occupied Ukraine. A priest who represents part of the political movement in western Ukraine-Putin quoted this, but it doesn't make it false. It doesn't make it false; it's been verified. A western Ukrainian priest said, "We, Ukraine, will not be governed by Negroes, Jews or Russians." So, these people have now come to the fore.

The first victims of any revolution-I don't know if this is a revolution, but the first victims of any revolution are the moderates. And the moderates have lost control of what they created, helped by the European Union and the American government back in November. And so, now anything is possible, including two Ukraines.

AMY GOODMAN: Anton Shekhovtsov, can you respond to Professor Stephen Cohen?

ANTON SHEKHOVTSOV: Yes. So, this is basically what I said, as I called as a distortion in the Western media. I don't know if Professor Cohen have been in Ukraine. I've been to Ukraine just a few days ago. I haven't seen that the right-wingers have taken control of the streets. The streets are controlled by Euromaidan, which is ideologically very different. There is a right-wing element, but this is the element which is only a minor component of Euromaidan. And if you remember the Solidarity movement in the '80s in Poland, it also comprised some right-wing elements, but in the end they built a democratic national-national democratic Poland.

As for the neo-Nazis and anti-Semites in western Ukraine, there are some, but at the same time, if you talk to them, if you interview them, and if you read their demands, you will not find any discrimination laws among their demands. What they demand is the national democratic state, independent from Russia. Even if they say that they are against the European Union, they at the same time support the pro-European protests. And this is partly what Euromaidan is about.

And then, again, there are many false reports about the beatings of representatives of national minorities in Ukraine. And mostly these reports are all false. They are being spread by Russian-backed propagandists, like Viktor Medvedchuk, leader of the pro-Eurasian, pro-Russian party, Ukrainski Vybir, Ukrainian Choice. So, these people, they're trying to distort the image of Euromaidan and picture it as something very violent, as something very right-wing, although the right-wing element, as I said, is a minor element at Euromaidan.

STEPHEN COHEN: I've already responded to what Anton has said. To me, it's a fundamental misrepresentation, and it raises questions in my mind, though he's entitled to his political allegiances, who he represents in Ukraine. He is clear where he stands. But even the American media, which deleted this right-wing element for two months, now has gotten worried about it. There was an article in Time magazine, I think the day before yesterday. I think, because I saw it on the Internet, but today's New York Times, January 30th New York Times editorial, is now worried about these people. So, Anton is not worried about them, for his own reasons, but the plain reality is that the so-called moderates, who are democratic, have lost control of the situation.

And here's the evidence. The moderate leaders, including Klitschko, the boxer, who wants to be president of Ukraine, entered into a negotiation with Yanukovych, the democratically elected president of Ukraine. And what did he offer them? He offered them a coalition government, which is a traditional democratic solution to such a crisis. He said, "We will give Klitschko and the other Ukrainian democratic leader the prime ministership and the deputy prime ministership." That's a colossal concession. It's power sharing. That's what you do in a crisis. They didn't accept. Now, they didn't accept for several reasons.

AMY GOODMAN: The protesters didn't accept.

STEPHEN COHEN: No, wait a minute. Klitschko and the other democratic leader didn't accept. One reason, the main reason, is the street wouldn't accept it. And since both of these guys want to be president, when there's elections in 2015, if there are elections, they're not going to go against the street. They've become captives of the street. Now, the street, increasingly, is in the control of these right-wingers.

Let me make a point, and it would be interesting to hear what Anton thinks about this. Many young thugs in the street are trying to kill policemen. They're throwing Molotov cocktails at them. They're beating them up. Now, the police are brutal also. But name me one democratic country that would allow mobs to attack policemen in the street of a capital city and not crack down? And, in fact, the Ukrainian police haven't cracked down.

... ... ...

AMY GOODMAN: I want to-I want to get Stephen Cohen's response to last month Senators John McCain and Christopher Murphy visiting the protesters at their hub in Kiev's Independence Square and voicing support for their cause.

SEN. CHRISTOPHER MURPHY: We are here to tell you that the American people and the United States Congress stands with the people of Ukraine.

SEN. JOHN McCAIN: I am a Republican. Senator Murphy is a Democrat. We are here together speaking for the American people in solidarity with you.

AMY GOODMAN: Professor Stephen Cohen?

STEPHEN COHEN: Well, that's Anton's position. I mean, Anton represents-at least his description of the situation-the mainstream American media political view of what's going on in Ukraine. And when I say "mainstream," I mean it extends from the right wing in America to MSNBC, to the so-called liberals and progressives, to Bill Maher, who did this on his show the other night. There's no alternative voice in America, except what I'm trying to say to you today. It's wrong-it's wrong factually, it's wrong in terms of policy-for McCain to go, as he's done in other countries. He once said, "We're all Georgians." Now he's saying, "We're all Ukrainians." If he understands the situation in Ukraine-and he may not-then he's being reckless.

But a true understanding of Ukraine begins with the fact that there are at least two Ukraines, two legitimate Ukraines, culturally, politically, ethnically, economically, culturally. This isn't Putin's fault. This isn't Yanukovych, the president of Ukraine's fault. It's either God's fault, or it's history's fault. This is what came down through the centuries. The situation has been explosive since the end of the Soviet Union 22 years ago. When Western politicians go there, they're playing with fire, metaphorically, and now they have real fire.

AMY GOODMAN: Do you think this is about the media's vilification of Putin?

STEPHEN COHEN: I think that the vilification of Putin in this country, demonization, is the worst press coverage by the American media of Russia that I've seen in my 40 years of studying Russia and contributing to the media. It's simply almost insane. This idea that he's a thug- and that explains everything, passes for analysis in America today

[Feb 22, 2014] A New Cold War Ukraine Violence Escalates, Leaked Tape Suggests U.S. Was Plotting Coup

I think Professor Stephen Cohen does not understand what Disaster capitalism means...
Feb 20, 2014 | Democracy Now!
... ... ...

STEPHEN COHEN: Where do you want me to begin? I mean, we are watching history being made, but history of the worst kind. That's what I'm telling my grandchildren: Watch this. What's happening there, let's take the big picture, then we can go to the small picture. The big picture is, people are dying in the streets every day. The number 50 is certainly too few. They're still finding bodies. Ukraine is splitting apart down the middle, because Ukraine is not one country, contrary to what the American media, which speaks about the Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. Historically, ethnically, religiously, culturally, politically, economically, it's two countries. One half wants to stay close to Russia; the other wants to go West. We now have reliable reports that the anti-government forces in the streets-and there are some very nasty people among them-are seizing weapons in western Ukrainian military bases. So we have clearly the possibility of a civil war.

And the longer-term outcome may be-and I want to emphasize this, because nobody in the United States seems to want to pay attention to it - the outcome may be the construction, the emergence of a new Cold War divide between West and East, not this time, as it was for our generation, in faraway Berlin, but right on the borders of Russia, right through the heart of Slavic civilization. And if that happens, if that's the new Cold War divide, it's permanent instability and permanent potential for real war for decades to come. That's what's at stake.

One last point, also something that nobody in this country wants to talk about: The Western authorities, who bear some responsibility for what's happened, and who therefore also have blood on their hands, are taking no responsibility. They're uttering utterly banal statements, which, because of their vacuous nature, are encouraging and rationalizing the people in Ukraine who are throwing Molotov cocktails, now have weapons, are shooting at police. We wouldn't permit that in any Western capital, no matter how righteous the cause, but it's being condoned by the European Union and Washington as events unfold.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And when you say the Western countries who bear some responsibility, in what sense do they bear responsibility? I mean, clearly, there's been an effort by the United States and Europe ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union to pull the former Soviet states into their economic sphere, but is that what you're talking about?

STEPHEN COHEN: I mean that. I mean that Moscow - look at it through Moscow's eyes. Since the Clinton administration in the 1990s, the U.S.-led West has been on a steady march toward post-Soviet Russia, began with the expansion of NATO in the 1990s under Clinton. Bush then further expanded NATO all the way to Russia's borders. Then came the funding of what are euphemistically called NGOs, but they are political action groups, funded by the West, operating inside Russia. Then came the decision to build missile defense installations along Russia's borders, allegedly against Iran, a country which has neither nuclear weapons nor any missiles to deliver them with. Then comes American military outpost in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, which led to the war of 2008, and now the West is at the gates of Ukraine. So, that's the picture as Moscow sees it. And it's rational. It's reasonable. It's hard to deny.

But as for the immediate crisis, let's ask ourselves this: Who precipitated this crisis? The American media says it was Putin and the very bad, though democratically elected, president of Ukraine, Yanukovych. But it was the European Union, backed by Washington, that said in November to the democratically elected president of a profoundly divided country, Ukraine, "You must choose between Europe and Russia." That was an ultimatum to Yanukovych. Remember-wasn't reported here-at that moment, what did the much-despised Putin say? He said, "Why? Why does Ukraine have to choose? We are prepared to help Ukraine avoid economic collapse, along with you, the West. Let's make it a tripartite package to Ukraine." And it was rejected in Washington and in Brussels. That precipitated the protests in the streets.

And since then, the dynamic that any of us who have ever witnessed these kinds of struggles in the streets unfolded, as extremists have taken control of the movement from the so-called moderate Ukrainian leaders. I mean, the moderate Ukrainian leaders, with whom the Western foreign ministers are traveling to Kiev to talk, they've lost control of the situation. By the way, people ask-excuse me-is it a revolution? Is it a revolution? A much abused word, but one sign of a revolution is the first victims of revolution are the moderates. And then it becomes a struggle between the extreme forces on either side. And that's what we're witnessing.

... ... ...

AMY GOODMAN: Let's go to President Obama. He's in Mexico for the big Mexico-Canada-U.S. summit talking about Ukraine.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: With regard to Ukraine, along with our European partners, we will continue to engage all sides. And we continue to stress to President Yanukovych and the Ukrainian government that they have the primary responsibility to prevent the kind of terrible violence that we've seen, to withdraw riot police, to work with the opposition to restore security and human dignity, and move the country forward. And this includes progress towards a multi-party, technical government that can work with the international community on a support package and adopt reforms necessary for free and fair elections next year. Ukrainians are a proud and resilient people who have overcome extraordinary challenges in their history, and that's a pride and strength that I hope they draw on now.

... ... ...

STEPHEN COHEN: To what he just said? Shame. Shame. He is saying that the responsibility for restoring peace is on the Ukrainian government, and it should withdraw its security forces from the streets. But let me ask you, if in Washington people throwing Molotov cocktails are marching on Congress-and these people are headed for the Ukrainian Congress-if these people have barricaded entrance to the White House and are throwing rocks at the White House security guard, would President Obama withdraw his security forces? This is-this is-and do you know what this does? And let's escape partisanship here. I mean, lives are at stake. This incites, these kinds of statement that Obama made. It rationalizes what the killers in the streets are doing. It gives them Western license, because he's not saying to the people in the streets, "Stop this, stop shooting policemen, stop attacking government buildings, sit down and talk." And the guy you had on just before, a so-called moderate leader, what did he just tell you? "We have lost control of the situation." That's what I just told you. He just confirmed that.

So what Obama needs to say is, "We deplore what the people in the streets are doing when they attack the police, the law enforcement official. And we also don't like the people who are writing on buildings 'Jews live here,'" because these forces, these quasi-fascist forces-let's address this issue, because the last time I was on your broadcast, you found some guy somewhere who said there was none of this there. All right. What percent are the quasi-fascists of the opposition? Let's say they're 5 percent. I think they're more, but let's give them the break, 5 percent. But we know from history that when the moderates lose control of the situation, they don't know what to do. The country descends in chaos. Five percent of a population that's tough, resolute, ruthless, armed, well funded, and knows what it wants, can make history. We've seen it through Europe. We've seen it through Asia. This is reality. And where Washington and Brussels are on this issue, they won't step up and take the responsibility.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, even in most recent history, whether you look at Libya or whether you look at the situation in Syria, where those presidents warned that there were extremist elements inside a broader popular movement that were eventually going to gain control, this seems like a replay in terms of what's going on here in the Ukraine of a popular movement, but yet a very, very, as you say, right-wing movement-not only a right-wing movement, but a fascist movement with a history. Ukraine has had a history of a fascist movement going back to the days of Nazi Germany.

STEPHEN COHEN: Let's go to real heresy. Let's ask a question: Who has been right about interpreting recent events? Let's go to the Arab Spring. Obama and Washington said this was about democracy now, this is great. Russia said, "Wait a minute. If you destabilize, even if they're authoritarian leaders in the Middle East, you're not going to get Thomas Jefferson in power. You're going to get jihadists. You're going to get very radical people in power all through the Middle East." Looking back, who was right or wrong about that narrative? Have a look at Egypt. Have a look at Libya. Who was right? Can Russians ever be right about anything?

Now what are the Russians saying about Ukraine? They're saying what you just said, that the peaceful protesters, as we keep calling them-I think a lot of them have gone home. There were many. By the way, at the beginning, there were hundreds of thousands, tens of thousands, of very decent, liberal, progressive, honorable people in the streets. But they've lost control of the situation. That's the point now. And so, the Russians are saying, "Look, you're trying to depose Yanukovych, who's the elected government." Think. If you overthrow-and, by the way, there's a presidential election in a year. The Russians are saying wait 'til the next election. If you overthrow him-and that's what Washington and Brussels are saying, that he must go-what are you doing to the possibility of democracy not only in Ukraine, but throughout this part of the world? And secondly, who do you think is going to come to power? Please tell us. And we're silent.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to go to the famous leaked tape right now. The top State Department official has apologized to her European counterparts after she was caught cursing the European Union, the EU, in a leaked audio recording that was posted to YouTube. The recording captured an intercepted phone conversation between the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, and Victoria Nuland, the top U.S. diplomat for Europe. Nuland expresses frustration over Europe's response to the political crisis in Ukraine, using frank terms.

VICTORIA NULAND: So that would be great, I think, to help glue this thing and have the U.N. help glue it. And, you know, [bleep] the EU.

AMY GOODMAN: While Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland's comment about the EU dominated the news headlines because she used a curse, there were several other very interesting parts of her conversation with the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.

GEOFFREY PYATT: Let me work on Klitschko, and if you can just keep-I think we want to try to get somebody with an international personality to come out here and help to midwife this thing. Then the other issue is some kind of outreach to Yanukovych, but we can probably regroup on that tomorrow as we see how things start to fall into place.

VICTORIA NULAND: So, on that piece, Geoff, when I wrote the note, Sullivan's come back to me VFR saying, "You need Biden?" And I said, "Probably tomorrow for an attaboy and to get the deets to stick." So Biden's willing.

AMY GOODMAN: That's the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Pyatt, speaking with Victoria Nuland. The significance of what she is saying? She also had gone to Ukraine and was feeding protesters on the front line.

STEPHEN COHEN: Cookies, cookies. Well, here again, the American political media establishment, including the right and the left and the center-because they're all complicit in this nonsense-focused on the too sensational, they thought, aspect of that leaked conversation. She said, "F- the European Union," and everybody said, "Oh, my god! She said the word." The other thing was, who leaked it? "Oh, it was the Russians. Those dirty Russians leaked this conversation." But the significance is what you just played. What are they doing? The highest-ranking State Department official, who presumably represents the Obama administration, and the American ambassador in Kiev are, to put it in blunt terms, plotting a coup d'état against the elected president of Ukraine.

Now, that said, Amy, Juan, you may say to me-neither of you would, but hypothetically-"That's a good thing. We don't like-we don't care if he was elected democratically. He's a rat. He's corrupt." And he is all those things. He is. "Let's depose him. That's what the United States should do. Then the United States should stand up and say, 'That's what we do: We get rid of bad guys. We assassinate them, and we overthrow them.'" But in Washington and in Brussels, they lie: They're talking about democracy now. They're not talking about democracy now; they're talking about a coup now.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, this is more from-

STEPHEN COHEN: And we-excuse me-and we should-we, American citizens, should be allowed to choose which policy we want. But they conceal it from us. And I'm extremely angry that the people in this country who say they deplore this sort of thing have fallen silent.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Let's listen to little bit more of the leaked conversation between the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, and Victoria Nuland, the top U.S. diplomat for Europe.

VICTORIA NULAND: Good. So, I don't think Klitsch should go into the government. I don't think it's necessary. I don't think it's a good idea.

GEOFFREY PYATT: Yeah. I mean, I guess, you think-in terms of him not going into the government, just let him sort of stay out and do his political homework and stuff. I'm just thinking, in terms of sort of the process moving ahead, we want to keep the moderate democrats together. The problem is going to be Tyahnybok and his guys. And, you know, I'm sure that's part of what Yanukovych is calculating on all of this. I kind of-

VICTORIA NULAND: I think-I think Yats is the guy who's got the economic experience, the governing experience. He's the guy-you know, what he needs is Klitsch and Tyahnybok on the outside. He needs to be talking to them four times a week. You know, I just think Klitsch going in, he's going to be at that level working for Yatsenyuk. It's just not going to work.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: That was Victoria Nuland, the top U.S. diplomat for Europe, speaking with Geoffrey Pyatt, the U.S. ambassador to the Ukraine. Stephen Cohen, this-this chess game-

STEPHEN COHEN: You don't need me here. What do you need me for?

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: -this chess game that they're conducting here?

STEPHEN COHEN: There it is. There it is.

... ... ...

AMY GOODMAN: And yet, here you have President Obama, again, speaking yesterday in Mexico.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Our approach as the United States is not to see these as some Cold War chessboard in which we're in competition with Russia. Our goal is to make sure that the people of Ukraine are able to make decisions for themselves about their future, that the people of Syria are able to make decisions without having bombs going off and killing women and children, or chemical weapons, or towns being starved, because a despot wants to cling to power.

AMY GOODMAN: Who benefits from the instability, Professor Cohen, in Ukraine? And what does it mean for Putin? Is he concerned about this?

STEPHEN COHEN: Of course he's concerned. It's right on his borders, and it's all tainting him. I mean, The Washington Post wrote an editorial yesterday. Putin is happy that the violence has broken out in the streets. Everybody understands, even The Washington Post understands, which understands almost nothing about Russia, but they got this, that during the Sochi Olympics, the last thing Putin wants is violence in Ukraine. So why is he happy about it? He deplores it. He's unhappy. He's furious at the president of Ukraine. He read him the Riot Act on the phone last night, that why doesn't he get control of the situation? What is he doing? So Putin is not responsible for this. Can we speak about Obama?

AMY GOODMAN: Very quickly.

STEPHEN COHEN: Very quickly. I grew up in the segregated South. I voted for him twice, as historical justice. That's not leadership. That's a falsification of what's happening in Ukraine, and it's making the situation worse, what he says, is that we deplore the violence and call upon Ukrainian government to withdraw its forces and stop the violence. He needs to talk about what's happening in the streets.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And is it conceivable, if Ukraine descends into a further civil war, that Russia might intervene?

STEPHEN COHEN: It's conceivable. It's conceivable. Here - I mean, Yanukovych - you might say, as an adviser to Yanukovych, the president of Ukraine, "Impose martial law now, because you've got bad PR in the West anyway, and you're not in control of the situation." The problem is, Yanukovych isn't sure he controls the army.

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Ukraine: Yulia Tymoshenko released as country lurches towards split

February 22, 2014 | The Guardian

Parliament in Kiev voted to remove the president from power and called elections for 25 May, while politicians from the south and east of the country said they would not recognize the authority of the capital.

Security forces left the streets and public buildings unguarded, and the president's offices and residence were vacant. Protesters moved into the vacuum, setting up their own checkpoints.

MrEurope

She won't be president though. She shouldn't either. It is good that she's free as her incarceration was nonsense, but when she and her buddy Yushchenko were in power after the Orange revolution were in power, all they did was argue and fight.

Frankly, I am not really sure whether a split-up Ukraine into three parts (West, East, Crimea) would actually be such a bad idea... perhaps at the very least as a Federal state. It would allow each region o forge the ties they feel are most welcome, yet still stay together as a cultural nation. Time will tell...

nobledonkey -> MrEurope

It's interesting to note that the Putin regime does not look all that unfavourably towards Timoshenko. In some circles, they prefer her to Yanukovich.

underlander -> nobledonkey

And rightly so. She's far more flexible politician when it comes to negotiating with Putin, so far she had outdone both Yanukovich and Yuschenko in this respect on numerous occasions.

"Stop the Bloodshed in Ukraine" Putin Meets Russia's Security Council Global Research

It was too late. Putin lost.
The Voice of Russia

Global Research, February 22, 2014

Russian President Vladimir Putin held a conference with the permanent members of the Russian Security Council to address the situation in Ukraine on Friday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

... .... ...

"Putin emphasized that it is imperative to immediately stop the bloodshed and take urgent measures to stabilize the situation and suppress any extremist and terrorist sorties," the press service said.

"The Russian president informed Merkel and Cameron that Russia's Commissioner for Human Rights Vladimir Lukin was heading to Kiev for the purposes of mediation," it said.

At Yanukovych's request, Russia's President Putin sending envoy to Kiev as mediator

President of Russia Vladimir Putin sends Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin to Kiev, as a mediator in negotiations with the opposition, at the request of President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych, Press-Secretary of the Russian leader, Dmitry Peskov, said.

"A telephone conversation between President Putin and President Yanukovych was carried out on the initiative of the Ukrainian side, during which the President of Ukraine suggested that the head of the Russian state should send a Russian representative to Kiev to participate in the negotiation process with the opposition as a mediator," Peskov said.

The Russian leader's Press Secretary said that "Putin has made the decision to send Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin on this mission".

It is known, that Vladimir Petrovich (Lukin) has an abundance of experience in diplomatic service, and a considerable reputation among human rights defenders; he has headed a major opposition party," Peskov reminded.

Sanctions threat against Ukraine looks like blackmail – Sergei Lavrov

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has condemned Western threats of sanctions against Ukraine as blackmail and double-standard approach.

The foreign minister is on a working trip in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. He said at a press conference that Ukraine's opposition couldn't or simply wouldn't "dissociate itself from extremist forces."

"The possibility of sanctions is nothing but an attempt at bullying," Lavrov said during a news conference in Baghdad, in remarks translated from Russian into Arabic.

Mr. Lavrov accused the United States of double standards as it piled all the blame on the Ukrainian government.

"The EU is mulling sanctions while paying uncalled-for visits to Ukraine," he added. "This behaviour looks like blackmail [to me]."

Ukraine and western countries should stand apart from radicals – Russia

Ukraine and the West should stay apart from radicals, Sergey Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister, said. "Russia thinks that Ukraine opposition as well as western countries should stay apart from extremists and other radicals," said Lavrov during the press-conference in Bagdad on Thursday. This Tuesday, mass disorders escalated in Kiev again.

During the Verkhovna Rada meeting, the opposition insisted on return of the parliamentary-presidential form of government and on putting the Constitution of 2004 in force again.

Aggressive protestors wanted to approach the building of Ukrainian Parliament, they seized the buildings in the center of Kiev, burned tire-covers, threw stones and Molotov cocktails in the law enforcers. According to the police, the radicals use fire arms.

Russia's Lavrov blames West for forcing Ukraine into EU

The demand to hold early elections in Ukraine is aimed at forcing Ukraine to choose Europe, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"You probably heard more than once that the capitals of Western European countries have demanded that the people of Ukraine should be given the freedom to choose, and they added that the choice should be in favor of the European Union," Lavrov told a press conference in Baghdad.

"Their purpose in the current initiatives is to essentially force this choice is evident to the Ukrainian administration: the demand to hold parliamentary and early presidential elections as soon as possible and to form a coalition government. That is, they are trying to decide everything for them," Lavrov said.

West misinterprets Ukraine extremist violence, threatens to sanction gov't – Russian FM Lavrov

The West is incorrectly interpreting the extremists' actions in Ukraine and threatening Kiev with sanctions instead, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

"Our Western partners in Europe and the U.S. are laying all the blame on the country's authorities and fail to properly qualify the extremists' actions," Lavrov said at a press conference in Baghdad.

"We are really concerned about this, because double standards are obvious here, and instead they are threatening [the government] with sanctions, and not only threatening, but the Americans have already imposed them, thereby encouraging the opposition to dismiss any compromises," he added.

Russian FM accuses Western media of distorting truth about Ukraine unrest

The Western mainstream media are distorting the situation in Ukraine, Russia's foreign chief Sergei Lavrov has said.

Speaking at a press conference in Baghdad, Lavrov accused Western media of giving biased coverage on the Ukrainian political crisis.

The latest accounts estimate the number of casualties at 35 following clashes that have been erupting across the country. Over 500 have been injured in Kiev alone.

Moscow has accused extremist and opposition of pushing the country towards the edge, adding that the rhetoric of foreign officials was inciting radicalism and contributing to unrest.

[Feb 22, 2014] Both the EU and America have been outgunned by Russia on Ukraine – now all the likely outcomes are bad by Edward Lucas

In reality Russia lost Ukraine and the views of Russifob Lucas should be taken with a grain of slat. Still observation "As Kiev burns, Western policymakers are eating ashes" is an interesting one, if you think from whom it is coming...
February 21, 2014 | Independent.ie

As Kiev burns, Western policymakers are eating ashes. Our efforts to help Ukraine towards Europe, democracy and the rule of the law have failed spectacularly...

...America is out of the game, too.

...Its senior official dealing with Ukraine, Toria Nuland, is admirably energetic – and blunt (she recently declared "F**k the EU" in a phone call to her ambassador in Kiev, bugged and then leaked by Russian intelligence). But she lacks the clout to make the wheels of policy turn in Washington.

Without Moscow's interference, the EU and US could marshal their modest resources to make a difference. Faced with Russia in all its implacable fury, both are outgunned. The fallout from Edward Snowden's leaks of secret material from the National Security Agency has corroded and weakened the transatlantic alliance: fury with US snooping in countries such as Germany has paralyzed what should be vital discussions on security.

Now all the likely outcomes are bad. Perhaps the authorities will decide that they cannot crush the protesters and will draw back, meaning months of tension and uncertainty. Even then, Ukraine's territorial integrity has been shattered, perhaps fatally.

In the west, government buildings have been set ablaze. The region – the old Austro-Hungarian Galicia – was the site of a decade-long, post-war insurrection against Soviet rule. If pro-Moscow authorities in Kiev try to crack down there, civil war looms. That involves not just human suffering (and quite possibly large numbers of refugees) but also economic dislocation and grave risks of outsiders being drawn in. What happens if someone – a real or invented band of nationalist guerrillas, say – attacks one of the east-west oil or gas pipelines?

Equally worrying is Crimea, which could now be the flashpoint for another conflict with Russia, with far more devastating effects. The region is on the verge of declaring independence from Kiev (a move likely to prompt Russian intervention to protect the separatist statelet).

If the crackdown continues, and succeeds, we will see a dreadful roll-back of the gains of the past 10 years. The newly passed repressive laws will be used in full, not just against public protest but against independent media, civil society, and other institutions.

... ... ...

Last time Europe faced a security problem of this magnitude was in the Yugoslav wars in the '90s. For years the West failed to grasp the problem. It is in a far worse state now. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

EDWARD LUCAS IS AUTHOR OF 'THE SNOWDEN OPERATION: INSIDE THE WEST'S GREATEST INTELLIGENCE DISASTER'

Corrys_SingSing:

This guy castigates Russia for it's ''spooks'' and their ''interference'', but passes off revelations of same levelled at the US, revealed by Snowden.

He talks about ''crooks'' running the Eurasian Economic Union, but are there none of those running the EU/US

''Most Ukrainians want their country to be a part of Europe'' Where did he pull that one from?
The last poll conducted by the Kiev International Institute of Sociology between November 9 and 20, 2013, the first question was framed as follows: If there were to be a referendum on the question should Ukraine join the Customs Union with Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan, would you vote for it, against it, or decline to vote? The results showed 40.8% in favor and 33.1% opposed.

Broken down by region, support for joining the Customs Union was very high in the East (64.5%), high in the South (54%), moderate in the Centre (29.6), and lowest in the West (16.4%.

Corrys_SingSing

This guy castigates Russia for it's ''spooks'' and their ''interference'', but passes off revelations of same levelled at the US, revealed by Snowden.
He talks about ''crooks'' running the Eurasian Economic Union, but are there none of those running the EU/US

''Most Ukrainians want their country to be a part of Europe'' Where did he pull that one from?

The last poll conducted by the Kiev International Institute of Sociology between November 9 and 20, 2013, the first question was framed as follows: If there were to be a referendum on the question should Ukraine join the Customs Union with Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan, would you vote for it, against it, or decline to vote? The results showed 40.8% in favor and 33.1% opposed.
Broken down by region, support for joining the Customs Union was very high in the East (64.5%), high in the South (54%), moderate in the Centre (29.6), and lowest in the West (16.4%.

derekdirect

"Most Ukrainians want their country to be part of Europe" Really? Where is the evidence? I can imagine the only reason why Ukrainians want to be part of Europe, because it's a free ticket into any country. Anyhow, these so called protesters are receiving €25.00 a day to protest, from oil companies.

MKM7

This article reeks of propaganda...I had to stop after a few lines. The EU presents a veneer of Democracy but is effectively an Empire-in-the-making. The US is no longer the Free Nation it once was.

LeinsterMichael > MKM7

You can always apply for Russian citizenship and emigrate if you find the west so oppressive.

MKM7 > LeinsterMichael

Can I? Thanks for allowing me that option.

Redyedsirtoy

We don't want you in the eu , Putin was right when he said the collapse of the Berlin wall was the greatest calamity in human history . Ireland has been flooded with the an ocean of cheap labour from eastern europe,

but Irish employers are making a killing.

vjarchbold

How could the EU or the USA help the Ukraine to DEMOCRACY,when both these entities are rotten, corrupt, and un-democratic in every sense of the word a bunch of bureaucrats in Brussels un- elected, while in the USA a congress of good ol boys who think that bombing and invading any country which they know cannot fight back, but when it comes to Russia or China they will stand back in the shadows and stir up people with promises of freedom which don't exist.

On the other side of the line you have the Russian Bear who under Czar Putin who is hell bent on rebuilding the empire, and in the middle the Ukrainian people laying down their lives for a mirage. god help the Ukrainian people.

m320i

If the pro EU people of the Ukraine think that the EU is some sort of perfect paradise, they are going to be seriously disappointed with the reality.

LeinsterMichael > m320i

disappointment is a relative term. If you think their fate with the EU would be worse than their fate under Russia, then I suspect you hold a minority view point.

Tinker_Noseyparker_Soldier_Spy > m320i

It is still a hell of a lot better than the alternative...

[Feb 22, 2014] Opposition leaders sign deal with Yanukovych to end Ukraine crisis by Will Englund

Quote: "Leonid Slutsky, a Russian legislator who oversees relations with ex-Soviet states, told reporters Friday the deal is "entirely in the interests of the United States and other powers, who want to split Ukraine from Russia," according to the Associated Press."
February 21 | The Washington Post

Updated: Saturday, February 22, 9:55 AM. Title of the article became Ukraine's Yanukovych missing as protesters take control of presidential residence in Kiev

The agreement represents a remarkable, humiliating fall for Yanukovych, whose decision to turn away from closer ties with the European Union and toward Russia sparked protests that began here peacefully in November but turned increasingly violent.

... ... ...

President Obama spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin about Ukraine for more than an hour, their first extensive conversation in months.

The White House said the two leaders "exchanged views on the need to implement quickly the political agreement reached today" but stopped short of saying they had agreed on all the elements of the deal. Obama and Putin also discussed the importance of stabilizing Ukraine's precarious economy "and the need for all sides to refrain from further violence," the White House said in a statement.

...Lukin flew back to Moscow before the signing. The Kremlin later said it was suspending its $15 billion aid program to Ukraine, which was signed after Yanukovych spurned a trade pact with the European Union in November.

"There is a chance of achieving peace in Ukraine. People are working on it," Lukin said, according to the Russian news agency Interfax. "But the situation there is very complicated and quite fluid, people you have to talk to are coming and going. The conversation will continue, including with our partners in Europe."

Leonid Slutsky, a Russian legislator who oversees relations with ex-Soviet states, told reporters Friday the deal is "entirely in the interests of the United States and other powers, who want to split Ukraine from Russia," according to the Associated Press.

apspa1:

What chance has democracy where there is no respect for the results of elections.

Molotov Cocktails are not ballots.

StraightDope:

None whatsoever- the problem is Yanukovych is an appeaser in the tradition of Neville Chamberlain- you can't make deals with Fascists because in the end they will always stand poised from whatever ground you gave them to stand on - to seize more power.

apspa1:

What say we finally toss that phoney title of "Neville Chamberlain The Appeaser" into a dust bin and call it what he was: Neville Chamberlain the Judas, who begged Herr Hitler to look east not west for land to conquer and believed Hitler when he said okeydokey, Nev my man, okeydokey.

apspa1:

So the neo-cons, neo-Nazis, assorted right-wing groups/individuals and ersatz patriots don't feel they must respect the results of a democratic election in Ukraine because they don't like the elected president.

And the neo-cons, TEAnuts, assorted right-wing groups/individuals and ersatz patriots don't feel they must respect the results of a democratic election in the US because they don't like the elected president.

Apparently birds of a feather do fly together even when they nest ckJohnson621:

It is soon going to dawn on everyone that they have lost control of the protesters and any deal cannot be enforced.

simontemplar :

Not one word in that article about using force or threatening force in Ukraine.

OrdinaryCommonSense:

Congrats to the people of Ukraine. I hope Yulia Tymoshenko is released. Putin can go shove it.

StraightDope :

Why? She's a criminal and a corporate puppet. Why don't you hit the street and start organizing rallies for the release of Bernie Madoff?

simontemplar:

C'mon, Ukraine. When has Russia not have your best interest in mind?

q98340:

You could say the same about the Ottoman Empire, the Astro-Hungarian Empire, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Mongol Empire, the Crimean Khanate, the Khazar Khanate, etc. For that matter, what exactly is Ukraine since it really only came into existence in the 20th century

simontemplar wrote:

We know now that Fukuyama was incorrect in declaring "the end of history".

sr31:

Please don't quote a neocon today. It's Friday.

simontemplar:

Russia has treated the Ukraine so well over the decades that it is no wonder some wish it to return to Russia's "fraternal" embrace.

sr31:

They also remember what happened in Bosnia.

tyrell_corp:

Ukraine was broke before this CIA sponsored coup, it will cost billions to recover from this self indulgent uprising. The US and EU won't pony up a dime and Russia will let Ukraine twist. Forget about bailoutmoney, all Ukraine goods will be stopped at Russia's border.

Russia, as Ukraine's largest trading partner will crush them economically, will infiltrate and cause rebellion in the east and in Crimea.

The US will denounce all of this and shed tears for Ukraine.

But will not offer money or assistance.

The real tragedy is only beginning...

alphavillebooks:

Wow. Substitute Washington and Obama and some of these anti-Putin remarks still make a kind of apolitical sense. Its like foreign policy mad libs with you folks.

jfschumaker:

It's nice to have an agreement. Let's hope it lasts longer than all previous agreements with Yanukovych. The Maidan protestes should not leave until the elections are held and Yanukovych is no longer President. The Rada now has a quorum and should revert to the 2004 Constitution as soon as possible. After that, it should focus on freeing all political prisoners and moving up the dates for new elections and the new Constitution. Yanukovych cannot be trusted to keep to this agreement for the ten months between now and December. Given his record of perfidy, he probably cannot even be trusted for ten days. For a long time, the crisis in Ukraine has not been about whether Ukraine will lean to the East or the West. That decision rests with the Ukrainian people, and should be respected by all sides. It is about removing a corrupt, kleptocratic dictator who is murdering his own people to remain in power. The sooner Yanukovych goes, the better.

alphavillebooks:

"The sooner Yanukovych goes, the better."

But for who?

StraightDope:

I happen to agree but not for the same reason. Yanukovych is too soft on these Svoboda Party Fascists- he should have thrown them all in prison or out of the country. He is an appeaser in the tradition of Neville Chamberlain.

DarnRight:

Monday - Putin released $2 billion in loans
Tuesday - Crackdown on Maidan including using automatic weapons against the protesters
Thursday - EU freezes bank accounts of Yanukovich et al
Friday - Yanukovich signs truce and Russia suspends more loans

it's all about the money for the money grubbers enslaving the Ukrainian people

nickans1:

Some questions in the article are disputable .

1. The agreement was attended by the representatives of the three leaders of the Maidan - Klitschko Yatsenyuk, Tyahnibok . But in fact, these three leaders have no control over the crowd at the Independence Square (Maidan) . Now maidan is guided by " warlords ", field commanders. And they need a war as a purpose in itself , it is their business. They are out of control. Klitschko and Yatsenyuk can not fulfill their obligations under the contract.

2 . About Lukin. But Yanukovych appealed to Russia to participate as a mediator in resolving the crisis , and we could not refuse . But if Russia wanted actively to participate in the decision of the Ukrainian crisis , we would send Foreign Minister Lavrov. A Lukin - it's just the Parliamentary Ombudsman . He was long gone from the real policy , now he is second or even third class politician. Lukin - is only a symbol that Russia is also involved.

In fact , Russia and Putin does not want to participate in the Ukrainian civil war. Russia is only interested in the safety of the pipe that gas comes from Russia through Ukraine to Germany. Ukraine - it is not a gain, it is a big problem , and it costs a lot of money , blood, etc. And we would like to stay away from Ukraine.

3 . The purpose - to replace President Yanukovych - a stupid goal . It wouldnt solve Ukraine's problems , jn the contrary the situation will become even worse . Cause of the crisis - economic collapse of the Ukrainian state as a result of its russophobian foreign policy.

ernelson428:

It is a big mistake for the democratic movement to trust people like Yatsenyuk. He along with Yushenko, the previous president, refused to support Yulia Tymoshenko for president which allowed this thug Yanucovich to win. They hoped to be part of his administration. They care only for power and wealth, not democracy.

Yanu is losing his authority as their legislature is bailing out of his party. However, don't underestimate this brutal thug. They have done that before and as a result they failed.
One of the last oligarchs they should trust is Poroshenko. He's on the side of power, not democracy.

Ukraine has a lot of good people, but sadly most of their leaders are untrustworthy, corrupt and only interested in power and money

alphavillebooks :

From Wikipedia not quite right but fair enough:

"In the 1960s, usage of the term "neoliberal" heavily declined. When the term was reintroduced in the 1980s in connection with Augusto Pinochet's regime in Chile, the usage of the term had shifted. It had not only become a term with negative connotations employed principally by critics of market reform, but it also had shifted in meaning from a moderate form of liberalism to a more radical and laissez-faire capitalist set of ideas. Scholars now tended to associate it with the theories of economists Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman."

Get the connection to Ukraine? No. Don't blame me. You were probably home schooled.

alphavillebooks:

I'm certain the neo-liberal West is quite anxious to "deregulate" Ukraine as any neo-liberal economist will tell you.

faulkner1:

The deal probably means nothing and more violence is to come. This conflict should and must be a warning lesson to all controversial leadership....start negotiations IMMEDIATELY after the first mass demonstration. The reason being after the first or second day, peaceful demonstrators are augmented by other groups, often terrorists or other clandestine gov't agencies. The peaceful protesters and demonstrators' were her replaced by armed paramilitary groups, in battle armor and equipped with deadly weapons. Starting negotiations immediately would prevent these outside interests from their deadly interventions. Are powerful administrations ever going to learn!

sr31:

Nice thought, but not likely to happen. Nationalists are who they are, extremists.. There is a dark side to their actions that folks are not willing to talk about.

La Luna:

It happens to peaceful protests in the US all the time. Their demonstrations are interrupted by radicals all the time. Government agents also act as radicals too, who almost always wear masks to hide their identity.

alphavillebooks:

Neo-liberals,. mostly Ivy Leaguers, dominated State, the OSS and much of the civilian military hieracrchy and they still make policy. As for Archie Bumpkin and the Flasher, its comforting to know that they are in lock step with the powers that be. One need not concern themselves with them and can focus on their betters.

peterroach:

The Opposition in the Ukraine must continue to be aware of communists counter intelligence agents who will try to sabotage this agreement. The purpose is to give Putin an excuse to crush this rebellion. This is an old Cold War trick. Some of these opposition hardliners may be Putin counterintelligence.

alphavillebooks:

Neo-Liberal has had a broad hegemonic context since the end of World War II. But a distinction between neo-con and neo-liberal is about as futile and infantile as a distinction between Democrat and Republican, especially when it comes to foreign policy where transnational cooporations that own Washington are fully operational.

CalypsoSummer:

That's funny -- I thought it was the neocons, lead by Bunny Bush, who charged into Iraq to impose conservative democracy at gunpoint. Gonna reestablish the domino theory, so they were! After all, an empire creates its own reality, and boy howdy, those neocons sure were inhabiting their own version of reality that had nothing to do with what the rest of the world had.

But now alpha tells us that it's the neo-LIBERAL agenda that was at fault! That's certainly news to me -- every neocon I've ever heard of would turn and spit whenever they heard the "L" word. Maybe we should clue him in that "neocon" is short for "neo-CONSERVATIVE."

ThePartiesAreTheProblem :

A setback for Putin. We'll see how he responds.

CalypsoSummer:

It's not that simple and it's not that easy. Russia wants to be an empire again -- it's bitterly angry about being diminished by the breakup of the Soviet Union. Russia wants its satellite states back.

There's also the issue of petroleum. Oil and gas are Russia's main export; they're the source of its economic and political power in Europe; and the big export pipelines go through the Ukraine. Russia wants to regain control of its pipelines. As it is, the Ukraine and Belarus have the ability to shut off the flow of gas and oil to Europe. You think Putin is going to ignore that?

fsmbm:

Ukraine finds itself in a situation where it owes Russia, big time, for unpaid gas bills. Putin probably said, join with Russia, or we cut off your energy. very sad situation indeed!

CalypsoSummer:

Putin also said, "Nice-looking economy you got here; be a shame if anything happened to it."

tarated:

Are the EU, US and Russia finally drawing back from disaster? Crucial to reassure Russia that there will be no attempt to expand NATO into Ukraine. Time for respect for legitimate Russian fears. The Russians must join NATO BEFORE Ukraine!

CalypsoSummer:

Russia isn't going to join NATO -- NATO was formed to stand against the Soviet Union, and Russia correctly views the association as having been organized to thwart it. Five years will make no difference.

jkw:

There is a lot of information in this article. And like all good reporting, it left a question: Asst. Sec. State Victoria said "F...the EU" at the outset....And she's a savvy, smart, quick witted player. So why? Well, I think it is because the EU, Brussels, could have been working with Yanukovych for the past years to,join the EU, but has been dragging its feet and is only going forward NOW after Yankovych havong been left at the altar by Brussels all these years finally has the people in a state of need so Ukraine will agree to economic policies which benefit the EU banking and wealth cocerns.

In any event, I think this viplence could have been avoided if the EU (Brussels) hadn't been dragginfg its feet for so many years as theUkRaine begged it foradmittance....

CalypsoSummer:

jk, you know that there are requirements that countries have to meet before they can join various associations. The Ukraine knew what it needed to do. It's just in a very bad geographic location, with Europe on one side tempting it and Russia on the other, threatening to stomp it flat. Pointing and squeaking about some undersecretary saying this or that is just foolishness.

jkw:

I remember the promises of the Orange revolution....that's all

Eseniya Naumova:

Come on! do you really close your eyes in the 3rd part there?! Praviy Sector is something incredible - real racists and there leader Dmitri Yarosh controls all the titushki who kill people of both sides!!!! Everything is clear there!!! Why do you all close your eyes in that?!

Those 3 clowns - Klichko, Thagnibok and Yatsenyuk control nothing and no one listen to them!
Believe me, police was standing there without any guns&! those titushki wear the police ammunition and use guns and so on .

these idiots "titushki" threat to the families of the police and berkut. is it right? Is it normal?!

Carl Jones:

What we see here is the EU being used as a trojan for NATO imperialism. The reason why Ukraine backed off from stronger EU ties, is that as soon as those ties were establshed, NATO would be establishing radar stations and missile bases which would threaten Russia.

It also appears that Western intelligence is offering tactical and financial support to the protestors...calling them protestors is a bit kind. It also appears there are Western special forces operating in the square are are shooting protestors (snipers) to drive the NATO agenda. It has also been claimed that there are foreign insurgents in Ukraine...similar to the same NATO tactics used in Libya and Syria which also had UK SAS special forces...are the SAS in Ukraine? Most probably.

One only had to hear British Foreign Secretary William Hague (war criminal) laying it on very thick on the Ukraine government...note, the Ukraine government was elected....no one voted for the cabal that is now running Britain into the ground!!!

William war criminal Hague would never lambast Israel over its crimes against humanity?

How thing change, here we are are with the West becoming worse than Starlin`s Russia and most people in the West are just as ignorant as the Russian's once used to be in Stalin's Russia.

Lissa-Alissa:

A lot of people were suffered from Stalin's repressions. Not only Ukrainians. Russians too. It is not surprising, that there are a lot of Russians at Crimea. As It has been a part of Russia since 1783. The Russian Empire liberated Crimea from the Turks. Before it Crimea was Tmutarakan, a part of Kievan Rus. And only thanks to Hrushev it is a part of Ukraine now.

'Sadness,' uncertainty in Ukraine even after landmark deal

CNN.com

The deal also requires presidential elections "as soon as the new Constitution is adopted but no later than December 2014."

And there will be an investigation -- conducted by government authorities, opposition figures and European Council representatives -- into the violence.

By then, security forces should've long ago stepped back from a" confrontational posture" with permission to use force only to protect pubic buildings, per the agreement. And within 48 hours, protesters should have turned in their illegal weapons and withdrawn from streets and public buildings.

But will they?

The Kremlin Stooge

February 21, 2014

karl1haushofer:

What do we learn from Ukraine? It is not the majority that matters. What matters is who makes the most noise and who can cause the bloodiest revolts.

Why did the West win in Ukraine? Because russophile Ukrainians are passive and apathetic and russophobic Ukrainians are willing to riot and fight in streets.

The next government of Ukraine will be Orange. Even if the Oranges would lose the elections they would again riot and seize the power. The rest of the country is too passive, drunken and lazy to resist them in any way.

And there will be no secession in Eastern Ukraine or Crimea. They will just accept any rule that is forced upon them by Oranges and their Western backers

Russia just lost BIG geopolitically and ended up wasting billions of dollars for nothing..

marknesop:

Yes, I'm afraid you're right. The thing to do now is to minimize the damage as much as possible. The west will rush in now with honeyed words and soft voices, and try to soothe and calm everyone that nothing big happened here, let's just go on about the business of business like before, because it knows Ukraine needs its Russian markets and to remain a gas-transit corridor to Europe; its standard of living is already low, and if it lost its income from Russia there would be an economic disaster.

So the next role for slippery oily diplomacy will be to persuade Russia to just let it happen, that the EU means no harm and this could even be all to Russia's benefit, if we all just keep our heads there will be lots of lolly to go around for everyone. Because if the threatened Russian tariffs kick in, the EU will have to prop Ukraine up. Unless the whole world has gone completely crazy and Putin is going to continue pouring Russian money into Ukraine so Ukrainian oligarchs can get fatter and richer and the EU can keep its money for its own development.

Also, the Customs Union will not amount to much of anything without Ukraine, and now Ukraine will be prevented from joining even if it wanted to – as it once overwhelmingly did, as I pointed out earlier. But then, of course, the "will of the people" could be conveniently ignored, as they did not know what was good for them.

The west succeeded brilliantly at balking Russia in that direction, and will snigger and point for years now over their victory. It will make no difference that it will be bad for Ukraine and Ukrainians – it's all about winning.

Fern:

AP, I very much hope you are right when you say the majority of Ukrainians support the actions of the last few days because once the EU Association Agreement is signed and the IMF moves in, there are likely to be some very hard times coming for very many people – beware of what you wish for, perhaps. One hopes folk are going into this deal with their eyes open. I'd also hope that Ukraine doesn't learn what other places at others times have found out – that one of the main problems with introducing the gun into politics is that it's really hard to get it out again.

The latest news from Kiev is that Yanukovich has left the city, ostensibly for a regional meeting in the north east. The 'Rightists' occupying the Maidan do not appear to have accepted the deal signed earlier today and are calling for Yanukovich to be impeached and have given him until 10.00 am tomorrow to resign or they will storm the presidential palace.

Karl1haushofer, as far as I can tell, Russia has purchased $3 billion of Ukrainian Eurobonds. The were due to purchase another $2 billion this week, but the Ukrainian government withdrew its proposed issue.

The Eurobonds pay, I think, 5% interest and are due to mature in a couple of years which is when the IMF will be running Ukraine's economy. The money may not be lost – a government default on bonds sends a very bad message to investors and the IMF is pretty hot on avoiding that.

On the gas front, Ukraine received a discounted rate for approximately the last three months but has been unable to pay, even at the lower rate. There are also substantial old gas debts that have accumulated over the years with various repayment schedules being drawn up between Russia and Ukraine with the latter failing to honour any of them.

Russia's a bit stuffed until South Stream comes on line since it can't cut gas supplies to Ukraine for non-payment without affecting its other European customers.

I also think the loans were a mistake but not a disastrous one – but I'd really hope Putin now stops offering what are effectively blank cheques. Targeted help that took account of Russia's interests could be offered in the form of, say, relocation packages offered to industry in the south and east of Ukraine to move production across the border.

marknesop:

A very sensible analysis, Fern, as well as some very solid recommendations; when you are ready to do a post of your own to share with us all, I will welcome it. And you are right; as seen here, an angry crowd (I have no idea how many, because there are no organizers to triple the actual numbers or police to low-ball them) remains on the Maidan and insists nothing will satisfy them but Yanukovych's immediate resignation; they would probably like him offered up to the mob to be killed, but know better than to ask for that. Nonetheless, it has resulted in the absurd situation of Klitch being booed by the crowd as he attempts to justify and support Yanukovych's right to not resign. This makes it plain that the Opposition – while it was glad enough of nationalist and hard-right support to achieve its goals – now finds itself completely satisfied with having gotten everything it demanded but in the uncomfortable position of having to acknowledge it does not control the nationalists and cannot get them to disperse. I would love to see them call in the police to roll up the lawbreakers now. You hear anything, Sergey? Nope, not me; deaf as a post, I am. I can't hear any orders at all. In fact, I will not be surprised if the dynamic duo has to hire and train an all-new police force, because it's hard to imagine them taking orders from the pair who exhorted on the "peaceful protesters" to disobey the police and to keep on fighting and throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails.

I remain sure that the EU and Opposition will work feverishly and promise anything they have to to arrest the breakup of the country, because the EU wants it all, and especially the East, both to subsidize the rest of the country and as a site for military bases that are right up against Russia's flank, just to make the point that it is surrounded. Will it work? Early days yet, as the pragmatic have pointed out.

Actually, cutting gas to Ukraine for non-payment would be a great idea, especially since it would affect Russia's European customers. Russia has already reoriented a good deal of its delivery to Asia, which pays its bills on time if not in advance, and Europe could probably use a lesson. They would gnash their teeth and shriek that Putin was using energy as a weapon, but what realistic alternative do they have? The great Polish shale-gas freedom-from-Russia revolution failed to "gain altitude", to use a phrase of which the American Ambassador to Ukraine seems fond, and they might be able to get increased shipments by LNG carrier from the USA, but that would prove a temporary fix with no long-distance legs, and it would inevitably be more expensive than the current arrangement. Of course, as analysts in the business have often pointed out, Russia is not going to shut down gas to Europe completely in favour of China, because Europe is still a good if reluctant customer, but a couple of weeks of shivering wouldn't hurt them at all and saying Ukraine – unfortunately – owns the pipelines but won't pay its debts and there's no way to deliver gas to Europe without Ukraine siphoning off what it needs for its own use, que sera, sera, sounds like a very reasonable excuse. That wretched Merkel is especially backstabbing and deserving of punishment.

yalensis

In Ukrainian news: Eastern Ukraine in a state of shock from Yanuk's betrayal. According to this, they are finally waking up and taking measures to secede from what seems an inevitable Orange central Ukraine.

On Saturday (which is TODAY in Kiev), regional deputies from the South and East Ukraine are set to meet in Kharkiv to discuss federalization/secession. The initiative was brought forward by Lugansk.
The deputies say they are going to make a historical choice: Whether to bow down and make obeisance before an Orange Kiev; or to declare their independence.

Unlike Karl (from this post) and others, who accuse the East of excessive passivity and fatalism, I personally believe that the East/South Ukraine has the balls to secede. The reason they didn't do the last time around (when Viktor Dioxinovich came to power) was because Russia held them back and continued to subsidize Ukrainian economy. In short, Ukraine became like an unhappy family where Mom and Dad hated each others guts, and the children had to pretend to get along around the dinner table, simply for economic reasons.

But now things are very, very different. All the masks are off. Russia will stop pretending that there is such an entity as a "unified Ukraine". Russia will pull the plug, and Ukraine will default and become bankrupt.

Given this, there is no reason for East/South Ukraine to NOT secede and separate themselves from what will become a rotting corpse of a bankrupt, Orange Central Ukraine.

As Step #1 in the process, the deputes of South/East Ukraine will propose a federalization, with increased autonomy for Crimea/Sevastopol and the regions. The process of dissolution should begin shortly.

The federal SBU, which has already caved into Maidan mob, has already threatened to punish "secessionists", but who is going to listen to any federal authority now, after they have betrayed their own troops (=Berkut) and handed the keys of the castle to the Banderites?

Sebastopol will NEVER go to NATO.

  1. yalensis says:

    February 21, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    On similar theme, Izvestia reports on Kremlin meeting that would have happened yesterday, Moscow time Feb. 21, however I cannot find an update what transpired.

    The meeting is the Security Council of President of Russian Federation. On the agenda was to discuss nullifying as illegal the 1954 "gift" of Crimean peninsula from Russia to Ukraine.

    Члены Совбеза спикер Госдумы Сергей Нарышкин и глава Совета Федерации Валентина Матвиенко накануне совещания у президента встретились с председателем Верховного совета Автономной Республики Крым Владимиром Константиновым. Результаты встречи также будут обсуждаться на Совбезе.

    По словам зампреда комитета Госдумы по делам СНГ Татьяны Москальковой ("Справедливая Россия"), представители крымской делегации рассказали, что происходит на Украине и в Крыму, назвав ситуацию "четко спланированной и проведенной согласно американским технологиям и системам, приведшим к революции".

    Как отметила парламентарий, крымчане заявили о том, что происходит типичная, банальная неконституционная смена власти.

    TRANSLATION
    Members of the Security Council Parliament Speaker Serge Naryshkin and the head of the council of the Federation Valentina Matvienko, on the eve of the meeting, met with the Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Autnonomous Republic of Crimea Vladimir Konstantinov. The results of this meeting will be discussed at the session of the Security Council.

    In the words of Tatiana Moskalkova (Deputy chair of the Duma subcommittee on affairs of the CIS countries, representing the "Fair Russia" part), representatives of the Crimean delegation narrated what is taking place in Ukraine and Crimea; they called the situation "clearly planned and organized according to American technologies and systems of generating revolutions."

    As the parliamentarian remarked, the Crimeans noted how what is taking place is a typical, banal, unconstitutional usurpation of power.
    END OF TRANSLATION

    The article goes on some more. The Crimean deputies are upset that Ukraine, as a nation, is so susceptible to unconstitutional changes in power, and is now preparing to enter the EU on extremely disadvantageous terms. They are also upset about the persecution of Russian language and Russian culture.

[Feb 21, 2014] Violence in Ukraine Creates Deepening Clash Between East and West By STEVEN LEE MYERSFEB

The irony of the situation is that one neoliberal and generally pro-USA corrupt government representing oligarchs is now violently overthrown and will be replaced by another more neoliberal and more pro-USA corrupt government representing oligarchs.
Feb 19, 2014 | NYTimes.com

The two sides in what is developing into an East-West clash over Ukraine hardened their positions on Wednesday, with Russian officials denouncing what they called a coup by right-wing extremists, even as the United States and Europe threatened to impose sanctions on those responsible for the violence that has erupted in the capital, Kiev, and spread to other cities.

The starkly divergent reactions underscored the deepening confrontation between Russia and the West over Ukraine's fate, with each side accusing the other of interference and disputing even the facts of what was happening.

Expressing alarm at the escalating death toll, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and President François Hollande of France blamed the security forces of President Viktor F. Yanukovych and made it clear that they supported a political transition that would allow Ukrainians to elect a new government. After meeting with Mr. Hollande in Paris, Ms. Merkel said the convulsion of violence resulted from a "deliberate delaying tactic" by Mr. Yanukovych to avoid a compromise and preserve his place in power.

Russia, by contrast, vowed to use all its influence to support Ukraine's government and joined Mr. Yanukovych in accusing his opponents of trying to seize power in what amounted to a coup. In one of its most pointed statements since the political crisis in Ukraine began, the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry even evoked the Brown Revolution that brought the Nazis to power in Germany in 1933, blaming "criminal activities of radical opposition forces" for causing the bloodshed and denouncing European countries for failing to acknowledge that.

Russia's foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, accused the West of "encouraging the opposition to act outside of the law."

"We don't want to impose ourselves, as some of our overly zealous Western partners are trying to do," he said in televised remarks from Kuwait.

A senior State Department official dismissed the charge that the United States was meddling in Ukraine's affairs, saying that Washington had been open about its efforts to encourage a power-sharing government.

The official threw the meddling charge back at Moscow. "They have not been transparent about what they've been doing in Ukraine," the official said. "I would put the question back to the Kremlin, 'What would they support?' "

President Obama, on a visit to Mexico, interrupted his opening meeting with President Enrique Peña Nieto to tell reporters that "the United States condemns in the strongest terms" the violence that has claimed lives in the last two days. He pointedly warned the Ukrainian military on Wednesday to stay out of the political crisis that has already ravaged the streets of Kiev and said the United States would hold the government responsible for further violence.

The president's decision to address the Ukrainian situation without being asked reflected the growing concern by the White House that the standoff between the government and demonstrators in the street had spiraled out of control.

"We have been watching very carefully, and we expect the Ukrainian government to show restraint, to not resort to violence in dealing with peaceful protesters," Mr. Obama said. "There will be consequences if people step over the line."

The substance of that threat became clear on Wednesday evening, when the Obama administration said it had imposed a visa ban on 20 senior Ukrainian officials whom it accused of playing a role in the government's crackdown on Tuesday. The State Department declined to say which officials were on the list, but a senior State Department official said it included "the full chain of command responsible for ordering the violence last night."

In a news conference Wednesday evening, Mr. Obama said the violence was not a proxy for the struggle for influence between Russia and the United States. He said his government's approach was "not to see this as some Cold War chessboard in which we are in competition with Russia." He also promised to "continue to engage all sides in Ukraine."

The Kremlin Stooge

February 21, 2014

karl1haushofer:

What do we learn from Ukraine? It is not the majority that matters. What matters is who makes the most noise and who can cause the bloodiest revolts.

Why did the West win in Ukraine? Because russophile Ukrainians are passive and apathetic and russophobic Ukrainians are willing to riot and fight in streets.

The next government of Ukraine will be Orange. Even if the Oranges would lose the elections they would again riot and seize the power. The rest of the country is too passive, drunken and lazy to resist them in any way.

And there will be no secession in Eastern Ukraine or Crimea. They will just accept any rule that is forced upon them by Oranges and their Western backers

Russia just lost BIG geopolitically and ended up wasting billions of dollars for nothing..

marknesop:

Yes, I'm afraid you're right. The thing to do now is to minimize the damage as much as possible. The west will rush in now with honeyed words and soft voices, and try to soothe and calm everyone that nothing big happened here, let's just go on about the business of business like before, because it knows Ukraine needs its Russian markets and to remain a gas-transit corridor to Europe; its standard of living is already low, and if it lost its income from Russia there would be an economic disaster.

So the next role for slippery oily diplomacy will be to persuade Russia to just let it happen, that the EU means no harm and this could even be all to Russia's benefit, if we all just keep our heads there will be lots of lolly to go around for everyone. Because if the threatened Russian tariffs kick in, the EU will have to prop Ukraine up. Unless the whole world has gone completely crazy and Putin is going to continue pouring Russian money into Ukraine so Ukrainian oligarchs can get fatter and richer and the EU can keep its money for its own development.

Also, the Customs Union will not amount to much of anything without Ukraine, and now Ukraine will be prevented from joining even if it wanted to – as it once overwhelmingly did, as I pointed out earlier. But then, of course, the "will of the people" could be conveniently ignored, as they did not know what was good for them.

The west succeeded brilliantly at balking Russia in that direction, and will snigger and point for years now over their victory. It will make no difference that it will be bad for Ukraine and Ukrainians – it's all about winning.

Fern

AP, I very much hope you are right when you say the majority of Ukrainians support the actions of the last few days because once the EU Association Agreement is signed and the IMF moves in, there are likely to be some very hard times coming for very many people – beware of what you wish for, perhaps. One hopes folk are going into this deal with their eyes open. I'd also hope that Ukraine doesn't learn what other places at others times have found out – that one of the main problems with introducing the gun into politics is that it's really hard to get it out again.

The latest news from Kiev is that Yanukovich has left the city, ostensibly for a regional meeting in the north east. The 'Rightists' occupying the Maidan do not appear to have accepted the deal signed earlier today and are calling for Yanukovich to be impeached and have given him until 10.00 am tomorrow to resign or they will storm the presidential palace.

Karl1haushofer, as far as I can tell, Russia has purchased $3 billion of Ukrainian Eurobonds. The were due to purchase another $2 billion this week, but the Ukrainian government withdrew its proposed issue.

The Eurobonds pay, I think, 5% interest and are due to mature in a couple of years which is when the IMF will be running Ukraine's economy. The money may not be lost – a government default on bonds sends a very bad message to investors and the IMF is pretty hot on avoiding that.

On the gas front, Ukraine received a discounted rate for approximately the last three months but has been unable to pay, even at the lower rate. There are also substantial old gas debts that have accumulated over the years with various repayment schedules being drawn up between Russia and Ukraine with the latter failing to honour any of them.

Russia's a bit stuffed until South Stream comes on line since it can't cut gas supplies to Ukraine for non-payment without affecting its other European customers.

I also think the loans were a mistake but not a disastrous one – but I'd really hope Putin now stops offering what are effectively blank cheques. Targeted help that took account of Russia's interests could be offered in the form of, say, relocation packages offered to industry in the south and east of Ukraine to move production across the border.

marknesop:

A very sensible analysis, Fern, as well as some very solid recommendations; when you are ready to do a post of your own to share with us all, I will welcome it. And you are right; as seen here, an angry crowd (I have no idea how many, because there are no organizers to triple the actual numbers or police to low-ball them) remains on the Maidan and insists nothing will satisfy them but Yanukovych's immediate resignation; they would probably like him offered up to the mob to be killed, but know better than to ask for that. Nonetheless, it has resulted in the absurd situation of Klitch being booed by the crowd as he attempts to justify and support Yanukovych's right to not resign. This makes it plain that the Opposition – while it was glad enough of nationalist and hard-right support to achieve its goals – now finds itself completely satisfied with having gotten everything it demanded but in the uncomfortable position of having to acknowledge it does not control the nationalists and cannot get them to disperse. I would love to see them call in the police to roll up the lawbreakers now. You hear anything, Sergey? Nope, not me; deaf as a post, I am. I can't hear any orders at all. In fact, I will not be surprised if the dynamic duo has to hire and train an all-new police force, because it's hard to imagine them taking orders from the pair who exhorted on the "peaceful protesters" to disobey the police and to keep on fighting and throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails.

I remain sure that the EU and Opposition will work feverishly and promise anything they have to to arrest the breakup of the country, because the EU wants it all, and especially the East, both to subsidize the rest of the country and as a site for military bases that are right up against Russia's flank, just to make the point that it is surrounded. Will it work? Early days yet, as the pragmatic have pointed out.

Actually, cutting gas to Ukraine for non-payment would be a great idea, especially since it would affect Russia's European customers. Russia has already reoriented a good deal of its delivery to Asia, which pays its bills on time if not in advance, and Europe could probably use a lesson. They would gnash their teeth and shriek that Putin was using energy as a weapon, but what realistic alternative do they have? The great Polish shale-gas freedom-from-Russia revolution failed to "gain altitude", to use a phrase of which the American Ambassador to Ukraine seems fond, and they might be able to get increased shipments by LNG carrier from the USA, but that would prove a temporary fix with no long-distance legs, and it would inevitably be more expensive than the current arrangement. Of course, as analysts in the business have often pointed out, Russia is not going to shut down gas to Europe completely in favour of China, because Europe is still a good if reluctant customer, but a couple of weeks of shivering wouldn't hurt them at all and saying Ukraine – unfortunately – owns the pipelines but won't pay its debts and there's no way to deliver gas to Europe without Ukraine siphoning off what it needs for its own use, que sera, sera, sounds like a very reasonable excuse. That wretched Merkel is especially backstabbing and deserving of punishment.

yalensis

In Ukrainian news: Eastern Ukraine in a state of shock from Yanuk's betrayal. According to this, they are finally waking up and taking measures to secede from what seems an inevitable Orange central Ukraine.

On Saturday (which is TODAY in Kiev), regional deputies from the South and East Ukraine are set to meet in Kharkiv to discuss federalization/secession. The initiative was brought forward by Lugansk.
The deputies say they are going to make a historical choice: Whether to bow down and make obeisance before an Orange Kiev; or to declare their independence.

Unlike Karl (from this post) and others, who accuse the East of excessive passivity and fatalism, I personally believe that the East/South Ukraine has the balls to secede. The reason they didn't do the last time around (when Viktor Dioxinovich came to power) was because Russia held them back and continued to subsidize Ukrainian economy. In short, Ukraine became like an unhappy family where Mom and Dad hated each others guts, and the children had to pretend to get along around the dinner table, simply for economic reasons.

But now things are very, very different. All the masks are off. Russia will stop pretending that there is such an entity as a "unified Ukraine". Russia will pull the plug, and Ukraine will default and become bankrupt.

Given this, there is no reason for East/South Ukraine to NOT secede and separate themselves from what will become a rotting corpse of a bankrupt, Orange Central Ukraine.

As Step #1 in the process, the deputes of South/East Ukraine will propose a federalization, with increased autonomy for Crimea/Sevastopol and the regions. The process of dissolution should begin shortly.

The federal SBU, which has already caved into Maidan mob, has already threatened to punish "secessionists", but who is going to listen to any federal authority now, after they have betrayed their own troops (=Berkut) and handed the keys of the castle to the Banderites?

Sebastopol will NEVER go to NATO.

  1. yalensis says:

    February 21, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    On similar theme, Izvestia reports on Kremlin meeting that would have happened yesterday, Moscow time Feb. 21, however I cannot find an update what transpired.

    The meeting is the Security Council of President of Russian Federation. On the agenda was to discuss nullifying as illegal the 1954 "gift" of Crimean peninsula from Russia to Ukraine.

    Члены Совбеза спикер Госдумы Сергей Нарышкин и глава Совета Федерации Валентина Матвиенко накануне совещания у президента встретились с председателем Верховного совета Автономной Республики Крым Владимиром Константиновым. Результаты встречи также будут обсуждаться на Совбезе.

    По словам зампреда комитета Госдумы по делам СНГ Татьяны Москальковой ("Справедливая Россия"), представители крымской делегации рассказали, что происходит на Украине и в Крыму, назвав ситуацию "четко спланированной и проведенной согласно американским технологиям и системам, приведшим к революции".

    Как отметила парламентарий, крымчане заявили о том, что происходит типичная, банальная неконституционная смена власти.

    TRANSLATION
    Members of the Security Council Parliament Speaker Serge Naryshkin and the head of the council of the Federation Valentina Matvienko, on the eve of the meeting, met with the Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Autnonomous Republic of Crimea Vladimir Konstantinov. The results of this meeting will be discussed at the session of the Security Council.

    In the words of Tatiana Moskalkova (Deputy chair of the Duma subcommittee on affairs of the CIS countries, representing the "Fair Russia" part), representatives of the Crimean delegation narrated what is taking place in Ukraine and Crimea; they called the situation "clearly planned and organized according to American technologies and systems of generating revolutions."

    As the parliamentarian remarked, the Crimeans noted how what is taking place is a typical, banal, unconstitutional usurpation of power.
    END OF TRANSLATION

    The article goes on some more. The Crimean deputies are upset that Ukraine, as a nation, is so susceptible to unconstitutional changes in power, and is now preparing to enter the EU on extremely disadvantageous terms. They are also upset about the persecution of Russian language and Russian culture.

[Feb 21, 2014] Kiev Has Deal, but Both Russia and Protesters Appear Wary By ANDREW HIGGINS and ANDREW E. KRAMERFEB

FEB. 21, 2014 | NYTimes.com

rice pritchard

nashville, tennessee 11 hours ago

The essential fact to remember is that Ukraine is in Russia's "back yard". The Russians granted independence and moved their troops out of all the Central European and Baltic State satellites with the expectation that these countries would be neutral buffer states between Russia and NATO/Western Europe in the early 1990s. Instead the U.S./EU saw this as a sign of Russia's weakness after the collapse of communism and chose to "rush in where angels fear to tread" and manipulated elections in these newly freed lands and bribed and installed puppet regimes that grabbed all these Slavic states under globalist control with membership in the EU, NATO, IMF, WTO, etc. A golden opportunity to bind Russia to Europe and the West once and for all was thus "blown". This has proved disastrous for the people in those countries as they are now loaded down with crushing public and private debts, de-industrialization as factories have closed and moved to wage slave Asia, unemployment, inflation, and poverty are widespread and crime and corruption endemic. Virtually a mirror image of the other EU nations. These nations sold their birthright of freedom and independence to the false God of Mammon represented by globalism----a criminal cabal of banks, corporations, ideologues, etc. They exchanged one master for another when they left Russia's orbit. It is inconceivable that Russia will permit this to happen in Ukraine since it would endanger Russia's existence with military and economic threats.

David

Los Angeles, CA 11 hours ago

Several have commented here that Yanukovych was fairly elected, and therefore the protesters should respect both his authority as well as the democratic process. But these commenters are simply wrong. Yanukovych was not fairly elected. His rise to power was filthy with corruption; ballot stuffing, intimidation and graft. There is absolutely nothing "fair" about how this twice-jailed mafioso became Ukraine's leader. Yanukovych does not, and never did, represent the greater body of the Ukrainian people. Instead he represents a small cabal of kleptocrats who use the country and its people as serfs for their own personal enrichment. And of course, Yanukovych is Putin's puppet, serving the Russian president's ruthless goal of creating a neo-Soviet empire. Those claiming that the protesters should respect Ukrainian democracy are naive in that they do not understand that there is no democracy in Ukraine. Any man who turns guns on his own people is a criminal, people fighting for a better life, is a criminal -- not a president.

Gordon Ackerman

Albany, NY 11 hours ago

I do not believe the parliamentary political opposition is in a position to sign significant agreements with the government assuring the cessation of hostilities. Kiev is thoroughly in the hands of street-fighters, not parliamentarians and politicians, and, as you suggest, it is unlikely they will let go until they force the president from office - that appears to be their objective.

charlie

philadelphia 10 hours ago

Be careful what you wish for....
New elections sound great, but the uniting feature of the opposition is opposition; they are completely splintered on what they want instead. The elections will produce a badly fractured parliament, with the current party of regions the only large voting bloc. Then what?

Solzhenytsin's matryoshka

Moscow 4 hours ago

This Yanukovich guy just signed the best deal possible and Russia executed its political strategy flawlessly.

Early election is called and guaranteed by EU and now it's opposition turn. If it fails to control the radical wing, it loses credibility in the eyes of the world, Yanukovich has right to act more brutally. EU will be blamed, and Russia was not involved. If they don't fail, Yanukovich still has a almost a year to regroup.

Yulia will be freed. She is a brilliant tactician. Given her ambition, she will run in the election. The opposition leaders lack her political weight, "western" appeal (much like that of Asma al-Assad), and status of a martyr. She will easily convince them to join her. Klichko will be offered a ministry of sport, or another irrelevant job. Tyanibok, most radical one, will be pushed out of spotlight. Yatsenuyk (the most ambitious one, but who is going to vote for the guy in the turtleneck?) will be her minister of finance. People will celebrate her, remembering that brute Yanukovich threw her in jail, forgetting that it was because she signed a deal with Russia, allowing it to increase gas price several times, putting Ukraine in more debt. For once he tried to do something for the people, and yet it is forgotten.

Russia will do nothing. As the first snow falls, Yulia and Yanukovich will remember that people heat their apartments with gas, not with burning tires. They both will reach out and try to struck a better deal.

Nelson

Seattle 4 hours ago

I am puzzled and concerned by the large numbers of commenters under Readers' Picks and even NYT Picks that want to view the strife in Ukraine from a "US out of …" perspective. Someone high up on the RP list even asks "Are the demonstrators really freedom fighters?" Seriously? The demonstrators are Ukrainian nationals that are resisting the power play of Vladimir Putin's thugocracy to the east channeled through the Russian-speaking Ukrainian citizens colonized over the decades and centuries by Mother Russia. Not only should the US take a very strong position in the current crisis, but the Ukrainians are depending on strong Western intervention in order to offset the criminal meddling by the Putin regime.

Uziel

Florianopolis 4 hours ago

The agreement to release former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and call for earlier elections -- IF honored and carried out -- means the end of Viktor F. Yanukovych's political career and associates.

Political changes in Ukraine, in turn, raises a yellow card to President Putin whose political opponents may feel emboldened to challenge his ruling. The law of unintended consequences.

Democratization in Ukraine affecting politics in Russia, not necessarily in favor of President Vladimir Putin and associates. This brings the 60s domino theory back to 21st century geopolitics.

Q: Is it possible the domino theory become reality in Eastern Europe? After winning the cold war, dismantling URSS and bringing democracy to Ukraine now, can the US provoke regime change in Moscow?

CK

Rye 4 hours ago

The authorities in the streets and the protesters seem cut from the same cloth. Both are violent and radical. The government, however, was elected, not imposed. These protests are apparently about cultural loyalty, not public policy, ie we want our own flavor of insanity, not yours. If public policy were the problem there would be ten times the number of protesters, and they'd be peaceful.

Images of Orthodox Christian religious figures on the stage behind the speakers were telling, this is another "religio-nationalist" conflict, to which there are never strictly rational solutions.

Bill McNamee

Portland, OR 8 hours ago

I wholeheartedly endorse the sentiments expressed regarding why must Ukrainians be continuously forced to choose between Russia and the West. However, it is far easier said than to accomplish the ideal of Ukrainians simply acting on their own interests serving the desires of its citizens and leaving behind their long history as a place where power and influence were sought and exercised by a number of nations in the region. An excellent perspective on this can be found in Anne Reid's book "Borderland: A Journey through the History of Ukraine". Only with some understanding of its history is a better perspective of its current plight and challenges understood. Ms. Reid reminds us that "Ukraine" essentially means Borderland with all its implications.

Tony Wicher

Lake Arrowhead 8 hours ago

The first principle of international law is national sovereignty. The "West", that is the Anglo-European empire is backing a fascist coup against the democratically elected government of the Ukraine. The way to solve this problem is for the West to stop interfering in Ukraine's internal affairs by backing Ukrainian fascists. The same thing holds for Syria, Libya, Venezuela, etc.

Giancarlo Bucchi

Temuco, Chile 8 hours ago

To a person like me, who saw the overthrow of Chile's Allende government in 1973, the course of events in Ukraine is very familiar. Subversion by foreign powers, in alliance with domestic right-wing sectors, manipulation of public opinion through the media, much CIA money flowing in to hire thugs and to instigate strikes, scare-tactics, assassinations committed by the anti-government conspirators but attributed to the embattled and beseiged President and his supporters, etc, etc.
At times I think that the world is headed for a huge confrontattion between Humanity and the forces of the Empire. Even the Bible's Book of Revelations speaks of a final confrontation, and it seems ti fit what's going on. And who are the bad guys? The bad guys are comfortable, powerful, rich, and able to dress themselves in sheep´s clothing. But in the end, they will go up in flames, hopefully not along with the rest of humanity.

jmgconsultants

florida 9 hours ago

This is a start. The President must go and free elections without the influence of Putin to take place. The freedom fighters must continue to put the pressure up, fight if necessary until the people of Ukraine are finally free.

MT

Moscow 8 hours ago

Just relax and keep paying taxes to finance 700 US military bases abroad.

Judyw


8 hours ago

Look at the history of Ukraine. It is bigger now than at any time in history. It has swallowed up Crimea, Gallicia, the Don Basin etc. Many of these have no affinity or concern for those fighting in Kiev. In fact the aspirations of protesters in Kiev do NOT represent the aspirations of those in Crimea. Catherin Ashton and he crowd is only catering to the EU loving protesters while ignoring the southern half of the country.

This is no recipe for piece as it doest not solve the basica dilemma of the country. Kiev the the North want to embrace the EU, austerity, debt and and IMF loan. The South and East and Crimea want no part of the EU they want to join with Russia.

Since the agreement ignores their wishes, it will not stand over the long haul. The only solution is to split Ukraine up.

Roger Binion

Moscow 6 hours ago

So Judyw, are you saying the people of Kiev don't have the right to protest their criminally corrupt government because the people of Crimea don't agree with them?

That's rather absurd, don't you think?

And, for the record, the Crimea wasn't even Russian that long ago. It was a part of the now defunct Ottoman Empire. Might I suggest a reading of the Charge of the Light Brigade to refresh your memory?

Tony Wicher

Lake Arrowhead 9 hours ago

The one and only imperial power on this planet IS "the West", that is to say, the Anglo-European empire whose military arm is NATO. The imperial policy is to fund and arm fascists like the Swoboda party to subvert the Ukrainian government. The objective is to complete the encirclement of Russia which has been going on since he end of he Warsaw Pact, to force the Russian government to submit and become a vassal of the empire. The result of this policy of world conquest is going to be nuclear war.

Tom

Port Washington 10 hours ago

The current version of the Ukraine was not a creation of Ukrainians for Ukrainians, it was created by Russians as an administrative region and expanded by the USSR to extend Soviet power into Eastern and Central Europe. What we refer to as 'Western Ukraine' (Lviv, Ternopil, Lutsk, etc.) was not historically "Ukrainian", they were one of many minorities there. It is Ukrainian today due to forced population transfers and massacres. Well, the chickens have come home to roost. The Russian-dominated USSR wanted a strong European presence through an expanded Ukrainian SSR; is it surprising now that so many are more attracted to the relative prosperity and relative political openness of Europe? And is it surprising that the Russian-dominated peoples of Eastern Ukraine, which has historically been majority Russian and part of Russia, may feel more comfortable with a leadership that remains close to Moscow? The difference today is that while the USSR solved these problems by rollling in the tanks and throwing people out of windows, Russia is incapable of doing that, militarily and politically.

I hope Putin can swallow his pride and go along with a European-mediated truce, and whatever political outcome that will have, because if he can't, this is not going to end well nor end soon. But he is a very crafty man, and he knows that money solves a lot of problems and right now his checkbook has a bigger balance than the EU's.

Judyw


10 hours ago

This is not over yet. The EU may think they got something, but without Russian approval there is still a long way to go. And what about the the half of Ukraine that is not interested in the EU, speaks Russian and has asked for Russian aid. Is their voice not important? Is the only voice to be hear that of the EU and the Arsonists, Thugs and Criminals in the Maidan? Time to Split Ukraine up. There is more to come.

Roger Binion

Moscow 6 hours ago

Ukraine is an independent country, in case you have forgotten that fact. It does not need Russia's approval for anything.

Your constant and repeated call for the partition of Ukraine is getting tiresome.

Judyw


6 hours ago

"Since 19 January, there has been an increase in the number of remarks suggesting the threat, or even the inevitability, of a break-up of Ukraine. Many of them have pointed to the mobilisation of pro-government groups and of Russians living in eastern and southern Ukraine (especially, in Crimea), who have been calling on the government to quell the protests by force and to maintain a pro-Russian course in foreign policy. It has been frequently suggested that allowing the pro-European opposition to take power in the country could fuel separatism in these regions. Finally, commentators have warned of the danger that a destabilisation, and especially a break-up, of the Ukrainian state would pose to the neighbouring countries and to Western Europe, including possible problems with the functioning of Ukraine's nuclear power plants, and disruptions to gas transit."
http://www.osw.waw.pl/en/publikacje/analyses/2014-01-29/russias-reaction...

"Vladimir Cherkashin, head of the Crimean Union of Cossacks, told journalists that people of South-Eastern Ukraine will not tolerate a repetition of the 'Orange Revolution'. He said that millions of people living in the south-east of Ukraine have their own opinions and are indignant about the latest events in the country. He added that their people will firmly defend the Crimea and Orthodox chhristianity.
"http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2013_12_14/Crimea-protests-against-disorde...

yasuaki torii

Japan 10 hours ago

My personal experience of mayhem of Northern China on Japanese arm's defeat, past big ones analysis(Russia and Chin Revolution) and recent observation of vicissitude of Syria, Egypt, If protesters still demanding the resignation of Mr,Yanukovych, upheaval would not be mature to bring real lasting compromise. Real power which ultimately move the country is not middle-class intelligent who now demanding regime change,but to seek "Give us food for next meal" law-class real common mass. Syria and Egypt would be near that situations and big revolution had to wait to reach that points to gets some stability. Elites gone, people survive. Revolution would achieve by mass who don't know real upheaval's meanings and effects. I want both party reach a compromise but would like to plea them, compromise will be temporary and fragile one which need constant adherence of both sides. Important think, I think, EU and Russia both temporary intentionally retreat the present situation and demands for make time and sphere to negotiate themselves. Ukraine people needs communicate each as same people and contain the extremes who not belongs EU-side,Russia-side or want real independent Ukraine, but they are one who have noting to lose,only seek destruction for destruction's sake.

Tom Cuddy

Texas 10 hours ago

I think we are seeing the breakdown of Democracy. When one side loses an election it refuses to acknowledge defeat. Every election becomes an existential threat; if we lose we are done with. You see this in the USA, in THailand and here in Ukraine. Didn't the anti Russians have a color revolutions to overturn an election already? Did the pro Russia side win the Presidency back? Why cannot they wait until the next election? I think it is because they do not trust they will win the next election because the 'wrong' people outvote them. This was why our weird undemocratic Constitution ( in its original form)kept the will of the people on a tight leash

GPS

San Carlos, CA 10 hours ago

Last night on Democracy Now, Prof. Steve Cohen expressed a view I have not heard, except in cruder form in the steam room with Russian exiles. Apologies in advance for oversimplification:
[Begin paraphrase]
Ukraine is not one country but two, divided more-or-less east to west along ethnic and linguistic lines, with Ukrainian speakers in the west and Russian speakers in the East. The western part would like to join the EU, the eastern part identifies more with Russia. The problem with separating the two countries is that it would move the "Cold War Line" -- EU, NATO, etc. -- that much closer to Russia itself and lay the framework for future instability.
[End paraphrase]
If Russia were to develop democratic, western-style institutions, civil guarantees for its citizens, etc., there might then be hope for Ukraine. Until then, resistance is noble but futile.

Ray Finch

Lawrence, KS 8 hours ago

Agree with rusalka that Cohen only gave one side of the story, and the folks at Dem Now ought to try to balance their commentary. Despite assertions to the contrary, Russian authorities are playing, and will continue to play a prominent role in how this mess developed and how it gets sorted out. Indeed, I'll be very surprised if the pro-Russian governor of Kharkov allows Y. Timoshenko to be released from his prison. Alas, I fear that other than some hand-wringing and 'sanctions' most in the west will merely turn their backs on this conflict--even when the Russians become more overtly involved.

If you haven't seen, T. Snyder has a new essay at NYRB where he makes a strong case for the EU/US to back Ukrainian nationalists.
http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2014/mar/20/fascism-russia-and-...

Nate Mims

Iowa 11 hours ago

I for one don't think that the west should get involved in this affair, at least not America. No matter what the issue, it's not like when we get involved things get better. Remember, we helped Afghan freedom fighters, but that didn't work out great for us.

We have to understand that just because we help someone today, doesn't mean they will lift a finger to help us tomorrow, particularly when helping us is contrary to helping themselves. We have to defend our interests and I don't see much value in us assisting the people of the Ukraine, just because they are going through a difficult time.

Johndrake07

NYC 11 hours ago

Yesterday I wrote on Templeton investments' "betting" hundreds of millions - perhaps billions - on a brokered deal to end violence in Ukraine. This would be "good for business" - especially his investment in Ukraine bonds and buying up their debt. His ROI will be substantial, to say the least if peace breaks out. At stake are the Ukraine energy markets, natural gas deposits and oil discoveries.
Unreported in the media (and the NYT) is the fact that the conflict in Ukraine is ultimately about controlling the flow of natural gas and oil from the Caspian. Europe's nat-gas supply flows through Ukraine, and US petro-oilgarchs want to control it. US companies are blocked out by Ukraine's Russian ties. If the pro-Russian regime is overthrown by the "people" (instigated by US interests under the banner of liberty) then new eco-alliances will be made and US companies will have golden opportunity to control (and profit from) the lion's share of Europe's oil and gas.
Also unreported is our palpable interference - ie: in Dec of 2013 Senator John McCain stood "shoulder to shoulder" with Ukrainian protesters and said: "We are here to support your just cause, the sovereign right of Ukraine to determine its own destiny freely and independently…"
Our political mendacity is astounding. We extol "freedoms" whilst stifling dissent at home. We decry "spying" by others whilst spying on people across the globe. We give lip service to sovereign rights and destiny.
Now the deals' done. Cui bono?

Johndrake07

NYC 10 hours ago

In a Panglossian "Best of all Possible Worlds" (apologies to Liebniz), yes, rule of law, freedom, and self-determination are all wonderful things. But in a Kissingerian world of economic determinism, it's Business Uber Alles, and whatever good comes out of it for the masses will be a leftover by-product of those who control the markets, capital and the means of production. They will rake off the profits first and foremost, and the tailings will trickle down, perhaps not, to the undeserving and great unwashed. Brzezinski's tome, "The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives" is the bible of American Foreign Policy, and it disects the strategies of US Imperial resource and capital hegemony. Part and parcel of US strategy is to make deals with whomever will support our goals, who will bow to our superior powers and undertake our bidding. If some good comes out of it to the people, then so be it. If not…tough love.

Ukraine, if the "people win out", will soon find that their economic masters - the IMF, Central Banks, the petro-oligarchs and US muscle, are very unforgiving and more than happy to take what they want and leave the rest - public, private, government and civic debt - along with usurious taxes and indebtedness.
Yes, the situation is diabolical, yes, the Russians are in it for themselves, yes, the people of Ukraine want what every person wants. But the question remains, will we (our government and the EU) allow it? And if so, for what price?

owldog

State of Jefferson, USA 11 hours ago

So what's the great deal in aligning with the West?

Our banks get partisan governments elected by loaning them money for tax cuts, bread and circuses, etc.

and then successive governments must cut social welfare poverty programs and essential services to pay the debt.

Sound familiar?

Tony Wicher

Lake Arrowhead 10 hours ago

I for one agree with you. The principle of non-interference in the affairs of sovereign nations is the first principle of international law. The "Responsibility to Protect" doctrine of Tony Blair Victoria Nuland, etc. leads straight to nuclear war which is where we are heading unless we impeach Obama, Nuland Kerry and the rest of the warmongers who are leading us to nuclear war.

Aram Garabed

Los Angeles 12 hours ago

Well organized take over of a country. IMF wants to enslave Ukraine, like it did with Romania and Bulgaria (Bulgaria had $3 billion national debt before entering EU, now $43 billion). They will push them to take a loans on a very high interest rate, witch they will never be able to pay back and in this way they'll have no choice but to get deep into debt to the IMF bankers .Maidan leaders are getting $20 million every week for this.

Norman Pollack

is a trusted commenter East Lansing, Michigan 13 hours ago

Do the protesters = freedom fighters? Information remains too spotty to form judgments, except the customary knee-jerk reaction that whatever russia favors we must automatically oppose. The footage I've seen makes clear that protesters,both in Kiev and other cities, were going for the juggler, attacking public building--which no government could tolerate. Yanukovych had been fairly elected. Overturning his government is a coup d'etat. Reports of neo-fascist elements in the opposition should be run down and verified, rather than simply accord the protesters free grace.

The larger picture, does Ukraine turn to the EU, raises questions of US role in fueling the protest, almost as though a rerun of Egypt, only there it was the military against a duly elected president. I smell regime change, and I hope I'm proven wrong. Ukraine comes precisely at the time of a breakdown in US-Russian relations and campaign of vilification here directed at Putin. Obama and his national security advisers thrive on swimming in troubled waters, agents provocateurs par excellence, as fully apparent in the Pacific-first strategy. Bloody the nose of China on one hand, Russia, the other, keeping alive the doctrine and practice--embodied in targeted assassination--of permanent war.

I pray the bloodshed will stop in Ukraine.

Maigari

Nigeria 13 hours ago

The French and US seem to have different policies when democracy is the subject. The Obama administration's response to the Bahraini protestors is even more lethal firearms to the Bahraini king and the Saudis who used their army to quell the protests with Pakistani and Yemeni merceneries.
As to the French, their bt allies have been in power for decades and mute is the word and yet here are the two talking of iclusiveness ansd what nor. Luckilt for the Ukraini protestors, their nation is not ruled by Kings and Sultans hence they are right.
All the violence and mayham by the protests is okayed by the US and her allies, well after the dust settles and Yunokovych is ousted or whatever, at least they should be able to accept to live with the revolutionaries from Ukrain.

Eman

Waldwick, NJ 13 hours ago

Why does it come down to Ukraine having to choose between Russia and the West? Yes, many Ukrainian citizens want closer ties with Europe and others want closer ties with Russia. But why can't Ukraine exist as its own country serving the desires of all of ITS citizens? Why is Ukraine forced to choose? Why do transactions have to involve the entire country moving either eastward or westward? Can't the answer rest in a coalition between the Russia and the West, negotiating with an independent Ukraine. For that to work, the citizens of Ukraine have to TRUST their elections and the legitimacy of the government, and TRUST that the elected government is acting in the best interest of Ukraine. This TRUST does not exist now and so the bloodshed. A peaceful solution here could be a model for peaceful resolution of revolutions that are now the norm in virtually every country today. Stop the killing first. Drop all the baggage of nations (groups) such as what nation "started it" years, decades, centuries or millenniums ago; who killed my ancestors, father, who is at fault, etc. World conflicts will not be resolved without beginning with a clean slate. "Nationalists," be they Ukrainian, Russian, Israeli, Palestinian, and those of every other nation on earth must embrace their historic national cultures, but toss out their nationalistic faultfinding baggage. The Olympics, ironically, just promote division by pitting nation v. nation. It's time for nations to cooperate not compete. United.

Eman

Waldwick, NJ 10 hours ago

Follow-up to earlier comment: News just in that all parties have agreed ( for now) to take steps towards attempting a peaceful resolution moving forward, including the release of political prisoner Yulia Tymoshenko. And, by outside parties working in cooperation with leadership in Ukrainian Parliament, a spotlight now shines on THE ONE outside interest that refuses to cooperate - RUSSIA! Ukrainian citizens East, Central and West, demonstrators and police alike, does it appear that while you fight and kill each other, Russia approves; and when you stop killing each other, that is a problem for Russia? Who is in control here?

Citizens of any nation want to feel in control of their own lives and destiny. This is universally true, regardless of nationality. That is ultimately the way to peace. Corruption in government and society leads to a breakdown of trust and feelings of oppression and resentment, which ultimately leads to violent means of resolution if allowed to persist. May this delicate progress in Ukraine continue to a satisfactory compromise solution for all Ukrainians.

Wilson1ny

New York 6 hours ago

Eman – "Why does it come down to Ukraine having to choose between Russia and the West? ... But why can't Ukraine exist as its own country serving the desires of all of ITS citizens?…"

If I may – Countries do not go it alone. Developed and developing nations and nation-states make alignments – politically, culturally, financially and sometimes out of tradition. While the Ukraine is an independent nation it has yet to fully determine its course and destiny – this is what Ukraine is searching for – where its alignments, sentiments and cultural ties will reside in the future of a globalized world and it does not want to be bullied into a decision but its citizens realize that a decision must be made. And any decisions they arrive at will – as you say – require "dropping some baggage" – some of which it some may not wish to drop.

Peaceful solutions are difficult to attain. It is a painful process which often takes years – especially in civil strife where a clear "winner" is not easily defined. If peace is to take hold its terms and conditions must be agreed upon by many different factions who often have different agendas or goals. But nonetheless you are correct in that peaceful solutions are generally the norm these days – and in that there is hope.

'Whole of Ukraine held hostage by a small group of radicals'

RT Op-Edge

A country of almost 15 million people is being held hostage by a very small radical group, namely 2 or 3 thousand very aggressive rioters, with some of them toting firearms and Molotov cocktails, Professor Mark Almond of Oxford University told RT.

RT: Extreme violence, 10 dead, and chaos in a major city. Russia and Ukraine accuse the EU and US of interference, but are they really to blame for this?

Mark Almond: Well, only time will tell when the archives open, but there is a great deal of prima facie evidence that Americans and Europeans wanted some kind of chaotic denouement to this crisis. Remember, if we go back to 2004, they pushed through a compromise solution to the crisis and there was a rerun of the elections. Now what is wanted is a clean sweep or a revolution... It means abolishing the constitution, it means outlawing the losing side, and what I think the West really wants to see is the pushing away from any position of power, any chance of coming back to power, of the president's government and its supporters.

RT: Who would replace the president? We see extremists and nationalists taking power over the protesters on the streets…

MA: This is a great problem, I'm afraid. Just as we saw the same process taking place for instance in Syria, where we started out by supporting people who said they wanted constitutional change, they wanted general pre-elections, and then we ended up with radical jihadists planting car bombs and so on. So I'm afraid, on a smaller scale, we will probably see it in a European city. We have seen that the process of chaos is taking over.

And we have to say, after all, Mr. Klitchko and Yatsenyuk went to Berlin, they came back and then they made very radical statements. Quite often, particularly in the European media, we hear the moderate views. They said that today was the decisive day. And I think we have to ask ourselves are we really seeing a forked tongue approach? This is a very dangerous approach because it has a long history. When the Germans occupied Ukraine in 1919, the German commandment said "Let's put these little boys in short trousers, and ministerial seats, and we'll create a government of an independent Ukraine." And it's a horrible pre-echo of Victoria Nuland and Geoffrey Pyat, the US State department people, talking about who should be prime minister, who should hold high office. I think this is the danger that we are seeing today. We see the geopolitical game played out over the bodies of ordinary Ukrainians.

Rioters use a pmeumatic gun as they take cover behind barricades during clashes with police in Kiev February 18, 2014. (Reuters / Konstantin Chernichkin)

Rioters use a pmeumatic gun as they take cover behind barricades during clashes with police in Kiev February 18, 2014. (Reuters / Konstantin Chernichkin)

RT: What is going to come out of this all? If what they really want is chaos and destruction that we are seeing now, but if it's a bankrupt country already?

MA: I think what they hope and I'm not entirely wrong, President Yanukovich and the Ukrainian police forces will back off. After all they were repeatedly confronted by violence on a smaller scale. They backed off, they compromised, they released hundreds of people involved in very bad acts a few weeks ago, they released them only this week. That actually has helped to provide the hard core of people to take part, because the tragedy in this situation is really how few people are playing a part in this. We are talking about 2 or 3 thousand very aggressive rioters, just some of them provided with firearms, some with Molotov cocktails, but the country of almost 15 million people is held hostage by a very radical small group.

RT: Many people have seen this as the representation of the Ukrainian people, decent and angry about the corrupt government, and they like the idea of joining the EU because it's a better life for them.

MA: Two things. First of all, coming to your second point, they have been sold by a very diligent propaganda campaign by the NATO countries, the EU countries that were they to join the EU, they'd have a better life. They have never told how many people have emigrated from Poland to Britain, because in fact joining the EU plunged the already poor country into economic crisis. So the tragedy of people in Ukraine is that they are very misinformed.

One of the problems of this crisis is that there isn't a constitutional way out because, in fact, about half of the country, the Western third of the country at least, is already controlled by these very radical groups who suppress any opposition. If you go to Lviv, if you go to Ivano-Frankovsk, people don't agree with the paramilitary groups… it's rather like meeting dissidents in Ceaușescu's Romania 25 years ago. And so if you were to hold an election you would find a situation where a large part of the country has a completely bogus situation, for example inflated by large numbers of non-existent people - that happened already in 2004. So the claim, the argument "let's have elections," if you have an election with the paramilitaries in control at the polling stations, I'm afraid you are not going to get a genuine result.

RT: Will that still be a case if we wait till the 2015 scheduled elections?

MA: The problem now is, and this is why it's difficult to see a compromise solution, that the Svoboda and the Right Section radical groups in Ukraine have in a sense played their card. They have shown they are prepared to use extreme violence and then they face the problem if they don't succeed, if the West is not able to cajole the Ukrainian political elite into making concessions, these people do face a very grim future, they'll go to prison. The problem now is that we have passed the situation where there is an obvious political solution. And as you said a lot of ordinary Ukrainians are very discontented with their economic law, they are probably also very discontented with the ways the government is handling this crisis. Whether they will be listened to, whether they will have a chance to have their votes counted fairly, I think is now very much an open question.

The Kremlin Stooge

February 18, 2014
Moscow Exile
"95 police officers were injured, 21 of them received gunshot wounds, 23 are in serious condition, 3 are comatose and one is in a state of clinical death." Interfax-Ukraine.

See: Fierce clashes in Kiev as new wave of unrest grips Ukraine

Fern

An interesting article suggesting that the EU may be tiring of Ukraine with European big shots being privately grateful to Putin for (yet again) rescuing western politicians from the consequences of their own folly – there just ain't the money anymore for these gestures:-
http://voiceofrussia.com/2013_12_20/EuroMaidan-and-EU-Europe-quietly-agrees-to-a-break-5870/

Catherine Ashton is also uttering similar bleating sentiments as NATO's head honcho – spinning the use of live ammunition by 'peaceful protestors' is obviously a challenge even for the EU. They seem to have been taken aback by today's events which is kinda surprising because since the protests in Ukraine kicked off last year, there does seem to be a pattern of the opposition leaders meeting with western politicians followed by a ramping up of violence on the streets. And who were Yats and Kiltich talking to only yesterday? There is also, one suspects, a desperate push to bring about the total collapse of Yanukovych's government before the end of the Sochi Olympics to present Russia with a fait accompli and the clock is very much ticking.

On a lighter note – it's been snowing in Sochi, at least in the mountain cluster. Apparently, this is unusual in a winter sports resort, at least judging by the reaction of some commentators……..

Moscow Exile:

"We believe Ukraine's crisis can still be solved via dialogue, but those on both sides who fuel violence will open themselves to sanctions" – "Tweet" made by US Ambassador to the Ukraine, Pyatt .

I think he should go stick his sanctions where a monkey puts its nuts.

I reckon the showdown will be tonight. Traffic entry into Kiev is being restricted; water cannon and fire engines are positioned to keep the peaceful protesters at a distance from the police lines; troop carriers are rumoured to have cordoned off the centre; the peaceful protesters have told women and children to leave the centre: in short, it's a kettling operation that will result in a classic Kesselschlacht

I think the water cannon should shoot water containing indelible dye at the peaceful protesters so that any that manage to break out will be easily identifiable for weeks to come.

marknesop:

Yes, I can just imagine the west would apply any meaningful sanctions against their darling revolutionary soldiers protesters. Maybe confiscate their property and cash held abroad in foreign banks, ha, ha.

Whoever gains and keeps momentum will win this one, and this is a chance to wrap it up once and for all. No more candy-assed half measures.

Moscow Exile:

Just been watching live: they're well and truly kettled in behind their barricades – packed in tight. And there's an endless barrage of tough talk coming from public address systems directed at the forces of the illegal regime.

The German candidate is there on a stage telling the simple, honest, peaceful protesters not to move an inch, to stand fast, and next to him is a sky-pilot moving his cross up and down and side to side, blessing them and at the same time calling down the wrath of God onto the forces of Kremlin backed evil.

Interestingly, the constant exhortations and tough talk blaring out from the loudspeakers is in Ukrainian, but the German candidate is talking in Russian. Mustn't have had time enough to brush up his Ukrainian as did the former Gas Princess, who now never talks Russian in public – at least, not in front of cameras, if she knows they are present.

Moscow Exile:

The police are using loudspeakers, telling them to disperse. One leader, Yatsenyuk has asked the president for a "truce" until tomorrow morning, whereas another "leader", Klitschko, has said from a stage on the square: "All of you who are here on the Maidan: you must be strong. We are not going anywhere!". Meanwhile, ruling party Deputy Oleg Tsarev has promised to clear the Maidan in one hour and to restore order in Kiev. Of the other "leader", I have heard nothing. Perhaps he is holed up in his Führerbunker somewhere.

Moscow Exile:

Canadian Embassy in Kiev stormed!

They must be all desperately searching for visa applications.

Moscow Exile:

Speaking of which, why can't they just put Tolokonnikova on a one-way flight to Toronto, together with Porky Pete and declare them persona non grata in Russia?

Surely Canada would be a land of opportunity for them compared to mediaeval, homophobic, Russia?

I hear Victoria, BC, is an ideal place for such a nice young couple as they are to settle.

patient observer:

Sitting in an airport lounge watching CNC devote 3-4 minute story of Pussy Riot, ongoing story on the violent crackdown in the demonstrators in Kiev (the commentator kindly informed the viewers it does not matter who started the riot), the violence in Caracas, and the US ambassador threatening sanctions if the Ukraine government should use violence against the demonstrators. Mixed in is an ongoing monolog about the vicious crackdown on anyone who dare criticize Putin's Olympics.

Where is AP to bring clarity to this situation?

One "reporter" asked the viewer to imagine themselves as a teenager living in Venezuela. Imagine watching people killed, imagine how it must feel when your parents can not buy food. You wonder what kind of future awaits you. And on it goes.

Excuse me, need to grab the airsick bag.

robert:

That "reporter" should take a look at the number of Americans on foodstamps. Maybe if the US spent less taxpayers money subverting Ukraine it could afford to take better care of its own people.

karl1haushofer:

Our media in Finland is only reporting about "police brutality" against "protesters". No mention of beaten and dead policemen etc. Pathetic.

karl1haushofer:

Libya/Syria scenario might be repeated in Ukraine now. The "Arab Spring" is brought near Russian borders thanks to incompetent Ukrainian government, competent Western intelligence services and thousands of Ukrainian useful idiots used by the West as geopolitical pawns.

You have to hand it to the Western intelligence services though. They are good at causing wars, revolutions and misery in countries that they don't like. This is why they are on the top of the world's pecking order.

karl1haushofer:

And to think just a little over 20 years ago Kiev and Ukraine were part of the Soviet superpower. Now the former part of the Soviet Union has become a battlefield between the West and greatly weakened Russia.

Why did the commies screw things this badly?

robert:

More peaceful protestors http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=34e_1392746107

[Feb 17, 2014] Moscow accuses US diplomats of 'puppeteering' Ukraine

RT Russian politics

The United States is trying to impose a "Western vector of development" on Ukraine while camouflaging their intent with calls not to obstruct the free choice of the Ukrainian people, Russian news agencies quoted the ministry's Aleksandr Lukashevich as saying.

The Russian diplomat called such an attitude "puppeteering", adding that the recent statement by US State Department spokesperson Marie Harf was a typical example. In the statement, the US gave instructions regarding future actions of the Ukrainian government, Lukashevich said. Such instructions included a demand to stop all cases against the participants in the street riots, and to immediately start to form a multi-party technical government, the Russian official stated.

Such US behavior is very well known and it leads to tragic results, the Foreign Ministry representative emphasized.

Lukashevich also said that the US had apparently started "casting" for future places in the technical Ukrainian government, or at least such a conclusion could be made from a telephone conversation by a top US diplomats that had been made public on YouTube. In the clip that appeared on the internet in early February, Washington's new top diplomat for Europe, Victoria Nuland, is heard saying "f**k the EU" while speaking with the US Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyat, on how to end the ongoing political crisis in Ukraine. The conversation continues with Nuland suggesting that one of Ukrainian opposition leaders, Vitaly Klichko is not fit for government work and should make way for another candidate, Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

As fresh violence erupted on Kiev's streets on Tuesday the Russian Foreign Ministry issued another statement. It considers the crisis "a direct result of the permissiveness policy exercised by those western politicians and European structures who were from the very beginning turning a blind eye at the aggressive actions of the radical forces in Ukraine." The ministry added that such an attitude was encouraging the radicals to escalate the violence and further provoke their opponents.

Russian diplomats again called upon the Ukrainian opposition to abandon threats and ultimatums and start a meaningful dialogue with the authorities in order to take the country out of the deep crisis.

Russian politicians have repeatedly called on their foreign colleagues to abstain from interfering in the Ukrainian political crisis. In January the upper and lower houses of the Russian parliament passed separate declarations that called the civil unrest in Kiev an organized campaign aimed at displacing lawfully elected officials. The Russian MPs also warned that the Ukrainian crisis could have grave consequences for the country's people, statehood and territorial integrity.

President Vladimir Putin also expressed concern about the political situation in Ukraine in late January but assured that Russia would not cancel its help to the Ukrainian economy and people if Ukraine also honors the agreements.

In mid-December the Russian and Ukrainian presidents agreed on a plan under which Russia is buying $15bn of Ukrainian debt in 2-year bonds and also giving Ukraine a $3.5 billion discount on natural gas purchases on behalf of state-owned Gazprom. Ukrainians will pay $268.5 per thousand cubic meters of natural gas instead of $400, a nearly 33 percent discount.

At a recent government conference Putin spoke of the aid plan and told officials that all contracts with Ukraine must be completely fulfilled. However, the President added that Russia would wait for Ukraine to form a new government before starting to execute its obligations.

EpluribusUNO.wordpress 24.02.2014 23:04

[quote ] tired of Putin's Russia. [/quote]
Sounds like you don't understand Ukraine became independent 22 years ago. RU gave UA a 33% discount on gas from the EU price, and bought $15B in bonds to help pay the debt owed IMF. US spent $5B for regime change. That could have cut UA debt in half! But that wasn't the goal. Everything is about US energy control, and denying it to everyone else. Wake up. This is power politics for the next century.

David Nielsen 20.02.2014 08:07

My point about America and what you Americans seem to miss is summed up nicely by Frank Zappa:

"The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it's profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater."

Your constitution and all the flowery words about freedom and democracy are, of course, meaningless now. What none of you seem to get is that it was ALWAYS only window dressing.

greencrow 19.02.2014 16:46

Thank Gawd for the Internet and RT...how else would we get the other side of the story on what's going on in the Ukraine...certainly not from the puppet western main$tream Media. I do believe the Ukrainians are oblivious to the hidden (deep pocketed) hand that is running their "revolution&quo t;. They are stuck back in the decades when the US itself had freedom on its own soil. If they took the time to look now...they would realize that the US has the highest number of incarcerated persons on the planet...even imprisoning 85 year old nuns for writing slogans on a nuclear plant wall.

Serbian scenario unfolding in Ukraine

While RT represents mainly Russian point of view on the events, its more balanced then most of Western MSM, which sing the party line dictated by Washington Obcom. Such a paradox ;-)

RT Op-Edge

As riots resumed in central Kiev, Ukrainian affairs analyst Nebojsa Malic told RT that protesters are using extortion tactics to get the government to undemocratically hand power over to them.

RT: President Yanukovich said he will reshuffle the government and make other concessions. Why have the protesters started hurling Molotov cocktails again, and not waited for these concessions to take place?

Nebojsa Malic: What has been going on in Ukraine since November reminds me of nothing more than a Serbian scenario, which started out in September and October of 2000 with the early presidential elections for then Yugoslavia. The goal of the protesters who were trained and financed by the US government was to overthrow the government of president Milosevic. And they succeeded because police and the military and the government were already so taken over by these subversive groups that they refused to put up any resistance. I don't know if that is exactly what is happening in Kiev, but it is the same playbook. The protesters camp out in the square and demand completely unreasonable, undemocratic demands, such as the immediate resignation of the government and turning over the power to the so-called popular opposition that hasn't even been tested in elections and has a very small minority of support of the parties that have. And all of a sudden they are the democrats and the government is anti-democratic because John McCain says so.

RT: We are seeing some extreme measures from the protesters. They are throwing Molotov cocktails, throwing stones in an attempt to show force. Why are they doing this now, without waiting for the concessions to take effect?

NM: [Protesters] are trying to force the issue. This is a typical extortion tactic. The whole point is to force the government to react, to force Berkut and other police forces to confront the protesters and then scream "bloody murder, oh my god, they are killing us, they are oppressing us, please help, foreign intervention" and so on. It is a very basic tactic from the rebellion playbook, as was articulated in Serbia 15 years ago and is being implemented throughout the world in Georgia and elsewhere and in Ukraine in 2004 of all things. The protesters are trying to make a point that they are the ones that decide what gets done and who initiates the violence.

RT: We have seen government buildings taken over in different parts of the country. How much further do you think these riots will spread, and what would it take to end them?

NM: This could turn into another Syrian scenario. Syria also started as allegedly spontaneous protests against the government and ended up being a full-scale civil war. There are definitely forces in the western part of Ukraine that have always been hostile to the majority of the population in the country, even allied with the Germans during WWII. And it is not an accident that these opposition movements have the most support in that part of the country. The Crimeans already said they will not stand idly by and look at their future being stolen by these Westerners.

Then eastern Ukraine, where all the economic and industrial activity is located, is staunchly pro-Russian and intolerant of this sort of thing. So this could get very ugly, very quickly if the opposition and their Western backers push this.

[Feb 15, 2014] Awaiting Russia's Next Move in Ukraine By CELESTINE BOHLEN

Feb 10, 2014 | NYTimes.com

What is clear is that Russia will have a role in Ukraine, overt or covert, no matter what the West has to offer in terms of aid or advice. Disregarding Russia's interest in its neighbor's future will only strengthen Mr. Putin's view that the play for Ukraine is a zero-sum game.

... A Russian official has accused the United States of "crudely interfering" in Ukrainian politics, while an American diplomat, in the taped conversation, warned that the Russians would surely "be working behind the scenes to torpedo" any agreement brokered in Kiev by the West.

[Feb 13, 2014] Неокономика

Primitive neoliberal explanation, but some good points.
Константин Прядко,
Руководитель направления исследований в области инвестиций

Есть у революции начало – нет у революции конца.
Ю. Каменецкий

Пролог

Это преждевременная заметка. Еще не улеглись страсти. О первых жертвах объявлено совсем недавно. Еще стоит над городом Булгакова дым от горящих покрышек. Украине еще только предстоит определиться со своим ближайшим будущим. Блоги и социальные сети бурлят эмоциями, завсегдатаи интернета увлеченно обсуждают видеоролики и судорожные заявления политиков, методику уличных протестов и тактику подавления массовых беспорядков. Жители Украины удрученно переживают ситуацию или яростно обвиняют россиян в зомбированности. Россияне в ответ покровительственно сочувствуют растерянным украинцам и увлечено предаются ругани со сторонниками протеста.

Не будем вдаваться в интересные и малоприятные детали, поучать спецслужбы и правоохранительные органы, обличать коррумпированные политические режимы, бороться с коварными разведками, мировой закулисой и злокозненными древними тайными орденами. В своих рассуждениях о ситуации попробуем обойтись без конспирологии и будем опираться на вполне понятные, легко верифицируемые основания и однозначные выводы из них. Итак, в чем же суть разворачивающейся на наших глазах драмы и почему она абсолютно бессмысленна.

История и идеология, политика и экономика

Украина занимала особое место в ряду республик Советского Союза. Достаточно глянуть на долю украинцев в высших органах власти Советского государства, руководстве армии и правоохранительных органов. Территория, состав населения и сама украинская идентичность, включая ее важнейшую составляющую – литературный язык, были сформированы советским режимом.

Советская элита Украины – дети партийно-хозяйственного актива центральных и восточных областей, была в основном ориентирована на карьеру в союзных органах власти, в Москве, и редко связывала свои жизненные планы с малой родиной. Естественно, что на местном уровне оставались не самые лучшие. Национальный состав предперестроечных органов управления на Украине был чрезвычайно пестрый, приходилось рекрутировать даже выпускников вузов с Кавказа и из Средней Азии.

Таким образом, после распада СССР украинская элита оказалась в растерянности и идейном вакууме. Привычная карьерная колея была закрыта, никаких особых планов, связанных с доставшейся ей страной, не было. [??? -- NNB] И сама страна,и украинская идентичность этой элитой воспринималась как чуждая и аморфная. Как яркий пример достаточно вспомнить второго президента Кучму, долго и мучительно осваивавшего украинский язык.

Тем не менее, перед элитой встала проблема государственного строительства. Надо было что-то делать с доставшейся подведомственной территорией, легитимизировать свою власть и дать населению перспективу. Решение было найдено.

Полноценным стремлением к формированию национальной идентичности обладали лишь жители и чиновники западных областей. В этих условиях элита Украины была вынуждена сделать ставку на запад страны и выделить его представителям место в формирующейся политико-административной системе нового государства. Что касается гуманитарной сферы, то здесь образовалось полное доминирование если не выходцев с запада, то их идеологии, традиционно враждебной в отношении бывшей метрополии.

Но упомянутая ориентированность украинской элиты на будущее, не связанное с дальнейшей судьбой подведомственной ей территории, постоянно играет существенную маргинализирующую и деструктивную роль при определении политического курса страны и бизнес-стратегий ее крупнейших экспортоориентированных компаний.

Что касается перспективы развития Украины, то выход нашли и здесь. Перед глазами был Европейский Союз в эпоху расцвета мировой экономики – с его уровнем жизни, стандартами социального обеспечения, многажды продекларированными гуманистическими ценностями, вроде уважения прав человека и верховенства закона.

Все было очевидно – вырвавшаяся из имперской зависимости молодая страна прямой дорогой идет в союз европейских народов к благополучию и процветанию.

С экономикой было сложнее и печальней. Украина получила весь комплекс проблем и пережила шок девяностых, из всех постсоветских несчастий избежав, пожалуй, только разрухи, связанной с боевыми действиями. Доставшаяся от Союза промышленность была ориентирована на поставки и потребности промышленного комплекса рухнувшего государства. Все беды, известные заставшим Россию девяностых читателям, были налицо: разрыв хозяйственных связей, рост цен, инфляция, товарный голод, безработица, обрушение обрабатывающей промышленности высоких переделов, взрывной рост преступности.

По своей структуре экономика Украины напоминала российскую – с поправкой на количество населения, объем рынка, номенклатуру производимых товаров и без экспортного изобилия полезных ископаемых.

Первыми погибли легкая промышленность и машиностроение, исключая предприятия ВПК, которые до сих пор выживают на связях с российскими смежниками и заказами на ремонт и модернизацию выпущенной ими в советское время боевой техники. Долго и мучительно умирала химическая промышленность, встроенная в советский химический кластер и зависимая от российского сырья. Относительно благополучными оказались пищевая отрасль и металлургия. Быстрыми темпами росла недоразвитая благодаря доставшимся от советского времени структурным диспропорциям сфера услуг. Таким образом, сложившаяся в постсоветской Украине структура обрабатывающей промышленности полностью дублирует российскую и является ее прямым конкурентом в немногих отраслях, имеющих хоть какие-то перспективы для дальнейшего выживания.

Украинская экономика в целом продемонстрировала свою несостоятельность: структура государственного бюджета постоянно ухудшается, руководство страны вынуждено искать источники для погашения государственного долга и поддержания инфраструктуры.

В сложившихся условиях стоящие перед политической элитой Украины задачи в сфере экономики можно описать как:

а) встраивание страны в международную систему разделения труда путем включения ее ресурсов, прежде всего трудовых, в успешные воспроизводственные контуры мировой экономики;

б) создание и развитие ориентированных на экспорт производств с максимально возможным уровнем добавленной стоимости;

в) борьба на рынке прямых инвестиций за размещение капитала на территории Украины.

Украина, Европа и Россия

Имея постоянно увеличивающийся дефицит бюджета, Украина вынуждена постоянно искать источники средств и рынки сбыта для продукции промышленности и сельского хозяйства. Из этого неизбежно следует рост политической и финансовой зависимости от внешних игроков – ближайших соседей, рынки которых обладают платежеспособным спросом, и которые располагают финансовыми средствами для оказания поддержки Украине.

Пресловутая традиционная разновекторность украинской политики была вызвана именно упомянутыми причинами. Во-первых, украинская элита постоянно нуждалась в ресурсах для латания бюджетных дыр, а во-вторых, пользуясь геополитическими химерами, укоренившимися в головах европейских и российских политиков, постоянно устраивала между ними конкурс по политическому влиянию на Украину, сохраняя в процессе их конкуренции собственную независимость.

На текущий момент эта хитрая разновекторная игра исчерпала себя в связи с наличием нескольких обстоятельств. И в Европе и в России имеются существенные проблемы с экономикой, что неминуемо вызовет сокращение бессмысленных расходов по финансированию дутых геополитических проектов. И в Европе и в России уже раскусили премудроковарную тактику Украину, не намерены впредь с ней мириться, и потребовали жестко определиться с направлением дальнейшей интеграции Украины: в сторону ЕС или в сторону Таможенного Союза.

Перспективы

Европейский вектор движения страны выглядит более предпочтительным. Более развитая политическая система, обширный рынок сбыта с платежеспособным спросом и развитая финансовая система.

Главным препятствиемна пути Украины в Европу является тот печальный факт, что Украину в Европе никто не ждет. Официальные лица Евросоюза не раз уже делали заявления о прекращении приема новых членов в Европейское Сообщество. В приеме в ЕС отказано Турции – стране, экономика которой в значительной мере уже интегрирована в общеевропейский рынок, и стране гораздо более благополучной, чем Украина. В обстановке, когда руководство Евросоюза озабочено финансовыми проблемами и вынуждено решать вопросы, возникающие с экономиками стран Южной Европы, прием в сообщество еще одного аутсайдера выглядит нереальным. Да и главный бонус от вступления в Евросоюз – поток субсидий, пролившийся в тучные времена на страны Восточной Европы, – уже не повторится в обозримой исторической перспективе. Собственно,целесообразность самого дальнейшего существования Евросоюза в его нынешнем виде все чаще вызывает вопросы у политиков и населения его стран-участниц.

Чисто экономическая интеграция Украины в Европу также выглядит сомнительной. В настоящий момент развитые страны объявили о политике реиндустриализации, и, таким образом, остатки советской промышленности на территории Украины имеют мало перспектив для сбыта своей продукции в Европу. Теоретически, Украина может конкурировать с Польшей и странами Балтии за размещение точечных проектов сборочных производств и производств с малой добавленной стоимостью, но ее преимущества в этой борьбе неочевидны, поскольку единственный козырь украинской экономики – низкий уровень жизни и, соответственно, оплаты труда–нивелируется стремительно изнашивающейся инфраструктурой.

Требуется также отметить, что встраивание Украины в европейскую экономическую и политическую системы свяжет свободу маневра нынешней элите и бизнесу страны, привыкшим к, мягко скажем, довольно экзотическим, на взгляд европейца, способам управления страной, методам ведения бизнеса и конкуренции. Не добавляют еврооптимизма и нынешние протестные выступления: евробюрократам вряд ли понадобится еще один источник социальной напряженности в границах Евросоюза.

Более того, как можно заметить по вялой активности официальных лиц Евросоюза, США и их средств массовой информации, Запад устранился от участия во внутриукраинском конфликте и не проявляет большого интереса к дальнейшим перспективам страны.

Альтернатива ЕС – Таможенный Союз – более реальная, но гораздо менее приемлемая перспектива для украинской элиты. Безусловно, Украина может стать полноправным участником ТС со всеми причитающимися его членам преференциями. Но будущее Таможенного Союза на сегодняшний день вызывает куда больше вопросов, чем будущее ЕС. Экономика ядра ТС – России – гораздо более неустойчива, чем экономика стран Европы и Германии в частности. По официальным данным, российская экономика уже вступила в стадию стагнации, а отдельные эксперты не стесняются говорить о рецессии. С учетом стабильных цен на энергоносители можно констатировать, что старая ресурсозависимая модель развития российской экономики исчерпана, а появление и перспективы новой модели крайне туманны.

Как уже говорилось, промышленность Украины в изрядной мере дублирует структуру российской промышленности. На пути дальнейшей интеграции с Россией украинский бизнес подвергается рискам конкуренции со своими российскими коллегами, которые обладают гораздо большими финансовыми ресурсами и влиянием на территории ТС. В этих условиях перехват украинских активов российскими финансово-промышленными группами становится весьма вероятным.

Кроме того, население Украины, постоянно бомбардируемое светлым образом перспектив вхождения в Европу, просто не понимает с какой стати необходимо менять курс на интеграцию с Россией, которая ассоциируется, и во многих случаях вполне оправданно, с отсталостью, коррупцией и экономическим неблагополучием.

Резюме и прогноз

Решение стоящих перед Украиной задач по встраиванию в мировую систему разделения труда потребует полного консенсуса и самоограничения элиты либо установления авторитарного репрессивного режима с формированием политики мобилизационного типа.

Украинская элита не связывает свое будущее с будущим страны, не готова решать стоящие перед страной проблемы, а лишь увлеченно делит постоянно уменьшающийся пирог в виде государственного бюджета и изнашивающихся основных фондов промышленности.

Элита страны не готова к интеграции с Европой и абсолютно не готова к интеграции с Россией, в рамках которой украинская экономика и, в частности,промышленность, имеет хоть какие-то перспективы.

Перечисленные обстоятельства дают основания предполагать, что ситуация на Украине как едином государстве имеет два сценария развития, и оба трудно назвать радужными.

  1. Первым наиболее вероятным сценарием является сохранение нынешнего политического уклада, что повлечет хронический политический кризис, низкий уровень жизни и перманентный, раз в несколько лет, Майдан. В ходе массового протеста население будет выпускать накопившийся за предыдущий цикл пар социального недовольства, свергая очередной политический режим.
  2. Вторым сценарием является установление во время очередного Майдана авторитарного режима, который более решительно стабилизирует ситуацию и будет иметь предпосылки (но только лишь предпосылки!) для формирования экономической политики по решению задачи встраивания в международную систему разделения труда.

О третьем сценарии, связанном с распадом государства и очень вероятными вооруженными конфликтами по югославскому образцу, не хочется даже думать, хотя исключать его невозможно.

Таким образом, мы имеем все основания полагать, что для будущего всех украинцев не столь принципиально, кто одержит верх на улицах украинских городов. Еще более бессмысленными являются эмоциональная вовлеченность в конфликт со стороны россиян.

Кто бы ни победил – все проиграют.

[Feb 13, 2014] Washington Destabilizes Ukraine by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

An interesting analogy with " Iran in 1953"
February 6, 2014 | PaulCraigRoberts.org

The control freaks in Washington think that only the decisions that Washington makes and imposes on other sovereign countries are democratic. No other country on earth is capable of making a democratic decision.

The world has witnessed this American self-righteousness for eons as Washington overthrows one democratic government after the other and imposes its puppet, as Washington did in Iran in 1953 when the CIA, as it now admits, and as Ervand Abrahamian proves in his book The Coup (The New Press, 2013), overthrew the elected government of Mossadeq, and more recently the elected government of Honduras and many governments in between.

Currently Washington is working overtime to overthrow the governments of Syria, Iran again, and Ukraine. Washington has also targeted Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Brazil, and in its wildest dreams the governments of Russia and China.

On January 26 Syrian government advisor Bouthaina Shaaban asked Wolf Blitzer, a propagandist for Washington and the Israel Lobby, on US TV why the US government, speaking through Secretary of Stare John Kerry, has the right to decide who is to be the government of Syria instead of the Syrian people. [Polls show that Syrian president Assad's approval ratings exceed those of every Western leader.] Even the slimy Blitzer wasn't slimy enough to answer, "because we are the exceptional, indispensable people." But that's what Washington thinks.

Washington will soon be back at work on destabilizing the government of Iran again, a habit I suppose, but for the moment Washington is focused on destabilizing Ukraine.

Ukraine has a democratically elected government, but Washington doesn't like it because Washington didn't pick it. The Ukraine or the western part of it is full of Washington funded NGOs whose purpose is to deliver Ukraine into the clutches of the EU where US and European banks can loot the country, as they looted, for example, Latvia, and simultaneously weaken Russia by stealing a large part of traditional Russia and converting it into US/NATO military bases against Russia.

Perhaps Putin, an athlete, is distracted by the Olympic Games in Russia. Otherwise, it is something of a puzzle why Russia hasn't put its nuclear missiles on high alert and occupied the western Ukraine with troops in order to prevent Ukraine's overthrow by Washington's money. Every country has citizens that will sell the country out for money, and western Ukraine is overflowing with such traitors.

As we have seen for decades, Arabs and Muslims will sell out their people for Western money. So will western Ukrainians. The NGOs financed by Washington are committed to delivering Ukraine into Washington's hands where Ukrainians can become American serfs and this integral part of Russia can become a staging ground for the US military.

Of all the violent protests that we have witnessed, the Ukrainian one is the most orchestrated.

On February 6, Zero Hedge, one of the intelligent and informed Internet sites, posted a leaked recording from the despicable Victoria Nuland, an Assistant Secretary of State in the Obama Regime. Nuland is caught discussing with the US envoy to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, Washington's choice for who heads the next Ukrainian government.

Nuland is incensed that the European Union has not joined Washington in imposing sanctions on the Ukrainian government in order to complete Washington's takeover of Ukraine. Nuland speaks as if she is God with the God-given right to select the government of Ukraine, which she proceeds to do.

The EU, as corrupt as it is by Washington's money, nevertheless understands being made rich by Washington is no protection agains Russian nuclear missiles. Nuland's response to Europe's hesitancy to risk its existence for the benefit of US hegemony is:
"Fuck the EU."

So much for Washington's attitude toward its captive allies and the peoples of the world.

[Feb 13, 2014] Теория управляемого хаоса для Украины

Feb 13, 2014 | LiveJournal

Украина стала заложницей глобальной геополитической игры. США, согласно своей теории управляемого хаоса, хотят создать хаос и точку напряженности на границе России. Европейский союз желает, чтобы Украина подписала Соглашение об Ассоциации, которое крайне невыгодно для Украины, но выгодно для Европейского союза.

Наши олигархи, в свою очередь, хотят уменьшить полномочия Президента, но увеличить полномочия парламента, своих депутатов, - и тем самым получить больший доступ к ресурсам внутри государства. Даже соседи – Венгрия, Румыния смотрят на наши территории, чтобы в случае каких-то беспорядков претендовать на часть территории Украины.

Но, тем не менее, находятся украинцы, которые стоят на Майдане и которые считают, что Майдан стоит в защиту их интересов. Наивные украинцы!..

Тем временем на Майдане продолжают накапливаться радикальные элементы. В каждом обществе есть определенный процент людей, которые способны на преступление. Поскольку Майдан стоит достаточно долго, здесь стали собираться радикальные элементы уже не только из Украины. Настораживает количество взрывчатки, оружия и число радикальных элементов-боевиков, которых на Майдане становится всё больше. День ото дня сюда приезжают люди радикальных взглядов, в т.ч. - из Чечни, Кавказа. Это подтверждают взрывы и перестрелки, которые случаются время от времени.

Но при этом у Майдана нет реальной цели! Это характерно для типичной технологии "цветных революций", когда собираются вместе разные люди, и у каждого - своя цель, своя задача. Кто-то недоволен правительством, кто-то - коррупцией, кто-то - коммунальной сферой, налоговой системой.

Технология состоит в том, что всех этих разнонаправленных людей собирают и организовывают для решения тактических задач, которые меняются со временем. Поэтому у Майдана всё время и меняются цели! Если вначале это был европейский выбор, то уже следующая цель – наказать виновных в разгоне студенческого Майдана. Потом были "жертвы майдана" Черновол, Луценко, Булатов. Потом - изменение Конституции. На днях провозгласили целью борьбу с коррупцией...

Поверьте мне, для тех людей, которые стоят на Майдане, такие сложные категории, как Конституция, полномочия Президента, премьер-министра – точно не интересны… При этом ситуация в стране в целом нормализуется. Захваты администраций сошли на нет. Реально все они освобождены, противостояния в областях практически нет. Сам Майдан, как я уже говорил, не имеет цели. И те провокации, которые применялись, чтобы любой ценой подогреть к нему интерес, людей уже не поднимают, не выводят на улицы.

Всё большему количеству киевлян не нравится то, что происходит на Майдане. Не нравится это и все большему числу граждан страны. Согласно соцопросам, 56-57% жителей Украины категорически не приемлет то, что происходит на Майдане! Рейтинг лидеров оппозиции на Майдане, по соцопросам, меньше, чем по стране, причем меньше кардинально. Это подтверждает, что лидеры оппозиции абсолютно не управляют людьми, которые собрались на Майдане. Поэтому будущие президентские выборы, если они пройдут в контексте "кто за Майдан, а кто - против Майдана", оппозиция проиграет – это очевидно.

Очевидно также, что на Украине идет не война с властью, а война за власть, а людей только используют, натравливая друг на друга.

Очевидно и другое: спустя время люди будут давать оценку политикам, журналистам и другим активным гражданам исходя из того, что каждый сделал, чтобы удержать страну от гражданской войны.

Что ты сделал, чтобы не пролилась кровь?..

Олег ЦАРЕВ

[Feb 4, 2014] American propaganda stokes the fire of Ukrainian disintegration By Patrice Greanville

OpEdNews

The cynical exploitation of an imploding Ukraine may give Washington its biggest prize yet, and probably on the cheap, too--

Prying the Ukraine loose from its historical moorings

The nation is spinning out of control--as planned.

A s befits a loyal organ of the US ruling class--yes, Virginia, protestations to the contrary the US does have a ruling class--the New York Times and other leading Western media have been busy promoting all manner of tendentious "facts" about the situation in Ukraine. The Times, as pointed out by Steve Lendman in his column Media Scoundels Target Ukraine, has opened its opinion pages to a number of high-ranking establishment figures to pontificate on the Ukrainian disturbances, notably, on Jan. 28, to four former US ambassadors to that nation. (What the West Must Do for Ukraine). It would be hard to locate less impartial witnesses against an independent Ukraine (or any other nation, in America's crosshairs, for that matter) than American government envoys, for constant intrigue on behalf of the empire and corporate advantage is their first and foremost mission. Such testimony saw light, of course, in addition to the regularly distorted reportage on Ukraine being dished out by the Times in its "news" pages.

Then, on Jan. 29, the Times continued its propaganda offensive with a piece by Yuri Andrukhovychjan ( Love and Hatred in Kiev), a man well known in Ukraine for his nationalist, "Pro-Ukraine" views (which he insists on denying despite abundant evidence to the contrary), and who is fiercely allied at present with the opposition and street rioters stealthily supported by Washington. As expected the op-ed packed a large number of falsifications and half truths, starting with the notion that the main source of violence lies with the government and not the demonstrators.

To most ears this sounds plausible enough to be accepted at face value, especially when we take account of the horrid condition of the masses around the world, a situation engineered and precipitated by the wholesale betrayal of the ruling cliques, including in the US, where cracking down on violent demonstrators remains par for the course. Unfortunately for the propaganda gnomes, despite the tumult and the dead, this is not exactly what happened in the Ukraine, a country which, while riddled with appalling factional corruption, ethnic strife, and the eruption of a fervid brand of protofascism since its separation from the Soviet Union, has proved someting of an anomaly in this regard. Here the police and special forces have sensibly demonstrated unusual restraint in the face of an extremely high level of organized provocation by anti-government forces, an uprising that is now fracturing the very core of Ukrainian society, and, which, as Washington and its EU partners would wish, may succeed in dislodging the Ukraine entirely from the Russian orbit.

Ukraine is rent by deep regional and ethnic antagonisms.

Should the Ukraine fall into the cynical US/NATO camp it would be a major setback not only for the Ukrainians themselves, who are now toying with the possible balkanization of their country a la Yugoslavia and even a murderous civil war, (not to mention a huge disillusionment with the realities of life under the harsh EU umbrella), but for those who resist the depredations of the West and its pestilential corporate-sponsored "globalisation" across all latitudes. (Ironically the Davos bigwigs, always ready to hide capitalism from retribution, have been quick to finger the impersonal "globalisation" as the culprit for the mounting inequality, unemployment and misery drowning the masses almost everywhere). But let's face it: the long decades of hardship and the social ruins and widespread corruption detonated by the installation of a freewheeling capitalism in the former Soviet bloc have made the rise of a popular fascination with the supposedly democratic and affluent West --a mirage comparable to a new Eldorado--a common phenomenon in the periphery of Russia, an illusion ready-made for exploitation by the world's most opportunistic and meddling superpower.

That said, despite massive hypocrisy and media dissimulation, the engines for these disturbances are well known to those who follow these events without the blinders of the prevailing brainwash, and the signature of Washington's malefic hand in the internal affairs of the Ukraine is clear and irrefutable. As pointed out on Jan. 31 by Stefan Steinberg in a piece on the wsws.org site,

In mid-January, the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing entitled "Implications of the Crisis in Ukraine." Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland, who travelled to Kiev to personally support demonstrators, and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Tom Melia addressed the meeting stressing the strategic significance of Ukraine.

Nuland noted that the fate of Ukraine was warranted not only because it lay "at the center of Europe" but also because it was also a "valued" and "important" partner to the United States.In his own report to the meeting, Melia announced that the US had "invested" over $5 billion in Ukraine since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, with $815 million of this total going directly to pro-US NGOs. Melia also reported that, since 2009, the Obama administration had donated $184 million to various programs aimed at implementing political change in Ukraine. Both Nuland and Melia underlined that the "US stands with the Ukrainian people in solidarity in their struggle for fundamental human rights". Their comments were then supplemented by a report by former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, who warned many years ago of the central importance of Ukraine on the Eurasian chess board.

In other words, the US government itself admits it has spent over a billion dollars -- a pretty hefty sum in a poor country like Ukraine -- tweaking political events to its advantage, all behind the smug screen of helping the Ukies attain freedom and democracy! The actual figures are probably higher, as the moneys poured by the intel community into these operations are never entirely revealed to the public or even Congress.

The sheer audacity of the world's strongest and most rapacious plutocracy pretending to teach others about democracy is something of a record in the annals of the Big Lie, but, unfortunately it gets worse. Nothing stays still and the techniques of destabilization pioneered by the West have continued to advance in the last 40 years. Remember Solidarnosc? The ultimately pathetic Lech Walesa? That was only a down payment. A crudish dress rehearsal for what would follow later in Czechoslovakia and other hapless lands. The Ukrainian revolt has all the markings of a new ugly hybrid spawned by the propaganda and intelligence machines of the West, one boasting the undeniable parentage of both the hypocritical "Orange Revolutions" and the tested violence of embedded agents provocateurs of the CIA/Gladio school of thuggery. As far as the script goes for the Ukraine, the unrelenting character assassination of the targeted regime tells us that the object is nothing less than the replacement of Yanukovych with some new clique eager to do the bidding of the West, and the further isolation of Russia.

Given the enormous geostrategic importance of the Ukraine, where this callous maneuvering is likely to lead is neither good for the Ukrainians, nor for the prospects of a durable peace in the world. But then again that was never intended.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A former economist and media critic, Patrice Greanville is founding editor of The Greanville Post and publisher of Cyrano's Journal Today

The proposed US/EU offer

February 3, 2014

marknesop :

In other news, Ukraine's cash flow is sliding into the toilet, and its bestest pals the EU and USA are talking over an aid package for Ukraine. Russia is still not allowed to visit Ukraine , 'cause that would be bullying and that is "unacceptable", but Leddy Ashton is on her way to Kiev now. She will be wearing a Union Jack micro-mini, and word is that she hopes the knockout combination of her patrician accent and killer legs will persuade Yanukovych to do as the EU wishes.

I was kidding, of course, although Leddy Ashton does have killer legs. Except the killer is Jeffrey Dahmer. No, I'm afraid there are conflicting signals, because although many sources say the aid package is definitely not tied to an association agreement and the EU absolutely does not want to be seen as getting into a "bidding war" with Russia, it begs the question why they could only come up with a paltry € 600 million before, and in order to get that Yanukovych had to free Yulia Tymoshenko and admit he put her in prison only to stop her from running against him.

There's a catch, of course, and that's why I was kidding when I said Ashton would try to seduce Yanukovych – she probably will not even talk to Yanukovych. No, the EU is playing its old divide-and-conquer game and continuing the narrative that the Yanukovych government has "lost its legitimacy". That apparently means the EU can just form a new government, and its intention to offer the aid to a new government which will "implement reforms" suggests it will be the Klitschko/Yatsenyuk axis which gets offered the money, in return for which it will have to deliver a pacified and compliant Ukraine. I still can't see it happening.

"However, Ashton said the amount of money, which "won't be small," would be dependent on political and economic reforms, a transition that analysts said would be unlikely to be led by Yanukovych's government.

"I have doubts that anyone from the current government can expect an aid package given to them because they've been so discredited by the wrongdoings … there is widespread corruption," said Solodky. "The aid package will be for a pro-democratic and pro-reformist government."

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/02/03/ukraine-europe-united-states-president/5185407/

Fern:

The Wall Street Journal is reporting this on the proposed US/EU offer. Catherine Ashton might describe it as 'not small' but it sounds as if it's going to be 'not big' either:-
'The U.S.'s expectation is that a transitional government would at least start to implement the reforms sought by the IMF, U.S. officials said.

"Nobody is going to give them money if they're not doing the economic reform as well as the political reform, because then it is money down the rat hole," the senior U.S. official said. "The point is to say to them we will be with you if you walk this tough economic path and we're not going to let you fall into default as you do it."

U.S. officials said the interim aid package could be put together relatively quickly, in as little as two weeks, once the West knows who will sit on the transitional government and that it will be empowered to work with the IMF. "We're just at the beginning of analyzing the options," a senior U.S. official said.

U.S. officials say they knew from the start that the U.S. and EU wouldn't and couldn't match the Russian financial package to lure Mr. Yanukovych away from the EU.'

Ashton is also suggesting that whatever deal is arrived at, not all of the 'aid' package is going to be paid in money – she's talking about 'investment opportunities' and 'guarantees'. Ukraine seems pretty close to the financial edge – do any of the opposition leaders (or the current government) have any plans at all to deal with this?

marknesop:

It appears the EU is not going to be told, "No", and is just going to go ahead and start treating Klitschko and Yatsenyuk as if they were the transitional government: to basically set up and fund a shadow government, in the hope of broad public support when the public sees that the "shadow government" has the wherewithal to begin implementing reforms on its own, and that with its EU contacts it can get them started in business ventures with EU customers.

In this way, as best I can see, the EU hopes to run a second and parallel government, and then further hopes that Yanukovych will get tired of fighting the inevitable and just kind of fade away as the Klitschko/Yatsenyuk axis outpaces him. That way the transition will be relatively painless, as the government(s) will consist of Yanukovych and Klitschko/Yatsenyuk, and when people cannot get satisfaction from one they will go to the other, and then one day it will just be Klitschko and Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, or perhaps as soon as Yanukovych is out of the way it will be President Tymoshenko and Prime Minister Klitschko. If Angela Merkel couldn't get anything she wanted plus a free pair of shoes out of a government like that, well, I don't know what it would take to satisfy her.

It's fraught with risk, though; for one thing – and it's a big thing – it must be illegal. You can't just set up a puppet government loyal to you in a sovereign nation, without a vote by the electorate, and announce you will do business only with your pet government. There would be a revolt by the east, and even if there were not, Yanukovych would be within his rights to consider it an act of war and order the army to throw them off the property. It just leaves me jaw-agape, the continuing and ongoing cheek of the EU, all the while blatting that Russia is bullying Ukraine. Incredible. I can't for the life of me understand why Yanukovych keeps struggling to pretend everything is normal, and doesn't say "Ummm….can I ask you what the fuck you're doing?"

The best I can figure is that the EU has given up on trying to dislodge Yanukovych, and is now trying to push its chosen rulers in the direction of governing a seceded Western Ukraine which includes as much land as it can get away with. Perhaps it figures that when the rest sees how prosperous the seceded west will be, there will be no stopping a reunion with the whole controlled by the EU. But still, you can't just come in and do shit like this. Somebody has to say something, otherwise they will just keep on pushing.

reggietcs

This has to be a joke right????

Where and HOW will this government function without accommodations such as administrative buildings, tax collecting enforcement and the big one: a military?

If Yanukovych allows this to slide, chances are that the East will revolt on its own accord and Yanukovych will become effectively irrelevant. Now effectively ignored by the opposition and his supposed constituency, what he does or doesn't do simply won't matter since he's pretty much proven he's incapable of doing anything anyway – which is why Ukraine would be at this sorry point in the first place. It's Yanukovych's lack of action that is prompting the EU to go to these extremes because they seem to be quite certain that he won't do anything about it - and so far they're right about that.

I don't think I've ever seen a sitting leader this incompetent. Simply incredible.

teo

Yanukovich is not weak.

His party has a very weak position and very powerful enemies.

Of course the behavior of the western group is illegal and defies any norms of international or national law. But that is irrelevant. Any attempt to restore order would have been met by a huge media campaign against the bloody dictator killing his own people. Plenty of money and volunteers would have flooded to the heroic revolutionaries.

Emotions would have run high. Western media and its local outlets would have provided plenty of horrific images about large numbers of heroes killed by the bloody beasts of the murderous dictator.

The above chain of events was exactly what US and NATO paied and prepared for. So in order to resist and stay alive Yanukovich had to avoid any attempt to impose order. Just delay any action and squeal all the time. I mean talk about peace and trying to get friendly with the goons burning the police officers in the streets.

Best case scenario for him was the revolution transforming into a blood bath. Impressive the level of control NATO security structures have on their assault brigades in Ukraine. They managed to stop the boys from burning the country down. And they were so enthusiastic bringing freedom and democracy by burning stuff down.

So because nobody went violent we basically have a stalemate now. Revolutionaries made some violent mistakes but they have a larger margin of error, so those were affordable.

Now the revolution is fizzling down so NATO has to do something about it. Otherwise it looks like a defeat. They gave their best and it all boiled down to burning some police officers, some tires in center of town and making a mess of it, and then going home. A collapse into irrelevance. Hard to mobilize the base again and recover a serious image of the revolutionary forces.

Western provinces live off money transfers from the Eastern ones. So the taking over of provincial governments is for show. Something akin to Black South Africans taking over Ciskei and Trankei.

The flurry of diplomatic and political activity by NATO is an attempt to compensate the weakness of the boys on the ground.

yalensis:

This is a good analysis.

[Feb 2, 2014] Ukraine stands on the brink – and Europe must bring it back by Timothy Garton Ash

Ahs call for direct threat to Ukrainian oligarchs. Quote: But if the British prime minister does want to reconnect with the idealism of his youth, while practising the realpolitik required in his current job, I suggest he has a private word with those key swing-players in Ukraine, the oligarchs. Men like Victor Pinchuk, Dmytro Firtash (a generous donor to Cambridge University) and Akhmetov. We know where they live – in London, among other places. So to have that discreet fireside chat, the prime minister would only need to pop down the road, from Downing Street to One Hyde Park.
02 February 2014 | The Guardian | Jump to comments (506)

Some very nasty far-right groups have mounted the barricades.

...But comrade Lenin's question remains: what is to be done? The Poles, with members of the Ukrainian opposition, call for a larger carrot. "Not martial law but a Marshall Plan," says opposition leader Arseniy Yatseniuk. In your dreams, Arseniy. Others call for targeted western sanctions against the Yanukovych clan and selected oligarchs.

I suspect all this will make only a marginal difference. History is being written hour by hour on the ground in Ukraine. But if the British prime minister does want to reconnect with the idealism of his youth, while practising the realpolitik required in his current job, I suggest he has a private word with those key swing-players in Ukraine, the oligarchs. Men like Victor Pinchuk, Dmytro Firtash (a generous donor to Cambridge University) and Akhmetov. We know where they live – in London, among other places. So to have that discreet fireside chat, the prime minister would only need to pop down the road, from Downing Street to One Hyde Park.

OpinionatedFrog

02 February 2014 8:19pm

1 country with a tragic history - 2 groups of similar size with totally different outlooks and interests, both with powerful backers and manpower willing to fight. I am not optimistic and I would love to be wrong

Julian1972 -> OpinionatedFrog

02 February 2014 8:59pm

It's the work of the CIA and we need to start putting folks on trial over here before they bring us all finally to the brink.

Glimmer -> OpinionatedFrog

02 February 2014 9:38pm

"but still the kind of state that, in the long run, forges a nation." - i.e Ukraine is a state without a nation. There is violence implicit in the verb "forge", too. A Marshall plan for the ex-USSR back in the 90's might have prevented the rise of Putinarchy but the West was too smugly vindictive and cheap to attempt anything so decent.

... ... ...

HillaryRClinton

It is very simple: all the EU has to do is offer a fair trade deal and the cash needed to implement the necessary reforms, overcome Ukraine's loss of trade with Russia (since the EU says Ukraine must choose between the EU and Russia instead of allowing it to trade with both sides, as Yanukovich and Putin proposed), and other countries that buy substandard Ukrainian goods, and replace the energy subsidy Ukraine receives from Russia. According to Yanukovych, all this requires $20 billion per year.

The problem is that the EU is unwilling or unable to provide the cash. Instead it accuses Yanukovych of making extortionist demands. Meanwhile, Putin offered $ 15 billion immediately while the EU referred Ukraine to the IMF (which is demanding Greece-style austerity, raising the pension age, removal of energy subsidies, privatization, and all the usual discredited IMF demands).

In addition, the EU will have to offer Ukraine membership prospects, i.e. guarantee that Ukraine will be able to join the EU at a time in the future. For 3-4 years, the Yanukovych government demanded that this guarantee be included in the Association Agreement, but the EU refused.

The Ukrainians are also seeking visa liberalization, i.e. ability to travel freely to the EU, but the EU has linked this to many reforms, including gay rights, etc

physiocrat

02 February 2014 8:38pm

Why should we assume that we know what is best for the Ukrainians? On the face of things, it looks as if the first thing that needs to happen is to re-draw the boundaries so that the Russian speaking Orthodox population are not in the same country as the Ukrainian speaking Byzantine rite and Latin rite Catholics. This does not preclude enclaves of one inside the other. The Swiss model should be one to follow.

For geographical reasons the Ukrainian economy is inevitably tied to that of Russia and this must be recognised. The two countries have more common interests with each other than they do with the EU lands. The EU should stop meddling.

Rialbynot -> physiocrat

02 February 2014 10:46pm

And it's quite disturbing, if not sinister, how the EU meddlers are doing their meddling without a democratic mandate.

Has there been a democratic debate within the EU as to "our" policy towards Ukraine? No.
It seems policy is being driven by the usual power-hungry gang in Brussels with the occasional nod coming from Berlin.

And all TGA can advise is that the British PM should have "a private word with those key swing-players in Ukraine, the oligarchs."

Democracy in the making? I don't think so.

I would suggest replacing the brain of anyone who thinks that the oligarchs of any Eastern European country have an interest in establishing properly functioning democracies in their fiefdoms.

Viktor Yurchenko -> Streatham

03 February 2014 3:24pm

The only interest the EU capitalist leaders have in the Ukraine is another source of cheap labour...

I am really scared :)))

What Ukrainians are having now? - cheap labour, brutal police, corrupted courts, oligarchical government and the president who has been twice condemned. So, what we can loose? NOTHING.

Drahdiwaberl

02 February 2014 10:43pm

Yes, there's a neo-Nazi "fringe" -- that's the Right Sector, which you try and write off as just nationalists.

But then there's also Svoboda -- who make up at least a third of the opposition and the majority of the active opposition by any measure.
They're the people in your picture, that's their emblem. And they are presently in an in international alliance with the German NDP (out and out Nazis) and various Swedish and Italian facists, and were until recently in another international alliance with the Britain's BNP -- I don't know what that is if not fascism.

The Right Sector are indeed a fringe, but then that's because they regard the anti-Semitic Svoboda as being too soft.

So Guardian picture editors are going to have to run around again trying to find a replacement photo they can illustrate this story with without Svoboda emblems all over it.

None of this is to try and justify Yankuvich and his oligarchs, but please, stop trying to paint the pro-EU bunch as anything other than a nasty bunch of fascists and Banderists.

Rascalndear -> Drahdiwaberl

02 February 2014 11:19pm

The last "epithet" gives you away, sir. Of course, you are aware that Bandera spent much of the war incarcerated in Sachsenhausen and that his two brothers died in Auschwitz. You don't? Well maybe you know that there were more than a million people in downtown Kyiv on two occasions (drone photograph confirmations), a rather large number to all be nasty fascists and "banderites," especially the families with small children. You don't? Well, a normal "democratically elected" president would have stepped down long ago and called new elections. Hmm... Let's see... maybe you know that Mr. Yanukovych subverted the Constitution within months of being elected by having the Constitutional Court of Ukraine expand his powers so that he effectively cannot even be impeached, although this court is not authorized to do so. The Constitution may only be amended by a 2/3 vote in the legislature, which Yanukovych has never had in the 4 years he's been in office. You didn't know that either? Is there anything you do know about Ukraine?

Drahdiwaberl -> Rascalndear

02 February 2014 11:42pm

I know perfectly well that he spent much of the war in Sachsenhausen, largely because the Nazis weren't happy with the idea of an independent Ukraine.
I also know that he collaborated with the Nazis from the beginning and was released from Sachsenhausen in 1944 in the Nazi attempt to rally Ukrainians against the advancing the Red Army. In other words, he was largely their willing tool.

I also know that his OUN organisation carried out some of the most horrible massacres of that period against Poles and Jews in western Ukraine.

He was made a hero of the Ukraine by the last pro-Western government. An award which was later withdrawn. Now tell me why that was?

Vaska TumirRascalndear

04 February 2014 6:32am

Bandera spent much of the war incarcerated in Sachsenhausen

Yes, he did -- in the "soft", political prisoner section. For some reason, after WWII, he chose to settle in Germany, dying in Munich in 1959.

lids

02 February 2014 11:07pm

Historically Ukraine has been the meeting place of cultures and religions, most recently, the Catholic faith and the orthodox Christian faith. Poland ,of course, in the center of this Catholic influence and Russia the center of Orthodox Christian faith. It got so bad several centuries ago that the Czars helped form a new church taking much from both faiths and trying to make it the faith of Ukraine. That idea failed. So, going back, at one time a large Lithuanian empire held much of Ukraine, The Tartars in the south always raided Ukraine and held parts of it, Cossacks set up as rulers of the southern parts under Czars. Poland's empire at one time held most of Ukraine, as Polish power collapsed Russian power expanded until today. The USSR and Czars shared control of Ukraine, when each held Russia. Now when USSR died, Ukraine Soviet Republic became an independent nation, BUT totally split between Catholic West, Orthodox East and left over Cossack and Tartar Powers in the South. So Ukraine has never been an independent united nation, we must understand that much first.

For all the years I've read Russian history, Ukraine was a hotbed of trouble between the west leaning Catholics and the east leaning Orthodox. When I am in Russia, people talk of Ukraine as their brothers, many friends I know in Russia are married to Ukrainians of similar religious background.

I see a very pro Russian Orthodox Christian east and south, who will go to war before they accept EU control. This is fact, it is not debate, because it is fact that can be verified and proven. Now, the west Ukraine wants to join Europe and be a member of EU so that NATO will for always defend Ukraine as free from Russia. These people, mostly Catholic or nationalist, reside in the west Ukraine, but populations are mixed to degrees all across Ukraine. This means conflict on the local level is possible, when Germany conquered Ukraine in 1941, the pro west and pro German right wing took instant revenge of Jews and others not of Catholic Ukranian backgroud. Even when the Red Army returned in 1944, some of the right wing nationalists fought the Red Army but lost. Stalin used his terror to take full control of Ukraine again and make it a Soviet Republic. I noted how after USSR died, a nation called Ukraine was born, a nation divided deep to it's core. The spit is about 50/50, Pro Russian / pro EU, the divide is mainly East and South, versus West and North.

Personally, if Ukraine trys to stay as one nation, then the conflict that has gone on for over 500 years will continue. The West will never subjugate the Russian Ukraine, Russia will never subjugate the Nationalist,catholic,pro EU Ukraine.

I prefer this fake nation finally settle it's problems. The new nation of Ukraine with all rights and freedoms should be allowed into the EU and given full status as a democratic nation. This nation will be the west/north that wants the EU and wants to be ruled from Brussels. The rest of the old Ukraine, Crimea, East and South Ukraine will return to Russia as an indpendent republic inside the state of Russia, not a nation, but a republic of the state of Russia.

This solves the problem, but it will require people to choose if they want to live in one or the other Ukraine. If the EU and Russia send forces into each territory, they can oversee peaceful transition and freedom of movement between states and sale or compensation for property and land left behind in any moves. People should have a right to use the market place to unload land or homes in a free fair manner, then move should they want to.

If the West refuses such a peaceful fair solution, then I can tell you that the EU and USA are fomenting a revolution of conquest and seek to add all of Ukraine to the NATO empire using armed force to do it. Should they follow that path, and not allow peaceful settlement, but seek full conquest, then Russia should send the army and secure Russian Ukraine and Crimea with armed forces and seek to destroy any force invading the Russian Ukraine or overflying it. If NATO wants to conquer Russian people, I can tell you, Russia will fight. This is a good test for the EU/USA, are they seeking conquest, or the solution of a centuries old conflict inside present day Ukrainian borders. My guess is that Obama and his neo-con gang are in this for a full conquest and will settle for nothing less than total taking of all present day Ukraine. If Putin is so blind as to not see this, then I overestimated him as a leader.

panpipes -> lids

03 February 2014 6:33am

I am intrigued how much the pro-Russian folks have appropriated the Zionist language. First, they have labeled anyone supportive of a Ukraine not dominated (subjugated) by Russia as Nazis, fascists, or racist against Russia ("Russophobes") akin to the Hasbara labeling of anyone who dare criticize Israel as antisemites. Now we have an appropriation of Golda Meir's statement that there never was a Palestinian nation. That, sir, takes more than a little chutzbah when one considers just how many Jews were killed by Russian pogroms.

Reading the scholarship of postcolonialism as applied to post-Soviet nations might provide you with a far greater understanding. One writer notes the difference between the words "nation" and "state" - a nation is a large group of people (commonly connected by language - e.g., Ukranian) while a state is a legal entity. It is very common in colonial/post-colonial states for there to be ancient nations that never have had official incorporation as a state - that does not diminish their legitimacy as a nation.

Pindi -> lids

03 February 2014 7:10am

Thanks for a nice overview of the history of Ukraine.

I hope that the west does back off, as they did over South Georgia, for now Russia (and China) have had enough of western aggression and expansion of nato, and will not back down.

There are many potential conflicts which could lead to a nuclear WW3, and Ukraine is one.'

corstopitum

02 February 2014 11:08pm

Europe must intervene on the side of democracy and human rights
These elastic slogans have been so universally misused it is time to put them aside.

Rozina

02 February 2014 11:25pm

A Ukrainian specialist on the European far right, Anton Shekhovtsov, who was there during the recent protests, says that while there is a real neo-Nazi and hooligan fringe, especially in a group called White Hammer, most of the so-called Right Sector activists see themselves as national revolutionaries fighting for independence from Russia.

Unfortunately for Ash and Shekhovtsov, Ukrainian nationalism does have a history of allying itself with fascism and other far-right forces if for no other reason than that opportunistic classic "my enemy's enemy is my friend". The possibility that your enemy's enemy might be even more dangerous to you in the long term than your usual enemy is in the short term (not to mention the other possibility that your usual enemy could be in fact your best bet for an ally) is lost on people caught up in the emotions of the moment.

Also how individual Pravy Sektor activists see themselves says very little about the group itself, what its aims are and who it reveres.

Putin's Russia has been intervening for years, overtly and covertly, while insisting no "outsiders" should interfere.

Strange then that there was not much evidence of Russian politicians like foreign minister Sergei Lavrov visiting Ukraine to try to rouse Yanukovych supporters to action while the German foreign minister, a US senator representing Arizona in the US Congress and a US government official married to a neoconservative historian all shot over to Kyiv to deliver speeches or cookies to the pro-EU demonstrators.

But if the British prime minister does want to reconnect with the idealism of his youth, while practising the realpolitik required in his current job, I suggest he has a private word with those key swing-players in Ukraine, the oligarchs. Men like Victor Pinchuk, Dmytro Firtash (a generous donor to Cambridge University) and Akhmetov.

David Cameron - a one-time idealist?

Germanlady1

02 February 2014 11:51pm

Worse than ridiculous is the notion that the EU should not intervene in any way because this is a purely Ukrainian affair.

The EU, and indeed the US has already intervened. Klitschko arrives with a private jet in Munich to meet Kerry and is applauded all around.
It is very difficult to foresee that Putin will let the Ukraine join the EU. And it is equally difficult to foresee a warm welcome to ordinary Ukrainian people should they ever succeed in joing the EU as full members and come looking for jobs.

To me, this smells of far too much interference from the outside with the US and Germany pushing hard for NATO interests.

Nokaoi

03 February 2014 5:14am

One thing is clear. With all its faults Russia have been and will stay by the Ukranians side. It has no other choice. Unfortunately neighbors that are EU - members have the history of treating Ukrainian as second class citizens so there are general mistrust on both sides of the alley. Supposedly the are actual powers in EU, Russia, US and Canada to help Ukraine to succeed (sounds funny already giving the fact that "Western politicians" are mostly temporary clowns and their systems of governance are just major corporations affiliates pretending to conduct civil service) so the only way is trying to find the consent between major corporations, Ukrainian people and Russia. At least Putin puts money where his mouth is. Lets face it the situation is critical and it is crucial to take an urgent actions.., yesterday.

laguerreNokaoi

03 February 2014 6:51am

Lets face it the situation is critical and it is crucial to take an urgent actions.., yesterday

OK, USA, go ahead if you really want to. Not us in Europe though.

auldfaart

03 February 2014 5:31am

Why? Why must Europe do anything? Are you not yet fed up with interfering? This the problem with the left, they cannot leave anything alone, but have to interfere, fuck things up, and then blame anybody and everybody.

laguerreauldfaart

03 February 2014 6:53am

This the problem with the left. What's this got to do with the left? It would be Cameron deciding.
Though otherwise I agree with you.

amorabella

03 February 2014 5:59am

WHY do you NEVER write the truth? Why don't you say that the majority of Ukrainians desire to join Russia. All the surveys have shown that! Those who are standing on Maidan now make up a little percentage of all the population of Ukraine. They are ONLY representatives of Western Ukraine, a region that lives with the help of subsidies from its South-Eastern territory. These people don't have jobs because they don't want to. They are too lazy for it. Especially when they get very well paid by the West for going to demonstrations. They don't want Maidan, they want easy money. While people from the South-Eastern Ukraine work hard and pull all the economics on their shoulders. They are against Maidan and all this hysteria, because they understand that th EU doesn't care about Ukrainians at all. You will never treat them as equal and they will never find a better life in th EU. You'll never give them any good jobs, nothing better than servants. While Russia is ready to do that. Our labor market is ready for that. An engineer or a doctor from Ukraine has an opportunity to get the same job in Russia and to get a good salary. We have so many in common and we still consider them to be our brothers. We have one Motherland and identical cultural and educational background - the best of all times! There isn't a family in Russia which wouldn't have close friends or relatives living in Ukraine. The only way out of this situation for Ukrainian people is to hold a nationwide referendum and vote for joining Russia.

P.S. By the way, why don't you criticize those fascists from Maidan who hurt innocent policemen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9wkwwWKSzc

GPCCDecodes
03 February 2014 8:29am

Recent months have seen regular protests by the Ukrainian political opposition and its supporters – protests ostensibly in response to Ukrainian President Yanukovich's refusal to sign a trade agreement with the European Union that was seen by many political observers as the first step towards European integration. The protests remained largely peaceful until January 17th when protesters armed with clubs, helmets, and improvised bombs unleashed brutal violence on the police, storming government buildings, beating anyone suspected of pro-government sympathies, and generally wreaking havoc on the streets of Kiev. But who are these violent extremists and what is their ideology?

Ukraine and the Rebirth of Fascism in Europe

banthem

03 February 2014 4:36pm

Have a look at what had happened at the territory of the Modern Day Ukraine in 1918, after the collapse of the Russian Empire:

- West-Ukrainian-People Republic in the West (Volynnia)
- Ukrainian-People-Republic in the Center (Kiev).
- Ukrainian Soviet Republic in the East (Kharkov).
In the Center (Kiev) there were numerous battles for the power: Central Rada, Bolsheviks, hetman Skoropadskiy, Petliura.

Meanwhile, in the South-East (around Dnepropetrovsk and Zaporozhe) there was a large Region, known as Gulyiay-Pole (Free Fields), led by local atamans (chiefs) Makhno, Grigoriev, and others, who fought against Germans, Reds, Whites, Petliura, and everything they see around them.

Together with the Germans, and further Poles from the West; Reds (Bolsheviks) from the North, the Cossacks of the Almighty Don Cossack Host from the East and the Whites (The Armed Forces of the South of Russia) from the South, it was a rather complicated picture, isn't it?

Especially, when everyone participant was fighting with everyone else. May be that's why Antanta Operation in Odessa was so brief at those times?

At last, in 1919, there were only two (most strong fighters):

That is how the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (Modern Day Ukraine) was organized.
Bolsheviks presented this new-founded republic the territories from Odessa to Donetsk, which were not known before as Ukraine, they were known as Novorossia (New Russia), and Crimea.
Bolsheviks considered "The Great Russian Chauvinism" as a much more threat to their power, than little "Ukrainian nationalism". Bolshevik policy of Ukranization lasted until 1938.

Now Ukrainian Nationalists are crashing the statue of Lenin - the father-founder of their Modern state. Hah!

"May be that's why Antanta Operation in Odessa was so brief at those times (1918)?"

May be, may be.
But you don't worry; Americans know much better, how to deal with every mess in this world nowadays, than some lousy Antanta 100 years ago, right?

DavidEdenden

03 February 2014 4:54pm

The US and EU spend gazillion dollars on CIA, NSA, "NGO promotion" for their national interest.

In the case of the Ukraine, it seeems to be in the "national interest" to partition Ukraine and former civil war by driving a wedge between the Catholic east and the Orthodox west (Includes Ukrainians and Russians.

It did not have to be this way.

The guardian should discuss, if, in 1992, all Warsaw Pact states (incl. Yugoslavia and Russia) were immediately given "Associate Membership" in the EU.

No zero sum games!
No Nato, but an EU army
No arms race
No Yugoslav Wars (Srebrenica Vukovar Sarajevo Krajina Mostar)
No Kosovo War
No Macedonia War
No Macedonian Name Farce
No Polish Missiles
No Russian nuclear help to Iran
No oil pipeline blockade against Russia
No Ukrainian threat of civil war
No Putin

This is a plot ... plain and simple.

tiye60

03 February 2014 9:12pm

An interesting study on right-wing parties and organisations in Europe, includes a chapter on Svoboda.

http://www.academia.edu/4213658/Right-Wing_Populism_and_Extremism_The_Rapid_Rise_of_Golden_Dawn_in_Crisis-_Ridden_Greece


AndreyR2008

03 February 2014 10:14pm

Ukraine is a platzdarm for western war against Russia. With Ukraine's fall West will continue pressure on Russian Volga region and on North Caucasus. The scenario will be the same as in Baltic states -to create puppet nationalistic regimes, to isolate Russians and strip them of all rights and finally to exterminate them. For last 20 years Russian population of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania was reduced in 2 times, it's a crime even speak Russian there.

xxxww999 -> AndreyR2008

Just exactly how are the Baltic states "puppet nationalistic regimes"?
Because they are not run by Russian's puppets?

it's a crime even speak Russian there.

Don't lie!

AndreyR2008xxxww999

04 February 2014 1:03am

Speaking Russian in Estonia will cost you 20,000 Euro fine and/or 3 years in jail. That's Estonian law.
Latvia is passing a law which will allow to take children from Russian families if parents are speaking Russian with them and put children in Latvian foster family.
Lithuania 2 months ago banned all TV/radio broadcast in Russian.
And how do you dare accuse me in lying - you are not Russian and don't speak Russian, you have not a clue how you Europeans are treating us.

tiye60AndreyR2008

04 February 2014 4:53am

Andrey, I think you are mistaken about the Estonian language laws;) 20 000 euros and jail just for speaking Russian? Give me a link to prove it, and it can be in Estonian, I am Finnish, I'll sort it out...

hfakostiye60

04 February 2014 2:50pm

You could also check out Slovakian language laws, which meet out a fine of EUR5k to anyone who dares to speak Hungarian. Apparently, all this is EU-conform, since I haven't heard a peep of protest from Brussels.

AndreyR2008tiye60

04 February 2014 3:50pm

http://www.usefoundation.org/view/209

This is a link to English translation of the first Estonian law, which was enforced in next reductions.

www.keeleinsp.ee

And this is a link to special police which enforces the law above. Information about penalties and all laws is available in Estonian only but maybe as Finn you will able to read it.

Ukraina Riot<
03 February 2014 11:04pm

"This is no velvet revolution, but nor is it an uprising of fascist Cossacks" - really???

Ukraine rebelled are not liberals and democrats are struggling for democracy, human rights and freedom. They are really neo-Nazis. Their symbol is swastika. Their slogan is "Glory of nazi - death to the enemies". Their idol is Ukrainian fascist Stepan Bandera, with which portraits they go and his portraits hang in the occupied buildings.

At 1 of January 2014 Ukrainian nationalists as always held a torchlight procession in Kyiv,
in honor of the birthday of the Ukrainian fascist Stepan Bandera! It was the eve of the Ukrainian opposition riot!

Do you still think that Ukraine opposition is fighting for democracy?
Really, the Ukraine opposition is neoNazi!

For all who want to know the real truth about Ukrainian revolution and opposition – read Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ukraine-Riot/252766924900457

Ukraina Riot

03 February 2014 11:07pm

BBC News: "Ukraine's key protest figures"
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-25910834

There is something interesting about Ukraine neoNazi "Svoboda" and its leader Tyahnybok:

The leader of the far-right Svoboda party, Oleh Tyahnybok, regularly appears alongside Mr Klitschko as one of the key protest participants. His movement is Ukraine's fourth-largest party, holding 37 out of 450 parliamentary seats. Svoboda - meaning Freedom - was a shock success in the 2012 parliamentary election, capturing 10% of the vote and entering the legislature for the first time.

Previously known as the "Social-National Party", Svoboda continues to maintain informal links to another group, the Patriots of Ukraine, regarded by some as proto-fascist. Svoboda promotes itself as a fervent defender of traditional Ukrainian culture and language against foreign influence. Mr Tyahnybok, who insists that Svoboda is neither xenophobic nor anti-Semitic, was expelled from parliament in 2004 for proclaiming that a "Muscovite-Jewish mafia" controlled the country.

shepdavis

04 February 2014 9:02pm

How about this idea...no resignation of elected Gov, no snap elections, the Opposition is told to get ready for next year's elections and abide by the "law" and "rules" that apply in stable Western democracies. Let the voters decide.

Now, one prob was the "Orange" revolution established the MO of mob rule. Get a lot of people in the street. claiming corruption and "fixed votes" (jeez in US we still hear it about 2000 AND 1960).

The thing is that this looks too much like the West encouraged (even bought and paid for) the mobs now it claims must be appeased.

As far as the current Ukraine Gov goes, why don't they just sit. see if the "revolutionaries" really do something criminal. (After all, they have vid tape of theri meetings with demonstration "leaders"...show trial stuff, no?)

BlackHorse101 -> shepdavis

05 February 2014 12:14am

'As far as the current Ukraine Gov goes, why don't they just sit. see if the "revolutionaries" really do something criminal.'

Shepdavis the government is sitting, Yanu sacked Azarov and the government. Rioters leave the government buidings an amensty for protestors follows, simple, but the latest news is on the Polish/ Ukraine border. The Poles are trying to bring in weapons to ferment a civil war. " Humanitarian aid" is the catch cry in the west of country aka maidan. Border gaurds are having none of this. Making trucks unload their cargo for inspection finding CIA funded
weaponry's for another coup attempt. All borders in/ out of Ukraine are moving at a snails pace and all cargo is being checked with a fine tooth comb.

Elena Ch

05 February 2014 1:23pm

2011 hidden cameras showing who and how sponsored the "Maidan Project" (internet resource) . http://zarodinu.org.ua/page/531

[Feb 02, 2014] Ukraine police show incredible restraint, US officers would respond with deadly force

RT Op-Edge

To protect their own lives and people caught in the unrest, US police would respond with deadly force if confronted by violent rioters like those operating in Ukraine, Chuck Joyner, an ex-CIA and FBI agent told RT, sharing his professional assessment.

RT: Footage of the violence in Kiev has been broadcast around the world. As a consultant to law enforcement on the use of force, how would you react in such a situation?


Chuck Joyner: The videos that I saw were very disturbing, and the police officers, in my mind showed incredible restraint. In the United States, in that situation, they would have been just fine using deadly force.

RT: How would you instruct Ukrainian police in dealing with the protests if they continue?

CJ: I think throughout the history of riots, you see if there is not a strong police presence, then the antagonizers, the agitators, they become emboldened, they become more violent and more aggressive. So there needs to be a strong police presence in those circumstances to control the violence.

RT: Police in Ukraine have come in for criticism especially from Washington. Given that rioters have thrown Molotov cocktails, and both burnt and beat officers, is that criticism fair?

Protesters throw Molotov cocktails at police during clashes in the center of Kiev (AFP Photo)

Protesters throw Molotov cocktails at police during clashes in the center of Kiev (AFP Photo)

CJ: I can't get into the politics, but I can look at it strictly from a police standpoint. And I think, again, police have shown incredible restraint.

If you are in a situation – I've seen videos where police officers are on fire – again that is a deadly situation. And they certainly in the United States would have the legal right to use deadly force in response to that. So any criticism of police officers in those circumstances, I think, is unwarranted.

RT: Europe and America were quick to condemn Ukrainian authorities. But we have seen similar responses across the EU, as well as during the Occupy demonstrations in the United States. So, tell me a little bit about these types of scenarios.

CJ: In any situation in the United States, a police officer has to evaluate the threat, the perceived threat. So if the police officer perceives that there is a threat to themselves or somebody else, they can respond with pepper spray, batons, personal weapon strikes, electronic control devices.

Riot police officers gather during clashes with pro-European protesters in Kiev (Reuters / Maks Levin)

Riot police officers gather during clashes with pro-European protesters in Kiev (Reuters / Maks Levin)

If the threat rises to the level where they think they or somebody else are being threatenedd with death or serious bodily harm, they can respond with deadly force.

RT: The Ukrainian opposition is getting a lot of support from the US government right now. What's your take on that – could such backing impact the unrest?

CJ: Again, I can only look at it from a police officer's standpoint, and my belief would be police officers on the scene, they also are apolitical. They are there just to protect lives and property. So, their concern is: 'Are they agitators, are they violent protesters?' And police have the responsibility to respond to that and to quell that.

RT: If this happened in the US, what would happen?

CJ:
Hopefully it will never rise to the level where you have people – I've seen people with firearms, I've seen people with petrol bombs, Molotov cocktails, with hammers – that is a deadly threat and our police would respond in kind.

Samuel von Staunton 02.02.2014 18:39

Considering that in the US a couple of activists awaiting trial are being charged with terrorism and looking at 175 years in prison just for making--not using--molotov cocktails, I am inclined to agree with the author's conclusions.

MonsantoGoingDown 02.02.2014 17:47

I have to say that the Ukrainian government really doesn't seem all that repressive, at least not compared to the US, which has now become the country it originally broke away from.

[Feb 02, 2014] West's interpretation of freedom for Ukraine 'strange' -- Lavrov

February 01, 2014 | RT News

Download video (22.87 MB)

Western politicians who advocate freedom of choice for Ukraine, but say this must be a pro-European choice, have a strange interpretation of freedom, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a security conference in Munich.

Lavrov was responding to numerous statements, including from the European Council President Hermann van Rompuy and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, which were voiced just minutes before at the conference. He also criticized Western support for Ukrainian anti-government protests, which he said ignored the darker side of the movements behind the violence there.

"What does the inciting of street protests, which are growing increasingly violent, have to do with promoting democratic principles?" Lavrov said.

"Why do we not hear statements of condemnation toward those who seize government buildings, attack and burn police officers, and voice racist and anti-Semitic slogans? Why do senior European politicians de facto encourage such actions, while at home they swiftly and harshly act to stop any impingement on the letter of the law?"

Lavrov defended the Ukrainian government's right to stop the violence, citing a 1966 international treaty on basic political rights, which has been adopted by almost all UN members.

"The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states that the freedom of expression cannot be illegal and is a basic right. But riots, violent actions give the grounds to limit those freedoms," he said. "A state must be strong, if it wants to remain democratic."

Ukraine has been mired in a deep political crisis since November 2013, when President Viktor Yanukovich's government decided not to sign a free trade agreement with the EU, prompting mass pro-EU integration protests. The demonstrations remained more or less peaceful until January, when the Ukrainian parliament adopted a number of bills giving the government greater powers to restrict mass demonstrations.

Radical opposition activists responded to the legislation with violent attacks on riot police. Several days of clashes ensued, in which hundreds of police officers and protesters were injured. The Ukrainian authorities have since made a number of concessions to the opposition, including the repeal of the controversial anti-protests laws, but the tense ceasefire remains shaky at best.

Many western politicians have been openly supporting the anti-government protests and have criticized the Ukrainian government for its handling of the situation. The latest example came from US Secretary of State John Kerry, who was also speaking at the Munich security conference.

The people of Ukraine "are fighting for the right to associate with partners who will help them realize their aspirations – and they have decided that means their futures do not have to lie with one country alone, and certainly not coerced," Kerry said.

But while condemning police brutality and alleged kidnappings, torture and killings of opposition activists, foreign supporters of the opposition have barely mentioned violence and suspected crimes committed by the radical nationalist opposition.

The West has also criticized Russia for what it calls putting pressure on Ukraine not to integrate with the EU. Moscow denies these allegations, however, and insists that it has been keeping an appropriate distance from the crisis, unlike some western countries meddling in Ukraine's internal affairs.

One of the accusations over Russia's alleged pressure on Ukraine is over its decision to offer a $15 billion loan and a discount on gas prices to Kiev. Critics say Moscow "bought" Ukraine's non-alliance with Europe, but Russia insists that it is simply aiding a brotherly people in a time of need, not Ukraine's government.

Russian President Vladimir Putin this week said that Russia will provide the loan to whatever government is in Kiev, be it formed by President Yanukovich's ruling party, or by the opposition. But Russia wants to see a working government following the resignation of outgoing PM Nikolay Azarov's cabinet, before transferring the next installment.

[Feb 01, 2014] Analysis: Russia's carrot-and-stick battle for Ukraine

Russia, according to Mr Putin, is not only a strategic unit, but also possesses a separate civilisation, which it shares with several other countries, such as Ukraine and Belarus. That civilisation is both Christian and European, but it is not a simple extension of Western Europe, or the European Union. Rather, it seeks to become the EU's peer.
16 December 2013 | BBC News

For Russia's President Vladimir Putin international relations are first and foremost about competition, which is intensifying. His approach towards Ukraine reflects that basic philosophy.

The key themes were reiterated in his State of the Nation address to parliament last week. The principal competitors are "large geopolitical units": the US, China and Europe - though the latter is still not a full-fledged strategic player.

In this context, Russia is one of very few major independent actors. To compete more successfully, Russia must expand its power base by creating an economic, political and military union in Eurasia.

Russia, according to Mr Putin, is not only a strategic unit, but also possesses a separate civilization, which it shares with several other countries, such as Ukraine and Belarus. That civilization is both Christian and European, but it is not a simple extension of Western Europe, or the European Union. Rather, it seeks to become the EU's peer.

[Feb 01, 2014] Russian minister: Why is EU defending Ukraine violence?

February 1, 2014 | BBC News

Political turmoil in Ukraine has sparked heated debate at a security summit in Munich, with Russia accusing the EU of double standards.

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said the "future of Ukraine belongs with the European Union".

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov asked why the EU was defending violent protests and attacks on police.

BBC News

He said: "What does incitement of violent street protests have to do with the promotion of democracy? Why do we not hear condemnation of those who seize government buildings and attack police and use racist, anti-Semitic and Nazi slogans?"

Mr Lavrov said: "Why are many prominent European politicians actually encouraging such actions, although back home they are quick to severely punish any violations of the law?"

Interfax also quoted Mr Lavrov as saying: "When John Kerry... says that Ukraine should choose who it is with - with the whole world or with one country, Kerry - with his experience, good sense - is the last person I would expect such propaganda from."

[Feb 1, 2014] Ukrainian opposition is morally and politically bankrupt by Nebosja Malic

RT Op-Edge

The Ukrainian opposition's aim is to take over the government, but after that they have no idea what to do and their effort will lead to failure, Nebosja Malic from the R. Archibald Reiss Institute for Serbian Studies told RT.

RT: The opposition wants everyone freed unconditionally. Why should rioters who injured or even killed policemen be released, when these actions typically land you in prison for decades? Is it realistic?

Nebosja Malic: The opposition keeps moving the goal posts. Obviously they want the government to unconditionally surrender on all of their demands whatever those demands might be. Today they are requesting one thing, two days before they were demanding something else and the week before something else altogether. If they are given this by the parliament they will demand even more.

They've made it obvious that only unconditional surrender will do. Releasing these people would send a dangerous message to everybody in Ukraine that you can get away with murder literally if you happen to lend in power. And you get there by blackmailing the government, by occupying the town squares, by resorting to violence. This is not going to end well if these demands are appeased. Appeasement usually doesn't end well anyway.

RT: President Yanukovich has shown he's willing to negotiate and compromise. Why isn't the opposition making similar efforts to try and end the violence?

NM: They are like a dog chasing cars. They have no idea what to do when they catch it. Their whole gambit is to take over the government. Short of taking over the government their effort will be a failure. They need to capture the government to be successful. So this is the marching orders they were given by people financing them. Anything short of dismantling the government and hanging it over to them would be a failure; this is why they just cannot compromise even if they wanted to.

The offer to Yatsenyuk to take over the prime ministership the other day, I thought at first it was just a sign of weakness, but it might be a brilliant gambit to expose the bankruptcy of the opposition because here take exactly what you demand and see what the response is. If the response is "no – we want even more." So they have declared themselves completely morally and politically bankrupt and yet the government tries to appease them, which is further definite sign of weakness.

RT: The EU Commission chief said he wants to see a political solution in Ukraine, US Secretary of State John Kerry said the same in a phone call with the opposition. Do you think the West will try to push the opposition towards dialogue now?

NM: I sincerely doubt it. The European Union wants to see a client regime in Kiev. I think they want to see a government that would obey them in every respect like what they have in Serbia currently. I think that's the ultimate goal and if opposition coalition is willing enable to get into power using any means necessarily and making any demands it sees fit, and the government is weak enough to let them, then I don't see why the European Union would essentially stop them. They want this to happen, they want these people to take over the government.

RT: The EU and the US have hailed Viktor Yanukovich's concessions as a sign of progress. Why are they basically praising the president's efforts all of a sudden?

NM: Because he is capitulating. I think the perception is "OK, we will praise you when you surrender, we will criticize you when you fight, so sooner or later you'll be conditioned to surrender on demand." I think they'll be happiest with Yanukovich if he resigns tomorrow and hands Ukraine over to Klitschko, Yatsenyuk and Tyagnibok, which if they will then run things into the ground is completely immaterial to these foreign backers.

I don't think trying to appease the protesters and trying to get into good graces of the EU and the US by essentially self-destructing the country is a good strategy for any politician, but I would really like to point to Serbia as an example of what not to do, for everybody in the world, including Ukraine.



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The Last but not Least


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