Ukraine debt enslavement

Case study of neoliberal enslavement of the country

Chief neoliberal comprador

News Debt enslavement Recommended Links The first year of Poroshenko presidency IMF as the key institution for neoliberal debt enslavement Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism
Nulandgate Disaster capitalism Predator state Civil war in Ukraine Casino Capitalism Greece debt enslavement
 Russian Ukrainian Gas wars Ukraine: From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss Provisional government as an instrument for Ukraine's debt enslavement Galicia -- Ukrainian Benghazi, Lvov declares autonomy from Ukraine on February 19 Ukraine's oligarchs Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17?
Corruption of Regulators Deregulation as crony capitalism Cognitive Regulatory Capture Privatization as a special case of corruption Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime  Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite
Two Party System as polyarchy Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few The Grand Chessboard Foreign Agents Registration Act Color revolutions Etc

It is probably true that Ukraine was thrown under the bus by the US elite, although the total online hate campaign in Russian press is way over the top. But in reality this is how neoliberalism works. Ukrainian elite, like Greek elite (political and business) completely failed their own country by exploiting the system and people. Since 1991 they were sucking the whole place dry. They are real traitors of the nation in very precise sense.  Ukraine was already neoliberal country. And the last thing Ukrainians needed was yet another neoliberal coup d'état organized and financed by foreign powers (listen to Larry Wilkerson's presentation https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=YM_MH_Bfq5c ). In its main events Ukraine neoliberal revolution repeats patterns of Pinochet coup d'état in Chile with only difference that victims among Civilian population are concentrated on the East of the country among Russian speaking population of Donbass. 

EuroMaidan was a disaster for the ordinary Ukrainians, who lost their (already low) standard of living and now are forced to exist on the level of Central African poverty (with many categories getting less then $5 a day with food prices on the level close (and in some categories such as chicken meet, exceeding)  the prices of the USA supermarkets. Minimum pension in Ukraine which is received by two million of Ukrainian citizens is $43 a month ($1.4 a day); this is really Central African level! Average salary our side Kiev is not much higher (around 2000 grivna, which with exchange rate 22 grivna (UAH) to dollar is around $90 or $3 a day). Many people can afford only bread and milk (the cost on milk is lower then in the USA).

EuroMaydan was the result of cynical manipulation of Ukrainian population by Western powers, which lured them into self-destructive actions by the carrot of European economic integration (which implicitly was associated with Northern Europe standard of living, not Bulgarian standard of living). Nobody tried to warn them about the destiny of Bulgaria and Romania within the EU. 

Now it is clear that Ukraine can never repay a mounting amount of debt taking into account its shrinking economy. So population wellbeing dropped dramatically from corrupt Yanukovich days (and he was corrupt, no question about it, but he was yet another US neoliberal stooge). Turchinov tried to play General Pinochet with ATO, encouraged by the USA. ATO brought  another round of misery and economic contraction, plus some asset stripping (cronies of  Biden, Merkel, and some other figures). And Ukrainian population outside top 1% have found itself in a deeper hole. It's the dame mechanism like in Greece:

How do countries like Greece find themselves in such a debt jam? Here's an example of a typical process. A German company wants to do a project in Greece. It approaches the Greek government, with its lobbyists and debt from a German bank to finance the deal. Since it is coming in with the capital, it overprices the project. Greece gets an overpriced asset and debt - sometimes the asset is indeed worthless for example military white elephants that will never be used. The German company gets the windfall. The German banker is happy at placing more debt, they get paid by the amount of debt they sell. The German and Greek taxpayers ultimately pick up the bill for the overpriced asset. While the overpriced asset doesn't contribute as it should to the Greek economy (if indeed anything, e.g. in he case of a military white elephant), the Greek taxpayer - ironically the middle earners and poor, who don't have offshore tax accounts - is expected to pay for it. Public opinion is whipped up against the Greek pensioner, middle earning worker as if they somehow manipulated the system and pocketed the money, not a crony corporation of the German politicians.

When the Greek taxpayer obviously finds himself going bust trying to pay for an overpriced asset, Germany passes the bad debt to its own taxpayers, i.e. the Greeks now owe German taxpayers. They obviously can't pay this either. So now they are forced to sell assets - let's look at what assets are being proposed. These assets are monopolies like the electricity transmission grid and airports which the Greek taxpayer has to use and pay for in any case. In other words, compulsory taxpayer payments. Who will these assets go to? Foreign companies, cronies of the Troika's decision makers (where they will find jobs, advisory roles after public sector retirement). Will it help Greece grow again? No. Will it help Greek payments to the German taxpayer? Unlikely. But it does help certain opportunists make a lot of money in the short run, while others are left to suffer the consequences in the future.

Now compare with the following plan by the Ukrainian acting prime minister ( American PROFIT   )

Arseny Yatsenyuk held a closed meeting in the Ministry of Energy.

First, he instructed the head of the Energy Ministry Vladimir Demchishin resolve the issue of denunciation of the agreement with Russia on the completion of two units of Khmelnitsky nuclear power plant. Though experts have warned that it is impossible to denounce the agreement, for the construction of power is only suitable Russian equipment.

Secondly, Yatsenyuk announced that Ukraine's energy and nuclear power will be sold to US investors. Protection of nuclear facilities will be engaged in PMC.

This looks like well though out plan:

1) Raise the rates several times
2) Get the country to default or close to default (like Greece). r> 3) Sell the energy system and nuclear power plants for pennies on dollar to US investors
4) Move to Florida.

Recent data of the Ukrainian state statistics are shocking. During the first quarter of 2015, the Ukrainians began to spend on products for 20% less money than before. For a lot of people that means hunger. Real hunger. In the first place then  refuse to buy canned fruit, meat and fish products - their sales fell by 37%. The demand for fish decreased 30%. Same decrease for variety of cereals, seafood, prepared meat products, sausage. Almost the same drop with eggs, fresh meat and vegetables - their sales have dropped by 25%. And much less dangerous (which should probably be welcomed)  20% drop of sales of soft drinks, butter, pasta and confectionery. Buyers increased purchases only salt - 11% more, and margarine - 2%. 

Data on the consumption of eggs, meat and vegetable are scary. It means that people save on the most valuable that could not be replaced - on their health.  That is given when people reduced the consumption vital foodstaff. Foodstaff that is basis of any healthy diet. According to nutritionists, people over the age of 35 should consumed meat  2-3 times a week with lots of vegetables. In the remaining days of animal protein can be replaced with poultry and fish. Who among Ukrainian seniors (with average pension around 1000 grivna and exchange rate 25 grivna to one dollar) eat meat three times a week? Very few. Mainly pensioners who still are working. 

In other words Yatsenyuk  initiated  economic shock therapy  on already impoverished nation. Killing in process a lot of people. The top 1%, including Mr. Yatsenyuk himself, never feel this pain.  It's only rank-and-file 90% Ukrainians who suffer.  Yatsenyuk likes to compare himself with Margaret Thatcher, but while he is definitely a reckless neoliberal, not everybody is buying this self-characterization:

The Governor of the Odessa region Mikhail Saakashvili criticised the actions of Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

The cause of his discontent was the situation around the Odesa port enterprise, the management of which Saakashvili had been charged with concluding unfavorable contracts for the supply of gas to the plant.

"in the government's response, announced by the head of state, and compares our attitude to the corrupt contracts at Odessa port plant and to the actions of the Cabinet of Yatsenyuk with the attacks on Margaret Thatcher some time ago. I have the opportunity to meet - in person I knew Margaret Thatcher, and I know premiere Yatsenyuk, and I am obliged to note That Arseniy Yatsenyuk is not Margaret Thatcher, " wrote Saakashvili on his page century

So far from economics view his action were disastrous for the country. Trade between Russia and Ukraine, in terms of overall turnover, fell 80% in 2015 and is likely to worsen in 2016.

In her groundbreaking book The Shock Doctrine The Rise of Disaster Capitalism  Naomi Klein  has shown how from Chile in 1973 to Iraq today, neoliberals have repeatedly harnessed terrible shocks and violence to implement their radical policies or neoliberalization and debt enslavement of the weaker countries. This concept is closely related to the concepts of Military-Industrial Complex and Predator state. Amazon review of the book states:

Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine advances a truly unnerving argument: historically, while people were reeling from natural disasters, wars and economic upheavals, savvy politicians and industry leaders nefariously implemented policies that would never have passed during less muddled times. As Klein demonstrates, this reprehensible game of bait-and-switch isn't just some relic from the bad old days. It's alive and well in contemporary society, and coming soon to a disaster area near you.

"At the most chaotic juncture in Iraq'' civil war, a new law is unveiled that will allow Shell and BP to claim the country's vast oil reserves… Immediately following September 11, the Bush Administration quietly outsources the running of the 'War on Terror' to Halliburton and Blackwater… After a tsunami wipes out the coasts of Southeast Asia, the pristine beaches are auctioned off to tourist resorts… New Orleans residents, scattered from Hurricane Katrina, discover that their public housing, hospitals and schools will never be re-opened." Klein not only kicks butt, she names names, notably economist Milton Friedman and his radical Chicago School of the 1950s and 60s which she notes "produced many of the leading neo-conservative and neo-liberal thinkers whose influence is still profound in Washington today." Stand up and take a bow, Donald Rumsfeld.

There's little doubt Klein's book--which arrived to enormous attention and fanfare thanks to her previous missive, the best-selling No Logo, will stir the ire of the right and corporate America. It's also true that Klein's assertions are coherent, comprehensively researched and footnoted, and she makes a very credible case. Even if the world isn't going to hell in a hand-basket just yet, it's nice to know a sharp customer like Klein is bearing witness to the backroom machinations of government and industry in times of turmoil. --Kim Hughes 

Publishers Weekly review adds to this:

The neo-liberal economic policies—privatization, free trade, slashed social spending—that the Chicago School and the economist Milton Friedman have foisted on the world are catastrophic in two senses, argues this vigorous polemic. Because their results are disastrous—depressions, mass poverty, private corporations looting public wealth, by the author's accounting—their means must be cataclysmic, dependent on political upheavals and natural disasters as coercive pretexts for free-market reforms the public would normally reject. Journalist Klein (No Logo) chronicles decades of such disasters, including the Chicago School makeovers launched by South American coups; the corrupt sale of Russia's state economy to oligarchs following the collapse of the Soviet Union; the privatization of New Orleans's public schools after Katrina; and the seizure of wrecked fishing villages by resort developers after the Asian tsunami. Klein's economic and political analyses are not always meticulous. Likening free-market shock therapies to electroshock torture, she conflates every misdeed of right-wing dictatorships with their economic programs and paints a too simplistic picture of the Iraq conflict as a struggle over American-imposed neo-liberalism. Still, much of her critique hits home, as she demonstrates how free-market ideologues welcome, and provoke, the collapse of other people's economies. The result is a powerful populist indictment of economic orthodoxy. 

In Western MSM the 17.6% year to year GDP drop in Ukraine in 2014 is mentioned as a just a number without any context. The IMF’s mission in Ukraine has said the country’s GDP is expected to shrink 9 percent this year, with annual inflation jumping to 46 percent. Ukraine’s national currency, the hryvnia, has two-third of its value . Exchange rate went from 8.5 to 25 per dollar or three times.  Unresolved conflict in the country’s east took a big toll on the economy, and with economic ties with Russia severed there is no major market for Ukrainian goods. So the future does not look good, although some of agricultural exports can be absorbed by China. 

Please note that during the Great Depression the US GDP contracted "only" 25%. In any given year of that depression it did not drop 17%. Also, in the case of Ukraine, it has already underwent its first Great Depression, which was  far worse than the US depression. It happened after the dissolution of the USSR in early 1990th. So we are looking at The Second Great Depression in Ukraine. This is the meaning of this 17.6% drop.  Ukrainian pensioners are brought by brave Western neocons with the help of local fifth column to the  real starvation level.  This is an important story and yet Western neoliberal MSM ignore it and concentrate on coverage of flight MH17 tragedy. 

Instead we have overoptimistic "confidence enhancing" forecasts from Moody’s, the World Bank, the IMF, and other western agencies. Which are pure political fluff. When in reality we need to state that USA neocons (see Nulandgate) destroyed the Ukraine economics and plunge the country into another Great Depression. 

That was clearly achieved in Ukraine where standards of living dropped to sub-Saharan Africa levels. In 2008, only 47 percent of the population of sub-Saharan Africa lived on $1.25 a day or less. (United Nations 2012). And it is important to note that Germany in this story acted like a real neo-imperial power. It's the same behaviour it demonstrated with Greece: pay the debt poor Ukrainians.

davidt, August 21, 2014 at 4:28 am
The threat to the Bank was explicit enough. Alastair Crooke wrote: “And The Wall Street Journal in a front page tap on Angela Merkel’s shoulder- reminding her to vote “yes” on the next “level-3″ round of Russian sanctions- warned that “Deutsche Bank’s US operations suffer from a litany of problems…” The WSJ article is behind a pay wall.

http://www.conflictsforum.org/2014/ukraine-mh17-and-the-struggle-for-europe/

patient observer , August 21, 2014 at 5:22 am
Nude pictures? a lesbian? a murky past? Those are nothing that a little spin can’t take care of as pointed out above. Merkel serves at the pleasure of the German elites and she would be thrown under the bus if she became a serious liability. Merkel is not the problem.

The US has Germany by the short hairs for sure but its not through some personal scandal. The US may [have] a kill switch on the Germany/EU financial system. Further speculating, all that NSA spying may have led to discovery of vulnerabilities in the German financial system, again as mentioned above.

The US seems to have the ability to inflict massive pain on Germany, its elites and its general population to account for German obedience. It seems likely to be a financial bludgeon that the US is ready to swing. The blow back could take down the US financial system but, the Anglo elites will still do quite well in a material sense and that is the only thing that matters.

As an example of such views we can cite the opinion of the Pro-Russian leader of the coalition of NGOs "Eurasian choice - Georgia" Archil Chkoidze. Here is what he said about Poroshenko and his cabinet:

"This is controlled by the Americans puppet government, and their hands are used for carrying out genocide of the Russian people. The government Poroshenko is very similar to the former government of Georgia led by Saakashvili.

In 2008, the authorities of Georgia did the same when they bombed Tskhinvali,"


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[Sep 13, 2019] The War in Eastern Ukraine May be Coming to an End But Do Any Americans Care? by Jeremy Kuzmaro

Ukraine is mainly the result of attempt of the USA to encircle Russia well as EU design for economic Drang nach Osten -- attempt to displace Russia in xUSSR republics.
So they pushed Ukraine into the pat that Baltic republic were already known for.
Notable quotes:
"... Ukraine's newly elected comedian president Volodymyr Zelensky called the prisoner exchange a "first step" in ending the war in Eastern Ukraine, which has killed an estimated 13,000 civilians. ..."
"... In a subsequent referendum, 89% in Donetsk and 96% in Luhansk in Eastern Ukraine voted for independence, which the new government of Petro Poroshenko government did not accept. ..."
"... She told U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt in a telephone conversation that was tapped and later leaked that Arseniy Yatsenyuk, neoliberal head of the "Fatherland" Party, should be Prime Minister as he was thought to have the "economic" and "governing experience." ..."
"... Nuland further revealed that the U.S. had invested over $5 billion in "democracy promotion" in Ukraine since 1991 through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which was carrying on the kind of work previously undertaken by the CIA during the Cold War. ..."
"... NED president Carl Gershman called Ukraine "the biggest prize" and an important interim step towards toppling [Russian President Vladimir] Putin who "may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself." ..."
"... To help achieve this end, the Obama administration pledged $1 billion in loan guarantees to the post-coup government in Ukraine, which Putin considered as the "ideological heirs of [Stephen] Bandera, Hitler's accomplice in World War II." ..."
"... Swayed by a slick lobbying campaign backed by supporters of the Afghan mujahidin in the 1980s looking for a new cause and by the Senate's Ukraine Caucus, the Obama administration further provided nearly $600 million in security assistance to the Ukrainian military. ..."
"... American military advisers embedded in the Ukrainian Defense Ministry provided rocket propelled grenades, carried out training exercises and planned military operations including with members of the fascist Azov battalion, which had Nazi-inspired Wolfsangel patches emblazoned on their sleeves. ..."
Sep 13, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

On Saturday September 7, Russia and Ukraine agreed to a prisoner swap which has brought hope of improved relations between the two countries and an end to the 5-year long conflict in Eastern Ukraine.

A peace accord is being planned for later this month in Normandy involving Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany.

Ukraine's newly elected comedian president Volodymyr Zelensky called the prisoner exchange a "first step" in ending the war in Eastern Ukraine, which has killed an estimated 13,000 civilians.

The Ukraine War remains largely unknown to the American public even though the United States has had a great stake in it.

The war started after a coup d'états in Ukraine in February 2014, which overthrew the democratically elected pro-Russian government of Viktor Yanukovuch.

In a subsequent referendum, 89% in Donetsk and 96% in Luhansk in Eastern Ukraine voted for independence, which the new government of Petro Poroshenko government did not accept.

The United States was a heavy backer of the coup and dirty war that unfolded in the East.

Victoria Nuland, the head of the State Department's European desk, traveled to Ukraine three times during the protests that triggered the coup, handing out cookies to demonstrators.

She told U.S. Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt in a telephone conversation that was tapped and later leaked that Arseniy Yatsenyuk, neoliberal head of the "Fatherland" Party, should be Prime Minister as he was thought to have the "economic" and "governing experience."

Nuland further revealed that the U.S. had invested over $5 billion in "democracy promotion" in Ukraine since 1991 through the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which was carrying on the kind of work previously undertaken by the CIA during the Cold War.

Ukraine has long been considered an important bridge between Eastern and Western Europe and holds lucrative oil and gas deposits.

NED president Carl Gershman called Ukraine "the biggest prize" and an important interim step towards toppling [Russian President Vladimir] Putin who "may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself."

To help achieve this end, the Obama administration pledged $1 billion in loan guarantees to the post-coup government in Ukraine, which Putin considered as the "ideological heirs of [Stephen] Bandera, Hitler's accomplice in World War II."

Swayed by a slick lobbying campaign backed by supporters of the Afghan mujahidin in the 1980s looking for a new cause and by the Senate's Ukraine Caucus, the Obama administration further provided nearly $600 million in security assistance to the Ukrainian military.

It was supplied with counter-artillery radars, anti-tank systems, armored vehicles and drones in a policy expanded upon by Trump.

Before and after the Ukrainian military's campaign began, Secretary of State John Kerry, CIA Director John Brennan, and Vice President Joe Biden visited Kiev, followed by a flow of senior Pentagon officials.

A back-door arms pipeline was set up through the United Arab Emirates and Blackwater mercenaries were allegedly deployed.

American military advisers embedded in the Ukrainian Defense Ministry provided rocket propelled grenades, carried out training exercises and planned military operations including with members of the fascist Azov battalion, which had Nazi-inspired Wolfsangel patches emblazoned on their sleeves.

Obama's National Security adviser, Samantha Power, claimed that the [Ukrainian] governments "response [to alleged provocations by eastern rebels] [was] reasonable, it is proportional, and frankly it is what any of our countries would have done."

The Ukrainian military and allied warlord and neo-Nazi militias were not acting reasonably or proportionally, however, when they carried out artillery and air attacks on cities and struck residential buildings, shopping malls, parks, schools, hospitals and orphanages in Eastern Ukraine, and tortured and executed POWs in what amounted to clear war crimes.

NYU Professor Stephen Cohen notes that even The New York Times , which mainly deleted atrocities from its coverage, described survivors in Slovyansk living "as if in the Middle Ages."

That the American public knows nothing of these events is a sad reflection of the superficiality of our media and decline in the quality of international news coverage.

It is also a testament to the failing of the political left, which has embraced the cause of immigrant and Palestinian rights and fighting climate change, legitimately, but neglected the plight of the Eastern Ukrainian people. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Jeremy Kuzmarov

Jeremy Kuzmarov is the author of The Russians are Coming, Again: The First Cold War as Tragedy, the Second as Farce (Monthly Review Press, 2018).

[Aug 29, 2019] Giuliani Renews Push For Biden Investigation

Notable quotes:
"... Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani has long pushed for Kiev to investigate Vice President Joe Biden's attempt in 2016 to get the country's top prosecutor removed at a crucial moment during an ongoing investigation into Burisma Holdings -- the Ukrainian natural gas company advised at the time by Biden's son Hunter. ..."
"... As the The New York Times reported previously, during the final year of the Obama presidency, Vice President Joe Biden "threatened to withhold $1 billion in United States loan guarantees if Ukraine's leaders did not dismiss the country's top prosecutor" -- Viktor Shokin -- "who had been accused of turning a blind eye to corruption in his own office and among the political elite." ..."
Aug 29, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

... ... ...

Also interesting is that Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani has long pushed for Kiev to investigate Vice President Joe Biden's attempt in 2016 to get the country's top prosecutor removed at a crucial moment during an ongoing investigation into Burisma Holdings -- the Ukrainian natural gas company advised at the time by Biden's son Hunter.

As the The New York Times reported previously, during the final year of the Obama presidency, Vice President Joe Biden "threatened to withhold $1 billion in United States loan guarantees if Ukraine's leaders did not dismiss the country's top prosecutor" -- Viktor Shokin -- "who had been accused of turning a blind eye to corruption in his own office and among the political elite."

Crucially last week Giuliani was reported to have again raised the issue with Ukrainian officials , according to CNN .

As CNN cynically put it in its latest report , this suggests "the former New York mayor is making a renewed push for the country to investigate Trump's political enemies."

But then again maybe it's as simple as the US not actually having a deep national security interest in propping up Ukraine's military at a moment when international missile treaties with Russian are unraveling and the war in Donbass is at a bloody stalemate.

The looming potential for a controversial cut in aid to Ukraine will make Trump's upcoming meeting with still relatively new "political outsider" President Volodymyr Zelenskyy set for next week all the more interesting. A final decision on the military aid is expect after this crucial meeting.


geno-econ , 1 hour ago link

More reason for Pappy Biden to pull out of race. Now he does not stand a chance to defeat Trump because Hunter corruption in Ukraine and China will be center stage during election. Obviously "lock them up " will be the battle cry. With China's latest backpedaling on tariff retaliation, Trump can only be defeated from within Republican party by new impeachable revelations.

CatInTheHat , 1 hour ago link

Ukraine was a Kagan/Nuland obammy/Biden coup special. Another **** adventure.

CatInTheHat , 1 hour ago link

Kolomoisky a ***.

Big surprise There.

CatInTheHat , 1 hour ago link

Yeah, if you only knew that the big beneficiary to the IMF Loan in Argentina was none other than Orange *** oligarch donor Paul Singer.

Same thing happened in Ukraine. Poroshenko was not only the recipient of an IMF loan bailout but lots of US "aid" too.

Something bout them Joos.

CatInTheHat , 2 hours ago link

Wait, so does the US still want to split China and Russia?

At G7 Macron and Trump both were talking up Putin and wanting to allow Russia back into G8.

Then i read another interesting article about Macron inviting Putin to France:

"The dynamics of the New Cold War might undergo a dramatic transformation if the geopolitical game-changer of a “New Detente” between Russia and the West succeeds, which is becoming increasingly possible as proven by recent events.

President Putin’s meeting earlier this week with his French counterpart in Paris saw Macron repeatedly emphasizing Russia’s European identity in a clear sign that this rapprochement is making visible progress. Macron is motivated to play the role of mediator between the US and Russia for two main reasons, namely that he wants to position France as a possible replacement to inevitably post-Merkel Germany as the EU’s leading country and also to reach an accommodation with Moscow in Africa after the completion of the country’s “ African Transversal ” earlier this summer began to threaten Paris’ interests in the continent. Putin responded extremely positively and reminded Macron of their two Great Powers’ decades-long shared desire to forge “a common Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok”, reaffirming that Russia regards itself more as a European country than a “Eurasian” or Asian one, which has important implications for International Relations.

The Neo-NAM

What The US Really Wants From Russia ” is for it to recalibrate its recent “Eurasian” turn towards China in exchange for much-needed sanctions relief that could help it survive its two ongoing systemic transitions in the political ( post-Putin 2024 , or PP24) and economic (“ Great Society “/” National Development Projects “) spheres, which was likely discussed during Pompeo’s trip to Sochi in May and thus enabled the author to “ Predict The Possible Details Of A ‘New Detente’ “. The US doesn’t have any unrealistic expectations about the Russian-Chinese Strategic Partnership and is very well aware that Putin announced earlier this year that the Moscow-led Eurasian Economic Union will work towards integrating with China’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI), so a repeat of the Old Cold War-era “Sino-Soviet Split” probably isn’t in the cards, but what’s much more feasible is for the US to encourage Russia to become the leader of a new Non-Aligned Movement ( Neo-NAM ) that could “ balance ” between China and the West exactly like Mr.

Oleg Barabanov — a programme director at Russia’s top think tank, the Valdai Club — suggested in his policy paper a few months ago titled “ China’s Road to Global Leadership: Prospects and Challenges for Russia “.

“Politically Inconvenient” Truths

Both the Mainstream and Alternative Medias had hitherto exaggerated the nature of the Russian-Chinese Strategic Partnership for their own reasons, with the former wanting to portray it according to the paradigm of the so-called “Russian threat” in order to justify a more muscular American military buildup against them while the latter imagined that the two were “allies” jointly working together without any disagreements whatsoever in order to accelerate the emerging Multipolar World Order that would presumably be “anti-American”. The reality of their relations is a lot less sexy and it’s that Russia was pushed into reorientating its strategic focus as a result of the West’s anti-Russian sanctions following Crimea’s reunification, which served as the catalyst for Moscow’s decision to embrace Beijing. Russia probably wouldn’t have undertaken this move had it not been for American pressure, but it felt compelled to since it didn’t want to remain a “junior partner” in the US’ “New World Order”, instead endeavoring to return to its historical role as a Great Power among equals.

In pursuit of this, it’s much easier for Russia to simply reintegrate into a reformed “New World Order” than to build an entirely new one from scratch alongside China, which is why the possibility of a “New Detente” is so enticing to its leadership, though provided of course that the West is sincere in finally treating Russia as an equal Great Power"

https://www.globalresearch.ca/new-detente-proceeding-apace-china-should-very-concerned/5686937

One doubts The US sincerity and for good reason. This might be why US backing off Ukraine. US has always wanted to split China and Russia.

thereasonableinvestor , 2 hours ago link

#Unequal: Rich Sanders, Biden and Obama Lecture Average Americans on Income Inequality

CatInTheHat , 1 hour ago link

BASTARDS! If i had a DIME for every time Obama EXPLOITED vulnerable Americans for his road and pony show I would be a rich woman.

I'll never forget Obama interview in prison with a few younger African American kids. Talkin to then as if he knew what they were going through. His black *** raised WHITE and who had ZERO clue what it was to live black and supporting the very oppressive system that jailed them in the first place. All that after he bailed out banks and then QE under the Fed for his wealthy CITI, Goldman and *** friends.

Master manipulator.

[Aug 26, 2019] Western experts views on Putin actions in Ukraine

The level of "experts" is pretty dismal. While some quotes are apt, the general level is horrible for such an important topic., Not a single one put Putin career in context of ascendance of neoliberalism from 1990 to 2007 and then crash and decline with the USA economics entering the period of secular stagnation. not a single one.
Most of those are neocons or some king of imperialists who believe in God given right for the USA to dominate the globe. That's another problem.
Notable quotes:
"... Henry Kissinger : Starting with American support for the Orange Revolution in Ukraine in 2004, Putin has gradually convinced himself that the U.S. is structurally adversarial. By “structural,” I mean that he may very well believe that America defines its basic interest as weakening Russia, transforming us from a potential ally to another foreign country that he balances with China and others. ( The Atlantic, 11.10.16 ) ..."
"... Thomas Graham and Rajan Menon : In Moscow’s reading, the United States had masterminded the revolution [in Ukraine] to install a pro-Western figure as president over the candidate endorsed by Putin. Putin soon came to view the revolution in Ukraine as a dress rehearsal for regime change in Russia itself. ..."
"... In Putin’s view, the United States, the European Union and NATO have launched an economic and proxy war in Ukraine to weaken Russia and push it into a corner. As Valery Gerasimov, chief of staff of the Russian armed forces, has underscored, this is a hybrid, 21st-century conflict, in which financial sanctions, support for oppositional political movements and propaganda have all been transformed from diplomatic tools to instruments of war. Putin likely believes that any concession or compromise he makes will encourage the West to push further. ( The Washington Post, 02.05.15 ) ..."
Aug 07, 2019 | www.russiamatters.org

Ukraine

[Aug 24, 2019] Peace plan for eastern Ukraine As divisive as the causes of the war by Fred Weir

Highly recommended!
The net result on Ukrainian independence was the dramatic rise of political influence of western Ukraine which was suppressed in the USSR. under Yutchenko they came to power and they regained it after Yanukovich demise. And their interests and their desire to colonize Eastern Ukraine do not correlate will with the desires of the Eastern Ukrainian population. So Ukraine remains a divided country with the differences being patched by continuing war in Donbass. So in way continuation of the war is in the best political interests of Western Ukrainian nationalists. Kind of insurance which simplify for them to stay in power. While politically they lost in recent Presidential elections the presence of paramilitary formations ensure that they still have considerable political power including the power of veto.
Whether hardship inflicted on population after EuroMaydan will eventually help to restore the balance and raise political influence of Eastern Ukraine because Western Ukrainian nationalists are now completely politically discredited due to the dramatic drop in the standard of living after EuroMaydan is difficult to say. In any case Ukraine now is a debt slave and vassal of the USA with the USA embassy controlling way to much to consider Ukraine to be an independent country. Few countries manage to dig themselves out of this hole.
For such countries rise of anti-colonial movement is a possibility, but paradoxically Western Ukrainian nationalists side with colonial power representing in a way fifth column (and they did played the role of fifth column during EuroMaydan giving power to rabid neoliberals like Yatsenyuk, who was essentially an agent of the USA, who wanted to privatize everything for cents on the dollar as long as he and his circle get cramps from it, ordinary Ukrainians be damned ). Understanding that the USA is the most dangerous partner to have, in many ways no less dangerous then Russia is still pending for the Ukrainian neoliberal elite, part of which ( Kushma, Victor Pinchuk) clearly are plain-vanilla compradors.
Notable quotes:
"... Three decades of Ukrainian independence have brought little in the way of economic development or other strong reasons to embrace a Ukrainian identity. At the same time, Russia has become a far more prosperous, orderly place that exudes confidence and power since Vladimir Putin came to power. Millions of eastern Ukrainians have gone to Russia as guest workers – and more recently as war refugees . Today, the Ukrainian diaspora in Russia is by far the world's largest. ..."
"... The western regions of Ukraine, on the other hand, were part of European states like Austria-Hungary and Poland until World War II, when they were annexed by the Soviet Union. Now, people overwhelmingly speak Ukrainian as their first language, take a suspicious (and historically grounded) view of Russia, and tend to look west for their inspiration ..."
"... Millions of Ukrainians go to Poland and beyond as guest workers, and their impressions help to fuel the certainty that Ukraine needs to seek a European future. ..."
"... Not coincidentally, the enthusiasm and conviction of western Ukrainians have disproportionately driven two pro-Western revolutions on the Maidan in Kyiv in the past 15 years, with little visible support from populations in the country's east. ..."
"... "People in the western Ukraine are different from us. It's not just language, or anything simple like that. They took power away from a president our votes elected, and they want to rip us out of our ways, abandon our values, and become part of their agenda," says Maxim Tkach, regional head of the Party of Life, the pro-Russian group that was the front-runner in parliamentary elections here in Mariupol. ..."
"... "When they started that Maidan revolution, they said it was about things we could support, like fighting corruption and ending oligarchic rule. But none of that happened. They betrayed every single principle they had shouted about. Instead, they want us to change the names of our streets and schools, honor 'heroes' like Stepan Bandera that our ancestors fought against. These are things we can't accept. ... ..."
"... "If there had been no Maidan, we would still have Crimea. There would have been no war. There would be no pressure on us to change our customs, our language, or our church . It was this aggressive revolution, by just part of the country, that caused these problems," he says. "Russia is Russia. It is acting in its own interests, but why do we need to antagonize it?" ..."
"... But while the two nearby separatist statelets, the Donetsk People's Republic and the Lugansk People's Republic, may be backed by Russia, they emerged from deep local roots. That is a clear observation from one of the most exhaustive studies of the war to date, Rebels Without a Cause , published last month by the International Crisis Group. ..."
"... The war has done great and possibly irreparable damage to Ukraine's economy , and the longer it continues, the harder it may be to ever reintegrate the former industrial heartland of Donbass with the rest of the country. ..."
"... Mr. Tkach, the regional party head, says the idea of victory is a dangerous chimera, and what most people around here want is peace and restoration of normal relations with Russia. ..."
"... "Of course we need to negotiate directly with" the rebel republics, he says. "These are our people. We understand them. Perhaps we need a step-by-step process, in which they are granted some special status. What would be wrong with that? They have also suffered, had their homes shelled by Ukrainian forces, lost their loved ones. Trust needs to be restored, and that might take some time." ..."
"... But he is adamant that those territories need to be recovered for Ukraine. "The task before us is to bring them back to Ukraine, and Ukraine to them. It must be accomplished through compromise and negotiation, because everyone is tired of war. Once we have done this, and have peace, then we can talk about Crimea." ..."
"... Mr. Tkach says so too. "We wish Zelenskiy well, but we really doubt that he can make peace happen. Our party has the connections and the right approach, and we think it will be necessary to bring us into the process." He's talking about dealing with the Russia that exists just across the Sea of Azov and a few miles down the road ..."
Aug 24, 2019 | www.csmonitor.com

... ... ...

Almost every conversation in Ukraine these days will touch upon the grinding, seemingly endless war in the eastern region of Donbass. People speak of overwhelming feelings of pain and weariness. And they express near-universal hopes that the new president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, will finally do something to end it.

Here in Mariupol, where the front line is a 10-minute drive from downtown, those conversations tend to be intense.

But depending on whom you talk to, the path to peace can look very different.

Much of the population around here speaks Russian, is used to having close relations with nearby Russia, and can't imagine any peace that would impose permanent separation. Many people have family, friends, and former business associates living just a few miles away on the other side of the border. More than half of voters in the Ukrainian-controlled part of Donetsk Region, of which Mariupol is the largest city, expressed those instincts in July 21 parliamentary elections by voting for two "pro-Russian" political parties. Both of them would like to forge a peace on Moscow's terms and return at least this part of Ukraine to its historical place as part of the Russian sphere of influence.

But there are also many who espouse an emerging Ukrainian identity, who see the 2014 Maidan "Revolution of Dignity" as a breaking point that gave Ukraine the chance to escape the grasp of autocratic Russia and embrace a European future. They want nothing to do with Russian-authored peace plans, say there is no alternative to fighting on to victory in the Donbass war, and want to quarantine Ukraine from its giant neighbor – at least until Russia changes its fundamental nature.

Despite the two groups' shared desire for peace, their starkly different visions for what that peace would entail could prove a major obstacle for ending the war in eastern Ukraine.

Looking east, looking west

These divisions are rooted in Ukrainian history. The country's eastern regions have been part of Russian-run states for over 300 years. Three decades of Ukrainian independence have brought little in the way of economic development or other strong reasons to embrace a Ukrainian identity. At the same time, Russia has become a far more prosperous, orderly place that exudes confidence and power since Vladimir Putin came to power. Millions of eastern Ukrainians have gone to Russia as guest workers – and more recently as war refugees . Today, the Ukrainian diaspora in Russia is by far the world's largest.

The western regions of Ukraine, on the other hand, were part of European states like Austria-Hungary and Poland until World War II, when they were annexed by the Soviet Union. Now, people overwhelmingly speak Ukrainian as their first language, take a suspicious (and historically grounded) view of Russia, and tend to look west for their inspiration. In 1990, living standards in Ukraine and Poland were about equal. Since Poland joined the European Union in 2004, its living standards have doubled and it has become a vibrant European state. Millions of Ukrainians go to Poland and beyond as guest workers, and their impressions help to fuel the certainty that Ukraine needs to seek a European future.

The Party of Life, of which local businessman Maxim Tkach is a regional head, argues that peace can be achieved in eastern Ukraine only by following a Russia-favored plan for the region.

Not coincidentally, the enthusiasm and conviction of western Ukrainians have disproportionately driven two pro-Western revolutions on the Maidan in Kyiv in the past 15 years, with little visible support from populations in the country's east.

"People in the western Ukraine are different from us. It's not just language, or anything simple like that. They took power away from a president our votes elected, and they want to rip us out of our ways, abandon our values, and become part of their agenda," says Maxim Tkach, regional head of the Party of Life, the pro-Russian group that was the front-runner in parliamentary elections here in Mariupol.

"When they started that Maidan revolution, they said it was about things we could support, like fighting corruption and ending oligarchic rule. But none of that happened. They betrayed every single principle they had shouted about. Instead, they want us to change the names of our streets and schools, honor 'heroes' like Stepan Bandera that our ancestors fought against. These are things we can't accept. ...

"If there had been no Maidan, we would still have Crimea. There would have been no war. There would be no pressure on us to change our customs, our language, or our church . It was this aggressive revolution, by just part of the country, that caused these problems," he says. "Russia is Russia. It is acting in its own interests, but why do we need to antagonize it?"

"The majority who want to be Ukrainian"

Maria Podibailo, a political scientist at Mariupol State University and head of New Mariupol, a civil society group founded to support the Ukrainian army, offers a completely different narrative. She originally came from Ternopil in western Ukraine and has made Mariupol her home since 1991.

She says there were no separatist feelings in Mariupol, or the Donbass, until after the Maidan revolution when Russian agitators started traveling around eastern Ukraine, spreading lies and stirring up moods that had never existed before. Local pro-Russian oligarchs wielded their economic power to support separatist groups, while passive police and security forces allowed Russian-led separatists to seize public buildings and hold anti-Ukrainian protests in Mariupol. It wasn't until the arrival of the Ukrainian army – first in the form of the volunteer Azov Battalion – that the separatists were driven out and the front line was pushed back from the city limits in 2014, she says.

"That is why we support the army, and only trust the army," she says.

Ms. Podibailo's university-sponsored opinion surveys in 2014, after the rebellion began, found that a three-quarters majority of local people supported a future as part of Ukraine, not Russia. That majority was subdivided into several visions of what kind of Ukraine it should be, but only 12% wanted to join Russia, and 8% wanted Donbass to be an independent republic – a point often overlooked in the simplistic pro-Russian versus pro-Western scheme in which these events are frequently portrayed.

"That's when we knew we were on the right track," she says. "We were not a beleaguered minority at all. We were part of the majority who want to be Ukrainian."

But while the two nearby separatist statelets, the Donetsk People's Republic and the Lugansk People's Republic, may be backed by Russia, they emerged from deep local roots. That is a clear observation from one of the most exhaustive studies of the war to date, Rebels Without a Cause , published last month by the International Crisis Group.

The war has done great and possibly irreparable damage to Ukraine's economy , and the longer it continues, the harder it may be to ever reintegrate the former industrial heartland of Donbass with the rest of the country.

"We cannot talk to the leaders of these so-called republics. How could we possibly trust them?" says Ms. Podibailo. Her view is that, after victory, the population of the republics should be sorted out into those who collaborated with the enemy and those who were innocent victims, as happened after World War II.

"There is no way for this war to end other than in Ukrainian victory. I have never heard of a war that ends leaving things the same way, or just through some talks. People say it might take a long time, and the threat will last forever because we have such a neighbor.

"But we have the United States behind us, we have the West behind us, and they are attacking Russia from the other side with sanctions. We will win," she says.

"These are our people"

Mr. Tkach, the regional party head, says the idea of victory is a dangerous chimera, and what most people around here want is peace and restoration of normal relations with Russia.

"Of course we need to negotiate directly with" the rebel republics, he says. "These are our people. We understand them. Perhaps we need a step-by-step process, in which they are granted some special status. What would be wrong with that? They have also suffered, had their homes shelled by Ukrainian forces, lost their loved ones. Trust needs to be restored, and that might take some time."

But he is adamant that those territories need to be recovered for Ukraine. "The task before us is to bring them back to Ukraine, and Ukraine to them. It must be accomplished through compromise and negotiation, because everyone is tired of war. Once we have done this, and have peace, then we can talk about Crimea."

One of the leaders of the Party of Life – which came in a distant second in the national parliamentary elections – is Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk, who has strong connections to the Kremlin and whose daughter has Mr. Putin as her godfather. Attending the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum along with Mr. Putin this spring, Mr. Medvedchuk was introduced as "a representative of the Ukraine that can make a deal."

Mr. Tkach says so too. "We wish Zelenskiy well, but we really doubt that he can make peace happen. Our party has the connections and the right approach, and we think it will be necessary to bring us into the process." He's talking about dealing with the Russia that exists just across the Sea of Azov and a few miles down the road.

[Aug 18, 2019] Can Ukraine gradually put Western Ukrainian nationalists in it proper place

It's very sad that Ukraine is just a pawn in dirty geopolitical games of the USA, the EU and Russia.
Notable quotes:
"... In 3-5 years we could have an interesting scenario in Ukraine with land (its main wealth) owned by foreign investors and a large % of population with Russian or Polish and other EU passports. As always with ideology, the result is the exact opposite of what that ideology claims: the dictatorship of proletariat impoverished and killed proletariat, Nazis dramatically shrunk German lebensraum, liberals obsession with ' liberty and universal brotherhood ' is leading to censorship, suppression and group hostilities. But here we are and the ideological idiocy that Maidan-Ukrainians embraced might not be reversible. This is not good for anybody. ..."
"... For Ukraine these are all irreversible losses, but from Western perspective, these are little victories: Russia was forced to spend more. As the West does not give a hoot about Ukraine, the US and its vassals can freely celebrate these victories. ..."
"... So, it all depends on the point of view. The West never cared about aborigines, so their point of view does not come into its calculations. ..."
"... Currently prevailing mood in Russia is that Ukraine, whoever is the power there, gets nothing, nada, zilch. ..."
"... But Ukrainian authorities worked pretty hard to achieve it, and now Ukraine has to live with this new reality. It won’t be pretty. The US was simply following its standard policy: leave a pile of shit, declare victory, and leave, waiting for someone else to clean up. ..."
"... Now there is only one way Russia would clean up: if the EU pays full price for it. As this is unlikely, the aborigines are going to bear the brunt of the consequences. ..."
Aug 18, 2019 | www.unz.com

Beckow , says: Next New Comment August 18, 2019 at 7:33 pm GMT

@Kiza

miscalculation that the rotten West will help them instead of use them to create a festering sore on Russian border for just a few billion dollars in loans.

A possibly a fatal miscalculation for Ukraine, but there is also an ideology involved. In Maidan-Ukrainians case that ideology is Ukrainian nationalism combined with a servile Western worship of almost cargo-cult level. An odd combination that has led to odd result.

West wanted Zelensky to win, the question is why. Tactically, Zelensky neutralized large Russia-leaning block of voters: the 70% vote would have gone somewhere and they were not going to vote for Poroshenko or Tymoshenko. So that misdirection was successful. But what was the point?

Let's look at what Zelensky is actually doing (not the throw-away comedy and rhetoric): he is trying to allow sale of Ukrainian land to foreign investors. My guess is that he will push it through and that will his main legacy. Buying up Ukrainian arable land has been a wet dream for many in the West since 1991. Zelensky could deliver on it, and then move on.

In 3-5 years we could have an interesting scenario in Ukraine with land (its main wealth) owned by foreign investors and a large % of population with Russian or Polish and other EU passports. As always with ideology, the result is the exact opposite of what that ideology claims: the dictatorship of proletariat impoverished and killed proletariat, Nazis dramatically shrunk German lebensraum, liberals obsession with ' liberty and universal brotherhood ' is leading to censorship, suppression and group hostilities. But here we are and the ideological idiocy that Maidan-Ukrainians embraced might not be reversible. This is not good for anybody.

AnonFromTN , says: Next New Comment August 18, 2019 at 9:39 pm GMT

Why does the Saker think that Ze had any choice? He is a puppet, a stuffed shirt brought to ”power” by Kolomoisky and allied oligarchs. The only goal was to chase Porky and allied thieves from the trough to be able to steal more.

Now, the people of Ukraine had choice. But they blew it again, like many times before: each Ukrainian “president” is worse than his predecessor. As the saying goes, “fool me once, shame on you…” Ukrainians let themselves be fooled six times already, so there is no doubt where the shame goes.

It was said that the nationalism is the last resort of a scoundrel. But it isn’t the only one. Nationalism, stupid unrealistic dreams to feed sheeple, fairy tales about aggression, and the war create perfect smokescreen for blatant thievery. It continues unabated, ever since 1991.

Russia does need to make its choice. But it is complicated by the role of Russian thieves (polite word is oligarchs) in current Russian state. Putin kicked some out. The remaining ones have enough brains to figure that they need a strong state to protect them, lest their loot be stolen by Western thieves. So, they are a step ahead of Ukrainian thieves who did not tumble even to this simple realization. But no more than one step ahead.

The economic reality is that Russian state does not have the resources to restore Ukraine, even if sane forces come to power there. So, Ukraine would likely keep festering, losing millions of working age people (like today), possibly losing chunks of territory (as the joke has it, whoever remains in Ukraine pays off the debt). The problems of that huge Somalia can only be solved by concerted effort of many European countries and Russia. This is not on the cards, at least not until Ukies create yet another Chernobyl. Then the EU might decide to send its US overlords to Hell and pay Russia to take the hand grenade away from the monkey. I don’t think Putin will live long enough to see that happen.

Beckow , says: Next New Comment August 18, 2019 at 11:04 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN

…EU might decide to send its US overlords to Hell and pay Russia to take the hand grenade away from the monkey.

How would EU go against its overlord? Even if EU would try, the existential nihilism in Kiev will prevent compromise. Ideologues can’t admit that their ‘idea’ didn’t work, they prefer destroying everything around. West is also at this point incapable of admitting an error – they literally can’t do it, the lying has to go on. That means that even groundwork for any possible compromise can’t be put in place. This is all the way down with fireworks and it won’t be pretty.

There is such a thing as a catastrophic error and the last 5 years in Ukraine comes pretty close to it. That is not really fixable. The monkey night as well use the grenade.

AnonFromTN says: August 18, 2019 at 9:56 pm GMT • 100 Words
@Beckow

Minsk agreement was an incredibly generous deal, if Poroshenko had half a brain he would had jumped on it and today Donbas would be a remote backwater with autonomy.

That would be true if Porky was interested in Ukraine. As it is, his only interest and loyalty was and is his personal loot. To keep stealing, he (and allied thieves) needed the smokescreen of war, fairy tales of “aggression”, and pipe dreams of “greater Ukraine” for the sheeple. He succeeded in his thievery for five years. Now another gang of thieves pushed his gang from the trough. End of story.

annamaria says: August 18, 2019 at 11:47 pm GMT • 100 Words

@Bardon Kaldian

Are you a teenager unaware of the history of the Maidan regime-change “revolution?”
Here are two most influential Ukranian parties-participants in the “revolution:”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svoboda_(political_party)

The Svoboda Party was founded in 1991 as the Social-National Party of Ukraine … It is widely considered a fascist..party….

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_Sector

Time has described it [the Right Sector Party] as a “radical right-wing group … a coalition of militant ultra-nationalists” with an ideology that “borders on fascism”.

Die Welt, The New York Times, and Le Monde Diplomatique have described some of Right Sector’s constituent groups as radical right-wing, neofascist, or neo-Nazi…

https://www.globalresearch.ca/conspiring-neo-nazi-parties-washington-eu-role-kiev-coup/5684545

AnonFromTN says: August 19, 2019 at 12:56 am GMT • 300 Words

@Beckow

You are a pessimist (or a fatalist). I agree that EU is shamefully subservient to the US, but when some of their core interests are at stake, even slavish EU can show some teeth. Just think of Nord Stream-2: the US is jumping out of its skin to damage this project, but Germany stands remarkably firm.

From Western point of view, Ukie provocation was not a complete failure (even though it’s a catastrophic failure from Ukrainian point of view): Russia had to spend a lot to develop the production of military things it used to import from Ukraine, like ships, ship engines, helicopter engines, spaceship control systems, etc.

Now that it acquired the capability to produce these things, there will be no going back regardless who rules Ukraine: it’s industries that used to export to Russia are doomed. These include such giants as Nikolaev shipbuilding plant, Motor Sich in Zaparozie, Antonov aircraft building plant in Kiev, etc. The same goes for transit.

It is not just natural gas transit everybody talks about. Russia used to transport ammonia to Odessa, where it was partially exported and partially converted into fertilizers. The plant that used to do that is dead.

Ukraine tried to sell it for $5 billion under Yanuk and got no takers, about a year ago it tried to sell it for 10% of that price, and got no takers again.

There also used to be substantial Russian payments for transport via the railway going across Eastern Ukraine.

Russia built an alternative bypassing Ukraine, so they might as well dismantle the rails on their route.

For Ukraine these are all irreversible losses, but from Western perspective, these are little victories: Russia was forced to spend more. As the West does not give a hoot about Ukraine, the US and its vassals can freely celebrate these victories.

So, it all depends on the point of view. The West never cared about aborigines, so their point of view does not come into its calculations.

AnonFromTN says: August 19, 2019 at 1:13 am GMT • 100 Words

@Andrei Martyanov

That’s true, when it comes to resources, there are always alternatives how to spend them.

Currently prevailing mood in Russia is that Ukraine, whoever is the power there, gets nothing, nada, zilch.

Considering how closely Ukrainians are related to Russians, this feat wasn’t easy.

But Ukrainian authorities worked pretty hard to achieve it, and now Ukraine has to live with this new reality. It won’t be pretty. The US was simply following its standard policy: leave a pile of shit, declare victory, and leave, waiting for someone else to clean up.

Now there is only one way Russia would clean up: if the EU pays full price for it. As this is unlikely, the aborigines are going to bear the brunt of the consequences.

[Aug 18, 2019] Ukie nationalism vs Otto von Bismarck by The Saker

Saker is naive and badly educated. It is stupid to call Ukraine an oligarchy. All countries on Earth are oligarchies. The real question is which group of oligarchs is in power. In case of Ukraine those are privatization sharks, the worst kind of neoliberal financial scum. Often real criminals.
Otto von Bismarck created a powerful German state which exists to this day. While vassal of the USA it is still a state now. And Merkel role in EuroMaidan definitely reminds Drang nach Osten in neoliberal packaging. Neocolonialism in its pure form
Ukraine is just a pawn in a bigger geopolitical game of the USA and EU against Russia. That explains in the current state of Ukrainian economics and the level of Ukrainian population sufferings. Ukrainian nationalist paradoxically served as the fifth column for the neoliberal oligarchy. The phenomenon similar to the US nationalists role under Trump.
At the same time despite dismally low standard of living Ukrainian population is showing great resilience in the current hardships and infrastructure while completely worn out still works. But Ukraine is now completely Latin-Americanized, which was the goal of the USA from the very beginning for all Soviet space. Ukraine now is a debt slave of the West which is completely opposite to any nationalist movement goals.
According to Wikipedia just 5% of population lives of less than $5.50 a day. That's baloney. In reality the percentage is probably two-three times times higher (average monthly pension is typically less then $1500 grivna which is less then $60) so most of pensioners live on less then $2 a day. 8 million of the approximately 12 million of Ukrainian pensioners were receiving the minimum pension of 1312 (around $50) while medium pension amounted to 1886 UAH (Pensions in Ukraine - Wikipedia) And 12 million is 28% of Ukrainian population (around 42-43 million total down from 45.55 before EuroMaydan ). It is declining around 200 persons daily. On average there are 462,052 births and 662,571 deaths in Ukraine per year.
While pensioners are definitely starving the situation at least stabilized with grivna around 25 per dollar (something like 300% after the EuroMaydan). So Nuland advantures cost dearly for average Ukrainian.
Notable quotes:
"... These guys are a minority, a pretty small one even, but they have enough muscle and even firepower to threaten any nominal Ukrainian leader. ..."
Aug 18, 2019 | www.unz.com

As I have indicated in a recent article , the Ukraine is not a democracy but an oligarchy : ever since 1991 the most prosperous Soviet republic was mercilessly plundered by an entire class (in the Marxist sense of the word) of oligarchs whose biggest fear has always been that the same "horror" (from their point of view) which befell Russia with Putin, would eventually arrive at the Ukraine.

Here we need to make something clear: this is NOT, repeat, NOT about nationality or nationalism. The Ukrainian oligarchs are just like any other oligarchs: their loyalty is to their money and nothing else. If you want to characterize these oligarchs, you could think of them as culturally "post-Soviet" meaning that they don't care about nationality, and even though their prime language is Russian, they don't give a damn about Russia or Russians (or anybody else, for that matter!). Since many of them are Jews, they have a network of supporters/accomplices in Israel of course, but also in the West and even in Russia. In truth, these guys are the ultimate "internationalists" in their own, toxic, kind of way.

Some fine specimens of "ochlocrats"

The other significant force in the Ukraine is the West Ukrainian (Galician) Nazi death-squads and mobs. Their power is not a democracy either, but an ochlocracy . These guys are a minority, a pretty small one even, but they have enough muscle and even firepower to threaten any nominal Ukrainian leader.


Korenchkin , says: August 15, 2019 at 7:42 am GMT

Can you stop with the Ukronazi crap, what kind of Nazi Government has a Jewish PM and Jewish President ?
Azov guys dying in Donbass and the street thugs in Kiev are just cannon fodder, they don't run shit

The majority of Ukranians don't want to be in this conflict, I don't see the point in demonizing all of them because of some fascist larpers

Malla , says: August 15, 2019 at 12:44 pm GMT
People need to move on from the past and stop all that hating others for some past deeds. Polish or Western Ukrainian hatred for Russians, Russian hatred for Germans, Chinese & Korean hatred for the Japanese, Indian hatred for the British or the Chinese, Black South African hatred for Afrikaners. All these are counter productive for the people and are emotions which can be whipped up by the elites to have commoners die like cannon fodder at worst or to take away attention towards a past historic enemy to hide their own corruption/ incompetence at best.
People need to see things from the other side as well.

As far as the Satanic Zio elite pigs, they will use any ideology as long as it serves them. Democracy, Communism, anti-Communism, Islamic fundamentalism, anti-Islam, Jingoistic Nationalism, Anti-Nationalism/One Worldism, feminism, Hindutva, Buddhist fundamentalism (Sri Lanka BBS and the secret Zionist hand), Neo-Conservatism, Leftism, Colonialism, anti-Colonialism as long it suits them. They use them and discard them away when needed. But this seems to be the most extreme case ever. For the first time the Zio elites are using National Socialism as an ideology to serve them. The ideology which was probably the greatest enemy and threat to the Zio elites, in human history. Freakin crazy!!!

Mr. Hack , says: August 15, 2019 at 2:39 pm GMT
More grist for Saker's suckers. The Galicians (and Ukro-Nazi Jews) are behind everything. In Saker's simplistic mind the Galicians have infiltrated all of Ukrainian society and run the whole show, when in fact this is just a bunch of nonsense. Well, at least Saker is putting to use his favorite Ukrainian pejorative do I really need to repeat it again, ad nauseum?
Colin Wright , says: Website August 15, 2019 at 4:38 pm GMT
' Russia will always remain the reality check on their delusions. This was as true in the distant 13th century as it is nowadays '

It's nit-picking, but you might want to edit that sentence slightly.

In the thirteenth century, both the Ukrainians and the Russians faced more dire threats than each other.

Colin Wright , says: Website August 15, 2019 at 4:53 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack ' Ukro-Nazi Jews '

You have to admit that's an impressive combination.

Adûnâi , says: August 15, 2019 at 6:17 pm GMT
"The other significant force in the Ukraine is the West Ukrainian (Galician) Nazi death-squads and mobs."

Where are death camps for the Jews? Where are racial laws that expel non-Ukrainians? Where is the propaganda of eugenics and healthy lifestyle? Where are construction projects bringing in jobs, and state-subsidized recreation tours?

Ukraine is a Jew-driven shithole that has nothing to do with National Socialism. They don't even honour the sacrifice of the SS Galizien.

"but what they are genuinely fantasizing about is the territory, and only the territory. As for the 2 million-plus virulently anti-Nazi people currently living on these lands, they simply want them either dead or expelled)."

A lie. Currently, more than a half of those "expelled" have migrated inside Ukraine. A stark contrast to Croatia where the Serbs were driven out of the country, and their land given to Croats.

Again, Ukraine is suicidal and full of civic nationalism, nothing about it is blood-based.

"They and their Polish supporters want Russia to break apart in numerous small state-lets which they (or, in their delusional dreams, the Chinese) could dominate."

Why do you consider this as a negative for the Russian people? The current Russian state is in its death throes as much as the US and France – the ethnic Russians are dying out, fleeing and being replaced. Any alternative might prove out more hopeful.

"In contrast, the LDNR forces seem to be doing pretty well, and their morale appears to be as strong as ever (which is unsurprising since their military ethos is based in 1000 years of Russian military history)."

I have to remind you that the Donbass was colonized far more recently than Ukraine – in the 18-19th centuries. What "ancient" traditions?

"but Novorussia also is a never healing wound in the side of Nazi-occupied Ukraine"

The Donbass has never been part of Novorussia which is to the west, from Dniepropetrovsk to Odessa. Admittedly, Novorussia's colonists were mostly from Ukraine – it is clearly seen on the language maps.

"The problem with this slogan is that there is simply no way the (relatively small) Galician population can ever succeed in permanently defeating their much bigger (and, frankly, much smarter) Jewish, Polish or Russian neighbors."

Khmelnitsky managed to do just that – 100k dead Jews. And he's on the Ukrainian currency. Too bad modern "Nazi" Ukrainians have elected a Jew President. This is not the Khmelnitsky uprising, this is Kiev under the Khazar Khaganate before Oleg came from the North.

AP , says: August 15, 2019 at 10:45 pm GMT
It's a of nonsense as usual. This piece is quickly refuted:

ever since 1991 the most prosperous Soviet republic

People who spread this myth are ignorant or liars. It's a common one, though.

In 1990 Ukraine's per capita GDP was $1570.

Russia's was $3485.
Belarus was $2124.

So in Soviet times, Ukraine was the poorest of the three Slavic Soviet Republics. It still is, the position hasn't changed. It's just fallen further behind.

::::::::

Everything else is just as nonsensical, I won't even bother to detail it, most of the commenters here are as dumb/ignorant/dishonest (take your pick) as the author pretends to be.

Curmudgeon , says: August 15, 2019 at 11:15 pm GMT
I don't know where Saker sources his history. Lenin had nothing to do with the creation of Ukraine.

I live in Western Canada, where Ukrainians come starting in the late 19th century. I'm not referring to the primarily German speaking Mennonites that left South Central Ukraine, in the 1870s, fleeing religious persecution. By WWI, more than 200,000 were in Western Canada from all parts of Ukraine. They considered themselves Ukrainians, not Russians, or Galicians. They were, and to a great extent, still are Ukrainian nationalists. There continues to be friction with Polish and German local populations, although prior to the "rebirth" of Ukraine, it had largely subsided. Recent Russian immigrants are shunned as much as the "Poles" and "Germans". Politically, they are generally left of center, and have been since their arrival, although in recent decades more have become "conservative" (whatever that means these days). A long ago former Russian Jewish co-worker who was a late 60s "escapee" from the USSR, told me that he would never vote for one of our political parties, because there were "too many Ukrainians" in the party. I asked a "Ukrainian" friend, who I had known since grade school, what that meant. His explanation was that there had always been tensions between Jews and Ukrainians, for centuries, because of what Ukrainians believed was exploitation by the Jews. Other "Ukrainians" and "Jews" have confirmed this.

The reality is, that most people in most countries just want to live their lives in peace, with a job good enough to provide a decent home and food for the family. That 70% of Ukrainians want that is not surprising, it's normal. That doesn't mean they aren't nationalists, and it doesn't mean they are Nazis. However screwed up they are in trying to do so, Ukrainians are struggling to retain their identity and culture. IMO, they are up against internationalist forces from all sides, and none are interested in letting that happen.

Beckow , says: August 16, 2019 at 1:22 am GMT
@Curmudgeon The Nazi name-calling is over the top, and not just with regard to Ukraine or Galicia. Historical grievances or revisions are not 'Nazism'. Too many people look at Ukraine and over-interpret the nostalgia for Bandera or simple national self-assertion.

But I think Saker is right about where this is going. Russian side has local dominance and that will not change. The only game in town for the last 5 years has been to see if the Western squeeze of Russia will work faster than the Russian squeeze of Ukraine. By now it is obvious that it won't.

Kiev has made some fatal mistakes. E.g. Minsk agreement was an incredibly generous deal, if Poroshenko had half a brain he would had jumped on it and today Donbas would be a remote backwater with autonomy . So? The state would be intact, taxes would be paid, passports centrally issued, etc The eastern European dynamic is that any population always ends up disliking its immediate rulers – how long before local leaders in Donbas would be challenged by some younger corruption fighters.

The whole Maidan thing was also terribly mismanaged – at its core it was about getting the best potential deal for Ukraine with EU (and Russia). In the middle of the negotiation suddenly Maidanistas decided that symbols are more important than reality and basically folded in front of EU. Consequently Russia walked. Thus Kiev got justa bout the worst possible combination on non-EU and deep hostility with Russia. Smarter guys would had handled it much better, playing both sides against each other – raising the stakes.

And let's not even get started on Crimea, while Ukies ate stale cookies, they lost overnight their most valuable possession – they couldn't anticipate it? Being able to anticipate is a key to intelligence and in playing any game.

So we can talk about what or who is driving modern Ukraine, oligarchs, Galicians, Jews, Kiev thugs, Canadians – it doesn't matter, what matters is that they are incompetent. From Yushenko to Zelensky they are amateurs driven by emotion and greed. There is no state-forming force, there is no true Ukrainian nationalism that would play up Ukraine's strengths and manage its weaknesses. Saker is basically right – they are in a no-win cul-de-sac, at this point any move will make their situation worse. Their best (only?) hope is a collapse of Russia. Now, how likely is that?

bevin , says: August 16, 2019 at 1:33 am GMT
@Korenchkin " what kind of Nazi Government has a Jewish PM and Jewish President ?"
Israel.
Felix Keverich , says: August 16, 2019 at 8:23 am GMT
@peterAUS This is not a real nation. There is no such thing as "genuine Ukrainian nationalists".

AP doesn't count – the dude lives in Canada! So Galician nutters is all you get.

Korenchkin , says: August 16, 2019 at 1:14 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich Autism of this degree does not pop out of nowhere
You had Cossacks and Mercenaries from the Ukraine joining up with the Poles, Swedes, Napoleon, Germans and others. Calling diaspora nationalists stupid is all fine and dandy but the constant bickering between people in current Ukraine and in Russia stinks of divide and conquer (which is what Ukraine vs Russia conflicts always were)

Calling them stupid and calling their ethnicity fake(which they make an actual effort to preserve, such as it is) stinks of hypocrisy when so many Great Russians were willing to tear their country, religion and people apart in 1917 and join up with the Bolsheviks in the rape and pillaging

You'd probably get far more progress calling them a branch of Russian civilization, you can cite Belarus and Siberian Ukraine as examples
It's easy to dogpile on some poor Hohol since they will always be on the defensive, but it's much harder to understand him and admit your own faults while not backing down from your standpoint that you are both one people

Serbs often made the same mistakes with Montenegro, and the result is the modern day shitfest where both it and Ukraine are run by hostile US puppets

peter mcloughlin , says: August 16, 2019 at 3:58 pm GMT
The Saker is correct that reality and pragmatism are essential 'when trying to figure out what is going on and what might happen next.' It is a hard calculation to make in a world increasingly chaotic and dark. The Minsk Accord is probably the only glimmer of light for Ukraine, but then all the lights – across the world – are going out.
https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/
Andrei Martyanov , says: Website August 16, 2019 at 5:36 pm GMT
@Curmudgeon

However screwed up they are in trying to do so, Ukrainians are struggling to retain their identity and culture. IMO, they are up against internationalist forces from all sides, and none are interested in letting that happen.

What you posted is called a generic "to be against everything bad, for everything good". Living in a world of unicorns and having rainbows as result of bowel movement is, of course, a worthy aspiration but reality with Ukraine is a teeny-weeny bit more complicated than mere attempts to "retain their identity and culture". I'll give you a hint, vast swaths of Ukrainian population (including in the East Ukraine) believe, as an example, that Ukrainian civilization precedes a Sumerian one. Many, very many, also still believe that valiant Ukrainian Armed Forces still fight, for the 5th year in a row, mighty Russian Army in the East. We are talking here about down right mental breakdown on a national level, granted, as I always say, modern Ukraine did happen, that is coalesced, as a political nation.

Andrei Martyanov , says: Website August 16, 2019 at 5:58 pm GMT
@Beckow

There is no state-forming force, there is no true Ukrainian nationalism that would play up Ukraine's strengths and manage its weaknesses

There is one–modern Ukraine is a "anti-Russia" project, that is also a foundation of its state ideology and, I may add, mythology.

mejohnr1 , says: August 16, 2019 at 7:37 pm GMT

In the thirteenth century, both the Ukrainians and the Russians faced more dire threats than each other.

In the 13th century there were no Ukrainians or Ukraine. There was Russia though, Rus'. Imagine a US state becoming independent today, from the rest of the US.. like Ohio.. and people are going to say "the first man on the moon was an Ohioan (Armstrong), not an American. Sorry, doesn't work like that..

Commentator Mike , says: August 18, 2019 at 8:10 am GMT
@Colin Wright

' Ukro-Nazi Jews '

You have to admit that's an impressive combination.

Yes, but it wasn't the Saker who invented it; it does seem to reflect what's going on there. My only criticism is that he has given more prominence to the Nazis than the Jews, unless we consider "oligarchs" as a synonym for Jews.

Bardon Kaldian , says: August 18, 2019 at 8:39 am GMT
When I see words like "Nazis" in relation to Ukrainians, I know that article is sh!t & not worth reading.
Commentator Mike , says: August 18, 2019 at 8:42 am GMT
@peterAUS

why he writes like that/we have such posts here?

Like you have said in the past he is taking the Russian side. I think it's a fairly good analysis of the situation if you go beyond his propagandistic terminology and what he leaves unsaid. Russia really doesn't want to engage directly in the conflict but its best policy would be to bide its time and to encourage more pro-Russian separatism in Odessa and all other regions along the coast so as to eventually cut off Ukraine from access to the sea altogether. That would serve Russian interests best and strengthen its position against NATO, the EU, and the rump Ukraine, for whatever is to follow. It's a shame for any real Ukranian nationalists but then they should have been smarter than to join all those colour revolutions on Maidan organised by the CIA, Soros, Jewish oligarchs, etc.

That's a frozen conflict for now. Let's have another article on UR about the latest from the US sponsored colour revolution in Hong Kong and what are the best measures that PR China can take to quell the riots. And it's about time they took back Formosa, but it won't be as easy as the Russian takeover of Crimea, unless they can send a million Red Army guards there disguised as tourists to stage a silent putsch.

Tom Welsh , says: August 18, 2019 at 10:38 am GMT
"As I have indicated in a recent article, the Ukraine is not a democracy but an oligarchy "

Like the USA, the UK, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India

None of those countries have ever been democracies in any sense of the word.

Robjil , says: August 18, 2019 at 11:24 am GMT
@Bardon Kaldian Neonazis is a good term for the people used in the Ukrainian ZUS coup. That is the people that was used to gain control of Ukraine for ZUS.

This coup in Ukraine, woke me up.

V. Nuland's war cry to bless the coup was "F–k The EU"

She used Neonazis to take over Ukraine.

Wait. She is Jewish. I guess the 6 million story must be bogus. She admitted it, since if the 6 million story was real. She would have a great fear of a tidal wave of anti-S'ism overcoming her and her people. She had no fear. Thus, the 6 million story was proved to be false by V. Nuland. Thanks V. Nuland for freeing the world of that nightmarish propaganda that has saddled humanity for seventy odd years.

Secondly, she told the world the reality of J. Supremacism by stating " F..k the EU". The world thought that ZUS loved the EU as its sister in world domination. I guess not. Would V. Nuland ever say "F..k Israel"? I think not.

Thanks V. Nuland. A new Queen Esther or Queen Victoria.

Robjil , says: August 18, 2019 at 11:37 am GMT
@Tom Welsh Yes, ZUS ukraine is being run just like the rest of us in the west.

The little people are considered "deplorable" and treated that way.

At least, ZUS ukraine is not be over run by people fleeing ZUS wars and coups.

I guess since ZUS ukraine is not in good shape for these fleeing people.

ZUS ukraine is in the same shape as the nations that the fleeing people come from.

So there is no reason for them to go to ZUS ukraine.

GMC , says: August 18, 2019 at 12:09 pm GMT
Yep, agree with Saker – I lived there before , during and now after the Maidan and he's spot on with most of everything – he has been, since the beginning. Zelinsky has a dozen or more bosses and he has Zero experience in what he's doing. . Zionist Bankers and their arms dealers, Nato, Banderas gang,Washington, US Navy, Monsanto/Bayer, Royal Dutch {shell oil }, Dupont, Lilly Pharma, Cargill, and the list could go on. He'll be lucky if he isn't in Diapers by the time his term is up, otherwise he will be rich. I see that Poroshanster is being called out for taking 8 billion bucks out of Ukie-Ville. I wonder how much Trump and his family will end up stealing?. Thanks Unz Review.
Kiza , says: August 18, 2019 at 1:10 pm GMT
@Beckow

Thus Kiev got justa bout the worst possible combination on non-EU and deep hostility with Russia. Smarter guys would had handled it much better, playing both sides against each other – raising the stakes.

As usual, you nailed it Beckow.
Also, Saker often misunderstands things but he is right that Ukraine is in a one way street mainly because of the out-of-this-World miscalculation that the rotten West will somehow help them instead of use them to create a festering sore on Russian border for just a few billion dollars in loans. It is the rest of Ukraine, excluding Donbas, that will have to pay off these war loans already stolen by the oligarchs.

Anon [424] Disclaimer , says: August 18, 2019 at 1:56 pm GMT

https://www.youtube.com/embed/d2xCLqQnnjs?feature=oembed

Bill Jones , says: August 18, 2019 at 2:23 pm GMT
@Commentator Mike I recall that at the time of the Zionist coup (We do remember Ms Noodleman's : "fuck the EU" don't we?) Ukrainian Nazi's were a leading force in kicking things off.
Skeptikal , says: August 18, 2019 at 2:43 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack "In Saker's simplistic mind the Galicians have infiltrated all of Ukrainian society and run the whole show, "

This was not what I read.
The Saker said that oligarchs and Nazi militia groups have enough power to impose their will and their agenda on the rest of the population.

Andrei Martyanov , says: Website August 18, 2019 at 3:22 pm GMT
@Bardon Kaldian

When I see words like "Nazis" in relation to Ukrainians, I know that article is sh!t & not worth reading.

This is because you don't know what Raguli(stan) is and you cannot possibly know, because there are no "books" written yet which would encapsulate this whole phenomenon. Of course, Ukies have no relation to Fichte and Volkskrieg. Other than that you will find an attentive audience among local ignoramuses.

[Aug 17, 2019] The Unraveling of the Failed Trump Coup by Larry C Johnson

Highly recommended!
Former Ukrainian presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko trace to Steele dossier is a real shocker.
Notable quotes:
"... On December 5, 2016, Bruce Ohr emailed himself an Excel spreadsheet, seemingly from his wife Nellie Ohr, titled " WhosWho19Sept2016 ." The spreadsheet purports to show relationship descriptions and "linkages" between Donald Trump, his family and criminal figures, many of whom were Russians. ..."
"... If you want to have more fun, search the pdf using the term "BAYROCK." You will discover that Nellie Ohr, like a female Don Quixote, is searching desperately to link Trump and Sater to dirty Russian money. What she does not suspect is that Sater was being used, via his company Bayrock, to try to gain access to Russians who were potential targets of the FBI. ..."
"... What is not emphasized in the piece, and it is something I want to direct you to, is that the idea or impetus to launch the investigation of Butina came courtesy of Christopher Steele, who was relaying rumor and conjecture to Bruce Ohr. ..."
"... FBI Director Christopher Wray reminds me of one of the workers in the bowels of the Titanic who was furiously shoveling coal into the doomed boilers of the sinking ship. The FBI, like the Titanic, is in trouble. ..."
"... It also gave immunity to all of the people on Hillary's team that participated in obstruction of justice. On that same day, Jim Comey signed off on a separate memo that decided not to prosecute Hillary Clinton. ..."
"... Larry..Fusion GPS has always refused to Reveal who where its Financial support came from... ..."
"... So..the Timeline Indicates Fusion GPS was hired by The "Washington Free Beacon" around October 2015 to background checks and Profiles of The Republican Candidates for President.and that Fusion GPS continued to do so until May 2016..when it became clear that Donald Trump clinched the Nomination.. ..."
"... I wonder why AG Barr isn't forcing the FBI to comply sooner with Judge Boasberg's ruling to hand over unredacted Comey Memos and Archey Declarations? ..."
"... So what did Barack Obama know, and when did he know it? ..."
"... Nellie Ohr was working for a privately-owned firm that had employed her to make false accusations about Trump's alleged connections to Russians in order to sabotage his presidency and lay the groundwork for his impeachment. ..."
"... They also hired foreign agent, Chris Steele to concoct a thoroughly-debunked dossier for the same purpose. ..."
"... Can these people be charged with a crime or have we entered a new world of 'dirty tricks'??? ..."
"... Examination of the Nellie Ohr documents given to the FBI shows some of her source material also came from former Ukrainian presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko and a lawsuit she filed against Manafort. ..."
"... So, Bruce Ohr became a conduit of information not only for intelligence from Clinton's British opposition-researcher but also from his wife's curation of evidence from a Clinton foreign ally and Manafort enemy inside Ukraine. Talk about foreign influence in a U.S. election! ..."
"... The lines between government officials and informants, unverified political dirt and real intelligence, personal interest and law enforcement, became too blurred for the Justice Department's own good. ..."
Aug 17, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

There are many moving pieces in the drama surrounding the Deep State attempt to kill the Trump Presidency. God Bless Judicial Watch. I think most of the key evidence that has surfaced came courtesy of Tom Fitton, Chris Farrell and their team of tireless workers.

I want to bring you back to Mr. Felix Sater . He was part of Bayrock, which worked closely with Donald Trump's organization and, most importantly of all, was an FBI Confidential Human Source since December of 1998.

Thanks to Judicial Watch we have a new dump of Bruce Ohr emails, which include several from his wife, Nellie. There are 330 pages to wade thru (you can see them here ). There is one item in particular I encourage you to look at:

On December 5, 2016, Bruce Ohr emailed himself an Excel spreadsheet, seemingly from his wife Nellie Ohr, titled " WhosWho19Sept2016 ." The spreadsheet purports to show relationship descriptions and "linkages" between Donald Trump, his family and criminal figures, many of whom were Russians. This list of individuals allegedly "linked to Trump" include: a Russian involved in a "gangland killing;" an Uzbek mafia don; a former KGB officer suspected in the murder of Paul Tatum; a Russian who reportedly "buys up banks and pumps them dry"; a Russian money launderer for Sergei Magnitsky; a Turk accused of shipping oil for ISIS; a couple who lent their name to the Trump Institute, promoting its "get-rich-quick schemes"; a man who poured him a drink; and others.

The spreadsheet starts on page 301. If you search the document for the name Felix Sater, he will pop up. Now here is the curious and, I suppose, reassuring thing about this document--Nellie Ohr did not have a clue that Felix Sater was an active FBI informant. We can at least give the FBI credit for protecting Sater's identity from Nellie Ohr and, more importantly, her husband, DOJ official Bruce Ohr.

If you want to have more fun, search the pdf using the term "BAYROCK." You will discover that Nellie Ohr, like a female Don Quixote, is searching desperately to link Trump and Sater to dirty Russian money. What she does not suspect is that Sater was being used, via his company Bayrock, to try to gain access to Russians who were potential targets of the FBI.

One point is clear--she uncovered no evidence implicating Trump working with the Russians, either thru Felix Sater or one of the other "suspects" she exhaustively listed.

Shifting gears, there are two very important pieces recently posted at The Conservative Tree House that I encourage you to read:

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2019/08/12/quirky-angle-overstock-ceo-patrick-byrne-2016-fbi-activity-was-political-espionage/#more-168122 https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2019/08/12/federal-judge-completely-rejects-doj-argument-orders-archey-declarations-descriptions-of-comey-memosreleased/ The first piece focuses on CEO Patrick Byrne and the role he played in trying to entrap and portray Marina Butina as a Russian agent.

What is not emphasized in the piece, and it is something I want to direct you to, is that the idea or impetus to launch the investigation of Butina came courtesy of Christopher Steele, who was relaying rumor and conjecture to Bruce Ohr.

You can find this information in the Bruce Ohr 302s that Judicial Watch also secured. Marina Butina was unfairly and unjustly portrayed and prosecuted as a Russian intelligence agent. It was a damn lie.

I do not ever want to hear another American complaining about an American State Department or CIA employee who is entrapped and unfairly prosecuted in Russia.

We have done the same damn thing that we have accused the Soviets of doing. The same thing. It is shameful.

The second piece is the ultimate feel good piece. Kudos to its author, Sundance.

He details how a Federal Judge, infuriated by the FBIs stupidity and mendacity, tells the Bureau to go pound sand. The FBI is frantically trying to prevent the Archey Declarations from being revealed thanks to a lawsuit brought by CNN (finally, CNN did something right).

The Archey Declarations provide a detailed description of the memos written and illegally removed from FBI Headquarters by that sanctimonious twit, Jim Comey. More shoes will be dropping in the coming days.

It appears that Inspector General Horowitz is going to present at least one report on Jim Comey and one report on the FISA abuse by the FBI.

FBI Director Christopher Wray reminds me of one of the workers in the bowels of the Titanic who was furiously shoveling coal into the doomed boilers of the sinking ship. The FBI, like the Titanic, is in trouble.

Finally, Gateway Pundit's Joe Hoft put up an important piece today ( see here ). Here is the bottomline, and keep this in mind as you read the piece, on June 20, 2016 the FBI signed off on a deal with Hillary Clinton's attorney's that gave Hillary's team the right to destroy computers and emails.

It also gave immunity to all of the people on Hillary's team that participated in obstruction of justice. On that same day, Jim Comey signed off on a separate memo that decided not to prosecute Hillary Clinton.

The fix was in more than a month before Jim Comey appeared on camera to try to explain why he was not recommending prosecution of Hillary for putting Top Secret information on her unclassified server.

Jim Comey lied when he declared that could not prove "intent."

I am sure that those of you who have never held a clearance and handled Top Secret material probably believed that lie.

But anyone who knows how the TS system is set up knows that the ONLY WAY, I repeat, the ONLY WAY to put TS material on an unclassified server is to do so intentionally. There is no way to do this mistakenly.


Jim Ticehurst said in reply to Jim Ticehurst... ,

Larry..Fusion GPS has always refused to Reveal who where its Financial support came from...

So..the Timeline Indicates Fusion GPS was hired by The "Washington Free Beacon" around October 2015 to background checks and Profiles of The Republican Candidates for President.and that Fusion GPS continued to do so until May 2016..when it became clear that Donald Trump clinched the Nomination..

creating Phase 2..Operations..

"The Washington Free Beacon ".Has an Editor in Chief ..who is William Kristols Son In Law..And William Kristols ..Father....Irving Kristol..is Called..."the God Father of Neo Conservatism". William Kristol..was a John McCain supporter..

Thus Fusion GPS..retained Nellie Ohr..(strangly..NO Wiki Profile) who apparently had to Use her husbnd Bruce Ohrs Clearances,,to continue Her Collaberation with Fusion GPS..

By June 2016 the Strategy was to bring in Christopher Steele..who was know to Bruce Ohr back to 2006.. Strange.. NO early life BIOS for Bruce or Nellie Ohr..

Jack , 16 August 2019 at 01:38 AM
Larry

Do you believe the current DOJ under Barr will really investigate and convene a grand jury to hear testimony from Comey, Brennan and Clapper?

And what do you make of the fact that Epstein who was on suicide watch either was murdered or killed himself while in custody?

akaPatience , 16 August 2019 at 01:38 AM
I wonder why AG Barr isn't forcing the FBI to comply sooner with Judge Boasberg's ruling to hand over unredacted Comey Memos and Archey Declarations?

The Gateway Pundit item about the ridiculously unfair and unethical deals made in Hillary Clinton's email scandal investigation is just further proof of how the Clinton taint infected the FBI. "Crooked" is a very apt epithet, that's for sure. I'd love to know how much Bill and Hill raked in during her Sec'y. of State racketeering.

Fred , 16 August 2019 at 01:38 AM
So what did Barack Obama know, and when did he know it?
plantman , 16 August 2019 at 01:38 AM
You say: "One point is clear--she uncovered no evidence implicating Trump working with the Russians, either thru Felix Sater or one of the other "suspects" she exhaustively listed."

This is true, but it is also true that Nellie Ohr was working for a privately-owned firm that had employed her to make false accusations about Trump's alleged connections to Russians in order to sabotage his presidency and lay the groundwork for his impeachment.

They also hired foreign agent, Chris Steele to concoct a thoroughly-debunked dossier for the same purpose.

Can these people be charged with a crime or have we entered a new world of 'dirty tricks'???

Keith Harbaugh , 16 August 2019 at 01:38 AM
Let me just add this piece by John Solomon: "New evidence shows why Steele, the Ohrs and TSA workers never should have become DOJ sources" by John Solomon, 2019-08-15
...
Examination of the Nellie Ohr documents given to the FBI shows some of her source material also came from former Ukrainian presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko and a lawsuit she filed against Manafort.

Why is that significant? Tymoshenko and Hillary Clinton had a simpatico relationship after the former secretary of State went out of her way in January 2013 to advocate for Tymoshenko's release from prison on corruption charges.

So, Bruce Ohr became a conduit of information not only for intelligence from Clinton's British opposition-researcher but also from his wife's curation of evidence from a Clinton foreign ally and Manafort enemy inside Ukraine. Talk about foreign influence in a U.S. election!
...
The tales of Bruce and Nellie Ohr, Christopher Steele, Yulia Tymoshenko, and those DEA and TSA agents raise a stark warning:

The lines between government officials and informants, unverified political dirt and real intelligence, personal interest and law enforcement,
became too blurred for the Justice Department's own good.

That's a problem sorely in need of fixing.

oldman22 said in reply to Keith Harbaugh... 17 August 2019 at 01:16 AM

The person responsible for securing the release of Yulia Tymoshenko was Chancellor Merkel. Further, that USA opposed Tymoshenko.

quote
As for one of the leaders of the war party in Kiev, Merkel has privately and publicly endorsed every claim of Yulia Tymoshenko, promoting her release from prison and protecting her campaigns for war against Russia, even though – according to the high-level German source – “they [Chancellery, Foreign Ministry] have known for years that [Tymoshenko] was a crook.”
endquote

There is a lot more detail Tymoshenko's corruption and Merkel's rescue here:

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/02/john-helmer-the-political-motivation-of-chancellor-merkels-embrace-of-yulia-tymoshenko-and-war.html

(republished from John Helmer's website, includes a great cartoon worth viewing)

If you want more sources for this story,google
"Merkel, Tymoshenko, prison"

[Aug 15, 2019] Ukraine prepares gas facilities for possible transit supply cut, Energy News, ET EnergyWorld

Aug 15, 2019 | economictimes.indiatimes.com

KIEV: Ukraine 's gas transport company Ukrtransgaz has upgraded several gas pumping stations so it can provide gas to eastern and southern regions of the country if there is a disruption in supply from Russia, the company said on Wednesday.

More than a third of Russia's gas exports to the European Union cross Ukraine, providing Kiev with valuable transit income.

Ukraine traditionally uses some of the gas pumped by Russia to European consumers for its own needs in eastern and central regions and then compensates for this by deliveries from gas storage located in the west of the country.

But the Russia-Ukraine gas transit agreement is due to expire in January and Ukrainian energy authorities are worried that Moscow could stop gas supplies through Ukraine, leaving some Ukrainian regions without gas in winter.

"As of today, Ukrtransgaz has implemented all the necessary technical and regulatory solutions to create a reliable reverse scheme and it is ready for regular operation and can be activated immediately if necessary," Uktransgaz said in a statement.

It said Ukraine had already reversed gas flows in 2009 when Russian gas giant Gazprom halted gas supplies to Ukrainian consumers because of a price dispute.

Last month, Russian energy minister and several sources said Russia wanted to strike a short-term deal with Kiev on gas transit to Europe when the current 10-year agreement expires to buy time to complete pipelines that will bypass Ukraine.

But Kiev and its European allies want guarantees that Ukraine will remain a transit route for Russian gas to Europe.

In January, European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic floated a proposal for the two countries to agree a new 10-year transit contract, with a guaranteed minimum yearly transit volume of 60 bcm and 30 bcm of additional flexibility.

Ukraine's energy firm Naftogaz said last month Kiev was still counting on Sefcovic's proposal.

The potential for problems with the transit agreement, which brings Kiev around $3 billion revenue per year, prompted Ukraine to increase its winter gas reserves by 18% compared with last year to 20 billion cubic meters (bcm).

Naftogaz said this week Ukraine had stored 16.6 bcm of gas by Aug. 10, up from 13.38 bcm at the same time last year.

Ukraine consumed 32.3 bcm of gas in 2018, 10.6 bcm of which was imported from European markets outside Russia.

Relations between Kiev and Moscow plummeted after Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula in 2014.

Ukraine halted its own purchases of Russian gas in 2015.

[Aug 07, 2019] Ukraine ex-president Poroshenko summoned for questioning

Jul 11, 2019 | news.yahoo.com

KIEV (Reuters) - Detectives from Ukraine's state investigation bureau have summoned former president Petro Poroshenko for questioning, the bureau said on Thursday.

"We confirmed that he will be questioned," a bureau spokesman said. He declined to give a reason for the questioning, which will take place on July 17. A spokeswoman for Poroshenko had no comment but said one might be available later.


James, 26 days ago

I am in Ukraine every year and all people know that Poroshenko used the war to make money. He created companies that were then used by the Government to buy military equipment and everyone knows this and waited for the opportunity to have him voted out. Most people here want only to have a stable government that works for the people, but president after president they put their hope in has only turned out to become wealthy at the expense of the people.

There is hope that the new president will enact "real" reforms and government acquisition reform that gives all businesses an fair opportunity to compete for work.

Poroshenko never got rid of the corrupt judicial officials that enabled crooks to keep doing what they were doing.

James, 26 days ago

One has to wonder which Western/NATO intelligence agency Poroshenko represented. It was not for the benefit of representing Ukraine or Russia that is for sure.

Bamboo, 26 days ago

Gee. It looks like the USA has lost its puppet regime. Is Joe Biden's son still getting a piece of the Ukrainian Pie?

Peter, 26 days ago

Here's a question for poroshenko. What happened to the millions the US gave him to help the people of his country?

THE AMERICANO, 26 days ago

And a very nice arrest warrant will magically appear out of no where IF he shows up.

David, 26 days ago

I'm wondering if poroshenko was smart enough to request an american passport as a part of compensation for pushing the country into the democracy?

26 days ago

Poroshenko is a failure of the West meddling in another country's affair for the sole purpose of hurting Russia.

26 days ago

A person who led Ukraine to prosperity, fighter with corruption, liberator from Russia, and he is being questioned? How come? :-) I hope you get the sarcasm.

[Aug 07, 2019] Poroshenko asked the USA help in fighting criminal cases against him in Ukraine

Notable quotes:
"... Poroshenko has previously been involved in eleven criminal cases, in particular, as regards his abuse of power and his official position in the distribution of posts in "Tsentrenergo", his treason in connection with the incident in the Kerch Strait, his usurpation of judicial power and his misappropriation of the TV channel "Direct", his falsification of documents in the formation of Deputy factions in 2016, and his illegal appointment of a government, and the seizure of power. ..."
"... In addition, as a witness, he was questioned about civilian deaths during the Euromaidan protests in 2014. ..."
"... I could see them having a quiet word with Zelenskiy, maybe leave the old man out of it, what do you say? But Washington is already accused – with substantial justification, I would say – of running the show in Ukraine, and there are limits to how much obvious interfering it can do; especially after Biden's bragging about getting the state prosecutor fired. ..."
Aug 07, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile, July 31, 2019 at 9:08 pm

Порошенко попросил у США помощи с уголовными делами на Украине, пишут СМИ

Poroshenko has asked the US for help with criminal cases in the Ukraine, writes media
05:31
MOSCOW, 1 Jul – RIA Novosti.
The former President of the Ukraine Petro Poroshenko is in Istanbul, where he has turned to American companies to lobby for protection from criminal cases, reports " Ukraine News " with reference to sources.

It has been noted that in the Ukraine changes have been made as regards the criminal cases against Poroshenko. In particular, in May 2019, the former-president's lawyer Igor Golovan stated that these criminal cases would not entail any legal consequences, but now Poroshenko's entourage realizes that the criminal prosecution of the former president has noticeably intensified and may have consequences.

Therefore, according to the newspaper, in Turkey Poroshenko has started to lobbying U.S. companies, in particular, the BGR group, for assistance in resolving these cases.

"He is well aware that everything that happens in the RRG (State Bureau of investigation – trans. ed.) is taken very seriously, and he intends to defend himself against attacks. He can, for example, be expecting public support in Washington if there is an attempt made to arrest him", said the source.

In addition, the publication cites the words of Ukrainian political scientist Alexei Yakubin, who has noted that Poroshenko could repeat the "Saakashvili scenario".

"For example, he'll leave for treatment in London, where part of his entourage has entrenched itself. But this model complicates the public protection of his business assets within the country, which assets might be seized", he said.

The case against Poroshenko

Poroshenko has previously been involved in eleven criminal cases, in particular, as regards his abuse of power and his official position in the distribution of posts in "Tsentrenergo", his treason in connection with the incident in the Kerch Strait, his usurpation of judicial power and his misappropriation of the TV channel "Direct", his falsification of documents in the formation of Deputy factions in 2016, and his illegal appointment of a government, and the seizure of power.

In addition, as a witness, he was questioned about civilian deaths during the Euromaidan protests in 2014.

Poroshenko himself, speaking at the party congress of "European Business", said that he is responsible only before the Ukrainian people and is not afraid of persecution.

Mark Chapman August 1, 2019 at 2:44 am
Quite right, old man; keep your chin up. I daresay they're staying in quite prestigious digs in Istanbul, as befits visiting royalty. He seems to be labouring under a misapprehension that he is valuable somehow to Washington, whereas that would only be true if Washington were unwilling to work with Zelenskiy, and wanted him out of the way.

So far as I can see, Washington is quite satisfied with Zelenskiy, while the people would not countenance a Poroshenko return. So he's not really much use, is he? Especially if the USA wishes to publicly support Zelenskiy's supposed battle with official corruption.

I could see them having a quiet word with Zelenskiy, maybe leave the old man out of it, what do you say? But Washington is already accused – with substantial justification, I would say – of running the show in Ukraine, and there are limits to how much obvious interfering it can do; especially after Biden's bragging about getting the state prosecutor fired.

Mark Chapman August 1, 2019 at 5:34 pm
Yes, I was sort of getting at the probability that Clan Poroshenko is just installed in a very nice hotel. I doubt he will want to be plunking down money for an actual property so long as the status of his assets still in Ukraine is still up in the air. I should imagine the Ukrainian government will take steps, if it has not already, to prevent his simply withdrawing their cash value.
Moscow Exile August 1, 2019 at 8:52 am
Same story from TASS [Eng]:

1 AUG, 14:07
In Saakashvili's shoes? Poroshenko asks US lobbyists to shield him from criminal charges
According to Vesti Ukraine, the ex-president sought help from the BGR Group, whose senior adviser is US Special Envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker


Trust me!

yalensis August 1, 2019 at 4:24 pm
The thing about the pindosi, though, is that they always hedge their bets .
I vangize that they will pressure Zel to pardon Porky. So that they have a spare.
I hope I am wrong, but I don't think I am.
Mark Chapman August 1, 2019 at 5:45 pm
I doubt it, simply because it would kick the timbers right out from under Zelenskiy's anti-corruption platform, which is the issue on which he was voted in, and there would be no way to do it under the radar. The Ukrainian people must be following Porky's flight with great interest, and inferring that it means he has something to hide. Therefore an abrupt discontinuing of the pursuit, and a refocusing elsewhere, would tell them accountability is not attributed to the powerful and wealthy. Which is uhhh exactly the opposite of Zelenskiy's message.

[Aug 06, 2019] Ukraine ex-president Poroshenko summoned for questioning. A person who led Ukraine to prosperity, fighter with corruption, liberator from Russia, and he is being questioned? How come? :-)

It true, also interesting is https://news.ru/en/world/petro-poroshenko-left-ukraine/
Notable quotes:
"... A person who led Ukraine to prosperity, fighter with corruption, liberator from Russia, and he is being questioned? How come? :-) ..."
Aug 06, 2019 | news.yahoo.com
Observer, 26 days ago
A person who led Ukraine to prosperity, fighter with corruption, liberator from Russia, and he is being questioned? How come? :-) I hope you get the sarcasm.

[Aug 06, 2019] Media: the ex-president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko left the country together with family

Vacations or escape, or both ?
Jul 30, 2019 | news.ru
Former president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko went to the United Arab Emirates and Germany together with his family. The politician's family had to use two planes to leave the country.

It is known that ex-president's wife Marina left Kiev for Munich on July 23 together with her daughters and younger son Mikhail. Petro Poroshenko himself flew on a charter flight from Kiev to Istanbul along with his eldest son Alexei. According to Izvestia newspaper, the former head of state then took a flight to Dubai with the same board.

Petro Poroshenko has citizenship of five countries despite the ban for Ukrainian citizens to have dual citizenship. The ex-president got several identification documents for different names back in 1996.

[Jul 29, 2019] Peace in Ukraine by Stephen F. Cohen

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... His electorally repudiated predecessor, Petro Poroshenko, backed by supporters in Washington, thwarted almost every preceding opportunity for negotiations both with the Donbass rebels and with Moscow, ..."
"... But the struggle for peace has just begun, with powerful forces arrayed against it in Ukraine, Moscow, and Washington. In Ukraine, well-armed ultra-nationalist -- some would say quasi-fascist -- detachments are terrorizing supporters of Zelensky's initiative, including a Kiev television station that proposed broadcasting a dialogue between Russian and Ukrainian citizens. ..."
"... Which brings us to Washington and in particular to President Donald Trump and his would-be opponent in 2020, former vice president Joseph Biden. Kiev's government, thus now Zelensky, is heavily dependent on billions of dollars of aid from the International Monetary Fund, which Washington largely controls. Former president Barack Obama and Biden, his "point man" for Ukraine, used this financial leverage to exercise semi-colonial influence over Poroshenko, generally making things worse, including the incipient Ukrainian civil war. Their hope was, of course, to sever Ukraine's centuries-long ties to Russia and even bring it eventually into the US-led NATO sphere of influence. ..."
"... Biden, however, has a special problem -- and obligation. As an implementer, and presumably architect, of Obama's disastrous policy in Ukraine, and currently the leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, Biden should be asked about his past and present thinking regarding Ukraine. The much-ballyhooed ongoing "debates" are an opportunity to ask the question -- and of other candidates as well. Presidential debates are supposed to elicit and clarify the views of candidates on domestic and foreign policy. And among the latter, few, if any, are more important than Ukraine, which remains the epicenter of this new and more dangerous Cold War. ..."
Jul 29, 2019 | www.thenation.com

The election of Ukraine's new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, who won decisively throughout most of the country, represents the possibility of peace with Russia, if it -- and he -- are given a chance. His electorally repudiated predecessor, Petro Poroshenko, backed by supporters in Washington, thwarted almost every preceding opportunity for negotiations both with the Donbass rebels and with Moscow, notably provisions associated with the European-sponsored Minsk Accords. Zelensky, on the other hand, has made peace (along with corruption) his top priority and indeed spoke directly with Russian President Vladimir Putin, on July 11. The nearly six-year war having become a political, diplomatic, and financial drain on his leadership, Putin welcomed the overture.

But the struggle for peace has just begun, with powerful forces arrayed against it in Ukraine, Moscow, and Washington. In Ukraine, well-armed ultra-nationalist -- some would say quasi-fascist -- detachments are terrorizing supporters of Zelensky's initiative, including a Kiev television station that proposed broadcasting a dialogue between Russian and Ukrainian citizens. (Washington has previously had some shameful episodes of collusion with these Ukrainian neo-Nazis .) As for Putin, who does not fully control the Donbass rebels or its leaders, he "can never be seen at home," as I pointed out more than two years ago , "as 'selling out' Russia's 'brethren' anywhere in southeast Ukraine." Indeed, his own implacable nationalists have made this a litmus test of his leadership.

Which brings us to Washington and in particular to President Donald Trump and his would-be opponent in 2020, former vice president Joseph Biden. Kiev's government, thus now Zelensky, is heavily dependent on billions of dollars of aid from the International Monetary Fund, which Washington largely controls. Former president Barack Obama and Biden, his "point man" for Ukraine, used this financial leverage to exercise semi-colonial influence over Poroshenko, generally making things worse, including the incipient Ukrainian civil war. Their hope was, of course, to sever Ukraine's centuries-long ties to Russia and even bring it eventually into the US-led NATO sphere of influence.

Our hope should be that Trump breaks with that long-standing bipartisan policy, as he did with policy toward North Korea, and puts America squarely on the side of peace in Ukraine. (For now, Zelensky has set aside Moscow's professed irreversible "reunification" with Crimea, as should Washington.) A new US policy must include recognition, previously lacking, that the citizens of war-ravaged Donbass are not primarily "Putin's stooges" but people with their own legitimate interests and preferences, even if they favor Russia. Here too Zelensky is embarking on a new course. Poroshenko waged an "anti-terrorist" war against Donbass: the new president is reaching out to its citizens even though most of them were unable to vote in the election.

Biden, however, has a special problem -- and obligation. As an implementer, and presumably architect, of Obama's disastrous policy in Ukraine, and currently the leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, Biden should be asked about his past and present thinking regarding Ukraine. The much-ballyhooed ongoing "debates" are an opportunity to ask the question -- and of other candidates as well. Presidential debates are supposed to elicit and clarify the views of candidates on domestic and foreign policy. And among the latter, few, if any, are more important than Ukraine, which remains the epicenter of this new and more dangerous Cold War.

This commentary is based on Stephen F. Cohen's most recent weekly discussion with the host of The John Batchelor Show . Now in their sixth year, previous installments are at TheNation.com .

[Jul 05, 2019] How Christine Lagarde, Clinton and Nuland Funded a Massive Ukrainian Ponzi Scheme

Notable quotes:
"... Kolomoisky is the man who controls the recently elected Jewish president Zelensky -- a comedian. ..."
"... Let's not forget that Theresa May is the one who has worked assiduously on trying to overcome the results of the British referendum. She does not believe in democracy. ..."
"... This man most certainly made a substantial offshore payment to Largarde or her companies or her lawyers. That is how it works everywhere. ..."
Jul 05, 2019 | www.unz.com

Alfred , July 5, 2019 at 7:38 am GMT 200 Words

Christine Lagarde is a convicted criminal

Christine Lagarde: IMF chief convicted over payout

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-38369822

She robbed the French taxpayer of some 404 billion Euros. The fact that she is not in prison while protesters are being injured weekly by the French police tells you a lot about why these people are protesting.

Since then, she has continued with her corrupt behaviour by greatly enriching the Ukrainian/Israeli oligarch Kolomoisky -- who robbed his own bank.

How Christine Lagarde, Clinton and Nuland Funded a Massive Ukrainian Ponzi Scheme

https://russia-insider.com/en/how-christine-lagarde-clinton-and-nuland-funded-massive-ukrainian-ponzi-scheme/ri27390

Kolomoisky is the man who controls the recently elected Jewish president Zelensky -- a comedian.

I think the writer pays too much to the attire of May and Lagarde -- The pearls, the tweed and gingham suits -- when their corruption is totally 21st century. Let's not forget that Theresa May is the one who has worked assiduously on trying to overcome the results of the British referendum. She does not believe in democracy. Replies: @Logan , @George F. Held

Paul , says: Next New Comment July 5, 2019 at 10:43 am GMT

@Paul

One of the functions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is imposing austerity measures on the people of poor countries seeking bailouts, so perhaps choosing a corporate lawyer to run it is fitting.

Alfred , says: Next New Comment July 5, 2019 at 3:05 pm GMT
@Logan ness tampering. After a high-profile case against public prosecutor Éric de Montgolfier, he was sentenced in 1995 by the Court of Appeals of Douai to 2 years in prison, including 8 months non-suspended and 3 years of deprivation of his civic rights.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_Tapie

This man most certainly made a substantial offshore payment to Largarde or her companies or her lawyers. That is how it works everywhere.

Do you think they cannot close down all the secretive island tax-havens tomorrow if they really wished to do so?

Heavens, they have cut Iran from SWIFT but they have never done anything about the BVI etc.

[Jun 21, 2019] Pentagon announces $250 million in military aid to Ukraine

Jun 18, 2019 | www.rt.com

The US will provide Ukraine with $250 million worth of military equipment, training and support, the Pentagon announced, saying Ukraine's Navy and marines would be among the beneficiaries.

The Ukrainian military will get sniper rifles, grenade launchers, counter-battery radar systems, night vision equipment and communication devices, the Pentagon statement said...

The statement said the package will bring total US security assistance to Ukraine to $1.5 billion since 2014, when a US-backed coup in Kiev ousted Ukraine's elected government.

[Jun 11, 2019] The Downing of Malaysian Airlines MH17 Mahathir Opens a Ukraine Political Pandora's Box by F. William Engdahl

Notable quotes:
"... Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad sent shock waves in a public speech where he dismissed a Dutch "official" report blaming Russia for the downing of Malaysia Air Flight 17 in July, 2014, weeks after a CIA-led coup toppled the elected President of Ukraine. Despite the downplaying in western mainstream media of the Malaysian leader's comments, it is creating a major new potential embarrassment for ex-Vice President Joe Biden and his Ukraine collaborators such as Igor Kolomoisky, in their flimsy effort to blame Russia for their own misdeeds. ..."
"... By recasting doubt on those Dutch JIT conclusions, Mahathir has potentially opened a can of deadly worms that could come to haunt the Ukrainian government at the time, especially Igor Kolomoisky , the billionaire Ukrainian financial backer of the newly elected Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky . It potentially could also implicate then-Vice President Joe Biden and many others. ..."
"... Independent investigators into the destruction of MH17 stress the fact that the Dutch-led JIT deliberately excluded Malaysia as well as Russia from their group, but included the CIA-backed coup regime in Ukraine, hardly an unbiased party. Further, all telephone taps the JIT has presented as proof of the guilt of the Russians came from the Ukrainian secret service SBU. Since the CIA-backed coup in Ukraine in 2014, the SBU has been involved in repeated fake accusations aimed at Russia, including faked murder of a journalist later revealed to be quite alive . ..."
"... According to a Dutch site, Post Online, Eurocontrol, European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation, gave information to the Dutch Parliament about the status of Ukraine radar in 2016 informing that the Ukraine air traffic control organization UkSATSE failed to inform Eurocontrol in summer 2014 about the non-operational status of three radar systems in Eastern Ukraine, a grave violation of law. One of the three was taken in the wake of the CIA Ukraine coup in April by a masked band that destroyed the radar facility . ..."
"... Further, in another breach, the Ukrainian UkSATSE refused to permit their air traffic controller at Dnepropetrovsk, responsible for controlling flight MH17, to be questioned. According to Russian reports, the person "went on vacation" and never reappeared . ..."
"... Kolomoisky, who is notorious for hiring thugs and neo-nazis to beat up business and other opponents in Ukraine, reportedly secured the lucrative Burisma post for Hunter Biden, despite Biden's lack of any experience in Ukraine or in oil and gas, in return for Joe Biden lifting Kolomoisky's US visa travel ban. Joe Biden was the Obama Administration point person in charge of the 2014 CIA-orchestrated Maidan Square coup and toppling of the elected President Viktor Yanukovych. ..."
"... All these pieces of a very murky geopolitical puzzle underscore the dirty role that Ukraine and the Obama administration have played in demonizing Russia as well as the Trump Administration. Most recently, it appears that the US Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his staff, relied on a Ukrainian businessman named Konstantin Kilimnik, who worked for Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, as the key figure supposedly linked to Russian intelligence, as a key figure to make the case of Russian collusion or interference in the 2016 US elections. ..."
"... Far from a Putin agent, however, new evidence shows that Kilimnik, since at least 2013 was a confidential Ukrainian informant to the US State Department, according to US journalist John Solomon. ..."
"... Increasingly it is looking like the Ukraine and not Russia is the more likely source for interference in the 2016 US election, and not in the way we have been told by the establishment media such as CNN. ..."
Jun 10, 2019 | www.globalresearch.ca

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad sent shock waves in a public speech where he dismissed a Dutch "official" report blaming Russia for the downing of Malaysia Air Flight 17 in July, 2014, weeks after a CIA-led coup toppled the elected President of Ukraine. Despite the downplaying in western mainstream media of the Malaysian leader's comments, it is creating a major new potential embarrassment for ex-Vice President Joe Biden and his Ukraine collaborators such as Igor Kolomoisky, in their flimsy effort to blame Russia for their own misdeeds.

During a dialogue with the Japanese Foreign Correspondent Club May 30, Mahathir challenged the Dutch government to provide evidence for their claim that the civilian Malaysian FH17 jet that crashed in Ukraine was shot down by a Russian-made BUK missile fired from a Russian regiment based in Kursk. The Malaysian Prime Minister told the Japanese media,

"They are accusing Russia, but where is the evidence? We know the missile that brought down the plane is a Russian type missile, but it could also be made in Ukraine."

The blunt-spoken Mahathir added,

"You need strong evidence to show it was fired by the Russians; it could be by the rebels in Ukraine, it could be Ukrainian government because they too have the same missile ."

He went on to demand that the Malaysian government be allowed to inspect the black box of the crashed plane, stating the obvious, that the plane belongs to Malaysia, with Malaysian pilot and there were Malaysians passengers:

"We may not have the expertise but we can buy the expertise. For some reasons, Malaysia was not allowed to check the black box to see what happened."

He went on to state,

"We don't know why we are excluded from the examination but from the very beginning, we see too much politics in it, and the idea was not to find out how this happened, but seems to be concentrated on trying to pin it to the Russians ."

The Malaysian Air MH17 was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was shot down over the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. Only in May 2018 the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team issued its report alleging that a BUK missile was used to shoot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, claiming that it originated from the 53rd Anti-aircraft Brigade of the Russian Federation, stationed in Kursk near the Ukraine border.

The Dutch Joint Investigation Team (JIT) declared that it "has come to the conclusion that the BUK-TELAR that shot down MH17 came from 53rd Anti-aircraft Missile Brigade based in Kursk in Russia," according to top Dutch investigator Wilbert Paulissen. Paulissen added, "We are convinced that our findings justify the conclusions "

The Dutch-led group presented no concrete forensic proof, and Moscow has repeatedly denied involvement in an act that would make no military or political sense for them. In 2018 the Russian Defense Ministry provided evidence that the BUK missile which had exploded to destroy the Malaysian passenger jet had been manufactured in a Russian plant in 1986, and then shipped to the Ukraine. Its last recorded location was at a Ukrainian military base.

By recasting doubt on those Dutch JIT conclusions, Mahathir has potentially opened a can of deadly worms that could come to haunt the Ukrainian government at the time, especially Igor Kolomoisky , the billionaire Ukrainian financial backer of the newly elected Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky . It potentially could also implicate then-Vice President Joe Biden and many others.

Open Questions

Independent investigators into the destruction of MH17 stress the fact that the Dutch-led JIT deliberately excluded Malaysia as well as Russia from their group, but included the CIA-backed coup regime in Ukraine, hardly an unbiased party. Further, all telephone taps the JIT has presented as proof of the guilt of the Russians came from the Ukrainian secret service SBU. Since the CIA-backed coup in Ukraine in 2014, the SBU has been involved in repeated fake accusations aimed at Russia, including faked murder of a journalist later revealed to be quite alive .

2014 Year Review: MH17 and the Civil War in Ukraine – An Airplane Tragedy with Political Implications

One of the central issues that the Dutch JIT group never addressed is why, at a time it was a known warzone, and commercial international flights were told to avoid the airspace in eastern Ukraine, the MH17 flight was reportedly ordered by Ukraine air traffic control authorities in Dnepropetrovsk to change course and to fly directly into the war zone. According to a Dutch site, Post Online, Eurocontrol, European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation, gave information to the Dutch Parliament about the status of Ukraine radar in 2016 informing that the Ukraine air traffic control organization UkSATSE failed to inform Eurocontrol in summer 2014 about the non-operational status of three radar systems in Eastern Ukraine, a grave violation of law. One of the three was taken in the wake of the CIA Ukraine coup in April by a masked band that destroyed the radar facility .

Further, in another breach, the Ukrainian UkSATSE refused to permit their air traffic controller at Dnepropetrovsk, responsible for controlling flight MH17, to be questioned. According to Russian reports, the person "went on vacation" and never reappeared .

The Kolomoisky Factor

Notably, at the time of the MH17 downing, the Ukrainian governor of the Dnepropetrovsk Oblast or region, was Igor Kolomoisky. Kolomoisky, who is listed as the third richest man in Ukraine with an empire in oil, coal, metals and banking, was also reported to be directly linked via offshore entities to control of Burisma, the shady Ukrainian gas company that named the son of then-Vice President Joe Biden to its board .

Kolomoisky, who is notorious for hiring thugs and neo-nazis to beat up business and other opponents in Ukraine, reportedly secured the lucrative Burisma post for Hunter Biden, despite Biden's lack of any experience in Ukraine or in oil and gas, in return for Joe Biden lifting Kolomoisky's US visa travel ban. Joe Biden was the Obama Administration point person in charge of the 2014 CIA-orchestrated Maidan Square coup and toppling of the elected President Viktor Yanukovych.

Notably, the Mahathir remarks have drawn attention anew to the mysterious circumstances around the downing of Malaysian Air MH17 in 2014 and the potential role of Kolomoisky and others, in that. The role of corrupt Ukraine officials backed by the Obama Administration, is now under scrutiny.

Notably, the new President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, is widely reported to be a protégé of Igor Kolomoisky. Zelensky became a national name as a comedian on a Ukraine TV station owned by Kolomoisky, and the latter reportedly provided funds and personnel to run the comedian's victorious May 2019 election campaign in which he defeated incumbent Petro Poroshenko, a bitter foe of Kolomoisky. Following Zelensky's election victory, Kolomoisky returned to Ukraine after exile in Switzerland following a bitter falling out with Petr Poroshenko in 2015.

All these pieces of a very murky geopolitical puzzle underscore the dirty role that Ukraine and the Obama administration have played in demonizing Russia as well as the Trump Administration. Most recently, it appears that the US Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his staff, relied on a Ukrainian businessman named Konstantin Kilimnik, who worked for Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, as the key figure supposedly linked to Russian intelligence, as a key figure to make the case of Russian collusion or interference in the 2016 US elections.

Far from a Putin agent, however, new evidence shows that Kilimnik, since at least 2013 was a confidential Ukrainian informant to the US State Department, according to US journalist John Solomon. Solomon cites FBI documents including State Department emails he has seen where Kilimnik is described as a "sensitive" intelligence source for the US State Department. The Mueller report left that embarrassing detail out for some reason. Kilimnik worked for Paul Manafort who before the 2014 Ukraine coup had served as a lobbyist for Ukrainian elected president Viktor Yanukovych and his Party of the Regions.

Their shadowy acts in Ukraine may soon come to haunt key figures in Ukraine such as Kolomoisky, as well as people like Joe Biden and family. From the true authorship of the downing of MH17, which Dutch and other investigators believe was linked to Kolomoisky actors, to the Ukraine business dealings of Hunter Biden to the true facts of the Mueller "Russiagate" probe, all could well prove to be a far more revealing investigation for the US Justice Department than the obviously biased Mueller probe has been.

Increasingly it is looking like the Ukraine and not Russia is the more likely source for interference in the 2016 US election, and not in the way we have been told by the establishment media such as CNN.

*

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine "New Eastern Outlook" where this article was originally published.

He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

[May 31, 2019] The entire "revolution of dignity" fiasco has been rejected: whatever Ukraine the voters want, it's not the one Nuland Co gave them

May 31, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

UKRAINE ELECTION. He was invited everywhere, pressed the flesh with everyone, has a whole wall of ego pictures; in the end he was defeated by Anybody-At-All. I have no idea what Zelensky will turn out to be and I doubt anyone else does either. But the conclusion is that the entire "revolution of dignity" fiasco has been rejected: whatever Ukraine the voters want, it's not the one Nuland & Co gave them.

[May 28, 2019] Russia does not want to "control" Germany with Nord Stream, it wants to make money. And Germany wants cheap gas. Strictly business

Notable quotes:
"... They will be the ones to blackmail Europe and Germany if Europe becomes dependent on LNG from the U.S. So everything U.S. administrations are yelling at others is just projection, one knows immediately that it is in fact what the U.S. is doing under the veil or will be doing when the need/opportunity will arise. ..."
"... Trump is not an aberration, it is just how the U.S. always behaved, but now it is in the open, for all to see, the crassness and the bullying. ..."
"... Germany is the linchpin of the world and the U.S. (and others) is becoming hysterical at the possibility of not keeping the Germans down any longer… ..."
"... American Jewish intellectuals have really jumped the shark since the Iraq War. The most outlandish, slandering statements are stuffed into their essays and they trash whole peoples at the slightest “offence” to their worldview. ..."
May 28, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

GaryH May 23, 2019 at 9:32 am

If Daenerys Targaryen had announced her desire to use her last dragon to torch Moscow and Saint Petersburg, the Neocons would have lionized her as the womanly exemplar of democracy and wise foreign policy that produces peace and justice for all.

Neocons are very much the evil they call us to battle.

SteveM , , May 23, 2019 at 10:54 am

Re: MarkVA comment

I had to rub my eyes with incredulity when I read that.

If Russia wants to weaken Ukraine, why did it ever build a pipeline through it in the first place? Russia didn't stop using the Ukraine pipeline intially for political reasons. It was because Ukraine was stealing gas meant for pass-through to other European countries and it wasn't paying its bills. Don't pay your utility bills and see what happens.

Russia does not want to "control" Germany with Nord Stream, it wants to make money. And Germany wants cheap gas. Strictly business.

And how can Russia control Germany with Nord Stream when it knows that the first time it shuts off gas for political reasons would be the last. Because Russia knows that Germany will find alternative suppliers and never come back. The Russians ain't stupid.

Russia wants bilateral trade with Europe without the Global Cop Gorilla perpetually in the background arrogant calling the shots.

The final reconciliation of Europe and Russia should have occurred 25 years but didn't because the ham-fisted United States threw up the fear-monger barriers. And that was because its National Security States wants an existential "enemy" to justify its massive costs.

The sooner Europe ejects the U.S. War Machine from its territories the better. Better for Europe, better for Russia and better for the American taxpayers.

Kouros , says: May 23, 2019 at 11:32 am

I am with SteveM here. And I was shocked to see MarkVA’s comment. Mark has proved to be a respectable commentator, especially on Rod’s Blog, with very astute and sensible observations. It seems that tribalism is clouding his judgment when observing the world outside the U.S.

It is well known that the Soviets and the Russians always keep their end of the bargain and they know if they don’t do so they will end up loosing and being vilified. Whereas the U.S. always breaks its agreements, it is not thrust worthy (not agreement capable). Imagine depending on such an economic partner?!

They will be the ones to blackmail Europe and Germany if Europe becomes dependent on LNG from the U.S. So everything U.S. administrations are yelling at others is just projection, one knows immediately that it is in fact what the U.S. is doing under the veil or will be doing when the need/opportunity will arise.

Trump is not an aberration, it is just how the U.S. always behaved, but now it is in the open, for all to see, the crassness and the bullying.

Germany is the linchpin of the world and the U.S. (and others) is becoming hysterical at the possibility of not keeping the Germans down any longer… And Germany is moving ahead. It just sacrificed West Bank, and declared the BDS movement illegal as a soap to Israelis, to burnish its credentials with those blackmailers, so that it will become free to re-orient its politics and strategic configuration as it needs and wants.

fabian, May 23, 2019 at 2:33 pm

Gas? Where is the problem? Russian gas is cheaper that’s it. Furthermore, there is another pipeline that’s going to bring gas from the Mediterranean to Europe and another from Qatar.

And if all else fails and Russia flexes its muscles (which ones by the way) do you think that the over-indebted America will not sell its gas to the Germans?

And yes, it’s not a good strategy to be too dependent on America. It quickly takes the goods away when its interests are at stake.

Tiktaalik, May 24, 2019 at 5:14 pm

@MarkVA

>>The Nord Stream I and II gas pipe lines (aka Molotov-Ribbentrop Gas Lines), a Gazprom initiative, has everything to do with weakening Ukraine and increasing German energy dependence on Russia;

How could NS increase German energy dependence on Russia? It will be the very same gas which at the moment flows through the Ukraine.

Surely, NS would decrease anybody’s dependence from the Ukraine. So what?

Tiktaalik, May 24, 2019 at 5:18 pm

@MarkVA

>>Oh, and some lesser European countries were partitioned by the important European countries. So yes, Europe was quite busy spreading joy and happiness all around:

It’s a bit rich when it’s coming from an American. You’re still in Plymouth, right?

Kouros, May 24, 2019 at 11:35 pm

@MarkVA (May 23, 2019 at 8:12 pm )

That was a hit with the posting on Ukraine…

To bad it wasn’t accompanied by the Recognition of the US administration that the Golan Heights, taken from Syria by Israel after a war, against all worlds dictum, now belongs to Israel.

At least in Crimea, which by administrative fiat was moved within USSR from Russia to Ukraine in the 1950s, there was a referendum.

And for me, US is Devil Incarnate since it put a target of nuclear missiles on my mother country. May the curse of a 1000 hells be upon it.

Josep, May 25, 2019 at 5:05 am

Reading sites like Russia Insider gave me the notion that Germany would be better off as allies with Russia than with the USA. After all, Russia and Germany:

* are on the metric system
* have languages that use grammatical gender
* share the same 220-volt “Schuko” power plugs and sockets
* implement Civil Law, and most importantly
* aren’t separated by a whole ocean.

American Jewish intellectuals have really jumped the shark since the Iraq War. The most outlandish, slandering statements are stuffed into their essays and they trash whole peoples at the slightest “offence” to their worldview.

There are strong anti-German currents in American culture and politics, going back to at least WW1 and also manifest today (no other treaty ally is treated with such dismissive hostility by the Trump administration as Germany). But they are regarded as completely normal and rarely get critical attention, whereas German anti-Americanism is treated as a pathology or some kind of sacrilege…the German-American relationship (calling it “friendship” is a lie) is profoundly asymmetrical.

Agreed in both counts. The casual anti-white racism thrown about by the likes of such people (let’s not forget Davids Medienkritik, Little Green Footballs, Grouchy Old Cripple and Dissident Frogman) is a lot scarier than any jumpscare I’ve encountered. And in the case of German_reader’s comment, It’d be interesting to consider how Trump reconciles his hostility towards Germany with his own German heritage.

At one point in the Iraq War, the German news outlet Der Spiegel had readers rate their opinion of president Bush on their website on a scale of 1 (most favorable) to, if I recall correctly, 6 (least favorable). After seeing public opinion of Bush in Germany overwhelmingly “least favorable”, users of FreeRepublic went to this poll and attempted to gerrymander the results by selecting “most favorable”, deleting their site cookies, and repeating so as to make it look like more people in Germany supported Bush than opposed. This was called “freeping”.

[May 19, 2019] MP Balitsky called Foreign Minister Klimkin a rat jumping the ship

May 17, 2019 | riafan.ru

The Minister of foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin tried to advertise in press the fact that he that wrote the resignation which will send to the Verkhovna Rada on May 20 -- the day of inauguration of the newly elected President of the country Vladimir Zelensky.

The Deputy of the Ukrainian Parliament Evgeny Balitsky told in an exclusive interview to Federal News Agency that everything that occurs in his homeland recently, reminds flight of rats from the ship.

"Now all run up, the administration leaves all systems, they, figuratively speaking, take away even the coffee, slippers and caps from the bar, -- he noted. -- We have never seen such a humiliating transition of power. It all. We saw similar episodes after (Viktor) Yushchenko and (Viktor) Yanukovich, but never this behaviour was such rabid, widespread and ugly"

Such, as the representative of party "Oppositional block" called it, "swine behaviour", you know, "digging out dirt from under nails in public" never occurred before. He noted that the current President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, leaving, appointed new people to several departments.

"He does, you know, things that are not what the President, but any decent man would never do because this is just too ugly to do - complained the MP. -- It make sense to go beautifully, humanly, with dignity! And today that rats like Klimkin make statements how much they have done for people. For us, it's a lost five years. Just lost."

The deputy stressed that Klimkin hardly ashamed of their work. "These people don't know the word 'shame,' -- Balitsky said. -- These are people who for five years in the country destroyed the relations with all neighbors. I'm talking not only about the Russian Federation! We quarreled with Hungarians, Poles, Belarusians! We now have a conflict even with the Americans. You see, how much harm this gang of American henchmen, have done to our poor country!"

The Deputy of Rada explained that "all these people" -- are corrupt businessmen who used Ukraine to earn quick money.

"They invested money in the Maidan and came to power to get a royal return on the investment, -- Balitsky added. -- For these people the word "shame" does not exists, this is a completely foreign concept. And they are now leaving, are trying figuratively speaking to take the last pair of Slippers from their rooms, everything from the bar, grab from the buffet a couple of sandwiches, as Zelensky said."

The MP concluded that this is a very humiliating process for all Ukrainians, and he is personally ashamed of the power and statehood of his country.

Author: Marat Lashkin

[May 19, 2019] President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko by his decree released Oleksandr Turchynov from the post of Secretary of the national security and defense Council of Ukraine

That's that second key figure of EuroMaydan who bite the dust. "Snipergate" hero Parubiy is still standing.
May 19, 2019 | 112.ua

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko by his decree released Oleksandr Turchynov from the post of Secretary of the national security and defense Council of Ukraine. This was reported on the website of the presidential administration.

"To release Turchynov Alexander Valentinovich from the post of Secretary of the national security and defense Council of Ukraine," the decree says.

Turchynov resigned the day before. The reason for dismissal - termination of powers of the acting President of Ukraine who appointed Turchinov.

Secretary of the NSDC Turchinov has been working since December 2014. Prior to that, he worked in the Verkhovna Rada, in the spring of the same year, acting President of Ukraine.

[May 11, 2019] Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire by KENNETH P. VOGEL and DAVID STERN

Notable quotes:
"... Almost as quickly as Chalupa's efforts attracted the attention of the Ukrainian Embassy and Democrats, she also found herself the subject of some unwanted attention from overseas. ..."
"... Chalupa, though, indicated in an email that was later hacked and released by WikiLeaks that the Open World Leadership Center "put me on the program to speak specifically about Paul Manafort." ..."
"... In the email, which was sent in early May to then-DNC communications director Luis Miranda, Chalupa noted that she had extended an invitation to the Library of Congress forum to veteran Washington investigative reporter Michael Isikoff. Two days before the event, he had published a story for Yahoo News revealing the unraveling of a $26 million deal between Manafort and a Russian oligarch related to a telecommunications venture in Ukraine. And Chalupa wrote in the email she'd been "working with for the past few weeks" with Isikoff "and connected him to the Ukrainians" at the event. ..."
"... A DNC official stressed that Chalupa was a consultant paid to do outreach for the party's political department, not a researcher. She undertook her investigations into Trump, Manafort and Russia on her own, and the party did not incorporate her findings in its dossiers on the subjects, the official said, stressing that the DNC had been building robust research books on Trump and his ties to Russia long before Chalupa began sounding alarms. ..."
Jan 11, 2017 | www.politico.com

Manafort's work for Yanukovych caught the attention of a veteran Democratic operative named Alexandra Chalupa, who had worked in the White House Office of Public Liaison during the Clinton administration. Chalupa went on to work as a staffer, then as a consultant, for Democratic National Committee. The DNC paid her $412,000 from 2004 to June 2016, according to Federal Election Commission records, though she also was paid by other clients during that time, including Democratic campaigns and the DNC's arm for engaging expatriate Democrats around the world.

A daughter of Ukrainian immigrants who maintains strong ties to the Ukrainian-American diaspora and the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, Chalupa, a lawyer by training, in 2014 was doing pro bono work for another client interested in the Ukrainian crisis and began researching Manafort's role in Yanukovych's rise, as well as his ties to the pro-Russian oligarchs who funded Yanukovych's political party.

In an interview this month, Chalupa told Politico she had developed a network of sources in Kiev and Washington, including investigative journalists, government officials and private intelligence operatives. While her consulting work at the DNC this past election cycle centered on mobilizing ethnic communities -- including Ukrainian-Americans -- she said that, when Trump's unlikely presidential campaign began surging in late 2015, she began focusing more on the research, and expanded it to include Trump's ties to Russia, as well.

She occasionally shared her findings with officials from the DNC and Clinton's campaign, Chalupa said. In January 2016 -- months before Manafort had taken any role in Trump's campaign -- Chalupa told a senior DNC official that, when it came to Trump's campaign, "I felt there was a Russia connection," Chalupa recalled. "And that, if there was, that we can expect Paul Manafort to be involved in this election," said Chalupa, who at the time also was warning leaders in the Ukrainian-American community that Manafort was "Putin's political brain for manipulating U.S. foreign policy and elections."

he said she shared her concern with Ukraine's ambassador to the U.S., Valeriy Chaly, and one of his top aides, Oksana Shulyar, during a March 2016 meeting at the Ukrainian Embassy. According to someone briefed on the meeting, Chaly said that Manafort was very much on his radar, but that he wasn't particularly concerned about the operative's ties to Trump since he didn't believe Trump stood much of a chance of winning the GOP nomination, let alone the presidency.

That was not an uncommon view at the time, and, perhaps as a result, Trump's ties to Russia -- let alone Manafort's -- were not the subject of much attention.
That all started to change just four days after Chalupa's meeting at the embassy, when it was reported that Trump had in fact hired Manafort, suggesting that Chalupa may have been on to something. She quickly found herself in high demand. The day after Manafort's hiring was revealed, she briefed the DNC's communications staff on Manafort, Trump and their ties to Russia, according to an operative familiar with the situation.

A former DNC staffer described the exchange as an "informal conversation," saying "'briefing' makes it sound way too formal," and adding, "We were not directing or driving her work on this." Yet, the former DNC staffer and the operative familiar with the situation agreed that with the DNC's encouragement, Chalupa asked embassy staff to try to arrange an interview in which Poroshenko might discuss Manafort's ties to Yanukovych.

While the embassy declined that request, officials there became "helpful" in Chalupa's efforts, she said, explaining that she traded information and leads with them. "If I asked a question, they would provide guidance, or if there was someone I needed to follow up with." But she stressed, "There were no documents given, nothing like that."

Chalupa said the embassy also worked directly with reporters researching Trump, Manafort and Russia to point them in the right directions. She added, though, "they were being very protective and not speaking to the press as much as they should have. I think they were being careful because their situation was that they had to be very, very careful because they could not pick sides. It's a political issue, and they didn't want to get involved politically because they couldn't."

Shulyar vehemently denied working with reporters or with Chalupa on anything related to Trump or Manafort, explaining "we were stormed by many reporters to comment on this subject, but our clear and adamant position was not to give any comment [and] not to interfere into the campaign affairs."

Both Shulyar and Chalupa said the purpose of their initial meeting was to organize a June reception at the embassy to promote Ukraine. According to the embassy's website, the event highlighted female Ukrainian leaders, featuring speeches by Ukrainian parliamentarian Hanna Hopko, who discussed "Ukraine's fight against the Russian aggression in Donbas," and longtime Hillary Clinton confidante Melanne Verveer, who worked for Clinton in the State Department and was a vocal surrogate during the presidential campaign.

Shulyar said her work with Chalupa "didn't involve the campaign," and she specifically stressed that "We have never worked to research and disseminate damaging information about Donald Trump and Paul Manafort."

But Andrii Telizhenko, who worked as a political officer in the Ukrainian Embassy under Shulyar, said she instructed him to help Chalupa research connections between Trump, Manafort and Russia. "Oksana said that if I had any information, or knew other people who did, then I should contact Chalupa," recalled Telizhenko, who is now a political consultant in Kiev. "They were coordinating an investigation with the Hillary team on Paul Manafort with Alexandra Chalupa," he said, adding "Oksana was keeping it all quiet," but "the embassy worked very closely with" Chalupa.

In fact, sources familiar with the effort say that Shulyar specifically called Telizhenko into a meeting with Chalupa to provide an update on an American media outlet's ongoing investigation into Manafort.

Telizhenko recalled that Chalupa told him and Shulyar that, "If we can get enough information on Paul [Manafort] or Trump's involvement with Russia, she can get a hearing in Congress by September."

Chalupa confirmed that, a week after Manafort's hiring was announced, she discussed the possibility of a congressional investigation with a foreign policy legislative assistant in the office of Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), who co-chairs the Congressional Ukrainian Caucus. But, Chalupa said, "It didn't go anywhere."

Asked about the effort, the Kaptur legislative assistant called it a "touchy subject" in an internal email to colleagues that was accidentally forwarded to Politico.

Kaptur's office later emailed an official statement explaining that the lawmaker is backing a bill to create an independent commission to investigate "possible outside interference in our elections." The office added "at this time, the evidence related to this matter points to Russia, but Congresswoman Kaptur is concerned with any evidence of foreign entities interfering in our elections."

•••

Almost as quickly as Chalupa's efforts attracted the attention of the Ukrainian Embassy and Democrats, she also found herself the subject of some unwanted attention from overseas.

Within a few weeks of her initial meeting at the embassy with Shulyar and Chaly, Chalupa on April 20 received the first of what became a series of messages from the administrators of her private Yahoo email account, warning her that "state-sponsored actors" were trying to hack into her emails.

She kept up her crusade, appearing on a panel a week after the initial hacking message to discuss her research on Manafort with a group of Ukrainian investigative journalists gathered at the Library of Congress for a program sponsored by a U.S. congressional agency called the Open World Leadership Center.

Center spokeswoman Maura Shelden stressed that her group is nonpartisan and ensures "that our delegations hear from both sides of the aisle, receiving bipartisan information." She said the Ukrainian journalists in subsequent days met with Republican officials in North Carolina and elsewhere. And she said that, before the Library of Congress event, "Open World's program manager for Ukraine did contact Chalupa to advise her that Open World is a nonpartisan agency of the Congress."

Chalupa, though, indicated in an email that was later hacked and released by WikiLeaks that the Open World Leadership Center "put me on the program to speak specifically about Paul Manafort."

In the email, which was sent in early May to then-DNC communications director Luis Miranda, Chalupa noted that she had extended an invitation to the Library of Congress forum to veteran Washington investigative reporter Michael Isikoff. Two days before the event, he had published a story for Yahoo News revealing the unraveling of a $26 million deal between Manafort and a Russian oligarch related to a telecommunications venture in Ukraine. And Chalupa wrote in the email she'd been "working with for the past few weeks" with Isikoff "and connected him to the Ukrainians" at the event.

Isikoff, who accompanied Chalupa to a reception at the Ukrainian Embassy immediately after the Library of Congress event, declined to comment.

Chalupa further indicated in her hacked May email to the DNC that she had additional sensitive information about Manafort that she intended to share "offline" with Miranda and DNC research director Lauren Dillon, including "a big Trump component you and Lauren need to be aware of that will hit in next few weeks and something I'm working on you should be aware of." Explaining that she didn't feel comfortable sharing the intel over email, Chalupa attached a screenshot of a warning from Yahoo administrators about "state-sponsored" hacking on her account, explaining, "Since I started digging into Manafort these messages have been a daily occurrence on my yahoo account despite changing my password often."

Dillon and Miranda declined to comment.

A DNC official stressed that Chalupa was a consultant paid to do outreach for the party's political department, not a researcher. She undertook her investigations into Trump, Manafort and Russia on her own, and the party did not incorporate her findings in its dossiers on the subjects, the official said, stressing that the DNC had been building robust research books on Trump and his ties to Russia long before Chalupa began sounding alarms.

Nonetheless, Chalupa's hacked email reportedly escalated concerns among top party officials, hardening their conclusion that Russia likely was behind the cyber intrusions with which the party was only then beginning to grapple.

Chalupa left the DNC after the Democratic convention in late July to focus fulltime on her research into Manafort, Trump and Russia . She said she provided off-the-record information and guidance to "a lot of journalists" working on stories related to Manafort and Trump's Russia connections, despite what she described as escalating harassment.

About a month-and-a-half after Chalupa first started receiving hacking alerts, someone broke into her car outside the Northwest Washington home where she lives with her husband and three young daughters, she said. They "rampaged it, basically, but didn't take anything valuable -- left money, sunglasses, $1,200 worth of golf clubs," she said, explaining she didn't file a police report after that incident because she didn't connect it to her research and the hacking.

But by the time a similar vehicle break-in occurred involving two family cars, she was convinced that it was a Russia-linked intimidation campaign. The police report on the latter break-in noted that "both vehicles were unlocked by an unknown person and the interior was ransacked, with papers and the garage openers scattered throughout the cars. Nothing was taken from the vehicles."

Then, early in the morning on another day, a woman "wearing white flowers in her hair" tried to break into her family's home at 1:30 a.m., Chalupa said. Shulyar told Chalupa that the mysterious incident bore some of the hallmarks of intimidation campaigns used against foreigners in Russia, according to Chalupa.

"This is something that they do to U.S. diplomats, they do it to Ukrainians. Like, this is how they operate. They break into people's homes. They harass people. They're theatrical about it," Chalupa said. "They must have seen when I was writing to the DNC staff, outlining who Manafort was, pulling articles, saying why it was significant, and painting the bigger picture."

In a Yahoo News story naming Chalupa as one of 16 "ordinary people" who "shaped the 2016 election," Isikoff wrote that after Chalupa left the DNC, FBI agents investigating the hacking questioned her and examined her laptop and smartphone.

Chalupa this month told Politico that, as her research and role in the election started becoming more public, she began receiving death threats, along with continued alerts of state-sponsored hacking. But she said, "None of this has scared me off."

•••

While it's not uncommon for outside operatives to serve as intermediaries between governments and reporters, one of the more damaging Russia-related stories for the Trump campaign -- and certainly for Manafort -- can be traced more directly to the Ukrainian government.

Documents released by an independent Ukrainian government agency -- and publicized by a parliamentarian -- appeared to show $12.7 million in cash payments that were earmarked for Manafort by the Russia-aligned party of the deposed former president, Yanukovych.

The New York Times, in the August story revealing the ledgers' existence, reported that the payments earmarked for Manafort were "a focus" of an investigation by Ukrainian anti-corruption officials, while CNN reported days later that the FBI was pursuing an overlapping inquiry.

Clinton's campaign seized on the story to advance Democrats' argument that Trump's campaign was closely linked to Russia. The ledger represented "more troubling connections between Donald Trump's team and pro-Kremlin elements in Ukraine," Robby Mook, Clinton's campaign manager, said in a statement. He demanded that Trump "disclose campaign chair Paul Manafort's and all other campaign employees' and advisers' ties to Russian or pro-Kremlin entities, including whether any of Trump's employees or advisers are currently representing and or being paid by them."

A former Ukrainian investigative journalist and current parliamentarian named Serhiy Leshchenko, who was elected in 2014 as part of Poroshenko's party, held a news conference to highlight the ledgers, and to urge Ukrainian and American law enforcement to aggressively investigate Manafort.

"I believe and understand the basis of these payments are totally against the law -- we have the proof from these books," Leshchenko said during the news conference, which attracted international media coverage. "If Mr. Manafort denies any allegations, I think he has to be interrogated into this case and prove his position that he was not involved in any misconduct on the territory of Ukraine," Leshchenko added.

Manafort denied receiving any off-books cash from Yanukovych's Party of Regions, and said that he had never been contacted about the ledger by Ukrainian or American investigators, later telling POLITICO "I was just caught in the crossfire."

According to a series of memos reportedly compiled for Trump's opponents by a former British intelligence agent, Yanukovych, in a secret meeting with Putin on the day after the Times published its report, admitted that he had authorized "substantial kickback payments to Manafort." But according to the report, which was published Tuesday by BuzzFeed but remains unverified. Yanukovych assured Putin "that there was no documentary trail left behind which could provide clear evidence of this" -- an alleged statement that seemed to implicitly question the authenticity of the ledger.

The scrutiny around the ledgers -- combined with that from other stories about his Ukraine work -- proved too much, and he stepped down from the Trump campaign less than a week after the Times story.

At the time, Leshchenko suggested that his motivation was partly to undermine Trump. "For me, it was important to show not only the corruption aspect, but that he is [a] pro-Russian candidate who can break the geopolitical balance in the world," Leshchenko told the Financial Times about two weeks after his news conference. The newspaper noted that Trump's candidacy had spurred "Kiev's wider political leadership to do something they would never have attempted before: intervene, however indirectly, in a U.S. election," and the story quoted Leshchenko asserting that the majority of Ukraine's politicians are "on Hillary Clinton's side."

But by this month, Leshchenko was seeking to recast his motivation, telling Politico, "I didn't care who won the U.S. elections. This was a decision for the American voters to decide." His goal in highlighting the ledgers, he said was "to raise these issues on a political level and emphasize the importance of the investigation."

In a series of answers provided to Politico, a spokesman for Poroshenko distanced his administration from both Leshchenko's efforts and those of the agency that reLeshchenko Leshchenko leased the ledgers, The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine. It was created in 2014 as a condition for Ukraine to receive aid from the U.S. and the European Union, and it signed an evidence-sharing agreement with the FBI in late June -- less than a month and a half before it released the ledgers.

The bureau is "fully independent," the Poroshenko spokesman said, adding that when it came to the presidential administration there was "no targeted action against Manafort." He added "as to Serhiy Leshchenko, he positions himself as a representative of internal opposition in the Bloc of Petro Poroshenko's faction, despite [the fact that] he belongs to the faction," the spokesman said, adding, "it was about him personally who pushed [the anti-corruption bureau] to proceed with investigation on Manafort."

But an operative who has worked extensively in Ukraine, including as an adviser to Poroshenko, said it was highly unlikely that either Leshchenko or the anti-corruption bureau would have pushed the issue without at least tacit approval from Poroshenko or his closest allies.

"It was something that Poroshenko was probably aware of and could have stopped if he wanted to," said the operative.

And, almost immediately after Trump's stunning victory over Clinton, questions began mounting about the investigations into the ledgers -- and the ledgers themselves.

An official with the anti-corruption bureau told a Ukrainian newspaper, "Mr. Manafort does not have a role in this case."

And, while the anti-corruption bureau told Politico late last month that a "general investigation [is] still ongoing" of the ledger, it said Manafort is not a target of the investigation. "As he is not the Ukrainian citizen, [the anti-corruption bureau] by the law couldn't investigate him personally," the bureau said in a statement.

Some Poroshenko critics have gone further, suggesting that the bureau is backing away from investigating because the ledgers might have been doctored or even forged.

Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, a Ukrainian former diplomat who served as the country's head of security under Poroshenko but is now affiliated with a leading opponent of Poroshenko, said it was fishy that "only one part of the black ledger appeared." He asked, "Where is the handwriting analysis?" and said it was "crazy" to announce an investigation based on the ledgers. He met last month in Washington with Trump allies, and said, "of course they all recognize that our [anti-corruption bureau] intervened in the presidential campaign."

And in an interview this week, Manafort, who re-emerged as an informal advisor to Trump after Election Day, suggested that the ledgers were inauthentic and called their publication "a politically motivated false attack on me. My role as a paid consultant was public. There was nothing off the books, but the way that this was presented tried to make it look shady."

He added that he felt particularly wronged by efforts to cast his work in Ukraine as pro-Russian, arguing "all my efforts were focused on helping Ukraine move into Europe and the West." He specifically cited his work on denuclearizing the country and on the European Union trade and political pact that Yanukovych spurned before fleeing to Russia. "In no case was I ever involved in anything that would be contrary to U.S. interests," Manafort said.

Yet Russia seemed to come to the defense of Manafort and Trump last month, when a spokeswoman for Russia's Foreign Ministry charged that the Ukrainian government used the ledgers as a political weapon.

"Ukraine seriously complicated the work of Trump's election campaign headquarters by planting information according to which Paul Manafort, Trump's campaign chairman, allegedly accepted money from Ukrainian oligarchs," Maria Zakharova said at a news briefing, according to a transcript of her remarks posted on the Foreign Ministry's website. "All of you have heard this remarkable story," she told assembled reporters.

•••

Beyond any efforts to sabotage Trump, Ukrainian officials didn't exactly extend a hand of friendship to the GOP nominee during the campaign.

The ambassador, Chaly, penned an op-ed for The Hill, in which he chastised Trump for a confusing series of statements in which the GOP candidate at one point expressed a willingness to consider recognizing Russia's annexation of the Ukrainian territory of Crimea as legitimate. The op-ed made some in the embassy uneasy, sources said.

"That was like too close for comfort, even for them," said Chalupa. "That was something that was as risky as they were going to be."

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk warned on Facebook that Trump had "challenged the very values of the free world."

Ukraine's minister of internal affairs, Arsen Avakov, piled on, trashing Trump on Twitter in July as a "clown" and asserting that Trump is "an even bigger danger to the US than terrorism."

Avakov, in a Facebook post, lashed out at Trump for his confusing Crimea comments, calling the assessment the "diagnosis of a dangerous misfit," according to a translated screenshot featured in one media report, though he later deleted the post. He called Trump "dangerous for Ukraine and the US" and noted that Manafort worked with Yanukovych when the former Ukrainian leader "fled to Russia through Crimea. Where would Manafort lead Trump?"

The Trump-Ukraine relationship grew even more fraught in September with reports that the GOP nominee had snubbed Poroshenko on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, where the Ukrainian president tried to meet both major party candidates, but scored only a meeting with Clinton.

Telizhenko, the former embassy staffer, said that, during the primaries, Chaly, the country's ambassador in Washington, had actually instructed the embassy not to reach out to Trump's campaign, even as it was engaging with those of Clinton and Trump's leading GOP rival, Ted Cruz.

"We had an order not to talk to the Trump team, because he was critical of Ukraine and the government and his critical position on Crimea and the conflict," said Telizhenko. "I was yelled at when I proposed to talk to Trump," he said, adding, "The ambassador said not to get involved -- Hillary is going to win."

This account was confirmed by Nalyvaichenko, the former diplomat and security chief now affiliated with a Poroshenko opponent, who said, "The Ukrainian authorities closed all doors and windows -- this is from the Ukrainian side." He called the strategy "bad and short-sighted."

Andriy Artemenko, a Ukrainian parliamentarian associated with a conservative opposition party, did meet with Trump's team during the campaign and said he personally offered to set up similar meetings for Chaly but was rebuffed.

"It was clear that they were supporting Hillary Clinton's candidacy," Artemenko said. "They did everything from organizing meetings with the Clinton team, to publicly supporting her, to criticizing Trump. I think that they simply didn't meet because they thought that Hillary would win."

Shulyar rejected the characterizations that the embassy had a ban on interacting with Trump, instead explaining that it "had different diplomats assigned for dealing with different teams tailoring the content and messaging. So it was not an instruction to abstain from the engagement but rather an internal discipline for diplomats not to get involved into a field she or he was not assigned to, but where another colleague was involved."

And she pointed out that Chaly traveled to the GOP convention in Cleveland in late July and met with members of Trump's foreign policy team "to highlight the importance of Ukraine and the support of it by the U.S."

Despite the outreach, Trump's campaign in Cleveland gutted a proposed amendment to the Republican Party platform that called for the U.S. to provide "lethal defensive weapons" for Ukraine to defend itself against Russian incursion, backers of the measure charged.

The outreach ramped up after Trump's victory. Shulyar pointed out that Poroshenko was among the first foreign leaders to call to congratulate Trump. And she said that, since Election Day, Chaly has met with close Trump allies, including Sens. Jeff Sessions, Trump's nominee for attorney general, and Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, while the ambassador accompanied Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, Ukraine's vice prime minister for European and Euro-Atlantic integration, to a round of Washington meetings with Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.), an early Trump backer, and Jim DeMint, president of The Heritage Foundation, which played a prominent role in Trump's transition.

•••

Many Ukrainian officials and operatives and their American allies see Trump's inauguration this month as an existential threat to the country, made worse, they admit, by the dissemination of the secret ledger, the antagonistic social media posts and the perception that the embassy meddled against -- or at least shut out -- Trump.

"It's really bad. The [Poroshenko] administration right now is trying to re-coordinate communications," said Telizhenko, adding, "The Trump organization doesn't want to talk to our administration at all."

During Nalyvaichenko's trip to Washington last month, he detected lingering ill will toward Ukraine from some, and lack of interest from others, he recalled. "Ukraine is not on the top of the list, not even the middle," he said.

Poroshenko's allies are scrambling to figure out how to build a relationship with Trump, who is known for harboring and prosecuting grudges for years.

A delegation of Ukrainian parliamentarians allied with Poroshenko last month traveled to Washington partly to try to make inroads with the Trump transition team, but they were unable to secure a meeting, according to a Washington foreign policy operative familiar with the trip. And operatives in Washington and Kiev say that after the election, Poroshenko met in Kiev with top executives from the Washington lobbying firm BGR -- including Ed Rogers and Lester Munson -- about how to navigate the Trump regime.

Weeks later, BGR reported to the Department of Justice that the government of Ukraine would pay the firm $50,000 a month to "provide strategic public relations and government affairs counsel," including "outreach to U.S. government officials, non-government organizations, members of the media and other individuals."

Firm spokesman Jeffrey Birnbaum suggested that "pro-Putin oligarchs" were already trying to sow doubts about BGR's work with Poroshenko. While the firm maintains close relationships with GOP congressional leaders, several of its principals were dismissive or sharply critical of Trump during the GOP primary, which could limit their effectiveness lobbying the new administration.

The Poroshenko regime's standing with Trump is considered so dire that the president's allies after the election actually reached out to make amends with -- and even seek assistance from -- Manafort, according to two operatives familiar with Ukraine's efforts to make inroads with Trump.

Meanwhile, Poroshenko's rivals are seeking to capitalize on his dicey relationship with Trump's team. Some are pressuring him to replace Chaly, a close ally of Poroshenko's who is being blamed by critics in Kiev and Washington for implementing -- if not engineering -- the country's anti-Trump efforts, according to Ukrainian and U.S. politicians and operatives interviewed for this story. They say that several potential Poroshenko opponents have been through Washington since the election seeking audiences of their own with Trump allies, though most have failed to do do so.

"None of the Ukrainians have any access to Trump -- they are all desperate to get it, and are willing to pay big for it," said one American consultant whose company recently met in Washington with Yuriy Boyko, a former vice prime minister under Yanukovych. Boyko, who like Yanukovych has a pro-Russian worldview, is considering a presidential campaign of his own, and his representatives offered "to pay a shit-ton of money" to get access to Trump and his inaugural events, according to the consultant.

The consultant turned down the work, explaining, "It sounded shady, and we don't want to get in the middle of that kind of stuff."

[May 03, 2019] The Deputy of the Berlin city Parliament suggested to try Poroshenko in the international Tribunal

Poroshenko was a marionette. The decisions were make outside Ukraine.
May 03, 2019 | mt.gazeta.ru

Lindemann told the site kp.ru that personally saw letters of bodies of justice of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk national republics (DNR and LNR) according to which 90% of shells arrived to Donbass from the territory of Ukraine.

"The reports serve as the purest proof that Poroshenko did not want peace for Donbass," the Deputy concluded.

He told that the Ukrainian army strongly damaged the bridge in the Village Lugansk. Now through its destroyed spans are thrown wooden stairs, which have to pass civilians, including the elderly, said Lindemann. According to the Deputy, the authorities can't repair the bridge, as in this case the Ukrainian army will destroy it again. The politician called Kiev's position on this issue terrible: the European countries were going to allocate money for repair of the bridge, but the Ukrainian authorities didn't allow to make it.

Lindemann emphasized that the Tribunal for Poroshenko and his colleagues guilty of a situation in Donbass, has to be fair. In world history, there were no cases when the current President fell under the international court of justice with such accusations, so it can only be possible after Poroshenko will resign the powers of the head of state in May, the Deputy said.

The German politician called Poroshenko a military junta leader who stole resources from the armed conflict for personal enrichment. Lindemann expressed the hope that with the coming to power in Ukraine a new people, the confrontation in the Donbass will cease.

[May 03, 2019] Interview with Viktor Medvedchuk Vasily Golovanov on NewsOne

Slightly edited Google translation
May 03, 2019 | 112.ua

Vasyl Golovanov : ...We live with this President for 5 years. Whether you expected such result and what, in your opinion, to expect from Vladimir Aleksandrovich.

Viktor Medvedchuk : Vasily, this result was expected. At least he was predictable, because Poroshenko should not have become and did not become President. And the reason for this is his policy, which our party has repeatedly spoken about. And not only our party, but actually opposition forces which in the majority United in questions of criticism of mister Poroshenko. And they talked about peace in the Donbass, and the cessation of hostilities, talked about the tariff genocide, national radicalism, the impoverishment of millions of citizens, criminal lawlessness, social injustice and many other circumstances that pointed to what characterizes this regime Poroshenko, which for some reason they called "Euro-reformist", which actually ruined the country in the economy, social sphere, in the crisis of the political sphere.

And all this had to end, naturally, with Poroshenko's defeat. And this defeat took place.

... ... ...

In 1991, when Kravchuk became President, he scored 61.6%. It was a record that was never broken until actually here on April 21, 2019, when Zelensky won. And it is a great responsibility, to a great deal. Indeed, our country will live with a new President, with a new power, I hope, I am far from the idea that this power will remain. And what is happening today - a new team is being formed - comes with the fact that Mr. Zelensky is preparing to take office. I think she is facing very relevant challenges. The first was the resignation of the Cabinet of Ministers. Because with incompetent, untrained professionally, populist government of Mr. Groisman, actually is can be called the government of Mr. Yatsenyuk, the country is unable to live any longer.

And if Zelensky, who received such massive support, does not change the team, which, of course, what is expected of him, he will not be able to realize his election promises.

And therefore - this is the main task that must be performed. It's strategic. And that is what stands before him now and will be for 5 years. It is necessary to justify the trust that he received. To meet these expectations, and they are very high. Which means the requirements will be too high. He must be aware of that.

Vasily Golovanov: We will talk about Vladimir Zelensky later. I would also like to mention Pyotr Alekseevich. In your words, Poroshenko's complete failure is the people's response to his Russophobic policy. In your opinion, what will Zelensky's policy be?

Viktor Medvedchuk: it Is difficult to talk about what Zelensky's policy will be, but I do not think he will repeat the mistakes that Mr Poroshenko made. That is, Mr. Poroshenko, especially in the last months of the election campaign, the last months of activity as President, really elevated to the rank of the state policy of anti-Russian hysteria and caveman level Russophobia. This is a fact. He built the whole campaign on that. And here is even his slogan: "Army. Faith. Language" -- these words and these meanings for the country, for the Ukrainian people, they are very important. But what he did with them his manipulation of people psychology and his perversion of populism exceptional - they led to a backlash.

You will notice how Mr. Zelensky won, where he won the most votes. He scored them in the East - 88%, in the South - 86%. Do you know how much he scored in the Luhansk region? 90%. Do you know that Luhansk region has always been the most Russian-speaking region after Crimea in all the years of independence? Tell me, why did it vote?

Vasily Golovanov : It concerns cities, in villages there are Ukrainian speakers too, even in the Luhansk region.

Viktor Medvedchuk : The Question is different - their attitude. Of course, I am far from believing that the votes he received are votes only for him, votes against Poroshenko in the first place.

Vasily Golovanov : The Question of Peter Alekseevich and language is one of the slogans of his election campaign. We remember: about two weeks before the election he was a guest of "Freedom of speech" on ICTV, where he said to the question about the language: "Actually, I am Russian-speaking".

Viktor Medvedchuk : Of course, we know that.

Vasily Golovanov : And how did it happen that the person who hangs out on all boards - "Army. Faith. Language, " puts the emphasis on it, and it's one of the priorities of his campaign, at some point... It's as if he confessed to a different faith...

Viktor Medvedchuk : How did it happen that he admitted this during the election campaign just before the second round? Why would he do that? Perhaps he was beginning to realize the strategic mistake he had made when he spoke of language.

Because are there any Ukrainians today who are against the fact that the status of Ukrainian as the only state language is strengthened, developed and provides those opportunities in which the Ukrainian language should be, first of all, competitive, attractive and have other qualities that could allow it? No! But at the same time, we cannot ignore or discriminate against the Russian language and the language of other national minorities.

Moreover, he would not have succeeded, because the Constitution in article 10 has the status and part 3 of article 10 says that the territory of Ukraine guarantees the free development, use and protection of Russian and other languages of national minorities.

Why did he come, as you say, on Monday, before the second round, and told that he was Russian-speaking? And who did not know that Mr. Poroshenko was Russian-speaking? Do you think it is that, in different situations spoke in the Ukrainian language? I never spoke with him in Ukrainian, only in Russian. Well, maybe it's not an indicator, but it means not just focus, not just the attractiveness of a person, including in the use of language. This is a direct indication that a person has it inside. Why are you ignoring this?

Yes, you must develop the Ukrainian language. You are the President of Ukraine, but you should not allow disrespect, mockery and discrimination of other languages, including Russian. And so this reaction is also a response to what he was doing. That's direct result of his policies.

[May 03, 2019] Mr. Zelensky, if the Cabinet of Ministers does not listen to you and even more increases the cost of gas, the cost of utilities, block its activities!

Slightly edited Goggle translation
May 03, 2019 | 112.ua

Mr. Zelensky, get right and do it! Then, if the Cabinet of Ministers does not listen to you and sets its resolutions, and even more increases the cost of gas, the cost of utilities, block its activities! Any decision of the Cabinet can be stopped, blocked and appealed to the constitutional court for reasons of non-compliance with the Constitution! It's the President's right! So do not talk about the fact that it is impossible!

And when we talk about reducing tariffs, you will study the structure of these tariffs. My advice. Although, I do not advocate giving advice and this is not advice, and my vision. And you ask about the pricing structure of utility tariffs, including the cost of gas. You'll see that what's in there is props. And it's in the derivatives. About what, about what you said: Rotterdam+... When this involves the cost of coal, and in parallel or, more precisely, directly coal is electricity and is laid in tariffs. Dusseldorf + - the cost of gas. And it is laid in the tariffs for gas, which means - for hot water and heat. And much more, where the derivative is gas. That's all she wrote. No need to tell stories and send somewhere. It is necessary to send to itself and as promised, to do so that it would be possible to improve life of our people.

Vasily Golovanov: Then I also want to talk about gas and coal... If we make this detour now, or pretend that we are not buying Russian gas, although we are buying Russian gas, it is simply more expensive in Europe. Then why do we buy fuel? Why is our government so.

Viktor Medvedchuk: Because we buy Russian gas directly. In fact, look, I listened in one of Your programs, in the "Ukrainian format" somewhere right after the second round, it seems that you had a discussion, very interesting. Professionals told about it, but they do not fully understand this scheme. I'm just saying it because I know it. But it said about Velky kapushany. Look here - Russia, - Ukraine, but the Ukrainian border with Slovakia...That is, in Europe, velki kapushany, where there is a so-called accounting station. What is done? What's happening? Gas comes from the territory of Russia, comes to Ukraine - it is a gas transportation system. It dissolves in this system and goes to different needs. We don't have a line Russia - Europe on which there is the gas transit, which is operators, recipients and consumers of Europeans.

No! He's spent here, but it automatically comes to this border and Wielkie Capuano should count on the Ukrainian side, where they say the gas is out! There is 100 million cubic meters. And the other counter, here, suggests that the gas came to Europe. So what did? You imagine the Scam of this scheme. They closed this square. Moreover, this is not the worst thing... That's when I listened to what was said in the "Ukrainian format", I thought, well, now... The person who spoke, he, in principle, the professional. I thought he was gonna tell me what it was about. And he says: "They there gas this drive. Maybe he doesn't even exist." No, not that. They closed the circle. And this gas in one volume chases on this pipe. Why this is done? In order to show on the counter that he went to Europe.

For example, his buyer, on paper, is a French operator, gas operator. It is the papers I wrote - I got 100 million, because this counter is reflected and all - no complaints. And this gas when came, it already here 100 million, and we already used it here, but bought allegedly there. And then, when they say: here is the gas on the reverse. What reverse? What is the reverse? If the gas goes in one direction, how can it go in the opposite direction? Think about it! Well, gas goes to Europe, we put 89 billion there last year, the year before, left 94 billion there, it goes in one... How can you go, then stop, and go back? Or what? That is, those who talk about it, just do not know, and those who "vtyuhivayut" us, trying to bend in the understanding of all, to deceive. This is pure insanity.

It's not just a scheme. They also provide the price Dusseldorf+,1500 km. And these $42, shoulder the logistics they put into the scheme. That is, in pricing - it's net earnings. Then they are transferred into the rates and our people are paying. At attention. And so utility costs are rising, because the cost of gas is growing.

Well I'm still not talking about fraud handled by the NAK "Naftogaz" and Ukrgazdobycha. Because gas is produced, its cost there 2 700 - 2 900 UAH, up to a hundred dollars. And NAK "Neftegaz" buys from ukrgasvydobuvannya it under 6 thousand. What is this 100 % profitability? And where is it? In a poor, impoverished, economically underdeveloped country? 100% profitability?

I can say: no, this is on the development! For development wells on production growth, as we have said Groisman pathetic. It is as if he speaks out and says: "For 5 years we need to increase production so that we do not buy anything." This, approximately, as you can say - it is necessary to increase the retail space in the Vinnitsa market, here I understand. Here is indeed for 5 years can be their increase in 2 times. But it is impossible to increase gas production!

And where did you grow up in production? It produced 15.7 billion. In General, the country produced 21 billion in 2014, and we have now produced 20.7 billion with private companies by the end of 2018. So where is this increase in production? And where do you invest? What new wells, new production? Groysman, who is talking about this, at least interested in this?

Vasily Golovanov: what does the message of the Russian Federation on the ban on the entry of Russian oil and oil products into our country show us?

Viktor Medvedchuk: You put the question absolutely correctly. What does that mean? I, Vasily, will expand your question, because the essence of the question is wider. We say that Russia has imposed sanctions against Ukraine and banned the import of coal, petroleum products and oil.

Well, about oil - this is a relative understanding, because oil from Russia has not been supplied since 2007. And for this purpose there were the reasons in which mister Yanukovych and many others is guilty. We will not talk about this now, but oil products and coal are another issue. Now, this is a response. After all, what is the economic problem between Russia and Ukraine? It consists in the fact that Ukraine at some stage joined the sanctions of the European Union, and Russia introduced counter-sanctions against Ukraine.

Even earlier, we entered the free trade zone with the EU, thereby cutting off the path of interaction and cooperation within the CIS zone and trade relations with Russia. All of this has led to the complex that has existed in recent years. When we lose 7 billion export potential of our products and services in the markets of the Russian Federation.

Now that we are there is limited, what caused such reaction of Russia. They took and banned what is vital. We are an energy-dependent state. I can say that we depend on two States - on Russia and Belarus, almost equally.

[May 03, 2019] Mr. President, Ukraine is offering this evidence to the United States. Would you like the United States [to get this information]-- with all this talk about collusion, they are saying they included on behalf of Hillary Clinton's campaign in 2016

Poroshenko might be convicted in the interference in the US Presidential elections.
May 03, 2019 | www.realclearpolitics.com

TRUMP: Well, I think it's incredible when you hear it. These are great reporters, all three, and when you have them on your trail, that's a problem. These are people that should be getting Pulitzers, not the ones that got the Pulitzers that got everything wrong.

If you listen to them, they got everything wrong. Go back and read some of their early and mid articles. They didn't have a clue what was going on and they win Pulitzer Prizes. These are the ones that should be winning.

It sounds like big stuff. It sounds very interesting with Ukraine. I just spoke to the new president a little while ago, two days ago, and congratulated him on an incredible race. Incredible run. A big surprise victory. That's 75 percent of the vote.

But that sounds like big, big stuff. I'm not surprised.

HANNITY: Mr. President, Ukraine is offering this evidence to the United States. Would you like the United States -- with all this talk about collusion, they are saying they included on behalf of Hillary Clinton's campaign in 2016. Does America need to see that information in spite of all of the attacks against you on collusion?

TRUMP: Well, I think we do. And, frankly, we have a great new attorney general who has done an unbelievable job in a very short period of time. And he is very smart and tough and I would certainly defer to him. I would imagine he would want to see this.

People have been saying this whole -- the concept of Ukraine, they have been talking about it actually for a long time. You know that, and I would certainly defer to the attorney general.

And we'll see what he says about it. He calls them straight. That's one thing I can tell you.

[May 02, 2019] Russian and Eurasian Politics by Gordon M. Hahn

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... If Zelenskii sees himself as the spark or leader of a wave of color revolutions in the former USSR, he will find the going with Russia tough, regardless of who the Russian president is ..."
"... Another black swan is that Ukraine now has a Jewish president. This is not evidence of the absence of anti-Semitism, which is robust among Ukraine's substantial number of ultranationalists and neofascists. Anti-semitism has been overshadowed by such radicals' laser-like focus of their xenophobia on ethnic Russians. ..."
"... The fact of a Jewish president -- in addition to the present PM being Jewish -- poses the risk of an uptick in anti-Semitism and in the appeal of the ultranationalist/neofascist message if Zelenskii fails to improve the economy, cut corruption, and/or appears to be 'caving in' to Russian or Western demands to the detriment of Ukraine's interests. ..."
"... The Jewish president will be a prime scapegoat in the case of such failure. These two dynamics – the inexperienced Zelenskii's possible failure and the potential political repercussions of his Jewish roots -- could tip the scales in favor of the ultranationalist wing of the Maidan-in-opposition and shape its calculus as to whether or not to undertake a coup, repeating what worked once in February 2014. ..."
May 02, 2019 | gordonhahn.com

... Zelenskii himself is likely to fight corruption, to be sure, but he is unlikely to challenge the ultranationalists, neofascists, and their militarized combat organizations. ... Zelenskii is unlikely to offer concessions that the DNR, LNR or Moscow will find acceptable for resolving the Donbass civil war.

Zelenskii's Victory and the Presidential Elections

Zelenskii's victory signified some decline in the acceptability overall in Ukraine of the Galician/Western line backed by Poroshenko countrywide' fueled largely by a full rejection in the east and south. Zelenskii made it a central point of his campaign to bring the ostracized south and east back in to Ukraine and end the discrimination against the Russian language fostered by Poroshenko legislation. Thus, Zelenskii won more than 80 percent of the vote in each of the 11 more Russian-speaking regions in eastern and southern Ukraine and nearly 90 percent in several of them. Poroshenko took only nationalistic Lviv. In the rest of western Ukraine won, in many of these regions only by a slim majority, but he won nevertheless. He even took some 60 percent in Poroshenko's native Volhyn region ( https://elections.dekoder.org/ukraine/en?fbclid=IwAR36OdD3lrXL3EKKy9Zfdhk8k36Azgr6nNWLeYH3sYiYX9Ci51O86GVDhow ). To the extent Zelenskii received great support in the east, his election represents a desire for an end of the slow-burning civil war in Donbass, of the east-west polarization inside the country, and of alienation of Russian speakers and ethnic Russians as well as for a normalization of Kiev's relations with Russia. Poroshenko's narrow but nevertheless defeat in almost all the western regions reflects the Galicians disenchantment with corruption far more than any significant rejection of Galician Ukrainian nationalism, ultrnationalism and neofascism in the west.

... ... ...

The Nature of Maidan Ukraine's Hybrid Regime

However, the problem in Ukraine has often been less with its elections being unfree or unfair ( https://gordonhahn.com/2015/06/21/one-day-in-the-life-of-ukrainian-democracy/ ). Most often the problem has been with the rule of law, massive corruption, the theft of the state by various powerful oligarchs, the lack of a cohesive national identity, and a deeply polarized society. It is these aspects of Ukraine's authoritarian side, its 'stateness problem' and political polarization and instability which are rarely understood in the West [see Gordon M. Hahn, Ukraine Over the Edge: Russia, the West, and the 'New Cold War' (Jefferson: McFarland, 2018)].

The absence of the rule of law in Maidan Ukraine was in full display on the eve of the election as the siloviki chose sides in the vote. The SBU supported Poroshenko by trumping up the noted fake news of hacked emails never shown but allegedly showing that Zelenskii was Putin's Manchurian candidate ala 'Trump's collusion with the Kremln.' Doing the bidding of Yiliya Tymoshenko's campaign, the MVD, headed by ultranationalist Arsenii Avakov, uncovered Poroshenko vote buying schemes.

Similarly, the present and former Ukrainian general prosecutors' charges of interference in corruption investigations by US Vice President Joseph Biden and the present US ambassador to Ukraine underscored the point.

Also, the release of former Maidan war hero Nadia Savchenko also demonstrated this quite clearly. Either her arrest a little over a year ago for allegedly planning a massive terrorist attack that would have left many Maidan Rada deputies and civilians dead was based on wholly trumped up charges or some among the authorities are protecting an ultranationalist terrorist. Ironically, three days after the presidential vote, a Kievan was arrested on the basis of charges reminiscent of Russian law as many Maidan regime laws remind one of. Thus, the arrestee was charged with spreading on the Internet calls for 'separatism' and the overthrow of the Maidan regime that was established by an illegal and violent seizure of power ( https://vesti-ukr.com/kiev/334060-zhitelju-kievskoj-oblasti-hrozit-10-let-tjurmy-za-posty-v-sotssetjakh ).

A shocking level of official corruption has been characteristic of the Maidan regime's oligarchical side and was demonstrated even more forcefully during the presidential campaign. Poroshenko's failure to divest himself or 'trustify' his businesses established a fundamentally corrupt oligarch-presidency...

... ... ...

Historically speaking, some in the west -- Stepan Bandera's OUN and UPA fascists -- were allied with the Nazis in World War II; while the grandparents of many in the east fought for the Red Army against Hitler's forces and after the war repressed the OUN and UPA Banderites. This translates into a deep societal polarization with the west displaying considerable support for and tolerance of Galician-Ukrainian ultra-nationalism and neofascism in domestic politics a pro-Western foreign policy stance and the east supporting a more leftist, quasi-Soviet domestic order and pro-Russian foreign orientation. This divided has been repeatedly reflected in presidential and parliamentary elections throughout the history of post-Soviet Ukraine; hence the political upheavals often surrounding national elections, in particular in the 2004 'Orange revolution,' precursor to the 2013-14 Maidan revolt. This polarization has helped drive some of the lack of rule of law, corruption, and stealing of the state as oligarchs scramble to protect and expand their holdings on the background of deep political polarization between western Ukraine's Galicia and southeastern Ukraine and regime shifts from western Ukrainian-dominated governments to southeastern Ukrainian-dominated governments. All this explains and/or is explained by the Maidan regime's birth event – its original sin -- the 20 February 2014 snipers' terrorist false flag massacre.

Contrary to the West's false narrative that reads deposed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych ordered snipers to kill Maidan demonstrators, the Maidan's ultranationalist-neofascist wing, with support from former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, deployed snipers on the Maidan to fire on both police and demonstrators in the false flag terrorist operation of the century (Ivan Katchanovski, http://www.academia.edu/38171919/Witness_Testimonies_for_the_Maidan_Massacre_Trial_and_Investigation_about_Snipers_in_Maidan-Controlled_Buildings_Video_Appendix_E?auto=bookmark&campaign=weekly_digest ; Ivan Katchanovski, https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2658245 ; and my own article at https://gordonhahn.com/2016/03/09/the-real-snipers-massacre-ukraine-february-2014-updatedrevised-working-paper/ ).

As one Ukrainian presidential candidate, former Orange regime Defense Minister Anatoliy Hrytsenko, noted: "I propose that one of the reasons that (the snipers massacre) has not been investigated to the end is that someone has feathers on their snout among those who are now in power" ( https://gordonua.com/news/politics/gricenko-odna-iz-prichin-pochemu-rasstrel-nebesnoy-sotni-ne-rassledovan-do-konca-u-kogo-to-rylo-v-puhu-iz-teh-kto-seychas-pri-vlasti-705668.html?fbclid=iwar1c9xxnp6k48rqnxrz2c6ki18lrnf7k2fhilbk9t2o0cfkx70ceff4egdw )."

Weeks later, Zelenskii commented: "People whom came to power on blood are profiting on blood" (www.pravda.com.ua/news/2019/02/26/7207718/). It appears he understands the essence of the Maidan regime's original sin. This poses a grave threat to some of the most powerful men in the regime including the likely organizer of the snipers' plot, Rada Chairman Andriy Parubiy, and perhaps Poroshenko himself, who appears to have played a role in helping smuggle the snipers out of Maidan Square, though he appears to have opposed the shooting as a video from the Maidan headquarters demonstrates.

This issue has the potential to bring the whole Western-backed house of cards tumbling down.

Maidan v. the People

The magnitude and centrality of the terrorist snipers' attack coverup for both the Maidan regime and the West's 'new cold war' narrative portend a bitter and brutal battle to prevent an objective investigation. Thus, the election of the politically unknown Zelenskii and the prospects of his inauguration and rule as president have sparked a cold civil war in Kiev. The Maidan regime's forces about to be relegated to the opposition, particularly after the victory of Zelenskii's new political party (Servant of the People in September's Rada elections, are poised and are already moving to do almost everything and perhaps everything to prevent his assuming the powers in Ukraine's semi-presidential system. Poroshenko and his allies and temporary allies in the Rada have undertaken several first steps against Zelenskii and his presidency. The most important may be the a draft law that would institute changes in the balance of power in the political system in favor of the prime minister and Rada against the president's office. Many of the proposed changes would empower the prime minister to a level nearly equal to that of the president. Thus, Article 35 of the new law would require the president to nominate a candidate for the post of prime minister indicated by a coalition of factions in the Rada. In other words, the Rada would nominate prime ministerial candidates, and the president would simply submit the same name much like the king or queen of England plays a purely formal role in the formation of the UK cabinet [https://samopomich.ua/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/project.pdf?fbclid=IwAR2QSRvRtMsWcWY-eR4ys0O6x0n_Doy21398U0VenM6J9jw21Hhy1E8sias (from here on cited as 'Draft Law'), p. 16].

Similarly, the president would be deprived by Article 36 in the new law of the power to independently submit to the Rada candidates for nomination to the posts of defense minister and foreign minister, the candidate nomination of which would have to be agreed upon before submission to the Rada again by a coalition of deputies' factions ( Draft law, pp. 16-17) . These clauses in the new law appear to be a direct violation of the Ukrainian Constitution's Article 106, which gives the President the unrestricted power to make such nominations.

The Rada is also boosted by the draft law's Article 85.1, which stipulates that in the event of the president's removal from office under an impeachment process the Rada's chair will execute the office of the presidency (Draft law, p. 42). This violates the Ukrainian Constitution's Article 112, which gives the role of acting president in such a case to the PM. At the same time, the PM would receive a series of new powers in the draft law. Article 39.3 of the draft law stipulates that the president "shall hold mandatory consultations with the Prime Minister regarding the formation of the personnel of the National Security and Defense Council" (SNBO), and Article 39.4 allows the Prime Minister to "initiate a decision before the President on formation of the personnel" of the SNBO and make changes to it (Draft law, p. 18).

Acting or temporary holders of the offices of Defense Minister, Foreign Minister, SBU chairman, and National Bank head are to be nominated by the PM under certain circumstances (Articles 30.4, 30.5, 40.6, and 42.5, respectively, Draft law, pp. 16-17, 19, and 20, respectively). Also, under the draft law the PM would also receive the new right to be consulted by the president in cases where two-thirds of a regional parliament has voted 'no confidence' in the region's administration head, which allows the president to dismiss him (Article 49. 3, Draft law, p. 24).

Although the President would retain the power to submit nominations to the posts of Prosecutor General and SBU chair, there is no mention of his power to appoint and dismiss regional prosecutors and SBU chiefs. The new law also appears to deprive the Ukrainian President of his present power to appoint the membership of the National Commission for Implementation of Regulation of Energy and Housing Services (NKREKU), the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), and other regulators. Also, the president would be barred from creating any state administrative bodies such as a presidential apparatus or chancellery with powers anything more than advisory.

Thus under the new law the office of the president is deprived of its most important power -- appointment of the PM -- which now belongs to the majority in the Rada.

Thus, this new law on the presidency if adopted by the Rada and signed by Poroshenko as he leaves office would effectively transform Ukraine's semi-presidential system into a parliamentary republic with a powerful PM, whose authority rivals that of the President.

In and of itself this is not problematic and could even be regarded as a step in the direction of greater democracy in the sense of strong republican rule by a legislature of elected representatives of the people, it becomes anti-democratic and a violation of the rule of law by dint of the facts that several of the law's statutes violate the constitution. More importantly perhaps, the law violates the spirit of election by abrogating the recently expressed will of the people who elected a candidate to a particular office of the president of Ukraine as it existed on the day of the election, with all the powers the constitution vests in that office.

The imminent 'Maidan-in-opposition' has undertaken a series of other highly questionable measures to prepare to block or hamper his presidency. When presidential candidate Hrytsenko criticized the draft law on the presidency days after its posting on the site of the Galicia-based nationalist party 'Self-Help', led by the mayor of Lviv (Lvov) Andriy Sadoviy, the Lviv branch of the SBU opened an investigation against his wife's opinion polling company (www.pravda.com.ua/rus/news/2019/04/24/7213427/ and http://www.pravda.com.ua/rus/news/2019/04/24/7213432/ ).

Hrytsenko was the only first round presidential election candidate to meet with Zelenskii during the campaign for the second round, rousing suspicions he may have cut a deal for a place in any Zelenskii administration, perhaps his return to the post of Defense Minister. A move directly against Zelenskii has been the delay in announcing the final results of the presidential election (www.reuters.com/article/us-ukraine-election-zelenskiy/ukraines-president-elect-says-being-blocked-from-calling-snap-poll-idUSKCN1S129Z?fbclid=IwAR0W0Rl_e-XHjwUza7U2h8vA0di4csdWGmITrRFQ0MTxbhkx5aNkSiCmqpg).

This move has been combined with an attempt to delay Zelenskii's inauguration by removing the chairman of the constitutional court who deliberates in the president-elect's taking of the oath of office ( https://strana.ua/news/198120-v-konstitutsionnom-sude-sobirajut-holosa-za-otstavku-hlavy-vedomstva-dlja-sryva-inauhuratsii-zelenskoho.html?fbclid=IwAR3flvIbho_Iq3Zn9fGW5am1xV2y8GkLK_SRs77PRk2507YYawFcxtRrULI and https://vesti-ukr.com/politika/334088-zhurnalisty-rasskazali-kak-u-poroshenko-provodjat-sryv-inauhuratsii-zelenskoho ).

Although the delay is not prohibitive yet it risks preventing Zelenskii from calling new Rada elections as soon as he assumes office as he has reportedly planned to do. Mid-term elections cannot be called less than six months before the end of a Rada's convocation. The present Rada's term ends in early November. The delay of the inauguration may also provide time for investigative processes against Zelenskii to be completed and used to block his assumption of office. Thus, three days after the election, the corrupt anti-corruption body, NABU, opened an investigation int Zelenskii production company ( https://strana.ua/news/198188-nabu-nachalo-rassledovanie-po-kompanii-zelenskoho-iz-za-vozmozhnoj-rastraty-sredstv-hoskino-sytnik.html ).

The new draconian language law adopted by the Rada four days after the voting excludes from civil service those not fluent in Ukrainian. Zelenskii is not fluent in Ukrainian, and Poroshenko has vowed to sigh the law; one he himself helped draft and then submitted to the Rada before the election. Tentative Conclusions and Some Black Swans The Ukraine is on the edge of a constitutional crisis.

The country remains badly divided between the newly elected and at present popular president and his support base in the east and south, on the one hand, and Maidan's outgoing president, government and Rada with its support base largely in the west. As at the beginning of the Maidan protests in fall 2013, there are many Ukrainians who want positive democratic change. Unfortunately, they are countered by a powerful oligachic-ultranationalist coalition that has been stealing the state, dividing Ukrainians along regional, ethnic, linguistic, and religious lines in order to stay in power, and is about to be relegated to the position of the Maidan-in-opposition.

For now, Zelenskii is the new Yanukovych minus the corruption and pro-Russian inclinations. His positive image with the voters can be destroyed with new framing that can come with the ravaging of time in office as the elan of the victory in the presidential election fades and by effective Maidan-in-opposition propaganda. With Rada elections set for September, the first five-six months of Zelenskii's presidency -- should Poroshenko and the Rada radicals allow it to commence -- will be bogged down in a bitter power struggle that can easily spin out of control.

There is good reason to believe that the Rada leadership, the siloviki , and the ultranationalists and neofascists in Ukraine's frequently uncivil society will be willing to repeat a use of violence of February 2014 in order to preserve their power and avoid the risk of Zelenskii investigations into their corruption and the Maidan's original sin of that February 2014 snipers' terrorist attack. Zelenskii may very well forego a serious investigation of the Maidan terrorist attack and a crackdown on the illegal armed formations and activity of ultranationalists and neofascists like the National Corps and C14. A bridge too far for any Ukrainian leader, given the weak state and powerful extremist element on the streets.

There are black swans on the horizon. One is Vladimir Putin. He 'welcomed' Zelenskii by issuing a decree easing requirements for immigration to Russia and the receipt of Russian passports and pension payments for residents in civil war-torn region of the separatist DNR and LNR. In this way, he seemed to remind Zelenskii of Russia's now limited, albeit, direct military presence in the war zone. He further signaled his intent to run a hard bargain by refusing to congratulate Zelenskii on his presidential election victory unlike in 2014 when Putin congratulated Poroshenko.

But Zelenskii may have walked into this slap. He threw down the gauntlet to Putin when declared after his election victory (and before these moves by Putin): "To all post-Soviet countries: Look at us, anything is possible" ( www.rferl.org/a/poroshenko-concedes-after-exit-polling-shows-zelenskiy-taking-ukraine-presidency/29894814.html ). He reiterated the point several days later specifically when responding to Putin's decision to ease Donbass access to Russian passports and immigration ( https://vesti-ukr.com/strana/334477-zelenskij-sdelal-zajavlenie-ob-idee-putina-vydavat-ukraintsam-pasporta-rf ).

If Zelenskii sees himself as the spark or leader of a wave of color revolutions in the former USSR, he will find the going with Russia tough, regardless of who the Russian president is. Russians fear both revolution and foreign interference far more than they do Putin. More importantly for Ukraine, such a stance will make a resolution of the Donbass conflict impossible.

Another black swan is that Ukraine now has a Jewish president. This is not evidence of the absence of anti-Semitism, which is robust among Ukraine's substantial number of ultranationalists and neofascists. Anti-semitism has been overshadowed by such radicals' laser-like focus of their xenophobia on ethnic Russians.

The fact of a Jewish president -- in addition to the present PM being Jewish -- poses the risk of an uptick in anti-Semitism and in the appeal of the ultranationalist/neofascist message if Zelenskii fails to improve the economy, cut corruption, and/or appears to be 'caving in' to Russian or Western demands to the detriment of Ukraine's interests.

The Jewish president will be a prime scapegoat in the case of such failure. These two dynamics – the inexperienced Zelenskii's possible failure and the potential political repercussions of his Jewish roots -- could tip the scales in favor of the ultranationalist wing of the Maidan-in-opposition and shape its calculus as to whether or not to undertake a coup, repeating what worked once in February 2014.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

About the Author – Gordon M. Hahn, Ph.D., is a Senior Researcher at the Center for Terrorism and Intelligence Studies (CETIS), Akribis Group, San Jose, California, www.cetisresearch.org ; an expert analyst at Corr Analytics, http://www.canalyt.com ; and an analyst at Geostrategic Forecasting Corporation (Chicago), www.geostrategicforecasting.com .

Dr. Hahn is the author of the four books, most recently Ukraine Over the Edge: Russia, the West, and the 'New Cold War . Previously, he has authored three well-received books: The Caucasus Emirate Mujahedin: Global Jihadism in Russia's North Caucasus and Beyond (McFarland Publishers, 2014), Russia's Islamic Threat (Yale University Press, 2007), and Russia's Revolution From Above: Reform, Transition and Revolution in the Fall of the Soviet Communist Regime, 1985-2000 (Transaction Publishers, 2002). He also has published numerous think tank reports, academic articles, analyses, and commentaries in both English and Russian language media.

Dr. Hahn also has taught at Boston, American, Stanford, San Jose State, and San Francisco State Universities and as a Fulbright Scholar at Saint Petersburg State University, Russia and has been a senior associate and visiting fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Kennan Institute in Washington DC, and the Hoover Institution.

[Apr 30, 2019] Ukraine Sends in the Clown by Nina L. Khrushcheva

This distant relative on Nikita Krushchev is a despicable and clueless neocon. She does not even understand that under Poroshenko the standard of living of population dropped more then twice and changes for heating role more then 5 times.
Notable quotes:
"... Zelensky is far from the first charismatic non-politician to win political power in recent years. The most obvious example is the real-estate developer and reality-TV showman Donald Trump. ..."
"... Most Ukrainians now support radical changes to economic, social, and foreign policy. ..."
Apr 30, 2019 | www.project-syndicate.org

Ukraine Sends in the Clown Apr 30, 2019 Nina L. Khrushcheva Most Ukrainian voters arguably know that the comedian Volodymyr Zelensky, whose only claim to fame up to now was playing a teacher-turned-president in a popular TV series, will not be the real-life president of their dreams. So why did nearly three-quarters of them back him?

KYIV – In the 2000s, The West Wing was everybody's favorite television show about an aspirational US administration – one that fought terrorism without waging war on an entire region or religion, refused to trample on the rule of law, and generally made decisions that were in the country's best interest. Many wished the show's calm and collected fictional president, played by Martin Sheen, could replace America's cowboy president, George W. Bush, and his war-mongering sidekick, Dick Cheney.

In a sense, that is exactly what is happening now in Ukraine. The comedian Volodymyr Zelensky, whose only claim to fame up to now was playing a teacher-turned-president in the popular TV series Servant of the People , won the presidency in a landslide earlier this month. But, far from the fantasy of an idealized president, this is yet another example of a distorted reality – all too familiar to Ukrainians – in which characters, not leaders, define politics.

Zelensky is far from the first charismatic non-politician to win political power in recent years. The most obvious example is the real-estate developer and reality-TV showman Donald Trump. But in Austria, Hungary, Italy, Russia, and elsewhere, characters have also used populist rhetoric to appeal to ordinary people who feel ignored by the elites. Another comedian, Beppe Grillo, co-founded Italy's Five Star Movement, which is now the senior government party, though he stepped aside in January 2018, weeks before the election that brought his creation to power.

There are nuances to this trend. After Trump won the 2016 presidential election in the United States, I recalled Brave New World , in which Aldous Huxley conjured a future in which humanity had been destroyed by ignorance and lust for mindless entertainment. Trump, feasting on burgers as he binge-watches Fox News stories about himself, embodies this disposition.

Whereas a combination of too much amusement and too little knowledge contributed to Americans' choice of Trump, Ukrainians were reacting to politicians' betrayal of the ideals of the 2013-14 Maidan Square protests, which sought to get Ukraine out from underneath Russia's thumb. Chief among the turncoats was President Petro Poroshenko, a Maidan hero who ended up as a manifestation of the old oligarchic system. Most Ukrainians now support radical changes to economic, social, and foreign policy.

Thus, with nothing but an appealing TV persona, Zelensky was able to convince voters that his inexperience would be a better bet than another term of Poroshenko's corrupt leadership. Despite having no political team or discernable policy platform, he won 73% of the vote – a share normally attained by authoritarians who stifle their opponents and stuff ballot boxes.

... ... ...

Another Ukrainian friend, a middle-aged scientist, observed that Zelensky's most direct antecedent may be Andriy Danylko – Ukraine's best-known entertainer, a musical comedian who performs in drag under the stage name Verka Serduchka. In 2007, Danylko tried, unsuccessfully, to form his own political party.

According to this friend, Ukrainians' embrace of Zelensky was driven by the same revolutionary urge that fueled the protests in 2004 and 2013-14. While the pro-Western Tymoshenko would have delivered the change that Ukrainians want, he explained, this year voters wanted even more to reject the existing system entirely. The fact that Trump is presiding over a booming US economy only strengthened their willingness to gamble on a TV character.

But even Zelensky may not be the rebellious choice he seems to be. Some have questioned his relationships with oligarchs – in particular Igor Kolomoisky, the owner of the TV channel that broadcasts his show. Many suggest that Kolomoisky effectively bought the election so that he himself could rule Ukraine from behind the scenes....

... ... ...

Ukraine is a symptom, not a specimen. In a world that increasingly resembles Huxley's dystopia...

[Apr 30, 2019] Hope is often a devalued currency: Volodymyr Zelenskiy as Actor President by Binoy Kampmark

Notable quotes:
"... Deputy Chief Anton Hrushetskiy reported findings of 2004 respondents to the question "Which of the following should the president do in the first 100 days?" ..."
"... The list is meaningfully desperate and vengeful against state officials: a touch under 40% wish a slash in utility rates; 35.5% demand a removal of immunity for lawmakers, judges and the president; 32.4% wish for an opening of investigations and a speeding up of current ones into corruption-related crimes and abuses; 23.3% hope for commencing talks with Russia; 18.4% demand a reduction of wages of top officials. All this stands to reason: Zelenskiy offers something others have not: a tabula rasa upon which voters can impose their vision. In contrast, Poroshenko, candy billionaire with an acid aftertaste, offered the usual cluttering: Army, language, faith. ..."
"... Poroshenko offered an ideal target: divisive, army hugging entho-nationalist, with an anti-Russian fixation ..."
"... In the words of head spokesperson at Zelinskiy's election headquarters, Dmitry Razumkov, "The return of the occupied territories of the Donbass and Crimea must proceed exclusively on Ukraine's terms. Russia, as always, is trying to turn everything on its head and do everything backwards – by holding elections first." ..."
"... The stage in Ukraine has been going to seed for some years, manuring away in decay and poverty, bleeding in the Donbass region and plundered by self-enriching elites. ..."
"... For one, parliamentary elections are due in October, leaving the virgin premier with six months of potential obstruction. Poroshenko, for his part, promises to be a vulture in the galley, awaiting any slipups: "I am leaving office, but I want to firmly underline that I am not leaving politics." ..."
Apr 30, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

... ... ...

Hope is often a devalued currency, but its vigorous circulation can be gathered in the measurements of public opinion by the Kyiv-based International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) conducted this month. Deputy Chief Anton Hrushetskiy reported findings of 2004 respondents to the question "Which of the following should the president do in the first 100 days?"

The list is meaningfully desperate and vengeful against state officials: a touch under 40% wish a slash in utility rates; 35.5% demand a removal of immunity for lawmakers, judges and the president; 32.4% wish for an opening of investigations and a speeding up of current ones into corruption-related crimes and abuses; 23.3% hope for commencing talks with Russia; 18.4% demand a reduction of wages of top officials. All this stands to reason: Zelenskiy offers something others have not: a tabula rasa upon which voters can impose their vision. In contrast, Poroshenko, candy billionaire with an acid aftertaste, offered the usual cluttering: Army, language, faith.

The broom for cleaning is being readied. Remarks had been made, some floated from the quarters of Poroshenko, that the new administration would include elements of the old regime. Former Finance Minister and advisor to Zelenskiy, Oleksandr Danyliuk, was adamant on Ukraine's ICTV this would not be the case: "Regarding the comment that Volodymyr Zelenskiy's new team will include old staff of the Presidential Administration, the Cabinet of Ministers I'd like to say this is absolutely not true, this is one of the fake news and bogeyman stories that your [Petro Poroshenko's] headquarters is spreading."

Political regulars and strategists have brought out their calculators and have been left wanting. Moscow, along with other readers of political entrails, did not see this victory in the offing. Poroshenko offered an ideal target: divisive, army hugging entho-nationalist, with an anti-Russian fixation. He could therefore be, over time, worn down, his country packaged as resoundingly anti-Semitic, fascist and hateful of the Soviet Union's exploits against Nazi Germany.

Preference would have been for Yuriy Boyko, backed by the pro-Russian Viktor Medvedchuk. The results did give their party 16% of the vote, making them second behind Zelenskiy's Servant of the People, which received 26%. Not quite happy days, but perhaps less anxious ones.

From what can be gathered from the new president, some measure of rapprochement towards their fraternal, giant neighbour might be in the offing, even if accompanied by what he terms "a very powerful information war" to end the eastern conflict. Baby steps include lifting restrictions on the use of Russian in the country, which would also entail an end to blocking cultural exchanges and restrictions on accessing Russian social media networks. But to perceive a total change on that front would be to wonder in the realms of fantasy. In the words of head spokesperson at Zelinskiy's election headquarters, Dmitry Razumkov, "The return of the occupied territories of the Donbass and Crimea must proceed exclusively on Ukraine's terms. Russia, as always, is trying to turn everything on its head and do everything backwards – by holding elections first."

The stage in Ukraine has been going to seed for some years, manuring away in decay and poverty, bleeding in the Donbass region and plundered by self-enriching elites.

It took Zelenskiy to come to the fore by stepping off the screen and, quite literally, onto a live stage. Whether he is capable of directing his own show, mastering his own brief, as it were, will be a wonder.

For one, parliamentary elections are due in October, leaving the virgin premier with six months of potential obstruction. Poroshenko, for his part, promises to be a vulture in the galley, awaiting any slipups: "I am leaving office, but I want to firmly underline that I am not leaving politics."

Join the debate on Facebook

Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. Email: bkampmark@gmail.com More articles by: Binoy Kampmark

[Apr 29, 2019] The election of Zelensky in Ukraine and the way forward for the working class by Clara Weiss

Apr 25, 2019 | www.wsws.org

Comedian Volodymyr Zelensky won the Ukrainian presidential elections Sunday with over 73 percent of the vote, in a massive repudiation of the incumbent president, Petro Poroshenko, and the imperialist-orchestrated 2014 coup that brought him to power.

The "chocolate oligarch" Poroshenko became president in the wake of the operation in February 2014 that toppled the pro-Russian government of Viktor Yanukovich. Behind the coup stood the major imperialist powers, above all the US and Germany. Basing themselves on sections of the Ukrainian oligarchy and upper middle class, they mobilized fascist forces to install a puppet regime that would be immediately subservient to their economic interests and war preparations against Russia.

The bourgeois media hailed this fascist-led coup as a "democratic revolution." They were joined by the middle-class left, including organizations such as the now-defunct International Socialist Organization, which systematically worked to downplay the role played by the extreme right and the US State Department in the creation of this "revolution."

The results of the 2014 coup for the working class have been nothing less than catastrophic. In the past five years, the Poroshenko regime has stood at the forefront of the imperialist military buildup against Russia. Ukrainian military spending has risen to a staggering 6 percent of GDP.

The systematic ratcheting up of tensions with Russia by the Kiev regime, most recently with its reckless provocation in the Azov Sea, have dramatically heightened the danger of a full-scale war in Europe, which could quickly escalate into another world war. The ongoing civil war in the Eastern Ukraine has cost the lives of over 13,000 people.

At the same time, the Ukrainian oligarchy has undertaken the most far-reaching attacks on the already low living standards of the Ukrainian working class since the restoration of capitalism. Almost one million Ukrainians are now living on the brink of starvation; tens of thousands are left to freeze in the winter .

For the implementation of these policies, the Poroshenko regime mobilized fascist forces such as the notorious Azov battalion. The glorification of the Nazi collaborators of the UPA and the OUN-B, which massacred thousands of Jews, Poles and Ukrainians during World War II, has become official state policy. References to communism and symbols of the Soviet Red Army, which defeated the Nazis in the war, have been criminalized. Russian artists and works of art have been banned from entering the country.

It is these conditions that propelled the vast majority of the Ukrainian population to either abstain from the elections -- the voter turnout was just 62 percent -- or vote for Zelensky. Poroshenko was unable to garner any significant support outside a small province in West Ukraine and the district in Kiev where the country's super rich reside.

Yet whatever his appeals to antiwar sentiments and the enormous anger about social austerity during the campaign, Zelensky will defend the interests of the Ukrainian oligarchy against the working class, and work in alliance with imperialism.

Throughout the entire election campaign, Zelensky deliberately concealed his real political and economic agenda. He instead relied almost exclusively on demagogic appeals to the widespread hatred of Poroshenko. During the campaign, Zelensky made promises to enter direct negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin for a peaceful settlement of the war in East Ukraine. Yet in an interview published days before the election, he called Putin an "enemy" and stated that it was "perfectly fine and great" that people considered the Nazi collaborator Bandera as a "hero."

On April 12, Zelensky met with French President Emmanuel Macron. His team has hired a PR firm in Washington to arrange meetings with officials of the Trump administration and influential think tank figures. Zelensky also maintains close connections to the oligarch Ihor Kolkomoisky, and now seeks to work together with Mikheil Saakashvili, the former president of Georgia, who had been installed through a US-backed "color revolution."...

... ... ...

Clara Weiss

[Apr 28, 2019] As a Russian, I feel disgust at our leaders who squandered all of Russia's historic influence on the Ukraine and gave up

That completely wrong. You can't prevent the "march of history" even if you understand that it is directed against you. The collapse of the USSR put in motion forces for the revolution of the results of WWII. And EuroMaydan like previously Baltic states "Maidans" were the direct result of this dissolution and changed balance of power in Europe with EU now being the dominant force and the USA dominant geopolitical force.
Still it is true that Ukraine EuroMaydan was the major Putin's defeat and the major victory of the US neocons in general and Obama as the President in particular. It might well be that this was inevitable as the trajectory of post-soviet republic is reliable move toward anti-Russian stance as a side effect of obtaining the independence, but still this was a defeat. It was actually Yanukovich who encouraged and helped to organized and finance far right forces and the Party in Ukraine. such a pro-Russian President as fame news media in the USA and GB like to describe him
Poroshenko was the USA SOB. The USA allowed Zelensky to run for office, and allowed him to win. Zelensky is most probably another USA SOB, although only time will tell. Comedians are usually are people with very high IQ who see the absurdity of the current life in Ukraine and Poroshenko regime more clearly then others. The question is whether he will be allowed to do something about it by the USA and EU, who control Ukraine both politically and financially. Biden story of dismissal of the General Prosecutor of Ukraine (who tried to procedure the firm Biden son got money from ) with ease tells us something about the nature of the current governance of Ukraine: is is not even a vassal state -- it is a colony.
Nuland success in pushing Ukrainian nationalists to arm uprising against Yanukovich (pissing EU which signed a treaty with Yanukovich about holding elections, which he would certanly lose, a day before) also can be explained that at this point the USA controlled vital centers of Ukrainian political power including intelligence agencies, several oligarchs (Poroshenko is one; Timoshenko is another) and, especially, media. In Ukraine Western NGO have the status of diplomatic missions (with corresponding immunity), so in no way such a country can be independent in any meaningful sense of this word.
But craziness, aggressiveness and recklessness of the US neocons, who now practice old imperial "might makes right" mode of operation, gives the world some hope. They most probably will burn the USA geological power it acquired after the dissolution of the USSR sooner then many expect. Like look at Bolton and Pompeo recent actions.
Notable quotes:
"... "For better or for worse, Putin has put an end to oligarch rule in Russia. Members of Putin's inner circle may be immensely rich, but they know to whom they owe their wealth. By imprisoning Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Putin sent a clear message to the all-powerful oligarchs that controlled Russia during former president Boris Yeltsin's time: stay out of politics." ..."
Apr 28, 2019 | www.unz.com

Felix Keverich , says: April 25, 2019 at 7:27 am GMT

The main feeling about the entire topic of the Ukraine is one of total disgust, a gradual and painful realization of the fact that our so-called "brothers" are brothers only in the sense of the biblical Cain and the acceptance that there is nobody to talk to in Kiev.

Russia likes to fashion itself as a "great power". A real great power should have been able to insert itself in Ukrainian politics, regardless of any brotherly feelings – you know, like US did.

As a Russian, I feel disgust at our leaders who squandered all of Russia's historic influence on the Ukraine and gave up – poor neo-Soviet dinosaurs got completely outmaneuvered.

aleksandar , says: April 28, 2019 at 7:49 am GMT
@Kiza Read
Try to understand
Read it again
Try to understand
Read it again
Try to understand
"For better or for worse, Putin has put an end to oligarch rule in Russia. Members of Putin's inner circle may be immensely rich, but they know to whom they owe their wealth. By imprisoning Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Putin sent a clear message to the all-powerful oligarchs that controlled Russia during former president Boris Yeltsin's time: stay out of politics."

Vladimir Golstein, professor of Slavic studies at Brown University. He was born in Moscow and emigrated to the United States in 1979.

[Apr 28, 2019] Hi my name is Donald J Trump and I approve this message

Apr 28, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

donkeytale , Apr 28, 2019 10:01:00 AM | link

"Hi my name is Donald J Trump and I approve this message."

[Apr 28, 2019] Let's give the new guy a little time. He actually gave an encouraging sign or two during his campaign if you were paying attention.

Apr 28, 2019 | www.unz.com

JOHN CHUCKMAN , says: Website April 28, 2019 at 2:22 pm GMT

Oh, I do think the author might just be a trifle premature and overly pessimistic.

Let's give the new guy a little time. He actually gave an encouraging sign or two during his campaign if you were paying attention.

Readers may enjoy these related analyses:

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2019/04/23/john-chuckman-comment-how-fitting-that-a-comedian-should-be-elected-president-of-ukraine-a-country-reduced-to-a-shambles-by-incompetence-there-are-hints-he-may-try-something-worthwhile-expect-u/

https://chuckmanwordsincomments.wordpress.com/2019/04/27/john-chuckman-comment-meaning-of-putins-easing-of-applications-for-residents-of-breakaway-russian-speaking-eastern-ukraine-donbass-to-apply-for-russian-passports-its-not-really-what-the-autho/

[Apr 28, 2019] Will Poroshenko be jailed for corruption, or the USA will be able to prevent this

There are several crimes for which Poroshenko can be investigated and the USA can do nothing about: one is Odessa massacre which supposedly was financed by Poroshenko. And Kolomysky was also involved so it remain to be seen if this issues will be raised. Also the power of far right forces in Ukraine is such that just raising this question might be equal to treason in the eyes of Ukrainian nationalists. Because such powerful figures as Avakov and Parubiy were also involved.
Notable quotes:
"... Ukrainians don’t give a shit about the Poro regime, and are perfectly willing to see it incarcerated. Nor do NatsBatalions really crave to be seen as puppets of DC, Kolo, or Israel, or Brussels. Your take is really simplistic here. ..."
Apr 28, 2019 | www.unz.com

AmRusDebate , says: April 25, 2019 at 12:04 pm GMT

Kolomoisky. Kolomoisky! Kolomoisky!

you are in fantasy land....

... ... ...

The West is concerned with protecting Poro. Based on WSJ editorials, obsequious legations to manlet Macron. None of that means jack shit.

DC will have to exercise real power to prevent a cleaning of the house. Word are words. Rumors are rumors. Z. will act within his mandate and limits placed by rabid opposition. He will act in keeping with rational need to not fight a US-backed congress, to get shot in the streets for things too radical. Majority of Ukrainians will be happy to see Poro in prison. DC can keep this from happening not with words, but with bullets. Strana can claim what it wants, its claims are patent garbage.

Ukrainians don’t give a shit about the Poro regime, and are perfectly willing to see it incarcerated. Nor do NatsBatalions really crave to be seen as puppets of DC, Kolo, or Israel, or Brussels. Your take is really simplistic here.

... ... ...

Z. does have a party. The elections for the Ukranian Parliament is in September. His party, as a matter of fact, is leading in opinion polls.
https://ria.ru/20190416/1552741067.html And it is doing so together with the party of Boiko.

Logically then, given enough time/space Z. should be in a position to pursue necessary policies end of the year.


peter mcloughlin , says: April 25, 2019 at 1:34 pm GMT

‘The truth is nobody knows what will happen next…There are just too many parameters to consider, and the real balance of power following this election has not manifested itself yet’, as The Saker forebodingly warns. The pattern of history suggests the continent is heading for another world war. https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/
The course of events in Europe and globally predict things will only get worse. Like The Saker, ‘I also very much hope that I am wrong.’
Matthiew , says: April 25, 2019 at 1:42 pm GMT
A good article by Adam Garrie

“Russia and Ukraine can finally agree on something. Friendly relations with Israel”

https://eurasiafuture.com/2019/04/21/russia-and-ukraine-can-finally-agree-on-something-friendly-relations-with-israel/

Digital Samizdat , says: April 28, 2019 at 6:31 pm GMT
Am I the only one here who sees a fundamental inconsistency between the following two statements?

Thus, Poroshenko with his immense wealth and his connections can still be a useful tool for the Empire’s control of the Ukraine.

And:

I tend to believe that Poroshenko has outlived his usefulness for the AngloZionists because he became an overnight political corpse.

So which is it, Saker? Is Porky still useful to the AZs or not?

This reminds me of the old joke about economists who can never venture a prediction without saying “one the hand … but on the other hand …”

[Apr 28, 2019] The US gave personal security guarantees to Poroshenko

Notable quotes:
"... Finally, there is Vladimir Groisman, the current prime minister who has kept a very low profile, ..."
"... He might make a much more effective Ukrainian Gauleiter for the Empire than either Poroshenko or Zelenskii. ..."
"... And let's not forget Avakov and Parubii, who are both soaked in innocent blood, and who will try to hold on to their considerable power by using the various Nazi death-squads under their control. ..."
"... there is still the formidable (and relatively popular) Iulia Timoshenko whose political ambitions need to be kept in check. Thus, Poroshenko with his immense wealth and his connections can still be a useful tool for the Empire's control of the Ukraine. ..."
"... The western calculus might also be wrong: for one thing, Zelenskii cannot deliver anything meaningful to the Ukrainian people, most definitely not prosperity or honesty. Pretty soon the Ukrainian people will wake up to realize that when they elected the "new face" of Zelenskii, they ended up with the "not new" face of Kolomoiskii and everything that infamous name entails. ..."
"... Poroshenko's power base is very rapidly eroding because nobody wants to go down with him. I tend to believe that Poroshenko has outlived his usefulness for the AngloZionists because he became an overnight political corpse. But this is the Ukraine, so never say never. ..."
"... Russians have been extremely cautious, and nobody seems to harbor any illusions about Zelenskii. In fact, just a day after his election Zelenskii is already making all sorts of anti-Russian statements. ..."
"... Slap further economic sanctions on the Ukraine (Russia has just banned the export of energy sources to the Ukraine – finally and at last!). ..."
"... The truth is that nobody knows what will happen next, not even Kolomoiskii or Zelenskii himself. There are just too many parameters to consider, and the real balance of power following this election has not manifested itself yet. As for the true aspirations and hopes of the people of the Ukraine, they were utterly ignored: Poroshenko will be replaced by Kolomoiskii, wearing the mask of Zelenskii. Hardly a reason to rejoice ..."
"... But will Zelenskii turn out to be any better? I very much doubt it, even though I also very much hope that I am wrong. ..."
Apr 28, 2019 | strana.ua

As everybody predicted, Poroshenko completely lost the election. As I wrote in my previous column, this is both amazing (considering Poro’s immense and extensive resources and the fact that his opponent was, literally, a clown (ok, a comic if you prefer). His defeat was also so predictable as to be almost inevitable: not only is the man genuinely hated all over the Ukraine (except for the Nazi crackpots of the Lvov region), but he made fatal blunders which made him even more detestable than usual.

Now one could sympathize with Poroshenko: not only did this “Putin the boogeyman” appear to work fantastically well with the main sponsors of the Ukronazi coup and with the legacy Ziomedia, but nobody dared to tell Poroshenko that most Ukrainians were not buying that nonsense at all. The suggestion that all the other candidates are Putin agents is no less ridiculous. The thin veneer of deniability Poroshenko had devised (the poster was not put up by the official Poroshenko campaign but by “volunteers”) failed, everybody immediately saw through it all, and this resulted in Poro’s first big campaign faceplant.

Next came this disaster:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/TYc63d9SvrM

Again, this was not officially Poroshenko’s campaign which made this video, but everybody saw through this one too. The quasi-open threat to murder Zelenskii was received with horror in the Ukraine, and this PR-disaster was Poro’s second faceplant.

Then the poor man “lost it.” I won’t list all the stupid and ridiculous things the man said and did, but I will say that his performance at the much-anticipated debate in the stadium was a disaster too.

The writing had been on the wall for a while now, and this is why the two candidates were summoned to speak to their masters (face to face in Germany and France, by phone with Mr. MAGA) and they were told a few things:

The western calculus is simple: try to keep Poroshenko alive (figuratively and politically) and to see how much of the Rada he can keep. Furthermore, since Zelenskii is extremely weak (he has no personal power base of any kind), Kolomoiskii will have him do exactly as he is told and Kolomoiskii can easily be told to behave by the Empire.

Finally, there is Vladimir Groisman, the current prime minister who has kept a very low profile, who does NOT have blood on his hands (at least when compared to thugs like Turchinov or Avakov) and who has not made any move which would blacklist him with the Kremlin. Groisman is also a Jew (Israel and the Ukraine are now the two countries on the planet in which both the President and the Prime-Minister are Jews; ironic considering the historical lovefest between Jews and Ukrainian nationalists ). He might make a much more effective Ukrainian Gauleiter for the Empire than either Poroshenko or Zelenskii. For the time being, Goisman has already ditched Poroshenko's party and is creating his own.

And let's not forget Avakov and Parubii, who are both soaked in innocent blood, and who will try to hold on to their considerable power by using the various Nazi death-squads under their control. Finally, there is still the formidable (and relatively popular) Iulia Timoshenko whose political ambitions need to be kept in check. Thus, Poroshenko with his immense wealth and his connections can still be a useful tool for the Empire's control of the Ukraine.

The western calculus might also be wrong: for one thing, Zelenskii cannot deliver anything meaningful to the Ukrainian people, most definitely not prosperity or honesty. Pretty soon the Ukrainian people will wake up to realize that when they elected the "new face" of Zelenskii, they ended up with the "not new" face of Kolomoiskii and everything that infamous name entails.

Zelenskii might not have another option than to jail Poroshenko, which he semi-promised to do during the stadium debate. Except that now Zelenskii is saying that he will consult with Poroshenko and might even use him in some official capacity. Yes, campaign promises in the Ukraine are never kept for more than the time it takes to make them. Finally, Poroshenko's power base is very rapidly eroding because nobody wants to go down with him. I tend to believe that Poroshenko has outlived his usefulness for the AngloZionists because he became an overnight political corpse. But this is the Ukraine, so never say never.

Finally, the Empire is also pushing for a reform of the Ukrainian political system to give less powers to the President and more to the Rada. Again, this makes sense considering that Zelenskii is an unknown actor and considering the fact that Rada members are basically on the US payroll (across all parties and factions).

What about Russia in all this?

Well, the Russians have been extremely cautious, and nobody seems to harbor any illusions about Zelenskii. In fact, just a day after his election Zelenskii is already making all sorts of anti-Russian statements. Truly, besides the logical implication of Poroshenko's poster (that a defeat for him would mean a victory for Putin), nobody in Russia is celebrating. The main feeling about the entire topic of the Ukraine is one of total disgust, a gradual and painful realization of the fact that our so-called "brothers" are brothers only in the sense of the biblical Cain and the acceptance that there is nobody to talk to in Kiev. Thus Russia will have to embark on a policy of unilateral actions towards the Ukraine. These could include:

So far, Russian spokespeople have just said that they "respected the vote of the Ukrainian people" and that they will judge Zelenskii "on his actions, not his words". This approach sure seems balanced and reasonable to me.

Conclusion:

The truth is that nobody knows what will happen next, not even Kolomoiskii or Zelenskii himself. There are just too many parameters to consider, and the real balance of power following this election has not manifested itself yet. As for the true aspirations and hopes of the people of the Ukraine, they were utterly ignored: Poroshenko will be replaced by Kolomoiskii, wearing the mask of Zelenskii. Hardly a reason to rejoice

In spite of the large number of electoral candidates, the people of the Ukraine were not given a meaningful choice. So they did the only thing they could do: they voted to kick Poroshenko out. And that sure must have felt great.

But will Zelenskii turn out to be any better? I very much doubt it, even though I also very much hope that I am wrong.

[Apr 28, 2019] Ukraine vs the USA

Apr 28, 2019 | www.unz.com

MarkinPNW , says: April 24, 2019 at 7:14 pm GMT

A clown beat a high profile member of the established political class, due most likely to the voters being disgusted by said political class? Uhmm, where have we seen this before?

[Apr 27, 2019] America will always pick and choose the leaders it props up and tears down. It never was and never will be for humanitarian reasons -- that is a clever veil.

Notable quotes:
"... Why have we supported Nguema, Karimov, and Kagame but not the ones who are thorns in our sides? The reasons are obvious. It's not the lives of their citizens - it's power for the elite class. We intervene abroad because we want to further the interest of the wealthy. ..."
"... America will always pick and choose the leaders it props up and tears down. It never was and never will be for humanitarian reasons -- that is a clever veil. We denounce ethnic cleansing and then fund it. We call for free elections and then support Pinochet, Stroessner, and Videla. ..."
"... Opposing war is a noble and courageous act, and there will always be smears. Opposing war isn't supporting dictators; it's opposing death and destruction in the service of the wealthy. Never believe what they tell you about why they're sending your kids to die. Never. ..."
Apr 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Idealistic Realist , Apr 27, 2019 1:24:45 PM | link

Best analysis by a candidate for POTUS ever:

American foreign policy is not a failure. To comfort themselves, observers often say that our leaders -- presidents, advisors, generals -- don't know what they're doing. They do know. Their agenda just isn't what we like to imagine it is.

To quote Michael Parenti: "US policy is not filled with contradictions and inconsistencies. It has performed brilliantly and steadily in the service of those who own most of the world and who want to own all of it."

The vision of our leaders as bunglers, while more accurate than the image of them as valiant public servants, is less accurate and more rose-tinted than the closest approximation of the truth, which is that they are servants of their class interest. That is why we go to war.

Those who buy the elite class's foreign policy BS, about the Emmanuel Goldsteins they conjure up every three years, are fools. Obviously Hussein and Milošević were bad; but "government bad" does not mean we must invade. Wars occur for economic, not humanitarian, reasons.

  • Teodoro Obiang Nguema, the president of Equatorial Guinea, is a kleptocrat, murderer, and alleged cannibal. This is him and his wife with Barack and Michelle Obama.
  • Islam Karimov, the president of Uzbekistan, was said to have boiled political prisoners to death, massacred hundreds of prisoners, and made torture an institution. This is him with John Kerry.
  • Paul Kagame, the president of Rwanda, has been involved in the assassination of political opponents, perpetrated obvious election fraud, and had his term extended until 2034. This is him with Barack and Michelle Obama.

Why have we supported Nguema, Karimov, and Kagame but not the ones who are thorns in our sides? The reasons are obvious. It's not the lives of their citizens - it's power for the elite class. We intervene abroad because we want to further the interest of the wealthy.

America will always pick and choose the leaders it props up and tears down. It never was and never will be for humanitarian reasons -- that is a clever veil. We denounce ethnic cleansing and then fund it. We call for free elections and then support Pinochet, Stroessner, and Videla.

Opposing war is a noble and courageous act, and there will always be smears. Opposing war isn't supporting dictators; it's opposing death and destruction in the service of the wealthy. Never believe what they tell you about why they're sending your kids to die. Never.

Mike Gravel

[Apr 27, 2019] Why Ukraine's Comedian President Is Likely to Be More Joke Than Solution -- Strategic Culture

Zelensky doers not matter much. Other people will define Ukraine both internal and foreign policy.
Notable quotes:
"... The ordinary Ukrainian people are so sick and tired of the militaristic nationalism as well as endemic corruption in Kiev that they voted for someone, anyone, who appears slightly more reasonable. ..."
"... Zelensky has called for direct talks with Russia to help bring about a political settlement. Potentially, this apparently more engaged attitude in Kiev could be key to restoring peace in the region and furthermore resume normal relations with Russia. Moscow has given a cautious welcome to these developments. His landslide victory is certainly a stunning popular repudiation of the anti-Russian mentality of his predecessor, Petro Poroshenko. ..."
"... This suggests that the new Ukrainian president is a "Poroshenko-Lite". The only change is a softening of the anti-Russian rhetoric that has so dominated the Kiev regime since the 2014 CIA-backed coup which ushered in Poroshenko's presidency ..."
"... Moscow is therefore correct to express caution in the political significance of the new Ukrainian president. The Kremlin said it will await substantive action and policy changes, rather than basing its judgment on the vapid words of a TV star-turned-politician ..."
"... Perhaps the clearest conclusion to be drawn is that Ukrainian citizens expressed not so much support for Zelensky – how could they when his manifesto was so utterly vacuous? – but rather his landslide victory was a massive repudiation of the incumbent president and the anti-Russia mentality in Kiev that was such a hallmark of Poroshenko's presidency. ..."
"... For the past five years, the Kiev-dominated Ukrainian state has been nothing but a puppet regime for Washington, NATO and to a lesser extent the European Union. It has served as a spearhead against Russia with vile provocations and slander. It is in fact an abomination of international law and democratic principles. ..."
"... The problem lies in Kiev being a puppet regime for Washington which functions to push an anti-Russia geopolitical agenda. Zelensky is not a solution; his turn at the presidency is merely an intermission break from the ongoing calamity that is Ukraine. ..."
"... The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation. ..."
Apr 27, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org

The ordinary Ukrainian people are so sick and tired of the militaristic nationalism as well as endemic corruption in Kiev that they voted for someone, anyone, who appears slightly more reasonable.

The stunning victory of TV funny man Vladimir Zelensky in Ukraine's presidential elections has tempted notions of a new opportunity to resolve the conflict in eastern Donbas region. The ongoing war has crippled the entire country, caused over 13,000 deaths and resulted in nearly one million people displaced from their homes.

Zelensky has called for direct talks with Russia to help bring about a political settlement. Potentially, this apparently more engaged attitude in Kiev could be key to restoring peace in the region and furthermore resume normal relations with Russia. Moscow has given a cautious welcome to these developments. His landslide victory is certainly a stunning popular repudiation of the anti-Russian mentality of his predecessor, Petro Poroshenko.

But there are so many contradictions and paradoxes in Ukraine's recent presidential election and its outcome that expectations should be reserved.

For a start, the 41-year-old Zelensky who is a popular TV comedian is a complete political novice. His entire election campaign was vacant in any policy detail. Yes, he did say he wanted to hold direct talks with Moscow to end the nearly five-year war in eastern Ukraine between state forces and pro-Russian separatists. But then only days before his election, Zelensky disparaged Russia as an "aggressor" and described Russian President Vladimir Putin as an "enemy".

The move this week by Russia to grant citizenship to ethnic Russian people from Ukraine's breakaway Donbas region was roundly condemned by Washington and the European Union as undermining Ukraine's sovereignty. Moscow said it was merely fulfilling internationally recognized legal rights of people with Russian heritage. In any case, Zelensky also joined in the ill-considered condemnations against Russia over its passport move.

This suggests that the new Ukrainian president is a "Poroshenko-Lite". The only change is a softening of the anti-Russian rhetoric that has so dominated the Kiev regime since the 2014 CIA-backed coup which ushered in Poroshenko's presidency.

Zelensky has talked previously about implementing the Minsk peace accords signed in 2015, yet he has also contradicted himself by saying he will not grant the Donbas political autonomy or accede to an amnesty for combatants – meaning the war against the ethnic Russian population by the Russophobic Kiev regime will continue. He also – shamefully – made public comments apparently valorizing the Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera and the latter's fascist followers.

Moscow is therefore correct to express caution in the political significance of the new Ukrainian president. The Kremlin said it will await substantive action and policy changes, rather than basing its judgment on the vapid words of a TV star-turned-politician. There is an analogy here with US President Donald Trump and how his ascent to the White House changed nothing in Washington's hostile policy towards Russia.

Perhaps the clearest conclusion to be drawn is that Ukrainian citizens expressed not so much support for Zelensky – how could they when his manifesto was so utterly vacuous? – but rather his landslide victory was a massive repudiation of the incumbent president and the anti-Russia mentality in Kiev that was such a hallmark of Poroshenko's presidency.

In other words, the ordinary Ukrainian people are so sick and tired of the militaristic nationalism as well as endemic corruption in Kiev that they voted for someone, anyone, who appears slightly more reasonable. Even if that candidate is a comedian with no political vision.

For the past five years, the Kiev-dominated Ukrainian state has been nothing but a puppet regime for Washington, NATO and to a lesser extent the European Union. It has served as a spearhead against Russia with vile provocations and slander. It is in fact an abomination of international law and democratic principles.

There is no sign that things will change fundamentally under this new president in spite of his seemingly more reasonable rhetoric. The hopes of Ukrainians for economic improvement, elimination of corruption by oligarchs and normalization of relations with their compatriots in Donbas and with Russia will likely be dashed. Voting for comedian Vladimir Zelensky as some kind of savior for their numerous woes could turn out to be a very cruel joke.

The problem lies in Kiev being a puppet regime for Washington which functions to push an anti-Russia geopolitical agenda. Zelensky is not a solution; his turn at the presidency is merely an intermission break from the ongoing calamity that is Ukraine. The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.

Tags: European Union Poroshenko Ukraine Zelensky

[Apr 27, 2019] Ukraine Tapped By Obama Admin To Hurt Trump, Help Clinton And Protect Biden

What other options that full cooperation Poroshenko, being the US marionette has?
Apr 27, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
In January, 2016, the Obama White House summoned Ukrainian authorities to Washington to discuss several ongoing matters under the guise of coordinating "anti-corruption efforts," reports The Hill 's John Solomon.

The January 2016 gathering, confirmed by multiple participants and contemporaneous memos, brought some of Ukraine's top corruption prosecutors and investigators face to face with members of former President Obama's National Security Council (NSC), FBI, State Department and Department of Justice (DOJ).

The agenda suggested the purpose was training and coordination. But Ukrainian participants said it didn't take long -- during the meetings and afterward -- to realize the Americans' objectives included two politically hot investigations: one that touched Vice President Joe Biden's family and one that involved a lobbying firm linked closely to then-candidate Trump . - The Hill

The Obama officials - likely knowing that lobbyist Paul Manafort was about to join President Trump's campaign soon (he joined that March), were interested in reviving a closed investigation into payments to US figures from Ukraine's pro-Russia Party of Regions - which both Paul Manafort and Tony Podesta did unregistered work for, according to former Ukrainian Embassy political officer Andrii Telizhenko.

The 2014 investigation focused heavily on Manafort , whose firm was tied to Trump through his longtime partner and Trump adviser, Roger Stone.

Agents interviewed Manafort in 2014 about whether he received undeclared payments from the party of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych , an ally of Russia's Vladimir Putin , and whether he engaged in improper foreign lobbying.

The FBI shut down the case without charging Manafort

Telizhenko and other attendees of the January, 2016 meeting recall DOJ employees asking Ukrainian investigators from their National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) if they could locate new evidence about the Party of Regions' payments to Americans .

"It was definitely the case that led to the charges against Manafort and the leak to U.S. media during the 2016 election," said Telizhenko - which makes the January 2016 gathering in DC one of the earliest documented efforts to compile a case against Trump and those in his orbit.

Nazar Kholodnytskyy, Ukraine's chief anti-corruption prosecutor , told me he attended some but not all of the January 2016 Washington meetings and couldn't remember the specific cases, if any, that were discussed.

But he said he soon saw evidence in Ukraine of political meddling in the U.S. election . Kholodnytskyy said the key evidence against Manafort -- a ledger showing payments from the Party of Regions -- was known to Ukrainian authorities since 2014 but was suddenly released in May 2016 by the U.S.-friendly NABU , after Manafort was named Trump's campaign chairman.

"Somebody kept this black ledger secret for two years and then showed it to the public and the U.S. media. It was extremely suspicious," said Kholodnytskyy - who specifically instructed NABU not to share the "black ledger" with the media.

"I ordered the detectives to give nothing to the mass media considering this case. Instead, they had broken my order and published themselves these one or two pages of this black ledger regarding Paul Manafort," he added. "For me it was the first call that something was going wrong and that there is some external influence in this case. And there is some other interests in this case not in the interest of the investigation and a fair trial."

Manafort joined Trump's campaign on March 29, 2016 and became campaign manager on May 19, 2016. The ledger's existence leaked on May 29, 2016, while Manafort would be fired from the Trump campaign that August.

NABU leaked the existence of the ledgers on May 29, 2016. Later that summer, it told U.S. media the ledgers showed payments to Manafort, a revelation that forced him to resign from the campaign in August 2016.

A Ukrainian court in December concluded NABU's release of the ledger was an illegal attempt to influence the U.S. election. And a member of Ukraine's parliament has released a recording of a NABU official saying the agency released the ledger to help Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's campaign.

me title=

Ignoring others, protecting Bidens

Kostiantyn Kulyk - deputy head of the Ukraine prosecutor general's international affairs office, said that Ukraine also had evidence of other Western figures receiving money from Yanukovych's party - such as former Obama White House counsel Gregory Craig - but the Americans weren't interested.

"They just discussed Manafort. This was all and only what they wanted. Nobody else," said Kulyk.

Another case raised at the January 2016 meeting involved the Bidens - specifically Burisma Holdings; a Ukrainian energy company which was under investigation at the time for improper foreign transfers of money. Burisma allegedly paid then-Vice President Joe Biden's son Hunter more than $3 million in 2014-15 as both a board member and a consultant, according to bank records .

According to Telizhenko, U.S. officials told the Ukrainians they would prefer that Kiev drop the Burisma probe and allow the FBI to take it over . The Ukrainians did not agree. But then Joe Biden pressured Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to fire Ukraine's chief prosecutor in March 2016 , as I previously reported. The Burisma case was transferred to NABU, then shut down.

The Ukrainian Embassy in Washington on Thursday confirmed the Obama administration requested the meetings in January 2016, but embassy representatives attended only some of the sessions.

Last Wednesday on Fox and Friends, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani said " I ask you to keep your eye on Ukraine ," referring to collusion to help Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election .

https://www.youtube.com/embed/FDtg8z12Q7s?start=182

What's more, DOJ documents support Telizhenko's claim that the DOJ reopened its Manafort case as the 2016 election ramped up - including communications between Associate Attorney General Bruce Ohr, his wife, Nellie, and ex-British spy Christopher Steele, as Solomon writes.

Nellie Ohr and Steele worked in 2016 for the research firm, Fusion GPS, that was hired by Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to find Russia dirt on Trump. Steele wrote the famous dossier for Fusion that the FBI used to gain a warrant to spy on the Trump campaign. Nellie Ohr admitted to Congress that she routed Russia dirt on Trump from Fusion to the DOJ through her husband during the election.

DOJ emails show Nellie Ohr on May 30, 2016, directly alerted her husband and two DOJ prosecutors specializing in international crimes to the discovery of the "black ledger" documents that led to Manafort's prosecution.

"Reported Trove of documents on Ukrainian Party of Regions' Black Cashbox," Nellie Ohr wrote to her husband and federal prosecutors Lisa Holtyn and Joseph Wheatley, attaching a news article on the announcement of NABU's release of the documents.

Politico reported previously that the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington assisted the Hillary Clinton campaign through a DNC contractor, while the Ukrainian Embassy acknowledges that it got requests from a DNC staffer to find dirt on Manafort (though it denies providing any improper assistance."

As Solomon concludes: "what is already confirmed by Ukrainians looks a lot more like assertive collusion with a foreign power than anything detailed in the Mueller report ."

[Apr 26, 2019] How the Obama White House engaged Ukraine to give Russia collusion narrative an early boost by John Solomon

Notable quotes:
"... Nazar Kholodnytskyy, Ukraine's chief anti-corruption prosecutor, told me he attended some but not all of the January 2016 Washington meetings and couldn't remember the specific cases, if any, that were discussed. ..."
"... But he said he soon saw evidence in Ukraine of political meddling in the U.S. election . Kholodnytskyy said the key evidence against Manafort -- a ledger showing payments from the Party of Regions -- was known to Ukrainian authorities since 2014 but was suddenly released in May 2016 by the U.S.-friendly NABU, after Manafort was named Trump's campaign chairman: "Somebody kept this black ledger secret for two years and then showed it to the public and the U.S. media. It was extremely suspicious." ..."
"... "I ordered the detectives to give nothing to the mass media considering this case. Instead, they had broken my order and published themselves these one or two pages of this black ledger regarding Paul Manafort." ..."
"... Kulyk said Ukrainian authorities had evidence that other Western figures , such as former Obama White House counsel Gregory Craig, also received money from Yanukovych's party. But the Americans weren't interested: "They just discussed Manafort. This was all and only what they wanted. Nobody else." ..."
"... According to Telizhenko, U.S. officials told the Ukrainians they would prefer that Kiev drop the Burisma probe and allow the FBI to take it over. The Ukrainians did not agree. But then Joe Biden pressured Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to fire Ukraine's chief prosecutor in March 2016, as I previously reported. The Burisma case was transferred to NABU, then shut down. ..."
"... The Ukrainian Embassy in Washington on Thursday confirmed the Obama administration requested the meetings in January 2016, but embassy representatives attended only some of the sessions. ..."
"... But Telizhenko's claim that the DOJ reopened its Manafort probe as the 2016 election ramped up is supported by the DOJ's own documents, including communications involving Associate Attorney General Bruce Ohr, his wife, Nellie, and ex-British spy Christopher Steele. ..."
"... DOJ emails show Nellie Ohr on May 30, 2016, directly alerted her husband and two DOJ prosecutors specializing in international crimes to the discovery of the "black ledger" documents that led to Manafort's prosecution. ..."
"... The efforts eventually led to a September 2016 meeting in which the FBI asked Deripaska if he could help prove Manafort was helping Trump collude with Russia. Deripaska laughed off the notion as preposterous. ..."
"... Now we have more concrete evidence that the larger Ukrainian government also was being pressed by the Obama administration to help build the Russia collusion narrative. And that onion is only beginning to be peeled. ..."
"... But what is already confirmed by Ukrainians looks a lot more like assertive collusion with a foreign power than anything detailed in the Mueller report . ..."
Apr 26, 2019 | thehill.com

As Donald Trump began his meteoric rise to the presidency, the Obama White House summoned Ukrainian authorities to Washington to coordinate ongoing anti-corruption efforts inside Russia's most critical neighbor.

The January 2016 gathering, confirmed by multiple participants and contemporaneous memos, brought some of Ukraine's top corruption prosecutors and investigators face to face with members of former President Obama's National Security Council (NSC), FBI, State Department and Department of Justice (DOJ).

That makes the January 2016 meeting one of the earliest documented efforts to build the now-debunked Trump-Russia collusion narrative and one of the first to involve the Obama administration's intervention.

Spokespeople for the NSC, DOJ and FBI declined to comment. A representative for former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice did not return emails seeking comment.

Nazar Kholodnytskyy, Ukraine's chief anti-corruption prosecutor, told me he attended some but not all of the January 2016 Washington meetings and couldn't remember the specific cases, if any, that were discussed.

But he said he soon saw evidence in Ukraine of political meddling in the U.S. election . Kholodnytskyy said the key evidence against Manafort -- a ledger showing payments from the Party of Regions -- was known to Ukrainian authorities since 2014 but was suddenly released in May 2016 by the U.S.-friendly NABU, after Manafort was named Trump's campaign chairman: "Somebody kept this black ledger secret for two years and then showed it to the public and the U.S. media. It was extremely suspicious."

Kholodnytskyy said he explicitly instructed NABU investigators who were working with American authorities not to share the ledger with the media. "Look, Manafort's case is one of the cases that hurt me a lot," he said.

"I ordered the detectives to give nothing to the mass media considering this case. Instead, they had broken my order and published themselves these one or two pages of this black ledger regarding Paul Manafort."

"For me it was the first call that something was going wrong and that there is some external influence in this case. And there is some other interests in this case not in the interest of the investigation and a fair trial," he added.

Kostiantyn Kulyk, deputy head of the Ukraine prosecutor general's international affairs office, said that, shortly after Ukrainian authorities returned from the Washington meeting, there was a clear message about helping the Americans with the Party of the Regions case.

"Yes, there was a lot of talking about needing help and then the ledger just appeared in public," he recalled.

Kulyk said Ukrainian authorities had evidence that other Western figures , such as former Obama White House counsel Gregory Craig, also received money from Yanukovych's party. But the Americans weren't interested: "They just discussed Manafort. This was all and only what they wanted. Nobody else."

Manafort joined Trump's campaign on March 29, 2016, and then was promoted to campaign chairman on May 19, 2016.

NABU leaked the existence of the ledgers on May 29, 2016. Later that summer, it told U.S. media the ledgers showed payments to Manafort, a revelation that forced him to resign from the campaign in August 2016.

A Ukrainian court in December concluded NABU's release of the ledger was an illegal attempt to influence the U.S. election. And a member of Ukraine's parliament has released a recording of a NABU official saying the agency released the ledger to help Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's campaign.

The other case raised at the January 2016 meeting, Telizhenko said, involved Burisma Holdings , a Ukrainian energy company under investigation in Ukraine for improper foreign transfers of money. At the time, Burisma allegedly was paying then-Vice President Joe Biden's son Hunter as both a board member and a consultant. More than $3 million flowed from Ukraine to an American firm tied to Hunter Biden in 2014-15, bank records show .

According to Telizhenko, U.S. officials told the Ukrainians they would prefer that Kiev drop the Burisma probe and allow the FBI to take it over. The Ukrainians did not agree. But then Joe Biden pressured Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to fire Ukraine's chief prosecutor in March 2016, as I previously reported. The Burisma case was transferred to NABU, then shut down.

The Ukrainian Embassy in Washington on Thursday confirmed the Obama administration requested the meetings in January 2016, but embassy representatives attended only some of the sessions.

"Unfortunately, the Embassy of Ukraine in Washington, D.C., was not invited to join the DOJ and other law enforcement-sector meetings," it said. It said it had no record that the Party of Regions or Burisma cases came up in the meetings it did attend.

Ukraine is riddled with corruption, Russian meddling and intense political conflicts, so one must carefully consider any Ukrainian accounts.

But Telizhenko's claim that the DOJ reopened its Manafort probe as the 2016 election ramped up is supported by the DOJ's own documents, including communications involving Associate Attorney General Bruce Ohr, his wife, Nellie, and ex-British spy Christopher Steele.

Nellie Ohr and Steele worked in 2016 for the research firm, Fusion GPS, that was hired by Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to find Russia dirt on Trump. Steele wrote the famous dossier for Fusion that the FBI used to gain a warrant to spy on the Trump campaign. Nellie Ohr admitted to Congress that she routed Russia dirt on Trump from Fusion to the DOJ through her husband during the election.

DOJ emails show Nellie Ohr on May 30, 2016, directly alerted her husband and two DOJ prosecutors specializing in international crimes to the discovery of the "black ledger" documents that led to Manafort's prosecution.

"Reported Trove of documents on Ukrainian Party of Regions' Black Cashbox," Nellie Ohr wrote to her husband and federal prosecutors Lisa Holtyn and Joseph Wheatley, attaching a news article on the announcement of NABU's release of the documents.

Bruce Ohr and Steele worked on their own effort to get dirt on Manafort from a Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, who had a soured business relationship with him. Deripaska was "almost ready to talk" to U.S. government officials regarding the money that "Manafort stole," Bruce Ohr wrote in notes from his conversations with Steele.

The efforts eventually led to a September 2016 meeting in which the FBI asked Deripaska if he could help prove Manafort was helping Trump collude with Russia. Deripaska laughed off the notion as preposterous.

Previously, Politico reported that the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington assisted Clinton's campaign through a DNC contractor. The Ukrainian Embassy acknowledges it got requests for assistance from the DNC staffer to find dirt on Manafort but denies it provided any improper assistance.

Now we have more concrete evidence that the larger Ukrainian government also was being pressed by the Obama administration to help build the Russia collusion narrative. And that onion is only beginning to be peeled.

But what is already confirmed by Ukrainians looks a lot more like assertive collusion with a foreign power than anything detailed in the Mueller report .

John Solomon is an award-winning investigative journalist whose work over the years has exposed U.S. and FBI intelligence failures before the Sept. 11 attacks, federal scientists' misuse of foster children and veterans in drug experiments, and numerous cases of political corruption. He serves as an investigative columnist and executive vice president for video at The Hill. Follow him on Twitter @jsolomonReports

[Apr 26, 2019] Trump's Envoy to Ukraine is Paid by None Other Than Poroshenko Himself! by Nebojsa Malic

Notable quotes:
"... According to its filings to the US Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), BGR is a registered agent for none other than President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, whose ascension to Ukrainian presidency was brought about by the Maidan revolution of 2014, a coup cheered on most fervently by John McCain himself. ..."
"... It remains to be seen whether this relationship will change in June, when TV personality Volodymyr Zelensky takes office, having triumphed in a landslide runoff election this past weekend. Judging by Zelensky's official Facebook account of his February meeting with Volker – "a friend of Ukraine" with whom he "reached full understanding on all questions" – that seems unlikely, however. ..."
"... Turns out another McCain confidant, David Kramer , also works at Volker's institute, listed as "senior director for Human Rights and Democracy." Kramer was identified as the individual who during the 2016 campaign spread the "Steele Dossier" (accusing Trump of ties with Russia) to the press and a number of other people in Washington, including the "midwife of Maidan" herself, Victoria Nuland. ..."
Apr 26, 2019 | ronpaulinstitute.org

US special envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker is drawing a salary from John McCain's think tank, which is funded by George Soros and a DC lobbying firm working for Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, among others.

Volker was appointed Special Representative for Ukraine negotiations in July 2017, by then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and has been "mediating" the Ukrainian crisis on behalf of the US ever since in much the same way his colleague Elliott Abrams has been doing with Venezuela.

The twist is that Volker is doing this " on a voluntary basis without compensation" and "not taxing the taxpayers," drawing a salary from his day job as executive director of the McCain Institute for International Leadership in Arizona. Named after the late and hawkish US senator John McCain, the think tank is dedicated to "advancing leadership in the United States and around the world." The two positions are very much aligned, Volker has said, allowing him to get his "hands dirty and actually solve our problems."

In practice, that means things like taking part in the "Occupied Crimea: 5 years of resistance" conference in Odessa – the same city where US-backed nationalists burned alive their political opponents in May 2014 – and parroting Bellingcat talking points on the Kerch Strait incident, themselves cribbed from the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).

This is not surprising, however, since the list of donors of the McCain Institute includes something called the "BGR Foundation." It shares the same Washington, DC address – and name – with Barbour Griffith Rogers, a high-profile lobbying firm that lists Volker as "Senior International Advisor" and former international managing director.

Volker is still listed as part of the team at BGR .

According to its filings to the US Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), BGR is a registered agent for none other than President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, whose ascension to Ukrainian presidency was brought about by the Maidan revolution of 2014, a coup cheered on most fervently by John McCain himself.

The "National Reforms Council of Ukraine," which officially retained BGR's services, is led by none other than Dmytro Shymkiv, "Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine," as per the filing BGR sent to the DOJ in January 2017.

It remains to be seen whether this relationship will change in June, when TV personality Volodymyr Zelensky takes office, having triumphed in a landslide runoff election this past weekend. Judging by Zelensky's official Facebook account of his February meeting with Volker – "a friend of Ukraine" with whom he "reached full understanding on all questions" – that seems unlikely, however.

Whose envoy?

Volker was very close to the late Senator McCain, who was himself intimately involved with the 2014 "revolution" in Kiev, visiting the demonstrators and personally sharing the stage with Socialist-Nationalist Party leader Oleg Tyahnibok, for example. McCain was even offered an advisory job with Poroshenko, back in 2015, but declined because that was not allowed under US law.

Turns out another McCain confidant, David Kramer , also works at Volker's institute, listed as "senior director for Human Rights and Democracy." Kramer was identified as the individual who during the 2016 campaign spread the "Steele Dossier" (accusing Trump of ties with Russia) to the press and a number of other people in Washington, including the "midwife of Maidan" herself, Victoria Nuland.

Among the McCain Institute's other donors are George Soros and his Open Society Foundations, as well as Saudi Arabia – though Volker had to disavow them last year, calling it a one-time donation and saying he won't accept any more Saudi cash after the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

All of this adds up to the question no one seems to have asked yet: Whose interests in Ukraine is Kurt Volker actually representing – those of the Trump administration, or those of his donors and the ghost of John McCain?

Reprinted with permission from RT .

[Apr 26, 2019] No, Ukraine's New President Zelenksiy Is Not Putin's Puppet by Kenneth Rapoza

No he is not. But he is the US puppet. Yet another neoliberal that will fleece Ukraine for the benefit of international financial oligarchy.
The article is a usual incompetent neocon/neolib garbage and does not demonstrate any knowledge of the Ukrainian political situation. But one paragraph does make sense. Zelensky was like Trump: he was elected because the other candidate was despicable corrupt warmonger
The level of connections of Zelensky to oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskyi and Soros is still unclear. Kolomoyskyi was rumored as one of the initiator and sponsors of Odessa massacre and the financier of pro-Nazi Azov battalion (he is now hiding from persecution for his financial crimes in Israel) .
The only question about Zelensky is whose puppet he is. Anyway Poor Ukraine is up top another round of stripping its wealth by oligarchs and foreign financial sharks, while the standard of living will deteriorate and stay of the same dismal level as now (essentially Central African poverty level).
Any attempt of Zelensky to escape the puppet status will be cut in short. In no way he can depose key officials from Nuland junta which came in power in 2014, or challenge the power of the US embassy over Ukraine. With Biden in the past routinely firing Ukrainian Chief Prosecutor, when he start digging on his son dealings in Ukraine.
Apr 26, 2019 | www.forbes.com

Poroshenko lost not because Zelenskiy was better. Although hard to measure, it is perceived by some in Ukraine's parliament that a vote for Zelenskiy was simply an anti-Poroshenko vote, rather than a truly pro-Zelenskiy one.

[Apr 25, 2019] Petro Poroshenko's Nationalism Cost Him the Presidency The National Interest

Apr 25, 2019 | nationalinterest.org

Petro Poroshenko's Nationalism Cost Him the Presidency

This is one of the lessons that Western policymakers can learn from Poroshenko's crushing defeat.

by Nicolai N. Petro , vpurto 2 hours ago ,

Ukraine with the help of lunatics in the Washington, DC is moving to the right direction in order to become Malorussia soon. It will not take long. Chervonarussia a.k.a. Ruthenia in Hapsburg newspeak will take longer time. However, people in that region still identify themselves as Russinians (Русины). With coming dissolution of once Anglo-German-Dutch City-on-the-Hill into amorphous salad of different cultures and total loss internal cohesion we may see comparative bloodless transition to new era.

VadimKharichkov vpurto 29 minutes ago ,

Far-fetched. The US is too big and too important to fall or diminish quickly.

Swift Laggard II VadimKharichkov 4 minutes ago ,

the gfc tells us otherwise. a financial collapse is a probable scenario; leading to a prolonged depression. May not be the catastrophic vision our friend has in mind, but would be pretty bad. Even in today's great economy forty million are living in poverty. Another financial collapse could see that number double

Gary Sellars 11 hours ago ,

"What lessons can Western policymakers learn from Poroshenko's crushing defeat?"

A pointless question as the US/EU establishment don't seem to be able to accept the reality of what is happening, and won't accept any lessons as that might get in the way of the Neoliberal globalist expansionist agenda and undermine its supporting narratives.

Zelensky won't be a quantum improvement, but at least he isn't a raving Ultra-nationalist looney. He's not much more that the Ukro version of Frances Micron, a political light-weight foisted onto the public by the mostly-hidden hand of corrupt Oilgarchs. Ukraines rot from within will continue...

VadimKharichkov 18 hours ago ,

As most Russians, I don't have high hopes for Zelensky. Almost certainly, his campaign was bankrolled by oligarch Kolomoisky. So he will represent the interests of large money, not of Ukranian people. And he will have to deal with these crazy nationalists, which are over 25% of population. And the debts with IMF strings attached. He stood on his knees at the debate with Poroshenko - I think he will have to be forced to do that more often than that during his presidency.

Сергей Александров VadimKharichkov 14 hours ago ,

I don't have much faith in Zelensky either. I wish Ukraine had leader that represented population and could end war in Donbass.

Gary Sellars Сергей Александров 11 hours ago ,

Donbass will remain the festering wound in Ukraines side that weakens and eventually destroys the accursed Banderite state. Russia needs to keep up the pressure and ensure that the DPR/LPR can defend themselves against the Kiev regime and make sure the nationalist whack-jobs understand that any attempt to seizethe territory of Free Ukraine will result in a world of pain descending on their heads. Time is on Russia's side as the US loses focus, the EU loses interest, and the harsh realities of geo-politics and economics takes its toll on the bumbling tin-pot kleptocracy that Ukr has become.

Vladdy 19 hours ago ,

I'd like to wish Ukrainians better life with new president. But I'm afraid it's the same piece of sh**t as Parashenko.

Vladdy 19 hours ago ,

Parashenko is criminal. The same as Saakashvili. Both shelled peaceful living homes from artillery and with rockets. They both deserve to be hanged. But the West calls them "democrats".

Gary Sellars Vladdy 11 hours ago ,

Western policy is infinitely malleable and adaptable to whatever agenda they want to pursue. They will defend the Banderite madhouse in Ukropistan as a "democracy" (even as it makes war on its own people) yet insist that Venezuela is a dictatorship, despite the free and fair elections that return the Chavistas to power, time and time again. They will rail against Russia for being "corrupt" (even though they jail senior figures who still try to extract Yeltsin-era "tributes") yet strain their collectives necks as they look away from watching Ukr regime insiders conduct outright theft of IMF loan cash.

R. Arandas a day ago ,

Sometimes, too little pride in one's nation can be a problem, providing no sense of cohesion, purpose or unity. And sometimes, too much pride can also be equally problematic.

Lee Holland 2 days ago ,

Wonder how much the Russians interfered in this election?

Gary Sellars Lee Holland 11 hours ago ,

Define "interfered"? Reporting on Ukraine's corruption culture is "interference"? Now compare it to what the US is doing in Venezuela.

Do you people have no shame?????

Vladdy Lee Holland 19 hours ago ,

Look under your bed. How many Russian spies are there?

[Apr 25, 2019] Poroshenko as a proof the Obama was right wing politician, a neocon disguised as a democrat (or CIA-democrat in short)

Apr 25, 2019 | angrybearblog.com

ilsm , April 23, 2019 9:15 pm

pgl,

... ... ...

You read Mueller, his report is affirmation for your Trump Derangement Syndrome..

Mueller's report is babbling appealing to Clinton followers ultra nationalist far right wing views disguised as a democratic.

Read the rest. Lester Holt and Clinton could be Petro Poroshenko the strong man Obama's state dept imposed on Ukraine in 2014.

The Whittington thing on Mueller no indictment report which mind reads the Russians and trump aides.

https://niskanencenter.org/blog/reckoning-with-the-mueller-report-volume-one/

Is it liberal to complain about not being hard enough on Russia?

Interesting that Hillary Clinton said Trump was a "Russian puppet" (probably after Obama sent the FBI after the GOP campaign) and NBC's Holt (Nov 9 2016) said the US election was a Russian coup. Since when (except maybe if Joe McCarthy were a democrat).

A parallel maybe. In Ukraine since 2004 the popularly elected president was deposed twice by extreme right wing ultra nationalists. In 2014 the popular Yanukovych was deposed in the Maidan revolution with help from the US replaced with no election by Petro Poroshenko.

Sunday we hear that a comedian Zelenskiy soundly beat Poroshenko in a popular vote.

To this Poroshenko: "Poroshenko said on social media he thought Zelenskiy's win would spark celebrations in the Kremlin."

"They believe that with a new inexperienced Ukrainian president, Ukraine could be quickly returned to Russia's orbit of influence," he wrote.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/ukraine-elections-comedian-volodymyr-zelenskiy-declares-victory-presidential-race-n996776

Clinton and Holt could be writing for Poroshenko, a far right wing ultra nationalist!

I worry a lot about Obama's spying on the Trump campaign and the supposed liberals in this country sounding like far right, ultra nationalist, looking for a new, expensive cold war!

[Apr 24, 2019] The circus of horrors in the Kaganat of Nuland

Apr 24, 2019 | www.unz.com

annamaria , says: April 24, 2019 at 7:11 pm GMT

The circus of horrors in the Kaganat of Nuland: https://thesaker.is/zelenskii-beat-poroshenko-what-will-happen-next/&#8230 ;

Israel and the Ukraine are now the two countries on the planet in which both the President [Zelenskii] and the Prime-Minister [Groisman] are Jews

just a day after his election Zelenskii is already making all sorts of anti-Russian statements.

since Zelenskii has no personal power base of any kind, Kolomoiskii will have him do exactly as he is told and Kolomoiskii can easily be told to behave by the Empire.

Here is a new ruler of Ukraine, the Israeli/Ukrainian/Swiss citizen Kolomoisky :

"Billionaire Ukrainian Oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky Under Investigation by FBI" https://www.thedailybeast.com/billionaire-ukrainian-oligarch-ihor-kolomoisky-under-investigation-by-fbi

The ethnically Jewish Kolomojsky has been the main financier of Azov Battalion :

The Azov Battalion was initially formed out of the neo-Nazi gang Patriot of Ukraine. Azov Battalion -- which is accused of human-rights abuses, including torture, by Human Rights Watch and the United Nations -- was incorporated into Ukraine's National Guard.

The New York Times called the battalion "openly neo-Nazi," while USA Today, The Daily Beast, The Telegraph, and Haaretz documented group members' proclivity for swastikas, salutes, and other Nazi symbols

https://www.thenation.com/article/neo-nazis-far-right-ukraine/

[Apr 24, 2019] Ukraine An Election for the Oligarchs by Volodymyr Ishchenko

Apr 24, 2019 | socialistproject.ca

March 20, 2019

Five years after the " EuroMaidan " protests in Kiev and elsewhere toppled the government of now-exiled former president Viktor Yanukovych, the people of Ukraine are set to elect a new leader. Over 34 million Ukrainian citizens will be eligible to cast their vote on 31 March , although several million will be prevented from participating due to the ongoing conflict situation in the country's eastern Donbass region. Should none of the candidates receive an absolute majority, a second round of voting will be held on 21 April.

Ukraine consistently ranks among the poorest countries in Europe – last year it overtook Moldova to occupy the top spot in the list. The largest post-Soviet state after Russia in terms of population, it finds itself torn between the European Union promising economic integration and a limited degree of freedom of movement, and deepening the country's relationship with Moscow, the largest consumer of Ukrainian exports to which Ukraine is tied by centuries of shared history, tradition, and repeated conflict.

EuroMaidan exacerbated the country's ongoing economic decline and mounting social pressures in 2013–14, ultimately triggering the war in the Donbass region and the Russian annexation of the Crimean peninsula. These tensions have facilitated the rise of a vicious Ukrainian nationalism that the government led by current president Petro Poroshenko is not afraid to manipulate for its own purposes. Attacks on left-wing activists and ethnic minorities are becoming increasingly common, while armed far-right paramilitaries like the so-called "Azov Battalion" are normalized and integrated into mainstream political life.

That said, not everyone in Ukraine is happy about these developments. Although none of the candidates in the upcoming elections offer a particularly radical or progressive vision for the country, voters will at least be able to decide whether to endorse Poroshenko's current course or throw their support behind another figure. Loren Balhorn of the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung spoke with Kiev-based sociologist Volodymyr Ishchenko to get a better understanding of the candidates, the state of the county, and what is at stake for the people of Ukraine in 2019.

Loren Balhorn (LB): Ukraine is scheduled to hold presidential elections at the end of the month, preceding elections to the national parliament , or "Verkhovna Rada," later this year. Is there anything special about the timing? What exactly is the president's role in the Ukrainian political system, and what implications will the vote have for parliamentary elections in October?

Volodymyr Ishchenko (VI): The timing is simple: it's been five years since 2014 and the Maidan Uprising, when snap elections were called that saw Viktor Yanukovych and his Party of Regions lose a lot of strength. The first round of the presidential elections is at the end of the month, and it is very likely that there will be a second round because no candidate will receive over 50 per cent (at least according to polls).

The president is very important in Ukrainian politics. The country is formally a parliamentary-presidential system, neither fully parliamentary nor fully presidential, but this is a very uneasy balance of power. The prime minister is an important position elected by the parliamentary majority, but the president also has influence over important government ministers. As is true of many post-Soviet states, however, beyond this formal institutional division of powers the informal divisions are much more decisive. Who is loyal to whom and who is dependent on whom plays a much bigger role in "real" Ukrainian politics than formal powers and privileges.

Petro Poroshenko , the current president, is the most important person in Ukrainian politics. His powers are formally limited but he has other ways to exercise influence and his own party, the "Petro Poroshenko Bloc" that forms the government together with the "People's Front," the party of former Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. Another important figure in that party is the current Minister of Internal Affairs, Arsen Avakov , who is also a very wealthy man.

LB: Avakov also cultivates ties to the Azov Battalion, no?

VI: This is widely suspected, but the precise nature of those ties has never been proven. I am skeptical of the idea that the Azov Battalion is merely a puppet of Avakov, I suspect it is something like a mutually beneficial cooperation.

If Poroshenko loses we will see a lot of defections by MPs from his bloc. Ukrainian politics operates as what political scientists call a "neopatrimonial regime," meaning it is characterized by rival, informal power blocs. If the Poroshenko Bloc loses, it will reshuffle loyalties in the parliament from one patriarch to another.

LB: What do you mean by "neopatrimonial regime"?

VI: By that I mean Ukrainian politics is characterized by competition between various power blocs, you could also call them pyramids or even clans. Poroshenko builds his pyramid while Arakov builds his own pyramid, etc. The current Prime Minister, Volodymyr Groysman, was originally perceived as a loyalist of Poroshenko, but now even he seems to be cultivating his own pyramid and will probably triangulate between various political blocs.

LB: How did Groysman come to replace Yatsenyuk?

VI: As friction between Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk grew, Poroshenko financed a public campaign against him, attacking him and calling for his resignation. But Yatsenyuk had a lot of support from the West, especially the U.S. Vice-President at the time, Joe Biden. Eventually an agreement was reached that he would step down and be replaced by Groysman.

This represented a conflict between different patrimonial structures within the governing elite, but also reflected a wider conflict between Ukrainian oligarchs and the West more generally. Many leftists in Ukraine see the country as a colony of the United States, but it's much more complicated than that. Ukraine is definitely dependent on Western economic and financial aid, political support against Russia, etc., but it's not a colony – it's not ruled from the American Embassy. Local oligarchs like Poroshenko and Arakov have their own interests that they defend staunchly against the West. At its core, this is a conflict between transnational capital and the local bourgeoisie.

One key issue in these debates, and the crucial issue for the West and the IMF, was corruption and the establishment of "anti-corruption" institutions to ensure transparent rules of the game in Ukraine. But what they call "corruption" is basically the most important advantage that the Ukrainian bourgeoisie has against transnational capital: namely, their property is secure from the state while that of their competitors is not. This is also what scares away potential international investors. Because of this fear, foreign direct investment (FDI) is actually declining despite the Ukrainian government's steps toward Western integration.

LB: So fear of corruption is harming investment?

VI: Yes, although the war is of course another factor.

In the beginning, in 2014 and 2015, we had a lot of people in the government without Ukrainian citizenship who received their positions because they were neoliberal, Western-oriented professionals, like the Lithuanian citizen Aivaras Abromavičius who was a minister under Yatsenyuk. Gradually, those neoliberal reformers were pushed out and replaced by people loyal to the ruling oligarchs. Yatsenyuk being replaced by Groysman was just one particularly important example of this process.

LB: It sounds like a pretty grim scenario. But even if electoral politics is just competition between oligarchic factions, certainly there must be some other issues being debated at least on the surface? What are the dominant themes the candidates are using to attract support?

VI: Poroshenko has been most successful in setting the agenda with an aggressively nationalist campaign – his main slogan is "Army, Faith, Language." He side-lined the socially populist issues that Yulia Tymoshenko tried to raise by portraying the election as a choice between him or Putin and depicting his opponents as puppets of Moscow.

LB: And is it working?

VI: Yes, to some extent. His support has been rising in the polls since the recognition of the independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.

LB: Was that split between the Ukrainian Church and Moscow supported by the government?

VI: Yes, it was actively organized by Poroshenko as a strategy to win the election. Formally, the Ukrainian Orthodox church enjoyed broad autonomy but was dependent on the Moscow Patriarchate and was recognized by other Orthodox churches. A separate church founded in the early 1990s, the Kiev Patriarchate, was unrecognized by any other international church but still fairly popular in the country. In reality most people didn't care which church they attended. The split was purely political, there were no theological differences.

Poroshenko started to push the theme in 2017 and 2018 that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church was something like an "agent of Moscow" in Ukraine. The details are quite complicated, and to be honest many people in Ukraine didn't really understand these structures until last year either, but for people who care about national issues, who care about Ukraine asserting itself against Russia, this was an important step. Nevertheless, it looks like the majority of local parishes will actually stay with the Moscow Patriarchate.

LB: You have alluded to the conflict with Russia several times now as setting the terms of the debate, and making it easier for politicians to distract from social questions by focusing on nationalism. Is there any kind of visible, vaguely progressive social opposition in the country?

VI: Most politicians and the three leading candidates for the president are not significantly different on the question of the conflict in the Donbass region. Poroshenko, Tymoshenko, and Volodymyr Zelensky are all within the patriotic consensus, although Poroshenko is more militant. Candidates who actually have a different opinion and are not as popular sprang from the former Party of Regions, later branded the "Opposition Bloc." They failed to negotiate a common candidate for the so-called "Southeast," the region where the Russian-speaking minority mostly lives. Despite raising important issues like peace in Donbass, re-claiming national sovereignty from the West, and re-industrialization, these candidates – Yuriy Boyko and Oleksandr Vilkul – are representatives of major oligarchic financial-industrial groups. There is no significant "grassroots" movement behind the issues. There are of course labour struggles, and there have been some strikes, but they are weak. There are some feminist mobilizations but they are miniscule compared to the radical nationalists. Not just the anti-capitalist "Left," but also progressive liberalism is very weak.

The Left is in a bad situation. The Communist Party has been banned. They are appealing the ban but their public visibility has declined to practically zero. Their leader, Petro Symonenko, tried to register as a presidential candidate but was not accepted by the government, and no other relevant left-wing parties exist on the national level.

LB: Government corruption, oligarchic control of the economy, a decimated Left – a lot of this sounds familiar. Couldn't we, at least to some extent, compare conditions in Ukraine to the situation in all of the former Eastern Bloc countries?

VI: I don't think so. EU membership makes a big difference, it imposes certain rules that are absent in Ukraine. The presence of strong oligarchs, for example, is pretty specific. The other Eastern Bloc countries don't have a strong local bourgeoisie, but are largely dominated by Western capital. There are no Polish oligarchs, Czech oligarchs, Hungarian oligarchs – we only hear about Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs. What makes Ukraine different is that the oligarchic system is pluralistic. We have multiple, competing oligarchs, whereas in Russia and Belarus one neopatrimonial pyramid managed to emerge as dominant in the last 15 years.

The promise of EU membership restructured Eastern European politics beginning in the 1990s, whereas this was never a prospect in Ukraine, Russia, or Belarus. But we still didn't see the rise of any figure like Vladimir Putin or an Alexander Lukashenko in Ukraine. I think this has to do with the country's divided identity: almost every election has been framed as a question of "East vs. West," with one candidate supported by the western half and the other by the eastern half. In this sense it's comparable with Donald Trump: any time a Ukrainian president comes to power he is opposed by half the population from day one. This makes it very difficult to consolidate nationwide power.

LB: Are there not also economic aspects to the East/West division?

VI: Yes, the East has more heavy, Soviet-era industry, exporting primarily to the markets of the former USSR and uncompetitive on Western markets. For example, the people supporting Yanukovych and opposing EuroMaidan were at least partially concerned about keeping their jobs in a Ukrainian economy dominated by the EU.

LB: So it's not only a nationalist issue, but also one of bread-and-butter economic issues?

VI: Yes, absolutely.

LB: Speaking of "East vs. West," has anything changed since Ukraine's accession to the visa-free regime for Schengen states in 2017?

VI: That was one of very few positive developments under Poroshenko, and he's touting it a lot during the campaign. Freedom of movement is of course something good and something we support, but it was particularly good for younger, highly educated Ukrainians in the major cities.

It has also facilitated increased labour migration, which has really risen since 2014. I don't have any precise statistics but we're talking about millions of people. Many Ukrainians go to work in Poland, which actively recruits them because they are seen as culturally and linguistically "closer" to Poles (unlike refugees from the Middle East). You could say that cheap Ukrainian labour is subsidizing the Polish economic boom. The Czech Republic is also popular, and Germany will probably be next.

As workers from the eastern EU states like Bulgaria and Poland move west to work they're replaced by cheaper labour from Ukraine, but no one moves to Ukraine. There is a lot of discussion in the Ukrainian media about how it simply does not make sense to work in the country when you can make two or three times more across the border.

LB: But does this not mean that the Ukrainian labour market is gradually getting tighter? Wouldn't it at least theoretically put organized labour in a more advantageous position to fight for higher wages?

VI: Yes, theoretically! But Ukrainian trade unions are very weak, and they have failed to take advantage of the situation.

LB: You recently gave an interview to Jacobin Magazine in which you compared the situation of the Ukrainian Left with that of Latin America in the 1970s. I found that very striking, given that the Left was quite large in Latin America at the time and microscopic in Ukraine today. Could you flesh out that comparison a bit? Where exactly do you see similarities?

VI: Ukraine is a deindustrializing, peripheral economy. Most Soviet-era industry fell apart after 1991, and what remains is not competitive on the Western European market. Ukraine has thus become a supplier of raw materials with low added value like iron. In this sense it is a very peripheral capitalism characterized by extreme inequality and powerful oligarchs, like Latin America. There is also the major role played by far-right paramilitaries – this doesn't happen anywhere else in Europe, except for briefly in former Yugoslavia. We also have a strongly pro-American and highly dependent government, very similar to Latin America.

I think it's logical to look for comparisons and lessons from similar historical social formations. If the Ukrainian Left is looking to fight a corrupt, authoritarian, anti-Communist regime, and given how weak the Left and even liberalism is, we have to work together to fight for basic democratic rights and against the nationalist hysteria to lay the base for a movement that could perhaps become more significant in the future. Here I see parallels to the Latin American Left's struggle against dictatorship in the 1970s and 1980s.

LB: Do you think it's possible in a geopolitical situation where tensions between the EU and Russia are so prominent to formulate a broad, democratic programme that stands above this fray?

VI: It's obviously very difficult, but what other options do we have? Become puppets in the geopolitical game? There was a split on the Left in 2014 when many chose EuroMaidan and the "West" while others chose Anti-Maidan and the "Russian" side. Both sides ended up tailing more powerful right-wing forces and failed to formulate their own independent positions.

LB: But would anything else have been possible?

VI: Well, obviously we can't seriously entertain the building of a strong left-wing party under such difficult conditions. What is possible, however, is to maintain some kind of milieu for left-wing ideas. The groups and networks that exist have to consolidate a possible embryo for a strong Left in the future. It's important to be realistic and understand what's possible or completely impossible. We might not be able to formulate some kind of "Third Camp" in Ukrainian politics right now, but that is our objective situation, and we should try to figure out what we can realistically do. We should work on strengthening our groups, our unions, our intellectual initiatives, to hopefully be able to do something bigger in the future.

Corbyn, Podemos, and Mélenchon are inspiring figures, but we need to understand what is specific about the political regime in our country and respond in a specific way. We need to try to expand the range of the possible for left politics at the moment. Even if it isn't so inspiring and very weak, we still have to try. The kind of system that exists in Ukraine can't last forever. There are many contradictions, divisions, and cleavages exacerbated by the ruling groups, and all of these will lead to a situation at some point where weaker groups might become politically relevant and important again.

LB: Before we wrap up I wanted to ask you about the third major candidate, Volodymyr Zelensky . If I understand correctly, he stars in a TV show about a politician and has now become the politician he plays on TV. Is that correct – and is he popular? Does he have a chance at winning or is this a stunt?

VI: Actually, he's currently the most popular politician in the country. According to polls he has significantly more support than both Poroshenko and Tymoshenko, and could very possibly become the president.

There are basically three groups of people voting for him: firstly, fans of his TV show, a very popular comedy about Ukrainian politics. Another large group are just so disappointed and tired of these oligarchs that they will vote for any fresh face.

LB: So he's similar to Donald Trump in some ways?

VI: In some ways, but what's different from Trump is the third group of his supporters, namely people who are voting for him because he is perceived as less nationalist than the other candidates. Zelensky himself is Russian-speaking, he's from the central Ukrainian city of Kryvyi Rih, and has attracted lots of support from Russian-speaking citizens.

That makes Zelensky different from Trump – he's actually trying to campaign on unifying themes, not divisive ones. He opposes Poroshenko's attempts to push the Ukrainian language on Russian speakers, for example.

Another thing that makes him different from Trump or Beppe Grillo is that he has no populist movement behind him, or any movement at all for that matter. All he has is his TV show, around which he is now trying to build a political party from scratch. This is different from other populist figures – there was no mass mobilization preceding him. Trump, for example, is obviously somehow a result of the Tea Party movement, while Grillo represents the Five Stars Movement (in Italy).

Another difference is his connection to Igor Kolomoisky, one of Ukraine's richest oligarchs now in opposition to Poroshenko who founded the country's largest bank, Privat Bank, and still owns a controlling share of the national airline. Zelensky's show is broadcast on one of Kolomoisky's eight TV stations, and one of his lawyers is a key architect of Zelensky's party, Sluha Narodu , which translates to "Servant of the People" (also the name of his show). Right now it's not possible to say how independent Zelensky is. I wouldn't call him a puppet, but there are definitely connections to the ruling class.

All of this means that Zelensky will be very weak if he wins, and not only because he's inexperienced. For the first half year he won't have much support in parliament. He has no loyal political party behind him. He will surely get some opportunists to defect from other parties, but hardly a majority. I don't know what he could do in that situation. After the parliamentary elections he might face a more favourable constellation, but it will also depend on how he does in the first months.

It's impossible to say how he would perform as president. He has zero political experience. I fear that he may understand politics even less than Donald Trump. He is a blank page on which anything can be written.

LB: So he reflects the vacuum in civil society more generally?

VI: Exactly. He is a glaring symptom of what's going on in Ukrainian society. People hate the oligarchs, they hate the faces they've seen for decades. Revolutions come and go, elections come and go, but life just gets worse and worse. People don't want another five years of Tymoshenko or Poroshenko and are happy to vote for any recognizable fresh face who isn't implicated in serious corruption. People are voting less out of hope than out of anger. Better to vote for an incompetent comedian than the same old corrupt experts.

At the same time, civil society is so weak that it couldn't put up any competing figure. Only a TV star was able to do that, nobody from the pro-Western, liberal NGOs came even close. None of those figures poll even one per cent. This says a lot about Ukrainian "civil society": it's totally incapable of producing competent, popular leaders.

If he is elected, it will be strong proof that the people are sick of the old style of politics, that they aren't being manipulated by Poroshenko's nationalism and want something better. Nevertheless, I am very sceptical that Zelensky will be able to change anything. Real change in Ukraine will be a much longer process, and will require the building of a different kind of political opposition that we haven't seen in this country for a very long time. •

This article first published on the Rosalux.de website.

[Apr 24, 2019] Is Zelensky up to the president's job Inside Story

President without his own party is lame duck President; a puppet. If it is true that Zelenski is really man of Soros and was elected on Soros money that's a very bad omen. That's probably the worst possible scenario.
At the same time in Ukraine allegiance to a party is weak and some deputies might switch sides forming kind of "Zelenski block" similar to "Block of Petr Poroshenko" so he can create some sudo-party. Also he cancel the reelection of the Parliament. But he will need to deal with Yulia Timoshenko who is the leader of Batkivshchina party and that will not be easy.
Might well be variation of the theme of Saakashvili. Dmitry Babish said that Zelenski is a neoliberal who is surrounded by Soros people and several foreign born ministers that Poroshenko fired. His connection to the notorious oligarch Kolomoyski is another very bad sign.
Notable quotes:
"... hope for Ukraine but I did not know that in Zelensky team there are Soros people according to the specialist in Moscow. ..."
"... I see Ukraine pulled a Trump. Good luck with that. What could possibly go wrong? ..."
Apr 22, 2019 | www.youtube.com

louis ecorchevolle

hope for Ukraine but I did not know that in Zelensky team there are Soros people according to the specialist in Moscow. Anyhow this analysis was very interesting

CHILLEDVIBE29 , 1 day ago

I am studying in Ukraine and I haven't done much background on this man but his up against some uncharted waters

Abraham Tsfaye , 1 day ago

Guatemala also elected a comedian in 2014. It didn't work out for them. Time will tell if is intention is real or he is another fake.

Alex Bort , 1 day ago

Elect a clown - expect circus

CHILLEDVIBE29 , 1 day ago

I am studying in Ukraine and I haven't done much background on this man but his up against some uncharted waters

Abraham Tsfaye , 1 day ago

Guatemala also elected a comedian in 2014. It didn't work out for them. Time will tell if is intention is real or he is another fake.

Alex Bort , 1 day ago

Elect a clown - expect circus

grimm reaper , 11 hours ago

AJ what's your report card on Poroshenko, the chocolate king? I recall Poroshenko ordered his troops to attack and bomb east Ukraine, Ukraine's own territory. I doubt the Russian speaking Ukrainians have a tattoo on their forehead identified them as such. a comic won't do any worse than a US selected oligarch.

travellingbirder , 3 hours ago

USA elected Trump as president, a man with no political experience. In the UK we elect politicians and end up with jokers. Good luck Ukraine I really hope it works for you.

Quy Le , 1 day ago (edited)

I see Ukraine pulled a Trump. Good luck with that. What could possibly go wrong?

[Apr 22, 2019] Poroshenko s attempt to appeal to nationalism has failed by Cnaan Liphshiz

Notable quotes:
"... Poroshenko's government greatly encouraged glorification of those troops and leaders as fighters for Ukrainian freedom who it insisted sided with Germany only in order to fight against the Russian-controlled Soviet Union. ..."
"... Meanwhile, in the western city of Lviv, nationalists became emboldened enough to celebrate with city authorities' permission the anniversary of the 14th Galician division of the Waffen SS. The anniversary events featured men parading in Nazi SS uniforms on the street. ..."
"... On this subject, Zelensky has said only that he personally does not favor the veneration of people like Bandera, whom he described as "a hero to some Ukrainians." It was a markedly reserved formulation compared to the unreserved endorsement of figures like Bandera by officials under Poroshenko. ..."
"... In some far-right circles, Zelensky's work in a television stationed owned by the Jewish billionaire Igor Kolomoisky was proof of his belonging to a "Jewish cabal." But it made Zelensky popular with other nationalists who appreciated Kolomoisky's reputation as a fiery patriot. ..."
"... Not denying his Jewish ancestry, Zelensky declined to explore it at length in the interview, Levy wrote. On this subject, he replied with typical self-deprecating humor, telling Levy: "The fact that I am Jewish barely makes 20 in my long list of faults." ..."
"... This popularity has allowed Zelensky to both win on an unusually vague platform and distinguish himself from his professional politician rivals, with their proclivity to hyperbole and nationalist slogans. ..."
"... For example, when a reporter asked him how he would deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Zelensky reverted to his comic roots, saying "I would speak to him at eye level." It was a reference to him and Putin being at least three inches shorter than Poroshenko, a 6-footer. ..."
"... "We will need to wait and see what kind of president Zelensky turns out to be," said Dolinsky, who was an outspoken critic of some policies of the Poroshenko administration. "What is clear is that Poroshenko's attempt to appeal to nationalism has failed. Ukrainians said they wanted change. And I am feeling optimistic." ..."
Apr 22, 2019 | www.timesofisrael.com
Ukrainian comedian and presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky reacts after the announcement of the first exit poll results in the second round of Ukraine's presidential election at his campaign headquarters in Kiev on April 21, 2019. (Photo by Sergei GAPON / AFP) JTA -- Following the victory of Volodymyr Zelensky in Ukraine's presidential elections, the country will become the only one in the world besides Israel whose president and prime minister are both Jewish.

When Zelensky is sworn in as president, his prime minister -- at least for a while and possibly until the parliamentary elections scheduled to take place sometime later this year -- will be Volodymyr Groysman, a Jewish politician who was the mayor of the city of Vinnytsia.

To some of incumbent Petro Poroshenko's critics, the landslide success of the vague campaign by the politically inexperienced Zelensky, a comedian, was not surprising in light of widespread resentment over the persistence of corruption under Poroshenko, who was elected in 2014 on a platform that vowed remedial action on exactly that front.

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More unusual to some, however, was how Zelensky's appears to have won the elections so decisively in spite of how his Jewish ancestry – his mother, Rima, is Jewish and he has jokingly referred to this during the campaign -- is well known in Ukraine.

After all, Russia and other critics claim Ukrainian society has a serious anti-Semitism problem and legacy.

"Imagine, a pure-blooded Jew with the appearance of a Sholom Aleichem protagonist wins by a landslide in a country where the glorification of Nazi criminals is enacted into law," wrote Avigdor Eskin, a Russian-Israeli columnist, in an analysis published earlier this month by the Regnum news agency.

Eskin in column on Zelensky downplayed allegations of widespread anti-Semitism in Ukraine, attributing much of the attention to the problem in media and beyond to propaganda by Russia, which is involved in an armed conflict over territory with Ukraine. But Eskin's statement about Ukrainian laws glorifying Nazi criminals is not inaccurate, and Russia is not alone in criticizing Ukraine over this and other issues connected to anti-Semitism.

Last year, Israel's government singled out Ukraine as a regional trouble spot in the Israeli government's annual report on anti-Semitism.

"A striking exception in the trend of decrease in anti-Semitic incidents in Eastern Europe was Ukraine, where the number of recorded anti-Semitic attacks was doubled from last year and surpassed the tally for all the incidents reported throughout the entire region combined," the report said. The authors of the report counted more than 130 reported anti-Semitic incidents in Ukraine in 2017, they said.

Also last year, more than 50 US Congress members condemned Ukrainian legislation that they said "glorifies Nazi collaborators" and therefore goes even further than Poland's controversial laws limiting what can be said about local complicity during the Holocaust.

A letter signed by the US lawmakers stated, "It's particularly troubling that much of the Nazi glorification in Ukraine is government-supported." It noted ceremonies, gestures and legislation venerating leaders of the UPA and OUN militias, who fought alongside Nazi Germany during World War II and whose troops participated in atrocities against Jews and other victims.

Poroshenko's government greatly encouraged glorification of those troops and leaders as fighters for Ukrainian freedom who it insisted sided with Germany only in order to fight against the Russian-controlled Soviet Union.

Several cities across Ukraine named streets for the Nazi-collaborator Stepan Bandera, who prior to Poroshenko's time in office was openly glorified only in the country's west.

Meanwhile, in the western city of Lviv, nationalists became emboldened enough to celebrate with city authorities' permission the anniversary of the 14th Galician division of the Waffen SS. The anniversary events featured men parading in Nazi SS uniforms on the street.

Such sights would have been unthinkable under Viktor Yanukovych, the corrupt president who was deposed in a 2013 revolution that ended with Poroshenko's election. Careful to alienate neither ethnic Russians in Ukraine nor its powerful neighbor to the east, Yanukovych was less tolerant of this nationalist phenomenon.

On this subject, Zelensky has said only that he personally does not favor the veneration of people like Bandera, whom he described as "a hero to some Ukrainians." It was a markedly reserved formulation compared to the unreserved endorsement of figures like Bandera by officials under Poroshenko.

The presidential campaign itself has featured some anti-Semitism. In some far-right circles, Zelensky's work in a television stationed owned by the Jewish billionaire Igor Kolomoisky was proof of his belonging to a "Jewish cabal." But it made Zelensky popular with other nationalists who appreciated Kolomoisky's reputation as a fiery patriot.

Alexander Paliy, an influential political analyst supporting Poroshenko, last month stirred controversy when he wrote on Facebook that, despite his "respect" for Jews and some Russians, "The president of Ukraine should be Ukrainian and Christian, like the absolute majority of Ukrainians."

Such rhetoric is shocking to many of Ukraine's 300,000-odd Jews, whose ancestors suffered murderous anti-Semitism in Ukraine for centuries before, during and decades after the Holocaust.

The French-Jewish philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy also referenced Ukrainian Jew's bloody history in an interview with Zelensky, the 41-year-old son of scientists who lived near major Soviet army bases in Ukraine, that he published earlier this month in the Le Point weekly.

"His Judaism. It's extraordinary that the possible future president of the country of the Shoah by Bullets and Babi Yar is a self-affirmed Jew from a family of survivors from Kryvy Rih near Dnipro – the land of pogrom if ever there was one," Levy wrote. "This postmodern kid, is he new proof that the virus of anti-Semitism has been contained" after the revolution, Levy added.

Not denying his Jewish ancestry, Zelensky declined to explore it at length in the interview, Levy wrote. On this subject, he replied with typical self-deprecating humor, telling Levy: "The fact that I am Jewish barely makes 20 in my long list of faults."

Zelensky, whose mother, Rima, is Jewish, has ingratiated himself with the Ukrainian public with such jokes as the star of "Servant of the People" – a primetime television show where he portrays a teacher thrust by an unlikely chain of events to become Ukraine's president. He announced his candidacy in January, becoming an instant favorite.

This popularity has allowed Zelensky to both win on an unusually vague platform and distinguish himself from his professional politician rivals, with their proclivity to hyperbole and nationalist slogans.

For example, when a reporter asked him how he would deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Zelensky reverted to his comic roots, saying "I would speak to him at eye level." It was a reference to him and Putin being at least three inches shorter than Poroshenko, a 6-footer.

Zelensky opaqueness means a high level of uncertainty, Dolinsky, the Jewish community leader, said.

"We will need to wait and see what kind of president Zelensky turns out to be," said Dolinsky, who was an outspoken critic of some policies of the Poroshenko administration. "What is clear is that Poroshenko's attempt to appeal to nationalism has failed. Ukrainians said they wanted change. And I am feeling optimistic."

[Apr 22, 2019] "Ukrainization uber alles" is not supported by population. That's why Poroshenko lost

It is clear that like in Trump vs Hillary situation many voted not for Zelensky but against Poroshenko. Coul be that the same screwed political consultants who ensured Trump victory work in Ukraine.
Zelensky is that same candidate as Obama, Trump and Macron: he has zero political history. So you can project into him the expectation of electorate and that trick works. During the campaign, concerns were raised over his links to the oligarch Ihor Kolomoyskyi (he proposed a tax amnesty and a 5% flat tax for big business ).
From Wikipedia: In an interview in December 2018, Zelensky stated that as President he would try to end the ongoing War in Donbass by negotiating with Russia . [49] As he considered the leaders of the Donetsk People's Republic and the Luhansk People's Republic (DPR and LPR) to be Russia's "puppets", it would "make no sense to speak with them". [49] He did not rule out holding a referendum on the issue. [50] [49] In an interview published three days before the 2019 presidential election (on 21 April) Zelensky stated that he was against granting the Donbass region "special status". [51] In the interview he also said that if he were elected President he would not sign a law on amnesty for the militants of the DPR and LPR. [51]
Edited Google translation.
Using phase form cult novel The Golden Calf by Ilya Ilf and Evgeny Petrov "Children of lieutenant Schmidt" Poroshenko can be called a son of undersecretary Nuland. He has no space for maneuver, space for negotiation as confrontation with Russia is the geopolitical goal of neocon establishment which stands behind Victoria Nuland. That's probably why he lost.
Apr 22, 2019 | ukraina.ru

Poroshenko's triad -- "faith, army, language" -- was not born from scratch. Poroshenko emphasized Ukrainization of all aspects of the country's life. In culture, history, even the economics. Especially in the economics. All these decisions, orders and sanctions were aimed at cutting economic ties with Russia under very simple ideological basis -- "Ukrainization uber alles"

Of course, this was a gesture of despair of the man who came to power via "Washington Obcom" at a time when Ukraine already lost a part of its territory -- the Crimea and was on the verge of even greater loss -- Donbass, and maybe the entire South-East.

Poroshenko in this situation enforced blatant confrontation with Russia (instead of negotiations and search of compromises) as the tool to unite the nation against common enemy. Having accepted the obvious situation in which he can do nothing to return the lost territories (and it would be unprofitable for him politically), he pushed the confrontation as if there is no tomorrow, please his US sponsors. Which resulted is sliding of the standard of living as lost markets at the East were not compensated by new market at the West. He unleashed personal war with Russia hoping that it will help to survive him politically and instead it backfired.

In other words Poroshenko assumed that he can unite Ukranina peole of the base of the his fight with Russia. A common enemy always unites rulers and people.

However, during the presidential elections, which were held just five years after the triumph of nationalist ideology on EuroMaydan, it turned out that this the majority of the population does not share this ideology with Pyotr Alekseevich. And that the sliding standard of living, rampant inflation and personal corruption of EuroMaydan junta has a greater weight.

The majority, apparently, doesn't want exclusivity of the Ukrainian nation... They want European standard of living.

[Apr 22, 2019] Comedian Zelenski wipes floor with Porkie.

Apr 22, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Hoarsewhisperer , Apr 21, 2019 2:31:54 PM | link

Ukraine election exit poll:
Comedian Zelenski wipes floor with Porkie.
Z = 75%: P = 23%

[Apr 21, 2019] Russia And Ukraine Can Finally Agree on Something Friendly Relations With Israel by Adam Garrie

Apr 21, 2019 | eurasiafuture.com

While the world mourns the victims of today's terrorist atrocities in Sri Lanka, Ukraine has conducted its first election since 2014 -- the year in which the fragmented post-Soviet republic changed forever. This year, the debates were not a contest between those seeking to reverse the tide of 2014 versus those committed to an even more radically pro-western approach, but instead the question uniformly revolved around how a country that before 2014 was ethnically and religious fragmented, poor, corrupt and seemingly ungovernable has become even worse by all objective measurements.

Because of the popular discontent in the country due to the worsening of already abysmal economic conditions, it was always going to be difficult for outgoing President Petro Poroshenko to play the jingoistic anti-Russian/anti-Donbass card when most Ukrainian citizens are becoming more worried about the price of gas and the price of food than they are worried about playing a game of political football started by Barack Obama.

As such, the entire political class that took charge after 2014 (ironically many such people were connected to the old regime they claimed to hate) are roundly reviled throughout Ukraine. Against this background, comedian Volodymyr Zelensky decided to run for president and early indications are that he has won the election in a landslide.

Zelensky's campaign was one based on a broadly anti-corruption platform that was as pro-western and as anti-Russian as that of his closest rivals. The difference was that for the first time in its history, Ukraine had a political figure with a human face rather than that of a cold, calculating oligarch aspiring to be an autocrat. Outside of Ukraine and Russia, Zelensky's candidacy has received the most attention in Israel.

Israeli media have become excited by the fact that Ukraine will now have a Jewish head of state and one whose chief backers are particularly close to Tel Aviv. While Israel has often condemned the rise in genuine antisemitism throughout much of Ukraine, Tel Aviv has nevertheless increased its economic relations with Kiev since 2014. As such, it can be assured that under Zelensky, relations between Tel Aviv and Kiev will continue to grow.

This incidentally comes at a time when Russia and Israel are becoming increasingly close allies as was recently detailed in a Eurasia Future piece by Andrew Korybko . Whilst Moscow and Kiev cannot agree on seemingly anything at this point in history, they can agree on one thing: Israel is considered a friendly nation and a valued partner.

Just because Vladimir Putin is a friend of Israel and something of a philosemitie, it does not automatically mean that he will develop a warm relationship with a Ukrainian leader who happens to be Jewish and who happens to be friendly with prominent Israeli businessmen. However, because the Kremlin has long sought to reach some sort of conclusion to the stand off with Ukraine (against the wishes of many Russian patriots and the two main opposition parties), a fresh face in Kiev who has ties to Israelis may well be a small step towards bridging the gap between his own government and Moscow.

None of this will likely play out before the cameras because in much of Ukraine it is considered near treasonous to talk of anything resembling a detente with Moscow. Likewise, at a time when Vladimir Putin's popularity is dipping due to an unpopular proposed pension reform and internal economic/infrastructural issues, it would be viewed by at least some Russian patriots as a sell out to effectively compromise with a Kiev regime that has attempted to commit ethnic cleansing against the people of Donbass.

That being said, behind the scenes things will likely be very different, just as they were after 2015 when Russia and Turkey rapidly mended ties out of the view of the public, before later becoming openly close partners as they are today.

As a political novice in a country whose "experienced politicians" are self-evidently nothing to learn by, Zelensky may well seek advice from Israeli experts, many of whom are becoming increasingly close to Putin's Russia. This could represent the beginning of a slowly turning tide for both Moscow and Kiev.

[Apr 20, 2019] As Trump is just a marionette of neocons and Israel lobby: Russia has only expect harsher and harsher sanctions

Apr 20, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

STEPHEN COHEN: But the point here is that Russia has been torn between East and the West forever. Its best policy, in its own best interest, is to straddle East and West, not to be of the East or the West, but it's impossible in this world today. And U.S.-led Western policy since the end of the Soviet Union, and particularly since Putin came to power in 2000, has persuaded the Russian ruling elite that Russia can not count any longer, economically, politically, militarily, on being part of the West. It has to go elsewhere. So all this talk about wanting to win Russia to an American position that's anti-Iranian and anti-Chinese is conceived in disaster and will end in disaster. They should think of some other foreign policy.

False Solace , April 19, 2019 at 12:36 pm

...Haven't these people learned anything from the implosion of their pathetic Russiagate hysteria? The Russophobes won't be happy until we're at war with a nuclear power and the nukes are about to land.

Here are things Trump has actually done, as opposed to red-limned fantasies drawn from the fever-dreams of Putin haters:

Unilaterally abandoned 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty
Expelled 60 diplomats and closed 3 Russian diplomatic annexes
Bombed Syria, a Russian ally, with Russian troops in country
Sold arms to Ukraine, which is actively at war with Russia
Threatened Germany to cancel a new Russian pipeline through the Baltic (effort failed)
Even more sanctions against Russia and Russian nationals
Stationed missile defense systems on the Russian border in violation of arms treaties
Massive military exercises in Europe on the Russian border
Stationed troops in Poland
Negotiating with Poland to build a permanent US military base in Poland

All this has certainly made the world safer. /s

[Apr 18, 2019] Russia banning oil, petroleum product, coal exports to Ukraine Medvedev

Poroshenko "Hail Mary" move?
Notable quotes:
"... The document "determines a list of those goods that it will be possible to export to Ukraine only on the basis of separate decisions from June 1." "This category includes fuel and energy products, including coal as well as the oil and petroleum products," he said. ..."
Apr 18, 2019 | interfax.com.ua

Russia is banning exports of crude oil, petroleum products and coal to Ukraine.

"A few days ago the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers took the latest unfriendly step with respect to our country and expanded the list of Russian goods which cannot be imported to Ukrainian territory. In these conditions we are forced to protect our interests and take response measures," Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at a meeting of the Russian cabinet.

Medvedev said he had signed a resolution "banning the export of Russian crude oil and petroleum products to Ukraine."

The document "determines a list of those goods that it will be possible to export to Ukraine only on the basis of separate decisions from June 1." "This category includes fuel and energy products, including coal as well as the oil and petroleum products," he said.

[Apr 18, 2019] OSCE observers released their preliminary report on the results of the first round of the presidential election

Apr 18, 2019 | thesaker.is

JJ on April 17, 2019 , · at 1:53 pm EST/EDT

https://rusemb.org.uk/fnapr/6790

Not sure if extensive Lavrov interview earlier in April was reported on saker ..extract

"Question: Have you seen any grounds for optimism in the results of the first round of the presidential election in Ukraine?

Sergey Lavrov: To be honest, I haven't seen any grounds for either optimism or pessimism. What's the point of guesswork? This is a process that should take place and will be completed. I do not doubt this or that the West will recognise this election.

OSCE observers released their preliminary report on the results of the first round of the presidential election, which abounds in examples of flagrant violations: corruption, bribery, pressure on voters and many other things. However, all this is described in a neutral tone. I think if they wrote about us, they would present these facts emotionally. Now they are doing it in an understated way and conclude that this did not affect the legitimacy of the election. Neither was it affected by the flagrant violation of OSCE rules when our observers were kicked out and over three million Ukrainians working and living in Russia were deprived of the right to vote. These are facts of life in Ukraine.

I think that the results of the election and the way it was organised came as no surprise to those who have been following domestic developments in Ukraine and its external ties. They are already calling each other puppets It's probably interesting to watch from the side but I don't think that Ukrainian citizens are happy about this kind of democracy.

Question: Are the prospects of Russia-Ukraine cooperation still vague?

Sergey Lavrov: We are open to dialogue if the aim is not chatting and looking for excuses to do nothing but rather the practical implementation of the Minsk agreements. I have no doubt that Petr Poroshenko does not want to do this and won't do this. When Viktor Medvedchuk just suggested seriously discussing what autonomous rights may be granted to Donbass, he was called a traitor. Poroshenko said this will never happen although he himself signed a document on the special status of Donbass, which is described with sufficient detail in the Minsk agreements.

These provisions on what rights Donbass should have were formulated by German Chancellor Angela Merkel personally, among others, but her ward has got out of hand. This is a fact. On the one hand, he doesn't listen to Germany or France because he has American "patrons". On the other hand, they find it embarrassing to pressure him in public because by doing so they will admit that what they call their "mediation" has failed.

However, there is no other document except for the Minsk agreements. They can certainly be supplemented. For instance, it is possible to provide OSCE observers with UN armed guards, as we suggest in response to the apprehensions of Ukrainians about their safety. But the core of these agreements must remain unchanged. The main point is that all issues are settled directly between Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk .."

[Apr 18, 2019] The USA Ukrainian endgame is to carve another Poland from the Russian population, as a means to weaken the Russian State

Apr 18, 2019 | thesaker.is

Latinoamericano on April 17, 2019 , · at 12:20 pm EST/EDT

The Toltec sages used to say: "To really know something means that it must also entail the knowledge of what course of action to take. And once you know what to do, you actually do it". So they firmly stated that the only worthy knowledge is a functional one. Normally, the trascendental matters were integrally consulted with the "Eagle" (i.e. the Entity out there with limitless consciousness, which sounds pretty much like "God") through a link that in the west is ignorantly dismissed as "intuition". This to remark that the big decisions must not rely entirely on the rational part, because it is too prone to make mistakes.
We all know who the adversary is: it's not the AZE (AngloZionist Empire) per se, it's who rule the Empire. And what they are doing in Ukraine is pretty clear:

* The endgame is to carve another Poland from the Russian population, as a means to weaken the Russian State. The steps are obvious and unfortunately, maybe definitive: zioimposed religious schism, forceful and exclusive use of "Ukrainian" from 2020 on, denial to belong to other country different from "Ukraine" (a patchwork assembled through land thefts). Fortunately Russia recovered Crimea, and the mining/industrial regions are disputed, but the Khazarians control 2 critical assets: the other coastal oblasts and the chernozem soils.

* Stating that Russia cannot absorb Novorossiya is bullsh¡t. Germany, a smaller economy with no sovereign government could absorb the RDA. If Russia doesn't decide, the situation will decide by itself. Russia is already receiving a lot of displaced Russians, plus tons of Russians in Ukraine who became the source of cheap labor for Russian companies. And what about the costs of humanitarian assistance and military support to Russians under the Ukraine dictatorship? Let's say it takes 30 years to revert the decay, so what? Russia has been around longer and has had successful comebacks under way more destruction.

* The Donbass people already decided twice, by clear majority of the popular vote, to become part of the Russian Federation. The right thing to do is simply accepting them. Not doing so sends the signal that no matter what the other southwestern Oblasts do, they will not be accepted either. Russia should openly support the Russians in the southeast of Ukraine who want to secede and reintegrate with the Russian Federation.

For example, financing a reunification party, granting contracts and jobs to the Russian allies there, logistically supporting a secession movement, even militarily, because the Khazarians will not let go without bloodshed.

[Apr 18, 2019] The Saker interviews Dmitry Orlov

Notable quotes:
"... Thus, there is an objective reason to prefer Zelensky over Poroshenko, which is that Poroshenko is a major thief while Zelensky isn't one yet, but it must be understood that this difference will begin to equalize the moment after Zelensky's inauguration. In fact, the elites in Kiev are currently all aquiver over their ingenious plan to sell off all of Ukraine's land to foreign investors (no doubt pocketing a hefty "fee"). ..."
"... The platforms of all the 30+ candidates were identical, but this makes no difference in a country that has surrendered its sovereignty. In terms of foreign relations and strategic considerations, the Ukraine is run from the US embassy in Kiev. ..."
"... n terms of its internal functioning, the main prerogative of everyone in power, the president included, is thievery. Their idea is to get their cut and flee the country before the whole thing blows up. ..."
"... Another option would be for Poroshenko to cheat his way past the second round (in an even more heavy-handed manner, since this time he is behind by over 30%), in which case Zelensky could theoretically contest the result in court and win. This would invalidate the entire election and leave Poroshenko in charge until the next one. Lather, rinse, repeat. Are you excited yet? ..."
"... None of this matters, because we don't know which of the two is the US State Department's pick. Depending on which one it is, and regardless of the results of any elections or lawsuits, a giant foot will come out of the sky and stomp on the head of the other one. ..."
Apr 18, 2019 | thesaker.is

... ... ...

­ The Saker: What is your take on the first round of Presidential elections in the Ukraine?

Dmitry Orlov: The first round of the elections was an outright fraud. The object of the exercise was to somehow allow president Poroshenko to make it into the second round. This was done by falsifying as many votes as was necessary. In a significant number of precincts the turnout was exactly 100% instead of the usual 60% or so and counted votes from people who had moved, died or emigrated. All of these fake votes went to Poroshenko, allowing him to slither through to the second round.

Now the fight is between Poroshenko and a comedian named Vladimir Zelensky. The only difference between Poroshenko and Zelensky, or any of the other 30+ people who appeared on the ballot, is that Poroshenko has already stolen his billions while his contestants have not had a chance to do so yet, the only reason to run for president, or any elected office, in the Ukraine, being to put oneself in a position to do some major thieving.

Thus, there is an objective reason to prefer Zelensky over Poroshenko, which is that Poroshenko is a major thief while Zelensky isn't one yet, but it must be understood that this difference will begin to equalize the moment after Zelensky's inauguration. In fact, the elites in Kiev are currently all aquiver over their ingenious plan to sell off all of Ukraine's land to foreign investors (no doubt pocketing a hefty "fee").

The platforms of all the 30+ candidates were identical, but this makes no difference in a country that has surrendered its sovereignty. In terms of foreign relations and strategic considerations, the Ukraine is run from the US embassy in Kiev. I

n terms of its internal functioning, the main prerogative of everyone in power, the president included, is thievery. Their idea is to get their cut and flee the country before the whole thing blows up.

It remains to be seen whether the second round of elections will also be an outright fraud and what happens as a result. There are many alternatives, but none of them resemble any sort of exercise in democracy. To be sure, what is meant by "democracy" in this case is simply the ability to execute orders issued from Washington; inability to do so would make Ukraine an "authoritarian regime" or a "dictatorship" and subject to "regime change." But short of that, nothing matters.

The machinations of Ukraine's "democrats" are about as interesting to me as the sex lives of sewer rats, but for the sake of completeness, let me flowchart it out for you. Poroshenko got into second round by outright fraud, because the loss of this election would, within the Ukrainian political food chain, instantly convert him from predator to prey. However, he was none too subtle about it, there is ample proof of his cheating, and the contender he squeezed out -- Yulia Timoshenko -- could theoretically contest the result in court and win. This would invalidate the entire election and leave Poroshenko in charge until the next one. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Another option would be for Poroshenko to cheat his way past the second round (in an even more heavy-handed manner, since this time he is behind by over 30%), in which case Zelensky could theoretically contest the result in court and win. This would invalidate the entire election and leave Poroshenko in charge until the next one. Lather, rinse, repeat. Are you excited yet?

None of this matters, because we don't know which of the two is the US State Department's pick. Depending on which one it is, and regardless of the results of any elections or lawsuits, a giant foot will come out of the sky and stomp on the head of the other one.

Of course, it will all be made to look highly democratic for the sake of appearances. The leadership of the EU will oblige with some golf claps while choking back vomit and the world will move on.

[Apr 18, 2019] The Ukrainian State Investigation Bureau launched a criminal case on "the intentional surrender" of Crimea against Verkhovna Rada Speaker Andrei Paruby, Secretary of the Ukrainian Council of National Security and Defense Alexander Turchinov, former Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk and others

If Poroshenko loses all those guys probably need to use their green cards ASAP ;-)
Apr 18, 2019 | thesaker.is

JJ on April 17, 2019 , · at 7:26 am EST/EDT

KIEV, April 17. /TASS/. The Ukrainian State Investigation Bureau launched a criminal case on "the intentional surrender" of Crimea against Verkhovna Rada Speaker Andrei Paruby, Secretary of the Ukrainian Council of National Security and Defense Alexander Turchinov, former Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk and others, the Ukrainian law union Aver Lex told TASS on Wednesday.

READ ALSO

Court finds Yanukovich not guilty of 'losing Crimea' -- attorney
"The State Investigation Bureau opened a criminal case on the intentional surrender of Crimea, violent upheaval, treason and the organization of mass murders on the 'maidan' in 2014 by Ukraine's top officials, in particular by Arseny Yatsenyuk, Alexander Turchinov, Andrei Paruby, [former head of Ukraine's Security Service] Valentin Nalivaichenko, [Verkhovna Rada member] Sergei Pashinsky, [Permanent Representative to the UN] Yuri Sergeyev, [Kiev Mayor] Vitaly Klichko, [head of the Freedom nationalist party] Oleg Tyagnibok, [former Acting Defense Minister] Igor Tenyukh, [Prosecutor General] Yuri Lutsenko, [Defense Minister] Stepan Poltorak and others," Aver Lex said.

More:
http://tass.com/world/1054070

Wow .determined to throw out the old crowd?????????

Mulga Mumblebrain on April 17, 2019 , · at 6:52 pm EST/EDT
It gets messy when rats turn on each other-but is entertaining when they are the 'human' sub-species.

[Apr 11, 2019] Zelensky deflects Poroshenko question about being 'Kolomoisky's puppet'

Notable quotes:
"... Presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky has responded to remarks by incumbent President Petro Poroshenko about the former's dependence on Ukrainian businessman Ihor Kolomoisky with a statement about ex-First Deputy Secretary of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) Oleh Hladkovsky (formerly Oleh Svynarchuk), the suspect identified in corruption in the defense sector by investigative journalists. ..."
"... He said again that I am a puppet of Kolomoisky. I have only one question, I think he will be amazed too: So you are a puppet of Svynarchuk, or is Svynarchuk your puppet? ..."
Apr 11, 2019 | interfax.com.ua

Presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky has responded to remarks by incumbent President Petro Poroshenko about the former's dependence on Ukrainian businessman Ihor Kolomoisky with a statement about ex-First Deputy Secretary of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) Oleh Hladkovsky (formerly Oleh Svynarchuk), the suspect identified in corruption in the defense sector by investigative journalists.

"I've just watched the press conference of our guarantor. He said again that I am a puppet of Kolomoisky. I have only one question, I think he will be amazed too: So you are a puppet of Svynarchuk, or is Svynarchuk your puppet? Please, pass this question on to the guarantor of the constitution (president)," Zelensky said at a briefing at his election headquarters on Sunday evening.

As reported, Poroshenko on Sunday evening after publication of exit polls in the presidential election said he was fated to run against "Kolomoisky's puppet" in the second round of presidential elections scheduled for April 21.

"We will not give Kolomoisky any chance," Poroshenko said.

[Apr 11, 2019] A poll suggests that the losers' votes are most likely to go to Zelensky in the runoff on the 21st

Apr 11, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

A poll suggests that the losers' votes are most likely to go to Zelensky in the runoff on the 21st.

Putin is apparently a candidate, or is Poroshenko saying Zelensky is Putin's puppet? More questions than answers: will Poroshenko contrive to cancel the election? Is Zelensky a beard for Kolomoisky ? How's Tymoshenko going to take being knocked out? Has she cut a deal with Zelensky? How much cheating ? (And sotto voce: does anybody care any more? ) Speculations .

David Schuler , 4 hours ago

Possibly relevant this morning in the Wall Street Journal George P. Schultz, William J. Perry, and Sam Nunn have an op-ed highlighting that a nuclear threat is not a thing of the past.

The good news: they characterize the U. S.'s Russia policy as "dysfunctional" (which it is) and call for renewed dialogue with Russia.

The bad news: they also call for strengthening NATO.

It seems to me that those two goals are contradictory. Expanding NATO beyond its original membership is a key component of the dysfunction and a barrier to renewed dialogue with Russia.

[Apr 10, 2019] A few initial thoughts about the first round of the Ukrainian Presidential election by The Saker

Sakers has a strong pro-Russian bias, and it shows. the process of distancing from Russia was common for all post-Soviet republics and actually was caused by the mere fact of acquiring independence. That it took such a self-destructive form in Ukraine is many ways the net result to Washington geopolitical machinations (supported by Germany, Poland and Sweden).
The key problem is not EuroMaydan nationalist "revolution" per se, but that fact that Ukrainian nationalists proved to be neoliberal compradors. Ukraine became the debt slave of the West. Under neoliberal neocolonialism this is a very stable condition that guarantees that the standard of living of people will not improve. The country will be sacked dry. So Ukraine is an example of "Latin-Americanization" of post Soviet space -- that policy that Washington actively implemented since 1991. After huge initial success with puppet Yeltsin regime, they failed to weaken and dismember Russia further due to ascendance of Putin. But for all other republics it was pretty successful neocolonial policy. They now have military bases in few of those republics and most of them are debt slaves of IMF and World bank. In a way EuroMaydan signified the finishing touches of conversion of this region into dent slaves.
Neoliberal Washington was turned into an oligarchy, an autocracy run by Davos billionaires. Their "liberty" and democracy was an early example of Orwellian Doublethink. It was to destroy everybody else's liberty so they could grab whatever they could, enslave the debtors and create the polarized hostile to each other countries in post-Soviet state that are easily controlled ("divide and conquer" strategy along with "Full Spectrum Dominance" mantra and neoliberal "Washington Consensus" method of enslavement). Ukraine is the most glaring example of this enslavement --the country with Central African level of poverty. It is very similar how Roman oligarchy behaved -- the Roman oligarchy accused anyone of supporting debtor rights and opposing its land grabs of "seeking kingship." Such men were murdered, century after century. It seems that unless there's a Hammurabi-style "divine king" or some elected civic regulatory authority arise, local neoliberal oligarchies arise and help to exploit their societies by Washington as much as they can, while trying to prevent the country from defending itself. In few countries like Hungary far right ascendance slowed down this process, but for how long is unlearn as global finance is controlled from London and Washington and can crash any individual country like a bug.
The Romans brutal "mission civilisatrice", can be viewed as to instll local oligarchy and and kind of "financialized" economy in other countries. For performing this service, the imperial power takes all the money that its colonies can generate. Washington is not different. That's why the US meddles in foreign politics of other countries, as we have just seen in Ukraine, Libya and Syria.
This overgrowth of debt under neoliberalism is highly destabilizing. Financial oligarchy have broken free of tax liability and are enriching themselves not by helping the overall country economy grow and raising living standards, but just the opposite: by getting the country into bigger and bigger debt. This is the essence of Poroshenko regime -- corrupt comprador oligarchy.
So there is no surprise that everybody hates Poroshenko and even huge "administrative resource" and personal wealth did not help him to get more then 15% of votes (of which 5-10% are probably fraudulent). That's typical for any neoliberal president who stand for re-election in a debt slave country. But it is important to to note that this Washington marionette made the situation much worse that the situation existed under Yanukovich (which was also corrupt as hell).
The role of Israel in EuroMaydan is open to review and one comment below addresses that.
Some comments are more informed and are more interesting then the article, for example by Beckow.
An interesting and funny detail is proliferation of "Children of lieutenant Schmitt" -- Holocaust survivors in Ukraine. People who were born in 1945, the first post-war generation, are now 75, right ? And life expectantly for this generation is probably 65 for men and 75 for women.
Notable quotes:
"... Poroshenko's absolutely vital goal was to make it into the 2nd round. Had he failed to make it he would have had to immediately jump into an aircraft and leave the country (because the most likely victor of the Presidential election would have been Iulia Tymoshenko and we can be darn sure that she would immediately jail him and most of his cronies). ..."
"... it is practically impossible to falsify an election and compensate for, say, a 15%-20% difference. But to cheat and change a result by less than 5% is much more doable. ..."
"... As for Zelenskii, he scores just like Poroshenko. ... ... ... ...Zelenskii is just a glorified puppet and everybody in the Ukraine knows that his puppet-master is Igor Kolomoiskii who is waiting out the final outcome of the Presidential election safely hidden in, you guessed it, Israel. ..."
"... Still, in theory, it is almost impossible for Poroshenko to win this one. Not only do all the other candidates hate Poroshenko way more than they would dislike Zelenskii, voters for Tymoshenko or Boiko are far more likely to vote for Zelenskii than for Poroshenko. ..."
"... Most votes went to Zelenski that is indication that Ukrainians now did loose their enthusiasm, and they are becoming more lethargic. ..."
"... Hillary Clinton's State Department funneled $5 billion to orchestrate a "revolution" to overthrow the elected President of Ukraine in 2014. (See my June 7, 2016 blog post for details.) Ukraine's President was ousted because he refused to support Ukraine joining the EU and NATO, and violence spread throughout Ukraine as CIA funded factions fought for power. ..."
"... With the exception of the Baltic states, that simply isn't true of any nation from the former Soviet Union. Otherwise, the Russians couldn't have set up the Eurasian Customs Union which covers ~90% of the former USSR. There are even many Georgians working in Russia, in spite of the short war that was started by US dummy and former Georgian then Ukrainian, now stateless, Mikheil Saakashvili. ..."
"... I say the best solution for Ukraine would be to leave the nazis among themselves by giving independence to Galicia. If it's the price to pay to reintegrate Donbass, for the economy, and for peace and stability, it's worth it. ..."
"... He has been in the office for 5 years and 85% of people want someone else. How much clearer could this be? This was a massive vote of no-confidence by Ukrainians. If Porky squeezes or cheats his way into staying as president, he is asking for trouble – it is not sustainable and Washington knows it. ..."
"... Galicia and Donbas also clearly cannot coexist in the same non-federated state, they are on opposite sides. ..."
"... That takes away 3-5% of the Ukrainian economy. If Russia piles on and restricts more trade, or limits remittances, there will inevitably by a recession in Ukraine. The circus is about to re-start, no wonder the clowns are renting stadiums. But at some point the distractions will cease to distract – and then the damn reality will hit even harder ..."
"... Most importantly, the masters are OK with it. Imperial gauleiter of Ukraine Volker has already voiced his support for Porky. Porky would likely be more obedient than anyone else: he can be blackmailed, as he has already earned gallows (or life in prison in countries that don't have death penalty). So, the masters have already chosen their favorite puppet. We'll see on April 21st how much influence they have. ..."
"... I am not saying that Zelensky (and his puppet master Kolomoisky) won't do, but from masters' point of view old clown is apparently preferable to the new one. ..."
"... the first step when things don't go well, is to rotate the clowns. We got Macron, the German doppelganger for Merkel, elites tried Renzi in Italy, so maybe Zelinsky could work. He is a complete tabula rasa, non-entity, that wouldn't know how to find the executive washroom. At a minimum, he would buy some time. Next they can still try Tymoshenko. This will not get resolved through the political process. ..."
"... If the masters allow new clown to win, Gas princess can be made the speaker of the Rada ..."
"... I am not sure what is left to be gained in Ukraine, it is all costs and very few benefits. That's what happens when the layered lying becomes so convoluted that the masters lose track of the objectives. ..."
"... They wanted Crimea (actually Russia out of Crimea bases, NATO in) – that failed. Everything else were distractions, false promises, and payoffs to locals. A normal master would accept the defeat, take his toys home, and wait for the next time. The post-modern Washingtonians instead pretend that the sweet talk was real , try for silly, secondary objectives (how about a few missiles on the Russian border? that would work out great), or refuse to accept the obvious. Making the whole fiasco more costly. ..."
"... As to a few missiles on Russian border, they already have that in Baltic vaudeville states, which are much closer to Moscow and especially Sankt Petersburg then Zhmerinka. ..."
"... Then again, I am looking at it rationally, whereas Washington politburo is getting even less rational that the Soviet one under Brezhnev. ..."
"... In April this year [2018] the U.S. supplied Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine and in May 2018 the U.S. Congress approved $250m of military funding, specifically including deliveries of lethal weaponry. ..."
"... President Donald Trump's special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker (a neocon, acolyte of senator John McCain, previously appointed by George Bush as U.S. ambassador to NATO) announced further U.S. arms supplies would follow, boasting of rising anti-Russian sentiment in Ukraine. ..."
"... The zionists have been in cahoots with the neo-Nazi throughout the whole State Dept. criminal enterprise in Ukraine. The Kagans clan of holo-biz survivors and other pro-Nazi Jewish activists such as Gershman (NED) and Foxman (ADL) have been the moving force towards banderization of Ukraine ..."
Apr 08, 2019 | www.unz.com
The Nazis suffered a crushing defeat in this election.
By "Nazis" I primarily mean their main figurehead – Petro Poroshenko (the rest of the "minor Nazis" did so poorly that they don't matter anymore). Think of it: in spite of his immense wealth (he outspent everybody else and even spent more that twice what the next big spender – Tymoshenko – doled out for each vote), in spite of his immense "administrative resource" (that is the Russian expression for the ability to use the power of the state for your personal benefit), in spite of his "victory" with the Tomos , in spite of triggering the Kerch bridge incident, in spite of breaking all the remaining treaties with Russia, in spite of his control of the media and in spite of the (now admittedly lukewarm) support of the West, Poroshenko suffered a crushing defeat. Look at the only two regions Petro Poroshenko (i.e. the Nazis) actually won (in blue) and see how nicely they overlap with the rough historical contours of the Galicia region. But Poroshenko managed to even lose part of that to Iulia Tymoshenko! Bottom line: except for a minority of rabid hardcore Nazis in Galicia, the rest of the Ukraine hates the Poroshenko Ukronazi regime. We always knew that, but now we have the proof. ... ... ... Remember how Poroshenko promised peace in weeks, a full respect for the Russian language and prosperity for all? Well, all he delivered was chaos, insecurity, poverty, violence, a massive influx of Ukronazis from Canada and the USA and, above all, a completely hysterical, rabid, russophobia combined with abject groveling before the AngloZionist Empire. He also brought an absolutely unbelievable level of corruption, having personally doubled his net worth many times over. The legacy Ziomedia and the Ukropropaganda can say all they want, and they can try to ban the Russian media and Internet in the Ukraine. But the truth is that everybody in the Ukraine knows that the Ukraine went from being the richest Soviet Republic to the poorest country in Europe. In fact, there are quite a few African countries which are doing much better than the Ukraine. The truth is, and has been for several years now, that the Ukraine is a failed state and that there is absolutely no even vaguely plausible scenario in the foreseeable future in which the Ukraine could begin to recover. Hence this amazing result: short of the Galician Nazis, everyone else absolutely hates the regime in power. So Poroshenko's score is a humiliating defeat for all the Ukronazis. But not for Petro Poroshenko himself!
Petro Poroshenko scores a remarkable personal victory
Poroshenko's absolutely vital goal was to make it into the 2nd round. Had he failed to make it he would have had to immediately jump into an aircraft and leave the country (because the most likely victor of the Presidential election would have been Iulia Tymoshenko and we can be darn sure that she would immediately jail him and most of his cronies). In order to make it into the 2nd round, Poroshenko did not have to defeat Zelenskii, but only defeat Tymoshenko and that Poroshenko also succeeded in doing. Oh sure – it was thanks to a huge, massive fraud all over the country (especially in the easternmost and westernmost regions) and he beat her only by 2.5% but that is more than enough.

Besides, it is practically impossible to falsify an election and compensate for, say, a 15%-20% difference. But to cheat and change a result by less than 5% is much more doable. In fact, if we assume that a 5% fraud is well within the means of an outgoing President and billionaire, then we can also see that we will never know who really won . See here for an almost finished (99.68%) count for the top four contenders: While Zelenskii is untouchable and way ahead of everybody else, Poroshenko, Tymoshenko and Boiko are all within less than 5% of each other. Interesting, no?

Keep in mind that Boiko is the closest thing to a pro-Russian candidate and that just a few years ago he was virtually unknown. See for yourself: 2014 results vs 2018 poll Look at the stats for 2014: Poroshenko had 55% of the vote, Tymoshenko 8% and Boiko just about 0%. Please also notice that in the 2018 poll Tymoshenko is way ahead of Poroshenko while Boiko is not far behind.

As for Zelenskii, he scores just like Poroshenko. ... ... ... ...Zelenskii is just a glorified puppet and everybody in the Ukraine knows that his puppet-master is Igor Kolomoiskii who is waiting out the final outcome of the Presidential election safely hidden in, you guessed it, Israel. This is how the Tablet concludes:

The transformation wrought in Ukraine by the Maidan revolution has been an exhilarating roller coaster that has not bypassed Ukrainian Jewry, which is now in the midst of an exciting period of cultural revival paralleling that of the wider Ukrainian society, which is still just beginning to rediscover its own past and imagine an independent future. Whether this post-Soviet country will choose to elect an openly Jewish president, or a part-Jewish president, or continue with its current philo-Semitic president, the future of Ukraine's Jews would appear to be brighter than anyone might reasonably have imagined.
Where Poroshenko was the ultimate apparatchik Zelenskii is the ultimate outsider and just as the people of the USA did not vote "for" Trump as much as they voted "against" Hillary, so the people of the Ukraine did not really vote "for" Zelenskii, but "against" Poroshenko. In fact, Zelenskii does not have anything resembling a political program (only vague and nice sounding slogans) and he most certainly has no other political record other than being a standup comedian and actors in several (pretty good) satirical series. Frankly, it appears that Zelenskii was as stunned by his victory as Trump was by his.

Still, in theory, it is almost impossible for Poroshenko to win this one. Not only do all the other candidates hate Poroshenko way more than they would dislike Zelenskii, voters for Tymoshenko or Boiko are far more likely to vote for Zelenskii than for Poroshenko. This creates an extremely dangerous situation: Poroshenko can only win by a massive fraud . Now Tymoshenko did declare that the first round was stolen, but she decided not to appeal this officially. Furthermore, it is now apparent that Tymoshenko was ditched by most of her US supporters, something which she clearly did not expect and which came as a total shock to her, hence her stunned reaction to the announced figures. She has always been, and still is, a remarkably intelligent lady and a very calculating realist: she simply knows that an official rejection of the outcome from her would make no difference. But you can be sure that behind the scenes the interests Tymoshenko represents are now talking to the people of Kolomoiskii and that Poroshenko is fully aware of that. ... ... ...

Conclusion: a very interesting and very dangerous situation

Poroshenko is now truly cornered: he absolutely must win, or he must run. In order to win, his options are very limited

... ... ...

The infamous Minister of the Interior, Arsen Avakov, arguably currently the most powerful and dangerous man in the Ukraine, has made an most interesting statement about Zelenskii:

"A decent man from another world. From another plane. Ready to deal with problems, but at the same time recognizing that in many issues he is not fully competent. In my understanding, this means that he is ready to delegate authority. However, the question arises: can we – Ukrainian society – offer the quality of the elite, which can be entrusted with the implementation of such powers? After all, if he delegates authority to scoundrels – as it happens in some series of "Servants of the people" – it will be very bad for the country. Using expats is also not an option "( ) "He knows for sure that from point A it is necessary to come to point B, and I am ready to agree with it. But the problem is how to go this way. Often, if you go head-on, you will crash into a wall or break. Therefore, it is necessary to choose the right path – and here should work competent and honest specialists"

In plain English this simply means: Zelenskii has no personal power base, he will be a puppet, so he better offer me a good deal (" delegate authority "), or I will turn against him and, how knows, an unpredictable accident (" you will crash into a wall or break ") can easily happen. Shocking? Welcome to "Ukrainian thug politics"! Besides, if the Nazis decide to kill Zelenskii they can easily blame it on Russia. Either that, or on a "lone, deranged, gunman" which they can find in the thousands amongst the various Nazi death-squads.

Right now the Nazis are in a total panic, they are declaring that Zelenskii's victory is "Moscow's triumph", they say that Zelenskii will sell out everything Ukrainian and that he is a Putin agent. At the very least, they will now dig up as much dirt on Zelenskii as possible (whether real or manufactured).

... ... ...


AP , says: April 4, 2019 at 2:31 am GMT

Everybody in the Ukraine knows that the Ukraine went from being the richest Soviet Republic to the poorest country in Europe

In Soviet times Ukraine was was poorer than Russia, Belarus, and the Baltic Republics.

And Moldova is the poorest country in Europe.

https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.CD?locations=UA-RU-BY-MD

Patricus , says: April 4, 2019 at 11:35 pm GMT
How come the nations geographically closest to Russia hate her the most?
Ilyana_Rozumova , says: April 6, 2019 at 10:01 pm GMT
Zelenski means green man and has Polish indication. So he is one of the holocaust survivors. (There are suspiciously too many of them these days.)

Timoshenko was virulently anti Russian but not so much anymore. All industrial plants in Ukraine were built by Russians making products for Russia, I have doubt that they can make anything that west needs. So Ukraine now is fully depended on agriculture. That is why Ukraine is going down.

Most votes went to Zelenski that is indication that Ukrainians now did loose their enthusiasm, and they are becoming more lethargic.

Ilyana_Rozumova , says: April 6, 2019 at 10:18 pm GMT
Galicia is multicultural area consisting mostly Polish, Slovak, Hungarian, Romanian, Russian, and some other nationals. There is no unity there, and never will be
Carlton Meyer , says: Website April 7, 2019 at 5:17 am GMT
@Ilyana_Rozumova Maybe Galicia should be returned to Poland? From my blog:

May 1, 2017 – Must Ukraine Return Volhynia?

Hillary Clinton's State Department funneled $5 billion to orchestrate a "revolution" to overthrow the elected President of Ukraine in 2014. (See my June 7, 2016 blog post for details.) Ukraine's President was ousted because he refused to support Ukraine joining the EU and NATO, and violence spread throughout Ukraine as CIA funded factions fought for power.

Crimea was part of Russia for over a century until it was administratively attached to Ukraine in 1954 by a Soviet premier to promote Soviet solidarity. Russians are the majority people in Crimea and Russian is the common language, but they were not consulted. In 2014, after years of Ukrainian political turmoil and an American coup in Kiev, Russia accepted a request by the people of Crimea to rejoin Russia after 94% voted in favor. (See my Aug 8, 2016 blog post for details.) Russians and Crimeans were puzzled by intense American opposition to this reannexation, and rightly concluded the Americans really wanted "NATO" military bases in strategic Crimea.

For those concerned about European borders and justice, they should address a truly outrageous annexation. In 1939, the Soviet Union invaded Poland and seized half of its land while Soviet police massacred 22,000 influential Polish POWs and civilians. This area was invaded by Germany two years later, which formed Ukrainian paramilitary units that murdered over 100,000 Poles during the war.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massacres_of_Poles_in_Volhynia_and_Eastern_Galicia

Entire Polish villages disappeared as Ukrainians massacred everyone to include women and children, who were buried in mass graves. After the war, the Polish regions of Volhynia and Eastern Galicia were formally annexed by Soviet Ukraine after 1.5 million Poles were forcibly deported. Over the next decade, another 1.5 million Poles were deported by Ukraine to ethically cleanse these regions (noted in yellow below).

The West did nothing about this brutality because it occurred within the powerful Soviet Union. However, that union broke up and Ukraine is weak and at odds with Russia. On July 22, 2016, the Parliament of Poland passed a resolution recognizing the massacres of ethnic Poles in Volhynia and Galicia as genocide. Poland is now part of NATO and American troops are based there. Thousands of Poles are still alive who were expelled from these regions. Homes and land were seized from millions of Poles. Ukrainian war criminals remain at large.

This raises several questions. If Poland demands a return of its territory or compensation for Poles, will powerful NATO support its demand? Will sanctions be imposed against Ukraine for this genocide and illegal seizure of Polish territory? Since Crimea was attached to Ukraine without a democratic vote, and the citizens of Crimea voted to rejoin Russia, should sanctions against Russia be removed?

Informed people know these issues will never be addressed because NATO does not exist to protect member states, but is a proxy arm of America's neocon empire trying to conquer the world. However, as Poland's military grows stronger and Ukraine struggles, this issue may arise, and crafty Russia may support a return of Poland's, Slovakia's, and Romania's seized territories!

Vojkan , says: April 7, 2019 at 7:16 am GMT
@Patricus

With the exception of the Baltic states, that simply isn't true of any nation from the former Soviet Union. Otherwise, the Russians couldn't have set up the Eurasian Customs Union which covers ~90% of the former USSR. There are even many Georgians working in Russia, in spite of the short war that was started by US dummy and former Georgian then Ukrainian, now stateless, Mikheil Saakashvili.

Vojkan , says: April 7, 2019 at 7:24 am GMT
I say the best solution for Ukraine would be to leave the nazis among themselves by giving independence to Galicia. If it's the price to pay to reintegrate Donbass, for the economy, and for peace and stability, it's worth it.
Vojkan , says: April 7, 2019 at 7:32 am GMT
@Carlton Meyer Poles would be crazy to take back Galicia. Just fence the nazi lunatics in with electrified barbed wire and leave them among themselves.
Macon Richardson , says: April 7, 2019 at 7:40 am GMT
@One Tribe Well, yes, in a fashion. I'm from the old South (Roosevelt was in his second term when I was born). Though I was educated at a fine old southern university and though I have lived a significant part of my adult life in Europe, Asia and Africa, I still revel in being called a redneck, a hick, a yokel, a cracker.

I embrace all of those terms because they only illustrate the ignorance of those who use them in a derogatory manner. I also embrace being a part of the goyim. Those who use those terms to wound only shows their fear, their own sense of inferiority to me, to us, Christian southerners both white and black.

jbwilson24 , says: April 7, 2019 at 9:01 am GMT
"Zionist praise for a Nazi" Poroshenko has Jewish ancestry, you dimwit. Go read the article in Forward called 'Poroshenko's Secret Jewish Roots'. Ukraine has three Jewish men in a row as prime minister. How interesting, given their rather low population percentage.
Ilyana_Rozumova , says: April 7, 2019 at 9:53 am GMT
@Carlton Meyer Largest part of Galicia did belong to Slovakia. To Poland did belong only Lvov and surrounding area.
(Although most populated.)
Anon [424] Disclaimer , says: April 7, 2019 at 10:47 am GMT
@Patricus Ask your latinamericans neighbours how much they love the USA
mikemikev , says: April 7, 2019 at 1:01 pm GMT
@jbwilson24

Yes they're a strange type of Nazi to install a Jewish leader. "Nazism" in most people's minds is synonymous with anti-Jewism. Are they that?

Rich , says: April 7, 2019 at 2:24 pm GMT
Nazi, Nazi, Nazi. Do these guys ever stop? It reminds me of the old Jews in Queens, NY, every time they got into a disagreement with anyone, they yelled "Nazi". Even the regular Jews got sick of it. The Ukrainians have a long history of nationalist thinkers, opposed to Russian domination. Like the Finns, the Ukrainian patriots may have taken German support in WW2, but that doesn't make the "Nazis". The National Socialists were a unique party to the Germany of the 1930s, would you call Italian Fascists "Nazis"?
Oscar Peterson , says: April 7, 2019 at 2:39 pm GMT
@Patricus Is that a serious question?

Ask yourself why, in general, one country/nation hates another? It's because of attempts at invasion and domination. And historically, who is going to invade/dominate you? Those geographically closest obviously. Sure, there are exceptions to this–the Mongol Empire, the Arab Caliphate, and most strikingly, the Western invasion of well, everywhere in the 16th-20th centuries.

But in most of the world most of the time for most of human existence, it's the guy next door who is going to screw you and whom you in turn will screw.

Irish-English. German-French. Serb-Croat. Arab-Persian. Vietnamese-Cambodian. Tutsi-Hutu. Iroquois-Algonkian. Navajo-Hopi.

So why would you be surprised?

One commenter suggested a comparison with Latin American attitudes towards the US. This is partly true, but there are several differences. First, national identity is, on the whole, relatively weak in New World. What does it really mean to be a Honduran? Secondly, the main US security mechanism in the Western Hemisphere has been its navy which means relatively less direct occupation and repression of places like Mexico. Russia, invaded from East and West, has always sought security zones that inevitably mean occupation and subjugation. Third, US hegemonism has only really gotten going over the last 125 years, so it hasn't had as much time to antagonize its neighbors, and we had the good fortune of ravaging most of the locals near at hand with the small pox, etc that we brought along with us.

These factors combine to explain why the hatred quotient towards Russia by its neighbors is higher than that towards the US.

Wally , says: April 7, 2019 at 2:49 pm GMT
@Ilyana_Rozumova said:

"Zelenski means green man and has Polish indication. So he is one of the holocaust survivors. (There are suspiciously too many of them these days.)"

– The endless numbers of "survivors" are especially amazing since it's claimed that 'the Germans tried to kill every Jew they could get their hands on.'

... ... ...

Oscar Peterson , says: April 7, 2019 at 2:51 pm GMT
@Ilyana_Rozumova

Galicia is multicultural area consisting mostly Polish, Slovak, Hungarian, Romanian, Russian, and some other nationals. There is no unity there, and never will be.

Then why do they seem to behave politically in ways that set them apart from all those around them?

Oscar Peterson , says: April 7, 2019 at 2:54 pm GMT
@Ilyana_Rozumova

Largest part of Galicia did belong to Slovakia.

Really? I never thought of Slovaks as owning much of anything–not even Slovakia historically. Hungarians, Austrians, Czechs all dominated Slovakia. Could you expand on your notion of the majority of Galicia belonging to Slovakia?

Beckow , says: April 7, 2019 at 3:29 pm GMT
When a sitting president anywhere in the world runs for re-election and gets 15%, the decent thing is to step aside. It doesn't matter how many other candidates run, there could be hundreds – what matters is that 85% of people voted against Porky as their first choice .

He has been in the office for 5 years and 85% of people want someone else. How much clearer could this be? This was a massive vote of no-confidence by Ukrainians. If Porky squeezes or cheats his way into staying as president, he is asking for trouble – it is not sustainable and Washington knows it.

Galicia and Donbas also clearly cannot coexist in the same non-federated state, they are on opposite sides.

Economy: is it not going to get better. The bad news have been pushed after the elections, and in 2020 two things will happen:

Kiev will have to start paying back at least some of the Western loans Income from gas transit will be gone (and possibly the gas itself).

That takes away 3-5% of the Ukrainian economy. If Russia piles on and restricts more trade, or limits remittances, there will inevitably by a recession in Ukraine. The circus is about to re-start, no wonder the clowns are renting stadiums. But at some point the distractions will cease to distract – and then the damn reality will hit even harder

annamaria , says: April 7, 2019 at 4:41 pm GMT
@Vojkan The Poles deserve the ziocon-"renovated" & "liberated" Galicia festering with the active Banderites. Look how the Poles have been treating the monuments to the fallen Soviet soldiers. Let the Poles enjoy their passionate brotherly love with the ZUSA.

As Saker writes,

Fundamentally, Nazis and Zionists are twin brothers, even if deep down they hate (and often admire!) each other.

If there is something positive about Maidan regime change, it is the revelation of the ziocons active role in the revival of neo-Nazism in Ukraine. The revelation is a death blow to the holo-biz profiteering schema.

Whether the Jewish State's provisions of Israel-made ammunition to the neo-Nazis or the ADL & Simon Wiesenthal Center support for the neo-Nazi (see the zionists scandalous behavior re the Conyers' Amendment), the zionists did indeed come out (again!) as the "twin brothers" of the worsts among Nazis.

https://portside.org/2014-11-20/how-israel-lobby-protected-ukrainian-neo-nazis

AnonFromTN , says: April 7, 2019 at 4:51 pm GMT
I disagree that Porky is dumb. He successfully fleeced the whole country, including competing oligarchs, for 5 years. Dumb are the people who still support him. Ukrainians voting for Porky are like chickens voting for Colonel Sanders. But some morons never learn.

Porky might be fond of his drink. He showed up seriously inebriated several times publicly, but he wouldn't be able to steal hundreds of millions consistently while being drunk all the time. Saakashvili (admittedly, hardly a reliable source of info) said that Porky ran the country into the ground being sober. Well, Porky never cared about the country, all he is interested in is the trough. That's why he wants five more years of stealing, and he is reluctant to yield his place at the trough to someone else.

Most importantly, the masters are OK with it. Imperial gauleiter of Ukraine Volker has already voiced his support for Porky. Porky would likely be more obedient than anyone else: he can be blackmailed, as he has already earned gallows (or life in prison in countries that don't have death penalty). So, the masters have already chosen their favorite puppet. We'll see on April 21st how much influence they have.

I am not saying that Zelensky (and his puppet master Kolomoisky) won't do, but from masters' point of view old clown is apparently preferable to the new one.

Robjil , says: April 7, 2019 at 5:30 pm GMT
@Oscar Peterson Transcarpathia is a long extension of Slovakia. It was taken from Czechoslovakia after WWII and given to Soviet Ukraine. The people of this region never thought of themselves as Ukrainian or Galician but as Rusyns or Ruthenians. Transcarpathia was mainly given to Soviet Union because it is a good gateway for tanks into Eastern Europe such as the case for Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968. This region also has a large Hungarian population, since Hungary used to rule it in the Austro-Hungarian empire times.
Beckow , says: April 7, 2019 at 6:44 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN

old clown is apparently preferable to the new one

For some he is preferable, he is more reliable. Anytime a new clown is elevated, there is some unpredictability. Bosses hate surprises.

On the other hand, the first step when things don't go well, is to rotate the clowns. We got Macron, the German doppelganger for Merkel, elites tried Renzi in Italy, so maybe Zelinsky could work. He is a complete tabula rasa, non-entity, that wouldn't know how to find the executive washroom. At a minimum, he would buy some time. Next they can still try Tymoshenko. This will not get resolved through the political process.

AnonFromTN , says: April 7, 2019 at 8:03 pm GMT
@Beckow

Next they can still try Tymoshenko. This will not get resolved through the political process.

Why not? If the masters allow new clown to win, Gas princess can be made the speaker of the Rada . Then an unfortunate accident can be easily arranged, and she becomes next successor perfectly legally. The masters do these things pretty often: remember Ulof Palme or Aldo Moro. Zelensky can be got rid of the same way, if the masters decide that it's to their benefit.

Beckow , says: April 7, 2019 at 8:51 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN That's a possible scenario. But in that part of the world, scenarios never play out the way they are planned.

I am not sure what is left to be gained in Ukraine, it is all costs and very few benefits. That's what happens when the layered lying becomes so convoluted that the masters lose track of the objectives.

They wanted Crimea (actually Russia out of Crimea bases, NATO in) – that failed. Everything else were distractions, false promises, and payoffs to locals. A normal master would accept the defeat, take his toys home, and wait for the next time. The post-modern Washingtonians instead pretend that the sweet talk was real , try for silly, secondary objectives (how about a few missiles on the Russian border? that would work out great), or refuse to accept the obvious. Making the whole fiasco more costly.

ploni almoni , says: April 7, 2019 at 8:56 pm GMT
@Patricus America is not so close.
AnonFromTN , says: April 7, 2019 at 9:45 pm GMT
@Beckow

The only reason they didn't abandon failed Ukrainian project I can see is that from imperial standpoint the more irritants you create for Russia, the better. Current Ukraine is an irritant. When its further disintegrates and becomes a huge Somalia on Russian doorstep, it would become an even grater irritant. Of course, Poles would suffer, too, but when did the masters take aborigines into account?

As to a few missiles on Russian border, they already have that in Baltic vaudeville states, which are much closer to Moscow and especially Sankt Petersburg then Zhmerinka.

Then again, I am looking at it rationally, whereas Washington politburo is getting even less rational that the Soviet one under Brezhnev.

annamaria , says: April 7, 2019 at 10:01 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN Who is Kurt Volker? https://mronline.org/2018/09/20/natos-fascist-wedge-in-ukraine/

In April this year [2018] the U.S. supplied Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine and in May 2018 the U.S. Congress approved $250m of military funding, specifically including deliveries of lethal weaponry.

President Donald Trump's special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker (a neocon, acolyte of senator John McCain, previously appointed by George Bush as U.S. ambassador to NATO) announced further U.S. arms supplies would follow, boasting of rising anti-Russian sentiment in Ukraine.

https://therealnews.com/stories/max-blumenthal-us-is-arming-neo-nazis-in-ukraine

Kurt Volker, similar to the deceased McCain, is a loyal servant to ziocons and war profiteers. Actually, Volker is a war profiteer himself.

The US's envoy to Ukraine, Kurt Volker, who is connected to Raytheon, is in favor of this arms shipment, and it's inevitable that it [arms shipment] will reach Azov [Battalion]

Azov Battalion functions in a lot of ways like ISIS has in Syria and Iraq Azov camps with an enormous trove of weapons .. we are talking about hundreds of pounds of C4 explosives, automatic weapons and grenade launchers.

Azov's own website demonstrates that US military trainers have visited Azov in the field to train and exchange logistical information. They appeared in uniform with Azov Battalion members who were wearing the wolf's angel patch, which is a Nazi SS symbol, a runic neo-Nazi symbol on their arm. This is just a scandalous spectacle. Not only that, contracts have been revealed showing that the Texas-based AirTronic arms company has produced PSRL-1 grenade launchers that were actually authorized under this watch of the State Department and delivered directly into the hands of the Azov Battalion. The US has armed Azov.

Again, what the ADL has been squeaking about -- that there are too many Holo-biz Deniers? -- The zionists have been in cahoots with the neo-Nazi throughout the whole State Dept. criminal enterprise in Ukraine. The Kagans clan of holo-biz survivors and other pro-Nazi Jewish activists such as Gershman (NED) and Foxman (ADL) have been the moving force towards banderization of Ukraine (Babij Yar, ADL?).

None of them cares about the memory of WWII victims the zionists only care about profits. As for Kurt Volker, he is with zionists in the search for mega-profit. He is a regular opportunist devoid of dignity.

annamaria , says: April 7, 2019 at 10:24 pm GMT
Kurt Volker: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurt_Volker

Volker served on the staff of Senator John McCain from 1997 to 1998. He was appointed United States Permanent Representative to NATO in July 2008 by President George W. Bush.

Volker went into the private sector in 2009, becoming an independent director at The Wall Street Fund Inc. He was a member of the board of directors at Capital Guardian Funds Trust Volker was also an independent director at Evercore Wealth Management Macro Opportunity Fund

Volker served as a senior advisor at McLarty Associates, a global consulting firm. In 2011, he joined BGR Group, a Washington-based lobbying firm and investment bank

He has been a Senior Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies since September 2009, and a Senior Advisor at the Atlantic Council since October 2009. [Atlantic Council has been a safe harbor for the rabidly Russophobic Elliot Higgins and Dmitri Alperovich of Russia-gate fame, https://consortiumnews.com/2019/01/29/how-russia-gate-rationalizes-censorship/ )

Kurt Volker, a certified war profiteer and money manager using his position as a government employee for making money on lobbying What can be wrong with his judgements?

Tedx , says: April 7, 2019 at 11:02 pm GMT
Special Education comment for the fluoride-lobotomized vegetables, known internationally as AMERICANS: Petro Poroshenko, described in this article as the figurehead of rhe "Nazis" is a Jew. When the US sponsored the coup in the Ukraine, both the democratically elected President and Prime Minister were replaced by Jews.

The alleged Neo-Nazis, "Right Sector" were unemployed punks led by Israeli mercenaries, virtually unchallenged by effectively bribed, Ukrainian military commanders.

If Adolf Hitler were alive today and controlled the Ukraine, he would order that -- without exception -- every member of Right Sector be either euthanized or sterilized to prevent the Right Sector Stupid Gene to infect the Aryan Race.

Anyone or any organization that refers to the Jewish president of the Ukraine and his followers as "Nazis" are obviously Zionist propaganda agents misleading the mentally feeble.

Beckow , says: April 8, 2019 at 12:01 am GMT
@AnonFromTN When we were kids we would climb into neighbours' gardens to steal cherries. You climb up a tree, break a few branches, take the cherries. No guilt. Every kid feels ' exceptional , it is something that comes naturally to all 12-year olds.

The weird thing about modern Washingtonians is that they never outgrew that infantile stage. They still feel 'exceptional', taking other people's stuff is ok. Why wouldn't be ? If one is exceptional, he is by definition better than others, and the others really have no rights, except the ones given to them by the exceptional people.

When a thieving raid by the exceptional people is blocked – as in Crimea – it leaves no good options. Should one admit that they were about to take the 'stuff' (the Sebastopol bases), lost out, and simply retreat? No, it is hard to stay exceptional when losing. Image and perceptions are everything in Washington.

Should they escalate and try to storm Crimea to get what they want and deserve? Again, no, because exceptional people can't risk hurt or injury, they are too precious, they are after all 'exceptional'.

Should they send their decidedly unexceptional underlings to storm Crimea? Well, that would be ideal, but the underlings are too stupid to even get into the garden, and climbing a tree is way beyond their ability. One can train them, send them ladders – but everyone knows that they will never do it.

That leaves the least bad option of sticking around to ' irritate ' Russia. There is not much gain in it, it gets old very quickly, it is also costly and even dangerous. But it preserves the image of 'exceptional' people, it can be spun around for different perceptions, and it makes the local allies less antsy and less likely to run away with their loot. Other than that it achieves nothing.

That's where we are: a bunch of unserious morons sitting in a car parked outside the cherry orchard, scared to go in, scared to leave, hoping that nobody notices, and still craving the sweet cherries without even being able to admit that's what they are there for.

Fidelios Automata , says: April 8, 2019 at 3:14 am GMT
@Tedx It's no contradiction at all. Israels have been behaving very much like Nazis toward the Palestinians in the occupied territories.

[Apr 09, 2019] The USA increased trade surplus with Ukraine to $1.13 Billion. Considering Ukraine is impoverished and living on handout that's quite an achievement.

Apr 09, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

For its part, the United States insists on running Ukraine, appointing a special envoy – Kurt Volker – to preserve its feeling of international importance after it was pointedly left out of the Normandy Format; Meddlers R Us; we don't need no steenking invitations.

A glance over trade statistics suggests this was a wise choice for the Exceptional Nation – the year before the Glorious Maidan, Revolution of Dignity, the USA did around $3 Billion worth of trade with Ukraine, selling it $1.92 Billion worth of goods and services, and buying $1.03 Billion worth of goods and services from it, posting an American trade surplus of $888 Million. Last year the USA did around $4 Billion worth of trade with Ukraine, selling it $2.46 Billion in goods and services, and buying $1.35 Billion worth of goods and services from it, handsomely increasing the American trade surplus to $1.13 Billion. Considering Ukraine is impoverished and living on handouts, while the per-capita GDP has fallen by more than 6% despite the country having lost about 3 million people (Ukraine's population today is almost exactly what it was in 1960), that's quite an achievement.

[Apr 09, 2019] Poroshenko's electoral appeal is rooted in the notion of 'better the devil you know'

Notable quotes:
"... Poroshenko's electoral appeal is rooted in the notion of 'better the devil you know' and his presidential campaign rests on his ability to convince voters that he is the lesser of all available evils." ..."
"... Let me put my cards on the table here – the current political class in Washington, irrespective of party affiliation and almost without exception, is so debauched and untethered that it enthusiastically supports the election of unabashed criminals where their election serves American foreign-policy goals. Is it too late to be astounded? Yes, it is. Ukraine is lightly chided for its rampant corruption, while Russia is held up to universal scorn because Putin. ..."
Apr 09, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Poroshenko's electoral appeal is rooted in the notion of 'better the devil you know' and his presidential campaign rests on his ability to convince voters that he is the lesser of all available evils."

Poroshenko might have an uphill battle convincing his own voters of that reality, but he has plainly gone down a treat in Washington.

Let me put my cards on the table here – the current political class in Washington, irrespective of party affiliation and almost without exception, is so debauched and untethered that it enthusiastically supports the election of unabashed criminals where their election serves American foreign-policy goals. Is it too late to be astounded? Yes, it is. Ukraine is lightly chided for its rampant corruption, while Russia is held up to universal scorn because Putin.

Cortes March 31, 2019 at 4:49 pm

Majestic, Mark.

Thanks once more. Ideally the Fire [Gas] Witch, Yulia, would be back as the plaything of the Crimson King

"And smiles as the puppets dance in the court of the Crimson King."

Mark Chapman March 31, 2019 at 4:59 pm
"Historically and etymologically, a "crimson king" was any monarch during whose reign there was civil unrest and copious bloodshed."

Except for the gender, she qualifies in advance.

Mark Chapman April 1, 2019 at 4:42 am
Well, Poroshenko would certainly need to explain how he could win in the second round against a candidate who polled twice the vote as he did in the first round. But Poroshenko owns or controls a lot of media, and it's all about pushing a narrative. Ukrainians were satisfied, the story will go, that Poroshenko learned his lesson from being rebuked in the first round; he is sorry, and humbled, and will turn over a new leaf.

Meanwhile (still the story), many Ukrainians are waking up to the shock of what they did, and are suffering buyers remorse, bla, bla. He only needs to squeak out a narrow win when it's down to just he and Zelinskiy, and the west will immediately hoot that democracy has spoken, my, what an exciting ride, and Zelinskiy will fade back into political obscurity.

Jen April 1, 2019 at 1:53 pm
Actually Peter Dickinson is just one of several supposed "experts" and "observers" at The Atlantic Council of Ukraine's political scene who have expressed opinions that basically exonerate Poroshenko as godfather of a group of hucksters smuggling Russian weapons and military spare parts into Ukraine and then charging the Ukrainian government hefty prices for them. John Herbst thinks it's great that the Banderites got weapons from Russia and the only thing they did wrong was take a hefty personal cut from the sale; never mind that they broke some other laws, let's say, laws that forbid Ukraine from purchasing anything from Russia because Russia is under US / EU sanctions. Other opinions suggest that Poroshenko should just distance himself from the people involved in the scandal because the most important thing is to lead Ukraine as far away from Russia as possible – as if it is that easy for Poroshenko to do, because if he did, his associates in the scandal will squeal on him.

It's hilarious reading those "opinions" and see how far those Atlantic Council people are trying to excuse Poroshenko by blaming the journalists for bringing up the story or insinuating that Tymoshenko or the Kremlin is trying to bring Poroshenko down.

Moscow Exile April 1, 2019 at 8:52 pm
Dejevsky in today's Independent:

Comedian Volodymyr Zelensky may have played Ukraine's president on TV – but could he really run the country?

I shall paste her article below as I have access beyond the pay-wall to a limited number of articles published in that rag:

Some in Ukraine may feel that April Fool's Day 2019 started a few hours early, at 8pm the previous evening to be precise, when the polls in the first round of the country's presidential election closed and the exit polls showed an actor who plays a fictional president beating the real president into second place by a margin of almost two to one.

Official results give Volodymyr Zelensky (the actor) around 30 per cent of the vote, compared with 16 per cent for president Petro Poroshenko. From a field of 39 – yes, 39 – presidential hopefuls, it will be these two heading into the run-off on 21 April.

Yulia Tymoshenko – the only woman anywhere near the top 10 and the most recognisable face for many outside Ukraine as "la pasionaria" of the 2004 Orange Revolution, had led when the campaign began last December, but was knocked into third place. Mercifully, the 3 percentage point margin between her and Poroshenko is probably clear enough to pre-empt any challenge or dispute.

The question now facing the more than half of Ukraine's 35 million electorate who voted for neither Zelensky nor Poroshenko on Sunday is which of the two to choose in three weeks' time – and for the rest whether to stick with their original choice.

It would be fair to say that opinions about Zelensky are sharply divided. On the one hand are those who argue that anything has to be better than the glacial pace of change and endemic corruption over which Poroshenko has presided.

They include many young people who have joined what might be described as the pan-European anti-politics tendency that brought Italy's current government to power. Zelensky and his team of largely young volunteers ran a welcoming and modern campaign that took on a life of its own as – rather like Jeremy Corbyn's 2017 campaign in the UK – supporters spread the word on social media.

At the same time, there are many – perhaps over-represented among highly educated professional Ukrainians at home and abroad – who view Zelensky with trepidation and suspicion as just another populist, capitalising on his fame in another sphere. Their fear – tinged with condescension – is that he could endanger the relative stability Poroshenko has brought after the tumult of the Euromaidan (a wave of demonstrations) five years ago.

The size of Zelensky's first-round vote, however, and its geographical spread – he managed to appeal to Russian-speakers in the eastern areas bordering the war zone as well as those in central and southern Ukraine – have led even doubters to feel that this election is now his to lose. Poroshenko, however, should not be written off too soon. It is not just fear of the unknown that could make the run-off very close; there are other reasons why Poroshenko could yet prevail.

One is that, although Zelensky comes across well when he appears on his own terms – at the comedy shows he preferred to conventional political rallies – he performed poorly in the few television interviews he gave, appearing out of his depth and using language that suggested a rather unreconstructed view of women.

It had been expected that one or more formal television debates might test his mettle, but the plan for first-round debates foundered when Poroshenko and Zelensky both declined to take part, and it now appears there may be no second-round debate either. With the contest now reduced to two, however, this is bound to concentrate minds.

Another is the question of Zelensky's funding. Some suspect that the hand (and money) of the exiled businessman/oligarch, Ihor Kolomoisky, is behind him. Zelensky denies that he depends on anyone, and some close to the campaign say that associates of Kolomoisky are at best on the outer fringe of the campaign. But the suspicion persists, and when Poroshenko spoke of "populists" and "puppets" in his campaign speeches, the inference was clear.

Poroshenko's first-round campaign pitch – a responsible leader whose video stresses the importance of the nation, the army and the Church – could have more resonance now that it will be pitted directly against what could seem a leap into the unknown with Zelensky. Then again, just looking at the way the two handled the provisional first-round results on the night – Poroshenko looking exhausted and just a little jaded, and Zelensky bouncing around, smiling, with a ready word for the media and glad-handing his supporters, it was tempting to imagine a new Ukraine already eclipsing the old.

But – to put it at its most basic – will Zelensky be "allowed" to win? While there have been some reports of polling violations on Sunday, the first round appears to have been an admirably clean and open election to the point where a complete outsider was not only able to stake a claim to the country's top job, but to reach the run-off. And the outside attempts to influence the poll (by Russia and the west), so apparent in previous elections, were almost not in evidence.

With the presidency itself now at stake, however, and the confusion of a ballot paper with 39 candidates safely in the past, could the old ways make a comeback? Might there be a sudden upsurge of attempts to influence the campaign from the outside: new money, hacking, dirty tricks,"Kompromat"? Is there a "deep state" that could stop Zelensky?

Leaving aside the imponderable, there are perhaps three factors to watch over the three weeks. The first is whether any of the other first-round candidates who obtained more than a handful of votes will endorse – or do any deal with either of the candidates. And if they did – if Timoshenko, for instance, or Yuriy Boyko, the pro-Russia candidate, backed Zelensky – would it have a positive or negative effect on his campaign? One key broker could be the anti-corruption candidate, Anatoliy Hrytsenko, who came fifth.

The second is how far Zelensky can convince his critics that he could actually do the job. Members of his team told me that he was consulting widely and taking the prospect very seriously and he has attracted at least two past ministers to his team. The fluidity of Ukraine's political parties also means that not having a developed party of his own might not be a huge liability in parliament, as MPs might well flock to a winner. Parliamentary elections later in the year could do the rest.

His manifesto is also more specific than his detractors say: it includes an end to immunity from prosecution for MPs and government officials; "not a battle, but the defeat, of corruption", referendums on important state issues, including possible membership of Nato, talks with Russia to end the fighting in eastern Ukraine, tax breaks for entrepreneurs, a drive to introduce technology in schools, higher pay for the military.

But the biggest question could be this: how far will voters distinguish between Zelensky the real-life candidate and the fictional schoolmaster-turned-president whose secretly taped anti-corruption rant propelled him to the top job?

By using the title of the series Servant of the People as his campaign slogan, and the name of his embryonic political party, Zelensky could be accused of encouraging the confusion. And the fictional president comes with an attitude and an almost naive agenda that is the stuff of many a Ukrainian's dreams. He is principled, quizzical, supports the "little man" and has the welfare of his people at heart. The less voters are able, or choose, to distinguish the two, the better Zelensky's chances of leading the real Ukraine.

Note how, in the extract below, Dejevsky displays her lack of objectivity in the way she regards the Ukraine from her oh-so-liberal point of view and, thereby, morally castigating the dump after having right at the top her article mentioned that Tymoshenko was "the only woman anywhere near the top 10":

although Zelensky comes across well when he appears on his own terms – at the comedy shows he preferred to conventional political rallies – he performed poorly in the few television interviews he gave, appearing out of his depth and using language that suggested a rather unreconstructed view of women .

[my stress]

Yes, that will really turn the Yukies against him, I am sure, Ms Dejevsky!

A filthy mysogynist!

How shocking!!!

One could not possibly cast one's vote for such a monster!

And what's with this criticism of both Zelensky and Poroshenko's refusal to have a televised debate?

True, they hold such debates in US presidential elections as part of the "real democracy" show in the "exceptional nation", but if other countries shy from similar performances, is that so bad, so "undemocratic"?

And one comment, so far to the article, from a frequent troll at the Independent who likes to add ПТН X̆ЛО (abbreviation for the Russian "Putin is a prick) just to show how smart he is:

As usual no mention of any Russian monkey business so I guess Mary is still angling for the dacha near Moscow.

I have a dacha near Moscow, wanker! Does that mean I am a tool of the Kremlin?

How about digging up the evidence for "Russian monkey business" and presenting it yourself, arsehole, if you are so sure that such interference by Russia in Banderastan politics exists?

[Apr 04, 2019] avu o lu just compared Turkey to Ukraine, saying Ukraine let itself be told it had to decide between West and Russia, and look what happened; Turkey cannot be forced into same choice

Turkey vs Ukraine.
Notable quotes:
"... Well, since 2002, people made a lot about the neo-cons being heavily influenced by Leo Strauss. I think this is only part of it. These people seem to me to be just as heavily influenced by George Berekeley: things don't really exist, there's no causation, therefore there's no consequences to one's own actions. ..."
"... "Corruption cannot lead to prosperity." Nor can it field a competent military with functional weapon systems. ..."
"... The comments at the end about how Turkey can maintain good relations with NATO and at the same time develop cooperation with Russia is clearly nonsense. NATO whole reason for existence now is as an anti-Russia military alliance. Pence is absolutely right about that ... you cannot be a member of NATO and develop close cooperation with Russia. ..."
Apr 04, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
karlof1 , Apr 4, 2019 2:06:15 PM | link

Tweeting direct from NATO meeting provides inside details not found in press articles, particularly the NATO talking-point ending. IMO, the tweeter Mehta was right to highlight this exchange:

"Bennan: Do you know what the US policy in syria is?
"Çavuşoğlu: No, and this is the problem.

"He points to different statements from WH, Pentagon, CENTCOM, State. 'There is no clear strategy. This is the problem.'"

Further on:

"Wow. Çavuşoğlu just compared Turkey to Ukraine, saying Ukraine let itself be told it had to decide between West and Russia, and look what happened; Turkey cannot be forced into same choice."

Please take the few minutes to read.


vk , Apr 4, 2019 2:07:04 PM | link

Pence threat is also stupid as there is no mechanism to expulse any member from NATO. NATO members can only leave voluntarily.

Since when this stopped the USA?

The reason Turkey won't exit NATO are many. Among them:

1) Turkey's economy is in meltdown. It only didn't collapse yesterday because, luckily, Turkey has only "burnt" one third of its Dollar reserves. For comparison, the usurper government which toppled Dilma Rousseff burnt almost 50% of Brazil's then gigantic US$ 795 billion -- only to try to keep interest at a staggering 9.5% rate. Lucky for the Turkish people, Erdogan survived the 2016 coup, but he was already trounced in the three main cities and those reserves won't last forever. Time is in favor of the Americans in this case;

2) Contrary to, e.g. China and Russia, Turkey has a strong pro-USA political-popular base. It really doesn't need to topple Erdogan through a violent coup (Obama made an unforced error in 2016) in order to install a puppet government in Turkey;

3) The USA has the IMF. The IMF is the only institution which can do regime change and nobody will question. Erdogan is, for now, refusing its "aid", but he's just one man. That means that, even if Turkey remains with an Islamist (Ottomanist) or end up electing a neutral government, the Americans will still be capable of exerting formidable pressure;

4)Turkey is, perhaps, the geostrategically most important individual country for NATO. If the Americans still dream of defeating and balkanizing Russia through a hot war, then the path will go through Turkey and the Bosphorus. It is not on rogue POTUS or Veep who will change that.

Clueless Joe , Apr 4, 2019 3:10:41 PM | link
"But current American elites have no concept of own actions having consequences."

Well, since 2002, people made a lot about the neo-cons being heavily influenced by Leo Strauss. I think this is only part of it. These people seem to me to be just as heavily influenced by George Berekeley: things don't really exist, there's no causation, therefore there's no consequences to one's own actions.

karlof1 , Apr 4, 2019 3:50:45 PM | link

Bolton unwittingly utters truism but has no idea that it applies to him and the Outlaw US Empire billions of times over: "Corruption cannot lead to prosperity." Nor can it field a competent military with functional weapon systems.

Another OT note, this one about the technical development of generation 6 military aircraft, Hypersonic and hydrogen fueled and most likely piloted by droids or remotely given speed and G-forces.

Harry Law , Apr 4, 2019 4:22:04 PM | link
The US are threatening friend and foe alike, whereas those sanctions against their foe's are real, sanctions against NATO members can be counterproductive, for instance Germany being told to stop Nord Stream 2 and increase its contributions to NATO, 2% of Germany's GDP [4 trillion dollars] is an enormous amount of money to protect against a non existent enemy.

The time will come when the US will be ignored, then, unless the US acts on those threats, its own credibility will be called into question, then the only way is down.

Christian J Chuba , Apr 4, 2019 6:37:15 PM | link
BUT What about the Saudi Model???

Whenever anyone suggests that we should stop supplying bombs and military equipment to the Saudis who are murdering Yemenis, moralists like Mike Pence, Pompeo, and the rest of the religious right thunder, 'THEY WILL BUY ARMS FROM THE ROOOSHINS!'

So it is quite funny that they are willing to play hardball with the Turks.

SteveK9 , Apr 4, 2019 8:20:30 PM | link
S @22

The comments at the end about how Turkey can maintain good relations with NATO and at the same time develop cooperation with Russia is clearly nonsense. NATO whole reason for existence now is as an anti-Russia military alliance. Pence is absolutely right about that ... you cannot be a member of NATO and develop close cooperation with Russia.

At least in the eyes of NATO (i.e. the US) Russia is the enemy.

[Apr 02, 2019] Poroshenko was just a US marionette which helped to loot the country and impoverish Ukrainian people

Under neoliberalism any regime change is necessary followed by an economic rape. That was the case with the USSR in 1991, that was the case in Ukraine in 2014. Only the size and length of the looting varies depending of the strength of new government. Both the size and the length is maximal if in power are marionette like Yeltsin or Yatsenyuk/Poroshenko.
Saying "Beware of Greeks bearing gifts" now should sound as "Beware of Americans who bring you color revolutions." They bring the economic rape (aka "Disaster capitalism") as the second phase. That's the nature of neocolonialism -- now you do not need to occupy the country. It's enough to make it a debt slave using IMF and install compradors to endure the low of money and continuing impoverishment of the population.
With such crooked and greedy friends as Biden and Kerry and their narcoaddicts sons you do not need enemies. But the main danger are not individual sharks but Western financial institutions like IMF and World bank. Those convert countries into debt slaves and that means permanently low standard (Central African in case of Ukraine, something like $2 a day) of living for generations to come.
What is interesting is that unlike say German nationalists in 30th, the Ukrainian nationalists proved to be completly useless in defending the Ukraine from looting. They actually serves as supplementary tool of the same looting.
The standard of living of Ukrainians dropped 2-3 times since 2014. How pensioners survive, on $50 a month pension I simply do not understand. In any case Neoliberalism proved to be very effecting is keeping "developing" nations economic growth down and converting them into debt slaves. The fact that Biden use loans as a tool of extortion (as in threat to cancel one billion loan) to close criminal investigation of his sons company is just an icing on the cake. Poroshenko and his camarilla should be tried in the court of law for his corruption and pandering to the Western sharks, who were happy to steal from Ukraine as much as then can.
To pay $166K a month for Biden's son cocaine is way too much to such impoverished country as Ukraine.
Notable quotes:
"... "I said, ' You're not getting the billion .' I'm going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ' I'm leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you're not getting the money, '" bragged Biden, recalling the conversation with Poroshenko. ..."
"... " Well, son of a bitch, he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time," Biden said at the Council on Foreign Relations event - while insisting that former president Obama was complicit in the threat. ..."
"... The prosecutor he got fired was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into the natural gas firm Burisma Holdings that employed Biden's younger son, Hunter, as a board member. ..."
"... U.S. banking records show Hunter Biden's American-based firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC, received regular transfers into one of its accounts -- usually more than $166,000 a month -- from Burisma from spring 2014 through fall 2015, during a period when Vice President Biden was the main U.S. official dealing with Ukraine and its tense relations with Russia. - The Hill ..."
"... And before he was fired, Shokin says he had made "specific plans" for the investigation - including "interrogations and other crime-investigation procedures into all members of the executive board, including Hunter Biden." "I would like to emphasize the fact that presumption of innocence is a principle in Ukraine," added Shokin. Joe Biden "clearly had to know" about the probe before he insisted on Shokin's ouster . Via The Hill: ..."
"... The U.S. Embassy in Kiev that coordinated Biden's work in the country repeatedly and publicly discussed the general prosecutor's case against Burisma; ..."
"... President Obama named Biden the administration's point man on Ukraine in February 2014 ..."
"... Remember Victoria Nuland's famous phone recording of "**** the EU?" This was nothing more than another CIA destabilization campaign carried out of another Sovereign Country. With the goal of breaking the Bush Senior & Jim Baker agreement of not surrounding Russia with NATO countries after their Collapse. ..."
"... Let's face it. If Ukrainians loved it's Country, Joey, Hunter and the Choco-**** would have wound up like Mikhail Lesin during an all night party in an upscale grotto in Kiev by now! ..."
"... At last some questions for this dirt ball-burisma is tied in with one of the most if not the most corrupt oligarch, Koloimiski. Biden is up to his eyeballs in some dodgy deals in china as well-this guy and his son are walking corruption personified. ..."
"... Didn't Hillary teach Joe that a tax free foundation is better than using your son's LLC for laundering the bribes... This is basic stuff. ..."
"... Joe "the Conqueror" "Caesar Magnus" Biden. Joe of Ukraine, the best bud of $oro$. ..."
Apr 02, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Originally from: Forget 'Creepy' - Biden Has A Major Ukraine Problem Joe Biden appears to have made a major tactical error last year when he bragged to an audience of foreign policy experts how he threatened to hurl Ukraine into bankruptcy if their top prosecutor, General Viktor Shokin, wasn't immediately fired, according to The Hill 's John Solomon.

In his own words, with video cameras rolling, Biden described how he threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in March 2016 that the Obama administration would pull $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees , sending the former Soviet republic toward insolvency, if it didn't immediately fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin. - The Hill

"I said, ' You're not getting the billion .' I'm going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ' I'm leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you're not getting the money, '" bragged Biden, recalling the conversation with Poroshenko.

" Well, son of a bitch, he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time," Biden said at the Council on Foreign Relations event - while insisting that former president Obama was complicit in the threat.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Q0_AqpdwqK4?start=3128

Interviews with a half-dozen senior Ukrainian officials confirm Biden's account, though they claim the pressure was applied over several months in late 2015 and early 2016, not just six hours of one dramatic day . Whatever the case, Poroshenko and Ukraine's parliament obliged by ending Shokin's tenure as prosecutor. Shokin was facing steep criticism in Ukraine, and among some U.S. officials, for not bringing enough corruption prosecutions when he was fired. - The Hill

And why would Biden want the "son of a bitch" fired?

In what must be an amazing coincidence, the prosecutor was leading a wide-ranging corruption investigation into a natural gas firm - which Biden's son, Hunter, sat on the board of directors.

The prosecutor he got fired was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into the natural gas firm Burisma Holdings that employed Biden's younger son, Hunter, as a board member.

U.S. banking records show Hunter Biden's American-based firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC, received regular transfers into one of its accounts -- usually more than $166,000 a month -- from Burisma from spring 2014 through fall 2015, during a period when Vice President Biden was the main U.S. official dealing with Ukraine and its tense relations with Russia. - The Hill

The Hill 's Solomon reviewed the general prosecutor's file for the Burisma probe - which he reports shows Hunter Biden, his business partner Devon Archer and their firm, Rosemont Seneca, as potential recipients of money.

And before he was fired, Shokin says he had made "specific plans" for the investigation - including "interrogations and other crime-investigation procedures into all members of the executive board, including Hunter Biden." "I would like to emphasize the fact that presumption of innocence is a principle in Ukraine," added Shokin. Joe Biden "clearly had to know" about the probe before he insisted on Shokin's ouster . Via The Hill:

Although Biden made no mention of his son in his 2018 speech, U.S. and Ukrainian authorities both told me Biden and his office clearly had to know about the general prosecutor's probe of Burisma and his son's role. They noted that:

President Obama named Biden the administration's point man on Ukraine in February 2014 , after a popular revolution ousted Russia-friendly President Viktor Yanukovych and as Moscow sent military forces into Ukraine's Crimea territory.

***

Key questions for 'ol Joe:

Was it appropriate for your son and his firm to cash in on Ukraine while you served as point man for Ukraine policy? What work was performed for the money Hunter Biden's firm received? Did you know about the Burisma probe? And when it was publicly announced that your son worked for Burisma, should you have recused yourself from leveraging a U.S. policy to pressure the prosecutor who very publicly pursued Burisma?

Read the rest of Solomon's report here .

Chupacabra-322 , 58 minutes ago link

Remember Victoria Nuland's famous phone recording of "**** the EU?" This was nothing more than another CIA destabilization campaign carried out of another Sovereign Country. With the goal of breaking the Bush Senior & Jim Baker agreement of not surrounding Russia with NATO countries after their Collapse.

Son of Captain Nemo , 1 hour ago link

Let's face it. If Ukrainians loved it's Country, Joey, Hunter and the Choco-**** would have wound up like Mikhail Lesin during an all night party in an upscale grotto in Kiev by now!

Amazing that all 3 of them are still alive and that "Song Bird" McCain (#4) was allowed to die from his brain cancer instead of joining them or being dismembered and put on display when he made these visit(s) ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbfsTcJCKDE ) along with General Vallely (#5)!!!

Taras Bulba , 1 hour ago

At last some questions for this dirt ball-burisma is tied in with one of the most if not the most corrupt oligarch, Koloimiski. Biden is up to his eyeballs in some dodgy deals in china as well-this guy and his son are walking corruption personified.

CarifonianSeven, 2 hours ago

Didn't Hillary teach Joe that a tax free foundation is better than using your son's LLC for laundering the bribes... This is basic stuff.

Pernicious Gold Phallusy, 1 hour ago

Joe cheated his way through undergrad and law school. He would be unable to understand any of that.

whittler, 1 hour ago

What? You mean folks will finally care about little Hunter hiring Azov neo-Nazi fighters (oops! security I mean) to protect his fracking site just north of the 'troubles' in the eastern Ukraine? I'm sure they were working for free and that no Biden money was ever used to payoff (oops again! I mean pay the wages of) a bunch of Nazis (dang it again, I mean neo-Nazis, it sounds so much warmer and fuzzier when you add 'neo').

Creepy Joe and all D's agree, 'Nazi' = bad, neo-Nazi = warm, fuzzy and good; heck, they even like to kill Russians Russians Russians!!!

Cracker 16 , 1 hour ago

Joe "the Conqueror" "Caesar Magnus" Biden. Joe of Ukraine, the best bud of $oro$.

[Apr 02, 2019] 'Yats' Is No Longer the Guy by Robert Parry

Highly recommended!
This article by late Robert Parry is from 2016 but is still relevant in context of the current Ukrainian elections and the color revolution is Venezuela. The power of neoliberal propaganda is simply tremendous. For foreign events it is able to distort the story to such an extent that the most famous quote of CIA director William Casey "We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false" looks like constatation of already accomplished goal.
Apr 11, 2016 | consortiumnews.com

Exclusive: Several weeks before Ukraine's 2014 coup, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Nuland had already picked Arseniy Yatsenyuk to be the future leader, but now "Yats" is no longer the guy, writes Robert Parry.

In reporting on the resignation of Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the major U.S. newspapers either ignored or distorted Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland's infamous intercepted phone call before the 2014 coup in which she declared "Yats is the guy!"

Though Nuland's phone call introduced many Americans to the previously obscure Yatsenyuk, its timing – a few weeks before the ouster of elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych – was never helpful to Washington's desired narrative of the Ukrainian people rising up on their own to oust a corrupt leader.

Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who pushed for the Ukraine coup and helped pick the post-coup leaders.

Instead, the conversation between Nuland and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt sounded like two proconsuls picking which Ukrainian politicians would lead the new government. Nuland also disparaged the less aggressive approach of the European Union with the pithy put-down: "Fuck the E.U.!"

More importantly, the intercepted call, released onto YouTube in early February 2014, represented powerful evidence that these senior U.S. officials were plotting – or at least collaborating in – a coup d'etat against Ukraine's democratically elected president. So, the U.S. government and the mainstream U.S. media have since consigned this revealing discussion to the Great Memory Hole.

On Monday, in reporting on Yatsenyuk's Sunday speech in which he announced that he is stepping down, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal didn't mention the Nuland-Pyatt conversation at all. The New York Times did mention the call but misled its readers regarding its timing, making it appear as if the call followed rather than preceded the coup. That way the call sounded like two American officials routinely appraising Ukraine's future leaders, not plotting to oust one government and install another.

The Times article by Andrew E. Kramer said: "Before Mr. Yatsenyuk's appointment as prime minister in 2014, a leaked recording of a telephone conversation between Victoria J. Nuland, a United States assistant secretary of state, and the American ambassador in Ukraine, Geoffrey R. Pyatt, seemed to underscore the West's support for his candidacy. 'Yats is the guy,' Ms. Nuland had said."

Notice, however, that if you didn't know that the conversation occurred in late January or early February 2014, you wouldn't know that it preceded the Feb. 22, 2014 coup. You might have thought that it was just a supportive chat before Yatsenyuk got his new job.

You also wouldn't know that much of the Nuland-Pyatt conversation focused on how they were going to "glue this thing" or "midwife this thing," comments sounding like prima facie evidence that the U.S. government was engaged in "regime change" in Ukraine, on Russia's border.

The 'No Coup' Conclusion

But Kramer's lack of specificity about the timing and substance of the call fits with a long pattern of New York Times' bias in its coverage of the Ukraine crisis. On Jan. 4, 2015, nearly a year after the U.S.-backed coup, the Times published an "investigation" article declaring that there never had been a coup. It was just a case of President Yanukovych deciding to leave and not coming back.

That article reached its conclusion, in part, by ignoring the evidence of a coup, including the Nuland-Pyatt phone call. The story was co-written by Kramer and so it is interesting to know that he was at least aware of the "Yats is the guy" reference although it was ignored in last year's long-form article.

Instead, Kramer and his co-author Andrew Higgins took pains to mock anyone who actually looked at the evidence and dared reach the disfavored conclusion about a coup. If you did, you were some rube deluded by Russian propaganda.

"Russia has attributed Mr. Yanukovych's ouster to what it portrays as a violent, 'neo-fascist' coup supported and even choreographed by the West and dressed up as a popular uprising," Higgins and Kramer wrote . "Few outside the Russian propaganda bubble ever seriously entertained the Kremlin's line. But almost a year after the fall of Mr. Yanukovych's government, questions remain about how and why it collapsed so quickly and completely."

The Times' article concluded that Yanukovych "was not so much overthrown as cast adrift by his own allies, and that Western officials were just as surprised by the meltdown as anyone else. The allies' desertion, fueled in large part by fear, was accelerated by the seizing by protesters of a large stock of weapons in the west of the country. But just as important, the review of the final hours shows, was the panic in government ranks created by Mr. Yanukovych's own efforts to make peace."

Yet, one might wonder what the Times thinks a coup looks like. Indeed, the Ukrainian coup had many of the same earmarks as such classics as the CIA-engineered regime changes in Iran in 1953 and in Guatemala in 1954.

The way those coups played out is now historically well known. Secret U.S. government operatives planted nasty propaganda about the targeted leader, stirred up political and economic chaos, conspired with rival political leaders, spread rumors of worse violence to come and then – as political institutions collapsed – watched as the scared but duly elected leader made a hasty departure.

In Iran, the coup reinstalled the autocratic Shah who then ruled with a heavy hand for the next quarter century; in Guatemala, the coup led to more than three decades of brutal military regimes and the killing of some 200,000 Guatemalans.

Coups don't have to involve army tanks occupying the public squares, although that is an alternative model which follows many of the same initial steps except that the military is brought in at the end. The military coup was a common approach especially in Latin America in the 1960s and 1970s.

' Color Revolutions'

But the preferred method in more recent years has been the "color revolution," which operates behind the façade of a "peaceful" popular uprising and international pressure on the targeted leader to show restraint until it's too late to stop the coup. Despite the restraint, the leader is still accused of gross human rights violations, all the better to justify his removal.

Later, the ousted leader may get an image makeover; instead of a cruel bully, he is ridiculed for not showing sufficient resolve and letting his base of support melt away, as happened with Mohammad Mossadegh in Iran and Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala.

But the reality of what happened in Ukraine was never hard to figure out. Nor did you have to be inside "the Russian propaganda bubble" to recognize it. George Friedman, the founder of the global intelligence firm Stratfor, called Yanukovych's overthrow "the most blatant coup in history."

Which is what it appears if you consider the evidence. The first step in the process was to create tensions around the issue of pulling Ukraine out of Russia's economic orbit and capturing it in the European Union's gravity, a plan defined by influential American neocons in 2013.

On Sept. 26, 2013, National Endowment for Democracy President Carl Gershman, who has been a major neocon paymaster for decades, took to the op-ed page of the neocon Washington Post and called Ukraine "the biggest prize" and an important interim step toward toppling Russian President Vladimir Putin.

At the time, Gershman, whose NED is funded by the U.S. Congress to the tune of about $100 million a year, was financing scores of projects inside Ukraine training activists, paying for journalists and organizing business groups.

As for the even bigger prize -- Putin -- Gershman wrote: "Ukraine's choice to join Europe will accelerate the demise of the ideology of Russian imperialism that Putin represents. Russians, too, face a choice, and Putin may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself."

At that time, in early fall 2013, Ukraine's President Yanukovych was exploring the idea of reaching out to Europe with an association agreement. But he got cold feet in November 2013 when economic experts in Kiev advised him that the Ukrainian economy would suffer a $160 billion hit if it separated from Russia, its eastern neighbor and major trading partner. There was also the West's demand that Ukraine accept a harsh austerity plan from the International Monetary Fund.

Yanukovych wanted more time for the E.U. negotiations, but his decision angered many western Ukrainians who saw their future more attached to Europe than Russia. Tens of thousands of protesters began camping out at Maidan Square in Kiev, with Yanukovych ordering the police to show restraint.

Meanwhile, with Yanukovych shifting back toward Russia, which was offering a more generous $15 billion loan and discounted natural gas, he soon became the target of American neocons and the U.S. media, which portrayed Ukraine's political unrest as a black-and-white case of a brutal and corrupt Yanukovych opposed by a saintly "pro-democracy" movement.

Cheering an Uprising

The Maidan uprising was urged on by American neocons, including Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Nuland, who passed out cookies at the Maidan and reminded Ukrainian business leaders that the United States had invested $5 billion in their "European aspirations."

A screen shot of U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland speaking to U.S. and Ukrainian business leaders on Dec. 13, 2013, at an event sponsored by Chevron, with its logo to Nuland's left.

Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, also showed up, standing on stage with right-wing extremists from the Svoboda Party and telling the crowd that the United States was with them in their challenge to the Ukrainian government.

As the winter progressed, the protests grew more violent. Neo-Nazi and other extremist elements from Lviv and other western Ukrainian cities began arriving in well-organized brigades or "sotins" of 100 trained street fighters. Police were attacked with firebombs and other weapons as the violent protesters began seizing government buildings and unfurling Nazi banners and even a Confederate flag.

Though Yanukovych continued to order his police to show restraint, he was still depicted in the major U.S. news media as a brutal thug who was callously murdering his own people. The chaos reached a climax on Feb. 20 when mysterious snipers opened fire, killing both police and protesters. As the police retreated, the militants advanced brandishing firearms and other weapons. The confrontation led to significant loss of life, pushing the death toll to around 80 including more than a dozen police.

U.S. diplomats and the mainstream U.S. press immediately blamed Yanukovych for the sniper attack, though the circumstances remain murky to this day and some investigations have suggested that the lethal sniper fire came from buildings controlled by Right Sektor extremists.

To tamp down the worsening violence, a shaken Yanukovych signed a European-brokered deal on Feb. 21, in which he accepted reduced powers and an early election so he could be voted out of office. He also agreed to requests from Vice President Joe Biden to pull back the police.

The precipitous police withdrawal opened the path for the neo-Nazis and other street fighters to seize presidential offices and force Yanukovych and his officials to flee for their lives. The new coup regime was immediately declared "legitimate" by the U.S. State Department with Yanukovych sought on murder charges. Nuland's favorite, Yatsenyuk, became the new prime minister.

Throughout the crisis, the mainstream U.S. press hammered home the theme of white-hatted protesters versus a black-hatted president. The police were portrayed as brutal killers who fired on unarmed supporters of "democracy." The good-guy/bad-guy narrative was all the American people heard from the major media.

The New York Times went so far as to delete the slain policemen from the narrative and simply report that the police had killed all those who died in the Maidan. A typical Times report on March 5, 2014, summed up the storyline: "More than 80 protesters were shot to death by the police as an uprising spiraled out of control in mid-February."

The mainstream U.S. media also sought to discredit anyone who observed the obvious fact that an unconstitutional coup had just occurred. A new theme emerged that portrayed Yanukovych as simply deciding to abandon his government because of the moral pressure from the noble and peaceful Maidan protests.

Any reference to a "coup" was dismissed as "Russian propaganda." There was a parallel determination in the U.S. media to discredit or ignore evidence that neo-Nazi militias had played an important role in ousting Yanukovych and in the subsequent suppression of anti-coup resistance in eastern and southern Ukraine. That opposition among ethnic-Russian Ukrainians simply became "Russian aggression."

Nazi symbols on helmets worn by members of Ukraine's Azov battalion. (As filmed by a Norwegian film crew and shown on German TV)

This refusal to notice what was actually a remarkable story – the willful unleashing of Nazi storm troopers on a European population for the first time since World War II – reached absurd levels as The New York Times and The Washington Post buried references to the neo-Nazis at the end of stories, almost as afterthoughts.

The Washington Post went to the extreme of rationalizing Swastikas and other Nazi symbols by quoting one militia commander as calling them "romantic" gestures by impressionable young men. [See Consortiumnews.com's " Ukraine's 'Romantic' Neo-Nazi Storm Troopers ."]

But today – more than two years after what U.S. and Ukrainian officials like to call "the Revolution of Dignity" – the U.S.-backed Ukrainian government is sinking into dysfunction, reliant on handouts from the IMF and Western governments.

And, in a move perhaps now more symbolic than substantive, Prime Minister Yatsenyuk is stepping down. Yats is no longer the guy.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America's Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com ).


Khalid Talaat , April 16, 2016 at 20:39

Is it too far fetched to think that all these color revolutions are a perfection of the process to unleash another fake color revolution, only this time it is a Red, White and Blue revolution here at home? Those that continue to booze and snooze while watching the tube will not know the difference until it is too late.

The freedom and tranquility of our country depends on finding and implementing a counterweight to the presstitutes and their propaganda. The alternative is too destructive in its natural development.

Abe , April 15, 2016 at 18:49

Yats and Porko are the guys who broke Ukraine. By the end of December 2015, Ukraine's gross domestic product had shrunk around 19 percent in comparison with 2013. Its decimated industrial sector needs less fuel. Yatsie did a heck of a job.

Abe , April 15, 2016 at 18:35

Carl Gershman: "Ukraine is the biggest prize" -- Paragraph 6 of https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/former-soviet-states-stand-up-to-russia-will-the-us/2013/09/26/b5ad2be4-246a-11e3-b75d-5b7f66349852_story.html

David Smith , April 12, 2016 at 13:51

The timing of "Yats" departure is ominous. Mid-April, six weeks from now would be the first chance to renew the invasion of DPR Donesk/Lugansk."Yats" failed in 2014, and didn't try in 2015. Who is "the new guy"? Will the new Prime Minister begin raving about renewing the holy war to recover the lost oblasts? 2016 is really Ukraine's last chance. Ukraine refuses to implement Minsk2, and they have been receiving lots of new weapons. I believe President Putin put the Syrian operation on " standby" not only to avoid approaching the border, provoking a Turkish intervention, but also so he can give undistracted attention to DPR Donesk/Lugansk.

Bill Rood , April 12, 2016 at 11:50

I guess I must be inside the Russian propaganda bubble. It was obvious to me when I looked at the YouTube videos of policemen burning after being hit with Molotov cocktails.

We played the same game of encouraging government "restraint" in Syria, where we demanded Assad free "political prisoners," but we now accuse him of deliberately encouraging ISIS by freeing those people, so that he can point to ISIS and ask, "Do you want that?" Targeted leaders are damned if they do and damned if they don't.

Andrei , April 12, 2016 at 10:26

"the Ukrainian coup had many of the same earmarks as such classics as the CIA-engineered regime changes in Iran in 1953 and in Guatemala in 1954", Romania 1989 Shots were fired by snipers in order to stirr the crowds (sounds familiar?) and also by the army after Ceasescu ran away, which resulted in civilians getting murdered. Could it possibly be that it was said : "Iliescu (next elected president) is the guy!" ?

Joe L. , April 12, 2016 at 11:00

Check out the attempted coup against Hugo Chavez in Venezuela 2002, that is very similar with protesters, snipers on rooftops, IMF immediately offering loans to the new coup government, new government positions for the coup plotters, complacency with the media – propaganda, funding by USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy etc. John Pilger documents how the coup occurred in his documentary "War on Democracy" – https://vimeo.com/16724719 .

archaos , April 12, 2016 at 09:45

It was noted in the minutes of Verkhovna Rada almost 2 years before Maidan 2 , that Geoffrey Pyatt was fomenting and funding destabilisation of Ukraine.
All of Svoboda Nazis in parliament (and other fascisti) then booed the MP who stated this.

Mark Thomason , April 12, 2016 at 06:57

Also, the Dutch voted "no" on the economic agreement the coup was meant to force through instead of the Russian agreement accepted by the President it overthrew. Now both "Yats" and the economic agreement are gone. All that is left is the war. Neocons are still happen. They wanted the war. They really want to overthrow Putin, and Ukraine was just a tool in that.

Realist , April 12, 2016 at 05:51

You're right, it doesn't have to be the military that carries out a coup by deploying tanks on the National Mall. In 2000, it was the United States Supreme Court that exceeded its constitutional authority and installed George W. Bush as president, though in reality he had lost that election. I wonder when that move will rightfully be characterized as a coup by the historians.

Bryan Hemming , April 12, 2016 at 04:00

"On Sept. 26, 2013, National Endowment for Democracy President Carl Gershman, who has been a major neocon paymaster for decades, took to the op-ed page of the neocon Washington Post and called Ukraine "the biggest prize" and an important interim step toward toppling Russian President Vladimir Putin."

It should be remembered that Victoria Nuland took up the post of Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs in Washington on September 18, 2013.

Coincidentally, two other women closely connected to events in Ukraine were also in Washington during September 2013.

Friend of Nuland and boss of the IMF, which has its own HQ in Washington, Christine Lagarde was swift to respond to a Ukraine request for IMF loans on February 27th 2014, just five days after the removal of Yanukovych on February 22nd. Lagarde is pictured with Baronness Catherine Ashton in Washington in a Facebook entry dated September 30th 2013. Ashton was High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy at the time.

Though visiting Kiev at the same time as Nuland in February 2014 Catherine Ashton never appeared in public with her, which seems a little odd considering the women were on the same mission, and talking to the same people. Nevertheless, despite appearing shy of being photographed with each other the two women weren't quite so shy of being pictured with leaders of the coup, including the right wing extremist, Oleh Tyahnybok.

Ashton refused to be drawn into commenting on Nuland's "Fuck the E.U.!" outburst, describing Nuland as "a friend of mine." The two women certainly weren't strangers, they had worked closely together before. September 2012 saw them involved in discussions with Iran negotiator Saeed Jalili over the country's supposed nuclear arms ambitions.

The question is not so much whether the three women talked about Ukraine's future – it would be ridiculous to think they did not – but how closely they worked together, and exactly how closely they might have been involved in events leading up to the overthrow of the legitimate government in Kiev. More on this here:

https://bryanhemming.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/double-double-toil-and-trouble-the-cauldron-of-kiev/

Pablo Diablo , April 11, 2016 at 22:56

Another failed "regime change". Aren't these guys (Neoconservatives) great. They fail, piss off/kill millions, yet seem to keep making money and retaining power. Time to WAKE UP AMERICA.

Skip Edwards , April 11, 2016 at 20:06

Read "The Devil'Chessboard" by David Talbot to understand what has been occurring as a result of America's Dark, Shadow government, an un-elected bunch of vicious psychopaths controlling our destiny; unless stopped. Get a clue and realize that "Yats is our guy" Victoria Nuland was Hillary Clinton's "gal." Hillary Clinton is Robert Kagen's "gal." Time to flush all these rats out of the hold and get on with our lives.

Joe L. , April 11, 2016 at 18:40

Mr. Parry thank you for delving into the proven history of coups and the parallels with Ukraine. It amazes me how anyone can outright deny this was a coup especially if they know anything about US coups going back to WW2 (Iran 1953, Guatemala 1954, Chile 1973, attempt in Venezuela 2002 etc. – and there are a whole slew more). I read before, as you have rightly pointed out, that in 1953 the CIA led a propaganda campaign in Iran against Mossadegh as well as financing opposition protesters and opposition government officials. Another angle, as well, is looking historically back to what papers such as the New York Times were reporting around the time of the coup in Iran – especially when we know that the US/Britain overthrew the democratically elected Mossadegh for their own oil interests (British Petroleum):

New York Times: "Mossadegh Plays with Fire" (August 15, 1953):

The world has so many trouble spots these days that one is apt to pass over the odd one here and there to preserve a little peace of mind. It would be well, however, to keep an eye on Iran, where matters are going from bad to worse, thanks to the machinations of Premier Mossadegh.

Some of us used to ascribe our inability to persuade Dr. Mossadegh of the validity of our ideas to the impossibility of making him understand or see things our way. We thought of him as a sincere, well-meaning, patriotic Iranian, who had a different point of view and made different deductions from the same set of facts. We now know that he is a power-hungry, personally ambitious, ruthless demagogue who is trampling upon the liberties of his own people. We have seen this onetime champion of liberty maintain martial law, curb freedom of the press, radio, speech and assembly, resort to illegal arrests and torture, dismiss the Senate, destroy the power of the Shah, take over control of the army, and now he is about to destroy the Majlis, which is the lower house of Parliament.

His power would seem to be complete, but he has alienated the traditional ruling classes -the aristocrats, landlords, financiers and tribal leaders. These elements are anti-Communist. So is the Shah and so are the army leaders and the urban middle classes. There is a traditional, historic fear, suspicion and dislike of Russia and the Russians. The peasants, who make up the overwhelming mass of the population, are illiterate and nonpolitical. Finally, there is still no evidence that the Tudeh (Communist) party is strong enough or well enough organized, financed and led to take power.

All this simply means that there is no immediate danger of a Communist coup or Russian intervention. On the other hand, Dr. Mossadegh is encouraging the Tudeh and is following policies which will make the Communists more and more dangerous. He is a sorcerer's apprentice, calling up forces he will not be able to control.

Iran is a weak, divided, poverty-stricken country which possesses an immense latent wealth in oil and a crucial strategic position. This is very different from neighboring Turkey, a strong, united, determined and advanced nation, which can afford to deal with the Russians because she has nothing to fear -and therefore the West has nothing to fear. Thanks largely to Dr. Mossadegh, there is much to fear in Iran.

http://www.mohammadmossadegh.com/news/new-york-times/august-15-1953/

My feeling is that the biggest sin that our society has is forgetting history. If we remembered history I would think that it would be very difficult to pull off coups but most media does not revisit history which proves US coups even against democracies. I actually think that the coup that occurred in Ukraine was similar to the attempted coup in Venezuela in 2002 with snipers on rooftops, immediate blame for the deaths on Hugo Chavez where media manipulated the footage, immediate acceptance of the temporary coup government by the US Government, immediately offering IMF loans for the new coup government, government positions for many of the coup plotters, and let us not leave out the funding for the coup coming from USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy. I also remember seeing the New York Times immediately blaming Chavez and praising the coup but when the coup was overturned and US fingerprints started to become revealed (with many of the coup plotters fleeing to the US) then the New York Times wrote a limited retraction buried in their paper. Shameless.

SFOMARCO , April 11, 2016 at 15:16

How was NED able to finance "scores of projects inside Ukraine training activists, paying for journalists and organizing business groups", not to mention to host such dignitaries as Cookie Nuland, Loser McCain and assorted Bidens? Seems like a recipe for a coup "hidden in plain sight".

Bob Van Noy , April 11, 2016 at 14:36

Ukraine, one would hope, represents the "Bridge Too Far" moment for the proponents of regime change. Surely Americans must be catching on to what we do for selected nations in the name of "giving them their freedoms". The Kagan Family, empowered by their newly endorsed candidate for President, Hillary Clinton, will feel justified in carrying on a new cold war, this time world wide. Of course they will not be doing the fighting, they, like Dick Cheney are the self appointed intellects of geopolitical chess, much like The Georgetown Set of the Kennedy era, they perceive themselves as the only ones smart enough to plan America's future.

Helen Marshall , April 11, 2016 at 17:11

I wish. How many Americans know ANYTHNG about what has happened in Ukraine, about Crimea and its history, and/or could even locate them on a map?

Pastor Agnostic , April 12, 2016 at 04:11

Nuland is merely the inhouse, PNAC female version of Sidney Blumenthal. Which raises the scary question. Who would she pick to be SecState?

[Apr 02, 2019] There will be backlash against the fascists in Brazil, and the right wing leaderships in governments elsewhere in Latin America that the US has maneuvered into place as these leaders fail to deliver material gains to their populations. And fail they will considering we are in late-stage neoliberalism

Notable quotes:
"... Writing off Brazil (and India and South Africa for that matter) just because the empire has succeeded in swinging an election or two in those places, or because the empire's lawfare scams seem to be working at the moment, is a mistake. ..."
"... These conspicuous successes of the Empire of Chaos , as Escobar calls America, do not significantly change the anti-imperialist attitudes of the populations in these countries. ..."
Apr 02, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

William Gruff , Apr 1, 2019 3:29:05 PM | link

Karlof1 @82

Agreed.

Writing off Brazil (and India and South Africa for that matter) just because the empire has succeeded in swinging an election or two in those places, or because the empire's lawfare scams seem to be working at the moment, is a mistake.

These conspicuous successes of the Empire of Chaos , as Escobar calls America, do not significantly change the anti-imperialist attitudes of the populations in these countries.

There will be backlash against the fascists in Brazil, and the right wing leaderships in governments elsewhere in Latin America that the US has maneuvered into place as these leaders fail to deliver material gains to their populations. And fail they will considering we are in late-stage capitalism.

[Apr 01, 2019] G7 Letter Takes Aim At Role Of Violent Extremists In Ukrainian Society, Election

Apr 01, 2019 | www.rferl.org

'They Intimidate Citizens, Damage Ukraine's Reputation'

In the letter that was addressed to Avakov on March 15, French Ambassador Isabelle Dumont wrote on behalf of her fellow ambassadors that "the G7 group is concerned by extreme political movements in Ukraine, whose violent actions are worrying in themselves."

"They intimidate Ukrainian citizens, attempt to usurp the role of the National Police in safeguarding elections, and damage the Ukrainian government's national and international reputation," Dumont continued, in a thinly veiled reference to the National Corps and National Militia, the far-right Azov group's political and vigilante wings, respectively.

... ... ...

'Nationalist Hate Groups'

The National Corps and National Militia were products of the Azov Battalion, a volunteer military regiment formed in the early days of the conflict against Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine that began in 2014. The battalion has been accused by international human rights groups of "war crimes" on the battlefield and has since been brought under the control of the National Guard, which is overseen by Avakov.

Members of the National Corps and National Militia have been blamed for multiple violent attacks on minorities in Ukraine, particularly Roma and LGBTI persons, in the past year.

The U.S. State Department described those far-right entities as "nationalist hate groups" in its Ukraine country report on Human Rights for 2018 released on March 13.

.... ... ...

On March 9, the National Corps and National Militia clashed with police outside the presidential administration in Kyiv and later in Cherkasy, where Poroshenko was campaigning. At least 15 police officers were wounded.

"The violent incidents of March 9 were a reminder that, just a few weeks ahead of the elections, one crucial challenge is to prevent an escalation of tensions," Dumont wrote in the letter to Avakov. "We have noted with concern that the very same groups involved in the violent incidents have registered as election observers and publicly threatened to use violence should they consider that election fraud is occurring."

Indeed, Ukraine's Central Election Commission has approved the National Militia to monitor the polling. Soon after that announcement, the group's spokesman warned that "if law enforcers turn a blind eye to outright violations and don't want to document them," then they plan to follow the lead of a group leader who said they would "punch someone in the face in the name of justice...without hesitation."

[Mar 29, 2019] No joke Comedian Zelenskiy leads race to Ukrainian presidency

Mar 29, 2019 | www.youtube.com

netnema , 3 weeks ago

So the question is: what's better proven corruption or a new face in politics? And the best answer is, "Politicians and diapers should be changed often and for the same reason" - Mark Twain

FRUEDyo , 1 week ago

He is bringing hope and that's the point!

yagle hoole , 3 weeks ago

Don't laugh. Professional comedians are actually very intelligent. They have excellent memory -- I know, think very very quick on their feet, and deal with hecklers of all stripes all the time. Such attributes are handy in time of crisis. But don't expect them to crack a joke once they're elected. Look at Al Franken. Having been elected to and served in the Senate, he's yet to say anything funny in public, lest people not take him seriously.

bloodaxe , 1 week ago

Ukraine's Trump

[Mar 28, 2019] Sic Semper Tyrannis RUSSIAN FEDERATION SITREP 28 MARCH 2019 (by Patrick Armstrong)

Mar 28, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

CHICKENS. HOME. ROOST. " [T]he G7 group is concerned by extreme political movements in Ukraine... ". Whoa! Weren't these people just Putin's " fabricated claim ", " revanchist policy ", " lying "?

FBI: Neo-Nazi Militia Trained by US Military in Ukraine Now Training US White Supremacists . Azov-Christchurch ?

UKRAINE. Lowest confidence in their government in the world . Comedian still in front: someone hopes that things will get better . Sorry: Kiev has to burn the last bit of the Galician fantasy to ashes and understand that the right people won the Second World War. Then, maybe, some hope.

[Mar 23, 2019] If Boyko wins, the Outlaw US Empire's Ukrainian project will be finished

Mar 23, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Mar 22, 2019 2:02:42 PM | link

OT--FYI--OT

Russia's PM meets with Ukrainian presidential candidate Boyko and discuss many items of interest.

I wonder if Boyko will be arrested upon his return?

TASS has several additional short items related to this meeting and the upcoming election in Ukraine of March 31. IMO, if Boyko wins, the Outlaw US Empire's Ukrainian project will be concluded.

What he discussed with Medvedev and Gazprom's Miller is of extreme importance to Ukraine's economy and are important election issues.

[Mar 18, 2019] The U.S. Shouldn t Seek New Ideological Confrontations Abroad by Daniel Larison

This MIC prostitute Karan, like his wife Nuland are un-reformable. They just earn their living ing by warmongering. And they will screem like pigs if they are deprived from those money, and do not care one bit how many people will be killed as the result of their policies.
There is no war that those neocon chickenhawks do not like. It's their family racket.
Notable quotes:
"... Kagan's preferred foreign policy requires that there is some global "ideological confrontation" for the U.S. to be engaged in. If there isn't one, it has to be invented. ..."
"... Kagan isn't all that interested in details or accuracy. Those are "beside the point." ..."
"... Kagan doesn't make it explicit in this essay, but his larger goal in all of this is to advocate for a more confrontational foreign policy mobilized against the authoritarian enemies that he has described. He hints at this when he disparages contemporary "realists" ..."
"... realists, non-interventionists, and progressives that see no compelling reason for the U.S. to engage in destructive rivalries with major authoritarian powers in their own backyards. Except for a lame, overused comparison to the 1930s, Kagan doesn't even try to explain why we are wrong to think this. Kagan assumes that such destructive rivalries are both necessary and desirable, and this essay is the latest part of his effort to lay the groundwork for the ideological justification for those rivalries. ..."
"... A recent WSJ article (03/11/19) titled "Russian Gas Plan Divides U.S., Allies" with the subtitle "Washington fears undersea project would make Germany too reliant on Moscow" tells the tale of what the real reasons for America to demonize Russia and Putin. The U.S. leaders fear that the German-Russian pipeline project, Nord Stream 2, will make Europe reliant on Russian energy instead of Europe purchasing it energy from the United States. What gives the U.S. the right to stop one nation from doing commerce with other nations? The answer is "Greed." ..."
"... Kagan is and will until the bitter end defend American hegemony and the ideological mantle will be used as a cover ..."
"... People also forget that US is not a democracy, but a managed Republic, and according to all indicators, it is not even that liberal ..."
"... The fallout from the actions of these "interventionists" is millions are dead in a number of countries. Millions are refugees and thousands of soldiers are dead or maimed. More facts on these war criminals at link below. https://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2019/01/the-facts-on-crimes-of-war-criminals.html ..."
"... This Kagan family, with Robert now the lead figure, has done a great deal towards furthering conflicts and violence in the world. It is long past time that they be put in their place, whatever that is, but it will not happen because their Zionist mindset is very well funded. ..."
"... "The U.S. has spent the last twenty years fighting wars that Kagan and other like-minded interventionists advocated for and endorsed. We shouldn't make the same mistake again when the stakes are even higher." We ought to do more than that. He should be muzzled and sent to live in a cave somewhere to repent the consequences of the terrible damage he and other incompetents have done to America. That people like this still have access to the media is almost beyond belief. ..."
Mar 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Brookings Senior Fellow and author Robert Kagan in March 2018. (Brookings Institution/Paul Morigi) Robert Kagan warns us about global authoritarianism:

Of all the geopolitical transformations confronting the liberal democratic world these days, the one for which we are least prepared is the ideological and strategic resurgence of authoritarianism. We are not used to thinking of authoritarianism as a distinct worldview that offers a real alternative to liberalism.

We are not used to thinking of authoritarianism as a distinct worldview because it isn't one. All authoritarian states share certain things in common, and they may see some of the same things as threats, but there isn't a single worldview that all authoritarian governments subscribe to. There is no one ideology that binds them together. Most of them are nationalistic to one degree or another, but because of that they usually have competing and opposing goals. Treating all authoritarian regimes as part of the same global threat lumps illiberal and majoritarian democracies together with kleptocracies, communist dictatorships, and absolute monarchies. That exaggerates the danger that these regimes pose, and it tries to invent a Cold War-like division between rival camps that doesn't really exist. If the U.S. treats these states as if they are all in league with one another, it will tend to drive together states that would otherwise remain at odds and keep each other at arm's length.

Kagan's preferred foreign policy requires that there is some global "ideological confrontation" for the U.S. to be engaged in. If there isn't one, it has to be invented. His account of the history of the 20th century shows how determined he is to see international politics in terms of grand ideological battles even when there wasn't one. He takes seriously the idea that WWI is one of these struggles: "But for those who fought it, on both sides, it was very much a war between liberalism and authoritarianism." Kagan makes the mistake of treating wartime propaganda descriptions of the war as the real motivation for the war, and he relies on stereotypes of the nations on the other side of the war as well. The world's largest colonial empires were not fighting for "the liberties of Europe" and they certainly weren't fighting for the rights of small nations, as wartime British propaganda would have it, and that became abundantly clear in the post-war settlement. It was primarily a war among empires for supremacy in Europe, and the surviving Allied empires consolidated their hold on their own colonial possessions and gained more. To the extent that Americans genuinely believed that joining the war had something to do with vindicating the cause of democracy, they were quickly disabused of that notion when they saw the fruits of the vindictive settlement that their allies imposed on the losing side.

Kagan admits that there are many differences of regime type that he is trying to collapse into one group:

We have become lost in endless categorizations, viewing each type of non-liberal government as unique and unrelated to the others -- the illiberal democracy, the "liberal" or "liberalizing" autocracy, the "competitive" and "hybrid" authoritarianism. These different categories certainly describe the myriad ways non-liberal societies may be governed. But in the most fundamental way, all of this is beside the point.

In other words, Kagan isn't all that interested in details or accuracy. Those are "beside the point." What matters is dividing up the world into two opposing camps: "Nations are either liberal, meaning that there are permanent institutions and unchanging norms that protect the "unalienable" rights of individuals against all who would infringe on those rights, whether the state or the majority; or they are not liberal." The criteria for qualifying as a liberal nation are extremely demanding. What institutions can honestly be called "permanent" and what norms are ever truly "unchanging"? Judged against this extreme and unreasonable standard, there won't ever be many nations that qualify as liberal, including quite a few that we would normally consider liberal democracies in good standing. That makes it a lot easier for Kagan to exaggerate the power of "resurgent authoritarianism."

Kagan doesn't make it explicit in this essay, but his larger goal in all of this is to advocate for a more confrontational foreign policy mobilized against the authoritarian enemies that he has described. He hints at this when he disparages contemporary "realists" whom he doesn't name or cite:

Just as during the 1930s, when realists such as Robert Taft assured Americans that their lives would be undisturbed by the collapse of democracy in Europe and the triumph of authoritarianism in Asia, so we have realists today insisting that we pull back from confronting the great authoritarian powers rising in Eurasia.

To be much more accurate, there are realists, non-interventionists, and progressives that see no compelling reason for the U.S. to engage in destructive rivalries with major authoritarian powers in their own backyards. Except for a lame, overused comparison to the 1930s, Kagan doesn't even try to explain why we are wrong to think this. Kagan assumes that such destructive rivalries are both necessary and desirable, and this essay is the latest part of his effort to lay the groundwork for the ideological justification for those rivalries.

Kagan's analysis suffers from the problem of mirror-imaging that always plagues ideologues. He assumes that everyone sees the world in starkly ideological categories just as he does, and he thinks that other actors are just as determined to export their ideology as he is. His entire worldview depends on linking great power competition with larger ideological causes, and for almost thirty years there has been no such "ideological confrontation" for Kagan to theorize about. Despite Kagan's insistence to the contrary, there still isn't. He wants the U.S. to take a more confrontational approach to dealing with Russia and China, and in order to sell that today he has to dress it up as something more than the destructive and costly pursuit of hegemony that he has been pushing for decades. The U.S. has spent the last twenty years fighting wars that Kagan and other like-minded interventionists advocated for and endorsed. We shouldn't make the same mistake again when the stakes are even higher.


Minnesota Mary March 17, 2019 at 1:56 pm

A recent WSJ article (03/11/19) titled "Russian Gas Plan Divides U.S., Allies" with the subtitle "Washington fears undersea project would make Germany too reliant on Moscow" tells the tale of what the real reasons for America to demonize Russia and Putin. The U.S. leaders fear that the German-Russian pipeline project, Nord Stream 2, will make Europe reliant on Russian energy instead of Europe purchasing it energy from the United States. What gives the U.S. the right to stop one nation from doing commerce with other nations? The answer is "Greed."

All wars are predicated on lies, and all wars are fought for economic reasons and not the so called humanitarian reasons that are fed to the people.

Kouros , says: March 17, 2019 at 3:41 pm
Always insightful indeed: Kagan is and will until the bitter end defend American hegemony and the ideological mantle will be used as a cover (Mel Gibson screaming "Freedom!" in Bravehart; killing the babies and stealing the incubators!).

People also forget that US is not a democracy, but a managed Republic, and according to all indicators, it is not even that liberal

So better save this post because you are still young and in 30 years from now you will be able to re-post it and just change a couple of names

JR , says: March 17, 2019 at 3:57 pm
Ironically he seems in the same (lack of) weight class (intellectually) as Pompeo.
Stephen J. , says: March 17, 2019 at 5:22 pm
You write:

"The U.S. has spent the last twenty years fighting wars that Kagan and other like-minded interventionists advocated for and endorsed."

--

Right on the mark. The fallout from the actions of these "interventionists" is millions are dead in a number of countries. Millions are refugees and thousands of soldiers are dead or maimed. More facts on these war criminals at link below.
https://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2019/01/the-facts-on-crimes-of-war-criminals.html

Taras 77 , says: March 17, 2019 at 7:15 pm
Thanks much for this, Mr Larison.

Anytime, anywhere, anyone comes out and destroys kagan's Zionist globalist babble as you have done, it is a very commendable exercise for the good of mankind and America.

This Kagan family, with Robert now the lead figure, has done a great deal towards furthering conflicts and violence in the world. It is long past time that they be put in their place, whatever that is, but it will not happen because their Zionist mindset is very well funded.

Your article does a public service.

prolegomenon to any future foreign policy , says: March 18, 2019 at 2:27 am
"The U.S. has spent the last twenty years fighting wars that Kagan and other like-minded interventionists advocated for and endorsed. We shouldn't make the same mistake again when the stakes are even higher."

We ought to do more than that. He should be muzzled and sent to live in a cave somewhere to repent the consequences of the terrible damage he and other incompetents have done to America. That people like this still have access to the media is almost beyond belief.

[Mar 15, 2019] Ukraine is a good example. Now this country commits ritual suicide "completely voluntarily."

Mar 15, 2019 | nationalinterest.org

Nick Klaus Mr Russian 2 days ago ,

You are a little wrong when you call this system "colonial". Today it is neo-colonialism. When the United States subordinates the country, they do not bear any responsibility for the fate of this country, since the formally subordinate country remains independent and all its actions are performed "voluntarily."

Ukraine is a good example. Now this country commits ritual suicide "completely voluntarily."

milo Mr Russian 2 days ago ,

They've thought of that. That's why they tell us "The US has no colonies". Because you have to support them if you admit to owning them. That's why by 1960, every colonial nation on earth was giving its own colonies independence. They were costing more than they were worth.

What we do now is to groom some local fellow, like Guaido, to take over the government and run it the way we would like him to. We pay generously for this favor, in the form of loans and direct investments. The fortunate ones near the seat of power come out fabulously well. But neither we nor the country's rulers take on any responsibility for the welfare of their people.

One of the dictators we backed was the director of the Brazilian military, who seized power back in 1964... a fellow named Castelo Branco. And he was asked once at a press conference how the economy was doing.

He replied "The economy, it is doing marvelously! The people, on the other hand-- not so good."

Mr Russian milo 2 days ago ,

If you don't offer protection to your puppet eventually some other power might try the same trick and overthrow him. But if you do provide protection that area becomes a colony.
So what you describing can only work when there is only one major power on the planet. The US enjoyed it for some time but it can't have it anymore, that's reality.

milo Mr Russian 2 days ago ,

The system is predicted to work some time into the future, for the reason that it is based on subterfuge and military force. And we have a military as large as that of the entire rest of the planet put together. So to us it doesn't matter what you call it. They control the media, so they can just not report a word you say about them.

What will undo it will be a collapse of the dollar-based economy. And that will be kind of hard to achieve, as every rich person on earth keeps his wealth denominated in dollars. So there is little pressure to kill it. That's why we always used to call it The Almighty Dollar.

However there are limits. Our main weapon now being used to enforce behavior is financial sanctions. So it's pretty much assured that at some point in the near future the sanctioned nations (Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela...) will be getting together to set up an alternate financial system. Probably based on the yuan.

That's the thing about offensive weapons systems. As a Mexican wit put it "Let them build a twenty foot wall. We will build a 21 foot ladder."

[Mar 06, 2019] American Meddling in the Ukraine by Publius Tacitus

Highly recommended!
Ukraine is now a pawn in a big geopolitical game against Russia. Which somehow survived 90th when everybody including myself has written it off.
That's why the USA, EU (Germany) and Russia pulling the country in different directions. But the victory of Ukrainian nationalists is not surprising and is not solely based on the US interferences (although the USA did lot in this direction) pursuit its geopolitical game against Russia. Distancing themselves from Russa is a unversal trend in Post-Soviet space. And it often takes ugly forms.
So Ukraine in not an exception here. It is part of the "rule". Essentially the dissolution of the USSR revised the result on WWII. And while the author correctly calls Ukrainian leader US stooges, they moved in this direction because they feel that it is necessary for maintaining the independence. In other words anti-Russian stance is considered by the Ukrainian elite as a a pre-condition for mainlining independence. Otherwise people like Parubiy would be in jail very soon. They are tolerated and even promoted because they are useful.
It repeats the story of Baltic Republics, albeit with a significant time delay. There should be some social group that secure independence of the country and Ukrainian nationalists happen to be such a group. That's why Yanukovich supported them and Svoboda party (with predictable results).
Notable quotes:
"... The ideological fissures that are growing in the United States are beginning to resemble the warring camps that characterize the Ukrainian political world. The divide in Ukraine pits groups who are described as "right wing" and many are ideological descendants of real Nazis and Nazi sympathizers against groups with a strong affinity to Russia. This kind of gap cannot be bridged through conventional negotiations. ..."
"... Jump ahead now to the April 2014 "uprising" of anti-Russian forces in the Ukraine (Maidan 2). The US was firmly on the side of the protesters, who ultimately succeeded in ousting the elected President. And who were helping lead this effort? ..."
"... The US support, both overt and covert, for Ukrainian politicians is grounded in an anti-Soviet (now anti-Russian) ideology. We have convinced ourselves that Russia is hell bent on world domination. Therefore we must do whatever is necessary to stop Russia, which includes uncritical, blind support for elements in Ukraine that also detest the Russians. But in doing so we have closed our eyes to the filthy underbelly of the virulent anti-Semitism that lurks in western Ukraine. ..."
"... US meddling in the Ukraine is astonishing in its breadth. It ranges from the fact that the wife of former President Viktor Yuschenko was an American citizen and former senior official in the US State Department. Do you think there would be no complaints if Melania Trump was born in Russia and had served in the Russian Foreign Ministry? Yet, most Americans are happily ignorant of such facts. ..."
"... US interference was not confined to serendipitous relationships, such as the Yushchenko marriage. It also included the open and active funding of certain political groups and media outlets. The US State Department sent money through a variety of outlets. One of these was the Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening aka CEPPS. ..."
"... This is : ..."
"... Count me as one of the people who is outraged by the hypocrisy and stupidity now on display in the United States. I am not talking about Trump. I am referring to the Republicans and Democrats and pundits and media mouthpieces who are fuming about Russian citizens writing on Facebook as one of the worst catastrophes since Pearl Harbor or 9-11. ..."
"... There clearly is meddling going on in America's political landscape. But it isn't the Russian Government. No. There are foreign and domestic forces aligned who are keen on portraying Russia as a threat to world order that must be opposed by more defense spending and tougher sanctions. That is the propaganda that dominates the media in the United States these days. And that is truly dangerous to our nation's safety and freedom. ..."
"... A CIA guy recently said the US only interferes to 'promote democracy' - tell that to Australia, Vietnam, Mexico, Chile, Congo, Russia, Ukraine...it's a long long list. ..."
"... An independent Ukraine was also a project of German foreign policy after the Brest-Litowsk Treaty (the equivalent of the Versailles Treaty, only aimed at Russia) SO I have o wonder how much of the enthusiasm for Vicky Nuland's Israel friendly Nazi state-let (oh what irony!) is a product of Germany wanting to reassert itself in the east, using NATO solidarity as a fig leaf. Maybe they will make Ukraine import a lot o Africans "refugees" so that Soros' project of creating a brown Europe will be advanced in the Slavic sphere as well as the west. ..."
"... The liberal party - who provides the prime-minister - EU leader Hans van Baalen and Belgian ex-prime minister Guy Verhostad held a controversial speech on the Maidan square in support of the protesters that the EU will support them. ..."
"... I wouldn't put to much stress on Bandera having been a bad guy. His enemies were no better. They just won the war and the victors write history. The deeper problem of Ukraine is the fact that in the East of the country (and maybe even the majority of the country) Bandera is indeed regarded as a villain. But in the West he is a hero to this day. Even in Soviet times people from Western Ukraine were regarded as "fascists" by much of the rest of the country. No wonder as there were anti soviet partisans until late in the fifties. ..."
"... "Prorussian" Kutshma turned into a Ukrainian "patriot" (such is the logic of statehood) and the same thing happened with Yanukovich. People forget that he would have signed an association agreement with Europe had Europe not refused because he was insufficiently "democratic". ..."
"... But the West wanted it all. They wanted Ukraine firmly in the "Western" camp. Thereby they ripped the country apart. As a good friend of mine who has studied in Kiev in Soviet times remarked: to ask Ukraine to choose between East and West is like asking a child in divorce proceedings who it liked more: daddy or mummy? ..."
"... A very interesting conversation between Victoria Nulland and ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, caught at picking the future rulers of liberated Ukraine : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QxZ8t3V_bk This is not meddling. This is a defensive (preemptive?) action against Russian agression. ..."
"... I've never seen such an intense barrage of propaganda before in my life. America is fracturing apart like Ukraine. This is no coincidence. In both countries, oligarchs have seized power, the rule of law abandoned and there is a rush of corruption. ..."
"... What we did to Ukraine is shameful in every way. A remember a video of a pallet of money being unloaded from a USG place at Kiev during Maidan 2. That's in addition to Nuland's bag of cookies. I always thought that one of the objectives of our meddling in Ukraine was to make Sevastopol into a NATO naval base. ..."
"... Our leaders are the biggest hypocrites on the planet. The Ukraine was almost evenly divided between pro-Western and pro-Russian sides. Our government, rather than waiting for an election, assisted an armed rebellion against the elected pro-Russian government. Among the groups our government allied with in this endeavor were out and out Nazis. ..."
Feb 23, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

The ideological fissures that are growing in the United States are beginning to resemble the warring camps that characterize the Ukrainian political world. The divide in Ukraine pits groups who are described as "right wing" and many are ideological descendants of real Nazis and Nazi sympathizers against groups with a strong affinity to Russia. This kind of gap cannot be bridged through conventional negotiations.

Who is the United States government and media supporting? The Nazis . You think I'm joking. Here are the facts, but we must go back to World War II :

When World War II began a large part of western Ukraine welcomed the German soldiers as liberators from the recently enforced Soviet rule and openly collaborated with the Germans. The Soviet leader, Stalin, imposed policies that caused the deaths of almost 7 million Ukrainians in the 1930s--an era known as the Holomodor).

Ukrainian divisions, regiments and battalions were formed, such as SS Galizien, Nachtigal and Roland, and served under German leadership. In the first few weeks of the war, more than 80 thousand people from the Galizien region volunteered for the SS Galizien, which later known for its extreme cruelty towards Polish, Jewish and Russian people on the territory of Ukraine.

Members of these military groups came mostly from the organization of Ukrainian nationalists aka the OUN, which was founded in 1929. It's leader was Stepan Bandera, known then and today for his extreme anti-semitic and anti-communist views.

CIA documents just recently declassified show strong ties between US intelligence and Ukrainian nationalists since 1946.

Jump ahead now to the April 2014 "uprising" of anti-Russian forces in the Ukraine (Maidan 2). The US was firmly on the side of the protesters, who ultimately succeeded in ousting the elected President. And who were helping lead this effort?

Secretary of the Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council is Andriy Parubiy. Parubiy was the founder of the Social National Party of Ukraine, a fascist party styled on Hitler's Nazis, with membership restricted to ethnic Ukrainians.

The Social National Party would go on to become Svoboda, the far-right nationalist party whose leader, Oleh Tyahnybok was one of the three most high profile leaders of the Euromaidan protests. . . .

Overseeing the armed forces alongside Parubiy as the Deputy Secretary of National Security is Dmytro Yarosh , the leader of the Right Sector – a group of hardline nationalist streetfighters, who previously boasted they were ready for armed struggle to free Ukraine.

The US support, both overt and covert, for Ukrainian politicians is grounded in an anti-Soviet (now anti-Russian) ideology. We have convinced ourselves that Russia is hell bent on world domination. Therefore we must do whatever is necessary to stop Russia, which includes uncritical, blind support for elements in Ukraine that also detest the Russians. But in doing so we have closed our eyes to the filthy underbelly of the virulent anti-Semitism that lurks in western Ukraine.

US meddling in the Ukraine is astonishing in its breadth. It ranges from the fact that the wife of former President Viktor Yuschenko was an American citizen and former senior official in the US State Department. Do you think there would be no complaints if Melania Trump was born in Russia and had served in the Russian Foreign Ministry? Yet, most Americans are happily ignorant of such facts.

But Viktor Yushchenko is not an American who speaks a foreign language. He is very much a Ukrainian nationalist and steeped in the anti-Semitism that dominates the ideology of western Ukraine. During the final months of his Presidency, Yushchenko made the following declaration:

In conclusion I would like to say something that is long awaited by the Ukrainian patriots for many years I have signed a decree for the unbroken spirit and standing for the idea of fighting for independent Ukraine. I declare Stepan Bandera a national hero of Ukraine.

Without hesitation or shame, Yushchenko endorsed the legacy of Bandera, who had happily aligned with the Nazis in pursuit of his own nationalist goals. Those goals, however, did not include Jews. And here is the ultimate irony--Bandera was born in Austria, not the Ukraine. So much for ideological consistency.

US interference was not confined to serendipitous relationships, such as the Yushchenko marriage. It also included the open and active funding of certain political groups and media outlets. The US State Department sent money through a variety of outlets. One of these was the Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening aka CEPPS.

This is : a USAID program with other National Endowment for Democracy-affiliated groups: the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, the International Republican Institute and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems. In 2010, the reported disbursement for CEPPS in Ukraine was nearly $5 million.

The program's efforts are described on the USAID website as providing "training for political party activists and locally elected officials to improve communication with civic groups and citizens, and the development of NGO-led advocacy campaigns on electoral and political process issues."

Anyone prepared to argue that it would be okay for Russia, through its Foreign Ministry, to contribute several million dollars for training party activists in the United States?

What we do not know is how much money was being spent on covert activities directed and managed by the CIA. During the political upheaval in April 2014 (Maidan 2), there was this news item:

Over the weekend, CIA director John Brennan travelled to Kiev, nobody knows exactly why, but some speculate that he intends to open US intelligence resources to Ukrainian leaders about real-time Russian military maneuvers. The US has, thus far, refrained from sharing such knowledge because Moscow is believed to have penetrated much of Ukraine's communications systems – and Washington isn't about to hand over its surveillance secrets to the Russians.

Do you think Americans would be outraged if the head of Russia's version of the CIA, the SVR or FSB, traveled quietly to the United States to meet with Donald Trump prior to his election? I think that would qualify as meddling.

Count me as one of the people who is outraged by the hypocrisy and stupidity now on display in the United States. I am not talking about Trump. I am referring to the Republicans and Democrats and pundits and media mouthpieces who are fuming about Russian citizens writing on Facebook as one of the worst catastrophes since Pearl Harbor or 9-11.

There clearly is meddling going on in America's political landscape. But it isn't the Russian Government. No. There are foreign and domestic forces aligned who are keen on portraying Russia as a threat to world order that must be opposed by more defense spending and tougher sanctions. That is the propaganda that dominates the media in the United States these days. And that is truly dangerous to our nation's safety and freedom.

Posted at 01:24 PM in Publius Tacitus , Russiagate | Permalink


james , 23 February 2018 at 02:11 PM

Good post pt.. thanks... i never knew ''the wife of former President Viktor Yushchenko was an American citizen and former senior official in the US State Department.'' That is informative.. i recall following this closely back in 2014.. the hypocrisy on display in the usa at present is truly amazing and frightening at the same time.. it appears that the public can be cowed very easily..
Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg , 23 February 2018 at 02:29 PM
good points well made.

On the twitters, you would be accused of "whatabouttism" - which is the crime of excusing Putin's diabolism by pointing out American interference with the internal politics an elections of other nations. A CIA guy recently said the US only interferes to 'promote democracy' - tell that to Australia, Vietnam, Mexico, Chile, Congo, Russia, Ukraine...it's a long long list.

An independent Ukraine was also a project of German foreign policy after the Brest-Litowsk Treaty (the equivalent of the Versailles Treaty, only aimed at Russia) SO I have o wonder how much of the enthusiasm for Vicky Nuland's Israel friendly Nazi state-let (oh what irony!) is a product of Germany wanting to reassert itself in the east, using NATO solidarity as a fig leaf. Maybe they will make Ukraine import a lot o Africans "refugees" so that Soros' project of creating a brown Europe will be advanced in the Slavic sphere as well as the west.

Adrestia , 23 February 2018 at 02:39 PM
It's not only the US. The EU borg are also meddling. In my country we had a referendum about Ukraine. The population voted "Against" on the question: "Are you for or against the Approval Act of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine?"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_Ukraine%E2%80%93European_Union_Association_Agreement_referendum,_2016

This was the only referendum that was done since it was implemented in 2015. A second one is being organized on the Intelligence and Security Services which has controversial parts with regard to access to internet traffic.

This referendum will take place on March 21, 2018 and will probably be voted against because of the controversial elements (in part because there is still living memory of our Eastern neighbors in the second world war)

https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wet_op_de_inlichtingen-_en_veiligheidsdiensten_2017

These 2 will probably be the last. Our house of representatives have voted yesterday to end the referendum law (with a majority vote of 76 out of 150 representatives!)

So much for democracy. The reason stated that the referendum was controversial (probably because they voted against the EU borg). Interesting is that the proposal was done by the party that wanted the referendum as a principal point. This will almost certainly ensure that the little respect left for traditional parties is gone and they will not be able to get a majority next elections.

The liberal party - who provides the prime-minister - EU leader Hans van Baalen and Belgian ex-prime minister Guy Verhostad held a controversial speech on the Maidan square in support of the protesters that the EU will support them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIL1FWCIlu8

Tom , 23 February 2018 at 03:22 PM

I wouldn't put to much stress on Bandera having been a bad guy. His enemies were no better. They just won the war and the victors write history. The deeper problem of Ukraine is the fact that in the East of the country (and maybe even the majority of the country) Bandera is indeed regarded as a villain. But in the West he is a hero to this day. Even in Soviet times people from Western Ukraine were regarded as "fascists" by much of the rest of the country. No wonder as there were anti soviet partisans until late in the fifties.

Even in the nineties anybody who travelled in Ukraine could feel the tension between East and West. The Russians were certainly aware of it and mindful not to rip the country apart they cut the Ukrainians an enormous amount of slack. Of course they supported "their" candidates and shoveled money into their insatiable throats. Only to be disappointed time and again. "Prorussian" Kutshma turned into a Ukrainian "patriot" (such is the logic of statehood) and the same thing happened with Yanukovich. People forget that he would have signed an association agreement with Europe had Europe not refused because he was insufficiently "democratic". Really the West should have been content with things as they were.

But the West wanted it all. They wanted Ukraine firmly in the "Western" camp. Thereby they ripped the country apart. As a good friend of mine who has studied in Kiev in Soviet times remarked: to ask Ukraine to choose between East and West is like asking a child in divorce proceedings who it liked more: daddy or mummy?

Really the West (not only the US -the Eu is also guilty) is to blame. It is long past time to get down from the high horse and stop spreading chaos and mayhem in the name of democracy,

Jony Kanuck , 23 February 2018 at 03:27 PM
Publius,

An informative column. The coup & later developments soured me on the MSMedia. I'm an initiate into modern Russian history: NATO in the Ukraine = WW3!

Some additional history:

A Ukrainian nation did not exist until after WW1; one piece was Russian, another Polish and another Austrian. The Holodomor is exaggerated for political purposes; the actual number dead from famine appears to be 'only' 2M. It wasn't Soviet bloody mindedness, it was Soviet agricultural mismanagement; collectivizing agriculture drops production.

They did this right before the great drought of the 1930s - remember the dustbowl. There was a famine in Kazakestan at the same time; 1.5M died.

The Nazis raised 5 SS divisions out of the Ukraine. As the Germans were pushed back they ran night drops of ordnance into the Ukraine as long as they could. The Soviets had to carry on divisional level counter insurgency until 1956. After the war, Gehlen, Nazi intelligence czar, kept himself out of jail by turning over his files, routes & agents to the US. He also stoked anti Soviet paranoia.

The Brits ended up with a whole Ukr SS division that they didn't want, so they gave it to Canada. Which is why Canada has such cranky policy around the Ukraine!

bluetonga , 23 February 2018 at 03:28 PM
A very interesting conversation between Victoria Nulland and ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, caught at picking the future rulers of liberated Ukraine : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QxZ8t3V_bk This is not meddling. This is a defensive (preemptive?) action against Russian agression.
Publius Tacitus -> Tom... , 23 February 2018 at 03:31 PM
Tom,

I'm sure you'd like us to ignore Bandera. I bet he liked children and dogs. Just like Hitler. Bandera was a genuine bad guy. There is no rehabilitating that scourge on society. Nice try though.

Publius Tacitus -> bluetonga... , 23 February 2018 at 03:36 PM
I am giving you the benefit of the doubt that your final comment is sarcasm. When you have two senior US Government officials who will and will not constitute a foreign government, you have gone beyond meddling. It is worse.
VietnamVet , 23 February 2018 at 03:57 PM
PT

The media is hysterical. Today, Putin's Facebook Bot Collaborator contacted the Kremlin before his mercenaries attacked Americans in Syria.

I've never seen such an intense barrage of propaganda before in my life. America is fracturing apart like Ukraine. This is no coincidence. In both countries, oligarchs have seized power, the rule of law abandoned and there is a rush of corruption.

A World War is near. The realists are gone. The Moguls are pushing Donald Trump pull the trigger. Either in Syria with an assault to destroy Hezbollah (Iran) for good or American trainers going over the top of trenches in Donbass in a centennial attack of the dead.

The Twisted Genius , 23 February 2018 at 03:59 PM
Publius Tacitus,

Hallelujah and jubilation! We're in full agreement on this subject. What we did to Ukraine is shameful in every way. A remember a video of a pallet of money being unloaded from a USG place at Kiev during Maidan 2. That's in addition to Nuland's bag of cookies. I always thought that one of the objectives of our meddling in Ukraine was to make Sevastopol into a NATO naval base.

I would definitely want to see a full account of what support we provided to the nazi thugs of Svoboda and Pravy Sektor. We have a long history of meddling, at least twice as long as the Soviet Union/Russia. But that does not mean we should stop investigating the Russian interference in our 2016 election. Just stop hyperventilating over it. It no more deserves risking a war than our continuing mutual espionage.

TimmyB , 23 February 2018 at 04:08 PM
Our leaders are the biggest hypocrites on the planet. The Ukraine was almost evenly divided between pro-Western and pro-Russian sides. Our government, rather than waiting for an election, assisted an armed rebellion against the elected pro-Russian government. Among the groups our government allied with in this endeavor were out and out Nazis.

As a result of this rebellion, the Russian majority in Crimea overwhelming voted to leave the Ukraine and rejoin Russia, which they had been part of for over 150-years. While our government continues to provide military aid to Israel, which used force of arms take over the West Bank, it imposed sanctions against Russia when the people of Crimea voted to join their former countrymen. Mind boggling.

[Mar 05, 2019] Lately, Ukranians began to think that the Ukraine's path to prosperity goes through EU membership, hence popular support for Euromaidan, and you know the results

Mar 05, 2019 | www.unz.com

FB , says: November 24, 2018 at 5:18 pm GMT

@Felix Keverich You're full of shit what the heck do you know about industry you useless little fart ? are you an industrial engineer do you have any technical qualifications whatsoever or do you just pull buzzwords like 'marketable skills' out your wazoo, as needed ?

The Ukraine certainly had all kinds of 'entrepreneurs' they're called OLIGARCHS who very capably enriched themselves unfortunately 'entrepreneurs' are what normal people would call parasites, flim-flam men and hucksters

As for Ukrainian workers lacking 'marketable skills' I guess that would be 'skills' like TROLLING, your specialty and making retarded statements on discussion fora

Ukraine had more very qualified engineers per capita than any country in Europe a huge amount of intellectual capacity, and a very good industrial base especially in high tech areas like aerospace and propulsion their problem was that they chose to play games with the rotten west, instead of friendship with Russia, with which their industry was integrated

You're a complete wanker in the A. Karlin mold. Get lost you have nothing to contribute

Felix Keverich , says: November 24, 2018 at 5:38 pm GMT
@Big Bill They fought that it was Russia, that was holding them back, and by separating they could quickly achieve Western European standard of living. The first guy to become president of independent Ukraine promised people that they were going to "live like France" .in 5 years (!). lol

So their plan was something like this:

Lately, they began to think that the Ukraine's path to prosperity goes through EU membership, hence popular support for Euromaidan, and you know the results

Felix Keverich , says: November 24, 2018 at 5:53 pm GMT
@FB

You're full of shit what the heck do you know about industry you useless little fart ? are you an industrial engineer do you have any technical qualifications whatsoever or do you just pull buzzwords like 'marketable skills' out your wazoo, as needed ?

Your industries are worth ZERO, if you're unable to sell your products, and the Ukraine struggled to sell its manufactured goods after 1991. Its traditional customer – Russia began to import Western goods.

You sound like Martyanov. lol It doesn't take any "special qualification" to figure out that Soviet-era factories were churning out worthless crap – there is a reason why that system fell apart, you know.

Now, off to ignore list with you.

[Mar 04, 2019] Ukraine's American Minister of Health Yuliana Suprun is doing an outstanding job. Ukraine was the locus of the world's biggest rise in measles cases in 2018, from about 5,000 cases the year before to 35,120 the year just past. Moreover, 24,042 new cases were reported in the first 2 months of this year.

Mar 04, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman March 1, 2019 at 7:48 pm

My, Ukraine's American Minister of Health – Yuliana Suprun – is doing an outstanding job. Ukraine was the locus of the world's biggest rise in measles cases in 2018, from about 5,000 cases the year before to 35,120 the year just past. Moreover, 24,042 new cases were reported in the first 2 months of this year.

https://www.rferl.org/a/ukraine-suffers-largest-rise-measles-cases-worldwide/29797314.html

Moscow Exile March 1, 2019 at 10:46 pm
But it was the Moskali who caused the epidemic by trolling social network sites with false information as regards the efficacy of vaccination against measles.

Russian-backed attempts to sabotage Ukraine's economic, political, and health developments have left the country fighting a measles outbreak and continuing a bloody, undeclared war. The situation is emblematic of increasing tension between the ideologies of President Vladimir Putin and countries of the pro-democratic, neoliberal west.

The measles outbreak -- affecting other countries including Serbia, Georgia, Greece, and Italy -- has hit Ukraine hardest, with the country's 23 000 cases accounting for more than half the European regional total. Kremlin-supported social media accounts spreading discredited theories about the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine, combined with shortages and underfunding, have been blamed for the outbreak. Research published on Aug 23 concluded Russian trolls promoted discord and, masquerading as legitimate users, created a false impression that arguments for and against vaccination were equipoised. The result has been an erosion of public consensus on the value of vaccine programmes. The precipitous fall in vaccination level began after 2008, when 95% of eligible children in Ukraine received their second (and final) recommended dose of the MMR vaccine. By 2016, the rate was 31%, among the lowest in the world.

Although now rising again, the latest 85% measles vaccination rate recorded by WHO remains below that needed for herd immunity. Records in 2016 show poor vaccination rates for other diseases: only 19% of children received the third recommended dose of the diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine and 56% received the third recommended dose of oral polio vaccine.

Hepatitis B vaccination was low, with coverage with hepatitis B birth-dose and third-dose vaccines at 37% and 26%, respectively. WHO estimates between 3% and 5% of the Ukraine's 45 million population has been infected with hepatitis C.

Ukraine bears the second largest HIV epidemic in eastern Europe and central Asia.

The above was printed in the much respected "The Lancet" . Who wrote it, I know not -- but I can hazard a guess.

It begins with the outrageous statement that "Russia" is resposible for the epidemic, specifically, the"ideology" of the Russian president is the cause of the epidemic.

No proof given: no data: sweet fuck all. Just an assertion that "Pyutin" is responsible.

Cortes March 2, 2019 at 12:47 am
Well, "Pyutin" plus A.N. Other

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1366121/Blair-hints-that-Leo-had-MMR-jab-as-vaccine-rebellion-mounts.html

yalensis March 2, 2019 at 2:54 am
So, Suprun and her half-baked medical policies are off the hook?
Mark Chapman March 2, 2019 at 9:30 am
You know, it's a shame Ukrainians are so gullible, and believe Russia's lies without checking any other sources of information – don't they know how to use The Microsoft and The Google? Not to mention gullible Americans, who also fell for it.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/vaccine-skeptics-on-the-rise-1422232476

Oh, and the Australians, who were so gobsmacked by Russia's campaign to discredit vaccinations that being a 'vaccine skeptic' is now punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

https://explainlife.com/vaccine-skepticism-in-australia-now-punishable-by-10-years-in-jail-6460/

Mind you, the 'anti-vaxxers' in those instances are reportedly Australian nurses and midwives – but I daresay they. too, were taken in by clever Russian trolls posing as legitimate users on social media.

Some of you will probably be asking "At what point, for the love of Christ, are people expected to take responsibility for their own decisions, instead of hiding behind the feebleminded excuse that they were tricked by the Russians?" For my part, I am convinced that Russia is going to take over the world, because Russian trolls are so much smarter than the public in any country you care to name. With a few cat pictures and a sprinkling of Black Lives Matter stories, many of them generated after the American election was actually over, the Russians tricked the American electoral college into making Donald Trump president of the United States instead of Mrs. Clinton, but in such a way that more of the public actually voted for Clinton than for Trump. And the electoral college is supposed to be made up of America's leaders. Brilliant, you must admit.

Watch out for the Kremlin campaign against photography – because having your picture taken steals your soul – due to open in The Ukraine this summer. Then there will not even be a photographic record of all the Ukrainians who died from measles, conniption fits, brain fever and the fantods, as the Kremlin wipes them out with their own gullibility. Survival of the fittest, baby.

[Mar 04, 2019] Exit polling is tremendously important, and in previous colour revolutions the west always tried to get control of exit polling

Mar 04, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman March 2, 2019 at 11:43 am

Red Alert!! Nobody will ever know the true winner (cough * Petro Poroshenko * cough) of the Ukrainian elections in 2019, because the Russians are already preparing fake exit-poll results, so that not even those who vote will be able to remember who they voted for. The situation probably cannot be stabilized until the reigning government reviews the results and supplies the ballots it says were properly counted. Better just play it safe, and leave Poroshenko as president forever.

https://www.unian.info/politics/10466307-russian-special-services-preparing-fake-exit-polls-in-ukraine-osint-group.html

Please note, the fake exit-poll meddling is in addition to other Russian meddling efforts which will take place at polling stations during the vote. It is literally not possible to hold an actual democratic election any more, Putin has ruined everything. Democracy is dead. Voting as a means of selecting a national leader is over.

Patient Observer March 2, 2019 at 12:33 pm
This is so confusing -- Porko has single digit support last I heard so it would be expected that exit polls would show a similar result. But, if the exit polls are consistent with Porko's opinion polls then it must be a sign of Russian meddling! Geez, I would have thought it would be the other way around -- an inconsistently high exit poll result would only be consistent with pro-Porko rating swindle. Shows how little I know about these matters.
Mark Chapman March 2, 2019 at 2:25 pm
Exit polling is tremendously important, and in previous colour revolutions the west always tried to get control of exit polling; often it was invited to do so by the target country, since it was felt by the government that the imprimatur of western observers would help reassure nervous westerners that the elections were fair and democratic. They apparently did not realize that all the west needs to tip over your victory is exit-poll results which are dramatically different from the way the vote was counted -- for example, Yanukovych wins with 39% of the vote, but the exit polls, in which those just leaving the polling station are asked who they voted for, say his opponent got way more votes than he did. Bingo -- the election is a big fraud -- campers, set up your tents on the Maidan, we're not going anywhere until this grievous wrong has been redressed. Thanks, Berezovsky, for the tents and the hot soup. But nobody really knows what the actual exit-poll results were, so the western observers can basically say anything they want, and the western press will immediately run with it.

Porky knows this very well, so he is trying to de-legitimize the vote in advance, knowing he doesn't stand a snowball's chance in hell of winning himself. If Zelenskiy wins, he'll be a Russian pawn put in place by Putin, and consequently will have to make the most belligerent statements against Russia and swear that he sleeps with a life-size blow-up doll of Bandera so as not to be thought 'soft' on the Kremlin.

The west was not invited to do exit polls in Russia, but in each of Putin's wins as well as that of Medvedev, the vote was consistent with pre-election polling in which decided voters announced who they intended to vote for. Nonetheless, there is always a great boil of noise afterward about ballot-stuffing and carousel voting, even by those who like to use the term but don't know what it means.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=_bg9X0eNFds

Patient Observer March 2, 2019 at 3:40 pm
That Matt guy is pretty cool. They must hate him.
Moscow Exile March 3, 2019 at 12:34 am
I have often wondered which news agency Matt works for.

If he really did not know what carousel voting was, he should have contacted Yulia Latynina, she 'd have told him; she's the carousel voting specialist: she can spot voters being bused in at a 1,000 paces. During elections, she drives around Moscow sussing them out, trailing them, writing reports on her findings in Novaya Gazeta or on the Ekho Moskvy site or ranting on about them in her talk show there.

I wonder what she's doing now? I heard she had emigrated. She still sends in copy for the aforementioned news media, though.

Patient Observer March 3, 2019 at 7:33 am
Matt's quip linking allegations that children were voting to carousel voting was a knee slapper.

Mark Chapman March 3, 2019 at 8:45 am

Matt Lee works for AP, the Associated Press.

I remember with affection the old Anatoly Karlin, who could not endure western hypocrisy without pointing it out with highly-enjoyable sarcasm. In the instance I'm thinking of, it was the 'huge protest' (organizers claimed 120,000, police said around 29,000, objective analysis put it at about 80,000) in Sakharov St. where the 'fiery' Alexey Navalny said he saw 'enough people to take the Kremlin'. The answering roar must have terribly tempted him to try it, but he didn't. Anyway, there was a photo of that protest, taken from overhead – I can't find it now – which showed a large block of city buses drawn up side-to-side; transport for the protesters. They were 'bused in'. When you're going to attend a western-backed demonstration, of course, you're just 'proceeding in an environmentally-conscious manner to a responsible protest action'. When you are part of a factory crew and the company lays on a bus to take everyone to the polls, you're 'bused in for carousel voting', and the bus takes the entire contingent to multiple polling places where they vote again and again. Or so Latynina says, although all she ever shows to back up her assertions is a photo of a bus with people on it. But the western press is perfectly happy to accept her word that they are seeing another sad example of the perversion of democracy in Russia.

So there you have it, as usual – western exceptionalism goes global. When we do it ('we' being the children of the Limousine Liberals), we're just using a socially-responsible method of getting to a place where we can make our voices heard and hold the authorities accountable. When they do it, they're cheating democracy and imposing an oligarchical system on us.

I have seen lots of photos of people on buses, and am perfectly happy to accept that they all came from the same workplace – that makes perfect sense to me, and I see nothing ominous in it. I have never seen any evidence that such people vote multiple times as a group, and must therefore conclude that 'carousel voting' is a buzzword dreamed up by western analysts in concert with sympathetic Russian liberal enablers.

[Feb 17, 2019] The goal of any war is the redistribution of taxpayer money into the bank accounts of MIC shareholders and executives

Highly recommended!
The USA state of continuous war has been a bipartisan phenomenon starting with Truman in Korea and proceeding with Vietnam, Lebanon, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and now Syria. It doesn't take a genius to realize that these limited, never ending wars are expensive was to enrich MIC and Wall Street banksters
Notable quotes:
"... Yes the neocons have a poor track record but they've succeeded at turning our republic into an empire. The mainstream media and elites of practically all western nations are unanimously pro-war. Neither political party has defined a comprehensive platform to rebuild our republic. ..."
Feb 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

KC February 15, 2019 at 11:16 pm

The one thing your accurate analysis leaves out is that the goal of US wars is never what the media spouts for its Wall Street masters. The goal of any war is the redistribution of taxpayer money into the bank accounts of MIC shareholders and executives, create more enemies to be fought in future wars, and to provide a rationalization for the continued primacy of the military class in US politics and culture.

Occasionally a country may be sitting on a bunch of oil, and also be threatening to move away from the petrodollar or talking about allowing an "adversary" to build a pipeline across their land.

Otherwise war is a racket unto itself. "Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. "
― George Orwell

Also we've always been at war with Oceania .or whatever that quote said.

Barry F Keane , says: February 15, 2019 at 7:11 pm
Yes the neocons have a poor track record but they've succeeded at turning our republic into an empire. The mainstream media and elites of practically all western nations are unanimously pro-war. Neither political party has defined a comprehensive platform to rebuild our republic.

Even you, Tucker Carlson, mock the efforts of Ilhan Omar for criticizing AIPAC and Elliott Abrams.

I don't personally care for many of her opinions but that's not what matters: if we elect another neocon government we won't last another generation. Like the lady asked Ben Franklin "What kind of government have you bequeathed us?", and Franklin answered "A republic, madam, if you can keep it."

[Feb 07, 2019] Does the European Union generate external instability? by Branko Milanovic

As neocolonial empire of it s own (albeit the one that is vassal of the USA) yes it does, especially in xUSSR state where EU wants to capture the makets. Ukraine is a nice example here.
Feb 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com

https://www.socialeurope.eu/external-instability

February 5, 2019

Does the European Union generate external instability?
The historic achievement of peace within a Europe of universal norms is belied by the external instability engendered by violent and incoherent interventions.
By Branko Milanovic

The European Union is justly admired for making war among its members impossible. This is no small achievement in a continent which was in a state of semi-permanent warfare for the past two millennia.

It is not only that we cannot even imagine the usual 19th and 20th century antagonists, such as France and Germany, going to war ever again. The same is true of other, lesser-known animosities which have led periodically to bloodlettings: between Poles and Germans, Hungarians and Romanians, Greeks and Bulgarians. Unthinkable is also the idea that the United Kingdom and Spain could end up, regarding Gibraltar, in a reprise of the Falklands/Malvinas war.

Destabilised

But creating geopolitical stability internally has not, during the last two decades, been followed by external geopolitical stability along the fringes of the union. Most of the big EU member states (UK, Poland, Italy, Spain) participated, often eagerly, in Operation Iraqi Freedom, which led to the deaths of some half a million people, destabilised the middle east even further and produced Islamic State.

Then, seemingly not having learned from this fiasco, France and Italy spearheaded another regime change, this time in Libya. It ended in anarchy, another civil war, two competing governments and a UN Security Council deadlocked for years to come -- since it is clear that China and Russia will not in the foreseeable future vote to allow another western military intervention.

The wars along the long arc from Libya to Afghanistan, in which EU powers participated, were the proximate cause of large refugee flows a few years ago, which continue even now. (As I have written elsewhere, the underlying cause of migration is the large gap in incomes between Europe, on the one hand, and Africa and the 'greater middle east', on the other, but the sudden outbursts were caused by wars.)

The next example of generating instability was Ukraine, where the then government of Viktor Yanukovych, having only postponed the signing of an EU agreement, was driven out of power in 2014 in a coup-like movement supported by the union. It is sure that a reasonable counterfactual, with the same EU-Ukraine agreements being signed and without a war in eastern Ukraine and with Crimea still part of Ukraine, would have been much preferable to the current situation, which threatens to precipitate a war of even much greater dimensions.

Finally, consider Turkey, in an association agreement with the European Economic Community since 1963, and thus in a membership-awaiting antechamber for more than half a century. The initial period in power of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was marked by pro-European policies, a desire to create an 'Islamic democracy', in the mould of the Christian democracies of Italy and Germany, and civilian control over the army. But realisation that, because of its size and probably because of its dominant religion, Turkey would never be recognised as part of Europe led Erdoğan, gradually, to move in an altogether different direction -- with an almost zero chance that he would come back to his original pro-European stance.

The endless waiting period, with similarly protracted negotiations over what are now 35 chapters which need to be agreed between candidate countries and all 28 (or soon 27) members, is what lies behind the frustration with the EU in the Balkans. Long gone are the days when Greece could become a member after a couple of months (if that) of negotiations and an agreement between the French president, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, and the German chancellor, Helmut Schmidt. The European bluff -- it neither has the stick nor the carrot -- albeit long hidden behind the veil of negotiations, was recently called by the Kosovo leadership, when it engaged in a trade war with Serbia. The EU could express its 'regrets' but it was squarely ignored. In the past, nether Kosovo nor any other Balkan state would have dared to defy Europe so openly.

Slow and hesitant

It all means that Europe needs a much better thought-out external policy with respect to its neighbours. There are already some signs that it is moving in that direction but it is doing so too slowly and hesitantly. A multilateral compact with Africa is needed to regulate migration from a continent with the fastest rising population and lowest incomes. Much more European investment -- in hard stuff, not conferences -- is needed. Rather than complaining about China's Belt and Road initiative, Europe should imitate it -- and, if it desires to counteract Chinese political influence, invest its own money to make more African friends. A similar set of much more proactive policies is required within the framework of the Mediterranean initiative, while military options in the region should be forsworn no less clearly than they are within the union.

When it comes to the potential members, as in the Balkans or the western republics of the former Soviet Union, interminable talks should be replaced by either special association with no expectation of EU membership or clearer, time-limited negotiations leading to membership. Both would manage expectations better and avoid the build-up of resentment and frustration.

The most important challenge is the relationship with Turkey. The EU does not have a blueprint for a Turkey after Erdoğan; nor can it offer anything to the Turkish secular opposition, as it is not clear within itself whether it wants Turkey in or out. It should be rather obvious that a European Turkey, with its vast economic potential and influence in the middle east, would be a huge economic and strategic asset. Such a Turkey would also behave differently in Syria and in Anatolia, because it would have an incentive to follow European rules.

This rethinking of the EU's neighbourhood policy thus calls, in short, for three things: greater economic aid to Africa, no support for wars or regime change, and much clearer rules and time-limits for membership talks.


Branko Milanovic is Visiting Presidential Professor at the Graduate Center of City University of New York (CUNY). Reply Wednesday, February 06, 2019 at 01:39 PM

Mr. Bill -> anne... , February 06, 2019 at 05:11 PM

Perhaps, you ascribe to the EU successes that it did not create.

The formation of the EU is not the vehicle that created, nor sustained, the uneasy peace. I suggest it was the resolution of WW2 that has determined the current state of tolerance.

I fear that the formation of the EU, in the end, will be the cause of a re-instigation of the age old skirmishes that have plagued the world, as you say, for two millennia.

The destruction of the Middle East by the West, not just the EU but the US, is a foolishness of biblical proportions.

The EU's disposition of Greece and Brexit are red flags that the EU is an unsustainable contrivance that will eventually, come undone. The mercantilist wars between France, England, Spain, Germany, Italy, etc, may rise again. Hopefully, I'm wrong.