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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[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 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?

[Jul 09, 2018] Why Was Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 Shot Down, by Kees van der Pijl

Notable quotes:
"... Today, Western imperialism projects its global power, as far as capital is concerned, primarily from the perspective of speculative, financial asset investment. Long gone are the days of class and international compromise forced upon it after World War Two. Instead, the predatory instincts of dominant financial capital require forcibly opening up all states for commodification and exploitation. Given the global spread of product and commodity chains, the continued flow of profits to the West cannot be taken for granted as long as effective state sovereignty elsewhere persists. For the liberal, Anglophone heartland of capital, 'defence' is therefore not merely, or even primarily, a matter of upholding the territorial integrity of the states constituting it, but keeping open the arterial system of the global economy and maintaining the centrality of the West. Regime change is a logical corollary, and from this perspective we must view the coup in Ukraine in February 2014 and all ensuing events, including the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17. ..."
"... Russia under Yeltsin had effectively surrendered its sovereignty to transnational capital and the West and as a result was left a social and economic disaster zone. ..."
"... The Anglo-American invasion of Iraq on a false pretext made abundantly clear that the West was abandoning the rules of the post-war international order. 'Democracy promotion' intended to prevent national sovereignty from being mobilised against Western global governance, was now made a priority. The 'Rose Revolution' in Georgia in 2003 and the 'Orange Revolution' a year later in Ukraine, marked the lengths to which the United States was willing to go. ..."
"... To ensure that countries incorporated into the US-NATO sphere of influence, really became neoliberal client states, Pascual and Krasner devised a strategy for preventive intervention with a rulebook listing the measures by which 'market democracy' was to be established. Ukraine was a key target and battleground, because by now, Russia was beginning to contest Western forward pressure. ..."
"... The economic mismanagement and infighting of the different oligarchic clans in Ukraine led to payment arrears and repeated shutdowns of the gas supply from Russia, and Gazprom, the state-owned Russian gas company, early on began to look for ways to bypass the Ukrainian grid. ..."
"... If Russia takes Ukraine, Belarus will join the Eurasian Union, and, presto, the Soviet Union (in another name) will be back. ..."
"... Far easier to [hold] the line now, in Ukraine than elsewhere, later ..."
"... weekend of 13 to 14 April, CIA Director John Brennan was in the Ukrainian capital. ..."
"... Parubiy sent out a Twitter message on the 15th that veterans of the Maidan uprising were poised to join the fight. ..."
"... The downing of MH17 on 17 July changed all that. As I said above, who did it and how remains obscure, although there are several pursued by people familiar with local circumstances, or revealed by insiders who know who which military assets were operating that day -- but all that remains inconclusive. The official reports by the Dutch Safety Board and the JIT may be conveniently dismissed although the DSB rightly pointed at the questionable decision by Kiev to allow civilian planes to fly over a war zone. However, irrespective of the actual perpetrator, and whether it was an intentional act or an accident, there is no doubt about the West's intent to exploit the event to the maximum. ..."
"... 'without MH17 it would have been pretty difficult to find sufficient support for the increased sanctions on the Russian economy' ..."
"... Even at the time of the Kiev coup, commentators wondered to what extent shale gas from the US might be used to offset Russian deliveries. LNG facilities planned in Florida and Maryland were projected to serve the European market at Gazprom's expense, a prospect meanwhile far more realistic. ..."
"... The downing of Flight MH17 also definitively sealed the fate of South Stream. Russian banks financing the project, led by Gazprombank, were hit by new sanctions, so that the necessary capital could no longer be raised internationally. ..."
"... Since the F-16 that shot down the Russian jet was part of a pro-NATO unit based at Inçirlik airbase that took part in the coup attempt, the incident over Syria would appear to fit in a framework that may also have decided the fate of Flight MH17: a provocation to throw relations with Russia into disarray, but we don't know for sure. ..."
"... cover the scenarios from changes of leadership within the current structures, to the emergence of a group ready to pursue structural reform in some sort of accountable dialogue with the Russian population, to regime collapse ..."
"... In the current global conjuncture, even the tentative contender coalition combining the Eurasian Union, the BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, constitutes an acute danger to a capitalist West in crisis. Whether the United States and NATO would therefore also be willing to take even greater risks than they are doing now is a prospect too frightening to contemplate. However, it must be confronted, or the fate of the 298 people on Flight MH17 may become that of humanity at large. ..."
Jul 09, 2018 | www.unz.com

Four years ago, on 17 July 2014, in the midst of a civil war raging in eastern Ukraine, Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 was destroyed with all 298 passengers and crew. On 25 May last, the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) entrusted with the criminal investigation of the downing and composed of the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and paradoxically, given its possible involvement, Ukraine, presented its second progress report. Like the first report in September 2016, it took the form of a press conference, with video animations supporting the investigation's findings.

This time there was even less to report; the main conclusion was that elements from the Russian 53rd Buk missile brigade were the culprits, a claim already made by the London-based investigative group Bellingcat two years before.

In February 2016 that assertion had still been dismissed as unfit for evidence by the Dutch chief prosecutor on the JIT, Fred Westerbeke, in a letter to victims' relatives. How can it possibly have become the core component of the case for the prosecution two years and two months later?

The JIT press conference was immediately followed by a formal declaration on the part of the Dutch and Australian governments that held Russia responsible. However, JIT member Malaysia dissociated itself from the accusation, whilst Belgium has remained silent.

The obviously over-hasty conclusion, on the heels of the alleged Skripal nerve gas incident in Salisbury and the likewise contested Syrian government gas attack on jihadist positions in Douma, all point in the same direction: Putin's Russia must be kept under fire and there is no time to wait for a court verdict.

In my book Flight MH17, Ukraine and the New Cold War. Prism of Disaster (Manchester University Press), I have refrained from entering the slippery terrain of making claims about who pulled the trigger, intentionally or by accident, in the late afternoon of 17 July, or even which type of weapon was used. For the downing of the Malaysian plane has become part of a propaganda war that was already heating up prior to the catastrophe. Instead the book is about what we do know about the events surrounding it, in the preceding months, weeks, and days, indeed even on the day itself. Subsequent events have only underlined that it is this context that lends meaning to the tragedy.

Refocusing US Supremacy After the Soviet Collapse

Today, Western imperialism projects its global power, as far as capital is concerned, primarily from the perspective of speculative, financial asset investment. Long gone are the days of class and international compromise forced upon it after World War Two. Instead, the predatory instincts of dominant financial capital require forcibly opening up all states for commodification and exploitation. Given the global spread of product and commodity chains, the continued flow of profits to the West cannot be taken for granted as long as effective state sovereignty elsewhere persists. For the liberal, Anglophone heartland of capital, 'defence' is therefore not merely, or even primarily, a matter of upholding the territorial integrity of the states constituting it, but keeping open the arterial system of the global economy and maintaining the centrality of the West. Regime change is a logical corollary, and from this perspective we must view the coup in Ukraine in February 2014 and all ensuing events, including the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17.

Right from the Soviet collapse in 1991, the US global perspective was articulated in several new strategic doctrines. The first and perhaps foundational one is the Wolfowitz Doctrine, named after Paul Wolfowitz, undersecretary of defence in the Bush Sr. administration, who commissioned a Defence Planning Guidance for Fiscal 1994-'99 (DPG) of 1992. It proclaims the United States the world's sole superpower, which must remain ahead of all possible contenders in arms technology and never again accept military parity, as with the USSR during the Cold War. The newly self-confident European Union, too, was obliquely warned that the US alone would handle global policing.

Additional doctrines, specifying on which grounds armed US intervention might be undertaken and justified, added elements such as humanitarian intervention (a Carnegie Endowment report of 1992, Self-Determination in the New World Order ); it was applied in Yugoslavia and again in Libya. Next, the'War on Terror', originally floated at Israeli Likud/US Neocon conferences between 1979 and 1984, was revived after the collapse of the USSR as the 'Clash of Civilizations' by Cold War strategist Samuel Huntington; Afghanistan and Iraq stand as monuments of the application of this doctrine. Finally, Zbigniew Brzezinski's The Grand Chessboard of 1997 specifically dealt with reorganising the former USSR, including Ukraine.

Through the different episodes, NATO was transformed into a global policing structure serving the interests of Atlantic capital. 'Out of area operations', unthinkable in the Yalta epoch, were first tried out against the Bosnian Serbs in the mid-1990s. The enlargement of the alliance into the former Soviet bloc, which began around that time too, was obviously motivated to prevent European departures from US tutelage, hence its bold forward surge. Already in 1994, Ukraine became the first former Soviet republic to join the Partnership for Peace, the newly created waiting room for NATO membership. To quell Russian concerns about the advancing West, the NATO-Russia Founding Act of 1997 laid down that no nuclear weapons and permanent troop deployments would take place in new member states. Yet Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Moldova not long afterwards joined a low-key organisation of former Soviet republics (after the initials, GUAM), another oblique link up with NATO.

Mobilising Georgia and Ukraine against Resurgent Russia

Russia under Yeltsin had effectively surrendered its sovereignty to transnational capital and the West and as a result was left a social and economic disaster zone. Under his successor, Vladimir Putin, the country began to mutate back to a society led by a directive state, assisted by rising oil prices. After the United States unilaterally withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002 and announced a missile defence system deployed in the CzechRepublic, Poland, and Rumania, Russia shifted to a more robust international position. The Anglo-American invasion of Iraq on a false pretext made abundantly clear that the West was abandoning the rules of the post-war international order. 'Democracy promotion' intended to prevent national sovereignty from being mobilised against Western global governance, was now made a priority. The 'Rose Revolution' in Georgia in 2003 and the 'Orange Revolution' a year later in Ukraine, marked the lengths to which the United States was willing to go.

Yet even a colour revolution means little if there is no accompanying make-over of the fundamental state/society relation. Hence, the incoming policy planning director at the US State Department, Stanford professor Stephen Krasner, and Carlos Pascual, former US ambassador in Kiev, developed a comprehensive regime change doctrine in 2004. This would prove a key element in the subsequent Ukraine intervention. To ensure that countries incorporated into the US-NATO sphere of influence, really became neoliberal client states, Pascual and Krasner devised a strategy for preventive intervention with a rulebook listing the measures by which 'market democracy' was to be established. Ukraine was a key target and battleground, because by now, Russia was beginning to contest Western forward pressure.

At the Munich Security Conference in January 2007, Putin reminded his audience of the promises made to Gorbachev in 1991 not to expand the Atlantic alliance and warned that further attempts at enlargement (the Baltic states having been included in 2004) would imply great risks. Yet NATO and the EU were inexorably pressing forward. At the Bucharest NATO summit in April 2008 the Americans made the offer of NATO membership to Georgia and Ukraine, only to have the offer vetoed by Germany and France. Possibly to force the issue, the pro-Western president brought to power by the Rose Revolution in Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, armed and encouraged by the US and Israel, later that year embarked on a military adventure to recapture the breakaway province of South Ossetia. It ended in a complete debacle, as a Russian army stood ready in North Ossetia to deal the invaders a major, if very costly, blow. This, then, was what Richard Sakwa calls, 'the war to stop NATO enlargement'. From now on, every post-Soviet republic tempted to join the Atlantic alliance would have to reckon with Russian protection for groups resisting such integration, irrespective of whether it concerned actual Russians or any other of the almost two hundred nationalities of the former USSR.

The EU-Russian Energy Equation and Ukraine

The gas from Russia that feeds Europe today was discovered back in the 1960s; the Friendship oil pipeline was built in 1964 and the Soyuz, Urengoi and Yamal pipelines followed after West Germany started purchasing Soviet gas. The link-up culminated in 1980 with the contract for a gas pipeline from Urengoi in north Siberia to Bavaria, signed by a heavy-industry consortium headed by Deutsche Bank.

After the collapse of the USSR, Russian gas had to pass through the pipeline grid of independent Ukraine, which in the meantime had become the prey of rival clans of oligarchs. For most of them, gas was the key source of rapid enrichment -- directly, as in the case of subsequent prime minister Yuliya Timoshenko, 'the Gas Princess', or indirectly, by supplying steel pipes for gas transport, as in the case of president Leonid Kuchma's son-in-law, Victor Pinchuk, the 'Pipeline King'. The economic mismanagement and infighting of the different oligarchic clans in Ukraine led to payment arrears and repeated shutdowns of the gas supply from Russia, and Gazprom, the state-owned Russian gas company, early on began to look for ways to bypass the Ukrainian grid.

After Putin had come to power, he disciplined the Russian oligarchs as part of the restoration of state sovereignty. Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the energy oligarch and richest of all Russian billionaires at the time, at the time was buying support in the Duma to build a trans-Siberian pipeline to China; whilst negotiating with ExxonMobil and Chevron about US participation in his Yukos concern, which he planned to merge with Sibneft into the world's largest oil company. In 2005 he was convicted to a long prison sentence. Yukos was brought back into the Russian patrimony via a proxy construction involving state-owned Rosneft and Gazprom, as part of broader subordination of the economy to the state.

Gazprom meanwhile began building alliances to avoid future disruption of supplies via Ukraine and secure its European market. In 2005 it agreed with the outgoing government of Gerhard Schröder to build a pipeline across the Baltic directly to Germany, 'Nord Stream', with a consortium of German companies. Schröder was made the chairman of the board of the joint venture, Achimgaz, and two years later, a South Stream pipeline across the Black Sea to Bulgaria was contracted with ENI of Italy. It was to be extended into south-eastern Europe as far as Austria. In this way Gazprom and the Russian state were outmanoeuvring various EU projects for pipelines aimed at by-passing Russia. Indeed it was the EU's plan to use a Nabucco pipeline across Turkey to connect to the Caspian energy reserves that prompted the $40 billion South Stream project. Romano Prodi, prime minister of Italy, who first discussed South Stream with Putin in late 2006, was offered the chairmanship, which he declined, perhaps in the knowledge the project would become highly contested.

The Eurasian connection by now posed a direct threat to the cohesion of the enlarged Atlantic bloc. Besides Nord Stream and South Stream, Gazprom's collaboration with NIOC of Iran and a joint venture with ENI in Libya set all alarm bells ringing in Washington. Already in May 2006, a few months after the gas shutdown to Ukraine, the US Senate unanimously adopted a resolution calling on NATO to protect the energy security of its members and have it develop a diversification strategy away from Russia. Senator Richard Lugar in a much-noted speech prior to the NATO summit in Riga, Latvia, in November 2006, argued in favour of designating the manipulation of the energy supply as a 'weapon' that can activate Article 5 of the NATO treaty (common defence).

In a report to the European Parliament in 2008, the director of the EurasianPolicyCenter of the Hudson Institute in the US recommended that the EU should assist in liberalising and modernising the Ukrainian grid instead of supporting South Stream. Tension in the Black Sea area, her report noted candidly, might serve the purpose of blocking that pipeline altogether. However, after the 2010 election of president Victor Yanukovych, the front man of the powerful eastern and southern oligarchs, the lease of Russia's Crimean naval base at Sebastopol, home of its Black Sea fleet, had been extended to 2042, so the prospects for stirring up unrest there were mitigated by Moscow's enduring naval preponderance.

Regime Change in Kiev

One aspect of the resurgence of a sovereign Russia was the plan for a Eurasian economic union to rebuild relations with former Soviet republics (Ukraine obtained observer status early on). The EU's Eastern Partnership was a direct response. It was offered to former Soviet republics in 2008, in a gesture that signalled that Europe now effectively acted as a subcontractor to the larger anti-Russian design drafted in Washington. Concretely, the EU offered Ukraine and other former Soviet republics an Association Agreement that also included provisions for the country's alignment on NATO security policy, besides a neoliberal make-over in the spirit of the Krasner-Pascual doctrine. The envisaged reforms would be devastating for the country's existing power structure, not least for the Donbass oligarchs whose front man was Yanukovych. Their heavy industry assets would be swept away by EU competition, the country turned into an agricultural supplier, and Russian gas cut off.

Hence, when both the EU and Russia sought to win over Yanukovych to join their respective blocs and Brussels ruled out the triangular arrangement by which the Ukrainian president had hoped to postpone the choice, he could not but step back from signing the EU Association Agreement in November 2013 and accept a Russian counteroffer. By then, 'Europe' had become a code word for an end to oligarchic rapaciousness, in which Yanukovych and his sons had become involved as well. The president's decision triggered mass demonstrations and occupations, which this time included an armed insurrection by Ukrainian ultra-nationalists in the historically anti-Russian west of the country. It created the space for actual fascists to hijack the protests and prepare a coup. By their use of deadly force at the Maidan central square (ascribed by the coup plotters and in the West to the riot police), the Ukrainian ultras demonstrated they were ready to kill their own compatriots to achieve their aims.

To prevent the situation from getting out of hand completely, the foreign ministers of Germany, France and Poland flew to Kiev on 20 February 2014. However, whilst they negotiated a deal with Yanukovych and the opposition, the US and other NATO ambassadors met with Andriy Parubiy, the co-founder of the fascist party of Ukraine and former head of its militia, Patriot of Ukraine . Parubiy, today the speaker of the Kiev parliament, was in command of the armed gangs at the Maidan; two days later these took power in the capital, installing a government of Ukrainian nationalist stripe, selected by US diplomats. Parubiy was appointed secretary of the National Security and Defence Council (NSDC), a key post overseeing all military and intelligence operations, which he continued to hold until three weeks after the downing of MH17. With the Russian-Ukrainian half of the country effectively disenfranchised, the coup was responded to by the secession of Crimea and an armed insurrection in the Donbass. Stirrings of revolt in Odessa and Mariupol would be suppressed with deadly violence, in which Parubiy and other far right figures were directly involved.

Confronting the BRICS in Ukraine

From late March onwards the war party in the United States and NATO began to elaborate a strategy that would make Ukraine the testing ground for a trial of strength with Russia and China. The secession of Crimea and its re-incorporation into the Russian Federation was exploited to evoke the spectre of an impending Russian invasion on several fronts. General Philip Breedlove, commander of US Eucom (European Command, one of nine regional US military commands spanning the globe) and NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe (Saceur), coordinated the Western position with General Wesley Clark, a former NATO Saceur at the time of the Yugoslavia wars. Clark was already advising Kiev forces in eastern Ukraine before the Donbass had actually risen in revolt. On 12April he asked Breedlove whether the NATO commander could not arrange a statement blaming Moscow for the violence because ' if the Ukrainians lose control of the narrative , the Russians will see it as an open door'. Clark then elaborated on the general geopolitical situation, giving further insights into why the war party in the US believed that Ukraine was to be 'held' and chosen as a battle ground to confront Russia and China. No time was wasted on market democracy here. Claiming that 'Putin has read US inaction in Georgia and Syria as US "weakness",' Clark went on to explain that

China is watching closely. China will have four aircraft carriers and airspace dominance in the Western Pacific within 5 years, if current trends continue. And if we let Ukraine slide away, it definitely raises the risks of conflict in the Pacific. For, China will ask, would the US then assert itself for Japan, Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, the South China Sea? If Russia takes Ukraine, Belarus will join the Eurasian Union, and, presto, the Soviet Union (in another name) will be back. Neither the Baltics nor the Balkans will easily resist the political disruptions empowered by a resurgent Russia. And what good is a NATO "security guarantee" against internal subversion? And then the US will face a much stronger Russia, a crumbling NATO, and [a] major challenge in the Western Pacific. Far easier to [hold] the line now, in Ukraine than elsewhere, later .

On the weekend of 13 to 14 April, CIA Director John Brennan was in the Ukrainian capital. The Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO, so called because the use of military force within the country is only warranted under that label) began right after Brennan's visit; Parubiy sent out a Twitter message on the 15th that veterans of the Maidan uprising were poised to join the fight. Since NATO had earlier implored Yanukovych not to use force against (armed) demonstrators, Moscow now asked the alliance to restrain the coup leaders in turn. But according to foreign minister Lavrov, the answer they got was that 'NATO would ask them to use force proportionately'.

In fact even the oligarch, Petro Poroshenko, elected president on 25 May 2014 to provide a veneer of legitimacy to the coup regime, proved unable to restrain the hardliners. On 30 June, following a four-hour NSDC meeting with Parubiy, interior minister Avakov, and others whose armed followers were demonstrating outside, Poroshenko declared that the ceasefire would be lifted and a new offensive launched. Three days later NATO naval manoeuvres in the Black Sea commenced with US participation and with electronic warfare a key component. On the ground, Kiev's forces made rapid progress, apparently drawing a ring around the large rebel city of Donetsk. NATO had its own concerns: an upcoming summit in Wales in September was expected to capitalise on the trope of a 'Russian invasion', vital after the Afghanistan debacle, and dovetailing with the emerging contest with the BRICS bloc.

The BRICS, coined first as a banker's gimmick, were never more than a loose collection of '(re-) emerging economies', but from Washington's perspective, sovereign entities not submitting to neoliberal global governance are unacceptable. So when on 16 July, the BRICS heads of state, hosted by the Brazilian president, Dilma Rousseff (removed by a rightwing conspiracy in May 2016), signed the statute establishing a New Development Bank, or BRICS bank, as a direct challenge to the US and Western-dominated World Bank and IMF, the US imposed new sanctions on Russia over Ukraine, specifically targeting the energy link with the EU. The creation of an equivalent of the World Bank with a capital of $100 billion with a reserve currency pool of the same size (an equivalent of the IMF), laid the groundwork of a contender pole in the global political economy challenging the West's austerity regime frontally -- or so it seemed at the time.

Still in Brazil before flying back to Moscow, Russian president Putin on the fringes of the football world cup finals also agreed with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to pursue a comprehensive Land for gas deal. Its tentative provisions included normalising the status of Crimea in exchange for a massive economic rehabilitation plan and a gas price rebate for Ukraine. However, a special European Council meeting convened on the 16th could not reach agreement on whether the EU should follow the American lead this time, since countries with export interests to Russia and dependent on its gas, were balking. Instead, the Council stressed the EU's commitment 'to pursue trilateral talks on the conditions of gas supply from the Russian Federation to Ukraine' in order to 'safeguard the security of supply and transit of natural gas through Ukraine.'

The Downing of Flight MH17 and South Stream

The downing of MH17 on 17 July changed all that. As I said above, who did it and how remains obscure, although there are several pursued by people familiar with local circumstances, or revealed by insiders who know who which military assets were operating that day -- but all that remains inconclusive. The official reports by the Dutch Safety Board and the JIT may be conveniently dismissed although the DSB rightly pointed at the questionable decision by Kiev to allow civilian planes to fly over a war zone. However, irrespective of the actual perpetrator, and whether it was an intentional act or an accident, there is no doubt about the West's intent to exploit the event to the maximum.

Former secretary of state and then-presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton in a TV interview on the 18th called for making 'Russia pay the price' once its culpability had been established. Her to-do list for the EU included, one, 'toughen sanctions'; two, find alternatives to Gazprom, and third, 'do more in concert with us to support the Ukrainians'. The 'Land for gas' negotiations were shelved and on the 22nd Europe dropped the remaining hesitations when it underwrote the US sanctions targeting Russia's role as an energy supplier. As Mark Leonard, founder and director of the European Council on Foreign Relations, noted in a newspaper interview a year later, 'without MH17 it would have been pretty difficult to find sufficient support for the increased sanctions on the Russian economy' .

In 2009 the EU had introduced a new energy policy, dubbed a 'Third Energy Package'. It does not permit gas to be transported to the EU by the company producing it, effectively forcing Gazprom to sell even the gas piped through the Ukrainian grid to other companies before it could enter the EU. Nord Stream had still been exempted from EU competition rules, but the projected South Stream was not, never mind that most contracts with Gazprom had been signed before the Third Energy Package came into force. Even at the time of the Kiev coup, commentators wondered to what extent shale gas from the US might be used to offset Russian deliveries. LNG facilities planned in Florida and Maryland were projected to serve the European market at Gazprom's expense, a prospect meanwhile far more realistic.

The Crimean secession and incorporation into the Russian Federation obviously played its own role here. Crimea is a historically Russian region; having been assigned to Ukraine by a whim of Soviet party leader Khrushchev in 1954, it never reconciled itself to being part of an independent Ukraine. After the nationalist coup in late February, the status of the Russian naval base in Sebastopol was in the balance. In 1991, the Black Sea had been a Soviet/bloc inland sea, with one NATO country (Turkey) bordering it. Now there were two more NATO/EU countries and two pro-Western, aspiring NATO members on its littoral. So when one week after the coup, three former Ukrainian Presidents, Kravchuk, Kuchma, and Yushchenko, called on the coup government in Kiev to cancel the agreement under which the lease of Sebastopol, home to the Russian Black Sea fleet, had been extended to 2042, the question of who would be able to project naval power over the Black Sea became acute. The question now was whether Russia would be able to provide cover for a large-scale project such as South Stream, or not.

South Stream itself came into the firing line directly. The European Parliament, which never raised the issue of why the February agreement with Yanukovych the EU brokered had been sidelined by the coup, on 17 April 2014 adopted a non-binding resolution opposing the South Stream gas pipeline and recommended a search for alternative sources of gas. On 28 April, the United States imposed a ban on business transactions within its territory on seven Russian officials, including Igor Sechin, the CEO of Rosneft, the Russian state oil company, as well as Gennady Timchenko, whose Volga Group controls Stroytransgaz, the company entrusted with building the Bulgarian section of South Stream. Nevertheless the Bulgarian parliament approved South Stream two weeks after the reincorporation of Crimea, circumventing the EU's anti-trust legislation by renaming the pipeline a 'sea-land connection'.The European Commission then instructed Bulgaria to stop work on South Stream and proceeded to cut off tens of millions of much-needed regional development funds, whilst the US ambassador warned Bulgarian companies against working with Timchenko. A final visit of US Senators John McCain and Ron Johnson, in combination with other punitive measures then led to the cancellation in early June. As Eric Draitser commented at the time, 'South Stream has become one of the primary battlegrounds in the economic war that the West is waging against Russia'.

The downing of Flight MH17 also definitively sealed the fate of South Stream. Russian banks financing the project, led by Gazprombank, were hit by new sanctions, so that the necessary capital could no longer be raised internationally. Putin earlier had hinted at moving the transit of gas for the EU to non-European countries; in August, it was reported there was a Plan B in the works to export via Turkey. On 1 December 2014, during a state visit to Ankara, the Russian president announced that in light of Western sanctions and the refusal of construction permits in the EU, South Stream would be replaced by a 'Turkish Stream' pipeline, besides the existing Blue Stream link. However, in November 2015, a Turkish F-16 shot down a Russian fighter jet over northern Syria, throwing relations between Moscow and Ankara into a deep crisis and entailing the cancellation of Turkish Stream. This was only overcome after the July 2016 coup attempt against Erdoğan, in which Russia sided with the Turkish president, possibly even warning him in advance. Since the F-16 that shot down the Russian jet was part of a pro-NATO unit based at Inçirlik airbase that took part in the coup attempt, the incident over Syria would appear to fit in a framework that may also have decided the fate of Flight MH17: a provocation to throw relations with Russia into disarray, but we don't know for sure.

Regime Change in Moscow?

The MH17 disaster occurred in the context of a deep crisis, in which capitalist discipline as imposed from its historic epicentre in the West, has become primarily predatory, relying to an ever-greater extent on violence.

Speculative financial operations in combination with the 'War on Terror' have spread economic risk and repression at home, war and regime change abroad. Human survival itself has been turned into a global gamble played out over the head of the affected populations for private gain.

The West, led by the effectively bankrupt United States, increasingly relies on force to sabotage the formation of any alternative, something its own social formation can no longer bring forth. Even the most promising, potentially revolutionary IT and media developments coming out of Silicon Valley have been mortgaged by a planetary project of communications surveillance to safeguard US imperial positions.

Back in the 1980s, when it launched the second Cold War, the Reagan administration intended to destabilise the Soviet bloc and bring about regime change in Moscow. This is also the aim of the current, new Cold War. A 2015 Chatham House report, 'The Russian Challenge', discusses this in some detail. Although it concedes that the West cannot have an interest in Russia sliding into complete anarchy, neither should the Putin presidency be protected 'against change, whether managed or violent '. Therefore, 'whether Putin was ousted by an internal coup, by illness or by popular unrest , it would nevertheless be sensible for the West to give further thought to how it might deal with the consequences of regime change in Russia.'

Effective communication with the Russian people and the defence of human values beforehand would be essential for Western credibility Planning for the future ought, lastly, to cover the scenarios from changes of leadership within the current structures, to the emergence of a group ready to pursue structural reform in some sort of accountable dialogue with the Russian population, to regime collapse .

The president of the National Endowment for Democracy, Carl Gershman, in a piece for the Washington Post in October 2016 suggested launching a new, sustained anti-Putin campaign, for which the contract killing of the journalist, Anna Politkovskaya, ten years earlier, might be used as a vignette.

For such a campaign, George Soros' Open Society Foundation can be trusted to have elaborated the 'civil society'/colour revolution scenarios, whilst identifying the groups that might be mobilised for their execution. The OSF plan of action for 2014-17, titled Russia Project Strategy , identifies Russian intellectuals active in Western academic and opinion networks, the Russian gay movement, and others as potential levers for civil society protest against the conservative bloc in power in Moscow. From the OSF documents hacked by the CyberBerkut collective, Alexei Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation emerges as the key beneficiary, and discussion portals and liberal media such as Echo of Moscow radio station, RBK news agency, and the newspaper Vedomosti, as the preferred channels to disseminate content.

There is no need to repeat that all this is part a powerful offensive to derail the loose contender bloc around China and Russia, which had constituted itself in the face of Western aggressiveness and crisis. The seizure of power in Ukraine as well as the secession of Crimea and the civil war in the east, which has meanwhile cost the lives of more than 13,000 people and displaced a million, as well as economic warfare against Russia by the US and the EU, have brought the danger of a large European war several steps closer. Whether the actual downing of Flight MH17 was an intentional, premeditated act or an accident, whether it involved a jet attack, an anti-aircraft missile, or both, ultimately cannot be established with certainty. Yet both the NATO war party and the coup regime in Kiev, which on many occasions has demonstrated that its ultra-nationalist and fascist antecedents are very much alive, would have been perfectly capable of such an act and had the means for it. Most importantly, they had the motive. Those in power in Kiev had several times already attempted to draw Moscow into the civil war, directly and through a NATO intervention. If this indeed was their aim, it would also have served the Atlantic bloc's determined and long-standing commitment to force continental Europe into an antagonistic relation with Russia.

In the current global conjuncture, even the tentative contender coalition combining the Eurasian Union, the BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, constitutes an acute danger to a capitalist West in crisis. Whether the United States and NATO would therefore also be willing to take even greater risks than they are doing now is a prospect too frightening to contemplate. However, it must be confronted, or the fate of the 298 people on Flight MH17 may become that of humanity at large.

Kees van der Pijl is a Fellow, Centre for Global Political Economy and Professor Emeritus of the School of Global Studies at the University of Sussex.

[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 higher, so they dig a deeper hole for themselves to climb out. Other probable scenario is bankruptcy. See also Bill Black Once a Poster Child for Austerity, Latvia Becomes a Hotbed of Corruption naked capitalism
Feb 25, 2018 | www.unz.com

Dmitry , Next New Comment February 25, 2018 at 7:15 pm GMT

@Felix Keverich

Poland's level of GDP per capita is 6 times bigger than Ukraine's. They started out around the same level in 1991 and were supposed to follow the same playbook. To the extent that their paths diverged can be explained by Ukrainian corruption and incompetence.

Poland received hundreds of billions of dollars in EU subsidies and transfers. Not a fair comparison. Even still today they are receiving this transfer of wealth from net contributor countries in the EU (there's another good reason EU became unpopular in net contributor countries like the UK and the Netherlands):

https://msp.gov.pl/en/polish-economy/economic-news/4015,Poland-to-get-nearly-EUR-106-bln-from-2014-2020-EU-budget-pool-expected-impact-o.html

Felix Keverich , Next New Comment February 25, 2018 at 8:16 pm GMT
@Dmitry

Energy subsidies from Russia to the Ukraine are estimated at hundreds of billions of dollars since 1991. The Ukraine has been well subsidized since independence. What they have been desperately lacking is governance.

[Feb 25, 2018] The neoliberal "methodology" for "showing economic success" is propaganda masquerading as "science". So they sell Latvia as a poster child of austerity, true neoliberal market miracle. In reality it is a hot bed of curruption and deindustrialization

Latvia now is a typical neoliberal debt slave and flourishing sex trafficking market. Not that different from other Baltic states, Ukraine, Moldavia and generally all xUSSR space.
Feb 25, 2018 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

YankeeFrank , February 25, 2018 at 7:38 am

Bill mentions the brain drain from Latvia, but I seem to recall a quite massive general emigration from the country during austerity, which also helped to "reduce unemployment" as well. The neoliberal "methodology" for "showing economic success" is moral and economic bankruptcy masquerading as "science". And wow. So we have Latvia to thank for the coming nuclear holocaust as well. A true neoliberal market miracle.

Lambert's two principles of neoliberalism are once again brought to mind:

#1 Because markets.

#2 Go die.

Skip Intro , February 25, 2018 at 11:03 am

All those 'excess' workers who left were helping keep wages low in the EU
In the sense that Latvia's future productivity is sacrificed for short-term benefits on the books, it starts to look like another asset-stripping scheme, and the costs are borne by workers in the EU.

The Rev Kev , February 25, 2018 at 8:40 am

This is not the first time that Latvia has appeared on NC ( https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/01/latvias-economic-disaster-as-a-neoliberal-success-story-a-model-for-europe-and-the-us.html ) and probably won't be the last. What is it about neoliberalism that that seems to have corruption as part of its DNA?

Latvia already has one of the highest levels of poverty and income inequality in the EU and its population has dropped by about a fifth in the past 18 years which is a bit of a record considering that there was no war, that is, unless you count the neoliberal war on people. Some moved to the capital Riga but most bailed out of the country altogether and are not coming back. You can find whole blocks of empty buildings in some towns.
But don't worry. The Latvians are on the case. The head of the Latvian Central Bank detained for extortion and the Latvian Ministry of Defense both blame, you guessed it, Russia!

Lambert's two principles of neoliberalism may have to be updated. He already has
#1 Because markets.
#2 Go die.

He may have to modify the second one to say
#2 Go die or get the hell outta Dodge.

DJG , February 25, 2018 at 9:11 am

Now I may be prejudiced because the Gs came from deepest darkest Lithuania–and we're talking out in the endless woods in a village along a lake.

When people talk about population decline in Latvia, you are talking about part of the corruption. The native Latvians wanted a way of getting rid of the Russian population, many of whom are considered immigrants. So dropping 20 percent of the population means throwing out the Russians. When your "population policy " is based on something like that, you can image what the country's economic policies are like.

In contrast–although Lithuania, too, has lost some 10 – 15 percent of its population since restored independence–the Lithuanians came to terms, imperfect terms, with their smaller Polish and Russian minorities. Nevertheless, the Lithuanians didn't go whole-hog free-market fundamentalism. And when a recent president was found to be corrupt, they impeached him and threw him out.

So you have different models for how to survive as a Baltic State. Latvia has made a mess of its "model."

edmondo , February 25, 2018 at 10:53 am

"Now of course that's still in a land where they had really severely repressed wages for the working class and for middle class, and continued to tolerate a fair degree of unemployment and underemployment for folks, as well. So, yeah it works really well for the oligarchs. And they do employ people. The unemployment rate drops, but the country invariably becomes extremely corrupt."

Was he still talking about Latvia or did he switch over to the USA?

Altandmain , February 25, 2018 at 12:15 pm

There is a strong correlation between inequality and corruption.

Furthermore, in the medium term there is a causal relationship:
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1331677X.2016.1169701

This would suggest that inflicting austerity on a population, which worsens inequality, will set the precedent for corruption in the future.

Massinissa , February 25, 2018 at 12:27 pm

Half a decade ago when Latvia was considered a success story for neoliberal austerity, one animator made this great satire video making fun of how farcical it was to consider it such.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IRUBJ8qraY

Eustache De Saint Pierre , February 25, 2018 at 12:42 pm

Latvia also being part of that running sore which involves according to the US state department's last global estimate, about 800,000 to a million victims per annum of people trafficking. Of which around 80% are female, with a not stated amount being children, used for both labour & sexual purposes.

I suppose that it comes as little surprise that the 2 main flows of these commodities is from East to West & South to North.

[Dec 25, 2017] Ukraine loses gas dispute to Russia; ordered to pay $2 billion to Gazprom by by Alexander Mercouris

Notable quotes:
"... By contrast the reduction in the gas price Naftogaz refers to from $485/tcm to $352 tcm which Naftogaz makes much of in its statement appears to apply only to gas supplied to Ukraine by Gazprom in the second quarter of 2014 and still sets the price of gas supplied to Ukraine by Gazprom higher than was demanded by Ukraine during this period. ..."
"... Ukraine recently borrowed $3 billion on the international financial markets at very high interest almost certainly in order to pay the $3 billion the High Court in London has ordered it to pay Russia. Whilst the $2 billion is technically a debt owed by Naftogaz not Ukraine and its non-payment would does not place Ukraine in a state of sovereign default, Gazprom is in a position to enforce the debt against Naftogaz's assets (including gas it buys) in the European Economic Area. It is difficult to see how Naftogaz and Ukraine can avoid payment of this debt. ..."
"... Has Ukraine actually gained anything from its long running gas dispute with Russia? ..."
Dec 25, 2017 | theduran.com

On Friday 21st December 2017 the Stockholm Arbitration Court made a ruling in the legal dispute between Ukraine's state owned gas monopoly Naftogaz and Russia's largely state owned gas monopoly Gazprom.

In the hours after the decision – which like all decisions of the Stockholm Arbitration Court – is not published, Naftogaz claimed victory in a short statement. However over the course of the hours which followed Gazprom provided details of the decision which suggests that the truth is the diametric opposite.

The Duran recommends using WP Engine >>

Here is how the Financial Times reports the competing claims

Both Ukraine's Naftogaz and Russia's Gazprom both on Friday claimed victory as a Stockholm arbitration tribunal issued the final award ruling in the first of two cases in a three-year legal battle between the state-controlled energy companies, where total claims stand at some $80bn.

An emailed statement from the Ukrainian company was titled:

"Naftogaz wins the gas sales arbitration case against Gazprom on all issues in dispute."

Start your own website here >>

The Stockholm arbitration tribunal -- in its final award ruling in a dispute over gas supplies from prior years -- had, according to Naftogaz, struck down Gazprom's claim to receive $56bn for gas contracted but not supplied through controversial "take-or-pay" clauses. They were included in a supply contract Ukraine signed in 2009 after Gazprom dented supplies to the EU by cutting all flow amid a price dispute -- including transit through the country's vast pipeline systems. In a tweet Ukraine's foreign minister

Pavlo Klimkin wrote: "The victory of Naftogaz in the Stockholm arbitration: It's not a knockout, but three knockdowns with obvious advantage."

But later Gazprom countered that arbitors "acknowledged the main points of the contract were in effect and upheld the majority of Gazprom's demands for payment for gas supplies", worth over $2bn. A Naftogaz official responded that the company never refused to pay for gas supplied, but challenged price and conditions.

Given the tribunal does not make its decisions public, doubt loomed over which side was the ultimate winner. Anticipation also grew over the second and final tribunal award expected early next year over disputes both have concerning past gas transit obligations.

Friday's final Stockholm arbitration ruling follows a preliminary decision from last May after which both sides were given time to settle monetary claims outside of the tribunal but failed to reach agreement.

Here is the full Naftogaz statement:

"Today, the Tribunal at the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce has completely rejected Gazprom take-or-pay claims to Naftogaz amounting to USD 56 billion for 2009-2017.

Gazprom said that in a separate decision on May 31 of this year, the tribunal denied Naftogaz's application to review prices from May 2011 to April 2014, ordered it to pay $14bn for gas supplies during that period, and said that the take-or-pay conditions applied for the duration of the contract. Gazprom claimed that Naftogaz would have to pay it $2.18bn plus interest of 0.03 per cent for every day the payments were late, and then pay for 5bn cm of gas annually starting next year.

When the different sides give opposite accounts of the same decision it obviously becomes difficult to say what the real decision actually is. However Gazprom says that the court upheld (1) the main provisions of the contract; (2) the contract's take-or-pay provisions, these being a particularly contentious issue in the contract; and (3) that Naftogaz has been ordered to pay Gazprom $2 billion, presumably immediately, with interest for every day the amount is unpaid.

By contrast the reduction in the gas price Naftogaz refers to from $485/tcm to $352 tcm which Naftogaz makes much of in its statement appears to apply only to gas supplied to Ukraine by Gazprom in the second quarter of 2014 and still sets the price of gas supplied to Ukraine by Gazprom higher than was demanded by Ukraine during this period.

The key point here is that Russia agreed to reduce the price of gas supplied to Ukraine by an agreement Russia's President Putin reached with Ukraine's President Yanukovich in December 2013. After the Maidan coup the new Ukrainian government went back on the agreement causing the Russians to demand payment of the original price. However over the course of 2014, as energy prices began first to slide and then crashed, and as it became clear that Ukraine was simply not paying for its gas, Russia again reduced the price of the gas Ukraine had to pay.

What seems to have happened is that the Stockholm Arbitration Court decided to smooth out the price of gas payable by Ukraine throughout 2014, which is the sort of thing arbitration tribunals are regularly known to do, whilst leaving the essentials of the contract unchanged.

If so then this is not a victory by Ukraine but a clearcut defeat, which Naftogaz and the Ukrainian government have tried to spin into a victory by citing the reduction in the gas price in the second quarter of 2014 and the reduction in future gas import volumes, neither of which were contentious issues. By contrast it is clear that Ukraine and Naftogaz must pay the full contractual price and abide by the contract's take-or-pay provisions for the whole of the period of the contract prior to the second quarter of 2014.

What this means in terms of hard cash is that Ukraine must now pay Russia a further $2 billion on top of the $3 billion it was recently ordered to pay by the High Court in London. Just as it is holding back on paying the $3 billion it was ordered to pay by the High Court until the appeal process in London is finished, so it will try to hold off paying the $2 billion it has just been ordered to pay to Gazprom until the final decision of the Stockholm Arbitration Court (thus the brave talk of Naftogaz's claims of "up to $16 billion transit contract arbitration against Gazprom") but thereafter payment of the $2 billion will fall due. I say this because the claim Gazprom owes Naftogaz "up to" $16 billion in transit fees looks like it has been plucked out of the air.

What this means is that over the course of 2018 Ukraine will have to pay Russia $5 billion ($3 billion awarded by the High Court in London and $2 billion awarded by the Stockholm Arbitration Court). Since the $2 billion awarded by the Stockholm Arbitration Court is technically an arbitration award, Gazprom will need to convert it into a court Judgment before it can enforce it, but that is merely a formality. At that point this debt will become not merely due but legally enforceable as well.

Ukraine recently borrowed $3 billion on the international financial markets at very high interest almost certainly in order to pay the $3 billion the High Court in London has ordered it to pay Russia. Whilst the $2 billion is technically a debt owed by Naftogaz not Ukraine and its non-payment would does not place Ukraine in a state of sovereign default, Gazprom is in a position to enforce the debt against Naftogaz's assets (including gas it buys) in the European Economic Area. It is difficult to see how Naftogaz and Ukraine can avoid payment of this debt.

Has Ukraine actually gained anything from its long running gas dispute with Russia?

Naftogaz brags that Ukraine has saved up to $75 billion because it is no longer buying gas from Russia. However this begs the question of whether the gas Ukraine is now importing from Europe really is significantly cheaper than the gas Ukraine was buying from Russia? This is debatable and with energy prices rising it is likely to become even less likely over time.

[Nov 29, 2017] It must be embarrassing to be European these days. To be dressed down by the corrupt country you support on handouts because you are not doing enough to support it.

Notable quotes:
"... "We live at the time of a certain degrading of European institutions and their external weakening, including by Russia. You can accept it and go with the flow but you can also recognize the fact try to resist it." ..."
Nov 29, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

marknesop , , November 28, 2017 at 2:13 pm

Ha, ha!!! The Victim Of The Aggressor Country seldom fails to entertain. Here we have VR Deputy Chairperson Ira Gerashchenko bossing Europe around , and telling it that the Victim Of The Aggressor Country's parliamentary delegation will continue to insist on Russia not returning to the Council of Europe. Because, she says, Russia has stolen part of the territory of the VOTAC which was a gift from Russia in the first place (although she doesn't mention that last part), thereby setting a precedent for every country which has a province 'liberated' by the west to term it stolen by the west. But that wasn't my favourite part. No; this is – "We live at the time of a certain degrading of European institutions and their external weakening, including by Russia. You can accept it and go with the flow but you can also recognize the fact try to resist it."

Beautiful, Ira!! Inspiring!! And how many degraded European leaders are Billionaires who openly own an impressive slate of businesses and media in their countries, which they continue to operate and profit from while piously declaring their only interest is the welfare of the country? Which is, by the bye, the most corrupt country in Europe ? How many Prosecutors-General has the VOTAC had since its glorious liberation from the yoke of the Moskali? Yes, you can certainly teach Yurrup a thing or two about integrity.

It must be embarrassing to be European these days. To be dressed down by the corrupt country you support on handouts because you are not doing enough to support it. First we had the 'Me' generation. Then we had the 'Me' country.

[Nov 07, 2017] The international organization for migration has published official data which shows that every fourth prostitute in Europe is a citizen of Ukraine.

Nov 07, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Patient Observer , November 6, 2017 at 1:02 pm

Did not the Kremlin Stooges predict this years ago?

http://theduran.com/new-migration-data-shows-every-fourth-prostitute-europe-citizen-ukraine/

The international organization for migration has published official data which shows that every fourth prostitute in Europe is a citizen of Ukraine.

The article discusses pamphlets that are distributed to young Ukrainian girls/women advising them on how to survive and flourish in new realities of life in the EU.

the Ukrainian labor market is being formed and is growing. Even if there is no other work and none is expected, girls should know that Europe will take care of them. The younger generation of Ukrainian schoolgirls will find out how to apply themselves If you are involved in the sex business, then this brochure is for you," it is said in the introduction. "You have chosen a very dangerous profession, but if you always follow these simple rules, then you will get a chance to live a long life You shouldn't serve several clients alone, you should avoid drunk clients, and also always to take payment in advance. And when you go to the client's apartment, try to learn in what district of the city it is located, give preference to hotels".

marknesop , November 6, 2017 at 1:15 pm
It's okay if you're a hooker, and all you have to sell is yourself. You have chosen a dangerous profession, but really the writing was on the wall, wasn't it, if only you'd had sense to read it? And the economic calamity which has come to pass in your country is really no concern of ours, while for our part we are not too upset at being offered the choice of some of the most beautiful young women on the planet, who will do anything you say for a handful of euros.

Here's to your bright new future in the EU. Incredible. I wonder if Poroshenko will tout this statistic as another validation of Ukrainians' confidence in his leadership.

[Oct 10, 2017] Before Maidan Ukraine's external debt was 142 billion dollars, now, as of July 1, 2017, it is less than 115 billion. The country's GDP for 3 years fell exactly 2 times: it was 183 billion dollars, became 93 billion

Oct 10, 2017 | fish12a.livejournal.com

...The data were officially published on the website of the Ministry of Finance of Ukraine. http://index.minfin.com.ua/index/debt/

Before the revolution, Ukraine's external debt was more than now: 142 billion dollars. Now, as of July 1, 2017 it is slightly less than 114 billion. How this can happen during civil war it is not very clear...

But the country's GDP in three years fell exactly two times. That's what typically happens during civil war. It was 183 billion dollars, and now became 93 billion. That means $2186 per capita in 2016 year... With the average salary around $150 a month and the average pension less then $80 a month.


[Aug 26, 2017] The US has sent to the Ukraine its first consignment of coal

Aug 26, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

moscowexile says: August 22, 2017 at 5:25 am

The US has sent to the Ukraine its first consignment of coal
August 22, 11:28 UTC+3
The delivery price was $113 per ton

The beginning of the end for "Novorossiya"?

I am certain that is an interpretation that the resident troll will be eager to spout out.

Не секрет, что российский энергетический уголь Киев раньше закупал по 60-70 долларов за тонну. Донбасский обходился украинцам еще дешевле. Но затем официальный Киев под предлогом "войны с Москвой" отказался от дешевых энергоресурсов.

It is no secret that Kiev used to buy Russian power station coal at $60-70 per tonne. The Donbass made even cheaper deals with the Ukrainians . But then official Kiev, on the pretext of a "war with Moscow," refused cheap energy resources.

see: На Украину отправлена первая партия дорогого угля из США

Drutten says: August 22, 2017 at 6:49 am
Who's paying for it? The IMF? So the money goes back to the U.S?

I've seen multiple instances of this occuring in Ukraine, i.e. the purchasing of unnecessarily expensive goods, with money they technically don't have. It's not always a "Russian substitution" thing either.

Somebody's laughing all the way to the bank, at least. Good on them.

moscowexile says: August 22, 2017 at 6:54 am
Somebody's laughing all the way to the bank

Swinish squeals of laughter coming from him above, that's for sure.

Furthermore, the pig is laughing all the way to the bank that he owns.

marknesop says: August 22, 2017 at 9:38 am
That's their privilege. And they will be able to exercise it, in theory, for so long as the western taxpayer is prepared to see the IMF allot Ukraine money to buy energy at prices far higher than it could obtain it elsewhere. I daresay in the meantime someone else will buy Donbas coal. It's not like this is going to break them. Although the USA will pocket the taxpayers' money – again – which is one of its preferred ways of doing business.

[Aug 25, 2017] Rumours abound about "New Europeans" (mostly from the Baltic states) illegally transporting Ukrainians to Ireland and Britain to work as literally slaves there. Also there was a general noise about the increase of the Ukrainian gasterbaiters in Poland.

Notable quotes:
"... " seem to be smart enough not to concentrate in one region. " ..."
Aug 25, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

August 23, 2017

Lyttenburgh , August 23, 2017 at 9:51 pm

" seem to be smart enough not to concentrate in one region. "

Uh-huh. Thanks for update, et Al! Just recently the Ukrian Foreign ministry revealed data pertaining to the "success" of the Sacred BezViz. They claim that 200 000 of the Ukrainians used it since its inception on 11 June this year. How much is it compared to other years – I have no data ATM. The №1 destination place of these tourists surprised me – it's Barcelona! Second place hold Rome, third one – Paris, 4 – Milan, 5 – Lissabon Not Poland and not Germany though.

Meanwhile rumours abound about "New Europeans" (mostly – from the Baltic states) illegally transporting Ukrainians to Ireland and Britain to work as literally slaves there. Also there was a general noise about the increase of the Ukrainian gasterbaiters in Poland.

The idea that Germany should pay is not a new one. PiS just tries to make Poland enter the elite club of the "suffering nations", browbeat the entire world into accepting their own unique "tragic history" and then beg for monies. Their mistake is twofold. First – they disperse their energy and attention at many "tragedies" at once. Look at Israel and the Ukraine! They get this martyrology business model right – focus on one event (Shoah/Holodomor) and proclaim it as unique and reparations worthy.

And what the PiS does? Kaczynski has suggested to have a monthly anniversary of the Smolensk crash to be hosted in April 2018; for a grand total of 96 months (the number of victims). He also expressed a hopeful notion that "we will learn the truth by then" (aka "Tusk/KGB did it!").

Each progressive monthly anniversary costs more to field and takes more policemen to act as security. It is siad, that the previous monthlyversary required 2000 policemen for about 2.5 thousand people and about 500 people from the countermanifestation. First monthlyversaries only had 50 or so policemen standing guard.

[Jul 28, 2017] Another scandal is the deteriorating public health situation in Ukraine

Jul 28, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Cortes , July 22, 2017 at 12:21 pm

Another scandal is the deteriorating public health situation in Banderastan.

https://sputniknews.com/europe/201707221055788970-ukraine-health-care-crisis/

Do none of the "leaders" have even a smidgeon of shame over the disgraceful dismantling of a system built on lessons learned over two hundred years of advances in measures to improve public health?

Disgusting doesn't come close to summing up the effects of the "reforms."

yalensis , July 22, 2017 at 2:01 pm
"Unfortunately, experts say that Ukrainian-American health minister Ulana Suprun, who replaced Kvitashvili in April 2016, is too busy lobbying for the closure of hospitals and clinics to pay attention to the looming crisis."

Suprun is the one we talked about before, the offspring of a Canadian Banderite family.

Dubious that her conscious goal is to destroy the Ukrainian people; but in essence, that's what she is doing, brought on by a false ideology.

[Jul 28, 2017] Reply

Jul 28, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

cartman , July 23, 2017 at 11:38 am

G7 Ambassadors Support Cutting of Pensions in the Ukraine
marknesop , July 23, 2017 at 12:13 pm
So when you cut through all the steam and the boilerplate, how do they plan to do it so it's fairer to poor Ukrainians, but the state spends less?

Ah. They plan to raise the age at which you qualify for a pension , doubtless among other money-savers. If the state plays its cards right, the target demographic wil work all its adult life and then die before reaching pensionable age. But as usual, we must be subjected to the usual western sermonizing about how the whole initiative is all about helping people and doing good.

This is borne out in one of the other 'critical reforms' the IMF insisted upon before releasing its next tranche of 'aid' – a land reform act which would allow Ukraine to sell off its agricultural land in the interests of 'creating a market'. Sure: as if. Land-hungry western agricultural giants like Monsanto are drooling at the thought of getting their hands on Ukraine's rich black earth plus a chink in Europe's armor against GMO crops. Another possible weapon to use against Russia would be the growing of huge volumes of GMO grain so as to weaken the market for Russian grains.

Cortes , July 23, 2017 at 4:18 pm
And pollution of areas of Russian soil from blown in GMO seeds. Creating facts on the ground.
Patient Observer , July 24, 2017 at 4:18 am
Another element of the plan to reduce pension obligations is the dismantling of whatever health care system that remain in the Ukraine. That is a twofer – save money on providing medical services and shortening the life span. This would be another optimization of wealth generation for the oligarchs and for those holding Ukraine debt.
Jen , July 24, 2017 at 5:03 am
I can just see Ukrainian health authorities giving away free cigarettes to patients and their families next!

That remark was partly facetious and partly serious: life these days in the Ukraine sounds so surreal that I wouldn't put it past the Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine to come up with the most hare-brained "reform" initiatives.

yalensis , July 24, 2017 at 2:30 pm
Nine out of ten doctors recommend Camels.
The other one doctor is a woman, who smokes Virginia Slims.

Patient Observer , July 24, 2017 at 6:09 pm
I recall a news story about the adverse effects of a reduction in smoking on the US Social Security Trust Fund. Those actuaries make those calculations for a living. The trouble with shortening life spans via cancer is that end-of-life treatment tends to be very expensive unless people do not have or have very basic health insurance, then there is a likely net gain. Alcohol, murder and suicides are generally much more efficient economically. I just depressed myself.
kirill , July 24, 2017 at 8:09 pm
Something does not add up. Any government expenditure is an economic stimulus. The only potentially negative aspect is taxation. Since taxation is not excessive and in fact too small on key layers (e.g. companies and the rich), there is no negative aspect to government spending on pensions. So we have here narrow-definition accounting BS.
Jen , July 25, 2017 at 4:56 am
Agree that in a world where the people, represented by their governments, are in charge of money creation and governments ran their financial systems independently of Wall Street and Washington, any government spending would be welcomed as stimulating economic production and development. The money later recirculates back to the government when the people who have jobs created by government spending pay the money back through purchases of various other government goods and services or through their taxes.

But in capitalist societies where increasingly banks are becoming the sole creators and suppliers of money, government spending incurs debts that have to be paid back with interest. In the past governments also raised money for major public projects by issuing treasury bonds and securities but that doesn't seem to happen much these days.

Unfortunately also Ukraine is surviving mainly on IMF loans and the IMF certainly doesn't want the money to go towards social welfare spending.

marknesop , July 25, 2017 at 9:18 am
In fact, the IMF specifically intervenes to prevent spending loan money on social welfare, as a condition of extending the loan. That might have been true since time out of mind for all I know, but it certainly was true after the first Greek bailout, when leaders blew the whole wad on pensions and social spending so as to ensure their re-election. They then went sheepishly back to the IMF for a second bailout. So there are good and substantial reasons for insisting the loan money not be wasted in this fashion, as that kind of spending customarily does not generate any meaningful follow-on spending by the recipients, and is usually absorbed by the cost of living.

But as we are all aware, such IMF interventions have a definite political agenda as well. In Ukraine's case, the IMF with all its political inveigling is matched against a crafty oligarch who will lift the whole lot if he is not watched. Alternatively, he might well blow it all on social spending to ensure his re-election, thus presenting the IMF with a dilemma in which it must either continue to support him, or cause him to fall.

Patient Observer , July 25, 2017 at 7:07 pm
In an economy based on looting, it makes perfect sense. Money flows only one way until its all gone.

[Jul 28, 2017] July 25, 2017 at 5:07 am

Jul 28, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

http://theduran.com/tulsi-gabbard-sides-with-trump-on-dismantling-cia-program-to-fund-al-qaeda-and-isis-in-syria-video/ Reply

marknesop , July 25, 2017 at 9:59 am

Ha, ha, ha!!! "Russia seems to have corrupted rational conversation about foreign policy"!!! I couldn't believe it – that suety smug dick Tucker was doing so well, but he had to blame Russia for the fact that the United States made up so many things that Russia allegedly did, but in fact did not. The reflex was just too strong.

You could almost hear heads exploding in Washington, too, when she said "Our so-called allies like Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar "

[Jul 20, 2017] "https://marknesop.wordpress.com/2017/07/03/the-credibility-gap-that-ought-to-be/comment-page-6/#comment-175430"> The United States has almost tripled the cost of metallurgical coal for the Ukraine compared to 2016

Jul 20, 2017 | "https://marknesop.wordpress.com/2017/07/03/the-credibility-gap-that-ought-to-be/comment-page-6/#comment-175430"> marknesop.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile says: July 19, 2017 at 3:35 am The United States has almost tripled the cost of metallurgical coal for the Ukraine compared to 2016 (report of U.S. Department of Energy). In January-March 2017 Kiev bought coal at $206 per tonne, and a year earlier the price was $71 dollars. The volume of supply has increased from 355 thousand to 865 thousand tons over the same period this year the value of American coal for some countries has declined. In particular, Norway has purchased the fuel at $125 per ton, a year, and earlier for $140.

Who can answer the question why the Junta pays nearly twice the price for the same coal pay.

See: ,a href="http://mikle1.livejournal.com/7700305.html">Межгосударственная угольная коррупция

Interstate coal corruption

Тлеющая дружба: США почти в три раза увеличили цены на уголь для Украины в 2017 году

Smouldering friendship: up to 2017 the United States has almost threefold increased the price of coal for the Ukraine

[Apr 12, 2017] Ukraines central bank chief resigns but not before amassing substnatial personal wealth

Notable quotes:
"... Здобулы! ..."
"... http://vesti-ukr.com/svetskie-vesti/90064-gontareva-ezdit-na-pjati-avto-i-uzhinaet-u-bassejna ..."
Apr 12, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com
Warren , April 10, 2017 at 4:36 am

Ukraine's central bank chief resigns

The governor of Ukraine's central bank, Valeriya Gontareva, has resigned the post after three years, following intense pressure from tycoons whose banks she shut down for conducting illegal transactions and loans.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-39551699

Lyttenburgh , April 10, 2017 at 10:26 am
Meanwhile her personal wealth after 3 years in chrage of Ukraine's finances (read: of the Western donors money) MYSTERIOUSLY increased to 7 blns of hryvnias and entire squadron of luxury cars (from 3.5 mln hryvnas upwards each). What can I say? Здобулы!

http://vesti-ukr.com/svetskie-vesti/90064-gontareva-ezdit-na-pjati-avto-i-uzhinaet-u-bassejna

cartman , April 10, 2017 at 11:15 am
I wonder if Nabiullina has a pink Barbie car. Probably not to her taste.
Jen , April 10, 2017 at 10:43 pm
I think we've found Dave Cameron's soul mate.
Moscow Exile , April 10, 2017 at 10:47 pm
You are not suggesting that she resembles Miss Piggy, are you?
Jen , April 11, 2017 at 12:49 am
She looks the type to put Call-Me-Dave in his place, which is in a pig sty.
et Al , April 10, 2017 at 11:18 am
Neuters: Ukraine president's grip weakens as central bank chief quits
http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-ukraine-crisis-politics-analysis-idUKKBN17C0RU

If Ukraine's central bank chief needed any more incentive to quit, last week she woke up to find the image of a pig draped in a Russian flag spray-painted onto the wall of her house and a gaggle of young protesters calling her a Russian stooge.

After a sustained hate campaign that also included a coffin laid at her door, Valeria Gontareva finally quit on Monday.

Her departure, with no obvious candidate for a successor, leaves President Petro Poroshenko with one fewer ally in power at a time when lenders keeping Ukraine afloat already question his ability to follow through on promised reforms .

[Oct 09, 2016] Ukraine Is Going to Be a Big Problem for the Next U.S. President by Mark Pfeifle

That was all about debt slavery and a successful attempt to encircle Russia with a belt of hostile state. Standard of living dropped more then twice since Maydan. Nationalist proved to be reliable neoliberal tools who can fooled again and again based on their hate of Russia and help to enslave their own people ("fool me once"...) Classic divide and conquer. Nothing new. Yatsenyuk was despicable corrupt neoliberal with fake flair of nationalism from the very beginning. he helped to sell country assets for pennies on the a dollar and completely destroyed economic relations with Russia (why you need to love the county to trade with it is beyond any sane person comprehension; capitalism is actually about the ability to trade with people we hate and that's one of its strong points). Emigrant community in Canada and USA (due to typical for emigrants heightened level of nationalism) also played a role in destruction of economics of Ukraine. this is a very sad story of creating an African country in Europe where many people live of less then a dollar a day and pensioners starve.
foreignpolicy.com

Ukraine has faded from the American national consciousness as other, even more recent and far more spectacular foreign policy fiascos - Syria, Libya and the Islamic State - overwhelm our capacity to catalog them.

... ... ...

Obama's delicate carrot-and-stick approach hasn't worked, and the long-simmering Ukrainian kettle threatens to boil into the worst crisis in relations between Moscow and Washington since the Cold War.

... ... ...

The optimism created by the 2013-2014 "EuroMaidan" street demonstrations was short-lived. Prime Minister Arseniy Petrovych Yatsenyuk was forced to resign in April against a backdrop of permanent political crisis and high-profile charges of corruption.

... ... ...

Perhaps most dispiriting of all, even those Ukrainian activists, politicians, and journalists who are portrayed as true reformers appear likewise unable to resist the temptation to engage in the systemic looting of the Ukrainian economy.

In early September, the New Yorker magazine dedicated several thousand words to three citizen-journalists who now serve in the Ukrainian Parliament. Like other western media outlets, the New Yorker portrayed Sergei Leshchenko, Svitlana Zalishchuk, and Mustafa Nayem as dedicated journalists - new faces who sought election to parliament as part of President Poroshenko's bloc in the wake of the Maidan street protests, which Nayem helped organize.

Now, however, Leshchenko's post-election acquisition of high-end housing has attracted the attention of the Anti-Corruption Agency of Ukraine, an investigatory body that was established at the urging of the United States. Last week, the Anti-Corruption Agency forwarded the Leshchenko file to the special prosecutor's office tasked with corruption fighting. Leshchenko could not explain the source of the income that allowed him to buy the residence, loan documents are missing, and the purchase price was allegedly below market

The owner of the building, according to Ukrainian media accounts, is Ivan Fursin, the partner of mega-oligarch Dmytro Firtash.

Recent reports have revealed that Leshchenko's expenses for attending international forums were paid for by the oligarch Viktor Pinchuk who also contributed $8,6 million to the Clinton Foundation While Leshchenko remains the toast of the western media and Washington think tanks, back at home, his fellow reformers in the Parliament are calling on him to resign until his name is cleared.

Meanwhile, the next president is sure to find Ukraine besieged on all sides: With Russian troops and pro-Russian rebels at its throat and corruption destroying it from within -and as the Leshchenko scandal suggests, not all in Ukraine is what it appears to be.

The new president must learn to discern Ukraine's true reformers from those who made anti-corruption crusades into a lucrative business, and be able to distinguish real action from empty words.

If not, the two and a half decades-long Ukrainian experiment with independence may boil over completely.

[Sep 10, 2016] Poroshenko is the richest among the leaders of Europe, while he leads what must be just about Europes poorest country

Notable quotes:
"... "Anastasia Krasnosilska of the Anti-Corruption Action Center of Ukraine, said Poroshenko has only tackled abuses because of foreign pressure and then only after lengthy foot-dragging. ..."
"... "All recent successes in the fight against corruption were made possible because of pressure from the EU, IMF, and civil society," she said to CBC News. "If it weren't for the conditionalities the foreign donors and lenders imposed, and the feeling that the eye of foreign governments is on Ukraine, there would have been no reform." ..."
"... "According to the Kyiv Post, the IMF is planning to reduce a loan to Ukraine from a planned $1.7 billion to $1 billion over corruption concerns. ..."
"... Valeria Gontareva, Poroshenko's Porsche-driving political ally and business partner who now heads the National Bank of Ukraine, says she isn't concerned. "It's not a big deal for us," she told the publication, although the shortfall is equal to the total amount Canada has given to Ukraine since the Maidan rebellion ended in February 2014." ..."
marknesop.wordpress.com
marknesop , July 24, 2016 at 8:05 pm
Wow; there's still endemic corruption in Ukraine – who knew? And Poroshenko is the richest among the leaders of Europe, while he leads what must be just about Europe's poorest country. Ordinarily, the press would be all over a dichotomy like that. I guess reporting on Ukraine requires a suspension of curiosity.

"Anastasia Krasnosilska of the Anti-Corruption Action Center of Ukraine, said Poroshenko has only tackled abuses because of foreign pressure and then only after lengthy foot-dragging.

"All recent successes in the fight against corruption were made possible because of pressure from the EU, IMF, and civil society," she said to CBC News. "If it weren't for the conditionalities the foreign donors and lenders imposed, and the feeling that the eye of foreign governments is on Ukraine, there would have been no reform."

And it's starting to have an effect.

"According to the Kyiv Post, the IMF is planning to reduce a loan to Ukraine from a planned $1.7 billion to $1 billion over corruption concerns.

Valeria Gontareva, Poroshenko's Porsche-driving political ally and business partner who now heads the National Bank of Ukraine, says she isn't concerned. "It's not a big deal for us," she told the publication, although the shortfall is equal to the total amount Canada has given to Ukraine since the Maidan rebellion ended in February 2014."

And yet the Ukrainian government still keeps on mouthing it up to the country's most likely saviour – Russia. Although things have probably gone too far for that now, thanks to the west trying to muscle into a position where whatever Russia does to benefit Ukraine benefits the west.

[Aug 21, 2016] Ukraine Releases More Details on Payments for Trump Aide, Paul Manafort

What a bunch of neoliberal piranha, devouring the poorest country in Europe, where pernneers exist on $1 a day or less, with the help of installed by Washington corrupt oligarchs (Yanukovich was installed with Washington blessing and was controlled by Washington, who was fully aware about the level of corruption of its government; especially his big friend vice-president Biden).
Notable quotes:
"... Mr. Kalyuzhny was also a founding board member of a Brussels-based nongovernmental organization, the European Center for a Modern Ukraine, that hired the Podesta Group, a Washington lobbying firm that received $1.02 million to promote an agenda generally aligned with the Party of Regions. ..."
"... Because the payment was made through a nongovernmental organization, the Podesta Group did not register as a lobbyist for a foreign entity. A co-founder of the Podesta Group, John D. Podesta, is chairman of Hillary Clinton's campaign, and his brother, Tony Podesta, runs the firm now. ..."
"... The Podesta Group, in a statement, said its in-house counsel determined the company had no obligation to register as a representative of a foreign entity in part because the nonprofit offered assurances it was not "directly or indirectly supervised, directed, controlled, financed or subsidized in whole or in part by a government of a foreign country or a foreign political party." ..."
"... On Monday, Mr. Manafort issued a heated statement in response to an article in The New York Times that first disclosed that the ledgers - a document described by Ukrainian investigators as an under-the-table payment system for the Party of Regions - referenced a total of $12.7 million in cash payments to him over a five-year period. ..."
"... In that statement, Mr. Manafort, who was removed from day-to-day management of the Trump campaign on Wednesday though he retained his title, denied that he had personally received any off-the-books cash payments. "The suggestion that I accepted cash payments is unfounded, silly and nonsensical," he said. ..."
Aug 18, 2016 | The New York Times

MOSCOW - The Ukrainian authorities, under pressure to bolster their assertion that once-secret accounting documents show cash payments from a pro-Russian political party earmarked for Donald J. Trump's campaign chairman, on Thursday released line-item entries, some for millions of dollars.

The revelations also point to an outsize role for a former senior member of the pro-Russian political party, the Party of Regions, in directing money to both Republican and Democratic advisers and lobbyists from the United States as the party tried to burnish its image in Washington.

The former party member, Vitaly A. Kalyuzhny, for a time chairman of the Ukraine Parliament's International Relations Committee, had signed nine times for receipt of payments designated for the Trump campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, according to Serhiy A. Leshchenko, a member of Parliament who has studied the documents. The ledger covered payments from 2007 to 2012, when Mr. Manafort worked for the party and its leader, Viktor F. Yanukovych, Ukraine's former president who was deposed.

Mr. Kalyuzhny was also a founding board member of a Brussels-based nongovernmental organization, the European Center for a Modern Ukraine, that hired the Podesta Group, a Washington lobbying firm that received $1.02 million to promote an agenda generally aligned with the Party of Regions.

Because the payment was made through a nongovernmental organization, the Podesta Group did not register as a lobbyist for a foreign entity. A co-founder of the Podesta Group, John D. Podesta, is chairman of Hillary Clinton's campaign, and his brother, Tony Podesta, runs the firm now.

The role of Mr. Kalyuzhny, a onetime computer programmer from the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, in directing funds to the companies of the chairmen of both presidential campaigns, had not previously been reported. Mr. Kalyuzhny was one of three Party of Regions members of Parliament who founded the nonprofit.

The Associated Press, citing emails it had obtained, also reported Thursday that Mr. Manafort's work for Ukraine included a secret lobbying effort in Washington that he operated with an associate, Rick Gates, and that was aimed at influencing American news organizations and government officials.

Mr. Gates noted in the emails that he conducted the work through two lobbying firms, including the Podesta Group, because Ukraine's foreign minister did not want the country's embassy involved. The A.P. said one of Mr. Gates's campaigns sought to turn public opinion in the West against Yulia Tymoshenko, a former Ukrainian prime minister who was imprisoned during Mr. Yanukovych's administration.

The Podesta Group, in a statement, said its in-house counsel determined the company had no obligation to register as a representative of a foreign entity in part because the nonprofit offered assurances it was not "directly or indirectly supervised, directed, controlled, financed or subsidized in whole or in part by a government of a foreign country or a foreign political party."

Reached by phone on Thursday, a former aide to Mr. Kalyuzhny said he had lost contact with the politician and was unsure whether he remained in Kiev or had returned to Donetsk, now the capital of a Russian-backed separatist enclave.

Ukrainian officials emphasized that they did not know as yet if the cash payments reflected in the ledgers were actually made. In all 22 instances, people other than Mr. Manafort appear to have signed for the money. But the ledger entries are highly specific with funds earmarked for services such as exit polling, equipment and other services.

On Monday, Mr. Manafort issued a heated statement in response to an article in The New York Times that first disclosed that the ledgers - a document described by Ukrainian investigators as an under-the-table payment system for the Party of Regions - referenced a total of $12.7 million in cash payments to him over a five-year period.

In that statement, Mr. Manafort, who was removed from day-to-day management of the Trump campaign on Wednesday though he retained his title, denied that he had personally received any off-the-books cash payments. "The suggestion that I accepted cash payments is unfounded, silly and nonsensical," he said.

Mr. Manafort's statement, however, left open the possibility that cash payments had been made to his firm or associates. And details from the ledgers released Thursday by anticorruption investigators suggest that may have occurred. Three separate payments, for example, totaling nearly $5.7 million are earmarked for Mr. Manafort's "contract."

Another, from October 2012, suggests a payment to Mr. Manafort of $400,000 for exit polling, a legitimate campaign outlay.

Two smaller entries, for $4,632 and $854, show payments for seven personal computers and a computer server.

The payments do not appear to have been reported by the Party of Regions in campaign finance disclosures in Ukraine. The party's 2012 filing indicates outlays for expenses other than advertising of just under $2 million, at the exchange rate at the time. This is less than a single payment in the black ledger designated for "Paul Manafort contract" in June of that year for $3.4 million.

Ukrainian investigators say they consider any under-the-table payments illegal, and that the ledger also describes disbursements to members of the central election committee, the group that counts votes.


Correction: August 20, 2016

Because of an editing error, an article on Friday about the political activities in Ukraine of Donald J. Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, misidentified the office once held by Yulia V. Tymoshenko, a rival of Mr. Manafort's client, the former president Viktor F. Yanukovych. Ms. Tymoshenko served as prime minister of Ukraine, not its president.

[Aug 20, 2016] 'Obama has been too Soft on Putin,' Said Soros as he Called the Shots on Ukraine

Another debt shark is circling this poor country after feeling blood in the water...
Notable quotes:
"... Pyatt seemed open to the idea of guiding Ukraine towards a decentralization of power just short of Lavrov's recommendation for a federalized Ukraine, but George Soros pushed back stating that a federalization model would result in Russia gaining influence over eastern regions of the country which the Hungarian billionaire disapproved of. ..."
"... Ambassador Pyatt's position towards decentralization also appeared to shake as the correspondence continued saying that the "Russian propaganda machine is telling Kharkhiv and Donbass residents that the government in Western Ukraine is looking to take away their resources and rights ..."
"... In a separate meeting, titled "Civil Society Roundtable Meeting," George Soros directly calls for the formation of a Ukrainian "fifth column" – a group whose sole purpose is to undermine a larger group – in order to push Ukraine away from Russia. ..."
"... "We would rather have people there as fifth column – pivotal thing for future of Ukrainian society – continue to work with Crimean people" said the document regarding the disputed territory only highlighting that there was potentially improper interference by Soros in Ukraine's civil society. ..."
sputniknews.com

New documents released by hackers who compromised George Soros' Open Society Foundations raise serious questions about the Hungarian billionaire's role in Ukraine.

A leaked document, from the massive 2,500 file dump by DC Leaks of George Soros' most sensitive Open Society Foundations communications, show the inordinate amount of power and authority the Hungarian billionaire wielded over Ukraine in the immediate aftermath of the Maidan government overthrow.

Soros, along with key executives from the Open Society Foundations, held extensive meetings with nearly every actor involved in the Maidan coup including Ukraine's Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Justice, Health and Education as well as US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt and the regional director of USAID. However, the documents do exclude one key official, Victoria Nuland, who was allegedly involved in steering the opposition to the Yanukovych government.

The records focus on plans to minimize and counter Russian influence and cultural ties to Ukraine with a focus towards steering Kiev towards social and economic reforms that Soros favored. The Hungarian billionaire has not been bashful about his acts or intent to influence politics in Ukraine establishing the NGO, International Renaissance Foundation (IRF) to spearhead the formation of the "New Ukraine."

Most troubling in the document leak appears to be a file titled "Breakfast with US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt" to discuss Ukraine's future. In the meeting, which took place on March 31, 2014, just months after the Maidan coup and weeks prior to civil strife following Ukrainian forces assault on Donbass, US Ambassador Pyatt outlines a PR war against Putin, a position George Soros viewed favorably in the meeting.

"The short term issue that needs to be addressed will be the problem in getting the message out from the government through professional PR tools, especially given Putin's own professional smear campaigns," said the US Ambassador.

George Soros responded, "Agreement on the strategic communications issue – providing professional PR assistance to the Ukrainian government would be very useful."

Pyatt seemed open to the idea of guiding Ukraine towards a decentralization of power just short of Lavrov's recommendation for a federalized Ukraine, but George Soros pushed back stating that a federalization model would result in Russia gaining influence over eastern regions of the country which the Hungarian billionaire disapproved of.

The Ambassador noted that Secretary of State John Kerry "would be interested to hear George Soros' views on the situation directly, upon return from his trip" raising the question why one wealthy foreign individual, neither from Ukraine nor Russia, had such access to influence American policy.

Ambassador Pyatt's position towards decentralization also appeared to shake as the correspondence continued saying that the "Russian propaganda machine is telling Kharkhiv and Donbass residents that the government in Western Ukraine is looking to take away their resources and rights through the decentralization process, feeding into Lavrov's line that the Ukrainian government is dysfunctional and not successful as a unitary state, making it a necessity to have federalization.

Then, in a full capitulation, the American diplomat point blank asks George Soros, "what should the US government be doing and what is the US government currently doing."

To which, George Soros responded, "Obama has been too soft on Putin, and there is a need to impose potent smart sanctions." He then called on the US government to "impose sanctions on Russia for 90 days or until the Russian government recognizes the results of the presidential elections."

In a separate meeting, titled "Civil Society Roundtable Meeting," George Soros directly calls for the formation of a Ukrainian "fifth column" – a group whose sole purpose is to undermine a larger group – in order to push Ukraine away from Russia.

"We would rather have people there as fifth column – pivotal thing for future of Ukrainian society – continue to work with Crimean people" said the document regarding the disputed territory only highlighting that there was potentially improper interference by Soros in Ukraine's civil society.

[Aug 20, 2016] Leaked Memo Shows Soros Pushed Greece To Support Ukraine Coup, Paint Russia As Enemy

Notable quotes:
"... Last week we reported on the DC Leaks hack of what was over 2,500 documents detailing how George Soros and his NGOs influence world leaders, drive foreign policy, and help to create unrest in sovereign nations, that many times leads to chaos and civil war. ..."
"... One country of part ..."
Aug 19, 2016 | Zero Hedge

Submitted by Alex Christoforou via TheDuran.com,

Last week we reported on the DC Leaks hack of what was over 2,500 documents detailing how George Soros and his NGOs influence world leaders, drive foreign policy, and help to create unrest in sovereign nations, that many times leads to chaos and civil war.

One country of particular focus for George Soros and his NGOs is Ukraine. It is now accepted fact that Soros was deeply involved in the Maiden protests in 2014 and the violent coup, that saw a democratically elected government overthrown in the name of "EU values". What is even more troubling, as revealed by the DC Leaks hack, is how Soros and his network of "non-profit organisations" worked to lobby EU member states into not only buying his Ukraine "Maidan" narrative, but to also disavow any ties and support for Russia.

Leaked documents show that George Soros was active in mapping out the Greek media landscape with generous grants, so as to further his Ukraine project, while also using his deep pockets to get Greek media to turn against the Russian Federation…in what can only be described as a well-funded and orchestrated smear campaign.

In one document entitled: "Open Society Initiative For Europe (OSIFE). Mapping the Ukrainian debate in Greece" (Ukraine and Europe-greece-tor ukraine debate mapping greece.docx), Soros offers a consultant a remuneration of $6,500 (gross) for "at least 15 full working days in carrying out this task" plus all expenses paid.

The aim of this task:

The consultant is expected to chart the main players in the Greek debate on Ukraine, outline the key arguments and their evolution in the past 18 months. Specifically, the report will take stock of any existing polling evidence provide a 'who is who?' with information about at least
– 6 newspapers,
– 10 audiovisual outlets (TV and radio),
– 6 internet sites,
– About 50 opinion leaders and trends in social networks[1].

Categorize the main strains of discussion and eventually identify different sides / camps of the discussion.

Provide a brief account of how Russia has tried to influence the Greek debate on Ukraine through domestic actors and outlets

Include a section with recommendations on
– What are the spaces OSF should engage and would most likely to have impact?
– What are the voices (of reason or doubt) that should be amplified?

Open Society Initiative For Europe (OSIFE) selected Iannis Carras for the Greek media mapping grant. The justification why he was chosen…

All contracts were for the same amount. We needed to find highly specialized researchers to map the debate on Ukraine in Europe, therefore we identified a shortlist of candidates in consultation with colleagues in the Think Tank Fund, OSEPI and in consultation with members of the OSIFE board and chose the most qualified who could produce the report in the time allowed. I n the case of Greece we agreed that Iannis Carras, an economic and social historian of Balkan and Russian relations with expert knowledge of Greece's NGOs and social movements, was the best suited to the task.

What is even more interesting is not the grant from OSIFE, but a letter from grant winner Carras to a person named Mathew (another Greek speaker???), outlining his plan in detail for pushing Soros' Ukraine agenda in Greece.

Of significance is how Carras tells Mathew about Greek society's overall suspicion of The Open Society after the roll in played in seeding unrest in Yugoslavia. Carras even tells Mathew to not mention The Open Society in Greece.

"Do you want your name to appear alongside mine on the paper? Do make comments on all of the below.

In general, and at your discretion, do not say you are doing this for Open Society because it is likely to close down doors. There's a lot of suspicion about Open Society in Greece, mainly because of its positions vis-à-vis the former Yugoslavia. As I am simultaneously writing an article for Aspen Review Eastern Europe that can be used as the organisation for which research like this is taking place."

Carras then goes on to outline his approach in manipulating Greek society, covering topics such as:

1. Media.
2. Political parties and think tanks
3. Opinion polls.
4. Business relations.
5. Religious and cultural ties.
6. Migration and diaspora.
7. Greece and Ukraine in the context of Greece's economic crisis.
8. Greece, Ukraine and the Cyprus issue.
9. Names and brief description of significant actors: a 'who is who?' with information on at least 50 opinion leaders

Carras notes how Russia has much goodwill in Greece, exercising "significant soft power". Carras notes that Greece is, at this moment, a weak player in the Ukraine debate and the Greek Foreign Minister Kotzias realises this.

Summary: I am working on the hypotheses largely born out by the interviews carried out so far that Russia has significant soft power in Greece though this does not easily convert into hard power (e.g. vetoing EU sanctions). Greeks are basically not very interested in Ukraine and the crisis there. They reflect and understand that conflict through their own economic crisis and their relations with Europe (nowadays primarily Europe and not US). To the extent that relations with Europe remain the focus and do not go off the rails, Greece will bark but will not bite. If they improve, Greece might not even bark (as can be seen with Greece's policy on Israel, Kotzias can be very much a realist).

Carras does warn that should Greece's economic situation deteriorate further, than Greece may very well look to Russia for support, and this has implications on the Ukraine plan.

If they deteriorate however, Greece will be looking to Russia for increased support and will alter its Ukraine policies accordingly. Do you agree with these hypotheses? Can you find confirmation for or against them in the media outlets examined?

Carras places extra emphasis on influencing the media in Greece, citing various large news outlets that the Soros NGO can target, including approaching left wing and right wing blogs.

This is the bulk of the work (we have to think about how to divide the work up). We have to provide a 'who is who?' with information about at least 6 newspapers, 10 audio-visual outlets (TV and radio) and 6 internet sites. Some of these will be obvious, but, even in these cases, change over time (at least eighteen months) is an important consideration. Here are some suggestions for newspapers: Kathimerini, Avgi, Ta Nea, Vima, Efymerida Syntakton, Eleutherotypia, Proto Thema, Rizospastis? etc. What else? Protagon? Athens Review of Books? (info on Kotzias). As for TV, we'll just do the main ones. What about left wing blogs? What about commercial radio stations? I think we should cover Aristera sta FM. Sky. What else? Anything from the nationalist and far right? My choice would be Ardin (already looking at this) which at least tries to be serious. Patria is even more unsavoury. I'll deal with the religious web sites in the culture and religion appendix. I think we should interview Kostas Nisenko ( http://www.kathimerini.gr/757296/article/epikairothta/kosmos/viaih-epi8e... ) and Kostas Geropoulos of New Europe to get into the issues involved… not at all sure though that it's advisable to talk to the Russia correspondents Thanasis Avgerinos, Dimitris Liatsos, Achileas Patsoukas etc. (I know all of them). Also if we come across articles with interesting information on any one of the topics, we should mail them to one another.

Attention is placed on influencing political parties. Carras sees this as a more difficult task, as parties in Greece would not be warm towards turning their back on Russia.

Who if anyone deals with Russia / Ukraine within each of the political parties? How important are political parties in formulating policies? (my hunch is totally unimportant). I must admit I have little idea of how to proceed with this one, but I have written to the academic Vassilis Petsinis and I hope I'll get to skype with him soon. Think-tanks are easier, and, I think, more important. I have already interviewed Thanos Dokos (director Greek foreign policy institute, ELIAMEP) in person.

Carras notes how he has approached various religious leaders, academics and actors, to gauge a sense of how deep Russia's influence and "soft power" runs in Greek society and culture.

So far I have interviewed by telephone Metropolitan John of Pergamum (one of the top figures in the inner circle of the Istanbul based Ecumenical Patriarchate). I have read Metropolitan Nektarios of the Argolid's recent book (2014), "Two bullets for Donetsk". I have tried but so far not succeeded in contacting Metropolitan Nektarios himself, and have started work on two of the main religious news websites romfea.gr and amen.gr .

With respect to culture I intend to contact Georgos Livathinos, leading director of Russian and other plays and Lydia Koniordou, actress. Also the management of the Onassis Centre, particularly Afroditi Panagiotakou, the executive vice-director who is quite knowledgeable in this field having travelled to both Ukraine and Russia.

In 2016 Greece and Russia will be hosting each other as the focus of cultural events in the two respective countries. I will be looking to understand the extent to which Russia's unparalleled cultural soft-power might translate into Greek policy making.

Greek military is the final point of influence, with Carras interviewing Ambassadors and policy decision makers.

Foreign policy and the Greek military. So far I have interviewed in person Ambassador Elias Klis (formerly ambassador of Greece to Moscow, advisor to the current Foreign Minister, advisor to the Greek Union of Industrialists. He is perhaps the single most important person for understanding Greek-Russian diplomatic relations at present). Ambassador Alexandros Philon (formerly ambassador of Greece to Washington, to whom I am related). Captain Panos Stamou (submarines, extensive contacts in Crimea, also secretary and leading light of the Greek-Russian historical association) who emphasised the non-political tradition of the Greek armed forces. Tempted to talk to Themos Stoforopoulos for a nationalist left wing view. I have also read foreign minister Kotzias' latest book. All of this has provided me with useful insights for appendices 7 and 8, and particularly for the connection to the Cyprus issue (which at the moment Greece is very keen to downplay).

Carras places an emphasis on Cyprus, perhaps recognising the islands affinity to support Russia and its large Russian diaspora community.

The recommendations will be for the medium and the short term, cited here based on interviews carried out so far. Medium term recommendations will include a cultural event (to be specified later) and a one-day conference on Ukraine and international law, citing precedents for dealing with the situation in Ukraine (particularly Cyprus). Recommendations may include capacity building for local Ukrainian migrant spokesperson(s). Short term recommendations will include an action pack on what Greece has at stake in Ukraine, and ways to narrate parallels in interactions between nation and empire vis-à-vis Greece / Ukraine. Think about whether these work / what else we might recommend?

Both of the documents are below...

[Jul 28, 2016] the number of Ukrainian citizens has been reduced by approximately 3 million people over a period of 5 years

marknesop.wordpress.com
Moscow Exile , July 26, 2016 at 9:34 am
... ... ...

The other day on the pages of "Correspondent" that quoted figures given by the State Statistics Service there was published data on the Ukrainian demographic catastrophe. It turns out that the population of the Ukraine (excluding the Crimea) as of January 1, 2016, amounted to 42,76,500 people, which is 6.3% or 2,873,000 persons fewer than there were in January 1, 2012 .

That is to say, the number of Ukrainian citizens has been reduced by approximately 3 million people over a period of 5 years. If this sad trend continues, then in 70 years no "Ukrainians" will remain.

[Feb 16, 2016] Ukraines Poroshenko asks embattled PM to resign

news.yahoo.com

Recent opinion polls show 70 percent of Ukrainians supporting Yatsenyuk's ouster and only one percent backing his People's Front parliamentary bloc.

IMF chief Christine Lagarde warned last week that it was "hard to see" how the bailout could continue without Ukraine pushing through the economic restructuring and anti-corruption measures it had signed on to when the package was agreed.

Ukraine's economy shrank by about 10 percent last year while annual inflation soared to more than 43 percent even with the Western assistance in place.

[Jan 05, 2016] http://www.unz.com/akarlin/new-year-predictions-for-2016/

www.unz.com
And make no doubt about it – a collapse is exactly what it is, and it afflicts way more of the country than just the war-wracked Donbass. Ukraine now vies with Moldova for the country with the lowest average wages in Europe.

Gabon with snow ? Saakashvili is hopelessly optimistic. That would actually be a big improvement!

GDP is at 60% of its 1990 Level

ukraine-gdp-1990-2015

As of this year, the country with the most pro-Western revolutions is also the poorest performing post-Soviet economy bar none. This is a not unimpressive achievement considering outcomes here have tended to disappoint rather than elate. Russia itself, current GDP at about 110% of its 1990 level, has nothing to write home about (though "statist" Belarus, defying neoliberal conventional wisdom, at a very respectable 200% does have something to boast about).

Back in 2010 , although by far the worst performing heavily industrialized Soviet economy, Ukraine was still performing better relative to its position in 1990 than Moldova, Tajikistan, and Georgia. In the intervening 5 years – with a 7% GDP decline in 2014 which has widened to a projected 9% in 2015 – Ukraine has managed to slip to rock bottom .

How does this look like on a more human level?

Housing Construction is Similar to That of 5 Million Population Russian Provinces

housing-construction-russia-ukraine-in-2014

With a quarter of its population, Belarus is constructing as much new accomodation as is Ukraine. 16 million strong Kazakhstan is building more. Russia – more than ten times as much, even though it has less than four times as many people.

The seaside Russian province of Krasnodar Krai, which hosted the Sochi Winter Olympics, with its 5 million inhabitants, is still constructing more than half as much housing as all of Ukraine. No wonder the Crimeans were so eager to leave.

New Vehicle Sales Collapse to 1960s Levels

ukraine-automobile-sales

The USSR might have famously concentrated on guns over butter, yet even so, even in terms of an item as infamously difficult to acquire as cars under socialism, Ukrainian consumers were better off during the 1970-1990 period than today. Now Ukrainians are buying as few new cars as they were doing in the catastrophic 1990s, and fewer even than during the depth of the 2009 recession.

And even so many Maidanists continue to giggle at "sovoks" and "vatniks." Well, at least they now make up for having even less butter than before with the Azovets "innovative tank." Armatas are quaking in fear looking at that thing.

Debt to GDP Ratio at Critical Levels

ukraine-debt-to-gdp-ratio

And this figure would have risen further to around 100% this year.

Note that 60% is usually considered to be the critical danger zone for emerging market economies. This is the approximate level at which both Russia and Argentina fell into their respective sovereign debt crises.

To be fair, the IMF has indicated it will be partial to flouting its own rules to keep Ukraine afloat, which is not too surprising since it is ultimately a tool of Western geopolitical influence. And if as projected the Ukrainian economy begins to recover this year, then there is a fair chance that crisis will ultimately be averted.

But it will be a close shave, and so long as the "meet the new boss, same as the old boss" oligarchs who rule Ukraine continue siphoning off money by the billions to their offshore accounts with impunity, nothing can be ruled out.

Resumption of Demographic Collapse

ukraine-crude-birth-rate-1988-2015

Much like the rest of the post-Soviet Slavic world, Russia had a disastrous 1990s in demographic terms, when mortality rates soared and birth rates plummeted. But like Russia – if to a lesser extent – it has since staged a modest recovery, incidentally with the help of a Russian-style "maternal capital" program. In 2008, it reached a plateau in birth rates, which was not significantly uninterrupted by the 2009 recession.

Since then, however, they have plummeted – exactly nine months after the February 2014 coup. The discreteness with which this happened together with the fact that the revolt in the Donbass took a further couple of months to get going after the coup proper implies that this fertility decline was likely a direct reaction to the Maidan and what it portended for the future.

This collapse is very noticeable even after you completely remove all traces of Crimea, Donetsk, and Lugansk oblasts which might otherwise muddy the waters (naturally, the demographic crisis in all its aspects has been much worse in the region that bore the brunt of Maidanist chiliastic fervor). Here are the Ukrstat figures for births and deaths in the first ten months of 2013, 2014, and 2015:

Births Deaths
2013 350658 441331
2014 354622 445236
2015 329308 450763

Furthermore, this period has seen a huge wave of emigration. Figures can only be guesstimated, but it is safe to say they are well over a million to both Russia and the EU.

The effects of this will continue to be felt long after any semblance of normalcy returns to Ukraine.

[Dec 30, 2015] Ukrainian economy in depression: exports fall by about a third in 2015

Recession in Russia was the last nail on the coffin...
izvestia.ru

Exports of goods and services of Ukrainian production in 2015 will fall by about a third. And this is not surprising: as a result of "reforms" in the country almost died the industry lost its main Russian market, where Ukraine has supplied products with high added value. The cumulative figure of industrial production YTD is approximately -15%. The main export product of Ukraine for the first time since the pre-industrial era were products of agriculture. In the first place - corn.

[Dec 22, 2015] Destruction of the financial system of Ukraine is complete

Essentially it got "below junk" rating...
Notable quotes:
"... How could Ukraine's government deficit only be 4.1% when its currency has crashed, it has lost most of its sources of income and it has just defaulted on its debt? What the fuck are they talking about? ..."
"... First, there is no way on God's green earth that there is a negative difference of only 4.1% between Ukraine's annual revenues and its annual expenditures, especially since it has almost no revenues except from taxation. ..."
marknesop.wordpress.com

marknesop, December 19, 2015 at 6:43 pm

According to Madame Jaresko, their decision not to pay the $3 Billion bond to Russia has set Ukraine free, free as a bird, and allowed it to now be in full compliance with the financing requirements of the IMF program.

Start shovelin' in the money, IMF, because Ukraine has the magic formula – just refuse to pay what you owe, call it a 'temporary suspension of payments' instead of 'a default', and reap the reward for your display of responsibility.

I foresee the mileage Russia is going to get out of this will far exceed the value of the $3 Billion.

marknesop, December 19, 2015 at 8:47 pm

How could Ukraine's government deficit only be 4.1% when its currency has crashed, it has lost most of its sources of income and it has just defaulted on its debt? What the fuck are they talking about?

"The proposed budget would work to reduce the government's deficit from 4.1% to 3.7%, with measures including an increase in revenue by widening the tax base."

First, there is no way on God's green earth that there is a negative difference of only 4.1% between Ukraine's annual revenues and its annual expenditures, especially since it has almost no revenues except from taxation.

And now the IMF expects to realize more revenue from widening the tax base – yes, I can imagine what a popular initiative that is. Now you know how Yushchenko felt, Yatsie, when the IMF denied him a second big loan because he refused to eliminate the gas subsidies to residents.

Now the IMF has finally realized that triumph through a different leader, and it wants to see even more tax revenue. You are about to be as popular as a turd in the punch bowl; have fun with that.

kirill, December 20, 2015 at 12:58 pm

I would not trust any GDP numbers from the Kiev regime either. They lost 25% of the economy in the Donbas alone not counting Crimea. This has knock on effects to the rest of Banderastan. Yet they are yapping about some 12% contraction in 2015 after a 7% contraction in 2014. I see no clear indication that they are counting the GDP only for regime controlled Banderastan.

As for the budget, according to regime officials, Banderastan lost 30% of its hard currency revenues with the loss of the Donbass. I estimate the tax loss to Kiev to be about 30% as well.

The Donbass was the industrialized part of the country while western Banderastan is primarily agrarian. So talk about 4% shortfalls in revenue is utter rubbish. In most countries the money making parts of the economy subsidize the rest and sure as hell it was not western Banderastan that was subsidizing the Donbass. That was just virulent blood libel such as the claim that Russians settled eastern Ukraine only after the Holodomor.

marknesop, December 20, 2015 at 1:13 pm

Europe deserves Ukraine. Let them have it, the quicker the better. It's fine when Yats is selling that stinking mess to his simple-minded constituents, but European policymakers will see through it right away. Unfortunately, Brussels knows better than to bring Ukraine any closer into the fold, because if they get a visa-free regime, the place will empty out in a week as Ukrainians flee throughout Europe (which is already, everyone must know, full of refugees) looking for jobs.

[Dec 20, 2015] Michael Hudson The IMF Changes its Rules to Isolate China and Russia

Notable quotes:
"... By Michael Hudson, a research professor of Economics at University of Missouri, Kansas City, and a research associate at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. His latest book is ..."
"... KILLING THE HOST: How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage Destroy the Global Economy ..."
"... What especially annoys U.S. financial strategists is that this loan by Russia's sovereign debt fund was protected by IMF lending practice, which at that time ensured collectability by withholding new credit from countries in default of foreign official debts (or at least, not bargaining in good faith to pay). To cap matters, the bonds are registered under London's creditor-oriented rules and courts. ..."
"... After the rules change, Aslund later noted, "the IMF can continue to give Ukraine loans regardless of what Ukraine does about its credit from Russia, which falls due on December 20. [8] ..."
"... The post-2010 loan packages to Greece are a notorious case in point. The IMF staff calculated that Greece could not possibly pay the balance that was set to bail out foreign banks and bondholders. Many Board members agreed (and subsequently have gone public with their whistle-blowing). Their protests didn't matter. Dominique Strauss-Kahn backed the US-ECB position (after President Barack Obama and Treasury secretary Tim Geithner pointed out that U.S. banks had written credit default swaps betting that Greece could pay, and would lose money if there were a debt writedown). In 2015, Christine Lagarde also backed the U.S.-European Central Bank hard line, against staff protests. [10] ..."
"... China and Russia harbored the fantasy that would be allowed redress in the Western Courts where international law is metered out. They are now no longer under that delusion. ..."
"... It's not Hudson but the US that has simplified the entire world situation into "good guys vs. bad guys", a policy enshrined in Rumsfeld's statement "you're either with us or you're against us". ..."
"... what is left unsaid is the choices Russia then faces once their legal options play out and the uneven playing field is fully exposed. Do they not then have a historically justifiable basis for declaring war? ..."
December 18, 2015 | naked capitalism

By Michael Hudson, a research professor of Economics at University of Missouri, Kansas City, and a research associate at the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College. His latest book is KILLING THE HOST: How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage Destroy the Global Economy

The nightmare scenario of U.S. geopolitical strategists seems to be coming true: foreign economic independence from U.S. control. Instead of privatizing and neoliberalizing the world under U.S.-centered financial planning and ownership, the Russian and Chinese governments are investing in neighboring economies on terms that cement Eurasian economic integration on the basis of Russian oil and tax exports and Chinese financing. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) threatens to replace the IMF and World Bank programs that favor U.S. suppliers, banks and bondholders (with the United States holding unique veto power).

Russia's 2013 loan to Ukraine, made at the request of Ukraine's elected pro-Russian government, demonstrated the benefits of mutual trade and investment relations between the two countries. As Russian finance minister Anton Siluanov points out, Ukraine's "international reserves were barely enough to cover three months' imports, and no other creditor was prepared to lend on terms acceptable to Kiev. Yet Russia provided $3 billion of much-needed funding at a 5 per cent interest rate, when Ukraine's bonds were yielding nearly 12 per cent."[1]

What especially annoys U.S. financial strategists is that this loan by Russia's sovereign debt fund was protected by IMF lending practice, which at that time ensured collectability by withholding new credit from countries in default of foreign official debts (or at least, not bargaining in good faith to pay). To cap matters, the bonds are registered under London's creditor-oriented rules and courts.

On December 3 (one week before the IMF changed its rules so as to hurt Russia), Prime Minister Putin proposed that Russia "and other Eurasian Economic Union countries should kick-off consultations with members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on a possible economic partnership."[2] Russia also is seeking to build pipelines to Europe through friendly instead of U.S.-backed countries.

Moving to denominate their trade and investment in their own currencies instead of dollars, China and Russia are creating a geopolitical system free from U.S. control. After U.S. officials threatened to derange Russia's banking linkages by cutting it off from the SWIFT interbank clearing system, China accelerated its creation of the alternative China International Payments System (CIPS), with its own credit card system to protect Eurasian economies from the shrill threats made by U.S. unilateralists.

Russia and China are simply doing what the United States has long done: using trade and credit linkages to cement their geopolitical diplomacy. This tectonic geopolitical shift is a Copernican threat to New Cold War ideology: Instead of the world economy revolving around the United States (the Ptolemaic idea of America as "the indispensible nation"), it may revolve around Eurasia. As long as the global financial papacy remains grounded in Washington at the offices of the IMF and World Bank, such a shift in the center of gravity will be fought with all the power of the American Century (indeed, American Millennium) inquisition.

Imagine the following scenario five years from now. China will have spent half a decade building high-speed railroads, ports power systems and other construction for Asian and African countries, enabling them to grow and export more. These exports will be coming on line to repay the infrastructure loans. Also, suppose that Russia has been supplying the oil and gas energy needed for these projects.

To U.S. neocons this specter of AIIB government-to-government lending and investment creates fear of a world independent of U.S. control. Nations would mint their own money and hold each other's debt in their international reserves instead of borrowing or holding dollars and subordinating their financial planning to the IMF and U.S. Treasury with their demands for monetary bloodletting and austerity for debtor countries. There would be less need for foreign government to finance budget shortfalls by selling off their key public infrastructure privatizing their economies. Instead of dismantling public spending, the AIIB and a broader Eurasian economic union would do what the United States itself practices, and seek self-sufficiency in basic needs such as food, technology, banking, credit creation and monetary policy.

With this prospect in mind, suppose an American diplomat meets with the leaders of debtors to China, Russia and the AIIB and makes the following proposal: "Now that you've got your increased production in place, why repay? We'll make you rich if you stiff our New Cold War adversaries and turn to the West. We and our European allies will help you assign the infrastructure to yourselves and your supporters, and give these assets market value by selling shares in New York and London. Then, you can spend your surpluses in the West."

How can China or Russia collect in such a situation? They can sue. But what court will recognize their claim – that is, what court that the West would pay attention to?

That is the kind of scenario U.S. State Department and Treasury officials have been discussing for more than a year. The looming conflict was made immediate by Ukraine's $3 billion debt to Russia falling due by December 20, 2015. Ukraine's U.S.-backed regime has announced its intention to default. U.S. lobbyists have just changed the IMF rules to remove a critical lever on which Russia and other governments have long relied to enforce payment of their loans.

The IMF's Role as Enforcer of Inter-Government Debts

When it comes down to enforcing nations to pay inter-government debts, the International Monetary Fund and Paris Club hold the main leverage. As coordinator of central bank "stabilization" loans (the neoliberal euphemism for imposing austerity and destabilizing debtor economies, Greece-style), the IMF is able to withhold not only its own credit but also that of governments and global banks participating when debtor countries need refinancing. Countries that do not agree to privatize their infrastructure and sell it to Western buyers are threatened with sanctions, backed by U.S.-sponsored "regime change" and "democracy promotion" Maidan-style.

This was the setting on December 8, when Chief IMF Spokesman Gerry Rice announced: "The IMF's Executive Board met today and agreed to change the current policy on non-toleration of arrears to official creditors." The creditor leverage that the IMF has used is that if a nation is in financial arrears to any government, it cannot qualify for an IMF loan – and hence, for packages involving other governments. This has been the system by which the dollarized global financial system has worked for half a century. The beneficiaries have been creditors in US dollars.

In this U.S.-centered worldview, China and Russia loom as the great potential adversaries – defined as independent power centers from the United States as they create the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as an alternative to NATO, and the AIIB as an alternative to the IMF and World Bank tandem. The very name, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, implies that transportation systems and other infrastructure will be financed by governments, not relinquished into private hands to become rent-extracting opportunities financed by U.S.-centered bank credit to turn the rent into a flow of interest payments.

The focus on a mixed public/private economy sets the AIIB at odds with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and its aim of relinquishing government planning power to the financial and corporate sector for their own short-term gains, and above all the aim of blocking government's money-creating power and financial regulation. Chief Nomura economist Richard Koo, explained the logic of viewing the AIIB as a threat to the US-controlled IMF: "If the IMF's rival is heavily under China's influence, countries receiving its support will rebuild their economies under what is effectively Chinese guidance, increasing the likelihood they will fall directly or indirectly under that country's influence."[3]

Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov accused the IMF decision of being "hasty and biased."[4] But it had been discussed all year long, calculating a range of scenarios for a long-term sea change in international law. The aim of this change is to isolate not only Russia, but even more China in its role as creditor to African countries and prospective AIIB borrowers. U.S. officials walked into the IMF headquarters in Washington with the legal equivalent of financial suicide vests, having decided that the time had come to derail Russia's ability to collect on its sovereign loan to Ukraine, and of even larger import, China's plan for a New Silk Road integrating a Eurasian economy independent of U.S. financial and trade control. Anders Aslund, senior fellow at the NATO-oriented Atlantic Council, points out:

The IMF staff started contemplating a rule change in the spring of 2013 because nontraditional creditors, such as China, had started providing developing countries with large loans. One issue was that these loans were issued on conditions out of line with IMF practice. China wasn't a member of the Paris Club, where loan restructuring is usually discussed, so it was time to update the rules.

The IMF intended to adopt a new policy in the spring of 2016, but the dispute over Russia's $3 billion loan to Ukraine has accelerated an otherwise slow decision-making process.[5]

The Wall Street Journal concurred that the underlying motivation for changing the IMF's rules was the threat that Chinese lending would provide an alternative to IMF loans and its demands for austerity. "IMF-watchers said the fund was originally thinking of ensuring China wouldn't be able to foil IMF lending to member countries seeking bailouts as Beijing ramped up loans to developing economies around the world."[6] In short, U.S. strategists have designed a policy to block trade and financial agreements organized outside of U.S. control and that of the IMF and World Bank in which it holds unique veto power.

The plan is simple enough. Trade follows finance, and the creditor usually calls the tune. That is how the United States has used the Dollar Standard to steer Third World trade and investment since World War II along lines benefiting the U.S. economy.

The cement of trade credit and bank lending is the ability of creditors to collect on the international debts being negotiated. That is why the United States and other creditor nations have used the IMF as an intermediary to act as "honest broker" for loan consortia. ("Honest broker" means in practice being subject to U.S. veto power.) To enforce its financial leverage, the IMF has long followed the rule that it will not sponsor any loan agreement or refinancing for governments that are in default of debts owed to other governments. However, as the afore-mentioned Aslund explains, the IMF could easily

change its practice of not lending into [countries in official] arrears … because it is not incorporated into the IMF Articles of Agreement, that is, the IMF statutes. The IMF Executive Board can decide to change this policy with a simple board majority. The IMF has lent to Afghanistan, Georgia, and Iraq in the midst of war, and Russia has no veto right, holding only 2.39 percent of the votes in the IMF. When the IMF has lent to Georgia and Ukraine, the other members of its Executive Board have overruled Russia.[7]

After the rules change, Aslund later noted, "the IMF can continue to give Ukraine loans regardless of what Ukraine does about its credit from Russia, which falls due on December 20.[8]

Inasmuch as Ukraine's official debt to Russia's sovereign debt fund was not to the U.S. Government, the IMF announced its rules change as a "clarification." Its rule that no country can borrow if it is in default to (or not seriously negotiating with) a foreign government was created in the post-1945 world, and has governed the past seventy years in which the United States Government, Treasury officials and/or U.S. bank consortia have been party to nearly every international bailout or major loan agreement. What the IMF rule really meant was that it would not provide credit to countries in arrears specifically to the U.S. Government, not those of Russia or China.

Mikhail Delyagin, Director of the Institute of Globalization Problems, understood the IMF's double standard clearly enough: "The Fund will give Kiev a new loan tranche on one condition that Ukraine should not pay Russia a dollar under its $3 billion debt. Legally, everything will be formalized correctly but they will oblige Ukraine to pay only to western creditors for political reasons."[9] It remains up to the IMF board – and in the end, its managing director – whether or not to deem a country creditworthy. The U.S. representative naturally has always blocked any leaders not beholden to the United States.

The post-2010 loan packages to Greece are a notorious case in point. The IMF staff calculated that Greece could not possibly pay the balance that was set to bail out foreign banks and bondholders. Many Board members agreed (and subsequently have gone public with their whistle-blowing). Their protests didn't matter. Dominique Strauss-Kahn backed the US-ECB position (after President Barack Obama and Treasury secretary Tim Geithner pointed out that U.S. banks had written credit default swaps betting that Greece could pay, and would lose money if there were a debt writedown). In 2015, Christine Lagarde also backed the U.S.-European Central Bank hard line, against staff protests.[10]

IMF executive board member Otaviano Canuto, representing Brazil, noted that the logic that "conditions on IMF lending to a country that fell behind on payments [was to] make sure it kept negotiating in good faith to reach agreement with creditors."[11] Dropping this condition, he said, would open the door for other countries to insist on a similar waiver and avoid making serious and sincere efforts to reach payment agreement with creditor governments.

A more binding IMF rule is that it cannot lend to countries at war or use IMF credit to engage in warfare. Article I of its 1944-45 founding charter ban the fund from lending to a member state engaged in civil war or at war with another member state, or for military purposes in general. But when IMF head Lagarde made the last IMF loan to Ukraine, in spring 2015, she made a token gesture of stating that she hoped there would be peace. But President Porochenko immediately announced that he would step up the civil war with the Russian-speaking population in the eastern Donbass region.

The problem is that the Donbass is where most Ukrainian exports were made, mainly to Russia. That market is being lost by the junta's belligerence toward Russia. This should have blocked Ukraine from receiving IMF aid. Withholding IMF credit could have been a lever to force peace and adherence to the Minsk agreements, but U.S. diplomatic pressure led that opportunity to be rejected.

The most important IMF condition being violated is that continued warfare with the East prevents a realistic prospect of Ukraine paying back new loans. Aslund himself points to the internal contradictions at work: Ukraine has achieved budget balance because the inflation and steep currency depreciation has drastically eroded its pension costs. The resulting lower value of pension benefits has led to growing opposition to Ukraine's post-Maidan junta. "Leading representatives from President Petro Poroshenko's Bloc are insisting on massive tax cuts, but no more expenditure cuts; that would cause a vast budget deficit that the IMF assesses at 9-10 percent of GDP, that could not possibly be financed."[12] So how can the IMF's austerity budget be followed without a political backlash?

The IMF thus is breaking four rules: Not lending to a country that has no visible means to pay back the loan breaks the "No More Argentinas" rule adopted after the IMF's disastrous 2001 loan. Not lending to countries that refuse in good faith to negotiate with their official creditors goes against the IMF's role as the major tool of the global creditors' cartel. And the IMF is now lending to a borrower at war, indeed one that is destroying its export capacity and hence its balance-of-payments ability to pay back the loan. Finally, the IMF is lending to a country that has little likelihood of refuse carrying out the IMF's notorious austerity "conditionalities" on its population – without putting down democratic opposition in a totalitarian manner. Instead of being treated as an outcast from the international financial system, Ukraine is being welcomed and financed.

The upshot – and new basic guideline for IMF lending – is to create a new Iron Curtain splitting the world into pro-U.S. economies going neoliberal, and all other economies, including those seeking to maintain public investment in infrastructure, progressive taxation and what used to be viewed as progressive capitalism. Russia and China may lend as much as they want to other governments, but there is no international vehicle to help secure their ability to be paid back under what until now has passed for international law. Having refused to roll back its own or ECB financial claims on Greece, the IMF is quite willing to see repudiation of official debts owed to Russia, China or other countries not on the list approved by the U.S. neocons who wield veto power in the IMF, World Bank and similar global economic institutions now drawn into the U.S. orbit. Changing its rules to clear the path for the IMF to make loans to Ukraine and other governments in default of debts owed to official lenders is rightly seen as an escalation of America's New Cold War against Russia and also its anti-China strategy.

Timing is everything in such ploys. Georgetown University Law professor and Treasury consultant Anna Gelpern warned that before the "IMF staff and executive board [had] enough time to change the policy on arrears to official creditors," Russia might use "its notorious debt/GDP clause to accelerate the bonds at any time before December, or simply gum up the process of reforming the IMF's arrears policy."[13] According to this clause, if Ukraine's foreign debt rose above 60 percent of GDP, Russia's government would have the right to demand immediate payment. But no doubt anticipating the bitter fight to come over its attempts to collect on its loan, President Putin patiently refrained from exercising this option. He is playing the long game, bending over backward to accommodate Ukraine rather than behaving "odiously."

A more pressing reason deterring the United States from pressing earlier to change IMF rules was that a waiver for Ukraine would have opened the legal floodgates for Greece to ask for a similar waiver on having to pay the "troika" – the European Central Bank (ECB), EU commission and the IMF itself – for the post-2010 loans that have pushed it into a worse depression than the 1930s. "Imagine the Greek government had insisted that EU institutions accept the same haircut as the country's private creditors," Russian finance minister Anton Siluanov asked. "The reaction in European capitals would have been frosty. Yet this is the position now taken by Kiev with respect to Ukraine's $3 billion eurobond held by Russia."[14]

Only after Greece capitulated to eurozone austerity was the path clear for U.S. officials to change the IMF rules in their fight to isolate Russia. But their tactical victory has come at the cost of changing the IMF's rules and those of the global financial system irreversibly. Other countries henceforth may reject conditionalities, as Ukraine has done, and ask for write-downs on foreign official debts.

That was the great fear of neoliberal U.S. and Eurozone strategists last summer, after all. The reason for smashing Greece's economy was to deter Podemos in Spain and similar movements in Italy and Portugal from pursuing national prosperity instead of eurozone austerity. Opening the door to such resistance by Ukraine is the blowback of America's tactic to make a short-term financial hit on Russia while its balance of payments is down as a result of collapsing oil and gas prices.

The consequences go far beyond just the IMF. The fabric of international law itself is being torn apart. Every action has a reaction in the Newtonian world of geopolitics. It may not be a bad thing, to be sure, for the post-1945 global order to be broken apart by U.S. tactics against Russia, if that is the catalyst driving other countries to defend their own economies in the legal and political spheres. It has been U.S. neoliberals themselves who have catalyzed the emerging independent Eurasian bloc.

Countering Russia's Ability to Collect in Britain's Law Courts

Over the past year the U.S. Treasury and State Departments have discussed ploys to block Russia from collecting under British law, where its loans to Ukraine are registered. Reviewing the repertory of legal excuses Ukraine might use to avoid paying Russia, Prof. Gelpern noted that it might declare the debt "odious," made under duress or corruptly. In a paper for the Peterson Institute of International Economics (the banking lobby in Washington) she suggested that Britain should deny Russia the use of its courts as an additional sanction reinforcing the financial, energy, and trade sanctions to those passed against Russia after Crimea voted to join it as protection against the ethnic cleansing from the Right Sector, Azov Battalion and other paramilitary groups descending on the region.[15]

A kindred ploy might be for Ukraine to countersue Russia for reparations for "invading" it, for saving Crimea and the Donbass region from the Right Sector's attempt to take over the country. Such a ploy would seem to have little chance of success in international courts (without showing them to be simply arms of NATO New Cold War politics), but it might delay Russia' ability to collect by tying the loan up in a long nuisance lawsuit.

To claim that Ukraine's debt to Russia was "odious" or otherwise illegitimate, "President Petro Poroshenko said the money was intended to ensure Yanukovych's loyalty to Moscow, and called the payment a 'bribe,' according to an interview with Bloomberg in June this year."[16] The legal and moral problem with such arguments is that they would apply equally to IMF and US loans. Claiming that Russia's loan is "odious" is that this would open the floodgates for other countries to repudiate debts taken on by dictatorships supported by IMF and U.S. lenders, headed by the many dictatorships supported by U.S. diplomacy.

The blowback from the U.S. multi-front attempt to nullify Ukraine's debt may be used to annul or at least write down the destructive IMF loans made on the condition that borrowers accept privatizations favoring U.S., German and other NATO-country investors, undertake austerity programs, and buy weapons systems such as the German submarines that Greece borrowed to pay for. As Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov noted: "This reform, which they are now trying to implement, designed to suit Ukraine only, could plant a time bomb under all other IMF programs." It certainly showed the extent to which the IMF is subordinate to U.S. aggressive New Cold Warriors: "Essentially, this reform boils down to the following: since Ukraine is politically important – and it is only important because it is opposed to Russia – the IMF is ready to do for Ukraine everything it has not done for anyone else, and the situation that should 100 percent mean a default will be seen as a situation enabling the IMF to finance Ukraine."[17]

Andrei Klimov, deputy chairman of the Committee for International Affairs at the Federation Council (the upper house of Russia's parliament) accused the United States of playing "the role of the main violin in the IMF while the role of the second violin is played by the European Union. These are two basic sponsors of the Maidan – the symbol of a coup d'état in Ukraine in 2014."[18]

Putin's Counter-Strategy and the Blowback on U.S.-European and Global Relations

As noted above, having anticipated that Ukraine would seek reasons to not pay the Russian loan, President Putin carefully refrained from exercising Russia's right to demand immediate payment when Ukraine's foreign debt rose above 60 percent of GDP. In November he offered to defer payment if the United States, Europe and international banks underwrote the obligation. Indeed, he even "proposed better conditions for this restructuring than those the International Monetary Fund requested of us." He offered "to accept a deeper restructuring with no payment this year – a payment of $1 billion next year, $1 billion in 2017, and $1 billion in 2018." If the IMF, the United States and European Union "are sure that Ukraine's solvency will grow," then they should "see no risk in providing guarantees for this credit." Accordingly, he concluded "We have asked for such guarantees either from the United States government, the European Union, or one of the big international financial institutions." [19]

The implication, Putin pointed out, was that "If they cannot provide guarantees, this means that they do not believe in the Ukrainian economy's future." One professor pointed out that this proposal was in line with the fact that, "Ukraine has already received a sovereign loan guarantee from the United States for a previous bond issue." Why couldn't the United States, Eurozone or leading commercial banks provide a similar guarantee of Ukraine's debt to Russia – or better yet, simply lend it the money to turn it into a loan to the IMF or US lenders?[20]

But the IMF, European Union and the United States refused to back up their happy (but nonsensical) forecasts of Ukrainian solvency with actual guarantees. Foreign Minister Lavrov made clear just what that rejection meant: "By having refused to guarantee Ukraine's debt as part of Russia's proposal to restructure it, the United States effectively admitted the absence of prospects of restoring its solvency. … By officially rejecting the proposed scheme, the United States thereby subscribed to not seeing any prospects of Ukraine restoring its solvency."[21]

In an even more exasperated tone, Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev explained to Russia's television audience: "I have a feeling that they won't give us the money back because they are crooks. They refuse to return our money and our Western partners not only refuse to help, but they also make it difficult for us."[22] Adding that "the international financial system is unjustly structured," he promised to "go to court. We'll push for default on the loan and we'll push for default on all Ukrainian debts."

The basis for Russia's legal claim, he explained was that the loan

was a request from the Ukrainian Government to the Russian Government. If two governments reach an agreement this is obviously a sovereign loan…. Surprisingly, however, international financial organisations started saying that this is not exactly a sovereign loan. This is utter bull. Evidently, it's just an absolutely brazen, cynical lie. … This seriously erodes trust in IMF decisions. I believe that now there will be a lot of pleas from different borrower states to the IMF to grant them the same terms as Ukraine. How will the IMF possibly refuse them?

And there the matter stands. As President Putin remarked regarding America's support of Al Qaeda, Al Nusra and other ISIS allies in Syria, "Do you have any idea of what you have done?"

The Blowback

Few have calculated the degree to which America's New Cold War with Russia is creating a reaction that is tearing up the world's linkages put in place since World War II. Beyond pulling the IMF and World Bank tightly into U.S. unilateralist geopolitics, how long will Western Europe be willing to forego its trade and investment interest with Russia? Germany, Italy and France already are feeling the strains. If and when a break comes, it will not be marginal but a seismic geopolitical shift.

The oil and pipeline war designed to bypass Russian energy exports has engulfed the Near East in anarchy for over a decade. It is flooding Europe with refugees, and also spreading terrorism to America. In the Republican presidential debate on December 15, 2015, the leading issue was safety from Islamic jihadists. Yet no candidate thought to explain the source of this terrorism in America's alliance with Wahabist Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and hence with Al Qaeda and ISIS/Daish as a means of destabilizing secular regimes seeking independence from U.S. control.

As its allies in this New Cold War, the United States has chosen fundamentalist jihadist religion against secular regimes in Libya, Iraq, Syria, and earlier in Afghanistan and Turkey. Going back to the original sin of CIA hubris – overthrowing the secular Iranian Prime Minister leader Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1953 – American foreign policy has been based on the assumption that secular regimes tend to be nationalist and resist privatization and neoliberal austerity.

Based on this fatal long-term assumption, U.S. Cold Warriors have aligned themselves not only against secular regimes, but against democratic regimes where these seek to promote their own prosperity and economic independence, and to resist neoliberalism in favor of maintaining their traditional mixed public/private economy.

This is the back story of the U.S. fight to control the rest of the world. Tearing apart the IMF's rules is only the most recent chapter. The broad drive against Russia, China and their prospective Eurasian allies has deteriorated into tactics without a realistic understanding of how they are bringing about precisely the kind of world they are seeking to prevent – a multilateral world.

Arena by arena, the core values of what used to be American and European social democratic ideology are being uprooted. The Enlightenment's ideals of secular democracy and the rule of international law applied equally to all nations, classical free market theory (of markets free from unearned income and rent extraction by special vested interests), and public investment in infrastructure to hold down the cost of living and doing business are to be sacrificed to a militant U.S. unilateralism as "the indispensible nation." Standing above the rule of law and national interests, American neocons proclaim that their nation's destiny is to wage war to prevent foreign secular democracy from acting in ways other than submission to U.S. diplomacy. In practice, this means favoring special U.S. financial and corporate interests that control American foreign policy.

This is not how the Enlightenment was supposed to turn out. Classical industrial capitalism a century ago was expected to evolve into an economy of abundance. Instead, we have Pentagon capitalism, finance capitalism deteriorating into a polarized rentier economy, and old-fashioned imperialism.

The Dollar Bloc's Financial Iron Curtain

By treating Ukraine's nullification of its official debt to Russia's Sovereign Wealth Fund as the new norm, the IMF has blessed its default on its bond payment to Russia. President Putin and foreign minister Lavrov have said that they will sue in British courts. But does any court exist in the West not under the thumb of U.S. veto?

What are China and Russia to do, faced with the IMF serving as a kangaroo court whose judgments are subject to U.S. veto power? To protect their autonomy and self-determination, they have created alternatives to the IMF and World Bank, NATO and behind it, the dollar standard.

America's recent New Cold War maneuvering has shown that the two Bretton Woods institutions are unreformable. It is easier to create new institutions such as the A.I.I.B. than to retrofit old and ill-designed ones burdened with the legacy of their vested founding interests. It is easier to expand the Shanghai Cooperation Organization than to surrender to threats from NATO.

U.S. geostrategists seem to have imagined that if they exclude Russia, China and other SCO and Eurasian countries from the U.S.-based financial and trade system, these countries will find themselves in the same economic box as Cuba, Iran and other countries have been isolated by sanctions. The aim is to make countries choose between impoverishment from such exclusion, or acquiescing in U.S. neoliberal drives to financialize their economies and impose austerity on their government sector and labor.

What is lacking from such calculations is the idea of critical mass. The United States may use the IMF and World Bank as levers to exclude countries not in the U.S. orbit from participating in the global trade and financial system, and it may arm-twist Europe to impose trade and financial sanctions on Russia. But this action produces an equal and opposite reaction. That is the eternal Newtonian law of geopolitics. The indicated countermeasure is simply for other countries to create their own international financial organization as an alternative to the IMF, their own "aid" lending institution to juxtapose to the U.S.-centered World Bank.

All this requires an international court to handle disputes that is free from U.S. arm-twisting to turn international law into a kangaroo court following the dictates of Washington. The Eurasian Economic Union now has its own court to adjudicate disputes. It may provide an alternative Judge Griesa's New York federal court ruling in favor of vulture funds derailing Argentina's debt negotiations and excluding it from foreign financial markets. If the London Court of International Arbitration (under whose rules Russia's bonds issued to Ukraine are registered) permits frivolous legal claims (called barratry in English) such as President Poroshenko has threatened in Ukrainian Parliament, it too will become a victim of geopolitical obsolescence.

The more nakedly self-serving and geopolitical U.S. policy is – in backing radical Islamic fundamentalist outgrowths of Al Qaeda throughout the Near East, right-wing nationalist governments in Ukraine and the Baltics – the greater the catalytic pressure is growing for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, AIIB and related Eurasian institutions to break free of the post-1945 Bretton Woods system run by the U.S. State, Defense and Treasury Departments and NATO superstructure.

The question now is whether Russia and China can hold onto the BRICS and India. So as Paul Craig Roberts recently summarized my ideas along these lines, we are back with George Orwell's 1984 global fracture between Oceanea (the United States, Britain and its northern European NATO allies) vs. Eurasia.

... .... ....

RabidGandhi December 18, 2015 at 9:16 am

My issue with Hudson is that he tends to paint things in a "good guys/bad guys" dichotomy viz. the IMF vs. the AIIB. Personally, I think it's quite positive that the international sovereign finance institutions will now be more international and less unipolar, but his scenario where

Nations would mint their own money and hold each other's debt in their international reserves instead of borrowing or holding dollars and subordinating their financial planning to the IMF and U.S. Treasury with their demands for monetary bloodletting and austerity for debtor countries.

is rather pie-in-the sky. What reason do we have to believe that concentrated Chinese capital would somehow be more benevolent than our current overlords? Oh because AIIB has the word "infrastructure" in its title (just as the Interamerican Development Bank is all about development) /sarc.

Furthermore, if US planners had half a clue about economics, they would be jumping for joy that the AIIB and the CIPS will finally help release them (eventually) from the burden of having the USD as the global reserve currency, thus relieving the US of the albatross of having to ship its internal demand to China and other net exporters.

All in all, yes AIIB should be positive, but as Hudson himself points out, this is not so much about economics as it is geopolitics. The world should tread with the utmost caution.

Dino Reno December 18, 2015 at 9:48 am

I think his main point is not so much about economics or geopolitics, it's about the rule of law, specifically international law and how it applies to the debt collection brokered between counties.

China and Russia harbored the fantasy that would be allowed redress in the Western Courts where international law is metered out. They are now no longer under that delusion.

Even if they come up with a lending facility, the West will thwart their ability to collect on those debts at every turn by simply declaring those debts null and void and extending new funds using the infrastructure build by the bad (Russian/Chinese) debt as collateral. The thirst for power and profit will always be with us, but now it will not be tempered by any international order under the rule of law.

Nick December 18, 2015 at 10:15 am

China is learning the hard way how the game is played. For example, they're discovering that much of the tens of billions in no-strings attached loans given to Africa will not provide the returns initially thought (even accounting for massive corruption on all sides), which is why they have been reduced for the first time in a decade this past year.

Alejandro December 18, 2015 at 10:41 am

Don't see how "economics" and "social" can be de-linked from "politics"…understanding the limits of "local" may provide an awareness of the "quid pro quo" of extending, direction of extension, and what defines (in/inter) "dependency"…how sacrifice is "shared" or imposed, and how "prosperity" is concentrated or distributed…

OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL December 18, 2015 at 2:50 pm

It's not Hudson but the US that has simplified the entire world situation into "good guys vs. bad guys", a policy enshrined in Rumsfeld's statement "you're either with us or you're against us".

It's like a playground with one big bully and lots of kids running scared, now a second bully appears and they all have to ask themselves whether Bully #2 will be nicer to them, in this case it appears Bully #2 is saying he won't tell them how to run their lives or steal their lunch money.

Post-comet in 2000 when everything started going to hell the worst casualty has been the rule of law, from hanging chads through to the Patriot Act, death by a thousand cuts of the Constitution, unprosecuted war crimes, unprosecuted financial crimes, and now the very fabric of international law being rent apart. I'm reminded of the Hunter Thompson scene where he has an expired driver's license and a cop pulls him over, he has two choices, hand over the license and get busted, or drive away and get busted… so he comes up with a third choice: he blows his nose all over the license and hands it over to the cop. The equivalent of Bully #1 taking the only soccer ball on the playground and kicking it over the fence so the game is screwed up for everybody, Pepe's "Empire of Chaos" indeed.

global123 December 18, 2015 at 9:47 am

stellar article michael hudson

1)Western economies depend on ocean transport…if chinese or ruskies destroy it, USA-EU will be bankrupt in weeks..USA-EU are consumers and not producers..their exports to rest of world are tiny..So,their position is very weak at this point
2)The asian countries like china-india will be forced to join hands under joint attack by US financial system and islamic jihadists..Russia and china,former enemies,are now friends…who could have imagines it?
Russo-chinese-iranian alliance is huge failure of US foreign policies
3)Using islamic terrorists and islamic countries like turkey-saudi arabia-pakistan-indonesia-egypt is not going to work for USA because muslims think USA as enemy no.1…
4)A military superiority can not guarantee permanent -everlasting victory against too many opponents
What i see here is USA has made entire islamic world their enemy,alongwith china and russia
In case of real war,USA position will be very weak

camelotkidd December 18, 2015 at 9:49 am

This is an amazing article. Bravo!
Now it's becoming clear just what Margaret Thatcher meant when she told everyone that there was no alternative to neoliberalism.

Steve H. December 18, 2015 at 10:00 am

Thank you for continuing to mark the historical specifics of the finance/legal wing of geopolitical conflict, and the perverse failings of Full Spectrum Dominance.

The Oceana/Eurasia dichotomy is a dangerous frame of reference. It essentially contrasts the transport efficiencies of water to the solid defensive capacity of the frozen steppes. But when things get bloody, they usually crack along language lines. Not only as a proxy for migrations of the gene, but also world-views. How horse-people see things, what metaphors they use, are very different than how cow-people categorize the world.

This highlights that Russia is continuing to operate within the language and legal framework of the Indo-European languages. In other words (!), it is a fight between the U.S. and Russia for European alliances. If this is the case, then the alliance of NATO with Turkic and Arabic lines is of convenience, in that they are not partners but proxies. Europe is faced with the habit of the U.S. in saying, Let's you and him fight. But there's an oceans difference between the U.S. and European interests.

It also means that Russia and China are being pushed together by western exclusion, like drops of oil on the water. I maintain that Russia has doubled down on global warming, to open up northern sea routes and make the steppes arable. China is already a sea-power, but its massive population will need lebensraum as the fossil-fuel support for the energy needs of megapoli decay. The mountains are a formidable barrier for them to take the steppes by force.

The question for the rest of the world then becomes, who do you want to have as a friend in a hundred years. Do you bet on the Wizards of Wall Street, with their Magic Money Wand of Fiat? Or do you think Russia will ground-n-pound the fairy dust into the mud?

SocietalIllusions December 18, 2015 at 11:17 am

what is left unsaid is the choices Russia then faces once their legal options play out and the uneven playing field is fully exposed. Do they not then have a historically justifiable basis for declaring war?

The game of brinksmanship continues…

Jim Haygood December 18, 2015 at 11:18 am

'The Russian and Chinese governments are investing in neighboring economies on terms that cement Eurasian economic integration.'

Whereas the U.S. is 'investing' in new military bases to cement U.S. global domination.

Guess which model actually benefits local living standards, and 'wins hearts and minds'?

Global domination as a policy goal bankrupted the USSR. It's not working for the USSA either, as the U.S. middle class (once the envy of the world) visibly sinks into pauperization.

Thus the veracity of Michael Hudson's conclusion that 'when a break comes, it will not be marginal but a seismic geopolitical shift.'

Steven December 18, 2015 at 1:56 pm

I get the same thrill reading Hudson the religiously devout must experience reading their bibles or Korans – a glimpse of 'truth' as best it can be known. My first encounter was this interview in Counterpunch: An Interview with Michael Hudson, author of Super Imperialism That led directly to "Super Imperialism" (and just about every book since its publication). After reading it, I was left with the uneasy feeling that no good would come from an international monetary system that allowed any one nation to pay its way in the world by creating money 'out of thin air' i.e. as sovereign and private debt or, almost the same thing, Federal Reserve Notes.

The race to the bottom of off-shored jobs and industries freed from all environmental restrictions, AKA 'globalization', had started to really kick in but it was just before Operation Iraqi Liberation (get it?). Fundamentally, it wasn't war for oil, of course, but a war to preserve the Dollar Standard. Recycling petrodollars bought a little time after the 1971 collapse of Bretton Woods. But with the world's treasuries filling up with US dollars and debt, the product of the Congressional-military-industrial-complex running wild and more recently the U.S. 0.01% successfully evading almost all forms of taxation, some kind of control more basic than controlling the world's access to money (which basically means credit) was required.

When people like Alan Greenspan (pretend to) come clean, you really want to look twice:

THOUGH it was not understood a century ago, and though as yet the applications of the knowledge to the economics of life are not generally realized, life in its physical aspect is fundamentally a struggle for energy, in which discovery after discovery brings life into new relations with the original source.

Frederick Soddy, WEALTH, VIRTUAL WEALTH AND DEBT, 2nd edition, p. 49
The world can live without American dollars, especially these days when the U.S. no longer makes much the world needs or can afford but most obviously because it already possesses more of them than can ever be redeemed ('debt that can't be repaid and won't be') What it can't live without is ENERGY.

So long as most of that energy needs to be pumped out of the ground, the nation that ultimately controls access to the pumps – or to the distribution networks required to deliver it to the ultimate user – controls the world. This is most likely why Reagan promptly dismantled Jimmy Carter's White House solar panels. It is why the US and its European vassals have been dragging their feet for a half-century on the development of renewable energy sources and the electrification of transportation. It is why the banks and Wall Street will stand solidly behind the various electrical utilities efforts to discourage the development of any alternative energy sources from which their executives and shareholders can not extract the last pint of blood or has Hudson more politely calls it 'economic rent'.

P.S. Hudson seems to have a dangerous monopoly on economic truth these days. Is there anyone else who even comes close?

[Sep 28, 2015] Obama America Has Few4 Economic Interests In Ukraine... And This Very Big One

Sep 28, 2015 | Zero Hedge
As part of his UN speech seeking to restore a crumbling Pax Americana, president Obama, eager to cover up US involvement in the Ukraine presidential coup of early 2014 (who can forget Victoria Nuland "strategy" interception in which she laid out the post-coup lay of the land, while saying to "fuck the EU"), just said that "America has few economic interest in Ukraine."

Herdee

Where and what did they do with Ukraine's gold bullion reserves and who is in possession of them right now and why is it such a big secret to everyone that overthrew the Government there?

directaction

Who cares? The Ukraine gold and all the rest of their resources are legitimate wartime plunder, booty, if you will. If the Ukrainians are stupid enough to happily allow the USA to barge in and take everything of value from them why should we weep?

viator

"George Soros has long called for the West to pump billions into Ukraine. Now he says he's ready to walk the talk.
The veteran hedge fund investor told an Austrian newspaper he was prepared to invest $1 billion in the collapsing war-ravaged economy under certain circumstances.

"There are concrete investment ideas, for example in agriculture and infrastructure projects. I would put in $1 billion," he told Der Standard. "This must generate a profit. My foundation would benefit from this, not me personally."

The Hungarian-born billionaire said Europe and the U.S. must show strong political leadership over Ukraine -- that would make it more attractive to private investors. The West could provide finance at European interest rates close to zero, for example.

A spokesman for Soros said his investment would depend on the West doing "whatever it takes" to rescue Ukraine."

http://money.cnn.com/2015/03/30/investing/ukraine-soros-billion-russia/

The Indelicate ...

What do you figure, LL - is the "New Khazaria" theory in any way legit, or is it bullshit?

Israel's Secret Plan for a "Second Israel" in Ukraine
http://m.strategic-culture.org/news/2014/12/03/israel-secret-plan-for-se...

Notwithstanding the heavy presence of dual citizens yadda yadda, I kinda think the "secret report" was tongue-in-cheek and that this is basically bullshit. But in this messed up crazy world... stranger things....

I don't see Crimea going back to Ukraine though.

Latina Lover

Since the discussion is now academic (Crimea is not leaving Russia unless Russia itself is destroyed), I will be brief.

Kolomoysky is the president of a European Jewish Group, and active in Chabad. He was promoting Crimea as an alternate Jewish homeland until Crimea rejoined Russia. Kolomoysky then lost his real estate holdings, and Chabad the ability to dominate the Crimea.

If you are interested in further background, check out the following link:

http://www.inss.org.il/uploadImages/systemFiles/The%20Jewish.pdf

[Sep 27, 2015] Argentina vs vulture funds

"... The Argentine government managed to restructure about 93% of that debt through heavily discounted bond exchanges in 2005 and 2010. But a small group of investors refused to tender their defaulted bonds for new securities, and they have hounded Argentina in courts across the globe for close to a decade seeking full repayment. ..."
Sep 27, 2015 | marknesop.wordpress.com

et Al, September 26, 2015 at 1:44 pm

http://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2014/06/30/argentina-vs-bondholders-the-epic-saga/

The Argentine government managed to restructure about 93% of that debt through heavily discounted bond exchanges in 2005 and 2010. But a small group of investors refused to tender their defaulted bonds for new securities, and they have hounded Argentina in courts across the globe for close to a decade seeking full repayment.

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

As part of the restructuring process, Argentina drafted agreements in which repayments would be handled through a New York corporation and governed by United States law. The holdout bondholders found themselves unable to seize Argentine sovereign assets in settlement, but realized that Argentina had omitted to provide for holdout situations and had instead deemed all bonds repayable on pari passu (equal) terms that prevented preferential treatment among bondholders. The holdout bondholders therefore sought, and won, an injunction in 2014 that prohibited Argentina from repaying the 93% of bonds that had been renegotiated, unless they simultaneously paid the 7% holdouts their full amount due as well. Together with the agreement's Rights Upon Future Offers ("RUFO") clause, this created a deadlock in which the 93% of renegotiated bondholders could not be paid without paying the 7% holdouts, but any payment to the holdouts would potentially (according to Argentina) trigger the 93% being due repayment at full value too; a sum of around $100 billion which Argentina could not afford.[6] The courts ruled that as Argentina had itself drafted the agreement, and chosen the terms it wished to propose, it could not now claim the terms were unreasonable or unfair, and that this could not be worked around by asserting sovereign status since the injunction did not affect sovereign assets, but simply ruled that Argentina must not give preferential treatment of any group of bondholders over any other group when making repayments.

…NML Capital Limited, a Cayman Islands-based offshore unit of Paul Singer's Elliott Management Corporation, purchased many holdings in 2008, paying an estimated USD49 million for one series of bonds whose face value was over USD220 million;[22] with the subsequent boom in Argentine bond values, this face value grew to USD832 million by 2014.[26] They in turn established the American Task Force Argentina lobbying group against Argentine bond restructuring efforts,[19] and sued to enjoin Argentina's ongoing payments to the bondholders who had participated in the earlier restructurings.[2]
####

Nothing can stop red blooded capitalists! I suspect that death is but a minor inconvenience.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhw9qvoxKMM

https://youtu.be/IXKEKQ8vU28

ucgsblog, September 26, 2015 at 1:55 pm

And this is what awaits Ukraine. Welcome to Capitalism Kiev, please read the small font. Oh, you don't read? Wonderful! We shall have a good time doing business together! How much for Dnepropetrovsk?

Warren, September 26, 2015 at 2:24 pm

These hold-out creditors aren't called fondo buitre for nothing!!!!!

[Sep 09, 2015] New York conceptual artist David Down has created a new Ukraine flag

Moscow Exile, September 7, 2015 at 8:46 am

New York conceptual artist David Down has created a new Ukraine flag

I wonder what a "conceptual artist" is?

Everything created by man starts as a concept, from a condom to Concorde – the aeroplane, that is!

Cortes, September 7, 2015 at 9:37 am
That's funny. Hope Mr. Down has a safe house somewhere.

[Sep 03, 2015] Kievs week of violence is a crisis of its own making

Both countries are US clients and US has no use anymore for the nazi dogs of war, i.e. they can protest all they want - they are getting nothing and if they become too obstructive, they will start to disappear one by one.
They might be dangerous but they are nothing compared to money men running the show."
.
"...Occam's razor: the fascist nationalist nutters orchestrated the whole thing, because they don't want any concessions given to the objects of their hatred."
.
Some people think the challenges faced by Ukraine's Poroshenko are now too big to overcome. But those who would like to take his place have not shown themselves capable of doing even half of what he has achieved.
.
Wait...Poroshenko has achieved something? He has done nothing but what he was told. He waged war in the east because John Brennan told him to. And then stopped when Merkel told him to. He is a non-entity."
.
"...Here is two examples of Porkoshenko being a head of occupational government: (1). He destroyed Ukraine's military industrial complex, for it's ties (very profitable by the way) with Russian military, as any obedient CIA stooge will do. (2). He flipped the country geo-politically, from the state that should have benefit from it's position in the middle of the Europe, in to some sort of final frontier, protecting Europe from the hordes of those crazy Russians, all by himself , only crazy person could have come up with this, or an obedient CIA stooge again."
.
"...Let's face it, straight reporting on The Ukraine is hard to come by, given that it's labouring under the 3-line whip of the CIA, MI6 and another global I.S. best not to mention."
.
"...When you back hard right elements (to further your personal political goals, when both parties share a common antagonist) who are prone to violence. Don't cry victim when they disagree with your political overtures & decisions. Acting out that disagreement the only manner they know how to which is through violence. I have no sympathy Poroshenko, for the backlash his government is now facing re: his government's constitutional proposals."
.
"...I chortled with laughter, almost choked, when he suggested that the Kremlin agents are organising the far right nationalists in Ukraine, deliberately causing an outbreak of peace in order to show up the Kiev parties in a bad light! Believe me, Kiev parties can show themselves up all by themselves!"
.
"...I wondered how long it would be for poroshenko to blame putin for the grenade attack. Russia has been a convenient scapegoat for Ukraine to blame for its own failings since the overthrow of yanukovic.
The right wing activists who carried out the grenade attack were at the heart of the maidan protests which also involved violent confrontations with the police. They were also those who tarrgetted ethnic Russians following the overthrow of yanukovic so their actions in opposition to granting extra powers to eastern territories is hardly surprising."
Notable quotes:
"... I talk about the media coverage. At that time "the right wing Party" was just a Putin lie, troubles were cause by Putin, protesters were peaceful and policemen were killed not in terror attacks but were killed democratically. ..."
"... - Ehhh... was it a terrorist attack? Not a peaceful protest democratically fighting bad and corrupt police prohibiting them to freely take the parliament? Because at the Euromaidan 17 policemen were killed and more than 200 injured when peaceful protesters were democratically fighting bad and corrupt police prohibiting them to freely take the parliament... and there were no terror attacks... ..."
"... "Corporatism was one of the ideals of both German Nazism and Italian fascism. They held it as a carrot before the people, as a 'solution' to the class problem. They used it as their 'revolutionary' credentials and in both cases, ditched it completely soon after taking power. The idea of each sector of society being organized to take its place at the high table of the state was always "jam tomorrow." Today's agenda was always "war." ..."
"... It should also be understood that fascist 'corporatism' has nothing to do with the global corporations that are not often bigger than nation states. Modern 'corporatism' only shares a name with the fascist 'ideal.' Not that it any better. ..."
"... Princesss Nuland of the neocons is a nasty murderous piece of work. One to watch. Hopefully somebody will 'putsch' her and her equally loathsome husband. Have they spawned any more little evils? ..."
"... A neo-neocon organised and paid for putsch is hardly "democratic", same as any other US sanctioned regime change i.e Mega Nation Theft. ..."
"... In all matters relating to Eastern Europe the Guardian has pinned its colours to the mast of the "New East Network." Which is essentially controlled by a Mr George Soros, Radio "Free Europe" and the National Endowment for Democracy." All mouthpieces of the state department. Its safest to believe the opposite of everything they tell us. ..."
"... It is very hard to enter EU from the East without visa (and rules for visa application were hardened for Ukrainians). It is very hard to get job without working permit, and for money you need to register. Notice, that all these points are not present in case of refugees traveling to Russia/Belarus. ..."
"... Fast forward to the neo-neocon putsch and princess Nuland boasting of the death and destruction that all those humanitarian $5 billion had purchased as she dispensed biscuits in Maidan, just prior to both sides being shot up by putschist snipers (likely from outside and/or Svoboda, or the Social Nationalists (don't say Nazis don't have a sense of humour!). ..."
"... Its not really a zero-sum game. Russia always maintained that the coup was engineered by the West by encouraging right wing elements and this is just one of a number of incidents that prove that their view was correct. This makes our life difficult in the West because we only think in polar terms -- if Russia is right then they 'win'. Since we cannot allow any situation where Russia 'wins' we go through all sorts of mental gymnastics to try to prove black is really white. It would be better to ignore Russia's comments and commentaries and just look dispassionately at who the actors are and what they're up to. The answers are staring us in the face. ..."
"... February 24, 2014, right extremist forces (Banderists, Right Sector and neo-Nazis Svoboda) implemented a coup during the Maiden. At the time the US government warned the Ukrainian authorities against using force against these 'pro-democracy protestors' even if, according to the pictures we saw, some of them were neo-Nazis who were throwing Molotov cocktails and other things at the police and smashing up statues and setting fire to buildings. ..."
"... These militias became the spearhead of Ukrainian forces in the East and on them falls much of the war effort in the Civil War. But these militias can not yet be lifted, because otherwise the war in the East could not continue. ..."
"... History always repeats itself. Use low ignorant, racist and violent manpower to take power by force but also to maintain it, but then to dump it as soon as possible because they rare considered, rightly, unpresentable or otherwise dangerous even for those who have instigated, financed and exploited them. Of course, sometimes such situations go out of hand, see the Afghan Mujahidin or ISIS. ..."
"... Now Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk are receiving their own coin back. They supported and reinforced those they now pretend to discover to be thugs. The real puppets are and remain in power while their useful barbarians have become bothersome: infamous, resistant to the point that one can wonder if the latest riot would not be a false flag from Yats and Poro who used the skills of these criminal thugs. Because the latter are not mere free electrons who just decided to meet that day. There is money, people that structure this, a hierarchy, an efficient network and money at will, in which Russia has no involvement. ..."
"... The far right have done all the dirty work during the coup and still doing it on the frontline and have not got enough in return, in their view. Croatia had a similar problem with their extremist veterans who were used by the Croatian right wing HDZ to destabilize social-democrat government. ..."
"... Both countries are US clients and US has no use anymore for the nazi dogs of war, i.e. they can protest all they want - they are getting nothing and if they become too obstructive, they will start to disappear one by one. ..."
"... Occam's razor: the fascist nationalist nutters orchestrated the whole thing, because they don't want any concessions given to the objects of their hatred. ..."
"... The director of Centre of Eurasian researches Vladimir Kornilov noted: "Everybody perfectly understands where the HR department of Ukrainian policy is. It is in the American Embassy". ..."
"... Let's face it, straight reporting on The Ukraine is hard to come by, given that it's labouring under the 3-line whip of the CIA, MI6 and another global I.S. best not to mention. ..."
"... Disgusting man hailing from a disgusting class of politician/businessmen trained by the US to bring death and chaos to any part of the globe that the powers behind the US Government see fit. Prepare for our own Maidan should this class of parasite-sans-frontieres, (read Mikheil Saakashvili), succeed in bringing The Ukraine under the NATO umbrella. ..."
"... I chortled with laughter, almost choked, when he suggested that the Kremlin agents are organising the far right nationalists in Ukraine, deliberately causing an outbreak of peace in order to show up the Kiev parties in a bad light! Believe me, Kiev parties can show themselves up all by themselves! ..."
"... idan 2014 edition? He doesn't ask who armed them in the first place. The author is giving a good impression of being one very confused bloke. ..."
Sep 03, 2015 | The Guardian

Another version has it that the explosion outside parliament was orchestrated by the president's administration or the Ukrainian special services in order to discredit Svoboda and other radical nationalists and to "tighten the screws" on the political life of the country thus justifying control over opposition forces.

This version hardly stands up to criticism. The demonstration was led by MPs who are members of Svoboda but got into parliament as independent candidates. In the 2014 elections Svoboda did not win the 5% of the vote necessary to enter parliament. Four months earlier, in the presidential election, the party's leader, Oleg Tyagnibok, won only a little over 1% of the vote. This week he was photographed, together with other Svoboda activists, trying to drag a soldier out of the human chain formed around parliament into the crowd of protesters. It was a moment very reminiscent of the Maidan days, only that then Svoboda members and their leader were inside parliament. Since then the party has found itself increasingly marginalised.

However, there were other groups represented in the demonstration , among them two that deserve special attention: Oleg Lyashko's radical party and Igor Kolomoisky's Ukrop party. T-shirts with the latter party's emblem were given out free at the demonstration, and those willing to take part were paid to protest. Kolomoisky is considered to be an enemy of President Poroshenko since he was sacked from his position as governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region. Kolomoisky's man in Odessa, Igor Palitsa, also lost his job as governor and was replaced by the former president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili.

Immediately after the blast, Lyashko, who is a radical populist with little in common with the radical nationalists, announced the establishment of a campaign to save the nation. Only three or four hours after the explosion, his party had already registered a bill that would block changes to the constitution at times when the country is under military attack. Lyashko came second in the presidential elections, and over the last year his Radical party has gone up in the ratings. It is interesting that articles in the press regularly claim to have evidence that both the Svoboda party and the Radical party have been financed by the same oligarchs, the above mentioned Kolomoisky, Sergey Levochkin – who was head of the presidential administration under Yanukovich and who fled to Moscow after the Maidan – and Dmitry Firtash, who is now being investigated on corruption charges in Austria.

Still, the violence could have a far more banal explanation. To begin with, volunteers who went off to fight in the Donbass for the sake of maintaining Ukraine's unity were radicals from militant groups such as the Right Sector, which sprang up during the Maidan. There were also volunteers who had no affiliation to any party who went to fight. When the Ukrainian army took over the main role in the fighting, many of the volunteers returned home, taking weapons with them.

nnedjo 3 Sep 2015 16:18

Well, the purpose of the constitutional changes in Ukraine should be that rebels in the southeast stop fighting and accept Ukraine as his country, and not Ukrainian nationalists to stop throwing grenades at the police in Kiev. However, these laws passed by the Ukrainian parliament, can contribute very little that the main objective. Their main goal is just to create the illusion that Ukraine really is trying to comply with the requirement of Minsk 2 agreement, and thus to meet the expectations of their Western friends, which means to prevent lifting of sanctions against Russia. And, on the other hand, these laws need to be completely contrary to the expectations of the rebel peoples in Donbas, or in other words to achieve the same thing that the Ukrainian government unsuccessfully tried to achieve with weapons.

It is particularly interesting that the President of Ukraine Poroshenko himself makes no secret at all that it is true what I've previously written, as can be understood, among other things, also from those of his statements:

According to the president, "the threat of break-up of the international pro-Ukrainian coalition" would have increased if the Verkhovna Rada had not voted in favor of decentralization amendments to the constitution on Monday.

It could also lead to the lifting of sanctions, which "are very painfully hitting the aggressor," he said, apparently, referring to Russia, which Kiev blames for sending troops to war-torn eastern Ukraine....

...But what they [Donetsk and Lugansk Regions] have got instead is a lean line about the features of local self-governance," Poroskenko stressed.
So, even though the law that caused the protests in front of parliament has the name of "decentralization", in fact it needs to further strengthen the competence of the central government. Based on this law, the Presidency received the right to appoint a prefect, who with his hand has the discretionary right to dismiss officials elected at the local elections in certain regions. And if they do not like it, they can appeal to the constitutional court in Kiev, where were apparently is known in advance what may be the decision of the constitutional court.

On the other hand, the law on the special status of Donetsk and Lugansk, which was passed earlier, is practically suspended at this point by the recent decision of the President Poroshenko.

In this respect, it is necessary to emphasize two things.

Although according to the Minsk 2 arrangement, the special status of the Donbas region should have been incorporated as an integral and permanent part of the Ukrainian Constitution, the law, which is now suspended, does not meet any of these two demands.

This law therefore is attached only as an annex to the Ukrainian constitution, and its validity is limited to just three years. And, according to the idea of Ukrainian legislators, the law can come into force only after the local elections in Donbass which would be held under the previous Ukrainian legislation, and when Ukrainian forces take control over the whole territory of Ukraine, including its entire border with Russia.

Until then, they will be consider that Donbas region is temporarily occupied part of Ukrainian territory, and officials of the People's Republic of Lugansk and Donetsk People's Republic will be considered as terrorists. And since with the terrorists must not be negotiations, leaders of the LNR and DNR were completely excluded so far from discussions about the law on the special status, which is also contrary to the Minsk 2 agreement, given that it explicitly requires just that.
All in all, they are asking the pro-Russian rebels that lay down their arms voluntarily, without getting anything in return. Or more accurately, to get just a little bit of what they are looking for and only for a period of three years. So, congratulations on wishful thinking, but the question is whether it is achievable at all.

LimaCPapa -> ridibundus 3 Sep 2015 15:48

I first learned about this when a new Ukrainian student introduced himself, and we asked why the name he gave was not the name on his papers. He explained (with clear annoyance) that he had to use a Ukrainian name. He had to keep it while he was here as well, because it was the name in his passport. Now he's free of all that and uses his Russian name. Needless to say, he did not return to Ukraine. Another Ukrainian has since confirmed that the same thing was true for her passport. In both cases, issued in the early 2000s. So who's lying then?

beakybloom -> gablody 3 Sep 2015 13:34

What's inherited??.. The bankrupt economy, loss of Crimea, loss of Donbass, 6000 dead, civil war, downing of Malaysian airliner with 300 souls on board, Odessa massacre, murders of political opponents, the nazi parliament, stupid laws glorifying Ukraine's nazi past, no visa-free access to EU, Nazis throwing grenades at the police???..

Nothing here is inherited except the absence of visa-free access to EU

a "show on the road" ? On IMF funny money? For how long? It's a shitshow, and unsustainable to boot.


nnedjo -> Chirographer 3 Sep 2015 13:28

The putinposters are still reeling with the news that the Ukrainian government is fighting "Nazis" in Kiev,...

It will be possible to say just when the news arrives that the organizers of these demonstrations were sentenced to a few tens of years in prison, and that guy who threw this grenade from which the Guardsmen killed, was sentenced to life imprisonment.

What is quite unbelievable judging by the past behavior of government from Kiev.

Chillskier -> jezzam 3 Sep 2015 10:43

Georgia tried:
http://agenda.ge/news/26188/eng
Apparently Interpol red notices cannot be issued against US stooges.

Chillskier -> jezzam 3 Sep 2015 10:20

The piece of shit she CHOSE to work with.
Jewish neo-con skunk and neo-Nazi thug seems like a match made in heaven.

jezzam -> Chillskier 3 Sep 2015 10:19

Go ahead then. I can't wait. Neither can Poroshenko. His best option is passive resistance when Putin launches his next land grab. Russia will be forced to give it back eventually when they are totally bankrupt

Bosula -> RVictor 3 Sep 2015 08:55

The congregation is mostly made up of ethnic Ukrainians, members of a community that numbers hundreds of thousands and has been growing rapidly since the start of the conflict in eastern Ukraine.


This is what the Guardian reported on 13 May 2015 - this was JUST for Poland:

"Last year Poland issued 331,000 permits for short-term work to Ukrainians, up 50% on 2013, says Marta Jaroszewicz, a migration expert at the Centre For Eastern Studies (OSW), an independent Warsaw thinktank funded by the Polish government.

She estimates that there are now 300,000-400,000 Ukrainians in Poland, as many as twice the officially recognised number. In January and February, the number of residence applications by Ukrainians in the Mazovian voivodeship – the province which includes Warsaw – was up 180% on the same months of 2014."

There are other articles for other neighbouring countries bordering Ukraine, but the Guardian is a pretty authoritative source.

Since this story the number crossing the border to leave Ukraine has increased significantly.


FlappyCat 3 Sep 2015 08:20

Poroshenko to Transnistria..
Yats to Macedonia and
Saakishwilly to Tajikistan.


oleteo -> jezzam 3 Sep 2015 08:12

I read the Gorby's interview where he said 'Yes' about the NATO promises.But he's a fool nevertherless to beleive the promises,written or verbal from his enemy.


elias_ -> jezzam 3 Sep 2015 08:07

>>He's trying to provoke Putin.

Hmm in that case you have proved Poroshenko is a fu##ing idiot. Only an idiot would set out to provoke the leader of a neighbouring country into invading. Is that what you lot voted him in for? No, it isn't. He should be making peace and securing the future for his people. Face it, your leader is taking orders from Pyatt and you know it.

BigBanana 3 Sep 2015 07:50

"Kolomoisky's man in Odessa, Igor Palitsa, also lost his job as governor and was replaced by the former president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili"

Jeez, Saakashvili is a stupid appointment for a very long list of reasons. He's the idiot who got Georgia dismembered after misjudging the situation terribly.

It's as if Poroshenko is deliberately trying to fuck things up.

HuffingHume -> normankirk 3 Sep 2015 07:41

All of the ex-Soviet Union, with the exception of the Baltic states, are horribly corrupt dysfunctional kleptocracies run by Soviet era bigwigs who carved up their state's assets up for themelves, leaving most of their fellow countrymen in poverty. This is the reason why many Ukrianians want to be more 'European'; because they want to be more like Poland and the Baltic States, rather than in the Russian orbit, in which every state has barely made it out of the 80's.


Dimmus -> Alex Hughes 3 Sep 2015 07:15

"It was the right wing Svoboda Party that started the trouble, definitely not a 'peaceful protest' as you make out. "

I talk about the media coverage. At that time "the right wing Party" was just a Putin lie, troubles were cause by Putin, protesters were peaceful and policemen were killed not in terror attacks but were killed democratically.

RVictor -> jezzam 3 Sep 2015 07:14

Putin has a record of false flag operations, starting with the Moscow apartment block bombing performed by the FSB when he was head and which brought him to power.

And the proof is ... o, yes, - something written by oligarch in exile! Btw., here is a short list of admitted FF operations be US and it's vassals. Remember "Iraq WMD"?

oleteo -> jezzam 3 Sep 2015 07:10

Why being invaded by Putin, Ukraine is trading a discount for gas, [and asks for ] deferral of loan?

irishinrussia -> Alex Hughes 3 Sep 2015 07:03

It's irony. He is implying that when protesters the west likes kill policemen then they at peaceful demonstrators, perhaps defending themselves against brutal security forces, at worst any violence is the action of a few hotheads or extremists among overwhelmingly peaceful, democratic victims of the state. However, when the very same protesters attack our guys (Poroshenko), they are radicals, extremists and terrorists, perhaps abetted by shadowy enemies of freedom and democracy (FSB).

PanoptikonicallyKool -> Briar 3 Sep 2015 06:15

Shhh!!!! You are not supposed to say things like that! 'US backed coup'? That is not part of the story. And it's ancient history history, no connection to current events. In fact it didn't even happen, according to repectable news sites. Or they don't mention it, so it must not have happended . The US, as the article states, or rather doesn't state, or rather doesn't even mention, has nothing to do with political events inside Ukraine, that's why we never read anything about it. Did Russia do it or not do it? That's the only serious question for anything that happens in Ukraine.

US involvement in Urkaine? Harrruuumph! Conspiracy theory! And don't bring it up again!

Dimmus 3 Sep 2015 06:15

"But the media has been busy throwing up theories about who has most to benefit from this terrorist attack. "

- Ehhh... was it a terrorist attack? Not a peaceful protest democratically fighting bad and corrupt police prohibiting them to freely take the parliament? Because at the Euromaidan 17 policemen were killed and more than 200 injured when peaceful protesters were democratically fighting bad and corrupt police prohibiting them to freely take the parliament... and there were no terror attacks...


ositonegro -> BastaYa72 3 Sep 2015 06:11

"Corporatism was one of the ideals of both German Nazism and Italian fascism. They held it as a carrot before the people, as a 'solution' to the class problem. They used it as their 'revolutionary' credentials and in both cases, ditched it completely soon after taking power. The idea of each sector of society being organized to take its place at the high table of the state was always "jam tomorrow." Today's agenda was always "war."

It should also be understood that fascist 'corporatism' has nothing to do with the global corporations that are not often bigger than nation states. Modern 'corporatism' only shares a name with the fascist 'ideal.' Not that it any better.

RVictor -> oleteo 3 Sep 2015 06:01

Poroshenko Blames Russia For Police Deaths

paulrou -> kennyboy 3 Sep 2015 05:21

How can anyone not take the US state department's line. It is the truth. Ergo, everyone else is paid by the Russians.

Калинин Юрий -> elias_ 3 Sep 2015 04:59

He does not answer the questions, he blames Putin in all the world's sins and universe disasters. Global warming - Putin, extreme heat in the EU - Putin, police conflicts in the USA - Putin. Ask him, wh has scratched a car by a shopping mall last month - Putin!

RVictor -> jezzam 3 Sep 2015 04:53

The West has not broken international law since the Iraq invasion.

Support and organization of governments overthrow all around the world? War in Libya? Killing with drones on foreigns territories? Bombing of Syria territory?

Theo Humbug -> normankirk 3 Sep 2015 04:52

Princesss Nuland of the neocons is a nasty murderous piece of work. One to watch. Hopefully somebody will 'putsch' her and her equally loathsome husband. Have they spawned any more little evils?

RVictor -> jezzam 3 Sep 2015 04:49

Why does Georgia not get Interpol to issue an arrest warrant for Saakashvili? Ukraine would have to comply. The answer is obvious. They would not get one because the charges against Saakashvili are politically motivated, like most of the corruption charges in Russia.

Right - like any West institution Interpol is so-o-o independent, exactly like International Court!

Theo Humbug -> jezzam 3 Sep 2015 04:49

I have come to realise that Jizzem is just a Turing Bot.

Theo Humbug -> jezzam 3 Sep 2015 04:48

HAHAHAHAHA... Are you serious? Which planet are you on? Do you think people forget that quickly? A neo-neocon organised and paid for putsch is hardly "democratic", same as any other US sanctioned regime change i.e Mega Nation Theft.

jonsid -> Mark Elliott 3 Sep 2015 04:46

In all matters relating to Eastern Europe the Guardian has pinned its colours to the mast of the "New East Network." Which is essentially controlled by a Mr George Soros, Radio "Free Europe" and the National Endowment for Democracy." All mouthpieces of the state department. Its safest to believe the opposite of everything they tell us.

Theo Humbug -> Chirographer 3 Sep 2015 04:41

You clearly have a very bad memory. The Russian offer of cancelling debt and very reasonable prices for fuel was very attractive to the ELECTED government of Victor Yanukovych and far far better than the EU offer, which was why they were all for accepting the Russian offer and aligning more with Moscow..

But the USA can't have any country deciding it's own fate if it is not in accord with the Lords of this Universe.

The neocon organised and paid for putsch, Maidan Shootings, Odessa burnings, put a stop to any agreement beneficial to the Ukrainians and opened the way for the IMF to come in and steal the wealth of yet another country.

There is no excuse for anybody not to know these recorded and verifiable FACTS.

elias_ -> jezzam 3 Sep 2015 04:36

You are fixated on Putin - you must be a not so secret admirer. Why don't you answer Tomov's question. What has Poroshenko achieved since becoming President?

RVictor -> careforukraine 3 Sep 2015 04:34

It is very hard to enter EU from the East without visa (and rules for visa application were hardened for Ukrainians). It is very hard to get job without working permit, and for money you need to register. Notice, that all these points are not present in case of refugees traveling to Russia/Belarus.

So I show you official numbers of registered refugees in EU - and amount of unregistered cannot be high due to immigration laws and functioning police system.

On over side, number of 400000 is taken from nowhere - go on and proof it.

Salut_Salut -> jezzam 3 Sep 2015 04:32

If you are such a hard-core proponent of sanctions policy, then may be you can name the beneficiaries of it in EU? Farmers? Businesses? Common people? Methinks - only politicians following in the wake of Uncle Sam's guidelines. The President of Russia is no way a role model or a paragon country leader, but seeing him behind every corner is nothing but a bout of anti-Russian paranoia. People of that long-suffering country aren't actually represented by him only.

Theo Humbug 3 Sep 2015 04:29

How far back does history go?

Lat week, last month, Maidan Square, the fall of the Soviet Union?

If taken that far back, then people will surely remember Ronnie Raygun's promises to Gorbachev that no NATO forces would encroach on former Soviet territory. Ehh?? What??

Fast forward to the neo-neocon putsch and princess Nuland boasting of the death and destruction that all those humanitarian $5 billion had purchased as she dispensed biscuits in Maidan, just prior to both sides being shot up by putschist snipers (likely from outside and/or Svoboda, or the Social Nationalists (don't say Nazis don't have a sense of humour!).

So called separatists voted to stay with Russia, with whom they identified, despite the lies and propaganda from the US/West/Nato including premature accusations of responsibility fro the shooting down of MH17 .. funny how 1) the US never released it's data (another Pentagon "plane"?) 2) that has all gone very quiet... Wonder what they found?

Perhaps the putschist regime and/or their neo-neocon pay/puppet-meisters have woken up to the very real danger of putting nazties withing 'Cooee' of nuclear weapons?

Of course, one does not need to be a nazti to call for nuclear mass murder. The blond plaited heroine of the right, the ex jailbird, ex Prime Minister (for ganesh sake!!) Tymoshenko called for the nuking of Donbass, if I remember correctly.

Russian now has the major Western forces and neonazis on their border. President Putin has to deal with these murderers and the great unwashed, living in their encapsulating bubbles of Newspeak and reality cooking shows, are told by the Mudorc press and other propagandists that it is Russia that is pure evil.

I wish there were a god.

Tony Cocks -> danhudders 3 Sep 2015 03:59

" The airliner was almost certainly downed by a Russian crew "

But of course you have not one shred of evidence to support your statement in which case would you agree it is valueless and was a waste of your time posting it in the first place.

RVictor -> careforukraine 3 Sep 2015 03:49

I think he said refugees crossed the border ........i am not sure that all refugees fill out the application form?

400000 ? Look on the current 100000's refugees wave from the Asia/Africa to get an expression how it looks like. Or on the last year summer wave of Ukrainian refugees in Russia - with large refugee camps for temporary placements etc. You cannot get 400000 refugees to go "unseen" - especially in case of relatively good-maintained land border.

martinusher 3 Sep 2015 03:09

Its not really a zero-sum game. Russia always maintained that the coup was engineered by the West by encouraging right wing elements and this is just one of a number of incidents that prove that their view was correct. This makes our life difficult in the West because we only think in polar terms -- if Russia is right then they 'win'. Since we cannot allow any situation where Russia 'wins' we go through all sorts of mental gymnastics to try to prove black is really white. It would be better to ignore Russia's comments and commentaries and just look dispassionately at who the actors are and what they're up to. The answers are staring us in the face.

(If you need any indication that something's not quite right in Ukraine then you only have to look to the appointment of Saakashvili as the governor of Odessa last summer. He's best known for his role as a Georgian politician, someone who, among other things, provoked a disastrous confrontation with Russia.)

SHappens 3 Sep 2015 03:07

To begin with, volunteers who went off to fight in the Donbass for the sake of maintaining Ukraine's unity were radicals from militant groups such as the Right Sector, which sprang up during the Maidan.

February 24, 2014, right extremist forces (Banderists, Right Sector and neo-Nazis Svoboda) implemented a coup during the Maiden. At the time the US government warned the Ukrainian authorities against using force against these 'pro-democracy protestors' even if, according to the pictures we saw, some of them were neo-Nazis who were throwing Molotov cocktails and other things at the police and smashing up statues and setting fire to buildings.

These forces were subsequently beaten in the elections, thus rejected by the Ukrainian people. However the first act of Poroshenko was to legitimate these irregular and illegal militias which, absent in Parliament, have received the far more important power of arms, courtesy of the new mixed Ukrainian-American government. Basically the only difference between the parliamentary majority and the far-right groups is that the first take orders from the West, the latter don't.

These militias became the spearhead of Ukrainian forces in the East and on them falls much of the war effort in the Civil War. But these militias can not yet be lifted, because otherwise the war in the East could not continue.

History always repeats itself. Use low ignorant, racist and violent manpower to take power by force but also to maintain it, but then to dump it as soon as possible because they rare considered, rightly, unpresentable or otherwise dangerous even for those who have instigated, financed and exploited them. Of course, sometimes such situations go out of hand, see the Afghan Mujahidin or ISIS.

Now Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk are receiving their own coin back. They supported and reinforced those they now pretend to discover to be thugs. The real puppets are and remain in power while their useful barbarians have become bothersome: infamous, resistant to the point that one can wonder if the latest riot would not be a false flag from Yats and Poro who used the skills of these criminal thugs. Because the latter are not mere free electrons who just decided to meet that day. There is money, people that structure this, a hierarchy, an efficient network and money at will, in which Russia has no involvement.

Still, Poroshenko and Yatsenuk want more war and call for lethal arms supply. All this while the rating of Ukrainian is now CC with negative outlook.

RVictor -> Bosula 3 Sep 2015 03:02

400,000 refugees crossed the borders from Ukraine into the EU over the past year.

You are lying (surprise, surprise!):

"There were 4,603 applications for international protection in Germany, 3,600 in Poland, 2,956 in Italy, 1,962 in Sweden, 1,763 in France, 200 in Moldova, 60 in Romania, 60 in Hungary and 20 in Slovakia," the UNHCR findings highlighted.

vr13vr 3 Sep 2015 02:16

"Russian TV focused on the events outside the Ukrainian parliament to prove to viewers that chaos reigns in Ukraine. "

And doesn't chaos indeed reign in Ukraine? I thought that was beyond obvious and doesn't need any additional proof.

vr13vr 3 Sep 2015 02:13

How about the more obvious explanation that Maidan, so much encouraged and celebrated by the West, had taught Ukrainians that it is Ok to attack the police, try to pull away their shields (see the photo above), through molotov cocktail at them (there was a picture on Monday) and grenades in order to pass certain laws in their Rada.

vr13vr 3 Sep 2015 02:11

How exactly Russia is "profiting" from this? is this author just throwing the sentences around or is he required to fulfill some anti-Russia quota in his article?

ArtofLies -> Jonathan Stromberg 3 Sep 2015 02:09

There are undoubtedly going to be further problems with these nationalists, oh come on, we can call the neo-nazi's or neo-fascists here, just because the journalists above the line cant be seen to be propagandising for fascists does not mean that we have to play those semantic games.

the fact is this is the second time these fascists have attacked the police, this time with grenades, the last time it was molotov cocktails, but the media wont criticise them because there is money to be made in the ukraine, not everything is privatised yet and i hear there are still dreams of fracking ukraine to prosperity.

nishville -> Jonathan Stromberg 3 Sep 2015 01:43

The far right have done all the dirty work during the coup and still doing it on the frontline and have not got enough in return, in their view. Croatia had a similar problem with their extremist veterans who were used by the Croatian right wing HDZ to destabilize social-democrat government.

Both countries are US clients and US has no use anymore for the nazi dogs of war, i.e. they can protest all they want - they are getting nothing and if they become too obstructive, they will start to disappear one by one.

They might be dangerous but they are nothing compared to money men running the show.

drrust 3 Sep 2015 01:38

Again you are instigating that the Minsk agreements were reached by western or international powers in general, implying that angloamerica was part of this. The agreement was a sole and very sucsessful initiative of Mrs Merkel, who took a reluctant Holland with her who solely sensed a chance to be viewed as a statesman. The UK had already transports of war material underway.

elias_ -> Bosula 3 Sep 2015 01:14

There's million in Russia although many of them may be hiding to avoid military service. Look on the bright side, there's another 40 million of them and I bet most will want to move into the land of milk and honey which is Europe.

MaoChengJi 2 Sep 2015 23:31

"But despite profiting from it, Russia is very unlikely to have perpetrated it"

Oh no, say it ain't so! How can any trouble in this world be caused by something that is not The Dark Lord Putin?

And how is Russia 'profiting' from this, I'd like to know? Isn's this rather a case of the western Russophobe industry suffering a loss?

Well, for sure the Russophobe industry suffering a loss is an undeniable victory for all humanity, but putting it as 'Russia profiting'?.. Oh well, russophobes are weird creatures, I've noticed it a long time ago.

retarius 2 Sep 2015 22:47

Occam's razor: the fascist nationalist nutters orchestrated the whole thing, because they don't want any concessions given to the objects of their hatred.

eric lund 2 Sep 2015 20:43

How the USA rule sway the destinies of Ukraine flooding it with blood

One can get an impression that authorities of Ukraine, totally dependent on State Department of USA, are doing anything – searching for spies, begging for money, getting weapons from USA and Europe, suppressing dissidence, self-advertising and desperate propaganda, but not taking the steps to peaceful regulation of conflict in South-East of the country and its economic rise.

According to the last research of Kiev international institute of sociology the rating of president Petr Poroshenko has fallen three times, down to 13,6%, other candidates don't even get 5%. When authorities are so unpopular, it is only left for them to turn the screws and continue witch hunting at full throttle.

The director of Centre of Eurasian researches Vladimir Kornilov noted: "Everybody perfectly understands where the HR department of Ukrainian policy is. It is in the American Embassy".

In order to strengthen his worthless power Poroshenko fired seemingly over powerful chief of Service of Safety Valentin Nalivaychenko, who had been transmitting information which often put Poroshenko himself in not very bright light, to representatives of USA. And new chief of Service of Safety Vasiliy Gritsak, who is very close to Poroshenko and was the head of his own service of safety, at one dash arrested 40 colonels and generals allegedly for dissidence in his department.
Danger is getting closer for Home Affairs Minister Arsen Avakov. The chief military prosecutor Of Ukraine Anatoliy Matios claimed that members of criminal organization 'Tornado', made on the base of militia and appointed by Avakov from former criminals, had organized secret place in basement floor of school to torture illegally captured people. The Ukrainian patriarch Filareth presented a medal for sacrificing and love for Ukraine, so to say for perverted sadism while torments, which are unofficially legalized by Ukrainian authorities.

At the same time the level of aggression of Ukrainian militaries is only picking up speed. Thus, the Ambassador of Ukraine in USA Valeriy Chalykh without any scruples stated: We are getting weapons, including lethal, and nobody can prohibit it to independent Ukraine. The other thing is that it is not common to disclose these countries, but they are more than 10, only from Europe. We have different level of technical and military cooperation, and at this stage it is only going further.

Chillskier -> Paul Moore 2 Sep 2015 20:42

Here is two examples of Porkoshenko being a head of occupational government:

  1. He destroyed Ukraine's military industrial complex, for it's ties (very profitable by the way) with Russian military, as any obedient CIA stooge will do.
  2. He flipped the country geo-politically, from the state that should have benefit from it's position in the middle of the Europe, in to some sort of final frontier, protecting Europe from the hordes of those crazy Russians, all by himself , only crazy person could have come up with this, or an obedient CIA stooge again.

So it is what Ukraine g-ment does, not what putin tells.


EugeneGur -> Chirographer 2 Sep 2015 20:35

everything would have been wonderful if Ukraine had not decided to finally reject the brotherly embrace of Putin's Russia

Not everything, because by that time Ukrainian authorities have already ruined a lot. However, there is little doubt that Ukraine would've been a hell of a lot better off if it hadn't followed the path of the coup and indulged in anti-Russian hysteria. Has your mother ever told you that quarreling with your neighbors is never a good idea?

Looking at the situation objectively, it is a good thing that the Kiev government is trying to follow the Minsk plan.

Objectively? You? It would be a good thing if it were but it doesn't. These constitutional changes have nothing to do with the requirements for the regional autonomy set out in Minsk II. Nor have they been agreed to by the Donbass representatives, which makes the whole thing pointless. But even these miserable changes had to be pushed through by Nuland, because Rada initially refused to approved them. There are 13 points in Minsk II and so far Kiev fulfilled none of them.

Jeff1000 2 Sep 2015 20:30

Some people think the challenges faced by Ukraine's Poroshenko are now too big to overcome. But those who would like to take his place have not shown themselves capable of doing even half of what he has achieved.

Wait...Poroshenko has achieved something? He has done nothing but what he was told.

He waged war in the east because John Brennan told him to. And then stopped when Merkel told him to. He is a non-entity.

Julian1972 -> truk10 2 Sep 2015 19:54

I know! I know!

Still, when the US funds its various Intelligence Agencies and Covert Overseas Operations Organizations to levels beyond that which most of the rest of the world combined spend on their actual militaries, it's hard not see why they end up being suspected of having sticky fingers in various pies.

Poor, innocent US...after all, all that money's just being spent on ergonomic seating and biodegradable paperclips, right? Hahahaha!

nnedjo 2 Sep 2015 19:51

There is one more possible theory, which seems that the author has failed to notice.
Thus, due to the fact that the proposed legislation is far from what was envisaged by Minsk 2 agreement, and in particular is far from what would satisfy the pro-Russian rebels, the following question arises:
Does this event may have been aimed to strengthen the claim that this bill is the most that Ukraine can offer to the pro-Russian rebels, because, "for God's sake, even for this Ukrainians began to kill each other in the middle of Kiev"?


TomFullery -> Chillskier 2 Sep 2015 19:47

You are right about Ukraine's economy. I visit fairly often and each time I get more Hryvnia for my Euros. Plus the restaurants are empty so you are guaranteed good service from serving staff desperate for a tip to supplement their meagre wages (so much for joining the US "democratic" system!).

Strange that the Nazi putsch in Kiev has benefited me (who wouldn't piss on them if they were burning) rather more than 99% of Ukrainians.

Although I do notice that the Kiev Nazis seem to have taken one step in the direction of moderation - the shrine to the Nazi Ukrainian nationalist Stepan Bandera which was there erected about the time of the putsch has now disappeared (most likely moved to a less conspicuous location).

Julian1972 -> desnol 2 Sep 2015 19:44

Dead right.

In penning the written equivalent of 'The Picture That Fooled the World':

http://www.srpska-mreza.com/guest/LM/lm-f97/LM97_Bosnia.html

maybe, at least, his 'confusion' is a symptom of his conscience trying to find it's voice. Hehehe, maybe there's hope for him yet?

Let's face it, straight reporting on The Ukraine is hard to come by, given that it's labouring under the 3-line whip of the CIA, MI6 and another global I.S. best not to mention.

NorthOfTheM25 2 Sep 2015 19:42

The Ukrainian regime in as much as they try so hard to have a resemblance of 'western values' (whatever that means) & to avoid behaving like the powers that be at the Kremlin. At the end of the day have the same approach in how they apportion blame & deflect attention from their obvious failings.

When you back hard right elements (to further your personal political goals, when both parties share a common antagonist) who are prone to violence. Don't cry victim when they disagree with your political overtures & decisions. Acting out that disagreement the only manner they know how to which is through violence.

I have no sympathy Poroshenko, for the backlash his government is now facing re: his government's constitutional proposals.

TomFullery -> jezzam 2 Sep 2015 19:35

His Ukraine policy has two main prongs.

1. Make Putin realise that military aggression against his neighbours carries too high an economic penalty to be worthwhile.

Nothing got military until the US-instigated Nazi putsch in Kiev. Strategic imperatives trump short term economic considerations and Russia has reacted skilfully to the attack by the US using Ukraine as a proxy (much to Ukraine's detriment)

2. Support Ukraine economically until it becomes a prosperous liberal democracy, like the rest of Europe (Russia excepted of course).

Ukraine will be asset-stripped by US corporations. Ukraine will not be a prosperous, liberal democracy in your lifetime and neither will the US.

His policy seems to be working very well.

Oh dear!

Chillskier -> normankirk 2 Sep 2015 19:33

Link to the story that will challenge the spotless mind of jezzam:
http://deutsche-wirtschafts-nachrichten.de/2015/08/28/ukrainischer-oligarch-bereichert-sich-an-iwf-krediten/

Oligarchs in Ukraine are doing extremely well, obviously not a concern for a coup sponsors.

normankirk -> jezzam 2 Sep 2015 19:33

Want an example of a twist?

Kerry warning Poroshenko against resuming hostilities, retaking territory in breach of the Minsk agreement, then less than a week later Nuland rushing to Kiev to egg Poroshenko on, thoroughly endorsing his plans

Hanwell123 -> Knapping 2 Sep 2015 19:28

He was the idiot who jumped the gun in the CIA plan to create a war in 2008. He went before the whistle shelling an unprotected and unwarned city hours before he was supposed to. One of Asias prize fools. So Poroshenko's made him - a non Ukrainian - Governor of Odessa. Great stuff Poro!

TomFullery -> jezzam 2 Sep 2015 19:27

Despite Yanukovich's corruption he did a decent job of steering Ukraine down the middle path between Russia and the US/EU and he was nobody's proxy. As for his corruption he was a mere pickpocket compared to the like of Timoshenko who is not on any Ukrainian, EU or US corruption list!

This wasn't good enough for the neocons in Washington who wanted the whole country - hence their instigation of the Nazi putsch in Kiev. It's gone downhill all the way for the Ukrainian people since then considering they have lost a sizeable chunk of territory and now likely having to move to some sort of federal system.

On top of those miseries they now have Finance and Economics ministers from Lithuania and Poland parachuted in by the US and given Ukrainian citizenship on the day of their inauguration to their respective posts. They also have US stooge and ex-Georgian president Sakaashvili and fugitive from Georgian justice parachuted in as governor of Odessa. Let's not forget Joe Biden's son who was appointed to the board of directors of one of Ukraine's biggest energy companies very shortly after the Nazi putsch.

At least the east of the country is out of the hands of US corporate predators but it's a certainty that agreements will be signed (if not already) to turn massive tracts of Ukrainian farmland in the west of that country to US GM giants. I wonder how those US-loving west Ukrainians are going to react when the horrible reality of US-style "democracy" hits home.

NorthOfTheM25 -> truk10 2 Sep 2015 19:24

Stop it, you are embarrassing yourself & sound like a bitter divorcee who has lost a legal battle. Nothing you have said has little bearing with the article.

But I guess each time the key trigger words Russia, Ukraine, Kremlin, Stalin & Moscow are mentioned then just like Putin bots, you are also activated from your dwelling under the bridge to reel out the tired & repetitive anti Putin bellicose rants.

normankirk -> jezzam 2 Sep 2015 19:22

except it is the oligarchs who are prospering. Kolomoisky is under investigation for diverting 1.8 billion of IMF money to his own Cyprus bank account. Poroshenkos profits have increased astronomically while all Ukrainians are taking pay cuts.


luckyjohn -> alpamysh 2 Sep 2015 19:03

Yanukovych contributed a lot to radicalise Ukrainian society. He planned his survival in office by manipulation - stressing Tyannybok's importance to voters so that in the end there would be a choice - Tyaynybok or himself Yanukovych for president. Of course - Yanukovych then wins because the radical Tyahnybok is too "dangerous" to vote in. So much for your democratically elected president Yanukovych! So the presence of radical elements in Ukrainian society is in fact Yanukovych's doing. He was a very divisive president who played on divisions in Ukraine rather than trying to heal them as well as being thoroughly corrupt.


virgenskamikazes 2 Sep 2015 18:37

I would believe the Western version if, after ousting Yanukovich, they would do a 21st century, EU version of a Marshall Plan. If the EU had said to Yanukovich "we want to flood Ukraine with Euro with very low interest and in long term, for investment in infrastructure and industrialization projects - given that you cut ties completely with Russia" and Yanukovich had said "no" to that, than I think it would be fair for the Ukranian people to oust him.

But the EU offered a humiliating, absurd shock therapy style reform, that's why Yanukovich "no". Even imediate full EU, EZ membership was not on the table.

The thing is, the Ukrainian people bought on the fantasy that they could mass emigrate to central Europe overnight had Yanukovich said "yes", that only them had economic problems, that the West is the promised land, that we are still in the Cold War, etc.

Had Yanukovich hold on tight on power until two months ago, after the Greek tragedy, I doubt there would be political strength for the USA and the Ukrainian far-right to oust him.

Beckow -> ArthurJenkinson 2 Sep 2015 18:32

He wrote a long article with bizarre conspiracy theories in order to confuse a very simple attack by a Ukrainian nationalist mob on the police, killing 3 policemen.

The "theories" are there to obfuscate and confuse. We are close to the end game in Kiev and it will not be pretty. And the angry hysteria among Washington, London and Berlin sponsors of this madness will also get uglier. They don't like to lose so they would prefer just about anything to admitting to being defeated in Ukraine.


Julian1972 2 Sep 2015 17:43

Poroshenko's assertion that Russia is to blame for this week's murder of policemen is of the same Frankenstein DNA as his assertion that Russia was behind the downing of Flight MH17 and that the Eastern part of The Ukraine's population are not democrats rising up against an illegal putsch which brought him to power but are simply 'Kremlin puppets'...and therefore justifiably crushed by the same type of gunfire that otherwise had Maidan martyrs held up as 'heroes'. (Even though it was members of their own side doing the shooting, hahaha).

Disgusting man hailing from a disgusting class of politician/businessmen trained by the US to bring death and chaos to any part of the globe that the powers behind the US Government see fit. Prepare for our own Maidan should this class of parasite-sans-frontieres, (read Mikheil Saakashvili), succeed in bringing The Ukraine under the NATO umbrella.


BastaYa72 -> alpamysh 2 Sep 2015 17:43

You can't even tell the difference between 'neo-fascist' and 'Nazi'.

If either term comes into your tiny mind it obviously defaults to imagining scenes from the last days in the Führerbunbker - whatever turns you on.

Also, the IMF has always favoured right wing corporatist regimes, preferably with as little democracy as possible.


desnol 2 Sep 2015 17:41

The author's puzzlement and confusion are directly proportional to how little he understands the situation in Ukraine. He keeps wondering about various scenario's, each more absurd than the previous.

I chortled with laughter, almost choked, when he suggested that the Kremlin agents are organising the far right nationalists in Ukraine, deliberately causing an outbreak of peace in order to show up the Kiev parties in a bad light! Believe me, Kiev parties can show themselves up all by themselves!

And then, almost at the very end of the article, after all his fanciful, surreal speculation, Andrey Kurkov hits the nail on the head with


"Still, the violence could have a far more banal explanation."

But even then he gets it all skewed up, blaming the fact that Ukranian army went to fight the separatists for the fact that the far right thugs are now armed and throwing bombs in Kiev. Doesn't he realise they were armed and throwing bombs in Maidan 2014 edition? He doesn't ask who armed them in the first place.
The author is giving a good impression of being one very confused bloke.

domeus -> thenewstranger 2 Sep 2015 17:30

At least he is an improvement on all the other Guardian journalists who report on Russia and Ukraine. He connects the right wing group of people behind the killing of the of the policeman in Kiev with those those who volunteered to kill their fellow countrymen in Odessa and throughout the eastern and southern regions. Autonomy for the regions would have solved the problem then and prevented the unnecessary bloodshed and suffering. But Nuland had other plans and the western media acted accordingly.

Jessica Roth -> alpamysh 2 Sep 2015 17:14

The Maidan "protestors" were the ones who broke the cease-fire, shooting at both the Berkut and their own people. The forensic evidence proved it. Did you not listen to the Urmas Paet-Baroness Ashton phone call?

The "impeachment" of Yanukovich was illegal under the Ukraine constitution, which required a 75% vote. Even with the US-trained thugs forcing MPs to the floor at gunpoint, only 72% of the Ukraine parliament was present for the vote. Poroshenko has no more business being President than the burnt and raped corpses of the people his Azov Nazis butchered in Odessa and Mariupol do. (Although the corpses would probably do a better job.)

bonhiver 2 Sep 2015 16:49

I wondered how long it would be for poroshenko to blame putin for the grenade attack. Russia has been a convenient scapegoat for Ukraine to blame for its own failings since the overthrow of yanukovic.

The right wing activists who carried out the grenade attack were at the heart of the maidan protests which also involved violent confrontations with the police. They were also those who tarrgetted ethnic Russians following the overthrow of yanukovic so their actions in opposition to granting extra powers to eastern territories is hardly surprising.

ositonegro 2 Sep 2015 16:44

The Azov battalion also declared they would bring the war to Kiev if not sated in Dombass. You make a fascist revolution and the next move is to institutionalize it. Hitler did this very well, destroying the populist SA movement and assassinating their leaders and incorporating the remainder into the regular army. Then fascism could move forward with the whole state support.

But in Ukraine the EU-US used fascism to make the coup then tried to reign it in. The fascists however cannot be institutionalized. They are still a powerful street movement with the added benefit of having been trained and armed and given military space to grow. Now they are pushing for policy dominance over the regular bourgeois political forces and using bombs to do it. The Azov Battalion always said they would take the war back to Kiev if they felt betrayed.

It has to be understood that Poroshenko is not a fascist, despite coming to power on the back of their efforts. The EU-US do not want the fascists in power. How could Ukraine enter the EU with an outright fascist government? But they are playing with fire, using these street forces and then renouncing them. It will come a time when they do not have either the legitimacy of the power to stop another coup against themselves, and this time with no restraints. Then what will the EU do?

While Greece founders under unsustainable debt and Eurogroup dictatorship, Ukraine is given sweeteners, relieving 20% of their debt - something unimaginable with Greece. But you can't stop a tsunami with Canderel.

[Aug 30, 2015] The Guardian view on the latest Ukraine ceasefire call: why this could be the one that works

Notable quotes:
"... The West tried to crash Russian economy ahead of the inevitable Ukrainian collapse, and it failed. So now the death-watch for the Ukraine's economy has started: default on loans, catastrophic drop in living standards and incomes, millions trying to emigrate, and energy dependency on Russia that might turn out to be fatal if there is a cold winter in Europe. ..."
"... Yeah, I can imagine Russians being jealous of Ukrainians. The economy is collapsing, the inflation is 40%, the far is going on, the armed Right Sector people are walking in the center of the city, the opposition leaders are suppressed and the actions are taking against the media that disagrees with Kiev. And while all of this, the corruption remains exactly where it used to be. Darn, the entire world is jealous of those lucky Ukrainians. ..."
"... Only US nutcases don't care about economy or living standards and prefer to play geo-political games with Ukrainians... ..."
"... And as for West "helping Ukraine" by cutting down the debt by 20%, this is the freshest interpretation of the event I've ever heard. It wasn't done to "help" Ukraine. The West agreed to do so to avoid even messier and costlier option of default and loosing even more money in Ukraine. Other than talking about giving some more loans to Ukraine in the future, the help to Ukraine from the West is now minimum. ..."
"... Land that has long since been signed over to Monsanto and DuPont as part payment for earlier loans. Ukraine's economy is in such a state that's it's obvious that it will form the next major refugee crisis, while Svoboda and Privvy Sector will almost certainly launch a coup to over-throw the Kiev government. ..."
"... Ukraine is bankrupt - negotiating to not pay back the full principal is the definition of a default. You can call it a "haircut" all you want, Ukraine has just defaulted - as in: they will not pay their full debts back. Who is going to invest there now? Other than EU taxpayers and IMF funny money men? ..."
Aug 30, 2015 | The Guardian

HollyOldDog -> Bosula 30 Aug 2015 20:28

The rest of Ukraine was descending into chaos, what with police and demonstrators being shot and killed by unknown assalients from rooftops. Odessa , where 45 plus Ukrainian citizens were trapped in a building which was set fire to by outside football supporters, then shot at and clubbed when the citizens climbed out of the burning building seeking help. Would you risk yourself and your family in such a situation or would you seek the protection of a friendly power?

Chillskier -> jezzam 30 Aug 2015 20:00

Ensure that Ukraine does not go under economically and eventually becomes a fully functioning and prosperous liberal democracy.
It seems to be working pretty well..

NO it is not.
You need to talk to people who actually live there, it is a catastrophe

HollyOldDog -> truk10 30 Aug 2015 19:46

Ukraine should be wary of false friends who may lead then down a blind alley. Only today I watched a very interesting TV program that puts the continueing existance of Monsanto into serious doubt. The program was about wheat in terms of the future of Global Warming where presentment her patterns within seasons would vary widely. Is it the right course of action to choose types of GM wheat where seasonal rains would pop up at inconvenient times ( which a farmer would pay 'through the nose for') or to allow your wheats to choose the correct wheat for the growing conditions it encounters. Some of the Wheats on test where from the times of the ancient Egyptians while the oldest variety was around 9000 years old. Instead of gene splicing and growing micro cultures in a lab followed by years of field testing , perhaps we should just look what our ancestors did.

I know this is not exactly on topic but I am trying to suggest Not to believe the latest SPIN, just because it is new. NEW SPIN does not equal TRUTH. IF something looks to be too good to be true then it is too good to be true - Forbes, verify your stories before you publish.

Beckow -> impartial12 30 Aug 2015 18:41

"Ukraine is important to the West because of its encroachment strategy against Russia"

The strategy is to somehow take over Russia by either having Yeltsin-like puppets in power again, or maybe by physically taking it apart (separatism). The "encroachment" is just the means to that end.

Russians had two choices when the coup happened in Kiev on the last day of the Sochi Olympics:

The West was surprised that Russia went for the second option and decided to fight. I think Russia decided that this was their best chance to resist, and that facts on the ground in Ukraine were in their favor. So far it has worked for Russia, thus the almost hysterical anger in the West.

Beckow -> Tintenfische 30 Aug 2015 17:55

Stay sober. Russia's economy is down 4%, that's not "go down in flames". E.g. EU economy dropped 6-9% after '09, and people are ok, kind of.

The real issue is with the Ukrainian economy and living standards. Russia's per capita income this year is 10 times higher than Ukraine's. That's very substantial, that's why about 3 million Ukrainians work in Russia and more are coming each month.

The West tried to crash Russian economy ahead of the inevitable Ukrainian collapse, and it failed. So now the death-watch for the Ukraine's economy has started: default on loans, catastrophic drop in living standards and incomes, millions trying to emigrate, and energy dependency on Russia that might turn out to be fatal if there is a cold winter in Europe.

vr13vr -> CedricH 30 Aug 2015 17:55

Yeah, I can imagine Russians being jealous of Ukrainians. The economy is collapsing, the inflation is 40%, the far is going on, the armed Right Sector people are walking in the center of the city, the opposition leaders are suppressed and the actions are taking against the media that disagrees with Kiev. And while all of this, the corruption remains exactly where it used to be. Darn, the entire world is jealous of those lucky Ukrainians.

Beckow -> Tintenfische 30 Aug 2015 17:47

"it denies the Ukrainian people any sort of agency what so ever and at the same time ignores that the elections within the Ukraine have not been called free or fair for a generation"

I wrote 'assisted in an overthrow' - do you get the meaning of the verb "to assist"? Assisting in an overthrow of an elected president is by any definition illegal and unconstitutional - all else that followed has to be examined in that light.

Elections in Ukraine have been free and fair and declared so by EU itself many times. Yanukovitch won fair and square. Russian speakers (or supporters) used to get roughly 50% of the vote, sometimes more, sometimes little bit less. Their party - Party of Regions - was outlawed. So maybe they are listened to, but in a very constrained way - they are certainly not equal to the Western Ukrainians. That's why some of them started a civil war.

You don't address any of the disastrous economic consequences of Maidan and the war: Ukraine is suffering and is much worse off than two years ago. There is no economic prosperity possible in Ukraine without Russian cooperation (energy, imports, food, investments). That is a reality that cannot be wished away. Unless Ukraine adjusts to being a poor, agrarian country, that exports millions of workers, with living standards maybe like in Albania or Tunis (at best), they will have to make peace with Russia and its own Russian leaning population. There is no other way, even Germany and France have officially told Kiev that much.

Only US nutcases don't care about economy or living standards and prefer to play geo-political games with Ukrainians...

SHappens -> Agrajag3k 30 Aug 2015 17:42

Ukraine can prosper perfectly well on its own, just like any other county under the right leadership.

which they dont have. On the other hand when a big part of the country doesn't want to align with the "West" they should be heard. That's what is called democracy

vr13vr 30 Aug 2015 16:09

Clueless. The "low intensity" fight continues, but it's evident that the chances of Kiev to establish full control of the area are non-existent, and it is Kiev who is looking for a grace saving exit at this point.

And as for West "helping Ukraine" by cutting down the debt by 20%, this is the freshest interpretation of the event I've ever heard. It wasn't done to "help" Ukraine. The West agreed to do so to avoid even messier and costlier option of default and loosing even more money in Ukraine. Other than talking about giving some more loans to Ukraine in the future, the help to Ukraine from the West is now minimum.

BastaYa72 -> alpamysh 30 Aug 2015 16:33

Moreover, a country with the agricultural resources of Ukraine

Land that has long since been signed over to Monsanto and DuPont as part payment for earlier loans. Ukraine's economy is in such a state that's it's obvious that it will form the next major refugee crisis, while Svoboda and Privvy Sector will almost certainly launch a coup to over-throw the Kiev government.

Iraq, Libya, Ukraine - you can pretty much guarantee that wherever the West intervenes or interferes, chaos and destruction is pretty much 'nailed-on'.

Laurence Johnson -> Beckow 30 Aug 2015 16:05

You make some very sober points. Ukraine is indeed destined to be a wasteland similar to Libya and Syria. The scorch and burn policy of "if I cant have it, nobody can have it" is very clear.

I suspect that in twenty years time East Ukraine will be an economic miracle that engages with Asia via Russia. As for Kiev I suspect they will still be arguing about which Oligarch has the biggest pair of balls.

normankirk 30 Aug 2015 15:56

under the Minsk agreement, the border comes back under Ukrainian control, only when Ukraine has done the necessary constitutional reform that grants autonomy to the Donbas. So far, Kiev has dragged the chain , and to this day has refused dialogue with the leaders of the DPR and LPR.Poroshenko has openly boasted of using the ceasefire to build up another military assault on the eastern Ukrainians , and has vowed to reclaim all the terrItory by force.All this is in breach of the Minsk agreement Articles like this, with their bias and misinformation destroys the credibility of the guardian

This time the ceasefire may work because Merkel and Hollande have pressured Poroshenko, but I'm not holding my breath.

Parangaricurimicuaro 30 Aug 2015 15:45

I think that Europe is having to much on its plate. Terrorism problems, energy insecurity, bailing out Greece, refugees escaping wars south of the Mediterranean, aging population etc. so maybe it is most than they could possible chew. Reality is sobering everyone.


SHappens Agrajag3k 30 Aug 2015 15:36

Russia has no interest in seeing the war end or seeing Ukraine prosper.

Ukraine cannot prosper without Russia's market, that's an economic truth. Ukraine can even less prosper without the Donbass. The West must accept to share Ukraine with Russia. Federalization can make this possible and fulfill every country's ambitions and will, except for one country overseas, taking part to the events, we dont know why or do we?

Beckow 30 Aug 2015 15:26

Half-truths are by definition not truths. To say:

"deadline for the internationally recognised border to come back under Ukrainian government control"

Minsk also requires that Donbass has autonomy before border is turned over. How does one leave out the other side of the story? It is like reporting on Soviet Union conquest of Berlin in 1945 without mentioning that Germany invaded Russia in 1941. Maybe that's next in the endless search for just the right narrative where friends are friends, and enemies are, well the enemy is Russia, end of story. No need to actually be accurate. About Minsk or anything else.

Ukraine is bankrupt - negotiating to not pay back the full principal is the definition of a default. You can call it a "haircut" all you want, Ukraine has just defaulted - as in: they will not pay their full debts back. Who is going to invest there now? Other than EU taxpayers and IMF funny money men?

Time is definitely not on Ukraine's side: economy is down by 15-17%, inflation is 40-50%, incomes are dramatically down to roughly Senegal-Nepal level, the exports to Russia that Ukraine used to live off are down by more than 50% and dropping - and nothing is replacing the Russian market. With living standards are on sub-African level and with no visa-free access to EU, no investments (see the default above), and energy dependence on Russia, how can time be on Kiev's side? How are they going to grow out of it? What and to whom are they going to export? How is the per capita income going to grow? Today Ukraine income is 1/10 of Russia's per capita income (that's right 10%). How is time on Kiev's side?

West triggered an unnecessary catastrophe in Ukraine by assisting in an overthrow of an elected government. Ukraine is divided, look at all elections, look at language usage, etc... half is pro-West, half is pro-Russian. It is impossible to have a prosperous Ukraine without both having a say in running the country. So sooner or later, Ukraine will either go back to its traditional role as a buffer state, or it will break-up. There is no way one group can permanently dominate the other. And that takes us back to the Minsk treaty that specifies that Donbass gets autonomy. Maybe we should ask Kiev what happened to that part of the treaty. Why isn't it even mentioned?


impartial12 Tintenfische 30 Aug 2015 15:19

That is funny considering the amount of armaments building up among the former nations of the Soviet Union neighboring Russia. The escalation in Ukraine had started with an illegal coup of an elected government. And don't even get me started on the neo-Nazi tendencies of the new regime. It takes two to tango, and the West clearly wants to play this game no matter what negative consequences it may bring.


SHappens 30 Aug 2015 15:14

Kiev, backed by Washington who is using Ukrainian army foot soldiers, paramilitaries, foreign mercenaries, Nazi-infested death squads and others hasn't stopped since initiated back in April 2014. Kiev flagrantly violated the Geneva and two Minsk ceasefire agreements straightaway. Moreover Kiev has repeatedly refused to sit and talk with the people in the East and grant them autonomy as per Minsk.

Surely Russia supports the eastern ukrainians, rightly, in a way or another, preventing in this way a full war offensive by Kiev, however Russian's army is not present in Ukraine. President Putin wants peace and has been calling for it since the very start of the event, that is the ATO launched by Kiev back in 2014.

This is the Donbass who fights against Kiev. It is the US citizens who are forced to devote scarce resources to the dying puppet regime in Kiev (who will not avoid the country's default anyway + they have been downgraded), while Russia can stay away making peace proposals. If the US wants to put the fire, they will put it so it is necessary to be able to quickly turn it off to preserve what is most precious. That's why Putin considers peace of vital importance.

We can only guess who will be most effective - the US with their fuel container or the Russians with their fire extinguisher?

[Aug 30, 2015] Something smelly about the Yatsenyuk government, after they are appointed as a shiny new corruption fighter, is straightaway accused of corruption himself and unceremoniously fired

"...And now Shokin is on his way out with a comet-trail of corruption behind him, just after Yatsenyuk was in the limelight for a shady deal to privatize Odessa Port facilities."
"...2 Ukrainian ultra-radical MPs face investigation for kidnappings, torture http://t.co/Rp7JYgPgtG pic.twitter.com/WhGxGgRH1g"

yalensis, August 30, 2015 at 4:31 am

The purges cannibalistically eat their own:
Saakashvili announced 2 days ago that he was initiating a thorough purge of the Odessa police force, whom he called a "criminal syndicate".
Then yesterday the Odessa Chief of Police was fired and arrested: a guy named Oleg Makukha.
A guy whom Saakashvili himself appointed not more than 2 months ago!

Makukha is charged with the following:
(1) Receiving $23,000 worth of bribes,
(2) Providing "krysha" for unlawful businesses; and
(3) Secretly keeping Russian flags and insignia in his home.

The latter which proves, according to Saakashvili, that Makukha was just waiting for the Russian tanks to arrive, after which he would whip out the Russian flags and switch sides.

marknesop, August 30, 2015 at 10:50 am

That's Ukie-style! I just pointed out yesterday on the Kyiv Post that everyone who starts to notice something smelly about the Yatsenyuk government, after they are appointed as a shiny new corruption fighter, is straightaway accused of corruption himself and unceremoniously fired. And the moonies who admire Kiev's uncompromising anti-corruption stance dutifully applaud and say to one another what a stellar anti-corruptionist Yatsenyuk is, he just cuts them off at the knees, just like that.

Gordienko, appointed to fight corruption, promptly reported that Yatsenyuk's government appeared to have misappropriated 7.5 Billion hryvnia.

Shokin, the most recent fire-ee, said that his office had commenced a criminal investigation based on the charges, which was probably the kiss of unemployment for him right there.

Gordienko was sacked, and the charges seemed to disappear.

Then came Bilous, another stellar corruption fighter, in the tax office. Although Yats loved his work for the first 6 months, he suddenly announced he was firing Bilous and his whole department. Corruption, you know. So sad. He couldn't have been too corrupt, though, or perhaps just corrupt enough, because he was re-appointed to head the State Property Fund.

And now Shokin is on his way out with a comet-trail of corruption behind him, just after Yatsenyuk was in the limelight for a shady deal to privatize Odessa Port facilities. I wonder how long it will be before the SBU burst into his office and find him counting a suitcase full of stolen money, while a pair of plane tickets sit prominently on the table beside the suitcase. He was about to blow town, boss! Good thing you had a funny feeling about him.

In Makukha's case, the Russian flags and so forth are necessary only to draw a line between criminal behavior and Russians. Of course he was corrupt – he's a closet Putinist! Crude, but effective if your audience is dozy.

Jen, August 30, 2015 at 3:31 pm

Funny that new appointees are taking their work too seriously, and it doesn't take them very long to do much before they're already on Yatsenyuk's own trail of corruption which must be why they get fired before their probation period is up.

[Aug 30, 2015] Something smelly about the Yatsenyuk government, after they are appointed as a shiny new corruption fighter, is straightaway accused of corruption himself and unceremoniously fired

"...And now Shokin is on his way out with a comet-trail of corruption behind him, just after Yatsenyuk was in the limelight for a shady deal to privatize Odessa Port facilities."

marknesop, August 30, 2015 at 10:50 am

That's Ukie-style! I just pointed out yesterday on the Kyiv Post that everyone who starts to notice something smelly about the Yatsenyuk government, after they are appointed as a shiny new corruption fighter, is straightaway accused of corruption himself and unceremoniously fired. And the moonies who admire Kiev's uncompromising anti-corruption stance dutifully applaud and say to one another what a stellar anti-corruptionist Yatsenyuk is, he just cuts them off at the knees, just like that.

Gordienko, appointed to fight corruption, promptly reported that Yatsenyuk's government appeared to have misappropriated 7.5 Billion hryvnia.

Shokin, the most recent fire-ee, said that his office had commenced a criminal investigation based on the charges, which was probably the kiss of unemployment for him right there.

Gordienko was sacked, and the charges seemed to disappear.

Then came Bilous, another stellar corruption fighter, in the tax office. Although Yats loved his work for the first 6 months, he suddenly announced he was firing Bilous and his whole department. Corruption, you know. So sad. He couldn't have been too corrupt, though, or perhaps just corrupt enough, because he was re-appointed to head the State Property Fund.

And now Shokin is on his way out with a comet-trail of corruption behind him, just after Yatsenyuk was in the limelight for a shady deal to privatize Odessa Port facilities. I wonder how long it will be before the SBU burst into his office and find him counting a suitcase full of stolen money, while a pair of plane tickets sit prominently on the table beside the suitcase. He was about to blow town, boss! Good thing you had a funny feeling about him.

In Makukha's case, the Russian flags and so forth are necessary only to draw a line between criminal behavior and Russians. Of course he was corrupt – he's a closet Putinist! Crude, but effective if your audience is dozy.

Jen, August 30, 2015 at 3:31 pm

Funny that new appointees are taking their work too seriously, and it doesn't take them very long to do much before they're already on Yatsenyuk's own trail of corruption which must be why they get fired before their probation period is up.

[Aug 28, 2015] Ukraine agrees win-win debt restructuring deal

Notable quotes:
"... the government conceded that it must pay a higher interest rate on the remaining debts. ..."
"... includes a four-year extension on repayments ..."
"... In Moscow, the Russian finance minister, Anton Siluanov, said Russia would not participate in the agreement. Ukraine owes Russia a $3bn eurobond due for full repayment in December. The need to repay Russia represents a dilemma for the IMF as it considers whether to pump further funds into Ukraine, possibly in conjunction with Brussels. It is not officially allowed to continue lending to a country that is in default to another sovereign. ..."
"... The Washington-based lender of last resort has already come up against criticism for its lending policy, which critics believe forces the government to pursue draconian austerity measures that will depress growth and increase its debts. Exotix credit strategist Jokob Christensen said the bondholders were the clear winners. "I have a hard time seeing how this deal will help reduce [Ukraine's] debt to 71% of GDP in 2020, which is one of the crucial targets in the operation," he said. ..."
Aug 28, 2015 | The Guardian

Ukraine has secured a 20% writedown on $18bn (£11.6bn) of its foreign debts in a deal its finance minister described as win-win...

... ... ...

The hedge funds holding Ukrainian debt will write off around $4bn in return for securities that will pay holders a percentage of Ukraine's economic growth from 2021. But in a move that is likely to dismay many MPs in the Kiev parliament, the government conceded that it must pay a higher interest rate on the remaining debts.

The deal, which still needs to be approved by creditors outside the group, includes a four-year extension on repayments to give Ukraine breathing space. But the interest rate on the bonds will rise 0.5 percentage points to 7.75%. It ended months of tense negotiations aimed at helping to keep the country on track with its International Monetary Fund-led bailout programme, plugging a funding gap and preventing a unilateral debt default.

Ukraine's finance minister, Natalia Yaresko, who had sought a 40% debt haircut, said the deal meets all targets set by the IMF bailout programme and would allow the country to move ahead. "Everyone's done well out of this deal. That's why it's collaborative. It's not one side winning, it's a win-win situation. We're all now moving forward without putting the value of the bonds at any further risk," she said.

Ukraine's sovereign dollar bond prices surged after the news, indicating that traders viewed the remaining debt to be on a more secure footing. Its 2017 issue rose 8.7 cents to trade at 64.5 cents in the dollar, according to Tradeweb data, while the 2022 bond rose 10 cents.

In Moscow, the Russian finance minister, Anton Siluanov, said Russia would not participate in the agreement. Ukraine owes Russia a $3bn eurobond due for full repayment in December. The need to repay Russia represents a dilemma for the IMF as it considers whether to pump further funds into Ukraine, possibly in conjunction with Brussels. It is not officially allowed to continue lending to a country that is in default to another sovereign.

The debt deal should help keep Ukraine's national currency, the hryvnia, stable and allow increased spending on defence in the east,...

... ... ...

The Washington-based lender of last resort has already come up against criticism for its lending policy, which critics believe forces the government to pursue draconian austerity measures that will depress growth and increase its debts. Exotix credit strategist Jokob Christensen said the bondholders were the clear winners. "I have a hard time seeing how this deal will help reduce [Ukraine's] debt to 71% of GDP in 2020, which is one of the crucial targets in the operation," he said.

Gabriel Sterne, head of global macro at Oxford Economics, also cast doubt on whether the deal would make Ukraine's debt levels sustainable and added: "There is a strong likelihood that they will be back at the negotiating table before too many IMF reviews have passed."

Talks had been held up over a disagreement with creditors on whether to provide Kiev with a writedown on the face value of the bonds. Kiev had initially sought a 40% cut. "We started in different places, because the creditor committee didn't believe we had a solvency problem but my goal was not a particular number, it was meeting those IMF targets," Yaresko said. She added that she hoped it was highly unlikely that remaining creditors would reject the agreement and forecast that the process would be wrapped up by the end of October.

[Aug 28, 2015] Ukraines debt deal is better than defaulting – but its just a stop gap

Aug 27, 2015 | The Guardian

The debt deal Ukraine has painstakingly negotiated with its creditors is welcome and preferable to the alternative: a default that would have put additional pressure on the country's shaky banks and led to both capital flight and a protracted battle in the courts. But amid all the backslapping a bit of perspective is needed.

Greece has severe problems but Ukraine is the most troubled country in Europe. It has inflation at 55%, its economy is expected to contract by 10% this year, and the government is fighting a war with separatists in the east backed by Russia that is costly in both human and financial terms.

The deal involves a 20% writedown to the face value of $18bn of eurobonds and pushes back the date on which the bonds will be redeemed by four years. Ukraine has some breathing space and the accord means it will continue to be eligible for financial help from the International Monetary Fund. That's the good news.

But the finance minister, Natalia Yaresko, had to scale back her ambitions once it became clear creditors thought Kiev's threat to default was a bluff. She has had to offer higher interest rates when debt payments resume and has had to accept a 20% writedown rather than the 40% she wanted.

Ukraine's debts remain high and its economy is in freefall. This agreement is a stop gap not a