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Civil War in Ukraine: another USA sponsored conflict designed to contain Russia

Economic nationalist view 

News Color revolutions Recommended Links Debt slavery Ukraine debt enslavement Nulandgate Predator state
Disaster capitalism The Far Right Forces in Ukraine Suppression of Russian language and culture in Ukraine Totalitarian Decisionism & Human Rights: The Re-emergence of Nazi Law Media-Military-Industrial Complex Neoconservatism as a stage of development of Neoliberalism New American Militarism
EuroMaidan101 Ukraine-gate as Russiagate 2.0 Creepy neocon Joe Biden and fleecing of Ukraine Alexandra Chalupa role in fueling Russiagate 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? Ukraine's oligarchs 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 Diplomacy by deception Poroshenko presidency
Russian Ukrainian Gas wars Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Russian sanctions Demonization of Putin Ukrainian orange revolution Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few
Delegitimization of Ruling Party Compradors Opposition as a way to get rid of feeling of inferiority Human right activists or globalism fifth column Exploiting "Revolutionary Romantics" as polit-technology   Disaster capitalism
Neoliberal Propaganda The Guardian Slips Beyond the Reach of Embarrassment Fighting Russophobia Foreign Agents Registration Act Russian Fifth column Humor   Etc
 

 


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

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

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

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

Dwight D. Eisenhower - Wikiquote

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

Carl von Clausewitz - Wikipedia


Introduction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nationalism  as a natural reaction on worsening economic conditions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Created by Kuchma oligarchic neoliberalism survived EuroMaydan

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

9.All citizens must have equal rights and obligations.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What were the triggers of this civil war

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The inherent political instability of neoliberal governments in post Soviet republics

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

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

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

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

Was this conflict inevitable?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Economic consequences of Donbass conflict: The Ukrainian Second Great Depression

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Economic and political consequences for Russia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Far right nationalists as patsies of neoliberals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Transition from semi-independent state to "debt slave"

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

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

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

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

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

German Plan Ost to exterminate ” inferior races ”

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

Ethnic group/Nationality Population percent subject to removal

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shadow of Transdnistia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That's quite an admission from a government minister.

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

Can anything be done about this situation?

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

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

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

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

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

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


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[May 02, 2020] EU should consider 'flexible' Russia sanctions

May 02, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

et Al April 28, 2020 at 10:18 am

I'm posting this for entertainment purposes:

Euractiv: EU should consider 'flexible' Russia sanctions over Ukraine: report
https://www.euractiv.com/section/europe-s-east/news/eu-should-consider-flexible-russia-sanctions-over-ukraine-report/

The EU should reconsider its 'all or nothing' approach on sanctions imposed on Russia for its role in the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine, as well as its annexation of Crimea, a new report from the International Crisis Group suggests. The Brussels-based think tank calls for the easing of certain sanctions in exchange for Russian progress towards peace in Ukraine.

"Inflexible sanctions are less likely to change behaviour," said Olga Oliker, Europe and Central Asia programme director. "Because of that, we urge considering an approach that would allow for the lifting of some sanctions in exchange for some progress, with a clear intent to reverse that rollback of sanctions if the progress itself is reversed."

.A major roadblock in the implementation of the Minsk deal has been the sequence of events supposed to bring an end to the conflict that has so far claimed more than 13,000 lives.

Kyiv wants to first regain control over its border with Russia before local elections in the war-torn region can be held, while Moscow believes that elections must come first
####

Door. Horse. Barn. Bolted.

The Intentional Critics Grope is yet again a $/€ short in the reality department.

You would think the Editor Gotev (the last two paras by him) would mention that the Minsk agreement clearly states elections come first and that Kiev has singularly refuse the other conditions of the agreement, but that really would be asking too much. From a professional journalist.

It's the same shit we got with the US-North Korea 4 point nuclear agreement where de-nuclearization of the region is the final stage yet it didn't take Washington and ball-licking corporate media to parrot 'denuclearization' as the first point as suddently decided by the Ovum Orifice.*

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agreed_Framework

Mark Chapman April 28, 2020 at 1:24 pm
They try it on again about every six months, just to see if the Russian negotiators have changed and if the new ones are dimwitted. I'm sure it is crystal clear to the Kremlin that if it gave Ukraine back exclusive control of the border, it would (a) call up troops and set up a cordon to make it impossible for eastern Ukraine to be reinforced, and (b) launch an all-out military push to re-take the breakaway regions. The west would then shout "Safe!!!", and the game would be over – Ukraine is (almost) whole again, praise Jeebus. There would be a propaganda storm that Russia was 'trying to meddle in the peace process' while Kuh-yiv rooted out and either imprisoned or executed all the 'rebel' leaders, and the west – probably the USA – would provide 'peacekeepers' to give Ukraine time to restore its complete control over the DNR and LPR. Then, presto! no elections required, we are all happy Ukrainians!

They knew 'inflexible sanctions were less likely to change behaviors' when they first agreed to impose them – but they were showing their belly to Washington, and don't know how to stop now. Serves them right if they are losing revenue and market share.

Mark Chapman April 29, 2020 at 8:42 am
I don't think Russia is very interested, beyond polite diplomatic raising of the eyebrows, in relaxing of sanctions under conditions the EU is careful to highlight could be reapplied in a trice, as soon as anyone was upset with Russia's performance. Because that moment would be literally only a moment away. The UK can be counted on to register blistering outrage at the drop of a hat, and while its influence on the EU will soon be limited, dogs-in-the-manger like Poland can always be relied upon to throw themselves about in an ecstasy of victimhood. It would be impossible to set up any sort of dependable supply chain, as the interval between orders would never be known with any degree of certainty. Fuck the EU. Russia is better off to press on as it has been doing. The EU has to buy oil and gas from Russia because the logistics and price of American supplies make them economically non-competitive, and best to just leave it there. The EU will bitch, but it will continue to buy, whereas any other commerce would be subject to theatrical hissy fits.

[Feb 23, 2020] Sick trash by PaulR

Notable quotes:
"... In 2017, a woman working with frontline families told me why she didn't want reintegration. 'These [the population of rebel-held Donbass] are people with a minimum level of human development, people raised by their TVs. Okay, so we live together, then what? We're trying to build a completely new society.' ..."
"... And there once again you have it – one of the primary causes of the war in Ukraine: the contempt with which the post-Maidan government and its activist supporters regard a significant portion of their fellow citizens, the 'sick trash' of Donbass with their 'minimum level of human development'. ..."
Feb 18, 2020 | irrussianality.wordpress.com

I'd never heard of the Euro-Atlantic Security Leadership Group (EASLG) until today, even though it turns out that one of its members has the office next door to mine. Its website says that it seeks to respond to the challenge of East-West tensions by convening 'former and current officials and experts from a group of Euro-Atlantic states and the European union to test ideas and develop proposals for improving security in areas of existential common interest'. It hopes thereby to 'generate trust through dialogue.'

It's hard to object to any of this, but its latest statement , entitled 'Twelve Steps Toward Greater Security in Ukraine and the Euro-Atlantic Region', doesn't inspire a lot of confidence. The 'twelve steps' the EASLG proposes to improve security in Eastern Ukraine are generally pretty uninspiring, being largely of the 'set up a working group to explore' variety, or of such a vaguely aspirational nature as to be almost worthless (e.g. 'Advance reconstruction of Donbas An essential first step is to conduct a credible needs assessment for the Donbas region to inform a strategy for its social-economic recovery.' Sounds nice, but in reality doesn't amount to a hill of beans).

For the most part, these proposals attempt to treat the symptoms of the war in Ukraine without addressing the root causes. In a sense, that's fine, as symptoms need treating, but it's sticking plaster when the patient needs some invasive surgery. At the end of its statement, though, the EASLG does go one step further with 'Step 12: Launch a new national dialogue about identity', saying:

A new, inclusive national dialogue across Ukraine is desirable and could be launched as soon as possible. Efforts should be made to engage with perspectives from Ukraine's neighbors, especially Poland, Hungary, and Russia. This dialogue should address themes of history and national memory, language, identity, and minority experience. It should include tolerance and respect for ethnic and religious minorities in order to increase engagement, inclusiveness, and social cohesion.

This is admirably trendy and woke, but in the Ukrainian context somewhat explosive, as it implicitly challenges the identity politics of the post-Maidan regime. Unsurprisingly, it's gone down like a lead balloon in Kiev. The notorious website Mirotvorets even went so far as to add former German ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger to its blacklist of enemies of Ukraine for having had the temerity to sign the EASLG statement and thus 'taking part in Russia's propaganda events aimed against Ukraine.' Katherine Quinn-Judge of the International Crisis Group commented on Twitter, 'As the idea of dialogue becomes more mainstream, backlash to the concept grows fiercer.' 'In Ukraine, prominent pro-Western politicians, civic activists, and media, have called Step 12 "a provocation" and "dangerous",' she added

Quinn-Judge comes across as generally sympathetic to the Ukrainian narrative about the war in Donbass, endorsing the idea that it's largely a product of 'Russian aggression'. But she also recognizes that the war has an internal, social dimension which the Ukrainian government and its elite-level supporters refuse to acknowledge. Consequently, they also reject any sort of dialogue, either with Russia or with the rebels in Donbass. As Quinn-Judge notes in another Tweet:

An advisor to one of Ukraine's most powerful pol[itician]s told us recently of his concern about talk of dialogue in international and domestic circles. 'We have all long ago agreed among ourselves. We need to return our territory, and then work with that sick – sick – population.'

This isn't an isolated example. Quinn-Judge follows up with a couple more similar statements:

Social resentments underpin some opposition to disengagement, for example. An activist in [government-controlled] Shchastye told me recently that she feared disengagement and the reopening of the bridge linking the isolated town to [rebel-held] Luhansk: 'I don't want all that trash coming over here.'

In 2017, a woman working with frontline families told me why she didn't want reintegration. 'These [the population of rebel-held Donbass] are people with a minimum level of human development, people raised by their TVs. Okay, so we live together, then what? We're trying to build a completely new society.'

And there once again you have it – one of the primary causes of the war in Ukraine: the contempt with which the post-Maidan government and its activist supporters regard a significant portion of their fellow citizens, the 'sick trash' of Donbass with their 'minimum level of human development'. You can fiddle with treating Donbass' symptoms as much as you like, à la EASLG, but unless you tackle this fundamental problem, the disease will keep on ravaging the subject for a long time to come. In due course, I suggest, the only realistic cure will be to remove the patient entirely from the cause of infection.

Mao Cheng Ji says: February 18, 2020 at 5:02 pm Yeah, but that's just their standard narrative.

See here, for example:

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

And it's been there, either officially or beneath the surface, since forever. Since the Habsburgs, probably, when it was first introduced in Ruthenia.

Guest says: February 21, 2020 at 5:27 am

This person speaks so casually of genocide!!!

It's disgusting that such people have been empowered and such ideas are mainstream.
Calling people sick trash is the start on the road to genocide

Mao Cheng Ji says: February 22, 2020 at 1:46 pm

He's still there, working. Popular journalist and blogger.

dewittbourchier says: February 18, 2020 at 6:01 pm
All that you have described above is very sad, but not very surprising – which is itself very sad. I think Patrick Armstrong is right that a lot of the reason Ukraine is not and has never been a functional polity is because much if not most of the population cannot accept that the right side won WWII.
Mikhail says: February 18, 2020 at 10:15 pm

Hypocritically denounces the USSR, while seeking that entity's Communist created/inherited boundaries

akarlin says: February 18, 2020 at 6:48 pm

Contempt and loathing towards the Donbass is a pretty popular feeling amongst Ukrainian svidomy. E.g., one of the two regular pro-Ukrainian commenters on my blog.

To his credit, he supports severing the Donbass from Ukraine (as one would a gangrenous limb – his metaphor) as opposed to trying to claw it back. Which is an internally consistent position.

Mikhail says: February 18, 2020 at 10:13 pm

Same guy who doesn't consider Yanukovych as having been overthrown under coup like circumstances, while downplaying Poland's past subjugation of Rus territory.

Lyttenburgh says: February 19, 2020 at 8:18 pm

In Part I and II we saw how much truth is there in Herr Karlin's claim of being a model of the rrrracially purrrre Rrrrrrrussian plus some personal views.

Part III (this one) gives a peek into his cultural and upbringing limits, which "qualify" him as an expert of all things Russian, who speaks on behalf of the People and the Country.

Exhibit "A"

" I left when I was six, in 1994 , so I'm not really the best person to ask this question of – it should probably be directed to my parents, or even better, the Russian government at the time which had for all intents and purposes ceased paying academics their salaries.

I went to California for higher education and because its beaches and mountains made for a nice change from the bleakness of Lancashire.

I returned to Russia because if I like Putler so much, why don't I go back there? Okay, less flippancy. I am Russian, I do not feel like a foreigner here, I like living in Moscow, added bonus is that I get much higher quality of life for the buck than in California ."

Exhibit "B"

"I never went to school, don't have any experience with writing in Russian, and have been overexposed to Anglo culture , so yes, it's no surprise that my texts will sound strange."

Vladimir says: February 20, 2020 at 8:46 am

The Russian branch of Carnegie Endowment did a piece on this issue. It mostly fits your ideas, but the author suggests it was a compromise, short-term solution – what steps can be taken right now, without crossing red lines of either side – but compromise is unwelcome among both parties. The official Russian reaction was quite cold too.

"Удаленные 12 шагов. Почему в Мюнхене испугались собственных предложений по Донбассу"
https://carnegie.ru/commentary/81093

Mikhail says: February 20, 2020 at 4:54 pm

Upon a quick perusal of the website of the org at issue, Alexey Arbatov and Susan Eisenhower have some kind of affiliation with it, thus maybe explaining the compromise approach you mention.

This matter brings to mind Trump saying one thing during his presidential bid – only to then bring in people in key positions who don't agree with what he campaigned on.

In terms of credentials and name status, the likes of Rand Paul, Tulsi Gabbard, Stephen Cohen and Jim Jatras, are needed in Trump's admin for the purpose of having a more balanced foreign policy approach that conforms with US interests (not to be necessarily confused with what neocons and neolibs favor).

Instead, Trump has been top heavy with geopolitical thinking opposites. He possibly thought that having them in would take some of the criticism away from him.

The arguably ideal admin has both sides of an issue well represented, with the president intelligently deciding what's best.

Guest says: February 21, 2020 at 5:23 am

On the BBC and on other media there are films of Ukrainians attacking a bus with people evacuated from China. These people even wanted to burn down the hospital where the peoplew were taken (along with other unrelated patients)

This is a sign of a degraded society – attacking people who may or may not be ill!!!

Ukraine will eventually break up
The nationalist agenda is just degrading the society.

-The economy is failing
-People who can, are leaving
-The elected government has no control over the violent people who take to the streets

It's clear Zelensky is a puppet no different to Poroshenko – this destroys the idea that democracy is a good thing.

It's very sad that the EU and the Americans under Obama – empowered these decisive elements and then blame Russia.

Crimea did the right thing leaving Ukraine – Donbass hopefully will follow.

Lyttenburgh says: February 21, 2020 at 11:16 am

"And there once again you have it – one of the primary causes of the war in Ukraine: the contempt with which the post-Maidan government and its activist supporters regard a significant portion of their fellow citizens, the 'sick trash' of Donbass"

[ ]

Only them?

[ ]

Yesterday marks yet another milestone on the Ukrainian glorious шлях перемог and long and arduous return to the Family of the European Nations. The Civil Society ™ of the Ukraine rose as one in the mighty CoronavirusMaidan, against the jackbooted goons of the crypto-Napoleon (and agent of Putin) Zelensky. Best people from Poltava oblast' (whose ancestors without doubt, welcomed Swedish Euro-integrators in 1709) and, most important of all, from the Best (Western) Ukrajina, who 6 years ago made the Revolution of Dignity in Kiev the reality and whom pan Poroshenko called the best part of the Nation, said their firm "Геть вiд Москви!"

to their fellow Ukrainian citizens, evacuated from Wuhan province in China

The Net is choke full of vivid, memorable videos, showing that 6 years after Maidan, the Ukraine now constitute a unified, эдiна та соборна country. You all, no doubt, already watched these clips, where a brave middle-aged gentleman from the Western Ukraine, racially pure Ukr, proves his mental acuity by deducing, that crypto-tyrant (and "не лох") Zelensky wants to settle evacuees in his pristine oblast out of vengeance, because the Best Ukrajina didn't vote for him during the election. Or a clip about a brave woman from Poltava oblast, suggesting to relocate the Trojan-horse "fellow countrymen" to Chernobol's Zone. Or even the witty comments and suggestions by the paragons of the Ukrainian Civil Society, " волонтэры ":


Shy and conscientious members of the Ukrainian (national!) intelligentsia had their instincts aligned rrrrrright. When they learned about that their hospital will be the one receiving the evacuees from Wuhan, the entire medical personell of that Poltava oblast medical facility rose to their feet and sang "Shenya vmerla". Democracy and localism proved once again the strongest suit of the pro-European Ukraine, with Ternopol's oblast regional council voting to accept the official statement to the crypto-tyrant Zelensky, which calls attempts to place evacuees on their Holy land "an act of Genocide of the Ukrainian People" (c)

Just the headlines .

[ ]

That's absolutely "normal", predictable reaction of the "racially pure Ukrainians" to their own fellow citizens. Now, Professor, are you insisting on seeking or even expecting "compromise" with them ? What to do, if after all these years, there is no such thing as the united Ukrainian political nation?

Like Like Reply

Lyttenburgh says: February 21, 2020 at 2:12 pm

"Ukraine's democracy is flourishing like never before due to the tireless efforts of grassroots, pro-democracy, civil-society groups. Many Ukrainians say their country is now firmly set on an irreversible, pro-Western trajectory. Moreover, the country has also undertaken a top-to-bottom cultural, economic, and political divorce from its former Soviet overlord.

Today, Ukraine is a democratic success story in the making, despite Russia's best efforts to the contrary."
– Nolan Peterson, a former special operations pilot and a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, is The Daily Signal's foreign correspondent based in Ukraine

International recognition of the fact:

[Feb 22, 2020] Was anyone aware that in 1991 in the Ukraine almost 100% of the population had indoor running water, but as of 2014 that was down to 87%?

That's typical deterioration of the standard of living for the country that was converted into the debt slave and de facto US colony
Feb 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
William Gruff , Feb 22 2020 11:56 utc | 9
Was anyone aware that in 1991 in the Ukraine almost 100% of the population had indoor running water, but as of 2014 that was down to 87%? I'm talking of the western portion of the Ukraine here and not the part being attacked by neo-Nazis where it is unsurprising that infrastructure is being destroyed.

I was curious what happened to the Ukraine's infrastructure since the Soviet Union was dissolved so I asked some Ukrops what was up. Apparently Putin himself has been sneaking into the Ukraine at night and stealing the plumbing right out of people's houses. I kid thee not! Putin did it! Ukrops wouldn't lie about that, would they?

If you think what Putin is doing to America is bad, then just be thankful you are not in Ukropistan! Over there Putin causes people to stub their toes on the furniture when they get out of bed to take a leak at night. He tricks people into not bringing their umbrellas on days that it rains. He even causes babies to foul their diapers right after they were changed. Putin's evil knows no bounds!

[Feb 16, 2020] Understanding the Ukraine Story by Joe Lauria

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Imagine if we substitute the U.S. for Russia and the country "invaded" was Canada, rather than Ukraine, the government overthrown was in Ottawa and not Kiev, and the provinces embroiled in a foreign-backed civil war have been Nova Scotia and New Brunswick rather the provinces of Eastern Ukraine? This report, written in 2016, may make it easier to understand what has been really going on in Ukraine. Clicking on the links is key to understanding the real story. ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Versions of this article first appeared on ..."
"... Consortium News ..."
Feb 14, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

The impeachment hearings and trial of Donald Trump were filled with talk of Russian aggression against Ukraine and threats to the United States. But what would it be like if we switched the roles of Russia and the U.S.?

Imagine if we substitute the U.S. for Russia and the country "invaded" was Canada, rather than Ukraine, the government overthrown was in Ottawa and not Kiev, and the provinces embroiled in a foreign-backed civil war have been Nova Scotia and New Brunswick rather the provinces of Eastern Ukraine? This report, written in 2016, may make it easier to understand what has been really going on in Ukraine. Clicking on the links is key to understanding the real story.

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

T he United States has "invaded" Canada to support the breakaway Maritime provinces that are resisting a Moscow-engineered violent coup d'etat against the democratically elected government in Ottawa.

The U.S. move is to protect separatists in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia after Washington annexed Prince Edwards Island in a quickly arranged referendum .

The Islanders voted over 90 percent in favor of joining the United States following the Russian-backed coup. Moscow has condemned the referendum as illega l.

Hard-liners in the U.S. want Washington to annex all three Maritime provinces, whose fighters are defying the coup in Ottawa after Moscow installed an unelected prime minister.

Russian-backed Canadian federal troops have launched so-called "anti-terrorist" operations in the breakaway region to crush the rebellion, shelling residential areas and killing hundreds of civilians.

The violent coup.

The Canadian army are joined by Russian-supported neofascist battalions that played a crucial role in the overthrow of the Canadian government. In Halifax, the extremists have burned alive at least 40 pro-U.S. civilians who had taken refugee in a trade union building.

Proof that Russia was behind the overthrow of the elected Canadian prime minister is contained in a leaked conversation between Georgiy Yevgenevich Borisenko, foreign ministry chief of Moscow's North America department, and Alexander Darchiev, the Russian ambassador to Canada.

According to a transcript of the leaked conversation, Borisenko discussed who the new Canadian leaders should be six weeks before the coup took place.

Russia moved to launch the coup when Canada decided to take a loan package from the IMF that had fewer strings attached than a loan from Russia.

Russia's Beijing ally was reluctant to back the coup. But this seemed of little concern to Borisenko who is heard on the tape saying, "Fuck China."

Minister handing out cookies in the square.

Weeks before the coup Borisenko was filmed visiting protestors who had camped out in Parliament Square in Ottawa demanding the ouster of the prime minister. Borisenko is seen giving out cakes to the demonstrators.

The foreign ministers of Russian-allied Belarus and Cuba also marched with the protestors through the streets of Ottawa against the government. Russian media has portrayed the unconstitutional change of government an act of "democracy." Russian senators have met in public with extreme right-wing Canadian coup leaders, praising their rebellion.

Borisenko said in a speech that Russia had spent $5 billion over the past decade to "bring democracy" to Canada.

Senator meeting far-right coup leaders.

The money was spent on training "civil society." The use of non-governmental organizations to overthrow foreign governments that stand in the way of Russia's economic and geo-strategic interests is well documented, especially in a 1991 Washington Post column, "Innocence Abroad: The New World of Spyless Coups ."

The United States has thus moved to ban Russian NGOs from operating in the country.

The coup took place as protestors violently clashed with police, breaking through barricades and killing a number of officers. Snipers fired on the police and the crowd from a nearby building in Parliament Square in which the Russian embassy had set up offices just a few floors above, according to Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N.

Son Gets Job After Coup

Russian lawmakers compared President Barack Obama to Adolph Hitler for allegedly sending U.S. troops into the breakaway provinces and for annexing Prince Edward Island in an act of "American aggression." The Maritimes have had long ties to the U.S. dating back to the American Revolution.

Russia says it has intelligence proving that U.S. tanks have crossed the Maine border into New Brunswick, but have failed to make the evidence public. They have revealed no satellite imagery. Russian news media only reports American-backed rebels fighting in the Maritimes, not American troops.

Washington denies it has invaded but says some American volunteers have entered the Canadian province to join the fight.

Russia's puppet prime minister now in charge in Ottawa has only offered as proof six American passports of U.S. soldiers found in New Brunswick.

Son gets job on energy company board after his father's government backs violent coup.

The Maritime Canadian rebels have secured anti-aircraft weapons enabling them to shoot down a number of Royal Canadian Air Force transport planes.

A Malaysian airlines passenger jet was also shot down over Nova Scotia killing all on board. Russia has accused President Obama of being behind the incident, charging that the U.S. provided the anti-aircraft weapon.

Moscow has refused to release any intelligence to support its claim, other than statements by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Canada's economy is near collapse and is dependent on infusions of Russian aid. This comes despite a former Russian foreign ministry official being installed as Canada's finance minister, only receiving Canadian citizenship on her first day on the job.

Despite installing a Russian to run Canada's economy, President Putin told the U.N. General Assembly that Russia had "few economic interests" in the country. But Russian agribusiness companies have already taken stakes in Albertan wheat fields. And Ilya Medvedev, son of Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev, as well as a Lavrov family friend joined the board of Canada's largest oil company just weeks after the coup.

Russia's ultimate aim, beginning with the imposition of sanctions on the U.S., appears to be a color revolution in Washington to overthrow Obama and install a Russian-friendly American president.

This is clear from numerous statements by Russian officials and academics. A former Russian national security advisor whom Putin consults on foreign policy said the United States should be broken into three countries.

He has also written that Canada is the stepping stone to the United States and that if the U.S. loses Canada it will fail to control North America.

Versions of this article first appeared on The Duran and Consortium News in 2016.

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for T he Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe , Sunday Times of London and numerous other newspapers. He can be reached at joelauria@consortiumnews.com and followed on Twitter @unjoe .


mary floyd , February 15, 2020 at 13:20

The most important takeaway in this article for me was that the US should be broken into three separate entities!
That would work well for most Americans. All in all, this is a great piece, Mr. Lauria!

Dao Gen , February 15, 2020 at 02:28

Joe, you are The Truth. The only thing you left out, no doubt for reasons of space and time, was the immortal statement made by a leading member of the Russian Duma, who said during a stirring and well-received speech that, “Canada is our crucial first line of defense against the US. If Canada weren’t there to stop the Americans, we’d have to fight them right here on our own doorstep.”

Herman , February 14, 2020 at 18:52

A very creative way of making the point. Still do not understand the depth of what often appears to be heart felt hate for Russia by very powerful and smart people. Remember reading a comment by Phil Girardi early in the Trump tour when he remarked at the depth of dislike of Russia within the spook community. He wrote he was surprised and had, I think, been part of that community.

Eddie S , February 15, 2020 at 14:51

RE: “…depth of dislike of Russia within the spook community”.
While I have no ‘special knowledge’ of the so-called ‘intelligence community’, there’s a few reasons for this that come to-mind:
— Job preservation. The most obvious. The US wouldn’t need ~80% of those spooks if there
weren’t big scary Russians/Chinese/Iranians/N.Koreans constantly plotting against the
peaceful, benevolent US.

— Spooks believe in what is mainly a distractionary ploy by US oligarchs/plutocrats. These
wealthy interests don’t want to lose some of their wealth to social reforms, so they constantly
financially support scare-mongering, which some spooks unquestioningly accept.

— The profession tends to attract some of the more paranoid elements in our society, so
they’re inclined that way by nature/personality.

robert e williamson jr , February 14, 2020 at 17:51

Well one thing for sure we would not be seeing a female anchor on CNN bemoaning the fact the because of the coronavirus many popular kids toys might not be available here in the U.S. for the up coming holidays (?).

Yes it did happen, hell I couldn’t make that up.

DARYL , February 14, 2020 at 15:45

…or better yet, substitute Central America for Ukraine, and Panama(canal) for Crimea, then you have the makings of an even more salient parallel.

Realist , February 14, 2020 at 15:42

The difference is that under your scenario the world would be a smoking heap of radioactive ashes already as the exceptional nation, unlike the ever cautious Russians, would have immediately made bombastic threats and then launched military attacks to protect its “security interests.” (Warring to “protect” security interests has replaced invasion and occupation to save souls.) Things would have escalated from there to its predestined thermonuclear climax, as they will in the real world if Uncle Sam doesn’t get a grip on his uncontrolled aggression, demanding whatever he wants whenever he wants it at the point of a gun. The world seems to be circling the drain whether or not Washington is allowed to micromanage the affairs of Russia, China, Iran and every last duchy, principality and people’s republic in addition to its own monumental mess it calls domestic affairs. We’ve only got two political parties in this madhouse and they are both equally bent on destroying civilisation if they can’t rule it all, which seems to be the only point they agree on. Each party thinks it preferable to allow an obscenely rich oligarch (what else should we call Trump or Bloomberg?) from the other side to rule rather than a “communist” like Bernie Sanders or a “naive peacenik” like Tulsi Gabbard to be elected president. If the space aliens land tomorrow and start recruiting colonists to populate newly terraformed planets in other solar systems, sign me up. Yeah, it’s become that absurd down here.

JOHN CHUCKMAN , February 14, 2020 at 15:22

Simply imperial rot and corruption of power on all sides.

Neither Democrats nor Republicans have an exclusive on those qualities.

Mark Thomason , February 14, 2020 at 12:37

This is a useful approach. It needs added to it the language and culture element: as if the part that wants out of the Moscow coup shares our own language and culture, while the rest of Canada does not, and the rest of Canada had gone on a spree to suppress that language and culture. It is hard to find a parallel in Canada to those facts, but it is what happened in Ukraine.

It is important to understanding to put oneself in the shoes of the other guys. It was once called walking a mile in the other guy’s moccasins, and given a Native wisdom attribution.

David G Horsman , February 14, 2020 at 12:01

I do this exercise mentally fairly often. This is the first time I saw it done in print. I would like to do an automated process.

[Feb 07, 2020] Poroshenko asked the USA help in fighting criminal cases against him in Ukraine

Feb 07, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com


Moscow Exile

July 31, 2019 at 9:08 pm
Порошенко попросил у США помощи с уголовными делами на Украине, пишут СМИ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mark Chapman August 1, 2019 at 2:44 am
Quite right, old man; keep your chin up. I daresay they're staying in quite prestigious digs in Istanbul, as befits visiting royalty. He seems to be labouring under a misapprehension that he is valuable somehow to Washington, whereas that would only be true if Washington were unwilling to work with Zelenskiy, and wanted him out of the way. So far as I can see, Washington is quite satisfied with Zelenskiy so far, while the people would not countenance a Poroshenko return. So he's not really much use, is he? Especially if the USA wishes to publicly support Zelenskiy's supposed battle with official corruption.

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

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

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


Trust me!

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

[Jan 30, 2020] Impeachment's Biggest Absurdity Our Toxic Fixation On Useless And Corrupting Ukraine Aid

They are not helping Ukraine citizen of which after 2014 live in abject poverty. So in now way this an aid. They are arming Ukraine to kill Russians and maintain a hot spot on Russian border.
The USA, specifically Brennan, Nuland and Biden create civil war out of nothing pushing far right nationalist to suppress eastern population by brute forces (they burned alive 200 hundred or more people on Odessa and killed people in Mariupol before Donbass flared up)
They are despicable MIC bottomfeeders. Neocon calculation is that Russia will not respond to this provocation, because it is too weak after the economic rape of 1991-2000. While Putin is a very patient politician they might be wrong.
Notable quotes:
"... Authored by James Bovard via JimBovard.com, ..."
"... "corruption is positively correlated with aid received from the United States." ..."
"... "I think it makes no sense to give aid money to countries that are corrupt." ..."
"... " remains skeptical after a history of broken promises [from the Ukraine govt]. Kiev hasn't successfully completed any of a series of IMF bailout packages over the past two decades, with systemic corruption at the heart of much of that failure." ..."
"... "Most foreign aid winds up with outside consultants, the local military, corrupt bureaucrats, the new NGO [nongovernmental organizations] administrators, and Mercedes dealers." ..."
"... James Bovard is the author of " ..."
"... Attention Deficit Democracy ..."
"... The Bush Betrayal ..."
"... Terrorism and Tyranny ..."
"... ," and other books. Bovard is on the USA Today Board of Contributors. He is on Twitter at @jimbovard. His website is at ..."
"... www.jimbovard.com ..."
Jan 30, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by James Bovard via JimBovard.com,

The campaign to convict and remove President Donald Trump in the Senate hinges on delays in disbursing U.S. aid to Ukraine. Ukraine was supposedly on the verge of great progress until Trump pulled the rug out from under the heroic salvation effort by U.S. government bureaucrats. Unfortunately, Congress has devoted a hundred times more attention to the timing of aid to Ukraine than to its effectiveness. And most of the media coverage has ignored the biggest absurdity of the impeachment fight.

The temporary postponement of the Ukrainian aid was practically irrelevant considering that U.S. assistance efforts have long fueled the poxes they promised to eradicate – especially kleptocracy, or government by thieves .

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

Then-President George W. Bush promised to reform foreign aid that year, declaring , "I think it makes no sense to give aid money to countries that are corrupt." Regardless, the Bush administration continued delivering billions of dollars in handouts to many of the world's most corrupt regimes .

Then-President Barack Obama, recognizing the failure of past U.S. aid efforts, proclaimed at the United Nations in 2010 that the U.S. government is " leading a global effort to combat corruption ." The following year, congressional Republicans sought to restrict foreign aid to fraud-ridden foreign regimes. Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wailed that restricting handouts to nations that fail anti-corruption tests "has the potential to affect a staggering number of needy aid recipients."

The Obama administration continued pouring tens of billions of U.S. tax dollars into sinkholes such as Afghanistan, which even its president, Ashraf Ghani, admitted in 2016 was "one of the most corrupt countries on earth ." John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR), declared that "U.S. policies and practices unintentionally aided and abetted corruption" in Afghanistan.

Since the end of the Soviet Union, the U.S. has provided more than $6 billion in aid to Ukraine. At the House impeachment hearings, a key anti-Trump witness was acting U.S. ambassador to the Ukraine, William B. Taylor Jr. The Washington Post hailed Taylor as someone who " spent much of the 1990s telling Ukrainian politicians that nothing was more critical to their long-term prosperity than rooting out corruption and bolstering the rule of law, in his role as the head of U.S. development assistance for post-Soviet countries." A New York Times editorial lauded Taylor and State Department deputy assistant secretary George Kent as witnesses who "came across not as angry Democrats or Deep State conspirators, but as men who have devoted their lives to serving their country."

After their testimony spurred criticism, a Washington Post headline captured the capital city's reaction: "The diplomatic corps has been wounded. The State Department needs to heal." But not nearly as much as the foreigners supposedly rescued by U.S. bureaucrats.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Oct. 31 that the International Monetary Fund, which has provided more than $20 billion in loans to Ukraine, " remains skeptical after a history of broken promises [from the Ukraine govt]. Kiev hasn't successfully completed any of a series of IMF bailout packages over the past two decades, with systemic corruption at the heart of much of that failure."

The IMF concluded that Ukraine continued to be vexed by " shortcomings in the legal framework, pervasive corruption, and large parts of the economy dominated by inefficient state-owned enterprises or by oligarchs." That last item is damning for the U.S. benevolent pretensions. If a former Soviet republic cannot even terminate its government-owned boondoggles, then why in hell was the U.S. government bankrolling them?

Transparency International, which publishes an annual Corruption Perceptions Index, shows that corruption surged in Ukraine in the late 1990s (after the U.S. decided to rescue them) and remains at abysmal levels. Ukraine is now ranked as the 120th most corrupt nation in the world -- a lower ranking than received by Egypt and Pakistan, two other major U.S. aid recipients also notorious for corruption.

Actually, the best gauge of Ukrainian corruption is the near-total collapse of its citizens' trust in government or in their own future. Since 1991, the nation has lost almost 20% of its population as citizens flee abroad like passengers leaping off a sinking ship.

And yet, the House impeachment hearings and much of the media gushed over career U.S. government officials despite their strikeouts. It was akin to a congressional committee resurrecting Col. George S. Custer in 1877 and fawning as he offered personal insights in dealing with uprisings by Sioux Indians (while carefully avoiding awkward questions about the previous year at the Little Big Horn ).

Foreign aid is virtue signaling with other people's money. As long the aid spawns press releases and photo opportunities for presidents and members of Congress and campaign donations from corporate and other beneficiaries, little else matters. Congress almost never conducts thorough investigations into the failure of aid programs despite their legendary pratfalls. The Agency for International Development ludicrously evaluated its programs in Afghanistan based on their "burn rate" – whether they were spending money as quickly as possible, almost regardless of the results. SIGAR's John Sopko "found a USAID lessons-learned report from 1980s on Afghan reconstruction but nobody at AID had read it ."

After driving around the world, investment guru Jim Rogers declared: "Most foreign aid winds up with outside consultants, the local military, corrupt bureaucrats, the new NGO [nongovernmental organizations] administrators, and Mercedes dealers." After the Obama administration promised massive aid to Ukraine in 2014, Hunter Biden jumped on the gravy train – as did legions of well-connected Washingtonians and other hustlers around the nation. Similar largesse assures that there will never be a shortage of overpaid individuals and hired think tanks ready to write op-eds or letters to the editor of the Washington Post whooping up the moral greatness of foreign aid or some such hokum.

When it comes to the failure of U.S. aid to Ukraine, almost all of Trump's congressional critics are like the " dog that didn't bark " in the Sherlock Holmes story. The real outrage is that Trump and prior presidents, with Congress cheering all the way, delivered so many U.S. tax dollars to Kiev that any reasonable person knew would be wasted. If Washington truly wants to curtail foreign corruption, ending U.S. foreign aid is the best first step.

* * *

James Bovard is the author of " Attention Deficit Democracy ," " The Bush Betrayal ," " Terrorism and Tyranny ," and other books. Bovard is on the USA Today Board of Contributors. He is on Twitter at @jimbovard. His website is at www.jimbovard.com Tags Politics


Pair Of Dimes Shift , 12 minutes ago link

ALL foreign aid is a kickback scheme.

End it!

Savyindallas , 27 minutes ago link

paying billions to corrupt Jewish Ukranians is just another way to support Israel. Christian Zionists understand and approve of this. So what's the big deal? It's free money. Money that grows on trees. What does it cost to print billions of free money by a few electronic entries? Nothing. We should print more. Free **** is a beautiful thing.

We can postpone judgment day for at least another decade or so. By then, all the smart Harvard educated guys and gals at Goldman Sachs and Wall Street will figure out how to kick the can down the road for another decade or so.

When it all collapses, half of India and Africa and central America will already have replaced what used to be the American population. The few remaining Americans aside from the immigrants will be unrecognizable anyway. many will have left. Many more will have been reduced by failure to procreate and replace themselves. Christians will be a despised,(even the idiotic Zio-Christians who looked the other way on important issues as long as we were bombing and killing for their beloved Israel) We will have a dying population as many will have chosen the gay LGBTQ lifestyle and we are replaced by subservient obedient, uneducated immigrants who are happy to work for $8 an hour and live in a single room apartment they share with other immigrant families.

NosferatuZodd , 27 minutes ago link

Ukraine was a failed state since day one and it got much worse since US/EU instigated coup. I don't see any light at the end of tunnel. Zielensky is a more friendly face, but that's it. He obviously doesn't have power to change the course. He can promise anything while abroad, but he has to appease the nazis at home or they will get rid of him. In other words Ukraine is doomed.

SadhakaPadma , 19 minutes ago link

Zielensky is more than friendly face...he signed many deals with Putin and behave as responsible politician who wanna bring normalization and peace. Same forces overthrow Yanukovitch will try it with Zielensky, because they not wanna peace, but their interest is war....so Zielensky is in danger.

various1 , 31 minutes ago link

TF are you talking about, idiot!

Ukraine has biggest potential of all countries. Has richest on a planet soil, educated European population, is poor so money go long way. And of course bridge to forcing Russia being our ally, and adhere to nationalism, vs being corrupted by globalists.

chunga , 45 minutes ago link

No ****, it's absurd. The Wretched City was practically unanimous in the screeching about sending weapons to Ukraine because Crimea voted to join Russia, something they describe up there as being "annexed". Especially so now because since then Iraq voted to kick the US out of their country and has been ignored, themselves being "annexed".

This is something that is accepted to a certain degree as a result of Bob Mueller.

wehadtopullit , 5 minutes ago link

3 words: Victoria J. Nuland

John Hansen , 49 minutes ago link

Certainly makes you wonder if there was a reason the Russians only took Crimea.

Corruption ridden Ukraine certainly is a "gift" that keeps on giving.

SadhakaPadma , 47 minutes ago link

Crimea is military important for their security...that why they had naval base there..they cant afford lose this point and Black Sea....

Soviets were not willing to colonize these satelites like Poland, Czechoslovakia etc. they were relevant after ww2 and Russians were scared of another war...day they become irrelevant thanks of new weapons they abandon these states.

Russians are not hurry up into wars.

John Hansen , 45 minutes ago link

You are missing the point.

Ukraine is a corrupt, corrupting mess, now it is the West's mess.

SadhakaPadma , 43 minutes ago link

I know they are corrupted one...but USA is careless toward Ukraine fortunes...they use them to provoke conditions to create cold war two...military industry need big enemies for sake of hundreds bilions usd profits...how would you explain your citizens you pay one third of budget and no enemies??? so Deep state want cold war two.

More than milion Ukrainians left to Russia...while EU has closed Ukrainian borders...so who care more of Ukrainian people?

John Hansen , 37 minutes ago link

They could have had their cold war for MIC without absorbing the Ukraine. The whole cold war thing is obvious and academic.

The Russians wanted the West to have Ukraine. It is like the Americans giving the aboriginals the Small Pox blankets.

The corruption in the Ukraine is like a virus and it has spread West, just look at how it has infected the US political process.

SadhakaPadma , 29 minutes ago link

Russians were victims of all of this...red line was Crimea...and Putin did right...otherwise Russian nuclear security would be doomed if you allow NATO troops to Crimea.

US politicians not do it first time...did you know most wealthy Kosovian is Magdalene All Bright?? i live in postcommunist state and whole my life witness western proxies stealing all valuable stakes here....Communism created state ownership of big industries...domestic politicians alongside western snakes steal it very ugly way.IN SO CALLED PRIVATIZATION..wheather it is Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania etc. even information networks are owed by westeners....we are absolutely blackmailed.

Russians and partly Ukrainians did not allow foreigers to entry ...they tried it..here and there something got, whole 90s was going on this big fight among Russians and plus western snakes for stakes....Putin created order in it alongside Russian oligarchy and normalization....that why Russians like him.

bismillah , 51 minutes ago link

Are these idiotic Democrats and Russia haters crazy?

Russia has a population and GDP roughly the same as Mexico and they're on the other side of the planet (unless you're in Alaska). There is exactly zero chance Russia will invade or attack Western Europe or the USA.

The USA should be concerned with the USA, and not whether Russia will act to safeguard its border.

SadhakaPadma , 53 minutes ago link

When Soviet Union left...military industry for sake of their profits needed to create big enemy....they created terrorism and islamic wars......now as it failing apart they need new enemies..big one to explain you why is necessary to give one third of your taxes into military toys...so they create conflicts around China and Russia with hope to dig in into cold war two.

Russians and Chinese have not big corporate bussines behind their military...their spending is tiny compared to US military industry profits....so they have no interest in wars...while US seek them.

Be aware Americans...your military is not only milking you, but risking of whole humanity throwing into military disasters even as an accidents . Putin explained it many times...computer supersystems can be activated so easily if some misteps happen...

MushroomCloud2020 , 56 minutes ago link

If Quid Pro Que is legal, then the swamp is drained. The swamp isn't doing anything wrong. They have been following the law all this time. Ask the president.

[Jan 27, 2020] The Dangers of Conflating and Inflating Interests

Notable quotes:
"... Taylor exaggerates what the conflict is about by saying that Ukraine is defending "the West." That's not true. Ukraine is defending itself. The U.S. does not have a vital interest in this conflict, but Taylor talks about it as if we do. He says that the relationship with Ukraine is "key" to our national security, but that is simply false. To say that it is key to our national security means that we are supposed to believe that it is crucially important to our national security. That suggests that U.S. national security would seriously compromised if that relationship weakened, but that doesn't make any sense. We usually don't even talk about our major treaty allies this way, so what justification is there for describing a relationship with a weak partner government like this? ..."
"... The op-ed reads like a textbook case of clientitis, in which a former U.S. envoy ends up making the Ukrainian government's argument for them ..."
"... To support Ukraine is to support a rules-based international order that enabled major powers in Europe to avoid war for seven decades. It is to support democracy over autocracy. It is to support freedom over unfreedom. Most Americans do. ..."
"... These make for catchy slogans, but they are lousy policy arguments. This rhetoric veers awfully close to saying that you aren't on the side of freedom if you don't support a particular policy option. In my experience, advocates for more aggressive measures use rhetoric like this because the rest of their argument isn't very strong. It is possible to reject illegal military interventions of all governments without wanting to throw weapons at the problem. ..."
"... Taylor has set up the policy argument in such a way that there seems to be no choice, but the U.S. doesn't have to support Ukraine's war effort. He oversells Ukraine's importance to the U.S. to justify U.S. support, because an accurate assessment would make the current policy of arming their government much harder to defend. Ukraine isn't really that important to U.S. security and our security doesn't require us to provide military assistance to them. Of course, our government has chosen to do it anyway, but this is just one more optional entanglement that the U.S. could have avoided without jeopardizing American or allied security. ..."
Jan 27, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

ormer ambassador William Taylor wrote an op-ed on Ukraine in an attempt to answer Pompeo's question about whether Americans care about Ukraine. It is not very persuasive. For one thing, he starts off by exaggerating the importance of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine to make it seem as if the U.S. has a major stake in the outcome:

Here's why the answer should be yes: Ukraine is defending itself and the West against Russian attack. If Ukraine succeeds, we succeed. The relationship between the United States and Ukraine is key to our national security, and Americans should care about Ukraine.

Taylor exaggerates what the conflict is about by saying that Ukraine is defending "the West." That's not true. Ukraine is defending itself. The U.S. does not have a vital interest in this conflict, but Taylor talks about it as if we do. He says that the relationship with Ukraine is "key" to our national security, but that is simply false. To say that it is key to our national security means that we are supposed to believe that it is crucially important to our national security. That suggests that U.S. national security would seriously compromised if that relationship weakened, but that doesn't make any sense. We usually don't even talk about our major treaty allies this way, so what justification is there for describing a relationship with a weak partner government like this?

The op-ed reads like a textbook case of clientitis, in which a former U.S. envoy ends up making the Ukrainian government's argument for them. The danger of exaggerating U.S. interests and conflating them with Ukraine's is that we fool ourselves into thinking that we are acting out of necessity and in our own defense when we are really choosing to take sides in a conflict that does not affect our security. This is the kind of thinking that encourages people to spout nonsense about "fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them here." If we view Ukraine as "the front line" of a larger struggle, that will also make it more difficult to resolve the conflict. When a local conflict is turned into a proxy fight between great powers, the local people will be the ones made to suffer to serve the ambitions of the patrons. Once the U.S. insists that its own security is bound up with the outcome of this conflict, there is an incentive to be considered the "winner," but the reality is that Ukraine will always matter less to the U.S. than it does to Russia.

If this relationship were so important to U.S. security, how is it that the U.S. managed to get along just fine for decades after the end of the Cold War when that relationship was not particularly strong? As recently as the Obama administration, our government did not consider Ukraine to be important enough to supply with weapons. Ukraine was viewed correctly as being of peripheral interest to the U.S., and nothing has changed in the years since then to make it more important.

Taylor keeps repeating that "Ukraine is the front line" in a larger conflict between Russia and the West, but that becomes true only if Western governments choose to treat it as one. He concludes his op-ed with a series of ideological assertions:

To support Ukraine is to support a rules-based international order that enabled major powers in Europe to avoid war for seven decades. It is to support democracy over autocracy. It is to support freedom over unfreedom. Most Americans do.

These make for catchy slogans, but they are lousy policy arguments. This rhetoric veers awfully close to saying that you aren't on the side of freedom if you don't support a particular policy option. In my experience, advocates for more aggressive measures use rhetoric like this because the rest of their argument isn't very strong. It is possible to reject illegal military interventions of all governments without wanting to throw weapons at the problem.

Taylor has set up the policy argument in such a way that there seems to be no choice, but the U.S. doesn't have to support Ukraine's war effort. He oversells Ukraine's importance to the U.S. to justify U.S. support, because an accurate assessment would make the current policy of arming their government much harder to defend. Ukraine isn't really that important to U.S. security and our security doesn't require us to provide military assistance to them. Of course, our government has chosen to do it anyway, but this is just one more optional entanglement that the U.S. could have avoided without jeopardizing American or allied security.

[Jan 18, 2020] Eastern Ukrainians, who were the biggest losers in the post-Soviet deindustrilization, have harmed you by existing and dying of diseases of poverty and despair.

Jan 18, 2020 | www.unz.com

AP says: January 15, 2020 at 9:59 pm GMT 100 Words @Thulean Friend

That too. Ukraine is a split country on pro/anti-Russian attitudes

Rather strong and somewhat anachronistic statement. Ukraine was split prior to 2014.

There are still pro-Russian areas but being free of Crimea and Donbas means Ukraine can no longer be characterized as "split." Probably 1/4 of the population can be considered to be politically friendly to Russia. Given, say, Latvia's ethnic Russian population, that country is nowadays probably more "split" than Ukraine.

JPM , says: January 15, 2020 at 10:59 pm GMT

@AP d in a frozen conflict zone. After they were fucked by industrial collapse and job loss. Before that they were fucked by wars, famines and the Bolsheviks. They really can't seem to catch a break.

Europeans seem to be on the precipice of disaster everywhere. It would be nice to band together, rather than die while getting hung up on the narcissism of small differences. Probably just wishful thinking on my part though. I guess Americans can't understand how important it is for Ukrainians on one side of the Dniepr to show how different they are from Ukrainians on the other or how different they are from Russians for that matter.

[Jan 17, 2020] Ukraine is a deeply sick patient. The destiny of ordinary Ukrainians is deeply tragic. Diaspora is greedy and want a piece of cake immediately

Highly recommended!
Edited for clarity
Notable quotes:
"... The infrastructure they inherited from the USSR mostly is now fully amortized. For example railway park in in complete ruin. Central heating pipeline communications in cities like Kiev are in ruins too. In the USSR they tried to reuse the heat from electric stations and have elaborate hot water delivery networks from each, which provided heat to a large city blocks. Now pipes are completely rusted (which in 30 years is no surprise) and are in the state of constant repair. ..."
"... But when the standard of living dropped to such extent as it dropped after 2014 sentiments toward even slightly different ethnic groups turn hostile too. This is the case in Ukraine. In this sense you are wrong. There is no more unity now then existed before 2014. I would say there is less unity now. ..."
"... Sentiments turned against both Donbass dwellers and Ukrainians from Western Ukraine. In Kiev the derogatory term for both categories is "ponaekhali" ("come to overcrowd the place and displace us", or something along those lines; it's difficult to translate, but the term carries strong derogatory meaning) ..."
"... The nationalistic hysteria of 2014-2017 now mostly changed into deep depression: how a tiny group of far right nationalist and football hooligan gangs managed to get to power against the will of the majority of the country and destroy its economy. That's why Zelensky was elected and most far right parliamentarians lost their seats. Most of Western Ukraine voted for him, which is telling you something. ..."
"... The problem for Ukraine is that with the cut of economic ties with Russia the natural path for economics is probably down. De-industrialization, Baltic style, is raining supreme. Many enterprises survived the period from 1991 to 2014 only due to orders from Russia. Especially remnants of military industrial complex and manufacturing industry. Now what? Selling land (like Zelensky is trying to do) ? ..."
Jan 17, 2020 | www.unz.com

likbez says:January 17, 2020 at 8:35 am GMT • 1,500 Words @AP AP,

I agree with JPM:

I feel like robber barons in Kyiv have harmed you more through their looting of the country than impoverished Eastern Ukrainians, who were the biggest losers in the post-Soviet deindustrilization, have harmed you by existing and dying of diseases of poverty and despair.

It reminds me of how coastal shit-libs in America talk about "fly-over" country and want all the poor whites in Appalachia to die. I'm living in a country whose soul is totally poisoned. A country that is dying. While all this is happening, whites have split themselves into little factions focused on political point scoring.

I doubt people like Zelensky, Kolomoisky, Poroshenko and all the rest are going to turn Ukraine into an earthly paradise. They're more likely to be Neros playing harps, while Ukraine burns.

Looks like your understanding of Ukraine is mostly based of a short trip to Lvov and reading neoliberal MSM and forums. That's not enough, unless you want to be the next Max Boot.

Ukraine is a deeply sick patient, which surprisingly still stands despite all hardships (Ukrainians demonstrated amazing, superhuman resilience in the crisis that hit them, which greatly surprised all experts).

The infrastructure they inherited from the USSR mostly is now fully amortized. For example railway park in in complete ruin. Central heating pipeline communications in cities like Kiev are in ruins too. In the USSR they tried to reuse the heat from electric stations and have elaborate hot water delivery networks from each, which provided heat to a large city blocks. Now pipes are completely rusted (which in 30 years is no surprise) and are in the state of constant repair.

And, what is really tragic Ukraine now it is a debt state. Usually the latter is the capital sentence for the county. Few managed to escape even in more favorable conditions (South Korea is one.) So chances of economic recovery are slim: with such level of parasitic rent to the West the natural path is down and down. Don't cry for me Argentina.

And there is no money to replace already destroyed due to bad maintenance infrastructure, but surprisingly large parts of Soviets era infrastructure still somehow hold. For example, electrical networks, subway cars. But other part are already crumbling.

For example, in Kiev that means in some buildings you have winter without central heating, you have elevators in 16-storey buildings that work one or two weeks in month, you have no hot water, sometimes you have no water at all for a week or more, etc). Pensioners have problem with paying heating bills, so some of them are forced to live in non-heated apartments.

And that's in Kiev/Kyiv (Western Ukrainians love to change established names, much like communists) . In provincial cities it is a real horror show when even electricity supply became a problem. The countryside dwellers at least has its own food, but the situation for them is also very very difficult.

Other big problem -- few jobs and almost no well paid job, unless you are young, know English and have a university education (and are lucky). Before 2014 approximately 70% of Ukrainian labor migrants (in total a couple of million) came from the western part of the country, in which migration had become a widespread method of coping with poverty, the absence of jobs and low salaries.

Now this practice spread to the whole county. That destroyed many families.

The USA plays its usual games selling vassals crap at inflated prices (arms, uranium rods, coal, locomotives, cars, etc) , which Ukrainians can't refuse. Trump is simply a typical gangster in this respect, running a protection racket.

The rate of emigration and shrinking population is another fundamental problem. Mass emigration ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Ukraine ) is continuing even after Zelensky election. Looting by the West also continues unabated. This is disaster capitalism in action.

Add to those problems inflated military expenses to fight the civil war in Donbass which deprives other sectors of necessary funds (with the main affect of completely alienating Russia) and "Huston, we have a problem."

May be this is a natural path for xUSSR countries after the dissolution of the USSR, I don't know.

But the destiny of ordinary Ukrainians is deeply tragic: they wanted better life and got a really harsh one. Especially pensioners (typical pension is something like $60-$70) a month in Kiev, much less outside of Kiev. How they physically survive I do not fully understand.

There are still pro-Russian areas but being free of Crimea and Donbass means Ukraine can no longer be characterized as "split."

I agree that there is a substantial growth of anti-Russian sentiments. It is really noticeable. As well as growth of the usage of the Ukrainian language (previously Kiev, unlike Lvov was completely Russian-language city).

And in Western Ukraine Russiphobia was actually always a part of "national identity". The negative definition of national identity, if you wish. See popular slogan "Hto ne skache toi moskal" ("those who do not jump are Moskal" -- where Moskal is the derogatory name for a Russian). Here is this slogan in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6rfqr9afMc ;-)

But when the standard of living dropped to such extent as it dropped after 2014 sentiments toward even slightly different ethnic groups turn hostile too. This is the case in Ukraine. In this sense you are wrong. There is no more unity now then existed before 2014. I would say there is less unity now.

Sentiments turned against both Donbass dwellers and Ukrainians from Western Ukraine. In Kiev the derogatory term for both categories is "ponaekhali" ("come to overcrowd the place and displace us", or something along those lines; it's difficult to translate, but the term carries strong derogatory meaning) .

"Donetskie" (former Donbass dwellers, often displaced by the war) are generally strongly resented and luxury cars, villas, etc and other excesses of neoliberal elite are attributed mostly to them (Donbass neoliberal elite did moved to Kiev, not Moscow) , while "zapadentsi" are also, albeit less strongly, resented because they often use clan politics within institutions, and often do not put enough effort (or are outright incompetent), as they rely on its own clan ties for survival.

This sentiment is stronger to the south of Kiev where the resentment is directed mainly against Western Ukrainians, not against "Donetskie" like in Kiev. And I am talking not only about Odessa. Western Ukrainians are now strongly associated with corrupt ways of getting lucrative positions (via family, clan or political connections), being incompetent and doing nothing useful.

What surprise me is that this resentment against "zapadentsi" and "Poloshenko clan" is shared by many people from Western Ukraine. The target is often slightly more narrow, for example Hutsuls in Lviv ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hutsuls )

The nationalistic hysteria of 2014-2017 now mostly changed into deep depression: how a tiny group of far right nationalist and football hooligan gangs managed to get to power against the will of the majority of the country and destroy its economy. That's why Zelensky was elected and most far right parliamentarians lost their seats. Most of Western Ukraine voted for him, which is telling you something.

The problem for Ukraine is that with the cut of economic ties with Russia the natural path for economics is probably down. De-industrialization, Baltic style, is raining supreme. Many enterprises survived the period from 1991 to 2014 only due to orders from Russia. Especially remnants of military industrial complex and manufacturing industry. Now what? Selling land (like Zelensky is trying to do) ?

Ukraine will probably eventually lose a large part of its chemical industry because without subsidies for gas it just can't complete even taking into account low labor costs. And manufacturing because without Russian market it is difficult to find a place for their production in already established markets, competing only in price and suffering in quality (I remember something about Iraq returning Ukrainians all ordered armored carriers due to defect is the the armor https://sputniknews.com/military/201705221053859853-armored-vehicles-defects-extent /). Although at least for the Ukrainian arm industry there is place on the market in countries which are used to old Soviet armaments, because those are rehashed Soviet products.

Add to this corrupt and greedy diaspora (all those Jaresko, Chalupas, Freelands, Vindmans, etc ) from the USA and Canada (and not only diaspora -- look at Biden, Kerry, etc) who want their piece of the pie after 2014 "Revolution of dignity" (what a sad joke) and you will see the problems more clearly. Not that much changed from the period 1991-2014 where Ukraine was also royally fleeced by own oligarchs allied with Western banksers, simply now this leads to quicker deterioration of the standard of living.

None of Eastern European countries benefited from a color revolution staged by the USA. This is about opening the country not only to multinationals (while they loot the county they at least behave within a certain legal bounds, demonstrating at least decency of gangsters like in Godfather), but to petty foreign criminals from diaspora and outside of it who allies with the local oligarchs and smaller nouveau riche and are siphoning all the county wealth to western banks as soon as possible. Greed of the disapora is simply unbounded. https://neweasterneurope.eu/2016/08/26/the-ukrainian-diaspora-as-a-recipient-of-oligarchic-cash/

Of course, Ukrainian diaspora is not uniform. Still, outside well-know types from the tiny Mid-Eastern country, the most dangerous people for Ukraine are probably Ukrainians from diaspora with dual citizenship

[Jan 17, 2020] Ukraine demographic problem

Of course the USA do not care, but the trend ofter 2014 color revolution financed and organized by the USA (with Germany Poland and Sweden in supporting roles) is devastating...
Jan 17, 2020 | www.unz.com

AnonFromTN , says: January 15, 2020 at 6:12 pm GMT

@Anatoly Karlin Donbass people ran with the territories. In addition, half a million Ukrainian citizens got Russian citizenship in 2019. Optimists put Ukrainian population at 35 million, pessimists at 22-24 million, but half a million in a single year is a huge number in either case.

Finally, my interest in the opinions of me (or anything else, for that matter) of various "svidomy" and "svyadomy" personages is about the same as my interest in the opinions of cockroaches or ants. In one case, what they fought for has already befallen them, in the other – the same thing is likely to happen. In both cases Russia should not burden itself with unnecessary dead weight.

[Jan 17, 2020] German Parliament Office Reports No Russian Invasion of Eastern Ukraine, Rejects Media and Government Propaganda

Jan 17, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Takes a look and finds no reliable information to support the claim John Helmer 1 day ago 1064 2

A report by a research unit of the German Bundestag, just released in Berlin, has defied the narrative of the European Union, NATO and the US, with the conclusion that since the Ukraine civil war began in early 2014, there has been no reliable evidence of Russian troop invasion or intervention by regular Russian military forces in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine.

After a review of the press, official public releases and reports, as well as European court rulings, the Bundestag's experts have described the outcome with the German phrase, ohne belastbares Faktenmaterial – "without reliable fact material."

The Bundestag report, which runs to 17 pages and was completed on December 9, has been noted in the German-language media. To date, however, it has been ignored by the Anglo-American press, including the alt-media.

The new German report is entitled "Intervention in civil war zones: The role of Russia during the east Ukraine conflict". It was prepared by the foreign, international law and defence department (WD-2) of the Scientific Services Bureau of the Bundestag.

In a preface to the report, the authors say they "support the members of the German Bundestag with mandate-related activity. Their works do not express the view of the German Bundestag, its individual organs, or the management of the Bundestag." Responsibility for the research reporting is "the technical responsibility of the authors as well as the department management." No authors have been identified by name.

The full German report can be read at the official website link. No official English translation is available.

For five years Ukrainian armed forces and pro-Russian separatists have been fighting against each other in the Donbass/Donets Basin," the report says. " The territorial conflict shows classical identifiers of a non-international (internal) armed conflict. About the extent, quality and magnitude of the military involvement of Russia during the Ukraine conflict, there are few reliable facts and analyses aside from the numerous speculations, part-contradictory reports and press announcements, and denials from different sources. Altogether, however, the picture of the situation is not unequivocal."

"Also, the Federal [German] Government holds no reliable knowledge, according to its own information apparently, on how much influence today Russia actually exercises on the separatists in the East Ukraine that can be described as credible."

The report summarizes western media reports, social media posts, as well as NATO press releases in order to cast doubt on their veracity. "Reliable information about the parts of the region of the Ukrainian-Russian border not controlled by Kiev is rare." The German researchers are also sceptical of claims published by the monitoring mission of the area from the Organization for Security and Economic Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) which "has, in spite of its comprehensive mandate, only limited access to this area."

For background details of the anti-Russian leadership of the OSCE's special monitoring mission (SMM) in Ukraine, read this .

"The question of whether pro-Russian separatists in the Donbass region are currently under control and directed from Moscow, or whether regular Russian troops still remain on Ukrainian territory cannot be answered without reliable factual material, in particular without the appropriate and reliable secret service intelligence."

Source: Dances With Bears

Mychal Arnold a day ago The West are liars! 3 ReplyShare › Avatar CHUCKMAN a day ago Well, it's a small good thing, but where were they for all these years?

Four years of Poroshenko's destructive nonsense went unchallenged.

And why is Germany still supporting American sanctions against Russia?

I might add, too, wouldn't it be a sound idea to investigate first before supporting any hostile policies of America abroad, as in Syria or Iran?

Is it really too much to expect that one understands the facts before supporting hostilities?

But that's dreaming in Technicolor.

It's just not the world America has constructed for us all, by brute force.

[Jan 04, 2020] The role of Germany in the Ukrainian disaster

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... I have the feeling , just the suspicion , that they contributed to the Ukrainian disaster out of their genetic Drang nach Osten Nordic greed , is that right ? ..."
"... Anyway since the Ukrainian disaster the cohesion of the EU is going going down . Germany which was gifted with the German reunification , is less and less trusted specially in south Europe , and even less in the EU far west , in England which is going out of the EU . ..."
"... As a curiosity in 1945 the Zionists asked Stalin to give Crimea to the jews , Stalin refused . https://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/164673/crimea-as-jewish-homeland ..."
"... is 2019 and life in Ukraine is barely better than it was 25-50 years ago, population has actually dropped from its peak in early 1990's. Millions of Ukrainians live abroad (I know some of them) and have – to be polite – at best an ambivalent attitude towards their homeland. Almost all of them prefer to be somewhere else, even to become someone else. ..."
"... I don't agree with the facile name-calling that sees Nazis everywhere and exaggerates throw-away symbolism. But Ukraine has not been functioning and it can't go like this much longer. Not because it will collapse, it won't, but because during an era of general prosperity Ukraine can't be a unstable exception (oh, I get it, they are better than Moldova, good for them.) ..."
"... Rebellions against geography are doomed. Projecting one's personal frustrations on external enemies (Kremlin!) has never worked. Ukraine needs rationality – accepting that they will not be in EU, that attempting to join Nato would destroy Ukraine, and that they can't beat Russia in a war. And following advise of half-mad and half-ignorant well-wishers from Washington or Brussels is a road to ruin. Nulands, Bidens and Tusks will never live in Ukraine, they really deeply don't care about it. They have no skin in that game, it is just entertainment for them. ..."
"... During WWII, Germany actually established settlements in Crimea. Think about it: there is a massive war, you have like 1-2 years, short on transport and resources, and you start sending settlers to Crimea – that's how much drang-nach-osten types wanted it. And the Turks, etc This must be driving them absolutely nuts. ..."
"... The mexicans say : when God created Mexico He gave Mexico everything ; land , mountains , plains , tropical forests , deserts , two oceans , agriculture , gold , silver , oil . then God saw how beautiful and perfect Mexico was and He though that He should also give something bad to the country to prevent the sin of pride , and then he populated Mexico with pure pendejos ,( idiots ) . ..."
"... If you want a decent analysis of current events in the Ukraine, which is what The Saker provides, I guess you'll just have to put up with his terminology. ..."
"... My experience is that Ukrainians individually are far from being pendejos . But they are unable to act as a group or as a nation. (Well, they 'act', but it mostly somehow fails.) ..."
"... Maybe it is the relative shallow and heterogenous history of Ukraine. Or – and this is what I have observed – a fundamental inner disloyalty to the Ukraine as a homeland. When one observes the assorted Porkys, Timoshenkas, Yanuks, the oligarchs, but also the crowds on Maidan, I get a sense that they are all about to leave Ukraine or are thinking about leaving. Societies can't be built with one foot always at the airport, or in an old car in a 5-km column waiting on the border of Poland. Or Russia. ..."
Nov 21, 2019 | www.unz.com

Carlton Meyer says: Website November 17, 2019 at 6:31 am GMT How 98% of Americans feel about the Ukraine BS:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Evj_qduJY7U?feature=oembed Read More


Antares , says: November 17, 2019 at 9:42 am GMT

@Alfred I had the same thoughts. Zelenskii should show a similar coffin with the text "This one is still empty" and then start rounding up the terrorists. He finally has a good excuse.
Anon [424] Disclaimer , says: November 17, 2019 at 9:58 am GMT
Thank you Saker and Unz for the very interesting article .

I wonder what has been the role of Germany in the Ukrainian disaster . ...I have the feeling , just the suspicion , that they contributed to the Ukrainian disaster out of their genetic Drang nach Osten Nordic greed , is that right ?

Anyway since the Ukrainian disaster the cohesion of the EU is going going down . Germany which was gifted with the German reunification , is less and less trusted specially in south Europe , and even less in the EU far west , in England which is going out of the EU .

Most of the people in the EU would like to keep collaborating with the US , of course , but also with Russia and with the rest of the world . Most of the people in the UE are scared of the dark forces operating in Ukraine trying to provoke a war with Russia .

As a curiosity in 1945 the Zionists asked Stalin to give Crimea to the jews , Stalin refused .
https://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/164673/crimea-as-jewish-homeland

awry , says: November 17, 2019 at 10:41 am GMT
The stupid name-calling like the term "ukronazi" makes this article look like a rant like North Korean communiques or the ravings of some Arab despot's propagandist. It is not better than calling "The Saker" a "Moskal", "Sovok" or "Putler's stooge" etc. He should keep this lingo to directly "debating" "Ukronazis" on twitter or youtube commentst etc. not for an article that is supposed to be a serious analysis.

I understand that it is hard for a Russian nationalist to accept that the majority of Ukrainians don't want to belong to their dream Russkiy Mir, they were seduced by the West, which is more attractive with all its failings, because mostly of simple materialistic reasons.

Ukrainians happily go to EU countries that now allow them in as guest workers. The fact, like it or not that majority of them chose the West over Russkiy Mir despite being very close to Russians in culture, language, history etc. He is still in the first stage of grief it seems.

Beckow , says: November 17, 2019 at 12:38 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack Touching. (Really, no sarcasm implied.)

All in all, Ukrainians are probably way above average in most human characteristics. The area of Ukraine is by planetary standards one of the best available: arable land, great rivers, Black see, pleasant and liveable.

But it is 2019 and life in Ukraine is barely better than it was 25-50 years ago, population has actually dropped from its peak in early 1990's. Millions of Ukrainians live abroad (I know some of them) and have – to be polite – at best an ambivalent attitude towards their homeland. Almost all of them prefer to be somewhere else, even to become someone else.

Now why is that? A normal society would have enough introspection to discuss this, to look for answers. Throwing a temper-tantrum on a big square in Kiev every few years is not looking for a solution. That is escapism, Orange-this, Maidan-that, 'Russians bad', 'we are going West', 'golden toilets', and always 'Stalin did it'.

I don't agree with the facile name-calling that sees Nazis everywhere and exaggerates throw-away symbolism. But Ukraine has not been functioning and it can't go like this much longer. Not because it will collapse, it won't, but because during an era of general prosperity Ukraine can't be a unstable exception (oh, I get it, they are better than Moldova, good for them.)

Rebellions against geography are doomed. Projecting one's personal frustrations on external enemies (Kremlin!) has never worked. Ukraine needs rationality – accepting that they will not be in EU, that attempting to join Nato would destroy Ukraine, and that they can't beat Russia in a war. And following advise of half-mad and half-ignorant well-wishers from Washington or Brussels is a road to ruin. Nulands, Bidens and Tusks will never live in Ukraine, they really deeply don't care about it. They have no skin in that game, it is just entertainment for them.

Or alternatively you can pray that Russia collapses – good luck waiting for that.

Beckow , says: November 17, 2019 at 12:47 pm GMT
@Anon

.genetic drang nach osten nordic greed

There is not much 'drang' left in Germany, so I think this is mostly fingers on the map post dinner empty talk.

in 1945 the jewery asked Stalin to give Crimea to the jews , Stalin refused

Crimea is a jewel, but has one big problem: not enough water. But that's also true about Israel, maybe there is a deep genetic memory of coming out of a desert environment.

During WWII, Germany actually established settlements in Crimea. Think about it: there is a massive war, you have like 1-2 years, short on transport and resources, and you start sending settlers to Crimea – that's how much drang-nach-osten types wanted it. And the Turks, etc This must be driving them absolutely nuts.

Anon [424] Disclaimer , says: November 17, 2019 at 1:34 pm GMT
The mexicans are able to make fun of themselves , that`s a good thing . They have a joke which aplies also to Ukraina ( and other countries )

The mexicans say : when God created Mexico He gave Mexico everything ; land , mountains , plains , tropical forests , deserts , two oceans , agriculture , gold , silver , oil . then God saw how beautiful and perfect Mexico was and He though that He should also give something bad to the country to prevent the sin of pride , and then he populated Mexico with pure pendejos ,( idiots ) .

The same aplies to Ukraina . pure pendejos .

Skeptikal , says: November 17, 2019 at 1:49 pm GMT
@AWM "Is it not possible to have an article on Ukraine without all the N@ZI references?

If you want a decent analysis of current events in the Ukraine, which is what The Saker provides, I guess you'll just have to put up with his terminology.

The world won't miss a thing if Curmudgeon or AWM goes off in a huff, to sit on his toilet and read the "one joke per dump" volume lodged on the tank and stops reading The Saker's very thorough analysis as a protest action!

Beckow , says: November 17, 2019 at 1:55 pm GMT
@Anon My experience is that Ukrainians individually are far from being pendejos . But they are unable to act as a group or as a nation. (Well, they 'act', but it mostly somehow fails.)

Maybe it is the relative shallow and heterogenous history of Ukraine. Or – and this is what I have observed – a fundamental inner disloyalty to the Ukraine as a homeland. When one observes the assorted Porkys, Timoshenkas, Yanuks, the oligarchs, but also the crowds on Maidan, I get a sense that they are all about to leave Ukraine or are thinking about leaving. Societies can't be built with one foot always at the airport, or in an old car in a 5-km column waiting on the border of Poland. Or Russia.

GMC , says: November 17, 2019 at 1:56 pm GMT
Another good article – thanks – Yep, the US/EU NWO is not going to let their "West Ukraine Isis" battalions and intel gang lose their funding , arms trafficking ops, or terrorist reputation. This is a no win situation in Ukraine and the West knows it – Even if NovoRossiya gets some independence, the Ukraine Isis will/can reek havoc and murder for a long time along the border. The modern Cheka { Ukraine Isis } has been modified for the security of the new Farmland owners – Monsanto, Cargill, DuPont and the rest of the Globalist Corporations and their ports close to Odessa.
Hapalong Cassidy , says: November 17, 2019 at 2:01 pm GMT
One point of contention since it wasn't made clear in this article – Novorussia consists of Luhansk and Donetsk, but not Kharkov. While Kharkov has more Russians than most other provinces of Ukraine do, it does not have a plurality like Donetsk and Luhansk.
Epigon , says: November 17, 2019 at 2:06 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack

All of Ukraine's doomsayers have been crying about Ukraine's demise for the lat 25 years, yet the fact is that it' s getting stronger and stronger every year,

USA diaspora keeps on delivering.

Shoutout to quarter/half Poles USA citizens LARPing as Ukrainian patriots in the comments.

[Jan 04, 2020] American Meddling in the Ukraine by Publius Tacitus

Highly recommended!
Ukraine is now a pawn in a big geopolitical game against Russia. Which somehow survived 90th when everybody including myself has written it off.
That's why the USA, EU (Germany) and Russia pulling the country in different directions. But the victory of Ukrainian nationalists is not surprising and is not solely based on the US interferences (although the USA did lot in this direction) pursuit its geopolitical game against Russia. Distancing themselves from Russa is a universal trend in Post-Soviet space. And it often takes ugly forms.
So Ukraine in not an exception here. It is part of the "rule". Essentially the dissolution of the USSR revised the result on WWII. And while the author correctly calls Ukrainian leader US stooges, they moved in this direction because they feel that it is necessary for maintaining the independence. In other words anti-Russian stance is considered by the Ukrainian elite as a a pre-condition for mainlining independence. Otherwise people like Parubiy would be in jail very soon. They are tolerated and even promoted because they are useful.
It repeats the story of Baltic Republics, albeit with a significant time delay. There should be some social group that secure independence of the country and Ukrainian nationalists happen to be such a group. That's why Yanukovich supported them and Svoboda party (with predictable results).
Notable quotes:
"... The ideological fissures that are growing in the United States are beginning to resemble the warring camps that characterize the Ukrainian political world. The divide in Ukraine pits groups who are described as "right wing" and many are ideological descendants of real Nazis and Nazi sympathizers against groups with a strong affinity to Russia. This kind of gap cannot be bridged through conventional negotiations. ..."
"... Jump ahead now to the April 2014 "uprising" of anti-Russian forces in the Ukraine (Maidan 2). The US was firmly on the side of the protesters, who ultimately succeeded in ousting the elected President. And who were helping lead this effort? ..."
"... The US support, both overt and covert, for Ukrainian politicians is grounded in an anti-Soviet (now anti-Russian) ideology. We have convinced ourselves that Russia is hell bent on world domination. Therefore we must do whatever is necessary to stop Russia, which includes uncritical, blind support for elements in Ukraine that also detest the Russians. But in doing so we have closed our eyes to the filthy underbelly of the virulent anti-Semitism that lurks in western Ukraine. ..."
"... US meddling in the Ukraine is astonishing in its breadth. It ranges from the fact that the wife of former President Viktor Yuschenko was an American citizen and former senior official in the US State Department. Do you think there would be no complaints if Melania Trump was born in Russia and had served in the Russian Foreign Ministry? Yet, most Americans are happily ignorant of such facts. ..."
"... US interference was not confined to serendipitous relationships, such as the Yushchenko marriage. It also included the open and active funding of certain political groups and media outlets. The US State Department sent money through a variety of outlets. One of these was the Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening aka CEPPS. ..."
"... This is : ..."
"... Count me as one of the people who is outraged by the hypocrisy and stupidity now on display in the United States. I am not talking about Trump. I am referring to the Republicans and Democrats and pundits and media mouthpieces who are fuming about Russian citizens writing on Facebook as one of the worst catastrophes since Pearl Harbor or 9-11. ..."
"... There clearly is meddling going on in America's political landscape. But it isn't the Russian Government. No. There are foreign and domestic forces aligned who are keen on portraying Russia as a threat to world order that must be opposed by more defense spending and tougher sanctions. That is the propaganda that dominates the media in the United States these days. And that is truly dangerous to our nation's safety and freedom. ..."
"... A CIA guy recently said the US only interferes to 'promote democracy' - tell that to Australia, Vietnam, Mexico, Chile, Congo, Russia, Ukraine...it's a long long list. ..."
"... An independent Ukraine was also a project of German foreign policy after the Brest-Litowsk Treaty (the equivalent of the Versailles Treaty, only aimed at Russia) SO I have o wonder how much of the enthusiasm for Vicky Nuland's Israel friendly Nazi state-let (oh what irony!) is a product of Germany wanting to reassert itself in the east, using NATO solidarity as a fig leaf. Maybe they will make Ukraine import a lot o Africans "refugees" so that Soros' project of creating a brown Europe will be advanced in the Slavic sphere as well as the west. ..."
"... The liberal party - who provides the prime-minister - EU leader Hans van Baalen and Belgian ex-prime minister Guy Verhostad held a controversial speech on the Maidan square in support of the protesters that the EU will support them. ..."
"... I wouldn't put to much stress on Bandera having been a bad guy. His enemies were no better. They just won the war and the victors write history. The deeper problem of Ukraine is the fact that in the East of the country (and maybe even the majority of the country) Bandera is indeed regarded as a villain. But in the West he is a hero to this day. Even in Soviet times people from Western Ukraine were regarded as "fascists" by much of the rest of the country. No wonder as there were anti soviet partisans until late in the fifties. ..."
"... "Prorussian" Kutshma turned into a Ukrainian "patriot" (such is the logic of statehood) and the same thing happened with Yanukovich. People forget that he would have signed an association agreement with Europe had Europe not refused because he was insufficiently "democratic". ..."
"... But the West wanted it all. They wanted Ukraine firmly in the "Western" camp. Thereby they ripped the country apart. As a good friend of mine who has studied in Kiev in Soviet times remarked: to ask Ukraine to choose between East and West is like asking a child in divorce proceedings who it liked more: daddy or mummy? ..."
"... A very interesting conversation between Victoria Nulland and ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, caught at picking the future rulers of liberated Ukraine : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QxZ8t3V_bk This is not meddling. This is a defensive (preemptive?) action against Russian agression. ..."
"... I've never seen such an intense barrage of propaganda before in my life. America is fracturing apart like Ukraine. This is no coincidence. In both countries, oligarchs have seized power, the rule of law abandoned and there is a rush of corruption. ..."
"... What we did to Ukraine is shameful in every way. A remember a video of a pallet of money being unloaded from a USG place at Kiev during Maidan 2. That's in addition to Nuland's bag of cookies. I always thought that one of the objectives of our meddling in Ukraine was to make Sevastopol into a NATO naval base. ..."
"... Our leaders are the biggest hypocrites on the planet. The Ukraine was almost evenly divided between pro-Western and pro-Russian sides. Our government, rather than waiting for an election, assisted an armed rebellion against the elected pro-Russian government. Among the groups our government allied with in this endeavor were out and out Nazis. ..."
Feb 23, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

The ideological fissures that are growing in the United States are beginning to resemble the warring camps that characterize the Ukrainian political world. The divide in Ukraine pits groups who are described as "right wing" and many are ideological descendants of real Nazis and Nazi sympathizers against groups with a strong affinity to Russia. This kind of gap cannot be bridged through conventional negotiations.

Who is the United States government and media supporting? The Nazis . You think I'm joking. Here are the facts, but we must go back to World War II :

When World War II began a large part of western Ukraine welcomed the German soldiers as liberators from the recently enforced Soviet rule and openly collaborated with the Germans. The Soviet leader, Stalin, imposed policies that caused the deaths of almost 7 million Ukrainians in the 1930s--an era known as the Holomodor).

Ukrainian divisions, regiments and battalions were formed, such as SS Galizien, Nachtigal and Roland, and served under German leadership. In the first few weeks of the war, more than 80 thousand people from the Galizien region volunteered for the SS Galizien, which later known for its extreme cruelty towards Polish, Jewish and Russian people on the territory of Ukraine.

Members of these military groups came mostly from the organization of Ukrainian nationalists aka the OUN, which was founded in 1929. It's leader was Stepan Bandera, known then and today for his extreme anti-semitic and anti-communist views.

CIA documents just recently declassified show strong ties between US intelligence and Ukrainian nationalists since 1946.

Jump ahead now to the April 2014 "uprising" of anti-Russian forces in the Ukraine (Maidan 2). The US was firmly on the side of the protesters, who ultimately succeeded in ousting the elected President. And who were helping lead this effort?

Secretary of the Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council is Andriy Parubiy. Parubiy was the founder of the Social National Party of Ukraine, a fascist party styled on Hitler's Nazis, with membership restricted to ethnic Ukrainians.

The Social National Party would go on to become Svoboda, the far-right nationalist party whose leader, Oleh Tyahnybok was one of the three most high profile leaders of the Euromaidan protests. . . .

Overseeing the armed forces alongside Parubiy as the Deputy Secretary of National Security is Dmytro Yarosh , the leader of the Right Sector – a group of hardline nationalist streetfighters, who previously boasted they were ready for armed struggle to free Ukraine.

The US support, both overt and covert, for Ukrainian politicians is grounded in an anti-Soviet (now anti-Russian) ideology. We have convinced ourselves that Russia is hell bent on world domination. Therefore we must do whatever is necessary to stop Russia, which includes uncritical, blind support for elements in Ukraine that also detest the Russians. But in doing so we have closed our eyes to the filthy underbelly of the virulent anti-Semitism that lurks in western Ukraine.

US meddling in the Ukraine is astonishing in its breadth. It ranges from the fact that the wife of former President Viktor Yuschenko was an American citizen and former senior official in the US State Department. Do you think there would be no complaints if Melania Trump was born in Russia and had served in the Russian Foreign Ministry? Yet, most Americans are happily ignorant of such facts.

But Viktor Yushchenko is not an American who speaks a foreign language. He is very much a Ukrainian nationalist and steeped in the anti-Semitism that dominates the ideology of western Ukraine. During the final months of his Presidency, Yushchenko made the following declaration:

In conclusion I would like to say something that is long awaited by the Ukrainian patriots for many years I have signed a decree for the unbroken spirit and standing for the idea of fighting for independent Ukraine. I declare Stepan Bandera a national hero of Ukraine.

Without hesitation or shame, Yushchenko endorsed the legacy of Bandera, who had happily aligned with the Nazis in pursuit of his own nationalist goals. Those goals, however, did not include Jews. And here is the ultimate irony--Bandera was born in Austria, not the Ukraine. So much for ideological consistency.

US interference was not confined to serendipitous relationships, such as the Yushchenko marriage. It also included the open and active funding of certain political groups and media outlets. The US State Department sent money through a variety of outlets. One of these was the Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening aka CEPPS.

This is : a USAID program with other National Endowment for Democracy-affiliated groups: the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, the International Republican Institute and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems. In 2010, the reported disbursement for CEPPS in Ukraine was nearly $5 million.

The program's efforts are described on the USAID website as providing "training for political party activists and locally elected officials to improve communication with civic groups and citizens, and the development of NGO-led advocacy campaigns on electoral and political process issues."

Anyone prepared to argue that it would be okay for Russia, through its Foreign Ministry, to contribute several million dollars for training party activists in the United States?

What we do not know is how much money was being spent on covert activities directed and managed by the CIA. During the political upheaval in April 2014 (Maidan 2), there was this news item:

Over the weekend, CIA director John Brennan travelled to Kiev, nobody knows exactly why, but some speculate that he intends to open US intelligence resources to Ukrainian leaders about real-time Russian military maneuvers. The US has, thus far, refrained from sharing such knowledge because Moscow is believed to have penetrated much of Ukraine's communications systems – and Washington isn't about to hand over its surveillance secrets to the Russians.

Do you think Americans would be outraged if the head of Russia's version of the CIA, the SVR or FSB, traveled quietly to the United States to meet with Donald Trump prior to his election? I think that would qualify as meddling.

Count me as one of the people who is outraged by the hypocrisy and stupidity now on display in the United States. I am not talking about Trump. I am referring to the Republicans and Democrats and pundits and media mouthpieces who are fuming about Russian citizens writing on Facebook as one of the worst catastrophes since Pearl Harbor or 9-11.

There clearly is meddling going on in America's political landscape. But it isn't the Russian Government. No. There are foreign and domestic forces aligned who are keen on portraying Russia as a threat to world order that must be opposed by more defense spending and tougher sanctions. That is the propaganda that dominates the media in the United States these days. And that is truly dangerous to our nation's safety and freedom.

Posted at 01:24 PM in Publius Tacitus , Russiagate | Permalink


james , 23 February 2018 at 02:11 PM

Good post pt.. thanks... i never knew ''the wife of former President Viktor Yushchenko was an American citizen and former senior official in the US State Department.'' That is informative.. i recall following this closely back in 2014.. the hypocrisy on display in the usa at present is truly amazing and frightening at the same time.. it appears that the public can be cowed very easily..
Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg , 23 February 2018 at 02:29 PM
good points well made.

On the twitters, you would be accused of "whatabouttism" - which is the crime of excusing Putin's diabolism by pointing out American interference with the internal politics an elections of other nations. A CIA guy recently said the US only interferes to 'promote democracy' - tell that to Australia, Vietnam, Mexico, Chile, Congo, Russia, Ukraine...it's a long long list.

An independent Ukraine was also a project of German foreign policy after the Brest-Litowsk Treaty (the equivalent of the Versailles Treaty, only aimed at Russia) SO I have o wonder how much of the enthusiasm for Vicky Nuland's Israel friendly Nazi state-let (oh what irony!) is a product of Germany wanting to reassert itself in the east, using NATO solidarity as a fig leaf. Maybe they will make Ukraine import a lot o Africans "refugees" so that Soros' project of creating a brown Europe will be advanced in the Slavic sphere as well as the west.

Adrestia , 23 February 2018 at 02:39 PM
It's not only the US. The EU borg are also meddling. In my country we had a referendum about Ukraine. The population voted "Against" on the question: "Are you for or against the Approval Act of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine?"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_Ukraine%E2%80%93European_Union_Association_Agreement_referendum,_2016

This was the only referendum that was done since it was implemented in 2015. A second one is being organized on the Intelligence and Security Services which has controversial parts with regard to access to internet traffic.

This referendum will take place on March 21, 2018 and will probably be voted against because of the controversial elements (in part because there is still living memory of our Eastern neighbors in the second world war)

https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wet_op_de_inlichtingen-_en_veiligheidsdiensten_2017

These 2 will probably be the last. Our house of representatives have voted yesterday to end the referendum law (with a majority vote of 76 out of 150 representatives!)

So much for democracy. The reason stated that the referendum was controversial (probably because they voted against the EU borg). Interesting is that the proposal was done by the party that wanted the referendum as a principal point. This will almost certainly ensure that the little respect left for traditional parties is gone and they will not be able to get a majority next elections.

The liberal party - who provides the prime-minister - EU leader Hans van Baalen and Belgian ex-prime minister Guy Verhostad held a controversial speech on the Maidan square in support of the protesters that the EU will support them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIL1FWCIlu8

Tom , 23 February 2018 at 03:22 PM

I wouldn't put to much stress on Bandera having been a bad guy. His enemies were no better. They just won the war and the victors write history. The deeper problem of Ukraine is the fact that in the East of the country (and maybe even the majority of the country) Bandera is indeed regarded as a villain. But in the West he is a hero to this day. Even in Soviet times people from Western Ukraine were regarded as "fascists" by much of the rest of the country. No wonder as there were anti soviet partisans until late in the fifties.

Even in the nineties anybody who travelled in Ukraine could feel the tension between East and West. The Russians were certainly aware of it and mindful not to rip the country apart they cut the Ukrainians an enormous amount of slack. Of course they supported "their" candidates and shoveled money into their insatiable throats. Only to be disappointed time and again. "Prorussian" Kutshma turned into a Ukrainian "patriot" (such is the logic of statehood) and the same thing happened with Yanukovich. People forget that he would have signed an association agreement with Europe had Europe not refused because he was insufficiently "democratic". Really the West should have been content with things as they were.

But the West wanted it all. They wanted Ukraine firmly in the "Western" camp. Thereby they ripped the country apart. As a good friend of mine who has studied in Kiev in Soviet times remarked: to ask Ukraine to choose between East and West is like asking a child in divorce proceedings who it liked more: daddy or mummy?

Really the West (not only the US -the Eu is also guilty) is to blame. It is long past time to get down from the high horse and stop spreading chaos and mayhem in the name of democracy,

Jony Kanuck , 23 February 2018 at 03:27 PM
Publius,

An informative column. The coup & later developments soured me on the MSMedia. I'm an initiate into modern Russian history: NATO in the Ukraine = WW3!

Some additional history:

A Ukrainian nation did not exist until after WW1; one piece was Russian, another Polish and another Austrian. The Holodomor is exaggerated for political purposes; the actual number dead from famine appears to be 'only' 2M. It wasn't Soviet bloody mindedness, it was Soviet agricultural mismanagement; collectivizing agriculture drops production.

They did this right before the great drought of the 1930s - remember the dustbowl. There was a famine in Kazakestan at the same time; 1.5M died.

The Nazis raised 5 SS divisions out of the Ukraine. As the Germans were pushed back they ran night drops of ordnance into the Ukraine as long as they could. The Soviets had to carry on divisional level counter insurgency until 1956. After the war, Gehlen, Nazi intelligence czar, kept himself out of jail by turning over his files, routes & agents to the US. He also stoked anti Soviet paranoia.

The Brits ended up with a whole Ukr SS division that they didn't want, so they gave it to Canada. Which is why Canada has such cranky policy around the Ukraine!

bluetonga , 23 February 2018 at 03:28 PM
A very interesting conversation between Victoria Nulland and ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, caught at picking the future rulers of liberated Ukraine : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QxZ8t3V_bk This is not meddling. This is a defensive (preemptive?) action against Russian agression.
Publius Tacitus -> Tom... , 23 February 2018 at 03:31 PM
Tom,

I'm sure you'd like us to ignore Bandera. I bet he liked children and dogs. Just like Hitler. Bandera was a genuine bad guy. There is no rehabilitating that scourge on society. Nice try though.

Publius Tacitus -> bluetonga... , 23 February 2018 at 03:36 PM
I am giving you the benefit of the doubt that your final comment is sarcasm. When you have two senior US Government officials who will and will not constitute a foreign government, you have gone beyond meddling. It is worse.
VietnamVet , 23 February 2018 at 03:57 PM
PT

The media is hysterical. Today, Putin's Facebook Bot Collaborator contacted the Kremlin before his mercenaries attacked Americans in Syria.

I've never seen such an intense barrage of propaganda before in my life. America is fracturing apart like Ukraine. This is no coincidence. In both countries, oligarchs have seized power, the rule of law abandoned and there is a rush of corruption.

A World War is near. The realists are gone. The Moguls are pushing Donald Trump pull the trigger. Either in Syria with an assault to destroy Hezbollah (Iran) for good or American trainers going over the top of trenches in Donbass in a centennial attack of the dead.

The Twisted Genius , 23 February 2018 at 03:59 PM
Publius Tacitus,

Hallelujah and jubilation! We're in full agreement on this subject. What we did to Ukraine is shameful in every way. A remember a video of a pallet of money being unloaded from a USG place at Kiev during Maidan 2. That's in addition to Nuland's bag of cookies. I always thought that one of the objectives of our meddling in Ukraine was to make Sevastopol into a NATO naval base.

I would definitely want to see a full account of what support we provided to the nazi thugs of Svoboda and Pravy Sektor. We have a long history of meddling, at least twice as long as the Soviet Union/Russia. But that does not mean we should stop investigating the Russian interference in our 2016 election. Just stop hyperventilating over it. It no more deserves risking a war than our continuing mutual espionage.

TimmyB , 23 February 2018 at 04:08 PM
Our leaders are the biggest hypocrites on the planet. The Ukraine was almost evenly divided between pro-Western and pro-Russian sides. Our government, rather than waiting for an election, assisted an armed rebellion against the elected pro-Russian government. Among the groups our government allied with in this endeavor were out and out Nazis.

As a result of this rebellion, the Russian majority in Crimea overwhelming voted to leave the Ukraine and rejoin Russia, which they had been part of for over 150-years. While our government continues to provide military aid to Israel, which used force of arms take over the West Bank, it imposed sanctions against Russia when the people of Crimea voted to join their former countrymen. Mind boggling.

[Dec 28, 2019] An American Oligarch's Dirty Tale Of Corruption by William Engdahl

Notable quotes:
"... Splitting Naftogaz into separate companies could allow Soros to take control of one of the new branches and essentially privatize its profits. He already suggested that he indirectly brought in US consulting company, McKinsey, to advise Naftogaz on the privatization " big bang ." ..."
"... The totality of what is revealed in the three hacked documents show that Soros is effectively the puppet-master pulling most of the strings in Kiev. Soros Foundation's Ukraine branch, International Renaissance Foundation (IRF) has been involved in Ukraine since 1989. His IRF doled out more than $100 million to Ukrainian NGOs two years before the fall of the Soviet Union, creating the preconditions for Ukraine's independence from Russia in 1991. Soros also admitted to financing the 2013-2014 Maidan Square protests that brought the current government into power. ..."
"... Soros' foundations were also deeply involved in the 2004 Orange Revolution that brought the corrupt but pro-NATO Viktor Yushchenko into power with his American wife who had been in the US State Department ..."
Dec 28, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by William Engdahl via LewRockwell.com,

Rarely does the world get a true look inside the corrupt world of Western oligarchs and the brazen manipulations they use to enhance their fortunes at the expense of the public good.

The following comes from correspondence of the Hungarian-born billionaire, now naturalized American speculator, George Soros. The hacker group CyberBerkut has published online letters allegedly written by Soros that reveal him not only as puppet master of the US-backed Ukraine regime .

They also reveal his machinations with the US Government and the officials of the European Union in a scheme where, if he succeeds, he could win billions in the plunder of Ukraine assets. All, of course, would be at the expense of Ukrainian citizens and of EU taxpayers.

What the three hacked documents reveal is a degree of behind-the-scene manipulation of the most minute details of the Kiev regime by the New York billionaire.

In the longest memo, dated March 15, 2015 and marked "Confidential" Soros outlines a detailed map of actions for the Ukraine regime. Titled, "A short and medium term comprehensive strategy for the new Ukraine," the memo from Soros calls for steps to "restore the fighting capacity of Ukraine without violating the Minsk agreement." To do the restoring, Soros blithely notes that "General Wesley Clark, Polish General Skrzypczak and a few specialists under the auspices of the Atlantic Council [emphasis added -- f.w.e.] will advise President Poroshenko how to restore the fighting capacity of Ukraine without violating the Minsk agreement ."

Soros also calls for supplying lethal arms to Ukraine and secretly training Ukrainian army personnel in Romania to avoid direct NATO presence in Ukraine . The Atlantic Council is a leading Washington pro-NATO think tank .

Notably, Wesley Clark is also a business associate of Soros in BNK Petroleum which does business in Poland.

Clark, some might recall, was the mentally-unstable NATO General in charge of the 1999 bombing of Serbia who ordered NATO soldiers to fire on Russian soldiers guarding the Pristina International Airport. The Russians were there as a part of an agreed joint NATO–Russia peacekeeping operation supposed to police Kosovo. The British Commander, General Mike Jackson refused Clark, retorting, "I'm not going to start the Third World War for you ." Now Clark apparently decided to come out of retirement for the chance to go at Russia directly.

Naked asset grab

In his March 2015 memo Soros further writes that Ukrainian President Poroshenko's "first priority must be to regain control of financial markets," which he assures Poroshenko that Soros would be ready to assist in: "I am ready to call Jack Lew of the US Treasury to sound him out about the swap agreement."

He also calls on the EU to give Ukraine an annual aid sum of €11 billion via a special EU borrowing facility. Soros proposes in effect using the EU's "AAA" top credit rating to provide a risk insurance for investment into Ukraine.

Whose risk would the EU insure?

Soros details, "I am prepared to invest up to €1 billion in Ukrainian businesses. This is likely to attract the interest of the investment community. As stated above, Ukraine must become an attractive investment destination."

Not to leave any doubt, Soros continues, "The investments will be for-profit but I will pledge to contribute the profits to my foundations. This should allay suspicions that I am advocating policies in search of personal gain. "

For anyone familiar with the history of the Soros Open Society Foundations in Eastern Europe and around the world since the late 1980's, will know that his supposedly philanthropic "democracy-building" projects in Poland, Russia, or Ukraine in the 1990's allowed Soros the businessman to literally plunder the former communist countries using Harvard University's "shock therapy" messiah, and Soros associate, Jeffrey Sachs, to convince the post-Soviet governments to privatize and open to a "free market" at once, rather than gradually.

The example of Soros in Liberia is instructive for understanding the seemingly seamless interplay between Soros the shrewd businessman and Soros the philanthropist. In West Africa George Soros backed a former Open Society employee of his, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, giving her international publicity and through his influence, even arranging a Nobel Peace Prize for her in 2011, insuring her election as president. Before her presidency she had been well-indoctrinated into the Western free market game, studying economics at Harvard and working for the US-controlled World Bank in Washington and the Rockefeller Citibank in Nairobi. Before becoming Liberia's President, she worked for Soros directly as chair of his Open Society Initiative for West Africa ( OSIWA ).

Once in office, President Sirleaf opened the doors for Soros to take over major Liberian gold and base metals assets along with his partner, Nathaniel Rothschild. One of her first acts as President was to also invite the Pentagon's new Africa Command, AFRICOM, into Liberia whose purpose as a Liberian investigation revealed, was to "protect George Soros and Rothschild mining operations in West Africa rather than champion stability and human rights ."

Naftogaz the target

The Soros memo makes clear he has his eyes on the Ukrainian state gas and energy monopoly, Naftogaz. He writes, "The centerpiece of economic reforms will be the reorganization of Naftogaz and the introduction of market pricing for all forms of energy, replacing hidden subsidies "

In an earlier letter Soros wrote in December 2014 to both President Poroshenko and Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, Soros openly called for his Shock Therapy:

"I want to appeal to you to unite behind the reformers in your government and give your wholehearted support to a radical, 'big bang' type of approach. That is to say, administrative controls would be removed and the economy would move to market prices rapidly rather than gradually Naftogaz needs to be reorganized with a big bang replacing the hidden subsidies "

Splitting Naftogaz into separate companies could allow Soros to take control of one of the new branches and essentially privatize its profits. He already suggested that he indirectly brought in US consulting company, McKinsey, to advise Naftogaz on the privatization " big bang ."

The Puppet-Master?

The totality of what is revealed in the three hacked documents show that Soros is effectively the puppet-master pulling most of the strings in Kiev. Soros Foundation's Ukraine branch, International Renaissance Foundation (IRF) has been involved in Ukraine since 1989. His IRF doled out more than $100 million to Ukrainian NGOs two years before the fall of the Soviet Union, creating the preconditions for Ukraine's independence from Russia in 1991. Soros also admitted to financing the 2013-2014 Maidan Square protests that brought the current government into power.

Soros' foundations were also deeply involved in the 2004 Orange Revolution that brought the corrupt but pro-NATO Viktor Yushchenko into power with his American wife who had been in the US State Department . In 2004 just weeks after Soros' International Renaissance Foundation had succeeded in getting Viktor Yushchenko as President of Ukraine, Michael McFaul wrote an OpEd for the Washington Post. McFaul, a specialist in organizing color revolutions, who later became US Ambassador to Russia, revealed:

Did Americans meddle in the internal affairs of Ukraine? Yes. The American agents of influence would prefer different language to describe their activities -- democratic assistance, democracy promotion, civil society support, etc. -- but their work, however labeled, seeks to influence political change in Ukraine. The U.S. Agency for International Development, the National Endowment for Democracy and a few other foundations sponsored certain U.S. organizations, including Freedom House, the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute, the Solidarity Center, the Eurasia Foundation, Internews and several others to provide small grants and technical assistance to Ukrainian civil society. The European Union, individual European countries and the Soros-funded International Renaissance Foundation did the same .

Soros shapes 'New Ukraine'

Today the CyberBerkut hacked papers show that Soros' IRF money is behind creation of a National Reform Council, a body organized by presidential decree from Poroshenko which allows the Ukrainian president to push bills through Ukraine's legislature. Soros writes,

"The framework for bringing the various branches of government together has also emerged. The National Reform Council (NRC) brings together the presidential administration, the cabinet of ministers, the Rada and its committees and civil society. The International Renaissance Foundation which is the Ukrainian branch of the Soros Foundations was the sole financial supporter of the NRC until now "

Soros' NRC in effect is the vehicle to allow the President to override parliamentary debate to push through "reforms," with the declared first priority being privatization of Naftogaz and raising gas prices drastically to Ukrainian industry and households, something the bankrupt country can hardly afford .

In his letter to Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk, Soros hints that he played a key role in selection of three key non-Ukrainian ministers -- Natalia Jaresko, an American ex- State Department official as Finance Minister; Aivras Abromavicius of Lithuania as Economics Minister, and a health minister from Georgia. Soros in his December 2014 letter, referring to his proposal for a "big bank" privatization of Naftogaz and price rise, states,

"You are fortunate to have appointed three 'new Ukrainian' ministers and several natives (sic) who are committed to this approach ."

Elsewhere Soros speaks about de facto creating the impression within the EU that the current government of Yatsenyuk is finally cleaning out the notorious corruption that has dominated every Kiev regime since 1991. Creating that temporary reform illusion, he remarks, will convince the EU to cough up the €11 billion annual investment insurance fund. His March 2015 paper says that, "It is essential for the government to produce a visible demonstration (sic) during the next three months in order to change the widely prevailing image of Ukraine as an utterly corrupt country." That he states will open the EU to make the €11 billion insurance guarantee investment fund .

While saying that it is important to show Ukraine as a country that is not corrupt, Soros reveals he has little concern when transparency and proper procedures block his agenda. Talking about his proposals to reform Ukraine's constitution to enable privatizations and other Soros-friendly moves, he complains,

"The process has been slowed down by the insistence of the newly elected Rada on proper procedures and total transparency ."

Soros suggests that he intends to create this "visible demonstration" through his initiatives, such as using the Soros-funded National Reform Council, a body organized by presidential decree which allows the Ukrainian president to push bills through Ukraine's legislature.

George Soros is also using his new European Council on Foreign Relations think-tank to lobby his Ukraine strategy, with his council members such as Alexander Graf Lambsdorff or Joschka Fischer or Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, not to mention former ECB head, Jean-Claude Trichet no doubt laying a subtle role.

George Soros, now 84, was born in Hungary as a Jew, George Sorosz. Soros once boasted in a TV interview that he posed during the war as a gentile with forged papers, assisting the Horthy government to seize property of other Hungarian Jews who were being shipped to the Nazi death camps. Soros told the TV moderator, "There was no sense that I shouldn't be there, because that was–well, actually, in a funny way, it's just like in markets–that if I weren't there–of course, I wasn't doing it, but somebody else would."

This is the same morality apparently behind Soros' activities in Ukraine today. It seems again to matter not to him that the Ukrainian government he helped bring to power in February 2014 US coup d'etat is riddled with explicit anti-semites and self-proclaimed neo-Nazis from the Svoboda Party and Pravy Sektor. George Soros is clearly a devotee of "public-private-partnership." Only here the public gets fleeced to enrich private investors like Mr. Soros and friends. Cynically, Soros signs his Ukraine strategy memo, "George Soros–A self-appointed advocate of the new Ukraine, March 12, 2015."


youshallnotkill , 1 minute ago link

Funny how the Soros Open Society Foundations is still operational while the Trump Foundation was closed by court order because it among other things stole from veterans, and Trump was fined $2M for his foundation's maleficence.

Kendle C , 1 hour ago link

I believe the author is wrong about his original name. Wasn't it Gyorgi Schwarz?

Lore , 1 hour ago link

This is amazing -- should be the feature article for the coming week.

Just when you think things couldn't get more corrupt, something like this surfaces, and we're shown new depths of evil.

This guy Soros seems like the devil incarnate.

SummerSausage , 1 hour ago link

And now we learn that our own State Department was filling Soros coffers with our taxpayer money to use against us and destroy our republic.

Whenever Democrats scream about cuts in foreign aid, know that they are squealing because their "cut" of the laundered funds is in jeopardy and they have to answer to Soros for the rest.

Lord Raglan , 3 hours ago link

He's contributed a lot of money to the Dem Party to be so insulated from not only prosecution but from criticism. If and when he gets criticized in a publication or article, he screams "Anti-Semitism!" He's become good at making everything a win-win for himself. Preaches socialism out of one side of his mouth to "virtue signal" to the world and then loots the objects thereof out of the other side of his mouth for the benefit of his alleged foundations. Why we can't prosecute him for interfering in our elections with his stolen money is something hard to understand.

CatInTheHat , 5 hours ago link

Ukraine is *** infested. I would like to know Soros ties to Igor Kolomoisky.

"Once in office, President Sirleaf opened the doors for Soros to take over major Liberian gold and base metals assets along with his partner, Nathaniel Rothschild. One of her first acts as President was to also invite the Pentagon's new Africa Command, AFRICOM, into Liberia whose purpose as a Liberian investigation revealed, was to "protect George Soros and Rothschild mining operations in West Africa rather than champion stability and human rights ."

Wherever there are wealthy *** Zionist fascist oligarch sociopaths there is trouble...

Both parties support this ****.

[Dec 21, 2019] America will always pick and choose the leaders it props up and tears down. It never was and never will be for humanitarian reasons -- that is a clever veil.

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

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

Best analysis by a candidate for POTUS ever:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mike Gravel

[Dec 21, 2019] The goal of any war is the redistribution of taxpayer money into the bank accounts of MIC shareholders and executives

Highly recommended!
The USA state of continuous war has been a bipartisan phenomenon starting with Truman in Korea and proceeding with Vietnam, Lebanon,Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and now Syria. It doesn't take a genius to realize that these limited, never ending wars are expensive was to enrich MIC and Wall Street banksters
Feb 17, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

KC February 15, 2019 at 11:16 pm

The one thing your accurate analysis leaves out is that the goal of US wars is never what the media spouts for its Wall Street masters. The goal of any war is the redistribution of taxpayer money into the bank accounts of MIC shareholders and executives, create more enemies to be fought in future wars, and to provide a rationalization for the continued primacy of the military class in US politics and culture.

Occasionally a country may be sitting on a bunch of oil, and also be threatening to move away from the petrodollar or talking about allowing an "adversary" to build a pipeline across their land.

Otherwise war is a racket unto itself. "Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. "
― George Orwell

Also we've always been at war with Oceania .or whatever that quote said.

[Dec 19, 2019] A joint French-Ukrainian journalistic investigation into a huge money laundering scheme using various shadow banking organizations in Austria and Switzerland, benefiting Clinton friendly Ukrainian oligarchs and of course the Clinton Foundation.

Highly recommended!
Dec 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Lurker in the Dark , Dec 19 2019 1:49 utc | 56

My apologies if this has been posted before, but here is a news conference broadcast by Interfax a few days ago detailing a joint French-Ukrainian journalistic investigation into a huge money laundering scheme using various shadow banking organizations in Austria and Switzerland, benefiting Clinton friendly Ukrainian oligarchs and of course the Clinton Foundation.

The link is short enough to not require re-formatting:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4309z--JcGk&feature=

Lurker in the Dark , Dec 19 2019 2:00 utc | 59

Forgive me for the somewhat redundant post, and again I hope this is not a waste of anyone's time, but this is the source of the Interfax report I posted just above currently at #56. It is relevant to the Ukrainegate impeachment fiasco.

https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/press-conference/631034.html (again, link brief enough not to require re-format).

The U.S. and lapdog EU/UK media will not touch this with a 10 foot pole.

KYIV. Dec 17 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukraine and the United States should investigate the transfer of $29 million by businessman Victor Pinchuk from Ukraine to the Clinton Foundation, Ukrainian Member of Parliament (independent) Andriy Derkach has said. According to him, the investigation should check and establish how the Pinchuk Foundation's activities were funded; it, among other projects, made a contribution of $29 million to the Clinton Foundation. "Yesterday, Ukrainian law enforcement agencies registered criminal proceeding number 12019000000001138. As part of this proceeding, I provided facts that should be verified and established by the investigation. Establishing these facts will also help the American side to conduct its own investigation and establish the origin of the money received by [Hillary] Clinton," Derkach said at a press conferences at Interfax-Ukraine in Kyiv on Tuesday, December 17.

According to him, it was the independent French online publication Mediapart that first drew attention to the money withdrawal scheme from Ukraine and Pinchuk's financing of the Clinton Foundation.

"The general scheme is as follows. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) lent money to Ukraine in 2015. The same year, Victor Pinchuk's Credit Dnepr [Bank] received UAH 357 million in a National Bank stabilization loan from the IMF's disbursement. Delta Bank was given a total of UAH 5.110 billion in loans. The banks siphoned the money through Austria's Meinl Bank into offshore accounts, and further into [the accounts of] the Pinchuk Foundation. The money siphoning scam was confirmed by a May 2016 ruling by [Kyiv's] Pechersky court. The total damage from this scam involving other banks is estimated at $800 million. The Pinchuk Foundation transferred $29 million to the Foundation of Clinton, a future U.S. presidential candidate from the Democratic Party," Derkach said.

[Nov 30, 2019] Ukraine Land Privatization Demanded by IMF, Links to Biden Graft Scandal. Engineered Bankruptcy of National Economy by Dmitriy Kovalevich

Notable quotes:
"... November in Ukraine has been marked by the adoption of the so called 'land reform', in accordance of the demands made by the IMF amongst other international financial organizations. The reform opens the way for the mass privatization of Ukraine's agricultural lands. The IMF has been making these demands for many years but assorted Ukrainian presidents have tried to postpone such an unpopular decision. Recent polls show that the overwhelming majority of Ukrainians of all political persuasions are opposed to land privatization, from far-right to far-left. ..."
"... After an intensive period of deindustrialization, which has taken place in recent years, agricultural land remain the only asset with any value in Ukraine but even so, it may be bought for very little. A remarkable fact is that one of the deputies from the ruling party 'Servant of the people,' Nikita Poturayev , while pressing his colleagues at the Parliament to vote for the bill on land reform, claimed [1] that this would be 'settling scores with maniac V. Lenin', i.e. the purpose of the bill was to abolish the land nationalization carried out following the October revolution. ..."
"... Ukrainian political expert Ruslan Bortnik says that the President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky and his team came to power under an obligation to sell out the agricultural land of Ukraine to foreign companies. Those who buy these lands, according to Bortnik, will only be thinking about making the quickest possible buck. "Foreign companies are already operating on Ukrainian soil [renting land]," said Bortnik, ..."
"... "But they are competing with large Ukrainian agricultural holdings. They do not dominate. If the adopted land market model is launched, then only large foreign companies will remain in our market Let's be honest – we are not a sovereign country. At least our government is under external control. And this is a part of the obligations of this government. This is the condition under which they came to power. They are paying the debts through privatization." [2] ..."
"... Ukrainian farmers who still are landowners, formally at least – they just can't sell it – are the same people who are unable to pay their gas and electricity bills, especially after the recent raising of energy prices – another IMF demand. ..."
"... For the most part, it was in the region of $7.4 billion of stolen Ukraine's public money, from which only a "small share" was used to bribe Western politicians, like Hunter Biden. The deputies have stressed that, according to the investigation of Ukraine's general prosecution, the withdrawn and laundered money was then invested back into Ukraine. In particular through the Franklin Templeton Investments, the money was used to buy domestic government bonds (DGB), issued by Kiev at high interest rate. ..."
"... Ukrainian prosecutor Konstantin Kulik recently stated [4] in an interview that Ukraine takes IMF loans to pay out on these debt obligations (DGB). As deputy Aleksandr Dubinsky stressed at the press conference, 40% of the current public budget goes towards the payment of the public debt of Ukraine, including the repayment of DGB at inflated interest rates. ..."
Nov 28, 2019 | www.globalresearch.ca

New Cold War 28 November 2019 Region: Europe , Russia and FSU , USA Theme: Global Economy In-depth Report: UKRAINE REPORT

November in Ukraine has been marked by the adoption of the so called 'land reform', in accordance of the demands made by the IMF amongst other international financial organizations. The reform opens the way for the mass privatization of Ukraine's agricultural lands. The IMF has been making these demands for many years but assorted Ukrainian presidents have tried to postpone such an unpopular decision. Recent polls show that the overwhelming majority of Ukrainians of all political persuasions are opposed to land privatization, from far-right to far-left.

After an intensive period of deindustrialization, which has taken place in recent years, agricultural land remain the only asset with any value in Ukraine but even so, it may be bought for very little. A remarkable fact is that one of the deputies from the ruling party 'Servant of the people,' Nikita Poturayev , while pressing his colleagues at the Parliament to vote for the bill on land reform, claimed [1] that this would be 'settling scores with maniac V. Lenin', i.e. the purpose of the bill was to abolish the land nationalization carried out following the October revolution.

Ukraine's fertile soil up for grabs

It has long been known that Ukraine's soil is very fertile. Indeed, during WW2 the invading Nazis made a point of appropriating quantities of it; forcing POWs to collect the top soil and load it onto trains en route to Germany. Now these same lands could fall into the hands of international agro-holdings.

Ukrainian political expert Ruslan Bortnik says that the President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky and his team came to power under an obligation to sell out the agricultural land of Ukraine to foreign companies. Those who buy these lands, according to Bortnik, will only be thinking about making the quickest possible buck. "Foreign companies are already operating on Ukrainian soil [renting land]," said Bortnik,

"But they are competing with large Ukrainian agricultural holdings. They do not dominate. If the adopted land market model is launched, then only large foreign companies will remain in our market Let's be honest – we are not a sovereign country. At least our government is under external control. And this is a part of the obligations of this government. This is the condition under which they came to power. They are paying the debts through privatization." [2]

Ukrainian farmers who still are landowners, formally at least – they just can't sell it – are the same people who are unable to pay their gas and electricity bills, especially after the recent raising of energy prices – another IMF demand. Obviously, their financial desperation will mean that many will have to sell their land at a low price, certainly well below the market value. Meanwhile, Ukraine remains the poorest country on the continent of Europe and Ukrainian agricultural land remains the cheapest. Moreover, the lands may be bought up as repaying large loans collected by the Kiev government following the Euromaidan coup in 2014.

This scheme of buying up Ukraine's land is connected with the ongoing corruption scandal in the US: the one related to Joe Biden and the gas company 'Burisma'. At the end of November, Ukrainian MPs (non-factional people's deputy Andrey Derkach; a deputy from the Batkivshchyna Party Aleksey Kucherenko; and a deputy from the ruling Servant of the People party, Aleksandr Dubinsky) revealed it at the press-conference [3].

The point here is that the former Minister of Ecology of Ukraine Nikolay Zlochevsky , an owner of "Burisma" gas company, in 2014 introduced a number of Western politicians to the board of directors of his company, which helped him to avoid accusations of corruption. Hunter Biden , son of former US Vice President Joe Biden , received monthly large payments for his "consultancy services". As a result Ukraine's General prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, who was investigating the corruption schemes of the company, was forced – under pressure – to resign by Joe Biden, who even boasted about it in the US media.

GMO Crops for Ukraine: The West's Agri-Business Conglomerates Snap up Ukraine's Bread Basket

Ukrainian MPs have now claimed at a press-conference that the money used to bribe the son of the former Vice President of the United States was in fact stolen. "Biden received money, the source of which is not the successful activity of Burisma, brilliant business moves, or recommendations. It is the money of the citizens of Ukraine. It was obtained by criminal means," said the MP Andrey Derkach. The ultimate goal of all this fraud, in which the Bidens were deeply involved, will be the bankruptcy of Ukraine in 2020-2021, through the formation of a pyramid of public debt.

Laundering scheme to withdraw money from Ukraine

According to Ukrainian deputies, this was a part of a bigger laundering scheme to withdraw money from Ukraine via Latvian banks and the fund 'Franklin Templeton Investments,' which is close to the United States Democratic Party. The founder of the foundation, John Templeton Jr., was one of the main sponsors of the campaign of former US President Barack Obama.

For the most part, it was in the region of $7.4 billion of stolen Ukraine's public money, from which only a "small share" was used to bribe Western politicians, like Hunter Biden. The deputies have stressed that, according to the investigation of Ukraine's general prosecution, the withdrawn and laundered money was then invested back into Ukraine. In particular through the Franklin Templeton Investments, the money was used to buy domestic government bonds (DGB), issued by Kiev at high interest rate.

The principle of this scheme is that with the assistance of American funds, the laundered money was legalised and invested in government bonds at 6-8% in dollars and 15-17% in Ukrainian currency (hryvnia). This is leading to enormous growth in the Ukrainian public debt and eventually the bankruptcy of the country's economy.

Eventual bankruptcy of the economy

Ukrainian prosecutor Konstantin Kulik recently stated [4] in an interview that Ukraine takes IMF loans to pay out on these debt obligations (DGB). As deputy Aleksandr Dubinsky stressed at the press conference, 40% of the current public budget goes towards the payment of the public debt of Ukraine, including the repayment of DGB at inflated interest rates.

According to him, bankruptcy on the debts could happen by the end of 2020 or 2021.

And this scheme is connected with land privatization, as adopted by Kiev in November in accordance with the IMF demand. "DGBs are a financial instrument by which the state owes all its property when paying off the DGB. And if the land market is opened, the state will have no other valuable property, with the exception of land," said Dubinsky, demanding the suspension of debt payments to international creditors.

As a result of this unpopular land reform and the widespread violations of labour rights, Ukraine's trade-unions called a general strike [5] for November 14 and began preparations. For the first time in the history of independent Ukraine, a strike committee was formed at the all-national level. This committee was joined by trade unions, individual entrepreneurs, small businesses, agricultural producers and farmers.

Management fires workers, pays themselves millions in bonuses

On November 14, Ukrainian railroad workers protested [6] in front of the Presidential office in Kiev against the announced plans to fire some 50% of railroad personnel. The workers demanded the railroad management should resign instead. The deputy head of the railroad trade-union, Alexander Mushenok, recently said [7] that currently "only 20 workers are employed where 60 workers are needed." At the same time the workers claim that the top-level management of the company are paying themselves millions in bonuses. One of the IMF demands requires that the Kiev authorities privatize the railroad system as well. In practice, this means that the few profitable routes will be privatized by western companies, while the majority of non-profitable routes – to poorly developed provinces – will remain state-owned, making the railway transport even less profitable.

The entire course of privatization, as promoted by the IMF, can be summarized by the principle 'privatization of profits, nationalization of losses." And the new Kiev government is far too dependent to protest against the imposition of this policy; however, this will effectively mean that this government will lose its credibility and trustworthiness among the people.

*

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Notes

The original source of this article is New Cold War Copyright © Dmitriy Kovalevich , New Cold War , 2019

[Nov 28, 2019] Fiona Hill links to Soros by Julian Borger

Looks like both Yovanovich and Hill are connected to Soros and did his bidding instead of pursuing Trump policies as for Ukraine. Yovanovich was clearly dismiied due to her role in channeling damaging to Trump information during 2016 elections, the fact that she denies (as she denied the exostance of "do not procecute list"). And nothing can be taken serious from a government official until she denied it.
Notable quotes:
"... Fiona Hill, who was the senior director for Europe and Russia in the National Security Council (NSC) said other NSC staff had been "hounded out" by threats against them, including antisemitic smears linking them to the liberal financier and philanthropist, George Soros, a hate figure on the far right. ..."
"... This was a mishmash of conspiracy theories that I believe firmly to be baseless, an idea of an association between her and George Soros." ..."
"... "My entire first year of my tenure at the National Security Council was filled with hateful calls, conspiracy theories, which has started again, frankly, as it's been announced that I've been giving this deposition, accusing me of being a Soros mole in the White House, of colluding with all kinds of enemies of the president, and of various improprieties." ..."
"... "When I saw this happening to Ambassador Yovanovitch, I was furious," she said, pointing to "this whipping up of what is frankly an antisemitic conspiracy theory about George Soros to basically target nonpartisan career officials, and also some political appointees as well." ..."
"... Hill dismissed the suggestion that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election was a "conspiracy theory" intended to distract attention from Russia's well-documented role. ..."
Nov 28, 2019 | 112.international

Trump's ex-Russia adviser received death threats after testifying in impeachment hearings, - The Guardian

Fiona Hill has been subjected to a campaign of harassment and intimidation 16:22, 9 November 2019 Open source

The former top Russia expert at the White House has said she has been subjected to a campaign of harassment and intimidation, including death threats, which reached a new peak after she agreed to testify in congressional impeachment hearings, The Guardian reports.

Fiona Hill, who was the senior director for Europe and Russia in the National Security Council (NSC) said other NSC staff had been "hounded out" by threats against them, including antisemitic smears linking them to the liberal financier and philanthropist, George Soros, a hate figure on the far right.

In her testimony to Congress, Hill described a climate of fear among administration staff.

The UK-born academic and biographer of Vladimir Putin said that the former ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, was the target of a hate campaign, with the aim of driving her from her post in Kyiv, where she was seen as an obstacle to some corrupt business interests.

Yovanovitch was recalled from Ukraine in May on Trump's orders. In a 25 July conversation with the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Trump described Yovanovitch as "bad news" and predicted she was "going to go through some things". The former ambassador has testified she felt threatened by the remarks.

Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, led calls for Yovanovitch's dismissal, as did two of Giuliani business associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman. All three are under scrutiny in hearings being held by House committees looking at Trump's use of his office to put pressure on the Ukrainian government to investigate his political opponents.

"There was no basis for her removal," Hill testified. "The accusations against her had no merit whatsoever. This was a mishmash of conspiracy theories that I believe firmly to be baseless, an idea of an association between her and George Soros."

"I had had accusations similar to this being made against me as well," Hill testified. "My entire first year of my tenure at the National Security Council was filled with hateful calls, conspiracy theories, which has started again, frankly, as it's been announced that I've been giving this deposition, accusing me of being a Soros mole in the White House, of colluding with all kinds of enemies of the president, and of various improprieties."

She added that the former national security adviser, HR McMaster "and many other members of staff were targeted as well, and many people were hounded out of the National Security Council because they became frightened about their own security."

"I received, I just have to tell you, death threats, calls at my home. My neighbours reported somebody coming and hammering on my door," Hill said, adding that she had also been targeted by obscene phone calls. "Now, I'm not easily intimidated, but that made me mad."

"When I saw this happening to Ambassador Yovanovitch, I was furious," she said, pointing to "this whipping up of what is frankly an antisemitic conspiracy theory about George Soros to basically target nonpartisan career officials, and also some political appointees as well."

In Yovanovitch's case, Hill said: "the most obvious explanation [for the smear campaign] seemed to be business dealings of individuals who wanted to improve their investment positions inside of Ukraine itself, and also to deflect away from the findings of not just the Mueller report on Russian interference but what's also been confirmed by your own Senate report, and what I know myself to be true as a former intelligence analyst and somebody who has been working on Russia for more than 30 years."

Hill dismissed the suggestion that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election was a "conspiracy theory" intended to distract attention from Russia's well-documented role.

... ... ...

[Nov 28, 2019] List of non-prosecuted Ukrainians made by America was published

The list contains some (but not all) of the key participants of the 2014 coup d'état against President Yanukovich. There are 13 names in the list: MPs Serhiy Leshchenko, Mustafa Nayem, Svitlana Zalishchuk, Serhiy Berezenko, Serhiy Pashynsky; ex-Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk; ex-Head of the National Bank of Ukraine Valeriya Hontareva; ex-First Deputy of the National Security and Defense Council Oleg Hladkovsky; judge of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine Makar Pasenyuk; candidate for presidency Anatoly Hrytsenko; singer Svyatoslav Vakarchuk; journalist Dmytro Hordon and ex-Head of the Presidential Administration Borys Lozhkin.
Pashynsky was involved in Snipergate. Yatsenyuk was the marionette chosen by Nuland to head the Provisional government after Yanukovich will be overthrown.
Nov 28, 2019 | 112.international
Related: Atlantic Council representative withdrew his statement about Lutsenko and Yovanovitch

Almost all of these people from the list were involved in various sort of scandals during the last five years. Particularly, Oleg Hladkovsky was recently dismissed from his post due to the corruption scandal in the defense sphere. Serhiy Leshchenko became known for the purchase of the flat for $275,253 and the number of information attacks at well-known politicians and businessmen. Serhy Pashynsky was tied to the hostile takeover of a confectionary factory in Zhytomyr.

Earlier, Ukraine's Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko stated that U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch passed him a do not prosecute list . Lutsenko's Press Secretary Larysa Sarhan in a commentary for BBC Ukraine specified that this list contained names of the Ukrainian MPs.

Related: Anti-Corruption Bureau to open probe against Ukraine's Prosecutor General Lutsenko

In its turn, the U.S. Department of State stated that the words of Lutsenko are not true and aims to tarnish the reputation of Ambassador Yovanovitch. Thus, there are certain concerns that the actual list might be fake.

[Nov 28, 2019] Ex-US Ambassador Denies Giving Ukraine 'Do Not Prosecute List' in Impeachment Inquiry

Nov 28, 2019 | sputniknews.com

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The House is holding its second public hearing with former US envoy to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch centring around her ouster which, according to her, is pertinent to the impeachment probe against Trump. Former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch flatly denied allegations that she circulated a list of potential corruption targets in Ukraine that the United States did not want prosecuted, according to testimony at the opening of hearings in the House impeachment probe of President Donald Trump on Friday.

"I want to reiterate first that the allegation that I disseminated a do not prosecute list was a fabrication", Yovanovitch said. "Mr Lutsenko, the former Ukrainian prosecutor general who made that allegation, has acknowledged that the list never existed. I did not tell Mr Lutsenko or other Ukrainian officials who they should or should not prosecute. Instead I advocated the US position that rule of law should prevail."

US President Donald Trump in a series of tweets on Friday criticised former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch's performance while she was testifying in the impeachment hearing against him. He defended his decision to replace Yovanovitch - appointed by his predecessor Barak Obama - as the US ambassador to Ukraine, where she served from August 2016 until May 2019.

....They call it "serving at the pleasure of the President." The U.S. now has a very strong and powerful foreign policy, much different than proceeding administrations. It is called, quite simply, America First! With all of that, however, I have done FAR more for Ukraine than O.

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2019

[Nov 28, 2019] Glenn Beck Marie Yovanovitch committed 'perjury' when she LIED under oath about 'do not prosecute list'

Nov 28, 2019 | www.theblaze.com

During Friday's Democrat-led impeachment inquiry hearing, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testified under oath that she did not give former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko a "do not prosecute list" in 2017. Yovanovitch also doubled-down on left-wing disinformation saying that Lutsenko "acknowledged that the list never existed" in April.

Ditch the fake news ==> Click here to get news you can trust sent right to your inbox. It's free!

"I want to reiterate first that the allegation that I disseminated a "Do Not Prosecute" list was a fabrication," Yovanovitch told the House Intelligence Committee . "Mr. Lutsenko, the former Ukrainian prosecutor general who made that allegation, has acknowledged that the list never existed. I did not tell Mr. Lutsenko or other Ukrainian officials who they should or should not prosecute."

"That is such a lie," Glenn Beck said on Friday's show. "She should be held for perjury."

During a three-part BlazeTV exposé on the Democrats' corruption in Ukraine, Glenn debunked what he called "the most misleading fabrication I've ever seen by the mainstream media."

Earlier this year, award-winning investigative journalist John Solomon reported Lutsenko's claim that then-Ambassador Yovanovitch gave him a list of "people whom we should not prosecute" during a meeting in 2016. Shortly after Solomon's article was released, several news sources, including the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, reported that Lutsenko retracted his statement.

But Glenn's research revealed that the mainstream media got their erroneous information from a Ukrainian news site called Unian, which misleadingly headlined a story " Ukraine Prosecutor General Lutsenko admits U.S. ambassador didn't give him a do not prosecute list ," based on a misinterpretation of what Lutsenko told another Ukrainian publication, TheBabel .

When Lutsenko said Yovanovitch "gave" him a list, he did not mean she actually handed him anything in writing, but verbally conveyed the names of people he shouldn't prosecute.

"They never mentioned the fact that it was verbally dictated and he wrote the list down himself -- are you kidding me?" Glenn exclaimed. "This is how the media is fact-checking and debunking. They are playing with our republic and Ukraine's republic. They are planting dynamite all around everything that we hold dear. How do they sleep at night? Everyone that reads their stories actually thinks that there was a retraction of one of the most damning parts of this entire case."

Watch the video below to get the details:

https://www.facebook.com/v2.5/plugins/video.php?allowfullscreen=true&app_id=1446069888755293&channel=https%3A%2F%2Fstaticxx.facebook.com%2Fconnect%2Fxd_arbiter.php%3Fversion%3D44%23cb%3Dfc6a4d6bf34ec3%26domain%3Dwww.theblaze.com%26origin%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fwww.theblaze.com%252Ff1202de92fa5ac%26relation%3Dparent.parent&container_width=575&href=https%3A%2F%2Ffacebook.com%2FTheBlaze%2Fvideos%2F365169550954458%2F&locale=en_US&sdk=joey

You can find Part 1 , Part 2 and Part 3 of the Ukraine scandal series on BlazeTV or YouTube .

If you like what you see, use promo code GB20OFF to get $20 off a full year of BlazeTV . With a BlazeTV subscription, you're not just paying to watch great pro-free speech, pro-America TV. Your subscription funds the intensive investigations that let BlazeTV tell the stories the liberal media wants to keep in the dark, giving you the unvarnished truth, showing you what the media doesn't want you to see. Read More

[Nov 28, 2019] Ambassador Yovanovitch "do not prosecute" list

Nov 28, 2019 | truthout.org

‎3‎/‎20‎/‎2019

Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko told Hill.TV's John Solomon in an interview that aired Wednesday that U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch gave him a do not prosecute list during their first meeting.

"Unfortunately, from the first meeting with the U.S. ambassador in Kiev, [Yovanovitch] gave me a list of people whom we should not prosecute," Lutsenko, who took his post in 2016, told Hill.TV last week.

"My response of that is it is inadmissible. Nobody in this country, neither our president nor our parliament nor our ambassador, will stop me from prosecuting whether there is a crime," he continued.

The State Department called Lutsenko's claim of receiving a do not prosecute list, "an outright fabrication."

"We have seen reports of the allegations," a department spokesperson told Hill.TV. "The United States is not currently providing any assistance to the Prosecutor General's Office (PGO), but did previously attempt to support fundamental justice sector reform, including in the PGO, in the aftermath of the 2014 Revolution of Dignity. When the political will for genuine reform by successive Prosecutors General proved lacking, we exercised our fiduciary responsibility to the American taxpayer and redirected assistance to more productive projects."

Hill.TV has reached out to the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine for comment.

Lutsenko also said that he has not received funds amounting to nearly $4 million that the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine was supposed to allocate to his office, saying that "the situation was actually rather strange" and pointing to the fact that the funds were designated, but "never received."

"At that time we had a case for the embezzlement of the U.S. government technical assistance worth 4 million U.S. dollars, and in that regard, we had this dialogue," he said. " At that time, [Yovanovitch] thought that our interviews of Ukrainian citizens, of Ukrainian civil servants, who were frequent visitors of the U.S. Embassy put a shadow on that anti-corruption policy."

"Actually, we got the letter from the U.S. Embassy, from the ambassador, that the money that we are speaking about [was] under full control of the U.S. Embassy, and that the U.S. Embassy did not require our legal assessment of these facts," he said. "The situation was actually rather strange because the funds we are talking about were designated for the prosecutor general's office also and we told [them] we have never seen those, and the U.S. Embassy replied there was no problem."

"The portion of the funds namely 4.4 million U.S. dollars were designated and were foreseen for the recipient Prosecutor General's office. But we have never received it," he said.

Yovanovitch previously served as the U.S. ambassador to Armenia under former presidents Obama and George W. Bush, as well as ambassador to Kyrgyzstan under Bush. She also served as ambassador to Ukraine under Obama.

[Nov 22, 2019] The Independent Ukraine s painful journey through the five stages of grief by The Saker

Notable quotes:
"... Is it not possible to have an article on Ukraine without all the N@ZI references? Might have been a non-biased article, but many of us will never know... ..."
"... They certainly aren't National Socialists, and arguably not nationalists. Nationalists are open to what is best for "the nation" regardless of where it lies on the political spectrum. Since they don't consider the people in Donbas to be part of "the nation", that means, if anything, they are useful idiots of Zionism. ..."
Nov 22, 2019 | www.unz.com

In my July 25th article " Zelenskii's dilemma " I pointed out the fundamental asymmetry of the Ukrainian power configuration following Zelenskii's crushing victory over Poroshenko: while a vast majority of the Ukrainian people clearly voted to stop the war and restore some kind of peace to the Ukraine, the real levers of power in the post-Maidan Banderastan are all held by all sorts of very powerful, if also small, minority groups including:

The various "oligarchs" (Kolomoiskii, Akhmetov, etc.) and/or mobsters Arsen Avakov's internal security forces including some "legalized" Nazi death squads The various non-official Nazi deathsquads (Parubii) The various western intelligence agencies who run various groups inside the Ukraine The various western financial/political sponsors who run various groups inside the Ukraine The so-called "Sorosites" (соросята) i.e. Soros and Soros-like sponsored political figures The many folks who want to milk the Ukraine down to the last drop of Ukrainian blood and then run

These various groups all acted in unison, at least originally, during and after the Euromaidan. This has now dramatically changed and these groups are now all fighting each other. This is what always happens when things begin to turn south and the remaining loot shrinks with every passing day,

Whether Zelenskii ever had a chance to use the strong mandate he received from the people to take the real power back from these groups or not is now a moot point: It did not happen and the first weeks of Zelenskii's presidency clearly showed that Zelenskii was, indeed, in " free fall ": instead of becoming a "Ukrainian Putin" Zelenskii became a "Ukrainian Trump" – a weak and, frankly, clueless leader, completely outside his normal element, whose only "policy" towards all the various extremist minorities was to try to appease them, then appease them some more, and then even more than that. As a result, a lot of Ukrainians are already speaking about "Ze" being little more than a "Poroshenko 2.0". More importantly, pretty much everybody is frustrated and even angry at Zelenskii whose popularity is steadily declining.

... ... ...

Another major problem for Zelenskii are two competing narratives: the Ukronazi one and, shall we say, the "Russian" one. I have outlined the Ukronazi one just above and now I will mention the competing Russian one which goes something like this:

The Euromaidan was a completely illegal violent coup against the democratically elected President of the Ukraine, whose legitimacy nobody contested, least of all the countries which served as mediators between Poroshenko and the rioters and who betrayed their word in less than 24 hours (a kind of a record for western politicians and promises of support!).

... ... ...

Some of the threats made by these Ukronazis are dead serious and the only person who, as of now, kinda can keep the Ukrainian version of the Rwandan " Interahamwe " under control would probably be Arsen Avakov, but since he himself is a hardcore Nazi nutcase, his attitude is ambiguous and unpredictable. He probably has more firepower than anybody else, but he was a pure " Porokhobot " (Poroshenko-robot) who, in many ways, controlled Poroshenko more than Poroshenko controlled him. The best move for Zelenskii would be to arrest the whole lot of them overnight (Poroshenko himself, but also Avakov, Parubii, Iarosh, Farion, Liashko, Tiagnibok, etc.) and place a man he totally trusts as Minister of the Interior. Next, Zelenskii should either travel to Donetsk or, at least, meet with the leaders of the LDNR and work with them to implement the Minsk Agreements. That would alienate the Ukronazis for sure, but it would give Zelenskii a lot of popular support.

Needless to say, that is not going to happen. While Zelenskii's puppet master Kolomoiskii would love to stick this entire gang in jail and replace them with his own men, it is an open secret that powerful interest groups in the US have told Zelenskii "don't you dare touch them". Which is fine, except that this also means "don't you dare change their political course either".

...are going through the famous Kübler-Ross stages of griefs: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance: currently, most of them are zig-zagging between bargaining and depression; acceptance is still far beyond their – very near – horizon. Except that Zelenskii has nothing left to bargain with.


Alfred , says: November 14, 2019 at 9:51 am GMT

Thank you for a rational article about Ukraine. The sad thing is that it might take years to reach the "acceptance" phase.

It would take someone like Hitler to clean out the stables. Arrest is not a viable option as they will bribe their way out. These people need to be put down like rabid dogs. That is the only way to put an end to their mischief and it would be a deterrent to their replacements.

Personally, I suspect that the Ukraine is being deliberately depopulated to make way for waves of "refugees" from Israel. Another country that is still in the "denial" phase. Its military and political leaders know full-well that their strategic aims have all failed. The boot is now firmly on the other foot.

I suspect that Crimea was their preferred destination and hence the massive non-stop propaganda against Russia on that score. To give you an idea of how ridiculous it has all become, the UK no longer accepts medical degrees awarded by universities in Crimea.

AWM , says: November 14, 2019 at 1:56 pm GMT
Is it not possible to have an article on Ukraine without all the N@ZI references? Might have been a non-biased article, but many of us will never know...
Kateryna , says: November 14, 2019 at 5:18 pm GMT
It's "Ukraine", not "the Ukraine".
Spycimir Mendoza , says: November 14, 2019 at 5:30 pm GMT
Roman Dmowski, one of the creators of independent Poland, wrote in 1931 about Ukraine:
http://www.mysl-polska.pl/node/164
Commentator Mike , says: November 14, 2019 at 5:33 pm GMT
@Alfred

I suspect that the Ukraine is being deliberately depopulated to make way for waves of "refugees" from Israel.

You got that right – what it's all about is building a New Khazaria. But they're neither giving up on their Greater Israel project between the two rivers, and hence more wars, conflict and chaos to drive out the native Arabs from the Middle East.

I suspect that Crimea was their preferred destination and hence the massive non-stop propaganda against Russia on that score.

SeekerofthePresence , says: November 14, 2019 at 7:31 pm GMT
'Murka in boundless greed seizes Ukraine,
"Vital US national interest."
US now run by the likes of Strain,
'Nother hide to post in Pinterest.
Curmudgeon , says: November 14, 2019 at 9:47 pm GMT
@AWM They certainly aren't National Socialists, and arguably not nationalists. Nationalists are open to what is best for "the nation" regardless of where it lies on the political spectrum. Since they don't consider the people in Donbas to be part of "the nation", that means, if anything, they are useful idiots of Zionism.
tolemo , says: November 15, 2019 at 12:06 am GMT
@Curmudgeon They may not be real n@zis but they sure do look like it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vhw4IdIO6Lg&feature=youtu.be
Alfred , says: November 15, 2019 at 10:14 am GMT
@bob sykes Kolomoiskii is the real hidden owner/controller of the company that bribed the Bidens. He has a finger in lots of pies. His pretense to leaning towards Russia is his way to try to get the Americans to stop attempts to get at the many millions that he stole from his own Ukrainians bank – fake loans to his companies.

Of course, the Russians understand all of that. This theater is aimed at the Americans – not at the Russians.

Igor Kolomoisky Makes A Mistake, And The New York Times Does What It Always Does

Felix Keverich , says: November 15, 2019 at 9:43 pm GMT
For the Ukrainian state to break up, there need to be some forces interested in a break-up. You won't find such forces inside the Ukraine.

What is Ukrainian South-East? In pure political terms, "South-East" is a bunch of oligarchs, who are all integrated into Ukrainian system, and have no reason to seek independence from Kiev, especially if it means getting slapped with Western sanctions.

Even the Kremlin doesn't show much interest in breaking up the Ukraine, so why the hell would it break up?

It's worth pointing out that the so-called "Novorossia movement" started out as Akhmetov's project to win concessions from new Kiev regime. It was then quickly hijacked by Strelkov, a man who actually wanted to break up the Ukraine, and it is because of Strelkov, that Donetsk and Lugansk are now de-facto independent. Without similar figures to lead secessionist movements elsewhere in the Ukraine, this break-up that Saker keeps talking about will never happen.

Marshall Lentini , says: November 17, 2019 at 5:28 am GMT
Twenty-one occurrences of "Nazi".
Marshall Lentini , says: November 17, 2019 at 5:30 am GMT
@Nodwink Do you doubt it'll come to that? Krakow is on its way to becoming Little Bombay. Gotta have that "tech".
Carlton Meyer , says: Website November 17, 2019 at 6:31 am GMT
How 98% of Americans feel about the Ukraine BS:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Evj_qduJY7U?feature=oembed

Skeptikal , says: November 17, 2019 at 2:02 pm GMT
@Carlton Meyer Tucker nails it -- with humor, to boot.

His ratings must be sky-high, because otherwise I cannot imagine why Fox would allow him to continue to use their network as a medium to broadcast common sense.

Of course the Dems are making it so easy.
Schiff, Kent, Taylor, Yanovitch -- what a pathetic, nauseating crew.

[Nov 22, 2019] How 98% of Americans feel about the Ukraine BS

Tucker is definitely an interesting commentator.
Nov 22, 2019 | www.unz.com

Carlton Meyer , says: Website November 17, 2019 at 6:31 am GMT

How 98% of Americans feel about the Ukraine BS:

Tucker Democrats have no actual plan for impeachment - YouTube

Antares , says: November 17, 2019 at 9:42 am GMT
@Alfred I had the same thoughts. Zelenskii should show a similar coffin with the text "This one is still empty" and then start rounding up the terrorists. He finally has a good excuse.
Anon [424] Disclaimer , says: November 17, 2019 at 9:58 am GMT
Thank you Saker and Unz for the very interesting article .

I wonder what has been the role of Germany in the Ukrainian disaster . ...I have the feeling , just the suspicion , that they contributed to the ucranian disaster out of their genetic Drang nach Osten Nordic greed , is that right ?

Anyway since the Ukrainian disaster the cohesion of the EU is going going down . Germany which was gifted with the german reunification , is less and less trusted spetially in south Europe , and even less in the EU far west , in England which is going out of the EU .

Most of the people in the EU would like to keep collaborating with the US , of course , but also with Russia and with the rest of the world . Most of the people in the UE are scared of the dark forces operating in Ukraine trying to provoke a war with Russia .

As a curiosity in 1945 the jewery asked Stalin to give Crimea to the jews , Stalin refused .
https://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/164673/crimea-as-jewish-homeland

Z-man , says: November 17, 2019 at 10:21 am GMT
@Mr. Hack Do you work for Victoria Nudleman?
awry , says: November 17, 2019 at 10:41 am GMT
The stupid name-calling like the term "ukronazi" makes this article look like a rant like North Korean communiques or the ravings of some Arab despot's propagandist. It is not better than calling "The Saker" a "Moskal", "Sovok" or "Putler's stooge" etc. He should keep this lingo to directly "debating" "Ukronazis" on twitter or youtube commentst etc. not for an article that is supposed to be a serious analysis.
I understand that it is hard for a Russian nationalist to accept that the majority of Ukrainians don't want to belong to their dream Russkiy Mir, they were seduced by the West, which is more attractive with all its failings, because mostly of simple materialistic reasons. Ukrainians happily go to EU countries that now allow them in as guest workers. The fact, like it or not that majority of them chose the West over Russkiy Mir despite being very close to Russians in culture, language, history etc. He is still in the first stage of grief it seems.
Beckow , says: November 17, 2019 at 12:38 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack Touching. (Really, no sarcasm implied.)

All in all, Ukrainians are probably way above average in most human characteristics. The area of Ukraine is by planetary standards one of the best available: arable land, great rivers, Black see, pleasant and liveable.

But it is 2019 and life in Ukraine is barely better than it was 25-50 years ago, population has actually dropped from its peak in early 1990's. Millions of Ukrainians live abroad (I know some of them) and have – to be polite – at best an ambivalent attitude towards their homeland. Almost all of them prefer to be somewhere else, even to become someone else.

Now why is that? A normal society would have enough introspection to discuss this, to look for answers. Throwing a temper-tantrum on a big square in Kiev every few years is not looking for a solution. That is escapism, Orange-this, Maidan-that, 'Russians bad', 'we are going West', 'golden toilets', and always 'Stalin did it'.

I don't agree with the facile name-calling that sees Nazis everywhere and exaggerates throw-away symbolism. But Ukraine has not been functioning and it can't go like this much longer. Not because it will collapse, it won't, but because during an era of general prosperity Ukraine can't be a unstable exception (oh, I get it, they are better than Moldova, good for them.)

Rebellions against geography are doomed. Projecting one's personal frustrations on external enemies (Kremlin!) has never worked. Ukraine needs rationality – accepting that they will not be in EU, that attempting to join Nato would destroy Ukraine, and that they can't beat Russia in a war. And following advise of half-mad and half-ignorant well-wishers from Washington or Brussels is a road to ruin. Nulands, Bidens and Tusks will never live in Ukraine, they really deeply don't care about it. They have no skin in that game, it is just entertainment for them.

Or alternatively you can pray that Russia collapses – good luck waiting for that.

Beckow , says: November 17, 2019 at 12:47 pm GMT
@Anon

.genetic drang nach osten nordic greed

There is not much 'drang' left in Germany, so I think this is mostly fingers on the map post dinner empty talk.

in 1945 the jewery asked Stalin to give Crimea to the jews , Stalin refused

Crimea is a jewel, but has one big problem: not enough water. But that's also true about Izrael, maybe there is a deep genetic memory of coming out of a desert environment.

During WWII, Germany actually established settlements in Crimea. Think about it: there is a massive war, you have like 1-2 years, short on transport and resources, and you start sending settlers to Crimea – that's how much drang-nach-osten types wanted it. And the Turks, etc This must be driving them absolutely nuts.

Anon [424] Disclaimer , says: November 17, 2019 at 1:34 pm GMT
The mexicans are able to make fun of themselves , that`s a good thing . They have a joke which aplies also to Ukraina ( and other countries )

The mexicans say : when God created Mexico He gave Mexico everything ; land , mountains , plains , tropical forests , deserts , two oceans , agriculture , gold , silver , oil . then God saw how beautiful and perfect Mexico was and He though that He should also give something bad to the country to prevent the sin of pride , and then he populated Mexico with pure pendejos ,( idiots ) .

The same aplies to Ukraina . pure pendejos .

Skeptikal , says: November 17, 2019 at 1:49 pm GMT
@AWM "Is it not possible to have an article on Ukraine without all the N@ZI references?

If you want a decent analysis of current events in the Ukraine, which is what The Saker provides, I guess you'll just have to put up with his terminology.

The world won't miss a thing if Curmudgeon or AWM goes off in a huff, to sit on his toilet and read the "one joke per dump" volume lodged on the tank and stops reading The Saker's very thorough analysis as a protest action!

Beckow , says: November 17, 2019 at 1:55 pm GMT
@Anon My experience is that Ukrainians individually are far from being pendejos . But they are unable to act as a group or as a nation. (Well, they 'act', but it mostly somehow fails.)

Maybe it is the relative shallow and heterogenous history of Ukraine. Or – and this is what I have observed – a fundamental inner disloyalty to the Ukraine as a homeland. When one observes the assorted Porkys, Timoshenkas, Yanuks, the oligarchs, but also the crowds on Maidan, I get a sense that they are all about to leave Ukraine or are thinking about leaving. Societies can't be built with one foot always at the airport, or in an old car in a 5-km column waiting on the border of Poland. Or Russia.

GMC , says: November 17, 2019 at 1:56 pm GMT
Another good article – thanks – Yep, the US/EU NWO is not going to let their "West Ukraine Isis" battalions and intel gang lose their funding , arms trafficking ops, or terrorist reputation. This is a no win situation in Ukraine and the West knows it – Even if NovoRossiya gets some independence, the Ukraine Isis will/can reek havoc and murder for a long time along the border. The modern Cheka { Ukraine Isis } has been modified for the security of the new Farmland owners – Monsanto, Cargill, DuPont and the rest of the Globalist Corporations and their ports close to Odessa.
Hapalong Cassidy , says: November 17, 2019 at 2:01 pm GMT
One point of contention since it wasn't made clear in this article – Novorussia consists of Luhansk and Donetsk, but not Kharkov. While Kharkov has more Russians than most other provinces of Ukraine do, it does not have a plurality like Donetsk and Luhansk.
Epigon , says: November 17, 2019 at 2:06 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack

All of Ukraine's doomsayers have been crying about Ukraine's demise for the lat 25 years, yet the fact is that it' s getting stronger and stronger every year,

USA diaspora keeps on delivering.

Shoutout to quarter/half Poles USA citizens LARPing as Ukrainian patriots in the comments.

Alfred , says: November 17, 2019 at 5:20 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich Even the Kremlin doesn't show much interest in breaking up the Ukraine, so why the hell would it break up?

Follow the money my friend!

Some provinces send much more money to Kiev then they get back in "services". So long as more loans from the EU, The USA and the IMF were forthcoming, that situation was not too bad. Now, the spigot is being closed. Hence the sad face of Mr Z when he met Trump in Washington.

This means that the provinces that are losing most from this internal transfer are going to be strongly motivated to stop sending money to Kiev. Kiev will lose control and that will fragment the country.

The Donbass was a big contributor to Kiev and got little in return – that was a major reason for their dissatisfaction. Everyone there could see that Kiev sent the money west and kept much for itself.

If the French provinces were to stop sending money to Paris, the Yellow movement would be totally unnecessary.

Skeptikal , says: November 17, 2019 at 5:20 pm GMT
@awry About 2.5 million Ukrainians have "emigrated" (you could also say "fled") to the RF since 2014.
Per Bloomberg most of the outflow not to Russia has been to countries of Eastern Europe, esp. Poland.
Alfred , says: November 17, 2019 at 5:34 pm GMT
@AP "Ukraine was historically a marsh of Poland for centuries before it was a historical marsh of Russia"

That was mostly Galicia and Volhynia. It is a tiny part of today's the Ukraine. In these areas, the Poles were landowners, the Jews their rent/tax collectors and the peasants were Ukrainian-speaking Slavs. Now, they are planning to sell the best farmland to "foreigners" (i.e. Jews) and the Slavs will become serfs once again.

Ukraine's plan to sell farmland raises fears of foreigners

It did not include many important cities – Kiev, Odessa, Kharkov and a great many smaller ones. There was no access to the sea.

If you go further back in time, you can also claim that Smolensk and Moscow belonged to Poland.

Beckow , says: November 17, 2019 at 6:35 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack The problem with your argument is that the 'war' in the east was entirely predicable. So was Crimea leaving and joining Russia. The people in charge in Kiev – presumably with 3-digit IQ – would think about it, plan for it, etc They obviously didn't. Instead they provided a needed catalyst to make it worse by voting in February 2014 to ban Russian language in official use, and the idiotic attacks on Russian speakers like in Odessa, that were neither prevented nor punished. The other side – in this case Russia and Russian speakers living in Donbas and Crimea – rationally took care of their own interests. Post-Maidan Kiev handed them all they could on a silver platter while busying themselves with silly slogans and videos of golden saunas.

Russia is actually one of the least susceptible countries to an economic collapse in the world – it is largely self-sufficient, has enormous resources that others will always buy, and has a very minimal percentage of its economy that deals with foreign trade. What they are susceptible to is the loss of value for their currency – and that has already largely happened since 2014. When it comes to energy, the countries that are low-cost producers are least impacted – who you should worry about are the numerous higher-cost producers like US shale, coal miners, or LNG gas that have huge upfront fixed costs and built-in high transportation costs. Russia and Saudis will be fine.

Back to the drawing board, what exactly is the plan in Kiev? If they know that having a war costs them investments, how do they end that war? It is highly unlikely that it would end with a victorious Kiev army conquering Donetsk (or Crimea). So what's the plan?

chris , says: November 17, 2019 at 6:45 pm GMT
It's amazing how spectacularly inept all these interventions over the last decades have been. Iraq, Lybia, Syria, Yemen, the coup in Turkey but also Ukraine.

And I know that in the ME, the Isrseli policy, as iterated by Michael Orin is to let all sides bleed each other to death, and that part has been relatively successful until recently.

But in Ukraine, they were going to consolidate their control over the country from Kiev and force-march the Russians out of Sevastopol. And that part didn't work at all, except as leverage to impose sanctions on Russia; but the long term goal of using Ukraine to overthrow Putin is now stuck in the Donbas.

My point being that it is the great fortune of the world that these criminal nitwits and fools in the State (War) Department and their helpers in the "intelligence" community are so arrogant and incompetent.

Arioch , says: November 17, 2019 at 7:41 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack Putin did not courted Yanukovich.

Putin courted (gave loans to) Yulia Timoshenko, the same way as later Putin gave loans to Marine Le Pen of France

You don't know even the most recent and public history of ze Ukraine .
Well, how is the land so are the patriots.

Arioch , says: November 17, 2019 at 7:52 pm GMT
@Anon Merkel (who herself was studying in Donetsk for few months) definitely has a hand in ze EuroUkrainian mess.

Afterall she met with Right Sector representatives one dayt before the final, bloody part of the coup started. And that meeting of "reporting on delivering at our commitments and asking Merkel about her delivery of her commitments" both with the next day start of "offence at the government" was announced by Right Sector yet another day before, 16 February 2014.

However i have reservations about Merkel representing German peoples, especially some alleged "genetical" trend of them to invade eastwards.
It was public, that Merkel's everything including public phone is spied upon by USA "intelligence community", and Merkel considered it normal and proper.

So it is clearly stated what she considers her allegiance and whom she considers her employees. Not citizens of Germany.

EliteCommInc. , says: November 17, 2019 at 7:53 pm GMT
"Each of these countries is as inorganic and disunited as Ukraine, or worse, made up as they are of various racial and ethnic groups who don't identify with each other."

I am dubious about this suggestion. But more importantly, Ukraine or the Ukraine has had a violent revolution about every ten years. You simply cannot develop a stable government, economy or safe social system if you you overturn the the government via violence every ten tears.

That is the key differences and essential to any successful government, and more so for a democracy that holds as innate belief, a tolerance for difference even competing ideas held by its population. It is as if the only the only we are exporting is revolution as solution to differences.

Arioch , says: November 17, 2019 at 8:58 pm GMT
@Mr. Hack > Russia has never been able to lead with a carrot, but only with a stick.

Russia offered dozen billions of loans and years ahead orders for Ukrainian industries. Those that Yatzenyuk begged to be re-started when he destroyed democratic government of Ukraine.

EuroMaidan tried to stole the carrot from Ukraine, and while it succeeded in stealing what Ukraine already picked, about 10%, the rest was kept safe of usurpers' reach, and so they started looting Ukrainian economy instead. Hrivna fallen 3-fold – more than ruble.

> Positive outside influence into Ukraine's internal development in the form of investments and economic development

EuroMaidan usurpers stopped real and ongoing investments from China and Russia by looting what investments arrived into Ukraine already. But at least they got $5 billions of investments from Nulland.

I like how "economic development" is listed as "outside influence". I thought that any state or nation would claim being capable of their own economic development, but for EuroMaidania it is quoted as some miracle that can only be given from outside.

> foreign investments being delayed until the war in the east is resolved

And that was why EuroMaidan usurpers invaded Donbass and started the war. To preclude investments from the West after they stopped investments form China and Russia.

> create a chaotic situations

EuroMaidan proponent blaming chaotic situations. Precious. "Bees against honey" movement.

> Since the West changed the dynamics of the energy game around the world

Did it? how exactly? By making Ukrainian pipelines liability no one wants to touch with a pole?

> It's learned to better feed itself, and that's about it

But that is exactly what Ukraine knew how to do, and what EuroMaidania can not do.
While Russia is gaining this experience – EuroMaidania was and is destroying it, for the sake of being "not like Russia". Way to go!

> One more jolt like in 2014

You mean the one when rouble fallen two-fold and hrivna three-fold?
Guess if the West could do it again – they would. But they can't.

> where are Russia's automobiles, televisions, medical equipment, computers, pharmaceuticals etc; within the world markeplace?

Russia is not packaging consumer goods. Russia is sending technologies, which others pack as consumer goods.

https://www.quora.com/Does-Russia-make-and-export-things-I-have-never-seen-anything-made-in-Russia

Ukraine could become one of those salesmen, packing Russian technologies into pretty wraps and selling around.
EuroMaidan usurpers feared that and prevented that.

EuroMaidan even destroyed Antonov company, which was one of just 4 companies in the world capable of building large airframes. Ensuring AirBus+Boeing+Tupolev/Ilyushin would have one competitor less. And as Antonov was el-cheapo vendor with strategy based on dumping – it was especially dangerous for Russian company, of the three. Thank you, guys, for removing this riddance out of Russian pathway. You did great service!

Arioch , says: November 17, 2019 at 9:19 pm GMT
@Hapalong Cassidy Beckow> the crowds on Maidan, I get a sense that they are all about to leave Ukraine or are thinking about leaving.

You do not need to "have a feeling"

The promise of "visa-less living and working in EU" was exactly what EuroMaidan crowd paraded as their aim and treasure, somehow magically warranted by the "Deep Association" that Yatzenyuk and Poroshenko later dragged feet for months, trying to delay signing of this economy suicide pact.

They were very public and honest about it. They claimed Yanukovich was somehow putting ball and chain on them all by giving the second thought to orders from Brussels. Aid in leaving Ukraine was the price they sold Ukrainian economy for. Ther were never shy in 2014 to speak about it.

Hapalong Cassidy> While Kharkov has more Russians than most other provinces of Ukraine do, it does not have a plurality like Donetsk and Luhansk.

There is a point. Kharkov in North-East and Odessa in South-West were trading cities, routing the official and smuggled goods streams and hosting the largest foreign goods markets. This clearly had impact upon mindsets of citizens and even more of cities elites.

People in Kharkov went to the streets right after the coup commited and without support they were at least equally numerous to all-Ukraine sponsored gathering of EuroMaidan #2.
But their leaders did not seek for independence, Kharkov city mayor Kernes openly shook hands with Andrey "White Fuhrer" Byletsky and expressed his care about his (not Kharkov citizens) safety in the night of Rymarskaya street murders, 2014 March 14th AFAIR.

People in Kharkov went against nazi from westernmost Ukraine regions (and even policemen) and stormed those out of their district government building. Who else did then?

They had a huge impulse, but they also focused the most efforts from usurpers to deflect and dissipate it. And little free resources the usurpers had back then.
Month later, in April, Kharkov was exhausted and pacified. But other regions of Ukraine were overlooked those two months.

However, it was that first month which gave people in Donetsk and Lugansk both time and examples to understand what is really going on (it was almost unbelievable that something like that can actually happen in XXI century in Europe, wasn't it?) and learn their Ukrainian elites are prostituting them, and then find some other leaders which would have enough skin in the game to not sell them out.

You may rightly say Kharkov citizens did not resist for long. But have to admit the resistance of Donbass and Lugansk was in significant part based upon time Kharkov bought them in March and April 2014, and upon self-exposing that Kharkov's fleeting but furious resistance forced EuroMaidan usurpers into.

Anon [301] Disclaimer , says: November 17, 2019 at 9:40 pm GMT
"All, repeat, ALL the steps taken to sever crucial economic and cultural links between Russia and the Ukraine were decided upon by Ukrainian leaders, never by Russia who only replied symmetrically when needed.
Even with international sanctions directed at her, Russia successfully survived both the severance of ties with the Ukraine and the AngloZionist attempts at hurting the Russian economy. In contrast, severing economic ties with Russia was a death-sentence for the Ukrainian economy which has now become completely deindustrialized."

No wonder saker deletes posts to his website containing info like these:

https://wits.worldbank.org/CountryProfile/en/Country/UKR/Year/LTST/TradeFlow/Export/Partner/by-country/Product/Total

https://wits.worldbank.org/CountryProfile/en/Country/UKR/Year/LTST/TradeFlow/Import/Partner/by-country/Product/Total

http://www.democracyhouse.com.ua/en/2018/ukraine-russia-trade-ties-trends-and-forecasts/

The top trade partner of *the* Ukraine is Russia. So his thesis is a little 'shoddy math' ish. The links have not been severed as he pretends.

" the severance of ties with Russia " The Ukraine is more tied to Russia than any other country, by recent trade volumes (as well as in traditional culture). Saker doesn't like these facts to muddy up his thesis.

Felix Keverich , says: November 17, 2019 at 9:59 pm GMT
@Alfred

This means that the provinces that are losing most from this internal transfer are going to be strongly motivated to stop sending money to Kiev.

You don't get it. Ukraine's South-Eastern provinces are inanimate objects . They have no consciousness, no self-interest or free will. They don't decide anything.

Donbass never decided to break away from the Ukraine. That choice was made for it by Strelkov, when he and his men occupied Slovyansk and began an armed confrontation.

Felix Keverich , says: November 17, 2019 at 10:04 pm GMT
@Anon The Ukraine used to export something like $20 billion worth of goods to Russia annually. It's now closer to $5 billion, and Ukrainians are a lot poorer as a result.
Anon [301] Disclaimer , says: November 17, 2019 at 10:24 pm GMT
@Felix Keverich The point is saker maintains it is completely de-industrialized. It is 'dead'. Total trade of >40 B all partners, isn't dead by a long shot. See what he says? 'Death sentence'. Far from it. A decrease isn't death. No doubt there has been a plunge. But saker is over stating it. Russia is still a center of gravity for the Ukraine.
anonymous [191] Disclaimer , says: November 17, 2019 at 10:27 pm GMT
I am so sick and tired of hearing the term nazi this and nazi that when referring to the situation in the Ukraine. The term nazi died in 1945 and should be left dead and buried. It was a stupid word created by the British during the war because of their inability to pronounce the German name for the NSDAP. The British and American media have a fetish for the word and will call any "right-wing" movement "nazi" if given any opportunity. This shows their total lack of creativity to come up with anything new and their deep obsession with anything to do with Hitler which borders on religious worship. I say get rid of the usage of the word on this site unless one is referring to the actual NSDAP party that existed until 1945.
Gerard2 , says: November 18, 2019 at 2:26 am GMT
@AWM You are an absurd cretin. Of course referring to current Ukraine as being controlled by Nazi's is 100% accurate.

Ukronazis and Hitler Nazi's have many alignments with eachother:

1. Bizarre, fundamentally paganist usage of ahistoric/religious images from a millenia ago as national symbols that should have had no connection to national identity of either state in the 1930's or now ( swastika and Tryzub) even the UPA flag has more sense about it to any "Ukrainian " state

2. Mass arrests and persecution of political opponents I'm fairly sure that Ukronazi's have arrested ( and maybe even killed) far more people in their first 5 years, that the Nazi's ever did in their 6 year, pre-war time in charge

3. Mass killing and torture of the people of the Donbass- now take on board this is with Russia fighting the war of fighting the war that they are not even there and Russia/DNR/LNR basically conducting huge talks with west/Banderastan and making huge concessions every time they have been in a a hugely advantageous position or made a big breakthrough in the war. Even Nazi's wouldn't have used such a lousy pretext for instigating war against the people of Donbass – although at least the Nazi's could govern their state ukrops can't govern f ** k all without it descending into farce

4. Above average representation of freaks and/or highly camp idiots Goebbels, Goering and Ribbentrop versus Avakov, "Yats" the yid, Poroshenko, Turchynov and many more – a lamentable contest

5. Neither would have got off the ground without Anglo-American funding

Just because the Nazi's in the 30's and 40's were more competent does not take away the similarities

Anon [301] Disclaimer , says: November 18, 2019 at 2:41 am GMT
*the * Ukraine is not dead nor dying contrary to saker:

https://tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/gdp . (click on 10 y timescale)

https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.KD.ZG?locations=UA

again, click on 10 y timescale or ad lib;

https://tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/exports

https://tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/imports

" a death-sentence for the Ukrainian economy which has now become completely deindustrialized."

saker has lost it:

"Now that the Ukraine has been completely deindustrialized, all she can export are either people or land/soil."

saker needs to do some fact checking.

Contraviews , says: November 18, 2019 at 3:43 am GMT
Upon reading this article it should become even more evident who were responsible for the downing of MH17
renfro , says: November 18, 2019 at 3:58 am GMT
@Anon Pick whatever you want to believe.

Ukraine Special Focus Note
Tapping Ukraine's growth potential
May 23, 2019
http://pubdocs.worldbank.org/en/927141558601581077/Ukraine-Special-Focus-Note-Spring-2019-en.pdf

Structural bottlenecks and slow reform progress lead to anemic growth in Ukraine
The rate of economic growth in Ukraine remains too low to reduce poverty and reach income levels of neighboring European countries. Following the 16 percent cumulative contraction of the economy in 2014-15, economic growth has recovered to 2.4 percent in 2016-17 and 3.3 percent in 2018. Faster economic growth for a sustained period of time is needed to reduce poverty which remains above pre-crisis levels. More needs to be done if Ukraine's aspiration is to become a high-income country and to close the income gap with advanced economies. Today Ukraine is far from that goal. In terms of GDP-per-capita, Ukraine remains one of the poorest countries in the region -- at levels of Moldova, Armenia and Georgia. Ukraine's GDP per capita in purchasing power parity terms is about three times lower than in Poland, despite having similar income levels in 1990.
At the growth rate of recent years, it will take Ukraine more than 50 years to reach income levels of today's Poland. If Ukraine's productivity growth and investment rate remains at the low levels observed in recent years, overt the medium-term the growth rate will converge to almost zero per annum -- productivity growth is offset by declining contribution of labor as Ukraine undergoes the demographic transition. Boosting total factor productivity growth to 3 percent per year and investment to 30 percent of GDP would result in sustained growth of about 4 percent per year over the medium- to long-term. Given declining total population this translates to GDP per capita growth of about 4.5 percent per year. These trends will not improve on their own, they can happen only through the implementation of appropriate policies that boost productivity and increase the returns on factors of production.

Ukraine – Economic Indicators- Moody's
https://www.economy.com/ukraine/indicators

Arioch , says: November 18, 2019 at 3:58 pm GMT
@Anon This your link has few problems.

1. It does not split trade to industries. Hi-tech big added value and lo-tech slim added value – falls into the same "total"
2. It only shows one snapshot, not YoY dynamics.
3. The column "Export Product" shows exactly the same value – literally, 100% – for ALL the countries, all the rows. I wonder what we should deduce from it

What about this, a perspective ?

https://wits.worldbank.org/CountryProfile/en/Country/UKR/StartYear/2011/EndYear/2018/TradeFlow/Export/Indicator/XPRT-TRD-VL/Partner/RUS/Product/Total

Russian Federation 19,819,713.34 17,631,749.45 15,077,259.13 9,799,143.63 4,827,717.88 3,592,865.62 3,943,217.84

2012 – $19,8B
2013 – $17,6B – the start of the coup
2014 – $15B – the coup won power but did not entrenched yet and did not had time yet to enforce its ideals
2015 – $9.8B – the work started
2016 – $4.8B – 80% of 2012 exports are cut off, EuroMaidan means business
2017 – $3.6B – 82% of 2013 exports are cut off, coming to plateau ?
2018 – $3,9B – a slight rebound, plateau reached

AnonFromTN , says: November 18, 2019 at 8:09 pm GMT
@bob sykes I'd dismiss this, as Putin is apparently doing. Kolomoisky is looking who else would provide money that he can steal. He, Porky, and others of their ilk stole Western loans so blatantly, that even US-controlled IMF is balking at giving Ukraine more money. So, Kolomoisky hopes that Russia will, so that he has more to steal. I hope that his hopes are in vain.
Truth3 , says: November 18, 2019 at 9:26 pm GMT
The entire Ukraine farce can be explained as a simple project

Khazaria 2.0.

I met a Jew (American) in Ukraine over 20 years ago.

He told me the plan Jews were returning to historically Jewish cities in Ukraine by the hundreds buying up for kopecki on the Gryvnia anything they could.

Media outlets, banks, factories, beachfront land, farmland, apartments, etc.

The idea? Make Ukraine the next EU Country, and benefit from the huge potential of Ukraine.

I agreed with him at the time, that Ukraine had huge potential, I was there as an engineer working for German companies but his lust for what could be 'looted' disgusted me.

AnonFromTN , says: November 18, 2019 at 11:02 pm GMT
@Truth3

the snipers perch on the square

This is a standard CIA scenario, used in Sarajevo and Deraa before Kiev. So, Ukrainians bought an old stale show, swallowed it hook, line, and sinker.

But the Georgian snipers brought in 2014 to Kiev by Saakashvili started dying in suspicious circumstances, so those who are still alive rushed to Belarus and started deposing their testimony. They implicated a lot of Ukies, including former speaker Parubii, former MP Pashinsky, etc. It was well known (to those who did not keep their eyes wide shut for political reasons) that the sniper fire in 2014 on Maidan was from the building controlled by the coup leaders, who later tried to blame Yanuk for it. That's why post-coup Ukrainian authorities got rid of the trees on Maidan: bullet holes in those trees indicated where the fire was coming from. But this recent testimony implicated particular people, who (surprise, surprise!) happened to be among the coup leaders.

Seraphim , says: November 19, 2019 at 2:36 am GMT
@Truth3 The truth is that you are absolutely right. 'Ukrainians' boasted that they are the 'Khazars' since Mazeppa and Orlyk of the 'Constitution of Bendery' fame, while parading a distaste for 'the adherents of deceitful Judaism' and noisy adherence to Orthodoxy.
Look at this entry of the http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com and see if anything changed:

"After Mazepa's death, on 16 April 1710, Orlyk was elected hetman, with the backing of Charles XII of Sweden, in Bendery. The chief author of the Constitution of Bendery, he pursued policies aimed at liberating Ukraine from Russian rule. He gained the support of the Zaporozhian Host, concluded a treaty with Charles XII* in May 1710, and sought to make the Ukrainian question a matter of international concern by continuing Mazepa's attempts at establishing an anti-Russian coalition ** . Orlyk signed a treaty with the Crimean khan Devlet-Girei in February 1711, negotiated with the Ottoman Porte, which formally recognized his authority over Right-Bank Ukraine and the Zaporizhia in 1712, conducted talks with the Don Cossack participants in Kondratii Bulavin's revolt who had fled to the Kuban, and even contacted the Kazan Tatars and the Bashkirs. In 1711–14 he led Cossack campaigns against the Russians in Right-Bank Ukraine. Despite initial victories they ultimately failed, because of Turkish vacillation and because the pillaging, raping, and taking of many civilian captives by Orlyk's Crimean Tatar allies resulted in the loss of public and military support on the Right Bank".
Nowhere does the 'first "European" constitution' speak about 'ukrainians', but of 'Exercitu Zaporoviensi genteque Rossiaca" (Zapo­rozhian Host and the Ruthenian people) living in "Parva Rossia"/Little Russia.

* putting Ukraine under the protection of the King of Sweden.
** an plot of 'European' and Islamic powers with an intense 'Masonic-Kabbalistic' coloring (and Jewish financial support) against Russian 'Tsardom' and 'Patriarchal' Church. 'Ukraine' was an anti-Russian project from the get go. Brzezinski's quip: "Ukraine, a new and important space on the Eurasian chessboard, is a geopolitical pivot because its very existence as an independent country helps to transform Russia. Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire" reflects only the revival of the old plan in new circumstances.

Arioch , says: November 19, 2019 at 10:18 am GMT
@Seraphim " Brzezinski's quip: "Ukraine, a new and important space on the Eurasian chessboard, is a geopolitical pivot "

Old Zbieg was as lunatic as Pole can be and as cunning as Jew can be (was he?).

The Poles were so desiring to became Slavic superpower, and on the height of their might in 15th century – they could become. They occupied Russian lands – oh, that mythical Kievan Rus oppressed by Moscow for centuries. And they even occupied Moscow for few months – more than unified Europe managed to do under both Napoleon and Hitler combined! Polska was really stronk then.

.well, they ate themselves from inside and sold their statehood to all the foreign bidders while boasting about Polish pride. Like ukropeans do today. They lost their strength, they lost their eastern colony, and for a while they even lost Poland itself.

They could never move over it.

Zbieg – coming from Galicia, the last shrink of Poland-occupied lands – had this specifically Polish resentment burning in him. And he managed to make USA fight Polish fights. Managed to use American incompetence in history and geography to sell them that idea that the Ukraine – the borderlands between Poland and Russia have "geopolitical" importance. For USA, no less. Wow!

Okay, USA invested at very least $5B into buying Ukrainian warchiefs, and we don't know how much more was added by EU and Germany. They now have this "geopolitical asset" as Zbieg urged them to do. What are they gonna do with it now? How do they gonna make Ukrainians pay back the money they spent? Old Zbieg preached about the world "paid by Russia to fight against Russia". This is that very "Russia, occupy the Ukraine finally, we are tired of fruitless waiting!" whining they repeat again and again. But if this won't work, just like it did not work yet, how do they think to make Ukrainians pay for it? Or whom else? I wonder

Anon [301] Disclaimer , says: November 19, 2019 at 4:37 pm GMT
@Arioch "> My point is the ukraine isn't dead. It isn't dying.

In which quality? As a swath of land inhabited by few peasants here and there – it surely will remain.
As an economically vibrant country, one of UN founders, with economy larger than German and closing on France – what it used to be – it is dead.
As a laws-bound polity it is dead since 2014, though was dying even before.
As STEM engineering and education stronghold it was in USSR – it is dead.
As one in just four in the whole world producers of really large airplanes – it is dead.
As one of the few ICBM producers – it is dead, know-how sold to Saudi.
As one of the few turbojet engines producers – it is dead, know-how sold to China.
As one of the reliable and well known tanks and APCs producer – it is dead, even USA-occupied Iraq does not buy this trash.
As the country, living from the geographic rent, just providing roads and hotels for cargo traffic, it is almost dead. Bridges are collapsing, roads – neither for cars nor railways – are not maintained."

Bravado, anyone can see.

Dead countries don't produce electricity. Real economists look at things like this. Not just at industrial reorganization. That is the only point you have. Industrial reorganization. Not death of industry.

https://tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/electricity-production
click on ten years
28th in world rankings. far from dead.

Anon [301] Disclaimer , says: November 19, 2019 at 5:04 pm GMT
@Anon BTW, most *live* countries of the world do not produce ICBMs, nor jet engines, nor APCs etc, nor super heavy aircraft. The military industrial complex remnants from the SU are not industries that most of the planet's countries have. Specialties. Those can not be measures of whether a country is living or dead. Use some real measures.
Arioch , says: November 19, 2019 at 5:51 pm GMT
@Anon Actually a good point. Mass cargo logistics and energy generation. Indeed.

The thing here is, that as of now the Ukraine is enjoying its privileged position from times Ukrainians ruled USSR (IOW, after Stalin died in 1953 and of few coup leaders Khruschev became top dog in 1956). The Ukraine is reeking with then top-tech nuclear power plants, that very few of other USSR republics had (one in Ignalina in Baltics, one in Armenia, and dozen in Russia, that is all. Ukraine was #2 with huge gap).

There is a switch, though. What do you do with electricity you produced?
And, what kind of electricity you produce?

The second question is tangential to "green energy" fad.
The generation is split to "base" generation, which covers required minimum and should be steadily generating around the clock, and "maneuvering" generation which can be turned on and off in a matter of few minutes, to accommodate with daytime traits, like "people awoke in between 7-8am, took shower, cooked breakfast and departed to school/work".
In general, base generation is predictable, thus does not need big reserves, can use economy of scales and cut costs. Maneuvering one has to increase costs, dealing with unpredictable mode changes and extra wearing it puts on the equipment and employees.

The first question, as you can not pour electricity into a tank and keep it for months there, can be roughly split to
1) use at home, for things like washing, cleaning, entertaining (TV, computers), air conditioning in summer and heating in winter.
2) use in industries, this is perhaps what "real economists" look for. Those should had less daily spikes, they might even have near constant consumption around the clock.
3) export to the countries, who need it, but does not want to build their own power plants

The export is significant thing. There is so called Byrshtyn Island, a constellation of power plants in Western Ukraine, that was cut off from Ukrainian grid and plugged to Polish grid, to act as maneuvering damper for Polish citizens' daylight cycles.

http://www.ukrenergoexport.com/index.php/en/Electricity-Export

You chart shows that between 2014 and 2015 there was strong (about 2000 GWH) decrease in production, which remained more or less stable after that. It also shows huge seasonal variation.
It probably means Ukrainian industries and households enjoy a lot of winter-time heating, but very little of summer-time AC. Just like it was built during USSR times.

Ukrainian electricity export seems rising. Were there new power plants put to service? I did not heard. Then it means that domestic consumption shrunk.

2019 – http://112.international/politics/ukraine-raises-electricity-exports-by-4-in-january-2019-37406.html

2018 – https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/economic/532757.html

There are some hard numbers, but they sadly end at 2016
https://knoema.com/atlas/Ukraine/topics/Energy/Electricity/Electricity-exports

There was also a streak of Nuclear Power Plants accidents in the news of 2017-2019.
This can stem from two factors:
1) increased reliance on NPP as other power plants go belly-up, especially forcing those giant NPPs into maneuvering modes, which they were not designed for. You can find news sources that Ukrainian NPPs were being tested to 105% of normative capacity and to maneuvering modes, the modes that just do not make sense when together.
2) decreased maintenance

Anyway, those NPPs are of old Soviet design of 1980-s, they are closing to end of life. We'll see if new ones will be built. Or if they will just be used regardless of aging until some hard failure, "run to the ground". And what will come after.

Of course, as long as they operate – no mater how harmful to locals – EU will buy cheap energy.
And since EuroMaidan government is living on debts, it will have no choice than to sell. Even if domestic power consumption will get zero, the EU will buy the power.

But I do not think EU would invest into building new power plants there when Soviet ones finally crack.

Arioch , says: November 19, 2019 at 6:00 pm GMT
@Anon Indeed, only Airbus and Boeing can produce super-heavy aircrafts.
China and Russia are contenders. Ukraine used to be, but stepped out.

Does it mean, USA and France are hell-bent over their military industrial complex? Maybe.
Does it make them run worse?

Bombardier and EmBraer factories are bought by Airbus and Boeing, not vice versa.
Avro of Canada once used to be a pillar, now is memory.

And all the other countries have to kiss up to political powers that allow them purchasing Boeing and Airbus jets and maintenance as a privilege for their lapdogging.

Iran wanted to buy Airbus badly, how did it work out?

So, yeah, specialties. Those specialties that can not be replaced – for master races.
And those that can easily – for lapdogs.

New Zealand can produce good beef. But so can Brazil and Argentina. And Ukraine too.
But Brazil can not produce irreplaceable large cargo aircrafts. And even mid-size they can not produce independently.

Dr Scanlon , says: November 19, 2019 at 6:57 pm GMT
All nations are completely artificial along with the gods, ideologies, fiat money & all the rest if the human fictions. If humans went extinct overnight would the US, Russia et al still exist? No, nor would their thousands of gods.

That little trick with the maps can be done with many countries. The US is a fine example. 1st map = 13 colonies – keep adding new maps for every new state they added after France paid for & won US independence & include the theft/conquest of Mexican territory & Hawaii.

The Ukraine is a huge basket case made much worse by the US, but your (Orlov too) Rabid Russian nationalism blinds you. IOW, like the empires propagandists, you too are spinning a narrative, albeit more truthful than empires, but a narrative (emotional) nonetheless.

Anon [301] Disclaimer , says: November 19, 2019 at 8:47 pm GMT
And it means nothing that ukraine is a top grain producer? The dead don't produce anything. Farming is an industry.
https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/07/02/ukraine-takes-worlds-largest-grain-exporter-title-from-russia-a66250

Also, check construction spending:
https://tradingeconomics.com/ukraine/gdp-from-construction
click on 10 year

It looks like to me that there is too much activity there in various sectors to conclude that it is dead or dying. It isn't dead or dying.

Arioch , says: November 19, 2019 at 9:03 pm GMT
@Dr Scanlon Maybe we just compare real Ukraine with what it was promised to become?

Michael Saakashvili, 2014-08-26, "Exactly one year from today Ukraine would send humanitarian aid to Russia. Mark my words.". I am still trying to find that aid around me, no luck

There also was a much more extended timetable, year by year, how Ukraine would rocket to the future and how Russia would fall down to middle ages. Wanted to re-read it but could not find.

AnonFromTN , says: November 19, 2019 at 9:11 pm GMT
@Anon Or yea, sure. Even Ukrainian statistics (which in terms of reliability might be somewhat better than Nostradamus, at least sometimes) report 53 births for 100 deaths, with the population shrinking due to this differential alone by more than 200,000 per year. If you count in emigration, the picture becomes very bleak. Millions work in Russia, Poland, and elsewhere. Mind you, temporary emigration for work easily becomes permanent. For example, I have a cousin who used to live in Lvov. He worked in Russia for 20+ years, and since 2014 never visited Ukraine. I guess he is still counted, as he remains a Ukrainian citizen.
Seraphim , says: November 20, 2019 at 12:39 am GMT
@Mr. Hack OK, let's go to the original of the constitution 'ratified' by "His Majesty the King of Sweden" (cum consensu S-ae R-ae Maiestatis Sueciae, Protectoris Nostri/with the consent of His Majesty the King of Sweden, our protector):

"It is no secret that Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky of glo­rious memory, with the Zaporozhian Host, took up arms and began a just war against the Polish Commonwealth for no other reason (apart from rights and liberties) except their Orthodox faith, which had been forced as a result of various encumbrances placed on it by the Polish authorities into union with the Roman church. Similarly, after the alien new Roman reli­gion had been eradicated from our fatherland, he with the said Zapo­rozhian Host and Ruthenian [Rossiaca] people, sought and submitted him­self to the protection of the Muscovite tsardom for no other reason than "that it shared the same Orthodox religion". Therefore, if God our Lord, strong and mighty in battle, should assist the victorious armies of His Royal Majesty the King of Sweden to liberate our fatherland from the Muscovite yoke of slavery, the present newly elected Hetman will be bound by duty and put under obligation to take special care that no alien religion is introduced into our Ruthenian [Rossiacam] fatherland. Should one, however, appear anywhere, either secretly or openly, he will be bound to extirpate it through his authority, not allow it to be preached or dissem­inated, and not permit any dissenters, MOST OF ALL THE ADHERENTS OF DECEITFUL JUDAISM, to live in Ukraine, and will be bound to make every possible effort that only the Orthodox faith of the Eastern confession, under obedi­ence to the Holy Apostolic See of Constantinople, be established firmly for ever and be allowed to expand and to flourish, like a rose among thorns, among the neighbouring countries following alien religions, for the greater glory of God, the building of churches, and the instruction of Ruthenian [Rossiacis] sons in the liberal arts. And for the greater authority of the Kievan metropolitan see, which is foremost in Little Russia [Parva Rossia], and for a more efficient administration of spiritual matters, His Grace the Hetman should, after the liberation of our fatherland from the Muscovite yoke, obtain from the Apostolic See of Constantinople the original power of an exarch in order thereby to renew relationship with and filial obedi­ence to the aforementioned Apostolic See of Constantinople, from which it , was privileged to have been enlightened in the holy Catholic faith by the preaching of the Gospel".
"neque ignotum est, gloriosae me­moriae Ducem Theodatum Chmielniccium cum Exercitu Zaporoviensi non ob aliam causam praeter iura libertatis commotum fuisse iustaque contra Rempublicam Polonam arma arripuisse, solum pro Fide sua Orthodoxa, quae va­riorum gravaminum compulsu a potestate Polonorum coacta fue­rat ad unionem cum Ecclesia Romana; post extirpatam quoque e patria Neoromanam exoticam Religionem, non alio motivo cum eodem Exercitu Zaporoviensi genteque Rossiaca protectione Imperii Moscovitici dedisse et libere se subdidisse, solum ob Religionis Orthodoxae unionem. Igitur modernus neoelectus lllustrissimus Dux, quando Dominus Deus fortis et potens in praeliis iuvabit felicia sacrae S-ae R-ae Maiestatis Sueciae arma ad vindicandam patriam nostram de servitutis iugo Moscovitico tenebitur et debito iure obstringetur singularem volvere curam fortiterque obstare, ut nulla exotica Religio in patriam nostram Rossiacam introducatur, quae si alicubi clamve , palamve apparuerit, tune activitatem suam extirpandae ipsi debebit, praedicari ampliarique non permittet, asseclis eiusdem, PRAESERTIM VERO PRAESTIGIOSO IUDAISMO cohabitationem in Ucraina non concedet et omni virium conatu sollicitam impendet curam, ut sola et una Orthodoxa Fides Orientalis Confessionis sub obedienta S-tae Apostoiicae sedis Constantinopolitanae in perpetuum sit firmanda, atque cum amplianda gloria Divina, erigendis ecclesiis exercendisque in artibus liberalibus filiis Rossiacis dilatetur, ac tanquam rosa inter spinas, inter vicina exoticae Religionis Dominia virescat et florescat. Propter vero majorem authoritatem primariae in Parva Rossia sedis Metropolitanae Kiiovensis faciliorique in Spiritualibus regimine, impositam sibi idem Illustrissimus Dux vindicata patria nostra de iugo Moscovitico geret provinciam cir­ca procurandam et impertiendam a sede Apostolica Constantinopolitana Exarchicam primitivam potestatem, ut hoc actu renovetur relatio et filialis patriae nostrae obedientia ad praefatam Apostolicam sedem Constantinopolitanam, cuius praedicatione Evangelii in Fide Sancta Catholica illuminari firmarique dignata est".
ТHЕ PYLYP ORLYK CONSTITUTION, 1710@http://www.lucorg.com/block.php/block_id/26

And it is not 'panageric' but 'panegyric'.

Arioch , says: November 20, 2019 at 12:40 am GMT
@Anon > Also, check construction spending – click on 10 year

.now how can i account there for the fact, that UAH in 2013 costed three times more than UAH in 2015 ?

> Farming is an industry.

Grain industry – is low added value one, it is highly competitive market because grain from any country on Earth is just grain.

USSR used to buy grain, as it sponsored bread production and peasants all around were buying bead to feed their hens, goats, pigs, etc. Official meat production was large too.

It is definitely better to export at least something than nothing. But it also is better to export high added value goods.

Before WW1 a minister of Russian Empire said "Let our peasants starve but we will export all the grains we contracted" – few years later Russian Empire ceased to exist.

In 1931 and 1932 Stalin tenfold decreased then banned grains export breaking the contracts. 15 years later USSR won WW2.

Franlky, it is just weird that Ukraine and Russia together produce most world's traded grain, like there is no other fertile soil on Earth. Also Russia and Ukraine are both to the north from USA, so USA should be able to produce more grains in its warmer climate. Why isn't USA world #1 grains exporter?

This is not grains, it is more added-value product and
https://www.dw.com/en/how-ukrainian-poultry-becomes-eu-produce/a-49125767

and EU just whimsically bans Ukrainian meat beyond some arbitrary quota.
EU will easily find where to buy meet.
Can Ukraine reciprocate by banning Airbus or Boeing purchases? I wonder
EU can pressure Ukrainian government, and Ukraine can do little in defense.

[Nov 21, 2019] Beginning in 2008, Vindman became a Foreign Area Officer specializing in Eurasia. In this capacity he served in the U.S. embassies in Kiev, Ukraine, and Moscow, Russia.

Nov 21, 2019 | www.unz.com

APilgrim , says: November 20, 2019 at 2:20 pm GMT

Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Semyon Vindman (né Aleksandr Semyonovich Vindman) and his identical twin brother, Yevgeny, were born to a Jewish family in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Soviet Union. After the death of their mother, the three-year-old twins and their older brother, Leonid, were brought to New York in December 1979 by their father, Semyon (Simon). They grew up in Brooklyn's 'Little-Odessa' neighborhood. The twins appear briefly with their maternal grandmother in the Ken Burns documentary The Statue of Liberty. Vindman speaks fluent Russian, Ukrainian (& probably Hebrew).

I will posit that Vindman holds citizenship in: Ukraine, USA, & Israel. Dual-Citizens violate US Law, to wit the 1940s Nationality Act. I will NOT delve into the tangled loyalties, ambitions and/or 'greatness' expectations of Colonel Vindman in this post.

Beginning in 2008, Vindman became a Foreign Area Officer specializing in Eurasia. In this capacity he served in the U.S. embassies in Kiev, Ukraine, and Moscow, Russia. Returning to Washington, D.C. he was then a politico-military affairs officer focused on Russia for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Vindman served on the Joint Staff at the Pentagon from September 2015 to July 2018.

APilgrim , says: November 20, 2019 at 3:15 pm GMT
The Honorable Gordon David Sondland, United States Ambassador to the European Union, is probably ending his stint, today.

Ambassador Sondland was born to a Jewish family in Seattle, Washington, the son of Frieda (Piepsch) and Gunther Sondland. His mother fled Europe before the Second World War to Uruguay, where after the war she reunited with his father, who had served in the French Foreign Legion. In 1953, the Sondlands relocated to Seattle where they opened a dry-cleaning business. Sondland has a sister 18 years his senior. He attended the University of Washington but dropped out and became a commercial real estate salesman.

Does Ambassador Sondland hold dual-citizenship? Dual citizenship violates the 1940 Nationalities Act.

RadicalCenter , says: November 20, 2019 at 5:01 pm GMT
@Arioch Germans will likely be fleeing Germany in fairly large numbers as the Islamic / African takeover picks up steam. Same for Swedes from Sweden (soonest), French from France, English from England.

Ukraine is emptying out and has cheap land and space for new housing to be built, or old houses to be replaced or thoroughly renovated. The Western Europeans need somewhere safer and more civilized to run now that they have invited hostile invaders into their countries. It could be a match made in heaven.

Ukraine could offer only permanent residency, not citizenship, and it could require that white euro refugees pay in advance for a year or two years of good private medical and dental insurance so that they don't burden the already-broke Ukrainian treasury.

Let the Germans and other euro reinvigorate the Ukrainian economy -- possibly for a steady two decades or more -- by buying supplies and hiring workers and machinery to build or renovate several million houses. They have savings and pensions and can afford a lot in Ukraine. The Ukrainian treasury would take in massive receipts in VAT and other taxes paid by the euro permanent residents and by newly employed Ukrainians working on the refugees' new homes.

Ukrainian hospitals and dental offices could upgrade their equipment, staff, training, and capabilities enormously with the ongoing infusion of western euro refugee funds.

The euro refugees needn't change the demographic and cultural composition of Ukraine much longer-term, because they will, at least at first, mostly be people age 55-60 and up who can afford to retire and give up their careers in their home countries to flee East. They'll be beyond their childbearing/raising years. And, if the Ukrainians are wise, the western euros will never be eligible for citizenship (I.e. they will never be able to vote the same suicide for Ukraine as many of them allowed in their home countries).

Far, far better for Ukrainians to (1) have their own children and (2) stop antagonizing russia and work out favorable energy and other trade deals. But since neither of those is happening or seems likely in the near future, Ukraine should seek a steady infusion of peaceful, reasonably intelligent, culturally compatible white Europeans to help occupy the territory (instead of hostile aliens, the alternative) and spend billions of Euros from Ukrainian businesses and shops.

Malacaay , says: November 20, 2019 at 5:17 pm GMT
*half of – correction of previous post.

This is what the concept of odious debt means:

Odious debt, also known as illegitimate debt, is when a country's government misappropriates money it has borrowed from another country. A nation's debt is considered odious debt when government leaders use borrowed funds in ways that do not benefit its citizens, and to the contrary, often oppress them. Many believe individuals or countries doing the lending must have known, or should have known, of the oppressive conditions upon offering the credit.

http://faculty.wcas.northwestern.edu/~sjv340/odious_debt.pdf

AnonFromTN , says: November 20, 2019 at 6:28 pm GMT
@RadicalCenter Putin would be too old in ten years. What Russia needs is a decent successor, as intelligent and far-sighted as Putin, who would be interested in the country more than in his pocket, like Putin. While traitorous scum like Gorby or Yeltsin has no chance, the greatest danger is that someone nationalistic but not particularly smart rises to the top.

Putin understands the key thing: Russia does not need to do anything about the Empire or its EU vassals, they are their own worst enemy. As the saying goes, when you see your enemy committing suicide, do not interfere.

As far as Baltic vaudeville states are concerned, to the best of my knowledge (which might be faulty: I only visited Russia three times in the last 28 years, spending less than two months total there), most Russian residents are not interested in the Baltics.

Now that the port at Ust-Luga works at almost full capacity, Baltics aren't even useful economically: Russian exports mostly bypass them. Besides, placing NATO troops into these "countries" creates a significant financial and military burden on NATO, which is in the best Russian interests.

So, from Russian perspective, the same rule applies to Baltics and Ukraine (whatever remains of it in 5-10 years): "you broke it – you own it". So, the West would have to do something about those territories. Considering current policies of the EU, they will be populated by Muslims and Africans. Russian attitudes changed a lot in the last decades regarding Baltics and in the last five years regarding Ukraine: a lot of Russians believe that even Muslims and Africans are smarter than aborigines of those wannabe countries, so would make more sensible neighbors.

Arioch , says: November 20, 2019 at 8:16 pm GMT
@Malacaay "Ukrainian Republic" in 1914 ??? With presidents, parliaments, elections, sure, sure.

And having western borders in 1914 exactly by the line draw by Georgian dictator Jugashvili-Stalin 25 years later?

With Lwow being in 1914 city not of Poland (independent Poland in 1914 is yet another gem) but of the said Ukrainian Republic? And Transcarpatian Ruthenia too?

Wow, so in 1939 Jugashvili-Stalin just restored well known internationally borderlines of the glorious 1914 Ukrainian Republic, right?

Pal, you are high, you are totally on substances!

Anon [301] Disclaimer , says: November 20, 2019 at 8:40 pm GMT
@Arioch You consider Ukraine to be irrelevant, so why spend so much time on it??? Odd isn't it. Methinks you protesteth too much. You haven't proven Ukrainians can't do science, that they don't have a technical culture, and you haven't shown that grain production is irrelevant. You're just insulting farmers, and basic industry. Insult your own stomach. Don't eat bread. Food is power. All industrial economies are based on agriculture. You dismissing it is just sour grapes.

Pretend the Ukraine is dead. That's your business. Ukraine hasn't lost the ability to do science, engineering, etc. What do you think they do in universities there? Is there no higher education there? I'm not going to believe that. You're just spinning. Spin away. It's obvious you're just dismissing real activity there.

The finality with which you dismiss the logistics possibilities of the Ukraine is odd. It is a valuable resource. The country can take up the logistics possibilities in the future. They haven't disappeared. And that is what your argument is based on. Pretending that something can never ever be operational again ever, for any reason, even when the possibilities are obviously still there. Germany bounced back after the war. Russia bounced back after the 90s. But Ukraine? According to you, Ukrainians can't ever have any future possibilities. You dismiss the real activity that is there, and you dismiss future possibilities. So you can read the future? Do you also pretend to have super human ability to know the future? You don't like facts, just theatrics. Lots of arm waving and shouting and gesticulating. No proofs. If it is dead in your books, why are you wasting so much effort to prove it, without actually giving any proof? You really do protest too much.

Seraphim , says: November 21, 2019 at 12:10 am GMT
@Mr. Hack Why would I be disappointed in seeing your puppet master Kolomoisky, the 'Zhidobandera', and his puppet playing the presidents, Zelenski admitting (grudgingly) that "They're stronger anyway. We have to improve our relations"?
K: "People want peace, a good life, they don't want to be at war. And you [the U.S.] are forcing us to be at war, and not even giving us the money for it."
And begging for money from Russia?
AnonFromTN , says: November 21, 2019 at 7:45 pm GMT
@Anon First, participation or results of International Mathematical Olympiad that both of your links deal with do not necessarily reflect the state of science in the country. First, math is only one of the real sciences (others include physics, chemistry, biology, etc.). Second, the results of kids reflect the potential of young people, not the state of scientific research in the country. Remaining scientists in Ukraine (there aren't many of them left, unless you count bullshitters like Vyatrovich as scientists) bitterly complain that the government does not fund science at the level that can help it survive.

BTW, many branches of Russian science (e.g., biochemistry and cell biology that I know best) do not perform at the level that would put them on the map. There are very few world-class biochemical or cell biological labs in Russia today, even fewer than in Soviet times. In Ukraine today there are none, zero, zilch, nada. There used to be some decent labs in Ukraine before 1991, but they either died out or the quality of their research went way down. Those who awarded PhD to the girl I mentioned above are not scientists, at least not the honest ones. They are qualified to sweep floors in college, at best.

Anon [231] Disclaimer , says: November 21, 2019 at 9:05 pm GMT
@AnonFromTN More protesteth too much. More slurs, insults, hearsay, flailing away with no data of any kind.

Those kids have real capabilities. Not simply 'potential of young people'. dismissing them won't make them go away. 'Out damn'd spot'. Too bad the facts won't go away. To have kids with strong math ability means you have to have institutions and teachers with strong education capability. They don't learn to cut it in math by playing in the streets. Obviously they will have no difficulty doing engineering calculations, and doing computer science and physical sciences.

Making comparisons to the former SU is not valid for me. Comparison to other similar sized economies makes more sense. Ukraine population is similar to Colombia, Spain, Argentina, Uganda, Algeria, Sudan, Iraq. Looking at those countries, the capabilities of Ukraine don't look too bad. Certainly not looking like Ukraine is dead.

Why would any one think that Ukraine must be compared to much larger economies??? The other guy was doing that too. saker is way off to make such comparisons.
Comparing Ukraine to US, China, Russia, or prior SU or UkrainianSSR for me is not a valid comparison. The economics are too different.

Anon [231] Disclaimer , says: November 21, 2019 at 9:27 pm GMT
It's obvious what is going on is simply a political, prejudicial smear and dismissal of the Ukraine and Ukrainians rather than any kind of balanced assessment of capabilities and reality
AnonFromTN , says: November 21, 2019 at 9:47 pm GMT
@Anon Yes, those kids certainly had good teachers. It is quite likely that their math teachers were educated in the Ukrainian SSR. I hear from a lot of people in Russia that the quality of the teachers who graduated in Soviet times tends to be better than of those who graduated later. I got my school education in Ukrainian SSR and can't complain about it. Today Lugansk, where I went to school, is in Lugansk People's Republic, and judging by recent polling of the population, its chances or returning to Ukraine are about as great as my chances of living 500 years. Ukrainian bomb hit the school I went to, and Ukrainian shell hit the library where I used to borrow books when I went to school. Luckily, a few years ago Ukrainian troops were pushed by freedom fighters far enough from Lugansk, so they can't shell it any more.

Comparing Ukraine to US, China, Russia, or prior SU or UkrainianSSR for me is not a valid comparison.

Sorry, but Ukraine started by Ukrainian SSR becoming independent. It had what it had, and lost what it lost, including a big chunk of the population and economy.

You are welcome to believe anything you want. People have a long history of believing the most preposterous things. However, even fervent beliefs don't change the reality. That's why all societies have lunatic asylums.

Corvinus , says: November 22, 2019 at 12:28 am GMT
@AnonFromTN "Their "liberties", including drunk NATO soldiers peeing on their monuments, are perfectly safe from Russia."

Indeed, if both remain independent nations....

[Nov 15, 2019] Trump And Zelensky Want Peace With Russia. The Fascists Oppose That

Notable quotes:
"... "In direct contravention of U.S. interests" says the NBC and quotes a member of the permanent state who declares "it is clearly in our national interest" to give weapons to Ukraine. ..."
"... But is that really in the national U.S. interest? Who defined it as such? ..."
"... And that's where the policy community and I part company. It is the president, not the bureaucracy, who was elected by the American people. That puts him -- not the National Security Council, the State Department, the intelligence community, the military, and their assorted subject-matter experts -- in charge of making policy. If we're to remain a constitutional republic, that's how it has to stay. ..."
"... The constitution does not empower the "U.S. government policy community", nor "the administration", nor the "consensus view of the interagency" and certainly not one Lt.Col. Vindman to define the strategic interests of the United States and its foreign policy. It is the duly elected president who does that. ..."
"... Mr. Kolomoisky, widely seen as Ukraine's most powerful figure outside government, given his role as the patron of the recently elected President Volodymyr Zelensky, has experienced a remarkable change of heart: It is time, he said, for Ukraine to give up on the West and turn back toward Russia. ..."
"... "They're stronger anyway. We have to improve our relations," he said, comparing Russia's power to that of Ukraine. "People want peace, a good life, they don't want to be at war. And you" -- America -- "are forcing us to be at war , and not even giving us the money for it." ..."
"... Mr. Kolomoisky [..] told The Times in a profanity-laced discussion, the West has failed Ukraine, not providing enough money or sufficiently opening its markets. ..."
"... Instead, he said, the United States is simply using Ukraine to try to weaken its geopolitical rival. "War against Russia," he said, "to the last Ukrainian." Rebuilding ties with Russia has become necessary for Ukraine's economic survival, Mr. Kolomoisky argued. He predicted that the trauma of war will pass. ..."
"... Kolomoisky's interview is obviously a trial balloon for the policies Zelensky wants to pursue. He has, like Trump, campaigned on working for better relations with Russia. He received nearly 73% of all votes. ..."
"... Ambassador Taylor and the other participants of yesterday's clown show would certainly "mess it up and get in the way" if Zelensky openly pursues the policy he promised to his voters. They are joined in this with the west-Ukrainian fascists they have used to arrange the Maidan coup: ..."
"... Only some 20% of the Ukrainians are in favour of continuing the war against the eastern separatists who Russia supports. During the presidential election Poroshenko received just 25% of the votes. His party European Solidarity won 8.1% of the parliamentary election. Voice won 5.8%. ..."
"... on Yovanovitch, She added: "If our chief representative is kneecapped, it limits our effectiveness to safeguard the vital national security interests of the United States." ..."
"... She wasn't fired, she was kneecapped, and Ukraine is a US vital national security interest, especially after it installed a new government with neo-fascism support.. . .Kneecapping is a form of malicious wounding, often as torture, in which the victim is injured in the knee ..."
Nov 14, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

NBC News is not impressed by the first day of the Democrats' impeachment circus. But it fails to note what the conflict is really about:

It was substantive, but it wasn't dramatic.

In the reserved manner of veteran diplomats with Harvard degrees, Bill Taylor and George Kent opened the public phase of the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump on Wednesday by bearing witness to a scheme they described as not only wildly unorthodox but also in direct contravention of U.S. interests.

"It is clearly in our national interest to deter further Russian aggression," Taylor, the acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine and a decorated Vietnam War veteran, said in explaining why Trump's decision to withhold congressionally appropriated aid to the most immediate target of Russian expansionism didn't align with U.S. policy.

But at a time when Democrats are simultaneously eager to influence public opinion in favor of ousting the president and quietly apprehensive that their hearings could stall or backfire, the first round felt more like the dress rehearsal for a serious one-act play than the opening night of a hit Broadway musical.

"In direct contravention of U.S. interests" says the NBC and quotes a member of the permanent state who declares "it is clearly in our national interest" to give weapons to Ukraine.

But is that really in the national U.S. interest? Who defined it as such?

President Obama was against giving weapons to Ukraine and never transferred any to Ukraine despite pressure from certain circles. Was Obama's decision against U.S. national interest? Where are the Democrats or deep state members accusing him of that?

Which brings us to the really critical point of the whole issue. Who defines what is in the "national interest" with regards to foreign policy? Here is a point where for once I agree with the right-wingers at the National Review where Andrew McCarthy writes :

[O]n the critical matter of America's interests in the Russia/Ukraine dynamic, I think the policy community is right, and President Trump is wrong. If I were president, while I would resist gratuitous provocations, I would not publicly associate myself with the delusion that stable friendship is possible (or, frankly, desirable) with Putin's anti-American dictatorship, which runs its country like a Mafia family and is acting on its revanchist ambitions.

But you see, much like the policy community, I am not president. Donald Trump is.

And that's where the policy community and I part company. It is the president, not the bureaucracy, who was elected by the American people. That puts him -- not the National Security Council, the State Department, the intelligence community, the military, and their assorted subject-matter experts -- in charge of making policy. If we're to remain a constitutional republic, that's how it has to stay.

We have made the very same point :

The U.S. constitution "empowers the President of the United States to propose and chiefly negotiate agreements between the United States and other countries."

The constitution does not empower the "U.S. government policy community", nor "the administration", nor the "consensus view of the interagency" and certainly not one Lt.Col. Vindman to define the strategic interests of the United States and its foreign policy. It is the duly elected president who does that.

and :

The president does not like how the 'American policy' on Russia was built. He rightly believes that he was elected to change it. He had stated his opinion on Russia during his campaign and won the election. It is not 'malign influence' that makes him try to have good relations with Russia. It is his own conviction and legitimized by the voters.
...
[I]t is the president who sets the policies. The drones around him who serve "at his pleasure" are there to implement them.

There is another point that has to be made about the NBC's assertions. It is not in the interest of Ukraine to be a proxy for U.S. deep state antagonism towards Russia. Robber baron Igor Kolomoisky, who after the Maidan coup had financed the west-Ukrainian fascists who fought against east-Ukraine, says so directly in his recent NYT interview :

Mr. Kolomoisky, widely seen as Ukraine's most powerful figure outside government, given his role as the patron of the recently elected President Volodymyr Zelensky, has experienced a remarkable change of heart: It is time, he said, for Ukraine to give up on the West and turn back toward Russia.

"They're stronger anyway. We have to improve our relations," he said, comparing Russia's power to that of Ukraine. "People want peace, a good life, they don't want to be at war. And you" -- America -- "are forcing us to be at war , and not even giving us the money for it."
...
Mr. Kolomoisky [..] told The Times in a profanity-laced discussion, the West has failed Ukraine, not providing enough money or sufficiently opening its markets.

Instead, he said, the United States is simply using Ukraine to try to weaken its geopolitical rival. "War against Russia," he said, "to the last Ukrainian." Rebuilding ties with Russia has become necessary for Ukraine's economic survival, Mr. Kolomoisky argued. He predicted that the trauma of war will pass.
...
Mr. Kolomoisky said he was feverishly working out how to end the war, but he refused to divulge details because the Americans "will mess it up and get in the way."

Kolomoisky's interview is obviously a trial balloon for the policies Zelensky wants to pursue. He has, like Trump, campaigned on working for better relations with Russia. He received nearly 73% of all votes.

Ambassador Taylor and the other participants of yesterday's clown show would certainly "mess it up and get in the way" if Zelensky openly pursues the policy he promised to his voters. They are joined in this with the west-Ukrainian fascists they have used to arrange the Maidan coup:

Zelenskiy's decision in early October to accept talks with Russia on the future of eastern Ukraine resulted in an outcry from a relatively small but very vocal minority of Ukrainians opposed to any deal-making with Russia. The protests were relatively short-lived, but prospects for a negotiated end to the war in the eastern Donbas region became more remote in light of this domestic opposition.
...
The supporters for war with Russia are ex-president Poroshenko and two parliamentary factions, European Solidarity and Voice, whose supporters are predominantly located in western Ukraine. Crucially, however, they can also rely on right-wing paramilitary groups composed of veterans from the hottest phase of the war in Donbas in 2014-5.

Only some 20% of the Ukrainians are in favour of continuing the war against the eastern separatists who Russia supports. During the presidential election Poroshenko received just 25% of the votes. His party European Solidarity won 8.1% of the parliamentary election. Voice won 5.8%.

By pursuing further conflict with Russia the deep state of the United States wants to ignore the wishes not only of the U.S. voters but also those of the Ukrainian electorate. That undemocratic mindset is another point that unites them with the Ukrainian fascists.

Zelensky should ignore the warmongers in the U.S. embassy in Kiev and sue for immediate peace with Russia. (He should also investigate Biden's undue influence .) Reengaging with Russia is also the easiest and most efficient step the Ukraine can take to lift its desolate economy.

It is in the national interest of both, the Ukraine and the United States.

Posted by b on November 14, 2019 at 18:23 UTC | Permalink


pretzelattack , Nov 14 2019 18:28 utc | 1

next page " agree with mccarthy about who conducts foreign policy, disagree about who the aggressor is; it's the USA, trying to weaken Russia, which is the aggressor.
james , Nov 14 2019 18:48 utc | 2
thanks b... typo - immediate piece with Russia - 'peace' is the spelling here...

the comments from Kolomoisky in the recent nyt interview are very telling.. aside from being a first rate kleptomaniac who will willingly play both sides if he can profit from it, he is also speaking a moment of truth..for him Ukraine is available to the highest bidder... he could give a rats ass about Ukraine or the people... but still, it is refreshing that the NYT published his comments in this regard..

the quote "the Americans "will mess it up and get in the way." is very true... it was true before kolomisky picked a side too.. this guy is very shrewd.. i wonder if his own country is able to see thru him?

national interest.... yes, trump gets to decide and he won on the idea of having closer relations with russia, but the cia-msm has been lambasting him and anyone else associated with him since before the election over the clinton e mails... they have painted a scenario that it is all russias fault and have been relentless in this portrayal... hoping trump is going to turn this around is like hoping someone is going to turn the titanic around from hitting a giant iceberg... the usa is too far gone and will be hitting the iceberg.. they are in fact...

michael lacey , Nov 14 2019 19:00 utc | 3
Good article what the American people miss is good articles instead of the mind numbing BS! They actually receive!
Piotr Berman , Nov 14 2019 19:01 utc | 4
From NYT about Kolomo???? (spelling in English is highly variable)

George D. Kent, a senior State Department official, said he had told Mr. Zelensky that his willingness to break with Mr. Kolomoisky -- "somebody who had such a bad reputation" -- would be a litmus test for his independence. [If is good to be independent, i.e. to do what we want.]

And William Taylor, the acting ambassador in Kiev, said he had warned Mr. Zelensky: "He, Mr. Kolomoisky, is increasing his influence in your government, which could cause you to fail." [La Paz is a fresh reminder for Kiev?]

Bemildred , Nov 14 2019 19:07 utc | 5
Well the thing about Zelensky is he's still there, and he is making changes in Donbass.

Kolomoisky was interested in the fracked gas in Donbass, the completion of NordStream II has made a mess of that idea. It is good that he has seen the light, as it means Zelensky will have support in his attempts to adapt to reality. But Kolomoisky is still a crook no doubt.

Montreal , Nov 14 2019 19:14 utc | 6
My immediate reaction was that Kolomoisky realises he has to act - the Ukrainian oligarchs have got too close to America. I agree with James that he is a extremely clever man. Ukraine's traditional business is playing both ends against the middle and sending the proceeds to Switzerland (or the Caribbean in Porosyonok's case). Since 1990 a few of these robber barons have made a very good business winding up the west against Russia, it could go on ever - why spoil it by lifting the rock and seeing all the insects scurrying around in the light?

Another rock that has been lifted is in Washington, where the khokhol diaspora are desperately trying to get Uncle Sam to right the wrongs of a century ago.

Montreal , Nov 14 2019 19:25 utc | 7
I should have written: the "perceived" wrongs" of a century ago.
Babyl-on , Nov 14 2019 19:26 utc | 8
"Deep state" is misleading and actually a false construction.

There is an Imperial State (the ruling faction)which consists of imperial apparatchiks placed in every key position in government.

There is one and only one Western Empire and its deep state spreads throughout Western governments and society. They are the owners oif the world and they run the world they own.

chet380 , Nov 14 2019 19:28 utc | 9
... @ b -- "Only some 20% of the Ukrainians favor to continue the war against the eastern separatists who Russia supports."

The are not 'separatists', but rather Ukrainians who want to stay in a federated Ukraine as 'provinces' with powers to pass their regional laws, similar to those in Canada.

psychohistorian , Nov 14 2019 19:35 utc | 10
The segment of empire in the US that are against Russia act so because it was Russia that stymied them in Syria and continues to be in their way of expanding the control from that part of empire...the US segment.

I still believe that the global private finance core segment of empire is behind Trump and throwing America(ns) under the bus as the world turns more multilateral. The cult of global private finance intends on still having some overarching super-national role in the new multilateral world and holding debt guns to everyones heads to make it ongoing.

I don't believe that strategy will work but as long as they can be fronted by a MAD player of some sort (Occupied Palestine comes to mind) they can be bully players in international matters.

As the world economies grind to a "halt" there will be lots of pressure everywhere and very little clarity about the key civilization war over public/private finance, IMO

NOBTS , Nov 14 2019 19:37 utc | 11
For a military dictatorship, diplomacy is the continuation of war by other means. The US has been at war with Russia since the right-wing coup at the Democratic convention of 1944. All presidents have been servants of the military, which includes the police/intel/security apparatus; the few who did not entirely accept their figurehead role were "dealt with." Kennedy, Nixon, Carter and now Trump. The Washington permanent state bureaucrats are shocked and understandably offended; they have after all, been running US foreign policy for 75 years!
karlof1 , Nov 14 2019 19:39 utc | 12
Wow! The depth of delusion on display is as breathtaking as its complete projection of the intentions and actions of the Evil Outlaw US Empire! Oh so many saying I'm displaying four fingers instead of two. Too bad there isn't a padded cell big enough to contain all the lunatics. I recall the pre- and post-coup discussions from 2014--that Russia was going to make NATO own Ukraine until it was forced to concede it has no business being there; that Russia would teach the would-be leaders of Ukraine a serious lesson in where their national interests lay. NATO is ready to cede and the lesson's been learned.

IMO, two referendums must be held. The first within Russia: Will you accept portions of Ukraine wanting to merge with Russia: Yes/No? Second to be given within Ukraine provided Yes wins in #1: Do you wish to join Russia or remain in Ukraine? IMO, this is a very longstanding unresolved issue of consequence for the people involved. The political leaders of Russia and Ukraine might both be against such a vote, but IMO that merely kicks the can further down the road and opens the door for more mischief making by the Evil Outlaw US Empire. Assuming a Yes from Russia and some from Ukraine, a strategic threat to Russia and Europe would be mitigated. Additional questions about those parts of Ukraine not wanting to join Russia could be solved via additional referenda in the Ukraine and neighboring nations that might prove willing to absorb the remnants and their people. Such action would of course negate the Minsk Agreements.

Given the ideological passions of those living in Western and Northern Ukraine, I don't see any hope for the continuation of the Ukrainian state as currently arranged, thus the proposed referenda. However, if Russia says Nyet, then Minsk must be implemented.

TG , Nov 14 2019 19:39 utc | 13
Ah, well said, but missing the point.

"Democracy" is not about letting the people as a whole have a say in how the country is governed. That would be fascist, and racist, and populist, and LITERALLY HITLER. Letting the people decide on things like foreign policy, is literally anti-democratic.

No, "Democracy" is about privatizing power and socializing responsibility. The elites get to set the policy, but the public at large gets to take responsibility when things go wrong. Because you see, we are a "Democracy."

jayc , Nov 14 2019 19:41 utc | 14
Breaking off long established economic and cultural ties with a large neighbouring country, virtually overnight, is a rash act, and certain to create dislocation and hardship. The craziness of the idea was only achievable through the traumatizing psy-op of the sniper event, leading directly to the coup and the state of war. The EU and the US were clearly malevolent in orchestrating the Association agreement with its ridiculous terms and the corresponding Maidan pressures.

The fools in Hong Kong, after protester-sponsored screenings of the World On Fire documentary, were actually quoted as presuming the Maidan protests had "won" and expressed their hopes that they too could "win". Good luck to them.

AntiSpin , Nov 14 2019 19:49 utc | 15
Ukraine Timeline

for anyone who hasn't had the time to get caught up on the topic, by Ray McGovern
https://www.opednews.com/articles/Ukraine-For-Dummies-by-Ray-McGovern-Crimea_Ignorance_Intelligence_Media-191114-285.html

Taffyboy , Nov 14 2019 19:50 utc | 16
Kolomoisky and Zelensky know what needs to be done, but they fear the blood that will flow with Nazi-Banderist scum! Zelinski's balls are not that big, and has no options left after compromising his position from day one. Who will make the first move, I fear not him? Russia has time, and patience, which is sorely lacking in the west who feel they have to push the envelope.
Don Bacon , Nov 14 2019 19:57 utc | 17
The Minsk II protocol was agreed to on 12 February 2015 by the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France, and Germany, It included provisions for a halt in the fighting, the withdrawal of foreign forces, new constitution to allow special status for Donbass, and election in Donbass for local self governance. Control of the present border of Ukraine would be restored to the Ukraine government. Donbass would continue to be in Ukraine with some autonomy here (scroll down).
There are many such autonomous zones in the world, and in Europe, seen here .
The problem in Ukraine is that the neo-Nazi factions promoted by the US don't want to see a resolution, and will fight it with US support.
flankerbandit , Nov 14 2019 19:59 utc | 18
Kolomoysky is obviously a master thief and general scumbag...but he is no fool...

I think the writing on the wall became obvious with the Nordstream 2 finalization, where, it is noted, Denmark came in just under the wire in terms of not disrupting the timetable...

Obviously the interests of German business have prevailed...and rightly so in this case...

And what of the famous EU line about 'protecting' Ukraine as a gas transit corridor...?

LOLOLOL...that is in the same category of nothingburger as the EU noises about 'alternate payment' mechanisms for trade with Iran...

As soon as the Denmark story broke, Gazprom and Russian energy analysts talked openly about the tiny volumes that Ukraine could expect to see transiting its territory...as part of a new agreement to replace the one that has expired...

It works out to a small fraction of the several billion dollars in transit fees the Ukraine was getting...

Also considering that the IMF appears to be finally shutting off the tap of loans to this failed gangster state...and that the promises from the EU in 2013 were just so much fairy tales...hard-nosed operators like Kolomoysky are recalculating...

The chaos and national ruin has really cost these gangster capitalists nothing [in fact they have profited wildly]...so it is easy for them to reverse course and come begging back to Russia...

Bryan MacDonald has a good piece about this today in RT...

Ukraine's most powerful oligarch states the obvious: Ukraine has to turn back towards Russia

So, here we are, almost six years since the first "EuroMaidan" protests in Kiev, and Ukraine's most prominent oligarch has finally voiced the unmentionable: the project has failed.

As for Kolomoysky...like Trump, there is something to like about dirtballs who speak their minds openly...LOL

Vonu , Nov 14 2019 20:08 utc | 19
According to Kevin Shipp, the National Security Council really runs the executive branch, not the president. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=11&v=XHbrOg092GA
PJB , Nov 14 2019 20:11 utc | 20
Quite a turnaround by Kolomoisky. Wasn't he once caught on a tapped phone call admitting while chuckling about Ukrainian complicity in shooting down MH-17? i.e. NOT Donbas rebels and NOT Russia.
james , Nov 14 2019 20:13 utc | 21
@12 karlof1... a referendum... as if the usa would agree to that, lol.... look how they processed the one in crimea...

@18 flankerbandit... last line is true, but it pales in relation to the ugliness these 2 exhibit 99% of the time, although the 1% when they don't it's refreshing! ukraine will continue to be used as a tool by the west..

forget about any referendum.. that makes too much sense and won't be allowed..

Kadath , Nov 14 2019 20:23 utc | 22
Nordstream 2 will come online in less than 2 months and the Ukrainian gas exports at that time will cease (I.e. no oil for the Oligarchs to steal), no matter what the US says they can't replace the Russian oil exports in terms of money & support to Ukraine, so the Oligarchs are now positioning themselves to abandon the US in order for the Russians to keep even a tiny bit of oil flowing into their pockets
J Swift , Nov 14 2019 20:31 utc | 23
It's a tough balancing act, being a Ukrainian oligarch. For two decades they stole what they could from the Ukraine (and from perverting the various sweetheart deals Russia was providing). Once the industry and energy money was stripped, and Russia started closing the spigots, they managed to get the West to pump in ungodly amounts of cash so long as they would agree to talk mean about Russia, and didn't mind the US machine taking its cut of the loot.

But now the Ukrainian thieves are beginning to realize that the Western thieves are going to steal the very ground from under their feet, so there will be no more Ukraine to steal from. That's not a very good business model. Plus they're no doubt seeing how the US treats its partners in crime in Syria and elsewhere, and realize they could easily find themselves the next meal for the US beast. Pretty easy to see why the smarter ones are getting nervous.

DannC , Nov 14 2019 20:37 utc | 24
they need to make peace with Russia or they will be left out in the cold, literally. They seemed to have previously bought into some insane lie that they'd be a part of the EU and NATO if theyd do Washington's bidding. The Deep state vastly underestimated Putin's resolve when it became clear to the Russians that Washington may try and turn Crimea into a NATO port one day. The game is over. Ukraine needs to find a way forward now for itself or it will be a failed state in the near future. It's clear Merkel and Europe want no part of this headache
flankerbandit , Nov 14 2019 20:42 utc | 25
I don't think Russians want to 'own' any part of Ukraine...at least that is the nearly unanimous opinion of my own contacts and colleagues in Russia...so I don't think any referenda will be on the table...

What I do think is possible is what Yanukovich and Russia agreed to in terms of a trade and economic deal...which was a lot more practical [not to mention generous] than the EU 'either or' nonsense...

Ukraine has run itself into the ground, literally...now they are selling vast tracts of agricultural land to huge Euro agribusiness concerns...literally dispossessing themselves of their own food security...

At the time of the Soviet dissolution, Ukraine had the highest living standards and some of the world's prime industry and technology...including for instance the Yuzhnoye design bureau [rocket engines and spacecraft] and many more such cutting edge aerospace concerns...

For years these crucial enterprises were able to keep going due to the Russian market...that all ended in 2014 [and in fact was tapering off even before due to the massive corruption]...

Now the Chinese are looking to scoop up these gems at firesale prices...

It is really quite unbelievable that the nutcases in the Ukraine would be willing to cut off their own arm just to bleed on Russia's shirt...

Why did the Ukraine never recover from the gangster capitalism like Russia did...because no Putin ever came along to reign in the oligarchy...[It could be argued Putin hasn't done nearly enough in this regard].

The Ukraine is actually a preview of what we can expect to see in our own future...as the unleashed oligarchy similarly runs everything into the ground in order to extract maximal wealth for a parasite elite...already we are nothing but a Ponzi Scheme on the verge of toppling...

Jackrabbit , Nov 14 2019 20:49 utc | 26
Disappointed in b's analysis.

Kolomoisky is talking his book and helping USA to make the case that Nordstream is a NATO security issue. To pretend that he's serious about a rapproachment with Russia just plays into that effort.

And b ignores my comment on the prior thread that he references (about Trump being Constitutionally charged with foreign policy). Repeating: the "Imperial Presidency" has flung off Constitutional checks and balances by circumventing the need to get Congressional approval for spending. Wars (like Syria) are now be funded by Gulf Monarchies, black ops, and black budgets.

While for practical reasons the Executive Branch of USA government has the power to negotiate treaties and manage foreign relations, Constitutionally he does so for the sovereign (the American people) and his efforts are subject to review and approval of the people's representatives via the power of the purse.

Ignoring how the "Imperial Presidency" has usurped power leads to faulty analysis that supports that power grab.

Ukrainegate IS a farce, but for other reasons. Chief among them being the inherent fakery of 'managed democracy' which manifests as kayfabe.

uncle tungsten , Nov 14 2019 20:50 utc | 27
Babyl-on #8
There is an Imperial State (the ruling faction)which consists of imperial apparatchiks placed in every key position in government.

There is one and only one Western Empire and its deep state spreads throughout Western governments and society. They are the owners of the world and they run the world they own.

Nicely put:- that is the reality. Thanks b for your intrepid reports.

Paul Craig Roberts has a deeply aggrieved rant at zero hedge if barflies want a chuckle. What a shitshow.

uncle tungsten , Nov 14 2019 20:58 utc | 28
flankerbandit #25

YES to all that and we are all getting the same split and plunder treatment.

Indonesia is the trial ground and has been where the methods were in place the longest as Andre Vitchek reports .

That is our future unless we intervene and throw the USA out of our countries.

jo6pac , Nov 14 2019 21:06 utc | 29
Long but a good read on the Ukraine by David Stockman.

https://original.antiwar.com/David_Stockman/2019/11/12/the-ukrainian-influence-peddling-rings-a-microcosm-of-how-imperial-washington-rolls/

flankerbandit , Nov 14 2019 21:16 utc | 30
Agree with Uncle on Indonesia...yes that Vltchek piece [and much of his previous work on Indonesia] is pretty sobering...this is our future folks...
Duncan Idaho , Nov 14 2019 21:21 utc | 31
Crimea?
It has been part of Russia about as long as the USA has been a country.
9 out of 10 residents are of Russian origin, and Russian is the spoken language.
I guess it could be returned to the 10%-- but out of fairness, we must turn the USA over to its original occupants.
If you live in the USA, get your ass ready to leave.
bevin , Nov 14 2019 21:47 utc | 32
One of the problems that the anti-nazis face in Ukraine is that there are occupying armies in the country. Armies which cannot be trusted to obey instructions which are not agreed upon by NATO warmongers.
One such army is Canadian, commanded I believe by a descendant of the Ukrainian SS refugees and reporting to the Foreign Minister in Ottawa, a Russophobe with a family background of nazi collaboration.
The actual political situation is much more delicate than media reports suggest: what are called elections feature, in the Washington approved fashion, the banning of socialist and communist candidates. Bans which are enforced by a combination of fascist commanded police forces and, even less responsible, private nazi militias. Opponents of the Maidan regime are driven into exile, jailed or murdered.
Those who wonder as Jackrabbit, in a rare essay into rationality, does above, about the nature of the US Constitution after decades of the erosion of checks and balances thanks to the Imperial Presidency, will recognise that a dialectic is at work here. Washington's support for fascism abroad has instituted fascism at home which has led in turn to the installation of fascist regimes abroad, not just occasionally but routinely. Wherever the US intervenes it leaves a fascist regime, in which socialists are banned and persecuted, behind it.
And what this means is that, among other things, the ability of the population to effect political change is cancelled: there is no way that the people of Ukraine can decide what they want because the decisions have been taken for them, in weird cult like gatherings of SS worshiping Bandera supporters in Toronto and Chicago. It is no accident that most of the 'Ukrainians' being wheeled out by the Democrats to testify against Trump are actually greedy expatriates who have never really lived in Ukraine.
There was a moment, not long ago, when it looked as if the Minsk accords promised a path to peace and reconciliation. Unfortunately the plain people of Ukraine, the poorest in Europe though living in one of the richest countries, Washington, Ottawa and NATO didn't like the sound of Minsk. Nor did the fascists in the Baltic states and Poland, for whom, for centuries, Ukraine has been a cow to milk, its people slaves to be exploited and its rich resources too tempting to ignore.
michael , Nov 14 2019 21:56 utc | 33
As Thomas Jefferson explained the President's role in foreign affairs in 1790, and the lack of advisors' policy making decisions: ''as the President was the only channel of communication between the United States and foreign nations, it was from him alone 'that foreign nations or their agents are to learn what is or has been the will of the nation'; that whatever he communicated as such, they had a right and were bound to consider 'as the expression of the nation'; and that no foreign agent could be 'allowed to question it,' or 'to interpose between him and any other branch of government, under the pretext of either's transgressing their functions.' Mr. Jefferson therefore declined to enter into any discussion of the question as to whether it belonged to the President under the Constitution to admit or exclude foreign agents. 'I inform you of the fact,' he said, 'by authority from the President.'
Sadness , Nov 14 2019 22:04 utc | 34
Might also be worth yesterdays hero's asking if dear Mr Kolomoisky, joint Uki/Israeli national, took a part in authorising the shoot down of MH17 as a news cover for Operation Protective Edge. Heave ho zionist USA ....et al.
steven t johnson , Nov 14 2019 22:11 utc | 35
1.The decisions to with hold and release aid have nothing to do with the President making foreign policy but with his campaign. Saying it was about foreign policy is a damned lie.
2.Trump as president is supposed to lead foreign policy, which means actually setting a policy. Military aid to Ukraine, yes, except no, except yes, personal handling without asking anybody with experience how to achieve the national goal desired, national agenda kept secret from the people who have to carry it out, abuse of officials, demands for dubiously legal actions without rationale...Saying it was about the president's executive role is a damned lie.
3.Trump has not made even a tweet that questions US support for fascists. That not even a issue for Trump. Saying this is about support for fascism is a damned lie.
4.Kolomoyskiy is a bankroller of fascists. It is not impossible even a billionaire might get frightened by the genie he's let out of the bottle, even if he's Jewish and rich enough to run away. But actually undoing the fascist regime means taming the paramilitaries and this is not even on the horizon. Given the rivalry between Poroshenko and Kolomoyskiy it's not even certain it's a real change of heart or just soothing words for the non-fascist people. Nor is it even clear the Zelensky will follow even the Steinmeier formula. If he does, good, but until something actually happens? Saying it's about the antifascist turn is a damned lie.

The only thing that isn't a lie is that Trump was not committing treasons, "merely" a campaign violation. But then, Clinton never did either. The crybabies who dished it out but can't take it deserve zero respect, and zero time.

Don Bacon , Nov 14 2019 22:16 utc | 36
@ michael 34
There's a major difference between being a national spokesman and being a national decision-maker.
Don Bacon , Nov 14 2019 22:17 utc | 37
@ stj 36
Trump as president is supposed to lead foreign policy, which means actually setting a policy.
There's no basis for that in the Constitution.
Jen , Nov 14 2019 22:32 utc | 38
Curious to know how Kolomoisky is working "feverishly" to end the war in the Donbass region. Wonder if he is planning to come clean on what he knows of the Malaysia Airlines MH17 shootdown and crash in an area not far from Slavyansk and near where his Privat Group's subsidiary company Burisma Holdings holds a licence to drill for oil and natural gas. What does he know about Kiev and Dnepropetrovsk air traffic control personnel's direction to MH17 to fly at 10,000 metres in the warzone and not an extra 1,000 metres above as the flight crew had requested? He had been governor of Dnepropetrovsk region at the time.
ben , Nov 14 2019 22:47 utc | 39
A quote from b's article;"It is clearly in our national interest to deter further Russian aggression".

Spoken by two sycophants for the empire.

It would be in our "national interest" if we could stop our aggression's around the globe.

DJT, IMO, only favors peace with Russia, or any one else,if, it furthers HIS personal, and his families enrichment.

He has a record of shafting people, I just wish people would inform themselves about it, and see what he's done with his life, not what says about it.

Paul Damascene , Nov 14 2019 22:56 utc | 40
Somewhere I read it alleged that the actual owner of Burisma was or is Kolomoiski.

Anything to this?

And via John Helmer (via Checkpointasia and dances with bears) comes the perspective that it's not so much Kolomoiski floating trial balloons (though that may also be true) but that K is being given space in the NYT to build his credentials as the new Borg villain, thereby making it still harder for Zelensky to reconcile with Russia.

ben , Nov 14 2019 22:56 utc | 41
fb @ 25 said;"The Ukraine is actually a preview of what we can expect to see in our own future...as the unleashed oligarchy similarly runs everything into the ground in order to extract maximal wealth for a parasite elite...already we are nothing but a Ponzi Scheme on the verge of toppling..."

Yup, aided and abetted by our current regime, while pretending not to...

Really?? , Nov 14 2019 23:23 utc | 42
@23
"It's a tough balancing act, being a Ukrainian oligarch. For two decades they stole what they could from the Ukraine (and from perverting the various sweetheart deals Russia was providing). Once the industry and energy money was stripped, and Russia started closing the spigots, they managed to get the West to pump in ungodly amounts of cash so long as they would agree to talk mean about Russia, and didn't mind the US machine taking its cut of the loot."

This is it in a nutshell. The Russians were fed up with Ukraine stealing gas. Hence, Nord Stream 2. That was always the plan. Whether the Yanks truly grasped the rationale here ---Russia is cutting off gas to Ukraine, simple---has never been clear to me. Although it is a fairly simple plot. The Russians had decades of shenanigans with the Ukes and said Basta. By not overreacting to the Ukrainian-USA freakout and keeping their eyes on the prize (Nord Stream and disengaging, gas-wise, from Uk), they have managed to reach their goal of getting Nord Stream 2 online.

oldhippie , Nov 14 2019 23:25 utc | 43
Kolomoiski is the bankroller and commander of the Azov Battalion. Has close arrangements with other paramilitaries. And is the current principal of Burisma. And is Privatbank, the only bank left in Ukraine. He gets a cut of all the action.

When Trump queries Zelensky, all that Zelensky is thinking is this guy does not know the score. This guy does not know who's on first. He wants me to investigate the boss? Let him talk to the boss. And who does Z talk to in D.C.? Pointless getting into detail with Trump.

Trump has no team. No one in D.C. is on his side. He's unable to finish anything.

OutOfThinAir , Nov 14 2019 23:45 utc | 44
1) Say the fantasy happens and the US/Russia become BFFs like US/UK...

- Say hello to the new boss, same as the old boss?

- Tough to answer, many unknowns- Russia may act different once its on top, actors may derail schemes, Deep State temper tantrum, etc...

In general, governments are the order-providing solution for chaos and problems that only first existed inside the minds of those seeking power over others.

Zedd , Nov 14 2019 23:50 utc | 45
Kolomoiski is a U.S. asset. His interview with the NYTimes proves it.

His threats are meant to mobilize NATO and Russia haters in general; because Trump and most of his cadre care nothing for Ukraine.

Does anyone think Russia will give Kolomoiski 100 million dollars? Why was he given an opportunity to threaten the USA? For no reason? Something else is afoot but Russia still won't take the bait because they are winning.

Russia is quite happy with the status quo. The war in Ukraine keeps the war against Russia on a level which is easy to manipulate and therefore geostrategically beneficial. Kolomoiski will get nothing.

Steve , Nov 15 2019 0:03 utc | 46
Thank you, b, for that snippet from NY Interview with Kolomoisky . I had glanced the headline on RT but didn't read it because of RT's usual clumsy writing.
evilempire , Nov 15 2019 0:51 utc | 47
Kolomoiski is taunting the empire: investigate my crimes and
ukraine will seek reconciliation and alliance with russia.
Russia won't fall for it. They want kolomoiski's scalp even
more than the empire. From the statements putin has made, maybe
the only concession russia would accept is the dissolution of
ukraine as a sovereign entity and reintegration with russia, minus galicia.
Putin has remarked that they are not one people but one state. Ukraine
already knows that its domestic industry is only viable in competition
with the eu industrial powerhouses if it is integrated with russia.
flankerbandit , Nov 15 2019 0:59 utc | 48
Jen said...
What does [Kolomoysky] know about Kiev and Dnepropetrovsk air traffic control personnel's direction to MH17 to fly at 10,000 metres in the warzone and not an extra 1,000 metres above as the flight crew had requested?

Okay..so an interesting can of worms here...

First is the fact that Kolomoysky was the governor of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast at the time...

Now as to the flight and Dnipro Radar [the regional air traffic control facility that controls a very big chunk of airspace over eastern Ukraine]...

First the issue of the airplane cruising altitude...the crew had filed their flight plan to climb from flight level 330 [33,000 ft] to FL350 after passing a certain waypoint in eastern Ukraine...

Now the controllers did instruct the crew to go ahead and climb to their planned altitude, but the crew declined the clearance and opted to stay at FL330...this was done very likely because the atmospheric conditions at that height were better for fuel economy...

[To be even more specific...the Boeing manual gave an optimum flight altitude of 33,800 ft, but flying eastward you only have odd numbered flight levels to choose from, so the crew figured they would be better off staying at 33 than climbing to 35...]

BUT...there are a couple of very curious things here...

First is the fact that Dnipro controllers deviated the airplane from its flight plan just before it went down...ostensibly due to other traffic...

We can see this in the following map, which is what's called a high altitude en route chart, which is used by pilots to plan and execute their flight...

Here we see the route of MH17 superimposed on the chart...

You will note a couple of things here...the airplane is flying on the L980 airway [basically a highway in the sky] when it is turned south by controllers to the RND waypoint, which is in Russian territory...

This is NOT the route filed by the crew...which can be seen here...

They were supposed to continue flying on L980 right to the TAMAK waypoint, which is visible on the previous chart and is right on the border with Russia...

They would have continued on the A87 airway to their next waypoint in Russia which is TIKNA...

Now here is the thing...right after they were turned south, they got shot down...

According to the radio transcripts, the crew acknowledged the course change, but did not object...however, usually these kinds of course changes aren't appreciated on the flight deck because the crew is trying to minimize wasted time and wasted fuel on course deviations...

Most times you will just not bother to complain to controllers...but for sure there will always be chatter between the captain and copilot about being yanked around like that...

No mention is made in the Dutch Safety Board report about such chatter from the cockpit voice recorder, which I find very odd...

Also odd is the fact that Dnipro ATC primary radar was down, and only the so-called 'secondary' was working which uses the transponder signals from the airplane...

This is very busy airspace because a lot of flights from western Europe to South Asia traverse this territory...the plan is always to fly what's called a 'great circle route' which is basically a straight line, if you flattened out the globe...

Plus considering that you have a war going on underneath...it's very unusual to have your PRIMARY radar inoperable...

This is significant also because military aircraft will not be using transponders and so will not be visible to the secondary surveillance...

The Russian primary radar did pick up two other aircraft very nearby MH17...but the Dutch have made some kind of excuse about that data not being in 'raw' form and thus not usable...

So we see some very suspicious anomalies here...

The Ukrainian authorities did have a NOTAM [notice to airmen] in effect up to FL320 [32,000 ft] so commercial traffic could not fly under that height...but clearly they should have closed the airspace over the hot conflict area...

They didn't do that...and Kolomoysky was in charge...


Kiza , Nov 15 2019 1:12 utc | 49
The Deep State's view on the members' God given right to make foreign policy decisions (it must be the God who has give it to them, because the people certainly have not) just reminds the of the general attitude of the Government's bureaucracy. Give any fartbag a position in the government and he/she becomes "a prince/princes over the people", give him or her a monopoly over violence and you got yourself a king/queen. All these police and military kings & queens milling around and lording over us. "Deep State" is such a totally natural consequence of the government bureaucracy corrupted by power that it appropriated. Pillaging taxes from the sheeple (and taking young maidens like Sheriff of Nottingham/Epstein) could have never ever been enough. Did you seriously think that the Deep Staters would constrain themselves to only stealing your money, taking your children for their pleasure and to die in their wars of conquest, and putting you into a totally unsafe airplanes to die for their profit? Constrain themselves when there is a whole globe out there to be lorded over, like Bidens over Ukraine? It is the poor people of Ukraine who just have too much money, thus had to give it through the gas monopoly to the Biden gang, which selflessly brought them "democracy" at $5B in US taxpayers' expense. Therefore, it is the Deep State which has been chosen by God, or someone just like that, to make the decisions about the imperialist/globalist foreign policy and have billions of dollars thrown by the grateful natives into their own pockets, as consulting fees:
https://www.zerohedge.com/political/leaked-bank-records-confirm-burisma-biden-payments-morgan-stanley-account

So far the only clear-cut globalization is that one of crime, which has become global.

dh , Nov 15 2019 1:42 utc | 50
What is the US National Interest b asks? Who defines it as such?

Ome magazine that might know is none other than The National Interest. Hopefully I won't get attacked for quoting from what seems like a fairly sane article to me....

"The US should consider whom they are giving weapons to. Ukraine is a debt-ridden state and only five years beyond an extralegal revolution. Should the government collapse again, then American weapons could end up in the possession of any number of dubious paramilitary groups.

It wouldn't be the first time. In the 2000s, CIA operatives were forced to repurchase Stinger missiles that had fallen into the hands of Afghani warlords -- at a markup. Originally offered to the Mujahideen in the 1980s, the Stingers came to threaten American forces in the region. Similarly, many weapons provided with US authorization to Libyan rebels in 2011 ended up in the possession of jihadists."

https://www.yahoo.com/news/dressed-kill-arming-ukraine-could-173200746.html

karlof1 , Nov 15 2019 1:47 utc | 51
It's difficult to find clean information on happenings within Ukraine and those involving Russia. The Ministry of Foreign affairs has this page dedicated to the "Situation Around Ukraine." Of the three most recent listings, this one --"Comment by Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova on the NATO Council's visit to Ukraine"--from 1 November is quite important as it deals with the reality on the ground versus the circus happening thousands of miles away, although it's clear the delusions in Washington and Brussels are the same and "continue to be guided by the Cold War logic of exaggerating the nonexistent 'threat from the East' rather than the interests of pan-European security."

In the second most recent listing --"Remarks by Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the OSCE Vladimir Zheglov at the OSCE Permanent Council meeting on the situation in Ukraine and the need to implement the Minsk Agreements, Vienna, October 31, 2019"--the following was noted:

"There's more to it. The odious site Myrotvorets continues to function using servers located in the United States. The UN has repeatedly stated that this violates the presumption of innocence and the right to privacy. Recently, Deputy Head of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, Benjamin Moreau, reiterated the recommendation to shut down this website. A similar demand was made by other representatives of the international community, including the German government. The problem was brought to the attention of the European Court of Human Rights. The other day, the representative of Ukraine at the ECHR was made aware of the groundlessness of the Ukrainian government's excuses saying that it allegedly 'has no influence' on the above website.

"In closing, recent opinion polls in Ukraine indicate that its residents are expecting the government to do more to bring peace to Donbas. The path to a settlement is well known, that is, the full implementation of the Minsk Package of Measures of February 12, 2015, that was approved by the UN Security Council."

Clearly, Zelensky's government is much like Poroschenko's when it comes to listening to those who empowered it, the above citation is one of several from the overall report.

The latest report deals with an ongoing case at the International Court of Justice at The Hague that reveals some of the anti-Russian bias there. It has no bearing on this discussion, although it does provide evidence of the contextual background against which the entire affair, including the circus in Washington, operates.

MoA consensus is Minsk backed NATO and its Ukrainian minions into a corner from which there's only one way out, which is the implementation of the Accords they continue to oppose to implement despite their promise to do so. Clearly an excellent example of not being agreement capable that hasn't changed since 2015.

If the Republicans had any brains, they'd turn the Ukrainian aspect of the hearings into an indictment against Obama/Biden for illegally overthrowing Kiev and trying to obtain their piece-of-the-action, but then that would be the logical thing to do and thus isn't an option. The prospect of each day providing similar spectacle is mind numbing as it airs the sordid, unwashed underwear if the Evil Outlaw US Empire.

Kiza , Nov 15 2019 2:01 utc | 52
I normally do not reply to trolls, but I make an exception for you. Pedo-dollar? Do you have any more such crap to dilute the valid points discussed here?
james , Nov 15 2019 2:36 utc | 53
@41 paul damascene... regarding the helmer article - thanks for pointing it out.. IGOR KOLOMOISKY MAKES A MISTAKE, AND THE NEW YORK TIMES DOES WHAT IT ALWAYS DOES

i liked what @ 32 tod said - "he's just doing the old Jewish threatening/begging dance!
"And you are forcing us to be at war, and not even giving us the money for it." Wink! Wink!"

stating the obvious is one remedy for any possible confusion here..

@54 karlof1... i don't believe trump is allowed to shine any light on the usas illegal actions as that would be sacrilege to all the americans who see their country in such a great, exceptional-ist light... how would trumps MAGA concept swallow that? it wouldn't, so it won't happen...

UnionHorse , Nov 15 2019 2:40 utc | 54
I just watched Seven Days in May for the first time in a long while. It is worth the time. It resonates loudly today.
Kiza , Nov 15 2019 2:50 utc | 55
@flankerbandit 18

You are a bit off on that story. NS2 pipeline will increase the capacity not transitioning via Ukraine and reduce the price banditry by the Ukrainian & US gangs, but it will not make gas transit via Ukraine unnecessary. The planned switch off of the German nuclear and coal power plants will gradually increase the German demand for gas, that is the Russian gas by so much that NS1 and NS2 will not be enough. Primarily, NS2 is a signal to the Ukrainian & US Democrat gangs that if they try excessive transit fees and stealing of gas again, that they will be circumvented within a few years by NS 3,4,5 ...

BTW, the globalized pillaging of the population is clearly not an invention of the DNC crime gang only. For example, the 737Max is a product of primarily Republican activity on deregulating what should have never been deregulated and subjugation to the Wall Street (aka financialization). The pillaging of the World is strictly bipartisan, just differently packaged:
1) R - packaging the deregulation to steal & kill as "freedom" or
2) D - packaging the regime change as responsibility to protect R2P (such regime change and stuffing of own pockets later).

Grieved , Nov 15 2019 3:01 utc | 56
karlof1 @54 - "Minsk backed NATO and its Ukrainian minions into a corner from which there's only one way out, which is the implementation of the Accords"

Yes. As you well know, and as we have well discussed, Minsk was in its very essence the surrender terms dictated to the US by NAF and Russia in return for letting the NATO contractors go free and secretly out of the Debaltsevo cauldron. Either actually or poetically, this was the basis. The US lost against NAF. The only way to prevent Donbass incursion into the rest of Ukraine was to freeze the situation. The US had no choice, and surrendered.

Out of the heat and fog of warfare came a simple document made of words which, even so, illustrated perfectly just how elegantly the Kremlin had the entire situation both war-gamed and peace-gamed. Minsk from that day until forever has locked the Ukraine play into a lost war of attrition for the US sponsors, with zero gain - except for thieves.

To attempt to parse Ukraine in terms of statecraft is to miss the point that Ukraine can only be parsed in terms of thievery. This is not cynicism, simply truth.

Now they sell their land because this is all there is left to sell. Kolomoisky proposes selling the entire country to Russia for $100 billion but not only will Russia not bite, the country isn't worth even a fraction of that - because of Minsk, it can cause zero harm to Russia. But this ploy raises the perceived value (Kolomoisky hopes) in the eyes of the west, and starts the bidding.

In Russia the people see all this very clearly, including on their TV. Yakov Kedmi in this Vesti News clip of Vladimir Soloviev's hugely popular talk show, discusses the situation. He baits Soloviev by saying that the Ukrainian thieves are only doing what the Russian thieves did in the 1990's - and one must filter through this badinage to take out the nuggets he supplies. Here are three:

1. Zelensky has no security apparatus that follows his command, therefore how can he be considered the leader of the country?
2. There is no power in Ukraine, only forces that contend over the scraps of plunder.
3. These forces are creating the only law there is, which is the sacred nature of private property for the rich - the only thing the US holds sacred.

Therefore sell the very soil.

~~

The Minsk agreement is a sheer wall of ice reaching to the sky. No force imaginable can scale it or break it. Against that ultimate, immovable wall the US pounds futilely, with Ukraine caught in the middle, while Russia waits for Ukraine to devolve into whatever it can.

And the Russian people and government regard the people of the Ukraine as brothers and sisters. But until the west has worn itself down, and either gone away or changed the equation through a weakening of its own position in some significant way, nothing can be done by Russia except to wait.

Kiza , Nov 15 2019 3:09 utc | 57
What Tod @32 described is spot-on, "the old Jewish threatening/begging dance". It is not that the Russians do not know this about Kolomoyskyi. They will play along not expecting anything from the Zelo-on-a-String and his master. The Russians like to let those scumbags (Erdo comes to mind) huff & puff and embarrass themselves by flips. They know - it could always be worse if those did something intelligent. Kolomoyskyi is vile but he ain't no genius, not any more than Erdo.
flankerbandit , Nov 15 2019 3:42 utc | 58
You are a bit off on that story.

Sure Cheeza...everybody's a 'bit off' except you...

Gazprom is talking about 10 bcm a year through Ukraine for the new 10 year deal, as opposed to the 60 bcm [billion cubic meters] that Ukraine is hoping for...

The Vesti report right here...

james , Nov 15 2019 3:47 utc | 59
@62 grieved.. nice to see you back.. thanks of the link with yako kedmi talking.. that was fascinating.. i think the guy is bang on..
snake , Nov 15 2019 3:58 utc | 60

"Deep state" is misleading and actually a false construction.

There is an Imperial State (the ruling faction/)which consists of imperial apparatchiks placed in every key position in government. Babyl-on @ 8

? before I begin , how do you measure the political and economic power of money as opposed to the political and economic power of the intentions and needs of the masses. Does $1 control a 100 people? A million dollars control 100,000,000 people? How do we measure the comparative values between money power and people power? I think the divisions of economics and the binaries of politics established by the nation state system means that the measurement function (political and economic values) varies as a function of the total wealth vs the total population in each nation state. If true, become obvious how it is that: foreign investments displaces the existing homeostatis in any particular nation state, the smaller the poorer the nation state, the more impact foreign wealth can have; in other words outside wealth can completely destroy the homeostatis of an existing nation state. I think it is this fact which makes globalization so attractive to the ruling interest (RI) and so damning to the poorest of the poor.

Change by amendment is impossible There is one and only one Western Empire but there is also an Eastern Empire, a southern empire, and a Northern Empire and I believe the ruling interest (faction) manipulate all nations through these empires. In fact, they can do this in any nation they wish. The world has been divided into containers of humans and propaganda and culture have highly polarized the humans in one container against the humans in other containers. <=divide, polarize, then exploit: its like pry the window, and gain access to the residence, then exploit. It is obvious that the strength of the resistance to ruling class exploitation is a function of common cause among the masses. But money allows to control both the division of power and the polarization of the masses. The persons who have the powers described in Article II of the US Constitution since Lincoln was murdered can be controlled (Epstein, MSM directed propaganda, impeachment, assassination, to accomplish the objects of the ruling interest (faction). Article II of the USA constitution removes foreign activity of the USA from domestic view of the governed at home Americans. Article II makes it possible for the POTUS to use American assets and resources to assist his/her feudal lords in exploiting foreign nations almost at will and there is no way governed Americans can control who the ruling interest place in the Article II position.

A little History Immigration to NYC from Eastern (the poor) and Western (the rich) Europe transitioned NYC and other cities from Irish majority to a Jewish majority; and the wealthy interest used the Jewish majorities in key cities to take control over both Article I and Article II constitutional powers by electing field effect controlled politicians (political puppets are elected that can be reprogrammed while they are in office to suit the ruling interest. The source code is called rule of law, and money buys the programmers who write the code. So the ruling interest can reprogram in field effect fashion, any POTUS they wish. Out of sight use of the resources of America in foreign lands is nothing new, it was established when the constitution was written in Philadelphia in 1787 and ratified in 1788.

Propaganda targeted to the Jewish Immigrants allowed the wealthy interest to control the outcome of the 1912 election. That election allowed to destroy Article I, Section 9, paragraph 4 " No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid unless in Proportion to the Census of enumeration herein before directed to be taken". and to enact a law which privatized the USA monopoly on money into the hands of private bankers (the federal reserve act of 1913)

What was the grand design Highly competitive, independent too strong economic Germany was interfering with Western hegemony and the oil was in the lands controlled by the Ottomans. It took two wars, but Germany was destroyed, and the Ottoman empire (basically the entire Middle East) became the war gained property of the British (Palestine), the French (Syria) and the USA (Israel). Since then, the ruling interest have used their (field effect devices to align governments so the wealthy could pillage victim societies the world over. Field effect programming allows wealth interest to use the leaders of governments to use such governments to enable pillage in foreign places. The global rich and powerful, and their corporations are the ruling interest.

psychohistorian says it well "..the global private finance core segment of empire is behind Trump and throwing America(ns) under the bus as the world turns more multilateral. The cult of global private finance intends on still having some overarching super-national role in the new multilateral world and holding debt guns to everyone's heads to make it ongoing..." by psychochistorian @ 10


NOBITs @ 11 says it also "All presidents have been servants of the military, which includes the police/intel/security apparatus; the few who did not entirely accept their figurehead role were "dealt with." Kennedy, Nixon, Carter and now Trump. The Washington permanent state bureaucrats are shocked and understandably offended; they have after all, been running US foreign policy for 75 years!" by: NOBTS @ 11

According to TG @ 13 "Democracy" is about privatizing power and socializing responsibility. The elites get to set the policy, but the public at large gets to take responsibility when things go wrong. Because you see, we are a "Democracy."by: TG @ 13 <= absolutely not.. the constitution isolates governed Americans from the USA, because the USA is a republic and republics are about privatizing power and socializing responsibility; worse, there ain't nothing you can do about it.


Vonu @ 19 says "According to Kevin Shipp, the National Security Council really runs the executive branch, not the president. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=11&v=XHbrOg092GA" by: Vonu @ 19 <=but it is by the authority of Ariicle II that the NSC has the power to run the executive branch?

KAdath @ 22 says "the Oligarchs are now positioning themselves to abandon the US in order for the Russians to keep even a tiny bit of oil flowing into their pockets by: Kadath @ 22" <=exactly.. but really its not abandoning the USA, its abandoning the oligarchs local to the pillaged nation..

J Swift @ 23 says "the US treats its partners in crime in Syria and elsewhere," [poorly] but its not the USA per say, because only one person has the power to deal in foreign places. Its that the POTUS, or those who control the Article II powers vested in the POTUS, have or has been reprogrammed.. J. Switft @23>>

flankerbandit @ 25 says " Ukraine has run itself into the ground, literally...now they are selling vast tracts of agricultural land to huge Euro agribusiness concerns...literally dispossessing themselves of their own food security..." flankerbandit @ 25 <=Not really the wealthy (investor interest) have pushed the pillage at will button.. since there is no resistance remaining, the wealthy will take it all for a song..


Jackrabbit @ 26 says "Trump [is].. Constitutionally charged with foreign policy. Repeating: the "Imperial Presidency" has flung off Constitutional checks and balances by circumventing the need to get Congressional approval for spending. Wars (like Syria) are now be funded by Gulf Monarchies, black ops, and black budgets.by Jackrabbit @ 26 <== Trumps orders military to take 4 million day from Syria in oil?
your observation that the money has circumvented Article I of the COUS explains why the democraps are so upset.. the wealthy democrap interest has been left to rot? Your comment suggest s mafia is in charge?

Tod @ 32 says "As soon as some money goes his way, he'll discover democracy again.
Sorry to burst you bubbles." by: Tod @ 32" <==understatement of the day.. thanks.

Bevin @ 32 says "a dialectic is at work here. Washington's support for fascism abroad has instituted fascism at home which has led in turn to the installation of fascist regimes abroad, not just occasionally but routinely. Wherever the US intervenes it leaves a fascist regime, in which socialists are banned and persecuted, behind it. this means.. the ability of the population to effect political change is cancelled" by bevin @ 33 <= yes but there is really no difference in a republic and its rule of law, and a fascist government and its military police both rule without any influential input from the governed.

michael @ 34 reaffirms "The President was the only channel of communication between the United States and foreign nations, it was from him alone 'that foreign nations or their agents are to learn what is or has been the will of the nation'" michael @ 34 well known to barflies, the design of national constitutions is at the heart of the global problem. Until constitutional powers are placed in control of the governed there will never be a change in how the constitutional powers ( in case of the USA Article II powers) are used and abused.

OutofThinAir @45 says "In general, governments are the order-providing solution for chaos and problems that only first existed inside the minds of those seeking power over others.by: OutOfThinAir @ 45" <+governments are the tools of wealth interest and the governors their hired hands.

by: War is Peace @48 " Trump is a moron, groomed by Jewish parents ( Mother was Jewish, Father buried at biggest Jewish cementary in NYC ) to be a non-Jew worked for the mob under Cohen ( lawyer for 1950's McCarthy ); Became the 'Goyim Fool" real estate developer as a cover for laundering mob money. So that it didn't appear that it was Jewish Mafia Money, so they could work with the Italian Mafia. Trump went on for his greatest role ever to be the "fool in Chief" of the USA for AIPAC. What better way to murder people, than send out a fool, it causes people to drop their guard. by War is Peace @48 <= yes this is my take, What does it mean. com suggest the global wealth interest may be planning to reprogram Trump to better protect the interest of the global wealthy.
Kiza @ 51 the reason for globalization is explained see above=> response to Babyl-on @ 8

dh @ 53 says ""The US should consider whom they are giving weapons to." by dh @53 < the USA cannot consider anything, if its foreign the POTUS (Article II) makes all decisions because Art II gives the POTUS a monopoly on talking to, and dealing with, foreign governments.

Deagel @ 56 says "The American people don't care, they're all drugged out, and shitting on the side-walks all over the USA, and sleeping in their own shit. This is the best time in USA history for the Zionists to do anything they wish." by: Deagel @ 56 <= I think you under estimate the value Americans place on democracy and human rights, until recently governed Americans believed the third party privately produced MSM delivered propaganda that nearly all overseas operations by the USA were to separate the people in those places from their despotic leaders, and to help those displaced people install Democracy.. many Americans have come to understand such is far from the case.. the situation in the Ukraine has been an eye opener for many Americans. thoughts are sizzling, talk is happening, and people are trying to shut google out of their lives. that is why i think Trump is about to be reprogrammed from elected leader to .. God in charge

wealth interest example

flankerbandit , Nov 15 2019 4:01 utc | 61
Grieved...thanks for that magnificent analysis...

I watched that Soloviev segment with Kedmi the other day...always interesting to say the least...

Btw...I'm not really up to speed on that whole Debaltsevo cauldron thing...I've heard snippets here and there...[there is a guy, Auslander, who comments on the Saker blog that seems to have excellent first hand info, but I've only caught snippets here and there]...

I hadn't heard this part of the story before about Nato contractors as bargaining chips...if you care to shed a bit more light I will be grateful...

karlof1 , Nov 15 2019 4:55 utc | 62
flankeerbandit @67--

I suggest going to The Saker Blog and enter Debaltsevo Cauldron into the site's search box and click Submit where you'll be greeted with numerous results.

Grieved @62--

Thanks for your reply and excellent recap. As I recall, Putin wants Donbass to remain in Ukraine and Ukraine to remain a whole state, although I haven't read his thoughts on the matter for quite some months as everything has revolved around implementing Minsk. The items at the Foreign Ministry I linked to are also concerned with Minsk.

The circus act in DC is trying to avoid any mention of Minsk, the coup or anything material to the gross imperial meddling done there to enrich the criminal elite, which includes Biden, Clinton, other DNC members--a whole suite of actors that omits Trump in this case, although they're trying to pin something on him. The issue being studiously ignored is Obama/Biden needed to be busted for their actions at the time, but in time-honored fashion weren't. And the huge rotted sewer of corruption related to that action and ALL that came before is the real problem at issue.

Kiza , Nov 15 2019 5:12 utc | 63
@flankerbandit 64

Typical reaction of a zelf-zentered person as evidenced by The New Yorker 737Max article in the previous thread. This good article could only be measured by how much it agrees with your own opinion that MCAS was put in to mimic the pilots' usual fly-stick feel. If anyone does his home work, such as the journalist of this article, then he must agree with you, right? With experts such as you out there, why would anyone dare apply common sense and say that it would be an unimaginably stupid idea to put in ANY AUTOMATED SYSTEM which pushes the plane's nose down during ascent (the most risky phase of a civilian flight, when almost desperately trying to get up and up and up) for any DUMBLY POSSIBLE REASON !? What could ever go wrong with such an absolutely dumbly initiated system relying on one sensor? Maybe it was a similar idea to putting a cigarette lighter right next to the car's gas tank because it lights up cigarettes better when there are gasoline vapors around. Or maybe an idea of testing the self-driving lithium battery (exploding & flammable) cars near kindergartens (of some other people's children)!?

An intelligent person would have said - whatever the reason was to put in MCAS it was a terribly dumb idea, instead of congratulating himself on understanding the "true reason".

dickr , Nov 15 2019 6:49 utc | 64
flankerbandit @18 good analysis thx.
Ike , Nov 15 2019 6:55 utc | 65
"If I were president, while I would resist gratuitous provocations, I would not publicly associate myself with the delusion that stable friendship is possible (or, frankly, desirable) with Putin's anti-American dictatorship, which runs its country like a Mafia family and is acting on its revanchist ambitions."

Really?

From what have gleaned from the alternative media available on the internet ,of which MOA is an important part. Putin and Lavrov are the two most moral and diplomatic statesmen on the world stage today Compared to Trump, Johnson, Macron, Merkel, Stoltenberg, Pompeo, Bolton and whoever else blights the international scene these days these two are colossi.

To describe them as like a Mafia family seems to me to be 180 degrees wrong. Maybe Putin overreacted, in his early days in power, to the Chechen conflict but look at the situation today.

Look at how Gorbachev and Yeltsin were played by the west. I appreciate you did not write the words quoted above but you said you agree with them and I find that startling given I am usually very admiring of your insight and knowledge of geopolitical events.

Fly , Nov 15 2019 7:14 utc | 66
According to the Impeachniks, it is Schiff's staff who decides how Schiff votes and his policies. It would be illegal for Schiff to make decisions. But Schiff's recommendation will make or break the careers of his staff, so elected Schiff has some influence. That's not true for elected Trump, because those in his service already have made careers and/or a host of outsiders looking to place them.
dickr , Nov 15 2019 7:32 utc | 67
@50 flankerbandit - wow!
QuietRebel , Nov 15 2019 8:47 utc | 68
Although, he didn't get impeached for it Obama did get criticized for not sending the aid to Ukraine. He was also criticized when he did intervene, but not fast enough for the deep state. Remember "leading from behind" in response to Libya. Obama was much more popular and circumspect than Trump, which protected him from possible impeachment when he went off the deep state's script.
Walter , Nov 15 2019 9:12 utc | 69

Discussion of the USC and the responsibilities assigned therein is probably a foolish and merely moot exercise, as law is, ultimately simply custom over time, and since '45 or so the custom has become dissociated from the documents' provisions, particularly with regard to war-making and the "licensed" import and sale of dangerous drugs, dope. The custom in place is essentially ukase - rule by decree. Many decree are secret.

I do not object, simply pointing to the obvious.

This is a public secret anybody can know. Inter alia see The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia (McCoy)

...........

Custom includes also permitted theft, blackmail, trafficking children and so forth.

...........

zerohedge put up some documents tying TGM Hunter B to the money from Ukraine...


................

I would not worry about the name of the person called president. The real sitrep is more like watching rape and murder from the dirty windows of a runaway train.

ralphieboy , Nov 15 2019 11:24 utc | 71
Upon the dissolution of the USSR, Ukraine was left with the fifth-largest nuclear arsenal in the world. In exchange for financial assistance in the costs of removing all the nukes, the West guaranteed to defend Ukraine's territorial integrity.

In the meantime, Russia has annexed the Crimea and rebels have taken control of parts of Eastern Ukraine. The West has not provided any direct military assistance to restore those territorial infringements.

Since the West has reneged on its end of the deal, would it not only be fair to return Ukraine's nukes so it can defend itself like the Big Boys do, namely with threat of nuclear annihilation?

Christian J Chuba , Nov 15 2019 12:36 utc | 72
Ukrainians are dying

I hate this trope. The Russian Fed. is not launching offensive operations to capture Kharkov or Kiev. Western Ukraine is shelling ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine. What would U.S. Congressman say if these were Jews? (I would condemn that as well).

The next time someone pontificates, 'Ukrainians are dying because Trump held up aid' ask them how many. The number is ZERO. Javelins are not being used on the front line.

Seamus Padraig , Nov 15 2019 12:47 utc | 73
Wow. My opinion of Kolomoisky has just improved ... somewhat.
deschutes , Nov 15 2019 13:25 utc | 74
Mr. Kolomoisky is spot on, i.e. when he says that the Americans will only use Ukrainians as their little bitches to fight and die for America's gain against Russia. Just like the Americans fucked over the Kurds in Syria, using them as proxy fighters to do USA/Israel's dirty work. Wherever the USA shows up and starts interfering, everything turns into shit: Iraq...Afghanistan...Venezuela...Bolivia...Ukraine...Libya...Yemen...Nicaragua...Ecuador...the list is quite long. It remains to be seen if Mr. Kolomoisky can bring about rapprochement with Russia. He'd better watch his back.
William Gruff , Nov 15 2019 13:30 utc | 75
"Wow. My opinion of Kolomoisky has just improved ... somewhat." --Seamus Padraig @73

Yes, Kolomoisky has moved up a notch in my estimation as well; from the low of "monstrously inhuman spawn of satan" all the way up to "rabid dog" . That's quite the dramatic improvement, I must admit.

juliania , Nov 15 2019 14:13 utc | 76
I am very glad to see you back, Grieved, and your 'wall of ice' metaphor is indeed accurate. To me, the promising signs in Ukraine were even as here in the US when voters fought back against what b calls Deep State, which I am sure in my heart was even more of an overwhelming surge than registered - the best the corrupters of the system could do was make it close enough to be a barely legitimate win for their side, and they didn't succeed. Maybe somewhere along their line of shenanigans a small cog in the wheel got religion and didn't do their 'job'. An unsung hero who will sing when it's safe.

I hope, dearly hope, it gets safe in Ukraine very soon. They are us only further down the line than we are, but we will get there if we can't totally remove the cancer in our midst. That's our job; I wish Ukraine all the best in removing theirs.

Peter AU1 , Nov 15 2019 14:39 utc | 77
Jen 70

I believe the Russian presentation on MH17 showed a military aircraft climbing in the vicinity of, or towards MH17.

flankerbandit , Nov 15 2019 14:47 utc | 78
Jen...I should have made clear that the two aircraft picked up by Russian PRIMARY RADAR were unidentified...

The two commercial flights you mention were in the area and were known to both Russian and Ukrainian controllers by means of the SECONDARY SURVEILLANCE RADAR, which picks up the aircraft transponder signals...

However, secondary WILL NOT pick up military craft that have their transponders off...which is normal operating procedure for military craft...

So the airspace situation was this...you can see this from one of the illustrations I provided from the DSB prelim report...

You had MH17...you had that other flight coming from the opposite direction [flying west]...and you had that airplane that overtook the MH17 from behind [they were in a hurry and were going faster, so when MH17 decided to stay at FL330, they were cleared to climb to FL350 so they could safely overtake with the necessary vertical separation...]

Those three aircraft were all picked up on the Ukrainian SECONDARY [transponder] surveillance...as well as the Russians...on both their PRIMARY AND SECONDARY...

But what the Russians picked up were two craft ONLY ON THEIR PRIMARY...those would have been military aircraft flying with their transponders off [they're allowed to do that and do that most of the time in fact]...

That's why those two DIDN'T SHOW UP ON THE SECONDARY DATA HANDED OVER TO THE INVESTIGATORS BY THE UKRAINIANS...

Only primary radar would pick those up...and, very conveniently, the Dnipro primary was inop at the time...[so the data handed to investigators by the Ukrainians would have no trace of any military aircraft nearby]...

But with the Russian primary radar data, there is in fact evidence that there were military aircraft in the air at the time...just that the Dutch investigators simply decided to exclude the very vital Russian radar data on some stupid technicality...

[Really this is a very poorly done report, both prelim and final, and I've read many over the years...]

The other thing I should have emphasized more clearly is about that course deviation that controllers steered MH17 to, just seconds before it was hit...

The known traffic was those three commercial aircraft, as shown on the chart... here it is again...

Those three commercial flights are clearly labeled...and the big question is... why was MH17 DIVERTED SOUTH...OFF ITS PLANNED ROUTE...?

We can see the deviation track by the dotted red line...

Clearly there was no 'other traffic' that required MH17 to be vectored south by the controllers...

In fact we see that there was a FOURTH commercial flight [another B777] that was flying south exactly to that same waypoint that MH17 was diverted to...we see this airplane is flying west on the M70 airway and is heading to the RND waypoint...

This does not make sense...why would you divert MH17 from going to TAMAK as flight planned...in order to go south toward RND where another airplane is heading...

If nothing else this is very bad controller practice right there...yet again, the DSB [Dutch Safety Board] does not even raise this question...

Like I said, leaving aside any guesswork, these are the simple facts and they raise serious questions...both about the competence of the Dutch report, and the way the controllers handled that flight...

S , Nov 15 2019 14:53 utc | 79
Ukrainian think tank Ukrainian Institute of the Future and Ukrainian media outlet Zerkalo Nedeli (both anti-Russian, but slightly more intellectual than typical Ukrainian outlets) have contracted a Kharkov-based pollster to conduct a poll among DNR/LNR residents from October 7 to October 31 (method: face-to-face interviews at the homes of the respondents, sample size: 806 respondents in DNR and 800 respondents in LNR, margin of error: 3.2%) and published its results in an article: Тест на сумісність [Compatibility Test] (in Ukrainian).

It's a long and rambling article, interspersed with Ukrainian propagandistic clichés (perhaps to placate Ukrainian nationalists), but the numbers look solid, so I've extracted the numbers I consider important and put them in a table format. Here they are:

GENERAL INFORMATION

Gender
46.5% male
53.5% female

Age
8.3% <25 years old
91.7% ≥25 years old

Education
31.5% no vocational training or higher education
45.2% vocational training
23.3% higher education

Employment
24% public sector
24% private sector
5% NGOs
45% unemployed

Religion
57% marry and baptize their children in Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate)
31% believe in God, but do not go to any church
12% other churches, other religions, atheists

Political activity
3% are members of parties
97% are not members of parties

Language
90% speak Russian at home
10% speak other languages at home

Nationality
55.4% consider themselves Ukrainians
44.6% do not consider themselves Ukrainians

ECONOMY

Opinion about the labor market
24.3% there are almost no jobs
39.3% high unemployment, but it's possible to find a job
15.7% there are jobs, even if temporary
17.1% key enterprises are working, those who want to work can find a job
2.9% there are not enough employees

Personal financial situation
4.9% are saving on food
36.4% enough money to buy food, but have to save money to buy clothing
43.6% enough money to buy food and clothing, but have to save money to buy a suit, a mobile phone, or a vacuum cleaner
12% enough money to buy food, clothing, and other goods, but have to save money to buy expensive goods (e.g. consumer electronics)
2.7% enough money to buy food, clothing, and expensive goods, but have to save money to buy a car or an apartment
0.4% enough money to buy anything

Personal financial situation compared to the previous year
28.4% worsened
57.3% stayed the same
14.2% improved

Personal financial situation expectations for the next year
21% will worsen
58.6% will stay the same
18.7% will improve

Opinion on the Ukraine's (sans DNR/LNR) economic situation compared to the previous year
50.3% worsened
41.4% stayed the same
6.3% improved

CITIZENSHIP

Consider themselves citizens of
57.8% the Ukraine
34.8% DNR/LNR
6.8% Russia

Russian citizenship
42.9% never thought about obtaining it
15.5% don't want to obtain it
34.2% would like to obtain it
7.4% already obtained it

Considered leaving DNR/LNR for
5.2% the Ukraine
11.1% Russia
2.9% other country
80.8% never considered leaving

Visits to the Ukraine over the past year
35.1% across the DNR/LNR–Ukraine border (overwhelming majority of them -- 32.2% of all respondents -- are pensioners who visit the Ukraine to receive their pensions)
2.6% across the Russia–Ukraine border
62.3% have not visited the Ukraine

WAR

Is the war in Donbass an internal Ukrainian conflict?
35.6% completely agree
40.5% tend to agree
14.1% tend to disagree
9.3% completely disagree

Was the war started by Moscow and pro-Russian groups?
3.1% completely agree
6.4% tend to agree
45.1% tend to disagree
44.9% completely disagree

Who must pay to rebuild DNR/LNR? (multiple answers)
63.6% the Ukraine
29.3% Ukrainian oligarchs
18.5% DNR/LNR themselves
17% the U.S.
16.5% the EU
16% Russia
13% all of the above

ZELENSKIY

Opinion about Zelenskiy
1.9% very positive
17.2% positive
49.6% negative
29.3% very negative

Has your opinion about Zelenskiy changed over the past months?
2.7% significantly improved
7.9% somewhat improved
44.8% stayed the same
22.9% somewhat worsened
20.5% significantly worsened

Will Zelenskiy be able to improve the Ukraine's economy?
1.4% highly likely
13.3% likely
55.3% unlikely
30% highly unlikely

Will Zelenskiy be able to bring peace to the region?
1.7% highly likely
12.5% likely
59% unlikely
26.5% highly unlikely

MEDIA

Where do you get your information on politics? (multiple answers)
84.3% TV
60.6% social networks
50.9% relatives, friends
45.9% websites
17.4% co-workers
10% radio
7.4% newspapers and magazines

What social networks do you use? (multiple answers)
70.7% YouTube
61% VK
52.3% Odnoklassniki
49.8% Viber
27.1% Facebook
21.4% Instagram
12.4% Twitter
11.1% Telegram

FUTURE

Desired status of DNR/LNR
5.1% part of the Ukraine
13.4% part of the Ukraine with a special status
16.2% independent state
13.4% part of Russia with a special status
50.9% part of Russia

Desired status of entire Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts
8.4% part of the Ukraine
10.8% part of the Ukraine with a special status
14.4% independent state
13.3% part of Russia with a special status
49.6% part of Russia

Really?? , Nov 15 2019 15:12 utc | 80
Just listening to a bit of the testimony of the ex-ambassador to Ukraine.

It is all BS hearsay!

Also, this lady doesn't seem to grasp that as an employee of the State Department, she answers to Trump. Trump is her boss.

The questioning is full of leading questions that contains allegations and unproved premises built into them. I can't imagine that such questioning would be allowed in a normal court of justice in the USA.

Sure, Trump is a boor. But he is still the boss and he gets to pull out ambassadors if he wants to.

This is total grandstanding.

Also, a lot of emotional stuff like "I was devastated. I was shocked. Color drained from my face as I read the telephone transcript . . . "
This is BS!

I hope it is as obvious to others as to me.

I do

Seamus Padraig , Nov 15 2019 15:28 utc | 81
@ Posted by: Jen | Nov 15 2019 10:26 utc | 70

IIRC the Russian radar showed that the two mystery planes in questions were flying in MH17's blindspot . That's way too close to be half an hour away. Also, the fact that the two planes were flying over a war zone with their transponders turned off (which is why they couldn't be conclusively identified) strongly suggests that they were military.

@ Posted by: ralphieboy | Nov 15 2019 11:24 utc | 71

When the US launched a coup in Kiev, wasn't that a violation of Ukraine's sovereignty too?

@ Posted by: Christian J Chuba | Nov 15 2019 12:36 utc | 72

You know the real reason why they have yet to deliver the javelins to Ukraine? It's because they're afraid that they'll be sold on the black market and end up in the ME somewhere targeting US tanks. That's why.

@ Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 15 2019 13:30 utc | 75

That's quite the dramatic improvement, I must admit.
Well, I did use the qualifier 'somewhat'. ;-)
Don Bacon , Nov 15 2019 15:34 utc | 82
on Yovanovitch, She added: "If our chief representative is kneecapped, it limits our effectiveness to safeguard the vital national security interests of the United States."

She wasn't fired, she was kneecapped, and Ukraine is a US vital national security interest, especially after it installed a new government with neo-fascism support.. . .Kneecapping is a form of malicious wounding, often as torture, in which the victim is injured in the knee

flankerbandit , Nov 15 2019 15:52 utc | 84
Cheeza decides to launch a personal attack...also completely off topic...
Typical reaction of a zelf-zentered person [sic]...With experts such as you out there, why would anyone dare apply common sense...an intelligent person would have said...blah blah blah...

Look man...I'm not going to take up a lot of space on this thread because it's not about the MAX...

BUT...I need to set the record straight because you are accusing me here of somehow muddying the waters on the MAX issue...

That is a complete inversion of the truth...I have been very explicit in my [professional] comments about the MAX...and it is the exact opposite of what you are trying to tar me with here...

An example of my one of my comments here...

Yes, it is important to understand these things...which is why I have made the effort to explain the issue more clearly for the layman audience...

Your pathetic attack here shows you have no shame, nor self-respect...

Let's rewind the tape here...I said that Gazprom is looking to cut supplies to Ukraine in the new 10 year deal that comes up for negotiation in January...and that they are going to be pumping much less gas through Ukraine because NS2 now allows to bypass Ukraine...

You took a run at this comment, calling it wrong, and putting up a bunch of your own hypothesizing...

I responded by linking to the Russian news report quoting officials saying exactly that...that gas to Ukraine will be greatly reduced...

Instead of responding to that by admitting you were full of shit...you decide to attack me on the MAX issue...everybody here knows my [professional] position on the MAX...and that I have said repeatedly THAT IT CANNOT BE FIXED...[which is also why I have offered detailed technical explanations...]

I'm not going to let you screw with my integrity here...everything you attributed to me on the MAX is completely FALSE and in fact turning the truth on its head...

Realist , Nov 15 2019 16:08 utc | 87
Well done Peter. You totally f'd up the thread width once again.

Thanks a lot, you selfish incompetent c**t

Peter AU1 , Nov 15 2019 16:32 utc | 91
Realist 87

If you weren't such a dickhead you would see my links dont even reach text margins.

c1ue , Nov 15 2019 16:33 utc | 92
@flankerbandit #18

As Kiza #55 noted - Nordstream 1 and 2, combined, only equal half of Ukraine's transit capacity. The primary impact is that Ukraine can't hold far Western European customer gas hostage anymore with its gas transit "negotiations" as Nordstream allows Russia to sell directly to Germany.

There can still be Russian gas sold via Ukraine, but this will be mostly to near-Ukraine neighbors: Romania, Slovakia, Austria, Czech as well as Ukraine itself.
Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania can transit from Turk Stream, but there are potential Turk (and Bulgarian) issues.

Poland is already committing to LNG in order to not be dependent on Russian gas transiting Ukraine - a double whammy. The ultimate effect is to remove Ukraine's stranglehold position over Russian gas exports, which in turn severely undercuts Ukraine's ability to both get really cheap Russian gas and additional transit fees - a major blow to their economy.

That part of your analysis is accurate.

flankerbandit , Nov 15 2019 17:13 utc | 97
A fool piped in...
Nordstream 1 and 2, combined, only equal half of Ukraine's transit capacity.

Look...I'm not going to waste more time on bullshit...where are the FACTS about what you CLAIM here...?

The two Nordstream pipes equal 110 bcm per year...plus there are other pipeline routes that do not go through Ukraine...

Here is a study of the Euro gas imports from Russia from a few months ago...

The Conclusion...page 9

Therefore, the continuation of gas transit via Ukraine in volumes greater than the 26 bcm/y suggested above will depend on the European Commission and European gas importers, and their insistence that gas transit via Ukraine continues.

Otherwise, gas transit via Ukraine will be reduced to delivering limited volumes for European storage re-fills in the 'off-peak' summer months...

This prospect will undoubtedly complicate any negotiations between Gazprom and its Ukrainian counterparty over a new contract to govern the transit of Russian gas via Ukraine, once the existing contract expires at the end of December 2019.

...Gazprom may be willing to commit to only limited annual transit volumes...

European gas importers don't give a shit about Ukraine...and they have the final word...they care only about getting the gas they need from Russia in a reliable way and at a good price...

The news report I linked to makes it perfectly clear that the Europeans are demanding that the Ukranians get their act together on the gas issue, or they will be dropped altogether...

You know...FOOL...it really makes me wonder how fools like you decide to make statements here with a very authoritative tone...when it is quite clear you are talking out your rear end...

Nobody needs that kind of bullshit here...if you don't know a subject sufficiently well, then maybe you should keep quiet...or when making a statement, phrase it as your own OPINION and nothing more...

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

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

michael , November 13, 2019 at 10:50

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nov 09, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

Lee A. Arnold 11.09.19 at 2:33 am

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

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

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

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

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

Lee A. Arnold 11.09.19 at 2:33 am 80

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nov 09, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

shinola , November 8, 2019 at 3:26 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

Darthbobber , November 8, 2019 at 8:43 pm

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

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

Darthbobber , November 8, 2019 at 8:38 pm

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

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

Nov 06, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Teamtc321 , 3 hours ago link

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sean.McGivens19 days ago ,

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

And everyone knows who Suvorov was.

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

What a huge and great victory for Russia.

Gary Sellars Sean.McGivens19 days ago ,

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

Sean.McGivens Gary Sellars19 days ago • edited ,

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

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

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

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

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

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

SergioMeira Sean.McGivens17 days ago ,

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

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

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

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

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

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

sorry what???

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

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

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

Sean.McGivens SergioMeira17 days ago • edited ,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I cannot fathom the views of people like you.

Vladdy20 days ago ,

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

Sean.McGivens Vladdy17 days ago ,

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

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

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

Vladdy Sean.McGivens7 days ago ,

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

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

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

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

adammska20 days ago ,

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

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

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

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

Sean.McGivens SergioMeira17 days ago ,

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

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

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

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

How much have you read about Russia, anyway?

Сергей Ерохин20 days ago ,

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

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

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

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

FromRussiaWithLove Сергей Ерохин11 days ago ,

greetings to you a colleague from Mordor :)))

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

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

Sean.McGivens21 days ago ,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gary Sellars Sean.McGivens21 days ago ,

"In 1963 the Russians provoked America."

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

Sean.McGivens Gary Sellars21 days ago ,

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

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

Gary Sellars Sean.McGivens20 days ago • edited ,

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

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

Vladdy Sean.McGivens21 days ago ,

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

Sean.McGivens Vladdy20 days ago ,

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

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

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

Vladdy Sean.McGivens20 days ago • edited ,

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

Allalin22 days ago ,

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

Emidio Borg22 days ago • edited ,

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

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

Sean.McGivens Emidio Borg22 days ago • edited ,

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

Ivo22 days ago ,

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

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

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

J Urie Ivo21 days ago • edited ,

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

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

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

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

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

Sean.McGivens J Urie21 days ago ,

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

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

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

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

Sean.McGivens J Urie21 days ago ,

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

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

J Urie Sean.McGivens21 days ago ,

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

Sean.McGivens J Urie21 days ago ,

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

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

J Urie Sean.McGivens21 days ago ,

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

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

Sean.McGivens J Urie20 days ago ,

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

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

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

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

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

J Urie Sean.McGivens20 days ago ,

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

Sean.McGivens J Urie20 days ago ,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

J Urie Sean.McGivens20 days ago ,

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

Gary Sellars J Urie20 days ago • edited ,

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

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

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

Sean.McGivens Gary Sellars20 days ago ,

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

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

Sean.McGivens J Urie21 days ago ,

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

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

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

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

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

Sean.McGivens J Urie21 days ago ,

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

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

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

J Urie Sean.McGivens21 days ago ,

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

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

Nov 03, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


cka2nd 12 hours ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

https://washingtonsblog.com...

https://thewashingtonstanda...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nov 01, 2019 | www.unz.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oct 30, 2019 | www.realclearinvestigations.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Oct 30, 2019] Read full terms and conditions

Oct 30, 2019 | docs.disqus.com

Dr. Rieux a day ago ,

Chuck Schumer is Senate Minority Leader.

Kenneth_Almquist a day ago ,

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

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

Wise_pharaoh Kenneth_Almquist 12 hours ago ,

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

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

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

IanDakar a day ago ,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grace Austin • 20 hours ago ,

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

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

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

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

=marco01= 19 hours ago • edited ,

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

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

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

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

HarryTruman2016 17 hours ago ,

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

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

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

gdpbull 16 hours ago ,

From the article,

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

I predict the following - A Washington Post headline will be

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

Jon Lester 15 hours ago ,

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

, Sid Finster Trump=Obama 13 hours ago ,

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

Rossbach 13 hours ago ,

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

Sid Finster 13 hours ago ,

This has been old news since at least Vietnam.

AdmBenson 11 hours ago ,

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

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

marqueemoons 10 hours ago ,

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

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

Letting the children take care of the editing, again?

Ken T • 8 hours ago ,

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

Jett_Rucker 6 hours ago ,

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

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

Oct 30, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


mog , 4 hours ago link

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

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

JPHR , 4 hours ago link

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

deplorableX , 5 hours ago link

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

Franko , 4 hours ago link

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

Franko , 5 hours ago link

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

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

B52Minot , 5 hours ago link

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

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

LightBeamCowboy , 5 hours ago link

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

She was never supposed to lose.

blindfaith , 5 hours ago link

And the winner is: George Soros

JPHR , 4 hours ago link

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

Jackprong , 5 hours ago link

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

Zhaupka , 5 hours ago link

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

Idaho potato head , 4 hours ago link

But Poroshenko did.

PeterLong , 6 hours ago link

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

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

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

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

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

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

james #39
are you familiar with the name porkoshenko


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is Firtash Case?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

[Oct 23, 2019] Zelenskii in Free Fall

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

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

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

So what is the big deal?

The problem of the "non-existing Nazis"

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

Wrong! Very very wrong!

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

First, there was the remarkable change in ton