|May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)|
|Contents||Bulletin||Scripting in shell and Perl||Network troubleshooting||History||Humor|
Skepticism > Political Skeptic > Fifth Column of Neoliberal Globalization > Color revolutions
|News||Color revolutions||Recommended Links||Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism||Neoconservatism as a stage of development of Neoliberalism||Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism|
|The Far Right Forces in Ukraine||Suppression of Russian language and culture in Ukraine||Ukraine's oligarchs||Galicia -- Ukrainian Benghazi, Lvov declares autonomy from Ukraine on February 19||Russian Ukrainian Gas wars||Ukrainian orange revolution|
|Events of November 30 and aftermath||SBU raid on Kiev Batkivshchina office||Revolt of diplomats||Nulandgate||EU-brokered agreement on ending crisis||To whom EuroMaidan Sharp-shooters belong?|
|Forming Provisional government||Accession of Crimea to Russia||Odessa Massacre of May 2, 2014||Mariupol, May 9 events||Presidential Elections of May 25. 2014||Poroshenko presidency|
|Compradors||Fifth column||NGOs as braintrust of color revolutions||Resurgence of ideology of neo-fascism||Totalitarian Decisionism & Human Rights: The Re-emergence of Nazi Law||Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair|
|Delegitimization of Ruling Party||Neoliberal Propaganda||Opposition as a way to get rid of feeling of inferiority||Human right activists or globalism fifth column||Exploiting "Revolutionary Romantics" as polit-technology||The art of manufacturing of prisoners of consciousness|
|Two Party System as polyarchy||The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment||Fighting Russophobia||Foreign Agents Registration Act||Russian Fifth column Humor||Etc|
Due to size EuroMaidan101 was moved to a separate page.
|Hundred years ago WWI was a tragedy, the Ukraine crisis is just a farce.
The real problem today is the ignorant, narcissistic and lazy generation of Western leaders
who are aggressively conformist in their views and unable to think things through. We get
what is an almost 100% agreement on the neo-liberal economic policies, are the neo-conservative
foreign policies. There has been a mindless revival of all the worst aspects of the West: late
19th century Victorian like "winner"-take-all economies and "human rights spreading" imperial
policies. At least 100 years ago there wasn't the incredible hypocrisy. Today the likes of Hague,
Kerry, Holland,.... are so unable to generate a fresh thought, they are so beholden to the dominant
elite narrative, that are able to lie like little children caught stealing.
Media is also much worse. Whether it is a reflection of their irrelevance, their existential struggles, or the same ignorant self-righteousness that has conquered the rest of the Western elites, they are simply a bullhorn for their government policies. Scared, predictable, one-sided. Half a story reporting is really not reporting, anyone can do half-story. Actually even Nazis or communists covered their half of the story adequately. It is the full story that real journalism should be about. How did Western media simply abandoned their own proud standards?
It is time for the USA reign in Wall Street, ditch the House of Saud and Israel, and make peace with Russia.
VietnamVet , Jun 12, 2014 3:44:26 PM
This site promotes Noninterventionism (Noninterventionism A Primer The American Conservative)
Noninterventionism is a rather clunky and unappealing label for a set of very appealing ideas: that the U.S. should mind its own business, act with restraint, respect other nations, refrain from unnecessary violence, and pursue peace. If future administrations took just a few of these as guiding principles for the conduct of foreign policy, America and the world would both be better off.
Senior editor Daniel Larison blogs at TheAmericanConservative.com/Larison.
Despite being a deeply pro-Western guy, I resent "elephant in the China store" polices of the USA and EU in Ukraine which led to the destruction of the country. It's of course nothing but a master class of diplomacy to provoke a coup which brought to power pro-Western elite (actually nationalistic Western Ukrainian part of the elite which is as anti-Russian as Poland elite) with strong support and participation of far right groups as additional bonus and expect now to give loan for at least 20 billions to the country in the state of low intensity civil war with slim change of return of the money.
And at the same time being not ready to pay 16 billion dollars for the same benefits to another pro-Western government of Mr. Yanukovich. Stupid and greedy EU bureaucrats were a disaster... But stupidity of EU bureaucrats aside (and now EU is on the hook for twice more - at least 30 billions), attempts in free riding sometimes are punished ;-).
My thoughts and prayers are with the Ukrainian population, the real victim of this mess. Harsh times wait them ahead indeed. Iraq and Libya are good examples of what can happen in worst case.
I also think that in a long run actions by Obama administration were against the interest of American people too. But they were definitely in the interests of the top 0.01%, and, especially, military-industrial complex (or more correctly media-military-industrial complex.)
As Robert W. Merry, the political editor of The National Interest magazine and the author of books on American history and foreign policy noted about Ukraine EuroMaidan (and Latvia situation of Russian minority which is similar) "This is a Western mess, and it may require a great deal of time, effort and exertion for the West to clean it up." (The National Interest, May-June 2014). But you will never know this reading, viewing or listening to MSM. It seems there is already a place Ukraine among the US foreign policy fiascos. This SNAFU with bringing far right to power and unleashing a civil war in the country is really competitive with their adventures in Libya and Syria.
Disinformation is intentionally false or inaccurate information creation of which is financed by powerful groups and which is spread deliberately and aggressively to create "an artificial reality" of events in question.. It is a well planned and coordinated act of deception conducted via MSM to bring people to support the elite bidding. It includes both rational (appeal to logic based on false premises) and emotional components (the later is often called propaganda). What importance to assign to particular event or whether to ignore it completely is decided by whose who control MSM. In a way they really write and then rewrite history in best traditions of dystopian world of Orwell famous novel ( Nineteen Eighty-Four) .
Disinformation succeeds because powerful interest groups across the political spectrum control simultaneously MSM and government. And it is their interests that both MSM and the captive government propagates their private interest as "national interest". When the government’s story cannot stand the light cast by the facts and independent experts, then the government’s false story must be protected by diluting down the truth with "emotional" noise and outright lies, provocations and false flag operations. As Hermann Goering noted the basic mechanism of any disinformation campaign is playing of people emotions (cited from War - Wikipedia):
Naturally the common people don't want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship.
Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.
Here foreign correspondents can be very handy in concealing real events and creating "artificial reality" picture in mass media. And it does no matter that it has no or little connections to reality and huge holes and inconsistencies init. As soon as "proper" emotional staff sets in, the confirmation bias will prevent people from seeing the real picture. We should not underestimate humans capacity for self-delusion. Such propaganda created myth became self-sustainable and can be shred only via a shock. As John Robles noted in (VR, Jun 7, 2014):
The alternative reality that they are so shamelessly promoting in the West with regard to Ukraine and Russia’s role in the conflict is so far removed from what is actually taking place that one can only come to the conclusion that the West is in fact channeling Goebbels and his big lie theory.
Philosopher Leo Strauss, the icon of US neocons strongly believed in the concept of Noble lie the essence of which is that “perpetual deception of the citizens by those in power is critical because they need to be led, and they need strong rulers to tell them what’s good for them.” The Western press has a well-earned reputation for being preoccupied with sex, scandal and celebrities to the exclusion of reporting on anything worthwhile. But now we see that there are deep strategic reasons for such coverage.
This page is just a modest attempt to counter this trend. It was created mainly for own consumption but might be useful for others too Here we tried to collect only sources which provide slightly skeptical view of MSM coverage of EuroMaidan events. The author is definitely not a specialist, has no information other then form sources listed blow, and does not pretend for anything more the role of information collector and systematizer. The sources are collected purely for educational purposes and are presented in the News section.
Fighting disinformation is possible only by correlating various sources. One important source of information are reader comments in MSM forums. I have found that reader comments in MSM are much more valuable then article themselves and whenever possible included selection of comments that I considered the most insightful. And UK newspapers reader forums such as Guardian forums, far surpass in quality US newspapers reader forums, such as NYT forums...
The framework of analysis and the angle under which news stories were collected and presented is based on assumption that this is yet another color revolution (with some elements of Arab spring), a neoliberal expansion project directed on making Ukraine yet another IMF and international banks slave
|The framework of analysis is based on assumption that this is yet another color revolution (with some elements of Arab spring) directed on making Ukraine yet another IMF and international banks slave|
In case of Ukraine, Western countries, both together and separately, behave myopically. They seek quick results, but are not willing to pay for it. Their actions proved to be a real disaster for the Ukrainian people who now can be forced into abject poverty. Not that they do well under Yanukovich regime or any previous, no less corrupt (in best neoliberal traditions) regime. But at least previous regimes subsidized rent in state owned buildings as well as utilities (especially natural gas). Simply because for most people salaries are too plow to pay the market price. It's either utilities or food on the table. The average monthly salary in Ukraine is around $300 a month (Wikipedia) and average pension is around $150 a month with price of food close to the USA prices (less for vegetables, more for meet including chickens). So a family of two working adults can barely meet the ends. And after IMF-enforced "market prices" need subsidies in order not to starve.
This very sad story of incompetence and ill will involves four main neoliberal players and none of them has altruist agenda. They are the USA, EU, Russia and Ukraine itself (represented by Ukrainian oligarchs -- as this is was and is an oligarchic republic). Formally this color revolution lasted 92 days: from November 21 2013 to February 22, 2014. As a result Dnepropetrovsk oligarchic clan (represented by Batkivshchina Party of Yulia Timoshenko) in alliance with far rights from Western Ukraine deposed Donetsk oligarchic clan represented by legitimate but corrupt Yanukovich government and came to power. Using coup d'état to came to power instead of forcing re-elections like they did previously during Orange Revolution. Here is a simplified, crude, but still mostly correct sequence of events (theguardian.com, April 12, 2014):
Colin Ball -> Ro Jugo
12 April 2014 10:16pm
Ukraine crisis in a nutshell:
1. West plants seed of coup, spends $5bn.
2. Nazi opposition organise riots and snipers, kill people.
3. Ukraine president flees for life, asks for Russia's help.
4. Nazis appoint themselves as new govt, ban Russian as language.
5. Russian speaking Crimea fears persecution, holds referendum.
6. Crimeans vote to join Russia, Russia endorses result.
7. West furious that their NATO and Black Sea plans are foiled.
8. West demonises Russia, imposes sanctions.
9. Russia laughs.
10. South and East Ukraine want what's good for the Gander.
I would change p.9 "Russia laughs." to "Russia is greatly alarmed" as even minimal sanctions took a toll on Russian a yet another (and relatively weak) neoliberal state in a neoliberal world dominated by the USA, but otherwise it is, while simplistic, more or less correct sequence of events.
Again, this page was created just as antidote to the coverage (which actually can't be called coverage as it was pure propaganda) by Western MSM of the EuroMaidan. Which reminds the author so vividly the years he lived under the communist regime with its total dominance of the "party line" in the official media (and in the USSR there was practically no unofficial media, except Samizdat). Now another propaganda machine successfully creates artificial "reality show" for its readers/viewers about Ukrainian events, but no even more pervasively and successfully.
In case of absence of alternative sources that creates a phenomenon, which can be described as "Total Mind Control" (or in less charitable terms, brainwashing). People internalize false information, propaganda clichés from NYT or Wash Post and then they start thinking within the proposed framework, within the confines of those clichés.
This enforcement of pre-defined (and false) framework is how brainwashing by MSM generally works and it proves to be extremely effective. Any while the picture has nothing to do with the reality, those "excremental rats" which were subjected to heavy doze of propaganda have no way to understand that. Which inevitably leads to cognitive dissonance on a national scale.
They used the existence of two oligarchic clans in Ukraine as a wedge. One competing clan of oligarchs that is favored by the West, in this case it was alliance of Dnepropetrovsk clan and Yushchenko "luybi druzy" far right nationalists forces. Together with Western logistical support and money they manage easily, without major fight, to overthrown the "corrupt regime" -- another oligarch clan -- in this case Donetsk clan). the pressure of West about the possibility of confiscating Yanukovich family and Donetsk oligarch clan money in case they "misbehave" was probably was of the reasons law enforcement was demonized and betrayed and was unable to defend the constitution. The legacy of Yushchenko rule during which Western special services were in control of puppet Ukrainian security services was probably the secondary reason. They were not cleaned by Yanukovich who himself was a pro-western politician.
Far right groups from Western Ukraine reinforced with hired far right groups from major cities and first of all football fanatics were used as street soldiers. Large percentage of those "graduators of nonviolent struggle" were delivered by buses from Galicia and other Western Ukrainian cities (were unemployment was/is rampant). Volyn and Ivano-Frankovsk provinces were also active in supplied the foot solders. Among them was a small proportion of well trained by the West in camp in Estonia and Poland and well equipped far right militants.
Most of protesters were paid "per night" (around $20-35 for a "regular" protester; for armed militant) in cash delivered via diplomatic mail by Western embassies and NGO (which also served as command centers) using typical for color revolution "bombing with dollars" scenario (US and EU Are Paying Ukrainian Rioters and Protesters)
..."My wife, who is of Ukrainian nationality, has weekly contact to her parents and friends in Zhytomyr [NW Ukraine]. According to them, most protesters get an average payment of 200-300 grivna, corresponding to about 15-25 euro. As I additionally heard, one of the most active agencies and 'payment outlets' on EU side is the German ‘Konrad Adenauer Stiftung’, being closely connected to the CDU, i.e. Mrs. Merkel's party."
... ... ...
Of course, not all of the protesters are paid. There are plenty of gullible dupes in the streets who think they are protesting Ukraine government corruption.
Complete dominance of neoliberal agenda in TV and media was another important fact in color revolution success. This dominance served much like air superiority in regular war.
Plunder of Ukraine by "neoliberal dictatorship" installed followed shortly after the coup d'état and people standard of living already start dropping and will drop further. In essence, Ukraine was forced into Greece variant of repayment of foreign loans (aka austerity, with 60% of youth unemployed). As a result of EuroMaidan the power was obtained by already well known shadow characters form Batkivshchina, neoliberal puppets of financial oligarchy, who could never come to power via honest elections, but who will guarantee repayment of all IMF loans in full. People be dammed.
In short this was a successful attempt to reinstall regime of "lyubi druzi" by the darling of
former IMF protégé Viktor Yushchenko. Yushchenko policies were essentially identical to policies
of the current junta – full delegation of the control of the financial system of the country to
the IMF, privatization of state assets (with energy companies going to US firms); the outlawing
of Russian language; the promotion of Ukraine’s entry into NATO; removal of the Russian fleet from
Crimea (see sponsors of
Arseniy Yatsenyuk Foundation). In short making Ukraine another impoverished EU provides similar
to Bulgaria and Romania
People protested the evil and corrupt regime of Yanukovich totally voluntarily and peacefully. And people won because democracy is just such a great, irresistible idea and because they wanted associate with EU so much the they spend three month in winter cold on the square. The fact that over a hundred protesters and two dozens of policemen were killed and hundreds more injured is just accidental and does not reflect truly peaceful character of protests. After all, most of victims were, of course, victims of police brutality.
Evil Russian regime wants to destabilizes Ukraine which does not pay for the gas because it really should not: it's Russia duty to subsidize Ukraine economy to the tune of several billions a year so that EU can reap some benefits from the association agreements, getting new markets for German goods, US energy companies and transnational financial oligarchy.
And this evil Russian Regime should be punished with sanctions until it get in like with the demands of the USA and give EU free hand to plunder Ukraine by destroying Eastern and Southern industrial base. .
Here is one thoughtful comment from The Guardian
All the anti-Russian propaganda in the world will not change the simple fact that the West has caused this crisis.
The EU and US supported the toppling the democratically elected government and gave their backing to a right-wing anti-Russian regime that does not represent the Russian-leaning Eastern Ukrainians. It was predictable that Eastern Ukraine would not recognise the legitimacy of this regime. If the West was not so desperate to force Ukraine to choose between Russia and the West, this would never have happened. Why does everything have to be good guys versus bad guys for our fanatic politicians.
The idea of signing association agreement between Ukraine and EU was not bad per se. The devil was in details. What was bad is that EU politicians proved to be too greedy and incompetent and refused to give Ukraine which was on the verge of bankruptcy 15 billion of low interest loads or better create a Marshall plan for Ukraine, which was already devastated by previous three oligarchic governments, especially by "lyubi druzi" government of Yushchenko who raise external debt for Ukraine from 20 billions to 120 billions in six years making Ukraine a typical debt slave nation (aka fully neoliberalized nation).
Without Marshall plan this was just another neoliberal "Drang nach Osten" -- attempt to get Eastern markets for Germany goods at the expense of Russia and Ukrainian people. In the latter version it should be resisted and Yanukovich did the right thing by refusing to sign the agreement. The problem was that being a Western stooge himself he relentlessly agitated for it all first three years of his rule.
Also without Foreign Agents Registration Act enacted and strong control of Western Embassies and NGO Ukraine was a basket case for color revolution. EuroMaidan was a premature implementation of the color revolution initially planned for 2015 Presidential elections. And this still raw plan was put into action with some details finalized in the course of actions. After it went into full swing in three months "graduators of non-violent struggle" toppled the Yanukovich government with relatively modest expenses from Western donors.
In a deeply split country like Ukraine such revolution is trivial thing to launch. Neoliberalism has failed the vast majority of Ukraine's people and the level of discontent with Yanukovich regime was high. That fact was skillfully exploited. But consequences proved to be somewhat different from what Washington Obcom (that's how USA embassy is called in Kiev) expected. And now with Crimea lost, Eastern regions in trouble and economics is deep recession Western sponsors of EuroMaidan have buyer remorse.
And amazing fact is that MSM don't care one bit if their "reporting" the next day or week is collapsing under its own weight, or out of sheer absurdity. That does not mean that MSM foreign correspondents went a little bit too far trying to blend with the crowd and are completely drunk all the time to the extent that they don't understand what they are doing/writing. They are sober and at least some of them are quite intelligent and know Russia and Ukraine (as well as Russian language) well enough to see events as they are. Two examples are Shaun Walker (Guardian) and Sergei L. Loiko (LaTimes). Both know Russian well (Sergei is a native speaker). But both write what Washington Obcom wants and in this sense for most of their reports they could save trouble traveling to Ukraine and can well write the same articles from London or Los Angeles watching a couple of videos on YouTube in the comfort of their homes.
Again, I selected the materials to illuminate a viewpoint that is deliberately suppressed in MSM: that EuroMaidan is just another color revolution (with elements of Arab Spring and Galicia as Ukrainian Benghazi) orchestrated from outside the country. IMHO the protest is launched by those dissatisfied with the authorities, corruption, and low living standards.
|I selected the materials to illuminate a viewpoint that is deliberately suppressed in MSM: that EuroMaidan is just another color revolution (with elements of Arab Spring such as Galicia -- Ukrainian Benghazi) orchestrated from outside the country.|
But very quickly (almost instantly) it was high jacked and reoriented on task of taking power from Yanukovich government using armed coup and installing far right government with elements of death squads (Ukrainian oligarch offers bounty for capture of Russian 'saboteurs'). The role of fifth column was played by party brass of Batkivshchina (the party of oligarch Timoshenko, the notorious Gas Princess) which already has the same plan of coup d'état for election year in preparation and has Western consultants and support secured. Sensing a possibility to speed up events they rushed to implement it using fake "Euro-Integration issue" instead of "stolen elections" with some elements of improvisation.
Batkivshchina also fraternized and served as organizing force for far right militants from Right Sector (and 17 million dollars confiscated by SBU from their Kiev office is a proof) closely coordinating actions with US embassy (neo-Nazi were probably too dirty public to be contacted directly). What is funny, the initial protest, essentially, was based on fake information: for Ukrainians, "EU" is not the actual European Union with its segregation into old and new states. It is a "Dreamland" and possibility of getting free visa to "Dreamland" (which is also a pipe dream) as one can understand is valued very highly. On the other hand such a belief is less strange then the delusion of 47% of Americans who think that the Earth was created 6000 years ago with Kentucky Creation Museum as a "proof" that dinosaurs used to live side by side with humans .
Popular misunderstanding (or propaganda lie, if you wish) is that EuroMaidan event were driven by popular revolt against non-signing of the association agreement by Yanukovich. It is true that in mind of many Western Ukrainians this agreement was falsely associated with free visa regime with Western Europe (were many gastarbeiters from Western Ukraine work). In reality this is the situation Western Europe is very afraid of, and that was never included in the actual agreement. But in order to convert this fantasy into mass protest which took the life of its own it was provided with huge financial and organizational support by Washington Obcom. That include both militant part of EuroMaidan and student part of EuroMaidan crowd (students were essentially send to the event by university authorities and provided with the some pocket money -- $20-$35 a day was the usual tax). The part was supplied by Ukrainian far right paramilitary groups (Right Sector) by-and-large consisted of "fighters for the idea" and this idea has nothing to do with EU integration.
Initial couple of weeks protesters consisted mainly of brainwashed by pro-Western MSM students who wanted to believe (with some help of pocket money provided for their "support of noble cause") this myth of a life governed by the rule of law in EU, while in reality they impose on themselves a rule of neoliberal compradors (in some way more corrupt and definitely more brutal then Yanukovich government) selling everything to the Western multinationals for pennies on dollar. They protested for EU-integration because for them EU was a symbol of the hope of a better, more dignified life. Also Western Ukrainians see the EU as a ‘savior’ from their current hardships and low standard of living. They fail to recognize that they seeing remnants of a ‘Social Contract of Europe’ that by-and-large has been sacrificed on the alter of neoliberalism. In short, longing for EU is a longing for a phantom that no longer exists.
After a couple of week a trigger event was staged (brutal dispersal of Maidan crowd by Berkut (Ukrainian riot police squad) in November, organized with the help of some agents of influence within Yanukovich government; many point Levchenko role in this event). At this point the energy of the protest was skillfully hijacked by prepared cadre of Western Ukrainian extremists (a mixture of neofascist ("Ukraine uber alles" types), ultranationalists ("Ukrainian language absolutists" and old PORA and Patriots of Ukraine militants with Andriy Parubiy becoming de-facto leader of military squads on Maidan) and plain vanilla nationalists from Batkivshchina (which very quickly fraternized with neo-Nazi elements). From this point it has nothing to do with Eurointergation and was directed on toppling the government with strong, decisive support by at least three foreign powers (the USA, Poland and Sweden). Lithuania also played some, secondary, role. As Ray McGovern's noted (Who Is Provoking the Unrest in Ukraine 26:25).
"If you look at Bahrain, you know, if you look at Syria -- even Egypt, to an extent -- these were initially popular uprisings. The question is: Who took them over? Who spurred them? Who provoked them even more for their own particular strategic interests? And it's very clear what's happened to the Ukraine. It used to be the CIA doing these things. I know that for a fact. OK, now it's the National Endowment for Democracy, a hundred million bucks, 62 projects in the Ukraine. So, again, you don't have to be a paranoid Russian to suggest that, you know, they're really trying to do what they -- do in the Ukraine what they've done in the rest of Eastern Europe and elsewhere."
That means that the sad truth is that the participants of EuroMaidan are just pawns in a bigger geopolitical game.
|"If you look at Bahrain, you know, if you look at Syria -- even Egypt, to an extent
-- these were initially popular uprisings. The question is: Who took them over? Who spurred
them? Who provoked them even more for their own particular strategic interests? And it's very
clear what's happened to the Ukraine. It used to be the CIA doing these things. I know that
for a fact.
OK, now it's the National Endowment for Democracy, a hundred million bucks, 62 projects in the Ukraine. So, again, you don't have to be a paranoid Russian to suggest that, you know, they're really trying to do what they -- do in the Ukraine what they've done in the rest of Eastern Europe and elsewhere."
As a result of coup data of February 22 the legitimate albeit corrupt and inept president was overthrown by force and armed detachments of nationalists occupied Kiev. This way moderately nationalist Batkivshchina party illegally got to power (and they have slim changed to get to power legally, so this was their best chance) in alliance with ultranationalist Svoboda Party and installed by the Provisional government.
Which, of course, was instantly recognized as a legitimate government by the USA and its allies. So events very closely followed the scenario of Orange Revolution (they just no longer needed any elections to declare them illegitimate). While events of EuroMaidan were not completely pre-panned they followed common scenario of color revolutions and well very well financed (just in one raid SBU confiscated 17 million dollars in cash from Kiev office of Batkivshchina Party). In this sense deep analogies between EuroMaidan and Orange Revolution strongly suggest existence of a common puppeteer.
But here analogy ended. Eastern Ukraine now does not wants to suffer under Western Ukraine nationalists oppression (cultural and political) any longer. 23 yeas was enough. So event, which got the name "Russian Spring" started. In other words the second "Broun-Orange" revolution deeply destabilized already fragile civil society in Ukraine. This is a side effect which puppetries from Washington Obcom had not foreseen. As one Guardian commenter observed
...The protesters wanted to get rid of kleptocrats, but only managed to usher a different set of kleptocrats into power, the price being completely alienating huge chunks of the country.
Both Maidan protesters and pro-Russian Crimeans have essentially the same goals - better lives for themselves. The system in Ukraine being what it is, they can only see them being accomplished through external agencies. Both EU and Russia can be legitimately seen as conducive to these goals, but neither option is immune to critique. Russia does pour a lot of money into Ukraine, which is unfortunately squandered on corruption. EU represents a model of more responsible governance, but increasingly accepts undemocratic and incompetent regimes as allies if they only pay lip-service to European values, Ukraine and Serbia being examples. Pretending that there are easy answers and morally unblemished options in the current conflict makes a satisfactory resolution more unlikely.
|"Early in life I had
n our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics.' All issues are political issues,
and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia."
I thin Jefferson’s observation from 1807 -- "he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods" now rings more true then ever. Looks like victims of dominant neoliberal propaganda machine (far more powerful that in Communist dictatorship) are completely brainwashed to the extent that even creator of 1984 could not suspect.
Attempts to counter MSM neoliberal propaganda are rare and so far are limited to conservative camp including such outlets as Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, and The American Conservative, Antiwar.com and several similar Web sites (see Recommended links). And its important to read those sources for the same reason Voice of America and BBC radio stations were important in the USSR (and both were listened by a large percentage of Soviet citizens secretly at night despite jamming to get a "second opinion" on events in the country and the world ). You need the source of the second opinion about Ukrainian events of you lost any trust in MSM too. See also recommendation how to resist propaganda brainwashing in MSM Propaganda: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few
Still it goes without saying that Western coverage is so amazingly one-sided that it, by mere fact of its existence, creates a strong negative reaction for any person with above average IQ. Effect very similar to effects of Soviet propaganda. But anger at those "presstitutes" (aka journalists without conscience) who pretend reporting about event, while in reality creating artificial reality of lies and omissions is not constructive. Reading and supporting alternative media is.
Here is one interesting characterization of Western propaganda from LA Times reader (Ukraine crisis upends West's view of Russian President Vladimir Putin)
@John Brown3 - I have no ties to Ukraine or Russia yet I see that many in US are getting SICK of BS and foreign owned, lap-dog media propaganda and smear campaign against Russia. If we were in his skin we would to the same if not worst.
All the self-righteous huffing and puffing in Washington over Ukraine jars on European and especially Russian ears after the multiple U.S.-led invasions and interventions in other people's countries of recent years. It's difficult to say what is more astonishing: the double standards exhibited by the White House, or the apparent total lack of self-awareness of U.S. officials.
Secretary of State John Kerry risked utter ridicule when he declared it unacceptable to invade another country on a "completely trumped-up pretext," or just because you don't like its current leadership. Iraq in 2003 springs instantly to mind. This is exactly what George W. Bush and Tony Blair did when they "trumped up" the supposed threat posed by the hated Saddam Hussein's fabled weapons of mass destruction
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 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 -- and first of Galicia -- 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.
Wikipedia has a detailed timeline: Timeline of the EuroMaidan (albeit State Department approved version ;-). Among key events of EuroMaidan were
There are also few analysts who seems are able to see events in more realistic (from my standpoint) way. Among them:
I am indebted to those and many considerations below are not mine own but are direct derivatives of materials written by them. In a way they shaped my thinking about the subject. Errors, of course, are all mine. Actually with some effort one can extract bits of useful information even from propagandist materials published by Western MSM (see Some recommendations for resistance to propaganda brainwashing ). In no way I can be considered a specialist in Ukraine. just a compiler of printed by other materials.
So I would like to repeat again that is a very limited, modest attempt to compile some alternative views on Ukrainian crisis, but this is compilation performed without any deep understanding of the subject. Dilettantism, if you wish. Also any such page suffers from confirmation bias and can degenerate from analytics to counter-propaganda.
|Any such page suffers from confirmation bias and can degenerate from analytics to counter-propaganda.|
Without being "on the floor" it is very difficult to access the situation as neither YouTube videos, no local press reports provide enough context to judge the mood of the people and real significance of particular event and to distinguish were there is an important event and where it is a staged provocation or deliberate attempt to amplify the event in the MSM to support particular point of view. I can read the language, but I can't claim any deep understanding of the political processes in this country, which suffered under neoliberal occupation for the last 23 year (and before that under communist regime). In no way it was ever independent. Just instead of Moscow they were governed by Washington Obcom.
Unfortunately only three letter agencies have all the facilities to access the situation as they have access to press channels (foreign correspondents are often just a cover for members of those agencies or at least play dual role), intercepted communications (hello NSA) and information on the ground from the embassy and paid informers.
Still a honest attempt is better then no attempt. You are warned...
|"The three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion
and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected,
and to keep the barbarians from coming together."
Zbigniew Brzezinski (The Grand Chessboard p.40)
They who are in the sinking scale...do not easily come off from the habitual prejudices of superior wealth, or power, or skill, or courage, nor from the confidence that these prejudices inspire.
Lord Bolingbroke. Quote from Aaron L. Friedberg's The Weary Titan: Britain and the Experience of Relative
Geopolitically this was a brazen, reckless attempt by EU and the USA to ignore Russia and decide the Ukraine destiny by themselves. After the dissolution of the USSR (which actually is a warning sign for the US empire too), US elite has distinct "suck-it-up loser" attitude toward Russia. The same was true for EU. Main actors in European commission totally lack any strategic vision and like in Yugoslavia failed to see consequences of their actions.
Those reckless politicians, and first of all Polish, swedish and Lythnuania politicians, tries to capitalize on power of EU+USA alliance and weakened Russia to grab Ukraine as a new market for EU. But Russia still remains a strong regional power with tremendous connections to Ukrainian people and Ukrainian political establishment. As a result those "murderous EU clowns" as they were called destroyed Ukraine, unleashing a civil war between Western Ukraine and South East(see Radoslaw Sikorski -- a well-educated twat as he was called) . They also unleashed Ukrainian neo-fascists who were instrumental in overthrowing Yanukovich government, which until recently were limited to Lviv and couple of other provinces on the national scene, creating dead squads out of them to terrorize South East population. EuroMaidan Sharp-shooters and Odessa Massacre of May 2, 2014 and other horrific crime quickly followed. At the end EU completely lost control of the process and Nuland and Co picked it up with more radical anti-Russian agenda. Extraordinary campaign of ling from Washing followed, the lies campaign that approached height of Soviet propaganda. See FEEM Lecture by Anatol Lieven, King's College London The Ukraine Debacle
But for the USA the game is more complex and here we need to remeber "F*ck the EU" remand of Victoria Nuland. It is more like "divide and conque" policy, an attempt to weaken both EU and Russia
For any rational observer it is unclear why Ukraine, which was already firmly in neoliberal camp and became subservient to the West "debt slave" years ago, became such a hot target for EU and the USA. It was a perfect neoliberal vassal. Khodorkovsky dream came true with two mafia like oligarch clans which constantly fight for power (aka neoliberal democracy).
Actually installation of junta via color revolution reminds me the methods of installing pro-Communist government in Eastern Europe practiced by the USSR leadership. So the reasons for EuroMaidan and subsequent coupe d'état that removed Yanukovich from power were external, although they were able to capitalize on general discontent about the corruption of authorities typical for any neoliberal republic. In other words the USA and EU behaved like Wolves in Aesop's Fables
A wolf came upon a lamb straying from the flock, and felt some compunction about taking the life of so helpless a creature without some plausible excuse. So he cast about for a grievance and said at last, "Last year, sirrah, you grossly insulted me." "That is impossible, sir," bleated the lamb, "for I wasn't born then." "Well," retorted the wolf, "you feed in my pastures." "That cannot be," replied the lamb, "for I have never yet tasted grass." "You drink from my spring, then," continued the wolf. "Indeed, sir," said the poor lamb, "I have never yet drunk anything but my mother's milk." "Well, anyhow," said the wolf, "I'm not going without my dinner." And he sprang upon the lamb and devoured it without more ado.
What makes Ukraine analogy with a lamp from the fable so dangerous is that both the USA and EU exaggerated the level of their commitment to Ukraine, underestimate that of their opponents (and while since dissolution of the USSR Russia was very weakened, it still has influence in the xUSSR region that Nuland to her surprise have found recently), and then overplayed their hands (See Nulandgate) by launching yet another color revolution, then accepting as legitimate a puppet government in Kiev (installed on and supported by solely by the bayonets of far right militias.) and then losing control over the events.
As a result the US and EU irresponsibly destabilized an important European country. Now they will pay the price, although the main price, as always in such cases, will be paid by Ukrainian people. Fables aside, USA is now far better off in this mess then pathetic EU politicians. They at least succeeded in the goal of wreaking the EU.
There are several plausible versions of the course of actions chosen by the USA and EU:
Hundred years ago WWI was a tragedy, the Ukraine crisis is just a farce. The real problem today is the ignorant, narcissistic and lazy generation of Western leaders who are aggressively conformist in their views and unable to think things through.
We get what is an almost 100% agreement on the neo-liberal economic policies, [which] are the neo-conservative foreign policies. There has been a mindless revival of all the worst aspects of the West: late 19th century Victorian like "winner"-take-all economies and "human rights spreading" imperial policies. At least 100 years ago there wasn't the incredible hypocrisy. Today the likes of Hague, Kerry, Holland,.... are so unable to generate a fresh thought, they are so beholden to the dominant elite narrative, that are able to lie like little children caught stealing.
Media is also much worse. Whether it is a reflection of their irrelevance, their existential struggles, or the same ignorant self-righteousness that has conquered the rest of the Western elites, they are simply a bullhorn for their government policies. Scared, predictable, one-sided. Half a story reporting is really not reporting, anyone can do half-story. Actually even Nazis or communists covered their half of the story adequately. It is the full story that real journalism should be about. How did Western media simply abandoned their own proud standards?
The Ukraine crisis reverberating across Europe recalls 1914 before the outbreak of World War I as Russia, the U.S. and European governments risk sleepwalking into conflict, said former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt.
Essentially like in USSR the USA people serve as host for hostile to them elite. In this sense the USA are occupied country and unfortunately named "Occupy Wall Street" movement should be renamed "American national liberation movement" ;-)
There is no question that the US elite bases its policies on a relentless drive for greater power and tries to check the power of potentially rival nations. Some researchers such as John Mearsheimers say that this is the nature of great power politics and other countries such as China and Russia behave in a similar way. Still the US foreign policy is probably more sociopathic then its rivals and it behave in the classic dog-eat-dog style on international arena. Human rights, ideology, and peace considerations are secondary at best. Like in any other mature empire the USA foreign policy is directly detrimental to the long term interests of the American people.
I think neither USA government not EU government were acting in the national interests of their respective states in this case. Like previously with national socialists of Germany, they acted in the interest of large corporations only playing a very dangerous game of supporting Ukrainian far-right groups (nationalinterest.org) in a hope of creating a bitter and quite totalitarian enemy of Russia at the Russian doorsteps. Odessa Massacre of May 2, 2014, Mariupol, May 9 events, Lugansk air bombardment of civilian targets and other crime by Junta logically followed.
A very interesting way of promoting democracy. EU also is far from innocent victim of the US policy, it has viciousness of its own origin:
It is generally accepted that the EU (in a mode splendidly described by one commentator as of "impotent megalomania") precipitated matters by blundering into the most sensitive part of Russia's backyard without seriously asking itself how it might react. This was not an isolated error but the culmination of 20 years of the west simply not taking Russia seriously, most notably with the Kosovo war and the expansion of Nato. When Russia did react in the (legally indefensible, but historically understandable) form of annexing Crimea and destabilising east Ukraine, the western view then swung 180 degrees to focusing on the need to "contain" a revanchist Russia intent on rebuilding the Soviet Union.
I think the most plausible hypothesis is to view EuroMaidan primarily as yet another USA-financed and organized color revolution directed at the expansion of its power in xUSSR space and simultaneously containing Russia, and wreaking EU. The EU politicians were simply used. That rises several key questions. Among them:
Nato's military encirclement has accelerated, along with US-orchestrated attacks on ethnic Russians in Ukraine. If Putin can be provoked into coming to their aid, his pre-ordained "pariah" role will justify a Nato-run guerrilla war that is likely to spill into Russia itself.
...Like the ruins of Iraq and Afghanistan, Ukraine has been turned into a CIA theme park
...A popular truism is that "the world changed" following 9/11. But what has changed? According to the great whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, a silent coup has taken place in Washington and rampant militarism now rules. The Pentagon currently runs "special operations" – secret wars – in 124 countries. At home, rising poverty and a loss of liberty are the historic corollary of a perpetual war state. Add the risk of nuclear war, and the question is: why do we tolerate this?
There was also one very interesting comment to the article: Beckow -> NOTaREALmerican 13 May 2014 10:20pm
US government means well, after all they say so all the time. The scary thing is that they are - most of them - probably quite sincere in this narcissistic delusion. The elites in Washington are not as much evil (there is a bit of that), as they completely lack experience. They misunderstand history, they live in clichés, they like to argue with slogans. So "bombing" other people for freedom are just words they throw around. Any rival is always demonized, any lie will do.
The media mostly acts to elaborate on existing stereotypes, otherwise people simply couldn't grasp what is going on. It is the lazy leading the ignorant. As long as the good fortune and wealth lasts, it is an amusing spectacle. But what if one day the goodies are gone?
These elites lack real experiences with life. Their education is based on simplistic good-bad formulas, with a heavy doses of myths. Their understanding of other people's history is dismal. They think WWII was won by US invasion of Normandy and fought over Holocaust. They don't get other people because they simply don't get complexity, nuance, local histories. They still don't understand the concept of "ethnic" identity. So they break stuff and retreat to their ignorance.
There is also the acquisitive angle: give us your resources, buy our stuff, borrow and pay us back, after all US is primarily a business. There are too many around the world who dream of getting something from the benevolent Americans, and some do. Enough to keep this latter day cargo cult going. In Ukraine this mindless US approach hit a wall, so they are angry. When people with no real experiences and a great sense of self-worth and entitlement get angry, it can be scary. But I still think at the end they will pull back, they have a short attention span and there are other, easier places to liberate and plunder.
Of course the "fog of war" prevents answering those questions in full now. The real drivers of EuroMaidan might became more clear in 10 or 20 years from now. For example we now know much more about previous color revolution in Ukraine, so called Orange Revolution, the USA role in it. Nobody views it as a revolt against unfair elections anymore. But still we can try to distill some information from available sources now, although it is easy to make mistakes and suffer from confirmation bias.
Still available facts strongly suggest that the key geopolitical goal and meaning of EuroMaidan as yet another color revolution is containing Russia. This is one area were EU goals and the US foreign policy goals strongly correlate. As Guardian stated (US campaign behind the turmoil in Kiev, Guardian, Nov 25, 2004):
“…while the gains of the orange-bedecked ‘chestnut revolution’ are Ukraine’s, the campaign is an American creation, a sophisticated and brilliantly conceived exercise in western branding and mass marketing that, in four countries in four years, has been used to try to salvage rigged elections and topple unsavoury regimes.”
“Funded and organised by the US government, deploying US consultancies, pollsters, diplomats, the two big American parties and US non-government organisations, the campaign was first used in Europe in Belgrade in 2000 to beat Slobodan Milosevic at the ballot box.”
MSM try to hide the fact that this is a essence an overt repeat or a second chapter of the so-called “Orange Revolution”. The addition of snipers (see To whom EuroMaidan Sharp-shooters belong?) and armed militants violence had shown that lessons of Arab spring were well learned by Washington obcom (this how locals call the US Embassy in Kiev), but the key scheme of the color revolution remains the same. A new element in EuroMaidan was larger role played far right groups and organizations of Neo-Nazi militants in topping the government of President Yanukovich. But strong alliance between neo-fascist elements and neo-liberals is nothing new: it exists since the days of Pinochet.
The constitution of the opposition that has since seized power and is occupying the Ukrainian capital city of Kiev is a mixture of neoliberal fifth column and far-right -- essentially a variation of Yushchenko government and key figures known from their role in this government (for example Turchinov played key role in Orange Revolution as well).
As typical for neoliberal enslavement of the country Western interests are served via the IMF’s loads, not via Western occupation of the territory. In any case the goal is to impose austerity upon the population.
Despite the West’s best attempts to bolster the legitimacy of the regime, including visits from both the US vice president himself and the CIA director, the uprisings have spread and intensified.
One side effect of the “Orange Revolution” was dramatic rise of Western Ukrainians (Galician flavor) of Ukrainian nationalism. This policy was continued by President Yanukovich and was one reason of his demise when the forces he tried to support to counterbalance Timoshenko from the right went out of control. Tiger that he fed eat him alive.
In this story the EU played the role of puppet. That includes Germany, France, Sweden as well as usual suspects Poland and Lithuania. The whole story of the EU since the Maastricht Treaty and the establishment of the Euro was about neoliberal conversion similar to the USA conversion. And this conversion destroyed standard of living across southern Europe. Now the Southern Europe have had enough and are going to send nationalists to the European Parliament (The Guardian, May 14, 2014):
In France, Denmark and Finland, rightwing nationalist and racist parties are set to win more than 20% of the vote – with Geert Wilders' Muslim-baiting Freedom party not far behind in the Netherlands. So is the virulently anti-Roma and antisemitic Jobbik in Hungary, while the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party in Greece is on the way to winning its first Euro seats.In France, Denmark and Finland, rightwing nationalist and racist parties are set to win more than 20% of the vote – with Geert Wilders' Muslim-baiting Freedom party not far behind in the Netherlands. So is the virulently anti-Roma and antisemitic Jobbik in Hungary, while the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party in Greece is on the way to winning its first Euro seats.
... ... ...
The result is a system that has given a failed economic model the force of treaty, entrenching deregulation and privatisation while corporate power is privileged over employment and social rights. It's an approach being played out in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership deal being negotiated between the EU and US – that would allow companies to bypass the courts to enforce business-drafted regulations over elected public authorities.
The result has been an erosion of the modest social protections built into the single market: growing restrictions on public intervention and investment in the name of competition, and the exploitation of migrant workers to undercut existing employees in the name of free movement of services.
After destroying Southern Europe, EU needs new market and that's why it was attracted to Ukraine in the first place.
Robert W. Merry is the political editor of -> The National Interest and the author of books on American history and foreign policy. His most recent book is -> Where They Stand: The American Presidents in the Eyes of Voters and Historians. gave a good introduction into the topic in his article Ukraine and Latvia Welcome to The Clash of Civilizations (The National Interest, May 10, 2014). He pointed the USA and EU behave in this inherently fragile country like elephants in China store:
Realists who have advocated a cautious and measured approach to NATO expansion and, more recently, to events in Ukraine, have been attacked by neoconservatives and Wilsonian liberals as weak agents of appeasement. But these neocons and Wilsonians are dangerous, because they ignore distinctions based on culture. Indeed, they generally dismiss culture as irrelevant, except the Western culture, which they wish to spread throughout the world. That is the outlook that has generated so much havoc since the end of the Cold War, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, Syria—and now in the border regions of Europe, where the dangers are much more ominous.
Hence, it isn’t surprising that neocon and Wilsonian commentators and officials can’t see a distinction between Ukraine and Latvia. In their view, both should be bathed in the glow of Western attitudes and Western institutions. Yet, an analysis of the two nations’ history and cultural currents can lead to an understanding of the geopolitical realities along the fault line between the West and Russia and the proper approach to U.S. foreign policy in the region. Let’s begin with Ukraine.
When the United States and the European Union adopted a policy of NATO expansion, without regard to cultural boundaries (the so-called Open Door policy), it set in motion a confrontation between the U.S.-led West and the Russian-led Orthodox civilization. Particularly combustible was Ukraine, a nation that is split down the middle between a Western half (nationalist in outlook, oriented toward the West and toward the Uniate Church, which practices Orthodox rites but acknowledges the authority of the Pope) and an Orthodox half (adherents of Eastern Christianity and oriented toward Russia). This is a nation with two separate cultures, two religions, two heritage concepts. As such it is intrinsically a flash point nation, as we’re seeing in the current crisis.
... ... ...
As Huntington pointed out, “Cleft countries that territorially bestride the fault lines between civilizations face particular problems maintaining their unity.” That describes Ukraine precisely. It is a tragically split nation facing both ways in frontier territory between the Western and Orthodox civilizations.
It was never going to be easy maintaining an equilibrium in that country, but it would have been best if that effort had been carried out under Russian auspices, given Ukraine’s large Orthodox population
and its centuries-long position within Russia’s sphere of interest. It was inevitable that the effort would be marked from time to time by corruption and violence, as indeed it has been, but those things
are endemic in the region and ultimately the Ukrainians must make their way through their own tragic circumstances.
That’s why Western meddling in the country was so unfortunate. The United States has spent a reported $5 billion in “democracy promotion” in Ukraine, designed to leverage the Western-leaning populations to lure the country away from Russian influence. In concert with Europe, it dangled the idea of Ukraine’s inclusion in NATO, an incendiary concept to Russian sensibilities and Russian interests. When Russia responded as any nation would (including the United States), moving to protects its vital strategic interests in its immediate neighborhood, the neocons and Wilsonians waxed bellicose, as if the problem was Russian aggression and the solution was for America to employ “get tough” policies
Here is the analysis of Alastair Crooke, a former MI-6 honcho and diplomat (Conflicts Forum’s Weekly Comment 25 April – 2 May 2014 Conflicts Forum):
Following five days in Moscow, a few thoughts on Russian perspectives: Firstly, we are beyond the Crimea. That is over. We too are beyond ‘loose’ federalism for Ukraine (no longer thought politically viable). Indeed, we are most likely beyond Ukraine as a single entity. Also, we are beyond either Kiev or Moscow having the capacity to ‘control’ events (in the wider sense of the word): both are hostage to events (as well as are Europe and America), and to any provocations mounted by a multitude of uncontrollable and violent activists.
In gist, the dynamics towards some sort of secession of East Ukraine (either in part, or in successive increments) is thought to be the almost inevitable outcome. The question most informed commentators in Moscow ask themselves is whether this will occur with relatively less or relatively more violence – and whether that violence will reach such a level (massacres of ethnic Russians or of the pro-Russian community) that President Putin will feel that he has no option but to intervene. We are nowhere near that point at the time of writing: Kiev’s ‘security initiatives’ have been strikingly ineffective, and casualties surprisingly small (given the tensions). It seems that the Ukrainian military is unwilling, or unable (or both of these), to crush a rebellion composed only of a few hundred armed men backed by a few thousand unarmed civilians — but that of course may change at any moment. (One explanation circulating on Russian internet circles is that pro-Russian insurgents and the Ukrainian servicemen simply will not shoot at each other - even when given the order to do so. Furthermore, they appear to be in direct and regular contact with each other and there is an informal understanding that neither side will fire at the other. Note — we have witnessed similar understandings in Afghanistan in the 1980s between the Soviet armed forces and the Mujahidin.)
And this the point, most of those with whom we spoke suspect that it is the interest of certain components of the American foreign policy establishment (but not necessarily that of the US President) to provoke just such a situation: a forced Russian intervention in East Ukraine (in order to protect its nationals there from violence or disorder or both). It is also thought that Russian intervention could be seen to hold political advantage to the beleaguered and fading acting government in Kiev. And further, it is believed that some former Soviet Republics, now lying at the frontline of the EU’s interface with Russia, will see poking Moscow in the eye as a settling of past scores, as well as underscoring their standing in Brussels and Washington for having brought ‘democracy’ to eastern Europe.
There seems absolutely no appetite in Moscow to intervene in Ukraine (and this is common to all shades of political opinion). Everyone understands Ukraine to be a vipers’ nest, and additionally knows it to be a vast economic ‘black hole’. But … you can scarcely meet anyone in Moscow who does not have relatives in Ukraine. This is not Libya; East Ukraine is family. Beyond some certain point, if the dynamic for separation persists, and if the situation on the ground gets very messy, some sort of Russian intervention may become unavoidable (just as Mrs Thatcher found it impossible to resist pressures to intervene in support of British ‘kith and kin’ in the Falklands). Moscow well understands that such a move will unleash another western outpouring of outrage.
More broadly then, we are moving too beyond the post-Cold War global dispensation, or unipolar moment. We are not heading – at least from the Russian perspective, as far as can be judged – towards a new Cold War, but to a period of increased Russian antagonism towards any western move that it judges hostile to its key interests – and especially to those that are seen to threaten its security interests. In this sense, a Cold War is not inevitable. Russia has made, for example, no antagonistic moves in Iran, in Syria or in Afghanistan. Putin has been at some pains to underline that whereas – from now – Russia will pursue its vital interests unhesitatingly, and in the face of any western pressures, on other non-existential issues, it is still open to diplomatic business as usual.
That said, and to just to be clear, there is deep disillusion with European (and American) diplomacy in Moscow. No one holds out any real prospect for diplomacy – given the recent history of breaches of faith (broken agreements) in Ukraine. No doubt these sentiments are mirrored in western capitals, but the atmosphere in Moscow is hardening, and hardening visibly. Even the ‘pro-Atlanticist’ component in Russia senses that Europe will not prove able to de-escalate the situation. They are both disappointed, and bitter at their political eclipse in the new mood that is contemporary Russia, where the ‘recovery of sovereignty’ current prevails.
Thus, the era of Gorbachevian hope of some sort of parity of esteem (even partnership) emerging between Russia and the western powers, in the wake of the conclusion to the Cold War, has imploded – with finality. To understand this is to reflect on the way the Cold War was brought to and end; and how that ending, and its aftermath, was managed. In retrospect, the post-war era was not well handled by the US, and there exist irreconcilable narratives on the subject of the nature of the so-called ‘defeat’ itself, and whether it was a defeat for Russia at all.
Be that as it may, the Russian people have been treated as if they were psychologically-seared and defeated in the Cold War – as were the Japanese in the wake of the dropping of the nuclear bombs by the US in 1945. Russia was granted a bare paucity of esteem in the Cold War’s wake; instead Russians experienced rather the disdain of victors for the defeated visited upon them. There was little or any attempt at including Russia in a company of the nations of equals – as many Russians had hoped. Few too would contest that the economic measures forced on Russia in the war’s aftermath brought anything other than misery to most Russians. However unlike 1945, most Russians never felt defeated, and some felt then – and still feel – just betrayed. Whatever the verdict of history on how much the Cold War truly was a defeat, the aftermath of it has given rise to a Versailles Treaty-type of popular resentment at the consequences of the post-Cold War settlement, and at the (unwarranted) unipolar triumphalism (from the Russian perspective).
In this sense, it is the end of an era: it marks the end of the post-Cold War settlement that brought into being the American unipolar era. It is the rise of a Russian challenge to that unipolar order which seems so unsettling to many living in the West. Just as Versailles was psychologically rejected by Germans, so Russia is abdicating out of the present dispensation (at least in respect to its key interests). The big question must be whether the wider triangulation (US-Russia-China) that saw merit in its complementary touching at each of its three apexes is over too — a triangulation on which the US depends heavily for its foreign policy. We have to wait on China. The answer to this question may well hinge on how far the antagonism between Russia and the West is allowed – or even encouraged – to escalate. Only then, might it become more apparent how many, and who, is thinking of seceding from the global order (including from the Federal Reserve controlled financial system).
In the interim, time and dynamics require Russia to do little in Ukraine at this point but to watch and wait. The mood in Russia, however, is to expect provocations in Ukraine, by any one of the assorted interested parties, with the aim of forcing a Russian intervention — and thus a politically useful ‘limited’ war that will do many things: restore US ‘leadership’ in Europe, give NATO a new mission and purpose, and provide the same (and greater prominence) to certain newer EU member states (such as Poland). Russia will have concluded that the second round of economic sanctions has revealed more about a certain lack of political (and financial) will – or perhaps vulnerability – on the part of America’s European allies. Russia no doubt sees the US to be gripped by the logic of escalation (as Administration talk centres on a new containment strategy, and the demonization of Russia as a pariah state), whatever President Obama may be hinting through the columns of David Ignatius. It is a dangerous moment, as all in Moscow acknowledge, with positions hardening on both sides.
Russia is not frightened by sanctions (which some, with influence in Moscow, would welcome as a chance to push-back against the US use of the global interbank payment systems for its own ends). Nor is Russia concerned that, as occurred with the USSR, the US – in today’s changed circumstances – can contrive a drop in the price of oil in order to weaken the state. But Russia is somewhat more vulnerable to the West’s teaming up with Sunni radicals as its new geo-strategic weapon of choice.
We have therefore seen a Russian outreach both to Saudi Arabia and Egypt (President Putin recently extolled King Abdallah’s “wisdom”). There is a feeling too that US policy is not fully controlled by the US President; and that Gulf States, smelling that US policy may be adrift, and open to manipulation by interests within the US, will take advantage (perhaps in coordination with certain Americans opposed to President Obama’s policies) to escalate the jihadist war against President Assad and to target Obama’s Iran policy. Russia may be expected to try to circumscribe this danger to its own Muslim population and to that of its neighbouring former Soviet Republics. But for now, Russia will be likely to play it cool: to wait-and-see how events unfold, before recalibrating any main components of its Middle East policy. For the longer term however, Russia’s effective divorce out of the unipolar international order will impact powerfully on the Middle East, where Saudi Arabia (not to say Syria and Iran) have already virtually done the same.
Historically neoliberalism emerged as an ideology the elite brought to light as a band aid during the crisis of state capitalism in 70th. But it proved to be more relevant and long lasting then that. As Pope Francis noted that like Marxism in the past this is a new philosophy attractiveness of which stems for what he called "idolatry of money" and turning inequality into moral imperative (Evangelii Gaudium, Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis, 2013):
No to the new idolatry of money
55. One cause of this situation is found in our relationship with money, since we calmly accept its dominion over ourselves and our societies. The current financial crisis can make us overlook the fact that it originated in a profound human crisis: the denial of the primacy of the human person! We have created new idols. The worship of the ancient golden calf (cf. Ex 32:1-35) has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose. The worldwide crisis affecting finance and the economy lays bare their imbalances and, above all, their lack of real concern for human beings; man is reduced to one of his needs alone: consumption.
56. While the earnings of a minority are growing exponentially, so too is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few. This imbalance is the result of ideologies which defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation. Consequently, they reject the right of states, charged with vigilance for the common good, to exercise any form of control. A new tyranny is thus born, invisible and often virtual, which unilaterally and relentlessly imposes its own laws and rules. Debt and the accumulation of interest also make it difficult for countries to realize the potential of their own economies and keep citizens from enjoying their real purchasing power. To all this we can add widespread corruption and self-serving tax evasion, which have taken on worldwide dimensions. The thirst for power and possessions knows no limits. In this system, which tends to devour everything which stands in the way of increased profits, whatever is fragile, like the environment, is defenseless before the interests of a deified market, which become the only rule.
Simultaneously neoliberalism proved to be the most capable ideology to fight and displace Marxism. It actually inherited quite a bit from Trotskyism, so in a way it was "evil twin" of Marxism.
Among the hypothesis of why the USA organized EuroMaidan and what goals it tried to achieve the most plausible hypothesis was advanced by MIKE WHITNEY:
“Russia … is now recognized as the center of the global ‘mutiny’ against global dictatorship of the US and EU. Its generally peaceful .. approach is in direct contrast to brutal and destabilizing methods used by the US and EU…. The world is waking up to reality that there actually is, suddenly, some strong and determined resistance to Western imperialism. After decades of darkness, hope is emerging.” – Andre Vltchek, Ukraine: Lies and Realities, CounterPunch
Russia is not responsible for the crisis in Ukraine. The US State Department engineered the fascist-backed coup that toppled Ukraine’s democratically-elected president Viktor Yanukovich and replaced him with the American puppet Arseniy Yatsenyuk, a former banker. Hacked phone calls reveal the critical role that Washington played in orchestrating the putsch and selecting the coup’s leaders. Moscow was not involved in any of these activities. Vladimir Putin, whatever one may think of him, has not done anything to fuel the violence and chaos that has spread across the country.
Putin’s main interest in Ukraine is commercial. 66 percent of the natural gas that Russia exports to the EU transits Ukraine. The money that Russia makes from gas sales helps to strengthen the Russian economy and raise standards of living. It also helps to make Russian oligarchs richer, the same as it does in the West. The people in Europe like the arrangement because they are able to heat their homes and businesses market-based prices. In other words, it is a good deal for both parties, buyer and seller. This is how the free market is supposed to work. The reason it doesn’t work that way presently is because the United States threw a spanner in the gears when it deposed Yanukovich. Now no one knows when things will return to normal.
Check out this chart at Business Insider and you’ll see why Ukraine matters to Russia.
The overriding goal of US policy in Ukraine is to stop the further economic integration of Asia and Europe. That’s what the fracas is really all about. The United States wants to control the flow of energy from East to West, it wants to establish a de facto tollbooth between the continents, it wants to ensure that those deals are transacted in US dollars and recycled into US Treasuries, and it wants to situate itself between the two most prosperous markets of the next century. Anyone who has even the sketchiest knowledge of US foreign policy– particularly as it relates to Washington’s “pivot to Asia”– knows this is so. The US is determined to play a dominant role in Eurasia in the years ahead. Wreaking havoc in Ukraine is a central part of that plan.
Retired German Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jochen Scholz summed up US policy in an open letter which appeared on the Neue Rheinilche Zeitung news-site last week. Scholz said the Washington’s objective was “to deny Ukraine a role as a bridge between Eurasian Union and European Union….They want to bring Ukraine under the NATO control” and sabotage the prospects for “a common economic zone from Lisbon to Vladivostok.”
Bingo. That’s US policy in a nutshell. It has nothing to do with democracy, sovereignty, or human rights. It’s about money and power. Who are the big players going to be in the world’s biggest growth center, that’s all that matters. Unfortunately for Obama and Co., the US has fallen behind Russia in acquiring the essential resources and pipeline infrastructure to succeed in such a competition. They’ve been beaten by Putin and Gazprom at every turn. While Putin has strengthened diplomatic and economic relations, expanded vital pipeline corridors and transit lines, and hurtled the many obstacles laid out for him by American-stooges in the EC; the US has dragged itself from one quagmire to the next laying entire countries to waste while achieving none of its economic objectives.
So now the US has jettisoned its business strategy altogether and moved on to Plan B, regime change. Washington couldn’t beat Putin in a fair fight, so now they’ve taken off the gloves. Isn’t that what’s really going on? Isn’t that why the US NGOs, and the Intel agencies, and the State Dept were deployed to launch their sloppily-engineered Nazi-coup that’s left the country in chaos?
Once again, Putin played no part in any of this. All he did was honor the will of the people in Crimea who voted overwhelmingly (97%) to reunite with the Russian Federation. From a purely pragmatic point of view, what other choice did they have? After all, who in their right mind would want to align themselves with the most economically mismanaged confederation of all time (The EU) while facing the real possibility that their nation could be reduced to Iraq-type rubble and destitution in a matter of years? Who wouldn’t opt-out of such an arrangement?
As we noted earlier, Putin’s main objective is to make money. In contrast, the US wants to dominate the Eurasian landmass, break Russia up into smaller, non-threatening units, and control China’s growth. That’s the basic gameplan. Also, the US does not want any competitors, which we can see from this statement by Paul Wolfowitz which evolved into the US National Defense Strategy:
“Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.”
This is the prevailing doctrine that Washington lives by. No rivals. No competition. We’re the boss. What we say, goes. The US is Numero Uno, le grande fromage. Who doesn’t know this already? Here’s more from Wolfowitz:
“The U.S. must show the leadership necessary to establish and protect a new order that holds the promise of convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests. In non-defense areas, we must account sufficiently for the interests of the advanced industrial nations to discourage them from challenging our leadership or seeking to overturn the established political and economic order. We must maintain the mechanism for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role.”
In other words, “don’t even think about getting more powerful or we’ll swat you like a fly.” That’s the message, isn’t it? The reason we draw attention to these quotes is not to pick on Wolfowitz, but to show how things haven’t changed under Obama, in fact, they’ve gotten worse. The so called Bush Doctrine is more in effect today than ever which is why we need to be reminded of its central tenets. The US military is the de facto enforcer of neoliberal capitalism or what Wolfowitz calls “the established political and economic order”. Right. The statement provides a blanket justification for the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and now Ukraine. The US can do whatever it deems necessary to protect the interests of its constituents, the multi-national corporations and big finance. The US owns the world and everyone else is just a visitor. So shut the hell up, and do what you’re told. That’s the message. Here’s Wolfowitz one more time:
“We continue to recognize that collectively the conventional forces of the states formerly comprising the Soviet Union retain the most military potential in all of Eurasia; and we do not dismiss the risks to stability in Europe from a nationalist backlash in Russia or efforts to reincorporate into Russia the newly independent republics of Ukraine, Belarus, and possibly others.”
Wolfowitz figured the moment would come when the US would have to square off with Moscow in order to pursue it’s imperial strategy in Asia. Putin doesn’t seem to grasp that yet. He still clings to the misguided notion that rational people will find rational solutions to end the crisis. But he’s mistaken. Washington does not want a peaceful solution. Washington wants a confrontation. Washington wants to draw Moscow into a long-term conflict in Ukraine that will recreate Afghanistan in the 1990s. That’s the goal, to lure Putin into a military quagmire that will discredit him in the eyes of the world, isolate Russia from its allies, put strains on new alliances, undermine the Russian economy, pit Russian troops against US-backed armed mercenaries and Special Ops, destroy Russian relations with business partners in the EU, and create a justification for NATO intervention followed by the deployment of nuclear weapons on Ukrainian territory. That’s the gameplan. Why doesn’t Putin see that?
|Bushonomics is the continuous consolidation of money
and power into higher, tighter and righter hands
George Bush Sr, November 1992
Neoliberalism is not a collection of theories meant to improve the economy. Instead, it should be understood as a strategy of "class struggle" (in Marxist terms) designed to redistribute wealth upward toward an increasingly narrow fraction of population (top 1%). The essence of neoliberalism is well reflected in the listed above George Bush Sr. quote "...the continuous consolidation of money and power into higher, tighter and righter hands". Kind of revolt of the elite against common people, instead of revolt of proletarians against capitalists. The attempt to redistribute the wealth of nations in favor of the top 1% and especially top 0.01%.
From the very beginning neoliberalism was a project to restore of class power of US corporations owners and first of all financial oligarchy ("financial revanchism" was the major driver of neoliberalism), which was undermined by New Deal.
So it is not surprising the during neoliberal revolution (or more correctly counter-revolution) in the USA all redistributive postwar state capitalism policies that hurt financial elite came under attack. With the demise of the USSR, the necessity of such policies to ensure social peace disappeared and the elite (and first of all financial elite) got a carte blanch for decimating middle class, and redistributing the wealth up. Golden days of the US middle class not ended not exactly with the election of Reagan (remember his decimation of air traffic controller union) but with the election of Mr. Gorbachov. And they became a distant past under Clinton who sold Democratic Party to financial oligarchy and only become worse and worse under Bush II and Obama (who, social policy-wise, is just well-tanned Bush III). And on international arena brutal enforcement of Washington consensus became a norm. So Ukraine got under the same neoliberal steamroller.
Neoliberalism promises of "better future" for population outside top 1% were by and large political scam. In best case no more then top 20% of population can benefit from neoliberal policies. And that's in best case, which is applicable probably only to G7 countries. And the other bottom 80% experience a sharp decline of their standard of living. For "peripheral countries like Ukraine, Iraq, Chili, etc) instead of 80:20 the proportion in probably 90:10.
All-in-all neoliberalism as a social system always lower the average standard of life of people in countries which adopted it, never rise it. That happened even in countries which historically has very low standard of living of middle class such as former USSR republics and Eastern Europe. At the same time it tremendously improved standard of living of upper 10% (20% in case of G7 countries) of population, and, especially, the top 1% - the new aristocracy. And that top 10% has enough political power to keep and consolidate neoliberal counter-revolution and with help of G7 countries to spread it around the globe.
Transnational elite "International" proved be both more viable and durable then "proletarian International" envisioned by Marx and his followers. That does not mean that elites from other countries are treated as equal partners. No they are treated as "villagers that came to the city" but still they are given a chance to "merge" with local "aristocracy of wealth".
The USA is the center on neoliberal order, and its capital is Washington, DC much like Moscow was for Comintern. Neoliberalism is supported by projection of the USA military power and the use of US capital. It forces global economic integration on US terms at whatever costs to others. But with those reservations it is as close to "oligarchy of all countries unite" as one can get. What is interesting that famous John Kennan long telegram is applicable to the USA foreign policy (reproduced with change of Russian people into American people ;-)
Part 2: Background of Outlook
Before examining ramifications of this party line in practice there are certain aspects of it to which I wish to draw attention.
First, it does not represent natural outlook of the American people. Latter are, by and large, friendly to outside world, eager for experience of it, eager to measure against it talents they are conscious of possessing, eager above all to live in peace and enjoy fruits of their own labor.
Party line only represents thesis which official propaganda machine puts forward with great skill and persistence to a public often remarkably resistant in the stronghold of its innermost thoughts. But party line is binding for outlook and conduct of people who make up apparatus of power--party, secret police and Government--and it is exclusively with these that we have to deal.
Second, please note that premises on which this party line is based are for most part simply not true.
In a way Marx probably is turning in his grave, as his ideas were hijacked and implemented by the part of population he considered to be doomed. In other words Marxist idea of "class struggle" was turned to its head and converted into pervert "revolt of the elite" (and first of all financial oligarchy), unsatisfied with the piece of the pie it is getting from the society and stimulated by technological revolution (emergence of Internet and cheap mass produced computers). Neoliberal philosophy can be distilled into a single phrase: "Humanity begins at the rank of CEO" or as George Bush Sr, aptly said November 1992 it is "...the continuous consolidation of money and power into higher, tighter and righter hands."
Some authors like Colin Cronch in The Strange Non-death of Neo-liberalism consider it to be a new ruling class alliance. His basic idea is that at least in USA neoliberalism represents the shift of loyalty of the upper management class: following the Great Depression of 1930 a political alliance emerged between the upper management class and "salaried middle class" (which includes the top layer of blue and white collar workers, including quasi-management, clerical workers, and professionals, and which cannot be reduced to the traditional "working-class"). A severe profitability crisis of the 1970s with its inflationary excesses caused a fracture between upper management and "salaried middle class". From that point upper management allied with owners and financial oligarchy forming a new ruling class.
This neoliberal transformation of the society with the redistribution of wealth to the top 1% (or, more correctly, the top 0.01%) "have and have more" (as unforgettable G.W.Bush quipped) was completed in the USA in late 90th. The rest of population (aka moochers) and organization such as trade unions were undermined and decimated by financial oligarchy with near complete indifference to what happens with the most unprotected lower quintile of the population.
Like Russia in the past under Bolsheviks the USA became occupied country. And much like Bolsheviks in the past, the neoliberal reformers don't care about failures and contradictions of the economic system which drive the majority of country population into abject poverty. No they care about that their action such a blowing out financial bubble like in the USA in 2008 which definitely could move national economics toward the disaster ("off the cliff"). They have somewhat childish, simplistic "greed is good" mentality: they just want to have their (as large as possible) piece of economic pie fast and everything else be damned.
To that extent they have mentality of criminals and neoliberalism is a highly criminogenic creed, but it tried to conceal the racket and plunder it inflicts of the societies under dense smoke screen of "free market" Newspeak. That means that outside the USA and G7 countries which are the major beneficiaries of this "hyper globalization of élites" neoliberalism is an unstable social order, as plunder can't continue indefinitely. and as natural resources become more scarce, the fight for them might give advantages to "Asian" autocratic flavor of state capitalism.
Problems inherent in neoliberal model were also by-and-large masked for two decades by a huge shot in arms Neoliberalism got with the dissolution of the USSR. This particular event (which was just a decision of part on nomenklatura including KGB to join neoliberal counter-revolution) put on the dinner table of neoliberal elites half a billion people and quite a bit of resources to plunder. This gift of a century from Bolsheviks slowed down the process of plunder of G7 own population, especially in the USA. It is interesting to note that, like Bolsheviks in the past, neoliberal elite behaves more like occupiers of the country, then as a traditional, "native" aristocracy; this phenomenon was especially pronounced in Russia (privatization under Yeltsin regime) and other xUSSR countries. And in xUUSR space new neoliberal lords were almost as brutal as German occupiers during WWII.
So later neoliberalism in came under pressure even in G7 countries, including the USA, as slogan on a corner Wall Street cafe "Jump Suckers !" demonstrated so aptly in 2008 and later in Occupy Wall Street Movement (which probably should be named "get rid of Wall Street occupation of the country"). The latter was quickly undermined, dissipated by the emerging National Security State. Total surveillance makes opposition movements practically impossible.
Neoliberalism was also partially reversed in Chile (the first country on which neoliberal counter-revolution was launched), Russia, and several other countries. It was never fully adopted in northern Europe or Asian countries. The model of autocratic state capitalism used in Asian countries actually serves as the only viable and competing with the neoliberalism modern social organization. Move of manufacturing centers to China and other East Asian countries also moves political influence toward this region, away from the USA and G7. Recently China managed slightly push back western global brands in electronics (especially in Eastern European markets), producing competitive smartphones (Huawei, Fly, Lenovo), tablets (Lenovo), PCs and networking equipment such as routers and switches under this own brand names.
Neoliberalism was enforced under dense smoke screen of propaganda. One can see an example of this smoke screen in Thatcher's dictum of neoliberalism: "There is no such thing as society. There are only individuals and families." In foreign policy neoliberalism behaves like brutal imperialism (aka neocolonialism) which subdue countries instead of brute force either by debt slavery or combination of debt slavery with direct military intervention. In neoliberal view the world consist of four concentric cycles which in order of diminishing importance are
In other words, finance and transnational financial institutions are considered to be the most important institutions of the civilization, the institutions which should govern all other spheres of life. It is clear that such one-dimensional view is wrong, but neoliberals like communists before them have a keen sense of mission and after they managed to accomplish its "long march through the institutions" (during which they gradually hijacked them in what is called Quiet coup) they changed the way Americans think (Using the "Four M" strategy -- money, media, marketing, and management)
A well-oiled machine of foundations, lobbies, think-tanks, economic departments of major universities, publications, political cadres, lawyers and activist organizations slowly and strategically took over nation after nation. A broad alliance of neo-liberals, neo-conservatives and the far right (including neo-fascists and religious right) successfully manufactured a new common sense, assaulted Enlightenment values and formed a new elite, the top layer of society, where this "greed is good" culture is created and legitimized.
As Crouch says in his book The Strange Non-death of Neo-liberalism:
a polity in which economic resources were very unequally shared would be likely to be one in which political power was also concentrated, economic resources being so easily capable of conversion into political ones. (Page 125)
... ... ...
...the state, seen for so long by the left as the source of countervailing power against markets, is today likely to be the committed ally of giant corporations, whatever the ideological origins of the parties governing the state. (Page 145)
When discussing complex EuroMaidan history we probably should probably first take into account the USA geopolitical strategy. which can be viewed as consisting to two complementary elements:
As Murray Polner wrote in NYTimes eXaminer (Ready For WW III):
“The U.S. has treated Russia like a loser since the end of the Cold War,” wrote our former ambassador to Moscow, the non-conforming and shrewd Jack Matlock, Jr., in the Washington Post. When NATO moved eastward and dangled membership to Russia’s neighbors Moscow objected, interpreting the moves as nothing less than encirclement. Putin worked with the U.S. when it invaded Afghanistan and also abandoned its bases in Cam Ranh Bay in Vietnam and Cuba, Matlock reminds us. In return, NATO reached into the Balkans and Baltics, invaded Iraq without Security Council endorsement, involved itself in the “orange revolutions” of Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan and hinted that it also might include Georgia and Ukraine, former SSRs. With little or no historical knowledge “Americans, heritors of the Monroe Doctrine, should have understood that Russia would be hypersensitive to foreign dominated military alliances approaching or touching its borders.”
Crimea, he warns, worsens the break between east and west, a situation where “there would be no winners, only losers, most of all Ukraine itself” plus, and I add, an angry, isolated nuclear Russia.
A more evolved analyses of the concept of "Cornering Russia" was given by Melvin A. Goodman, who was a CIA analyst from 1966 to 1990, and a professor of international security at the National War College from 1986 to 2004. In his Consortium News article The Flaw in ‘Cornering’ Russia he noted:
Twenty years ago, the collapse of the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union marked a virtual end to the long-standing military and ideological threat that Moscow represented to the United States.
Yet, instead of “anchoring” Russia to the political and economic architecture of the Western alliance system, which George F. Kennan’s “containment doctrine” endorsed, successive U.S. administrations have not only kept the Kremlin at arm’s length but have drawn the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) closer to Russia itself. This is central to the current crisis over Crimea.
In expanding NATO, the United States has been guilty of betraying a guarantee that Secretary of State James Baker gave to Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze in 1990, when the United States stated that it would not “leapfrog” over East Germany to place U.S. military forces in East Europe in the wake of the Soviet military withdrawal from Germany.
The administrations of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush ignored that commitment when the United States sponsored the entry of eight former Warsaw Pact members as well as three former Soviet Republics into NATO. The Obama administration, meanwhile, appears ignorant of the geopolitical context of its foreign policies, which have not taken this betrayal into account in the Crimean crisis.
President Clinton seemingly had no appreciation of the great difficulty involved in Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev’s acceptance of the unification of Germany and German membership in NATO in view of Russian historical memories and huge World War II losses. One of the few sources of Soviet pride in foreign policy was the Soviet defeat of the German Wehrmacht, which was the key to the U.S. and British victory on the Western front. Three-fourths of the German Army fought on the Eastern front, and three-fourths of German losses took place on the Eastern front.
U.S. diplomats and academics, particularly those with expertise in European policy and the Soviet Union such as George Kennan, made a valiant effort to convince President Clinton that the expansion of NATO was bad strategic policy. Even members of the administration, including Secretary of Defense William Perry, tried to dissuade the President from his strategic blunder. In using military power against Serbia in the late 1990s, Clinton seemed to have no idea of the long historical ties between Russia and Serbia.
President Bush made further significant contributions to the alienation of the new Russian leadership by sponsoring NATO membership for former Soviet Republics (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania); abrogating the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which was the cornerstone of strategic deterrence; and deploying a national missile defense system in California and Alaska.
The Bush administration’s disdain for multilateral diplomacy and arms control, as well as its reliance on the use of force, particularly the unnecessary war against Iraq, angered the Russian leadership as well as many European leaders. President Bush explained that national missile defense as well as the regional missile defense in East Europe would not be aimed at Russia, but rather the “world’s least-responsible states,” which the President did not name. Of course, no one in the Kremlin believed him.
While a warning to Russia, the Bush administration was a welcome relief to the neoconservative community. The appointment of right-wing ideologues who brandished a deep animosity to the Russian state included Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretaries of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Robert Gates, CIA Director Porter Goss as well as such Pentagon luminaries as Douglas Feith, William Luti, and Abram Shulsky.
In his memoir Duty, Gates prides himself for opposing any improved relations with Russia, since “making the Russians happy wasn’t exactly on my to-do list.” During meetings with his Russian military counterparts, Gates passed a childish and churlish note to Secretary of State Condi Rice stating “I’d forgotten how much I really don’t like these guys.” President Bush even favored the expansion of NATO into Ukraine and Georgia, and U.S. military support for Georgia played a significant role in the five-day war between Russia and Georgia in 2008.
Melvin A. Goodman is a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and an adjunct professor of government at Johns Hopkins University. He was a CIA analyst from 1966 to 1990, and a professor of international security at the National War College from 1986 to 2004. His most recent books include National Insecurity: The Cost of American Militarism and The Failure of Intelligence: The Decline and Fall of the CIA.
More details analyses was provided by Scott McConnell is a founding editor of The American Conservative (NATO’s Wrong Turn The American Conservative):
The Ukraine crisis is of course interesting and complicated in its own right (for instance, who commanded the snipers who fired on both police and demonstrators at Maidan, escalating the confrontation and upending the diplomatic arrangement reached days earlier?) but it is a subset of the larger question about Russia and NATO expansion at the end of the Cold War. This was debated in the mid 1990s in forums largely limited to foreign policy specialists. (I worked at the middlebrow New York Post‘s editorial page during most of those years, and don’t recall drafting a single editorial on NATO expansion from 1992 to 1996.) Yet the debate, which once was barely noticed beyond the specialist journals, now looms as critically important. And, if the current confrontation does lead to World War III, as one Ukrainian general has predicted, it will be clear that decisions taken quietly in the 1990s lit the fuse.
... ... ...
Why did the Soviet Union choose to die peacefully? A large part of the answer was the understanding, explicit according to some but never formally codified, that the West would not take strategic advantage of Moscow’s retreat. Had Moscow envisioned that the West would expand NATO to its doorstep, the Warsaw Pact and Soviet Union would probably not have expired peacefully. As Harries puts it, the bargain, whether implicit or explicit, made a great deal of sense for the United States:
For, after all, its avowed objective was not the eastward extension of its own power and influence in Europe, but the restoration of the independence of the countries of the region. In effect, the bargain gave the United States everything it wanted (more, in fact, for the breakup of the Soviet Union had never been a Cold War objective), and in return required it only to refrain from doing what it had never expressed any intention of doing.
The critical complicating factor, at the time, was the fate of Germany, Europe’s largest power and the source of most of its 20th-century conflict: could Germany be reunited, as part of NATO? Evidently, yes. As Adam Garfinkle noted, in a valuable 1996 analysis of the NATO expansion debate:
If it had been proposed to you in 1989 that the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union both would come peaceably to an end, that Germany would be reunited in NATO, and that all Russian military forces would withdraw behind their own frontier—and that all that was asked in return was that NATO not take advantage of this retreat by moving eastward—would you have accepted? Extraordinary as it would have sounded then, had it been put so succinctly and all in one breath, this is more or less what was in fact proposed in the “two-plus-four” agreement for the reunification of Germany, and later accepted as the Warsaw Pact collapsed.
As the process proceeded, guided by the United States, Russia was told quite explicitly that the Western idea was not to move NATO up to its borders. Why did Russia not insist on a formal treaty to that effect? Obviously it was not in a position to do so—during the dynamics of the time, Russia was imploding and no more able to insist upon terms than the Bolsheviks were at Brest-Litvosk. But importantly, there also seemed to be no need as everyone, Russians and American and key NATO nations alike, were on the same page. As Sergei Karanakov, a leading Russian foreign affairs analyst who subsequently became an advisor to Putin put it:
In 1990 we were told quite clearly by the West that dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and German unification would not lead to NATO expansion. We did not demand written guarantees because in the euphoric atmosphere of that time it would have seemed almost indecent, like two girlfriends giving written promises not to seduce each other’s husbands.
Of course the euphoria didn’t last. Rapid liberalization proved deadly to the Russian economy and standard of living in the 1990s, and Putin came to power determined to put a stop to what was widely perceived as an anarchic period of Russian weakness. And the more versatile and powerful girlfriend did indeed seduce, first Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, and has since pushed further into nations and regions that are perceived, by Russians, to be literally part of historic Russia. In his essay of 1997, Owen Harries described the NATO expansion decision as “ominous”—for the United States had decided to project American power into a highly sensitive region.
The expansionist victory came partly through the forces of bureaucratic inertia—NATO has many layers of vested constituencies, which needed new rationales to justify their salaries and continued existence. It was partially due to domestic American politics—Clinton in 1996 made his initial NATO-expansion speeches at campaign events crafted to appeal to Polish and East European voters. And it was partially due to a desire by traditional hawks, neoconservative and others, to continue a version of the Cold War, perhaps by sparking a “democratic crusade” in Eastern Europe. There was also a moral case—we would finally “do right” by those East Europeans twice abandoned—so the conventional narrative ran—first at Munich and then again at Yalta.
Another who perceived this choice to be woefully misguided was the 94-year-old George F. Kennan, the American strategist who had designed the doctrine of “containment” in the early Cold War. In a 1997 New York Times op-ed, Kennan suggested that expanding NATO would be “the most fateful error” of American foreign policy in the post-Cold War era, which could be expected to “inflame the nationalistic, anti-Western and militaristic tendencies in Russian opinion; to have an adverse effect on the development of Russian democracy … and to impel Russian foreign policy in directions decidedly not to our liking.” Kennan was perhaps overly prescient, for Russia’s negative reaction did not emerge immediately. Moscow, faced with a more immediate and deadly Chechen insurgency, seemed too distracted to focus on NATO; it would take half a generation before NATO expansion became an obviously sensitive issue. In 1998, the Senate would go on to vote for NATO enlargement by a margin of 80-19. One of the 19, Daniel P. Moynihan, inserted Kennan’s op-ed into the Congressional record, along with a laudatory letter Kennan had sent to Owen Harries and Harries’ own piece.
Another participant in the 1990s debate was Rodric Braithwaite, Britain’s former ambassador to Moscow. His Prospect essay from 1997 asked which path is better for victors after a war: the models of 1815, when a defeated France was brought into the “concert of Europe,” and 1945, when Germany, or much of it, was integrated into the Western system; or Versailles, where after World War I a defeated Germany was humiliated and made to pay. It is clear that the first George Bush, in the early 1990s, was thinking along 1815 and 1945 lines. But incrementally his policy was reversed by his successors, first by the Clinton-Albright duo, and then by his son, and now by Obama, the latter prodded by his belligerent assistant secretary of state Victoria Nuland.
Of course it is not really possible that Russia will respond to its Versailles the way Germany did, remilitarizing and for a time dominating its adversaries. It is almost certainly too weak for that. But it can begin to act irresponsibly in global affairs, perhaps most menacingly on nuclear proliferation. It is a state with many weapons and many nuclear scientists. Russia can also reforge its strategic links to China. Of course unlike during the 1950s, an anti-Western Moscow would be the junior partner in a Beijing-Moscow alliance. But it’s still a combination the United States should not be working to bring about.
One think that forever change in my mind is my view on the role of small countries in EU. They played the role of reckless idiots with the EU and it was they who essentially torpedoed signing the Association agreement by Yanukovich, but pushing completely destructive terms for Ukraine.
Speaking about new " Cold War ", Russia actions, toppling "despot Yanukovich" is a smoke screen for extremely dangerous and destructive role that small Baltic countries, Poland and Sweden played in this conflict.
As Stanley Kubrick noted "Large nations behave like gangsters, while small ones behave like prostitutes." And role of those countries completely this quote. Moreover if they are given some protection they also try to play the role of the gangsters. In addition, they tried to promote US agenda which in retrospect was detrimental to EU as a whole.
In fact overthrowing democratically elected President Yanukovich trampled all democratic rules which constantly promotes EU and put EU of the same page as US, a nation drank with exeptionalism, for which no international laws apply. The European Union took its extreme anti-Russian course under the influence of the Baltic countries and Poland. They were instrumental to the tightening of the EU's position towards Moscow, tightening which does not correspond to the interests of major Western European countries and South of Europe (especially Spain, Italy and Greece).
Violent "Atlantists" blindly supported the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, and in most cases prefer to buy American weapons, not European. They think that Washington is more important than Brussels. Moreover, the USA as a sole superpower considers itself to be above International Law. It is the Law. And judging from "F*ck EU" phrase from unforgettable diplomat Victoria Nuland in case when interests of EU and the USA do not coincide, the USA will do whatever possible to undermine EU position. In some way the USA might play EuroMaidan game both against EU and Russia using Poland, Sweden and Baltic countries as Trojan horse within EU to achieve its objectives.
Ukrainian 2010 election were recognized by the OSCE transparent and honest. Moreover, the " revolutionaries" were aware that the next elections are scheduled for 2015 , and if we wanted to observe the democratic rules of the game, which they were constantly referring to , they just need to wait a year in order to put an end to the reign of Yanukovich and implement political change they wanted.
Or they could pay Yanukovich government 15 billion dollars which it needed to stave the country from bankruptcy and get the association agreement signed. Especially destructive in this game was Radoslaw Sikorski -- a well-educated twat as he was called.
At the end they lost the game to Putin who provided the needed 15 billions and decided to resort to the illegal military coup, not understanding that it can result in civil war and partitioning of such a fragile society as Ukraine, where East really despise West for their backwardness, and West try to dominate the country with its toxic version Ukrainian nationalism. And this act was not only anti-democratic, it was a criminal act, which undermined the EU geopolitical position in the globe.
Ukrainian coup was also marred by extreme violence by far right groups, which were trench solders of the coup. That another low for Poland which already suffered from Ukrainian far right groups (see Massacres of Poles in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia ) and learned nothing. And personally for Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski who was one of the main pushers for signing by Ukraine EU association agreement (see Radoslaw Sikorski is a Handsome, Urbane, Well-Educated Twat ).
In the article Poland as the ‘Slavic Turkey’ of NATO Destabilization published in Oriental Review Andrew Korybko provide unflattering Russian assessment of events (Following French, an objective view is our view on people or countries which we do not like ;-):
Poland, the eager American servant that it has been, has now officially taken on the role of the ‘Slavic Turkey’ in relation to Ukraine. Just as Turkey has been a geopolitically convenient conduit for arms, personnel, and material support for the Syrian terrorists, so too has Poland begun to officially fulfill this role for their Ukrainian counterparts.
Prime Minister Tusk stated on 20 February, 2014 that Poland is already treating the injured insurgents from Kiev, and has actually ordered the military and interior ministry to provide hospitals to help even more . The deputy health minister has confirmed that Warsaw is in contact with the rebels in Kiev “in making plans to take in Ukrainian wounded”. This means that Poland has formally extended its covert and diplomatic reach nearly 300 miles into the interior of Ukraine, and that its intelligence services are obviously doing more in Ukraine than just ‘helping the wounded’ (terrorists). It is even more likely that Polish influence is even stronger in Lviv and Volyn Oblasts, the regions bordering Poland, and coincidentally or not, Lviv has already attempted to declare independence. The same can be said of Turkish influence deep into Syria at the height of the crisis in that country, and one must be reminded of the fact that Turkey also helped the wounded fighters in that country recover on its territory.
The structural similarities between Poland and Turkey in relation to Ukraine and Syria need to be examined in order to more clearly understand how the ‘Lead from Behind’ template has been applied to both case studies.
First of all, the ‘Lead from Behind’ strategy has been defined as “discreet U.S. military assistance with [others] doing the trumpeting”. It is the new strategy of warfare for theaters where the US, for whatever reasons, is reluctant to directly militarily engage itself. It relies on using regional allies/’leaders’ as proxies to further US geostrategic and geopolitical goals via asymmetrical measures while Washington pivots to Asia, where it aims to present a conventional deterrent to China. Both Poland and Turkey are the US’ puppets of choice in their respective theaters against their neighboring targeted states (Ukraine and Syria). At the least, the US provides intelligence support and the training of ‘opposition’ units, while Poland and Turkey pull the weight in directly assisting those members during their deployments in the victimized nations. In the case of Ukraine, the US utilized NGOs to infiltrate the country over a more than 10-year period and also allocated $5 billion to “help Ukraine achieve [the development of democratic institutions]”. The National Endowment for Democracy has also been pivotal in peddling the ‘Kony 2012 of Ukraine’ in order to advance their psy-op campaign against Kiev, just as ‘Syrian Danny’ was the version deployed against Damascus.
But the similarities do not end there.
Both Poland and Turkey are frontier NATO states, with Poland being described as “the largest and most important NATO frontline state in terms of military, political and economic power.” These two geostrategic states also have an overwhelming population when compared to their neighbors, as well as national inferiority complexes stemming from their lost imperial legacies (the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Ottoman Empire). They share a significant land border with the states targeted for a ‘democratic transition’, as well as important cultural and political connections with those societies (as a result of the aforementioned imperial legacies) prior to the unleashing of the respective crises. This gives them significant intangible benefits over the future battlefield, both in state, non-state, and informational activities.
Poland and Turkey also host important American military installations. Turkey houses the US Air Force at Incirlik and an anti-missile defense radar in the east, while Poland provides the US with the Lask Air Force Base and an anti-missile defense outpost in the northeast near Kaliningrad. In regards to the development of the insurgents’ mission, the Ukrainian Fascists are taking on disturbingly similar characteristics to the Jihadists in Syria. In 2011, random sniper fire (attributed to the ‘rebels’) was targeting civilians in Damascus, just as the same has begun to occur in Kiev, even targeting a reporter from RT. The Lviv request for independence can be seen as following the declaration of autonomy of Syria’s Kurds, as both areas abut the border of the proxy state interfering in the affairs of its neighbor. In a similar fashion, both insurgent groups have taken over border control posts connected to their patron state, and this move obviously increases the ease with which Ankara and Warsaw can funnel arms, personnel, and materials to their subversive spawn. When the borders cannot be held by the insurgents, they resort to ransacking government depots and stealing arms from captured government forces and occupied buildings . The Syrian fighters have a history of hostage taking and brutal executions, and their Ukrainian comrades have followed their lead by capturing over 60 police officers in Kiev.
It has thus clearly been demonstratively shown via the aforementioned examples that the destabilizations of both Ukraine and Syria are modelled off of a patterned approach. The US utilizes proxy states with injured imperial legacies in order to advance its ‘Lead from Behind’ strategy, targeting pivotal geostrategic areas where the US prefers to maintain a plausible deniability over its role and is reluctant to get too directly involved. One can also discern a larger trend developing – the use of extreme macro-regional ideological movements to support long-term destabilization. In the Middle East, extreme Islam is the method of choice for application and export, whereas in Ukraine, it is increasingly appearing as though extreme far-right (in some applications, even Neo-Nazi) group fit the ‘Wahhabi role’ for Europe. Ukraine could quite possibly become a training ground for other European far-right militants, or the ones currently in Ukraine can go on to teach the ‘tools of their trade’ to the highest bidder in other European states. Just as Turkey is supporting the extreme Islamists in Syria via its support for the fighters there, Poland can be said to be flirting with extreme far-right nationalists in Ukraine through its statements of support for the violent opposition and its recent decision to evacuate and help the wounded insurgents (not even counting the unreported level of covert involvement already ongoing). And just as the extreme Islamists got out of the control of their handlers and now endanger the entire Middle East, the risk remains that the extreme far-right nationalists may become uncontrollable in Ukraine as well and come to endanger the entire EU. When comparing Poland to Turkey and Ukraine to Syria, it is proven that the Arab Spring has come to Europe in more ways than meet the eye.
What seems to be emerging from the snipers fire and smoke of burned tires on EuroMaidan buildings is the American strategic policy toward weakening of Russia. Since the collapse of the USSR Washington put tremendous efforts to narrow the zone of Russian influence, using the European Union and NATO as its agents. American media (which by-and-large were followed their counterparts in Europe), lead a propaganda campaign against Putin, painting him black and distorting the reality that exists in Russia.
In this sense EuroMaidan is just the next stop in this strategic policy. Time for Ukraine had come again, despite failure of the first attempt (Orange Revolution). In this sense EuroMaidan can legitimately be called Orange Revolution II.
The key idea of EuroMaidan Putch was an attempt to return to power pro-US part of Ukrainian neoliberal fifth column, the same people who came to power after Orange Revolution. Yushchenko neoliberal regime that was installed by Orange Revolution was completely subservient to IMF (thus the USA). And it tried hard to made Ukraine the peripheral province of neoliberal empire taking loans (and stealing or wasting the money) that Ukraine now is unable to repay.
That was an easy task as Ukraine is a split country and has its own Benghazi. So using it as a ram to topple the current regime is no-brainer. The problem is that this way the USA created a hostile to the Russia power at Russian doorsteps, the fact that Russia does not like. But who cares about Russia those days? It's a defeated country like Germany after WWI in eyes of Clinton-Albright gang of State department "thinkers".
Several rogue EU states (such as Poland, Sweden and Lithuania) which put Russophobia above values of democracy and human rights were also instrumental in organizing this color revolution at Russian doorsteps. I can't guess why corrupt (in best traditions of Anglo-Saxon corruption) and neoliberal regime of Yanukovich was not enough for them and why they wanted a complete IMF puppet that Victoria "F*ck the EU" Nuland have found in former banker, who is in the pocket on international financial oligarchy -- Arseniy "IMF Rabbit" Yatsenyuk.
By all accounts Yanukovich was not that different from Poroshenko who now (with waist of money, a hundred of human lives and destruction of the center of Kiev) became the primary candidate for Ukrainian Presidency:
b) The other Orange leader—the pro-EU, anti-Kremlin Viktor Yushchenko—wound up allying with pro-Kremlin Yanukovich to jail Yulia Timoshenko.
c) John McCain has been the big driving force for regime change against Yanukovich, but McCain’s 2008 campaign chief’s lobby firm, Davis Manafort, managed Yanukovych’s political campaigns and his lobbying efforts in the US.
d) Anthony Podesta, brother of President Obama’s senior advisor John Podesta, is another Yanukovich lobbyist; John Podesta was the chief of Obama’s 2008 transition team.
4. Yanukovich was not fighting neoliberalism, the World Bank, or oligarchy — nor was he merely a tool of the Kremlin.
There’s another false meme going around that because the World Bank and IMF are moving in to “reform” Ukraine’s economy — for the umpteenth time — that somehow this means that this was a fight between pro-neoliberal and anti-neoliberal forces. It wasn’t.
Yanukovich enthusiastically cooperated with the IMF and pledged to adhere to their demands. Six months after Yanukovich was elected president, the headline read “International Monetary Fund approves $15 billion loan to Ukraine”. As the AFP reported,
“President Viktor Yanukovich had made restoring relations with the IMF a major priority on taking office.”
Later that year, the Wall Street Journal praised Yanukovych’s neoliberal reforms as “truly transformational” and gushed that Yanukovich “may soon become Europe’s star economic liberalizer.”
The problem was that last November, the Kremlin offered Yanukovich what he thought was a better deal than what the EU was offering. He bet wrong.
What the hell is going on? Why Yanukovich regime was brutally crashed using Western money and logistical support. Why people from Ukrainian Benghazi were organized and thrown at him as trench fighters under far right anti-Russian banners. BTW few far right regimes gave away power once they grab it. It took decades for Spain to get rid of Franco. Here is an interesting take on personality of Poroshenko by Andrey Wadzhpa ( Some thought about leading candidate for President, oligarch Petro "Chocolate Rabbit" Poroshenko and idiotism of Ukrainian political elite ):
When I look at what is happening I am very ... I wanted to write " surprised ", but it would not be accurate. I've lost the ability to be surprised by anything happening in Ukraine. It looks like my mind adapted to this continuous series of acts demonstrating Ukrainian elite idiocy. I know this dopes not sound politcorrectly, but for me it is difficult to say this in more palatable way....
So Ukranina elite (with generous help from the USA and its EU friends) organized overthrew of Yanukovich government, demolished the center of Kiev, plunged the country into economic chaos, lost Crimea, buried a hundred people. And all this in order for Petro Poroshenko to became president, if not it ?
And who is Poroshenko ?
Let me remind those who have forgotten. Poroshenko is a former member of the Social Democratic Party, one of the founders of the Party of Regions, the head of Yushchenko's political block "Our Ukraine " and one of the main sponsors of the "Orange Revolution". He is also former head of the Security Consul, Verkhovna Rada deputy from "Our Ukraine " party, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Ukrainian National Bank, a former foreign minister under Yushchenko, and, surprise, a former Minister of economic Development and Trade under Yanukovich. Which did not prevent Poroshenko for sponsoring EuroMaidan. And he was brought in big politics by, drums, Mykola Azarov .
Now the question is whether it make sense to overthrow Yanukovich , to demolish the center of Kiev , plunging the country into chaos, lose Crimea, kill a hundred persons so that former Minister of Economic Development and Trade in the government of Yanukovich became the next president ?
I now sincerely wondered about sanity of anyone who thinks that Poroshenko is something different from top members of the "corrupt regime" of Yanukovich. With whom he had once created the Party of Regions and managed to hold almost imaginable positions in power?
No ... I have nothing against Peter personally ... "Chocolate Rabbit" as he is called is no worse and no better the other members of Ukranina political elite. But you need to be complete idiot to believe that he wants to change something in the system, in the construction of which he was heavily involved (and became super rich) during all the years of independence. This system has made him a billionaire, gave him power, fame, respect, etc. Why would he change anything? Do you think it is something he does not like? Especially when he climbs to the top of the power pyramid.
So if the key motive for organizing and supporting the coup d'état was accomplishing neoliberal globalization of the country the USA stormed an open door. Destruction of a legitimate Yanukovich regime produced essentially identical regime with just more pronounced political union of oligarchs with ultranationalists (and it was Yanukovich who flirted with far right groups first).
Of course like Libya, Ukraine was an easy target for State Department warriors. Also, as the global center of neoliberalism, the USA has long history of color revolutions and polished methods of installing vassal regimes in various parts of the globe.
But again the fact is that Yanukovich government was already subservient to the USA (or more correctly to the USA embassy in Kiev aka Washington Obcom). In no way it was pro-Russian government as Western MSM now try to depict it rewriting history. Actually there are multiple accounts that Putin hated and despised Yanukovich. The fact is that he actually supported Timoshenko in 2010 elections.
Some observers suggest that there might be other motives of taking "low hanging fruit" that Yanukovich regime represented. As W. Patrick Lang noted (The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity):
It is becoming clear that the Nuland/neocon/NED campaign against Russia in Ukraine was probably a covert action intended to punish Russia for not supporting US/Israeli/Saudi and Turkish policy in Syria and to some extent with regard to Iran.
I have no specific knowledge of US actions in this but "back azimuths" run into events and actors make the true story obvious. Was there to be a second phase of the spread of revolution, a phase aimed at Russia itself? We will probably never know.
Staging color revolution is nothing but a new type of gangsterism on international arena. Like Putin quipped “They sit there across the pond as if in a lab running all kinds of experiments on the rats." In this sense any country without Foreign Agents Registration Act is now doomed. And Ukraine is one of such countries.
Economic expansion is the core of neoliberalism. In this sense attempt to get Ukraine deeper into Western sphere of influence looks only logical, although it was already a pro-Western neoliberal republic to begin with. Core figures of Yanukovich government were neoliberals and as such they were controlled by the USA also probably to a lesser extent then they want.
But in any case they decided to replace with more extreme more pro-USA neoliberals of Yushchenko mint. In this sense the return of investment is questionable.
Like Orange Revolution before, EuroMaidan has nothing to do with popular will of people (and when Western Ukrainians understand that they were simply used it will be too late). All their wishes for free access to more lucrative EU job market is just a carrot hanging in front of them, no less, no more. It looks more like an attempts to completely isolate Ukraine from Russia on the strength of Ukrainian Nationalism (represented by Yushchenko clan). Ukrainian economics and people be damned. As such it has nothing or little to do with interest of Ukrainian people but a lot with interest of the USA elite. It allow to get closer to the one of the main geopolitical goals of the USA -- the goal is to weaken and further isolate any state that can challenge its global supremacy (unipolar world about benefits of which Victoria Nuland neocon husband Robert Koran is so adamant to preach). Putin's Russia somewhat resists complete neoliberal conversion of its economy and Washington Obcom dictate which immensely annoys Washington Obcom and for which Putin is relentlessly demonized by Western MSM as bloodthirsty tyrant. As one commenter to Guardia noted The Guardian
Russia lost a lot when the USSR collapsed under the benevolence of Gorbachev. Promises were made by the West NATO , that NATO would not move into former USSR territory. One by one that promise was violated by the EU and NATO and the former satellites who as you say were fed up with " centuries of brutal oppression". Further the US recently giving $5 bill to opposition groups who sort the pro Russian regime's demise. Kosova was a huge annoyance to Russia with their long links to Serbia.
May be the crisis will end with Crimea as tit for tat for the Kosova's Unilateral declaration of Independence blessed by the West! The LIST goes on and may be other posters can add to it.
Since the USSR collapse, I think (apart from a few cases) Russia has been a good partner to the West. Preventing the Syrian bombing comes to mind.(yes I know they have a base there)
The USSR lost Cold War and Russia still faces consequences of this crushing defeat
As ancients used to say vae victis. At the same time abusing this opportunity is also dangerous move and the USA elite should be aware of possible consequences. There is an interesting related question of degeneration of elite in neoliberal (aka oligarchic) republics, which is somewhat similar to degeneration of elite in former communist block and first of all in the USSR.
Neoliberals appropriated Trotsky idea of
and converted it into color revolution template
Trotsky put forward his conception of 'permanent revolution' as an explanation of how with help of the USSR socialist revolutions could occur in societies that had not achieved advanced capitalism. The USA uses color revolutions to topple regimes of resource nationalists and those which are considered less cooperative with the citadel of neoliberalism (the main fault of Yanukovich for Americans was probably that while generally being a pro-Western neoliberal politician, he tried to sit between two chairs playing of the contradictions between the USA, Western Europe and Russia).
EuroMaidan has all distinctive features of color revolution and, in essence, can be called Orange Revolution No.2. US foreign policy needs required a "regime change" in order to advance US interests against those of Russia. Still we should remember that the alliance of Yushchenko with Timoshenko which won the “Orange Revolution” quickly fell apart, with each vying for political dominance over the other, including by means of alliances with defeated presidential candidate Yanukovich—the very man they accused of stealing the 2004 election.
This is complex and pretty devious technology that can't be covered here. For details see:
Still the current international scene is characterized more by cooperation and competition, rather than ideological hostility like in times of Cold War. The conflict between Russia and the West over Ukraine is not about ideology both G7 and Russia are neoliberal states; it is about spheres of influence and the global balance of power. In some ways it is similar to the great power politics of the 19th century, characterized by conflict, but also shifting alliances and cooperation (and Crimean war of 1854-1856 (mostly remembers for the humiliating defeat of the Charge of the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaclava. ) was fought and won by the West in order to weaken Russia and protect Ottoman empire as a counterbalance to Russia in Black Sea area. The biggest difference between today and the 19th century is the rise of China. In this sense the current events might well play out as a shrewd way to weaken both Russia and EU.
In a big scheme of things nothing changed for Ukraine with EuroMaidan color revolution -- Ukraine was pro-western neoliberal state under all previous administrations and it remains neoliberal vassal state now under current junta. But devil is in details.Ukraine political regime can be described as "asymmetrical Unitarianism ." This Unitarianism , where despite the formal centralism Lvov could do anything but Odessa was kept on a short leash Where even in the southeast Kharkov is not equal in rights to Donetsk, which enjoyed support of Yanukovich regime as the center of Donbass. If the inequality of rights is sometimes humiliating , inequality in justice is even more so. Since independence there was never a "single Ukraine", there were varying degrees of discrimination regions. In fact Ukraine was a small empire, where the political elite on behalf of a single community Western Ukrainians - claims a right to rule over another community - Russian and Russian speaking population of South-East. That's why Kiev junta now is very nervous about the ideas of federalism that are free from any ethnocentrism. This scheme of federalism would be acceptable to Kiev if Ukraine was a state where live peacefully next two related ethnic communities - Western Ukrainian and Eastern Ukranina. Federation would allow them to interact within established territorial limits on equal terms.
But such a policy federalism certainly unacceptable, because the will of voters south- eastern regions would not allow to implement policies that Western Ukraine wants within their areas. So post dissolution elite chose the strategy directly from Bolshevik books. Head of Ukraine was elected representative of Southeast, who betrayed the interest of South East. This long line includes Kuchma, Timoshenko and Yanukovich. All of whom came to power under the slogan of respect for the rights of Eastern and Southern regions and political realism, and ... immediately started to implement policies based on the interests of Western Ukrainian elite, and first of all the policy of forceful Ukrainization and suppression of Russian language and culture.
Now the fact the junta came to power a result of military putsch which had overthrown another double-dealer from the Eastern Ukraine who maintained this complex balance, the current political system became broken and low intensity civil war between Western Ukraine and Eastern Ukraine started machine , removing the next. Please note that junta can't rely on the loyalty of military unions and police on the East and South. Country began to disintegrate.
And it looks like conversion into explicit federation is the only way to prevent Eastern regions from joining Russia
Another important factor is that Ukraine is just tool in the global geopolitical game, as well as the game for domination of neoliberal order on the globe. That means that Ukraine's fate is not decided by Ukrainian elite in Kiev. It is decided in Washington and Brussel and the elite gets direction from the US embassy in Kiev (aka Washington Obcom). The place which members of Provisional Government so like to visit. In the terminology of Brzezinski this is the game of chess on a "global chessboard" in which Ukraine is just a pawn.
Like in Libya, it was the USA which started to play this pawn in EuroMaidan gambit against Russia. They invested billions in creating powerful "grant-eaters" networks and think tanks and the whole "captured media" infrastructure necessary for color revolution implementation. They have sent instructors, trained Western Ukrainian militants, they conducted seminars and workshops, they provide all of this ideological, organizational and material support. And it is widely known and undeniable set of fact with massive indefinable evidence.
Russia was fine with the status quo when Ukraine played the policy of "neither yours nor ours " or "both yours and ours" . While Ukraine has remained non-aligned state, Russia stayed away from meddling with Ukrainian affairs. This is the second fact, confirmed by 22 years of "peaceful co-existence". It was just another neoliberal country of xUSSR space struggling with typical for neoliberal problems like any other country.
No about problems. Was it Russia that impose similar privatization of Ukrainian state assets ? Was in Russia which made Ukraine a debt slave by increasing foreign debt from 20 to 120 billion during Yushchenko government installed by Orange Revolution. Was it Russia that pushed predatory consumer loans ? Or promotes "sex tourism" including homosexual sex tourism? When you answer those question you can understand more about Ukraine predicament. This was a typical path of vassal neoliberal state in the world of neoliberal globalization negative aspects of which were amplified by voluminous greed of Ukrainian elite.
Returning to the subject of geopolitics and the role of Ukraine. it's time to state an obvious truth. Like many other countries, Ukraine is a deeply split country. And as it typically goes in such situations those two are somewhat hostile to each other. One part - Ukrainian South-East -- is Ukraine of Bohdan Khmelnytsky, in which viewpoint can be simplified to "Russian land " and " Forever with Russia ." (although that does not mean that they want to be a part of Russia). The other part (simplifying the complex situation) is Galicia which proclaims "forever with Germany". And it is this the second part which wants to enslave the other part of Ukraine and serve as elite and guards (aka managers) for Western multinationals putting themselves into the position of Polish Szlachta against Galicians in the past. As part of the Poland, Galicia has always been oppressed and plundered suburb where only "slaves " and " rednecks " used to live. As part of Russia Ukraine (including Galicia) has always been an equal part of that empire which actually send a lot of Communist functionaries to Moscow. And for the U.S., Ukraine will always be just a bargaining chip in grand neoliberal globalization game, like any other country, even from those whom they call " allies." The USA government will do the bidding of multinationals, because it is multinationals who are the real elite of the neoliberal world. Even if their actions will hurt the US people.
One of the most interesting features of EuroMaidan color revolution (as well as Orange Revolution) is it was launched and conducted almost exclusively by far right forces located in three provinces of Western Ukraine which has strong gravitation of to the West and fought with Third Reich during WWII. Participation of kievites in the events was spotty (although the critical mass of neoliberal fifth column is concentrated in Kiev).
Paid extras of EuroMaidan were by-and-large bussed from Lviv and other cities in three Western Ukrainian provinces (Lviv, Volyn and Ternopil provinces). Approximately 200-350 grivna a day (around $20-$35) was a typical tax for ordinary recruited in those Western provinces "protesters" who were either unemployed youth or mainly earn living as seasonal agricultural gastarbeiters.
This three provinces can be called Ukrainian Benghasi. Like Benghasi it has strong, fanatical nationalism spirit. From the very beginning (and it was time of Gasburg empire) Western Ukrainian nationalists have a strong and underground military organization reminiscent of Irish Republican Army. See The Far Right Forces in Ukraine. Those militant nationalist units go back in history for almost a century (Ukraine's Phantom Neo-Nazi Menace - David Frum - The Atlantic):
This grim history winds its way through pogroms and massacres after the Bolshevik Revolution and culminates in the Holocaust, in which an estimated 1.4 million Ukrainian Jews perished. The invading Nazis recruited Ukrainian units to do the face-to-face killing, especially of children, that German officers deemed too psychologically upsetting for their own men. After these executions were centralized in extermination camps, the Nazis enlisted Ukrainian collaborators as guards and enforcers.
Ukrainians had suffered their own holocaust during a horrific famine engineered by the Soviets under Joseph Stalin in the 1930s. So when the Germans invaded in 1941, some Ukrainians seized the chance to recover the independence they’d briefly enjoyed in 1919. The Nazis rapidly made clear, however, that Ukrainians wouldn’t be more than serfs and slaves in the empire Germany was building. The Ukrainian independence leader Stepan Bandera was arrested and sent to a German concentration camp.
But as the fortunes of war turned against Germany, the Nazis decided Ukraine might make a useful ally after all. They released Bandera and equipped his paramilitary force. Under the red-and-black flag of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, Bandera’s followers fought a doomed war against Soviet forces for years after 1945—and committed atrocities to drive Poles from territory they hoped to claim. Patriotic Ukrainians faced only bad choices in 1941. But from a menu of bad, they chose the worst.
Historically Galicia was the part of Hapsburg empire before WWI and nationalist organizations were first created during this period with some support of Germany and always has had strong affinity with (much like Austria) and were virulently anti-Polish and anti-Russian. Galicia was incorporated in the USSR just before WWII as a result of partitioning of Poland. So it was just a historical accident and probably one of Stalin's geological mistakes. During the WWII Large part of them fought with Germans forming one SS division (SS Galician) Their main scapegoat and target for ethnic cleansing were actually Polish and Jewish people, not Russian people. In 2007 Poland has unveiled a new monument on the 70th anniversary of the Volyn massacre, in which nationalist Ukrainian nationalist killed about 40,000 Polish civilians.
In this sense senator Lindsey Graham remark that Ukraine "started with Benghazi" make perfect sense. Albeit completely different from which the senator meant when he uttered this phrase. EuroMaidan really started with Ukrainian Benghazi. See also:
As Businessweek noted (Four Uncomfortable Truths About Ukraine ):
Even as it seeks closer ties with Europe, Ukraine can’t afford to turn its back on its huge eastern neighbor. For starters, it gets more than half its natural gas from Russia. The EU couldn’t help much if Moscow turned off the tap—though it’s unlikely to do so, since Russia ships gas to Western Europe via Ukrainian pipelines. Nor can the EU suddenly absorb the $15 billion in iron, steel, grain, and other products that Ukraine annually sells Russia, its biggest trade partner.
And for all the anti-Moscow rhetoric heard during the recent protests, the two countries have deep historical and cultural ties. Some 8.3 million Ukrainians, almost one-fifth of the population, described themselves in the country’s last census as ethnic Russians, while some 1.9 million of Russia’s citizens say they are ethnic Ukrainian.
Powerful neoliberal countries usually mercilessly exploit weaker countries (global village) and neither USA, nor Germany, not Russia are exception to this rule. Rule of the strong is the idea of neoliberal morality and we can do nothing with it until we get rid of neoliberalism. And as USA demonstrated so convincingly international law is just a fig leaf, if you are really strong. And this is 100% pure neoliberalism and it is stupid to expect anything else.
Like USA, Germany and all other members of EU, Russia is a neoliberal country, but it can propose Ukraine better terms of economy integration with little or no cost to itself
As Russia is a neoliberal country in these sense integration of Ukraine with Russia does not mean anything different then integration with EU -- in both cases Ukraine will be looted by stronger neoliberal state. And integration with EU among other things means complete squeeze of Ukrainian oligarchs out of banking sector and energy sector (because those two sector belong to the USA on the basis of the rule of the strong). And if "IMF Rabbit" Yatsenyuk fails to give them those two peaces of Ukrainian pie quickly enough, they will find another rabbit who will. That's the rule of the neoliberal game.
But Russia while also repressing an eminent danger for weaker and more corrupt Ukrainian oligarchs has something that EU does not have and which cost a lot of money -- legacy of being a single country with mutually dependent set of major factories. Military industrial complex is one example here. For example, engines for Russian helicopters are still produced in Ukraine, although in case with association with EU that will quickly change.
Also the tug of war over transporting natural gas over Ukrainian pipelines that it inherited from the USSR will instantly be over. So Damocles sword of Southern stream, which now hangs over Ukraine will disappear. In this sense integration with Ukraine ties Russia to the West, as otherwise Russia can always redirect energy flow to Asia (with some costs). It is not bound to Europe.
An interesting feature of Ukraine that on most of its territory (all East and South) including Kiev Russian is native language: those regions never in the past were Ukrainian speaking and Ukranina if somewhat foreign to them. Situation somewhat similar to Canada and French language. Even in Poltava (which is the region from which "classic Ukrainian language" originated, by-and large spoke "surgik (a mixture of Russian and Ukraine).
But after independence that fact became inconvenient to new elite and they became hell bent of changing the language situation and tried to create a "monolinguistic county" as if guarantees Ukrainian independence. While in reality it is a smoke screen for forcing Ukrainian nationalism views on the population. To this end they adopted "Language apartheid" policies of Baltic states in milder form. I think money would be much better spend on promoting English as a "global" language because they faced stiff resistance of the population and outright hostility especially when they close all Russian language schools like they did in Kiev. Resistance that at the end of the day led to loss of Crimea. Here are two pretty telling quote (Suppression of Russian language and culture in Ukraine)
[Mar 31, 2014] The Reason to Speak Russian in Ukraine by Graham W Phillip
Brit in ukraine
Another skirmish in the Verkhovna Rada as neo-Nazi party Svoboda seize upon the speaking of Russian as reason to throw hands.
One of Svoboda’s leading fascist lunatics, Iryna Farion, has variously referred to Russian as either excrement or should-be-criminal, even going so far as to have a bus driver fired for his predilection for Russian-language music as he worked. She also wasted little time after the October 28th 2012 election saw Svoboda take around 10% in the Ukrainian parliament in upbraiding Ukrainian Prie Minister Nykola Azarov for his poor grasp of the national language. Azarov chooses to communicate in Russian, both in formal and informal spheres.
So, as Prime Minister of Ukraine, is his doing of that cause for either abuse or assault? I’d say not, and the reason for that being pretty clear – Ukrainian is simply an inferior language. Listen to it and what do you hear? Some kind of self-satisfied ragbag of Russian, German and Polish passing itself off as a tongue. It’s a language devoid of scientific or technical vocabulary. And the reality is, in modern Ukraine, it’s a language for menial workers.
More, in Ukraine’s history, almost everything associated with the Ukrainian language has ended in disaster – Ukrainian Insurgent Army, West Ukraine People’s Republic, Orange Revolution. And now, its latest exponents, Svoboda? A shower of racist, homophobic, Nazi-worshipping n’er do-wells.
The Ukrainian language should live on – it sounds quite well set to song or poem. But it shouldn’t be allowed near anything serious. There’s Russian for that, a real language. And as for that contention that the Russian language is somehow associated with oppressions gone by? Well, to every loser their grudge.
Irina Farion wishes to perform "de-moscalization" of South East Ukraine
See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iryna_Farion and Nationalist deputy teaches kids why their names are wrong
She also noted the dire situation in the Eastern Ukrainian universities, where teachers refuse to demand of nationalists students to teach in Ukrainian. And because there are only 2-3 such students per group, they can not write a collective complaint to the management of the university and write to me.
This is a shameful situation that needs to be changed immediately . Therefore, our task is to perform "de-moscalization" South East Ukraine and start Ukrainization processes"
Those "Language apartheid" were the most despicable feature of Ukrainian neoliberal republic since its birth in 1991 under all administrations including Yanukovich. Ukrainian "Russian language suppression" has a lot of common with Baltic countries policies (See OSCE paper About apartheid policies in the Baltic States, Set. 23, 2013) -- a form of discrimination based on absolutization of the value of the knowledge of "official" language of the country, although they took milder form (no exclusion of citizenship for those who can't pass the language test).
In Estonia there is an apartheid regime. Now it is obvious that there is no more integration. It is the EU that is guilty as they took Estonia as a member of the EU. They are misinformed and need to force more critics towards Estonia,” says Finnish journalist Leena Hietanen who worked in Tallinn for years and wrote a book “Estonian cold war”.
After 1991 most Russian language schools in Ukraine were forcefully closed. Kiev, which is essentially a Russian speaking city lost almost all of its Russian schools. University education was switched to Ukrainian which took pretty perverse forms because most of textbooks remain in Russian ;-). All official documentation were permitted in Ukrainian only, which actually infringe rights of Russian language speakers in court and in applications to government jobs. And by some measures (data from a Gallup pool which asked respondents to select answers either in Russia or Ukrainian; answers were ignored but percentage of those who used Russian were over 80%) majority of Ukrainian use Russian in family and prefer it in communications.
It is important to understand that "Language Apartheid" policies were clearly visible since 1991 and were supported by all Ukrainian governments (slightly edited Google translation from Rosbalt):
In Crimea , where I spent the last ten days, almost no one calls the present authorities in Kiev interim government - they say " Bandera junta ." And that is not a way to belittle the opponent, just an explanation of the current events in Ukraine.
Maidan Revolution is an ethnic conflict which smoldered all 23 years of Ukrainian independence. Conversations with Crimeans the period since the collapse of the USSR until today almost always produce overt or covert resentment: we dutifully endured whatever that Kiev officials had thrown on us, and they did not even try to listen to us, to know what we want.
"I took half a year fighting ( if can't call it anything but that) in order to write in passport the name of my granddaughter as "Anna" not as "Ganna". Officials relied on some absurd conclusion of the Institute of the Ukrainian language, according to which I can not call my granddaughter as I see fit .
And then I had three years of legal battles over the utility tariffs - during which judge demanded to conduct all meetings only in Ukrainian -- I had to hire an interpreter to spend money on it despite the fact that everybody in the room spoke perfect Russian. Generally, any official documents in the Crimea are written exclusively in Ukrainian -- but we do not speak the language, it 's just not needed here in 100% Russian environment. For 23 years we endured this humiliation by visiting Kiev officials who behaved in Crimea as invaders, colonists , completely disregarding our opinion and desires. and when there was a coup in Kiev when we saw these radicals with clubs and pistols , screaming "Let's put Moskals on knives " , we finally realized that our roads with h Kiev should be parted, "- explained to me Sevastopol resident Rima Tsarik .
Now this grandmother - one of the leaders of the Popular Resistance Front of Crimea, although pensioners riot looks at a television picture is not as beautiful as the young students of the revolution on the Maidan, I see no reason to insult these people the definition of " titushki " (i.e. paid activists ). that how do all Ukrainian TV channels without exception call pro-Russian protesters.
Generally, state propaganda of Ukraine is set to present the current conflict as a purely political - "democratic, progressive Maidan " is contrasted with " totalitarian pro-Soviet rednecks ." I'm not exaggerating - that such terms are now seriously operate Ukrainian media. However, if you talk with the participants of protest rallies on both sides, you will see that they understand the fact that both officials in Kiev and West stubbornly refuse to see. That this is a revolution initiated and carried out by nationalists , and its benefits are calculated using only " zapadentsy " and not all multinational Ukrainian people . In particular, it is for this reason that the present government of the country there is no native of the eastern regions , and declared lustration and financial redistribution aimed only at the Russian-speaking elite.
But it is not only in Russian language and the redistribution of property . Simferopol resident and active participant so-called People's Self Defense , Civil Engineer Gennady Lisov told me that one of the main reasons for the conflict between East and West became the cultural and historical differences.
"We resent dominant Russophobia and official apology of Nazism, which for 23 authorities tried to implanted in our minds, not only in the media but also in schools. I do not want my children and grandchildren were brainwashes to hate our brothers in Russia and conditioned to love Ukrainian Nazis. Kiev officials and politicians demonstratively humiliated us, literally forcing their perception of history and culture, insulting Russians at every opportunity. Ukrainian media have called us "titushki" just because we believe nationalists radicals what they are -- rascals. We believed that in Kiev they will eventually come to senses and return to policies of taking into account all people of Ukraine, but this has not happened . That's why we no longer want to live together with them , "- explained Gennady Lisov .
... ... ...
Generally , one can say that for all these 23 years Kiev did not pay attention to national politics. It did paid a lot of attention, but a very peculiar way. "The last year we at the Simferopol railway station noted a very interesting rotation among the leadership held all local chiefs managers were on the orders of Kiev urgently transferred to the central and even western Ukraine. As a replacement to us sent most loyal to Kiev nationalists, including the director of the station . New chief proudly calls himself Banderovitz, treats Russian like scum and he has around thousand subordinates. It's very hard to work in such an environment " - complained railway station hotel employee when she realized that I am a journalist from Russia.
There was similar personnel policy in the Ukrainian units stationed on the peninsula : the local officers and soldiers were sent to the center and to the west, and in the Crimea were sent mostly diehard nationalists from the western regions. That is why not all the military units under the control of the Crimean authorities .
"Now junta in Kiev changed rhetoric, started talking about the return of the Russian language, and also made some other overtures to population of southeastern Ukraine, but we no longer believe them. It's like to Whisper sweet words and scratching her ear to a cow before slaughtering her for meat. Crimea lost trust in official Kiev and we now will fight. We will never again submit to Kiev - just because we want to live " that's how Mikhail Sheremet explained the reason why he took up a gun and went to Perekop
There is now the huge gap in how those two sides see each other, and to eliminate it, it will take decades quite a different policy than the one that was conducted all the years of independence.
If we consider nationalism as a form of unfair competition, the rational for introducing and enforcing Language Apartheid is pretty clear: it gives tremendous advantaged to Western Ukrainian population, making them "kings of the hills" and allowing to improve their standard of living at the expense of the rest of the population. In other words it makes them a kind of language aristocracy. I would understand the same policy toward government employees knowledge of English which is world dominant language and which puts both Russian speakers and Ukrainian speakers in the same position (and will do to promote Westward orientation of Ukraine more that stupid anti-Russian hysteria along the lines "Let's hang all Moskals on a tree branch"), but promoting a rather small local language which lies completely outside modern technology and science fields looks to me economically counterproductive. Although I can't deny that the ability of learning to speak another language is a sign of intelligence. Even native language is difficult for some, just look at Bush II and Gorbachov ;-)
It looks like example of Canada which borders with the USA and uses the same language does not look too convincing to Ukrainian politicians. They created the situation similar as if Canada outlawed English language on the grounds it is used by the USA (and project the ideology and values of evil American empire into Canada) and forcefully started total switch to French (actually Quebec has some superficial similarities with Galicia). So Ukrainian elite (former communist functionaries who came to power after the dissolution of the USSR, like Kravchuk (a member of the Ukrainian Politburo since 1989), Kuchma, Yushchenko and Yanukovich) wanted a country with a single national language no matter what are the costs as some strange way to guarantee the country independence from Russia. They forgot communist dogma that the strength of economy determine the stability of political superstructure, not vice versa. After February 22 Ukraine cancelled all TV channels form Russia on cable TV. Parliament also repealed Russian language law signed by Yanukovich which gives national minorities in regions were then are above 10% of population to use national language in official matters. After protests and sharp raise of separatists mood in Eastern Regions of Ukraine, Turchinov did not dare to sign this Parliament act into law.
At the same time the new Provisional government has distinct far right overtones. It stresses the primacy and glory of the state, obedience to the "fearless leader", subordination of the individual interests to the state interests, and practice brutal suppression of dissent. In a way this is "Ukraine uber alles" government or if you wish the " is government" of the "Low intensity Civil War" of victorious Western Ukraine with subdued and occupied Russian speaking East and South.
The main purpose of such a civil war is restoring power of "Yushchenko oligarchic clan " under rule of which Western Ukraine was a privileged "nation within the nation". With the explicit goal of the formation of "homogeneous Ukrainian nation" from Russian speaking Untermensch from Eastern and Southern Ukraine. If necessary in a similar way as it was formed in the "now racially pure" city of Lvov. With simple and attractive slogan "Moskalyaku na gillyaku" ("Russians to the gallows"). In other word elimination and suppression of everybody to is more of less adherent to Russian civilization.
As for "forced Ukrainization" drive as political analyst Rostislav Ishchenko noted:
"Nobody will kill hundreds of people in the streets, not to give Russia an excuse to send troops . Someone just disappear , someone will be arrested and incarcerated for participation in mass actions someone dies at the hands of the unknown and the offense will be considered quite normal household ... "
In other words, pointed acts of terror can be used instead of mass terror. And their task is not physical "sweep" of Russian-speaking and "nesvidomyh " (lacking Ukrainian nationalistic consciousness ) Ukrainians, but the destruction or submission of any alternative organizations of the country starting from media (Provisional Government already took care about politically incorrect Russian TV channels and, simultaneously repealed the law that prohibited wearing Nazi insignia). and ending with singing politically incorrect songs or reading politically incorrect literature
Attitude of victors to "genetic slaves" as they call Eastern Ukrainians is now harsher then was even in Orange Yushchenko government. And as evidence that the situation in Ukraine is perhaps different from reports of western MSM, on March 7, the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) instructed its member states to remove Ukraine from the ‘safe country of origin’ list. This is defined as:
“”A country where, on the basis of the legal situation, the application of the law within a democratic system and the general political circumstances, it can be shown that there is generally and consistently no persecution as defined in Article 9 of Directive 2004/83/EC, no torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and no threat by reason of indiscriminate violence in situations of international or internal armed conflict. In making this assessment, account is taken, inter alia, of the extent to which protection is provided against persecution or mistreatment by:
(a) the relevant laws and regulations of the country and the manner in which they are applied;
(b) observance of the rights and freedoms laid down in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and/or the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights and/or the Convention against Torture, in particular the rights from which derogation cannot be made under Article 15(2) of the said European Convention;
(c) respect of the non-refoulement principle according to the Geneva Convention;
(d) provision for a system of effective remedies against violations of these rights and freedoms.”
Latin Americans strongly believed that they are the major target of the US over the years. A popular joke there says: “Why will there never be a coup in the US? Because there’s no US Embassy in Washington.” That changed now and xUSSR countries are now in the headlines of Washington too.
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) loyal 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:
.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.
This page promotes the view that EuroMaidan was a final stage of organized, financed and supported by the USA color revolution using their junior partners in EU -- Poland and Sweden. Canadian-based Global Research provides a good summary in the article Violence and Terror The Ukrainian and Colombian Road to Empire Building
Political Intervention and Proxy Regimes: Ukraine
The conversion of the Ukraine into a US-EU vassal state has been a prolonged process which involved large scale, long term financing, indoctrination and recruitment of cadres, organization and training of politicos and street fighters and, above all, a capacity to combine direct action with electoral politics.
Seizing power is a high stakes game for empire: (1) Ukraine, in the hands of clients, provides a NATO with a military springboard into the heart of the Russian Federation; (2) Ukraine’s industrial and agricultural resources provide a source of enormous wealth for Western investors and (3) Ukraine is a strategic region for penetrating the Caucuses and beyond.
Washington invested over $5 billion dollars in client-building, mostly in ‘Western Ukraine’, especially in and around Kiev, focusing on ‘civil society groups’ and malleable political parties and leaders. By 2004, the initial US political ‘investment’ in regime change culminated in the so-called ‘Orange Revolution’ which installed a short-lived pro-US-EU regime. This, however, quickly degenerated amidst major corruption scandals, mismanagement and oligarchic pillage of the national treasury and public resources leading to the conviction of the former-Vice President and the demise of the regime. New elections produced a new regime, which attempted to secure ties with both the EU and Russia via economic agreements, while retaining many of the odious features (gross endemic corruption) of the previous regime. The US and EU, having lost thru democratic elections, re-launched their ‘direct action organizations’ with a new radical agenda. Neo-fascists seized power and established a dictatorial junta through violent demonstrations, vandalism, armed assaults and mob action. The composition of the new post-coup junta reflected two sides of the US-backed political organizations:
- neo-liberal politicos for managing economic policy and forging closer ties with NATO,
- and neo-fascists/violent nationalists to impose order by force and fist, and crush pro-Russian Crimean ‘autonomists’ and ethnic Russians and other minorities, especially in the industrialized south and east.
Whatever else may ensue, the coup and the resultant junta is fully subordinated to and dependent on the will of Washington: claims of Ukrainian ‘independence’ notwithstanding. The junta proceeded to purge the elected and appointed government officials affiliated with the political parties of the previous democratic regime and to persecute its supporters. Their purpose is to ensure that subsequent managed elections will provide a pretense of legitimacy, and elections will be limited to two sets of imperial clients: the neo-liberals, (self-styled “moderates”) and the neo-fascists dubbed as “nationalists”.
Ukraine’s road to imperialist power via a collaborator regime illustrates the various instruments of empire building:
- the use of imperial state funds, channeled through NGOs, to political front groups and the build-up of a ‘mass base’ in civil society;
- the financing of mass direct action leading to a coup (‘regime change’); (3) the imposition of neo-liberal policies by the client regime;
- imperial financing of the re-organization and regroupment of mass direct action groups after the demise of the first client regime;
- the transition from protest to violent direct action as the major backdrop to the extremist sectors (neo-fascists) organizing the seizure of power and purge of the opposition;
- organizing an ‘international media campaign’ to prop up the new junta while demonizing domestic and international opposition (Russia) and
- political power centralized in the hands of the junta, convoking “managed elections” limited to the victory of one or the other pro-imperial pro-junta candidates.
In summary, empire-builders operate on several/levels: violent and electoral; social and political; and with selected incumbents and rivals committed to one strategic aim: the seizure of state power and the conversion of the ruling elite into willing vassals of empire.
As Anna Williamson noted the solders in the trenches for the USA were Poland and Sweden (The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity)
In 2009, Poland and Sweden, ever attentive to the US’s geostrategic goals of isolating Russia and gaining control of China thereafter, initiated the Eastern Partnership program, which its sponsors said was intended to tighten ties with former Soviet Republics, such as Moldova, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, and Ukraine. A trade pact is a part of the Partnership’s Association Agreement (AA) deal.
What the Russians saw in the EU initiative was a repeat of the “NATO Syndrome,” in that what was promised would soon be betrayed, i.e. no NATO expansion in exchange for a Soviet agreement to the reunification of Germany.
To Russian eyes, NATO’s 1999 expansion throughout Eastern Europe and the subsequent celebratory bombing campaign against Serbia, inaugurated just one month later, and the still later Albanian annexation of Serbia’s heartland province of Kosovo, were altogether the Clinton Administration’s triple-combo opening salvos in an American campaign to recreate the Versailles Treaty’s cordon sanitaire. And the 2009 Association Agreement is but a Trojan horse whose only practical purpose is to advance US and EU interests at the expense of the former Soviet republics’ naïve hopes and Russian security.
Ukraine is a typical neoliberal (aka oligarchic) republic in which only clans of oligarchs can fight for power and determine all important decisions. The only undisputable result of EuroMaidan is return to power of Yushchenko "mon ami" comprador clan subservient to IMF. Closer association with EU is just icing on the cake.
It is important to understand the despite personal animosity Yulia Timoshenko and Yushchenko, her Batkivshchina Party belongs to the same camp as Yushchenko supporters -- to the Ukrainian nationalist camp. They also represent mainly (although not exclusively) of Dnepropetrovsk clan of oligarchs. Which includes such figures as Yulia Timoshenko herself, Igor Kolomoisky , Victor Pinchuk and closely associated with Yushchenko Petro Poroshenko.
Two oligarchs among them -- Igor Kolomoisky (principal ally of Yulia Timoshenko, a dual Ukrainian-Israeli citizen ) and Petro Poroshenko (Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council under Yushchenko) definitely made their bet with Maidan protesters (and by extension with Washington Obcom). TV channels they own provided not stop 24 x 7 propaganda of Maidan.
That means new government represents return to power the clan of oligarchs which were shadowed after defeat of Orange Revolution. Many people considered that Dmytro Firtash also joined this oligarchic group, as he was another oligarch close to Victor Yushchenko and his TV channel was another prominent source of EuroMaidan propaganda:
Firtash is a controversial figure in Ukraine. According to documents uncovered during the United States diplomatic cables leak Firtash told U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine -> William Taylor of needing permission from alleged Russian crime boss Semyon Mogilevich to do business in Ukraine during the lawless 1990s. The same documents suggest that Firtash also claimed to be friends with President -> Viktor Yushchenko.
So behind Maidan protests are not only anger at Yanukovich government (which always exist in neoliberal regimes) and yet another Western attempt to stage color revolution to reach its economic and geopolitical aims, there is also oligarchic fronda. The problem here is that Yanukovich represented Donetsk group of oligarchs (with Renat Akhmetov as the most prominent figure) . According to Wikipedia
In a 13 September 2007 diplomatic cable released between prominent Ukrainian business partners Serhiy Taruta, Vitaliy Haiduk, and U.S. ambassador William Taylor, Taruta alleged that Akhmetov had in 1997 persuaded Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma to appoint Viktor Yanukovych governor of Donetsk oblast, who then in turn made Haiduk his deputy.
In this sense new provisional government that came to power on bayonets of Right Sector is February 22 coup d'état is not an alternative to Yanukovich regime -- it's just a slight variation of the same with more nationalist flavor. The same corrupt to the core neoliberal puppets of major oligarchs and international companies, which run the show under Yushchenko, will continue to loot Ukraine via privatization of state property and corporate raiding. May be even with worse excesses then under Yanukovich regime. Like with Bourbon's after French Revolution, Yushchenko people who were sidelined by Yanukovich regime after the defeat of Orange Revolution in 2010 elections forgot nothing and learn nothing.
Nulangate was a direct proof of interference of the USA on the side of Yushchenko clan
Sustained financing of EuroMaidan activities on the scale we can observe would be impossible without substantial Western embassies and NGO support as Ukrainian oligarchs are way too greedy to channel millions of dollars to the cause. It was reasonable to assume that Maidan was run on Western money (there is a lot of information the suggests that most protestors were receiving daily payment around $20-$35 for 24 hour shift). Some sources cite figure 5 billion dollars was spend since Independence for support of pro-western faction of Ukrainian society and corresponding network of MSM and educational institutions (Victoria Nolan Admits US Has Invested $5 Billion In The Development of Ukrainian "Democratic Institutions").
On December 9, 2013 Ukrainian Analog of FBI called SBU confiscated 17 million dollars in cash from Batkivshchina office in Kiev. Also were confiscated servers which contained incriminating materials of a typical color revolution plan including methods of hiring "activists" for protests, payment scheme and other "interesting materials" Against Turchinov and Yatschenuyk was started criminal investigation with possible charge of treason. See SBU raid on Kiev Batkivshchina office.
Strangely enough this investigation what shut down by "Yanukovich himself". It might well be that at this point he was under complete control of the US embassy as he was afraid that his son will lose all the money in foreign banks.
Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell said: "once we had formed a group there led by the NED and its affiliates that effectively pulled off a coup."
Kucinich, who served eight terms in the United States House of Representatives and ran for president as a Democrat, pushes past host Bill O’Reilly’s interruptions to state a few sentences of analysis. Asked what he would have done differently as president regarding Ukraine, Kucinich explains to Bill O'Reilly (The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity)
What I’d do is not have USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy working with US taxpayers’ money to knock off an elected government in Ukraine, which is what they did. I wouldn’t try to force the people of Ukraine into a deal with NATO against their interests or into a deal with the European Union which is against their economic interests.
Kucinich adds that the Central Intelligence Agency also took part in US government efforts “to stir
up trouble in Ukraine.”
There is also information about Western Ukrainian paramilitary training in Estonia.
More about the replacement of one oligarchic clan into another
The West demonstrated questionable wisdom in replacing pro-Western, neoliberal (aka oligarchic) government of Yanukovich (which represented mainly Donetsk oligarchic clan), and who was completely subservient to Western interests, with similar shady figures from Yushchenko clan (Poroshenko), and Dnepropetrovsk clan (Timoshenko, Kolomoisky, Pinchuk).
And politically Yanukovich government was doomed, anyway. What West got with the coup d'état of February 22 is the stronger influence on "provisional government" of Ukraine of ultra-nationalists and control of paramilitary groups of Right Sector of Kiev territory. As law enforcement was completely demoralized and melted due to Yanukovich betrayal of the country, Ukraine Parliament itself became hostage to paramilitary groups from EuroMaidan most aggressive factions including neo-Nazi. By late afternoon of Feb 22, hundreds of riot police officers guarding the government buildings had vanished (later Berkut unit of riot police was disbanded).
And this point paramilitaries of Right Sector became kings of the Kiev hills and power to recon with. Which somewhat explains Soviet style unanimity of voting of "Parliament" after February 22, despite being populated by such amicable political forces that few sessions before ended without a physical fight. Among the first acts was prohibition of usage of Russian as official language in territories with more then 10% of Russians (later vetoed by Turchinov) and revocation of prohibition of Nazi symbols on the territory of Ukraine. Those were priorities.
While protests has elements of popular resentment against Yanukovich regime, this was minor elements. The key drivers of "protest" were Western embassies and oligarchic clans who fought for the power in Ukraine. Along with the US embassies Polish embassy and Swedish embassy were especially active.
In his debate with one despicable Yale Professor Who Is Provoking the Unrest in Ukraine A Debate on Role of Russia, United States in Regional Crisis Ray McGovern's noted : 26:25.
"If you look at Bahrain, you know, if you look at Syria -- even Egypt, to an extent -- these were initially popular uprisings. The question is: Who took them over? Who spurred them? Who provoked them even more for their own particular strategic interests? And it's very clear what's happened to the Ukraine. It used to be the CIA doing these things. I know that for a fact. OK, now it's the National Endowment for Democracy, a hundred million bucks, 62 projects in the Ukraine. So, again, you don't have to be a paranoid Russian to suggest that, you know, they're really trying to do what they -- do in the Ukraine what they've done in the rest of Eastern Europe and elsewhere."
Along with USA, Western Europe (mainly Poland and Sweden) and associated network of NGOs (such NED-supported NGOs and Soros Renaissance fund) there was strong support of EuroMaidan by Ukrainian oligarchs from Yushchenko "mon ami" clan (Poroshenko) and Dnepropetrovsk clans such as Poroshenko, Igor Kolomoisky and Firtash.
Part of the financing of EuroMaidan is attributed to them (especially Poroshenko). See also pretty amazing Kolomoisky speach (in Russian) on Youtube when this Jewish oligarch came to the right of some ultranationalists such as Svoboda members of Parliament.
The established fact is well coordinated by embassies dense smoke screen
of propaganda in Western MSM
Which would shame former staff of Pravda and Izvestia, but the level of coordination between various MSM in creating this artificial reality picture of events and adherence to official story line was simply amazing. And probably irreproducible outside similar situation before Iraq war, Libya insurrection, etc.
MSM completely distorted the picture of event creating a very interesting effect of "artificial reality", kind of holographic picture that shadows real. For more information about trenedous sucess of propaganda in modern neoliberal society see Neoliberal Propaganda: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few
Contrary to Western coverage of events, there is substantial evidence that considerable part of Maidan protesters were well trained and organized para-military groups which are far from the picture of "peaceful protesters" painted by Western MSM. You can get your own opinion by watching the following videos:
Nigh torch marches, nazi insignia, witch hunt of opponents and victor justice after coming to power are pretty telling signs. Right Sector is a problem not a solution of the problem to moving Ukraine closer to West. Physical repression of opponents of opponents is a litmus test for classification such movements. Several Parliamentarians were severely beaten, one shot. Actually few Western MSM noted that the previous name of Svoboda Party was "Socialist National Party of Ukraine" and the fact that after Orange Revolution Taygibok managed to get excluded from Victor Yushchenko openly and radically nationalist Party for radicalism. It's an extremely difficult trick to achieve, for sure.
Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet confirmed that on February 25, when he and EU foreign policy Catherine Ashton spoke about possibility that sharpshooters were hired by opposition to compromise Yanukovich government (the trick that might also be used previously in Vilnius Massacre before the dissolution of the USSR). See To whom EuroMaidan Sharp-shooters belong?
I think the key to analysis of this story is the classic Roman question "cui bono". Also timing of the shooing is suspect (Feb 20 was just three days from the closing of Sochi Olympics).
Recently fuel to fire was added by Former Head State Security of Ukraine (SBU, Ukranian equavalent to FBI+CIA) Yakimenko (Yakimenko accuses EuroMaidan leaders of hiring snipers; allegations denounced, KyivPost):
Former State Security Head of Ukraine Oleksandr Yakimenko blames Ukraine's current government for hiring snipers on Feb. 20, when dozens of people were killed and hundreds more wounded. The victims were mainly EuroMaidan Revolution demonstrations, but some police officers were also killed. This was the deadliest day during the EuroMaidan Revolution, a three-month uprising that claimed 100 lives.
Yakimenko also blamed the United States for organizing and financing the revolution by bringing illegal cash in using diplomatic mail.
The U.S. Embassy in Ukraine dismissed the charges as ludicrous, while another official with the current government called the accusations "cynical" propaganda with no factual basis.
... ... ...
Yakimenko made these and other accusations in a 10-minute exclusive interview to Russia's Vesti channel in an undisclosed location.
"The shots sounded from the building of Philharmonics," Yakimenko told Vesti. "This was the building supervised by (now National Security Council Chief Andriy) Parubiy."
He said the snipers were shooting in the back of the running police, as well as at protesters. He said there were two groups of "well-dressed" snipers, each composed of 10 people, operating in the building. Yakimenko said their exit was witnessed by both SBU operatives and protesters themselves.
He said one of the groups of snipers disappeared, but the other one relocated to Hotel Ukraina and continued to kill the protesters at a slower pace. Yakimenko said at that point representatives of Svoboda and Right Sector appealed to him to deploy SBU's special unit Alfa to destroy the snipers.
Yakimenko claims that he was ready to do it, but did not get the permission of Parubiy, who supervised the self-defense forces.
"To get inside EuroMaidan I needed Parubiy's permission because the forces of self-defense would hit me in the back," Yakimenko said. "But Parubiy did not give me such a permission."
"Not a single weapon could get onto Maidan without Parubiy's permission," he said, adding that EuroMaidan protesters used mercenaries from former defense ministry's special units, as well as foreign mercenaries, including those from former Yugoslavia.
... ... ....
Yankimenko says that Parubiy, as well as a number of other organizers of EuroMaidan, received direct orders from the U.S. government. Among those people he named former and current intelligence chiefs Mykola Malomuzh and Viktor Gvozd, former Defense Minister Anatoliy Hrytsenko and leader of the opposition Petro Poroshenko.
"These are the forces that were doing everything they were told by the leaders and representatives of the United States," he says. "They, in essence lived in the U.S. embassy. There wasn't a day when they did not visit the embassy."
... ... ...
SBU chief Valentyn Nalyvaichenko is also accused of playing to the tune of the Americans. The U.S. Embassy in Ukraine commented on these accusations in just one word: "ludicrous."
All orders were given either by the U.S. or EU ambassador Jan Tombinski, "who in essence is a Polish citizen."
"The role of Poland cannot be evaluated," Yakimenko said. "It dreams about restoring its old wish, Rzeczpospolita."
The EU Delegation had no comment about the accusations.
The former SBU chief also talked at length about the financing of EuroMaidan protests, saying much of it came directly from the U.S., and that some Ukrainian oligarchs, including Poroshenko, Dmytro Firtash and Viktor Pinchuk.
"From the beginning of Maidan we as a special service noticed a significant increase of diplomatic cargo to various embassies, western embassies located in Ukraine," says Yakimenko. "It was tens of times greater than usual diplomatic cargo supplies." He says that right after such shipments crisp, new U.S. dollar bills were spotted on Maidan.
He said Ukraine's oligarchs were also financing Maidan because they were "hostages of the situation and had no choice" because most of their assets are located in the west.
In any case "sniper gate" can deal a fatal blow to the provisional government exposing them as criminals who shoot their own supporters for political gain.
From YuTune video ЧП. Расследование - ОХОТА НА ЯНУКОВИЧА (2014) - YouTube one can make a hypothesis that the iniatal plan of putchist was to kill the president. But Yanukovich, as we can see from testimony who was pretty paranoid about his own security managed somehow escape the destiny of Colone; Kaddafi, which was prepared for him
Yanukovych allies attempt dramatic escape from Ukraine
The bodyguards of two close allies of Ukraine's ousted leader Viktor Yanukovych fired on border guards when they were blocked from trying to escape the country, an official said Sunday.
Several Yanukovych allies have reportedly attempted to flee -- as the former president did too -- or defected over the past days as deadly clashes between security forces and anti-government protesters in Kiev sparked a series of rapid-fire political changes that saw parliament come under opposition control.
Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka and tax chief Oleksandr Klimenko, both of who belonged to Yaunkovych's so-called "Family" of close-knit political and financial allies, were blocked from going "abroad" at the Donetsk airport, Oleg Makhnytsky, interim prosecutor general, told parliament.
They were only able to get away Saturday when their bodyguards shot at border guards, he said.
"Measures have been taken to arrest Pshonka and Klimenko and initiate legal proceedings against them," Makhnytsky said.
Ousted interior minister Vitaliy Zakharchenko and other ministers were also reportedly seen at the same airport, he added.
Yanukovych himself, shortly after denouncing a "coup" on local television and denying he had resigned, reportedly tried to leave Donetsk abroad a private plane Saturday.
Border service spokesman Sergiy Astahov told AFP the ousted president's aides tried to bribe border police to let him go, but they refused and he then left the airport.
Boxer-turned-opposition-leader Vitali Klitschko, meanwhile, said Sunday he had phoned Belarus's authoritarian president to ask him to extradite the ousted police chief Zakharchenko, as well as a young oligarch close to the "family" called Sergiy Kurchenko.
The Belarus president "said those people were not in Belarus," Klitschko said, insisting on the need to "urgently find all state criminals".
Klitschko did not spell out why he thought Zakharchenko -- a hate figure for the opposition because of his orders to open fire on protesters in a week of violence that left nearly 100 dead in Kiev -- might be in Belarus.
The Sydney Morning Herald
Kiev: Ukrainian customs agents blocked Viktor Yanukovich from fleeing the country without detaining him after MPs voted to remove him as president and hold a new election on May 25.
A pugnacious Mr Yanukovich appeared on television on Saturday afternoon, apparently from the city of Kharkiv, near Ukraine's eastern border with Russia, saying he had been forced to leave the capital because of a "coup".
"I don't plan to leave the country. I don't plan to resign," he said, speaking in Russian rather than Ukrainian "What is happening today, mostly, it is vandalism, banditism and a coup d'etat."He also complained of "traitors" among his own former supporters, but declined to name them. Regional governors from eastern Ukraine met in Kharkiv and adopted a resolution resisting the authority of the country's parliament, which had earlier voted to oust Mr Yanukovich as unable to perform his duties.
The fugitive president said in his television appearance that he would be travelling to the south-east of the country to talk to his supporters - a plan that carried potentially ominous overtones. The south-east is the location of the Crimea, the site of a Russian naval base and troop presence.
Ukraine’s Yanukovich goes from president to fugitive in a matter of days
Viktor Yanukovich, Ukraine’s president until Saturday, is now its most wanted man.
“An official case for the mass murder of peaceful citizens has been opened,” acting interior minister Arsen Avakov announced yesterday. “Yanukovich and other people responsible for this have been declared wanted.”
Yanukovich and most of his ministers and close advisers fled Kiev on Friday night, when protesters rejected an EU-brokered crisis deal and vowed to oust the man they blamed for the death of at least 82 people in central Kiev the previous day.
Avakov’s description of Yanukovich’s escape tallied with security camera footage from his lavish residence outside Kiev, which showed people leaving in a helicopter after a fleet of trucks had driven away carrying suspected valuables and possibly secret documents.
Yanukovich was last seen by people outside his shrinking inner circle in Ukraine’s Black Sea peninsula of Crimea on Sunday night, accompanied by his former national security adviser Andriy Klyuyev.
“At 23.50 Yanukovich stopped at a private residence close to Balaclava,” Avakov said. “He gathered his bodyguards and asked who would accompany him further and who would stay here. Some of the state protection agency officers expressed their desire to ‘stay here’. Yanukovich said farewell to them and handed over an official revocation of state protection.
“Yanukovich, with his remaining bodyguards and Klyuyev, left in three cars in an unknown direction – having switched off all forms of communication.”
As a place for Yanukovich to hide and possibly flee Ukraine, Crimea is an obvious choice. It is now the site of the strongest resistance to the revolution sweeping Ukraine, with thousands of people there rallying, not in support of Yanukovich but, in favour of maintaining their very close links with Russia, which they believe are threatened by the new pro-EU administration.
Local leaders have suggested they might secede from Ukraine if Russian speakers’ rights are endangered.
Most of Crimea’s population is ethnically Russian, and the city of Sevastopol is home to Moscow’s Black Sea Fleet. It would be relatively easy for Yanukovich to seek refuge there and if necessary to travel by sea to Russia itself.
Several of his former officials tried in vain to enter Russia over the weekend, with the bodyguards of some reportedly shooting their way out of Donetsk airport when guards blocked their departure.
Avakov said that on Friday night Yanukovich flew with Klyuyev and their bodyguards to the eastern city of Kharkiv.
On Saturday, he made a video denouncing opponents and refusing to resign, and then took the helicopter with Klyuyev to nearby Donetsk, where Yanukovich was born and served as governor.
There was no warm welcome in his erstwhile base, however, and border guards prevented him and his entourage from taking off in two private jets from a local airport.
Yanukovich was driven away to a nearby state residence, and after a few hours he continued by road to Crimea, without his usual police escort.
He arrived in Crimea on Sunday and stayed in a private sanatorium, and made for a local airport before apparently changing his mind.
It was then that he parted with some of his bodyguards, turned off his phones, and dropped off the map.
On May 2 in Odessa on Cathedral Square gathered fans of football clubs including cosiderable number of "ultras" both from Odessa and Kharkiv, to march into the stadium "Chernomorets", where the match was to be held . They were joined by Right Sector militants . A "Unity march" was planned. After the hymn of Ukraine column began to move, but soon some people who might be real supporters of federalization or more likely specially dressed provocateurs attack them. Clashes results. Two or four poeple were killed, several injured. Angry crowd of ultras an militants was skillfully directed toward tent city of supporters of federalization on Kulikov field, around 2 miles from the event.
Role of police can be best described as facilitators.
After getting to the tent city, the angry crowd which numerically exceed the inhabitants of the tent city several times first burned tents and then when some activists of "AntiMaidan" tried to hide in the House of Trade Unions set the building on fire with Molotov cocktails. They was also shooing - at least a dozen of victim body of which after the massacre experts were able to identify died from bullet wounds. Most victim were burned but the character of burns and position of corpses (judging from the horrible photos available on Internet see for example How the thugs killed Odessa inhabitants in the Trade Unions House - the details of bloody scenario ) suggests that some of them were burned to hide the committed crimes. So far it is known that over 40 people were killed by Right Sector goons although total number of victim is unknown and can exceed a hundred. Over two hundred were injured and required hospitalization. Right sector goons cut a leg of one captured person using shovel and this event was captured on video that is available on YouTube. One (possibly pregnant) woman was supposedly killed with an ax or strangulated ( http://pravdoiskatel77.livejournal.com/10413342.html )
There is some evidence that the event was preplanned on high level as an opportunity to crash protest as only due to this police behave the way it behaved. Parubiy visited Odessa a day or two before the events. See Odessa Massacre of May 2, 2014
Here is a short write-up by Pietro A. Shakarian from Reconsidering Russia and the Former Soviet Union blog:
On Friday, at least 46 people, mostly anti-Kiev activists, were killed in the southern Ukrainian city of Odessa. At least 39 died after being trapped in the Odessa House of Trade Unions which was reported to have been lit on fire by far-right football hooligans and activists from the far-right Kiev-affiliated group Right Sector (Pravyi Sektor). Some were burned alive while others suffocated to death or jumped out the windows to escape. At least three were reportedly shot dead. Close to 200 were injured with at least 25 in critical condition.
The massacre was the bloody culmination of clashes between supporters and opponents of the controversial Turchynov-Yatsenyuk government in Kiev. The supporters were primarily Right Sector and its allies, including far-right football hooligans known as the Ultras, who are said to have instigated the violence. “Glory to Ukraine,” “Death to enemies,” and “Knife the Moskali” they chanted.
The city of Odessa has declared a three-day period of mourning on 3 May. Russian President Putin has expressed “deep condolences” to the families of those who died.
The significance of this massacre to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine is threefold:
- It represents the worst violence of the Ukraine crisis since the events in February.
- It will likely further erode the credibility of the Turchynov-Yatsenyuk government throughout all regions of Ukraine.
- It has demonstrated that Russia, though harshly critical about the actions that took place in Odessa, has been nonetheless restrained in responding to this tragedy. This is very difficult for Moscow because of its anger over the overall situation as well as pressure from Russian hardliners who want Russia to invade Ukraine. Still, the Kremlin will likely continue to show restraint on the issue (at least for now) as the stakes of a direct intervention in Ukraine are too high. In the meantime, Kiev appears to be provoking Moscow to respond to events occurring in the Russophone regions. It is specifically using Right Sector to accomplish this. Now headquartered in the southeastern town of Dnipropetrovsk, Right Sector activists have launched attacks on cities and towns in throughout southeastern Ukraine.
The massacre is an especially tragic event for Odessa, a multicultural, cosmopolitan, and theatrical port city on the Black City. Renown for its humor, Odessa is blessed with a heritage of mixed Russian, Ukrainian, Jewish, and Mediterranean influences. Its people speak their own colorful dialect of Russian with smatterings of Ukrainian and Yiddish. Yet, the May massacre will likely go down as yet another tragedy in Odessan history, a history that also includes several anti-Jewish pogroms, the Russian Revolution, the Russian Civil War, famine, Stalin’s Terror, World War II, and the horrors of the Holocaust. Yet as in these tragedies, the people of Odessa will likely turn to their quick wit, irreverence, and celebrated sense of humor to deal with this latest painful episode in their collective history.
Reaction of Russian official was much more harsh:
The speaker of the lower chamber of Russia’s parliament also suggested that the few “political adventurists who seized power in Kyiv” were not the only ones to blame for the ongoing events in Ukraine.
Russian Information Agency Novosti
May 6, 2014
Kiev Committing Genocide of Russian, Ukrainian People – Russian Official
BELGRADEZ: The latest episodes of violence in Ukraine constitute a genocide against the Russian and Ukrainian people, Russian State Duma Speaker Sergei Naryshkin said during a Balkan forum Tuesday.
“We are dealing with the real genocide of both Russian and Ukrainian people,” said Naryshkin,
commenting on the tragic events in Odessa on May 2, when 46 federalization activists were killed in clashes.
He added that Russia was shocked by the massacre in Odessa and mourns the victims together with their families.
“In the 21st century such things happen not only due to the fault of a bunch of political adventurists – they are not worth much on their own, they will get what they deserve from their people. The main problem is that the horrific truth is being kept from the whole world,” Naryshkin said.
According to the speaker, Kiev’s authorities initially based their policy on civil confrontation. They have now demonstrated their unwillingness to find and punish those responsible for the numerous crimes that have been committed in Ukraine in recent months, he added.
Pro-federalization rallies have swept southeastern regions of Ukraine since March. Kiev’s current authorities launched a special operation to crack down on protesters in mid-April. Dozens of activists have died in subsequent clashes. The highest death toll was recorded in Odessa, where 46 people died and 214 were injured during a fire in the House of Trade Unions on May 2.
The Russian Foreign Ministry called the events a result of the “criminal irresponsibility of the Kiev leadership indulging insolent nationalist radicals, including Right Sector, who are staging a campaign of physical terror against supporters of federalization and real constitutional changes in Ukrainian society.”
“They themselves are not worth much and will eventually be punished by their own people for that they have done... The main problem is that this terrible truth has been hidden from the rest of the world for several months,”
One of the possible reasons behind the Odesa “tragedy”, which is being referred by people as “Odesa’s Khatyn”, is that the “policy of the persons who seized power in Kyiv, has always openly relied on the logic of civil confrontation and even civil war logic,” Naryshkin said.
As one commenter to post Ukraine SITREP update - May 2nd, 2014 UTC-Zulu massacre in Odessa on The Vineyard of the Saker blog suggested
Theodore Svedberg said...
If the Russians feel the need to send in their troops I would suspect that they would reconfigure Ukraine more radically than just backing the Donbas region and Odessa. The reaction on the part of NATO, EU, and the US would be extreme if the Russians moved into any of those regions. It would not be any more extreme if they went further. I would guess they would create a new border for Ukraine that was the Dnieper River to the north and east and the oblasts of Odessa, Kherson and Mykoliev to the south.
I guess the big unknown is how the West defines extreme. Hopefully, it does not include WWIII.
It is too early to tell what are the net results of EuroMaidan coup d'état.
So far along with destabilization caused by coup d'état the key effect can be best described as the neoliberal "downsizing of a country". That involves profound and negative changes in its social and economic fabric under the standard banner of "Austerity" including substantial (more then 20%) depreciation of currency and corresponding growth in prices and lowering of already low standard of living. With base salary below $300 a month and pensions below $200 a month and price of food on the US levels (due to dominance of international agro holdings, which extract rent from the country) there is a dramatic increase in pensioners and child poverty.
This cruel neoliberal experiment, as currently implemented in Ukraine by the USA and its European allies breeds destructiveness and death akin to what Erich Fromm called "social necrophilia.": a metaphor for "the passion to transform that which is alive into something dead; to destroy for the sake of destruction; " as Panayota Gounari, noted in his article about similar country, Greese( Neoliberalism as Social Necrophilia The Case of Greece)
By social necrophilia, I mean . . . economic policies and austerity measures that result in the physical, material, social and financial destruction of human beings . . .
... In the Anatomy of Human Destructiveness (9) Fromm makes the case that necrophilia is a product of fascist thought, as he discusses the example of Spanish Falangists who used to shout, "long live death." Fascism finds expression both in government discourses and policies as well as in the rise of neo-Nazi Party Golden Dawn. Love of death is currently manifested in Greece in that rise of Golden Dawn.
... ... ...
In a necrophilous state of affairs, the system in charge operates with the conviction that the only way to solve a problem or a conflict is by force and violence, both symbolic and material, usually failing to see other options. This also explains the increased exponential violence employed by the state the last five years as manifested in shutting down protests, criminalizing dissent and activism and torturing arrested protesters as well as pre-emptive arrests in every mobilization
It seems to clear the genie that "western" governments used of "help" more pro-Western compradors to get Ukrainian Benghasi into power again (as was in Yushchenko times, as if Yanukovich was not enough of a comprador ;-) is now is out of the bottle and may be a problem not a solution. The "western" foreign policy apprentices who sponsored the coup against the Ukrainian government now need somehow really radical to remove from the street the "protester squads turned into racket gangs". Even Foreign Policy now acknowledges Yes, There Are Bad Guys in the Ukrainian Government - It's time for a frank conversation about some of the unsavory characters in Kiev. Svoboda now has Ukrainian security services under its control and openly run a campaign of public intimidation.
“I never thought I’d live to see the day when the US State Department whitewashed the neo-Nazi views and heritage of a gang of thugs who had seized power in a violent coup d’état. In Iraq, Libya, and Syria, US policymakers empowered radical Islamists of one sort or another. That was bad enough. Today, however, in Ukraine they are empowering the heirs of Adolf Hitler. How is this not a scandal?”
–Justin Raimondo, From Iraq to Ukraine: A Pattern of Disaster
Crimea annexation was an unpleasant surprise for Western planners of this color revolution. Without fireng a sing shot Crimea fall under Russian rule and was annexed.
But there is now another, potentially more powerful factor that can be crushed, but is very difficult to suppress by peaceful democratic means: Eastern provinces voiced a clear pro-Russian position, undermining power of nationalists in Ukraine, which was based mainly on political passivity of Eastern provinces. One of the key components of Orange revolution (which pioneered using Ukrainian Benghasi as the brute force to get to power) was the political apathy of Russians and Russian speaking population of Ukraine. While Galicia was overflowing with several flavours of ultranationalist sentiments (including neo-fascist from the Right Sector and other "Ukraine Uber Alles" formations), Eastern provinces has nothing similar. This situation changed irreversibly.
So while the strategic goal of weakening Russia was achived (by destabilizing and installing a hostile goverment in Ukrtaine) the longer conquences of EuroMaidan are more difficult to predict.
Open revolt against February 22 coup in several of Eastern and Southern provinces against Galicia dominance started immediately and with time only got worse. Provisional government has a strange mixture of ultranationalists with neoliberals from Batkivshchima which after they fraternized with ultranationalists lost all the support in eastern provinces. That might mean a death sentence for political figures like Timoshnko which is now hated by Ukranian Benghasi for not being ultranationalist enough and is hates by Eastern provices as a sellout.
Moreover shadow of anarchy of Nestor Makno style has descended upon all the Ukraine. And in Kiev it was actualy replay of Nestor Makhno times: for next three weeks after the coup Kiev was lawless city as police abandoned its posts. Right Sector was de fact owner of the city.
The provisional government was installed according to blueprint of Victoria Nuland with Arseniy Yatsenyuk as a Prime Minister and mockingly is called "Khaganate of Nuland"( an Asia Times Online reader apt amalgam of khanate, a hint on Victoria's notorious neo-con husband Robert Kagan).
Although it is not politically correct to call it junta, in fits the definition (Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary):
Council or committee for political or governmental purposes; especially : a group of persons controlling a government especially after a revolutionary seizure of power
It was instantly recognized by the USA, despite the fact that Yanukovich was not impeached. It is also hypocritical that the EU is determined to deal with such a government before elections (which are now in question, as there is no "government of national unity" in sight).
Yanukovich did not relinquish his post and from his exile in Rostov on Don claims to be legitimate President of Ukraine. He also ask Russia for help in restoring constitutional order in Ukraine including, if necessary, by military force.
But then unexpected blowback had happened: On February 26, Crimea parliament met to debate holding a referendum on loosening ties with Kiev. See Rauter story How the separatists delivered Crimea to Moscow. Crimea population started an insurrection against Kiev Provisional government. That night Crimea parliament had voted to replace current head Mogilyov (Party of Regions) with pro-independence deputy Aksyonov with 53 lawmakers voting pro, and then 61 had voted to hold a referendum on "sovereignty". Paramilitary groups with implicit and sometimes explicit support of Russian army, blocked Ukrainian army bases on the peninsula and occupied all strategically important points. On March 11 Crimea parliament declares independence from Ukraine ahead of referendum
“We, the members of the parliament of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the Sevastopol City Council, with regard to the charter of the United Nations and a whole range of other international documents and taking into consideration the confirmation of the status of Kosovo by the United Nations International Court of Justice on July, 22, 2010, which says that unilateral declaration of independence by a part of the country doesn’t violate any international norms, make this decision,” says the text of the declaration, which was published by the Crimean media.
Smaller insurrections and public meeting were also help in Lugansk, Kharkiv and Donetsk. In Odessa and Kherson attempts were quickly crushed. Sentiments expresses are somewhat similar to reported by Reuter:
Vasilyeva voiced fears common among some of Ukraine's native Russian-speakers about the consequences of Yanukovich's downfall after protests in which over 100 people were killed. "We want to leave Ukraine because Ukrainians told us that we are people of a lower kind. How can you stay in such a country?" she said.
The Kiev junta reach is nowhere near as extensive as pretended by Western media. It has some similarities to Kabul's rule in Afghanistan. Titular at best. Most people in Ukraine are just trying to get on with life in a collapsed economy.
Like Yushchenko government before, Ukrainian Provisional government is government of IMF, for IMF and by IMF. No matter whether you view it as legitimate or not the current Ukrainian government can hardly be suspected of independence. Formally it is an alliance of compradors from Timoshenko “Batkivshchyna” party (which now fraternized with ultranationalists, and moved to far right political spectrum during EuroMaidan) and ultra-nationalists from Svoboda (with four of then at minister or above level). Almost all of them hold high positions in Yushchenko administration and in this sense putsch of February 22 looks very similar to Orange revolution. Here is a pretty telling comment of a reader from pretty neoliberal and West-leaning Kievpost (Right Sector pickets parliament, demands Avakov’s resignation), the website which attracts mainly foreign audience:
The so-called "Ukrainian government" is a disparate band of thugs. There is no government, just Neo-Nazis and EU sycophants willing to give everything away in Ukraine, including the kitchen sink. It's an IMF resource grab -- and it equals austerity (starvation wages) for the citizens of Ukraine.
Top layer (Turchinov and Yatsenyuk) well match typical figures of a comprador government installed by IMF as a result of color revolution. For example, Arseniy Yatsenyuk looks like another Yushchenko and his connections to IMF and international financial corporation are probably stronger (or may be not as he does not enjoy a privilege to have a wife who was employed by State Department ;-). Both are essentially an IMF puppets (Ukraine – Follow the Money):
Despite it’s brief removal from the internet, a clear picture of just what Arseniy Yatsenyuk is about can still be gleaned from the list of partners found on the Arseniy Yatseninuk Foundation’s website. They are
- the Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation (A Project of the German Marshall Fund);
- Chatham House;
- NATO Information and Documentation Centre;
- State Department of the United States of America;
- NED National Endowment for Democracy;
- Horizon Capital;
- Victor Pinchuk Foundation.
While the few writers that have written about this have justifiably focused on the blatant brass of NATO, the US State Department & it’s subsidiaries promoting a foreign leader into power of a major country on Russia’s border, much of the deeper story is to be found in the details.
During his brief tenure in Provision government Yatsenyuk proved to be second rate politician, if not worse. No any sound idea no strategy and no ability to respond to challenges. Conflicting, misleading statement, unnecessary aggravation of relations with Russia, and betrayal of close associates from the Right Sector with which Batkivshchina fraternized during the riots.
He remains a typical mid-level former Aval bank executive, who by some accounts spend a lot time in US embassy during EuroMaidan (and was investigated by Yanukovich neoliberal and pro-Western government for treason). Here is how Business Week characterized the Provisional government (Four Uncomfortable Truths About Ukraine ).
Many of the new leaders helped shape policies that turned Ukraine into an economic basket case.
Yatsenyuk, Turchynov, Finance Minister Oleksandr Shlapak, and others in the interim government served in key roles under former President Viktor Yushchenko and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Their post-Orange Revolution regime prolonged the country’s disastrous track record on economic management.
Like their post-Soviet predecessors, they failed to curb rampant corruption and tackle economic inefficiency, while propping up the hryvnia currency and doling out crowd-pleasing increases in social spending, leaving the state with massive budgetary and trade deficits. Ukraine, a country of 45 million people with rich agricultural land and a large industrial base, is now Eastern Europe’s poorest country, apart from tiny Moldova.
2. Ukraine has squandered a staggering amount of foreign aid.
The EU has provided Ukraine with €13.8 billion ($19.1 billion) in grants and loans since 1991. Aid from the International Monetary Fund, and from individual governments that include the U.S., pushes the total well over $30 billion. On top of that, Ukraine has received massive aid from Russia in the form of discounted natural gas—a subsidy totaling $200 billion to $300 billion since 1991, says Emily Holland, a specialist on energy policy in the region who is a visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations in Berlin. Add it all up, and Ukraine has gotten far more aid than any country in the former Soviet Union, she says. And where has it gone? “Into the pockets of an incredibly corrupt political elite and oligarchs,” says Holland. The EU and IMF say that any new assistance will be conditioned on strict adherence to a reform program. But a previous IMF bailout was derailed after Ukraine failed to follow through with reforms. As for the oligarchs? The new regime has appointed some of them to key regional government posts in eastern Ukraine.
3. The new government is a fragile coalition that includes some pretty scary elements.
When Vladimir Putin says there are far-right extremists running Ukraine, he isn’t completely wrong. It’s true that Tymoshenko’s Fatherland party, the mainstream opposition to former President Viktor Yanukovych, is the largest single bloc in the new government. But politicians from Svoboda, an ultra-nationalist party with ugly neofascist tendencies, also got important jobs, including deputy prime minister and chief of national security. Some other, smaller parties are even more extreme. Even if they tone down their rhetoric, Svoboda and its allies are strongly populist and are likely to bail out of the coalition if it inflicts economic sacrifices demanded by Western donors, says analyst Lilit Gevorgyan of IHS (IHS) in London. Public unhappiness with painful reform measures could spark social unrest, which could even lead some parts of eastern Ukraine to seek union with Russia, Gevorgyan says. “The Russians can just sit on the side and watch as it unravels,” she says.
Both Turchinov and Yatsenyuk are atypical in their religious affiliation. From Russian news service Interfax:
Moscow, March 5, Interfax - Supreme political posts in Ukraine are occupied by people connected with not traditional for the country religious organizations.
Acting President, speaker of the Verkhovnaya Rada Alexander Turchinov is a Baptist pastor and Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk is a scientologist. His sister chairs a major scientologist organization in the USA, Ukrainian media write.
Some years ago books by the Church of Scientology founder Ron Hubbard were recognized extremist in Russia.
Funny enough, Baptist pastor Alexander Turchinov used to be a regional (Dnepropetrovosk)Komsomol boss responsible, drums, for ideology ;-) Scientology claims for Yatsenyuk make him a "persona non grata" for major politician role in Ukraine and Russia and are this disputed ( Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion)
The slippage from “is a scientologist” in the headline to the qualifying “Ukrainian media write” is somewhat anti-climatic. In fact, Turchinov’s association with the Baptists is already well documented, but Yatsenyuk is actually a Greek Catholic.
References to Yatsenyuk scientology affiliation were deleted from Wikipedia. Older version Wikipedia article on Yatsenyuk stated:
"It is reported that Yatsenyuk graduated from the Kiev school of Dianetics and joined the Scientology organization in 1998, while working as a consultant for the credit department of Aval Bank. In the same year he signed a contract with the so-called "Sea Organization," the elite structure of the "Church of Scientology." Yatsenyuk is presently a high-ranking member of the sect and has a "level of auditing" called OT-6. His sister, Alina Petrovna Steele (aka Alina Jones), a citizen of the United States, is also connected with the Church of Scientology. Steele is active at the branch of the church in the city of Santa Barbara (USA, California) and she is at a lower level, OT-4, out of a total of 8."
Information about his sister is correct and she really lives in the USA and is involved with scientology branch in California.
In any case Yatsenyuk (aka "IMF Rabbit") is by-and-large viewed as a puppet of the U.S. and billionaire philanthropist George Soros. Since he seems to be a (former) high-level Scientologist, I wonder why he can’t request help from those Volcano Aliens?
In a way this is interesting but far from unique political combination: ultra nationalist government led by a comprador banker subservient to Western interests. With their pathological hate of Russia ultra nationalists are very convenient cow to mil for financial oligarchy.
The level of connections can be judged by the fact that even Pro-Western neoliberal government of Yanukovich launched investigation against three of members of provisional government (Turchinov, Yatsenyuk and Nalyvaichenko ) for treason.
One can ask question whether nationalists can simultaneously be Compradors. Both Baltic states and Ukraine had shown that this not a possibility this is a reality in case hate for powerful neighbor (Russia) dominates their thinking. In time of relative freedom due to independence and access to state resources nationalists instantly transform themselves into a classic monkey with a grenade, and the immediate and main danger of such a monkey is just those who she is going to save it and protect. Any unbiased analysis of the nationalist activities in Baltic States and Ukraine leads to a disappointing conclusion: nationalists behaved as compradors: as enthusiastic servants of a foreign occupier of their own territory . The paradox is that due to hate of Russia far right can accept the plunder the country for the benefit of international companies.
It's unclear whether compradors from Batkivshchina has plans for Kristallnacht in which ultra nationalist leadership of Right Sector will be eliminated. But is might be possible. Killing of Oleksandr Muzychko is the first sign of such a possibility. And backlash when storm troopers of Right Sector were back at the doors of Verchovnaya Rada (Ukrainian Parliament) shows that the far right leadership is concerned...
As we mentioned before this is essentially a comprador government ready to act according to Washington consensus. Several top honchos are very close to US Embassy aka Washington Obcom. Three members of Provisional government were investigated for treason by Yanukovich government based on materials captured during raid on Batkivshchina office (when computers and 17 million of dollars in case were confiscated). See also Provisional government and economics of Ukraine
Considered to be grey cardinal of EuroMaidan protests. Documents confiscated by SBU from Batchivshchina office on Dec 9. 2013 implicated him in treason ( $16 750 000 of cash and incriminating documents were found) although prosecution was stopped by Yanukovich (В офисе «Батькивщины» СБУ изъято 16 750 000 долларов США):
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, organized crime boss Semyon Mogilevich, from the SBU archive. Case went nowhere.
..on the basis of documents which were found by law enforcement mainly provocateur and instigator of the "revolution" or " peaceful protests " in the past was Alexander Turchinov , not Yatsenyuk, Tyahnibok or Klitschko .
... Earlier, police reported that documents were found which specific methods of recruitment of so-called fighters for EuroMaidan and about "warlords" who commands them as well as already realized and future plans of actions. All of those finding are already the subject of the criminal investigation. Today, a day after the search, more indicting facts became known.
...Reports about payments to Euro protesters for services provided such as riots on the streets, creation of conflict situations , etc. are found in the confiscated with servers database . And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Opposition might need to stand trial for a very serious articles of the Criminal Code. Just open the section 9 (offenses against public safety ) and you will find articles from terrorism to the intentional destruction of property or damage to state owned objects. Everything on the list might be included in criminal charges to our revolutionaries.
Yatsenyuk is also a member of the ‘hoisted with their own petard’ club. As a minister in Yushenko’s government, he also welcomed the moves towards Kosovo’s independence:-
“Visiting Pristina, the capital of Kosovo, at the time, Yatsenyuk said: “Officials in Kiev support the granting of independence to Kosovo. The Kosovo problem is very complicated, but, in any case, the final decision is full sovereignty,” he said”.
Now Yatsenyuk now making statements for which he is just a few months ago cursed Yanukovych.
He used to hold high positions in Yushchenko government including foreign minister and Speaker of Duma (the Chairman of the Parliament). Son of professors of Chernivtsi University (that's where he learned foreign languages - his mother taught French at the university) he somehow managed to make mind-shattering career in Yushchenko nationalist government. Linked not only to Yushchenko clan but to some Donetsk oligarchs as well. Along with Turchinov was investigated for treason due to materials found in Batkivshchina office. For his age(37) he changed more jobs then many executives change in this lifetime. While his primary education was accounting and banking, he hold many high level economic posts. The problem is that his tenure in each was so short that he probably never learn any of them. He started his career was the Aval bank (Kiev) (01/1998-09/2001), then he became Minister of Economy of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (09/2001-01/2003), then vice-president (under Serhiy Tyhypko) and then president of the National Bank of Ukraine(11/2003-02/2005), then vice-governor of Odessa province (03/2005-09/2005), then the Minister of Economy of Ukraine(09/2005-08/2006), then Foreign Minister, then the Chairman of the Parliament. And he is just 39.
Opposition leaders did honor the deal they signed with Yanukovich on February 21 (this was actually an unconditional capitulation of Yanukovich, but still it was an official document, a signed deal):
A compromise deal was agreed to (after hours of negotiations led by the European Union mediators and foreign ministers Radosław Sikorski of Poland, Laurent Fabius of France and Frank-Walter Steinmeier of Germany -> ) and signed by both opposition leaders and the president after overnight negotiations. The deal agreed to: a restoration of the Constitution as it was between 2004 and 2010; constitutional reform to be completed by September; early presidential elections no later than December 2014; an investigation into the violence conducted under joint monitoring of the authorities, opposition, and the Council of Europe; a veto on imposing a state of emergency; amnesty for protesters arrested since 17 February; surrendering of public buildings occupied by protesters; the forfeiture of illegal weapons; "new electoral laws" to be passed and the formation of a new Central Election Commission. ->  The three EU foreign ministers signed the document as witnesses; Russian mediator Vladimir Lukin did not sign the deal, as he had no mandate to sign an agreement on the crisis. -> 
Constitutionality of "provisional government" can be argued, but in no way it represent Eastern and South provinces. As such it can't be democratic
This is a dictatorship of Western Ukraine, by Western Ukraine, staffed exclusively by politicians representing interests of Western Ukraine and only Western Ukraine. Due to those events which developed beyond the scenario envisioned by Western architects of EuroMaidan, and for Russia means cardinal revision of WWII results, Russia broke diplomatic relations with "provisional government". Now it will cost substantial money even to keep Ukraine on life support. The same is true for Russia regarding the cost of support of Crimea and damages from broken economic ties. As Russia is the major economic partner of Ukraine this is lose-lose situation for both countries, but more so for Ukraine.
Legal formalities were abandoned during coup d'état in Kiev (According to Ukrainian Constitution impeachment of President according to Ukrainian Constitution requires Supreme Court authorization) and in this light Yanukovich formally might well be a legitimate president of Ukraine (and by extension the head of armed forces). While Russia has no respect for Yanukovich it can form "government of Ukraine in exile" and this fact alone will create huge diplomatic problems for the USA. The fact that it did go this way suggests that Russia still strive for some kind of compromise solution.
It is now completely unclear what it will take to restore peace and unity. Federalization of Ukraine might not be enough, although forceful suppression of Eastern Ukraine by forces loyal to Western Ukraine might work. But in this case you better forget about the word "democracy". Western provinces do not want anything less but complete and forceful "Ukraninization" of the whole population of Ukraine. And that's the problem. Actually introduction of English as another official language might be a way out of this problem. In case one really hates Ukrainian (and many people do, as it was pushed thru their throat) they can make authorities life more difficult by using English ;-)
With the Crimea referendum Russia got itself into very complex and dangerous diplomatic and geostrategic situation as it is dangerous to cross the USA as neoliberal world hegemonic power (they call the current world order a unipolar world not without a reason). In neoliberal world order to go against top neoliberal dog is as provocative as in communist world to go again the USSR.
In other work Putin put himself into position of Yugoslavia Tito without advantages of West support that Tito enjoyed. And Russia economics is only (if measured by GDP, which of course is a crooked metric) nines in the world and approximately the same size as Italy. Few think about Italy as a country who is able to challenge the USA (List of countries by GDP (nominal) - Wikipedia)
|Rank||Country/Region||GDP (Millions of US$)|
So in economic power G7 is approximately 15 times stronger then Russia and as such can do a great damage by economic sanctions. It's a little bit like Varyag battleship fight against 14 or 15 Japanese warships in the the Battle of Chemulpo Bay, which opened Russo-Japanese War (Feb 9, 1904).
While Russia actions were by-and-large were reaction to the coup d'état in Kiev (and annexation of Crimea is far from a good deal for Russia if it loses the rest of Ukraine), they put themselves into position of Yugoslavia during USSR dominance in the Communist world. With all Putin's diplomatic skills there will be substantial political and economic losses for Russia for going against the USA interests even if USA actions in Ukraine were directly anti-Russian (and they were).
First of all as the top finical superpower USA can really make like of Russia difficult by taking some retaliation in purely financial sphere. Of course Russia can confiscate US holdings too (as most of them were obtained in a corrupt way during Yeltsin regime) but this is as close to a real confrontation as one can get.
And while USA is an aggressive and hypocritical neoliberal expansionist (hello Kosovo, Iraq, Libya), the USA is a real geopolitical Godzilla and as such it should be respected (CounterPunch):
Putin realizes that derailing Washington’s strategy to control the Crimea will have serious consequences. He must now prepare for the typical litany of asymmetrical attacks including covert operations, special ops, arming Tatar jihadis to incite violence in Crimea, US-backed NGOs fomenting unrest in Moscow, etc etc, as well as stepped up US military and logistical support for Kiev’s thriving fascist element which has already morphed into the imposter-government’s security apparatus, a scary remake of Hitler’s Gestapo. Here’s the rundown from the World Socialist Web Site:
“On Thursday, the Ukrainian parliament voted to establish a 60,000-strong National Guard recruited from “activists” in the anti-Russian protests and from military academies. The force will be overseen by the new security chief, Andriy Parubiy, a founder in the early 1990s of the neo-Nazi Social-National Party of Ukraine. His deputy, Dmytro Yarosh, is the leader of the paramilitary Right Sector. It is the Ukrainian equivalent of Hitler’s storm troopers.
In addition to aiding the West in its provocations against Moscow, the main responsibility of these elements will be to carry through a social onslaught against the Ukrainian working class at the behest of international capital…” (What the Western-backed regime is planning for Ukrainian workers, World Socialist Web Site)
It is unclear to what extent Accession of Crimea to Russia ( as one reader noted this can't be called annexation, as it was result of Referendum and overwhelming majority of Crimea population, without a shot fired) was initiated by Moscow, and the extent to which it is imposed on Russia by the West. But it is clear that the introduction of Russian special forces in the Crimea from Sevastopol naval base was the answer to the coup d'état in Kiev, where the West first exerted a strong pressure on Yanukovich actually forcing him to capitulated to the opposition, and then never trying to enforce conditions of this very humiliating agreement. Essentially it was West who sponsored and gave OK to the armed coup d'état. And then instantly recognized Provisional Government as a legitimate government of Ukraine conveniently disregarding all international laws. In other words like in Libya it deceived Russia again. Certainly Yanukovich was a rotten bet for Kremlin too, but in view of the possibility of Ukraine joining NATO there was no other choices. Still Russia for some reason (may be due to the fact that it really despised Yanukovich) decided not to play "government in exile" trump card which would make G7 maneuvering much more difficult.
That's why in an appeal to the Federal Assembly on March 18, Putin seemed genuinely sincere when he said that
... we have repeatedly lied , made decisions behind our backs , put a fait accompli. So it was with NATO expansion east, with the placement of military infrastructure on our borders . We are always told: " Well, that should be your concern ." It's easy for them to say that "It should not be our concern...".
Indeed the second color revolution in Ukraine was the perfect case when West "crossed the red line": the prospect of joining the former fraternal republic in NATO for Russia was unacceptable and that raised bets in the game to the level of military intervention in Eastern Ukraine (population of which actually hates Western Ukrainian nationalist with almost 100% uniformity).
Another fact that why seeing with great alarm this new encirclement efforts by the USA, Moscow has no more space to retreat: Moscow in way too close to Kiev. American and European politicians should keep in mind that they put the Russian leader in an untenable position: geopolitical defeat was compounded by the presence of internal instability. Putin still remembers the same patterm of Western actions during failed 2011-2012 White Revolution in Russia. Memories of this attack on Russia from "Dear friends" in G7 were way too fresh.
Judging by many indirect signs, originally the Russian position on the Crimea was flexible and Kremlin left room for bargaining. But then they understood that bridges were burned by the West and they do not wnat to follow the letter of EU-brokered agreement on ending crisis, discarding it as a bathroom tissue.
It was at this point they declared readiness of Russia to send troops was to provide a guarantee of the independence of the region: the Crimean parliament voted in favor of holding a referendum on May 25 on the fate of autonomy. Crimea had to get the state independence (i.e., the theoretical right to secede), while remaining a part of Ukraine. I guess we'll never know exactly what was the subject of bargaining. But something obviously went wrong: on the night of March 6 the wording and timing of referendum changed. It was already on accession to Russia, and it was conducted in really record time: preparing for the referendum took only ten days. As George Kennan wrote back in the ’90s the decision to expand NATO the way it was done was one of the most fateful and bad decisions of the late 20th century.
But economic sanctions that the USA can impose are real and can be very damaging to the Russia economy (The Guardian). Especially taking into account the USA dominance in global finance:
One US official in Washington told Reuters: "Sanctions build over time. They are very powerful. And people may think that they are a mere wrist slap. I can assure them that they are not.".
If and when West decided to apply Iran style suction, the economy of Russia will suffer greatly. Just opening shot of closing the ability to use Visa cards and MasterCard cards for several Russian banks was a huge hit.
But sanctions are always two way street, For example while Visa and Mastercard demonstrated that they are important players in Russian credit cards market, it was simultaneously huge hit for their credibility in Russia. Now they are viewed as "hostile partner" and will be dealt with. Their best days in Russia and lucrative fees are numbered.
Russians are very slow to get on the horse, but when they eventually get, they ride really fast. You can be sure that Russia now will put money and people on developing of the alternative credit card system, probably in cooperation with China, who is the net beneficiary of the crisis. See Russia to launch its payment system in months, as disruption fears mount.
Still damage will substantial:
Like any neoliberal republic the US government does not has in mind the US population interests, it is pursuing the interests of international and financial oligarchy that control the government. As former CIA officer Larry Johnson noted on May 8, 2014 that in its quest for neoliberal expansion the USA elite conveniently forgot the interests of the rest of the USA population and try "to portray Russia today as the Soviet Union bound on world domination" And that such approach is detrimental to the US real geopolitical interests, to say nothing about world stability (‘Ukraine crisis fueled by Obama’s failure to grasp US interests’ , May 8, 2014)
LJ: I’m a veteran of the Cold War; I was there throughout at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) working in Central America back when we saw the Soviet Union at the time as trying to subvert democracy and insert its influence there. As we recall, the United States fought back very significantly there in trying to prevent that, so I don’t come at this as someone who’s naïve or uninformed.
But what I see now is, we really have entered a different period of history, and instead of accepting what’s new in the world, we’ve got a lot of folks in the United States, both Republicans and Democrats, who are trying to resurrect the language and the images of the Cold War and portray Russia today as the Soviet Union bound on world domination and that’s just nonsense. So what we’re trying to see is if we can help shift the debate and get a rational discussion about it.
The fact of the matter is that in the United States, the average American doesn’t appreciate the fact that by us trying to expand NATO in Western Europe and beyond to the borders of Russia, that that would create some concern. I’ve always tried to explain to people, how would we react in the United States if Russia in turn was fostering a very close relationship with Mexico, and the Mexican government decided it wanted to have a closer relationship with Russia than Washington, and in turn was going to start putting troops in Mexico? Well, you could imagine the outrage and the furor that would erupt in the United States.
We tend to try to portray these things in a way that doesn’t really take into account all the dynamics that are involved. And I think it’s really dangerous, because the kind of language and rhetoric that’s being used, and some of the recommendations afoot in Washington are proposing arming Ukrainian dissidents. And we really have no idea even who some of those people are.
Whenever he was faced with political crises with great risks and small gains, the U.S. statesman Robert A. Lovett is supposed to have exclaimed, “Forget the cheese — let’s get out of the trap.” Via their petition, the former US intelligence officers proposed immediately de-escalate the crisis in Ukraine and set the United States on a foreign policy course that will serve to protect common security interests of the USA and Russia as will as the whole global community. Due to the current political climate in Washington, however, their appeal will likely fall on deaf ears.
But despite "sticking to the guns" now Obama administration/State Department/CIA is definitely having buyer's remorse. After successful color revolution, Ukraine became too expensive victory to keep. And as in any clandestine operation, where the originators were revealed, they face possibility of blowback. This time in Eastern provinces of Ukraine. Moreover it became clear that the USA and its vassal EU states (especially, Poland and Lithuania) destroyed the system of international law. This destruction did not started with EuroMaidan, it started much earlier with the bombing of Serbia. Now they got and blowback in the form of Crimea accession to Russia and possibility of secession for several additional Ukrainian provinces (Donetsk, Lugansk and, possibly, Odessa). And after Odessa Massacre of May 2, 2014 the US position in Ukraine deteriorated further.
US neocons blunders affected even relations with European allies (theamericanconservative.com) :
John Kerry has run off to make a fool of himself in Kiev. Kerry will find that Nuland, or whoever has been in charge of trying to drag the divided Ukraine into the Western camp, has created a situation in which the United States is now isolated from and privately mocked by its main European allies.
The other negative factor is that the USA now became so exposed in his Anglo-Saxon hypocrisy that it undermines future operations of similar nature. Here is a good summary from Stratfor of Russian vision of the situation ( Russia and the United States Negotiate the Future of Ukraine | Stratfor )
The Russians are convinced that the uprising in Kiev was fomented by Western intelligence services supporting nongovernmental organizations and that without this, the demonstrations would have died out and the government would have survived. This is not a new narrative on the Russians' part. They also claimed that the Orange Revolution had the same roots. The West denies this. What is important is that the Russians believe this. That means that they believe that Western intelligence has the ability to destabilize Ukraine and potentially other countries in the Russian sphere of influence, or even Russia itself. This makes the Russians wary of U.S. power.
The Russians also are not convinced that they have to do anything. Apart from their theory on Western intelligence, they know that the Ukrainians are fractious and that mounting an uprising is very different than governing. The Russians have raised the price of natural gas by 80 percent for Ukraine, and the International Monetary Fund's bailout of Ukrainian sovereign debt carries with it substantial social and economic pain. As this pain sets in this summer, and the romantic recollection of the uprising fades, the Russians expect a backlash against the West and also will use their own influence, overt and covert, to shape the Ukrainian government. Seizing eastern Ukraine would cut against this strategy. The Russians want the pro-Russian regions voting in Ukrainian elections, sending a strong opposition to Kiev. Slicing off all or part of eastern Ukraine would be irrational.
Ukraine fully exposed the danger of the line of super-aggressive (and somewhat psychopathic) female Secretaries of State in the USA, which started with Madeleine "no so bright" Albright and continued in two next administrations. Now they are now facing first real test of their neocon policies.
Reset with Russia which was a fake from the very beginning and was equal to getting one sided concessions from Russia for any areas where the USA have strategic interests is now officially ended. Moscow openly stated that it no longer believe the promises of the West in world affairs (and by extension in international law in which the USA act as if it is exempt). So now raw power politics dominates as in ancient times. What it means for Afghanistan and Iran we only can guess. As Lavrov noted:
So chances to get cooperation of Russia in dealing with Iran and with transit of goods and equipment to Afghanistan are much lower now. If Putin's government is really nasty it can make a lot of damage to the USA interests in those two areas. As Pepe Escobar noted (The US-Russia Ukrainian deal By Pepe Escobar )
"For a lot time we believed our Western partners, starting with the collapse of the Soviet Union, when all sorts of promises was made both orally and in writing, in the form of political commitment at the highest level. Now we are know the price of promises from our Western partners all too well "
Whatever Washington's actions, they won't convince the Kremlin the putsch in Kiev was not orchestrated in large part by goons allied to Kaghanate of Nulands - aka US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nulands. At the same time, the Kremlin knows time is on its side - so it would be totally counterproductive to even contemplate "invading" eastern Ukraine.
Compound the vicious catfight among dodgy factions in Kiev, from fascists to Saint Yulia "Kill all the Russians" Timoschenko; Gazprom raising the price of natural gas by 80%; and the International Monetary Fund about to unleash some nasty structural adjustment that will make Greece look like Cinderella playing in a rose garden, and all that Moscow needs to do is sit back, relax and watch the (internal) carnage.
And after coup d'état there were there were strong voices to lower the level of diplomatic relations with the USA in Russia up to breaking diplomatic relation altogether (the last time similar public mood was when the USA bombed into stone age Serbia). So in a way this is a real rest of USA-Russia relations, but it's slightly different from what Obama intended.
While this mixture of color revolution with Arab spring was spectacularly successful in topping weak and corrupt Yanukovich government (with strong help from Yanukovich himself, who tried to site between two chair to the bitter end), the legality of new provisional government remains under big question (see Yanukovich press conferences in Rostov, and his augments that he still is a legitimate President of Ukraine).
Also as on 1 March, Russian parliament approved a request from President Vladimir Putin for permission to deploy Russian troops in Ukraine junta can't use brute force in Eastern and Southern provinces with impunity. Russian already made it move in Crimea. South-Eastern Ukraine can well be next is chaos prevails. Whether this will happen is a big question. I hope not.
It was also a pretty strong punch against Clinton-inspired flavor of American exceptionalism with it complete disregard for International law (ClubOrlov):
This is the first important piece of the new Russian ideology: law matters and nobody can be above it—not even the United States.
Now, compare the concept of the “dictatorship of the law,” domestic as well as international, as it is promulgated by Putin, to the sort of law which now prevails in the United States. In the US, there are now two categories of persons. There are those who are above the law: the US government and its agencies, including NSA, FBI, DOD, etc.; Wall Street financiers and shadowy government contractors who are never prosecuted for their crimes; the über-rich who are politically connected and can prevail legally against anyone simply by throwing money at lawyers.
And then there are those who are below the law: everyone else.
... ... ...
The developments in Ukraine and Crimea are especially troubling for the West because they violate the West's linear conception of history. On this account, the advanced first world Western nations are ahead of the pack, and trying, simply out of their great compassion, to encourage stragglers like Ukraine along the path toward EU and NATO membership, monetary union and a slow-moving, controlled national bankruptcy in the hands of the IMF. The fall of the Soviet Union was a key psychological breakthrough in this story they tell themselves. They thrive on this story, for it defines them and gives them their sense of meaning and purpose. Anything that undermines its basic premises and foundations is deeply disturbing. However, many examples of unmitigated failure in the 21st century have been hard to ignore and have made this narrative sound increasingly shaky. With highlights like 9/11, the fiasco in Afghanistan, the ongoing Iraqi civil war, the global financial meltdown of 2008, intractable unemployment and economic stagnation plaguing the West in these first 15 years of the 21st century, and then the serial fiascos in Libya, Syria, Egypt and now Ukraine, and it becomes easy to see the special significance that this particular confrontation with Vladimir Putin has for the fragile Western psyche.
... ... ...
What is Ukraine to the West but an impoverished Eastern European political pawn on the geopolitical chessboard, one that has to be prevented from joining up with Russia in line with the overall trend? But to Russia Ukraine is a historic part of itself, the place of the earliest Russian capital of Kievan Rus (from whence it was moved, eventually, to Moscow, then to St. Petersburg, then to Moscow again). It is a region with which Russia has eleven centuries of joint linguistic, cultural and political history. Half of Ukraine consists of Russian lands capriciously adjoined to it by Lenin and Khrushchev. I grew up thinking Kharkov was Russian (because it is) and was at one point amazed to discover that I would now need a visa to go there—because it got stuck on the wrong side of the border and renamed Kharkiv. (In case you are wondering, to convert to Ukrainian, you take Russian and replace ‘y’, ‘o’ and ‘e’ with ‘i’, ‘i’ with ‘y’, and ‘g’ with ‘h’. To convert back—you ask a Russian.) As of last December, the Russians in Kharkov and other Russian regions of Ukraine have been stuck on the wrong side of the border, as subjects of an unstable, dysfunctional and remarkably corrupt government, for 22 years. It is little wonder that they are now waving Russian flags with wild abandon.
That might be an intent, as it looks like the USA can't be a functional state without an enemy, but this is a fact. Now they have their wish met. When Putin himself mentioned about possibility of breaking diplomatic relation with the USA we can admit that this is a new situation.
Russia views EuroMaidan event as yet another color revolution designed to encircle Russia and dictate it the term on which it can sell its natural resources to the West. They still remember that the attempt to return good times of drunk Boris Yeltsin which were attempted by the same forces in 2011-2013 (Russian white revolution) were close to success, and in not complete inaptness of McFaul and the ability of Putin to mobilize counter forces in society this "Moscow putch" could well be successful.
In this situation it does matter what kind of sanctions they now invent, because West now should be afraid of Russia, not wise versa. Because it was West which went into Russia backyard and tried again to steal goods (OK mainly three countries, the USA, Poland and Sweden). But it is proven that it was they who financed all those protest activities using Western Ukrainians as ram to crush Eastern Ukraine resistance to EuroAnshluss. That's more or less declaration of war, plain and simple. that does not escape attention is US citizens (Crimeans vote to break away from Ukraine, join Russia - The Washington Post). I doubt that all those people are Putin trolls:
Lets see we paid for the coup in Libya then Egypt then Syria (which is a total failure) and now the Ukraine.
Follow our tax dollars for the proof, that is if you want to know the truth instead of the propaganda being spewed by our corrupt government!
Well, the trolls are out in full force yelling USA! USA! Without any awareness of the wrongs our government does all over the planet! All I have to say to the trolls is learn your history! But, I also realize that you can't fix stupid!
"...Crimeans voted overwhelmingly to leave Ukraine and join Russia, election officials said Sunday, capping a heavy-handed campaign that blocked most voters from hearing a vision for any alternative to unification with Moscow..."
WAPO- pedaling more Neocon lies- what a surprise,
I seem to remember that when Palestine had free and fair elections, the Israelis didn't 'approve' and continue to feel that annexing great chunks of Palestinian land is justifiable. And let's not forget who is supporting this and even funding it!!!!!! The great old hypocrite.
No, the US, the CIA, and the State Department need to stay home, stop arranging and funding dirty deals all over the world to destabilize governments, and then there will be no reactions from big boys like Putin.
In essence that means a real reset of US-Russian relations and not the one that Obama strived for. Russia is a convenient enemy for the USA in a sense that it is much weaker then USSR and is integrated into international economic relations deeper then the USSR. But now inside Russia there are is influential group of hawks and aggressive voices in Russia demanding from government to break diplomatic relations with the USA. And what is worse they are just surface manifestation of internal processes started. Withdraw from some important for international stability treaties due to diminished trust including mutual inspection of nuclear facilities are quite possible side effect. I wonder if transfer of military cargo via Russian territory to Afghanistan will be business as usual.
This alienation is very dangerous as there is a strong, but suppressed by official authorities gravitation of the large part of the Eastern and Southern part of Ukrainian population to Russia which was now catalyzed by events in Kiev and found its most distinct demonstration in Crimea events. It got and pt name "Russian Spring".
Forceful "Ukrainization" on Eastern Ukraine was less painful then "Baltic apartheid" (with its treatment of Russian minority as second class citizens, deprived of citizenship) but still not very pleasant and they accumulated with years producing an explosion of anti-Ukrainian sentiments now. Russian language in schools and universities was exterminated. Prohibition of using Russian as an official language in those regions served as a trigger for campaign for self-autonomy and federalization of Ukraine.
While Russia is not a benign player in the conflict and of course pursue its own interests, there is a complex and deep interplay of Russian interests in Ukraine with interest of Eastern Ukraine (gas pipelines, industrial cooperation, as Ukrainian industry was an important part of the USSR industry, especially in military sphere). Those branches of industry have main market in Russia and simply need to die out if Russia started to consider Ukraine a hostile partner. And this is quite possible if Ultra-nationalists hold to power in Kiev, and especially if they stay in power after the Presidential elections.
The USA efforts and money spend on junta are also questionable from another point of view:
Debunking credibility fallacy
War hawks claim America's policies abroad will embolden enemies and undermine allies. They're wrong.
Ironically, the very European leaders whose morale Johnson and Rusk feared undermining if America abandoned South Vietnam—men like British Prime Minister Harold Wilson and French President Charles de Gaulle — privately urged the U.S. not to escalate the war. In the end, after tens of thousands of Americans and millions of Vietnamese had died, the United States did abandon South Vietnam. And the world shrugged. Yes, communists racked up victorieical-align: top">So dramatic was the contrast between the importance America’s leaders ascribed to global credibility and the results on the ground that academics began studying the concept. In his 1994 book, Peripheral Visions, which tested whether between 1965 and 1990 American weakness in one region of the world had emboldened Moscow in others, Ted Hopf, then of the University of Michigan, concluded that the “Soviets continued to attribute high credibility to the United States in strategic areas of the globe because they saw no logical connection between US behavior in areas of negligible interest and its future conduct in places with critical stakes.” In his 2005 book, Calculating Credibility, Dartmouth’s Daryl Press tested the same hypothesis—that weakness somewhere emboldens aggression elsewhere—using different twentieth-century case studies. He too found that, “A country’s credibility, at least during crises, is driven not by its past behavior but rather by its power and interests. If a country makes threats that it has the power to carry out—and an interest in doing so—those threats will be believed even if the country has bluffed in the past…. Tragically, those countries that have fought wars to build a reputation for resolve have wasted vast sums of money and, much worse, thousands of lives.”
Sadly, it is precisely this hoary fiction that The Economist now perpetuates when it declares that Obama’s “failure to enforce his own ‘red line’ over chemical weapons in Syria gravely damaged his credibility.” In fact, The Economist presents no evidence that Obama’s Syria policy played a role in Putin’s aggression in Ukraine. (Which makes sense when you consider that the Russian president did something similar in Georgia in 2008 even after George W. Bush had enforced his “red line” in Iraq with hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops). “Credibility is also easily lost and hard to rebuild,” adds the magazine, gravely. It’s the kind of statement that sounds sober and authoritative. But it happens to be untrue. “Establishing a reputation as a nation able and willing to defend its interests,” concludes Hopf, “is a much easier task than deterrence theorists and Munich analogists [and British magazine editors] have maintained.”
As Poland realized long ago being a US friend against Russia can bring sizable benefits to the country elite, not so much for common people.
First of all like any confrontation the danger of war with Russia helped national unity. The second is that ultranationalists are now fully exposed and sooner or later need to be dealt with. They are temporary allies of fifth column and fifth column probably is less tolerant toward them then Yanukovich (who definitely flirted with them considering them as a way to take votes from Timoshenko Batkivshchina Party). Neither US (who has solid history of supporting far right repressive regimes like Augusto Pinochet in Chili) not European governments does not want to get into this dirty mess, so it's unclear when and how. But I think they will be squessed out of political high they reached during EuroMaidan when Kiev temporary was controlled by militants from the Right Sector.
The second important fact is that while Ukrainian economy after looting by oligarchs and West for 20 year is broke (in best neoliberal traditions of "after us deluge") and the level of external debt is dangerously high (country debt-slave), West now "owns" Ukraine as it was instrumental in creating the current crisis.
The rule is "you broke it, you own it". That mean that Ukraine bankruptcy or sliding into Greek scenario would now be considered to be simultaneously a failure of US and West foreign policy. That means that now the USA now has much higher stake in Ukrainian situation then when in started the EuroMaidan gambit. And it might provide some real economic help, including bridge loans to pay revolving foreign debts. One billion approved is not enough.
That suggests that those 11 Billions dollars Ukraine might get from IMF will be given on better conditions with fewer strings attached then otherwise (although not clear if those conditions are better then 15 billions promised by Russia to Yanukovich government, 3 billion of which were already delivered and due in two years). IMF offer matched Russian offer in quantity. But those money have one important advantage: sharks from western vulture funds will be told to keep quite and don't destabilize Ukrainian national currency (grivna) further.
This closer relations with EU and USA can provide more substantial economic boost if English is adopted as country official language and became the second language for citizens. Unfortunately that will not happen. But the idea of introducing English language into the mix of official languages looks to me very attractive and promising. It is a must for making most from the alliance with West.
Here is the list of other possible benefits partially based on the list compiled by hvolya.org. We will mention only the most obvious and less contradictory points:
Apart from the lease-secured Sevastopol base of the Russian Black Sea Fleet, Crimea would be quite a mixed blessing [for Russia] to receive. Sixty per cent of its people love Mother Russia, more or less – but forty per cent don’t, some decidedly, particularly the long-suffering Tatars, whom Stalin, recall, expelled and tormented. As well, it would cost a fortune to relieve the poor, arid peninsula’s natural dependence on the Ukrainian mainland for water, power and communications.
Why not instead, I’d ask the [Russian] president, keep uncontested control and the Fleet’s base, but let Kiev keep Crimea officially, in name alone – a chronic migraine for a weak neighbor?
Along the same line of reasoning Westdal argues that it would be better for the Ukraine and coup government in Kiev to let the Crimea go:
On the other hand, were I Ukrainian, advising President Arseniy Yatseniuk, I think I’d make the case that the country would be better off without Crimea, better off without its problems – and without its heavy hook. Ukraine without Crimea would still border Russia, of course, and would still have to eschew NATO, lest Moscow make use of its just-proven capacity to destabilize eastern regions and to make the economic and political life of the whole country miserable. Without Crimea, though, Ukrainians, protected by neutrality, would be freer to find their own way, to master more of their fate, to get on with their neighbours and their lives, to make them better, at last.
This makes a lot of sense to me. Russia would indeed be better off by nominally (in name only) letting the Crimea stay within Ukraine. The Ukraine would indeed be better off by letting the Crimea go. But it looks like neither the Ukrainian government no Putin has that choice now. The Provisional Government prime minister and Victoria "f*ck the EU" Nuland darling Arseniy Yatsenyuk has set a very bellicose tone which for "IMF Rabbit" is extremely stupid, self-defeating position. I expected him to be a voice of reason in the craziness of ultranationalist, but he wants to be like them.
Now it looks like both Kiev Provisional Government and West might overplayed his hand and destroyed tremendous tactical advantage that they would obtain but not reacting to Russia annexation in a bellicose way and trying to continue business as usual with Russia, avoiding hit from braking economic ties. As Liam Halligan noted UK William Hague was on rather shaky ground when he argued that Moscow has chosen ‘the route to isolation’ by recognizing Crimea’s referendum (Putin is making the West's Cold Warriors look like fools » The Spectator, March 22, 2014):
"On the contrary, it is the European Union and the United States who look as if they have seriously overplayed their respective hands in Ukraine. Across Asia, Africa and Latin America, the cry of ‘western hypocrisy’ has been heard much louder than complaints about Vladimir Putin."
To me it is Provisional government that chose the route to isolation.
Weak and incompetent Pro-Western politician, serial betrayer of his own constituency who lost control over the country when nationalist forces got out of control (due to his unconditional surrender to the demand of Western ambassadors in the deal he signed (which contain demands of both disarming of opposition and removal of special police units from Kiev) and his order for unilateral (can you image this in a city with armed gangs on the street) removal of law enforcement from Kiev streets -- a really suicidal move). See EU-brokered agreement on ending crisis.
In many respects he was (and still is) a US stooge, and the level of betrayal of his supporters in the East by signing unconditional and suicidal capitulation accord has few historical presidents (Neville Chamberlin in Munich with its partitioning of Czechoslovakia was probably one); it's just funny what some Western MSM call him pro-Russian -- he is pro-Russian only in comparison with nationalist Yushchenko or Oleh Tyahnybok, the leader of Svoboda Party...
As Belorussia President Lukashenko quipped "one of the most horrible disasters for the county is when sons of the President go into business."
Here is couple of interesting vedio about how despicable Yanukovich actions were:
Putin said: "Let them only try."
Politically the country in the situation of zugzwang. With any move the situation can only became more desperate. What Ukraine needs is a Marchall Plan from Western Europe, but neoliberal Western Europe is incapable to offer anything like that. They also want to plunder weaker nations. Even with the anti-Russian geo-political considerations in hand.
Completely incompetent meddling of EU into Ukraine internal affairs destabilized country to the extent that this destabilization can be irrevocable without iether occupation or partioning of the country.
Judging by Joint Geneva Statement on Ukraine from April 17, the US is refusing to put any pressure on the regime in Kiev to met three key demands of the regions: to disarm Right Sector, to allow Russian as the second official language and to adopt a federal system which gives regions a fair amount of autonomy (or create autonomous republic within Ukraine out of six eastern and southern Russian speaking regions). This means that the Presidential elections will probably be dirty, and after elections, there will be unrest in the east and west. Another factor is the junta is panicky afraid to lose power, as they have skeleton in the closet to hide. This is another strong augment against the possibility of fair Presidential elections or constitutional amendments.
The US is showing no interest in restoring stability to the Ukraine, doggedly sticking to its pretense that the regime in Kiev is legitimate. That reminds that situation in Libya which is also a country with two major parts that became hostile to each other. And I am afraid that it is variation of Libya history that might repeat in Ukraine. Compare with Psychological scars of war take toll in Misrata
...The battle of Misrata became known as Libya's Stalingrad. In the three months the city was under siege, Misratans say 2,000 died and 14,000 were wounded. Some who have lived through the fighting also share a deep sense of depression and disillusionment at the lack of change they feel in the post-Gaddafi Libya.
..."I feel that those people who died in the war died for nothing. For sure they are martyrs according to our religion, but I think they died for nothing and that's what drove me to depression. For me personally, I feel my life was better before the revolution."
Before the war, Ahmed used to do some trading abroad. Today he says he can't even get a visa to leave Libya and sees no future. In his bleakest moments, he has even contemplated suicide, an action that is fiercely condemned by Islam.
"Before the revolution I had ambitions but now I'm really depressed and I don't have the ambitions I had before. Nothing is stable in the country.
"I feel it will take a long time for the country to get stable again and this drives me to depression, and sometimes to think about killing myself to get rid of that feeling."
Questioning the revolution in a city like Misrata, which has developed a powerful cult of heroism and victimhood after experiencing the brunt of the fighting and casualties, brings its own dangers in the new Libya.
"Of course there is no freedom of speech at the moment. I am Misratan, my father is Misratan, my grandfather the same, but I cannot criticise the revolution, even on Facebook," Ahmed says.
"The question that keeps coming to my mind, is 'What did we gain?' I feel we gained nothing, but I can't say that in public because some katiba [brigade] may harm me or my family or even arrest me."
..."I fought hard during the revolution, from Tripoli Street in Misrata to Bab al Aziziya [Gaddafi's compound in Tripoli] and Sirte," he says.
"I lost my business, I lost my friends and now I don't have anything left. My dreams are completely broken."
The USA as the sole world superpower and the citadel of neoliberalism can easily hit Russia with severe sanctions, but it would never offer Ukraine the critical mass of economic help. State Department under Obama behaves a lot like old Clinton mafia during the period of dissolution of the USSR. It might well be that destabilizing Ukraine is the plan as it will put huge pressure and severely damage Russia economics due to broken economic ties. If the West wanted to destabilize the Ukraine to Damage Russia from the beginning, then their the use of the far right paramilitary gangs and passing laws designed to freak out Russian speakers in the country can be considered as a masterstrokes in aching those goals.
But if political situation looks like zugzwang in chess, the economic situation is unmitigated disaster. Due to valiant efforts started under Yushchenko government Ukraine is now broke. Yushchenko government took almost 100 billions of foreign debt which was, in best traditions of banana republics iether wasted or stolen. At the moment junta came to power total debt was around 130 billion. Yanukovich somehow managed to balance on the edge of the cliff for three years, but now all bets are off. Actually the necessity to pay debts was the main factor that pushed Yanukovich toward Russian offer of 15 billions dollars in loans. So those "diplomats" from EU were not only stupid, they were excessively greedy. The same is true about the US elite. They wanted to get something for nothing. Now they got a broken country with low intensity civil war.
"Meet the new boss..." (EuroMaidan = return of Yushchenko clan via color revolution organized by West) situation does not solve huge economic problems that the country face. It does not undermine that power of oligarchs that brought the country to this disaster.
Again, the only way West can help Ukraine is to consider it to be a ruined country and implement something like new Marshall plan for Ukraine. Jailing, say, 50% of oligarchs might be a good start. If the West is adamant to pull Ukraine into its orbit (which was actually quite possible with just 15 billion investment at the time of Vilnius summit), and incorporate it into "New Holy Roman Empire" ( aka EU), something like a Marshall plan for Ukraine is the only honest way to proceed.
Everything else are just dirty geopolitical games that the US elite is so fond of playing. That will eventually backfire to those Western architects who initiated them. Otherwise "this the worst of conflict scenarios country can get into" as Victor Suslov noted in his Forbes interview (Forbes Ukraine, Feb 5, 2014):
Q: What are the consequences for the economy may have a protracted political confrontation ?
A: The conflict, in which Ukraine got, this is the worst form of internal conflict for the economy. Because it is not a conflict of good and bad, or good and even better. It is a struggle between political and business groups for control of the country, with the active participation of foreign countries, which fight for the geopolitical re-partioning of the world. This conflict naturally brought the country to the brink of civil war.
In January $40 billion were purchased in the currency market and transferred out of the country. In such circumstances, the investment attractiveness drops to zero, business capitalization drops. A number of businessmen who fear adverse events are now trying to sell his business . But they can not sell, because in a situation of uncertainty and extremely high risks no one dares to make a decision about buying a business .
... ... ...
Naturally budget revenues began to fall rapidly, and therefore there are well-founded allegations that Ukraine is no longer able to pay for Russian gas even at reduced prices, as well as serve other external commitments.
The tragic reality of Ukrainian situation is that most Ukrainian people who never trusted Yanukovich government, brought in power the regime that represent equally (if not more) devastating flavor of oligarchic capitalism (aka neoliberalism). In other words they changed the situation to worse.
People now in power is just another neoliberal comprador fifth column. And please remember that at the end of his Presidency Great Hero of Orange Revolution Yushchenko has had the level of popular support around 2%.
Realistically it looks like Yushchenko "любі друзі" ("mon ami") returned to power on the tips of bayonets of national-socialists for a long haul and will suppress any signs of democracy with willing help of Right Sector. And with enough Western support to neutralize Russia they probably will be able to suppress Eastern and Southern provinces.
They are hungry, resentful and they want revenge for the defeat of Orange Revolution. But behind their backs still lurk Right Sector which represents the muscle that raised them to power. And it is pretty difficult task for Western Europe to help Ukraine to get rid of Right Sector. The problem is that "mon ami" do not know how to get rid of them and actually do not want to do anything about it. But as Napoleon once observed "you can do anything with bayonets, you just can't sit on them"...
1. In his “The 18th Brumaire of Louis Napoleon” Karl Marx commented dryly on the well-worn truth that history repeats itself: “Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.”
You can view Ukrainian events as as a travesty of the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991 (Sergei Roy “Ukraine Triumph, Tragedy, or Farce” Johnson's Russia List
Now, take a look at the clowns currently capering on Ukraine’s political scene.
Yanukovich, still the country’s only legally elected president, did a couple of stretches in the clink even in Soviet times – for snatching fur-hats in public toilets, as I hear. In the years he served as the country’s leader, he continued in the same vein, amassing personal wealth by methods that differed from his former pursuits in scope rather than nature.
Or take Kuchma, another former president of Ukraine and now one of the sages ponderously advising the Kiev junta and sternly criticizing Russia. It has been proved conclusively that, while in office, he gave orders to kill the journalist Gongadze. Anyone interested enough in that piece of beastliness can read it all on the net, complete with gory details about the strangling of the luckless journalist, beheading the corpse, its burial and later recovery, confessions of the strangler, and so on.
Former Ukraine Premier Lazarenko is now doing time in the U.S.A. for money laundering, fraud, and extortion. His business colleague Yulia Timoshenko, whose complicity in those crimes was proved beyond all reasonable doubt by U.S. investigators, fearing the same fate, sought immunity by moving into politics. In this capacity she was permitted to run free in recognition of her anti-Russian stance and her role as leader of the Orange Revolution, one of a series of color revolutions along Russia’s perimeter bankrolled by the West (more specifically, by the Americans).
Timoshenko is the person whom ordinary people of Ukraine have called vorovka, feminine for thief, to her face. Indeed, the source of the billions this “engineer-economist” (her position in Soviet times) amassed in the ’90s is perfectly obvious: pocketing the money for gas that came from Russia to Ukraine and Europe. Getting payment for the gas that Timoshenko’s corporation was always a wrangle, and at times impossible. She salted away her booty in European banks, often carrying bags of cash across the border, for which she was repeatedly arrested but wriggled out of jail sentences by suborning judges and such. Again, all this is on record.
Russia lost some $5 billion annually through that thievery which the West, and Europe in particular, politely called “gas wars.” Incidentally, a sideshow in those wars was the story of a competitor of Timoshenko’s: he said he walked in fear of his life as M-me T. had put out a contract on him; the man was duly killed. In all, it has been estimated that some 25 businessmen involved in the gas shenanigans lost their lives – deaths that Timoshenko and her erstwhile patron and lover Pavel Lazarenko profited by.
Kicked out of her position as head of Ukraine’s Energy Corp., Timoshenko lost much of her wealth and was later even jailed by Yanukovich. Thieves have this tendency to fall out, you know. The February coup d’etat set her free, and she is now intent on staging a comeback as presidential candidate. She says the main plank of her program is fighting the oligarchs, which can only cause Homeric laughter. If she is supported by the West and those “good” oligarchs she will forget to fight, it will be for the same reason as before – her hatred of Russia. Indeed, how can she help hating Russia that refuses to let her line her pockets anymore?
Then, consider the case of Klichko, until recently the blue-eyed boy of the Maidan with presidential ambitions. His early criminal background and tender friendships with criminal kingpins like Victor Rybalko, the man who spent 17 years behind bars and was eventually machine-gunned by ungrateful colleagues, are a mystery only to those who refuse to know anything about such matters. As professional boxers, the Klichko brothers were a project funded by Rybalko and other top dogs of Kiev’s underworld. These gentlemen of fortune have been taking a slice of the brothers’ winnings, and nowadays they certainly expect to be paid bigger dividends if their puppet Vitaly becomes a member of Ukraine’s government. So far their hopes have been thwarted by Ms. Nuland, who distributes posts in Ukraine’s government in no uncertain, if somewhat obscene terms. She has apparently decided that Klitchko is too big for his pants, and he was forced to lower his sights to the office of Kiev’s mayor, selling his presidential ambitions to Poroshenko. Kiev denizens will watch with bated breath the spectacle of Mayor Klichko stamping out banditry in their city, and especially leaning on the hoods that started him in business.
The antecedents of many Ukrainian oligarchs, of whom 18 have been appointed regional governors by the junta, simply don’t bear examination. If you hear that one of them started his business career as a card sharp, that’s about as innocent a finding as you are likely to make. Just try and investigate the background of one of these billionaires, recently arrested in Austria on U.S. charges. A conscientious student of these antecedents might come up with a multivolume bestseller in the roman policier genre.
The armed neo-Nazi rabble that has carried off the coup d’etat and installed the present junta (which Timoshenko has publicly referred to as a “snake pit,” only the Russian word she used is much more expressive) would be outlawed and jailed in any self-respecting European country. Tired of fighting for freedom and democracy, Maidan heroes have now turned to sheer banditry, racketeering, and marauding with such vim that even the demoralized police had to do something about it.
The story of Aleksandr Muzychko, the big news these days, is truly emblematic. This prominent member of the neo-Nazi Right Sector party terrorized the local legislative assembly in Rovno, robbed local businessmen of tens and hundreds of thousands of Euros, beat up a public prosecutor on camera, and committed many other heroic deeds in the name of the pro-European revolution. Eventually the police tried to arrest him; he started shooting at the police; the police fired back and wounded him; then, to make sure double sure, they tore up his shirt to see that he had no bulletproof vest, and shot him through the heart; some said twice, for good measure. Muzychko’s comrades now say it was politically motivated murder and swear vengeance (last heard of, they threatened to storm the parliament building), while his comrade-in-arms and Right Sector leader Yarosh runs for president. Beautiful. That’s Ukrainian law and order situation and the nature of its politics in a nutshell.
All this is frightening enough, but there is evidence of even more scary developments – evidence of the neo-Nazis’ attempts to lay their hands on weapons of mass destruction. Timoshenko may yell that she is going to start the Third World War after which “not even a burnt-out field will be left of Russia,” but that’s mere female hysterics that puts a final touch to her character. However, certain hard, unpleasant facts, no fruit of anyone’s hysterics, are now coming to light. The neo-Nazis are paying regular reconnaissance visits to nuclear power stations, with obvious intent to hold the whole world hostage, not just Russia or Europe. They have paid visits to bacteriological laboratories and, according to the people working there, got hold of bacteriological material that can be used for biological warfare. The handiest weapon for provocation, I’d say. Right Sector publicly threatens Russia with guerrilla warfare. What better weapon to use in such warfare than WMD? Other terrorists have merely been dreaming of such weapons – Ukrainian ones, with the connivance of or on direct orders from someone in the junta, may actually use them – to Senator McCain’s delight.
But I think a better approach is try to analyze of EuroMaidan as a premature launch of a color revolution based on "illegitimate elections" claims that was planned for 2015 election, in other worked Orange Revolution II was planned by the USA and friends. In this case it has great similarities with Orange Revolution.
During Orange revolution the classic for color revolutions "Falsification of elections" meme was played during twice, first during the presidential elections on 31 October and then 21 November 2004 ( the second round). At the same time in both cases the preparations for the elections and "opposition forces" began long before the election. So independently of the result election are to be branded as "illegitimate ". This claim should be supported by various "election polls" organizations (as Stalin used to say it does not matter how people vote, what matter is who is counting the votes"). While called "election polls" their direct goal is to influence election results and make calling the election "illegitimate" possible on some pseudoscientific grounds.
On January 21 Yushchenko said: " The only way to ensure fair transparent democratic elections - is to hold the election without meddling of Leonid Kuchma. So Leonid Kuchma has two options. He may go down in history, or he can raise to an occasion in it."
... to be written later...
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Last modified: September, 20, 2017