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Civil War in Ukraine:

Economic nationalist view 

News Color revolutions Recommended Links Debt slavery Ukraine debt enslavement Nulandgate Predator state
Disaster capitalism The Far Right Forces in Ukraine Suppression of Russian language and culture in Ukraine Totalitarian Decisionism & Human Rights: The Re-emergence of Nazi Law Media-Military-Industrial Complex Neoconservatism as a stage of development of Neoliberalism New American Militarism
EuroMaidan101 Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Diplomacy by deception Ukraine's oligarchs Fifth column Resurgence of ideology of neo-fascism NGOs as braintrust of color revolutions
Events of November 30 and aftermath SBU raid on Kiev Batkivshchina office Revolt of diplomats EU-brokered agreement on ending crisis To whom EuroMaydan Sharp-shooters belong?   Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17 ?
Forming Provisional government Accession of Crimea to Russia Odessa Massacre of May 2, 2014 Mariupol, May 9 events Presidential Elections of May 25. 2014   Poroshenko presidency
Russian Ukrainian Gas wars Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Russian sanctions Demonization of Putin Ukrainian orange revolution   Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few
Delegitimization of Ruling Party Compradors Opposition as a way to get rid of feeling of inferiority Human right activists or globalism fifth column Exploiting "Revolutionary Romantics" as polit-technology   Disaster capitalism
Neoliberal Propaganda The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment Fighting Russophobia Foreign Agents Registration Act Russian Fifth column Humor   Etc
 

 


Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement.

We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.

This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron. … Is there no other way the world may live?

Dwight D. Eisenhower - Wikiquote

"War is simply the continuation of political intercourse with the addition of other means. We deliberately use the phrase 'with the addition of other means' because we also want to make it clear that war in itself does not suspend political intercourse or change it into something entirely different. In essentials that intercourse continues, irrespective of the means it employs. The main lines along which military events progress, and to which they are restricted, are political lines that continue throughout the war into the subsequent peace."[17]

Carl von Clausewitz - Wikipedia


Introduction

As "economic nationalist" I oppose both "ethnic nationalism" and neoliberalism. And in my view EuroMaydan victory in 2014 in some way is similar to victory of Trump in 2016: it confirmed that the far-right can serve as a fifth column, an emergency reserve for decaying neoliberalism, betraying the majority of population and plunging them in poverty despite their lofty political slogans.

In Ukraine this "revenge of neoliberalism"  turned into really tragic situation, with pensioners on the edge of starvation (with many beyond the edge; I really do not understand how they are able to survive on 1000 grivna a month (around $36 at exchange rate of 28 per dollar ) pension in cities. While I understand the tragic nature of the current situation I have no recipes, or proposal for the improvement. More over as a skeptical site this site is critical both toward Russian policy in Ukraine and Ukrainian nationalist policies (although to call Yatsenyuk and Poroshenko Ukrainian nationalist is a stretch -- they are neoliberals with nationalist camouflage). Both and especially Poroshenko are greedy and corrupt as hell.

 The key weakness of my position is that  I do not understand what is emerging as the alternative to neoliberalism, if anything at all. This is distinct weakness of this introductory article.  But it is true that the victims of neoliberal color revolutions are always common people. The struggle for power within the Ukrainian neoliberal elite (and in this sense Bat'kivshchyna  is not that different from the Party of Regions -- both serve neoliberal oligarchic clans) this time proved to be a bloody mess.  I really have great sympathy toward Ukrainian people who in incredible difficult condition displayed bravery and ability to survive shock which are simply incredible in scope and depth and are comparable to least two Great Depression. Viva to Ukrainian people.

Along with its own elite Ukraine is a victim to tectonic shifts in geopolitical map after the dissolution of the USSR, shifts caused by forces that no small country can resist and which revised the results on WWII and Yalta conference. It became a pawn in complex geopolitical play between US, EU and Russia. Although mistakes and greed of the Ukraine neoliberal elite played an important and continuing role, the key to events are US and EU geopolitical interests in the region. Paradoxically Ukraine is still unable to produce a real Nationalist leader, who would try to improve the life of ordinary Ukrainians. at least along the economic demands of NSDAP program of 1920.  Which included such economic demands as:

The 25-point Program of the NSDAP
… … …
7.  We demand that the state be charged first with providing the opportunity for a livelihood and way of life for the citizens. If it is impossible to sustain the total population of the State, then the members of foreign nations (non-citizens) are to be expelled from the Reich.
8. Any further immigration of non-citizens is to be prevented. We demand that all non-Germans, who have immigrated to Germany since 2 August 1914, be forced immediately to leave the Reich.
9. All citizens must have equal rights and obligations.
10.The first obligation of every citizen must be to work both spiritually and physically. The activity of individuals is not to counteract the interests of the universality, but must have its result within the framework of the whole for the benefit of all. Consequently, we demand:
11.
Abolition of unearned (work and labor) incomes. Breaking of debt (interest)-slavery.
12. In consideration of the monstrous sacrifice in property and blood that each war demands of the people, personal enrichment through a war must be designated as a crime against the people. Therefore, we demand the total confiscation of all war profits.
13. We demand the nationalization of all (previous) associated industries (trusts).
14. We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries.
15. We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.
16. We demand the creation of a healthy middle class and its conservation, immediate communalization of the great warehouses and their being leased at low cost to small firms, the utmost consideration of all small firms in contracts with the State, county or municipality.
17. We demand a land reform suitable to our needs, provision of a law for the free expropriation of land for the purposes of public utility, abolition of taxes on land and prevention of all speculation in land.
18. We demand struggle without consideration against those whose activity is injurious to the general interest. Common national criminals, usurers, profiteers and so forth are to be punished with death, without consideration of confession or race.
… … …
21.The State is to care for the elevating national health by protecting the mother and child, by outlawing child-labor, by the encouragement of physical fitness, by means of the legal establishment of a gymnastic and sport obligation, by the utmost support of all organizations concerned with the physical instruction of the young.

Poroshenko is clearly a neoliberal oligarch, as was Yanukovich before him.  None of them have any significant gifts as politicians. Yanukovich in addition to this and despite his role as a head of mafia-like clan ("Donetskie") proved also to be despicable coward. Actually the line of Ukrainian presidents since independence consists of neoliberals only. The only difference between them was the level of anti-Russian sentiments and the flavor of Ukrainian nationalism (greatly simplifying Dnepropetrovsk "Kosak" nationalism is based on glorification of Zaporozhian Sich and is somewhat more tolerant toward Russia, then adamantly anti-Russian Western Ukrainian nationalism which glorifies such political figures as Stepan Bandera  and Symon Petliura)  they supported:

Timoshenko is also a neoliberal. Kind of cleptocratic neoliberal like Poroshenko.  She became that first female Ukrainian oligarch during Kushma Presidency.  Like Kuchma she also came from Dnepropetrovsk.

Nationalism  as a natural reaction on worsening economic conditions

  Governments having trouble meeting the needs of their citizens will be strongly tempted to turn to nationalism or nativism to transfer blame to external enemies and distract from problems at home, while publics fearful of loss of jobs to immigrants or economic hardship, are likely to be increasingly receptive to more exclusive ideologies and identities.

Office of the Director of National Intelligence Global trends main report “How People Think” (2015)

Nationalism usually in on the upswing  if  we see the impoverishment of the population. 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 

It is necessary to defend Ukrainian economic interests both against West and East;
nobody care about Ukrainian people

Even without this latest controversy over religion, it is clear that Ukrainians make the choice (or more correctly the USA made it for them). Current Ukraine can be viewed a client state.

Many Ukrainians falsely believed that the neoliberal West is in love with them.  Let me clear something for them: The west (its neoliberal elites) are not in the business of love. They are in the business of mercilessly exploiting lower 80% of population. Which means that they don't love even their own people, let alone the Ukrainians. Probably 10% of people (for example working in retail and getting less then $10 per hour, or $1200 a month, if they have 40 hours working week -- many do not -- 36 or less is common) in the USA live in such poverty that they can't find extra expense of $500 in case of emergency.  They essentially can't afford to live alone and need to rent an apartment with somebody else.  And that's the richest country of the West. So ignoring economics in favor of politic is what I call political degeneracy.

Both in Ukraine and the USA we see conversion from "classic neoliberalism" to "national neoliberalism" (In Ukraine along with converting the country into debt-slave of the West).  Ukraine is a  county which like Brazil signifies the possibility of alliance of neoliberals and far right nationalists in domestic policies, and further neoliberalization of Ukrainian economics,  the alliance which would be anathema for nationalists in 1920th-1930th. 

Similar to the opposition to Trump in the USA, EuroMaydan faced a strong resistance, as well as external interference, and in case of Ukraine eventually led to a civil war in Donbass region (the majority of fighters for independence of this region are residents of this region; Russian volunteers constitute only a tiny fraction of fighting forces; interference of Russia was mainly in supply of weapons and ammunition) . Like Trump, Ukrainian nationalists, who came to power after EuroMaydan are betraying economic interests of their key constituency due to which they came to power:

Astute observers saw this betrayal coming. The argument that Trump would somehow overturn America’s neoliberal economic order myopically focused on Trump’s trade policy. In doing so, it both misunderstood what Trump represented and the ideological framework of neoliberalism. Trump’s fever pitch agonizing over the United States’ trade deficit with China and Mexico are both the wallowing of an economic idiot and the maneuvering of a political savant. The issue was always economically inane. A trade deficit in-and-of-itself reveals very little about the overall health of an economy.

Whether a nation should strive for or against a trade deficit is more dependent on that nation’s strategic position within the global economy, and not necessarily an indicator of the health of domestic markets. But, trade proved to be a salient issue for symbolic purposes.

Stagnation and automation have compelled American middle and lower classes to accept an economic torpor. Making trade deficits a central campaign tenant provided these people with an outlet for their class anxieties without having to question the nature of class itself. Lethargic economic growth was blamed on Mexicans and the Chinese. The insinuation was for average Americans to take back what was rightfully theirs by engaging in a new round of economic bargaining with these two nations, if not an open trade war. 

In case of EuroMaydan the economic alliance with EU was sold as a panacea for all economic devastation of people on Ukraine after economic rape by West in 1991-1994 (common for all xUSSR countries; trillions of dollars floated to the West then assents built during the USSR period were bought for penny on a dollar)  and after President Leonid Kuchma (in power from 1994 to 2005) installed oligarchic neoliberal regime with several major regional clans of oligarchs (Donetsk, Dnepropetrovsk, Kiev) having all the political power in the country. And which remained intact (sliding to more corruption) under Yushchenko despite the fact that the first Maydan was fought also under "anti-corruption" slogans. 

And Yanukovich and Russians was blamed for all ills of his two predecessors. Which is similar to the way Trump blamed Mexicans and Chinese for economic devastation of the US middle class under neoliberalism. But instead of trade war with China like is happening in the USA under Trump, a Donbass civil war emerged as the major side effect of transitioning to "national neoliberalism" ("externality" in neoliberal economics speak ). Steep deterioration of economic performance and hyperinflation followed. The latter resulted in approximately 300% depreciation of the currency in three year (2014-2017),  or 100% a year. Which put pensioners at the edge of beyond the starvation.

In covering such  events as civil wars and uprisings it is difficult to agree on common narrative. We will cover the event from the view that the supreme duty of the national state is not it s own existence at all costs ("classic nationalism"), but the well-being of its people and building the prosperous economy ("economic nationalism"). Of course those goals are interconnected, but one should not be scarified to another. And unleashing of a civil war under pressure from foreign country which pursue its own economic and geopolitical interests a sure path to misery. As General Sun Tzu wrote in The Art of War, “there is no instance of a nation benefiting from prolonged warfare.” Positioning  Ukraine as the bitter enemy of Russia does not benefit Ukrainians, but does benefit both the USA and EU.  More flexible approach might be a better deal, but currently is impossible. Ukraine might benefit from more tolerance and commitment to compromise.  Even selling some territories might be a better deal for straggling population of Ukraine then the prolonged warfare for the preservation of borders of the Ukrainian state established under Bolsheviks.  Buying the US weaponry is not the best use of Ukrainian money, at least not for the majority of the Ukrainian  population.  And it does not change the balance of forces on Ukrainian border, although defeated armies learn  really fast and the Ukrainian army of 2018 is qualitatively different and better than the army that suffered defeat from separatists before that. Just imagine that Canada leave NATO, doubles or triples its military budget and tried to confront imperial ambitions of the USA.  The same actually is true for Russian people, which now suffer under the burden of Putin's military budget, which makes total rearmament of Russia the top national priority.  And even the US people under Trump with his enormous military budget. .

This position has its weaknesses, as interests of people and the national elite under neoliberalism typically diverge and generally can't be reconciled.  And it is common people not the elite who die and receive grave injuries in those wars. The neoliberal elite often acts as occupying force of the country (comprador elite) acting in the interests of a foreign state... 

Economic nationalism should be understood as a set of practices to create, bolster and protect national economies in the context of globalized markets by returning in some areas to protectionism and regulation of big business, especially multinationals, while easing regulation of small and medium businesses and strengthening social security net.  In case of Ukraine EuroMaydan events forced Russian big business to leave Ukraine, but the tragedy is that the vacuum was filled with no less predatory "new partners".  The rise and institutionalization of economic nationalism was a product of the crisis of neoliberalism starting from 2008, which revitalized ethno-nationalist movements in many European countries including Baltic republics, Hungary, Poland, and Ukraine. As Bannon have said Steve Bannon on white nationalism, Donald Trump agenda - CBS News

“I’m not a white nationalist, I’m a nationalist. I’m an economic nationalist,” Bannon told the news outlet earlier this week. “The globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia. The issue now is about Americans looking to not get f—ed over.”

Some economists like Richard Wolf view Trump as the last, desperate attempt to save "classic neoliberalism" (The Coming Collapse of the American Economic System with Richard Wolff - YouTube). In Ukraine, EuroMaydan might be viewed as the desperate attempt to save oligarchic version of neoliberalism established by Kuchma.

I see Ukraine as a victim of policies of neoliberal globalization and the efforts to create global, led by the USA neoliberal empire (which by extension requires weakening and possibly neutering Russia and China). Simplifying, we can say that one of the most effective "disaster capitalism" scheme for establishing neocolonial control over the country is the transition of the country to debt slavery is unleashing a civil war. In this regard, a simple formula:

 "Color revolution" + "Civil war" ->  "Debt slavery".

works perfectly well. Around 11K people have been killed in the Ukraine between April 2014 and May 2017.  Around 1.6 million people have been internally displaced (mostly to central region of Ukraine and southern regions of Russia). European future dream proclaimed by EuroMaydan turned into Middle Eastern civil war nightmare with crimes committed against the civilian population.

It is interesting to note that the carrot of "European future" proved to work extremely well in post-Communist countries, especially for students and regions that depend on labor migrants for survival (Western Ukraine). Promising Ukrainian population "European future" was a very effective, albeit almost obvious move.

And outside well qualified professionals and entrepreneurs, or the top 10% of the population Ukrainian population is not needed (or wanted) in Europe. For lower 80% this "European future" is a future of low paid service personnel and prostitutes in Western cities. The status of a low paid gastarbeiters is the grim reality of the employment situation in most EU countries. Still this carrot proved to be an extremely effective way to fool the population into actions which destroyed their achieved standard of living, as low as it was in comparison with major countries of Western Europe such as France and Germany. 

People generally hate and do not trust a local neoliberal government (and Yanukovich government was clearly a neoliberal government), so it, by definition, any such government is a low hanging fruit for a color revolution which typically installs even more rabid neoliberal and more cruel government.  such a Catch 22 on geopolitical scheme (with neoliberal regime instead of US army fighting in Europe ;-).  With a rather small financial infusion people from Western Ukraine (and not only Western Ukraine) were easily recruited to participate in mass protest actions with the goal to depose the government. This was proven during EuroMaydan in Ukraine and actually is true for all xUSSR countries.  For example, in Russia there were significant demonstrations of this type in 2011-2012.

First of all people are sick and tied of sliding and very low standard of living. As such they are highly susceptible to any agitation that promise "better future for them and their children".  Delegitimization of the ruling neoliberal elite (aka "Yanukovich gang") via controlled by "color revolutionaries" MSM  typically is presented via a more narrow term -- corruption --  created revolutionary situation that just waited to be exploited.  Actually corruption became the code work for staging a color revolution in many countries.  The fact the none of them managed to eliminate corruption which is endemic for any neoliberal regime ("Greed is good") including the USA ( for example "Clinton Cash" Scandal: Hillary Clinton links to foreign donors and financial industry ) does not matter. What matter is people  perception of the issue as unfair and the current government as corrupt.  The idea the next government can be even more corrupt does not enter the mental picture.

Secondly because Western Europe that they knew only from TV or, at best, saw just its "tourist facade".  Few people know the reality of living in Western Europe. Which definitely has a higher standard of living even if it was substantially weakened by neoliberalism, and also weakened (but still strong in comparison with the USA) social security mechanisms. But it is very far from "worker paradise."  The real situation can be understood only after working in the particular country for three or more years and I doubt that those people came to EuroMaydan.

But it was relatively easy to use far right nationalists as a ram to depose Yanukovich (a "no brainer" as some observers put it). This is done by rallying against the government a large part of the disaffected population. In case of EuroMaydan, students and small entrepreneurs took active part, because they were among social groups oligarchic regime of Yanukovich really oppressed; add to that media of a couple of oppressed by and thus hostile to Yanukovich oligarchs, such  as Ihor Kolomoyskyi . It generally talked about a decade for people to forget how they were deceived in the past. So the memory about the promises of the  "bright future" in early 1990th and the grim reality that followed already evaporated. Another problem is that young people who were born after the first Ukrainian Great Depression that followed obtaining independence are not interested in a real history of this period.  This consideration suggests that in any xUSSR country you can stage a color revolution each 20 years or so.

It is also very easy for MSM to channel objective process of impoverishment of population under neoliberalism into the charge of corruption of the government. Which was definitely corrupt, especially Yanukovich himself,  but no more corrupt the previous (Kuchma, late Yushchenko) or subsequent Ukrainian governments (Provisional Government, Poroshenko).   In this sense the civil war in Donbass and its wide-range consequences is one of  the most important "externalities" of EuroMaydan (along with the loss of Crimea), the price of change of the government via violent uprising instead of regular election mechanisms.  

Both EuroMaydan and the civil war in Ukraine are related to (or even stem from) efforts of the USA to encircle Russia as a new geopolitical rival on one hand, as well as  the desire of the EU to get a resource base at the East and expand its market into yet another  country cutting Russia (plus Russophobia of elites of several countries including Poland and Sweden).  On the EU part, the "Economic Anschluss" of Ukraine can be viewed as a more gentle variant of "Drang nach Osten" -- a drive to enlarge its (mostly German) economic space by absorbing all Eastern European countries under the EU economic space umbrella.  

Contrary to statements about pro-Ukrainian bias of the USA policies in the region, the US efforts were not pro, but clearly anti-Ukrainian. Ukraine was viewed by the USA just as an important pawn in geopolitical chess game against Russia.  And this game is mainly directed by the goals of encircling, weakening and, if possible, dismembering of Russia.  In this respect Ukrainian national interests, especially economic interests,  were never a consideration.  At the core of events was Obama administration pushback against Russian opposition to American dominance and the EU and NATO expansion into Eastern Europe.

In this sense EuroMaydan was a logical continuation of a failed attempt to stage color revolution in Russia in 2011-2012; continuation of the same policy. This time the USA manage to inflict huge economic and political losses to Russia as EuroMaydan not only broke economic cooperation of Russia and Ukraine, but was followed by damaging Russian economic sanctions, as well as (naturally occurring, or artificially created) slump in oil prices which last  three and a half years (mid 2014 - 2018).  It also created an enemy from previously friendly or at least neutral state.  And another hostile to Russia state on its borders is the last thing that Russia needs.

This EU Anschluss  agreement (in the writing of which, at least formally,  participated functionaries from Yanukovich government, so, in some ways, it was a joint effort) also included such disastrous measures as adoption of EU standards in areas were Ukraine can't compete with the EU companies and thus de-facto replacement of local production with imported.  The process which in 2018 is very visible of the shelves of supermarkets. Such a pro-Russian president ;-)  “We want to move closer to the EU in our day-to-day work,” he used to say.  He wanted to sign it, but just wanted to bargain a little bit more. And he managed to get 3 billion loan from Russia on a really good terms. But by not signing the agreement in November 2013 he sealed his political fate (EuroMaidan - Wikipedia) and endanger his life, as neither EU, nor the USA take "no" for an answer. And they did unleashed a color revolution against him:

The demonstrations began on the night of 21 November 2013, when protests erupted in the capital, Kiev, after the Ukrainian government suspended preparations for signing the Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement with the European Union, to seek closer economic relations with Russia

This attempt to demonstrate some degree of independence was a fatal political mistake because Ukraine was already under firm control of pro-EU/pro-US forces.  Previous Yushchenko government was essentially a vassal of the West and his appointees were deeply entrenched in all critical government structures including  security services; media was also controlled by neoliberal forces and hostile to Russia; the US NGO were extremely influential in Ukraine and influenced  the media landscape (Gromadske TV, etc) with NGO officers enjoying diplomatic immunity due to a special agreement, signed, I think, by Kuchma government. Which is a clear sign of sliding of the country to colonial status ( imagine this for a sovereign country, say for the Great Britain).

While from  imperial standpoint such policy is logical as Russia is one of the main threat to the US-led global neoliberal empire and the second largest nuclear power,  is sows "dragon's teeth". As such it is dangerous to the USA too. But after the USA became the only world superpower, Washington never played favorable for them situation strategically and patiently. They became a real global bully. That's why we have this "F*ck EU" coupe d'état and the attempt to kill Yanukovich in February 2014. While removing Yanukovich was "slam dunk" thing, as he was widely hated by the Ukrainian population (which is actually typical for any neoliberal president in xUSSR area with no exceptions) subsequent side effects of his removal did not played for the USA so well. They really antagonized Russia, which from this point started to view the USA as the enemy, not as a dominant economic power and the competitor in xUSSR space. This led to informal military and economic alliance to China which was the danger the Kissinger warned against.

Another nasty externality of this coup d'état  is that it eventually led to an uprising in some parts of the Eastern Ukraine against Western Ukrainian attempt to colonize it, and eliminate Russian language and Russian culture, which are native to the region (which might be one of the USA geopolitical goals, as it further weakens  Russia and make it n easy target for sanctions; which actually started before with Magnitsky Act, which was adopted in 2012 and was the fiorst robin int his area). BTW adopted on completely false premises as recent Nekrasov's documentary reveals (with a strong possibility of Browder being connected to MI6)

So it really created an artificial ethnic conflict in the country which basically was free of it.  My impression is that before EuroMaydan most Russian-speaking Ukrainians did not too closely associate themselves with Russia, viewing Moscow with some degree of suspicion. Especially strong in "intelligencia" circles (which from Soviet time resents the role of "smaller brother" and some level of discrimination). In other words, they viewed Russia much like Canadians view the USA ("two countries separated by common language"). But now, at least in Donbass region, and probably in several other Eastern regions, the attitudes drastically changed.  As well as the attitude toward Western Ukrainian nationalists (which were never viewed too favorably in Eastern regions of Ukraine to begin with.) In this sense Odessa fire was a precursor to Donbass civil war.

For the country where the majority of population speaks the same language as people in Russia and have many family level and cultural ties breaking such ties in the name of establishing a new national identity is a very tricky political move. BTW most Canadians do not like the USA for its Imperial Ambitions and (by-and-large successful) attempt to convert Canada into de-factor colony of the USA ("two countries separated by common language")

But imagine that Quebec nationalists came to power in Canada and outlawed the English language.  And introduction of Ukrainian language repeats that story of reintroduction of national language in Baltic countries (or enforcement of Hebrew in Israel) and in view of dominance of English language does not have any real significance culturally (as the cultural life is now completely dominated by Western players and filmmakers in any case) and might  have slightly detrimental effect on education and science.

I would be first to admit that it was a good time to replace Russian textbooks at universities with English language textbooks: previously Ukrainian universities (with the exception of Lvov and couple of other cities) typically used Russian textbooks for natural sciences, which now is politically incorrect. But they can't switch to English textbooks (potentially better for natural sciences and very cheap if bought used or reprints from India).

The move which would instantly raise the level on knowledge of English language in the country, especially among educated middle class. As such would diminish Russian cultural influence and, as such, strengthen the level of independence of the country from Russia.  Although increase in intensity and quality of study of English language is definitely one of the few positive effects of EuroMaydan.

Yanukovich was a rather weak and deeply corrupt President, which was not favorably viewed in Russia (which refused to create and support the government  in exile after he fled the country). Paradoxically he has no real friends ( other then Joe Biden, who backstabbed him  ;-). Politically at the  beginning of 2015 he was completely isolated due to his sling into authoritarianism. Now it became known that several members of his government (for example Lyovochkin) were covertly working for "EuroMaydan".

One can also wander about  Russia position in this area. Russia professes limited version of economic nationalism, while remaining by-and-large a neoliberal country (which create a big weakness in Putin position, as you can't be  half-pregnant; if you profess neoliberalism  inside the country, you should profess neoliberal globalization and by extension accept the role of Washington as the center of global neoliberal empire).  In other words, Russia invented Trumpism before Trump ;-).

So Russian neocolonialism is the fact of life (as long as Russia remains neoliberal country) and Russia does want to keep the xUSSR states as its sphere of influence,  but in reality while it has definitely unequal terms  they might be more benign toward Ukraine than EU neo-colonial expansion into Ukrainian space.  Those predators can really devour the country like they devour Greece.  And the first effect, is conversion of the country into the debt slave. The second, if we view Baltic states as a example, is deindustrialization.

I suspect that there is no good guys in this drama.

EuroMaydan disrupted and accelerated the natural process of distancing from former metropolia

After  getting an independence (and even before that during last years of the USSR) there was a process of distancing of Ukrainian population from Russia and Russian people. Dome animosity toward Moscow existed in Kiev even during Soviet days. This process naturally was accelerated after independence and typical attributes of a European nation (separate language, culture, often  separate church) became "a must" to obtain for the new Ukrainian neoliberal elite.

The key problem with forceful "Ukrainization" is that Ukrainian culture currently can't complete with Russian culture as the latter richer and is culture of several times larger country. Thaw same is true about cultures in other neighboring countries such  republic, Poland, Ukraine, Finland, Moldova, etc). They all experience strong influence of Russian culture. Actually rich culture is one of the  attributes of metropolia (for example China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Spain, Germany).

At the same time there are multiple countries which are independent  and still share the same language (Canada is one close example as its neighbor is the USA -- a country with distinct imperial ambitions).  As Bernard Show quipped about the USA and GB are "two nations divided by a common language"

Another important  factor is the quality of the elite. Without knowledge of English it is difficult to have high quality elite those days. The level of deterioration  of Soviet elite (which usually spoke only Russian; few members from the  Soviet elite studied in Western universities) was probably one of the factors in the collapse of the USSR. When leaders became a joke, the legitimacy of the Soviet Union was severely undermined and nationalist sentiments encouraged.  Also deep provinciality of Soviet politician -- clearly visible in Gorbachov and Yeltsin to name a few was also a native factor which allowed "economic rape of Russia" in 1991-2000.  The same was even more true for Ukraine and other former soviet republics.  Some years in Ukraine after 1991 (I think 1992-1996 until introduction of grivna) was absolutely desperate with rampant inflation (up to 10% a month) and the standard of living of population in single digits from previously level achieved during the USSR years.  While of course a large part of this were "tectonic shifts" -- global economic processes (ascendance of neoliberalism; in this respect the USSR chose to dissolve in the worse time possible). neoliberalism smash weaker countries converting them into debt slaves. But the provincialism (and greed which is related) of Russian and Ukrainian elite also played a role.

BTW there is an influential strata of Russian intelligentsia (so called "Zapandniki") who consider Russian culture inferior to some European cultures such  and French and German.  And there was a long  period in Russian history when the aristocracy spoke French and Russian was relegated to "common people". For example, during the Patriotic War of 1812 (Napoleon invasion of Russia) the officer corps of two armies spoke the same language.  Russia was generally very lenient  to usage of foreign languages with German being "trade language" used by merchants  for centuries.

I think that now only English now can "painlessly" replace Russian in Ukraine and that "forced "Ukrainization" will work against Western Ukrainian nationalists, although Donbass war proved to be a very influential factor which tremendously helped to overcome the resistance of the rest of Ukrainian population (as were switching  of schools to Ukrainian  language).  My impression is that the language situation in Kiev changed noticeably in just four years (2014-2018). While part of it is connected with the influx of Western Ukrainian (which have a higher birth rate than other regions of Ukraine), much of it I would attribute to patriotic sentiment among the population which is connected with sentiments created by Donbass war.

But the danger here is "provinciality" and it should be underestimated.  BTW Ukrainian is not a native language for a considerable portion of Ukrainian elite (especially in Eastern and Southern regions) and they support it only from the "sovereignty" standpoint, if at all. 

Created by Kuchma oligarchic neoliberalism survived EuroMaydan

Like with any uprising the goals were noble. But they the net results are far from the initial aspirations.  If we view EuroMaydan as an upraising against  Kuchma's oligarchic neoliberalism, it proved to be a dismal failure.  It became more cruel and more entrenched.

Despite all this rhetoric about "corruption", oligarchic neoliberalism survived and the cost of uprising and dislocation the followed it were offloaded on the bottom 80% of population.  In you compare NSDAP program on 1928 and the program of far right forces in Ukraine it is clear that the latter are devoid of any positive economic program of redistribution of wealth down

Here is a sample from which it is clear that NSDAP program (never fully implemented) includes several radical positions (which are anathema to neoliberals) such as "Abolition of unearned (work and labor) incomes. Breaking of debt (interest)-slavery." (p11) as well as "We demand the nationalization of all (previous) associated industries (trusts)":

... ... ...

7.We demand that the state be charged first with providing the opportunity for a livelihood and way of life for the citizens

9.All citizens must have equal rights and obligations.

10.The first obligation of every citizen must be to productively work mentally or physically. The activity of individuals is not to counteract the interests of the universality, but must have its result within the framework of the whole for the benefit of all. Consequently, we demand:

11.Abolition of unearned (work and labor) incomes. Breaking of debt (interest)-slavery.

12.In consideration of the monstrous sacrifice in property and blood that each war demands of the people, personal enrichment through a war must be designated as a crime against the people. Therefore, we demand the total confiscation of all war profits.

13.We demand the nationalization of all (previous) associated industries (trusts).

14.We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries.

15.We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.

16.We demand the creation of a healthy middle class and its conservation, immediate communalization of the great warehouses and their being leased at low cost to small firms, the utmost consideration of all small firms in contracts with the State, county or municipality.

17.We demand a land reform suitable to our needs, provision of a law for the free expropriation of land for the purposes of public utility, abolition of taxes on land and prevention of all speculation in land.

18.We demand struggle without consideration against those whose activity is injurious to the general interest. Common national criminals, usurers, profiteers and so forth are to be punished with death, without consideration of confession or race.

21.The state is to care for the elevating national health by protecting the mother and child, by outlawing child-labor, by the encouragement of physical fitness, by means of the legal establishment of a gymnastic and sport obligation, by the utmost support of all organizations concerned with the physical instruction of the young.

22.We demand abolition of the mercenary troops and formation of a national army.

23.We demand legal opposition to known lies and their promulgation through the press.

24.We demand freedom of religion for all religious denominations within the state so long as they do not endanger its existence or oppose the moral senses of the Germanic race...

But nationalists the come to power as the result of EuroMaydan just wanted to kick the neoliberal can down the road with the only difference that Russian oligarchs should be kicked out, economic ties with Russia severed,  and the EU and US oligarchs brought in.  The fact that their leaders are personally less corrupt does not matter.  They just served as a Trojan horse to let in EU and the USA oligarchs and multinationals. And that was the net result of  EuroMaydan. 

What really happened in Ukraine due to EuroMaydan was the transition from classic neoliberal social system created by Kuchma which was typical for post-Soviet space and pioneered by Yeltsin clan in Russia  (oligarchic capitalism)  to the military plutocracy.  This is the same process that is under way in the USA since 9/11 (when the country was converted from democratic oligarchic capitalism into national security state)  and is typical for any neoliberal country as the net effect of neoliberalism is increase of the debt (debt fuelled growth model). With high level of debt democratic mechanisms  of control of population stop working. So after the level of debt ( and poverty/unemployment) reached certain threshold the switch to national security state model ("militarized plutocracy") is the only way for the neoliberal elite to preserve its dominant position in the society.

I would like to stress that this is the same process of evolution of neoliberalism that started in the USA after 9/11. The elections are now more tightly manipulated by media owners. Existence of a convenient scapegoat make opposition by-and-large fruitless task ("war" mentality: who are not with us, is against us ).  So replacement of the leaders are now allowed only within the narrow circle of the ruling neoliberal elite which deposed both Donetsk and Dnepropetrovsk oligarchic clans which ruled under Yanukovich umbrella  (or at least part of them). In this sense Poroshenko election was exactly what would happen in  the USA in similar circumstances. 

Strangely, the showdown between Timoshenko and Yanukovich was probably the first and the last Ukrainian election, where the neoliberal establishment didn't get their (wo)man. Yanukovich was also neoliberal and as such a second choice of the elite, but not the most desirable candidate.  Timoshenko seemed scared a few powerful people - she is too ruthless and had too many of her own "hungry people"  who wanted to enrich themselves as fast as possible at the expense of existing oligarchs (the sin which Yanukovich clan actually shared with her and that was a key part of his undoing).

Some key establishment players switched sides, allowing Yanukovich to win. The USA did not object as Yanukovich was no less controllable then Timoshenko and in some areas was even preferable (with Joe Biden as a very capable mentor ;-).

But this attitude apparently hanged when he started to demonstrate some level of independence and tried to balance between EU/USA and Russia. Disobedience to Washington Obcom  for which he paid the price.  It was no brainer to organize several oligarchs who were "suppressed" by Yanukovich oligarchic mafia into "resistance movement" and use Ukrainian nationalists (which Yanukovich supported) as the brute force to initiate the "regime change"  As Victoria Nuland famously said "F*ck EU which while it has a different meaning, can also be interpreted as "F*ck EU [aspirations of Ukrainians]" -- the net result of EuroMaydan European aspirations.  The winner was the USA, not EU or Ukrainian people. That was probably the most important geopolitical victory of Obama administration.

What were the triggers of this civil war

Interestingly, it was father of liberalism John Locke, who  provided a philosophical justification for overthrowing the government when it acts against the interests of its citizens. What Locke did not understand is that the next government can be worse. Much worse, if the "revolution" was supported by powerful players who pursue their own geopolitical goals at the expense of the citizens of a particular country.  In many such cases creation of internal civil conflict is a hidden or at least desirable goal as it greatly simplifies looting the country by the comprador elite and  the conversion of the country into the debt slave (this tactics is called "disaster capitalism"). 

It is difficult to talk about a single factor that created Donbass conflict, which later turned into civil war. There were multiple factors that created preconditions to civil war in Ukraine:

  1. Direct pressure from the USA which tried to exploit the  possibility of direct or indirect armed conflict between Ukraine and Russia for their geopolitical interests. So the pressure on Provisional Government to use military force in Donbass probably was immense.  From this point of view Ukraine Civil war can be viewed as textbook case of  "disaster capitalism" in action.  Neoliberals in general, and neoliberal countries in particular (read G7), are ready to use shocks and violence to implement their policies of creating neocolonial states (aka Washington consensus). The most powerful states practice neoliberalization and debt enslavement of the weaker countries.
     
  2. A side effect of the neoliberalization of the country after Kuchma and "fast track" to EU Anschluss adopted by Yanukovich government.  As Wikipedia states "In 2002 Kuchma stated that Ukraine wanted to sign an association agreement with the European Union (EU) by 2003–2004 and that Ukraine would meet all EU membership requirements by 2007–2011.[17] He also hoped for a free-trade treaty with the EU.[17]"  So Yanukovich actions  were essentially continuation of the same policy.  

    An interesting nuance here is that economic difficulties for the ordinary people, including mass unemployment and redistribution of wealth up inherent under any neoliberal or semi-neoliberal regime (and which can be easily amplified by external actions) can also be used for unleashing color revolution against the "corrupt [neoliberal] regime" (as if the next will be less corrupt). Of course this can be done under noble slogans of democratization, "fighting with corruption" (which is endemic  under neoliberalism including the USA and other G7 countries) and "better life promises", which creates a mass support base for the "neoliberal revolutionaries". 

    Essentially this means conversion of Ukraine into "EU village", a resource base of cheap commodities and a very cheap workforce. Starting the same the process that is now fairly advanced in Baltic republics, Poland, Bulgaria, Greece, as well as other central European countries.
     
  3. The slide of Ukraine toward more nationalist government was also facilitated by the global crisis of neoliberalism of 2008. In this respect Ukraine is not that different  from, say, Hungary, or Poland, which also expense a resurgence of nationalist parties.  So the rise of far right nationalism in not exclusively Ukrainian phenomenon, but a global trend caused by the crisis of neoliberalism both as an ideology and as a social system after 2008. So not only EU and the USA machination plus Yanukovich corruption and criminality caused EuroMaydan. It looks like Ukraine just is repeating the political trajectory of Baltic Republics, but  with 23 years delay.  And probably inevitably destined to repeat the mistakes the Baltic countries, especially Latvia, made on this path.
     
  4. The natural result of obtaining independence and subsequent rise of political importance and power (as guarantors of independence from Russia) of Western Ukrainian nationalists Parties and organizations,  previously completely decimated and eliminated as a political force. They were resurrected with the full and enthusiastic support of the Ukrainian State, Ukrainian, especially Canadian and the USA, diaspora (which, like any diaspora, are more radicalized and nationalistic  then people living in Ukraine; in this sense the existence of strong diaspora can be curse for a particular country).  As well as some neoliberal NGO such as Soros foundation, which openly promoted nationalism as a tool to blow off the Soviet Empire. The undisputable fact is that Yanukovich himself did quite a lot for resurrection of Svoboda as a viable political party. Usually this fact is swiped under the carpet by Western MSM, which incorrectly (with complete contempt for evidence) proclaiming him being a pro-Russian political figure. While in reality he was a moderate Ukrainian nationalist, who tried to extract some concession both from Russia and West trying to perform a delicate dance of balancing between them (he failed). In a sense Yanukovich brand of nationalism was not that different from the bran of nationalism which emerged in Dnepropetrovsk and which was represented by Kuchma and later Kolomoiski. The fact that with Svoboda Yanukovich brought into the nest a cuckoo egg escaped this mediocre and corrupt politician (who by the way was under heavy USA influence, with such names as Biden and Manafort and  as mentors and political consultant respectively) .  Luckily he managed to escape the attempt to kill him after the coup. It is kind of unsetting that a politician who used Joe Biden as a political mentor can be attested as pro-Russian.  Which smells with postmodernism "multiple truths" paradigm.
     
  5. Oligarchic republics has their own  dynamic of development and such a development in Ukraine led to the loss of political power of "Donetsk elite". The contributing factors were internal frictions within Donetsk oligarchic clan and the fact that Dnepropetrovsk oligarchs (and first of all Kolomoski) openly sided with nationalists. In other words nationalists were used as the brute force in oligarchic clans struggle to remove Yanukovich as a threat to other oligarchic groups and weaken the Donetsk oligarch clan. Ukraine was and still is an oligarchic republic -- owners of big businesses  have a decisive impact on the politics and economic policies of the government of the country. The Ukrainian oligarchic republic emerged during Leonid Kuchma’s presidency (1994–2004). There were several oligarchic clans in Ukraine with two most important being Donetsk clan (personalized by Akhmetov) and  Dnepropetrovsk clan (personalized by Timoshenko). They were the cornerstones of the Ukrainian oligarchic democracy. Yanukovich, who represented the Donetsk clan and was closely linked to Akhmetov, was not a satisfactory President for other oligarchic groups. Yanukovich attempt to create "the family" as a new  oligarchic group consisting of his sons and loyal politicians were also viewed with great suspicion by other oligarchic groups (see osw.waw.pl for more information)
  6. A "blowback" of the efforts of the USA led global neoliberal empire (of which EU states are vassals) to contain and encircle Russia. We can also view Ukraine as the latest victim of US geopolitics, which is directed on encircling, weakening and/or possible dismembering of Russia as well as German geopolitics with the kind of neoliberal version of "Drang nach Osten"

    Drang nach Osten, (German: “Drive to the East”), German policy or disposition to colonize the Slavic lands east of Germany. The term originally referred to the eastward movement of German settlers in the 12th and 13th centuries but was resurrected by Adolf Hitler in the 20th century to describe his plans for acquiring Lebensraum (“living space”) for Germans.

    Under neoliberalism we are talking not about direct occupation but by opening and dominating Ukrainian market and displacing Russians from this market.

I would like to stress again that EuroMaydan coup d'état represents the greatest success of the US diplomacy (and personally President Obama) in this direction (and an important step in the defense of the global neoliberal empire led by the USA) since the dissolution of the USSR.

The USA managed to turn a large, strategically positioned county into hostile to Russia entity for a tiny sum of around five billion dollars invested in organizing this color revolution (which exploited real dissatisfaction with neoliberalism of Ukrainian population), spinet via multiple years via NGO, MSM and embassies.   Please note that Israel in one year gets more. Later that led to forming in March 2018 of anti-Russian alliance of Geordia-Moldova-Ukraine -- another severe knockdown for Russian diplomacy in the region.  Donbass civil war can be viewed as externality of those geopolitical efforts.  Or desirable, if slightly unexpected,  result.

There were also other contributing  factors such as internal and external pressure on the Provisional Government (and euphoria from Maydan success); the side effect of Putin "overextending" his promises to Donbass residents after Crimea referendum. 

The latter and subsequent betrayal of those "Referendum => Ascendance to Russia" promises were especially tragic.  In other words Putin shares the responsibility for the Donbass civil war.

The inherent political instability of neoliberal governments in post Soviet republics

Looks like deposing the elected government with the hands of disgruntled (and agitated with controlled by NGO "opposition" MSMs) citizens and few financial injections into opposition (with one stash of cash confiscated from Batkivshchyna offices) is a "sure thing". Just a matter of time and skills of more or less competent intelligences agencies operatives of any G7 country.  This way it is possible to change the government  in any xUSSR republic with some even rudimentary democratic structures, which experience slide in the standard of living of population and/or financial difficulties with payments of external debts. Neoliberalism caused gradual sliding of standard of living of population and mass discontent. Which created political instability even in the USA.  And thus opportunity exists to install a more pro-western government with minimal spending of money and resources by any more powerful economically country, which is ready to spend money for such a revolution. Kind of beating the person, who already fall on its knees.  

If this results in a subsequent civil conflict, that OK and does not interfere (actually can greatly help) with getting control over strategic resources that happen to be in this country. Which is all that matter in the large scheme of neoliberal expansion into the country.  So, paradoxically a civil was is even desirable outcome for neoliberal conquistadors (which are no longer persons, but multinationals).  This is the essence of what is called "Disaster Capitalism".

While there are regional variations most of post-Soviet republics are neoliberal oligarchic republics. As such  they have problem both with the  legitimacy of the ruling elite and in  withstanding pressure from major  western countries (where oligarchs  store their assets) to open their markets to transnational corporations and loot the resources.  The looting of Yeltsin Russia is a textbook example here.

It might well be that only "brutal dictatorships" in Western neoliberal oligarchs terms can mount some resistance to such color revolution attempts and "democracy" (the rule of neoliberal elite) is a very bad  idea for a country with a low and sliding standard of living.

Was this conflict inevitable?

As similar tensions exists in Baltic republics, Moldavia and Kazakhstan it looks like some state of development of post Soviet republics with large Russian speaking minority involves some sort of conflict, as this population generally is not inclined to accept more provincial culture and language of the republic in which they are now citizens or permanent  residents (Latvia actually discriminated against Russian minority).  But whether such a conflict results in the armed struggle and separation of some territory depends on additional circumstances, which might be present or not.

Long before Donetsk separatism,  we have a similar situation in Moldavia in the part of the country with dominant Russian speaking population and Abkhazia and South Ossetia in Georgia. In Moldova Russian separatists formed de-facto independent republic (Transnistria - Wikipedia). In Ukraine itself there were tensions due to attempt of "forceful Ukrainization" of  Crimea as to a lesser extent other  Eastern regions (closure of Russian schools, etc). Even in Kiev population which generally is probably more nationalistic than the countryside resented forceful Ukrainization. Especially on the level of university education where it hit the wall of low quality or complete absence  of textbooks, the necessity of inventing "Ukrainian terminology" for technical subjects (instead of switching to English; which would instantly solve most of those problems) and low pay of professors, when those who has some value of the marketplace "en mass" moved to private industries or emigrated.

What Ukraine showed us again is that the distance from minor language related problems to armed conflict can be crossed very quickly even with the complete absence of ethnic tensions, if foreign pressure is applied and favorite conditions arise

What Ukraine showed us again is that the distance from such tensions to armed conflict can be crossed very quickly even with the complete absence of ethnic tensions, if foreign pressure is applied and favorite conditions  arise. That's why sudden appearance of  the scene a government with a couple of mediocre and rather reckless politicians (Yatsenyuk and Turchinov) that  (especially the latter) behaves like a bull in a china store was enough. You can imagine  the situation if Quebec  nationalists came to power and declared French language the only official language of Canada in order to diminish/eliminate  cultural and political influence of the USA on Canada (which is an imperial power and generally is resented in Canada ;-).

The net losers were bottom 80% of Ukrainian population (especially in the area of armed conflict and those who were drafted). Standard of living for whom deteriorated two to three times  in one year after EuroMaydan. The phrase "My zdobuli" (with the meaning "We achieved the victory/independence" and approximate translation "we obtained") now has sarcastic meaning in Ukrainian language.

So the fact that Provisional government come to power in Kiev and in euphoria from their victory immediately started to push Ukrainization further down the road (forgetting that they are essentially puppets installed with the help of the USA and EU) proved to be  powerful enough trigger to light a civil war. Stupid and reckless actions of tandem of
Yatsenyuk and Turchinov when they encountered some resistance only help further to ignite this conflict. They might be advised to do so by their US mentors.  It would be much wiser adding Russian as a state language but also introducing English as a new official language and requiring police and courts to accept it. As well as switch to teaching some subjects in English at high school and universities.  English beats Russian as the main international language of our epoch.

The fact that the Donbass region became an arena of this conflict also was probably more or less accidental. There were no notable ethnic tensions to justify it. Just a mild resentment to forceful Ukrainization on one hand and mild anti-Russian sentiments on another (Russia was and still is one of the most popular destination for Western Ukrainian Gastarbeiters) .  Only later two groups of population ("vatniki" vs. "banderovtsi") became bitterly involved in this conflict and started killing each other. After several years of fighting and several thousands of civilians killed, million or more displaced (with widespread looting or vacant houses and apartments on both sides)  re-integration of this territory into Ukraine looks like a very difficult and very expensive, if not impossible task. Which requires huge investment of money Ukraine does not have and neither US or EU which created this situation are willing to supply and superhuman patience.

So Minsk accords, which proposes as a solution to the conflict by federalizing Ukraine and granting Donbass the status similar to Crimea autonomy in the past as well as general amnesty ( in return for putting down all arms) are probably by-and-large dead and can be used only for political games.  Even conversion of Ukraine into federative republic and granting Donbass the status of autonomy of a type formerly enjoyed by Crimean now is not enough for Donbass residents and represent too big concession for Kiev. Partially because as economic situation deteriorates,  other parts of Ukraine, especially TransCarpatian region might want the same status.

Economic consequences of Donbass conflict: The Ukrainian Second Great Depression

The  most important effect of the EuroMaydan along with dropping of the standard of living of population is an almost complete and long-term breakup of economic and cultural relations with Russia. The process which already started since 1991 and way well under way under Yanukovich. The civil war in Donbass only accelerated and deepened those "pre-existing" trends.

We can view post EuroMaydan event as a Second Great Depression  for Ukrainian population (the  first was after the dissolution of the USSR). Ukrainian GDP dropped considerably after EuroMaydan, although exact figures are difficult to come buy ( see Ukraine GDP 1987-2018). Probably at least 50% in comparison with the level achieved in 2013. So it looks like another Great Depression in Ukraine. Also the fact that it is now under umbrella of EU will might eventually kill some Ukrainian  high tech industries and most of machinery manufacturing including auto industry. Without cooperation with Russia aviation industry is already dead (Ukraine has large Antonov factory in Kiev which produced transport planes and couple of other less important factories in Kharkov). Without Russia cooperation they are mostly gone (some can still service Soviet aircraft but how long it will last ?.  Even advice manufacturing like manufacturing of engines (Motorsich) experience huge difficulties as they lost Russia as a customer and did nit have a replacement or compensation for those lost orders. That was, of course a huge hit for Russia too, as to create the replacement requires time and money.  This is the same process of de-industrialization that we observed in Baltic republics. But it probably will have higher impact on Ukraine as this is a larger country and the loss of Russian market is more critical and is not compensated by EU in any form.

Resulting economic chaos and civil war destroyed the standard of living of the majorly of Ukrainian population and created more then a million of refugees.  Please take into account that one of the driving forces of EuroMaydan was a high unemployment rate in Western Ukraine, where the growth of population was fastest (Uniate religion is close to Catholicism and does not encourage birth control). 

Now the majority of Ukrainian live of less then $2 a day and will do so for many, many years, if not decades.  And that's what makes the whole EuroMaydan and subsequent Donbass conflict especially tragic, as most people who protested Yanukovich government were striving for better life, for lower unemployment  and better economic opportunities for themselves and their children.  And BTW all Donbass residents initially wanted was just a small degree of cultural autonomy and adoption of Russian language as the second state language.  That was all.

Now due to deterioration of economics and flow of refugees both to in central regions of Ukraine (especially Kiev region)  and to Russia we have zugzwang situation both for Ukraine and Donbass. Only external forces can benefit from the continuation of the war, but the common ground to bring parties to the negotiation table was lost.

In other word the net losers of those geopolitical games that created EuroMaydan is, unsurprisingly, the Ukrainian population and, first of all, the population of the Donetsk region.  Common Ukrainians were forced into abject poverty as the result of  a sophisticated geopolitical game played on them with visa free travel and ability to work in EU as a carrot. After EuroMaydan far right nationalism was unleashed to dull the pain of economic rape as some kind of "opium for the masses". It allowed to project the ills brought by more deep neoliberalization of Ukraine and conversion it into a debt slave nation on Russia. As the result the majority of Ukrainian population now is more hostile to Russia.  Of course, Ukrainians were not the first, and they are not the last among the victim of the color revolution for the installation of a "hardcore" neoliberal regime which started with the election of Reagan.  Arab countries such as Libya fared even worse.

It is surprising how resilient Ukrainians proved in such conditions. This was (and is) simply amazing to watch, despite the tragic nature of the situation.  Of course, in a typical development known since WWII Kiev became an even larger sex shop for rich Western tourists and pensioners, than under Yanukovich, but this is also typical for other countries in xUSSR space. Still there were no complete economic collapse after EuroMaydan and most of infrastructure continued to function although in decrepit state and there is no money for its modernization. Railways state is especially tragic. But trains are still running.

How Ukrainians survive food prices that approach the USA prices on their salaries is a question that I cannot answer. Probably some local markets have lower prices and self-grown vegetables help a lot (many Ukrainians has so called "dachas" from Soviet time, typically a plot 600 sq meters (around 6500 sq feet)  where you can grow fruits and vegetables. But transportation costs now bite hard (public transport in Kiev is now around $.20 per ticket.)

Meat consumption for the majority of population is now severely restricted and all poor people can probably afford are just eggs, milk and some pork fat.  Price of chicken meat is almost on the USA level and for a typical pensioner income represents a luxury.

I would like to stress that the process of cultural and economic separation of Ukraine from Russia was well under way since obtaining independence as the result of dissolution of the USSR in 1991 and would occur anyway, but probably will less economic losses for both Ukrainians and Russians.  Those US propaganda tales about Yanukovich government being pro-Russian are just what they are -- fairy tales for badly informed, or brainwashed. No Ukrainian government since independence was pro-Russian. The only variable was the level of anti-Russian sentiments (with Yushchenko Presidency being the most anti-Russian, which is what you can expect from a Western Ukrainian nationalist in power).  Moreover "pro-Russian" Yanukovich  actually supported creation of Western Ukrainian training camps which serve as indoctrination tool of Western Ukrainian youth into anti-Russian mindset.  He also supported Svoboda hoping to beat it in the elections. But they beat him on the barricades playing "divide and conquer" card.

Now Ukraine started the process the results of which we can see in Baltic states: the elimination of Russian culture and language and almost complete economic isolation from Russia (while Russia still remains the largest economic partner), as well as opening the market to Western Europe and the USA on conditions dictated by EU and the USA respectively  (which are clearly neo-colonial conditions).  The key problem with the Ukrainian elite and the population in general is dismal level of knowledge of English language, which prevents receiving many benefits of such an association.  The association remains one way street with EU multinationals  getting the Ukrainian market, and Ukrainians getting nothing in return although "free intellectual property" goods are definitely available and some of them quite valuable.  For example, high quality textbooks for universities (older university textbooks used in the USA before "political correctness" are definitely of higher quality then corresponding Russian textbooks)

In Baltic republics the pain of deindustrialization was smoothed by financial transfers from EU. Ukraine faces full economic consequences of breaking of economic ties with Russia and subsequent gradual elimination of whole sectors of manufacturing which can't compete with EU (which is the most manufacturing sectors and large part of chemical industry; they probably will soon be bought by transnationals) without any compensation and under pressure.  This de-industrialization process already started.  As well as residential building boom which probably can create a bubble in real estate market with the subsequent crash and corresponding consequences.

All economic hopes of EuroMaydan revolution -- higher salaries, more and better jobs, lower prices" were dashed very quickly as grivna was devaluated from 8 per dollar to around over 20 per dollar (currently over 28 per dollar).  And with it the standard of living of the population (although not to the same extent, as food prices were increasing more slowly then devaluation of grivna), but still dramatically.  But it was the  "liberalization" of gas prices for population which let to dramatic jump of the cost of heating of houses and apartments, which in many cases exceeded the size of pensions of people living in those apartments. For many the only way to survive was not to pay.  And still is.  Payment in winter for a modest one bedroom (two rooms and a kitchen) apartment of say 35-40 sq meters exceeds average pension. 

As the result of neoliberal policies pursued by new Provisional government and then Poroshenko government the price of hydrocarbons for consumers (and first of all natural gas which is widely used in heating homes and for cooking) in Ukraine skyrocketed and the cost of heating in winter became a huge problem in many regions and even large cities like Kiev (where salaries are probably 30%-50% higher then at the periphery).   Economic promises of EuroMaydan now can be viewed only a big hoax and Poroshenko can be reelected only via military hysteria and fuelling "Russian threat".  Otherwise he is fully cooked and Timoshenko will be the next President.

The cost of heating on one bedroom apartment (say 35 square meters; around 350 square feet) the last winter exceeded the half of the average monthly salary (or full average pension).  And that's a very modest  apartment  for a family.  See  Cost of Living in Kiev. Updated Prices May 2017 for the current costs. Please note that average salary in Ukraine is around 3000 grivna (higher in Kiev, probably twice higher) or $110 a month (with minimal 1000 grivna or $35 a month which is close to $1 a day -- an absolute, dismal, central African level of poverty; see Average Monthly Salary In Ukraine - Poltava Travel).

With food priced jumped and now in many categories reached the level of the USA (especially for meat; vegetables, especially tomatoes, potato, are probably twice or three times cheaper and are of higher quality). Ukrainians  can only thank IMF for their extreme generosity and valiant efforts in converting them into debt slaves. But that's the nature of neoliberal world order and we can do nothing about it.

Unlike far right forces in Hungary and Poland, Ukrainian far right in this case also proved as close to the neoliberal economics platform as one can get, real neoliberal stooges, which proved to be a really toxic combination.

If Russia cuts supplies of gas via Ukraine (for which Ukraine gets transit fees), or break economic ties with Ukraine, the country might soon be bankrupt. Trump is not willing to compensate for lost revenue and is generally adverse to economic aid. All he wants countries to buy as much the US weapon systems as they can afford and pay for them. His concern is the USA economics , not Ukrainian.  And rightly so. He did sold Ukraine coal to substitute for higher quality Donbass coal at double prices (the process that started under Obama I think; also South African coal was bought, which is cheaper, but of lesser quality).  Now he wants to sell Ukraine modern weapon systems with their exorbitant prices, such as Patriot missiles and helicopters.  Which is completely within the framework of the "The Art of the Deal".

The USA now also supply fuel for the Ukraine nuclear stations, displacing Russia (with some technological risk, associated with the change of the suppler), locomotives and several other types of heavy equipment.  If the developments in Ukraine after EuroMaydan mirror  the same in Eastern European counties Ukrainian energy sector will soon be controlled by foreign multinationals, which will extract "a peace of flesh"  from the population, no matter what. Trump administration also is weighting selling Ukraine advanced weapon, for which Ukraine will need to pay, depraving population of basic needs and fuelling Donbass war (Poroshenko government is locked into "Guns instead of butter policy" and can't change it )

Poroshenko regime, like Yanukovich regime before,  is essentially a (neo)colonial neoliberal administration; only worse

While population hoped for changes of their economic conditions to the better and that was the main reason (along  with typical for color revolutions propaganda about corruption) gave nationalists power, they proved to be a part of compradors. And Ukrainian wealth continued to be plundered just with a little bit different team of players. The terms of trade are very unequal and structure of export from Ukraine significantly deteriorated. The standard of living of population, especially pensioners is simply horrible. As I mentioned before I simply can' t understand how pensioners  can survive in Ukraine.  With typical pension around 1.5K grivna and exchange rate around 28 that comes to $54 a month. Pension of retired professor of the university is around 4K grivna or $142 a month.  That's why Poroshenko regime lost legitimacy and he like used condom will be replaced with another comprador (most probably with Yulia Timoshenko). The level of emigration from Ukraine  the last years is around 1 million people a year is not surprising.

Nationalists proved to be impotent and unable to run the country and instead the country got another neoliberal regime, only worse. Much worse.

As James Petras noted about US LA colonies, "Neo-liberal regimes take power with loud Wall Street cheers and collapse with barely a whimper." Latin America- Rightwing Interlude and the Death Rattle of Neoliberalism (Sept 4, 2018). The conclusions of his article which I highly recommend to read, because methods used in Ukraine  are then same as in Latin America are well worth repeating here:

While financial journalists and private investment consultants express surprise and attribute the ensuring crises to regime 'mistakes' and 'mismanagement', the real reasons for the predictable failure of neo-liberal regimes is a result of fundamental flaws.

De-regulation undermines local industries which cannot compete with Asian, US and EU manufacturers. Increases in the costs of utilities bankrupt small and medium producers. Privatization deprives the state of revenues for public financing. Austerity programs lower deficits, undermining domestic consumption and eliminate fiscal financing.

Capital flight and rising interest rates increases the cost of borrowing and devalues the currency.

Devaluations and capital flight deepen the recession and increase inflation. Finance ministers raid reserves to avoid a financial crash.

Austerity, stagnation, unemployment and social regression provokes labor interest and public-sector strikes. Consumer discontent, bankruptcies lead to deep decline of regime popularity.

As the crises unfolds, the regime reshuffles ministers, increases repression and seeks salvation with IMF financing.

Financiers balk sending good money after bad. The neo-liberal regimes enter in a terminal crisis.

While current neo-liberal regimes appear moribund, they still retain state power, a modicum of elite influence and a capacity to exploit internal divisions among their adversaries.

The anti-neoliberal opposition demonstrates its strength in challenging socio-economic policies but have difficulty in formulating an alternative political economic strategy for state power.Financial editors worry that pressure is building for a social explosion –a reply of Argentina 2001,when the President fled in a helicopter.

Economic and political consequences for Russia

Russia also suffered greatly from breaking ties with Ukraine, but this was Washington geopolitical design. This was kind of knockdown for Putin, his major geopolitical defeat. That standard of living of Russian population achieved at the end of 2013 did not return for the next 5 years and even in 2018 is still lower. Like Ukraine already did,  Russia plans to raise pension age in a typical neoliberal fashion -- without any compensation. 

Economic ties hit Russia directly as export to Ukraine was by-and-large eliminated. Russian multinationals were kicked out in some case their property was confiscated. Relations of Naftogas and Gasprom are commonly called "gas war" (in which Ukraine plays the role of foot soldier of the USA).  Import of strategically important equipment from Ukraine was also gradually eliminated. Export was either eliminated or curtained. The volume of Ukrainian export remain high but it became by-and-large  "colonial export" -- mostly commodities and food. Ukrainians were kicked out from Russian transportation sector with losses for both sides. Now Ukraine import uranium rods for its nuclear electric stations from the USA, and recently started to import coal form the USA too. Paying probably twice more that comparable or higher quality supplies from Russia. I think that it is only a matter of time when the  national energy companies will change hands. Ukraine also started to buy the US arms and all cooperation in arms industry with Russia stopped.   

The level of hostility to Russia which was present even under previous Ukrainian governments (especially Yushchenko), dramatically increased due to civil war in Donbass. For which Russia carry partial blame: when first they encouraged people uprising against Ukrainian nationalists who took power in Kiev via a coup, and then abandoned them limiting themselves to supply of weapons and volunteers despite implicit promises of repeating Crimea scenario, if population vote so in a referendum.  This is a personal fault of Mr. Putin. Donbass occurred on one hand because Putin irresponsible promise that Referendum would be treated just like in Crimea, but then by even more irresponsible behavior of junta (pushed by the USA which pursued their own geopolitical goal in the region in which Ukraine played the role of the patsy the only role of which is to weaken Russia as severely as possible). Far right junta moved army forces to pacify essentially minor conflict which started because of their overzealous application of the language law. There were no even minor ethnic conflict in this region with the rest of the county, which make this civil war and this breakaway region somewhat unique.

Russian now has a huge and long-term problem with Ukraine. This is now a hostile country on the border, another Poland. But even more unpredictable and hostile. And sharing the language means that Ukrainian intelligence agencies represent a huge threat for Russia. Exactly like Washington wanted them to be.  As one member of Obama administration Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia and Ukraine, Evelyn Farkas  (Who the hell is Evelyn Farkas)  boasted "We have very good intelligence on Russia." Which is not bad from the point of preventing WWIII, but also opens the door for various false flag operations under Russian flag, like Russiagate. 

Moreover Donbass conflict became a perfect opportunity for EU to demonstrate its usual level of Russophobia. As Beckow  aptly observer  (June 17, 2018 at 6:01 pm GMT )

...EU wants cheap, reliable energy from Russia and to export to Russia as much as possible without interference from US. That is pure business. But the dominant political forces in EU are anti-Russia, some because they are fed by the security-military-academic spending, some because they 'studied' and were politically formed in US or UK. Some because that's just the way they are.

There is a strong, EU domestic anti-Russian population based on hundreds of years of history, resentment over losses (Germany, Poland, Sweden, Finland), self-brainwashing about perceived abuse (Poland, Baltics, eastern Europeans in general), hatred and contempt towards anything 'eastern', and the traditional Anglo anti-Russian policies. Recently new emotional hatreds have been added with endless demonizing Russia about xenophobia, hooligans, gays, stray dogs, anything the creative propagandists can push. Most Europeans turn out on reflection to be quite gullible and stupid.

There are a few minor exceptions and some Latin nations are more level headed. There is also a minority view in the German world, mostly based on their business realism that is neutral toward Russia, but not pro-Russian. There will be no political rapprochement between EU and Russia. There will be better business relations because water flows downhill and EU-Russia economic ties are such an obvious fit. The cultural hatred and political hostility will go on.

After WWII it took most Europeans less than a generation to revert to the traditional anti-Russian attitudes. In some cases, nations that were literally saved from extermination were more resentful than grateful. In Poland it took less than a year, in Czech Republic 20 years, but the old visceral hatreds emerged again.

My advise to Russia would be to mind its own business and not try to sacrifice for the others or to help them. It has always backfired because the cultural milieu in Europe is naturally resentful of Russia and the east in general. Business doesn't change that.

In other words the Ukrainian civil war triggered resurgence of pre-existing anti-Russian forces in Europe. Contrary to a widespread myth, European business interests do not represent a powerful anti-Russophobic force. The cancellation of SouthStream and Russian troubles with NorthStream II clearly attest that. While anti-Russian sanctions have cost Europe billions, there is no countervailing force that  can stop sanctions. Also the US influence is way to big for most European governments even to try. This is why for years now various EU politicians and public figures have made some noises about lifting the sanctions, but when it came to the vote – they all voted as told by the real bosses.

But this major  geopolitical victory of the Obama administration may eventually turn into Pyrrhic victory as it facilitated re-rapprochement of Russia and China. With some signs of an economic and military union. Still Obama managed first to stage color revolution in Russia (which failed and ambassor McFaul eventually booted from the country, but was no small feat) and  then to inflict real and substantial economic and political damages to Russia via Ukrainian civil war.  At minimal costs to the USA.

The Ukrainian  civil war disrupted many vital supply lines from Ukraine which were inherited from the USSR times.  Replacing them with native production, or other foreign sources takes both time and money.  Even Russian military-industrial complex was slightly disrupted as some types of engines were produced only in Ukraine (but Russians got the signal that supplies from Ukraine for Russian military industrial complex will be in 2005 with the election of Yushchenko, so they have has a decade to prepare for such a move). But the damage in "leaking vital technologies" still was done -- in the USSR years Ukraine (unlike Baltic republics) was treated like almost equal partner and now at the moment of dissolution had many critical USSR military technologies available.  Which now probably found new homes outside Ukraine, as Ukraine was always desperate for money and sold everything that can find a foreign buyer, including a large part of the military arsenal inherited from the USSR. 

In turn Ukrainian civil war also led to growth of anti-Americanism within normally pro-American part of Russian population. And some cooling of normally very friendly relations with Ukrainian industrialists and gastarbeiters. Of course, Russian wave of anti-Americanism never reached even one tenth of the Neo-McCarthyism witch hunt current in the USA. Where a simple contact with the Russian ambassador is as close to the treason as one can get ;-). Russian elite generally tries to cool down hot heads, understanding the key role of the USA as the major country in Western block as well as the technological powerhouse.  And the fact is that after Yeltsin years of economic rape of Russia it remains weak economically and depends on the West in major technologies.

But still growing anti-Ukrainian and anti-American sentiments  in Russia represent  an important political factor... and probably like growing hostility of Ukrainian population toward Russia is also a long time factor. Which will survive when Putin leaves that political scene, and might even be amplified.

First of all this  factor almost completely eliminated political influence of Russian neoliberals (aka "Liberasts") for probably a decade or more. They now are not  visible politically; just look at the most recent Russian Presidential elections. Unlike in 2012, where they were very active and enjoyed support of US NGO (now kicked out of the country) and financial support from Western embassies, during the last Presidential election they were a sad joke. Even for such a major player in Russian politics as USA embassy support of neoliberal fifth column become more difficult and requires more inventive schemes, especially in transferring  funds.  Now Russian neoliberals (including former cabinet members such as Kudrin) are viewed by population even less charitable than lobbyists of the foreign interest in Russia (aka fifth column) and more like traitors.

Paradoxically Russia did not block Ukrainian gastarbeiters, despite rather high level of unemployment and economic recession. Generally in economic relations with Ukraine  Russia  tried not to rock the boat. Which just allowed full freedom to rock it by Ukrainian side as if cutting economic relations with the largest neighbor and dominant in the region country is something that might be economically beneficial to Ukraine in a long run, outside plain political revenge motives. 

In any case, even without open military confrontation,  this civil war in Donbass guarantees that economic relations of Ukraine with Russia will continue to be in the deep freeze for the foreseeable future. While state relations now are marketed by open hostility on the part of Ukrainian State and  attempt to undermine Russia where they can.

 And Ukrainian  security services do have an opportunity to inflict a damage on Russia. although fear of retaliation might keep them in check. Still they provides great help the USA neocons, supplying all kind of damaging information, which helps to  turn Russia into the enemy of choice once again (despite Russia being yet another neoliberal country), much like the USSR once was during the Cold War. So it is a part of Cold War II.

Far right nationalists as patsies of neoliberals

It is interesting and pretty surprising that that ethno-linguistic nationalism proved to be not always an opponent of neoliberal globalization. Especially in emigrant/diaspora communities. For example Canadian Ukrainian nationalists (which are more radical nationalists and more Russia-hating than most Ukrainians) played far from constructive role in Ukrainian political life. Emigration breeds political extremism and combination of inflow of political extremists with economic adventurists seeking "make money fast" ventures proved to be really toxic for Ukraine. Theoretically Ukrainian nationalism should know the lessons from being a neighbor of a powerful nation with the large territory (the USA) and the problems with the sovereignty that such an "oversized" neighbor creates (As   noted  Washington treats Canada like a vassal, though most Canadians don’t seem to care). And they should be voice of reason in relations between Ukraine and Russia. But this was not the case. Canadian nationalists most put gasoline on nationalistic fire which started in Ukraine with the obtaining independence.  Geography is a destiny in some way. It is sad that they like to fight with Russia until the last Ukrainian, excluding themselves and their families.  It is the same problem as female chickenhawks in the US government: female neocons are even more militaristic and chauvinistic then their male counterparts (look at Victoria Nuland, or Hillary Clinton).

Far right  nationalists were quickly sidelined by hard core neoliberals led by Yatsenyuk and lost any influence on economic policy.  Like Germans say "The Moor has done his duty, the Moor can go".  And Yatsenyuk was a neoliberal who only pretended to be nationalist (much like his former boss Yulia Timoshenko). 

While Yatsenyuk was a fake nationalist, he was forced to act as the real one: Provisional government did send the army to fight and die in Donbass region. As a result we have what we have: neoliberalization, conversion of the country into a debt slave, loss of Crimea and the civil war in Donbass region in a country with no ethnic conflicts before EuroMaydan.  And Poroshenko government has even less sovereignty then the corrupt Yanukovich regime.  It's completely subservient to the USA and IMF. While Ukraine now is full member of "debt slave" club (Yanukovich government actually managed to shrink national debt a little bit; at least not to enlarge it).

But an important fact is that all such color revolutions, being part of "disaster capitalism" games bring more poverty and sufferings (often with the possibility of civil war) to the population. So they are essentially a counter-revolution, or more precisely revolutions by financial oligarchy against people. But that becomes evident to agitated population only when it is too late (and  now many Ukrainians are longing for the return of the times  of "corrupt Yanukovich regime").   The Yanukovich story proves that it is really dangerous to by a "half-neoliberal" and only "half of a dictator" (actually Yanukovich proved to be a despicable coward, who only accidentally, by pure luck,  escaped the destiny of colonel Kaddafi.).  As unforgettable Bush II used to say You're either with us, or against us.

Due to civil war Ukraine lost probably up to a hundred thousand people and a couple of millions were displaced.  It also lost several hundred billion dollars as economic consequences of the war. Some found refuge in Russia, some in central and western regions of Ukraine, but their social status and well-being were severely affected by this displacement.  Tiny percentage managed to emigrate the western countries, which are not that eagerly accepting a stream of Ukrainian refugees.  Which they essentially created (making the situation very similar with Syria).  Please note that there was no ethnic or religious tensions in Donbass under previous governments, which can at least partially justify this civil war. It really is an 100% artificial creation, driven by the USA and EU geopolitical moves in the region as well as Russia counter moves.  

Ukrainian nationalists also played pretty destructive role facilitating the abrupt and compete cut of economic relations with Russia, ignoring devastating economic consequences of such a move.  If Russia reciprocated by prohibiting Ukrainian nationals to work in Russia and cutting the supply of gas via Ukraine, that might well lead to the bankruptcy of the country and splitting it into several independent statelets with Western Ukraine probably being the first,  or the second.  So much for "Shche ne vmerla Ukraina".  The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

When Poroshenko became a legitimate President via nationwide election (Yanukovich formally remained the legitimate president until this moment, because he was alive and did not abdicate his post) he became the hostage of old policies of Provisional government and the USA puppet, despite having initial reservations about both.  Some oligarchs clearly decided to pour more kerosene on fire, especially Ihor Kolomoyskyi

New troubles for nationalist government in Kiev are on horizon as Trump administration might not willing to pay Ukraine the money which were flowing to the country as low percent loans under Obama administration. As the same time they are encouraging the Ukrainian government to buy as much of US arms and other goods (trains, coal, fuel for nuclear stations, etc) as possible. They will sell it even natural gas, if possible. At double prices. 

As the result a severe pension crisis might loom on the horizon even taking into account miserable level of pensions in Ukraine.  In case the EU does not come to the rescue, many Ukrainian pensioners will simply starve. 

Transition from semi-independent state to "debt slave"

In no way Yanukovich's Ukraine should be viewed as a sovereign state. At best I would call it "semi-independent". The USA actually has a big, if not decisive, influence on Ukrainian foreign policy. From this point of view EuroMaydan changed very little. After Kuchma Ukraine was already in semi-colonial state with most important decisions dictated by "Washington Obcom" (Joe Biden was a big friend and mentor of Yanukovich until he put a knife into his back; Manafort was a US political operative who managed Yanukovich election campaign; both names are hardly Russian).   And Marafort was probably closely connected to the US intelligence agencies and did pressed Yanukovich to pursue pro-US policies especially economic cooperation with EU.  The Mueller Indictments Still Don’t Add Up to Collusion The Nation:

There is widespread supposition that Manafort's dealings in Ukraine make him a prime candidate for collusion with Moscow. But that stems from the mistaken belief that Manafort promoted Kremlin interests during his time in Kiev. The opposite appears to be the case. The New York Times recounts that Manafort "pressed [then–Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor] Yanukovych to sign an agreement with the European Union that would link the country closer to the West -- and lobbied for the Americans to support Ukraine's membership."

If that picture is accurate, then Manafort's activities in Ukraine during the period for which he has been indicted were diametrically opposed to the Kremlin's agenda.

due to level of his corruption and cronyism Yanukovich in late 2013 and early 2014 was deeply unpopular and posed to be defeated in the next Presidential elections.

In a way this new geopolitical arrangement represent the reversal of the result of WWII and partial accomplishment of the goals of Nazi Germany as for Slavic people in Ukraine and Russia. The net result is close -- abysmal poverty of the majority of population. But without planned by Nazi Germany extermination of Slavic population to make space for German colonists (essentially Hitler plan was a plagiarism from the USA colonial past; with Slavonic nations instead of Indians). Remember General Plan Ost ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generalplan_Ost):

German Plan Ost to exterminate ” inferior races ”

Percentages of ethnic groups to be destroyed and/or deported to Siberia by Nazi Germany from future settlement areas.[15][16][3]

Ethnic group/Nationality Population percent subject to removal

Russians[17][16]           50–60% to be physically eliminated and another 15% to be sent to Western Siberia
Estonians[3][18]            almost 50%
Latvians[3]                    50%
Czechs[16]                   50%
Ukrainians[16]              65%
Belarusians[16]            75%
Poles[16]                     20 million, or 80–85%
Lithuanians[3]              85%
Latgalians[3]                100%

The country was forcefully  converted into the debt slave without any chances to get out, another "neo-colony" with formal sovereignty as a fig leaf and nationalism as "opium for the people".   Neoliberal colony controlled via financial instruments and local fifth column of compradors instead of occupation army. Ukraine now repeats the history of Latin America: borrow billions of dollars from foreign banks, hand the money to the wealthy who immediately deposit it right back to foreign banks, and let the ordinary people pay back the principal and interest.

The EU desire to increase the pace of colonizing Ukraine played a very important role in unleashing this civil war. EU along with  the USA was instrumental in bringing far right junta to power  as they correctly assumed that being in economics ersatz-nationalists they will suite EU economic interests better then Yanukovich government.   EU Anschluss  agreement turns Ukraine into market for EU goods and  source of  cheap raw materials. It is undeniable that under the slogans of democratization EU played a sinister, neo-colonial role in EuroMaydan color revolution. Especially such countries as Poland, Sweden and Germany. Which encouraged and participated in financing of the coup against the corrupt Yanukovich regime clearly understanding that the next regime might be even worse, equally incompetent and no less corrupt, but were pursuing their own regional interests, which at the time coincided with the USA geopolitical interests and have had a distinct anti-Russian angle (especially for Poland and Sweden). At the expense of ordinary Ukrainians who became pawns in a bigger geo-political game. That reminds me  XIX century colonial policies of European powers.  Just on a new level.

EU honchos correctly assumed that weakened after 1991 Russia with not cease supplying hydrocarbons to EU as the result of the coup and the Russian sanctions, if any, will be minor (they were limited to food items so far) and Russia can't stop importing high technology goods and machinery from the EU and the USA.  Poland economics also depends on Russian gas and transit fees and that cut would be a serious economic hit, although not to the extent of the same for Ukrainian economics, but Poland government decided to take this risk and won.  Also the level of hate of Russia of Polish elite traditionally is one of the highest in Europe (although it is not yet shared by most of Polish population). Just looks as such figure as former minister of foreign affairs in Tusk government Radoslaw Sikorski who was instrumental in forcing Yanukovich into complete capitulation (masked as an agreement with opposition leaders about peaceful transition of power via forthcoming Presidential elections (which Yanukovich would definitely lose), but which opposition did not intended to obey and used to depose him as police was withdrawn and did not defend government quarters (unlike President Salvador Allende, who was one of the first victims of neoliberal coup d'état, Yanukovich proved to be despicable coward, but  that's another story).  According  to Wikipedia:

Sikorski was involved in the events of the winter 2014 Ukraine Euromaidan protests at the international level. He signed on 21 February along with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich and opposition leaders Vitaly Klitchko, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, and Oleg Tyagnibok as well as the Foreign Ministers of Russia, France and Germany a memorandum of understanding to promote peaceful changes in Ukrainian power.[60]

In other words there are no good guys in this story, Yanukovich, Russia, the USA, the EU, provisional government and Poroshenko all were essentially hostile to the interests of the Ukrainian population and were instrumental in driving the population to a really abject, African level poverty. They all conspired to inflict hardships on Ukrainian population.  Ukrainian neoliberal oligarchy proved to be pretty destructive to the country, which reminds me the situation in Greece. And the country now is the same debt slave as Greece.  With the only difference that there is no civil war in Greece.

Shadow of Transdnistia

Trnasdnistia is a region of Moldavia which became informally independent after the dissolution of the USSR (Transnistria - Wikipedia )

After the dissolution of the USSR, tensions between Moldova and the breakaway Transnistrian territory escalated into a military conflict that started in March 1992 and was concluded by a ceasefire in July of the same year. As part of that agreement, a three-party (Russia, Moldova, Transnistria) Joint Control Commission supervises the security arrangements in the demilitarised zone, comprising twenty localities on both sides of the river. Although the ceasefire has held, the territory's political status remains unresolved: Transnistria is an unrecognized but de facto independent semi-presidential republic with its own government, parliament, military, police, postal system, currency and vehicle registration.[11][12][13][14] Its authorities have adopted a constitution, flag, national anthem, and coat of arms. It is the only country still using the hammer and sickle on its flag.

The problem of Donbass became frozen and with so much blood spilled by both sides re-incorporation of the region into Ukraine became exceedingly difficult task which need huge amount of money, money that neither the EU which facilitated this crisis, not the US who fanned insurgency against Yanukovich regime pursuing its own geopolitical interests are willing to pay. Shelling by Ukrainian side also does not help to resolve tension (and reciprocated by shelling  from separatists side) with people killed on the both sides.  Idea of conquering Donbass by military force might  succeed at great cost at blood and treasure, but also might end the same way as attempt for Georgia to conquer Abkhazia.

Attempts to solve the conflict by military means first by Provisional government (which was pretty stupid move, as initially the conflict was minor and could be solve by minor concessions) and then by Poroshenko administration (which inherited the problem from nationalistic hawks from Provisional government) put Ukrainian economics into a bigger and bigger hole.  and remember the initial issue was just a status of Russian language in the region. nothing else.  That reminds me medieval religious wars. So far the net result is loss of Crimea, destroyed industrial region and several millions of displaced population. The initial attempt to crush Donbass by Yatsenyuk-Turchinov Provisional government (which was pushed by the USA) failed dismally.

Here is how PaulR analyzed the situation if his article A question of attitude (Aug 24, 2018):

A couple of Ukraine-related items caught my attention this week.

The first is a report by Baylor University professor Serhiy Kudelia which discusses how to bring peace to Donbass. Kudelia starts by saying that Western states have regarded the resolution of the war in Donbass as being dependent on changing Russian behaviour. This is insufficient, he says, for 'the successful reintegration of Donbas into Ukraine rests on designing a new institutional framework that can provide long-term guarantees to civilians and separatist insurgents.' Kudelia says that academic literature on conflict resolution would suggest four elements to such a framework:

  1. Autonomy for Donbass within Ukraine. Such autonomy would come with risks, by entrenching local rulers with patronage networks outside of central control and with the means to challenge central authority. To reduce these risks, Kudelia suggests giving autonomy not just to the territories currently controlled by the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics (DPR & LPR), but to the whole of Donbass, thereby bringing within the autonomous region some more pro-Ukrainian elements of the population as well as groups not connected to the DPR/LPR power structures. He also suggests devolution of power within the autonomous region to weaken the potentially disruptive consequences of hostile elements controlling the region's government.
  2. Transformation of the rebel state and military structures into political parties. Experience in other countries suggests that when this happens, the prospects of a successful transition increase substantially.
  3. Comprehensive and unconditional amnesty for everyone involved in the war. For obvious reasons, rebel leaders won't agree to the first two proposals without an amnesty. Past experience speaks to the necessity of this measure.
  4. No elections in Donbass for two to three years. Kudelia notes that, 'Holding elections in a volatile post-conflict environment creates ample opportunities for voter intimidation, electoral fraud, and disinformation campaigns that could build on conflict-related divisions.' Kudelia doesn't say who would rule Donbass in the meantime. I would have to assume that it would mean that the existing authorities would remain in place. That could be problematic.

With the exception of that last point, these are sensible suggestions. But when boiled down to their essentials, they don't differ significantly from what is demanded in the Minsk agreements -- i.e. special status for Donbass and an amnesty. As such, while I don't think that the leadership of the DPR and LPR would like these proposals, my instincts tell me that they would be quite acceptable to the Russian government, which would probably be able to coax the DPR and LPR into agreeing to them. If implemented, the results would be something Moscow could portray as a success of sorts.

And there's the rub. For that very reason, I can't see Kiev agreeing to any of this. Kudelia's argument is founded on the idea that there's more going on in Donbass than Russian aggression. Accepting that something has to be done to 'provide long-term guarantees to civilians and separatist insurgents' means accepting that there are civilians and insurgents who need reassuring, not just Russian troops and mercenaries. And that means changing the entire narrative which Kiev has adopted about the war. So while Kudelia's proposals make sense (after all, what's the alternative? How could Donbass be reintegrated into Ukraine without autonomy and an amnesty?), what's lacking is any sense of how to get there.

A large part of the problem, it seems, is the attitude in Kiev. This becomes very clear in the second item which caught my attention -- an article on the website Coda entitled 'Now Healthcare is a Weapon of War in Ukraine.' The article describes how the DPR and LPR are encouraging Ukrainians to come to rebel territory to receive free medical treatment, and then using this as propaganda to win support for their cause. This is despite the fact, as the article shows, that the medical facilities in the two rebel republics are in a very poor state. Author Lily Hyde isn't able to confirm how many Ukrainians have taken up the rebel offer of free medical aid, but does repeat a claim by the rebel authorities that 1,200 people have done so.

What interests me here is not the sensationalist headlines about healthcare being weaponized, but the question of why Ukrainians might feel it necessary to go to the effort of crossing the front lines to get treatment. And the article provides an answer, namely that parts of Donbass 'are trapped in a precarious limbo, still under Ukrainian government control but cut off from key services like healthcare.' The war destroyed much of the healthcare system in Donbass, but 'Ukraine provides no financial or other incentives for medics to work in frontline areas', and has done little to repair shattered infrastructure. Healthcare seems to be a lower priority than fighting 'terrorism'.

While the DPR and LPR use healthcare as a 'weapon' by providing it to people, Kiev has 'weaponized' health in another way -- by depriving people of it. As the article reports:

Kiev has not outlawed receiving medical treatment in occupied Donetsk or Luhnaks. But collaborating with the separatists -- or supporting their propaganda efforts -- is illegal. How exactly such charges are defined is not clear, but past experience has taught both individuals and organizations to be wary of such accusations. The Ukrainian authorities have investigated non-governmental organizations (NGOs) based in Ukraine who have provided foreign-funded medicines and other supplies to occupied Donetsk and Luhansk. NGOs working there have been banned by the de fact authorities [of the DPR and LPR] on similar charges. Doctors have found themselves placed on blacklists by both Ukrainian officials and the separatists, accused of being 'terrorist collaborators' by one side, or of being spies by the other.

Hyde contrasts the Ukrainian government's policies towards the DPR and LPR with that of Georgia, where:

The government offers free healthcare for people from Abkhazia, a breakaway territory it still claims which is now under de facto Russian occupation. The government is building a modern hospital in the nearest town to the boundary line, aimed at people from Abkhazia.

Essentially, says Hyde, it's 'a question of attitude'. She cites Georgy Tuka, Ukraine's Deputy Minister for Temporarily Occupied Territories -- '"There's a wish to punish people," Tuka acknowledged.'

That's quite an admission from a government minister.

Even if the details need fleshing out, the institutional framework required to reintegrate Donbass into Ukraine has been pretty obvious for a long time now. The problem has been getting people to accept it. It is indeed, therefore, 'a question of attitude'. Sadly, the prevailing attitude stands firmly in the way of the institutional changes required for peace. The desire seems to be to punish people, not to reach agreement with them in order to promote reintegration and reconciliation. The issue, then, is whether this attitude can be changed (and if so, how) or whether it is now so firmly entrenched that there is nothing which can be done. Sadly, I fear that it may be the latter.

Can anything be done about this situation?

Economically the situation for Ukrainian population is really grim. No question about it.

To preserve the political stability of Ukraine and to start climbing out of the debt  hole (or at least stop digging it deeper) the slide in the standard of living of population needs to be stopped. It is easy to say but very difficult to accomplish. The status of "debt slave" leaves very little space for maneuvering. It also makes more difficult taming the political influence of oligarchs, halting  the war and cutting military expenses. Those three might be steps in the right direction.

The restoration of the standard  of living of population at least to the level achieved under Yanukovich would be the best revenge (before oil prices collapse, I saw figures that suggested that Russia has had the highest standard of living among xUSSR countries, above $1K a month (close to 2K in Moscow) with free university education and basic medical care and a large paid vacation for full time workers.

I do not know much about Russia but after the oil prices collapse officially median salary dropped to say 23500/50=$470  or approximately 50% (Зарплаты в России — Русский эксперт) a month in 2016;  they gradually rose in 2017 and 2018 due to growth of oil prices are still nowhere close to 2013 level ($23K a year).  And purchasing power of $500 in Russia is probably around $1K-1.5K in comparison with the USA or two to three times higher then in the USA (the same is true in Ukraine). This might be the benchmark to strive for.

From the other point  of view, the transfer of Ukraine to a colony of EU is probably the event that should have been expected after the dissolution of the USSR and now needs to be played with cool head and skilled hands.  There is some small space for maneuvering even if this dismal colonial situation too. The task of extracting maximum benefits from this status and minimizing the damage is difficult, but not impossible. But this needs talented politicians and cooperation of different  political parties, who areas in which Ukraine currently is severely lacking.

NOTE: In Eastern Europe there are very few regions which does not changed hands several times in the last, say, 300 years. And as balance of power after the dissolution of the USSR dramatically changed in favor of EU it is natural that it started absorbing the countries of the former Warsaw block and some former Soviet republics. For example, Baltic countries are only nominally sovereign and are by-and-large ruled from what is called "Brussels Obcom." With the current wave of neo-colonialism I would say that this EU might well continue this process with Moldavia, Belorussia, and Armenia, as another possible "associated states" after Ukraine (Georgia actually is already in EU orbit). Getting EU into "stans" might provoke a strong reaction from China, so EU probably with tread more carefully in this space. 


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[Nov 13, 2019] Vindman in his opening remarks made it clear that the consensus policy of experts (like John Bolton) had been following an agenda from the Obama administration (or before, but implemented under Obama, Biden and Nuland) and it is verboten to change anything, despite these people at best only having advisory roles. The Ukrainian Americans involved in the coup are deeply committed since 2014, and they expect to reap the benefits and are probably much more corrupt than Ukrainians governing their country before 2014.

Notable quotes:
"... So the Ukrainians traded their corrupt Ukrainian elected President, mostly accumulating stuff in Ukraine, for corrupt neocon/ neolib Democrat bureaucrats and Ukrainian/ Americans, who now cannot be denied their pound of flesh (which will quickly exit Ukraine, taking much of that country's value with it). ..."
"... Even the anti-corruption agencies are corrupt! So American policy now is set by such bureaucrats, who not only play military adventurism games (to justify all that money in loans, grants, and weapons), but even pass the corruption level of the Native Ukrainians in skimming that incoming money and getting rich, and of course steal whatever isn't nailed down (American policy as previewed in "Confessions of an Economic Hitman"). ..."
Nov 13, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

michael , November 13, 2019 at 10:50

"to a one they are turf-conscious careerists who think they set U.S. foreign policy and resent the president for intruding upon them. It is increasingly evident that Trump's true offense is proposing to renovate a foreign policy framework that has been more or less untouched for 75 years (and is in dire need of renovation)."

This may be even worse than Lawrence depicts. It is clear that Vindman in his opening remarks made it clear that the consensus policy of experts (like John Bolton) had been following an agenda from the Obama administration (or before, but implemented under Obama, Biden and Nuland) and it is verboten to change anything, despite constitutionally these people at best only having advisory roles to the President (and constitutionally the President can ask for their opinions in writing; CYA even back then!) The Ukrainian Americans involved in the coup (national security from Vindman's perspective) are deeply committed since 2014, and they expect to reap the benefits with no interference from Trump. And the Democrats/ Ukraine-Americans "running the show" are probably much more corrupt than Ukrainians governing their country before 2014.

I have started Oliver Bullough's "Money Land" and was aghast at the luxury items Yanukovich had stolen through corruption and accumulated at his many properties. Surely with so much money going to corrupt Yanukovich and his henchmen, the coup would have been a blessing for the Ukrainian people! Right? I was shocked to find that after the overthrow of Yanukovich in 2014, the median per capita household income in Ukraine, which had risen steadily from $2032 in 2010 to $2601 in 2013, had dropped over 50% to $1110 to $1135 in 2015 and 2016, and has only risen to $1694 in 2018 (ceicdata.com).

So the Ukrainians traded their corrupt Ukrainian elected President, mostly accumulating stuff in Ukraine, for corrupt neocon/ neolib Democrat bureaucrats and Ukrainian/ Americans, who now cannot be denied their pound of flesh (which will quickly exit Ukraine, taking much of that country's value with it).

Even the anti-corruption agencies are corrupt! So American policy now is set by such bureaucrats, who not only play military adventurism games (to justify all that money in loans, grants, and weapons), but even pass the corruption level of the Native Ukrainians in skimming that incoming money and getting rich, and of course steal whatever isn't nailed down (American policy as previewed in "Confessions of an Economic Hitman").

[Nov 09, 2019] The problem with re-unifying the country is the nationalists are quite hostile to what it sees as unUkrainian elements, namely Russian speakers

Nov 09, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

Lee A. Arnold 11.09.19 at 2:33 am

stephen t johnson #77: "Whatever military assistance Russia gives the rebels is about making sure they don't go too the left in fighting the fascists and making sure there are no embarrassing wave of Russian-speaking refugees from Ukrainian fascism."

Putin is really afraid of leftism among Russian Ukrainians, and the "embarrassment" of an exodus into Russia? Your whole paragraph stirs propagandistic bits of excuse-mongering into an illogical mash. Look, Ukraine is a long complicated discussion but a simple overview is that most of the country wants to ally with the EU and the eastern portion wants to ally with Russia. Yes, there is a lot of corruption. Yes, Euromaidan (pro-EU) was probably 1/3 far right. Yes, there are fascist parties. But the majority of the people want democracy and not fascism. Instead these poor people got Zelensky being extorted by yet another thug.

(Vindman is correct, this is another disaster by Trump with longterm consequences for US foreign policy. While the US Republicans have also gone thug, saying it's no big deal.)

If the Steinmeier formula holds and there are free elections in Donbass and the majority votes for kicking out Putin, do you think Putin going to withdraw his Russian Army regulars? Accompanying the annexation of Crimea was Putin's long letter to the international community justifying his action because there were "nationalists, neo-Nazis, Russophobes, and anti-Semites" who are committing "pogroms and terror". This now appears to be mostly fiction (perhaps enhanced by Putin's agent provocateurs).

Indeed according to Haaretz the Jews in Ukraine including Crimea wrote Putin a letter to tell him to "get lost". https://www.haaretz.com/.premium-the-jews-who-said-no-to-putin-1.5333547

Lee A. Arnold 11.09.19 at 2:33 am 80

stephen t johnson #77: "Whatever military assistance Russia gives the rebels is about making sure they don't go too the left in fighting the fascists and making sure there are no embarrassing wave of Russian-speaking refugees from Ukrainian fascism."

Putin is really afraid of leftism among Russian Ukrainians, and the "embarrassment" of an exodus into Russia? Your whole paragraph stirs propagandistic bits of excuse-mongering into an illogical mash. Look, Ukraine is a long complicated discussion but a simple overview is that most of the country wants to ally with the EU and the eastern portion wants to ally with Russia.

Yes, there is a lot of corruption. Yes, Euromaidan (pro-EU) was probably 1/3 far right. Yes, there are fascist parties. But the majority of the people want democracy and not fascism.

Instead these poor people got Zelensky being extorted by yet another thug. (Vindman is correct, this is another disaster by Trump with long term consequences for US foreign policy.

While the US Republicans have also gone thug, saying it's no big deal.) If the Steinmeier formula holds and there are free elections in Donbass and the majority votes for kicking out Putin, do you think Putin going to withdraw his Russian Army regulars? Accompanying the annexation of Crimea was Putin's long letter to the international community justifying his action because there were "nationalists, neo-Nazis, Russophobes, and anti-Semites" who are committing "pogroms and terror".

This now appears to be mostly fiction (perhaps enhanced by Putin's agent provocateurs). Indeed according to Haaretz the Jews in Ukraine including Crimea wrote Putin a letter to tell him to "get lost". https://www.haaretz.com/.premium-the-jews-who-said-no-to-putin-1.5333547

steven t johnson 11.09.19 at 4:44 pm 81 ( 81 )

Lee Arnold@80 "Putin is really afraid of leftism among Russian Ukrainians, and the "embarrassment" of an exodus into Russia? "

Yes, Putin does not want wholesale expropriation of oligarchs, as he does not stand for that in Russia (selective prosecution sufficient to appear to be a defender of the people and serve as a stick -- accompanied by carrots -- to negotiate oligarch support. Also, Putin doesn't even want to pay pensions, he certainly doesn't want the embarrassment of refugees neglected, or worse, costing.

This point rests on the premise Putin isn't a right-winger, which is absurd.

"If the Steinmeier formula holds and there are free elections in Donbass and the majority votes for kicking out Putin, do you think Putin going to withdraw his Russian Army regulars?" https://www.rferl.org/a/what-is-the-steinmeier-formula-and-did-zelenskiy-just-capitulate-to-moscow-/30195593.html This source may not be right-wing enough for your tastes, of course. But for the rest of us, it suggests that an if centered on the Steinmeier formula is disingenuous in itself.

It's not even clear that Zelensky hasn't rejected the Steinmeier formula! The problem with re-unifying the country is the fascist regime is quite hostile to what it sees as unUkrainian elements, namely Russian speakers. National purity are favorite fascist principles but none of the rest of us are required to accept them. Your belief that an election supervised by the fascist regime is free and fair is wrong, no matter what you imply. And frankly, the notion the OSCE is surely neutral is dubious too.

There was never any reliable evidence of any significant numbers of regulars moving into Donetsk and Lugansk, because no, media reports are not reliable when addressing official enemies. It is almost certain there are advisors and mercenaries, copying the US model, but they are not what is generally meant by an invasion. They have not stakes out a separate territory as the US territory did in Syria. There are military reasons for setting up a perimeter, for mission security if nothing else. In short, there is in fact quite simple reasons for thinking, yes, Putin would stop spending money on Donetsk and Lugansk, and save on weapons and withdraw his advisers.

Further, the casualties in the Russian Army's officer corps by the way would end up being known to the Russian Army, and eventually everyone else concerned. But they're not. Equally, the large numbers of regulars alleged would have been in the recent prisoner exchange, but they weren't. Some of those as I recall had been arrested merely for subversion, not taken prisoner of war. Casualties of course are not the only costs to Putin, there also being the money and weapons. The thing is of course, these are all excellent reasons for Putin to withdraw. You are tacitly presuming the conclusion, that Putin is a crazed warmonger unable even to calculate self-interest. Substituting scorn for analysis is not becoming.

"Yes, there are fascist parties." This is entirely misleading. There are fascist armed formations incorporated into the Ukrainian army, financed privately.

The notion that Kyiv is just democracy is a nice example of the overlap between what fancies itself to be liberalism-not-neo, or even left-liberalism and shamelessly overt neoliberalism. Zelensky is privatizing Ukrainian land. https://www.rferl.org/a/what-is-the-steinmeier-formula-and-did-zelenskiy-just-capitulate-to-moscow-/30195593.html

I can't actually read the article as it's paywalled but it's conservative enough to carry weight here.

There's the bit about Haaretz, which is like the anti-socialists ginning up anti-semitism smears against Corbyn. I say the stylized swastika on the stage with the PM of Ukraine shows us more than an old letter. I have no idea how you can say the people murdered when a building was set on fire and democratic mob drove people back in, don't somehow count as "pogroms and terror."

But you missed a trick in pointing out "Jewish" opposition to "Putin." (The people in Donestsk and Lugansk are no one? Except maybe pre-corpses?) Ihor Kolomoyskiy, the primary funder/founder of the Azov battalion, definitely wants no part of "Putin."

Most of this discussion is rarely about the left, but here arises a major marker distinguishing the left, which is anti-fascism. You're pro-fascist.

nastywoman@79 was so stung the comment was actually intelligible. Unfortunately, asserting something which isn't nonsense -- unlike nastywoman's usual incoherence -- without a shred of argument is naked hostility, not an argument. The gored ox bellows loud!

[Nov 09, 2019] In Ukraine victory, top U.N. court rejects Moscow's bid to block case by Stephanie van den Berg

Nationalist troops atrocities might be exposed in the process.
Nov 09, 2019 | uk.reuters.com
FILE PHOTO: Judges at the UN's highest court are seen during a hearing in a case launched by Ukraine which alleges Moscow is funding pro-Russian separatist groups in Ukraine, in The Hague, Netherlands June 3, 2019. REUTERS/Eva Plevier

Reading a summary of the ruling, Presiding Judge Abdulqawi Yusuf said conditions had been met for the case to be heard in full, with the 16-judge panel rejecting Russian objections by a large majority.

The International Court of Justice found that on the basis of anti-terrorism and anti-discrimination treaties signed by both countries it has jurisdiction to hear the case over Russia's alleged support for separatists in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.

At a hearing in June, Moscow had asked judges to dismiss the suit, saying Kiev was using it as pretext for a ruling on the legality of Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea.

Addressing that point, Yusuf said Ukraine had not asked the court to rule "on the status of Crimea or on violations of the rules of international law" other than those contained in the United Nations anti-discrimination and anti-terrorism treaties.

Kiev says Russia's support for separatist forces violated a U.N. convention banning the funding of terrorist groups.

[Nov 09, 2019] UN says 12,800 13,000 killed since April 2014. That's not enough. So Congress bought a pile of Javelin AT munitions

Nov 09, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

shinola , November 8, 2019 at 3:26 pm

From the Medium article "John Bolton's Old Rivals Say Trump Should Be Very, Very Worried"

"I don't think dirt-digging would offend Bolton. What would offend Bolton is interrupting military supplies to a country in a deadly battle with Russia. Doing something that for whatever reason appeases Putin," Thielmann said."

The country referred to is Ukraine. I guess I've missed all the msm articles detailing all those deadly clashes between Russian & Ukrainian military units along with casualty figures and all that. I suppose I need to pay closer attention (or something).

Misty Flip , November 8, 2019 at 5:46 pm

UN says 12,800–13,000 killed since April 2014. So Congress bought a pile of Javelin AT munitions, the ones with a top attack flight profile that will place a high explosive shape-charge of molten copper through tops of young Russian tank commanders' heads, who are sons of Putin's base, if there was a mechanized push further into Ukraine. [The political tolerance window for which is narrowing.]

Our benevolent leader said, "Hold-on. You gotta first get your FBI to clear my campaign and come up with some trumped-up charges against my political opponent. My FBI won't do it." Congressional impoundment, solicitation of a bribe for personal gain, and abuse of power. In any case, Ukraine's getting a smaller pile of missiles until next year, so, gross incompetent moves, both domestic and abroad.

Darthbobber , November 8, 2019 at 8:43 pm

You recall that the Obama administration opposed giving Ukraine any lethal assistance?

Congress has just come up with an excellent method of giving the Russians a lot of free Javelins if there were a serious fight. Which there continues to be no sign of.

Darthbobber , November 8, 2019 at 8:38 pm

The great bulk of (pro-government) Ukrainian casualties occurred in the course of ill-advised and poorly conducted offensives against the breakaway republics. When it only defends, the Ukrainian side doesn't suffer casualties. Because nobody attacks it.

[Nov 06, 2019] It is a story of ripping the US taxpayer and the Ukrainian customer off for the benefit of a few corruptioners, American and Ukrainian

Nov 06, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Teamtc321 , 3 hours ago link

Obama Bin Biden and the crooked clan need to get back in the game somehow so they can rip off another 3 billion in US tax payer loans. What were they up to 44 Billion in fraudulent loans to Ukraine?

Interesting how they want to Impeach Trump over Ukraine, don't you think?

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/plundering-ukraine-corrupt-american-democrats

Oleg, you followed Biden story from its very inception. Biden is not the only Dem politician involved in the Ukrainian corruption schemes, is he?

Indeed, John Kerry, the Secretary of State in Obama's administration, was his partner-in-crime. But Joe Biden was number one. During the Obama presidency, Biden was the US proconsul for Ukraine, and he was involved in many corruption schemes. He authorised transfer of three billion dollars of the US taxpayers' money to the post-coup government of the Ukraine; the money was stolen, and Biden took a big share of the spoils.

It is a story of ripping the US taxpayer and the Ukrainian customer off for the benefit of a few corruptioners, American and Ukrainian. And it is a story of Kiev regime and its dependence on the US and IMF. The Ukraine has a few midsize deposits of natural gas, sufficient for domestic household consumption. The cost of its production was quite low; and the Ukrainians got used to pay pennies for their gas. Actually, it was so cheap to produce that the Ukraine could provide all its households with free gas for heating and cooking, just like Libya did. Despite low consumer price, the gas companies (like Burisma) had very high profits and very little expenditure.

After the 2014 coup, IMF demanded to raise the price of gas for the domestic consumer to European levels, and the new president Petro Poroshenko obliged them. The prices went sky-high. The Ukrainians were forced to pay many times more for their cooking and heating; and huge profits went to coffers of the gas companies. Instead of raising taxes or lowering prices, President Poroshenko demanded the gas companies to pay him or subsidise his projects. He said that he arranged the price hike; it means he should be considered a partner.

Burisma Gas company had to pay extortion money to the president Poroshenko. Eventually its founder and owner Mr Nicolai Zlochevsky decided to invite some important Westerners into the company's board of directors hoping it would moderate Poroshenko's appetites. He had brought in Biden's son Hunter, John Kerry, Polish ex-President Kwasniewski; but it didn't help him.

Poroshenko became furious that the fattened calf may escape him, and asked the Attorney General Shokin to investigate Burisma trusting some irregularities would emerge. AG Shokin immediately discovered that Burisma had paid these 'stars' between 50 and 150 thousand dollar per month each just for being on the list of directors. This is illegal by the Ukrainian tax code; it can't be recognised as legitimate expenditure.

At that time Biden the father entered the fray. He called Poroshenko and gave him six hours to close the case against his son. Otherwise, one billion dollars of the US taxpayers' funds won't pass to the Ukrainian corruptioners. Zlochevsky, the Burisma owner, paid Biden well for this conversation: he received between three and ten million dollars, according to different sources.

AG Shokin said he can't close the case within six hours; Poroshenko sacked him and installed Mr Lutsenko in his stead. Lutsenko was willing to dismiss the case of Burisma, but he also could not do it in a day, or even in a week. Biden, as we know, could not keep his trap shut: by talking about the pressure he put on Poroshenko, he incriminated himself. Meanwhile Mr Shokin gave evidence that Biden put pressure on Poroshenko to fire him, and now it was confirmed. The evidence was given to the US lawyers in connection with another case, Firtash case.

[Nov 05, 2019] Where Will Ukraine Go from Here

Notable quotes:
"... As for the rest of Ukraine, even though they lost something, they get something valuable in return: it's called neutral status between east and west. A subdued, federalized Ukraine led by Zelensky, in many ways, makes Ukraine "Finlandized." That is good for the Ukrainian people. It means they retain their independence, but peacefully accept that Russia controls their foreign policy. That position benefited Finland between 1945 and 1991. Finland is now a peaceful and prosperous country, and it is no longer living under influence of Russia or the Soviets. If "Finlandization" led to happiness for the Finns, it can do the same for Ukraine. ..."
"... Finland did not fight against Swedish language and peacefully uses it, while it is "legacy of Swedish occupation" and less than 10% of Finnish people can speak it. Ukrainian Nazis are deprived of wisdom, they are fighting with Russian language and own people. So, if you haven't brain, nothing will help you. ..."
"... after Maidan, Nuland directly stated that the United States spent 5 billion on "building democracy in Ukraine." The United States invested 5 billion in a coup, but is Poland to blame? why? if Poland had really done that, then western Ukraine would have become part of Poland immediately after the Maidan, but this did not happen. After the Maidan, Biden was photographed in a pride chair, but not the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland;) ..."
Nov 05, 2019 | nationalinterest.org

Sean.McGivens19 days ago ,

When Russia is led by truly capable leaders, it can beat any foreign power in war or geostrategic conflict. Today Russia is led by a great man who is starting to look more and more like another Suvorov.

And everyone knows who Suvorov was.

Just read today's headlines concerning Syria. Russia ordered Turkey to stand down its offensive. Russian troops are now functioning as peacekeepers in-between the Turkish and Syrian armies. The Kurds have signed allied themselves with Russia and Assad.

What a huge and great victory for Russia.

Gary Sellars Sean.McGivens19 days ago ,

..while Americans of all stripes scratch their heads wondering what went wrong, and then check CNN and their FB feeds in a hopeless bid to understand what's going down. Just.... hilarious....

Sean.McGivens Gary Sellars19 days ago • edited ,

What disturbs me the most is that Americans are being misled into believing that they "lost" something in Syria. In reality, America "lost" nothing in Syria. That's because the US was never established in Syria to begin with. America has long been established in Syria's neighbors, Israel, SA, Turkey, and to a lesser degree Iraq. But not Syria.

Basically, America got involved in Syria for aggressive, illegitimate, and unnecessary reasons. We were there to further the over-ambitious geopolitical ambitions of our ME allies. That's why America launched a minor invasion of eastern Syria, and armed and funded rebels, jihadis to try to violently overthrow Assad. And when that didn't work, the US POTUS justifiably pulled out US troops and stopped supporting the rebels.

So, America didn't ever have anything to gain or to lose in Syria. Nothing at all.

Meanwhile, all the hawkish American newspapers -- which includes much of MSM -- are now complaining that Trump allowed Russia to "take" Syria, and to "humiliate" and "drive out" America from that country. What hogwash! What propaganda and lies!

Russia has been in Syria for nearly 50 years. That means Russia's the chief ally of Syria, and as such, is a guarantor peace and stability in the country. Also, Russia definitely has something to lose in Syria if Assad gets overthrown. So, in the end, Russia wasn't trying to "take over Syria," as lying US media suggests. Russia was just protecting itself, protecting Assad, and trying to impose peace on the region.

Check out Newsweek's totally dishonest story on this is subject. The article was published today. It's a shame so many naive Americans believe these lies about America's alleged "role" in Syria.

SergioMeira Sean.McGivens17 days ago ,

Sir, we got involved in Syria because of Assad, who is a monster to his own people. If you're talking about Butinterests in terms of money, no -- we don't have any. But in terms of principles, yes, we were justified in entering that area of the country.

And we made a difference. Or else the Russians wouldn't be rushing in to take the place we left. We were getting a lot out of very little engagement.

Russia has never been a guarantee for peace and stability anywhere; it has always been a guarantee of more support for Russia. Whenever necessary, instabillity was sown, and inconvenient parties, whether or not former allies, were abandoned.

Plus, there is the nagging issue of the Kurds having helped us in the fight against ISIS. Letting this out of the picture is as dishonest as you try to make parts of the MSM be.

But hey -- have your own opinions. Write a book about them while you're at it.

FromRussiaWithLove SergioMeira11 days ago ,
Sir, we got involved in Syria because of Assad, who is a monster to his own people. If you're talking about Butinterests in terms of money, no -- we don't have any. But in terms of principles, yes, we were justified in entering that area of the country.

sorry what???

In fact, Assad is the legitimate, democratically elected president of Syria. have you decided in the USA that you have the right to decide who is bad and who is good?
The United States has worked hard to overthrow legitimate power in Syria. for 7 years of NATO's joint operation in Syria, ISIS captured 70% of the territory of this country. Of course, with the active support of the United States, it supplied weapons to everyone who was ready to fight against the Syrian army. but the "evil" Russia came and ruined everything. for 5 years of military operations in Syria, ISIS were defeated and switched to guerrilla warfare. solved the problem between the Kurds, Turks and Syrians. US plans have completely collapsed. or not?

Congress is currently making a decision to bring tanks into Syria to protect oil fields from terrorists. Really??? it looks like American democracy is black and actually called oil! all these hundreds of thousands of murdered women and children in Syria just so that the United States could continue to steal oil from Syria!

"the greatest power in the world" turns out to be an ordinary thief! do not you disgust?

Sean.McGivens SergioMeira17 days ago • edited ,

Sir, we got involved in Syria because of Assad, who is a monster to his own people.

Define what you mean by "monster to his own people." And explain to me why 30% of Syrians -- a huge chunk of whole -- have always been solidly behind Assad.

If you're talking about the Assad regime's barrel bombing, yes, that's monstrous. But Assad didn't start doing that until the civil war was fulling raging. That war, mind you, didn't broaden and deepen until America stepped in to fund and arm Assad's enemies.

Had America had stayed out of Syria and allowed Assad to stamp out the initial protests and acts of rebellion, then there would have been no civil war. Therefore, America's involved escalated Syria's civil disorder all the way up to the level of a full fledged war, causing hundreds of thousands of deaths.

I really don't understand how American Triumphalists and messianic spreaders of American democracy can justify what they did in Syria. Essentially, America consciously took a chance in Syria, choosing to support the rebels on the off chance that they might topple Assad. America knew that the price of failure in this reckless gambit would be the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Syrians.

Why did America do this? America's action in Syria were driven by the desire to turn the country into a strategic asset. America chose to pursue this goal on behalf of its regional allies (all Syrian enemies), Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey. That's all. Never mind "principles." We're talking geopolitical ambitions here. Blind ambitions.

It's a mysterious to me as to why you blame the war on Russia. After all, Russia's been in Syria for nearly 50 years. During that time, Syria was stable, and experienced no civil war. But as soon as America began meddling in Syria, war broke out. Russia worked with Assad to try to stomp out that war. America worked with the rebels to expand it.

I cannot fathom the views of people like you.

Vladdy20 days ago ,

Ukraine power captured it's country in own trap. They can't stop civil war in Donbass because then they will need to explain somehow why they killed Donbass people (Ukraine Nazis power hate Donbassians, but at the same time pretends to call them their own citizens) for so many years. Admit truth means acknowledge own crimes. So, the only way they have is continuing lying about "liberation" (means genociding) of Donbass.

Sean.McGivens Vladdy17 days ago ,

But rest assured: Ukraine is beaten and the Ukrainians know it. They can feel it. That's why they elected Zelensky, who may be a sensible guy.

Implementation of the peace plan in Donbass will turn the region into a virtually independent part of Ukraine. Russia will be able to influence Ukrainian politics through its connections in Donbass. That means Russia will have gained exactly what it fought for: veto power over Ukraine's attempts to join the EU and NATO.

As for the rest of Ukraine, even though they lost something, they get something valuable in return: it's called neutral status between east and west. A subdued, federalized Ukraine led by Zelensky, in many ways, makes Ukraine "Finlandized." That is good for the Ukrainian people. It means they retain their independence, but peacefully accept that Russia controls their foreign policy. That position benefited Finland between 1945 and 1991. Finland is now a peaceful and prosperous country, and it is no longer living under influence of Russia or the Soviets. If "Finlandization" led to happiness for the Finns, it can do the same for Ukraine.

Vladdy Sean.McGivens7 days ago ,

Finland did not fight against Swedish language and peacefully uses it, while it is "legacy of Swedish occupation" and less than 10% of Finnish people can speak it. Ukrainian Nazis are deprived of wisdom, they are fighting with Russian language and own people. So, if you haven't brain, nothing will help you.

FromRussiaWithLove Sean.McGivens11 days ago ,
But rest assured: Ukraine is beaten and the Ukrainians know it. They can feel it. That's why they elected Zelensky, who may be a sensible guy.

your optimism is due to ignorance of the peculiarities of Ukrainian political life;) Let's start with a short introduction to Ukrainian political life. Who is Zelensky? this is a representative of the oligarch Kolomoisky. exactly the same oligarch as Parashenko has ruled Ukraine for the past 5 years. For 5 years, Parashenko has robbed banks and enterprises of other oligarchs in Ukraine, now Kolomoisky will do the same through his representative Zelensky.

Now about the peace process in the Donbas ... The armed coup in 2014 was carried out by the forces of Ukrainian Nazis and over the past 5 years, the Ukrainian Nazis have firmly established themselves in the Verkhovna Rada and, most importantly, in the army and law enforcement agencies. these structures are controlled by Avakov, not Zelensky. Zelensky cannot withdraw troops, and even more so "Ukrainian volunteers" from punitive battalions Aidar, Azov, etc. Zelensky does not control these formations and has no leverage over them. all he can do is put forward an additional requirement of 7 days without shelling. Naturally, the shelling is not embellished and no one withdraws the troops. Even if Zelensky really wanted to end the war, there simply isn't any opportunity for this. all that he can do is populism and tell that he will return Crimea :))))

adammska20 days ago ,

Mr Gvosdev sounds like one of those Eastern European svidomites . They combine this unwavering faith in the power of Washington on top of a deep, irrational hostility to Russia.

How is "collapse of Russian economy" going to happen exactly? Judging by the casual manner in which Gvosdev talks about it, I think he imagines president Biden flipping some switch in his cabinet, and the economy of vast country shutting down in an instant.

How does a Western economic war on Russia can help its proxies seize power? It didn't work like this in Iran or Venezuela, it's even less likely to happen in Russia. If anything the opposite is likely to happen: pro-Western 5th column in Russia will be eradicated.

You know that the Ukraine is doomed when your "optimistic scenario" requires Russia to drop dead essentially.

Sean.McGivens SergioMeira17 days ago ,

Russia's economy is functioning very close to autarky. That means Russia could survive expulsion from SWIFT.

As for for your reference to China, your point is anything but clear. China is forming a strategic alliance with Russia pointed directly at the US. If you don't realize this, you haven't been reading the news. It would behoove you to know that China and the US have long been drifting in the direction of a conflict for supremacy in Pan-Pacific affairs. The US has lots of weapons systems set up in South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan. Beijing is determined to make the US withdraw those military assets from China's borders. China is also wary of the US's messianic impulse to spread democracy anywhere it can. China blames America for the Hong Kong disturbances, which Beijing thinks of as America's latest attempt at a "color revolution."

Meanwhile, Russia poses no such threat to China. If anything, Russia makes an ideal junior ally for China in the latter's growing tendency to constantly subvert the US as the world's superpower. So, I am confused as to what kind of threat you think China poses to Russia?

Perhaps you believe that China wants to take Siberia from Russia. Do you really believe China has the ability to do so? If that's what you're thinking, you are willfully blind to the fact that Russia remains a nuclear weapons superpower. If war broke out between China and Russia (which is very unlikely), which country would do more damage to the other? Think about it: Russia is a massive open land mass that is not densely populated, and it is full of nuclear missile launch sites. China is a population dense nation consisting of far less territory than Russia. Who would suffer more in an exchange of nuclear missiles? I think the answer is clear. For this reason, Beijing is not thinking about war with Russia, or making Russia "collapse," as you say.

How much have you read about Russia, anyway?

Сергей Ерохин20 days ago ,

Wow, I can write comments here. I am russian, so I can tell the Mordor's version. The article is generally objective, but the author was cunning in a few points

1) The principal reason why Yanukovich refused to sign the agreement with Europe was the duty free zone with Russia. Russians sad: ok, You will sign the agreement with Europe, but we have high customs duties with europeneans, so we will break our free trade zone agreement. Russia was the biggest export market for Ukraine and ukranians understood that they will lose a lot of money. But Maidan decided differently.

2) Today the Russian primary strategy for Ukraine is do nothing and wait, we have no any influence in this country. We understand that Europe and USA will not feed this country a lot of time. Internal contradictions will ruin this country before our intervention

3) But we support new government of Zelensky because he has an opportunity to implement Minsk agreements (may be). It will be enough to close this deal and move on

FromRussiaWithLove Сергей Ерохин11 days ago ,

greetings to you a colleague from Mordor :)))

But we support new goverment of Zelensky because he has an oportunity to implement Minsk aggreements (may be). It will be enough to close this deal and move on

I do not agree with this. how Zelensky can end the war when the security forces and the army are controlled by Avakov and the punitive battalions do not even know who controls?
the support of any government in Ukraine is due to the fact that our countries still have a fairly large turnover. while we trade with ukraine will cooperate ..

Sean.McGivens21 days ago ,

But now Poland and other Central European states were similarly interested in changing their position -- from being Euro-Atlantic frontline states to shifting that line further east

I believe that this is a big reason why Maidan occured. It is also a big reason for the war in Ukraine today. The Poles have had a hand in this issue from the very beginning. Poland is literally an aggressor state at this point, stoking trouble in Ukraine.

America's greatest sin in all of this has been to allow itself to be influenced by Poland and the Baltic states. Just like America allowed itself to be led by the nose by its "allies" in the Syrian War. We're talking about two conflicts that have very little to do with America's best interests, and which could result in disaster (nuclear exchange with Russia) if something goes wrong.

It's absolutely nuts for anyone to think that nuclear equipped Russia would allow Poland and America to have their way in Ukraine, which is virtually Russia's front porch. By supporting our Polish "ally," the US has come close to creating a Cuban Missile Crisis in reverse. In 1963 the Russians provoked America. Since 2014, America has been provoking Russia. It could get much worse.

FromRussiaWithLove Sean.McGivens11 days ago ,
I believe that this is a big reason why Maidan occured. It is also a big reason for the war in Ukraine today. The Poles have had a hand in this issue from the very beginning. Poland is literally an aggressor state at this point, stoking trouble in Ukraine.

but after Maidan, Nuland directly stated that the United States spent 5 billion on "building democracy in Ukraine." The United States invested 5 billion in a coup, but is Poland to blame? why? if Poland had really done that, then western Ukraine would have become part of Poland immediately after the Maidan, but this did not happen. After the Maidan, Biden was photographed in a pride chair, but not the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland;)

Gary Sellars Sean.McGivens21 days ago ,

"In 1963 the Russians provoked America."

Actually the Soviets were mainly responding to secret US basing of missiles in Turkey.

Sean.McGivens Gary Sellars21 days ago ,

Okay, I can see where you're coming from. But still, the Russians were readying to station missiles in Cuba, just miles from America's borders. That means the Russians must have known -- or should have known -- that they were risking war with the US. That's my point.

Now America's doing the same thing as the USSR did in 1963. America is setting the stage to establish bases, radars, and missiles in Ukraine. That's what preparing Ukraine for NATO membership is all about. Therefore, America must know -- or should know -- that it is risking war with Russia. In a major way.

Gary Sellars Sean.McGivens20 days ago • edited ,

Agree with the thrust of your agrument. The US knows it is stoking conflict with their actions (ie Donbass), but since they are not directly in the firing line (barring major escalations) they simply don't care. They want to discomfort and undermine Russia, drive a wedge between Russia and Germany/France, and force the Eurotrash into compliance with US diktat as a demonstration of US power over its minions.

Re the Cuban Missile Crisis, on the balance it wasn't really a climb-down by the Soviets, but it is usually interpreted that way, especially as anti-Krushchev factions in the USSR were succesful in portraying it that way as part of their palace coup. The US remoived its misiles from Turkey, promised not to update them with new ones, and undertook not to repeat any more "Bay of Pigs" attempts at overthrowing Castro by force of arms. All the Soviets needed to do was halt their mobilisation and similarly agree not to base missiles. On the balance, the Soviets played brinkmanship well and won real concessions in exchange for very little. Krushchevs problem was really that he marketted the ploy very poorly and was able to be portrayed as a loser by his political enemies, and Westeners have happily repeated the narratives ever since.

Vladdy Sean.McGivens21 days ago ,

And what? US placed their missiles in every corner of the Globe, including Soviet/Russian borders. Why USSR can't place it's missiles in Cuba?
BTW, what Gary Powers did in his U-2 in the sky above Ekaterinburg 01.05.1960? https://en.wikipedia.org/wi...

Sean.McGivens Vladdy20 days ago ,

My point is that each power is expected to respect the other's buffer zones. That's how the powers have gotten along historically. If and when one side disrespects the other's buffer zone, major trouble is right around the corner.

Generally, in these confrontations between the nuclear superpowers, the side with the less to lose is the first to back down. That side is always the one that has overreached. In 1963 it was the Soviets who overreached. It's looking increasingly clear that since 2014, it's the US that's overreached.

The US will find a graceful way to end the Ukraine-NATO expansion issue, something amounting to a face-saving American retreat from the region. Putin will likely make it easy for America to pull out without loss of prestige.

Vladdy Sean.McGivens20 days ago • edited ,

In general, you are right, but in 60's it was not Soviets, who overreached. It was US planes intervened in Soviet airspace, not vice versa. It was US, who firstly placed missiles in Turkey in 1961, not USSR in Cuba in 1963.

Allalin22 days ago ,

Ukraine is not going anywhere, because of 115 Mrd. outstanding Debt. Ukraine lost 85% of their Industrial Base in the last 5 Years. Most of them working for Russian Companies. Those Companies get Advanced Payments from Russia till 2014 worth about 10 Mrd. for Material and Salaries. That Money is not coming again. Russian Companies replace 90% of all Ukraine deliveries during the last 5 Years - more modern and especially with far better time frames. Ukraine has a minor Cash Reserve of 7 Billion USD.

Emidio Borg22 days ago • edited ,

Whatever happens to Ukraine we can be sure of one thing, through our contributions via the World Bank, the IMF and Obama's loan guarantees, the one million dollars a day paid by U.S taxpayers directly into the pockets of Ukrainian Oligarchs will continue in perpetuity.

I doubt Putin is in any hurry to relieve us of that 'honor' the man is a master of playing the U.S for a sucker.

Sean.McGivens Emidio Borg22 days ago • edited ,

You are correct on most counts. However, I think that Putin wants the US to scale down its Ukraine involvement ASAP. That's because Russia's nightmare is NATO expansion into Ukraine. Therefore, the sooner the US backs away, the less likely Russia will have to fight a future war in order to keep NATO off of its front yard. Nobody, including Putin, wants war.

Ivo22 days ago ,

Ukraine needs internal stability, this means peace treaty with rebels and some kind of minimal agreement with Russia. Country needs to buy time, it is too much to expect to fight war, to do reforms and fight corruption and to develop all at the same time.

NATO expansion to East proved to be big destabilizing factor for Ukraine, its geopolitical situation is difficult. It will always need to balance and make concessions between Eastern and Western interests.

New president looks very promising, hopefully he will be able to bring country back to stability and push it more toward faster economical development and national reconciliation.

J Urie Ivo21 days ago • edited ,

You make some good points regarding stability within the country. The amount now spent on fighting the war in Donbas will not go down as Ukraine will need to continue to rebuild their military to include new fighters and new ships for the navy however the killing will stop. Any agreement made with Putin should be made with eyes wide open as Russia has no honor so agreements are worthless only a potent enough military will guarantee Ukraine's peace.

Peace at any cost is not acceptable and any plan that allows complete autonomy should be a no go, it would be better to just build a wall along the existing line and rid the country of a fifth columnist element. If the plan allows for local elections, local use of Russian, local police forces not military but police that is acceptable. These elections must allow for all residents who resided in the area prior to the war to vote and for all Ukrainian political parties to participate.

Zelenskiy has made corruption a key to his election and it is imperative that he takes some bold action(s) soon to set the tone. I am a little concerned that he has selected some less than pure individuals to be part of his presidential team, apparently he hasn't picked up on how bad the optics are by having a lawyer that worked for Kolomosky as your chief of staff?
Cracking down on the oligarchs would allow Ukraine to have a standard of living like Poland within a very few years and many of the Ukrainians that now work in Poland could come home an make as much money.

The presidential vote proved that at least 73% of Ukrainians agreed that a new beginning was needed hence Zelnskiy being elected. The reason IMHO that "national reconciliation" hasn't been achieved is the continued Russian interference/influence in Ukraine. It hasn't been long enough for Ukraine as an independent nation to come to terms with the past history. This part of the world has seen millions killed over the past 100+ years, the country hasn't come to grips with that there is still finger pointing and until that is dealt with the reconciliation will be difficult.

The desire to join NATO is all on Russia and it's continuous interference in Ukraine. In all reality NATO is a long way off as Ukraine needs to do a lot to bring the country up to NATO standards including in the corruption realm.

Sean.McGivens J Urie21 days ago ,

This part of the world has seen millions killed over the past 100+ years

Ukraine has been used an invasion route by Western aggressors who want to conquer Russia. That's resulted in Russia suffering millions killed in the 20th century, and hundreds of thousands more killed in earlier wars.

You keep failing to see matters from Russia's perspective. You only think about Ukraine's most selfish national interests. You've got to understand that any security arrangement in that part of the world will have to be a shared security plan. It will have to consider and respect Russia's concerns. NATO is not the answer here. Militarization of a Ukraine led by far-right wing nationalists is not the answer either.

Ukraine's only path to peace and security is to accept the status of Finlandization.

Sean.McGivens J Urie21 days ago ,

If the plan allows for local elections, local use of Russian, local police forces not military but police that is acceptable.

It's too late for that. Remember, the Ukrainian ATO invaded Donbass and killed many thousands of innocent local people. For this reason, Donbass will never allow the Ukrainian military onto its soil.

J Urie Sean.McGivens21 days ago ,

Did you read what I said? A police force yes a military force no.

Sean.McGivens J Urie21 days ago ,

Yes, I read what you said. That's why I highlighted "military" in my quote. You are saying that Donbass Russians are expected to allow themselves to be occupied by the Ukrainian military, as if they are conquered, humiliated people. I am saying that Russia and Donbass will never let that happen.

Let's not overlook that it appears very much like the war is ending now, with Ukraine submitting to the terms set by Donbass and Russia. That means Zelensky will have to drink his poison soup and allow the Donbass militia to have exclusive and unrestricted military rights within Donbass, and along the region's borders. That's unavoidable.

J Urie Sean.McGivens21 days ago ,

Even if you go by Minsk II which plainly does not allow for a Separatist Military there is zero chance that Ukraine will agree to anything resembling a "military". This territory will be under Ukrainian sovereignty and the border will be under Ukrainian sovereignty. The autonomy will be for language, education, elections of local councils, cultural endeavors etc...

It is the thugs in charge who are supported by the Kremlin are the ones that envision some quasi country within Ukraine. If you were to go out into the villages the average person wants the war to end and life to go back to as close to what it was before this all started. The thugs in charge know that their power and authority will go away if truly free and fair elections are to be held without Russian and mercenary gun toting thugs walking the streets. They are the ones that are worried as their world will come to an end if real peace comes to past.

Sean.McGivens J Urie20 days ago ,

If you were to go out into the villages the average person wants the war to end and life to go back to as close to what it was before this all started. The thugs in charge know that their power and authority will go away if truly free and fair elections are to be held...

You are in denial of the facts. Respected international polling agencies have taken polls inside the rebel held portion of Donbass. The results confirm that the people there want nothing to do with the Ukrainian government, and that they identify themselves as an extension of Russia.

The only open question among the Donbass people is whether they want to be annexed by Russia (many do), or whether they want to remain in Ukraine as a completely autonomous region, running all of their own affairs (many like this idea too).

But under no circumstances do the Donbass people want the Ukrainian army to enter their territory, establish bases or outposts, and then garrison the border with Russia. Why would the Donbass people have fought for five hard, victorious years only to accept this ignominious outcome? It makes no sense. Donbass and Russia won. Ukraine lost. The winners will not let the losers take military control of their homeland. No possible way.

From the way your posts read, it's obvious you are way, way oversold on anti-Russian propaganda.

J Urie Sean.McGivens20 days ago ,

Who says that the Ukrainian Army is going to go into this area of Donbas? Th border will be secured by Ukrainian Border personnel as it is on every other part of the border. Ukraine is currently decentralizing services and responsibility in the rest of the country withheld control coming from Kyiv. A modified version of that for occupied Donbas to include local elections, language, education and local law enforcement is what they should expect. In exchange Kyiv promises to rebuild destroyed infrastructure and provide economic assistance to the area.
If that isn't good enough then as I said build a wall and cut them lose and let Putin take on the burden which he doesn't want. Money coming form Russia to rebuild will be a long time in coming and what they have now is pretty much what they can expect for the future. Of course the educate and most of the young have left the area an only the poor pensioners who had no where to go are left.

Sean.McGivens J Urie20 days ago ,

Even if you go by Minsk II which plainly does not allow for a Separatist Military there is zero chance that Ukraine will agree to anything resembling a "military"

You're living in a dream world if you think this. The reality is that Ukraine has lost the war. Zelensky wouldn't dare to implement Minsk II unless he were leading a defeated nation, a nation that was throwing in the towel. We're talking about a complete capitulation. That's what Minsk II means.

I am certain that Zelensky fully expects that once Minsk II is implemented, Ukraine will be somehow be maneuvered into accepting that the Donbass military is in charge of Donbass and the abutting section of the Russian-Ukraine frontier.

Most likely, after Donbass holds internationally ratified elections per Minsk II, the newly elected officials will claim that they are officially part of Ukraine's government. From there, they will claim that the Donbass rebel militia, therefore, is officially an extension of Ukraine's national army. Then, finally, the Donbass leaders and Russia will say that "returning control of the border to Ukraine" means, in reality, putting the border under the control of the Donbass militia.

Possibly the Donbass militia will wear Ukrainian army uniforms, just for show. But believe me: there's no way the victors in this war are going to settle for surrendering military control of their territory to a despised, alien military force (i.e., the Ukrainian army).

There's no possible way that Putin, Russia, or the Donbass rebels would have pushed the Minsk II Accords on Ukraine unless it one of the treaty's unstated implications is that the Ukrainian military is ejected from the region permanently. That's what Russia and Donbass fought to achieve. It's unthinkable that they would settle for anything less.

I'm certain that Zelensky and everyone else understands this.

J Urie Sean.McGivens20 days ago ,

It will not happen Minsk II will not be implemented. Th eUkrainian foreign minister already stated what will be the approach in the Normandy talks an edit isn't Minsk II.

Gary Sellars J Urie20 days ago • edited ,

"The thugs in charge know that their power and authority will go away if truly free and fair elections are to be held without Russian and mercenary gun toting thugs walking the streets."

What nonsense. You really think that voters in Donetsk & Lugansk would to reward Kiev authorities with their support in light of the atrocities the "volunteer" battalions have dished out to civilians over the last 5 years???

You can cry about "thugs" or "mercenaries" all you like (in a futile attempt to de-legitimise the views of the seperatists) but your bias is clear when you whitewash the crimes of Banderites and Neo-Nazis. Or maybe you would prefer to adopt the US MSM ploy and simply pretend that these factions don't exist, or that no warcrimes have been committed?

Sean.McGivens Gary Sellars20 days ago ,

You really think that voters in Donetsk & Lugansk would to reward Kiev authorities...

You make a valid point. I'd add also that the rebel controlled areas are the parts of Donetsk and Lugansk where the ethnic Russian demographic majorities are heaviest. That means there's virtually zero chance that any elections held in that zone will favor Kiev.

Sean.McGivens J Urie21 days ago ,

...as Ukraine will need to continue to rebuild their military to include new fighters and new ships for the navy...

Impossible. That's because there aren't enough Ukrainians who feel nationalistic enough to be willing to lay down their lives in war for Ukraine. The reason for this problem is that a huge minority of Ukrainians are ethnic Russians and pro-Russian Ukrainians who won't fight Russia. Many other Ukrainian people are ambivalent about national identity, and will not honor their military obligations.

In some ways, Ukraine's military problem today is akin to that suffered by the Austro-Hungarian Empire in WW1. The Austro-Hungarian state was multi-national, and much of its population did not share the political and national values of the rulers in Vienna and Budapest.

Multi-national countries always have trouble fielding political reliable militaries. Even the Soviet Union, a superpower, had a bottom one-third of military recruits (most from Cental Asia) that simply weren't politically reliable.

Ukraine's military future looks very grim. Only if Kiev grants independence to the non-Ukrainian regions will the country finally have a population of people who share the same national and political values. That will have to precede Ukraine building any kind of competent army.

Sean.McGivens J Urie21 days ago ,

The presidential vote proved that at least 73% of Ukrainians agreed that a new beginning was needed hence Zelnskiy being elected.

That Ukrainian majority is exhausted and demoralized by the Donbass War. They want peace at any cost, even if that means granting virtual independence to Donbass. Even if that means allowing Russia to use Donbass as an agent through which it can influence Ukraine's domestic political situation. That's the "new beginning" that Ukrainians have in mind.

There's no way Zelensky can be in power while simultaneously continuing the Donbass War. Ukrainians elected him to get the country out of that agony.

J Urie Sean.McGivens21 days ago ,

My wife is Ukrainian and they will not accept Russia running things through a Fifth column in Donbas. They might as well just wall it off and be done with it makes zero sense to allow your rendition.

[Nov 03, 2019] Foreign Aid Makes Corrupt Countries More Corrupt

Nov 03, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Foreign Aid Makes Corrupt Countries More Corrupt by Tyler Durden Sun, 11/03/2019 - 07:00 0 SHARES Authored by James Bovard at jimbovard.com ,

Any time a government hands out money, not just foreign aid, it breeds corruption... And there are few better examples than Ukraine - just don't tell the House impeachment hearings.

Barricade with the protesters at Hrushevskogo street on January 26, 2014 in Kiev, Ukraine.Sasha Maksymenko / cc

Counting on foreign aid to reduce corruption is like expecting whiskey to cure alcoholism. After closed House of Representatives impeachment hearings heard testimony on President Trump's role in delaying U.S. aid to Ukraine, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer declared:

" Numbers don't lie . It's even more clear now that President Trump is not the anti-corruption crusader he claims to be."

Most of the press coverage has tacitly assumed that American assistance is vital to fighting corruption in Ukraine. But that ignores foreign aid's toxic record and Ukraine's post-Soviet history.

A 2002 American Economic Review analysis concluded that "increases in [foreign] aid are associated with contemporaneous increases in corruption," and that "corruption is positively correlated with aid received from the United States."

That was the year President George W. Bush launched a new foreign aid program, the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA). Bush declared, "I think it makes no sense to give aid , money, to countries that are corrupt." But the Bush administration continued delivering billions of dollars in handouts to many of the world's most corrupt regimes. By 2004, the State Department had codified what amounted to backtracking: " The MCA is an incentive-based supplement to other U.S. aid programs." The Bush team found excuses to give MCA aid to some of the world's most corrupt governments as well, including Georgia.

In 2010, President Barack Obama proclaimed at the United Nations that America was " leading a global effort to combat corruption ." Obama's "aides said the United States in the past has often seemed to just throw money at problems ," the Los Angeles Times reported. But the reform charade was exposed the following year when the Obama administration fiercely resisted congressional efforts to curb wasteful aid. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned that restricting handouts to nations that fail anti-corruption tests "has the potential to affect a staggering number of needy aid recipients."

The Obama administration continued pouring tens of billions of American tax dollars into sinkholes such as Afghanistan, which even its president, Ashraf Ghani, admitted in 2016 was "one of the most corrupt countries on earth ." And the deluge of aid the Afghan government received only worsened the corruption. As John Sopko, the heroic Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR), observed, " We need to understand how US policies and practices unintentionally aided and abetted corruption. We must recognize the danger of dealing with characters or networks of unsavory repute, tolerating contracting abuses, accepting shoddy performance and delivering unsustainable projects."

The closed House impeachment hearings last week heard from acting U.S. ambassador to the Ukraine William B. Taylor Jr., who testified that he " had authority over the bulk of the U.S. effort to support Ukraine against the Russian invasion and to help it defeat corruption." The Washington Post lauded Taylor as someone who " spent much of the 1990s telling Ukrainian politicians that nothing was more critical to their long-term prosperity than rooting out corruption and bolstering the rule of law , in his role as the head of U.S. development assistance for post-Soviet countries."

Transparency International, which publishes an annual Corruption Perceptions Index, shows that corruption surged in Ukraine during the late 1990s and remains at obscene levels (though recent years have shown slight improvements). Taylor was ambassador to Ukraine from 2006 to 2009, when corruption sharply worsened despite hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. aid . Ukraine is now ranked as the 120th least corrupt nation in the world -- lower than Egypt and Pakistan, two other major U.S. aid recipients. What Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder is to the NFL, Taylor appears to be to the anti-corruption cause.

Bribing foreign politicians to encourage honest government makes as much sense as distributing free condoms to encourage abstinence. Rather than encouraging good governance practices, foreign aid is more likely to produce kleptocracies, or governments of thieves. As a Brookings Institution analysis observed, "The history of U.S. assistance is littered with tales of corrupt foreign officials using aid to line their own pockets, support military buildups, and pursue vanity projects." And both American politicians and bureaucrats are want to continue the aid gravy train, regardless of how foreign regimes waste the money or use it to repress their own citizens.

If U.S. aid was effective, Ukraine would have become a rule of law paradise long ago. The country's new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, may be sincere in his efforts to root out corruption. But it is an insult to both him and his nation to pretend that Ukraine cannot clean up its act without help from Donald Trump. The surest way to reduce foreign corruption is to end foreign aid.

[Nov 02, 2019] Time to Extricate From Ukraine by Doug Bandow

Notable quotes:
"... In excess of 13,000 people, mostly Ukrainians, are known to have died in this war, and some two million have been forced from their homes. The economy of eastern Ukraine has collapsed. Ukraine has suffered through painful economic dislocation and political division. Meanwhile, several hundred Russians are believed to have been killed fighting in the Donbass. Western sanctions have damaged Russia's weak economy. And although the majority of Crimeans probably wanted to join Russia, opposition activists and journalists have been abducted, brutalized, and/or imprisoned. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church has been closed and Tartars have been persecuted. ..."
"... Even though the overall idea of ending the sponsoring of the conflict by Washington is plausible there are a number of shortcomings in the article to put it mildly. I realize though that the author has to make Washington look innocent and Russia look bad to escape the danger of being stigmatized as a pro-Russian traitor. ..."
"... I understand why you want to thread the needle. After the invasions, having to add more failure or at the very least recognition of dysfunction to our foreign policy choices and consequences is a bitter pill. But as you note had the US and the EU seriously had the desire to add the Ukraine into the western European sphere of influence, they could have offered a better deal on oil - they didn't. ..."
"... I think we have got to stop accusing the then existing government of corruption. As your own article states, the history of unstable governance with accompanying "corruption" seems a staple and nonunique. ..."
"... And as is the case in developing countries, what we call corruption is a cultural staple of how business and affairs are conducted. Whatever the issues, the Ukrainian public was not overly beset by the results so as to spontaneously riot. ..."
"... How the civil unrest spun out of control the second time in ten years, can be linked directly to US and EU involvement. ..."
Oct 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Capt. Matthew McCoy, commander of Company A, 1st Battalion, 179th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team during international weapons training near Yavoriv, Ukraine, in 2017. (Photo by Sgt. Anthony Jones, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team)/U.S. Army

Recently Ukraine has been thrown into the spotlight as Democrats gear up to impeach President Donald Trump. More important, though, is its role in damaging America's relations with Russia, which has resulted in a mini-Cold War that the U.S. needs to end.

Ukraine is in a bad neighborhood. During the 17th century, the country was divided between Poland and Russia, and eventually ended up as part of the Russian Empire. Kiev then enjoyed only the briefest of liberations after the 1917 Russian Revolution, before being reabsorbed by the Soviet Union. It later suffered from a devastating famine as Moscow confiscated food and collectivized agriculture. Ukraine was ravaged during Germany's World War II invasion, and guerrilla resistance to renewed Soviet control continued for years afterwards.

In 1991, the collapse of the U.S.S.R. gave Ukraine another, more enduring chance for independence. However, the new nation's development was fraught: GDP dropped by 60 percent and corruption burgeoned. Ukraine suffered under a succession of corrupt, self-serving, and ineffective leaders, as the U.S., Europe, and Russia battled for influence.

In 2014, Washington and European governments backed a street putsch against the elected, though highly corrupt, pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych. The Putin government responded by annexing Crimea and backing separatist forces in Eastern Ukraine's Donbass region. Washington and Brussels imposed economic sanctions on Russia and provided military aid to Kiev.

The West versus Russia quickly became a "frozen" conflict. Moscow reincorporated Crimea into Russia, from which it had been detached in 1954 as part of internal Soviet politics. In the Donbass, more than a score of ceasefires came and went. Both Ukraine and Russia failed to fulfill the 2016 Minsk agreements, which sought to end the conflict.

In excess of 13,000 people, mostly Ukrainians, are known to have died in this war, and some two million have been forced from their homes. The economy of eastern Ukraine has collapsed. Ukraine has suffered through painful economic dislocation and political division. Meanwhile, several hundred Russians are believed to have been killed fighting in the Donbass. Western sanctions have damaged Russia's weak economy. And although the majority of Crimeans probably wanted to join Russia, opposition activists and journalists have been abducted, brutalized, and/or imprisoned. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church has been closed and Tartars have been persecuted.

The most important geopolitical impact has been to poison Russia's relations with the West. Moscow's aggressions against Ukraine cannot be justified, but the U.S. and Europe did much to create the underlying suspicion and hostility. Recently declassified documents reveal the degree to which Western officials misled Moscow about their intention to expand NATO. Allied support for adding Georgia and Ukraine, which would have greatly expanded Russian vulnerability, generated a particularly strong reaction in Moscow. The dismemberment of Serbia with no consideration of Russia's interests was another irritant, along with Western support for "color revolutions" elsewhere, including in Tbilisi. The ouster of Yanukovych finally triggered Putin's brutal response.

Washington and Brussels apparently did not view their policies as threatening to Russia. However, had Moscow ousted an elected Mexican president friendly to America, while inviting the new government to join the Warsaw Pact, and worked with a coalition of Central American states to divert Mexican trade from the U.S., officials in Washington would not have been pleased. They certainly wouldn't have been overly concerned about juridical niceties in responding.

This explains (though does not justify) Russia's hostile response. Subsequent allied policies then turned the breach in relations into a gulf. The U.S. and European Union imposed a series of economic sanctions. Moreover, Washington edged closer to military confrontation with its provision of security assistance to Kiev. Moscow responded by challenging America from Syria to Venezuela.

It also began moving towards China. The two nations' differences are many and their relationship is unstable. However, as long as their antagonism towards Washington exceeds their discomfort with each other, they will cooperate to block what they see as America's pursuit of global hegemony.

Why is the U.S. entangled in the Ukrainian imbroglio? During the Cold War, Ukraine was one of the fabled "captive nations," backed by vigorous advocacy from Ukrainian Americans. After the Soviet Union collapsed, they joined other groups lobbying on behalf of ethnic brethren to speed NATO's expansion eastward. Security policy turned into a matter of ethnic solidarity, to be pursued irrespective of cost and risk.

To more traditional hawks who are always seeking an enemy, the issue is less pro-Ukraine than anti-Russia. Mitt Romney, the Republican Party's 2012 presidential nominee, improbably attacked Russia as America's most dangerous adversary. Hence the GOP's counterproductive determination to bring Kiev into NATO. Originally Washington saw the transatlantic alliance as a means to confront the Soviet menace; now it views the pact as a form of charity.

After the Soviet collapse, the U.S. pushed NATO eastward into nations that neither mattered strategically nor could be easily protected, most notably in the Balkans and Baltics. Even worse were Georgia and Ukraine, security black holes that would bring with them ongoing conflicts with Russia, possibly triggering a larger war between NATO and Moscow.

Ukraine never had been a matter of U.S. security. For most of America's history, the territory was controlled by either the Russian Empire or the Soviet Union. Washington's Cold War sympathies represented fraternal concerns, not security essentials. Today, without Kiev's aid, the U.S. and Europe would still have overwhelming conventional forces to be brought into any conflict with Moscow. However, adding Ukraine to NATO would increase the risk of a confrontation with a nuclear armed power. Russia's limitations when it comes to its conventional military would make a resort to nuclear weapons more likely in any conflict.

Nevertheless, George W. Bush's aggressively neoconservative administration won backing for Georgian and Ukrainian membership in NATO and considered intervening militarily in the Russo-Georgian war. However, European nations that feared conflict with Moscow blocked plans for NATO expansion, which went into cold storage. Although alliance officials still officially backed membership for Ukraine, it remains unattainable so long as conflict burns hot with Russia.

In the meantime, Washington has treated Ukraine as a de facto military ally, offering economic and security assistance. The U.S. has provided $1.5 billion for Ukrainian training and weapons, including anti-tank Javelin missiles. Explained Obama administration defense secretary Ashton Carter: "Ukraine would never be where it is without that support from the United States."

Equally important, the perception of U.S. backing made the Kiev government, headed by President Petro Poroshenko, less willing to pursue a diplomatic settlement with Russia. Thus did Ukraine, no less than Russia, almost immediately violate the internationally backed Minsk accord.

Kiev's role as a political football highlights the need for Washington to pursue an enduring political settlement with Russia. European governments are growing restless; France has taken the lead in seeking better relations with Moscow. Germany is unhappy with U.S. attempts to block the planned Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline. In Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky has campaigned to end the conflict.

Negotiators for Russia, Ukraine, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe recently met in Minsk to revive the agreement previously reached in the Belarus capital. They set an election schedule in the contested east, to be followed by passage of Ukrainian legislation to grant the region greater autonomy and separatists legal immunity. Despite strong opposition from nationalists, passage is likely since Zelensky's party holds a solid legislative majority.

Many challenges remain, but the West could aid this process by respecting Russian security concerns. The U.S. and its allies should formally foreclose Ukraine's membership in the transatlantic alliance and end lethal military aid. After receiving those assurances, Moscow would be expected to resolve the Donbass conflict, presumably along the lines of Minsk: Ukraine protects local autonomy while Russia exits the fight. Sanctions against Russia would be lifted. Ukrainians would be left to choose their economic orientation, since the country would likely be split between east and west for some time to come. The West would accept Russia's control of Crimea while refusing to formally recognize the conquest -- absent a genuinely independent referendum with independent monitors.

Such a compromise would be controversial. Washington's permanent war lobby would object. Hyper-nationalistic Ukrainians would double down on calling Zelensky a traitor. Eastern Europeans would complain about appeasing Russia. However, such a compromise would certainly be better than endless conflict.

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan. He is the author of Foreign Follies: America's New Global Empire.


cka2nd 12 hours ago

I credit Mr. Bandow for his largely fair and accurate description of the events in Ukraine of five years ago, and for his ultimate policy proposal for the US to extricate itself from its close involvement in the area. However, I'm a little confused by what exactly the author means by "Moscow's aggressions against Ukraine" and "Putin's brutal response" (aside from the treatment of dissidents and journalists as he specifically mentioned) to the Maidan Revolution.

Was it aggressive and brutal for Russia to support separatists in the Donbass who were facing the prospect of legal discrimination and violence by a criminal, neo-fascist government in Kiev, not to mention de-industrialization, the gutting of the agriculture sector and the forced economic migration of an enormous number of its young workers (assuming that Ukraine's economic deal with the EU followed the script of every other Easter European's country's deal with the EU)? If Yanukovych had fled to the Donbass and proclaimed himself still the freely elected (though certainly corrupt) President of the nation, Russia's support for the region would have even had a shiny brass legal fig leaf, wouldn't it?

As for the supposed "conquest" of Crimea, that's a rather strong word to use considering that all of two members of the Ukrainian military were killed, and 60-80 of them detained, while 15,000 defected to Russia. Compared to the violence in Kiev and Odessa, what happened in Crimea almost qualifies as a bloodless coup. But then Mr. Bandow shies away from using the word "hegemony" to describe the foreign policy of the United States, figuratively putting the word in the mouths of those bad men (which they are) in Moscow and Beijing. It's a pity that Mr. Bandow felt the need to make linguistic concessions to the foreign policy establishment in what was otherwise a useful and balanced piece.

minsredmash 9 hours ago
Even though the overall idea of ending the sponsoring of the conflict by Washington is plausible there are a number of shortcomings in the article to put it mildly. I realize though that the author has to make Washington look innocent and Russia look bad to escape the danger of being stigmatized as a pro-Russian traitor.
EliteCommInc. 8 hours ago
I understand why you want to thread the needle. After the invasions, having to add more failure or at the very least recognition of dysfunction to our foreign policy choices and consequences is a bitter pill. But as you note had the US and the EU seriously had the desire to add the Ukraine into the western European sphere of influence, they could have offered a better deal on oil - they didn't.

I think we have got to stop accusing the then existing government of corruption. As your own article states, the history of unstable governance with accompanying "corruption" seems a staple and nonunique.

And as is the case in developing countries, what we call corruption is a cultural staple of how business and affairs are conducted. Whatever the issues, the Ukrainian public was not overly beset by the results so as to spontaneously riot.

How the civil unrest spun out of control the second time in ten years, can be linked directly to US and EU involvement.

https://washingtonsblog.com...

https://thewashingtonstanda...

It is a deeply held belief that democracy is a system that by definition a generally acceptable path forward. That belief is false as democracy is still comprised of human beings. And democracy in their hands is no "cure all". It can be a turbulent and jerky bureaucratic maze process that pleases no one and works over time.

The US didn't accomplish it without violence until after more than 130 years, when the native populations were finally subdued. And as for a system that embodied equal treatment to similar circumstance -- we are still at it. But a violent revolution every ten years certainly isn't the most effective road to take.
-----------------

Why we insistent on restarting the cold war is unclear to me save that it served to create a kind of strategic global clarity Though what that means would troublesome because Russia's ole would now be as a developing democratic state as opposed to a communist monolith. And that means unfettered from her satellites and empowered by more capital markets her role as adversary would be more adroit. As time after time, Ores Putin has appeared the premier diplomat for peace and stability in situations in which the US was engaged or encouraging violence.(the Ukraine). I certainly don't think that our relations with Russia or China are a to be kumbaya love fests, there is still global competition and there's no reason to pretend it would be without tensions. But seriously, as a democratic/capital market player -- there really was no way to contain Russia.
----------------------

Given what we experienced during 2007 --- corruption comes in a mryiad of guises.

timoth3y 7 hours ago • edited
The Ukraine situation is complex to be certain, but ending military aid and letting Russia clean up seems like a bad idea.

This week we saw Russian forces occupy US bases abandoned when Trump ordered our troops to withdraw from the Turkish border. And now the author is arguing we should do something similar in the Ukraine.

When did Russian appeasement become so important to conservative foreign policy?

kouroi timoth3y 3 hours ago
Mate, Russians were in Syria at the invitation of the Syrian government. US troops are there illegally (no Congress mandate, no international mandate, no invitation). US is an occupying, destabilizing, terrorist protecting force in Syria and Americans should look beyond their self esteem before commenting on this "shameful" retreat. US does not have the right to put its troops wherever it fancies.

This win or loose mentality will be the death of you. Who do you think is threatening the US, when it has the biggest moats protecting its shores? The only thing that is happening is that the hegemonic role, that of controlling everyone's economy for its own elites benefit is being denied.

This is what you are complaining mate, the the rich Americans cannot get richer? Do you think they will share with you, or that, like the good English boys of the past, you will not be able to land a job with East India Co. and despoil the natives for a while?

Doug Wallis 6 hours ago
If the US were smart then they would lead some sort of negotiation where eastern Europe and Ukraine and Russia were allowed only mutually agreed defensive weapons systems. A demilitarization of say 200 miles on each side of the Russia border. The strategy should be to encourage trade between Eastern Europe and Russia where Russia has influence but is not threatening. It may be slow to build that trust but the real question is whether the US and Europe and NATO want peace with Russia or whether they are using fear of Russia to keep eastern Europe united with the US and Europe. This may be the case but the future will have China as a greater threat than Russia (China will even be a threat to Russia). Any shift in Russian relations will take decades of building trust on both sides.
tweets21 6 hours ago
Good article and excellent history of facts. If I recall during the last Bush administration W hosted a Putin and his then spouse, at a visit at his ranch. Putin informed W," the Ukraine belongs to Russia. end of sentence.
Disqus10021 5 hours ago
The author forgot the critical role of Sevastopol in the Crimea. It is Russia's only warm water port and there was no way that it was going to allow this area to become a NATO naval base. Secretary of State Clinton and her sidekick for Ukraine, Victoria Nuland should have known this before they started supporting the overthrow of the pro-Russia government in Kiev.

If you look at a historical atlas, you won't find an independent country called Ukraine before 1991. When my parents were born, near what is now called Lviv, the area was called Galicia and Lemberg was its provincial capital. A gold medal issued in 1916 in honor of Franz Josef's 85th birthday noted that he was the Kaiser of Austria, Hungary, Galicia and Lodomeria.

When the old Soviet Union agreed to allow East and West Germany to reunify, it was with the understanding that NATO would not extend membership to former Soviet block countries and that there would be no NATO bases in these areas either. NATO and the US broke their oral commitment to Russia a few years later.

The US should get out of the business of trying to spread democracy in third world countries and interfering in the affairs of foreign governments. We can't afford to be the policeman of the world. We don't even have the ability to make many of our own central cities safe for Americans. Think Baltimore, St. Louis, New Orleans and Detroit, all four of which appear on Wikipedia's list of the 50 murder capitals of the world (per thousand population).

kouroi Disqus10021 3 hours ago
It is not for the sake of spreading democracy mate, but to control those economies for the benefit of US economic elite.
Sid Finster 4 hours ago
"This explains (though does not justify) Russia's hostile response."

For the love of Pete, will TAC quit with offering limited concessions to the neocon position in an attempt to appear "serious" and "reasonable".

The United States formented an armed coup in Ukraine spearheaded by Nazis.

[Nov 01, 2019] The Piece of Presstitute Excrement known as the NYTimes Has Had to Admit that Yes there Is a Deep State at War with President Trump by Paul Craig Roberts

Nov 01, 2019 | www.unz.com

This is a surprisingly good report from Robert Merry. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/52461.htm

The only mistake Merry makes is his erroneous statement that Trump held up aid to Ukraine to pressure the Ukrainian president to investigate the Ukrainian firm that made $1,750,000 payments to the corrupt Biden and his corrupt son. The transcript of the telephone call between Trump and the Ukrainian president shows no Quid Pro Quo, and the Ukrainian president says there was none. The Quid Pro Quo was entirely on Biden's part when he told the president of Ukraine to fire the prosecutor investigating the firm that was paying him and his son seven figures in protection money or forfeit $1 billion in US aid. You can watch it here: https://www.wsj.com/video/opinion-joe-biden-forced-ukraine-to-fire-prosecutor-for-aid-money/C1C51BB8-3988-4070-869F-CAD3CA0E81D8.html

Moreover, even it Trump did threaten to withhold aid from a country that was covering up corruption by a US vice president and his son, that is the US president's right. There is no reason whatsoever that a president should permit US taxpayers' money to be given to a government that covers up corruption by a vice president of the United States.

We know for a fact that there was corruption by Vice President Biden. He bragged about it before the Council on Foreign Relations. You can watch him doing so here: https://www.wsj.com/video/opinion-joe-biden-forced-ukraine-to-fire-prosecutor-for-aid-money/C1C51BB8-3988-4070-869F-CAD3CA0E81D8.html

Biden's son has admitted that he used poor judgment taking money from a firm in order to protect it from prosecution.

Even if Trump did what the Democrats allege, which he did not, there is nothing illegal or unethical about it whatsoever. Compared to the tactics US prosecutors use to convict the innocent, Trump's conversation with the president of Ukraine is far above the highest ethics known to US prosecutors.

Why aren't the Democrats complaining about the criminally illegal treatment of Julian Assange and Manning? The reason is that the Democrats, the most utterly corrupt political organization on the face of the Earth, are bought and paid for by the Deep State. The Democrats are dog excrement to the core. They are traitors to America and to our Constitutional order. The entire party should be arrested and put on trial for sedition to overthrow the government of the United States.

[Oct 30, 2019] Here Are the Giuliani-Ukraine Notes Few Have Seen RealClearInvestigations

Oct 30, 2019 | www.realclearinvestigations.com

In addition to the fired Shokin's claim that President Poroshenko warned him not to investigate Burisma because it was not in the Bidens' interest, the notes say, the prosecutor also said he "was warned to stop" by the then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey R. Pyatt .

The State Department declined to explain this assertion about Pyatt, who was ambassador to Ukraine from 2013 to 2016 and now is Ambassador to Greece. The Biden presidential campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Recounting Shokin's version of events, the notes say he "was called into Mr. Poroshenko's office and told that the investigation into Burisma and the Managing Director where Hunter Biden is on the board, has caused Joe Biden to hold up one billion dollars in U.S. aid to Ukraine." Poroshenko later told Shokin that "he had to be fired as the aid to the Ukraine was being withheld by Joe Biden," the Giuliani interview notes say.

Trump has claimed that Vice President Biden pressured the Ukrainian government to fire Shokin because he was investigating his son's employer.

"I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that's really unfair," the president said, referring to Shokin in his July 25 phone call with Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelensky. That call triggered the current impeachment crisis after a CIA whistleblower alleged that Trump had pressured the Ukrainian leader to investigate Biden in return for military aid.

A Politico investigation in 2017 found that officials in Poroshenko's government helped Hillary Clinton allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, notably Paul Manafort, who before joining the Trump campaign was a political consultant for ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

Poroshenko's administration insisted at the time that Ukraine stayed neutral in the race.

[Oct 30, 2019] Read full terms and conditions

Oct 30, 2019 | docs.disqus.com

Dr. Rieux a day ago ,

Chuck Schumer is Senate Minority Leader.

Kenneth_Almquist a day ago ,

"Most of the press coverage has tacitly assumed that American assistance is vital to fighting corruption in Ukraine."

Then I must have missed most of the press coverage. First of all, most of the reporting I've seen has been about Trump's attempts to convince Ukraine to dig up dirt on Trump's political opponents. The purpose of the aid package is a minor part of the story, but when it has been discussed the reporting I've seen has indicated that the purpose of the aid package that Trump held up was to help the Ukrainian military, not to fight corruption. So I can't help wondering: where does James Bovard gets his news?

Wise_pharaoh Kenneth_Almquist 12 hours ago ,

Very true!!! This author set up a straw man argument in the second paragraph, then proceeds to knock it down. I expect better than this on this site.

Alex (the one that likes Ike) Kenneth_Almquist 10 hours ago ,

Then you've missed the point of this article. It's neither about the purpose of that aid. It's about the aid as such leading to corruption. Do you really think Ukrainians will have any troubles with selling those weapons out to some Middle Eastern or African caudillos? Or maybe you think that a single penny from the sums obtained as a result of that sellout will end up in the hands of their average citizens, and not in those of local mobsters and oligarchs?

IanDakar a day ago ,

I believe I am reading this right: That providing foreign aid is always going to lead to corruption. That what Trump did with Ukraine is basically drinking the same sauce others have in the past and anyone else will do in the future. That then suggests that the solution is to close the tap and end using foreign aid because, whatever the initial motive, it's too corrupting an influence.

In that... honestly that's the best argument I've heard against foreign aid. Typically I hear arguments from economic standpoints, which seemed silly when many of the targetted examples are in the millions-pennies by US standards.

But putting it from a control standpoint: that leadership, present or future, will either use foreign aid as a cover for corrupt means or take an active use of foreign aid as a wedge against a foreign country.

I can hear a counterargument that "we are a superpower. We should be helping others." And the response I hear in my head is "given our inability to truly help others without such corruption and how we abuse the status, maybe we really do need to let that title go." It means giving it up to Russia or China, but we aren't doing a good job holding them back, even if we should be doing so.

Ignoring the world really isn't an option. But our priority should probably be to focus on home as we can and better ourselves rather than ruining yourselves while ruining everyone who brushes with us.

So yeah. I can see the idea behind pulling back from these foreign aid elements.

The "just don't tell the House impeachment hearings." did seem rather clickbaity. It suggests this is an argument against the impeachment hearings as if their mistaken believe in supporting foreign aid is a mark against the hearings themselves. The article itself doesn't seem to go that route. "just don't tell congress" would've done far better. But that's a nitpick combined with all of this impeachment discussion leaving me rather kneejerky.

Alex (the one that likes Ike) 20 hours ago • edited ,

Not only Ukraine is the most corrupt country in Europe, it's also the poorest on the continent. It became such after all American aid and after all, much, much bigger IMF loans. Which makes one kind of suggest that the known level of corruption there is only a tip of the iceberg.

But, getting back home, I just love those "closed impeachment hearings". Paraphrasing the famous quotation, why so closed? Afraid that, being it open, any half-literate first-year law college student (not to mention Rudy and the DoJ) would tear the so-called "evidence" asunder?

jeff Alex (the one that likes Ike) 12 hours ago ,
It became such after all American aid and after all, much, much bigger IMF loans

I feel like you're glossing over some other major events that have happened in the South and East of the country which have contributed to the sluggish economic development and hampered the corruption fight...

marqueemoons Alex (the one that likes Ike) 10 hours ago ,

The open hearings will come, Alex. They're closed because those are the rules Republicans abided by with the Benghazi hearings. However it's going to take a lot more than Rudy and the DoJ to combat testimony from Trump-appointed ambassadors who've been plucked from retirement to help with Ukraine and say that there was a quid pro quo.

Grace Austin • 20 hours ago ,

So what's the point here, foreign aid to corrupt governments is standard American policy, so Presidential corruption in distributing that aid is no big deal.

"The surest way to reduce foreign corruption is to end foreign aid."

This is a point that can and has been argued. I remember having just that debate in relation to aid to Africia in the '80s.

However, the House is investigating Presidential coruption in the distribution of that aid and that would seem to be a different matter.

=marco01= 19 hours ago • edited ,

If you think Trump cares about corruption in Ukraine, I have a Trump U course to sell you.

Trump tried to extort a foreign leader to help him win an election, this is beyond dispute to anyone who isn't ignoring the facts. He wanted the president of Ukraine to make a public announcement that he was investigating Hunter Biden. Whether the investigation would turn up anything was irrelevant, Trump knew an appearance of Biden corruption could work wonders for him.

Alex (the one that likes Ike) =marco01= 10 hours ago ,

Oh yes... The purported presence of the "evidence" of the said "extortion" is precisely why the House hearings are closed. And, of course, Trump's most vital necessity was kicking the weakest of his opponents out of the race, so that Democrats could pick someone with better chances, instead of the continuation of the DNC's idiotic course aimed at nominating that one at all costs, which persists even now.

HarryTruman2016 17 hours ago ,

Just like the corrupt aid we have been giving to dictatorships since WW II ended. The difference is the president in previous decades did not use the aid as a bribe to foreign leaders to conduct nefarious investigations on US citizens. I can only imagine the columns TAC would write if Obama called the Saudi Crown Prince in 2010 and told him that military aid is contingent on information about their business dealings with the Bush family because Jeb might run in 2012.

Alex (the one that likes Ike) HarryTruman2016 9 hours ago ,

Then where's the evidence of that "bribe" having even happened? As of yet we have only a clownery called "closed hearings" and the idea that Trump would be interested in getting rid of the weakest of his possible opponents which defies the mere principles of logic.

gdpbull 16 hours ago ,

From the article,

"Ukraine is now ranked as the 120th least corrupt nation in the world -- lower than Egypt and Pakistan"

I predict the following - A Washington Post headline will be

"Obama Administration brought Ukraine onto the list of least corrupt nations in the world."

Jon Lester 15 hours ago ,

Zelensky still needed an oligarch's backing, so I wouldn't get my hopes up.

, Sid Finster Trump=Obama 13 hours ago ,

Hogwash. Tell us how "Russian interference" has forced the Ukrainian junta to be as corrupt, brutal and incompetent as it has been since it became a full-fledged US puppet?

Rossbach 13 hours ago ,

A better use of our hard-earned tax dollars would be for the US government to put its own house in order before addressing problems of "corruption" abroad.

Sid Finster 13 hours ago ,

This has been old news since at least Vietnam.

AdmBenson 11 hours ago ,

Corruption is incidental to the political control that foreign aid provides to the US. In other words, it's a feature and not a bug. The exception to this rule is Israel, where US foreign aid is turned around to exert influence on American politicians. Again, a feature and not a bug.

Don't hold your breath waiting for this situation to change.

marqueemoons 10 hours ago ,

There's a counter-point to this; American aid in Germany and Japan did not produce corrupt cultures.

Jett_Rucker 8 hours ago ,
bureaucrats are want to continue the aid

Letting the children take care of the editing, again?

Ken T • 8 hours ago ,

The purpose of foreign aid is not to end corruption. It is to show the corrupt that we can outbid anyone else they are contemplating turning to.

Jett_Rucker 6 hours ago ,

Charitable (non-government) aid typically nurtures corruption, too
Arm's-length dealing is the cure and the preventive, and it's the only one.
I know - sounds cruel, doesn't it?
I usually do - just ask my children

[Oct 30, 2019] U.S. Aid Makes Corrupt Countries More Corrupt

Oct 30, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

U.S. Aid Makes Corrupt Countries More Corrupt Our 'democracy building' assistance to certain countries--including Ukraine--has produced kleptocracies, or worse. By James Bovard October 30, 2019

Barricade with the protesters at Hrushevskogo street on January 26, 2014 in Kiev, Ukraine. Sasha Maksymenko / cc Counting on foreign aid to reduce corruption is like expecting whiskey to cure alcoholism. After closed House of Representatives impeachment hearings heard testimony on President Trump's role in delaying U.S. aid to Ukraine, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer declared: " Numbers don't lie . It's even more clear now that President Trump is not the anti-corruption crusader he claims to be."

Most of the press coverage has tacitly assumed that American assistance is vital to fighting corruption in Ukraine. But that ignores foreign aid's toxic record and Ukraine's post-Soviet history.

A 2002 American Economic Review analysis concluded that "increases in [foreign] aid are associated with contemporaneous increases in corruption," and that "corruption is positively correlated with aid received from the United States."

That was the year President George W. Bush launched a new foreign aid program, the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA). Bush declared, "I think it makes no sense to give aid , money, to countries that are corrupt." But the Bush administration continued delivering billions of dollars in handouts to many of the world's most corrupt regimes. By 2004, the State Department had codified what amounted to backtracking: " The MCA is an incentive-based supplement to other U.S. aid programs." The Bush team found excuses to give MCA aid to some of the world's most corrupt governments as well, including Georgia.

In 2010, President Barack Obama proclaimed at the United Nations that America was " leading a global effort to combat corruption ." Obama's "aides said the United States in the past has often seemed to just throw money at problems ," the Los Angeles Times reported. But the reform charade was exposed the following year when the Obama administration fiercely resisted congressional efforts to curb wasteful aid. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned that restricting handouts to nations that fail anti-corruption tests "has the potential to affect a staggering number of needy aid recipients."

The Obama administration continued pouring tens of billions of American tax dollars into sinkholes such as Afghanistan, which even its president, Ashraf Ghani, admitted in 2016 was "one of the most corrupt countries on earth ." And the deluge of aid the Afghan government received only worsened the corruption. As John Sopko, the heroic Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR), observed, " We need to understand how US policies and practices unintentionally aided and abetted corruption. We must recognize the danger of dealing with characters or networks of unsavory repute, tolerating contracting abuses, accepting shoddy performance and delivering unsustainable projects."

The closed House impeachment hearings last week heard from acting U.S. ambassador to the Ukraine William B. Taylor Jr., who testified that he " had authority over the bulk of the U.S. effort to support Ukraine against the Russian invasion and to help it defeat corruption." The Washington Post lauded Taylor as someone who " spent much of the 1990s telling Ukrainian politicians that nothing was more critical to their long-term prosperity than rooting out corruption and bolstering the rule of law, in his role as the head of U.S. development assistance for post-Soviet countries."

Transparency International, which publishes an annual Corruption Perceptions Index, shows that corruption surged in Ukraine during the late 1990s and remains at obscene levels (though recent years have shown slight improvements). Taylor was ambassador to Ukraine from 2006 to 2009, when corruption sharply worsened despite hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. aid . Ukraine is now ranked as the 120th least corrupt nation in the world -- lower than Egypt and Pakistan, two other major U.S. aid recipients. What Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder is to the NFL, Taylor appears to be to the anti-corruption cause.

Bribing foreign politicians to encourage honest government makes as much sense as distributing free condoms to encourage abstinence. Rather than encouraging good governance practices, foreign aid is more likely to produce kleptocracies, or governments of thieves. As a Brookings Institution analysis observed, "The history of U.S. assistance is littered with tales of corrupt foreign officials using aid to line their own pockets, support military buildups, and pursue vanity projects." And both American politicians and bureaucrats are want to continue the aid gravy train, regardless of how foreign regimes waste the money or use it to repress their own citizens.

If U.S. aid was effective, Ukraine would have become a rule of law paradise long ago. The country's new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, may be sincere in his efforts to root out corruption. But it is an insult to both him and his nation to pretend that Ukraine cannot clean up its act without help from Donald Trump. The surest way to reduce foreign corruption is to end foreign aid.

James Bovard is the author of Lost Rights , Attention Deficit Democracy , and Public Policy Hooligan . He is also a USA Today columnist. Follow him on Twitter @JimBovard .

[Oct 27, 2019] The Plundering Of Ukraine By Corrupt American Democrats

Notable quotes:
"... Burisma Gas company had to pay extortion money to the president Poroshenko. Eventually its founder and owner Mr Nicolai Zlochevsky decided to invite some important Westerners into the company's board of directors hoping it would moderate Poroshenko's appetites. He had brought in Biden's son Hunter, John Kerry, Polish ex-President Kwasniewski; but it didn't help him. ..."
"... Poroshenko became furious that the fattened calf may escape him, and asked the Attorney General Shokin to investigate Burisma trusting some irregularities would emerge. AG Shokin immediately discovered that Burisma had paid these 'stars' between 50 and 150 thousand dollar per month each just for being on the list of directors. This is illegal by the Ukrainian tax code; it can't be recognised as legitimate expenditure. ..."
"... These [neoliberal] politicians are the absolute dregs of our society. Human cesspits. They make the pirates of old look like kindergarten. And they mass murder to get the loot. ..."
"... Author does not mention approx 40 tons of gold transferred to US at night, covered lorries, darkened airfield. Coincidentally just a few hours before MH370 went missing ..."
"... Implementation of Western values and democracy cost Libia more than 134 ton of gold. Not including shares and valuable papers..How democracy working in Libya? ..."
"... Regarding the Ukraine, about 12 oligarch holding of 60% of the wealth.Today the Ukrainian oligarch have to pay USA democrats oligarch for protection. Whatever who is Ukraine President-they must to pay to USA.Ukraine today is like banana republic :Honduras or Guatemala with 60% of population living below poverty line. Just do the homework all of you readers. ..."
"... All Democrats and RINO's who are currently participating in the impeachment hoax in order to keep themselves from being indicted, prosecuted, and imprisoned for their parts in this corruption are automatically guilty of obstruction of justice, because that's exactly what they're doing. ..."
"... She was never supposed to lose. ..."
"... DNC types always show up at these poor countries to plunder them. Haiti: Clinton Foundation. Ukraine: Clinton Foundation. Ukraine: Biden Family foundation. ..."
Oct 27, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Indeed, John Kerry, the Secretary of State in Obama's administration, was his partner-in-crime. But Joe Biden was number one. During the Obama presidency, Biden was the US proconsul for Ukraine, and he was involved in many corruption schemes. He authorised transfer of three billion dollars of the US taxpayers' money to the post-coup government of the Ukraine; the money was stolen, and Biden took a big share of the spoils.

It is a story of ripping the US taxpayer and the Ukrainian customer off for the benefit of a few corruptioners, American and Ukrainian. And it is a story of Kiev regime and its dependence on the US and IMF. The Ukraine has a few midsize deposits of natural gas, sufficient for domestic household consumption. The cost of its production was quite low; and the Ukrainians got used to pay pennies for their gas. Actually, it was so cheap to produce that the Ukraine could provide all its households with free gas for heating and cooking, just like Libya did. Despite low consumer price, the gas companies (like Burisma) had very high profits and very little expenditure.

After the 2014 coup, IMF demanded to raise the price of gas for the domestic consumer to European levels, and the new president Petro Poroshenko obliged them. The prices went sky-high. The Ukrainians were forced to pay many times more for their cooking and heating; and huge profits went to coffers of the gas companies. Instead of raising taxes or lowering prices, President Poroshenko demanded the gas companies to pay him or subsidise his projects. He said that he arranged the price hike; it means he should be considered a partner.

Burisma Gas company had to pay extortion money to the president Poroshenko. Eventually its founder and owner Mr Nicolai Zlochevsky decided to invite some important Westerners into the company's board of directors hoping it would moderate Poroshenko's appetites. He had brought in Biden's son Hunter, John Kerry, Polish ex-President Kwasniewski; but it didn't help him.

Poroshenko became furious that the fattened calf may escape him, and asked the Attorney General Shokin to investigate Burisma trusting some irregularities would emerge. AG Shokin immediately discovered that Burisma had paid these 'stars' between 50 and 150 thousand dollar per month each just for being on the list of directors. This is illegal by the Ukrainian tax code; it can't be recognised as legitimate expenditure.

At that time Biden the father entered the fray. He called Poroshenko and gave him six hours to close the case against his son. Otherwise, one billion dollars of the US taxpayers' funds won't pass to the Ukrainian corruptioners. Zlochevsky, the Burisma owner, paid Biden well for this conversation: he received between three and ten million dollars, according to different sources.

AG Shokin said he can't close the case within six hours; Poroshenko sacked him and installed Mr Lutsenko in his stead. Lutsenko was willing to dismiss the case of Burisma, but he also could not do it in a day, or even in a week. Biden, as we know, could not keep his trap shut: by talking about the pressure he put on Poroshenko, he incriminated himself. Meanwhile Mr Shokin gave evidence that Biden put pressure on Poroshenko to fire him, and now it was confirmed. The evidence was given to the US lawyers in connection with another case, Firtash case.

... ... ...

This is not the only case of US-connected corruption in Ukraine. There is Amos J. Hochstein, a protege of former VP Joe Biden, who has served in the Barack Obama administration as the Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources. He still hangs on the Ukraine. Together with an American citizen Andrew Favorov, the Deputy Director of Naftogas he organised very expensive "reverse gas import" into Ukraine. In this scheme, the Russian gas is bought by Europeans and afterwards sold to Ukraine with a wonderful margin. In reality, gas comes from Russia directly, but payments go via Hochstein. It is much more costly than to buy directly from Russia; Ukrainian people pay, while the margin is collected by Hochstein and Favorov. Now they plan to import liquefied gas from the United States, at even higher price. Again, the price will be paid by the Ukrainians, while profits will go to Hochstein and Favorov.

In all these scams, there are people of Clinton and spooks who are fully integrated in the Democratic Party. A former head of CIA, Robert James Woolsey, now sits on the Board of Directors of Velta, producing Ukrainian titanium. Woolsey is a neocon, a member of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), pro-Israel think-tank, and a man who relentlessly pushed for Iraq war. A typical Democrat spook, now he gets profits from Ukrainian ore deposits.

One of the best Ukrainian corruption stories is connected with Audrius Butkevicius, the former Minister of Defence (1996 to 2000) and a Member of the Seimas (Parliament) of post-Soviet Lithuania. Mr AB is supposedly working for MI6, and now is a member of the notorious Institute for Statecraft, a UK deep state propaganda outfit involved in disinformation operations, subversion of the democratic process and promoting Russophobia and the idea of a new cold war. In 1991 he commanded snipers that shoot Lithuanian protesters. The kills were ascribed to the Soviet armed forces, and the last Soviet President Mr Gorbachev ordered speedy withdrawal of his troops from Lithuania. Mr AB became the Minister of Defence of his independent nation. In 1997 the Honourable Minister of Defence "had requested 300,000 USD from a senior executive of a troubled oil company for his assistance in obtaining the discontinuance of criminal proceedings concerning the company's vast debts", in the language of the court judgement. He was arrested on receipt of the bribe, had been sentenced to five years of jail, but a man with such qualifications was not left to rot in a prison.

In 2005 he commanded the snipers who killed protesters in Kyrgyzstan, in Georgia he repeated the feat in 2003 during the Rose Revolution. In 2014 he did it again in Kiev, where his snipers killed around a hundred men, protesters and police. He was brought to Kiev by Mr Turchinov, who called himself the "acting President" and who countersigned Joe Biden's billion dollars' grant.

In October 2018 the name of Mr AB came up again. Military warehouses of Chernigov had caught fire; allegedly thousands of shells stored for fighting the separatists had been destroyed by fire. And it was not the first fire of this kind: the previous one, equally huge, torched Ukrainian army warehouses in Vinnitsa in 2017. Altogether, there were 12 huge army arsenal fires for the last few years. Just for 2018, the damage was over $2 billion.

When Chief Military Prosecutor of Ukraine Anatoly Matios investigated the fires, he discovered that 80% of weapons and shells in the warehouses were missing. They weren't destroyed by fire, they weren't there in the first place. Instead of being used to kill the Russian-speaking Ukrainians of Donetsk, the hardware had been shipped from the port of Nikolaev to Syria, to the Islamic rebels and to ISIS. And the man who organised this enormous operation was our Mr AB, the old fighter for democracy on behalf of MI6, acting in cahoots with the Minister of Defence Poltorak and Mr Turchinov, the friend of Mr Biden. (They say Mr Matios was given $10 million for his silence).

The loss was of Ukrainian people, and of US taxpayers, while the beneficiaries were the Deep State, which is probably just another name for the deadly mix of spooks, media and politicians.


mog , 4 hours ago link

The Plundering Of Ukraine By Corrupt American Democrats. Whats new. The plundering of Syria - the Golan. Genie oil - Every leading democrat name is on that Shareholder's list. Plundering of Serbia. Kosovo, its Gold mines and Minerals. Speciality per Madeleine Albright . Wesley Clark and the Clintons. Sniff around where the Libyan gold went....not Fort Knox

These [neoliberal] politicians are the absolute dregs of our society. Human cesspits. They make the pirates of old look like kindergarten. And they mass murder to get the loot.

JPHR , 4 hours ago link

Excellent explanation for Democrats trying to undercut Trump/Giuliani in any way they can (or can't actually).

deplorableX , 5 hours ago link

Author does not mention approx 40 tons of gold transferred to US at night, covered lorries, darkened airfield. Coincidentally just a few hours before MH370 went missing .

Franko , 4 hours ago link

Implementation of Western values and democracy cost Libia more than 134 ton of gold. Not including shares and valuable papers..How democracy working in Libya?

Franko , 5 hours ago link

Fantastic article. Thanks for Israel. Thanks God, whatever you believe or not, majority of the World citizens are good and friendly. Were did not nuke each other despite 1% of our corrupted elites. They hold about 90% of media, can give Hollywood Oscar Price or Nobel Price to my lovely dog. If I paid them.

Regarding the Ukraine, about 12 oligarch holding of 60% of the wealth.Today the Ukrainian oligarch have to pay USA democrats oligarch for protection. Whatever who is Ukraine President-they must to pay to USA.Ukraine today is like banana republic :Honduras or Guatemala with 60% of population living below poverty line. Just do the homework all of you readers.

B52Minot , 5 hours ago link

You will NOT see once micron of this on the lame stream Media.....nor out of the mouths of Dems anywhere.....THIS info if true should ensure the Dem corrupt Party is dissolved and a new one using pro-USA model is erected.

That we have seen little of this story in the Wall Street Journal nor Fox News shows just who controls those networks for sure.....This story MUST become a part of the Congressional record....ASAP.....and ALL these folks no matter which Party MUST be held accountable for lost US Funds...OUR TAX DOLLARS. Imagine what could be done with 3 BILLION for OUR Vets or the homeless......yet you see little exposure of this corruption any where in US papers or even conservative outfits...????

LightBeamCowboy , 5 hours ago link

All Democrats and RINO's who are currently participating in the impeachment hoax in order to keep themselves from being indicted, prosecuted, and imprisoned for their parts in this corruption are automatically guilty of obstruction of justice, because that's exactly what they're doing.

She was never supposed to lose.

blindfaith , 5 hours ago link

And the winner is: George Soros

JPHR , 4 hours ago link

Soros still alive because the devil is wise enough to refuse "regime change" operators.

Jackprong , 5 hours ago link

DNC types always show up at these poor countries to plunder them. Haiti: Clinton Foundation. Ukraine: Clinton Foundation. Ukraine: Biden Family foundation.

Zhaupka , 5 hours ago link

Corrupt American Democrats AND Corrupt American Republicans . . . who gave Standing Ovations in Washington, District of Columbia, United States Capitol for the Murders and Burning Humans Alive. United States President Trump never received 5 minute Standing Ovations in Washington, District of Columbia, United States Capitol by the Capitalist Political Party composed of two factions: Corrupt American Republicans AND Corrupt American Democrats.

Idaho potato head , 4 hours ago link

But Poroshenko did.

PeterLong , 6 hours ago link

So Shamir says that Tsarev is claiming Daniluk is the "whistleblower"? A foreigner can be a whistleblower?

And " Daniluk was supposed to accompany President Zelensky on his visit to Washington; but he was informed that there is an order for his arrest. He remained in Kiev." ?? An order to arrest Daniluk in Washington, is that the claim? Why and who would arrest him in Washington?

We would all be better off, including the Ukrainians, if they had stayed with Russia, where they were.

[Oct 27, 2019] The nature of former Ukrainian president revealed on one small typo

He really proved to be pathologically greedy bastard.
Oct 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

uncle tungsten , Oct 27 2019 0:30 utc | 45

james #39
are you familiar with the name porkoshenko


Barfly award to you for best typo this thread. :))

james , Oct 27 2019 1:23 utc | 53
@45 uncle t - lol... porky for short! that is mostly how i think of him..

[Oct 26, 2019] The Plundering of Ukraine by Corrupt American Democrats by Israel Shamir

Highly recommended!
Money quote: “Top Dems are involved in the plundering of the Ukraine: new names, mind-boggling accounts."
Notable quotes:
"... Indeed, John Kerry, the Secretary of State in Obama's administration, was his partner-in-crime. But Joe Biden was number one. During the Obama presidency, Biden was the US proconsul for Ukraine, and he was involved in many corruption schemes. He authorised transfer of three billion dollars of the US taxpayers' money to the post-coup government of the Ukraine; the money was stolen, and Biden took a big share of the spoils. ..."
"... Two years ago, (that is already under President Trump) the United States began to investigate the allocation of 3 billion dollars; it was allocated in 2014, in 2015, in 2016; one billion dollars per year. The investigation showed that the documents were falsified, the money was transferred to Ukraine, and stolen. The investigators tracked each payment, discovered where the money went, where it was spent and how it was stolen. ..."
"... The money was allocated with the flagrant violation of American law. There was no risk assessment, no audit reports. Normally the USAID, when allocating cash, always prepares a substantial package of documents. But the billions were given to Ukraine completely without documents. The criminal case on the embezzlement of USAID funds had been signed personally by the US Attorney General, so these issues are very much alive. ..."
"... Poroshenko was aware of that; he gave orders to declare Sam Kislin persona non grata. Once the old man (he is over 80) flew into Kiev airport and he was not allowed to come in; he spent the night in detention and was flown back to the US next day. Poroshenko had been totally allied with Clinton camp. ..."
"... In all these scams, there are people of Clinton and spooks who are fully integrated in the Democratic Party. A former head of CIA, Robert James Woolsey, now sits on the Board of Directors of Velta , producing Ukrainian titanium. Woolsey is a neocon, a member of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), pro-Israel think-tank, and a man who relentlessly pushed for Iraq war. A typical Democrat spook, now he gets profits from Ukrainian ore deposits. ..."
"... The loss was of Ukrainian people, and of US taxpayers, while the beneficiaries were the Deep State, which is probably just another name for the deadly mix of spooks, media and politicians. ..."
"... The globalist criminal elites will not be held responsible for any of these crimes. They're bound together by ties of blackmail forged by guys like Epstein, mutually assured incrimination in serial swindles which cross Left and Right political boundaries and literal murder in the case of guys like Seth Rich. ..."
"... If they were only stealing money it would be bad enough, but the fact that these same grifters are our "diplomats" and warmakers is positively Orwellian. Watching these petty hoodlums play nuclear chicken with Russia so they can squeeze more shekels from the supine Ukraine would be laughable if I could get the first-strike nightmares of my Cold War childhood out of my head long enough to laugh. ..."
Oct 26, 2019 | www.unz.com

A talk with Oleg Tsarev reveals the alleged identity of the "Trump/Ukraine Whistleblower" Israel Shamir October 25, 2019 2,400 Words 6 Comments Reply

Top Dems are involved in the plundering of the Ukraine: new names, mind-boggling accounts. The mysterious 'whistleblower' whose report had unleashed the impeachment is named in the exclusive interview given to the Unz Review by a prominent Ukrainian politician, an ex-Member of Parliament of four terms, a candidate for Ukraine's presidency, Oleg Tsarev.

Mr Tsarev, a tall, agile and graceful man, a good speaker and a prolific writer, had been a leading and popular Ukrainian politician before the 2014 putsch; he stayed in the Ukraine after President Yanukovych's flight; ran for the Presidency against Mr Poroshenko, and eventually had to go to exile due to multiple threats to his life. During the failed attempt to secede, he was elected the speaker of the Parliament of Novorossia (South-Eastern Ukraine). I spoke to him in Crimea, where he lives in the pleasant seaside town of Yalta. Tsarev still has many supporters in the Ukraine, and is a leader of the opposition to the Kiev regime.

Oleg, you followed Biden story from its very inception. Biden is not the only Dem politician involved in the Ukrainian corruption schemes, is he?

Indeed, John Kerry, the Secretary of State in Obama's administration, was his partner-in-crime. But Joe Biden was number one. During the Obama presidency, Biden was the US proconsul for Ukraine, and he was involved in many corruption schemes. He authorised transfer of three billion dollars of the US taxpayers' money to the post-coup government of the Ukraine; the money was stolen, and Biden took a big share of the spoils.

It is a story of ripping the US taxpayer and the Ukrainian customer off for the benefit of a few corruptioners, American and Ukrainian. And it is a story of Kiev regime and its dependence on the US and IMF. The Ukraine has a few midsize deposits of natural gas, sufficient for domestic household consumption. The cost of its production was quite low; and the Ukrainians got used to pay pennies for their gas. Actually, it was so cheap to produce that the Ukraine could provide all its households with free gas for heating and cooking, just like Libya did. Despite low consumer price, the gas companies (like Burisma) had very high profits and very little expenditure.

After the 2014 coup, IMF demanded to raise the price of gas for the domestic consumer to European levels, and the new president Petro Poroshenko obliged them. The prices went sky-high. The Ukrainians were forced to pay many times more for their cooking and heating; and huge profits went to coffers of the gas companies. Instead of raising taxes or lowering prices, President Poroshenko demanded the gas companies to pay him or subsidise his projects. He said that he arranged the price hike; it means he should be considered a partner.

Burisma Gas company had to pay extortion money to the president Poroshenko. Eventually its founder and owner Mr Nicolai Zlochevsky decided to invite some important Westerners into the company's board of directors hoping it would moderate Poroshenko's appetites. He had brought in Biden's son Hunter, John Kerry, Polish ex-President Kwasniewski; but it didn't help him.

Poroshenko became furious that the fattened calf may escape him, and asked the Attorney General Shokin to investigate Burisma trusting some irregularities would emerge. AG Shokin immediately discovered that Burisma had paid these 'stars' between 50 and 150 thousand dollar per month each just for being on the list of directors. This is illegal by the Ukrainian tax code; it can't be recognised as legitimate expenditure.

At that time Biden the father entered the fray. He called Poroshenko and gave him six hours to close the case against his son. Otherwise, one billion dollars of the US taxpayers' funds won't pass to the Ukrainian corruptioners. Zlochevsky, the Burisma owner, paid Biden well for this conversation: he received between three and ten million dollars, according to different sources.

AG Shokin said he can't close the case within six hours; Poroshenko sacked him and installed Mr Lutsenko in his stead. Lutsenko was willing to dismiss the case of Burisma, but he also could not do it in a day, or even in a week. Biden, as we know, could not keep his trap shut: by talking about the pressure he put on Poroshenko, he incriminated himself. Meanwhile Mr Shokin gave evidence that Biden put pressure on Poroshenko to fire him, and now it was confirmed. The evidence was given to the US lawyers in connection with another case, Firtash case.

What is Firtash Case?

The Democrats wanted to get another Ukrainian oligarch, Mr Firtash, to the US and make him to confess that he illegally supported Trump's campaign for the sake of Russia. Firtash had been arrested in Vienna, Austria; there he fought extradition to the US. His lawyers claimed it is purely political case, and they used Mr Shokin's deposition to substantiate their claim. For this reason, the evidence supplied by Shokin is not easily reversible, even if Shokin were willing, and he is not. He also stated under oath that the Democrats pressurised him to help and extradite Firtash to the US, though he had no standing in this purely American issue. It seems that Mrs Clinton believes that Firtash's funds helped Trump to win elections, an extremely unlikely thing [says Mr Tsarev].

Talking about Burisma and Biden; what is this billion dollars of aid that Biden could give or withhold?

It is USAID money, the main channel of the US aid for "support of democracy". First billion dollars of USAID came to the Ukraine in 2014. This was authorised by Joe Biden, while for Ukraine, the papers were signed by Mr Turchinov, the "acting President". The Ukrainian constitution does not know of such a position, and Turchinov, "the acting President" had no right to sign neither a legal nor financial document. Thus, all the documents that were signed by him, in fact, had no legal force. However, Biden countersigned the papers signed by Turchynov and allocated money for Ukraine. And the money was stolen – by the Democrats and their Ukrainian counterparts.

Two years ago, (that is already under President Trump) the United States began to investigate the allocation of 3 billion dollars; it was allocated in 2014, in 2015, in 2016; one billion dollars per year. The investigation showed that the documents were falsified, the money was transferred to Ukraine, and stolen. The investigators tracked each payment, discovered where the money went, where it was spent and how it was stolen.

As a result, in October 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice opened a criminal case for "Abuse of power and embezzlement of American taxpayers' money". Among the accused there are two consecutive Finance Ministers of the Ukraine, Mrs Natalie Ann Jaresko who served 2014-2016 and Mr Alexander Daniluk who served 2016-2018, and three US banks. The investigation caused the USAID to cease issuing grants since August 2019. As Trump said, now the US does not give away money and does not impose democracy.

The money was allocated with the flagrant violation of American law. There was no risk assessment, no audit reports. Normally the USAID, when allocating cash, always prepares a substantial package of documents. But the billions were given to Ukraine completely without documents. The criminal case on the embezzlement of USAID funds had been signed personally by the US Attorney General, so these issues are very much alive.

Sam Kislin was involved in this investigation. He is a good friend and associate of Giuliani, Trump's lawyer and an ex-mayor of New York. Kislin is well known in Kiev, and I have many friends who are Sam's friends [said Tsarev]. I learned of his progress, because some of my friends were detained in the United States, or interrogated in Ukraine. They briefed me about this. It appears that Burisma is just the tip of the scandal, the tip of the iceberg. If Trump will carry on, and use what was already initiated and investigated, the whole headquarters of the Democratic party will come down. They will not be able to hold elections. I have no right to name names, but believe me, leading functionaries of the Democratic party are involved.

Poroshenko was aware of that; he gave orders to declare Sam Kislin persona non grata. Once the old man (he is over 80) flew into Kiev airport and he was not allowed to come in; he spent the night in detention and was flown back to the US next day. Poroshenko had been totally allied with Clinton camp.

And President Zelensky? Is he free from Clintonite Democrats' influence?

If he were, there would not be the scandal of Trump phone call. How the Democrats learned of this call and its alleged content? The official version says there was a CIA man, a whistle-blower, who reported to the Democrats. What the version does not clarify, where this whistle-blower was located during the call. I tell you, he was located in Kiev, and he was present at the conversation, at the Ukrainian President Zelensky's side. This man was (perhaps) a CIA asset, but he also was a close associate of George Soros, and a Ukrainian high-ranking official. His name is Mr Alexander Daniluk . He is also the man the investigation of Sam Kislin and of the DoJ had led to, the Finance Minister of Ukraine at the time, the man who was responsible for the embezzlement of three billion US taxpayer's best dollars. The DoJ issued an order for his arrest. Naturally he is devoted to Biden personally, and to the Dems in general. I would not trust his version of the phone call at all.

Daniluk was supposed to accompany President Zelensky on his visit to Washington; but he was informed that there is an order for his arrest. He remained in Kiev. And soon afterwards, the hell of the alleged leaked phone call broke out. Zelensky administration investigated and concluded that the leak was done by Mr Alexander Daniluk, who is known for his close relations with George Soros and with Mr Biden. Alexander Daniluk had been fired. (However, he did not admit his guilt and said the leak was done by his sworn enemy, the head of president's administration office, Mr Andrey Bogdan , who allegedly framed Daniluk.)

This is not the only case of US-connected corruption in Ukraine. There is Amos J. Hochstein , a protege of former VP Joe Biden, who has served in the Barack Obama administration as the Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources. He still hangs on the Ukraine. Together with an American citizen Andrew Favorov , the Deputy Director of Naftogas he organised very expensive "reverse gas import" into Ukraine. In this scheme, the Russian gas is bought by Europeans and afterwards sold to Ukraine with a wonderful margin. In reality, gas comes from Russia directly, but payments go via Hochstein. It is much more costly than to buy directly from Russia; Ukrainian people pay, while the margin is collected by Hochstein and Favorov. Now they plan to import liquefied gas from the United States, at even higher price. Again, the price will be paid by the Ukrainians, while profits will go to Hochstein and Favorov.

In all these scams, there are people of Clinton and spooks who are fully integrated in the Democratic Party. A former head of CIA, Robert James Woolsey, now sits on the Board of Directors of Velta , producing Ukrainian titanium. Woolsey is a neocon, a member of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), pro-Israel think-tank, and a man who relentlessly pushed for Iraq war. A typical Democrat spook, now he gets profits from Ukrainian ore deposits.

One of the best Ukrainian corruption stories is connected with Audrius Butkevicius , the former Minister of Defence (1996 to 2000) and a Member of the Seimas (Parliament) of post-Soviet Lithuania. Mr AB is supposedly working for MI6, and now is a member of the notorious Institute for Statecraft , a UK deep state propaganda outfit involved in disinformation operations, subversion of the democratic process and promoting Russophobia and the idea of a new cold war. In 1991 he commanded snipers that shoot Lithuanian protesters. The kills were ascribed to the Soviet armed forces, and the last Soviet President Mr Gorbachev ordered speedy withdrawal of his troops from Lithuania. Mr AB became the Minister of Defence of his independent nation. In 1997 the Honourable Minister of Defence "had requested 300,000 USD from a senior executive of a troubled oil company for his assistance in obtaining the discontinuance of criminal proceedings concerning the company's vast debts", in the language of the court judgement. He was arrested on receipt of the bribe, had been sentenced to five years of jail, but a man with such qualifications was not left to rot in a prison.

In 2005 he commanded the snipers who killed protesters in Kyrgyzstan, in Georgia he repeated the feat in 2003 during the Rose Revolution. In 2014 he did it again in Kiev, where his snipers killed around a hundred men, protesters and police. He was brought to Kiev by Mr Turchinov, who called himself the "acting President" and who countersigned Joe Biden's billion dollars' grant.

In October 2018 the name of Mr AB came up again. Military warehouses of Chernigov had caught fire; allegedly thousands of shells stored for fighting the separatists had been destroyed by fire. And it was not the first fire of this kind: the previous one, equally huge, torched Ukrainian army warehouses in Vinnitsa in 2017. Altogether, there were 12 huge army arsenal fires for the last few years. Just for 2018, the damage was over $2 billion.

When Chief Military Prosecutor of Ukraine Anatoly Matios investigated the fires, he discovered that 80% of weapons and shells in the warehouses were missing. They weren't destroyed by fire, they weren't there in the first place. Instead of being used to kill the Russian-speaking Ukrainians of Donetsk, the hardware had been shipped from the port of Nikolaev to Syria, to the Islamic rebels and to ISIS. And the man who organised this enormous operation was our Mr AB, the old fighter for democracy on behalf of MI6, acting in cahoots with the Minister of Defence Poltorak and Mr Turchinov, the friend of Mr Biden. (They say Mr Matios was given $10 million for his silence).

The loss was of Ukrainian people, and of US taxpayers, while the beneficiaries were the Deep State, which is probably just another name for the deadly mix of spooks, media and politicians.


Exile , says: October 25, 2019 at 6:42 pm GMT

The globalist criminal elites will not be held responsible for any of these crimes. They're bound together by ties of blackmail forged by guys like Epstein, mutually assured incrimination in serial swindles which cross Left and Right political boundaries and literal murder in the case of guys like Seth Rich. The cozy proximity of recently-murdered Epstein himself to crypto-converso AG Barr's family only makes me more certain that they will get away with this heist like they've done with dozens of other billion-dollar swindles.

If they were only stealing money it would be bad enough, but the fact that these same grifters are our "diplomats" and warmakers is positively Orwellian. Watching these petty hoodlums play nuclear chicken with Russia so they can squeeze more shekels from the supine Ukraine would be laughable if I could get the first-strike nightmares of my Cold War childhood out of my head long enough to laugh.

romar , says: October 25, 2019 at 8:17 pm GMT
Who will hold then responsible? The country appears to have been entirely taken over by crookish spooks and politicians.
The US is now confirmed as a cleptocracy.
Si1ver1ock , says: October 25, 2019 at 9:28 pm GMT
Kind of makes me wish I owned a national newspaper. This would be a great front page story.
Walt , says: October 26, 2019 at 12:22 am GMT
Ukraine is corrupted by outsiders (those who are not Ukrainian/Russian). In past centuries there was a simple but effective answer to foreigners corrupting their country. The Cossacks would sharpen up their sabres. saddle up their horses and have a slaughter. It was effective then and would be effective today. Get rid of those who are not Slavic.
Erebus , says: October 26, 2019 at 3:37 am GMT
The last act of an Imperial elite is to loot the Empire.

[Oct 23, 2019] Zelenskii in Free Fall

I do not think that Ukraine demand are all that bad if other conditions such as grating the region special status and the level of autonomy similar to Crimea in the past are fulfilled. With Russian language restored in status as a regional language. Plus total unconditional amnesty. All three are prerequisite for successful reintegration and in those condition t make sense: (1) the LNR/DNR dissolve themselves, (2) that they have to leave the Ruble zone and switch back to the Grivna, (3) that the local military forces have to be disbanded and, finally, (4) that Kiev wants the total control of the LDNR/Russian border. But also should be a strict prohibition of any member of paramilitary battalions to enter the autonomous region under the penalty to prison sentence for several years to prevent revenge killings.
The problems with Ukrainian economy are structural and the absence of economic detente with Russia alone can be undoing of Zelensky government. Further accumulation of IMF credits is the only way forward. Add to this almost total breakdown of economic ties with Russia because of EuroMaydan and subsequent Western Ukraine nationalist coup d'état, and you have Catch 22 situation for him. Add to the pressure from the USA and the impression is the there is no way of this situation . BTW Poroshenko despite all his rhetoric somehow managed to preserve his chocolate factory in Russia ;-)
Oct 22, 2019 | astutenews.com
...First, Trump, Macron and Merkel apparently told Zelenskii that he had to sign the so-called Steinmeier formula, which basically spells out the sequence of confidence-building and de-escalation measures foreseen by the Minsk Agreements. Now, you would be excused for thinking that this is a no-brainer. After all, the Minsk Agreements were ratified by the UNSC (which makes them mandatory, no "if" or "buts" about this!) and it was Poroshenko who agreed to the Steinmeier formula.

Heck, in 2016 he sure did not have a problem with it, but in 2019 he now calls the self-same formula a Russian invention and that there is no such thing as a Steinmeier formula, see for yourself (in Ukrainian only):

https://www.youtube.com/embed/VN4OEP1QOmo?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

So what is the big deal?

The problem of the "non-existing Nazis"

Zelenskii's problem can be summed up in a simple sentence: the non-existing Nazis. Well, at least in the past all the Neo-Nazis cum Jew-haters were constantly trying to convince us that there are no Nazis in the Ukraine; apparently, my use of the term Ukronazi really set them off. Then came the election in which an absolute majority of Ukrainians rejected Poroshenko's drive for war and voted for Zelenskii. If the Ukrainian people voted en masse to elect an anti-war/pro-peace Jew, surely the Ukronazis were just a small minority of fringe individuals, right?

Wrong! Very very wrong!

And if those who were whitewashing the Ukrainian Nazis (obviously to obfuscate their real ideology and power) had paid closer attention they would have seen signs of real Nazi power all over this election.

First, there was the remarkable change in tone in Zelenskii's rhetoric. Just like so many politicians (including Trump!), he radically changed his tune and clearly tried to say one thing when speaking to the general Ukrainian public and quite another when meeting with the Nazis or nationalist exiles in the USA.

You could say that there is a "Nazi deep state" in the Ukraine which, just like the other deep states out there, can weather any elected president and quickly reassert its control over whomever the people elected.

You don't believe me when I say that he actually hosted the Ukronazis "fringe minority"? Fine, see for yourself:

In the photo above, Zelenskii is sitting with your typical gang of Ukronazi skinheads, including members of the infamous Azov death-squad, and he is trying really hard to charm them while they, very publicly, have threatened him with a new Maidan.

And this is not an isolated case or a fluke.

Zelenskii's prime minister went to a concert for an openly Nazi "Scream" music group called Sekira Peruna and thanked the crowd of veterans of the "anti terrorist operation" (i.e. thugs from the Ukronazi deathsquads) for being there and for saving the Ukraine. I did not find any English language translation of the typical lyrics of Sekira Peruna, but I assure you that they contain all the obligatory nonsense which the Nazi ideology is built upon (see here for a very good article with more details on this event and the Nazis involved).

Check out what their concert posters look like (shown here on the right) or, even better, check out the website of this group: http://sokyraperuna.com/

'Nuff said, I think.

So what is going on here?

Basically, exactly what I predicted as soon as Zelenskii was elected in my article " Zelenskii's dilemma " in which I wrote: (emphasis added)

The Nazi-occupied Ukraine is not a democracy, but a plutocracy combined with an ochlocracy . The oligarchs are still there, as are the neo-Nazis mobs and death squads. And that creates an immense problem for Zelenskii: this new Rada might well represent the views of a majority of the Ukrainian people, but the real power in the country is not concentrated in the Rada at all: it is in the streets ( ) The people of the Ukraine desperately want peace. For the time being, the Rada reflects this overwhelmingly important fact. I say "for the time being" because what will happen next is that the various forces and individuals who currently support Zelenskii have done so just to gain power. They do not, however, have a common ideological platform or even a common program. As soon as things go south (which they will inevitably do) many (most?) of these folks will turn against Zelenskii and side with whoever can muster the biggest crowds and mete out the most violence. Now that he got elected, Zelenskii quasi-instantly switched to the exact same rhetoric as what got Poroshenko so severely defeated. Why? Because Zelenskiii is afraid that the neo-Nazi mobs and death squads will be unleashed against him at the very first opportunity. In fact, the neo-Nazis have already begun promising a new Maidan. The truth is that Zelenskii has to choose between acting on the will of the people and face the wrath of the neo-Nazis or do the will of the neo-Nazis and face the wrath of the people : tertium non datur! So far, Zelenskii has apparently decided that talking is all he is going to do simply because his triumphant electoral victories have landed him in the middle of an immense minefield, and any steps he takes from now on could cost him very dearly . Right now, in the short term, the neo-Nazi mobs represent a much bigger danger to Zelenskii than the (disorganized, demoralized and generally apathetic) people. But this will inevitably change as the economic and political situation gets worse .

We see exactly that scenario unfolding before our eyes. Zelenskii took not one, but three very real, if small, steps. First, he ordered a pullback of some regular Ukrainian armed forces from a few important segments of the line of contact, then he agreed to a relatively minor prisoner exchange and, finally, he ordered the Ukrainian delegation to sign the Steinmeier formula. The prisoner exchange went okay for both sides. The Ukronazis soon categorically rejected any withdrawal and they publicly promised to immediately re-occupy any village vacated by the regular army and they rejected what they call the "Russian" or "Putin" formula. So far there were a few attempts to block the thugs of the Azov battalion, but after a few minor clashes, the Azov people passed the police line. And now, the Nazi organized mass protests in 300 Ukrainian cities. I could post lots of videos here, but that would take a lot of space. If you want to get a feel for what took place today, go to YouTube and copy-paste the following search query "протесты в украине" into the search bar, and then use the filter option and chose "this week": you will easily get many hours of video and you don't even need to understand a word of Ukrainian to immediately get it.

There is another very important factor which you will almost never see on these videos or on any public statements and that is that there are a number of civil and even criminal cases currently being brought to trial in the Ukraine against a host of officials of the ancient régime including even against Poroshenko (11-14 separate investigations just for him already!) These men (Poroshenko, Parubii, Turchinov, etc.) now have absolutely no choice but to try to overthrow Zelenskii.

Just like the US Dems need a coup against Trump (in the form of an impeachment or something else) because the Clinton-Biden gang now risks real, hard, jail time, so do the former Ukronazi leaders now need a coup against Zelenskii or they go to jail.

Initially, it appeared that Trump had given Poroshenko some personal security guarantees, but everybody knows how much the US President's security "guarantees" are worth (just ask the Kurds!). So Poroshenko did not flee the country. It now appears that some of the people behind Zelenskii (aka Kolomoiskii) are out to get the "Poroshenko clan & Associates" – Poroshenko has to either topple Zelenskii or run away abroad. There are also rumors that the US "deep state" (as opposed to the Trump Administration) is now putting pressure on Zelenskii to stop these investigations. Thus, the current battle between Trump and the Neocons and their "deep state" has now spilled over into the Ukraine and it appears that various US interest groups are now creating local Ukrainian surrogates whom they will use in their struggle against each other.

Furthermore, a real possibility opened up now that all sorts of previously buried issues will be investigated by the Ukrainian prosecutors including:

  1. An official and true investigation to find out who opened fired on the police and demonstrators during the Euromaidan
  2. MH-17
  3. Ukronazi atrocities in the Donbass
  4. Human rights violations in the Ukraine (where over 1000 political prisoners are still being held) starting with innumerable cases of horrible torture of detainees (in secret torture camps, à la CIA, including an especially infamous one in Mariupol).
  5. Poroshenko's role in the "Crimea Bridge provocation"
  6. All the many murders of journalists and opponents to the Nazis beginning with the murder of Oles Buzina
  7. A quasi infinite list of war profiteering, corruption, fraud, etc. etc. etc.

Simply put: there is no way that the Ukronazis will just stand by and let those investigations proceed. And while it is true that numerically the Ukronazis are a small minority in the Ukraine, there is plenty enough of them to terrify Zelenskii and his handlers, especially considering that they are 1) well armed 2) many have frontline combat experience and 3) that they are willing not only to engage in "regular" violence, but also to commit atrocities and engage in terrorism (they did plenty of both in the Donbass).

Zelenskii does have a number of things going for him: first, the mandate of the people (though his popularity is already down from 73% to 66% – which is still very big), his legal prerogatives as the President and Commander in Chief and the support of Kolomoiskii's strong network of international connections, especially in Israel.

But that is all rather theoretical so far.

All Zelenskii has done, besides hosting the skinheads in his office, was to make a 14 hour long interview with a group of reporters. Yes, fourteen hours. Alas, all he achieved was to show that he is a much better actor than politician. In fact, most experts seem to agree that in his role as President Zelenskii is a total failure who speaks a lot, says a lot of silly things when he does, and seems to be absolutely unable to take any real action.

At the time of writing (Wed 16th) the leader of the Ukronazis has given Zelenskii 10 days to yield to all the demands of the opposition. If not, he has promised to trigger a new Maidan and bring millions of people to the streets.

Yup. The "tiny" "fringe" and otherwise "non-existing" Nazis have now given Zelenskii an ultimatum.

Zelenskii is in free fall: Trump, Macron and Merkel are demanding that he abide by the decisions of the UNSC, the Minsk Agreements and the Steinmeier formula. The Russians have clearly indicated that unless tangible and real progress is made in the implementation of this formula, there will be nothing else to discuss. The Ukraine is basically bankrupt and desperately needs both Novorussian coal and Russian gas . Furthermore, only a removal of the self-defeating barriers and boycotts imposed by the former regime against any trade or even communications with Russia could begin to kick-start the economy of what is now clearly a failed state.

Yet the Nazis will oppose any and all such measures, with violence if needed. As for Zelenskii, he appears to be in a no win situation: no matter what he does next, things will only get worse. Thus the most likely outcome of all these processes will be, in the short term, further futile attempts by Zelenskii to appease the Nazis (thereby alienating the general population), in the middle term a violent confrontation, followed in the long term by (the probably inevitable) break-up of the Ukraine into separately much more viable parts.

UPDATE : I just heard that the Ukraine is now demanding that 1) the LNR/DNR dissolve themselves, 2) that they have to leave the Ruble zone and switch back to the Hrivna, 3) that the local military forces have to be disbanded and, finally, 4) that Kiev wants the total control of the LDNR/Russian border.

Well, good luck with that, folks! I hope they are not holding their breath (they aren't – they are just trying to find a pretext to renege on their legal and political obligations )


By The Saker
Source: The Unz Review

[Oct 20, 2019] Impeachment as election gambit. Schiff fraud is exposed, but it does not matter: who cares so long as Trump slowly roasts in the court of public opinion

Notable quotes:
"... Just to remind you: the charge against Trump is that he tried to expose a massive rip off of the people of Ukraine, made practical thanks to the US replacing an elected President with a bunch of neo-nazis in uniforms, for political advantage. ..."
"... And that is to put aside the obvious point that nothing could be more advantageous to any Presidential candidate than to have to run against Joe Biden, supported by Hillary Clinton. ..."
Oct 20, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

bevin , Oct 20 2019 15:31 utc | 16

"Will he be convicted in the Senate? Who cares so long as he slowly roasts in the court of public opinion."

Do you not see how unlikely it is that a story which demonstrates the utter corruption, personally, of Joe Biden and, institutionally, of the Obama regime will, as it unwinds, turn the people against Trump?

Just to remind you: the charge against Trump is that he tried to expose a massive rip off of the people of Ukraine, made practical thanks to the US replacing an elected President with a bunch of neo-nazis in uniforms, for political advantage.

And that is to put aside the obvious point that nothing could be more advantageous to any Presidential candidate than to have to run against Joe Biden, supported by Hillary Clinton.

... ... ...

[Oct 20, 2019] How did the United States become so involved in Ukraine's torturous and famously corrupt politics? The short answer is NATO expansion

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... How did the United States become so involved in Ukraine's torturous and famously corrupt politics? The short answer is NATO expansion <= maybe something different? I like pocketbook expansion.. NATO Expansion provides cover and legalizes the private use of Presidential directed USA resources to enable a few to make massively big profits at the expense of the governed in the target area. ..."
"... Hypothesis 1: NATO supporters are more corrupt than Ukraine officials. ..."
"... Hypothesis 2: NATO expansion is a euphemism for USA/EU/ backed private party plunder to follow invade and destroy regime change activities designed to dispossess local Oligarchs of the wealth in NATO targeted nations? Private use of public force for private gain comes to mind. ..."
"... A lot of intelligence agency manipulation and private pocketbook expanding corruption can be hidden behind NATO expansion.. Please prove to me that Biden and the hundreds of other plunders became so deeply involved in Ukraine because of NATO expansion? ..."
"... As it is right now, the most likely outcome of the Western initiative in Ukraine will be substantially lower living standards than there would be otherwise for most Ukrainians. ..."
"... The US actions in Ukraine are typical, not exceptional. Acting as an Empire, the US always installs the worst possible scum in power in its vassals, particularly in newly acquired ones. ..."
"... Has he forgotten the historical conversation of Nuland and Payatt picking the next president of Ukraine "Yats is our guy" and "Yats" actually emerging as the president a week later ? None of these facts are in any way remotely compatible with passive role professor Cohen ascribes to the US. ..."
"... We don't know what happens next, but we know the following: Ukraine will not be in EU, or Nato. It will not be a unified, prosperous country. It will continue losing a large part of its population. And oligarchy and 'corruption' is going to stay. ..."
"... Another Maidan would most likely make things even worse and trigger a complete disintegration. Those are the wages of stupidity and desperation – one can see an individual example with AP, but they all seem like that. ..."
Oct 20, 2019 | www.unz.com

Dan Hayes says: October 4, 2019 at 4:46 am GMT • 100 Words @Ron Unz Proprietor Ron,

Thanks for your sharing you views about Prof Cohen, a most interesting and principled man.

Only after reading the article did I realize that the UR (that's you) also provided the Batchelor Show podcast. Thanks.

I've been listening to these broadcasts over their entirety, now going on for six or so years. What's always struck me is Cohen's level-headeness and equanimity. I've also detected affection for Kentucky, his native state. Not something to be expected from a Princeton / NYU academic nor an Upper West Side resident.

And once again expressing appreciation for the UR!


sally , says: October 4, 2019 at 4:47 am GMT

How did the United States become so involved in Ukraine's torturous and famously corrupt politics? The short answer is NATO expansion <= maybe something different? I like pocketbook expansion.. NATO Expansion provides cover and legalizes the private use of Presidential directed USA resources to enable a few to make massively big profits at the expense of the governed in the target area.

Behind NATO lies the reason for Bexit, the Yellow Jackets, the unrest in Iraq and Egypt, Yemen etc.

Hypothesis 1: NATO supporters are more corrupt than Ukraine officials.
Hypothesis 2: NATO expansion is a euphemism for USA/EU/ backed private party plunder to follow invade and destroy regime change activities designed to dispossess local Oligarchs of the wealth in NATO targeted nations? Private use of public force for private gain comes to mind.

I think [private use of public force for private gain] is what Trump meant when Trump said to impeach Trump for investigating the Ukraine matter amounts to Treason.. but it is the exactly the activity type that Hallmarks CIA instigated regime change.

A lot of intelligence agency manipulation and private pocketbook expanding corruption can be hidden behind NATO expansion.. Please prove to me that Biden and the hundreds of other plunders became so deeply involved in Ukraine because of NATO expansion?

Beckow , says: October 4, 2019 at 8:16 am GMT

The key question is what is the gain in separating Ukraine from Russia, adding it to NATO, and turning Russia and Ukraine into enemies. And what are the most likely results, e.g. can it ever work without risking a catastrophic event?

There are the usual empire-building and weapons business reasons, but those should function within a rational framework. As it is right now, the most likely outcome of the Western initiative in Ukraine will be substantially lower living standards than there would be otherwise for most Ukrainians. And an increase in tensions in the region with inevitable impact on the business there. So what exactly is the gain and for whom?

eah , says: October 4, 2019 at 11:55 am GMT
The Washington-led attempt to fast-track Ukraine into NATO in 2013–14 resulted in the Maidan crisis, the overthrow of the country's constitutionally elected president Viktor Yanukovych, and to the still ongoing proxy civil war in Donbass.

Which exemplifies the stupidity and arrogance of the American military/industrial/political Establishment -- none of that had anything to do with US national security (least of all antagonizing Russia) -- how fucking hypocritical is it to presume the Monroe Doctrine, and then try to get the Ukraine into NATO? -- none of it would have been of any benefit whatsoever to the average American.

Roberto Masioni , says: October 4, 2019 at 12:09 pm GMT
According to a recent govt study, only 12% of Americans can read above a 9th grade level. This effectively mean (((whoever))) controls the MSM controls the world. NOTHING will change for the better while the (((enemy))) owns our money supply.
Pamela , says: October 4, 2019 at 3:41 pm GMT
There was NO "annexation" of Crimea by Russia. Crimea WAS annexed, but by Ukraine.
Russia and Crimea re-unified. Crimea has been part of Russia for long than America has existed – since it was taken from the Ottoman Empire over 350 yrs ago. The vast majority of the people identify as Russian, and speak only Russian.

To annex, the verb, means to use armed force to seize sovereign territory and put it under the control of the invading forces government. Pretty much as the early Americans did to Northern Mexico, Hawaii, etc. Russia used no force, the Governors of Crimea applied for re-unification with Russia, Russia advised a referendum, which was held, and with a 96% turnout, 97% voted for re-unification. This was done formally and legally, conforming with all the international mandates.

It is very damaging for anyone to say that Russia "annexed" Crimea, because when people read, quickly moving past the world, they subliminally match the word to their held perception of the concept and move on. Thus they match the word "annex" to their conception of the use of Armed Force against a resistant population, without checking.

All Cohen is doing here is reinforcing the pushed, lying Empire narrative, that Russia invaded and used force, when the exact opposite is true!!

follyofwar , says: October 4, 2019 at 3:56 pm GMT
@Carlton Meyer One wonders if Mr. Putin, as he puts his head on the pillow at night, fancies that he should have rolled the Russian tanks into Kiev, right after the 2014 US-financed coup of Ukraine's elected president, which was accomplished while he was pre-occupied with the Sochi Olympics, and been done with it. He had every justification to do so, but perhaps feared Western blowback. Well, the blowback happened anyway, so maybe Putin was too cautious.

The new Trump Admin threw him under the bus when it installed the idiot Nikki Haley as UN Ambassador, whose first words were that Russia must give Crimea back. With its only major warm water port located at Sevastopol, that wasn't about to happen, and the US Deep State knew it.

Given how he has been so unfairly treated by the media, and never given a chance to enact his Russian agenda, anyone who thinks that Trump was 'selected' by the deep state has rocks for brains. The other night, on Rick Sanchez's RT America show, former US diplomat, and frequent guest Jim Jatras said that he would not be too surprised if 20 GOP Senators flipped and voted to convict Trump if the House votes to impeach.

The deep state can't abide four more years of the bombastic, Twitter-obsessed Trump, hence this Special Ops Ukraine false flag, designed to fool a majority of the people. The smooth talking, more warlike Pence is one of them. The night of the long knives is approaching.

AnonFromTN , says: October 4, 2019 at 4:02 pm GMT
The US actions in Ukraine are typical, not exceptional. Acting as an Empire, the US always installs the worst possible scum in power in its vassals, particularly in newly acquired ones.

The "logic" of the Dem party is remarkable. Dems don't even deny that Biden is corrupt, that he blatantly abused the office of Vice-President for personal gain. What's more, he was dumb enough to boast about it publicly. Therefore, let's impeach Trump.

These people don't give a hoot about the interests of the US as a country, or even as an Empire. Their insatiable greed for money and power blinds them to everything. By rights, those who orchestrated totally fake Russiagate and now push for impeachment, when Russiagate flopped miserably, should be hanged on lampposts for high treason. Unfortunately, justice won't be served. So, we have to be satisfied with an almost assured prospect of this impeachment thing to flop, just like Russiagate before it. But in the process incalculable damage will be done to our country and its institutions.

AnonFromTN , says: October 4, 2019 at 4:07 pm GMT
@Pamela In fact, several Western sources reluctantly confirmed the results of Crimean referendum of 2014:
German polling company GFK
http://www.gfk.com/ua/Documents/Presentations/GFK_report_FreeCrimea.pdf
Gallup
http://www.bbg.gov/wp-content/media/2014/06/Ukraine-slide-deck.pdf

Those who support the separation of Kosovo from Serbia without Serbian consent cannot argue against separation of Crimea from Ukraine without the consent of Kiev regime.

On the other hand, those who believe that post-WWII borders are sacrosanct have to acknowledge that Crimea belongs to Russia (illegally even by loose Soviet standards transferred to Ukraine by Khrushchev in 1956), Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and Soviet Union should be restored, and Germany should be re-divided.

Alden , says: October 4, 2019 at 5:35 pm GMT
At least now I know why Ukraine is so essential to American national security. It's so even more of my and my families' taxes can pay for a massive expansion of Nato, which means American military bases in Ukraine. Greenland to the borders of China.

We're encircling the earth, like those old cartoons about bankers.

chris , says: October 4, 2019 at 9:11 pm GMT
@Ron Unz I had to stop listening after the 10th min. where the good professor (without any push-back from the interviewer) says:

Victor Yanukovich was overthrown by a street coup . at that moment, the United States and not only the United States but the Western European Governments had to make a decision would they acknowledge the overthrow of Yannukovic as having been legitimate, and therefore accept whatever government emerged, and that was a fateful moment within 24hours, the governments, including the government of president Obama endorsed what was essentially a coup d'etat against Yanukovich.

Has the good Professor so quickly forgotten about Victoria Nuland distributing cookies with John McCain in the Maidan as the coup was still unfolding? Her claim at the think tank in DC where she discusses having spent $30million (if I remember correctly) for foisting the Ukraine coup ?

Has he forgotten the historical conversation of Nuland and Payatt picking the next president of Ukraine "Yats is our guy" and "Yats" actually emerging as the president a week later ? None of these facts are in any way remotely compatible with passive role professor Cohen ascribes to the US.

These are not simple omissions but willful acts of misleading of fools. The good professor's little discussed career as a resource for the secret services has reemerged after seemingly having been left out in the cold during the 1st attempted coup against Trump.

No, the real story is more than just a little NATO expansion as the professor does suggest, but more directly, the attempted coup that the US is still trying to stage in Russia itself, in order to regain control of Russia's vast energy resources which Putin forced the oligarchs to disgorge. The US desperately wants to achieve this in order to be able to ultimately also control China's access to those resources as well.

In the way that Iraq was supposed to be a staging post for an attack on Iran, Ukraine is the staging post for an attack on Russia.

The great Russian expert stirred miles very clear of even hinting at such scenarios, even though anyone who's thought about US world policies will easily arrive at this logical conclusion.

Anonymous [855] • Disclaimer , says: October 4, 2019 at 10:11 pm GMT
What about the theft of Ukraine's farmland and the enserfing of its rural population? Isn't this theft and enserfing of Ukrainians at least one major reason the US government got involved, overseeing the transfer of this land into the hands of the transnational banking crime syndicate? The Ukraine, with its rich, black soil, used to be called the breadbasket of Europe.

Consider the fanatical intervention on the part of Victoria Nuland and the Kagans under the guise of working for the State Dept to facilitate the theft. In a similar fashion, according to Wayne Madsen, the State Dept. has a Dept of Foreign Asset Management, or some similar name, that exists to protect the Chabad stranglehold on the world diamond trade, and, according to Madsen, the language spoken and posters around the offices are in Hebrew, which as a practical matter might as well be the case at the State Dept itself.

According to an article a few years ago at Oakland Institute, George Rohr's NCH Capital, which latter organization has funded over 100 Chabad Houses on US campuses, owns over 1 million acres of Ukraine farmland. Other ownership interests of similarly vast tracts of Ukraine farmland show a similar pattern of predation. At one point, it was suggested that the Yinon Plan should be understood to include the Ukraine as the newly acquired breadbasket of Eretz Israel. It may also be worth pointing out that now kosher Ivy League schools' endowments are among the worst pillagers of native farmland and enserfers of the indigenous populations they claim to protect.

AnonFromTN , says: October 5, 2019 at 3:04 pm GMT
@Mikhail Well, if we really go into it, things become complicated. What Khmelnitsky united with Russia was maybe 1/6th or 1/8th of current Ukraine. Huge (4-5 times greater) areas in the North and West were added by Russian Tsars, almost as great areas in the South and East taken by Tsars from Turkey and affiliated Crimean Khanate were added by Lenin, a big chunk in the West was added by Stalin, and then in 1956 moron Khrushchev "gifted" Crimea (which he had no right to do even by Soviet law). So, about 4/6th of "Ukraine" is Southern Russia, 1/6th is Eastern Poland, some chunks are Hungary and Romania, and the remaining little stub is Ukraine proper.
AnonFromTN , says: October 6, 2019 at 3:27 pm GMT
@anon American view always was: "yes, he is a son of a bitch, but he is our son of a bitch". That historically applied to many obnoxious regimes, now fully applies to Ukraine. In that Dems and Reps always were essentially identical, revealing that they are two different puppets run by the same puppet master.

Trump is hardly very intelligent, but he has some street smarts that degenerate elites have lost. Hence their hatred of him. It is particularly galling for the elites that Trump won in 2016, and has every chance of winning again in 2020 (unless they decide to murder him, like JFK; but that would be a real giveaway, even the dumbest sheeple would smell the rat).

Skeptikal , says: October 6, 2019 at 7:10 pm GMT
@follyofwar The only reason I can imagine that Putin/Russia would want to "take over" Ukraine and have this political problem child back in the family might be because of Ukraine's black soil.

But it is probably not worth the aggravation.

Russia is building up its agricultural sector via major greenhouse installations and other innovations.

Beckow , says: October 6, 2019 at 7:21 pm GMT
@AP Well, you are a true simpleton who repeats shallow conventional views. You don't ever seem to think deeper about what you write, e.g. if Yanukovitch could beat anyone in a 1-on-1 election than he obviously wasn't that unpopular and that makes Maidan illegal by any standard. You say he could beat Tiahnybok, who was one of the leaders of Maidan, how was then Maidan democratic? Or you don't care for democracy if people vote against your preferences?

Trade with Russia is way down and it is not coming back. That is my point – there was definitely a way to do this better. It wasn't a choice of 'one or the other' – actually EU was under the impression that Ukraine would help open up the Russian market. Your either-or wasn't the plan, so did Kiev lie to EU? No wonder Ukraine has a snowball chance in hell of joining EU.

AnonFromTN , says: October 6, 2019 at 8:09 pm GMT
@Skeptikal Russia moved to the first place in the world in wheat exports, while greatly increasing its production of meat, fowl, and fish. Those who supplied these commodities lost Russian market for good. In fact, with sanctions, food in Russia got a lot better, and food in Moscow got immeasurably better: now it's local staff instead of crap shipped from half-a-world away. Funny thing is, Russian production of really good fancy cheeses has soared (partially with the help of French and Italian producers who moved in to avoid any stupid sanctions).

So, there is no reason for Russia to take Ukraine on any conditions, especially considering Ukraine's exorbitant external debt. If one calculates European demand for transplantation kidneys and prostitutes, two of the most successful Ukrainian exports, Ukraine will pay off its debt – never. Besides, the majority of Russians learned to despise Ukraine due to its subservient vassalage to the US (confirmed yet again by the transcript of the conversation between Trump and Ze), so the emotional factor is also virtually gone. Now the EU and the US face the standard rule of retail: you broke it, you own it. That infuriates Americans and EU bureaucrats more than anything.

annamaria , says: October 6, 2019 at 8:10 pm GMT
@Sergey Krieger "Demography statistic won't support fairy tales by solzhenicin and his kind."

-- What's your point? Your post reads like an attempt at saying that Kaganovitch was white like snow and that it does not matter what crimes were committed in the Soviet Union because of the "demography statistic" and because you, Sergey Krieger, are a grander person next to Solzhenitsyn and "his kind." By the way, had not A. I. S. returned to Russia, away from the coziness of western life?

S.K.: "You should start research onto mass dying of population after 1991 and subsequent and ongoing demographic catastroph in Russia under current not as "brutal " as soviet regime."

-- If you wish: "The Rape of Russia: Testimony of Anne Williamson Before the Committee on Banking and Financial Services of the United States House of Representatives, September 21, 1999:" http://www.softpanorama.org/Skeptics/Pseudoscience/Harvard_mafia/testimony_of_anne_williamson_before_the_house_banking_committee.shtml

"Economic rape of post-USSR economic space was by design not by accident:"
http://www.softpanorama.org/Skeptics/Pseudoscience/harvard_mafia.shtml#Economic_rape_of_post_USSR_economic_space_was_by_design_not_by_accident

"MI6 role in economic rape of Russia, Ukraine, and other post-Soviet republics:" http://www.softpanorama.org/Skeptics/Pseudoscience/harvard_mafia.shtml#MI6_role_

AnonFromTN , says: October 6, 2019 at 11:39 pm GMT
@AP Maidan was an illegal coup that violated Ukrainian constitution (I should say all of them, there were too many) and lots of other laws. And that's not the worst part of it. But it already happened, there is no going back for Ukraine. It's a "yes or no" thing, you can't be a little bit pregnant. We can either commiserate with Ukraine or gloat, but it committed suicide. Some say this project was doomed from the start. I think Ukraine had a chance and blew it.
AP , says: October 7, 2019 at 4:39 am GMT
@AnonFromTN

Maidan was an illegal coup that violated Ukrainian constitution (I should say all of them, there were too many) a

Illegal revolution (are there any legal ones? – was American one legal?) rather than coup. Violations of Constitution began under Yanukovich.

We can either commiserate with Ukraine or gloat, but it committed suicide.

LOL. Were you the one comparing it to Somalia?

Here is "dead" Ukraine:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/DDWAobR8U0c?start=3017&feature=oembed

What a nightmare.

Compare Ukraine 2019 to Ukraine 2013 (before revolution):

GDP per capita PPP:

$9233 (2018) vs. $8648 (2013)

https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.PP.CD?locations=UA-AM-GE-MN-AL&name_desc=false

GDP per capita nominal:

$3110 (2018) vs. $3160 (2013)

Given 3% growth in 2019, it will be higher.

Forex reserves:

$20 billion end of 2013, $23 billion currently

Debt to GDP ratio:

40% in 2013, 61% in 2018. Okay, this is worse. But it is a decline from 2016 when it was 81%.

Compare Ukraine's current 61% to Greece's 150%.

Military: from ~15,000 usable troops to 200,000.

Overall, not exactly a "suicide."

Beckow , says: October 7, 2019 at 7:49 am GMT
@AnonFromTN I usually refrain from labelling off-cycle changes in government as revolutions or coups – it clearly depends on one's views and can't be determined.

In general, when violence or military is involved, it is more likely it was a coup. If a country has a reasonably open election process, violently overthrowing the current government would also seem like a coup, since it is unnecessary. Ukraine had both violence and a coming election that was democratic. If Yanukovitch would prevent or manipulate the elections, one could make a case that at that point – after the election – the population could stage a ' revolution '.

AP is a simpleton who repeats badly thought out slogans and desperately tries to save some face for the Maidan fiasco – so we will not change his mind, his mind is done with changes, it is all about avoiding regrets even if it means living in a lie. One can almost feel sorry for him, if he wasn't so obnoxious.

Ukraine has destroyed its own future gradually after 1991, all the elites there failed, Yanukovitch was just the last in a long line of failures, the guy before him (Yushenko?) left office with a 5% approval. Why wasn't there a revolution against him? Maidan put a cherry on that rotting cake – a desperate scream of pain by people who had lost all hope and so blindly fell for cheap promises by the new-old hustlers.

We don't know what happens next, but we know the following: Ukraine will not be in EU, or Nato. It will not be a unified, prosperous country. It will continue losing a large part of its population. And oligarchy and 'corruption' is going to stay.

Another Maidan would most likely make things even worse and trigger a complete disintegration. Those are the wages of stupidity and desperation – one can see an individual example with AP, but they all seem like that.

Beckow , says: October 7, 2019 at 1:31 pm GMT
@AP You intentionally omitted the second part of what I wrote: 'a reasonably democratic elections', neither 18th century American colonies, nor Russia in 1917 or Romania in 1989, had them. Ukraine in 2014 did.

So all your belly-aching is for nothing. The talk about 'subverting' and doing a preventive 'revolution' on Maidan to prevent 'subversion' has a very Stalinist ring to it. If you start revolutionary violence because you claim to anticipate that something bad might happen, well, the sky is the limit and you have no rules.

You are desperately trying to justify a stupid and unworkable act. As we watch the unfolding disaster and millions leaving Ukraine, this "Maidan was great!!!" mantra will sound even more silly. But enjoy it, it is not Somalia, wow, I guess as long as a country is not Somalia it is ok. Ukraine is by far the poorest large country in Europe. How is that a success?

AnonFromTN , says: October 7, 2019 at 3:11 pm GMT
@Beckow True believers are called that because they willfully ignore facts and logic. AP is a true believer Ukie. Ukie faith is their main undoing. Unfortunately, they are ruining the country with their insane dreams. But that cannot be helped now. The position of a large fraction of Ukrainian population is best described by a cruel American saying: fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.
Beckow , says: October 7, 2019 at 4:07 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN You are right, it can't be helped. Another saying is that it takes two to lie: one who lies, and one to lie to. The receiver of lies is also responsible.

What happened in Ukraine was: Nuland&Co. went to Ukraine and lied to them about ' EU, 'Marshall plan', aid, 'you will be Western ', etc,,,'. Maidanistas swallowed it because they wanted to believe – it is easy to lie to desperate people. Making promises is very easy. US soft power is all based on making promises.

What Nuland&Co. really wanted was to create a deep Ukraine-Russia hostility and to grab Crimea, so they could get Russian Navy out and move Nato in. It didn't work very well, all we have is useless hostility, and a dysfunctional state. But as long as they serve espresso in Lviv, AP will scream that it was all worth it, 'no Somalia', it is 'all normal', almost as good as 2013 . Right.

Robjil , says: October 5, 2019 at 5:11 pm GMT
Ukraine is an overseas US territory.

It is not a foreign nation at all.

Trump dealt with one of our overseas territories.

Nuland said that US invested 5 billion dollars to get Ukraine.

She got Ukraine without balls that is Crimea. Russia took back the balls.

US cried, cried a Crimea river about this. They are still crying over this.

DESERT FOX , says: October 5, 2019 at 6:53 pm GMT
@Robjil Agree, and like Israel the Ukraine will be a welfare drain on the America taxpayers as long as Israel and the Ukraine exist.
Beckow , says: October 5, 2019 at 6:54 pm GMT
@AP I don't disagree with what you said, but my point was different:

lower living standards than there would be otherwise for most Ukrainians

Without the unnecessary hostility and the break in business relations with Russia the living standards in Ukraine would be higher. That, I think, noone would dispute. One can trace that directly to the so-far failed attempt to get Ukraine into Nato and Russia out of its Crimea bases. There has been a high cost for that policy, so it is appropriate to ask: why? did the authors of that policy think it through?

Beckow , says: October 5, 2019 at 10:11 pm GMT
@AP I don't give a flying f k about Yanukovitch and your projections about what 'would be growth' under him. He was history by 2014 in any case.

One simple point that you don't seem to grasp: it was Yanuk who negotiated the association treaty with EU that inevitably meant Ukraine in Nato and Russia bases out of Crimea (after a decent interval). For anyone to call Yanuk a 'pro-Russian' is idiotic – what we see today are the results of Yanukovitch's policies. By the way, the first custom restrictions on Ukraine's exports to Russia happened in summer 2013 under Y.

If you still think that Yanukovitch was in spite of all of that somehow a 'Russian puppet', you must have a very low opinion of Kremlin skills in puppetry. He was not, he was fully onboard with the EU-Nato-Crimea policy – he implemented it until he got outflanked by even more radical forces on Maidan.

AnonFromTN , says: October 6, 2019 at 1:42 am GMT
@Beckow Well, exactly like all Ukrainian presidents before and after him, Yanuk was a thief. He might have been a more intelligent and/or more cautious thief that Porky, but a thief he was.

Anyway, there is no point in crying over spilled milk: history has no subjunctive mood. Ukraine has dug a hole for itself, and it still keeps digging, albeit slower, after a clown in whole socks replaced a clown in socks with holes. By now this new clown is also a murderer, as he did not stop shelling Donbass, although so far he has committed fewer crimes than Porky.

There is no turning back. Regardless of Ukrainian policies, many things it used to sell Russia won't be bought any more: Russia developed its own shipbuilding (subcontracted some to South Korea), is making its own helicopter and ship engines, all stages of space rockets, etc. Russia won't return any military or high-tech production to Ukraine, ever. What's more, most Russians are now disgusted with Ukraine, which would impede improving relations even if Ukraine gets a sane government (which is extremely unlikely in the next 5 years).

Ukraine's situation is best described by Russian black humor saying: "what we fought for has befallen us". End of story.

Sergey Krieger , says: October 6, 2019 at 4:15 am GMT
@Peter Akuleyev How many millions? It is same story. Ukraine claims more and more millions dead from so called Hilodomor when in Russia liberals have been screaming about 100 million deaths in russia from bolsheviks. Both are fairy tales. Now you better answer what is current population of ukraine. The last soviet time 1992 level was 52 million. I doubt you got even 40 million now. Under soviet power both ukraine and russia population were steadily growing. Now, under whose music you are dancing along with those in Russia that share your views when die off very real one is going right under your nose.
anon [113] • Disclaimer , says: October 6, 2019 at 7:03 am GMT
@AnonFromTN

By now this new clown is also a murderer, as he did not stop shelling Donbass, although so far he has committed fewer crimes than Porky.

Have you noticed that the Republicans, while seeming to defend Trump, never challenge the specious assertion that delaying arms to Ukraine was a threat to US security? At first I thought this was oversight. Silly me. Keeping the New Cold War smoldering is more important to those hawks.

Tulsi Gabbard flipping to support the impeachment enquiry was especially disappointing. I'm guessing she was under lots of pressure, because she can't possibly believe that arming the Ukies is good for our security. If I could get to one of her events, I'd ask her direct, what's up with that. Obama didn't give them arms at all, even made some remarks about not inflaming the situation. (A small token, after his people managed the coup, spent 8 years demonizing Putin, and presided over origins of Russiagate to make Trump's [stated] goal of better relations impossible.)

AnonFromTN , says: October 7, 2019 at 5:11 pm GMT
@Per/Norway

The ukrops are pureblooded nazis

Not really. Ukies are wonnabe Nazis, but they fall way short of their ideal. The original German Nazis were organized, capable, brave, sober, and mostly honest. Ukie scum is disorganized, ham-handed, cowardly, drunk (or under drugs), and corrupt to the core. They are heroes only against unarmed civilians, good only for theft, torture, and rape. When it comes to the real fight with armed opponents, they run away under various pretexts or surrender. Nazis should sue these impostors for defamation.

Mikhail , says: • Website October 7, 2019 at 6:28 pm GMT
@AP

So uprising by American colonists was a coup?

How about what happened in Russia in 1917?

Or Romania when Communism fell?

Talk about false equivalencies.

Yanukovych signed an internationally brokered power sharing agreement with his main rivals, who then violated it. Yanukovych up to that point was the democratically elected president of Ukraine.

Since his being violently overthrown, people have been unjustly jailed, beaten and killed for politically motivated reasons having to do with a stated opposition to the Euromaidan.

Yanukovych refrained from using from using considerably greater force, when compared to others if put in the same situation, against a mob element that included property damage and the deaths of law enforcement personnel.

In the technical legal sense, there was a legit basis to jail the likes of Tymoshenko. If I correctly recall Yushchenko offered testimony against Tymoshenko. Rather laughable that Poroshenko appointed the non-lawyer Lutsenko into a key legal position.

Mikhail , says: • Website October 7, 2019 at 6:35 pm GMT
@Beckow The undemocratic aspect involving Yanukovych's overthrow included the disproportionate number of Svoboda members appointed to key cabinet positions. At the time, Svoboda was on record for favoring the dissolution of Crimea's autonomous status
anon [113] • Disclaimer , says: October 8, 2019 at 2:17 am GMT
@AP Grest comment #159 by Beckow. Really, I'm more concerned with the coup against POTUS that's happening right now, since before he took office. The Ukraine is pivotal, from the Kiev putschists collaborating with the DNC, to the CIA [pretend] whistleblowers who now subvert Trump's investigation of those crimes.

Tragic and pitiful, the Ukrainians jumped from a rock to a hard place. Used and abandoned by the Clinton-Soros gang, they appeal to the next abusive Sugar-Daddy. Isn't this FRANCE 24 report fairly objective?

Revisited: Five years on, what has Ukraine's Maidan Revolution achieved?

https://www.youtube.com/embed/RtUrPKK73rE?feature=oembed

anon [113] • Disclaimer , says: October 8, 2019 at 2:24 am GMT
@AP This from BBC is less current. (That magnificent bridge -the one the Ukies tried to sabotage- is now in operation, of course.) I'm just trying to use sources that might not trigger you.

Crimea: Three years after annexation – BBC News

anon [113] • Disclaimer , says: October 8, 2019 at 3:55 am GMT
@AP Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire
Kiev officials are scrambling to make amends with the president-elect after quietly working to boost Clinton.
https://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/ukraine-sabotage-trump-backfire-233446
anon [113] • Disclaimer , says: October 8, 2019 at 4:57 am GMT
@AP "Whenever people ask me how to figure out the truth about Ukraine, I always recommend they watch the film Ukraine on Fire by director @lopatonok and executive produced by @TheOliverStone. The sequel Revealing Ukraine will be out soon proud to be in it."
– Lee Sranahan (Follow @stranahan for Ukrainegate in depth.)
" .what has really changed in the life of Ukrainians?"

REVEALING UKRAINE OFFICIAL TEASER TRAILER #1 (2019)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=Nj_bdtO0SI0

Robjil , says: October 15, 2019 at 12:16 am GMT
@Malacaay Baltics, Ukrainians and Poles were part of the Polish Kingdom from 1025-1569 and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth 1569-1764.

This probably explains their differences with Russia.

Russia had this area in the Russian Empire from 1764-1917. Russia called this area the Pale of Settlement. Why? This Polish Kingdom since 1025 welcomed 25000 Jews in, who later grew to millions by the 19th century. They are the Ashkenazis who are all over the world these days. The name Pale was for Ashkenazis to stay in that area and not immigrate to the rest of Russia.

The reasoning for this was not religious prejudice but the way the Ashkenazis treated the peasants of the Pale. It was to protect the Russian peasants. This did not help after 1917. A huge invasion of Ashkenazis descended all over Russia to take up positions all over the Soviet Union.

Ukraine US is like the Pale again. It has a Jewish President and a Jewish Prime Minister.

Ukraine and Poland were both controlled by Tartars too. Ukraine longer than Russia. Russia ended the Tartar rule of Crimea in 1783. The Crimean Tartars lived off raiding Ukraine, Poland, and parts of Russia for Slav slaves. Russia ended this Slav slave trade in 1783.

[Oct 19, 2019] Time to Extricate From Ukraine by Doug Bandow

Oct 19, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Negotiators for Russia, Ukraine, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe recently met in Minsk to revive the agreement previously reached in the Belarus capital. They set an election schedule in the contested east, to be followed by passage of Ukrainian legislation to grant the region greater autonomy and separatists legal immunity. Despite strong opposition from nationalists, passage is likely since Zelensky's party holds a solid legislative majority.

Many challenges remain, but the West could aid this process by respecting Russian security concerns. The U.S. and its allies should formally foreclose Ukraine's membership in the transatlantic alliance and end lethal military aid. After receiving those assurances, Moscow would be expected to resolve the Donbass conflict, presumably along the lines of Minsk: Ukraine protects local autonomy while Russia exits the fight. Sanctions against Russia would be lifted. Ukrainians would be left to choose their economic orientation, since the country would likely be split between east and west for some time to come. The West would accept Russia's control of Crimea while refusing to formally recognize the conquest -- absent a genuinely independent referendum with independent monitors.

Such a compromise would be controversial. Washington's permanent war lobby would object. Hyper-nationalistic Ukrainians would double down on calling Zelensky a traitor. Eastern Europeans would complain about appeasing Russia. However, such a compromise would certainly be better than endless conflict.

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan. He is the author of Foreign Follies: America's New Global Empire.

EliteCommInc.2 days ago

I understand why you want to thread the needle. After the invasions, having to add more failure or at the very least recognition of dysfunction to our foreign policy choices and consequences is a bitter pill. But as you note had the US and the EU seriously had the desire to add the Ukraine into the western European sphere of influence, they could have offered a better deal on oil - they didn't.

I think we have got to stop accusing the then existing government of corruption. As your own article states, the history of unstable governance with accompanying "corruption" seems a staple and nonunique. And as is the case in developing countries, what we call corruption is a cultural staple of how business and affairs are conducted. Whatever the issues, the Ukrainian public was not overly beset by the results so as to spontaneously riot. How the civil unrest spun out of control the second in ten years, can be linked directly to US and EU involvement.

https://washingtonsblog.com...

https://thewashingtonstanda...

It is a deeply held belief that democracy is a system that by definition a generally acceptable path forward. That belief is false as democracy is still comprised of human beings. And democracy in their hands is no "cure all". It can be a turbulent and jerky bureaucratic maze process that pleases no one and works over time.

The US didn't accomplish it without violence until after more than 130 years, when the native populations were finally subdued. And as for a system that embodied equal treatment to similar circumstance -- we are still at it. But a violent revolution every ten years certainly isn't the most effective road to take.
-----------------

Why we insistent on restarting the cold war is unclear to me save that it served to create a kind of strategic global clarity Though what that means would troublesome because Russia's ole would now be as a developing democratic state as opposed to a communist monolith. And that means unfettered from her satellites and empowered by more capital markets her role as adversary would be more adroit. As time after time, Ores Putin has appeared the premier diplomat for peace and stability in situations in which the US was engaged or encouraging violence.(the Ukraine). I certainly don't think that our relations with Russia or China are a to be kumbaya love fests, there is still global competition and there's no reason to pretend it would be without tensions. But seriously, as a democratic/capital market player -- there really was no way to contain Russia.
----------------------

Given what we experienced during 2007 --- corruption comes in a mryiad of guises.

kouroi EliteCommInc.2 days ago
All so very true. The crux of the matter is the word competition. US doesn't like that, as a monopolist entity (the world would be hegemonic power). So you get Cold War 2.0 in overdrive now. Just think Great Britain, Russia, and Germany, at the end of 19th century beginning of 20th. All three monarchies, with cousins in power, with more or less parliamentarian structures in place, competing for a place under sun. And UK fretting that will loose its place...

[Oct 19, 2019] Time to Extricate From Ukraine The American Conservative

Notable quotes:
"... Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan. He is the author of Foreign Follies: America's New Global Empire. ..."
Oct 19, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Negotiators for Russia, Ukraine, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe recently met in Minsk to revive the agreement previously reached in the Belarus capital. They set an election schedule in the contested east, to be followed by passage of Ukrainian legislation to grant the region greater autonomy and separatists legal immunity. Despite strong opposition from nationalists, passage is likely since Zelensky's party holds a solid legislative majority.

Many challenges remain, but the West could aid this process by respecting Russian security concerns. The U.S. and its allies should formally foreclose Ukraine's membership in the transatlantic alliance and end lethal military aid. After receiving those assurances, Moscow would be expected to resolve the Donbass conflict, presumably along the lines of Minsk: Ukraine protects local autonomy while Russia exits the fight. Sanctions against Russia would be lifted. Ukrainians would be left to choose their economic orientation, since the country would likely be split between east and west for some time to come. The West would accept Russia's control of Crimea while refusing to formally recognize the conquest -- absent a genuinely independent referendum with independent monitors.

Such a compromise would be controversial. Washington's permanent war lobby would object. Hyper-nationalistic Ukrainians would double down on calling Zelensky a traitor. Eastern Europeans would complain about appeasing Russia. However, such a compromise would certainly be better than endless conflict.

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan. He is the author of Foreign Follies: America's New Global Empire.

[Oct 19, 2019] How did the United States become so involved in Ukraine's torturous and famously corrupt politics? The short answer is NATO expansion

Notable quotes:
"... As it is right now, the most likely outcome of the Western initiative in Ukraine will be substantially lower living standards than there would be otherwise for most Ukrainians. ..."
"... The US actions in Ukraine are typical, not exceptional. Acting as an Empire, the US always installs the worst possible scum in power in its vassals, particularly in newly acquired ones. ..."
"... Has he forgotten the historical conversation of Nuland and Payatt picking the next president of Ukraine "Yats is our guy" and "Yats" actually emerging as the president a week later ? None of these facts are in any way remotely compatible with passive role professor Cohen ascribes to the US. ..."
"... We don't know what happens next, but we know the following: Ukraine will not be in EU, or Nato. It will not be a unified, prosperous country. It will continue losing a large part of its population. And oligarchy and 'corruption' is going to stay. ..."
"... Another Maidan would most likely make things even worse and trigger a complete disintegration. Those are the wages of stupidity and desperation – one can see an individual example with AP, but they all seem like that. ..."
Oct 19, 2019 | www.unz.com

Dan Hayes says:

October 4, 2019 at 4:46 am GMT • 100 Words @Ron Unz Proprietor Ron,

Thanks for your sharing you views about Prof Cohen, a most interesting and principled man.

Only after reading the article did I realize that the UR (that's you) also provided the Batchelor Show podcast. Thanks.

I've been listening to these broadcasts over their entirety, now going on for six or so years. What's always struck me is Cohen's level-headeness and equanimity. I've also detected affection for Kentucky, his native state. Not something to be expected from a Princeton / NYU academic nor an Upper West Side resident.

And once again expressing appreciation for the UR!

Read More • Replies: @Mikhail Reply Agree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments

sally , says: October 4, 2019 at 4:47 am GMT

How did the United States become so involved in Ukraine's torturous and famously corrupt politics?

The short answer is NATO expansion <= maybe something different? I like pocketbook expansion..
NATO Expansion provides cover and legalizes the private use of Presidential directed USA resources to enable a few to make massively big profits at the expense of the governed in the target area.

Behind NATO lies the reason for Bexit, the Yellow Jackets, the unrest in Iraq and Egypt, Yemen etc.

Hypothesis 1: NATO supporters are more corrupt than Ukraine officials.
Hypothesis 2: NATO expansion is a euphemism for USA/EU/ backed private party plunder to follow invade and destroy regime change activities designed to dispossess local Oligarchs of the wealth in NATO targeted nations? Private use of public force for private gain comes to mind.

I think [private use of public force for private gain] is what Trump meant when Trump said to impeach Trump for investigating the Ukraine matter amounts to Treason.. but it is the exactly the activity type that Hallmarks CIA instigated regime change.

A lot of intelligence agency manipulation and private pocketbook expanding corruption can be hidden behind NATO expansion.. Please prove to me that Biden and the hundreds of other plunders became so deeply involved in Ukraine because of NATO expansion?

Beckow , says: October 4, 2019 at 8:16 am GMT
The key question is what is the gain in separating Ukraine from Russia, adding it to NATO, and turning Russia and Ukraine into enemies. And what are the most likely results, e.g. can it ever work without risking a catastrophic event?

There are the usual empire-building and weapons business reasons, but those should function within a rational framework. As it is right now, the most likely outcome of the Western initiative in Ukraine will be substantially lower living standards than there would be otherwise for most Ukrainians. And an increase in tensions in the region with inevitable impact on the business there. So what exactly is the gain and for whom?

eah , says: October 4, 2019 at 11:55 am GMT
The Washington-led attempt to fast-track Ukraine into NATO in 2013–14 resulted in the Maidan crisis, the overthrow of the country's constitutionally elected president Viktor Yanukovych, and to the still ongoing proxy civil war in Donbass.

Which exemplifies the stupidity and arrogance of the American military/industrial/political Establishment -- none of that had anything to do with US national security (least of all antagonizing Russia) -- how fucking hypocritical is it to presume the Monroe Doctrine, and then try to get the Ukraine into NATO? -- none of it would have been of any benefit whatsoever to the average American.

Roberto Masioni , says: October 4, 2019 at 12:09 pm GMT
According to a recent govt study, only 12% of Americans can read above a 9th grade level. This effectively mean (((whoever))) controls the MSM controls the world. NOTHING will change for the better while the (((enemy))) owns our money supply.
Pamela , says: October 4, 2019 at 3:41 pm GMT
There was NO "annexation" of Crimea by Russia. Crimea WAS annexed, but by Ukraine.
Russia and Crimea re-unified. Crimea has been part of Russia for long than America has existed – since it was taken from the Ottoman Empire over 350 yrs ago. The vast majority of the people identify as Russian, and speak only Russian.

To annex, the verb, means to use armed force to seize sovereign territory and put it under the control of the invading forces government. Pretty much as the early Americans did to Northern Mexico, Hawaii, etc. Russia used no force, the Governors of Crimea applied for re-unification with Russia, Russia advised a referendum, which was held, and with a 96% turnout, 97% voted for re-unification. This was done formally and legally, conforming with all the international mandates.

It is very damaging for anyone to say that Russia "annexed" Crimea, because when people read, quickly moving past the world, they subliminally match the word to their held perception of the concept and move on. Thus they match the word "annex" to their conception of the use of Armed Force against a resistant population, without checking.

All Cohen is doing here is reinforcing the pushed, lying Empire narrative, that Russia invaded and used force, when the exact opposite is true!!

follyofwar , says: October 4, 2019 at 3:56 pm GMT
@Carlton Meyer One wonders if Mr. Putin, as he puts his head on the pillow at night, fancies that he should have rolled the Russian tanks into Kiev, right after the 2014 US-financed coup of Ukraine's elected president, which was accomplished while he was pre-occupied with the Sochi Olympics, and been done with it. He had every justification to do so, but perhaps feared Western blowback. Well, the blowback happened anyway, so maybe Putin was too cautious.

The new Trump Admin threw him under the bus when it installed the idiot Nikki Haley as UN Ambassador, whose first words were that Russia must give Crimea back. With its only major warm water port located at Sevastopol, that wasn't about to happen, and the US Deep State knew it.

Given how he has been so unfairly treated by the media, and never given a chance to enact his Russian agenda, anyone who thinks that Trump was 'selected' by the deep state has rocks for brains. The other night, on Rick Sanchez's RT America show, former US diplomat, and frequent guest Jim Jatras said that he would not be too surprised if 20 GOP Senators flipped and voted to convict Trump if the House votes to impeach.

The deep state can't abide four more years of the bombastic, Twitter-obsessed Trump, hence this Special Ops Ukraine false flag, designed to fool a majority of the people. The smooth talking, more warlike Pence is one of them. The night of the long knives is approaching.

AnonFromTN , says: October 4, 2019 at 4:02 pm GMT
The US actions in Ukraine are typical, not exceptional. Acting as an Empire, the US always installs the worst possible scum in power in its vassals, particularly in newly acquired ones.

The "logic" of the Dem party is remarkable. Dems don't even deny that Biden is corrupt, that he blatantly abused the office of Vice-President for personal gain. What's more, he was dumb enough to boast about it publicly. Therefore, let's impeach Trump.

These people don't give a hoot about the interests of the US as a country, or even as an Empire. Their insatiable greed for money and power blinds them to everything. By rights, those who orchestrated totally fake Russiagate and now push for impeachment, when Russiagate flopped miserably, should be hanged on lampposts for high treason. Unfortunately, justice won't be served. So, we have to be satisfied with an almost assured prospect of this impeachment thing to flop, just like Russiagate before it. But in the process incalculable damage will be done to our country and its institutions.

AnonFromTN , says: October 4, 2019 at 4:07 pm GMT
@Pamela In fact, several Western sources reluctantly confirmed the results of Crimean referendum of 2014:
German polling company GFK
http://www.gfk.com/ua/Documents/Presentations/GFK_report_FreeCrimea.pdf
Gallup
http://www.bbg.gov/wp-content/media/2014/06/Ukraine-slide-deck.pdf

Those who support the separation of Kosovo from Serbia without Serbian consent cannot argue against separation of Crimea from Ukraine without the consent of Kiev regime.

On the other hand, those who believe that post-WWII borders are sacrosanct have to acknowledge that Crimea belongs to Russia (illegally even by loose Soviet standards transferred to Ukraine by Khrushchev in 1956), Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and Soviet Union should be restored, and Germany should be re-divided.

Alden , says: October 4, 2019 at 5:35 pm GMT
At least now I know why Ukraine is so essential to American national security. It's so even more of my and my families' taxes can pay for a massive expansion of Nato, which means American military bases in Ukraine. Greenland to the borders of China.

We're encircling the earth, like those old cartoons about bankers.

chris , says: October 4, 2019 at 9:11 pm GMT
@Ron Unz I had to stop listening after the 10th min. where the good professor (without any push-back from the interviewer) says:

Victor Yanukovich was overthrown by a street coup . at that moment, the United States and not only the United States but the Western European Governments had to make a decision would they acknowledge the overthrow of Yannukovic as having been legitimate, and therefore accept whatever government emerged, and that was a fateful moment within 24hours, the governments, including the government of president Obama endorsed what was essentially a coup d'etat against Yanukovich.

Has the good Professor so quickly forgotten about Victoria Nuland distributing cookies with John McCain in the Maidan as the coup was still unfolding? Her claim at the think tank in DC where she discusses having spent $30million (if I remember correctly) for foisting the Ukraine coup ?

Has he forgotten the historical conversation of Nuland and Payatt picking the next president of Ukraine "Yats is our guy" and "Yats" actually emerging as the president a week later ? None of these facts are in any way remotely compatible with passive role professor Cohen ascribes to the US.

These are not simple omissions but willful acts of misleading of fools. The good professor's little discussed career as a resource for the secret services has reemerged after seemingly having been left out in the cold during the 1st attempted coup against Trump.

No, the real story is more than just a little NATO expansion as the professor does suggest, but more directly, the attempted coup that the US is still trying to stage in Russia itself, in order to regain control of Russia's vast energy resources which Putin forced the oligarchs to disgorge. The US desperately wants to achieve this in order to be able to ultimately also control China's access to those resources as well.

In the way that Iraq was supposed to be a staging post for an attack on Iran, Ukraine is the staging post for an attack on Russia.

The great Russian expert stirred miles very clear of even hinting at such scenarios, even though anyone who's thought about US world policies will easily arrive at this logical conclusion.

Anonymous [855] • Disclaimer , says: October 4, 2019 at 10:11 pm GMT
What about the theft of Ukraine's farmland and the enserfing of its rural population? Isn't this theft and enserfing of Ukrainians at least one major reason the US government got involved, overseeing the transfer of this land into the hands of the transnational banking crime syndicate? The Ukraine, with its rich, black soil, used to be called the breadbasket of Europe.

Consider the fanatical intervention on the part of Victoria Nuland and the Kagans under the guise of working for the State Dept to facilitate the theft. In a similar fashion, according to Wayne Madsen, the State Dept. has a Dept of Foreign Asset Management, or some similar name, that exists to protect the Chabad stranglehold on the world diamond trade, and, according to Madsen, the language spoken and posters around the offices are in Hebrew, which as a practical matter might as well be the case at the State Dept itself.

According to an article a few years ago at Oakland Institute, George Rohr's NCH Capital, which latter organization has funded over 100 Chabad Houses on US campuses, owns over 1 million acres of Ukraine farmland. Other ownership interests of similarly vast tracts of Ukraine farmland show a similar pattern of predation. At one point, it was suggested that the Yinon Plan should be understood to include the Ukraine as the newly acquired breadbasket of Eretz Israel. It may also be worth pointing out that now kosher Ivy League schools' endowments are among the worst pillagers of native farmland and enserfers of the indigenous populations they claim to protect.

AnonFromTN , says: October 5, 2019 at 3:04 pm GMT
@Mikhail Well, if we really go into it, things become complicated. What Khmelnitsky united with Russia was maybe 1/6th or 1/8th of current Ukraine. Huge (4-5 times greater) areas in the North and West were added by Russian Tsars, almost as great areas in the South and East taken by Tsars from Turkey and affiliated Crimean Khanate were added by Lenin, a big chunk in the West was added by Stalin, and then in 1956 moron Khrushchev "gifted" Crimea (which he had no right to do even by Soviet law). So, about 4/6th of "Ukraine" is Southern Russia, 1/6th is Eastern Poland, some chunks are Hungary and Romania, and the remaining little stub is Ukraine proper.
AnonFromTN , says: October 6, 2019 at 3:27 pm GMT
@anon American view always was: "yes, he is a son of a bitch, but he is our son of a bitch". That historically applied to many obnoxious regimes, now fully applies to Ukraine. In that Dems and Reps always were essentially identical, revealing that they are two different puppets run by the same puppet master.

Trump is hardly very intelligent, but he has some street smarts that degenerate elites have lost. Hence their hatred of him. It is particularly galling for the elites that Trump won in 2016, and has every chance of winning again in 2020 (unless they decide to murder him, like JFK; but that would be a real giveaway, even the dumbest sheeple would smell the rat).

Skeptikal , says: October 6, 2019 at 7:10 pm GMT
@follyofwar The only reason I can imagine that Putin/Russia would want to "take over" Ukraine and have this political problem child back in the family might be because of Ukraine's black soil.

But it is probably not worth the aggravation.

Russia is building up its agricultural sector via major greenhouse installations and other innovations.

Beckow , says: October 6, 2019 at 7:21 pm GMT
@AP Well, you are a true simpleton who repeats shallow conventional views. You don't ever seem to think deeper about what you write, e.g. if Yanukovitch could beat anyone in a 1-on-1 election than he obviously wasn't that unpopular and that makes Maidan illegal by any standard. You say he could beat Tiahnybok, who was one of the leaders of Maidan, how was then Maidan democratic? Or you don't care for democracy if people vote against your preferences?

Trade with Russia is way down and it is not coming back. That is my point – there was definitely a way to do this better. It wasn't a choice of 'one or the other' – actually EU was under the impression that Ukraine would help open up the Russian market. Your either-or wasn't the plan, so did Kiev lie to EU? No wonder Ukraine has a snowball chance in hell of joining EU.

AnonFromTN , says: October 6, 2019 at 8:09 pm GMT
@Skeptikal Russia moved to the first place in the world in wheat exports, while greatly increasing its production of meat, fowl, and fish. Those who supplied these commodities lost Russian market for good. In fact, with sanctions, food in Russia got a lot better, and food in Moscow got immeasurably better: now it's local staff instead of crap shipped from half-a-world away. Funny thing is, Russian production of really good fancy cheeses has soared (partially with the help of French and Italian producers who moved in to avoid any stupid sanctions).

So, there is no reason for Russia to take Ukraine on any conditions, especially considering Ukraine's exorbitant external debt. If one calculates European demand for transplantation kidneys and prostitutes, two of the most successful Ukrainian exports, Ukraine will pay off its debt – never. Besides, the majority of Russians learned to despise Ukraine due to its subservient vassalage to the US (confirmed yet again by the transcript of the conversation between Trump and Ze), so the emotional factor is also virtually gone. Now the EU and the US face the standard rule of retail: you broke it, you own it. That infuriates Americans and EU bureaucrats more than anything.

annamaria , says: October 6, 2019 at 8:10 pm GMT
@Sergey Krieger "Demography statistic won't support fairy tales by solzhenicin and his kind."

-- What's your point? Your post reads like an attempt at saying that Kaganovitch was white like snow and that it does not matter what crimes were committed in the Soviet Union because of the "demography statistic" and because you, Sergey Krieger, are a grander person next to Solzhenitsyn and "his kind." By the way, had not A. I. S. returned to Russia, away from the coziness of western life?

S.K.: "You should start research onto mass dying of population after 1991 and subsequent and ongoing demographic catastroph in Russia under current not as "brutal " as soviet regime."

-- If you wish: "The Rape of Russia: Testimony of Anne Williamson Before the Committee on Banking and Financial Services of the United States House of Representatives, September 21, 1999:" http://www.softpanorama.org/Skeptics/Pseudoscience/Harvard_mafia/testimony_of_anne_williamson_before_the_house_banking_committee.shtml

"Economic rape of post-USSR economic space was by design not by accident:"
http://www.softpanorama.org/Skeptics/Pseudoscience/harvard_mafia.shtml#Economic_rape_of_post_USSR_economic_space_was_by_design_not_by_accident

"MI6 role in economic rape of Russia, Ukraine, and other post-Soviet republics:" http://www.softpanorama.org/Skeptics/Pseudoscience/harvard_mafia.shtml#MI6_role_

AnonFromTN , says: October 6, 2019 at 11:39 pm GMT
@AP Maidan was an illegal coup that violated Ukrainian constitution (I should say all of them, there were too many) and lots of other laws. And that's not the worst part of it. But it already happened, there is no going back for Ukraine. It's a "yes or no" thing, you can't be a little bit pregnant. We can either commiserate with Ukraine or gloat, but it committed suicide. Some say this project was doomed from the start. I think Ukraine had a chance and blew it.
AP , says: October 7, 2019 at 4:39 am GMT
@AnonFromTN

Maidan was an illegal coup that violated Ukrainian constitution (I should say all of them, there were too many) a

Illegal revolution (are there any legal ones? – was American one legal?) rather than coup. Violations of Constitution began under Yanukovich.

We can either commiserate with Ukraine or gloat, but it committed suicide.

LOL. Were you the one comparing it to Somalia?

Here is "dead" Ukraine:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/DDWAobR8U0c?start=3017&feature=oembed

What a nightmare.

Compare Ukraine 2019 to Ukraine 2013 (before revolution):

GDP per capita PPP:

$9233 (2018) vs. $8648 (2013)

https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.PP.CD?locations=UA-AM-GE-MN-AL&name_desc=false

GDP per capita nominal:

$3110 (2018) vs. $3160 (2013)

Given 3% growth in 2019, it will be higher.

Forex reserves:

$20 billion end of 2013, $23 billion currently

Debt to GDP ratio:

40% in 2013, 61% in 2018. Okay, this is worse. But it is a decline from 2016 when it was 81%.

Compare Ukraine's current 61% to Greece's 150%.

Military: from ~15,000 usable troops to 200,000.

Overall, not exactly a "suicide."

Beckow , says: October 7, 2019 at 7:49 am GMT
@AnonFromTN I usually refrain from labelling off-cycle changes in government as revolutions or coups – it clearly depends on one's views and can't be determined.

In general, when violence or military is involved, it is more likely it was a coup. If a country has a reasonably open election process, violently overthrowing the current government would also seem like a coup, since it is unnecessary. Ukraine had both violence and a coming election that was democratic. If Yanukovitch would prevent or manipulate the elections, one could make a case that at that point – after the election – the population could stage a ' revolution '.

AP is a simpleton who repeats badly thought out slogans and desperately tries to save some face for the Maidan fiasco – so we will not change his mind, his mind is done with changes, it is all about avoiding regrets even if it means living in a lie. One can almost feel sorry for him, if he wasn't so obnoxious.

Ukraine has destroyed its own future gradually after 1991, all the elites there failed, Yanukovitch was just the last in a long line of failures, the guy before him (Yushenko?) left office with a 5% approval. Why wasn't there a revolution against him? Maidan put a cherry on that rotting cake – a desperate scream of pain by people who had lost all hope and so blindly fell for cheap promises by the new-old hustlers.

We don't know what happens next, but we know the following: Ukraine will not be in EU, or Nato. It will not be a unified, prosperous country. It will continue losing a large part of its population. And oligarchy and 'corruption' is going to stay.

Another Maidan would most likely make things even worse and trigger a complete disintegration. Those are the wages of stupidity and desperation – one can see an individual example with AP, but they all seem like that.

Beckow , says: October 7, 2019 at 1:31 pm GMT
@AP You intentionally omitted the second part of what I wrote: 'a reasonably democratic elections', neither 18th century American colonies, nor Russia in 1917 or Romania in 1989, had them. Ukraine in 2014 did.

So all your belly-aching is for nothing. The talk about 'subverting' and doing a preventive 'revolution' on Maidan to prevent 'subversion' has a very Stalinist ring to it. If you start revolutionary violence because you claim to anticipate that something bad might happen, well, the sky is the limit and you have no rules.

You are desperately trying to justify a stupid and unworkable act. As we watch the unfolding disaster and millions leaving Ukraine, this "Maidan was great!!!" mantra will sound even more silly. But enjoy it, it is not Somalia, wow, I guess as long as a country is not Somalia it is ok. Ukraine is by far the poorest large country in Europe. How is that a success?

AnonFromTN , says: October 7, 2019 at 3:11 pm GMT
@Beckow True believers are called that because they willfully ignore facts and logic. AP is a true believer Ukie. Ukie faith is their main undoing. Unfortunately, they are ruining the country with their insane dreams. But that cannot be helped now. The position of a large fraction of Ukrainian population is best described by a cruel American saying: fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.
Beckow , says: October 7, 2019 at 4:07 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN You are right, it can't be helped. Another saying is that it takes two to lie: one who lies, and one to lie to. The receiver of lies is also responsible.

What happened in Ukraine was: Nuland&Co. went to Ukraine and lied to them about ' EU, 'Marshall plan', aid, 'you will be Western ', etc,,,'. Maidanistas swallowed it because they wanted to believe – it is easy to lie to desperate people. Making promises is very easy. US soft power is all based on making promises.

What Nuland&Co. really wanted was to create a deep Ukraine-Russia hostility and to grab Crimea, so they could get Russian Navy out and move Nato in. It didn't work very well, all we have is useless hostility, and a dysfunctional state. But as long as they serve espresso in Lviv, AP will scream that it was all worth it, 'no Somalia', it is 'all normal', almost as good as 2013 . Right.

Robjil , says: October 5, 2019 at 5:11 pm GMT
Ukraine is an overseas US territory.

It is not a foreign nation at all.

Trump dealt with one of our overseas territories.

Nuland said that US invested 5 billion dollars to get Ukraine.

She got Ukraine without balls that is Crimea. Russia took back the balls.

US cried, cried a Crimea river about this. They are still crying over this.

DESERT FOX , says: October 5, 2019 at 6:53 pm GMT
@Robjil Agree, and like Israel the Ukraine will be a welfare drain on the America taxpayers as long as Israel and the Ukraine exist.
Beckow , says: October 5, 2019 at 6:54 pm GMT
@AP I don't disagree with what you said, but my point was different:

lower living standards than there would be otherwise for most Ukrainians

Without the unnecessary hostility and the break in business relations with Russia the living standards in Ukraine would be higher. That, I think, noone would dispute. One can trace that directly to the so-far failed attempt to get Ukraine into Nato and Russia out of its Crimea bases. There has been a high cost for that policy, so it is appropriate to ask: why? did the authors of that policy think it through?

Beckow , says: October 5, 2019 at 10:11 pm GMT
@AP I don't give a flying f k about Yanukovitch and your projections about what 'would be growth' under him. He was history by 2014 in any case.

One simple point that you don't seem to grasp: it was Yanuk who negotiated the association treaty with EU that inevitably meant Ukraine in Nato and Russia bases out of Crimea (after a decent interval). For anyone to call Yanuk a 'pro-Russian' is idiotic – what we see today are the results of Yanukovitch's policies. By the way, the first custom restrictions on Ukraine's exports to Russia happened in summer 2013 under Y.

If you still think that Yanukovitch was in spite of all of that somehow a 'Russian puppet', you must have a very low opinion of Kremlin skills in puppetry. He was not, he was fully onboard with the EU-Nato-Crimea policy – he implemented it until he got outflanked by even more radical forces on Maidan.

AnonFromTN , says: October 6, 2019 at 1:42 am GMT
@Beckow Well, exactly like all Ukrainian presidents before and after him, Yanuk was a thief. He might have been a more intelligent and/or more cautious thief that Porky, but a thief he was.

Anyway, there is no point in crying over spilled milk: history has no subjunctive mood. Ukraine has dug a hole for itself, and it still keeps digging, albeit slower, after a clown in whole socks replaced a clown in socks with holes. By now this new clown is also a murderer, as he did not stop shelling Donbass, although so far he has committed fewer crimes than Porky.

There is no turning back. Regardless of Ukrainian policies, many things it used to sell Russia won't be bought any more: Russia developed its own shipbuilding (subcontracted some to South Korea), is making its own helicopter and ship engines, all stages of space rockets, etc. Russia won't return any military or high-tech production to Ukraine, ever. What's more, most Russians are now disgusted with Ukraine, which would impede improving relations even if Ukraine gets a sane government (which is extremely unlikely in the next 5 years).

Ukraine's situation is best described by Russian black humor saying: "what we fought for has befallen us". End of story.

Sergey Krieger , says: October 6, 2019 at 4:15 am GMT
@Peter Akuleyev How many millions? It is same story. Ukraine claims more and more millions dead from so called Hilodomor when in Russia liberals have been screaming about 100 million deaths in russia from bolsheviks. Both are fairy tales. Now you better answer what is current population of ukraine. The last soviet time 1992 level was 52 million. I doubt you got even 40 million now. Under soviet power both ukraine and russia population were steadily growing. Now, under whose music you are dancing along with those in Russia that share your views when die off very real one is going right under your nose.
anon [113] • Disclaimer , says: October 6, 2019 at 7:03 am GMT
@AnonFromTN

By now this new clown is also a murderer, as he did not stop shelling Donbass, although so far he has committed fewer crimes than Porky.

Have you noticed that the Republicans, while seeming to defend Trump, never challenge the specious assertion that delaying arms to Ukraine was a threat to US security? At first I thought this was oversight. Silly me. Keeping the New Cold War smoldering is more important to those hawks.

Tulsi Gabbard flipping to support the impeachment enquiry was especially disappointing. I'm guessing she was under lots of pressure, because she can't possibly believe that arming the Ukies is good for our security. If I could get to one of her events, I'd ask her direct, what's up with that. Obama didn't give them arms at all, even made some remarks about not inflaming the situation. (A small token, after his people managed the coup, spent 8 years demonizing Putin, and presided over origins of Russiagate to make Trump's [stated] goal of better relations impossible.)

AnonFromTN , says: October 7, 2019 at 5:11 pm GMT
@Per/Norway

The ukrops are pureblooded nazis

Not really. Ukies are wonnabe Nazis, but they fall way short of their ideal. The original German Nazis were organized, capable, brave, sober, and mostly honest. Ukie scum is disorganized, ham-handed, cowardly, drunk (or under drugs), and corrupt to the core. They are heroes only against unarmed civilians, good only for theft, torture, and rape. When it comes to the real fight with armed opponents, they run away under various pretexts or surrender. Nazis should sue these impostors for defamation.

Mikhail , says: • Website October 7, 2019 at 6:28 pm GMT
@AP

So uprising by American colonists was a coup?

How about what happened in Russia in 1917?

Or Romania when Communism fell?

Talk about false equivalencies.

Yanukovych signed an internationally brokered power sharing agreement with his main rivals, who then violated it. Yanukovych up to that point was the democratically elected president of Ukraine.

Since his being violently overthrown, people have been unjustly jailed, beaten and killed for politically motivated reasons having to do with a stated opposition to the Euromaidan.

Yanukovych refrained from using from using considerably greater force, when compared to others if put in the same situation, against a mob element that included property damage and the deaths of law enforcement personnel.

In the technical legal sense, there was a legit basis to jail the likes of Tymoshenko. If I correctly recall Yushchenko offered testimony against Tymoshenko. Rather laughable that Poroshenko appointed the non-lawyer Lutsenko into a key legal position.

Mikhail , says: • Website October 7, 2019 at 6:35 pm GMT
@Beckow The undemocratic aspect involving Yanukovych's overthrow included the disproportionate number of Svoboda members appointed to key cabinet positions. At the time, Svoboda was on record for favoring the dissolution of Crimea's autonomous status
anon [113] • Disclaimer , says: October 8, 2019 at 2:17 am GMT
@AP Grest comment #159 by Beckow. Really, I'm more concerned with the coup against POTUS that's happening right now, since before he took office. The Ukraine is pivotal, from the Kiev putschists collaborating with the DNC, to the CIA [pretend] whistleblowers who now subvert Trump's investigation of those crimes.

Tragic and pitiful, the Ukrainians jumped from a rock to a hard place. Used and abandoned by the Clinton-Soros gang, they appeal to the next abusive Sugar-Daddy. Isn't this FRANCE 24 report fairly objective?

Revisited: Five years on, what has Ukraine's Maidan Revolution achieved?

https://www.youtube.com/embed/RtUrPKK73rE?feature=oembed

anon [113] • Disclaimer , says: October 8, 2019 at 2:24 am GMT
@AP This from BBC is less current. (That magnificent bridge -the one the Ukies tried to sabotage- is now in operation, of course.) I'm just trying to use sources that might not trigger you.

Crimea: Three years after annexation – BBC News

anon [113] • Disclaimer , says: October 8, 2019 at 3:55 am GMT
@AP Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire
Kiev officials are scrambling to make amends with the president-elect after quietly working to boost Clinton.
https://www.politico.com/story/2017/01/ukraine-sabotage-trump-backfire-233446
anon [113] • Disclaimer , says: October 8, 2019 at 4:57 am GMT
@AP "Whenever people ask me how to figure out the truth about Ukraine, I always recommend they watch the film Ukraine on Fire by director @lopatonok and executive produced by @TheOliverStone. The sequel Revealing Ukraine will be out soon proud to be in it."
– Lee Sranahan (Follow @stranahan for Ukrainegate in depth.)
" .what has really changed in the life of Ukrainians?"

REVEALING UKRAINE OFFICIAL TEASER TRAILER #1 (2019)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=Nj_bdtO0SI0

Robjil , says: October 15, 2019 at 12:16 am GMT
@Malacaay Baltics, Ukrainians and Poles were part of the Polish Kingdom from 1025-1569 and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth 1569-1764.

This probably explains their differences with Russia.

Russia had this area in the Russian Empire from 1764-1917. Russia called this area the Pale of Settlement. Why? This Polish Kingdom since 1025 welcomed 25000 Jews in, who later grew to millions by the 19th century. They are the Ashkenazis who are all over the world these days. The name Pale was for Ashkenazis to stay in that area and not immigrate to the rest of Russia.

The reasoning for this was not religious prejudice but the way the Ashkenazis treated the peasants of the Pale. It was to protect the Russian peasants. This did not help after 1917. A huge invasion of Ashkenazis descended all over Russia to take up positions all over the Soviet Union.

Ukraine US is like the Pale again. It has a Jewish President and a Jewish Prime Minister.

Ukraine and Poland were both controlled by Tartars too. Ukraine longer than Russia. Russia ended the Tartar rule of Crimea in 1783. The Crimean Tartars lived off raiding Ukraine, Poland, and parts of Russia for Slav slaves. Russia ended this Slav slave trade in 1783.

[Oct 19, 2019] Precious! After all those years Ukraine tried to force Gazprom to prolong transportation contracts, including in western Courts, now it is EUROCOMMISSION that plays their 3rd Energy Package card, but how!

Oct 19, 2019 | www.unz.com

Arioch , says: October 9, 2019 at 4:21 pm GMT

(RUS) http://geoenergetics.ru/2019/10/08/ukrainskij-gazovyj-tranzit-ostavsheesya-okno-vozmozhnostej/

Precious! After all those years Ukraine tried to force Gazprom to prolong transportation contracts, including in western Courts, now it is EUROCOMMISSION that plays their 3rd Energy Package card, but how!

After Zelensky so daringly kissed up to Trump and talk dirt about Merkel and Macron – EC says the prolongation of Gazprom-NaftaGaz contract is "not legally possible" and that Ukraine has to kill and "unbundle" NaftaGaz, and when they done – only then the new pipes-only company would be free to try negotiate a new unrelated contract for gas transportation.

The Holy Grail of Ukrainian foreign economics is dead, backstabbed by EU.
What a fine present to President Ze :-DDDD

[Oct 17, 2019] Time to Extricate From Ukraine The American Conservative

Notable quotes:
"... Even though the overall idea of ending the sponsoring of the conflict by Washington is plausible there are a number of shortcomings in the article to put it mildly. I realize though that the author has to make Washington look innocent and Russia look bad to escape the danger of being stigmatized as a pro-Russian traitor. ..."
"... I understand why you want to thread the needle. After the invasions, having to add more failure or at the very least recognition of dysfunction to our foreign policy choices and consequences is a bitter pill. But as you note had the US and the EU seriously had the desire to add the Ukraine into the western European sphere of influence, they could have offered a better deal on oil - they didn't. ..."
"... I think we have got to stop accusing the then existing government of corruption. As your own article states, the history of unstable governance with accompanying "corruption" seems a staple and nonunique. ..."
"... And as is the case in developing countries, what we call corruption is a cultural staple of how business and affairs are conducted. Whatever the issues, the Ukrainian public was not overly beset by the results so as to spontaneously riot. ..."
"... How the civil unrest spun out of control the second time in ten years, can be linked directly to US and EU involvement. ..."
Oct 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Time to Extricate From Ukraine Kiev has become a drag on Trump, but if we don't watch out, it could turn into a geopolitical threat to everyone. By Doug Bandow October 17, 2019

Capt. Matthew McCoy, commander of Company A, 1st Battalion, 179th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team during international weapons training near Yavoriv, Ukraine, in 2017. (Photo by Sgt. Anthony Jones, 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team)/U.S. Army

Recently Ukraine has been thrown into the spotlight as Democrats gear up to impeach President Donald Trump. More important, though, is its role in damaging America's relations with Russia, which has resulted in a mini-Cold War that the U.S. needs to end.

Ukraine is in a bad neighborhood. During the 17th century, the country was divided between Poland and Russia, and eventually ended up as part of the Russian Empire. Kiev then enjoyed only the briefest of liberations after the 1917 Russian Revolution, before being reabsorbed by the Soviet Union. It later suffered from a devastating famine as Moscow confiscated food and collectivized agriculture. Ukraine was ravaged during Germany's World War II invasion, and guerrilla resistance to renewed Soviet control continued for years afterwards.

In 1991, the collapse of the U.S.S.R. gave Ukraine another, more enduring chance for independence. However, the new nation's development was fraught: GDP dropped by 60 percent and corruption burgeoned. Ukraine suffered under a succession of corrupt, self-serving, and ineffective leaders, as the U.S., Europe, and Russia battled for influence.

In 2014, Washington and European governments backed a street putsch against the elected, though highly corrupt, pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych. The Putin government responded by annexing Crimea and backing separatist forces in Eastern Ukraine's Donbass region. Washington and Brussels imposed economic sanctions on Russia and provided military aid to Kiev.

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The West versus Russia quickly became a "frozen" conflict. Moscow reincorporated Crimea into Russia, from which it had been detached in 1954 as part of internal Soviet politics. In the Donbass, more than a score of ceasefires came and went. Both Ukraine and Russia failed to fulfill the 2016 Minsk agreements, which sought to end the conflict.

In excess of 13,000 people, mostly Ukrainians, are known to have died in this war, and some two million have been forced from their homes. The economy of eastern Ukraine has collapsed. Ukraine has suffered through painful economic dislocation and political division. Meanwhile, several hundred Russians are believed to have been killed fighting in the Donbass. Western sanctions have damaged Russia's weak economy. And although the majority of Crimeans probably wanted to join Russia, opposition activists and journalists have been abducted, brutalized, and/or imprisoned. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church has been closed and Tartars have been persecuted.

The most important geopolitical impact has been to poison Russia's relations with the West. Moscow's aggressions against Ukraine cannot be justified, but the U.S. and Europe did much to create the underlying suspicion and hostility. Recently declassified documents reveal the degree to which Western officials misled Moscow about their intention to expand NATO. Allied support for adding Georgia and Ukraine, which would have greatly expanded Russian vulnerability, generated a particularly strong reaction in Moscow. The dismemberment of Serbia with no consideration of Russia's interests was another irritant, along with Western support for "color revolutions" elsewhere, including in Tbilisi. The ouster of Yanukovych finally triggered Putin's brutal response.

Washington and Brussels apparently did not view their policies as threatening to Russia. However, had Moscow ousted an elected Mexican president friendly to America, while inviting the new government to join the Warsaw Pact, and worked with a coalition of Central American states to divert Mexican trade from the U.S., officials in Washington would not have been pleased. They certainly wouldn't have been overly concerned about juridical niceties in responding.

This explains (though does not justify) Russia's hostile response. Subsequent allied policies then turned the breach in relations into a gulf. The U.S. and European Union imposed a series of economic sanctions. Moreover, Washington edged closer to military confrontation with its provision of security assistance to Kiev. Moscow responded by challenging America from Syria to Venezuela.

It also began moving towards China. The two nations' differences are many and their relationship is unstable. However, as long as their antagonism towards Washington exceeds their discomfort with each other, they will cooperate to block what they see as America's pursuit of global hegemony.

Why is the U.S. entangled in the Ukrainian imbroglio? During the Cold War, Ukraine was one of the fabled "captive nations," backed by vigorous advocacy from Ukrainian Americans. After the Soviet Union collapsed, they joined other groups lobbying on behalf of ethnic brethren to speed NATO's expansion eastward. Security policy turned into a matter of ethnic solidarity, to be pursued irrespective of cost and risk.

To more traditional hawks who are always seeking an enemy, the issue is less pro-Ukraine than anti-Russia. Mitt Romney, the Republican Party's 2012 presidential nominee, improbably attacked Russia as America's most dangerous adversary. Hence the GOP's counterproductive determination to bring Kiev into NATO. Originally Washington saw the transatlantic alliance as a means to confront the Soviet menace; now it views the pact as a form of charity.

After the Soviet collapse, the U.S. pushed NATO eastward into nations that neither mattered strategically nor could be easily protected, most notably in the Balkans and Baltics. Even worse were Georgia and Ukraine, security black holes that would bring with them ongoing conflicts with Russia, possibly triggering a larger war between NATO and Moscow.

Ukraine never had been a matter of U.S. security. For most of America's history, the territory was controlled by either the Russian Empire or the Soviet Union. Washington's Cold War sympathies represented fraternal concerns, not security essentials. Today, without Kiev's aid, the U.S. and Europe would still have overwhelming conventional forces to be brought into any conflict with Moscow. However, adding Ukraine to NATO would increase the risk of a confrontation with a nuclear armed power. Russia's limitations when it comes to its conventional military would make a resort to nuclear weapons more likely in any conflict.

Nevertheless, George W. Bush's aggressively neoconservative administration won backing for Georgian and Ukrainian membership in NATO and considered intervening militarily in the Russo-Georgian war. However, European nations that feared conflict with Moscow blocked plans for NATO expansion, which went into cold storage. Although alliance officials still officially backed membership for Ukraine, it remains unattainable so long as conflict burns hot with Russia.

In the meantime, Washington has treated Ukraine as a de facto military ally, offering economic and security assistance. The U.S. has provided $1.5 billion for Ukrainian training and weapons, including anti-tank Javelin missiles. Explained Obama administration defense secretary Ashton Carter: "Ukraine would never be where it is without that support from the United States."

Equally important, the perception of U.S. backing made the Kiev government, headed by President Petro Poroshenko, less willing to pursue a diplomatic settlement with Russia. Thus did Ukraine, no less than Russia, almost immediately violate the internationally backed Minsk accord.

Kiev's role as a political football highlights the need for Washington to pursue an enduring political settlement with Russia. European governments are growing restless; France has taken the lead in seeking better relations with Moscow. Germany is unhappy with U.S. attempts to block the planned Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline. In Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky has campaigned to end the conflict.

Negotiators for Russia, Ukraine, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe recently met in Minsk to revive the agreement previously reached in the Belarus capital. They set an election schedule in the contested east, to be followed by passage of Ukrainian legislation to grant the region greater autonomy and separatists legal immunity. Despite strong opposition from nationalists, passage is likely since Zelensky's party holds a solid legislative majority.

Many challenges remain, but the West could aid this process by respecting Russian security concerns. The U.S. and its allies should formally foreclose Ukraine's membership in the transatlantic alliance and end lethal military aid. After receiving those assurances, Moscow would be expected to resolve the Donbass conflict, presumably along the lines of Minsk: Ukraine protects local autonomy while Russia exits the fight. Sanctions against Russia would be lifted. Ukrainians would be left to choose their economic orientation, since the country would likely be split between east and west for some time to come. The West would accept Russia's control of Crimea while refusing to formally recognize the conquest -- absent a genuinely independent referendum with independent monitors.

Such a compromise would be controversial. Washington's permanent war lobby would object. Hyper-nationalistic Ukrainians would double down on calling Zelensky a traitor. Eastern Europeans would complain about appeasing Russia. However, such a compromise would certainly be better than endless conflict.

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan. He is the author of Foreign Follies: America's New Global Empire.


cka2nd 12 hours ago

I credit Mr. Bandow for his largely fair and accurate description of the events in Ukraine of five years ago, and for his ultimate policy proposal for the US to extricate itself from its close involvement in the area. However, I'm a little confused by what exactly the author means by "Moscow's aggressions against Ukraine" and "Putin's brutal response" (aside from the treatment of dissidents and journalists as he specifically mentioned) to the Maidan Revolution.

Was it aggressive and brutal for Russia to support separatists in the Donbass who were facing the prospect of legal discrimination and violence by a criminal, neo-fascist government in Kiev, not to mention de-industrialization, the gutting of the agriculture sector and the forced economic migration of an enormous number of its young workers (assuming that Ukraine's economic deal with the EU followed the script of every other Easter European's country's deal with the EU)? If Yanukovych had fled to the Donbass and proclaimed himself still the freely elected (though certainly corrupt) President of the nation, Russia's support for the region would have even had a shiny brass legal fig leaf, wouldn't it?

As for the supposed "conquest" of Crimea, that's a rather strong word to use considering that all of two members of the Ukrainian military were killed, and 60-80 of them detained, while 15,000 defected to Russia. Compared to the violence in Kiev and Odessa, what happened in Crimea almost qualifies as a bloodless coup. But then Mr. Bandow shies away from using the word "hegemony" to describe the foreign policy of the United States, figuratively putting the word in the mouths of those bad men (which they are) in Moscow and Beijing. It's a pity that Mr. Bandow felt the need to make linguistic concessions to the foreign policy establishment in what was otherwise a useful and balanced piece.

minsredmash 9 hours ago
Even though the overall idea of ending the sponsoring of the conflict by Washington is plausible there are a number of shortcomings in the article to put it mildly. I realize though that the author has to make Washington look innocent and Russia look bad to escape the danger of being stigmatized as a pro-Russian traitor.
EliteCommInc. 8 hours ago
I understand why you want to thread the needle. After the invasions, having to add more failure or at the very least recognition of dysfunction to our foreign policy choices and consequences is a bitter pill. But as you note had the US and the EU seriously had the desire to add the Ukraine into the western European sphere of influence, they could have offered a better deal on oil - they didn't.

I think we have got to stop accusing the then existing government of corruption. As your own article states, the history of unstable governance with accompanying "corruption" seems a staple and nonunique.

And as is the case in developing countries, what we call corruption is a cultural staple of how business and affairs are conducted. Whatever the issues, the Ukrainian public was not overly beset by the results so as to spontaneously riot.

How the civil unrest spun out of control the second time in ten years, can be linked directly to US and EU involvement.

https://washingtonsblog.com...

https://thewashingtonstanda...

It is a deeply held belief that democracy is a system that by definition a generally acceptable path forward. That belief is false as democracy is still comprised of human beings. And democracy in their hands is no "cure all". It can be a turbulent and jerky bureaucratic maze process that pleases no one and works over time.

The US didn't accomplish it without violence until after more than 130 years, when the native populations were finally subdued. And as for a system that embodied equal treatment to similar circumstance -- we are still at it. But a violent revolution every ten years certainly isn't the most effective road to take.
-----------------

Why we insistent on restarting the cold war is unclear to me save that it served to create a kind of strategic global clarity Though what that means would troublesome because Russia's ole would now be as a developing democratic state as opposed to a communist monolith. And that means unfettered from her satellites and empowered by more capital markets her role as adversary would be more adroit. As time after time, Ores Putin has appeared the premier diplomat for peace and stability in situations in which the US was engaged or encouraging violence.(the Ukraine). I certainly don't think that our relations with Russia or China are a to be kumbaya love fests, there is still global competition and there's no reason to pretend it would be without tensions. But seriously, as a democratic/capital market player -- there really was no way to contain Russia.
----------------------

Given what we experienced during 2007 --- corruption comes in a mryiad of guises.

timoth3y 7 hours ago • edited
The Ukraine situation is complex to be certain, but ending military aid and letting Russia clean up seems like a bad idea.

This week we saw Russian forces occupy US bases abandoned when Trump ordered our troops to withdraw from the Turkish border. And now the author is arguing we should do something similar in the Ukraine.

When did Russian appeasement become so important to conservative foreign policy?

kouroi timoth3y 3 hours ago
Mate, Russians were in Syria at the invitation of the Syrian government. US troops are there illegally (no Congress mandate, no international mandate, no invitation). US is an occupying, destabilizing, terrorist protecting force in Syria and Americans should look beyond their self esteem before commenting on this "shameful" retreat. US does not have the right to put its troops wherever it fancies.

This win or loose mentality will be the death of you. Who do you think is threatening the US, when it has the biggest moats protecting its shores? The only thing that is happening is that the hegemonic role, that of controlling everyone's economy for its own elites benefit is being denied.

This is what you are complaining mate, the the rich Americans cannot get richer? Do you think they will share with you, or that, like the good English boys of the past, you will not be able to land a job with East India Co. and despoil the natives for a while?

Doug Wallis 6 hours ago
If the US were smart then they would lead some sort of negotiation where eastern Europe and Ukraine and Russia were allowed only mutually agreed defensive weapons systems. A demilitarization of say 200 miles on each side of the Russia border. The strategy should be to encourage trade between Eastern Europe and Russia where Russia has influence but is not threatening. It may be slow to build that trust but the real question is whether the US and Europe and NATO want peace with Russia or whether they are using fear of Russia to keep eastern Europe united with the US and Europe. This may be the case but the future will have China as a greater threat than Russia (China will even be a threat to Russia). Any shift in Russian relations will take decades of building trust on both sides.
tweets21 6 hours ago
Good article and excellent history of facts. If I recall during the last Bush administration W hosted a Putin and his then spouse, at a visit at his ranch. Putin informed W," the Ukraine belongs to Russia. end of sentence.
Disqus10021 5 hours ago
The author forgot the critical role of Sevastopol in the Crimea. It is Russia's only warm water port and there was no way that it was going to allow this area to become a NATO naval base. Secretary of State Clinton and her sidekick for Ukraine, Victoria Nuland should have known this before they started supporting the overthrow of the pro-Russia government in Kiev.

If you look at a historical atlas, you won't find an independent country called Ukraine before 1991. When my parents were born, near what is now called Lviv, the area was called Galicia and Lemberg was its provincial capital. A gold medal issued in 1916 in honor of Franz Josef's 85th birthday noted that he was the Kaiser of Austria, Hungary, Galicia and Lodomeria.

When the old Soviet Union agreed to allow East and West Germany to reunify, it was with the understanding that NATO would not extend membership to former Soviet block countries and that there would be no NATO bases in these areas either. NATO and the US broke their oral commitment to Russia a few years later.

The US should get out of the business of trying to spread democracy in third world countries and interfering in the affairs of foreign governments. We can't afford to be the policeman of the world. We don't even have the ability to make many of our own central cities safe for Americans. Think Baltimore, St. Louis, New Orleans and Detroit, all four of which appear on Wikipedia's list of the 50 murder capitals of the world (per thousand population).

kouroi Disqus10021 3 hours ago
It is not for the sake of spreading democracy mate, but to control those economies for the benefit of US economic elite.
Sid Finster 4 hours ago
"This explains (though does not justify) Russia's hostile response."

For the love of Pete, will TAC quit with offering limited concessions to the neocon position in an attempt to appear "serious" and "reasonable".

The United States formented an armed coup in Ukraine spearheaded by Nazis.

[Oct 09, 2019] "True believer" Ukies are in Canada, the US, or far away from the front in Ukraine itself and studiously avoid getting into real fighting, where they can be maimed or killed

The article has interesting statistics of foreign fighters in Donbass civil war.
Oct 09, 2019 | www.unz.com

Some interesting estimates of the numbers of foreign fighters that participated in the Donbass War from 2014-2019 from a report [PDF] by the Soufan Center. (h/t Kholmogorov)

Originally from: Census of Foreign Fighters in the Ukraine, by Anatoly Karlin - The Unz Review


AnonFromTN , says: October 7, 2019 at 8:26 pm GMT

Kiev-controlled Ukraine served as a destination for would-be murderers seeking impunity for years. However, inviting foreign scum will help it about as much as it helped ISIS. Maybe even less: some foreign and domestic ISIS bandits had ideology beyond raping and looting, Ukrainian bandits in Donbass do not. "True believer" Ukies are in Canada, the US, or far away from the front in Ukraine itself and studiously avoid getting into real fighting, where they can be maimed or killed.

In contrast, many volunteers on the side of Donbass freedom fighters do have honest beliefs and are not cowards avoiding combat. Not all, though: some just look for an adventure, on the battlefield and in bed.

AnonFromTN , says: October 7, 2019 at 9:42 pm GMT
@Korenchkin If you go by quintessence of Nazi ideology "my tribe is better than your tribe", every nation has its Nazis, including Russia.

To its credit, tribal nationalists never got more than ~7% electoral support in Russia.

After Ukrainian experience showed that any country can be quickly ruined by primeval tribal nationalism, their support in Russia dropped to below 2%. But it still isn't zero. Then again, ~1% of any population are schizophrenics, 2-3% are gays/lesbians, etc., so single digit representation of any kind of deviation is not threatening country's survival.

Anatoly Karlin , says: Website October 7, 2019 at 9:44 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack I asked the questions first, but I'll be generous and explain this to you on the fingers.

1. I used the term "Banderists" in the context of Ukraine's volunteer battalions – that is, where foreigners have the most realistic chance of getting accepted.
2. Polls show Ukrainians to generally be 50/50 on Bandera, but obviously, that number will be much higher amongst the rather self-selected sample that are volunteer battalion members. At least 80%, if not 90%.
3. Poles obviously couldn't care less for Bandera. Polish *nationalists* – even less so.
4. Nationalists are the likeliest foreigners to participate in the Donbass.
5. Do you now see why this would be a pertinent point to mention in the specific context of why 10x fewer Poles fight for the Ukraine relative to Georgians, despite having 10x the population?

jeppo , says: October 7, 2019 at 10:10 pm GMT
I'm not sure if 14 fighters is a big enough sample size to justify lumping Canada into the dreaded "Russophobe" category. But the 10 pro-Ukrainians to 4 pro-Russians ratio closely mirrors that of self-declared ethnic Ukrainians (1,359,655) to Russians (622,445) in Canada.

Though many, possibly even a majority of those "Russians" are actually Jews. The Ukrainian lobby has been disturbingly powerful in Canada for a long time (multiculturalism was their bright idea), while the Russian lobby is seemingly invisible.

There are signs and symbols of Ukrainian nationalism everywhere (banks, festivals, flags, bumper stickers etc), while similar Russian symbols are basically non-existent. The Uke to Russkie ratio may be only 10-4, but it feels more like 10-1, or even 100-1.

Philip Owen , says: October 7, 2019 at 10:29 pm GMT
I expected more Russians from the Baltics. Apparently, they and Serbs were early arrivals in Girkin's group. Perhaps the ethnic Russians were counted as Russian?

Quite a few White Russians emigrated to France. The Whites were well supported by ethnic Russians in the Donbass during the Civil War.

Many Irish Nationalist commentators supported Russia (enemy's enemy) but the table shows Ireland Pro Ukraine (anti-imperialist a stronger driver?). The Russian settlers in the Donbass are such an obvious parallel to the Orangemen.

Anatoly Karlin , says: Website October 7, 2019 at 11:47 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich

Where did they come from and what motivated them?

1. Chechens would be the obvious answer. I recall reading there were 2x as many Chechens fighting for Ukrainians than for Russians.

2. Svidomy Ukrainians in Russia.

3. And, as mentioned, Neo-Nazis and White Nationalists (~60%-70% on Ukraine's side, at least initially). The other brands of Russian nationalists were overwhelmingly pro-Russian.

AP , says: October 8, 2019 at 1:17 am GMT
@AnonFromTN More foreign "scum" on Donbas side than Ukrainian side. As one would expect. It's not all bad however, Donbas should be kept apart from Ukraine.

"True believer" Ukies are in Canada, the US, or far away from the front in Ukraine itself and studiously avoid getting into real fighting, where they can be maimed or killed.

Ukrainian-American Paslawsky fought and died in the war.

https://www.rferl.org/a/mark-paslawsky/26541831.html

A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and the only American known to have fought alongside Ukrainian forces against pro-Russian separatists has been killed in eastern Ukraine.

Mark Gregory Paslawsky, 55, died while fighting with the volunteer Donbas Battalion.

Paslawsky, who fought under the nom de guerre "Franko," was killed on August 19 during fighting in the town of Ilovaysk, near the Ukrainian city of Donetsk, according to a Facebook post by Ukrainian Interior Ministry adviser Anton Herashchenko.

Paslawsky was born in 1959 in New York and grew up in a tight-knit Ukrainian-American family in New Jersey. He moved to Ukraine around two decades ago and informed his family earlier this year that he planned to volunteer for the Ukrainian Army, according to his brother, Nestor Paslawsky.

::::::::::::::

The American fighting for Donbas, "Cowb0y", meanwhile was some sort of petty criminal in the USA. Like Motorola in Russia, of course.

AnonFromTN , says: October 8, 2019 at 1:59 am GMT
@AP

Ukrainian-American Paslawsky fought and died in the war.

One out of how many millions? Even Georgian participation is much higher on the per capita basis. LOL.

AnonFromTN , says: October 8, 2019 at 2:02 am GMT
@AP

Ukrainian Interior Ministry adviser Anton Herashchenko

Just out of curiosity: Anton Herashchenko is that fatter-than-a-pig guy with five chins? The founder of the "Mirotvorets" site?

SveVid , says: October 8, 2019 at 4:06 am GMT
@Philip Owen Well the Serbs played a major role in the defence of the territory that is today the Donbas (not particularly well known among modern Russians). So Serbian nationalists have an extra cause in regards to the Donbas

Slavo-Serbia or Slaveno-Serbia, was a territory of Imperial Russia between 1753-64. It was located by the right bank of the Donets River between the Bakhmutka River (Бахмут) and Luhan (Лугань) rivers. This area today constitutes the territories of present-day Luhansk Oblast and Donetsk Oblast of Ukraine. The administrative centre of Slavo-Serbia was Bakhmut (Bahmut).

Spisarevski , says: October 8, 2019 at 6:56 am GMT
@AnonFromTN

In contrast, many volunteers on the side of Donbass freedom fighters do have honest beliefs and are not cowards avoiding combat. Not all, though: some just look for an adventure

Not mutually exclusive. If you feel that you're leading a meaningless life and you are looking for adventure, something radically different from a cubicle job or whatever, might as well do something like join a war where you get to defend innocent people.

anonymous coward , says: October 8, 2019 at 7:49 am GMT
@Philip Owen

Russian settlers in the Donbass

Don't be an idiot.

The "Russian settlers" were colonizing an empty land that was previously ethnically cleansed by the Turks.

LondonBob , says: October 8, 2019 at 8:59 am GMT
Considering ex ISIS fighters are often left to go free and claim benefits it was interesting to see the fate of the fella who went to the Donbass and didn't even fight.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/british-man-pro-russian-forces-ukraine-jailed-terrorism-benjamin-stimson-a7842521.html

Five years and four months.

LondonBob , says: October 8, 2019 at 9:06 am GMT
@anonymous coward So was South Africa but didn't stop there being close ties between loyalists and the apartheid government, a few Ulstermen were in the the government and there was the shared settler Calvinist outlook. The IRA had quite close links to Croats, don't know if loyalists had the same with Serbs. MP Ian Paisley junior is somewhat of a Russophile.
Kinez , says: October 8, 2019 at 10:59 am GMT
@SveVid This is all true, but all those people are completely and utterly assimilated into Ukrainians / Russians and have been for much longer than living memory. Most people in Serbia (except history nerds etc) have no idea about this history. A much more plausible explanation for Serbs going to fight in the Donbass would make some reference to Russian (and also Greek btw) volunteer units fighting with the Serbs in the 1990s and contacts established during that time.
Beckow , says: October 8, 2019 at 11:50 am GMT
@Anatoly Karlin Mazepa is way up there and he joined the early 17th century Swedish invasion of Russia that ended with the defeat at Poltava. That effectively ended Sweden as a great power. Seems like Ukrainians have a thing for worshipping losers allied with anyone west of them, so there is some hope for Porky's eventual rehabilitation.

Carl Bildt's ancestors were there in high stockings among the vanquished at Poltava – the Bildts never forgave the humiliation, those Swedes can be sneaky. That explains the persistent anti-Russian attitudes among the Nordics. Swedes also tend to be simple-minded, nobody swallows the current globo-homo propaganda as eagerly or looks for Russian submarines hiding behind every whale.

nokangaroos , says: October 8, 2019 at 12:23 pm GMT
By and large Austria and Croatia are the only surprises – here, the history of the last century is a bit complicated. "Altösterreicher" is a popular euphemism for "Galician Jew" i.e. the current Kiew regime. The Croats are more probably channeling their recent hatred for the Serbs. [Not really] funny what the separation of East and West Rome is still doing to a people.

[Sep 23, 2019] Ukrainian fatigue

Notable quotes:
"... The head of the White House, Donald Trump, declared that American policy towards the Ukraine was senseless of and added that Moscow should be a friend of Washington, and that no one cared about the Ukrainians. The day before, Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid said that the European Union was experiencing fatigue from the Ukraine. ..."
Sep 23, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile September 21, 2019 at 1:43 am

The head of the White House, Donald Trump, declared that American policy towards the Ukraine was senseless of and added that Moscow should be a friend of Washington, and that no one cared about the Ukrainians. The day before, Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid said that the European Union was experiencing fatigue from the Ukraine.

Source

Media: Trump considers senseless US actions in Ukraine
9/21/2019, 9:29:23 AM

US President Donald Trump considers US actions in the Ukraine senseless, which actions at the same time aggravate relations with Russia, The Washington Post reports, citing a former senior White House official.

According to the newspaper interlocutor, the president takes the position that "Russians should be our friends".

"What we do in the Ukraine is pointless and annoying Russia", he said, describing the president's opinion.

Earlier, former US Vice President Joe Biden called on Trump to publish a transcript of a telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky.

So there you have it!

Trump is a Kremlin Stooge.

[Sep 23, 2019] Kiev Accepts "Steinmeier Formula" For Peace In Donbass

Notable quotes:
"... Ukraine have never kept to the ceasefire and have been destroying settlements -- once they get control of the border – Donbass is finished. ..."
"... You mention the killing in Mariupol. The assassinations will continue and the people of Donbass will be made to pay. ..."
"... Five years has shown that real hatred has been unleashed – this is not going to go away. ..."
"... the Steinmeir formula is a con to hasten the end of Donbass. This was the guy who signed the agreement with Yanukovich on early elections etc and then stood back when he was overthrown. ..."
"... I also agree. This is a trap. No treaty should be signed unless DPR/LPR are guaranteed to control the border with Russia. ..."
"... The best defense against that would be the vote, which must take place first and under OSCE supervision, without Ukrainian meddling or coercion. If the vote indicated that a majority wants to return to Kiev's control, then that's what should happen. But I don't see it going that way. ..."
Sep 23, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Moscow Exile September 19, 2019 at 10:46 pm

Kiev Accepts "Steinmeier Formula" For Peace In Donbass

So Volker can shut his gob and go back to where he came from.

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James lake September 19, 2019 at 11:12 pm
Major issue with this formula is "The transfer of the border"

Ukraine have never kept to the ceasefire and have been destroying settlements -- once they get control of the border – Donbass is finished.

You mention the killing in Mariupol. The assassinations will continue and the people of Donbass will be made to pay.

Five years has shown that real hatred has been unleashed – this is not going to go away.

Germany in my view plays a double game – they want this to happen – the Steinmeir formula is a con to hasten the end of Donbass. This was the guy who signed the agreement with Yanukovich on early elections etc and then stood back when he was overthrown.

Moscow Exile September 19, 2019 at 11:58 pm
I agree. The filth will swarm into the Donbass from Galitsia as soon as an agreement has been made and the killings will then begin.

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yalensis September 20, 2019 at 1:37 pm
I also agree. This is a trap. No treaty should be signed unless DPR/LPR are guaranteed to control the border with Russia.

Like Like

Mark Chapman September 20, 2019 at 3:28 pm
We'll see. According to the Minsk Agreement, the elections and the autonomous status were supposed to be settled before the border was returned to Ukrainian control. That has always been an issue for Kuh-yiv. It wants to be trusted to have control over the Donbas before the other elements are fulfilled. But as His Nibs Shaun Of The Dead Walker has pointed out before now, 'the border' in that region is largely an illusion, and checkpoints are for those who have to travel by road. Military units, especially heavy armor, do not.

I think what is most likely to happen is little troublesome uprisings across a broad front, initiated by Azov Battalion and other Ukie militias and making use of 'loyal' Ukrainians in Donbas and Lugansk.

This would create a governance problem for the regions, and be portrayed in the western press as an earnest desire among the inhabitants to return to Ukraine, 'now that the Russians have gone'.

The best defense against that would be the vote, which must take place first and under OSCE supervision, without Ukrainian meddling or coercion. If the vote indicated that a majority wants to return to Kiev's control, then that's what should happen. But I don't see it going that way.

Moscow Exile September 20, 2019 at 12:02 am
But what of the Russian army that has supposedly been entrenched in the Donbass these past few years?

Surely, the Russian Army will not allow this ethnic cleansing to happen, for that surely is what will happen, albeit "ethnic" is not the right word, even though the brain-dead Nazi "true Slavs" from the West believe it is.

Moscow Exile September 20, 2019 at 12:40 am
And if it comes to the worst, that shite Snyder can add another chapter to his "Bloodlands" -- or would he?
Moscow Exile September 20, 2019 at 3:50 am
Ukraine's Ambassador to Serbia Urged the World to Destroy Russia :
September 20, 2019 Stalker Zone

"Our actions have to become offensive and have the disintegration of the Russian Federation as a conscious ultimate goal. This is the only effective long-term solution that the vast majority of countries will benefit from.

attempts to pacify Russia lead only to the growth of its arrogance, as was was the case with the return of the Russian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

Attempts to reach an agreement in a civilised way with the Russian Federation are also doomed to fail, "since such a decision contradicts the main expansionist thinking of the Kremlin regime".

"The Russian Federation, in its present borders and with its present resources, is never capable of becoming a normal civilised state", said the diplomat.

Aleksandrovich emphasises that "ways of disintegrating the Russian Federation don't demand conducting military operations".

The ambassador lists a number of tools via which it is possible to "pacify Russia":

1. personal sanctions against bosses with the freezing of assets and a ban on entrance;
2. tight restrictions for energy, bank, and financial-military and technical sectors;
3. a ban on the sale of modern technologies;
4 .a collapse in oil prices.

"There comes a time when the last evil empire has to fall," summarized the Ukrainian diplomat.

Oh please, not a ban on modern technologies!!!!!!

Brain dead?

Moscow Exile September 20, 2019 at 4:10 am
He's a bit of a shit, is Oleksandr Oleksandrovych, and has upset the Serbs on more than one occasion.

Belgrade outraged at Ukrainian ambassador's stance regarding Russia-Serbia relations

In his recent interview, Oleksandr Oleksandrovych claimed Russia 'uses Serbia to destabilize situation in Western Balkans and thereby destroy Europe'
09:15, 3 November 2017

Ukrainian ambassador's views on Russia-Serbia relations and Russia's role in continental security, all the more expressed publicly, are unacceptable. Ivica Tonchev, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Serbia said this as quoted by Frontnews International, commenting on the statement recently made by the Ukrainian diplomat.

'The main role of ambassadors is to do everything to improve bilateral relations, primarily political and economic, as well as all other forms of cooperation. The Ambassador of Ukraine to Serbia, Oleksandr Oleksandrovych, seems to be constantly forgetting this, since all his activities are reduced to fruitless attempts to break relations between the Republic of Serbia and the Russian Federation. In the latest series of scandalous interviews he gave, he said that the Republic of Serbia does not pursue an independent foreign policy, that is, it is in the hands of Russia, thus destabilizing the entire region of the Western Balkans, thereby 'destroying Europe,' Tonchev said.

He also called on the Ukrainian government to take action on the Ambassador and his unacceptable behavior so that Serbia 'was not forced to make the usual steps in such situations.'

In recent interviews with Serbian media, Ukraine's Ambassador to Serbia Alexander Alexandrovich said that Russia is using Serbia to destabilize the situation in the region, in particular, encouraging separatism in Bosnia and trying to influence Macedonia. The ambassador also mentioned the Serbian mercenaries fighting on the side of the Russian armed formations in Donbas.


Oleksandr Oleksandrovych: he might be better suited to playing Count Dracula in horror movies.

In fact, the ambassador stepped so much out of line in November 2017 that even Rumpleklimkin, then Banderastan Foreign Minister, was forced to call him to hold consultations in Kiev because of his statements to the Serbian media.

At the same time, Ivica Toncev, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Serbia, stated that the Ukrainian Ambassador Oleksandr Oleksandrovych's statements concerning Russian influence on Serbia were unacceptable and threatened him with possible consequences in accordance with the Vienna Convention.

Mark Chapman September 20, 2019 at 3:33 pm
Let him sign out a rifle and tin hat, and get to the front.

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Moscow Exile September 20, 2019 at 6:59 am
Meet Anna Novosad: Representative of Ukraine's "New" Liquidation Committee
September 19, 2019 Stalker Zone

Novosad is a graduate of the humanitarian lyceum in Kiev, and in 2011 she ended a bachelor degree at the National University "Kiyevo-Mogilyansky Academy" as a "political scientist". Two years later she received a master's degree in the Dutch Maastricht. She studied in Spain and the Czech Republic, and was a scholar of the Soros fund. In addition, as Novosad wrote on Facebook, she took part in the Ukrainian-Canadian administrative program, within the framework of which she attended a special course ran by the Canadian authorities.

I.e., as we see, Anna Novosad is the classical representative of the new "Ukrainian elite", which was raised and brought up abroad and which already is almost not connected to Ukraine even at the mental level. And the reset of the Ukrainian authorities in the form of "Zelensky's victory" was started to a large extent for the mass invasion of such artificially grown mankurts that are supposed to completely remove people with a Soviet past and any ties (family, friendly, business) with Russia from the country's governance structures.

And they absolutely do not need either knowledge of Ukrainian, knowledge of national history, or understanding of what's admissible. Even intellectual qualities aren't especially required from them, because their task is relaying the will of their masters and to control their implementation.

And Farion doesn't like her because she can't talk the shitkicker Slav dialect as good as she can. In fact, it's debatable whether Novosad can talk Yukie with any competence at all.

Mark Chapman September 20, 2019 at 6:06 pm
Yes, what's the matter with her? Real Ukrainians ride sturdy ponies and wear their hair in the khokol style. Government superiors are referred to as 'Hetman'. And there's a lot of kneeling. The age of machines is an utter betrayal of Kievan ideals.

[Sep 20, 2019] Trump Whistleblower Drama Puts Biden In The Hot Seat Over Ukraine

Highly recommended!
If this not of the Biden run, I do not know what can be. He now has an albatross abound his neck in the form of interference in Ukrainian criminal investigation to save his corrupt to the core narcoaddict son. Only the raw power of neoliberal MSM to suppress any information that does not fit their agenda is keeping him in the race.
But a more important fact that he was criminally involved in EuroMaydan (at the cost to the USA taxpayers around five billions) is swiped under the carpet. And will never be discussed along with criminality of Obama and Nuland.
As somebody put it "with considerable forethought [neoliberal MSM] are attempting to create a nation of morons who will faithfully go out and buy this or that product, vote for this or that candidate and faithfully work for their employers for as low a wage as possible."
Sep 20, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

For days we've been treated to MSM insinuations that President Trump may have betrayed the United States after a whistleblower lodged an 'urgent' complaint about something Trump promised another world leader - the details of which the White House has refused to share.

Then, we learned it was a phone call.

Then, we learned it was several phone calls.

Now, we learn it wasn't Russia or North Korea - it was Ukraine!

Here's the scandal; It appears that Trump, may have made promises to newly minted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky - very likely involving an effort to convince Ukraine to reopen its investigation into Joe Biden and his son Hunter, after Biden strongarmed Ukraine's prior government into firing its top prosecutor - something Trump and his attorney Rudy Giuliani have pursued for months . There are also unsupported rumors that Trump threatened to withhold $250 million in aid to help Ukraine fight Russian-backed separatists.

And while the MSM and Congressional Democrats are starting to focus on the sitting US president having a political opponent investigated, The New York Times admits that nothing Trump did would have been illegal , as "while Mr. Trump may have discussed intelligence activities with the foreign leader, he enjoys broad power as president to declassify intelligence secrets, order the intelligence community to act and otherwise direct the conduct of foreign policy as he sees fit."

Moreover, here's why Trump and Giuliani are going to dig their heels in; last year Biden openly bragged about threatening to hurl Ukraine into bankruptcy as Vice President if they didn't fire their top prosecutor , Viktor Shokin - who was leading a wide-ranging corruption investigation into a natural gas firm whose board Hunter Biden sat on.

In his own words, with video cameras rolling, Biden described how he threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in March 2016 that the Obama administration would pull $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees , sending the former Soviet republic toward insolvency, if it didn't immediately fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin. - The Hill

"I said, ' You're not getting the billion .' I'm going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ' I'm leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you're not getting the money, '" bragged Biden, recalling the conversation with Poroshenko.

" Well, son of a bitch, he got fired . And they put in place someone who was solid at the time," Biden said at the Council on Foreign Relations event - while insisting that former president Obama was complicit in the threat.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Q0_AqpdwqK4?start=3128

In short, there's both smoke and fire here - and what's left of Biden's 2020 bid for president may be the largest casualty of the entire whistleblower scandal.

And by the transitive properties of the Obama administration 'vetting' Trump by sending spies into his campaign, Trump can simply say he was protecting America from someone who may have used his position of power to directly benefit his own family at the expense of justice.

Congressional Democrats, meanwhile, are acting as if they've found the holy grail of taking Trump down. On Thursday, the House Intelligence Committee chaired by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) interviewed inspector general Michael Atkinson, with whom the whistleblower lodged their complaint - however despite three hours of testimony, he repeatedly declined to discuss the content of the complaint .

Following the session, Schiff gave an angry speech - demanding that acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire share the complaint , and calling the decision to withhold it "unprecedented."

"We cannot get an answer to the question about whether the White House is also involved in preventing this information from coming to Congress," said Schiff, adding "We're determined to do everything we can to determine what this urgent concern is to make sure that the national security is protected."

According to Schiff, someone "is trying to manipulate the system to keep information about an urgent matter from the Congress There certainly are a lot of indications that it was someone at a higher pay grade than the director of national intelligence," according to the Washington Post .

me title=

On thursday, Trump denied doing anything improper - tweeting " Virtually anytime I speak on the phone to a foreign leader, I understand that there may be many people listening from various U.S. agencies, not to mention those from the other country itself. "

"Knowing all of this, is anybody dumb enough to believe that I would say something inappropriate with a foreign leader while on such a potentially 'heavily populated' call. "

me title=

Giuliani, meanwhile, went on CNN with Chris Cuomo Thursday to defend his discussions with Ukraine about investigating alleged election interference in the 2016 election to the benefit of Hillary Clinton conducted by Ukraine's previous government. According to Giuliani, Biden's dealings in Ukraine were 'tangential' to the 2016 election interference question - in which a Ukrainian court ruled that government officials meddled for Hillary in 2016 by releasing details of Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort's 'Black Book' to Clinton campaign staffer Alexandra Chalupa.

me title=

And so - what the MSM doesn't appear to understand is that President Trump asking Ukraine to investigate Biden over something with legitimate underpinnings.

Which - of course, may lead to the Bidens' adventures in China , which Giuliani referred to in his CNN interview. And just like his Ukraine scandal , it involves actions which may have helped his son Hunter - who was making hand over fist in both countries.

Journalist Peter Schweizer, the author of Clinton Cash and now Secret Empires discovered that in 2013, then-Vice President Biden and his son Hunter flew together to China on Air Force Two - and two weeks later, Hunter's Journalist Peter Schweizer, the author of Clinton Cash and now Secret Empires discovered that in 2013, then-Vice President Biden and his son Hunter flew together to China on Air Force Two - and two weeks later, Hunter's firm inked a private equity deal for $1 billion with a subsidiary of the Chinese government's Bank of China , which expanded to $1.5 billion

Meanwhile, speculation is rampant over what this hornet's nest means for all involved...

Dan Bongino ✔ @dbongino

The latest intell hit on Trump tells me that the deep-state swamp rats are in a panic over the Ukrainian/Obama admin collusion about to be outed in the IG report. They're also freaked out over Biden's shady Ukrainian deals with his kid.


blindfaith , 18 seconds ago link

Hunter's firm inked a private equity deal for $1 billion with a subsidiary of the Chinese government's Bank of China , which expanded to $1.5 billion

Lets clarify this a bit. The 1 billion came from the RED CHINESE ARMY, lets call spade a spade here. And why? To buy into (invest in ) DARPA related contractors. The RED CHINESE NAVY was so impressed with little sonny's performance (meaning daddy's help), that they handed over an additions 500,000.

Without daddy's influence as VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, and that FREE PLANE RIDE on Air Force TWO with daddy holding sonny's little hand, little sonny never would have gotten past the ticket booth.

n0vocaine , 24 seconds ago link

"House Democrats are also looking into whether Giuliani flew to Ukraine to 'encourage' them to investigate Hunter Biden and his involvement with Burisma."

LOL looking into someone looking into a crime that may have been committed by a Democrat... they're some big brained individuals these dummycrats.

Tom Angle , 1 minute ago link

Putting him in the hot seat would be to ask why he sponsored a coup and backed a neo Nazi party. When he starts to lie, put up images of the party he back wearing inverted Das Reich arm bands and flying flags. Now that would be real journalism.

TahoeBilly2012 , 2 minutes ago link

"Blame your enemies for your crimes"

Everybodys All American , 12 minutes ago link

It's awfully clear that the US department of justice is not going to do a damn thing about the Biden family's corruption.

NotGonnaTakeItAnymore , 13 minutes ago link

The Bidens show precisely that power corrupts. They both need to be investigated and then jailed. To the countries of the world that depend on the USA for any kind of help, they had to deal with Joe 'what's in-it-for-me' Biden? What a disgrace for America.

I think every sitting President, Vice President, senator, and representative needs a yearly lie-detector test that asks but one question: "did you do anything in your official duties that personally benefited you or your family?"

Didn't you ever wonder how so many senators and representatives end up multi-millionaires after a couple terms in office?

The EveryThing Bubble , 14 minutes ago link

Why the fuuk do we have have to put up with this jackass. All the talk on cable, etc, is all ********. Trump is a fuuking crook, and Barr is his bag man,. He has surrounded hinmself with toadies, cowards , incompetents and a trash family. Rise up, call your representatives, March on DC get this crook out of office.
Call anyone you can think of, challenge them to overcome their cowardice, including members of congress, cabinet, your governor

And finally Vote this bastard out in 2020

RozKo , 11 minutes ago link

Same could be said for the Democrats and all their Russian collusion lies and Beto wants to FORCE people to sell their weapons to the government, right.......

RabbitOne , 14 minutes ago link

" ...The complaint <against the president> involved communications with a foreign leader and a "promise" that Trump made, which was so alarming that a U.S. intelligence official <who monitored Trumps call> who had worked at the White House went to the inspector general of the intelligence community, two former U.S. officials said. ..."

What this tells:

1. If president Trump is monitored this way our spooks know the number of hairs in our crotches...

2. If we convicted on promises most in congress would be hung by the neck til dead for treason for not following the constitution...

turbojarhead , 58 seconds ago link

Anybody that thinks that Trump, having had Roy Cohn as his mentor, and working in cut-throat NY real estate for years, AND having dealt with political snakes for many years..would allow himself to be taped saying something on a call that he KNOWS the Intel Community is listening in, is not paying attention.

This will backfire on the Dems and the media. Trump set them all up again..

My guess is the Dems will be hounding the IC for the complaint, will call Barr and the DNI in an investigation ran live on CNN and MSNBC..that will show how corrupt Biden was. Everytime you hear Alexandra Chalupa's name come up, look for the MSM to go ballistic..she is the tell in this one also. It cannot be allowed for the plebes to find out how Manafort was setup, Ukraine assisted the DNC in the fake Russian election interference farce..hey, guess what, guess who is an ardent Ukraininan nationalist? The head of Crowdstrike. Chalupa and Alparovich, the names that will bring down more dirty Dems than anyone in history.

Gold Banit , 15 minutes ago link

I have a trick question for for all of the DemoRats posters here!

Who is your President and will be for the next 6 years?

Hint

It is not your Hillary or your Putin......Fact......LMFAO

schroedingersrat , 21 minutes ago link

For days we've been treated to MSM insinuations that President Trump may have betrayed the United States

Trump is a traitor, but he does not work for either Ukraine nor Russia but instead he works for Israel first and foremost! He even admits it himself. Lol he doesn't even give a shite when Israel taps his phone :)

blindfaith , 27 minutes ago link

House Democrats are also looking into whether Giuliani flew to Ukraine to 'encourage' them to investigate Hunter Biden and his involvement with Burisma.

This bunch of filthy swine should be looking up each others asses for answers. Actually the Ukrainians have been screaming for over a year at the DOJ and FBI to take the evidence they have. But the rotten to the core Democrat socialist lefties wanted to block it.

otschelnik , 25 minutes ago link

Six ways to Sunday. This is another **** bomb that'll blow up in the dimocrat's faces, it will take Biden down.

Warren = Trump 2020.

Ex-Kalifornian , 27 minutes ago link

This does nothing to Biden because he gets a free pass on corruption like every other dem.....

vasilievich , 27 minutes ago link

This is all beginning to read like one those Roman histories of the decay of the Empire.

[Sep 17, 2019] The Devolution of US-Russia Relations by Tony Kevin

Highly recommended!
Sep 17, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

A retired Australian diplomat who served in Moscow dissects the emergence of the new Cold War and its dire consequences.

I n 2014, we saw violent U.S.-supported regime change and civil war in Ukraine. In February, after months of increasing tension from the anti-Russian protest movement's sitdown strike in Kiev's Maidan Square, there was a murderous clash between protesters and Ukrainian police, sparked off by hidden shooters (we now know that were expert Georgian snipers) , aiming at police. The elected government collapsed and President Yanukevich fled to Russia, pursued by murder squads.

The new Poroshenko government pledged harsh anti-Russian language laws. Rebels in two Russophone regions in Eastern Ukraine took local control, and appealed for Russian military help. In March, a referendum took place in Russian-speaking Crimea on leaving Ukraine, under Russian military protection. Crimeans voted overwhelmingly to join Russia, a request promptly granted by the Russian Parliament and President. Crimea's border with Ukraine was secured against saboteurs. Crimea is prospering under its pro-Russian government, with the economy kick-started by Russian transport infrastructure investment.

In April, Poroshenko ordered full military attack on the separatist provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk in Eastern Ukraine. A brutal civil war ensued, with aerial and artillery bombardment bringing massive civilian death and destruction to the separatist region. There was major refugee outflow into Russia and other parts of Ukraine. The shootdown of MH17 took place in July 2014.

Poroshenko: Ordered military attack.

By August 2015, according to UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimates, 13,000 people had been killed and 30,000 wounded. 1.4 million Ukrainians had been internally displaced, and 925,000 had fled to neighbouring countries, mostly Russia and to a lesser extent Poland.

There is now a military stalemate, under the stalled Minsk peace process. But random fatal clashes continue, with the Ukrainian Army mostly blamed by UN observers. The UN reported last month that the ongoing war has affected 5.2 million people, leaving 3.5 million of them in need of relief, including 500,000 children. Most Russians blame the West for fomenting Ukrainian enmity towards Russia. This war brings back for older Russians horrible memories of the Nazi invasion in 1941. The Russia-Ukraine border is only 550 kilometres from Moscow.

Flashpoint Syria

Russian forces joined the civil war in Syria in September 2015, at the request of the Syrian Government, faltering under the attacks of Islamist extremist rebel forces reinforced by foreign fighters and advanced weapons. With Russian air and ground support, the tide of war turned. Palmyra and Aleppo were recaptured in 2016. An alleged Syrian Government chemical attack at Khan Shaykhun in April 2017 resulted in a token U.S. missile attack on a Syrian Government airbase: an early decision by President Trump.

NATO, Strategic Balance, Sanctions

An F-15C Eagle from the 493rd Fighter Squadron takes off from Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, March 6, 2014. The 48th Fighter Wing sent an additional six aircraft and more than 50 personnel to support NATO's air policing mission in Lithuania, at the request of U.S. allies in the Baltics. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Emerson Nunez/Released)

Tensions have risen in the Baltic as NATO moves ground forces and battlefield missiles up to the Baltic states' borders with Russia. Both sides' naval and air forces play dangerous brinksmanship games in the Baltic. U.S. short-range, non-nuclear-armed anti-ballistic missiles were stationed in Poland and Romania, allegedly against threat of Iranian attack. They are easily convertible to nuclear-armed missiles aimed at nearby Russia.

Nuclear arms control talks have stalled. The INF intermediate nuclear forces treaty expired in 2019, after both sides accused the other of cheating. In March 2018, Putin announced that Russia has developed new types of intercontinental nuclear missiles using technologies that render U.S. defence systems useless. The West has pretended to ignore this announcement, but we can be sure Western defence ministries have noted it. Nuclear second-strike deterrence has returned, though most people in the West have forgotten what this means. Russians know exactly what it means.

Western economic sanctions against Russia continue to tighten after the 2014 events in Ukraine. The U.S. is still trying to block the nearly completed Nordstream Baltic Sea underwater gas pipeline from Russia to Germany. Sanctions are accelerating the division of the world into two trade and payments systems: the old NATO-led world, and the rest of the world led by China, with full Russian support and increasing interest from India, Japan, ROK and ASEAN.

Return to Moscow

In 2013, my children gave me an Ipad. I began to spend several hours a day reading well beyond traditional mainstream Western sources: British and American dissident sites, writers like Craig Murray in UK and in the U.S. Stephen Cohen, and some Russian sites – rt.com, Sputnik, TASS, and the official Foreign Ministry site mid.ru. in English.

In late 2015 I decided to visit Russia independently to write Return to Moscow , a literary travel memoir. I planned to compare my impressions of the Soviet Union, where I had lived and worked as an Australian diplomat in 1969-71, with Russia today. I knew there had been huge changes. I wanted to experience 'Putin's Russia' for myself, to see how it felt to be there as an anonymous visitor in the quiet winter season. I wanted to break out of the familiar one-dimensional hostile political view of Russia that Western mainstream media offer: to take my readers with me on a cultural pilgrimage through the tragedy and grandeur and inspiration of Russian history. As with my earlier book on Spain 'Walking the Camino' , this was not intended to be a political book, and yet somehow it became one.

I was still uncommitted on contemporary Russian politics before going to Russia in January 2016. Using the metaphor of a seesaw, I was still sitting somewhere around the middle.

My book was written in late 2015 – early 2016, expertly edited by UWA Publishing. It was launched in March 2017. By this time my political opinions had moved decisively to the Russian end of the seesaw, on the basis of what I had seen in Russia, and what I had read and thought during the year.

I have been back again twice, in winter 2018 and 2019. My 2018 visit included Crimea, and I happened to see a Navalny-led Sunday demonstration in Moscow. I thoroughly enjoyed all three independent visits: in my opinion, they give my judgements on Russia some depth and authenticity.

Russophobia Becomes Entrenched

Russia was a big talking point in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. As the initially unlikely Republican candidate Donald Trump's chances improved, anti-Putin and anti-Russian positions hardened in the outgoing Obama administration and in the Democratic Party establishment which backed candidate Hillary Clinton.

Russia and Putin became caught up in the Democratic Party's increasingly obsessive rage and hatred against the victorious Trump. Russophobia became entrenched in Washington and London U.S. and UK political and strategic elites, especially in intelligence circles: think of Pompeo, Brennan, Comey and Clapper. All sense of international protocol and diplomatic propriety towards Russia and its President was abandoned, as this appalling Economist cover from October 2016 shows.

My experience of undeclared political censorship in Australia since four months after publication of 'Return to Moscow' supports the thesis that:

We are now in the thick of a ruthless but mostly covert Anglo-American alliance information war against Russia. In this war, individuals who speak up publicly in the cause of detente with Russia will be discouraged from public discourse.

In the Thick of Information War

When I spoke to you two years ago, I had no idea how far-reaching and ruthless this information war is becoming. I knew that a false negative image of Russia was taking hold in the West, even as Russia was becoming a more admirable and self-confident civil society, moving forward towards greater democracy and higher living standards, while maintaining essential national security. I did not then know why, or how.

I had just had time to add a few final paragraphs in my book about the possible consequences for Russia-West relations of Trump's surprise election victory in November 2016. I was right to be cautious, because since Trump's inauguration we have seen the step-by-step elimination of any serious pro-detente voices in Washington, and the reassertion of control over this haphazard president by the bipartisan imperial U.S. deep state, as personified from April 2018 by Secretary of State Pompeo and National Security Adviser Bolton. Bolton has now been thrown from the sleigh as decoy for the wolves: under the smooth-talking Pompeo, the imperial policies remain.

Truth, Trust and False Narratives

Let me now turn to some theory about political reality and perception, and how national communities are persuaded to accept false narratives. Let me acknowledge my debt to the fearless and brilliant Australian independent online journalist, Caitlin Johnstone.

Behavioural scientists have worked in the field of what used to be called propaganda since WW1. England has always excelled in this field. Modern wars are won or lost not just on the battlefield, but in people's minds. Propaganda, or as we now call it information warfare, is as much about influencing people's beliefs within your own national community as it is about trying to demoralise and subvert the enemy population.

The IT revolution of the past few years has exponentially magnified the effectiveness of information warfare. Already in the 1940s, George Orwell understood how easily governments are able to control and shape public perceptions of reality and to suppress dissent. His brilliant books 1984 and Animal Farm are still instruction manuals in principles of information warfare. Their plots tell of the creation by the state of false narratives, with which to control their gullible populations.

The disillusioned Orwell wrote from his experience of real politics. As a volunteer fighter in the Spanish Civil War, he saw how both Spanish sides used false news and propaganda narratives to demonise the enemy. He also saw how the Nazi and Stalinist systems in Germany and Russia used propaganda to support show trials and purges, the concentration camps and the Gulag, anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, German master race and Stalinist class enemy ideologies; and hows dissident thought was suppressed in these controlled societies. Orwell tried to warn his readers: all this could happen here too, in our familiar old England. But because the good guys won the war against fascism, his warnings were ignored.

We are now in Britain, U.S. and Australia actually living in an information warfare world that has disturbing echoes of the world that Orwell wrote about. The essence of information control is the effective state management of two elements, trust and fear , to generate and uphold a particular view of truth. Truth, trust and fear : these are the three key elements, now as 100 years ago in WWI Britain.

People who work or have worked close to government – in departments, politics, the armed forces, or top universities – mostly accept whatever they understand at the time to be 'the government view' of truth. Whether for reasons of organisational loyalty, career prudence or intellectual inertia, it is usually this way around governments. It is why moral issues like the Vietnam War and the U.S.-led 2003 invasion of Iraq were so distressing for people of conscience working in or close to government and military jobs in Canberra. They were expected to engage in 'doublethink' as Orwell had described it:

Even in Winston's nightmare world, there were still choices – to retreat into the non-political world of the proles, or to think forbidden thoughts and read forbidden books. These choices involved large risks and punishments. It was easier and safer for most people to acquiesce in the fake news they were fed by state-controlled media.

'Trust, Truth and False Narratives'

Fairfax journalist Andrew Clark, in the Australian Financial Review , in an essay optimistically titled "Not fake news: Why truth and trust are still in good shape in Australia", (AFR Dec. 22, 2018), cited Professor William Davies thus:

"Most of the time, the edifice that we refer to as "truth" is really an investment of trust in our structures of politics and public life' 'When trust sinks below a certain point, many people come to view the entire spectacle of politics and public life as a sham."

Here is my main point: Effective information warfare requires the creation of enough public trust to make the public believe that state-supported lies are true.

The key tools are repetition of messages, and diversification of trusted voices. Once a critical mass is created of people believing a false narrative, the lie locks in: its dissemination becomes self-sustaining.

Caitlin Johnstone a few days ago put it this way:

" Power is being able to control what happens. Absolute power is being able to control what people think about what happens. If you can control what happens, you can have power until the public gets sick of your BS and tosses you out on your ass. If you can control what people think about what happens, you can have power forever. As long as you can control how people are interpreting circumstances and events, there's no limit to the evils you can get away with."

The Internet has made propaganda campaigns that used to take weeks or months a matter of hours or even minutes to accomplish. It is about getting in quickly, using large enough clusters of trusted and diverse sources, in order to cement lies in place, to make the lies seem true, to magnify them through social messaging: in other words, to create credible false narratives that will quickly get into the public's bloodstream.

Over the past two years, I have seen this work many times: on issues like framing Russia for the MH17 tragedy; with false allegations of Assad mounting poison gas attacks in Syria; with false allegations of Russian agents using lethal Novichok to try to kill the Skripals in Salisbury; and with the multiple lies of Russiagate.

It is the mind-numbing effect of constant repetition of disinformation by many eminent people and agencies, in hitherto trusted channels like the BBC or ABC or liberal Anglophone print media that gives the system its power to persuade the credulous. For if so many diverse and reputable people repeatedly report such negative news and express such negative judgements about Russia or China or Iran or Syria, surely they must be right?

We have become used to reading in our quality newspapers and hearing on the BBC and ABC and SBS gross assaults on truth, calmly presented as accepted facts. There is no real public debate on important facts in contention any more. There are no venues for dissent outside contrarian social media sites.

Sometimes, false narratives inter-connect. Often a disinformation narrative in one area is used to influence perceptions in other areas. For example, the false Skripals poisoning story was launched by British intelligence in March 2018, just in time to frame Syrian President Assad as the guilty party in a faked chemical weapons attack in Douma the following month.

The Skripals Gambit

The Skripals gambit was also a failed British attempt to blight the Russia –hosted Football World Cup in June 2018. In the event, hundreds of thousands of Western sports fans returned home with the warmest memories of Russian good sportsmanship and hospitality.

How do I know the British Skripals narrative is false? For a start, it is illogical, incoherent, and constantly changes. Allegedly, two visiting Russian FSB agents in March 2018 sprayed or smeared Novichok, a deadly toxin instantly lethal in the most microscopic quantities, on the Skripals' house front doorknob. There is no video footage of the Skripals at their front door on the day. We are told they were found slumped on a park bench, and that is maybe where they had been sprayed with nerve gas? Shortly afterwards, Britain's Head of Army Nursing who happened to be passing by found them, and supervised their hospitalisation and emergency treatment.

Allegedly, much of Salisbury was contaminated by Novichok, and one unfortunate woman mysteriously died weeks later, yet the Skripals somehow did not die, as we are told. But where are they now? We saw a healthy Yulia in a carefully scripted video interview released in May 2018, after an alleged 'one in a million' recovery. We were assured her father had recovered too, but nobody has seen him at all. The Skripals have simply disappeared from sight since 16 months ago. Are they now alive or dead? Are they in voluntary or involuntary British custody?

A month after the poisoning, the UK Government sent biological samples from the Skripals to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons , for testing. The OPCW sent the samples to a trusted OPCW laboratory in Spiez, Switzerland.

Lavrov Spiez BZ claims, April 2018

A few days later, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov dramatically announced in Moscow that the Spiez lab had found in the samples a temporary-effect nerve agent BZ, used by U.S. and UK but not by Russia, that would have disabled the Skripals for a few days without killing them. He also revealed the Spiez lab had found that the Skripal samples had been twice tampered with while still in UK custody: first soon after the poisoning, and again shortly before passing them to the OPCW. He said the Spiez lab had found a high concentration of Novichok, which he called A- 234, in its original form. This was extremely suspicious as A-234 has high volatility and could not have retained its purity over a two weeks period. The dosage the Spiez lab found in the samples would have surely killed the Skripals. The OPCW under British pressure rejected Lavrov's claim, and suppressed the Spiez lab report.

Let's look finally at the alleged assassins.

'Boshirov and Petrov'

These two FSB operatives who visited Salisbury under the false identities of 'Boshirov' and 'Petrov' did not look or behave like credible assassins. It is more likely that they were sent to negotiate with Sergey Skripal about his rumoured interest in returning to Russia. They needed to apply for UK visas a month in advance of travel: ample time for the British agencies to identify them as FSB operatives, and to construct a false attempted assassination narrative around their visit. This false narrative repeatedly trips over its own lies and contradictions. British social media are full of alternative theories and rebuttals. Russians find the whole British Government Skripal narrative laughable. They have invented comedy skits and video games based on it. Yet it had major impact on Russia-West relations.

The Douma False Narrative

I turn now to the claimed Assad chemical weapons attack in Douma in April 2018.This falsely alleged attack triggered a major NATO air attack on Syrian targets, ordered by Trump. We came close to WWIII in these dangerous days. Thanks to the restraint of the then Secretary of Defence James Mattis and his Russian counterparts, the risk was contained.

The allegation that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had used outlawed chemical weapons against his own people was based solely on the evidence of faked video images of child victims, made by the discredited White Helmets, a UK-sponsored rebel-linked 'humanitarian' propaganda organisation with much blood on its hands. Founded in 2013 by a British private security specialist of intelligence background, James Le Mesurier, the White Helmets specialised in making fake videos of alleged Assad regime war crimes against Syrian civilians. It is by now a thoroughly discredited organisation that was prepared to kill its prisoners and then film their bodies as alleged victims of government chemical attacks.

White Helmets

As the town of Douma was about to fall to advancing Syrian Government forces, the White Helmets filled a room with stacked corpses of murdered prisoners, and photographed them as alleged victims of aerial gas attack. They also made a video alleging child victims of this attack being hosed down by White Helmets. A video of a child named Hassan Diab went viral all over the Western world.

Hassan Diab later testified publicly in The Hague that he had been dragged terrified from his family by force, smeared with some sort of grease, and hosed down with water as part of a fake video. He went from hero to zero overnight, as Western governments and media rejected his testimony as Russian and Syrian propaganda.

In a late development, there is proof that the OPCW suppressed its own engineers' report from Douma that the alleged poison gas cylinders could not have possibly been dropped from the air through the roof of the house where one was found, resting on a bed under a convenient hole in the roof.

I could go on discussing the detail of such false narratives all day. No matter how often they are exposed by critics, our politicians and mainstream media go on referencing them as if they are true. Once people have come to believe false narratives, it is hard to refute them.

So it is with the false narrative that Russian internet interference enabled Trump to win the 2016 U.S. presidential elections: a thesis for which no evidence was found by [Special Counsel Robert] Mueller, yet continues to be cited by many U.S. liberal Democratic media as if it were true. So, even, with MH17.

Managing Mass Opinion

This mounting climate of Western Russophobia is not accidental: it is strategically directed, and it is nourished with regular maintenance doses of fresh lies. Each round of lies provides a credible platform for the next round somewhere else. The common thread is a claimed malign Russian origin for whatever goes wrong.

So where is all this disinformation originating? Information technology firms in Washington and London that are closely networked into government elites, often through attending the same establishment schools or colleges like Eton and Yale, have closely studied and tested the science of influencing crowd opinions through mainstream media and online. They know, in a way that Orwell or Goebbels could hardly have dreamt, how to put out and repeat desired media messages. They know what sizes of 'internet attraction nodes' need to be established online, in order to create diverse critical masses of credible Russophobic messaging, which then attracts enough credulous and loyal followers to become self-propagating.

Firms like the SCL Group (formerly Strategic Communication Laboratories) and the now defunct Cambridge Analytica pioneered such work in the UK. There are many similar firms in Washington, all in the business of monitoring, generating and managing mass opinion. It is big business, and it works closely with the national security state.

Starting in November 2018, an enterprising group of unknown hackers in the UK , who go by the name 'Anonymous', opened a remarkable window into this secret world. Over a few weeks, they hacked and dumped online a huge volume of original documents issued by and detailing the activities of the Institute for Statecraft (IfS) and the Integrity initiative (II). Here is the first page of one of their dumps, exposing propaganda against Jeremy Corbyn.

We know from this material that the IfS and II are two secret British disinformation networks operating at arms' length from but funded by the UK security services and broader UK government establishment. They bring together high-ranking military and intelligence personnel, often nominally retired, journalists and academics, to produce and disseminate propaganda that serves the agendas of the UK and its allies.

Stung by these massive leaks, Chris Donnelly, a key figure in IfS and II and a former British Army intelligence officer, made a now famous seven-minute YouTube video in December 2018, artfully filmed in a London kitchen, defending their work.

He argued – quite unconvincingly in my opinion – that IfS and II are simply defending Western societies against disinformation and malign influence, primarily from Russia. He boasted how they have set up in numerous targeted European countries, claimed to be under attack from Russian disinformation, what he called 'clusters of influence' , to 'educate' public opinion and decision-makers in pro-NATO and anti-Russian directions.

Donnelly spoke frankly on how the West is already at war with Russia, a 'new kind of warfare', in which he said 'everything becomes a weapon'. He said that 'disinformation is the issue which unites all the other weapons in this conflict and gives them a third dimension'.

He said the West has to fight back, if it is to defend itself and to prevail.

We can confirm from the Anonymous leaked files the names of many people in Europe being recruited into these clusters of influence. They tend to be significant people in journalism, publishing, universities and foreign policy think-tanks: opinion-shapers. The leaked documents suggest how ideologically suitable candidates are identified: approached for initial screening interviews; and, if invited to join a cluster of influence, sworn to secrecy.

Remarkably, neither the Anonymous disclosures nor the Donnelly response have ever been reported in Australian media. Even in Britain – where evidence that the Integrity Initiative was mounting a campaign against [Labour leader] Jeremy Corbyn provoked brief media interest. The story quickly disappeared from mainstream media and the BBC. A British under-foreign secretary admitted in Parliamentary Estimates that the UK Foreign Office subsidises the Institute of Statecraft to the tune of nearly 3 million pounds per year. It also gives various other kinds of non-monetary assistance, e.g. providing personnel and office support in Britain's overseas embassies.

This is not about traditional spying or seeking agents of influence close to governments. It is about generating mass disinformation, in order to create mass climates of belief.

In my opinion, such British and American disinformation efforts, using undeclared clusters of influence, through Five Eyes intelligence-sharing, and possibly with the help of British and American diplomatic missions, may have been in operation in Australia for many years.

Such networks may have been used against me since around mid-2017, to limit the commercial outreach of my book and the impact of its dangerous ideas on the need for East-West detente; and efficiently to suppress my voice in Australian public discourse about Russia and the West. Do I have evidence for this? Yes.

It is not coincidence that the Melbourne Writers Festival in August 2017 somehow lost all my sign-and-sell books from my sold-out scheduled speaking event; that a major debate with [Australian writer and foreign policy analyst] Bobo Lo at the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne was cancelled by his Australian sponsor, the Lowy institute, two weeks before the advertised date; that my last invitation to any writers festival was 15 months ago, in May 2018; that Return to Moscow was not shortlisted for any Australian book prize, though I entered it in all of them ; that since my book's early promotion ended around August 2017, I have not been invited to join any ABC discussion panels, or to give any talks on Russia in any universities or institutes, apart from the admirable Australian Institute of International Affairs and the ISAA.

My articles and shorter opinion commentaries on Russia and the West have not been published in mainstream media or in reputable online journals like Eureka Street, The Conversation, Inside Story or Australian Book Review . Despite being an ANU Emeritus Fellow, I have not been invited to give a public talk or join any panel in ANU (Australian National University) or any Canberra think tank. In early 2018, I was invited to give a private briefing to a group of senior students travelling on an immersion course to Russia. I was not invited back in 2019, after high-level private advice within ANU that I was regarded as too pro-Putin.

In all these ways – none overt or acknowledged – my voice as an open-minded writer and speaker on Russia-West relations seems to have been quietly but effectively suppressed in Australia. I would like to be proved wrong on this, but the evidence is there.

This may be about "velvet-glove deterrence" of my Russia-sympathetic voice and pen, in order to discourage others, especially those working in or close to government. Nobody is going to put me in jail, unless I am stupid enough to violate Australia's now strict foreign influence laws. This deterrence is about generating fear of consequences for people still in their careers, paying their mortgages, putting kids through school. Nobody wants to miss their next promotion.

There are other indications that Australian national security elite opinion has been indoctrinated prudently to fear and avoid any kind of public discussion of positive engagement with Russia (or indeed, with China).

There are only two kinds of news about Russia now permitted in our mainstream media, including the ABC and SBS: negative news and comment, or silence. Unless a story can be given an anti-Russian sting, it will not be carried at all. Important stories are simply spiked, like last week's Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivistok, chaired by President Putin and attended by Prime Ministers Abe, Mahathir and Modi, among 8500 participants from 65 countries.

The ABC idea of a balanced panel to discuss any Russian political topic was exemplified in an ABC Sunday Extra Roundtable panel chaired by Eleanor Hall on July, 22 2018, soon after the Trump-Putin Summit in Helsinki. The panel – a former ONA Russia analyst, a professor of Soviet and Russian History at Melbourne University, and a Russian émigré dissident journalist introduced as the 'Washington correspondent for Echo of Moscow radio' spent most of their time sneering at Putin and Trump. There were no other views.

A powerful anti-Russian news narrative is now firmly in place in Australia, on every topic in contention: Ukraine, MH17, Crimea, Syria, the Skripals, Navalny and public protest in Russia. There is ill-informed criticism of Russia, or silence, on the crucial issues of arms control and Russia-China strategic and economic relations as they affect Australia's national security or economy. There is no analysis of the negative impact on Australia of economic sanctions against Russia. There is almost no discussion of how improved relations with China and Russia might contribute to Australia's national security and economic welfare, as American influence in the world and our region declines, and as American reliability as an ally comes more into question. Silence on inconvenient truths is an important part of the disinformation tool kit.

I see two overall conflicting narratives – the prevailing Anglo-American false narrative; and valiant efforts by small groups of dissenters, drawing on sources outside the Anglo-American official narrative, to present another narrative much closer to truth. And this is how most Russians now see it too.

The Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki in July 2018 was damaged by the Skripal and Syria fabrications. Trump left that summit friendless, frightened and humiliated. He soon surrendered to the power of the U.S. imperial state as then represented by [Mike] Pompeo and [John] Bolton, who had both been appointed as Secretary of State and National Security Adviser in April 2018 and who really got into their stride after the Helsinki Summit. Pompeo now smoothly dominates Trump's foreign policy.

Self-Inflicted Wounds

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (Gage Skidmore)

Finally, let me review the American political casualties over the past two years – self-inflicted wounds – arising from this secret information war against Russia. Let me list them without prejudging guilt or innocence. Slide 20 – Self-inflicted wounds: casualties of anti-Russian information warfare.

Trump's first National Security Adviser, the highly decorated Michael Flynn lost his job after only three weeks, and soon went to jail. His successor H R McMaster lasted 13 months until replaced by John Bolton. Trump's first Secretary of State Rex Tillerson lasted just 14 months until his replacement by Trump's appointed CIA chief (in January 2017) Mike Pompeo. Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon lasted only seven months. Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort is now in jail.

Defence Secretary James Mattis lasted nearly two years as Secretary of Defence, and was an invaluable source of strategic stability. He resigned in December 2018. The highly capable Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman lasted just two years: he is resigning next month. John Kelly lasted 18 months as White House Chief of Staff. Less senior figures like George Papadopoulos and Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen both served jail time. The pattern I see here is that people who may have been trying responsibly as senior U.S. officials to advance Trump's initial wish to explore possibilities for detente with Russia – policies that he had advocated as a candidate – were progressively purged, one after another . The anti-Russian U.S. bipartisan imperial state is now firmly back in control. Trump is safely contained as far as Russia is concerned .

Russians do not believe that any serious detente or arms control negotiations can get under way while cold warriors like Pompeo continue effectively to control Trump. There have been other casualties over the past two years of tightening American Russophobia. Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning come to mind. The naive Maria Butina is a pathetic victim of American judicial rigidity and deep state vindictiveness.

False anti-Russian Government narratives emanating from London and Washington may be laughed at in Moscow , but they are unquestioningly accepted in Canberra. We are the most gullible of audiences. There is no critical review. Important contrary factual information and analysis from and about Russia just does not reach Australian news reporting and commentary, nor – I fear – Australian intelligence assessment. We are prisoners of the false narratives fed to us by our senior Five Eyes partners U.S. and UK.

To conclude: Some people may find what I am saying today difficult to accept. I understand this. I now work off open-source information about Russia with which many people here are unfamiliar, because they prefer not to read the diverse online information sources that I choose to read. The seesaw has tilted for me: I have clearly moved a long way from mainstream Western perceptions on Russia-West relations.

Under Trump and Pompeo, as the Syria and Iran crises show, the present risk of global nuclear war by accident or incompetent Western decision-making is as high as it ever was in the Cold War. The West needs to learn again how to dialogue usefully and in mutually respectful ways with Russia and China. This expert knowledge is dying with our older and wiser former public servants and ex-military chiefs.

These remarks were delivered by Tony Kevin at the Independent Scholars Association of Australia in Canberra, Australia on Wednesday.

Watch Tony Kevin interviewed Friday night on CN Live!

Tony Kevin is a retired Australian diplomat who was posted to Moscow from 1969 to 1971, and was later Australia's ambassador to Poland and Cambodia. His latest book is Return to Moscow, published by UWA Publishing.


Bruce , September 17, 2019 at 08:58

Excellent article. It's very interesting to see how the state and its media lackey set the narrative.

Most of this comment relates to the Skripals but also applies to other matters (the Skripals writing was some of Craig Murray's finest work in my opinion). One of the hallmarks of a hoax is a constantly evolving storyline. I think governments have learned from past "mistakes" with their hoaxes/deception where they've given a description of events and then scientists/engineers/chemists etc have come in and criticised their version of events with details and scientific arguments. Nowadays, governments are very reluctant to commit to a version of events, and instead rely on the media (their propaganda assets) to provide a scattergun set of information to muddy the waters and thoroughly confuse the population. The government is then insulated from some of the more bizarre allegations (the headlines of which are absorbed nonetheless), and can blame it on the media (who would use an anonymous government source naturally). Together with classifying just about everything on national security grounds, they can stonewall for as long as they want.

The British are masters of propaganda. They maintained a global empire for a very long time, and the prevailing view (in the west at least) was probably one of tea-drinking cricket playing colonials/gentlemen. But you don't maintain an empire without being absolutely ruthless and brutal. They've been doing this for a very long time.

When we hear something from the BBC or ABC, we should think "State Media".
That's probably why its got a nice folksy nickname of "aunty" .build up the trust.

Leslie Louis , September 17, 2019 at 04:00

Society is suffering the extreme paradox; there is the potential for everyone to have a voice, but the last vestiges of free speech have been whittled away. Fake news is universal, assisted by the fake "left". It is impossible to get published any challenge to even the most outlandish versions of identity politics. As the experience of Tony Kevin exemplifies, all avenues for dissent against hegemonic orthodoxies are closed off.
Disinformation is now an essential weapon in waging hot and cold wars. Cold War historians are well informed on false flags, "black ops", and other organised dirty tactics. I do not know what happened to the Skripals, and while it is legitimate to bear in mind KGB assassinations, despite the enormous resources at its disposal, the English security state has been unable to construct a credible case. Surely scepticism is provoked by the leading role being played by the notorious Bellingcat outfit.

Zenobia van Dongen , September 17, 2019 at 00:29

Here is part of an eyewitness account:
"After the Orange Revolution which began in Kiev, the country was divided literally into two parts -- the supporters of integration with Russia and the supporters of an independent Ukraine. For almost 100 years belonging to the Soviet Union, the propaganda about the assistance and care from our "big brother" Russia, in Ukraine as a whole and the Donbass in particular has borne fruit. At the end of February 2014, some cities of the Southeast part were boiling with mass social and political protest against the new Ukrainian government in defense of the status of the Russian language, voicing separatist and pro-Russian slogans. The division took place in our city of Sloviansk too. Some people stood for separation from Ukraine, while Ukrainian patriots stood for the unity of our country.
On April 12, 2014 our city of Sloviansk in the Donetsk region was seized by Russian mercenaries and local volunteers. From that moment onward, armed assaults on state institutions began. The city police department, the Sloviansk City Hall, the building of the Ukraine Security Service was occupied. Armed militants seized state institutions and confiscated private property. They threatened and beat people, and those who refused to obey were taken away to an unknown destination and people started disappearing. The persecution and abduction of patriotic citizens began."

Michael McNulty , September 16, 2019 at 11:36

Watching Vietnam news coverage as a kid in the '60s I noticed the planes carpet-bombing South East Asia were American, not Russian. And as I only watched the footage and never listened to the commentary (I was waiting for the kids programs that followed) the BS they came out with to explain it all never reached me. I saw with my own eyes what the US really was and is, and always believed growing up they were the belligerent side not Russia. Once the USSR fell it was clear there were no longer any constraints on US excesses.

dean 1000 , September 15, 2019 at 18:17

Doublethink, not to mention doublespeak, is so apt to describe what is happening. If Orwell was writing today it would have to be classified as non-fiction.

Free speech is impossible unless every election district has a radio/TV station where candidates, constituents, and others can debate, discuss and speak to the issues without bending a knee to large campaign contributors or the controllers of corporate or government media. It may start with low-power pirate radio/TV broadcasts. No, the pirate speakers will not have to climb a cell tower to broadcast an opinion to the neighborhood or precinct.
If genuine free speech is going to exist it will start as something unauthorized and unlawful. If it sticks to the facts it will quickly prove its value.

Download a free pdf copy of '1984.' https://www.planetebook.com/free-ebooks/1984.pdf

Njegos , September 15, 2019 at 03:39

Excellent article. The only exhibit missing was reference to Bill Browder's lies. Browder's rubbish has been exposed by intrepid journalists and documentary makers such as Andrei Nekrasov, Sasha Krainer and Lucy Komisar but to read or listen to our media, you'd think BB was some sort of human rights hero. That's because BB's fairy tale fits nicely into the MSM's hatred of Putin and Russia. Debunk Browder and a major pillar of anti-Russia prejudice collapses. Therefore, Browder will never face any serious questions by the MSM.

John A , September 16, 2019 at 09:18

judges of the European Court of Human Rights published a judgement a fortnight ago which utterly exploded the version of events promulgated by Western governments and media in the case of the late Mr Magnitskiy. Yet I can find no truthful report of the judgement in the mainstream media at all.
https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/09/the-magnitskiy-myth-exploded/

MSM propaganda by omission. Anything that doesn't fit the government narrative gets zero publicity.

Jim Ingram , September 14, 2019 at 21:12

Well said and needing to be said Tony.

Mr. Dan , September 14, 2019 at 19:41

I have stopped following australian mainstream media including the darlings of the 'left' ABC/SBS over a decade ago, completely. My disgust with their 'coverage' of the 2008 GFC was more than enough. Since 2008-9 things have deteriorated drastically into conspiracy theory propaganda by omission la-la land *it seems*, given I don't tune in at all.

The author has a well supported view. I find it a little naive in him thinking that the MSM has that much power over shaping public opinion in australia.

People who want to be informed do so. The half intelligent conformists on hamster wheel of lifetime mortgage debt have 'careers' to hold onto, so parroting the group think or living in ignorance is much easier. The massive portion of australian racists, inbred bogans and idiots that make up the large LNP, One Nation etc. voting block are completely beyond salvation or ability to process, and critically evaluate any information. The smarter ones drool on about the 'UN Agenda 21' conspiracy at best. Utterly hopeless.

I don't expect things to change as the australian economy is slowly hollowed out by the rich, and the education system (that has always been about conforming, wearing school uniform and regurgitating what the teacher/lecturer says at best) is gutted completely. Welcome to australistan.

Fran Macadam , September 14, 2019 at 19:21

Note that the prohibition against false propaganda to indoctrinate the domestic population by the American government was lifted by President Obama at the tail end of his administration. The Executive Order legalizes all the deceptive behavior Tony itemizes in his article.

Josep , September 17, 2019 at 04:10

I thought it was Reagan who did that by abolishing the Fairness Doctrine in 1987. At least in terms of television and radio (?) broadcasts.

Stephen Morrell , September 14, 2019 at 19:02

Thank you Tony for your thoughtful talk (and interview on CN Live! too).

What's encouraging is this cohort of what might be called 'millennial journalists' coming through willing to do 'shoe-leather' journalism and stand up to smears and flack for revealing uncomfortable facts and truth. They're the online 5th estate holding the 4th to account (to steal Ray McGovern's apt view), and they're congealing against the onslaught.

Some include Max Blumenthal and Rania Kahlek (both now being pilloried by MSM and others for visiting Syrian government held areas and reporting that life isn't hellish as MSM would have everyone believe heaven forbid); Vanessa Bealey who's exposed a lot of White Helmet horrors and false-flag attacks in Syria (and being attacked by all and sundry for exposing the White Helmets in particular); Abby Martin whose Empire Files are excellent and always edifying; Dan Cohen who has written the best expose of the actors behind the Hong Kong rioting and co-authored the best expose of the background of Guaido et al.; Whitney Webb of Mint Press whose series on Epstein is overwhelming and likely a ticking timebomb; Caitlin Johnstone of course; and Aaron 'Buzzsaw' Mate who made his first mark with a wonderful takedown interview of Russiaphobe MI6 shill Luke Harding. Others too of course, with most appearing or having written pieces on CN. John Pilger, Robert Fisk, Greg Palast, et al. won't drop off their twigs disappointed.

This, along with the fact that MSM -- that cowed and compromised fourth estate -- increasingly is held in such laughable contempt by most people under about 50 yr, is highly encouraging indeed. Truth is the new black.

nwwoods , September 15, 2019 at 11:49

The Blogmire is an excellent resource for detailed analysis of the Skripal hoax. The author happens to be a long-time resident of Salisbury, and is intimately familiar with the topography, public services, etc., and a very thorough investigator.

John Wright , September 14, 2019 at 18:35

I'm not surprised that Mr. Kevin is being isolated and shunned by the Australian establishment. Truth and truth tellers are always the first casualties of war. I do hope that his experience will encourage him to increase his resistance to the corrosiveness of mendacious propaganda and those who promulgate it.

Truth is the single best weapon when fighting for a peaceful future.

If Australia is to flourish in the 21st century, it really needs to understand Russia and China, how they relate to each other, and how this key alliance will interface with the rest of the world. Australia and Australians simply cannot afford to get sucked down further by facilitating the machinations of the collapsing Anglo-American Empire. They have served the empire ably and faithfully, but now need to take a cold hard look at reality and realign their long-term interests with the coming global power shift. If not, they could literally find themselves in the middle of an unwinnable and devastating war.

* * *

The first Anglo-American Russian cold war began with the Russian revolution and was only briefly suspended when the West needed the Soviet people to throw themselves in front of the Nazi blitzkrieg in order to save Western Europe. Following their catastrophically costly contribution to the victory on the Continent, the Russians were greeted with an American nuclear salute on their eastern periphery, signalling their return to the diplomatic and economic deep freeze.

While the Anglo-American Empire solidified and extended its hold on the globe, the enlarged but war-ravaged and isolated Soviet Union hunkered down and survived on scraps and sheer will until its collapse in 1989. Declaring the cold war over, and with promises to help their new Russian friends build a prosperous future, the duplicitous West then ransacked their neighbors resources and sold them into debt peonage. The Russians cried foul, the West shrugged and Putin pushed back. Unable to declaw the bear, the west closed the cage door again and the second cold war commenced.

* * *

The first cold war was essentially an offensive war disguised as a defensive war. It enabled the Anglo-American Empire to leverage its post-war advantage and establish near total dominance around the globe through naked violence and monetary hegemony.

Today, with its dominance rapidly slipping away, the Anglo-American Empire is waging a truly defensive cold war. On the home front, they fight to convince their subjects of their eternal exceptionalism with ever more absurd and vile propaganda denigrating their adversaries . Abroad, they disrupt and defraud in a desperate attempt to delay the demise of the PetroDollar ponzi.

The Russians and the Chinese, having both been brutally burned by the Western elites, will not be fooled into abandoning their natural geographic partnership. They are no longer content to sit quietly at the kids' table taking notes. While they may not demand to sit at the head of the table, it is clear that they will insist on a round table, and one that is large enough to include their growing list of friends.

If the Americans don't smash the table, it could be the first of many peaceful pot lucks.

John Read , September 15, 2019 at 02:11

Well said. Great comments. Thanks to Tony Kevin.

Mia , September 14, 2019 at 18:33

Thank you Tony for continuing to shine light on the pathetic propaganda information bubble Australians have been immersed in .. you demonstrate great courage and you are not alone ??

Peter Loeb , September 14, 2019 at 12:58

WITH THANKS TO TONY KEVIN

An excellent article.

There is a lack of comments from some of the common writers upon whose views I often rely.

Personally, I often avoid the very individual responses from websites as I have no way
of checking out previous ideas of theirs. Who funds them? With which organizations are they
affiliated? And so forth and so on.

Peter Loeb, Boston, Massachusetts

Peter Sapo , September 14, 2019 at 10:24

As a fellow Australian, everything Tony Kevin said makes perfect sense. Our mainstream media landscape is designed to distribute propaganda to folk accross the political spectrum. Have you noticed that the ABC regurgitates stories from the BBC? The BBC has a long history (at least since WW2) of supporting government propaganda initiatives. Based on this fact, it is hard to see how ABC and SBS don't do the same when called upon by their minders.

Francis Lee , September 14, 2019 at 09:48

I just wonder where the Anglo-Zionist empire thinks it is going. It should be obvious that any NATO war against Russia involving a nuclear exchange is unwinnable. It seems equally likely the even a conventional war will not necessarily bring the result expected by the assorted 'experts' – nincompoops living in their own fantasy world. The idea that the US can fight a war without the US homeland becoming very much involved basically ended when Putin announced the creation of Russia's set of advanced hypersonic missile system. But this was apparently ignored by the 'defence' establishment. It was not true, it could not possibly be true, or so we were told.

Moreover the cost of such wars involving hundreds of thousands of troops and military hardware are massively expensive and would occasion a massive resistance from the populations affected. It was the wests wars in Korea, and Indo-China that bankrupted the US and led to the US$ being removed from the gold standard. The American military is rapidly consuming the American economy, or at least what is left of it. From a realist foreign policy perspective this is simply madness. Great powers end wars, they don't start them. Great powers are creditor nations, not debtor nations. Such is the realist foreign policy view. But foreign policy realists are few and far between in the Washington Beltway and MIC/NSA Pentagon and US/UK/AUSTRALIAN MSM.

Thus the neo-hubris of the English speaking world is such that if it is followed to its logical conclusion then total annihilation would be the logical outcome. A sad example of not very bright people who face no domestic opposition, believing in their own bullshit:

"American elites proved themselves to be master manipulators of propaganda constructs But the real danger from such manipulations arises not when those manipulations are done out of knowledge of reality, which is distorted for propaganda purposes, but when those who manipulation begin to sincerely believe in their own falsifications and when they buy into their own narrative. They stop being manipulators and they become believers in a narrative. They become manipulated themselves." (Losing Military Supremacy – Andrei, Martyanov)

Or maybe just the whole thing is a bluff. Those policy elites maybe just want to loot the US Treasury for more cash to be put their way.

John Wright , September 15, 2019 at 19:15

The self-serving Israeli Zionists know that the American cow is running dry and their days of freely milking it are coming to an end. They have an historic relationship with Russia and, leveraging their nuclear arsenal, know they can make a deal with the emerging China-Russia-centric global paradigm to extort enough protection to maintain their armed enclave for the foreseeable future. Their no so hidden alliance with the equally sociopathic Saudis will become even more obvious for all to see.

Israel, like China and Russia, knows how to play a long game. Thus, Israel will consolidate its land grab with the just announced expansion into the Jordan Valley and quietly continue as much ethnic cleansing as possible while the rest of the world is preoccupied with the incipient global power shift (True victims of history, the Palestinians have no real friends). While they will bemoan the loss of their muscular American stooge, Israel enjoyed a very lucrative 70 year run and will part with a pile of useful and deadly toys. They're also fully aware that no one else will ever let them take advantage to the degree they've been able to with the U.S.A. (Unlimited Stupidity of Arrogance?)

Eventually, the social schizophrenia that is the state of Israel will catch up with them and they will implode. Let's hope that breakdown doesn't involve the use of their nuclear arsenal.

Yes, the U.S. Treasury will continue to be looted until the last teller turns the lights out or the electricity is shut off, whichever comes first.

The Western transnational financial elites will accept their losses, regroup and make deals with the new bosses where they can; but their days of running the game unopposed are over.

Today is a good day to learn Mandarin (or Russian, if you prefer to live in Europe).

Bill , September 16, 2019 at 03:36

Very well said and I agree with a lot of what you say.

Tiu , September 14, 2019 at 06:01

Won't be too long before writing articles like this will get you busted for "hate-speech" (e.g. anything that is contrary to the official version prescribed by the "democratically elected" government)
https://www.zerohedge.com/political/uk-tony-blair-think-tank-proposes-end-free-speech
Personally I always encourage people to read George Orwell, especially 1984. We're there, and have been for a long time.

geeyp , September 14, 2019 at 01:15

Tony Kevin – Nice rundown of what ails society. You have a fine writing style that gets the point across to the reader. Kudos and cheers.

Michael , September 13, 2019 at 22:34

The 'modernization' of the Smith Mundt Act in 2013 "to authorize the domestic dissemination of information and material [PROPAGANDA] about the United States intended primarily for foreign audiences" was a major nail in the Democracy coffin, consolidating the blatant ruling of the US Police State by our 17 Intelligence Agencies (our betters). The Telecommunications Act of 1996 lead to ownership of (>80%) of our media (the MSM by a handful of owners, all disseminating the same narratives from above (CIA, State Department, FBI etc) and squelching any dissenting views, particularly related to foreign policies.
Tony's article sadly just confirms the depth and breadth of our Global Stasi, with improved, innovative and (mostly) subtle surveillance, and the controlling constant interference with alternate viewpoints and discussions, the real basis for free societies. It is bad enough to be ruled by neoliberal psychopathic hyenas and jackals, soon we won't be able to even bitch about what they are doing.

Tom Kath , September 13, 2019 at 21:42

The most impressive article I have read in a very long time. I congratulate and thank Tony.
I have myself recently addressed the issue of whether it is a virtue to have an "open mind". – The ability to be converted or have your mind changed, or is it the ability to change your own mind ?
Tony Kevin clearly illustrates the difference.

Litchfield , September 13, 2019 at 16:11

Great article.
Please keep writing.
Do start a website, a la Craig Murray.
There are people who are proactively looking for alternative viewpoints and informed analysis.
How about starting a website and publishing some excerpts of your book there?

Or, sell chapters separately by download from your website?
You could also have a discussion blog/forum there.

John Zimmermann , September 13, 2019 at 16:02

Excellent essay. Thanks Mr. Kevin.

rosemerry , September 13, 2019 at 15:37

At least Tony Kevin was an Australian ambassador, not like Mike Morrell and the chosen russop?obes the USA assumes are needed as diplomats!! Now he is treated as Stephen Cohen is- a true expert called "controversial" as he dares to go by real facts and evidence, not prejudice.

If instead of enemies, the West could consider getting to understand those they are wary of, and give them a chance to explain their point of view and actually listen and reflect on it.
(Dmitri Peskov valiantly explained the Russian official response as soon as the "Skripal poisoning" story broke, but it was fully ignored by UK/US media, while all of Theresa May's fanciful imaginings were respectfully relayed to the public).

geeyp , September 14, 2019 at 23:26

As you usually are with your comments, you are spot on again, rosemerry.

Martin - Swedish citizen , September 13, 2019 at 14:46

Excellent article!
I find the mechanics of how the propaganda is spread and the illusion upheld the most important part of this article, since this knowledge is required to counter it.
When (not if) the fraud becomes more common knowledge, our societies are likely to tumble.

Pablo Diablo , September 13, 2019 at 14:45

Whoever controls the media, controls the dialogue.
Whoever controls the dialogue, controls the agenda.

peter mcloughlin , September 13, 2019 at 13:40

' The present risk of global nuclear war is as high as it ever was in the Cold War.' And possibly higher. The Cold War, though dangerous, was the peace. The world has experienced periods of peace (or relative peace) throughout history. The Thirty Years Peace between the two Peloponnesian Wars, Pax Romana, Europe in the 19th century after the Congress of Vienna, to name a few. The Congress System finally collapsed in 1914 with the start of World War One. That conflict was followed by the League of Nations. It did not stop World War Two. That was followed by the United Nations and other post-war institutions. But all the indications are they will not prevent a third world war. The powers that are leading us towards conflagration see this as a re-run of the first Cold War. They are dangerously mistaken.
https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/

Guy , September 13, 2019 at 13:21

With so many believing the lies ,how will this mess ever come to light . I don't reside in Australia but anywhere in the Western world the shakedown is the same .In my own house ,the discussion on world politics descends into absolute stupidity . As one can't get past the constant programming that has settled in the minds of the comfortable with the status quo of lies by our media. There are intelligent sources of news sources but none get past the absolutely complete control of MSM.So the bottom line is ,for now ,the lies and liars are winning the propaganda war.

Anton Antonovich , September 13, 2019 at 13:16

He speaks the truth. Liars and dissemblers have won over the minds and hearts of so many lazy shameful citizens who will not accept the truth Tony Kevin wants to share with the world.

junaid , September 13, 2019 at 13:08

Washington resumes military assistance to Kyiv. According to American lawmakers, Ukraine is fighting one of the main enemies. "Contain Russia": what the US pays for Ukraine

"Contain Russia": what the US pays for Ukraine

Lily , September 13, 2019 at 23:42

The Pentagon is using the Ukrainian territory for experiments on chemical weapons.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3T9ktfz_FfA

John A , September 14, 2019 at 06:55

Anyone or article who spells Kiev as Kyiv can be safely ignored as western anti-Russia propaganda. It's a true tell.

Robert Edwards , September 13, 2019 at 12:53

The Cold war is totally manufacture to keep the dollars flowing into the MIC – what a sham . and a disgrace to humanity.

Cavaleiro Marginal , September 13, 2019 at 12:52

"The key tools are repetition of messages, and diversification of trusted voices. Once a critical mass is created of people believing a false narrative, the lie locks in: its dissemination becomes self-sustaining."

This had occurred in Brazil since the very first day of Lula's presidency. Eleven years late, 2013, a color revolution began. Nobody (and I mean REALLY nobody) could realize a color revolution was happening at that time. In 2016, Dilma Rousseff was kicked from power throughout a ridiculous and illegal coup perpetrated by the parliament. In 2018 Lula was imprisoned in an Orwellian process; illegal, unconstitutional, with nothing (REALLY nothing) proved against him. Then a liar clown was elected to suppress democracy

I knew on the news that in Canada and Australia the police politely (how civilized ) went to some journalist's homes to have a chat this year. Canadians and Aussies, be aware. The fascism's dog is a policial state very well informed by the propaganda they call news.

Robert Fearn , September 13, 2019 at 12:48

As a Canadian author who wrote a book about various tragic American government actions, like Vietnam, I can relate to the difficulties Tony has had with his book. I would mail my book, Amoral America, from Canada to other countries, like the US, and it would never arrive. Book stores would not handle it, etc. etc.

Josep , September 17, 2019 at 05:21

Not to disagree, but some years ago I read about anecdotes of anti-Americanism in Canada, coming from both USians and Canadians, whether it be playful banter or legitimate criticism. I believe it is more concentrated among the people than among the governmental elites (with the exception of the Iraq War era when both the people and the government were against it). And considering what you describe in your book and the difficulty you've faced in distributing it abroad, maybe the said people are on to something.

Stephen , September 13, 2019 at 11:44

This interview by Abby Martin with Mark Ames is a little dated but is a fairly accurate history. I post it to try and counter the nonsense.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7HwvFyMg7A

All the empire wants is to do it all again.

Jeremy Kuzmarov , September 13, 2019 at 10:33

Outstanding article and analysis. Thank you Sir! Jeremy Kuzmarov

Jeff Harrison , September 13, 2019 at 10:17

Thank you, sir. A far better peroration than I could have produced but what I have concluded nonetheless.

Skip Scott , September 13, 2019 at 10:10

Fantastic article. Left unmentioned is the origin of the west's anti-Russia narrative. Russia was being pillaged by the west under Yeltsin, and Russia was to become our newest vassal. Life expectancy dropped a full decade for the average Russian under Yeltsin. The average standard of living dropped dramatically as well. Putin reversed all that, and enjoys massive popular support as a result. The Empire will never tolerate a national leader who works for the benefit of the average citizen. It must be full-on rape, pillage and plunder- OR ELSE. Keep that in mind as we watch the latest theatrical performances by our DNC controlled "Commander in Chief" wannabes.

Realist , September 17, 2019 at 05:48

?The ongoing success of the "Great Lie" (that Washington is protecting the entire world from
anarchy perpetrated by a few bad actors on the global stage) and all of its false narrative subtexts
(including but far from limited to the Maidan, Crimea, Donbass, MH-17, the Skripals, gassing
"one's own people," piracy on the high Mediterranean, etc) just underscores how successful was
the false flag operation known as 9-11, even as the truth of that travesty is slowly being
unraveled by relentless truth-seekers applying logic and the scientific method to the problem.
Most Americans today would gladly concur, if queried, that Osama bin Laden was most certainly
a perfidious tool of Russia and its diabolical leader, Mr. Putin (be sure to call him "Vlad," to
conjure up images of Dracula for effect). The Winston Smith's are rare birds in America or in
any of its reliable vassal states. Never mind that the spooks from Langley (and the late
"chessmaster") concocted and orchestrated all these tales from the crypt.

Lily , September 13, 2019 at 07:54

Great summary of the developement of a new cold war. The narrative of the Mainstream Media is dangerous as well as laughable. I am glad to hear the Russian reaction to this bullshit propaganda. As often the people are so much wiser than their government – at least in the West.

During the Football WM a famous broadcaster of the German State TV channel ARD, who is a giftet propagandist, regrettet publicly the difficulty to convince the stubborn Germans to look at Russia as an enemy because they have started to look at Russia as a friend long ago.

Contrary to the people and the big firms who are completely against the sanctions against Russia and 100 % pro Northstream the German government with Chancelor Merkel is one of the top US vassalles. Even the Green Party which started as an environmental and peace party are now against North Stream and in favour of the filthy US fracking gas thanks to NATO propaganda although Russia has never let them down. Most of "Die Grünen" party have been turned into fervent friends of our American occupants which is very sad.

Thank you Tony Kevin. It has been great to read your article. I cant wait to read your book 'Return to Moscow' and to watch your interview on CN Live.

Godfree Roberts , September 13, 2019 at 07:37

Good summary of the status quo. From my experience of writing similarly about China, precisely the same policies and forces are at work.

The good news is that they are failing.

junaid , September 13, 2019 at 07:15

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced the end of the war in Syria and the country's return to a state of peace. "Syria is returning to normal life": Lavrov announced the end of the war

"Syria is returning to normal life": Lavrov announced the end of the war

Gezzah Potts , September 13, 2019 at 05:47

You hit several nails squarely on the head with your excellent article Tony. Thank you for the truth of how the media is in Australia. It is indeed chilling where all this is leading. The blatant lies just spewed out as fact by both ABC and SBS. They, in my opinion are nothing but stenographers for the Empire, of which Australia is a fully subservient vassal state, with no independence.
I try to boycott all Australian presstitutes . Oops, I mean 'media' now. Occasionally, I do slip up and watch SBS or The Drum or News on ABC.
Virtually all my news comes from independent news sites like this one.
I have been accused of being a 'Putin lover', a Russian troll, a conspiracy theorist, while people I know have claimed that "Putin is a monster whose murdered millions of people".
On and on this crap goes. And the end result? Ask Stephen Cohen. Things are very surreal now. Sadly, you've been made an Unperson Tony.

Robyn , September 13, 2019 at 04:08

Bravo, Tony, great article. I enjoyed your book and recommend it to CN readers who haven't yet read it.

The world looks entirely different when one stops reading/watching the MSM and turns to CN, Caitlin Johnstone and many others who are doing a sterling job.

Cascadian , September 13, 2019 at 03:52

I don't know which is worse, to not know what you are (reliably uninformed) and be happy, or to become what you've always wanted to be (reliably informed) and feel alone.

Realist , September 14, 2019 at 00:19

Knowing the truth has always seemed paramount to me, even if it means realising that the entire world and all in it are damned, and deliberately by our own actions. Hope is always the last part of our essence to die, or so they say: maybe we will somehow be redeemed through our own self-immolation as a species.

Deb , September 13, 2019 at 02:54

As an Australian I have no difficulty accepting what Tony Kevin has said here. He should do what Craig Murray has done start a website.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

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

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


geno-econ , 1 hour ago link

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

CatInTheHat , 1 hour ago link

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

CatInTheHat , 1 hour ago link

Kolomoisky a ***.

Big surprise There.

CatInTheHat , 1 hour ago link

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

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

Something bout them Joos.

CatInTheHat , 2 hours ago link

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

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

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

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

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

The Neo-NAM

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

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

“Politically Inconvenient” Truths

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

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

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

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

thereasonableinvestor , 2 hours ago link

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

CatInTheHat , 1 hour ago link

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

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

Master manipulator.

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

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

Ukraine

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

Looking east, looking west

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"The majority who want to be Ukrainian"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"These are our people"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@Kiza

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@Bardon Kaldian

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@Beckow

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@Andrei Martyanov

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some fine specimens of "ochlocrats"

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You have to admit that's an impressive combination.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ever since 1991 the most prosperous Soviet republic

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

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

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

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

::::::::

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

' Ukro-Nazi Jews '

You have to admit that's an impressive combination.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This coup in Ukraine, woke me up.

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

She used Neonazis to take over Ukraine.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

creating Phase 2..Operations..

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

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

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

Jack , 16 August 2019 at 01:38 AM
Larry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That's a problem sorely in need of fixing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aug 15, 2019 | economictimes.indiatimes.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ukraine halted its own purchases of Russian gas in 2015.

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

Jul 11, 2019 | news.yahoo.com

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

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


James, 26 days ago

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

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

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

James, 26 days ago

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

Bamboo, 26 days ago

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

Peter, 26 days ago

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

THE AMERICANO, 26 days ago

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

David, 26 days ago

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

26 days ago

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

26 days ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Therefore, according to the newspaper, in Tur