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Slightly Skeptical EuroMaidan Chronicles, March 2014

News From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss Color revolutions Fifth Column of Neoliberal Globalization Compradors Ukrainian Compradors Democracy as a universal opener for access to natural resources

March 2014 was the first month after the coup d'état. This was also the month in which Crimea referendum was held and as a result majority of Crimea population chose to join Russia. The most sound analysis of the event was provided in The Independent by Rodric Braithwaite who was was ambassador in Moscow in 1988-92 (Ukraine crisis No wonder Vladimir Putin says Crimea is Russian by Rodric Braithwaite):

With irresponsible talk of EU and Nato membership, the West has badly mishandled relations with Ukraine – and with Moscow

Much recent comment on Ukraine in the British press has been marked by a barely forgivable ignorance about its history and politics, an overhasty willingness to put the blame for all its troubles on Vladimir Putin, and an almost total inability to suggest practical ways of bringing effective Western influence to bear on a solution.

So perhaps we should start with a short history lesson. A thousand years ago Kiev was the capital of an Orthodox Christian state called Rus with links reaching as far west as England. But Rus was swept away by the Tatars in the 13th century, leaving only a few principalities in the north, including an obscure town deep in the forests, called Moscow.

What became known as Ukraine – a Slav phrase meaning “borderlands” – was regularly fought over by Tatars, Poles, Lithuanians, Russians, Turks, Swedes and Cossacks. One large chunk, including Kiev itself, joined Russia in the 17th century. Galicia in the west fell to the Austrians in the following century, but was taken by Poland after the First World War, when the rest of Ukraine joined the Soviet Federation. Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin handed Galicia and its capital Lviv to Ukraine in 1945. All these changes were accompanied by much bloody fighting.

Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula followed a different but equally tumultuous path. The seat of a powerful and predatory Tatar state, it was conquered and settled by the Russians in the 18th century. Stalin deported its Tatar minority in 1944 because, he said, they had collaborated with the Germans. They were later allowed to return. Crimea only became part of Ukraine in 1954, when Khrushchev gave it to Kiev as a present.

Ukraine became an independent country for the first time since the Middle Ages when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. It had many of the requirements for success: an educated population, good links with the outside world and substantial industry, though its economy remained distorted by the Soviet legacy. But it was still divided, with an uncertain sense of nationhood. Today 77 per cent of the country’s population is Ukrainian. But 17 per cent is Russian, a third of the population speak Russian and many of these people have strong family ties with Russia. Only the Ukrainians from Galicia look unequivocally to the West.

Meanwhile, most Russians feel strong emotional links to Ukraine as the cradle of their civilisation. Even the most open minded feel its loss like an amputated limb.

Things started well enough. Russia and Ukraine negotiated a sensible agreement to allow the Russian Black Sea Fleet to remain in Crimea. With well-judged concessions, the Ukrainians assuaged the demands of Crimea’s Russian inhabitants for closer ties with the motherland. But the Ukrainians were unlucky in their country’s new leaders, most of whom were incompetent or worse. They failed to modernise the economy; corruption ran out of control. Then Putin arrived in 2000, ambitious to strengthen Russia’s influence with its neighbours. And the West began its ill-judged attempts to draw Ukraine into its orbit regardless of Russian sensitivities.

Despite his best efforts, both overt and covert, Putin has failed to shape Ukraine to his will. He got his puppet Yanukovych elected president in 2004, only to see him overthrown in an Orange Revolution supported by millions of dollars of Western money. The “democratic” leaders who then emerged proved incompetent as well as corrupt. Yanukovych was re-elected in a fair election in 2010, but was even more incompetent and corrupt. His forceful ejection at the height of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, intended to showcase a modern and powerful Russia, was a humiliation for Putin and an unintended consequence of his intrigues. He is a vindictive man who will want revenge.

Although he is also a cunning politician, he already looks incapable of calm calculation. His apparent threat – or intention – to use force in Crimea would up the stakes in ways whose consequences neither he nor anyone else can foresee.

He may of course believe that the West will be unable to find an adequate response, and he may not be wrong. Western policy towards Ukraine has had two inadequate parts. The first is respectable but merely rhetorical: Ukraine is entitled to decide its future for itself, and Russia has no legitimate claim to a voice. The second is a piece of old-fashioned geopolitics: Russia can never again become an imperial threat if Ukraine is incorporated into Nato and the European Union. This part of the policy is impractical to the point of irresponsibility. It ignores four things. The members of Nato and the EU have lost their appetite for further enlargement. Most Ukrainians do not want their country to join Nato, though they would be happy to join the EU. A majority want to remain on good terms with Russia.

Above all, the West does not have the instruments to impose its will. It has no intention of getting into a forceful confrontation with Russia. Lesser sanctions are available to it, both economic and political, but they will hardly be sufficient to deflect a determined Russia from its meddling.

The alternative is for the West to talk to the Russians and to whoever can speak with authority for Ukraine. So far the Americans have been ineffective on the sidelines, the British seem to have given up doing foreign policy altogether, and only the Germans, the Poles and the French have shown any capacity for action.

An eventual deal would doubtless have to include verifiable agreement by the West as well as the Russians to abandon meddling in Ukrainian affairs, a credible assurance that Nato will not try to recruit Ukraine and arrangements for the both the Russians and the West to prop up Ukraine’s disastrous economy. The sums involved are vast ($35bn has been mentioned). The task of ensuring that they are properly spent will be taxing in the extreme.

All that would involve much eating of words on all sides. It would enable the West to show that it can move beyond fine rhetoric about democracy to real deeds. It will be very hard to achieve. It may already be too late. But the alternatives are liable to be far worse.

Rodric Braithwaite was ambassador in Moscow in 1988-92. His last book was Afgantsy: The Russians in Afghanistan 1979-89

Stromata blog gave an interesting analysis of the situation in Ukraine (About the fate of the Right sector)

Mar 27, 2014  |

We are missing some kind of a blueprint for systemic analysis of Ukrainian coup, so I'll try to take the trouble to put some skeleton of such a blueprint:

1. Oligarchs of Ukraine politically much stronger than people (middle class and below), as it is easily seen by looking at the hard brainwashing propaganda Ukrainian media. That is, when we say "the people of Odessa or Kiev rebelled against someone there," one should always take into account who helped to incite those people, arm and financed them

2. The West (EU and USA) is much stronger than Ukrainian oligarchs, it is their "roof", if you use criminal jargon, and actually dictating their actions. Thus actions of oligarchs also cannot be considered to be independent, and they themselves are not an independent political players.  That means, that when we say "oligarch Kolomoisky has taken such and such political step" we must understand that he did not by himself, but was advised by curators from abroad.

3. Kiev junta represents the interests of the winning oligarchic cartel and , respectively, is not independent in its actions.

4. EU is vassal of the United States, the vassal with a limited sovereignty, but not the slave. Therefore, U.S. national interests, at least in the strategically important questions will always dominate over the interests of the EU itself (exactly as Nuland's formula prescribes - f*ck the EU). That is, when we say that Angela Merkel something there said, we must understand that Uncle Sam also took part in it.

5. The links of all "internal" financing of any Ukrainian political processes will always go West (right in the U.S. or in Europe and then in the US). The fact that someone may designate any citizen "nezalezhnoy" is being decided there and then order on appointment down in the media. The judicial functions of the West plus its extensive punitive apparatus does not leave local single gram of independence. Armed gang, staged a massacre in the city centre, in the Western command to be designated as the most dangerous terrorists and criminals, and revolutionary peaceful protesters, democratically resolve lost the last remnants of legitimacy, bloody and criminal regime. Accordingly, the revolutionaries laid diverse and very fat "cookies" until the military assistance "to the defenders of Ukrainian democracy", and totalitarian regime put sanctions, arrest of accounts (robbery), generous financing traitors and deserters, international prison and courts (remembering Milosevic), and sometimes just a bunch of sadists with bayonets (remembering Gaddafi).

Here is another good find of the month Everything you know about Ukraine is wrong


Everyone looking for a proxy side to support or oppose in the Ukraine political dynamic will be disappointed. Ukraine politics go by their own rules. Today’s neoliberal ultranationalist could be tomorrow’s Kremlin ally, and visa-versa. Just look at what happened to the Orange Revolution—nothing. To wit:

4. Yanukovych was not fighting neoliberalism, the World Bank, or oligarchy — nor was he merely a tool of the Kremlin.

There’s another false meme going around that because the World Bank and IMF are moving in to “reform” Ukraine’s economy — for the umpteenth time — that somehow this means that this was a fight between pro-neoliberal and anti-neoliberal forces. It wasn’t.

Yanukovych enthusiastically cooperated with the IMF and pledged to adhere to their demands. Six months after Yanukovych was elected president, the headline read “International Monetary Fund approves $15 billion loan to Ukraine”. As the AFP reported,

“President Viktor Yanukovych had made restoring relations with the IMF a major priority on taking office.”

Later that year, the Wall Street Journal praised Yanukovych’s neoliberal reforms as “truly transformational” and gushed that Yanukovych “may soon become Europe’s star economic liberalizer.”

The problem was that last November, the Kremlin offered Yanukovych what he thought was a better deal than what the EU was offering. He bet wrong.

The point is this: Ukraine is not Venezuela. This is not a profoundly political or class fight, as it is in Venezuela. Yanukovych represents one faction of oligarchs; the opposition, unwittingly or otherwise, ultimately fronts for other factions. Many of those oligarchs have close business ties with Russia, but assets and bank accounts—and mansions—in Europe. Both forces are happy to work with the neoliberal global institutions.

In Ukraine, there is no populist left politics, even though the country’s deepest problem is inequality and oligarchy. Memories of the Soviet Union play a big role in turning people off to populist-left politics there, for understandable reasons.

But the Ukrainians do have a sense of people power that is rare in the world, and it goes back to the first major protests in 2000, through the success of the Orange Revolution. The masses understand their power-in-numbers to overthrow bad governments, but they haven’t forged a populist politics to change their situation and redistribute power by redistributing wealth.

So they wind up switching from one oligarchic faction to another, forming broad popular coalitions that can be easily co-opted by the most politically organized minority factions within—neoliberals, neofascists, or Kremlin tools. All of whom eventually produce more of the same shitty life that leads to the next revolution.

Another top find for March was an article Charge of the Right Brigade: Ukraine and the Dynamics of Capitalist Insurrection from The Polemicist blog (March 19, 2014):

The money shot:
As tensions rose on the streets of the Russian-speaking eastern portion of Ukraine, the response of the new government in the capital on Sunday was not to send troops, but to send rich people.
The interim government, worried about Russian efforts to destabilize or seize regions in eastern Ukraine after effectively taking control of the Crimean peninsula in the south, is recruiting the country’s wealthy businessmen, known as the oligarchs, to serve as governors of the eastern provinces.
The strategy, which Ukrainian news media are attributing to Yulia V. Tymoshenko, a former prime minister and party leader, is recognition that the oligarchs represent the country’s industrial and business elite, and exercise great influence over thousands of workers in the east, which is largely ethnically Russian.
The office of President Oleksandr V. Turchynov announced on Sunday the appointments of two billionaires — Sergei Taruta in Donetsk and Ihor Kolomoysky in Dnipropetrovsk — and more were reportedly under consideration for positions in the eastern regions….
The ultra-wealthy industrialists wield such power in Ukraine that they form what amounts to a shadow government, with empires of steel and coal, telecoms and media, and armies of workers. Persuading some to serve as governors in the east was a small victory for the new government in Kiev.1
Has there ever been a more pathetic postscript to a putative “revolution”? This act by Ukraine’s new-old rulers encapsulates everything that’s wrong with the phony “democracy promotion” advanced by American “regime changers,” everything that’s wrong with the recent history of the post-Soviet republics, and everything that was wrong with Soviet Stalinism. It’s a sorry symptom of the sad state of politics and ideology in Ukraine, and in the whole wide neo-liberal world. More on that later.

Let’s take a careful look at what has happened in Ukraine.

It was an insurrection

What occurred in Ukraine is the overthrow of a democratically-elected government and the subversion of parliamentary democracy by an insurrection. There can be no serious argument about this. According to the extant standards of bourgeois democracy, Viktor Yanukovych was freely and fairly elected. There was and is no dispute about that. His party, the Party of the Regions, was elected as the largest in the Verkhovna Rada (the Ukrainian parliament). He was driven out of office and out of the country, and his party was effectively overturned in parliament, by an armed insurrection.

Yanukovych was so corrupt

He certainly was, before and after his election. But so are his political opponents, all of whom are in the pockets of one oligarch or another. This includes his former nemesis, and the woman some in the West see “almost as a modern-day saint,”2 Yulia Tymoshenko, who is a corrupt oligarch in her own right. She made a fortune in sweetheart natural-gas deals in the 1990s with then-Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko—deals for which Lazarenko was prosecuted and convicted, and Tymoshenko named as a co-conspirator, in the United States. This earned her the nickname of “The Gas Princess,” and because she was very cozy with Russia in these deals—before, fortune made, she became all anti-Russian and pro-Western—she is also known on the street as “Putin in a skirt.3

As one commentator remarks:

In a country with endemic and rather extraordinary corruption—which is really the most important issue for many Ukrainians—Tymoshenko’s best hope may be that Yanukovych has left behind such obvious symbols of his stupid cupidity.4
Now, The Economist reckons: “One [clear thing] is that the government is going to be controlled by Yulia Tymoshenko… She has no official post, but Mr [Alexander] Turchinov [speaker of the parliament and acting president] is her right-hand man and Mr [Arseniy] Yastsenyuk [the new Prime Minister] is the leader of her party, Fatherland.” Actually, I think this may be true in the short run, but it’s not a sure bet to last.

The Economist also points out that, behind the public theater on the maidan:

A less visible battle has been going on between various Ukrainian oligarchs and the members of Mr. Yanukovych’s extended family who took their place at the trough. These oligarchs used their money, influence and political fronts to pile on pressure.”5
The Economist’s analysis is echoed by Denis, a member of the Autonomous Workers Union (a revolutionary syndicalist group) in Kiev, in an interview published in mid-February:
Since 2010, Viktor Yanukovych, who had initially been just a puppet of powerful oligarchs, has become an ambitious businessman himself. His elder son has accumulated vast powers; “The Family” occupied important positions in the government, monopolized control over capital flows, and started fighting with Rinat Akhmetov, Dmitry Firtash and other oligarchs who had been their sponsors previously. Naturally, the traditional oligarchic clans didn’t like this, so the current protest has also an elite dimension.6
Yanukovych, then, is only the nouveauist of the rich oligarchs, squeezing his snout into the trough with “stupid cupidity.” That made him a target of the USDA-approved smartly greedy swine, and a convenient scapegoat to throw under the bus of popular discontent. The Western media won’t be featuring shocked, shocked corruption-morality-play tours of Akhmetov’s, or Firtsah’s, or Tymoshenko’s, personal palaces, in Ukraine and elsewhere, with America’s Top Designers judging how gaudily or elegantly appointed they are.

So, corrupt indeed. Everyone accuses everyone else of corruption, and they are all right. Transparency International ranks Ukraine 144th (of 177) on its Corruption Perception Index, tied with Nigeria. Corruption is endemic in the Ukraine, and the overthrow of Yanukovych does nothing to overturn that. Even the Rada, now the seat of all power in the new, Yanukovych-free, democratic, Ukraine, is, as The Economist recognizes, “itself the product of this corrupt system, its seats bought and sold by the oligarchs’ factions for years.” So, “a corrupt, cowardly and thuggish president” has been overthrown, “but the post-Soviet order which prevailed in Ukraine over the past two decades has not been uprooted.”

Only in a bizarre—but unfortunately real and elaborate—ideological construct, can a round of oligarchic musical chairs be sold as a victory for “democracy.”
It was the “endemic and extraordinary” corruption, the theft of the wealth of society, that, more than anything else, infuriated the people of Ukraine. The Economist correctly notes that “The oligarchs and their political place-men are creatures of the dysfunctional state that Maidan rejects.” Yet, it’s the oligarchs—“ultra-wealthy” billionaires with “empires of steel”—who are now being sent to rule over, and soothe/placate their “armies of workers.” Goodbye, Yanuk, hello, John Galt-ovich.

That anybody thinks billionaire oligarchs are just the ticket to soothe the savage breasts of discontented workers, marks how deeply entrenched capitalist, allied with nationalist, ideologies have become in the post-Soviet states. In Ukraine, and in western Ukraine particularly, Stalin’s crimes gave rise to a nasty strain of nationalism that collaborated with the Nazis during WWII (discussed below). This, combined with a visceral rejection of anything calling itself “socialism,” has led to a hardening of Ukrainian identity in “nationalist” terms, promoted by Ukrainian educational and institutions. As Denis remarks:

[T]he crash of the “real socialism” also brought about the crash of the progressive values which had been officially promoted in that society (atheism, feminism, internationalism). The gap has been promptly filled by the wild mixture of nationalism and conservatism (and New Age charlatan philosophy, for that matter). This shift was eagerly supported by the state ideological apparatus. Actually, in many universities at the beginning of 1990s the departments of “scientific communism” were rebranded into “scientific nationalism”! Later they became the departments of “political science” though.
It has also led to a host of illusions, reinforced by the messages of Western mass media, about what’s on offer in the capitalist West:
[Y]ou should understand that from the very beginning people had a very peculiar understanding of “Europe.” They pictured a very utopian ideal – society without corruption, with high wages, social security, rule of law, honest politicians, smiling faces, clean streets etc. – and called it “EU”. And when one tried to tell them that actual EU has nothing to do with this pretty picture, that people there actually burn EU flags and protest against austerity etc. – they retorted: “So would you better live in Russia then?” So, yes, from the very beginning the protest was driven by the false consciousness of “civilizational choice”, by nationalist ideological patterns which didn’t leave any room for the class agenda. These are the results of the bourgeois cultural hegemony, in Gramscian terms, and this is the main problem we should fight in this country over next years (or even decades).

Capitalism, Socialism, Nationalism: Post-Soviet Confusions

In their anti-Russian fury and nationalist rejection of “Bolshevik” class politics, people in the maidan may think they’re getting the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, but they’re going to end up with the real homeless of Camden. The Yanukovych regime itself promoted these Europeanist illusions. Here’s Denis again:

EU hysteria [was] provoked by the government itself! For the whole year 2013 they were constantly talking about how Ukraine is going to sign that agreement with the EU. They’ve roused the expectations of the “pro-European” part of the population, and then, when suddenly they made a U-turn, people were extremely frustrated and angry. That was the initial impulse.
Indeed, Yanukovych dug his own grave in many ways, including his attempts to institute the neo-liberal austerity measures that were demanded by the EU deal:
[T]here are very real reasons for people to hate the government, too. When Yanukovych became president in 2010, he started pushing for unpopular neo-liberal steps. The natural gas tariffs were growing; the government launched medical reform which will eventually lead to closure of many medical institutions and to introducing the universal medical insurance instead of the unconditional coverage [Yanukocare?]; they pushed through extremely unpopular pension reform (raising pension age for women) against the will of more than 90% of population; there was an attempt at passing the new Labour Code which would seriously affect workers’ rights; the railway is being corporatized; finally, they passed a new Tax Code which hit small business. But eventually this assault wasn’t very successful, and the government had to back off. … They saw they can’t move on with such low levels of support. But still, the welfare of the working classes, as well as the general state of the economy leaves much to be desired, and people have all legitimate reasons to demand better living standards. Sadly, these grievances are dressed in the false consciousness of nationalism.
Whatever one thinks of Yanukovych, the idea that, by not signing the EU deal in November, he committed some horrible, treasonous act that compromised Ukraine’s independence, is the opposite of the case. Indeed, as Marilyn Vogt-Downey says, in her excellent analysis, Yanukovych “would have severely dampened enthusiasm for this Agreement,” if he “had summarized the terms of only one part of it—the Agreement’s ‘Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area,’ and explained what it would mean to the Ukrainian people—namely, ”convert[ing] Ukraine into one big ‘free trade zone’, where the anti-environment, anti-labor, and pro-business laws would prevail.” 7

He could not, however, because: “during his time in power, he—like all the Ukrainian rulers since Ukraine became independent with the collapse of the USSR in 1992—had already been pursuing measures similar to those the IMF would impose.” So, the popular discontent generated by EU austerity measures led to a popular movement which overthrew Yanukovych, in favor of a government that vows to institute those same EU austerity measures! Discontent against an unpopular elected president has led to his overthrow in favor of an unelected government whose prime minister says: “I’m going to be the most unpopular prime minister in the history of my country.”8

As someone who lives a few blocks from Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, the Ukrainian National Home, the Ukrainian Museum, the Ukrainian-American Youth Association, restaurants named Kiev and Veselka (“probably the most famous Ukrainian restaurant in the world”9), whose sister married a Ukrainian-American, and who is a denizen of joints where owners, patrons, and friends are speaking Ukrainian, I humbly submit that: Ukraines who think the government produced by this insurrection, with the EU-IMF initiative it adopts, is going to solve these problems are confused. This “revolution” is not about making Ukraine more democratic or less corrupt; it is about creating a government whose “main responsibility … will be to carry through a social onslaught against the Ukrainian working class at the behest of international capital.”10 These measures include the cuts in pensions and crucial fuel subsidies, as well as things like the large-scale fracking deal with Chevron that was announced last week. Economists predict a 10% collapse in GDP; Greece lost 25% in 5 years with the program the new prime minister wants to emulate [see below]. Rest assured, however: Rimat, Dmitri, and Yulia won’t lose one estate or one hryvnia.

The new government knows it will have a few months, while everybody’s all warm and cuddly in the afterglow of “democratic revolution,” to inflict the plague of austerity, before popular anger is turned against it. Arseny Yatseniuk, the American-favored prime minister calls it a “kamikaze government.” Oleksandr Turchynov, the president, says: “This government is doomed. Three, four months and they won’t be able to work, because they have to make unpopular decisions.”11

It’s not just wacky socialists who understand things this way. Here’s an excerpt from a Forbes article, cogently titled, ”Washington’s Man Yatsenyuk Setting Ukraine Up For Ruin”:
Vladimir Signorelli, president of boutique investment research firm Bretton Woods Research LLC in New Jersey. “Yatsenyuk is the the kind of technocrat you want if you want austerity, with the veneer of professionalism,” Signorelli said. “He’s the type of guy who can hobnob with the European elite. A Mario Monti type: unelected and willing to do the IMFs bidding,” he said. [Mario Monti is an Italian “technocrat”—i.e., IMF stooge—who brought austerity to Italy.]
…Yats had friends in high places and while he does not have strong support of the electorate, and would have no chance of winning an election, he is pro-IMF austerity and apparently the bulk of parliament is as well.
“Yatsenyuk was saying that what the Greeks did to themselves we are going to do ourselves,” said Signorelli. “He wants to follow the Greek economic model. Who the hell wants to follow that?”…For economists who think austerity is a disaster, Ukraine is on a path to ruin.
This ruin is going to compound “the scorched earth economics of capitalist restoration” to which Ukraine has already been subject. Ukraine now boasts the highest maternal mortality rate in Europe, and is the 80th poorest country in the world, (based per capita GDP), behind Iraq and Tonga. Since it became “free” in 1991, 15% of its population has emigrated, its birth rate declined, and its population shrank 11%--classic hallmarks of a moribund and dependent “third-world” social economy.12

Along with a lot of other people, Ukraines need to recognize that the “endemic and extraordinary” corruption of their polity is the necessary prerequisite and inevitable result of the restoration of capitalism—of the shock-therapy transformation of post-Soviet Ukraine into a crony capitalist playground. To turn Ukraine (and the Soviet Union itself) into a capitalist society required the creation of creatures that had not existed: capitalists. It required, that is, transferring the industrial “armies” that constitute the capital wealth of the country from public ownership (however well- or poorly-managed) into the hands of private individuals, who can now own and control the wealth of the country for their private gain above all. (You know, those oligarchs who have managed things so much better over the last twenty years.) The only way to do that was by various forms of semi-disguised theft that handed industries over—i.e., sold them at bargain-basement prices—to various candidates, often functionaries of the old regime, who were likely to be compliant with the foreign capital and capitals that were subsidizing and pushing this whole process—no matter what the cost to ordinary Ukraines. That’s capitalism.

Isn’t “endemic” corruption a structural feature of capitalism itself? It’s quite common in the capitalist world, I’ve heard, that wealthy billionaires capture the political process, functioning as “what amounts to a shadow government.” You say “oligarch” and I say “plutocrat.” It’s also quite common to think that the problems of capitalism will be solved by better capitalists enforcing more austere capitalism, which will only actually exacerbate inequality, social misery, and corruption itself. Let’s call the whole thing off.

But, again, don’t take a socialist’s word for it. Here’s Bogdan Danilishin, a former minister of economy in Yulia Tymoshenko's government (and a former target of “abuse of power” inquiries himself):
In order to be saved, the Ukrainian economy doesn't need 35 billion dollars or even 135 billion dollars. It will be stolen anyway. They just need to check and evaluate all privatization deals made during the last years. All that has been bought for a reduced price or illegally must be nationalized or the difference must be paid to the state budget. All taxes that oligarchs have been exempt from for the last three years must be paid.13
Of course, there’s no chance for such a real reform process. It would require a genuinely democratic re-nationalization that would retrieve the wealth of the country stolen by the oligarchs, and the neo-liberal government installed by this putatively democratic insurrection will never consider that. As one commentator wrote on Investment Watch: “The new government might go after a few oligarchs who ended up on the wrong side of the fence. But those who’d backed the uprising directly or indirectly and who are now backing the new government would be able to hang on to their property, their ill-gotten wealth, and their tax privileges.”14

You don’t have to be a socialist to recognize the problem. (Only to solve it.) I have to agree with our Ukrainian syndicalist, Denis, that the predominance of what he calls “bourgeois cultural hegemony,” and the displacement of class with nationalist politics, which makes it so difficult for Ukrainians to see what’s happening in these terms, is “the main problem we should fight in this country over next years (or even decades).” Otherwise, they’ll be rearranging the deck chaise longues of the oligarchs over and over again. Kamikaze revolutions for kamikaze governments.

Yanukovych was so authoritarian

One can certainly say that Yanukovych had authoritarian tendencies, and that they were getting worse. On January 16th, in the midst of militant anti-government protests that had been going on for two months, he passed a set of harshly repressive anti-protest laws. Predictably, these laws only further inflamed the rebellion, and most of them were repealed or diluted by the parliament on January 28th. No question that the Interior Ministry police, Berkut, were also brutal in their attempts to break up or limit demonstrations and occupations. Of course, as we’ve seen time and time again, repression – if images thereof are widely broadcast and insistently framed with outrage – only builds popular support for protestors. Protestors’ injuries and deaths only intensified the conflict (particularly the deaths from sniper fire on February 20th, more on that later), drew more people into what was incontestably a massively popular movement (in Kiev and the western Ukraine, at least), and intensified protestors’ resolve to settle for nothing less than the immediate ouster of Yanukovych.

Whether Yanukovych’s police, and attempted legal, repression was unusually more brutal than that of any president in any country, elected or not, who was besieged by a militant movement, no matter how popular, seeking his immediate deposition, I’ll leave as an open question. What is unusual in this instance is that the protestors fought back, fiercely and from the get-go. They defended their positions, built strong barricades, prepared for battle, armed themselves with everything from makeshift weapon to firearms (as they thought appropriate), and did not hesitate to go on the offensive when they could. Beatings, and bullets, were flying both ways.

It was a insurrection in which force trumped electoral and constitutional legitimacy

Yale historian Timothy Snyder has taken to Democracy Now and the New York Review of Books as a leading intellectual voice arguing that American liberals should wholeheartedly support the Ukrainian “revolution” and condemn the Russian “invasion” of Crimea. He likes to portray the maidan movement as a kind of utopian, even classical, space of enhanced dialogue, a place where liberal-minded Americans watching Amy Goodman can feel right at home:

But a maidan now means in Ukrainian what the Greek word agora means in English: not just a marketplace where people happen to meet, but a place where they deliberately meet, precisely in order to deliberate, to speak, and to create a political society.15
Pass the talking stick, Plato.

Well, yes, revolutionary uprisings – of which the Paris Commune has been the socialist prototype, after all – are, importantly, that kind of space, the one where people work out how to build a new “political society” with their comrades. They are also, necessarily, this (circa Jan 25th):

And this (circa Jan 21st):

In the language of revolution, agora means battlefield.

Do not get me wrong: I do not present these images as dispositive evidence that discredits the maidan protestors. These kinds of forceful actions – not just defensive, but aggressive actions that advance one’s position – are often necessary to fight and win game-changing political battles. It is not I who wants to pretend that revolutionary struggles can and/or must always be won by purely non-violent means. I find the methodical advance of the protestors into the administration building in the first clip quite instructive, for example. Their fierce determination to keep pressing forward, not resorting to firearms as long as the police don’t, but using every makeshift weapon they can get their hands on, stripping the police of their armor and pulling them out of formation until they break ranks and retreat – these people didn’t come out to express themselves; they came to fight and win. Good for them, depending on what they’re fighting for.

As someone who finds it insulting to go to demonstrations in America’s most liberal cities, where protestors are literally penned in like cattle, I’d just like to ask those Americans who have seen what happened to their fellow citizen protestors in Seattle, and Pittsburgh, and Wall Street: If protestors from Zuccotti, or Central, or Lincoln, or Lafayette Park, tried to seize and occupy a nearby civil administration building, exactly how many inches do you think they would advance into that structure, exactly how many cops would they set on fire, before they would have the living shit beaten out of them? Before any means that were necessary to stop them were deployed against them?

And exactly how many words of praise and support would American politicians and media personalities have to say about them? How many cookies would they be served?

Yes, the Ukranian protestors were protected by their numbers and by their large base of political support, which served to buttress their fierce determination. Mass political strength is a powerful weapon. Still, insistent deployment of near-lethal riot-control agents and technologies (sound cannons, etc.), let alone concentrated lethal firepower from the automatic weapons and tanks of an army, can, at least temporarily, overcome even that. Are the Berkut not as heavily militarized as average American urban police department have become? Was the Yanukovych regime reluctant to employ more heavily militarized police weaponry, or to call on the army – whether out of respect for the people, respect for the political costs, and/or fear that orders would not be followed? Is there a high horse here that the American regime can ride on?

As the more trenchant intellectual voice of Stephen Cohen puts it:

But let me ask you, if in Washington people throwing Molotov cocktails are marching on Congress—and these people are headed for the Ukrainian Congress—if these people have barricaded entrance to the White House and are throwing rocks at the White House security guard, would President Obama withdraw his security forces?....We wouldn’t permit that in any Western capital, no matter how righteous the cause.16
Let’s not forget (if by some chance you were ever made aware) that in the final week of confrontation, it was the protest movement, feeling its increasing power, that repeatedly initiated violent confrontations to get immediate satisfaction of their demands.

As the AP reports:

The latest street violence began Tuesday [February 18th] when protesters attacked police lines and set fires outside parliament, accusing Yanukovych of ignoring their demands to enact constitutional reforms that would once again limit the president's power.17
By Wednesday evening, a truce was announced, but it:
appeared to have little credibility among hardcore protesters. One camp commander, Oleh Mykhnyuk, told the AP even after the alleged truce, protesters still threw firebombs at riot police on the square. As the sun rose, police pulled back, the protesters followed them and police then began shooting at them, he said.
Who’s on the offensive?

By Thursday, the 20th, AP cites the Ukrainian Health Ministry as saying that “28 people have died and 287 have been hospitalized this week.” In a slightly earlier report, discussing the theft by protestors of 1500 guns, RT says that at “At least 26 people, including 10 police officers, have been killed and some 800 injured since the start of violent riots in Kiev on Tuesday.” The AP avoids any mention of police causalities, and avoids any mention of protestors’ firearms. They had them and can be seen here using them.18

On Thursday, the worst day of violence:

Fearing that a call for a truce was a ruse, protesters tossed firebombs and advanced upon police lines … in Ukraine's embattled capital. Government snipers shot back and the almost-medieval melee that ensued left at least 70 people dead and hundreds injured, according to a protest doctor. ..In addition, one policeman was killed Thursday and 28 suffered gunshot wounds.
Snipers. They seem always to appear at key moments in protests like these, raining sudden and arbitrary death from above – a particularly vicious tactic, certain to infuriate the protestors and harden their resolve. The new Interior Minister has called the sniper shootings “the key factor in this uprising.” Let’s remark that, despite the figure in the AP article, there was more than “one” policemen killed by sniper fire, and, despite the presumption of the AP, as well as of Obama and Kerry, it is not all clear that these were “government” snipers. In fact, according to what Estonian Foreign Minister, Urmas Paet, recounted in a phone conversation with EU foreign affairs chief, Catherine Ashton, "What was quite disturbing, this same Olga [Olga Bogomolets, a doctor on the maidan] told that, well, all the evidence shows that people who were killed by snipers from both sides, among policemen and people from the streets, that they were the same snipers killing people from both sides… So there is a stronger and stronger understanding that behind snipers it was not Yanukovych, it was somebody from the new coalition." “Gosh,” says Ashton. We’ll return to the sniper issue later.19

Sure enough, this violence catalyzed a political breakthrough, and on Friday, as the AP reported, “a representative from Russia” as well as the foreign ministers of France, Germany and Poland—met with “the opposition leaders,” then with Yanukovych for five hours, then with opposition leaders again, as US Vice President Joe Biden “placed repeated calls to both Ukrainian negotiating sides.”20 As a result of this intense mediation a radical new agreement was worked out that represented the regime’s virtually complete surrender to the opposition’s position. The agreement, which the Russians did not like and “pointedly skipped … signing,” called for a unity government, early elections, a return to the 2004 Constitution, and amnesty for arrested protestors. As Vladimir Putin characterized it, implying his dislike: “I would like to stress that under that agreement (I am not saying this was good or bad, just stating the fact) Mr Yanukovych actually handed over power… Moreover, he issued orders to withdraw all police forces from the capital, and they complied.”21 Even a Russian leftist critic of Putin, who came to the maidan, remarked: “The president even asked the opposition parties to appoint the prime minister.”22 Furthermore, the parliament immediately sealed the deal, enacting laws that would allow for the release of Julia Tymoshenko, curb presidential powers, and make it easier to reverse Yanukovych’s decision about the EU economic agreement that had been the original catalyst for the protests.

And, sure enough, that did not satisfy the protestors either:

Militant anti-government activists in Ukraine on Saturday threatened to storm the president’s palace and shatter a fragile peace deal to end the ex-Soviet country's bloodiest crisis since independence…
"Elections in December are not enough -- he has to leave now," said 34-year-old Oleh Bukoyenko as he joined 40,000 protesters to hear the peace pact's details announced on the square late Friday….One ultranationalist speaker grabbed the stage on Independence Square late Friday to call on protesters to storm the president's office at 10:00 am (0800 GMT) Saturday should Yanukovych fail to relinquish power overnight.
The call was met with cheers and rounds of applause. Several top opposition leaders meanwhile were booed for signing the compromise agreement allowing Yanukovych to keep his post until snap elections are called by the December deadline….
So, by end of day Saturday, the 22nd, protestors had taken control of the presidential administration buildings “without resistance,” and Yanukovych had fled.

Let’s put aside for the moment the “content” of this protest and uprising, its ultimate political point and program, and acknowledge the incontrovertible fact that it was an extra-legal, extra-constitutional action that imposed its political will and achieved its one immediate goal – the ouster of Ukraine’s elected President – by force. It succeeded by the force of popular pressure and armed resistance and assault on the streets of Kiev, helped along greatly by international pressure, with no real concern for what was legal or constitutional or electorally legitimate. “Coup” is a perfectly reasonable word for what happened, though, in recognition of its significant popular base, I prefer to call it an “insurrection.”

In Kiev, with the blessing of virtually all the world’s political and media missionaries of capitalist democracy, force trumped elections. This movement deposed a President who had been chosen in a 2010 election that, according to European and NATO observers, “was a good and competitive election and very promising for the future of Ukraine's democracy.” It was an election in which there was “a genuine democratic choice between a large number of candidates,” and “Open access to information about the candidates and their programmes [that] allowed the Ukrainian voters to make a well-founded choice.” It was an election that, as the NATO representative summarized, “the Ukrainian voters won.” Sounds to me like an election that was no less “free and fair” than elections held in these VoterID-Electoral-College-Florida-Ohio-Citizens-United States.23

In the parliament, Yanukovych’s Party of Regions was “the most widely supported Ukrainian political party…hold[ing] nearly forty percent of the seats in the Rada. No other political party even comes close to holding this type of support in the Ukrainian political landscape or the Rada.”24 Furthermore, this movement deposed a President in defiance of the extant constitutional electoral process that had him facing a new election in less than a year, an election no one had any reason to believe would be less fair than that of 2010 – especially since, as we saw above, the President had effectively ceded all of his effective power before the movement’s final assault. According to the rules of parliamentary democracy, the proper way to get rid of a corrupt and despised elected leader is to vote the bastard out. If Yanukovych were widely despised, and the Kiev opposition widely supported, throughout Ukraine, he could easily have been removed by electoral means. On the other hand, it may not have been quite so easy, and some serious adjustment to the constitutional-electoral order might have been necessary, precisely because the Kiev opposition still has this to contend with this:

Half the country, it seems, may not be so joyful about the new adventure in insurrectionary democracy.

To pretend that the ex-post-facto parliamentary maneuvers that ratified the result of this insurrection actually confer some kind of retroactive constitutional legitimacy on it is ludicrous. As Nicolai Petro points out, these actions were taken by “a Parliament that rules without any representation from the majority party – since most of the deputies of the east and the south of the country are afraid to set foot in Parliament… [and] all across the country, headquarters of parties are being sacked by their opponents,” by a parliament that outlawed the only effective remaining opposition party (the Communists) and that “consolidate[ed] the powers of the speaker of the Parliament and the acting president in a single individual, giving him greater powers than allowed under any Ukrainian constitution,” in a context where “Vigilante militias routinely attack and disperse public gatherings they disapprove of.”25 Please, let’s recognize these parliamentary acts as what they are – the ratification of an insurrection, in defiance of the extant constitutional order. Call them the first steps in a new, post-insurrection constitutional order if you want, but recognize the radical break they represent.

And why not call this what it is? Isn’t that what revolutionary change is all about – a radical break with the old order? To reprise what I said in a previous post on Egypt: An electoral process can be a thin facade of democracy and, effectively, a tool of disempowerment, justifying militant extra-electoral politics, or even insurrection. A serious revolutionary conjuncture, a real break into a new social order, usually involves both. It’s an unapologetic, forceful, seizure of power that seeks to be definitive and irreversible. (Of course, not every insurrection is a revolution, or even a step forward, but let’s leave that aside for the moment.)

As someone who accepts the revolutionary socialist argument, I do not object to extra-legal, extra-parliamentary, insurrectionary politics per se. And guess what? All the self-proclaimed liberal, conservative, moderate, non-violent, constitutional, parliamentary democratic thinkers, politicians and commentators who are proudly and loudly supporting what happened in Ukraine also do not object to extra-legal, extra-parliamentary, insurrectionary politics per se – they just don’t want to admit it. Like me, they will support an insurrection, depending on what it’s about. Unlike me, they will pretend it wasn’t really an insurrection at all, just another, maybe somewhat “messy,” but fundamentally non-violent, constitutionally-authorized transition within the rules of bourgeois parliamentary democracy. And that’s because, as the man said: We wouldn’t permit that in any Western capital, no matter how righteous the cause.

It’s quite amusing, until it gets sickening, to watch American leaders—who cling to the notion that a thin, corrupt, disempowering electoral process legitimizes them—embrace the forceful overthrow of a democratically-elected leader in a functioning parliamentary democracy while insisting they are doing no such thing.

Let’s recognize that virtually nobody really supports or opposes what happened in Ukraine, or anywhere else, because it was an insurrection, but because of what kind of insurrection it was – what it’s explicit and implicit socio-political objective was, what different kind of society and polity it was moving toward creating. And let’s recognize that the US would denounce, and help to crush, any insurrection, no matter how popular or righteous the cause, in which leftist forces played anything close to the prominent fighting role that right-wing, neo-fascist forced played in this one. If revolutionary anarcho-syndicalists had been the vanguard of the maidan, Yanukovych would have been America’s “democratic” hero.

As for “democracy” (along with “nonviolent,” one of the most dishonestly abused words in the American political vocabulary), it certainly does not just mean having an election. It means power to the people. Neither Ukrainian oligarchs, nor the EU-IMF neo-liberal “technocrats,” nor the American government, nor NATO, want that. They have too much to lose.

It was a right-wing, imperialist insurrection, powered by fascist groups and permeated with fascist ideology

The overthrow of Yanukovych was an insurrection accomplished by a political movement that was driven by popular socio-economic discontent and thoroughly imbued by “ultranationalist”—i.e., neo-fascist—ideology.
It was decidedly not a revolution, in the strong sense of the word. A revolutionary insurrection marks the beginning of a change in the social order. This movement did not, will not, and, given its foundations, could not, establish a popular government that will create anything like more widespread prosperity and deeper democracy, let alone a new social order.

It was a regime change, fuelled by popular discontent, powered by neo-fascist militants, and surreptitiously managed by American intelligence diplomats, with Ukrainian oligarchs maneuvering for ultimate control behind the scenes—factions that have different, sometimes internally contradictory, agendas. It will create a government that will be controlled by and benefit some Ukrainian oligarchs at the expense of others, that will benefit European and American capitalism at the (acknowledged, indeed promised!) cost of austerity and immiseration for Ukrainian working people, and that will benefit American and NATO plans for an ever-tightening military encirclement of Russia at the expense of possible war and perpetual tension for Ukraine.

The only possibility for a more serious, “revolutionary” break from neo-liberal standards of oligarchic-imperial rule in the near future would come from the neo-fascist groups, who indeed imagine themselves to have a radically different agenda. But guess what? Faced with any popular uprising against its policies, from the right or the left, the new neo-liberal, Euro-facing, Russia-hating, America-loving, Ukrainian government, and its international supporters, will trot out the bourgeois democratic principles that its leaders, of course, never really contravened, and insist, Berkut (by any other name) and all: We won’t permit that in our democratic, European capital, no matter how righteous the cause.

Is there anybody who honestly doubts any of this?

Brendan O’Neill makes the point quite nicely:

For what we have in Ukraine is not revolution, but regime change …As for the word ‘revolution’ … its deployment in Ukraine takes its bastardisation to a new low: there has of course been no replacement of one social order by another in Ukraine, or even the instalment of a people’s government; instead various long-established parties in parliament, some of which are deeply unpopular among certain constituencies in Ukraine, are forming an interim government. Revolutionary? Hardly.
The Western debate and coverage … has certainly made externally generated regime change seem revolutionary, and the Western-assisted anti-democratic removal of an elected leader seem like an act of people’s democracy. It has exposed a severe dearth of independent critical thinking among the Western commentariat. …
The truth of what has happened in Ukraine is this: the EU and Washington have effectively brought about regime change, replacing an elected pro-Russian regime with an unelected, still-being-formed new government that is more amenable to the institutions of the West.26
Regarding the “fascism” question, Max Blumenthal’s Alternet piece, and Per Anders Rudling’s detailed scholarly study are indispensable sources. Rudling understates considerably, when he says: “The far-right tradition is particularly strong in western Ukraine.” The fascist currents in the Kiev movement are undeniable. They are represented in the parliament by the Svoboda (Freedom) Party (originally called the Social National Party). In December, 2012, the European Parliament condemned Svoboda for its “racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic views,” and urged other Ukrainian parties “not to associate with, endorse or form coalitions with this party.”27

As Blumenthal notes, Svoboda’s leader, Oleh Tyahnybok, defines his mission as freeing his country from the “Muscovite-Jewish mafia.” His deputy, Yuriy Mykhalchyshyn founded a think tank named after a historical figure he admires greatly: The Joseph Goebbels Political Research Center. Svoboda’s – and, unfortunately, much of western Ukraine’s – “nationalism” is embodied in the revered figure of Stepan Bandera, a World War II-era Nazi collaborator who led the pro-fascist Organization of Ukrainian (OUN), which helped to form a Ukrainian division of the Waffen SS to fight with the Nazis against the Soviet Union. From 1942-1944, Yaroslav Stetsko, the “Prime Minister” of ONU-B (Bandera’s wing), who supported “bringing German methods of exterminating Jewry to Ukraine,” oversaw the killing of “more than 90,000 Poles and thousands of Jews” in western Ukraine. Banderists in Lvov circulated a pamphlet telling the city’s Jews: "We will lay your heads at Hitler’s feet.”28

After the war, Bandera’s Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) continued its fascist campaign for “a totalitarian, ethnically pure Europe,” engaging in a futile armed struggle against the Soviet Union, until KGB agents assassinated him in Munich in 1959. Nothing “neo” about this Nazi.

Viktor Yushchenko, the president produced by the last American-supported Ukrainian uprising, the “Orange Revolution,” put the full weight of the ideological apparatus of the Ukrainian state into reinventing the history of Ukrainian complicity with Nazism into a “national liberation” mythology. He “tasked a set of nationalistically minded historians” into “disseminating a sanitized, edifyingly patriotic version of the history of the ‘Ukrainian national liberation movement,’ the leaders of which were presented in iconographic form as heroic and saintly figures, martyrs of the nation.”

Thus, in 2010, against the protestation of the European Parliament—which he accused of having a “historical complex”—Yushchenko awarded Stepan Bandera the title of "Hero of Ukraine."29 As Rudling notes: “There was little protest from intellectuals who identify themselves as liberals.” It was the government of big, bad Yanukovych that later annulled the award.

And thus, still satisfied by their political research, Svoboda led a 15,000-person march in honor of Bandera in Kiev on January 1st of this year, with chants of “Ukraine above all” and “Bandera, come and bring order!”30

Now, as a result of the insurrection, Svoboda, which won about 10% of the vote in the last election, has effectively muscled the much larger (34% of the last vote) Party of the Regions out of parliament, and seeks nationally to outlaw it and the Communist Party (13% of the vote), whose leader’s house was burned down. With the help of its Right Sector allies, these parties have already been banned in a number of regions. Svoboda now holds “key leadership positions in the parliament and law enforcement, four ministerial portfolios in the new government [including Prosecutor General and Deputy Prime Minister] and several appointed governorships.” Svoboda’s co-fouder, Andriy Parubiy, is head of the National Security & Defense Council of the new, democratic, government of Ukraine.31

So, fourteen months after denouncing Svoboda for its “racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia,” European governments are gushing over the new “democracy” in Ukraine over which Svoboda presides. And, as the BBC reports: “Inside the columned central hall of Kiev's city council, an activist base of operations, hung a giant banner with a Celtic cross, a symbol of ‘white power,’ and an American confederate flag….and an immense portrait of Stepan Bandera.”32

Keep in mind, too, Rudling’s point that the whole Banderist “national liberation” narrative “was well received in western Ukraine but was received coldly or met open hostility in the eastern and southern parts of the country.”

As Svoboda represents fascism in the parliament, Right Sector (Pravy Sektor) represented fascism in the maidan, and continues to do so with its intimidating tactics in the streets and administrative offices of Kiev and the regions, as well as from its new positions in government. Right Sector is a confederation of far-right groups such as Patriots of Ukraine, the Social-National Assembly, White Hammer, Stepan Bandera’s Trident, and the Ukrainian National Assembly-Ukrainian People's Self-Defense (UNA-UNSO). Their favorite ensign is the wolfsangel--a favorite, too, of the Waffen SS--which was on display all over the maidan:

As Ukrainian journalist Oleg Shynkarenko points out, Right Sector leader, Dmytro Yarosh defines the group's creed thusly: “We are against degeneration and totalitarian liberalism, but we support traditional morals and family values, against the cult of profit and depravity.” Right Sector’s websites rail against the “liberal homodictatorship” of modern Western society.33 Blumenthal points out that Right Sector is: “linked to a constellation of international neo-fascist parties,” and “through the Alliance of European National Movements (AEMN), Right Sector is promising to lead its army of aimless, disillusioned young men on ‘a great European Reconquest’.” In some ways, the neo-fascist right does want power to the people—just the morally and ethnically pure people.

BBC did a decent report on the “Neo-Nazi threat in new Ukraine.” Again, maybe not so “neo.” The reporter, Gabriel Gatehouse, interviews Svoboda and Right Sector militants, meets a group called C14 (apparently an armed wing of Svoboda) under a portrait of Lenin in the Communist Party headquarters they had taken over, and shows two Svoboda MPs displaying “14” and “88” tokens. These numbers, which are often displayed in combination, and which appeared in graffiti throughout the maidan, have special fascist significance: “14” stands for from the Fourteen Words coined by an American white supremacist: "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White children” (there’s an alternate version, about “the White Aryan woman”); “88” represents a double of the eighth letter of the Latin alphabet, HH, for Heil Hitler. [I cannot make this stuff up.]

Yes, it depends what you’re fighting for.

My favorite is this 2½-minute tidbit from a young Right Sector gentleman, explaining the group’s, and his, affinity for “National Socialist themes,” and assuring his interviewer that they want a society that’s just “a little bit like” that “under Hitler”:

The leader of the Right Sector, Dmytro Yarosh, is now the deputy head of the National Security Council, and is running for President, of Ukraine’s new, democratic, government.

You might also take a look at this video, where Right Sector leader Aleksandr Muzychko roughs up a local prosecutor to show him who’s the boss now, and threatens to have him lynched: “Shut the fuck up, you bitch! Your fucking time is over… If you think I am goodie because I’ve come without my rifle, you are gravely mistaken. I’ve come with a pistol. There are a few choice videos of Muzychko, who is also identified as a member of the "Wiking" unit of the Ukrainian National Assembly – Ukrainian People’s Self-Defense (UNA-UNSO), another post-Banderist right-wing paramilitary group.

So there’s no question that fascists were part of the insurrection, and there is no question that they were crucial to its success. As Oleg Shynkarenko insists, the scenes of fighting resistance and advance were led by Right Sector and allied groups:

[I]t was the far right that first started to talk back to Yanukovych in his own language. They were the first to throw Molotov cocktails and stones at police and to mount real and well-fortified barricades. They were amongst those who burned two military troop carriers that attacked the barricades on February 18. The Euromaidan won thanks to the resoluteness of people who were ready to fight rather than to negotiate in parliament when any negotiation became pointless.
Nicolai Petro agrees, and points out the political ramifications:
I ascribe a much greater role to the Right Sector…the spearhead of the revolution. … [T]he actual coup was accomplished thanks to the armed intervention of extreme nationalists, led by the Right Sector. And the fact that they were so instrumental in accomplishing this change of power has put them in the driver’s seat. From now on, whatever political decisions are arrived at will really be at the sufferance of the Right Sector.
Let’s be clear, also, that these neo-fascist groups not only fought and defeated Yanokovych’s police, they attacked and drove away any political group from the left that tried to establish a presence in the maidan. The fascists made sure they controlled the radical politics of the square. Sascha, a member of AntiFascist Action Ukraine, a group that monitors and fights fascism in Ukraine, recounts in an interview published in mid-February:
A group of 100 anarchists tried to arrange their own self-defense group, different Anarchist groups came together for a meeting on the Maidan. While they were meeting a group of Nazis came in a larger group, they had axes and baseball bats and sticks, helmets, they said it was their territory. They called the Anarchists things like Jews, blacks, Communists. There weren’t even any Communists, that was just an insult. The Anarchists weren’t expecting this and they left. People with other political views can’t stay in certain places, they aren’t tolerated.34
And Mira, of the same group, adds:
One of the worst things is that Pravy has this official structure. They are coordinated. You need passes to go certain places. They have the power to give or not give people permission to be active. We’re trying to be active but we have to avoid Nazis, and I’m not going to ask a Nazi for permission!...
Early on a Stalinist tent was attacked by Nazis. One was sent to the hospital. Another student spoke out against fascism and he was attacked.
Pravy Sektor got too much attention after the first violence, the media gave them popularity and they started to think they’re cool guys. Pravy existed before but now it’s growing and attracting a lot of new people.
Ilya Budraitskis, a Russian Socialist who came to the maidan in January, tells us how the “ultranationalists” brutalized and evicted everyone from leftish Europhiles to anarchists:
Another part of the left repetitively tried to join the movement, even after they were repetitively kicked out of it. Some of the “euro-enthusiastic” leftists came to Maidan in November with red (instead of blue) flag of the EU, with banners for free healthcare and education, and with feminist slogans. They were brutally attacked by Nazis. Then there was an episode when the far-right attacked the tent of the Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine near the Maidan. A man on the stage said that there were some “provocateurs” and said that “men know what to do”; as a result, a mob of Nazis has broken ribs of the trade union activists, tore their tent with knives and stolen their property. The victims hadn’t been doing anything “leftist” per se, but they were members of the left movement, known to their political adversaries, and that was enough….
[T]here is also another group of people who are often confused with the radical left. …who call themselves anarchists but actually have a very conservative political agenda full of machismo and xenophobia. After the protests have begun, they shifted to the right dramatically; they reached truce with the nazi groups and showered Molotov cocktails at the police together. Eventually, they parted ways with left movement finally.
A week ago they, together with some actual leftists who wanted to “act”, decided to form an “anarchist sotnia [defense unit]” in the Maidan self-defence. In order to do that, they were prepared to give an oath to [Svoboda leader] Andriy Parubiy. But when they formed their ranks to do this, they were met by approximately 150 Svoboda fighters with baseball bats and axes. The fascists accused them of being racially impure and politically irrelevant and forced them out of Maidan.35
So much for Professor Snyder’s agora.

Of course, the great majority of the people in the square are not fascists, but, for all the reasons of history and ideology discussed above, a lot of people in western Ukraine are susceptible to their charms. As Denis, from Kiev Autonomous Workers Union says: “[I]n the long run the rightist political hegemony is being reinforced,” because “That’s what happens when you don’t have a developed left movement and your liberals are too corrupt and ugly!” Here’s how he describes the rightward political momentum on the maidan:

[Far right] ideology has really become more acceptable in the mainstream (which had initially been leaning to the right!). ... Of course, most protesters really say they want political pluralism, bourgeois democracy. … But at the same time the crowd at the Maidan revives some deeply buried pre-modern, medieval social practices like whipping post, lynching, reinforced traditional gender roles. This scary readiness to slip into barbarism is born from the general disenchantment with parliamentary politics and the ubiquitous nationalist mythology about the golden past, imposed in schools and media.
The original Euromaidan agenda in November was a right liberal one, standing for the EU, “economic liberties” and bourgeois democracy. But even then the issues of multiculturalism, LGBT rights, workers’ rights and freedoms were severely repressed by the politically conscious far-right activists … [whose] political programme had always included critique of the EU’s “liberal fascism”. … The attackers didn’t represent the majority of protesters, but the majority was very susceptible to their political agenda which they had been aggressively pushing through…
[P]eople are new to politics, they just “know” they are rightists and nationalists. And therefore they trust the more politically experienced leaders to express their views and formulate their programme for them. It just so happens that those leaders are nationalists or even Nazis. And they shift the centre of the political discourse even further to the right.
But, first of all, their ideas are welcome among the apolitical crowd; second of all, they are very well organized, and also people love their “radicalism”. An average Ukrainian worker hates the police and the government but he will never fight them openly and risk his comfort. So he or she welcomes a “vanguard” which is ready to fight on their behalf; especially if that vanguard shares “good” patriotic values….And since the basic “common sense” had long ago been established on the nationalist fundamental assumptions, the radicalization goes only further in that direction.36
As we all know, fascists don’t have to be a majority to determine outcomes, and their power to do so can increase very quickly under favorable conditions. Perhaps the most telling, and disturbing remark of the leftists cited in these interviews was this, from Sascha of AntiFascist Action Ukraine, a couple of weeks before the head of Right Sector became deputy head of the National Security and Defense Council: “If Pravy [Right Sector] has positions in a new government that would be really dangerous but that isn’t possible, they aren’t powerful enough.”

Oh, yes they are. Consider the stunning turn of events we have just witnessed: “the ascension of a genuinely fascist mass movement into the corridors of power” in a European country for the first time since WWII, greeted with a stunning non-chalance—nay, embraced as an exemplar of democracy—by the Western liberal democracies. University of Ottawa political scientist Ivan Katchanovski specifies: “The paramilitary right sector has de facto power at least in some Western Ukrainian regions,” and “The far right in Ukraine has now achieved the level of representation and influence that is unparalleled in Europe.”37

Then imagine, please, Professor Katchanovski’s last sentence with “left” substituted for “right,” and consider how unthinkable it is that any American government would be so welcoming of such a “democratic” outcome. The United States and its allied liberal democracies are, in other words, willing to accommodate very hard swings to the right in order to secure and/or extend the neo-liberal capitalist, and US/NATO imperialist, order, but will abide not an inch of movement toward resistance from the left—no matter how righteous or democratic the cause.

The “liberal-nationalist” alliance, the American role, and what it portends

Might we interrupt the rejoicing over the rebirth of democracy in Ukraine to ask: Have the US and European governments given a thought to how their embrace of a government including Svoboda and Right Sector in Ukraine implicitly legitimizes and emboldens the far-right and neo-Nazi movements in Britain, and France, and Sweden, et. al.? Because those movements have.38 Ukraine now has a government that is, as Eric Draitser puts it, “essentially a collaboration between pro-EU liberals and right wing ultra-nationalists.” Israel Shamir is on to something, when he remarks that “a union of [right-wing] nationalists and liberals” has become “the trademark of a new US policy in the Eastern Europe.” As he reminds us: “[L]iberals do not have to support democracy. They do so only if they are certain democracy will deliver what they want. Otherwise, they can join forces with al Qaeda as now in Syria, with Islamic extremists as in Libya, with the Army as in Egypt, or with neo-Nazis, as now in Russia and the Ukraine.”39 Or, as Pepe Escobar puts it:

Everyone remembers the "good Taliban", with which the U.S. could negotiate in Afghanistan. Then came the "good al-Qaeda", jihadis the US could support in Syria. Now come the "good neo-nazis", with which the West can do business in Kiev. Soon there will be "the good jihadis supporting neo-nazis", who may be deployed to advance U.S./NATO and anti-Russian designs in Crimea and beyond.40
Lest one think this is a fanciful compilation, be aware that Right Sector leader and new deputy head of the National Security and Defense Council, Dmitry Yarosh, has called upon Caucasian jihadi, Doku Umarov, to “support Ukraine now,” “to activate his fight” against Russia, and “take a unique chance to win.” Doku Umarov calls himself ‘Emir of the Caucasus Emirate’. He has claimed responsibility for attacks that killed dozens of Russian civilians—including the 2010 Moscow Metro bombings and the 2011 Domodedovo International Airport bombing. He is on the UN Security Council’s Al-Qaeda and Taliban Sanctions list, and the US government has a posted a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture.41

It does get confusing. The frenemy of my frenemy, or something like that.

This has become a formula, and a favorite part of it involves street protests that begin as democratically-inspired movements against corruption and/or authoritarianism, and turn sharply violent when the standard scenario of water-cannon and tear-gas police repression vs. rock- and Molotov-throwing protestors gets brutally escalated by something like….snipers.

Snipers are a vicious weapon. I think whoever is responsible for their use in the maidan protests deserves the world’s condemnation. I also know that nobody knows who is responsible, and no one should accept the pure assumption that they were “government” snipers. The leaked Estonian foreign minister’s phone call, mentioned above, which raised the “stronger and stronger understanding that behind snipers ...was somebody from the new coalition,” has cast widespread doubt on the “government sniper” assumption.

According to the AP, the new Interior Minister, Arsen Avakov, asserts: "I can say only one thing: the key factor in this uprising, that spilled blood in Kiev and that turned the country upside down and shocked it, was a third force…And this force was not Ukrainian." Commanders of police sniper units have denied receiving orders to shoot anyone, and the new Deputy Interior Minister seems to believe them. Imputing a rather complicated motive, he thinks the sniper shooting were “intended to generate a wave of revulsion so strong that it would topple Yanukovych and also justify a Russian invasion.” The new Health Minster thinks Russian special forces were involved.42

An American analyst, on the other hand, claims that, “According to veteran US intelligence sources, the snipers came from an ultra-right-wing military organization known as Ukrainian National Assembly – Ukrainian People’s Self-Defense (UNA-UNSO).”43

One might also keep in mind the hacked emails of opposition leader Vitaly Klitschko, leaked by Anonymous Ukraine (or Russian intelligence), discussing plans for “destabilization,” “radical escalation,” and the arrival of “colleagues” whose “services may be required”:

“Our American friends promise to pay a visit in the coming days, we may even see [Victoria] Nuland or someone from the Congress.” 12/7/2013
“Your colleague has arrived ….his services may be required even after the country is destabilized.” 12/14/2013
“I think we’ve paved the way for more radical escalation of the situation. Isn’t it time to proceed with more decisive action?” 1/9/201444
Every scenario is crazy in one way or another, including the one in which the Yanukovych government, ignoring all the clear lessons of recent history regarding the effects of sniper fire during protests, stupidly thought that killing protestors and policemen would calm the waters. I hope those who are responsible for the sniper attacks are identified and punished, and I do not rule out any possibility. The Russians claim to want the same thing, and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov has called for a full OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) investigation, which Russian UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin insists, would draw "a completely different picture …compared to what is being depicted by American media.” Let’s see if there is a real investigation, and who will support it. In the meantime, we should remember the Syrian chemical attack, and refuse any argument for aggressive action based on a false assertion of certainty about who is responsible for this.45

Let’s also take a look at the role of the US in the Ukranian liberal-“ultra-nationalist” alliance, keeping in mind what I said above about all the actors in this drama having different, sometimes clashing, and sometimes internally contradictory, agendas.

The point is not that the US controlled everything in the Ukrainian uprising. It does not control as much as it thinks, and, as we’ve seen repeatedly, it often gets surprised when it gets what it asked for. It already has been surprised in this case, as we’ll discuss below. But the US, especially when acting in concert with its allies, can significantly affect the course and outcome of events. It has enormous powers, and uses them relentlessly, in public and private, to get what it wants. Not least of these powers is its ability, through its influence on ubiquitous Western media outlets, to withhold and confer a sense of legitimacy. It did just that in Ukraine, with considerable success. Brendan O’Neill makes the incontrovertible point:

The regime change that occurred [in Ukraine] would have been unthinkable without something else, without an additional force - outside pressure. ..
[Western governments] both undermined the legitimacy of the Yanukovich regime and conferred political and moral authority on to the protest camps. They did this firstly through issuing statement after statement over the past three months about the out-of-touchness of Yanukovich,… and secondly through imbuing the protest camps effectively with the right to rule Ukraine. The camps were visited by leading European and American politicians, who told the protesters theirs was a ‘just cause’ and that they have ‘a very different vision for the country’ to Yanukovich – a better one, of course. The consequence of such ‘mediation’ (meddling) was to isolate Yanukovich and embolden the protesters, creating the space for anti-Yanukovich politicians to manoeuvre themselves into positions of power.
Let’s recall the name of arch-neocon Victoria Nuland (wife of arch-neocon Robert Kagan), Assistant US Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia, whose leaked “Fuck the EU!” conversation with the American ambassador in Ukraine brought her out of the shadows as the behind-the-scenes point person for US management of the Ukrainian “revolution.”

In December, 2013, after her third trip to Ukraine in five weeks (including the one where she passed out cookies to maidan protestors), Nuland reminded a meeting of the International Business Conference that the US “had ‘invested’ more than $5 billion and ‘five years worth of work and preparation’ in achieving what she called Ukraine’s ‘European aspirations.’” She also said she “made it ‘absolutely clear’ to Yanukovych that the US required “immediate steps” …to ‘get back into conversation with Europe and the IMF.’” As Renee Parsons puts it, it wasAs if [Nuland was] intent on providing incontrovertible evidence of US involvement in Ukraine.”46

In regard to the leaked phone conversation, American media focused on the Nuland’s salty language, but the more important substantive point of her remarks, as Peter Lee points out, “was that Nuland was calling for the EU to be sidelined because it was not being sufficiently aggressive on the issue of threatening pro-Russian figures with sanctions.” She also wanted the more popular Vitalyi Klitschko and Svoboda leader Oleh Tiahnybok to step aside and allow the more “economically experienced” (i.e., IMF-friendly) Arsenyi Yatsenyuk take the leading role in the new Ukrainian government. She also specifies the supporting role the UN is being assigned. She got everything she asked for.47

Nobody who hears this tape can credibly deny that the United States, through Nuland, was intimately involved in micro-managing the outcome of this independent, nationalist, Ukrainian movement:
Yats is the guy that who’s got the economic experience the governing experience he’s the… what he needs is Klitsch and Tiahnybok on the outside he needs to be talking to them four times a week you know.
Ok. He’s now gotten both [Dutch diplomat Robert] Serry and Ban ki-Moon to agree that Serry could come in Monday or Tuesday. That would be great I think to help glue this thing and to have the UN help glue it and, you know, fuck the EU.
But anyway we could land jelly side up on this one if we move fast.48
[all quotes from Nuland]
Throughout the crisis, the US was pushing hard for the EU to take punitive measures against the Ukrainian government, and to impose sanctions on its key officials and oligarchical backers. Peter Lee describes Nuland’s strategy as an effort “to remove the initiative in Ukraine negotiations out of the hands of Germany and the EU.” He speculates—reasonably, I think—that this had to do with accommodating the American military, as well as the neo-liberal economic, agenda: “Victoria Nuland, in allegiance to her neo-con roots, aggressively facilitated a government that was simultaneously pro-US, anti-Russian, and non-EU-oriented and would therefore see no problem with facilitating a cherished US objective—evicting the Russian Black Sea Fleet from Crimea.” The Germans were certainly pissed off about the high-handed American attitude.49

So the Americans may have been attempting a delicate triangulation, in which the hard anti-Russian sentiment of the ultranationalist Ukrainian right was instrumental for their military agenda, without being so obvious as to lose any support of less confrontational Euro-liberal parties.

But they may have been too clever by a third.

Let’s put aside for a moment the fact that Russia saw what was going on, and acted pre-emptively to stop it. The scent of brewing trouble between Ukrainian neo-fascists and their cosmopolitan patrons in the Euro-American politico-economic elite wafts forth from Right Sector’s rejection of the “cult of profit and depravity” as well as what the English captions of their video clumsily describe as “any integrations on terms that dictates not Ukraine.” The Ukrainian right, embodied in both Svoboda and Right Sector, is, after all, ultra-nationalist, and has a very good idea of the national serfdom that awaits Ukraine in the EuroAmerican-IMF neo-liberal global village. Ukrainian rightists, too, are ready to say “Fuck the EU!” They want Ukraine to be a strong, morally and ethnically pure, a brick in the wall of the GRE—the Great European Reconquest.

As Jack Rasmus points out, however:

Both the EU and USA want reliable (and pliable) capitalist politicians in Parliament and the Ukrainian government. That means politicians who will follow their economic policies and integrate the Ukraine into the western economic orbit. In other words, politicians that respond correctly when threats to freeze their personal assets in Switzerland and Luxembourg are raised, as has been the case in the days immediately preceding February 20.
The west’s gamble is their hope they can exclude the radical, ultranationalist and proto-fascist forces on the ground that served as the battering ram to bust down the door of the Yanukovych regime; or at least minimize their influence in the government. But that task that will not prove so easy, they may find.50
The far-right has its claws deep in the new political order in Ukraine. After all, it considers that it has the right to rule. It may not be so easy to co-opt or push aside, and it is capable of causing a lot of trouble.

Of course, the more astute neo-fascist leaders will make various purring sounds to persuade their anxious Euro-American patrons that they can play nice. Thus, as Blumenthal recounts, Svoboda leader Oleh Tyahnybok—eager to deflect any notion that their anti-“Muscovite Jew” Banderist ideology has anything to do with anti-Semitism, and knowing that there’s no better way to please the American government than to show one’s belly to Israel—recently hosted the Israeli Ambassador to Ukraine. In what, for those who have a “historical complex,” is one of the saddest of ironic moments, Tyahnybok appealed for solidarity thusly: “I would like to ask Israelis to also respect our patriotic feelings… Probably each party in the [Israeli] Knesset is nationalist. With God’s help, let it be this way for us too.” Birds of an ultranationalist feather, and all.51

The showdown will likely come, however, over whether the neo-fascist right will be tame enough to roll over for the IMF-friendly neo-liberal oligarchs and their political henchpersons. To prepare for the eventualities, the US and friends will want to shower the interim government with beefed-up police equipment and training, in order to make sure that no street protest can get anywhere near the traction of the maidan of the last few months. You know, to protect the now-democratic (unelected) government against an undemocratic popular insurrection.

On the other hand, as Julie Hyland reports, the far-right is now entrenching control of its own national military force, in the form of a 60,000-strong National Guard, “recruited from ‘activists’ in the anti-Russian protests and from military academies.” This force was just established by the Ukrainian parliament, and will be overseen by Svoboda’s own Andriy Parubiy.52 Ukraine’s neo-fascist right may have been a tad too well nourished on Victoria’s baked goods, and the US’s neo-liberal plans may not get swallowed so easily. These guys are ready to fight. They may be inclined to be independent of, and resistant to, an EU-IMF agenda. The Russian reaction in the Crimea has already taken the US off-guard, and the new armed forces of the Ukrainian right can now create a lot of trouble throughout the Ukraine, which could provoke the wider conflict with Russia that they are itching for, and that Europe, and even the US, can ill afford.

I’ve got no happy ending. As I said above, possible war and perpetual tension is what’s in store for the Ukraine. And America’s cookies may land jelly-side down.

Russia and Crimea

I hold no love for Russia under Putin, although I do not consider him the comic-book villain he is now being cast as. Russia has its own problems with post-Soviet oligarchic capitalism and a confused nationalist mythology. The re-annexation of Crimea is a dangerous gambit, and arguably, but not certainly (see below), in contravention of international law. Nothing here to celebrate.

It’s also true that, in this situation, the US is being hoisted on its own petard of utter disregard for what I previously called “the carefully-constructed and delicate post-war architecture of international law and institutions.” It’s the United States (along with its ward state, Israel) that has routinely ignored issues of national sovereignty and international law, at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives, over decades—and have suffered no sanction for doing so. Their actions, more than anything else, have rendered the always-fragile construct of international law practically a dead letter. You can’t bomb and/or invade Lebanon, Cuba, Vietnam, the Dominican Republic, Panama, Serbia, Iraq, Libya, et. al., to install your favored government (all but one thousands of miles from your territory), and then stand in politico-moral judgement over another country’s incursion into and recapture of a contiguous region that had been part of its national territory until 1954.

Especially when that happens with the consent of ithe people in that territory, and without a single casualty. Neither the Russians, who lost 20 million people to fascism in WWII, nor the Crimeans (Crimea being part of Russia at the time), have any mythologized confusions about fascist historical heroes, or any reason not to fear and reject the resurgent fascism at the door. Western countries, in fact, could use a little of that anxiety.

In the global context they have created, American leaders can’t think they’ll be taken seriously when they say: “You just don’t in the 21st Century behave in 19th Century fashion by invading another country on completely trumped-up pretext.”

Furthermore, US foreign policy since the fall of the Soviet Union has been particularly contemptuous of Russia. Bush I promised Mikhail Gorbachev that the US would not expand NATO to take in the Eastern European and Baltic states, and he, Clinton, and Bush II proceeded to do just that. They took it for granted that Russia—under the leadership of their corrupt and drunken stooge, Yeltsin, and economically devastated by the American-led shock-therapy restoration of capitalism—could do nothing. With his war on Russia's close ally, Serbia, Bill Clinton (proving that NATO never was a defensive alliance) announced that, henceforth, NATO was free to attack any country on Earth--its concept of right trumping the United Nations process and all other notions of international law; he, too, presumed Russia could do nothing about it. In Libya, the US lied to get the Russians (and Chinese) to vote for a “humanitarian” mission, and then blatantly disregarded the terms of the UN resolution and bombed the crap out of Libya for the purpose of “regime change”—assuming Russia could do nothing about it. G. W. Bush and Obama have pushed NATO forward more aggressively, and moved to station “missile defenses” in Eastern Europe that everyone with half a brain, and certainly Russia, knows are weapons designed to enable US first-strike capability—taking for granted that Russia could do nothing about it.

Well, today, in Crimea, Russia—which has every reason to suspect US/NATO plans for Ukraine and for its only warm-water port—can do something about it. It’s not something very nice, but nor is it a hundredth as destructive as what the United States has been doing, or certainly would do in the same circumstance. Putin can cite the Obama administration’s own statement to the UN International Court on Kosovo:

“Declarations of independence may, and often do, violate domestic legislation. However, this does not make them violations of international law.” End of quote. They wrote this, disseminated it all over the world, had everyone agree and now they are outraged. Over what? The actions of Crimean people completely fit in with these instructions, as it were.53
And he can then go all Victoria Nuland on the US. There’s really nothing the US can do, or even credibly say, about it. Fortunately, nobody has the stomach for war.

Like a lot of us, the Russians may have thought something else was possible after the break-up of the Soviet Union. But, for the past twenty-some years, the United States was content to ignore international law, and re-create that Great Power world in which one country could invade another country on completely trumped-up pretext—because it took for granted that it was the only Great Power.

No happy ending, for Americans or Ukraines. It’s a very dangerous world we now live in; somebody could get the stomach. It was Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama who created this world. The Russians have only decided they’re going to live in it. And so will we all.

[See follow-up post on Ukraine developments at: Good for the Gander:Ukraine's Demise Accelerates.]
Notes and Links, and Coda

1Ukraine Turns to Its Oligarchs for Political Help -

2 Yulia Tymoshenko is back centre stage in Ukraine – but not all want her there | World news | The Guardian

3Ukrainian Protesters See Too Many Familiar Faces in Parliament After Revolution -

4The Dubious Businees of Ukraine President Yanukovych and His Clan - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Christopher Dickey, Yulia Tymoshenko: She's No Angel, Daily Beast

5Ukraine: The February revolution | The Economist

6Ukraine: The left and the movement to overthrow Yanukovich: two interviews | Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal, reposted from Pratele Komunizace

7Whither Ukraine? » CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

8Washington’s Man Yatsenyuk Setting Ukraine Up For Ruin,

9The Restaurant Veselka Is a Beacon for Ukrainian Immigrants -

10Julie Hyland, What the Western-backed regime is planning for Ukrainian workers - World Socialist Web Site

11Economist, op. cit.

12Hyland, op. cit.

13Valentin Mândrăşescu, ’Western financial aid won’t save Ukraine’ – former minister of economy - The Voice of Russia

14Wolf Richter Aid For The Ukraine “Will Be Stolen” – Former Ukrainian Minister Of Economy | InvestmentWatch

15Timothy Snyder, Fascism, Russia, and Ukraine | The New York Review of Books

16A New Cold War? Ukraine Violence Escalates, Leaked Tape Suggests U.S. Was Plotting Coup | Democracy Now!

17Medic: At least 70 protesters killed in Kiev - Yahoo News - Ukrainian protesters with guns caught on tape

19Ukraine crisis: bugged call reveals conspiracy theory about Kiev snipers | World news | The Guardian

20Militants threaten to shatter fragile Ukraine truce - Yahoo News

21 Vladimir Putin Talks To Reporters About Ukraine – Information Clearing House

22Ukraine: The left and the movement to overthrow Yanukovich: two interviews | Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

23Ukraine’s presidential election meets most international commitments - Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights

24Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, The Road to Moscow Goes Through Kiev: A Coup d’Etat That Threatens Russia | Global Research

25A Coup or a Revolution? Ukraine Seeks Arrest of Ousted President Following Deadly Street Protests | Democracy Now!

26Ukraine: This Isn’t A Revolution – It’s Regime Change

27Max Blumenthal, Is the U.S. Backing Neo-Nazis in Ukraine? | Alternet

"The Return of the Ukrainian Far Right: The Case of VO Svoboda," in Ruth Wodak and John E. Richardson (eds.) Analyzing Fascist Discourse: European Fascism in Talk and Text (London and New York: Routledge, 2013), 228-255. | Per Anders Rudling -

Nicolai N. Petro, Threat of Military Confrontation Grows in Ukraine | The Nation

28Blumenthal, Petro, and Justin Raimondo, A Monster Reawakens: The Rise of Ukrainian Fascism --

29 Yushchenko: European Parliament has ‘historical complex’ with respect to Bandera

3015,000 Ukraine nationalists march for divisive Bandera

A lot of Ukrainians like to convince themselves that, as one of the January demonstrators insisted, "Bandera never was on the Germans' side," and that he was just about national independence. They’ll cite the fact that he was imprisoned by the Germans in 1941, when his faction of the OUN (OUN-B) “came to control the OUN's Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) and declared an independent Ukrainian state … as a satellite of Nazi Germany,” which apparently was a little too assertive (or perhaps oxymoronic) for the Germans. But Bandera was back in German favor by 1944, and actually “set up a headquarters in Berlin and oversaw the training of Ukrainian insurgents by the German army.” Bandera’s “younger and more radical” OUN faction (ONU-B) was somewhat more ambivalent about the Ukrainian Waffen SS division than the “older, more moderate” (OUN-M) of Andriy Melnyk, but the ONU-B “did not interfere in i[the division’s] formation and once the division was formed it sent some of its members, a number of whom would obtain prominent positions.” Both factions of the ONU “were enthusiastically committed to a new fascist Europe.” And it was the UPA, under Bandera’s “top deputy and acting ‘Prime Minister,’” Yaroslav Stetsko, that “killed tens of thousands of Poles in 1942-44.” The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists portrayed Russians, Poles, Hungarians and Jews — most of the minorities in western Ukraine — as aliens and encouraged locals to destroy “Poles and Jews.” All this goes to show is that Bandera was as ardently racist and anti-Semitic as he was nationalist. Ukrainians who imagine that Bandera was not an outright fascist are kidding themselves. It’s a little like believing that Confederate statesmen weren’t really racists, just proponents of “states’ rights.” Read the Per Anders Rudling article to get the full flavor of it.

The French were responsible for a vicious imperial occupation of Vietnam. Nonetheless, when given the easy opportunity, Ho Chi Minh did not confuse an alliance with Japanese “fellow-Asian” imperialism with a worthy strategy for Vietnamese nationalism. Stalin’s many horrible crimes committed against Ukraine (at the same time he was murdering thousands of Russian revolutionaries) are no excuse for a nationalism that wants to lay the heads of Jews, and prostrate itself, at Hitler’s feet.
For a taste of the US partnership with Ukrainian fascists, see the recent interview with Russ Bellant, "Seven Decades of Nazi Collaboration: America's Dirty Little Ukraine Secret," based on his 1991 book, Old Nazis, the New Right, and the Republican Party: Domestic fascist networks and their effect on U.S. cold war politics. [Reference added 5 May 2014]

31Nazemroaya, op. cit., and Brian Becker, Who’s Who in Ukraine’s New “Semi-fascist” Government: Meet the People the U.S. and EU are Supporting | Global Research]

32BBC News – Ukraine's revolution and the far right

33Oleg Shynkarenko, Can Ukraine Control Its Far Right Ultranationalists? - The Daily Beast

34An Interview with Mira, Andrei, and Sascha of AntiFascist Action Ukraine

35Ukraine: The left and the movement to overthrow Yanukovych: two

interviews | Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal


37Shynkarenko, op. cit.

38 Michael Moynihan, Neo-Nazis Pour Into Kiev - The Daily Beast, and Raimondo, op.cit.

39Eric Draitser, Ukraine, Intervention, and America’s Doublethink » CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names Israel Shamir: The Brown Revolution of the Ukraine

40Ukraine Now Headed by Fascists and Neo-Nazis | Alternet

41Ukraine nationalist leader calls on “most wanted” terrorist Umarov “to act against Russia” — RT News

We must add to the list Venezuela, where US liberal and conservative politicians and media—in the name of “democracy,” of course—are supporting another bunch of right-wing street fighters attempting to overthrow a government that they have failed to dislodge in election after election. Garry Leech, Behind the Lies About Venezuela’s Protests » CounterPunch, and Suren Moodliar, No Middle Road on Venezuela » CounterPunch

42Russia, Ukraine feud over sniper carnage - Yahoo News

43F. William Engdahl, Ukraine: Secretive Neo-Nazi Military Organization Involved in Euromaidan Sniper Shootings | Global Research

44Anonymous Ukraine releases Klitschko e-mails showing treason - News - World - The Voice of Russia

45Russia calls for OSCE probe into Kiev sniper deaths - Yahoo News Russia, Ukraine feud over sniper carnage - Yahoo News

46Renee Parsons, Chronology of the Ukrainian Coup » CounterPunch

47Peter Lee, Skullduggery in Ukraine | Counterpunch

48Washington’s Objective: Install a Political Puppet in Ukraine, “F— the EU” says Victoria Nuland in Leaked Tape | Global Research

49Germans not amused by Victoria Nuland gaffe - The Washington Post

50The Ukraine Economic Crisis » CounterPunch

51Israel Hayom | Israeli ambassador holds friendly meeting with notorious anti-Semite, and Blumenthal, op. cit.. And try this for crazy: Israeli militia commander fights to protect Kiev | The Times of Israel “Delta, a Ukrainian-born former IDF soldier, heads a force of 40 men and women, most of whom are not Jewish, against gov’t forces,:

52Hyland, op. cit.

53Address by President of the Russian Federation - Putin Slams West, Calls For End to ‘Cold War Rhetoric’

On March 5, Henry A. Kissinger publised his opinion on the subject in

By Henry A. Kissinger March 5, 2014

Henry A. Kissinger was secretary of state from 1973 to 1977.

Public discussion on Ukraine is all about confrontation. But do we know where we are going? In my life, I have seen four wars begun with great enthusiasm and public support, all of which we did not know how to end and from three of which we withdrew unilaterally. The test of policy is how it ends, not how it begins.

Far too often the Ukrainian issue is posed as a showdown: whether Ukraine joins the East or the West. But if Ukraine is to survive and thrive, it must not be either side’s outpost against the other — it should function as a bridge between them.

Russia must accept that to try to force Ukraine into a satellite status, and thereby move Russia’s borders again, would doom Moscow to repeat its history of self-fulfilling cycles of reciprocal pressures with Europe and the United States.

The West must understand that, to Russia, Ukraine can never be just a foreign country. Russian history began in what was called Kievan-Rus. The Russian religion spread from there. Ukraine has been part of Russia for centuries, and their histories were intertwined before then. Some of the most important battles for Russian freedom, starting with the Battle of Poltava in 1709 , were fought on Ukrainian soil. The Black Sea Fleet — Russia’s means of projecting power in the Mediterranean — is based by long-term lease in Sevastopol, in Crimea. Even such famed dissidents as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Joseph Brodsky insisted that Ukraine was an integral part of Russian history and, indeed, of Russia.

The European Union must recognize that its bureaucratic dilatoriness and subordination of the strategic element to domestic politics in negotiating Ukraine’s relationship to Europe contributed to turning a negotiation into a crisis. Foreign policy is the art of establishing priorities.

The Ukrainians are the decisive element. They live in a country with a complex history and a polyglot composition. The Western part was incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1939 , when Stalin and Hitler divided up the spoils. Crimea, 60 percent of whose population is Russian , became part of Ukraine only in 1954 , when Nikita Khrushchev, a Ukrainian by birth, awarded it as part of the 300th-year celebration of a Russian agreement with the Cossacks. The west is largely Catholic; the east largely Russian Orthodox. The west speaks Ukrainian; the east speaks mostly Russian. Any attempt by one wing of Ukraine to dominate the other — as has been the pattern — would lead eventually to civil war or break up. To treat Ukraine as part of an East-West confrontation would scuttle for decades any prospect to bring Russia and the West — especially Russia and Europe — into a cooperative international system.


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July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 April 2014 March 2014 February 2014 January 2014 December 2013

It's easy to pretend to be a great strategist,
while sitting on the top of the hill,
at the safe distance from the battle in the valley

Shota Rustavelli(1172–1216)

[Mar 31, 2014] Seven Decades of Nazi Collaboration America's Dirty Little Ukraine Secret by Paul Rosenberg

Mar 31, 2014 |

Paul H. Rosenberg interviews Russ Bellant, March 31, 2014

As the Ukrainian crisis has unfolded over the past few weeks, it's hard for Americans not to see Vladimir Putin as the big villain. But the history of the region is a history of competing villains vying against one another; and one school of villains – the Nazis – have a long history of engagement with the US, mostly below the radar, but occasionally exposed, as they were by Russ Bellant in his book Old Nazis, The New Right And The Republican Party (South End Press, 1991). Bellant's exposure of Nazi leaders from German allies in the 1988 Bush presidential campaign was the driving force in the announced resignation of nine individuals, two of them from the Ukraine, which is why he was the logical choice to turn to illuminate the scattered mentions of Nazi and fascist elements amongst the Ukrainian nationalists, which somehow never seems to warrant further comment or explanation. Of course most Ukranians aren't Nazis or fascists – all the more reason to illuminate those who would hide their true natures in the shadows…or even behind the momentary glare of the spotlight.

Your book, Old Nazis, the New Right, and the Republican Party exposed the deep involvement in the Republican Party of Nazi elements from Central and Eastern Europe, including Ukrainian, dating back to World War II and even before. As the Ukrainian crisis unfolded in the last few weeks there have been scattered mentions of a fascist or neo-fascist element, but somehow that never seems to warrant further comment or explanation. I can't think of anyone better to shed light on what's not being said about that element. The danger of Russian belligerence is increasingly obvious, but this unexamined fascist element poses dangers of its own. What can you tell us about this element and those dangers?

The element has a long history, of a long record that speaks for itself, when that record is actually known and elaborated on. The key organization in the coup that took place here recently was the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists [OUN], or a specific branch of it known as the Banderas [OUN-B]. They're the group behind the Svoboda party, which got a number of key positions in the new interim regime. The OUN goes back to the 1920s, when they split off from other groups, and, especially in the 1930s began a campaign of assassinating and otherwise terrorizing people who didn't agree with them.

As World War II approached, they made an alliance with the Nazi powers, they formed several military formations, so that when Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, they had several battalions that went into the main city at the time, where their base was, Lvov, or Lwow, it has a variety of spellings [also 'Lviv']. They went in, and there's a documented history of them participating in the identification and rounding up Jews in that city, and assisting in executing several thousand citizens almost immediately. There were also involved in liquidating Polish group populations in other parts of Ukraine during the war.

Without getting deeply involved in that whole history, the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists to this day defend their wartime role, they were backers of forming the 14th Waffen SS Division, which was the all-Ukrainian division that became an armed element on behalf of the Germans, and under overall German control. They helped encourage its formation, and after the war, right at the end of the war, it was called the First Ukrainian division and they still glorify that history of that SS division, and they have a veterans organization, that obviously doesn't have too many of members left but they formed a veterans division of that.

If you look insignia being worn in Kiev in the street demonstrations and marches to the SS division insignia still being worn. In fact I was looking at photographs last night of it and there was a whole formation marching, not with 14th Division, but with the Second Division, it was a large division that did major battle around the Ukraine, and these marchers were wearing the insignia on the armbands of the Second Division.

So this is a very clear record, and the OUN, even in its postwar publications has called for ethno-genetically pure Ukrainian territory, which of course is simply calling for purging Jews, and Poles, and Russians from what they consider Ukrainian territory. Also, current leaders of Svoboda have made blatantly anti-Semitic remarks that call for getting rid of Muscovite Jews and so forth. They use this very coarse threatening language that anybody knowing the history of World War II would tremble at. If they were living here, it would seem like they would start worrying about it.

Obviously these people don't hold monopoly power in Ukraine, but they stepped up and the United States has been behind the Svoboda party and these Ukrainian nationalists. In fact the US connections to them go back to World War II and the United States has had a long-standing tie to the OUN, through the intelligence agencies, initially military intelligence, and later the CIA.

Your book discusses a central figure in the OUN, Yaroslav Stetsko, who was politically active for decades here in America. What can you tell us about his history?

Yaroslav Stetsko was the number two leader of the OUN during World War II and thereafter. In 1959, Stefan Bandera, who was head of the OUN, was killed and that's when Stetsko assumed the leadership. Stetsko in 1941 was the guy who actually marched into Lvov with the German army June 30, 1941 and the OUN issued a proclamation at that time under his name praising and calling for glory to the German leader Adolf Hitler and how they're going to march arm in arm for the Ukraine and so forth. After the war, he was part of the key leadership that got picked up by the Americans.

There's a number of accounts I've seen, at least three credible up reports, on how they were in the displaced person camp, the Allied forces set up displaced persons camp and picked up tens of thousands of these former allies of Hitler from countries all over the East, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania – there weren't Polish collaborators I think most people know the Germans heavily persecuted and murdered millions of Polish residents – but Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, and so forth, Belorussia. They had them in these camps they built and organized them, where the Ukrainians were assassinating their Ukrainian nationalist rival so that they would be the undisputed leaders of Ukrainian nationalist movement, so they would get the sponsorship of the United States to continue their political operation, and they were successful in that regard. So when Bandera was out of the picture, Stetsko became the undisputed leader of Ukrainian nationalists.

The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists in 1943 under German sponsorship organized a multinational force to fight on behalf of the retreating German army. After the battle of Stalingrad in '43 the Germans felt a heightened need to get more allies, and so the Romanian Iron Guard, the Hungarian Arrow Cross, the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and others with military formations in place to assist came together and formed the united front called the Committee of Subjugated Nations and again worked on behalf of of the German military. In 1946, they renamed it the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations, ABN. Stetsko was the leader of that until he died in 1986.

I mention this in part because the OUN tries to say well during the war we fought the Germans and the communists. The fact of the matter is that they were the leadership of this whole multinational alliance on behalf of the German the last two years of the war and in the war thereafter. All the postwar leaders of the unrepentant Nazi allies were all under the leadership of Yaroslav Stetsko.

What happened when Stetsko, and others like him from other German allied forces came to the United States?

In the United States, when they came, his groups organized 'captive nations' committees, they became, supposedly, the representatives of people who are being oppressed in Eastern Europe, the Baltic countries, by the Soviet. But they were, in fact, being given an uncritical blank check to represent the voices of all these nations that were part of the Warsaw Pact when in fact they represented the most extreme elements of each of the national communities.

The Captive Nations Committee in Washington DC for instance was run by the person who headed the Ukrainian organization of nationalists, that was true in a number of places. In my hometown area near Detroit as well, they played a major role. In the early 50s, when they were resettled in the United States, there was at least 10,000 of them that were resettled, when you look at all the nationalities. They became politically active through the Republican national committee, because it was really the Eisenhower administration that made the policy decision in the early 1950s, and brought them in. They set up these campaign organizations, every four years they would mobilize for the Republican candidate, whoever it would be, and some of them like Richard Nixon, in 1960, actually had close direct ties to some of the leaders like the Romanian Iron Guard, and some of these other groups.

When Richard Nixon ran for president in 1968, he made a promise to these leaders that they would if he won the presidency he would make them the ethnic outreach arm of the Republican National Committee on a permanent basis, so they wouldn't be a quadrennial presence, but a continuing presence in the Republican Party. And he made that promise through a guy named Laszlo Pasztor, who served five years in prison after World War II for crimes against humanity. He was prosecuted in 1946 by non-Communist government that actually had control of Hungary at the time. There was a period from '45 to '48 when the Hungarian Communist Party didn't run Hungary. They were the ones who prosecuted him. He had served as a liaison between the Hungarian Nazi party and Berlin; he served in the Berlin embassy of the Hungarian Arrow Cross movement. This is the guy that got picked to organize all the ethnic groups, and the only people that got brought in were the Nazi collaborators.

They didn't have a Russian affiliate because they hated all Russians of all political stripes. There were no African Americans or Jewish affiliates either. It was just composed of these elements, and for a while they had a German affiliate but some exposure of the Nazi character of the German affiliate caused it to be quietly removed, but other [Nazi] elements were retained.

Your book was researched and published in the 1980s. What was happening by that point in time, after these groups had been established for more than a decade?

I went to their meetings in the 1980s, and they put out material that really make clear who they were there 1984, one of their 1984 booklets praised the pro-Nazi Ustashi regime in Croatia, and these Ustashi killed an estimated 750,000 people and burned them alive in their own camp in Croatia. And here they are praising the founding of this regime, and acknowledging that it was associated with the Nazis, and it was signed by the chairman of the Republican National Committee. You couldn't make this stuff up. It was just crazy.

I interviewed the Kossack guy, he showed me his pension from service in the SS in World War II, and how he was affiliated with free Nazi groups in the United States, and he was just very unrepentant. These are the umbrellas that were called 'Captive Nations Committees' by these people that Stetsko was over, and was part of, too. The Reagan White House brought him in, and promoted him as a major leader and did a big dinner – [UN Ambassador] Jeane Kirkpatrick was part of it, George Bush as Vice President, of course Reagan – and Stetsko was held up as a great leader., And proclamations were issued on his behalf.

When Bush was running for president in 1988, Bush Senior, he came to these basically one of the leading locations of the Ukrainian nationalists in North America, which is in just outside of Detroit, a suburb of Detroit to their cultural center, and one of their foremost leaders in the world is headquartered out of their, at the time, he got Bush to come there and they denounced the OSI and Bush just shook his head, he wouldn't say anything about it.

The OSI was the Offices of Special Investigations, it was investigating the presence of Nazi war criminals in the United States, and deporting those that were found to have lied on their history when they applied to come into the United States after the war. They had deported a number of people from all over the United States. They had a lot of open investigations, and all these émigré Nazis were trying to bring all the political pressure they could to stop these investigations, including the Ukrainian nationalists ones.

So they denounced them, the OSI investigations, in front of Bush, Bush nodded his head, but he wouldn't say anything because he didn't want to sound like he was sympathetic to the Nazi war criminals, but at the same time he didn't want to offend his hosts by disputing the issue with them. So, the issue of World War II was still being played out over four decades later, in the politics of the presidency, and unfortunately Bush and Reagan continued to be on the side that we tried to defeat in World War II.

... ... ...

What's happened since you wrote your book, and most of the World War II generation died off? What have the OUN and its allies been up to since then that we should be aware of?

Once the OUN got sponsored by the American security establishment intelligence agencies, they were embedded in a variety of ways in Europe as well, like Radio Free Europe which is headquartered in Munich. A lot of these groups, in the ABN were headquartered in Munich under the sponsorship of Radio Free Europe. From there they ran various kinds of operations where they were trying to do work inside the Warsaw Pact countries. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, a number of them moved back into the Ukraine as well as the other respective countries, and began setting up operations there, and organizing political parties. They reconstituted the veterans group of the Waffen SS, they held marches in the 1990s in the Ukraine, and organized political parties, in alliance with the United States, and became part of what was called the Orange Revolution in 2004, when they won the election there.

The prime minister was closely allied with them. They worked with the new government to get veterans benefits for the Ukrainian SS division veterans, and they started establishing the statues and memorials and museums for Stepan Bandera, who was the leader of the OUN, and who I should say was despised by other Ukrainian nationalists because of their methods, because they were extreme and violent toward other rival Ukrainian nationalist groups as well. So Bandera wasn't a universal hero, but this group was so influential, in part because of its US connections, that if you go online and you Google 'Lviv' and the word 'Bandera' you'll see monuments and statues and large posters and banners of Bandera's likeness and large monuments permanent erected monuments on behalf of Bandera so they made this guy like he's the George Washington of the Ukraine.

That government was in power until 2010, when there was another election, and a new regime was elected with a lot of support from the East. Ukrainian nationalist groupings around the Orange Revolution were sharply divided against each other, and there was rampant corruption, and people voted them out. The United States was very aggressive in trying to keep the nationalists in power, but they lost the election. The United States was spending money through the National Endowment for Democracy, which was pumping money into various Ukrainian organizations, and they were doing the same thing in Russia and many other countries around the world as well. We're talking about many millions of dollars a year to affect the politics of these countries.

When the occupations came in Independence Square in Kiev late last year, you can see Svoboda's supporters and you can hear their leaders in the parliament making blatant anti-semitic remarks. The leader of the Svoboda party went to Germany to protest the prosecution of John Demjanjuk, who was the Ukrainian who was settled in the United States, who was implicated as a concentration camp guard in the killing of innocent people. The German courts found him guilty and Svoboda leadership went to Germany to complain about convicting this guy. The reason they said they didn't want any Ukrainian tainted with it because they live a lie that no Ukrainian had anything to do with the German Nazi regime, when history betrays them, and their own affiliations betray them. But they don't like that being out there publicly, so they always protest their innocence of any Ukrainian being charged with anything, regardless of what the evidence is.

Your book was an important revelation but was not alone. Your book notes that Jack Anderson reported on the pro-Nazi backgrounds of some of the ethnic advisors as far back as 1971, yet when your report came out almost two decades later, everyone responded with shock, surprise, and even denial. What lessons should we draw from this history of buried history? And how should it influence our thinking about the unfolding crisis in the Ukraine?

I don't believe it's ever too late to become familiarized and educated about the history of this phenomenon both the wartime history and our postwar collaboration with these folks. There were a number of exposés written about the émigré Nazis. There was a 1979 book called Wanted and it did a number of case stories of these people being brought in to the United States, including the Trifa story. Christopher Simpson did a book called Blowback that discussed the policy decisions, it's an incredible book. He's a professor at American University and he did years of research through the Freedom of Information Act and archives, and got the policy documents under which the decisions were made to bring these folks together, and not just into the United States but to deploy them around the world.

Like my book, it didn't get the attention it deserved. The New York Times book reviewer was negative toward the book. There are people that really don't want to touch this stuff. There's a lot of people who don't want it touched. I think it's really important for people who believe in openness and transparency and democratic values, who don't want to see hate groups come back to power in other parts of the world to know what happened.

There's not very many Americans that really even know that the Waffen SS was a multinational force. That's been kind of kept out of the received history. Otherwise people would know that there were Ukrainian Nazis, Hungarian Nazis, Latvian Nazis, and they were all involved in the mass murder of their fellow citizens, if they were Jewish, or even if they were co-nationalists that were on the other side of the issue of the war. They were just mass murderers, across Eastern Europe. And that history, those facts aren't even well-known. A lot of people didn't even know this phenomenon even existed.

I think all Americans have a responsibility to know what their government is doing in the foreign policy in Europe as well as elsewhere around the world, as well as Latin America as well as Africa. Since our policy was to uphold apartheid in South Africa why weren't Americans challenging that more? They began challenging that in the 80s, but the apartheid regime was run by the Nazi party. They were allied with Germany in World War II, they were the Nationalist party and they took power in 1948 and the United States backed that for decades. We backed the death squads in Latin America, even though they massacred tens of thousands of people – 30,000 people in Chile alone. Americans aren't being attentive to what their government is doing abroad, even though it's been doing done with their tax dollars and in their name, and I think we just have a general responsibility.

I went to these meetings, I went to these conferences, I went over a period of years. I met with them directly, most of the people I wrote about, I met with them personally or in group meetings. People can't afford to do that on their own, timewise, but there's enough literature out there they can read and pursue it, they will get enough enough of a handle to get what the real picture is, to demand change. I'm not totally partisan in this, but I think the Republican Party was extreme on this, but the Democrats folded and didn't challenge this when they knew it was going on.

There is an old Roman poet that once said truth does not say one thing and wisdom another. I'm a believer in that. Tell the truth and wisdom will follow.

Paul H. Rosenberg is a columnist for Al Jazeera English and Senior Editor for Random Lengths News.

Reprinted with permission from Foreign Policy in Focus.

[Mar 31, 2014] Aid to Ukraine Is a Bad Deal for All by Rep. Ron Paul

March 31, 2014 |

Last week Congress overwhelmingly passed a bill approving a billion dollars in aid to Ukraine and more sanctions on Russia. The bill will likely receive the president's signature within days. If you think this is the last time US citizens will have their money sent to Ukraine, you should think again. This is only the beginning.

This $1 billion for Ukraine is a rip-off for the America taxpayer, but it is also a bad deal for Ukrainians. Not a single needy Ukrainian will see a penny of this money, as it will be used to bail out international banks who hold Ukrainian government debt. According to the terms of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)-designed plan for Ukraine, life is about to get much more difficult for average Ukrainians. The government will freeze some wage increases, significantly raise taxes, and increase energy prices by a considerable margin.

But the bankers will get paid and the IMF will get control over the Ukrainian economy.

The bill also authorizes more US taxpayer money for government-funded "democracy promotion" NGOs, and more money to broadcast US government propaganda into Ukraine via Radio Free Europe and Voice of America. It also includes some saber-rattling, directing the US Secretary of State to "provide enhanced security cooperation with Central and Eastern European NATO member states."

The US has been "promoting democracy" in Ukraine for more than ten years now, but it doesn't seem to have done much good. Recently a democratically-elected government was overthrown by violent protesters. That is the opposite of democracy, where governments are changed by free and fair elections. What is shocking is that the US government and its NGOs were on the side of the protesters! If we really cared about democracy we would not have taken either side, as it is none of our business.

Washington does not want to talk about its own actions that led to the coup, instead focusing on attacking the Russian reaction to US-instigated unrest next door to them. So the new bill passed by Congress will expand sanctions against Russia for its role in backing a referendum in Crimea, where most of the population voted to join Russia. The US, which has participated in the forced change of borders in Serbia and elsewhere, suddenly declares that international borders cannot be challenged in Ukraine.

Those of us who are less than gung-ho about sanctions, manipulating elections, and sending our troops overseas are criticized as somehow being unpatriotic. It happened before when so many of us were opposed to the Iraq war, the US attack on Libya, and elsewhere. And it is happening again to those of us not eager to get in another cold – or hot – war with Russia over a small peninsula that means absolutely nothing to the US or its security.

I would argue that real patriotism is defending this country and making sure that our freedoms are not undermined here. Unfortunately, while so many are focused on freedoms in Crimea and Ukraine, the US Congress is set to pass an NSA "reform" bill that will force private companies to retain our personal data and make it even easier for the NSA to spy on the rest of us. We need to refocus our priorities toward promoting liberty in the United States!

[Mar 31, 2014] An easy victory ahead for Poroshenko Europe

Mar 31, 2014 | DW.DE

Political turncoat

Poroshenko's popularity apparently hasn't suffered as a result of the fact that he has switched parties multiple times since the beginning of his political career in the late 1990s. Initially, he was a supporter of then-President Leonid Kuchma. Together with Kuchma's protege, Viktor Yanukovych, he founded the Party of Regions, until he ultimately joined forces with the party's rival Viktor Yushchenko. Poroshenko was the sole oligarch to support the Orange Revolution and became foreign minister. When Yanukovych took power, Poroshenko briefly assumed leadership of the country's Economics Ministry. During the recent Maidan protests, Poroshenko sided with the opposition.

Savin sees this political flexibility as Poroshenko's survival strategy. "As a businessman with major concerns, it's best not to be on the side of the opposition, or your business will suffer." Savin didn't rule out the possibility that Poroshenko will also continue to change his positions in the future.

Rebuff to radical nationalists

The entrepreneur has clearly distanced himself right-wing extremists and their militant rhetoric against right-wing extremists. "I don't think he is going to play the radical nationalist card," said Savin. "On the contrary: He'll try to keep the country together somehow."

The polls indicate that Poroshenko enjoys popularity even in the pro-Russian, eastern parts of the country - in contrast to his rival Yulia Tymoshenko. Savin said that's partly due to the politician's wealth. "For eastern Ukrainian voters, that's a positive signal: 'He is one of us - or someone who is similar to our great leaders.'"

After a telephone recording emerged in which former Prime Minister Tymoshenko issued death threats against Russian President Vladimir Putin, her poll numbers have been plummeting. Does that mean Poroshenko can bank on an easy victory in the first round of the presidential election? Savin was skeptical, "Tymoshenko is known for running very good campaigns and being able to win votes. That's why I'm expecting a neck-to-neck race. It's very likely that both will go into the runoff vote."

Svitlana Zalishchuk, on the other hand, saw slim changes for the one-time icon of the Orange Revolution. "She is a politician of the past," she said. "Her era is over."

[Mar 31, 2014] America Is Shooting Itself In The Foot Over Russia by Jim Rogers

Zero Hedge
There is no reason for Russia to worry about the western sanctions it is facing now over the Ukrainian issue since "Moscow has too many other trade partners to work with," Jim Rogers explains in this interview, adding that "America is shooting itself in a foot getting the most of our world to pushing China and Russia closer together." Simply put, he warns, "I don't see any sanctions strategy that they can use that will hurt Russia worse than it will hurt the people imposing those sanctions."

Via Voice Of Russia,

Could China's decision to purchase superjet planes be viewed as a gesture of support following a series of sanctions imposed by the West against Moscow over the Ukrainian issue?

Of course it is. I'm an American, so I hate to say this, but America is shooting itself in a foot getting the most of our world to pushing China and Russia closer together. And you are going to see more and more trade between the two. And that makes the sanctions against Russia almost impossible, because there are other people who will not play.

And are there chances for the Russia Sukhoi Superjet planes to compete with other major plane-makers?

I don't think that the Russians have enough to compete with Boeing planes yet. But you are certainly getting better. I mean, as far as cargo planes, you are probably better than anybody else. And if people are forcing you or forcing other people to buy from you, then, of course, your costs will go down, your quality will get better and it will only benefit Russia, but not benefit Europe or America.

I think that's one reason Europe and America are a little hesitant to do too much about the sanctions, because they know that they may lose more than they will gain.

And there are some articles on the Internet right now where different experts say that the sanctions imposed by the EU and the US could be bad only for them. What do you think about this sanctions strategy that the US and the EU are using with respect to Russia?

I don't see any sanctions strategy that they can use that will hurt Russia worse than it will hurt the people imposing those sanctions. You have many people who will trade with you – China, Iran, many of your neighbors. America cannot patrol all of those borders. You can get just about any products you need. Plus, some of the products that you sell, other people need them very-very badly, such as natural gas and some of the metals.

I think Mr. Obama is making the fool of himself yet again. After all, Mr. Obama is the one who instigated the coup in Ukraine where there was an elected Government. Mr. Obama, his diplomats are recorded and we have recordings of them saying – we've got to do something about this Government. And then, when it went against him, he got angry. And I'm afraid he is going to shoot himself in the foot yet again.

And if we come back to this Sukhoi Superjet deal, does it mean that Moscow is switching to the eastern market and what are the other Asian countries that Moscow could cooperate with in the nearest future, apart from China?

Of course, Russia is being forced to look east and not necessarily because they want to, but because they have to. If people are going to impose the sanctions and if you look to the east, you'd see who is out there, who may or may not trade with you. Not just North Korea, not just China, some other countries –Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam certainly will, Indonesia certainly will. So, many people that don't have problems with Russia these days, they will be happy to trade with Russia.

So, this decision to purchase these superjet planes is a gesture of support followed by the sanctions. And what about China's trade with Ukraine in this regard? Will they stop any economic relations with Ukraine?

I doubt it. I don't know why they would. I mean, they don't want to be involved in a trade war. So, I don't see why most Asian nations would cut off Ukraine or Russia, or anybody else. This is the fight Mr. Obama has picked and, perhaps, to some extent Mr. Putin. But I don't know why China would stop trading with Ukraine, I don't see that at all.

[Mar 31, 2014] Pushing Toward The Final War by Paul Craig Roberts

Zero Hedge

Authored by Paul Craig Roberts via his blog,

Does Obama realize that he is leading the US and its puppet states to war with Russia and China, or is Obama being manipulated into this disaster by his neoconservative speech writers and government officials? World War 1 (and World War 2) was the result of the ambitions and mistakes of a very small number of people. Only one head of state was actually involved–the President of France.

In The genesis Of The World War, Harry Elmer Barnes shows that World War 1 was the product of 4 or 5 people. Three stand out: Raymond Poincare`, President of France, Sergei Sazonov, Russian Foreign Minister, and Alexander Izvolski, Russian Ambassador to France. Poincare` wanted Alsace-Lorraine from Germany, and the Russians wanted Istanbul and the Bosphorus Strait, which connects the Black Sea to the Mediterranean. They realized that their ambitions required a general European war and worked to produce the desired war.

A Franco-Russian Alliance was formed. This alliance became the vehicle for orchestrating the war. The British government, thanks to the incompetence, stupidity, or whatever of its Foreign Minister, Sir Edward Grey, was pulled into the Franco-Russian Alliance. The war was started by Russia's mobilization. The German Kaiser, Wilhelm II, was blamed for the war despite the fact that he did everything possible to avoid it.

Barnes' book was published in 1926. His reward for confronting the corrupt court historians with the truth was to be accused of being paid by Germany to write his history. Eighty-six years later historian Christopher Clark in his book, The Sleepwalkers, comes to essentially the same conclusion as Barnes.

In the history I was taught the war was blamed on Germany for challenging British naval supremacy by building too many battleships. The court historians who gave us this tale helped to set up World War 2.

We are again on the road to World War. One hundred years ago the creation of a world war by a few had to be done under the cover of deception. Germany had to be caught off guard. The British had to be manipulated and, of course, people in all the countries involved had to be propagandized and brainwashed.

Today the drive to war is blatantly obvious. The lies are obvious, and the entire West is participating, both media and governments.

The American puppet, Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper, openly lied on Canadian TV that Russian President Putin had invaded Crimea, threatened Ukraine, and was restarting the Cold War. The host of the TV program sat and nodded his head in agreement with these bald-faced lies.

The script that Washington handed to its Canadian puppet has been handed to all of Washington's puppets, and everywhere in the West the message is the same. "Putin invaded and annexed Crimea, Putin is determined to rebuild the Soviet Empire, Putin must be stopped."

I hear from many Canadians who are outraged that their elected government represents Washington and not Canadians, but as bad as Harper is, Obama and Fox "News" are worse.

On March 26 I managed to catch a bit of Fox "news." Murdoch's propaganda organ was reporting that Putin was restoring the Soviet era practice of exercise. Fox "news" made this report into a threatening and dangerous gesture toward the West. Fox produced an "expert," whose name I caught as Eric Steckelbeck or something like that. The "expert" declared that Putin was creating "the Hitler youth," with a view toward rebuilding the Soviet empire.

The extraordinary transparent lie that Russia sent an army into Ukraine and annexed Crimea is now accepted as fact everywhere in the West, even among critics of US policy toward Russia.

Obama, whose government overthrew the democratically elected government in Ukraine and appointed a stooge government that has threatened the Russian provinces of Ukraine, falsely accuses Putin of "invading and annexing" Crimea.

Obama, or his handlers and programers, are relying on the total historical ignorance of Western peoples. The ignorance and gullibility of Western peoples allows the American neoconservatives to fashion "news" that controls their minds.

Obama recently declared that Washington's destruction of Iraq–up to one million killed, four million displaced, infrastructure in ruins, sectarian violence exploding, a country in total ruins–is nowhere near as bad as Russia's acceptance of Crimean self-determination. US Secretary of State John Kerry actually ordered Putin to prevent the referendum and stop Crimeans from exercising self-determination.

Obama's speech on March 26 at the Palace of Fine Arts in Brussels is surreal. It is beyond hypocrisy. Obama says that Western ideals are challenged by self-determination in Crimea. Russia, Obama says, must be punished by the West for permitting Crimeans to exercise self-determination. The return of a Russian province on its own volition to its mother country where it existed for 200 years is presented by Obama as a dictatorial, anti-democratic act of tyranny.

Here was Obama, whose government has just overthrown the elected, democratic government of Ukraine and substituted stooges chosen by Washington in the place of the elected government, speaking of the hallowed ideal that "people in nations can make their own decisions about their future." That is exactly what Crimea did, and that is exactly what the US coup in Kiev contravened. In the twisted mind of Obama, self-determination consists of governments imposed by Washington.

Here was Obama, who has shredded the US Constitution, speaking of "individual rights and rule of law." Where is this rule of law? It is certainly not in Kiev where an elected government was overthrown with force. It is certainly not in the United States where the executive branch has spent the entirety of the new 21st century establishing government above the law. Habeas corpus, due process, the right to open trials and determination of guilt by independent jurors prior to imprisonment and execution, the right to privacy have all been overturned by the Bush/Obama regimes. Torture is against US and international law; yet Washington set up torture prisons all over the globe.

How is it possible that the representative of the war criminal US government can stand before an European audience and speak of "rule of law," "individual rights," "human dignity," "self-determination," "freedom," without the audience breaking out in laughter?

Washington is the government that invaded and destroyed Afghanistan and Iraq on the basis of lies. Washington is the government that financed and organized the overthrow of the Libyan and Honduran governments and that is currently attempting to do the same thing to Syria and Venezuela. Washington is the government that attacks with drones and bombs populations in the sovereign countries of Pakistan and Yemen. Washington is the government that has troops all over Africa. Washington is the government that has surrounded Russia, China, and Iran with military bases. It is this warmongering collection of Washington war criminals that now asserts that it is standing up for international ideals against Russia.

No one applauded Obama's nonsensical speech. But for Europe to accept such blatant lies from a liar without protest empowers the momentum toward war that Washington is pushing.

Obama demands more NATO troops to be stationed in Eastern Europe to "contain Russia." Obama said that a buildup of military forces on Russia's borders would reassure Poland and the Baltic states that, as NATO members, they will be protected from Russian aggression. This nonsense is voiced by Obama despite the fact that no one expects Russia to invade Poland or the Baltic countries.

Obama doesn't say what effect the US/NATO military buildup and numerous war games on Russia's border will have on Russia. Will the Russian government conclude that Russia is about to be attacked and strike first? The reckless carelessness of Obama is the way wars start.

Declaring that "freedom isn't free," Obama is putting pressure on Western Europe to pony up more money for a military buildup to confront Russia.

The position of the government in Washington and its puppet states (Eastern and Western Europe, Great Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Georgia, Japan) and other allies purchased with bagfuls of money is that Washington's violation of international law by torturing people, by invading sovereign countries on totally false pretenses, by routinely overthrowing democratically elected governments that do not toe the Washington line is nothing but the "indispensable and exceptional country" bringing "freedom and democracy to the world." But Russia's acceptance of the self-determination of Crimean people to return to their home country is "a violation of international law."

Just what international law has Washington and its puppets not violated?

Obama, whose government in the past few years has bullied Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Lebanon, Iran, Honduras, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Venezuela and is now trying to bully Russia, actually declared that "bigger nations can not simply bully smaller ones." What does Obama and his speech writers think Washington has been doing for the entirety of the 21st century?

Who can possibly believe that Obama, whose government is responsible for the deaths of people every day in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Libya, and Syria, cares a whit about democracy in Ukraine. Obama overthrew the Ukrainian government in order to be able to stuff the country into NATO, throw Russia out of its Black Sea naval base, and put US missile bases in Ukraine on Russia's border. Obama is angry that his plan didn't pan out as intended, and he is taking his anger and frustration out on Russia.

As the delusion takes hold in Washington that the US represents idealism standing firmly against Russian aggression, delusion enabled by the presstitute media, the UN General Assembly vote, and Washington's string of puppet states, self-righteousness rises in Washington's breast.

With rising self-righteousness will come more demands for punishing Russia, more demonization of Russia and Putin, more lies echoed by the presstitutes and puppets. Ukrainian violence against Russian residents is likely to intensify with the anti-Russian propaganda. Putin could be forced to send in Russian troops to defend Russians.

Why are people so blind that they do not see Obama driving the world to its final war?

Just as Obama dresses up his aggression toward Russia as idealism resisting selfish territorial ambitions, the English, French, and Americans presented their World War 1 "victory" as the triumph of idealism over German and Austrian imperialism and territorial ambitions. But at the Versailles Conference the Bolsheviks (the Tsar's government failed to gain the Straits and instead lost the country to Lenin) "revealed the existence of the notorious Secret Treaties embodying as sordid a program of territorial pilfering as can be found in the history of diplomacy. It appears that the chief actual motives of the Entente in the World War were the seizure of Constantinople and the Straits for Russia; not only the return of Alsace-Lorraine to France, but the securing of the west bank of the Rhine, which would have involved the seizure of territory historically far longer connected with Germany than Alsace-Lorraine had ever been with France; the rewarding of Italian entry into the War by extensive territory grabbed away from Austria and the Jugo-Slavs; and the sequestering of the German imperial possessions, the acquisition of the German merchant marine and the destruction of the German navy in the interest of increasing the strength of the British Empire" (Barnes, pp. 691-692). The American share of the loot was seized German and Austrian investments in the US.

The secret British, Russian, and French aims of the war were hidden from the public, which was whipped up with fabricated propaganda to support a war whose outcomes were far different from the intentions of those who caused the war. People seem unable to learn from history. We are now witnessing the world again being led down the garden path by lies and propaganda, this time in behalf of American world hegemony.

[Mar 31, 2014] They Never Learn - Russia's Take On The West And The Shifting Geopolitical Balance Of Power

03/30/2014 | Zero Hedge
Over the past month, there has been a lot of "Hilsenrathing", or the biased media urgently "explaining" to the Western world, just what Russia's actions mean both tactically in response to Ukraine developments, and strategically as part of Putin's global perspective. So instead of relying on the broken media narrative which serves merely to perpetuate US corporate interests and rally the public behind this or that company's geopolitical interests, here, straight from the horse's mouth, in this case Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, how Russia sees itself in a world in which it is allegedly "isolated", and "threatening Ukraine" with further invasion but more importantly, how the Russians view the rapidly changing global balance of power, in which post-USSR Russia has emerged from the backwood of slighted nations and stormed to the stage of nations who dare defy the former global hegemon, the US.

Some notable highlights by Lavrov from the interview conducted with Rossiya 24:

The punchline:

And the next steps in terms of what Russia sees an ongoing response to NATO incursion:

[Mar 31, 2014] Russia sets terms for Ukraine deal as 40,000 troops mass on border by Simon Tisdall and Rory Carroll in Los Angeles

Mar 30, 2014 | The Guardian

Russia on Sunday night repeated its demand that the US and its European partners accept its proposal that ethnic Russian regions of eastern and southern Ukraine be given extensive autonomous powers independent of Kiev as a condition for agreeing a diplomatic solution to the crisis over its annexation of Crimea.

Sergei Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister, told reporters Ukraine could not function as a "unified state" and should become a loose federation. He made the remarks after an inconclusive meeting with John Kerry, the US secretary of state, at the Russian ambassador's residence in Paris following a day in which tensions over Ukraine deepened appreciably. Lavrov called the talks "very, very constructive".

Kerry told reporters the US and Russia agreed on the need for a diplomatic solution but made clear there had been no breakthrough, saying the Russian troop build-up along the border was creating a climate of fear and intimidation in Ukraine and was not helpful.

He called for Russia to pull back its forces and said talks on the country's future must include Kiev's leaders. "We will not accept a path forward where the legitimate government of Ukraine is not at the table. This principle is clear. No decisions about Ukraine without Ukraine."

Despite the distance between the two sides, Kerry said Washington would "consider the ideas and the suggestions that we developed tonight".

The meeting took place against an ominous backdrop of the gathering of an estimated 40,000 Russian troops on Ukraine's eastern border, and warnings from Nato and the Pentagon that the Russian military activity, ostensibly relating to routine exercises, was abnormal and could be a prelude to an invasion.

[Mar 30, 2014]

Meeting in Lvov against EU integration is suppressed by police. Participants slogan is European Union is equal to European Sodom.

[In Russian] Russian girl thanks the US embassy (or consulate) official for organizing color revolution in Kiev, which lets to Crimea returning to Russia. Unsure about the place.

U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson we should be applauding Russian action in Ukraine and Crimea… Max Keiser

poopysnot says:

March 29, 2014 at 11:12 pm

A little common sense and a dash of critical thinking certainly makes a fellows cadence stand out among the squawking parrots.


jischinger says:

March 30, 2014 at 6:10 am

@james are you a comedian or just a liar?

Tatars are 12 percent of Crimea's population, ethic Ukrainians are 24%.
The majority are still Russians.

Further, to lump those two groups together giving the impression that both want nothing to do with Russia is not only disingenuous it's a flat out lie.

In fact, the majority of Tatars would like to see the back of all the Ukrainians.

Further still, 93% of the population did not vote in the referendum, it was 73% of the population – still a majority. Of the 73% who did vote 90% of those people were for the referendum.

No one put a gun to anyone's head like the US has done in Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Libya and Yemen and a slew of South American countries over the years.

Not to mention how you armed Nazis in the Ukraine who shot not only police, but shot protesters in the back.

There were journalist and officials from all over the world in Crimea, not one claimed any voter fraud, arm twisting or sneaky shenanigans.

I don't know where you get your news, must be from Fox or the nut jobs at the Blaze or maybe from the make-it-up-as-you-go fairy.

Crimea has a population of 2 million – that's 1/3 less than the population of the city of Chicago – two weeks is plenty of time to get people to run the polls, print ballots and set up boxes at the local libraries and schools. It's not that hard, all you need is paper, a copy machine, pencils and some boxes. If you're organized and have people on call you can pull something like this together in just a few days – two weeks was plenty of time.

From a historical POV you're talking about an area that was given away with the idea that the USSR would always be together, not to mention whether the Ukraine is even a legitimate country.

Still, all that aside, the majority of the people in Crimea voted. If the people there were coerced in any way to run to the polls and vote it was watching the coup, chaos and bullets flying that took place in Kiev that inspired them.

One last observation, you're a parrot. I know you didn't figure out what you typed above by reading the information and gathering the historical data of that part of the world, you copied it all from the UK Independent corporation – plagiarism! – you can't even think for yourself and it shows.

but I gotta say you're last line really made me laugh:
"If something like this were done by the USA people would be rioting in the streets."

What a dipshit, you forgot Florida in 2k and Ohio in 08 already?!

It's no wonder the wall street banks and big oil keep winning.

Dennis B. says:

March 30, 2014 at 6:13 am

You can totally oppose any US involvement in Ukraine. I'm fine with that, but this guy is an uneducated douche. Anyone who starts by calling it "the Ukraine" has already shown that their entire understanding of that part of the world is based on nothing other than the game Risk. "Ukraine is game to you!"

Jayme says:

March 30, 2014 at 6:49 am

Voting At Gunpoint – The Jaw-Dropping Media Bias On Crimea

Jayme says:

March 30, 2014 at 7:09 am

Too much to read and too much to absorb in order to understand all the petty politics running around the planet. fwiw – This is from an old article. [12 May 2002]

"The Tengiz oil field on Kazakhstan's Caspian coast is one of the 10 largest oil deposits in the world, and was first developed in 1993 in a joint venture headed by Chevron, which owns 50 percent of the consortium. The resulting enterprise, Tengizchevroil, was later joined by Mobil (now ExxonMobil), a 25 percent owner. The government of Kazakhstan owns another 20 percent, and Russian-American joint venture Lukoil holds a 5 percent share. In November 2000, the Tengizchevroil partners and Lukoil established the Caspian Pipeline Consortium to build a 900-mile pipeline carrying oil from Tengiz to the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiysk (this pipeline is now operational).

The same Western companies-notably ExxonMobil and BP Amoco-are also involved in exploring another field, Kashagan, which was discovered in the late 1990s. This field is estimated to hold at least 50 billion barrels, but more optimistic projections put the potential figure at 600 billion barrels-twice the reserves of Kuwait.

The key issue for American companies with investments in Kazakhstan has been at the heart of US foreign policy and war planning throughout the region: how to transport oil and gas out of landlocked Caspian/Black Sea fields, while 1) bypassing "hostile" regimes in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan to the south, and 2) avoiding Russia, and Russian participation (economic, political and military).

Failure to solve this transport issue would result in huge losses for the oil companies. It would also derail the larger geo-strategic goal of the US that has been articulated by Zbigniew Brezezinski and other world policy planners: control and exploitation of the Central Asian Republics."

Big Oil and US Foreign Policy

Danny Cunnington says:

March 30, 2014 at 8:02 am

If you forget the politics Etc for a moment and consider you live in the Crimea, how would you vote considering the practical implications and your future wealth, health and prosperity?

The Ukraine is about to be bankrupted and the already impoverished people face mass unemployment. The coup regime is made up of the same robber barons that robbed the place in the mid 2000s. IMF restructuring has a track record of destroying economies around the world.

Now consider the Crimea. Russian standards of living are about double that of Ukrainian SOL. Crimea is effectively debt free. The Russians are building a new land bridge and a motorway from Crimea to the brand new Sochi on the Russian Black sea coast.

There willl be a flood of new investment and construction especially in the leisure tourism industry as Russia has one of the fastest growing middle class. Crimea has a summer that is similar to the south of France.

So, One choice will involve being asset stripped, having food prices and the energy prices double whilst being thrown out of work and the other choice is boom time, full employment, a continuation of low energy prices, rising property prices and basically a bright new future.

So if you lived in Crimea how would you vote? You could ask a six year old and they would know. Forget politics just be realistic!

mijj says:

March 30, 2014 at 2:35 pm

before picking at details, it's always worth remembering that the US Regime murders en masse, uses terrorism and 5th columns to destabilize and overthrow governments, devestates and loots nations. It's, by far, the most repulsive Regime on the planet. We, for all our sakes, should all take any steps we can to resist it. The sooner the US Regime is destroyed, and control of the US is passed back to its people, the better.


b says:

March 30, 2014 at 4:30 pm

@ mijj, I agree.

1953 Iran Dr.Mohammed Mossadegh
1954 Guatamala Jacob Guzman
1981 Ecuador Jamie Aguilera
1981 Panama Omar Torrijos
2002 Venesuala Chavez (coup failed)
2003 Iraq

Short list of Presidents that worked for the interests of their own nations.

Marcos and Pinochet are examples of American supported leaders.

I guess I could have included Egypt,Afganistan,Lybia,Syria… just goes on and on

Jayme says:

March 30, 2014 at 4:55 pm

@Danny Cunnington

I think being realistic, politics cannot be ignored and is what caused the move and defined the balloted issue in the first place. Recognizing the politics permits the understanding of what does happen and why.

After all: who put the issue on the ballot? In a world free of politics, every individual person would be sovereign. Any vote that is offered to 'the voters' is a non-issue except in service to the political classes. So long as there is a usurious burden on the people it is just a choice to work in wage slavery under a debt as a pawn of black or white side. I think the relative wealth of Ukraine/Crimea is also its curse and makes the area ripe for exploitation. Overall, if I'm not mistaken, it does appear that the usury on loans from Russia were smaller but with lower interest and is the lesser of two evils, so to speak.

From my dim perspective, it was a poor political move on the part of the West and a necessary and relatively easy move on the Part of Russia. In my opinion, as a game, the Russian move and the Crimean vote are almost obvious (which is why Russian leaders are laughing at the West) and the apolitical aspirations of the population ignored.

Realistically, I see the Russian move as being the most 'stabilizing' and the activities of the NGOs around the world as fundamentally destabilizing since their seemingly energetic 'do good-ism' agitates the local populations by bringing stark contrast to how the regional political system is failing its people. When they turn aggressive, they do what we see in Ukraine. The NGOs are a political tool of the globalists (a wolf in sheep clothing) to weaken the political systems which don't follow global corporatization policies of the elite, where national boundaries are not respected and individual sovereignty means submission to an unelected and unaccountable global authority as the citizens' demigod. Authoritarian dictatorship by committee.

So long as populations increase, and available energy is available to feed these hierarchical political systems, they will move toward this unipolar dominant relationship seeking to rule people and resources at the exclusion of the environment and natural systems. The energy systems used to build the political system may place limits to the system's success. It seems unlikely but who knows, maybe this global corporatist worm at the apple's core will turn into a beautiful butterfly that departs for the stars.

A Bug's Life Beautiful Butterfly


[Mar 30, 2014] Rally in Kharkov demand eight Ukrainian southeastern regions be given status of autonomy


KHARKOV, March 30, /ITAR-TASS/. About 4,000 people gathered for a rally on Sunday in central Kharkov, Eastern Ukraine, to demand a southeastern autonomy of Ukraine's eight regions be created.

Participants handed over a petition to the Russian consulate asking Russia to help ensure a fair referendum on the federalization of Ukraine and the autonomous status of its southeastern regions.

After that, the column went to the Polish consulate to demand that the West stop its interference into Ukraine's domestic affairs.

"We all are descendants of the Donetsk-Krivoi Rog and Odessa republics. We have always been the real basis of our country," said an appeal read out by Yuri Apukhtin, a leader of the Kharkov Civic Forum.

"We call on the forces of Ukraine's southeastern regions to unite, to set up a coordination council and come out in a united front against putschists in Kiev. We see our place in this country (in Ukraine) as a historically formed southeastern autonomy."

Apukhtin said that an agreement on joint actions had been reached with leaders of similar rallies in Donetsk and Lugansk.

Apart from that, participants in the rally urged to release from home arrest well-known public activist Ignat Kromskoi, who had been detained on charges of "organizing mass disorders" as he took part in an operation to expel radicals from the building of the regional administration in Kharkov at the very beginning of this month.

Lavrov: having recognized Maidan, West must recognize reunification of Crimea with Russia

March 30 | ITAR-TASS Russia

"If they are ready to recognize one reality, they are simply obliged to recognize the other as well," Russian Foreign Minister added

If the West has recognized the Maidan [protest actions in Kiev's central Independence Square], it has no other choice but to recognize the reality of the reunification of Crimea with Russia, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with the Sunday Time television programme anchored by Irada Zeinalova on Russia's Channel One.

"Regrettably, I think it is a deliberate position [to turn a blind eye on the crimes committed by the Maidan activists]. Since the very beginning of the crisis in early November, when the absolutely legitimate, lawful decision of the incumbent Ukrainian president not to cancel but only to postpone the signing of an agreement with the European Union triggered protests on the maidan, with a tent camp, field kitchens, biotoilets and the like, when the maidan attracted rioters from the Right Sector and other radical organizations, we have been warning the Western countries against patronizing these processes," he said. "They have been answering rather vaguely that it was a legal manifestation of civic positions. But back then, it was already clear that that these actions were gaining an openly anti-constitutional and anti-governmental character."

"Later on, it turned into a state coup committed literally a day after the signing an agreement between President Viktor Yanukovich and the opposition in the presence of three foreign ministers from the European Union," Lavrov went on to say. "They then said it was a revolution and it was a reality to be reckoned with."

"They have been telling us these words ever since when we stress the illegitimacy of what has happened and when we draw attention to the fact that the resolution of the PACE committee on legal affairs on the necessity to file a request with the Venice Commission about the legitimacy of what happened in Ukraine was blocked," the Russian foreign minister noted. "The request has failed to reach the Venice Commission because of the manipulation with various protocol and organizational aspects of the activity of the Council of Europe. And now they are telling us again 'when it's gone, it's gone,' 'it's no use crying over spilt milk,' 'let bygones be bygones,' 'we now must think how to bring the situation into a constructive level, what can be done to have your decisions on Crimea be revoked.'"

"I am not exaggerating, they have been saying this up till now," he said. "The answer is very simple. Even if we put aside any comparisons in respect of the legitimacy of what happened on the maidan and in Crimea [and I am confident that in the former case it was an illegal action and in the latter case it was the manifestation of people's will, and the percent of those who voted in favour of joining Russia makes it impossible to question the voting result], even if we abstract our minds from the subject matter, any talk that what happened on the maidan was a reality and the Crimean developments cannot be recognized as a reality is beyond any criticism from the diplomatic point of view."

It is an absolutely unscrupulous approach, Lavrov stressed. "If they are ready to recognize one reality, they are simply obliged to recognize the other as well," he added.

[Mar 30, 2014] Some thought about leading candidate for President, oligarch Petro "Chocolate Rabbit" Poroshenko and idiotism of Ukranina political elite by Andrey Wadzhpa

When I look at what is happening I am very ... I wanted to write " surprised ", but it would not be accurate. I've lost the ability to be surprised by anything happening in Ukraine. It looks like my mind adapted to this continuous series of acts demonstrating Ukrainian elite idiocy. I know this dopes not sound politcorrectly, but for me it is difficult to say this in more palatable way....

So Ukranina elite (with generous help from the USA and its EU friends) organized overthrew of Yanukovych government, demolished the center of Kiev, plunged the country into economic chaos, lost Crimea, buried a hundred people. And all this in order for Petro Poroshenko to became president, if not it ?

And who is Poroshenko ?

Let me remind those who have forgotten. Poroshenko is a former member of the Social Democratic Party, one of the founders of the Party of Regions, the head of Yushchenko's political block "Our Ukraine " and one of the main sponsors of the "Orange Revolution". He is also former head of the Security Consul, Verkhovna Rada deputy from "Our Ukraine " party, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Ukrainian National Bank, a former foreign minister under Yushchenko, and, surprise, a former Minister of economic Development and Trade under Yanukovych. Which did not prevent Poroshenko for sponsoring EuroMaidan. And he was brought in big politics by, drums, Mykola Azarov .

Now the question is whether it make sense to overthrow Yanukovych , to demolish the center of Kiev , plunging the country into chaos, lose Crimea, kill a hundred persons so that former Minister of Economic Development and Trade in the government of Yanukovych became the next president ?

I now sincerely wondered about sanity of anyone who thinks that Poroshenko is something different from top members of the "corrupt regime" of Yanukovich. With whom he had once created the Party of Regions and managed to hold almost imaginable positions in power?

No ... I have nothing against Peter personally ... "Chocolate Rabbit" as he is called is no worse and no better the other members of Ukranina political elite. But you need to be complete idiot to believe that he wants to change something in the system, in the construction of which he was heavily involved (and became super rich) during all the years of independence. This system has made him a billionaire, gave him power, fame, respect, etc. Why would he change anything? Do you think it is something he does not like? Especially when he climbs to the top of the power pyramid.

[Mar 30, 2014] Ukraine crisis upends West's view of Russian President Vladimir Putin

Analysis of this forum suggests that there are natural limits to brainwashing. and that even the most wicked propaganda machine with time became ineffective as people develop immunity and seek other information sources. Judging from the exchange below the USA public is half-way of public in the USSR as for this.

But now, with the overthrow of a Ukrainian government allied with Russia, "something seems to have snapped … in Russia's view of its neighbors," said Weiss, who is now the vice president for research at Carnegie. "And now we're all going to deal with the consequences."

Not long ago, Putin referred to Western governments as "partners." He's stopped that now.

... ... ...

In his emotional news conference, Putin reeled off a string of accusations against the United States. He blamed U.S. officials for the 2004 Orange Revolution in Ukraine and accused Western intelligence services of organizing the overthrow of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, including by training the armed groups that defied the government.

Lee Feinstein, a senior advisor to former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, said the closer one reads Putin's comments "the more worrisome they are." Russian officials could get back at the administration by, for example, undermining the Iran nuclear negotiations, said Feinstein, who is now with the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

"They have the ability to throw a spanner in the works," he said.

Paul Martin journalist broadcaster

The West is NOTHING to do with Ukraine or Crimea, we have more than enough wars and problems as it is now and the LAST thing we need is face off with Putin and Russia because as history has shown us they WON'T back down -- Is it really worth risking a war with a super power ?


@Paul Martin journalist broadcaster

what super power? Russia?! with an Italian size economy? think not.


@Paul Martin journalist broadcaster

We provoked this situation by expanding NATO to Russia's borders.

Now we have to help clean up the mess.

It's all one world. If we revert to navel-gazing we will suffer for it.


All the self-righteous huffing and puffing in Washington over Ukraine jars on European and especially Russian ears after the multiple U.S.-led invasions and interventions in other people's countries of recent years. It's difficult to say what is more astonishing: the double standards exhibited by the White House, or the apparent total lack of self-awareness of U.S. officials.

Secretary of State John Kerry risked utter ridicule when he declared it unacceptable to invade another country on a "completely trumped-up pretext," or just because you don't like its current leadership. Iraq in 2003 springs instantly to mind. This is exactly what George W. Bush and Tony Blair did when they "trumped up" the supposed threat posed by the hated Saddam Hussein's fabled weapons of mass destruction


Its never about UKRAINE at all. Its war waged by NWO cabal against RUSSIA. They planned to use UKRAINE as base and make russia implode inside. They calling putin hitler to everything. Once west calls a leader hitler he is dead. WEST will kill putin. Its not about right or wrong. Actually putin is 100% right in his action. But that do not much because power is in west. Nwo cabal in race to control the world. Once russia falls china will be divided into pieces as it can't fight against world controlled by bankers. for putin to survive he has to do pre emptive nukes on europe. Yes ..putin alread dead why take half the europe ...better if he take out all nwo cabal on his way out. Ukrainian people are fools , they are used as tool for nwo cabal.


Putin had a front row seat in the Russia of the 1990s, when they were in economic disarray. It was a period when they felt extremely weak and humiliated. NATO and the EU expanded eastwards right up to the Russian border, and Russia couldn't do anything about it. NATO bombed Serbia, a Russian ally, into submission and Russia couldn't do anything about it. Even after Putin came to power, Russia couldn't stop us from invading Iraq (twice), and helping overthrow Khaddafi. Putin and his cronies were determined try to reverse this "humiliation". What we are seeing is a man who acts tough externally, but is deeply insecure internally. He feels that the West and U.S. "dissed" him and does not give Russia the respect he thinks she deserves.


This article is a total crock. The "West's" view of Putin isn't being upended. They've been painting him as the 2nd coming of Hitler for over ten years, ever since he tossed their favorite crook Mikhail Khodorkovsky in the klink.

The US State Department has spent $5 billion USD cooking up this affair in Ukraine. They took advantage of the genuine grievances of many Ukrainians, mixed in a lot neo-Nazi street muscle, and pulled a coup against the corrupt, but democratically-elected government of that country. One reason why they did this to insert a guy they're counting on to ram though a highly-usurious IMF loan contract. This contract will be disastrous for average Ukrainians, but is sure to further enrich some well-connected Westerners in the banking industry. Putin is throwing salt in their game, and they're going apoplectic because of it. All of this is perfectly easy to research and verify.

As for the Crimeans, they're welcoming the Russians with open arms. They want no part of what our State Department is setting up over there.


@John Brown3 - I have no ties to Ukraine or Russia yet I see that many in US are getting SICK of BS and foreign owned, lap-top media propaganda and smear campaign against Russia. If we were in his skin we would to the same if not worst.

All the self-righteous huffing and puffing in Washington over Ukraine jars on European and especially Russian ears after the multiple U.S.-led invasions and interventions in other people's countries of recent years. It's difficult to say what is more astonishing: the double standards exhibited by the White House, or the apparent total lack of self-awareness of U.S. officials.

Secretary of State John Kerry risked utter ridicule when he declared it unacceptable to invade another country on a "completely trumped-up pretext," or just because you don't like its current leadership. Iraq in 2003 springs instantly to mind. This is exactly what George W. Bush and Tony Blair did when they "trumped up" the supposed threat posed by the hated Saddam Hussein's fabled weapons of mass destruction


"But now, with the overthrow of a Ukrainian government allied with Russia".

In 2010, Russia published its Military Doctrine, something they do every 10 years. It's pretty clear from that document that Russia considers the "overthrow" of the government of a state that borders Russia a big deal.

From the document:
8. The main external military dangers are:
a) the desire to endow the force potential of the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization (NATO) with global functions carried out in violation of the
norms of international law and to move the military infrastructure of NATO
member countries closer to the borders of the Russian Federation, including
by expanding the bloc;
b) the attempts to destabilize the situation in individual states and regions
and to undermine strategic stability

So, how could this be a surprise to all the big brains in the State Department, the Defense Department, the CIA, the NSC?


Oh, come on! Putin is not so difficult to read. He's a KGB lifer who was whisked up from obscurity to keep Boris Yeltsin from falling on his face. He follows step by step in the playbook of Russian autocrats from the dimmest recesses of time. These shenanigans should not have taken anybody by surprise. If they did, they indicate another failure of intelligence. We really spend too much money on "intelligence" to keep being so stupid.


@SRSwain - So is Bush. So where we are now? Are we better off then 10 years ago?

On behalf of NWO, Obama is following in Bush's footsteps, who has repeatedly and cynically flouted international law by launching or backing myriad armed attacks on foreign soil, in Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Pakistan to name a few, without U.N. security council authorization. It is Obama's administration which continues to undermine international law by refusing to join or recognize the International Criminal Court, the most important instrument of international justice to have been developed since 1945.

Mark L Holland

Who over the last 15 to 20 years has directly or indirectly destabilized more nations than all other countries combined. Hint it is not Russia or Putin. Thanks to President Putin we (The United Police States of America) were kept from intervening in Syria where the Western Backed Insurgents were using Chemical Weapons against civilians.

Or from intervening in Iran which has every right to develop Nuclear Energy for its people. Or now from intervening in Ukraine where Western backed Insurgent's removed a duly elected government by force and who were using black operations trained *** to kill civilians and police officers at random.

President Putin not only needs to be submitted for the Nobel Peace Prize he needs to win it. And President Barrack Hussein Obama needs to flush his Nobel Peace Prize down the toilet.


@Mark L Holland - And it is Obama's State Department, principally in the person of Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, that fatally overplayed its hand in the run-up to last month's second Ukraine revolution. Nuland's infamous "f**k the EU" comment revealed the extent to which Washington was recklessly maneuvering to undermine Ukraine's elected pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych, by backing the Kiev street protesters' demands.

@mynameisbuck -

Arnold Lockshin

It's the US that has consistently made the risky moves - in Vietnam, Afghanistant, Iraq, Syria (through CIA-hired terrorists), to name a few.

Russia will not watch idly as a friendly, neighboring country becomes captive to a neo-fascist coup.

Arnold Lockshin, political exile from the US living in Moscow


@Arnold Lockshin
To judge by the composition of the current coalition government in Kiev, fascists and "former" fascists hold a disproportionate number of key posts. Their efforts to suppress the Russian language in Ukraine is the kind of story that all the swooning Western "journalists,"who can only stay as long as they can go between visits to their hairstylist, miss.

The activities of Ukrainian fascists provide a perfect opportunity for Putin to whip up hysteria among Russian speakers on both sides of the border.

American policies from NATO expansion to naive meddling in Ukrainian politics have created a threatening situation for Russia and Putin personally.

But Putin has used Nazi style tactics as well: using force to rewrite treaties and alter territorial boundaries, appeals to nationlism by painting himself as savior to fellow Russian (as Hitler to German) speakers across the border, and the Big Lie: he has used his propaganda outlets to terrorize Russian Ukrainians into thinking that fascists were about to murder them in their beds.

Isn't it time all countries stopped using playbooks from the 1930s and 1950s and took a look at the date on their cellphone?


@Arnold Lockshin

And it is Obama's State Department, principally in the person of Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, that fatally overplayed its hand in the run-up to last month's second Ukraine revolution. Nuland's infamous "f**k the EU" comment revealed the extent to which Washington was recklessly maneuvering to undermine Ukraine's elected pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych, by backing the Kiev street protesters' demands.

Top American and Russian diplomats plan meeting to discuss Ukraine By Paul Richter and Sergei L. Loiko

March 29, 2014 |

Lavrov said Saturday in a television interview that Russia has "absolutely no intention or interest in crossing the borders of Ukraine."

However, he said that Russia

"will protect the rights of Russians and Russian speakers in Ukraine employing the entire arsenal of political, diplomatic and legal methods."


If, as Lavrov says, Russia has "absolutely no intention or interest in crossing the borders of Ukraine" then why is Russia mounting an invasion force on Ukraine's eastern border and building supply lines to them?

Putin would probably accept a pro-Russian government for Ukraine. But with Ukraine presidential candidate Poroshenko leading in the polls it doesn't seem to be going that way. So an invasion may be inevitable and it looks like the West is just going to sit on its hands...

Alexey Zlenko -> billeisen8

With the submission of some politicians in the U.S. and other NATO countries are replicated reports of allegedly " threatening " the deployment of units and formations of the Russian armed forces on the border with Ukraine.

In practice, relations between states - participants of the OSCE ( and all NATO countries , including the U.S., are included in this structure ) is fulfilled and completely reliable methods " to get pain medication " in the form of ground and aerial inspections under the Vienna Document 2011. , As well as observation flights in accordance with the open Skies Treaty .

Opportunities to carry out such activities have been provided to all those who wished to get acquainted with the real situation in the border regions of Ukraine . The result of the inspectors' work became the official reports submitted by all States - OSCE participating States.

Held in March 2014. on the European part of Russia , four international inspections under the Vienna Document on Confidence and security building measures (CSBMs ) found no " aggressive preparations " and did not record any military activity, except for the previously announced . Participate in inspections were representatives of Latvia , Germany, Switzerland , Finland, Estonia , Belgium, France and Ukraine.

Ukrainian inspection team that visited on March 18-20 in the Belgorod region , agreed that no major military activity is not carried out . Found its three battalions Airborne Russian Armed Forces are on maneuvers outside the permanent deployment , can hardly be considered a sign of " threatening military buildup "

U.S. seeks detente with Russia over Ukraine with Kerry, Lavrov to meet in Paris

Amazing: several readers , who commented this Wash Post (junk) story do understand that it was a "color revolution" in place in Ukraine.
The Washington Post


The fact that Russia is in the worlds spotlight is because Putin saw the USA pushing its agenda in a bordering country that just so happened to have an opportunity (excuse) for a "moral" obligation campaign to protect the "Russian speaking people" residing within its borders. Putin destroyed the agenda of the west. This needed to happen. Its painfully obvious or better yet it has been painfully obvious that the west has even locking its fingers around the country's who have been seeming to explode with a thirst for democracy out of nowhere these past few years.


I read in foreign media that protestors are starting all over again in Kiev, it is ramping up again, they are already upset with this new interim government in Ukraine. The far right group the Right Sector has surrounded the Ukrainian Parliament wearing masks covering their faces and are demanding that the new Interior Minister be forced out. It is a very unstable situation in Kiev and it has nothing to do with Russia.


Not to sound snarky, but do you have any site links?


here is one from voice of america

[Mar 30, 2014] Donetsk fearful of Russian military might on Ukraine's border

The Washington Post

Pro-Russians are not calling for an invasion. Kirill Cherkashin, a sociologist, said the differences between Ukraine's east and west are so deep that the east would be better off going its own way and joining Russia. There's a danger, he said, that if the west subjugates the east, a partisan war could erupt, but that should be avoided.

"The best way out is a peaceful option," Cherkashin said, "like in Czechoslovakia."


Oh, stop beating the war drum of fear. The biggest invader on the planet is not in Russia. Have you forgotten Iraq, or a dozen other countries, including democracies, that the US overthrew, overtly or in secret?

The state dept poured five billion into Ukraine for their little Nazi revolution, to pave the way for the IMF to rape that land with privatization, unpayable "loans," and forced austerity, as the natural resources and cheap labor flowed West.

Unfortunatly for the usual IMF plan, Putin has rightly objected. We started this, not Russia. How can we get on a moral high horse afte a Totally phony war in Iraq, that killed a million Iraqis, and which Everyone now admits was only about Oil.

Obama and Europe are the intransigent ones, just looking for trouble to divert their public from the disasters they've created at home.


The whole world is watching the crisis in Crimea, and Russia faces off with the USA and European superpowers. The dispute centers around which country the territory should belong to, and it may seem shocking in today's modern era, but the borders of Europe have never been solid. In this time-lapse video, you can see how 1000 years of European history plays havoc on the stability of the border we take for granted today.


Its pathetic how the media tries to whip a dead horse! Russia has twice announced that they have no intention of entering Ukraine, even the President has said he doesn't think they will. Yet the media continues to present variations of the same theme of the "big invasion" for those who may not be current on the news. The headlines beg you to read them. Its too bad they don't have other things to do!

Years ago I stopped watching TV as a time waster. Now I'm thinking the same thing about most news outlets.

Charles Knause

"Taruta was appointed to the office by the new government in Kiev, which took over after President Viktor Yanukovych fled the country Feb. 22 following months of protests in favor of good government and closer ties with Europe rather than Russia."

Its an interesting form of "democracy" that US imperialism is promoting in Ukraine where the local billionaire gets the governorship thanks to the largess of the fascists and nazi collaborators from WWII that the CIA's NGOs have ushered into office in Kiev compliments of Victoria f**k the EU Neuland!

Its a pity that the Ameican people do not understand what the word imperialism means and of course there is a good reason for this. An education into the real political, social, & economic facts of life is not something that one can get in a university.

Since the end of WWII over 100,000,000 people worldwide have lost their lives as a result of US/CIA subversion and interference in the internal affairs of other nations. There is no continent on Earth that has not been touched by this ruthless persuit of total world dominance and lust for power persued by the US imperialists. The list of countries invading by the US is so voluminous that it would take many volumes to fully document completely as has no doubt already occurred.

Nevertheless a substancial number of American people seem unmoved in their mulish determination to stand by such crimes against humanity that seem to increase in scope with each passing day. The consequences of such policies of pure unmitigated evil as we are seeing unfold in the world today as a result of the insatiable greed of 1% of the American population to the vast detriment of the other 99% can not go unaddressed forever and will ultimately result in the kind of massive social explosion that the power structure uses overseas wars to coral the population into supporting much to their great detriment and as a way of refocusing public attention away from the real bread & butter issues at home


You do realise that the US foreign policy on the whole has been on destructive on countries and US has attacked more countries than the USSR and or Russia. So what does that make the US. A country dominated by big business that operates it's many failed policies through it's military ? There might not be one dictator but the end result is the same or actually much worse.

Everything else is a hypocrisy and excuses are made by apologists.


I suspect Russia is using military threats toward eastern Ukraine as a lever in negotiations with the West that will, in the end, end up tacitly acknowledging and solidifying Russia's control of Crimea. Crimea is what Putin wants - the re-integration of the peninsula not only boosts his domestic electoral popularity and gives Russia undisputed control of an ice-free deep-water naval port but serves as a perfect black eye to Western leaders who talk loudly about freedom, self-determination, and the inviolability of borders but, when parochial strategic or economic interests seem threatened, act openly in clear moral contradiction to their avowed principles.

Putin has killed nobody in his campaign to reattach a part of Russia that was arbitrarily grafted onto Ukraine back in 1954 in defiance of the wishes of its native population. We on the other hand started a war not all that long ago that killed anywhere from 100,000 to 500,000 Iraqis in our supposedly high-minded campaign to effect "regime change" on behalf of an oppressed Iraqi population - a population we never bothered to ask beforehand whether or not they might want to endure such an appalling sacrifice to get rid of a dictator who was arguably little more than a decade away from a natural death.

Ukraine's troubled economy

Under Yushchenko government Ukraine became a colony of IMF. And nothing can change this situation now.

What is the state of Ukraine's economy?

In a nutshell: heavily indebted.

Ukraine's new government has said it needs $35bn (£21bn) to pay its bills over the next two years. It owes the Russian gas company Gazprom $1.9bn.

The Ukrainian economy shrank 0.3% in 2013, estimates the International Monetary Fund (IMF). And the months of street protests, when the barricades were up on the streets of the capital Kiev, will also have had an effect.

... ... ...

What international help is on offer?

A few months ago, a $15bn rescue package from Russia looked likely. But that was before street protests led to the removal of President Viktor Yanukovych, Moscow's man.

The IMF has agreed to release $14-18bn in loans. That in turn clears the way for the European Union and the US to lend Ukraine an additional $10bn.

All this reduces the risk that Ukraine will default on its debts.

But Ukraine has a chequered history with the IMF: it failed to keep to the terms of previous assistance packages in 2008 and 2010.

What kind of economy does Ukraine have?

Ukraine has a history of corruption and mismanagement that goes back to Soviet times.

Consider this: Ukraine's economy is smaller than it was in 1992, shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union. At the time, Ukraine and Poland had similar-sized economies but Poland's economy is now twice as big as Ukraine's.

The IMF estimates that the Ukrainian economy shrank 0.3% last year after barely growing in 2012.

Ukraine has a lot of coal mining, especially around the eastern city of Donetsk, and ageing heavy industry including shipbuilding, steel and arms. However, because many industries are so energy-inefficient, they are heavily dependent on imports of Russian gas which have been heavily subsidised.

Rundown farm in southern Ukraine (file photo 2006) Much of Ukraine remains grindingly poor

Farming is also important: Ukraine has more arable land than any other European country and is a major producer of grain and sunflower oil. Wheat prices have risen 20% on world markets - partly because of the fear of instability in Ukraine.

And then there is the shadow economy: everything from cash-in-hand labour to corruption to illegal activities. A 2012 study by two Ukrainian academics reckons the shadow economy is equivalent to 44% of Ukraine's economic output.

In 2013 Ukraine was ranked 144 out of 177 in Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index.

Business and politics are deeply intertwined: Ukraine's richest man, Rinat Akhmetov was until recently an MP and a supporter of ex-President Yanukovych. His companies have received an important share of state tenders.

What effect will the dispute with Russia have?

The dispute with Russia has already cost Ukraine the Crimea region. It also means higher energy prices.

In return for the lease of the naval base at Sevastopol for the Black Sea fleet, Russia agreed to subsidise energy exports to Ukraine.

Now Crimea has been annexed by Russia, and the Russian state-controlled producer Gazprom has said it will end Ukraine's one-third discount from 1 April.

However, the loss of Crimea at least takes it off the books of the government in Kiev, which was paying for about two-thirds of its budget.

The government in Kiev says if Russia goes ahead with trade restrictions, those could lower economic growth by up to 1%.

Meanwhile, thousands of Russian troops have been deployed to the areas near Ukraine's eastern border, raising tensions.

Even if Russia decides not to invade, the prospect of further instability will not do the Ukrainian economy any good.

[Mar 29, 2014] Ukraine crisis: Klitschko pulls out of presidential election

Now two completely corrupt (and one criminal) oligarchs from Yushchenko clan will crash for the Presidency. Is this what Maidan protesters wanted?

The former boxing world champion said instead he would back tycoon Petro Poroshenko.

Both men played a key role in months of street protests that led to the ousting of President Viktor Yanukovych.

Mr Klitschko's withdrawal means the race is likely to be between Mr Poroshenko and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

... ... ..

Mr Klitschko, 42, announced his decision to pull out of the presidential race at his Udar (Punch) party's gathering in Kiev on Saturday.

"The only chance of winning is to nominate one candidate from the democratic forces," he said.

He stressed that a contender with "the highest chances to win should be running" for the presidency.

"Today, Petro Poroshenko is this candidate," he said, reminding supporters that the two politicians had stood and fought shoulder-to-shoulder at the protesters' main camp in Kiev - the Maidan.

Mr Poroshenko, 48, has already declared his intention to enter the race.

The owner of the popular Roshen chocolate company, he is widely known in Ukraine as the "chocolate king".

He has held a number of cabinet portfolios under different presidents in the past decade.

[Mar 29, 2014] In call with Obama, Putin says 'extremists' in Kyiv 'intimidating people with impunity'

Editor's Note: Russian President Vladimir Putin called U.S. President Barack Obama on March 28 to discuss a diplomatic resolution to the crisis in Ukraine, according to the Kremlin. The following is the readout of the presidents' call posted to the Kremlin website.

The two leaders continued exchanging views on the crisis in Ukraine.

Vladimir Putin drew Barack Obama's attention to continued rampage of extremists who are committing acts of intimidation towards peaceful residents, government authorities and law enforcement agencies in various regions and in Kiev with impunity.

In light of this, the President of Russia suggested examining possible steps the global community can take to help stabilise the situation. The two presidents agreed that specific parameters for this joint work will be discussed by the Russian and US foreign ministers in the near future.

Vladimir Putin also pointed out that Transnistria is essentially experiencing a blockade, which significantly complicate the living conditions for the region's residents, impeding their movement and normal trade and economic activities. He stressed that Russia stands for the fair and comprehensive settlement of the Transnistria conflict and hopes for effective work in the existing 5+2 negotiation format.

[Mar 29, 2014] Meet the Americans Who Put Together the Coup in Kiev By Steve Weissman

March 25, 2014 | Reader Supported News

If the US State Department's Victoria Nuland had not said "Fuck the EU," few outsiders at the time would have heard of Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, the man on the other end of her famously bugged telephone call. But now Washington's man in Kiev is gaining fame as the face of the CIA-style "destabilization campaign" that brought down Ukraine's monumentally corrupt but legitimately elected President Viktor Yanukovych.

"Geoffrey Pyatt is one of these State Department high officials who does what he's told and fancies himself as a kind of a CIA operator," laughs Ray McGovern, who worked for 27 years as an intelligence analyst for the agency. "It used to be the CIA doing these things," he tells Democracy Now. "I know that for a fact." Now it's the State Department, with its coat-and-tie diplomats, twitter and facebook accounts, and a trick bag of goodies to build support for American policy.

A retired apparatchik, the now repentant McGovern was debating Yale historian Timothy Snyder, a self-described left-winger and the author of two recent essays in The New York Review of Books – "The Haze of Propaganda" and "Fascism, Russia, and Ukraine." Both men speak Russian, but they come from different planets.

On Planet McGovern – or my personal take on it – realpolitik rules. The State Department controls the prime funding sources for non-military intervention, including the controversial National Endowment for Democracy (NED), which Washington created to fund covert and clandestine action after Ramparts magazine and others exposed how the CIA channeled money through private foundations, including the Ford Foundation. State also controls the far-better-funded Agency for International Development (USAID), along with a growing network of front groups, cut-outs, and private contractors. State coordinates with like-minded governments and their parallel institutions, mostly in Canada and Western Europe. State's "democracy bureaucracy" oversees nominally private but largely government funded groups like Freedom House. And through Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland, State had Geoff Pyatt coordinate the coup in Kiev.

The CIA, NSA, and Pentagon likely provided their specialized services, while some of the private contractors exhibited shadowy skill sets. But if McGovern knows the score, as he should, diplomats ran the campaign to destabilize Ukraine and did the hands-on dirty work.

Harder for some people to grasp, Ambassador Pyatt and his team did not create the foreign policy, which was – and is – only minimally about overthrowing Ukraine's duly elected government to "promote democracy." Ever since Bill Clinton sat in the Oval Office, Washington and its European allies have worked openly and covertly to extend NATO to the Russian border and Black Sea Fleet, provoking a badly wounded Russian bear. They have also worked to bring Ukraine and its Eastern European neighbors into the neoliberal economy of the West, isolating the Russians rather than trying to bring them into the fold. Except for sporadic resets, anti-Russian has become the new anti-Soviet, and "strategic containment" has been the wonky word for encircling Russia with our military and economic power.

Nor did neoconservatives create the policy, no matter how many progressive pundits blame them for it. NED provides cushy jobs for old social democrats born again as neocons. Pyatt's boss, Victoria Nuland, is the wife and fellow-traveler of historian Robert Kagan, one of the movement's leading lights. And neocons are currently beating the war drums against Russia, as much to scupper any agreements on Syria and Iran as to encourage more Pentagon contracts for their friends and financial backers. But, encircling Russia has never been just a neocon thing. The policy has bi-partisan and trans-Atlantic support, including the backing of America's old-school nationalists, Cold War liberals, Hillary hawks, and much of Obama's national security team.

No matter that the policy doesn't pass the giggle test. Extending NATO and Western economic institutions into all of a very divided Ukraine had less chance of working than did hopes in 2008 of bringing Georgia into NATO, which could have given the gung-ho Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvilli the treaty right to drag us all into World War III. To me, that seemed like giving a ten-year-old the keys to the family Humvee.

Western provocations in Ukraine proved more immediately counterproductive. They gave Vladimir Putin the perfect opportunity for a pro-Russian putsch in Crimea, which he had certainly thought of before, but never as a priority. The provocations encouraged him to stand up as a true Russian nationalist, which will only make him more difficult to deal with. And they gave him cover to get away with that age-old tool of tyrants, a quickie plebiscite with an unnecessary return to Joseph Stalin's old dictum once popular in my homestate of Florida: "It's not the votes that count, but who counts the votes."

Small "d" democrats should shun such pretense. Still, most journalists and pollsters on the scene report that – with the exception of the historic Tatar community – the majority of Crimeans want to join the Russian Federation, where they seem likely to stay.

Tensions will also grow as the US-picked interim prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk – our man "Yats" – joins with the IMF to impose a Greek, Spanish, or Italian style austerity. Hard-pressed Ukranians will undoubtedly fight back, especially in the predominantly Russian-speaking east. According to Der Spiegel, a whopping three quarters of the people there do not support the coup or government. What a tar patch! A domestic conflict that could split Ukraine in two will inevitably become even further embroiled in the geo-strategic struggle between Russia and the West.

On Planet Snyder, as in most Western media, these realistic considerations make absolutely no difference. Ideology rules, masked as idealism. Fine sounding abstractions fill the air. Ukrainians are making their own history. They are acting with great courage. They are seeking the rule of law and their rightful place in "European Civilization." They are defending "sovereignty" and "territorial integrity." Russians remain vicious. Big bad Vlad is the new Hitler. He is seeking his own Eurasian empire (as opposed to NATO's), which could soon include parts of Moldova, Belarus, and Kazakhstan that the West needs like a "lok in kop," a hole in the head. And those watching in the West must abandon what Snyder calls "our slightly self-obsessed notions of how we control or don't control everything."

"It was a classic popular revolution," proclaims the professor. An undeniably popular uprising against "an unmistakably reactionary regime."

Writing in The Nation, Professor Stephen Cohen shreds Snyder's argument. My concern is more pointed. Popular uprisings deserve our support or opposition depending on who comes to control them and to what ends. As McGovern puts it, "The question is: Who took them over? Who spurred them? Who provoked them for their own particular strategic interests?"

Detailed evidence provides the answers. For all the courage of the Ukrainian minority who took to the barricades, US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt and his team spurred the protests in Kiev and exercised extensive – though never complete – control over them. Tactically, Pyatt and his fellow diplomats showed unexpected skill. Strategically, they should have stayed home.

Revolution on Demand

Arriving in the Ukrainian capital on August 3, Pyatt almost immediately authorized a grant for an online television outlet called Hromadske.TV, which would prove essential to building the Euromaidan street demonstrations against Yanukovych. The grant was only $43,737, with an additional $4,796 by November 13. Just enough to buy the modest equipment the project needed.

Many of Hromadske's journalists had worked in the past with American benefactors. Editor-in-chief Roman Skrypin was a frequent contributor to Washington's Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty and the US-funded Ukrayinska Pravda. In 2004, he had helped create Channel 5 television, which played a major role in the Orange Revolution that the US and its European allies masterminded in 2004.

Skrypin had already gotten $10,560 from George Soros's International Renaissance Foundation (IRF), which came as a recommendation to Pyatt. Sometime between December and the following April, IRF would give Hromadske another $19,183.

Hromadske's biggest funding in that period came from the Embassy of the Netherlands, which gave a generous $95,168. As a departing US envoy to the Hague said in a secret cable that Wikileaks later made public, "Dutch pragmatism and our similar world-views make the Netherlands fertile ground for initiatives others in Europe might be reluctant, at least initially, to embrace."

For Pyatt, the payoff came on November 21, when President Yanukovych pulled back from an Association Agreement with the European Union. Within hours Hromadske.TV went online and one of its journalists set the spark that brought Yanukovych down.

"Enter a lonely, courageous Ukrainian rebel, a leading investigative journalist," writes Snyder. "A dark-skinned journalist who gets racially profiled by the regime. And a Muslim. And an Afghan. This is Mustafa Nayem, the man who started the revolution. Using social media, he called students and other young people to rally on the main square of Kiev in support of a European choice for Ukraine."

All credit to Nayem for his undeniable courage. But bad, bad history. Snyder fails to mention that Pyatt, Soros, and the Dutch had put Web TV at the uprising's disposal. Without their joint funding of Hromadske and its streaming video from the Euromaidan, the revolution might never have been televised and Yanukovych might have crushed the entire effort before it gained traction.

For better or for worse, popular uprisings have changed history long before radio, television, or the Internet. The new technologies only speed up the game. Pyatt and his team understood that and masterfully turned soft power and the exercise of free speech, press, and assembly into a televised revolution on demand, complete with an instant overdub in English. Soros then funded a Ukrainian Crisis Media Center "to inform the international community about events in Ukraine," and I'm still trying to track down who paid for Euromaidan PR, the website of the Official Public Relations Secretariat for the Headquarters of the National Resistance.

Orange Revolution II

Preparing the uprising started long before Pyatt arrived in country, and much of it revolved around a talented and multi-lingual Ukrainian named Oleh Rybachuk, who had played several key roles in the Orange Revolution of 2004. Strangely enough, he recently drew attention when Pando, Silicon Valley's online news site, attacked journalist Glenn Greenwald and the investor behind his new First Look Media, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. Trading brickbats over journalistic integrity, both Pando and Greenwald missed the gist of the bigger story.

In 2004, Rybachuk headed the staff and political campaign of the US-backed presidential candidate Victor Yushchenko. As the generally pro-American Kyiv Post tells it, the shadowy Rybachuk was Yushchenko's "alter ego" and "the conduit" to the State Security Service, which "was supplying the Yushchenko team with useful information about Yanukovych's actions." Rybachuk went on to serve under Yushchenko and Tymoshenko as deputy prime minister in charge of integrating Ukraine into NATO and the European Union. In line with US policy, he also pushed for privatization of Ukraine's remaining state-owned industries.

Despite US and Western European backing, the government proved disastrous, enabling its old rival Yanukovych to win the presidency in the 2010 election. Western monitors generally found the election "free and fair," but no matter. The Americans had already sowed the seeds either to win Yanukovych over or to throw him over, whichever way Washington and its allies decided to go. As early as October 2008, USAID funded one of its many private contractors – a non-profit called Pact Inc. – to run the "Ukraine National Initiatives to Enhance Reforms" (UNITER). Active in Africa and Central Asia, Pact had worked in Ukraine since 2005 in campaigns against HIV/AIDS. Its new five-year project traded in bureaucratic buzzwords like civil society, democracy, and good governance, which on the public record State and USAID were spending many millions of dollars a year to promote in Ukraine.

Pact would build the base for either reform or regime change. Only this time the spin-masters would frame their efforts as independent of Ukraine's politicians and political parties, whom most Ukrainians correctly saw as hopelessly corrupt. The new hope was "to partner with civil society, young people, and international organizations" – as Canada's prestigious Financial Post later paraphrased no less an authority than Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

By 2009, Pact had rebranded the pliable Rybachuk as "a civil society activist," complete with his own NGO, Center UA (variously spelled Centre UA, Tsenter UA, or United Actions Center UA). Pact then helped Rybachuk use his new base to bring together as many as 60 local and national NGOs with activists and leaders of public opinion. This was New Citizen, a non-political "civic platform" that became a major political player. At the time, Pact and Soros's IRF were working in a joint effort to provide small grants to some 80 local NGOs. This continued the following year with additional money from the East Europe Foundation.

"Ukraine has been united by common disillusionment," Rybachuk explained to the Kyiv Post. "The country needs a more responsible citizenry to make the political elite more responsible."

Who could argue? Certainly not Rybachuk's Western backers. New Citizen consistently framed its democracy agenda as part of a greater integration within NATO, Europe, and the trans-Atlantic world. Rybachuk himself would head the "Civil Expert Council" associated with the EU-Ukraine Cooperation Committee.

Continuing to advise on "strategic planning," in May 2010 Pact encouraged New Citizen "to take Access to Public Information as the focus of their work for the next year." The coalition campaigned for a new Freedom of Information law, which passed. Pact then showed New Citizen how to use the law to boost itself as a major player, organize and train new activists, and work more closely with compliant journalists, all of which would seriously weaken the just-elected Yanukovych government. Part of their destabilization included otherwise praiseworthy efforts, none more so than the movement to "Stop Censorship."

"Censorship is re-emerging, and the opposition is not getting covered as much," Rybachuk told the Kyiv Post in May 2010. He was now "a media expert" as well as civic activist. "There are some similarities to what Vladimir Putin did in Russia when he started his seizure of power by first muzzling criticism in the media."

One of Rybachuk's main allies in "Stop Censorship" was the journalist Sergii Leshchenko, who had long worked with Mustafa Nayem at Ukrayinska Pravda, the online newsletter that NED publicly took credit for supporting. NED gave Leshchenko its Reagan Fascell Democracy Fellowship, while New Citizen spread his brilliant exposés of Yanukovych's shameless corruption, focusing primarily on his luxurious mansion at Mezhyhirya. Rybachuk's Center UA also produced a documentary film featuring Mustafa Nayem daring to ask Yanukovych about Mezhyhirya at a press conference. Nothing turned Ukrainians – or the world – more against Yanukovych than the concerted exposure of his massive corruption. This was realpolitik at its most sophisticated, since the US and its allies funded few, if any, similar campaigns against the many Ukrainian kleptocrats who favored Western policy.

Under the watchful eye of Pact, Rybachuk's New Citizen developed a project to identify the promises of Ukrainian politicians and monitor their implementation. They called it a "Powermeter" (Vladometer), an idea they took from the American website "Obamameter." Funding came from the US Embassy, through its Media Development Fund, which falls under the State Department's Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. Other money came from the Internews Network, which receives its funding from the State Department, USAID, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) and a wide variety of other government agencies, international organizations, and private donors. Still other money came from Soros's IRF.

New Citizen and its constituent organizations then brought together 150 NGOs from over 35 cities, along with activists and journalists like Sergii Leschchenko, to create yet another campaign in 2011. They called it the Chesno Movement, from the Ukrainian word for "honestly. " Its logo was a garlic bulb, a traditional disinfectant widely believed to ward off evil. The movement's purpose was "to monitor the political integrity of the parliamentary candidates running in the 2012 elections."

This was a mammoth project with the most sophisticated sociology. As expected, the Chesno monitoring found few honest politicians. But it succeeded in raising the issue of public integrity to new heights in a country of traditionally low standards and in building political interest in new areas of the country and among the young. The legislative elections themselves proved grim, with President Yanukovych's Party of the Regions taking control of parliament.

What then of all New Citizen's activism, monitoring, campaigning, movement-building, and support for selective investigative journalism? Where was all this heading? Rybachuk answered the question in May 2012, several months before the election.

"The Orange Revolution was a miracle, a massive peaceful protest that worked," he told Canada's Financial Post. "We want to do that again and we think we will."

He Who Pays the Piper

Rybachuk had good reason for his revolutionary optimism. His Western donors were upping the ante. Pact Inc. commissioned a financial audit for the Chesno campaign, covering from October 2011 to December 2012. It showed that donors gave Rybachuk's Center UA and six associated groups some $800,000 for Chesno. PACT, which regularly got its money from USAID, contributed the lion's share, $632,813, though part of that came from the Omidyar Network, a foundation set up by Pierre and his wife.

In a March 12th press release, the network tried to explain its contributions to Rybachuk's Center UA, New Citizen, and the Chesno Movement. These included a two-year grant of $335,000, announced in September 2011, and another $769,000, committed in July 2013. Some of the money went to expand Rybachuk's technology platforms, as New Citizen explained.

"New Citizen provides Ukrainians with an online platform to cooperatively advocate for social change. On the site, users can collectively lobby state officials to release of public information, participate in video-advocacy campaigns, and contribute to a diverse set of community initiatives," they wrote. "As a hub of social justice advocates in Kiev, the organization hopes to define the nation's 'New Citizen' through digital media."

Omidyar's recent press release listed several other donors, including the USAID-funded Pact, the Swiss and British embassies, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, the National Endowment for Democracy, and Soros's International Renaissance Foundation. The Chesno Movement also received money from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

Figures for fiscal year 2013 are more difficult to track. Washington's shows USAID paying PACT in Ukraine over $7 million under the general category of "Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance." The data does not indicate what part of this went to Center UA, New Citizen, or any of their projects.

What should we make of all this funding? Some of it looks like private philanthropy, as back in the days when the CIA channeled its money through foundations. Was the Soros and Omidyar money truly private or government money camouflaged to look private? That has to remain an open question. But, with Rybachuk's campaigns, it makes little difference. USAID and other government funding dominated. The US Embassy, through Pact, coordinated most of what Rybachuk did. And, to my knowledge, neither Soros nor Omidyar ever broke from the State Department's central direction.

Strategic Containment, OK?

When Ambassador Pyatt arrived in Kiev, he inherited Pact and its Rybachuk network well on its way to a second Orange Revolution, but only if they thought they needed it to win integration into Europe. That was always the big issue for the State Department and the Ukrainian movement they built, far more telling than censorship, corruption, democracy, or good governance. As late as November 14, Rybachuk saw no reason to take to the streets, fully expecting Yanukovych to sign the Association Agreement with the European Union at a November 28-29 summit in Vilnius. On November 21, Yanukovych pulled back, which Rybachuk saw as a betrayal of government promises. That is what "brought people to the streets," he told Kyiv Post. "It needed to come to this."

Euromaidan would become a "massive watchdog," putting pressure on the government to sign the association and free trade deal with the EU, he said. "We'll be watching what the Ukrainian government does, and making sure it does what it has to do."

That is where the State Department's second Orange Revolution started. In my next article, I'll show where it went from there and why.

A veteran of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement and the New Left monthly Ramparts, Steve Weissman lived for many years in London, working as a magazine writer and television producer. He now lives and works in France, where he is researching a new book, "Big Money and the Corporate State: How Global Banks, Corporations, and Speculators Rule and How to Nonviolently Break Their Hold."

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

[Mar 29, 2014] A Good Servant, But A Bad Master: Follow The Money in Kiev

Mar 28, 2014 | The Kremlin Stooge

Ukraine – Follow the Money

While he tends to be overshadowed by his more colorful cohorts, the key figure in the group that have siezed power in Ukraine is Arseniy Yatsenyuk, first revealed to much of the world in Victoria Nuland's now infamous 'F*ck the EU' tape as her man in Ukraine.

Operations such as what we have just seen in the overthrow of Ukraine's government do not come from any one source these days – instead they come about when the vast array of western government linked NGO's, think tanks, financial institutions, billionaire foundations & their various political action committees reach the necessary critical mass and an opportunity opens up for them to take advantage of (or is created).

The origin of the current seizing of power originally came from the attempt to salvage something from the ashes of the 'Orange Revolution' by some of it's original backers. In 2007 Viktor Yushchenko, former IMF protege and hero of the Orange revolution, along with his government were in complete chaos, his popularity now in the single digits.

The core of the Yuschenko government's policies were essentially the same as what the current unelected regime is attempting to push through – subordinate economic policy to the control of the IMF, mass privitazation of state assets; the outlawing of Russian language; the promotion of Ukraine's entry into NATO; removal of the Russian fleet from Crimea & control handed over to NATO, etc.

However, with the complete chaos that came in the wake of the Orange Revolution very little of this program was achieved, despite the vast sums of money expended, intense political lobbying efforts and the enormous western style PR/media campaigns on it's behalf (only some the privatization & IMF sponsored 'reforms' were successfully implemented).

A new champion for 'Western Democracy' had to be created, and so in 2007 the Arseniy Yatsenyuk Foundation was born, and with it the career of Arseniy Yatsenyuk as a major political player.

Despite it's brief removal from the internet, a clear picture of just what Arseniy Yatsenyuk is about can still be gleaned from the list of partners found on the Arseniy Yatseninuk Foundation's website. They are – the Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation (A Project of the German Marshall Fund); – Chatham House; – NATO Information and Documentation Centre; – State Department of the United States of America; – NED National Endowment for Democracy; – Horizon Capital; – Swedbank; – & the Victor Pinchuk Foundation.

While the few writers that have written about this have justifiably focused on the blatant brass of NATO, the US State Department & it's subsidiaries promoting a foreign leader into power of a major country on Russia's border, much of the deeper story is to be found in the details.

Follow the Money

Swedbank – Sweden's leading bank, looking like the epitome of respectable banking on their main website, and their trading arm, Swedbank Markets.

"Swedbank's Financial Markets Department is the leader in attracting risk and debt capital in the Baltics."

The main types of services provided by Swedbank Markets are:

Consultations on attracting risk capital; Consultations on company mergers, acquisitions and takeovers; Consultations in case of privatization; Consultations on restructuring of companies, restructuring and optimization of capital, investigation and evaluation.

Swedbank Markets are in 'Strategic cooperation with JP Morgan'. Horizon Capital – an innocently named private equity fund formed in 2006, it is focused on profit potential in Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova.

This starts looking very odd when you take a look at it's founder: Jeffrey C. Neal, Founding Partner and Chairman – prior to this, he was the Chairman of the Global Investment Banking Group of Merrill Lynch & Co.

So, what is a former Chairman in one of the world's most powerful trading firms doing forming a company focused on two economies that can best be described as basket cases along with another essentially closed to western investors?

A look at the co-founder brings things into a little more perspective:

Natalie A. Jaresko, co-founder & Chief Executive Officer – the former Chief of the Economic Section of the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, a member of President Yushchenko's Foreign Investors Advisory Council, Jaresko still serves on the board of another company called the Western NIS Enterprise Fund, an equity fund that is in partnership with USAID in Ukraine & Moldova. Among WNISEF's partners are Whitney MacMillan, multi-billionaire & the former CEO of Cargill, the world's largest agricultural trading company; along with the former Chairman of Sippican, a subsidiary of defence contractor Lockheed Martin.

Power and its Rewards

When Yatsenyuk came into power, his first move was to make two appointments: the new Governor of the National Bank & the new Minister of Finance. Stepan Kubiv, one of the senior leaders of the Maiden protests got the National Bank job. Kubiv had another job until this – he was the head of Kredbank, essentially a wholly owned subsidiary of Poland's largest bank, with 130 branches in Ukraine (he might have the distinction of being the only bank CEO in modern times who turned street protest leader and helped overthrow a sitting government – they genuinely lead from behind, not the front…)

Kubiv's first order of business was to resume "negotiations with external creditors, the International Monetary Fund in the first place, right after the country's new government is formed and elaboration of a strict new plan for economic and financial reforms. "

As Zero Hedge points out, Kubiv "knows everything there is to know about all assets held within the Ukrainian banking system by the local population."

The new Minister of Finance Aleksandr Shlapak is probably even more interesting – a political crony of Viktor Yushchenko – a long-time protegé of the IMF…upon Yushchenko's defeat, Aleksandr Shlapak joined a shadowy Bermuda based offshore financial outfit, IMG International Ltd (IMG), holding the position of Vice President. Based in Hamilton, Bermuda, IMG specializes in "captive insurance management", reinsurance and "risk transfer."

What we have here is the inside track – those players best positioned to take advantage of essentially the whole of Ukraine's remaining assets, along with it's future earnings to pay off the vast debts, with the details being 'negotiated' between Arseniy Yatsenyuk (along with his team of former IMF & finance industry insiders) and the people who created his political career.

The information on Ukraine's assets from Stepan Kubiv;

Swedbank Markets are positioned as the player to work out the terms of the deals to place most of Ukraine's assets on the market;

Along with Merril Lynch & JP Morgan are positioned to pick up the better parts of debt trade, with IMG International taking the lead for the vulture trade.

Other well positioned players are : Cargill for the management of Ukraine's agricultural land & grain sales along with Lockheed Martin for still viable Defence Industries.

These players are looking to take Ukraine into a modern variation of the shock doctrine years of the early 90′s, with the countries rapidly rising debt (or the people of Ukraine's future earnings) & remaining industries being traded away to vulture capitalists under the most dubious of legal circumstances, and full connivance of the major Western powers.

Everything you know about Ukraine is wrong


Everyone looking for a proxy side to support or oppose in the Ukraine political dynamic will be disappointed. Ukraine politics go by their own rules. Today's neoliberal ultranationalist could be tomorrow's Kremlin ally, and visa-versa. Just look at what happened to the Orange Revolution-nothing. To wit:

4. Yanukovych was not fighting neoliberalism, the World Bank, or oligarchy - nor was he merely a tool of the Kremlin.

There's another false meme going around that because the World Bank and IMF are moving in to "reform" Ukraine's economy - for the umpteenth time - that somehow this means that this was a fight between pro-neoliberal and anti-neoliberal forces. It wasn't.

Yanukovych enthusiastically cooperated with the IMF and pledged to adhere to their demands. Six months after Yanukovych was elected president, the headline read "International Monetary Fund approves $15 billion loan to Ukraine". As the AFP reported,

"President Viktor Yanukovych had made restoring relations with the IMF a major priority on taking office."

Later that year, the Wall Street Journal praised Yanukovych's neoliberal reforms as "truly transformational" and gushed that Yanukovych "may soon become Europe's star economic liberalizer."

The problem was that last November, the Kremlin offered Yanukovych what he thought was a better deal than what the EU was offering. He bet wrong.

The point is this: Ukraine is not Venezuela. This is not a profoundly political or class fight, as it is in Venezuela. Yanukovych represents one faction of oligarchs; the opposition, unwittingly or otherwise, ultimately fronts for other factions. Many of those oligarchs have close business ties with Russia, but assets and bank accounts-and mansions-in Europe. Both forces are happy to work with the neoliberal global institutions.

In Ukraine, there is no populist left politics, even though the country's deepest problem is inequality and oligarchy. Memories of the Soviet Union play a big role in turning people off to populist-left politics there, for understandable reasons.

But the Ukrainians do have a sense of people power that is rare in the world, and it goes back to the first major protests in 2000, through the success of the Orange Revolution. The masses understand their power-in-numbers to overthrow bad governments, but they haven't forged a populist politics to change their situation and redistribute power by redistributing wealth.

So they wind up switching from one oligarchical faction to another, forming broad popular coalitions that can be easily co-opted by the most politically organized minority factions within-neoliberals, neofascists, or Kremlin tools. All of whom eventually produce more of the same shitty life that leads to the next revolution.

[Mar 27, 2014] Hello Greece: Yatsenuk's economic program is just a plan to satisfy creditors

You wanted Maidan because you want more dignified life and wanted to stop the corruption of Yanukovich government. OK. Finanly like it always happens in life you got not what you want but what you deserved! The U.S. approved a package of measures for starvation of the Ukrainians that Yatsenuyk was allowed to read to people. This event might help to wake up "silent majoroty" whose motto is - it's none of my business. Now you will get a package of Greece-style neoliberal reforms that will quickly substantially lower the standard of living for the majority of people in Ukraine. "New neoliberal government urgently needs money to pay Western banks. And it will take them from the population because that the only source available. Oligarchs are exempt that they are the government. That's how you can briefly describe the essence of the legislative initiatives of the new Cabinet."

I have a friend who lives in Odessa. She is originally from the Far East and is still a little bit confused by the Ukrainian language. In addition, by virtue of outstanding appearance she is very far from politics. For example, until recently, she was sure that Yatsenyuk's Party named "Фронт змін"" (Front for Change) " is translated as "Фронт измен". "Front of Betrayals". And she was very surprised why Yatsenyuk chose such a strange name for his political party. But, after hearing today the economic plan of the government, I thought that every joke has grain of truth.

The market seems to think the same: after Yatsenyuk's speech in the parliament exchange gate of the dollar on the interbank market rose to 11.35 UAH.

Basically, Prime Minister Yatsenyuk voiced his economic program not the first time. Two weeks ago he called the 10 priorities of the new government:

Why he included language issue into economic package, I do not know . But when the program has been shown to euro commissioners yesterday, it was gone. It fall out as an redundant or foreign element. It is said that European commissioners were satisfied, but asked to put priorities in a slightly different order, with the first to be the implementation of the requirements of the IMF.

Actually , the main task of the government today - is to satisfy the IMF. Whatever it wants. And in return get the loan total amount of which can reach $18 billion. Amount possible "rain of loans": World Bank loan - $1 billion , EU funding for macro-financial assistance - $2 billion, aid from the U.S. Congress - $1 billion; credit resource from Canada - $ 200 million , the Japanese government loan - $100 million , a loan from the Polish government - $ 100 million ; assistance from the World Bank on project activities - $200 million ; credit line of the European investment Bank - $170 million ; loans from the International Finance Corporation - $400 million

Of course, this amount of easy money looks inspiring. But, first, let me remind you that it loans, not a gift for the wedding with EU, and it is expected to be repaid over time. Moreover , as the lesson the loans that were so easily taken by Gas Princess Timoshenko that suggest that payment period comes much faster than the stabilization of the economy. Now we need to pay off the debts we have already got, but the expected improvement has not come yet.

Secondly , the money will not given all at once, most of them are allocated for specific projects . And the provisional government promised to slash people standard of living immediately. Lower abruptly, without mercy. Tariffs for residential building maintenance will finally be lifted. The cost of gas will increase 50%, and will continue for four years, looking more like a chronic disease then one time pain.

It is also planned ( IMF insists on it , and Ukraine will fulfill all that tells Fund) eliminate the institution of special retirement benefits , which are allocated to scientists , government officials, managers of state enterprises. Ukraine need to privatize all mines and abolish all subsidies . Repeal benefits for municipal utilities , transportation and other (travel appreciates sharply on all kinds - from the subway to the train). Cancel the VAT exemption in the countryside. Oblige pharmacies and pharmacists to pay VAT . Unemployment benefits accrue only if that person has worked in one place for six months. Kicked at least one day earlier - bite your windowsill.

Ukraine Shocks Population With Staggered 100% Heating Price Increase While Restricting Cash Use Zero Hedge

In a TV address to his divided nation, Ukraine's PM Yatsenyuk stunned the people by first suggesting heating prices would rise gradually, then confirming a plan that will see prices rise 100% in the next 2 years (and almost 200% by 2017) as the cost of imported Russian gas is expected to be around $500 (up from the current $84). This standard of living crushing move was then followed by tougher capital controls, restricting cash purchases to around $1300 per person per day after the Central bank basically admitted "amid a tense situation in money markets" it was broke. And all of this comes on the heels of what can only be described as a vague pro-forma comment by US and EU governments over the riots by the "Right Sector" ultranationalists that clearly did not want to upset the state-sponsored thugs too much.

Yatsenyuk addressed the nation in a TV appearance:

So a 182% increase by 2017

And then, via The Ukraine Central Bank, they implement tougher capital controls:

After admitting they are broke...

Taking into account the preservation of the tense situation in the money market, the Decree ? 172 introduced some additional stabilization measures, such as:

Given the increased demand for foreign currencies set the maximum amount of sales of the same individual, which is equivalent to not exceed 15 000 for other operating (working) day in the same banking institution; imposed certain restrictions on transfers of foreign currency by individuals outside of Ukraine for current non-commercial operations.

Such operations are allowed to an amount not exceeding the equivalent of 150 000 per month. However, these restrictions do not apply to a number of important social and transfers, namely to cover the costs of medical treatment abroad, transporting patients, transfers carried out in case of change of the state of residence relating to the payment of non-residents of Ukraine and some others. Residents allowed to repay loans

And then, following last night's riots where the alledgely US sponsored ultranationalists who ousted Yanukoych turned on their new masters,

And this rather vague response from a joint EU/US statement:

The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv and the Delegation of the European Union to Ukraine condemn the incident that took place at the Verkhovna Rada on the night of March 27.

This is a difficult moment in Ukraine's history, which requires consolidation of all reform efforts, while embracing mutual respect and eschewing violence. Lasting reform in Ukraine will be a long and complex process. To be credible, it must remain democratic, transparent, and peaceful and be pursued exclusively in coordination with the nation's democratic institutions. As in the past, we call on all sides to refrain from violence and to stick to legal methods for expressing their views and concerns and to avoid any actions which may destabilize the situation.

We welcome the statements of Pravy Sector's leadership that they intend to keep their actions "within the framework of the law". We urge all political forces to distance themselves from extremists, who undermine the efforts to stabilize Ukraine and to protect its sovereignty.

We urge the Ukrainian Government to ensure that those who broke the law are held accountable. We stand by previous assertions that any death which occurs in unclear circumstances should be investigated impartially in order to provide citizens the feeling of security and accountability of law enforcement organs. We welcome the establishment of the special parliamentary commission which will scrutinize all evidence on the events involving the police and resulting losses.

During this process, the United States and European Union remain committed to standing with the Ukrainian people to help them build the prosperous, democratic future they deserve.

So to summarize... the government has a plan that dramatically raises living costs for Ukrainians (ensuring that various international factions will need to lend them more money in bailout terms)... while restricting what the Ukrainian people can spend... promising fair elections in May as the EU and US barely flutter an eyelid at the riots that occurred against the new government... and all of this as Putin gathers increasing amounts of military might on the borders...


The Russki's have been selling gas to Ukraine at a steep discount. Now that Ukraine is west-looking, Russia is no longer interested in subsidizing Ukrainian heating. Hence the hefty price increase.


The instigators of this latest adventure, Nuland et al, have f^cked up Ukraine to a degree and in a time frame that's just breathtaking. Compare the country to what it was before the Maidan and what it will be like in a year's time. Thanks a bunch, 'western democracies'.


Even Libya took a little longer.


"thermidorian reaction is going to be a real bitch."

No shit. In Ukraine the trees may be heavy with fruit by late April this year...

As soon as the IMF deal is shoved through someone (with a nobel prize up his ass?) will probably be along shortly to encourage the bastards to try to print their way out of this disaster. I wonder how long it will take befor they break down and start buring the furniture and books come next winter when the pipes run dry...


I keep hearing "Nazis" but the photo on the header is that of a Jew !?!?!?


see my useful idiot comment above... the uprising was also lead by ex-israeli commandos...

Dewey Cheatum Howe

Look at the pictures first and then talk about cognitive dissonance.....

And btw pravyi sektor are only one subset of Svoboda which is the political arm for ALL them Neo Nazi groups, they are a part of a coalition called UNO-UNSO. Pravyi sektor in particular have long term NATO ties working as 'tripwire' paramilitary mercenary force for NATO in places like Kosovo and Chechnya and more recently as in Poland hence the recent call up of reservists now that these NATO assets are busy rioting in the Ukraine now.

Dewey Cheatum Howe

And more on that cognitive dissonance because pravyi sector or not Svoboda is still the big component of the Ukraine government joooo prime minister 'Yats" or not.

... Ideology
Ukrainian neo-Nazi organizations were the driving force behind the coup d'etat committed in Kiev in late February. The ultranationalist Pravy (Right) Sector, led by Dmitro Yarosh, is the most publicized of them. Yarosh is backed by a number of the neo-fascist paramilitary organizations that make up the "self-defense of Maidan" and sport neo-Nazi symbols (a modified swastika and Celtic cross). They pay homage to the legacy of the war-time Banderite Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists – Ukrainian Insurgent Army and the Galician division of the SS, blasphemously enduing them with "sacred" meaning.

The Svoboda ("Freedom") Party is the political front for the Ukrainian neo-Nazi movement. It has been the beneficiary of almost half the political appointments made by the "provisional government" in Kiev, and its leader, Oleg Tyahnybok, is one of the three who rose to fame as the "leaders of the Euromaidan movement." The party won more than 2.5 million votes in the last election (looking at Western Ukraine separately, a large percentage of the registered voters there are already part of this party's electoral base). According to the party's program, Tyahnybok's followers plan to introduce a mandatory "Nationality" category in Ukrainian passports, in order to facilitate the identification of Muscovites and Jews, to extend the right to own firearms to everyone (except the mentally ill), and to insert a provision in the Constitution of Ukraine proclaiming that the current government is the rightful heir to the Ukrainian state that was established by the legal act of June 30, 1941, which stated,

Battle tactics

As the German Nazis did in the 1920s and 1930s, the Ukrainian neo-Nazis seized power in the wake of mass riots accompanied by killings. The insurgents characterized even the sluggish response by the legitimate authorities as the "suppression of freedom and terrorism at the hands of Communist Jews." Attempts of civil resistance against the coup were labeled as "intrigues contrived by the agents of Moscow." The putschist propaganda, taking advantage of "freedom of speech," wailed to the whole world about the "suppression of peaceful protests". And when these howls of protest were not enough, "mysterious snipers" began to assassinate people in downtown Kiev.

This is exactly how Hitler and his supporters came to power in Germany. The new regime in Kiev is now idolizing anyone who was seizing administrative buildings with ashow of weapons, beating the political opponents, torturing official, law-enforcement officers and journalists in public. The junta in Kiev and its henchmen are attempting to use force to suppress any popular protests in the southeastern regions, as they tried to do in Donetsk (Eastern Ukraine) on March 13.

The Ukrainian fascists' massive torchlight processions were borrowed directly from the Nazi playbook and include chanted slogans such as "Ukraine above all,""Glory to the nation – death to its enemies," and so on. The black and red Banderite flag that was raised before the Supreme Rada of Ukraine in Kiev is a direct allusion to the black and red flag of Nazi Germany.

And if it couldn't get any more fucked up and surreal

The European Union and the United States, which have supported and funded for years all neo-Nazi groups and other radical extremist factions in Eastern Europe, have given the order to these new fascists never to brandish the swastika, associated with Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany, in their marches or other demonstrations.

Indeed, it would be a more discreet way to be seen in public, but an even better way to avoid compromising the U.S. and the European Union because of the secret alliance that binds them to these groups (intelligence operatives and subversive infiltration within the New Gladio).

Thus, the Western mainstream press can present them today as fighters for democracy in the face of the "Russian invasion". However their methods, ideology and actions are a continuation of the same Nazi practices that took place in 1933-1939.


Go look at all the videos and photographic evidence to go along with this.

[Mar 27, 2014] Popcorn Please While Putin's Agitators Rule in Kiev

M of A
While anything seems possible, the operating assumption among some American and European officials is that Mr. Putin will not overtly invade eastern Ukraine but instead opt for a murky middle plan, using local agitators and perhaps undercover special forces to stir even more unrest in largely Russian-speaking areas of the country. U.S. Challenge Now Is to Stop Further Putin Moves, NYT


Putin is watching TV. Calls up his Chief of Intelligence: "Give Tyagnibok a medal for banning the use of Russian in Ukraine. What do you mean he isn't one of ours? Ok, give Yarosh a medal for the idea of blowing up Ukrainian gas transit lines. What do you mean, that's his own doing? How about that cretin Lyashko? How about those cretins from Svoboda-Miroshnichenko and others? So, DO WE HAVE ANY AGENTS ON THE GROUND IN UKRAINE AT ALL?! Where the hell are they? What the hell do you mean they bought a dump-truck of pop-corn and a tanker truck beer and are watching it like a movie?!!!" Hangs up in disgust. Calls again: "How could you let Muzychko get killed?"
via Cluborlov

Indeed Putin can just sit back and enjoy the popcorn. The putschists government is doing its very best to disgrace itself, to in-fight with its ideological friends and to push Russian speaking Ukrainians closer to Russia. Just notice today's decision to suspend even more Russian language TV services in Ukraine. How is that supposed to convince Russian speakers in Ukraine that their voices will be heard?

The fighting between the paramilitary rightwingers from the Pravyi Sektor and the Svoboda fascists has only started:

The Ukrainian radical group Right Sector demands Interior Minister Arsen Avakov's immediate dismissal and the arrest of members of the Sokil (Falcon) special task force involved in killing nationalist leader Oleksandr Muzychko nicknamed Sashko Bily in the Rivne region early on Tuesday.

The response from the Svoboda party minister:

Ukraine's Interior Ministry has started a sweep of arrests against the nationalist Right Sector organization, after its activists threatened revenge for the police killing of one of their leaders, Oleksandr Muzychko, a news report said.

Popcorn indeed.

According to Google news search no U.S. media picked up on the published Tymoshenko phone call in which she talks to her political ally Shufrych about mass killing Russians. Yahoo news carried an AFP agency text and a Washington Post blog entry tried to obfuscate the content of the talk. Except that there is nada in U.S. media while German papers were all over it. Of interest is not only the rather vulgar talk but the fact that it was held in Russian. This while the fake blond gas princess and her friends always uses Ukrainian in public speech to promote her fake nationalism. The leaked call will thereby not only alienate Russian speaker from Tymoshenko also the Ukrainian speakers which she tries to embezzle.

Why should Russia try to create unrest in eastern and southern Ukraine when the putsch government in Kiev is doing its very best to create such itself? To the growing unrest one can add the likely economic collapse that will come rather sooner than later. Any "western" help will be conditioned on austerity and impoverishing the people as well as on political reform that the oligarchs and the current politicians will not allow to happen. Under such condition further unrest is a given while Ukraine falls apart and there is no need at all for Russia to intervene to achieve such.

Russia will do nothing nefarious, it will do just nothing. Russia will not help, neither economically nor politically, unless Kiev and the "west" are willing to pay its price: A federalized Ukraine with strong regions and a weak central government.


Another possible factor is the new prosecutor/attorney general in Crimea, a young, very impressive and very attractive lawyer who came from the prosecutor's office in Kiev to her new appointment in Crimea just this month. Her debut press conference drew a lot of attention and in fact she's become a heroine in Japan with numerous manga characters drawn of her.

She says that she was there in Kiev during the Maidan and she saw what happened. She speaks harshly against the coup government and the lawlessness in other parts of Ukraine. Her job, before Maidan, was investigating organized crime and thug gangs. I'm sure she tends to know who's who more than the average prosecutor.

Her name is Natalia Poklonskaya. Kiev prosecutor's office stripped her of her rank and put a warrant out for her arrest. I wonder if she knows where the bodies are buried, so to speak. If I was the coup government and the western backers I'd be worried because what Natalia reveals is going to get attention.


Merkel officially unfriends Tymoshenko


Video from TRNN on Ukraine:

For me, the 300lb gorilla in the room, is whether Putin represents the best interests of the people, or the best interests of the Russian Oligarchs. The debate about the same question here in the US, is long over. The US govt. has been bought, and paid for, by the Western oligarchs. I think the EU is, for the most part, the same.

I for one, hope Russia can dictate to its' uber rich, not vise versa. A dominant Gov, working for the best interests of the majority, is the only force standing in the way of domination by the maglignant & greedy rich.


One more article has appeared in US media about Tymoshenko's leaked phone call. It reports a "tsk tsk" slap on the wrist from Germany toward Tymoshenko, a presidential candidate who talks about shooting Putin and nuking Russians. Just a "tsk tsk".

It seems pretty clear to me that there's a blackout on this story in the US while our Congress works on passing the aid package, which has not been completed yet. Just last month Tymoshenko was all over the US news when she was released from prison hospital, so it's not like there is no interest in her. The problem is that our government has been gushing over the poor Ukranian coup govt, and the Russians are the violent aggressors in the American story and this doesn't fit the narrative.

I wonder if, after the big aid package passes Congress and gets signed by the president, whether we'll get some truth in this story. The story of the fascist elements has not broken through the mainstream yet but a lot of bloggers and alternative media know what's going on. But American State TV hasn't reported it yet.

Another great piece by Paul Craig Roberts, comparing what was done to Russia at the end of the Cold War to what was done to Germany after World War I:
This vicious propaganda against Germany meant that Germany could be blamed for the war and that all of President Woodrow Wilson's guarantees to Germany of no reparations and no territorial loss if Germany agreed to an armistice could be violated.

The propaganda success guaranteed that the peace settlement would be so one-sided as to set up the Second World War.

Russia has observed Washington's strategic moves against Russian national interests and Russian sovereignty for two decades. What does Putin think when he hears the vicious anti-Russian propaganda based 100% in lies? [...]

What the entire world faces, every country, every individual regardless of their political orientation, is a Washington-engineered confrontation with Russia and China. This confrontation is enabled by Washington's bought-and-paid-for European and UK puppet states. Without the cover provided by Europe, Washington's acts of aggression would result in war crimes charges against the government in Washington. The world would not be able to enforce these charges without war, but Washington would be isolated.

The European, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and UK governments have betrayed not only their own peoples but also the peoples of the entire world by lending the support of Western Civilization to Washington's lawlessness.


"Under such condition further unrest is a given while Ukraine falls apart and there is no need at all for Russia to intervene to achieve such.

Russia will do nothing nefarious, it will do just nothing."

That's been obvious for quite some time. Unfortunately the Bryan MacDonald piece "b" used as reference about the instability of the Ukraine junta lacks any real depth or analysis. It's just a series of brief comments from a few people about mostly personal things. One could talk with people in any country and find a similar disparity of views and histories. This is the sort of thing one finds throughout western media when they do an "in depth" piece. Lots of personal stories, essentially gossip, and usually from people of the same general social class as the writer, but little or no real analysis of what went on, what is going on and from these, what are the probably possibilities for the future. The reader is left with the feeling they are somehow now "informed" on the subject, but not sure what it is they now have been informed about, except the writer's assurance his conclusion is the correct one, because of all the "evidence" the personal stories provide. The writers of these pieces have their POV, the bulk of these sorts of pieces are essentially filler to give the impression the writer's conclusion is based upon impartial analysis. These pieces are completely useless for understanding a given subject, and are usually intended to be so, as they are really obfuscations.

This piece by Israel Shamir gives a much better account of what is going on in the Ukraine, and why. Putin's Triumph

Another very good analytical piece on this subject is by "The Vineyard of the Saker" blog writer here: How the US dream of world supremacy was buried in Crimea

A person reading either of those 2 pieces comes away understanding the situation much clearer, and knowing the "ifs, ands and whys" of how the writer got to their conclusions. The material provided is something they can research independently, unlike "personal stories". It's solid. Not ephemeral obfuscating filler.


Barack Obama can't stand another bully on playground

I just watched and listened to Obama's policy speech in Brussels after meeting with his EU partner nations. I was greatly disappointed. It was way too broad in scope, giving many impressions and 'lessons' from history during the last 100 years since the trenches of conflict in WWI.

There was a message lying underneath, Obama wants Europe to unite in isolating and sanctioning Russia for the invasion into Crimea. Obama white-washes the Kosovo War and its independence and the US invasion and occupation of Iraq, from flaunting International Law. There stood a lonely man, living for years in the bubble of Washington D.C., infused with rhetoric from his closest advisers, trying first of all to convince himself his policy towards Putin's Russia was just. Obama did not connect with his audience, there were no moments of applause, most Europeans were so polite to let him continue and finish his words. At the end, after Obama finished his speech, there was loud applause from all invitees.

I'm not going to be kind and I will criticize his words, as he distorted facts of history, put more weight on American exceptionalism, showed clear hypocrisy to events and made the biggest mistake of all: further economic sanctions and deteriorating means of living, will make the ordinary Russians realize their leaders cannot rule by brute force and bully a neighboring state. Obama is outside of all reality. The Russian people are proud Crimea is back where it belongs, 90% consider this just and Putin's popularity is at an all time high of 80%.

All I can say, and I will use the same words German FM Joska Fischer used in 2002: "Excuse me, … I am not convinced."

[Mar 27, 2014] I had to go to Ukraine to see it for myself. Here is what I saw

An Irish writer travels to Lviv, Kiev and Odessa and comes across with some prudent observations ...

There are two ways of looking at Lviv, a relatively recent addition to Ukraine which is paradoxically its most nationalistic city. The optimistic one is to describe it as Eastern Europe's last 'museum city' not to be contaminated by, or in PR speak 'discovered' by, Ryanair or Easyjet.

The other, less complimentary, option is to hold it up as the best example of the coming, slow, European decline where magnificent showpiece metropolises become decayed and ultimately crumble, out of step with a modern world where Asia is ascendant and Europe's three millennia hold as the world's epicentre is broken.

What happens in Ukraine over the coming years won't answer the question of Europe's supposed diminution but it will certainly seal Lviv's fate, the city is literally crumbling and in dire need of the sort of investment Prague and Krakow received in the 90′s to restore their former glory. The Lviv, and Ukraine, I have come in search of is not the nation of Yanukovich, Tymoshenko, fascists or freedom fighters (depending on your view), it's the 99 per cent of the populace whose lives have been fundamentally altered by recent events in which they have, generally, little or no influence on.

I first visited Lviv in 2007, and I've been back four times since. Despite the odd far-right symbol and bit of 'Banderstadt' graffiti (a reference to the Ukrainian Nationalist Stepan Bandera, who collaborated with the Nazi's in WW2 and later died in Munich at the hands of the KGB) around the largely Hapsburg-built centre there is no evidence from the locals that the city is a hotbed of viscous fascism as it's often portrayed, especially in the Moscow media. Rather, it looks and feels like a provincial Polish or Slovakian city with, unlike most of Ukraine, little or no Russian influence. The only clue that you've stepped out of Catholic, EU, eastern Europe is the cyrillic letters on all signage and the preponderance of Russian-built Lada cars and Kamaz trucks.

However, Lviv is a largely Catholic city itself but not a typical Ukrainian one. That's because it actually began as a Croatian settlement as their tribe began to migrate south 1,500 years ago, then spent around 400 years as part of Poland (as Lwow), before being subsumed into the Austrian Empire (as Lemberg) for centuries ahead of becoming Ukrainian for a brief period from 1918-1920 and then finding itself back in Poland again.

In 1939, it was grabbed by the Soviet Union, via the Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement (as Lvov) but two years later found itself controlled by Nazi Germany (back to Lemberg) before returning to Soviet control in 1944 (Lvov again) and being integrated into the Ukrainian SSR.

At that point, the USSR began deporting the city's largely Polish elite and importing villagers from nearby Ukrainian-speaking hamlets – it's this migration that defines Lviv today and explains it's rather bizarre, given history, position as Ukraine's cultural and linguistic capital.

It's also from Lviv that Euromaidan gained it's momentum and strongest support, not its focal point of Kiev, where the majority of the denizens remained largely ambivalent to the movement – which was essentially maintained inside an area equivalent to a soccer pitch in the centre of the capital.

There's something Polish about Lviv, indeed the central square of the conurbation is named for Adam Mickiewicz, the celebrated Polish-language poet, who was born in Lithuania (then Russia) and died in Istanbul (then Constantinople). If your head is spinning at this point, here's some more fuel for the oscillation, many in Russia believe that Poland has designs on western Ukraine and that they, in tandem with the USA, have whipped up the current strife in the country as part of an influence grab.

It's certainly true that the Polish Foreign Minister, Radoslaw Sikorski (a long-time British resident, married to a former editor at the Russia-bating Economist magazine, Anne Applebaum) has been vocally supportive of Euromaidan and that a number of Ukrainian's who had been resident in Poland suddenly returned home to take prominent roles in the movement. But accusations of direct, financial support do seem a little fanciful for a rather poor state with its own problems of mass emigration and abundant poverty, unless of course they merely acted as a conduit for a third, more-powerful, country? This is actually plausible as I later discover in Kiev.

Also there is little doubt that Russia has whipped up the separatist feelings in the East of the country and Crimea is, obviously, gone and not coming back, no matter what NATO and the EU might threaten.

I go in search of Fuad, but a mutual acquaintance informs that he's skipped town since New Year, alarmed at the recent changes in mood. Perhaps the malice has finally formed? I try to hunt him down online but he seems to have vanished off the face of the earth.

In a local pub where I used to frequent with Fuad, I speak to Zoryana, a 20-year-old student of Economics, who is ethnically Armenian, and ask her if she is worried about fascists seizing control of this beautiful city. She's not. "What I am worried about is there will not be any financial aid to develop Ukrainian business and that I mightn't find a job when I graduate," she tells me. "I think the banks could go bankrupt, people are saying that they are running out of money already." Does she support the interim government in Kiev? "Yes, I do."

A strange fact about Ukraine is that it's women-folk are much more forthright and eager to talk about politics and social issues that its men – at least to foreigners. I approach a group of men at the bar and the only topic they seem interested in is football, asking me, as an Irishman, if I support St Patrick's Athletic, who played Karpaty Lviv a few years back in the UEFA Europa League. I admit that I'm more of a Rugby fan and they begin interrogating me about the sport: "Good, strongman's game. You should bring it to Ukraine. Ukrainian men very strong."

Later, I get chatting to a couple around thirty years old, Gabriella and Zoltan. Not Ukrainian names I say? It turns out they are ethnic Hungarians from the south-western region of Zakarpattia.

Zoltan works in Lviv but Gabriella has come to see him because she wants him to emigrate to Hungary, with her (they both hold dual nationality). Have they had problems? Sadly, the answer is yes.

Gabriella explains: "The company I work for depends on exports to EU countries, in the past few months its been very difficult to find customers." Meanwhile, Zoltan is on a three-day week at the transportation company he works for, "I am worried about losing my job but I am afraid that the situation in Hungary is not much better than here. In Hungary, all salaries are official and they are small. In Ukraine, my official income is tiny but from our, let me say, corruption system I really make, or used to make, much more than a Hungarian would in my position."

I ask them about ethnic tensions and Gabriella doesn't hold back. "Yes the ethnic differences have sharpened, it is leading to conflict all over the country and not only the Russian question, do I mean.

"A large amount of young Hungarian men are leaving. They are afraid of military mobilization and they don't want to fight for Ukraine. Even if they return, it will be with a Hungarian passport.

"The Nazi party, Svoboda (members of the interim government) continues its propaganda against us. A few days ago, they ruined a memorial statue in Verecke. That was a sign that 'you are under our control' I think – people are afraid of them, terrified," she explains.

Does Gabriella support the new government in Kiev? "I don't support them, not at all. They don't have legal authority or prestige in my view. But it's not their fault. In a crazy situation like we have now, nobody could rule any better. But it's not them I am worried about. Ask Zoltan what happened yesterday"

I obey her command and Zoltan, at first tentatively, pipes up: "Do you know what's sad? We can't count on the police anymore, they were always pretty bad but now they are completely useless. Yesterday, in front of our depot some people started to block the road using OUR concrete blocks. We called the police. They told us 'sorry, we are afraid of those people, of Pravy Sektor (a far-right movement led by Dmitry Yarosh), solve the situation as you wish' – can you believe this? Does this happen in Ireland or any normal country?"

So will they leave for Hungary? "Gabi wants to, I am unsure. I'm worried about my parents because I am very unsure of what will happen to pensions in the near future. But I also think there will be a very high rate of inflation and unemployment; the number of emigrants will balloon, if they can escape this place of course."

[Mar 27, 2014] Ukraine. Recalling Night of Long Knives by Olga Shedrova

Strategic Culture Foundation

Historic parallels are a risky thing, but the similarity between the past and out times is stunning. The Kiev junta - Maidan armed groups relationship and the bloody events known in the history of Germany as the Night of Long Knives are by and large the same stories.

* * *

As Hitler came to power, the discontent in the ranks of the Sturmabteilung (SA - Storm Detachment or Assault Division), the paramilitary brownshirts led by Ernst Röhm who played the decisive role in the Beer Hall Putsch (the Röhm-Putsch) in 1923, became wide spread. The group started to accuse Hitler of betrayal stressing the need for another "genuinely socialist" revolution. At the time Fuhrer planned to make SA part of Reichswehr, the regular German military. In view of great services and merits earned in the days of revolution Röhm cherished an ambition to absorb the Reichswehr into the SA under his leadership. There were around 3 million brownshirts under his command. The leaders of the Reichswehr feared and despised the SA; they strongly opposed the idea of merger pointing out that it would be wrong to put the armed forces under the command of someone who led irregular formations. The army leaders planned to make brownshirts part of national armed forces while keeping Röhm away. It was planned to transform SA into a militia force guarding the border with Poland and use paratroopers as instructors responsible for training would-be volunteers before they start service. Those days the German army was a militia force. Only on May 21 1935 conscription was re-introduced.

At the time Hitler happened to be between a rock and a hard place. SA leader Ernst Rohm did a great job making SA membership skyrocket. Without endorsement from Hitler, Rohm worked to promote the SA, employing propaganda and recruiting aggressively. At Rohm's order the SA also swallowed up other militant right-wing groups, such as the Stahlhelm ('Steel Helmet'), and acquired their members.

The inclusion of 314 thousand Steel Helmet members beefed up the Rohm's standing. He claimed 4, 5 million supporters and wanted a leading position in the structure of border guards and the right to exercise control over military warehouses in Eastern Germany. He met with Minister of Defense General Werner von Blomberg and the leadership of the SA and SS on February 28, 1934. Under pressure from Hitler, Röhm reluctantly signed a pledge stating that he recognized the supremacy of the Reichswehr over the SA, which became a source of raw recruits for an enlarged and revitalized army. Hitler announced to those present that the SA would act as an auxiliary to the Reichswehr, not the other way around. After Hitler and most of the army officers had left, however, Röhm declared that he would not take instructions from "the ridiculous corporal" – a demeaning reference to Hitler. He said Hitler was perfidious and had to leave, at least for a vacation. If he was not with stormtroopers, then they would do the thing without him. While Hitler did not take immediate action against Röhm for his intemperate outburst, it nonetheless deepened the rift between them. The Hitler's wait and see position was similar to the one Ukrainian junta member Yatsenyuk would take being in his shoes.

The Schutzstaffe (SS) and the Gestapo, the regime's secret police, started preparations to deliver a blow against the SA leadership. Hitler hesitated. He had sympathy for stormtroopers but needed the support of regular armed forces. He found it too risky to order self-liquidation of stormtrooper formations and openly challenge Röhm. But the threat of upper bourgeoisie, the military and aristocracy getting together against him pushed Hitler to take action. The fate of his nationalist brothers-in-arms was sealed. The following purge strengthened and consolidated the support of the Reichswehr for Hitler. It also provided a legal grounding for the Nazi regime, as the German courts and cabinet quickly swept aside centuries of legal prohibition against extra-judicial killings to demonstrate their loyalty to the regime. The Night of the Long Knives was a turning point for the German government. It established Hitler as "the supreme judge of the German people", as he put it in his July 13, 1934 speech to the Reichstag. The stormtroopers left alive after the purge became part of SS units under direct Hitler's and Himmler's command.

[Mar 26, 2014] Moscow Slams Closure of Russian TV in Ukraine

March 25, 2014 |

A ruling by a Ukrainian court to suspend broadcasts of four Russian TV channels in Ukraine is an attack against human rights and media freedom, a senior Russian diplomat said on Tuesday.

The District Administrative Court in Kiev ruled to suspend broadcasts of Russia's Rossiya 24, Channel One, RTR Planeta, and NTV-World in Ukraine pending hearings on a permanent ban.

"Undoubtedly, this should be viewed only as an infringement on democratic freedoms and as a violation of Ukraine's international obligations. Certainly, millions of [Russian-speaking] residents of this country have the right to watch [Russian] TV and have access to [other] Russian-language media," said Konstantin Dolgov, the Russian foreign ministry's point man on human rights.

"Forces that came into power in Kiev as a result of an anti-constitutional coup, have declared their commitment to basic human rights and freedoms, to principles of democracy. Naturally, this announcement contradicts such statements," Dolgov said.

Ukraine is split into Russian-speaking east and Ukrainian-speaking west.

National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council of Ukraine has ordered cable and satellite TV service providers to exclude Russian TV channels, popular among Russian speakers in eastern Ukraine, from their packages.

The watchdog said the Russian channels' coverage of the recent events in Ukraine, including the political crisis and Crimea's reunification with Russia, harms national security.

OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatovic condemned the move in mid-March, saying that that "banning programming without a legal basis is a form of censorship; national security concerns should not be used at the expense of media freedom."

[Mar 26, 2014] Over 70% of Russians think negatively of US role in world affairs

The Voice of Russia

The majority of Russians (70 percent) view the United States' role in world affairs as negative and just 10 percent view it as positive, Russia's FOM polling agency says, citing the results of its latest opinion poll held on March 16. About half of those polled (48 percent) assessed the Russian-US relations at present as bad, 38 percent view them as "bad in some areas and good in others" and a mere 5 percent think that they are good.

[Mar 26, 2014] Parliamentarian Poroshenko leads among potential presidential candidates in Ukraine with 24.9%

The latest opinion poll from Ukraine on the Presidential election due to be held on 25th May shows oligarch Poroshenko with nearly a quarter of the vote. Klitschko and oligarch Tymoshenko are practically neck and neck (8.9% and 8.2% respectively). In other words EuroMaidan is helping to consolidate the rule of the oligarchs.
Mar 26, 2014 |

The poll, where results were presented on Wednesday by the Committee of Voters of Ukraine, showed that 24.9% of the respondents are willing to vote for Poroshenko in the presidential elections, 8.9% for UDAR party leader Vitali Klitschko, 8.2% for Batkivshchyna party leader Yulia Tymoshenko, 7.3% for Party of Regions parliamentarian Serhiy Tihipko, and 4.2% for former Kharkiv regional administration head Mykhailo Dobkin.

Ukrainian Communist Party leader Petro Symonenko may expect support from 3.6% of the voters, Radical Party leader Oleh Lyashko from 3.5%, parliamentarian Anatoly Hrytsenko from 3.2%, Svoboda party leader Oleh Tyahnybok from 1.7%, Right Sector leader Dmytro Yarosh from 0.9%, and Ukrainian Choice leader Viktor Medvedchuk from 0.4%.

When the respondents were asked who, in their view, would be elected president regardless of their preferences, 23.6% mentioned Poroshenko, 8.8% Tymoshenko, 6.6% Klitschko, 3.6% Tihipko, and 0.9% Symonenko.

The poll indicates that Poroshenko is almost certain to proceed to the second round of the elections and that Klitschko, Tymoshenko, and Tihipko have virtually equal chances to do so.

If Poroshenko and Klitschko compete in the second round, the former candidate may expect 42.9% of the vote and the latter 15.3%.

If Tymoshenko makes it to the second round, Poroshenko would garner 46.3% and Tymoshenko 11.6%.

If Poroshenko has to compete with Tihipko in the second round, he would get 50.8% of the vote, and the Party of Regions candidate 14.4%.

The survey, in which each of the four sociological services polled 1,550 respondents, was conducted in all regions of Ukraine (excluding Crimea) on March 14-19.
Read more:

[Mar 26, 2014] The average salary In Ukraine, in February

More the half of population of Ukraine lives below poverty level. From May 1 Provisional Goverment will raise the price of natural gas for the population on average of 50% to meet IMF demands.

Aaccording to the report of the State Statistics Service . The average salary In Ukraine, in February is 3189 UAH (~$300 a month). It increased 40 UAH in comparison with January or 1.3%. (Hrivna lost 20% to the dollar at the same time --NNB)

... ... ...

In this case , the highest average salary is fixed in the aviation industry - an average of 10,167 UAH per employee . Next come the financiers and insurance agents with a salary of 6294 UAH. We techies and scientists it was 4979 UAH, and the employees the information and telecommunications industries - 4734 UAH . At the same time , the lowest wage is fixed at the postal workers - 1830 UAH , in agriculture it was 2128 UAH, and medics - 2261 UAH . Regionally , the highest level of salaries, traditionally recorded in Kiev, where the figure was 4977 USD, and the lowest - in the Ternopil region with the figure of 2266 UAH .

Provisional Government plans to save $12 billion by freezing social benefits

Crimea crisis We're constantly spitting venom at Russia, but lack a bite to scare the Kremlin by Mary Dejevsky

19 March 2014 | The Independent

"…When things turn bad with Russia, there seems to be real venom that goes beyond the rhetorical diplomatic norm. There is an almost personal vindictiveness that makes mending fences afterwards that much harder. We give the condescending impression that Russia has at once disappointed and betrayed our expectations. We speak patronizingly about our "values" and its "behaviour". We demonise its leaders as though they rule alone, and everything will be sweet reason when they are gone.

What we are encountering with Ukraine is a Russia problem, not a Putin problem. Most Russians who grew up in Soviet times, if asked what they most regret about the USSR's collapse, would say the loss of Crimea. Russians see the peninsula as ancestral territory; they have fond memories of childhood holidays there. As Italy is for northern Europeans, so Crimea is for Russians: the land of warmth and romance, "where the lemon trees bloom". No clumsy propaganda campaign was needed to convince Russians they should seize the opportunity to "get it back". Rather than understand this and look for a way out, British officials have been shouting their fury louder than most – perhaps to disguise their impotence, and with good reason.

... ... ...

The fracas over Crimea, however, is just the latest example of UK officials going the extra mile in condemning Russia, and thereby painting themselves into an anti-Russian corner. Each time it seems that a thaw with Moscow is in prospect, something happens on one side or the other to plunge relations back into the deep freeze.

Just as the worst of the Cold War seemed to be over, it was the UK (under Edward Heath) that expelled more than 90 Soviet diplomats. Other countries acted more discreetly. Having feted and flattered Mikhail Gorbachev, we failed to give him the economic support he had counted on at the 1991 London G7 summit, and he walked, dejected, away. Then, even as we boasted of our superior probity, we gave refuge to dubious characters, such as Boris Berezovsky, who used his millions to buy influence and sway opinion against his enemies in the Russian leadership at home.

... ... ...

...And now – just when the UK government seemed ready to turn the page, had restored intelligence co-operation, ended the visa war, and given its blessing to the Year of Russian Culture – we have this. Any goodwill generated by the Sochi Winter Olympics is forgotten; a powerless Britain is reverting to its role as chief anti-Russian cheerleader

There is, it must also be conceded, a strange duality to our relations. A good many Britons are entranced by Russian culture; still more Russians adore the land of Shakespeare and Dickens, aspire to give their children an English public-school education and delight in their Home County estates. Alas, neither the growing Russian presence in Britain nor the mutual appreciation of each other's culture has so far failed to lift that Cold War curse

[Mar 26, 2014] Jim Sinclair Russia-Ukraine Crisis News


"...To sanction Russia is to forget there are many U.S. and European corporations operating within Russia right now. I honestly believe sanctioning Russia is the same as shooting yourself in the foot."

Sinclair goes on to say,

"When you think you can push an ex-colonel of the KGB, you are not making a proper analysis of the personality of the person. The whole idea that Russia is only a regional power–where in the world did that come from? Anybody that is nuclear capable to the degree that Russia is with its delivery systems is a world power. We hear constantly Russia is only a regional power. We hear lies. We hear untruths. We don't have a clear picture to what is taking place."

[Mar 26, 2014] Sanctions fear to drag $70 bn from Russia – Economic Ministry

RT Business

Capital outflow from Russia in the first three months of 2014 may reach $70 billion, more than all of 2013, as souring relations with the West is weighing on the economy, said Deputy Economic Development Minister Andrey Klepach.

"Talking about the sanctions, so far they are not significant economically, but cooling relations is an essential negative factor for economic growth, and consequently it projects and impacts on the capital outflow," RBC quotes Klepach.

The deputy minister added that even before the introduction of sanctions the outflow of capital was "subsistent" but "the increase of tensions and cooling of relations is strengthening it even more". In January and February capital outflow stood at around $37 billion, while in March the figure is estimated at $28-33 billion.

The $70 billion outflow is more than during the whole of 2013, when around $62 billion was withdrawn from the country. The figure also exceeds the earlier forecast of $50 billion mooted by former Minister of Finance and Vladimir Putin's economic adviser Alexei Kudrin 10 days ago.

Klepach also confirmed that the Russian economy is continuing to stagnate, but the "recession in the present economy does not exist and won't appear".

According to him, GDP growth in February was 0.3 percent. Moreover, following the ministry projection, the inflation rate in March may be 0.9-1.0 percent, or about 6.9 -7.0 percent annually.

In the escalating dispute world leaders said on Monday Russia should be suspended from the G8 group of industrialized economies. Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser to US President Barack Obama said there was no need to share the floor with Russia, as it was "flagrantly violating international law".

The G7 member states agreed to meet in Brussels this June, instead of gathering at Russia's Olympic venue in Sochi. Their energy ministers also said they would jointly work out ways to reduce their dependence on Russian oil and gas.

However, Russia's foreign minister defied the threats at a Monday media conference in The Hague, saying Russia was not clinging to the G8 format. All major world problems can be discussed at other international venues such as the G20, the minister said.

[Mar 26, 2014] Russia Prepared for Investment Risks, Open for Business

"Those who are involved in the economy should understand that the worst-case scenario is not connected with formal sanctions, but how the largest investors in Russia will react as a result of actions on the ground that are not legally formulated," First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said.

"We have not only analyzed these risks, we understand how we need to act in these [market] conditions," he said.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said Tuesday the country welcomes all business partners and has no plans to restrict commercial activity in the country.

"We have no restrictions [on doing business with foreigners], and we will continue all forms of cooperation with all companies that are operating here," Medvedev said.

Shuvalov reiterated that position Wednesday, while adding the country would also begin seeking investment from other sources.

"We aren't going to slam the door shut or leave traditional markets until we're shoved out," Shuvalov said.

"The most important task now is to actively find new partners who look kindly at our attention, and turn to them and discover opportunities to sell our goods," he said.

Leaders of the G7 group of nations have threatened Moscow with further sanctions in the event of escalation of the Ukrainian crisis, which Russia insists is the inevitable consequence of the West's backing of radical forces in Kiev.

Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier warned that economic sanctions would be mutually destructive in the modern, interconnected global economy.

[Mar 25, 2014] Russian, Ukrainian ministers meet for 1st time

The Washington Post

Lavrov, who also met with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, said he reaffirmed Moscow's demand for a constitutional reform in Ukraine that would give more autonomy to all regions of Ukraine. Russia, eager to retain its influence in Ukraine's Russian-speaking eastern regions and prevent Ukraine from joining NATO, has pushed for Ukraine to become federation - demands the new Ukrainian government has rejected.

[Mar 25, 2014] Die Ukraine ist unser Europäisches 9-11 Wenn wir die Augen jetzt nicht gebrauchen um zu sehen, werden wir sie brauchen um zu weinen

Unedited Google translation...

Ukraine is our European 9/11 : If we do not use your eyes now to see , we will need to cry.

of till- eulenspiegel Pro @ 2014-03-06 - 22:12:25

Putin is

>> einmaschiert in the Ukraine and has occupied the Crimea. Before that Yanukovych was voted out by the months since peaceful demonstrators 10,000 people on the Maidan Square. Yanukovych is a corrupt pro-Russian dictator who can fire for no reason with its special forces into the crowd. The new government is legitimate because it is fighting for democracy and freedom. Putin wanted to own the Crimea has always been , because yes , the Black Sea fleet lying there . . . <<

Something like that is the opinion of our " educational media " fed information consumers . Financed by compulsory money public Politburo mouthpieces confirm this some more, some less, but in the basic tenor they all agree : The aggressor is the evil Putin and NATO is the protector of freedom and peace.

Thanks sensational revelations - which of course does not fit into the constructed image and be hushed up - was now apparent that the truth is quite different , as we have in our Ukraine blog analyzed and documented with verifiable facts.

There is now ample evidence that the EU and U.S. politicians , together with our federal government under Chancellor Merkel , including the conformist mainstream media are proven supporters of terrorist organizations . Not only that you are members of a conspiracy !

Wailing Wall TV documented the real conspiracy of the media in Ukraine conflict. Here, this unmissable and shocking video documentary including text transcript . - This spread is an active peace service !

To this end, an important and generally undisputed fact as a reminder regarding the Ukraine:

• Although the Yanukovych government with the opposition on 21 February 2014 signed an agreement to resign over the formation of a transitional government and on the introduction of new elections , the government was then removed immediately by a violent coup. The coup leaders shared - even during the Olympic Winter Games - the offices among themselves and claim since the position of the legitimate new government.

Against this background, it should be understood that in accordance with democratic basic order rebels may not be recognized as the legitimate successor of a government.

But the reality is quite different: Because of the violent coup serves the interests of NATO , it is legitimized . It's that simple Who does not recognize this coup evil. Evil Putin !

We are experiencing now the Ukraine conflict, the elimination of democratic principles at the highest political level. Arbitrariness and violence are politically acceptable even in the middle of Europe now .
Current Update as of 10.3.14 , see:
Even the well-known as "Mr. Dow " stock market guru Dirk Müller stigmatizes the war policy of the West in Ukraine in a video comment from 10.3.14 . Quotations from it : " German media brainwash ... we Germans are so stupid that we have to bite the pig ... it's not Putin, who zündelt here ... finance Germany and the EU and courting an illegal right-wing unauthorized transitional government ... "
Who wants to know in more detail how unabashedly the events in Ukraine are manipulated into its opposite , here in the blog Behind the spruce many well-documented background info .

We still remember the negative and distorted against Putin mocking coverage in the Western media at the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. Even our federal Gauck ( error) became the lead dancer arrogant Outraged - you - high noses through demonstrative absence . It was the caustic music for a bloody coup maneuvers of the West in Ukraine.

If you rotated so far the neck or can be rotated , breaks his neck .

So that at least does not happen when we look at the Russian President Vladimir Putin , we here offer a very special service :

The Facts serum against brainwashing the Putin - view . The effect is immediate , however, is not without side effects . It can cause pain in correcting the existing view: (click for enlargement)

Bush Obama_vs_Putin

This table should be supplemented with the following comparison :
According to sources, the U.S. military 95 % of the world's existing military enclaves are from the U.S. (according to Wikipedia) . There are more than 1,000 centers worldwide . Russia maintains - outside the former USSR - only one Marine base points in Tartus / Syria.

We want a canonization Putin talk the word now here in any way. He is also a politician and must howl with the wolves for tactical reasons . It's about the proportionality and to the recognition of the manipulation.

One must not be a friend of Putin to realize that the whole western demonization against Russia and Putin is a staged propaganda to

• a) ​​to divert attention from their own political aggression , violence and disinformation campaigns and
• b ) to justify planned military actions of NATO .
• Both aims at Moscow 's strong " pocket of resistance "

Conscious disinformation has always been the basis of psychological warfare , on the bottom of warlike measures are legitimized . How it works we are currently experiencing life in the Ukraine conflict.

In this sense, the Western alliance has long been a leading imperialist war. The goal is Moscow.

Putin knows that the takeover of the Ukraine by the imperialists is the footboard for Russia. He did not want this war. He will not even let its knees - and he will respond accordingly.

The imperialists are revealed by the lies campaigns that bloody war operations and / or support of terrorist groups were justified. In brief, to commemorate the recent legitimized by lying " peace or liberation missions " and their consequences:

• The lie of 9/ 11: For 2001, the wars in Afghanistan were legitimized. Over 4000 dead soldiers , more than 30,000 dead Afghans , 650 billion USD taxpayers' money.
• The lie of the chemical weapons factories Hussein in Iraq : More than 4500 dead soldiers , at least 500,000 dead Iraqis , 2.2 trillion tax dollars .
• The lie of the reign of terror of Gaddafi in Libya : Over 90,000 human lives and the destruction of NATO once the most prosperous African country with the highest average incomes in Africa.
• The lie of the reign of terror Assad in Syria : 140,000 war dead , untold suffering and a destroyed country.

The silence over the lie has been tasted in distant lands much blood and destruction. Now the consequences of our silence will also affect us directly .

Anyone who has open eyes can see how we are now prepared with lies and disinformation on justifying war NATO aggression against Russia. The media are doing - as well as in Iraq, Libya and Syria - again an instrument of NATO war propaganda.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts ( USA) analyzed in his article of 7 March 2014 the aggressive policy of Washington on the basis of lies and violations of international law . quote:

"Everyone needs to understand that Washington just lying in relation to Ukraine as it has lied weapons of mass destruction in Iraq in terms of Saddam Hussein and , as Washington had lied about Iran's nuclear weapons , as Washington had lied when it said Syrian President Assad the use of chemical weapons accused , and as well as Washington. Comes in relation to Afghanistan, Libya, which had been lying en masse by the NSA spying and torture actually something in which Washington would not have lied? "

Yet current evidence complacent ? The new Prime Minister of Ukraine, Arseniy Yatsenyuk is an agent of NATO.
An earlier website Jazenjuks bring his background in the day.

Meanwhile, the war preparations of NATO are becoming more concrete.

Ukraine is everywhere. It is our European 9/11 . The truth can not be seen here again will again have bloody and destructive consequences - now the middle of Europe , right before our eyes . "We have known nothing of it " is no longer considered later. The information is not - yet - freely available. The truth is self-responsibility.

It is time to wake up , it's high time to free ourselves from the tyrants , liars and warlords. It's time to break away from us murderous " friends " and occupiers who abuse us under the guise of democracy, peace and freedom for its imperialist goals.

Putin and Russia are the last bulwark against the appropriation by a criminal elite. Check yourself the facts and show the disinformation the red card !

Putin's vision of a Eurasian Union of Free Völler is the counter-proposal by the U.S. imperialists fear like the plague . That does not happen by itself , if we bring this idea to life in our minds , we can accelerate its implementation . However, the first step is the detection of deception , the " disillusionment " .

It's time for the evolutionary rebellion , it is time to look frightening and very uncomfortable truths in the eye. This is more urgent than ever , because the longer we need to even more pain and suffering is yet to come - and ultimately lose our freedom. Waiting and watching will have a high price.

The current and coming events are significant lessons in the now, to finally break free from the lies manipulation in the service of war and destruction. The lies uncover is an active peace service !

Good for those who here remembers not only the head but also in his heart to his divine origin , because he / she will experience the rapid decline of the old and the birth of a new era not painful but joyful :
The countdown to a dramatic change is ticking .

Current Addendum of 24/03/2014 :
Yulia Tymoshenko in a wiretapped - and now confirmed by her - phone : "It 's time to grab and kill the damn Russians weapons ... not even scorched earth should remain where today Russia is there." That says a central political representative of the new coup government in Kiev, which is being courted by the West , including the German Federal Government. Full Review about it in Kopp Online.

What does it take to recognize nor to that Putin is not the enemy , but an ally in the defense of freedom and peace in Europe?

[Mar 25, 2014] The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity US 'Democracy Promotion' Destroys Democracy Overseas

It was almost ten years ago when, before the House International Relations Committee, I objected to the US Government funding NGOs to meddle in the internal affairs of Ukraine. At the time the "Orange Revolution" had forced a regime change in Ukraine with the help of millions of dollars from Washington.

At that time I told the Committee:

We do not know exactly how many millions-or tens of millions-of dollars the United States government spent on the presidential election in Ukraine. We do know that much of that money was targeted to assist one particular candidate, and that through a series of cut-out non-governmental organizations (NGOs)-both American and Ukrainian-millions of dollars ended up in support of the presidential candidate...
I was worried about millions of dollars that the US government-funded National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and its various related organizations spent to meddle in Ukraine's internal affairs. But it turns out that was only the tip of the iceberg.

Last December, US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland gave a speech in which she admitted that since 1991 the US government has:

[I]nvested more than 5 billion dollars to help the development of democratic institutions and skills in promoting civil society and a good form of government.
This is the same State Department official who was caught on tape just recently planning in detail the overthrow of the Ukrainian government.

That five billion dollars appears to have bought a revolution in Ukraine. But what do the US taxpayers get, who were forced to pay for this interventionism? Nothing good. Ukraine is a bankrupt country that will need tens of billions of dollars to survive the year. Already the US-selected prime minister has made a trip to Washington to ask for more money.

And what will the Ukrainians get? Their democracy has been undermined by the US-backed coup in Kiev. In democracies, power is transferred peacefully through elections, not seized by rebels in the streets. At least it used to be.

The IMF will descend on Ukraine to implement yet another of its failed rescue plans, which enrich the well-connected and international bankers at the expense of the local population. The IMF adds debt, organizes sweetheart deals for foreign corporations, and demands that the local population accept "austerity" in exchange for "reform" that never seems to produce the promised results.

The groundwork for this disaster has been laid by NED, USAID, and the army of NGOs they have funded over the years in Ukraine.

Supporters of NED and its related organizations will argue that nothing is wrong with sending US dollars to "promote democracy" overseas. The fact is, however, that NED, USAID, and the others have nothing to do with promoting democracy and everything to do with destroying democracy.

It is not democracy to send in billions of dollars to push regime change overseas. It isn't democracy to send in the NGOs to re-write laws and the constitution in places like Ukraine. It is none of our business.

How should we promote democracy overseas? First, we should stop the real isolationists - those who seek to impose sanctions and blockades and restrictions that impede our engagement overseas. We can promote democracy with a US private sector that engages overseas. A society that prospers through increased trade ties with the US will be far more likely to adopt practices and policies that continue that prosperity and encourage peace.

In 2005, arguing against funding NED in the US foreign assistance authorization bill, I said:

The National Endowment for Democracy...has very little to do with democracy. It is an organization that uses US tax money to actually subvert democracy, by showering funding on favored political parties or movements overseas. It underwrites color-coded 'people's revolutions' overseas that look more like pages out of Lenin's writings on stealing power than genuine indigenous democratic movements.
Sadly, matters are even worse now. To promote democracy overseas, NED and all other meddling US government funded NGOs should be disbanded immediately.

[Mar 25, 2014] NATO bombing of Yugoslavia Symbolic stage of current World War

RT Op-Edge


"Whoever says 'humanity' wants to cheat," wrote Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, then quoted by Carl Schmitt. 'Whoever Says Humanity' is also the title of the book that Danilo Zolo, professor of philosophy of law and of philosophy of international law at the University of Florence, wrote on those days. "In the early 1990s," says Zolo, "humanitarian intervention" was a key element in the international strategy of the US. It claimed that "global security" required that the great powers responsible for world order felt the Westphalian principle of non-interference in the domestic jurisdiction of national states to be out of date. The war sparked off by the United States against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia - the war in Kosovo in 1999 - finally established the practice of humanitarian interventionism.

The humanitarian motivation was thus taken explicitly as just cause for a war of aggression. And the United States has stated that the use of force for humanitarian reasons was legitimate, even though in contrast with the United Nations Charter, the principles of the statute and the judgment of the Nuremberg Tribunal, as well as with international law in general."

NickF 24.03.2014 13:40

"American national interest" finally was that Madeline Albright (Secretary of State) and Wesley Clark (Chief of NATO in Europe) "earned" dividends in Kosovo's telecom and mining companies. In the name of becoming richer, they sacrificed 3000 human beings. Mostly civilians Serbs and Albanians.

Sonja Stanković 24.03.2014 12:45

Please, NOTA BENE :
NATO killed over a 2000 civilians and about 1002 Serbian soldiers. And bombs were with radioactive stuff; so, there is terrific epidemic of cancer diseases in Serbia right now.

DoAsk DoTell 24.03.2014 09:44

The Banks (money stores) & Multinationals Regime are desperate to hold to power, using the US/Uk taxpayers BUT using violence = destruction of our home planet's ecology (including humans, trees, other species) = Unstable, Insecure way of living for anyone!

Time for humanity to embrace world peace & worldwide democracy, to accept a Good Neighbor Policy, to ditch the "exceptions&quo t; to the international law, say goodbye to the eternal darkness of a war machine!

Ti me for the Elites to wake up, if they want to shine, they should give generously and act responsibly!

[Mar 25, 2014] U.S. bombing of Serbia, after 15 years

Workers World
The following statement was issued March 24 by the International Action Center in advance of a demonstration outside the United Nations in New York set for 5 p.m. on the same day. It was 15 years ago on this day that the United States began bombing Serbia in its quest to break up Yugoslavia and further expand NATO. The demonstration will demand recognition of Kosovo as part of Serbia and U.S./NATO hands off the Balkans, Ukraine and Russia.

On the 15th anniversary of the U.S. bombing of Serbia, and as new, even more ominous dangers arise in Ukraine and Crimea, it is important to remember history.

Wall Street dominates peoples through the destructive strategy of "divide and rule." In the Balkans and in Eastern Europe this has meant policies aimed at breaking solidarity among different nationalities and religions by imposing sanctions and economic destabilization and by funding right-wing and fascist organizations and granting immediate recognition to their regimes.

It was U.S. and European Union criminal policy that broke the Yugoslav Federation into six unstable, impoverished micro-states. They executed this crime by bombing Bosnia in 1994 and carrying out a 78-day bombing in 1999 of Serbia, especially the Serbian province of Kosovo. These wars aimed at expanding the U.S.-commanded NATO alliance into the Balkans, Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Republics.

Despite U.S. and German commitments to the former Soviet Union not to expand NATO one inch further if Soviet troops were withdrawn from East Germany, NATO has now expanded to 12 countries in the Balkans, Eastern Europe and former Soviet Republics.

After the massive destruction of schools, hospitals, industries and communication in Yugoslavia in 1999, Washington still agreed, in the imposed ceasefire and in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244, that Kosovo is historically part of Serbia and would remain an autonomous part of sovereign Serbia, although under U.S./NATO occupation and administration. In 2008, in violation of this signed U.N. agreement, the U.S. recognized the puppet government it had set up and that government's illegal declaration of independence for Kosovo. The overwhelming majority of the people of Serbia of all nationalities opposed this theft of Kosovo by NATO. They continue to raise the slogan: "Kosovo is Serbia."

[Mar 25, 2014] Serbia was savagely bombed on March 24, 1999

Wikipedia: The air strikes lasted from March 24, 1999 to June 10, 1999. In the course of the campaign, NATO launched 2,300 missiles at 990 targets and dropped 14,000 bombs. including depleted uranium bombs and cluster munitions. Over 2,000 civilians were killed, including 88 children, and thousands more were injured. Over 200,000 ethnic Serbs were forced to leave their homeland in Kosovo. NATO airstrikes destroyed more than 300 schools, libraries, and over 20 hospitals. At least 40,000 homes were either completely eliminated or damaged and about 90 historic and architectural monuments were ruined. [42]... Amnesty International released a report which stated that NATO forces had deliberately targeted a civilian object (NATO bombing of the Radio Television of Serbia headquarters), and had bombed targets at which civilians were certain to be killed. ... In an interview with Radio-Television Serbia journalist Danilo Mandic on April 25, 2006, Noam Chomsky alleged that Strobe Talbott, the Deputy Secretary of State under Clinton and the leading U.S. negotiator during the war, later denied in John Norris' 2005 book Collision Course: NATO, Russia, and Kosovo that "the plight of the Kosovar Albanians" was the driving force behind the campaign, claiming the real reason to be "Yugoslavia's resistance to ... [the] political and economic reform" that had been driving forward the liberalisation and deregulation of markets throughout the region.[ See also NATO bombing of Yugoslavia - Wikipedia

March 12, 2014 at 6:23 am

> Mark, a really excellent blogpost – Sikorski's authorship of the 'Written Statement of Poland" on the issue of Kosovo's independence submitted to the International Court of Justice is quite a find – I haven't come across a reference to that anywhere else, so congrats on a scoop!

Yatsenyuk is also a member of the 'hoisted with their own petard' club. As a minister in Yushenko's government, he also welcomed the moves towards Kosovo's independence:-
"Visiting Pristina, the capital of Kosovo, at the time, Yatsenyuk said: "Officials in Kiev support the granting of independence to Kosovo. The Kosovo problem is very complicated, but, in any case, the final decision is full sovereignty," he said".

Reports from Crimea are that pro-Maidan 'activists', wearing official-type uniforms are stopping people in the street and demanding proof of ID. Once papers are shown, they're seized or destroyed making it difficult for those people to take part in the referendum. Obviously, the pro-Kiev folk can't do this on a sufficiently big enough scale to influence the outcome but in some of the remoter parts of the peninsula, where outside help may be some distance and time away, it's probably quite intimidating.

marknesop March 12, 2014 at 7:54 am
Thanks, Fern; I found the reference by accident. A good way to find offbeat references, surprisingly, is to search Google in "images", to look for a picture of what it is you're researching, and then visit the page the picture appears upon. Sometimes the picture is the only link in that reference to the subject, and you would not have found that page any other way. That's not how I found this one, obviously, it doesn't have any pictures; I think the search cued off of a phrase in the text or something. Just luck.

Those reports are disturbing, but I think you're right that they will not skew the results much and if those whose papers were confiscated are willing to testify to that effect later it could even go toward stronger legitimization of the result.


March 12, 2014 at 6:45 am

The late Lech Kaczynski was against recognition of Kosovo, so it is not like Sikorski's position was shared throughout Poland.

March 12, 2014 at 7:36 am

No, that's true, and I apologize if I offended Poles by tarring them all with the same brush. Recognition of Kosovo was thought to be a win/win more or less throughout the political elite and the intelligentsia, those who can generally be relied upon to support an agenda of western expansion and consolidation. But there seems to be little doubt that even those who thought there was no legal basis for it were motivated to try and surmount that barrier because the prime movers among the western democracies wanted it to happen. It is just possible Kaczynski was opposed to it because the people affected were fellow Slavs, and if so he would have been loosely aligned with Russia in that position.
cartman March 12, 2014 at 9:23 am
Kaczynski was sort of on his own in the wilderness – an overall negative fellow who wasn't willing to bind Poland to anything that would take its independence. He fit in well with British euroskeptics who resented the idea that the EU was anything more than a free trade area.
Fern March 12, 2014 at 6:53 am
> Zbigniew Brzezinski has just announced that, in his opinion, Sikorski would make an excellent head-honcho of NATO when Rasmussen's term of office ends in July.

I find that prospect genuinely scary.

[Mar 25, 2014] Is Crimea's Shift the First of a Long Series Before our eyes by Thierry Meyssan

Beyond the emphatic cries of the West against the accession of the Crimea to the Russian Federation, the real issue is whether this is an orphan event or whether it foreshadows a turning of Eastern Europe toward Moscow. With only enslavement to the Brussels bureaucracy to offer, Brussels fears that its current clients may be attracted by Moscow's freedom and money.

... ... ...

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989 and the Malta summit that followed on December 2 and 3, the United States has steadily gained ground, and in violation of their promises, have absorbed all Eastern European states - except Russia - into NATO. The process began a few days later, on Christmas 1989, with the overthrow of Ceausescu in Romania and his replacement by another communist dignitary suddenly converted to liberalism : Ion Iliescu. For the first time, the CIA organized a coup in broad daylight, while staging it as a "revolution" thanks to a new television channel, CNN International. This was the beginning of a long series.

Twenty other targets would follow, often by equally fraudulent means : Albania, East Germany , Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina , Bulgaria , Croatia , Estonia , Georgia , Hungary , Kosovo , Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova , Montenegro , Poland , Serbia , Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic and Ukraine.

No document was signed at the summit in Malta, but President Bush Sr. , advised by Condoleezza Rice, took the oral commitment that no member of the Warsaw Pact would be accepted into NATO. In reality, East Germany was de facto accepted, by its simple accession to West Germany. And the door being open, now 12 former USSR and Warsaw Pact member states acceded and others have been waiting to join the Alliance.

However, "all good things come to an end." The power of NATO and its civil side, the European Union, is faltering. While the Alliance has never been so numerous , its armies are ineffective. It excels in small theaters of operation, such as Afghanistan, but can not go to war against China, or against Russia, without the certainty of losing as we have seen in Syria this summer.

Ultimately, Westerners are amazed at Russian speed and efficiency. During the Olympic Games in Sochi, Putin stoically uttered no comment on Maidan events. But he reacted when his hands were free. Everyone could see him playing cards he had prepared during his long silence. Within hours, the pro-Russian forces neutralized the pro-Kiev Crimea forces while a revolution was organized in Semferopol to bring to power a pro-Russian team. The new government called for a referendum on self-determination which saw a huge pro-Russian wave, Tatar population included. Then the official Russian forces captured the soldiers still loyal to Kiev with their equipment. All this without firing a shot, with the exception of a pro-NATO Ukrainian sniper who was arrested in Semferopol after killing a person from each side.

Thierry Meyssan: French intellectual, founder and chairman of Voltaire Network and the Axis for Peace Conference. His columns specializing in international relations feature in daily newspapers and weekly magazines in Arabic, Spanish and Russian. His last two books published in English : 9/11 the Big Lie and Pentagate.

[Mar 25, 2014] Operation Allied Force killed Yugoslavia by Artem Krechetnikov

Edited Google translation. Of course this is BBC disinformation, but still it is important remember the event: 78 days of savage aircraft bombing of a sovereign country including non-military objects by the USA and NATO. Without any sanction of the UN.
March 24, 2014 | BBC Russian

15 years ago March 24, 1999 , NATO aircraft struck the first blows of the objects on the territory of Serbia

Along with the fighting in Hungary in 1956 ( Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, there were no shots), it was the largest armed conflict in Europe since World War II .

The declared goal of operation, which lasted 78 days, was to return to Kosovo refugees, who by that time there were 230 thousand millionth of the Albanian population in the province .

Refugees refused to return until the territory of Kosovo are Serbian army and police . On the other hand , everyone knew that their output will inevitably mean the secession of Kosovo .

West claimed the humanitarian catastrophe . Official Belgrade , as well as many Russian politicians and the media noted that the Kosovars fled without sufficient reason to provoke the United States and Europe to intervene .

Throughout the conflict, viewers saw on their screens different pictures : Russians - the consequences of bombing, Europeans and Americans - endless columns and refugee camps , crying for help .

...a considerable part of Russian society and the Russian elite saw the situation differently: Serbia punished because she "did not want to bend to the Washington Obcom."

In 1991, Serbia and Russia were in the same situation: the multinational states disintegrated, a considerable number of representatives of the former state-forming nation found themselves in the new states in the position of undesired minority.

[Mar 25, 2014] Loss of Crimea is only one problem for Kiev

The Washington Post

Internal dissent

Another challenge is keeping the country together. Over the weekend, several hundred demonstrators in Kharkiv, in Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine, demanded a vote on greater autonomy and self-government.

In Donetsk, another city in the east, pro-Russian crowds displayed signs urging Yanukovych to return and save them from a Kiev they consider out of touch with easterners and their needs.

No one here imagines that Russia has finished with them. There is widespread conviction that Putin will do everything possible to make the government fail. He has declared it illegitimate, and some fear that he will try to disrupt the election.

... ... ...

'We are the answer'

In February, during the last days of the confrontation between protesters and Yanu­kovych, nearly 100 people were killed, many by snipers. They are known in Kiev as the "Heavenly Hundred." Russia has suggested that the opposition hired the snipers as a provocation. Demonstrators accuse Yanukovych, or perhaps Russian agents.

Citizens want answers, which they see as a test of the government's competence and honesty. An investigation is underway, Semerak said.

Cee Valentine

nothing in this article about US officials on tape plotting a coup re new Ukraine..

also nothing in this article about this:

"So far, six major cabinet posts in the new Ukrainian administration have been filled by extreme-right nationalists and neo-Nazis."

file under 'propaganda'..


How cute. The people in power in the Ukraine did not seize power. They were forced to take it. We had nothing to do with that. And these people will create Ukraine's first democratic government.


They are restoring non-corrupt, not for sale democracy to Ukraine.

The Yanukovych criminal Family stole perhaps $60 billion from Ukrainian workers and pensioners.

Fortunately for the people, the parliament -- with no self-appointed members -- impeached Yanukovych by a vote of 358 to 0.

The post above is most likely made by a paid Russian troll operating from Petersburg or Moscow.


This is a lie. 328 Ukrainian parliamentarians voted to remove Mr. Yanukovych from office, which was short of the 338 required by the Ukrainian constitution.

As for restoring non-corrupt, not-for-sale democracy to Ukraine, that is impossible to do because no one can restore what Ukraine has never had.


Shameful article full of Cold War propaganda and hysteria. No facts, agree that Kiev government is far right nationalists, many were founders of Neo-Nazi movements.One-sided and lucking political intelligency


This comment is shameful propaganda based on nothing but invented facts and allegations. Pitiful.

Poster is likely a paid Russian troll.


It is not an invented fact that four ministers of the current government are from Svoboda, a neo-nazi Ukrainian political party. It was members of parliament from this same party that filmed themselves beating up the head of Ukrainian state television and forcing him to sign a resignation letter because they didn't like him reporting the news.

Svoboda was founded in 1993 as the Social-National Party of Ukraine (sound familiar) with a modified swastika as their party symbol.


It's very easy to refer to people as paid trolls. However, facts are facts and cannot be obscured by insults.

Those people who overthrew Ukraine's former government are not without blame: they overthrew a democratically elected government-period -- You don't go about overthrowing governments because you think they are corrupt.

There are reasons why institutions are built within a nation to address all kinds of issues including corruption. They could have waited to overthrow the government through elections, and then put on trial all those found to have indulged in corruption. Now that the former government had been overthrown through violence, what stops other people from engaging in another violence to overthrow this government if it is perceived to be corrupt ?

You see, two wrongs don't make a right: wrong is wrong and those who overthrew the Ukrainian government are wrong. It is ironic that Europe and the US are raising hue and cry. Just imagine some group of people trying to overthrow the American government just because Congress is perceived to be hapless, ineffective, overpaid, corrupt and clueless about the plight of the ordinary American. Just try to imagine it !


Apparently you didn't listen to the phone call or read the transcript. Geoffrey Pyatt and Victoria Nuland were not "discussing the political landscape". They brought up various names in turn and Ms. Nuland instructed Mr. Pyatt who was to be in the next government.

Ms. Nuland's top pick out of the Ukrainians discussed was Mr. Yatsenyuk. Coincidentally (!), he was installed as prime minister. Mr. Klitchko, a former boxer who was one of the leaders of the maidan protests was not so favored. Ms. Nuland said he needed to "be outside". Coincidentally (!), he is not in the interim government.


The US already orchestrated the Orange Revolution - all to introduce democracy and Nuland boasted famously that the US invested $5b since the Orange Revolution to bring democracy to Ukraine - and with all that money and effort all they got is the neo-Nazis are now in charge of security! One great bang for the buck - all paid by US taxpayers, If Ukraine can't reach democracy for $5b - maybe the help wasn't to institute democracy but rather to prevent it and orchestrate the current coup to force Ukraine into the EU as a means to oust Russia from its base and fleet in Crimea and void its defense of its southern and western borders! It left Russia no other choice but to annex Crimea which was always Russian and always will be Russian. Clearly the people of Crimea wanted to join Russia, not the EU. That is what they voted and celebrated with so much happiness and jubilation. Surely, not a vote under pressure from Russia. Many Ukrainians and Tatars also voted to join Russia in view of the illegal and criminal government in Kiev. What does the US think, that everybody is just falling on their knees for them?

Yanukovich was a democratically elected president who won over Tymoshenko/Yatsenyuk.

Nor was he either as despotic or corrupt as WaPo claims nor did he sign any agreement that he would resign in December when new elections would take place unless he wasn't reelected. He could of course have run for those elections. Nor did he sign any resignation, but he did have to flee under threat of his life because the Maidan thugs are such a democratic force!

[Mar 25, 2014] In latest wiretapping leak, Yulia Tymoshenko appears to say 'nuclear weapons' should be used to kill Russians

Audio can be listened on YouTube, for example at
Washington Post

According to the Moscow Times, the recording, apparently made March 8, details a conversation between Tymoshenko and Nestor Shufrych from Ukraine's National Security Council, and has Tymoshenko suggesting that Ukrainians should kill Russians, and, in particular, Russian President Vladimir Putin.

... ... ...

The video containing the recording was initially uploaded to a YouTube account under the name Sergiy Vechirko, and has since been widely shared on pro-Kremlin media outlets, with Russia Today producing its own version with translation:

[Mar 25, 2014] Obama dismisses Russia as 'regional power' acting out of weakness

The Washington Post

Concluding a summit here on nuclear security, Obama also warned that broader Russian military intervention in neighboring countries would trigger further economic sanctions that would disrupt the global economy but hit Russia the hardest.

Obama begins European trip aimed at punishing Russia: President Obama began his European trip on March 24 in the Netherlands to hold talks with other leaders on how to penalize Russia for its annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region.

"Russia is a regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neighbors - not out of strength but out of weakness," Obama said in response to a reporter's question about whether his 2012 election opponent, Mitt Romney, was right to characterize Russia as America's biggest geopolitical foe.

"They don't pose the number one national security threat to the United States," Obama said in a news conference. "I continue to be much more concerned when it comes to our security with the prospect of a nuclear weapon going off in Manhattan."

Defending his response to the Ukraine crisis, Obama dismissed criticism that a perception of weakness abroad had prompted Putin to seize Ukraine's autonomous Crimea region this month, an act the United States and Europe have called a violation of both Ukrainian and international law. But Obama made clear that no military response is being contemplated, unless Putin pushes into NATO member nations on Russia's western border.

"There's no expectation that they will be dislodged by force," Obama said in a news conference with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who hosted the Nuclear Security Summit. "And so what we can bring to bear are the legal arguments, the diplomatic arguments, the political pressure, the economic sanctions that are already in place, to try to make sure that there's a cost to that process."

"I think it would be dishonest to suggest that there's a simple solution to resolving what has already taken place in Crimea," Obama added. "Although history has a funny way of moving in twists and turns and not just in a straight line."

[Mar 25, 2014] Dr. Strangelove Over Ukraine by JEFFREY SOMMERS

Mar 02, 2014 |

Events in Ukraine are providing plenty of theater, but little economic change. Since the USSR's collapse the 'set' has been changed many times over several acts of our long-running Ukrainian 'play.' Rotating oligarchs shift in and out looting the 'set,' but without a shift in plot. One set of oligarchs merely replaces another, with the periodic display of 'color revolutions' as wardrobe changes to re-animate the tired theme with a sense of novelty. Russian and Ukrainian nationalist continue to spar in a Spy vs. Spy fashion, while Ukraine's economy continues to unravel and its people continue their exodus on an Old Testament scale to the 'promised land' of the EU.

The scene for the original plot was set in the closing stages of the Cold War. George Bush (the elder) promised Gorbachev that if the Soviets let the Warsaw Pact go, Russia would never have to worry about the expansion of NATO. The US responded to this deal by immediately taking the former Warsaw Pact into NATO and then moving into the former USSR territory itself by taking in the Baltics. Nobody could blame the new entrants for wishing NATO entry, given their Soviet occupation past. But, neither could anyone blame the Russians for feeling utterly betrayed by the US and NATO for breaking their word.

Thereafter, Eurasionists in the US State Department wanted more. For them, the goal was the further break-up of Russia and its 'near abroad' and remaking it in the image of a neoliberal periphery. For Russia, the 'game' has had an existential character. Russia was imploding (whether by their own actions, pressure from the West, or a combination of the two are all points for debate). For Russia, NATO's moves into Georgia cut too close to the bone and Russia responded, yet the threat of NATO taking Ukraine represented taking Russia's 'heart': the very ancestral home where 'Russia' was founded.

Meanwhile, the EU has thought it could reprise its earlier eastward expansion into the former Warsaw Pact that delivered a consumer goods export windfall. This alleviated West European unemployment resulting from the Maastricht Treaty's punishing fiscal and monetary requirements to create its currency union. Ukraine's purchasing potential, however, is less than the countries that bordered Germany who were integrated into West European markets. An export boom is unlikely to occur with the proposed Association Agreement. Indeed, the possible damage to Ukrainian markets from poorly executed trade liberalization and non-visa regimes could flood the EU with cheap labor. This outcome would work to further erode Europe's historically unique (and largely successful) 'Social Market.'

Ukraine has suffered in this Big Powers crossfire that has left them indebted to both Russia & the EU. Meanwhile, ethnic Ukrainians see the EU as a 'savior.' What they fail to recognize is that they are only seeing the last vestiges of a 'Social Europe' that in the main has been sacrificed on the alter of neoliberalism. In short, Ukraine's 'savior' is a phantom that no longer exists.

Victor Yanukovych is a crook, yet the reappearance of Yulia Tymeshenko merely represents the return of ethnic Ukrainian oligarchs. It also means nothing little will change on economic policy. Yanukovych resisted the imposition of "structural adjustment" designed to ensure foreign bondholders get paid. The new Ukrainian government will ensure bondholders get paid through an IMF and/or ECB stabilization program. Yet, nothing will be done to address national economic development. There will be no consideration of Modern Monetary Theory or Land Value Tax alternatives. The US/EU plan would be to continue loading down Ukraine with debt and through this means control assume control over their economic policy. A 'structural adjustment' policy (today fashionably rebranded 'austerity') will be imposed and its young people would continue streaming out. Meanwhile, Russia has only offered debt relief (or at least more loans) without development.

Ironically, Russia and Ukraine, again now at odds, would both benefit from similar economic policies. Both need regional economic development. Russia and Ukraine both need to halt the capital flight of their oligarchs and to keep that money for domestic investment. Such moves, of course, would be poorly received by the epicenters of 'tax dumping' offshore finance (London & New York, along with regional centers like Riga). Their respective high-end properties should be highly taxed, while reducing income taxes on labor.

The Sochi Olympics represents precisely the kind of development that should take place all across Russia and Ukraine. Russia should not waste money on sovereign wealth funds and holding hard currency (both of which can be wiped out by economic crisis). Instead, the money should be spent on infrastructure that will transform Russia's economy and boost living standards for its people. It's not only much of Russia's infrastructure that has collapsed the past 2 decades, but its middle class as well. Nothing would go further toward rebuilding Russia's middle class than a national program to transform the country's infrastructure. Russia has the means to implement this strategy right now. In short, Sochi shows the way forward. Russia could extend the same help to Ukraine. Russia and Ukraine need a development model that looks much more like post-WW II West Europe than that of 1989/1991.

It's time to euthanize the Cold War and shut down the old theater and stage an altogether new play….

Jeffrey Sommers is Associate Professor of Political Economy & Public Policy in, and Senior Fellow at the Institute of World Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He is also Visiting Faculty at the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga. He is co-editor & contributing author to The Contradictions of Austerity: the Socio-Economic Costs of the Neoliberal Baltic Model.

[Mar 25, 2014] Ukrainian far-right activist shot dead by police

"The Moor has done what he needed to do. Now the Moor must leave." and we're not talking about Othello here... We will soon see whether God watches over Arsen Avakov.
The Guardian

Muzychko was a member of the hardline Right Sector and the group's co-ordinator for western Ukraine, the country's nationalist heartland bordering the EU. Police said he was wanted for hooliganism and an attack on a local prosecutor.

Russia, which cited the likes of Right Sector as justification for its move to annex Crimea and protect the peninsula's ethnic Russian majority from Ukrainian "fascists", said this month that Muzychko was under investigation for fighting alongside rebels in Chechnya in the 1990s.

Contradicting the police account, the independent MP Oleksander Doniy said on his Facebook page that Muzychko had been executed. Muzychko had previously said he feared the police would kill him.

"Two vehicles cut off his car. He was dragged out and put in one of them. Then he was thrown on the ground, hands cuffed behind his back, two shots to the heart," Doniy wrote, without saying where he got his information.

Yanukovych triggered peaceful street protests in late November by making a U-turn away from the EU and towards closer ties with Russia. Right Sector raised the protests to a new level in January by attacking police vehicles with petrol bombs and bricks. It provided much of the muscle as clashes with police grew more serious.

Yanukovych fled in February after two days of gun battles between police and protesters in which 95 people were killed.

The Right Sector leader Dmytro Yarosh has said he plans to run for president in elections on 25 May, but he is a rank outsider.


At last some reporting on the fascists who led the coup against Yanukovych and whose parties now hold many of the key ministerial appointments in the government in Kiev.

Jeremn -> DrHfuhruhrr

Absolutely, nutters like Parubiy are still in power.

He said that those Ukrainians who work in Russia "are not and can never be on our side and that is why I spit on them".

Parubiy, secretary of national security, founder of the Social-National party.

Veganthrope -> DrHfuhruhrr

As I've pointed out countless times, the 2012 elected Parliament never left. The temporary cabinet has 4 out of 23 ministers in Svoboda party. The Defense Minister, Ihor Tenyukh, served under Yushchenko until 2010 as commander of Ukraine's Navy. Yesterday, Tenyukh submitted his resignation over his decision to withdraw troops from Crimea, but the 2012 Parliament refused to accept it:

Ihor Tenyukh Resignation: Ukraine's Acting Defense Minister Offers To Quit, Parliament Rejects Request

The top 3 positions in government President, Prime Minister, and Direct Vice Prime Minister are not members of Svoboda Party.

Back story: After Yanukovych resigned, rescinded his resignation, then was impeached by the 2012 Parliament where his own party had a super majority; it was necessary to form appoint a temp President and temporary Cabinet. After negotiations with the 2012 elected Parliament, it was agreed the Ministry positions of the Cabinet would be decided based on the % each opposition party received in the 2012 election. Svoboda Party received 10% of the vote (31 deputies in Parliament), thus 4 Svoboda party members were made temporary Ministers.

Since Svoboda party does NOT control the temporary government, it's idiotic to depict the government as being neo-Nazis. We both know that is short-hand racism against ethnic Ukrainians in general.

The temporary Cabinet will be replaced after nationwide elections are held in MAY (less than 2 months).


Maybe the reports of "protestors" shooting at police during the insurrection are not so incredible now?

alef -> DrHfuhruhrr

Its quite possible that Muzychko new something and could disclose/blackmail some figures currently in the government?

fromtheUrals -> alef

There is every likelihood. And they will do everything to hold the truth back from public, moreover these Maidan snipers could be even not Ukrainian Nazies but US mercenaries. In any way they've done the job Vicky Nuland had wanted...

Briar -> alef

We all know something about the puppets, oligarchs and neo Nazis in the government - we know that they are what they are, and that their government is based on a violent and undemocratic putsch. But that wouldn't be enough to get them shot, since our dear leaders have embraced them and their putsch and are now rushing to absorb the Ukraine into the US sphere of influence, neo Nazis and all, as fast as they can.


Is this the start of the Night of the Long Knives? The useful idiots have now served their purpose.

Jeremn -> Gabacho

this for how propaganda works its subtle way, specifically on recent reporting on Ukraine:

MartynInEurope -> Jeremn

Brainwashing under freedom, indeed.

Makes me wonder what the agenda really is, and who is coordinating with whom. I wouldn't be surprised if the disasterous leak of the Danish Text during the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit was actually coordinated between the US Administration and certain liberal media. Which begs the question: Why would the liberal press go out of its way to torpedo agreement on saving the planet from the negative effects of climate change?


Yes, Guardian, you should have been reporting on these right wing groups a few months ago, at the very least. But, as your great columnist Luke Harding wrote last week, these right wingers are just a figment of Putin's imagination.

In Greece, they made moves to ban the right wing 'Golden Dawn' because the party did not fit European ideals. So why is the EU supporting a government in Ukraine with close connections to Svoboda and Pravoi Sektor, two fascist groups? I'd wager that Poland and the US gave a bit more than moral support to these groups.

jgbg -> Strober

In Greece, they made moves to ban the right wing 'Golden Dawn' because the party did not fit European ideals. So why is the EU supporting a government in Ukraine with close connections to Svoboda and Pravoi Sektor, two fascist groups?

In December 2012, the European parliament passed a resolution on this very topic. They deplored the rise of the extreme right in Ukraine and stated that parties such as Svoboda should play no part in government, explaining that the policies of these parties were at odds with core values and principles of the EU.

Only 15 months later, it seems that EU politicians across the board are happy to ditch their principles when it comes to Ukraine.


Aww, look at the Orweillian doublespeak on display again.

Far right "activist"?

Are you kidding me?

Oleksander Muzychko went to Chechnya to fight together with Saudi-funded Islamic terrorists and was responsible for the torture-murder of 20 captured Russian soldiers.

Now, this reminds me of Omar Khadr, the 15 year old Afghan kid who threw a grenade at invading US soldiers and killed one of them. Khadr was subsequently detained (at 15 years old) and sent to Guantanamo bay and he was branded a terrorist by the media.

So, does this mean that one man's terrorist is another man's activist?

The media sure is cynical.

Lucas Czarnecki -> adognow

How dare you call this spontaneous freedom fighter names ? You'll be banned from the EU and USA in no time !

jonni7 -> adognow

Yeah, what has The Guardian become?
Can't wait for the "Guardian backed wrong horse shock" headline, but I won't hold my breath


"A prominent Ukrainian far-right activist, part of a hardline nationalist movement that played a leading role in the overthrow of President Viktor Yanukovych, has been shot dead by police."

Hang on, I thought the narrative was that there were no far-right groups involved in the coup?

"As life returns to normal in Kiev, Luke Harding encounters frustration over Russian claims of a fascist coup"

irishinrussia -> Jeremn

Hey, shhhh! Don't give the plebs any cause to question the Media line on all these fluffy humanitarians running around Kiev with guns and sticks, assaulting TV station chiefs and prosecutors! Clearly as the Revolution eats itself we have to take a side, and that means when our corrupt moderate boys in Kiev are dealing with them these guys are far right radicals. When the Russians, Eastern and Southern Ukrainians are dealing with them they are freedom loving democratic revolutionaries. So shh now and remeber to stay on message, like Luke, where the message can volte face 1984 like as and when political propaganda expediency demands.

Jeremn -> irishinrussia

That's right. Videos of children being taught to sing "hang the Russians" only exist in the Russian imagination:


So next up faced with Western impotence, squeamishness and inaction the corrupt moderates in Kiev (Batyvshyna and Udar) are forced to call for Russian intervention to restore peace and stability as the "Revolution" starts to eat itself.

Does anyone imagine that Pravy Sektor, and sympathetic factions of Svoboda are going to sit back and accept this? Yarosh is hardly going to just sit by and allow this is he? What about Mykola Velichovich? Or is this Pravy Sektor/Svoboda's night of the long knives? Whatever is going on this is not going to be pretty.

I wonder now how our leaders are going to react? If the radicals in Kiev are now starting to eat themselves in a post revolutionary power play (theink Stalin v Trotsky, then Zinoviev-Kamenev, or Robbespierre v Danton), I can't imagine this is going to bolster confidence in the South and East. The Tatars and Ukrainians in Crimea might soon be more grateful than they could ever have imagined being for Russia's intervention.

What is it about the West's interventions at the moment that we seem to get it spectacularly wrong again and again? Meanwhile Putin acts at leisure, waiting for us to let the situation get out of control before riding in as and when he pleases and whatever about world political elites, must look to most of the general public as the one responsible European leader on the World Stage.

ID5677229 -> irishinrussia

Or is this Pravy Sektor/Svoboda's night of the long knives? Whatever is going on this is not going to be pretty. I wonder now how our leaders are going to react? If the radicals in Kiev are now starting to eat themselves in a post revolutionary power play (theink Stalin v Trotsky, then Zinoviev-Kamenev, or Robbespierre v Danton)

Do you suppose that this ludicrous Putin-speak narrative will become reality if you repeat it sufficiently often? The violent personality-cult youth organisations, the complete suppression of opposition and control of the media, the murder of journalists, the concentration of power in the hands of one man wedded to a "Great Russia" ideology that involves once more extending Kremlin power to the old Soviet borders, the labelling of all opposition and opposing acts as "fascist," the constant flooding of the mind's of Russian citizens with paranoid propaganda to the effect that only The Leader can save them from the "fascists" who encircle them - this is all in Moscow, not Kiev.

irishinrussia -> ID5677229

I've never labelled all opposition as "fascist", but I, unlike you, do accept that there have been fascist involved, and not in the Godwin's law style of "if I don't like what you say, you are a fascist" but in the Muzychko/Yarosh/Parubiy/Tyahnybok style. In the mould of Svoboda, the party labelled neo-Nazi by the World Jewish Congress and extremist by the EU.

Udar are an unknown quantity, and Batyvshyna are just as rotten and corrupt as the party of the regions. Of course you probably live in a happy little fantasy world where such realities don't exist and Russia is the root of all evil and there were no threats to the Russian language, no calls to ban the Party of the Regions and Communists etc etc.

Russia is the Great Satan. Maidan is Pure and untainted by extremism. You shall Know Putin by his sign and that sign will be 666. Yes and I'm the propagandist?

jgbg -> ID5677229


Right Sector themselves have indicated that they are totally opposed to Ukraine joining the EU (because the EU is against nationalism).

The EU parliament has indicated that Svoboda should not have any role in the Ukrainian government.

Do you think that Right Sector and Svoboda are simply going to return home and leave Ukraine to Tymoshenko and her mates?

Albert Lyubarsky

He was the notorious star in Russian's Propaganda. It's very good for Ukraine to get rid of such people.
When I've seen his deeds I thought that all Ukrainians like him. Apparently I was wrong.

ID5677229 -> Albert Lyubarsky

When I've seen his deeds I thought that all Ukrainians like him. Apparently I was wrong.
Why confess to thinking like an imbecile?

Albert Lyubarsky -> ID5677229

I was born in Ukraine. I know more or less Ukrainian people mood (some of them are anti semitic, anti russians and anti any other nation). I know that Praviy Sektor has major role in Ukrainian government now. I know that current Ukrainian UN Ambassador said that Bendera is good gay and he is a national hero.
I know that PMs of the far-fight Svoboda party can go to Ukraine TV and under violence and threats to force a chief executive of Ukraine's state broadcaster to sign a resignation letter because he had broadcasted something not enough patriotic. And to be so sure in they impunity to dare to film everything.

I really surprised that Ukrainian police has courage to resist to thugs like Muzychko, despite the fact that his party now in government


How long before we get an article from Luke altering the narrative to claim that "sources" have informed him it was actually a Russian provocation, as a combined force of OMOH special forces and sacked Berkut were actually responsible, and are now roaming Ukraine hunting for other "Heroes of Maidan"?

Chenoa -> irishinrussia

"How long before we get an article from Luke altering the narrative to claim that "sources" have informed him it was actually a Russian provocation, as a combined force of OMOH special forces and sacked Berkut were actually responsible, and are now roaming Ukraine hunting for other "Heroes of Maidan"?"

Good question.


Hey Luke, one of your peaceful pro-democracy activist had just been liquidated. Can you please do the obits? Thanks.

Vaska Tumir

So much more convenient than an OSCE investigation.

Which this paper and other MSM have been conspicuously silent about, putting no public pressure on officials such as Baroness Ashton, who only 3 weeks ago claimed the EU does want to investigate who hired the snipers for the February massacre in Kiev. One of the key witnesses for that investigation has just been permanently silenced by the new Ukrainian authorities, who now appear to have some sort of a political agreement with the EU (and whose details we don't know because our press won't pursue that "story").


Recall Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya and Syria. Everywhere the West sticks its hands into, the disaster follows.

dvdmartin -> alef

Yes. I agree, but actually the "disaster" scenario may well have been the original intention and the Bush plan. ie while they are blowing each other to bits. They are not attacking Israel.


Is the popularity of the far right wing in the Ukraine a reaction against Russia rather than a political conviction? Or has there been long term (or pre WW2) Nazi support from Ukrainians?

And we are supporting their attempts to join the EU?? Didn't Gideon support bailing them out of their economic mess?

ps Don't let any hatred of Russia automatically welcome these right wing fascists! I don't belong to the "Your enemy must be my friend" idea.

Christopher Atwood -> dvdmartin

The far right in Ukraine isn't popular. They are respected for helping the protesters at Maidan fend off the police, but they have no really influence politically, other than over some uneducated and rebellious young people.

Source: I lived in Donetsk for two years and visited earlier this month.

JimmySands -> Christopher Atwood

Source: I lived in Donetsk for two years and visited earlier this month.

That's all very well, but there are people here who read counterpunch and know the real truth.


'A prominent Ukrainian far-right activist, part of a hardline nationalist movement that played a leading role in the overthrow of President Viktor Yanukovych...'

Not the peaceful protesters anymore, those who played leading role? And Yanukovich was overthrown, not 'impeached legally'?

vazelas99 -> VladimirM

It's the Reuters text, apparently...don't get carried away yet!

VladimirM -> vazelas99

But it's in the Guardian anyway, unbelievable!


the photos of his body seems to indicate he was handcuffed

" whose Right Sector group played key role in ousting president,"
take that all of you who said this wasn't a fascist led coup.
Finally we have it from the Guardian. Is that an admission at long last?

Now that the Guardian is on a truth mission.. how about some good old investigative journalism and find out if Ukraine's billions in gold was really flown to the US for "safe keeping"

And a very nasty character is dead... And we already have 2 versions of events (at least)

So 1 party is lying. The interior ministry or the independent MP. I think the ministry.

Can't wait for the result of the inevstigation. I wonder if he was removed because he was a big mouth with a little brain and may have exposed NATO actions....


'Right Sector raised the protests to a new level in January by attacking police vehicles with petrol bombs and bricks.'

Berkut was not to blame for the outburst of violence?


Now hunting season is open.

When I heard of the plan to build the National Guard out of right wing activists, that reminded me of the night of long knives.

After taking power, Hitler killed the leadership of the SA which wanted to replace Wehrmacht as the national army and socialist redistribution of wealth. This way, Hitler made alliance with the Wehrmacht ang German capitalists.

This is wiki description of the situation just before the night of the long knives.

Powerful supporters of Hitler had been complaining about Röhm for some time. The generals were fearful of Röhm's desire to have the SA, a force of over three million men, absorb the much smaller German Army into its ranks under his leadership.[14] Further, reports of a huge cache of weapons in the hands of SA members gave the army commanders even more concern.[14] Industrialists, who had provided the funds for the Nazi victory, were unhappy with Röhm's socialistic views on the economy and his claims that the real revolution had still to take place. Matters came to a head in June 1934 when President von Hindenburg, who had the complete loyalty of the army, informed Hitler that if he did not move to curb the SA then Hindenburg would dissolve the Government and declare martial law.[15]

Does it sound familiar?

However there is something which puzzles me. I thought National Guard is Right Sector with a new name. However there was this report from NYT.

Ukraine Sets Deadline for Militias to Surrender Illegal Guns

The interim government is now seeking to integrate the loosely organized militias into a newly formed national guard, though several hard-line groups, including Right Sector, have declined to join.

If this is true, power play in Kiev is more complex than I thought, and National Guard could be a maneuver to isolate Right Sector

The National Guard is being organized by the Interior ministry and it is interior ministry force which killed Muzychko.

Also there is a report that defense Minister Tenyukh just resigned.

Who will end up being the hunters and who will end up being the hunted? Those who ended up being hunted will end up being blamed for the sniper affair, too.

jgbg -> PuppetMaster11

The problems for the coup leaders keep coming. Right Sector have probably done a lot more training than the people joining the national guard and they acquired a lot of weapons from military arsenals during the coup. (The amnesty has apparently netted a couple of thousand weapons out of about 15000 that are missing). There are plenty of trained people from the military but the interim government doesn't appear to trust or respect them. The USA and UK have indicated that they won't fight for the coup leaders. If the Russians decided to take eastern Ukraine, there wouldn't be much to stop them.

PuppetMaster11 -> jgbg

I don't think they are arming themselves to fight Russian regular army. They will be going after the civilian pro-Russian population. They can do it without Russian invasion and start a civil war.

Once civil war break out, Putin will face a difficult dilemma. It will be a trap to force Putin to send troops to Ukraine.


The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Hence the Ukrainian nationists supporting the Nazis against their Russian oppressors. No doubt the Putinskis on this CiF are keen to ignore the fact that Uncle Joe's body count matched Adolf's. Still, if Queen Vlad continues the land grab, he may be a credible 21st Century successor to these two.

Briar -> ColBan

Nothing excuses backing neo-Nazis. You have to be morally and spiritually tone deaf to think anything would.


A Right Sector organiser in Rivne has now threatened revenge for the killing of Muzychko, saying he had not been summoned by investigators.

"We will avenge ourselves on [Interior Minister] Arsen Avakov for the death of our brother. The shooting of Sashko Bily is a contract killing ordered by the minister," said Roman Koval of the Right Sector in Rivne region, quoted by the Ukrayinska Pravda website.

The blue touch paper has been lit, time to stand well back.


Ukrainian far-right activist shot dead by police


Is The Graun in a race to the bottom with Stormfront now?


Oleksandr Muzychko was the thug who can be seen in film clips, available on the internet, toting a machine gun and encouraging the mob to "Kill Russians and Jews".

Yulia Tymoshenko has admitted that her leaked telephone conversation, in which she calls for the killing of Ukraine's eight million Russians, is authentic. Will she also be belatedly 'dealt with' by the police or will she become President?

And the West still maintains that the Russians have nothing to fear.

Just who did kill all those people in the square? The Ukrainian (not Russian) police are blamed but at least one doctor has disputed this and the powers that be have refused a forensic examination!

Interesting quote from a Ukrainian marine heading back to Ukraine One of the less than 23% who decided to head back.

"We resisted for 23 days on dried food, on canned fish. Could defence ministry officials have survived like that for so long?" Ruslan asked bitterly.

"They kept saying, 'Hold on... it's being decided'.

"We asked them for a command, but there was nothing."

The angry marines are ready to go straight to Kiev and raise some hell, said Yevgeniy, who is also in his late 20s.

"We'll go back to Ukraine. If nobody picks us up at the border, all of us will go to Kiev to the Rada (parliament), to the defence ministry.

"We'll storm them, and maybe then they'll treat us differently," he said as he waited for a bus to the border town of Chongar.

Ukraine should have immediately put up barriers at all Russian crossings to protect Crimea, the marines said. They think the peninsula has been lost because of poor leadership.

Former president Viktor "Yanukovych should have used troops at Maidan," Yevgeniy said, referring to the Kiev square occupied by pro-European protesters who toppled the pro-Moscow leader last month.

"He believed the wrong people... and where is he now? And where are we now? We are totally fucked."

'Sorry brother': Ukraine marines betrayed by Russian raid

Not too good for the Ukrainian government if even the 20% of forces returning from Crimea have this view.


History repeats itself. The Night of the Long Knives begins. The SA was liquidated in 1934, as having secured the nazi ascendency in Germany's streets became an embarrassment to Hitler, and this will be the fate of what have become an embarrassing neo-Nazi element in the Kiev regime. The wolves devour each other, bravo.

fromtheUrals -> Scipio1

Allusion is quite plausible but Sashko Bilyi was not Rohm (SA leader in 1934), he was more of a raunchy little fuhrer in western Urkaine. Rohm's analogy is Yarosh who still controlls the Kiev government and even Ukrainian military (all generals he disliked were dismissed). The most disgusting acts of this drama are still ahead. Cakes-granting Nuland was too stupid to understand it


Now the Right Sector unequivocally named the organizer of this murder - Arseniy Avakov, the acting interior minister - and promised revenge. Hope they'll kill him. Hope they all kill each other without any Russian involvement, and so it goes. The Russian public opinion overwhelmingly supports the re-unification with Crimea, but eastern and southern Urkaine is another matter. The majority here thinks: let it remain within Ukraine but with a high degree of autonomy. Russia doesn't need these lands (have a lot of this land stuff already) but it cannot stay away from Russian-speaking people living there. Putin is unlikely to act against Russian public opinion, he needs support at home much more than obamised-merkeldimed-camoronous approval abroad. So he's most likely act in accordance with public opinion - i.e. federalization of Ukraine without military occupation. The Right Sector may not like it surely, and so Sachko was eliminated by Kiev authorities as a preparation for this deal with Russia

Vladimir Kamensky

Muzychko was captured in a cafe, his hands was handcuffed , torn clothes on his chest to see if there is a bulletproof vest and shot two times in heart. He did not resist while was arrested.
The plotters started cleaning people that helped them come to power.Perhaps he knew too manifold opposition leaders.
However, regret of his death is not ..


Regarding Sashko Bily and Klitschko, another 'democrat' in Ukraine, a presidential hopeful and a pet of Angela Merkel:

On March 8, 2914 Russian news agency Regnum published the following (it's been around Russian and Ukrainian Internet for a while now):

'The influence of radicals on the leaders of the opposition (which are now in power Ukraine, not opposition anymore) is getting more clear if to take into account the fact that that they have common criminal past. A photograph is actively discussed now in blogs, at which the infamous activist of 'Right Sector' Sashko Bily (real name Oleksandr Muzychko) is portrayed in company of Klitschko brothers and their boss, the notorious criminal 'thief in law' Viktor Rybalko, known in the Ukrainian criminal world as 'Rybka' ('Fish' in English).

Rybalko was the boss of the most influential organized crime gangs in Kiev, which did 'business' in 'controlling' banks, hired killings, robberies, and racket. Viktor Rybalko gave to Klitschko brothers 'start in life.' He brought them to US, introduced them to famous boxing agent Don King. Having started his political career, Klitschko suddenly 'forgot' about his 'interesting' past.

However, now he is again in company of his old buddies like Sashko Bily.'

The link to the article and photo:


Russian newspaper on killing of Muzychko:

One of the leaders of 'Right Sector' Oleksandr Muzychko was shot in a special operation conducted by SBU operatives under cover of Ukrainian Department of Internal Affairs, on order and instructions by SBU chief Valentin Nalivaichenko.

'The goal of the operation was not to detain Muzychko, but to 'neutralize' him, make him 'go from the scene', said to RIA-Novosti a source, having remarked that Muzychko began 'to compromise the new Ukrainian government and interpret in his way instructions from 'Right Sector'. The source said that 'regretfully, Ukrainian SBU (Security Service of Ukraine) in the past was 'covering' for Muzychko, having fulfilling the task, given by one of Ukrainian oligarchs directly connected with SBU chiefs.

The source also said that by information he has, on Monday a meeting was held between SBU chief Nalivaichenko and a CIA 'employee' in Kiev and 'his guests.'

"It is not a secret for anyone that Nalivaichenko is now the main partner of the American secret services and has very big trust from their side, if not to say more,' said the source.

According to the information of the source, he can't rule out 'other scenarios' being studied at the present. 'Now in Kiev no one needs Yarosh (the leader of 'Right Sector')', added the source.

The link:

fromtheUrals -> ParallelReality

Now in Kiev no one needs Yarosh (the leader of 'Right Sector')

But Yarosh doesn't care a damn for them, and that is the problem.The new Ukrainian National guard being formed is surely no match for Russian professional troops (spetznaz, marines and paratroopers; no draft soldiers were used in Crimea operation).

They cannot fight against well-trained soldiers but they are good enough for street-fighting against civilians in eastern Ukraine cities. So what they are for. Kiev government desperately needs Russian invasion to raise hell and to conceal beneath this hell the stinky tricks, snipers and manipulations through which it has been pushed to power by US and EU degenerative politicians


Get's interesting....

Dmitry Yarosh, leader of Ukraine's Right Sector nationalist party, is demanding the resignation of acting Interior Minister Arsen Avakov and the arrest of police officers involved in the killing of notorious radical militant Aleksandr Muzychko.

"We cannot watch silently as the Interior Ministry works to undermine the revolution," Interfax reported Yarosh as saying. "We demand the immediate resignation of the Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, and the arrest of the commander of the Sokol Special Forces and those guilty of [Muzychko's] murder."

Earlier Tuesday, right-wing militant leader Muzychko, also known as Sashko Bilyi, was killed in a police raid against his gang in Rovno, western Ukraine, Ukraine's Interior Ministry said in a statement.

Right Sector leaders threatened Avakov with revenge, though they did not specify exactly what they would do.

"We will take revenge on Arsen Avakov for the death of our brother," said Roman Koval, the Right Sector organizer in Rovno, news portal reported.


Avakov said in a reply to Right Sector that he accepts the far-right group's challenge, adding that his stance toward lawbreakers will be harsh.

"If some gangsters threaten the minister, I accept this challenge and I am ready to accept any challenge, because that's my job," Avakov said in a statement. "Henceforth my policy will be very harsh toward bandits, toward those who take up arms to violate order."

By "bandits," Avakov said he was referring to people who loot enterprises or homes and possess unregistered guns.


far-right activist

Just a month ago these were called "peaceful protesters"! It is not Muzychko who died, it is the journalism. Actually it was killed in February, now they are desecrating the corpse. It is such a shame there are no articles from Walker on the snipers in Kiev, especially when the Kiev regime is getting rid of the evidences.

From Russian newspaper on March 7, 2014 about Muzychko's 'activities':

'In one of the previous investigations conducted in Russia a member of Ukrainian nationalist organization UNA-UNSO (the modern day followers of Bandera organization of WWII) was interrogated, who was participating in fighting in Chechnya in 1994-2000.
'The UNA-UNSO member told that he joined UNA-UNSO in 1991. During a visit to the training center of Ukrainian nationalists located in Ivano-Frankovsk, western Ukraine, he got acquainted with other members of the organization, including one of its leaders and founders Oleksandr Muzychko. At this training center, they were trained in marksmanship, martial arts, and also were given 'political and ideological' training by Muzychko,' the investigation report says.

By the words of this UNA-UNSO member during the interrogation, in the spring of 1993 he came again to the training center in Ivano-Frankovsk, where for 18 months was trained as a sniper. Muzychko was an instructor of tactics and combat fighting using knives and firearms. At the end of December 1994, the most prepared members of the organization were dispatched in small groups to fight against Russian troops in Chechnya. At first, they were transported to Kiev, from there they flew by plane to Georgia (not American Georgia), the plane belonged to Georgian Air Force.

At the end of December 1994, in Grozny (Chechnya's capital), the members met Muzychko, who as one of the leaders of UNA-UNSO was contacting the commanders of saboteurs groups, giving them instructions. In 1994-1995 Muzychko and other members of UNA-UNSO participated in combats against Russian troops during storming of Grozny.

The interrogated member in 'January of 1995 was witnessing many times as Muzychko was horribly torturing captured Russian officers and soldiers, after which killed them. In total at this period Muzychko personally tortured and then killed not less than 20 Russian soldiers. During the tortures he was breaking fingers of the Russian officers, putting out their eyes using different tools, pulling out their teeth and fingernails with pliers, cutting throats of some, shooting others. His actions showed hatred towards Russian soldiers,' said the investigators.

The interrogated member of UNA-UNSO told about other 'actions' conducted by him, by Muzychko and other members of UNA-UNSO against Russian troops in Chechnya in 1994-2000. When being shown during the investigation photographs of different people, the interrogated recognized in one of them Muzychko and identified him as the person with whom he served together in Chechnya.'
The link:


Why is everyone so desperate on here for Ukraine not to be free?

I can understand people wanting Ukraine to have the right people leading the country, but the people on here seem to be screaming and scrambling to make the point that the Ukrainians don't deserve freedom?

It's getting pretty disgusting. Why don't people start voicing what they actually want to see happen in Ukraine rather than just constantly trying to vilify it.

Terziev BeKindToAll

Ironically it is the "right people" who are leading the country. Extremely right ones.


Deputy of the Ukrainian Minister of Internal Affairs Vladimir Yevdokimov said today that Sashko Bily 'could have killed himself.'

'He shot from his own firearm, the one he was firing at the police. One bullet went through, the other got into his heart,' he said as Russian news agency Interfax reports.

'Right Sector' made another statement: 'We can't watch silently the active counter-revolutionary activity by the Department of Internal Affairs. We demand immediate resignation of Arsen Avakov (the Minister of Internal Affairs), demand to arrest the chief of 'Sokol' (the special force unit), and those who are responsible for killing,' said 'Right Sector' leader Dmitry Yarosh, reports RIA-Novosti.

By the way, Oleksandr Muzychko was born in 1962, not in Ukraine, but in Russia: in a village Volodardkoye, now part of a mining town called Kizel in Permsky region in the Urals. There he graduated from school, later from a vocational school. Then he was drafted to the army after which didn't return to his home town. Became an Ukrainian 'patriot'...

Milogrim -> ParallelReality

Quote "Deputy of the Ukrainian Minister of Internal Affairs Vladimir Yevdokimov said today that Sashko Bily 'could have killed himself.' "

Yeah, this is all over Ukrainian media now:

either the guy was handcuffed and managed to snatch back his own gun and shoot himself through the heart, or for some reason the corpse was handcuffed after he killed himself. Kinda weird, huh?


This is a classic play by the West.

Use right wing nationalists or violent others to overthrow a government they stand against because they are available and willing foot soldiers to be exploited.

Then after a successful coup, since they are not desirable to Western PR in this case, remove them from the equation.

This technique has been used time and again in "revolutions" throughout history. Their ranks are already infiltrated by double agents who spy on them.

Yusuf Çabuk

They will all be eliminated like rats, those far-right guys! Those who planned Euromaidan and the overthrow of Yanukovich (we all know who they are indeed) never tolerate nationalists. They know that sooner or later they will be obstacles because they will never do anything at the expense of their country. The same happened in my country, Turkey: They used nationalists against communism in the 70s and then all of them were arrested and sentenced to life in prison.

Unfortunately, collaborators are the first to get rid of and those far-right guys should have known this. West (by west I don't mean western people or cultures but those who plot all these nasty things around the world) has never had faithfulness.. They use them and then throw them away like a condom..Bin Laden, Saddam, Islamic Brothers in Egypt are just a few examples..


Why most of the "western " journalists from the free press do not write anything about the activities of the "right sector" , "Svoboda" or other extreme right nationalist fractions, who are worse than BNP or EDL?

In fact these people turn the peaceful protest in Kiev's Maidan, in to a violent bloody battle by attacking and killing police who were doing ther public duty. In any civilised country it would have been considered as crime but in Kiev they are the revolutionaries. But why?

I am sure Cameron, Hague, Clegg would not agree to rule our country with BNP and EDL. Why then supporting the new Kiev regime who are in coalition with "Right sector", Svoboda and the Nazi followers like Banderas supporters?

[Mar 25, 2014] Russia to launch its payment system in months, as disruption fears mount

RT Business

The move by international payment systems Visa and MasterCard to block their use in Russia has unnerved some Russian businesses. Meanwhile, Moscow says its own national payment system may become fully operative within months.

Last week MasterCard and Visa stopped servicing some Russian banks, which shows the Russian market remains the monopoly of international operators.

Although the payment systems resumed operations with Russia's SMP Bank on Sunday, it is estimated clients withdrew about $111 million from their accounts in just two days.

After years of rhetoric over the need to launch a domestic payment system in Russia, it may become a reality soon.

"The payment system PRO 100 is technologically ready to provide national processing in the near future. We estimate it will take a couple of months, as key Russian banks, that account for more than 40 percent of the market, are already linked to the PRO 100 payment system," Andrey Nesterov, director of corporate communications at the Universal Electronic Card told RT.

Launched as a pilot in 2010, the project Universal electronic card provides for settlements of government, municipal and commercial services via Internet and self-service machines. The card's electronic banking application is based on the payment system 'Universal electronic card', which has a logo PRO 100.

Four Russian banks are technically ready to use the Russian payment system – Sberbank, Uralsib, AK BARS and Moscow Industrial Bank.

[Mar 25, 2014] Ignore the generals' bombast on Ukraine. Nato has extended enough

The Guardian

Instead of indulging in bluster and provocative rhetoric, David Cameron and William Hague should make clear that whatever economic help the EU can provide Ukraine (on condition that it recognises Russian as an official language, agrees to defend minorities and takes energetic steps to root out corruption), and however Vladimir Putin and his entourage may be punished, Nato will not have designs on the country. That would be a healthy confidence-building measure.

Ukraine – the "borderlands" between east and west – would thus remain militarily neutral, a status guaranteed by Moscow as well as Washington. Nato has extended far enough, from the Baltic to the Black Sea. Far from amounting to a policy of appeasement, the offer of such a guarantee would place Putin, now revelling in the west's combination of bombast and the threat of limited sanctions, on the back foot.

retarius, 24 March 2014 6:14pm

But don't these folk see that their interference has caused this problem in Ukraine...the US spent 5 billion, we learned. Encircling Russia is a really dumb idea and increases the likelihood of war, which the west might 'win' but at an extremely heavy cost.

Don't they see that their interference in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria etc etc has made things worse, not better. I cannot think of a single country where ordinary folk have benefited from the attentions and chicanery of the CIA...yes regime change and destabilization is fun, but it fucks up ordinary people's lives...

KingCnutCase -> retarius

How is the West encircling Russia? The West has no meaningful presence to Russia's north, south or east.

capatriot -> KingCnutCase

North: arctic ocean subs; east: Alaska; south: Afghanistan ...

Chenoa, 24 March 2014 6:17pm

It is sad (to say the very least) that the west's rhetoric is war-like. The crucial events leading to the current situation haven't been analysed and verified properly.

Proper, independent investigations are needed to find out the truth surrounding the chaos in Ukraine (investigations of all the leaks and especially who hired the snipers, both in Kiev and Crimea) - will this happen?

And if there were some real evidence from independents - I'm sure the opposition (of either side) would dismiss them. The stakes are very high so the propaganda machine is in total overload.

Please note: I am not on any side other than the side of truth. I follow the 'money & power' trail to find out the truth which has been quite good so far.

Here's a good question to consider - why did the coup in Kiev happen after Yanukovich changed his mind about signing the EU-Ukraine trade deal? Answer: One of the main reasons is that he decided against the 'austerity strings' attached to the EU deals and decided that the Russian deal was less devastating to his country and his people.

By the way, I have noticed a change in the comments section of newspapers (including here) - it seems the MSM have lost the trust of readers/commenters because most comments (which are clearly not sock-puppets of either side) display frustration and anger at the propaganda being spewed.

It is sad (to say the very least) that the west's rhetoric is war-like. The crucial events leading to the current situation haven't been analysed and verified properly.

Proper, independent investigations are needed to find out the truth surrounding the chaos in Ukraine (investigations of all the leaks and especially who hired the snipers, both in Kiev and Crimea) - will this happen?

And if there were some real evidence from independents - I'm sure the opposition (of either side) would dismiss them. The stakes are very high so the propaganda machine is in total overload.

Please note: I am not on any side other than the side of truth. I follow the 'money & power' trail to find out thre truth which has been quite good so far.

Here's a good question to consider - why did the coup in Kiev happen after Yanukovich changed his mind about signing the EU-Ukraine trade deal? Answer: One of the main reasons is that he decided against the 'austerity strings' attached to the EU deals and decided that the Russian deal was less devastating to his country and his people.

By the way, I have noticed a change in the comments section of newspapers (including here) - it seems the MSM have lost the trust of readers/commenters because most comments (which are clearly not sock-puppets of either side) display frustration and anger at the propaganda being spewed.

Chenoa -> Chenoa
New leak! Is this genuine leak or not? We don't know yet. Translation in the description and here (thanks to cifer, illampu):

Telephone conversation between the former deputy secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Nestor Shufrych and an ex-prime minister of Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko. March 18, 2014, 23:17 local time.

Shufrych. Indistinctly... Concerning Crimea, I tell you, I'm shocked! I'm shocked! Just today I've had a talk with our common friend, he almost weeps... And I asked him, how we were going to...
Tymoshenko. You see, I myself am ready to take the machine gun now and shoot that scumbag in the head.
Shufrych. I said yesterday that should, God forbid it, there be a military conflict... indistinctly... should, God forbid it, there be a military conflict, I'm a reserved officer and my elder son is a reserved officer, both of us would take up arms and defend our country.
Tymoshenko. Indistinctly... Look, it goes beyond all boundaries. F*ck it... we should take up arms and kill the f*cking katsaps (Russians) along with their leader.
Shufrych. I tell you...
Tymoshenko. I wish I had been there and leaded all the actions, they would have eaten sh*t instead of getting Crimea.
Shufrych. By the way, you know I thought about it too. If you had been here at your place, it might have been...indistinctly...though we had no force capacity...indistinctly and you know what is most hurtful...

Tymoshenko. I would have found a way to kill the morons.
Shufrych. And you know...
Tymoshenko. And I hope that as soon as I can do it I will raise all my connections and alert the whole world so as to turn Russia into a burned field.
Shufrych. I tell you that I'm your ally here, and even more than that. I want to tell you... well we've had a talk today, this morning there's been a conference of party leaders and then I talked to Viktor. Vitya asked what we should do to the rest 8 million Russians still living in Ukraine? They are the outlaws!
Tymoshenko. Damn, we should fire nukes at them!
Shufrych. I wouldn't argue with you here, because what's happened is a dreadful thing. But there's a following alternative showing up, because today there are actions which are undoubtedly illegal. These illegal actions should be considered in some international court...
Tymoshenko. Well we are going to the Hague to the International Court of Justice...
Shufrych. And...":

[Mar 25, 2014] Ukraine aid bill clears Senate hurdle after Republicans drop resistance to IMF loans by Dan Roberts

Mar 25, 2014 | The Guardian

A stalled US aid package for Ukraine finally began to emerge from Congress on Monday night after the Senate temporarily put partisan bickering aside to vote overwhelmingly in favour of $1bn worth of economic assistance measures.

A majority of Republicans dropped their previous resistance to the bill, which includes controversial reforms to the International Monetary Fund added at the request of the White House, and it cleared a key procedural hurdle by 78 votes to 17.

Despite passing out of the Senate Foreign Relations committee more than a week ago, the aid package had been delayed during recent tensions in Crimea due to an unrelated squabble over whether the IMF clauses would be expensive or weaken US influence.

But the wider Ukraine package, which also includes further sanctions against Russia, still faces an uphill struggle in the House of Representatives where its version of the bill does not contain the IMF reforms demanded by Democrats.

Jean-François Guilbo -> BeKindToAll

no we love them but sometimes their leaders are a bit over the top, Remember Irak invasion?

Now Barack want Europe Union to boycott Russian gas, then Russia will boycott BMW, Mercedes, Shell, Airbus and Boeing then buy equivalent from elsewhere where gas 3 times cheaper (China, Korea).

So Ukrainian freedom only once we are sure we keep our jobs and can heat our homes next winter

XorOrAndNot -> BeKindToAll

It's not help, it's the shackles of dept, ask Greek people what they think of this IMF help. The big help would have been not to spend $5 billion to destabilise Ukraine and install non-democratically elected government by violence.
You, majority of American people, are completely deluded about your immoral government and how they are destroying the world, bit by little bit. We don't hate USA, this is what your stupid media is telling you.
I can blame you, you do believe all the propaganda you see, it's in your culture. Europe is different and people here do not believe all this bullshit, wherever it comes from. Just leave us alone to get on with our life, we don't need your stinking help!

Stewby -> HanoianYou

The new government has to make a deal with the IMF that their population won't like one bit when they lose their energy subsidies and all public infrastructure is sold off to pay back the IMF. I doubt the current government has any illusions that it will survive for long. They only have one job and that is to sign whatever piece of paper the IMF puts in front of them and then leave office.

Nobul -> HanoianYou

The current interim coup installed puppet president and prime minister are from the party of Julia Timoshenko, they were in government, they were more corrupt than the last government, that's why they were kicked out of the office as the Orange crooks.

Now they're the front men for neo Nazis, oligarchs and the IMF, what makes you think they would do a better job than last time?

Nabaldashnik -> HanoianYou

Right now Ukraine is the failing state. And Russia was willing to help with $15 billion and 30% gas discount and no strings attached. Don't think these roles will be reversed any time soon.


The Senate has the money to spend $1 billion on aid for the nazi Ukrainian puppet state America installed; but at the same time can't find the money to fund Federal Extension benefits for the unemployed? What the fuck is wrong with this picture America!? Do the people of the Ukraine realize how fucking disgusting this is for Americans who are losing their homes and everything they have worked for their whole life? This is blood money.


Will the IMF compete with the oligarchs to complete the looting of the Ukraine? Given their history, it's 50-50 they drive the country into the hands of Putin. It isn't aid, its ideologically-driven bureaucratic loan-sharking. Ask any number of SA countries. Milton Friedman lives on to haunt the world from the grave.

Tony Buontempo

This is just another example of why the American people have given this Congress a 5% approval rating.

The regime in Washington stirs up trouble in the Ukraine, and now they are sending one billion to back up the coup government.

Meanwhile, Americans have are underemployed or unemployed, homeless and hunger are on the rise, and the population of this country is up to its neck in debt.

The regime in Washington must go.

Stewby -> Tony Buontempo

Detroit is about to shut off municipal water to tens of thousands over a debt of about 250 million, yet we can find the money to bail out a foreign country where we have no national interest whatsoever.


The use of the World Bank & IMF to prop up an illegal Right Wing Coup with extreme National Socialist Elements (Svoboda) holing key ministries including Defence and fronted by 'Von Papen' puppet Turchynov is an affront to those who established these bodies out of the Ashes of WW2 fight against Fascism.

The fact is that a Democratic Majority which legitimately and constitutionally chose a Political Party and Leader have had their Democratic and Legitimate choice at the ballot box utterly and gratuitously rejected by a minority extreme Right Wing backed Kiev Coup d'état. This Majority, which is most prevalent in the Crimea and eastern Ukraine, in Kharkov, for example are well within their Democratic Rights in such circumstances to declare Independence when their representation is rejected - rather like the American Colonies in 1776. So why is Obama & Kerry so enthusiastic in their support of a Right Wing Sovboda backed Minority Government ?

Why is there silence on NATO and EU members' Poland & Lithuanian and their links and support of the Kiev Coup d'état? They should have their membership of EU/ NATO revoked? The United Nations, European Union and NATO all emanate from the great war against Nazism and Fascism in favour of Democracy and Freedom from oppression and Racism. Yet here we have all three organisations supporting a Coup d'état of a dubious minority backed by extreme National Socialist organisations like Sovboda who have ministers in the Kiev Government, a Deputy Prime Minister; Education Minister and Defence Minister. Extus hoc odious affront to all forms of Democracy is the Right Sector - a latter day SA who reject Democracy and who attack Churches and Jewish homes and Synogogues.

Millions of men and women made the ultimate sacrifice in the fight for Democracy and against Anti-Semitist; Nazism not least over 20 Million Russians not to mention Ukrainians. The Majority who had no say in this Coup d'état have had their Democratic Choice and Rights by-passed: Many, Russian speaking, have had their language outlawed by the Coup d'état. It was therefore not only inevitable but fully justified that they should stand up for their Democratic Rights.

The UN Security Council should be condemn the Right Wing Coup d'état in Kiev and support Russia's action in defending the Democratic Rights of the Majority. Task of Poland and Lithuania, both Russia hating nations and promoters of the Kiev Regime Change have brought Europe to the edge of War. They have, along with Hungry, abused their NATO and EU membership and show just how erroneous it was to allow these Anti-Russian nations into NATO/ EU. Russia is acting in Defence of Democracy; Against Anti Semitism and illegal Government which is what the West should be doing

Alderbaran -> stevesharrison

It's really hard reading through your post but surely an interim government needs to draw on a broad consensus, albeit an unpalatable one to many. Some bad decisions have been made early and some of the violence attributed to those in the governing coalition has been abhorrent.

There is a lot of emotive language being used, especially by Russia, whose interests lie in presenting the interim party as fascists in the mould of Germany's third reich. There appears to be little evidence for the racist violence that has been predicted and an election in May, especially if it coincides with financial assistance from the west is surely unlikely to result in an extreme right-wing government.

What advice would you give the West regarding Ukraine? - I'm genuinely interested in seeing a fresh perspective.


I wonder who will be in the top 10 richest people in 10 years time who made their fortune by robbing Ukrainian people of their assets.

US ship shale gas to Europe to recoup their "losses" in Ukraine, Ukraine gets more McDonalds restaurants and NATO bases, it's a win-win situation!


"Pass this legislation as soon as possible and fight about less important issues later on," urged McCain. "

Kind of sounds like "we have to pass the bill to see what is in it, doesn't it?

The thing that amazes me most about this story is the spin western media is putting on it. The first shootings were a false flag most likely committed by the the Neo Nazi's that assumed command or the CIA (according to Ron Paul and others). Now our government is sending over 1 Billion that this country can scarcely afford to aid the new criminal government instead of letting the people decide their own government. Western media made it seem like voters were intimidated but independent reporters said it was very peaceful and very pro-Russian with no military presence.

Everything about our recent "rash " of "problems" with Russia has started after they gave Snowden asylum. I remember well Hillary hitting the "reset button" with Russia, and now I am being feed anti Russia propaganda 24/7.

And although I love a lot of the positions The Guardian and it's readers take on many issues, it is my opinion that Russia has acted appropriately when you understand that they have treaty for military there and 70% of the people identify and speak Russian.


Congratulations to Ukraine on their newly-found IMF slavery. Wake us up when you figure out that Brezhnev was a Mother Theresa of human kindness compared to these thugs and gangsters.



jack meoff -> Bitty1985

Obviously they know more about this situation to find it important to spare money for the Ukrainian government. Why would they just give money to fascists? Only the russian media says there are fascists there to make everyone confused and help russia invade a sovereign country and take territory from it

Squiff811 -> jack meoff

pretty sure their swastika emblem is a good indication of where their loyalties lie and it's anti-sociable.


Oh boy, more war!

And more tax dollars taken away from homeless, starving Americans and given to mega-millionaire defense contractors!

Good campaign strategy all around: When you're broke, lost your home to criminal bankers and are scrounging in dumpsters for food, you might hesitate before sliding a few million under the table to your local PAC.

Defense contractors, on the other hand, have billions of tax dollars in just about every pocket, which makes them wonderful friends at election time.

Free enterprise!


What a sick and sociopathic country the U.S. is. Food stamp aid has been cut for veterans and for women and children. But Democrats and Republicans are falling all over themselves to give $1 billion to the Ukraine. American citizens--our children, our most precious natural resource--and the veterans who fought an illegal war and were broken by it, are worthless and useless to the political powers in this country. That $1 billion belongs in the U.S., to feed our own starving citizens. And the sociopaths in power can't WAIT to force billions in loans on the Ukraine, so the U.S. can control it forever by threatening it financially.


It is over with the west. Russia is consolidating the rest of the world.

Jeremn -> ID3935003

Looks like that is true:


In reality it is $5 billion already spent plus one additional billion. Meanwhile, Congress cannot find money for the 10.5 million people unemployed.

"Both the number of unemployed persons (10.5 million) and the unemployment rate (6.7 percent) changed little in February" - The Employment Situation, February 2014, Bureau of Labor


Where's the other $49 billion going to come from? And that's just to clear the debt and before the people ever see a cent.


All this fuss about $1bn...

That's about half of what Ukriane owes Gazprom on last year's still-unpaid gas bills.

After the bankrupt EU played very shy last autumn about matching Russian aid in return for fealty to NATO and the IMF, Yanukovich preferred the terms of a 15bn loan from Russia, tied in this case to continued energy and other subsidies from the former patron.

At that point Ukraine's foreign currency reserves were about $20bn.

I imagine they're now approaching zero, and the remains of the country after Crimea's secession is technically insolvent.

All the Washington infighting over a token payment - less than half the cost of a single B2 bomber - that makes barely a tiny dent in Ukraine's basket-case economy ruined mainly by Orange 1.0 and Princess Yulia, is truly pathetic and emblematic, not only, as the writer says, of American political dysfunction... but more importantly of the (related, hastening) end of American Empire.

As I noted on another thread today headed by the same picture, the little old-fashioned Colonial Club in The Hague is living in a fantasy past detached from a new globalized multipolar dynamic.

And the diehard colonialists and neocolonialists in the picture (sorry Herman and José Manuel) seem totally out of touch with the economic realities of their new predicament in Ukraine.

Ukraine, the second-poorest country in Europe (after neighbouring Moldova, which the American military commander of Europe says Russia is about to invade, across nearly 1,000 km of Ukrainianian territory) needs twice the American package just to pay old Russian gas bills, and at least 20 times that annually for the foreseeable future just to stay solvent - perhaps $40bn in the first year of Orange 2.0.

I haven't yet seen estimates of the cost of 'isolating Russia economically' for the EU, but I guess it would be higher than the linked and supplementary 'bailing out' of Ukraine on the failed Greek model.

So America grudgingly adds a token $1bn to pay for the consequences of their $5bn investment in regime change (the same change twice in a decade - they're not very good at learning from history) ...Leaving their main economic competitor, the near-bankrupt EU, to pick up the rest of the huge tab, under IMF ('Washington Consensus') rules.

This will end very, very badly for the declining West.

It's almost as though, in their frustration at relative global decline, the old Masters of the World at their little table with flags in The Hague are acting self-destructively to hasten that decline.

The picture looks rather pathetic in that light.

Rolex44 -> geronimo

Completley agree, the Ukrainian Hyrvna has moved from $1=8 to $1=10

[Mar 24, 2014] Ukraine Leader In New Leaked Recording: 8 Million Russians In Ukraine "Must Be Killed With Nuclear Weapons"

Mar 24, 2014 |

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/24/2014 13:48 -0400

While the NSA is busy justifying its spying of every American its existence thanks to famous Moscow resident Edward Snowden, its Russian counterparts have been busy intercepting even more phone Ukrainian conversations.

After a month ago a leaked phone call between US assistant secretary of state Victoria Nuland and the US envoy to the Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt confirmed that it was the US that was pulling the strings in what was about to be a violent coup overthrowing Ukraine's president Yanukovich, "someone" has just leaked another phone conversation, this time between parliamentarian Nestor Shufrych and former PM and ideological leader of the Ukraine "revolution" Yulia Tymoshenko and most probable future president of West Ukraine, in which Tymoshenko is makes the following threats, "It's going too far! Bugger! We must grab arms and go whack those damn katsaps [a Ukrainian word used to refer to the Russians in a negative tone] together with their leader", "I'll use all my connections, I'll raise the whole world – as soon as I'm able to – in order to make sure.. Bugger!.. not even scorched earth won't remain where Russia stands" although all her empty threats collapse in the last sentence of the phone conversation in which she says, regarding the Crimea annexation, that "we are going to take it to the Hague International Criminal Court." Good luck with that.

But the smoking gun, and where Putin once again shows just how masterful of a chess player he is, is the following statement by Tymoshenko, after asked, rhetorically, by her counterparty, "what should we do now with the 8 million Russians that stayed in Ukraine. They are outcasts"... to which she replies: "They must be killed with nuclear weapons."

Needless to say, that is not how you make Russian friends, or diffuse geopolitical tensions with your superpower neighbor, who just happens to be set on recreating USSR 2.0. Because just like that Putin has his provocation carte blanche, as the second something, anything happens to any ethnic Russian in east Ukraine, Putin can point to precisely this conversation as proof of how Ukraine's "government" feels toward the ethnic minorities in the east, and why "they deserve to be protected" the Russian bearhug. Which has been precisely Putin's plan all along.

It is not surprising that after this recording was leaked, that Tymoshenko admitted the validity of the recording except for this part, because she knows just how greatly it can and will be used against her once Putin decides it is time to expand a little further beyond just Crimea.

??????? ????, ??? ??? 8 ??? ?????? ? ??????? - ??????. ????????? ???????: ??????? ? ??????? - ?? ????????.?????? ???:) ??????? ?? ??????????

- ???? ????????? (@YuliaTymoshenko) March 24, 2014

Some of the other statements, transcribed by RT, confirming just how powerless Ukraine truly is in this struggle between David backed by the world's most insolvent and natgas hungry countries, and an ascendent Kremlin goliath:

Tymoshenko, who plans to run in Ukraine's presidential election, expressed confidence that she would have found "a way to zap those assholes [Russia]."

"I'll use all my connections, I'll raise the whole world – as soon as I'm able to – in order to make sure.. Bugger!.. not even scorched earth won't remain where Russia stands," she promised.

Despite being incapacitated by spinal disc hernia the ex-PM stressed she's ready to "grab a machine gun, you know what I'm saying, and go shoot this bastard [Putin] in the forehead."

Full recording below:


Nuke 8 million Russians? Well we know who's up for the next Nobel Peace Prize.

Paveway IV

Psychopaths' don't converse at any intellectual level - they are either prying for information for use in a future scheme, or are projecting their dominance and superiority to the other person. There's no 'exchange of ideas' like there are in normal people's conversations.

Psychopaths are suppose to be scary. If they can't outright control you, then they want to be sure you're - at the very least - intimidated by them. Discomforting or not, Tymoshenko is absolutely delighted that this got out....


Sort of.

First of all, this was a private phone call to some former official that was sent to jail for corruption with dealings with Russia. The state that enabled her to loot her own people. Putin helped Little Miss Priviledge get rich. But let's not discuss that.

She offered up an outlandish opinion that was clearly hyperbole. The problem? It starts to make simple things like forciable evacuations of minorities seem "moderate" in comparisson.

She should have also expected this would eventually be leaked in these days of NSA spying. Then again, she has no downside for making comments like this. It's not as if any Russian inside Ukraine would ever vote for her but it does allow her to potentially ciphon off votes of Svoboda types. Assuming she tries to run again.

It's expected but these comments will never make the MSM because they were traditionally to enamoured with her and shaping her into Saint Yulia.

[Mar 24, 2014] Is open season on Russian business as a whole just started ?

This idea of "punishing of Putin's oligarchs" determined outside the court of law is very questionable and can degenerate into racket.
marknesop, March 24, 2014 at 1:26 pm
Interestingly, Bloomberg claims the recent arrest of Dmitry Firtash – who allegedly had been watched for a considerable period by the FBI, but they elected to arrest him now – is motivated by the USA's desire to find a way to get at Putin, through GAZPROM. We saw a hint of it the other day when the U.S. government applied sanctions against Gennady Timchenko. I wondered at the time how this could be posssible, considering the sanctions were designed to take action against people perceived by the U.S. government to have "impeded the progress of democracy in Ukraine", something Timchenko had nothing whatsoever to do with. Well, according to this news item, "After Putin seized Ukraine's southern Crimea region, a U.S. Senate panel approved a bill on emergency funding for the country that would widen the scope of sanctions to include any Russian involved in "significant" corruption. " This more or less declares open season on Russian business as a whole.

Masha Lipman, another Russia hater at the Carnegie Moscow Centre, smacks her lips approvingly: "This law would enable the U.S. to go after any member of Putin's entourage. The point is to deepen the fractures within the Russian elite. The idea is to weaken Putin so he can be contained."

And, lo and behold, "opposition leader" and has-been Alexey Navalny was tapped for his opinion as well: "Western nations could deliver a serious blow to the luxurious lifestyle enjoyed by the Kremlin's cronies who shuttle between Russia and the West. This means freezing the oligarchs' financial assets and seizing their property."

I'm having a really hard time seeing how this can end well.

[Mar 24, 2014] Will nuclear summit be damaged by rift with Russia?

BBC News

World leaders - with one notable exception - are gathering in The Hague for the latest summit in a series devoted to improving the security of nuclear stockpiles around the world.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is staying away, choosing to send his foreign minister instead. And the nuclear talks will be largely overshadowed by an emergency session of the G7 leaders to censure Russia over Crimea and Ukraine.

So, is there a danger that the international system designed to make the world safer could itself be damaged by the rift with Russia?

Before dawn on 28 July 2012, intruders broke into the United States nuclear weapons facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

They cut through three fences, set off alarms and managed to pound on the wall of a building that housed enough highly enriched uranium for thousands of nuclear weapons, before finally being confronted by a single guard. They were protesters, but what if they had been terrorists?

[Mar 24, 2014] Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has denied the authenticity of a taped conversation

BBC News

...former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has denied the authenticity of a taped conversation in which she allegedly called for Russia to be turned into "scorched earth" and for ethnic Russians in Ukraine to be killed.

Ms Tymoshenko said the recording, which has featured prominently on Russian news reports, was produced by Russia's security services.

She admitted speaking by telephone with Nestor Shufrych, a member of Ukraine's parliament and a close ally, but she said her words had been edited to discredit her.

Ships stormed

In the recording, Ms Tymoshenko is allegedly heard saying Ukrainians should take up arms to "smash" Russia and its President Vladimir Putin.

Ms Tymoshenko was released from prison in February after a controversial verdict on her actions as prime minister.

[Mar 24, 2014] Ukraine: Campaign for Donetsk 'to join UK'

BBC News

Some residents in the Ukrainian city of Donetsk have launched a tongue-in-cheek campaign to join the UK, because the city was founded by an industrialist from Wales, it appears.

"Donetsk residents! English brothers! The decisive moment has come!" says the online appeal (which makes no distinction between England and Wales), according to Novosti Donbassa website. The campaign appears to parody Crimea's recent referendum on joining Russia, which has resonated across eastern Ukraine.

The heavily industrialised city was established in the late 19th Century as a foundry run by John Hughes, a native of Wales. Locals called him John Yuz, so the town was initially named Yuzovka.

"We demand a referendum on returning Yuzovka to its historical fold as part of the UK! Glory to John Hughes and his city! God save the Queen!" the campaign adds.

Donetsk has been a heavily industrialised mining city since the days of John Hughes

Ukraine's fifth-largest city is a hotbed of pro-Moscow sentiment in Ukraine and the home of ousted President Viktor Yanukovych - who has now fled to Russia.

Donetsk has seen violent clashes over Ukraine's ties with Russia, in which at least one person has died. Kiev claims pro-Moscow rallies in eastern Ukraine involve "provocateurs" from Russia and even members of Russian secret services.

[Mar 24, 2014] Yulia Tymoshenko: "We have eliminate all Russians in Ukraine using nuclear weapons " by Alexander Zubchenko

Google translation

This telephone conversation today blew the Internet. Expressions like "eliminate Katsap using nuclear weapons ", "leave from Russia scorched field ", " I'm ready to take a gun and go shoot this bastard in the head" became instant hits (although may be not in a way Tymoshnko intended).

Yulia Tymoshenko referred to Vladimir Putin as " scum " and expressed personal desire to push the button launching nuclear weapons to kill Russians.

Those jems by Yulia were extracted from an interceptioon of her phone conversation which was published on March 24 in the public domain.

Anyone can listen to it carefully and draw their own conclusions .

Alexander Zubchenko

[Mar 24, 2014] Ukraine fiasco marks end of the EU's imperial dream

This new Holy Roman Empire is already way too big to be governed effectively... Split between Notrh and South also does not help unity.
22 Mar 2014 | Telegraph

Normally when a country's people give a referendum vote that the EU doesn't like, they are just told to vote again to put it right. In the case of Crimea, however, where 96 per cent of the people voted to return to Russia, the EU was in no position to ask them to think again. Even if they did, considering that Crimea, where the tsars, Tolstoy and Chekhov used to spend their summers, has been part of Russia for most of the past 230 years, that 60 per cent of its people are ethnic Russians and that 82 per cent speak Russian at home, they would be unlikely to change their minds.

The hard fact is that, whatever we think of President Putin, this episode has been the most salutary fiasco the "European project" has ever brought upon itself in 60 years. It has always been driven by two paramount principles: one, that it can assume ever more power over the nations that belong to it; the other, that it can suck ever more of them into its embrace (echoed in David Cameron's boast last year of how he saw the EU one day stretching "from the Atlantic to the Urals"). But with Ukraine, their fantasy of an ever-expanding empire has hit the buffers.

For years the EU has been wooing Ukraine with that "Association Agreement" as the next step towards making it a full member. But by pushing its "soft power" right up to the Russian border, this strange organisation dedicated to eliminating national identity has finally run up against the rock of a national interest that will not give way.

And to what a pitiful state this has reduced our own supposed "leaders" in the West. They haven't a clue what to do. They blether about how Russia is "isolated", and of those pathetic little "targeted" sanctions.

Chancellor Merkel talks wildly of how the G8, of which Russia is currently president, "no longer exists". President Hollande calls on Britain to act against all those Russian oligarchs who have put £27 billion into London, when the UK knows it has £46 billion invested in Russia.

Charlotta Jones

Ukraine owes Russia lots for gas--bills haven't been paid. The EU and IMF will bail them out but at what cost? Already pensions have been cut in half:

And Ukraine's gold has allegedly been moved out of the Ukraine to the US? As collateral for those loans?

This will not end well. Yugoslavia and Cyprus come to mind.


89% of Venice votes for independence from Italy in a referendum

Quick! We must impose Sanctions on Venice immediately. Then we need to send arms directly to the 11% of Venetians who want to remain with Italy. This illegality will not stand.

Birger Skruddusvingen > tsarnicholas

"Quick! We must impose Sanctions on Venice immediately."

What about sanctions on Catalonia... or Scotland? It loolks like they somehow forgot to try to prevent Kosovo's independence...


Their was a non-interference treaty between the US and Russia for the Ukraine, but the US Neocons could not resist spending 5 billion dollars to help 'democracy' groups. There is strong suspicion that the hundreds of deaths which caused the coup were actually caused by snipers who are supporters of the new government, certainly the new government has NO interest in investigating who they were. Such 'false flag' operations are not uncommon.

I am sure the US aim was to make Ukraine part of NATO, put some ABM sites on the Russian border, and have US firms take over the exploitation of the shale gas in the West, and exploit the Black Sea oil and gas reserves from Crimea. I would have thought closing down the Russian base in Sebastopol was also on the list.

Then it all went wrong.

Objectively what happened in Crimea is no big deal. It was basically Russian. For Hague to suggest that this region should be returned to a country whose government loathes everything about them is appalling. Many elements of the new government would like nothing better than an ethnic cleansing of this region. Of course the UK supports ethnic cleansing - it did so when Russia stopped the ethnic cleansing of South Ossetia by Georgian troops.

This is because we are a member of NATO, which consists of the US and its vassal states. The US can not suffer much damage from a financial conflict with Russia, but the EU can suffer massive damage. In another vassal state, Germany, we have the pathetic spectacle of Merkel defending an illegal government in Ukraine with strong neo-Nazi elements.

Germany sells 50 billion euros worth of cars to Russia each year. The EU sells 370 billion euros of goods to Russia each year. The EU is massively dependant of Russian gas. Any sanctions to appease the US neocons could cause really severe damage to the EU economy.

The next problem is that the Ukraine is one of the most corrupt nations on Earth. One of the reasons it is so poor is that the oligarchs have siphoned off most of the wealth, and enjoy a tax free status. In the new government most of the oligarchs are still on board with the added frill of some being made regional governors - a return to feudalism? Also it is expected that most of the billions of Euros to be given to the Ukraine will end up in Swiss bank accounts or similar.

Another problem is the elections due on 25th May. To maintain power they will need to ban any opposition party - they have already banned the Communists. If all pro-Russian elements are disinfranchised then the result could be civil war. The worst case would be if NATO joined one side and Russia the other then World war III is a likely outcome.

If you are interested in what is really happening in the Ukraine then I recommend the 'zerohedge' website.

DavEd CamerBand > anticlimactic

I have no doubt the snipers, that had been shooting at both sides that you talk of & had been reported too the estonian FM were of CIA origin.

Snipers of unknown identity were also involved in libya and Syria.. I doubt Ukraines undemocratic government have that sort of reach! but we know who has..


I think on balance that this is correct. Ukraine represents the greatest EU political fiasco since its inception. But it was not the EU's alone. EU flunkies were encouraged at every stage of their regime change debacle by bird brains in the US State Department. It was one of their officials years ago who set the tone. When asked what was going happen when the Russian's got wise to the US plan of a perpetually weakened Russia the official replied 'Their missiles will have rusted in their silos' . Or words with the same effect. the missiles never rusted and since the US proxy attack on Russia using Georgia Russia's conventional forces have been overhauled. By antagonizing Russia the US Imperial Presidency has handed a strategic advantage to China.

[Mar 23, 2014] Russian UK tourist spending sees sharp fall in February

BBC News

UK hotels and shops saw income from Russians fall 17% in February compared with a year ago as visitor numbers fell back amid political unrest in Ukraine.

... ... ...

Russians are among the top five biggest-spending tourists in the UK.

... ... ...

Until the fall-off in February spending had been rising sharply - with an annual increase in spending of 16% in 2013.

[Mar 23, 2014] Visa, Mastercard resume services with 2 Russian banks blocked after US sanctions

RT Business

According to Itar-tass, Visa has confirmed the system has lifted the embargo on the transactions with SMP Bank and Investcapitalbank.

"The US government has informed the company Visa Inc to lift economic sanctions on SMP Bank, and Investcapitalbank due to the fact that these organizations do not meet the criteria on which sanctions are imposed," said a spokesman for Visa.

Visa officials could not clarify the future of the transactions with Rossiya bank and Sorbinbank. The officials of both banks told Itar-Tass that they do not know when Visa and Mastercard will return to a standard mode of operation with them.

[Mar 23, 2014] George F. Kennan's Prediction On NATO Expansion Was Right

Moon of Alabama

After the U.S./EU/NATO supported coup in Kiev Russia took steps to secure its vital seaport at Sevastopol on the Crimea. With their plans to use Sevastopol for themselves and to thereby blockade Russia from influence in the Mediterranean stopped by the Russian move various reactionaries immediately demand an expansion of NATO to somehow stop further "Russian aggression":

[T]he US should work with its allies in NATO to build consensus for an immediate announcement by the alliance that NATO membership will be extended to Montenegro and Macedonia and make the commitment to a Membership Action Plan for Georgia at the NATO summit in Cardiff.

... ... ...

George Kennan was the U.S. diplomat and Russia specialist who developed the cold war strategy of containment of the Soviet Union, though he later criticized its militaristic implementation. In 1998, when the Senate voted to extend NATO to include Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, Kennan was asked to comment. He responded:

"I think it is the beginning of a new cold war," said Mr. Kennan from his Princeton home. "I think the Russians will gradually react quite adversely and it will affect their policies. I think it is a tragic mistake. There was no reason for this whatsoever."
"It shows so little understanding of Russian history and Soviet history. Of course there is going to be a bad reaction from Russia, and then [the NATO expanders] will say that we always told you that is how the Russians are -- but this is just wrong."



The whole point of NATO's expansion was to encircle Russia. Like any Corporately run society, they will not tolerate any form of competition. Business ueber alles, ya' know.

ana souri

Seemingly if we all agree, this was a neocon move to isolate Russia as they are not happy with the status quo and want to challenge Putin to put pressure on him in other parts of the world, mainly in the Middle East which is a neocon darling.
I assume we also agree, Obama wasn't exactly in on the plans or was deceived and has a rogue state department that took the initiative led by nulan likely with kagan persuasion.
One thing that puzzled me still, what is Canada's motivation in this mess. Canada's fm john Baird was also in Ukraine encouraging the demos and now Canada is taking a frontal row to show support for the nazis in Ukraine and pushing for Putin punishment. What the hell is Canada up to and what is their stake in this mess. Any ideas?


"A harsh Russian reaction because of NATO extension is NOT a good reason to extend NATO further."

Harsh? Why use the western media hyped propaganda in describing their response? The Russian reaction to the coup in the Ukraine, and the accompanying western provocations, and hysteria has been extremely mild. So mild, in fact, it's driving the western leaders and media completely bonkers. They are working so hard to get the Russians to actually do something harsh, that what they've been saying looks like the ravings of total lunatics to those standing outside their fantasy world. Those photos of Powers bloviating while the people in the back are laughing and Churkin just looks at her like she stark raving mad, is a case in point.

There isn't going to be a harsh response from Russia. Expect well thought out counter moves that will use the west's negative energy against it.


@somebody #19:

The very fact that NATO continued to exist after the breakup of the USSR shows that the US can make a whole continent go against its interest.


NATO didn't just "continue to exist" after the USSR broke apart, it expanded exponentially, thanks to Bill Clinton, once a good ole boy, now an oligarch. Anyone, anywhere, have any doubt what his wife will do?


Seemingly if we all agree, this was a neocon move to isolate Russia as they are not happy with the status quo and want to challenge Putin to put pressure on him in other parts of the world, mainly in the Middle East which is a neocon darling.

I don't agree there was an exclusively neocon push for this.

I assume we also agree, Obama wasn't exactly in on the plans or was deceived and has a rogue state department that took the initiative led by nulan likely with kagan persuasion.

I don't assume this. Obama chose Nuland and other neocons to be part of his team. And as others have already repeatedly mentioned, don't forget Zbigniew Brzezinski's desire to isolate Russia, as well as Obama's history of playing at new cold war in other cases. Nor do I think Obama has demonstrated any moral compunction about who the U.S. partners with to achieve foreign policy goals (see the use in Libya of the sort of Islamists Obama might otherwise reserve the right to kill with drones). I could see him possibly objecting to things not being handled with as much subtlety and deniability as he would prefer.

One thing that puzzled me still, what is Canada's motivation in this mess.

Canada's government looks pretty Zionist owned to me.


@#8 Ana, you'll see Canada "boasts" the world's third-largest Ukrainian population behind Ukraine itself and Russia. (I don't know where that leaves Kazakhstan) but what matters is that it explains what puzzles you: Canadian Ukrainian are many (over a million) and are influential. Canada was one of the first countries to recognize Ukraine's independence and it has recognized the Holomodor too… and most of those who chose Canada were anti-Russia.

In short don't be surprised! Canada is also an excellent friend of Israel and has many other special relations which can all be explained.


Yep after WWII the surviving Ukrainian fascists fled west and then transformed themselves into democracy loving anticommunist freedom fighters. They immigrated to the Great Lakes region, most in the US but many in Canada. They have kept the cause of Ukrainian nationalism burning brightly ever since.

A similar migration of Croatian fascists occurred about the same time. Those US communities played a role in the break up of Yugoslavia and urging Clinton to bomb Serbia into submission.



You are aware that Germany is riddled with US bases, aren't you? That means it's still an occupied country.


Frankly, what NATO seems to have done is protect Western Europe from each other. There used to be regular war between Britain, Germany and France.

Russia never threatened Western Europe but got invaded by Western Europeans on a fairly regular basis. Though Putin threatens to protect Russians and Russian speakers whereever they are, we are probably safe.

Today's wars are run in a completely different way anyway, by color revolution protests and by arming extremists/by snipers/ by car bombs/by special forces in unmarked uniforms.


Back to Kennan. I was at a reception in Moscow given in his honour by the Soviet government in 1987. It was quite a do, and showed how much they respected the man, who in many ways had caused them a lot of trouble. He seemed very old and frail, and quite frankly I'm surprised he lived long enough to comment on NATO's expansion. He knew Russia, which is a lot more than one can say for many of his successors, though Matlock was pretty good.

As to the obsession with the US, a lot of us here are or were (in my case) US citizens, and still care for the country, which has millions of decent people who don't deserve what they are getting or not getting from their government. The other thing is that we are witnessing a turning point in world history as the US fantasy of full spectrum dominance gets destroyed by the facts. This is a wrenching reality for the elite, and it will take some time for them to move from denial to (hopefully) acceptance. As you know, anger and rage are intermediate steps, and they are the dangerous ones. All we can do is watch and talk, and hope someone is listening.


Lord Ismay, Restated
The first NATO Secretary General, Lord Ismay, stated the organization's goal was "to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down". [...]

The purpose of NATO is to attract the Russians Westward away from reactionary Slavophile tendencies...

Yeah, NATO has really attracted the Russians to the West.


As an American, I do criticize my fellow Americans, Knut. They're lazy, complacent, too willingly led, easily distracted by just about anything and tragically unwilling to question a word of what they've been spoon-fed. We've also lived high off the hog at the expense of millions of people both here and abroad. I don't like what's coming, but we absolutely deserve it.


Open Letter to President Obama: Secure Ukraine, Isolate Russia, and Strengthen NATO

The list of signatories is a pretty comprehensive list of neocons.



Yeah, Latvia has done really well under neoliberalism.

For reasons beyond comprehension, the country now sticks to that ideology which has just devastated the Western economies. Latvia itself is experiencing one of the world's worst economic crises – indeed, demographic as well as economic. Its 25.5 percent plunge in GDP over just the past two years (almost 20 percent in this past year alone) is already the worst two-year drop on record. The IMF's own rosy forecasts anticipate a further drop of 4 percent, which would place the Latvian economic collapse ahead of the United States' Great Depression. The bad news does not end there, however. The IMF projects that 2009 will see a total capital and financial account deficit of 4.2 billion euros, with an additional 1.5 billion euros, or 9 percent of GDP, leaving the country in 2010.

Robert Snefjella

NATO Dominated by USA Dominated by a cabal/conglomeration of the usual suspects. CIA and company kill the Kennedys, try to kill DeGaulle, ruminate overthrow of Harold Wilson, run Gladio, dominate mass media in Europe generations ago. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was always a multi-purpose vassal military organization variously useful to those who control the US. One previous core agenda was to play an important role in inhibiting radically contrarian political/social movements from gaining leverage in any European country. The 'Soviet Menace' provided the fear/rationale.

In short, NATO has also always been about controlling Europe. But NATO's transmutation into an offensive war maker, culminating in the destruction of arguably one of the most impressive social political experiments and success stories on the planet - Libya - in 2011, is much more horrific than an "expansion" of NATO, as in b's missive. NATO as purveyor of wars of aggression is its recent designated vassal role.


Yep, the neocons want to give Russia another Afghanistan

Robert Zoellick, the former World Bank president and a leading Republican national security voice, said the Crimea annexation has "fundamentally changed the post-Cold War set of norms and expectations" in ways that will echo all across nations near Russia's border.

He said while the United States and NATO won't intervene militarily in Ukraine directly, western nations must consider giving military aid to Ukraine if leaders there demonstrate they are willing to stand up to Russia's superior forces.

Although financial sanctions more severe than those imposed to date could be punishing, Zoellick argued, "I think the key point for President Putin's view of the world is he's not going to be seriously affected by slaps on the wrists of [revoked] visas or this sanction or that sanction. … But what he could be affected by is if he gets himself into a military mess and that ultimately depends on the Ukrainians. That's going to be an issue that the transatlantic community is going to face."

As only the fascists will be crazy enough to do this, he now expects Western Nations to support fascists.


Actually, I have a question about Kennan. Wasn't he the architect, proponent and creator of the Cold War with that letter he wrote?


@Nora #62:

Yeah, b implicitly mentioned the infamous Mr. X letter.

By the way, Kennan later called the US a "monster state", suggesting it should be broken up into about six smaller states.


Lovely. "The European Union and the United States, which have supported and funded for years all neo-Nazi groups and other radical extremist factions in Eastern Europe, have given the order to these new fascists never to brandish the swastika..."

Since voltairenet also has a piece on the 23 summer camps now being used by Kiev to train paramilitaries, , apparently using the goons is ok, they just can't wear their pretty pictures. The Klan wore hoods to hide their faces but you still could tell by their voices or shoes -- these guys, I'll bet there'll be a way...

[Mar 23, 2014] Lukashenko does not want federalization of Ukraine

Note that this is oligarch Ahmetov controlled news source.
March 24, 2014 |

President Alexander Lukashenko does not support the idea of ​​federalization of Ukraine, since, in his opinion, it is forever destabilize the country.

" You know what would be a federation. Federation is the piano on which one hand will play one forces and another hand will be plaed by other forces, possibly external. . This will destabilizes the country forever," - said Lukashenko to Vesti newspapaper.

According to the president opinion, Ukraine should remain unitary , and most importantly , non-bloc country.

Besides Lukashenko urged to help Ukraine to hold fair elections . After all, according to the Belarusian president, there are several armed groups and units. Each significant politician in Ukraine has a private army from 150 to 1,000 people. And what happened in the Crimea, was just a start. What will follow might be much , much worse" - said the President.

He also said that Belarus will collaborate and build relationships with the newly elected Ukrainian authorities.

[Mar 23, 2014] Donbass wants referendum

A rally demanding a referendum on self-determination for the region was again held in Donetsk on March 23. In addition, people are demanding the release of people's governor Paul Gubaryov, refuse to recognize Kiev junta, which came to power via military coup, and all of its appointees.

[Mar 23, 2014] How Prime Minister Yatsenuk deceived the inhabitants of south-eastern Ukraine by Yevgeny Shestakov

It's premature to " throw caps in the air " for Russian-speaking residents of Ukraine [After Yatsenyuk speech]. Because his appeal to them is just the answer of the Provisional government to the secession of Crimea; no more than a speech of a person who has no real power in new Ukrainian power structure. In this sense it is not accidental that the appeal which was recorded in Russian was transmitted not to the entire Ukraine, but only to the inhabitants of the south-east. After the Maidan, supporters of the nationalist "Svoboda" are unlikely appreciate liberal language of freedom and respect for all, without exception, heroes of the past Ukraine.

The task that Yatsenuk tried to accomplish can be called in Russian as "trying to put a smoke screen on provisional government pathologic Russophobia". The real policy very clearly formulated recently appointed by Provisional government deputy head of the regional administration of Dnepropetrovsk region Boris Filatov . Discussing the policy towards the east and south of Ukraine , in his blog, he frankly put forward the real policy that the new government should adopt to resolve the situation . I quote: "There should be no any troops send from Maidan. There should be no extremist statements . This lowlife should be given all promises, guarantees and we should make any concessions. And if you ask me, "But what about hanging them?" the answer is "We will hang them all later". Such is the uncomplicated, addressed to core supporters real program of the Provisional Government.

[Mar 23, 2014] Mechanisms of Annexation by Yuri Fedorov

What is interesting that Svoboda (and that means State Department) admits that annexation of Crime was a reaction to coup d'etat in Kiev.

Up to the middle of January 2014 the Crimea occupied a secondary place in the plans of the Russian leadership. Forcing Kiev refuse to sign the agreement with the EU , the Kremlin sought to establish control not over a part of Ukraine, but over the whole country. To do this, it was considered necessary to keep Viktor Yanukovych in power, while ensuring his loyalty. In addition to economic measures, Moscow pushed Yanukovych to use police force for suppression of Maidan. In this case, would be eliminated, with some physically, the most active part of the opposition, and the Ukrainian leadership would become unacceptable for the West regime.

Soon the Russian policy towards the Crimea began to change. In early February, in the Crimea appeared old friend of Dmitry Rogozin, a State Duma deputy and chairman of the party "Rodina" Alexey Zhuravlev. He managed to create a kind of Slavic anti-fascist front , designed to be an important instrument of Russian influence. Frequent vists to Moscow made the chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Crimea Vladimir Konstantinov, who later became the chief executor of the Kremlin intrigues in the Crimea. As a result, on the peninsula intensified pro-Russian groups . mobilization of "people militias" started and they start talking about the establishment of checkpoints at the entrance to the Crimea. Finally, February 14, 2014 Vladislav Surkov visited Simferopol where he met with Konstantinov and then Prime Minister of the Ukrainian autonomy Anatoly Mogilev .

Surkov's visit showed that the Russia started to pay more attention to Crimea than before. However, pro-russian foces faile to achive any serious progress. Crimean establishment supported Yanukovych, pushing him to forced dispercal of Maidan, but was mostly skeptical to the idea of independence of Crimea or its annexation by Russia .

As a fallback Russian considered the creation of some Southeast Ukrainian republic under Russian protectorate

And the Russian government themselves did not pushed the separatist campaign until flight Yanukovych from Kiev. In Moscow have hope that will be possible to delay the presidential election until the end of 2014 and, ultimately, put to power in Ukraine figures that orient on Russia. As a fallback, it seems, they considered the creation of some Southeast Ukrainian republic under Russian protectorate. With the intention to proclaim its creation on February 22 in Kharkiv at the Congress of Deputies southeastern provinces.

It was hardly a coincidence that on that day Yanukovych fled to Kharkov. Independence or annexation of the Crimea in the scheme did not fit . Rather, in Moscow saw the peninsula part of the new quasi-state in the south-east of Ukraine. However, this idea failed. At the congress there were no representatives of Zaporozhye , Kherson, Mykolaiv and Odessa regions. The meeting hastily adopted unintelligible Declaration and did not want to meet with Yanukovyc. The main organizers - then leaders of the Kharkiv region Gennady Dobkin and Gennady Kernes swiftly departed for Russia .

Only after that Moscow's attention focused on the Crimea. Apparently , the decision to capture the peninsula was made on February 22. The next day, after the failure of Congress in Kharkov Sevastopol started the rebellion . The Black Sea FleetIt was put on high alert. There was a twenty thousand rally in the central square. Mayor Vladimir Yatsuba , kneeling , urged citizens to "stay in the legal field of Ukraine" , but driven away from the podium. Right on the square meeting elected the new mayor of Sevastopol - a citizen of Russia Alexey Chaly . At the meeting, it was decided not to pay taxes to Kiev. At the entrances to the city police posts appeared . Ukrainian flag was replaced with the Russian .

In other regions of the Crimea situation was different. In Simferopol, the meetings were held not only by supporters, but also by the opponents of joining Russia . the Parliament of the autonomy tried to use the situation in the country to secure more rights and powers in its relations with the central government , but , except for a few odious figures like Konstantinov , no one was going to separate from the Ukraine. In a statement of the Presidium of the Verkhovna Rada (Parliament) of Crimea made on 24 February, for example, they stated: " In recent days, the main thing that was achieved is to stop the bloodshed .... Transition of political processes fromstreets and squares into the walls of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine is an important achievement .... Way of ultimatums and threats will not lead the country from a political impasse, and will only intensify confrontation in society, including between the center and the regions . " These statements reflect the mood of most of the Crimean establishment, including the Russian language speakers.

Although the capital of Crimea , there were several violent clashes , pro-Russian groups failed to seize power. Moscow agents failed to provoke clashes between the population and the Ukrainian Black Sea Fleet servicemen. Russia failed to implement Georgia 2008 scenario, when an armed invasion was announced to be "operation to enforce peace" nor Czechoslovak 1968 scenario, when the occupation troops entered the country at the request of a group of collaborators .
Russian troops eventually invaded the Ukraine without any political and legal justification.

Military part of the annexation of the Crimea passed without any complications for Russian troops. In late February GRU unit belonging to the forces of the Southern Military District was transferred to the facilities used by Russian Black Sea fleet. On February 27 and 28 , these commandos and soldiers stationed in the Crimea, the 810th Marine Brigade occupied government buildings in the capital of autonomy and key airports . This was followed by a creeping occupation of the peninsula. Troops in the Crimea were introduced step by step occupied strategically important objects and are blocked in the Crimea Ukrainian part. They face zero resistance: Ukraine's leadership realized that fighting will serve as a pretext for a massive invasion of the Russian army, not only in Crimea, but also in the mainland , to resist which Kiev has no capabilities .

[Mar 23, 2014] Member of Ukranian Parlament Vadim Kolisnichenko characterized Provisional government

I still have the status of people's deputy of Ukraine. There are a number of issues that I need to help to resolve to organize the protection of the residents southeastern Ukraine who suffered from political repression and physical violence. Now, using the parliamentary mandate, I'm trying to clarify the fate of people who are arrested, kidnapped, or severely beaten. I try to organize medical help for people who have suffered from beatings, because the bandits used to catch people after rallies by one and beat them.

... ... ...

From February 22 I ignore the work of the Ukrainian parliament, because, in my view, this day was a coup d'état, and the current clique seized power using arms. In my view this is a puppet government. Managed outside Ukraine turned into a banana republic, managed from outside; sovereignty was lost, and now we have problems with territorial integrity.

... ... ..

... The program of the Party of regions based on the ideas of regionalization . I headed Research Center which developed the concept of federalism, but they now are trying to blame me that I am a separatist -- When I said that we need to pass laws banning the National Socialist ideology and philosophy, the party did not support me . Well, not the whole party - the faction in Parliament , represented by its leadership. I believe that the party should not be participate in Parmentary sessions because that way it helps legitimize the seizure of power . So I will not enter the Parlament even with one foot. . I believe that the party need to be revamped from the party serving the oligarchs to the party serving its constituents. These are the questions that I always publicly raised...

Q: And how do you now feel about Viktor Yanukovych ?

A: A traitor . He simply gave all his voters who believed in him, who voted for him . At the same time , I definitely think that a million members of the Party of Regions, who worked in the field, sincerely believed in the program of the party. it's not their fault that the group of people failed to meet their expectations .

Q: New Ukrainian authorities proclaim some perspectives of regionalization of the country, about the decentralization of political authority and financial flows, about more flexible approach to the issues of language and the local way of life -- all the issues that you used to raise and support. . Incidentally, the language law , for which the parliament sessions on you sometimes literally fought with your fists, was not abolished by the new authorities (although true to their nature they made an attempt --NNB) . Perhaps, after all, there was an opportunity for you, to remain the member of Parliament and try to influence the work of Parliament in a constructive way. Because nobody challenges the legitimacy of the Parliament in its current form.

A: The can be no political negotiations in this Parliament by definition. Nobody disavowed the statement of Mr. Tyagnibok that he made in Parliament just six weeks ago, that the main task of coming to power of the political forces that he represents is de-Russification of Ukraine. You can't whitewash such a statement, no matter how hard you try later. It's like trying to turn back dog into white by using soap. With whom can I negotiate in this Parliament?. They are now against the wall so they pretend that they will change their policies. Constitution of Crimea in six years was turned to fig leaf, and its autonomy became just a bad joke. This is telling example that suggest whether you can believe anything that new authorities will say, or not.. For example they never adopted laws about special status of Sevastopol. And Sebastopol today, after 22 years still has no local government. Why they refused to give Crimean Parliament enough powers so that they can work on improving of the economy of the peninsula ? And just a few days ago, the Foreign Ministry said that Russian in Crimea and in Ukraine as a whole are Diaspora, not the constituent peoples but the Diaspora -- Now please explain to me with whom of those people I can speak in Parliament ? They are all pathologic Russophobes, national socialists who have one specific goal - derussification .

[Mar 23, 2014] Food prices are up 20% in Kiev in one month...

The average monthly pension of Ukrainians is around Hr 1,200. Rent is around Hr 400 for one bedroom apartment in state owned building, Hr 4000 a month in private apartment. Monthly recommended minimum amount of money for food per person Hr 1,443. This 20% increase means more hunger for the most unprotected Ukrainians.
Milk (regular), (1 liter) 9.59 ₴
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g) 4.64 ₴
Rice (white), (1kg) 12.46 ₴
Eggs (12) 13.76 ₴
Local Cheese (1kg) 71.23 ₴
Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless), (1kg) 41.02 ₴
Apples (1kg) 12.72 ₴
Oranges (1kg) 16.75 ₴
Tomato (1kg) 17.36 ₴
Potato (1kg) 4.75 ₴
Lettuce (1 head) 9.49 ₴

Last update: March, 2014

Recommended Minimum Amount of Money for food (2000 calories, balanced diet)

Milk (regular), (0.25 liter) 2.40 ₴
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (130.00 g) 1.21 ₴
Rice (white), (0.13 kg) 1.62 ₴
Eggs (3.60) 4.13 ₴
Local Cheese (0.15 kg) 10.68 ₴
Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless), (0.25 kg) 10.26 ₴
Apples (0.34 kg) 4.33 ₴
Oranges (0.34 kg) 5.70 ₴
Tomato (0.21 kg) 3.65 ₴
Potato (0.25 kg) 1.19 ₴
Lettuce (0.15 head) 1.42 ₴
Daily recommended minimum amount of money for food per person 46.57 ₴
Monthly recommended minimum amount of money for food per person
(assuming 31 days per month)
1,443.57 ₴

"What has been most striking to me so far has been the apparent levels of discipline, training and cooperation among the Russian forces," noted Paul Saunders, executive director of the Center for the National Interest, in an interview this week with the military blog War on the Rocks.

The Russians deployed quickly in the hours surrounding reports of their initial movement on Feb. 26. Two days later, when President Obama warned that there would be "costs" for invading Crimea, the Russian forces were already in place and the intervention was nearly a fait accompli.

The Russians are thought to have had roughly 15,000 troops in Crimea when the crisis began, and quickly added about another 5,000, mostly special operations troops. The Russians are allowed up to 25,000 military personnel in Crimea under their 30-year lease of the Black Sea naval base at Sevastopol.

Military analysts note some interesting characteristics of the Russian deployment: President Vladimir Putin, a former KGB lieutenant colonel, chose something closer to a paramilitary "covert action" than a normal military attack. Because the troops didn't have Russian insignia, there was a thin veil of deniability, which the Russians exploited.

At a news conference March 4, Putin denied that Russian troops had invaded, despite photographic evidence to the contrary. "You can go to a store and buy a uniform," insisted Putin. This "deniability" was maintained by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who said March 5 it was "complete nonsense" that Russian troops had invaded Crimea and that he had "no idea" how Russian military vehicles had gotten there.

These bland denials of reality were useful in several ways: They maintained a fig leaf of legitimacy for an illegal intervention; they allowed Russia a chance (not yet taken) to de-escalate an operation that hadn't officially been acknowledged; and they distanced Putin in case things went badly and Ukrainians were killed.

[Mar 23, 2014] A biting comment about Yatsenuyk decision to postpone sighining of economic part of agreement from prominent political expert Vladimir Kornilov

Slightly edited Google translation. Quote was taken from

" So, Ukraine and the EU recently signed "fateful " Association Agreement , because of which many swords were broken -- However, for some reason he signed only "political part ", that is a fairly small set of general slogans about" democracy and freedom . " But what about the main part of the agreement in which, in fact, contain draconian conditions of free trade zone Ukraine-EU ?

It turns out that Ukraine is not ready ... --

That's what Yatsenyuk said :

" We have postponed until the signing of the economic section of this document , taking into account the experiences and concerns , would not a free trade zone to negative consequences for the industrial regions , and it is primarily the East. On this issue, we will carry out further consultations " .

Hey - hey -- .. And why , in fact, began " evroMaidan "? With that Yanukovych said that the agreement on an FTA would entail the very negative consequences for the industrial regions , and therefore , required further consultation -- That is exactly the same thing said that now Yatsenyuk says --

Well, where is the righteous anger of our Maidan-obsessed crowds ? Why Mustafa Naem still did not lead the people to Maidan sqare demanding the resignation of the "government" ? Why possessed Nazis wrapped in EU flags , do not strom Germent Headquaters ? Why Tatiana Chornovil in not on the street kicking police? Why Bulanov forget his mission to block roads for goverement limo?

Oh yeah, they'll now in power, some got official position, some got money. They now have enough to lift thie ass from the coach. And they don't give a dime for all those stupid Association agreements.

How Ukraine hijacked Russian ships in 1994

Материал ниже, будет особенно уместен в свете свидомого нытья, что РФ коварно отжимает корабли ВМСУ.

Как Украина захватывала базу Черноморского флота( Свернуть )

Сегодня украинские СМИ буквально воют по поводу того, что некие вооружённые люди, якобы российские военные, изгоняют украинских военных, отказавшихся подчиниться воле крымского народа, с военных объектов.

В свете этого интересно вспомнить, как двадцать лет назад, при очень ограниченном освещении российских СМИ, занимавших тогда скорее проукраинскую либо снисходительную позицию, была захвачена военно-морская база Черноморского флота в Одессе. Я, как журналист, лично поутру был на месте событий и всё, о чем я пишу, знаю не понаслышке.

В ночь с 10 на 11 апреля 1994 года вооруженное подразделение украинской армии захватило 318-й дивизион кораблей резерва Черноморского флота, расположенный в районе Одесского порта, рядом с центром города. Подробностями происшедшего поделился со мной тогда офицер дивизиона капитан 3 ранга В. Паншин, который в числе других офицеров в ту ночь подвергался аресту.

- Около 23 часов на территорию дивизиона ворвалось подразделение украинской армии из состава Болградской воздушно-десантной дивизии в количестве примерно 160 человек. Десантники были в бронежилетах, с автоматическим оружием и боевыми гранатами. Военнослужащие дивизиона, находившиеся в этот час в его расположении, были арестованы, включая командира дивизиона капитана 1 ранга Олега Ивановича Феоктистова. Под угрозой оружия матросов поставили лицом к стене, офицеров и мичманов заставили лечь на пол.

Кроме личного состава, на базе проживало около 10 семей военнослужащих, не имеющих квартир. Они также подверглись нападению. Некоторых женщин вытаскивали из помещений за волосы, а 12-летнего сына командира положили на пол под дулом автомата. Некоторых били прикладами.

До двух часов ночи шел повальный обыск, сопровождавшийся актами мародерства и вандализма. Был разбит КПП. После обыска обнаружилась пропажа денег, золотых вещей, а также продуктов из холодильников.

Около двух часов ночи матросов увезли на "КамАЗах" в военный городок украинской армии "Черноморское", а арестованных офицеров и мичманов освободили и оставили на базе.

Утром нам предъявили ультиматум: "Даем три минуты на принятие присяги Украине". На сегодняшний день трое из 17 офицеров и около половины мичманов приняли присягу под угрозой быть выброшенными с базы на улицу.

Как объясняли позже журналистам украинские десантники в конфиденциальной обстановке, прося не называть их имён, 10-го апреля им поставили боевую задачу: освободить базу от "забаррикадировавшейся вооруженной группы офицеров и мичманов". Именно этим они отчасти "объясняют" свою грубость и жестокость. Сами они весьма недовольны случившимся.

Капитан 1 ранга Феоктистов после инцидента был доставлен в кардиологическое отделение больницы с приступом.

Тогдашние сообщения некоторых украинских СМИ, что сразу после захвата украинские военнослужащие покинули базу, оказались лживы. Над ней был вывешен желто-голубой флаг, на воротах сразу нарисован трезубец. Десантники укрепились на территории дивизиона. Началось активное "освоение" базы для размещения украинских военнослужащих. Одновременно с захватом базы были арестованы корабли ЧФ, стоявшие в Одесском порту.

Таким образом, миф про то, что Украина является вечной страдалицей от злобной российской армии, а не наоборот, рассыпается от столкновения с реальными историческими фактами.

Ukraine nationalist attacks on Russia supporters – fact or Kremlin fairytale?

The Guardian

The funeral of Zhudov and Sharov took place in Kharkiv's red-and-cream Panteleimon church. The first Russian journalist to arrive was from, the Kremlin's favourite news website. Other cameras perched on the steps of the baroque altar. The deaths of two young Russian-speakers, at the hands of Ukrainian fascists, formed a powerful tableau. It may yet spark a war. The next few weeks will show whether this is Ukraine's Franz Ferdinand moment.


How can claims of attacks on how can how can claims of attacks on ethnic Russians be a"dark fairy tale" if two Russians have just been shot by Ukrainian nationalists. Who are the members of the civil rights group that is quoted?


The attacks are real, and not just in the east.

The far-right was behind the attempted murder of the head of the council at Mirgorod this week, the video seems to have been removed from Youtube for being too graphic.

Tymur Maryokhin -> Jeremn

Report from the ministry of the interior puts this on Right Sector weapons and molotovs found..

Translated Link


if the members and supporters of the street government in kiev started to kill people around, in this case russians, who is gonna to protect them? the u.n peacekeepers, like they did in srebrenica, croatia and kosovo, maybe? or nato, who is capable only of providing further terror over civilians...?

if there is no one who is ready to put under control those nazis in kiev, they deserve a good spanking by can call it aggresion all day long, but they deserved it...


"The details are sketchy:" Not according to the police and the interior ministry they are not. So why are they sketchy to you?

A policeman on the scene was shot too! There's video somewhere of them shooting out from the house and chucking movotovs. How is this sketchy?

OtchenStrana -> RaphNZ

There is no doubt that the Ukrainians in the office building fired weapons and threw molotovs at the pro-Russian protesters attacking outside.

However, the "sketchy" part relates to the identity of the provocateurs in the minivan.

They had picked a fight with the pro-Russians and then left their vehicle outside the building. There is no way of determining whether the provocateurs were the same Ukrainian activists or Russian agents trying to stir up trouble.

DougalEvansCoe -> Charliedaz
Your predictive text is a lot easier to read than Harding's predictable text.

Luke Harding:

Among those opposed to Putin's carve-up of Ukraine, the mood is gloomy, verging on apocalyptic. They agree his immediate goal is to destabilise Ukraine, sabotage its new government and thwart presidential elections set for 25 May. The first step, annexation of Crimea, is over. Moscow is now demanding Ukraine's federalisation – a possible prelude to a Yugoslavia-style breakup.

It sounds like something from EletcroMagneticPulse.

"Putin's carve up"? But what happens if Evil Putin's lost his Swiss army knife?

"A Yugoslavia-style breakup" if Ukraine is federalised...

But federalisation, as almost all experts agree, is the only way to reduce tensions and make Ukraine an effective modern state, like the Federal Republic of Germany.


Another example of whitewashing the facts. Two people were killed and yet the guardian is trying to make excuses for a killers. Disgusting and disturbing.

Jeremn -> BuddhaFree

Excuses for the neo-nazi killers, which makes it all the more surprising that it appears in a paper which attacks Golden Dawn, BNP, EDL, etc.


Yes well sad to say this story has been overtaken by events . Did the 'Human Rights ' oh no trouble here, no that's all Russian propaganda.,get a chance to see the TV manger assaulted for being 'Moscow Trash' by Mp's from the new(they would never injure or kill you just because you speak Russian) government in Kyiv.. So now we have copses and we have videos of elected fascist thugs indulging in violence. And I'm supposed to what? Believe that while fascist representative might put their boot into your face for TV their followers would never kill you. To believe that you would have to be Chancellor Merkel, President Obama or the editor of the Guardian.


the responsible deputy for "free speech" of the ukranian parliament, member of svoboda, attacks a TV director and forces him to sign his resignation, because the channel ran a report on the russian parliament signing a document on crimea. do you consider euronews a putin-propaganda station? no matter how much scorn putin deserves, the new ukrainian government does not deserve our support. in a few years we will all be embarrassed for supporting those scoundrels, like with bin laden and hekmatyar. the rest of the government in kiev should break their coalition with svoboda immediately, if they don't want to be tarnished with the same brush.

monkie -> namenottaken

Whose propaganda is more believable. Probably neither

another day, another group funded by the USA to "promote democracy" by overthrowing democratically elected governments, is given free reign to spout propaganda without meaningful challenge by the guardian.

"There's no discrimination against Russian-speakers actually," Yevgeny Zakharov, from Kharkiv's human rights protection group, said earlier this week. Zakharov said support for the idea of Kharkiv following Crimea and joining Russia was low

funny, its that great democratic institute the NED popping up again as being the ones funding yet another organisation in the ukraine.

how would we feel if the north koreans or the iranians were funding groups in our countries to "promote democracy" by overthrowing our governments, and did this to the tune of millions of dollars.

The website is created with assistance of the International Renaissance Foundation and National Endowment for Democracy (USA)


"Mikhail Dobkin, meanwhile, the governor of Kharkiv province, has been sacked and faces charges of separatism."

A man who intended to run for president in May and now ... can't

Why don't you tell us about the new governor of the city, Ihor Baluta? The oligarch imposed on Kharkiv.

His administration oversaw the prohibition of "mass activities in the streets of Kharkov". "The governor of the region Igor Baluta appealed to citizens with a request to refrain from rallies and warned about possible acts of terror."

So no Maidan style-activity there.

Tell us, is that the democracy Maidan was all about?


Sharov and Zhudov were shot dead last Friday in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv. They were victims of a clash between pro-Russian youths and far-right Ukrainian nationalists.

Oh, I remember that article a week ago, it was written by one Luke Harding. I also remember that the author preferred not to concentrate on who killed whom and the article was titled:

Ukraine ministers accuse Russia of provoking fatal clashes
Foreign minister says he won't respond to 'Kremlin-orchestrated provocations' after two die in Kharkiv shootout
Dear lord. Clearly, according to Western newspapers, everything the Kiev government says is pure gold. That worked out well with the lie about the '3am ultimatum', didn't it? However, there was little mention about the synagogues that have been attacked, nor about the leaked tapes. Meanwhile, any hint that the fascists who are currently running Ukraine have been attacking pro-Russian supporters has to be questioned - is it fact or is it fiction? No amount of quotation marks ("fascists") will distract the readership from what is really going on, though. It's interesting to contrast the title of this article with the uproar concerning the Ukrainian soldier who was shot.

20 March 2014 4:35pm

Ban Ki-moon shares Moscow's concern over rights of Russian-speakers in Ukraine

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said he shares Moscow's concern over the situation with the rights of Russian-speakers in Ukraine. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called his meeting with Putin constructive; the parties exchanged opinions on possible ways out of the crisis situation in Ukraine.
Addressing reporters after talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Ban said that he had told him that he shared his legitimate concerns over violations of the rights of the Russian minorities in Ukraine and emphasized the need to observe and protect those rights.

"We had a very constructive, very productive meeting with President Putin," the Secretary General told reporters. He noted that before the meeting, there was a detailed discussion with Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov.
"The Russian President and I exchanged views on possible ways out of the current crisis," the UN Secretary General said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told visiting UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Thursday that Moscow was deeply concerned over "numerous violations of the rights of Russian-speakers in eastern and southeastern regions of Ukraine," his ministry said.
"The minister has expressed the Russian Federation's deep concern over multiple violations of the rights of the Russian-speaking population in eastern and southeastern Ukrainian regions, the escalation of tensions by radical groups with the condoning of the Kiev authorities," the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement posted on its website after the Moscow meeting between Lavrov and Ban.
"He stressed the need for UN assistance to Ukraine for the purpose of normalizing the situation in this country in the interests of long-term stability," the statement said.

Ban Ki-moon said that as the UN Secretary General he could not help but be deeply concerned about the current situation development in Ukraine and Russia, Ban Ki-moon said during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday.
Russia is one of the leaders of the international community, at that not just a leading UN members but a leading player at the international arena, the UN Secretary General said.

Read more:


Bringing chaos to Ukraine the USA intended to make Russia weaker, but due to US incompetent, clumsy, and narcissistic actions in Kiev, the Russian Federation has become much stronger than before this crisis. Homecoming of Crimea is a self-evident proof to this.

There's no doubt that US puppets in Kiev will continue to show their true selves, but their bizarre and self-righteous actions of Nazis Reborn make them true outcasts and pariah (meanwhile turning the US into a laughingstock of the world)…


Interesting how you say rather incredulously, 'the masses believe the media', yet say nothing of the West's manipulation of the masses every day including this very one sided article.

So the main thrust of this article appears to be that the Russians in East Ukraine are desperate for a Moscow intervention and looking for a pretext? Fair enough. Can't blame them.

According to civil rights groups, however, the Kremlin's account of anti-Russian persecution is a dark fairytale – "entirely fictional", as one put it. It is, they say, a made-up scenario scripted in Moscow for state TV, and now played out on the ground by pro-Russian activists and bussed-in professionals. Russian propaganda has been extremely effective, they add. Many trust Russian state TV rather than what they see on the streets, which are strikingly bereft of fascists.

Given yesterday's nazi-led enforced resignation of the Ukraine State TV boss, beaten up in order to sign a document and filmed for posterity to amuse his tormentors, the above paragraph is totally lacking in credibility. Because if that's what they do on-camera in the middle of Kiev, what is going on elsewhere?

It is of serious concern that we are being deprived of in-depth coverage of what has happened in Kiev and the other parts of the Ukraine. From footage I have seen there is every reason to suspect this far-right gain.

Its not clear where this is going to lead the rest of Europe, we've already had one murder and three bombings in the UK carried out by the 'quiet, shy, retiring' Ukrainian neo-nazi, Pavlo Lapshyn.

The media coverage has been so stilted this household no longer relies on the Guardian or the BBC for news. Fashion tips maybe, but not news.

Western media should not switch their rhetoric on Ukrainian ultranationalism as soon as Putin gets involved. Am I the only one to remember the high-impact BBC documentary just before the European Football Championships? The presenter was very quick to draw parallels between fans' arm gestures and fascist salutes, and probed allegations of racism enthusiastically.

Now two of the nine posts covered at,
are filled by members of Svoboda and Praviy Sektor (four are members of Fatherland). Their influence will be disproportionately high if they, as one might reasonably assume, use the dirty tactics typical of similar groups; hopefully their western sponsors will have the stamina to continuously restrain them. Luke Harding should, in combination with his undying determination not to be influenced by Kremlin propaganda, be careful not to sleepwalk into supporting the rise of ultranationalism.

As someone who has lived in Western Ukraine, I can attest to the fact that Russian-speaking Ukrainians are harassed on regular basis by ultra-nationalists. In cities like Lviv and Rivne, people get beat up for just speaking the language.

History books have been re-written and SS/Hitler collaborators like Bandera (who participated in Jewish purges and helped set up concentration camps) are now praised as national heroes. I have no love lost for Yanukovytch but at least he revoked Bandera's "Hero of Ukraine" award.

If people think these are isolated incidents, they are mistaken. 5 ministers in the interim govt belong to neo-nazi parties. Their first order of business, with economy in shatters, was to limit the rights of its Russian-speaking citizens.

Vladimir Kamensky
Damn you, Western hypocrites! All that is happening now in Ukraine dealing bloody hands U.S. and litter from the EU! You do not notice that the neo-Nazis run the show now Ukrane! Yes fall upon your heads wrath of the Lord!

Putitout -> Vladimir Kamensky

You do not notice that the neo-Nazis run the show now Ukrane! Yes fall upon your heads wrath of the Lord!

You do not notice that the undead run the show now Crimea! Yes fall upon your heads wrath of the Puppet!

Vladimir Kamensky -> Putitout
Russian Crimea region, who never wanted to live under the power of Kiev, especially now, when the neo-Nazis led to the current government illegitimate rulers there!

Ukraine crisis: Russia agrees to OCSE monitoring mission

The Guardian

The OSCE, whose members also include European Union nations, Ukraine and the United States, makes decisions by consensus. Russia's approval could signify a slight de-escalation of tensions.

"This is not the end of the crisis, but it is a step that helps support our efforts toward de-escalation," said Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Germany's foreign minister.

Ukraine: Donetsk's old Soviet faithful and young radicals look to Moscow Luke Harding in Donetsk

That's the same Luke Harding who was kicked out of Moscow for Russophobia and dirty tricks.
The Guardian

According to Symonenko, "fascists" had seized power in Kiev.

... ... ...

Todorov fears that Putin still intends to absorb the south and east of his country – a wide arc of territory stretching to Russian-speaking Odessa on the Black Sea. "I don't rule out expansion all the way to Kiev, to the border with Galicia," he predicted.

Separatist politicians, meanwhile, have been calling for a referendum on the status of the Donetsk region. (These regional deputies include communists, the pro-Russian faction of the Party of Regions and other pro-Moscow blocs.) A referendum on "federalisation" could lead towards formal union with Russia. Under Ukrainian law such a poll is illegal. Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Ukraine's interim prime minister, has offered greater autonomy to the east, as well as reassurances over the status of the Russian language. So far these overtures do not appear to have worked.

Ukraine's richest man, Donetsk-based Rinat Akhmetov, declined the post of provincial governor. Instead, Kiev has recruited another local oligarch, Serhiy Taruta, to take control.

With protesters rampaging through Donetsk, the city police and security agencies have played an ambiguous role. They have made little effort to stop the violence. According to Serhiy Tkachenko, the head of a civil rights organisation in Donetsk, senior figures are "sabotaging" orders from Kiev. "Most are supporters of the old regime. They know that as soon as there is a strong central government, there will be an investigation against them and their corrupt schemes," he said.

Tkachenko claimed Russian propaganda had shaped negative attitudes towards the uprising in Kiev. Most residents watch pro-Kremlin Russian TV, he said. Russia's state media has called the revolution in Kiev a fascist coup. "People are not thinking with their heads. They don't analyse. They are living in a world of stereotypes and myths," he said.

... ... ...

Listening to the speech from the back of the hall was Maxim Rovinsky, head of public relations for Donetsk city council. Rovinsky said his party favoured "decentralisation" rather than federalisation.

Would Russia grab eastern Ukraine? "I hope we don't get little green men," he said, a reference to the balaclava-wearing gunmen who popped up in Crimea following Russia's invasion. "We love our country. We see it as indivisible."

He added: "Donetsk is not Crimea. We don't have an autonomous parliament. People here are not so energised by Russia."


Why is it that every struggle we have witnessed around the globe has ended in tragedy? The main culprits have always found a way to control and take over and decide the fate of what was supposed to be a victory by the people for the people. Their enemies end up becoming their saviors and heroes carried on the shoulders of innocence and naivety to the hilltop of power.

The end ends in the weaknesses of the beginning and the beginning makes its journey short to a dismal end. The people's struggle in Ukraine followed this cursed pattern and has ended in the worst option they could ever imagine. A fight against poverty and corruption finished in a new round of futile power struggle while hungry vultures of the empire are flying over the tired nation waiting to grab the best of it.

Capitalism which destroys while building, dictates its terms which after so many decades of failure have become more and more dictatorial and out of any human context. Ukrainians now must please the old brutes in the circle of Obama, Cameron, Merkel and many others who have increasingly become the same both in shape and deed. The plague which has deeply infested the political landscape of the western countries cannot bring about any new ideas nor let new alternatives make their presence surface. It is as if the governed and the governors have ended in a deadlock, the former complains but stops short of claiming anything, the governors know there are problems but their privileges keep them satisfied.

At least Crimeans are out of the trouble by choosing to join their historical people and share pain and progress together. Can Ukrainians reject the west and create a democratic country which sees the future not dependent on the empire but their people? Very much so.

Tom Walker -> happytolive

"Why is it that every struggle we have witnessed around the globe has ended in tragedy?"

Correction: first time as tragedy. Second time (and third... and fourth...) as farce.

Sarfaraz Abbasi

I just wonder if Luke Harding actually highlighted the Neo-Nazi and ultra-nationalists (who actually are running NOW the giant departments of Ukraine)!

Polvilho -> indoorain

...Here's the leader of one of those "people's movements":

In front of a big swastika.

Wearing a swastika armband.

He seems to be doing quite well at equating himself with neo-Nazis all on his own.


The author does not seem to care that local protest leaders have been rounded up and arrested by Right Sector paramilitaries. Local police boycotts the junta in Kiev, but Nazis from the West are terrorizing the people of Donetsk.


US corporate media have made a circus of propaganda around Crimea. Russia has owned that port since Catherine the Great. They have a treaty with Ukraine until 2042 and permitted to have no more than 25,000 troops, they have 16,000. Blaming PUTIN for the Crimean revolt against the neo Nazi fascists who took over Kiev, is propaganda. Many in the UKRAINE know that if they go with the EU, and IMF they will be enslaved by them. Ukraine owes Russia $2billion in gas/oil, and yet he has not turned it off....if he wanted to be a real dick he could have done that. The US zionizeed State Dept. the uber right wing neo cons in the US are pushing Obama to sanction ....isn't it the most sophomoric approach to dealing with the issue. Crimea voted for Russia, its their right to self determination....DONE DEAL....move on.


Donetsk's old Soviet faithful and young radicals look to Moscow

The crucial issue is how far people generally in Eastern Ukraine (whether ethnic Ukranians or ethnic Russians, or others) feel disenfranchised by the western-backed 'popular coup' in Kiev.


Why is it only communications from countries we are hostile to use propaganda....I'm getting tired of the relentless bias on various issues in the Guardian...I still think it is the best UK paper and the website lis very good, but it takes the government's line in all foreign policy

Wackyjacky -> retarius , 22 March 2014 6:25pm
They have pushed the government line especially since MI5 took the editor to the basement to tell him what to think a few months ago. Sadly he has continued to think as he was programmed.

....... but facts are sacred. Guardian Editor C.P.Scott 1921

Facts are clearly not sacred to the present Guardian editor 2004. I wonder what C.P. Scott will say to him on his return to the fold? I think it will be unprintable.

Russian troops storm last Ukrainian base in Crimea


Ukraine's east rallies for secession vote

More than 5,000 pro-Russia residents of a major city in Ukraine's east demonstrated on Saturday in favor of holding a referendum on whether to seek to split off and become part of Russia.

The rally in Donetsk came less than a week after the Ukrainian region of Crimea approved secession in a referendum regarded as illegitimate by the Western countries. After the referendum, Russia moved to formally annex Crimea.

Eastern Ukraine is the heartland of Ukraine's economically vital heavy industry and mining and the support base for Viktor Yanukovych, the Ukrainian president who fled to Russia last month after being ousted in the wake of three months of protests in the capital, Kiev.

Russia and Yanukovych supporters contend Yanukovych's ouster was a coup and allege that the authorities who then came to power are nationalists who would oppress the east's large ethnic Russian population.

"They're trying to tear us away from Russia," said demonstrator Igor Shapoval, a 59-year-old businessman. "But Donbass is ready to fight against this band which already lost Crimea and is losing in the east."

Donbass is the name for the region of factories and mines that includes Donetsk.

About an hour after the Donetsk rally began, the crowd marched through the city center and assembled before the regional administration building chanting: "Crimea! Donbass! Russia!"

Demonstrators waving Russian flags were faced off by lines of shield-wielding riot police. Inside, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier was meeting with local officials.

The demonstrators erected several tents, an ironic echo of the massive tent camp that was established on Kiev's central square after the protests against Yanukovych broke out in late November.

"I'm ready to live in a tent, but I'm not ready to submit to the West, to dance to their tune," said Viktor Rudko, a 43-year-old miner.

The local parliament on Friday formed a working group to develop a referendum analogous to the one in Crimea. Activists on Saturday passed out mock ballots, although no referendum has been formally called.

A number of leading pro-Russian activists have already been detained by police on suspicion of fomenting secessionist activities. The country's security services said Saturday that they have arrested Mikhail Chumachenko, leader of the self-styled Donbass People's Militia, on suspicion of seeking to seize authority.

[Mar 22, 2014] Jan-Werner Müller Why Democracy Is Failing in the EU's Newest Members Foreign Affairs

Troubles in neoliberal East Europe is only beginning. This is a systemic crisi of neoliberalism and there is no easy way out of it...
Mar 22, 2014 |

Ten years ago, eight eastern European states joined the European Union, seemingly locking them onto an upward developmental trajectory. But now this supposed triumph is in serious doubt, as most those countries are experiencing profound political crises.

[Mar 22, 2014] Why Obama's Sanctions on Russia Won't Work by Lee S. Wolosky

I like primitive neocons like Lee S. Wolosky. He proposes a good wat to kill buth EU and Russia with a single stone ;-). All this talk about Iran sanction scheme is well and good, but applying sanctions to Russia might well mean that the return of Depression to the USA.
Foreign Affairs

For many good reasons, no one inside or outside of Washington is seriously proposing a U.S. military response to the situation in Ukraine. But buoyed by Iran's decision to come to the negotiating table, many have looked to sanctions. Although Iran's nuclear program unquestionably remains a security threat to the United States and its allies, there is little doubt that the sanctions campaign led by the United States has caused Iran's near total economic collapse and pushed Tehran to enter into negotiations with the West. That sanctions regime has had three components. First, it included prohibitions on oil, tanker fleets, and the insurance industry, which ground the Iranian oil trade to a halt and cost the country many billions of dollars in export revenue. Second, banking sanctions cut off Iran from the international banking system, making it virtually impossible for the country to engage in any form of international commerce. And third, Obama invoked the U.S. International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), which allowed him to block Iranian assets subject to U.S. jurisdiction (such as those belonging to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and its various commercial and logistical affiliates) and made it illegal for U.S. citizens to do business with designated persons or companies.

Europe's Eastward Evangelists by Pawel Swieboda

Warsaw has quietly developed a special relationship with Kiev. In part, that's because Poland has much to gain from a further expansion of the EU into eastern Europe. But there is a missionary zeal in Polish diplomacy that exceeds a purely rational calculation of economic interests.

... ... ...

The friendship should not be taken for granted. Poland and Ukraine have a long history, very little of which is cordial. In 981, Vladimir the Great, grand prince of Kiev, expanded his empire by sacking a number of Polish cities. For centuries afterward, the populations of both countries fought viciously over territory, using forcible population transfers and heavy-handed cultural imperialism to cement their regional influence. The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were especially violent. It is estimated that 100,000 Poles and 20,000 Ukrainians were killed in ethnic purges during this time.

The modern history of Polish-Ukrainian relations isn't much rosier. Between 1942 and 1944, some 60,000 Poles were murdered in purges carried out by Ukrainian nationalists in Volyn, a region to which both countries had historic ties, but which had recently been absorbed by Ukraine. (Ukrainians were concerned that Poland was intent on reclaiming the territory for itself.) In 2009, the Polish parliament passed a resolution calling those purges a "mass murder that has the character of ethnic cleansing."

Is Putin Rational Foreign Affairs by Alexander J. Motyl

LiberatedCit -> Dracovert

It was pretty stupid to fund Nazi's now the leader of the group is running for president.

Ukraine's Neo-Fascist Right Sector Leader Dmytro Yarosh to Run for President

Pierre Omidyar co-funded Ukraine revolution groups with US government, documents show

Assistant Secretary Nuland at U.S.-Ukraine Foundation Conference

"We've invested over $5 billion to assist Ukraine in these and other goals that will ensure a secure and prosperous and democratic Ukraine."


BING JOU, 3 days ago
We would be irrational to blame the entire Ukraine and Crimea crisis on Putin. Prof. Motyl argues for that if we can make Putin come to his right sense, there would be no more problem because it is all about Putin. I do think Motyl is simple-minded. Ukraine have an identity crisis. Pro-West Ukrainians overthrew Yanukovich via mass civil disobedience. There is no reconciling between Maidan supporters and those who voted for Yanukovich yet. Russian-speaking Crimean want to go back to Russia. Their desire to be Russian is clearly demonstrated in referendum. Some in eastern Ukraine also want the same thing. Ukraine has a law banning any advocate for secession or separatism.

Moldova's Transnistria is a breakaway government since 1990. People of Transnistria are Russians. Transnistria is part of Moldova. EU wants neither to recognize Transnistria independence nor to deal with it in any fashion. EU will think about only when Moldolva and Russia are on the verge of a war over Transnistria.

Motyl does not waste one word on the identity crisis of Ukraine. Motyl believe all are alright once Putin decides to pull out Russian force. Motyl speculates that Putin's ruthlessness and arrogance, the only qualities Motyl attributes to being a KGB agent, prompted him to use force. Motyl makes it too simple as if Putin were to die of heartache tomorrow morning, Russian force would go way and return Crimea to Ukraine at once, Ukraine would go to the West happily forever. Motyl talks as if Putin is the sole problem.

So many Americans are eager to punish Putin without thinking the whole thing through. It reminds me how eager we were to get rid of Saddam without thinking about what to do afterwards.

Edmund burke326 Postscript 2 days ago
Victoria Nuland, jewish, is the psychopath, the nazis are in Kiev, people that would shoot their own protestors to be rid of a democratically elected president. Carrying guns into a debating chamber, beating up television executives forcing them to resign, that's pschopathy. President Putin is very well educated and surrounded by well educated professionals, Mr Lavrov being key among them. We've got William Hague, a man that shared a hotel room with a male aide, he said, 'to save money.' John Kerry, batting for America, didn't even realise or remember he had voted for the Iraq invasion or that America had invaded Grenada for some surfing students and bombed Serbia into submission. On the recent sanctions list, America has actually included a Duma member who intiated the ban on homosexual propaganda. She has absolutely nothing to do with Crimea. Diplomacy is not a game, Russia is not a joke and Obama and his cronies would do well to understand that. Maybe check a good history book and a map next time.
BING JOU 4 days ago
What Putin would do next may also hinge upon Ukraine's internal stability. If an internal strife between pro-Russia and pro-West Ukrainians escalates into a bloody confrontation, Putin may feel obligated to intervene. Not until yesterday did I read about Yatsenyuk's addressing the concerns and sentiment of pro-Russian Ukrainians. The post-Yanukovick Kiev government comprises of only pro-West politicians, who can't be legitimate to those Ukrainians who voted for Yanukovich even though Yayukovich voters have abandoned him. The new Kiev government have not reached out to include pro-Russia Ukrainians yet. It does not look like Ukraine will be politically stable for quite a while. Putin would not invade a unified Ukraine. Nor can Putin incite separatism in eastern Ukraine if pro-Russia folks feel they are part of Kiev government.

It is naive and simple-minded to believe it is up to us to stop Putin from further intervening in Ukraine. Arming a Kiev government to fight against Russia is to invite a long-term instability. With arms from the West, pro-West Ukrainians may be hardened to rid of Russian influence within her border. With an armed and hostile neighbor, Russia may be more motivated to work to divide Ukraine. Ukraine is not like Poland.
Kiev is definitely going to the West. Putin's force is right on the border and working to fan up separatism. The West & Ukraine should start talking to Putin and cut a deal so that Kiev can start stabilizing Ukraine. Or, as Motyl suggests, we can insist Putin withdraw Russian force before any dialogue can happen. I think we need to talk Putin out of intervention in Ukraine. If Putin has already withdrawn his force and stopped meddling in eastern Ukraine, there would not be a great deal of urgency to talk to Putin at all.

JAMES YUN 2 days ago
It appears that some commenters on this forum have lost sight of the bigger picture. The bigger picture involves not just Ukraine and Putin, but the rest of Russia. There are many Russians in Russia who are not nationalistic and who do not want a war with Ukraine. Many are in fact friendly to Ukraine, due to shared ties.
The other day, I heard a news interview of a Russian living in Russia, where she said that many other Russians she knows consider Ukrainians to be practically like family members. They also have relatives in Ukraine or travel there frequently as tourists, so they know what the lives for Russians are really like there. Apparently, all the talk by Putin that Russian-speaking people in Ukraine are being persecuted was propaganda and is not shared by many Russians.
There was another interview, this time with a Ukrainian soldier who spoke with the first Russian soldiers to enter Crimea. According to the Ukrainian, those Russians were not told that they will be occupying Crimea when they were ordered to start mobilizing and were shocked to discover that they ended up in Ukraine. The Russian foot soldiers were very candid with the Ukrainian, and the conversation was held as if the Russians and the Ukrainian were brothers. They did not consider each other to be enemies.
So if Putin chooses to attack the rest of Ukraine, the emotional impact to the Russian people in Russia would probably be worse than what the Americans may feel if a US president decided to invade Canada on false pretenses of Americans being persecuted there. Thus, this can turn into a catastrophe for Putin at home, especially if many people die on both sides. This can devolve into a serious situation in Russia where nothing can be ruled out, including many possible scenarios that lead to his downfall.

Who Lost In Ukraine?

Moon of Alabama

Who has lost in the tussle about the Ukraine?

Consider the money:

The EU has provided Ukraine with €13.8 billion ($19.1 billion) in grants and loans since 1991. Aid from the International Monetary Fund, and from individual governments that include the U.S., pushes the total well over $30 billion. On top of that, Ukraine has received massive aid from Russia in the form of discounted natural gas-a subsidy totaling $200 billion to $300 billion since 1991, says Emily Holland, a specialist on energy policy in the region

With unfriendly relations of the coup government with Russia the Russian subsidies are likely to stop. That is an extra $20-30 billion hole in an already deep in debt yearly budget. And no, shale gas will not save the Ukraine.

No one will be willing to fill the Ukrainian deficit. It will now have to default.

Then consider these questions about the outcome:

Is Ukraine more united? more democratic? richer? Is NATO stronger? more attractive? How about the EU? Does it look like a good bet for the future? Are Washington-EU relations stronger? Is Russia weaker? divided? poorer? Putin less popular? Do the people of Western countries think their leaders are smarter, more competent, more electable than they did a month ago? Do people believe their media outlets? [...] And they just keep digging their hole deeper.

The result of the neocon meddling in Ukraine has created, as usual, a terrible mess for the "west" and even more so for the Ukrainians. Is there any way to prevent a repeat of such misdeeds?


Russia could really not like to intervene in East Ukraine and their talk has been consistent on this since the beginning of the crisis. Crimea too was not on the cards until the US backed fascists came to power in the coup. I feel similar circumstances aling with the current crackdown in the east would eventually drag Russia in. That will be "Round 2: payback" by the US-EU-Nazi alliance. Make no mistake, the US is not done yet. Their actions all seem to be heading in this direction despite media announcements to the contrary with talk of federalization.

I think whats missing in the general lefty narrative of the imperial aims of the US is that it is a scavenging empire. A half destroyed, violence ridden semi Nazi government is still a success if at least they get back the initial investment. Which they will through their phony deals, agreements and pacts.

Another point to note is that this kind of empire building is "easier". You do not need to satisfy some underclass of people. You merely coordinate with the elite, loot, rape, plunder and move on. Whats more is that you destabilize your enemy in the process.

From the US standpoint this is still a win.

somebody 13, MightyMo

I agree with that analysis. The Kyiv government is practically provoking Putin into intervening, as someone must have advised them to. Putin loses if he does and if he don't. Ukraine will lose anyway.


Here you go:

okie farmer

UK journalist schools BBC re: Putin/Russia


No one could ever have predicted this. The IMF. It's such a surprise. I guess it's true. Who's to say? It certainly jibes with my logic compartment. Sorry, the rest of Ukraine. Too bad you're not Crimea. Wouldn't wanna be ya.

EU-Ukraine trade pact paves way for brutal austerity
By Mike Head
22 March 2014

Amid intensifying US and European Union sanctions and military provocations against Russia, the EU and the Western-backed government in Ukraine yesterday signed a pact that paves the way for brutal austerity measures and free market "reforms."

The EU-Ukraine Association Agreement is based on the deal that former President Viktor Yanukovych's Ukrainian government rejected, leading to the US- and EU-instigated protests and violence that ousted him last month.

The pact, signed in Brussels, declares that the Ukrainian government must "embark swiftly on an ambitious program of structural reforms" and submit to "an agreement with the [International Monetary Fund]." The plans being drawn up are based on the "Greek model"-the savage cuts imposed on Greece by the IMF and the EU that have produced a massive growth in unemployment and poverty.

For all their claims of a "democratic revolution," the EU leaders and Ukraine's unelected regime of former bankers, fascists and oligarchs announced that they would delay finalizing the economic clauses of the EU association pact-and hence unveiling the austerity measures-until after elections in May.

The pact is another step toward realising the underlying objectives of the Ukrainian coup-Ukraine's integration into the orbit of the Western powers, the transformation of the country into a cheap labour platform for global capitalism and the ratcheting up of economic and strategic pressure on Russia itself.


@38 ruralito - it is hard to take someone seriously who posts this on their blog - "Reality is a lie. Lying, therefore, makes this world go around. Accept it. Embrace it. Understand it fully. And most importantly, lie well and for all the right reasons."

perfect description for a propaganda vehicle though..

Luca K

Finally MoA has mentioned the neocons! If I remember correctly, Moa took quite a bit of time to mention them in connection to Syria as well, but it did it in the end and even provided those of us who suspected them with good info from the horses mouth!

So, one thing is for sure! Israel and its supporters in the diaspora - ALL of organized Jewry - must not be too happy with the outcome in Ukraine.

Some threads back, while everyone was yelling about 'nazis' - many still are - I said BS, a main driving force behind the events in Ukraine were the neocons! And anyone who has taken the time to study neoconservatism knows that it is a Jewish movement as this info has even reached mainstream with,for instance, neocon Jacob Heilbrunn's book 'They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons'.

That is why despite ridiculous and constant hysterical calls about nazis and 'anti-semitism' in anti-war leftist (and even conservative) circles, Jewish leaders in Ukraine have said there is no such thing, have supported the coup and its leaders (but of course!) and have directed their anger instead against Russia and Putin in a letter.
See for yourselves:

As for the 'nazi' Dmitro Yarosh, leader of Right Sector, he even met with Israel's ambassador to Ukraine, Reuven Din El, and told him that their movement rejects anti-Semitism and xenophobia and will not tolerate it. This according to a piece written by a dude who sees 'anti-semites' under every bed, the infamous ADLs Abe Foxman* himself, writing for the Huffington Post!!

Check it out

*If he didn't the fat skunk would have to work for a living.

Next, i'll re-post an expanded version of my former post with a bit of info added.


Something seems to have happened

Daily Telegraph

So the Ukrainians are trapped between a rock and a place that turns out to be too soft to help them, On Friday, when their acting prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, came to Brussels to sign that Association Agreement, the EU was so embarrassed that the ceremony had to take place behind closed doors, away from the eyes of the media. The poor man was not even allowed a microphone, but had to shout out his wish still to see Ukraine as an EU member.

The EU knows it is powerless to prevent Mr Putin in due course absorbing Ukraine's Russian-speaking industrial heartland, leaving the EU to look after what remains of that bankrupt country, like a dismembered corpse. But there is no sign that those impotent nonentities who pose as our leaders have yet realised that their ambition to take over Ukraine must now rank alongside the euro as the two leading examples of how their collective act of make-believe is finally hitting the brick wall of reality.


@50 Just because the Zionists are working with the Nazis does NOT mean Tyanybok and the others are not in fact nazis.

There were zionist collaborators with Hitlers nazis, and obviously youre not claiming Hitlers nazis were not real nazis because they had zionist collaborators.

Zionists and Nazis hate eachother, but theyre more than willing to work together if it means their mutual interest. Which is why there is mutual Zionist-NeoNazi cooperation in Ukraine.



"Perhaps we've all been looking at this a bit awry? Or, at least at this point, maybe we'd be better off not thinking of Neoconsevatism, Neoliberalism, Zionism, American Exceptionalism et. al. as separate faiths or clubs, each with their own dogma, articles of faith, behavioral requirements or whatever. Maybe those exclusions have become more or less irrelevant at this point?"

At the top these distinctions can be irrelevant. Though the zionist fanaticism is real in some quarters and in some areas they do unify in purpose, even if in other areas they do not, more than any other interest group among the western oligarchs. But as for the neolibs and neocons, this is more on the policy wonk level. The policy wonks work out strategy, the oligarchs pick and choose what of it they want to use, or which people to entrust with carrying it out. They make the decisions, the policy wonks are employees.

It is a mistake to assign western actions in the Ukraine to a group of policy wonks because it is the whole western establishment that is behind this sort of major campaign, such as the coup in the Ukraine, or the terrorism against Syria, the beginnings of similar in Venezuela, the Iraq and Afghan wars and so on. All these actions have been done by the oligarchs, with input from various policy wonks on what would be the best strategy.

This is the reason I singled out that line in the header article for questioning. Neither Brzezinski nor Soros are in the neocon "camp". Brzezinski is a policy wonk, retired but still very influential, but he isn't zionist and doesn't seem to particularly welcome zionist interference in his planning. Russia and eastern Europe is his special field, so he, or his "apprentices" are heavily involved in the take down of the Ukraine.

Soros is an oligarch, like a Saban or Rockefeller, an equal, not an employee, like Brzezinski, and is publicly known for being opposed to neocon strategy, though not their goals, and similarly, a loyal zionist. He has been one of the most influential, if not the most influential heavies behind the eastern European coups, and he and his people are no doubt very heavily involved in the Ukraine now.

Both Brzezinski and Soros, and their people, are probably closer to the real driving force behind this Ukrainian coup, than the neocons. They have the experience. The neocons are a sideshow to take the heat and provide the media with their "celebrities". That seems to be their usual role. Essentially political "performance artists", since their "strategies" tend to mimic the fantasies of freshman college students who have not discovered the other sex yet.

What is really harmful about blaming the neocons for the coup in the Ukraine is that it lets the people above the neocons (in the western capitalist food chain) off the hook. As the neocons are minor players, the major instigators remain free to continue as before. Yank the neocons out of the picture, the coup against the Ukraine would have still happened, and would follow along the same general path. There would be different players in front of the media, the theatrics would be different (maybe worse, maybe better) and some tactical moves would therefore be changed, but the overall program would be as before.



Beautifully stated description of what's going on right now, how these particular pieces fit together well enough, at least, to destroy a lot of people's lives. It's not a fixed state, the various pieces and playahs can all move around when they think it suits them, but this is what we're up against at the moment.

The bottom line is, they're all monsters and they all need to be stopped. Again, given this particular configuration, the issue is how.


Bacevich isn't always my cup of tea but for anyone interested in how Americans got quite so stupidly militaristic, the (semi-) grown-up-comic-book oligarch Tom Clancy certainly contributed:


20th March 2014, city Sevastopol, Crimea, Russia.

Soldiers of Sevastopol riot police "Berkut" and members of self-defense forces have arrived home in Sevastopol. Since late February, they stood at a checkpoint in northern Crimea and protected our peninsula from the fascists and provocateurs. They stopped the smuggling of weapons and explosives, which were carried even by journalists and priests of Ukrainian Catholic Church.

Now, at the checkpoint, they have been replaced by Russian border guards.

People on the stage were congratulating each other, saying solemn words and thanks for the service and heroism.

People around the scene, in the square, just rejoiced. You cannot understand the words without translation, but you can see the happy faces of the people. Happiness looks the same on the faces of all the people and does not need translation. I would like to look into the eyes of the mainstream media liars who write about a Russian gun-muzzle aimed at Crimean people. Watch the video and shut up, idiots.

[Mar 22, 2014] Putin's Illusory Triumph

In no way Putin is a winner. Success of EuroMaidan as a yet another color revolution in xUSSR space is a blow. Neoliberal junta installed in Kiev is very hostile to Russia and that spells troubles ahead...

On the surface, Putin looks like the big winner in this crisis. But he may find himself in the position of the ancient Greek King Pyrrhus, who reflected on the outcome of a major battle: "One more such victory and we are lost."

[Mar 22, 2014] A Coup in Crimea - or in Russia

"Dear Vlad," McCain tweeted two years ago, "Arab Spring is coming to a neighborhood near you."
The American Conservative

One would search Sir Winston's account in vain for a hint that one day this territory would be incorporated into an American-led anti-Moscow alliance. Churchill rightly worried about Soviet ambitions in Europe, but the idea that Crimea was not a part of Russia would have struck him as simply absurd.

Nevertheless, such incorporation has not only been contemplated but has been American policy. Crimea was gifted (drunkenly, it is said) to Ukraine by Nikita Khrushchev in 1954, an event of seemingly little consequence as it was then all part of the Soviet Union. Then the Soviet Union split apart, leaving a Ukraine internally divided and comprising a segment which was always considered part of Russia. Had Western policy been to preserve a neutral or "Finlandized" Ukraine, the issue of Crimea's status might never have come to a boil. But almost from the beginning, Western strategists put Ukraine's integration into NATO on the table, an act that was perceived by Russia as unbelievably aggressive and threatening.

Several days ago, a delegation of senators led by John McCain decamped to Kiev, where they issued the expected statements about freedom and democracy. McCain promised bipartisan support for Ukraine's "territorial integrity"-meaning Crimea belongs to Ukraine-and against "Russia's baseless violation of these principles and efforts to divide the country." He promised to lobby for long-term American military assistance to Ukraine. Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy promised to "deliver a blow" to Russia to make clear the price to be paid for "aggression." Dripping patronizing scorn, Arizona Senator Jeff Flake reminded Russians, "This is not your grandfather's war."

It's not simply senators, of course. John Kerry lectures Putin about being stuck in a 19th-century mindset while condescendingly offering him an "off-ramp"-a face-saving way to allow the Western alliance to move right up to Russia's borders. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton tells reporters that she is "trying to send the strongest possible signals to Russia … trying to ensure that they understand the seriousness of the situation." But who is it really who fails to "understand the seriousness?" The senators who parachute into Kiev for a frisson of media coverage or the Russians who gag when the United States tries to push NATO down their throats, contradicting assurances given to Moscow as the Soviet Union broke up? As John Mearsheimer pointed out in an important Times op-ed:

Washington played a key role in precipitating this dangerous situation, and Mr. Putin's behavior is motivated by the same geopolitical considerations that influence all great powers, including the United States.

What is the goal of the West here? If you listen to some, it is to provoke Maidan-type demonstrations in Moscow, to overturn Putin. National Endowment for Democracy's chief, Carl Gershman, one of the major dispensers of the "pro-democracy" money being spread about in Kiev, warned last year that Putin risked losing not just his "near abroad" but Russia itself. "Dear Vlad," McCain tweeted two years ago, "Arab Spring is coming to a neighborhood near you."

The Beltway hawks want to defeat Putin, depicted as a new Hitler by Hillary Clinton, to punish the Russian leader who put a stop to the oligarch looting spree of the 1990s that had sent Russia into a death spiral. Their dream: humiliating Putin, setting off "freedom" demonstrations in Moscow, perhaps a civil war to bring Putin down.

Why, one must ask, is this an American interest? Why would we want chaos in a state which possesses 8,000 nuclear weapons? If the neocons and neoliberals got their way and Putin is defeated and falls, who then assumes power? Or does Russia break into warring fiefdoms with various warlords vying for control? And in this scenario, who, if anyone, commands Moscow's nuclear arsenal? Is this really the future-with all its attendant uncertainty, desperation, and humiliation-Americans want to see? Truly it is hard to imagine anything more stupid or shortsighted.

A postscript:

Writing in the National Interest, David Hendrickson pours much needed cold water on the notion that the coup which brought Moscow's enemies to power in Kiev ought to be heralded as a victory for "democracy." It overthrew a democratically elected leader, and even the mob-influenced vote to impeach Yanukovych fell short of the constitutionally-required supermajority.

So we have John Kerry lecturing the Russians about democracy and the rule of law on the behalf of a regime that came to power in chaos, in violation of the most important of democratic norms, which is that elections count more than which crowds which can be mobilized in the street. And one more thing-the snipers the senators refer to on their revolutionary tourism visits to Maidan? Apparently they fired at both policeman and demonstrators equally, suggesting that the goal was to escalate the violence and chaos in the Maidan. Of course who ordered the snipers is not yet known, but as Hendrickson suggests, it's hard to see how that kind of provocation would have been in Yanukovych's interest.

[Mar 22, 2014] The former head of the Security Service of Ukraine Oleksandr Yakymenko: "The USA wanted an armed seizure of power in Kiev and they found provocateur for this task"

Slightly edited Google translation of the interview of the former head of the Security Service of Ukraine Oleksandr Yakymenko about Maidan events and its sponsors. Of course he tries to whtewaht his role in events and his discussion of Parubiy role is not convincing, but interview does put light on some aspect of EuroMaidan color revolution.

March 19, 2014 |

Video of KP intervew of former SBU chief.

Alexander G. , You was the head of the most powerful secret services of Ukraine. Now I can ask you for the information, can't I ? Did Maidan arose spontaneously or was a carefully prepared event?

Oleksandr Yakymenko: On the one hand, the Maidan was spontaneous , but on the other hand, this action was in preparation for more than one year . Based on the information, that we have had, Europe and the United States were planning these protests for 2015. They make the decision that they do not need Yanukovich as a President. But the West still wanted that Ukraine continued to get subsidies from Russia to develop its economy. Agreements were signed with China and Russia, which allowed to make large investments in the Ukrainian economy - many billions of dollars. This suited the European Union. But in 2015 they would try via the same Maidan mechanism to remove the President, put another, which would be subservient to the West and led Ukraine to Europe using Russian money. But the situation changed. And Europe with the United States were forced to work from a blank sheet.

I would like to stress that the president and the government always fulfilled thier obligations in relation to Europe , to the Maidan , and to the opposition leaders. Not only they, but also law enforcement. But no agreement reached with the Maidan (or rather with the opposition forces), was ever implemented. They were constantly cheating . First the president made a compromise, and then the opposition did not find consensus among themselves and Maidan . That's why no conditions of the agreement was ever fulfilled.

Alexander G.: There was a large mass of people in the square around. And there was rigidly structured the backbone of protesters. From where this backbone appered?

Oleksandr Yakymenko: This is the result of so called "summer traning camps", held two or three times a year, where young people were prepared to conduct combat operations. They took place in the forests of the western regions , and when it was not possible , these then in Poland , Lithuania and Latvia. And then these well trained groups were incorporated into well organized and managed protest infrastrcture. Everyone had their heads - foremen, centurions. This "summer trraning camps" were invented during the time of the reign of President Yushchenko , when Western Ukraine gor huge amount of money from the Ukraninan budget. For all these activities funds were allocated from the regional budgets. And administratin of those provinces made the decision to allocate money for such "summer traning camps" where militants were preparing under the cover of paramilitary sports games. They provided funds from the budgets because they argued that this are our children, we support recreation for our children , we let the children play.

And some legions have appeared on Maidan much later. They were specially brought up to the start of active use of force

... ... ...

Alexander G.: Actually , pilgrimage Western diplomats during the event, to be honest, surprised .

Oleksandr Yakymenko: You can only imagine how absurd it was. Forst protesters captured the building, in fact, two sides are killing each other. And then there is metting of Ambassors in this building . How can this happen under the international practice is impossible to imagine. Ambassadors come and walk around the captured building. There are meeting in those buildings with with envoys from U.S. embassies , Poland , etc. I can recall quite a lot such facts . As soon as another attack of radicals occurred in the Maidan , in half an hour the whole of Europe and America began to shout that the president and law enforcement agencies should not respond to force in any case , that they will condemn the use of force against peaceful protests . In such a short period of time it is physically impossible even to write a press release .

In fact , maidan funded initially by various forces and in several different ways both by various non-governmental foundations, community organizations , but also embassies. This is evidenced by the fact that within a short period the number of diplomatic correspondence has increased almost 10 times .

Alexander G.: From the USA.?

- Not only. Also from Poland. In varying amounts, Most Western embassy were involced in this process . Fromt he USA they used airc mail. From Poland currency was transported across the border by busses. And then began to appear in the Maidan. Most recent dollar bills started to sip into exchange offices, which were near the Maidan in large numbers. This was an important indicator . Also new tents were delivered to Maidan, they started to bring more expensive equipment that ensures the livelihoods Maidan . They started to procure in huge quantitiesbody armor, batons , shields, helmets, gas masks .

Alexander G.: It looks like everything was prepared beforehand

Oleksandr Yakymenko: The whole scheme was already in action and intencity gradually inceased with each day. But it was all painted for 2015. At the beginning the plan was that the election should trigger new Maidan and they it should develop from peacful protest actions to violent confrontations with authorities. That was the initial plan. All steps of capturing buildings in Kiev, capturing arms depots in the Interior Ministry, and the Armed Forces were prepanned.

Initially, the European Union and the United States met publicly with those whom they considered leaders Maidan . This Klitschko Yatsenyuk Tyahnibok and others. But only the U.S. actually saw who directs the actions. And working were working wtih them.

Alexander G.:- With who?

Oleksandr Yakymenko:- Those who implemnted the directiopns from the West and directed clandestinely all those radical actions included Lutsenko , Gritsenko, Nail Malomuzh , Nalivaychenko who was head of security of Udat Party. And there were also people who were close to them. They and the U.S. lacked only the strength that they have acquired at the end and that was used to commit an armed coup . They negotiated with Svoboda Party, which did not want to hear their proposals and with the "Right sector ", which did not agree with any of thier proposals . But then they found a man who agreed with them. It was two days before the terrible events that took place on the Maidan. and it was Mr. Parubiy .

Alexander G.:You are kidding. Commandant of Maidana ? The man who in public perception was someone between storekeeper and assistant manager ?

Oleksandr Yakymenko:- Yes, it was him. Structurally Maidan was organized in sucha way that each detachemnt was responsible for their territory. No representative of another detachment was allowed into this territory, And he would not try , because he knew that he can get into troubles . Up to physical confrontation. But getting into the territory of Maidan was controlled by Paruby. He controlled the flow of food, motor vehicles , delivery of medicines. People who came need to get the personal approval of Parubiya . When we saw first firearms, we have seen that negotiations for each delivery , each barrel were conducted via Parubiy . If someone tried to solve it through others , then it is not work. He was the key person who control the borders. Key post . He possessed all the information and allow or not allow . Niether Svoboda, not " Right sector" could not afford to bring anything on Maidan i without permission from Parubiy

It was him with whom the Americans were negotiating on February 19 to 23 hours and they got his his consent to use his forces in the plan theywas implemented on February 20.

Once radicals were ousted from the House of Trade Unions , they captured the new buildings , including the Philharmonic , which housed defense forces under the command of Parubiya . No person who was in the building , could not pass it without permission. And stay there, too, without his permission was impossible.

-Alexander G.: It was on February 20 when, if my memory does not fail me , for no reason at Maidan activists rushed to the attack on the Berkut ?

Oleksandr Yakymenko: Yes but with one caveat. They threw in the attack newly created, fresh fighers. Those who were already on the Maidan , which were the core of fighting forces and were better trained because training took place every day, then they were not allowed to fight. Only those who arrived more recently. Tthey are allowed to the Maidan and organized as a fighting force for February 20 also with the permission of Parubiya .

In the morning they attacketed Interior Ministry units and that was accompanied by the shooting of "Berkut" and Interior Ministry troops , which took place from the Philharmonic Hall , and we remember that there was the headquarters Parubiya . In 30 minutes snipers killed 23 "Berkut" and internal troops solgers and officers. And when the attack bogged down, the militants began to shoot from behind the protesters. The same sniper group. Many politicians are aware of this . Even those who are now in the ruling circles . But nobody wants to admit it .

-Alexander G.: A Europe knew about this game or the USA were doing that behind thier back?

Oleksandr Yakymenko: If you remember the sensational conversation with U.S. Ambassador Nuland , where she expressed her attitude to the position of the European Union. The EU did not want such a development . They went to all sorts of negotiations, and generally would prefer to find understanding between the opposition and the president. They act as guarantors of the agreement between the EU and Ukraine with Russian represnetiative as an observer.

Alexander G.: Europe was more for evolutionary path ?

Oleksandr Yakymenko: Yes . And in the very last moment they were talking about , that are ready to review the whole position with regard to Russia and Ukraine. What really did not like the U.S.. If the negotiating table , I think, would find a consensus on this issue and decided to be very positive for Ukraine it. But the U.S. is not satisfied , and what Nuland said that the actions of Europe do not suit them , and that is strictly necessary to use force .

U.S. showed his contempt not only to Russia , not to mention Ukraine, but they spit on Europe. they slapped the European Union slapped cheeks. If not more then that. And by those actions they turn the European policy in Ukraine into nothing.

West did not understand that those persons who led the opposition, I 'm not talking about Tyagnibok , I'm talking about Klitschko Yatsenuk and that these persons did not direct Maidan . They did not represent the Maidan . They were just people who are eager to come to power by any means . Yatseniuk and company. But the real power was Parubiy.. Now it turns out that the head of the National Security Council - the Council of National Security and Defense of Ukraine - is an agent of the United States. This provocateur, which agreed Americans, what who will do what they want.

-Alexander G. Head of the National Security Council - an agent of the United States, head of the SBU Nalivaychenko - U.S. protégé in respect of which a criminal case was opened even ? What's going on ?

Oleksandr Yakymenko: I can explain why these individuals were put on these positions. I said that the Maidan will not accept those actions that will conduct Yatsenuk his government . Radical forces do not need it . They need a complete reboot of power. They need a complete change in the system which has now in Ukraine. And Maidan does not want to move closer to Poland, Europe or the United States. Nalivaychenko , Paruby and their ilk are designed to break the Maidan, the forces that can possibly resist the idea of ​​the United States dominance in Ukraine. They will resort to various machinations and arrests to achive that. Ministry of Internal Affairs now also participating thios this game , although it is largely demoralized . These forces must iether by negotiations, deception , or bribery to break Maidan resistance to the USA dominance int he country. Break that protest which is still continued on the Maidan and turn it ont he the US side.

[Mar 22, 2014] Позорище украинской армии...

Добрый сыровар

Деревянный министр, который последний раз стрелял бухим на охоте и не может подтянуться ни разу, решил опустить в эфире морпеха, который брошен командованием на произвол судьбы.

Уверен на все 200% - весь личный состав данной воинской части завтра-послезавтра полным составом перейдет под знамя ВМФ РФ. И эти люди будут правы.

С таким командованием врагов не надо. Отдельный респект журналистке.

o_never, March 22nd, 2014

Один из бывших военных специалистов СССР , украинец по национальности , заверил, что до майских выборов не исключен военный переворот в Украине, втом числе благодаря тому , что выводимая с Крыма и отмобилизованная армия концентрируются на Юго-Востоке .

Для начала движняка армии достаточно выступления 1-2 элитных подразделений морпехов или ВДВ. Любые действия украинской армии по пресечению диктата улицы будут встречены населением без сопротивления, но с одобрением.
Все условия для прихода к власти военных в Украине налицо.

slyfox78rus, March 22nd, 2014

Первый раз в ЖЖ пишу с матами, за что прошу прощения перед хозяином блога.
Но это же ЁБАНЫЙ СТЫД какой-то!

Гнида с беспросветными погонами, сидящая на жопе ровно в студии, пьющая, жрущая и срущая в тепле, обвинила мужика, который 21 день находится в фактической блокаде, в том, что он нарушил устав!!!

Правильно морпех напоследок этому мудаку сказал - после таких слов даже те, кто хотел уехать на Украину, пошлют и этого адмирала и эту власть на хер.

As Sanctions Start, Russia Feels a Sting By STEVEN LEE MYERS and NEIL MacFARQUHARMARCH

Russia is a neoliberal state which West can crash as it is weaker the USSR in its prime. The problem is is the cost of such crash for the West.
Mar 21, 2014 |

Alexander N. Shokhin, the president of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, a kind of club for oligarch interests, expressed concern that the consequences could be more severe if Mr. Obama and the European Union made good on threats to intensify the sanctions. At a news conference ending the union's annual conference, he noted that the United States had considerable experience punishing countries and companies for doing business with Iran in response to that country's program to develop its nuclear capacity.

"There might be long-term consequences," Mr. Shokhin said. "It might be hard to attract foreign investment now until the investors already working here understand what risks they face," he added.

For now, the American sanctions do not target the broader Russian economy, but rather the assets of those businessmen closest to Mr. Putin, men he has known for years, whose fortunes rose with his ascent to the peak of political authority.

They include two brothers, Boris and Arkady Rotenberg, whom Mr. Putin befriended as a young man practicing martial arts in Leningrad, as St. Petersburg was called in Soviet times; Yuri V. Kovalchuk, the largest shareholder of Bank Rossiya, whom the Department of Treasury called one of Mr. Putin's "cashiers"; and Mr. Yakunin, a former Soviet-era commercial and trade attaché at the United Nations who first met Mr. Putin when he was a deputy mayor in St. Petersburg.

... ... ...

For some conservatives in Mr. Putin's closest circle of advisers, the political conflict over Ukraine and now the economic sanctions confirmed Russia's worst suspicions of American efforts to dominate the world's economy - at the expense of Russia.

In an interview in his wood-paneled office at Russian Railways, Mr. Yakunin said the United States and its allies in Europe control a "global financial oligarchy" that is determined to protect its political and economic domination of the world. In his view, the sanctions were not simply a result of Russia's move to absorb Crimea from Ukraine, but an inevitable reflex of a West that views Russia as a threat to its power - a reflex that would fail as Russia forged its own economic course with other emerging economies in Asia and elsewhere.

"Russia was, is and will be some kind of geopolitical competitor to the interests of Anglo-Saxon civilization," he said.


These sanctions strike me as a provocation to war. They would be if any other nation (or Empire or Coalition of the Willing) imposed them on US. Who made us the Godfather of the World anyway?

These sanctions will be met with retaliation in one form or another and justifiably so. This is not a United Nations action. It's an act of aggression by the world's sole remaining (bankrupt) superpower against a former (bankrupted) superpower.

Let the Clash of the Oligarchs begin.


Until now, no one gave a hoot about Ukraine. Not the US, not the EU. There was one recent instance though, when the EU threatened to ban Ukraine from the European soccer championships for racist behavior.

The incident? In a match between France and Ukraine, the French team was pelted with bananas. The reason? The French team has a lot of players of African descent..

Similarly racist, the EU is rolling out the red carpet for Ukrainian membership,while a more deserving Turkey, now the 4th largest economy in Europe, has been left hanging for over a decade while the EU continues to raise roadblocks. Not christian enough for the EU but good enough for NATO.

Uziel, Florianopolis

The use of targeted financial sanctions as a foreign policy tool may have unintended consequences for American businesses interests. Obviously, the first order of business for wealthy Russians is avoid American banks from now on.

More importantly, China -- a likely candidate to be targeted by Washington in a future crisis -- is closely watching the confrontation Washington-Moscow and preparing a strategy to deal with such event in the future.

Jon Harrison, Poultney, VT

In their history the Russians have suffered far more than they ever will from the current sanctions. Sanctions will not break Russia or reverse the fait accompli in Crimea.

The EU got us into this mess, and now the Europeans (even the Poles and Lithuanians) are dithering about toughening the sanctions regime. We have been fools to get out front in defense of Ukraine, which by the way is a failed state.

The enemy of the future is China, not Russia. We should be building bridges to Russia rather than ostracizing her.

Sergey N. Kuznetsov, Voscow Russia

Many Russian Senators Duma Deputies and govt officials are outraged they were not included in eighther US or EU blacklist since those who were are now boasting they were recognized as prime Russian patriots and defenders of Russian national interests in Crimea and elsewhere.

Govt officials are telling major Russian bankers conference VISA/MasterCard sanctions are very good since they give an impetus to revive a similar Russian service. So Western sanctions might be quite of benefit to Russia.

Blue State

Remember when stock market drops used to be a symptom rather than a goal of foreign policy at work? Back when citizens mattered more and corporate money less? Welcome to the new world, same as the old world....

Cooler, NY

Russia's response to to the sanctions is the creation of its own payment system as an alternative to Visa and MC. On March 21 State Duma deputy Vladislav Reznik introduced to the State Duma a draft law on amendments to the federal law on the national payment system.

Federal law on the national payment system was adopted in 2011. It spelled out the legal basis of the national payment system and the procedure of remittances, including electronic, and the order of supervision and surveillance.

Currently, Russia issues 200 million plastic bank cards, including Visa and MasterCard of about 95%. Visa and MasterCard will suffer serious loss of reputation, decline of their market share, and billions in lost revenue as Russian (Golden Crown) and Chinese (UnionPay) payment systems will gain.

Chinese UnionPay is already accepted in 141 countries.

Stephen J Johnston, Jacksonville Fl.

You can bet that the right people in Russia and in the West were well hedged and covered by the proper shorts with a position on the VIX before Putin made his move, which was the only real alternative open to him in the face of the march of NATO to his borders.

On another note. Only last evening on PBS Brooks and Shields were in complete agreement that Putin is a bully an egomaniac and of course a dictator, although he has obviously been elected within a democratic process. Brooks who is in my opinion a Closeted Crazy thinks it's time for "Obama to do something a little crazy." Sad. PBS used to be about real in depth coverage, and now it is only another propaganda platform for the post Cold War World Order in which Putin is seen by elite spokesperson Brooks as a "force for disruption." That Putin's actions have been completely predictable and absolutely rational has no bearing for Mr. Brooks.

Hillary Clinton is a Madeleine Albright neocon, and she has taken a position very similar to the Cold War Antics of John McCain, and wouldn't it be just ducky if Brooks jumped into her corner out of sheer jingoist enthusiasm.

Brooks tells us that "Foreign Policy is made by elites. That's what elites do." This is probably true, but one has to wonder why we as a free people are willing to give up our sons, and daughters to the Imperial Fantasies of folks who have determined that they know better, when without us they are nothing if not irrelevant.

Bob Garcia, Miami 43 minutes ago

The United States has declared that they may attack anyone anywhere in the world as part of the imagined War on Terror of the Bush and Obama administrations. And that claim has been exercised in over a half dozen countries, either via invasion or drone strikes or assassination squads. But Putin is crucified for wanting to annex Crimea, with historical connection to Russia and without the bloodbath that follows most US actions. I don't get it.

Steen, Mother Earth

Some not well thought through comments here about how sanctions will teach Putin a lesson. "...hammer the economy" and "...clear the shelves of food".

Communism died of old age and not because of sanctions. The Russian people are extremely resilient and it is naïve to think that hitting the stock market and using less oil and gas will change Putin's politics.

A few facts from an expat who has lived in Russia for close to 20 years. Putin will look stronger in the eyes of the Russians if he stands up to sanctions. Freezing individual Russian bank accounts in the West and Putin will seized Western assets in Russia in retribution, gas and oil supplies will be cut off and the losers are - you guess it NOT the corrupt politicians or oligarchs, but the man on the street in both the East and the West.
Now trying to find a solution to the Syrian crises and Iran's nuclear program will become near impossible. Is an unstable Syria and Iran worth it all.

Hammer Russia's politics in the all international organizations and kick them out of the rest like the G8. Then you take him to all the international courts to show that the "referendum" was a hoax and illegal.

Molly O'Neal, Washington DC

U.S. policy toward Russia since 1991 has been to promote the market economy and economic integration in Russia. This was not wrong, and we should think carefully about scrapping this. The beneficiaries of this policy, adopted by Yeltsin and not completely squelched by Putin, are stakeholders in a modern and generally pro-western future for the country. The harm done to them by the sanctions will not necessarily turn them against Putin but rather will push them into silent acquiescence for fear of seeming to side with the enemy that the US has chosen to be. This will damage prospects for a return to more open and less nationalist stance by Putin or his successor.

Babeouf, Ireland

Interesting how Western reporters can miss the obvious. Putin broke the political power of the Oligarchs in Russia. It was his first real success. In Ukraine by contrast the political power of the Oligarchs was complete. They looted the state over decades including expenditures for the military. At the end of this process the Ukrainian military was reduced to such a state of decay that it couldn't defend Kyiv against a troop of determined Boy Scouts. And the Russian military? Have the Russian Oligarchs behaved in the same way. Have, as was hoped by a previous US Secretary of State, Russian missiles rusted in their silos? Does the Russian army look like its on its last legs? No but because the political sway of Russian Oligarchs is limited. And as the Russian government knew the 'Mafia State' was Ukraine. They knew it because of the constant blackmail for loans ,threats to the transportation of gas across Ukraine,gas disappearing from the net work as it traveled across Ukraine etc. Fortunately for Putin the Coup supported by the US and EU employed armed fascists. This has led to a mobilization of Ethnic Russians within Ukraine which will allow Putin to get what he needs from Ukraine while leaving the insatiable demands of Ukrainian oligarchs to be met by the EU.

Neal, Westmont

The question should be why we historically been so aggressive and hypocritical when dealing with Russia. America made no apologies for planting nuclear missiles on the doorstep of the U.S.S.R during the Cold War, yet we became apocalyptic when they began to do the same. It's a pattern our Country has had militarily in many other periods. It's as if America is the schoolyard bully, and Russia, sick of handing over their lunch money, pokes us in the eye instead.

Our leaders felt justified to invade sovereign lands halfway across the globe based on discredited lies (Iraq) and in the process we murdered well over 100,000 civilians. Yet Russia annexes Crimea, an neighboring area with a history as part of Russia, with no loss of life, and we react with hysteria. Who is wrong here?

I state for the record that I am a U.S. citizen born here, live in Illinois, and I was not paid or influenced to write this comment.

dubious, new york 1 hour ago

Consider if the US can wreck Russia's economy for not obeying the US then how can any nation not be bound to instructions from Washington. It is extremely dangerous new development and hoping others see how the profound unjust and illegal power bestowed by the US,

bergamo, italy

A few facts: Putin was elected democratically, like Yanukhovich. The "acting" president of the government the West has so enthusiastically embraced has been chosen by a mob in Maidan. Russia has made clear what it wants in Ukraine: a federal state that preserve the rights of minorities and a neutral state. These are reasonable proposals and the USA, with her European askars, should accept them, unless now the target is no longer Ukraine, but Russia herself. The USA military and Germany's bankers cannot contemplate a country that does not have an American military basis or subscribes to the Washington consensus.

I hope Russia cuts her relations with the West and strengthens her ties with China. Both countries must defend themselves against the West and have complementary economies, natural resources one and technology the other. The West, particularly Europe, will continue its decline.

[Mar 22, 2014] Violence erupts in Kharkiv as political turmoil grips city

"Right now the civil cold war has broken down," said Alexandr S. Alexandrovskiy, a political consultant from Yanukovych's one-time ruling Party of the Regions, in relation to events both local and throughout Ukraine. "We are now moving into an active phase."
DW.DE 22.03.2014

Though Kharkiv was largely spared the violent protests that rocked Kyiv last month, ethnic tensions have since increased. Ukrainian nationalists and pro-Russian activists are facing off for control of the divided city.

Pro-Russian activists in Kharkiv

... ... ...

Last weekend, two people died as rival political groups opened fire at an office housing far-right Ukrainian nationalist group Pravy Sektor in Kharkiv.

DW visited the site of the incident and spoke to eyewitnesses and activists on both sides about what happened that night, reconstructing a story of increasing ethnic tensions in eastern Ukraine.

Firefight between Ukrainian nationalists, pro-Russian activists

Staff at the Rumarska Street building said that on that Friday night, a mixed group of pro-Russian protestors, bikers and members of the self-described Russian fight club Oplot gathered outside the building.

Inside were a group of Ukrainian nationalists. Pro-Russian activists and the building's owner say some of them were bussed in from out of town.

Kharkiv has seen protests by activists from both sides over the past few weeks

Accounts from those on site suggest that both sides were armed, but the nationalists opened fire first. The building's security guard said they shot out the window at the pro-Russians gathered outside, an account matching that of three pro-Russian leaders. By the time the building's owner, Alexei Popov, arrived, both sides were shooting as police watched on.

According to Popov, the two sides were unevenly matched in the firefight that followed. Around 15-20 nationalists were concealed inside his building, and more than 200 pro-Russian activists were crowded in the narrow street outside.

Popov told DW that the city's mayor eventually showed up to try to negotiate an end to the situation, talking with both sides until 5 a.m. before the nationalists agreed to come out. They were then taken into custody, where around 30 remained until the weekend, according to Pravy Sektor. The far-right group said that none of the pro-Russians involved were arrested and have demanded the detention of the Oplot members.

On Saturday (15.03.2014), building owner Popov said that several of the pro-Russian activists returned to burn Pravy Sektor's office.

'Civil cold war has broken down'

Pro-Russian leaders said two of their comrades were killed in Friday's firefight. Pravy Sektor say they do not know who died in the incident, but have denounced the subsequent arrest of their members and blamed a pro-Russian mob for descending on the office and triggering the violence. Artem Skoropadsky, a spokesman for Pravy Sektor, said that given their relative weakness in Kharkiv, there was no way that they would have provoked the incident.

"We are not doing anything that could be described as a provocation," said Skoropadsky, speaking in Kyiv. "We are under a lot of pressure from the Russian mass media, which will take any opportunity to smear us."

While several crucial parts of the Rumarska Street incident remain contested, the firefight appeared to mark yet another escalation in the local political struggle between pro-Russian and pro-Maidan forces. The former is seeking greater autonomy for their region, while the latter aims to clean out remnants of former President Viktor Yanukovych's regime in the east.

"Right now the civil cold war has broken down," said Alexandr S. Alexandrovskiy, a political consultant from Yanukovych's one-time ruling Party of the Regions, in relation to events both local and throughout Ukraine. "We are now moving into an active phase."

[Mar 22, 2014] Columnist Liam Halligan on Ukraine vs Russia vs The West (20Mar14)

Mar 21, 2013 | YouTube

Liam Halligan, Sunday Telegraph economist versus Keynesian spendaholic Ann Pettifor from New Economic Foundation slug it out on the UK's debt and deficit.

Recorded from BBC Newsnight, 20 March 2013.


Agreed Liam Halligan made Andrew Neil look like an amateur. In the same way Putin is making Cameron, Obama, Merkel and Van Rumpouy look like powerless wet noodles.


Liam Halligan earned my respect he clearly knows what he's talking about and put Andrew Neil in place. Michael Portillo answers was incorrect. Dianne Abbot clearly didn't have a clue. So Andrew Neil bullied her to answer.

Sandy Abbott

Why on earth is Diane Abbott still employed on that programme? Hasn't her son's private education been fully funded yet by the British taxpayer? He must've left by now. She said she sent him to the elite school because 'gang culture' is a real problem and she didn't want him getting in with the wrong crowd. What a total hypocritical socialist she is.

sanzen koan

shes no socialist, a capitalist pig more like! :D


America and Britain kill thousands in Iraq and no one imposes sanctions on our countries. But yet Russia faces sanctions after accepting Crimea into her federation after the majority of Crimeans vote to join it. The hypocrisy stinks like rotting horse shit

[Mar 22, 2014] Invasion or intervention Debate on UK actions over Ukraine crisis

Mar 12, 2014 | YouTube

Watch the full episode here:

Brooks Newmark, MP for Braintree, and Liam Halligan, columnist and journalist, join Going Underground host Afshin Rattansi to debate what action the UK should take over the Ukraine crisis. Would visa restrictions and sanctions put pressure on Putin by affecting the oligarchs close to him, or are the British public sick of us trying to act like the policemen of the world?

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[Mar 22, 2014] America's Overextended War Guarantees

The American Conservative

...Indeed, the latest mantra of the war hawks, "no boots on the ground," is meant to reassure the nation that in our next war, unlike Afghanistan and Iraq, there will be no more planeloads of dead coming into Dover, no new generation of Wounded Warriors arriving at Walter Reed. Soon, the United States is going to have to come to terms with this reality-the unwillingness of the American people to fight the wars they are committed to fight by the American government.

Yet, the immediate problem is how to avoid a military confrontation or clash with Vladimir Putin's Russia over Crimea, which almost no American wants. Apparently, the West has decided to start down the sanctions road.

But where does that road lead? While sanctions may cripple the Russian economy, will they break Putin? Did they break Castro? Did they break Kim Il Sung or Kim Jong Il? Did they break the Ayatollah? Does Putin look like someone who will respond to an economic squeeze by crying uncle?

Moreover, in this age of interdependence that America did so much to launch, sanctions are a two-edged sword.

If Ukraine cuts off oil, gas, water, and electricity into a seceded Crimea, whose tourist trade is drying up, this could provoke Putin into invading Eastern Ukraine and seizing the lone land bridge onto the peninsula. It could provoke Russia into cutting off imports from Ukraine, turning off the oil and gas, and calling in Ukraine's debts. This would precipitate a default by Ukraine, without more Western aid than the $35 billion it is now estimated Kiev will need by 2016. Are House Republicans willing to vote America's share of that vast sum and make Ukraine a recipient of U.S. foreign aid roughly equal to what we provide annually to Israel and Egypt?

And if we severely sanction Russia, she could cut off oil and gas to Europe, cause a recession in the eurozone, and move closer to China. Nixon's great achievement was to split China off from Moscow. President Reagan's great achievement was to preside over the conversion of the "evil empire" into a country where he was cheered in Red Square. What our Greatest Generation presidents accomplished, our Baby Boomer presidents appear to have booted away.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025? Copyright 2014

[Mar 22, 2014] What Is The U.S. Trying To Achieve With Sanctions

The American Conservative

So far, the U.S. response has been trying to have things both ways: hawkish enough to fend off some domestic critics, but not so harsh that it immediately provokes a backlash. The second round of sanctions imposed by the administration was a stronger punishment than the sanctions imposed earlier this week, but it is presumably still not enough to force the desired change in Russian behavior. In any case, returning to the status quo ante seems extremely unlikely if not impossible at this point. Russian threats to undermine negotiations with Iran are being dismissed as bluster, but the argument that Russia is bluffing in this case isn't very compelling. The administration would like us to think that it can penalize Russia without serious consequences for other U.S. priorities, but as it applies more penalties that becomes much less likely. The administration should have learned is that its past attempts to split the difference between two courses of action haven't successful and have invited scorn from all sides.

Ukraine signs political accord with European Union -

Four Uncomfortable Truths About Ukraine


"Frankly speaking, I don't care about Russia [in] signing this deal. I care about Ukraine, Ukrainians and our European future," Yatsenyuk said. "This deal meets an aspiration of millions of Ukrainians who want to be a part of the European Union."

EU membership is not on offer. But the agreement puts Ukraine squarely in the orbit of the EU, which pledged to sign the accord immediately as a riposte to Russia's armed takeover of Crimea.

The economic component of the original pact was not included; that is being deferred until after Ukrainian elections in May. In an additional dig at Moscow, the EU said it would sign similar political agreements with Georgia and Moldova - which Russia sees as also properly in its own sphere of influence - no later than June.

The deal with Ukraine "symbolizes the importance that both sides attach to this relationship and our joint will to take it further," European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said. "It recognizes the aspirations of the people of Ukraine to live in a country governed by values, by democracy and the rule of law."

... ... ...

There were signs that the sanctions might be starting to bite.

A number of credit-rating agencies have downgraded their outlooks on Russia, and Putin's finance minister suggested, in remarks carried by Russian news agencies, that Moscow might forgo trying to borrow $7 billion in the bond market if oil and gas revenues remained steady.

Russia's main stock market lost 2% in value Friday. And Bloomberg reported that Canadian airplane manufacturer Bombardier was postponing plans to set up an assembly line in Russia and to sell to a Russian state-owned company dozens of turboprop planes worth up to $3.4 billion.

... ... ...

Some analysts said Western officials were apparently working out a division of labor, with Washington taking the lead on tough sanctions while Europe focuses on drawing Ukraine away from Moscow.

The approach is a "two-track, tag-team arrangement," said Cliff Kupchan of the Eurasia Group risk-consulting firm.

... ... ...

In Crimea, 72 Ukrainian army and navy units have switched allegiance to Moscow since Russian troops took over the peninsula in recent weeks, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said.

But at least two units were still resisting Russian pressure. Near the Belbek military airport, which is controlled by Russian troops, a Ukrainian army unit remained barricaded in its barracks.

[Mar 22, 2014] Donetsk and Lugansk demand Russian to be adopted as a state language and that limitations on Kiev power over the regions were imposed

Заявление президиума Луганского областного совета Луганский областной совет

Проект звернення

до Верховної Ради України

Останні події в Україні призвели до загострення політичної ситуації та криміногенної обстановки. Окремі популістські кроки нової влади прямо ведуть до соціально-економічної кризи та викликають занепокоєння у наших громадян. Донецька обласна рада звертається до Верховної Ради України з проханням вжити заходи щодо стабілізації ситуації в країні.

Консолідація спільних зусиль конструктивних сил суспільства, спрямованих на досягнення політичної стабільності, збереження громадянського миру та злагоди можлива лише через прийняття Верховною Радою України нової редакції Конституції України та низки першочергових законів.

1. Для забезпечення збалансованого врахування інтересів всіх громадян нашої держави та прийняття нової редакції Конституції України пропонуємо негайно відновити роботу Конституційної Асамблеї, яка створена указом Президента України від 17.05.2012 № 328/2012. До складу Асамблеї необхідно залучити представників органів місцевого самоврядування, а саме обласних рад, пропорційно до кількості населення відповідної області.

Першочерговими завданням Конституційної Асамблеї слід визнати розробку нової редакції Конституції України, яка гарантуватиме:

- децентралізацію влади шляхом розширення повноважень і відповідальності місцевого самоврядування за стан справ в регіоні;

- створення виконавчих органів обласних та районних рад;

- створення (до проведення парламентських виборів) двопалатного парламенту, в якому верхня палата буде виражати інтереси регіонів, а її члени будуть наділені правом законодавчої ініціативи. Це дозволить виключити у Верховній Раді лобіювання депутатами інтересів окремих промислово-фінансових груп та зробить регіональну політику в Україні прозорою.

2. Законодавство України про мови базується на вимогах Конституції України та Закону України Про засади державної мовної політики в Україні". Цими законодавчими актами введено поняття "державна мова". Воно в останнє спеціально визначалось ще у 1999 році Конституційним Судом України як мова, якій державою надано правовий статус обов'язкового засобу спілкування у публічних сферах суспільного життя (рішення № 10-рп/99 від 14 грудня 1999 року по справі № 1-6/99 про застосування української мови).

Враховуючи історичні, національні, культурні традиції населення Донецької області, приймаючи до уваги, що російська мова є мовою спілкування населення регіону та визнана Законом України "Про засади державної мовної політики в Україні" регіональною (згідно статистичних даних, російську мову вважають рідною 74,9% усього населення регіону, а українську 24,1%), усвідомлюючи, що утвердження і забезпечення прав і свобод людини є головним обов'язком держави згідно ст. 3 Конституції України, підтримуючи вимоги жителів Донецької області вимагаємо надати російській мові статус другої державної мови, шляхом внесення відповідних змін до Конституції України.

3. Донецька обласна рада неодноразово наголошувала на різних рівнях, що не реалізуються конституційні положення щодо матеріальної та фінансової основи місцевого самоврядування, гарантій його самостійності.

Необхідно не тільки декларувати, а й забезпечити принцип фінансової достатності місцевих бюджетів.

Основу здійснення органами місцевого самоврядування власних повноважень повинні становити податки і збори, які за своєю природою пов'язані з територією відповідної адміністративно-територіальної одиниці. Більша частина податків повинна залишатися безпосередньо у регіонах для того, щоб там успішно реалізовувались економічні, соціальні і екологічні програми.

Вважаємо, що в техногенно навантаженій Донецькій області необхідно залишати 100% екологічного збору, а сьогодні залишається значно менше. Наприклад, в 2013 році Донецька область перерахувала державі 389 мільйонів гривень екологічного податку із зібраних 734 млн. грн.

Відрахування до Фонду зайнятості також повинні залишатися в повному обсязі в регіоні для створення нових робочих місць. У минулому році до фонду державного соціального страхування на випадок безробіття в області зібрали 1 мільярд 115 млн. грн., у регіоні залишилося - 557 млн. грн.

Не менше 50% податку на прибуток підприємств, що знаходяться на території Донецької області, також повинно залишатися в регіоні. Це підвищить зацікавленість місцевих громаду у ефективності роботи цих підприємств.

Наполягаємо, що загальний баланс доходів і витрат, як держави, так і регіонів, повинний бути зрозумілим та прозорим.

4. Кожна людина має право брати участь в управлінні своєю країною безпосередньо або через вільно обраних представників.

Право громадян брати участь у місцевих референдумах закріплено, насамперед, статтями 38, 69 і 70 Конституції України.

Пунктом 20 частини першої статті 92 Конституції України встановлено, що організація і порядок проведення виборів і референдумів визначаються виключно законами України.

Відповідно до статті 7 Закону України "Про місцеве самоврядування в Україні" місцевий референдум є формою вирішення територіальною громадою питань місцевого значення шляхом прямого волевиявлення.

Предметом місцевого референдуму може бути будь-яке питання, віднесене Конституцією України, цим та іншими законами до відання місцевого самоврядування. Порядок призначення та проведення місцевого референдуму, а також перелік питань, які вирішуються виключно референдумом, визначаються законом про референдум.

Разом з тим, на сьогоднішній день закон, який визначає організацію та порядок проведення місцевого референдуму, відсутній, оскільки Закон України "Про всеукраїнський та місцеві референдуми" втратив чинність згідно з пунктом 4 розділу XIII "Прикінцеві положення" Закону України "Про всеукраїнський референдум" від 6 листопада 2012 року № 5475, що унеможливлює реалізацію конституційного права громадян на участь у місцевих референдумах.

Тому підготовка і проведення місцевих референдумів на території України можлива тільки після прийняття Верховною Радою України відповідного закону, яким будуть врегульовані всі організаційно-правові механізми реалізації народного волевиявлення в такій формі як місцевий референдум.

На підставі викладеного пропонуємо Верховній Раді України терміново розглянути питання щодо прийняття Закону України "Про місцевий референдум", узявши за основу законопроект (реєстр. № 0867 від 12.12.2012), після проведення його широкого обговорення і доопрацювання.

5. З метою посилення відповідальності місцевих державних адміністрацій, інших місцевих органів виконавчої влади за здійснення виконавчої влади на відповідній території, забезпечення реалізації повноважень щодо виконання Конституції та законів України, актів Президента України, Кабінету Міністрів України, інших органів виконавчої влади, додержання прав і свобод громадян, інших повноважень, наданих Конституцією та законами України пропонуємо внести зміни до Закону України "Про місцеве самоврядування в Україні", якими передбачити попереднє погодження з відповідними органами місцевого самоврядування кандидатур, призначення яких планується на посади керівників територіальних органів центральних органів виконавчої влади.

Наполягаємо на запровадженні на законодавчому рівні порядку розгляду обласними радами питань про відповідність займаній посаді керівників територіальних органів центральних органів виконавчої влади, та порушення вмотивованих питань із цього приводу на підставі прийнятих рішень.

6. Враховуючи, що опозиційна діяльність є однією з основ демократії, що має представницький та плюралістичний (багатоманітний) характер та забезпечує підзвітність і підконтрольність перед виборцями органів державної влади, їх посадових осіб і в першу чергу спрямована на контроль за діяльністю парламентської більшості і Кабінету Міністрів України, пропонування і реалізацію власної програми розвитку України та шляхів її реалізації, наполягаємо на необхідності обов'язкового надання представникам опозиційних сил у Верховній Раді України відповідної кількості посад у Кабінеті Міністрів України.

7. Одним із актуальних залишається питання забезпечення громадського порядку та безпеки громадян. Необхідно негайно зупинити насильство на вулицях наших міст і захистити життя і здоров'я людей. З огляду на те, що правоохоронні органи не завжди мають достатньо сил для оперативного усунення масових безладів, вважаємо за необхідне розглянути питання забезпечення громадського порядку працівниками міліції за допомогою патріотичних організацій (зокрема, козацьких та "афганських"), з яких в тому числі може бути сформована муніципальна міліція. Для фінансування муніципальної міліції пропонуємо передбачити кошти в місцевих бюджетах шляхом закріплення відповідних доходів та внесення змін до Бюджетного кодексу України.

Fresh off triumph in Crimean vote, Moscow spells out conditions for Kiev (+video) -

The road map looks certain to be a tough sell for Kiev's struggling interim government and its Western supporters. Among other demands, it calls for Kiev's acceptance of the Crimean peninsula's right to self-determination, radical constitutional restructuring, and the adoption of a permanent non-aligned status for Ukraine. These and other steps would be implemented with the "encouragement" of an international "support group," which would be formed for this purpose and comprised of Russia, the US, and the European Union.

RECOMMENDED: How much do you know about Ukraine? Take our quiz!

These steps, the statement implied, would help calm tensions elsewhere in Ukraine (particularly its Russian-speaking east), restore government legitimacy after the February regime overhaul, and create a realistic and durable constitutional model that Ukraine needs to survive as a united state.

If that's the view from the Kremlin, Kiev was having none of it.

What does Vladimir Putin want next

There were some tantalizing clues in Putin's pugnacious speech to the Duma this week. He described the fall of the Soviet Union as unfortunate -- because it had separated Russians. "The Russian nation became one of the biggest, if not the biggest ethnic group in the world to be divided by borders," he said.

"It was only when Crimea ended up as part of a different country that Russia realized that it was not simply robbed, it was plundered." He went on to say, "if you compress the spring all the way to its limit, it will snap back hard."

... ... ...

Nor does the White House see Crimea as Putin's end-game. In imposing sanctions against figures close to Putin, President Obama stressed Thursday that further Russian incursions would trigger a third round of sanctions targeting key sectors of the Russian economy.

One of Putin's reasons for ignoring the warnings so far is history, as he made clear in front of the Duma. On Kosovo, NATO expansion, Libya and other issues, he said, the West had lied to and deceived Russia. He didn't use the word payback, but he didn't need to.

Gradually, pro-Western governments have taken power around Russia, across the Baltics, now in Ukraine -- feeding the age-old Russian fear of encirclement. Indeed Putin asked the Duma this week: what if Sevastopol in Crimea -- with its glorious place in Russian military history -- had become a NATO base within Ukraine? A line had to be drawn.

... ... ...

Similarly, does he see the value of international co-operation on Iran's nuclear program or Syria? Russia has no desire to see a nuclear-armed Iran, nor Syria taken over by jihadist militants.

[Mar 21, 2014] Why Putin is wrong to blame my great-grandfather Khrushchev by Nina Khrushcheva

In his address to Parliament on March 18 announcing the annexation, Putin said that by this Khrushchev action Russia was not "simply robbed, it was plundered." There are many reasons for transfer that Putin could have outlined: administrative, economic, desire to overcome Joseph Stalin's legacy of central control. Yet he chose to say my great-grandfather was atoning for "the mass repressions of the 1930s in Ukraine."

U.S. Skeptical of Russian Military Training Exercises -

But Ms. Rice's comments suggested that the tensions between the United States and Russia were deepening.

Asked if the United States was "fundamentally reassessing" its relationship with Russia, she answered in one word: "Yes."

[Mar 21, 2014] Ukraine Sets Deadline for Militias to Surrender Illegal Guns

In an effort to stabilize Ukraine and extend its authority, the interim government has set a deadline of Friday for turning in the illegal firearms that are now carried openly by so-called self-defense groups in Independence Square, the politically important plaza in the center of the capital.

The order was seconded on Thursday by the French ambassador to Ukraine, Alain Rémy, who said the disarmament of the militias that helped overthrow the former government is a central requirement for the European Union to begin disbursing financial aid, along with the government fighting corruption.

Prime Minister Arseniy P. Yatsenyuk, who was a staunch supporter of the protesters but never condoned violent tactics, set the deadline for Friday, the day Ukraine is scheduled to sign the political articles of an association agreement with the European Union.

[Mar 21, 2014] Revelations of N.S.A. Spying Cost U.S. Tech Companies

The USA neoliberal elite now need to think twice about sanctions, as they can be replied asymmetrically and in a very damaging way...

Microsoft has lost customers, including the government of Brazil. IBM is spending more than a billion dollars to build data centers overseas to reassure foreign customers that their information is safe from prying eyes in the United States government.

And tech companies abroad, from Europe to South America, say they are gaining customers that are shunning United States providers, suspicious because of the revelations by Edward J. Snowden that tied these providers to the National Security Agency's vast surveillance program.

Even as Washington grapples with the diplomatic and political fallout of Mr. Snowden's leaks, the more urgent issue, companies and analysts say, is economic. Tech executives, including Eric E. Schmidt of Google and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, are expected to raise the issue when they return to the White House on Friday for a meeting with President Obama.

It is impossible to see now the full economic ramifications of the spying disclosures - in part because most companies are locked in multiyear contracts - but the pieces are beginning to add up as businesses question the trustworthiness of American technology products.

The confirmation hearing last week for the new N.S.A. chief, the video appearance of Mr. Snowden at a technology conference in Texas and the drip of new details about government spying have kept attention focused on an issue that many tech executives hoped would go away.

Despite the tech companies' assertions that they provide information on their customers only when required under law - and not knowingly through a back door - the perception that they enabled the spying program has lingered.

"It's clear to every single tech company that this is affecting their bottom line," said Daniel Castro, a senior analyst at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, who predicted that the United States cloud computing industry could lose $35 billion by 2016.

Forrester Research, a technology research firm, said the losses could be as high as $180 billion, or 25 percent of industry revenue, based on the size of the cloud computing, web hosting and outsourcing markets and the worst case for damages.

The business effect of the disclosures about the N.S.A. is felt most in the daily conversations between tech companies with products to pitch and their wary customers. The topic of surveillance, which rarely came up before, is now "the new normal" in these conversations, as one tech company executive described it.

"We're hearing from customers, especially global enterprise customers, that they care more than ever about where their content is stored and how it is used and secured," said John E. Frank, deputy general counsel at Microsoft, which has been publicizing that it allows customers to store their data in Microsoft data centers in certain countries.

At the same time, Mr. Castro said, companies say they believe the federal government is only making a bad situation worse.

"Most of the companies in this space are very frustrated because there hasn't been any kind of response that's made it so they can go back to their customers and say, 'See, this is what's different now, you can trust us again,' " he said.

In some cases, that has meant forgoing potential revenue.

Though it is hard to quantify missed opportunities, American businesses are being left off some requests for proposals from foreign customers that previously would have included them, said James Staten, a cloud computing analyst at Forrester who has read clients' requests for proposals. There are German companies, Mr. Staten said, "explicitly not inviting certain American companies to join."
He added, "It's like, 'Well, the very best vendor to do this is IBM and you didn't invite them.' "
The result has been a boon for foreign companies.

Runbox, a Norwegian email service that markets itself as an alternative to American services like Gmail and says it does not comply with foreign court orders seeking personal information, reported a 34 percent annual increase in customers after news of the N.S.A. surveillance.

Brazil and the European Union, which had used American undersea cables for intercontinental communication, last month decided to build their own cables between Brazil and Portugal, and gave the contract to Brazilian and Spanish companies. Brazil also announced plans to abandon Microsoft Outlook for its own email system that uses Brazilian data centers.

... ... ...

Mark J. Barrenechea, chief executive of OpenText, Canada's largest software company, said an anti-American attitude took root after the passage of the Patriot Act, the counterterrorism law passed after the Sept. 11 attacks that expanded the government's surveillance powers.

But "the volume of the discussion has risen significantly post-Snowden," he said. For instance, after the N.S.A. surveillance was revealed, one of OpenText's clients, a global steel manufacturer based in Britain, demanded that its data not cross United States borders.

[Mar 21, 2014] Russia celebrates Crimea annexation while Ukraine looks to West for support

That might means a start of gradual displacement of VISA and MasterCard from Russian market... In any case they are way too greedy and if Russia card are mainly used for operation with ATMs, not at the point of sale like in the USA and Europe. Situation similar to US gas stations were cash price is lower then credit card price. If Russian are smart that can adopt the laws that make two different prices universal, as now this is a discrimination against those who pay cash.
The Washington Post

Mastercard and Visa stopped handling transactions for Bank Rossiya, which was placed on the American sanctions list Thursday by President Obama, and for the much smaller SMP Bank, which is owned by two brothers, Arkady and Boris Rotenberg, who are also on the U.S. list. They are old friends of Putin and have grown rich since he came to power. Several other small banks that rely on the two bigger ones to handle credit card transactions also had their credit card business blocked.

"It will not have a huge effect," said Anton Soroko, a bank analyst here. Bank Rossiya, the country's 15th largest bank, has about 470,000 individual clients, most of whom have direct deposit for their salaries and use their cards only to withdraw cash from ATMs - a procedure that is still possible, according to Natalia Romanova, editor of a Web site called

It remains unusual, she said, for Russians to use credit cards for point-of-sale purchases or to buy online.

Yet the news of the suspended transactions caught people's attention. Putin said he would open an account in Bank Rossiya on Monday and have his salary deposited there.

At a meeting of Russia's national security council, he joked about not associating too closely with some of his aides who are on the American and E.U. lists. He said Russia, for now, should not retaliate any further, beyond the entry bans for nine American officials it announced Thursday.

But later in the afternoon, the talk grew more menacing. Russia will not let further sanctions go unanswered, said Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov. "We will react every time, and we react based on mutuality. We have responded to the first sanctions, and now we will respond" to further sanctions, he said. "They will not go unnoticed."

The foreign ministry promised a stiff response to the United States.

"The U.S. administration decision announced on March 20 to expand the list of sanctions against Russian officials, parliamentarians and businessmen as a punishment for Crimea's reunification with Russia causes disappointment and regret," said a statement attributed to Alexander Lukashevich, the ministry's press secretary. "We are certain to respond toughly as already happened on more than one occasion earlier with respect to earlier sanctions."

Alexei Pushkov, head of the foreign affairs committee of the Duma, or lower house of parliament, tweeted Friday: "Economic sanctions make sense when their goal is to prevent something. The reunification with Crimea is already a fact. There's nothing they can prevent. What's the point?"

[Mar 20, 2014] M of A - Ukraine More On Federalization, Sanctions On Private Russians

Moon of Alabama

Some additional pressure from Washington and Brussels to federalize and finlandize the Ukraine could surely help to accelerate the move and thereby clean up the mess the U.S. sponsored coup created in Ukraine.

But are they really committed to clean up the mess or would they like to instigate more trouble?

Juan Moment, Mar 20, 2014 2:48:20 PM

[...] or would they like to instigate more trouble?

Guaranteed. At this point in time there isn't much trouble the US/EU can cause apart from what they've done already, but they most certainly are working on planting the seed for their next attempt at bringing the Ukraine into NATO.

Fear of losing more regions to Russia means their initial aim will be preventing any further territorial challenges. Just as much as Russia will be trying to ensure that the new Ukrainian constitution contains provisions for regions to have the right to self determination and secede, will the US/EU leadership be fighting to stop any such provisions from being included.

Another major focus of US/EU activities will be to get their mates now in power to tone down their aggressive ultra nationalist rhetoric and more importantly to put their Nazi enforcers on a short leash, the countless videos of their violent attacks on media and regional state officials are a massive problem for the western PR machine.

The plan is hold the Ukraine together, put a western leaning government in place that can be sold as moderate and inclusive, and then sign contracts which would bind the country to its new masters.

Whether they will manage to sideline for the time being the ultra nationalist forces remains to be seen. Payments to party officials and back room promises of a future role in government down the track, once the new government has settled in, might get them to temporarily reduce their public exposure, but in the long run they can't be kept out of the picture.


@6 Juan Moment

I think you are right. The preferred US outcome is something like Egypt, where they hold all the strings. This costs them a couple of few dollars a year, which they can extract from Congress on the grounds that it protects Israel. The Ukies are going to be a harder sell. If it were Canada with its fairly large and politically strategically situated electorate, it would be a done deal. But the US doesn't have a concentrated Ukie electorate.

Everything has to be sold as anti-Russian, which is an easy sell as long as it's free, but not when it costs. I think the US will run some false flag operations in the Ukraine to drum up support, but the Americans currently have more important things on their minds, like finding a job that pays the rent. Imperialism is a luxury good.


@6 Juan Moment

You are forgetting that no one in Europe wants Ukraine. Europe wants Russian gas. Direct war with Russia - lost in the 18th, the 19th, the 20th century - would be suicidal in the 21st as Russia is nuclear. Color revolution spreading from Ukraine is highly unlikely now when Putin is the hero of Crimean reunification. Russian ologarchs now have to transfer their capital back to Russia for safety which is welcome.

The view from China
One of Beijing's overriding strategic objectives is to foster the development of a multipolar world in which US hegemony is checked and China gradually gains the space to reclaim its leadership role in the Asia-Pacific. Russia's re-emergence as a great power 20 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union is conducive to this. America's dominance in global affairs is in relative decline. Its much-touted "pivot to Asia" says as much. After all, one can only pivot to one place at a time. Even before Ukraine, America's pivot seemed to have been redirected back towards the Middle East. Now, no doubt, it has to pivot to Russia. A continuously pivoting superpower serves China's interests.

Interesting links:
Ukraine Goes Cyprus 2.0, To Tax Deposits Over 100,000 Hryvnia (To Appease IMF?)
Price tag for Russian gas to Ukraine could rise to $500
Crimea Wastes No Time - Mints New Coinage Already
Actual Jubilation in Crimea vs. Orchestrated Celebration in Iraq: Can You Spot the Difference?


@6 Juan Moment

I tend to agree with your analysis. Note that the US and EU are on the defensive. Time is on the side of Russia and the rest of the world, who slowly are understanding what the US and EU have become. Not good news for the neo-cons.

The longer the neo-nazis can be "kept" in power in Kiev the greater will be the disenchantment by the western Ukrainians, and the chaos will prevent any real progress being made in that part of the country. I suspect the southern and eastern population will be "guided" into deciding for a federation along the lines that Russian has suggested.

@3 scalawag

I agree about the US $. It is becoming weaker every day, but its death is still some way away. The BRICS (and other) non-dollar dealings are not yet powerful enough to make a big difference, but day by day the trend is becoming more obvious. When the dollar collapses that will be the death knell for US fascism.

somebody 13 The US "pivot" was DOA Post-US world born in Phnom Penh:
It is symptomatic of the national condition of the United States that the worst humiliation ever suffered by it as a nation, and by a US president personally, passed almost without comment last week. I refer to the November 20 announcement at a summit meeting in Phnom Penh that 15 Asian nations, comprising half the world's population, would form a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership excluding the United States.

President Barack Obama attended the summit to sell a US-based Trans-Pacific Partnership excluding China. He didn't. The American led-partnership became a party to which no-one came.

Instead, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, plus China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, will form a club and leave out the United States. As 3 billion Asians become prosperous, interest fades in the prospective contribution of 300 million Americans - especially when those Americans decline to take risks on new technologies. America's great economic strength, namely its capacity to innovate, exists mainly in memory four years after the 2008 economic crisis...

Mr. Pragma

There is a weird thought in my head that somehow keeps coming up from time to time.

It's centered around the oligarchs.

Basically oligarchs are anathema; they pretty much embody what both Putin and the people despise, they got rich by stealing from the people and, even worse, they did it at a time when Russia was quite defenseless.

Now, I myself, just some days ago, explained why oligarchs, if properly controlled, can be useful, even necessary - for a time, that is.

That's where that thought begins to nag again. Because their useful life is next to expired. Which must not be bad for them; after all they've earned obscene amounts of money, so they wouldn't live in poverty. Actually they could even invest much of their money in the traditional way, in companies, in starting businesses, in financing enterprises, etc.

Oops. There we have it, part 1. It basically is "You've earned billions and you may even keep them - *if* you invest traditionally within the country".

But that's not good enough. There must be sth. more.

Laugh at me - and I might be wrong - but maybe they are "financial nuclear bombs".
These guys have >100bln$ and much of that outside of Russia. Until Friday last week. Now it's maybe in Suisse. Or not (Suisse largely caved in to zusa, so it's not really secure anymore). What if Putin told them "You bring your money home or else ..."

Such a move would flush Russia a) with zus$ b) with money, converted to Rubles and such c) basically force the oligarchs to invest much in Russia, which again wouldn't be that bad considering zusas and zeus economic situation. In the end everybody could be happy.

Last but not least those guys would bring in also very major relations, know how (money markets, etc.)

As you'll notice, I'm somewhat floating. Of course, I'm no finance expert in any way as I've openly said before. But although I can't nail it precisely there were multiple points that felt wrong. One example: Whoever say how Putin treated oligarchs doesn't have the slightest doubt that he despises them and let's them live and earn money only if there is a very good part in it for Russia, too.

Other point are that a) Russia doesn't need them anymore. What they had to do is done for the largest part. b) being in situation that gets tighter and tighter with banks zusa controlled and now the sanctions Russia becomes attractive again for the oligarchs.

Also, one must - as so often - invert zusas story. The interesting issue isn't the oligarchs on zusas list; those are largely "good" guys closely cooperating with Putin. The interesting part is those that are *not* on the list, I think.

Again, I know too little about international finance to nail it down, but my guts (and my brain as much as it understands that stuff) tell me that I might finally after many years of being troubled by that question have found why they were allowed to exist.
The funny part - and be sure, there's always humour around Putin - is that if I'm right Putin did for years - and successfully - what zusa had planned in ukraine that is, let the other side feed your agent (in ukraines case yanukovich) and when is is nicely filled up, you kill the bird.

OK, "nuclear bomb" might be a somewhat gross term but well, if someone wanted to have some TNT inmidst the dollar system and zusa large corps, the oligarchs might be quite perfect for that. And they'd be smart bombs and even bombs with a life will, ready to do a whole lot to not lose everything.

If I'm way off, feel free to laugh at me. But I guess I'm not although it might look like it due to me somewhat uttering in int. financial things.

Tom Murphy

Samantha Power said,

"They claimed that the recent change of government in Ukraine constituted such a danger to ethnic Russians in Crimea that military action was justified. Assistant Secretary General Simonovic's briefing once again illustrates that this crisis was never about protecting the rights of ethnic Russians and was always about one country's ambition to redraw its own borders."

Samantha Power make me sick. She want's us o believe that Russia's actions were not in response to the mess the U.S. sponsored coup created in Ukraine but rather just because of Russia's "ambition to redraw its own borders"?!

Come on, even if you don't accept the concern Russia expressed about ethnic Russians, how dishonest can you be to deny that what Russia did was in reaction to the coup? I am sure Russia didn't want their naval base in Crimea to be at the mercy of the right wing coup participants and what they may do as far as NATO moving even closer to Russia and putting them at a strategic risk by undermining the security of the Crimean base. Samantha Power once again shows how dishonest she is.

Why do readers here think about that?


Let's be cynical and down to earth..

see for ex. Yatsenyuk, party creation and affiliations:

Democratic Front, and then, Front for change , political parties, lead by Yats. (Also some kind of public foundations.) At the same time, a pol list of Our-Ukr. Self Defense bloc. (2007 onwards, hard to track and figure out, as these entities co-exist, meld, etc.)

Was then joined with Fatherland or All Ukrainian Fatherland (Yulia's party, she was in prison but had a lot of potential votes, which Yats did not.)

There was also another party run by the same types, called For Ukraine.

In short, these pol. parties are, were, the creation of one or of a few more ppl in cahoots, and have nothing to do with any political options at all.

The slogans are always nationalistic, empty of other content, the pol options always center-right (if that has any meaning in this context) and covertly favor big biz, oligarchs, foreign support, foreign investment, land sales, etc.

(Svoboda being on the face of it an exception, as against privatization, land sales, zero taxes for foreign cos, etc. but that is a mirage of course, in this kind of landscape that is what arises, no I do not support neo-nazis.)

So any 'rile up' thingie is good - Russian language, abortion, what not, divide and conquer, all that.

All these political parties imho were looking out for no. 1 - control, foreign aid, and making out like bandits. Their complaints about corruption stretch only so far, to their opponents and blatant 'fixing' etc.

Yats' aim, as he has said, is to clean up and create rigorous austerity, which will of course not apply to those in control of the economics of the country, as they will skim off the top of AID / investment once the rapine rules are figured out, and manage those industries that are allowed to subsist or that will be created with the 'new financing' to their profit.

Financiers, stock-market types, hedge funds, and the like, are right now talking of a 20-year boom in Ukraine.

The pol parties (as informal financial clubs with fake public faces) played both ends and naturally ended up, as was always the plan, with the richer and more rapacious money providers, exploiters looking for cheap labor, i.e. Western Corporations / Gvmts.

Crimea? Financially, of no interest, it provides a wonderful distraction, is all. Let Putin have it, it is tiny and a backwater, a tin-pot place. This matter being resolved (Putin will go no further) is all good. Now everyone can settle down and make big bucks. (Gas and so on is another topic for discussion but not important as things stand now.)


Juan Moment

@23 tom murphy - powers and who she represent are full of shite.. she knows it.. the usa knows it.. europe knows it.. who do they think they are fooling? only idiots who like having their brain washed regularly.<
Knut @10

I agree, holding strings is the name of the game. I doubt however that the US is holding all the strings in Egypt, but that's another story.

From now on the US/EU strategy for the Ukraine, surely cobbled together in haste seeing the foreign policy teams in Washington and Brussels are not known for having plan B's worked out before things go awry, will be in one form or another a salvage operation. Take stock of what political assets they have left, reduce their personnel liabilities and cement their relationships with Ukraine's oligarchy.

Whatever it takes, the West must be able to produce at least a token win for their audiences at home, being seen like total losers would be too embarrassing. And herein lies the Russian government's strength, they don't have to convince the electorate at home of anything, it already has popular support.

Offering concessions on matters not jeopardizing ethnic Russians interests, agreeing on compromises which would allow Omerkel to save face in their Ukrainian debacle, could be the lever to extract a change of stance in Washington's attitude towards Syria.

Be that as it may, the crucial factor in what will happen next in the Ukraine will be their next federal election. Whichever side will score the majority vote will have the legitimate power to steer things their way.

somebody @13

You are forgetting that no one in Europe wants Ukraine. Europe wants Russian gas. [...]

Of course they want Ukraine! If European leaders as you claim wouldn't want Ukraine, they wouldn't have spent all this political capital on trying to install a government keen on becoming part of the West.

What you state may be true for European taxpayers and energy consumers who will have to foot the bill for this Ukrainian extension, they indeed don't want Ukraine. Unfortunately though they are not being asked.

Mr Pragma @21

[...] If I'm way off, feel free to laugh at me. [...]
You could be right, as a matter of fact one of the reasons serious sanctions against Russia won't be considered is because they would excruciatingly threaten the UK's, or more precise the City of London's financial well being.

It is almost as if with all these Eastern and Western oligarchs investing in each others empires, the concept of mutually assured destruction has been extended into the commercial arena.


24) It is a complete sham. Ukrainian oligarchs use Russia to protect them from the IMF/ EU austerity/taxes and US/EU to protect them from Russia. Julia Timoshenko in German Bild (that is the yellow paper with the largest German readership)basically called for war against Russia.


It might be useful to consider some of the history behind the current dilemma that Obama and Kerry find themselves. I do not believe that either the major players in the current admin or any of the big deep state honchos wanted to see this happen but there were some deep influences inside our establishment that led to this fiasco. I think we all know about how destructive it was to give a neocon like Victoria Nuland the European-Erasian portfolio at state and that was part of the problem.

I think Brzezinski's influence inside the Obama admin was also important. We have seen repeated references to his 1997 paper arguing about the need for the US to isolate and reduce the Russian state. Of course, brzezinski was a FP advisor to Obama from the very beginning. I had forgotten something else about his influence in government. Brzezinski was one of the founders of the trilateral commission that was instrumental in getting Jimmy Carter elected to the presidency. This is a quote from: Truedemocracy

The Carter Presidency and Beyond, published in 1980 by the Ramparts Press, Prof. Laurence H. Shoup devotes an entire chapter to demonstrating how the Trilateral-linked and Trilateral-controlled Establishment media promoted the presidential candidacy in 1976 of the then-obscure Georgia Governor Jimmy Carter.

We should all know the destructive influence Brz had in the Carter admin. He not only began our involvement in the Afghan civil war by supporting the Islamic rebels there in 1978 but he also largely reversed the policy of detente with the Soviet Union that was put together by Nixon and Kissinger. It is no accident that Kissinger and Brz have had competing op eds in the NYTs and WaPo in the last few weeks over our Ukraine policy with Brz arguing for escalation and Kiss arguing that we respect Russia's national interests.

In any case the mistake that Obama and Kerry have made is bedded deep in our major FP institutions. Hopefully there will be a recognition among the grownups there and the importance of cleaning out their attics and purging the system of this knee jerk anti-Russian bias.


@35 ToivoS

I think a better simile for US foreign policy would be pirouette.

Or it's the organized chaos of America's proxy wars foreign policy strategy.

The signal of which was picked up by Putin's radar after he was snowed on Libya.

Posted by: kalithea @38

It might be useful to consider some of the history behind the current dilemma that Obama and Kerry find themselves.

I believe that Ukraine was an application of the organized chaos proxy wars strategy to Brzezinski's continuing mad plan to weaken Russia by bringing it to its knees economically.

What has completely caught the U.S. executive and legislative branches off-guard is how expediently and painlessly Putin annexed Crimea.


ToivoS # 42

"People running our state department have less understanding than intelligent bystanders watching from the wings."

While we're certainly not seeing any evidence of knowledge or intelligence, your statement still presumes there actually any people "running" the state department. It looks instead like we've got several different claques -- Neo-Cons, Neo-Liberals, those beholden to one or another oligarch or corporate interest -- both inside and outside the official halls of power. Some are just doing the bidding of those who pay them, some are ideologues, or whatever, but all were chosen because they're useful to ... (fill in the various blanks; there are a few to choose from), NOT because they have any knowledge, intelligence, or diplomatic or strategic skill.

Pace Grover Norquist, our "government", at least vis-a-vis foreign affairs, HAS drowned in that bathtub.

[Mar 20, 2014] SS veterans march in Latvia as concerns grow over Ukraine


Latvians who fought in the local unit of Nazi Germany's Waffen SS held their annual parade on Sunday, an event which the government feared could raise tensions with Russia as former Soviet states watch events in Ukraine with growing concern.

Around 1,500 people - veterans in their 80s and 90s and their supporters - marched through Riga's old town, monitored by hundreds of police officers. Some opponents shouted "Shame!" and "No to fascism!"

Latvians who joined the armed wing of Adolf Hitler's Nazi party say they were fighting for Latvian freedom at the end of the war and against the return of the Soviet Red Army.

They say they were front-line troops and did not belong to the part of the SS responsible for killing Jews in the Holocaust and see their march as an expression of patriotism.

[Mar 20, 2014] Libya is imploding. Why doesn't David Cameron care

The Spectator

A few days ago I went to a talk about Syria; one of those events for the concerned layman, in which a panel of experts give a briefing. Everything sounded depressingly familiar until expert number three piped up: I hear people blame Saudi Arabia and Qatar for the Islamists in Syria, he said, but in fact, they more often come from Libya. The crowd shifted in discomfort. Isn't Libya done and dusted? Oh no, said the expert, it's full of al-Qa'eda training camps now, especially in Benghazi.

My first thought, unusually, was to feel sorry for David Cameron. Remember how proud he was on his victory visit to Tripoli at the end of the Libyan war? There he stood in the five-star Corinthia hotel, by Sarko's side, his arms full of flowers, his cheeks pink with pleasure. His friends say that these days Libya has become his 'happy place'. When times are tough and backbenchers uppity, his mind wanders to Benghazi: well, at least we done good there. Just imagine him discovering that the worst offenders in Syria are those he liberated from Gaddafi. Nothing more infuriating than being hoist by your own petard.

But worse for Cameron, and for the allies of 2011, is that it's not just Syria (or Mali, say) feeling the fallout. Three years on, unnoticed by most of the world, Libya itself has become a heartbreaking mess. Those same rebels who once formed the allies' army have fractured into militias - more than 1,000, it's said - some tribal, some Islamist, all at loggerheads. Assassinations and kidnappings have become routine; last year even the man in charge of investigating assassinations was assassinated.

As a measure of Libya's descent, take that same Corinthia hotel where once our PM took a bow. In Gaddafi's day it was impeccably secure, full of top dogs from BP sharing hubble-bubbles with junior members of the ruling family. Last August, the EU ambassador was rammed and robbed at gunpoint outside. Two months later, Libya's then prime minister Ali Zeidan was kidnapped right out of the Corinthia by some antsy militia. Not so many oilmen at the bar there now.

As of this week, in fact, the oil business, on which modern Libya rests, is being done not by government but by a smooth–looking 33-year-old bandit called Ibrahim Jathran. Jathran was once commander of the 'Hamza' brigade, and a bright star in the rebel army. During the Libyan war he and his men took the eastern ports from Gaddafi, and he was rewarded with a top job post-war: head of the Petroleum Security Guard.

A weak, corrupt government 500 miles away can't keep a lid on the likes of Jathran. Six months ago he took the ports for a second time, and kept 'em. He set up blockades, preventing exports, and has just made his own first sale of Libyan crude - $30 million of it - to a mysterious tanker called Morning Glory. Poor Mr Ali Zeidan, hopping with rage and terror, sent in the navy, but on Tuesday the Morning Glory broke through at least the initial blockade and Zeidan stood down as PM in shame.

Should we now barge in; help the next poor bloke take back the ports? Well, even if we could… it's complicated. CNN interviewed Jathran over the weekend under the headline 'Robin Hood or robber?' And it's a fair question. Jathran's a separatist from eastern Libya (which he calls by its ancient name, Cyrenaica) and plans to use the oil money to beef up his neglected region. He's also said that the government is corrupt and controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood and that he's sick to death of oil money being used to fund al-Qa'eda-style terrorism abroad. 'I won't let Libya become like Syria,' he's said.

But nor can the government let Jathran be, because oil is, almost literally, Libya's lifeline: under Gaddafi, during the boom in production and prices, Libyan life expectancy leapt 25 years, from 51 to 75, and from the oil flowed free education and healthcare. Mad Dog was pumping nearly two million barrels a day, and now, what with the trouble both in ports and oilfields, it's 200,000 and falling. As oil revenues splutter out, so does confidence in government. In the 2012 election 2.8 million registered to vote. This year only a million registered and less than half of them turned up.

So what now, oh allies? What does a humanitarian interventionist do when the humans he intervened to help begin to look worse off than they did before? I think at the very least he has a duty to look the situation in the face; to understand and accept the consequences of his war. My fear is that Cameron's pique over his good guys turning bad will mean he tries not to think about it, mimics Donald Rumsfeld on Iraq and says, 'Stuff happens.' It's not my fault. Move on.

But a reluctance to accept responsibility now is a corollary of a deeper problem: a reluctance to plan properly in the first place. I was against our intervention in Libya, not because I thought Gaddafi was a decent leader, but because even pals of Cameron said there'd be no thinking through the different possible outcomes.

And so much of what's gone wrong seems predictable. Gaddafi was paranoid, and had no proper police and no real army save his personal guard. So who did we think was going to support a new government? It's easy to be smart in hindsight, so let's look forward: rival militias coalesce into regional war lords, which means corruption. And what then? Well, it's in just this kind of environment that groups like al-Qa'eda thrive - offering an exhausted people security in exchange for sharia law.

On 18 March 2011, three years ago next Tuesday, David Cameron stood in the Commons and argued passionately for UN resolution 1973, which would impose a no fly zone in Libya. There are three tests, and it's passed them all, he said: we must demonstrate need, we must ensure regional support and we must show that there's a clear legal basis.

Next time, let's add a fourth requirement before we go to war: that the government demonstrate that they've thought through the consequences as well.

Time for Realism and Common Sense on Ukraine by The Editors

Mar 24, 2014 | The Nation

Russia's dispatch of military forces to Crimea is a clear violation of international law. Putin justifies the invasion as necessary to protect Russian citizens and allies, but this is a fig leaf. The Obama administration is right to condemn it, although much of the world will grimace at the irony of Secretary Kerry denouncing the invasion of a sovereign country even as the United States only now winds down its "war of choice" against Iraq, which is thousands of miles away from US borders. Crimea, of course, not only abuts Russia but houses its Black Sea Fleet, which, by treaty agreement between Ukraine and Russia, is set to remain there until at least 2042. Crimea historically was part of Russia until 1954, when Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev transferred it to Ukraine in what many viewed as a gesture of good will.

Viktor Yanukovych was corrupt and unpopular, but he was the democratically elected president of Ukraine. He had been steering the country toward an association agreement with the European Union last fall when he reversed course after Russia offered $15 billion in financial aid to the all-but-bankrupt country. That led to the street demonstrations-spurred in part by the EU and the United States-that eventually sent Yanukovych packing.

Ukraine is deeply divided. As David Speedie, director of the US global engagement program at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, says, "In simple terms, half the people in Ukraine look to Russia and the other half look to the West." As Nicolai Petro details in his March 3 report at, the new leaders in Kiev include right-wing ultranationalists who, in one of their first acts, repealed the 2012 law allowing Russian and other minority languages to be used locally. (That measure was reversed, but not before arousing deep mistrust and fear in semiautonomous Crimea and many other parts of eastern and southern Ukraine, which are populated largely by Russian speakers.) It is also worth noting that one party in the new government, holding key cabinet posts as well as central leadership positions in Parliament and law enforcement, is Svoboda, which the European Parliament has condemned for its "racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic views." Even further to the right is the neofascist Right Sector, which dominates the Maidan, or Independence Square, the heart of the rebellion, which has refused to disband and exerts significant influence over the new regime's policies.

Yanukovych's decision to postpone the EU's association agreement was not irrational. It would have forced Ukraine to decide between Russia and the EU, flatly rejecting Putin's offer of a tripartite arrangement that would allow the country to sustain its ties with Russia. Quite apart from Putin's December offer of financial rescue, Ukraine is heavily dependent economically on Russia, which supplies and subsidizes much of its energy and is its largest trading partner. The EU and the United States, for all their bluster, are not about to replace that deep connection with Western aid and trade. Americans across the political spectrum will not be enthusiastic about sending billions to a country on the other side of the world while we are cutting back on vital investments at home. The EU, dominated by Germany, has inflicted brutal austerity on its own troubled members like Greece, Spain and Portugal. There's every reason to think the EU, with or without the IMF, would impose an equally harsh regime on Ukraine as the price of financial aid. Any responsible government in Kiev should examine very carefully the level of support offered by these Western institutions, as well as the conditions attached to it.

In the Western media's passion play, which largely disdains or distorts context and history, Putin is the designated villain. But Ukraine is central to Russian security, and Russia is far less concerned about its next-door neighbor's economic relations with the EU (Russia itself is a major source of energy for the Europeans) than the further extension of NATO to its borders. A hostile Ukraine might displace Russian bases on the Black Sea, harbor the US fleet and provide a home to NATO bases. This isn't an irrational fear. Despite promises by George H.W. Bush not to extend the West's Cold War military alliance after Germany was united, eight former Warsaw Pact nations and three former Soviet republics have been incorporated into NATO, with the United States and NATO even setting up a military outpost in Georgia. And the EU association agreement, advertised as offering free trade, in fact had military clauses that called for integrating Ukraine into the EU military structure, including cooperation on "civilian and military crisis management operations" and "relevant exercises" concerning them. No one should be surprised that Putin reacted negatively to such a prospect. It's difficult to imagine any American administration accepting a decision by Mexico to join a military alliance with Russia.

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US foreign policy needs a strong dose of realism and common sense. It's absurd to scold Obama for "taking the stick option off the table": the unavoidable fact is that the United States has no stick in relation to Ukraine. Americans have no desire and no reason to go to war with Russia over Crimea, and the EU and the United States are not about to supplant Russia's economic influence in Ukraine. Washington is not going to provide the aid, the trade or the subsidized energy Ukraine needs, and the EU-which is still mired in its own deep economic crisis-doesn't have the means to offer Ukraine much beyond painful austerity. Its new government is not elected, not legitimate and not at all settled. The international community should be pushing hard for compromise before this fragile and bitterly divided country breaks apart.

Frustrated cold warriors filling armchairs in Washington's outdated "strategic" think tanks will continue to howl at the moon, but US policy should be run by the sober. The president should work with the EU and Russia to preserve Ukraine's territorial unity, support free elections and allow Ukraine to be part of both the EU and the Russian customs union, while pledging that NATO will not extend itself into Ukraine. It is time to reduce tensions, not draw red lines, flex rhetorical muscles and fan the flames of folly.

[Mar 20, 2014] Crimea What Could Have Been

The Globalist

This is the second time in history that Crimea has seized global attention. Previously, it was in 1853, at the start of the Crimean War. Notably, that was a time when Russia got its clock cleaned on the battlefield by the combined power of the British Empire, Second French Empire and Ottoman Empire. No wonder, then, Crimea holds a special meaning in Russia's collective psyche.

Beyond the military frame of the Black Sea machinations of Europe's great powers, there is another episode to be reported. Although it is a literary one, it is no less meaningful in the current political context.

In 1979, Soviet dissident writer Vasily Aksenov wrote a utopian novel The Island of Crimea. It was based on a fantasy that Crimea was an island that had managed to break away from the Soviet Union during the Russian Civil War. Over time, it had become a free-wheeling, multicultural, open and prosperous democracy.

Soviet-era Crimea

The real geography and history of Crimea, of course, was quite different. To start with, Crimea is not an island, but a peninsula. It juts out into the Black Sea and is linked to the mainland by the narrow Isthmus of Perekop. The Red Army entered it in 1920.

In 1954, although Crimea was then mostly populated by Russian settlers, then-Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev transferred it from Russia to Ukraine. It was a purely administrative decision, since Khrushchev could never conceive of Russia and Ukraine parting ways.

Nor could Aksenov imagine anything of the kind back in 1979. During the Soviet era, Crimea was an intensely beautiful summer resort. It was freer, more free-wheeling and easy-going than grim and grey Moscow or Leningrad.

But it was still a dingy Soviet place, offering dilapidated sanatoria (resorts) for the proletariat and camp beds for rent in private homes for vacationers.

Looking to Taiwan

When looking for a real-world model for his utopian Crimea, Aksenov took the island of Taiwan, which avoided a communist takeover in the Chinese Civil War and became a technologically advanced, prosperous and, eventually, democratic state.

... ... ...

What It Means To Be a President (or a Prime Minister, for that matter)

Zed244's Blog

Posted on March 8, 2014 by Alex

Extracted From

BY C. Northcote Parkinson
Raffles Professor of History
University of Malaya
Robert C. Osborn

(c) 1957 by C. Northcote Parkinson
The Riverside Press
Cambridge – Massachusetts
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 57-9981
Printed in the U.S.A.

(formerly free text on Project Gutenberg



The first step in the process is to decide on the qualities a Prime Minister
ought to have. These need not be the same in all circumstances, but they need to
be listed and agreed upon. Let us suppose that the qualities deemed essential
are (i) Energy, (2) Courage, (3) Patriotism, (4) Experience, (5) Popularity, and
(6) Eloquence. Now, it will be observed that all these are general-qualities
which all possible applicants would believe themselves to possess. The field
could readily, of course, be narrowed by stipulating (4) Experience of
lion-taming, or (6) Eloquence in Mandarin. But that is not the way in which we
want to narrow the field. We do not want to stipulate a quality in a special
form; rather, each quality in an exceptional degree. In other words, the
successful candidate must be the most energetic, courageous, patriotic,
experienced, popular, and eloquent man in the country. Only one man can answer
to that description and his is the only application we want. The terms of the
appointment must thus be phrased so as to exclude everyone else. We should
therefore word the advertisement in some such way as follows:

Wanted–Prime Minister of Ruritania. Hours of work: 4 A.M. to 11.59 P.M.
Candidates must be prepared to fight three rounds with the current heavyweight
champion (regulation gloves to be worn). Candidates will die for their
country, by painless means, on reaching the age of retirement (65). They will
have to pass an examination in parliamentary procedure and will be liquidated
should they fail to obtain 95% marks. They will also be liquidated if they
fail to gain 75% votes in a popularity poll held under the Gallup Rules. They
will finally be invited to try their eloquence on a Baptist Congress, the
object being to induce those present to rock and roll. Those who fail will be
liquidated. All candidates should present themselves at the Sporting Club
(side entrance) at 11.15 A.M. on the morning of September 19. Gloves will be
provided, but they should bring their own rubber-soled shoes, singlet, and


Few years ago I was able to freely download full text of the book from Guttenberg. Not anymore. Even worse – e-formats are not available even for money now.. I wonder if this is an indication of how much this book and especially the chapter from where the above was extracted goes against the current "democratic" norms (that is – it tells too much of the truth) or it is simply where we 'll are now – i.e. "capitalism" simply gradually returning to its normal modus operandi after collapse of the Soviet Union – to some pre-1917 state like this

[Mar 20, 2014] Yatsenyuk explained postponing of signing of the Economic Agreement with the EU

Looks like Mr. Yatsenyuk now copied 1:1 actions of Mr. Yanukovich. Now you might better understand why he needed Maidan.

Google translation

Ukraine has postponed the signing of the economic section of the Association Agreement with the European Union due to fears of the possible negative effects of this document for the eastern industrial areas.

this is what the Acting Prime Minister of Ukraine Yatsenyuk said in an address to the people of southern and eastern regions of Ukraine.

He reminded that provisional government expects to sign the political part of the Association Agreement with the EU.on March 21 in Brussels

"We have postponed until the signing of the economic section of this document , taking into account the experiences and concerns, about whether a free trade zone can lead to negative consequences for the industrial regions, and thisis primarily the Eastern Ukraine. On this issue, we will carry out further consultations. In the meantime, the EU has decided to unilaterally open their markets to Ukrainian goods that will be a good help for our economy , "- said Yatsenyuk .

However, he stressed that "we do not see relations with the EU and Russia as on the principle ' either-or' " .

"Despite the catastrophic deterioration of relations with Russia, that happened not due to the fault of ours, despite the armed aggression of Russia against Ukraine, I will do everything possible in order not only keep the peace, but also to build a genuine partnership with Russia and good neighborly relations", - said the prime minister.

Ukraine postoned signing economic part of association agreement with EU, will sign political part only


KIEV, March 7 (Xinhua) -- Kiev will sign political chapters of an association agreement with the European Union (EU) soon, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk said here Friday.

"The signing will take place in the shortest possible period, literally within a few weeks," Yatsenyuk told a media conference on the results of his recent visit to Brussels.

To help the Ukrainian economy stay afloat, the EU will provide Kiev with financial aid worth around 15 billion U.S. dollars, Yatsenyuk said.

The 28-member bloc has suggested opening its market unilaterally to some Ukrainian goods, namely crops and food, Yatsenyuk said, adding that such a step could provide 400 million dollars a year to the crisis-hit Ukrainian economy.

The political association and economic integration agreement between Ukraine and the EU should have been signed at the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania last November.

Viktor Yanukovych rejected the agreement with the EU and chose a bailout loan package from Russia, which fuelled massive anti-government protests that eventually led to the overthrow of his government.

[Mar 20, 2014] Ukraine Secretive Neo-Nazi Military Organization Involved in Euromaidan Sniper Shootings Global Research by F. William Engdahl
According to veteran US intelligence sources, the snipers came from an ultra-right-wing military organization known as Ukrainian National Assembly – Ukrainian People's Self-Defense (UNA-UNSO).

IMAGE: Members of UNA-UNSO marching in Lviv.

Strange Ukraine 'Nationalists'

The leader of UNA-UNSO, Andriy Shkil, ten years ago became an adviser to Julia Tymoshenko. UNA-UNSO, during the US-instigated 2003-2004 "Orange Revolution", backed pro-NATO candidate Viktor Yushchenko against his pro-Russian opponent, Yanukovich. UNA-UNSO members provided security for the supporters of Yushchenko and Julia Tymoshenko on Independence Square in Kiev in 2003-4.[4]

UNA-UNSO is also reported to have close ties to the German National Democratic Party (NDP). [5]

Ever since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 the crack-para-military UNA-UNSO members have been behind every revolt against Russian influence. The one connecting thread in their violent campaigns is always anti-Russia. The organization, according to veteran US intelligence sources, is part of a secret NATO "GLADIO" organization, and not a Ukraine nationalist group as portrayed in western media. [6]

According to these sources, UNA-UNSO have been involved (confirmed officially) in the Lithuanian events in the Winter of 1991, the Soviet Coup d'etat in Summer 1991, the war for the Pridnister Republic 1992, the anti-Moscow Abkhazia War 1993, the Chechen War, the US-organized Kosovo Campaign Against the Serbs, and the August 8 2008 war in Georgia. According to these reports, UNA-UNSO para-military have been involved in every NATO dirty war in the post-cold war period, always fighting on behalf of NATO. "These people are the dangerous mercenaries used all over the world to fight NATO's dirty war, and to frame Russia because this group pretends to be Russian special forces. THESE ARE THE BAD GUYS, forget about the window dressing nationalists, these are the men behind the sniper rifles," these sources insist. [7]

If true that UNA-UNSO is not "Ukrainian" opposition, but rather a highly secret NATO force using Ukraine as base, it would suggest that the EU peace compromise with the moderates was likely sabotaged by the one major player excluded from the Kiev 21 February diplomatic talks-Victoria Nuland's State Department.[8] Both Nuland and right-wing Republican US Senator John McCain have had contact with the leader of the Ukrainian opposition Svoboda Party, whose leader is openly anti-semitic and defends the deeds of a World War II Ukrainian SS-Galicia Division head.[9] The party was registered in 1995, initially calling itself the "Social National Party of Ukraine" and using a swastika style logo. Svoboda is the electoral front for neo-nazi organizations in Ukraine such as UNA-UNSO.[10]

One further indication that Nuland's hand is shaping latest Ukraine events is the fact that the new Ukrainian Parliament is expected to nominate Nuland's choice, Arseny Yatsenyuk, from Tymoshenko's party, to be interim head of the new Cabinet.

Whatever the final truth, clear is that Washington has prepared a new economic rape of Ukraine using its control over the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

... ... ...

Writer F. William Engdahl is a geopolitical analyst and the author of "Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order".

[Mar 19, 2014] The focus is on Crimea, but next is the fight for Ukraine Timothy Garton Ash

Mar 18, 2014 | The Guardian


Russia's actions are illegal, no doubt about it. And finally they have done something illegal that the West has not recently done itself. Western ministers who clearly felt awkward about accusing Russia of 'using force' or 'invading another country in the 21st century' can now make a fine show of indignation as they lambast Russia for 'changing borders by force in the 21st century.'

The US-UK has certainly used force illegally and murderously in the 21st century, and they have certainly changed others' borders by force in the 1990s, but they can plausibly claim to have not actually changed borders by force in the 21st - the Washington establishment very openly debated splitting Iraq into three parts to please their Kurdish friends but they never carried it out. So congratulations, Russian illegality has finally outstripped US/British hypocrisy, albeit without leaving such a large pile of dead bodies.

It would be silly to try to defend Russia's motives. Russia is like America, a rather oligarchic, class-ridden country in which the population is fed from an early age on a diet of nationalism and militarism, in which the global power of their nation-state compensates for its relative helplessness in improving the lives of powerless ordinary citizens.

But the fact remains - and this is a fact, not an opinion - that in Ukraine as in Georgia 2008, Russia is reacting to events that it did not seek, but which the West did. I don't know how big a part Western agencies played in fomenting the Ukrainian revolution (or in egging on Saakashvili in 2008), but it ultimately doesn't matter. The key fact is that the West declared its partnership with Russia's enemies in both cases, and sought to push NATO up to Russia's border.

When was OUR referendum on NATO expansion? Can someone remind me again why NATO expansion is clever and how it's good for my family? (Preferably someone who didn't also claim that invading Iraq was clever). I can't benefit from NATO expansion as the US political elite does, since I don't hold any shares in arms companies. Like 99% of westerners, I stand only to lose from a new Cold War.

I understood the NATO of my youth. It was defensive in purpose, it made sense, it prevented trouble instead of making trouble. I don't recognise today's NATO at all. It has no guiding purpose beyond institutional self-preservation and mindless expansion. It never stops to ask where it should expand, only where it can expand. It resembles nothing so much as a metastatic tumour.

NOTaREALmerican -> RScully

Re: It has no guiding purpose beyond institutional self-preservation and mindless expansion. It never stops to ask where it should expand, only where it can expand. It resembles nothing so much as a metastatic tumour.

"Keynesianism" tends to be like the that. But, don't forget: the Economic opposite of a tumour is Austerity. And all good "Progressives" know we MUST grow to survive, or else...


In his Kremlin speech, Putin scored a few telling hits on US unilateralism and western double standards, but what he has done threatens the foundations of international order.

But no less than the illegal invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan threatened the foundations of international order. And the reason people keep bringing up Iraq etc. is because it really does matter here...

You have no moral leg to stand on when Russia violates another country's sovereignty, if you yourself go around violating country's sovereignty too. If the West shows that it has no regard for the international order, or international law, then Russia's hardly going to be too worried about the West's hypocritical bleatings on the subject in response to Crimea.

It's sad really. The annexation of Crimea is a clear violation of Ukraine's sovereignty, and does not seem to reflect the democratic will of its population. But if you foster an international order in which "might makes right", the US and EU cannot complain when Russia follows their example.

sjxt -> LinearBandKeramik

By your logic the British Empire which invented the concentration camp in the Boer War and presided over the world's widest imperium in the 1930s had no business complaining about the Anschluss, Sudetenland, Memel and the Danzig Corridor - really, what moral leg did the West have to stand on then either….?

LinearBandKeramik -> sjxt

really, what moral leg did the West have to stand on then either….?

Not much of one. Certainly Britain could hardly complain about Germany acting like an imperial power in the 1930s, without engaging in blatant hypocrisy.

The Allies only gain some moral superiority over Germany in the 1940s when the Holocaust pushed the evils of Nazi imperialism into a different league to the evils of British imperialism.

Why do you ask? I don't see the immediate relevance this has to the present thread...

andresh -> LinearBandKeramik

It was the Soviet Union that reduced Afghanistan to the status of a failed state and a hideout for Taliban and Al-Qaida. It became necessary to impose some order on that country. Saddam Hussein killed 30 thousand Kurds with sarin and invaded Kuweit.

The Bush administration made a serious error - they should have gone all the way to Baghdad and captured Saddam then rather than inventing a ridiculous pretext a few years later. There was a good reason to hit Assad in his palace 3 years ago before Syria was infested by Al Nusra and ISIS. Sarkozy made an excellent decision when he followed the advice of BH Levy to go after Kaddafi.

HogfartsAcademy -> andresh

A rather confused view of history. During the Soviet occupation Afghanistan was a rather civilised state.

It was the US that created and funded and armed the Mujahadeen - the forerunners of today's Al Qaeda. 9/11 and subsequent events are a direct consequence of the USA creating a terrorist group which ultimately it could not control.

By installing a Nazi regime in Kiev the USA has yet again set in chain a series of events it cannot

Dreikaiserbund -> HogfartsAcademy

A Nazi regime in Kiev? Where are the cattle cars and concentration camps? Where are the ghettos? Where are the Stars of Davis? Where are the Black Marias?

AlCitata -> uksucker

Putin told Obama that Obama brought order in Kiev. Putin's position - the U.S. and Europe to provide personally responsible for Ukraine.

IPEHA15 -> AlCitata

OMG - are you moskali ever going to stop blaming the US for everything. It's getting soooo boring. At the same time you all want what the US have.

AlCitata -> IPEHA15

OMG - are you moskali ever going to stop blaming the US for everything.

Maybe in the overthrow of the government aconite Ukraine Russia is to blame? Maybe it's Putin came to Kiev and supported maidan? For you overthrow the power of this nonsense? We'll be watching for a long time as the U.S. support Yatsenyuk and Ukrainian people suffer. Like the United States. And I see how your brain washed and you are ready to defend the United States from the last effort.

At the same time you all want what the US have.

If Russia wanted that there is the United States, Russia has long been colonized other countries, bombed, overthrew the presidents ... Russia does not want all this. During the annexation of Crimea caused less damage than during evroMaidana. This can be understood only by those who have brains. those who shit for brains will still say the opposite.


The author likes his chemical metaphors, but it's clear that he's no chemist. The active substances added to the mix by the US and its associated NGOs are missing from his equations. No wonder he comes up with such peculiar results.

NOTaREALmerican -> SoloRolo

Re: The active substances added to the mix by the US and its associated NGOs are missing from his equations

Naaaa, come on. Those are inert. That is why highly moral US substances are added into complex social mixes; because highly moral US substances are - by virtue of their morality - always inert.

We do it for the children.


Mr Garton Ash, the 'fellow travellers' of your completely discredited ideology are happy to promote the 'Law of the Jungle' as long as there are no larger predators.

Vladimir Putin has launched a blistering offensive on the West's "baffling, primitive, and blatant" posturing over Crimea

"At least, it's good that they recalled that there is international law. Thank you very much. Better late than never." -- Vladimir Putin


Only a propagandist could write such a statement:

'Only the criminally naive or the hardened fellow-traveller could maintain that the pro-Russian groups now working to produce chaos, disorientation and violence in cities such as Donetsk and Kharkiv are not actively supported by Moscow.'

If you take into consideration that the Kiev coup was illegal.

And then you write this:

'None of this is to suggest that what has happened in Crimea does not matter in itself. In his Kremlin speech, Putin scored a few telling hits on US unilateralism and western double standards, but what he has done threatens the foundations of international order.'

What international order is that you speak of? Drone, invade, bomb, lie about WMD's and make it 'legal' afterwards like the US and UK has done?

Are either of you qualified journalists that considers all the facts? With this kind of propaganda article, you are creating the environment for future crimes to be committed - it's why propaganda is the first weapon of war. Sleep well.


The one vital question that Ash evades is the rise of the Ukrainian far right whose influence has surged western Ukraine and, through Svoboda and Right Sector, gained positions in the interim government. Not once in this article does Ash even draw attention to them or their rhetoric.

Instead he refers , in weaselly language, of tensions 'exacerbated by some foolish words and gestures from victorious revolutionaries in Kiev'. No mention of the undoubted prominence of Svoboda once in this article which glosses over that the better to focus only what Putin has been doing.

Putin was only able to exploit pro-Russian nationalist sentiment because the new government banned Russian as an official language. The danger is that the elections could well see in embolded far right make gains. Ash should be calling for the EU to formally distance itself from Svoboda.

Crimea is lost to Ukraine. The question is now what will happen in the southern and eastern areas of Ukraine and if the interim government botches up and tries to play a Ukrainian nationalist card to win votes in the May elections things could go badly wrong.

It would be more refreshing if Ash could, at least, be a bit more intellectually honest about the failings of the EU and West in turning a blind eye to the very real power and influence of ultra-nationalists in the west in power bases such as Lvov and Ivan Frankivsk.

Anatol Lieven, a writer with many similarities to Ash as both journalist and historian, has at least emphasised western blundering whereas Ash seems intent on self peddling over the existence of the Ukrainian far right as much as the Kremlin is exploiting it in its simplistic 'fascist coup' propaganda

andresh -> KarlNaylor75

It is a pity that a power struggle in the Ukrainian parliament has resulted in the elimination of Udar and an alliance of Batkivshchina with Svoboda and the far right. Russian was not a second official language until two years ago. It was imposed as an official language by Yanukovych, a Russian puppet. As the far right gained some influence in the govt they forced their allies to cancel this The Ukrainian language as a literary and official language is relatively recent and it is therefore important for the Ukrainian national identity. During a NATO-Russia meeting in Bucharest in 2008 Putin portrayed Ukraine as an artificial failed state. In his speech in Duma to-day Zhirinovsky suggested that western Ukraine should return to Poland, Transcarpathia to Hungary and eastern Ukraine should be annexed by Russia. In the view of Russian imperialists the Ukrainians do not deserve to live in an sovereign country! Ukraine is now being called "Malorus", hence a part of a medieval Ruthenia to be ruled by Putin's Russian clique.

Charliedaz -> andresh

As a matter of historical accuracy, Ukraine has always been referred to a Malorus or Little Russia. What a lot of posters on here don't seem to understand is that although the new state, which only came into existence in 1991, is called Ukraine, ethnic Ukrainians only make up part of its population. A bit like the people who seem to think that the terms British and English are the same.


So let me get this right. Flooding Ukraine with Western propaganda merchants is good, but Russian propaganda is bad, indeed sufficiently bad to warrant further sanctions. Maybe this is the hypocracy that Putin is talking about.

Furthermore, an Eastern oligarch is arrested on an international warrant, apparently because he is an 'Eastern' oligarch, presumably Russian or Russian-supporting. Is this not precisely the victimisation and discrimination against the Russian minority that should be avoided with a referendum coming up? There are innumerable corrupt 'Western' oligarchs that could be arrested, but because they are on the right side, their corruption is allowed to continue. What a shining example of the Western morality, so shameful, and bound to ensure that the corruption continues and the lot of the average Ukrainian gets worse.

LabanTall -> AigburthUncle

You are so not with the program.

Simple !


Neocon TGA is back!

The guy who supported every western "liberal intervention" is here again, spouting his strange imperialism, "flood Ukraine with western agents and money" he says!


For what?

Who's money? the EU? America? the IMF? They are all in recession, and cutting spending on vital services at home, there is no more money!

The biggest question of all is what EXACTLY does he hope to achieve, another Afghanistan? another Iraq? another Libya?

You are a slow learner TGA.


Only the criminally naive or the hardened fellow-traveller could maintain that the pro-West groups who worked to produce chaos, disorientation and violence in cities such as Kiev and Lviv were not actively supported by Washington


Garton Ash has made a career out of Russophobia so it is not surprising to read such a hysterical and warmongering article at this juncture.

Much, of course, is omitted from this piece of FO propaganda, or dishonestly glossed over. The heavy US/EU backing for the takeover of power in Kiev; the strong presence of nationalistic, xenophobic and fascist forces in the forces taking power in Kiev; Crimea's historical relationship to Russia; the lack of any democratic outlet for the people living in Crimea who were transferred automatically into a new country, Ukraine, after the break-up of the Soviet Union, despite their cultural, historical and linguistic attachment to Russia. But propaganda is defined by the omission of uncomfortable facts, isnt it?

The Guardian, as many can now see, is morphing into our own version of Pravda, relaying the interests of state in ghoulish, vivid prose. My impression, however, is that it is no longer working effectively: the plurality of the internet now means that the heavy-handed imposition of an orthodoxy has become laughable.

laguerre -> windsoravenue

FO propaganda
It is not Foreign Office, rather Stanford University, where he has a part-time position. Most (neo-) conservative Californian university, with Condoleeza Rice in place.


Russia "a revanchist power in plain view". Nice one. How about

Ukraine's prime minister said Sunday Russian separatist "ringleaders" trying to destroy Ukraine's independence would be brought to justice, warning: "The ground will burn under their feet."

That's revanchism.


Reading this article you would be forgiven for thinking the year was 1890 and the Great Empire Building Game was still on. It's all about "winning" Ukraine for the EU/NATO/Washington/London. In short precisely the blinkered Western mindset that created this crisis in the first place.

As for the suggestion that we should do deals and offer a rosy future to the oligarths if they cooperate, and threaten them with strangulation if they don't, Garton Ash seems to have completely mislaid his moral compass.

The best solution is for a neutral Ukraine on a par with Finland in the 1970s. Neither East nor West, but on good terms with both. Why can't the imperial EU/NATO expansionists among Britain's media understand that?

NOTaREALmerican -> Avranches

Re; Why can't the imperial EU/NATO expansionists among Britain's media understand that?

Because only girly-men think that way. The winners of a manly-society attend the best schools with manly-men, and compete with manly-men in manly activities, and drink manly-drinks with manly-men and talking about kicking other opposing manly-men in the ass and taking their stuff (and females) like manly-men have done throughout history.

It's the manly-men's 4 F's of life: Food, Fear, Fighting, and (uh) screwing (in all it's manly meanings).


Complete disregard here for any role the west has played in destabilising Ukraine. Shameful!

I've come to the conclusion that the guardian is probably the most prolific pusher of the US line in the British media.

Just do a search with your app for "Ukraine" and aside from the pro-west reporting in regular news, and the clearly anti Russian editorials (fair enough), there is a relentless stream of comment pieces regurgitating the same received wisdom. Russia bad/west good.

Try finding out in the guardian who the unelected mob currently occupying the presidency and ministries of a deposed democratically elected european government are. You have to trawl back through hundreds of pieces to find anything at all.

A democratically elected European government was ousted violently not long ago. Dozens of protestors and police were systematically murdered by snipers.

Where's that on the guardian's agenda please?

[Mar 19, 2014] Russia Examines Its Options for Responding to Ukraine Stratfor

...Russia's viewpoint is appropriately pessimistic. If Russia loses Belarus or Ukraine, it loses its strategic depth, which accounts for much of its ability to defend the Russian heartland. If the intention of the West is not hostile, then why is it so eager to see the regime in Ukraine transformed? It may be a profound love of liberal democracy, but from Moscow's perspective, Russia must assume more sinister motives.

It is not clear what happened in Kiev. There were of course many organizations funded by American and European money that were committed to a reform government. It is irrelevant whether, as the Russians charge, these organizations planned and fomented the uprising against former President Viktor Yanukovich's regime or whether that uprising was part of a more powerful indigenous movement that drew these groups along. The fact was that Yanukovich refused to sign an agreement moving Ukraine closer to the European Union, the demonstrations took place, there was violence, and an openly pro-Western Ukrainian government was put in place.

The Russians cannot simply allow this to stand. Not only does it create a new geopolitical reality, but in the longer term it also gives the appearance inside Russia that Putin is weaker than he seems and opens the door to instability and even fragmentation. Therefore, the Russians must respond. The issue is how.

... ... ...

The first step was simply making official what has been a reality. Crimea is within the Russian sphere of influence, and the military force Moscow has based in Crimea under treaties could assert control whenever it wished. That Sevastopol is a critical Russian naval base for operations in the Black and Mediterranean seas was not the key. A treaty protected that. But intervention in Crimea was a low-risk, low-cost action that would halt the appearance that Russia was hemorrhaging power. It made Russia appear as a bully in the West and a victor at home. That was precisely the image it wanted to project to compensate for its defeat.

Several options are now available to Russia.

First, it can do nothing. The government in Kiev is highly fractious, and given the pro-Russian factions' hostility toward moving closer to the West, the probability of paralysis is high

... ... ...

Considering the West's Countermoves

In all of these things there are two questions. The first is what German foreign policy is going to be.

... ... ...

The second question is that of the United States. I have spoken of the strategy of balance of power. A balance of power strategy calls for calibration of involvement, not disengagement. Having chosen to support the creation of an anti-Russian regime in Ukraine, the United States now faces consequences and decisions. The issue is not deployments of major forces but providing the Central Europeans from Poland to Romania with the technology and materiel to discourage Russia from dangerous adventures -- and to convince their publics that they are not alone.

... ... ...

This has been the U.S. strategy since 1939: maximum military and economic aid with minimal military involvement. The Cold War ended far better than the wars the Americans became directly involved in. The Cold War in Europe never turned hot. Logic has it that at some point the United States will adopt this strategy. But of course, in the meantime, we wait for Russia's next move, or should none come, a very different Russia.

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this analysis misstated which part of Ukraine that Moscow would have to seize for any Russian invasion to be geopolitically significant.

Crimea crisis: Russian President Putin's speech annotated

BBC News

In an emotionally-charged speech to both houses of parliament at the Kremlin on 18 March, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave a fierce defence of his country's treaty to absorb Crimea.

Crimean officials say the peninsula voted overwhelmingly in favour of the move in a referendum. But Kiev and the West have said the vote was illegal and that Moscow's actions amount to a land grab.

Here, BBC diplomatic correspondent Bridget Kendall analyses key moments from Mr Putin's historic speech.

Dear friends, we have gathered here today in connection with an issue that is of vital, historic significance to all of us. A referendum was held in Crimea on March 16 in full compliance with democratic procedures and international norms.

More than 82% of the electorate took part in the vote. Over 96% of them spoke out in favour of reuniting with Russia. These numbers speak for themselves.

Bridget Kendall: Was the turnout really 82% of all Crimea's voting population? The result suggests most of those who voted wanted to rejoin Russia. But what about the many Crimean Tatars, Ukrainians and some Russians who didn't take part and don't want to leave Ukraine? Mr Putin ignores them.
To understand the reason behind such a choice it is enough to know the history of Crimea and what Russia and Crimea have always meant for each other.

President Putin said the Crimea vote numbers "speak for themselves"

Everything in Crimea speaks of our shared history and pride. This is the location of ancient Khersones, where Prince Vladimir was baptised. His spiritual feat of adopting Orthodoxy predetermined the overall basis of the culture, civilisation and human values that unite the peoples of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. The graves of Russian soldiers whose bravery brought Crimea into the Russian empire are also in Crimea.

This is also Sevastopol - a legendary city with an outstanding history, a fortress that serves as the birthplace of Russia's Black Sea Fleet. Crimea is Balaklava and Kerch, Malakhov Kurgan and Sapun Ridge. Each one of these places is dear to our hearts, symbolising Russian military glory and outstanding valour.

Crimea is a unique blend of different peoples' cultures and traditions. This makes it similar to Russia as a whole, where not a single ethnic group has been lost over the centuries. Russians and Ukrainians, Crimean Tatars and people of other ethnic groups have lived side by side in Crimea, retaining their own identity, traditions, languages and faith.

Incidentally, the total population of the Crimean peninsula today is 2.2 million people, of whom almost 1.5 million are Russians, 350,000 are Ukrainians who predominantly consider Russian their native language, and about 290,000-300,000 are Crimean Tatars, who, as the referendum has shown, also lean towards Russia.

Bridget Kendall: It gets worse - by assuming the high turnout means the referendum result reflects the will of the entire Crimean population, Mr Putin gives himself grounds to argue that most Crimean Tatars too want to join Russia - turning reality on its head.
True, there was a time when Crimean Tatars were treated unfairly, just as a number of other peoples in the USSR. There is only one thing I can say here: millions of people of various ethnicities suffered during those repressions, and primarily Russians.

Many of Crimea's ethnic Tatars - about 12% of the population - vowed not to take part in the referendum
Crimean Tatars returned to their homeland. I believe we should make all the necessary political and legislative decisions to finalise the rehabilitation of Crimean Tatars, restore them in their rights and clear their good name.

We have great respect for people of all the ethnic groups living in Crimea. This is their common home, their motherland, and it would be right - I know the local population supports this - for Crimea to have three equal national languages: Russian, Ukrainian and Tatar.

Bridget Kendall: Three equal languages - this is a rebuke to the new authorities in Kiev whose initial move to block giving Russian language equal status with Ukrainian caused fury in Moscow and allegations that Russian speakers and other minorities were being threatened with second class status. Mr Putin is indicating that in the new Crimea this will not happen.
Colleagues. In people's hearts and minds, Crimea has always been an inseparable part of Russia. This firm conviction is based on truth and justice and was passed from generation to generation, over time, under any circumstances, despite all the dramatic changes our country went through during the entire 20th Century.

Continue reading the main story
Crimean ballot paper questions
1.Are you in favour of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea reuniting with Russia as a constituent part of the Russian Federation?
2.Are you in favour of restoring the Constitution of the Republic of Crimea of 1992 and of Crimea's status as part of Ukraine?
Ballot paper analysed
Is Crimea's referendum legal?

After the revolution, the Bolsheviks, for a number of reasons - may God judge them - added large sections of the historical south of Russia to the Republic of Ukraine. This was done with no consideration for the ethnic make-up of the population, and today these areas form the south-east of Ukraine. Then, in 1954, a decision was made to transfer the Crimean region to Ukraine, along with Sevastopol, despite the fact that it was a federal city. This was the personal initiative of the Communist Party head Nikita Khrushchev. What stood behind this decision of his - a desire to win the support of the Ukrainian political establishment or to atone for the mass repressions of the 1930s in Ukraine - is for historians to figure out.

What matters now is that this decision was made in clear violation of the constitutional norms that were in place even then. The decision was made behind the scenes. Naturally, in a totalitarian state nobody bothered to ask the citizens of Crimea and Sevastopol. They were faced with the fact. People, of course, wondered why all of a sudden Crimea became part of Ukraine. But on the whole - and we must state this clearly, we all know it - this decision was treated as a formality of sorts because the territory was transferred within the boundaries of a single state. Back then, it was impossible to imagine that Ukraine and Russia may split up and become two separate states. However, this has happened.

Unfortunately, what seemed impossible became a reality. The USSR fell apart. Things developed so swiftly that few people realised how truly dramatic those events and their consequences would be. Many people both in Russia and in Ukraine, as well as in other republics hoped that the Commonwealth of Independent States that was created at the time would become the new common form of statehood. They were told that there would be a single currency, a single economic space, joint armed forces; however, all this remained empty promises, while the big country was gone. It was only when Crimea ended up as part of a different country that Russia realised that it was not simply robbed, it was plundered.

Bridget Kendall: Powerful emotive words from Mr Putin to back up his claim that in returning Crimea to Russia he is correcting not just a historical injustice, but an outrage. But he does not stop with Crimea: he implies that other parts of Ukraine - particularly the Russian speaking south-east - should really be Russian too, castigating the Bolsheviks who handed these lands to Ukraine.

At the same time, we have to admit that by launching the sovereignty parade Russia itself aided in the collapse of the Soviet Union. And as this collapse was legalised, everyone forgot about Crimea and Sevastopol - the main base of the Black Sea Fleet. Millions of people went to bed in one country and awoke in different ones, overnight becoming ethnic minorities in former Union republics, while the Russian nation became one of the biggest, if not the biggest ethnic group in the world to be divided by borders.

Bridget Kendall: A veiled reminder for other former Soviet republics with Russian-speaking minorities to send a message that, as in Ukraine, Mr Putin views Russian compatriots there as part of a single Russian nation - and therefore conceivably might make moves to ensure their protection too, if he felt they needed it. The most controversial cases are the rebellious Russian speaking enclave of Trans-Dniester in Moldova (which this week also asked to join Russia) and the still unresolved issue of Russian speakers in the Baltics who for more than 20 years have remained technically stateless because they refuse to take language lessons to be eligible for local passports. But Mr Putin does not mention them explicitly.

Now, many years later, I heard residents of Crimea say that back in 1991 they were handed over like a sack of potatoes. This is hard to disagree with. And what about the Russian state? What about Russia? It humbly accepted the situation. This country was going through such hard times then that realistically it was incapable of protecting its interests. However, the people could not reconcile themselves to this outrageous historical injustice. All these years, citizens and many public figures came back to this issue, saying that Crimea is historically Russian land and Sevastopol is a Russian city.

Sevastopol has long been the home of Russia's extensive Black Sea Fleet

Yes, we all knew this in our hearts and minds, but we had to proceed from the existing reality and build our good-neighbourly relations with independent Ukraine on a new basis. Meanwhile, our relations with Ukraine, with the fraternal Ukrainian people have always been and will remain of foremost importance for us.

Bridget Kendall: This is something Mr Putin says frequently - the importance of maintaining good relations with Ukraine, and with the Ukrainian people. But that is not the same of having good relations with the current Ukrainian government which he claims is illegitimate (see below).
Continue reading the main story
Start Quote

I understand why Ukrainian people wanted change. They have had enough of the authorities in power during the years of Ukraine's independence"
End Quote
Today we can speak about it openly, and I would like to share with you some details of the negotiations that took place in the early 2000s. The then president of Ukraine Mr [Leonid] Kuchma asked me to expedite the process of delimiting the Russian-Ukrainian border. At that time, the process was practically at a standstill. Russia seemed to have recognised Crimea as part of Ukraine, but there were no negotiations on delimiting the borders. Despite the complexity of the situation, I immediately issued instructions to Russian government agencies to speed up their work to document the borders, so that everyone had a clear understanding that by agreeing to delimit the border we admitted de facto and de jure that Crimea was Ukrainian territory, thereby closing the issue.

We accommodated Ukraine not only regarding Crimea, but also on such a complicated matter as the maritime boundary in the Sea of Azov and the Kerch Strait. What we proceeded from back then was that good relations with Ukraine matter most for us and they should not fall hostage to deadlock territorial disputes. However, we expected Ukraine to remain our good neighbour, we hoped that Russian citizens and Russian speakers in Ukraine, especially its south-east and Crimea, would live in a friendly, democratic and civilised state that would protect their rights in line with the norms of international law.

However, this is not how the situation developed. Time and time again attempts were made to deprive Russians of their historical memory, even of their language and to subject them to forced assimilation. Moreover, Russians, just as other citizens of Ukraine are suffering from the constant political and state crisis that has been rocking the country for more than 20 years.

I understand why Ukrainian people wanted change. They have had enough of the authorities in power during the years of Ukraine's independence. Presidents, prime ministers and parliamentarians changed, but their attitude to the country and its people remained the same. They milked the country, fought among themselves for power, assets and cash flows and did not care much about the ordinary people. They did not wonder why it was that millions of Ukrainian citizens saw no prospects at home and went to other countries to work as day labourers. I would like to stress this: it was not some Silicon Valley they fled to, but to become day labourers. Last year alone almost 3 million people found such jobs in Russia. According to some sources, in 2013 their earnings in Russia totalled over $20bn (£16.7bn), which is about 12% of Ukraine's GDP.

I would like to reiterate that I understand those who came out on Maidan with peaceful slogans against corruption, inefficient state management and poverty. The right to peaceful protest, democratic procedures and elections exist for the sole purpose of replacing the authorities that do not satisfy the people. However, those who stood behind the latest events in Ukraine had a different agenda: they were preparing yet another government takeover; they wanted to seize power and would stop short of nothing. They resorted to terror, murder and riots. Nationalists, neo-Nazis, Russophobes and anti-Semites executed this coup. They continue to set the tone in Ukraine to this day.

Bridget Kendall: Inflammatory words- the basis of Mr Putin's argument that the new Ukrainian authorities are illegitimate and Russia has to be prepared to act to protect compatriots. Claims that dangerous "neo-Nazis, Russophobes and anti-Semites" are behind the new Kiev government, frequently repeated in the Russian media, justify the Kremlin's argument that any Russian intervention would be based on humanitarian considerations.

The new so-called authorities began by introducing a draft law to revise the language policy, which was a direct infringement on the rights of ethnic minorities. However, they were immediately "disciplined" by the foreign sponsors of these so-called politicians. One has to admit that the mentors of these current authorities are smart and know well what such attempts to build a purely Ukrainian state may lead to. The draft law was set aside, but clearly reserved for the future. Hardly any mention is made of this attempt now, probably on the presumption that people have a short memory. Nevertheless, we can all clearly see the intentions of these ideological heirs of Bandera, Hitler's accomplice during World War Two.

It is also obvious that there is no legitimate executive authority in Ukraine now, nobody to talk to. Many government agencies have been taken over by the impostors, but they do not have any control in the country, while they themselves - and I would like to stress this - are often controlled by radicals. In some cases, you need a special permit from the militants on Maidan to meet with certain ministers of the current government. This is not a joke - this is reality.

Bridget Kendall: Elsewhere Mr Putin has suggested that he wants his ministers to maintain some sort of economic dialogue with the new Ukrainian government. No sign of that here.

Those who opposed the coup were immediately threatened with repression. Naturally, the first in line here was Crimea, the Russian-speaking Crimea. In view of this, the residents of Crimea and Sevastopol turned to Russia for help in defending their rights and lives, in preventing the events that were unfolding and are still underway in Kiev, Donetsk, Kharkov and other Ukrainian cities.

Bridget Kendall: No mention of the pro-Moscow armed group who on the night of February 26 took over the parliament building in Crimea to enable pro-Moscow Crimean MPs to hold a hurried session to sack the previous Crimean prime minister. Once they'd replaced him, the new leader then approached Moscow to ask for help - and for permission to join Russia.
Start Quote

I voted honestly yesterday and woke up happy today. It felt like I was living in my home country, Russia - which is as it should be"
End Quote
Ivan Mamykin

Pensioner in Yalta

Waking up in a different Crimea

Naturally, we could not leave this plea unheeded; we could not abandon Crimea and its residents in distress. This would have been betrayal on our part.

First, we had to help create conditions so that the residents of Crimea for the first time in history were able to peacefully express their free will regarding their own future. However, what do we hear from our colleagues in Western Europe and North America? They say we are violating norms of international law. Firstly, it's a good thing that they at least remember that there exists such a thing as international law - better late than never.

Secondly, and most importantly - what exactly are we violating? True, the president of the Russian Federation received permission from the upper house of parliament to use the armed forces in Ukraine. However, strictly speaking, nobody has acted on this permission yet. Russia's armed forces never entered Crimea; they were there already in line with an international agreement. True, we did enhance our forces there; however - this is something I would like everyone to hear and know - we did not exceed the personnel limit of our armed forces in Crimea, which is set at 25,000, because there was no need to do so.

Bridget Kendall: Ahead of the referendum Russian troops and vehicles were seen deploying all over the Crimean peninsula, surrounding Ukrainian military sites and establishing checkpoints - which the Kiev authorities say definitely violated agreements that Russian forces should not move away from their bases without mutual agreement.

Next, as it declared independence and decided to hold a referendum, the Supreme Council of Crimea referred to the United Nations Charter, which speaks of the right of nations to self-determination. Incidentally, I would like to remind you that when Ukraine seceded from the USSR it did exactly the same thing, almost word for word. Ukraine used this right, yet the residents of Crimea are denied it. Why is that?

Continue reading the main story
Kosovo at a glance
Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008. It has been recognised by the US and many EU countries
Kosovo and Serbia reached a landmark agreement to normalise their relations in April 2013
The EU subsequently gave the green light for talks on an association agreement with Kosovo to begin
Nato peacekeepers have been in Kosovo since 1999

Moreover, the Crimean authorities referred to the well-known Kosovo precedent - a precedent our Western colleagues created with their own hands in a very similar situation, when they agreed that the unilateral separation of Kosovo from Serbia, exactly what Crimea is doing now, was legitimate and did not require any permission from the country's central authorities. Pursuant to Article 2, Chapter 1 of the United Nations Charter, the UN International Court agreed with this approach and made the following comment in its ruling of July 22, 2010, and I quote: "No general prohibition may be inferred from the practice of the Security Council with regard to declarations of independence," and "General international law contains no prohibition on declarations of independence." Crystal clear, as they say.

I do not like to resort to quotes, but in this case, I cannot help it. Here is a quote from another official document: the Written Statement of the United States America of April 17, 2009, submitted to the same UN International Court in connection with the hearings on Kosovo. Again, I quote: "Declarations of independence may, and often do, violate domestic legislation. However, this does not make them violations of international law." End of quote. They wrote this, disseminated it all over the world, had everyone agree and now they are outraged. Over what? The actions of Crimean people completely fit in with these instructions, as it were. For some reason, things that Kosovo Albanians (and we have full respect for them) were permitted to do, Russians, Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars in Crimea are not allowed. Again, one wonders why.

Continue reading the main story
Start Quote
I will state clearly - if the Crimean local self-defence units had not taken the situation under control, there could have been casualties as well. Fortunately this did not happen"
End Quote
We keep hearing from the United States and Western Europe that Kosovo is some special case. What makes it so special in the eyes of our colleagues? It turns out that it is the fact that the conflict in Kosovo resulted in so many human casualties. Is this a legal argument? The ruling of the International Court says nothing about this. This is not even double standards; this is amazing, primitive, blunt cynicism. One should not try so crudely to make everything suit their interests, calling the same thing white today and black tomorrow. According to this logic, we have to make sure every conflict leads to human losses.

Bridget Kendall: Note how important it is for Mr Putin to be able to cite legal justification for Crimea rejoining Moscow. He wants to be able to rebut Western claims that this is a land grab and illegal annexation, to make the case at home and abroad that by redrawing the map and adding Crimea to Russia, his actions are entirely legitimate.

I will state clearly - if the Crimean local self-defence units had not taken the situation under control, there could have been casualties as well. Fortunately this did not happen. There was not a single armed confrontation in Crimea and no casualties. Why do you think this was so? The answer is simple: because it is very difficult, practically impossible to fight against the will of the people. Here I would like to thank the Ukrainian military - and this is 22,000 fully armed servicemen. I would like to thank those Ukrainian service members who refrained from bloodshed and did not smear their uniforms in blood.

Bridget Kendall: Particularly ironic that Mr Putin thanks Ukrainian troops for refraining from bloodshed in Crimea - they were under orders from Kiev at all costs to avoid clashes in order not to give Moscow a pretext for a full scale Russian military intervention.

Mr Putin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov says Ukrainian soldiers in Crimea have a choice
Other thoughts come to mind in this connection. They keep talking of some Russian intervention in Crimea, some sort of aggression. This is strange to hear. I cannot recall a single case in history of an intervention without a single shot being fired and with no human casualties.

Colleagues. Like a mirror, the situation in Ukraine reflects what is going on and what has been happening in the world over the past several decades. After the dissolution of bipolarity on the planet, we no longer have stability. Key international institutions are not getting any stronger; on the contrary, in many cases, they are sadly degrading.

Russia (L) vetoed a draft UN resolution condemning its actions in Crimea - but the vote left Russia isolated
Our Western partners, led by the United States of America, prefer not to be guided by international law in their practical policies, but by the rule of the gun. They have come to believe in their exclusivity and exceptionalism, that they can decide the destinies of the world, that only they can ever be right. They act as they please: here and there, they use force against sovereign states, building coalitions based on the principle, "If you are not with us, you are against us." To make this aggression look legitimate, they force the necessary resolutions from international organisations, and if for some reason this does not work, they simply ignore the UN Security Council and the UN overall.

This happened in Yugoslavia; we remember 1999 very well. It was hard to believe, even seeing it with my own eyes, that at the end of the 20th Century, one of Europe's capitals, Belgrade, was under missile attack for several weeks, and then came the real intervention. Was there a UN Security Council resolution on this matter, allowing for these actions? Nothing of the sort. And then, they hit Afghanistan, Iraq, and frankly violated the UN Security Council resolution on Libya, when instead of imposing the so-called no-fly zone over it they started bombing it too.

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Start Quote
They are constantly trying to sweep us into a corner because we have an independent position, because we maintain it and because we call things like they are and do not engage in hypocrisy"
End Quote
There was a whole series of controlled "colour" revolutions. Clearly, the people in those nations, where these events took place, were sick of tyranny and poverty, of their lack of prospects; but these feelings were taken advantage of cynically. Standards were imposed on these nations that did not in any way correspond to their way of life, traditions, or these peoples' cultures. As a result, instead of democracy and freedom, there was chaos, outbreaks in violence and a series of upheavals. The Arab Spring turned into the Arab Winter.

A similar situation unfolded in Ukraine. In 2004, to push the necessary candidate through at the presidential elections, they thought up some sort of third round that was not stipulated by the law. It was absurd and a mockery of the constitution. And now, they have thrown in an organised and well-equipped army of militants.

We understand what is happening; we understand that these actions were aimed against Ukraine and Russia and against Eurasian integration. And all this while Russia strived to engage in dialogue with our colleagues in the West. We are constantly proposing co-operation on all key issues; we want to strengthen our level of trust and for our relations to be equal, open and fair. But we saw no reciprocal steps.

Bridget Kendall: This is an especially worrying part of this speech, reflecting Mr Putin's belief that Ukraine is only the latest in a long running simmering confrontation between Russia and the West which is now out in the open - and which he sees is the result of the West refusing to treat Russia as an equal partner and repeatedly acting with double standards. His resentment against the West has been building for a long time.

On the contrary, they have lied to us many times, made decisions behind our backs, placed us before an accomplished fact. This happened with Nato's expansion to the east, as well as the deployment of military infrastructure at our borders. They kept telling us the same thing: "Well, this does not concern you." That's easy to say.

It happened with the deployment of a missile defence system. In spite of all our apprehensions, the project is working and moving forward. It happened with the endless foot-dragging in the talks on visa issues, promises of fair competition and free access to global markets.

Today, we are being threatened with sanctions, but we already experience many limitations, ones that are quite significant for us, our economy and our nation. For example, still during the times of the Cold War, the US and subsequently other nations restricted a large list of technologies and equipment from being sold to the USSR, creating the Co-ordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls list. Today, they have formally been eliminated, but only formally; and in reality, many limitations are still in effect.

In short, we have every reason to assume that the infamous policy of containment, led in the 18th, 19th and 20th Centuries, continues today. They are constantly trying to sweep us into a corner because we have an independent position, because we maintain it and because we call things like they are and do not engage in hypocrisy. But there is a limit to everything. And with Ukraine, our Western partners have crossed the line, playing the bear and acting irresponsibly and unprofessionally.

Bridget Kendall: Many have wondered whether this current crisis might subside and allow Moscow and the West to patch up their differences, as after Russia's incursion into Georgia in 2008. But this time looks different. When Mr Putin says the West "crossed a line" with Ukraine, it suggests - probably on both sides - that this is much more serious and could be opening up a permanent rift in international relations.
After all, they were fully aware that there are millions of Russians living in Ukraine and in Crimea. They must have really lacked political instinct and common sense not to foresee all the consequences of their actions. Russia found itself in a position it could not retreat from. If you compress the spring all the way to its limit, it will snap back hard. You must always remember this.

Today, it is imperative to end this hysteria, to refute the rhetoric of the Cold War and to accept the obvious fact: Russia is an independent, active participant in international affairs; like other countries, it has its own nationalinterests that need to be taken into account and respected

Bridget Kendall: Mr Putin may call on the West to stop its "Cold War hysterics", but this speech is woven through with Mr Putin's own Cold War nostalgia and suspicions - from his belief that the West wants to "contain" Russia and never dismantled its secret Cold War technology transfer bans to Russia, and his lament earlier in the speech that the Soviet republics failed to keep a common statehood and stay together as a single space with one currency, one economy and shared armed forces... to his conviction that hostile "foreign forces" were behind the recent turmoil in Ukraine, intent on turning it away from Moscow.

At the same time, we are grateful to all those who understood our actions in Crimea; we are grateful to the people of China, whose leaders have always considered the situation in Ukraine and Crimea taking into account the full historical and political context, and greatly appreciate India's reserve and objectivity.

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Start Quote
Do not believe those who want you to fear Russia, shouting that other regions will follow Crimea. We do not want to divide Ukraine; we do not need that"
End Quote
Today, I would like to address the people of the United States of America, the people who, since the foundation of their nation and adoption of the Declaration of Independence, have been proud to hold freedom above all else. Isn't the desire of Crimea's residents to freely choose their fate such a value? Please understand us.

I believe that the Europeans, first and foremost, the Germans, will also understand me. Let me remind you that in the course of political consultations on the unification of East and West Germany, at the very high level, some nations that were then and are now Germany's allies did not support the idea of unification. Our nation, however, unequivocally supported the sincere, unstoppable desire of the Germans for national unity. I am confident that you have not forgotten this, and I expect that the citizens of Germany will also support the aspiration of the Russians, of historical Russia, to restore unity.

I also want to address the people of Ukraine. I sincerely want you to understand us: we do not want to harm you in any way, or to hurt your national feelings. We have always respected the territorial integrity of the Ukrainian state, incidentally, unlike those who sacrificed Ukraine's unity for their political ambitions. They flaunt slogans about Ukraine's greatness, but they are the ones who did everything to divide the nation. Today's civil standoff is entirely on their conscience. I want you to hear me, my dear friends. Do not believe those who want you to fear Russia, shouting that other regions will follow Crimea. We do not want to divide Ukraine; we do not need that. As for Crimea, it was and remains a Russian, Ukrainian and Crimean-Tatar land.

I repeat, just as it has been for centuries, it will be a home to all the peoples living there. What it will never be and do is follow in Bandera's footsteps!

Bridget Kendall: These appeals sound reassuring - but are they? The message is mixed: Mr Putin says he still wants to co-operate with the West, but accuses it of lies and betrayal; he says he does not want to divide Ukraine, but leaves open the option of intervening if he deems conditions there worsen. Let's not forget that a week ago at his press conference he said he was not considering the option of Crimea rejoining Russia. In this fast-moving crisis, there are no guarantees that what is said today will hold tomorrow.
Crimea is our common historical legacy and a very important factor in regional stability. And this strategic territory should be part of a strong and stable sovereignty, which today can only be Russian. Otherwise, dear friends (I am addressing both Ukraine and Russia), you and we - the Russians and the Ukrainians - could lose Crimea completely, and that could happen in the near historical perspective. Please think about it.

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We want to be friends with Ukraine and we want Ukraine to be a strong, sovereign and self-sufficient country"
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Let me note too that we have already heard declarations from Kiev about Ukraine soon joining Nato. What would this have meant for Crimea and Sevastopol in the future? It would have meant that Nato's navy would be right there in this city of Russia's military glory, and this would create not an illusory but a perfectly rea