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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[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] "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 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.

[Jan 22, 2019] War with Russia From Putin Ukraine to Trump Russiagate

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Professor Cohen is indeed a patriot of the highest order. The American and "Globalists" elites, particularly the dysfunctional United Kingdom, are engaging in a war of nerves with Russia. This war, which could turn nuclear for reasons discussed in this important book, is of no benefit to any person or nation. ..."
Jan 22, 2019 | www.amazon.com

P. Philips 5.0 out of 5 stars December 6, 2018

"In a Time of Universal Deceit -- Telling the Truth Is a Revolutionary Act"

"In a Time of Universal Deceit -- Telling the Truth Is a Revolutionary Act" is a well known quotation (but probably not of George Orwell). And in telling the truth about Russia and that the current "war of nerves" is not in the interests of either the American People or national security, Professor Cohen in this book has in fact done a revolutionary act.

Like a denizen of Plato's cave, or being in the film the Matrix, most people have no idea what the truth is. And the questions raised by Professor Cohen are a great service in the cause of the truth. As Professor Cohen writes in his introduction To His Readers:

"My scholarly work -- my biography of Nikolai Bukharin and essays collected in Rethinking the Soviet Experience and Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives, for example -- has always been controversial because it has been what scholars term "revisionist" -- reconsiderations, based on new research and perspectives, of prevailing interpretations of Soviet and post-Soviet Russian history. But the "controversy" surrounding me since 2014, mostly in reaction to the contents of this book, has been different -- inspired by usually vacuous, defamatory assaults on me as "Putin's No. 1 American Apologist," "Best Friend," and the like. I never respond specifically to these slurs because they offer no truly substantive criticism of my arguments, only ad hominem attacks. Instead, I argue, as readers will see in the first section, that I am a patriot of American national security, that the orthodox policies my assailants promote are gravely endangering our security, and that therefore we -- I and others they assail -- are patriotic heretics. Here too readers can judge."

Cohen, Stephen F.. War with Russia (Kindle Locations 131-139). Hot Books. Kindle Edition.

Professor Cohen is indeed a patriot of the highest order. The American and "Globalists" elites, particularly the dysfunctional United Kingdom, are engaging in a war of nerves with Russia. This war, which could turn nuclear for reasons discussed in this important book, is of no benefit to any person or nation.

Indeed, with the hysteria on "climate change" isn't it odd that other than Professor Cohen's voice, there are no prominent figures warning of the devastation that nuclear war would bring?

If you are a viewer of one of the legacy media outlets, be it Cable Television networks, with the exception of Tucker Carlson on Fox who has Professor Cohen as a frequent guest, or newspapers such as The New York Times, you have been exposed to falsehoods by remarkably ignorant individuals; ignorant of history, of the true nature of Russia (which defeated the Nazis in Europe at a loss of millions of lives) and most important, of actual military experience. America is neither an invincible or exceptional nation. And for those familiar with terminology of ancient history, it appears the so-called elites are suffering from hubris.

I cannot recommend Professor Cohen's work with sufficient superlatives; his arguments are erudite, clearly stated, supported by the facts and ultimately irrefutable. If enough people find Professor Cohen's work and raise their voices to their oblivious politicians and profiteers from war to stop further confrontation between Russia and America, then this book has served a noble purpose.

If nothing else, educate yourself by reading this work to discover what the *truth* is. And the truth is something sacred.

America and the world owe Professor Cohen a great debt. "Blessed are the peace makers..."

jn 5.0 out of 5 stars January 18, 2019

This book examines the senseless and dangerous demonizing of Russia and Putin

This is a compelling book that documents and examines the senseless and dangerous demonizing of Russia and Putin. Unfortunately, the elites in Washington and mass media are not likely to read this book. Their minds are closed. I read this book because I was hoping for an explanation about the cause of the new cold war with Russia. Although the root cause of the new cold war is beyond the scope of this book, the book documents baseless accusations that grew in frequency and intensity until all opposition was silenced. The book documents the dangerous triumph of group think.

skeptic

"On my planet, the evidence linking Putin to the assassination of Litvinecko, Nemtsov, and Politkovskaya and the attempt on the Skripals is strong and consistent with spending his formative years in the KGB. The naive view from Cohen's planet is presented on p 6 and 170."

Ukrainian history. That's evident to any attentive reader. I just want to state that Ukrainian EuroMaydan was a color revolution which exploited the anger of population against the corrupt neoliberal government of Yanukovich (with Biden as the best friend, and Paul Manafort as the election advisor) to install even more neoliberal and more corrupt government of Poroshenko and cut Ukraine from Russia. The process that was probably inevitable in the long run (so called Baltic path), but that was forcefully accelerated. Everything was taken from the Gene Sharp textbook. And Ukrainians suffered greatly as a result, with the standard of living dropping to around $2 a day level -- essentially Central Africa level.

The fact is that the EU acted as a predator trying to get into Ukraine markets and displace Russia. While the USA neocons (Nuland and Co) staged the coup using Ukrainian nationalists as a ram, ignoring the fact that Yanukovich would be voted out in six months anyway (his popularity was in single digits, like popularity of Poroshenko those days ;-). The fact that Obama administration desperately wanted to weaken Russia at the expense of Ukrainians eludes you. I would blame Nuland for the loss of Crimea and the civil war in Donbass.

Poor Ukrainians again became the victim of geopolitical games by big powers. No that they are completely blameless, but still...

It looks like you inhabit a very cold populated exclusively with neocons planet called "Russiagate." So Professor Cohen really lives on another planet. And probably you should drink less American exceptionalism Kool-Aid.

[Jan 18, 2019] The roots of the conflict in the Ukraine with thousands dead and the threat of, minimally, a wider regional conflict, are attributable to extremist elements in the United States -- those faces and voices seen and heard promoting the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, the supporters of ISIS/Al Qaeda in Syria -- and the cheerleaders of the continued genocide against the Palestinian people

That's probably wrong. Distancing from Russia was the main theme for all post Soviet States. And the fact that Ukraine had chosen Baltin model -- becoming the sattelite of EU is not surprising, taking into account connections of Western Ukraine and Germany which goes to the time when this territory was a part of Austro-Hungarian Empire.
The the fact that this distancing took such a toxic and self-destructing form and incldes the loss of territory and population, can be attributed to the USA. Here I would agree with the author.
Notable quotes:
"... The term, roughly translated as Revolution of Dignity, was cooked up at the Jamestown Foundation in Washington, well in advance of Victoria Nuland's assumption of the throne as de facto "Queen of the Ukraine," lording over her subjects, playing the role of "donut dollie." ..."
"... The roots of the conflict in the Ukraine with thousands dead and the threat of, minimally, a wider regional conflict, are attributable to extremist elements in the United States -- those faces and voices seen and heard promoting the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, the supporters of ISIS/Al Qaeda in Syria -- and the cheerleaders of the continued genocide against the Palestinian people." ..."
Jan 18, 2019 | www.unz.com

annamaria , says: April 10, 2018 at 3:45 pm GMT

@Anonymous "More occupation and killing in Crimea "
-- Evidence? It seems that you are very upset that the Kagans' cookies did not deliver.
"One Year Later, Crimeans Prefer Russia:" https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2015-02-06/one-year-later-crimeans-prefer-russia
"How Crimeans See Ukraine Crisis:" https://consortiumnews.com/2016/02/11/how-crimeans-see-ukraine-crisis/

"A Pew poll from April 2014 revealed that 91 percent of Crimean respondents believed the referendum was free and fair, 93 percent had confidence in Putin, and 85 percent believed Kiev should recognize the results.

Another poll in June 2014, this one from Gallup , showed 94 percent of ethnic Russians in Crimea thought the referendum reflected the views of the people and 68 percent of ethnic Ukrainians in Crimea agreed . The poll found that 74 percent believed that joining Russia would make life better.

A GfK poll from February 2015, sponsored by a pro-Ukrainian group in Canada, revealed 93 percent of Crimeans endorsed the referendum."

-- Still not enough for you?

"Ukraine [post-Maidan] under pressure from West over corruption:" http://www.newindianexpress.com/world/2017/dec/07/ukraine-under-pressure-from-west-over-corruption-1721487.html

"Enough documents have been released -- citing coup-backed snipers killing dozens of protesters, US embassy officials planning false flag attacks, extremists downing a passenger airliner and NATO peddling falsified intelligence -- to make it very clear that the "coup" is more of an invasion than anything else.

The term, roughly translated as Revolution of Dignity, was cooked up at the Jamestown Foundation in Washington, well in advance of Victoria Nuland's assumption of the throne as de facto "Queen of the Ukraine," lording over her subjects, playing the role of "donut dollie."

The roots of the conflict in the Ukraine with thousands dead and the threat of, minimally, a wider regional conflict, are attributable to extremist elements in the United States -- those faces and voices seen and heard promoting the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, the supporters of ISIS/Al Qaeda in Syria -- and the cheerleaders of the continued genocide against the Palestinian people."

https://www.veteranstoday.com/2015/03/07/neo-ukraine-fighting-the-spin/

"In 1950, the Nuremberg Tribunal defined Crimes against Peace, in Principle VI, specifically Principle VI(a), submitted to the United Nations General Assembly, as:
(i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;

(ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i)."

Dave Bowman , says: April 10, 2018 at 3:48 pm GMT
@annamaria Bravo, indeed, Annamaria. Beautiful, perfect, resounding, harsh, unforgiving words for a pair of worthless human vermin masquerading as civilised, intelligent professionals with a moral compass.

[Jan 13, 2019] Potencial of having a nuclear cataclysm out of civil war in Ukraine is firtneing perspecitve

Jan 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

EugeneGur , says: July 23, 2018 at 9:30 pm GMT

@Peter Akuleyev

who has spent time in Ukraine knows how deep hatred of Russia goes

I don't know where is Ukraine you spent your time and in what company, but this is complete BS. The South-Eastern Ukraine hates the Western Ukrainian "banderovtsi" as much as the Russians do if not more -- after all, the followers of Bandera operated mostly on the Ukrainian soil. There are deranged individuals in every country, of course, and Ukraine has been subjected lately to intense hate propaganda as well as repressions, but there is no hatred of Russia. This is contradicted by both sociology and everyday behavior of Ukrainian, which move to Russia in droves, spend time in Russia, support Russian sport teams, etc.

we are supposed to dismiss the actual wishes of Ukrainians, Estonians, Poles, Georgians and other peoples who hate Russia (and love the US)

Nobody is asking about what the real Ukrainians, Estonians, Georgians or even Poles actually think, least of all the US. There are almost as many Georgians living in Russia as there are in Georgia, and they show no desire to move back. In 2008 during the conflict, their biggest fear was that they'd be deported.

The Ukraine's Maidan was a violent coup, where a few thousand militants armed and trained abroad overthrew a government elected by the entire country. Protests that immediately started all over the country were suppressed with force -- the one in Donbass still is.

How could anyone with an access to Internet remain unaware of these facts is beyond me.

Vojkan , says: July 24, 2018 at 8:25 am GMT
@Peter Akuleyev Why should anyone freaking care and put his ass in the line of fire because you bunch of primitives hate Russia? Between having a nuclear cataclysm because you pathetic dwarfs of nations are frustrated to have a neighbour you can't bully and Russia obliterating you, I say let Russia obliterate you, thus we won't have to suffer the ear-hurting dissonnance of your incessant whining any more. Though I doubt Russia would stomp on you. When you see shit, you don't stomp on it, you don't want you don't want your shoes to stink, you just walk around it.

[Jan 13, 2019] Who are the people populating Ukrainian Armed Forces?

Jan 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

peterAUS , says: July 23, 2018 at 10:25 pm GMT

@EugeneGur That's an interesting point. Even if true, doesn't matter. One could wonder ..who are the people populating Ukrainian Armed Forces?

Or who are the guys, in Ukrainian Armed Forces, presently engaged against Donbass? All of them. Including those is logistics/maintenance depots far away from the (current) line of separation?

The will to fight against "Russia" ranges from a deep hate to simply not wishing to go against the (current) Ukrainian government. The former are in those "shock" battalions. The later are manning the logistics train. And everything in between.

Now .if/when a real shooting starts, as soon as Russia, as expected (and desired) by the most of readers here, starts delivering ordnance into operational depth of Donbass enemy, the ratio hate/don't care shall shift, hard and fast. Not in Russian favor, I suspect.

[Jan 04, 2019] 112 , 04.02.2018

Interesting a pretty sharp interfere with former Rada deputy Elena Bondarenko
Feb 04, 2018 | www.youtube.com

В эфире обсудили такие темы:

4 февраля гостьей программы "Гордон" была народный депутат Украины V - VII созывов Елена Бондаренко.

Сильные мира сего умеют хранить свои тайны, и тем интереснее задавать им прямые и неудобные вопросы, чтобы отделить правду от лжи и узнать истину. Они будут пытаться уклоняться от ответов, но Дмитрий Гордон постарается докопаться до самой сути.

Эти люди расскажут о том, о чем принято молчать – что волнует общество и Дмитрия Гордона в частности.

Подписаться на канал : https://goo.gl/CqZYZb

[Jan 02, 2019] Viable Opposition How the U.S. Senate is Instigating a Hot War With Russia

Notable quotes:
"... Senate Resolution on December 19, 2019 which calls for "a prompt multinational freedom of navigation operation in the Black Sea and urging the cancellation of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline ..."
"... Calling for a prompt multinational freedom of navigation operation in the Black Sea and urging the cancellation of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. ..."
Jan 02, 2019 | viableopposition.blogspot.com

Senator Ron Johnson (R- Wis) and Richard Durban (D-Ill) and 39 of their colleagues introduced a Senate Resolution on December 19, 2019 which calls for "a prompt multinational freedom of navigation operation in the Black Sea and urging the cancellation of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline" as shown here :

Here is a list of co-sponsors of the resolution:

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Ok.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee; Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation; and Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Christopher Coons (D-Del.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), John Thune (R-S.D.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.).
Here is the resolution (currently unnumbered) in its entirety:

Calling for a prompt multinational freedom of navigation operation in the Black Sea and urging the cancellation of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

... ... ...

... ... ...

(9) applauds and concurs with the European 2 Parliament's December 12, 2018, resolution condemning Russian aggression in the Kerch Strait and
the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, calling for the pipeline's cancellation due to its threat to European energy security, and calling on the Russian Federation to
7 guarantee freedom of navigation in the Kerch Strait;

and

(10) urges the President to continue working with Congress and our allies to ensure the appropriate policies to deter the Russian Federation from further aggression.

Anonymous December 26, 2018 at 4:47 PM

Fortunately, these two neocons can make all the proclamations they want but without President Trump's support it's all just words; neocon virtue signalling. And of course President Trump won't support what they're doing because he campaigned on and governs as an anti-war president.

Ron Johnson is a Bushie neocon who actively supported the neocon ¡Jebe! (Please Clap) Bush while Durbin is a Hillary Clinton neocon who actively supported that drunken, corrupt, warmongering shrew.

Thank all that's holy that we have a genuine anti-war POTUS in office and not either of those two neocons, both of whom were utterly in the pockets of defense contractors.

Unknown January 1, 2019 at 10:02 PM

Thanks for your research on relevant naval law. The Ukrainian vessel is reported to have violated the ongoing protocol by failing to take on a Russian pilot as it transited the strait and an important bridge could potentially have been attacked by those vessels. This was a provocation by Ukraine that seems to have its desired effect on the U.S. Senate. For essential background on the Ukrainian civil war, I recommend reading Stephen F. Cohen's article in the Nation in 2014, titled "Kiev's atrocities and the Silence of the Hawks." https://www.thenation.com/article/kievs-atrocities-and-silence-hawks/

[Jan 02, 2019] The Poles and the Ukrainians would be willing to sacrifice themselves on behalf of their allies for the privilege of being able to poke the Bear

Jan 02, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Poland and Ukraine cannot stop provoking laughter from international observers. After the lunatic idea circulating in Ukraine of resurrecting the country's nuclear arsenal, it is now Poland's turn to send shockwaves around Europe. Polish foreign minister Czaputowicz proposed that France share its nuclear arsenal and hand over its seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to the European Union. It is is worth noting that this suggestion did not even receive an official comment from Paris, showing that there was little prospect of the Polish idea being taken seriously . Warsaw continues its opposition to the EU's domestic policies on migration and austerity, while in foreign policy, agrees with countries like Ukraine and the United States, particularly the neocon faction opposed to Russia. If there is a distinctive feature in the political proposals that come from Poland, it is an acute Russophobia. The idea of ​​hosting a US base on Polish territory, and assuming its costs, is another Polish proposal. The Americans are serious considering taking them up on the offer .

The Poles and the Ukrainians would be willing to sacrifice themselves on behalf of their allies for the privilege of being able to poke the Bear. Fortunately for them, Paris, London and Berlin have neither the military capabilities nor the suicidal intention to challenge Moscow with permanent military bases on its border. Neither do they wish to share their nuclear weapons with other EU countries, nor engage in any such hare-brained ideas that threaten humanity as the American Aegis Ashore system or the planned US withdrawal from the INF Treaty.

[Jan 02, 2019] The snipers that executed the Maidan massacre in Kiev have come forward and have made sworn testimony

Jan 02, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

oldenyoung , Feb 21, 2018 9:17:01 AM | link

Off topic...but of interest to many here at MoA....The snipers that executed the Maidan massacre in Kiev have come forward and have made sworn testimony///

https://www.veteranstoday.com/2018/02/20/shocking-new-evidence-maidan-snipers-confess-they-were-under-orders-from-coup-leaders-to-shoot-police-and-protesters/

I have not verified any of this story...so, use your own best judgement

Regards

OY

Ps sounds like Sputnik it trying to chase this down and get it verified...

oldenyoung , Feb 21, 2018 9:27:55 AM | link
And here is the Sputnik story...

https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201802201061840515-maidan-snipers-testimony-detailed-crucial/

regards

Peter AU 1 , Feb 21, 2018 10:41:51 AM | link
63
https://sputniknews.com/europe/201802151061669056-georgian-snipers-maidan-evidence
"Adding a new twist to the story about the 2014 Maidan shootings, a Sputnik correspondent has met with the purported snipers. The agency has obtained the records of interrogation of Koba Nergadze and Aleksandre Revazishvili. Both Georgian nationals, they are ready to testify in a Ukrainian court."
Oui , Feb 21, 2018 2:52:52 PM | link
It was a matter of time when the participants in the Maidan Massacre would surface the coup d'état didn't stop the carnage of Ukrainians nor corruption of people in power. The witness accounts were described in the hours as the events unfolded. Only the faces were not known ...

How the Events of Sniper Fire In Instytutska Street Unfolded

Maidan Massacre Bombshell: #Georgian snipers reportedly confess to massacring along with Lithuanian snipers both #Police and #maidan protesters in #Ukraine in Italian #documentary just broadcast by most popular #Italian #TV channel [h/t Ivan Katchanovski]

Hromadske TV

Meet the Americans Who Put Together the Coup in Kiev

[Dec 08, 2018] Former Ukrainian Deputy Aleksey Zhuravko The Order to Provoke Russia in the Kerch Strait Came From the US Embassy -ZO

Notable quotes:
"... Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard ..."
"... Aleksey Zhuravko ..."
"... "we are dealing with this issue ..."
Dec 08, 2018 | www.stalkerzone.org

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard 19:45:09
05/12/2018
Aleksey Zhuravko


Dear friends!

FOR INFORMATION. EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW THIS! IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO HIDE THE TRUTH.

Today I had a conversation with a serious person from Kiev who is on active service. For safety reasons I cannot give its name. I trust this person. Many thanks that there are still decent people.

Here is what he told me. The special operation in the Black Sea made on November 25th in the Kerch Strait was prepared over three months by the American intelligence agencies and the SBU. All orders on carrying out a provocation in the Black Sea were given to Poroshenko by the US Embassy in Ukraine. And Poroshenko, in turn, personally gave the instructions to the performers. He consciously sent boats and young guys off to be shot, and members of the crew were equipped with a large number of cartridges and small arms, having being told that they must fire back to the last bullet. They were sent to a certain death for the purpose of carrying out a provocation.

There's more. Poroshenko gave the order to not hold any negotiations with Russia concerning returning sailors, and if the people will insist and kick up a storm around it, then drag out he negotiation process as much as possible. This order came from the US Embassy in Ukraine.

Dear parents of the aggrieved Ukrainian sailors detained by the border service of Russia! Your children were used by Poroshenko and his gang as cannon fodder, and you continue to be deceived. That 50,000 hryvnia that he promised you will end very quickly. He met you only to calm your anger, to appease you, like saying "we are dealing with this issue

... ... ...

[Dec 05, 2018] What Foreign Threats by Philip Giraldi

Notable quotes:
"... This shtick of blaming US state crimes on foreign influence is getting annoying. You know none of this would be happening if the DO didn't like it. If you want to stop CIA's common plan or conspiracy for war, you've got to end the impunity that permits it. Ratify the Rome Statute. With the judiciary completely gelded, that's the only way to get the CIA regime under control. It's that or DCI Poppy Hager swings at Nuremberg II. ..."
"... Nuland admitted to spending $5 billion to set Maidan up. That $5B is worth 10 times that much in Ukraine. You don't spend that kind of money unless you have a follow up plan, and NATOizing Ukraine to attack Russia was it. The trigger was NATO's bitch, the EU, creating such a horrible deal for Ukraine that only an imbecile would have accepted it. Viktor Yanukovych was no imbecile. The "Russian deal" wasn't all that great for Ukraine either, it was just infinitely better than the turd the EU told Yanukovych to sign. ..."
Dec 05, 2018 | www.unz.com

One of the local Washington television stations was doing a typical early morning honoring our soldiers schtick just before Thanksgiving. In it soldiers stationed far from home were treated to videolinks so they could talk to their families and everyone could nod happily and wish themselves a wonderful holiday. Not really listening, I became interested when I half heard that the soldier being interviewed was spending his Thanksgiving in Ukraine.

It occurred to me that the soldier just might have committed a security faux pas by revealing where he was, but I also recalled that there have been joint military maneuvers as well as some kind of training mission going on in the country, teaching the Ukrainian Army how to use the shiny new sophisticated weapons that the United States was providing it with to defend against "Russian aggression."

Ukraine is only one part of the world where the Trump Administration has expanded the mission of democracy promotion, only in Kiev the reality is more like faux democracy promotion since Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is clearly exploiting a situation that he himself provoked . He envisions setting himself up as a victim of Moscow to aid in his attempts to establish his own power through a security relationship with Washington. That in turn will help his bid for reelection in March 2019 elections, in which his poll numbers are currently running embarrassingly low largely due to the widescale corruption in his government. Poroshenko has already done much to silence the press in his county while the developing crisis with Russia has enabled him to declare martial law in the eastern parts of the country where he is most poorly regarded. If it all works out, he hopes to win the election and subsequently, it is widely believed, he will move to expand his own executive authority.

There also has to be some consideration the encounter with the Russians on the Kerch Strait was contrived by Poroshenko with the assistance of a gaggle of American neoconservative and Israeli advisers who have been actively engaged with the Ukrainian government for the past several years. The timing was good for Poroshenko for his own domestic political reasons but it was also an opportunity for the neocons warmongers that surround Trump and proliferate inside the Beltway to scuttle any possible meeting between a vulnerable Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin at the G20 gathering in Argentina.

The defection of Trump's lawyer Michael Cohen, together with the assumption that a lot of anti-Trump dirt will be spilled soon, means that the American president had to be even more cautious than ever in any dealings with Moscow and all he needed was a nod of approval from National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to cancel the encounter. A heads-of-state meeting might not have solved anything but it certainly would be better than the current drift towards a new cold war. If the United States has only one vitally important relationship anywhere it is with Russia as the two countries are ready, able and apparently willing to destroy the world under the aegis of self-defense.

Given the anti-Russian hysteria prevailing in the U.S. and the ability of the neocons to switch on the media, it should come as no surprise that the Russian-Ukrainian incident immediately generated calls from the press and politicians for the White House to get tough with the Kremlin. It is important to note that the United States has no actual national interest in getting involved in a war between Russia and Ukraine if that should come about. The two Eastern European countries are neighbors and have a long history of both friendship and hostility but the only thing clear about the conflict is that it is up to them to sort things out and no amount of sanctions and jawing by concerned congressmen will change that fact.

Other Eastern European nations that similarly have problems with Russia should also be considered provocateurs as they seek to create tension to bind the United States more closely to them through the NATO alliance. The reality is that today's Russian Federation is not the Soviet Union and it neither aspires to nor can afford hegemony over its former allies. What it has made very clear that it does want is a modus vivendi where Russia itself is not being threatened by the West.

Recent military maneuvers in Poland and Lithuania and the stationing of new missiles in Eastern Europe do indeed pose a genuine threat to Moscow as it places NATO forces on top of Russia's border. When Russia reacts to incursions by NATO warships and planes right along its borders, it is accused of acting aggressively. One wonders how the U.S. government would respond if a Russian aircraft carrier were to take up position off the eastern seaboard and were to begin staging reconnaissance flights. Or if the Russian army were to begin military exercises with the Cubans? Does anyone today remember the Bay of Pigs?


renfro , says: December 4, 2018 at 5:53 am GMT

The only foreign threats we have come from the various psychos in the think tanks and special interest lobbies in the US.

As Jean-Jules Jusserand, the French ambassador to the United States
from once said of the US : .

"On the north, she has a weak neighbor; on the south, another weak neighbor; on the east, fish, and on the west, more fish.'

Justsaying , says: December 4, 2018 at 6:01 am GMT
Crying wolf provides a perfect pretext for the Empire's MIC to line the pockets of the merchants of death. In keeping with its time-honored tradition of propping up tyrants kowtowing to imperial hegemonic wishes, America hardly has friends without some military collaboration. Even the recently anointed sh*thole countries of Africa over 50 such countries have American military cooperation agreements under the guise of the infamous AFRICOM and the War on Terror. The number of military bases in sh*thole African countries remain unknown.

..the ability of the neocons to switch on the media

Hard to distinguish between the two really. The "free press" of WMD notoriety, Ghaddafi's "genocidal drive" against Libyan citizens, Iraq's involvement with 9/11? Iranian arms in Yemen that have not massacred children in school buses? Iranian fabricated nuclear weapons? Syrian chemical attacks?

The biggest threats to America come from its "friends"

America is being unwittingly exonerated as an innocent bystander unable to choose her own friends. It so happens America's "friends" share the common trait of pushing for war. In countries awash in petrodollars, purchasing billions of dollars in arms used in Yemen to murder children; Zionists are gifted with American state of the art arsenals to murder Palestinians, including women and children. The biggest threat to America comes from inside the deep state itself, especially with the Zionist Israel Firsters pulling strings at will.

anon [355] Disclaimer , says: December 4, 2018 at 6:43 am GMT
America's all time #1 phony "friend". -- -Israel.

With a "friend" like Israel, America doesn't need any enemies.

Ludwig Watzal , says: Website December 4, 2018 at 8:30 am GMT
I agree with Phil Giraldi on its analysis of US foreign policy. When lying with dogs, you get fleas. This saying holds especially true for the so-called US friends such as the Saudis, Israelis, Ukrainians, Poles, and the Brits. The NeoZion gang plays President Trump is an open secret. He still employes one of its guiding spirits as national security adviser. As long this Gordian knot is not cut, American foreign policy will not change, and it's getting worse. These folks who surround Trump want war, first with Iran and then with Russia. Their lackey Poroshenko is doing the bitting of Trump and the Zionist regime and their European puppets. The Zionist regime is deeply involved in steering up tensions. Prime minister Wolodymyr Hrojsman is Jewish. Is anyone surprised?
Art , says: December 4, 2018 at 8:33 am GMT
What chance does peace have with these people having Trump's ear: Javanka Kushner, Gina Haspel, Nikki Haley, Mike Pompeo, Mike Pence, Mad Dog Mattis, and John Bolton?

Doesn't look good does it!

Think Peace -- Art

jilles dykstra , says: December 4, 2018 at 8:41 am GMT
Around 1890 one Rothschild wrote to another 'the only enemy of jews is jews'.

In my opinion at present the only enemy of the USA is the USA, that part of the USA that failed in getting Hillary elected.

On the European continent a similar situation, even an establishment Dutch politician, of a christian party, Segers, found out that a substantial part of the Dutch see the government as the enemy.

He has the illusion that pr can save him, and his cronies.

anon [121] Disclaimer , says: December 4, 2018 at 10:24 am GMT
"I am not sure that he ever understood "

He never understood. That was evident the moment he started floating names like Romney for his cabinet. Personally, I sympathize with Trump after what the deep state has done to him and his family, and I even respect the guy for telling things like they are – the poor autistic bastard just can't help but blurt out the truth about things* but he's also not the guy we needed. We needed a fearless, ruthless, and cunning fighter ready to martyr himself for our interests, the people's interests.

*Global Warming IS a scam – the Paris Accords would not decrease CO2 levels even under perfect – near miraculous – circumstances and is merely being floated by the Chinese so they can give off the appearance of doing something while doing nothing, as they have done before.

RVBlake , says: December 4, 2018 at 10:50 am GMT
I am left wondering again, what's so bad about isolationism?
james charles , says: December 4, 2018 at 11:08 am GMT
@jilles dykstra 'One of many truths lost within this discourse is the reality that the creation of a no-fly zone would, in the words of the most senior general in the US Armed Forces, mean the US going to war "against Syria and Russia". '

https://mronline.org/2016/12/13/allday131216-html/

During the election campaign H.R.C., three times, {stupidly?} threatened to impose a 'no fly zone' in Syria – confronting a nuclear armed country.

anonymous [340] Disclaimer , says: December 4, 2018 at 11:41 am GMT
For a peek into Establishment orthodoxy, check out "Why Does America Spend So Much on Israel?" on Beltway Conservatism's Cartoon Network, aka the PragerU Channel. I've recently started auditing classes there via the Videos page here at The Unz Review.

Beyond parody, a pensioned warrior narrates over 3rd grade graphics, telling most Americans all they care to know about what he calls "Izrul." Perhaps Mr. Giraldi could, despite the apparent taboo, leave a comment and get some discussion going with the Team Red NPCs -- it hasn't worked for me.

Moi , says: December 4, 2018 at 1:53 pm GMT
@Art I've wondered why we are the way we are. Then I came across this, and I understood:

D.H. Lawrence

"All the other stuff, the love, the democracy, the floundering into lust, is a sort of by-play. The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted."

Moi , says: December 4, 2018 at 1:56 pm GMT
@jilles dykstra We failed the moment the "pilgrims" seeking freedom started slaughtering the native peoples.
Minidrop , says: December 4, 2018 at 2:29 pm GMT
This shtick of blaming US state crimes on foreign influence is getting annoying. You know none of this would be happening if the DO didn't like it. If you want to stop CIA's common plan or conspiracy for war, you've got to end the impunity that permits it. Ratify the Rome Statute. With the judiciary completely gelded, that's the only way to get the CIA regime under control. It's that or DCI Poppy Hager swings at Nuremberg II.
wayfarer , says: December 4, 2018 at 2:49 pm GMT
@Moi

"All the other stuff, the love, the democracy, the floundering into lust, is a sort of by-play. The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D._H._Lawrence

"You the one who killed our friend?"

DESERT FOX , says: December 4, 2018 at 3:14 pm GMT
The leading sponsors of terror in the world are Israel and the Zionist controlled U.S. and Britain and NATO and their terrorist mercenaries ISIS aka AL CIADA and all of the various off shoots that have been seeded throughout the world by the satanic Zionists.

The Zionists have a long historical experience with bringing terror to the world , one example being the Zionist/ Bolshevik revolution in Russia where the Bolsheviks killed some 60 million Russians bringing terror to Russia on an industrial level turning the whole country into a slaughter house!

The Zionist attack on the WTC is but another example of Zionist terrorism, where in one fell swoop the Zionists killed some 3000 Americans and got away with it and every thinking American knows that the Zionists did it!

The greatest terrorist kabal in the world is Zionism and these terrorists have control of every facet of the U.S. government and at some point are going to provoke a war with Russia that will get the whole world blown to hell and in fact this is what the Zionists want as they believe they will survive in their DUMBS akd Deep Underground Military Bases which they have in the U.S. and Israel and Britain, but they care not for the rest of humanity, that is terrorism in spades!

The enemy is not at the gates , the enemy is in control of the U.S. government and is going to be the destruction of America!

Curmudgeon , says: December 4, 2018 at 3:22 pm GMT
You can't really pin Ukraine on Trump. Maidan was not spontaneous.

Nuland admitted to spending $5 billion to set Maidan up. That $5B is worth 10 times that much in Ukraine. You don't spend that kind of money unless you have a follow up plan, and NATOizing Ukraine to attack Russia was it. The trigger was NATO's bitch, the EU, creating such a horrible deal for Ukraine that only an imbecile would have accepted it. Viktor Yanukovych was no imbecile. The "Russian deal" wasn't all that great for Ukraine either, it was just infinitely better than the turd the EU told Yanukovych to sign.

The real story on Russia is this: the same people that own every "Western liberal democracy" owned the USSR. The Russians got rid of them, and the USSR collapsed. A new invasion was hatched under the guise of "Westernizing" Russia. When the Russians saw that Yeltsin was suckered, and it was the same game, run by the same people, they got a new sheriff. That sheriff started to sort things out, while the owners fled to the UK and Israel. The lives of Russians got better, as the owners are gradually being stripped of their power. The long and short of it, our owners want their ownership of Russia restored.

All wars are economic wars. Capitalism and communism are the two sides of the same coin. Both seek to concentrate ownership, just in different ways using different scams.

wayfarer , says: December 4, 2018 at 3:39 pm GMT

"The best weapon of a dictatorship is secrecy, but the best weapon of a democracy should be the weapon of openness."

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

"Dangerous Tribalism of the Ruling Class"

Z-man , says: December 4, 2018 at 4:17 pm GMT
@Justsaying

The biggest threat to America comes from inside the deep state itself, especially with the Zionist Israel Firsters pulling strings at will.

Bears repeating.

Z-man , says: December 4, 2018 at 4:21 pm GMT
@Art I'd have to give 'Slurpy Dog' Mattis a pass on that list. I think (hope) he is aware of the pernicious power of the Cabal .
Anonymous [295] Disclaimer , says: December 4, 2018 at 6:31 pm GMT
The reason why Trump supports the Ukraine is easy.

"According to the European Jewish Congress, as of 2014, there are 360,000–400,000 Jews in Ukraine."

And there you have it. Wherever or whatever the interest of Jewry there will be the United States standing tall behind it. Let's just say the Ukraine is guaranteed to stay poor. While the Jews get rich!

CanSpeccy , says: Website December 4, 2018 at 6:33 pm GMT

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is clearly exploiting a situation that he himself provoked. He envisions setting himself up as a victim of Moscow to aid in his attempts to establish his own power through a security relationship with Washington. That in turn will help his bid for reelection in March 2019 elections

Nah, Porky needs a war to avoid an election which he would undoubtedly lose.

JLK , says: December 4, 2018 at 6:41 pm GMT
There's no use having an empire if you can't exact an economic advantage. Ultimately, most of the events unfolding today are about keeping the loot flowing to lower Manhattan and central London.
EugeneGur , says: December 4, 2018 at 6:42 pm GMT

Teenagers who get in trouble often have to ditch their bad friends to turn their lives around. There is still a chance for the United States if we keep our distance from the bad friends

It's hard to do if you are in fact the worst of those bad friends.

friends who have been convincing us to make poor choices.

The poor choices had been made long before these friends even appeared on the scene. In fact, many of these friends owe their very existence and/or influence to the poor choices the US had made. It's so disingenuous to blame the US politics on someone's influence when the reality is exactly the opposite.

If the US were in normal country prepared to behave in a sensible way it would've picked much better partners. But the thing is the US isn't a normal country; it doesn't want partners – in wants vassals, so it is naturally limited in its choice of friends.

Agent76 , says: December 4, 2018 at 6:47 pm GMT
September 17, 2014 US Pursues 134 Wars Around the World

The US is now involved in 134 wars or none, depending on your definition of war The White House spent much of last week trying to figure out if the word "war" was the right one to describe its military actions against the Islamic State. US Secretary of State John Kerry was at first reluctant: "We're engaged in a major counterterrorism operation," he told CBS News on Sept. 11. "I think war is the wrong terminology and analogy but the fact is that we are engaged in a very significant global effort to curb terrorist activity I don't think people need to get into war fever on this. I think they have to view it as a heightened level of counter terrorist activity." – Global Post

http://www.thedailybell.com/news-analysis/35654/US-Pursues-134-Wars-Around-the-World/

Choose wisely America!

RobinG , says: December 4, 2018 at 7:39 pm GMT
Blowback: An Inside Look at How US-Funded Fascists in Ukraine Mentor US White Supremacists https://www.mintpressnews.com/us-backed-fascist-azov-battalion-in-ukraine-is-training-and-radicalizing-american-white-supremacists/251951/

"Not only are white supremacists from across the West flocking to Ukraine to learn from the combat experience of their fascist brothers-in-arms, they are doing so openly, under the nose of a shrugging law enforcement -- chronicling their experiences on social media before they bring their lessons back home."

AnonFromTN , says: December 4, 2018 at 7:49 pm GMT
The greatest threat to America comes from its elites. Nobody else did as much damage to the country as those greedy thieves.
AnonFromTN , says: December 4, 2018 at 7:53 pm GMT
@CanSpeccy

Nah, Porky needs a war to avoid an election which he would undoubtedly lose.

You hit the nail on the head.

Realist , says: December 4, 2018 at 9:44 pm GMT

The timing was good for Poroshenko for his own domestic political reasons but it was also an opportunity for the neocons warmongers that surround Trump and proliferate inside the Beltway to scuttle any possible meeting between a vulnerable Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin at the G20 gathering in Argentina.

Trump isn't vulnerable he hired the Deep State apparatchiks, Bolton, Pompeo and many others. Trump is a Deep Stater and is doing a great Kabuki theater to dupe his followers into believing his hands are tied.

Rurik , says: December 5, 2018 at 9:19 pm GMT
@tzatz

How do YOU expect me (and others) to swallow YOUR position?

with a great gulps of satisfaction, that's how.

The conflict between Russia and Ukraine was manufactured by the ZUS State Dept. ((Victoria Nuland)) and John McBloodstain in particular, when Putin upset the Zionist's plans to do a 'Libya' – to Syria.

It was a bloody coup foisted with 5 billion federal reserve note$, of the famous phone call ('Yats is our guy'). Since then the imbeciles in Ukraine have been doing Nazi salutes while taking orders from Jewish supremacist Zionists like Ihor Kolomoyskyi and assorted ZUS Zionists.

The conflict with Iran started when the CIA deposed the duly elected president Mohammed Mossadeq in 1953, and installed the brutal quisling Shah in his place. To keep the Iranian people terrorized for decades into submitting to this perfidy, they utilized the CIA and Mossad run SAVAK.

Learn a little history as you swallow.

[Dec 03, 2018] Neoliberal myth: Austerity is caused by incompetent governments unable to balance their budgets

In reality this is mostly neocolonial way of dealing with countries. Allowing local oligarchy to steal as much loaned by foreign states money as they can and converting the country into the debt slave. Look at Greece and Ukraine for two prominent examples.
The position of OneCommentator is a typical position of defenders and propagandists of neoliberalism
IMF is part of "Washington Consensus" with the direct goal of converting countries into debt slaves of industrialized West. It did not work well with Acia counties, but it is great success in some countries in Europe and most of Africa and Latin America (with Argentina as the most recent example)
Notable quotes:
"... As central banks such as the FED and the ECB operate with insatiable greed and cannot be audited or regulated by any government body anywhere in the world, due to their charters having been set up that way, then bankers are free to meet secretly and plot depressions so as to gain full control over sovereign nations and manipulate markets so that their "chums and agents" in business can buy up assets and land in depressed economies – while possible wars could also make corporations and banks more money as well! ..."
Dec 03, 2018 | discussion.theguardian.com
OneCommentator -> petercs , 8 Jun 2013 11:46
@petercs -

..."neoliberal", concept behind the word, has nothing to do with liberal or liberty or freedom..

Wrong. Traditional liberalism supported both social and economic freedoms. That included support for most of the civil rights and freedoms we enjoy today AND free trade and free investments. It used to be that liberals were practically unpopular with right wing (traditional conservative for example) parties but more or less on the same side as left wing parties, mainly because of their social positions. More recently the left wing parties became more and more unhappy with the economic freedoms promoted by liberals while the right wing parties embraced both the economic and social freedoms to a certain degree.

So, the leftists found themselves in a bind practically having reversed roles which the the conservatives as far as support for liberalism goes. So, typically, they're using propaganda to cover their current reactionary tendencies and coins a new name for liberals: neoliberals which, they say, are not the same as liberals (who are their friends since liberal means freedom lover and they like to use that word a lot).

"austerity" is the financial sectors' solution to its survival after it sucked most the value out of the economy and broke it.

Austerity is caused by incompetent governments unable to balance their budgets. They had 60 years to do it properly after ww2 and the reconstruction that followed but many of them never did it. So now it is very simple: governments ran out of money and nobody wants to lend them more. That's it, they hit the wall and there is nothing left on the bottom if the purse.
OneCommentator , 8 Jun 2013 10:49

The IMF exists to lend money to governments, so it's comic that it wags its finger at governments that run up debt.

It is a bit more complicated than that. Developed countries like Greece are supposed to run more or less balanced budgets over longer periods. Sure, they need to borrow money on a regular basis and may that is supposed to be done by issuing bonds or other forms of government debt that investors buy on the open market. For such governments the IMF is supposed to just fill in in a minor way not to provide the bulk of all the loans needed on a temporary basis. Because of incompetent governments Greece is practically bankrupt hence it is not going to be able to pay back most of the existing debts and definitely not newer debts. So practically the IMF is not, ending money to them, it is giving them the money. So, I would say that they have a good reason to wag its finger.

Malakia123 , 8 Jun 2013 11:15

LOGIC 101: Introductory Course of Study

If private, stockholder-held central banks such as the FED and the FED-backed ECB were not orchestrating this depression, and anybody who believed they were was a "wacko-nutcase conspiracy theorist", then why do they keep repeating the same mistakes of forcing un-payable bailout loans, collapsing banks, wiping out people's savings and then imposing austerity on those nations year after year – when it is clearly a failed policy?

Possible Answers :

1. Bank presidents are all ex-hippies who got hooked on LSD in the 70's and have not yet recovered fully as their brains are still fried!

2. Central bankers have been recruited from insane asylums in both Europe and America in government-sponsored programs to see whether blithering idiots are capable of running large, international financial institutions.

3. All catastrophic events in the banking/business world, such as the derivative and housing crash of 2008, the Stock Market Crash of 1929 and The Great Depression of 1929-40 were totally random events that just occurred out of nowhere and central banks were caught off guard – leaving them no option but to play with their willies for years on end until a major war suddenly happened to pull the whole world out of "bad times"!

4. As central banks such as the FED and the ECB operate with insatiable greed and cannot be audited or regulated by any government body anywhere in the world, due to their charters having been set up that way, then bankers are free to meet secretly and plot depressions so as to gain full control over sovereign nations and manipulate markets so that their "chums and agents" in business can buy up assets and land in depressed economies – while possible wars could also make corporations and banks more money as well!


Please choose one of the possible answers from above and write a short 500 word essay on whether it may or may not true – using well-defined logical arguments. I expect your answers in by Friday of this week as I would like to get pissed out of my mind at the pub on Saturday night!

petercs , 8 Jun 2013 10:44

The neoliberal idea is that the cultivation itself should be conducted privately as well. They see "austerity" as a way of forcing that agenda.

..."neoliberal", concept behind the word, has nothing to do with liberal or liberty or freedom...it is a PR spin concept that names slavery with a a word that sounds like the opposite...if "they" called it neoslavery it just wouldn't sell in the market for political concepts.

..."austerity" is the financial sectors' solution to its survival after it sucked most the value out of the economy and broke it. To mend it was a case of preservation of the elite and the devil take the hindmost, that's most of us.

...and even Labour, the party of trade unionism, has adopted austerity to drive its policy.

...we need a Peoples' Party to stand for the revaluation of labour so we get paid for our effort rather than the distortion, the rich xxx poor divide, of neoslavery austerity.

[Dec 03, 2018] Ukrainian leadership is a party of war, and it will continue as long as they're in power Putin

Notable quotes:
"... "When I look at this latest incident in the Black Sea, all what's happening in Donbass – everything indicates that the current Ukrainian leadership is not interested in resolving this situation at all, especially in a peaceful way," ..."
"... This is a party of war and as long as they stay in power, all such tragedies, all this war will go on. ..."
"... "As they say, for one it's war, for other – it's mother. That's reason number one why the Ukrainian government is not interested in a peaceful resolution of the conflict," ..."
"... Second, you can always use war to justify your failures in economy, social policy. You can always blame things on an aggressor. ..."
"... "We care about Ukraine because Ukraine is our neighbor," ..."
Dec 03, 2018 | www.rt.com

Russia's President Vladimir Putin has branded the Ukrainian leadership a "party of war" which would continue fueling conflicts while they stay in power, giving the recent Kerch Strait incident as an example. "When I look at this latest incident in the Black Sea, all what's happening in Donbass – everything indicates that the current Ukrainian leadership is not interested in resolving this situation at all, especially in a peaceful way," Putin told reporters during a media conference in the aftermath of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

This is a party of war and as long as they stay in power, all such tragedies, all this war will go on.

The Kiev authorities are craving war primarily for two reasons – to rip profits from it, and to blame all their own domestic failures on it and actions of some sort of "aggressors."

Also on rt.com 'Kiev would get away even with eating babies': Putin says Kerch Strait standoff is a provocation

"As they say, for one it's war, for other – it's mother. That's reason number one why the Ukrainian government is not interested in a peaceful resolution of the conflict," Putin stated.

Second, you can always use war to justify your failures in economy, social policy. You can always blame things on an aggressor.

This approach to statecraft by the Ukrainian authorities deeply concerns Russia's President. "We care about Ukraine because Ukraine is our neighbor," Putin said.

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have been soaring after the incident in the Kerch Strait. Last weekend three Ukrainian Navy ships tried to break through the strait without seeking the proper permission from Russia. Following a tense stand-off and altercation with Russia's border guard, the vessels were seized and their crews detained over their violation of the country's border.

Also on rt.com 'I had a short conversation with Trump and I DIDN'T sit next to Melania' – Putin

While Kiev branded the incident an act of "aggression" on Moscow's part, Russia believes the whole Kerch affair to be a deliberate "provocation" which allowed Kiev to declare a so-called "partial" martial law ahead of Ukraine's presidential election.

[Dec 01, 2018] Reality of G20 meeting is even fancier the fiction: Trump pretends that the USA is not connected to Kerch Strait incident and CIA did not inform him who planned this provocation

See also: Ukraine security chief admits intel agents were on board Navy ships during Kerch standoff
Dec 01, 2018 | www.rt.com

FILM:

PRESIDENT: This is incredible! I never ordered such a thing!
SOVIET AMBASSADOR (scornfully): Our [intelligence] source was the New York Times.
-- "Dr. Strangelove"

REALITY:

US President Donald Trump is still unsure whether to meet with Vladimir Putin, pending a 'full report' about the Kerch Strait incident that by pure coincidence happened just days before the upcoming G20 summit in Argentina.

Trump cancels Putin meeting at G20 over Ukraine standoff ... Trump, Putin to meet at G20 amid Russia-Ukraine tensions ... Trump to meet Putin at G20, but not MBS - Bolton - rt.com

[Nov 30, 2018] Ukraine Doesn't Deserve America's Blind Support by Ted Galen Carpenter

A long as neocons dominate the USA foreign policy establishment Ukraine will get unconditional support as long as it remain hostile to Russia. And from geopolitical perspective Ukraine does deserve support as it seriously weaken Russia and the major (according to Trump administration) geopolitical enemy of the USA (along with China).
The current event can be viewed as artificially sped up process which would occur anyway, but with less economic losses. Baltic scenario was waiting for Ukraine sooner of later, as Western Ukrainian nationalists automatically became the major political force after independence and were nurtured by all Ukrainian governments, including the government of Yanukovich (who become kind of Godfather of Svoboda party with the calculation that it will antagonize enough voters in the East that he can win the reelection).
Notable quotes:
"... Poroshenko had to know that his attempt to send warships through a narrow passage between what the Kremlin insists are two portions of Russian territory was certain to cause an incident. Why did Kiev risk (if not avidly seek) such a confrontation? And why now? There are several likely motives. ..."
"... Kiev wants to increase pressure on NATO, and especially the United States, to take a harder stance against Moscow. Despite their official position that the Kremlin must disgorge Crimea and end support for pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, Western policy looks increasingly stale and ineffectual. Some European officials even muse that it may be time to reconsider (weaken) the economic sanctions that the West imposed on Russia. President Trump has stated that Russia should be re-admitted to the G-7 group of leading economic powers. ..."
"... Ukrainian leaders are especially determined to nurture greater bilateral strategic cooperation with the United States. The notion that the Trump administration has pursued a "soft" policy toward Russia, much less one that amounts to appeasement, has always been overstated. Trump's initiatives are actually more hardline than those Barack Obama's administration embraced. That is especially true regarding Washington's relationship with Kiev . Whereas Obama consistently refused to provide weapons to Ukraine, the Trump administration has approved two major arms sales, one of which included sophisticated anti-tank missiles. U.S. troops have participated in joint military exercises with Ukrainian forces, and Secretary of Defense James Mattis concedes that the United States is training Ukrainian units at a base in western Ukraine. ..."
"... Poroshenko thus has ample foreign policy reasons for taking the actions he did in the Kerch Strait. He also has significant political and ideological incentives. His government did not announce the official date for Ukraine's 2019 presidential election until two days following the naval clash; it is now set for March 31. To say that the timing of the announcement was suspicious is an understatement. ..."
"... In addition to creating a "rally around the flag" effect, thereby boosting Poroshenko's status, Russian seizure of the Ukrainian vessels gave the president a justification to impose outright martial law in 10 regions of eastern Ukraine -- areas likely to be especially hostile to his political prospects. It could also serve as a basis for tightening Ukraine's already worrisome restrictions on freedom of expression. ..."
"... The vagueness of the applicable laws (and the absence of any meaningful independent review or right of appeal) has been especially alarming. Indeed, it seems that anyone who disputes the government's account of the Maidan revolution (especially those who dare to mention the role of ultranationalist, neo-fascist elements) or the conflict in eastern Ukraine is likely to be silenced. ..."
Nov 29, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com
The recent clash between Russian and Ukrainian naval vessels in the Kerch Strait has generated a flurry of alarm. NATO was compelled to call an emergency meeting with Ukraine and the UN Security Council convened an urgent session to discuss the crisis. Exercising their usual tendency to oversimplify murky geopolitical rivalries, Western officials and journalists embraced the knee-jerk narrative that the incident is yet another case of Vladimir Putin's blatant aggression and " outlaw behavior " against its peace-loving, democratic neighbor. Right on cue, CNN, MSNBC, and other media outlets dispatched stridently anti-Russian editorials masquerading as news stories .

In reality, the Kerch Strait incident involves a complex mixture of factors. They include the tense Russian-Ukrainian bilateral relationship, Kiev's broader foreign policy objectives, and Ukraine's volatile domestic politics.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko had to know that a decision to send three naval vessels through the Kerch Strait would be disruptive. The strait, which connects the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, separates Russia's Taman Peninsula from the Crimea Peninsula. Despite Moscow's annexation of the latter in 2014, Kiev still considers Crimea to be Ukrainian territory, a position that the United States and its allies back emphatically. Moreover, passage through the strait is the only oceanic link between Ukraine's Black Sea ports and those on the Azov. Kiev, not surprisingly, views the strait as international waters. Russia, however, regards the waterway as its own territorial waters and viewed the attempted transit by the three Ukrainian ships as a violation.

Whatever the legal merits of the competing positions regarding sovereignty over Crimea and the status of the Kerch Strait, the reality is that Russia controls that peninsula and is unlikely to ever restore it to Ukraine , despite Western demands. Poroshenko had to know that his attempt to send warships through a narrow passage between what the Kremlin insists are two portions of Russian territory was certain to cause an incident. Why did Kiev risk (if not avidly seek) such a confrontation? And why now? There are several likely motives.

Kiev wants to increase pressure on NATO, and especially the United States, to take a harder stance against Moscow. Despite their official position that the Kremlin must disgorge Crimea and end support for pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, Western policy looks increasingly stale and ineffectual. Some European officials even muse that it may be time to reconsider (weaken) the economic sanctions that the West imposed on Russia. President Trump has stated that Russia should be re-admitted to the G-7 group of leading economic powers.

Such talk is potentially quite threatening to Ukraine's interests. Creating an incident that reminds Kiev's Western supporters (and the rest of the world) of Moscow's aggressive tendencies makes any prospect of even a limited rapprochement between Russia and either NATO or the European Union less likely.

Ukrainian leaders are especially determined to nurture greater bilateral strategic cooperation with the United States. The notion that the Trump administration has pursued a "soft" policy toward Russia, much less one that amounts to appeasement, has always been overstated. Trump's initiatives are actually more hardline than those Barack Obama's administration embraced. That is especially true regarding Washington's relationship with Kiev . Whereas Obama consistently refused to provide weapons to Ukraine, the Trump administration has approved two major arms sales, one of which included sophisticated anti-tank missiles. U.S. troops have participated in joint military exercises with Ukrainian forces, and Secretary of Defense James Mattis concedes that the United States is training Ukrainian units at a base in western Ukraine.

Poroshenko and his associates want to encourage and intensify those trends. They hope that creating a new incident underscoring aggressive Russian conduct will lead the Trump administration to boost arms sales and other forms of bilateral military cooperation. Even if Trump proved reluctant to adopt that course, domestic and international pressure might leave him little choice. Indeed, Western news media outlets excoriated Trump for not immediately condemning Russia as an outright aggressor in the Kerch Strait incident.

Washington Quietly Increases Lethal Weapons to Ukraine Admitting Ukraine Into NATO Would Be a Fool's Errand

Poroshenko thus has ample foreign policy reasons for taking the actions he did in the Kerch Strait. He also has significant political and ideological incentives. His government did not announce the official date for Ukraine's 2019 presidential election until two days following the naval clash; it is now set for March 31. To say that the timing of the announcement was suspicious is an understatement.

No candidate in the extremely crowded field is likely to exceed the 50 percent mark needed to avoid a runoff, but recent surveys have indicated that Poroshenko is in surprisingly poor political shape. Most polls showed him receiving between 8 and 15 percent of the first-round vote. The leading candidate is former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, with Poroshenko running in third. Corruption scandals continue to bedevil his administration, making his re-election (or even his ability to make the runoff) far from certain.

In addition to creating a "rally around the flag" effect, thereby boosting Poroshenko's status, Russian seizure of the Ukrainian vessels gave the president a justification to impose outright martial law in 10 regions of eastern Ukraine -- areas likely to be especially hostile to his political prospects. It could also serve as a basis for tightening Ukraine's already worrisome restrictions on freedom of expression.

That track record should trouble Kiev's backers in the West. To wage war against eastern separatists, Kiev early on not only instituted military conscription, it arrested critics of that action. Authorities jailed television journalist and blogger Ruslan Kotsaba and charged him with treason for making a video denouncing the conscription law. Kotsaba become Amnesty International's first "prisoner of conscience" in Ukraine since the 2014 so-called Maidan revolution.

The vagueness of the applicable laws (and the absence of any meaningful independent review or right of appeal) has been especially alarming. Indeed, it seems that anyone who disputes the government's account of the Maidan revolution (especially those who dare to mention the role of ultranationalist, neo-fascist elements) or the conflict in eastern Ukraine is likely to be silenced.

Bogdan Ovcharuk, a spokesperson for Amnesty International's Kiev office, expressed the concerns of many proponents of freedom of expression when he told the BBC: "This is a very slippery slope indeed. It's one thing to restrict access to texts advocating violence, but in general banning books because their authors have views deemed unacceptable to politicians in Kiev is deeply dangerous." The consequences of such a campaign, he warned , were certain to damage the fabric of liberty.

Yet the Kiev government's restrictive policies continue unabated. In September 2015, Ukrainian authorities issued an order banning 34 journalists and seven bloggers from even entering the country. The Committee to Protect Journalists reported that the newly publicized list was merely part of a larger blacklist that contained the names of 388 individuals and more than a hundred organizations that were barred from entry on the grounds of "national security" and allegedly posing a threat to Ukraine's "territorial integrity."

Human Rights Watch criticized the Kiev government in September 2017 for imposing yet more restrictions on journalists, especially foreign correspondents. The Poroshenko government even pushed through legislation barring criticism of Ukraine's past , including the role that ultra-nationalist guerilla leader (and Nazi collaborator) Stepan Bandera and his followers played in World War II. Censorship provisions and other media restrictions may become even more widespread and arbitrary with Poroshenko's new declaration of martial law.

Ukraine's Western admirers typically ignore such evidence of authoritarian conduct, since it does not fit with their portrayal of the country as an enlightened member of the democratic community. The reality is that Ukraine epitomizes what CNN analyst Fareed Zakaria has aptly described as an "illiberal democracy." The Poroshenko regime certainly does not warrant unquestioned Western backing. Kiev is not above engaging in provocations to serve either its political leadership's domestic agenda or its foreign policy objectives. The United States does not have vital strategic or moral interests at stake in the overall Ukraine-Russia quarrel, much less the latest parochial spat in the Kerch Strait. A cautious, restrained posture is appropriate.

Ted Galen Carpenter, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and a contributing editor at The American Conservative, is the author of 12 books and more than 700 articles on international affairs. His latest book is Gullible Superpower: U.S. Support for Bogus Foreign Democratic Movements (forthcoming, February 2019).

[Nov 30, 2018] Is Putin the Provocateur in the Kerch Crisis, by Pat Buchanan

Crimea was a variation of Kosovo. As the USA destroyed post WWII order, as its position weakens, real chaos can occurs. because Might is right can work not only for the USA anymore. And in this theater the USA has no advantages, other then their geopolitical weight. It is too fat from US mainland.
The USA speed up events probably by 20 years or so and coursed considerable suffering of the Ukrainian population. Ukraine was gradually detaching itself from Russia anyway (which is a natural process for any xUSSR republic after the independence.). Essentially the USA raped the Ukraine using Ukrainian nationalist as a fifth column of neoliberal globalization.
The net result of the premature and by-and-large successful attempt to break Ukraine from Russia and play Baltic's scenario (which was possible due to existence of Western Ukrainian nationalists) was drastic impoverishing (already very poor after chaos and neoliberal economic plunder of 1990th) of the bottom 99% of Ukrainian population which now is the poorest population of Europe.
Ukrainian nationalists now are finding the hard way that bordering with Russia created some problems for their agenda... The good analogy is Canada and the USA.
In a way, incorporation of Western Ukraine into the USSR looks now like Stalin's geopolitical mistake. Now attempts to colonize Eastern Ukraine by Western Ukrainian nationalists will face resistance and it already led to civil war in Donbass.
Things became way too complex and unpredictable in this region. Of course, neocons still are pushing their usual might is right policy, not they might face considerable setbacks in the future. Like they did in Iraq. Which still did not affect much their paychecks.
Notable quotes:
"... Russian warships fired at the Ukrainian vessels and rammed the tug. Three Ukrainian sailors were wounded, and 24 crew taken into custody. Russia's refusal to release the sailors was given by President Trump as the reason for canceling his Putin meeting. Moscow contends that Ukraine deliberately violated the new rules of transit that Kiev had previously observed, to create an incident. ..."
"... For his part, Putin has sought to play the matter down, calling it a "border incident, nothing more." "The incident in the Black Sea was a provocation organized by the authorities and maybe the president himself. (Poroshenko's) rating is falling so he needed to do something." Maxim Eristavi, a fellow at the Atlantic Council, seems to concur: "Poroshenko wants to get a head start in his election campaign. He is playing the card of commander in chief, flying around in military uniform, trying to project that he is in control." ..."
"... Predictably, our interventionists decried Russian "aggression" and demanded we back up our Ukrainian "ally" and send military aid. Why was Poroshenko's ordering of gunboats into the Sea of Azov, while ignoring rules Russia set down for passage, provocative? Because Poroshenko, whose warships had previously transited the strait, had to know the risk that he was taking and that Russia might resist. ..."
"... Why would he provoke the Russians? Because, with his poll numbers sinking badly, Poroshenko realizes that unless he does something dramatic, his party stands little chance in next March's elections. ..."
"... Some Westerners want even more in the way of confronting Putin. Adrian Karatnycky of the Atlantic Council urges us to build up U.S. naval forces in the Black Sea, send anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles to Ukraine, ratchet up sanctions on Russia, threaten to expel her from the SWIFT system of international bank transactions, and pressure Europe to cancel the Russians' Nord Stream 2 and South Stream oil pipelines into Europe. ..."
"... If Ukraine had a right to break free of Russia in 1991, why do not Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk have the right to break free of Kiev? ..."
Nov 30, 2018 | www.unz.com

On departure for the G-20 gathering in Buenos Aires, President Donald Trump canceled his planned weekend meeting with Vladimir Putin, citing as his reason the Russian military's seizure and holding of three Ukrainian ships and 24 sailors.

But was Putin really the provocateur in Sunday's naval clash outside Kerch Strait, the Black Sea gateway to the Sea of Azov?

Or was the provocateur Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko?

First, a bit of history.

In 2014, after the pro-Russian regime in Kiev was ousted in a coup, and a pro-NATO regime installed with U.S. backing, Putin detached and annexed Crimea, for centuries the homeport of Russia's Black Sea fleet.

With the return of Crimea, Russia now occupied both sides of Kerch Strait. And this year, Russia completed a 12-mile bridge over the strait and Putin drove the first truck across.

The Sea of Azov became a virtual Russian lake, access to which was controlled by Russia, just as access to the Black Sea is controlled by Turkey.

While the world refused to recognize the new reality, Russia began to impose rules for ships transiting the strait, including 48 hours notice to get permission.

Ukrainian vessels, including warships, would have to notify Russian authorities before passing beneath the Kerch Strait Bridge into the Sea of Azov to reach their major port of Mariupol.

Sunday, two Ukrainian artillery ships and a tug, which had sailed out of Odessa in western Ukraine, passed through what Russia now regards as its territorial waters off Crimea and the Kerch Peninsula. Destination: Mariupol.

The Ukrainian vessels refused to obey Russian directives to halt.

Russian warships fired at the Ukrainian vessels and rammed the tug. Three Ukrainian sailors were wounded, and 24 crew taken into custody. Russia's refusal to release the sailors was given by President Trump as the reason for canceling his Putin meeting. Moscow contends that Ukraine deliberately violated the new rules of transit that Kiev had previously observed, to create an incident.

For his part, Putin has sought to play the matter down, calling it a "border incident, nothing more." "The incident in the Black Sea was a provocation organized by the authorities and maybe the president himself. (Poroshenko's) rating is falling so he needed to do something." Maxim Eristavi, a fellow at the Atlantic Council, seems to concur: "Poroshenko wants to get a head start in his election campaign. He is playing the card of commander in chief, flying around in military uniform, trying to project that he is in control."

Our U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, however, accused Russia of "outlaw actions" against the Ukrainian vessels and "an arrogant act the international community will never accept."

Predictably, our interventionists decried Russian "aggression" and demanded we back up our Ukrainian "ally" and send military aid. Why was Poroshenko's ordering of gunboats into the Sea of Azov, while ignoring rules Russia set down for passage, provocative? Because Poroshenko, whose warships had previously transited the strait, had to know the risk that he was taking and that Russia might resist.

Why would he provoke the Russians? Because, with his poll numbers sinking badly, Poroshenko realizes that unless he does something dramatic, his party stands little chance in next March's elections.

Immediately after the clash, Poroshenko imposed martial law in all provinces bordering Russia and the Black Sea, declared an invasion might be imminent, demanded new Western sanctions on Moscow, called on the U.S. to stand with him, and began visiting army units in battle fatigues.

Some Westerners want even more in the way of confronting Putin. Adrian Karatnycky of the Atlantic Council urges us to build up U.S. naval forces in the Black Sea, send anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles to Ukraine, ratchet up sanctions on Russia, threaten to expel her from the SWIFT system of international bank transactions, and pressure Europe to cancel the Russians' Nord Stream 2 and South Stream oil pipelines into Europe.

But there is a larger issue here. Why is control of the Kerch Strait any of our business? Why is this our quarrel, to the point that U.S. strategists want us to confront Russia over a Crimean Peninsula that houses the Livadia Palace that was the last summer residence of Czar Nicholas II?

If Ukraine had a right to break free of Russia in 1991, why do not Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk have the right to break free of Kiev?

Why are we letting ourselves be dragged into everyone's quarrels -- from who owns the islets in the South China Sea, to who owns the Senkaku and Southern Kurils; and from whether Transnistria had a right to secede from Moldova, to whether South Ossetia and Abkhazia had the right to break free of Georgia, when Georgia broke free of Russia?

Do the American people care a fig for these places? Are we really willing to risk war with Russia or China over who holds title to them?

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of "Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever."

[Nov 28, 2018] Escobar Kerch Strait Chaos Looks More Like A Cheap Ploy By Desperate Neocons by Pepe Escobar

Notable quotes:
"... Predictably, Western media has been complaining again about "Russian aggression", a gift that keeps on giving. Or blaming Russia for its over-reaction, overlooking the fact that Ukraine's incursion was with military vessels, not fishing boats. Russian resolve was quite visible, as powerful Ka-52 "Alligator" assault helicopters were promptly on the scene. ..."
"... Still, Kiev – "encouraged" by Washington – insists on militarizing the Sea of Azov. Misinformed American hawks emerging from the US Army War College even advocate that NATO should enter the Sea of Azov – a provocative act as far as Moscow is concerned. The Atlantic Council , which is essentially a mouthpiece of the powerful US weapons industry, is also pro-militarization. ..."
"... Rostislav Ischchenko , arguably the sharpest observer of Russia-Ukraine relations, in a piece written before the Kerch incident, said: "Ukraine itself recognized the right of Russia to introduce restrictions on the passage of ships and vessels through the Kerch Strait, having obeyed these rules in the summer." ..."
"... Thus a Kerch Strait incident designed as a cheap provocation, bearing all the hallmarks of a US think-tank ploy, is automatically interpreted as "Russian aggression", regardless of the facts. Indeed, any such tactics are good when it comes to derailing the Trump-Putin meeting at the G20 in Buenos Aires this coming weekend. ..."
"... Poroshenko's approval rate barely touches 8% . His chances of being re-elected, assuming polls are credible, are virtually zero. ..."
"... But the US would lose no sleep if they had to throw Poroshenko under the (Soviet) bus ..."
"... Poroshenko, wallowing in despair, may still ratchet up provocations. But the best he can aim at is NATO attempting to modernize the collapsing Ukrainian navy – an endeavor that would last years, with no guarantee of success. ..."
"... Feel sorry for the Ukrainians being used as tools. Before Obama-Hillary-and Pedo Biden overthrew the Democratically elected leader, people were just doing their normal stuff. Now they hide in bomb shelters and search for food at night. ..."
"... But vainglorious folks are not paying attention, and this is dangerous especially for Europe, and the pretenders in the Middle East, if it goes down, they too will go down, it's that simple and why? Because of military and security imperatives. Russia will take down, and out, any US or European ally in the M.E. lest, they open themselves up to flanking maneuvers. ..."
"... Putin already intimated of the current Russian mindset thus: "If you like, let's all go explain ourselves to God!". Do the neocons feel confident of cogent explanation to God, or do they even wish to come before him? I doubt it, and very much so, seeing as their hands are stained with the blood of innocents, and their hearts,plot evil continuously. ..."
"... And this my friends, viscerally demonstrates the wisdom of the founding fathers, especially Washington, who warned of "entangling alliances", buttressed a few generations later, by John Q. Adams, who re-advised "Go not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy". Pay attention folks, pay attention to the architects of the Republic, who knew what they were building, better than the "war loving battle dodging" chickenhawks who love to sip exotic drinks, while instructing others to kill for their depraved egos. ..."
"... NATO delenda est!... ..."
"... Poroshenko & Allies have a team of experts who spend 24/7 searching for the next provocation. Reminds me of May on this Brexit fiasco. ..."
"... This US coup of the Ukraine is turning out to be more hassle than its worth, a bankrupt corrupt country, installing Neo Nazi's as the first government was a big mistake, it could have been handled with more finesse, instead it was like a bull in a China shop. ..."
"... Poroshenko decided to not let a good crisis go to waste. ..."
"... Geopolitics and realpolitik, bitches. So much happening in the gas domain in Eastern Europe. Nordstream, Turkish Stream, BP stream, US LNG facilities in Greece, Poland and Germany, Russia supplying LNG to Germany, Cyprus-Greece-Israel drilling in the East Med, Turkey drilling in Cyprus EEZ. In the meanwhile I see gas infrastructure being build allover Eastern Europe, connecting houses to the grid. Gas heating and energy production is coming to Eastern Europe in addition to supplying Western Europe. The stakes are enormous and that what this is all about and that is why we can see more of this. ..."
"... Most of the Ukraine people hate Poroshenko and he knows he can't win re-election. He threatens Trump with dirt on Manafort, and demands Trump start a war. Or what? is the left in the US going to impeach Trump with the supposed Poroshenko dirt on Manafort? ..."
"... He was installed by Soros during the "Purple Color Revolution" (agent provocateurs with tiki torches getting violent to force a coup against the prior sitting President, a tactic attempted in Charlottesville only a couple years later) ..."
"... " Poroshenko's approval rate barely touches 8% . His chances of being re-elected, assuming polls are credible, are virtually zero. Little wonder he used the Kerch to declare martial law, effective this Wednesday, lasting for 30 days and bound to be extended. Poroshenko will be able to control the media and increase his chances of rigging the election. ..."
Nov 28, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Asia Times,

The West is complaining about Russian 'aggression' but the incident looks more like a cheap ploy by a desperate Ukrainian president and US conservatives keen to undermine Trump's next pow-wow with Putin...

When the Ukrainian navy sent a tugboat and two small gunboats on Sunday to force their way through the Kerch Strait into the Sea of Azov, it knew in advance the Russian response would be swift and merciless.

After all, Kiev was entering waters claimed by Russia with military vessels without clarifying their intent.

The intent, though, was clear; to raise the stakes in the militarization of the Sea of Azov.

The Kerch Strait connects the Sea of Azov with the Black Sea. To reach Mariupol, a key city in the Sea of Azov very close to the dangerous dividing line between Ukraine's army and the pro-Russian militias in Donbass, the Ukrainian navy needs to go through the Kerch.

Yet since Russia retook control of Crimea via a 2014 referendum, the waters around Kerch are de facto Russian territorial waters.

Kiev announced this past summer it would build a naval base in the Sea of Azov by the end of 2018. That's an absolute red line for Moscow. Kiev may have to trade access to Mariupol, which, incidentally, also trades closely with the People's Republic of Donetsk. But forget about military access.

And most of all, forget about supplying a Ukrainian military fleet in the port of Berdyansk capable of sabotaging the immensely successful, Russian-built Crimean bridge .

Predictably, Western media has been complaining again about "Russian aggression", a gift that keeps on giving. Or blaming Russia for its over-reaction, overlooking the fact that Ukraine's incursion was with military vessels, not fishing boats. Russian resolve was quite visible, as powerful Ka-52 "Alligator" assault helicopters were promptly on the scene.

Washington and Brussels uncritically bought Kiev's "Russian aggression" hysteria, as well as the UN Security Council, which, instead of focusing on the facts in the Kerch Strait incident, preferring to accuse Moscow once again of annexing Crimea in 2014.

The key point, overlooked by the UNSC, is that the Kerch incident configures Kiev's flagrant violation of articles 7, 19 and 21 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea .

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fbackandalive%2Fvideos%2F254116231915896%2F&show_text=0&width=560

Russian lakes

I happened to be right in the middle of deep research in Istanbul over the geopolitics of the Black Sea when the Kerch incident happened.

For the moment, it's crucial to stress what top Russian analysts have been pointing out in detail. My interlocutors in Istanbul may disagree, but for all practical purposes, the Kerch Strait, the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea, in military terms, are de facto Russian lakes.

At best, the Black Sea as a whole might evolve into a Russia-Turkey condominium, assuming President Erdogan plays his cards right. Everyone else is as relevant, militarily, as a bunch of sardines.

Russia is able to handle anything – naval or aerial – intruding in the Kerch Strait, the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea in a matter ranging from seconds to just a few minutes. Every vessel moving in every corner of the Black Sea is tracked 24/7. Moscow knows it. Kiev knows it. NATO knows it. And crucially, the Pentagon knows it.

Still, Kiev – "encouraged" by Washington – insists on militarizing the Sea of Azov. Misinformed American hawks emerging from the US Army War College even advocate that NATO should enter the Sea of Azov – a provocative act as far as Moscow is concerned. The Atlantic Council , which is essentially a mouthpiece of the powerful US weapons industry, is also pro-militarization.

Any attempt to alter the current, already wobbly status quo could lead Moscow to install a naval blockade in a flash and see the annexation of Mariupol to the People's Republic of Donetsk, to which it is industrially linked anyway.

This would be regarded by the Kremlin as a move of last resort. Moscow certainly does not want it. Yet it's wise not to provoke the Bear.

Cheap provocation

Rostislav Ischchenko , arguably the sharpest observer of Russia-Ukraine relations, in a piece written before the Kerch incident, said: "Ukraine itself recognized the right of Russia to introduce restrictions on the passage of ships and vessels through the Kerch Strait, having obeyed these rules in the summer."

Yet, after the US Deep State's massive investment even before the protests on the Maidan in Kiev in 2014 that wrested Ukraine away from Russian influence a possible entente cordiale between the Trump administration and the Kremlin, with Russia in control of Crimea and a pro-Russian Donbass, could only be seen as a red line for the Americans.

Thus a Kerch Strait incident designed as a cheap provocation, bearing all the hallmarks of a US think-tank ploy, is automatically interpreted as "Russian aggression", regardless of the facts. Indeed, any such tactics are good when it comes to derailing the Trump-Putin meeting at the G20 in Buenos Aires this coming weekend.

Meanwhile, in Ukraine, chaos is the norm . President Petro Poroshenko is bleeding. The hryvnia is a hopeless currency. Kiev's borrowing costs are at their highest level since a bond sale in 2018. This failed state has been under IMF "reform" since 2015 – with no end in sight.

Poroshenko's approval rate barely touches 8% . His chances of being re-elected, assuming polls are credible, are virtually zero. Little wonder he used the Kerch to declare martial law, effective this Wednesday, lasting for 30 days and bound to be extended. Poroshenko will be able to control the media and increase his chances of rigging the election.

But the US would lose no sleep if they had to throw Poroshenko under the (Soviet) bus. Ukrainians will not die for his survival. One of the captains at the Kerch incident surrendered his boat voluntarily to the Russians. When Russian Su-25s and Ka-52s started to patrol the skies over the Kerch Strait, Ukrainian reinforcements instantly fled.

Poroshenko, wallowing in despair, may still ratchet up provocations. But the best he can aim at is NATO attempting to modernize the collapsing Ukrainian navy – an endeavor that would last years, with no guarantee of success.

For the moment, forget all the rhetoric, and any suggestion of a NATO incursion into the Black Sea. Call it the calm before the inevitable future storm


ExpatNL , 24 seconds ago link

Imagine Russian PT boats cruising the straits between USA and Cuba and straying INTENTIONALLY into US waters.

CheapBastard , 7 minutes ago link

Feel sorry for the Ukrainians being used as tools. Before Obama-Hillary-and Pedo Biden overthrew the Democratically elected leader, people were just doing their normal stuff. Now they hide in bomb shelters and search for food at night.

Scipio Africanuz , 17 minutes ago link

The Bear has set the Trap, let NATO or whoever walk into it, but do so if they must, with the knowledge that it's a one way ticket to hell. The Russians have been warning for years now, that one day, they'll have had enough and then..

But vainglorious folks are not paying attention, and this is dangerous especially for Europe, and the pretenders in the Middle East, if it goes down, they too will go down, it's that simple and why? Because of military and security imperatives. Russia will take down, and out, any US or European ally in the M.E. lest, they open themselves up to flanking maneuvers.

So someone, in this case, Europe, better tell, or force Poroshenko to tone it down, the Russians are not kidding around, this is not a game, this is existential serious! Ukraine will go down, along with Poland, and the Baltics, if Russia feels, in any way, shape, or manner, provoked beyond reason. Note the word "feels", some may play games, thinking it's just a game, Russia is NOT playing games, not at all, not one bit.

Putin already intimated of the current Russian mindset thus: "If you like, let's all go explain ourselves to God!". Do the neocons feel confident of cogent explanation to God, or do they even wish to come before him? I doubt it, and very much so, seeing as their hands are stained with the blood of innocents, and their hearts,plot evil continuously.

Minsk was the best the Russians are willing to offer, from here on, the offer reduces exponentially, with every provocation until there's no offer, just RAW discipline!

Word enough for the prudent...

Scipio Africanuz , 6 minutes ago link

And this my friends, viscerally demonstrates the wisdom of the founding fathers, especially Washington, who warned of "entangling alliances", buttressed a few generations later, by John Q. Adams, who re-advised "Go not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy". Pay attention folks, pay attention to the architects of the Republic, who knew what they were building, better than the "war loving battle dodging" chickenhawks who love to sip exotic drinks, while instructing others to kill for their depraved egos.

The biggest victims in all their failed adventures, are the US troops, folks who are deployed to fight wars which does nothing to secure the Republic, but instead weakens the Republic, deprives the military of honor, capable recruits, and the economy, of treasure, vigor, and vitality.

NATO delenda est!...

WTFUD , 21 minutes ago link

Poroshenko & Allies have a team of experts who spend 24/7 searching for the next provocation. Reminds me of May on this Brexit fiasco.

When you're up ****-creek, Kerch, in this instance, you clutch at straws as the boat sinks.

With regard to NATO, they can't be involved as they're not imbeciles. Russia has provided the s300/Other upgraded Missile Defense Systems to Syria, effectively nullifying Israeli's illegal incursions via Lebanon airspace, so what protections will Putin have in place for one of his most strategic jurisdictions in his country? Rhetorical.

Aussiekiwi , 21 minutes ago link

This US coup of the Ukraine is turning out to be more hassle than its worth, a bankrupt corrupt country, installing Neo Nazi's as the first government was a big mistake, it could have been handled with more finesse, instead it was like a bull in a China shop.

On the Crimea, let us all remember the following :

95% of Crimean's voted yes to joining Russia a result that western agencies, media etc have accepted as correct, This makes it and the waters surrounding it Russian, I suspect the US would have a similar reaction if a couple of Russian gun boats cruised unannounced into a US port and started doing donuts.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-26606097

DEMIZEN , 19 minutes ago link

Things changed. Syria is a clusterfuck, Turks switched side, KSA pulled financing out of Russian soft belly.

Obama fucked it up and trump has to clean up.

DEMIZEN , 28 minutes ago link

****** porkoshenko wont last until spring. ukraine is not a chocolate factory. a country too big for a chess piece. the best move for trump is to stay out or invite willy wonka to pay a visit to us embassy and chop him off lol

Joe A , 39 minutes ago link

Poroshenko decided to not let a good crisis go to waste.

Geopolitics and realpolitik, bitches. So much happening in the gas domain in Eastern Europe. Nordstream, Turkish Stream, BP stream, US LNG facilities in Greece, Poland and Germany, Russia supplying LNG to Germany, Cyprus-Greece-Israel drilling in the East Med, Turkey drilling in Cyprus EEZ. In the meanwhile I see gas infrastructure being build allover Eastern Europe, connecting houses to the grid. Gas heating and energy production is coming to Eastern Europe in addition to supplying Western Europe. The stakes are enormous and that what this is all about and that is why we can see more of this.

MK ULTRA Alpha , 1 hour ago link

The cheap shot at Trump at the same time demanding action from Trump was Poroshenko's threat the Ukraine has dirt on Manafort. How low can Poroshenko go?

Most of the Ukraine people hate Poroshenko and he knows he can't win re-election. He threatens Trump with dirt on Manafort, and demands Trump start a war. Or what? is the left in the US going to impeach Trump with the supposed Poroshenko dirt on Manafort?

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/interview-ukrainian-president-asks-trump-deliver-pointed-message-putin-n940716

"The Ukrainian leader also told NBC News that his country is ready to cooperate with the investigation of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort , who spent nearly a decade in Ukraine as a consultant to a pro-Moscow political party.

But asked if the Ukraine has any evidence that Manafort was getting paid directly by the Kremlin, Poroshenko said, "I am not personally connected with the process.""

Nayel , 1 hour ago link

Not just undermine Trump/Putin meetings, but the big picture, Ukrainian "President" declaring martial law to suspend the election he would no doubt lose.

He was installed by Soros during the "Purple Color Revolution" (agent provocateurs with tiki torches getting violent to force a coup against the prior sitting President, a tactic attempted in Charlottesville only a couple years later)

" Poroshenko's approval rate barely touches 8% . His chances of being re-elected, assuming polls are credible, are virtually zero. Little wonder he used the Kerch to declare martial law, effective this Wednesday, lasting for 30 days and bound to be extended. Poroshenko will be able to control the media and increase his chances of rigging the election.

[Nov 27, 2018] Ukraine To Impose Martial Law After Russia Fires At Ukraine Ships, Seizes Three Vessels Off Crimea

Nov 25, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com
Update 4 : A UN Security Council meeting has been called for 11am tomorrow after Ukraine incident with Russia, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said in a tweet.

* * *

Update 3 : according to media reports, on Monday Ukraine's president will propose imposing military law, amid the ongoing crisis with Russia.

* * *

Update 2: This is the moment when the escalating crisis started...

* * *

Update 1: Following reports from the Ukraine navy that Russian ships had fired on Ukraine vessels near the Kerch Strait, Ukraine accused Moscow of also illegally seizing three of its naval ships - the "Berdyansʹk" and "Nikopolʹ" Gurza-class small armored artillery boats and a raid tug A-947 "Jani Kapu" - off Crimea on Sunday after opening fire on them, a charge that if confirmed could ignite a dangerous new crisis between the two countries.

As reported earlier, Russia did not immediately respond to the allegation, but Russian news agencies cited the FSB security service as saying it had incontrovertible proof that Ukraine had orchestrated what it called "a provocation" and would make its evidence public soon. According to media reports, Russia said it has "impounded" three Ukrainian naval ships after they crossed the border with Russia

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko immediately called a meeting with his top military and security chiefs to discuss the situation.

Separately, the EU has urged both sides to rapidly de-escalate the tense situation at the Kerch strait:

NATO has confirmed it is "closely monitoring" developments and is calling for "restraint and de-escalation"...

" NATO is closely monitoring developments in the Azov Sea and the Kerch Strait, and we are in contact with the Ukrainian authorities. We call for restraint and de-escalation.

NATO fully supports Ukraine's sovereignty and its territorial integrity, including its navigational rights in its territorial waters. We call on Russia to ensure unhindered access to Ukrainian ports in the Azov Sea, in accordance with international law.

At the Brussels Summit in July, NATO leaders expressed their support to Ukraine, and made clear that Russia's ongoing militarisation of Crimea, the Black Sea, and the Azov Sea pose further threats to Ukraine's independence and undermines the stability of the broader region. "

Finally, Ukraine has called for an urgent UN Security Council meeting over 'Russian aggression' while Ukraine's secretary for national security, Oleksander Turchynov, accused Russia of engaging in an act of war: "We heard reports on incident and have concluded that it was an act of war by Russian Federation against Ukraine"

* * *

As we detailed earlier, the Ukrainian navy has accused Russia of opening fire on some of its ships in the Black Sea, striking one vessel, and wounding a crew member.

In a statement on its Facebook page , the Ukrainian navy said the Russian military vessels opened fire on Ukrainian warships after they had left the 12-mile zone near the Kerch Strait, leaving one man wounded, and one Ukrainian vessel damaged and immobilized, adding that Russian warships "shoot to kill."

Ukraine accused a Russian coastguard vessel, named the Don, of ramming one of its tugboats in "openly aggressive actions". The incident allegedly took place as three Ukrainian navy boats - including two small warships - headed for the port of Mariupol in the Sea of Azov, an area of heightened tensions between the countries.

Russia accused Ukraine of illegally entering the area and deliberately provoking a conflict.

Sky News reports that the Ukrainian president has called an emergency session of his war cabinet in response to the incident.

"Today's dangerous events in the Azov Sea testify that a new front of [Russian] aggression is open," Ukrainian foreign ministry spokeswoman Mariana Betsa said.

"Ukraine [is] calling now for emergency meeting of United Nations Security Council."

It comes after a day of rising tensions off the coast of Crimea, and especially around the Kerch Strait, which separates Crimea from mainland Russia after Ukrainian vessels allegedly violated the Russian border. The passage was blocked by a cargo ship and fighter jets were scrambled.

According to RT , Russia has stopped all navigation through the waterway using the cargo ship shown above. Videos from the scene released by the Russian media show a large bulk freighter accompanied by two Russian military boats standing under the arch of the Crimea Bridge and blocking the only passage through the strait.

"The [Kerch] strait is closed for security reasons," the Director-General of the Crimean sea ports, Aleksey Volkov, told TASS, confirming earlier media reports.

Russian Air Force Su-25 strike fighters were also scrambled to provide additional security for the strait as the situation remains tense. The move came as five Ukrainian Navy ships had been approaching the strait from two different sides.

According to RT, two Ukrainian artillery boats and a tugboat initially approached the strait from the Black Sea while "undertaking dangerous maneuvers" and "defying the lawful orders of the Russian border guards." Later, they were joined by two more military vessels that departed from a Ukrainian Azov Sea port of Berdyansk sailing to the strait from the other side.

The Russian federal security agency FSB, which is responsible for maintaining the country's borders, denounced the actions of the Ukrainian ships as a provocation, adding that they could create a "conflict situation" in the region. According to the Russian media reports, the Ukrainian vessels are still sailing towards the strait, ignoring the warnings of the Russian border guards.

According to Reuters , a bilateral treaty gives both countries the right to use the sea, which lies between them and is linked by the narrow Kerch Strait to the Black Sea. Moscow is able to control access between the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea after it built a bridge that straddles the Kerch Strait between Crimea and southern Russia.

Reuters adds that tensions surfaced on Sunday after Russia tried to intercept three Ukrainian ships -- two small armored artillery vessels and a tug boat -- in the Black Sea, accusing them of illegally entering Russian territorial waters.

The Ukrainian navy said a Russian border guard vessel had rammed the tug boat, damaging it in an incident it said showed Russia was behaving aggressively and illegally. It said its vessels had every right to be where they were and that the ships had been en route from the Black Sea port of Odessa to Mariupol, a journey that requires them to go through the Kerch Strait.

Meanwhile, Russia's border guard service accused Ukraine of not informing it in advance of the journey, something Kiev denied, and said the Ukrainian ships had been maneuvering dangerously and ignoring its instructions with the aim of stirring up tensions.

It pledged to end to what it described as Ukraine's "provocative actions", while Russian politicians lined up to denounce Kiev, saying the incident looked like a calculated attempt by President Petro Poroshenko to increase his popularity ahead of an election next year. Ukraine's foreign ministry said in a statement it wanted a clear response to the incident from the international community.

"Russia's provocative actions in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov have crossed the line and become aggressive," it said. "Russian ships have violated our freedom of maritime navigation and unlawfully used force against Ukrainian naval ships."

Both countries have accused each other of harassing each other's shipping in Sea of Azov in the past and the U.S. State Department in August said Russia's actions looked designed to destabilize Ukraine, which has two major industrial ports there.

[Nov 27, 2018] Ukraine Deploys Reservists To 10 Border Provinces As President Warns Of Russian Invasion

It is clear that Poroshenko wants to stay in power. And this is one of the ways to increase Poroshenko chances on forthcoming elections. It is simultaneously increase chances for him to land in jail as Timoshenko does not looks kindly on such blatant attempts to hijack elections.
Nov 27, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

Unwilling to simply accept Poroshenko's claims that he had heard reliable whispers about an imminent Russian invasion, opposition figures pressed Poroshenko on his reasoning for the emergency measures, and ultimately succeeded in forcing him to water down the proposal. But even before Poroshenko's decree won the approval of lawmakers, the Ukrainian president had already started deploying troops into the streets of his country.

Now in a state of martial law, Ukraine has called up its reservists and deployed all available troops to join the mobilization. Initially expected to last for two months, Poroshenko revised his degree to avoid accusations that he would try to interfere in the upcoming Ukrainian election. The decree passed by the Rada will leave martial law in effect for 30 days. The country has also started restricting travel for Russian nationals. NATO Commander Jens Stoltenberg told the Associated Press that Poroshenko had given his word that the order wouldn't interfere with the upcoming vote. The conflict between the Ukraine and Russia exploded into life on Sunday when Russian ships fired on two Ukrainian artillery ships and rammed a tugboat as the ships traveled toward the Kerch Strait, which connects the Sea of Azov to the Black Sea. Russia's mighty Black Sea fleet has taken the three ships and their crew into custody, and has so far ignored calls to release the soldiers by the UN, European leaders and Poroshenko himself.

US officials criticized Russia for its "aggressive" defense of the Kerch Strait, which Ukraine has a right to use according to a bilateral treaty. After Nikki Haley said during an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council that Russia was making it "impossible" to have normal relations with the US, Mike Pompeo said Russia's "aggressive action" was a "dangerous escalation" and also "violates international law." He also advocated for Poroshenko and Russian President Vladimir Putin to engage in direct talks. Russia says the ships disobeyed orders to halt, and that Ukraine had failed to notify Russia of the ships' advance. Ukraine claims that it did notify Russia, and that the incident is the result of "growing Russian aggression." Six Ukrainian crewmen were injured in the Russian attack, which was the first act of violence between the two nations since the annexation of Crimea.

Chief diplomats from both countries traded accusations of provocations and "deliberate hostility."

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin tweeted that the dispute was not an accident and that Russia had engaged in "deliberately planned hostilities," while Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov blamed Kiev for what he described as a "provocation," adding that "Ukraine had undoubtedly hoped to get additional benefits from the situation, expecting the U.S. and Europe to blindly take the provocateurs' side."

Poroshenko said the martial law was necessary because Ukraine was facing nothing short of a all-out ground invasion.

Poroshenko said it was necessary because of intelligence about "a highly serious threat of a ground operation against Ukraine." He did not elaborate.

"Martial law doesn't mean declaring a war," he said. "It is introduced with the sole purpose of boosting Ukraine's defense in the light of a growing aggression from Russia."

But the president's plans to impose martial law throughout the country were rebuffed as the opposition forced a compromise where troops will only be deployed in 10 border provinces. These provinces share borders with Russia, Belarus and the Trans-Dniester, a pro-Moscow breakaway region of Moldova.

Still, many remained skeptical. Opposition figures, including former President Yulia Tymoshenko pointed out that the order would give soldiers broad latitude to do pretty much whatever they want. Furthermore, Ukraine never called for martial law during the insurgency in the east that erupted back in 2014, eventually leading to an armed conflict that killed more than 10,000.

The approved measures included a partial mobilization and strengthening of air defenses. It also contained vaguely worded steps such as "strengthening" anti-terrorism measures and "information security" that could curtail certain rights and freedoms.

But Poroshenko also pledged to respect the rights of Ukrainian citizens.

[...]

Despite Poroshenko's vow to respect individual rights, opposition lawmaker and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko warned before the vote that his proposal would lead to the possible illegal searches, invasion of privacy and curtailing of free speech.

"This means they will be breaking into the houses of Ukrainians and not those of the aggressor nation," noted Tymoshenko, who is leading in various opinion polls. "They will be prying into personal mail, family affairs ... In fact, everything that is written here is a destruction of the lives of Ukrainians."

Poroshenko's call also outraged far-right groups in Ukraine that have advocated severing diplomatic ties with Russia. Hundreds of protesters from the National Corps party waved flares in the snowy streets of Kiev outside parliament and accused the president of using martial law to his own ends.

But Poroshenko insisted it was necessary because what happened in the Kerch Strait between Crimea and the Russian mainland "was no accident," adding that "this was not the culmination of it yet."

His critics reacted to his call for martial law with suspicion, wondering why Sunday's incident merited such a response. With his approval ratings in free fall following a series of corruption scandals, Poroshenko's enemies worry that the incident may have been stage-managed to give the president an excuse to crack down on dissent and free movement ahead of the vote.


Joe A , 8 minutes ago link

And then there is Yulia Tymoshenko who is doing well in the polls. That crazy bitch said that the separatists in the East should be nuked. Ukraine gave up on its nukes though.

Wise lesson for the West here: All politicians in Eastern Europe -whatever country and whatever party- are sick psychopaths. Not that ours are any better. Yet, people keep voting for them.

Oxbo Rene , 10 minutes ago link

Going by the book ! ! ! !

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEyujOSEexM

The Terrible Sweal , 21 minutes ago link

Russia could take the entire south and east of the Ukraine in a weekend jaunt and the people living there would cheer it on.

Joe A , 4 minutes ago link

Perhaps but Putin has more interest to keep the situation as it is. Russian gas needs to keep flowing into Europe. Russia needs that cash cow that the US is trying to disrupt .

WTFUD , 38 minutes ago link

Did we ever find out who arrested/confiscated Ukraine's GOLD stash in the wee hours on the tarmac?

Find them and the Answers to their plethora of problems will materialise. I feel it in my water.

The Terrible Sweal , 28 minutes ago link

High price for Vicki's cookies

Justin Case , 24 minutes ago link

One of my Russian mates sent me a link to a Russian news website and according to the iskra-news.info last night ,Ukrainian gold reserves (40 sealed boxes) were loaded on an unidentified transport aircraft in Kiev's Borispol airport. The plane took off immediately.

A source in the Ukrainian government confirmed that the transfer of the gold reserves of Ukraine to the United States was ordered by the acting PM Arseny Yatsenyuk.

So my guess is, that is if indeed this report is true it either means the new ruling elite have stolen the gold bullion or perhaps their is a legitimate fear of the Russians taking possession of this bullion, whatever the facts, it still looks very shady indeed.

Conclusion

Official narrative: gold bullion is going to USA (maybe to reassure the Germans their gold is in safe hands, after all the despite numerous requests from the German Govt The Feds have not given access for them to even view their Gold Bullion) . Real narrative: probably to Switzerland where it is divided between Yulia Tymoshenko and her cronies.

StheNine , 40 minutes ago link

Porky doesn't want to go.

The video of the incident shows the ukraine vessel not responding-clear violation and a provocative act.

NATO is willing to sacrifice the people of ukraine just to bother Putin.

cglabb , 51 minutes ago link

There will be wars.....and rumors of wars

This is sooo McCain 2.0

Once again I simply implore one ACTUAL journalist to report on what's happening there.

Beside the mercenary sociopaths that took in millions off the first round of "freedom".

Russia is a hurt and vulnerable nation.

The US has ginormous truth issues never to be resolved

Hence the Goths and Barbarians will agree that once more......Rome is burning

Btw, not defending Russia and as convoluted as it sounds my point is truth has been lost even in this Instagram milli-second of info slop offering by those who are not standing in the snow covered mud of unbiased reality

rejected , 52 minutes ago link

I always thought Ukrainians were smarter than this.

Guess not.

So far being the USA's bitch they have lost 1/3 of their country and about to lose another 1/3.

Their GDP went into the dirt and the average monthly wage is half what it was.

But they still keep doubling down on stupid!

johnnycanuck , 1 minute ago link

US foreign policy writ large.

Create chaos.

Offer solution.

If we can find one.

Chaos however, is our middle name.

Just thought of that old bastard Ledeen. "Creative destruction "

johnnycanuck , 57 minutes ago link

The last time Poroshenko, the US man in Ukraine (OU) as he was referred to in US diplomatic cables from 2006 and exposed by Wkikleads, got the Ukes into a war with the Eastern oblasts, a lot of Ukrainians got killed.

Hopefully they won't play his game this time.

The Terrible Sweal , 50 minutes ago link

Yeah, Porko, the hero of Debaltsev.

johnnycanuck , 26 minutes ago link

Poor buggers were crushed and they should never have been there. The US / McCain et al used them as cannon fodder.

The Uke military had rotted after the breakup of the Soviet Union, and that was largely because their corrupt leaders never gave any consideration to going to war against anyone, other than political war against each other to determine who got the biggest slice from plundering the state.

The plundering continues, only now there is scant left for the general population.

After the US putsch, income per capita dropped by approx a third, cost of living doubled and tax collection was hampered even more than before because the average Uke had no money left to pay taxes so they went underground. and paid off local officials just to let them make a living doing whatever the could..

IMF injections have kept the body warm. So far.

TahoeBilly2012 , 1 hour ago link

It ain't Ukraine, it's about gnawing away at Putin controlling Russia. How dare you stand in the way of our *** WORLD ORDER !! It's ours damn you!!

researchfix , 41 minutes ago link

Ukraine soldiers and officers will be the only ones who surrender quicker than the French.

I don´t blame them for that, they know Russians won´t hurt them.

squid , 38 minutes ago link

No one ever asks the obvious question:

"Why would Russia want Ukraine in the first place?".

Lets see.....so they can fund an addition 50 million lazy ***** and pick up the tab for 25 million fat, diabetes ridden BROKE Ukrainian pensioners?

So Russia can sink tens of billions into Ukraine's bankrupt healthcare system?

Where is the upside for Russia?

Putin can add, he is not in the least bit interested in ruling Ukraine, he'd just as well seal the ******* boarder and be done with it, in fact its what he is doing. Once those alternate pipe lines are in there will be a 5,000 km fence and the Ukes can freeze in the dark on their own.

Squid

Justin Case , 13 minutes ago link

Russia isn't interested in taking any country, the countries are warming up to Russia and China. This is pissing off mushroom head and band of gypsies in DC. The failing empire looking for a war.

Algo Rhythm , 1 hour ago link

If a vote of the people in Crimea to leave Ukraine is an annexation, Zero Hedge is a truther website.

Please stop using incorrect US government propaganda language in your articles.

I Am Jack's Macroaggression , 1 hour ago link

Call it the Kosovo Rule

or the Laugher Rule

It is very important to the Zios and Russiphobes to ignore what Crimeans themselves want.

https://consortiumnews.com/2016/02/11/how-crimeans-see-ukraine-crisis/

https://consortiumnews.com/2015/03/22/crimeans-keep-saying-no-to-ukraine/

44magnum , 13 minutes ago link

"Please stop using incorrect US government propaganda language in your articles."

US Intel cant remember everything remember they have an agenda to push. It might be a truther website for the people posting but it is also a intel gathering site to keep abreast of how some of the sheeple really feel. What better way to get the sheeple to open up?

Stuto , 1 hour ago link

Watch out for a false flag. Demon rats planted one of their own to control the country.

TahoeBilly2012 , 1 hour ago link

Reminds me of Hogan's Heroes for some reason.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onZm-1GjYdw

[Nov 26, 2018] Phanar Phantom by Israel Shamir

Nov 24, 2018 | unz.com

The Russian world is caught up in a drama. Its leading Orthodox Church faces a schism over the Ukraine's drive for its own independent church. If Kiev regime succeeds, the split between Russia proper and its breakaway Western part, the Ukraine, will widen. The Russian Church will suffer a great loss, comparable to the emergence of the Anglican church for the Catholics. However, there is a chance for the Russians to gain a lot from the split, to gain more than to lose.

The Ukraine actually has its own church, and this church is the self-ruling autonomous Ukrainian Orthodox Church, a part of the Russian Orthodox Church. Its autonomy is very broad; it can be considered independent practically in every aspect excepting its nominal recognition of Moscow supremacy. The Ukrainian Church does not pay tribute to Moscow, it elects its own bishops; it has no reason to push for more. No tangible reason, at least.

But in the Ukraine, there was and is a strong separatist tendency, with a somewhat romantic and nationalist tinge, comparable to Scots or Languedoc separatism. Its beginning could be traced to 18th Century, when a Moscow-appointed ruler Hetman Mazeppa rose against Russia's Peter the Great and allied himself with the Swedish warrior-king Charles XII. A hundred years after the revolt, the foremost Russian poet, Alexander Pushkin, composed a beautiful romantic poem Poltava (following Byron's Mazeppa ) where he gives Mazeppa the following words:

For far too long we've bowed our heads,
Without respect or liberty,
Beneath the yoke of Warsaw's patronage,
Beneath the yoke of Moscow's despotism.
But now is Ukraine's chance to grow
Into an independent power. (trans. by Ivan Eubanks)

This romantic dream of an independent Ukraine became real after the 1917 Revolution, under the German occupation at the conclusion of World War One. Within a year or two, as the defeated Germans withdrew, the independent Ukraine became Soviet and joined Soviet Russia in the Soviet Union of equal Republics. Even within the Union, the Ukraine was independent and it had its own UN seat. When Russian President Yeltsin dissolved the Union, Ukraine became fully independent again.

In the 1991 divorce with rump Russia (after hundreds of years of integration), the Ukraine took with her a major portion of the former Union's physical and human assets. The spacious country with its hard-working people, fertile black soil, the cream of Soviet industry producing aircraft, missiles, trains and tractors, with the best and largest army within the Warsaw Treaty, with its universities, good roads, proximity to Europe, expensive infrastructure connecting East and West, the Ukraine had a much better chances for success than rump Russia.

But it didn't turn out this way, for reasons we shall discuss elsewhere. A failed state if there ever was one, the Ukraine was quickly deserted by its most-valuable people, who ran away in droves to Russia or Poland; its industries were dismantled and sold for the price of scrap metal. The only compensation the state provides is even more nationalism, even more declarations of its independence.

This quest for full independence has been even less successful than economic or military measures. The Kiev regime could dispense with Moscow, but it became subservient to the West. Its finances are overseen by the IMF, its army by NATO, its foreign policy by the US State Department. Real independence was an elusive goal, beyond the Ukraine's reach.

A total break of the Ukrainian church with the nominal supremacy of Moscow appealed to President Petro Poroshenko as a convincing substitute for real independence, especially with a view toward the forthcoming elections. He turned to the patriarch of Constantinople, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew asking him to grant his church its full independence (called autocephaly in ecclesiastical language).

Fine, but what is 'his church'? The vast majority of Ukrainian Orthodox Christians and their bishops are content with their status within the Russian Church. They have their own head, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphrius, who is also content with his position. They do not see any need for autocephaly. However, the Ukraine has two small splinter orthodox churches, one led by the ambitious bishop Filaret and another by Macarius; both are very nationalist and anti-Russian, both support the regime and claim for autonomy, both are considered illegitimate by the rest of the Orthodox world. These two small churches are potential embryos of a future Ukrainian Church of President Poroshenko.

Now we shall turn to Bartholomew. His title describes him as the patriarch of Constantinople, but in vain you will seek this city on a map. Constantinople, the Christian capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, the greatest city of his time, the seat of Roman emperors, was conquered by the Ottoman Turks in 1453 and became Islamic Istanbul, the capital of the Ottoman Empire and of the last Muslim Caliphate; since 1920 it has been a city in the Republic of Turkey. The Constantinople Patriarchate is a phantom fossil of a great past; it has a few churches, a monastery and a few ambitious monks located in Phanar, an old Greek quarter of Istanbul.

The Turkish government considers Bartholomew a bishop of the local Greeks, denying his 6 th -century title of Ecumenical Patriarch. There are only three thousand Greeks in the city, so Bartholomew has very small foothold there indeed. His patriarchate is a phantom in the world of phantoms, such as the Knights of Maltese and Temple Orders, Kings of Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia, emperors of Brazil and of the Holy Roman Empire Phantom is not a swear word. Phantoms are loved by romantics enamoured by old rituals and uniforms with golden aiguillettes. These honourable gentlemen represent nobody, they have no authority, but they can and do issue impressive-looking certificates.

ORDER IT NOW

The Orthodox Church differs from its Roman Catholic sister by having no central figure like the Pope of Rome. The Orthodox have a few equal-ranking heads of national churches, called Patriarchs or Popes. The Patriarch of Constantinople is one of these fourteen church leaders, though he has more than his share of respect by virtue of tradition. Now the Phantom of Phanar seeks to make his position much more powerful, akin to that of the Pope of Rome for the Western Church. His organization claims that "The Ecumenical Patriarchate has the responsibility of being the Church of final appeal in Orthodoxy, and it is the only Church that may establish autocephalous and autonomous Churches". These claims are rejected by the Russian Church, by far the biggest Orthodox Church in the world.

As the Ukrainian church is a part of the Russian Church, it could seek its full independence (autocephaly) in Moscow, but it has no such wish. The two small splinter churches turned to Phanar, and the Phanar leader was more than happy to get into the game. He had sent two of his bishops to Kiev and started with establishing a united Ukrainian church. This church wouldn't be independent, or autocephalous; it would be a church under the direct rule of Phanar, an autonomous or the stavropegial church. For Ukrainian nationalists, it would be a sad reminder that they have the choice to go with Moscow or with Istanbul, now as their ancestors had four hundred years ago. Full independence is not on the cards.

For the Phanar, it was not a first foray into Russian territory: Bartholomew also used the anti-Russian sentiments of Tallinn and took a part of the Estonian churches and their faithful under his rule. However, then the Russians took it easy, for two reasons. Estonia is small, there are not too many churches nor congregants; and besides, the Phanar had taken some positions in Estonia between the wars, when Soviet Russia did not care much about the Church. The Ukraine is absolutely different. It is very big, it is the heart of Russian church, and Constantinople has no valid claim on it.

The Russians say that President Poroshenko bribed Bartholomew. This is nonsense of very low grade; even if the Patriarch is not averse to accepting gifts. Bartholomew had a very valid reason to accept Poroshenko's offer. If he would realize his plan and establish a church of Ukraine under his own rule, call it autonomous or stavropegial or even autocephalous, he would cease being a phantom and would become a very real church leader with millions of faithful. The Ukraine is second only to Russia in the Orthodox world, and its coming under Constantinople would allow Bartholomew to become the most-powerful Orthodox leader.

The Russians are to blame themselves for much of their difficulties. They were too eager to accept the Phanar Phantom for the real thing in their insistent drive for external approval and recognition. They could have forgotten about him three hundred years ago instead of seeking his confirmation now and then. It is dangerous to submit to the weak; perhaps it is more risky than to submit to the strong.

This reminds me of a rather forgotten novel by H. G. Wells The Food of the Gods and How It Came to Earth . It is a story of a wondrous nourishment that allows children to grow into forty-foot-high giants. Society mistreats the young titans. In a particularly powerful episode, a mean old hag scolds the tall kids – thrice her size, and they timidly accept her silly orders. In the end, the giants succeed in standing their ground, throw off the yoke and walk tall. Wells writes about "young giants, huge and beautiful, glittering in their mail, amidst the preparations for the morrow. The sight of them lifted his heart. They were so easily powerful! They were so tall and gracious! They were so steadfast in their movements!"

Russia is a young giant that tries to observe the pygmy-established rules. International organisation called PACE (The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe) where Russia is harshly mistreated and is not even allowed to defend itself, is a good example. International courts where Russia has little chance to stand its ground is another one. President Trump has taken the US out of a few international organisations, though the US has huge weight in international affairs and all states pay heed to the US position. Russia's voice is not even heard, and only now the Russians begin to ponder the advantages of Ruxit.

The church rules are equally biased as they place the biggest Orthodox state with millions of faithful Christians on the same footing as Oriental phantoms.

In the days of the Ottoman Empire, the Patriarch of Constantinople had real weight. The Sultan defended his position, his decisions had legal implications for the Orthodox subjects of the Empire. He caused many troubles for the Russian Church, but the Russians had to observe his decrees as he was an imperial official. After Ataturk's revolution, the Patriarch lost his status, but the Russian church, this young giant, continued to revere him and support him. After 1991, when Russia had turned to its once-neglected church, the Russian Church multiplied its generosity towards Phanar and turned to him for guidance, for the Moscow Church had been confused and unprepared for its new position. Being in doubt, it turned to tradition. We can compare this to the English "rotten boroughs" of Dickens novels, towns that had traditionally sent their representatives to the Parliament though they scarcely had any dwellers.

In this search for tradition, the Russian church united with the Russian Church abroad, the émigré structure with its checkered history that included support for Hitler. Its main contribution was fierce anti-Communism and rejection of the Soviet period of the Russian past. However it could be justified by the Russians' desire to heal the White vs. Red split and restore the émigrés to the Russian people. While honouring the Phanar Phantom as the honorary head of the Orthodox world had no justification at all.

The Phanar had US State Department backing to consider. US diplomacy has had a good hand in dealings with phantoms: for many years Washington supported phantom governments-in-exile of the Baltic states, and this support was paid back a hundredfold in 1991. Now, the US support for Phanar has paid back well in this renewed attack on Russia.

ORDER IT NOW

The Patriarch of Phanar, perhaps, underestimated possible Russian response to his Ukrainian meddling. He got used to Russian good treatment; he remembered that the Russians meekly accepted his takeover of the Estonian church. Being encouraged by the US and driven by his own ambitions, he made the radical step of voiding Constantinople's agreement of transfer of Kiev Metropolitan seat to Moscow, had sent his bishops and took over the Ukraine to himself.

The Moscow Church anathemised Bartholomew, and forbade its priests to participate in service with Phanar priests and (!!!) with priests that accept Phanar priests. While ending communion with Phanar is no pain at all, the secondary step – of ending communion with the churches that refuse to excommunicate Phanar – is a very radical one. Other Orthodox churches are unhappy about Phanar moves. They are aware that Phanar's new rules may threaten them, too. They are not keen to establish a Pope above themselves. But I doubt they are ready to excommunicate Phanar.

The Russian church can take a less radical and more profitable way. The Orthodox world's unity is based on two separate principles. One, the Eucharist. All Orthodox churches are united in the communion. Their priests can serve together and accept communion in any recognised church. Two, the principle of canonical territory . No church should appoint bishops on the other church's territory.

Phanar transgressed against the territorial principle. In response, the Russian Church excommunicated him. But Phanar refused to excommunicate the Russians. As the result, the Russians are forbidden by their own church to accept communion if excommunicated priests participate in the service. But the priests of the Church of Jerusalem do not ban anybody, neither Russians, no Phanariots.

As it happened with Russian counter-sanctions, they cause harm and pain mainly to Russians themselves. There are few Orthodox pilgrims visiting Russia, while there are many Russian pilgrims visiting the Holy Land, Mount Athos and other important sites of Greece, Turkey and Palestine, first of all Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Now these pilgrims won't be able to receive the holy communion in the Holy Sepulchre and in the Nativity Cathedral, while Russian priests won't be able to celebrate mass in these churches.

The Russian priests will probably suffer and submit, while the lay pilgrims will probably break the prohibition and accept the Eucharist in the Church of Jerusalem.

It would be better if the Russian church were to deal with Phanar's treachery on the reciprocity basis. Phanar does not excommunicate Russians, and Russians may go back to full communion with Phanar. Phanar broke the territorial principle, and the Russians may disregard territorial principle. Since the 20th century, canonical territory has increasingly become a violated principle of canon law, says OrthodoxWiki . Facing such major transgression, the Russians may completely drop the territorial principle and send their bishops to Constantinople and Jerusalem, to Rome and Washington, while keeping all Orthodox churches in full communion.

The Russian church will be able to spread the Orthodox faith all over the world, among the French in France, among the Italians in Italy, among Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs. The Russian church dos not allow women into priesthood, does not allow gay unions, does not consider the Jews its elder brothers, does not tolerate homosexual priests and allows its priests to marry. Perhaps it has a good chance to compete with other churches for the flock and clergy.

Thus Moscow Church will be free of tenets it voluntarily accepted. Regarding communion, the Russian church can retain communion with Phanar and Jerusalem and with other Orthodox churches, even with splinter churches on reciprocity basis. Moreover, the Russian Church may allow communion with Catholics. At present, Catholics allow Russians to receive communion, but the Russian Church do not allow their flock to accept Catholic communion and does not allow Catholics to receive communion in Russian churches. With all the differences between the churches, we the Christians can share communion, flesh and blood of our Saviour, and this all we need.

All this is extremely relevant for the Holy Land. The Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Beatitude Theophilos does not want to quarrel with Constantinople nor with Moscow. He won't excommunicate the priests of Phanar despite Moscow's requests, and I think he is right. Ban on communion in the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem or in the Nativity of Bethlehem would become a heavy unnecessary and self-inflicted punishment for Russian pilgrims. That is why it makes sense to retain joint communion, while voiding the territorial principle.

Russian church may nominate its bishops in Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Nazareth to attract the flock presently neglected by the traditional Patriarchate of Jerusalem. I mean the Palestinian Christians and Israeli Christians, hundreds of thousands of them.

The Church of Jerusalem is, and had been ruled by ethnic Greeks since the city was conquered by the Ottomans in 16th century. The Turks removed local Arab Orthodox clerics and appointed their loyal Greeks. Centuries passed by, the Turks are gone, the Greeks are loyal only to themselves, and they do not care much about the natives. They do not allow Christian Palestinian monks to join monasteries, they bar them from holding bishop cathedra and do not let them into the council of the church (called Synod). This flagrant discrimination annoys Palestinian Christians; many of them turned to the Catholic, or even Protestant churches. The flock is angry and ready to rise in revolt against the Greeks, like the Syrian Orthodox did in 1898, when they expelled the Greek bishops and elected an Arab Patriarch of Antioch – with Russian support. (Until that time the Patriarch of Antioch had been elected in Istanbul by Phanar monks exclusively from the "Greeks by race", as they said in those days, and as is the custom of the See of Jerusalem now).

Last Christmas, the Patriarch of Jerusalem had been blocked from entering the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem by angry local Christians, and only Israeli army allowed him to get in. If the Russian Church will establish its bishops in the Holy Land, or even appoint her own Patriarch of Rum (traditional name of the Church) many churches of the Holy Land will accept him, and many faithful will find the church that they can relate to. For the Greek leadership of the Jerusalem church is interested in pilgrimage churches only; they care for pilgrims from Greece and for Greeks in the Holy Land.

ORDER IT NOW

There are many Russian Orthodox in Israel; the Greeks of the Church do not attend to their needs. Since 1948, not a single new church had been built by the Orthodox in Israel. Big cities with many Christians – Beer Sheba, Afula, touristy Eilat – have no churches at all. For sure, we can partly blame Israeli authorities and their hatred of Christianity. However, the Church of Jerusalem is not trying hard enough to erect new churches.

There is a million of immigrants from Russia in Israel. Some of them were Christians, some want to enter the church, being disappointed by brutal and hostile Judaism. They had some romantic image of the Jewish faith, being brought up in atheist USSR, but the reality was not even similar. Not only them; Israelis of every origin are unhappy with Judaism that exists now in Israel. They are ready for Christ. A new church of the Holy Land established by Russians can bring Israelis, Jews and non-Jews, native Palestinians and immigrants to Christ.

Thus Phanar's rejection of territorialism can be used for the greater glory of the Church. Yes, the Russian church will change its character and assume some of global, ecumenical function. This is big challenge; I do not know whether the Russians are ready for it, whether the Patriarch of Moscow Kyril is daring enough for it.

His Church is rather timid; the bishops do not express their views in public. However, a Moscow priest Fr Vsevolod Chaplin, who was close to the Patriarch until recently, publicly called for full reformatting of the Orthodox Christianity, for getting rid of rotten boroughs and phantoms, for establishing sturdy connection between laity and Patriarchate. Without great push by the incautious Patriarch Bartholomew, these ideas could gestate for years; now they can come forth and change the face of the faith.

Israel Shamir can be reached at adam@israelshamir.net

This article was first published at The Unz Review .


geokat62 , says: November 24, 2018 at 2:44 am GMT

Constantinople, the Christian capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, the greatest city of his time, the seat of Roman emperors, was conquered by the Ottoman Turks in 145 2

According to Wiki:

The Fall of Constantinople was the capture of the capital of the Byzantine Empire by an invading Ottoman army on 29 May 145 3 .

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fall_of_Constantinople

Macon Richardson , says: November 24, 2018 at 6:23 am GMT
@geokat62 First, using Wikipedia as a reference source is rather déclassé. You are right, however–Wikipedia is right, however–Constantinople did fall in 1493 and Mr. Shamir was wrong. However, as the title of The Cambridge History of the Byzantine Empire c.500-1492 (sic) tells, the empire was gone in 1492. We all make mistakes and a few months' difference in events that happened over 500 years ago seems of little significance. That you needed to bring it to our attention has far more significance to me.
FB , says: November 24, 2018 at 7:39 am GMT
Well now we have the second installment of the Great Orthodox Schism Controversy

I must say that Shamir does spin a rather lively story here rather more gripping than Saker's sombre monograph of a few weeks ago

One is tantalized by images of dancing Israelis who are 'ready for Christ' and French and Italians converting en masse to Orthodoxy [what with all the advantages outlined here by Shamir, I must admit it does sound rather attractive, for anyone thinking of 'trading in' so to speak...]

A possible 'takeover' of the Patriarchate of Rum [will they add Coke...?] the possibilities are endless

'A new church of the Holy Land established by Russians can bring Israelis, Jews and non-Jews, native Palestinians and immigrants to Christ.'

Amen to that Brother Shamir Amen

FromSA , says: November 24, 2018 at 8:31 am GMT
I usually like Shamir's writings but this article clearly shows up his shortcomings on this particular subject. He treats the whole affair as if it is a business deal and then tallies up the pluses and the minuses for the Russian Orthodox church. He forgets that the Russian church was massively persecuted and that for them doing the correct thing in God's site is the only thing.
Felix Keverich , says: November 24, 2018 at 10:56 am GMT

The spacious country with its hard-working people, fertile black soil, the cream of Soviet industry producing aircraft, missiles, trains and tractors, with the best and largest army within the Warsaw Treaty, with its universities, good roads, proximity to Europe, expensive infrastructure connecting East and West, the Ukraine had a much better chances for success than rump Russia.

Soviet-era industries couldn't compete in the modern capitalist economy, and were destined to die. Post-communist Ukraine had no capable class of entrepreneurs, its univercities couldn't meet the demands of the market economy, Ukrainian workers lacked marketable skills. It was a recipe for failure. Russia had all the same problems of course, but it also retained its vast reserves of oil and gas

jilles dykstra , says: November 24, 2018 at 11:23 am GMT
" The Russian Church will suffer a great loss, comparable to the emergence of the Anglican church for the Catholics. "
The loss of the catholic church because of the Anglican church indeed was horrible, financially.
Not just catholic priests in England suffered, archbishops on the continent, of British sees, who had never been in England, suffered enormously.
Isidora , says: November 24, 2018 at 12:40 pm GMT
While I respect and generally enjoy Shamir's intellect and writing skills, in this topic he is completely out of his depth. He recommends actions which would totally destroy Christ's Church on earth, deforming it into a mere worldly contestant for the praise of men.

The one true Church is not an episode in political gamesmanship–regardless how heretical bishops may behave from time to time–but Shamir only relates to it in terms of what behaviors would yield the greatest worldly satisfaction in political power. This is the fatal road the Roman church went down (labeled with the year 1054) when their mere bishop decided he needs to be the Pope of the entire world and so broke communion and excommunicated the rest of the Church (which remained Orthodox). The papacy then went on to a successful pursuit of worldly power through the sword that continues to this day. Restore communion with the Roman pope??? Is Shamir crazy??? Each pope puts himself in the place of Christ (antichrist), and true Orthodox will never have Eucharist with that.

Russia's mistake and the mistake of the rest of Orthodoxy is to have gone along with Constantinople (out of brotherly love and respect for Tradition) for the past 100 years of her micro-heresies. The First and Most Egregious action by Constantinople was to exploit the bloody Soviet persecution of the Church in Russia to declare that the rest of the Orthodox world must switch from the Church calendar to the secular, civil calendar devised by the Latins. This was the kickoff of a chain of heretical actions which are continuing throughout the world, to the extent that now so-called churches contemplate legitimizing women priests, sodomy, pedophilia, and turning the Eucharist into a cafeteria.

The USA is 100% actively behind the actions in Ukraine and the Phanar. In fact no one can be enthroned in Constantinople without the sponsorship of the CIA. So this arch-heretic Bartholomew of the Phanar "elevates" an excommunicated prideful heretic, Philaret, to be the "head" a new "orthodox church in Ukraine." This is the empire seeking to destroy the strength of Russia, which is Orthodoxy. The Evil wants to turn Orthodoxy into a beautiful whitewashed tomb: resplendent cathedrals, sumptuous robes, exalted chanting, artful icons, politically correct bishops. But inside it will be full of dead men's bones.

jilles dykstra , says: November 24, 2018 at 11:23 am GMT
" The Russian Church will suffer a great loss, comparable to the emergence of the Anglican church for the Catholics. "
The loss of the catholic church because of the Anglican church indeed was horrible, financially.
Not just catholic priests in England suffered, archbishops on the continent, of British sees, who had never been in England, suffered enormously.
Isidora , says: November 24, 2018 at 12:40 pm GMT
While I respect and generally enjoy Shamir's intellect and writing skills, in this topic he is completely out of his depth. He recommends actions which would totally destroy Christ's Church on earth, deforming it into a mere worldly contestant for the praise of men.

The one true Church is not an episode in political gamesmanship -- regardless how heretical bishops may behave from time to time–but Shamir only relates to it in terms of what behaviors would yield the greatest worldly satisfaction in political power. This is the fatal road the Roman church went down (labeled with the year 1054) when their mere bishop decided he needs to be the Pope of the entire world and so broke communion and excommunicated the rest of the Church (which remained Orthodox).

The papacy then went on to a successful pursuit of worldly power through the sword that continues to this day. Restore communion with the Roman pope??? Is Shamir crazy??? Each pope puts himself in the place of Christ (antichrist), and true Orthodox will never have Eucharist with that.

Russia's mistake and the mistake of the rest of Orthodoxy is to have gone along with Constantinople (out of brotherly love and respect for Tradition) for the past 100 years of her micro-heresies. The First and Most Egregious action by Constantinople was to exploit the bloody Soviet persecution of the Church in Russia to declare that the rest of the Orthodox world must switch from the Church calendar to the secular, civil calendar devised by the Latins. This was the kickoff of a chain of heretical actions which are continuing throughout the world, to the extent that now so-called churches contemplate legitimizing women priests, sodomy, pedophilia, and turning the Eucharist into a cafeteria.

The USA is 100% actively behind the actions in Ukraine and the Phanar. In fact no one can be enthroned in Constantinople without the sponsorship of the CIA. So this arch-heretic Bartholomew of the Phanar "elevates" an excommunicated prideful heretic, Philaret, to be the "head" a new "orthodox church in Ukraine." This is the empire seeking to destroy the strength of Russia, which is Orthodoxy. The Evil wants to turn Orthodoxy into a beautiful whitewashed tomb: resplendent cathedrals, sumptuous robes, exalted chanting, artful icons, politically correct bishops. But inside it will be full of dead men's bones.

Giuseppe , says: November 24, 2018 at 4:48 pm GMT
Very thoughtful article. While the brilliant conclusion that there could be advantages in abandoning the territorial principle in Orthodoxy might offer some hope to the incoherent situation in the American Church, on the other hand letting go of territoriality sacrifices regionalism for globalism. So is this a great opportunity or an execration? That would depend on whether the Patriarchs are intent on building Christ's Kingdom, or their own.

[Nov 25, 2018] Felix Keverich

Nov 25, 2018 | www.unz.com

says: November 24, 2018 at 5:38 pm GMT 100 Words @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:

step 1: Separate from Russia.

step 2:

step 3: France

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 Phanar Phantom


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.

FB , says: November 24, 2018 at 6:25 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich Thanks for confirming that you have zero credentials in any technical field yet you are somehow posing as someone qualified to talk about industry

Glad you are blocking me you little worm the Ostrich response do you cover your eyes and ears when your teacher or parent [or caregiver, since you are obviously retarded] says something that is true but which you don't want to hear ?

As for Soviet era factories churning out 'worthless crap' that would include the world's best rocket engines, decades ahead of the west's technology ?

What a worthless little shrimp

Sergey Krieger , says: November 24, 2018 at 6:46 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich Liberast opinion. People with this views destroyed the country, caused massive displacement and demographic and social catastrophes. People with your views should not be allowed to the levers of power for the distance of avangard shot. If to follow your logic USA and China must dismantle and sell as scrap metal their MIC as they both clearly cannot compete with Russian MIC. National manufacturing of everything is not about competition. It is about souverenity in everything and national capability to provide own population both with goods and means to make a living via manufacturing of everything needed. Current situation with so much of everything made in China is an abomination that hurts too much people around the globe. People with your views in Russia should be purged and preferably executed for crimes against former Soviet people.
Sergey Krieger , says: November 24, 2018 at 6:56 pm GMT
I find it strange that shamir who professes communist views is paying so much attention to this basically religious spat about power and money. Wasn't it once th as t that religion is opium for masses. It is here to keep population down so that it is easily fleeced by thieves. The only value for Russia in orthodoxy at the moment is that the country completely devote of ideology as per constitution there must be something to hold people together and give some meaning to their existence.

[Nov 22, 2018] Ukraine, where it's already snowing, isn't ready for winter

Nov 22, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Warren November 20, 2018 at 11:37 am

Vesti News
Published on 19 Nov 2018
Subscribe to Vesti News
Since Monday, we've been watching Poroshenko's panic. On the one hand, he was throwing rude tantrums because his project to create a "new Church of Ukraine" didn't go as planned. He only managed to create a branch of the Constantinople Patriarchate in Kiev, which is not the division-building thing Poroshenko dreamed of. On the other hand, Ukraine, where it's already snowing, isn't ready for winter.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/8D6e7YZf1lA

Jen November 20, 2018 at 1:35 pm
My suspicion then that Poroshenko must have intended for this new Church of Ukraine to be subservient to Kiev so that all its properties could be declared state properties and the Church's wealth could be Kiev's (and Poroshenko's) for the taking only increased when I saw this report. Interesting too that Poroshenko only now, near the end of his Presidency, is selling off the assets he should have sold off at the start of his Presidency in compliance with Ukrainian law.
Mark Chapman November 20, 2018 at 5:35 pm
Gee; who could ever have imagined such a thing would happen? Russia should handle any emerging crisis very carefully, because Kiev will want to find a way to blame all Ukraine's problems on Russia, as usual. Russia might win quite a few allies if it boxes clever.

No need to write Poroshenko's epitaph just yet; he's only sold off a ratty old shipyard that likely was not making him any money anyway. That's not a bellwether of panic; not yet. But he is almost certain to lose to Tymoshenko, and she will be a double whammy for Ukraine because she has no more idea how to solve the problem than does Poroshenko, is steadfastly loyal to the west although it has done nothing since the glorious Maidan but mess Ukraine up even more than it already was, with the added bonus that she will probably usher in a circuses-but-no-bread distraction of gunning for Poroshenko and his government, using the premise that they are to blame for Ukraine's disintegration. That's broadly true, but Tymoshenko has no plan at all for what comes after Ukrainians' fury is sated.

[Nov 22, 2018] Ukraine is actually ruled by a small group of tycoons; according to the European Council on Foreign Relations (which wants Ukraine to succeed as a western satellite, so you can bet anything negative about it will be soft-pedaled), the 50 5ichest Ukrainians pre-maidan controlled 45% of national GDP.

Nov 22, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman November 19, 2018 at 5:08 pm

"On Nov.14, just a day before the decision to cut assistance, the European Parliament overwhelmingly passed a nonbinding resolution saying Moldova has become a "state captured by oligarchic interests" that exert their influence over most parts of Moldova's society. The country is actually ruled by a small group of tycoons."

Ukraine is actually ruled by a small group of tycoons; according to the European Council on Foreign Relations (which wants Ukraine to succeed as a western satellite, so you can bet anything negative about it will be soft-pedaled), the 50 5ichest Ukrainians pre-maidan controlled 45% of national GDP.

https://www.ecfr.eu/publications/summary/survival_of_the_richest_how_oligarchs_block_reform_in_ukraine6091

Anyone want to present the case that the situation has improved since its oligarchic president took power, and used it to continuously enrich himself and his family, maintaining his status as a wealthy businessman even as he takes the odd moment out now and again to see how the country's doing? I thought not.

http://uacrisis.org/54793-top-5-ukrainian-oligarchs

Last year, after the country has had quite a generous spell to throw off the shackles of its oligarchy, the top FIVE Ukrainian oligarchs alone control 13% of the nation's GDP – Rinat Akhmetov, Ihor Kolomoyskiy, Victor Pinchuk, Petro Poroshenko and Dmytro Firtash. Waiting in the wings to take over the helm, Yulia Tymoshenko, once known as 'the Gas Princess", and another oligarch who has been rich since she was very young, whose past performance suggests Ukraine is in for another round of nest-feathering and struggle for financial gain among its wealthy citizens, with not a toss given for the rest.

Think we'll see the EU cut them off from funding any time soon? Me, either.

[Nov 16, 2018] Food scarcity and malnutrition of children under the age of 5, places the Ukraine in percentage terms lower than Pakistan, Ethiopia, Libya, Iraq

Nov 16, 2018 | thesaker.is

PeterP on November 12, 2018 , · at 9:06 pm EST/EDT

Food scarcity and malnutrition of children under the age of 5, places the Ukraine in percentage terms lower than Pakistan, Ethiopia, Libya, Iraq .the Ukraine welcomes the Cookie Monster (stats National Geographic)

[Nov 16, 2018] The Meaning Of A Multipolar World

Nov 16, 2018 | www.zerohedge.com

The Meaning Of A Multipolar World

by Tyler Durden Fri, 11/16/2018 - 00:05 4 SHARES Authored by Eric Zuesse via The Saker Blog,

Right now, we live in a monopolar world.

Here is how U.S. President Barack Obama proudly, even imperially, described it when delivering the Commencement address to America's future generals, at West Point Military Academy, on 28 May 2014 :

The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation . [Every other nation is therefore 'dispensable'; we therefore now have "Amerika, Amerika über alles, über alles in der Welt".] That has been true for the century passed and it will be true for the century to come. America must always lead on the world stage. If we don't, no one else will...

Russia's aggression toward former Soviet states unnerves capitals in Europe, while China's economic rise and military reach worries its neighbors. From Brazil to India, rising middle classes compete with us. [He was here telling these future U.S. military leaders that they are to fight for the U.S. aristocracy, to help them defeat any nation that resists.] ...

In Ukraine, Russia's recent actions recall the days when Soviet tanks rolled into Eastern Europe. But this isn't the Cold War. Our ability to shape world opinion helped isolate Russia right away. [He was proud of the U.S. Government's effectiveness at propaganda, just as Hitler was proud of the German Government's propaganda-effectiveness under Joseph Goebbels.] Because of American leadership, the world immediately condemned Russian actions; Europe and the G7 joined us to impose sanctions; NATO reinforced our commitment to Eastern European allies; the IMF is helping to stabilize Ukraine's economy; OSCE monitors brought the eyes of the world to unstable parts of Ukraine.

Actually, his - Obama's - regime, had conquered Ukraine in February 2014 by a very bloody coup , and installed a racist-fascist anti-Russian Government there next door to Russia, a stooge-regime to this day, which instituted a racial-cleansing campaign to eliminate enough pro-Russia voters so as to be able to hold onto power there. It has destroyed Ukraine and so alienated the regions of Ukraine that had voted more than 75% for the democratically elected Ukrainian President whom Obama overthrew, so that those pro-Russia regions quit Ukraine. What remains of Ukraine after the U.S. conquest is a nazi mess and a destroyed nation in hock to Western taxpayers and banks .

Furthermore, Obama insisted upon (to use Bush's term about Saddam Hussein) "regime-change" in Syria. Twice in one day the Secretary General of the U.N. asserted that only the Syrian people have any right to do that, no outside nation has any right to impose it. Obama ignored him and kept on trying. Obama actually protected Al Qaeda's Syrian affiliate against bombing by Syria's Government and by Syria's ally Russia, while the U.S. bombed Syria's army , which was trying to prevent those jihadists from overthrowing the Government. Obama bombed Libya in order to "regime-change" Muammar Gaddafi, and he bombed Syria in order to "regime-change" Bashar al-Assad; and, so, while the "U.S. Drops Bombs; EU Gets Refugees & Blame. This Is Insane." And Obama's successor Trump continues Obama's policies in this regard. And, of course, the U.S. and its ally UK invaded Iraq in 2003, likewise on the basis of lies to the effect that Iraq was the aggressor . (Even Germany called Poland the aggressor when invading Poland in 1939.)

No other nation regularly invades other nations that never had invaded it. This is international aggression. It is the international crime of "War of Aggression" ; and the only nations which do it nowadays are America and its allies, such as the Sauds, Israel, France, and UK, which often join in America's aggressions (or, in the case of the Sauds' invasion of Yemen, the ally initiates an invasion, which the U.S. then joins). America's generals are taught this aggression, and not only by Obama. Ever since at least George W. Bush, it has been solid U.S. policy. (Bush even kicked out the U.N.'s weapons-inspectors, so as to bomb Iraq in 2003.)

In other words: a mono-polar world is a world in which one nation stands above international law, and that nation's participation in an invasion immunizes also each of its allies who join in the invasion, protecting it too from prosecution, so that a mono-polar world is one in which the United Nations can't even possibly impose international law impartially, but can impose it only against nations that aren't allied with the mono-polar power, which in this case is the United States. Furthermore, because the U.S. regime reigns supreme over the entire world, as it does, any nations -- such as Russia, China, Syria, Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, and Ecuador -- that the U.S. regime (which has itself been scientifically proven to be a dictatorship ) chooses to treat as an enemy, is especially disadvantaged internationally. Russia and China, however, are among the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and therefore possess a degree of international protection that America's other chosen enemies do not. And the people who choose which nations to identify as America's 'enemies' are America's super-rich and not the entire American population, because the U.S. Government is controlled by the super-rich and not by the public .

So, that's the existing mono-polar world: it is a world that's controlled by one nation, and this one nation is, in turn, controlled by its aristocracy, its super-rich .

If one of the five permanent members of the Security Council would table at the U.N. a proposal to eliminate the immunity that the U.S. regime has, from investigation and prosecution for any future War of Aggression that it might perpetrate, then, of course, the U.S. and any of its allies on the Security Council would veto that, but if the proposing nation would then constantly call to the international public's attention that the U.S. and its allies had blocked passage of such a crucially needed "procedure to amend the UN charter" , and that this fact means that the U.S. and its allies constitute fascist regimes as was understood and applied against Germany's fascist regime, at the Nuremberg Tribunal in 1945, then possibly some members of the U.S.-led gang (the NATO portion of it, at least) would quit that gang, and the U.S. global dictatorship might end, so that there would then become a multi-polar world, in which democracy could actually thrive.

Democracy can only shrivel in a mono-polar world, because all other nations then are simply vassal nations, which accept Obama's often-repeated dictum that all other nations are "dispensable" and that only the U.S. is not. Even the UK would actually gain in freedom, and in democracy, by breaking away from the U.S., because it would no longer be under the U.S. thumb -- the thumb of the global aggressor-nation.

Only one global poll has ever been taken of the question "Which country do you think is the greatest threat to peace in the world today?" and it found that, overwhelmingly, by a three-to-one ratio above the second-most-often named country, the United States was identified as being precisely that, the top threat to world-peace . But then, a few years later, another (though less-comprehensive) poll was taken on a similar question, and it produced similar results . Apparently, despite the effectiveness of America's propagandists, people in other lands recognize quite well that today's America is a more successful and longer-reigning version of Hitler's Germany. Although modern America's propaganda-operation is far more sophisticated than Nazi Germany's was, it's not entirely successful. America's invasions are now too common, all based on lies, just like Hitler's were.

On November 9th, Russian Television headlined "'Very insulting': Trump bashes Macron's idea of European army for protection from Russia, China & US" and reported that "US President Donald Trump has unloaded on his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, calling the French president's idea of a 'real European army,' independent from Washington, an insult." On the one hand, Trump constantly criticizes France and other European nations for allegedly not paying enough for America's NATO military alliance, but he now is denigrating France for proposing to other NATO members a decreasing reliance upon NATO, and increasing reliance, instead, upon the Permanent Structured Cooperation (or PESCO) European military alliance , which was begun on 11 December 2017, and which currently has "25 EU Member States participating: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden." Those are the European nations that are now on the path to eventually quitting NATO.

Once NATO is ended, the U.S. regime will find far more difficult any invasions such as of Iraq 2003, Libya 2011, Syria 2012-, Yemen 2016-, and maybe even such as America's bloody coup that overthrew the democratically elected Government of Ukraine and installed a racist-fascist or nazi anti-Russian regime there in 2014 . All of these U.S. invasions (and coup) brought to Europe millions of refugees and enormously increased burdens upon European taxpayers. Plus, America's economic sanctions against both Russia and Iran have hurt European companies (and the U.S. does almost no business with either country, so is immune to that, also). Consequently, today's America is clearly Europe's actual main enemy. The continuation of NATO is actually toxic to the peoples of Europe. Communism and the Soviet Union and its NATO-mirroring Warsaw Pact military alliance, all ended peacefully in 1991, but the U.S. regime has secretly continued the Cold War, now against Russia , and is increasingly focusing its "regime-change" propaganda against Russia's popular democratic leader, Vladimir Putin, even though this U.S. aggression against Russia could mean a world-annihilating nuclear war.

On November 11th, RT bannered "'Good for multipolar world': Putin positive on Macron's 'European army' plan bashed by Trump (VIDEO)" , and opened:

Europe's desire to create its own army and stop relying on Washington for defense is not only understandable, but would be "positive" for the multipolar world, Vladimir Putin said days after Donald Trump ripped into it.

" Europe is a powerful economic union and it is only natural that they want to be independent and sovereign in the field of defense and security," Putin told RT in Paris where world leader gathered to mark the centenary of the end of WWI.

He also described the potential creation of a European army "a positive process," adding that it would "strengthen the multipolar world." The Russian leader even expressed his support to French President Emmanuel Macron, who recently championed this idea by saying that Russia's stance on the issue "is aligned with that of France" to some extent.

Macron recently revived the ambitious plans of creating a combined EU military force by saying that it is essential for the security of Europe. He also said that the EU must become independent from its key ally on the other side of the Atlantic, provoking an angry reaction from Washington.

Once NATO has shrunk to include only the pro-aggression and outright nazi European nations, such as Ukraine (after the U.S. gang accepts Ukraine into NATO, as it almost certainly then would do), the EU will have a degree of freedom and of democracy that it can only dream of today, and there will then be a multi-polar world, in which the leaders of the U.S. will no longer enjoy the type of immunity from investigation and possible prosecution, for their invasions, that they do today. The result of this will, however, be catastrophic for the top 100 U.S. 'defense' contractors , such as Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, and Raytheon, because then all of those firms' foreign sales except to the Sauds, Israel and a few other feudal and fascist regimes, will greatly decline. Donald Trump is doing everything he can to keep the Sauds to the agreements he reached with them back in 2017 to buy $404 billion of U.S. weaponry over the following 10 years . If, in addition, those firms lose some of their European sales, then the U.S. economic boom thus far in Trump's Presidency will be seriously endangered. So, the U.S. regime, which is run by the owners of its 'defense'-contractors , will do all it can to prevent this from happening.

* * *

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010 , and of CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity .

[Nov 06, 2018] US-British Threats Against Russia Have a Long History by T.J. Coles – Matthew Alford

Notable quotes:
"... Union Jackboot: What Your Media and Professors Don't Tell You About British Foreign Policy ..."
"... There seems to be a consensus that we need a strong military because Russia is on the rise. What do you think about that rationale? ..."
"... What about military threats? ..."
"... So we've extended NATO to pretty much the Russian border? But there's a hard border there. Everyone knows we're never going to attack Russia, both for reasons of morality and self-preservation. So maybe this situation is safer than you imply. ..."
"... Brexit White Paper ..."
"... T. J. Coles is a postdoctoral researcher at Plymouth University's Cognition Institute and the author of several books. ..."
"... Matthew Alford teaches at Bath University in the UK and has also written several books. Their latest is ..."
"... The Rise and Fall of the British Empire ..."
"... Bolshevism and Imperial Sedition ..."
"... Power without Responsibility ..."
"... Russian Roulette: A Deadly Game: How British Spies Thwarted Lenin's Global Plot ..."
"... Statement for the Record: Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community ..."
"... Vision for 2020 ..."
"... Russian Nuclear Weapons: Past, Present, and Future ..."
"... The New Atlanticist ..."
"... The United Kingdom's relations with Russia ..."
Nov 06, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

In their new book Union Jackboot: What Your Media and Professors Don't Tell You About British Foreign Policy (Até Books), doctors T.J. Coles and Matthew Alford debate the rationale of Anglo-American policy towards Russia.

Alford: There seems to be a consensus that we need a strong military because Russia is on the rise. What do you think about that rationale?

Coles: There's no consensus, except among European and American elites. Europe and America are not the world.

There are a lot of issues to consider with regards to Russia. Is it a threat? If so to whom? What kind of threat is Russia? So let's consider these questions carefully. As far as the British establishment is concerned, Russia is an ideological threat because it is a major power with a substantial population. It's also self-reliant where oil and gas is concerned, unlike Britain. So there's lots of potential for Russian political ideology to undermine Britain's status. In fact, there are European Council on Foreign Relations papers saying that Putin's Russia presents an "ideological alternative" to the EU. [i] And that's dangerous.

Britain, or more accurately its policymaking elites, have considered Russia a significant enemy for over a century. Under the Tsar, the so-called Great Game was a battle for strategic resources, trading routes, and so on. The historian Lawrence James calls this period the first Cold War, which went "hot" with the Crimean War (1853-56). [ii] Britain had a mixed relationship with the Tsars because, on the one hand, theirs' were repressive regimes and Britain tended to favour repressive regimes, hence their brief alliance with Russia's enemy, the Ottomans. On the other hand, Russia was a strategic threat to Britain's imperial interests, and thus the Crimean War (1853-56).

When the Bolsheviks took over Russia, beginning 1917, the relationship became much less ambiguous – Russians, and especially Bolsheviks, were clearly the enemy. Their ideology posed a threat internally. So Winston Churchill, who began as a Liberal and became a Conservative, considered the Labour Party, which was formed in 1900, as basically a front for Bolsheviks. [iii] That shows the level of paranoia among elites. The Labour Party, at least at the beginning, was a genuine, working man's political organisation – women couldn't vote then, remember. So by associating this progressive, grassroots party representing the working classes as an ideological ally or even puppet of the brutal Bolshevik regime, the Tories had an excuse to undermine the power of organised, working people. So you had the Zinoviev letter in 1924, which we now know was a literal conspiracy between the secret services and elements of the Tory party to fabricate a link between Labour and Moscow. And it famously cost Labour the general election, since the right-wing, privately-owned media ran with the story as though it was real. It's an early example of fake news. [iv]

That's the ideological threat that Russia has posed, historically. But where there's a threat, there's an opportunity. The British elites exploited the "threat" then and as they do today by associating organised labour with evil Bolshevism and, in doing so, alienate the lower classes from their own political interests. Suddenly, we've all got to be scared of Russia, just like in 1917. And let's not forget that Britain used chemical weapons – M-Devices, which induced vomiting – against the Bolsheviks. Chemical weapons were "the right medicine for the Bolshevist," in Churchill's words. This was in 1919, as part of the Allied invasion of Russia in support of the White Army. [v]

So if we're talking about the historical balance of forces and cause and effect, Britain not Russia initiated the use of chemical weapons against others. But this history is typically inverted to say that Russia poses a threat to the West, hence all the talk about Novichok, the Skripals, and Dawn Sturgess, the civilian who supposedly came into contact with Novichok and died in hospital a few days later.

The next question: What sort of threat is Russia? According to the US Army War College, since the collapse of the Soviet Union and since pro-US, pro-"free market" President Boris Yeltsin resigned in 1999, Russia has pursued so-called economic nationalism. And the US doesn't like this because markets suddenly get closed and taxes are raised against US corporations. [vi] That's the real threat. But you can't tell the public that: that we hate Russia because they aren't doing what we say. If you look through the military documents, you can find almost nothing about security threats against the US in terms of Russian expansion, except in the sense that "security" means operational freedom. You can find references to Russia's nuclear weapons, though, which are described as defensive, designed "to counter US forces and weapons systems." [vii] Try finding that on the BBC. I should mention that even "defensive" nukes can be launched accidentally.

The real goal with regards to Russia is maintaining US economic hegemony and the culture of open "free markets" that goes with it, while at the same time being protectionist in real life. (US protectionism didn't start under Trump, by the way.) Liberal media like the New York Times run sarcastic articles about Russian state oil and gas being a front for Putin and his cronies. And yes, that may be true. But what threat is Russia to the US if it has a corrupt government? The threat is closing its markets to the US. The US is committed to what its military calls Full Spectrum Dominance. So the world needs to be run in a US-led neoliberal order, in the words of the US military, "to protect US interests and investment." [viii] But this cannot be done if you have "economic nationalism," like China had until the "reforms" of the '70s and '80s, and still has today to some extent. Russia and China aren't military threats. The global population on the whole knows this, even though the domestic US and British media say the opposite.

Alford: What about military threats?

Coles: The best sources you can get are the US military records. Straight from the horse's mouth. The military plans for war and defence. They have contingencies for when political situations change. So they know what they're talking about. There's a massive divide between reality, as understood from the military records, and media and political rhetoric. Assessments by the US Army War College, for instance, said years ago that any moves by NATO to support a Western-backed government in Ukraine would provoke Russia into annexing Crimea. They don't talk about Russia spontaneously invading Ukraine and annexing it, which is the image we get from the media. The documents talk about Russia reacting to NATO provocation. [ix]

If you look at a map, you see Russia surrounded by hostile NATO forces. The media don't discuss this dangerous and provocative situation, except the occasional mention of, say, US-British-Polish war-gaming on the border with Russia. When they do mention it, they say it's for "containment," the containment of Russia. But to contain something, the given thing has to be expanding. But the US military – like the annual threat assessments to Congress – say that Russia's not expanding, except when provoked. So at the moment as part of its NATO mission, the UK is training Polish and Ukrainian armed forces, has deployed troops in Poland and Estonia, and is conducting military exercises with them. [x]

Imagine if Scotland ceded from the UK and the Russians were on our border conducting military exercises, supposedly to deter a British invasion of Scotland. That's what we're doing in Ukraine. Britain's moves are extremely dangerous. In the 1980s, the UK as part of NATO conducted the exercise, Operation Able Archer, which envisaged troop build-ups between NATO and the Warsaw Pact countries. Now-declassified records show that the Russians briefly mistook this exercise for a real-world scenario. That could have escalated into nuclear war. This is very serious. [xi]

But the biggest player is the USA. It's using the threat of force and a global architecture of hi-tech militarism to shape a neoliberal order. Britain is slavishly following its lead. I doubt that Britain would position forces near Russia were it not for the USA. Successive US administrations have or are building a missile system in Europe and Turkey. They say it's to deter Iran from firing Scud missiles at Europe. But it's pointed at Russia. It's a radar system based in Romania and Turkey, with a battery of Patriot missiles based in Poland. The stationing of missiles there provoked Russia into moving its mobile nuclear weapons up to the border in its Kaliningrad exclave, as it warned it would do in 2008. [xii] Try to find any coverage of that in the media, except for a few articles in the print media here or there. If Western media were interested in survival, there would be regular headlines: "NATO provoking Russia."

But the situation in Ukraine is really the tipping point. Consider the equivalent. Imagine if Russia was conducting military exercises with Canada or Mexico, and building bases there. How would the US react? It would be considered an extreme threat, a violation of the UN Charter, which prohibits threats against sovereign states.

Alford: So we've extended NATO to pretty much the Russian border? But there's a hard border there. Everyone knows we're never going to attack Russia, both for reasons of morality and self-preservation. So maybe this situation is safer than you imply.

Coles: There's no morality involved. States are abstract, amorphous entities comprised of dominant minorities and subjugated majorities who are conditioned to believe that they are relatively free and prosperous. The elites of those states act both in their self-interests – career, peer-pressure, kickbacks, and so on – and in the interests of their class, which is of course tied to international relations because their class thrives on profiting from resource exploitation. So you can't talk about morality in this context. Only individuals can behave morally. The state is made up of individuals, of course, but they're acting against the interests of the majority. As we speak, they are acting immorally – or at least amorally – but creating the geopolitical conditions that imperil each and every one of us.

As for invasion, we're not going to invade Russia. This isn't 1918. Russia has nuclear weapons and can deter an invasion. But that's not the point. Do we want to de-escalate an already tense geopolitical situation or make it worse to the point where an accident happens? So while it's not about invading Russia directly, the issue is about attacking what are called Russia's "national interests." Russia's "national interests" are the same as the elites' of the UK. National interest doesn't mean the interests of the public. It means the interests of the policymaking establishment and the corporations. For example, the Theresa May government sacrificed its own credibility to ensure that its Brexit White Paper (2018) appeased both the interests of the food and manufacturing industries that want a soft Brexit – easy trade with the EU – and the financial services sector which wants a hard Brexit – freedom from EU regulation. Everyone else be damned. That's the "national interest."

So for its real "national interest," Russia wants to keep Ukraine in its sphere of influence because its oil and gas to Europe pass through Ukraine. About 80% of Russia's export economy is in the oil and gas sector. It's already had serious political tensions with Ukraine, which on several occasions hasn't paid its energy bills, so Russia has cut supplies. If Europe can bump Ukraine into its own sphere of influence it has more leverage over Russia. This is practically admitted in Parliamentary discussions by Foreign Office ministers, and so forth. [xiii] Again, omitted by the media. Also, remember that plenty of ethnic Russians live in eastern Ukraine. In addition, Russia has a naval base in Crimea. That's not to excuse its illegal action in annexing Ukraine, it's to highlight the realpolitik missing in the media's coverage of the situation.

T. J. Coles is a postdoctoral researcher at Plymouth University's Cognition Institute and the author of several books.

Matthew Alford teaches at Bath University in the UK and has also written several books. Their latest is Union Jackboot (Até Books).

SOURCES

[i] Mark Leonard and Nicu Popescu (2007) 'A Power Audit of EU-Russia Relations' European Council on Foreign Relations, Policy Paper, p. 1 http://www.ecfr.eu/page/-/ECFR-02_A_POWER_AUDIT_OF_EU-RUSSIA_RELATIONS.pdf .

[ii] 'Anglo-Russian relations were severely strained; what was in effect a cold war lasted from the late 1820s to the beginning of the next century'. The Crimean War seems to have set a precedent for today. James writes:

[It] was an imperial war, the only one fought by Britain against a European power during the nineteenth century, although some would have regarded Russia as essentially an Asiatic power. No territory was at stake; the war was undertaken solely to guarantee British naval supremacy in the Mediterranean and, indirectly, to forestall any threat to India which might have followed Russia replacing Britain as the dominant power in the Middle East.

Lawrence James (1997) The Rise and Fall of the British Empire London: Abacus, pp. 180-82.

[iii] Churchill said in 1920:

All these strikes and rumours of strikes and threats of strikes and loss and suffering caused by them; all this talk of revolution and "direct action" have deeply offended most of the British people. There is a growing feeling that a considerable section of organized Labour is trying to tyrannize over the whole public and to bully them into submission, not by argument, not by recognized political measures, but by brute force

But if we can do little for Russia [under the Bolsheviks], we can do much for Britain. We do not want any of these experiments here

Whether it is the Irish murder gang or the Egyptian vengeance society, or the seditious extremists in India, or the arch-traitors we have at home, they will feel the weight of the British arm.

Winston Churchill (1920) Bolshevism and Imperial Sedition . Speech to United Wards Club. London: The International Churchill Society https://winstonchurchill.org/resources/speeches/1915-1929-nadir-and-recovery/bolshevism-and-imperial-sedition/ .

[iv] The fake letter says:

A settlement of relations between the two countries [UK and Russia] will assist in the revolutionising of the international and British proletariat, [and] make it possible for us to extend and develop the propaganda and ideas of Leninism in England and the colonies.

It also says that 'British workmen' have 'inclinations to compromise' and that rapprochement will eventually lead to domestic '[a]rmed warfare'. It was leaked by the services to the Conservative party and then to the media. Richard Norton-Taylor (1999) 'Zinoviev letter was dirty trick by MI6' Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/politics/1999/feb/04/uk.politicalnews6 and Louise Jury (1999) 'Official Zinoviev letter was forged' Independent http://www.independent.co.uk/news/official-zinoviev-letter-was-forged-1068600.html . For media coverage at the time, see James Curran and Jean Seaton (1997) Power without Responsibility London: Routledge, p. 52.

[v] Paul F. Walker (2017) 'A Century of Chemical Warfare: Building a World Free of Chemical Weapons' Conference: One Hundred Years of Chemical Warfare: Research, Deployment, Consequences pp. 379-400 and Giles Milton (2013) Russian Roulette: A Deadly Game: How British Spies Thwarted Lenin's Global Plot London: Hodder, eBook.

[vi] 'The Russian Federation has shown repeatedly that common values play almost no role in its consideration of its trading partners', meaning the US and EU. 'It often builds relationships with countries that most openly thwart Western values of free markets and democracy', notably Iran and Venezuela. 'In this regard, the Russian Federation behaves like "Russia Incorporated." It uses its re-nationalized industries to further its wealth and influence, the latter often at the expense of the EU and the U.S.'. Colonel Richard J. Anderson (2008) 'A History of President Putin's Campaign to Re-Nationalize Industry and the Implications for Russian Reform and Foreign Policy' Senior Service College, US Army War College, Pennsylvania: Carlisle Barracks, p. 52.

[vii] Daniel R. Coats (2017) Statement for the Record: Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Washington, DC: Office of the Director of

National Intelligence, pp. 18-19 https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/Newsroom/Testimonies/SSCI%20Unclassified%20SFR%20-%20Final.pdf .

[viii] US Space Command (1997) Vision for 2020 Colorado: Peterson Air Force Base https://ia802705.us.archive.org/10/items/pdfy-j6U3MFw1cGmC-yob/U.S.%20Space%20Command%20Vision%20For%202020.pdf .

[ix] The document also says: 'a replay of the West-sponsored coup against pro-Russian elites could result in a split, or indeed multiple splits, of the failed Ukraine, which would open a door for NATO intervention'.Pavel K. Baev (2011) 'Russia's security relations with the United States: Futures planned and unplanned' in Stephen J. Blank (ed.) Russian Nuclear Weapons: Past, Present, and Future Strategic Studies Institute Pennsylvania: Carlisle Barracks, p. 170, www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pdffiles/PUB1087.pdf.

[x] Forces Network (2016) 'British troops to deploy to Poland' https://www.forces.net/news/tri-service/british-troops-deploy-poland .

[xi] For example, Nate Jones, Thomas Blanton and Christian F. Ostermann (2016) 'Able Archer 83: The Secret History' Nuclear Proliferation International History Project Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars https://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/able-archer-83-the-secret-history .

[xii] It was reported in the ultra-right, neo-con press at the time that:

[Russian] President Dmitri Medvedev announced in his first state-of-the-nation address plans to deploy the short-range SS-26 ("Iskander") missiles in the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad if the U.S. goes ahead with its European Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS). Medvedev told parliament that the deployment would "neutralize" U.S. plans for a missile defense shield based in Poland and the Czech Republic [now in Romania), which the U.S. claims as vital in defending against missile attacks from 'rogue states' such as Iran.

Neil Leslie (2008) 'The Kaliningrad Missile Crisis' The New Atlanticist , available at http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/the-kaliningrad-missile-crisis.

[xiii] For example, a Parliamentary inquiry into British-Russian relations says of the newly-imposed US-British ally in Ukraine:

President Poroshenko's Government is more openly committed to economic reform and anti-corruption than any previous Ukrainian Administration. The reform agenda has made considerable progress and has enjoyed some successes including police reform, liberalisation of the energy market and the launch of an online platform for government procurement

The annexation of Crimea also resulted in a ban on importing products from Crimea, on investing in or providing services linked to tourism and on exporting certain goods for use in the transport, telecoms and energy sectors.

House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee (2017) The United Kingdom's relations with Russia Seventh report of session 2016-17, HC 120 London: Stationary Office, pp. 28, 31 https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmselect/cmfaff/120/120.pdf

[Nov 01, 2018] Ukraine s depopulation crisis by Jason Melanovski

This is the net result of neoliberalism enforced debt slavery for the country. And there is no chances for Ukrainians to climb back from this debt hole.
Notable quotes:
"... Ukraine's SSS has acknowledged that so far this year, the population has already decreased by 122,000. ..."
"... While the country's low birth rate of approximately 1 birth for 1.5 deaths is a contributing factor to the country's depopulation, emigration is by far the biggest factor. ..."
"... Between 2002 and 2017, an estimated 6.3 million Ukrainians emigrated with no plans to return. ..."
"... Through 2015 and 2017, as a result of the ongoing war in the Donbass region and the plunging value of the Ukrainian hryvnia, migration increased notably: 507,000 people went to Poland; 147,000 to Italy; 122,000 to the Czech Republic; 23,000 to the United States; and 365,000 to Russia or Belarus. ..."
"... The easing of visa-free travel by the European Union (EU) in September 2017 only increased the flow of Ukrainians to countries such as Poland, which is facing its own demographic crisis and in need of workers. In 2018 alone, more than 3 million Ukrainians applied for passports that would allow them to work in Poland. Poland is the only EU country that allows Ukrainians to obtain seasonal work visas with just a passport. Ukrainians have received 81.7% of all work visas issued in Poland this year. ..."
"... Between 1 and 2 million Ukrainian workers now reside in Poland, where they are often forced to take jobs "under the table," are easily exploited by employers, and work in dangerous conditions. Many Ukrainian laborers are recruited to Poland by scam offers of employment, only to then find themselves stranded and forced to work for whatever wage they can get. ..."
"... While Russia is constantly demonized in the Ukrainian and Western press as the eternal enemy of Ukraine, 2 million Ukrainian citizens now live or work in Russia. According to Olga Kirilova, between 2014 and 2017, 312,000 Ukrainians were granted Russian citizenship and Ukrainians make up the vast majority of immigrants to Russia. ..."
"... The migration of Ukrainian workers abroad has reached such a level that remittances from migrants now constitute 3 to 4 percent of the country's GDP. They exceed the amount of foreign investment in Ukraine. Nonetheless, such transfers are not nearly enough to make up for the negative impact of the currency's falling value, inflation, and the disappearance of skilled workers. ..."
"... The Ukrainian ruling class acknowledges that the country is in serious trouble. "One of the main risks of the current scenario is the continuation of the outflow of labor from Ukraine, which will create a further increase in the imbalance between demand and supply in the labor market," noted a report from the country's national bank. ..."
"... The Corrupt, extreme right wing government of Poroshenko, that has driven large proportions of the Ukrainian population into poverty and despair has only been able to take power and remain I office thanks to US imperialism and Angela Merkel's scheming and regime change program. ..."
"... Popular support for the "maidan" in the Ukraine was based on misleading and dishonest claims by pro EU and Pro US opportunistic political operators that such "regime change" would lead to total integration with Europe and open borders.... ..."
"... One of the most horrific consequences of the dismantling of the Soviet Union was the explosion of sex trafficking and very large numbers of Ukrainian women were caught up in this horrific exploitation and continue to be. ..."
"... Oh the benefits of US installed dictatorships. ..."
"... "Welcome to Europe, Ukraine. Here are your rubber gloves and toilet cleaning brush. Oh, you're a young woman? The red light district is three blocks that way". ..."
"... In Baltic states after being "freed from communism and Soviet occupation" the population decline is also very prominent, the same reasons as in Ukraine too. ..."
Nov 01, 2018 | www.wsws.org

As fascist far-right nationalist groups regularly parade through the country demanding "Ukraine for Ukrainians," Ukraine faces a massive depopulation crisis. Millions of people of all ethnicities are leaving the country, fleeing poverty and war.

Since the restoration of capitalism in 1991, the overall population of Ukraine has declined from just over 52 million to approximately 42 million today, a decrease of nearly 20 percent. If the separatist-controlled provinces of the Donbass region and Crimea are excluded, it is estimated that just 35 million people now live in the area controlled by the government of Petro Porosehnko.

Ukrainian governments, including the current one, have been loath to carry out an official census, as it is widely believed that the population estimates reported by the country's State Statistics Service (SSS) are inflated by including deceased individuals. One aim of this is to rig elections. An official country-wide census has not been held since 2001. In late 2015, the Poroshenko government postponed the 2016 census until 2020.

Despite the lack of reliable official numbers, all independent reports point to a sharp reduction in the population. According to Ukraine's Institute of Demography at the Academy of Sciences, by 2050 only 32 million people will live in the country. The World Health Organization has estimated that the population of the country will drop even further, to just 30 million people.

Ukraine's SSS has acknowledged that so far this year, the population has already decreased by 122,000.

Such data are a testament to the monumental failure of capitalism to provide a standard of living that matches, much less exceeds, that which existed during the Soviet period over 25 years ago.

While the country's low birth rate of approximately 1 birth for 1.5 deaths is a contributing factor to the country's depopulation, emigration is by far the biggest factor.

Between 2002 and 2017, an estimated 6.3 million Ukrainians emigrated with no plans to return.

Facing poor employment prospects, deteriorating social and medical services, marauding far-right gangs, and the ever-present prospect of a full-scale war with Russia, Ukrainian workers are fleeing the country in great numbers, either permanently or as temporary labor migrants.

According to a report from the Center for Economic Strategy (CES), almost 4 million people, or up to 16% of the working-age population, are labor migrants. Despite having Ukrainian citizenship and still technically living in Ukraine, they actually reside and work elsewhere. Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has put the number of Ukrainian migrant workers even higher, at 5 million.

Through 2015 and 2017, as a result of the ongoing war in the Donbass region and the plunging value of the Ukrainian hryvnia, migration increased notably: 507,000 people went to Poland; 147,000 to Italy; 122,000 to the Czech Republic; 23,000 to the United States; and 365,000 to Russia or Belarus.

The easing of visa-free travel by the European Union (EU) in September 2017 only increased the flow of Ukrainians to countries such as Poland, which is facing its own demographic crisis and in need of workers. In 2018 alone, more than 3 million Ukrainians applied for passports that would allow them to work in Poland. Poland is the only EU country that allows Ukrainians to obtain seasonal work visas with just a passport. Ukrainians have received 81.7% of all work visas issued in Poland this year.

Between 1 and 2 million Ukrainian workers now reside in Poland, where they are often forced to take jobs "under the table," are easily exploited by employers, and work in dangerous conditions. Many Ukrainian laborers are recruited to Poland by scam offers of employment, only to then find themselves stranded and forced to work for whatever wage they can get.

While migrant workers in Poland are constantly subjected to anti-immigrant rhetoric from the right-wing PiS government in Warsaw, the Polish state classifies Ukrainian laborers as "refugees" in order to comply with EU quotas and reject refugees from Syria and elsewhere.

According to polls of Ukrainian migrants in Poland, over half are planning to move to Germany if the labor market there is ever open to them.

While Russia is constantly demonized in the Ukrainian and Western press as the eternal enemy of Ukraine, 2 million Ukrainian citizens now live or work in Russia. According to Olga Kirilova, between 2014 and 2017, 312,000 Ukrainians were granted Russian citizenship and Ukrainians make up the vast majority of immigrants to Russia.

The dearth of a working-age population in Ukraine is putting further strain on an already struggling pension system. According to Ukraine's SSS, as a result of widespread labor migration, only 17.8 million out of 42 million Ukrainians are economically active and paying into the pension system.

The migration of Ukrainian workers abroad has reached such a level that remittances from migrants now constitute 3 to 4 percent of the country's GDP. They exceed the amount of foreign investment in Ukraine. Nonetheless, such transfers are not nearly enough to make up for the negative impact of the currency's falling value, inflation, and the disappearance of skilled workers.

The Ukrainian ruling class acknowledges that the country is in serious trouble. "One of the main risks of the current scenario is the continuation of the outflow of labor from Ukraine, which will create a further increase in the imbalance between demand and supply in the labor market," noted a report from the country's national bank.

However, the government can do nothing to slow the mass emigration, as it is thoroughly under the control of international finance capital and committed to implementing the austerity programs demanded by Western states and banks.

Despite assurances from the Poroshenko regime that the economy will improve, the emigration and emptying of the country shows no signs of slowing.


John Upton • 5 hours ago

The Corrupt, extreme right wing government of Poroshenko, that has driven large proportions of the Ukrainian population into poverty and despair has only been able to take power and remain I office thanks to US imperialism and Angela Merkel's scheming and regime change program.

Without the working class intervening the only ones remaining in Ukraine will be those unable to leave and those that have their noses in the trough.

Kalen7 hours ago
Another excellent report of decaying of artificial entity of Ukraine (and capitalism specializes in collapsing societies) that never even existed before 1992 in European history and was resurrected ( from brief self declared by Bandera racist state status in 1941) and funded by Germany, Canada and US only to nurture their Fascist and actual Nazi traditions starting from Doncov to Bandera terror of hundreds of thousands dead 1941-1948 of OUN-B, UPA and Ukrainian SS, all against Russia, as Ukrainian "Country" was and is used as a Trojan horse to push Putin to submit to the west even more than he does now.

Pain and suffering of Ukrainian people is enormous as only 5% of population of Ukrainian Nazi thugs terrorist nation like like Hitler street thugs in 1932-1934. It is tragedy that capitalism instigated, exasperated and augmented and should be a lesson for the left what nationalism does, divides working class that was rendered powerless in Ukraine as Ukrainian industry tied to Russia collapsed and forces massive migration and de-cohesion of communities, divisions of working class and eradication of any real leftist leadership via murder, intimidation and exile.

Just a note. All that anti Russia hoopla after 2014 and ensuing NATO belligerence and warmongering and sanctions all were focused on so called annexation of Crimea to Russia which was nothing but reunification of land under control of Russia since 1754.

I was shocked watching an episode of Columbo, crime series in 1970s when one of characters proudly referred to California joining in US 1845 as annexation from Mexico, with no shame or condemnation like hinting that it was international aggression of US as Alta California was never part of US before that.

Well, it was before 1984 and Orwellian newspeak.

Note that Crimea remained autonomous region, not a part of Russia but part of Russian Federation.

solerso8 hours ago
Popular support for the "maidan" in the Ukraine was based on misleading and dishonest claims by pro EU and Pro US opportunistic political operators that such "regime change" would lead to total integration with Europe and open borders.... That would have allowed (so the misconception went) Ukrainians to flee the country much more openly with less red tape and hassle at the borders. So, far from being politically or ideologically supportive of Europe or the US or opportunist/nationalist Ukrainian politicians, the vast majority of Ukrainians only wanted to be allowed to flee, as they experience it, a social shipwreck
Charles8 hours ago
One of the most horrific consequences of the dismantling of the Soviet Union was the explosion of sex trafficking and very large numbers of Ukrainian women were caught up in this horrific exploitation and continue to be.
John Upton • 9 hours ago
Victoria Newland and Geoffrey Pyatt, both US officials, were recorded at the time of the right wing and fascist led coup that overthrew Russian backed Yanakovic, boasting that Washington had poured $5 billion into Ukraine ensuring that their man, an ex World Bank executive, was elected.

Since then the most rabid anti working class/ anti Russian governments have ruled the roost. Only those unable to flee this hell- hole and those whose snout is in the trough will soon be left there. Oh the benefits of US installed dictatorships.

Warren Duzak13 hours ago
In addition to emigration, Ukraine's decreasing population is a result of a higher infant mortality rate than surrounding countries. High infant mortality rates always indicate economic and social stress.
According to The World Bank 2017 figures for infant mortality in that region, the rate per 1,000 births in Ukraine is 7.5 compared to the following rates in surrounding countries:
Poland - 4.0
Romania - 6.6
Russia - 6.5
Belarus - 2.8
Hungary -3.8
Slovak Republic - 4.6
Only poor Moldova is higher at 13.3
Terry Lawrence15 hours ago
Kinda shot themselves in the foot with their "Revolution of Dignity" fascist coup. "Welcome to Europe, Ukraine. Here are your rubber gloves and toilet cleaning brush. Oh, you're a young woman? The red light district is three blocks that way".

Life in Crimea must be looking pretty good to them now.

Richard Mod • 16 hours ago
including the deceased in the population statistics brings to mind Gogol's "Dead Souls"!
erika16 hours ago
This is an important update on developments in the Ukraine.
Raycomeau17 hours ago
The puppet of the USA, Poroshenko , needs to go, and the USA should get the hell out of the Ukraine plus NATO has no business being on the borders of Russia. This is all the fault of the USA, And, the current immigration problem world wide is because the USA bombs countries eviscerating them yet the USA refuses to admit refugees which are fleeing from the USA wars.
Terry Lawrence Raycomeau5 hours ago
NATO has no business even existing, Ray.
manchegauche18 hours ago
Very illuminating article - great topic to choose. NIce one
лидия19 hours ago
In Baltic states after being "freed from communism and Soviet occupation" the population decline is also very prominent, the same reasons as in Ukraine too.
Human6 лидия5 hours ago
These same right-wing, fascist Ukrainian Banderovitzes love to yell and scream about the bogus "Holodomor" hoax (which has been debunked by serious scholars such as Pers Anders Rudling, and others, as well as Thottle). They falsely claim that the USSR tried to "depopulate" Ukrainians, when they are the ones who have depopulated Ukraine.

They are such shameless, low down, dirty liars.

[Nov 01, 2018] Trade between Russia and Ukraine hit a low of $10.26 Billion in 2016, but struggled back up to $12.9 Billion last year. Pre Maidan it was more than $50 Billion annually.

Nov 01, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman November 1, 2018 at 11:48 am

Speaking of Ukraine, the Russian sanctions against Ukraine have been announced. Predictably, Poroshenko considers them to be 'an award', or so he says. I don't know why he feels qualified to speak for those so honoured, since he was not on the list.

https://mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKCN1N6564

Trade between Russia and Ukraine hit a low of $10.26 Billion in 2016, but struggled back up to $12.9 Billion last year. Mind you, pre-glorious-Maidan it was more than $50 Billion annually. Never mind; I'm sure Yurrup will pick up the slack, just like it did after the glorious Maidan. Amazingly, the New York Times is still referring to Poroshenko as a 'chocolate tycoon', in the same sentence in which it calls Viktor Pinchuk an oligarch.

[Oct 25, 2018] Entrepreneurs of political violence: the varied interests and strategies of the far-right in Ukraine

Oct 25, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

UKRAINE. " Entrepreneurs of political violence: the varied interests and strategies of the far-right in Ukraine" In Open Democracy no less.

Bit by bit the word is seeping out. IMF rates Ukraine the poorest country in Europe .

This piece gives a summary of its problems with Hungary, Poland and Belarus .

[Oct 20, 2018] According to Global Wealth Report by the personal wealth of the population Ukraine is in the 123rd place (out of 140 countries ranked).

Oct 20, 2018 | www.unz.com

AP says: October 18, 2018 at 9:58 pm GMT 100 Words @Gerard2

This months gas tariff for "Ukrainians" increases by 24%!!

The context is that Ukrainian consumers have the lowest gas rate in Europe. Moldovan households pay more for gas than do Ukrainian ones. Even with a 24% price increase Ukraine will still have the cheapest gas in Europe for its consumers:

https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Natural_gas_price_statistics

AP says: October 19, 2018 at 12:46 am GMT @Gerard2

The price increase will go past 40% in May

Which will make gas prices for Ukrainian consumers more or less tied with those in Moldova as the cheapest in Europe.

For whatever reason IMF wanted Ukrainian consumers not be subsidized as much as they have been.

AnonFromTN , says: October 19, 2018 at 2:51 pm GMT

@Anon According to Global Wealth Report ( https://www.credit-suisse.com/corporate/en/articles/news-and-expertise/global-wealth-report-2018-us-and-china-in-the-lead-201810.html ), by the personal wealth of the population Ukraine is in the 123rd place (out of 140 countries ranked).
By this measure Ukraine is behind Nepal, Cameroon, Kenia, Bangladesh, and Lesotho, just ahead of Zambia. But there are 135 people in Ukraine with personal wealth greater than $50 million.

A huge line for free food at the charity kitchen in Kiev can be seen here: http://rusvesna.su/news/1539952343 (those who read Russian can find details in the accompanying news item).

I guess all of this is a great achievement of Maidan. Ukies, please comment.

[Oct 19, 2018] This is about spreading our liberal values" (translation: the American people don't need to be informed about the region are changes are non-negotiable).

Oct 19, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Kadath , Oct 18, 2018 5:49:18 PM | link

just watched the Atlantic council's Championing the Frontlines of Freedom: Erasing the "Grey Zone", only interesting thing to come out of the conference was Kurt Volker's (US Special Representative for Ukraine) comments;

  1. Escalating sanctions vs Russia every 1-2 months there will be new & expanded sanctions on Russia.
  2. Stable borders should not be a requirement to be a part of NATO, "Occupied" states can be taken into NATO and receive support from NATO to liberate themselves (he stressed that the US would not be escalate the conflict, but how the hell could anyone guarantee that).
  3. Opposition to Russia is now bipartisan, regardless of the Nov elections, US Senate & Congress are unified against Russia
  4. when asked how "We" (the Atlantic council) can make political elites care about Baltic states (plus Ukraine/Georgia), WITHOUT knowing the historical and political details of these states he, unsurprisingly answered "this is about spreading our liberal values" (translation: the American people don't need to be informed about the region are changes are non-negotiable). the long and the short of the 3 hour conference was the new cold war vs Russia will continue indefinitely, I would say this is the start of another generation conflict that will last 10-20 years at least

Mark2 , Oct 18, 2018 5:55:03 PM | link

Ok i'l stick my neck out !
It's over for America ! That's my assessment their day is d d d done ! Am basing my view on the worldwide picture politically, the mind set of the general public I talk to, the many sites I visit on the net left and right. Plus overall wisdom and overstanding (a Rasta thing) Empires fall, this one has more than had its day. If it was a buseness what does it produce ? And at what cost? It just robs other peoples hard earned resources and assets! For all it's wealth it treats it's own public like dirt milking them dry. It's intelligent public it curupt's. Nature abbor's greed, and wil correct that imbalance.

I think Putin understands this, and understands as I do 'desperate people do desperate things' hence his speech.
Censoring the truth on a massive network like the internet is truly impossible and plainly desperate !!!

[Sep 16, 2018] US goal was to take Ukraine into the future that it deserves. Now with grivna devaluation of over 300% we see what they meant

Notable quotes
... "What we have is a desperate corporate media, dutifully parroting the nonsense from the US State Department, and investing virtually nothing in on-the-ground investigative reporting. But real evidence? We are in very, VERY short supply of that."
... From article: He [Clegg] also argued that the country should lose the right to host the 2018 World Cup after Russian troops allegedly downed the civilian airliner Flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine last July. Well, there's evidence in itself. Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat. (The burden of proof is on he who declares, not on he who denies). He wants to punish before the publication o the report. It's like a mediaeval witch-hunt. The law of the jungle seems to be Clegg's guiding principle. No surprise he's been banned.
..."I can only assume it is as badge of honour if you buy into all the dimwitted propaganda being published by the western corporate media -- who seem to have a daily axe to grind against the Russian state, but who say nothing about the warmongering actions of the US. I imagine I would have the same opinion of you if I was to uncritically swallow such toxic rubbish."
..."The only way to effectively block people from other regions (blanket censor them, in other words) would be to positively identify the source. All that you would likely achieve is blocking actual individual commentators and letting through the government astroturfers.
Why you would want to resort to such tactics is worth asking. The 'Western side' may be losing the propaganda war with Russia because our lies are bigger and harder to sell -- rather than Pooty-poot being cleverer. Repeated debunked claims in our media are also going to be far more damaging than anything similar in Russia. The problem doesn't lie with those you are asserting to be 'trolls' that are disputing the reporting -- the problem lies with the reporting.
Notable quotes:
"... But it's very suspect when you say things like "Putin's created a criminal war in East Ukraine" when it was Kiev which started the violence in reaction to the Russian Ukrainians voting for Federalization in response to the coup in Kiev. It means that everything else you write has to be treated as suspect. ..."
"... alpamysh ... you've merely regurgitated the standard NeoCon list of justifications for why a democratically-elected leader needed to be overthrown ..."
"... The article isn't worth the headline really. The new cold war is on and obviously they'll be barring each other. ..."
"... On the other hand the EU has also put an entry ban on leading Russian politicians, among which are the chairman of the Federation council, politicians from the state Duma and also close advisors to the Russian president Vladimir Putin. It is not anticipated that either side will lift the entry bans in the near future. (Excerpt and rough translation from German) ..."
"... "In December, Nuland reminded Ukrainian business leaders that, to help Ukraine achieve "its European aspirations, we have invested more than $5 billion." She said the U.S. goal was to take "Ukraine into the future that it deserves," by which she meant into the West's orbit and away from Russia's. ..."
"... But President Yanukovych rejected a European Union plan that would have imposed harsh austerity on the already impoverished Ukraine. He accepted a more generous $15 billion loan from Russia, which also has propped up Ukraine's economy with discounted natural gas. Yanukovych's decision sparked anti-Russian street protests in Kiev, located in the country's western and more pro-European region. ..."
"... By late January, Nuland was discussing with U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt who should be allowed in the new government. ..."
"... "Yats is the guy," Nuland said in a phone call to Pyatt that was intercepted and posted online. "He's got the economic experience, the governing experience. He's the guy you know." By "Yats," Nuland was referring to Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who had served as head of the central bank, foreign minister and economic minister - and who was committed to harsh austerity. ..."
"... Well, there's evidence in itself. Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat. (The burden of proof is on he who declares, not on he who denies). He wants to punish before the publication o the report. It's like a mediaeval witch-hunt. The law of the jungle seems to be Clegg's guiding principle. No surprise he's been banned. ..."
"... "Putin wants sanctions" ... what a bunch of silly conjecture. As for "Putin style rule" and "Tzar" .. you presumably know that Russia held democratic elections which Putin won. ..."
"... let me guess, The list probably contains politicians whose real loyalty maybe is with the US? Judge from the 2 names mentioned, Malcolm Riffkind is Co-Vice Chair of the Global Panel Foundation – America – with Dr. Dov S. Zakheim, the former U.S Under-Secretary of Defense and Comptroller of the Armed Forces. ..."
"... your constant anti-Russia/Putin comments mark you as a shill/troll ..."
"... What we have is a desperate corporate media, dutifully parroting the nonsense from the US State Department, and investing virtually nothing in on-the-ground investigative reporting. But real evidence? We are in very, VERY short supply of that. ..."
"... I can only assume it is as badge of honour if you buy into all the dimwitted propaganda being published by the western corporate media - ..."
"... We're the global overlords, and so second-rate nations aren't allowed to reciprocate our petulant actions. When they do so it causes some people to question the assumed status of the 'Western' hegemony (and our claimed system of morally superior 'values'). We can't allow that sort of thing, Popeyes. ..."
"... The Guardian has a clear pro-EU/USA position on the new cold war against Russia. ..."
"... The 'Western side' may be losing the propaganda war with Russia because our lies are bigger and harder to sell -- rather than Pooty-poot being cleverer. ..."
"... The problem doesn't lie with those you are asserting to be 'trolls' that are disputing the reporting -- the problem lies with the reporting. ..."
May 31, 2015 | The Guardian

JordanFromLondon -> Havingalavrov 31 May 2015 12:26

"Look at the Moscow apartment bombings"... look at any number of CIA false flag operations. As for "most of the national T.V is Putin press." ... Murdoch has a controlling interest in printed press and a large share of TV news in Australia and the UK. Maybe you are one of the CIA-employed agitators against Russia, or maybe you have a chip on your shoulder about a failed relationship with a Russia bride. I can't be sure from your comments.

But it's very suspect when you say things like "Putin's created a criminal war in East Ukraine" when it was Kiev which started the violence in reaction to the Russian Ukrainians voting for Federalization in response to the coup in Kiev. It means that everything else you write has to be treated as suspect.

Huo Fu Yan 31 May 2015 12:24

I don't see a big issue with that list. If some people from that list travel anywhere, it will be considered wasting tax payer money anyways. They aren't even embraced by a majority in their own countries, some of them belonging to totally irrelevant weird initiative, shouting and crying about this and that.

For others on that list, being linked to military organisations, the should be banned naturally. As for vacation, I don't think Russia was on those guys list either

JordanFromLondon -> alpamysh 31 May 2015 12:14

alpamysh ... you've merely regurgitated the standard NeoCon list of justifications for why a democratically-elected leader needed to be overthrown (e.g. Egypt's Morsi). If we take your "Hitler was elected" argument, we can apply that one to any election outcome. If you won your high school "class monitor" election ... we'll Hitler won an election too. It's nothing more than a lazy smear by association. If we take your "rigs the right of the opposition" argument, well there goes Israel's claims to democracy. They arrest/ban viable Arab opposition figures to prevent them standing in elections. Also, we have to eliminate Ukraine, who have assassinated about 12 of Yanukovich's inner circle since the coup.

uzzername 31 May 2015 12:09

The article isn't worth the headline really. The new cold war is on and obviously they'll be barring each other.

Russia, along with the rest of BRICS is an emerging economy. While in the developed economies big corporations scramble for every penny they rip off off the consumers, the BRICS are a goldmine for adventurous capitalists as you can score quite a bit of dope in one scoop if you invest enough in it.

That's why some of them suits on the list are pissed off. Obvs not because their summer holiday in Siberia has gone into smithereens.

umweltAT2100 31 May 2015 12:04

According to a report in ARD (German state media) the entry ban is a reaction / retaliation in response to the entry ban imposed on Russians in connection with the Crimea annexation. Approximately 200 people are on the Russian black list. The largest number are from the USA, with the Republican John McCain declared "persona non grata", followed by Canadian politicians.

On the other hand the EU has also put an entry ban on leading Russian politicians, among which are the chairman of the Federation council, politicians from the state Duma and also close advisors to the Russian president Vladimir Putin. It is not anticipated that either side will lift the entry bans in the near future. (Excerpt and rough translation from German)

Russian entry ban for dozens of politicians – Moscow's black list is out. (Hermann Krause, ARD Radio studio, Moscow, 30.05.2015)

Russische Einreiseverbote für Dutzende Politiker Moskaus "schwarze Liste" ist raus. Von Hermann Krause, ARD-Hörfunkstudio Moskau, 30.05.2015

http://www.tagesschau.de/ausland/russland-einreiseverbot-103.html

Danish5666 -> dralion 31 May 2015 12:03

Victoria Nuland and the neocons to be more precise,

"In December, Nuland reminded Ukrainian business leaders that, to help Ukraine achieve "its European aspirations, we have invested more than $5 billion." She said the U.S. goal was to take "Ukraine into the future that it deserves," by which she meant into the West's orbit and away from Russia's.

But President Yanukovych rejected a European Union plan that would have imposed harsh austerity on the already impoverished Ukraine. He accepted a more generous $15 billion loan from Russia, which also has propped up Ukraine's economy with discounted natural gas. Yanukovych's decision sparked anti-Russian street protests in Kiev, located in the country's western and more pro-European region.

Nuland was soon at work planning for "regime change," encouraging disruptive street protests by personally passing out cookies to the anti-government demonstrators. She didn't seem to notice or mind that the protesters in Kiev's Maidan square had hoisted a large banner honoring Stepan Bandera, a Ukrainian nationalist who collaborated with the German Nazis during World War II and whose militias participated in atrocities against Jews and Poles.

By late January, Nuland was discussing with U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt who should be allowed in the new government.

"Yats is the guy," Nuland said in a phone call to Pyatt that was intercepted and posted online. "He's got the economic experience, the governing experience. He's the guy you know." By "Yats," Nuland was referring to Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who had served as head of the central bank, foreign minister and economic minister - and who was committed to harsh austerity.

As Assistant Secretary Nuland and Sen. McCain cheered the demonstrators on, the street protests turned violent. Police clashed with neo-Nazi bands, the ideological descendants of Bandera's anti-Russian Ukrainians who collaborated with the Nazi SS during World War II.

With the crisis escalating and scores of people killed in the street fighting, Yanukovych agreed to a E.U.-brokered deal that called for moving up scheduled elections and having the police stand down. The neo-Nazi storm troopers then seized the opening to occupy government buildings and force Yanukovych and many of his aides to flee for their lives."
https://consortiumnews.com/2014/03/02/what-neocons-want-from-ukraine-crisis/

JordanFromLondon -> alpamysh 31 May 2015 11:53

What proof do you have that the Russian elections were phony ? The results were in line with independent opinion polls. Which referendums was phony ? The first Iraqi election after Sadam was toppled was certainly phony. The US military whisked away the ballot boxes for a week after voting was completed before announcing that the Shia (60% of Iraqis) had failed to get a majority (despite the 20% Bathist Sunni boycotting the election so only the 20% Kurds voted against the 60% Shia).

geedeesee -> SnarkyGrumpkin 31 May 2015 11:50

From article: He [Clegg] also argued that the country should lose the right to host the 2018 World Cup after Russian troops allegedly downed the civilian airliner Flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine last July.

Well, there's evidence in itself. Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat. (The burden of proof is on he who declares, not on he who denies). He wants to punish before the publication o the report. It's like a mediaeval witch-hunt. The law of the jungle seems to be Clegg's guiding principle. No surprise he's been banned.

JordanFromLondon -> Havingalavrov 31 May 2015 11:45

"Putin wants sanctions" ... what a bunch of silly conjecture. As for "Putin style rule" and "Tzar" .. you presumably know that Russia held democratic elections which Putin won. That's more than many of the US/UK allies can say (take your pick of the Gulf state leaders). Don't buy into the mindless anti-Russian propaganda doing the rounds. I suspect that it's intended to soften public opnion for anti-Russian attrocities committed in our name to come.

Huo Fu Yan -> David Port 31 May 2015 11:36

It's true, 1/3 the list are politicians and military leader from Poland and baltics with no intend to enter Russia anyways. The rest are merely people engaged in military organisations (should be banned naturally) or weird political groups and initiatives.

Furthermore, there are a few irrelevant politicians on the list for whatever reason. To be frank, a few people from that list you wouldt want in your own country either.

meewaan 31 May 2015 11:07

let me guess, The list probably contains politicians whose real loyalty maybe is with the US? Judge from the 2 names mentioned, Malcolm Riffkind is Co-Vice Chair of the Global Panel Foundation – America – with Dr. Dov S. Zakheim, the former U.S Under-Secretary of Defense and Comptroller of the Armed Forces.

Not sure about banning Nick Clegg, - has his wife remunerated by her work for companies linked to the US? Take, for example, Mrs Clegg's firm's advertisement (again, on its website) of the fact it makes considerable sums from helping rich people avoid inheritance tax, saying that it offers 'personal estate planning advice and financial and tax-planning services to high net worth individuals'.

'We combine sophisticated estate planning skills with international resources . . . We help U.S. and non-U.S. trustees and beneficiaries transfer wealth efficiently through lifetime and testamentary trusts designed to minimise tax exposure.'

SuchindranathAiyer 31 May 2015 10:35

It required a "Tit for Tat" to establish that sanctions are working? Here is the geo-political back drop:

Reigan and Gorby arrived at certain agreements and understandings which Clinton (the husband) violated. He pulled Poland and others into NATO and bombed Russian ally Belgrade, violating international law, while a helpless Russia fumed, for 84 days to given Islam its first ethnically cleansed enclaves (Bosnia and Kosovo) after 1489.

Bush (the son), declared the "Star Wars" missile shield in direct violation of the Regan-Gorbachev agreements while Russia continued to fume, but began to re arm and prepare itself for war. Apart from, of course, violating International Law and invading Russian ally Iraq to distract anger over 9/11 from Saudi Arabia and its Nuclear-Terrorist sword arm Pakistan and threw thriving communities of Jews, Christians, Yazidis, discos and bars that the Saudis, Qataris and Kuwaitis resented into the maws of Islam.

Russia fumed and continued to rearm and began to rally around Putin's nationalism. The US commenced "regime change" operations in Russian (and Iraqi) Secular ally Syria, throwing even more Jews, Christians, Yazidis and Kurds into the maws of Islam. US was to weakened by Iraq to wage war unilaterally in Syria. China and Russia blocked the US at the UN. Putin wrote an open letter to Obama on Syria in the NY Times which gained traction with the American Citizens, bending Obama's nose and driving the US regime change operation in Syria further under ground (covert). Prince Bandar (what an appropriate name!) head of Saudi intelligence went ot Moscow to bribe Putin to back the putsch in Syria. Putin refused and told Bandar that if Islam tried a Beslan at Sochi, he would bomb the Q'aba. This bent the Saudi nose. So the US commenced operation regime change in Ukraine. This sparked the secession of Crime to Russia. The US fumed and fretted because its more develoed and intelligent NATO allies (France and Germany) would not back the US backed fascist regime in Ukraine. The US shot down MH-17 in a false flag operation and started a canard against Russia to revive NATO. There is a NATO now imposing US-Saudi conceived sanctions on Russia. We are now in the Second Cold War so NATO won't go away. Russia and China will ally because, Clinton to Obama, the US has demonstrated the dangers of a unipolar world, particularly as Islamic Petro Dollars own the decision and opinion makers of the West and have used the US military to further the Islamic agenda as much as carry on with the old anti-Communist prejudices. (While Russia is not Totalitarian, China is. India is really the last Soviet franchise in the World with its "Animal Farm" totalitarian Constitution and thinking which is why the US is an ally of Pakistan and as hostile to India as to Russia. Consider that as recently as 2012, the man who lolls in Lutyen's drawing room today moved "retrospective" legislation in the same Parliament that nationalized 20% of private (non minority) education and removed the truth from Govt approved History text books, in the highest traditions of Nehru, Ambedkar and Indira Gandhi.)

wilpost37 -> AbsolutelyFapulous 31 May 2015 10:33

Absolutely/Goman

Almost all the tourists of Crimea were Ukrainians before 2014. They stopped coming, and likely are spending their vacation elsewhere.

Crimea is rebuilding its infrastructures (Kiev had neglected them for 22 years), and its tourist base.

It expects to have over 4 million visitors in 2015 and 5 million in 2016, because many Russians are no longer going to EU countries, and are going to Crimea, Sochi, etc., instead. It will take time, but Crimea is a beautiful area.

Crimea became part of the Russian Empire by conquest over the Tartars in 1793.

The Tartars had been kidnapping nearby people (several million over many decades) and selling them to the Turks. Catherine the Great put an end to that.

Khrushev was stupid to give it to Ukraine in 1954.

After the CIA/FBI-assisted coup of Kiev, the Crimean people, 67% Russian, feared for their future, as did the Donbas people.

SHappens 31 May 2015 10:24

"Just one thing remains unclear: did our European co-workers want these lists to minimise inconveniences for potential 'denied persons' or to stage a political show?"

It is pretty clear that it turned out to be another media circus.

Socraticus -> alpamysh 31 May 2015 10:12

Lesson 1 - everyone on this site is a guest, you included
Lesson 2 - the majority of posters herein are actually westerners, not 'Russian trolls'
Lesson 3 - all politicians lie to advance their own social/economic/political agendas
Lesson 4 - all MSM distort/suppress the truth to support governmental narratives
Lesson 5 - many of us westerners actually bother to investigate the true facts
Lesson 6 - if a leader's being demonized its because they won't capitulate to the US
Lesson 7 - every illicit invasion is preceded by demonization of a leader/country
Lesson 8 - your constant anti-Russia/Putin comments mark you as a shill/troll
Lesson 9 - you can educate yourself or remain blind to facts - your choice
Lesson 10 - you will learn the consequences of your choices

UnsleepingMind -> EssoBlue 31 May 2015 10:12

You realise that Russia is one the most important members of the BRICS and that they group has recently established a development bank? That's hardly the sign that the other BRICS nations are not reading from the same hymn sheet as Russia...

http://www.scmp.com/comment/article/1580523/brics-development-bank-should-challenge-washington-consensus

Russia has also joined China's Asian Infrastructure Bank. Another clear sign that it is strengthening its relations with other BRICS members.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2015/03/29/russia-joins-chinas-asian-infrastructure-bank-but-doubts-its-power-against-imf/

44theorderofknights 31 May 2015 09:57

What did anyone expect flowers from russia from the unfair treatment it's getting. The west paying for Ukraine part nazi government and creating a coup in a democratically ekected president last february. Then sanctioning the Russian people expecting them to turn in yheir president. The west should be ashamed of what they accomplished that being fronting a proxy war against Russia.

Vijay Raghavan -> Huo Fu Yan 31 May 2015 09:54

Developing all-round military-to-military relations. China's armed forces will further their exchanges and cooperation with the Russian military within the framework of the comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination between China and Russia, and foster a comprehensive, diverse and sustainable framework to promote military relations in more fields and at more levels

http://eng.mod.gov.cn/Database/WhitePapers/2015-05/26/content_4586715.htm

They made that statement in their white paper issued last week.Offcourse Guardian or BBC will not keep up with such "Breaking News".

UnsleepingMind -> EssoBlue 31 May 2015 09:49

1) Yes, the BRICS countries are very much behind Russia.

2) Russia, unlike the US, has tabled a resolution to condemn Nazism and Nazi movements in the highest forum possible (the UN). The US, along with Canada, and its puppet government in Ukraine, voted against it (in defiance of most of the world's nations).

[1] http://russia-insider.com/en/de-dollarization-du-jour-russia-backs-brics-alternative-swift/ri7566
[2] http://rt.com/news/207899-un-anti-nazism-resolution/

UnsleepingMind -> Tom20000 31 May 2015 09:43

You would think, with all the technology at the disposal of the US security state, that it might (just might) be able to provide us with real, irrefutable evidence of a ground invasion. You know, perhaps some high resolution satellite imagery, the odd photo of a modern Russian tank moving over the Ukrainian border, some chatter from the wires between embassy officials and security personnel, etc., etc.

But of course we have nothing of the sort. What we have is a desperate corporate media, dutifully parroting the nonsense from the US State Department, and investing virtually nothing in on-the-ground investigative reporting. But real evidence? We are in very, VERY short supply of that.

UnsleepingMind -> ponott 31 May 2015 09:34

I can only assume it is as badge of honour if you buy into all the dimwitted propaganda being published by the western corporate media -- who seem to have a daily axe to grind against the Russian state, but who say nothing about the warmongering actions of the US. I imagine I would have the same opinion of you if I was to uncritically swallow such toxic rubbish.

UnsleepingMind -> alpamysh 31 May 2015 09:30

'Because we have the right to ban people who invade other countries'.

That's why we've recently arrested George Bush (who, with the help of Tony Blair invaded Iraq and Afghanistan), Barack Obama (who bombed Libya, engineered coups in Honduras and Ukraine, and is now funding Islamic extremists in Syria)...

We reserve the right to ban, but we use that 'right' to ban official enemies (i.e. anyone daring to follow a geopolitical game plan that is distinctly at odds with our own).

Also, your suggestion that Putin's Russia has invaded 'other countries' is preposterous. The western media has been spewing this nonsense for months now and yet there is not a shred of real evidence (including hi-res satellite imagery) to back it up. And if you are referring to Crimea, let me say this: Russia troops have been staged in Crimea for many, many years; moreover, the people of Crimea voted to break with Ukraine in a recent referendum (not that that squares with your hectoring rhetoric).

PyrrhicVictory 31 May 2015 09:27

The doors of the gravy train for politicians like Clegg are fast closing. When we exit the EU, then the Brussels gravy train will also be beyond him. He might, just might, having to start behaving like an honest politician for once and earn a decent wage based on truth not lies.

johnsmith44 -> NegativeCamber 31 May 2015 09:25

Why dont you go spread democracy to some oil-producing Third World country, together with your poodles the brits? And make sure you do it properly, so that monstrosities like ISIS are guaranteed?

more democracy exporting: http://multipletext.com/2011/images/3-22-US-democracy.jpg

and more: https://syrianfreepress.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/we-will-help-the-syrian-people-to-achieve-democracy-20140603.jpg

and more: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/76/31/c0/7631c0787ae47cfc74cd8488390cc5d5.jpg

johnsmith44 -> alpamysh 31 May 2015 09:21

1) Google for "Operation Northwoods", that is, CIA's proposal to Kennedy to shoot down a passenger jet over Cuba.

2) Read here: http://consortiumnews.com/2014/07/29/obama-should-release-ukraine-evidence/

ex-CIA personnel openly describing their involvement in the dowining of Korean Airlines passenger flight 007 over Siberia on August 30, 1983 and I believe it becomes apparent who downed MH-17.

Jerome Fryer -> Popeyes 31 May 2015 09:11

We're the global overlords, and so second-rate nations aren't allowed to reciprocate our petulant actions. When they do so it causes some people to question the assumed status of the 'Western' hegemony (and our claimed system of morally superior 'values'). We can't allow that sort of thing, Popeyes.

davidncldl 31 May 2015 09:10

The Guardian has a clear pro-EU/USA position on the new cold war against Russia. Mr Putin is their democratically elected leader and he is enormously popular. Only an imbecile would be surprised or indignant about Russia retaliating for unjust EU/US sanctions. What do the globalisers and bankers' friends at the Guardian expect? I imagine you think that the ruination of the Venezuelan and Russian economies by the manipulation of the oil price is just "free market" activity.

Hass Castorp 31 May 2015 09:07

"More than 6,200 people have been killed in fighting between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian separatists."

This is a language of propaganda, Guardian. Last i checked Guardian advertised to be a newspaper, not a bulletin of The Ministry of Truth.

My reformulation; "More than 6200 (in some estimates up to 50.000) have been killed and up to 1 million civilians displaced (who mostly fled to Russia) by Ukrainian government troops and private terrorist kommandos of Ukrainian oligarchs."

Jerome Fryer -> henry919 31 May 2015 09:03

The only way to effectively block people from other regions (blanket censor them, in other words) would be to positively identify the source. All that you would likely achieve is blocking actual individual commentators and letting through the government astroturfers.

Why you would want to resort to such tactics is worth asking. The 'Western side' may be losing the propaganda war with Russia because our lies are bigger and harder to sell -- rather than Pooty-poot being cleverer.

Repeated debunked claims in our media are also going to be far more damaging than anything similar in Russia. The problem doesn't lie with those you are asserting to be 'trolls' that are disputing the reporting -- the problem lies with the reporting.

(If your argument must be protected against criticism then it is a weak argument.)

[Sep 10, 2018] Washington Quietly Increases Lethal Weapons to Ukraine

Continuation of this civil war is important tool for Washington in destabilizing Russia.
Sep 10, 2018 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Secretary of Defense James Mattis acknowledges that U.S. instructors are training Ukrainian military units at a base in western Ukraine. Washington also has approved two important arms sales to Kiev's ground forces in just the past nine months. The first transaction in December 2017 was limited to small arms that at least could be portrayed as purely defensive weapons. That agreement included the export of Model M107A1 Sniper Systems, ammunition, and associated parts and accessories, a sale valued at $41.5 million.

A transaction in April 2018 was more serious. Not only was it larger ($47 million) , it included far more lethal weaponry, particularly 210 Javelin anti-tank missiles -- the kind of weapons that Barack Obama's administration had declined to give Kiev.

Needless to say, the Kremlin was not pleased about either sale. Moreover, Congress soon passed legislation in May that authorized $250 million in military assistance, including lethal weaponry, to Ukraine in 2019. Congress had twice voted for military support on a similar scale during the last years of Obama's administration, but the White House blocked implementation. The Trump administration cleared that obstacle out of the way in December 2017 at the same time that it approved the initial small-weapons sale. The passage of the May 2018 legislation means that the path is now open for a dramatic escalation of U.S. military backing for Kiev.

On September 1, former U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kurt Volker disclosed during an interview with The Guardian that Washington's future military aid to Kiev would likely involve weapons sales to Ukraine's air force and navy as well as the army. "The Javelins are mainly symbolic and it's not clear if they would ever be used," Aric Toler, a research scholar at the Atlantic Council, asserted . One could well dispute his sanguine conclusion, but even Toler conceded: "Support for the Ukrainian navy and air defence would be a big deal. That would be far more significant."

Volker's cavalier attitude about U.S. arms sales to a government locked in a crisis with Russia epitomizes the arrogance and tone-deaf nature of the views that too many U.S. foreign policy officials exhibit regarding the sensitive Ukraine issue. "We can have a conversation with Ukraine like we would with any other country about what do they need. I think that there's going to be some discussion about naval capability because as you know their navy was basically taken by Russia [when the Soviet Union dissolved]. And so they need to rebuild a navy and they have very limited air capability as well. I think we'll have to look at air defence."

One suspects that Americans would be incensed at comparable actions by Moscow if the geo-strategic situations were reversed. Imagine if Russia (even a democratic Russia) had emerged from the wreckage of the Cold War as the undisputed global superpower, and a weakened United States had to watch as the Kremlin expanded a powerful, Russian-led military alliance to America's borders, conducted alliance war games within sight of U.S. territory, interfered in Canada's internal political affairs to oust a democratically elected pro-American government, and then pursued growing military ties with the new, anti-U.S. government in Ottawa. Yet that would be disturbingly similar to what Washington has done regarding NATO policy and U.S. relations with Ukraine.

The Much Diminished Russian Bear Let's See Who's Bluffing in the Criminal Case Against the Russians

Moreover, although Kiev's cheerleaders in the Western (especially U.S.) media like to portray Ukraine as a beleaguered democracy that plays the role of David to Russia's evil Goliath, the reality is far murkier. Putin's government overstates matters when it alleges that Ukraine's 2014 Maidan revolution was a U.S.-orchestrated coup that brought outright fascists to power in Kiev. Nevertheless, that version contains more than a little truth. Prominent, powerful U.S. figures, most notably the late Senator John McCain and Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland, openly sided with demonstrators seeking to unseat Ukraine's elected government. Indeed, Nuland was caught on tape with U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt scheming about the desired composition of a new government in Kiev.

It is unfair to portray Ukraine's current administration led by President Petro Poroshenko as a neo-fascist regime. Post-revolution elections appear to have been reasonably free and fair, and there are major factions that are committed to genuine democratic values. But Ukraine also is hardly a model of Western-style democracy. Not only is it afflicted with extensive graft and corruption, but some extreme nationalist and even neo-Nazi groups play a significant role in the "new" Ukraine. The notoriously fascist Azov Battalion, for example, continues to occupy a prominent position in Kiev's efforts to defeat separatists in Ukraine's eastern Donbass region. Alexander Zakharchenko, prime minister of the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic in the pro-Russia rebel-occupied city of Donetsk, was assassinated on September 1 and officials there and in Russia are blaming Kiev. The Ukrainian government has denied involvement.

Other ultranationalist factions act as domestic militias that attempt to intimidate more moderate Ukrainians. Even the Poroshenko government itself has adopted troubling censorship measures and other autocratic policies. Officials in both the Obama and Trump administration have taken a much too casual attitude toward U.S. cooperation with extremist elements and a deeply flawed Ukrainian government.

Both the danger of stoking tensions with Moscow and becoming too close to a regime in Kiev that exhibits disturbing features should caution the Trump administration against boosting military aid to Ukraine. It is an unwise policy on strategic as well as moral grounds. Trump administration officials should refuse to be intimidated or stampeded into forging a risky and unsavory alliance with Kiev out of fear of being portrayed as excessively "soft" toward Russia. Instead, the president and his advisers need to spurn efforts to increase U.S. support for Ukraine. A good place to start would be to restore the Obama administration's refusal to approve arms sales to Kiev. Washington must not pour gasoline on a geo-strategic fire that could lead to a full-blown crisis between the United States and Russia.

Ted Galen Carpenter, a senior fellow in defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute and a contributing editor at TAC , is the author of 10 books, the contributing editor of 10 books, and the author of more than 700 articles on international affairs .

[Sep 08, 2018] The West must acknowledge its responsibility in the making of the original crisis in Kiev, which equals if not exceeds that of Moscow's in deepening the crisis in Crimea and Donbass by Gordon M. Hahn

Notable quotes:
"... The crisis in Ukraine is a direct result of the two policies of NATO expansion and EU enlargement, which led NATO to declare Ukraine (and Georgia) will be NATO members at numerous NATO summits and in other fora, led the EU to push too hard and too early for an association agreement with the corrupt Viktor Yanukovych government, and led the West, especially Washington, to lend opposition-promotion assistance to revolutionaries and endorse a clearly illegal oligarch-ultranationalist revolt in February 2014 despite an agreement that essentially ensured Yanukovych's departure from the presidency in ten months. In Syria, Putin's Russia has won. Regime change is over. ..."
Sep 08, 2018 | gordonhahn.com

Rather than dealing with secondary issues, those which are easiest to resolve, or those in which we have common interests, contacts must address the core problems in the inter-state US-Russian or larger Western-Russian relationship. Those issues are NATO expansion, EU expansion, U.S. missile defense, Ukraine, Syria, and interference in each other's domestic politics.

Rather, than expanding Western institutions in complete disregard of Russian interests, the West must work closely with Moscow. The West must acknowledge its responsibility in the making of the original crisis in Kiev, which equals if not exceeds that of Moscow's in deepening the crisis in Crimea and Donbass.

The crisis in Ukraine is a direct result of the two policies of NATO expansion and EU enlargement, which led NATO to declare Ukraine (and Georgia) will be NATO members at numerous NATO summits and in other fora, led the EU to push too hard and too early for an association agreement with the corrupt Viktor Yanukovych government, and led the West, especially Washington, to lend opposition-promotion assistance to revolutionaries and endorse a clearly illegal oligarch-ultranationalist revolt in February 2014 despite an agreement that essentially ensured Yanukovych's departure from the presidency in ten months. In Syria, Putin's Russia has won. Regime change is over.

The U.S. in its hubris miscalculated in going a bridge too far. Ambition led to supply weapons either intentionally or accidentally -- and in denial of the obvious -- to Islamists and jihadists. This was a direct consequence of US President Barak Obama's haste to carry forth his gravely misguided Muslim Brotherhood-based regime change strategy in the Islamic world. Syria's longstanding ties to Moscow and the presence of North Caucasus-based mujahedin within the ranks first of the Al Qa`ida-affiliated 'Jabhat al-Nusra' jihadi group and then of the Islamic State or ISIS prompted Putin's limited and strategically successful intervention.

More globally, the West has been and remains the 'champion' when it comes to interference in the politics of other states. For financial reasons alone, Russia cannot hold a candle to US efforts in this regard, no less those of the entire West. Rather than seeking to dominate or willfully 'transforming' Eurasia in the Western image, the West should more gently propose democratization and work on strengthening its own democratic order to serve as a model for non- and less democratic states to emulate.

Those living in non- or less democratic states who want change have access to all the information they need on the Internet, except in the most authoritarian countries. Even in the latter, access is possible if more difficult. The native population and opposition leaders understand the intricacies of their nation's culture far better than outsiders do and can therefore better fashion a peaceful, stable regime transformation. If this is not what they want, then they are unlikely to establish a democratic order when they seize power.

Change the Goal and Strategy

The core problem in Western-Russian relations has been Western, especially, NATO expansion. NATO expansion, carried forth on the back of EU expansion, effectively 'militarized' Western democracy-promotion and EU expansion, insulting Russian 'honor' and trust in the West in the wake of Cold War-ending Western promises that NATO would not expand beyond reunified Germany and turning Russia away from democracy. Washington and Brussels must discard, therefore, its basic goal of expanding the community of democracies in brinksmanship-like fashion–everywhere and immediately, regardless of those expansions' effects on the Russian and Chinese geostrategic calculation. This means abandoning the strategy of achieving that goal: NATO and EU expansion. These two prongs of the main strategy, especially NATO expansion, have added greater cost of driving Russia into China's increasingly powerful arms, as I predicted a quarter of a century ago.

New Goal and Strategy

Regarding security, the West should seek to integrate Europe and Eurasia first in the area of negotiating ongoing conflicts and preventing new conflicts by reinvigorating the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) as the main multilateral forum for Western-Eurasian relations. It should also become the locus of negotiations between NATO and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) on building a new European security architecture (NESA). During the life of the NESA negotiations, the West should institute an openly declared moratorium on NATO expansion. After such the NESA is in place negotiations might begin with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on a Eurasia-wide security architecture. Similarly, the European Union should learn from its misbegotten unilateral expansionism and 'Eastern Partnership' and seek to negotiate a gradual integration of the EU and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).

... ... ...

There is very likely to be some agreement towards extending the START nuclear arms treaty by executive order as well as negotiating a replacement treaty to be signed at the end of the first or beginning of a second Trump term.

For the Ukrainian crisis, Trump might propose the creation of a US-Russian working group to assist the Minsk process. Should Trump be convinced that only US involvement can resolve the issue, perhaps the group could be incorporated into the Minsk process. He might also hint that in return for some Moscow concessions on Ukraine, such as backing a more expanded version of the proposed peacekeeping mission beyond the line of contact, he might be willing to put pressure on Kiev to finally fulfill its Minsk agreement obligation to engage a dialogue with the Donbass rebel regions' representatives:

(1) on the modalities related to conducting elections in the Donbass,

(2) on a Ukrainian law to be adopted according to Minsk-2 'On the temporary order of local government in certain areas of the Donetsk and the Lugansk regions,' or

(3) 'with respect to the future operation of these areas on the basis of the Law,' or, for that matter,

(4) on any other subject related to the crisis. Washington pressure on Kiev to talk directly with the rebels may be possible now that four years too late some of the Washington institutions that supported the Maidan revolt and illegal overthrow of Yanukovych such as the Atlantic Council and Freedom House, are waking up to the neofascist threat on the edges of the Maidan regime and in society.

About the Author – Gordon M. Hahn, Ph.D., Expert Analyst at Corr Analytics, http://www.canalyt.com and a Senior Researcher at the Center for Terrorism and Intelligence Studies (CETIS), Akribis Group, San Jose, California, www.cetisresearch.org .

Dr. Hahn is the author of Ukraine Over the Edge: Russia, the West, and the 'New Cold War (McFarland Publishers, 2017) and three previously and well-received books: Russia's Revolution From Above: Reform, Transition and Revolution in the Fall of the Soviet Communist Regime, 1985-2000 (Transaction Publishers, 2002); Russia's Islamic Threat (Yale University Press, 2007); and The Caucasus Emirate Mujahedin: Global Jihadism in Russia's North Caucasus and Beyond (McFarland Publishers, 2014).He has published numerous think tank reports, academic articles, analyses, and commentaries in both English and Russian language media and has served as a consultant and provided expert testimony to the U.S. government.

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. He has been a senior associate and visiting fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Kennan Institute in Washington DC as well as the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

Lyttenburgh, July 7, 2018 at 6:25 am

"and agreed to meet in neighboring Sweden"

Finland.

"This suggests the level of distrust Putin has towards Washington, his low expectations for a successful summit, and the high price he is likely to demand for concessions on his part."

It suggests nothing of the sort. You are too dramatic.

"[T]he approach of dealing with issues that are easiest to resolve or where we have common interests alone is insufficient and a non-starter as far as putting the relationship where it should be. By definition, an approach that seeks to avoid areas where there are disagreements will not resolve a deeply troubled relationship that is putting international security and peace at risk. Only addressing the core differences complicating relations can a qualitatively new relationship be forged."

Finally someone is willing to admit that! You can't willy-nilly go and ask your neighbor to borrow some sugar after you wrecked his fence and expect him to "cooperate" on such small issue out of sheer goodness.

"It also means abandoning the approach of designing policies from hubris rooted in the sense that Western democracy is morally superior to authoritarianism. Although the latter is true"

In what way? I (and quite a lot of people) see particular Western "democracy" as morally bankrupt compared to what it seemingly randomly calls "authoritarianism"

"In Syria, Putin's Russia has won."

And that writes a man who detest the term, devoting so much ink and time to show to the ignorant that, no – it's Russia's Putin. Why not say Russia, or Moscow, or even "Pro-Assad coalition"?

"Rather than seeking to dominate or willfully 'transforming' Eurasia in the Western image, the West should more gently propose democratization and work on strengthening its own democratic order to serve as a model for non- and less democratic states to emulate."

What, you forgot the immortal words of Paul Wolfowitz so soon? For, you see, "We Are An Empire Now". Crawling back in the shell won't help to solve the domestic very partisan issues – finding a common enemy does that. Your tactics are good for a neutered housecat of a nation – not for the mighty Great Again (And Forever) lion which both the elite and the commoners of the West consider their Republic.

" and turning Russia away from democracy."

Wrong. It turned Russia away from liberalism – not democracy. You know the difference, right? Because your following analysis suggests otherwise:

"Washington and Brussels must discard, therefore, its basic goal of expanding the community of democracies"

"Putin's Russia" is democracy. As well as Poland under PiS, Hungary under Orban and Turkey under Erdogan. Hell, even Ukraine is democracy! Democracy is just a mode of rule.

"driving Russia into China's increasingly powerful arms"

Yeah, that's bad for the US. For the rest – not so.

"During the life of the NESA negotiations, the West should institute an openly declared moratorium on NATO expansion."

Absolutely meaningless and easily revertible promise that runs directly against the West self-identification as the only Empire on the planet.

The list of topics of your Grand Design that follows is too far fetch, unrealistic and abstract that they are basically the equivalent of "charming" Russian naïve natives with the glass beads. As for your fanatical support of the free trade – it's era has gone. Again. If you fail to grasp that it was precisely Russian objections of EU version of free trade coming to the Ukraine which lead to 2013-14 conflict on Maidan – well, nothing can help you.

"Non-Western partners must also be willing to sacrifice some of their present interests for the sake of the benefits of stability and cooperation that will accrue in future. "

Like I said – land for the glass beads.

"In Ukraine, the U.S. must get more involved in the Minsk 2 negotiating process."

No, they shouldn't.

"Without a clear signal from Trump that Washington is not interested in expanding NATO to Ukraine or using the crisis to isolate Moscow through sanctions and the like and intends to lead the search for a solution, Moscow is unlikely to make any meaningful concessions."

You don't see it, do you? It's Kiev for whom the conflict is more beneficial. It allows all sort of, yes, authoritarian things and policies without fear of the "real war". You can silence all your critics with – "but Putin might attack us!" or "are you a secret separ?!". Kiev has no other viable strategy but to commit an ethnic cleansing of DNR or LNR should they be returned to it. Simple as that.

BTW – have you read Minsk II accords? How about Kiev fulfils its part first?

"Washington could be able to convince Moscow to abandon its support for the elements of the Iran presence in Syria and Lebanon that arrived in the context of the Syrian civil war."

Nothing of the sort will happen. Sowing division among potential USA rivals is a viable tactic – but don't take everyone for an idiot.

"There is very likely to be some agreement towards extending the START nuclear arms treaty"

Wanna bet, that there won't be? Also – nothing of the Ukraine, nothing on NATO. A little something on Syria (officially) with, maybe, an unofficial concession of the defeat of the West-backed "unicorns".

Tl;dr. This is not about coming Trump-Putin summit. You are just venting off your fantasy about Bright Future. You present solely pro-US perspective of the summit, enumerating things that Trump must "ask", nay, "demand" either for free or some minor concessions on his part. Have you ever tried to think what Russia might want of the summit instead?

Salsibury Watchdog, July 11, 2018 at 2:19 am

"It also means abandoning the approach of designing policies from hubris rooted in the sense that Western democracy is morally superior to authoritarianism. Although the latter is true"

Mr. Khan, if what Western elites are doing to other sovereign nations is 'a democracy' why is it done so covertly: through murky slash funds, secrets coups and illegal bombings?

I've never seen a referendum asking people in the US whether they wanted to fund another war. Had they been asked, people would've chosen affordable healthcare, housing and access to education instead, and you know it as well I do.

Yet you're still talking about 'Western democracy'?

Get real.

[Aug 27, 2018] The brutal neoliberal experiment has ended for the boiled frog Greece - what we should be expecting next

This is Ukrainian future, unless the government neoliberal policies change...
Notable quotes:
"... The fact that Brussels euroclowns celebrated in triumph the exit of Greece from the memorandum agreement, should be taken only as a huge farce. ..."
"... Greece entered the bailout program with national debt at 120% of GDP. Now, the debt remains close to 180% of GDP! Unemployment remains at record levels. Public property has been sold-off for pennies to foreign 'investors'. Labor rights almost vanished, the situation resembles the Middle Ages. Social state and benefits severely damaged. This is the Troika 'success story'. ..."
"... This contradiction could be explained by the fact that the neoliberal regime apparatus wants to send a warning sign to Tsipras administration not to take any action without permission. It is more than certain that the tight scrutiny will be continued and Tsipras must prove to the Western neocolonialists that he will not even think to implement any anti-austerity policies. ..."
"... Without a bailout program, Greece will be left alone now to swim with the bloodthirsty sharks of the global financial mafia in the wild sea of the supposedly 'free markets'. ..."
"... Either way, the debt colony will deliver to the predators every single asset that has been left untouched. ..."
Aug 27, 2018 | failedevolution.blogspot.com

The fact that Brussels euroclowns celebrated in triumph the exit of Greece from the memorandum agreement, should be taken only as a huge farce.

The Troika (ECB, European Commission, IMF) bailout program has officially ended and the result is a scenery of disaster. If you still believe that this program has been implemented to save the Greek economy and not the Franco-German banks , take a look at the situation today.

Greece entered the bailout program with national debt at 120% of GDP. Now, the debt remains close to 180% of GDP! Unemployment remains at record levels. Public property has been sold-off for pennies to foreign 'investors'. Labor rights almost vanished, the situation resembles the Middle Ages. Social state and benefits severely damaged. This is the Troika 'success story'.

So, in reality, the experiment was indeed successful for the goals of the international capitalist predators who transformed the country into a debt colony. For more than eight years, they boiled the frog slowly with the help of Troika, and now it's impossible to escape from the hot water.

While the clowns in Brussels had to present a 'success story' to cover their huge failure and slow down the centrifugal forces against eurozone's existence and unity, the mainstream media didn't exactly celebrate. Most of the headlines were quite moderate and even alarming for the future of the Greek economy.

This contradiction could be explained by the fact that the neoliberal regime apparatus wants to send a warning sign to Tsipras administration not to take any action without permission. It is more than certain that the tight scrutiny will be continued and Tsipras must prove to the Western neocolonialists that he will not even think to implement any anti-austerity policies.

It is worth to mention that most of the neutral/pessimistic headlines came from the Anglo-American mainstream media. This could be also considered another indication about the level of deterioration in the relations between the Anglo-American axis and the Brussels-Berlin axis, inside the Western camp.

Without a bailout program, Greece will be left alone now to swim with the bloodthirsty sharks of the global financial mafia in the wild sea of the supposedly 'free markets'. The fear of the Greek government in front of such a perspective became quite evident when Greece 'decided' to expel two Russian diplomats in order to take a small gift by Standard and Poor's .

Greece will have to give much more to the Western neoliberal predators. Otherwise, the rating agencies will be ordered to attack again and force the ruined Greek economy into another round of disastrous bailouts.

Either way, the debt colony will deliver to the predators every single asset that has been left untouched.

[Aug 23, 2018] The Greece Bailout s Legacy of Immiseration by James K. Galbraith

Aug 20, 2018 | www.defenddemocracy.press

The Greece Bailout's Legacy of Immiseration | by James K. Galbraith 22/08/2018

Note from the author : As friends have quickly pointed out, the situation is even worse than described here. Quarterly reviews by the troika will continue. The German Bundestag will still vote on any debt deferrals, and -- as I do stress -- the crushing austerity will continue indefinitely. A nightmare.

2010 to 2018 will go down in Greek history as an epic period of colonization; of asset stripping and privatization; of unfunded health and education; of bankruptcies, foreclosures, homelessness, and impoverishment; of unemployment, emigration, and suicide. These were the years of the three memoranda, or "financial-assistance programs" accompanied by "structural reforms," enacted supposedly to promote Greek "recovery" from the slump and credit crunch of 2010. They were, in fact, a fraud perpetrated on Greece and Europe, a jumble of bad policies based on crude morality tales that catered to right-wing politics to cover up unpayable debts.

This was a bailout? The word reeks of indulgence and implied disapproval. As it was often said, "The Greeks had their party and now they must pay." Yes, there was a party -- for oligarchs with ships and London homes and Swiss bank accounts, for the military, for engineering and construction and armaments companies from Germany and France and the United States. And yes, there was a bailout. It came from Europe's taxpayers, and went to the troubled banks of France and Germany. Greece was merely the pass-through, and the Greeks who paid dearly with their livelihoods were just the patsies in the deal. The third "memorandum of understanding" expires today.

With Greece's completion of a three-year, 61.9-billion-euro eurozone emergency-loan package, it can once again borrow at market rates. The expiration of the memorandum also ends, for now, the direct control by Europe's "troika" -- the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission, and the European Central Bank -- over the Greek government. But its conditions, constraints, and consequences will endure. Read also: Conference of the modern Left in Iceland: learning from each other

Back in 2010, Greece, along with Portugal, Spain, Ireland, and Italy, was definitely in trouble. The Great Financial Crisis crashed into all of Europe, but it hit the weaker countries hardest -- and Greece was the weakest of them all. Its economy shrunk by a quarter, and youth unemployment rose to roughly 50 percent. The memorandum was, for all concerned, the easy way out. It started a game of "extend and pretend" on the Greek debt, based on optimistic forecasts and on policies of reform that had no basis in the reality of Greek economic conditions.

The policies came from the IMF -- its standard repertory of austerity and "reform." But its staff and directors knew from the beginning that these measures would not suffice. IMF executive directors from Australia, Switzerland, Brazil, and China voiced objections. Channels were therefore bypassed, objections ignored. The Fund was nearly out of work and money because of the failures of its programs -- and the relative success of countries that ignored them -- all over the world. And its managing director at the time wished to be the next president of France. So Greece, which is to say its creditors -- especially French and German banks -- received the largest loan in IMF history (relative to its ownership share). And that 289-billion-euro loan came largely from U.S. taxpayers.

In Athens, teams of functionaries from the Fund, the European Central Bank, and the European Commission came to Greece, where they stayed in fancy hotels at Greek expense and were escorted by uniformed police from ministry to ministry to dictate policy in detail. (Such a nice gig, in a warm and sunny place, so close to the sea.) In 2015, they were lodged for a time in a four-star hotel, deprived of their convoys, and given protection by elite forces dressed in plain clothes. They didn't like that at all, and their bosses, Mario Draghi and Christine Lagarde, complained loudly on their behalf.

Read also: Berlin goes on with self-defeating policies. Now they encourage Scotland to secede!

And what of the policies? Public assets were to be dumped en masse at fire-sale prices, but only if they were already profitable. (Regional airports making losses, for example, stayed with the state.) Dutch dairies and German drug companies were taken care of. Labor markets were deregulated while collective bargaining was wiped out -- an unethical experiment on an untenable premise. Neither German nor Chinese industry was moving to Greece even if the Greeks worked for free. The value-added tax was raised, pensions were cut, and hundreds of thousands of civil servants were sacked. Ministries lost cleaning ladies, who set up camp, bless them, in front of the Ministry of Finance. The Greeks rebelled in 2015, as they were right to do. But the European Central Bank held the high card: It could shut the banks and confiscate deposits, forcing Greece out of the euro and perhaps out of the European Union. The government, undermined from within, capitulated. The third memorandum was signed, and Syriza, the left-wing coalition that had swept into power in January, by that July had become the model prisoner of the European elites.

The irony is that in 2012 Greece's debts were already postponed, so that from late 2015 to 2022 there would be a grace period with relatively few major payments due. Now there is a primary-budget surplus and the markets need not be tested. So the memorandum can end, but austerity will not; the debt still looms in the long term, so the commitment to surplus extends for more than 40 years. In any event, the Greeks' will to resistance appears to have been broken, so it seems safe enough to leave them alone. For now.

But the damage done extends far beyond Greece. The cynicism and brutality of what happened there is for everyone to see. The fact that Europe imposed a policy of privation on one of its weakest members -- not for its own sake, and not with any expectation of economic success, but to intimidate the Italians and the French, as the German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble conceded to the Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis privately in 2015 -- was not lost on British voters who chose Brexit in 2016. The Greek debacle helped to turn the French left against Europe, and fueled the inchoate coalition now in power in Italy. The German and east European far right is surely not motivated by sympathy -- on the contrary, they despise the Greeks. But they do resent the supposed "solidarity" -- a fiction if ever there was one -- that Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel and her allies invoked to sell their parliaments and voters on the idea of the Greek loans.

Read also: The IMF wants to appoint Prime Ministers. They want a Greek Macron in Athens

Europe is therefore rotting Hat both ends. Its economy must remain unified, but it is coming apart at its political seams. It needs institutions and policies of social stabilization, financial reform, and full employment -- a dramatic change in ideas and action at the continental level to thwart the rising tide of nationalist reaction. There is therefore a growing sense, among those who are watching closely, that a major democratic reform -- a New Deal for Europe -- is the only way to hold it together in the long run.

* James K. Galbraith is author of Welcome to the Poisoned Chalice: The Destruction of Greece and the Future of Europe . In 2015 he served as an informal assistant to the finance minister of Greece.

;

[Aug 19, 2018] Ukrainian external debt reached 83 percent of the GDP

Notable quotes:
"... In this version of 21st century slavery, all these disadvantages have been eliminated! Slaves stay in their homecountry: there is no need to bring them from there, no need to live amongst them and to feed them! Slaves are forced to work hard in the hope of paying off their debt, so they are motivated and hardworking. And most importantly, no civil war in the USA! ..."
Aug 19, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile,

This year, the Ukraine Prime Minister Groisman said that the external debt is 83% of the GDP. And by the end of the year, having been pressurized by the IMF, it will reach 90%. In order to service its external debts, the Ukraine spends $4.8 billion a year.

This is real slavery - only a new, improved version of it. From the 17th to the 19 centuries, slavery in [the North American British colonies and then - ME] the United States had a number of serious deficiencies: slaves had to be brought all the way from Africa; slaves were not extremely industrious; Americans themselves had to live amongst the slaves; and, most unpleasantly, all this led to civil war in the United States.

In this version of 21st century slavery, all these disadvantages have been eliminated! Slaves stay in their homecountry: there is no need to bring them from there, no need to live amongst them and to feed them! Slaves are forced to work hard in the hope of paying off their debt, so they are motivated and hardworking. And most importantly, no civil war in the USA!

Draw your own conclusions.

[Aug 15, 2018] While the west is gradually leaning toward dumping Ukraine and hoping Russia will solve the financial problems it faces, Russia might decline this offer

Ukraine has huge problems because far right nationalists while hate corruption, do not control economics and oligarchs who control it do not intent to share their profits with the population, who is on the edge of starvation.
Breaking economic ties with Russia helped to relegate Ukraine to semi-colonial status as without cooperation with Russian industries and access to Russian market (which they know very well) many Ukrainian manufacturing industries are less viable..
Ukraine was already converted into debt-slave, and it is extremely difficult to climb out of this hole without default. At the same time it serves are powerful anti-Russian force in the region and as such will be semi-supported by both the USA and EU. for example attacks on Ukrainian currency probably will be avoided.
This is a variant of " don't cry for me Argentina" situation.
Notable quotes:
"... Notably that while the west is gradually leaning toward dumping Ukraine and hoping Russia will solve the problem, the warning signs are there that Russia has no intention of bailing out an exhausted Ukraine, and that this time it is going to be allowed to fail all the way down. The west should be warned that nobody is riding to the rescue and pouring their resources into stabilizing Ukraine – if the west cannot do it, the alternative is collapse and draining emergency work to keep the population from starvation. Prosperity is an impossible dream now, and the people – I think – would be pretty happy to be back where they were before the glorious Maidan. ..."
"... Interestingly, something that was not touched upon in the 'Necessary' section was the elimination of the oligarchy in Kiev and other major cities. I will declare frankly that I have no idea how this might be achieved – as discussed before several times, the Ukrainian oligarchs control something in the order of 70% of Ukrainian GDP, and are not about to gift any of it back to the Ukrainian state. ..."
"... You'll know there's no more money in Ukraine when the oligarchs leave, and I see no sign of that so far, while it is evident they intend to be a big part of any future rebuilding. They've already successfully stolen most of the IMF money, and plainly think an even bigger payday is still in the offing. ..."
"... Eventually, if the USA is unsuccessful in forcing the outbreak of another world war, the west will get around to either asking Russia to help, or trying to dump Ukraine on Russia. ..."
"... Whatever happens, the dream of Ukrainian nationalists to forge a great and powerful ... nation of Ukraine is always going to remain that – a dream. They're happy enough at present scampering about in the ruins and glorying in their imagination of great power, but they are kings of the dungheap without any clue of nation-building. ..."
"... The few who both hated Russia and honestly aspired to a Great Ukraine – free of corruption and able to pay its way through judicious management of its undeniable resources and casting off the peasant mentality – have no influence, and operate at the pleasure of the power-brokers; they are allowed to dabble at anti-corruption until their probing becomes uncomfortable, and then they are discredited and fired, if not charged with the crimes they say they are investigating. ..."
Aug 15, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Cortes August 10, 2018 at 9:02 pm

Last post time, but a goodie (I think):

http://thesaker.is/whats-destructive-constructive-and-necessary-in-ukrainian-politics/

No intention to comment- read for yourselves.

Mark Chapman August 11, 2018 at 6:41 am
That is indeed an interesting piece – generally speaking, we most enjoy writing with which we agree, and I mostly agree with it and feel the ring of familiarity, because some of it is what we have been saying here for a couple of years. Notably that while the west is gradually leaning toward dumping Ukraine and hoping Russia will solve the problem, the warning signs are there that Russia has no intention of bailing out an exhausted Ukraine, and that this time it is going to be allowed to fail all the way down. The west should be warned that nobody is riding to the rescue and pouring their resources into stabilizing Ukraine – if the west cannot do it, the alternative is collapse and draining emergency work to keep the population from starvation. Prosperity is an impossible dream now, and the people – I think – would be pretty happy to be back where they were before the glorious Maidan.

Interestingly, something that was not touched upon in the 'Necessary' section was the elimination of the oligarchy in Kiev and other major cities. I will declare frankly that I have no idea how this might be achieved – as discussed before several times, the Ukrainian oligarchs control something in the order of 70% of Ukrainian GDP, and are not about to gift any of it back to the Ukrainian state.

But for so long as Ukraine continues to elect one oligarch after another to the office of President, the oligarch of the moment will be far more occupied with increasing his/her personal wealth and power, and settling scores with rivals, than with governance and accountability. At the same time, there is no use hoping the President will be a poor man or woman, because they generally do not have the worldly education to grasp the problem and envision solutions while being simultaneously beset from all sides by the oligarchy, seeking to retain its power and influence.

You'll know there's no more money in Ukraine when the oligarchs leave, and I see no sign of that so far, while it is evident they intend to be a big part of any future rebuilding. They've already successfully stolen most of the IMF money, and plainly think an even bigger payday is still in the offing.

The United States has largely forgotten Ukraine, as it was only ever a pretext for a full-court press against Russia anyway, and it now has enough Russophobia sustainment in its ditzy population to press forward without the need to invoke sympathy for Ukraine. Europe is still quite interested in a resolution, but only because of its fear that it is going to get stuck with the booby prize, and be made to assume responsibility for getting Ukraine on its feet somehow, perhaps even absorbing it. Eventually, if the USA is unsuccessful in forcing the outbreak of another world war, the west will get around to either asking Russia to help, or trying to dump Ukraine on Russia.

Whatever happens, the dream of Ukrainian nationalists to forge a great and powerful ... nation of Ukraine is always going to remain that – a dream. They're happy enough at present scampering about in the ruins and glorying in their imagination of great power, but they are kings of the dungheap without any clue of nation-building.

The few who both hated Russia and honestly aspired to a Great Ukraine – free of corruption and able to pay its way through judicious management of its undeniable resources and casting off the peasant mentality – have no influence, and operate at the pleasure of the power-brokers; they are allowed to dabble at anti-corruption until their probing becomes uncomfortable, and then they are discredited and fired, if not charged with the crimes they say they are investigating.

Patient Observer August 11, 2018 at 8:17 am
Well said. Presumably, the Donbass will pull away from Ukraine and vote to joint Russia and Russia will approve for any number of reasons but certainly including humanitarian, ethnic/cultural connections and military considerations. Other regions such as Odessa could jump aboard as well.

There may be a mass exodus from what is left – the grifter to the West and those seeking a better life to the east. The Nazis will remain behind and may serve some purpose such as providing a pool of mercenaries for CIA projects.

I, for one, do not think the Donbass will be an overwhelming economic burden in the long run. The population has shown resolve and resilience. Given leadership and material aid, they can rebuild fairly quickly I think.

[Aug 15, 2018] Ukraine has more or less lost its case before the WTO, in which it wept that Russia s unfair imposition of an embargo on its railway cars and rolling stock constituted a violation which cost Ukraine $3.2 Billion in annual sales

Aug 15, 2018 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman August 1, 2018 at 5:27 pm

Oh, dear; Ukraine has more or less lost its case before the WTO, in which it wept that Russia's unfair imposition of an embargo on its railway cars and rolling stock constituted a violation which caused a former $3.2 Billion in annual sales – more than it realizes from transit fees for carrying Russian gas to Europe – to collapse to $150 Million. The WTO bought the Russian rationale that Russian inspectors going to Ukraine to ensure the product conformed to Russian standards would be in fear of their lives.

But the WTO ruled that the security situation was such that Russian inspectors sent to check that Ukraine's exports complied with Russian standards would have been risking their lives, and Russia was therefore justified in not sending them to Ukraine.

"The panel fully agreed with Russia's position and recognized that there was no systematic restriction of imports of Ukrainian equipment by Russia," Russia's Ministry of Trade and Economy said in a statement.

The WTO did go on to say Russia could have carried out the inspections outside Ukraine, but therein lies a sandbag to the head that Ukraine probably spotted already – if Russian inspectors found shoddy work or any other reason to refuse the offered goods, to say nothing of the probability that no contracting position between the two countries even exists any more, then Ukraine would be out the sale plus whatever costs it incurred to ship the goods outside Ukraine.

https://m.investing.com/news/economy-news/wto-ruling-derails-bulk-of-ukrainian-trade-dispute-against-russia-1551279?ampMode=1

Gosh! Is Ukraine's Russophobia beginning to blow up in its face?

[Jun 26, 2018] Donetsk and how it was founded by 19th-century Welsh engineer industrialist John Hughes, after whom it was originally named Yuzovka.

Jun 26, 2018 | www.moonofalabama.org

Mark2 @ 81, Daniel @ 82:

I am halfway through watching a film of US actor Peter von Berg travelling through the Donetsk People's Republic and meeting Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko and various others to find out how the Donetsk rebels are creating a socialist state under a situation of war. The film is as much an implicit criticism of US society (and by extension, Western capitalist society generally) as it is an investigation of the reality on the ground on Donetsk, ignored by the Western MSM.

Von Berg visits a greenhouse farm growing tomatoes, a hospital and a factory among other places he travels to (including the capital, of course) in the DPR.

There is even a short history of the city of Donetsk and how it was founded by 19th-century Welsh engineer industrialist John Hughes, after whom it was originally named Yuzovka.

https://www.therussophile.org/watch-nyc-to-donetsk-back-a-new-film.html/

Posted by: Jen | Jun 25, 2018 7:06:44 PM | 89

[Apr 01, 2018] Is a New War Against Russia in Ukraine Unfolding Before Our Eyes by by John McMurtry

This is definitely cancer stage of neoliberalism, but I doubt that there is connection between Skripal poisoning and Ukraine.
Also why the USA served as the catalyst for coming nationalists to power in 2014 the process started long ago with Yushchenko and to a certain extent is typical for all post Soviet republics, including Kazakhstan and Belorussia. they all try to distance themselves from Russia to prove their sovereignty. The low intensity warfare in Donetsk is the only differentiator, but even this remind attempt of Georgia to subdue South Ossetia in the past and Karabah conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Still the author is definitely a brilliant writer and thinker he describes geopolitical tensions really well
Notable quotes:
"... has to have such a war-drum distraction to survive. ..."
"... Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs Committee of the UN General Assembly ..."
Apr 01, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

As usual there is amnesia of the ever-recurring big-lie pretext, the need for another crisis to keep the two-billion-dollar a day NATO war machine going, the baleful puppet moves of Canada in the process, the crisis of legitimacy of the lead attacker's government, and the silent diversion from the whole nightmare scenario unfolding by all NATO-member governments, mass media and even 'peace activist' organisations.

This time the big-lie pretext is about the alleged poisoning by the Kremlin/Putin of a double-agent, usually a stock move in the espionage entertainments, but here with no evidence of the claimed origin of the lethal nerve-agent, but rather expert denial within British defence and weapons research itself, with devious political word games to get around the absence of any corroborated evidence in familiar denuciations of Russia full of aggression and hate. Not even a death is recorded while US-led nd UK-armed ally forces are still mass-murdering poor civilian Yeminis, drone-murdering endless targets and civilians abroad, continuing on unblamed for the ongoing NATO-executed eco-genocides of Iraq and Libya societies, and on the 19-years anniversary of the mass bombing of, once again a society, Yugoslavia, with the most evolved social infrastructures of health, education, housing and life security in the region.

What this latest war pretext for US and NATO-backed aggression is really about is justifying more war in the Ukraine now that the massive war preparations along all of Russia's Western borders following the self-declared Nazi-led and proven US- orchestrated and commanded mass-murder coup d'etat in February 2014 . As usual there is amnesia of the ever-recurring big-lie pretext, the need for another crisis to keep the two-billion-dollar a day NATO war machine going, the baleful puppet moves of Canada in the process, the crisis of legitimacy of the lead attacker's government, and the silent diversion from the whole nightmare scenario unfolding by all NATO-member governments, mass media and even 'peace activist' organisations.

This time the big-lie pretext is about the alleged poisoning by the Kremlin/Putin of a double-agent traitor, usually a stock move in the espionage entertainments. Yet here there is no confirmed evidence whatever of the claimed origin of the lethal nerve-agent, but rather expert denial within British defence and weapons research itself that is silence in the press, with devious political word games crafted to get around the absence of any corroborated facts in the familiar denuciations of Russia full of team aggression and hate. Not even a death is recorded while US-led nd UK-armed ally forces are still mass-murdering poor civilian Yeminis, drone-murdering endless targets and civilians abroad, continuing on unblamed for the ongoing NATO-executed eco-genocides of Iraq and Libya societies, and on the 19-years anniversary of the mass bombing of Yugoslavia -- once again a socialist society with the most evolved social infrastructures of health, education, housing and life security in the region.

What this latest war pretext for US and NATO-backed aggression is really about is justifying more war in Ukraine now that the massive war preparations along all of Russia's Western borders following the self-declared Nazi-led and proven US- orchestrated and commanded mass-murder coup d'etat in February 2014 . As always, this US-directed mass murder was reverse-blamed on the ever shifting Enemy face -- Russia's allied but duly elected government of the Ukraine. It was only after this violent-coup Nazi-led and US directed overthrow of the elected government of the very resource-rich Ukraine -- "the breadbasket of Europe" and sitting on newly discovered rich fossil fuel deposits -- that Russia annexed its traditional territory of the Crimea next to Eastern Ukraine, the latter after the violent coup put under the rule of a US-Nazi-led government until its people fought back with Russia assistance for the now NATO-targeted zones of the new Donetsk and Lugansk republics.

What is new now is that we are about to enter yet another NATO-member war build-up against the cornerstone of Western ideology, the designated Enemy Russia. As usual there is amnesia of the ever-recurring big-lie pretext, the need for another crisis to keep the two-billion-dollar a day US-led NATO war machine going, the baleful puppet moves of Canada in the process, the crisis of legitimacy of the lead attacker's UK government, and silent diversion from the whole nightmare scenario unfolding in NATO-member states, mass media and even 'peace activist' organisations.

Cui Bono?

The UK and the US followed by Canada and some of the EU have by expulsion of Russia diplomats prepared the diplomatic way for war in the Ukraine to seize back these lost coup-territories, and it will be in the name of "freedom", "human rights" and "the rules of civilised nations". But there is much officially suppressed colour to the warring parties political conflict which reveals who the truly heinous suppressor of human rights is. Under mass media and corporate-state cover, the US-UK-NATO axis about to make war in Ukraine is doing so under the factually absurd but non-stop pretext of "Russia aggression" constructed out of the double-agent poisoning affair, with the guilty agents and poison having no proof but the ever louder UK-led and NATO-state assertion of it in unison. Yet there is a clear answer to the cui bono question -- which party does all this benefit? Clearly once the question is posed, as opposed to completely gagged in the corporate press, Theresa May's slow-motion collapsing Tory government -- now even challenged for its fraudulent Brexit referendum protecting the big London banks from EU regulation -- has to have such a war-drum distraction to survive. The old war of aggression pattern reverse-blamed on the official enemy unwinds yet again.

It is revealing in this context how Canada's government has no such ruler need of war -- unless it be its Ukraine-descendent Foreign Minister up front and the very powerful and widely Nazi-sympathizing Ukraine Liberal vote bank and leadership brought to Canada after 1945 to overwhelm the preceding active socialist Ukrainian community in Canada. Canada's government -- not its people -- is in any case used to being a puppet regime in foreign affairs as a twice-colonized rule by big business (why the NDP is not allowed to govern unless so subjugated).

The Human Rights Question

In light of all of this suppressed factual background and motive for more war in Ukraine which is unspeakable in the official news, interaction with the United Nations is of revealing interest. While it has been the cover for US-led NATO executed genocidal wars of aggression in the past as in Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yugoslavia and Korea, the pretexts of 'human rights', 'responsibility to protect' and 'stopping communist aggression', which are in fact always been the spectacular opposite on the ground in terms of diseased, mass-murdered and destituted bodies, these pretexts may not sell well when the background facts are no longer suppressed from public view.

It is worthwhile recalling how Science for Peace leadership used to be against but has since Afghanistan collaborated with these false-pretext wars in sustaining their illusions and thus the war crimes and crimes against proceeding underneath them.

The NATO-executed Ukraine war now being orchestrated is especially revealing in its actual record of 'protecting human rights' through 'international law' and 'norms of civilised nations'. Completely buried in official records is a United Nations resolution n on Ukraine that the US and Canada repudiated on November 20 2015 after the US-led bloody coup d'etat in Ukraine was in full motion of claiming all the vast tracts of land and resources that were Russia-speaking territory in the past.

The resolution was straightforwardly against "Nazi symbols and regalia" as well as "holocaust denial". The Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs Committee of the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly voted for a resolution to enable measures against "the glorification of Nazism, neo-Nazism and other practices that facilitate the escalation of modern forms of racism, xenophobia and intolerance". A total of 126 member-states of the UN voted for it for the second time. Over 100 countries voted for a similar resolution in 2014 including "denial of the holocaust and glorification of the Nazi movement, former members of the Waffen SS organization, including the installation of memorials to them, and post-coup attempts to desecrate or destroy the monuments to those who fought against Nazism in Ukraine during World War II".

How could any civilised state vote against these United Nations Resolutions for human rights as Canada and the US have done and stood by ever since? Well instituted group hatred of the officially designated enemy can justify anything whatsoever, and does so right into next NATO-executed orgy of war crime and crimes against humanity, again inside Europe itself flaunting reverse-blame lies and slogans as red meat for psychotically trained masses. It is not by accident that Canada's Foreign Minister is in this near century-old Nazi loyalist vs Russia-speaking conflict was before her appointment the "proud "granddaughter of a leading Nazi war propagandist during its occupation of Poland and Ukraine described as a "fighter for freedom".

Yet on the other hand, we must not lose ourselves in ad hominem responsibility. Crystina Freeland, her Canada name, is interestingly propagandist in itself from her birth -- Christian Free Land -- but not observed in the corporate press. Minister Freeland is only a symptom of something far deeper and more systemically murderous and evil in state-executed unlimited greed and immiserization of innocent millions of people masked as 'human rights' , 'freedom' and 'rule of law' . Her more sinister double in the US is also a renamed person of the region, Victoria Nuland (read New Land) who orchestrated the whole 2014 mass-murder coup in Ukraine and now tub-thumps on public television for the 'need to teach Putin and Russia a hard lesson', aka another war attack by US-led NATO on Russia's borders.

The difference now is that the absurd pretext and geostrategic mechanisms now in motion beforehand can be seen in front of our eyes -- that is, if we can still see through the engineered prism of the US-UK led NATO war machine. This alone will stop it.

John McMurtry is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada whose work is translated from Latin America to Japan. His most recent book is The Cancer Stage of Capitalism: From Crisis to Cure .

[Mar 27, 2018] Within a week after Brennan's 'routine' visit in April 2014 to the Ukraine the Ukrainian army launched a civil war. That was within 2 weeks of the CIA instigated coup an the end of February 2014

Mar 27, 2018 | www.unz.com

JR , Next New Comment March 27, 2018 at 6:24 am GMT

Within a week after Brennan's 'routine' visit in April 2014 to the Ukraine the Ukrainian army launched a civil war. That was within 2 weeks of the CIA instigated coup an the end of February 2014.

[Mar 03, 2018] Shocking EU Reforms Ukraine's public debt doubles in 4 years, while personal incomes halve

Mar 03, 2018 | www.fort-russ.com

The Ukrainian economy is in a catastrophic state after four years of "euro-reforms," said ​​Viktor Medvedchuk, head of the public movement "Ukrainian Choice – People's Right." "At the end of 2013. Ukraine's state and publicly guaranteed debt was 40% of GDP, and by the end of 2017 it had more than doubled, exceeding 80% of GDP. In 2013, Ukraine's GDP per capita was more than $ 4,075, and in 2016 decreased to $ 2221.

The average monthly salary in 2017 as a whole for the country was $ 267 (in 2013 it exceeded $ 408), pensions are also 2.3 times lower than before the euro reform. Today, it is slightly more than $ 48, while in 2013 it was almost $ 112, " Medvedchuk said.

[Feb 25, 2018] Poland vs Ukraine

Actually life in Ukraine was not that bad in 2010-2014. Hopefully "After-Maydan" deterioration might be temporary, although without new markets for Ukrainian industrial goods recovery is almost impossible. Also the level of foreign debt is now much highe