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Skepticism and critical thinking is not panacea, but can help to understand the world better
|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?
"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."
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.
|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
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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 )
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.
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.
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 Eric Margolis 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.
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.
Ethnic group/Nationality Population percent subject to removal
Russians 50–60% to be physically eliminated and another 15% to be sent to Western Siberia
Estonians almost 50%
Poles 20 million, or 80–85%
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.
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.
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. 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
Jul 05, 2019 | www.unz.com
Alfred , July 5, 2019 at 7:38 am GMT 200 Words
Christine Lagarde is a convicted criminal
Christine Lagarde: IMF chief convicted over payout
She robbed the French taxpayer of some 404 billion Euros. The fact that she is not in prison while protesters are being injured weekly by the French police tells you a lot about why these people are protesting.
Since then, she has continued with her corrupt behaviour by greatly enriching the Ukrainian/Israeli oligarch Kolomoisky -- who robbed his own bank.
How Christine Lagarde, Clinton and Nuland Funded a Massive Ukrainian Ponzi Scheme
Kolomoisky is the man who controls the recently elected Jewish president Zelensky -- a comedian.
I think the writer pays too much to the attire of May and Lagarde -- The pearls, the tweed and gingham suits -- when their corruption is totally 21st century. Let's not forget that Theresa May is the one who has worked assiduously on trying to overcome the results of the British referendum. She does not believe in democracy. Replies: @Logan , @George F. Held
Paul , says: Next New Comment July 5, 2019 at 10:43 am GMT@PaulAlfred , says: Next New Comment July 5, 2019 at 3:05 pm GMT
One of the functions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is imposing austerity measures on the people of poor countries seeking bailouts, so perhaps choosing a corporate lawyer to run it is fitting.@Logan ness tampering. After a high-profile case against public prosecutor Éric de Montgolfier, he was sentenced in 1995 by the Court of Appeals of Douai to 2 years in prison, including 8 months non-suspended and 3 years of deprivation of his civic rights.
This man most certainly made a substantial offshore payment to Largarde or her companies or her lawyers. That is how it works everywhere.
Do you think they cannot close down all the secretive island tax-havens tomorrow if they really wished to do so?
Heavens, they have cut Iran from SWIFT but they have never done anything about the BVI etc.
Jun 18, 2019 | www.rt.com
The US will provide Ukraine with $250 million worth of military equipment, training and support, the Pentagon announced, saying Ukraine's Navy and marines would be among the beneficiaries.
The Ukrainian military will get sniper rifles, grenade launchers, counter-battery radar systems, night vision equipment and communication devices, the Pentagon statement said...
The statement said the package will bring total US security assistance to Ukraine to $1.5 billion since 2014, when a US-backed coup in Kiev ousted Ukraine's elected government.
Jun 10, 2019 | www.globalresearch.ca
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad sent shock waves in a public speech where he dismissed a Dutch "official" report blaming Russia for the downing of Malaysia Air Flight 17 in July, 2014, weeks after a CIA-led coup toppled the elected President of Ukraine. Despite the downplaying in western mainstream media of the Malaysian leader's comments, it is creating a major new potential embarrassment for ex-Vice President Joe Biden and his Ukraine collaborators such as Igor Kolomoisky, in their flimsy effort to blame Russia for their own misdeeds.
During a dialogue with the Japanese Foreign Correspondent Club May 30, Mahathir challenged the Dutch government to provide evidence for their claim that the civilian Malaysian FH17 jet that crashed in Ukraine was shot down by a Russian-made BUK missile fired from a Russian regiment based in Kursk. The Malaysian Prime Minister told the Japanese media,
"They are accusing Russia, but where is the evidence? We know the missile that brought down the plane is a Russian type missile, but it could also be made in Ukraine."
The blunt-spoken Mahathir added,
"You need strong evidence to show it was fired by the Russians; it could be by the rebels in Ukraine, it could be Ukrainian government because they too have the same missile ."
He went on to demand that the Malaysian government be allowed to inspect the black box of the crashed plane, stating the obvious, that the plane belongs to Malaysia, with Malaysian pilot and there were Malaysians passengers:
"We may not have the expertise but we can buy the expertise. For some reasons, Malaysia was not allowed to check the black box to see what happened."
He went on to state,
"We don't know why we are excluded from the examination but from the very beginning, we see too much politics in it, and the idea was not to find out how this happened, but seems to be concentrated on trying to pin it to the Russians ."
The Malaysian Air MH17 was en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was shot down over the conflict zone in eastern Ukraine on July 17, 2014. Only in May 2018 the Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team issued its report alleging that a BUK missile was used to shoot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, claiming that it originated from the 53rd Anti-aircraft Brigade of the Russian Federation, stationed in Kursk near the Ukraine border.
The Dutch Joint Investigation Team (JIT) declared that it "has come to the conclusion that the BUK-TELAR that shot down MH17 came from 53rd Anti-aircraft Missile Brigade based in Kursk in Russia," according to top Dutch investigator Wilbert Paulissen. Paulissen added, "We are convinced that our findings justify the conclusions "
The Dutch-led group presented no concrete forensic proof, and Moscow has repeatedly denied involvement in an act that would make no military or political sense for them. In 2018 the Russian Defense Ministry provided evidence that the BUK missile which had exploded to destroy the Malaysian passenger jet had been manufactured in a Russian plant in 1986, and then shipped to the Ukraine. Its last recorded location was at a Ukrainian military base.
By recasting doubt on those Dutch JIT conclusions, Mahathir has potentially opened a can of deadly worms that could come to haunt the Ukrainian government at the time, especially Igor Kolomoisky , the billionaire Ukrainian financial backer of the newly elected Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky . It potentially could also implicate then-Vice President Joe Biden and many others.
Independent investigators into the destruction of MH17 stress the fact that the Dutch-led JIT deliberately excluded Malaysia as well as Russia from their group, but included the CIA-backed coup regime in Ukraine, hardly an unbiased party. Further, all telephone taps the JIT has presented as proof of the guilt of the Russians came from the Ukrainian secret service SBU. Since the CIA-backed coup in Ukraine in 2014, the SBU has been involved in repeated fake accusations aimed at Russia, including faked murder of a journalist later revealed to be quite alive .2014 Year Review: MH17 and the Civil War in Ukraine – An Airplane Tragedy with Political Implications
One of the central issues that the Dutch JIT group never addressed is why, at a time it was a known warzone, and commercial international flights were told to avoid the airspace in eastern Ukraine, the MH17 flight was reportedly ordered by Ukraine air traffic control authorities in Dnepropetrovsk to change course and to fly directly into the war zone. According to a Dutch site, Post Online, Eurocontrol, European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation, gave information to the Dutch Parliament about the status of Ukraine radar in 2016 informing that the Ukraine air traffic control organization UkSATSE failed to inform Eurocontrol in summer 2014 about the non-operational status of three radar systems in Eastern Ukraine, a grave violation of law. One of the three was taken in the wake of the CIA Ukraine coup in April by a masked band that destroyed the radar facility .
Further, in another breach, the Ukrainian UkSATSE refused to permit their air traffic controller at Dnepropetrovsk, responsible for controlling flight MH17, to be questioned. According to Russian reports, the person "went on vacation" and never reappeared .
The Kolomoisky Factor
Notably, at the time of the MH17 downing, the Ukrainian governor of the Dnepropetrovsk Oblast or region, was Igor Kolomoisky. Kolomoisky, who is listed as the third richest man in Ukraine with an empire in oil, coal, metals and banking, was also reported to be directly linked via offshore entities to control of Burisma, the shady Ukrainian gas company that named the son of then-Vice President Joe Biden to its board .
Kolomoisky, who is notorious for hiring thugs and neo-nazis to beat up business and other opponents in Ukraine, reportedly secured the lucrative Burisma post for Hunter Biden, despite Biden's lack of any experience in Ukraine or in oil and gas, in return for Joe Biden lifting Kolomoisky's US visa travel ban. Joe Biden was the Obama Administration point person in charge of the 2014 CIA-orchestrated Maidan Square coup and toppling of the elected President Viktor Yanukovych.
Notably, the Mahathir remarks have drawn attention anew to the mysterious circumstances around the downing of Malaysian Air MH17 in 2014 and the potential role of Kolomoisky and others, in that. The role of corrupt Ukraine officials backed by the Obama Administration, is now under scrutiny.
Notably, the new President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, is widely reported to be a protégé of Igor Kolomoisky. Zelensky became a national name as a comedian on a Ukraine TV station owned by Kolomoisky, and the latter reportedly provided funds and personnel to run the comedian's victorious May 2019 election campaign in which he defeated incumbent Petro Poroshenko, a bitter foe of Kolomoisky. Following Zelensky's election victory, Kolomoisky returned to Ukraine after exile in Switzerland following a bitter falling out with Petr Poroshenko in 2015.
All these pieces of a very murky geopolitical puzzle underscore the dirty role that Ukraine and the Obama administration have played in demonizing Russia as well as the Trump Administration. Most recently, it appears that the US Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his staff, relied on a Ukrainian businessman named Konstantin Kilimnik, who worked for Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, as the key figure supposedly linked to Russian intelligence, as a key figure to make the case of Russian collusion or interference in the 2016 US elections.
Far from a Putin agent, however, new evidence shows that Kilimnik, since at least 2013 was a confidential Ukrainian informant to the US State Department, according to US journalist John Solomon. Solomon cites FBI documents including State Department emails he has seen where Kilimnik is described as a "sensitive" intelligence source for the US State Department. The Mueller report left that embarrassing detail out for some reason. Kilimnik worked for Paul Manafort who before the 2014 Ukraine coup had served as a lobbyist for Ukrainian elected president Viktor Yanukovych and his Party of the Regions.
Their shadowy acts in Ukraine may soon come to haunt key figures in Ukraine such as Kolomoisky, as well as people like Joe Biden and family. From the true authorship of the downing of MH17, which Dutch and other investigators believe was linked to Kolomoisky actors, to the Ukraine business dealings of Hunter Biden to the true facts of the Mueller "Russiagate" probe, all could well prove to be a far more revealing investigation for the US Justice Department than the obviously biased Mueller probe has been.
Increasingly it is looking like the Ukraine and not Russia is the more likely source for interference in the 2016 US election, and not in the way we have been told by the establishment media such as CNN.
Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine "New Eastern Outlook" where this article was originally published.
He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.
May 31, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com
UKRAINE ELECTION. He was invited everywhere, pressed the flesh with everyone, has a whole wall of ego pictures; in the end he was defeated by Anybody-At-All. I have no idea what Zelensky will turn out to be and I doubt anyone else does either. But the conclusion is that the entire "revolution of dignity" fiasco has been rejected: whatever Ukraine the voters want, it's not the one Nuland & Co gave them.
SteveM , , May 23, 2019 at 10:54 am
May 28, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
GaryH May 23, 2019 at 9:32 am
If Daenerys Targaryen had announced her desire to use her last dragon to torch Moscow and Saint Petersburg, the Neocons would have lionized her as the womanly exemplar of democracy and wise foreign policy that produces peace and justice for all.
Neocons are very much the evil they call us to battle.
Kouros , says: May 23, 2019 at 11:32 am
Re: MarkVA comment
I had to rub my eyes with incredulity when I read that.
If Russia wants to weaken Ukraine, why did it ever build a pipeline through it in the first place? Russia didn't stop using the Ukraine pipeline intially for political reasons. It was because Ukraine was stealing gas meant for pass-through to other European countries and it wasn't paying its bills. Don't pay your utility bills and see what happens.
Russia does not want to "control" Germany with Nord Stream, it wants to make money. And Germany wants cheap gas. Strictly business.
And how can Russia control Germany with Nord Stream when it knows that the first time it shuts off gas for political reasons would be the last. Because Russia knows that Germany will find alternative suppliers and never come back. The Russians ain't stupid.
Russia wants bilateral trade with Europe without the Global Cop Gorilla perpetually in the background arrogant calling the shots.
The final reconciliation of Europe and Russia should have occurred 25 years but didn't because the ham-fisted United States threw up the fear-monger barriers. And that was because its National Security States wants an existential "enemy" to justify its massive costs.
The sooner Europe ejects the U.S. War Machine from its territories the better. Better for Europe, better for Russia and better for the American taxpayers.
I am with SteveM here. And I was shocked to see MarkVA’s comment. Mark has proved to be a respectable commentator, especially on Rod’s Blog, with very astute and sensible observations. It seems that tribalism is clouding his judgment when observing the world outside the U.S.
It is well known that the Soviets and the Russians always keep their end of the bargain and they know if they don’t do so they will end up loosing and being vilified. Whereas the U.S. always breaks its agreements, it is not thrust worthy (not agreement capable). Imagine depending on such an economic partner?!
They will be the ones to blackmail Europe and Germany if Europe becomes dependent on LNG from the U.S. So everything U.S. administrations are yelling at others is just projection, one knows immediately that it is in fact what the U.S. is doing under the veil or will be doing when the need/opportunity will arise.
Trump is not an aberration, it is just how the U.S. always behaved, but now it is in the open, for all to see, the crassness and the bullying.
Germany is the linchpin of the world and the U.S. (and others) is becoming hysterical at the possibility of not keeping the Germans down any longer… And Germany is moving ahead. It just sacrificed West Bank, and declared the BDS movement illegal as a soap to Israelis, to burnish its credentials with those blackmailers, so that it will become free to re-orient its politics and strategic configuration as it needs and wants.
fabian, May 23, 2019 at 2:33 pm
Gas? Where is the problem? Russian gas is cheaper that’s it. Furthermore, there is another pipeline that’s going to bring gas from the Mediterranean to Europe and another from Qatar.
And if all else fails and Russia flexes its muscles (which ones by the way) do you think that the over-indebted America will not sell its gas to the Germans?
And yes, it’s not a good strategy to be too dependent on America. It quickly takes the goods away when its interests are at stake.
Tiktaalik, May 24, 2019 at 5:14 pm
>>The Nord Stream I and II gas pipe lines (aka Molotov-Ribbentrop Gas Lines), a Gazprom initiative, has everything to do with weakening Ukraine and increasing German energy dependence on Russia;
How could NS increase German energy dependence on Russia? It will be the very same gas which at the moment flows through the Ukraine.
Surely, NS would decrease anybody’s dependence from the Ukraine. So what?
Tiktaalik, May 24, 2019 at 5:18 pm
>>Oh, and some lesser European countries were partitioned by the important European countries. So yes, Europe was quite busy spreading joy and happiness all around:
It’s a bit rich when it’s coming from an American. You’re still in Plymouth, right?
Kouros, May 24, 2019 at 11:35 pm
@MarkVA (May 23, 2019 at 8:12 pm )
That was a hit with the posting on Ukraine…
To bad it wasn’t accompanied by the Recognition of the US administration that the Golan Heights, taken from Syria by Israel after a war, against all worlds dictum, now belongs to Israel.
At least in Crimea, which by administrative fiat was moved within USSR from Russia to Ukraine in the 1950s, there was a referendum.
And for me, US is Devil Incarnate since it put a target of nuclear missiles on my mother country. May the curse of a 1000 hells be upon it.
Josep, May 25, 2019 at 5:05 am
Reading sites like Russia Insider gave me the notion that Germany would be better off as allies with Russia than with the USA. After all, Russia and Germany:
* are on the metric system
* have languages that use grammatical gender
* share the same 220-volt “Schuko” power plugs and sockets
* implement Civil Law, and most importantly
* aren’t separated by a whole ocean.
American Jewish intellectuals have really jumped the shark since the Iraq War. The most outlandish, slandering statements are stuffed into their essays and they trash whole peoples at the slightest “offence” to their worldview.
There are strong anti-German currents in American culture and politics, going back to at least WW1 and also manifest today (no other treaty ally is treated with such dismissive hostility by the Trump administration as Germany). But they are regarded as completely normal and rarely get critical attention, whereas German anti-Americanism is treated as a pathology or some kind of sacrilege…the German-American relationship (calling it “friendship” is a lie) is profoundly asymmetrical.
Agreed in both counts. The casual anti-white racism thrown about by the likes of such people (let’s not forget Davids Medienkritik, Little Green Footballs, Grouchy Old Cripple and Dissident Frogman) is a lot scarier than any jumpscare I’ve encountered. And in the case of German_reader’s comment, It’d be interesting to consider how Trump reconciles his hostility towards Germany with his own German heritage.
At one point in the Iraq War, the German news outlet Der Spiegel had readers rate their opinion of president Bush on their website on a scale of 1 (most favorable) to, if I recall correctly, 6 (least favorable). After seeing public opinion of Bush in Germany overwhelmingly “least favorable”, users of FreeRepublic went to this poll and attempted to gerrymander the results by selecting “most favorable”, deleting their site cookies, and repeating so as to make it look like more people in Germany supported Bush than opposed. This was called “freeping”.
May 17, 2019 | riafan.ru
The Minister of foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin tried to advertise in press the fact that he that wrote the resignation which will send to the Verkhovna Rada on May 20 -- the day of inauguration of the newly elected President of the country Vladimir Zelensky.
The Deputy of the Ukrainian Parliament Evgeny Balitsky told in an exclusive interview to Federal News Agency that everything that occurs in his homeland recently, reminds flight of rats from the ship.
"Now all run up, the administration leaves all systems, they, figuratively speaking, take away even the coffee, slippers and caps from the bar, -- he noted. -- We have never seen such a humiliating transition of power. It all. We saw similar episodes after (Viktor) Yushchenko and (Viktor) Yanukovich, but never this behaviour was such rabid, widespread and ugly"
Such, as the representative of party "Oppositional block" called it, "swine behaviour", you know, "digging out dirt from under nails in public" never occurred before. He noted that the current President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, leaving, appointed new people to several departments.
"He does, you know, things that are not what the President, but any decent man would never do because this is just too ugly to do - complained the MP. -- It make sense to go beautifully, humanly, with dignity! And today that rats like Klimkin make statements how much they have done for people. For us, it's a lost five years. Just lost."
The deputy stressed that Klimkin hardly ashamed of their work. "These people don't know the word 'shame,' -- Balitsky said. -- These are people who for five years in the country destroyed the relations with all neighbors. I'm talking not only about the Russian Federation! We quarreled with Hungarians, Poles, Belarusians! We now have a conflict even with the Americans. You see, how much harm this gang of American henchmen, have done to our poor country!"
The Deputy of Rada explained that "all these people" -- are corrupt businessmen who used Ukraine to earn quick money.
"They invested money in the Maidan and came to power to get a royal return on the investment, -- Balitsky added. -- For these people the word "shame" does not exists, this is a completely foreign concept. And they are now leaving, are trying figuratively speaking to take the last pair of Slippers from their rooms, everything from the bar, grab from the buffet a couple of sandwiches, as Zelensky said."
The MP concluded that this is a very humiliating process for all Ukrainians, and he is personally ashamed of the power and statehood of his country.
Author: Marat Lashkin
May 19, 2019 | 112.ua
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko by his decree released Oleksandr Turchynov from the post of Secretary of the national security and defense Council of Ukraine. This was reported on the website of the presidential administration.
"To release Turchynov Alexander Valentinovich from the post of Secretary of the national security and defense Council of Ukraine," the decree says.
Turchynov resigned the day before. The reason for dismissal - termination of powers of the acting President of Ukraine who appointed Turchinov.
Secretary of the NSDC Turchinov has been working since December 2014. Prior to that, he worked in the Verkhovna Rada, in the spring of the same year, acting President of Ukraine.
Jan 11, 2017 | www.politico.com
Manafort's work for Yanukovych caught the attention of a veteran Democratic operative named Alexandra Chalupa, who had worked in the White House Office of Public Liaison during the Clinton administration. Chalupa went on to work as a staffer, then as a consultant, for Democratic National Committee. The DNC paid her $412,000 from 2004 to June 2016, according to Federal Election Commission records, though she also was paid by other clients during that time, including Democratic campaigns and the DNC's arm for engaging expatriate Democrats around the world.
A daughter of Ukrainian immigrants who maintains strong ties to the Ukrainian-American diaspora and the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, Chalupa, a lawyer by training, in 2014 was doing pro bono work for another client interested in the Ukrainian crisis and began researching Manafort's role in Yanukovych's rise, as well as his ties to the pro-Russian oligarchs who funded Yanukovych's political party.
In an interview this month, Chalupa told Politico she had developed a network of sources in Kiev and Washington, including investigative journalists, government officials and private intelligence operatives. While her consulting work at the DNC this past election cycle centered on mobilizing ethnic communities -- including Ukrainian-Americans -- she said that, when Trump's unlikely presidential campaign began surging in late 2015, she began focusing more on the research, and expanded it to include Trump's ties to Russia, as well.
She occasionally shared her findings with officials from the DNC and Clinton's campaign, Chalupa said. In January 2016 -- months before Manafort had taken any role in Trump's campaign -- Chalupa told a senior DNC official that, when it came to Trump's campaign, "I felt there was a Russia connection," Chalupa recalled. "And that, if there was, that we can expect Paul Manafort to be involved in this election," said Chalupa, who at the time also was warning leaders in the Ukrainian-American community that Manafort was "Putin's political brain for manipulating U.S. foreign policy and elections."
he said she shared her concern with Ukraine's ambassador to the U.S., Valeriy Chaly, and one of his top aides, Oksana Shulyar, during a March 2016 meeting at the Ukrainian Embassy. According to someone briefed on the meeting, Chaly said that Manafort was very much on his radar, but that he wasn't particularly concerned about the operative's ties to Trump since he didn't believe Trump stood much of a chance of winning the GOP nomination, let alone the presidency.
That was not an uncommon view at the time, and, perhaps as a result, Trump's ties to Russia -- let alone Manafort's -- were not the subject of much attention.
That all started to change just four days after Chalupa's meeting at the embassy, when it was reported that Trump had in fact hired Manafort, suggesting that Chalupa may have been on to something. She quickly found herself in high demand. The day after Manafort's hiring was revealed, she briefed the DNC's communications staff on Manafort, Trump and their ties to Russia, according to an operative familiar with the situation.
A former DNC staffer described the exchange as an "informal conversation," saying "'briefing' makes it sound way too formal," and adding, "We were not directing or driving her work on this." Yet, the former DNC staffer and the operative familiar with the situation agreed that with the DNC's encouragement, Chalupa asked embassy staff to try to arrange an interview in which Poroshenko might discuss Manafort's ties to Yanukovych.
While the embassy declined that request, officials there became "helpful" in Chalupa's efforts, she said, explaining that she traded information and leads with them. "If I asked a question, they would provide guidance, or if there was someone I needed to follow up with." But she stressed, "There were no documents given, nothing like that."
Chalupa said the embassy also worked directly with reporters researching Trump, Manafort and Russia to point them in the right directions. She added, though, "they were being very protective and not speaking to the press as much as they should have. I think they were being careful because their situation was that they had to be very, very careful because they could not pick sides. It's a political issue, and they didn't want to get involved politically because they couldn't."
Shulyar vehemently denied working with reporters or with Chalupa on anything related to Trump or Manafort, explaining "we were stormed by many reporters to comment on this subject, but our clear and adamant position was not to give any comment [and] not to interfere into the campaign affairs."
Both Shulyar and Chalupa said the purpose of their initial meeting was to organize a June reception at the embassy to promote Ukraine. According to the embassy's website, the event highlighted female Ukrainian leaders, featuring speeches by Ukrainian parliamentarian Hanna Hopko, who discussed "Ukraine's fight against the Russian aggression in Donbas," and longtime Hillary Clinton confidante Melanne Verveer, who worked for Clinton in the State Department and was a vocal surrogate during the presidential campaign.
Shulyar said her work with Chalupa "didn't involve the campaign," and she specifically stressed that "We have never worked to research and disseminate damaging information about Donald Trump and Paul Manafort."
But Andrii Telizhenko, who worked as a political officer in the Ukrainian Embassy under Shulyar, said she instructed him to help Chalupa research connections between Trump, Manafort and Russia. "Oksana said that if I had any information, or knew other people who did, then I should contact Chalupa," recalled Telizhenko, who is now a political consultant in Kiev. "They were coordinating an investigation with the Hillary team on Paul Manafort with Alexandra Chalupa," he said, adding "Oksana was keeping it all quiet," but "the embassy worked very closely with" Chalupa.
In fact, sources familiar with the effort say that Shulyar specifically called Telizhenko into a meeting with Chalupa to provide an update on an American media outlet's ongoing investigation into Manafort.
Telizhenko recalled that Chalupa told him and Shulyar that, "If we can get enough information on Paul [Manafort] or Trump's involvement with Russia, she can get a hearing in Congress by September."
Chalupa confirmed that, a week after Manafort's hiring was announced, she discussed the possibility of a congressional investigation with a foreign policy legislative assistant in the office of Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), who co-chairs the Congressional Ukrainian Caucus. But, Chalupa said, "It didn't go anywhere."
Asked about the effort, the Kaptur legislative assistant called it a "touchy subject" in an internal email to colleagues that was accidentally forwarded to Politico.
Kaptur's office later emailed an official statement explaining that the lawmaker is backing a bill to create an independent commission to investigate "possible outside interference in our elections." The office added "at this time, the evidence related to this matter points to Russia, but Congresswoman Kaptur is concerned with any evidence of foreign entities interfering in our elections."
Almost as quickly as Chalupa's efforts attracted the attention of the Ukrainian Embassy and Democrats, she also found herself the subject of some unwanted attention from overseas.
Within a few weeks of her initial meeting at the embassy with Shulyar and Chaly, Chalupa on April 20 received the first of what became a series of messages from the administrators of her private Yahoo email account, warning her that "state-sponsored actors" were trying to hack into her emails.
She kept up her crusade, appearing on a panel a week after the initial hacking message to discuss her research on Manafort with a group of Ukrainian investigative journalists gathered at the Library of Congress for a program sponsored by a U.S. congressional agency called the Open World Leadership Center.
Center spokeswoman Maura Shelden stressed that her group is nonpartisan and ensures "that our delegations hear from both sides of the aisle, receiving bipartisan information." She said the Ukrainian journalists in subsequent days met with Republican officials in North Carolina and elsewhere. And she said that, before the Library of Congress event, "Open World's program manager for Ukraine did contact Chalupa to advise her that Open World is a nonpartisan agency of the Congress."
Chalupa, though, indicated in an email that was later hacked and released by WikiLeaks that the Open World Leadership Center "put me on the program to speak specifically about Paul Manafort."
In the email, which was sent in early May to then-DNC communications director Luis Miranda, Chalupa noted that she had extended an invitation to the Library of Congress forum to veteran Washington investigative reporter Michael Isikoff. Two days before the event, he had published a story for Yahoo News revealing the unraveling of a $26 million deal between Manafort and a Russian oligarch related to a telecommunications venture in Ukraine. And Chalupa wrote in the email she'd been "working with for the past few weeks" with Isikoff "and connected him to the Ukrainians" at the event.
Isikoff, who accompanied Chalupa to a reception at the Ukrainian Embassy immediately after the Library of Congress event, declined to comment.
Chalupa further indicated in her hacked May email to the DNC that she had additional sensitive information about Manafort that she intended to share "offline" with Miranda and DNC research director Lauren Dillon, including "a big Trump component you and Lauren need to be aware of that will hit in next few weeks and something I'm working on you should be aware of." Explaining that she didn't feel comfortable sharing the intel over email, Chalupa attached a screenshot of a warning from Yahoo administrators about "state-sponsored" hacking on her account, explaining, "Since I started digging into Manafort these messages have been a daily occurrence on my yahoo account despite changing my password often."
Dillon and Miranda declined to comment.
A DNC official stressed that Chalupa was a consultant paid to do outreach for the party's political department, not a researcher. She undertook her investigations into Trump, Manafort and Russia on her own, and the party did not incorporate her findings in its dossiers on the subjects, the official said, stressing that the DNC had been building robust research books on Trump and his ties to Russia long before Chalupa began sounding alarms.
Nonetheless, Chalupa's hacked email reportedly escalated concerns among top party officials, hardening their conclusion that Russia likely was behind the cyber intrusions with which the party was only then beginning to grapple.
Chalupa left the DNC after the Democratic convention in late July to focus fulltime on her research into Manafort, Trump and Russia . She said she provided off-the-record information and guidance to "a lot of journalists" working on stories related to Manafort and Trump's Russia connections, despite what she described as escalating harassment.
About a month-and-a-half after Chalupa first started receiving hacking alerts, someone broke into her car outside the Northwest Washington home where she lives with her husband and three young daughters, she said. They "rampaged it, basically, but didn't take anything valuable -- left money, sunglasses, $1,200 worth of golf clubs," she said, explaining she didn't file a police report after that incident because she didn't connect it to her research and the hacking.
But by the time a similar vehicle break-in occurred involving two family cars, she was convinced that it was a Russia-linked intimidation campaign. The police report on the latter break-in noted that "both vehicles were unlocked by an unknown person and the interior was ransacked, with papers and the garage openers scattered throughout the cars. Nothing was taken from the vehicles."
Then, early in the morning on another day, a woman "wearing white flowers in her hair" tried to break into her family's home at 1:30 a.m., Chalupa said. Shulyar told Chalupa that the mysterious incident bore some of the hallmarks of intimidation campaigns used against foreigners in Russia, according to Chalupa.
"This is something that they do to U.S. diplomats, they do it to Ukrainians. Like, this is how they operate. They break into people's homes. They harass people. They're theatrical about it," Chalupa said. "They must have seen when I was writing to the DNC staff, outlining who Manafort was, pulling articles, saying why it was significant, and painting the bigger picture."
In a Yahoo News story naming Chalupa as one of 16 "ordinary people" who "shaped the 2016 election," Isikoff wrote that after Chalupa left the DNC, FBI agents investigating the hacking questioned her and examined her laptop and smartphone.
Chalupa this month told Politico that, as her research and role in the election started becoming more public, she began receiving death threats, along with continued alerts of state-sponsored hacking. But she said, "None of this has scared me off."
While it's not uncommon for outside operatives to serve as intermediaries between governments and reporters, one of the more damaging Russia-related stories for the Trump campaign -- and certainly for Manafort -- can be traced more directly to the Ukrainian government.
Documents released by an independent Ukrainian government agency -- and publicized by a parliamentarian -- appeared to show $12.7 million in cash payments that were earmarked for Manafort by the Russia-aligned party of the deposed former president, Yanukovych.
The New York Times, in the August story revealing the ledgers' existence, reported that the payments earmarked for Manafort were "a focus" of an investigation by Ukrainian anti-corruption officials, while CNN reported days later that the FBI was pursuing an overlapping inquiry.
Clinton's campaign seized on the story to advance Democrats' argument that Trump's campaign was closely linked to Russia. The ledger represented "more troubling connections between Donald Trump's team and pro-Kremlin elements in Ukraine," Robby Mook, Clinton's campaign manager, said in a statement. He demanded that Trump "disclose campaign chair Paul Manafort's and all other campaign employees' and advisers' ties to Russian or pro-Kremlin entities, including whether any of Trump's employees or advisers are currently representing and or being paid by them."
A former Ukrainian investigative journalist and current parliamentarian named Serhiy Leshchenko, who was elected in 2014 as part of Poroshenko's party, held a news conference to highlight the ledgers, and to urge Ukrainian and American law enforcement to aggressively investigate Manafort.
"I believe and understand the basis of these payments are totally against the law -- we have the proof from these books," Leshchenko said during the news conference, which attracted international media coverage. "If Mr. Manafort denies any allegations, I think he has to be interrogated into this case and prove his position that he was not involved in any misconduct on the territory of Ukraine," Leshchenko added.
Manafort denied receiving any off-books cash from Yanukovych's Party of Regions, and said that he had never been contacted about the ledger by Ukrainian or American investigators, later telling POLITICO "I was just caught in the crossfire."
According to a series of memos reportedly compiled for Trump's opponents by a former British intelligence agent, Yanukovych, in a secret meeting with Putin on the day after the Times published its report, admitted that he had authorized "substantial kickback payments to Manafort." But according to the report, which was published Tuesday by BuzzFeed but remains unverified. Yanukovych assured Putin "that there was no documentary trail left behind which could provide clear evidence of this" -- an alleged statement that seemed to implicitly question the authenticity of the ledger.
The scrutiny around the ledgers -- combined with that from other stories about his Ukraine work -- proved too much, and he stepped down from the Trump campaign less than a week after the Times story.
At the time, Leshchenko suggested that his motivation was partly to undermine Trump. "For me, it was important to show not only the corruption aspect, but that he is [a] pro-Russian candidate who can break the geopolitical balance in the world," Leshchenko told the Financial Times about two weeks after his news conference. The newspaper noted that Trump's candidacy had spurred "Kiev's wider political leadership to do something they would never have attempted before: intervene, however indirectly, in a U.S. election," and the story quoted Leshchenko asserting that the majority of Ukraine's politicians are "on Hillary Clinton's side."
But by this month, Leshchenko was seeking to recast his motivation, telling Politico, "I didn't care who won the U.S. elections. This was a decision for the American voters to decide." His goal in highlighting the ledgers, he said was "to raise these issues on a political level and emphasize the importance of the investigation."
In a series of answers provided to Politico, a spokesman for Poroshenko distanced his administration from both Leshchenko's efforts and those of the agency that reLeshchenko Leshchenko leased the ledgers, The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine. It was created in 2014 as a condition for Ukraine to receive aid from the U.S. and the European Union, and it signed an evidence-sharing agreement with the FBI in late June -- less than a month and a half before it released the ledgers.
The bureau is "fully independent," the Poroshenko spokesman said, adding that when it came to the presidential administration there was "no targeted action against Manafort." He added "as to Serhiy Leshchenko, he positions himself as a representative of internal opposition in the Bloc of Petro Poroshenko's faction, despite [the fact that] he belongs to the faction," the spokesman said, adding, "it was about him personally who pushed [the anti-corruption bureau] to proceed with investigation on Manafort."
But an operative who has worked extensively in Ukraine, including as an adviser to Poroshenko, said it was highly unlikely that either Leshchenko or the anti-corruption bureau would have pushed the issue without at least tacit approval from Poroshenko or his closest allies.
"It was something that Poroshenko was probably aware of and could have stopped if he wanted to," said the operative.
And, almost immediately after Trump's stunning victory over Clinton, questions began mounting about the investigations into the ledgers -- and the ledgers themselves.
An official with the anti-corruption bureau told a Ukrainian newspaper, "Mr. Manafort does not have a role in this case."
And, while the anti-corruption bureau told Politico late last month that a "general investigation [is] still ongoing" of the ledger, it said Manafort is not a target of the investigation. "As he is not the Ukrainian citizen, [the anti-corruption bureau] by the law couldn't investigate him personally," the bureau said in a statement.
Some Poroshenko critics have gone further, suggesting that the bureau is backing away from investigating because the ledgers might have been doctored or even forged.
Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, a Ukrainian former diplomat who served as the country's head of security under Poroshenko but is now affiliated with a leading opponent of Poroshenko, said it was fishy that "only one part of the black ledger appeared." He asked, "Where is the handwriting analysis?" and said it was "crazy" to announce an investigation based on the ledgers. He met last month in Washington with Trump allies, and said, "of course they all recognize that our [anti-corruption bureau] intervened in the presidential campaign."
And in an interview this week, Manafort, who re-emerged as an informal advisor to Trump after Election Day, suggested that the ledgers were inauthentic and called their publication "a politically motivated false attack on me. My role as a paid consultant was public. There was nothing off the books, but the way that this was presented tried to make it look shady."
He added that he felt particularly wronged by efforts to cast his work in Ukraine as pro-Russian, arguing "all my efforts were focused on helping Ukraine move into Europe and the West." He specifically cited his work on denuclearizing the country and on the European Union trade and political pact that Yanukovych spurned before fleeing to Russia. "In no case was I ever involved in anything that would be contrary to U.S. interests," Manafort said.
Yet Russia seemed to come to the defense of Manafort and Trump last month, when a spokeswoman for Russia's Foreign Ministry charged that the Ukrainian government used the ledgers as a political weapon.
"Ukraine seriously complicated the work of Trump's election campaign headquarters by planting information according to which Paul Manafort, Trump's campaign chairman, allegedly accepted money from Ukrainian oligarchs," Maria Zakharova said at a news briefing, according to a transcript of her remarks posted on the Foreign Ministry's website. "All of you have heard this remarkable story," she told assembled reporters.
Beyond any efforts to sabotage Trump, Ukrainian officials didn't exactly extend a hand of friendship to the GOP nominee during the campaign.
The ambassador, Chaly, penned an op-ed for The Hill, in which he chastised Trump for a confusing series of statements in which the GOP candidate at one point expressed a willingness to consider recognizing Russia's annexation of the Ukrainian territory of Crimea as legitimate. The op-ed made some in the embassy uneasy, sources said.
"That was like too close for comfort, even for them," said Chalupa. "That was something that was as risky as they were going to be."
Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk warned on Facebook that Trump had "challenged the very values of the free world."
Ukraine's minister of internal affairs, Arsen Avakov, piled on, trashing Trump on Twitter in July as a "clown" and asserting that Trump is "an even bigger danger to the US than terrorism."
Avakov, in a Facebook post, lashed out at Trump for his confusing Crimea comments, calling the assessment the "diagnosis of a dangerous misfit," according to a translated screenshot featured in one media report, though he later deleted the post. He called Trump "dangerous for Ukraine and the US" and noted that Manafort worked with Yanukovych when the former Ukrainian leader "fled to Russia through Crimea. Where would Manafort lead Trump?"
The Trump-Ukraine relationship grew even more fraught in September with reports that the GOP nominee had snubbed Poroshenko on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, where the Ukrainian president tried to meet both major party candidates, but scored only a meeting with Clinton.
Telizhenko, the former embassy staffer, said that, during the primaries, Chaly, the country's ambassador in Washington, had actually instructed the embassy not to reach out to Trump's campaign, even as it was engaging with those of Clinton and Trump's leading GOP rival, Ted Cruz.
"We had an order not to talk to the Trump team, because he was critical of Ukraine and the government and his critical position on Crimea and the conflict," said Telizhenko. "I was yelled at when I proposed to talk to Trump," he said, adding, "The ambassador said not to get involved -- Hillary is going to win."
This account was confirmed by Nalyvaichenko, the former diplomat and security chief now affiliated with a Poroshenko opponent, who said, "The Ukrainian authorities closed all doors and windows -- this is from the Ukrainian side." He called the strategy "bad and short-sighted."
Andriy Artemenko, a Ukrainian parliamentarian associated with a conservative opposition party, did meet with Trump's team during the campaign and said he personally offered to set up similar meetings for Chaly but was rebuffed.
"It was clear that they were supporting Hillary Clinton's candidacy," Artemenko said. "They did everything from organizing meetings with the Clinton team, to publicly supporting her, to criticizing Trump. I think that they simply didn't meet because they thought that Hillary would win."
Shulyar rejected the characterizations that the embassy had a ban on interacting with Trump, instead explaining that it "had different diplomats assigned for dealing with different teams tailoring the content and messaging. So it was not an instruction to abstain from the engagement but rather an internal discipline for diplomats not to get involved into a field she or he was not assigned to, but where another colleague was involved."
And she pointed out that Chaly traveled to the GOP convention in Cleveland in late July and met with members of Trump's foreign policy team "to highlight the importance of Ukraine and the support of it by the U.S."
Despite the outreach, Trump's campaign in Cleveland gutted a proposed amendment to the Republican Party platform that called for the U.S. to provide "lethal defensive weapons" for Ukraine to defend itself against Russian incursion, backers of the measure charged.
The outreach ramped up after Trump's victory. Shulyar pointed out that Poroshenko was among the first foreign leaders to call to congratulate Trump. And she said that, since Election Day, Chaly has met with close Trump allies, including Sens. Jeff Sessions, Trump's nominee for attorney general, and Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, while the ambassador accompanied Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, Ukraine's vice prime minister for European and Euro-Atlantic integration, to a round of Washington meetings with Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.), an early Trump backer, and Jim DeMint, president of The Heritage Foundation, which played a prominent role in Trump's transition.
Many Ukrainian officials and operatives and their American allies see Trump's inauguration this month as an existential threat to the country, made worse, they admit, by the dissemination of the secret ledger, the antagonistic social media posts and the perception that the embassy meddled against -- or at least shut out -- Trump.
"It's really bad. The [Poroshenko] administration right now is trying to re-coordinate communications," said Telizhenko, adding, "The Trump organization doesn't want to talk to our administration at all."
During Nalyvaichenko's trip to Washington last month, he detected lingering ill will toward Ukraine from some, and lack of interest from others, he recalled. "Ukraine is not on the top of the list, not even the middle," he said.
Poroshenko's allies are scrambling to figure out how to build a relationship with Trump, who is known for harboring and prosecuting grudges for years.
A delegation of Ukrainian parliamentarians allied with Poroshenko last month traveled to Washington partly to try to make inroads with the Trump transition team, but they were unable to secure a meeting, according to a Washington foreign policy operative familiar with the trip. And operatives in Washington and Kiev say that after the election, Poroshenko met in Kiev with top executives from the Washington lobbying firm BGR -- including Ed Rogers and Lester Munson -- about how to navigate the Trump regime.
Weeks later, BGR reported to the Department of Justice that the government of Ukraine would pay the firm $50,000 a month to "provide strategic public relations and government affairs counsel," including "outreach to U.S. government officials, non-government organizations, members of the media and other individuals."
Firm spokesman Jeffrey Birnbaum suggested that "pro-Putin oligarchs" were already trying to sow doubts about BGR's work with Poroshenko. While the firm maintains close relationships with GOP congressional leaders, several of its principals were dismissive or sharply critical of Trump during the GOP primary, which could limit their effectiveness lobbying the new administration.
The Poroshenko regime's standing with Trump is considered so dire that the president's allies after the election actually reached out to make amends with -- and even seek assistance from -- Manafort, according to two operatives familiar with Ukraine's efforts to make inroads with Trump.
Meanwhile, Poroshenko's rivals are seeking to capitalize on his dicey relationship with Trump's team. Some are pressuring him to replace Chaly, a close ally of Poroshenko's who is being blamed by critics in Kiev and Washington for implementing -- if not engineering -- the country's anti-Trump efforts, according to Ukrainian and U.S. politicians and operatives interviewed for this story. They say that several potential Poroshenko opponents have been through Washington since the election seeking audiences of their own with Trump allies, though most have failed to do do so.
"None of the Ukrainians have any access to Trump -- they are all desperate to get it, and are willing to pay big for it," said one American consultant whose company recently met in Washington with Yuriy Boyko, a former vice prime minister under Yanukovych. Boyko, who like Yanukovych has a pro-Russian worldview, is considering a presidential campaign of his own, and his representatives offered "to pay a shit-ton of money" to get access to Trump and his inaugural events, according to the consultant.
The consultant turned down the work, explaining, "It sounded shady, and we don't want to get in the middle of that kind of stuff."
May 03, 2019 | mt.gazeta.ru
Lindemann told the site kp.ru that personally saw letters of bodies of justice of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk national republics (DNR and LNR) according to which 90% of shells arrived to Donbass from the territory of Ukraine.
"The reports serve as the purest proof that Poroshenko did not want peace for Donbass," the Deputy concluded.
He told that the Ukrainian army strongly damaged the bridge in the Village Lugansk. Now through its destroyed spans are thrown wooden stairs, which have to pass civilians, including the elderly, said Lindemann. According to the Deputy, the authorities can't repair the bridge, as in this case the Ukrainian army will destroy it again. The politician called Kiev's position on this issue terrible: the European countries were going to allocate money for repair of the bridge, but the Ukrainian authorities didn't allow to make it.
Lindemann emphasized that the Tribunal for Poroshenko and his colleagues guilty of a situation in Donbass, has to be fair. In world history, there were no cases when the current President fell under the international court of justice with such accusations, so it can only be possible after Poroshenko will resign the powers of the head of state in May, the Deputy said.
The German politician called Poroshenko a military junta leader who stole resources from the armed conflict for personal enrichment. Lindemann expressed the hope that with the coming to power in Ukraine a new people, the confrontation in the Donbass will cease.
May 03, 2019 | 112.ua
Vasyl Golovanov : ...We live with this President for 5 years. Whether you expected such result and what, in your opinion, to expect from Vladimir Aleksandrovich.
Viktor Medvedchuk : Vasily, this result was expected. At least he was predictable, because Poroshenko should not have become and did not become President. And the reason for this is his policy, which our party has repeatedly spoken about. And not only our party, but actually opposition forces which in the majority United in questions of criticism of mister Poroshenko. And they talked about peace in the Donbass, and the cessation of hostilities, talked about the tariff genocide, national radicalism, the impoverishment of millions of citizens, criminal lawlessness, social injustice and many other circumstances that pointed to what characterizes this regime Poroshenko, which for some reason they called "Euro-reformist", which actually ruined the country in the economy, social sphere, in the crisis of the political sphere.
And all this had to end, naturally, with Poroshenko's defeat. And this defeat took place.
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In 1991, when Kravchuk became President, he scored 61.6%. It was a record that was never broken until actually here on April 21, 2019, when Zelensky won. And it is a great responsibility, to a great deal. Indeed, our country will live with a new President, with a new power, I hope, I am far from the idea that this power will remain. And what is happening today - a new team is being formed - comes with the fact that Mr. Zelensky is preparing to take office. I think she is facing very relevant challenges. The first was the resignation of the Cabinet of Ministers. Because with incompetent, untrained professionally, populist government of Mr. Groisman, actually is can be called the government of Mr. Yatsenyuk, the country is unable to live any longer.
And if Zelensky, who received such massive support, does not change the team, which, of course, what is expected of him, he will not be able to realize his election promises.
And therefore - this is the main task that must be performed. It's strategic. And that is what stands before him now and will be for 5 years. It is necessary to justify the trust that he received. To meet these expectations, and they are very high. Which means the requirements will be too high. He must be aware of that.
Vasily Golovanov: We will talk about Vladimir Zelensky later. I would also like to mention Pyotr Alekseevich. In your words, Poroshenko's complete failure is the people's response to his Russophobic policy. In your opinion, what will Zelensky's policy be?
Viktor Medvedchuk: it Is difficult to talk about what Zelensky's policy will be, but I do not think he will repeat the mistakes that Mr Poroshenko made. That is, Mr. Poroshenko, especially in the last months of the election campaign, the last months of activity as President, really elevated to the rank of the state policy of anti-Russian hysteria and caveman level Russophobia. This is a fact. He built the whole campaign on that. And here is even his slogan: "Army. Faith. Language" -- these words and these meanings for the country, for the Ukrainian people, they are very important. But what he did with them his manipulation of people psychology and his perversion of populism exceptional - they led to a backlash.
You will notice how Mr. Zelensky won, where he won the most votes. He scored them in the East - 88%, in the South - 86%. Do you know how much he scored in the Luhansk region? 90%. Do you know that Luhansk region has always been the most Russian-speaking region after Crimea in all the years of independence? Tell me, why did it vote?
Vasily Golovanov : It concerns cities, in villages there are Ukrainian speakers too, even in the Luhansk region.
Viktor Medvedchuk : The Question is different - their attitude. Of course, I am far from believing that the votes he received are votes only for him, votes against Poroshenko in the first place.
Vasily Golovanov : The Question of Peter Alekseevich and language is one of the slogans of his election campaign. We remember: about two weeks before the election he was a guest of "Freedom of speech" on ICTV, where he said to the question about the language: "Actually, I am Russian-speaking".
Viktor Medvedchuk : Of course, we know that.
Vasily Golovanov : And how did it happen that the person who hangs out on all boards - "Army. Faith. Language, " puts the emphasis on it, and it's one of the priorities of his campaign, at some point... It's as if he confessed to a different faith...
Viktor Medvedchuk : How did it happen that he admitted this during the election campaign just before the second round? Why would he do that? Perhaps he was beginning to realize the strategic mistake he had made when he spoke of language.
Because are there any Ukrainians today who are against the fact that the status of Ukrainian as the only state language is strengthened, developed and provides those opportunities in which the Ukrainian language should be, first of all, competitive, attractive and have other qualities that could allow it? No! But at the same time, we cannot ignore or discriminate against the Russian language and the language of other national minorities.
Moreover, he would not have succeeded, because the Constitution in article 10 has the status and part 3 of article 10 says that the territory of Ukraine guarantees the free development, use and protection of Russian and other languages of national minorities.
Why did he come, as you say, on Monday, before the second round, and told that he was Russian-speaking? And who did not know that Mr. Poroshenko was Russian-speaking? Do you think it is that, in different situations spoke in the Ukrainian language? I never spoke with him in Ukrainian, only in Russian. Well, maybe it's not an indicator, but it means not just focus, not just the attractiveness of a person, including in the use of language. This is a direct indication that a person has it inside. Why are you ignoring this?
Yes, you must develop the Ukrainian language. You are the President of Ukraine, but you should not allow disrespect, mockery and discrimination of other languages, including Russian. And so this reaction is also a response to what he was doing. That's direct result of his policies.
May 03, 2019 | 112.ua
Mr. Zelensky, get right and do it! Then, if the Cabinet of Ministers does not listen to you and sets its resolutions, and even more increases the cost of gas, the cost of utilities, block its activities! Any decision of the Cabinet can be stopped, blocked and appealed to the constitutional court for reasons of non-compliance with the Constitution! It's the President's right! So do not talk about the fact that it is impossible!
And when we talk about reducing tariffs, you will study the structure of these tariffs. My advice. Although, I do not advocate giving advice and this is not advice, and my vision. And you ask about the pricing structure of utility tariffs, including the cost of gas. You'll see that what's in there is props. And it's in the derivatives. About what, about what you said: Rotterdam+... When this involves the cost of coal, and in parallel or, more precisely, directly coal is electricity and is laid in tariffs. Dusseldorf + - the cost of gas. And it is laid in the tariffs for gas, which means - for hot water and heat. And much more, where the derivative is gas. That's all she wrote. No need to tell stories and send somewhere. It is necessary to send to itself and as promised, to do so that it would be possible to improve life of our people.
Vasily Golovanov: Then I also want to talk about gas and coal... If we make this detour now, or pretend that we are not buying Russian gas, although we are buying Russian gas, it is simply more expensive in Europe. Then why do we buy fuel? Why is our government so.
Viktor Medvedchuk: Because we buy Russian gas directly. In fact, look, I listened in one of Your programs, in the "Ukrainian format" somewhere right after the second round, it seems that you had a discussion, very interesting. Professionals told about it, but they do not fully understand this scheme. I'm just saying it because I know it. But it said about Velky kapushany. Look here - Russia, - Ukraine, but the Ukrainian border with Slovakia...That is, in Europe, velki kapushany, where there is a so-called accounting station. What is done? What's happening? Gas comes from the territory of Russia, comes to Ukraine - it is a gas transportation system. It dissolves in this system and goes to different needs. We don't have a line Russia - Europe on which there is the gas transit, which is operators, recipients and consumers of Europeans.
No! He's spent here, but it automatically comes to this border and Wielkie Capuano should count on the Ukrainian side, where they say the gas is out! There is 100 million cubic meters. And the other counter, here, suggests that the gas came to Europe. So what did? You imagine the Scam of this scheme. They closed this square. Moreover, this is not the worst thing... That's when I listened to what was said in the "Ukrainian format", I thought, well, now... The person who spoke, he, in principle, the professional. I thought he was gonna tell me what it was about. And he says: "They there gas this drive. Maybe he doesn't even exist." No, not that. They closed the circle. And this gas in one volume chases on this pipe. Why this is done? In order to show on the counter that he went to Europe.
For example, his buyer, on paper, is a French operator, gas operator. It is the papers I wrote - I got 100 million, because this counter is reflected and all - no complaints. And this gas when came, it already here 100 million, and we already used it here, but bought allegedly there. And then, when they say: here is the gas on the reverse. What reverse? What is the reverse? If the gas goes in one direction, how can it go in the opposite direction? Think about it! Well, gas goes to Europe, we put 89 billion there last year, the year before, left 94 billion there, it goes in one... How can you go, then stop, and go back? Or what? That is, those who talk about it, just do not know, and those who "vtyuhivayut" us, trying to bend in the understanding of all, to deceive. This is pure insanity.
It's not just a scheme. They also provide the price Dusseldorf+,1500 km. And these $42, shoulder the logistics they put into the scheme. That is, in pricing - it's net earnings. Then they are transferred into the rates and our people are paying. At attention. And so utility costs are rising, because the cost of gas is growing.
Well I'm still not talking about fraud handled by the NAK "Naftogaz" and Ukrgazdobycha. Because gas is produced, its cost there 2 700 - 2 900 UAH, up to a hundred dollars. And NAK "Neftegaz" buys from ukrgasvydobuvannya it under 6 thousand. What is this 100 % profitability? And where is it? In a poor, impoverished, economically underdeveloped country? 100% profitability?
I can say: no, this is on the development! For development wells on production growth, as we have said Groisman pathetic. It is as if he speaks out and says: "For 5 years we need to increase production so that we do not buy anything." This, approximately, as you can say - it is necessary to increase the retail space in the Vinnitsa market, here I understand. Here is indeed for 5 years can be their increase in 2 times. But it is impossible to increase gas production!
And where did you grow up in production? It produced 15.7 billion. In General, the country produced 21 billion in 2014, and we have now produced 20.7 billion with private companies by the end of 2018. So where is this increase in production? And where do you invest? What new wells, new production? Groysman, who is talking about this, at least interested in this?
Vasily Golovanov: what does the message of the Russian Federation on the ban on the entry of Russian oil and oil products into our country show us?
Viktor Medvedchuk: You put the question absolutely correctly. What does that mean? I, Vasily, will expand your question, because the essence of the question is wider. We say that Russia has imposed sanctions against Ukraine and banned the import of coal, petroleum products and oil.
Well, about oil - this is a relative understanding, because oil from Russia has not been supplied since 2007. And for this purpose there were the reasons in which mister Yanukovych and many others is guilty. We will not talk about this now, but oil products and coal are another issue. Now, this is a response. After all, what is the economic problem between Russia and Ukraine? It consists in the fact that Ukraine at some stage joined the sanctions of the European Union, and Russia introduced counter-sanctions against Ukraine.
Even earlier, we entered the free trade zone with the EU, thereby cutting off the path of interaction and cooperation within the CIS zone and trade relations with Russia. All of this has led to the complex that has existed in recent years. When we lose 7 billion export potential of our products and services in the markets of the Russian Federation.
Now that we are there is limited, what caused such reaction of Russia. They took and banned what is vital. We are an energy-dependent state. I can say that we depend on two States - on Russia and Belarus, almost equally.
May 03, 2019 | www.realclearpolitics.com
TRUMP: Well, I think it's incredible when you hear it. These are great reporters, all three, and when you have them on your trail, that's a problem. These are people that should be getting Pulitzers, not the ones that got the Pulitzers that got everything wrong.
If you listen to them, they got everything wrong. Go back and read some of their early and mid articles. They didn't have a clue what was going on and they win Pulitzer Prizes. These are the ones that should be winning.
It sounds like big stuff. It sounds very interesting with Ukraine. I just spoke to the new president a little while ago, two days ago, and congratulated him on an incredible race. Incredible run. A big surprise victory. That's 75 percent of the vote.
But that sounds like big, big stuff. I'm not surprised.
HANNITY: Mr. President, Ukraine is offering this evidence to the United States. Would you like the United States -- with all this talk about collusion, they are saying they included on behalf of Hillary Clinton's campaign in 2016. Does America need to see that information in spite of all of the attacks against you on collusion?
TRUMP: Well, I think we do. And, frankly, we have a great new attorney general who has done an unbelievable job in a very short period of time. And he is very smart and tough and I would certainly defer to him. I would imagine he would want to see this.
People have been saying this whole -- the concept of Ukraine, they have been talking about it actually for a long time. You know that, and I would certainly defer to the attorney general.
And we'll see what he says about it. He calls them straight. That's one thing I can tell you.
May 02, 2019 | gordonhahn.com
... Zelenskii himself is likely to fight corruption, to be sure, but he is unlikely to challenge the ultranationalists, neofascists, and their militarized combat organizations. ... Zelenskii is unlikely to offer concessions that the DNR, LNR or Moscow will find acceptable for resolving the Donbass civil war.
Zelenskii's Victory and the Presidential Elections
Zelenskii's victory signified some decline in the acceptability overall in Ukraine of the Galician/Western line backed by Poroshenko countrywide' fueled largely by a full rejection in the east and south. Zelenskii made it a central point of his campaign to bring the ostracized south and east back in to Ukraine and end the discrimination against the Russian language fostered by Poroshenko legislation. Thus, Zelenskii won more than 80 percent of the vote in each of the 11 more Russian-speaking regions in eastern and southern Ukraine and nearly 90 percent in several of them. Poroshenko took only nationalistic Lviv. In the rest of western Ukraine won, in many of these regions only by a slim majority, but he won nevertheless. He even took some 60 percent in Poroshenko's native Volhyn region ( https://elections.dekoder.org/ukraine/en?fbclid=IwAR36OdD3lrXL3EKKy9Zfdhk8k36Azgr6nNWLeYH3sYiYX9Ci51O86GVDhow ). To the extent Zelenskii received great support in the east, his election represents a desire for an end of the slow-burning civil war in Donbass, of the east-west polarization inside the country, and of alienation of Russian speakers and ethnic Russians as well as for a normalization of Kiev's relations with Russia. Poroshenko's narrow but nevertheless defeat in almost all the western regions reflects the Galicians disenchantment with corruption far more than any significant rejection of Galician Ukrainian nationalism, ultrnationalism and neofascism in the west.
... ... ...
The Nature of Maidan Ukraine's Hybrid Regime
However, the problem in Ukraine has often been less with its elections being unfree or unfair ( https://gordonhahn.com/2015/06/21/one-day-in-the-life-of-ukrainian-democracy/ ). Most often the problem has been with the rule of law, massive corruption, the theft of the state by various powerful oligarchs, the lack of a cohesive national identity, and a deeply polarized society. It is these aspects of Ukraine's authoritarian side, its 'stateness problem' and political polarization and instability which are rarely understood in the West [see Gordon M. Hahn, Ukraine Over the Edge: Russia, the West, and the 'New Cold War' (Jefferson: McFarland, 2018)].The absence of the rule of law in Maidan Ukraine was in full display on the eve of the election as the siloviki chose sides in the vote. The SBU supported Poroshenko by trumping up the noted fake news of hacked emails never shown but allegedly showing that Zelenskii was Putin's Manchurian candidate ala 'Trump's collusion with the Kremln.' Doing the bidding of Yiliya Tymoshenko's campaign, the MVD, headed by ultranationalist Arsenii Avakov, uncovered Poroshenko vote buying schemes.
Similarly, the present and former Ukrainian general prosecutors' charges of interference in corruption investigations by US Vice President Joseph Biden and the present US ambassador to Ukraine underscored the point.
Also, the release of former Maidan war hero Nadia Savchenko also demonstrated this quite clearly. Either her arrest a little over a year ago for allegedly planning a massive terrorist attack that would have left many Maidan Rada deputies and civilians dead was based on wholly trumped up charges or some among the authorities are protecting an ultranationalist terrorist. Ironically, three days after the presidential vote, a Kievan was arrested on the basis of charges reminiscent of Russian law as many Maidan regime laws remind one of. Thus, the arrestee was charged with spreading on the Internet calls for 'separatism' and the overthrow of the Maidan regime that was established by an illegal and violent seizure of power ( https://vesti-ukr.com/kiev/334060-zhitelju-kievskoj-oblasti-hrozit-10-let-tjurmy-za-posty-v-sotssetjakh ).
A shocking level of official corruption has been characteristic of the Maidan regime's oligarchical side and was demonstrated even more forcefully during the presidential campaign. Poroshenko's failure to divest himself or 'trustify' his businesses established a fundamentally corrupt oligarch-presidency...
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Historically speaking, some in the west -- Stepan Bandera's OUN and UPA fascists -- were allied with the Nazis in World War II; while the grandparents of many in the east fought for the Red Army against Hitler's forces and after the war repressed the OUN and UPA Banderites. This translates into a deep societal polarization with the west displaying considerable support for and tolerance of Galician-Ukrainian ultra-nationalism and neofascism in domestic politics a pro-Western foreign policy stance and the east supporting a more leftist, quasi-Soviet domestic order and pro-Russian foreign orientation. This divided has been repeatedly reflected in presidential and parliamentary elections throughout the history of post-Soviet Ukraine; hence the political upheavals often surrounding national elections, in particular in the 2004 'Orange revolution,' precursor to the 2013-14 Maidan revolt. This polarization has helped drive some of the lack of rule of law, corruption, and stealing of the state as oligarchs scramble to protect and expand their holdings on the background of deep political polarization between western Ukraine's Galicia and southeastern Ukraine and regime shifts from western Ukrainian-dominated governments to southeastern Ukrainian-dominated governments. All this explains and/or is explained by the Maidan regime's birth event – its original sin -- the 20 February 2014 snipers' terrorist false flag massacre.
Contrary to the West's false narrative that reads deposed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych ordered snipers to kill Maidan demonstrators, the Maidan's ultranationalist-neofascist wing, with support from former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, deployed snipers on the Maidan to fire on both police and demonstrators in the false flag terrorist operation of the century (Ivan Katchanovski, http://www.academia.edu/38171919/Witness_Testimonies_for_the_Maidan_Massacre_Trial_and_Investigation_about_Snipers_in_Maidan-Controlled_Buildings_Video_Appendix_E?auto=bookmark&campaign=weekly_digest ; Ivan Katchanovski, https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2658245 ; and my own article at https://gordonhahn.com/2016/03/09/the-real-snipers-massacre-ukraine-february-2014-updatedrevised-working-paper/ ).
As one Ukrainian presidential candidate, former Orange regime Defense Minister Anatoliy Hrytsenko, noted: "I propose that one of the reasons that (the snipers massacre) has not been investigated to the end is that someone has feathers on their snout among those who are now in power" ( https://gordonua.com/news/politics/gricenko-odna-iz-prichin-pochemu-rasstrel-nebesnoy-sotni-ne-rassledovan-do-konca-u-kogo-to-rylo-v-puhu-iz-teh-kto-seychas-pri-vlasti-705668.html?fbclid=iwar1c9xxnp6k48rqnxrz2c6ki18lrnf7k2fhilbk9t2o0cfkx70ceff4egdw )."
Weeks later, Zelenskii commented: "People whom came to power on blood are profiting on blood" (www.pravda.com.ua/news/2019/02/26/7207718/). It appears he understands the essence of the Maidan regime's original sin. This poses a grave threat to some of the most powerful men in the regime including the likely organizer of the snipers' plot, Rada Chairman Andriy Parubiy, and perhaps Poroshenko himself, who appears to have played a role in helping smuggle the snipers out of Maidan Square, though he appears to have opposed the shooting as a video from the Maidan headquarters demonstrates.
This issue has the potential to bring the whole Western-backed house of cards tumbling down.
Maidan v. the People
The magnitude and centrality of the terrorist snipers' attack coverup for both the Maidan regime and the West's 'new cold war' narrative portend a bitter and brutal battle to prevent an objective investigation. Thus, the election of the politically unknown Zelenskii and the prospects of his inauguration and rule as president have sparked a cold civil war in Kiev. The Maidan regime's forces about to be relegated to the opposition, particularly after the victory of Zelenskii's new political party (Servant of the People in September's Rada elections, are poised and are already moving to do almost everything and perhaps everything to prevent his assuming the powers in Ukraine's semi-presidential system. Poroshenko and his allies and temporary allies in the Rada have undertaken several first steps against Zelenskii and his presidency. The most important may be the a draft law that would institute changes in the balance of power in the political system in favor of the prime minister and Rada against the president's office. Many of the proposed changes would empower the prime minister to a level nearly equal to that of the president. Thus, Article 35 of the new law would require the president to nominate a candidate for the post of prime minister indicated by a coalition of factions in the Rada. In other words, the Rada would nominate prime ministerial candidates, and the president would simply submit the same name much like the king or queen of England plays a purely formal role in the formation of the UK cabinet [https://samopomich.ua/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/project.pdf?fbclid=IwAR2QSRvRtMsWcWY-eR4ys0O6x0n_Doy21398U0VenM6J9jw21Hhy1E8sias (from here on cited as 'Draft Law'), p. 16].
Similarly, the president would be deprived by Article 36 in the new law of the power to independently submit to the Rada candidates for nomination to the posts of defense minister and foreign minister, the candidate nomination of which would have to be agreed upon before submission to the Rada again by a coalition of deputies' factions ( Draft law, pp. 16-17) . These clauses in the new law appear to be a direct violation of the Ukrainian Constitution's Article 106, which gives the President the unrestricted power to make such nominations.
The Rada is also boosted by the draft law's Article 85.1, which stipulates that in the event of the president's removal from office under an impeachment process the Rada's chair will execute the office of the presidency (Draft law, p. 42). This violates the Ukrainian Constitution's Article 112, which gives the role of acting president in such a case to the PM. At the same time, the PM would receive a series of new powers in the draft law. Article 39.3 of the draft law stipulates that the president "shall hold mandatory consultations with the Prime Minister regarding the formation of the personnel of the National Security and Defense Council" (SNBO), and Article 39.4 allows the Prime Minister to "initiate a decision before the President on formation of the personnel" of the SNBO and make changes to it (Draft law, p. 18).
Acting or temporary holders of the offices of Defense Minister, Foreign Minister, SBU chairman, and National Bank head are to be nominated by the PM under certain circumstances (Articles 30.4, 30.5, 40.6, and 42.5, respectively, Draft law, pp. 16-17, 19, and 20, respectively). Also, under the draft law the PM would also receive the new right to be consulted by the president in cases where two-thirds of a regional parliament has voted 'no confidence' in the region's administration head, which allows the president to dismiss him (Article 49. 3, Draft law, p. 24).
Although the President would retain the power to submit nominations to the posts of Prosecutor General and SBU chair, there is no mention of his power to appoint and dismiss regional prosecutors and SBU chiefs. The new law also appears to deprive the Ukrainian President of his present power to appoint the membership of the National Commission for Implementation of Regulation of Energy and Housing Services (NKREKU), the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU), and other regulators. Also, the president would be barred from creating any state administrative bodies such as a presidential apparatus or chancellery with powers anything more than advisory.
Thus under the new law the office of the president is deprived of its most important power -- appointment of the PM -- which now belongs to the majority in the Rada.
Thus, this new law on the presidency if adopted by the Rada and signed by Poroshenko as he leaves office would effectively transform Ukraine's semi-presidential system into a parliamentary republic with a powerful PM, whose authority rivals that of the President.
In and of itself this is not problematic and could even be regarded as a step in the direction of greater democracy in the sense of strong republican rule by a legislature of elected representatives of the people, it becomes anti-democratic and a violation of the rule of law by dint of the facts that several of the law's statutes violate the constitution. More importantly perhaps, the law violates the spirit of election by abrogating the recently expressed will of the people who elected a candidate to a particular office of the president of Ukraine as it existed on the day of the election, with all the powers the constitution vests in that office.
The imminent 'Maidan-in-opposition' has undertaken a series of other highly questionable measures to prepare to block or hamper his presidency. When presidential candidate Hrytsenko criticized the draft law on the presidency days after its posting on the site of the Galicia-based nationalist party 'Self-Help', led by the mayor of Lviv (Lvov) Andriy Sadoviy, the Lviv branch of the SBU opened an investigation against his wife's opinion polling company (www.pravda.com.ua/rus/news/2019/04/24/7213427/ and http://www.pravda.com.ua/rus/news/2019/04/24/7213432/ ).
Hrytsenko was the only first round presidential election candidate to meet with Zelenskii during the campaign for the second round, rousing suspicions he may have cut a deal for a place in any Zelenskii administration, perhaps his return to the post of Defense Minister. A move directly against Zelenskii has been the delay in announcing the final results of the presidential election (www.reuters.com/article/us-ukraine-election-zelenskiy/ukraines-president-elect-says-being-blocked-from-calling-snap-poll-idUSKCN1S129Z?fbclid=IwAR0W0Rl_e-XHjwUza7U2h8vA0di4csdWGmITrRFQ0MTxbhkx5aNkSiCmqpg).
This move has been combined with an attempt to delay Zelenskii's inauguration by removing the chairman of the constitutional court who deliberates in the president-elect's taking of the oath of office ( https://strana.ua/news/198120-v-konstitutsionnom-sude-sobirajut-holosa-za-otstavku-hlavy-vedomstva-dlja-sryva-inauhuratsii-zelenskoho.html?fbclid=IwAR3flvIbho_Iq3Zn9fGW5am1xV2y8GkLK_SRs77PRk2507YYawFcxtRrULI and https://vesti-ukr.com/politika/334088-zhurnalisty-rasskazali-kak-u-poroshenko-provodjat-sryv-inauhuratsii-zelenskoho ).
Although the delay is not prohibitive yet it risks preventing Zelenskii from calling new Rada elections as soon as he assumes office as he has reportedly planned to do. Mid-term elections cannot be called less than six months before the end of a Rada's convocation. The present Rada's term ends in early November. The delay of the inauguration may also provide time for investigative processes against Zelenskii to be completed and used to block his assumption of office. Thus, three days after the election, the corrupt anti-corruption body, NABU, opened an investigation int Zelenskii production company ( https://strana.ua/news/198188-nabu-nachalo-rassledovanie-po-kompanii-zelenskoho-iz-za-vozmozhnoj-rastraty-sredstv-hoskino-sytnik.html ).
The new draconian language law adopted by the Rada four days after the voting excludes from civil service those not fluent in Ukrainian. Zelenskii is not fluent in Ukrainian, and Poroshenko has vowed to sigh the law; one he himself helped draft and then submitted to the Rada before the election. Tentative Conclusions and Some Black Swans The Ukraine is on the edge of a constitutional crisis.
The country remains badly divided between the newly elected and at present popular president and his support base in the east and south, on the one hand, and Maidan's outgoing president, government and Rada with its support base largely in the west. As at the beginning of the Maidan protests in fall 2013, there are many Ukrainians who want positive democratic change. Unfortunately, they are countered by a powerful oligachic-ultranationalist coalition that has been stealing the state, dividing Ukrainians along regional, ethnic, linguistic, and religious lines in order to stay in power, and is about to be relegated to the position of the Maidan-in-opposition.
For now, Zelenskii is the new Yanukovych minus the corruption and pro-Russian inclinations. His positive image with the voters can be destroyed with new framing that can come with the ravaging of time in office as the elan of the victory in the presidential election fades and by effective Maidan-in-opposition propaganda. With Rada elections set for September, the first five-six months of Zelenskii's presidency -- should Poroshenko and the Rada radicals allow it to commence -- will be bogged down in a bitter power struggle that can easily spin out of control.
There is good reason to believe that the Rada leadership, the siloviki , and the ultranationalists and neofascists in Ukraine's frequently uncivil society will be willing to repeat a use of violence of February 2014 in order to preserve their power and avoid the risk of Zelenskii investigations into their corruption and the Maidan's original sin of that February 2014 snipers' terrorist attack. Zelenskii may very well forego a serious investigation of the Maidan terrorist attack and a crackdown on the illegal armed formations and activity of ultranationalists and neofascists like the National Corps and C14. A bridge too far for any Ukrainian leader, given the weak state and powerful extremist element on the streets.
There are black swans on the horizon. One is Vladimir Putin. He 'welcomed' Zelenskii by issuing a decree easing requirements for immigration to Russia and the receipt of Russian passports and pension payments for residents in civil war-torn region of the separatist DNR and LNR. In this way, he seemed to remind Zelenskii of Russia's now limited, albeit, direct military presence in the war zone. He further signaled his intent to run a hard bargain by refusing to congratulate Zelenskii on his presidential election victory unlike in 2014 when Putin congratulated Poroshenko.
But Zelenskii may have walked into this slap. He threw down the gauntlet to Putin when declared after his election victory (and before these moves by Putin): "To all post-Soviet countries: Look at us, anything is possible" ( www.rferl.org/a/poroshenko-concedes-after-exit-polling-shows-zelenskiy-taking-ukraine-presidency/29894814.html ). He reiterated the point several days later specifically when responding to Putin's decision to ease Donbass access to Russian passports and immigration ( https://vesti-ukr.com/strana/334477-zelenskij-sdelal-zajavlenie-ob-idee-putina-vydavat-ukraintsam-pasporta-rf ).
If Zelenskii sees himself as the spark or leader of a wave of color revolutions in the former USSR, he will find the going with Russia tough, regardless of who the Russian president is. Russians fear both revolution and foreign interference far more than they do Putin. More importantly for Ukraine, such a stance will make a resolution of the Donbass conflict impossible.
Another black swan is that Ukraine now has a Jewish president. This is not evidence of the absence of anti-Semitism, which is robust among Ukraine's substantial number of ultranationalists and neofascists. Anti-semitism has been overshadowed by such radicals' laser-like focus of their xenophobia on ethnic Russians.
The fact of a Jewish president -- in addition to the present PM being Jewish -- poses the risk of an uptick in anti-Semitism and in the appeal of the ultranationalist/neofascist message if Zelenskii fails to improve the economy, cut corruption, and/or appears to be 'caving in' to Russian or Western demands to the detriment of Ukraine's interests.
The Jewish president will be a prime scapegoat in the case of such failure. These two dynamics – the inexperienced Zelenskii's possible failure and the potential political repercussions of his Jewish roots -- could tip the scales in favor of the ultranationalist wing of the Maidan-in-opposition and shape its calculus as to whether or not to undertake a coup, repeating what worked once in February 2014.
About the Author – Gordon M. Hahn, Ph.D., is a Senior Researcher at the Center for Terrorism and Intelligence Studies (CETIS), Akribis Group, San Jose, California, www.cetisresearch.org ; an expert analyst at Corr Analytics, http://www.canalyt.com ; and an analyst at Geostrategic Forecasting Corporation (Chicago), www.geostrategicforecasting.com .
Dr. Hahn is the author of the four books, most recently Ukraine Over the Edge: Russia, the West, and the 'New Cold War . Previously, he has authored three well-received books: The Caucasus Emirate Mujahedin: Global Jihadism in Russia's North Caucasus and Beyond (McFarland Publishers, 2014), Russia's Islamic Threat (Yale University Press, 2007), and Russia's Revolution From Above: Reform, Transition and Revolution in the Fall of the Soviet Communist Regime, 1985-2000 (Transaction Publishers, 2002). He also has published numerous think tank reports, academic articles, analyses, and commentaries in both English and Russian language media.
Dr. Hahn also has taught at Boston, American, Stanford, San Jose State, and San Francisco State Universities and as a Fulbright Scholar at Saint Petersburg State University, Russia and has been a senior associate and visiting fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Kennan Institute in Washington DC, and the Hoover Institution.
Apr 30, 2019 | www.project-syndicate.org
Ukraine Sends in the Clown Apr 30, 2019 Nina L. Khrushcheva Most Ukrainian voters arguably know that the comedian Volodymyr Zelensky, whose only claim to fame up to now was playing a teacher-turned-president in a popular TV series, will not be the real-life president of their dreams. So why did nearly three-quarters of them back him?
KYIV – In the 2000s, The West Wing was everybody's favorite television show about an aspirational US administration – one that fought terrorism without waging war on an entire region or religion, refused to trample on the rule of law, and generally made decisions that were in the country's best interest. Many wished the show's calm and collected fictional president, played by Martin Sheen, could replace America's cowboy president, George W. Bush, and his war-mongering sidekick, Dick Cheney.
In a sense, that is exactly what is happening now in Ukraine. The comedian Volodymyr Zelensky, whose only claim to fame up to now was playing a teacher-turned-president in the popular TV series Servant of the People , won the presidency in a landslide earlier this month. But, far from the fantasy of an idealized president, this is yet another example of a distorted reality – all too familiar to Ukrainians – in which characters, not leaders, define politics.
Zelensky is far from the first charismatic non-politician to win political power in recent years. The most obvious example is the real-estate developer and reality-TV showman Donald Trump. But in Austria, Hungary, Italy, Russia, and elsewhere, characters have also used populist rhetoric to appeal to ordinary people who feel ignored by the elites. Another comedian, Beppe Grillo, co-founded Italy's Five Star Movement, which is now the senior government party, though he stepped aside in January 2018, weeks before the election that brought his creation to power.
There are nuances to this trend. After Trump won the 2016 presidential election in the United States, I recalled Brave New World , in which Aldous Huxley conjured a future in which humanity had been destroyed by ignorance and lust for mindless entertainment. Trump, feasting on burgers as he binge-watches Fox News stories about himself, embodies this disposition.
Whereas a combination of too much amusement and too little knowledge contributed to Americans' choice of Trump, Ukrainians were reacting to politicians' betrayal of the ideals of the 2013-14 Maidan Square protests, which sought to get Ukraine out from underneath Russia's thumb. Chief among the turncoats was President Petro Poroshenko, a Maidan hero who ended up as a manifestation of the old oligarchic system. Most Ukrainians now support radical changes to economic, social, and foreign policy.
Thus, with nothing but an appealing TV persona, Zelensky was able to convince voters that his inexperience would be a better bet than another term of Poroshenko's corrupt leadership. Despite having no political team or discernable policy platform, he won 73% of the vote – a share normally attained by authoritarians who stifle their opponents and stuff ballot boxes.
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Another Ukrainian friend, a middle-aged scientist, observed that Zelensky's most direct antecedent may be Andriy Danylko – Ukraine's best-known entertainer, a musical comedian who performs in drag under the stage name Verka Serduchka. In 2007, Danylko tried, unsuccessfully, to form his own political party.
According to this friend, Ukrainians' embrace of Zelensky was driven by the same revolutionary urge that fueled the protests in 2004 and 2013-14. While the pro-Western Tymoshenko would have delivered the change that Ukrainians want, he explained, this year voters wanted even more to reject the existing system entirely. The fact that Trump is presiding over a booming US economy only strengthened their willingness to gamble on a TV character.
But even Zelensky may not be the rebellious choice he seems to be. Some have questioned his relationships with oligarchs – in particular Igor Kolomoisky, the owner of the TV channel that broadcasts his show. Many suggest that Kolomoisky effectively bought the election so that he himself could rule Ukraine from behind the scenes....
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Ukraine is a symptom, not a specimen. In a world that increasingly resembles Huxley's dystopia...
Nina L. Khrushcheva is Professor of International Affairs at The New School. Her latest book (with Jeffrey Tayler) is In Putin's Footsteps: Searching for the Soul of an Empire Across Russia's Eleven Time Zones .
Apr 30, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org
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Hope is often a devalued currency, but its vigorous circulation can be gathered in the measurements of public opinion by the Kyiv-based International Institute of Sociology (KIIS) conducted this month. Deputy Chief Anton Hrushetskiy reported findings of 2004 respondents to the question "Which of the following should the president do in the first 100 days?"
The list is meaningfully desperate and vengeful against state officials: a touch under 40% wish a slash in utility rates; 35.5% demand a removal of immunity for lawmakers, judges and the president; 32.4% wish for an opening of investigations and a speeding up of current ones into corruption-related crimes and abuses; 23.3% hope for commencing talks with Russia; 18.4% demand a reduction of wages of top officials. All this stands to reason: Zelenskiy offers something others have not: a tabula rasa upon which voters can impose their vision. In contrast, Poroshenko, candy billionaire with an acid aftertaste, offered the usual cluttering: Army, language, faith.
The broom for cleaning is being readied. Remarks had been made, some floated from the quarters of Poroshenko, that the new administration would include elements of the old regime. Former Finance Minister and advisor to Zelenskiy, Oleksandr Danyliuk, was adamant on Ukraine's ICTV this would not be the case: "Regarding the comment that Volodymyr Zelenskiy's new team will include old staff of the Presidential Administration, the Cabinet of Ministers I'd like to say this is absolutely not true, this is one of the fake news and bogeyman stories that your [Petro Poroshenko's] headquarters is spreading."
Political regulars and strategists have brought out their calculators and have been left wanting. Moscow, along with other readers of political entrails, did not see this victory in the offing. Poroshenko offered an ideal target: divisive, army hugging entho-nationalist, with an anti-Russian fixation. He could therefore be, over time, worn down, his country packaged as resoundingly anti-Semitic, fascist and hateful of the Soviet Union's exploits against Nazi Germany.
Preference would have been for Yuriy Boyko, backed by the pro-Russian Viktor Medvedchuk. The results did give their party 16% of the vote, making them second behind Zelenskiy's Servant of the People, which received 26%. Not quite happy days, but perhaps less anxious ones.
From what can be gathered from the new president, some measure of rapprochement towards their fraternal, giant neighbour might be in the offing, even if accompanied by what he terms "a very powerful information war" to end the eastern conflict. Baby steps include lifting restrictions on the use of Russian in the country, which would also entail an end to blocking cultural exchanges and restrictions on accessing Russian social media networks. But to perceive a total change on that front would be to wonder in the realms of fantasy. In the words of head spokesperson at Zelinskiy's election headquarters, Dmitry Razumkov, "The return of the occupied territories of the Donbass and Crimea must proceed exclusively on Ukraine's terms. Russia, as always, is trying to turn everything on its head and do everything backwards – by holding elections first."
The stage in Ukraine has been going to seed for some years, manuring away in decay and poverty, bleeding in the Donbass region and plundered by self-enriching elites.
It took Zelenskiy to come to the fore by stepping off the screen and, quite literally, onto a live stage. Whether he is capable of directing his own show, mastering his own brief, as it were, will be a wonder.
For one, parliamentary elections are due in October, leaving the virgin premier with six months of potential obstruction. Poroshenko, for his part, promises to be a vulture in the galley, awaiting any slipups: "I am leaving office, but I want to firmly underline that I am not leaving politics."
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Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. Email: email@example.com More articles by: Binoy Kampmark
Apr 25, 2019 | www.wsws.org
Comedian Volodymyr Zelensky won the Ukrainian presidential elections Sunday with over 73 percent of the vote, in a massive repudiation of the incumbent president, Petro Poroshenko, and the imperialist-orchestrated 2014 coup that brought him to power.
The "chocolate oligarch" Poroshenko became president in the wake of the operation in February 2014 that toppled the pro-Russian government of Viktor Yanukovich. Behind the coup stood the major imperialist powers, above all the US and Germany. Basing themselves on sections of the Ukrainian oligarchy and upper middle class, they mobilized fascist forces to install a puppet regime that would be immediately subservient to their economic interests and war preparations against Russia.
The bourgeois media hailed this fascist-led coup as a "democratic revolution." They were joined by the middle-class left, including organizations such as the now-defunct International Socialist Organization, which systematically worked to downplay the role played by the extreme right and the US State Department in the creation of this "revolution."
The results of the 2014 coup for the working class have been nothing less than catastrophic. In the past five years, the Poroshenko regime has stood at the forefront of the imperialist military buildup against Russia. Ukrainian military spending has risen to a staggering 6 percent of GDP.
The systematic ratcheting up of tensions with Russia by the Kiev regime, most recently with its reckless provocation in the Azov Sea, have dramatically heightened the danger of a full-scale war in Europe, which could quickly escalate into another world war. The ongoing civil war in the Eastern Ukraine has cost the lives of over 13,000 people.
At the same time, the Ukrainian oligarchy has undertaken the most far-reaching attacks on the already low living standards of the Ukrainian working class since the restoration of capitalism. Almost one million Ukrainians are now living on the brink of starvation; tens of thousands are left to freeze in the winter .
For the implementation of these policies, the Poroshenko regime mobilized fascist forces such as the notorious Azov battalion. The glorification of the Nazi collaborators of the UPA and the OUN-B, which massacred thousands of Jews, Poles and Ukrainians during World War II, has become official state policy. References to communism and symbols of the Soviet Red Army, which defeated the Nazis in the war, have been criminalized. Russian artists and works of art have been banned from entering the country.
It is these conditions that propelled the vast majority of the Ukrainian population to either abstain from the elections -- the voter turnout was just 62 percent -- or vote for Zelensky. Poroshenko was unable to garner any significant support outside a small province in West Ukraine and the district in Kiev where the country's super rich reside.
Yet whatever his appeals to antiwar sentiments and the enormous anger about social austerity during the campaign, Zelensky will defend the interests of the Ukrainian oligarchy against the working class, and work in alliance with imperialism.
Throughout the entire election campaign, Zelensky deliberately concealed his real political and economic agenda. He instead relied almost exclusively on demagogic appeals to the widespread hatred of Poroshenko. During the campaign, Zelensky made promises to enter direct negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin for a peaceful settlement of the war in East Ukraine. Yet in an interview published days before the election, he called Putin an "enemy" and stated that it was "perfectly fine and great" that people considered the Nazi collaborator Bandera as a "hero."
On April 12, Zelensky met with French President Emmanuel Macron. His team has hired a PR firm in Washington to arrange meetings with officials of the Trump administration and influential think tank figures. Zelensky also maintains close connections to the oligarch Ihor Kolkomoisky, and now seeks to work together with Mikheil Saakashvili, the former president of Georgia, who had been installed through a US-backed "color revolution."...
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Apr 28, 2019 | www.unz.com
Felix Keverich , says: April 25, 2019 at 7:27 am GMTaleksandar , says: April 28, 2019 at 7:49 am GMT
The main feeling about the entire topic of the Ukraine is one of total disgust, a gradual and painful realization of the fact that our so-called "brothers" are brothers only in the sense of the biblical Cain and the acceptance that there is nobody to talk to in Kiev.
Russia likes to fashion itself as a "great power". A real great power should have been able to insert itself in Ukrainian politics, regardless of any brotherly feelings – you know, like US did.
As a Russian, I feel disgust at our leaders who squandered all of Russia's historic influence on the Ukraine and gave up – poor neo-Soviet dinosaurs got completely outmaneuvered.@Kiza Read
Try to understand
Read it again
Try to understand
Read it again
Try to understand"For better or for worse, Putin has put an end to oligarch rule in Russia. Members of Putin's inner circle may be immensely rich, but they know to whom they owe their wealth. By imprisoning Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Putin sent a clear message to the all-powerful oligarchs that controlled Russia during former president Boris Yeltsin's time: stay out of politics."
Vladimir Golstein, professor of Slavic studies at Brown University. He was born in Moscow and emigrated to the United States in 1979.
Apr 28, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
donkeytale , Apr 28, 2019 10:01:00 AM | link
"Hi my name is Donald J Trump and I approve this message."
Apr 28, 2019 | www.unz.com
JOHN CHUCKMAN , says: Website April 28, 2019 at 2:22 pm GMTOh, I do think the author might just be a trifle premature and overly pessimistic.
Let's give the new guy a little time. He actually gave an encouraging sign or two during his campaign if you were paying attention.
Readers may enjoy these related analyses:
Apr 28, 2019 | www.unz.com
AmRusDebate , says: April 25, 2019 at 12:04 pm GMTKolomoisky. Kolomoisky! Kolomoisky!
you are in fantasy land....
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The West is concerned with protecting Poro. Based on WSJ editorials, obsequious legations to manlet Macron. None of that means jack shit.
DC will have to exercise real power to prevent a cleaning of the house. Word are words. Rumors are rumors. Z. will act within his mandate and limits placed by rabid opposition. He will act in keeping with rational need to not fight a US-backed congress, to get shot in the streets for things too radical. Majority of Ukrainians will be happy to see Poro in prison. DC can keep this from happening not with words, but with bullets. Strana can claim what it wants, its claims are patent garbage.
Ukrainians don’t give a shit about the Poro regime, and are perfectly willing to see it incarcerated. Nor do NatsBatalions really crave to be seen as puppets of DC, Kolo, or Israel, or Brussels. Your take is really simplistic here.
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Z. does have a party. The elections for the Ukranian Parliament is in September. His party, as a matter of fact, is leading in opinion polls.
https://ria.ru/20190416/1552741067.html And it is doing so together with the party of Boiko.
Logically then, given enough time/space Z. should be in a position to pursue necessary policies end of the year.
peter mcloughlin , says: April 25, 2019 at 1:34 pm GMT‘The truth is nobody knows what will happen next…There are just too many parameters to consider, and the real balance of power following this election has not manifested itself yet’, as The Saker forebodingly warns. The pattern of history suggests the continent is heading for another world war. https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/Matthiew , says: April 25, 2019 at 1:42 pm GMT
The course of events in Europe and globally predict things will only get worse. Like The Saker, ‘I also very much hope that I am wrong.’A good article by Adam GarrieDigital Samizdat , says: April 28, 2019 at 6:31 pm GMT
“Russia and Ukraine can finally agree on something. Friendly relations with Israel”
https://eurasiafuture.com/2019/04/21/russia-and-ukraine-can-finally-agree-on-something-friendly-relations-with-israel/Am I the only one here who sees a fundamental inconsistency between the following two statements?
Thus, Poroshenko with his immense wealth and his connections can still be a useful tool for the Empire’s control of the Ukraine.
I tend to believe that Poroshenko has outlived his usefulness for the AngloZionists because he became an overnight political corpse.
So which is it, Saker? Is Porky still useful to the AZs or not?
This reminds me of the old joke about economists who can never venture a prediction without saying “one the hand … but on the other hand …”
Apr 28, 2019 | strana.ua
As everybody predicted, Poroshenko completely lost the election. As I wrote in my previous column, this is both amazing (considering Poro’s immense and extensive resources and the fact that his opponent was, literally, a clown (ok, a comic if you prefer). His defeat was also so predictable as to be almost inevitable: not only is the man genuinely hated all over the Ukraine (except for the Nazi crackpots of the Lvov region), but he made fatal blunders which made him even more detestable than usual.
Now one could sympathize with Poroshenko: not only did this “Putin the boogeyman” appear to work fantastically well with the main sponsors of the Ukronazi coup and with the legacy Ziomedia, but nobody dared to tell Poroshenko that most Ukrainians were not buying that nonsense at all. The suggestion that all the other candidates are Putin agents is no less ridiculous. The thin veneer of deniability Poroshenko had devised (the poster was not put up by the official Poroshenko campaign but by “volunteers”) failed, everybody immediately saw through it all, and this resulted in Poro’s first big campaign faceplant.
Next came this disaster:
Again, this was not officially Poroshenko’s campaign which made this video, but everybody saw through this one too. The quasi-open threat to murder Zelenskii was received with horror in the Ukraine, and this PR-disaster was Poro’s second faceplant.
Then the poor man “lost it.” I won’t list all the stupid and ridiculous things the man said and did, but I will say that his performance at the much-anticipated debate in the stadium was a disaster too.
The writing had been on the wall for a while now, and this is why the two candidates were summoned to speak to their masters (face to face in Germany and France, by phone with Mr. MAGA) and they were told a few things:
- Poroshenko was told in no uncertain terms that he could not trigger a war, organize a last-minute false flag, murder Zelenskii or engage in any other “creative campaign methods.”
- Zelenskii was also clearly told that should he win the election, he was not to touch Poroshenko. It appears that the US gave personal security guarantees to Poroshenko.
The western calculus is simple: try to keep Poroshenko alive (figuratively and politically) and to see how much of the Rada he can keep. Furthermore, since Zelenskii is extremely weak (he has no personal power base of any kind), Kolomoiskii will have him do exactly as he is told and Kolomoiskii can easily be told to behave by the Empire.
Finally, there is Vladimir Groisman, the current prime minister who has kept a very low profile, who does NOT have blood on his hands (at least when compared to thugs like Turchinov or Avakov) and who has not made any move which would blacklist him with the Kremlin. Groisman is also a Jew (Israel and the Ukraine are now the two countries on the planet in which both the President and the Prime-Minister are Jews; ironic considering the historical lovefest between Jews and Ukrainian nationalists ). He might make a much more effective Ukrainian Gauleiter for the Empire than either Poroshenko or Zelenskii. For the time being, Goisman has already ditched Poroshenko's party and is creating his own.
And let's not forget Avakov and Parubii, who are both soaked in innocent blood, and who will try to hold on to their considerable power by using the various Nazi death-squads under their control. Finally, there is still the formidable (and relatively popular) Iulia Timoshenko whose political ambitions need to be kept in check. Thus, Poroshenko with his immense wealth and his connections can still be a useful tool for the Empire's control of the Ukraine.
The western calculus might also be wrong: for one thing, Zelenskii cannot deliver anything meaningful to the Ukrainian people, most definitely not prosperity or honesty. Pretty soon the Ukrainian people will wake up to realize that when they elected the "new face" of Zelenskii, they ended up with the "not new" face of Kolomoiskii and everything that infamous name entails.
Zelenskii might not have another option than to jail Poroshenko, which he semi-promised to do during the stadium debate. Except that now Zelenskii is saying that he will consult with Poroshenko and might even use him in some official capacity. Yes, campaign promises in the Ukraine are never kept for more than the time it takes to make them. Finally, Poroshenko's power base is very rapidly eroding because nobody wants to go down with him. I tend to believe that Poroshenko has outlived his usefulness for the AngloZionists because he became an overnight political corpse. But this is the Ukraine, so never say never.
Finally, the Empire is also pushing for a reform of the Ukrainian political system to give less powers to the President and more to the Rada. Again, this makes sense considering that Zelenskii is an unknown actor and considering the fact that Rada members are basically on the US payroll (across all parties and factions).
What about Russia in all this?
Well, the Russians have been extremely cautious, and nobody seems to harbor any illusions about Zelenskii. In fact, just a day after his election Zelenskii is already making all sorts of anti-Russian statements. Truly, besides the logical implication of Poroshenko's poster (that a defeat for him would mean a victory for Putin), nobody in Russia is celebrating. The main feeling about the entire topic of the Ukraine is one of total disgust, a gradual and painful realization of the fact that our so-called "brothers" are brothers only in the sense of the biblical Cain and the acceptance that there is nobody to talk to in Kiev. Thus Russia will have to embark on a policy of unilateral actions towards the Ukraine. These could include:
- Decide whether to recognize the outcome of the election or not. I think that it is more likely that Russia will recognize the fact that most Ukrainians did vote for Zelenskii, but that recognition will imply nothing more than that: the recognition of a fact.
- Accelerate the pace of distribution of Russian passports to citizens of the DNR and LNR republics.
- Slap further economic sanctions on the Ukraine (Russia has just banned the export of energy sources to the Ukraine – finally and at last!).
- Declare that since millions of Ukrainians did not vote (inside the Ukraine, in the DNR/LNR and in Russia, and since the Minsk Agreements are dead (they are de facto if not de jure yet) Russia does not recognize this election and, instead, recognizes the two people's republics. I don't think that the Kremlin will do that short of an Ukronazi attack on Novorussia (in which case the Russians will do what they did following Saakashvili's attack on South-Ossetia).
So far, Russian spokespeople have just said that they "respected the vote of the Ukrainian people" and that they will judge Zelenskii "on his actions, not his words". This approach sure seems balanced and reasonable to me.Conclusion:
The truth is that nobody knows what will happen next, not even Kolomoiskii or Zelenskii himself. There are just too many parameters to consider, and the real balance of power following this election has not manifested itself yet. As for the true aspirations and hopes of the people of the Ukraine, they were utterly ignored: Poroshenko will be replaced by Kolomoiskii, wearing the mask of Zelenskii. Hardly a reason to rejoice
In spite of the large number of electoral candidates, the people of the Ukraine were not given a meaningful choice. So they did the only thing they could do: they voted to kick Poroshenko out. And that sure must have felt great.
But will Zelenskii turn out to be any better? I very much doubt it, even though I also very much hope that I am wrong.
Apr 28, 2019 | www.unz.com
MarkinPNW , says: April 24, 2019 at 7:14 pm GMTA clown beat a high profile member of the established political class, due most likely to the voters being disgusted by said political class? Uhmm, where have we seen this before?
Apr 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Idealistic Realist , Apr 27, 2019 1:24:45 PM | link
Best analysis by a candidate for POTUS ever:American foreign policy is not a failure. To comfort themselves, observers often say that our leaders -- presidents, advisors, generals -- don't know what they're doing. They do know. Their agenda just isn't what we like to imagine it is.
To quote Michael Parenti: "US policy is not filled with contradictions and inconsistencies. It has performed brilliantly and steadily in the service of those who own most of the world and who want to own all of it."
The vision of our leaders as bunglers, while more accurate than the image of them as valiant public servants, is less accurate and more rose-tinted than the closest approximation of the truth, which is that they are servants of their class interest. That is why we go to war.
Those who buy the elite class's foreign policy BS, about the Emmanuel Goldsteins they conjure up every three years, are fools. Obviously Hussein and Milošević were bad; but "government bad" does not mean we must invade. Wars occur for economic, not humanitarian, reasons.
- Teodoro Obiang Nguema, the president of Equatorial Guinea, is a kleptocrat, murderer, and alleged cannibal. This is him and his wife with Barack and Michelle Obama.
- Islam Karimov, the president of Uzbekistan, was said to have boiled political prisoners to death, massacred hundreds of prisoners, and made torture an institution. This is him with John Kerry.
- Paul Kagame, the president of Rwanda, has been involved in the assassination of political opponents, perpetrated obvious election fraud, and had his term extended until 2034. This is him with Barack and Michelle Obama.
Why have we supported Nguema, Karimov, and Kagame but not the ones who are thorns in our sides? The reasons are obvious. It's not the lives of their citizens - it's power for the elite class. We intervene abroad because we want to further the interest of the wealthy.
America will always pick and choose the leaders it props up and tears down. It never was and never will be for humanitarian reasons -- that is a clever veil. We denounce ethnic cleansing and then fund it. We call for free elections and then support Pinochet, Stroessner, and Videla.
Opposing war is a noble and courageous act, and there will always be smears. Opposing war isn't supporting dictators; it's opposing death and destruction in the service of the wealthy. Never believe what they tell you about why they're sending your kids to die. Never.
Apr 27, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org
The ordinary Ukrainian people are so sick and tired of the militaristic nationalism as well as endemic corruption in Kiev that they voted for someone, anyone, who appears slightly more reasonable.
The stunning victory of TV funny man Vladimir Zelensky in Ukraine's presidential elections has tempted notions of a new opportunity to resolve the conflict in eastern Donbas region. The ongoing war has crippled the entire country, caused over 13,000 deaths and resulted in nearly one million people displaced from their homes.
Zelensky has called for direct talks with Russia to help bring about a political settlement. Potentially, this apparently more engaged attitude in Kiev could be key to restoring peace in the region and furthermore resume normal relations with Russia. Moscow has given a cautious welcome to these developments. His landslide victory is certainly a stunning popular repudiation of the anti-Russian mentality of his predecessor, Petro Poroshenko.
But there are so many contradictions and paradoxes in Ukraine's recent presidential election and its outcome that expectations should be reserved.
For a start, the 41-year-old Zelensky who is a popular TV comedian is a complete political novice. His entire election campaign was vacant in any policy detail. Yes, he did say he wanted to hold direct talks with Moscow to end the nearly five-year war in eastern Ukraine between state forces and pro-Russian separatists. But then only days before his election, Zelensky disparaged Russia as an "aggressor" and described Russian President Vladimir Putin as an "enemy".
The move this week by Russia to grant citizenship to ethnic Russian people from Ukraine's breakaway Donbas region was roundly condemned by Washington and the European Union as undermining Ukraine's sovereignty. Moscow said it was merely fulfilling internationally recognized legal rights of people with Russian heritage. In any case, Zelensky also joined in the ill-considered condemnations against Russia over its passport move.
This suggests that the new Ukrainian president is a "Poroshenko-Lite". The only change is a softening of the anti-Russian rhetoric that has so dominated the Kiev regime since the 2014 CIA-backed coup which ushered in Poroshenko's presidency.
Zelensky has talked previously about implementing the Minsk peace accords signed in 2015, yet he has also contradicted himself by saying he will not grant the Donbas political autonomy or accede to an amnesty for combatants – meaning the war against the ethnic Russian population by the Russophobic Kiev regime will continue. He also – shamefully – made public comments apparently valorizing the Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera and the latter's fascist followers.
Moscow is therefore correct to express caution in the political significance of the new Ukrainian president. The Kremlin said it will await substantive action and policy changes, rather than basing its judgment on the vapid words of a TV star-turned-politician. There is an analogy here with US President Donald Trump and how his ascent to the White House changed nothing in Washington's hostile policy towards Russia.
Perhaps the clearest conclusion to be drawn is that Ukrainian citizens expressed not so much support for Zelensky – how could they when his manifesto was so utterly vacuous? – but rather his landslide victory was a massive repudiation of the incumbent president and the anti-Russia mentality in Kiev that was such a hallmark of Poroshenko's presidency.
In other words, the ordinary Ukrainian people are so sick and tired of the militaristic nationalism as well as endemic corruption in Kiev that they voted for someone, anyone, who appears slightly more reasonable. Even if that candidate is a comedian with no political vision.
For the past five years, the Kiev-dominated Ukrainian state has been nothing but a puppet regime for Washington, NATO and to a lesser extent the European Union. It has served as a spearhead against Russia with vile provocations and slander. It is in fact an abomination of international law and democratic principles.
There is no sign that things will change fundamentally under this new president in spite of his seemingly more reasonable rhetoric. The hopes of Ukrainians for economic improvement, elimination of corruption by oligarchs and normalization of relations with their compatriots in Donbas and with Russia will likely be dashed. Voting for comedian Vladimir Zelensky as some kind of savior for their numerous woes could turn out to be a very cruel joke.
The problem lies in Kiev being a puppet regime for Washington which functions to push an anti-Russia geopolitical agenda. Zelensky is not a solution; his turn at the presidency is merely an intermission break from the ongoing calamity that is Ukraine. The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.
Tags: European Union Poroshenko Ukraine Zelensky
Apr 27, 2019 | www.zerohedge.comIn January, 2016, the Obama White House summoned Ukrainian authorities to Washington to discuss several ongoing matters under the guise of coordinating "anti-corruption efforts," reports The Hill 's John Solomon.
The January 2016 gathering, confirmed by multiple participants and contemporaneous memos, brought some of Ukraine's top corruption prosecutors and investigators face to face with members of former President Obama's National Security Council (NSC), FBI, State Department and Department of Justice (DOJ).
The agenda suggested the purpose was training and coordination. But Ukrainian participants said it didn't take long -- during the meetings and afterward -- to realize the Americans' objectives included two politically hot investigations: one that touched Vice President Joe Biden's family and one that involved a lobbying firm linked closely to then-candidate Trump . - The Hill
The Obama officials - likely knowing that lobbyist Paul Manafort was about to join President Trump's campaign soon (he joined that March), were interested in reviving a closed investigation into payments to US figures from Ukraine's pro-Russia Party of Regions - which both Paul Manafort and Tony Podesta did unregistered work for, according to former Ukrainian Embassy political officer Andrii Telizhenko.
The 2014 investigation focused heavily on Manafort , whose firm was tied to Trump through his longtime partner and Trump adviser, Roger Stone.
Agents interviewed Manafort in 2014 about whether he received undeclared payments from the party of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych , an ally of Russia's Vladimir Putin , and whether he engaged in improper foreign lobbying.
The FBI shut down the case without charging Manafort
Telizhenko and other attendees of the January, 2016 meeting recall DOJ employees asking Ukrainian investigators from their National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) if they could locate new evidence about the Party of Regions' payments to Americans .
"It was definitely the case that led to the charges against Manafort and the leak to U.S. media during the 2016 election," said Telizhenko - which makes the January 2016 gathering in DC one of the earliest documented efforts to compile a case against Trump and those in his orbit.
Nazar Kholodnytskyy, Ukraine's chief anti-corruption prosecutor , told me he attended some but not all of the January 2016 Washington meetings and couldn't remember the specific cases, if any, that were discussed.
But he said he soon saw evidence in Ukraine of political meddling in the U.S. election . Kholodnytskyy said the key evidence against Manafort -- a ledger showing payments from the Party of Regions -- was known to Ukrainian authorities since 2014 but was suddenly released in May 2016 by the U.S.-friendly NABU , after Manafort was named Trump's campaign chairman.
"Somebody kept this black ledger secret for two years and then showed it to the public and the U.S. media. It was extremely suspicious," said Kholodnytskyy - who specifically instructed NABU not to share the "black ledger" with the media.
"I ordered the detectives to give nothing to the mass media considering this case. Instead, they had broken my order and published themselves these one or two pages of this black ledger regarding Paul Manafort," he added. "For me it was the first call that something was going wrong and that there is some external influence in this case. And there is some other interests in this case not in the interest of the investigation and a fair trial."
Manafort joined Trump's campaign on March 29, 2016 and became campaign manager on May 19, 2016. The ledger's existence leaked on May 29, 2016, while Manafort would be fired from the Trump campaign that August.
NABU leaked the existence of the ledgers on May 29, 2016. Later that summer, it told U.S. media the ledgers showed payments to Manafort, a revelation that forced him to resign from the campaign in August 2016.
A Ukrainian court in December concluded NABU's release of the ledger was an illegal attempt to influence the U.S. election. And a member of Ukraine's parliament has released a recording of a NABU official saying the agency released the ledger to help Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's campaign.
Ignoring others, protecting Bidens
Kostiantyn Kulyk - deputy head of the Ukraine prosecutor general's international affairs office, said that Ukraine also had evidence of other Western figures receiving money from Yanukovych's party - such as former Obama White House counsel Gregory Craig - but the Americans weren't interested.
"They just discussed Manafort. This was all and only what they wanted. Nobody else," said Kulyk.
Another case raised at the January 2016 meeting involved the Bidens - specifically Burisma Holdings; a Ukrainian energy company which was under investigation at the time for improper foreign transfers of money. Burisma allegedly paid then-Vice President Joe Biden's son Hunter more than $3 million in 2014-15 as both a board member and a consultant, according to bank records .
According to Telizhenko, U.S. officials told the Ukrainians they would prefer that Kiev drop the Burisma probe and allow the FBI to take it over . The Ukrainians did not agree. But then Joe Biden pressured Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to fire Ukraine's chief prosecutor in March 2016 , as I previously reported. The Burisma case was transferred to NABU, then shut down.
The Ukrainian Embassy in Washington on Thursday confirmed the Obama administration requested the meetings in January 2016, but embassy representatives attended only some of the sessions.
Last Wednesday on Fox and Friends, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani said " I ask you to keep your eye on Ukraine ," referring to collusion to help Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election .
What's more, DOJ documents support Telizhenko's claim that the DOJ reopened its Manafort case as the 2016 election ramped up - including communications between Associate Attorney General Bruce Ohr, his wife, Nellie, and ex-British spy Christopher Steele, as Solomon writes.
Nellie Ohr and Steele worked in 2016 for the research firm, Fusion GPS, that was hired by Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to find Russia dirt on Trump. Steele wrote the famous dossier for Fusion that the FBI used to gain a warrant to spy on the Trump campaign. Nellie Ohr admitted to Congress that she routed Russia dirt on Trump from Fusion to the DOJ through her husband during the election.
DOJ emails show Nellie Ohr on May 30, 2016, directly alerted her husband and two DOJ prosecutors specializing in international crimes to the discovery of the "black ledger" documents that led to Manafort's prosecution.
"Reported Trove of documents on Ukrainian Party of Regions' Black Cashbox," Nellie Ohr wrote to her husband and federal prosecutors Lisa Holtyn and Joseph Wheatley, attaching a news article on the announcement of NABU's release of the documents.
Politico reported previously that the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington assisted the Hillary Clinton campaign through a DNC contractor, while the Ukrainian Embassy acknowledges that it got requests from a DNC staffer to find dirt on Manafort (though it denies providing any improper assistance."
As Solomon concludes: "what is already confirmed by Ukrainians looks a lot more like assertive collusion with a foreign power than anything detailed in the Mueller report ."
Apr 26, 2019 | thehill.com
As Donald Trump began his meteoric rise to the presidency, the Obama White House summoned Ukrainian authorities to Washington to coordinate ongoing anti-corruption efforts inside Russia's most critical neighbor.
The January 2016 gathering, confirmed by multiple participants and contemporaneous memos, brought some of Ukraine's top corruption prosecutors and investigators face to face with members of former President Obama's National Security Council (NSC), FBI, State Department and Department of Justice (DOJ).
That makes the January 2016 meeting one of the earliest documented efforts to build the now-debunked Trump-Russia collusion narrative and one of the first to involve the Obama administration's intervention.
Spokespeople for the NSC, DOJ and FBI declined to comment. A representative for former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice did not return emails seeking comment.
Nazar Kholodnytskyy, Ukraine's chief anti-corruption prosecutor, told me he attended some but not all of the January 2016 Washington meetings and couldn't remember the specific cases, if any, that were discussed.
But he said he soon saw evidence in Ukraine of political meddling in the U.S. election . Kholodnytskyy said the key evidence against Manafort -- a ledger showing payments from the Party of Regions -- was known to Ukrainian authorities since 2014 but was suddenly released in May 2016 by the U.S.-friendly NABU, after Manafort was named Trump's campaign chairman: "Somebody kept this black ledger secret for two years and then showed it to the public and the U.S. media. It was extremely suspicious."
Kholodnytskyy said he explicitly instructed NABU investigators who were working with American authorities not to share the ledger with the media. "Look, Manafort's case is one of the cases that hurt me a lot," he said.
"I ordered the detectives to give nothing to the mass media considering this case. Instead, they had broken my order and published themselves these one or two pages of this black ledger regarding Paul Manafort."
"For me it was the first call that something was going wrong and that there is some external influence in this case. And there is some other interests in this case not in the interest of the investigation and a fair trial," he added.
Kostiantyn Kulyk, deputy head of the Ukraine prosecutor general's international affairs office, said that, shortly after Ukrainian authorities returned from the Washington meeting, there was a clear message about helping the Americans with the Party of the Regions case.
"Yes, there was a lot of talking about needing help and then the ledger just appeared in public," he recalled.
Kulyk said Ukrainian authorities had evidence that other Western figures , such as former Obama White House counsel Gregory Craig, also received money from Yanukovych's party. But the Americans weren't interested: "They just discussed Manafort. This was all and only what they wanted. Nobody else."
Manafort joined Trump's campaign on March 29, 2016, and then was promoted to campaign chairman on May 19, 2016.
NABU leaked the existence of the ledgers on May 29, 2016. Later that summer, it told U.S. media the ledgers showed payments to Manafort, a revelation that forced him to resign from the campaign in August 2016.
A Ukrainian court in December concluded NABU's release of the ledger was an illegal attempt to influence the U.S. election. And a member of Ukraine's parliament has released a recording of a NABU official saying the agency released the ledger to help Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton's campaign.
The other case raised at the January 2016 meeting, Telizhenko said, involved Burisma Holdings , a Ukrainian energy company under investigation in Ukraine for improper foreign transfers of money. At the time, Burisma allegedly was paying then-Vice President Joe Biden's son Hunter as both a board member and a consultant. More than $3 million flowed from Ukraine to an American firm tied to Hunter Biden in 2014-15, bank records show .
According to Telizhenko, U.S. officials told the Ukrainians they would prefer that Kiev drop the Burisma probe and allow the FBI to take it over. The Ukrainians did not agree. But then Joe Biden pressured Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to fire Ukraine's chief prosecutor in March 2016, as I previously reported. The Burisma case was transferred to NABU, then shut down.
The Ukrainian Embassy in Washington on Thursday confirmed the Obama administration requested the meetings in January 2016, but embassy representatives attended only some of the sessions.
"Unfortunately, the Embassy of Ukraine in Washington, D.C., was not invited to join the DOJ and other law enforcement-sector meetings," it said. It said it had no record that the Party of Regions or Burisma cases came up in the meetings it did attend.
Ukraine is riddled with corruption, Russian meddling and intense political conflicts, so one must carefully consider any Ukrainian accounts.
But Telizhenko's claim that the DOJ reopened its Manafort probe as the 2016 election ramped up is supported by the DOJ's own documents, including communications involving Associate Attorney General Bruce Ohr, his wife, Nellie, and ex-British spy Christopher Steele.
Nellie Ohr and Steele worked in 2016 for the research firm, Fusion GPS, that was hired by Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to find Russia dirt on Trump. Steele wrote the famous dossier for Fusion that the FBI used to gain a warrant to spy on the Trump campaign. Nellie Ohr admitted to Congress that she routed Russia dirt on Trump from Fusion to the DOJ through her husband during the election.
DOJ emails show Nellie Ohr on May 30, 2016, directly alerted her husband and two DOJ prosecutors specializing in international crimes to the discovery of the "black ledger" documents that led to Manafort's prosecution.
"Reported Trove of documents on Ukrainian Party of Regions' Black Cashbox," Nellie Ohr wrote to her husband and federal prosecutors Lisa Holtyn and Joseph Wheatley, attaching a news article on the announcement of NABU's release of the documents.
Bruce Ohr and Steele worked on their own effort to get dirt on Manafort from a Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, who had a soured business relationship with him. Deripaska was "almost ready to talk" to U.S. government officials regarding the money that "Manafort stole," Bruce Ohr wrote in notes from his conversations with Steele.
The efforts eventually led to a September 2016 meeting in which the FBI asked Deripaska if he could help prove Manafort was helping Trump collude with Russia. Deripaska laughed off the notion as preposterous.
Previously, Politico reported that the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington assisted Clinton's campaign through a DNC contractor. The Ukrainian Embassy acknowledges it got requests for assistance from the DNC staffer to find dirt on Manafort but denies it provided any improper assistance.
Now we have more concrete evidence that the larger Ukrainian government also was being pressed by the Obama administration to help build the Russia collusion narrative. And that onion is only beginning to be peeled.
But what is already confirmed by Ukrainians looks a lot more like assertive collusion with a foreign power than anything detailed in the Mueller report .
John Solomon is an award-winning investigative journalist whose work over the years has exposed U.S. and FBI intelligence failures before the Sept. 11 attacks, federal scientists' misuse of foster children and veterans in drug experiments, and numerous cases of political corruption. He serves as an investigative columnist and executive vice president for video at The Hill. Follow him on Twitter @jsolomonReports
Apr 26, 2019 | ronpaulinstitute.org
US special envoy for Ukraine Kurt Volker is drawing a salary from John McCain's think tank, which is funded by George Soros and a DC lobbying firm working for Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, among others.
Volker was appointed Special Representative for Ukraine negotiations in July 2017, by then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and has been "mediating" the Ukrainian crisis on behalf of the US ever since in much the same way his colleague Elliott Abrams has been doing with Venezuela.
The twist is that Volker is doing this " on a voluntary basis without compensation" and "not taxing the taxpayers," drawing a salary from his day job as executive director of the McCain Institute for International Leadership in Arizona. Named after the late and hawkish US senator John McCain, the think tank is dedicated to "advancing leadership in the United States and around the world." The two positions are very much aligned, Volker has said, allowing him to get his "hands dirty and actually solve our problems."
In practice, that means things like taking part in the "Occupied Crimea: 5 years of resistance" conference in Odessa – the same city where US-backed nationalists burned alive their political opponents in May 2014 – and parroting Bellingcat talking points on the Kerch Strait incident, themselves cribbed from the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU).
This is not surprising, however, since the list of donors of the McCain Institute includes something called the "BGR Foundation." It shares the same Washington, DC address – and name – with Barbour Griffith Rogers, a high-profile lobbying firm that lists Volker as "Senior International Advisor" and former international managing director.
Volker is still listed as part of the team at BGR .
According to its filings to the US Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), BGR is a registered agent for none other than President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, whose ascension to Ukrainian presidency was brought about by the Maidan revolution of 2014, a coup cheered on most fervently by John McCain himself.
The "National Reforms Council of Ukraine," which officially retained BGR's services, is led by none other than Dmytro Shymkiv, "Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine," as per the filing BGR sent to the DOJ in January 2017.
It remains to be seen whether this relationship will change in June, when TV personality Volodymyr Zelensky takes office, having triumphed in a landslide runoff election this past weekend. Judging by Zelensky's official Facebook account of his February meeting with Volker – "a friend of Ukraine" with whom he "reached full understanding on all questions" – that seems unlikely, however.
Volker was very close to the late Senator McCain, who was himself intimately involved with the 2014 "revolution" in Kiev, visiting the demonstrators and personally sharing the stage with Socialist-Nationalist Party leader Oleg Tyahnibok, for example. McCain was even offered an advisory job with Poroshenko, back in 2015, but declined because that was not allowed under US law.
Turns out another McCain confidant, David Kramer , also works at Volker's institute, listed as "senior director for Human Rights and Democracy." Kramer was identified as the individual who during the 2016 campaign spread the "Steele Dossier" (accusing Trump of ties with Russia) to the press and a number of other people in Washington, including the "midwife of Maidan" herself, Victoria Nuland.
Among the McCain Institute's other donors are George Soros and his Open Society Foundations, as well as Saudi Arabia – though Volker had to disavow them last year, calling it a one-time donation and saying he won't accept any more Saudi cash after the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
All of this adds up to the question no one seems to have asked yet: Whose interests in Ukraine is Kurt Volker actually representing – those of the Trump administration, or those of his donors and the ghost of John McCain?
Reprinted with permission from RT .
Apr 26, 2019 | www.forbes.com
Poroshenko lost not because Zelenskiy was better. Although hard to measure, it is perceived by some in Ukraine's parliament that a vote for Zelenskiy was simply an anti-Poroshenko vote, rather than a truly pro-Zelenskiy one.
Apr 25, 2019 | nationalinterest.org
Petro Poroshenko's Nationalism Cost Him the Presidency
This is one of the lessons that Western policymakers can learn from Poroshenko's crushing defeat.by Nicolai N. Petro , vpurto • 2 hours ago ,VadimKharichkov vpurto • 29 minutes ago ,
Ukraine with the help of lunatics in the Washington, DC is moving to the right direction in order to become Malorussia soon. It will not take long. Chervonarussia a.k.a. Ruthenia in Hapsburg newspeak will take longer time. However, people in that region still identify themselves as Russinians (Русины). With coming dissolution of once Anglo-German-Dutch City-on-the-Hill into amorphous salad of different cultures and total loss internal cohesion we may see comparative bloodless transition to new era.Swift Laggard II VadimKharichkov • 4 minutes ago ,
Far-fetched. The US is too big and too important to fall or diminish quickly.Gary Sellars • 11 hours ago ,
the gfc tells us otherwise. a financial collapse is a probable scenario; leading to a prolonged depression. May not be the catastrophic vision our friend has in mind, but would be pretty bad. Even in today's great economy forty million are living in poverty. Another financial collapse could see that number doubleVadimKharichkov • 18 hours ago ,
"What lessons can Western policymakers learn from Poroshenko's crushing defeat?"
A pointless question as the US/EU establishment don't seem to be able to accept the reality of what is happening, and won't accept any lessons as that might get in the way of the Neoliberal globalist expansionist agenda and undermine its supporting narratives.
Zelensky won't be a quantum improvement, but at least he isn't a raving Ultra-nationalist looney. He's not much more that the Ukro version of Frances Micron, a political light-weight foisted onto the public by the mostly-hidden hand of corrupt Oilgarchs. Ukraines rot from within will continue...Сергей Александров VadimKharichkov • 14 hours ago ,
As most Russians, I don't have high hopes for Zelensky. Almost certainly, his campaign was bankrolled by oligarch Kolomoisky. So he will represent the interests of large money, not of Ukranian people. And he will have to deal with these crazy nationalists, which are over 25% of population. And the debts with IMF strings attached. He stood on his knees at the debate with Poroshenko - I think he will have to be forced to do that more often than that during his presidency.Gary Sellars Сергей Александров • 11 hours ago ,
I don't have much faith in Zelensky either. I wish Ukraine had leader that represented population and could end war in Donbass.Vladdy • 19 hours ago ,
Donbass will remain the festering wound in Ukraines side that weakens and eventually destroys the accursed Banderite state. Russia needs to keep up the pressure and ensure that the DPR/LPR can defend themselves against the Kiev regime and make sure the nationalist whack-jobs understand that any attempt to seizethe territory of Free Ukraine will result in a world of pain descending on their heads. Time is on Russia's side as the US loses focus, the EU loses interest, and the harsh realities of geo-politics and economics takes its toll on the bumbling tin-pot kleptocracy that Ukr has become.Vladdy • 19 hours ago ,
I'd like to wish Ukrainians better life with new president. But I'm afraid it's the same piece of sh**t as Parashenko.Gary Sellars Vladdy • 11 hours ago ,
Parashenko is criminal. The same as Saakashvili. Both shelled peaceful living homes from artillery and with rockets. They both deserve to be hanged. But the West calls them "democrats".R. Arandas • a day ago ,
Western policy is infinitely malleable and adaptable to whatever agenda they want to pursue. They will defend the Banderite madhouse in Ukropistan as a "democracy" (even as it makes war on its own people) yet insist that Venezuela is a dictatorship, despite the free and fair elections that return the Chavistas to power, time and time again. They will rail against Russia for being "corrupt" (even though they jail senior figures who still try to extract Yeltsin-era "tributes") yet strain their collectives necks as they look away from watching Ukr regime insiders conduct outright theft of IMF loan cash.Lee Holland • 2 days ago ,
Sometimes, too little pride in one's nation can be a problem, providing no sense of cohesion, purpose or unity. And sometimes, too much pride can also be equally problematic.Gary Sellars Lee Holland • 11 hours ago ,
Wonder how much the Russians interfered in this election?Vladdy Lee Holland • 19 hours ago ,
Define "interfered"? Reporting on Ukraine's corruption culture is "interference"? Now compare it to what the US is doing in Venezuela.
Do you people have no shame?????
Look under your bed. How many Russian spies are there?
Apr 25, 2019 | angrybearblog.com
ilsm , April 23, 2019 9:15 pm
... ... ...
You read Mueller, his report is affirmation for your Trump Derangement Syndrome..
Mueller's report is babbling appealing to Clinton followers ultra nationalist far right wing views disguised as a democratic.
Read the rest. Lester Holt and Clinton could be Petro Poroshenko the strong man Obama's state dept imposed on Ukraine in 2014.
The Whittington thing on Mueller no indictment report which mind reads the Russians and trump aides.
Is it liberal to complain about not being hard enough on Russia?
Interesting that Hillary Clinton said Trump was a "Russian puppet" (probably after Obama sent the FBI after the GOP campaign) and NBC's Holt (Nov 9 2016) said the US election was a Russian coup. Since when (except maybe if Joe McCarthy were a democrat).
A parallel maybe. In Ukraine since 2004 the popularly elected president was deposed twice by extreme right wing ultra nationalists. In 2014 the popular Yanukovych was deposed in the Maidan revolution with help from the US replaced with no election by Petro Poroshenko.
Sunday we hear that a comedian Zelenskiy soundly beat Poroshenko in a popular vote.
To this Poroshenko: "Poroshenko said on social media he thought Zelenskiy's win would spark celebrations in the Kremlin."
"They believe that with a new inexperienced Ukrainian president, Ukraine could be quickly returned to Russia's orbit of influence," he wrote.
Clinton and Holt could be writing for Poroshenko, a far right wing ultra nationalist!
I worry a lot about Obama's spying on the Trump campaign and the supposed liberals in this country sounding like far right, ultra nationalist, looking for a new, expensive cold war!
Apr 24, 2019 | www.unz.com
annamaria , says: April 24, 2019 at 7:11 pm GMTThe circus of horrors in the Kaganat of Nuland: https://thesaker.is/zelenskii-beat-poroshenko-what-will-happen-next/… ;
Israel and the Ukraine are now the two countries on the planet in which both the President [Zelenskii] and the Prime-Minister [Groisman] are Jews
just a day after his election Zelenskii is already making all sorts of anti-Russian statements.
since Zelenskii has no personal power base of any kind, Kolomoiskii will have him do exactly as he is told and Kolomoiskii can easily be told to behave by the Empire.
Here is a new ruler of Ukraine, the Israeli/Ukrainian/Swiss citizen Kolomoisky :
"Billionaire Ukrainian Oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky Under Investigation by FBI" https://www.thedailybeast.com/billionaire-ukrainian-oligarch-ihor-kolomoisky-under-investigation-by-fbi
The ethnically Jewish Kolomojsky has been the main financier of Azov Battalion :
The Azov Battalion was initially formed out of the neo-Nazi gang Patriot of Ukraine. Azov Battalion -- which is accused of human-rights abuses, including torture, by Human Rights Watch and the United Nations -- was incorporated into Ukraine's National Guard.
The New York Times called the battalion "openly neo-Nazi," while USA Today, The Daily Beast, The Telegraph, and Haaretz documented group members' proclivity for swastikas, salutes, and other Nazi symbols
Apr 24, 2019 | socialistproject.ca
March 20, 2019
Five years after the " EuroMaidan " protests in Kiev and elsewhere toppled the government of now-exiled former president Viktor Yanukovych, the people of Ukraine are set to elect a new leader. Over 34 million Ukrainian citizens will be eligible to cast their vote on 31 March , although several million will be prevented from participating due to the ongoing conflict situation in the country's eastern Donbass region. Should none of the candidates receive an absolute majority, a second round of voting will be held on 21 April.
Ukraine consistently ranks among the poorest countries in Europe – last year it overtook Moldova to occupy the top spot in the list. The largest post-Soviet state after Russia in terms of population, it finds itself torn between the European Union promising economic integration and a limited degree of freedom of movement, and deepening the country's relationship with Moscow, the largest consumer of Ukrainian exports to which Ukraine is tied by centuries of shared history, tradition, and repeated conflict.
EuroMaidan exacerbated the country's ongoing economic decline and mounting social pressures in 2013–14, ultimately triggering the war in the Donbass region and the Russian annexation of the Crimean peninsula. These tensions have facilitated the rise of a vicious Ukrainian nationalism that the government led by current president Petro Poroshenko is not afraid to manipulate for its own purposes. Attacks on left-wing activists and ethnic minorities are becoming increasingly common, while armed far-right paramilitaries like the so-called "Azov Battalion" are normalized and integrated into mainstream political life.
That said, not everyone in Ukraine is happy about these developments. Although none of the candidates in the upcoming elections offer a particularly radical or progressive vision for the country, voters will at least be able to decide whether to endorse Poroshenko's current course or throw their support behind another figure. Loren Balhorn of the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung spoke with Kiev-based sociologist Volodymyr Ishchenko to get a better understanding of the candidates, the state of the county, and what is at stake for the people of Ukraine in 2019.
Loren Balhorn (LB): Ukraine is scheduled to hold presidential elections at the end of the month, preceding elections to the national parliament , or "Verkhovna Rada," later this year. Is there anything special about the timing? What exactly is the president's role in the Ukrainian political system, and what implications will the vote have for parliamentary elections in October?
Volodymyr Ishchenko (VI): The timing is simple: it's been five years since 2014 and the Maidan Uprising, when snap elections were called that saw Viktor Yanukovych and his Party of Regions lose a lot of strength. The first round of the presidential elections is at the end of the month, and it is very likely that there will be a second round because no candidate will receive over 50 per cent (at least according to polls).
The president is very important in Ukrainian politics. The country is formally a parliamentary-presidential system, neither fully parliamentary nor fully presidential, but this is a very uneasy balance of power. The prime minister is an important position elected by the parliamentary majority, but the president also has influence over important government ministers. As is true of many post-Soviet states, however, beyond this formal institutional division of powers the informal divisions are much more decisive. Who is loyal to whom and who is dependent on whom plays a much bigger role in "real" Ukrainian politics than formal powers and privileges.
Petro Poroshenko , the current president, is the most important person in Ukrainian politics. His powers are formally limited but he has other ways to exercise influence and his own party, the "Petro Poroshenko Bloc" that forms the government together with the "People's Front," the party of former Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. Another important figure in that party is the current Minister of Internal Affairs, Arsen Avakov , who is also a very wealthy man.
LB: Avakov also cultivates ties to the Azov Battalion, no?
VI: This is widely suspected, but the precise nature of those ties has never been proven. I am skeptical of the idea that the Azov Battalion is merely a puppet of Avakov, I suspect it is something like a mutually beneficial cooperation.
If Poroshenko loses we will see a lot of defections by MPs from his bloc. Ukrainian politics operates as what political scientists call a "neopatrimonial regime," meaning it is characterized by rival, informal power blocs. If the Poroshenko Bloc loses, it will reshuffle loyalties in the parliament from one patriarch to another.
LB: What do you mean by "neopatrimonial regime"?
VI: By that I mean Ukrainian politics is characterized by competition between various power blocs, you could also call them pyramids or even clans. Poroshenko builds his pyramid while Arakov builds his own pyramid, etc. The current Prime Minister, Volodymyr Groysman, was originally perceived as a loyalist of Poroshenko, but now even he seems to be cultivating his own pyramid and will probably triangulate between various political blocs.
LB: How did Groysman come to replace Yatsenyuk?
VI: As friction between Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk grew, Poroshenko financed a public campaign against him, attacking him and calling for his resignation. But Yatsenyuk had a lot of support from the West, especially the U.S. Vice-President at the time, Joe Biden. Eventually an agreement was reached that he would step down and be replaced by Groysman.
This represented a conflict between different patrimonial structures within the governing elite, but also reflected a wider conflict between Ukrainian oligarchs and the West more generally. Many leftists in Ukraine see the country as a colony of the United States, but it's much more complicated than that. Ukraine is definitely dependent on Western economic and financial aid, political support against Russia, etc., but it's not a colony – it's not ruled from the American Embassy. Local oligarchs like Poroshenko and Arakov have their own interests that they defend staunchly against the West. At its core, this is a conflict between transnational capital and the local bourgeoisie.
One key issue in these debates, and the crucial issue for the West and the IMF, was corruption and the establishment of "anti-corruption" institutions to ensure transparent rules of the game in Ukraine. But what they call "corruption" is basically the most important advantage that the Ukrainian bourgeoisie has against transnational capital: namely, their property is secure from the state while that of their competitors is not. This is also what scares away potential international investors. Because of this fear, foreign direct investment (FDI) is actually declining despite the Ukrainian government's steps toward Western integration.
LB: So fear of corruption is harming investment?
VI: Yes, although the war is of course another factor.
In the beginning, in 2014 and 2015, we had a lot of people in the government without Ukrainian citizenship who received their positions because they were neoliberal, Western-oriented professionals, like the Lithuanian citizen Aivaras Abromavičius who was a minister under Yatsenyuk. Gradually, those neoliberal reformers were pushed out and replaced by people loyal to the ruling oligarchs. Yatsenyuk being replaced by Groysman was just one particularly important example of this process.
LB: It sounds like a pretty grim scenario. But even if electoral politics is just competition between oligarchic factions, certainly there must be some other issues being debated at least on the surface? What are the dominant themes the candidates are using to attract support?
VI: Poroshenko has been most successful in setting the agenda with an aggressively nationalist campaign – his main slogan is "Army, Faith, Language." He side-lined the socially populist issues that Yulia Tymoshenko tried to raise by portraying the election as a choice between him or Putin and depicting his opponents as puppets of Moscow.
LB: And is it working?
VI: Yes, to some extent. His support has been rising in the polls since the recognition of the independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
LB: Was that split between the Ukrainian Church and Moscow supported by the government?
VI: Yes, it was actively organized by Poroshenko as a strategy to win the election. Formally, the Ukrainian Orthodox church enjoyed broad autonomy but was dependent on the Moscow Patriarchate and was recognized by other Orthodox churches. A separate church founded in the early 1990s, the Kiev Patriarchate, was unrecognized by any other international church but still fairly popular in the country. In reality most people didn't care which church they attended. The split was purely political, there were no theological differences.
Poroshenko started to push the theme in 2017 and 2018 that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church was something like an "agent of Moscow" in Ukraine. The details are quite complicated, and to be honest many people in Ukraine didn't really understand these structures until last year either, but for people who care about national issues, who care about Ukraine asserting itself against Russia, this was an important step. Nevertheless, it looks like the majority of local parishes will actually stay with the Moscow Patriarchate.
LB: You have alluded to the conflict with Russia several times now as setting the terms of the debate, and making it easier for politicians to distract from social questions by focusing on nationalism. Is there any kind of visible, vaguely progressive social opposition in the country?
VI: Most politicians and the three leading candidates for the president are not significantly different on the question of the conflict in the Donbass region. Poroshenko, Tymoshenko, and Volodymyr Zelensky are all within the patriotic consensus, although Poroshenko is more militant. Candidates who actually have a different opinion and are not as popular sprang from the former Party of Regions, later branded the "Opposition Bloc." They failed to negotiate a common candidate for the so-called "Southeast," the region where the Russian-speaking minority mostly lives. Despite raising important issues like peace in Donbass, re-claiming national sovereignty from the West, and re-industrialization, these candidates – Yuriy Boyko and Oleksandr Vilkul – are representatives of major oligarchic financial-industrial groups. There is no significant "grassroots" movement behind the issues. There are of course labour struggles, and there have been some strikes, but they are weak. There are some feminist mobilizations but they are miniscule compared to the radical nationalists. Not just the anti-capitalist "Left," but also progressive liberalism is very weak.
The Left is in a bad situation. The Communist Party has been banned. They are appealing the ban but their public visibility has declined to practically zero. Their leader, Petro Symonenko, tried to register as a presidential candidate but was not accepted by the government, and no other relevant left-wing parties exist on the national level.
LB: Government corruption, oligarchic control of the economy, a decimated Left – a lot of this sounds familiar. Couldn't we, at least to some extent, compare conditions in Ukraine to the situation in all of the former Eastern Bloc countries?
VI: I don't think so. EU membership makes a big difference, it imposes certain rules that are absent in Ukraine. The presence of strong oligarchs, for example, is pretty specific. The other Eastern Bloc countries don't have a strong local bourgeoisie, but are largely dominated by Western capital. There are no Polish oligarchs, Czech oligarchs, Hungarian oligarchs – we only hear about Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs. What makes Ukraine different is that the oligarchic system is pluralistic. We have multiple, competing oligarchs, whereas in Russia and Belarus one neopatrimonial pyramid managed to emerge as dominant in the last 15 years.
The promise of EU membership restructured Eastern European politics beginning in the 1990s, whereas this was never a prospect in Ukraine, Russia, or Belarus. But we still didn't see the rise of any figure like Vladimir Putin or an Alexander Lukashenko in Ukraine. I think this has to do with the country's divided identity: almost every election has been framed as a question of "East vs. West," with one candidate supported by the western half and the other by the eastern half. In this sense it's comparable with Donald Trump: any time a Ukrainian president comes to power he is opposed by half the population from day one. This makes it very difficult to consolidate nationwide power.
LB: Are there not also economic aspects to the East/West division?
VI: Yes, the East has more heavy, Soviet-era industry, exporting primarily to the markets of the former USSR and uncompetitive on Western markets. For example, the people supporting Yanukovych and opposing EuroMaidan were at least partially concerned about keeping their jobs in a Ukrainian economy dominated by the EU.
LB: So it's not only a nationalist issue, but also one of bread-and-butter economic issues?
VI: Yes, absolutely.
LB: Speaking of "East vs. West," has anything changed since Ukraine's accession to the visa-free regime for Schengen states in 2017?
VI: That was one of very few positive developments under Poroshenko, and he's touting it a lot during the campaign. Freedom of movement is of course something good and something we support, but it was particularly good for younger, highly educated Ukrainians in the major cities.
It has also facilitated increased labour migration, which has really risen since 2014. I don't have any precise statistics but we're talking about millions of people. Many Ukrainians go to work in Poland, which actively recruits them because they are seen as culturally and linguistically "closer" to Poles (unlike refugees from the Middle East). You could say that cheap Ukrainian labour is subsidizing the Polish economic boom. The Czech Republic is also popular, and Germany will probably be next.
As workers from the eastern EU states like Bulgaria and Poland move west to work they're replaced by cheaper labour from Ukraine, but no one moves to Ukraine. There is a lot of discussion in the Ukrainian media about how it simply does not make sense to work in the country when you can make two or three times more across the border.
LB: But does this not mean that the Ukrainian labour market is gradually getting tighter? Wouldn't it at least theoretically put organized labour in a more advantageous position to fight for higher wages?
VI: Yes, theoretically! But Ukrainian trade unions are very weak, and they have failed to take advantage of the situation.
LB: You recently gave an interview to Jacobin Magazine in which you compared the situation of the Ukrainian Left with that of Latin America in the 1970s. I found that very striking, given that the Left was quite large in Latin America at the time and microscopic in Ukraine today. Could you flesh out that comparison a bit? Where exactly do you see similarities?
VI: Ukraine is a deindustrializing, peripheral economy. Most Soviet-era industry fell apart after 1991, and what remains is not competitive on the Western European market. Ukraine has thus become a supplier of raw materials with low added value like iron. In this sense it is a very peripheral capitalism characterized by extreme inequality and powerful oligarchs, like Latin America. There is also the major role played by far-right paramilitaries – this doesn't happen anywhere else in Europe, except for briefly in former Yugoslavia. We also have a strongly pro-American and highly dependent government, very similar to Latin America.
I think it's logical to look for comparisons and lessons from similar historical social formations. If the Ukrainian Left is looking to fight a corrupt, authoritarian, anti-Communist regime, and given how weak the Left and even liberalism is, we have to work together to fight for basic democratic rights and against the nationalist hysteria to lay the base for a movement that could perhaps become more significant in the future. Here I see parallels to the Latin American Left's struggle against dictatorship in the 1970s and 1980s.
LB: Do you think it's possible in a geopolitical situation where tensions between the EU and Russia are so prominent to formulate a broad, democratic programme that stands above this fray?
VI: It's obviously very difficult, but what other options do we have? Become puppets in the geopolitical game? There was a split on the Left in 2014 when many chose EuroMaidan and the "West" while others chose Anti-Maidan and the "Russian" side. Both sides ended up tailing more powerful right-wing forces and failed to formulate their own independent positions.
LB: But would anything else have been possible?
VI: Well, obviously we can't seriously entertain the building of a strong left-wing party under such difficult conditions. What is possible, however, is to maintain some kind of milieu for left-wing ideas. The groups and networks that exist have to consolidate a possible embryo for a strong Left in the future. It's important to be realistic and understand what's possible or completely impossible. We might not be able to formulate some kind of "Third Camp" in Ukrainian politics right now, but that is our objective situation, and we should try to figure out what we can realistically do. We should work on strengthening our groups, our unions, our intellectual initiatives, to hopefully be able to do something bigger in the future.
Corbyn, Podemos, and Mélenchon are inspiring figures, but we need to understand what is specific about the political regime in our country and respond in a specific way. We need to try to expand the range of the possible for left politics at the moment. Even if it isn't so inspiring and very weak, we still have to try. The kind of system that exists in Ukraine can't last forever. There are many contradictions, divisions, and cleavages exacerbated by the ruling groups, and all of these will lead to a situation at some point where weaker groups might become politically relevant and important again.
LB: Before we wrap up I wanted to ask you about the third major candidate, Volodymyr Zelensky . If I understand correctly, he stars in a TV show about a politician and has now become the politician he plays on TV. Is that correct – and is he popular? Does he have a chance at winning or is this a stunt?
VI: Actually, he's currently the most popular politician in the country. According to polls he has significantly more support than both Poroshenko and Tymoshenko, and could very possibly become the president.
There are basically three groups of people voting for him: firstly, fans of his TV show, a very popular comedy about Ukrainian politics. Another large group are just so disappointed and tired of these oligarchs that they will vote for any fresh face.
LB: So he's similar to Donald Trump in some ways?
VI: In some ways, but what's different from Trump is the third group of his supporters, namely people who are voting for him because he is perceived as less nationalist than the other candidates. Zelensky himself is Russian-speaking, he's from the central Ukrainian city of Kryvyi Rih, and has attracted lots of support from Russian-speaking citizens.
That makes Zelensky different from Trump – he's actually trying to campaign on unifying themes, not divisive ones. He opposes Poroshenko's attempts to push the Ukrainian language on Russian speakers, for example.
Another thing that makes him different from Trump or Beppe Grillo is that he has no populist movement behind him, or any movement at all for that matter. All he has is his TV show, around which he is now trying to build a political party from scratch. This is different from other populist figures – there was no mass mobilization preceding him. Trump, for example, is obviously somehow a result of the Tea Party movement, while Grillo represents the Five Stars Movement (in Italy).
Another difference is his connection to Igor Kolomoisky, one of Ukraine's richest oligarchs now in opposition to Poroshenko who founded the country's largest bank, Privat Bank, and still owns a controlling share of the national airline. Zelensky's show is broadcast on one of Kolomoisky's eight TV stations, and one of his lawyers is a key architect of Zelensky's party, Sluha Narodu , which translates to "Servant of the People" (also the name of his show). Right now it's not possible to say how independent Zelensky is. I wouldn't call him a puppet, but there are definitely connections to the ruling class.
All of this means that Zelensky will be very weak if he wins, and not only because he's inexperienced. For the first half year he won't have much support in parliament. He has no loyal political party behind him. He will surely get some opportunists to defect from other parties, but hardly a majority. I don't know what he could do in that situation. After the parliamentary elections he might face a more favourable constellation, but it will also depend on how he does in the first months.
It's impossible to say how he would perform as president. He has zero political experience. I fear that he may understand politics even less than Donald Trump. He is a blank page on which anything can be written.
LB: So he reflects the vacuum in civil society more generally?
VI: Exactly. He is a glaring symptom of what's going on in Ukrainian society. People hate the oligarchs, they hate the faces they've seen for decades. Revolutions come and go, elections come and go, but life just gets worse and worse. People don't want another five years of Tymoshenko or Poroshenko and are happy to vote for any recognizable fresh face who isn't implicated in serious corruption. People are voting less out of hope than out of anger. Better to vote for an incompetent comedian than the same old corrupt experts.
At the same time, civil society is so weak that it couldn't put up any competing figure. Only a TV star was able to do that, nobody from the pro-Western, liberal NGOs came even close. None of those figures poll even one per cent. This says a lot about Ukrainian "civil society": it's totally incapable of producing competent, popular leaders.
If he is elected, it will be strong proof that the people are sick of the old style of politics, that they aren't being manipulated by Poroshenko's nationalism and want something better. Nevertheless, I am very sceptical that Zelensky will be able to change anything. Real change in Ukraine will be a much longer process, and will require the building of a different kind of political opposition that we haven't seen in this country for a very long time. •
This article first published on the Rosalux.de website.
Apr 22, 2019 | www.youtube.com
hope for Ukraine but I did not know that in Zelensky team there are Soros people according to the specialist in Moscow. Anyhow this analysis was very interesting
CHILLEDVIBE29 , 1 day agoAbraham Tsfaye , 1 day ago
I am studying in Ukraine and I haven't done much background on this man but his up against some uncharted watersAlex Bort , 1 day ago
Guatemala also elected a comedian in 2014. It didn't work out for them. Time will tell if is intention is real or he is another fake.CHILLEDVIBE29 , 1 day ago
Elect a clown - expect circusAbraham Tsfaye , 1 day ago
I am studying in Ukraine and I haven't done much background on this man but his up against some uncharted watersAlex Bort , 1 day ago
Guatemala also elected a comedian in 2014. It didn't work out for them. Time will tell if is intention is real or he is another fake.grimm reaper , 11 hours ago
Elect a clown - expect circustravellingbirder , 3 hours ago
AJ what's your report card on Poroshenko, the chocolate king? I recall Poroshenko ordered his troops to attack and bomb east Ukraine, Ukraine's own territory. I doubt the Russian speaking Ukrainians have a tattoo on their forehead identified them as such. a comic won't do any worse than a US selected oligarch.Quy Le , 1 day ago (edited)
USA elected Trump as president, a man with no political experience. In the UK we elect politicians and end up with jokers. Good luck Ukraine I really hope it works for you.
I see Ukraine pulled a Trump. Good luck with that. What could possibly go wrong?
Apr 22, 2019 | www.timesofisrael.comUkrainian comedian and presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky reacts after the announcement of the first exit poll results in the second round of Ukraine's presidential election at his campaign headquarters in Kiev on April 21, 2019. (Photo by Sergei GAPON / AFP) JTA -- Following the victory of Volodymyr Zelensky in Ukraine's presidential elections, the country will become the only one in the world besides Israel whose president and prime minister are both Jewish.
When Zelensky is sworn in as president, his prime minister -- at least for a while and possibly until the parliamentary elections scheduled to take place sometime later this year -- will be Volodymyr Groysman, a Jewish politician who was the mayor of the city of Vinnytsia.
To some of incumbent Petro Poroshenko's critics, the landslide success of the vague campaign by the politically inexperienced Zelensky, a comedian, was not surprising in light of widespread resentment over the persistence of corruption under Poroshenko, who was elected in 2014 on a platform that vowed remedial action on exactly that front.
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More unusual to some, however, was how Zelensky's appears to have won the elections so decisively in spite of how his Jewish ancestry – his mother, Rima, is Jewish and he has jokingly referred to this during the campaign -- is well known in Ukraine.
After all, Russia and other critics claim Ukrainian society has a serious anti-Semitism problem and legacy.
"Imagine, a pure-blooded Jew with the appearance of a Sholom Aleichem protagonist wins by a landslide in a country where the glorification of Nazi criminals is enacted into law," wrote Avigdor Eskin, a Russian-Israeli columnist, in an analysis published earlier this month by the Regnum news agency.
Eskin in column on Zelensky downplayed allegations of widespread anti-Semitism in Ukraine, attributing much of the attention to the problem in media and beyond to propaganda by Russia, which is involved in an armed conflict over territory with Ukraine. But Eskin's statement about Ukrainian laws glorifying Nazi criminals is not inaccurate, and Russia is not alone in criticizing Ukraine over this and other issues connected to anti-Semitism.
Last year, Israel's government singled out Ukraine as a regional trouble spot in the Israeli government's annual report on anti-Semitism.
"A striking exception in the trend of decrease in anti-Semitic incidents in Eastern Europe was Ukraine, where the number of recorded anti-Semitic attacks was doubled from last year and surpassed the tally for all the incidents reported throughout the entire region combined," the report said. The authors of the report counted more than 130 reported anti-Semitic incidents in Ukraine in 2017, they said.
Also last year, more than 50 US Congress members condemned Ukrainian legislation that they said "glorifies Nazi collaborators" and therefore goes even further than Poland's controversial laws limiting what can be said about local complicity during the Holocaust.
A letter signed by the US lawmakers stated, "It's particularly troubling that much of the Nazi glorification in Ukraine is government-supported." It noted ceremonies, gestures and legislation venerating leaders of the UPA and OUN militias, who fought alongside Nazi Germany during World War II and whose troops participated in atrocities against Jews and other victims.
Poroshenko's government greatly encouraged glorification of those troops and leaders as fighters for Ukrainian freedom who it insisted sided with Germany only in order to fight against the Russian-controlled Soviet Union.
Several cities across Ukraine named streets for the Nazi-collaborator Stepan Bandera, who prior to Poroshenko's time in office was openly glorified only in the country's west.
Meanwhile, in the western city of Lviv, nationalists became emboldened enough to celebrate with city authorities' permission the anniversary of the 14th Galician division of the Waffen SS. The anniversary events featured men parading in Nazi SS uniforms on the street.
Such sights would have been unthinkable under Viktor Yanukovych, the corrupt president who was deposed in a 2013 revolution that ended with Poroshenko's election. Careful to alienate neither ethnic Russians in Ukraine nor its powerful neighbor to the east, Yanukovych was less tolerant of this nationalist phenomenon.
On this subject, Zelensky has said only that he personally does not favor the veneration of people like Bandera, whom he described as "a hero to some Ukrainians." It was a markedly reserved formulation compared to the unreserved endorsement of figures like Bandera by officials under Poroshenko.
The presidential campaign itself has featured some anti-Semitism. In some far-right circles, Zelensky's work in a television stationed owned by the Jewish billionaire Igor Kolomoisky was proof of his belonging to a "Jewish cabal." But it made Zelensky popular with other nationalists who appreciated Kolomoisky's reputation as a fiery patriot.
Alexander Paliy, an influential political analyst supporting Poroshenko, last month stirred controversy when he wrote on Facebook that, despite his "respect" for Jews and some Russians, "The president of Ukraine should be Ukrainian and Christian, like the absolute majority of Ukrainians."
Such rhetoric is shocking to many of Ukraine's 300,000-odd Jews, whose ancestors suffered murderous anti-Semitism in Ukraine for centuries before, during and decades after the Holocaust.
The French-Jewish philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy also referenced Ukrainian Jew's bloody history in an interview with Zelensky, the 41-year-old son of scientists who lived near major Soviet army bases in Ukraine, that he published earlier this month in the Le Point weekly.
"His Judaism. It's extraordinary that the possible future president of the country of the Shoah by Bullets and Babi Yar is a self-affirmed Jew from a family of survivors from Kryvy Rih near Dnipro – the land of pogrom if ever there was one," Levy wrote. "This postmodern kid, is he new proof that the virus of anti-Semitism has been contained" after the revolution, Levy added.
Not denying his Jewish ancestry, Zelensky declined to explore it at length in the interview, Levy wrote. On this subject, he replied with typical self-deprecating humor, telling Levy: "The fact that I am Jewish barely makes 20 in my long list of faults."
Zelensky, whose mother, Rima, is Jewish, has ingratiated himself with the Ukrainian public with such jokes as the star of "Servant of the People" – a primetime television show where he portrays a teacher thrust by an unlikely chain of events to become Ukraine's president. He announced his candidacy in January, becoming an instant favorite.
This popularity has allowed Zelensky to both win on an unusually vague platform and distinguish himself from his professional politician rivals, with their proclivity to hyperbole and nationalist slogans.
For example, when a reporter asked him how he would deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Zelensky reverted to his comic roots, saying "I would speak to him at eye level." It was a reference to him and Putin being at least three inches shorter than Poroshenko, a 6-footer.
Zelensky opaqueness means a high level of uncertainty, Dolinsky, the Jewish community leader, said.
"We will need to wait and see what kind of president Zelensky turns out to be," said Dolinsky, who was an outspoken critic of some policies of the Poroshenko administration. "What is clear is that Poroshenko's attempt to appeal to nationalism has failed. Ukrainians said they wanted change. And I am feeling optimistic."
Apr 22, 2019 | ukraina.ru
Poroshenko's triad -- "faith, army, language" -- was not born from scratch. Poroshenko emphasized Ukrainization of all aspects of the country's life. In culture, history, even the economics. Especially in the economics. All these decisions, orders and sanctions were aimed at cutting economic ties with Russia under very simple ideological basis -- "Ukrainization uber alles"
Of course, this was a gesture of despair of the man who came to power via "Washington Obcom" at a time when Ukraine already lost a part of its territory -- the Crimea and was on the verge of even greater loss -- Donbass, and maybe the entire South-East.
Poroshenko in this situation enforced blatant confrontation with Russia (instead of negotiations and search of compromises) as the tool to unite the nation against common enemy. Having accepted the obvious situation in which he can do nothing to return the lost territories (and it would be unprofitable for him politically), he pushed the confrontation as if there is no tomorrow, please his US sponsors. Which resulted is sliding of the standard of living as lost markets at the East were not compensated by new market at the West. He unleashed personal war with Russia hoping that it will help to survive him politically and instead it backfired.
In other words Poroshenko assumed that he can unite Ukranina peole of the base of the his fight with Russia. A common enemy always unites rulers and people.
However, during the presidential elections, which were held just five years after the triumph of nationalist ideology on EuroMaydan, it turned out that this the majority of the population does not share this ideology with Pyotr Alekseevich. And that the sliding standard of living, rampant inflation and personal corruption of EuroMaydan junta has a greater weight.
The majority, apparently, doesn't want exclusivity of the Ukrainian nation... They want European standard of living.
Apr 22, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Hoarsewhisperer , Apr 21, 2019 2:31:54 PM | link
Ukraine election exit poll:
Comedian Zelenski wipes floor with Porkie.
Z = 75%: P = 23%
Apr 21, 2019 | eurasiafuture.com
While the world mourns the victims of today's terrorist atrocities in Sri Lanka, Ukraine has conducted its first election since 2014 -- the year in which the fragmented post-Soviet republic changed forever. This year, the debates were not a contest between those seeking to reverse the tide of 2014 versus those committed to an even more radically pro-western approach, but instead the question uniformly revolved around how a country that before 2014 was ethnically and religious fragmented, poor, corrupt and seemingly ungovernable has become even worse by all objective measurements.
Because of the popular discontent in the country due to the worsening of already abysmal economic conditions, it was always going to be difficult for outgoing President Petro Poroshenko to play the jingoistic anti-Russian/anti-Donbass card when most Ukrainian citizens are becoming more worried about the price of gas and the price of food than they are worried about playing a game of political football started by Barack Obama.
As such, the entire political class that took charge after 2014 (ironically many such people were connected to the old regime they claimed to hate) are roundly reviled throughout Ukraine. Against this background, comedian Volodymyr Zelensky decided to run for president and early indications are that he has won the election in a landslide.
Zelensky's campaign was one based on a broadly anti-corruption platform that was as pro-western and as anti-Russian as that of his closest rivals. The difference was that for the first time in its history, Ukraine had a political figure with a human face rather than that of a cold, calculating oligarch aspiring to be an autocrat. Outside of Ukraine and Russia, Zelensky's candidacy has received the most attention in Israel.
Israeli media have become excited by the fact that Ukraine will now have a Jewish head of state and one whose chief backers are particularly close to Tel Aviv. While Israel has often condemned the rise in genuine antisemitism throughout much of Ukraine, Tel Aviv has nevertheless increased its economic relations with Kiev since 2014. As such, it can be assured that under Zelensky, relations between Tel Aviv and Kiev will continue to grow.
This incidentally comes at a time when Russia and Israel are becoming increasingly close allies as was recently detailed in a Eurasia Future piece by Andrew Korybko . Whilst Moscow and Kiev cannot agree on seemingly anything at this point in history, they can agree on one thing: Israel is considered a friendly nation and a valued partner.
Just because Vladimir Putin is a friend of Israel and something of a philosemitie, it does not automatically mean that he will develop a warm relationship with a Ukrainian leader who happens to be Jewish and who happens to be friendly with prominent Israeli businessmen. However, because the Kremlin has long sought to reach some sort of conclusion to the stand off with Ukraine (against the wishes of many Russian patriots and the two main opposition parties), a fresh face in Kiev who has ties to Israelis may well be a small step towards bridging the gap between his own government and Moscow.
None of this will likely play out before the cameras because in much of Ukraine it is considered near treasonous to talk of anything resembling a detente with Moscow. Likewise, at a time when Vladimir Putin's popularity is dipping due to an unpopular proposed pension reform and internal economic/infrastructural issues, it would be viewed by at least some Russian patriots as a sell out to effectively compromise with a Kiev regime that has attempted to commit ethnic cleansing against the people of Donbass.
That being said, behind the scenes things will likely be very different, just as they were after 2015 when Russia and Turkey rapidly mended ties out of the view of the public, before later becoming openly close partners as they are today.
As a political novice in a country whose "experienced politicians" are self-evidently nothing to learn by, Zelensky may well seek advice from Israeli experts, many of whom are becoming increasingly close to Putin's Russia. This could represent the beginning of a slowly turning tide for both Moscow and Kiev.
Apr 18, 2019 | interfax.com.ua
Russia is banning exports of crude oil, petroleum products and coal to Ukraine.
"A few days ago the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers took the latest unfriendly step with respect to our country and expanded the list of Russian goods which cannot be imported to Ukrainian territory. In these conditions we are forced to protect our interests and take response measures," Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at a meeting of the Russian cabinet.
Medvedev said he had signed a resolution "banning the export of Russian crude oil and petroleum products to Ukraine."
The document "determines a list of those goods that it will be possible to export to Ukraine only on the basis of separate decisions from June 1." "This category includes fuel and energy products, including coal as well as the oil and petroleum products," he said.
Apr 18, 2019 | thesaker.is
JJ on April 17, 2019 , · at 1:53 pm EST/EDThttps://rusemb.org.uk/fnapr/6790
Not sure if extensive Lavrov interview earlier in April was reported on saker ..extract
"Question: Have you seen any grounds for optimism in the results of the first round of the presidential election in Ukraine?
Sergey Lavrov: To be honest, I haven't seen any grounds for either optimism or pessimism. What's the point of guesswork? This is a process that should take place and will be completed. I do not doubt this or that the West will recognise this election.
OSCE observers released their preliminary report on the results of the first round of the presidential election, which abounds in examples of flagrant violations: corruption, bribery, pressure on voters and many other things. However, all this is described in a neutral tone. I think if they wrote about us, they would present these facts emotionally. Now they are doing it in an understated way and conclude that this did not affect the legitimacy of the election. Neither was it affected by the flagrant violation of OSCE rules when our observers were kicked out and over three million Ukrainians working and living in Russia were deprived of the right to vote. These are facts of life in Ukraine.
I think that the results of the election and the way it was organised came as no surprise to those who have been following domestic developments in Ukraine and its external ties. They are already calling each other puppets It's probably interesting to watch from the side but I don't think that Ukrainian citizens are happy about this kind of democracy.
Question: Are the prospects of Russia-Ukraine cooperation still vague?
Sergey Lavrov: We are open to dialogue if the aim is not chatting and looking for excuses to do nothing but rather the practical implementation of the Minsk agreements. I have no doubt that Petr Poroshenko does not want to do this and won't do this. When Viktor Medvedchuk just suggested seriously discussing what autonomous rights may be granted to Donbass, he was called a traitor. Poroshenko said this will never happen although he himself signed a document on the special status of Donbass, which is described with sufficient detail in the Minsk agreements.
These provisions on what rights Donbass should have were formulated by German Chancellor Angela Merkel personally, among others, but her ward has got out of hand. This is a fact. On the one hand, he doesn't listen to Germany or France because he has American "patrons". On the other hand, they find it embarrassing to pressure him in public because by doing so they will admit that what they call their "mediation" has failed.
However, there is no other document except for the Minsk agreements. They can certainly be supplemented. For instance, it is possible to provide OSCE observers with UN armed guards, as we suggest in response to the apprehensions of Ukrainians about their safety. But the core of these agreements must remain unchanged. The main point is that all issues are settled directly between Kiev, Donetsk and Lugansk .."
Apr 18, 2019 | thesaker.is
Latinoamericano on April 17, 2019 , · at 12:20 pm EST/EDTThe Toltec sages used to say: "To really know something means that it must also entail the knowledge of what course of action to take. And once you know what to do, you actually do it". So they firmly stated that the only worthy knowledge is a functional one. Normally, the trascendental matters were integrally consulted with the "Eagle" (i.e. the Entity out there with limitless consciousness, which sounds pretty much like "God") through a link that in the west is ignorantly dismissed as "intuition". This to remark that the big decisions must not rely entirely on the rational part, because it is too prone to make mistakes.
We all know who the adversary is: it's not the AZE (AngloZionist Empire) per se, it's who rule the Empire. And what they are doing in Ukraine is pretty clear:
* The endgame is to carve another Poland from the Russian population, as a means to weaken the Russian State. The steps are obvious and unfortunately, maybe definitive: zioimposed religious schism, forceful and exclusive use of "Ukrainian" from 2020 on, denial to belong to other country different from "Ukraine" (a patchwork assembled through land thefts). Fortunately Russia recovered Crimea, and the mining/industrial regions are disputed, but the Khazarians control 2 critical assets: the other coastal oblasts and the chernozem soils.
* Stating that Russia cannot absorb Novorossiya is bullsh¡t. Germany, a smaller economy with no sovereign government could absorb the RDA. If Russia doesn't decide, the situation will decide by itself. Russia is already receiving a lot of displaced Russians, plus tons of Russians in Ukraine who became the source of cheap labor for Russian companies. And what about the costs of humanitarian assistance and military support to Russians under the Ukraine dictatorship? Let's say it takes 30 years to revert the decay, so what? Russia has been around longer and has had successful comebacks under way more destruction.
* The Donbass people already decided twice, by clear majority of the popular vote, to become part of the Russian Federation. The right thing to do is simply accepting them. Not doing so sends the signal that no matter what the other southwestern Oblasts do, they will not be accepted either. Russia should openly support the Russians in the southeast of Ukraine who want to secede and reintegrate with the Russian Federation.
For example, financing a reunification party, granting contracts and jobs to the Russian allies there, logistically supporting a secession movement, even militarily, because the Khazarians will not let go without bloodshed.
Apr 18, 2019 | thesaker.is
... ... ...
The Saker: What is your take on the first round of Presidential elections in the Ukraine?
Dmitry Orlov: The first round of the elections was an outright fraud. The object of the exercise was to somehow allow president Poroshenko to make it into the second round. This was done by falsifying as many votes as was necessary. In a significant number of precincts the turnout was exactly 100% instead of the usual 60% or so and counted votes from people who had moved, died or emigrated. All of these fake votes went to Poroshenko, allowing him to slither through to the second round.
Now the fight is between Poroshenko and a comedian named Vladimir Zelensky. The only difference between Poroshenko and Zelensky, or any of the other 30+ people who appeared on the ballot, is that Poroshenko has already stolen his billions while his contestants have not had a chance to do so yet, the only reason to run for president, or any elected office, in the Ukraine, being to put oneself in a position to do some major thieving.
Thus, there is an objective reason to prefer Zelensky over Poroshenko, which is that Poroshenko is a major thief while Zelensky isn't one yet, but it must be understood that this difference will begin to equalize the moment after Zelensky's inauguration. In fact, the elites in Kiev are currently all aquiver over their ingenious plan to sell off all of Ukraine's land to foreign investors (no doubt pocketing a hefty "fee").
The platforms of all the 30+ candidates were identical, but this makes no difference in a country that has surrendered its sovereignty. In terms of foreign relations and strategic considerations, the Ukraine is run from the US embassy in Kiev. I
n terms of its internal functioning, the main prerogative of everyone in power, the president included, is thievery. Their idea is to get their cut and flee the country before the whole thing blows up.
It remains to be seen whether the second round of elections will also be an outright fraud and what happens as a result. There are many alternatives, but none of them resemble any sort of exercise in democracy. To be sure, what is meant by "democracy" in this case is simply the ability to execute orders issued from Washington; inability to do so would make Ukraine an "authoritarian regime" or a "dictatorship" and subject to "regime change." But short of that, nothing matters.
The machinations of Ukraine's "democrats" are about as interesting to me as the sex lives of sewer rats, but for the sake of completeness, let me flowchart it out for you. Poroshenko got into second round by outright fraud, because the loss of this election would, within the Ukrainian political food chain, instantly convert him from predator to prey. However, he was none too subtle about it, there is ample proof of his cheating, and the contender he squeezed out -- Yulia Timoshenko -- could theoretically contest the result in court and win. This would invalidate the entire election and leave Poroshenko in charge until the next one. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Another option would be for Poroshenko to cheat his way past the second round (in an even more heavy-handed manner, since this time he is behind by over 30%), in which case Zelensky could theoretically contest the result in court and win. This would invalidate the entire election and leave Poroshenko in charge until the next one. Lather, rinse, repeat. Are you excited yet?
None of this matters, because we don't know which of the two is the US State Department's pick. Depending on which one it is, and regardless of the results of any elections or lawsuits, a giant foot will come out of the sky and stomp on the head of the other one.
Of course, it will all be made to look highly democratic for the sake of appearances. The leadership of the EU will oblige with some golf claps while choking back vomit and the world will move on.
Apr 18, 2019 | thesaker.is
JJ on April 17, 2019 , · at 7:26 am EST/EDTKIEV, April 17. /TASS/. The Ukrainian State Investigation Bureau launched a criminal case on "the intentional surrender" of Crimea against Verkhovna Rada Speaker Andrei Paruby, Secretary of the Ukrainian Council of National Security and Defense Alexander Turchinov, former Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk and others, the Ukrainian law union Aver Lex told TASS on Wednesday.Mulga Mumblebrain on April 17, 2019 , · at 6:52 pm EST/EDT
Court finds Yanukovich not guilty of 'losing Crimea' -- attorney
"The State Investigation Bureau opened a criminal case on the intentional surrender of Crimea, violent upheaval, treason and the organization of mass murders on the 'maidan' in 2014 by Ukraine's top officials, in particular by Arseny Yatsenyuk, Alexander Turchinov, Andrei Paruby, [former head of Ukraine's Security Service] Valentin Nalivaichenko, [Verkhovna Rada member] Sergei Pashinsky, [Permanent Representative to the UN] Yuri Sergeyev, [Kiev Mayor] Vitaly Klichko, [head of the Freedom nationalist party] Oleg Tyagnibok, [former Acting Defense Minister] Igor Tenyukh, [Prosecutor General] Yuri Lutsenko, [Defense Minister] Stepan Poltorak and others," Aver Lex said.
Wow .determined to throw out the old crowd?????????It gets messy when rats turn on each other-but is entertaining when they are the 'human' sub-species.
Apr 11, 2019 | interfax.com.ua
Presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelensky has responded to remarks by incumbent President Petro Poroshenko about the former's dependence on Ukrainian businessman Ihor Kolomoisky with a statement about ex-First Deputy Secretary of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) Oleh Hladkovsky (formerly Oleh Svynarchuk), the suspect identified in corruption in the defense sector by investigative journalists.
"I've just watched the press conference of our guarantor. He said again that I am a puppet of Kolomoisky. I have only one question, I think he will be amazed too: So you are a puppet of Svynarchuk, or is Svynarchuk your puppet? Please, pass this question on to the guarantor of the constitution (president)," Zelensky said at a briefing at his election headquarters on Sunday evening.
As reported, Poroshenko on Sunday evening after publication of exit polls in the presidential election said he was fated to run against "Kolomoisky's puppet" in the second round of presidential elections scheduled for April 21.
"We will not give Kolomoisky any chance," Poroshenko said.
Apr 11, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com
A poll suggests that the losers' votes are most likely to go to Zelensky in the runoff on the 21st.
Putin is apparently a candidate, or is Poroshenko saying Zelensky is Putin's puppet? More questions than answers: will Poroshenko contrive to cancel the election? Is Zelensky a beard for Kolomoisky ? How's Tymoshenko going to take being knocked out? Has she cut a deal with Zelensky? How much cheating ? (And sotto voce: does anybody care any more? ) Speculations .
David Schuler , 4 hours agoPossibly relevant this morning in the Wall Street Journal George P. Schultz, William J. Perry, and Sam Nunn have an op-ed highlighting that a nuclear threat is not a thing of the past.
The good news: they characterize the U. S.'s Russia policy as "dysfunctional" (which it is) and call for renewed dialogue with Russia.
The bad news: they also call for strengthening NATO.
It seems to me that those two goals are contradictory. Expanding NATO beyond its original membership is a key component of the dysfunction and a barrier to renewed dialogue with Russia.
Apr 08, 2019 | www.unz.com
The Nazis suffered a crushing defeat in this election.By "Nazis" I primarily mean their main figurehead – Petro Poroshenko (the rest of the "minor Nazis" did so poorly that they don't matter anymore). Think of it: in spite of his immense wealth (he outspent everybody else and even spent more that twice what the next big spender – Tymoshenko – doled out for each vote), in spite of his immense "administrative resource" (that is the Russian expression for the ability to use the power of the state for your personal benefit), in spite of his "victory" with the Tomos , in spite of triggering the Kerch bridge incident, in spite of breaking all the remaining treaties with Russia, in spite of his control of the media and in spite of the (now admittedly lukewarm) support of the West, Poroshenko suffered a crushing defeat. Look at the only two regions Petro Poroshenko (i.e. the Nazis) actually won (in blue) and see how nicely they overlap with the rough historical contours of the Galicia region. But Poroshenko managed to even lose part of that to Iulia Tymoshenko! Bottom line: except for a minority of rabid hardcore Nazis in Galicia, the rest of the Ukraine hates the Poroshenko Ukronazi regime. We always knew that, but now we have the proof. ... ... ... Remember how Poroshenko promised peace in weeks, a full respect for the Russian language and prosperity for all? Well, all he delivered was chaos, insecurity, poverty, violence, a massive influx of Ukronazis from Canada and the USA and, above all, a completely hysterical, rabid, russophobia combined with abject groveling before the AngloZionist Empire. He also brought an absolutely unbelievable level of corruption, having personally doubled his net worth many times over. The legacy Ziomedia and the Ukropropaganda can say all they want, and they can try to ban the Russian media and Internet in the Ukraine. But the truth is that everybody in the Ukraine knows that the Ukraine went from being the richest Soviet Republic to the poorest country in Europe. In fact, there are quite a few African countries which are doing much better than the Ukraine. The truth is, and has been for several years now, that the Ukraine is a failed state and that there is absolutely no even vaguely plausible scenario in the foreseeable future in which the Ukraine could begin to recover. Hence this amazing result: short of the Galician Nazis, everyone else absolutely hates the regime in power. So Poroshenko's score is a humiliating defeat for all the Ukronazis. But not for Petro Poroshenko himself!
Petro Poroshenko scores a remarkable personal victoryPoroshenko's absolutely vital goal was to make it into the 2nd round. Had he failed to make it he would have had to immediately jump into an aircraft and leave the country (because the most likely victor of the Presidential election would have been Iulia Tymoshenko and we can be darn sure that she would immediately jail him and most of his cronies). In order to make it into the 2nd round, Poroshenko did not have to defeat Zelenskii, but only defeat Tymoshenko and that Poroshenko also succeeded in doing. Oh sure – it was thanks to a huge, massive fraud all over the country (especially in the easternmost and westernmost regions) and he beat her only by 2.5% but that is more than enough.
Besides, it is practically impossible to falsify an election and compensate for, say, a 15%-20% difference. But to cheat and change a result by less than 5% is much more doable. In fact, if we assume that a 5% fraud is well within the means of an outgoing President and billionaire, then we can also see that we will never know who really won . See here for an almost finished (99.68%) count for the top four contenders: While Zelenskii is untouchable and way ahead of everybody else, Poroshenko, Tymoshenko and Boiko are all within less than 5% of each other. Interesting, no?
Keep in mind that Boiko is the closest thing to a pro-Russian candidate and that just a few years ago he was virtually unknown. See for yourself: 2014 results vs 2018 poll Look at the stats for 2014: Poroshenko had 55% of the vote, Tymoshenko 8% and Boiko just about 0%. Please also notice that in the 2018 poll Tymoshenko is way ahead of Poroshenko while Boiko is not far behind.
As for Zelenskii, he scores just like Poroshenko. ... ... ... ...Zelenskii is just a glorified puppet and everybody in the Ukraine knows that his puppet-master is Igor Kolomoiskii who is waiting out the final outcome of the Presidential election safely hidden in, you guessed it, Israel. This is how the Tablet concludes:The transformation wrought in Ukraine by the Maidan revolution has been an exhilarating roller coaster that has not bypassed Ukrainian Jewry, which is now in the midst of an exciting period of cultural revival paralleling that of the wider Ukrainian society, which is still just beginning to rediscover its own past and imagine an independent future. Whether this post-Soviet country will choose to elect an openly Jewish president, or a part-Jewish president, or continue with its current philo-Semitic president, the future of Ukraine's Jews would appear to be brighter than anyone might reasonably have imagined.Where Poroshenko was the ultimate apparatchik Zelenskii is the ultimate outsider and just as the people of the USA did not vote "for" Trump as much as they voted "against" Hillary, so the people of the Ukraine did not really vote "for" Zelenskii, but "against" Poroshenko. In fact, Zelenskii does not have anything resembling a political program (only vague and nice sounding slogans) and he most certainly has no other political record other than being a standup comedian and actors in several (pretty good) satirical series. Frankly, it appears that Zelenskii was as stunned by his victory as Trump was by his.
Still, in theory, it is almost impossible for Poroshenko to win this one. Not only do all the other candidates hate Poroshenko way more than they would dislike Zelenskii, voters for Tymoshenko or Boiko are far more likely to vote for Zelenskii than for Poroshenko. This creates an extremely dangerous situation: Poroshenko can only win by a massive fraud . Now Tymoshenko did declare that the first round was stolen, but she decided not to appeal this officially. Furthermore, it is now apparent that Tymoshenko was ditched by most of her US supporters, something which she clearly did not expect and which came as a total shock to her, hence her stunned reaction to the announced figures. She has always been, and still is, a remarkably intelligent lady and a very calculating realist: she simply knows that an official rejection of the outcome from her would make no difference. But you can be sure that behind the scenes the interests Tymoshenko represents are now talking to the people of Kolomoiskii and that Poroshenko is fully aware of that. ... ... ...
Conclusion: a very interesting and very dangerous situation
Poroshenko is now truly cornered: he absolutely must win, or he must run. In order to win, his options are very limited
... ... ...
The infamous Minister of the Interior, Arsen Avakov, arguably currently the most powerful and dangerous man in the Ukraine, has made an most interesting statement about Zelenskii:
"A decent man from another world. From another plane. Ready to deal with problems, but at the same time recognizing that in many issues he is not fully competent. In my understanding, this means that he is ready to delegate authority. However, the question arises: can we – Ukrainian society – offer the quality of the elite, which can be entrusted with the implementation of such powers? After all, if he delegates authority to scoundrels – as it happens in some series of "Servants of the people" – it will be very bad for the country. Using expats is also not an option "( ) "He knows for sure that from point A it is necessary to come to point B, and I am ready to agree with it. But the problem is how to go this way. Often, if you go head-on, you will crash into a wall or break. Therefore, it is necessary to choose the right path – and here should work competent and honest specialists"
In plain English this simply means: Zelenskii has no personal power base, he will be a puppet, so he better offer me a good deal (" delegate authority "), or I will turn against him and, how knows, an unpredictable accident (" you will crash into a wall or break ") can easily happen. Shocking? Welcome to "Ukrainian thug politics"! Besides, if the Nazis decide to kill Zelenskii they can easily blame it on Russia. Either that, or on a "lone, deranged, gunman" which they can find in the thousands amongst the various Nazi death-squads.
Right now the Nazis are in a total panic, they are declaring that Zelenskii's victory is "Moscow's triumph", they say that Zelenskii will sell out everything Ukrainian and that he is a Putin agent. At the very least, they will now dig up as much dirt on Zelenskii as possible (whether real or manufactured).
... ... ...
AP , says: April 4, 2019 at 2:31 am GMTPatricus , says: April 4, 2019 at 11:35 pm GMT
Everybody in the Ukraine knows that the Ukraine went from being the richest Soviet Republic to the poorest country in Europe
In Soviet times Ukraine was was poorer than Russia, Belarus, and the Baltic Republics.
And Moldova is the poorest country in Europe.
https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.CD?locations=UA-RU-BY-MDHow come the nations geographically closest to Russia hate her the most?Ilyana_Rozumova , says: April 6, 2019 at 10:01 pm GMTZelenski means green man and has Polish indication. So he is one of the holocaust survivors. (There are suspiciously too many of them these days.)Ilyana_Rozumova , says: April 6, 2019 at 10:18 pm GMT
Timoshenko was virulently anti Russian but not so much anymore. All industrial plants in Ukraine were built by Russians making products for Russia, I have doubt that they can make anything that west needs. So Ukraine now is fully depended on agriculture. That is why Ukraine is going down.
Most votes went to Zelenski that is indication that Ukrainians now did loose their enthusiasm, and they are becoming more lethargic.Galicia is multicultural area consisting mostly Polish, Slovak, Hungarian, Romanian, Russian, and some other nationals. There is no unity there, and never will beCarlton Meyer , says: Website April 7, 2019 at 5:17 am GMT@Ilyana_Rozumova Maybe Galicia should be returned to Poland? From my blog:Vojkan , says: April 7, 2019 at 7:16 am GMT
May 1, 2017 – Must Ukraine Return Volhynia?
Hillary Clinton's State Department funneled $5 billion to orchestrate a "revolution" to overthrow the elected President of Ukraine in 2014. (See my June 7, 2016 blog post for details.) Ukraine's President was ousted because he refused to support Ukraine joining the EU and NATO, and violence spread throughout Ukraine as CIA funded factions fought for power.
Crimea was part of Russia for over a century until it was administratively attached to Ukraine in 1954 by a Soviet premier to promote Soviet solidarity. Russians are the majority people in Crimea and Russian is the common language, but they were not consulted. In 2014, after years of Ukrainian political turmoil and an American coup in Kiev, Russia accepted a request by the people of Crimea to rejoin Russia after 94% voted in favor. (See my Aug 8, 2016 blog post for details.) Russians and Crimeans were puzzled by intense American opposition to this reannexation, and rightly concluded the Americans really wanted "NATO" military bases in strategic Crimea.
For those concerned about European borders and justice, they should address a truly outrageous annexation. In 1939, the Soviet Union invaded Poland and seized half of its land while Soviet police massacred 22,000 influential Polish POWs and civilians. This area was invaded by Germany two years later, which formed Ukrainian paramilitary units that murdered over 100,000 Poles during the war.
Entire Polish villages disappeared as Ukrainians massacred everyone to include women and children, who were buried in mass graves. After the war, the Polish regions of Volhynia and Eastern Galicia were formally annexed by Soviet Ukraine after 1.5 million Poles were forcibly deported. Over the next decade, another 1.5 million Poles were deported by Ukraine to ethically cleanse these regions (noted in yellow below).
The West did nothing about this brutality because it occurred within the powerful Soviet Union. However, that union broke up and Ukraine is weak and at odds with Russia. On July 22, 2016, the Parliament of Poland passed a resolution recognizing the massacres of ethnic Poles in Volhynia and Galicia as genocide. Poland is now part of NATO and American troops are based there. Thousands of Poles are still alive who were expelled from these regions. Homes and land were seized from millions of Poles. Ukrainian war criminals remain at large.
This raises several questions. If Poland demands a return of its territory or compensation for Poles, will powerful NATO support its demand? Will sanctions be imposed against Ukraine for this genocide and illegal seizure of Polish territory? Since Crimea was attached to Ukraine without a democratic vote, and the citizens of Crimea voted to rejoin Russia, should sanctions against Russia be removed?
Informed people know these issues will never be addressed because NATO does not exist to protect member states, but is a proxy arm of America's neocon empire trying to conquer the world. However, as Poland's military grows stronger and Ukraine struggles, this issue may arise, and crafty Russia may support a return of Poland's, Slovakia's, and Romania's seized territories!@PatricusVojkan , says: April 7, 2019 at 7:24 am GMT
With the exception of the Baltic states, that simply isn't true of any nation from the former Soviet Union. Otherwise, the Russians couldn't have set up the Eurasian Customs Union which covers ~90% of the former USSR. There are even many Georgians working in Russia, in spite of the short war that was started by US dummy and former Georgian then Ukrainian, now stateless, Mikheil Saakashvili.I say the best solution for Ukraine would be to leave the nazis among themselves by giving independence to Galicia. If it's the price to pay to reintegrate Donbass, for the economy, and for peace and stability, it's worth it.Vojkan , says: April 7, 2019 at 7:32 am GMT@Carlton Meyer Poles would be crazy to take back Galicia. Just fence the nazi lunatics in with electrified barbed wire and leave them among themselves.Macon Richardson , says: April 7, 2019 at 7:40 am GMT@One Tribe Well, yes, in a fashion. I'm from the old South (Roosevelt was in his second term when I was born). Though I was educated at a fine old southern university and though I have lived a significant part of my adult life in Europe, Asia and Africa, I still revel in being called a redneck, a hick, a yokel, a cracker.jbwilson24 , says: April 7, 2019 at 9:01 am GMT
I embrace all of those terms because they only illustrate the ignorance of those who use them in a derogatory manner. I also embrace being a part of the goyim. Those who use those terms to wound only shows their fear, their own sense of inferiority to me, to us, Christian southerners both white and black."Zionist praise for a Nazi" Poroshenko has Jewish ancestry, you dimwit. Go read the article in Forward called 'Poroshenko's Secret Jewish Roots'. Ukraine has three Jewish men in a row as prime minister. How interesting, given their rather low population percentage.Ilyana_Rozumova , says: April 7, 2019 at 9:53 am GMT@Carlton Meyer Largest part of Galicia did belong to Slovakia. To Poland did belong only Lvov and surrounding area.Anon  Disclaimer , says: April 7, 2019 at 10:47 am GMT
(Although most populated.)@Patricus Ask your latinamericans neighbours how much they love the USAmikemikev , says: April 7, 2019 at 1:01 pm GMT@jbwilson24Rich , says: April 7, 2019 at 2:24 pm GMT
Yes they're a strange type of Nazi to install a Jewish leader. "Nazism" in most people's minds is synonymous with anti-Jewism. Are they that?Nazi, Nazi, Nazi. Do these guys ever stop? It reminds me of the old Jews in Queens, NY, every time they got into a disagreement with anyone, they yelled "Nazi". Even the regular Jews got sick of it. The Ukrainians have a long history of nationalist thinkers, opposed to Russian domination. Like the Finns, the Ukrainian patriots may have taken German support in WW2, but that doesn't make the "Nazis". The National Socialists were a unique party to the Germany of the 1930s, would you call Italian Fascists "Nazis"?Oscar Peterson , says: April 7, 2019 at 2:39 pm GMT@Patricus Is that a serious question?Wally , says: April 7, 2019 at 2:49 pm GMT
Ask yourself why, in general, one country/nation hates another? It's because of attempts at invasion and domination. And historically, who is going to invade/dominate you? Those geographically closest obviously. Sure, there are exceptions to this–the Mongol Empire, the Arab Caliphate, and most strikingly, the Western invasion of well, everywhere in the 16th-20th centuries.
But in most of the world most of the time for most of human existence, it's the guy next door who is going to screw you and whom you in turn will screw.
Irish-English. German-French. Serb-Croat. Arab-Persian. Vietnamese-Cambodian. Tutsi-Hutu. Iroquois-Algonkian. Navajo-Hopi.
So why would you be surprised?
One commenter suggested a comparison with Latin American attitudes towards the US. This is partly true, but there are several differences. First, national identity is, on the whole, relatively weak in New World. What does it really mean to be a Honduran? Secondly, the main US security mechanism in the Western Hemisphere has been its navy which means relatively less direct occupation and repression of places like Mexico. Russia, invaded from East and West, has always sought security zones that inevitably mean occupation and subjugation. Third, US hegemonism has only really gotten going over the last 125 years, so it hasn't had as much time to antagonize its neighbors, and we had the good fortune of ravaging most of the locals near at hand with the small pox, etc that we brought along with us.
These factors combine to explain why the hatred quotient towards Russia by its neighbors is higher than that towards the US.@Ilyana_Rozumova said:Oscar Peterson , says: April 7, 2019 at 2:51 pm GMT
"Zelenski means green man and has Polish indication. So he is one of the holocaust survivors. (There are suspiciously too many of them these days.)"
– The endless numbers of "survivors" are especially amazing since it's claimed that 'the Germans tried to kill every Jew they could get their hands on.'
... ... ...@Ilyana_RozumovaOscar Peterson , says: April 7, 2019 at 2:54 pm GMT
Galicia is multicultural area consisting mostly Polish, Slovak, Hungarian, Romanian, Russian, and some other nationals. There is no unity there, and never will be.
Then why do they seem to behave politically in ways that set them apart from all those around them?@Ilyana_RozumovaBeckow , says: April 7, 2019 at 3:29 pm GMT
Largest part of Galicia did belong to Slovakia.
Really? I never thought of Slovaks as owning much of anything–not even Slovakia historically. Hungarians, Austrians, Czechs all dominated Slovakia. Could you expand on your notion of the majority of Galicia belonging to Slovakia?When a sitting president anywhere in the world runs for re-election and gets 15%, the decent thing is to step aside. It doesn't matter how many other candidates run, there could be hundreds – what matters is that 85% of people voted against Porky as their first choice .annamaria , says: April 7, 2019 at 4:41 pm GMT
He has been in the office for 5 years and 85% of people want someone else. How much clearer could this be? This was a massive vote of no-confidence by Ukrainians. If Porky squeezes or cheats his way into staying as president, he is asking for trouble – it is not sustainable and Washington knows it.
Galicia and Donbas also clearly cannot coexist in the same non-federated state, they are on opposite sides.
Economy: is it not going to get better. The bad news have been pushed after the elections, and in 2020 two things will happen:Kiev will have to start paying back at least some of the Western loans Income from gas transit will be gone (and possibly the gas itself).
That takes away 3-5% of the Ukrainian economy. If Russia piles on and restricts more trade, or limits remittances, there will inevitably by a recession in Ukraine. The circus is about to re-start, no wonder the clowns are renting stadiums. But at some point the distractions will cease to distract – and then the damn reality will hit even harder@Vojkan The Poles deserve the ziocon-"renovated" & "liberated" Galicia festering with the active Banderites. Look how the Poles have been treating the monuments to the fallen Soviet soldiers. Let the Poles enjoy their passionate brotherly love with the ZUSA.AnonFromTN , says: April 7, 2019 at 4:51 pm GMT
As Saker writes,
Fundamentally, Nazis and Zionists are twin brothers, even if deep down they hate (and often admire!) each other.
If there is something positive about Maidan regime change, it is the revelation of the ziocons active role in the revival of neo-Nazism in Ukraine. The revelation is a death blow to the holo-biz profiteering schema.
Whether the Jewish State's provisions of Israel-made ammunition to the neo-Nazis or the ADL & Simon Wiesenthal Center support for the neo-Nazi (see the zionists scandalous behavior re the Conyers' Amendment), the zionists did indeed come out (again!) as the "twin brothers" of the worsts among Nazis.
https://portside.org/2014-11-20/how-israel-lobby-protected-ukrainian-neo-nazisI disagree that Porky is dumb. He successfully fleeced the whole country, including competing oligarchs, for 5 years. Dumb are the people who still support him. Ukrainians voting for Porky are like chickens voting for Colonel Sanders. But some morons never learn.Robjil , says: April 7, 2019 at 5:30 pm GMT
Porky might be fond of his drink. He showed up seriously inebriated several times publicly, but he wouldn't be able to steal hundreds of millions consistently while being drunk all the time. Saakashvili (admittedly, hardly a reliable source of info) said that Porky ran the country into the ground being sober. Well, Porky never cared about the country, all he is interested in is the trough. That's why he wants five more years of stealing, and he is reluctant to yield his place at the trough to someone else.
Most importantly, the masters are OK with it. Imperial gauleiter of Ukraine Volker has already voiced his support for Porky. Porky would likely be more obedient than anyone else: he can be blackmailed, as he has already earned gallows (or life in prison in countries that don't have death penalty). So, the masters have already chosen their favorite puppet. We'll see on April 21st how much influence they have.
I am not saying that Zelensky (and his puppet master Kolomoisky) won't do, but from masters' point of view old clown is apparently preferable to the new one.@Oscar Peterson Transcarpathia is a long extension of Slovakia. It was taken from Czechoslovakia after WWII and given to Soviet Ukraine. The people of this region never thought of themselves as Ukrainian or Galician but as Rusyns or Ruthenians. Transcarpathia was mainly given to Soviet Union because it is a good gateway for tanks into Eastern Europe such as the case for Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968. This region also has a large Hungarian population, since Hungary used to rule it in the Austro-Hungarian empire times.Beckow , says: April 7, 2019 at 6:44 pm GMT@AnonFromTNAnonFromTN , says: April 7, 2019 at 8:03 pm GMT
old clown is apparently preferable to the new one
For some he is preferable, he is more reliable. Anytime a new clown is elevated, there is some unpredictability. Bosses hate surprises.
On the other hand, the first step when things don't go well, is to rotate the clowns. We got Macron, the German doppelganger for Merkel, elites tried Renzi in Italy, so maybe Zelinsky could work. He is a complete tabula rasa, non-entity, that wouldn't know how to find the executive washroom. At a minimum, he would buy some time. Next they can still try Tymoshenko. This will not get resolved through the political process.@BeckowBeckow , says: April 7, 2019 at 8:51 pm GMT
Next they can still try Tymoshenko. This will not get resolved through the political process.
Why not? If the masters allow new clown to win, Gas princess can be made the speaker of the Rada . Then an unfortunate accident can be easily arranged, and she becomes next successor perfectly legally. The masters do these things pretty often: remember Ulof Palme or Aldo Moro. Zelensky can be got rid of the same way, if the masters decide that it's to their benefit.@AnonFromTN That's a possible scenario. But in that part of the world, scenarios never play out the way they are planned.ploni almoni , says: April 7, 2019 at 8:56 pm GMT
I am not sure what is left to be gained in Ukraine, it is all costs and very few benefits. That's what happens when the layered lying becomes so convoluted that the masters lose track of the objectives.
They wanted Crimea (actually Russia out of Crimea bases, NATO in) – that failed. Everything else were distractions, false promises, and payoffs to locals. A normal master would accept the defeat, take his toys home, and wait for the next time. The post-modern Washingtonians instead pretend that the sweet talk was real , try for silly, secondary objectives (how about a few missiles on the Russian border? that would work out great), or refuse to accept the obvious. Making the whole fiasco more costly.@Patricus America is not so close.AnonFromTN , says: April 7, 2019 at 9:45 pm GMT@Beckowannamaria , says: April 7, 2019 at 10:01 pm GMT
The only reason they didn't abandon failed Ukrainian project I can see is that from imperial standpoint the more irritants you create for Russia, the better. Current Ukraine is an irritant. When its further disintegrates and becomes a huge Somalia on Russian doorstep, it would become an even grater irritant. Of course, Poles would suffer, too, but when did the masters take aborigines into account?
As to a few missiles on Russian border, they already have that in Baltic vaudeville states, which are much closer to Moscow and especially Sankt Petersburg then Zhmerinka.
Then again, I am looking at it rationally, whereas Washington politburo is getting even less rational that the Soviet one under Brezhnev.@AnonFromTN Who is Kurt Volker? https://mronline.org/2018/09/20/natos-fascist-wedge-in-ukraine/annamaria , says: April 7, 2019 at 10:24 pm GMT
In April this year  the U.S. supplied Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine and in May 2018 the U.S. Congress approved $250m of military funding, specifically including deliveries of lethal weaponry.
President Donald Trump's special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker (a neocon, acolyte of senator John McCain, previously appointed by George Bush as U.S. ambassador to NATO) announced further U.S. arms supplies would follow, boasting of rising anti-Russian sentiment in Ukraine.
Kurt Volker, similar to the deceased McCain, is a loyal servant to ziocons and war profiteers. Actually, Volker is a war profiteer himself.
The US's envoy to Ukraine, Kurt Volker, who is connected to Raytheon, is in favor of this arms shipment, and it's inevitable that it [arms shipment] will reach Azov [Battalion]
Azov Battalion functions in a lot of ways like ISIS has in Syria and Iraq Azov camps with an enormous trove of weapons .. we are talking about hundreds of pounds of C4 explosives, automatic weapons and grenade launchers.
Azov's own website demonstrates that US military trainers have visited Azov in the field to train and exchange logistical information. They appeared in uniform with Azov Battalion members who were wearing the wolf's angel patch, which is a Nazi SS symbol, a runic neo-Nazi symbol on their arm. This is just a scandalous spectacle. Not only that, contracts have been revealed showing that the Texas-based AirTronic arms company has produced PSRL-1 grenade launchers that were actually authorized under this watch of the State Department and delivered directly into the hands of the Azov Battalion. The US has armed Azov.
Again, what the ADL has been squeaking about -- that there are too many Holo-biz Deniers? -- The zionists have been in cahoots with the neo-Nazi throughout the whole State Dept. criminal enterprise in Ukraine. The Kagans clan of holo-biz survivors and other pro-Nazi Jewish activists such as Gershman (NED) and Foxman (ADL) have been the moving force towards banderization of Ukraine (Babij Yar, ADL?).
None of them cares about the memory of WWII victims the zionists only care about profits. As for Kurt Volker, he is with zionists in the search for mega-profit. He is a regular opportunist devoid of dignity.Kurt Volker: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurt_VolkerTedx , says: April 7, 2019 at 11:02 pm GMT
Volker served on the staff of Senator John McCain from 1997 to 1998. He was appointed United States Permanent Representative to NATO in July 2008 by President George W. Bush.
Volker went into the private sector in 2009, becoming an independent director at The Wall Street Fund Inc. He was a member of the board of directors at Capital Guardian Funds Trust Volker was also an independent director at Evercore Wealth Management Macro Opportunity Fund
Volker served as a senior advisor at McLarty Associates, a global consulting firm. In 2011, he joined BGR Group, a Washington-based lobbying firm and investment bank
He has been a Senior Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations, Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies since September 2009, and a Senior Advisor at the Atlantic Council since October 2009. [Atlantic Council has been a safe harbor for the rabidly Russophobic Elliot Higgins and Dmitri Alperovich of Russia-gate fame, https://consortiumnews.com/2019/01/29/how-russia-gate-rationalizes-censorship/ )
Kurt Volker, a certified war profiteer and money manager using his position as a government employee for making money on lobbying What can be wrong with his judgements?Special Education comment for the fluoride-lobotomized vegetables, known internationally as AMERICANS: Petro Poroshenko, described in this article as the figurehead of rhe "Nazis" is a Jew. When the US sponsored the coup in the Ukraine, both the democratically elected President and Prime Minister were replaced by Jews.Beckow , says: April 8, 2019 at 12:01 am GMT
The alleged Neo-Nazis, "Right Sector" were unemployed punks led by Israeli mercenaries, virtually unchallenged by effectively bribed, Ukrainian military commanders.
If Adolf Hitler were alive today and controlled the Ukraine, he would order that -- without exception -- every member of Right Sector be either euthanized or sterilized to prevent the Right Sector Stupid Gene to infect the Aryan Race.
Anyone or any organization that refers to the Jewish president of the Ukraine and his followers as "Nazis" are obviously Zionist propaganda agents misleading the mentally feeble.@AnonFromTN When we were kids we would climb into neighbours' gardens to steal cherries. You climb up a tree, break a few branches, take the cherries. No guilt. Every kid feels ' exceptional , it is something that comes naturally to all 12-year olds.Fidelios Automata , says: April 8, 2019 at 3:14 am GMT
The weird thing about modern Washingtonians is that they never outgrew that infantile stage. They still feel 'exceptional', taking other people's stuff is ok. Why wouldn't be ? If one is exceptional, he is by definition better than others, and the others really have no rights, except the ones given to them by the exceptional people.
When a thieving raid by the exceptional people is blocked – as in Crimea – it leaves no good options. Should one admit that they were about to take the 'stuff' (the Sebastopol bases), lost out, and simply retreat? No, it is hard to stay exceptional when losing. Image and perceptions are everything in Washington.
Should they escalate and try to storm Crimea to get what they want and deserve? Again, no, because exceptional people can't risk hurt or injury, they are too precious, they are after all 'exceptional'.
Should they send their decidedly unexceptional underlings to storm Crimea? Well, that would be ideal, but the underlings are too stupid to even get into the garden, and climbing a tree is way beyond their ability. One can train them, send them ladders – but everyone knows that they will never do it.
That leaves the least bad option of sticking around to ' irritate ' Russia. There is not much gain in it, it gets old very quickly, it is also costly and even dangerous. But it preserves the image of 'exceptional' people, it can be spun around for different perceptions, and it makes the local allies less antsy and less likely to run away with their loot. Other than that it achieves nothing.
That's where we are: a bunch of unserious morons sitting in a car parked outside the cherry orchard, scared to go in, scared to leave, hoping that nobody notices, and still craving the sweet cherries without even being able to admit that's what they are there for.@Tedx It's no contradiction at all. Israels have been behaving very much like Nazis toward the Palestinians in the occupied territories.
Apr 09, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
For its part, the United States insists on running Ukraine, appointing a special envoy – Kurt Volker – to preserve its feeling of international importance after it was pointedly left out of the Normandy Format; Meddlers R Us; we don't need no steenking invitations.
A glance over trade statistics suggests this was a wise choice for the Exceptional Nation – the year before the Glorious Maidan, Revolution of Dignity, the USA did around $3 Billion worth of trade with Ukraine, selling it $1.92 Billion worth of goods and services, and buying $1.03 Billion worth of goods and services from it, posting an American trade surplus of $888 Million. Last year the USA did around $4 Billion worth of trade with Ukraine, selling it $2.46 Billion in goods and services, and buying $1.35 Billion worth of goods and services from it, handsomely increasing the American trade surplus to $1.13 Billion. Considering Ukraine is impoverished and living on handouts, while the per-capita GDP has fallen by more than 6% despite the country having lost about 3 million people (Ukraine's population today is almost exactly what it was in 1960), that's quite an achievement.
Apr 09, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
Poroshenko's electoral appeal is rooted in the notion of 'better the devil you know' and his presidential campaign rests on his ability to convince voters that he is the lesser of all available evils."
Poroshenko might have an uphill battle convincing his own voters of that reality, but he has plainly gone down a treat in Washington.
Let me put my cards on the table here – the current political class in Washington, irrespective of party affiliation and almost without exception, is so debauched and untethered that it enthusiastically supports the election of unabashed criminals where their election serves American foreign-policy goals. Is it too late to be astounded? Yes, it is. Ukraine is lightly chided for its rampant corruption, while Russia is held up to universal scorn because Putin.
Cortes March 31, 2019 at 4:49 pmMajestic, Mark.Mark Chapman March 31, 2019 at 4:59 pm
Thanks once more. Ideally the Fire [Gas] Witch, Yulia, would be back as the plaything of the Crimson King
"And smiles as the puppets dance in the court of the Crimson King."Mark Chapman April 1, 2019 at 4:42 am"Historically and etymologically, a "crimson king" was any monarch during whose reign there was civil unrest and copious bloodshed."
Except for the gender, she qualifies in advance.Well, Poroshenko would certainly need to explain how he could win in the second round against a candidate who polled twice the vote as he did in the first round. But Poroshenko owns or controls a lot of media, and it's all about pushing a narrative. Ukrainians were satisfied, the story will go, that Poroshenko learned his lesson from being rebuked in the first round; he is sorry, and humbled, and will turn over a new leaf.Jen April 1, 2019 at 1:53 pm
Meanwhile (still the story), many Ukrainians are waking up to the shock of what they did, and are suffering buyers remorse, bla, bla. He only needs to squeak out a narrow win when it's down to just he and Zelinskiy, and the west will immediately hoot that democracy has spoken, my, what an exciting ride, and Zelinskiy will fade back into political obscurity.Actually Peter Dickinson is just one of several supposed "experts" and "observers" at The Atlantic Council of Ukraine's political scene who have expressed opinions that basically exonerate Poroshenko as godfather of a group of hucksters smuggling Russian weapons and military spare parts into Ukraine and then charging the Ukrainian government hefty prices for them. John Herbst thinks it's great that the Banderites got weapons from Russia and the only thing they did wrong was take a hefty personal cut from the sale; never mind that they broke some other laws, let's say, laws that forbid Ukraine from purchasing anything from Russia because Russia is under US / EU sanctions. Other opinions suggest that Poroshenko should just distance himself from the people involved in the scandal because the most important thing is to lead Ukraine as far away from Russia as possible – as if it is that easy for Poroshenko to do, because if he did, his associates in the scandal will squeal on him.Moscow Exile April 1, 2019 at 8:52 pm
It's hilarious reading those "opinions" and see how far those Atlantic Council people are trying to excuse Poroshenko by blaming the journalists for bringing up the story or insinuating that Tymoshenko or the Kremlin is trying to bring Poroshenko down.Dejevsky in today's Independent:
Comedian Volodymyr Zelensky may have played Ukraine's president on TV – but could he really run the country?
I shall paste her article below as I have access beyond the pay-wall to a limited number of articles published in that rag:
Some in Ukraine may feel that April Fool's Day 2019 started a few hours early, at 8pm the previous evening to be precise, when the polls in the first round of the country's presidential election closed and the exit polls showed an actor who plays a fictional president beating the real president into second place by a margin of almost two to one.
Official results give Volodymyr Zelensky (the actor) around 30 per cent of the vote, compared with 16 per cent for president Petro Poroshenko. From a field of 39 – yes, 39 – presidential hopefuls, it will be these two heading into the run-off on 21 April.
Yulia Tymoshenko – the only woman anywhere near the top 10 and the most recognisable face for many outside Ukraine as "la pasionaria" of the 2004 Orange Revolution, had led when the campaign began last December, but was knocked into third place. Mercifully, the 3 percentage point margin between her and Poroshenko is probably clear enough to pre-empt any challenge or dispute.
The question now facing the more than half of Ukraine's 35 million electorate who voted for neither Zelensky nor Poroshenko on Sunday is which of the two to choose in three weeks' time – and for the rest whether to stick with their original choice.
It would be fair to say that opinions about Zelensky are sharply divided. On the one hand are those who argue that anything has to be better than the glacial pace of change and endemic corruption over which Poroshenko has presided.
They include many young people who have joined what might be described as the pan-European anti-politics tendency that brought Italy's current government to power. Zelensky and his team of largely young volunteers ran a welcoming and modern campaign that took on a life of its own as – rather like Jeremy Corbyn's 2017 campaign in the UK – supporters spread the word on social media.
At the same time, there are many – perhaps over-represented among highly educated professional Ukrainians at home and abroad – who view Zelensky with trepidation and suspicion as just another populist, capitalising on his fame in another sphere. Their fear – tinged with condescension – is that he could endanger the relative stability Poroshenko has brought after the tumult of the Euromaidan (a wave of demonstrations) five years ago.
The size of Zelensky's first-round vote, however, and its geographical spread – he managed to appeal to Russian-speakers in the eastern areas bordering the war zone as well as those in central and southern Ukraine – have led even doubters to feel that this election is now his to lose. Poroshenko, however, should not be written off too soon. It is not just fear of the unknown that could make the run-off very close; there are other reasons why Poroshenko could yet prevail.
One is that, although Zelensky comes across well when he appears on his own terms – at the comedy shows he preferred to conventional political rallies – he performed poorly in the few television interviews he gave, appearing out of his depth and using language that suggested a rather unreconstructed view of women.
It had been expected that one or more formal television debates might test his mettle, but the plan for first-round debates foundered when Poroshenko and Zelensky both declined to take part, and it now appears there may be no second-round debate either. With the contest now reduced to two, however, this is bound to concentrate minds.
Another is the question of Zelensky's funding. Some suspect that the hand (and money) of the exiled businessman/oligarch, Ihor Kolomoisky, is behind him. Zelensky denies that he depends on anyone, and some close to the campaign say that associates of Kolomoisky are at best on the outer fringe of the campaign. But the suspicion persists, and when Poroshenko spoke of "populists" and "puppets" in his campaign speeches, the inference was clear.
Poroshenko's first-round campaign pitch – a responsible leader whose video stresses the importance of the nation, the army and the Church – could have more resonance now that it will be pitted directly against what could seem a leap into the unknown with Zelensky. Then again, just looking at the way the two handled the provisional first-round results on the night – Poroshenko looking exhausted and just a little jaded, and Zelensky bouncing around, smiling, with a ready word for the media and glad-handing his supporters, it was tempting to imagine a new Ukraine already eclipsing the old.
But – to put it at its most basic – will Zelensky be "allowed" to win? While there have been some reports of polling violations on Sunday, the first round appears to have been an admirably clean and open election to the point where a complete outsider was not only able to stake a claim to the country's top job, but to reach the run-off. And the outside attempts to influence the poll (by Russia and the west), so apparent in previous elections, were almost not in evidence.
With the presidency itself now at stake, however, and the confusion of a ballot paper with 39 candidates safely in the past, could the old ways make a comeback? Might there be a sudden upsurge of attempts to influence the campaign from the outside: new money, hacking, dirty tricks,"Kompromat"? Is there a "deep state" that could stop Zelensky?
Leaving aside the imponderable, there are perhaps three factors to watch over the three weeks. The first is whether any of the other first-round candidates who obtained more than a handful of votes will endorse – or do any deal with either of the candidates. And if they did – if Timoshenko, for instance, or Yuriy Boyko, the pro-Russia candidate, backed Zelensky – would it have a positive or negative effect on his campaign? One key broker could be the anti-corruption candidate, Anatoliy Hrytsenko, who came fifth.
The second is how far Zelensky can convince his critics that he could actually do the job. Members of his team told me that he was consulting widely and taking the prospect very seriously and he has attracted at least two past ministers to his team. The fluidity of Ukraine's political parties also means that not having a developed party of his own might not be a huge liability in parliament, as MPs might well flock to a winner. Parliamentary elections later in the year could do the rest.
His manifesto is also more specific than his detractors say: it includes an end to immunity from prosecution for MPs and government officials; "not a battle, but the defeat, of corruption", referendums on important state issues, including possible membership of Nato, talks with Russia to end the fighting in eastern Ukraine, tax breaks for entrepreneurs, a drive to introduce technology in schools, higher pay for the military.
But the biggest question could be this: how far will voters distinguish between Zelensky the real-life candidate and the fictional schoolmaster-turned-president whose secretly taped anti-corruption rant propelled him to the top job?
By using the title of the series Servant of the People as his campaign slogan, and the name of his embryonic political party, Zelensky could be accused of encouraging the confusion. And the fictional president comes with an attitude and an almost naive agenda that is the stuff of many a Ukrainian's dreams. He is principled, quizzical, supports the "little man" and has the welfare of his people at heart. The less voters are able, or choose, to distinguish the two, the better Zelensky's chances of leading the real Ukraine.
Note how, in the extract below, Dejevsky displays her lack of objectivity in the way she regards the Ukraine from her oh-so-liberal point of view and, thereby, morally castigating the dump after having right at the top her article mentioned that Tymoshenko was "the only woman anywhere near the top 10":
although Zelensky comes across well when he appears on his own terms – at the comedy shows he preferred to conventional political rallies – he performed poorly in the few television interviews he gave, appearing out of his depth and using language that suggested a rather unreconstructed view of women .
Yes, that will really turn the Yukies against him, I am sure, Ms Dejevsky!
A filthy mysogynist!
One could not possibly cast one's vote for such a monster!
And what's with this criticism of both Zelensky and Poroshenko's refusal to have a televised debate?
True, they hold such debates in US presidential elections as part of the "real democracy" show in the "exceptional nation", but if other countries shy from similar performances, is that so bad, so "undemocratic"?
And one comment, so far to the article, from a frequent troll at the Independent who likes to add ПТН X̆ЛО (abbreviation for the Russian "Putin is a prick) just to show how smart he is:
As usual no mention of any Russian monkey business so I guess Mary is still angling for the dacha near Moscow.
I have a dacha near Moscow, wanker! Does that mean I am a tool of the Kremlin?
How about digging up the evidence for "Russian monkey business" and presenting it yourself, arsehole, if you are so sure that such interference by Russia in Banderastan politics exists?
Apr 04, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.orgkarlof1 , Apr 4, 2019 2:06:15 PM | link
Tweeting direct from NATO meeting provides inside details not found in press articles, particularly the NATO talking-point ending. IMO, the tweeter Mehta was right to highlight this exchange:
"Bennan: Do you know what the US policy in syria is?
"Çavuşoğlu: No, and this is the problem.
"He points to different statements from WH, Pentagon, CENTCOM, State. 'There is no clear strategy. This is the problem.'"
"Wow. Çavuşoğlu just compared Turkey to Ukraine, saying Ukraine let itself be told it had to decide between West and Russia, and look what happened; Turkey cannot be forced into same choice."
Please take the few minutes to read.
vk , Apr 4, 2019 2:07:04 PM | linkClueless Joe , Apr 4, 2019 3:10:41 PM | linkPence threat is also stupid as there is no mechanism to expulse any member from NATO. NATO members can only leave voluntarily.
Since when this stopped the USA?
The reason Turkey won't exit NATO are many. Among them:
1) Turkey's economy is in meltdown. It only didn't collapse yesterday because, luckily, Turkey has only "burnt" one third of its Dollar reserves. For comparison, the usurper government which toppled Dilma Rousseff burnt almost 50% of Brazil's then gigantic US$ 795 billion -- only to try to keep interest at a staggering 9.5% rate. Lucky for the Turkish people, Erdogan survived the 2016 coup, but he was already trounced in the three main cities and those reserves won't last forever. Time is in favor of the Americans in this case;
2) Contrary to, e.g. China and Russia, Turkey has a strong pro-USA political-popular base. It really doesn't need to topple Erdogan through a violent coup (Obama made an unforced error in 2016) in order to install a puppet government in Turkey;
3) The USA has the IMF. The IMF is the only institution which can do regime change and nobody will question. Erdogan is, for now, refusing its "aid", but he's just one man. That means that, even if Turkey remains with an Islamist (Ottomanist) or end up electing a neutral government, the Americans will still be capable of exerting formidable pressure;
4)Turkey is, perhaps, the geostrategically most important individual country for NATO. If the Americans still dream of defeating and balkanizing Russia through a hot war, then the path will go through Turkey and the Bosphorus. It is not on rogue POTUS or Veep who will change that."But current American elites have no concept of own actions having consequences."karlof1 , Apr 4, 2019 3:50:45 PM | link
Well, since 2002, people made a lot about the neo-cons being heavily influenced by Leo Strauss. I think this is only part of it. These people seem to me to be just as heavily influenced by George Berekeley: things don't really exist, there's no causation, therefore there's no consequences to one's own actions.Harry Law , Apr 4, 2019 4:22:04 PM | link
Bolton unwittingly utters truism but has no idea that it applies to him and the Outlaw US Empire billions of times over: "Corruption cannot lead to prosperity." Nor can it field a competent military with functional weapon systems.
Another OT note, this one about the technical development of generation 6 military aircraft, Hypersonic and hydrogen fueled and most likely piloted by droids or remotely given speed and G-forces.The US are threatening friend and foe alike, whereas those sanctions against their foe's are real, sanctions against NATO members can be counterproductive, for instance Germany being told to stop Nord Stream 2 and increase its contributions to NATO, 2% of Germany's GDP [4 trillion dollars] is an enormous amount of money to protect against a non existent enemy.Christian J Chuba , Apr 4, 2019 6:37:15 PM | link
The time will come when the US will be ignored, then, unless the US acts on those threats, its own credibility will be called into question, then the only way is down.BUT What about the Saudi Model???SteveK9 , Apr 4, 2019 8:20:30 PM | link
Whenever anyone suggests that we should stop supplying bombs and military equipment to the Saudis who are murdering Yemenis, moralists like Mike Pence, Pompeo, and the rest of the religious right thunder, 'THEY WILL BUY ARMS FROM THE ROOOSHINS!'
So it is quite funny that they are willing to play hardball with the Turks.S @22
The comments at the end about how Turkey can maintain good relations with NATO and at the same time develop cooperation with Russia is clearly nonsense. NATO whole reason for existence now is as an anti-Russia military alliance. Pence is absolutely right about that ... you cannot be a member of NATO and develop close cooperation with Russia.
At least in the eyes of NATO (i.e. the US) Russia is the enemy.
Apr 02, 2019 | www.zerohedge.comOriginally from: Forget 'Creepy' - Biden Has A Major Ukraine Problem Joe Biden appears to have made a major tactical error last year when he bragged to an audience of foreign policy experts how he threatened to hurl Ukraine into bankruptcy if their top prosecutor, General Viktor Shokin, wasn't immediately fired, according to The Hill 's John Solomon.
In his own words, with video cameras rolling, Biden described how he threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in March 2016 that the Obama administration would pull $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees , sending the former Soviet republic toward insolvency, if it didn't immediately fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin. - The Hill
"I said, ' You're not getting the billion .' I'm going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ' I'm leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you're not getting the money, '" bragged Biden, recalling the conversation with Poroshenko.
" Well, son of a bitch, he got fired. And they put in place someone who was solid at the time," Biden said at the Council on Foreign Relations event - while insisting that former president Obama was complicit in the threat.
Interviews with a half-dozen senior Ukrainian officials confirm Biden's account, though they claim the pressure was applied over several months in late 2015 and early 2016, not just six hours of one dramatic day . Whatever the case, Poroshenko and Ukraine's parliament obliged by ending Shokin's tenure as prosecutor. Shokin was facing steep criticism in Ukraine, and among some U.S. officials, for not bringing enough corruption prosecutions when he was fired. - The Hill
And why would Biden want the "son of a bitch" fired?
In what must be an amazing coincidence, the prosecutor was leading a wide-ranging corruption investigation into a natural gas firm - which Biden's son, Hunter, sat on the board of directors.
The prosecutor he got fired was leading a wide-ranging corruption probe into the natural gas firm Burisma Holdings that employed Biden's younger son, Hunter, as a board member.
U.S. banking records show Hunter Biden's American-based firm, Rosemont Seneca Partners LLC, received regular transfers into one of its accounts -- usually more than $166,000 a month -- from Burisma from spring 2014 through fall 2015, during a period when Vice President Biden was the main U.S. official dealing with Ukraine and its tense relations with Russia. - The Hill
The Hill 's Solomon reviewed the general prosecutor's file for the Burisma probe - which he reports shows Hunter Biden, his business partner Devon Archer and their firm, Rosemont Seneca, as potential recipients of money.
And before he was fired, Shokin says he had made "specific plans" for the investigation - including "interrogations and other crime-investigation procedures into all members of the executive board, including Hunter Biden." "I would like to emphasize the fact that presumption of innocence is a principle in Ukraine," added Shokin. Joe Biden "clearly had to know" about the probe before he insisted on Shokin's ouster . Via The Hill:
Although Biden made no mention of his son in his 2018 speech, U.S. and Ukrainian authorities both told me Biden and his office clearly had to know about the general prosecutor's probe of Burisma and his son's role. They noted that:
- Hunter Biden's appointment to the board was widely reported in American media;
- The U.S. Embassy in Kiev that coordinated Biden's work in the country repeatedly and publicly discussed the general prosecutor's case against Burisma;
- Great Britain took very public action against Burisma while Joe Biden was working with that government on Ukraine issues;
- Biden's office was quoted, on the record, acknowledging Hunter Biden's role in Burisma in a New York Times article about the general prosecutor's Burisma case that appeared four months before Biden forced the firing of Shokin. The vice president's office suggested in that article that Hunter Biden was a lawyer free to pursue his own private business deals.
President Obama named Biden the administration's point man on Ukraine in February 2014 , after a popular revolution ousted Russia-friendly President Viktor Yanukovych and as Moscow sent military forces into Ukraine's Crimea territory.
Key questions for 'ol Joe:
Was it appropriate for your son and his firm to cash in on Ukraine while you served as point man for Ukraine policy? What work was performed for the money Hunter Biden's firm received? Did you know about the Burisma probe? And when it was publicly announced that your son worked for Burisma, should you have recused yourself from leveraging a U.S. policy to pressure the prosecutor who very publicly pursued Burisma?
Read the rest of Solomon's report here .
Chupacabra-322 , 58 minutes ago linkSon of Captain Nemo , 1 hour ago link
Remember Victoria Nuland's famous phone recording of "**** the EU?" This was nothing more than another CIA destabilization campaign carried out of another Sovereign Country. With the goal of breaking the Bush Senior & Jim Baker agreement of not surrounding Russia with NATO countries after their Collapse.
Let's face it. If Ukrainians loved it's Country, Joey, Hunter and the Choco-**** would have wound up like Mikhail Lesin during an all night party in an upscale grotto in Kiev by now!
Amazing that all 3 of them are still alive and that "Song Bird" McCain (#4) was allowed to die from his brain cancer instead of joining them or being dismembered and put on display when he made these visit(s) ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbfsTcJCKDE ) along with General Vallely (#5)!!!
Taras Bulba , 1 hour ago
At last some questions for this dirt ball-burisma is tied in with one of the most if not the most corrupt oligarch, Koloimiski. Biden is up to his eyeballs in some dodgy deals in china as well-this guy and his son are walking corruption personified.
CarifonianSeven, 2 hours ago
Didn't Hillary teach Joe that a tax free foundation is better than using your son's LLC for laundering the bribes... This is basic stuff.
Pernicious Gold Phallusy, 1 hour ago
Joe cheated his way through undergrad and law school. He would be unable to understand any of that.
whittler, 1 hour ago
What? You mean folks will finally care about little Hunter hiring Azov neo-Nazi fighters (oops! security I mean) to protect his fracking site just north of the 'troubles' in the eastern Ukraine? I'm sure they were working for free and that no Biden money was ever used to payoff (oops again! I mean pay the wages of) a bunch of Nazis (dang it again, I mean neo-Nazis, it sounds so much warmer and fuzzier when you add 'neo').
Creepy Joe and all D's agree, 'Nazi' = bad, neo-Nazi = warm, fuzzy and good; heck, they even like to kill Russians Russians Russians!!!
Cracker 16 , 1 hour ago
Joe "the Conqueror" "Caesar Magnus" Biden. Joe of Ukraine, the best bud of $oro$.
Apr 11, 2016 | consortiumnews.com
Exclusive: Several weeks before Ukraine's 2014 coup, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Nuland had already picked Arseniy Yatsenyuk to be the future leader, but now "Yats" is no longer the guy, writes Robert Parry.
In reporting on the resignation of Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the major U.S. newspapers either ignored or distorted Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland's infamous intercepted phone call before the 2014 coup in which she declared "Yats is the guy!"
Though Nuland's phone call introduced many Americans to the previously obscure Yatsenyuk, its timing – a few weeks before the ouster of elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych – was never helpful to Washington's desired narrative of the Ukrainian people rising up on their own to oust a corrupt leader.
Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who pushed for the Ukraine coup and helped pick the post-coup leaders.
Instead, the conversation between Nuland and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt sounded like two proconsuls picking which Ukrainian politicians would lead the new government. Nuland also disparaged the less aggressive approach of the European Union with the pithy put-down: "Fuck the E.U.!"
More importantly, the intercepted call, released onto YouTube in early February 2014, represented powerful evidence that these senior U.S. officials were plotting – or at least collaborating in – a coup d'etat against Ukraine's democratically elected president. So, the U.S. government and the mainstream U.S. media have since consigned this revealing discussion to the Great Memory Hole.
On Monday, in reporting on Yatsenyuk's Sunday speech in which he announced that he is stepping down, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal didn't mention the Nuland-Pyatt conversation at all. The New York Times did mention the call but misled its readers regarding its timing, making it appear as if the call followed rather than preceded the coup. That way the call sounded like two American officials routinely appraising Ukraine's future leaders, not plotting to oust one government and install another.
The Times article by Andrew E. Kramer said: "Before Mr. Yatsenyuk's appointment as prime minister in 2014, a leaked recording of a telephone conversation between Victoria J. Nuland, a United States assistant secretary of state, and the American ambassador in Ukraine, Geoffrey R. Pyatt, seemed to underscore the West's support for his candidacy. 'Yats is the guy,' Ms. Nuland had said."
Notice, however, that if you didn't know that the conversation occurred in late January or early February 2014, you wouldn't know that it preceded the Feb. 22, 2014 coup. You might have thought that it was just a supportive chat before Yatsenyuk got his new job.
You also wouldn't know that much of the Nuland-Pyatt conversation focused on how they were going to "glue this thing" or "midwife this thing," comments sounding like prima facie evidence that the U.S. government was engaged in "regime change" in Ukraine, on Russia's border.
The 'No Coup' Conclusion
But Kramer's lack of specificity about the timing and substance of the call fits with a long pattern of New York Times' bias in its coverage of the Ukraine crisis. On Jan. 4, 2015, nearly a year after the U.S.-backed coup, the Times published an "investigation" article declaring that there never had been a coup. It was just a case of President Yanukovych deciding to leave and not coming back.
That article reached its conclusion, in part, by ignoring the evidence of a coup, including the Nuland-Pyatt phone call. The story was co-written by Kramer and so it is interesting to know that he was at least aware of the "Yats is the guy" reference although it was ignored in last year's long-form article.
Instead, Kramer and his co-author Andrew Higgins took pains to mock anyone who actually looked at the evidence and dared reach the disfavored conclusion about a coup. If you did, you were some rube deluded by Russian propaganda.
"Russia has attributed Mr. Yanukovych's ouster to what it portrays as a violent, 'neo-fascist' coup supported and even choreographed by the West and dressed up as a popular uprising," Higgins and Kramer wrote . "Few outside the Russian propaganda bubble ever seriously entertained the Kremlin's line. But almost a year after the fall of Mr. Yanukovych's government, questions remain about how and why it collapsed so quickly and completely."
The Times' article concluded that Yanukovych "was not so much overthrown as cast adrift by his own allies, and that Western officials were just as surprised by the meltdown as anyone else. The allies' desertion, fueled in large part by fear, was accelerated by the seizing by protesters of a large stock of weapons in the west of the country. But just as important, the review of the final hours shows, was the panic in government ranks created by Mr. Yanukovych's own efforts to make peace."
Yet, one might wonder what the Times thinks a coup looks like. Indeed, the Ukrainian coup had many of the same earmarks as such classics as the CIA-engineered regime changes in Iran in 1953 and in Guatemala in 1954.
The way those coups played out is now historically well known. Secret U.S. government operatives planted nasty propaganda about the targeted leader, stirred up political and economic chaos, conspired with rival political leaders, spread rumors of worse violence to come and then – as political institutions collapsed – watched as the scared but duly elected leader made a hasty departure.
In Iran, the coup reinstalled the autocratic Shah who then ruled with a heavy hand for the next quarter century; in Guatemala, the coup led to more than three decades of brutal military regimes and the killing of some 200,000 Guatemalans.
Coups don't have to involve army tanks occupying the public squares, although that is an alternative model which follows many of the same initial steps except that the military is brought in at the end. The military coup was a common approach especially in Latin America in the 1960s and 1970s.
' Color Revolutions'
But the preferred method in more recent years has been the "color revolution," which operates behind the façade of a "peaceful" popular uprising and international pressure on the targeted leader to show restraint until it's too late to stop the coup. Despite the restraint, the leader is still accused of gross human rights violations, all the better to justify his removal.
Later, the ousted leader may get an image makeover; instead of a cruel bully, he is ridiculed for not showing sufficient resolve and letting his base of support melt away, as happened with Mohammad Mossadegh in Iran and Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala.
But the reality of what happened in Ukraine was never hard to figure out. Nor did you have to be inside "the Russian propaganda bubble" to recognize it. George Friedman, the founder of the global intelligence firm Stratfor, called Yanukovych's overthrow "the most blatant coup in history."
Which is what it appears if you consider the evidence. The first step in the process was to create tensions around the issue of pulling Ukraine out of Russia's economic orbit and capturing it in the European Union's gravity, a plan defined by influential American neocons in 2013.
On Sept. 26, 2013, National Endowment for Democracy President Carl Gershman, who has been a major neocon paymaster for decades, took to the op-ed page of the neocon Washington Post and called Ukraine "the biggest prize" and an important interim step toward toppling Russian President Vladimir Putin.
At the time, Gershman, whose NED is funded by the U.S. Congress to the tune of about $100 million a year, was financing scores of projects inside Ukraine training activists, paying for journalists and organizing business groups.
As for the even bigger prize -- Putin -- Gershman wrote: "Ukraine's choice to join Europe will accelerate the demise of the ideology of Russian imperialism that Putin represents. Russians, too, face a choice, and Putin may find himself on the losing end not just in the near abroad but within Russia itself."
At that time, in early fall 2013, Ukraine's President Yanukovych was exploring the idea of reaching out to Europe with an association agreement. But he got cold feet in November 2013 when economic experts in Kiev advised him that the Ukrainian economy would suffer a $160 billion hit if it separated from Russia, its eastern neighbor and major trading partner. There was also the West's demand that Ukraine accept a harsh austerity plan from the International Monetary Fund.
Yanukovych wanted more time for the E.U. negotiations, but his decision angered many western Ukrainians who saw their future more attached to Europe than Russia. Tens of thousands of protesters began camping out at Maidan Square in Kiev, with Yanukovych ordering the police to show restraint.
Meanwhile, with Yanukovych shifting back toward Russia, which was offering a more generous $15 billion loan and discounted natural gas, he soon became the target of American neocons and the U.S. media, which portrayed Ukraine's political unrest as a black-and-white case of a brutal and corrupt Yanukovych opposed by a saintly "pro-democracy" movement.
Cheering an Uprising
The Maidan uprising was urged on by American neocons, including Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Nuland, who passed out cookies at the Maidan and reminded Ukrainian business leaders that the United States had invested $5 billion in their "European aspirations."
A screen shot of U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland speaking to U.S. and Ukrainian business leaders on Dec. 13, 2013, at an event sponsored by Chevron, with its logo to Nuland's left.
Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, also showed up, standing on stage with right-wing extremists from the Svoboda Party and telling the crowd that the United States was with them in their challenge to the Ukrainian government.
As the winter progressed, the protests grew more violent. Neo-Nazi and other extremist elements from Lviv and other western Ukrainian cities began arriving in well-organized brigades or "sotins" of 100 trained street fighters. Police were attacked with firebombs and other weapons as the violent protesters began seizing government buildings and unfurling Nazi banners and even a Confederate flag.
Though Yanukovych continued to order his police to show restraint, he was still depicted in the major U.S. news media as a brutal thug who was callously murdering his own people. The chaos reached a climax on Feb. 20 when mysterious snipers opened fire, killing both police and protesters. As the police retreated, the militants advanced brandishing firearms and other weapons. The confrontation led to significant loss of life, pushing the death toll to around 80 including more than a dozen police.
U.S. diplomats and the mainstream U.S. press immediately blamed Yanukovych for the sniper attack, though the circumstances remain murky to this day and some investigations have suggested that the lethal sniper fire came from buildings controlled by Right Sektor extremists.
To tamp down the worsening violence, a shaken Yanukovych signed a European-brokered deal on Feb. 21, in which he accepted reduced powers and an early election so he could be voted out of office. He also agreed to requests from Vice President Joe Biden to pull back the police.
The precipitous police withdrawal opened the path for the neo-Nazis and other street fighters to seize presidential offices and force Yanukovych and his officials to flee for their lives. The new coup regime was immediately declared "legitimate" by the U.S. State Department with Yanukovych sought on murder charges. Nuland's favorite, Yatsenyuk, became the new prime minister.
Throughout the crisis, the mainstream U.S. press hammered home the theme of white-hatted protesters versus a black-hatted president. The police were portrayed as brutal killers who fired on unarmed supporters of "democracy." The good-guy/bad-guy narrative was all the American people heard from the major media.
The New York Times went so far as to delete the slain policemen from the narrative and simply report that the police had killed all those who died in the Maidan. A typical Times report on March 5, 2014, summed up the storyline: "More than 80 protesters were shot to death by the police as an uprising spiraled out of control in mid-February."
The mainstream U.S. media also sought to discredit anyone who observed the obvious fact that an unconstitutional coup had just occurred. A new theme emerged that portrayed Yanukovych as simply deciding to abandon his government because of the moral pressure from the noble and peaceful Maidan protests.
Any reference to a "coup" was dismissed as "Russian propaganda." There was a parallel determination in the U.S. media to discredit or ignore evidence that neo-Nazi militias had played an important role in ousting Yanukovych and in the subsequent suppression of anti-coup resistance in eastern and southern Ukraine. That opposition among ethnic-Russian Ukrainians simply became "Russian aggression."
Nazi symbols on helmets worn by members of Ukraine's Azov battalion. (As filmed by a Norwegian film crew and shown on German TV)
This refusal to notice what was actually a remarkable story – the willful unleashing of Nazi storm troopers on a European population for the first time since World War II – reached absurd levels as The New York Times and The Washington Post buried references to the neo-Nazis at the end of stories, almost as afterthoughts.
The Washington Post went to the extreme of rationalizing Swastikas and other Nazi symbols by quoting one militia commander as calling them "romantic" gestures by impressionable young men. [See Consortiumnews.com's " Ukraine's 'Romantic' Neo-Nazi Storm Troopers ."]
But today – more than two years after what U.S. and Ukrainian officials like to call "the Revolution of Dignity" – the U.S.-backed Ukrainian government is sinking into dysfunction, reliant on handouts from the IMF and Western governments.
And, in a move perhaps now more symbolic than substantive, Prime Minister Yatsenyuk is stepping down. Yats is no longer the guy.
Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America's Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and barnesandnoble.com ).
Khalid Talaat , April 16, 2016 at 20:39
Is it too far fetched to think that all these color revolutions are a perfection of the process to unleash another fake color revolution, only this time it is a Red, White and Blue revolution here at home? Those that continue to booze and snooze while watching the tube will not know the difference until it is too late.
The freedom and tranquility of our country depends on finding and implementing a counterweight to the presstitutes and their propaganda. The alternative is too destructive in its natural development.
Abe , April 15, 2016 at 18:49
Yats and Porko are the guys who broke Ukraine. By the end of December 2015, Ukraine's gross domestic product had shrunk around 19 percent in comparison with 2013. Its decimated industrial sector needs less fuel. Yatsie did a heck of a job.
Abe , April 15, 2016 at 18:35
Carl Gershman: "Ukraine is the biggest prize" -- Paragraph 6 of https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/former-soviet-states-stand-up-to-russia-will-the-us/2013/09/26/b5ad2be4-246a-11e3-b75d-5b7f66349852_story.html
David Smith , April 12, 2016 at 13:51
The timing of "Yats" departure is ominous. Mid-April, six weeks from now would be the first chance to renew the invasion of DPR Donesk/Lugansk."Yats" failed in 2014, and didn't try in 2015. Who is "the new guy"? Will the new Prime Minister begin raving about renewing the holy war to recover the lost oblasts? 2016 is really Ukraine's last chance. Ukraine refuses to implement Minsk2, and they have been receiving lots of new weapons. I believe President Putin put the Syrian operation on " standby" not only to avoid approaching the border, provoking a Turkish intervention, but also so he can give undistracted attention to DPR Donesk/Lugansk.
Bill Rood , April 12, 2016 at 11:50
I guess I must be inside the Russian propaganda bubble. It was obvious to me when I looked at the YouTube videos of policemen burning after being hit with Molotov cocktails.
We played the same game of encouraging government "restraint" in Syria, where we demanded Assad free "political prisoners," but we now accuse him of deliberately encouraging ISIS by freeing those people, so that he can point to ISIS and ask, "Do you want that?" Targeted leaders are damned if they do and damned if they don't.
Andrei , April 12, 2016 at 10:26
"the Ukrainian coup had many of the same earmarks as such classics as the CIA-engineered regime changes in Iran in 1953 and in Guatemala in 1954", Romania 1989 Shots were fired by snipers in order to stirr the crowds (sounds familiar?) and also by the army after Ceasescu ran away, which resulted in civilians getting murdered. Could it possibly be that it was said : "Iliescu (next elected president) is the guy!" ?
Joe L. , April 12, 2016 at 11:00
Check out the attempted coup against Hugo Chavez in Venezuela 2002, that is very similar with protesters, snipers on rooftops, IMF immediately offering loans to the new coup government, new government positions for the coup plotters, complacency with the media – propaganda, funding by USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy etc. John Pilger documents how the coup occurred in his documentary "War on Democracy" – https://vimeo.com/16724719 .
archaos , April 12, 2016 at 09:45
It was noted in the minutes of Verkhovna Rada almost 2 years before Maidan 2 , that Geoffrey Pyatt was fomenting and funding destabilisation of Ukraine.
All of Svoboda Nazis in parliament (and other fascisti) then booed the MP who stated this.
Mark Thomason , April 12, 2016 at 06:57
Also, the Dutch voted "no" on the economic agreement the coup was meant to force through instead of the Russian agreement accepted by the President it overthrew. Now both "Yats" and the economic agreement are gone. All that is left is the war. Neocons are still happen. They wanted the war. They really want to overthrow Putin, and Ukraine was just a tool in that.
Realist , April 12, 2016 at 05:51
You're right, it doesn't have to be the military that carries out a coup by deploying tanks on the National Mall. In 2000, it was the United States Supreme Court that exceeded its constitutional authority and installed George W. Bush as president, though in reality he had lost that election. I wonder when that move will rightfully be characterized as a coup by the historians.
Bryan Hemming , April 12, 2016 at 04:00
"On Sept. 26, 2013, National Endowment for Democracy President Carl Gershman, who has been a major neocon paymaster for decades, took to the op-ed page of the neocon Washington Post and called Ukraine "the biggest prize" and an important interim step toward toppling Russian President Vladimir Putin."
It should be remembered that Victoria Nuland took up the post of Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs in Washington on September 18, 2013.
Coincidentally, two other women closely connected to events in Ukraine were also in Washington during September 2013.
Friend of Nuland and boss of the IMF, which has its own HQ in Washington, Christine Lagarde was swift to respond to a Ukraine request for IMF loans on February 27th 2014, just five days after the removal of Yanukovych on February 22nd. Lagarde is pictured with Baronness Catherine Ashton in Washington in a Facebook entry dated September 30th 2013. Ashton was High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy at the time.
Though visiting Kiev at the same time as Nuland in February 2014 Catherine Ashton never appeared in public with her, which seems a little odd considering the women were on the same mission, and talking to the same people. Nevertheless, despite appearing shy of being photographed with each other the two women weren't quite so shy of being pictured with leaders of the coup, including the right wing extremist, Oleh Tyahnybok.
Ashton refused to be drawn into commenting on Nuland's "Fuck the E.U.!" outburst, describing Nuland as "a friend of mine." The two women certainly weren't strangers, they had worked closely together before. September 2012 saw them involved in discussions with Iran negotiator Saeed Jalili over the country's supposed nuclear arms ambitions.
The question is not so much whether the three women talked about Ukraine's future – it would be ridiculous to think they did not – but how closely they worked together, and exactly how closely they might have been involved in events leading up to the overthrow of the legitimate government in Kiev. More on this here:
Pablo Diablo , April 11, 2016 at 22:56
Another failed "regime change". Aren't these guys (Neoconservatives) great. They fail, piss off/kill millions, yet seem to keep making money and retaining power. Time to WAKE UP AMERICA.
Skip Edwards , April 11, 2016 at 20:06
Read "The Devil'Chessboard" by David Talbot to understand what has been occurring as a result of America's Dark, Shadow government, an un-elected bunch of vicious psychopaths controlling our destiny; unless stopped. Get a clue and realize that "Yats is our guy" Victoria Nuland was Hillary Clinton's "gal." Hillary Clinton is Robert Kagen's "gal." Time to flush all these rats out of the hold and get on with our lives.
Joe L. , April 11, 2016 at 18:40
Mr. Parry thank you for delving into the proven history of coups and the parallels with Ukraine. It amazes me how anyone can outright deny this was a coup especially if they know anything about US coups going back to WW2 (Iran 1953, Guatemala 1954, Chile 1973, attempt in Venezuela 2002 etc. – and there are a whole slew more). I read before, as you have rightly pointed out, that in 1953 the CIA led a propaganda campaign in Iran against Mossadegh as well as financing opposition protesters and opposition government officials. Another angle, as well, is looking historically back to what papers such as the New York Times were reporting around the time of the coup in Iran – especially when we know that the US/Britain overthrew the democratically elected Mossadegh for their own oil interests (British Petroleum):
New York Times: "Mossadegh Plays with Fire" (August 15, 1953):
The world has so many trouble spots these days that one is apt to pass over the odd one here and there to preserve a little peace of mind. It would be well, however, to keep an eye on Iran, where matters are going from bad to worse, thanks to the machinations of Premier Mossadegh.
Some of us used to ascribe our inability to persuade Dr. Mossadegh of the validity of our ideas to the impossibility of making him understand or see things our way. We thought of him as a sincere, well-meaning, patriotic Iranian, who had a different point of view and made different deductions from the same set of facts. We now know that he is a power-hungry, personally ambitious, ruthless demagogue who is trampling upon the liberties of his own people. We have seen this onetime champion of liberty maintain martial law, curb freedom of the press, radio, speech and assembly, resort to illegal arrests and torture, dismiss the Senate, destroy the power of the Shah, take over control of the army, and now he is about to destroy the Majlis, which is the lower house of Parliament.
His power would seem to be complete, but he has alienated the traditional ruling classes -the aristocrats, landlords, financiers and tribal leaders. These elements are anti-Communist. So is the Shah and so are the army leaders and the urban middle classes. There is a traditional, historic fear, suspicion and dislike of Russia and the Russians. The peasants, who make up the overwhelming mass of the population, are illiterate and nonpolitical. Finally, there is still no evidence that the Tudeh (Communist) party is strong enough or well enough organized, financed and led to take power.
All this simply means that there is no immediate danger of a Communist coup or Russian intervention. On the other hand, Dr. Mossadegh is encouraging the Tudeh and is following policies which will make the Communists more and more dangerous. He is a sorcerer's apprentice, calling up forces he will not be able to control.
Iran is a weak, divided, poverty-stricken country which possesses an immense latent wealth in oil and a crucial strategic position. This is very different from neighboring Turkey, a strong, united, determined and advanced nation, which can afford to deal with the Russians because she has nothing to fear -and therefore the West has nothing to fear. Thanks largely to Dr. Mossadegh, there is much to fear in Iran.
My feeling is that the biggest sin that our society has is forgetting history. If we remembered history I would think that it would be very difficult to pull off coups but most media does not revisit history which proves US coups even against democracies. I actually think that the coup that occurred in Ukraine was similar to the attempted coup in Venezuela in 2002 with snipers on rooftops, immediate blame for the deaths on Hugo Chavez where media manipulated the footage, immediate acceptance of the temporary coup government by the US Government, immediately offering IMF loans for the new coup government, government positions for many of the coup plotters, and let us not leave out the funding for the coup coming from USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy. I also remember seeing the New York Times immediately blaming Chavez and praising the coup but when the coup was overturned and US fingerprints started to become revealed (with many of the coup plotters fleeing to the US) then the New York Times wrote a limited retraction buried in their paper. Shameless.
SFOMARCO , April 11, 2016 at 15:16
How was NED able to finance "scores of projects inside Ukraine training activists, paying for journalists and organizing business groups", not to mention to host such dignitaries as Cookie Nuland, Loser McCain and assorted Bidens? Seems like a recipe for a coup "hidden in plain sight".
Bob Van Noy , April 11, 2016 at 14:36
Ukraine, one would hope, represents the "Bridge Too Far" moment for the proponents of regime change. Surely Americans must be catching on to what we do for selected nations in the name of "giving them their freedoms". The Kagan Family, empowered by their newly endorsed candidate for President, Hillary Clinton, will feel justified in carrying on a new cold war, this time world wide. Of course they will not be doing the fighting, they, like Dick Cheney are the self appointed intellects of geopolitical chess, much like The Georgetown Set of the Kennedy era, they perceive themselves as the only ones smart enough to plan America's future.
Helen Marshall , April 11, 2016 at 17:11
I wish. How many Americans know ANYTHNG about what has happened in Ukraine, about Crimea and its history, and/or could even locate them on a map?
Pastor Agnostic , April 12, 2016 at 04:11
Nuland is merely the inhouse, PNAC female version of Sidney Blumenthal. Which raises the scary question. Who would she pick to be SecState?
Apr 02, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
William Gruff , Apr 1, 2019 3:29:05 PM | link
Writing off Brazil (and India and South Africa for that matter) just because the empire has succeeded in swinging an election or two in those places, or because the empire's lawfare scams seem to be working at the moment, is a mistake.
These conspicuous successes of the Empire of Chaos , as Escobar calls America, do not significantly change the anti-imperialist attitudes of the populations in these countries.
There will be backlash against the fascists in Brazil, and the right wing leaderships in governments elsewhere in Latin America that the US has maneuvered into place as these leaders fail to deliver material gains to their populations. And fail they will considering we are in late-stage capitalism.
Apr 01, 2019 | www.rferl.org
'They Intimidate Citizens, Damage Ukraine's Reputation'
In the letter that was addressed to Avakov on March 15, French Ambassador Isabelle Dumont wrote on behalf of her fellow ambassadors that "the G7 group is concerned by extreme political movements in Ukraine, whose violent actions are worrying in themselves."
"They intimidate Ukrainian citizens, attempt to usurp the role of the National Police in safeguarding elections, and damage the Ukrainian government's national and international reputation," Dumont continued, in a thinly veiled reference to the National Corps and National Militia, the far-right Azov group's political and vigilante wings, respectively.
... ... ...
'Nationalist Hate Groups'
The National Corps and National Militia were products of the Azov Battalion, a volunteer military regiment formed in the early days of the conflict against Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine that began in 2014. The battalion has been accused by international human rights groups of "war crimes" on the battlefield and has since been brought under the control of the National Guard, which is overseen by Avakov.
Members of the National Corps and National Militia have been blamed for multiple violent attacks on minorities in Ukraine, particularly Roma and LGBTI persons, in the past year.
The U.S. State Department described those far-right entities as "nationalist hate groups" in its Ukraine country report on Human Rights for 2018 released on March 13.
.... ... ...
On March 9, the National Corps and National Militia clashed with police outside the presidential administration in Kyiv and later in Cherkasy, where Poroshenko was campaigning. At least 15 police officers were wounded.
"The violent incidents of March 9 were a reminder that, just a few weeks ahead of the elections, one crucial challenge is to prevent an escalation of tensions," Dumont wrote in the letter to Avakov. "We have noted with concern that the very same groups involved in the violent incidents have registered as election observers and publicly threatened to use violence should they consider that election fraud is occurring."
Indeed, Ukraine's Central Election Commission has approved the National Militia to monitor the polling. Soon after that announcement, the group's spokesman warned that "if law enforcers turn a blind eye to outright violations and don't want to document them," then they plan to follow the lead of a group leader who said they would "punch someone in the face in the name of justice...without hesitation."
Mar 29, 2019 | www.youtube.com
netnema , 3 weeks agoFRUEDyo , 1 week ago
So the question is: what's better proven corruption or a new face in politics? And the best answer is, "Politicians and diapers should be changed often and for the same reason" - Mark Twainyagle hoole , 3 weeks ago
He is bringing hope and that's the point!bloodaxe , 1 week ago
Don't laugh. Professional comedians are actually very intelligent. They have excellent memory -- I know, think very very quick on their feet, and deal with hecklers of all stripes all the time. Such attributes are handy in time of crisis. But don't expect them to crack a joke once they're elected. Look at Al Franken. Having been elected to and served in the Senate, he's yet to say anything funny in public, lest people not take him seriously.
Mar 28, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com
CHICKENS. HOME. ROOST. " [T]he G7 group is concerned by extreme political movements in Ukraine... ". Whoa! Weren't these people just Putin's " fabricated claim ", " revanchist policy ", " lying "?
FBI: Neo-Nazi Militia Trained by US Military in Ukraine Now Training US White Supremacists . Azov-Christchurch ?
UKRAINE. Lowest confidence in their government in the world . Comedian still in front: someone hopes that things will get better . Sorry: Kiev has to burn the last bit of the Galician fantasy to ashes and understand that the right people won the Second World War. Then, maybe, some hope.
Mar 23, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
karlof1 , Mar 22, 2019 2:02:42 PM | linkOT--FYI--OT
Russia's PM meets with Ukrainian presidential candidate Boyko and discuss many items of interest.
I wonder if Boyko will be arrested upon his return?
TASS has several additional short items related to this meeting and the upcoming election in Ukraine of March 31. IMO, if Boyko wins, the Outlaw US Empire's Ukrainian project will be concluded.
What he discussed with Medvedev and Gazprom's Miller is of extreme importance to Ukraine's economy and are important election issues.
Mar 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.comBrookings Senior Fellow and author Robert Kagan in March 2018. (Brookings Institution/Paul Morigi) Robert Kagan warns us about global authoritarianism:
Of all the geopolitical transformations confronting the liberal democratic world these days, the one for which we are least prepared is the ideological and strategic resurgence of authoritarianism. We are not used to thinking of authoritarianism as a distinct worldview that offers a real alternative to liberalism.
We are not used to thinking of authoritarianism as a distinct worldview because it isn't one. All authoritarian states share certain things in common, and they may see some of the same things as threats, but there isn't a single worldview that all authoritarian governments subscribe to. There is no one ideology that binds them together. Most of them are nationalistic to one degree or another, but because of that they usually have competing and opposing goals. Treating all authoritarian regimes as part of the same global threat lumps illiberal and majoritarian democracies together with kleptocracies, communist dictatorships, and absolute monarchies. That exaggerates the danger that these regimes pose, and it tries to invent a Cold War-like division between rival camps that doesn't really exist. If the U.S. treats these states as if they are all in league with one another, it will tend to drive together states that would otherwise remain at odds and keep each other at arm's length.
Kagan's preferred foreign policy requires that there is some global "ideological confrontation" for the U.S. to be engaged in. If there isn't one, it has to be invented. His account of the history of the 20th century shows how determined he is to see international politics in terms of grand ideological battles even when there wasn't one. He takes seriously the idea that WWI is one of these struggles: "But for those who fought it, on both sides, it was very much a war between liberalism and authoritarianism." Kagan makes the mistake of treating wartime propaganda descriptions of the war as the real motivation for the war, and he relies on stereotypes of the nations on the other side of the war as well. The world's largest colonial empires were not fighting for "the liberties of Europe" and they certainly weren't fighting for the rights of small nations, as wartime British propaganda would have it, and that became abundantly clear in the post-war settlement. It was primarily a war among empires for supremacy in Europe, and the surviving Allied empires consolidated their hold on their own colonial possessions and gained more. To the extent that Americans genuinely believed that joining the war had something to do with vindicating the cause of democracy, they were quickly disabused of that notion when they saw the fruits of the vindictive settlement that their allies imposed on the losing side.
Kagan admits that there are many differences of regime type that he is trying to collapse into one group:
We have become lost in endless categorizations, viewing each type of non-liberal government as unique and unrelated to the others -- the illiberal democracy, the "liberal" or "liberalizing" autocracy, the "competitive" and "hybrid" authoritarianism. These different categories certainly describe the myriad ways non-liberal societies may be governed. But in the most fundamental way, all of this is beside the point.
In other words, Kagan isn't all that interested in details or accuracy. Those are "beside the point." What matters is dividing up the world into two opposing camps: "Nations are either liberal, meaning that there are permanent institutions and unchanging norms that protect the "unalienable" rights of individuals against all who would infringe on those rights, whether the state or the majority; or they are not liberal." The criteria for qualifying as a liberal nation are extremely demanding. What institutions can honestly be called "permanent" and what norms are ever truly "unchanging"? Judged against this extreme and unreasonable standard, there won't ever be many nations that qualify as liberal, including quite a few that we would normally consider liberal democracies in good standing. That makes it a lot easier for Kagan to exaggerate the power of "resurgent authoritarianism."
Kagan doesn't make it explicit in this essay, but his larger goal in all of this is to advocate for a more confrontational foreign policy mobilized against the authoritarian enemies that he has described. He hints at this when he disparages contemporary "realists" whom he doesn't name or cite:
Just as during the 1930s, when realists such as Robert Taft assured Americans that their lives would be undisturbed by the collapse of democracy in Europe and the triumph of authoritarianism in Asia, so we have realists today insisting that we pull back from confronting the great authoritarian powers rising in Eurasia.
To be much more accurate, there are realists, non-interventionists, and progressives that see no compelling reason for the U.S. to engage in destructive rivalries with major authoritarian powers in their own backyards. Except for a lame, overused comparison to the 1930s, Kagan doesn't even try to explain why we are wrong to think this. Kagan assumes that such destructive rivalries are both necessary and desirable, and this essay is the latest part of his effort to lay the groundwork for the ideological justification for those rivalries.
Kagan's analysis suffers from the problem of mirror-imaging that always plagues ideologues. He assumes that everyone sees the world in starkly ideological categories just as he does, and he thinks that other actors are just as determined to export their ideology as he is. His entire worldview depends on linking great power competition with larger ideological causes, and for almost thirty years there has been no such "ideological confrontation" for Kagan to theorize about. Despite Kagan's insistence to the contrary, there still isn't. He wants the U.S. to take a more confrontational approach to dealing with Russia and China, and in order to sell that today he has to dress it up as something more than the destructive and costly pursuit of hegemony that he has been pushing for decades. The U.S. has spent the last twenty years fighting wars that Kagan and other like-minded interventionists advocated for and endorsed. We shouldn't make the same mistake again when the stakes are even higher.
Minnesota Mary March 17, 2019 at 1:56 pmA recent WSJ article (03/11/19) titled "Russian Gas Plan Divides U.S., Allies" with the subtitle "Washington fears undersea project would make Germany too reliant on Moscow" tells the tale of what the real reasons for America to demonize Russia and Putin. The U.S. leaders fear that the German-Russian pipeline project, Nord Stream 2, will make Europe reliant on Russian energy instead of Europe purchasing it energy from the United States. What gives the U.S. the right to stop one nation from doing commerce with other nations? The answer is "Greed."Kouros , says: March 17, 2019 at 3:41 pm
All wars are predicated on lies, and all wars are fought for economic reasons and not the so called humanitarian reasons that are fed to the people.Always insightful indeed: Kagan is and will until the bitter end defend American hegemony and the ideological mantle will be used as a cover (Mel Gibson screaming "Freedom!" in Bravehart; killing the babies and stealing the incubators!).JR , says: March 17, 2019 at 3:57 pm
People also forget that US is not a democracy, but a managed Republic, and according to all indicators, it is not even that liberal
So better save this post because you are still young and in 30 years from now you will be able to re-post it and just change a couple of namesIronically he seems in the same (lack of) weight class (intellectually) as Pompeo.Stephen J. , says: March 17, 2019 at 5:22 pmYou write:Taras 77 , says: March 17, 2019 at 7:15 pm
"The U.S. has spent the last twenty years fighting wars that Kagan and other like-minded interventionists advocated for and endorsed."
Right on the mark. The fallout from the actions of these "interventionists" is millions are dead in a number of countries. Millions are refugees and thousands of soldiers are dead or maimed. More facts on these war criminals at link below.
https://graysinfo.blogspot.com/2019/01/the-facts-on-crimes-of-war-criminals.htmlThanks much for this, Mr Larison.prolegomenon to any future foreign policy , says: March 18, 2019 at 2:27 am
Anytime, anywhere, anyone comes out and destroys kagan's Zionist globalist babble as you have done, it is a very commendable exercise for the good of mankind and America.
This Kagan family, with Robert now the lead figure, has done a great deal towards furthering conflicts and violence in the world. It is long past time that they be put in their place, whatever that is, but it will not happen because their Zionist mindset is very well funded.
Your article does a public service."The U.S. has spent the last twenty years fighting wars that Kagan and other like-minded interventionists advocated for and endorsed. We shouldn't make the same mistake again when the stakes are even higher."
We ought to do more than that. He should be muzzled and sent to live in a cave somewhere to repent the consequences of the terrible damage he and other incompetents have done to America. That people like this still have access to the media is almost beyond belief.
Mar 15, 2019 | nationalinterest.org
Nick Klaus Mr Russian • 2 days ago ,milo Mr Russian • 2 days ago ,
You are a little wrong when you call this system "colonial". Today it is neo-colonialism. When the United States subordinates the country, they do not bear any responsibility for the fate of this country, since the formally subordinate country remains independent and all its actions are performed "voluntarily."
Ukraine is a good example. Now this country commits ritual suicide "completely voluntarily."Mr Russian milo • 2 days ago ,
They've thought of that. That's why they tell us "The US has no colonies". Because you have to support them if you admit to owning them. That's why by 1960, every colonial nation on earth was giving its own colonies independence. They were costing more than they were worth.
What we do now is to groom some local fellow, like Guaido, to take over the government and run it the way we would like him to. We pay generously for this favor, in the form of loans and direct investments. The fortunate ones near the seat of power come out fabulously well. But neither we nor the country's rulers take on any responsibility for the welfare of their people.
One of the dictators we backed was the director of the Brazilian military, who seized power back in 1964... a fellow named Castelo Branco. And he was asked once at a press conference how the economy was doing.
He replied "The economy, it is doing marvelously! The people, on the other hand-- not so good."milo Mr Russian • 2 days ago ,
If you don't offer protection to your puppet eventually some other power might try the same trick and overthrow him. But if you do provide protection that area becomes a colony.
So what you describing can only work when there is only one major power on the planet. The US enjoyed it for some time but it can't have it anymore, that's reality.
The system is predicted to work some time into the future, for the reason that it is based on subterfuge and military force. And we have a military as large as that of the entire rest of the planet put together. So to us it doesn't matter what you call it. They control the media, so they can just not report a word you say about them.
What will undo it will be a collapse of the dollar-based economy. And that will be kind of hard to achieve, as every rich person on earth keeps his wealth denominated in dollars. So there is little pressure to kill it. That's why we always used to call it The Almighty Dollar.
However there are limits. Our main weapon now being used to enforce behavior is financial sanctions. So it's pretty much assured that at some point in the near future the sanctioned nations (Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela...) will be getting together to set up an alternate financial system. Probably based on the yuan.
That's the thing about offensive weapons systems. As a Mexican wit put it "Let them build a twenty foot wall. We will build a 21 foot ladder."
Feb 23, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com
The ideological fissures that are growing in the United States are beginning to resemble the warring camps that characterize the Ukrainian political world. The divide in Ukraine pits groups who are described as "right wing" and many are ideological descendants of real Nazis and Nazi sympathizers against groups with a strong affinity to Russia. This kind of gap cannot be bridged through conventional negotiations.
Who is the United States government and media supporting? The Nazis . You think I'm joking. Here are the facts, but we must go back to World War II :
When World War II began a large part of western Ukraine welcomed the German soldiers as liberators from the recently enforced Soviet rule and openly collaborated with the Germans. The Soviet leader, Stalin, imposed policies that caused the deaths of almost 7 million Ukrainians in the 1930s--an era known as the Holomodor).
Ukrainian divisions, regiments and battalions were formed, such as SS Galizien, Nachtigal and Roland, and served under German leadership. In the first few weeks of the war, more than 80 thousand people from the Galizien region volunteered for the SS Galizien, which later known for its extreme cruelty towards Polish, Jewish and Russian people on the territory of Ukraine.
Members of these military groups came mostly from the organization of Ukrainian nationalists aka the OUN, which was founded in 1929. It's leader was Stepan Bandera, known then and today for his extreme anti-semitic and anti-communist views.
CIA documents just recently declassified show strong ties between US intelligence and Ukrainian nationalists since 1946.
Jump ahead now to the April 2014 "uprising" of anti-Russian forces in the Ukraine (Maidan 2). The US was firmly on the side of the protesters, who ultimately succeeded in ousting the elected President. And who were helping lead this effort?
Secretary of the Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council is Andriy Parubiy. Parubiy was the founder of the Social National Party of Ukraine, a fascist party styled on Hitler's Nazis, with membership restricted to ethnic Ukrainians.
The Social National Party would go on to become Svoboda, the far-right nationalist party whose leader, Oleh Tyahnybok was one of the three most high profile leaders of the Euromaidan protests. . . .
Overseeing the armed forces alongside Parubiy as the Deputy Secretary of National Security is Dmytro Yarosh , the leader of the Right Sector – a group of hardline nationalist streetfighters, who previously boasted they were ready for armed struggle to free Ukraine.
The US support, both overt and covert, for Ukrainian politicians is grounded in an anti-Soviet (now anti-Russian) ideology. We have convinced ourselves that Russia is hell bent on world domination. Therefore we must do whatever is necessary to stop Russia, which includes uncritical, blind support for elements in Ukraine that also detest the Russians. But in doing so we have closed our eyes to the filthy underbelly of the virulent anti-Semitism that lurks in western Ukraine.
US meddling in the Ukraine is astonishing in its breadth. It ranges from the fact that the wife of former President Viktor Yuschenko was an American citizen and former senior official in the US State Department. Do you think there would be no complaints if Melania Trump was born in Russia and had served in the Russian Foreign Ministry? Yet, most Americans are happily ignorant of such facts.
But Viktor Yushchenko is not an American who speaks a foreign language. He is very much a Ukrainian nationalist and steeped in the anti-Semitism that dominates the ideology of western Ukraine. During the final months of his Presidency, Yushchenko made the following declaration:
In conclusion I would like to say something that is long awaited by the Ukrainian patriots for many years I have signed a decree for the unbroken spirit and standing for the idea of fighting for independent Ukraine. I declare Stepan Bandera a national hero of Ukraine.
Without hesitation or shame, Yushchenko endorsed the legacy of Bandera, who had happily aligned with the Nazis in pursuit of his own nationalist goals. Those goals, however, did not include Jews. And here is the ultimate irony--Bandera was born in Austria, not the Ukraine. So much for ideological consistency.
US interference was not confined to serendipitous relationships, such as the Yushchenko marriage. It also included the open and active funding of certain political groups and media outlets. The US State Department sent money through a variety of outlets. One of these was the Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening aka CEPPS.
This is : a USAID program with other National Endowment for Democracy-affiliated groups: the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, the International Republican Institute and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems. In 2010, the reported disbursement for CEPPS in Ukraine was nearly $5 million.
The program's efforts are described on the USAID website as providing "training for political party activists and locally elected officials to improve communication with civic groups and citizens, and the development of NGO-led advocacy campaigns on electoral and political process issues."
Anyone prepared to argue that it would be okay for Russia, through its Foreign Ministry, to contribute several million dollars for training party activists in the United States?
What we do not know is how much money was being spent on covert activities directed and managed by the CIA. During the political upheaval in April 2014 (Maidan 2), there was this news item:
Over the weekend, CIA director John Brennan travelled to Kiev, nobody knows exactly why, but some speculate that he intends to open US intelligence resources to Ukrainian leaders about real-time Russian military maneuvers. The US has, thus far, refrained from sharing such knowledge because Moscow is believed to have penetrated much of Ukraine's communications systems – and Washington isn't about to hand over its surveillance secrets to the Russians.
Do you think Americans would be outraged if the head of Russia's version of the CIA, the SVR or FSB, traveled quietly to the United States to meet with Donald Trump prior to his election? I think that would qualify as meddling.
Count me as one of the people who is outraged by the hypocrisy and stupidity now on display in the United States. I am not talking about Trump. I am referring to the Republicans and Democrats and pundits and media mouthpieces who are fuming about Russian citizens writing on Facebook as one of the worst catastrophes since Pearl Harbor or 9-11.
There clearly is meddling going on in America's political landscape. But it isn't the Russian Government. No. There are foreign and domestic forces aligned who are keen on portraying Russia as a threat to world order that must be opposed by more defense spending and tougher sanctions. That is the propaganda that dominates the media in the United States these days. And that is truly dangerous to our nation's safety and freedom.
Posted at 01:24 PM in Publius Tacitus , Russiagate | Permalink
james , 23 February 2018 at 02:11 PMGood post pt.. thanks... i never knew ''the wife of former President Viktor Yushchenko was an American citizen and former senior official in the US State Department.'' That is informative.. i recall following this closely back in 2014.. the hypocrisy on display in the usa at present is truly amazing and frightening at the same time.. it appears that the public can be cowed very easily..Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg , 23 February 2018 at 02:29 PMgood points well made.Adrestia , 23 February 2018 at 02:39 PM
On the twitters, you would be accused of "whatabouttism" - which is the crime of excusing Putin's diabolism by pointing out American interference with the internal politics an elections of other nations. A CIA guy recently said the US only interferes to 'promote democracy' - tell that to Australia, Vietnam, Mexico, Chile, Congo, Russia, Ukraine...it's a long long list.
An independent Ukraine was also a project of German foreign policy after the Brest-Litowsk Treaty (the equivalent of the Versailles Treaty, only aimed at Russia) SO I have o wonder how much of the enthusiasm for Vicky Nuland's Israel friendly Nazi state-let (oh what irony!) is a product of Germany wanting to reassert itself in the east, using NATO solidarity as a fig leaf. Maybe they will make Ukraine import a lot o Africans "refugees" so that Soros' project of creating a brown Europe will be advanced in the Slavic sphere as well as the west.It's not only the US. The EU borg are also meddling. In my country we had a referendum about Ukraine. The population voted "Against" on the question: "Are you for or against the Approval Act of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine?"Tom , 23 February 2018 at 03:22 PM
This was the only referendum that was done since it was implemented in 2015. A second one is being organized on the Intelligence and Security Services which has controversial parts with regard to access to internet traffic.
This referendum will take place on March 21, 2018 and will probably be voted against because of the controversial elements (in part because there is still living memory of our Eastern neighbors in the second world war)
These 2 will probably be the last. Our house of representatives have voted yesterday to end the referendum law (with a majority vote of 76 out of 150 representatives!)
So much for democracy. The reason stated that the referendum was controversial (probably because they voted against the EU borg). Interesting is that the proposal was done by the party that wanted the referendum as a principal point. This will almost certainly ensure that the little respect left for traditional parties is gone and they will not be able to get a majority next elections.
The liberal party - who provides the prime-minister - EU leader Hans van Baalen and Belgian ex-prime minister Guy Verhostad held a controversial speech on the Maidan square in support of the protesters that the EU will support them.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIL1FWCIlu8Jony Kanuck , 23 February 2018 at 03:27 PM
I wouldn't put to much stress on Bandera having been a bad guy. His enemies were no better. They just won the war and the victors write history. The deeper problem of Ukraine is the fact that in the East of the country (and maybe even the majority of the country) Bandera is indeed regarded as a villain. But in the West he is a hero to this day. Even in Soviet times people from Western Ukraine were regarded as "fascists" by much of the rest of the country. No wonder as there were anti soviet partisans until late in the fifties.
Even in the nineties anybody who travelled in Ukraine could feel the tension between East and West. The Russians were certainly aware of it and mindful not to rip the country apart they cut the Ukrainians an enormous amount of slack. Of course they supported "their" candidates and shoveled money into their insatiable throats. Only to be disappointed time and again. "Prorussian" Kutshma turned into a Ukrainian "patriot" (such is the logic of statehood) and the same thing happened with Yanukovich. People forget that he would have signed an association agreement with Europe had Europe not refused because he was insufficiently "democratic". Really the West should have been content with things as they were.
But the West wanted it all. They wanted Ukraine firmly in the "Western" camp. Thereby they ripped the country apart. As a good friend of mine who has studied in Kiev in Soviet times remarked: to ask Ukraine to choose between East and West is like asking a child in divorce proceedings who it liked more: daddy or mummy?
Really the West (not only the US -the Eu is also guilty) is to blame. It is long past time to get down from the high horse and stop spreading chaos and mayhem in the name of democracy,
Publius,bluetonga , 23 February 2018 at 03:28 PM
An informative column. The coup & later developments soured me on the MSMedia. I'm an initiate into modern Russian history: NATO in the Ukraine = WW3!
Some additional history:
A Ukrainian nation did not exist until after WW1; one piece was Russian, another Polish and another Austrian. The Holodomor is exaggerated for political purposes; the actual number dead from famine appears to be 'only' 2M. It wasn't Soviet bloody mindedness, it was Soviet agricultural mismanagement; collectivizing agriculture drops production.
They did this right before the great drought of the 1930s - remember the dustbowl. There was a famine in Kazakestan at the same time; 1.5M died.
The Nazis raised 5 SS divisions out of the Ukraine. As the Germans were pushed back they ran night drops of ordnance into the Ukraine as long as they could. The Soviets had to carry on divisional level counter insurgency until 1956. After the war, Gehlen, Nazi intelligence czar, kept himself out of jail by turning over his files, routes & agents to the US. He also stoked anti Soviet paranoia.
The Brits ended up with a whole Ukr SS division that they didn't want, so they gave it to Canada. Which is why Canada has such cranky policy around the Ukraine!A very interesting conversation between Victoria Nulland and ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, caught at picking the future rulers of liberated Ukraine : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QxZ8t3V_bk This is not meddling. This is a defensive (preemptive?) action against Russian agression.Publius Tacitus -> Tom... , 23 February 2018 at 03:31 PMTom,Publius Tacitus -> bluetonga... , 23 February 2018 at 03:36 PM
I'm sure you'd like us to ignore Bandera. I bet he liked children and dogs. Just like Hitler. Bandera was a genuine bad guy. There is no rehabilitating that scourge on society. Nice try though.I am giving you the benefit of the doubt that your final comment is sarcasm. When you have two senior US Government officials who will and will not constitute a foreign government, you have gone beyond meddling. It is worse.VietnamVet , 23 February 2018 at 03:57 PMPTThe Twisted Genius , 23 February 2018 at 03:59 PM
The media is hysterical. Today, Putin's Facebook Bot Collaborator contacted the Kremlin before his mercenaries attacked Americans in Syria.
I've never seen such an intense barrage of propaganda before in my life. America is fracturing apart like Ukraine. This is no coincidence. In both countries, oligarchs have seized power, the rule of law abandoned and there is a rush of corruption.
A World War is near. The realists are gone. The Moguls are pushing Donald Trump pull the trigger. Either in Syria with an assault to destroy Hezbollah (Iran) for good or American trainers going over the top of trenches in Donbass in a centennial attack of the dead.Publius Tacitus,TimmyB , 23 February 2018 at 04:08 PM
Hallelujah and jubilation! We're in full agreement on this subject. What we did to Ukraine is shameful in every way. A remember a video of a pallet of money being unloaded from a USG place at Kiev during Maidan 2. That's in addition to Nuland's bag of cookies. I always thought that one of the objectives of our meddling in Ukraine was to make Sevastopol into a NATO naval base.
I would definitely want to see a full account of what support we provided to the nazi thugs of Svoboda and Pravy Sektor. We have a long history of meddling, at least twice as long as the Soviet Union/Russia. But that does not mean we should stop investigating the Russian interference in our 2016 election. Just stop hyperventilating over it. It no more deserves risking a war than our continuing mutual espionage.Our leaders are the biggest hypocrites on the planet. The Ukraine was almost evenly divided between pro-Western and pro-Russian sides. Our government, rather than waiting for an election, assisted an armed rebellion against the elected pro-Russian government. Among the groups our government allied with in this endeavor were out and out Nazis.
As a result of this rebellion, the Russian majority in Crimea overwhelming voted to leave the Ukraine and rejoin Russia, which they had been part of for over 150-years. While our government continues to provide military aid to Israel, which used force of arms take over the West Bank, it imposed sanctions against Russia when the people of Crimea voted to join their former countrymen. Mind boggling.
Mar 05, 2019 | www.unz.com
FB , says: November 24, 2018 at 5:18 pm GMT@Felix Keverich You're full of shit what the heck do you know about industry you useless little fart ? are you an industrial engineer do you have any technical qualifications whatsoever or do you just pull buzzwords like 'marketable skills' out your wazoo, as needed ?Felix Keverich , says: November 24, 2018 at 5:38 pm GMT
The Ukraine certainly had all kinds of 'entrepreneurs' they're called OLIGARCHS who very capably enriched themselves unfortunately 'entrepreneurs' are what normal people would call parasites, flim-flam men and hucksters
As for Ukrainian workers lacking 'marketable skills' I guess that would be 'skills' like TROLLING, your specialty and making retarded statements on discussion fora
Ukraine had more very qualified engineers per capita than any country in Europe a huge amount of intellectual capacity, and a very good industrial base especially in high tech areas like aerospace and propulsion their problem was that they chose to play games with the rotten west, instead of friendship with Russia, with which their industry was integrated
You're a complete wanker in the A. Karlin mold. Get lost you have nothing to contribute@Big Bill They fought that it was Russia, that was holding them back, and by separating they could quickly achieve Western European standard of living. The first guy to become president of independent Ukraine promised people that they were going to "live like France" .in 5 years (!). lolFelix Keverich , says: November 24, 2018 at 5:53 pm GMT
So their plan was something like this:
Lately, they began to think that the Ukraine's path to prosperity goes through EU membership, hence popular support for Euromaidan, and you know the results@FB
You're full of shit what the heck do you know about industry you useless little fart ? are you an industrial engineer do you have any technical qualifications whatsoever or do you just pull buzzwords like 'marketable skills' out your wazoo, as needed ?
Your industries are worth ZERO, if you're unable to sell your products, and the Ukraine struggled to sell its manufactured goods after 1991. Its traditional customer – Russia began to import Western goods.
You sound like Martyanov. lol It doesn't take any "special qualification" to figure out that Soviet-era factories were churning out worthless crap – there is a reason why that system fell apart, you know.
Now, off to ignore list with you.
Mar 04, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
Mark Chapman March 1, 2019 at 7:48 pmMy, Ukraine's American Minister of Health – Yuliana Suprun – is doing an outstanding job. Ukraine was the locus of the world's biggest rise in measles cases in 2018, from about 5,000 cases the year before to 35,120 the year just past. Moreover, 24,042 new cases were reported in the first 2 months of this year.Moscow Exile March 1, 2019 at 10:46 pm
https://www.rferl.org/a/ukraine-suffers-largest-rise-measles-cases-worldwide/29797314.htmlBut it was the Moskali who caused the epidemic by trolling social network sites with false information as regards the efficacy of vaccination against measles.Cortes March 2, 2019 at 12:47 am
Russian-backed attempts to sabotage Ukraine's economic, political, and health developments have left the country fighting a measles outbreak and continuing a bloody, undeclared war. The situation is emblematic of increasing tension between the ideologies of President Vladimir Putin and countries of the pro-democratic, neoliberal west.
The measles outbreak -- affecting other countries including Serbia, Georgia, Greece, and Italy -- has hit Ukraine hardest, with the country's 23 000 cases accounting for more than half the European regional total. Kremlin-supported social media accounts spreading discredited theories about the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine, combined with shortages and underfunding, have been blamed for the outbreak. Research published on Aug 23 concluded Russian trolls promoted discord and, masquerading as legitimate users, created a false impression that arguments for and against vaccination were equipoised. The result has been an erosion of public consensus on the value of vaccine programmes. The precipitous fall in vaccination level began after 2008, when 95% of eligible children in Ukraine received their second (and final) recommended dose of the MMR vaccine. By 2016, the rate was 31%, among the lowest in the world.
Although now rising again, the latest 85% measles vaccination rate recorded by WHO remains below that needed for herd immunity. Records in 2016 show poor vaccination rates for other diseases: only 19% of children received the third recommended dose of the diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine and 56% received the third recommended dose of oral polio vaccine.
Hepatitis B vaccination was low, with coverage with hepatitis B birth-dose and third-dose vaccines at 37% and 26%, respectively. WHO estimates between 3% and 5% of the Ukraine's 45 million population has been infected with hepatitis C.
Ukraine bears the second largest HIV epidemic in eastern Europe and central Asia.
The above was printed in the much respected "The Lancet" . Who wrote it, I know not -- but I can hazard a guess.
It begins with the outrageous statement that "Russia" is resposible for the epidemic, specifically, the"ideology" of the Russian president is the cause of the epidemic.
No proof given: no data: sweet fuck all. Just an assertion that "Pyutin" is responsible.Well, "Pyutin" plus A.N. Otheryalensis March 2, 2019 at 2:54 am
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1366121/Blair-hints-that-Leo-had-MMR-jab-as-vaccine-rebellion-mounts.htmlSo, Suprun and her half-baked medical policies are off the hook?Mark Chapman March 2, 2019 at 9:30 amYou know, it's a shame Ukrainians are so gullible, and believe Russia's lies without checking any other sources of information – don't they know how to use The Microsoft and The Google? Not to mention gullible Americans, who also fell for it.
Oh, and the Australians, who were so gobsmacked by Russia's campaign to discredit vaccinations that being a 'vaccine skeptic' is now punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Mind you, the 'anti-vaxxers' in those instances are reportedly Australian nurses and midwives – but I daresay they. too, were taken in by clever Russian trolls posing as legitimate users on social media.
Some of you will probably be asking "At what point, for the love of Christ, are people expected to take responsibility for their own decisions, instead of hiding behind the feebleminded excuse that they were tricked by the Russians?" For my part, I am convinced that Russia is going to take over the world, because Russian trolls are so much smarter than the public in any country you care to name. With a few cat pictures and a sprinkling of Black Lives Matter stories, many of them generated after the American election was actually over, the Russians tricked the American electoral college into making Donald Trump president of the United States instead of Mrs. Clinton, but in such a way that more of the public actually voted for Clinton than for Trump. And the electoral college is supposed to be made up of America's leaders. Brilliant, you must admit.
Watch out for the Kremlin campaign against photography – because having your picture taken steals your soul – due to open in The Ukraine this summer. Then there will not even be a photographic record of all the Ukrainians who died from measles, conniption fits, brain fever and the fantods, as the Kremlin wipes them out with their own gullibility. Survival of the fittest, baby.
Mar 04, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
Mark Chapman March 2, 2019 at 11:43 amRed Alert!! Nobody will ever know the true winner (cough * Petro Poroshenko * cough) of the Ukrainian elections in 2019, because the Russians are already preparing fake exit-poll results, so that not even those who vote will be able to remember who they voted for. The situation probably cannot be stabilized until the reigning government reviews the results and supplies the ballots it says were properly counted. Better just play it safe, and leave Poroshenko as president forever.Patient Observer March 2, 2019 at 12:33 pm
Please note, the fake exit-poll meddling is in addition to other Russian meddling efforts which will take place at polling stations during the vote. It is literally not possible to hold an actual democratic election any more, Putin has ruined everything. Democracy is dead. Voting as a means of selecting a national leader is over.This is so confusing -- Porko has single digit support last I heard so it would be expected that exit polls would show a similar result. But, if the exit polls are consistent with Porko's opinion polls then it must be a sign of Russian meddling! Geez, I would have thought it would be the other way around -- an inconsistently high exit poll result would only be consistent with pro-Porko rating swindle. Shows how little I know about these matters.Mark Chapman March 2, 2019 at 2:25 pmExit polling is tremendously important, and in previous colour revolutions the west always tried to get control of exit polling; often it was invited to do so by the target country, since it was felt by the government that the imprimatur of western observers would help reassure nervous westerners that the elections were fair and democratic. They apparently did not realize that all the west needs to tip over your victory is exit-poll results which are dramatically different from the way the vote was counted -- for example, Yanukovych wins with 39% of the vote, but the exit polls, in which those just leaving the polling station are asked who they voted for, say his opponent got way more votes than he did. Bingo -- the election is a big fraud -- campers, set up your tents on the Maidan, we're not going anywhere until this grievous wrong has been redressed. Thanks, Berezovsky, for the tents and the hot soup. But nobody really knows what the actual exit-poll results were, so the western observers can basically say anything they want, and the western press will immediately run with it.Patient Observer March 2, 2019 at 3:40 pm
Porky knows this very well, so he is trying to de-legitimize the vote in advance, knowing he doesn't stand a snowball's chance in hell of winning himself. If Zelenskiy wins, he'll be a Russian pawn put in place by Putin, and consequently will have to make the most belligerent statements against Russia and swear that he sleeps with a life-size blow-up doll of Bandera so as not to be thought 'soft' on the Kremlin.
The west was not invited to do exit polls in Russia, but in each of Putin's wins as well as that of Medvedev, the vote was consistent with pre-election polling in which decided voters announced who they intended to vote for. Nonetheless, there is always a great boil of noise afterward about ballot-stuffing and carousel voting, even by those who like to use the term but don't know what it means.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=_bg9X0eNFdsThat Matt guy is pretty cool. They must hate him.Moscow Exile March 3, 2019 at 12:34 amI have often wondered which news agency Matt works for.Patient Observer March 3, 2019 at 7:33 am
If he really did not know what carousel voting was, he should have contacted Yulia Latynina, she 'd have told him; she's the carousel voting specialist: she can spot voters being bused in at a 1,000 paces. During elections, she drives around Moscow sussing them out, trailing them, writing reports on her findings in Novaya Gazeta or on the Ekho Moskvy site or ranting on about them in her talk show there.
I wonder what she's doing now? I heard she had emigrated. She still sends in copy for the aforementioned news media, though.Matt's quip linking allegations that children were voting to carousel voting was a knee slapper.
Mark Chapman March 3, 2019 at 8:45 amMatt Lee works for AP, the Associated Press.
I remember with affection the old Anatoly Karlin, who could not endure western hypocrisy without pointing it out with highly-enjoyable sarcasm. In the instance I'm thinking of, it was the 'huge protest' (organizers claimed 120,000, police said around 29,000, objective analysis put it at about 80,000) in Sakharov St. where the 'fiery' Alexey Navalny said he saw 'enough people to take the Kremlin'. The answering roar must have terribly tempted him to try it, but he didn't. Anyway, there was a photo of that protest, taken from overhead – I can't find it now – which showed a large block of city buses drawn up side-to-side; transport for the protesters. They were 'bused in'. When you're going to attend a western-backed demonstration, of course, you're just 'proceeding in an environmentally-conscious manner to a responsible protest action'. When you are part of a factory crew and the company lays on a bus to take everyone to the polls, you're 'bused in for carousel voting', and the bus takes the entire contingent to multiple polling places where they vote again and again. Or so Latynina says, although all she ever shows to back up her assertions is a photo of a bus with people on it. But the western press is perfectly happy to accept her word that they are seeing another sad example of the perversion of democracy in Russia.
So there you have it, as usual – western exceptionalism goes global. When we do it ('we' being the children of the Limousine Liberals), we're just using a socially-responsible method of getting to a place where we can make our voices heard and hold the authorities accountable. When they do it, they're cheating democracy and imposing an oligarchical system on us.
I have seen lots of photos of people on buses, and am perfectly happy to accept that they all came from the same workplace – that makes perfect sense to me, and I see nothing ominous in it. I have never seen any evidence that such people vote multiple times as a group, and must therefore conclude that 'carousel voting' is a buzzword dreamed up by western analysts in concert with sympathetic Russian liberal enablers.
Feb 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com
KC February 15, 2019 at 11:16 pmThe one thing your accurate analysis leaves out is that the goal of US wars is never what the media spouts for its Wall Street masters. The goal of any war is the redistribution of taxpayer money into the bank accounts of MIC shareholders and executives, create more enemies to be fought in future wars, and to provide a rationalization for the continued primacy of the military class in US politics and culture.Barry F Keane , says: February 15, 2019 at 7:11 pm
Occasionally a country may be sitting on a bunch of oil, and also be threatening to move away from the petrodollar or talking about allowing an "adversary" to build a pipeline across their land.
Otherwise war is a racket unto itself. "Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. "
― George Orwell
Also we've always been at war with Oceania .or whatever that quote said.Yes the neocons have a poor track record but they've succeeded at turning our republic into an empire. The mainstream media and elites of practically all western nations are unanimously pro-war. Neither political party has defined a comprehensive platform to rebuild our republic.
Even you, Tucker Carlson, mock the efforts of Ilhan Omar for criticizing AIPAC and Elliott Abrams.
I don't personally care for many of her opinions but that's not what matters: if we elect another neocon government we won't last another generation. Like the lady asked Ben Franklin "What kind of government have you bequeathed us?", and Franklin answered "A republic, madam, if you can keep it."
Feb 07, 2019 | economistsview.typepad.com
February 5, 2019
Does the European Union generate external instability?
The historic achievement of peace within a Europe of universal norms is belied by the external instability engendered by violent and incoherent interventions.
By Branko Milanovic
The European Union is justly admired for making war among its members impossible. This is no small achievement in a continent which was in a state of semi-permanent warfare for the past two millennia.
It is not only that we cannot even imagine the usual 19th and 20th century antagonists, such as France and Germany, going to war ever again. The same is true of other, lesser-known animosities which have led periodically to bloodlettings: between Poles and Germans, Hungarians and Romanians, Greeks and Bulgarians. Unthinkable is also the idea that the United Kingdom and Spain could end up, regarding Gibraltar, in a reprise of the Falklands/Malvinas war.
But creating geopolitical stability internally has not, during the last two decades, been followed by external geopolitical stability along the fringes of the union. Most of the big EU member states (UK, Poland, Italy, Spain) participated, often eagerly, in Operation Iraqi Freedom, which led to the deaths of some half a million people, destabilised the middle east even further and produced Islamic State.
Then, seemingly not having learned from this fiasco, France and Italy spearheaded another regime change, this time in Libya. It ended in anarchy, another civil war, two competing governments and a UN Security Council deadlocked for years to come -- since it is clear that China and Russia will not in the foreseeable future vote to allow another western military intervention.
The wars along the long arc from Libya to Afghanistan, in which EU powers participated, were the proximate cause of large refugee flows a few years ago, which continue even now. (As I have written elsewhere, the underlying cause of migration is the large gap in incomes between Europe, on the one hand, and Africa and the 'greater middle east', on the other, but the sudden outbursts were caused by wars.)
The next example of generating instability was Ukraine, where the then government of Viktor Yanukovych, having only postponed the signing of an EU agreement, was driven out of power in 2014 in a coup-like movement supported by the union. It is sure that a reasonable counterfactual, with the same EU-Ukraine agreements being signed and without a war in eastern Ukraine and with Crimea still part of Ukraine, would have been much preferable to the current situation, which threatens to precipitate a war of even much greater dimensions.
Finally, consider Turkey, in an association agreement with the European Economic Community since 1963, and thus in a membership-awaiting antechamber for more than half a century. The initial period in power of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was marked by pro-European policies, a desire to create an 'Islamic democracy', in the mould of the Christian democracies of Italy and Germany, and civilian control over the army. But realisation that, because of its size and probably because of its dominant religion, Turkey would never be recognised as part of Europe led Erdoğan, gradually, to move in an altogether different direction -- with an almost zero chance that he would come back to his original pro-European stance.
The endless waiting period, with similarly protracted negotiations over what are now 35 chapters which need to be agreed between candidate countries and all 28 (or soon 27) members, is what lies behind the frustration with the EU in the Balkans. Long gone are the days when Greece could become a member after a couple of months (if that) of negotiations and an agreement between the French president, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, and the German chancellor, Helmut Schmidt. The European bluff -- it neither has the stick nor the carrot -- albeit long hidden behind the veil of negotiations, was recently called by the Kosovo leadership, when it engaged in a trade war with Serbia. The EU could express its 'regrets' but it was squarely ignored. In the past, nether Kosovo nor any other Balkan state would have dared to defy Europe so openly.
Slow and hesitant
It all means that Europe needs a much better thought-out external policy with respect to its neighbours. There are already some signs that it is moving in that direction but it is doing so too slowly and hesitantly. A multilateral compact with Africa is needed to regulate migration from a continent with the fastest rising population and lowest incomes. Much more European investment -- in hard stuff, not conferences -- is needed. Rather than complaining about China's Belt and Road initiative, Europe should imitate it -- and, if it desires to counteract Chinese political influence, invest its own money to make more African friends. A similar set of much more proactive policies is required within the framework of the Mediterranean initiative, while military options in the region should be forsworn no less clearly than they are within the union.
When it comes to the potential members, as in the Balkans or the western republics of the former Soviet Union, interminable talks should be replaced by either special association with no expectation of EU membership or clearer, time-limited negotiations leading to membership. Both would manage expectations better and avoid the build-up of resentment and frustration.
The most important challenge is the relationship with Turkey. The EU does not have a blueprint for a Turkey after Erdoğan; nor can it offer anything to the Turkish secular opposition, as it is not clear within itself whether it wants Turkey in or out. It should be rather obvious that a European Turkey, with its vast economic potential and influence in the middle east, would be a huge economic and strategic asset. Such a Turkey would also behave differently in Syria and in Anatolia, because it would have an incentive to follow European rules.
This rethinking of the EU's neighbourhood policy thus calls, in short, for three things: greater economic aid to Africa, no support for wars or regime change, and much clearer rules and time-limits for membership talks.
Branko Milanovic is Visiting Presidential Professor at the Graduate Center of City University of New York (CUNY). Reply Wednesday, February 06, 2019 at 01:39 PM
Mr. Bill -> anne... , February 06, 2019 at 05:11 PMPerhaps, you ascribe to the EU successes that it did not create.
The formation of the EU is not the vehicle that created, nor sustained, the uneasy peace. I suggest it was the resolution of WW2 that has determined the current state of tolerance.
I fear that the formation of the EU, in the end, will be the cause of a re-instigation of the age old skirmishes that have plagued the world, as you say, for two millennia.
The destruction of the Middle East by the West, not just the EU but the US, is a foolishness of biblical proportions.
The EU's disposition of Greece and Brexit are red flags that the EU is an unsustainable contrivance that will eventually, come undone. The mercantilist wars between France, England, Spain, Germany, Italy, etc, may rise again. Hopefully, I'm wrong.
Jan 22, 2019 | www.amazon.com
P. Philips 5.0 out of 5 stars December 6, 2018
"In a Time of Universal Deceit -- Telling the Truth Is a Revolutionary Act""In a Time of Universal Deceit -- Telling the Truth Is a Revolutionary Act" is a well known quotation (but probably not of George Orwell). And in telling the truth about Russia and that the current "war of nerves" is not in the interests of either the American People or national security, Professor Cohen in this book has in fact done a revolutionary act.
Like a denizen of Plato's cave, or being in the film the Matrix, most people have no idea what the truth is. And the questions raised by Professor Cohen are a great service in the cause of the truth. As Professor Cohen writes in his introduction To His Readers:
"My scholarly work -- my biography of Nikolai Bukharin and essays collected in Rethinking the Soviet Experience and Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives, for example -- has always been controversial because it has been what scholars term "revisionist" -- reconsiderations, based on new research and perspectives, of prevailing interpretations of Soviet and post-Soviet Russian history. But the "controversy" surrounding me since 2014, mostly in reaction to the contents of this book, has been different -- inspired by usually vacuous, defamatory assaults on me as "Putin's No. 1 American Apologist," "Best Friend," and the like. I never respond specifically to these slurs because they offer no truly substantive criticism of my arguments, only ad hominem attacks. Instead, I argue, as readers will see in the first section, that I am a patriot of American national security, that the orthodox policies my assailants promote are gravely endangering our security, and that therefore we -- I and others they assail -- are patriotic heretics. Here too readers can judge."
Cohen, Stephen F.. War with Russia (Kindle Locations 131-139). Hot Books. Kindle Edition.
Professor Cohen is indeed a patriot of the highest order. The American and "Globalists" elites, particularly the dysfunctional United Kingdom, are engaging in a war of nerves with Russia. This war, which could turn nuclear for reasons discussed in this important book, is of no benefit to any person or nation.
Indeed, with the hysteria on "climate change" isn't it odd that other than Professor Cohen's voice, there are no prominent figures warning of the devastation that nuclear war would bring?
If you are a viewer of one of the legacy media outlets, be it Cable Television networks, with the exception of Tucker Carlson on Fox who has Professor Cohen as a frequent guest, or newspapers such as The New York Times, you have been exposed to falsehoods by remarkably ignorant individuals; ignorant of history, of the true nature of Russia (which defeated the Nazis in Europe at a loss of millions of lives) and most important, of actual military experience. America is neither an invincible or exceptional nation. And for those familiar with terminology of ancient history, it appears the so-called elites are suffering from hubris.
I cannot recommend Professor Cohen's work with sufficient superlatives; his arguments are erudite, clearly stated, supported by the facts and ultimately irrefutable. If enough people find Professor Cohen's work and raise their voices to their oblivious politicians and profiteers from war to stop further confrontation between Russia and America, then this book has served a noble purpose.
If nothing else, educate yourself by reading this work to discover what the *truth* is. And the truth is something sacred.
America and the world owe Professor Cohen a great debt. "Blessed are the peace makers..."
jn 5.0 out of 5 stars January 18, 2019This book examines the senseless and dangerous demonizing of Russia and Putin
This is a compelling book that documents and examines the senseless and dangerous demonizing of Russia and Putin. Unfortunately, the elites in Washington and mass media are not likely to read this book. Their minds are closed. I read this book because I was hoping for an explanation about the cause of the new cold war with Russia. Although the root cause of the new cold war is beyond the scope of this book, the book documents baseless accusations that grew in frequency and intensity until all opposition was silenced. The book documents the dangerous triumph of group think.
"On my planet, the evidence linking Putin to the assassination of Litvinecko, Nemtsov, and Politkovskaya and the attempt on the Skripals is strong and consistent with spending his formative years in the KGB. The naive view from Cohen's planet is presented on p 6 and 170."
Ukrainian history. That's evident to any attentive reader. I just want to state that Ukrainian EuroMaydan was a color revolution which exploited the anger of population against the corrupt neoliberal government of Yanukovich (with Biden as the best friend, and Paul Manafort as the election advisor) to install even more neoliberal and more corrupt government of Poroshenko and cut Ukraine from Russia. The process that was probably inevitable in the long run (so called Baltic path), but that was forcefully accelerated. Everything was taken from the Gene Sharp textbook. And Ukrainians suffered greatly as a result, with the standard of living dropping to around $2 a day level -- essentially Central Africa level.
The fact is that the EU acted as a predator trying to get into Ukraine markets and displace Russia. While the USA neocons (Nuland and Co) staged the coup using Ukrainian nationalists as a ram, ignoring the fact that Yanukovich would be voted out in six months anyway (his popularity was in single digits, like popularity of Poroshenko those days ;-). The fact that Obama administration desperately wanted to weaken Russia at the expense of Ukrainians eludes you. I would blame Nuland for the loss of Crimea and the civil war in Donbass.
Poor Ukrainians again became the victim of geopolitical games by big powers. No that they are completely blameless, but still...
It looks like you inhabit a very cold populated exclusively with neocons planet called "Russiagate." So Professor Cohen really lives on another planet. And probably you should drink less American exceptionalism Kool-Aid.
Jan 18, 2019 | www.unz.com
annamaria , says: April 10, 2018 at 3:45 pm GMT@Anonymous "More occupation and killing in Crimea "Dave Bowman , says: April 10, 2018 at 3:48 pm GMT
-- Evidence? It seems that you are very upset that the Kagans' cookies did not deliver.
"One Year Later, Crimeans Prefer Russia:" https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2015-02-06/one-year-later-crimeans-prefer-russia
"How Crimeans See Ukraine Crisis:" https://consortiumnews.com/2016/02/11/how-crimeans-see-ukraine-crisis/
"A Pew poll from April 2014 revealed that 91 percent of Crimean respondents believed the referendum was free and fair, 93 percent had confidence in Putin, and 85 percent believed Kiev should recognize the results.
Another poll in June 2014, this one from Gallup , showed 94 percent of ethnic Russians in Crimea thought the referendum reflected the views of the people and 68 percent of ethnic Ukrainians in Crimea agreed . The poll found that 74 percent believed that joining Russia would make life better.
A GfK poll from February 2015, sponsored by a pro-Ukrainian group in Canada, revealed 93 percent of Crimeans endorsed the referendum."
-- Still not enough for you?
"Ukraine [post-Maidan] under pressure from West over corruption:" http://www.newindianexpress.com/world/2017/dec/07/ukraine-under-pressure-from-west-over-corruption-1721487.html
"Enough documents have been released -- citing coup-backed snipers killing dozens of protesters, US embassy officials planning false flag attacks, extremists downing a passenger airliner and NATO peddling falsified intelligence -- to make it very clear that the "coup" is more of an invasion than anything else.
The term, roughly translated as Revolution of Dignity, was cooked up at the Jamestown Foundation in Washington, well in advance of Victoria Nuland's assumption of the throne as de facto "Queen of the Ukraine," lording over her subjects, playing the role of "donut dollie."
The roots of the conflict in the Ukraine with thousands dead and the threat of, minimally, a wider regional conflict, are attributable to extremist elements in the United States -- those faces and voices seen and heard promoting the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, the supporters of ISIS/Al Qaeda in Syria -- and the cheerleaders of the continued genocide against the Palestinian people."
"In 1950, the Nuremberg Tribunal defined Crimes against Peace, in Principle VI, specifically Principle VI(a), submitted to the United Nations General Assembly, as:
(i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;
(ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i)."@annamaria Bravo, indeed, Annamaria. Beautiful, perfect, resounding, harsh, unforgiving words for a pair of worthless human vermin masquerading as civilised, intelligent professionals with a moral compass.
Jan 13, 2019 | www.unz.com
EugeneGur , says: July 23, 2018 at 9:30 pm GMT@Peter AkuleyevVojkan , says: July 24, 2018 at 8:25 am GMT
who has spent time in Ukraine knows how deep hatred of Russia goes
I don't know where is Ukraine you spent your time and in what company, but this is complete BS. The South-Eastern Ukraine hates the Western Ukrainian "banderovtsi" as much as the Russians do if not more -- after all, the followers of Bandera operated mostly on the Ukrainian soil. There are deranged individuals in every country, of course, and Ukraine has been subjected lately to intense hate propaganda as well as repressions, but there is no hatred of Russia. This is contradicted by both sociology and everyday behavior of Ukrainian, which move to Russia in droves, spend time in Russia, support Russian sport teams, etc.
we are supposed to dismiss the actual wishes of Ukrainians, Estonians, Poles, Georgians and other peoples who hate Russia (and love the US)
Nobody is asking about what the real Ukrainians, Estonians, Georgians or even Poles actually think, least of all the US. There are almost as many Georgians living in Russia as there are in Georgia, and they show no desire to move back. In 2008 during the conflict, their biggest fear was that they'd be deported.
The Ukraine's Maidan was a violent coup, where a few thousand militants armed and trained abroad overthrew a government elected by the entire country. Protests that immediately started all over the country were suppressed with force -- the one in Donbass still is.
How could anyone with an access to Internet remain unaware of these facts is beyond me.@Peter Akuleyev Why should anyone freaking care and put his ass in the line of fire because you bunch of primitives hate Russia? Between having a nuclear cataclysm because you pathetic dwarfs of nations are frustrated to have a neighbour you can't bully and Russia obliterating you, I say let Russia obliterate you, thus we won't have to suffer the ear-hurting dissonnance of your incessant whining any more. Though I doubt Russia would stomp on you. When you see shit, you don't stomp on it, you don't want you don't want your shoes to stink, you just walk around it.
Jan 13, 2019 | www.unz.com
peterAUS , says: July 23, 2018 at 10:25 pm GMT@EugeneGur That's an interesting point. Even if true, doesn't matter. One could wonder ..who are the people populating Ukrainian Armed Forces?
Or who are the guys, in Ukrainian Armed Forces, presently engaged against Donbass? All of them. Including those is logistics/maintenance depots far away from the (current) line of separation?
The will to fight against "Russia" ranges from a deep hate to simply not wishing to go against the (current) Ukrainian government. The former are in those "shock" battalions. The later are manning the logistics train. And everything in between.
Now .if/when a real shooting starts, as soon as Russia, as expected (and desired) by the most of readers here, starts delivering ordnance into operational depth of Donbass enemy, the ratio hate/don't care shall shift, hard and fast. Not in Russian favor, I suspect.
Feb 04, 2018 | www.youtube.com
В эфире обсудили такие темы:
- 0:11 Майдан в Украине
- 6:36 Война на Донбассе
- 8:40 Аннексия Крыма
- 23:08 Участие в российских ток-шоу
- 29:18 Партия регионов
- 31:07 Отношение к Саакашвили
- 33:20 Отношения с Борисом Колесниковым
- 34:34 Дочь Бондаренко
4 февраля гостьей программы "Гордон" была народный депутат Украины V - VII созывов Елена Бондаренко.
Сильные мира сего умеют хранить свои тайны, и тем интереснее задавать им прямые и неудобные вопросы, чтобы отделить правду от лжи и узнать истину. Они будут пытаться уклоняться от ответов, но Дмитрий Гордон постарается докопаться до самой сути.
Эти люди расскажут о том, о чем принято молчать – что волнует общество и Дмитрия Гордона в частности.
Подписаться на канал : https://goo.gl/CqZYZb
Jan 02, 2019 | viableopposition.blogspot.com
Senator Ron Johnson (R- Wis) and Richard Durban (D-Ill) and 39 of their colleagues introduced a Senate Resolution on December 19, 2019 which calls for "a prompt multinational freedom of navigation operation in the Black Sea and urging the cancellation of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline" as shown here :
Here is a list of co-sponsors of the resolution:Sen. James Inhofe (R-Ok.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee; Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation; and Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Christopher Coons (D-Del.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), John Thune (R-S.D.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.).Here is the resolution (currently unnumbered) in its entirety:
Calling for a prompt multinational freedom of navigation operation in the Black Sea and urging the cancellation of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
... ... ...
Whereas the United States has important national interests in the Black Sea region, including the security of three NATO littoral states, the promotion of European energy market diversification by ensuring unfettered European access to energy exporters in the Caucuses and central Asia, and combatting use of the region by smugglers as a conduit for trafficking in persons, narcotics, and arms;
Whereas the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is a proposed underwater natural gas pipeline project that would provide an additional 55,000,000,000 cubic meters of pipeline capacity from the Russian Federation to the Federal Republic of Germany through the Baltic Sea;
Whereas the Russian Federation's state-owned oil and gas company, Gazprom, is the sole shareholder of the Nord Stream 2 project;
Whereas, in 2017, there was spare capacity of approximately 55,000,000,000 cubic meters in the Ukrainian gas transit system;
Whereas Gazprom cut off natural gas exports to Europe via Ukraine in 2006, and again in 2009, over supply and pricing disputes with Ukraine's state-owned oil and gas company, Naftogaz;
Whereas transit of Russian natural gas to Europe via Ukraine declined precipitously after the completion of Nord Stream 1 in 2011, falling from 80 percent to between 40 and 50 percent of Russia's total exports to Europe;
Whereas, in 2017, Russian gas accounted for 37 percent of Europe's natural gas imports, an increase of 5 percent over 2016;
Whereas, on December 12, 2018, the European Parliament overwhelmingly passed a resolution condemning both the Russian Federation's aggression in the Kerch Strait and the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline; and
Whereas, on December 11, 2018, the United States House of Representatives passed a resolution calling upon the European
Union to reject the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and urging the President to use all available means to promote energy policies in Europe that reduce European reliance on Russian energy exports:
... ... ...
(9) applauds and concurs with the European 2 Parliament's December 12, 2018, resolution condemning Russian aggression in the Kerch Strait and
the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, calling for the pipeline's cancellation due to its threat to European energy security, and calling on the Russian Federation to
7 guarantee freedom of navigation in the Kerch Strait;
(10) urges the President to continue working with Congress and our allies to ensure the appropriate policies to deter the Russian Federation from further aggression.
Anonymous December 26, 2018 at 4:47 PMUnknown January 1, 2019 at 10:02 PM
Fortunately, these two neocons can make all the proclamations they want but without President Trump's support it's all just words; neocon virtue signalling. And of course President Trump won't support what they're doing because he campaigned on and governs as an anti-war president.
Ron Johnson is a Bushie neocon who actively supported the neocon ¡Jebe! (Please Clap) Bush while Durbin is a Hillary Clinton neocon who actively supported that drunken, corrupt, warmongering shrew.
Thank all that's holy that we have a genuine anti-war POTUS in office and not either of those two neocons, both of whom were utterly in the pockets of defense contractors.
Thanks for your research on relevant naval law. The Ukrainian vessel is reported to have violated the ongoing protocol by failing to take on a Russian pilot as it transited the strait and an important bridge could potentially have been attacked by those vessels. This was a provocation by Ukraine that seems to have its desired effect on the U.S. Senate. For essential background on the Ukrainian civil war, I recommend reading Stephen F. Cohen's article in the Nation in 2014, titled "Kiev's atrocities and the Silence of the Hawks." https://www.thenation.com/article/kievs-atrocities-and-silence-hawks/
Jan 02, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
Poland and Ukraine cannot stop provoking laughter from international observers. After the lunatic idea circulating in Ukraine of resurrecting the country's nuclear arsenal, it is now Poland's turn to send shockwaves around Europe. Polish foreign minister Czaputowicz proposed that France share its nuclear arsenal and hand over its seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to the European Union. It is is worth noting that this suggestion did not even receive an official comment from Paris, showing that there was little prospect of the Polish idea being taken seriously . Warsaw continues its opposition to the EU's domestic policies on migration and austerity, while in foreign policy, agrees with countries like Ukraine and the United States, particularly the neocon faction opposed to Russia. If there is a distinctive feature in the political proposals that come from Poland, it is an acute Russophobia. The idea of hosting a US base on Polish territory, and assuming its costs, is another Polish proposal. The Americans are serious considering taking them up on the offer .
The Poles and the Ukrainians would be willing to sacrifice themselves on behalf of their allies for the privilege of being able to poke the Bear. Fortunately for them, Paris, London and Berlin have neither the military capabilities nor the suicidal intention to challenge Moscow with permanent military bases on its border. Neither do they wish to share their nuclear weapons with other EU countries, nor engage in any such hare-brained ideas that threaten humanity as the American Aegis Ashore system or the planned US withdrawal from the INF Treaty.
Jan 02, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
oldenyoung , Feb 21, 2018 9:17:01 AM | linkOff topic...but of interest to many here at MoA....The snipers that executed the Maidan massacre in Kiev have come forward and have made sworn testimony///oldenyoung , Feb 21, 2018 9:27:55 AM | link
I have not verified any of this story...so, use your own best judgement
Ps sounds like Sputnik it trying to chase this down and get it verified...And here is the Sputnik story...Peter AU 1 , Feb 21, 2018 10:41:51 AM | link
regards63Oui , Feb 21, 2018 2:52:52 PM | link
"Adding a new twist to the story about the 2014 Maidan shootings, a Sputnik correspondent has met with the purported snipers. The agency has obtained the records of interrogation of Koba Nergadze and Aleksandre Revazishvili. Both Georgian nationals, they are ready to testify in a Ukrainian court."It was a matter of time when the participants in the Maidan Massacre would surface the coup d'état didn't stop the carnage of Ukrainians nor corruption of people in power. The witness accounts were described in the hours as the events unfolded. Only the faces were not known ...
○ How the Events of Sniper Fire In Instytutska Street Unfolded
Maidan Massacre Bombshell: #Georgian snipers reportedly confess to massacring along with Lithuanian snipers both #Police and #maidan protesters in #Ukraine in Italian #documentary just broadcast by most popular #Italian #TV channel [h/t Ivan Katchanovski]
○ Meet the Americans Who Put Together the Coup in Kiev
Dec 08, 2018 | www.stalkerzone.org
Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard 19:45:09
05/12/2018 Aleksey Zhuravko
FOR INFORMATION. EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW THIS! IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO HIDE THE TRUTH.
Today I had a conversation with a serious person from Kiev who is on active service. For safety reasons I cannot give its name. I trust this person. Many thanks that there are still decent people.
Here is what he told me. The special operation in the Black Sea made on November 25th in the Kerch Strait was prepared over three months by the American intelligence agencies and the SBU. All orders on carrying out a provocation in the Black Sea were given to Poroshenko by the US Embassy in Ukraine. And Poroshenko, in turn, personally gave the instructions to the performers. He consciously sent boats and young guys off to be shot, and members of the crew were equipped with a large number of cartridges and small arms, having being told that they must fire back to the last bullet. They were sent to a certain death for the purpose of carrying out a provocation.
There's more. Poroshenko gave the order to not hold any negotiations with Russia concerning returning sailors, and if the people will insist and kick up a storm around it, then drag out he negotiation process as much as possible. This order came from the US Embassy in Ukraine.
Dear parents of the aggrieved Ukrainian sailors detained by the border service of Russia! Your children were used by Poroshenko and his gang as cannon fodder, and you continue to be deceived. That 50,000 hryvnia that he promised you will end very quickly. He met you only to calm your anger, to appease you, like saying "we are dealing with this issue
... ... ...
Dec 05, 2018 | www.unz.com
One of the local Washington television stations was doing a typical early morning honoring our soldiers schtick just before Thanksgiving. In it soldiers stationed far from home were treated to videolinks so they could talk to their families and everyone could nod happily and wish themselves a wonderful holiday. Not really listening, I became interested when I half heard that the soldier being interviewed was spending his Thanksgiving in Ukraine.
It occurred to me that the soldier just might have committed a security faux pas by revealing where he was, but I also recalled that there have been joint military maneuvers as well as some kind of training mission going on in the country, teaching the Ukrainian Army how to use the shiny new sophisticated weapons that the United States was providing it with to defend against "Russian aggression."
Ukraine is only one part of the world where the Trump Administration has expanded the mission of democracy promotion, only in Kiev the reality is more like faux democracy promotion since Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko is clearly exploiting