May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Home Switchboard Unix Administration Red Hat TCP/IP Networks Neoliberalism Toxic Managers
(slightly skeptical) Educational society promoting "Back to basics" movement against IT overcomplexity and  bastardization of classic Unix

Slightly Skeptical EuroMaidan Chronicles, April 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

Junta is now definitely nervous and its Washington backers are too. First of all it became clear who were puppetries behind the curtain and that creates some pressure on Washington to hide its tracks. And as a blowback to Washington efforts February coup d'état led in April to low intensity civil war.

The key problem that became evident is that Donbas and Lugansk events were mainly result of junta actions and junta far right ideology, not Russian meddling in the conflict. And that means that as any ground-based resistance movement insurrection in the East has sustaining power.

As WashPost reported:  “We don’t have a leader,” said Kirill Cherkashin, a professor of political science who is pro-Russia, “but we have a very clear idea.” That, he said, is a demand for a referendum on the status of Donbass. He said a “civilized” resolution to the Ukrainian crisis is possible but unlikely.

Article by Sergey Lavrov published in Guardian was also notable in this respect.

The top finds of the month were:

[Apr 12, 2014] Anatol Lieven: Ukraine should be a bridge, not a battleground

Brilliant article. I think Leiven underestimates the fact that Ukraine since independence was an empire were Western Ukrainians oppressed Eastern Ukrainians and Russian speaking population and were they tried to exterminate both Russian language and culture.


[Apr 26, 2014] The Containment Revival’s Strategic Shortcomings

Apr 25, 2014 | The American Conservative

From that point on—and as the Khrushchev thaw became more and more evident—Kennan advocated for a policy of engagement with Russia; containment was, as he was at pains to point out, not a policy of military encirclement, nor was it a policy of engaging the Soviets in a series of proxy wars over peripheral and strategically worthless third-world outposts. That was, in fact, Nitze’s policy as first put forth in NSC policy paper 68 of 1950. It was that policy that successive U.S. administrations generally adhered to, not Kennan’s, and it is that militarized version of containment that is being urged on the Obama administration by establishment figures like the Washington Post’s Anne Applebaum who, in a Slate column last month, wrote that a new approach toward Russia was needed because “Russia is an anti-Western power with a different, darker vision of global politics.” To face down the revanchist Russian bear, Applebaum (who is married to Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski) proposed that the West “re-imagine NATO” and “move its forces from Germany to the alliance’s eastern borders.”

Now perhaps the administration really is proposing a Kennan-esque rather than a Nitze-ian containment policy, but there is little to indicate this is so. The new policy, as laid out in Baker’s article, seems to be predicated on the assumption that the Russians have little or no means at their disposal to react. The administration’s focus seems to be on the costs it can impose on Russia, all the while neglecting the fact that Russia can—and will—counter-impose costs of its own. That the Russians have a fair amount of economic leverage over Europe is no secret; yet the costs they may be able to impose on the U.S. are more formidable than generally recognized. Is the administration willing to risk access to the Northern Distribution Network, over which the U.S. transports equipment and personnel to and from Afghanistan, over a crisis of Ukrainian sovereignty? Are efforts to isolate and make Russia an international outcast more or less likely to persuade them to assist in efforts to block Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon; or to work to help to defuse the ongoing Syrian fiasco; or to work with the U.S. in implementing the provisions of New Start; or to continue cooperating with the U.S. with regard to outer space? How, too, one wonders, would antagonizing Russia in the West affect the administration’s “pivot” to Asia?

The reasoning behind Containment 2.0 also seems to suffer from the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. The administration (and even some of the more sentient members of Congress, few though they are) seems to believe that because Russia’s aggressive approach in Crimea (and, it now must be said, in parts of eastern Ukraine) took place after the reset, then the reset’s “accommodative” approach must be among the causes of said aggression. This is specious. The Russophone populations in eastern and southern Ukraine have for years been explicit in their desire to stay within Russia’s sphere of influence; “reset” or not, Russia was never going to allow Ukraine to leave its orbit for that that of the EU and NATO without a fight.

And then, of course, there is the issue of Obama’s choice to be the next ambassador to Russia. Reports out of Washington seem to indicate Obama is leaning towards appointing career diplomat John F. Tefft who served as Chief of Mission in Tbilisi during the Russian-Georgian conflict in 2008. According to Baker, the White House was initially wary of appointing Tefft because of his prior service in Georgia and Ukraine, but now “there is no reluctance to offend the Kremlin.” What is it that they think they did when they appointed Michael McFaul as the American ambassador to Russia? In lieu of agitating the Kremlin (as seems to be the preferred option at present) perhaps the responsible thing for the administration to do would be to re-appoint the now-retired but still widely respected John Beyrle, or to appoint someone with a reputation for both reasonableness and deep expertise like Georgetown’s Angela Stent. Unfortunately the Obama administration, and in particular the current iteration of its NSC, which is sorely lacking in imagination, historical depth, and intellectual ballast, will likely do nothing of the kind.

And so, unfortunately, the new approach as outlined by Baker seems to be (yet another) case of the Obama administration losing the forest for the trees and not realizing that a policy that isolates and punishes Russia over its provocations in Ukraine, while perhaps satisfying in the short run, makes securing U.S. national security interests in far more important areas than Ukraine that much more difficult.

James Carden served as an advisor to the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission at the State Department from 2011-2012.

Top updates

Bulletin Latest Past week Past month
Google Search


Old News ;-)

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

[Feb 07, 2015] Russia warns of civil war if Ukraine uses force to quell eastern revolts

Pretty prophetic warning... Bloody pastor Turchinov " Turchynov reiterated Tuesday he would treat Russian separatists who have seized buildings in the east of the country as "terrorists" who will be prosecuted with the full force of the law." Pot calling kettle black.
April 8, 2014 |

Russia warned Tuesday that any use of force in Ukraine's eastern region could lead to civil war, as Kiev seeks to regain control after pro-Moscow uprisings in three cities.

Pro-Russian protesters seized government buildings in the cities of Donetsk, Luhansk and Kharkiv on Sunday. Declaring a "people's republic," protesters inside Donetsk's regional government building called Monday for a May 11 deadline to vote to secede from Ukraine.

There were conflicting reports late Tuesday over whether demonstrators who seized control of a Security Service of Ukraine building in Luhansk took hostages.

An anti-terrorism unit outside the building claimed the pro-Russian demonstrators were holding hostages, Victoria Syumar, a security service spokeswoman, and Yarema Duh, spokesman for the National Security and Defense Council, told CNN. Fifty-one people were released from the building early Wednesday morning, the security service said in a statement.

But pro-Russian demonstrators holed up in the building denied they have taken anyone hostage, according to Reuters reports.

The security service also accused the demonstrators of placing explosive throughout the building, a claim the protesters denied, Reuters reported.

Russia's Foreign Ministry said reports that the protesters are facing a crackdown by Ukrainian authorities are of particular concern.

"We are calling for the immediate cessation of any military preparations, which could lead to civil war," it said in a statement on its website.

The ministry alleged that what it called "American experts from the private military organization Greystone," disguised as soldiers, as well as militants from the Ukrainian far-right group Right Sector, had joined Ukrainian forces preparing for the crackdown in the country's east.

Pro-Russian activists argue in Mariupol about how to thwart the upcoming Ukrainian
Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday that Russian forces and special agents have been behind what he called the "chaos" in eastern Ukraine in the past 24 hours. Kerry described the developments as "more than deeply disturbing" and said they amounted to what could be a "contrived pretext for military intervention just as we saw in Crimea."

He followed up by warning of increased sanctions targeting Russia's banking, energy, mining and arms sectors if the Russians "cross over" into eastern Ukraine. Current sanctions target individuals over the Crimean annexation.

Kerry will meet Monday with his Russian, Ukrainian and European Union counterparts to discuss efforts to de-escalate the crisis, according to a statement released by the spokesperson for EU Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton.

Ashton "calls against any further destabilization of Ukraine, whether from the inside or the outside," the statement said.

Building cleared

Late Monday, special forces cleared armed protesters from the security service headquarters in Donetsk, acting President Oleksandr Turchynov's office announced.

But Ukrainian interim Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Yarema was quoted by Russian state-run news agency ITAR-Tass as saying Tuesday that authorities are not going to storm the city's regional administration building. Yarema said the decision was made after talks with representatives of the protesters in the building.

Donetsk protesters dig in at government building

According to the deputy head of the National Security and Defense Council, Victoria Syumar, negotiations are under way between the protesters and police, coordinated by influential oligarch Rinat Ahmetov.

Donetsk is the hometown of ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, whose pro-Russian government was toppled in a popular revolt in February.

At a news conference in Kiev, interim presidential chief of staff Serhiy Pashinksiy said he had "convincing evidence" suggesting the protests were being financed by Yanukovych and his supporters.

In remarks posted by Russia's Interfax news agency and confirmed by his press secretary, Pashinksiy said authorities had frozen "dozens of bank accounts and seized colossal resources. All of these massive rallies are financed."

This could not immediately be independently verified.

'Anti-terrorist operation'

Police detained about 70 people in Kharkiv in an "anti-terrorist" operation that cleared the building in Kharkiv, an Interior Ministry spokeswoman said.

Special forces police from outside of the city carried out the operation, in which all those arrested were armed with knives or batons, spokeswoman Natalia Stativko said.

Those arrested have been taken to police detention centers in the cities of Poltava and Zaporijya and face charges relating to separatism, violence and taking part in mass protests, she said.

Earlier, in a Facebook message, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said the city center had been closed to the public and urged people to remain calm. No guns were fired, he said.

Turchynov blamed "separatist groups coordinated by Russian special services" for the revolts, which he said echoed events leading to the Russian annexation of Crimea three weeks ago.

"Enemies of Ukraine are trying to play out the Crimean scenario, but we will not let this happen," he said in a televised message.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said the protests bore "all the hallmarks of a Russian strategy to destabilize Ukraine" and warned of "grave economic and political consequences."

Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy warship USS Donald Cook is scheduled to enter the Black Sea no later than Thursday as part of the latest U.S. military effort to demonstrate support for Eastern European allies concerned about Russia's troop buildup, two U.S. military officials said.

The ship will conduct exercises and port visits while in the Black Sea, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because a formal announcement has not been made.

The move comes ahead of an April 15 meeting among top NATO political representatives, who will discuss and potentially approve NATO recommendations for additional military measures, including shortening the response time of NATO forces in a crisis. Other options include more military exercises with member nations, including the United States, and potentially providing military advisers to Ukraine.

Ukraine to Russia: I'm not your child

Separatism outlawed

Turchynov reiterated Tuesday he would treat Russian separatists who have seized buildings in the east of the country as "terrorists" who will be prosecuted with the full force of the law.

His remarks to parliament came ahead of a vote in which it approved legislation outlawing groups and individuals who call for separatism. Of the 450 members of the Ukrainian parliament, 230 voted in favor of the bill. All members of the Communist Party abstained from voting.

Before the vote, a fight broke out in parliament when Petr Simonenko, the leader of the Communist Party, began to say lawmakers should listen to the demands of eastern Ukraine.

He defended demonstrators who have seized local government buildings, saying they are not doing anything different from what the current interim government has done. He also accused "nationalists" of starting the crisis in eastern Ukraine.

Simonenko was prevented from speaking further by a member of the far-right Svoboda party, and peace was restored in the parliament.

Russia urges talks

Russia, which has tens of thousands of troops near the Ukrainian border, said Monday that it was "watching closely" what was unfolding and told Ukraine to stop blaming it for Ukrainian problems.

President Vladimir Putin's government pushed Ukraine to set up a federal system in which regions with ethnic Russian majorities would have more autonomy, and its Foreign Ministry urged Ukraine to enter into talks over the issue.

"Ukrainian people want to get a clear answer from Kiev to all their questions. It's time to listen to these legal claims," a Foreign Ministry statement read. The Ukrainian government was acting "irresponsibly," it said.

At a news conference Tuesday, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow has proposed involving Ukrainian presidential candidates in Russian, U.S. and EU talks on Ukraine.

He insisted that representatives of southeast Ukraine take part, too, according to the Interfax news agency. He said Russia was ready for the talks, which may take place in 10 days.

Moscow dispatched thousands of troops to Crimea in support of a pro-Russian movement that seized power in the semi-autonomous region shortly after Yanukovych fled to Russia.

The Black Sea peninsula was then subsumed into Russia after a referendum denounced as illegal by Kiev and the West.

Russia has called Yanukovych's removal a coup and says the interim government in Kiev is illegitimate. It has said it doesn't intend to invade eastern Ukraine but reserves the right to protect ethnic Russians there.

Ukraine says it retakes building seized by protesters

Is Russia done after Crimea?

FIRST ON CNN: Ukraine warns Russia in phone call: Don't invade

Editors' Note: This article has been edited to remove plagiarized content after CNN discovered multiple instances of plagiarism by Marie-Louise Gumuchian, a former CNN news editor.

[Apr 29, 2014] Ukraine's pro-Russia presidential contender has announced he is withdrawing from the presidential race.

You can't expect much objectivity from Radio Liberty, but I really like the word "alleged" in the sentence "Earlier this month, Tsaryov alleged he had been beaten by pro-Ukrainian activists in Kyiv."
April 29, 2014 |
Oleh Tsaryov, a lawmaker from the Party of Regions, said on April 29 that it was "dangerous" for him to continue his presidential campaign and meet with voters in Kyiv.

Tsaryov called on all presidential candidates representing Ukraine's eastern and southeastern regions to boycott the poll scheduled for May 25.

"An election that is being held while a civil war is unfolding must be boycotted," Tsaryov said.

Earlier this month, Tsaryov alleged he had been beaten by pro-Ukrainian activists in Kyiv.

Ukraine: Developments ...

Apr 27, 2014 |



I understand that aspect of it, but do not see it as a justification for Russia or any other nation to start lopping off territory.

And that is what is going on.


Fuck the wishes of the people who live in that territory, that's your position. Stop hating.


"the sight of the Ukraine being chewed off in chunks is disgusting to anyone who values the notion of territorial integrity and international law."

Spare us your self-satisfied moralisms ralphieboy. Where were your notions when an elected government was being toppled violently? Why should the people of the east and south simply submit to the rule of these unelected usurpers in Kiev - to pay taxes to them, to fight in the army for them, to have their police rule over them, to suffer the IMF for them, all while being called "Moskals" and seeing their history and their language threatened - when said usurpers simply demand blind obedience?

The first notions of value are peace and justice - two things no one can accuse Russia of violating. Russia has not inflicted any harm to the people of Crimea, nor to those in the east. All the killing has been done by Kiev. As for justice - justice is the notion of the people, and they have clearly chosen to defy the will of the unelected mob government in Kiev.

Unfortunately, some only want to value "notions" when it benefits them. And such is the case here. Those in Kiev who would not submit to the rule of Moscow now see that there are those in the east who will not submit to theirs. And what is good for one group is good for another.

We are witnessing justice at work in Ukraine - a settling of old, old differences. If Kiev wants to try and prevent the inevitable with a violent bloodbath, then they are disturbing for more ancient and powerful notions that that of "territorial integrity and international law".


Poor, innocent Washington: it has been lied to and deceived by Russia: now it is sobering up to the absolute, incomprehensible evil that is Russia (link is to a German article).

Evidently the editors of the FAZ have had it with their readers, whose brainwashing by their American occupiers did not take. The editors have turned of readers' comments. That, or FAZ has lost its readers, since there are zero comments.


@Anonymous #18:

It's basically no different from what one might read in the New York Times or Wash Post. It reads like a NY Times "news analysis". Here is the lead and first two pars, put through Google Translate and corrected.

Back down to earth [literally: "The great sobering up"

04.27.2014 · Washington feels lied to and deceived by Moscow. The relationship with Russia is being evaluated completely anew. Further sanctions should Putin to reason - but their brunt will fall on Europeans.

In recent weeks, many hopes, plans and desires in the relationship between the West and Russia have been taken to the grave. The Russian action in Ukraine - the annexation of the Crimea, the continued destabilization in the east of the country - has provoked an international crisis, that not many thought possible and for which the west was so unprepared. The idea that Russia is a strategic partner of Europe, is being removed from our vision, by Putin's wild, anti-Western rhetoric, and it emerges that at least the Russia of Vladimir Putin is a rival to and challenger of Europe, its values ​​and interests. In the words of the Chancellor takes like this: Vladimir Putin is not of this world, even if he may be domestically currently supported by a large wave of approval.

Great is the disillusionment also in the United States. Over the past twenty years, although there were always quarrels with Moscow about NATO enlargement, missile defense, and President Bush's Iraq policy; from the war in Chechnya to Putin neoauthoritarianism. But the word "containment" in conjunction with Russia had disappeared from the political vocabulary . Why not? The Cold War was finally over.

I did not read the rest because it makes me sick and I am not paid for this. You can put it through Google translate yourself if you want. There are still no reader comments.

I don't know what the FAZ expects its readers to make of this. Germans are not as uninformed as most Americans.

I had an interesting thing happen to one of my comments at the Guardian site today. The story was about how horrible the eastern Ukrainians were treating the arrested "observers" and someone linked to a video showing them tied up and blind folded. I simply responded with a link to an image of the "American taliban" John Walker Lindh from 2001 how the US treats prisoners.

That was it, they deleted the comment. You can see it here: guardian">">guardian

Of course you can't see it because it was deleted. But the part of the post remains with their statement that it was deleted because it did not accord to standards etc. BTW, it was under my other handle Theodore Svedberg (this was not my choice to create numerous handles, just seemed to happen in the whole registration process in different sites).

In any case, there does seem to be active monitors at the Guardian that are explicitly working to control the anti Russia message. In spite of that effort there do seem to be many good comments there.

ToivoS, I noticed that many of the comments questioning the "official Russohobic" message receive the most recommendations. One can imagine how many still got deleted. In general, just like on Syria, the comments seem to run 4-to-1 against the official Guardian stand. not only that, but those who reject the official empire message generally have the best, most thoughtful comments.

Not unlike what we see on NYT and WaPo.

On anything to do with I/P the ratio is even more lopsided, with typically half the comments deleted.

I gather this is what's happening in German papers as well.

It seems that the fraction of at least the people-who-read are not tracking with the empire and PTB propaganda. Or may be they just all flock to MoA for more balanced slices of information?

scalawag MI5's hiring: British Secret Service is looking for intel experts on Russia

A great chance for some people to supplement their MI6, Mossad, CIA and BND pay. Apparently, the many spies MI5 already have working for them inside the UK are not enough or doing a poor job.

scalawag Football ultras clash with anti-govt protesters in eastern Ukraine, at least 14 injured (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

"Peaceful rallies in eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkov turned violent as a crowd of several thousand football ultras attacked a crowd of some 300 pro-Russian protesters. At least 14 people were injured, including two law enforcement.

Thousands of fans of two Ukrainian football clubs Dnipro and Metalist have gathered in Kharkov's Constitution Square where they joined some 250 pro-Kiev activists holding a rally."

Looks like the footie fans in the Ukraine are the same kind of cowardly fascist garbage as the footie fans in the UK. These fans invariably show how low brow they are and that they reside at the lowest levels on the societal totem pole.



This whole western fantasy fairytale on territorial integrity and international law has the danger to make these terms irrelevant. Just as no one takes "terrorist" or "international community" seriously anymore.

If you are so interested in Ukraine's territorial integrity then it would help to know something about the region too. The East and South East were never part of Ukraine. Furthermore, Ukraine and Russia have been one for 300 years prior to Nulland's coup.

While the murderous butcher Obama and his minions chat "territorial integrity" they not only planned, funded but directed the rape of Ukraine.

So, lets get our facts right here.


@ToivoS #32:

Yeah, that's who the Saker talks about here. They were supposed to kidnap an anti-putsch police chief. The pro-federalists (as the Russian press calls them) would never treat NATO officers like that.

@dh #35:

I forgive you, although I don't know what injury you did to me. ;-)

There seems to be an almost complete Western news blackout of the capture of that Ukrainian special forces team. And note that while the putch regime goes on about how many GRU officers they have caught, it never provides any evidence. To quote the Saker:

For days the regime in Kiev was reporting that it caught GRU (Russian military intelligence) officers here, then there, then again over there. They were never shown, of course. At the GRU HQ in Moscow they laughingly declared that by now the Ukies had caught so many GRU officers that the entire GRU personnel was now in captivity and the GRU offices empty. So imagine the pain and embarrassment in Kiev when they found out the self-organized militias of a small town near Donetsk managed to capture 3 Alpha officers alive, including a Lieutenant-Colonel.


Posted by: ralphieboy | Apr 27, 2014 3:31:11 PM | 11

"... the sight of the Ukraine being chewed off in chunks is disgusting to anyone who values the notion of territorial integrity and international law."

1. The borders of Ukraine were set by Lenin, Stalin, and Krushchev. Why were the dictates of Soviet premieres honored after the fall of the Soviet Union? Because the US (and the west in general) wanted to see as much territory stripped away from Russia as they could. As far as I'm concerned, the dictates of Soviet premieres should have had no standing whatsoever in the post-Soviet world. The people of the Ukrainian SSR should have been asked what they wanted to happen to them after the breakup of the USSR.

2. The only part of Ukraine that is gone is Crimea, and it wasn't "chewed off." It voted to leave, overwhelmingly (really, they pretty much ran screaming away from the Ukraine). The coup government in Ukraine would never have allowed the vote to take place, and they never would have let the Crimeans go, had the Russians not given the Crimean people space to make their own choices.

3. States hate to see parts of themselves break off. States make international law. Hence, states have made it very hard for people to break away from a state legally. On the other hand, the UN charter enshrines self determination as a basic human right. This is a contradiction. However I believe that human rights trump self-serving laws every time. Russia did the ethical thing by allowing the Crimean people to exercise their right of self determination. Maybe if you had seen videos of the celebrations in Crimea after they were accepted into the RF, you would feel differently (but then you wouldn't have seen those videos if you only watch western media).

4. Old men drawing lines on a map to suit their own interests have caused immeasurable problems by creating countries that have no reason to exist, at least not in their particular forms -- Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Iraq, Georgia, and the Ukraine, to name a few. The only way such made-up countries can exist is by creating neutral, multi-ethnic societies. As soon as one faction tries to lord it over the others, you wind up with civil war and breakup. Ukraine had a chance so long as it went the neutral, multi-ethnic route. Now it has none.

[Apr 27, 2014] Ukraine: Media Obfuscate About "OSCE Observers"

Moon of Alabama
Also Friday, a group of foreign military observers traveling under the auspices of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, along with their Ukrainian hosts, were detained by pro-Russian separatists in Slovyansk, the separatists and the Ukrainian government said.

The government said seven foreign observers and five Ukrainian military officers had been seized.
Defying Moscow, Ukraine Threatens to Blockade Pro-Russian Militants

The group was operating under the mandate of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and comprised four Germans, a Pole, a Dane, a Swede and a Czech officer. According to the Ukrainian interior ministry, they were being escorted by five members of the Ukrainian armed forces when their bus was seized by separatists.
Ukra ervers captive

Now, how is the above reporting consistent with this?


1/4 Comms with military observers in Donetsk region lost.Team not OSCE monitors but sent by States under Vienna Doc on military transparency


2/4 All members of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission and OSCE/ODIHR election observers are safe and accounted for


3/4 Military verification team - led by Germans – members – 4 Germans, 1 Czech, 1 Danish, 1 Polish, 1 Swedish


4/4 Military verification team sent following invitation from Ukraine under terms of Vienna Document 2011

The captured foreign officers were there at the invitation of Ukrainian coup-government and accompanied by Ukrainian officers. While the Vienna Document 2011 was exchanged within the framework of the OSCE the military observer mission under the document, like the one captured in Slovyansk, are bilateral and not under organizational OSCE control (see para 18: VOLUNTARY HOSTING OF VISITS TO DISPEL CONCERNS ABOUT MILITARY ACTIVITIES). This was not an OSCE mission but a multilateral visit under a paper that was signed between OSCE countries.

The coup-government has labeled the protesters in eastern Ukraine as "terrorists" and only yesterday some of them were, allegedly, killed by Ukrainian troops. How would anybody with a sane mind send foreign military observers and Ukrainian officers into towns where those "terrorists" are having the upper hand? For what purpose if not to spy for the Ukrainian government which plans to recapture those towns by military force?


In case someone doubts the official OSCE position as expressed in the tweets above here is a TV interview (in German) by the Austrian TV with the vice president of the OSCE crisis prevention center Claus Neukirch. He points out several times that the military observers caught in eastern Ukraine are acting under a bilateral (German-Ukrainian) deal within the framework of a document which was once signed during OSCE consultations. Neither the paper nor the missions under it are, Neukirch says, within the official OSCE framework. The OSCE does have 150 strong civilian mission in Ukraine which is neutral in its position and is trying to locally intermediate between waring sides. Neukirch also says that the official civilian OSCE mission is not involved in any negotiations about the caught bilateral military mission. That mission's fate is a problem for Germany and Ukraine to solve.


@ Virgile 14,

Some good points, but fortunately for Russia, US diplomacy is so poor and their willingness to compromise on their objectives is so non-existent that it really wont matter much. While it makes sense for the US and Europe to reconcile with Iran to gain an alternate source of gas, they clearly aren't doing it. Barring Iran's chosen UN ambassador is a totally unnecessary slap in the face and doesn't point to easing of any sanctions anytime soon. The west simply can't allow a Muslim country to grow to be much stronger than Israel...which is what would happen if sanctions are lifted and hundreds of billions flow into the Iranian economy. OTOH, Russia can offer to buy Iranian oil and gas and resell it to Europe and China. Because it seems Russia is going to be supplying gas in both directions, they might need to.

At the same time, there's been nothing to stop Qatar or anyone other PG monarchy from selling its gas to Europe. But without a pipeline, they just can't compete with Russian gas.

The Crimean Tatars are hardly a blip on anyone's radar screen at the moment, and it seems they are ready to accept that Russian rule will be a much better deal than what they had under Ukraine.

The other Arab nations will change their views of Moscow based on its success in Ukraine and Syria. If Russia is viewed as having faced down the US and NATO in Ukraine and as having helped defeat the NATO mercenary invasion of Syria, then its stock will go way up. And while a country like Egypt is unlikely to throw out the US in exchange for Russia (not that Russia would need another economic dependency) I can certainly see Egypt offering friendly docking privileges in Alexandria for the Russian Navy. Algeria is another potential friend of Russia.

By contrast, the US will be offering its protection to the Baltic states, to Poland, to Japan, To Israel (most crucial of all), to Saudi Arabia, etc. It will be pivoting to Asia all while maintaining its confrontational stance against Iran and Russia. After a while, US guarantees become less credible.


Crimea gave his answer " Daughters officer"
In Sevastopol, at the monument to the Scuttled Ships eve Rally after a famous propaganda meme " daughter of an officer ." The essence of the history of the Internet meme is as follows: after the reunification of the Crimea and Sevastopol with Russian , Ukrainian junta launched a massive information campaign aimed at discrediting any positive changes in the Crimea.

Along with major news sources , the fight came to Crimea and various small contractors who hired commentators paid to work on Internet resources of the Crimea. Since obvious agitation in favor of the junta Ukrainian Crimea does not enjoy success , advocates came from the other side , appearing either Crimeans or Russians who first expressed their support for the changes , but then began to agitate in the spirit that "in Ukraine have been better ."

In this case, one of the promoters introduced fake" a daughter of an officer " personality and began to spread rumors that in the Crimea "the situation is not so clear ." some post using this fake personality was written using mail for of the webs (which differ in russin), so that the phrase " daughter of an officer " became an instant Russian blogosphere meme, used as " a stupid and clumsy propaganda."

According to one eyewitness, the original comment of tis genre was published under the video "Getting Ukrainian army soldiers to Russian side ." Under the most popular version of the roller is left over 10,000 views , and because of the imperfect Commenting system on YouTube to find among them the statement " Kakegotama " is not possible.

Actually to this stupid and clumsy Ukrainian propaganda was devoted to a flash mob in Sevastopol , where youth activists went vests with posters " In Crimea, all clear -- " and " Daughter officer" , as well as flags and portraits of the Russian Federation Putin , reports On the eve . Thus , the Crimean youth with humor gives his answer Kiev propagandists .

Daughters officers Sevastopol | Photo: On the eve Daughters officers Sevastopol | Photo: On the eve

Ridicule obvious stupidity Ukrainian junta does not mean that in the Crimea dismiss real problems. Have an understanding of certain difficulties still to be overcome , and then, of course , not all of us uniquely , but in terms of historical choices made March 16, 2014 , the issue was settled in Crimea quite definitely


"Fog of War"

This group of OSCE observers was on a military mission based on a bilateral agreement between the interim regime in Kiev with the OSCE.

The document with photos of "Russian soldiers" in the Ukraine was part of a report by Kiev regime to the OSCE. On RT it was reported by Bob Gisling, the Ukraine regime had employed a PR company to clarify the East-West divide and write press releases to propagate how moderate the Kiev regime operates. I couldn't find the PR company yet, but Kerry was be reading these press releases.

In the Geneva agreement between EU, US, Ukraine and Russia, a complete different OSCE mission was agreed upon. See here:

Ertogrul Apakan is head of the OSCE Monitoring Mission to Ukraine

The Special Monitoring Mission will consist initially of 100 civilian monitors operating as necessary 24/7 in teams. The Chief Monitor will notify the Chairmanship, the Permanent Council, and the host country of the concrete modalities, based on the needs on the ground. As necessary and according to the situation, the mission may expand by a total of up to 400 additional monitors. Monitors will initially be deployed to Kherson, Odessa, Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kharkiv, Donetsk, Dnepropetrovsk, Chernivtsi, Luhansk. The head office will be in Kyiv. Any change in deployment shall be subject to a decision of the Permanent Council.


Your first link is another one. This one where the observers were arrested was not agreed with OSCE, it was bilateral Germany - Ukraine (Kyiv Government) done under an OSCE agreement that enables such missions - pretext armament control but according to an interview given by the German military guy leading the mission was supposed to check the readiness of Eastern Ukraine's army.
How they ended up in rebel controlled are is their secret.

As long as the West keeps up the fiction that the Kyiv government is the legitimate government of Ukraine and has to be supported in its effort to gain control of the country, this nonsense will continue, as Russia obviously means to prove the opposite.


It seems that Iran's emergence from decades of Western economical boycott will certainly provoke a wave of realignments in the region. One wonders is the Ukranian crisis is not one of the consequences of the possible re-inclusion of Iran as a energy provider to the West in replacement of Russia.

I think the crisis in Ukraine, Syria, Iraq and Turkey are clearly linked to the gas-oil energy situation in the region, with Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Russia competing for getting the largest share of the european energy needs though pipelines and deals.
Other actors such as Khazastan may soon be exposed to similar "crisis"...


offiers daughters of krimea
a meme went around crimea at the time of the referendum, to try to scuttle the referendum using officers daughters....the ip addresses of these were found to be in US or Bahrain:
this is what this youtube commentator says :
'Для тех, кто не понял прикола.
В марте, еще до крымского референдума, на многих интернет-ресурсах появлялись вбросы в стиле "Я - жена/дочь/сестра офицера, живу в Крыму/Севастополе 10/15/50 лет. Поверьте, здесь всё не так однозначно..." и дальше шел текст типа "на самом деле тут кроме горстки путлерюгенда не хочет в Россию, слава Украине и т.д."

Когда такие посты от "родственниц офицеров" стали появляться десятками в день, народ на про-российских форумах уже ржал с них в голос, особенно когда обнаруживалось, что посты писались с американских, бахрейнских и других иностранных IP. не имеющих ни к России ни к Украине никакого отношения.

Вбросы продолжались где-то до начала апреля, сейчас их почти нет



It's a very interesting subject. For the west to do what you are suggesting means accepting Iran as *THE* dominant power in the Persian Gulf. Not only will Iran become wealthy with the sanctions lifted, but its leadership over the Iran-Iraq-Syria-Lebanon (all of it, not just Hezbollah) axis becomes recognized. That axis with Iraqi and Iranian wealth can then proceed to buy off the rest of the middle east, Egypt in particular and possibly Jordan as well.

And then what about eastern Saudi Arabia? Such regional power could destabilize it and bring the Shia dominated Saudi oil patch into the Axis.

Would Israel ever allow them to accept such a thing? And even without Israel, would the west accept such a power in such a critical part of the world? My guess is no but with the fullness of time we shall see.

Add to that the general arrogance of the west that makes them believe they can get every concession from everyone without having to give anything back. They still think they can somehow bring Russia to heal while doing the same to Iran AND(!!) China.

By the time they figure out they can't it will be too late.


I should add that hopefully Russian diplomacy will not be idle during all this and that they are right now in Iran discussing weapons deals, and means of bringing Iranian oil and gas to market in a way that is mutually beneficial. At the very least it would greatly raise the price the US/NATO would have to offer Iran...though I still don't think they will go that rout.


@tst, William Boyce Thompson saw the Russian Revolution as an investment opportunity. He was no more a "socialist" than George Soros, his modern day counterpart.

Rowan Berkeley

I can show you imperialist wars great and small that were definitely planned by bankers, and indeed, as I often point out, Hobson's 1902 book, "Imperialism", which was an influence upon Lenin's 1916 "Imperialism", states very clearly that the bankers' clique in London that organised the pressure campaign for the Boer War was Jewish. But it makes no sense to claim that bankers organised a communist revolution whose first act was to expropriate the Russian branches of their banks.

Not that anything at all is impossible; it's just so fantastically unlikely that if you hadn't been started off by a determination to discredit the whole idea of communism, you wouldn't entertain it for a moment. In fact it goes with another myth, namely that Marx was a secret agent for Britain, and specifically for Palmerston's foreign office, which was, it's true, trying very hard to gain and retain control of all the "Young Greece", "Young Hungary", etc type nationalist movements in Europe which were generally aimed against the Hapsburgs, the Ottomans, or both at once. But they were not communist movements. Marx was interested in influencing them in a communist direction if possible, and in discouraging any involvement with anarchism, which he hated, but that's about it.

The point I was making, though, is why do we have to wade through all this again and again/ Why do people devote themselves to posting and reposting about it on all sorts of boards and threads with which it has nothing to do? And the answer is that they are either dupes or agents of the tedious ultra-right, capitalist-individualist propaganda which USAians are brainwashed from birth into idolising. Unfortunately, it has nothing to do with the real world, or as little to do with it as an episode of "Laramie" or "The High Chaparral". is a good example of this, and I pride myself on having blown several of its writers clean out of the water, one at least never to return, and hopefully to give up the libertarian opiate for good.


"USSR was a creation of Wall St bankers, many, but not all, of whom were Jewish"

Oh yes - certainly, that was key. Forget about the 50 years of European socialist history that lead up to it. Forget about the revolutionary conditions in Russia since the 1820s. Forget about the millions of people that rose up to topple the Czar and fought in the Civil War. Forget about all that...

The key is that this one guy (whom you read about in some book that people lately peddle all over the internet like over ripe fruit) may have given the communists money - therefore: "USSR was a creation of Wall St bankers, many, but not all, of whom were Jewish".

History is easy! Find a factoid, blow its relevance completely out of proportion and spin into a worldview that suits your own personal idiosyncrasies. And your done!

Of course, there's the matter of that other factoid - because the German's gave Lenin a train ride, "USSR was a creation of the German Empire." I'm sure there are more - whatever fits one's point of view for the moment, really.

Communism is an idea that gives people all over the globe a reason to fight - and you won't find too many Jews deep in the Colombian jungles, or in the forests of India or the heights of Nepal. Nor in the halls of power in Beijing, or Hanoi. As to the Russian Revolution - it was made by Russians, Ukrainians, Kazakhs, and every other group that lived, starving, in the carcass of the Russian Empire.


Interview, with portions on Ukraine, with Economist Michael Hudson:

So about a week or two ago the Russian TV station ARD sent an investigative team into Ukraine to find out what was behind all of this Maidan shooting and the sniping. And they found out that Obama and Kerry were lying through their teeth and they talked to the witnesses, they talked to the doctors, they talked to the relatives of the shooters. The shooting came from the Ukraine Hotel which is where the American-backed snipers were shooting from and it was all essentially pushed by what's called the Right Sector. These are really the Pinochet people. America's trying to do in Ukraine what it did in Chile. It's backing a terrorist organisation to come in and just shoot people who oppose American policy, meaning people who believe they should be paid for their gas and so forth.


NATO's Incremental Absorption of Ukraine

This historical review of the relations between NATO and Ukraine puts de facto into perspective one's analysis of the events in Kiev: since 1991 and its accession to the Atlantic Cooperation Council, Ukraine has apparently moved inexorably closer to the Alliance without ever consulting the population.

I hadn't realized that USG's working towards the absorption of the Ukraine into NATO has been so sustained and systematic. Clearly, Crimea reuniting with Russia was not part of the plan. given that the US Navy has been renovating public schools in Sevastopol in generous acts of "humanitarian assistance".

Clearly, a Ukrainian state within its present borders becoming part of NATO is unacceptable to Russia. The only way that the Ukraine can remain a unified state is if it gives some form of binding and credible assurances that it will remain neutral (writing that into the constitution, perhaps).


Lysander@32 Speculates on a realignment in the middle east, I agree, backing the "axis of Evil" or the shia ark Iran, Syria,Hez and Iraq would not mean alienating the Sunni, who even in Syria comprise the Majority of both the army and Government.
It would certainly annoy the Medieval dictators in the Gulf and their Islamist head choppers, and certainly their crowns would be at risk with such a development. Alexander Orlof has a good article on this in Vetstoday here

"The White House clearly ignores the fact that Iran's relations with Russia are based on a legal basis and are quickly developing into a strategic partnership, despite the attempts made by the West and the United States try to make this look like a temporary interaction.

Regarding the above-mentioned agreement between Iran and Russia, one can state that the US is not simply afraid of some country being able to bypass sanctions and thus achieve a sharp decline in external pressure on Iran, it's terrified by it".

scalawag Unknown gunmen land from helicopters, attack checkpoint in Donetsk region - militia

"Unknown assailants landed in helicopters and attacked a checkpoint in Soledar city in eastern Ukraine's Donetsk region, a militia source told RIA Novosti adding that there is a fight going on.

There is no information on the number of casualties.

Soledar is located about 30 kilometers south east of Slavyansk.

The people's governor of Donbass region Denis Pushilin confirmed to RT that there is fighting in Soledar.

As the unknown men attacked the checkpoint, the militia was forced to retreat, the source told RIA.

The second checkpoint is preparing for attack he said, adding that there are about 50 activists, many without weapons.

"We cannot send reinforcements from Slavyansk as all [forces] are defending the city," the source stressed.

The militia has blocked the entrances to warehouses storing arms to prevent the National guard forces from confiscationg the weapons, a militia source told RIA.

He added that the warehouses were left over from Soviet times and have in storage only outdated weaponry, such as Mauser, Colts, Degtyarev machine guns, submachine PCA guns but in great amounts.

"Armed men attacked our warehouses storing weapons, we are repelling the attack, there is fighting," Interfax cites a militia in the people's self-defense HQ as saying."


The puppets in Canada were so anxious to prove their loyalty to "empire", they forgot to cover their ass ( a bit difficult, that, when your pants are about your ankles and you're bent over the boss' desk).

Canada to Pay for Ditched Launch Contract with Russia - Moscow

"Canada will have to pay – both in terms of money and reputation – for a decision to ditch the launch of its satellite by a Russian rocket, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said Friday.

Commenting on the Canadian media reports that the government's hard line on sanctions against Russia has scuttled the launch of what was described to be a "key Canadian military satellite," Rogozin wrote in his Twitter that Canada will "certainly" have to pay the forfeit.

In addition, the Canadian government exposed the true military purpose of its satellite, claimed to be a civilian one, he said.

"The Canadians screwed things up. They refused to launch the satellite and admitted that it was a military one, despite earlier assurances of its civilian purpose," Rogozin said."


lysander at 18 The other Arab nations will change their views of Moscow based on its success in Ukraine and Syria.

I think that is the best explanation for current US policy guiding our actions in Ukraine. What Obama and Kerry are doing is difficult to understand otherwise. At some level they must be starting to realize that our policies towards Libya, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan have been unmitigated disasters. The rest of the world sees that. Somehow the US thinks if it can win one in Ukraine (or at least make it look like the Russians have lost) this will restore the luster of American invincibility. Without that the rest of the world jut might begin to drift away from America's demands.

At the beginning of this crisis, I did not think there was any coherent policy guiding Kerry and Obama in Ukraine. Policy was just some of the old stuff that was used during the Orange (and other color) revolution(s), basically we were on auto-control with low level officials making the decisions. The problem was was that we were not listening to Putin nor did we learn any lesson in Georgia. Once this blew up Obama and Kerry saw that they were about to experience another major diplomatic defeat. I doubt very much this is an outcome they wanted but they seem to be trapped right now in reacting to one circumstance and another really out of their control. This has been clear since Feb 21 and, unfortunately they seem to just be making things worse at each step. They are in too far to back down (i.e. accept a diplomatic solution that the Russians proposed before this all blew up).

It is hard to see how this plays out. Unfortunately it is difficult to see how the negotiations with Iran can survive this crisis. Obama and Kerry would just look too weak if they were to accept the outlines of the agreement that has so far been worked out. It is clear that Iran will not back down from their central demands.


@Massinissa #62:

Sorry, I wasn't detailed enough with my semiserious proposal.

It is based on my impression that Putin and Lavrov are really more concerned about the interests of the Ukrainian people than the members of the putsch regime are.

Counterintelligence officers are trained to be able to see situations from the points of view of their opponents. Thus, SVR officers probably understand Germany's own interests, for example, better than the German government does. To try to prevent this scheme from just transferring political control to a new hegemon, the SVR officers mandated to save their respective European countries should be asked to sign an oath that they will place the interests of their European country over those of Russia. A free press would be sufficient to ensure that they adhere to this oath.

An alternative scheme along similar lines would be - for countries like Germany, France, and Italy with their own reasonably independent (of CIA) foreign intelligence services - to take their new Kanzler/president/P.M. from their own intelligence service. Of course, that wouldn't work for countries like the UK and Poland, whose intelligence services as staffed with lackies who are at least as bad at whoring for the US as their political leaders are.

These musings were inspired by the following piece, a naked link to which was posted at MoA before:

Putin: The Last Man Standing

Rowan Berkeley

Jacob Schiff would have been happy to finance anybody who promised to light a fire under the hated Tsar. Lesson one in 20th century Jewish history is that Jews worldwide hated the Tzar. They are great haters, as you probably know. And like now, the wealthy and somewhat guilty Jews in the comfort of the west, especially, tried more or less clumsily to salve their Jewish consciences by sending money to Jewish entities of every sort in the east. When they do this, they regard it as 'philanthropy', not investment. I don't suppose he took the 'communist' aspect very seriously. But believe what you want. Just demonstrate its relevance to the thread, if you would, or shut up about it, because I don't see any relevance at all, yet. I don't think it's good enough to just draw a vague analogy with nothing in particular, then sit back, so to speak, smirking suggestively. You need to either make a serious point about the Ukrainian situation, or shut up.


This article has more details of the satellite photos showing a nazi build-up in eastern Ukraine. 'Tanks, APCs, 15,000 troops': Satellite images show Kiev forces build-up near Slavyansk

Posted by: scalawag | Apr 26, 2014 4:18:31 PM | 73


"... the Russian TV station ARD ..."

Did Michael Hudson actually say that? If so, he made a mistake. ARD is actually a GERMAN public network. The acronym stands for 'Arbeitsgemeinschaft der öffentlich-rechtlichen Rundfunkanstalten der Bundesrepublik Deutschland'. But he's right about the rest. A few weeks ago, they did air an excellent investigative journalism piece on the mysterious shootings in the days leading up to Yanukovich's overthrow. And they did come to the conclusion that the most likely suspects were Pravij Sektor extremists.

For those of you who know German, here's the link to the show:


It all depends on if you consider the Kyiv government legitimate - or not.

As is the "international community" is driving Ukraine into a failed state, just as they did with the exclusive (non Eurasian union) EU association agreement. Tymoshenko now calls for NATO membership.

It is not a bug, it is a feature.

Of course it is Russia's fault, everything would be nice and peaceful if she accepted the US designed takeover of the Kyiv government. And accepted Ukraine as an EU/NATO country.

Or, of course it is the fault of US/EU everything would be nice and peaceful if they accepted Ukraine as a neutral/Russia aligned country within the Eurasian Union.

Sounds like both need counselling. Who is going to do that, China?


Oh Canada

"Commenting on the Canadian media reports that the government's hard line on sanctions against Russia has scuttled the launch of what was described to be a "key Canadian military satellite," Rogozin wrote in his Twitter that Canada will "certainly" have to pay the forfeit.

In addition, the Canadian government exposed the true military purpose of its satellite, claimed to be a civilian one, he said.
"The Canadians screwed things up. They refused to launch the satellite and admitted that it was a military one, despite earlier assurances of its civilian purpose," Rogozin said.

The M3MSat was to be launched from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan on June 19. The spacecraft is intended for sea surveillance and was to operate jointly with the RADARSAT-2 orbiter."


Translation of first "GRU-Strelov" interview - Donetzk military commander

KP : On Friday, you detained some military observers ...

Strelkov : I showed you their documents. According to a member of the Ukrainian forces, this mission is travelling along the border to inspect the locations specifically of Russian troops. I frankly can't imagine what they were doing here. Maybe they were trying to use diplomatic cover to conduct reconnaissance for the Ukrainians on the positions of the People's Militia, hoping that as foreigners they would not be detained. Although it's more likely it's one of those brilliant strategic ideas concocted by the Ukrainian command, which doesn't know where the People's Militia posts are located. When the bus carrying the observers, accompanied by the traffic police, arrived at the checkpoint in Kramatorsk, members of the Ukrainian military started hiding their military documents in a panic . This suggests that they absolutely did not expect to encounter any armed militia here.


I am very outraged! First the pushing of Maidan uprising via Konrad Adenauer-Stiftung and that moron Klitschko and now this Nato-bilateral wishy-washy intelligence-mission.

Not an intelligent mission.

Merkel and her masters are having a tough time, maybe she will finally have to resign over her nasty deeds! She trumpeted for war already on Iraq back in 2003, but then she was only leader of the opposition - lucky.


Living in Retardica one never ceases to be amazed at the sheer asininity of the horseshit one encounters on a daily basis.

So, S&P - yup, the same credit rating agency that gave AAAAAAAA+++++++ to every nonsense piece of shit financial instrument - e.g., CDO, MBS, etc etc - banking criminals could dream up right up until the time it all blew up in their faces and the common person was fucked on the order of TRILLIONS of dollars in losses (not to mention the $16-24 trillion that the Fed printed for said criminals) - yeah that same organization downgraded Russia's debt to near junk status the other day and I'm sure TPTB didn't even blink an eye worrying whether the average shithead in the US might say something like:

Hey, like because S&P et al are directly responsible in part for me being unemployed, there being no money for schools, health care, etc etc why should I fucking care what a bunch of Wall Street whores have to say about ANYTHING especially as they are proven fucking criminal liars who've fucked me, my kids and the rest of our society for the foreseeable future?

Nope, anything that hurts evil evil Vlad is AOK in the Merkans' books!!!Now quit beating up on those gays, Putin, you faggot!

[Apr 26, 2014] The Kiev government does not know what to do in the situation with South-East and fears of irreversible effects

Exclusive comments from political scientist Vasily Stoyakin .

According to him, the current situation in Ukraine just set tougher U.S. . " Tougher just now configured Washington, which constantly demands from Kiev authorities decisive action. Some developments in the anti-terrorist operation always occur after visits from Washington, was first Brennan, then Biden , "- said the analyst .

"Judging by the actions of the Ukrainian authorities , they doubt and fear irreversible effects , including for themselves personally. Because once some strange military actions in Ukraine start, Russia in turn, starts to activate its troops movement. Now the government itself does not know what to do : on the one hand , it is necessary to eliminate separatists, on the other - they fear the response of South-East and Russia ", - said Stoyakin .

He also compares the current events in the east of Ukraine with the events on the Maidan . "On November 30 last year on Independence Maidan almost completely deflated , and only large-scale provocation involving the "Right Sector "and "Berkut " brought a new life in the protest . Now they ( the Kiev authorities ) should see an analogy with those events . If they would not feed the protect with "anti-terrorist operation", the poorly organized protest formed without common goals would have already ceased in the Southeast . Antiterrorist operation support discontent, and they (the Kiev government) suspect that if more pressure on the South- East. the read explosion of people anger will blow up the whole South East" -- said Stoyakin

[Apr 26, 2014] Choosing Weapons Wisely in Answering Putin by Patrick J. Buchanan

Apr 25, 2014 | The American Conservative

Another idea gaining currency is that we should start shipping oil and gas to Europe to reduce its dependency on Russia. Certainly, U.S. energy independence, and the restoration of our lately lost industrial independence, is a good idea. But weaning Europe off the Russian gas on which it so heavily depends is another project of years, if not a decade. Meanwhile, Russia could build pipelines to a fuel-hungry China and cement a Moscow-Beijing alliance, the rupture of which was Richard Nixon's great achievement.

Are we thus left with no options, in Nixon's phrase, a "pitiful helpless giant" in preventing Ukraine's absorption by Russia? By no means. But as Henry Kissinger argues, "the demonization of Putin is not a policy. It is an alibi for the absence of one." What we must recognize is that, Beltway bluster about U.S. troops in the Baltic and warships in the Black Sea aside, the United States is not going to war with Russia over Ukraine, or Estonia. For we cannot defend Estonia either. By bringing the Baltic nations into NATO, as some of us loudly warned at that time, we were handing out war guarantees no sane president was going to honor.

As we hold a weak hand in Ukraine, we should let Putin take the lead. If what he wants is a Ukraine that is not in NATO, a Ukraine that is decentralized, where the East retains cultural and economic ties to Russia while the West has ties to Europe, that is no threat to us. What should we do if Putin seizes Southern Ukraine to Odessa? What did Ike do about Hungary in 1956, or JFK do when the Wall went up? What did LBJ do about Czechoslovakia in 1968, or Reagan do when Solidarity was crushed?

Mature leaders, they accepted militarily what they could not prevent. Like those presidents, Obama should take the military option off the table and use his diplomatic, political, and economic weapons, and keep communications open. There are big issues, like terrorism, where we still agree

[Apr 26, 2014] The Containment Revival's Strategic Shortcomings

Apr 25, 2014 | The American Conservative

From that point on-and as the Khrushchev thaw became more and more evident-Kennan advocated for a policy of engagement with Russia; containment was, as he was at pains to point out, not a policy of military encirclement, nor was it a policy of engaging the Soviets in a series of proxy wars over peripheral and strategically worthless third-world outposts. That was, in fact, Nitze's policy as first put forth in NSC policy paper 68 of 1950. It was that policy that successive U.S. administrations generally adhered to, not Kennan's, and it is that militarized version of containment that is being urged on the Obama administration by establishment figures like the Washington Post's Anne Applebaum who, in a Slate column last month, wrote that a new approach toward Russia was needed because "Russia is an anti-Western power with a different, darker vision of global politics." To face down the revanchist Russian bear, Applebaum (who is married to Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski) proposed that the West "re-imagine NATO" and "move its forces from Germany to the alliance's eastern borders."

Now perhaps the administration really is proposing a Kennan-esque rather than a Nitze-ian containment policy, but there is little to indicate this is so. The new policy, as laid out in Baker's article, seems to be predicated on the assumption that the Russians have little or no means at their disposal to react. The administration's focus seems to be on the costs it can impose on Russia, all the while neglecting the fact that Russia can-and will-counter-impose costs of its own. That the Russians have a fair amount of economic leverage over Europe is no secret; yet the costs they may be able to impose on the U.S. are more formidable than generally recognized. Is the administration willing to risk access to the Northern Distribution Network, over which the U.S. transports equipment and personnel to and from Afghanistan, over a crisis of Ukrainian sovereignty? Are efforts to isolate and make Russia an international outcast more or less likely to persuade them to assist in efforts to block Iran's path to a nuclear weapon; or to work to help to defuse the ongoing Syrian fiasco; or to work with the U.S. in implementing the provisions of New Start; or to continue cooperating with the U.S. with regard to outer space? How, too, one wonders, would antagonizing Russia in the West affect the administration's "pivot" to Asia?

The reasoning behind Containment 2.0 also seems to suffer from the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. The administration (and even some of the more sentient members of Congress, few though they are) seems to believe that because Russia's aggressive approach in Crimea (and, it now must be said, in parts of eastern Ukraine) took place after the reset, then the reset's "accommodative" approach must be among the causes of said aggression. This is specious. The Russophone populations in eastern and southern Ukraine have for years been explicit in their desire to stay within Russia's sphere of influence; "reset" or not, Russia was never going to allow Ukraine to leave its orbit for that that of the EU and NATO without a fight.

And then, of course, there is the issue of Obama's choice to be the next ambassador to Russia. Reports out of Washington seem to indicate Obama is leaning towards appointing career diplomat John F. Tefft who served as Chief of Mission in Tbilisi during the Russian-Georgian conflict in 2008. According to Baker, the White House was initially wary of appointing Tefft because of his prior service in Georgia and Ukraine, but now "there is no reluctance to offend the Kremlin." What is it that they think they did when they appointed Michael McFaul as the American ambassador to Russia? In lieu of agitating the Kremlin (as seems to be the preferred option at present) perhaps the responsible thing for the administration to do would be to re-appoint the now-retired but still widely respected John Beyrle, or to appoint someone with a reputation for both reasonableness and deep expertise like Georgetown's Angela Stent. Unfortunately the Obama administration, and in particular the current iteration of its NSC, which is sorely lacking in imagination, historical depth, and intellectual ballast, will likely do nothing of the kind.

And so, unfortunately, the new approach as outlined by Baker seems to be (yet another) case of the Obama administration losing the forest for the trees and not realizing that a policy that isolates and punishes Russia over its provocations in Ukraine, while perhaps satisfying in the short run, makes securing U.S. national security interests in far more important areas than Ukraine that much more difficult.

James Carden served as an advisor to the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission at the State Department from 2011-2012.

[Apr 25, 2014] Kerry Repeats Debunked State Department Claim

Moon of Alabama

The Russian President Vladimir Putin once famously called John Kerry a "liar". Kerry now again confirmed Putin's claim.

In Remarks on Ukraine U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry yesterday asserted:

Some of the individual special operations personnel, who were active on Russia's behalf in Chechnya, Georgia, and Crimea have been photographed in Slovyansk, Donetsk, and Luhansk.

Pictures allegedly proving that some protesters in east-Ukraine were Russian "special operation personal" were "reported" on on page 1 of Monday's New York Times. The pictures were distributed by the State Department but originally from the Ukrainian coup-government.

With a little open source research Internet commentators at Reddit immediately found that some of those pictures:

On Wednesday the New York Times somewhat retracted and corrected the story but now only on page 9 of its print edition.

Veteran journalist Robert Parry compared the NYT behavior with the NYT distributed lies about "Saddam's centrifuges":

Many of the flaws in the photographic evidence were there to see before Monday's front-page article, but the newspaper was apparently blinded by its anti-Russian bias.

For instance, the article devoted much attention to the Russian skill at "masking" the presence of its troops, but that claim would seem to be contradicted by these allegedly secret warriors posing for public photos.

Parry was interviewed on The Real News.

TIME magazine talked with one of the Russian "special operations personal" in east-Ukraine who had been depicted as having served with Russia in the war with Georgia and found him to be a Cossack petty criminal under indictment in Russia:

His men then gathered around to laugh at the photos of Mozhaev and the man in Georgia, slapping Mozhaev on the back as he learned that he was not only famous, but a famous Russian special-forces agent. "That guy looks more like Osama bin Laden than our Babay," one of the gunmen remarked.

Yesterday the New York Times Public Editor criticized the paper's handling of the story:

It all feels rather familiar – the rushed publication of something exciting, often based on an executive branch leak. And then, afterward, with a kind of "morning after" feeling, here comes a more sober, less prominently displayed followup story, to deal with objections while not clarifying much of anything.

The pictures from the coup government in Ukraine distributed through the U.S. State Department are obviously fakery and purely anti-Russian propaganda. The story of Russian "special operations personnel" in east-Ukraine is a lie. It has been debunked as such in several U.S. publications. Despite that Kerry yesterday repeated it proving himself to be exactly what Putin had claimed, a liar.

[Apr 24, 2014] Five scenarios in eastern Ukraine by Tim Lister

"So how might events in Ukraine unfold between now and the May 25 elections? Here are some of the scenarios that could play out, but events are moving swiftly and unpredictably."

5. The messy status quo

To many observers, that seems the most likely scenario - a stand-off between Kiev and pro-Russian groups in the east. The young and largely inexperienced Ukrainian government has shown itself incapable of dealing with the pro-Russian groups, who in turn don't have (as yet) the muscle to turn protest into outright secession.

Ukrainian security forces even appear to be trying to lock in the contagion, with military and police checkpoints springing up on the borders between Kharkhiv and Donetsk regions, and checkpoints around Donetsk city beefed up.

There is growing co-ordination between the protesters in different cities, and the small groups of unknown uniformed men have shown it doesn't take much to seize buildings that are largely unguarded. A CNN team observed several vehicles with masked men leaving Slaviansk Monday; two hours later they were involved in the seizure of the police station in nearby Kramatorsk. But the pro-Russian protesters don't appear capable of governing. Many of those milling about the regional government building in Donetsk wearing balaclava masks are teenagers. No political leader has yet emerged as a figure with whom the government (or the OSCE) could negotiate.

The next steps will be the publication of a new draft constitution, and the May 11 vote organized by pro-Russian groups in the east. Acting President Oleksandr Turchynov insisted Tuesday that the "majority of Ukrainian citizens are for a united unitary democratic Ukraine with greater powers given to the regions."

[Apr 24, 2014] Ukraine: government troops move against pro-Russia separatists - live

The Guardian


Local sources confirm attack on Slavyansk (
A number of APC approached separatist roadblocks, spraying these with heavy machine-gun fire. Deaths reported among defenders, possible casualties among attacking force.

Later Kiev's forces pulled back from roadblocks for no obvious reasons.

Unconfirmed reports that three massive Russian army columns are heading to Dontesk, Mariupol on the Russian side. "Peacekeeper Force" inscribed on vehicles. (Possibly disinformation or just a feign. Possibly sufficient for the Slavyansk attack force to falter.)

Gerry Tighe

Watch this from the BBC yesterday.

It shows Kiev children being taught to sing the song "hang the Russians"

Gives no faith at all in the Kiev transitional government.

Colin Ball

I fear that the price for this blatant regime change in Ukraine, as orchestrated and supported by the West, will go down in history as the moment that led to WW3, and the slaughter of millions of people. How very sad that we have allowed our leaders to do this.

TheCatsTable Colin Ball

For WWIII you need worldwide concensus that its a battle worth fighting for....this is not the case here. Nobody supports the EU expansionist project, nobody supports the American faux-World's Policeman act and nobody supports Putin's expansionist project either.

The shame of the matter is that somehow the proud and beautiful country of Ukraine has become the arena for these posturing sets of fools to collide.


Lavrov accused the U.S. of trying to " color revolution in Ukraine "

" Few people have doubts that it is not so much about the fate of Ukraine. Ukraine trying to use as a pawn in the geopolitical game ," - said Lavrov .

" Our Western partners , especially the U.S. , tried to behave as victors in the Cold War and pretend that in European affairs can not reckon with Russia and to take actions that cause direct damage to the interests of Russia's security ," - said the Minister.

Lavrov also accused the Americans of the expanded campaign against Russia . He recalled the " hysterical anti-Russian propaganda " at the beginning of this year and trying to " tarnish" the Olympic Games in Sochi .

Told the Minister and his vision of the Geneva agreements . The Foreign Minister emphasized the fact that the West has agreed to a three- format consultation , whereas before in Brussels insisted on bilateral negotiations with Kiev.

" Now the next Russian president's proposal to start a serious consultation with all stakeholders supported. Expect that this support materializes into action in the near future " - said Lavrov .

Sergei Lavrov, on the eve of the TV channel Russia Today said that the Americans are the developments in Ukraine , and State Department spokeswoman Jen Psak said that the assumptions of the Russian minister absurd and laughable.


I'm really surprised the Guardian continues to term these protestors in the East of Ukraine as "pro-Russian protestor". Its such a dismissive term and loaded as hell. If nothing else, its an over simplification at worst its intentional misrepresentation.
It wouldn't be the first time the Guardian has played this role. The question is why?


it is clear that if I try to remove the so called pro russian activists with force and use of lethal weapons there would be deaths. How can there be a deescalation now or a political process to bring both sides to the table. Kiew has most probably forced the hand of Russia now to go in and protect their people. Was this the plan all along? The answer to that question I fear is yes. When Russia does go in they of course will be the aggressors and the likes of Hague and the bent US administration will all condem the Russians very loudly. Hopefully Putin can keep a cool head and understand that he is being lured in to a trap. Which it most certainly is !!!


Putin: There will be consequences if Kiev army uses army against its own people.

Well, they would just be following Putin's Chechnya example. He didn't seem to mind Assad doing the same either.

Putin's hypocrisy knows no bounds. The hypocrisy of the USA and some other western countries does not excuse it. Putin is officially against intervention in other countries. He can only justify intervention in his own terms if parts of Ukraine are really part of Russia...

Alexey Vladimirovich jiffery

Obama's hypocrisy knows no bounds. The hypocrisy of the Russia does not excuse it

Danie Nortje jiffery

Do you actually know what started the 2nd Chechen War, i.e. the one which Putin was involved in?

Per Wikipedia:

"The Second Chechen War was launched by the Russian Federation, starting 26 August 1999, in response to the Invasion of Dagestan by the Islamic International Brigade (IIB).

On 1 October Russian troops entered Chechnya.[23][24] The campaign ended the de facto independence of Chechen Republic of Ichkeria and restored Russian federal control over the territory. Although it is regarded by many as an internal conflict within the Russian Federation, the war attracted a large number of foreign fighters."


The Ukrainian "anti-terrorist" offensive appears to be picking up momentum.

Please, give us a break.
The opposition to the thugs in Kiev is called terrorism, that is what is boiling down to.

If is true that Russian forces are on the border, now is the time to move in and avert the US concocted bloodbath.


And so begins the next chapter begins in the propaganda war of words between the West and Russia.

The casualties being Truth and the Ukrainian people.

Personally, I'd like to see every article in 2 versions - a western version side-by-side with a pro-putin one. Divide by 2 and then we might know whats going on.

Or, a clever government in Ukraine would organise a referendum immediately (followed by elections) so "what the people want" becomes documented fact, and not just what each side would like it to be.


Chilling as the situation is I think the comments here, and elsewhere on the Guardian website over the last weeks, are fascinating.

Judging from the tone and the range of opinions being expressed it seems certain that there's a lot of misrepresentation here. I doubt very much whether that many of the "John Smith"s and "Brian from Reading"s posting here are actually called John or Brian, or come from anywhere near Reading.

So much, so obvious. What I'd like to know is how the Guardian and its journalists feel about this? Do they think it legitimate to provide a platform for untruths (and I am making no judgement about who is telling those untruths) which seem to have little to do with the best values of journalism?

Perhaps, since there is a tab for "staff replies" one of their staff might offer an opinion?


I think we can safely conclude that Kiev got the go-ahead from Washington for this operation. Washington and Moscow are either playing a well-choreographed game or the US is embarking on WW3 before it's economy implodes. The NeoCon view is that not to advance is to fall back.


I know this is complicated, but let's try something simple.

Would the pro-Russian faction here say that there are parts of the Ukraine where the army Ukrainian army should not be allowed to go?

Would the pro-Russian faction argue that if the Ukrainian army does go into all parts of the Ukraine, and that it finds itself in conflict with people brandishing automatic weapons, that this is a provocation and a threat to Russia's vital national interests?

Please make sure that your answers are compatible with the Russian destruction of Grozny, and do not depend on the Slavic suprematism which seems to infect both sides of this conflict.

Alexey Vladimirovich tramor

Change "Pro-Russian" on "Pro-EU" or "Pro-US" or "Maidan"

lids tramor

The troops were sent in by a government considered a junta by the people of the East Ukraine. The very problem is the order given by an unrepresentative government stuffed with fascists and nationalists handed power by CIA orchestrated coup.

So no, the "special forces" troops are effectively acting unlawfully, which is why the Kiev govt had to seek permission from USA before issuing the order.


The Geneva "agreement" of a few days ago stipulated that BOTH sides' militias should be disbanded. Both sides were supposed to try to de-escalate the situation. Kiev has not, and is being led by the man who has systematically tried to make the situation worse than it is by crying about a supposed Russian "aggression", and sending in troops.

So, the stars are lined up - the 24 April is the day the war, where everyone fights everyone else, is due to start. (The War planets, Mars, Neptune etc. and earth. I'm not into astrology but they may have got it right this time)

Minor news; The miners in Donetsk have gone on strike, as the Kiev Gov have cut their salaries by 10%, imposed a 10% tax as well and are expecting them to pay for the reconstruction of Maidan. (Rinat Akhmetov is Kievien but oligarch of the mines. "The mining industry employs about 500,000 people throughout the region, provides about 15 percent of the country's GDP and coal alone is 30 percent of Ukraine's energy consumption," )


They didn't really have an option but to go in. No state can tolerate an armed militia usurping its functions for long. Either the state implodes (as effectively happened in Kiev), or it strikes out at the militants.

As Putin did want President Yanukovitch to do, of course. Back when the "dissidents" were those on the Maidan.

We'll see whether Putin backs down. Since he's already got lots of his troops there, and his propaganda has the Ukrainian intermediate government as neo-nazis, this seems difficult to imagine.

Amazing, really, how we got to this stage. It's Christopher Clark's "The Sleepwalkers" all over again.

Still, fortunately there are no western military garantees to Ukraine. Which should keep any war contained, if the worse happens. Cold comfort for those involved, of course. "Winter is Coming" as the cartoon rather aptly put it


i strongly suspect a guerrilla war against the kiev troops in eastern ukraine….a civil war is now inevitable….now if only the pair of idiots cameron and hague can keep their mouths shut….and resolve not to get in solved….then hopefully the fallout will not be too bad….neutrality was never a better idea than right now….this is not a british fight….and if it becomes so we shall soon be destroyed….our finances are in such a catastrophic condition….


Oops, the freak show is being taken to another level. Does anyone in Ukraine, or even outside have an idea of what Ukraine will look like after all is over? It seems to me that, based on the peanuts given to Ukraine up to date, neither the US nor EU are going to pick up the bill to repair Ukraine.

Their stupid Maidan movement left the same people in the government and the parliament. They are not going to work and think but will keep begging and stealing. I can't stop any of this. What I am going to do is to vote for any politician in my country who promises that not a single cent of my tax money goes to the pathetic beggars as 'help'.


My dad (he whom raised 6 children, his father killed during ww1, served in and damaged his lungs in the fire service ww2....) often said, 'Don't trust anyone son'.

I could never understand what he meant but after over 65 years here I now sorely know exactly what he meant.

In conclusion, damn, we are not the good guys.

ID1543590 allislost

The enemy of humanity is the Anglo-American banking cabal. It is up to the American and British people to remove this threat.


Even if Kiev seizes control in the East it is hardly likely to result in peace! They seem determined to provoke Russia to invade in the hope -or expectation? - that US-NATO will move in to help and "secure" the border with Russia. It has been planned, discussed and now it's underway.


2 world wars not enough of a lesson for Europeans, they want to revive ideological, religious, ethnic wars yet again?

What on earth is wrong with us.

KyKaH zchabj5

it's called rationalism. if a man has intelligence in profit-oriented socienty, moral ascpects considered unprofitable


Lets be frank the main body of the views on here are pretty backward, obviously aware the posters on here are doing as there told , but a key point here is the US alone accounts for a quarter of the worlds gross GDP, the largest "single" nation economy in the world, the EU combined is the largest economy in the world, japan the 3rd, this is a bit like Woolworth's taking on Walmart.

The world economy is intwined, the US, EU, Japan the G7 and pretty much the rest of the world have made clear that any additional troops in eastern Ukraine will trigger economic sanctions, the US and the world know Russia today can be crushed economically and Putin knows this to, the west is probably secretly hoping he does this, to deny him the public stage and remove Russia's voice on world policy, removing the last major threat remaining to world piece, we don't need to mass troops on neighbours borders to influence

Russias fate will be sealed at the keyboard to a computer will Putin dare, i kind of hope he does so we don't have to listen to all this nonsense again, but i fear even he is not that stupid. Right off to debate with more intelligent souls.


All wars are bankers' wars:

Nancy Turner

When you have armed people taking over government buildings, police stations, and trying to take over military bases you have an extreme emergency situation. The USA and other western countries have a national guard that is called to help in emergency situations, especially when the police stations have been kidnapped. No one wants a war but the situation in Ukraine calls for serious measures. The Ukraine government is trying to regain control

Alexey Vladimirovich Nancy Turner

What about Maidan, "when armed people taking over government buildings, police stations, and trying to take over military bases"

OneStepRemoved Nancy Turner

They should have thought of this when seizing power.

zchabj5 Nancy Turner

But the US government would be democratically elected. And the current Ukrainian regime is bankrolled by foreign forces. Totally illegitimate.

The current Ukrainian regime overthrew a democratic President and is now raising new army groups to send in to squash separatist movements. Not even remotely similar situations.

Nancy Turner

Ukraine is not trying to kill its citizens.

CodyJoeBibby2014 Nancy Turner

ukraine has killed its citizens. Five of them today.

Rich_N Nancy Turner

So its deployed special forces (maybe mercenaries?) to check their teeth and make sure they are getting their vitamins?


It's good to see western style democracy being delivered to eastern Ukraine at last. Those who live there and who oppose it at present will soon be taught the error of their ways. I would suggest sending delegations from Egypt and Libya to persuade them of the benefits of western style democracy, and one from Greece to explain all the advantages of joining the EU.

OneStepRemoved dr8765

Very witty but it's not a laughing matter.

dr8765 OneStepRemoved

The idea is to make the point without resorting to yet another political polemic.


No side has complete advantage, though I detect that Kiev is far too optimistic and quick of the mark in their interpretation of events on the ground. The big questions:-
1 Will Kiev run into some competent opposition and get humiliated?
2 Will Russia give the US the middle finger and step in?
I think 1) is very likely but 2) is very difficult to call.


I see that there are many brave commentators siding the Ukrainian tanks killing unarmed people ... Congratulations !

salvop tanino51

the western oligarchies have always sided with mass murderers whenever it has been in their interest


Putin has said there will be 'consequences' as a result of the assaults of the Ukrainian army. The end game has definitely begun in Ukraine.


Talk of a World War III may be very much premature. We forget that Eastern and Western Europe do not constitute the "world", much less so now than during the previous two. Those were world wars because treaties and external body's cynical national interests drew non-European countries into the conflict.

That has not happened so far and seems unlikely, given that most external actors view both Eastern and Western Europe as competitors, if not enemies, and will likely be happy to sit aside and let the behemoths battle. Yes their economies will suffer somewhat, but the payoff of picking up the pieces could bring a windfall.

Johnny Kent elti97

That is hopelessly optimistic thinking-in situations like these the chance of miscalculations, cock-ups, escalation, are all there; specially in the US regime, there are plenty of Dr Strangelove types who would risk war with Russia.


What happens when the "anti terrorist" operation finishes, and the gun men who want to separate from Ukraine just return after allowing the Ukrainian "army" to take buildings back unopposed?

Ukraine's economy in the east will be shot for decades with this insurgency, who want to be independent or Russian.

It's no coincidence that the current leader Yatsenuk was the leader of the Open Ukraine organixzation with deep ties to NATO, CHatham House and the US.


The Greeks gave to the Trojans a horse. The US gave to Europe, Yugoslavia, Libya and Ukraine troubles... Money loves silence. Isn't it?


For those who think that the US is dong good, please read this piece by John Pilger
And think again.


This looks more like Tiananmen Square than anything that will lead to a return to democracy in Ukraine. The US backed junta in Kiev usurped power by violence and will attempt to hold power by bloodshed. Russia will most likely intervene if this continues.

The pretext for this atrocity, the photos that purport to show Russian Special Forces in eastern Ukraine have been debunked. The US media including the New York Times is conducting the same kind of journalism that Hearst papers did before the Spanish-American War. Unfortunately they will probably be able to see real Russian Soldiers in eastern Ukraine in the near future. This is the most dangerous confrontation that I have seen in my lifetime. Too many people seem fine with WW III.

panpipes wombat123

A junta is a military-led government. That would be Egypt. In Kiev the military does not lead the government.

ID1543590 panpipes

In Ukraine, fascist militias are the government

[Apr 24, 2014] NYT Retracts Russian-Photo Scoop

They retract the phone but the damage was already done...

Exclusive: After starting a propaganda stampede – with a lead story about photos of Russian troops purportedly in Ukraine – the New York Times admits the pictures really don't prove much, and one photo was labeled as snapped in Russia when it was really taken in Ukraine, writes Robert Parry.

[Apr 24, 2014] Ukraine: government troops move against pro-Russian separatists - live updates

The Guardian
GoddessOFblah Jeremn 24 April 2014 12:53pm
If you're pro-neo-con then it's ok to attack protestors.

Really good article in the New Statesmen: For our most powerful and hypocritical leaders, crimes are those that others commit

Speaking at the US embassy in Kyiv on 4 March, Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters "how incredibly moving" it had been to "pay my respects . . . at the site of last month's deadly shootings". He extended his condolences to people who "battled against snipers on rooftops". What they stood for, Kerry continued, "will never be stolen by bullets . . . It's universal, it's unmistakable, and it's called freedom."

Unmistakable? Universal? Nice try, John. On 14 August 2013, at the Rabaa al-Adawiya square in Cairo, Egyptian security forces attacked a sit-in by Muslim Brotherhood members which had begun in July after the overthrow of President Mohammed Morsi, a member of the Brotherhood. As in Kyiv, snipers on rooftops fired on the crowds below. More than 900 protesters were killed that day, in what Human Rights Watch called the "most serious incident of mass unlawful killings in modern Egyptian history".

And Kerry's response? He went through the motions of a condemnation, describing the violence as "deplorable". Yet just three months later, on a visit to Cairo, he restated his view that the generals in Egypt were intent on "restoring democracy" and were "working very, very hard" to do so. There was no rousing rhetorical tribute to the brave Egyptians who had battled against snipers; no trip to Rabaa al-Adawiya to pay respects to the dead. The message was clear: our concern for the dead is shamelessly selective. So, too, is our outrage.

ID5677229 -> Rich_N 24 April 2014 1:30pm

Elected by who?

Elected by Ukraine in the 2012 elections, and so comprising Rada (Parliament). As reported by Russia's state-owned media, 328 of the 450 elected deputies that comprise Rada voted in favour of Yanukovych's removal ( RT), while 371 of them voted five days later for Yatsenyuk ( VoR). Yatsenyuk's government is a broad coalition , "European Choice" ( Itar-Tass) that includes new factions Economic Development and Sovereign European Ukraine that have been formed largely out of Party of Regions deputies or deputies who resigned from the Party of Regions from disgust at Yanukovych's behaviour and a desire to save the country. Yatsenyuk's government has a very substantial majority in Rada, the official opposition - the Party of Regions faction - having shrunk from 204 deputies to 104 deputies (as explained by Wiki here).


You will vote if guys with bats are standing nearby ;-

Rich_N -> blibbka

Was it 3 months in the future, while they deploy the military to attack anyone who doesn't agree with them? Meanwhile they stoke tensions with the Russian speaking Ukrainians who up until a few months ago were living peacefully side by side. doesn't sound quite so democratic now does it? Shouldn't a caretaker government be trying to maintain a middle ground between the rival factions to facilitate a fair election result?

The reason that the protesters have been able to occupy building in the east has had little to with the authorities in Kiev allowing them to stay, Kiev simply hasn't had enough loyal units to do anything about it. However there have been plenty of call to 'Crush' the separatists.

Ultimately it doesn't make much difference to me who controls Ukraine, as long as there a peace. I am just ashamed at the foreign intervention which has already cost so many lives. If our government has a shred of decency left they would cool all ties with Kiev until peace is restored and a free and fair election has taken place.

ID5677229 -> Rich_N

The point is that the current administration has not been voted in by anyone (no election since 2012 - fact)

This is only true in the sense in which the Cameron-Clegg government was not voted in by anyone. In Parliamentary democracies Parliaments are elected, not governments. Parliament then decides who the government will be. Between February 22 and February 27, Rada decided who the government will be. Putting the removal of Yanukovych to one side, Yatsenyuk's broad coaltion national unity government has exactly the same status as that of Cameron.

the back of a coup.

Parliament can act illegally - as Rada did in removing Yanukovych without respecting the letter of the law (but of course in mitigating circumstances) - but it cannot effect a coup or putsch.

maybe not with Yanukovych in power

As reported in Russia's state-owned media, having helped vote him out of office Yanukovych's own party denounced him as a criminal who had ruined the country and who was entirely responsible for the deaths on Maidan ( Itar-Tass). Then they expelled him., together with several of his henchmen, from the party ( Novostimira).

My friends and colleagues in Ukraine and Russia and Crimea all have one thing in common, what they want is for things to go back to how they were in 2013

Then their best bet is to support the government's attempt to dispel the putschist militias who have effect local coups in parts of East Ukraine. Then they should try to get Putin to hand back Crimea.


The Geneva "agreement" of a few days ago stipulated that BOTH sides' militias should be disbanded. Both sides were supposed to try to de-escalate the situation. Kiev has not, and is being led by the man who has systematically tried to make the situation worse than it is by crying about a supposed Russian "aggression", and sending in troops.

So, the stars are lined up - the 24 April is the day the war, where everyone fights everyone else, is due to start. (The War planets, Mars, Neptune etc. and earth. I'm not into astrology but they may have got it right this time)

Minor news; The miners in Donetsk have gone on strike, as the Kiev Gov have cut their salaries by 10%, imposed a 10% tax as well and are expecting them to pay for the reconstruction of Maidan. (Rinat Akhmetov is Kievien but oligarch of the mines.

"The mining industry employs about 500,000 people throughout the region, provides about 15 percent of the country's GDP and coal alone is 30 percent of Ukraine's energy consumption," )

[Apr 24, 2014] The US plan for the Ukraine - a hypothesis

The advocacy of option (c) does not look too plausible...
Apr 23, 2014 | The Vineyard of the Saker

Listening to Lavrov today I came to the conclusion that the regime in Kiev was indeed about to try to attack the eastern Ukraine. It's not only Lavrov, the Russian Internet is on "red alert" and chock-full of rumors and speculation about an imminent attack. This begs a number of questions:

  1. Why would the junta in Kiev so overtly renege on the Geneva agreement?
  2. Why would it attack when the chances of success are very small?
  3. Why would they attack know that Russia would almost certainly intervene?
  4. Why is the US clearly behind that strategy?

I have a hypothesis which I would like to submit to your attention.

First, the junta in Kiev is reneging on the Geneva agreement simply because it cannot abide by its terms. Remember, the junta is composed of a few politicians handpicked by the US and a few Ukrainian oligarchs. They do have money, but no power. How could they possibly impose anything in the well-armed and determined freaks of the Right Sector?

Second, the eastern Ukraine is lost no matter what. So the junta in Kiev have to pick on of the following options:

  1. Let the eastern Ukraine leave by means of referendum and do nothing about it.
  2. Let the eastern Ukraine leave but only after some violence.
  3. Let the eastern Ukraine leave following a Russian military intervention.

Clearly, option 'a' is by far the worst. Option 'b' is so-so, but option 'c' is very nice. Think of it: this option will make it look like Russia invaded the Eastern Ukraine and that the people there had no say about it. It will also make the rest of the Ukraine rally around the flag. The economic disaster will be blamed on Russia and the Presidential election of May 25th can be canceled due to the Russian "threat". Not only that, but a war - no matter how silly - is the *perfect* pretext to introduce martial law which can be used to crack down on the Right Sector or anybody expressing views the junta does not like. That is an old trick - trigger a war and people will rally around the regime in power. Create a panic, and people will forget the real issues.

As for the USA - it also knows that the Eastern Ukraine is gone. With Crimea and Eastern Ukraine gone - the Ukraine has exactly *zero* value to the Empire, to why not simply use it as a way to create a new Cold War, something which would be much more sexy that the Global War on Terror or the really old War on Drugs. After all, if Russia is forced to intervene militarily NATO will have to send reinforcements to "protect" countries like Poland or Latvia just in case Putin decides to invade all of the EU.

Bottom line - the freaks in power in Kiev and the USA *know* that the eastern Ukraine is lost for them, and the purpose of the imminent attack is not to "win" against the Russian-speaking rebels or, even less so, to "win" against the Russian military, it is to trigger enough violence to force Russia to intervene. In other words, since the East is lost anyways, it is much better to lose it to the "invading Russian hordes" than to lose it to the local civilian population.

So the purpose of the next attack will not be to win, but to lose. That the Ukrainian military can still do.

Two things can happen to foil this plan:

Ideally, a combination of both.

From the Russian point of view things are rather simple: it is infinitely better for Russia to have the East break away without any Russian intervention. If the attacking force is crazy enough to use armor, artillery or airpower, the Russian could decide to strike from the air without actually sending in ground forces. They could also use electronic warfare capabilities to further create chaos inside the attacking force. Limited pinpoint attacks could also serve to demoralize the attacking force. What Russia has to avoid all costs to find itself forced to engage in offensive urban operations which are always dangerous and bloody. It is therefore absolutely essential the the locals take control of their own streets, villages and cities.

Lavrov today delivered a very direct warning: if things go out of hand in the eastern Ukraine Russia will intervene. Hopefully somebody in the West will finally realize that the Russians are never bluffing and that they really mean it. I am not very optimistic though - if Lavrov felt the need to make a full 30min interview in English in which he clearly compared the situation in the Ukraine today to the one in Ossetia in 08.08.08 it is probably because the Russians have intelligence indicating that an attack is imminent.

Theodore Svedberg said...

saker's final point is a good one. I have been impressed how Lavrov has avoided unnecessary inflammatory language. He seemed out of character bringing up S. Ossetia. Maybe they have good information that the Kiev regime is planning something.

Your three choices facing Yats and company are reasonable. What I find hard to accept is that point c is going to be good for Obama and Kerry. Point a is the best face saving option for them. Though there is no question that there are powerful forces in the US that would love to see the Russian image further tarnished who would prefer option c.

Philoctetes said...

It may be obvious to you that Eastern Ukraine will soon belong to Russia, but I doubt that it is so obvious to the Kiev junta. I suspect their strategy will be to attack -- or at least order such an attack -- not "in order to lose" but with the expectation that they will lose, and then be able to call NATO for assistance as the last chance to preserve their fragile "democracy" against Putin's Red Hordes.

As you say, their position will be stronger for having tried to preserve Eastern Ukraine as their own whether or not NATO comes to their rescue. The US and NATO will in any case profit from being able to trumpet the "lawlessness" of Russia and by imposing sanctions -- as well as by making secret tenders to Putin's inner circle -- hope to drive a wedge between Putin and his supporting oligarchs. In a worst case scenario, there will be war between NATO and Russia.

Anonymous said...

I think forcing Russia into a conflict was always their plan. The imposter government has done everything possible to provoke the Russian Ukrainians and Russia since they took power. They have done nothing to unify or include the south and east, which they could have easily done if they had wanted to keep the country together.

You would think that a new coup government would at least pretend to include the entire population even if only to solidify their own power and prevent uprisings against them. But right from day one, this illegitimate government has turned against the Russian Ukrainians. I think dividing the country was always their plan. And like Lavrov said, then blame it on Russia, just like they do with everything else.

Anonymous said...

Makes perfect sense.

The US needs some military action now like never before. It's whole economy is on the precipice of total and final collapse.

They are determined to us Russia as the way out of it.

One commentator thinks:

"The trouble with Washington's Ukraine policy, is that it leaves Putin with few options. If he deploys troops to defend ethnic Russian's in the East, then Obama will demand additional economic sanctions, a "no fly" zone, NATO deployment, and the cutting off of natural gas and oil supplies to Europe. On the other hand, if Putin does nothing, then the attacks against Russian-speaking people in Ukraine (like Sunday's shootout at an Eastern checkpoint that left three people dead.) will intensify and the US will provide covert military and logistical support to neo-Nazi extremists in the Interior Ministry, just as they have with jihadi terrorists in Syria and Libya. That will hurtle Ukraine into a devastating civil war that will damage Russia's economy and undermine its national security. Anyway you look at it, Russia loses."

See -

It all fits together very well with the Saker analysis and events of the past week (CIA and Biden visits). Again the ordinary people will be slaughtered along the way.

For the sake of humanity let's trust that Putin sees through this farce.

A. B. said...

I absolutely agree with your assessment that a Russian intervention is exactly what "the west" wants- it was the plan from the beginning, but they most likely planned to make Crimea the main battleground. the EU has btw. gone completely silent for some days now, which might indicate that they are told to shut up by the US and NATO. this and an increase in propaganda seem to indicate that something is going on.

but I still think that "direct" intervention, as in putting troops on the ground, is highly unlikely. putting boots on the ground is exactly what the US wants, and the EU already committed itself to "economic sanctions" if that would happen (even if not spelled out what this would mean in detail). I also still think that Russia does not want to incorporate more of Ukraine, because its just to costly. a federal Ukraine, which will wake up from its EU-delusions some time, might as well get a friendly regime again some time. if they are not able to blame Russia for their misery, they will eventually blame Europe soon enough, because the economy will only get worse.

Russia still has a lot possibilities for an "asymmetric" response left. there are still many possibilities on the economic front. if a cyber attack is possible, that would be another option.

as to respond militarily, there might also be asymmetrical options. how about, f. ex., bombing the (CIA-infested) SBU-headquarters?

what about the Ukraine military? might it be possible to get some units to make a counter-coup? like f. ex. the 25th(?) airborne brigade, that was disbanded recently by the regime, together with a few other units that are not "pro Russian" but would tolerate a federalization? I have no idea how realistic that is, but it seems to me as the only sane exit strategy for the Ukrainian people.

Anonymous said...

These events are being staged for the mass targeted audience -- primarily in the ZATO-ZUSA. It's clear that TPTB are driving towards war and significant bloodshed. And Obama doubled down with China today. So the sides are lining up as planned. The puppet-masters are not stupid. Mendacious, evil, deceitful, greedy, etc. But not stupid. They've been planning a take-down of all-non-Zionist interests in the US for many decades. Another war where white Christians kill one another is a victory for their team. But over-reach and underestimating external and internal blow-back from the inevitable (and increasingly anticipated) "false-flag-bags-of-tricks" may make successful outcomes more difficult to achieve. And they will be seen by more and more humanity as scum-of-the-earth.

God bless the people of Ukraine. Sorry that America is such a pitiful excuse of an Empire that we send morons like Vicky Noodles to do work which requires intelligence and integrity. It's a hard time to be an American. For sure.

John said...

I think that it is possible that the whole Ukraine affair is just a side maneuver and that the real issue is that Russia will do away with the $$ as a global reserve currency. The US has to do everything possible to avoid this (or go down) and is probably willing to make war as they did in Lybia (Kadafi's golden dinar idea) and Iraq. (Sadam's going for euros instead of $$)

What better place to start a war than on Russia door step. The US has mercenaries and special forces already unofficially in operation in the Ukraine.

It might be better for Russia and the world to do something unofficially too than to openly invade the Eastern Ukraine.

This is a game of chess at which Putin is much better than Obama.

Received a quote in my mail yesterday supposedly from Putin:

"Negotiating with Obama is like playing chess with a pigeon. The pigeon knocks over all the pieces, shits on the board and then struts around as if it won the game."

Time to think outside chess rules.

Thanks -- as always -- for your insights.



Several of you have asked me to comment on the article by Mike Whitney in Counterpunch entitled "Putin's dilemma". The article is okay, but it contains a HUGE mistake which basically voids the entire article. Whitney writes:

The trouble with Washington's Ukraine policy, is that it leaves Putin with few options. If he deploys troops to defend ethnic Russian's in the East, then Obama will demand additional economic sanctions, a "no fly" zone, NATO deployment, and the cutting off of natural gas and oil supplies to Europe.

That is nonsense. Whitney is the victim of the highly effective US propaganda about the invincibility of the US military and US weapons systems (most Americans are under the illusion that technology wins wars). He seems to forget that the NATO air campaign over poor little Serbia was an abject failure, and that the US did not have the guts to take on Syria, never mind Iran - both of which are a joke compared to the Russian military. Hot air and slick propaganda are good to make folks feel powerful. They are useless once the bullets start flying and it did not help the US Serbia very much.

The notion of the US/NATO imposing a no-fly zone against the Russian air force is laughable, especially in the current state of the USAF. What NATO can, and will do, is deploy more ground troops in Poland and the Baltics. So far, I have heard that an additional 600 US servicemen are supposed to be moved to Poland. Yup. That's right. 600. But even 10'000 for a country of the size of the Ukraine is a joke.

As for economic sanctions, I have already covered that ad nauseam as did the good folks are Zerohedge. So I wont' repeat it all here.

A LOT of Americans, even well-intentioned one with their hearts in the right spot, even those who hate the Empire and want the US to be a "normal" country have been completely propagandized and they believe in the invincibility of the USA, the so-called "last superpower" or even "hyperpower". That is all absolute baloney. Since the Korean war the performance of the US military has been consistently mediocre to poor, and it has been outright terrible in the recent years. As for NATO, as a fighting force, it is even worse than the US Army. The least bad part of the US military is probably the Navy, but that is not very useful in a war with Russia over the Ukraine. As for any USN ships in the Black Sea, they will be sunk in the first hours of any war, and the USN knows that (the admirals are far from stupid).

Bottom line - Putin's dilemma is purely political. In military terms Russia can invade all of the Ukraine if it wants to (which it most definitely does *not*) and there is nothing, nothing at all, the US can do about it.

I realize that the notion of a weak and helpless USA is hard for some to swallow, but if you really take the time to consider it, I think that you will see that it is rather undeniable.

Kind regards,

The Saker

Joe Perez said...

Given the topic of the post, the Comments of Churkin the other day carry a more menacing tone:

"Despite all their recurrent adventurism, they [the US] realize that peace is rather fragile and too many crises, too much unrest has been created in different parts of the world. I don't think they're interested in the emergence of a new serious crisis, with non-obvious consequences for them."

At the time I thought he was referencing Syria, which the U.S. is menacing again. But now I'm thinking that it's a direct warning to the U.S. that should something happen in Ukraine, the U.S. is going to be unhappily surprised again.

Anonymous said...

@Saker- "Bottom line - the freaks in power in Kiev and the USA *know* that the eastern Ukraine is lost for them, and the purpose of the imminent attack is not to "win" against the Russian-speaking rebels or, even less so, to "win" against the Russian military, it is to trigger enough violence to force Russia to intervene. In other words, since the East is lost anyways, it is much better to lose it to the "invading Russian hordes" than to lose it to the local civilian population."

You're so blinded by your desire to see Russia defeat the USA somewhere...anywhere...sometime, that you overestimate Russia's strength and durability by a factor even the Kremlin dare not presume. The only way Russia will take eastern Ukraine is if the Kremlin can guarantee there'll be no real fight. They want some pliable accomplices who will let Putin bluff his way in without too much Russian blood and treasure in exchange. Has it not occurred to you that the Ukrainians might hate Russia enough to violently resist occupation once Putin backs up his threats with action and moves to support his paid mafia in the south and east of Ukraine? There are already rumblings in Crimea as the confused citizens begin to wake up to the reality that Russia isn't rich enough to quadruple their pensions like they naively believed, and that the ruble is worth even less than the hryvnia/ UAH. Putins blitz in Georgia in 2008 is about all the Russian military is capable of because unlike you, they dread the nightmarish vision of their conscript army crumbling in the face of 4th generation guerrilla warfare. The only sustained campaigns of note undertaken by the vaunted "green men", besides scaring toothless old civilians into submission, were little Chechnya and Afghanistan.

Both exposed the feet of Clay of Russia's "mighty" military machine. It's easy to intimidate weaker neighbors with 3day shock campaigns, but Russia's military dreads the guerrilla.

America is bleeding your economy even now, when all we've heard are threats and feints from Putin, plus a couple of unfortunate drunks killed here and there, just imagine the Russian military in a quagmire in Ukraine, with every neighbor with a score to settle funding a relentless terror war from all directions, and color revolution in Moscow - get the picture Saker?

The Kremlin's hesitation to advance into Ukraine despite the obvious baiting of the Americans is sufficient proof of the cold fear the Kremlin oligarchs feel despite their outward show of bravado and tough talk. So far that's all there's been, talk... Crimea was a theft engineered with the complicity of the pro Russian political class without any real resistance. You might be one of the few sycophants deluded enough to not see the yawning abyss awaiting Russia in Ukraine. I for one, can't wait to see these tough guys get tested and proven- I was a grunt in Iraq, Afghanistan, and everywhere in between so statistics on paper mean little to me, I'll consent to Russian regional supremacy when they survive a real bloodletting.

Anonymous said...

Hi Saker,

There is a fourth option d) Junta in Kiev will not let Eastern Ukraine leave and Russian military did not intervene.

Everyone expects "c)" option. If Russian intervenes, it will make Russia look bad in the eyes of the world. Russia and Eastern Ukraine will faces years of unrest with die-hard Kiev's supporters. Drain Russian's resources. Eastern Ukraine industries cannot function, supply industrials good to Russian. What good will it does for both Russia and Eastern Ukrainians?

It would be far simply for Russia remains a passive warrior, let Eastern Ukraine fight for their freedom. It will be bloody no doubt. If Eastern Ukraine able to fend for themselves without Russia help (not likely), good for them. Russia will come in later to help Eastern Ukraine. Otherwise, the Junta, US and EU will faces years of unrest with more half of its population's Russian supporters. With sizable voters in Eastern Ukraine, it will be nightmare for the Oligarch in Kiew. Knowing they may never able to have peace and must offer semi-autonomy.

With EU's IMF stringent austerity measures, more than likely another uprising in Eastern Ukraine, NO?

Sky said...

@ A.B. "bombing the (CIA-infested) SBU-headquarters? " I sure wish someone would. I daydream about things like that....

@ Macon Richardson - thanks for giving me a good laugh with the kumbaya and ooga booga stuff. How very true and nicely articulated.

As for Putin's dilemma - I agree that Whitney got it wrong. He's often very good, but he fell off the perch on that one. I agree entirely with you, Saker- the invincibility of the US military is a myth. Unfortunately, the US government believes that myth. But power is so much more than the latest DARPA "shock and awe" technology- ultimately, it's people. The American people are NOT going to put up a good fighting force for the Empire's egotistical gains- most Americans won't want to, and of those that might be willing, they won't have the ability.

And, as for economic sanctions, I caught a short clip today of Medvedev saying that economic sanctions don't hurt Russia. I didn't think so either. It reminds me of the old Uncle Remus story about the rabbit begging "please, don't throw me in the briar patch!" Economic sanctions really just allow Russia to freely engage in whatever off-dollar trade they want (thereby collapsing the dollar) without the awkwardness of looking like they provoked it. A collapse of the dollar is very close, and I believe it could go down very quickly. That would strip the gears off the Empire's war machine in a hurry.

Just curious here- what do you think will happen to the Right Sector? It's been a strange partnership in Kiev, a challenge for the propagandists to spin, and the Right Sector appears to be wearing out its usefulness to the oligarchs. Think they'll be getting set up to take the blame for it all?


@Sky:Just curious here- what do you think will happen to the Right Sector?

Are we assuming that the East breaks off and that rump Ukraine turns into a Banderastan? Well, in that case the solution for the US-backed regime will be the usual one: buy off all those who can be bought off and kill the rest, if needed by using foreign assets. What happened to Muzychko is a good sign of that approach. One the neo-Nazi freaks become useless to the Empire, they will become expandable too. It will take time and there will be problems and snafus along the way, but with enough US assistance the regime can do it. Right now Kiev is fighting on two fronts and the situation in the East is taking up most of its resources, but if the East breaks off, the junta in Kiev will have much more freedom of movement and resources to allocate to a crackdown on the freaks. Also, at that point they will be able to "prove" their impeccable anti-Nazi and philosemitic credentials to the Western world. Instead of looking like pathetic clueless losers, they will look like heroic knights fighting both Russian neo-Sovietism and Galician neo-Nazism. The corporate media will love them :-)

The big problem will be money. The Ukie economy is essentially dead, so a huge priority will have to be internal repression. At the worst, there might be a civil war just in the rump-Ukraine/Banderastan. A NATO intervention might help, but who in his right might would want to go to the Ukraine even on a "peacekeeping" mission?

All in all the result of the US policy towards the Ukraine is a clear clusterf**k. There is really no other way of putting it. It's really sad.

Anonymous said...

My assessment offers a further option and begins with the loss of the 25th Airborne Rgt.

Airborne units are typically well trained, elite, high value units. What they lack in heavy firepower they make up with esprit de corps. The fact that the 25th collapsed and refused to support the putschists is revealing of the state of the entire Ukraine military. The formal "Ukraine military" is a paper tiger and, even if it were totally loyal to the putschists, would have limited effect on any battlefield.

The Right Sector thugs have greater effect as they are able to terrorize the population much the same way a bike gang would be able to terrorize a region. But this form of aggression should be within the capacity of the Ukraine resistance to handle.

The most likely military outcome within Ukraine is low level civil conflict with Kerry yelling "Blame the Russians. The very bad Russians." and Russia responding with facts and logic.

If Saker et al can decode the outcome of scenarios A, B, and C, I suspect Putin can also decode the same scenarios.

I therefore vote for scenario E. This has the following elements.

1) low level civil conflict within Eastern Ukraine with various atrocities alleged to have been committed by either side.

2) The US seeks to blame Russia for these events and paint a picture of a big brutish bear with designs on Freedom, Democracy, Virginity, Motherhood, Apple Pie, and Europe.

3) Putin will delay any military response. Instead he will seek to convene the EU powers and ask them to recognize the mess that embroils them, consider that this mess is the direct result of US intervention in EU affairs, that US $5 billion was spent in the creation of this mess, and that US foreign policy is in effect nothing more than FUCK THE EU. Putin will then ask them what options they suggest. He will also discuss the fact that he cannot tolerate thugs and banditos operating on his western frontier, that the NATO actions represent continual escalation and will force a response, that he cannot continue to supply energy to a government which fails to pay its bills, which siphons off energy being shipped to the EU and which openly engages in hostile and provocative acts. If Putin is unable to gain any traction in the EU I suspect he will take these issues to the UN.

4) The real lynch pin will be Europe. Europe is being forced into a recognition of this problem and the degree to which it was generated by the US and serves primarily US interests. Further the EU will be forced to acknowledge that Russia is being backed into a corner and, should there be even a minor miscalculation, it is the citizens of the EU that will fry. After the fry they will freeze in the cold and dark.

5) If 4 is not being actively considered in the capitals of Europe then I suspect it is being considered by the citizens of Europe most of whom have already suffered due to the economic collapse triggered by lax US banking regulations. What we see today is actually a continuation in another form of the collapse of 2008. The US has taken no steps to resolve that crisis but rather has attempted to sweep it under the carpet through money printing. This has made the US oligarchs very wealthy but has caused immense suffering elsewhere.

Issues 4 and 5 are key to any resolution of the Ukraine problem and will basically involve the EU states undertaking a revision of their relationship with the US. Exactly how this will play out is difficult to assess. At the worst case we see a dissolution of the EU with some states such as the UK maintaining strong relationship with the US, while another group of states cluster around Germany and entertain the benefits of economic ties to Russia and China ie the Silk Road.

And Saker - thanks for this most intelligent site.

[Apr 24, 2014] Putin's Dilemma by MIKE WHITNEY

April 23, 2014 CounterPunch
Fending Off the United State's Imperial Hand

"The last decade of the twentieth century has witnessed a tectonic shift in world affairs. For the first time ever, a non-Eurasian power has emerged not only as a key arbiter of Eurasian power relations but also as the world's paramount power." (p. xiii)

"Now a non-Eurasian power is preeminent in Eurasia - and America's global primacy is directly dependent on how long and how effectively its preponderance on the Eurasian continent is sustained." (p.30)

Excerpts from The Grand Chessboard : American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Basic Books, 1997

"We were promised in Munich that after the unification of Germany, no expansion of NATO would take place in the East. Then NATO expanded by adding former Warsaw Pact countries, former U.S.S.R. countries, and I asked: 'Why are you doing that?' And they told me, 'It is not your business.' "

– Russian President Vladimir Putin, Moscow press conference, April 2014

The United States is in the opening phase of a war on Russia. Policymakers in Washington have shifted their attention from the Middle East to Eurasia where they hope to achieve the most ambitious part of the imperial project; to establish forward-operating bases along Russia's western flank, to stop further economic integration between Asia and Europe, and to begin the long-sought goal of dismembering the Russian Federation. These are the objectives of the current policy. The US intends to spread its military bases across Central Asia, seize vital resources and pipeline corridors, and encircle China in order to control its future growth. The dust-up in Ukraine indicates that the starting bell has already been rung and the operation is fully-underway. As we know from past experience, Washington will pursue its strategy relentlessly while shrugging off public opinion, international law or the condemnation of adversaries and allies alike. The world's only superpower does not have to listen to anyone. It is a law unto itself.

The pattern, of course, is unmistakable. It begins with sanctimonious finger-wagging, economic sanctions and incendiary rhetoric, and quickly escalates into stealth bombings, drone attacks, massive destruction of civilian infrastructure, millions of fleeing refugees, decimated towns and cities, death squads, wholesale human carnage, vast environmental devastation, and the steady slide into failed state anarchy; all of which is accompanied by the stale repetition of state propaganda spewed from every corporate bullhorn in the western media.

Isn't that how things played out in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria?

Indeed, it did. And now it's on to Moscow. Putin's survival and that of the Russian Federation depends to large extent to his ability to grasp the new reality quickly and to adapt accordingly. If he decides to ignore the warning signs hoping that Washington can be appeased or that the men who dictate US foreign policy can be persuaded to abandon the so-called "pivot to Asia", he could face the same end as Saddam or Gadhafi. So the first priority is simply to accept the fact that the war has begun. All future policy decisions should derive from that basic understanding.

So what does Putin know already?

He knows that the CIA, the US State Department and the US-funded NGOs were directly involved in the coup in Kiev. He knows (from hacked phone messages) that Washington had a hand in picking the junta's leaders. He knows that the White House and NATO have already undermined the spirit of Friday's Geneva agreement by threatening to intensify economic sanctions and by planning to move more military assets to the Baltics as well as 10,000 US ground troops to Poland and additional American warships to the Black Sea." He knows that high-ranking US policymakers have demonized him in the media as the new Hitler, a moniker that is unfailingly affixed to targets of Washington's aggression. And he knows that the Obama team is loaded with bloodthirsty neocons and recalcitrant Cold Warriors who have never abandoned the idea of splintering Russia into smaller pieces, pilfering its resources, and installing a US puppet in Moscow.

To that end, the western media has shaped an absurd narrative that Crimea is part of "evil" Putin's plan to reconstruct the Soviet Union and return to the glory days of the Russian Empire. While there's no point in refuting such a laughable allegation, it is worth noting that many journalists have repudiated the media's performance comparing the coverage to state-managed propaganda. Here's how Robert Parry summed it up in a recent piece:

"In my four-plus decades in journalism, I have never seen a more thoroughly biased and misleading performance by the major U.S. news media. Even during the days of Ronald Reagan …there was more independence in major news outlets. There were media stampedes off the reality cliff during George H.W. Bush's Persian Gulf War and George W. Bush's Iraq War, both of which were marked by demonstrably false claims that were readily swallowed by the big U.S. news outlets.

But there is something utterly Orwellian in the current coverage of the Ukraine crisis, including accusing others of "propaganda" when their accounts…are much more honest and more accurate than what the U.S. press corps has been producing…. The casualness of this propaganda… is not just wretched journalism but it is reckless malfeasance jeopardizing the lives of many Ukrainians and the future of the planet." ("Ukraine, through the US looking glass", Robert Parry, Smirking Chimp)

... .... ...

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at [email protected].

[Apr 23, 2014] Ukraine Anti-Terrorism Campaigns Follow Visits From U.S.

Apr 23, 2014 | M of A


Earlier I posted a copy of this and it was blocked.

Mikhail II said...(comment at The Vineyard of the Saker)

"There's a rather horrifying item on a Ukrainian web site, in Russian, dated April 21 (Monday), entitled Обратный отсчёт - вторжение на Юго-Восток неминуемо. "Payback -- Invasion of South East Inevitable". It lays out in some detail the Kiev regime's 3-step plans for invading the South-East. It's too long to translate in detail (2 pages 12 point). People that understand Russian should read it themselves. What stood out for me are the following:

The Ukrainian Armed Forces will be used to blockade the "mutinous" provinces. A strict passport regime will control all movements to and from the blockaded strong points.

In the meantime, Americans anti-partisan and counter-terror specialists from Greystone Limited have trained members of "special commands" a 3-week course at the SBU Training Center. The special commands are composed of fighters sent from the the National Guard, and Maidan activists. There are believed to be comparable groups recruited from the Right Sector. These groups are to seize and liquidate the leaders and activists of the mutineers.

The Americans have deployed on the boundaries of Donetsk and Lugansk provinces a radio intercept system permitting any telephone or radio connection using normal security to be read, in order to determine the mutineers' plans and dispositions.

All mutineer strong points except Donetsk and Lugansk cities will be stormed at the same time, by one of 12 groups, each 400 fighters strong, each with a helicopter group and a detachment of armour transferred from the armed forces. All strong points will be brought under control in the space of several hours. Within two days all captured places will be "cleansed" of mutineers, Russian mercenaries, and FSB agents. Afterward the storm groups will function as internal troops to police the places captured. Then the mutineers in Donetsk and Lugansk will be given an ultimatum to lay down their arms and surrender. It's assumed that after the attack they will no longer decide to hold the provincial centers, and will hide themselves.

The plans were provided to the web site by "a patriotic officer of the SBU." The time of the operation was to be set during the visit of Joe Biden to Kiev.

[So there you have it. The mask has dropped. The agreement, like any with the West, was just for a breathing space, to get the necessary forces in place.]

[Apr 23, 2014] Lavrov to RT Americans are 'running the show' in Ukraine

A unique chance to compare the quality of two propaganda departments ;-). Compare with State Department Top 10 Putin Lies On Ukraine - Business Insider and Kerry's Statement on Ukraine -, Dec 10, 2013.
RT SophieCo

As the standoff in the eastern Ukraine deteriorates into violence it's up to world powers to step in and calm things down. Despite tough talk from Washington, the US, EU, Russia and Ukraine have managed to reach a framework to peace in Geneva. But will it be enough to avert a civil war? Sophie asks the Russian Foreign minister himself – Sergey Lavrov is on Sophie&Co today.

Follow @SophieCo_RT

Sophie Shevardnadze: Sergey Lavrov, Russia's Foreign minister, it's great to have you on our show today.

Sergey Lavrov: Thank you for the invitation.

SS: So, just the other day Joe Biden on his visit to Kiev said that time is short for Russia to make progress on its commitments made in Geneva. What is expected of Russia?

SL: Well, it's difficult to say because I discuss this almost daily with John Kerry. And frankly the American colleagues chose to put all the blame on Russia, including the origin of the conflict and including the steps which must be taken. They accuse us of having Russian troops, Russian agents in the east and South of Ukraine. They say that it is for the Russians only to give orders and the buildings illegally occupied would be liberated and that it is for the Russians to make sure that the East and South of Ukraine stops putting forward the demands for the federalization and the referendum and so on and so forth. This is absolute…you know…switching the goal post if you wish. In Geneva we all agreed that there must be reciprocal approach to any illegitimate action in Ukraine, be it in Kiev, be it in the West, be it in the East, be it in the South. And the people who started the process of illegitimate actions must step back first. It is absolutely abnormal due to any norms in a European city that Maidan is still occupied, that the buildings in Kiev are still occupied and in some other cities, that those who put on fire the buildings belonging to Communist party headquarters in Kiev, the buildings belonging to the Trade Union headquarters are not even under investigation. I don't even want to mention the sniper cases because everyone forgot about those snipers. And we only hear that "Let's concentrate on eliminating terrorist threats in the East and in the South".

So in Geneva we all agreed that there must be end of any violence. Next morning or next afternoon Turchinov declared almost a state of emergency and ordered the army to shoot at the people if the people are engaged in peaceful protests. In Geneva we agreed that there must be total rejection of extremists and the Right Sector is still very active, and after Geneva the Right Sector staged provocations killing several people in the vicinity of Slavyansk during Easter Sunday. So nothing which was agreed in Geneva and which certainly is for the authorities in Kiev to start implementing was done by them. Yes, they introduced a draft law on amnesty. But our reading of this law indicates that this is not for political prisoners. Yes, they announced a pause in what they call "counter terrorist operation". But now that Joe Biden visited Kiev this counter terrorist operation was declared in the active phase again. Well, it's quite telling that they chose a moment of vice-president of the United States visit to announce the resumption of this operation because the launching of this operation happened immediately after the John Brennan's visit to Kiev. So I don't have any reasons not to believe that the Americans are running the show in a very close way.

SS: Well, you have hold on John Kerry to actually put pressure on the government in Kiev and on its behavior. But does it really mean that you can see America has decisive influence on the country?

SL: I think this is absolutely the case. Not on the country. On the regime which took power in Kiev. They have I think overwhelming influence. They act in much more open way without any scruples compared to the Europeans. Europeans try to be a bit more subtle. And the fact that…you know, there are so many reports about the role of the CIA in analyzing the situation and in being present in Ukraine, including the building of the Security Council of the Ukrainian State, occupying a floor. Then there are numerous reports which were revived recently on what was the role of the American embassy during the events in Maidan - direct interaction and communication with the activists who were armed and who were planning the actions like storming the buildings and other illegal acts.

All this has not been denied in the way which would be persuasive. And, yes, when you get daily phone calls from John Kerry telling you: "You must, you must, you must" and when you understand how many thousand kilometers the United States is away from Ukraine and then you see how agitated they are about seeing their sponsored people not really delivering on the things which are obvious then you cannot avoid the impression that they are running the show very much.

SS: But what about Russia? Well, I know Russia has reiterated many times that it doesn't recognize the legitimacy of the government in Kiev, but nevertheless diplomatic meetings are held on high levels in Geneva, I remember in the Hague, the meeting of the Foreign Ministers as well, does Moscow have any leverage over Kiev?

SL: Not over Kiev. No, not at all.

SS: What about the Eastern Ukraine?

SL: In the East the people revolted after several months of total neglect of their interests. And when they saw what happened in Kiev through Maidan, through the Right Sector, other extremists, the sniper fire killing dozens of people, then immediately all those who were against the Yanukovich government were granted amnesty, which is not happening now to the people who just engage in political activities in the east and in the south. So, yes, we see what were the reasons for the revolt in the east and in the south. They just don't want a repetition what happened in Kiev and what was attempted in Crimea, by the way, and these people, of course they want to be friendly with Russia, they have many Russian relatives, they listen very carefully to what Russia says. But these people are not puppets. We cannot just guarantee that they will be ready to take for granted whatever promises they hear from Kiev. They are fed up with words, they need real deeds. The regime must withdraw the order to use the army against the people, the regime must liberate political prisoners, they must start doing what they committed themselves to on 21st February signing the agreement, which said "surrender illegal arms", they must start disarming the Right Sector and they must stop just saying "we will invite the regions to a constitutional reform process".

They must sit down with them and instead of going abroad - you know, I heard that Yatsenyuk is going to the Vatican, I think the better place to go for him would be south. When he went there a week ago he only met with the people whom he himself appointed, he never got to the people who were protesting . And that's where the current authorities in Kiev need to be now, If they really pretend to represent the entire country.

SS: But here's the thing – people in the West, and I'm not even talking about the American political establishment, just people who watch TV – for them what's going on in the south and in the east of the country right now, is very similar to what was going on in Maidan, because they see self-defense forces, like they were seeing the Right Sector in Maidan, chaos, people occupying government buildings, not willing to put down arms…now, they are saying that these people are pro-Russian, so why Russia is not so outraged of what's going on there, I mean the chaos, like in Maidan, why doesn't their influence calm them down?

SL: I don't think we can say that we are negligent of their problems, we are in solidarity with them, we insist politically that their interests must be taken into account. That's why we went to Geneva, that's why we negotiated the paper which demands an equal treatment of whoever is engaged in illegal activities on the understanding that the government, the interim government whatever they call themselves, must set the example and they must stop the illegal things which continue to happen in Kiev and in other parts of the country, not other than east and south. And yes, in the east and the south, the leaders, elected by the people said that they would be ready to surrender arms, to vacate the buildings, provided the government stops illegal orders to use the army and does what it is committed itself to do with the Right Sector, other extremists and with the buildings which have been taken over and still are occupied in Kiev. You know what, the Americans said, Victoria Nuland, I think, when we insisted on the Geneva agreement to be implemented in full, beginning with the liberation of the buildings in Kiev - she said those building were occupied legally because the Kiev authorities issued a license to the people who occupied the buildings and they now are legal owners or legally present in these buildings. It is absolutely unbelievable that they can seriously put forward such arguments.

SS: So, you're saying the agreement that was reached on the 21st February by the Western powers was kind of ignored by those who signed it. Now you're saying that Geneva agreement is also being ignored…

SL: Absolutely!

SS: So what's the point of all these agreement if you can't come to a practical solution to this problem?

SL: The point of the February 21st agreement was to have Yanokovich sign up to commit himself not to use the police – which he did; to commit himself not to declare a state of emergency – which he did and that was basically an act of capitulation. Everything he committed himself to do – has been done. People say that he did not sign the law, bringing back the previous constitution, but this law was promulgated anyway, so what ever was needed by the opposition was done. Whatever the opposition committed itself to do – they never did. And the Geneva agreement, the Geneva meeting was actually designed to try and bring the process back on track, including the need to start the constitutional process, with full involvement of all regions. Yes the deal has been struck, but it is not being honored by those who have to make the first step.

SS: So they have to make the first step?

SL: Absolutely.

SS: Russia cannot pressure these self-defense forces to put down arms unless…

SL: Yes, and we do not have any moral authority to pressure the East or the South to do something unilaterally in front of the army, being ordered to go against them, in front of the Right Sector who should have been, must have been disarmed long ago and in the face of the political prisoners who continue to be taken.

SS: You've also said many times that Russia has no intention of moving its troops inside Ukraine, and just recently, Dmitry Peskov, the Russian president's press-secretary confirmed that there is a military contingent that is reinforced on the Russian-Ukrainian border; There must be a worst-case scenario in which this contingent will be used?

SL: If we are attacked, we would certainly respond. If our interests, our legitimate interests, the interests of Russians have been attacked directly, like they were in South Ossetia for example, I do not see any other way but to respond in full accordance with international law. Russian citizens being attacked is an attack against the Russian Federation. The only thing I would like to highlight at this stage is that the Russian troops are on the Russian territory. The request for inspections under the so called Vienna Document of 2011 and under the treaty of the Open Sky, they have all been granted. The inspectors visited the areas of deployment of the troops who are participating in training exercises. Planes flew over the areas where the exercises and no one who participated in the inspections, including the Americans, Ukrainians and Europeans ever brought up any fact that would indicate that Russia was engaged in some dangerous military activity. So we are on our territory and we are doing nothing which is prohibited by any obligation of us. The Ukrainian troops are also on their territory, but the difference is the fact that they have the order from Turchinov to use weapons against civilians and this is a criminal order.

SS: You've mentioned John Kerry many times during this interview, and it does seem like the two of you, regardless of diplomatic differences, communicate and see each other more than you see your families. Do you feel like on a personal level this is someone that you can come to an agreement with?

SL: We came to an agreement on Syria, we came to an agreement on Iran, we came to an agreement on Ukraine in Geneva on the 17th April; personally we have very good chemistry but we also understand there are superiors and advisors which sometimes does not help. But, I told Kerry several times that we do not believe it is a real partnership - if they speak about a partnership – when in fact whatever issue we discuss, they try to put the onus on us completely. And by the way, had it not been Ukraine, then it would have been something else, like it was Iran, originally, when the Americans were saying "you must.. you must.. you must…' If only the Russians tells the Iranian's, if only Russia doesn't sell weapons to the Iranians – they would cry 'uncle' and everything would be fine, this nuclear issue would be resolved."Then Syria happened and they were telling us – they still do – "if only Russia tells Assad to go then everything would fall into place, democracy would prevail and so on and so forth." So the Iranian issue depends on Russia alone, Syria depends on Russia alone – they also say Russia and Iran. Now Ukraine depends entirely on Russia. I would say, it is an absolute 'egoistic' and 'unrealistic' approach and an attempt to hide your own responsibility.

By the way, speaking about Syria, they said recently and unfortunately the United Nations spokesman picked up the tune, the Americans said recently that the elections which have been announced for the 3rd June by President Assad, would be illegitimate, because first there must be a transitional governing organ on the basis of a new constitution and so on and so forth. Ok, the Geneva communiqué on Syria did say there must be a transitional governing organ, which would develop constitutional reform and on the basis of this reform there would be general elections. Fine, but the same sequence was mentioned on the Ukrainian crisis, signed on the 21st February. First the government of consent, then the constitutional reform and only after the new constitution is promulgated – elections.The people who staged the coup and toppled the legitimate president, and took power, declared themselves a government, they didn't speak originally about constitutional reform at all. They said there would be presidential elections on May 25 and the constitutional reform - when we reminded them that this was the obligation and unless they do this the east and the south would not recognize the legitimacy of what is going on - they recalled this obligation but said "this would be done later". And the West believes that this is entirely legitimate. The same people who say the Syrian presidential elections without constitutional reform would be illegitimate are accepting even today the legitimacy of the May 25 presidential elections in Ukraine without any constitutional reform.

SS: So, you meet a lot of American politicians, besides John Kerry, and the rhetoric from their side is pretty harsh. Do you feel the Americans are ready for a real confrontation with Russia over Ukraine?

SL: Well, I already said that it is not about Ukraine. Ukraine is just one manifestation of the American unwillingness to yield in the geopolitical fight. Americans are not ready to admit that they cannot run the show in each and every part of the globe from Washington alone. They cannot impose ready-made solutions on everyone and they cannot understand, I mean they begin to understand I think, but they still have the instincts that they shouldn't really take on board what others believe should be done. They are moving, slowly, that's why we managed to make some compromises on Syrian chemical weapon, on the Iranian nuclear program, the compromise on Ukraine in Geneva, but after a deal they tried to pocket whatever they got and they try not to deliver what they promised to do. Maybe this is a natural manifestation of those who want to get the result that would be in their interests but on Iranian nuclear issue, for example, the deal was very blunt but as the deal started to be implemented, the Americans began to load it with new demands. The missile program of Iranians was never part of the discussions, never. And it was not part of the deal signed in Geneva last November. But as the deal of November started to be implemented, the Americans threw in the missile proliferation problem which could have derailed the process.

On Syria, we signed the deal of chemical disarmament of Syria and the process has been going and still goes very well, there's a satisfactory assessment by UN personnel participating in the process by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The Americans almost from the first very day started to ring alarm bell, saying that the government is dragging on this, it's not delivering on its commitments and they were fully ignoring the facts which were the need for the government to get more armed vehicles, which we and the Chinese were helping them with, the need for the people who influenced the armed extremists and jihadists to absolutely control them and not to allow them to stage provocations as the chemical weapons are being moved from storages to the port, and so on and so forth. So every time we sign a deal the Americans start to put the blame for any delay on others or, even worse, they start to throw in new demands which absolutely contradict the reached consensus. So that is what they are doing now on the Geneva agreement on Ukraine, but I do hope very much that they act responsibly and they do not think of their geopolitical initiatives, geopolitical interests, unilateral interests, but they would think about the future of Ukraine which is our biggest neighbor, closest neighbor and the people of which are brothers and sisters to the Russian Federation population. So if we all think about Ukraine and not about who takes it, but about how the Ukrainians themselves want to live, then it shouldn't be very difficult to help the Ukrainians find the national compromise and national reconciliation.

SS: Sergey Lavrov, Russia's Foreign Minister, thank you very much for this interview.

SL: Thank you.

democracygone 23.04.2014 23:50

The US/UK/EU Leaders and their 'appointed' senior bureaucrats bellow continuous propaganda and false expletives about current international affairs with the gratuitous support of most of the western mainstream media 'so called' news outlets.

The overall objective of this propaganda is to 'placate and fool' the public into supporting/approving their agenda for increased dominance across the world, thereby achieving the goals of 'a New World Order' - which is a term that has been dogmatically bellowed to us by those in power (especially by the Clintons/Bush's/Obam a and /current/previous UK political leaders).

Tyler Kent 23.04.2014 23:28

Author John Perkins substantiates his "American Empire" label by asserting that the U.S. is run by a big group who collectively act much like a king. They run our largest corporations, and through them, our government.

They cycle through the "revolving door" back and forth between businesses and government, fund political campaigns and the media - resulting in a great deal of control over elected officials and the information we receive, regardless of who is elected.

Nigel Howard 23.04.2014 23:17

Actually, Americans dislike Obama and his perpetual warmongering. They thought they heard him criticize Bush for that same thing, so they elected him. The vast majority of Americans like Russia and think Putin is quite a cool guy, notwithstanding the two countries 'differences over Ukraine. The American people, by and large, want peace. The tiny ruling minority of Neo-Cons/Zionists think differently and beat the drums of war and war profiteering. The American people have nothing to gain whatsoever in a war with Russia. They know that. Americans who speak of it are not speaking for the majority. I know, I live here.

pedropt 23.04.2014 22:57

The Problem is not Americans , because actually the U.S. people are tired of that corrupt government controlled by the globalists .

But how to take down the globalists in U.S. and other countries if the people know what is happening and they do not do nothing to avoid a global war ?!!
This is a very complicated subject .

It looks to me that people will only face the reality of this subject when the bombs start falling at their feet .

But when that time arrive it will be already too late .

Nigel Howard 23.04.2014 22:50

US diplomats Samantha Power and Susan Rice, the twin pillars of contemporary, hawkish, Russiaphobic, right-wing, Machiavellian, uber-feminist, Alpha-dog power at the service of empire, are the reason why moisturizing hair conditioner retail sales have recently bolted skywards.

Either American men like them or they don't want their wive's hair at least, to end up looking like Dr. Suess's "Thing One and Thing Two." Clearly this is a case of life imitating art.

Vlada 23.04.2014 22:49

This was a very balanced and real assessment of Mr Lavrov of the current US activity in international affairs. The US is pursuing for the position of global domination, and its policy as for the particular issues (Syria, Ukraine, etc.) is way too often in contradiction with its moves in many other cases (Iran, Iraq, Kosovo, etc.). This blatant inconsistency of the US policy is one of the major causes of its rapidly deteriorating reputation internationally (add to that the huge US debt, the crisis of the US middle class, ...).

The todays world differs very much from that of 90s, when the US was the only superpower.

[Apr 23, 2014] Behind Scenes, Ukraine's Rich and Powerful Battle Over the Future by ANDREW E. KRAMER

December 6, 2013 |

Like other tycoons scattered throughout post-Soviet countries, Ukraine's rich capitalized on the flawed privatization of publicly held assets to establish enormous fortunes, presiding over news media, banking, telecommunications, steel, coal and heavy industry empires. But in contrast to Russia, where President Vladimir V. Putin has barred the oligarchs from politics, Ukraine's wealthy clans retain enormous influence, acting as a shadow cabinet with identifiable factions in Parliament. Mr. Poroshenko is himself a member of Parliament.

Their political stances tend to align with their places in the economy, with the more established families favoring integration with the West and a newer group - analysts say rapacious - around Mr. Yanukovich's son favoring the Kremlin.

In this battle of the titans, the street becomes a weapon, but only one of many. And then looming over all the political battles is an imminent financial crisis. Ukraine, shut out of world markets and facing a yawning budget deficit, will need a cash infusion of around $18 billion by March to avoid default and an economic crisis with unknown but presumably dire consequences.

The warring camps of oligarchs have distinctly divergent interests that dictate how they approach both relations with Europe and the financial crisis.

On one side you have businessmen like Mr. Poroshenko, whose fortune was estimated by Forbes at $1.6 billion. He is typical of the older money here, people interested more in marketing their assets, whether through initial public offerings or attracting international partners, than grabbing quick profits.

They were hoping that an affiliation with the European Union and its more stringent protections of property rights would protect their interests. They are also more open to a proposed loan from the International Monetary Fund that would require a reduction in government energy subsidies and structural overhauls, including revamping the judiciary.

Mr. Poroshenko has been joined by Victor Pinchuk, the billionaire son-in-law of a former president, Leonid Kuchma, who on Wednesday joined several former Ukrainian presidents in signing a letter of support for the demonstrations. Ukraine's wealthiest man, Rinat Akhmetov, is usually seen as a staunch backer of Mr. Yanukovich. But Mr. Akhmetov's company, System Capital Management, issued a largely neutral statement saying Ukraine should seek integration with both Russia and Europe.

Mr. Yanukovich's son, Oleksandr, a dentist, who has become one of the richest men in the country during his father's time in office, leads a group known as "the family" that has elbowed out competitors operating through a conglomerate called Management Assets Company, with interests in construction, banking and coal mining in the traditionally pro-Russia eastern Ukraine.

Another in the Yanukovich camp is Dmitry V. Firtash, another one of Ukraine's wealthiest men, who made his fortune primarily as a "gas middleman" in Eastern Europe, one of the few allowed by Russia to act as a go-between in natural resources deals.

Through successive Ukrainian governments, Mr. Firtash cut deals to operate as an intermediary through a Swiss-registered company, RosUkrEnergo, in sales by Gazprom, the Russian natural gas monopoly, to Ukraine, a business worth billions. However, in 2009, the prime minister at the time, Yulia V. Tymoshenko, insisted that the Ukrainian national energy company buy directly from Gazprom.

Mr. Firtash's longstanding ally in government, a deputy prime minister, Yuri Boiko, was in Moscow this week reportedly negotiating a three-month reprieve in Ukraine's payments to Gazprom. If achieved, it would provide a critical financial prop to Mr. Yanukovich.

Mikhail B. Pogrebinsky, a political analyst in Kiev, said in an interview that some Yanukovich allies were enticed by the prospect of cheaper gas prices, which create instant profits in Ukraine's energy intensive industries and opportunities for plunder. "They want to solve their problems with cheap gas," he said.

Having controlled the presidency for only three years, many of the oligarchs want to postpone economic overhauls until they have amassed greater wealth, Serhiy Taran, the director of the International Democracy Institute in Kiev, wrote in the Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta. "The young ones would like to go on frolicking for a while," he wrote.

With their short-term focus, analysts say, these oligarchs are far more comfortable dealing with Russia than with Europe and the I.M.F., with their demands for fairness and transparency. From this perspective, it made sense for Mr. Yanukovich to play along with Europe as long as possible, to extract the best possible deal from Russia.

[Apr 22, 2014] The Ukraine Imbroglio and the Decline of the American Empire by ARNO J. MAYER

April 20 | CounterPunch

America's splendid era of overseas "boots on the ground" and "regime change" is beginning to draw to a close. Even in the hegemonic sphere decreed by the Monroe Doctrine there is a world of difference between yesteryear's and today's interventions. In the not so distant good old times the U. S. horned in rather nakedly in Guatemala (1954), Cuba (1962), Dominican Republic (1965), Chile (1973), Nicaragua (1980s), Grenada (1983), Bolivia (1986), Panama (1989), and Haiti (2004), almost invariably without enthroning and empowering more democratic and socially progressive "regimes." Presently Washington may be said to tread with considerably greater caution as it uses a panoply of crypto NGO-type agencies and agents in Venezuela. It does so because in every domain, except the military, the empire is not only vastly overextended but also because over the last few years left-leaning governments/"regimes" have emerged in five Latin American nations which most likely will become every less economically and diplomatically dependent on and fearful of the U. S.

Though largely subliminal, the greater the sense and fear of imperial decay and decline, the greater the national hubris and arrogance of power which cuts across party lines. To be sure, the tone and vocabulary in which neo-conservatives and right-of-center conservatives keep trumpeting America's self-styled historically unique exceptionalism, grandeur, and indispensability is shriller than that of left-of-center "liberals" who, in the fray, tend to be afraid of their own shadow. Actually, Winston Churchill's position and rhetoric is emblematic of conservatives and their fellow travelers in the epoch of the West's imperial decline which overlapped with the rise and fall of the Soviet Union and Communism. Churchill was a fiery anti-Soviet and anti-Communist of the very first hour and became a discreet admirer of Mussolini and Franco before, in 1942, proclaiming loud and clear: "I have not become the King's First Minister in order to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire." By then Churchill had also long since become the chief crier of the ideologically fired "appeasement" mantra which was of one piece with his landmark "Iron Curtain" speech of March 1946. Needless to say, never a word about London and Paris, in the run-up to Munich, having willfully ignored or refused Moscow's offer to collaborate on the Czech (Sudeten) issue. Nor did Churchill and his aficionados ever concede that the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact (Nazi-Soviet Pact) of August 1939 was sealed a year after the Munich Pact, and that both were equally infamous ideologically informed geopolitical and military chess moves.

To be sure, Stalin was an unspeakably cruel tyrant. But it was Hitler's Nazi Germany that invaded and laid waste Soviet Russia through the corridor of Central and Eastern Europe, and it was the Red Army, not the armies of the Western allies, which at horrendous cost broke the spinal cord of the Wehrmacht. If the major nations of the European Union today hesitate to impose full-press economic sanctions on Moscow for its defiance on Crimea and Ukraine it is not only because of their likely disproportionate boomerang effect on them. The Western Powers, in particular Germany, have a Continental rather than Transatlantic recollection and narrative of Europe's Second Thirty Years Crisis and War followed by the American-driven and –financed unrelenting Cold War against the "evil empire"-practically to this day.

During the reign of Nikita Khrushchev and Mikhail Gorbachev NATO, founded in 1949 and essentially led and financed by the U. S., inexorably pushed right up to or against Russia's borders. This became most barefaced following 1989 to 1991, when Gorbachev freed the "captive nations" and signed on to the reunification of Germany. Between 1999 and 2009 all the liberated Eastern European countries-former Warsaw Pact members-bordering on Russia as well as three former Soviet republics were integrated into NATO, to eventually account for easily one-third of the 28 member nations of this North Atlantic military alliance. Alone Finland opted for a disarmed neutrality within first the Soviet and then post-Soviet Russian sphere. Almost overnight Finland was traduced not only for "appeasing" its neighboring nuclear superpower but also for being a dangerous role model for the rest of Europe and the then so-called Third World. Indeed, during the perpetual Cold War, in most of the "free world" the term and concept "Finlandization" became a cuss word well-nigh on a par with Communism, all the more so because it was embraced by those critics of the Cold War zealots who advocated a "third way" or "non-alignment." All along, NATO, to wit Washington, intensely eyed both Georgia and Ukraine.

By March 2, 2014, the U. S. Department of State released a "statement on the situation in Ukraine by the North Atlantic Council" in which it declared that "Ukraine is a valued partner for NATO and a founding member of the Partnership for Peace . . . [and that] NATO Allies will continue to support Ukrainian sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, and the right of the Ukrainian people to determine their own future, without outside interference." The State Department also stressed that "in addition to its traditional defense of Allied nations, NATO leads the UN-mandated International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan and has ongoing missions in the Balkans and the Mediterranean; it also conducts extensive training exercises and offers security support to partners around the globe, including the European Union in particular but also the United Nations and the African Union."

Within a matter of days following Putin's monitory move NATO, notably President Obama, countered in kind: a guided-missile destroyer crossed the Bosphoros into the Black Sea for naval exercises with the Romanian and Bulgarian navies; additional F-15 fighter jets were dispatched to reinforce NATO patrol missions being flown over the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania; and a squadron of F-16 fighter bombers and a fulsome company of "boots on the ground" was hastened to Poland. Of course, theses deployments and reinforcements ostensibly were ordered at the urging of these NATO allies along Russia's borders, all of whose "regimes" between the wars, and especially during the 1930s, had not exactly been paragons of democracy and because of their Russo-cum-anti-Communist phobia had moved closer to Nazi Germany. And once Hitler's legions crashed into Russia through the borderlands not insignificant sectors of their political and civil societies were not exactly innocent by-standers or collaborators in Operation Barbarossa and the Judeocide.

To be sure, Secretary of State John Kerry, the Obama administration's chief finger wagger, merely denounced Putin's deployment in and around Ukraine-Crimea as an "act of aggression that is completely trumped up in terms of pretext." For good measure he added, however, that "you just do not invade another country," and he did so at a time there was nothing illegal about Putin's move. But Hillary Clinton, Kerry's predecessor, and most likely repeat candidate for the Democratic nomination for the Presidency, rather than outright demonize Putin as an unreconstructed KGB operative or a mini-Stalin went straight for the kill: "Now if this sounds familiar. . . it is like Hitler did back in the '30s." Presently, as if to defang criticism of her verbal thrust, Clinton averred that "I just want people to have a little historic perspective," so that they should learn from the Nazis' tactics in the run-up to World War II.

But ultimately it was Republican Senator Lindsey Graham who said out loud what was being whispered in so many corridors of the foreign policy establishment and on so many editorial boards of the mainline media. He advocated "creating a democratic noose around Putin's Russia." To this end Graham called for preparing the ground to make Georgia and Moldova members of NATO. Graham also advocated upgrading the military capability of the most "threatened" NATO members along Russia's borders, along with an expansion of radar and missile defense systems. In short, he would "fly the NATO flag as strongly as I could around Putin"-in keeping with NATO's policy since
1990. Assuming different roles, while Senator Graham kept up the hawkish drumbeat on the Hill and in the media Senator McCain hastened to Kiev to affirm the "other" America's resolve, competence, and muscle as over the fecklessness of President Obama and his foreign-policy team. He went to Ukraine's capital a first time in December, and the second time, in mid-March 2014, as head of a bipartisan delegation of eight like-minded Senators.

On Kiev's Maidan Square, or Independence Square, McCain not only mingled with and addressed the crowd of ardent anti-Russian nationalists, not a few of them neo-fascists, but also consorted with Victoria Nuland, U. S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs. Too much has been made of her revealing or unfortunate "fuck the EU" expletive in her tapped phone conversation with the local U. S. Ambassador Geoffrey Ryatt and her distribution of sweets on Maidan Square. What really matters is that Nuland is a consummate insider of Washington's imperial foreign policy establishment in that she served in the Clinton and Bush administrations before coming on board the Obama administration, having close relations with Hillary Clinton.

Besides, she is married to Robert Kagan, a wizard of geopolitics who though generally viewed as a sworn neo-conservative is every bit as much at home as his spouse among mainline Republicans and Democrats. He was a foreign-policy advisor to John McCain and Mitt Romney during their presidential runs, respectively in 2008 and 2012, before President Obama let on that he embraced some of the main arguments in The World America Made (2012), Kagan's latest book. In it he spells out ways to preserve the empire by way of controlling with some twelve naval task forces built around unsurpassable nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, its expanding Mare Nostrum in the South China Sea and Indian Ocean.

As a disciple of Alfred Thayer Mahan, quite naturally Kagan earned his spurs and his entrée to the inner circles of the makers and shakers of foreign and military policy by spending years at the Carnegie Endowment and Brookings Institution. That was before, in 1997, he became a co-founder, with William Kristol, of the neo-conservative Project for the New American Century, committed to the promotion of America's "global leadership" in pursuit of its national security and interests. A few years later, after this think tank expired, Kagan and Kristol began to play a leading role in the Foreign Policy Initiative, its lineal ideological descendant.

But the point is not that Victoria Nuland's demarche in Maidan Square may have been unduly influenced by her husband's writings and political engagements. Indeed, on the Ukrainian question, she is more likely to have been attentive to Zbigniew Brzezinski, another highly visible geopolitician who, however, has been swimming exclusively in Democratic waters ever since 1960, when he advised John F. Kennedy during his presidential campaign and then became national security advisor to President Jimmy Carter. Heavily fixed on Eurasia, Brzezinski is more likely to stand on Clausewitz's rather than Mahan's shoulders. But both Kagan and Brzezinski are red-blooded imperial Americans. In 1997, in his The Great Chessboard Brzezinski argued that "the struggle for global primacy [would] continue to be played" on the Eurasian "chessboard," and that as a "new and important space on [this] chessboard . . . Ukraine was a geopolitical pivot because its very existence as an independent country helps to transform Russia." Indeed, "if Moscow regains control over Ukraine, with its [then] 52 million people and major resources, as well as access to the Black Sea," Russia would "automatically again regain the wherewithal to become a powerful imperial state, spanning Europe and Asia." The unwritten script of Brzezinski, one of Obama's foreign policy advisors: intensify the West's-America's-efforts, by means fair and foul, to detach Ukraine from the Russian sphere of influence, including especially the Black Sea Peninsula with its access to the Eastern Mediterranean via the Aegean Sea.

Presently rather than focus on the geopolitical springs and objectives of Russia's "aggression" against Ukraine-Crimea Brzezinski turned the spotlight on the nefarious intentions and methods of Putin's move on the Great Chessboard. To permit Putin to have his way in Ukraine-Crimea would be "similar to the two phases of Hitler's seizure of Sudetenland after Munich in 1938 and the final occupation of Prague and Czechoslovakia in early 1938." Incontrovertibly "much depends on how clearly the West conveys to the dictator in the Kremlin-a partially comical imitation of Mussolini and a more menacing reminder of Hitler-that NATO cannot be passive if war erupts in Europe." For should Ukraine be "crushed with the West simply watching the new freedom and security of Romania, Poland, and the three Baltic republics would also be threatened." Having resuscitated the domino theory, Brzezinski urged the West to "promptly recognize the current government of Ukraine legitimate" and assure it "privately . . . that the Ukrainian army can count on immediate and direct Western aid so as to enhance its defense capabilities." At the same time "NATO forces . . . should be put on alert [and] high readiness for some immediate airlift to Europe of U. S. airborne units would be politically and militarily meaningful." And as an afterthought Brzezinski suggested that along with "such efforts to avoid miscalculations that could lead to war" the West should reaffirm its "desire for a peaceful accommodation . . . [and] reassure Russia that it is not seeking to draw Ukraine into NATO or turn it against Russia." Indeed, mirabile dictu, Brzezinski, like Henry Kissinger, his fellow geopolitician with a cold-war imperial mindset, adumbrated a form of Finlandization of Ukraine-but, needless to say, not of the other eastern border states-without, however, letting on that actually Sergey Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister, had recently made some such proposal.

Of course, the likes of Kagan, Brzezinski, and Kissinger keep mum about America's inimitable hand in the "regime change" in Kiev which resulted in a government in which the ultra-nationalists and neo-fascists, who had been in the front lines on Maidan Square, are well represented.

Since critics of America's subversive interventions tend to be dismissed as knee-jerk left-liberals wired to exaggerate their dark anti-democratic side it might help to listen to a voice which on this issue can hardly be suspect. Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League and renowned inquisitor of anti-Semitism, concedes that "there is no doubt that Ukraine, like Croatia, was one of those places where local militias played a key role in the murder of thousands of Jews during World War II." And anti-Semitism "having by no means disappeared from Ukraine . . . in recent months there have been a number of anti-Semitic incidents and there are at least two parties in Ukraine, Svoboda and Right Sector, that have within them some extreme nationalists and anti-Semites."

But having said that, Foxman insists that it is "pure demagoguery and an effort to rationalize criminal behavior on the part of Russia to invoke the anti-Semitism ogre into the struggle in Ukraine, . . . for it is fair to say that there was more anti-Semitism manifest in the worldwide Occupy Wall Street movement than we have seen so far in the revolution taking place in Ukraine." To be sure, Putin "plays the anti-Semitism card" much as he plays that of Moscow rushing to "protect ethnic Russians from alleged extremist Ukrainians." Even at that, however, "it is, of course, reprehensible to suggest that Putin's policies in Ukraine are anything akin to Nazi policies during World War II." But then Foxman hastens to stress that it "is not absurd to evoke Hitler's lie" about the plight of the Sudeten Germans as comparable to "exactly" what "Putin is saying and doing in Crimea" and therefore needs to be "condemned . . . as forcefully . . . as the world should have condemned the German move into the Sudetenland."

Abraham Foxman's tortured stance is consonant with that of American and Israeli hardliners who mean to contain and roll back a resurgent great-power Russia, as much in Syria and Iran as in its "near abroad" in Europe and Asia.

As if listening to Brzezinski and McCain, Washington is building up its forces in the Baltic states, especially Poland, with a view to give additional bite to sanctions. But this old-style intervention will cut little ice unless fully concerted, militarily and economically, with NATO's weighty members, which seems unlikely. Of course, America has drones and weapons of mass destruction-but so does Russia.

In any case, for unreconstructed imperials, and for AIPAC, the crux of the matter is not Russia's European "near abroad" but its reemergence in the Greater Middle East, presently in Syria and Iran, and this at a time when, according to Kagan, the Persian Gulf was paling in strategic and economic importance compared to the Asia-Pacific region where China is an awakening sleeping giant that even now is the globe's second largest economy-over half the size of the U. S. economy-and the unreal third largest holder of America's public debt-by far the largest foreign holder of U. S. Treasury bonds.

In sum, the unregenerate U. S. empire means to actively contain both Russia and China in the true-and-tried modus operandi, starting along and over Russia's European "near abroad" and the South China Sea and Taiwan Strait connecting the South China Sea to the East China Sea.

... ... ...

Not only Washington but Moscow knows that in 1945 the ultimate reason for using the absolute weapon was transparently geopolitical rather than purely military.

With the weight of the unregenerate imperials in the White House, Pentagon, Congress, the "third house," and the think tanks there is the risk that this U. S.- masterminded NATO "operation freedom in Russia's European "near abroad" will spin out of control, also because the American Knownothings are bound to have their Russian counterparts.

In this game of chicken on the edge of the nuclear cliff the U. S. cannot claim the moral and legal high ground since it was President Truman and his inner circle of advisors who unleashed the scourge of nuclear warfare, and with time there was neither an official nor a popular gesture of atonement for this wanton and excessive military excess. And this despite FDR and Truman Chief of Staff Admiral William Leahy confessing that "in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages," an observation possibly anticipated by General Eisenhower's plaint to Secretary of War Stimson of his "grave misgivings" and belief that "dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary and… our country should avoid shocking world opinion…" Is there a filiation between this cri de coeur and the forewarning about the toxicity of the "military industrial complex" in President Eisenhower's farewell address?

This is a time for a national debate and a citizen-initiated referendum on whether or not the U. S. should adopt unilateral nuclear disarmament. It might be a salutary and exemplary exercise in participatory democracy.

Arno J. Mayer is emeritus professor of history at Princeton University. He is the author of The Furies: Violence and Terror in the French and Russian Revolutions and Plowshares Into Swords: From Zionism to Israel (Verso).

[Apr 22, 2014] Snyder on Ukraine by Ed Kilgore

In a way the USA is really unique, exceptional country where everybody is emigant in some generation. And that diminishes the danger of nationlism that is still killing old Europe as we see in Ukraine now....

February 24, 2014 | The Washington Monthly

I suspect that most Americans look at the situation in the Ukraine and see one of those sad "ethnic conflicts" to which the Old World is so prone, in which there is no "right" or "wrong" but simply differences of opinion intensified by the weight of history. But as Snyder notes, history itself suffers when bent to ideology:

The current Russian attempt to manipulate the memory of the Holocaus/t is so blatant and cynical that those who are so foolish to fall for it will one day have to ask themselves just how, and in the service of what, they have been taken in. If fascists take over the mantle of antifascism, the memory of the Holocaust will itself be altered. It will be more difficult in the future to refer to the Holocaust in the service of any good cause, be it the particular one of Jewish history or the general one of human rights.

[Apr 22, 2014] Amateur Hour in Ukraine By Eric Margolis

Apr 20, 2014 | The Unz Review

After the 1878 Congress of Berlin that Bismarck organized to sort out the great power's conflicting claims to the volatile Balkans, the Iron Chancellor observed that no one had asked the locals involved their opinion. Fast forward to today's Ukraine where Bismarck's wise advise still rings true.

[Apr 22, 2014] Ukraine's Neo-Nazi Imperative By Robert Parry

See also Robert Parry article Ukraine, Through the US Looking Glass Consortiumnews

After the Feb. 22 coup in Ukraine – spearheaded by neo-Nazi militias – European and U.S. diplomats pushed for a quick formation of a new government out of fear that otherwise these far-right ultra-nationalists would be left in total control, one of those diplomats told me.

The comment again underscores the inconvenient truth of what happened in Ukraine: neo-Nazis were at the forefront of the Kiev coup that ousted elected President Viktor Yanukovych, a reality that the U.S. government and news media have been relentlessly trying to cover up.

Although real-time reports from the scene in February chronicled armed and organized militias associated with the neo-Nazi Svoboda party and the Right Sektor attacking police with firebombs and light weapons, that information soon became a threat to the Western propaganda theme that Yanukovych fled simply because peaceful protesters occupied the Maidan square.

... ... ....

The new role for the neo-Nazi militias was announced last week by Andriy Parubiy, head of the Ukrainian National Security Council, who declared on Twitter, "Reserve unit of National Guard formed #Maidan Self-defense volunteers was sent to the front line this morning."

Parubiy is himself a well-known neo-Nazi, who founded the Social-National Party of Ukraine in 1991. The party blended radical Ukrainian nationalism with neo-Nazi symbols. Parubiy also formed a paramilitary spinoff, the Patriots of Ukraine, and defended the awarding of the title, "Hero of Ukraine," to World War II Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera, whose own paramilitary forces exterminated thousands of Jews and Poles in pursuit of a racially pure Ukraine.

In the hasty structuring of the post-coup government in February, part of the compromise with the ascendant neo-Nazis was to give them control of four ministries, including Parubiy in the key position heading national security. To give him loyal and motivated forces to strike at the pro-Russian east, he incorporated many of the storm troopers from his Maidan force into the National Guard.

... ... ...

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his new book, America's Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon and For a limited time, you also can order Robert Parry's trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America's Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.

[Apr 22, 2014] Nationalism, Not NATO, Is Our Great Ally by Patrick J. Buchanan

Although Pat Buchanan may be forgot about it criticizing neocons, Nationalism (aka American Exeptionalism) is a very dangerous animal...

With Vladimir Putin having bloodlessly annexed Crimea and hinting that his army might cross the border to protect the Russians of East Ukraine, Washington is abuzz with talk of dispatching U.S. troops to Eastern Europe.

But unless we have lost our minds, we are not going to fight Russia over territory no president ever regarded as vital to us.

Indeed, should Putin annex Eastern and Southern Ukraine all the way to Odessa, he would simply be restoring to Russian rule what had belonged to her from Washington's inaugural in 1789 to George H. W. Bush's inaugural in 1989.

This is not an argument for ignoring Russia's conduct.

But it is an argument for assessing what is vital and what is not, what threatens us and what does not, and what is the real deterrent to any re-establishment of the Soviet Empire.

Before we start sending troops back to Europe, as we did 65 years ago under Harry Truman, let us ask ourselves: Was it really the U.S. Army, which never crossed the Elbe or engaged in battle with the Red Army, that brought down the Soviet Empire and dissolved the Soviet Union?

No. What liberated the nations of Eastern Europe and the USSR was the determined will of these peoples to be free to decide their own destinies and create, or re-create, nations based on their own history, language, culture and ethnic identity?

Nationalism brought down the empire. And Mikhail Gorbachev let these nations go because Russia was weary of maintaining a coercive empire and because Russia, too, wanted to be part of the free world.

While Putin may want the Russians of Ukraine and Belarus back inside a Greater Russia, does anyone think he wants Rumanians, Bulgarians, Poles, Hungarians, Czechs or Slovaks back under Moscow's rule?

Putin knows that his own popularity, near 80 percent, is due directly to his being seen as a nationalist willing to stand up to the Americans and their claim to be sole architects of the New World Order.

And it is nationalism, not a NATO full of freeloaders, that is America's great ally in this post-Cold War world.

It was nationalism that liberated the captive nations, broke apart the Soviet Union, split Czechoslovakia in two and divided Yugoslavia into seven countries.

Nationalism drove the Chechens to try to break from Moscow, the Abkhazians and South Ossetians to secede from Georgia, and the Crimeans to say good-bye to Kiev. And as nationalism tore apart the Soviet Empire and USSR, nationalism will prevent their recreation.

Should Putin invade and annex all of Ukraine, not just Crimea and the East where Russians are in a majority, his country would face the same resistance from occupied Western Ukraine Russia faces today in Dagestan, Ingushetia and Chechnya. Putin knows that.

But if Eastern Ukraine in the May election should indicate a will to secede and join Russia, or become a separate autonomous state, why would we automatically oppose that? Are we not ourselves the proud descendants of the secessionists of '76?

If we can view with diffidence the drive by Scotland to secede from England, Catalonia to secede from Spain, Venice to secede from Italy, and Flanders to secede from Belgium, why would the secession of the Donbass from Ukraine be a problem for us, if done democratically?

Nationalism is the natural enemy of empires, and it seems on the rise almost everywhere.

An assertion of Chinese nationalism – Beijing's claim to islands Japan has occupied for over a century – has caused a resurgence of a Japanese nationalism dormant since World War II. Japan's nationalist resurgence has caused a rise in anti-Japanese nationalism in Korea.

China's great adversary today is Asian nationalism.

India resents China's hold on territories taken in a war half a century ago and China's growing naval presence in the Indian Ocean.

China's claims in the South China Sea have revived anti-Chinese nationalism in Vietnam and the Philippines. In Western China, Uighurs have resorted to violence and even terror to break Xinjiang off from China, which they hope to convert into their own East Turkestan.

Kurdish nationalism, an ally of America in Desert Storm, is today a threat to the unity of Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran.

Elections for the European Parliament in May are almost certain to see gains for the Ukip in England, Marine Le Pen's National Front in France, Geert Wilders Party for Freedom in the Netherlands, and other nationalist parties that have lately arisen across Europe.

These parties in a way echo Putin. Where he wants Ukraine to stay out of the EU, they want their countries to get out of the EU.

Secessionism and nationalism are growth stocks today. Centralization and globalization are yesterday.

A new world is coming. And while perhaps unwelcome news for the transnational elites championing such causes as climate change and battling global economic inequality, it is hard to see any great threat in all this to the true interests of the American people.

[Apr 22, 2014] Slavyansk shootout threatens to bury Ukraine peace deal

Read below and you will se that commenter in Guardian demonstrate discussion skills that you can only envy :-). Probably the best reader forum that I know of.
Apr 22, 2014 | The Guardian


They can claim anything they want. If they dont allow observers, they can plant whatever fits their agenda.

SallyWa -> SybilSanderson

Did you read OSCE report? They've visited Slavyansk, and didn't find any Russian forces there - being or creating anything.

spintronic -> SybilSanderson

There are observers.

At 17:30 a team of six monitors entered Sloviansk and went to the city council building in the city centre.

gimmeshoes -> SallyWa

That was quick...they only went today. What is notable is the Slovyansk separatists have barred entry to any journalists othe than the approved ones from Russia.


Ukraine's new prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who is hosting the US vice-president, Joe Biden, this week, told US television that he wanted greater support from America in the face of Russian aggression.

And the best way to achieve that is to raise the tension.

Adam Paryż -> Streatham

What is your problem? Ukraine is sovereign country. We want to be with the EU, so where is the problem? Because you hate EU that doesn't mean that we also. Do you think that Putin agression to Crimea and west Ukraine is good? So Ukraine should do nothing? WTF?

Silly Brits, you are brainwashed by UKIP & Putin propaganda.

giorocks -> Adam Paryż

errr......the problem is that the US and EU have bought Ukraine, it has no sovereign elements left nor a democratic government. It's been used as a pawn to further Imperial aims and to increase Russophobia. Open your eyes. BTW I am not European and have never heard of UKIP.

jgbg -> Adam Paryż

We want to be with the EU, so where is the problem?

The EU is broadly speaking, an anti-nationalist organisation - it was founded on the basis that nationalism was at the root of many wars in Europe. One of the reasons why the EC president recently stated that Ukraine is not fit for EU membership is the prominence of right wing extremism and the inclusion of Nazis in the interim government.

Ukraine is unlikely to be offered accession until Right Sector and Svoboda are out of the picture and Ukraine has a government which doesn't idolize Nazis like Stepan Bandera.

SocalAlex -> Adam Paryż

I'm not British but am an EU citizen who is generally as passionate an EU federalist as they come!

"My problem" is that I don't think we should be having anything to do with an illegitimate government which deposed a freely and fairly elected - albeit corrupt - president through force with the aid of out and out neo-fascists and neo-Nazis, and with no regard for the views of the majority/large minority of the population. Especially when said government has placed out and out neo-fascists and neo-Nazis in office. Especially when forces - either within or outside of the government, it's hard to tell - are not only openly intimidating but physically attacking those with opposing views. Especially when said "government" was clearly hand-picked by the U.S. State Department in the same breath as the words "fuck the EU"!

I love the EU precisely because it stands for political and cultural pluralism, for protection and respect of minorities, for democratic norms, for the belief that problems and conflicts of interest are to be resolved through dialogue and at the ballot box, not through demonstrations/threats of force and at the barrel of the gun!

You may want to be with the EU. It is patently clear that many of your compatriots don't- That is for you to sort out amongst yourselves.

But I can tell you one thing - as someone who lovesthe EU, I no longer want you to be a part of it, the way I still did a year ago! Because the actions and rhetoric of those you support demonstrate a contempt for the values the EU is supposed to stand for!

giorocks -> riggbeck

If you're able to comprehend most of the posts you'll see we are on the whole not Putin supporters. Most of us are merely highlighting the breath-takingly double standards of the WEST.

It's healthy to see posters here are free thinkers and not willing to succumb to Western propaganda. They question it and rightly so! I just wish more people did so.

Adam Paryż -> jgbg

It's only YOUR opinion, NOT Ukrainian. Is United Kingdom want be in Russia? We can swap. Ukraine in EU, UK in Russia. Great idea! Be with EU is better option than be Russian federation in Putin country. EU is great, family of European countries.

Can i decide about my coutry? Not Russia or you??

Streatham -> Adam Paryż

It's only YOUR opinion, NOT Ukrainian... Can i decide about my coutry? Not Russia or you??

No, you alone cannot decide about your country. There are other Ukranians that don't agree with you. What do you propose to do with them?

jlobber -> Adam Paryż

But why do you have to swap?? Do you have so little respect for the sovereignty of your own country?

It's bemusing to see eastern european countries shouting about independence whilst desperately ceding sovereignty to EU and NATO.

jgbg -> Adam Paryż

It's only YOUR opinion, NOT Ukrainian.

You talked about Ukraine joining the EU. I simply pointed out why Ukraine is not being offered accession and only has an association agreement. It isn't just my opinion, you can read the resolutions of the EU parliament on Ukraine....

13th December 2012

The European Parliament , ......

8. Is concerned about the rising nationalistic sentiment in Ukraine, expressed in support for the Svoboda Party, which, as a result, is one of the two new parties to enter the Verkhovna Rada; recalls that racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic views go against the EU's fundamental values and principles and therefore appeals to pro-democratic parties in the Verkhovna Rada not to associate with, endorse or form coalitions with this party;

....and about languages and Stepan Bandera:

25th February 2010

The European Parliament , .......

5. Calls on the Ukrainian authorities, while recognising that Ukraine has ratified the Council of Europe Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, to make greater efforts to reach out to minority communities in Ukraine by further integrating these communities in the political developments of the country and promoting adequately the right to education in minority languages;
20. Deeply deplores the decision by the outgoing President of Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko, posthumously to award Stepan Bandera, a leader of the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) which collaborated with Nazi Germany, the title of 'National Hero of Ukraine'; hopes, in this regard, that the new Ukrainian leadership will reconsider such decisions and will maintain its commitment to European values;

SocalAlex -> SocalAlex

I love the EU precisely because it stands for political and cultural pluralism, for protection and respect of minorities, for democratic norms, for the belief that problems and conflicts of interest are to be resolved through dialogue and at the ballot box, not through demonstrations/threats of force and at the barrel of the gun!

I would also point out that, as a citizen and resident of a country where neo-fascists political parties regularly take over a quarter of the vote, I see the EU as a power which, when push comes to shove, will guarantee and enforce those values I hold dear! (Many of my friends from post-communist EU countries feel the same way, regarding the hard-core communists.)

When, a decade and a half ago, our centre-right party agreed to go into coalition with the neo-fascists (who were at the time also leaning far more openly towards neo-Nazism; in the interim they have jettisoned old-fashioned anti-semitism in favour of the far more popular and populist Islamophobia) the other EU members responded by slapping sanctions on us and suspending our voting rights!

Rather than viewing this as a dictatorial assault on our sovereignty, the 50% give or take of us who were horrified enough by this turn of events to protests in the streets every week until the government fell took succor. And the "corrective" measure had its effect. Under an even more charismatic new leader, the neo-fascists, have, if anything, increased their vote share over the past decade, but even the centre-right will never dare go into coalition with them again, even if it means making common cause with the left or centre-left Greens.

I despise our domestic far-right with every fibre of my being - but they are nowhere near as bad as Svoboda. The idea that I should support the latter, especially when in a government that can't even claim democratic legitimacy, is galling beyond belief! It is a betrayal of every last value the EU is supposed to stand for!

And I don't honestly think this is what the EU wanted either - they wanted the February 21st agreement they brokered which the Ukrainian "government" shredded before the ink on it was dry! Since then the - fuck the EU - State Department has been calling the shots. And I despair at how "we" continue to dance to their tune, against our own interests!

If only we had anyone but Ashton nominally in charge of our foreign policy! It was utter madness to select someone from the country which has always been little more than America's Trojan horse in Europe for that post!

soopermouse -> Adam Paryż

poor kid, he thinks the EU wants another bankrupt country. No worries, you'll learn better soon

greatwhitehunter -> Adam Paryż

News for ukraine europe dont want ukraine. Ukraine was being used as a stick to poke russian with. Do you really beleive europe want a meaningful relationship with ukraine. Europe offer ukraine a memorandum of association which is nothing. Nato would quite like to the ukraines as an airforce base. Whats that I hear another nato jet buzzing donesk to highten tensions a bit.

What the nato and the US have being doing is grooming Ukraine as a dirty old man grooms a teenager on the internet. The EU and the USA are political pedifiles. Wake up ukraine!

dimalmmm -> Adam Paryż

If Ukraine is a sovereign nation, why do they entertain visits from John McCain and Victoria Nuland, patting those that overthrew the democratically elected government on the back? Do you have ANY idea how a visit from Putin or the Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov to protestors in the USA would have been received here in the USA? I am an American but my roots and family are in Ukraine and those in Ukraine that support US and Western meddling are supporting nothing other than the financial goals of Western corporate oil interests who are absolutely fine with Ukrainian blood being spilled in order to obtain dominance there in the global market. A small handful of misguided extremists in Kiev supported by the West do NOT speak for all of Ukraine and can not expect the rest of the nation to go along with their foolish, misguided efforts that are not in the best interests of ALL of Ukraine.

chesten -> Adam Paryż

You are the one that is silly. If Ukraine is a sovereign state, why did the American "lady" - "F..k the EU" installed the bunch of foreign agents and neo fascists to govern your country?

chesten -> Adam Paryż

Hey, the man with the "live standard" - count your compatriots that left Poland in order to become plumbers in Old Europe.

AuObserver -> EFemeral

Very interesting link

Danish5666 -> Adam Paryż

"We want to be with the EU". I am not sure a lot of us wants you in the EU.

PhilipWheeler -> riggbeck

Not everyone has swallowed the Kool-Aid, but enough to make me despair. They happily criticize the US from the left and the EU from the right, while applauding Putin for the invasion of Ukraine. People in this country, with a few exceptions, have collectively lost their wits.

There is no reason to despair, Sir. I think you have to agree, that the opposite would have been much worse: a British majority brainwashed by White House war rhetoric's, bent to fight the "good fight" against those evil Russians, stirring up a new world war. You should be grateful that there are many people in your country who don't share your views.

KalinaVolcheva -> SocalAlex

Especially when forces - either within or outside of the government, it's hard to tell - are not only openly intimidating but physically attacking those with opposing views.

It's rather disconcerting to read such a comment and lots of similar ones here when we are fed up with Russian propaganda already. And here it is, thanks to the superficial coverage of Ukraine and all the more superficial understanding of it, we have discussions revolving around "neo-Nazis" and "the views of the majority/large minority of the population" which nobody have a clue what are all about. People in eastern regions were systematically pauperised when Yanukovych whom you call "a freely and fairly elected - albeit corrupt - president", and his Party of Regions were in power (strangely enough, members of his family were among the richest in the country). Actually, this so-called party which is now using all means to keep its grip on power, has been universally despised in western and eastern regions alike because of the most outrageous corruption (literally).

Have you ever been in Ukraine? Have you ever watched Ukrainian TV and actually listened to those people whom you call Nazis here? Have you ever read one single interview with Dmytro Yarosh? Mr. Adam Paryż is way too emotional but he's got a point. Making ill-informed assumptions like that, you show your ignorance about the whole matter.

Clive Richards -> Adam Paryż

I think you will find that most Brits support Ukraine - though we are wary also of a right wing government - human rights, particularly for gay people, have not been high on Ukraine's agenda.

However I suspect most people in Britain do not believe the Russian version of events

elprofe -> Adam Paryż

Insults won't get you much support from the insulted.

ID2588920 -> Streatham

Yanukovych was for joining the EU from before he was elected in 2010. The parliament of Ukraine elected in 2012 was almost unanimous in voting for the Association agreement with the EU. There was strong support for this in every region of Ukraine including in Crimea. When faced with threats from Putin that Ukraine would be bankrupted if it signed the association agreement with the EU Yanukovych went against a very popular decision that had evolved in Ukraine over nearly a decade.

The people of Ukraine want to live in a normal country that can make its own decisions and not be merely a corrupted appendage of Russia, which is the reality of the option that Putin offered Ukraine. It is no wonder that the majority of the people turned against Yanukovych with his sudden change of policy after meeting Putin in late 2013.

NojoKing -> Adam Paryż

Silly ucrainian, you think western gov.s love Ukraine? wait until the IMF suck your blood like they're doing in Ireland, Greece, Spain, Cyprus and Portugal! in fact you did not deserve the Russian cheap gas, now you will see that western institutions don't love anything but money. Get readdy to be ripped off, your gold is already taken to USA while you were beasy hating russians.

NojoKing -> Adam Paryż

you have a simplistic view ...the world is not black or has many colours. Most of european are solidary with all the Ukraine's people, but that's not the same as to be solidary with rufians in Kiev's "government" or just western Ukraine. We do not have to be Putin lovers to see the wholew picture. And yes, we're aldo tired of the western leaders lies and the western fake democracy. We did not ask IMF to come to South European countries and Ireland. If you think they'll will help you just wait and you'll see! they just love money, they will sell your country ti the big finantial powers, everything: resources, profitable enterprises will be soo in the hands of those that you call "friends" and "alies" . The USA as already stolen your golden reserves while you were busy hating the russians! kiss it good bye, you will never see it again!

Haltonbrat -> Adam Paryż

I hate people who overthrow their government by force with the help of the USA.

Brigitte Bernadotte -> Adam Paryż

Ukraine is sovereign country.

Until it joins the EU.

We want to be with the EU, so where is the problem?

And why do you want "to be with the EU"? You just want our money. You want to steal German tax money. You don't even ask if we want to pay for your busted, corrupt country. You are an imperialist.

I just hope Putin takes all of Ukraine.

jgbg -> ID2588920

Yanukovych was for joining the EU from before he was elected in 2010. ..... Yanukovych went against a very popular decision that had evolved in Ukraine over nearly a decade.

Yes - but.....

The EuroMaidan protests were based on the pretext that Yanukovych made the wrong choice and was preventing Ukraine from joining the EU. They were wrong.

Events now show that Yanukovych made the right decision. He did not have much choice: The EU were only offering an association agreement, not accession and membership and they also offered only about €600 million in aid. Russia was offering hugely discounted gas and an interest free $15 billion loan. He had postponed the association deal with the EU, not refused it. He had not committed Ukraine to joining Russia's trading bloc. He was trying to get the best economic deal for Ukraine. None of this was bad - it was the blatant corruption of his group that was bad.

Now - Ukraine has the association agreement and have been told they are not fit for EU membership. They no longer have the Russian deal and instead, have a deal with the IMF for an interest paying $18 billion loan - which comes with requirements for severe fiscal policy.

(Yanukovych and his backers were corrupt but the new lot are no better. All of these bastards and especially the oligarchs are responsible for the appalling state of the Ukrainian economy.)

riggbeck -> PhilipWheeler

I see from your profile and comment history that you're a Putinbot, therefore not worth an answer. The English name doesn't fool anybody.


It was a good thing the Donetsk rebels hadn't handed in their weapons, else they wouldn't have been able to beat off those armed neo-nazi Right Sector scum who first shot at unarmed civilians on the barricade.

arabeska -> logicaldiscussion

Obviously the Right Sector members leave their cards everywhere, especially if they carry illegal activities? Are you really so naive?

Manche -> arabeska

What's so naive about finding personal effects at crime scènes? I imagine you are the type of person who believed that an Al-Qaede member hijacker's passport was found amidst the rubble of the twin towers seeing as you appear to be the kind that believe anything the Washington machine says.

So some of your ultra-right 'friends' got shot up and you're sad - breathe it in breathe it in.


Video of a radical caught by Slavyansk Self Defense. Says he is from Right Sector, but went to Slavyansk without orders. Didn't know they will be shooting invaders "for real"

Video walk-through of Slavyansk self Defense, complete with anti-tank missile system.

jgbg -> wilddolphin

Just to add... The captured Right Sector thug is from Vinnitsa. Although he claims that he didn't know they would be shooting anyone, he and his Nazi friends brought plenty of weapons, ammunition and apparently, explosives. Clearly, he knew they were not on a shopping trip.

Beckow -> wilddolphin

If there is no violence, Russia ends up with an effective control of eastern Ukraine and a powerless and broke Kiev.

If there is no violence, Right Sector disappears and the current neo-liberals in Kiev lose power.

That suggests that any violent provocations are lot more likely from Kiev and the neo-Nazis than from the eastern Ukrainian Russians. Right Sector has under 1% support, the east Ukrainian pro-Russians have received between 45-55% in each election for 20 years (check Wikipedia). So who benefits from the continued mayhem?

Cui bono?


Ukraine PM asks US for 'real support' to prevent further Russian hostility

That explains it. Right Sector attacks. Yatsenuk whines to US about sending army or something like that to protect Ukraine against Russian forces in Ukraine which are not there.

SallyWa -> WhyDontYou

Do you think Russian forces should be there?

Right now-now, but they are not there as was confirmed today by OSCE.

Or would have a legitimate reason to enter the territory, e.g. to protect Russian speakers from "fascists"?

If Right Sector and illegal regime of Kiev (via Right Sector) will be killing protesters in East and since US or EU doesn't give a damn how many people die in East, somebody must protect those people.
Also if US sends its forces under cover to Ukraine, Russia also will need to send theirs.

SallyWa -> WhyDontYou

So, Right Sector doing this is not an example of ultra nationalism in Ukraine?

Caroline Louise

RT's updates of events. Not necessarily the truth, but at least we should read the propaganda from both sides.

Doug_Niedermeyer -> Caroline Louise

Do we have to? I'm finding RT's coverage particularly tiresome and one-sided.

masaski -> Doug_Niedermeyer

Where are you getting your bona-fide news updates from?

Kamik11 -> Doug_Niedermeyer

Since the truth is usually somewhere in the middle of two opposing interpretations it's useful to know points of view of both sides.


The main problem is that EU and US sources have no credibility whatsoever. Having openly encouraged the overthrow of an elected government, they cannot possibly maintain that the new unelected government has any more legitimacy than the separatists - who are pushing for referenda. Furthermore, there is abundance evidence that the US and their allies have done this type of covert and false flag operation before, and clear obvious evidence for this type of thing recently with the leaked phone conversation.

So why should anybody believe a word they say?

Surely it would be a reasonable default position to believe the opposite is true.

Time for the list of US covert regime change operations since the war...

1.1 Russia

2.1 Communist states 1944–89
2.2 Syria 1949
2.3 Iran 1953
2.4 Guatemala 1954
2.5 Tibet 1955–70s
2.6 Indonesia 1958
2.7 Cuba 1959
2.8 Democratic Republic of the Congo 1960–65
2.9 Iraq 1960–63
2.10 Dominican Republic 1961
2.11 South Vietnam 1963
2.12 Brazil 1964
2.13 Ghana 1966
2.14 Chile 1970–73
2.15 Argentina 1976
2.16 Afghanistan 1979–89
2.17 Turkey 1980
2.18 Poland 1980–81
2.19 Nicaragua 1981–90
2.19.1 Destablization through CIA assets
2.19.2 Arming the Contras
2.20 Cambodia 1980–95
2.21 Angola 1980s

3.1 Iraq 1992–96
3.2 Afghanistan 2001
3.3 Venezuela 2002
3.4 Iraq 2002–03
3.5 Haiti 2004
3.6 Gaza Strip 2006–present
3.7 Somalia 2006–07
3.8 Iran 2005–present
3.9 Libya 2011
3.10 Syria 2012–present
3.11 Ukraine 2013–2014

Anotherevertonian -> wombatty

The main problem is that EU and US sources have no credibility whatsoever. Having openly encouraged the overthrow of an elected government, they cannot possibly maintain that the new unelected government has any more legitimacy than the separatists - who are pushing for referenda. Furthermore, there is abundance evidence that the US and their allies have done this type of covert and false flag operation before, and clear obvious evidence for this tyep of thing recently with the leaked phone conversation.

So why should anybody believe a word they say?


constesco -> wombatty

oh, btw. yo've forgotten about american tanks on the streets of Budapest in '56, fraternity assistance in Czechoslovakia in '68 and also invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. Bloody CIA.

whitja01 -> mdrdl

Some evidence, please. Independent reports on the Sakhalin production sharing agreements created by western governments and companies in the 1990s were very unfair to Russia. Exxon and Shell got a guaranteed 17.5% profit over and above their expenses. Russia was entitled to only 10% after expenses were paid out, i.e. never. Even Forbes magazine and the Economist have stated that these were unfair agreements imposed when Russia was very weak. Putin tore these up in 2004 and Russian revenues and living standards increased. So who are/were the looters? Poverty has decreased by half during Putin's time in power and GDP has increased under both Putin and Medvedev. It's more accurate to state that Russia was looted during the 1990s privatization period, and the oil wealth has been more equally shared since 2004. Your comment is mere ideology, unsupported by evidence.


Russian channels claimed that a business card belonging to Dmitry Yarosh, the leader of the far-right Right Sector, had been left by the "attackers". Also discovered were crisp new $100 bills, a satellite map of the area, and a second world war German gun, they reported======== was a cuddly toy on the list?

Doug_Niedermeyer -> gimmeshoes

Sounds all too convenient in my opinion. Who would benefit the most from this material being found on the corpses?


The self-defense forces in Ukraine's Donetsk region are expecting assaults on checkpoints and administrative buildings they're holding in the town of Slavyansk at 18:00 GMT, Itar-Tass reports.

The anti-government activists are on high alert, with preparations to repel the attack underway, said Vyacheslav Ponomarev, the "people's mayor" of Slavyansk.

According to Ponomarev, unidentified armed men were spotted gathering outside the town.

The self-defense forces failed to establish their belonging to any units of the Ukrainian military and say they are militants from the radical Right Sector movement.

18:09 GMT:
Machine gun fire has been heard in the center of Slavyansk, a city in Ukraine's Donetsk Region, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported from the scene.

18:09 GMT:
Anti-government demonstrators in Odessa have demanded the resignation of the head of the regional administration, Vladimir Nemirovsky, reports.

Hundreds marched the streets of Odessa on Sunday, with the demonstration concluding with a rally at the city's Kulikovo Field.

Protesters also showed their support to the idea of referendum on the federalization of Ukraine and urged the coup-imposed authorities to end political repressions.

18:09 GMT:
The self-defense forces in Ukraine's Donetsk Region said that three of their checkpoint in the suburbs of the town of Slavyansk came under fire by unidentified gunmen, Interfax news agency reports.

whakarongomai -> SallyWa

Thank god we can get accurate accounts in Comments without having to rely on the Guardians man in Ukraine.

Clive Richards -> SallyWa

Under the Geneva agreement they should have vacated occupied premises


Also discovered were crisp new $100 bills,

So these people are foreign-paid mercenaries. I should hope that their actions therefore do not affect the Geneva peace deal unless one of the parties was involved.

The deal itself seems to be good for Ukraine provided that the separatist action eventually fizzles out, and that is the best hope.

SallyWa -> Batcow

So these people are foreign-paid mercenarie

Right Sector can not have dollars?

OtchenStrana -> Batcow

"crisp new $100 bills" found in burnt-out vehicles, yeah, right... the dollar-bill is obviously far more resistant than expected...


I do not have feeling that people in Ukraine really want to kill each other off.
It is just a show to provoke Russia. However Russia is way too smart to just react without seeing far in the future. And they have the upper hand almost from the beginning of this crisis. And nobody ever dares to mention Crimea anymore.

All they can rant is how Russian pensions are close to nothing, but still much higher than Ukrainians. With 50% higher price in Ukraine of Russian gas, luckily here comes the summer. In a winter we will have yet another stories.
This just shows us how shortsighted EU/US are in their visions.
"Divide et impera" times have been long time gone.

jgbg -> Laserlurk

I do not have feeling that people in Ukraine really want to kill each other off.

That's probably true for most Ukrainians but Nazis of Right Sector and Svoboda often express their desire to "kill Moskali scum". Anti-Russian nationalism is at the core of the current crisis.

NWObserver -> jgbg

That's probably true for most Ukrainians but Nazis of Right Sector and Svoboda often express their desire to "kill Moskali scum". Anti-Russian nationalism is at the core of the current crisis.

The key is to recognise that the Right Sector appeals only to a small minority of Ukrainians. They can be easily contained by a legitimate government. It will take sometime for a legitimate government to be in place in Kiev, but there will be one in short order.

At the bridge into the town, one commander armed with a pistol told the Guardian to leave. He punched the car with his fist, leaving a dent. "Get out of here," he screamed.

Many UK readers feel much the same: The Grauniad's right-wing extremism increasingly has that effect.

EndaClarke -> Anotherevertonian

Not exactly right-wing extremism, more like triangulation:

(1) The Scott Trust has adopted a no-paywall business model which requires it to max out English language advertisements to survive, now its paid-for print sales are plummeting. That means repositioning the Guardian/Observer as world media and screwing for dollars. (At a lower level the Kardashian-besotted Mail is doing the same.)

(2) The Guardian (all credit to it) broke the Snowden revelations which angered the US political and corporate establishment and humiliated lamestream Yank hacks by showing them up for the cowardly conformist mouthpieces most are.

(3) To prevent itself being tarred as indiscriminately anti-American and risking the boodle, the paper distinguishes editorially between its anti-surveillance coverage and a fairly faithful echo of the 'western' line on foreign policy flashpoints such as Ukraine.

It can be summed up as 'Yes, Putin is a menace to world peace and these are very, very dangerous times, but we don't need to live in a goldfish bowl to keep ourselves safe.'

joem -> Anotherevertonian

Seriously: something very bad has happened to the Graun.


This reminds me of the Sudeten German excuse that like this had some constructed validity. Seems like the damp squib is going to flare up after all into a new Soviet Union.

For brown shirt infiltrator, read Russian issue balaclava.

lesnouveauxpauvre -> Wordtaster

The new Soviet Union is America. The USSA. Filled with a nation of people like you who have betrayed your own country. I went to UC Berkeley and UC Berkeley is a spawning tank for CIA/intel recruiting with the CIA openly recruiting at umbrella tables on the campus. They target foreign students heavily, and send them back to their own countries for future overthrows funded by Soros like Orange revolution (Georgia Russia), yellow revolution (Ukraine), Tulip revolution (Kyrgyzistan), Green revolution (Egypt) etc etc. - and of course "Occupy" in N. America. So don't peddle this bullshit.

mountman -> Wordtaster

It was Poland actually, dead Polish "troops" killed during "attack" on German frontier base were actually German political prisoners, dressed in Polish uniforms and then murdered by the SS

Colm Pujolas -> mountman

German tanks rolling into Sudetenland then it was Prague . German annexation of Czechoslovakia in 1938.

The Gleiwitz incident was a false flag operation by Nazi forces posing as Poles on 31 August 1939, against the German radio station in Gleiwitz, Upper Silesia, Germany. The next day German forces invaded Poland.

The Soviet Red Army's invasion of Eastern Poland on 17 September, in accordance with a secret protocol of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact.

Don't do deals with the devil.


If eastern separatist had travelled to the West killing people in the villages, the Western media would be going ballistic. Troops from Kiev would be pouring into the East extracting retribution. However as it is the West that is committing the crimes nothing happens. It is accepted as the normal behaviour expected from Kiev backed terrorist.

Talgen -> WhyDontYou

Two attackers died and they lost two cars, in a attack on a militia checkpoint. I really do hope you think more highly of spec ops than that.

whitja01 -> SomersetApples

Just like the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who died don't matter and are almost never mentioned in the western press.


Ukraine's new prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk,

Ukraine's illegal and unelected prime minister......

there we go Guardian, fixed it for you.

WhyDontYou -> giorocks

*Interim* is the word you were looking for.

Elections are scheduled for 25th May, although it looks like Putin and the petty dictators of Donetsk don't like the idea of free and fair elections.

OtchenStrana -> giorocks

The Prime Minister is never directly elected by the people: he/she is chosen from within the ranks of the majority coalition in parliament. Currently that is Yatsenyuk.

there we go, giorocks, fixed it for you.

Soul_Side -> OtchenStrana

OtchenStrana said:

The Prime Minister is never directly elected by the people: he/she is chosen from within the ranks of the majority coalition in parliament. Currently that is Yatsenyuk.

there we go, giorocks, fixed it for you.

Not so fast. The position must be ratified by the elected President. The elected President has never been impeached, according to the Constitution of Ukraine. The elected President had his life threatened by a violent mob that had also murdered 17 police officers. giorocks is correct, the 'interim' government and Prime Minister have no legitimacy.


I am seeing the words "Nazi" and "Fascist" banded around a lot.

The definition of fascism is "radical, authoritarian nationalism," which would certainly include the authoritarian Russian regime propped up by nuclear weapons within it's boundaries.

Anotherevertonian -> WhyDontYou

I am seeing the words "Nazi" and "Fascist" banded around a lot.
The definition of fascism is "radical, authoritarian nationalism," which would certainly include the authoritarian Russian regime propped up by nuclear weapons within it's boundaries.

It's been a long, hard day for this Kievbot, bashing away on the keyboard, his glue bag empty, and the corpse of the tortured Party of the Region deputy beginning to honk. Time to throw open the reinforced door to his Right Sector dungeon-cum-work-station and walk in the fresh air.

whitja01 -> ID820968

Yes, I agree. If RT is only doing propaganda, they are doing much better. Apparently, there were survivors from this incident, why aren't they being interviewed?



Whitewash of dear old Luke again
"Russian channels claimed that a business card belonging to Dmitry Yarosh, the leader of the far-right Right Sector, had been left by the "attackers". Also discovered were crisp new $100 bills, a satellite map of the area, and a second world war German gun, they reported."
Conveniently forgot to mention sophisticated sniper rifle, plastic explosives, metallic token with Right Sector insignia and number 20, us made night vision goggles, and more.

Also - the machine gun is NOT world war era, but Yugoslavian copy of it, that was kept in Ukraines military storages, and recently reported to be looted.

wilddolphin -> Dreikaiserbund

What fire? Two cars are left intact, two burned.

whitja01 -> Dreikaiserbund

Apparently, the cars were torched only after all its belongings were removed.


"People are scared. They don't want to come out," Viktor Oneskehnko, a 53-year-old doctor and Chernobyl survivor said, walking with his wife and daughter towards the monastery's white and turquoise 19th-century church. Oneshenko said he supported Ukraine's territorial integrity. He was contemptuous of the separatists who he said had hijacked Slavyansk. "They're opportunists and mafia", he said"

Stuff about scared local guy is mandatory inclusion to every Luke's report. Is that necessary to embed this meme? Of course some are scared.

Just give them referendum and they figure out for themselves

MrTubs -> wilddolphin

Yes a referendum strictly monitored by the UN with no Russian military involvement - only way forward really

wilddolphin -> MrTubs

UN? Nope. Russian military is not involved - please submit hard facts if you think otherwise.

daveru07 -> wilddolphin

And YOUR evidence for your categorical statement?


Yes - looks like the incident was manufactured by the Russians - the Russian military will be on the move soon - they have no interest in peace or the fact that most people in eastern Ukraine don't want to be part of Russia

whitja01 -> MrTubs

Evidence, please.

cancze -> MrTubs

If this, if that, maybe, looks like.... thanks for your astute observation.

Gary Jersey -> MrTubs

Those damn ruskies are even stealing the US tactics now.


This report is very much "the story according to Kiev/the CIA". It quacks like propaganda. I just do not believe it. I think the CIA and their tame Right Sector fascists are up to another "black op". They have form.

That said if it *is* a Russian black op - well they are playing according to the rules set by the CIA in Kiev.

WhyDontYou -> joem

"26 guys armed with nothing but bats man a checkpoint 6 km outside of Sloviansk. Four cars with at least 10 heavily armed guys drive up to the checkpoint and stop 10 m before it. The armed men get out of the cars and open fire, killing two (10 armed men, 10 m distance and hitting only two… atrociously bad shooters).

The rest of the guys with bats run away and 20 armed men from Sloviansk are called to come and retake the barricade. Until these 20 men arrive, the attackers do nothing but wait at the barricade; they don't leave, they don't advance, they don't set up an ambush, they don't try to dismantle the barricades, nothing! They even don't move their cars…

The 20 armed men from Sloviansk arrive at the barricade and open fire on the attackers, who don't fire back but flee with just two of their cars as the other two cars are shot up from the left side and the back… but not shot up from the front where the barricade and Sloviansk is… so the attackers were attacked from behind and managed to escape exactly in that direction too…

More amazing: even under fire from behind and the side the attackers managed to load their injured into the remaining two cars and drive off… while the Sloviansk men managed to get backpacks, guns, uniforms, a World War II era German machine gun, brand new dollar bills, etc. out of the burning cars… with nothing of that stuff being scorched… and, wondrously, neither are the two license plates of the burning cars scorched."


I think if Western media said Colonel Mustard did it, in the sitting room, with a candlestick, there would be some that would suck that crap up and spew it forth in every direction they could.

Controlling the narrative just doesn`t work any more, does it.

Maybe we should try to establish some facts instead.

whitja01 -> roninwarrior

I agree wholeheartedly. There are survivors of this attack, why aren't they being interviewed?

BoopyBop -> whitja01

They've been interviewed but the result is, as one might guess, the Russian "propaganda", because the facts don't fit the narrative needed.

IgorBeaver -> roninwarrior

Colonel Mustard did it?
No.Colonel Mustard Gas did it. Bashir Assad. Putin's murderous puppet in Syria.

Caroline Louise

The US/EU began this by backing the overthrow of a democratic, if totally corrupt, government. They made it worse last Saturday when they sent the CIA in to advise a lunatic bid to define the protesters in the east as "terrorists" and for the Kiev junta to shoot at them. It now demands the protesters in the east all go home while tacitly supporting the continued occupation of the Maidan.

Where does it think this absurdly confrontational and one-sided policy will end? Is this stupidity or policy or both?

hazelwoodfrog -> Caroline Louise

It's an incredibly stupid policy!

PuppetMaster11 -> Caroline Louise

Of course, a policy for this end.

Todorov – a supporter of Ukrainian statehood – said he was deeply pessimistic about his country's future. He said he doubted presidential elections due to be held on 25 May would take place, at least not in the east. And in Kiev, he suggested, there was a growing feeling that Ukraine would be better off dumping its troublesome eastern provinces and creating a modern European country without them.

Jeremn -> PuppetMaster11

Igor Todorov, you know he is the professor of politics at Donetsk University who just happens to host NATO conferences on security issues. Not an impartial source.


So are we really taking seriously the idea that Russian superspies killed two people to create a 'provocation' at a checkpoint? If they were that desperate for a provocation, why not something more provocative, like killing civilians with a bomb or something? It seems a bit desperate by the Kiev government, and rather hard to take seriously. They've produced plenty of bullshit before like when they claimed to have captured loads of Russian saboteurs, it seems most likely this is the same. Wasnt't Tymoshenko the other day boasting about her knowing Ukrainians ready to take on the separatists? Maybe these are some of hers.

And now we also have 'unconfirmed' reports of ethnic cleansing of Roma to go with the fake anti-semitic leaflet trumpted by Yatsenyuk. And an extensive report in this article of one of Ukraine's supporters in the East with no apparent criticism of Kiev, despite the fact that according to a Ukrainian poll apparently over 70% in the area regard the current Kiev government as illegitimate and those who actually want to join Russia (very few according to this article) are according to the same poll, over a quarter of the population in the area.

Gary Jersey -> PeterBrit

I'm telling you those damn ruskies are stealing US tactics now. Quick...NATO!!!

retsdon -> PeterBrit

No, we're not taking it seriously. I don't know about some of the posters on here. I used to think that they were just naive, but maybe it's me being naive by believing that. I'm starting to come round to the view that they must either be power whores who get some kind of thrill from being (in their eyes) vicariously associated with US hegemonic ambitions, or they're simply mendacious trolls. Because it's becoming utterly incredible that any sentient person could believe some of the nonsense they post.

Hanwell123 -> retsdon

"Nonsense" I guess is something you just can't agree with?


Most important thing for the Eastern Ukrainians is their unity and integrity. As long as they have it they will win and will get help. The West will try to break it, because it is the only way to defeat them.

There is not power in the world to defeat the real power of the people. Those federalists should be maintained very good relationship with their people. They should be very careful of their discipline at work with the people too.

WhyDontYou -> dvoice

Why does "The West" want to "defeat" the people of Eastern Ukraine?

nearfieldpro -> WhyDontYou

To extend its influence into Ukraine via NATO expansionism with the help of the Kiev puppets.

WhyDontYou -> nearfieldpro

The reality looks more like Ukraine being split in two. I am not sure how that pans out in geopolitical terms, but it doesn't look so good for the people of Ukraine, assuming members of families might live in both parts.


It is really insane of the Junta in Kiev to state that the Russians undertook this terrorist action against their own people. C'mon, Fascists in Kiev, pull the other one its got bells on it.


Some improvement in reporting by the least they tried to independently meet the pro-Russian side, but were turned away. The BBC didn't even try to do that, but accepts wholeheartedly that the Ukrainian government line that these were 'criminal elements' and that the incident was probably staged by Russia. Meanwhile, over at RT, there are detailed reports, plus videos showing the Right Sector paraphernalia and membership cards. So I'd have to say, if this is only Russian propaganda, RT is doing a more credible job than Ukraine's government and John Kerry. There are apparently survivors from both sides, so why are they not being interviewed? Hopefully, the OSCE will be able to talk to both sides, but that may be wishful thinking, since they say they are underfunded and undermanned, er, underpeopled.
I believe the Ukraine government is unable to rein in Right Sector, even if they wanted to. At the moment, they are afraid of them and need them. Indeed a few of the new government even belong to Right Sector, so why would they disarm them?

mountman -> whitja01

Membership Cards - how convenient, sounds like "Polish Army Uniforms" doesn't it?

Knowles2 -> whitja01

At least the BBC told us that the interim government supporters in Kiev haven't left their camp, like they were suppose to under the geneva deal.

WhyDontYou -> mountman

If the Russian version is true, at least these fellows were carrying identity documents, unlike the heroic Russian military who remove their insignia, wear balaclavas and pretend to be "local defense forces."


Please watch these videos to see what was captured that belonged to attackers.
This whitewash of terrorist thugs from Kiev is just unbearable.

retsdon -> wilddolphin

I don't know that they were genuine 'terrorist thugs'. Looking at the kid from Vinnitsa that was captured, he looked to be more like a not very bright specimen who'd got himself in way beyond his depth. Just a stupid pawn.


Never mind that no side is or was meeting their side of the deal before the shoot out. I expect the US will still try and blame Russia for a deal despite not even their allies in Kiev fulfilling their side of the deal, people are still camping out in Maidan Square, something the Guardian exempted from the article.

Caroline Louise

Guardian describes a "shootout"

An international agreement to defuse the crisis in Ukraine was all but shredded on Sunday after a shootout in the separatist town of Slavyansk in which three people were allegedly killed.

RT says the protesters ere unarmed and ambushed:

They approached with their high beam headlamps on. Our man went to them and asked not to blind us, show IDs and open the trunk for inspection. Then an assault rifle got stuck out of the window and he was gunned down," an eyewitness, Vladimir, told RT....He added some of the people trying to flee the attackers were shot in their backs.The checkpoint was in the control of 26 civilians armed with bats. Their lack of firearms was due to a so-called "Easter truce" announced by both the Kiev authorities and the protest leaders to de-escalate tension.

Can the OSCE provide any info?


The propaganda continues, this time with additional help from a Washington based "reporter" to make sure all the Empire's talking points are covered.

Never will they use the word fascist to describe those huggable Ukrainian "nationalists" even when they're armed and parading in SS regalia.

When conclusive proof is offered that "nationalists" attacked and killed "separatists" at a check point, it is blamed on Russia for the sin of reporting it first.

One can only imagine what Orwell would write about the state of English media today if he were still around.

The Guardian isn't even going through the motions of pretending to be impartial anymore in their support for the US installed Nazi regime in Kiev.


This Kiev's regime hardly controls anything even in Kiev itself...
The people were killed by Right Sector, and one of attackers was captured.
These Nazis are incredibly stupid:
1) Now ALL people in East and South Ukraine consider them (after this attack) as their enemies,
2) The US won't send its Army to Ukraine (because it doesn't want to be turned into radioctive ash), and wouldn't give them any money as well (because they don't have any),
3) Russia will deal with these Nazis for good, when a proper time comes.

Open for comments. Sign in or create your Guardian account to join the discussion.

[Apr 21, 2014] M of A - Ukraine The Bloody Eastern Escalation


Even though Radoslaw Sikorski was taking a break from Polish politics as a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute in D.C. in the relevant period (2002-2005), I've always wondered what role Sikorski may have played in the Polish government's agreeing to house one of the CIA's chief secret torture prisons.


Sikorski is obviously very well (badly) connected; apart from his neo-con wife, he has served as an advisor to Rupert Murdoch on "investing" in Poland*. He also had a British passport which he gave up and worked as a "freelance" for The Observer and The Spectator, the latter being the National review of British conservatis. He also worked for the National Review.

If he is not a CIA agent it is because he works for MI6.

As to Poland/Lithuania their interest in Ukraine is of very longstanding. I don't have any doubts that the Maidan plot was put together by the Poles and relayed, through neo-con contacts (now, as Parry says, virtually indistinguishable from the R2P whores) who prepared themselves to take advantage of the planned and produced events. It is another telling instance of Washington's complete incompetence that they sub contract important work to people like Bandar and Sikorski, neither of whom has the tiniest idea of democracy or costitutionality, as well as bozos such as the Blackwater-Greystone (geddit??) proprietors.

* At 15% commission?

[Apr 21, 2014] Poland trained Ukrainian putchists two months in advance

Hat tip to M of A

The Polish left-wing weekly Nie (No) published a startling witness account of the training given to the most violent of the EuroMaidan activists.

According to this source, in September 2013, Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski invited 86 members of the Right Sector (Sector Pravy), allegedly in the context of a university exchange program. In reality, the guests were not students, and many were over 40. Contrary to their official schedule, they did not go to the Warsaw University of Technology, but headed instead for the police training center in Legionowo, an hour's drive from the capital. There, they received four weeks of intensive training in crowd management, person recognition, combat tactics, command skills, behavior in crisis situations, protection against gases used by police, erecting barricades, and especially shooting, including the handling of sniper rifles. […]

This scandal illustrates the role assigned by NATO to Poland in Ukraine, analogous to the one entrusted to Turkey in Syria. […]

To overthrow the government of its neighbor state, Poland resorted to Nazi activists in the same way that Turkey uses Al-Qaeda to overthrow the Syrian government.

[Apr 21, 2014] How to Save Ukraine & Why Russia Is Not the Real Problem By Keith Darden

Apr 14, 2014 |

On the side of the West are the four provinces that were part of Habsburg Austria until 1918. Later, all were swept into the Soviet Union. For over a century, these regions have been a hotbed of anti-Russian, pro-European sentiment. When they were in power, the Habsburgs, fearing both Polish nationalism and Russian expansionism, encouraged and cultivated fierce nationalism through schools, societies, and paramilitary scouting organizations. They taught the local peasants -- who had previously referred to themselves as ruski or rusyn -- that they were part of a great Ukrainian nation spanning from the Carpathian Mountains to the banks of the Don River, and that they had historically been oppressed by the Russians and the Poles. The peasants' allies in their struggle for national liberation? Europe, naturally. Or, more specifically, Habsburg Vienna.

The imprint of Ukrainian nationalism on these western communities has been remarkably durable. In the interwar period, they chafed at Polish rule. Ukrainian nationalists formed radical underground organizations, burned Polish estates, and ultimately assassinated the Polish interior minister. When the Soviet Union took over these territories, it found an implacably hostile population, one that mounted a large-scale insurgency. At the insurgency's peak, there were over 100,000 men at arms. These warriors fought the Soviets through the early 1950s. When the Soviets finally defeated the insurgency, these regions fed the ranks of Soviet dissidents and the anti-Soviet diaspora in the West. They were among the first to protest against Soviet rule again in the 1980s, and voted by large majorities for secession from the Soviet Union in March of 1991 (the only Ukrainian provinces to do so). Since then, Ukraine's western reaches have been the mainstay for Ukraine's nationalist parties. Although the population of these provinces is only about 12 percent of Ukraine's total population, they punch far above their electoral weight because of the intensity of their political views, their support in the diaspora, and their willingness to take to the streets.

On the side of the East is what is currently called Ukraine's south and east, historically known as New Russia. These are the areas that the Russian Empire annexed from the Tatar Khanate and the Ottoman Empire at the end of the eighteenth century. Because the area was home to very few people, these huge swaths of territory were largely settled by migrants from within the Russian empire and immigrants from abroad. In fact, the town that became the pro-Russian metropolis of Donetsk was originally chartered in 1869 by John Hughes, a Welsh businessman, as part of his New Russia Company for developing mining and ironworks. As in New England and New France, on the North American continent, diverse populations flooded into these territories on the promise of land, upward mobility, and education. They were taught the Russian language and -- to a great extent -- were assimilated into the Russian identity. To the extent that these areas were still thought of as Ukrainian, it was a Ukrainian identity that was not seen as being incompatible with Russian identity. In fact, these territories fed the ranks of the Soviet Union's top leadership -- Nikita Khrushchev earned his stripes in Donetsk, Leonid Brezhnev in Dnipropetrovsk -- not the ranks of its discontents.

Like the former Habsburg territories, historic New Russia bears the stamp of its past. With the exception of Crimea, Soviet policies left most of those who live in what is today southeastern Ukraine with Ukrainian listed as their ethnicity in their passports, but these Ukrainians are overwhelmingly Russian-speaking and strongly pro-Russian. In the past elections, they voted in large numbers for the pro-Russian Party of Regions, and for the Communist Party prior to that. Since the 1990s, these regions have produced Ukraine's most powerful leaders. Former President Viktor Yanukovych hails from Donetsk; former President Leonid Kuchma is from Dnipropetrovsk. The south and east constitute approximately half of Ukraine's population and provides the lion's share of its GDP.

It is thus not surprising that, when questioned about the Soviet past or about support for European or Russian alignment in the present, the country cleaves sharply, and consistently, along regional lines. According to a recent poll, the idea of joining NATO is popular only in western Ukraine (64 percent in favor). It is deeply unpopular in the south (11 percent in favor) and the east (14 percent in favor). Much the same is true for membership in the European Union. If the matter were up for a referendum, which it will not be anytime soon, 90 percent would vote yes in the west, 29 percent would vote yes in the south, and 22 percent would vote yes in the east. Perhaps looking for a silver lining to the Russian invasion, some observers maintained that the Russian occupation and annexation of Crimea would change those attitudes -- after all, the stability and protection that Europe would offer starts to look better when your neighbor invades -- but the regional divides are remarkably durable. Even surrounded by battle-ready Russian forces and at risk of annexation, southerners and easterners seem more interested in having the Russian military protect them from NATO than they are in having NATO protect them from Russia.

... ... ...

When Yanukovych and his entire government were ousted back in February, the West welcomed it as a semi-constitutional revolution. The Russians saw it as a right-wing coup d'état. Neither view is entirely incorrect, but each misses the point. The relevant fact for Ukrainian politics is that power shifted in an extreme fashion from one regional base to another.

First, back in mid-February, only 20 percent in the east and eight percent in the south felt sympathetic toward the Maidan protesters; they could not possibly be expected to be pleased with how power changed hands in Kiev. Making matters worse, the new government under Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk is dominated by the west. Around 60 percent of its top officials (ministers and above) come from the former Habsburg provinces. A third are from Lviv itself. Only two members of the new government (Interior Minister Arsen Avakov and Minister of Social Policy Lyudmila Denisova) hail from the country's south and east.

... ... ...

It is not hard to see why the Russophile regions have raged against the new government, which the regional press calls the Kiev junta, the Maidan government in Kiev, or simply Banderovtsy (the informal name for the anti-Soviet insurgency that was based in the Habsburg west). Indeed, the consequences of the shift in power toward the far west have been entirely predictable. First, Crimea was lost, and not solely because of the presence of Russian special forces. Rather, in early March, the overwhelming majority of Ukraine's military forces on the peninsula simply followed the newly appointed head of the Ukrainian navy and defected to the Russian side. In Donetsk, even before pro-Russian groups occupied the regional administrative buildings and declared the area the Donetsk Autonomous Republic, the courts were refusing to act on the request of the prosecutors (controlled from Kiev) to charge and try protestors. Elsewhere in the New Russian territories, protesters have taken to the streets and seized administrations buildings despite the high risk of arrest.

... ... ...

It is thus time to face some hard facts. A pro-European, pro-NATO government ruling a regionally divided country -- and one that is quite vulnerable to Russian military intervention -- is a recipe for instability, not for European integration. Simply pushing forward with EU association and NATO integration without pushing the government in Kiev to address its illegitimacy problems through means other than arrest is not much of a strategy. It's not even much of a gamble, as it is almost certain to fail.

... ... ...

As long as Ukraine retains its highly centralized winner-take-all political system, and one regional faction sits in Kiev with the backing of either Russia or the West, Ukraine is going to be unstable. With a little bit of constitutional accommodation, though, the divided house just might stand.

[Apr 21, 2014] Words alone will not heal divisions in Ukraine by Kevin Rafferty

18 April, 2014 | China Morning Post

Kevin Rafferty says it's unclear how the greater autonomy promised in new deal will materialise

Problems for the West are compounded by the squabble of voices: is the collective West prepared to give Ukraine the financial wherewithal to put its economic house in order?

... ... ...

Ukraine is complex. The western part, for many years part of the Habsburg empire, is divided from the east by culture, history and politics.

As Professor Keith Darden of the American University writes in Foreign Affairs, there is a strong case for decentralisation of Ukraine's regions "that will satisfy its regional power bases, appease its neighbours and keep the country whole".

Otherwise, a weakened Ukraine will be torn apart. What should it matter to the rest of the world?

[Apr 21, 2014]

Russia's State Duma has passed a statement detailing conditions of resuming dialogue with PACE, claiming nations who repeatedly violated international law causing thousands of casualties have no moral right to judge Russia or impose sanctions on it.

MPs said in the document that they consider it impossible to resume the dialogue at PACE when the sanctions against Russia are still in force.

The statement is a result of the anti-Russian resolution approved by PACE on April 10 in connection with the current political crisis in Ukraine. The European body deprived the Russian delegation of the right to vote and banned it from participation in PACE's ruling bodies and monitoring missions till the end of the year.

Russia's representatives walked out of the assembly in protest, claiming there was no sense in participating in the session when they could not influence the results.

"People in PACE must understand that the assembly can play its role of common European body for inter-parliamentary cooperation, promote the ideals of equal rights, the rule of law and strict observation of Human Rights and freedoms only on condition of Russia's constructive participation in its work. Any other way would lead us to a political dead end," reads the address.

The Duma also stated that the restoration of all powers of the Russian delegation was the necessary condition for Russia's full-pledged participation in the assembly.

The legislators noted in the address that the attacks against Russia were led by representatives of states that had participated in the aggression against Iraq and military occupation of this country, that bombed Serbia and its capital Belgrade, and also attacked Libya with bombs and missiles from aircraft after blatantly distorting the content of a UNSC resolution.

"Over the past years these countries have repeatedly and knowingly violated the international law, their actions led to a great bloodshed, loss of tens and hundreds of thousands of lives and tremendous destruction. Because of that, they have no moral right to judge Russia or impose sanctions against it," reads the parliamentary message.

[Apr 21, 2014]

What's new. It never works after Bombing of Serbia, Iraq War it will not work now. The subtle irony milled by communists is that most US electronics is assembled in China.

Russian Communists are planning a mass campaign promoting a voluntary boycott of all American goods as proof that Russians cannot be intimidated by sanctions.

The head of the Communist Party's legal department, Vladimir Solovyov said that his comrades intend to set an example in the campaign, at least in its first stages. He also promised that the politicians will find suitable replacements for all US products and share this information with anyone who wishes to join in.

"If our citizens stop buying their goods and our businessmen stop buying them, the Americans are going to lose our market. I would also not exclude that dollar circulation would stop, as there are replacements for it, like the euro," Solovyov said in an interview with Izvestia daily. "It is really easy to find replacements for everything American with the market we currently have," the top Communist functionary added.

... ... ...

LDPR also drafted a bill restricting US dollar circulation in Russia, but it was soon withdrawn for rewriting.

paul rose 20.04.2014 16:42

Don't worry Russia you could always go back to the days of the Soviet Union and buy your home grown goods again ;o). No more Maccy D's, Burger King, Nike trainers etc etc etc etc.

Best thing Russia can do is cut them selfs off from the rest of the world...the west will adjust in time ;o)

[Apr 20, 2014] NATO expansion a new 'Drang Nach Osten' Doctrine – FM Živadin Jovanović

Feb 26, 2014 | The Voice of Russia

After NATO military aggression against the former Fedral Republic of Yugoslavia ended in 1999 and after the establishment of the US/NATO Camp Bondsteel military base, American military bases began sprouting up all over Eastern Europe like mushrooms after a drenching rain.

On the 15 year anniversary of the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in an interview with the Voice of Russia Živadin Jovanović, the former and last Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the Chairman of the Belgrade Forum for a World of Equals stated that all of these bases are directed against Russia and Eurasia.


All of the NATO infrastructure and military elements have nothing to do with democracy or with some struggle against organized international crime. All of the bases, warships, aircraft, nuclear missiles and anti-ballistic missile systems in Germany, Poland, Romania, Spain and elsewhere are all part of a new "Drang Nach Osten Doctrine" (the German Imperial and nazi [sic] "Drive to the East"). Mr. Jovanović believes this push to the East warrants very serious attention and is a very dangerous development.

This is John Robles, I'm speaking with Živadin Jovanović. He is the former Foreign Minister of Yugoslavia and the Chairman of the Belgrade Forum for a World of Equals. This is part 2 of a longer interview. You can find the rest of this interview on our website at

Read more:

[Apr 20, 2014] Talking with Poland's foreign minister about the Ukraine crisis and Russia's next moves -

Interview of with the key player who worked hard to destroy the Ukraine. This "diplomat" answers on all questions exactly like Saakashvili would ;-). See also Radoslaw Sikorski is a Handsome, Urbane, Well-Educated Twat : "Given the Poles' jovial support to the Maidan protests, where they had a tent set up and were dispensing Polish goodies and friendly advice on the joys of EuroAssociation, it is unsurprising that they would be furious over the Russian incursion into the Crimea, since – as someone pointed out earlier – it will cut down on Ukraine's coastal frontage and consequently its Exclusive Economic Zone, plus leave the Russian Black Sea Fleet in place. Considering Sikorski's marital alliance with Washington Post journalist and fellow Russophobe Anne Applebaum, it is a given he would be personally apoplectic, and promise a powerful reckoning consequent to his upcoming meeting with British Foreign Minister William Hague, himself yet another steaming Russophobe. Russia will have no friends at that table... Russia supplied 9 Billion cm of the 16.6 cm of natural gas Poland consumed in 2012: more than half.... Mr. Sikorski, handsome piece of motorcycle candy though he may be, his fellow western political bobbleheads and the free world they represent are hoist by their own petard."
The Washington Post

You worked hard to make Ukraine an E.U.-associated country, didn't you?

It was under the Polish presidency that the text was agreed, and we had persuaded most of the E.U. to say officially that the association agreement would not be the last step in our collaboration. If Ukraine had carried out the reforms, it would eventually have been able to lodge an application to the E.U.

Of course, Ukraine wasted a lot of time. For 20 years the country was bled by corruption, by stealing of assets and by a populist economic policy. Twenty-five years ago, Poland and Ukraine had the same standard of living. Today we are three times richer. They also wasted the public enthusiasm after the Orange Revolution, 10 years ago. So, over time it gets harder. But I think this is the best team in Kiev we are likely to get. Prime Minister [Arseniy] Yatsenyuk is honest, competent and knows what needs to be done.

... ... ...

How can they fight the Russians if they do not have any arms?

Actually, Ukraine has an arms industry which is, I think, the fourth-largest exporter in the world.

So they do not need to be armed by the West?

They need to get their army functioning again. I think Ukraine is paying the price of 20 years of strategic illusions of being able to be neutral and of not paying enough attention to their security sector.

What happened the night you and the German and French foreign ministers made that deal with former president Yanukovych? Why did it fall apart?

Point one of the agreement was that the previous constitution would be brought back, with less presidential power and more parliamentary [power]. The president and the parliament had 48 hours to sign on. The parliament voted it through the same day, within two hours. Then the next day the president announced on TV that he would not sign it into law. So the parliament voted him out of office.

That was how the Maidan started?

The Maidan started when Yanukovych refused to sign the association agreement with the E.U. back in November. And then it became an anti-Yanukovych movement. . . . The snipers killed about 100 people while we were there, literally outside the building.

Do you think U.S. credibility is at stake?

Or Russia's credibility is at stake because Russia was a signatory of the [1994] Budapest Memorandum, and it is not the U.S. but Russia that broke it. But yes, if you were North Korea or Iran thinking, "Should I trust Western security guarantees if I give up my nuclear ambitions?" . . . That is why what President Putin is doing is so dangerous.

... ... ...

Europe has enormous business relationships with Russia and is dependent on Russian gas.

Poland's relationship is bigger than most. We trade with Russia as much as the U.S. does. But our economy is smaller, so you can imagine that it is a bigger part of our economy. Seven percent of our exports go to Russia. That is why we are reluctant to impose sanctions on Russia. We would rather Russia stop doing what is giving rise to the need for sanctions.

We should do the energy union in response to these events. Remember, the European Union started as the union of coal and steel, which were the strategic commodities in the 1950s. Today's strategic commodity in Europe is gas, and we take about 30 percent of our gas from Russia, as does Europe. But we overpay because Russia has managed to create monopolistic arrangements.

So if you are dependent on Russia for energy . . .

Not very much, no, no. One-third, and remember, gas can be exchanged for other forms of energy. We only extract about a third of what we consume in Poland, but that is enough for all our households. Russia needs our money more than we need its gas.

But meanwhile you have German and American businessmen going to Moscow to make deals.

Which is understandable. People want to make money.


Another misreading of the situation in the Ukraine by the Polish government. Such historical misreadings are why the Polish Lithuanian union / aka Polish Kingdom, (1385 - 1791), which had incorporated much of the western Ukraine, no longer exists.


There are not many countries which treat religious and ethic minorities with respect. Even the USA doesn't do such a great job at that. I'm not sure how you get to where you want to be with a country that has a large Russian sympathizing contingent.


Well right now it would seem actually dangerous to have a large Russian speaking population, but I don"t think we have too worry about a Russian insurrection on Brighton beach, Brooklyn.

[Apr 20, 2014] We need honest dialog by Oleg Tsaryov

Ukrainian Presidential candidate Oleg Tsaryov: " We do not need decentralization; we need federalization "

In recent days, the information space is crowded all sorts of messages that relate to the protest movement in the south- eastern regions of Ukraine . The fact that the first time at the Geneva talks the Southeast was presented as an independent political entity really startled Kiev authorities .

In an effort to prevent the subsequent evolution of the " South- East" protest movement and its transformation into an a party in negotiatation process heads illegal authorities in Kiev and those who are supervising them from abroad made ​​several attempts to lure representatives of those protesting forces into negotiations within junta framework.

Motive of these attempts is obvious. Kiev junta is afraid that the South East can start to to speak in his own voice - both domestically and in international markets. After that it will be impossible to pretend that only the invaders , terrorists and separatists oppose Kiev junta. Second, there is an attempt to sink the protest movement in endless roundtables and talks while at the same time organizing "quiet" protest repression and then reduce the protest to nothing.

Here we want to speak separately to the oligarchs of the Southeast . If you want to keep your business and influence in our regions -- within the limits of the law and the democratic process, then you should negotiate with the people and their representatives, and not with the illegal government of Kiev -- Otherwise insurgents who are asserting their rights will treat you in the same way they treat the illegitimate government in Kiev.

Now let's discuss who invites us to negotiate and what promises they give us ? That afternoon Yulia Tymoshenko addresses the U.S. Congress for military aid , and in the evening of the same day met with the protesters calling for dialogue. She try to organize her private army for the "Drang nach Osten" and then try to speak about peace. This is the pinnacle of cynicism and duplicity .

Other members of the "Fatherland " part, who now got top position in Kiev junta, now are forced to promise constitutional reform, increase of the rights of regions and decentralization, and the special status of the Russian language.

But after the Kiev authorities unleashed a disgusting Russophobic campaign , after residents of Donbass were called "budlo" and declared to be the second-class citizens, after Kiev sent to the eastern area of ​​the army and the militants " under cover " of the war with the terrorists, any promises of junta and illegal representatives can't be trusted .

Their goal - to deprive us of the unity and the will . We must not succumb !

Dialogue is possible only after they meet our demands. The three key demands meeting which will de-escalate the conflict in the spirit of the Geneva agreements are as following:

  1. Disarmament of the "Right Sector" and other radical nationalist groups.
  2. Dissolution of the National Guard, which has become a "cover" for Maidan militants and radical nationalist groups.
  3. Release of all political prisoners without exception and termination against them criminal cases.

Only after junta meet those ​​mandatory requirements , we can try to start a dialogue which can be strcutured as a dialog between the Coordinating Council of the "South- East" and self-appointed authorities of Kiev .

In addition, you need to call a spade a spade . We do not need decentralization a bribe from Kiev junta. but federalization, i.e. establishing for our regions of human political, cultural and economic autonomy within the constitution of Ukraine, and then the delegation of these powers to the federal center.

We do not need any special status for Russian language it's enough to make it the second official language and make this status a part of the Constitution. We need a Constitutional reform, and in this case elections on all levels should be carried out not before but after the constitutional reform. And no region of South- East removes the requirement to conduct a regional referendum.

The remaining demands of the South-East can be found in the Declaration of the coordinating council of the movement "South East ", which was passed to participants of Geneva talks. We remain convinced that only through dialogue we can avoid bloodshed and can begin to build a new Ukraine .

But it must be an honest dialogue , in which the parties do not operate with empty promises , but take concrete steps. The first steps should be taken by Kiev authorities, as it was they who launched a flywheel of violence in the country.

[Apr 19, 2014] Inside the 'Donetsk People's Republic': balaclavas, Stalin flags and razorwire by Luke Harding

Luke Harding with his neocon lies again...
Apr 19, 2014 | The Guardian
Prini Tor 19 April 2014 8:30pm
"On Thursday, Russia, Ukraine, the United States and the EU hammered out a deal in Geneva to de-escalate the six-month-old Ukraine crisis. It was agreed that all illegal groups would end their occupation of official buildings and give up their weapons. Some 48 hours later, however, the separatists who have grabbed a string of municipal premises across the Donbass region, with the capital in Donetsk, had not budged."

Geneve agreement was not only Eastern Ukraine groups ending their occupation of buildings - but whole Ukraine ....

So what about Maidan ? Is it empty ?
Also junta should leave Rada and Turchynov the presidential palace ... They have occupied those places illegally. When will Luke Harding tell us how is it going there ?


So the people in Eastern Ukraine without weapons are 'militants', whilst the Molotov cocktail, gun toting Maidan folk are 'protestors'.

Face it Luke, the US/EU have brought this crisis on themselves by fomenting a putsch/uprising against the democratically elected government when it wouldn't play ball and sign their exclusive trade pact, and now suddenly it's all Putin's doing.

As if the cheer leading politicians had never been handing out cookies on the barricades whilst fomenting their $5 billion putsch/uprising.

How, if it's OK for those in Kyiv to take over government buildings when they feel they are being ignored, it's not ok for those in the East.

The biggest lesson this has served is to show us the propaganda machine of the Western press. All this condescending moralising by people who backed all the previous blunders in their from-on-high editorials, has been exposed for what it is.

You will notice that a majority of people talking sense in the comment stream are not painting the same picture as the western press. You will also notice that the majority of recommendations are for comments expressing a disgust with the hypocrisy of our leaders.

Watching Obama make his Brussels' speech was surreal. There he was droning on about Democracy and Freedom of choice and blah blah blah, whilst those in attendance displaced their attention onto their phones, and all the while not mentioning any of the many elephants in the room regarding his own country's descent into Orwellian normality, or the many millions of lives ended as a result of American corporate imperialism.

You present Russia as an oligarchy, but America is the ultimate example of one. All the dough in the hands of a bus full of people, neo-con wingnuts ranting outright lies to an ever more brainwashed public.

Scipio1 -> MathEnglish

The fact of the matter is that Harding is not an investigative journalist seeking out the truth, but basically a propagandist, whatever he might believe to the contrary. Okay, so he wants to be part of the Russia-bashing fraternity, that is his prerogative, but please don't us expect to be drawn into his cold war mindset and political obsessions. He has obviously got an enormous political axe to grind and a very large chip on his shoulder, judging from his book title.

He views the world from the US neo-con paradigm, which itself is a type of religious fundamentalism akin to radical islam. Essentially the belief is 1. America is good and a force for good, and everything it does is right. 2. America should therefore assume global leadership by force if necessary - including regime change. 3. The bad guys who stand in the way of freedom, democracy and the American way, must be neutralised. These rogue states are (a) Iran, (b) Russia and (d) China. They are the impediment to the neoliberal paradise which awaits mankind. 4. Uppity little states like Iraq, Libya, Syria, who cannot be won over to the American way (even if they were once aligned to it, as Saddam was) must be systematically smashed up.

And so a string of failed states are being created from Libya, Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan and now perhaps Ukraine.

This has all resulted from the neo-con takeover (of which Ms Nuland is a prime example) of US foreign policy in the US State department and the Pentagon.

Ok course none of this implies that everything is rosy in the garden in those countries mentioned. But that does not of course stop the accusation of critics being 'Kremlin trolls' 'Putin bots' and the rest of the silly epithets. But of course this is a standard debating trick when it is difficult to counter the facts and issues raised.

Nabaldashnik -> Scipio1

Essentially the belief is

  1. America is good and a force for good, and everything it does is right.
  2. America should therefore assume global leadership by force if necessary - including regime change.
  3. The bad guys who stand in the way of freedom, democracy and the American way, must be neutralised. These rogue states are (a) Iran, (b) Russia and (d) China. They are the impediment to the neoliberal paradise which awaits mankind.
  4. Uppity little states like Iraq, Libya, Syria, who cannot be won over to the American way (even if they were once aligned to it, as Saddam was) must be systematically smashed up.

A perfect summary of the US foreign policy.


"...denounced the leaflet as a hoax and a "complete lie". Its provenance remains a mystery."

It remains a "mystery"? Really? It is such an obvious hoax that most of the media dropped it in embarrassment. How can Luke Harding suspend his journalist training and instincts in order to use it again? It devalues the rest of the piece.

The government in Kiev was overthrown by people who lost the last elections: Tymoshenko lost, so did Arsenyuk (7% in the last presidential poll). There was clearly a documented meddling by Western agencies, but Ms. Nuland's tape is curiously missing from Western reporting. This is half-reporting, half-truths and in effect really just endless propagandizing while calling the other side propaganda with no attempt to bridge the reality gaps. That is the way to escalation that hurts everybody.

What we need is real, old-fashioned, neutral reporting. Are we ever going to see it? Or is "our side" functional journalism now the way West decided to do its mains stream media?

How are the people in Kiev "legitimate" and the ones in Donetsk not? Are self-serving double standards so ingrained in Western media that theya re willing to suspend all reason, all logic?

Bill Grau Beckow

reading different sources is a way of getting a better picture of what is going on, like opposing views from different parties and interests.

!despite the anti-propaganda against it, I found RT more balanced in their reporting than most mainstreaam US news organs.

?!The Guardian reporting of the Ukraine crisis is very weird, this is all I can say. But allowing CiF makes up for some balance.

Amy Newman Bill Grau

RT is government sponsored and created. They're a propaganda machine. I read them to literally get 'Russia views' but they're extremely one sided.

MathEnglish Amy Newman

And the corporate US/EU media and state-sponsored BBC aren't engaging in propaganda or pushing the specific, exclusive trade-agreement/IMF agenda that will see them of socialising debt and privatising profit by grabbing land in Ukraine?

What was most revealing was that RT reported the fact of the Ashton phone call in which the Estonian foreign minister stated he'd been told that the sniper killing in Maidan was possibly a false flag, whilst the US/EU were conspicuous by their silence until being forced to mention what, if it was the other way round, would've been trumpeted from the floor of the UN as a pretext for a US led invasion.

The US/EU media were also the same when it came to reporting on the Right Sector thugs bashing the tv director, where, again, if it was the other way round it would have been running round the clock on CNN.

Bill Grau Amy Newman

Most of our mainstream news are a propaganda platform for the NeoCon NeoLiberal status quo, and since that status quo is the West's governments' line, I cannot see a difference as far as motives are concerned.

.reading both allows one to interpolate a quasi medium of veracity.

whitja01 Beckow

Too true about the state of western journalism on ukraine. hoaxes are regularly presented as fact, e.g. the paper 'requiring Jews to register in Donetsk' or the 'lieutenant-colonel of the Russian army instructing police in east Ukraine' who turned out to be a local undertaker fired from his job. The western papers may 'sometimes' print the refutation. often they do not. then another paper, or even the same paper, will use the supposed incident to 'prove' Russian involvement, without mentioning the refutation. an old friend of mine, the internationally reputed journalist, P. Sainath, referred to much of the western (and Indian) press as 'stenographers of power'. is this just laziness, lack of funding for good journalism, or yet another expression of corporate power over newspapers. In India, there is now 'paid news', as corporates have advertisements presented as real stories. I hate to say, but with some notable exceptions--e.g. the NSA revelations-- the Guardian is becoming or has become the similar to the rest. ...and the drumbeats to war continue.

Beckow Amy Newman

BBC is government sponsored and created. Are they a propaganda machine? Most Western media heavily depends on either government or corporate sponsorship - thus it is not "free". Maybe we should forget about the "free media" illusion and focus on who actually gets closer to describing reality as is.

RT is a mirror-image of Western media. They are one-sided and they are selective, but not anymore than Western media. In Ukraine they have been closer to reality, maybe because they are very familiar with it. Maybe because the reality actually in the case of Ukraine supports RT editorial position.

In any case, Western media claims some divinely given right to have an information monopoly. So we should hold them to a higher standard. They keep on pointing to RT as a justification for their own biases and shortcomings, but it is not comparable. RT is a minor player not available in most of the West, it is intentionally marginalized. RT also identifies itself as what it represents. To hide behind RT to justify one's one shortcomings is dishonest and rather desperate. Western media should stand on its own, that's supposedly their tradition. What happened to it in Ukraine and Russia?

MathEnglish Beckow

RT is a paragon of journalistic integrity compared to Fox News.

frankenberry Beckow

If the East Ukrainians are in the right, why don't they go to Kiev and organize their own anti-Maidan there?
Maybe because they don't have enough followers?

Beckow frankenberry

Are demonstrations only allowed in the capital? Ukraine is divided: east is Russian speaking, west (with Kiev) quite nationalistic. You don't have a democracy with competing street theater, you go with the election results. That is a fundamental democratic principle.

In the last elections east prevailed (slightly over 50%). The western Ukrainian demonstrators overturned that with US and some EU help. That is a definition of undemocratic behavior, and would be anywhere in the world. Your suggestion that they fight it out in "Maidan" is undemocratic, and frankly a bit crazy....

Scritze Beckow

"It remains a "mystery"? Really? It is such an obvious hoax that most of the media dropped it in embarrassment."

Yeah, sure, life was such a bed of roses if you were Jewish in the USSR.

ToKnow101 Beckow

Excellent comment ... past time for all of us to calling Bullsh't on all of the rotten misinterpretations, and bent rhetoric ...

When polls indicate that better than 70% of Eastern Ukrainians consider the current president illegitimate, that's news, and it needs to be reported even if it's politically inconvenient ..

Carmen Catherina George Amy Newman

The very respected Robert Parry begs to differ, His comment is about the US media but applies to the Anglo media.

"Indeed, in my four-plus decades in journalism, I have never seen a more thoroughly biased and misleading performance by the major U.S. news media. Even during the days of Ronald Reagan – when much of the government's modern propaganda structure was created – there was more independence in major news outlets. There were media stampedes off the reality cliff during George H.W. Bush's Persian Gulf War and George W. Bush's Iraq War, both of which were marked by demonstrably false claims that were readily swallowed by the big U.S. news outlets.

But there is something utterly Orwellian in the current coverage of the Ukraine crisis, including accusing others of "propaganda" when their accounts – though surely not perfect – are much more honest and more accurate than what the U.S. press corps has been producing.

There's also the added risk that this latest failure by the U.S. press corps is occurring on the border of Russia, a nuclear-armed state that – along with the United States – could exterminate all life on the planet. The biased U.S. news coverage is now feeding into political demands to send U.S. military aid to Ukraine's coup regime.

The casualness of this propaganda – as it spreads across the U.S. media spectrum from Fox News to MSNBC, from the Washington Post to the New York Times – is not just wretched journalism but it is reckless malfeasance jeopardizing the lives of many Ukrainians and the future of the planet."

Robert Parry, Ukraine, Through the US Looking Glass, April 16, 2014


I think Luke is right about the Realpolitik of what will happen next. Russia will not invade as they did in the Crimea, but East Ukraine will surely become the next Trans Nistria. It may be for the best in the long run. Let them look East whilst the rest of Ukraine looks West.

Nobul webweasel

"And in Kiev, he suggested, there was a growing feeling that Ukraine would be better off dumping its troublesome eastern provinces and creating a modern European country without them."

Absolutely right in an Owellian way. As the saying goes, while East Ukraine works, West Ukraine eats. Without the industrial east, West Ukraine would indeed become a "modern European country" of depopulated rural wasteland with its able bodied men providing cheap labour in German factories or fixing toilets in England while its nice young ladies take up residence in Amsterdam or pace the sidewalks of Rome or Paris. All the best to your western dreams!


Washington DC is taking huge risks with the cornering of Putin in his own backyard. One suspects that this is rapidly turning into a fight for survival for Putin and his grand ambitions for the Russian Federation. The key to who wins this showdown is the strength of support China is prepared to provide Russia. Aside from full scale war, it is possible for China and Russia to knock out US dollar as reserve currency and thereby provide a body blow to USA which will almost instantly enter a hyper-inflationary depression. Thing is, the level of risk for China is huge, I just can't see the Chinese leadership going for it. Which leaves Putin with a military option. If he chooses a military option he has to do it fast, otherwise the anti-missile systems will be in place and he will be screwed.

US foreign policy (neocons) taking huge risks, but are they working on the calculation that Putin will shortly become yet another victim of US hegemony?

And will a cornered Putin be prepared to play every card on the table, including nukes?

Washington DC, and European leaders are literally playing with OUR lives, it is that serious.

Euro1970 lids

Agreed. Putin won't step back, never. If USA/NATO/EU will continue their totally insane policy of putting him in a corner, this story can end only very badly for everybody.

someoneionceknew lids

it is possible for China and Russia to knock out US dollar as reserve currency and thereby provide a body blow to USA which will almost instantly enter a hyper-inflationary depression


Nobul someoneionceknew

Let's see in what currency would Russia and China price the gas agreement in May.

failedsearch lids

Ukraine is not a Russian backyard. Its Ukrainian - get used to it. And if they decide to become part of the European superstate thats up to them and the EU. Get used to it.

Nobul failedsearch

EU did not offer membership nor real money to the Ukraine, so they are not becoming part of the super state of bankrupts.

Prini Tor

"With the Geneva agreement already dead, two scenarios were now likely,
according to Igor Todorov, a professor at Donetsk's university. The first was that Russia would annex the east of Ukraine, as it did last month with Crimea. The second was that Moscow would install a puppet regime analogous to the one in Trans-Dniester, the breakaway Moldovan region next to western Ukraine, he said. "The Kremlin will decide at the last minute.""

All what Western media has so far claimed to be "likely to happen" has proven to be pure BS. This will not be exception.

"The US, EU and Kiev say there is overwhelming proof that the Kremlin is co-ordinating the armed uprising using undercover soldiers and FSB agents. Moscow denies this."

US, EU and Kiev are already famous of their "overhelming proofs" - When they claim they have "evidence" everyone know it is doublespeak and must be understand the other way round.

SoloRolo Prini Tor

Could it be that the situation in Ukraine is increasingly coming to resemble another conflict, somewhere in the Middle East? The people of East Ukraine are denounced as "terrorists", their principal crime being a refusal to "recognise" a particular political faction, based some distance away, which is attempting to assert power over them. The difference here is that the "terrorists" believe that they have the backing of a powerful friend.


The Eastern Ukrainians will stop occupying buildings when they feel that the unelected illegitimate regime in Kiev stop banning the Russian language and persecuting the people in Eastern Ukraine.

Prini Tor

"And in Kiev, he suggested, there was a growing feeling that Ukraine would be better off dumping its troublesome eastern provinces and creating a modern European country without them."

This is hilarious example of ignorance - Western Ukraine has nothing but poorly managed agricultural land. All industry and mines are located east.
Indeed West- is maintained by East Ukraine, without East Ukraine they will die of poverty.

Orkney94 Prini Tor

That's the idea. Poorly managed agricultural land is what Monsanto needs. The khakhols with get rations, thank you very much (the gainfully-emplyed ones).


Russia is playing games with the west when is the USA and EU going to get tough and impose trade sanctions on Russia or is it ever going to impose trade sanctions in the EU Germany is the key exporter to Russia Germany must do more to impose trade sanctions even if it hurts it's own economy and in the UK Russian oligarchs and their stolen ill forgotten gain accounts must be confiscated or frozen
Putin is making a laughing stock of the west hit the Russians were it hurts the most in their economy

MathEnglish roger58

Fact-free debate based on nothing but emotions brainwashed into us by the corporate US/EU propaganda/media machines serving the oligarchs who own them.

Putin is not making a laughing stock of the West, we are managing to do it very well on our own.

CodyJoeBibby2014 roger58

if you hit hard, Putin can hit much harder.

if Putin stops oil and gas exports to those who sanction Russia, that will be a huge problem.

good luck finding replacement supplies.

and good luck defending yourself without fuel for your tanks and jets.

Purtin has the ultimate power. control over the world's energy, defended by nukes.


While it's all a bit parochial to me, I can understand how these border people's would be suspicious of Ukrainian nationalism - especially now that full-on neo-Nazis are sharing power in Kiev - at the behest of America. Have none of you studied what Ukrainians did in WW2? Their cruelty even shocked their German commanders. As for the Stalin nostalgia, maybe it's all part of their WW2 pride. And in fairness, Stalin, bad as he was, did sort of win the war.

We, here in the "West," just aren't making enough of an effort to see things from their side of the fence. Plus, America is as guilty as Russia for fomenting the tensions and spreading propaganda. The key difference being that Ukraine is on Russia's doorstep.


'Warsaw and Washington may announce the deployment of additional American troops in Poland next week, Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak said following a meeting with his US counterpart, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon on Thursday.

He added that Poland would play a leading role in the NATO build-up of troops in Eastern Europe, "under US patronage," the Washington Post reported. He added that the US needs to "re-pivot" back to Europe from Asia to counter "Russian aggression" in Ukraine.

Siemoniak earlier called on the Pentagon to deploy as many as 10,000 American troops in his country. Poland already hosts some 100 to 150 US military servicing a battery of surface-to-air Patriot missiles, which was deployed in 2010 to give Warsaw more confidence for hosting elements of the NATO anti-ballistic missile shield in Europe.'

How come the Guardian haven't mentioned this? Unless I've missed it.

I cannot imagine the Polish people will be happy with this? If it does kick off (I don't think it will btw), they may as well paint a bullseye on the country. This kind of request is bound to cause increased tension in the area.

Paul Flanagan

Puppets on a string playing a lead role in Putin's show of anger and wanting to belong.

lids Paul Flanagan

Plenty of puppets in this game. And the string pullers are behind the curtain in DC.

But some puppets get paid more than others.


This article reminds me of Soviet Union style propaganda. And I thought it's dead. The only difference it's coming from the western source now.

The world is so black and white to Luke.

What's wrong for them to get autonomy? US has states and each one of them has it's own set of laws. We choose our state representatives, nobody force us to accept Governor from Washington. It didn't break us but made USA stronger. Self governing is the only peaceful way out to satisfy both sides and leave Ukraine intact.


Luke, care to tell us about the Kiev "headquarters" of the Right Sector or about the hijacked hotel from where someone shot at protesters?

I am sure that you would have found an opportunity over the last few months.

Just for a balanced view on things. I am sure a lot of people are desperate to hear how democratic and highly educated these freedom fighters are.


On-line polling data for Ukraine and different regions are quite different from what has been reported by the Guardian:

In a nutshell, for the whole Ukraine about 70% would vote for federalisation. In Lugansk about 66% would prefer to join Russia. Odessa - 51%.

I wonder what is the real picture ...

Ahhbisto P212121

More like this:
A poll by the Democratic Initiatives Results released 1st March 2014
Foundation and the Kiev International Institute of Sociology presented on Monday found that when asked if they wanted Ukraine to reunify with Russia, 33% from Donetsk approved, as did 24% in Luhansk and Odessa and 41% in Crimea.
"But in Ukraine as a whole, the number of people who would like to have one state with Russia is no more than 13%," said Volodymyr Paniotto, head of the Kiev International Institute of Sociology. He added that only 16% of Russians wanted unification.

lids Ahhbisto

Good, then they should have no objection to a referendum on federalism.

Sadly, it is all noise coming out of Ukraine,until then..

P212121 Ahhbisto

A poll by the Democratic Initiatives Results

Yeah, sure... Give it a pompous name, and people will believe whatever it says... which reminds me of Syrian Observatory of Human Rights... Seriously, I would like to know what the reality is; but having seen the bias in every source I have read, I am not sure what to believe. Thanks for your input though.

lids Ahhbisto

Oh and another thing, maybe you should look a little closer at the NGO organisation who carried out the poll you quoted above?

I quote, from their own web site.

"One of the foremost examples of DIF political influence is its activities in the sphere of European and Euro-Atlantic integration of Ukraine. DIF provides government and members of civic sector with crucial information on the issue, such as results of public opinion polls, analytical materials and policy recommendations. Having started as a civic organization advocating Ukraine's accession to NATO 14 years ago, nowadays DIF gained reputation of authoritative analytic center and influential player in developing and implementing NATO informational campaign.

You ought to be careful who you accuse of ignorance around here..


Donetsk People's Republic... Really? Certainly sounds kind of silly to me. But then again, who am I to judge them. There is no accounting for taste, for desires and inspirations .

The Eastern parts in the Ukraine contain the old Soviet industrial area,‭ ‬especially the Donetsk-‭ ‬Basin.‭ ‬The EU has no need for it.‭ ‬It's mostly outdated and,‭ ‬at any rate,‭ ‬it would just be competition for their own industries‭ ‬so they don't really need it.

The‭ "‬West‭" ‬really only really wants the Western parts of Ukraine.‭ ‬The best farmland in Europe is a magnet for EU investors,‭ ‬farmers,‭ ‬corporations and speculators.‭ ‬If they take over,‭ ‬the efficient farming techniques will send millions of former peasants fleeing to the EU.‭

Those who manage to escape will find jobs as day laborers,‭ ‬in various menial jobs,‭ ‬in the hotel industry,‭ ‬and in red light districts, etc. in the EU. Fairly bleak prospects.‭ And the wave of immigration will likely strengthen the hand of the xenophobic attitudes in the EU. ‬Nice going,‭ ‬Kiev.

More: Merkel made sort of a laughing stock of herself when she accused Putin of changing post-‭ ‬WW2‭ ‬borders.‭ ‬Really,‭ ‬Frau Kanzellar‭? ‬Those borders have changed plenty since‭ ‬1990.‭ ‬Remember the Soviet Union,‭ ‬East-‭ ‬Germany,‭ ‬Yugoslavia,‭ ‬Czechoslovakia and even Kosovo‭?

The Ukraine is no different from those mentioned:‭ ‬it is a multiethnic,‭ ‬artificially created state with no history,‭ ‬and no national identity to keep people together.‭ ‬In other words,‭ ‬it is not a real nation.‭ ‬It could be,‭ ‬but not by forcing it on them. Only by strict consensus. Pulling them in two different directions might be the end of the country.


Graun censors have a field day today. Removed my comment because of reference to Orwell... Pathetic "news"paper it has became...

Try again :

Minitrue dispatch to graun :

"Inside the 'Donetsk People's Republic': balaclavas, Stalin flags and razorwire
Pro-Russian militants say they have no intention of leaving their eastern Ukraine base, and insist Moscow is with them"

rewrite :

Inside the Evromaidan': candy and flowers.
Pro-Western protesters say they have no intention of leaving their central Ukraine base, and insist the West is with them

Winston missed the "Stalin flags" part, forgetting to replace with "ribbons and daisies". Demoted on Easter - tough shit. Luke will do a much better job.

CodyJoeBibby2014 Orkney94

nice one.

fuck the Minstry of Truth.

At least Winston Smith was against this.


Luke Harding: " Ukraine's democratically elected parliament, at least, had voted in a new government. Even members of Victor Yanukovych's Party of Regions had supported it. Had anybody voted for him?"

Somebody should explain to Mr. Harding the true position : A TRUNCATED version of Ukraine's democratically elected parliament voted in the new government.

The intimidation towards those deputies loyal to the deposed government was obvious for all to see, including physical attacks caught on BBC cameras. It's hardly surprising then that those in disagreement would not be present on the day of the voting.

Perhaps the same sort of voting should take place at Westminster in future, a mob could attack a few Liberals, making sure they were intimidated enough not to turn up for a vote of confidence on Cameron's coalition and hey presto, the government would fall. I wonder if Mr Harding would approve of such tactics?

wilddolphin spiceof

I would say burning Trafalgar Square with tent city and loads of trash with bunch of Cuban/Russian/NorthKorean politicians snatching microphones from each other on stage to call people to arms will be quite.... modern democracy ... Lavrov can hand over cookies to anarchists... Millions of pounds changing hands in briefcases.... Cameron Mansion with Golden Restroom trashed... Mmmm..


A suggestion to the Guardian's editorial team:

For a more complete perspective on Ukraine events, send Luke Harding to Lviv, for a report on a march "dedicated to the warriors of division SS Galicia" that will be taking place there on April 28.

More details can be found at the Right Sector's spokesperson page:

Caroline Louise zigagiz

A march in Ukraine supporting the Ukrainian division of the SS is not something any media outlet should be allowed to overlook. Personally I think the US/EU paymasters will move heaven and earth to make sure this suicidal PR nightmare doesn't happen or isn't reported.

If it goes ahead people need to make sure the news gets out.

wilddolphin Caroline Louise

They do it for 12 years, Nazi marches. Everybody get used to it. Same happens in Latvia and Estonia


Why is the Guardian removing so many comments that are either critical of Luke Hardings reporting and/or question the anti-Russian, Western narrative of the 'facts are sacred' Guardian?

frankenberry calange56

Are they?

Caroline Louise frankenberry


I've counted at least half a dozen taken down in the last couple of hours, including one absolutely brilliant and careful point by point analysis of all Harding's omissions and "terminological inexactitudes"

I actually re-posted half of it, but now my re-post has been taken down too. If anyone has a copy maybe the could consider posting it again?


Compare this piece by Harding with the other report om Ukraine ("Kiev pledges not to attack separatists...") in today's Guardian, the former frankly anti-Russian, the latter far more fact-oriented. I have some doubts about the objectivity of the latter's public opiniion poll (it comes from a Kievan "sociology institute" nobody ever heard of before) yet I think it's probably generallly accurate.

No, most (supposedly) pro-Russian Ukrainians reject annexation because they know it willl dangerously escalate tensions. But, at the same time, they reject the present Kiev regime. And that regime, by rejecting any attempt to re-assert its control of the rebellious eastern cities by force, shows that it's not interested in civil war either. But US/NATO on one side and Russia/Putin on the other, seem to be more interested in aggravating tensions 9and each other..

But things aren't quite that symmetrical. Washington insists that the rebels surrender unconditionally (quit the town halls, hand over weapons, yield power to Kiev's governors, etc) while Moscow, while condemning the present Kiev regime as illegitimate, makes no such demands. Also, while part of the Kiev regime rejects force, its fascist wings, Svoboda and Right Sector, do not.

So the more aggressive US/NATO policy seems to be more in tune with the extreme right of the Kiev regimee than with its more dovish center. So, while both sides have acted provocatively, it is undeniable that it's US/NATO that's trying to crowd Russia not the other way around. And the Ukrainophones and Russophones could probably find ways to accommodate each other peacefully but for our interference.

Orkney94 20 April 2014 2:16am
Luke has committed plagiarism on (what else), Russia, for which the Graun profusely apologised :
The following was printed in the Guardian's Corrections and clarifications column, Monday August 20 2007 "

The introduction to the article below included three paragraphs that were substantially similar to paragraphs contained in the introduction to another, earlier, article, published in May, in the Exile - an English-language newspaper based in Moscow. We should not have used material from the Exile in our introduction without quoting and crediting it properly and we apologise to the Exile for this error."

more here :

No wonder Luke's work nowadays consists of reworking own material, in line with the ever-changing Minitrue directives :

"Protesters are holding three administrative buildings in Kiev, including the building housing the city administration. With temperatures in Kiev falling to as low as -20C at night, the buildings are vital for the opposition's ability to continue street protests and maintain pressure on the government."

(Thursday 30 January 2014 14.39 GMT)

Happy Easter, Luke


As usual, Harding's piece is short on facts. To compensate, it is long on lies, insinuations, and propaganda. Nothing unexpected.

What is unexpected (at least for me) is that most people forget that this is about Ukraine, and concentrate instead on the power play of "the big boys": Russia against US and it's poodle EU, which alternates between fits of courage with shrill barking and fits of fear with peeing all over itself (sorry, this comprehensively describes foreign policy only of Poland and Baltics, dignified countries have more varied repertoire).

Yet the subject matter is Ukraine. Let me mention a few facts that those who have no inside info and only read Western media never heard of.

First, Volhynia Czechs, who lived in Ukraine since the second half of 19th century, through wars and revolutions, asked Czech government to help them repatriate soon after the coup in Kiev. Link to Czech source:

Second, the township of Strelkovoe, that was on the Ukrainian side of the border with Crimea on the Arabat Spit (following today's law in Crimea, here is its name in all three official languages: Ukrainian: Арабатська стрілка, Arabatska strilka; Russian: Арабатская стрелка, Arabatskaya strelka; Crimean Tatar: Arabat beli), forced border guards to move to the other side, removing itself from Herson region of Ukraine and joining Russian Crimea.

Third, the people in many border villages clandestinely dig up and move border posts to "move" their village from Ukraine to Russia.

Fourth (some already know this), the great majority of Crimeans actually voted to join Russia. As of today, out of 1,400,000 Crimea residents eligible to receive Russian passports only 3,000 (~0.2%) declared that they want to remain Ukrainian citizens. Most of the Ukrainian servicemen stationed in Crimea also decided to switch sides (even Kiev liars acknowledged this).

While you might understand why someone wants to move from Ukraine to Czech Republic, a lot of people ask themselves why would anyone want to join Russia. No matter what Putinbots say, this is a perfectly valid question. And the answer is most damning for Vicky "f… the EU" Nuland, CIA, the whole Obama team, as well as deservedly f…ed EU. These people have no illusions about Russia or Putin. They do not expect paradise, and do not think that someone would give them something for nothing (in contrast to Euromaidan morons). All they want is a modicum of sanity, so that they can work honestly, feed their families, live in dignity without fear that a Nazi with an automatic rifle will shoot them. They want to move to Russia because after the coup Ukraine has become a madhouse. This drives the protest in the South East. Most of these people want protection from Western Ukrainian Nazis, and they would rather live in unrecognized but sane "Donetsk Republic" than in a stark staring mad Ukraine.

There is another valid consideration for the South East: they want to keep their jobs. The industry there would simply collapse without trade with Russia. What's more, they remember. Older people reading this would remember Gdansk Shipyard in Poland, the birthplace of Solidarity. It survived decades of Soviet oppression, providing up to 20,000 jobs, but now struggles to survive the bliss of Euro-integration, employing about 2,200 and being on the brink of bankruptcy (see ). People in the South East don't want that to happen to the factories they work in, and therefore are against EU.

IMF is another thing these people don't want, in contrast to Kiev puppets that have no choice but to obey their masters. If you look at the track record, in terms of destructive power IMF beats Soviet planning every day of the week, being somewhere in between Soviet Gosplan (State Planning Authority) and a nuclear bomb. Industry is what IMF ruins first, simply to eliminate competition of their stakeholders.

The people in the South East simply want to honestly earn their wages in a sane country. Unfortunately, after US/EU engineered coup, this means getting the hell out of Ukraine. I hope that Ukraine I was born in and love will come to its senses, throw away Nazi scum and thieving oligarchs, and become a sane country. However, I live far away, whereas people who actually live there cannot afford long-term hopes. So they vote with their feet, taking their homeland with them (recent polling results ). That's what happened in Crimea, and is likely to happen elsewhere, unless Kiev clowns and Galician fascists installed by the CIA are kicked out of power very soon.

The last point: if Kiev thugs or their US masters really believed that most people want to remain in their Ukraine, they would be the first to organize referendums. The fact that they are so scared of them tells everything.

Caroline Louise BorninUkraine

Make sure you keep a copy of this, because it probably won't be here long

Doug Salzmann

Honestly, Graunfolk, the combination of the preposterously slanted coverage and the heavy-handed moderation of BtL contributions here. . . well. . . this is not a journalistic moment, I think, of which Scott would be proud.


Does it not get boring for Luke Harding to stay obsessed with Russia and write same cr*p over and over again? I wonder if he's on some sort of personal mission or secretary working for American forigen office? He's commitment to manipulate and distort information is truly remarkable.

Opinion Why Geneva accord on Ukraine is tactical victory for Russia By Joerg Forbrig

April 20, 2014 |

At first glance, the Geneva agreement appears to contain the pre-requisites for a peaceful political settlement of the Ukraine crisis.

All sides are called upon to refrain from violence, provocation and extremism. Armed groups are to lay down their weapons, and occupied public spaces and buildings are to be vacated. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is to monitor agreed de-escalation measures centrally. A constitutional process is to begin and include broad national dialogue across all Ukrainian regions and constituencies.

And in parallel to these political steps, economic and financial support is to be discussed by the international community. Promising, one might think, if it was not for the fine print.

The ink under the accord had barely dried when the signatory parties offered widely differing interpretations of its contents.

Where Ukraine and the West directed their demands at Russian-backed separatists in Eastern Ukraine, Russia was quick to point out that pro-European protesters were to surrender, too, including the EuroMaidan.

If Kiev, Brussels and Washington envisage constitutional changes strengthening de-centralization, regional and local self-government, and minority languages, Moscow renewed its call for a federalization of Ukraine, including the right of regions to their own foreign and economic policies.

The financial stabilization of Ukraine, although unspecified, was clearly included to pre-empt the country's political implosion, while Russia insisted that aid be conditional on the implementation of the de-escalation plan, and on the fulfillment of its own demands.

In short, the Geneva talks have not delivered consensus, but have served, first and foremost, as a platform for Russia to reiterate its own positions.

No less revealing is the fact that several key aspects of the Ukraine crisis are absent from the declaration.

[Apr 19, 2014] Daily Press Briefing - April 18, 2014

QUESTION: -- self-proclaimed local authorities saying, well, this Geneva statement is all very nice and all very well and good, but we're not going anywhere because just as you regard us as illegal, we regard the government in Kyiv as illegal, and having come to power by a coup, and so we'll leave when they leave. What's your reaction to that?

MS. PSAKI: Well, we absolutely reject the comments by the Donetsk separatists that the evacuation of their forces is contingent upon Maidan activities ending their legal and peaceful protests. You know where we stand on the legitimacy of the Government of Ukraine. You know where we stand on these claims that there was a coup, which we completely disagree with. There's no parallel whatsoever between the armed and illegal seizures of government buildings, streets, and public spaces in eastern Ukraine, which are clearly covered by the accord from yesterday, and the legal and peaceful protests. And furthermore, I think it's clear to the international community, and the Secretary and the President have made clear, that we see a strong connection with Russia here. That's why they were an important partner in the diplomatic discussion yesterday. They have a responsibility to take steps to call on the separatists to evacuate.

QUESTION: But the agreement – it seems like the agreement kind of equates the Ukrainian Government and these separatists when you call on all sides to kind of de-escalate. So it seems as if they're one – they're both two part – you're talking of them as equal parties, and it doesn't necessarily address Russia's – the agreement doesn't necessarily, in writing, represent Russia's role (inaudible).

MS. PSAKI: Well, that's not how we view the agreement. And Foreign Minister Lavrov was there yesterday because of the role Russia has played and can continue to play in de-escalating.

... ... ...

QUESTION: But it doesn't say anything about Russia moving its troops back, Russia moving its troops from Crimea. I mean, Russia's role in Ukraine – I know you have stated it, and Russia was a party to the talks, but it doesn't really spell out that Russia really has a serious responsibility.

MS. PSAKI: I would disagree with that, Elise. Yes, you're right that these initial steps of what will be – or these are initial steps of what will be, our hope is, a broader de-escalation process. And we expect, as the situation de-escalates, the constitutional reform process unfolds, and the rights of all Ukrainians are ensured, Russia will begin to respond on troop numbers.

We're going to test over the coming days whether this accord sticks, whether it will be implemented. And I think the clear answer to your question of what's Russia's engagement is if they do not play a role here, if they do not take steps they need to take, there will be consequences, and there will be consequences, certainly, for Russia.

QUESTION: But just to Matt's point, that the kind of leader of these uprisings, in Donetsk in particular, is saying look, Russia didn't sign this agreement on our behalf. So can you really – so – and they're saying that they're not going to implement it. So, a) what do you do in that situation, and b) how can you – do you believe that Russia has the influence over these folks if they're saying that they're not beholden to anything Russia signed?

MS. PSAKI: We do believe they have influence, and we do believe they have the ability to implement this accord, Russia does.

... ... ..

QUESTION: As the discussion was going on in Geneva yesterday, President Putin was on television making a series of statements reiterating the fact that the Russians believe – regard what happened in Kyiv as a coup and that the new government is illegal. Do you – given that, the Russians would seem to be able – because this statement is quite vague, they would seem to be able to argue that all illegally seized buildings must be returned to legitimate owners could refer to government buildings in Kyiv. I realize that you reject that, you say that your stance is well known, but the Russian stance is also well known. Do you discount them an interpretation of this statement --

MS. PSAKI: Well, I think the context --

QUESTION: -- that would include that? Or do you believe that the fact that Lavrov was there sitting with the Ukrainians is tacit acceptance of the legitimacy of the new government in Kyiv?

MS. PSAKI: Well, I'm not going to speak for Lavrov, naturally, but I think it's clear in the – all parties came out of the meeting yesterday with a clear understanding of what needed to be implemented. We recognize – and the context and the history here is, of course, important – that Yanukovych left his own government. That was not a coup. He left the country with a vacuum of leadership. The Rada voted to put the legitimate government in place.

QUESTION: Right. I understand your argument, and I understand your position. But the Russian position is diametrically opposed.

MS. PSAKI: Mm-hmm.

QUESTION: And they could interpret this statement in – from Geneva as meaning that the – what they believe is the illegal government in Kyiv has got to get out. Do you not see how they can interpret it that way?

MS. PSAKI: I do not, and I don't think any other party there saw that as part of the agreement. I mean, one important contextual piece to --

QUESTION: Well, certainly – maybe not people in Geneva, but certainly the guys in Donetsk see it that way.

MS. PSAKI: Well, I think what's clear here, Matt, is the parties yesterday know what steps need to be implemented. The OSCE will be leading the process of implementing these steps over the coming days, working closely with the Government of Ukraine. We will know and we will see if they take the necessary steps. If they don't, there will be consequences for their inaction.

... ... ...

QUESTION: So I was asking because OSCE – they – do they have a normal relation with both sides? Because at a certain point, they were not allowed to enter something – some areas.

MS. PSAKI: You're right. Well, as part of the accord signed yesterday, the Russians as well as the United States and the EU will support their effort. So implementation, it's not just, as the Secretary said yesterday, what's on a piece of paper; it's whether there are actions taken to implement that. So we will see what happens.

One other piece I just wanted to note on – that the Ukrainian Rada has shown its commitment to moving forward on amnesty. In fact, many of these processes were underway, including constitutional reform, as we all know, but the text of the April 8th law on amnesty was published today in the official parliament's newspaper. And according to the law's provisions, it will come into effect tomorrow, April 19th. And that was, of course, part of what the Ukrainian Government said they would do yesterday.

QUESTION: The constitutional reform, just to clarify, because it seems that it was – he was quoted many places, Lavrov, that – saying that there is a commitment or promise from the U.S. side that they are going to convince the Ukrainians to make that change. As a matter of fact, constitutional reform, when it was mentioned – it was not mentioned. I mean, do they look for equality in rights, or superiority in rights --

MS. PSAKI: Well --

QUESTION: -- those who are in east coast or east Ukrainian part?

MS. PSAKI: Well, inclusivity is a part of what we have been arguing for, and we've seen the Ukrainian Government take steps to be inclusive, to include representatives from all parts of Ukraine, to take steps to protect minority rights, and so we'll continue to encourage that moving forward.

QUESTION: So there is no like a pushing for being autonomous in deciding what they want to do in the east part of Ukraine?

MS. PSAKI: Well, the Ukrainian Government will make that determination. The prime minister has spoken publicly in the last several days about an openness to having that discussion. So we expect that will continue, but we're going to make those decision for them.

... ... ...

QUESTION: Well, I mean, why don't you have complete confidence that they'll implement the agreement? I mean, this agreement is very favorable towards Russia because it asks for most – I mean, except for the getting rid of the occupying of the public buildings, I mean, it gives them all the things that they've been looking for, such as – well, I guess not annexing the actual territory, but now, between constitutional reform, the autonomy that the Ukrainians are offering, and even Secretary Kerry said it's far more than any of these other type of territories. Doesn't it give Russia – if these autonomous regions are leaning towards Russia, doesn't it really give Russia kind of a firm hand in the eastern Ukraine without having to invade?

MS. PSAKI: Well, the most important priority here, Elise, when we were discussing this yesterday, was de-escalatory steps. So we're going to see if Russia takes those de-escalatory steps. It doesn't make a prediction of the outcome of a discussion about autonomy. It says they will have a discussion about autonomy, which the Ukrainian Government themselves have said they're willing to have anyway. And the constitutional reform process has been underway. So what I'm conveying here is that we're clear-eyed in the sense that we want to see them take action. It's not just about having a piece of paper.

QUESTION: If I could just point out that the Russian foreign ministry is already saying that the Kyiv Government has misinterpreted the Geneva statement, and that all illegally – all the buildings occupied illegally includes them. So it seems to me that you've got a situation like you had after the Geneva 1 agreement on Syria, where there's just a fundamental refusal by both sides – by both you and the Russians – to agree on what you agreed.

MS. PSAKI: Well, Matt, I --

QUESTION: Your position after Geneva 1 in Syria was that it – there was no way Assad could remain in power, and the Russians said no, that's not what it says. And now you're saying that our interpretation is right and their interpretation is wrong. All that – one side might be right or might be wrong, but the problem is that it's never going to get implemented as long as you don't have a fundamental agreement on what you actually agreed to.

MS. PSAKI: Well, Matt, I think there are clear steps that led – that the OSCE-led mission will be implementing, and that is moving out of these buildings, disarming irregulars. We support that, certainly. We're going to see if they take those steps. At no point have we agreed or would we agree that the legitimate Government of Ukraine has a – would be impacted by this in the way that suggests. If that's what the Russian interpretation is and that's all they're willing to address, then there'll be consequences.

[Apr 19, 2014] Daily Press Briefing April 17, 2014

... ... ...

QUESTION: Secretary Kerry, in his remarks just now, mentioned the – or he didn't say reports, but the instances of anti-Semitic behavior in eastern Ukraine. So I just wondered, could you expand on what evidence are you seeing that this is happening on the ground? What exactly was he referring to? Because he seemed to very not – very, very strongly say that yes, this is happening. So we're just curious about --

MS. HARF: Right. He called it not just intolerable, but grotesque. He was very strong in condemning this. I'd also point you to the joint Geneva statement that all four parties signed onto that strongly condemned and rejected all expressions of extremism, racism, and religious intolerance, including anti-Semitism. So we are seeing the same reports, I think, that are out there in the press. We're trying to gather more information, but it is clear that some of this is taking place, whether it's leaflets or other items that are directed at Jews in Ukraine. And again, as the Secretary said, absolutely intolerable, grotesque, no place for this.

QUESTION: So just to follow up really quick: Obviously, there were those reports about the leaflets that you just mentioned specifically, and again, he seemed pretty unqualified that those reports are accurate, so is that --

MS. HARF: We have no reason to believe they're not. And you heard – you are accurately characterizing the way he described it, yes.

... ... ...

QUESTION: Russia has already said that they believe the Ukrainian president was overthrown in a coup. Is the U.S. concerned that Moscow will not recognize the results of the election on May 25th?

MS. HARF: Well, we certainly are pointing to the elections on May 25th as a key milestone in Ukraine's future. We want them to go forward, we strongly support them, and we want people to recognize them.

QUESTION: Because President Putin in an interview today said that he will not – he does not view the May 25th elections in Ukraine as legitimate.

MS. HARF: Well, I think there are a lot of things that President Putin said in that interview that just defy logic and are at odds with reality. That would certainly be one of them.

... ... ...

QUESTION: Do you believe the spread of NATO has caused some of Putin and Russia's aggressive actions?

MS. HARF: No. I know they say that, and if that's a reason they've told themselves and they start believing the fiction, that's just not based in reality. What we've said all along is that we're committed to NATO, that we've been open with them as we've talked about NATO enlargement. I'd also point out that today, look, we're going into what happens now with Russia with our eyes wide open. This is a first step, but it's not a breakthrough unless and until this agreement today is implemented.

So I think we achieved more than I think some people thought we might over these last 24 hours in Geneva, but again, it's not a breakthrough until this is implemented on the ground. And we need to see the Russians follow up these words with actions. We haven't seen them do that yet, and we want them to now.

QUESTION: Would you like to see Ukraine join NATO or would you like Ukraine to stay neutral?

MS. HARF: Well, look, in terms of NATO enlargement, I know that's an interesting topic and obviously NATO has been a key part of our response, but we – what we're focused on now in the discussions with Ukraine and with the Russians and the EU is how the Russians can de-escalate the situation in eastern and southern Ukraine. The NATO conversations happen separately. We don't want to mix the two because the Russians are trying to and we don't think that it's part – should be part of that discussion.

QUESTION: Shipping this nonlethal gear and kit to Ukraine, is the U.S. Government essentially saying, "You have to fight your own battles here"?

MS. HARF: Well, we're saying a few things. First, we're not considering providing lethal assistance right now for a number of reasons, the first of which is we want to de-escalate the situation, not escalate it. And we're not interested in getting in some sort of a proxy war with Russia here. That's not the goal. The goal is de-escalation. We think this is the most appropriate assistance to provide to help out the Ukrainian armed forces on the ground. We've also said – the Secretary has been very clear that while we have applauded their restraint, that increasingly, they have an obligation to provide order and security for their people. And so we're going to keep assisting them in any way we think is helpful.

QUESTION: You mentioned this restraint. Are you talking about Ukraine's forces or Russian forces?

MS. HARF: Ukraine's. I think the Russians have not shown what anyone could call restraint.

QUESTION: With the understanding that all of this is happening in Geneva and you're here, I am curious about some of the language that was in the joint statement that came out, which is the calling on all illegal parties to draw back and to vacate. Is it your understanding that there is an agreement as to what qualifies as illegal?

MS. HARF: Right, and I know there's a lot of wordsmithing here, and I think Foreign Minister Lavrov has also come out and talked about what they all agreed to in Russian, which I don't speak. But yes, we said all illegal groups. That means all. But as I said, right, the devil's in the details and the devil's in the implementation. So this is an important step, but it cannot be considered a breakthrough until everyone, most importantly the Russians, follow through with this, and really take steps to – and I'm reading from the statement here – disarm, quote, "all illegal armed groups," period. So we're going to keep having the conversations, but these are the steps that need to happen.

QUESTION: So to follow up on that, and the Secretary was very clear that if those steps aren't taken this weekend, there will be further actions taken by the U.S. on – or after the weekend sometime, presumably early next week. But, I mean, what is the bare minimum that Russia would need to do in order to avoid that happening?

MS. HARF: Well, we hope they do more than the bare minimum; let's put it that way.

QUESTION: You have to draw the line somewhere. B-e-a-r minimum.

MS. HARF: (Laughter.) Look, I'm not going to outline what the goalpost is for what they could do to avoid further action. We've always said we will calibrate our response based on what the Russians do or don't do. We'll respond accordingly. And we're testing right now the propositions that were laid out in this agreement. We are testing whether the Russians are serious about taking tangible steps to de-escalate. And what they do in the coming days will really speak to that very clearly, and we'll calibrate our response accordingly.

... ... ...

QUESTION: Yeah. I guess the reason I'm asking is because there have been some reports coming out that are a little bit – that seem to suggest that the Ukrainian armed forces lack the legitimacy in the eyes of people in the eastern part of the country as well as the capacity to really enforce the kind of rule and law and order that they're talking about.

MS. HARF: Well, I'll say a few points. It's hard – it's difficult to enforce law and order for any military when you have armed illegal groups and thugs coming from another country and messing around in your country. So that's tough for any country to do, right? That's point A.

Point B is that actually, I would take notion with your first question. I think actually in southern and eastern Ukraine, the armed forces and the government does have legitimacy – the central government – in the eyes of the Ukrainian people. I think that that's clear. I think that in some ways, what we've seen is them standing up and saying they don't want these Russian illegal groups being supported by the government meddling around in their affairs. So that's what we're all working towards right now.

... ... ...

[Apr 19, 2014] Propaganda War in action: BBC spreads disinformation again the People's Republic of Donetsk

Leaflets has signature of Denis Pushilin. Yet Pushilin himself has ridiculed the leaflets, denying any link and calling those responsible for handing them out "idiots". In a statement published on its website, the 'Jewish Community of Donetsk' dismissed it as a provocation aimed at creating fear. Is this the junta counterstrike against the Russian government which actively played up the leading role of neo-Nazis, fascists and anti-Semitics within the EuroMaidan including members of Svoboda and Right Sector?

The BBC has obtained security camera footage that shows men in balaclavas distributing threatening anti-Semitic leaflets in the Ukrainian city of Donetsk. The leaflets bore the stamp of pro-Russian separatists, but the separatists have declared them a hoax.

Nonetheless, as Natalia Antelava reports from Donetsk, they seem to be part of a larger, anonymous campaign of intimidation against minorities in Ukraine.

[Apr 19, 2014] Inside the 'Donetsk People's Republic' by Jacob Resneck

Event on South-East has distinct features of national-liberation movement, a fight against "trains of friendship" with Right Sector members to pacify the region.
Apr 18, 2014 |

In east Ukraine, a pro-Russian group has declared an independent republic from within an occupied building in Donetsk. DW heads inside to hear from leaders and gauge local moods for a planned referendum in May.
Barricades made of tires, razor wire and pallets in Donetsk, Ukraine

Behind a makeshift barricade of old tires, razor wire and pallets, masked, club-wielding men in worn combat fatigues police the entrance to the capital of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic.

Since 7 April, when pro-Russia demonstrators seized the Soviet-era administration building for the Donetsk region and declared the republic, daily rallies have been held where crowds in the hundreds to thousands chant slogans that equate the two-month old caretaker government in Kyiv with fascism.

"The Donetsk People's Republic, this was a spontaneous decision, made several hours after [occupying the building]," Denis Pushilin, chairman of the self-proclaimed republic's leadership council, told DW. "There was a need to make a strong decision through this act and declaration."

Supporters of the movement equate the political crisis as larger struggle against political extremism.

"All of Europe should help us against fascism," said 73-year-old supporter Vladimir Khachaturian, who says he has very early memories of the Second World War. "And we don't want more oligarchs who help Kyiv."

Conflict 'started by Kyiv'

Cleavages in Ukrainian society are increasing between those who support a united Ukraine and those who look to Russia as a guarantor for peace and security.

"Nearly 80 percent of the Donetsk region saw the Maidan movement as a coup d'etat - not a legitimate revolution," said researcher Cyril Cherkashyn, whose Donetsk Centre of Political Analysis and Technology polled 547 people earlier this month.

Respondents were about evenly divided into camps over staying with Ukraine - albeit with greater autonomy - or seceding as an independent state or even joining Russia.

Inside the 11-story former administration building, Soviet-era posters warn against excessive drinking or talking to strangers. Anti-American and anti-European Union graffiti adorns the walls as nervous young men in ski masks search visitors as they file in and out of the occupied building.
Ukraine Gebäude in Donetsk

The group does not plan to adhere to the 17 April Geneva agreement signed by Russia, Ukraine, the US and EU

The Ukrainian government has dismissed the occupation of administrative buildings as the work of terrorist extremists, puppets of the Kremlin intent on annexing this industrial region in a repeat of events in Crimea in March.

"That's nonsense," said Pushilin, the secessionist leader. "Russia helps us to keep this conflict from getting deeper. This conflict was started by Kyiv."

He also dismissed the US-brokered Geneva agreement signed by Ukraine and Russia on Thursday, 17 April, which demands that protestors vacate administration buildings occupied in the region, saying his group would do so only if Ukraine's prime minister and president leave the buildings "they are occupying illegally."

A fair referendum?

Instead, the self-proclaimed leadership is pushing ahead with a 11 May referendum over the region's future, either as an independent state, autonomous republic within Ukraine or adjoined to Russia.

"Either we will become an independent state, or we can rejoin Ukraine within a confederation with more freedom to decide what's good for us, not just taking orders from Kyiv," said Alexander Gnezdilov, spokesman for the self-proclaimed republic. "I personally think most people will vote for joining Russia, but it depends on people's opinion."

Opinion is mixed, and the outcome of any fair referendum is in question. Recent poll numbers show about 26 percent saying they wanted to join Russia, whereas 26.5 percent support remaining within in Ukraine. The rest either wanted to be independent or envisioned a confederated republic of Ukraine with greater autonomy for the regions.

The referendum would be held two weeks before national elections in Ukraine, the latter of which local authorities say they intend to boycott. With neither side recognizing each other's legitimacy - a byproduct of the lack of trust between different political camps - there are doubts as to the legitimacy of such a vote.

Threat of conflict

On Thursday, pro-Ukraine demonstrators held a rally on the outskirts of the city center. The demonstration was moved just across the river due to safety concerns in the event of clashes between rival factions. A cordon of riot police formed a phalanx to protect the crowd as about two thousand people gathered in the park.

[Apr 19, 2014] What Does the Geneva Agreement Mean for Ukraine BY JULIA IOFFE

"Are they supposed to vacate government buildings in Kiev?" Good question ;-)

Apr 17, 2014 | New Republic

Second of all, the agreement calls on "illegal armed groups" to disarm. We in the West assume that refers to the pro-Russian thugs in Donetsk and Sloviansk, but what do the Russians mean? Remember, they still don't recognize the provisional government in Kiev and the Russian media has been consistently calling them the "coup-installed government." Are they supposed to vacate government buildings in Kiev?

... ... ...

That may have something to do with the fact that their unspoken leader is the Kremlin. That might be a good partner in getting these men to disarm, but how does one engage the Kremlin in Ukraine's constitutional reform process-and make it look legitimate?

Then there's the problem of Vladimir Putin, who, even as the talks were proceeding, announced to the nation that he had not ruled out using military force in Ukraine. For him, clearly, the Geneva agreement does not change this.

And, knowing this, Washington isn't breathing a sigh of relief either. "It's not bad as a piece of paper, but of course Putin can ratchet pressure up or down at will," says one high-ranking U.S. official. "And we all assume that he still intends to continue in some form, if only to ruin the presidential elections" scheduled for May 25. The official also emphasized that the U.S. expects both "small signs of abiding by the agreement" and to follow through on implementing additional sanctions against Russia.

"The overall situation remains largely unchanged," the official added.

[Apr 19, 2014] Americans Don't See Ukraine as Their Cause

The American Conservative

If, after all, it was a triumph of self-determination for Ukraine to secede from the Russian Federation, do not Russians in Crimea and Donetsk have the same right-to secede from Kiev and go home to Russia? If Georgians had a right to break free of the Russian Federation, do not Abkhazians and South Ossetians have a right to break free of Georgia? Turnabout is fair play is an old American saying. Op-ed writers bewail Vladimir Putin's threat to the "rules-based" world we have created. But under what rule did we bomb Serbia for 78 days to tear away Kosovo, the cradle province of the Serb people? Perhaps some history is in order.

Compare how Putin brought about the secession and annexation of Crimea, without bloodshed but with popular approval, with how Sam Houston and friends brought about the secession of Texas from Mexico, and its annexation by the United States in 1845. When the Mexicans tried to retrieve a disputed piece of their lost Texas territory, James K. Polk accused them of shedding American blood on American soil, had Congress declare war, sent Gen. Winfield Scott and a U.S. army to Mexico City, and annexed the entire northern half of Mexico, which is now the American Southwest and California.

Compared to the Jacksonian, James Polk, Vladimir Putin is Pierre Trudeau.

Even in Eastern Ukraine, it is hard to see a moral issue. For the Kiev regime is loudly denouncing as "terrorists" the Russians who are taking over city centers by using the exact same tactics the Maidan Square demonstrators used to seize Kiev. If it was heroic for the Svoboda Party and Pravy Sektor to fight police and torch buildings to oust Viktor Yanukovych, the elected president of Ukraine, upon what ground do the usurpers who inherited his power bewail the same thing being done to them? Is there not glaring hypocrisy here? And where do we Americans come off piously damning what the Russians are doing in Ukraine?

A decade ago, the National Endowment for Democracy and its progeny helped to foment the Rose Revolution in Georgia, the Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan, the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon, the Orange Revolution in Kiev, and countless other "color revolutions" to dethrone unresponsive regimes and bring those countries into America's orbit. In the last decade, Putin has learned how to play the Americans' game. And before winding up in a conflict we managed to avoid over four decades of Cold War, perhaps we should call off this game of thrones, and consign NED to the boneyard.

Today, two courses of action are being hotly pressed upon the Obama White House by the War Party. Both appear likely to lead to disaster. The first is to arm the Ukrainians. This would likely provoke a war with Russia that Kiev could not win, and lead Ukrainians to believe the Americans will be there beside them, which is not in the cards. The second option is the sanctions road. But Europe, dependent on Russian oil and gas, is not going to vote itself a recession. And should the West sanction Russia, Moscow would sanction Ukraine and sink what the Washington Post calls that "black hole of corruption and waste that is the Ukrainian economy."

As for more U.S. warships in the Black and Baltic seas and more F-16s and U.S. troops in Eastern Europe, what is their purpose, when we are not going to go to war with Russia?

In the title of the old song, Johnny Cash got it right, "Don't take your guns to town," unless you're prepared to use them. Undeniably, President Obama and John Kerry have egg all over their faces today, as they did in the Syrian "red line" episode. Yet they continue to meddle where we do not belong, issue warnings and threats they have no power to enforce, and bluster and bluff about what they are going to do, when the American people are telling them, "This is not our quarrel."

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025? Copyright 2014

[Apr 19, 2014] In Ukraine, Not All Uprisings Are Equal By Zenon Evans

Apr 18, 2014 | The American Conservative

Our president is stumbling out sanction after sanction while neoconservatives are striking empty poses on Ukraine. More interestingly, though, some notable advocates of limited government are defending the pro-Russian separatists, suggesting that their uprising is as valid if not more so than the pro-Western Euromaidan revolution. In The American Conservative last week James Carden put this view succinctly:

There are a few differences between the oft-praised Euro-Maidan and the pro-Russian demonstrations now taking place across the East; the first being that the latter have actually been peaceful (so far). The nature of the regimes against which the respective protests were aimed are different as well; one, [Viktor] Yanukovych's, was democratically elected in 2010, the government headed by Arseniy Yatsenyuk… was imposed by acts of violence and coercion.

He also spotlights the fascist faction of the Maidan coalition that has caused anxiety. Other champions of self-determination such as former representative Ron Paul have added to the prosecessionist argument, pointing specifically to the referendum in Crimea as proof of its validity.

Carden's conclusion that revolutions are unpredictable and that the United States should stay at arm's length is spot on. Uprisings can be contradictory and almost necessarily involve sordid characters and acts. But to say that the pro-Russian movement is operating on a higher moral ground than the one in Kiev dangerously overlooks the real circumstances by which people have come to power on either side of the situation, and what the different groups have done with their power....

[Apr 19, 2014] Junta soon will supress the independent media and impose strict censorship - Tsarev

Nazism and independent press are incompatible. This postulate was stated by Ukrainian presidential candidate , MP Oleg Tsarev .

"Everyone knows that Nazism and independent press are incompatible. Similarly nazism is inconsistent with false propaganda and freedom of speech . For more than one month, we see how junta who is in power now pours torrents of mud on the protesters from the south-east. Trying to present them as are separatists and terrorists ... " while in reality it is junta who represents separatists and terrorists.

"We reached the point when junta prohibits people know an alternative point of view on the situation. They disabled the Russian TV channels. Disinformation has become official information policy by Turchinov and Co. The latest decision of the Parliament belongs to the same series. BP adopted amendments to the Law of Ukraine " On the National Council of Ukraine on Television and Radio Broadcasting " concerning the terms of office of board members . Parliament , in fact, subordinated its activities to Turchinov Administration.

It is not hard to guess what will happen next. Regime will start soon for censorship , to deal with objectionable media. They will soon start prosecuting independent intellectuals and journalists and will destroy civil society as such "- sure Tsarev .

"The savage beating of chairman of NTU Alexei Panteleimon had shown us the Kiev Maidan edition of "freedom" - he stressed.

[Apr 18, 2014] West shy about beating of Ukrainian presidential candidate Tsaryov - Russian diplomat

The Voice of Russia
Russian Foreign Ministry ombudsman for human rights, democracy and the rule of law Konstantin Dolgov says the West is shy about the beating of Ukrainian presidential candidate Oleg Tsaryov, Interfax reports.

"There have been reports about the cruel beating of Ukrainian presidential candidate Tsaryov. This is tank democracy a la Maidan in action. Extremists go unpunished. The West is timidly silent. It is much easier to accuse Moscow of all troubles without proof than to curb the rampaging radicals. Here are the customary double standards!" Dolgov tweeted on Tuesday.

"Tanks have been moved against people in the southeast who demand respect for their lawful rights. Are these the inclusive political dialogue and the constitutional reform? What free and democratic elections in Ukraine can we talk about under these circumstances?" he wondered.

Tsaryov's website reported early on Tuesday morning that the politician had been attacked by an aggressive crowd outside of the television station ICTV building in Kiev. "Following the completion of a live broadcast on the ICTV television channel, parliamentarian and Ukrainian presidential candidate Oleg Tsaryov was attacked by an aggressive, armed crowd blockading the TV station's building. It was with great difficulty that security guards managed to rebuff the enraged militants' attack on Oleg Tsaryov," the report said.

The deputy's aide reported Tsariov was severely beaten and is now in serious condition.
Read more:

[Apr 18, 2014] Presidential Candidate Tsaryov beating by far right group (video)

[Apr 18, 2014] The Dangers of Naïve Diplomacy

The American Conservative
... ... ...

As John Mearsheimer notes in his New York Times op-ed, Russia "drew a line in the sand" when NATO announced in 2008 that Ukraine and Georgia will become members. The Russians already watched Poland and the Baltic states accede. Ukraine was simply a step too far. Putin, as it turns out, would rather not tolerate NATO expansion right up to his doorstep. An excuse to act was all he needed. Euromaidan's success in throwing out Yanukovych provided that excuse.

Now, Ukraine's sovereignty remains violated. Instead of advising caution, the U.S. took a more activist approach, symbolized by Victoria Nuland's handing out of cookies to protestors in Kiev's Independence Square, the epicenter of the Euromaidan movement. As U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Nuland decided not to warn the protestors that they may be making a strategic error by forcing Yanukovych out instead of voting him out. The U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, also failed to take a more strategic approach, instead calling the ouster of Yanukovych "a day for the history books." The failure to see the Russia's reaction to all this as incredibly relevant to Ukraine's chances of maintaining a sovereign, democratic state has a lot to do with where the crisis is today.

An establishment still nostalgic for the thinking and rhetoric of the Cold War may present Ukraine's well-being as the West's primary concern. But the inability to see all this from Russia's perspective has ruined Ukraine's chances for a smooth transition out of Russia's immediate sphere of influence. This is the same kind of naïve and sentimental idealism that characterizes many of America's ill-conceived forays into the world, including those in the Middle East. It is of course directly related to the neoconservative view of global influence: project American power, whatever it takes. Vladimir Putin is playing the same game, responding in kind to the aggressive expansionism of Russia's rivals.

The truth, of course, is that plenty of people have expressed distaste for all aggressive interventions, be it by Russia or the United States, or anyone else for that matter. In addition to a Crimea firmly in Putin's clutches, the Ukrainian interim government and major political parties (who will contend in a general election next month) are chock-full of candidates with their own records of corruption. The far-right Svoboda party now has five ministerial posts in this interim regime, including deputy prime minister and prosecutor general. The leader of the neo-nazi Right Sector party, Dmytro Yarosh, is now Ukraine's deputy national security chief.

Now hawkish Cold Warriors within the United States are calling for NATO forces to be deployed into Western Ukraine, or at least on it's border with Poland. U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, NATO's supreme allied commander in Europe, has been given a mandate to draw up plans to counter Russia's move and "reassure NATO members nearest Russia that other alliance countries have their back." Breedlove says that he wouldn't "write off the involvement of any nation, to include the United States."

If that happens, Russia will almost certainly declare and execute an official invasion into eastern Ukraine. What follows such a disaster is anyone's guess.

Steven Zhou is a writer and analyst based in Toronto, Canada. His writings have also appeared on The Globe and Mail, Embassy Magazine, and Al Jazeera English, among other publications.

[Apr 18, 2014] Relax Ukraine is Not Ordering Its Jews to Register

New Republic

..."It's an obvious provocation designed to get this exact response, going all the way up to Kerry," says Fyodr Lukyanov, editor of Russia in Global Affairs. "I have no doubt that there is a sizeable community of anti-Semites on both sides of the barricades, but for one of them to do something this stupid - this is done to compromise the pro-Russian groups in the east."

Why? The Russian government has been playing up the (real but small) role of fascists and neo-Nazis in the victory of the EuroMaidan in Kiev. The Ukrainian government, utterly powerless to fight off the Russians and their local stooges, have had to rely on other methods, like leaking taped phone calls of allegedly local separatists getting their commands from Moscow. This may be just another tactic to smear the so-called anti-Maidan in the east of Ukraine: you think we're fascists? Well, take a look at these guys.

Indeed, the Russian web chatter has sniffed the hand of the Dnipropetrovsk city government. (Dnipropetrovsk is another eastern Ukrainian city, but one that has been spared this chaos, in part because of the firm hand of its new regional governor, Jewish businessman Ihor Kolomoisky. One (Jewish) blogger said he received a similar looking flier from an official in the Dnipropetrovsk city administration.

[Apr 18, 2014] FOCUS Ukraine, Through the US Looking Glass By Robert Parry

April 17, 2014 | Consortium News

The acting president of the coup regime in Kiev announces that he is ordering an "anti-terrorist" operation against pro-Russian protesters in eastern Ukraine, while his national security chief says he has dispatched right-wing ultranationalist fighters who spearheaded the Feb. 22 coup that ousted elected President Viktor Yanukovych.

On Tuesday, Andriy Parubiy, head of the Ukrainian National Security Council, went on Twitter to declare, "Reserve unit of National Guard formed #Maidan Self-defense volunteers was sent to the front line this morning." Parubiy was referring to the neo-Nazi militias that provided the organized muscle that overthrew Yanukovych, forcing him to flee for his life. Some of these militias have since been incorporated into security forces as "National Guard."

Parubiy himself is a well-known neo-Nazi, who founded the Social-National Party of Ukraine in 1991. The party blended radical Ukrainian nationalism with neo-Nazi symbols. Parubiy also formed a paramilitary spinoff, the Patriots of Ukraine, and defended the awarding of the title, "Hero of Ukraine," to World War II Nazi collaborator Stepan Bandera, whose own paramilitary forces exterminated thousands of Jews and Poles in pursuit of a racially pure Ukraine.

During the months of protests aimed at overthrowing Yanukovych, Parubiy became the commandant of "Euromaidan," the name for the Kiev uprising, and – after the Feb. 22 coup – Parubiy was one of four far-right Ukrainian nationalists given control of a ministry, i.e. national security.

But the U.S. press has played down his role because his neo-Nazism conflicts with Official Washington's narrative that the neo-Nazis played little or no role in the "revolution." References to neo-Nazis in the "interim government" are dismissed as "Russian propaganda."

Yet there Parubiy was on Tuesday bragging that some of his neo-Nazi storm troopers – renamed "National Guard" – were now being sicced on rebellious eastern Ukraine as part of the Kiev government's "anti-terrorist" operation.

The post-coup President Oleksandr Turchynov also warned that Ukraine was confronting a "colossal danger," but he insisted that the suppression of the pro-Russian protesters would be treated as an "anti-terrorist" operation and not as a "civil war." Everyone should understand by now that "anti-terror" suggests extrajudicial killings, torture and "counter-terror."

Yet, with much of the Ukrainian military of dubious loyalty to the coup regime, the dispatch of the neo-Nazi militias from western Ukraine's Right Sektor and Svoboda parties represents a significant development. Not only do the Ukrainian neo-Nazis consider the ethnic Russians an alien presence, but these right-wing militias are organized to wage street fighting as they did in the February uprising.

Historically, right-wing paramilitaries have played crucial roles in "counter-terror" campaigns around the world. In Central America in the 1980s, for instance, right-wing "death squads" did much of the dirty work for U.S.-backed military regimes as they crushed social protests and guerrilla movements.

The merging of the concept of "anti-terrorism" with right-wing paramilitaries represents a potentially frightening development for the people of eastern Ukraine. And much of this information – about Turchynov's comments and Parubiy's tweet – can be found in a New York Times' dispatch from Ukraine.

Whose Propaganda?

However, on the Times' front page on Wednesday was a bizarre story by David M. Herszenhorn accusing the Russian government of engaging in a propaganda war by making many of the same points that you could find – albeit without the useful context about Parubiy's neo-Nazi background – in the same newspaper.

In the article entitled "Russia Is Quick To Bend Truth About Ukraine," Herszenhorn mocked Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev for making a Facebook posting that "was bleak and full of dread," including noting that "blood has been spilled in Ukraine again" and adding that "the threat of civil war looms."

The Times article continued, "He [Medvedev] pleaded with Ukrainians to decide their own future 'without usurpers, nationalists and bandits, without tanks or armored vehicles – and without secret visits by the C.I.A. director.' And so began another day of bluster and hyperbole, of the misinformation, exaggerations, conspiracy theories, overheated rhetoric and, occasionally, outright lies about the political crisis in Ukraine that have emanated from the highest echelons of the Kremlin and reverberated on state-controlled Russian television, hour after hour, day after day, week after week."

This argumentative "news" story spilled from the front page to the top half of an inside page, but Herszenhorn never managed to mention that there was nothing false in what Medvedev said. Indeed, it was the much-maligned Russian press that first reported the secret visit of CIA Director John Brennan to Kiev.

Though the White House has since confirmed that report, Herszenhorn cites Medvedev's reference to it in the context of "misinformation" and "conspiracy theories." Nowhere in the long article does the Times inform its readers that, yes, the CIA director did make a secret visit to Ukraine last weekend. Presumably, that reality has now disappeared into the great memory hole along with the on-ground reporting from Feb. 22 about the key role of the neo-Nazi militias.

The neo-Nazis themselves have pretty much disappeared from Official Washington's narrative, which now usually recounts the coup as simply a case of months of protests followed by Yanukovych's decision to flee. Only occasionally, often buried deep in news articles with the context removed, can you find admissions of how the neo-Nazis spearheaded the coup.

Agricanto 2014-04-17 15:23

If it weren't for RSN we would be stuck with the single perspective of the MSM from Fox to the NYT. This is a huge story because it mirrors the lies that the NYT and WaPo spread about Iraq prior to the US invasion. Today CNN circulates a hoax story that Russians in the eastern Ukraine are threatening to tax and exile Jews. Naturally this made front page in Israel and John Kerry quickly condemned it despite the common knowledge that it was a hoax. So fake anti-Semitism gets coverage, real fascism gets zero coverage.

listentome 2014-04-17 16:04

"The casualness of this propaganda – as it spreads across the U.S. media spectrum from Fox News to MSNBC, from the Washington Post to the New York Times – is not just wretched journalism but it is reckless malfeasance jeopardizing the lives of many Ukrainians and the future of the planet."

This hegemonic conspiracy of the US Press Corps to lie about who is doing what on the borders and the Eastern Ukraine cities demonstrates the deep bigotry and ugly stereotypes that have remained deep in the hearts of American citizens, and the horrible psychological impacts of the cold war on naive and under-educated citizens and youth. Otherwise, the bought off press could not get away with this.

mighead 2014-04-17 19:32

Two other media sources which seem to be outside of the US mainstream reporting that I've found on Ukraine have been the Huffington Post - which published the Brennan in Ukraine last weekend story - and Bloomberg - which published an account of 'security' company Greystone (subsidiary of Blackwater) supplying 'contractors' actively involved in quelling protests in Ukraine (with links to YouTube videos of them in action).

I find that when I'm reading NYT articles on Ukraine - the 'meat' is in the comments; and many of those are taking the Times to task for their biased reporting. The difference between the NYT picks and Readers picks of the comments are night-and-day.

In Ukraine, Pro-Russia Separatists Stay Put Despite Geneva Deal

Enacting the agreement on the ground will be difficult, because of the deep mistrust between the pro-Russian groups and the Western-backed government in Kiev. This week has already seen several people killed in violent clashes.

... ... ...

Anatoly, one of the armed separatists who have taken over police headquarters, said: "We are not leaving the building, regardless of what statements are made, because we know what is the real situation in the country and we will not leave until our commander tells us to."

... ... ...

Denis Pushilin, head of the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic, told journalists in Donetsk, the regional capital, that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov "did not sign anything for us; he signed on behalf of the Russian Federation".

First, he said, the prime minister and acting president who took power in February should quit their offices, as they took them over "illegally".

But Alexei, another separatist in Slaviansk, acknowledged that the Geneva talks had changed the situation: "It turns out Vova doesn't love us as much as we thought," he said, using a diminutive term for Putin, who is viewed by many of the separatist militias as their champion and protector.

... ... ...

In the capital, Kiev, people on the Maidan, the local name given to Independence Square, which was the centre of protests that eventually toppled Yanukovich, said the barricades would not come down until after the May 25 presidential election.

"People will not leave the Maidan. The people gave their word to stay until the presidential elections so that nobody will be able to rig the result. Then after the election we'll go of our own accord," said 56-year-old Viktor Palamaryuk from the western town of Chernivtsi.

"Nobody will take down our tents and barricades," said 34-year-old Volodymyr Shevchenko from the southern Kherson region. "If the authorities try to do that by force, thousands and thousands of people will come on to the Maidan and stop them."

Right Sector, a far-right nationalist group whose violent street tactics in support of the Maidan helped bring down Yanukovich in February, saw the Geneva accord as being directed only at pro-Russian separatists in the east.

... ... ...

Speaking on Russian television before the Geneva agreement, Putin accused the authorities in Kiev of plunging the country into an "abyss".

[Apr 18, 2014] Exposing the Cold War Roots of America's Coup in Kiev By Steve Weissman

April 18, 2014 | Reader Supported News

Once upon a time, Vladimir Putin started the new Cold War. He set out to take over Ukraine economically. But the freedom-loving Ukrainians took to the barricades and drove out his henchman, President Viktor Yanukovych. So Putin seized Crimea and put his troops on the Ukrainian border, eager to seize more land to remake the evil empire.

This is the fairy-tale that Western leaders and their favorite story-tellers want us to believe. They might even believe it themselves. But the truth is far more instructive, and could help get both Russia and the West get out of a rivalry that could by accident or misjudgment lead to nuclear annihilation.

Less a new Cold War than the resurrection of the undead, the reborn rivalry has already encouraged what sociologist C. Wright Mills called "crackpot realism," most dramatically in the plea from Leslie Gelb, president emeritus of the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations. Dr. Gelb wants Obama "to dispatch 50 or 60 of the incredibly potent F-22s to Poland plus Patriot batteries and appropriate ground support and protection. Russian generals and even Putin surely know that the F-22s could smash the far inferior Russian air force and then punish Russian armies invading eastern Ukraine or elsewhere in the region."

A former New York Times journalist and high-ranking official at State and Defense under Democratic presidents, Gelb also wants Washington to help prepare Ukrainians for guerrilla war against an invading Russian force.

"Support for what might be the Ukrainian Resistance, combined with an F-22 deployment to Poland 'to protect U.S./NATO security interests in the region,' should give Putin pause," writes Gelb. "And this approach would make the dictators in Pyongyang, Damascus, and Beijing think twice now as well."

With "moderates" like Gelb, who needs Dr. Strangelove?

This is the most likely face of our future. Likely, but not inevitable. Not if we dig into the past to expose the Cold War roots of America's Coup in Kiev (Part I and Part II).

... ... ...

Little came of this as Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in August 1990, absorbing Washington's attention. But as soon as Moscow removed its troops from Eastern Germany, NATO began preparing to expand to the East, deciding in 1997 to give membership to Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia. Under US presidents Clinton and George W. Bush and their European allies, NATO and the European Union continued to move ever closer to Russia's borders. Today only one major pressure point remains. That prize is Ukraine.

Ending the Cold War

In Geneva on Thursday, envoys from the United States, the European Union, the Russian Federation, and the new Western-backed government in Kiev agreed to de-escalate tensions in Eastern Ukraine. No one knows whether the agreement will hold, or even if Putin can control the pro-Russian nationalists he helped stir up in what he is now calling "New Russia." He has admitted using his special forces in Crimea, and has apparently deployed them into Eastern Ukraine as well, though he says not. But the onion farmers and other locals who have surrounded Ukrainian army units in the East won't necessarily follow Moscow's lead, and a historically divided Ukraine could well break apart whatever outsiders chose to do.

That said, no peace can hold for long until the outsiders – Putin, Washington, and Brussels – finally resolve the unfinished Cold War issues that continue to divide them. NATO has to guarantee that Ukraine will never become a member, and that the alliance will let strategic containment die, as it should have under George H. W. Bush. The EU has to find trading arrangements that include the Russians rather than exclude them. And Putin has to put his energy into building a modern Russian economy rather than being consumed by the humiliation – and, yes, betrayal – that Gorbachev and his generation suffered at the hands of the West.

The current crisis offers an opportunity to move in these directions, though self-destructive economic sanctions, F-22s, and a guerrilla war seem far more likely.

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.

[Apr 18, 2014] Ukraine Is Obama Channeling Cheney by Yves Smith

April 18, 2014 | naked capitalism

In this Real News Network report, Michael Hudson discusses the news blackout in the US as far as critical developments in the Ukraine are concerned, and how the distortions and gaps in reporting exceed those in the runup to the Iraq War. From the top of the interview:

Late last week, the German television program ARD Monitor, which is sort of their version of 60 Minutes here, had an investigative report of the shootings in Maidan, and what they found out is that contrary to what President Obama is saying, contrary to what the U.S. authorities are saying, that the shooting was done by the U.S.-backed Svoboda Party and the protesters themselves, the snipers and the bullets all came from the Hotel Ukrayina, which was the center of where the protests were going, and the snipers on the hotel were shooting not only at the demonstrators, but also were shooting at their own–at the police and the demonstrators to try to create chaos. They've spoken to the doctors, who said that all of the bullets and all of the wounded people came from the same set of guns. They've talked to reporters who were embedded with the demonstrators, the anti-Russian forces, and they all say yes. All the witnesses are in agreement: the shots came from the Hotel Ukrayina. The hotel was completely under the control of the protesters, and it was the government that did it.

So what happened was that after the coup d'état, what they call the new provisional government put a member of the Svoboda Party, the right-wing terrorist party, in charge of the investigation. And the relatives of the victims who were shot are saying that the government is refusing to show them the autopsies, they're refusing to share the information with their doctors, they're cold-shouldering them, and that what is happening is a coverup. It's very much like the film Z about the Greek colonels trying to blame the murder of the leader on the protesters, rather than on themselves.

Now, the real question that the German data has is: why, if all of this is front-page news in Germany, front-page news in Russia–the Russian TV have been showing their footage, showing the sniping–why would President Obama directly lie to the American people? This is the equivalent of Bush's weapons of mass destruction. Why would Obama say the Russians are doing the shooting in the Ukraine that's justified all of this anti-Russian furor? And why wouldn't he say the people that we have been backing with $5 billion for the last five or ten years, our own people, are doing the shooting, we are telling them to doing the shooting, we are behind them, and we're the ones who are the separatists?

I strongly suggest you watch the interview in full, or read the transcript here.

readerOfTeaLeaves, April 18, 2014 at 1:42 am

If Hudson is even 1/4th accurate, this is an unmitigated disaster.

I anticipate the BRICs going off the dollar as a reserve currency any day now; we are making ourselves pariahs.

If it is true that Victoria Nuland of the US Dept of State - recorded helping to set up the current puppet President in Ukraine - previously worked for Dick Cheney, we are screwed. How on earth Obama is letting the neocon (and oil company) holdovers run the show is both baffling and terrifying.

Here's hoping the US military has more sense than the politicians.

I don't know what to believe, but the level of confrontation Hudson describes is insane. The economic consequences seem pallid compared with the risks he implies.

Sic Semper Tyrannis has become essential reading these past weeks.

Brindle, April 18, 2014 at 7:42 am

"How on earth Obama is letting the neocon (and oil company) holdovers run the show is both baffling and terrifying. "

Obama is a neocon. His whole political career has been based on duping liberals to make them feel he is one of them. Obama left so many Bush/Cheney holdovers in office because he basically agrees with them.

RUKidding, April 18, 2014 at 10:48 am

Yes. Obama is both a NeoLiberal & a NeoCon. I've come to see that those are not mutually exclusive. Obama left a huge number of BushCo appointees littered throughout the Fed Agencies, and actually Obama fired Carol Lam, the US Attorney in San Diego, who managed to put the crooked Republican Representative, Randy "Duke" Cunningham, in jail. Lam was working on other corruption cases, and Obama pulled the plug on her quick-smart, and those corruption cases went down the plug hole.

Obama has been mentored by Dick Cheney, although I believe at one time that Obama denied that. Why a putative "liberal" Democrat would have to deny being mentored by such a scourge as Cheney is one for the books.


Joe Lieberman was Obama's Senate mentor.


Obama has been described as "neocon light" and I think that this is correct. The older group of neocons like Cheney and Rumsfeld are indeed trying to do him in, but both groups believe in American imperialistic domination of the entire planet.

I also believe that, aside from traditional neocon considerations, Obama is indeed out for personal revenge for the humiliation that he suffered at Putin's hands, first in Georgia and then in Syria. I think that this little worm is about to suffer his third humiliation in the Ukraine and that is really something to worry about. Losing face can cause power driven fools like Obama to engage in increasingly risky behavior.


So far most senior officers are skeptical of civilians that use war to distract the people from their troubles. Many have been instrumental in nixing plans to invade Iran (twice) when civilian leadership (both Bush and Obama) wanted to create an "incident" they nixed it. Similarly, the Syria plan of carpet bombing Syria was nixed as this extremely silly adventure will be nixed, God willing.

The problem at this time is that the war-coalition has fully infiltrated the media how strong that coalition remains no one can tell.


According to Seymore Hersch, the Joint Chiefs as a group through Dempsey told the President they were opposed to a strike on Syria.

OIFVet, April 18, 2014 at 2:02 am

Obama and the neocons are hellbent on starting a World War 3. They seem to think that a nuclear war can be won due to the ballistic missile shield which is now close to being operational (see Paul Craig Roberts in Counterpunch,, with radar in Turkey, missile sites in Romania and Poland, and command center in Germany. In fact, the incident with the Russian fighter harassing the USS Donald Cook in the Black Sea the other day is not an ordinary saber rattling by the Russians at all.

The Donald Cook is the first of four missile destroyers to be modernized with the latest iteration of the Aegis radar system and SM-3 missiles capable of shooting down ballistic missiles which are to be based in Rota, Spain. As such her presence in the Black Sea is not a coincidence and represents a direct threat to Russia. The Russians were obviously on an ELINT gathering mission, trying to provoke the Cook into revealing as much about the new Aegis iteration as possible so that they can try to figure out exploitable weaknesses.

So the Russians are taking this quite seriously and I would wager that they have good enough intelligence to warrant a serious concern. I am truly afraid that surrealpolitik is in fact too mild of a description of the US actions, insanepolitik might be a more accurate moniker.

susan the other

Insanepolitik is right. The truth must be protected with a "bodyguard of lies." Thanks Winston for that coffin nail. If you look at the map, it really looks like the entire spat is about Caspian oil. Why else would the Black Sea be important enough to deploy 5 destroyers, or whatever they are called.

mf, April 18, 2014 at 10:01 am

correction: Hudson did not mess up. He is showing his true colors.

There is much that is wrong with the US, US democracy, and the world economy. A good portion of what is wrong has to do with exploding population worldwide. The oil based economic globalization might have worked in the world I was born into, it no longer works in the world I will die in. It is a social and technological conundrum that future generations will have to cope with.

However, favoring an obvious outbreak of aggressive fascism over US democracy, such as this democracy is today, is either taking leave from reality, or showing your true colors. Make a pick for Mr Hudson.


" obvious outbreak of aggressive fascism over US democracy, such as this democracy is today"

Leave it to poles to crap themselves every time the bear yawns and run right into the arms of an even more efficiently ruthless master.


It's a re-run of ' The Noble Lie '. "

The Office of Special Plans of 2002-3 was headed by Donald Feith, a Wolfowitz appointee whom Gen. Tommy Franks once famously called "the dumbest fucking guy on the planet." It included Abram Shulsky, Wolfowitz's college roommate at the University of Chicago and fellow student of the philosopher Leo Strauss, and implemented Strauss's principle that since the masses are intrinsically foolish and will not always approve heroic action when necessary, the "Wise" must employ "noble lies" to convince them. These are to be presented through "gentlemen" who are not too bright but malleable and enjoy credibility. Political science professor Shadia Drury, in her Leo Strauss and the American Right (1999), contends that Strauss believed that "perpetual deception of the citizens by those in power is critical because they need to be led, and they need strong rulers to tell them what's good for them."

[Apr 18, 2014] Pro-Russian groups to stay put in east Ukraine until referendum takes place

How about calling them the Anti US/EU Protesters, rather than pro Russian Separatists
The Guardian

Pro-Russian groups in eastern Ukraine have accused the authorities in Kiev of violating an agreement to defuse tensions across the country, adding that they have no intention of leaving buildings they have occupied.

... ... ...

At a press conference on Friday, however, Denis Pushilin, the self-styled leader of the Donetsk People's Republic, said his supporters would stay put until a referendum on the region's future status took place. The current pro-western government in Kiev was illegitimate, he said.

Referring to Ukraine's interim prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, and president, Olexsandr Turchynov, he added: "We understand that everyone has to leave buildings or nobody does. Yatsenyuk and Turchynov should vacate theirs first."

... ... ...

At the barricade Vladimir Pakhomovich, a former miner, said: "We are not Moscow or Kiev. They do not command us. We are just here to defend our people. Until we get a referendum, we do not intend to leave."

Pakhomovich said he was aware of the agreement made in Geneva but said he did not feel beholden to Russia's foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, or the president, Vladimir Putin. "We are prepared to ignore Lavrov. Why should we listen to him?" he said.


The pro-democracy protesters in Kiev are not occupying the Rada or requesting Ukraine be occupied by foreign forces - there is a slight difference between them and the gunmen in eastern Ukraine.

EbbTide64 Trevelyan

The pro-democracy protesters in Kiev are not occupying the Rada

Yes they are! Svoboda and Right Sector neo-Nazis are both involved in the new government.

Caroline Louise Trevelyan

The "pro-democracy" deomstrators" in Kiev didn't need to be "pro-democracy". Ukraine had a democratically elected president, which the "prodemocracy" deonstrators deposed and replaced with a junta.

The "pro-democracy" demonstrators in Kiev most certainly did occupy the Rada and continue to do so. They also also drove out most of the MPs from the east of the country, or intimidated them into voting for the new junta.

Are you actually claiming all the protesters in the east are "gunmen"?

Why not at least try to look evenhanded? All this bigoted reportage is having the opposite effect to the one intended. Most people are basically decent. They don't like to see unfairness and double standards.


Hey Luke, why don't you write an article about all the building and public areas of Kiev occupied by the Right Sector and other nut jobs?


The US media consistently lies for the government. Reuters continues to report, falsely, that Russia invaded and annexed Crimea. The Washington Post ran an obviously false story planted in the paper by the Obama regime that the massive protests in former Russian territories of Ukraine are "rent-a-mobs" instigated by the Russian government.

Not even Washington's stooges in Kiev believe that. Officials of the Washington-imposed government in Kiev acknowledged the need for some autonomy for the Russian-speaking regions and for a law permitting referendums, but this realistic response to widespread concerns among Ukrainians has apparently been squelched by Washington and its presstitute media.


18 April 2014 1:41pm

Maybe the protesters still occupying the buildings have legitimate reasons to still keep fighting:
Kiev: Military operation in Ukraine southeast to go on despite Geneva agreement

Or as KyivPost puts it:

SBU ramping up security operations in Kharkiv Oblast, plans to cordon off separatists in Donetsk; insurgents in Donetsk refuse to surrender occupied buildings

So dear Luke of the Guardian ,what guarantees do the protesters have to retreat from the occupied buildings if Kiev doesn't care about the agreement at all and is still going after them?

And why aren't you reporting on the Kiev government NOT upholding its part of the agreement for de-escalation? As stated in the actual agreement document:

All sides must refrain from any violence, intimidation or provocative actions

And the continuing security and anti-terrorist operations ARE intimidating and provocative actions!
Manolo Torres
The CIA chief in Kiev over the weekend (busted!) and suddenly the media starts to switch from the the already tendentious therm "pro-russians" to the more agressive and telling post-modern classic of "anti terrorist operation". I would love to to hear LordHealey and the rest of the insistent, fiery and confident NeoCon commentators regarding this video.

No need for "kremlinbot" propaganda, this former CIA agent most likely has a broader perspective than any of us, victims of the implacable Russian propaganda that you get in London´s Tube. It will take you 6 min. There are many more, serve yourselves.

Washington has miscalculated the wishes of Ukrainian people

Annie Machon is a former intel­li­gence officer for the UK's MI5, who resigned in 1996 to blow the whistle. She is now a writer, public speaker and a Director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.
RT Op-Edge

RT: What do you think of the CIA Director John Brennan's "surprise" visit to Kiev just days before this crackdown we're now seeing in eastern Ukraine?

Annie Machon: It's very interesting timing. The heads of the major Western intelligence agencies tend to have their diaries fairly well locked down for months in advance, so for him to suddenly have made this trip shows either they were very keen to solidify, to cement certain working relationships with their new allies, or they see that things are spinning out of control and they are trying to regain that control.

RT: If you were going to put money on it, what would it be?

AM: Probably trying to regain control. I mean there is no secret about the fact that State Department official Victoria Nuland boasted that since the fall of the Soviet Union, America has pumped in around $5 billion into Ukraine to try and pedal influence in that country. So I don't think there is any doubt that Washington has been meddling with the internal politics of the Ukraine and continues to do so. But this time they have miscalculated the wishes of the Ukrainian people.

RT: Now that Kiev's deployed the full force of its military on the activists in the East, what is Washington likely to do?

AM: I think it's going to bottle it, they won't make a loud noise and try to intimidate people. But I can't see they have the power or the will really to intervene at this point. As we saw as well with their misadventures across the Middle East and the North Africa of the last four years, they have had their nose blooded a little bit. And we saw them back down over Syria where they backed certain insurgency groups there, who then turned out to be the people they were condemning as potential terrorists, so they had to back down. I think in Ukraine they are going to have to do the same thing. They have miscalculated the level of support they would receive, they've miscalculated the wishes of the people. They try to claim that the Crimean referendum was illegitimate, with 95-97 percent of people saying "We want to be part of Russia." And they are trying to bring democracy to the wide world but condemn it when other peoples want their own democracy.

RT: Ukraine's government and its Western allies have been pointing the finger at Russia over the latest events in the East. Are these claims backed by any solid evidence? Russia is asking the West for proof but there isn't any.

AM: Neither side has perfectly clean hands in this. As I said, Victoria Nuland, the State Department official, has posted that the US have pumped $5 billion to try to stabilize or to try to pedal influence within Ukraine since the fall of the Soviet Union. Of course this is power politics, of course major powers will all do this. But the US has been caught with its pants down this time.

[Apr 18, 2014] Ukrainian oligarch offers bounty for capture of Russian 'saboteurs'

Apr 17, 2014 | The Guardian

Igor Kolomoisky, a Ukrainian politician and energy tycoon, offers $10,000 of own money for each agent caught and separate rewards for their weaponry


Tryin their hardest not to let peace break out it seems. The whole bounty scheme worked out great in Afghanistan where they sold every foreigner they could catch to the Americans, so this will be similar I'm sure. How can you prove your innocence in a case like this anyway?

Theodore McIntire Stewby

The Geneva Joint Statement (which I would assume included the parliament-appointed Ukrainian acting Foreign Minister Andrii Deshchytsia) included this:

"All sides must refrain from any violence, intimidation or provocative actions."

Since Igor Kolomoisky, is the Kiev appointed governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region, either he needs to rescind his statements to be in compliance with his national government or they need to rein him in. This could be litmus test #1 for the "peace in our time" Geneva Joint Statement.

Vaska Tumir

Saboteur?! Is that what Mr Luhn wants us to believe "moskali" means?!?!

Moskali, the word on that poster, is the Ukrainian term for Russians, the equivalent of calling a Jew a Kike.

Lolada Lolik Vaska Tumir

Tshhh u talking against new party line .

Theodore McIntire Vaska Tumir


With the internet it took me a few minutes to independently check and find confirmation what your saying has merit. Anybody else come up with a different understanding?

Caroline Louise

So currently the EU and US are supporting a regime that offers bounties for killing its own citizens.

Beyond tragic isn't it.


Ukraine doesn't deserve this fate, but at least it will serve as a warning to all the other countries in the Central and Eastern European region: If you choose internal squabbling and domestic strife over national unity, the West through its proxies will appoint international terrorists like Kolomoisky to rule over you and murder your people.

LeDingue DougalEvansCoe

Greetings Mr Dougal!
"Ten thousand of Mr Brennan's dollarys for your police station... make good sauna for relaxing of Pravy Sektor boy scouts on holiday."

It does appear to be degenerating into a "can the cia control the hooligans, mafiye clans and oligarchs?" cowboy rodeo. And "no" seems to be the answer. The Ukrainian military was complaining to the US that all its comms had been compromised and could they have some swanky (free) kit, please. It looks like Brennan dropped off the duffel bags of cash and left.

My concern is that Kerry, McCain and the civil war planners will simply regroup after the latest climbdown... economic and cyber warfare on Russia is gathering pace.

Hopefully in the hiatus Svoboda can be persuaded to actually govern... but that would mean prolonged direct negotiations with the eastern Russian speakers. I wonder if Victoria is still so pleased with her choice of Ukrainian government..


Also on Thursday evening, activists from the "people's republic" occupying the administration building went to the Donetsk airport to demand negotiations with airport and border control officials. They told the Guardian that they wanted to prevent any military flights from landing, as well as ensure that Russian citizens could arrive freely.

More tourists ? You would think that 9 million of local ethnic Russian population would be more than enough to show the discontent ?

wilddolphin JanZamoyski

There never was any discontent whatsoever in this region until Kiev was taken over by junta.

Metronome151 wilddolphin

You mean there was no discontent, or at least no physical manifestation of that, until Russian armed forces seized Crimea.

What we then saw on several occasions was a handful of men wearing the same combat gear without insignia and carrying the same arms that were on the ground in Crimea, going in first to seize buildings then handing over to armed locals.

Putin admitted today that Russian forces were on the ground in Crimea (ie outside of the bases) hence Russia was lying as were their mouthpieces claiming the contrary. The same lie is now being perpetuated with regards to Eastern Ukraine.

The bounty therefore would have been better made for any Russian armed forces special ops active in the region ie for the organ grinders rather than their monkeys.

1eyeonall JanZamoyski

Always room for one or two more, I hope Kiev doesn't get uppity otherwise the 3 legged chair their standing on will break, and the west could be looking up at the sky instead of trying to catch them. The gas bill is a little worrying is Russia going to keep supplying???? If you owed a gas company anywhere in the western world a few months of gas, you had better have a forest in your back garden and a sharp axe . At the start I was sympathetic to the plight of the Ukraine and still am to a point, then I started to read up on the makeup and different areas of the Ukraine, its not so easy to define. Looking at Ukraine's views -finger to Russia but we want free gas - Russia really would be better off by saying bugger off we're changing gas pipes route to Europe. Does the EU need another orphan to tend to, and prop up, HELL NO>


This is embarrassing: In spite of all the media talks about "Russian agents" in eastern Ukraine, so far not a single one has been found.


Great so the guardian endorses oligarch funded lynch mobs that operate outside the rule of law. I can't serioulsy believe that the writer of this article didn't see any issue with an oligarch offering cash for 'russians'.

Oleg Volkov

He's not just an oligarch, he's regional governor appointed by junta:

So it is coup government saying: we offer bounties for moskals. You can always rely on nazi to drive the point home just when Russia don't know what else words to say to West that is adamantly refusing too see nationalizm all over them.

Well, nazi thugs already broke agreement back in February within just a few hours of signing. It seem they shit on new one just as well. I only wonder about one thing: will West once again pretend nothing bad is happening?


As appalling as it sounds, it accurately reflects three key principles of the mentality of Kolomoisky and Nazi government in Kiev:
1. Killing people is OK
2. Everything can be sold and bought
3. My tribe is good, your tribe is bad

As all Nazis, these are throwbacks to the Stone Age. As all thieving oligarchs this "anti-corruption revolution" brought to power, Kolomoisky converts everything to $$$


For those who understand Ukrainian:

For the rest: this satirical video styled as TV advertizement brutally mocks Kolomoisky's offer. It has >125,000 views already.

The best thing about Slavs, Russians and Ukrainians alike, is the sense of humor. If a Russian or Ukrainian does not seem to have any, it is a clear sign that s/he is either severely retarded or mentally ill. This applies to Yats, Tourchinov, Timoshenko, and Co.


More satire for those who understand Russian or Ukrainian:

Kolomoisky's Privat-bank is already denying that the offer was made

[Apr 18, 2014] Nato's action plan in Ukraine is right out of Dr Strangelove

Apr 17, 2014 | The Guardian

What is certain is that Barack Obama's rapacious coup in Ukraine has ignited a civil war and Vladimir Putin is being lured into a trap.'

I watched Dr Strangelove the other day. I have seen it perhaps a dozen times; it makes sense of senseless news. When Major TJ "King" Kong goes "toe to toe with the Rooskies" and flies his rogue B52 nuclear bomber to a target in Russia, it's left to General "Buck" Turgidson to reassure the president. Strike first, says the general, and "you got no more than 10-20 million killed, tops". President Merkin Muffley: "I will not go down in history as the greatest mass murderer since Adolf Hitler." General Turgidson: "Perhaps it might be better, Mr President, if you were more concerned with the American people than with your image in the history books."

The genius of Stanley Kubrick's film is that it accurately represents the cold war's lunacy and dangers. Most of the characters are based on real people and real maniacs. There is no equivalent to Strangelove today because popular culture is directed almost entirely at our interior lives, as if identity is the moral zeitgeist and true satire is redundant, yet the dangers are the same. The nuclear clock has remained at five minutes to midnight; the same false flags are hoisted above the same targets by the same "invisible government", as Edward Bernays, the inventor of public relations, described modern propaganda.

In 1964, the year Dr Strangelove was made, "the missile gap" was the false flag. To build more and bigger nuclear weapons and pursue an undeclared policy of domination, President John F Kennedy approved the CIA's propaganda that the Soviet Union was well ahead of the US in the production of intercontinental ballistic missiles. This filled front pages as the "Russian threat". In fact, the Americans were so far ahead in production of the missiles, the Russians never approached them. The cold war was based largely on this lie.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the US has ringed Russia with military bases, nuclear warplanes and missiles as part of its Nato enlargement project. Reneging on the Reagan administration's promise to the Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990 that Nato would not expand "one inch to the east", Nato has all but taken over eastern Europe. In the former Soviet Caucasus, Nato's military build-up is the most extensive since the second world war.

In February, the US mounted one of its proxy "colour" coups against the elected government of Ukraine; the shock troops were fascists. For the first time since 1945, a pro-Nazi, openly antisemitic party controls key areas of state power in a European capital. No western European leader has condemned this revival of fascism on the border of Russia. Some 30 million Russians died in the invasion of their country by Hitler's Nazis, who were supported by the infamous Ukrainian Insurgent Army (the UPA) which was responsible for numerous Jewish and Polish massacres. The Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists, of which the UPA was the military wing, inspires today's Svoboda party.

Since Washington's putsch in Kiev – and Moscow's inevitable response in Russian Crimea to protect its Black Sea fleet – the provocation and isolation of Russia have been inverted in the news to the "Russian threat". This is fossilised propaganda. The US air force general who runs Nato forces in Europe – General Philip Breedlove, no less – claimed more than two weeks ago to have pictures showing 40,000 Russian troops "massing" on the border with Ukraine. So did Colin Powell claim to have pictures proving there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. What is certain is that Barack Obama's rapacious, reckless coup in Ukraine has ignited a civil war and Vladimir Putin is being lured into a trap.

Following a 13-year rampage that began in stricken Afghanistan well after Osama bin Laden had fled, then destroyed Iraq beneath a false flag, invented a "nuclear rogue" in Iran, dispatched Libya to a Hobbesian anarchy and backed jihadists in Syria, the US finally has a new cold war to supplement its worldwide campaign of murder and terror by drone.

A Nato membership action plan – straight from the war room of Dr Strangelove – is General Breedlove's gift to the new dictatorship in Ukraine. "Rapid Trident" will put US troops on Ukraine's Russian border and "Sea Breeze" will put US warships within sight of Russian ports. At the same time, Nato war games in eastern Europe are designed to intimidate Russia. Imagine the response if this madness was reversed and happened on the US's borders. Cue General Turgidson.

And there is China. On 23 April, Obama will begin a tour of Asia to promote his "pivot" to China. The aim is to convince his "allies" in the region, principally Japan, to rearm and prepare for the possibility of war with China. By 2020, almost two-thirds of all US naval forces in the world will be transferred to the Asia-Pacific area. This is the greatest military concentration in that vast region since the second world war.

In an arc extending from Australia to Japan, China will face US missiles and nuclear-armed bombers. A strategic naval base is being built on the Korean island of Jeju, less than 400 miles from Shanghai and the industrial heartland of the only country whose economic power is likely to surpass that of the US. Obama's "pivot" is designed to undermine China's influence in its region. It is as if a world war has begun by other means.

This is not a Dr Strangelove fantasy. Obama's defence secretary, Charles "Chuck" Hagel, was in Beijing last week to deliver a warning that China, like Russia, could face isolation and war if it did not bow to US demands. He compared the annexation of Crimea to China's complex territorial dispute with Japan over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea. "You cannot go around the world," said Hagel with a straight face, "and violate the sovereignty of nations by force, coercion or intimidation." As for America's massive movement of naval forces and nuclear weapons to Asia, that is "a sign of the humanitarian assistance the US military can provide".

Obama is seeking a bigger budget for nuclear weapons than the historical peak during the cold war, the era of Dr Strangelove. The US is pursuing its longstanding ambition to dominate the Eurasian landmass, stretching from China to Europe: a "manifest destiny" made right by might.


I too resent the attempt by the USA to dominate the world. Having intervened for centuries in the `New World`, it now seems intent on doing the same in Europe and Asia. For Russia, it must appear like classic encirclement.

Here in Britain, we suffer from cultural subordination. We must reject the notion that we are the 51st state of the USA.


This article seems to take Russian propaganda at face value.

Strummered -> intermundia

I normally like John Pilger, he's written some terrific stuff, but those where my thoughts too on this occasion.

aretheymyfeet -> Strummered

But unfortunately, everything he says is correct. The global agenda, with US as at the head of a global hegemony with Eurasia being the power pivot, the re-alignment of US military to Asia Pacific as well, read US military and political material, they are surprisingly explicit about it.


I somehow don't think Putin will allow himself to be lured into anything by the Americans, he's too shrewd a cookie. Also the idea that they need a new front to use their drones it certainly isn't Russia, they aren't a third world nation.

It's more likely that the shrewder members of NATO, that's everyone except America and their lapdogs in the UK will desert them, as many did over Iraq.

Obama will have an interesting visit to China as they have realised they are better off aligning themselves with Russia, as have India. That's probably over half the world's population in that alliance.

However things are reaching the point where a miscalculation could cause a war, but would the Americans want to lose the bulk of their population to win it and then see those who are left die in a nuclear winter.

clunky -> FredinSpain

I tend to agree that Putin is not likely to be "lured into a trap" as Pilger puts it -- as if he knew more about the world balance of forces than Russia does.

What Putin is trying to resist is encirclement, as his country has done for centuries. It's hard to see what US threats would divert him from that, so the US are always going to get angrily frustrated on that front, especially as they offer no negotiating goodies.

As for threatening China, the most indebted nation the world has ever seen can force the least indebted? Well, good luck with that. Is this the way the world will end? Very possibly, but the us will be utterly destroyed, taking much of the rest of the planet with it. Go, Obama, go, you have nothing to lose but... everything.


How dare Ukrainians wish to align themselves with the EU.

They should do as they are told and stay in their box.

Just like those uppity South Vietnamese.

Wittmont ABitRightWing

The Ukrainians in the East are clearly sceptical of the ultra nationalists and neonazis and obvious stooges for the US and EU in Kiev.

Who can blame them? Aren't you sceptical?


A good piece of clear journalism by Pilger once again. Pilger is one of the few journalists unafraid of telling it as it really is. Most of us who study global affairs recognise the reality Pilger is portraying. Only those who have yet to scratch the surface do not understand what the US is all about.


Excellent article.

One of the key motivations for the US is money. The Pentagons budget doesn't include "war" funding. That is an "extra" source of income (400 billion?) So when Afghanistan is freed from the US and the war stops, so does the profit margin.

The move to the Chinese-Japanese area is also based on the recent finding of Oil and Gas under some of the islands that are being contested.

Who can take the "place" of Dr. Strangelove ? (In a sort of Nobble prize for idiots competition). I would nominate "Murder McCain" or the "Fogh" of war Rasmussen (of NATO). Both would look superb sitting on a missile being dropped somewhere safely.


I couldn't agree more with John Pilger's comparisons to Dr. Strangelove. I was thinking exactly the same way and also had just watched the movie recently.

Even after all the screw ups and fall outs in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, the west just can't help itself from trying to position itself into a position of some advantage. It is always trying to get it's fingernails under the paint tp peel a bit more off.

When the nationalists seized power in Kiev they clearly didn't think about the consequences. In the same way the USA and Europe are not considering the consequences of how their sanctions on Russia will ultimately ruin Europe's chance of access to inexpensive energy. Russia will only make stronger ties with Iran and China. Europe might be able to get their energy replaced from the USA in ten years time, but even that will be "at a price".

I could go on and on about the stupidity of all this but I'd better stop here.


As usual John Pilger states the facts. In not wanting to appear weak, America has been over egging the pudding for years.

They don't care about Europeans or anyone except themselves. They don't even care much about poor Americans. This is rubbing noses in it. It's provocation in the dirtiest way. Using neo nazis is a new low.

American aggression and troop build ups and masses of weaponry do not go unnoticed. It's like they want a war.

We don't.

WyldeWolfe teaandchocolate

Using neo nazis is a new low.

Not really. They made great use of original Nazis.

Trilbey Salongvaenster

Ukraine's new government: What the West is trying to ignore - Truthloader


Excellent article!

Just one factual error: fascists have already been part of post war governments in Europe (e.g. Hungary, Austria, etc.)

The major difference is that this is the first European fascist dictatorship propped up by the west since the days of Franco and Salazar.

clunky PlayaGiron

Oh, come on, the government installed after the putsch is not a "fascist dictatorship". Some neo-nazis have a few positions in it, and are not popularly supported. That could change, but either way.

ElDanielfire clunky

It could change. The point is those neo-nazis gained those positions and one of the first acts of the government was the elimination of the official status of Russian language in the Ukraine (despite less than half the population having Ukrainian as their first language).

Given the riots, economic crisis and then political leadership crisis, do you really think a government doesn't have an agenda when in spite of all their problems, especially the economic crisis the Ukraine has, they decide to kill the official status of Russian speakers in the Ukraine? That is such out of whack priorities you can't help but think the neo-nazis who are massively over-represented in the Ukrainian government have a disturbing amount of influence.


After Iraq and the U.S. torture and murder program, for which no none has been held accountable, it is mind-boggling to witness the hypocrisy of the U.S and its vassal European "allies".

When those responsible for the Iraq war, which led to the deaths of more that 500,000 people, and those responsible for the torture/rendition program are behind bars, I might take those nauseating hypocrites seriously.

tonyp1 napiertt

Who was held responsible for the mass killing of civilians in Chechnya in the 1990s?

Tacty tonyp1

dude, there are no paralel universe where chechnya can be even remotly close to the genocides and war crimes made by the western countries through history...

Phil63 Tacty

Not counting the ones by Stalin and Mao, for example..


We are told that nato has "taken over" these european states. Really?

Isnt there just the possibility that they do not wish to be under the of Russia? Perhaps some recent memories? Perhaps (unlike many guardian journalists) they are not in awe of the authoritarian Putin?

And its not as if NATo, annexed these states is it?

edwardrice clivex

Nato does take over. People living in countries that are Nato members have absolutely no say in what Nato does. Nato could launch bombers on eastern Ukraine tomorrow from Poland and the first thing Poles would know of it would be hearing about the attack on the news.

Nato three years ago bombed Libya on behalf of jihadis rebels. UN Resolution 1973 was broken by Nato on the first day it bombed Libya. No citizen of any Nato country could have put a stop to Nato's war crimes.


The problem for the US regime is that it couldn't secure this dominance in 1955 when it was far and away the largest national economy on planet earth. How is it to secure it now when it isn't?

And especially since it has notified other hostile countries Russia,China of its intentions. The choices for the US elites are managed decline, spectacular collapse(when the dollar goes West etc) or extinction via a nuclear war. There is no fourth phoenix choice when the relative economic decline of the US halts and it rises again to bestrides the rest of the worlds economic powers.

The ambition of the US elites may be unchanged their capacities have diminished


Love this kind of polemic from Piliger, even when squeezed into a miniscule slot like this one. Shines a light from a point of wisdom that now seems further and further removed from our current lifestyle and its saturation in facebook generated news and twitter youtube info-mulch.

Disagree with him if you like, but I see the clear need for this kind of sanely and sagely stated perspective to keep some kind of balance against the way the media seems ever more submersed in a slowly sinking swirl of subservience to the blinkered self-interests of the geo-political establishment.


Russia is being lured into a trap, but NATO will not be able to control the consequences of springing it.

However difficult the waters, it is fortunate that Putin and Lavrov are much smarter than the clowns Obama and Kerry, who have now rendered the carefully cultivated media reputation of the US to ashes.

Phil429 FOARP

US funds and foments violent illegal overthrow of Ukrainian government and its replacement with a loose coalition of right-wing neo-Nazis and violent anti-semites; Russia increases troop presence to protect its own borders and its citizens next door. Crimea with its majority of Russian citizens sees the growing violent unrest right next door, decides to reunify with Russia with over 90% of population in favor; Russia accepts and accordingly shifts around some of its troops on the territory (which had already been stationed there for 15 years, mind).

Looks perfectly logical to me.


I agree with the well known domination plan of the USA and ther is no denying this is Brezinsky theory.

But even it its declining stage I don't believe that the US and its european poodles witl go in nuclear confrontation.
So far its is all mouth and no action, from Nato, but encouraging theirs fascist partners in Kiev to start the shooting.

I am really ashamed to be an European


Since Washington's putsch in Kiev – and Moscow's inevitable response in Russian Crimea to protect its Black Sea fleet – the provocation and isolation of Russia have been inverted in the news to the "Russian threat".

So true. There is hardly a mention in the media of the coup, it's like it never happened. Down the memory hole.

[Apr 17, 2014]

An interesting coverage of Donetsk events from "Vice News"

[Apr 17, 2014] Is Putin Being Lured Into a Trap by MIKE WHITNEY

Apr 17, 2014 | CounterPunch

"Russia … is now recognized as the center of the global 'mutiny' against global dictatorship of the US and EU. Its generally peaceful .. approach is in direct contrast to brutal and destabilizing methods used by the US and EU…. The world is waking up to reality that there actually is, suddenly, some strong and determined resistance to Western imperialism. After decades of darkness, hope is emerging." – Andre Vltchek, Ukraine: Lies and Realities, CounterPunch

Russia is not responsible for the crisis in Ukraine. The US State Department engineered the fascist-backed coup that toppled Ukraine's democratically-elected president Viktor Yanukovych and replaced him with the American puppet Arseniy Yatsenyuk, a former banker. Hacked phone calls reveal the critical role that Washington played in orchestrating the putsch and selecting the coup's leaders. Moscow was not involved in any of these activities. Vladimir Putin, whatever one may think of him, has not done anything to fuel the violence and chaos that has spread across the country.

Putin's main interest in Ukraine is commercial. 66 percent of the natural gas that Russia exports to the EU transits Ukraine. The money that Russia makes from gas sales helps to strengthen the Russian economy and raise standards of living. It also helps to make Russian oligarchs richer, the same as it does in the West. The people in Europe like the arrangement because they are able to heat their homes and businesses market-based prices. In other words, it is a good deal for both parties, buyer and seller. This is how the free market is supposed to work. The reason it doesn't work that way presently is because the United States threw a spanner in the gears when it deposed Yanukovych. Now no one knows when things will return to normal.

Check out this chart at Business Insider and you'll see why Ukraine matters to Russia.

The overriding goal of US policy in Ukraine is to stop the further economic integration of Asia and Europe. That's what the fracas is really all about. The United States wants to control the flow of energy from East to West, it wants to establish a de facto tollbooth between the continents, it wants to ensure that those deals are transacted in US dollars and recycled into US Treasuries, and it wants to situate itself between the two most prosperous markets of the next century. Anyone who has even the sketchiest knowledge of US foreign policy– particularly as it relates to Washington's "pivot to Asia"– knows this is so. The US is determined to play a dominant role in Eurasia in the years ahead. Wreaking havoc in Ukraine is a central part of that plan.

Retired German Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jochen Scholz summed up US policy in an open letter which appeared on the Neue Rheinilche Zeitung news-site last week. Scholz said the Washington's objective was "to deny Ukraine a role as a bridge between Eurasian Union and European Union….They want to bring Ukraine under the NATO control" and sabotage the prospects for "a common economic zone from Lisbon to Vladivostok."

Bingo. That's US policy in a nutshell. It has nothing to do with democracy, sovereignty, or human rights. It's about money and power. Who are the big players going to be in the world's biggest growth center, that's all that matters. Unfortunately for Obama and Co., the US has fallen behind Russia in acquiring the essential resources and pipeline infrastructure to succeed in such a competition. They've been beaten by Putin and Gazprom at every turn. While Putin has strengthened diplomatic and economic relations, expanded vital pipeline corridors and transit lines, and hurtled the many obstacles laid out for him by American-stooges in the EC; the US has dragged itself from one quagmire to the next laying entire countries to waste while achieving none of its economic objectives.

So now the US has jettisoned its business strategy altogether and moved on to Plan B, regime change. Washington couldn't beat Putin in a fair fight, so now they've taken off the gloves. Isn't that what's really going on? Isn't that why the US NGOs, and the Intel agencies, and the State Dept were deployed to launch their sloppily-engineered Nazi-coup that's left the country in chaos?

Once again, Putin played no part in any of this. All he did was honor the will of the people in Crimea who voted overwhelmingly (97%) to reunite with the Russian Federation. From a purely pragmatic point of view, what other choice did they have? After all, who in their right mind would want to align themselves with the most economically mismanaged confederation of all time (The EU) while facing the real possibility that their nation could be reduced to Iraq-type rubble and destitution in a matter of years? Who wouldn't opt-out of such an arrangement?

As we noted earlier, Putin's main objective is to make money. In contrast, the US wants to dominate the Eurasian landmass, break Russia up into smaller, non-threatening units, and control China's growth. That's the basic gameplan. Also, the US does not want any competitors, which we can see from this statement by Paul Wolfowitz which evolved into the US National Defense Strategy:

"Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power."

This is the prevailing doctrine that Washington lives by. No rivals. No competition. We're the boss. What we say, goes. The US is Numero Uno, le grande fromage. Who doesn't know this already? Here's more from Wolfowitz:

"The U.S. must show the leadership necessary to establish and protect a new order that holds the promise of convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests. In non-defense areas, we must account sufficiently for the interests of the advanced industrial nations to discourage them from challenging our leadership or seeking to overturn the established political and economic order. We must maintain the mechanism for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role."

In other words, "don't even think about getting more powerful or we'll swat you like a fly." That's the message, isn't it? The reason we draw attention to these quotes is not to pick on Wolfowitz, but to show how things haven't changed under Obama, in fact, they've gotten worse. The so called Bush Doctrine is more in effect today than ever which is why we need to be reminded of its central tenets. The US military is the de facto enforcer of neoliberal capitalism or what Wolfowitz calls "the established political and economic order". Right. The statement provides a blanket justification for the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and now Ukraine. The US can do whatever it deems necessary to protect the interests of its constituents, the multi-national corporations and big finance. The US owns the world and everyone else is just a visitor. So shut the hell up, and do what you're told. That's the message. Here's Wolfowitz one more time:

"We continue to recognize that collectively the conventional forces of the states formerly comprising the Soviet Union retain the most military potential in all of Eurasia; and we do not dismiss the risks to stability in Europe from a nationalist backlash in Russia or efforts to reincorporate into Russia the newly independent republics of Ukraine, Belarus, and possibly others."

Wolfowitz figured the moment would come when the US would have to square off with Moscow in order to pursue it's imperial strategy in Asia. Putin doesn't seem to grasp that yet. He still clings to the misguided notion that rational people will find rational solutions to end the crisis. But he's mistaken. Washington does not want a peaceful solution. Washington wants a confrontation. Washington wants to draw Moscow into a long-term conflict in Ukraine that will recreate Afghanistan in the 1990s. That's the goal, to lure Putin into a military quagmire that will discredit him in the eyes of the world, isolate Russia from its allies, put strains on new alliances, undermine the Russian economy, pit Russian troops against US-backed armed mercenaries and Special Ops, destroy Russian relations with business partners in the EU, and create a justification for NATO intervention followed by the deployment of nuclear weapons on Ukrainian territory. That's the gameplan. Why doesn't Putin see that?

The Russians Are Starting To Believe Their Own Propaganda by Mark Adomanis

This guy became a regular "propagandon". He used to live in Russia and now just milking this cow.

...a recent speech by first deputy prime minister Igor Shuvalov, a power and influential member of Putin's inner circle and a sort of "fixer" for high-profile events like the 2012 APEC summit and the Universiade in Kazan. Speaking at a conference in Berlin, Shuvalov said the following:

"The more frequently that Europeans call for severe sanctions the stronger the resulting mobilization in Russian society will be. It will make us more cohesive….If there is a concrete program of international sanctions we'll have to answer, but we won't succumb to provocative discussions, we'll act calmly and defend companies which are located within the territory of the Russian Federation…The appearance in our country of two new territories and two million two citizens demands serious investment, particularly in infrastructure, but it's impossible to do this simply by reallocating money from existing government programs.

On the one hand this is pretty anodyne stuff. Unlike another high ranking Russian government officials, Shuvalov didn't say that he wanted to take over the moon nor did he predict that Western sanctions against Russia would somehow cause the Baltics to lose their entire economic output. He also didn't mention "fascists" or "Banderovtsy," or blame the unrest in Kiev on American mercenaries. Compared to his peers, Shuvalov sounds like the very pinnacle of reason.

On the other hand, though, Shuvalov's statements are disconcerting because the Russian government's actual policies pretty closely match what he said. The Russians haven't backed down from their stance on Ukraine and they are (wrongly!) acting as if Western sanctions wouldn't have any impact. There seems to be almost no concern whatsoever from the Kremlin about the potential economic or political fallout from a strengthened sanctions regime, and the policies being pursued reflect this nonchalance. The Russians really are going to spend a massive amount of money subsidizing Crimea, and they really are going to splurge on transport infrastructure. No longer are the Russians saying one thing and doing another. They're walking the walk, too.

This is a problem because the policies that Shuvalov described don't make any sense. Russia is already in a rather delicate economic situation, and was flirting with recession even before its annexation of Crimea. The country is quite simply not in a position to be spending many billions of extra dollars subsidizing a chronically noncompetitive and poverty-stricken region. The numbers don't add up. The Federal budget was already under heavy strain, and the extra pressure could push it into a significant deficit (deficit spending, incidentally, that won't achieve any long-term rewards). And Russia's own infrastructure inadequacies are much more pressing than Crimea's: rather than a two or three billion-dollar bridge, there is an urgent need for elementary road safety improvements in virtually every region outside of Petersburg and Moscow.

Gabriel Syme 2 days ago


I'll defer to you on the ROI for the Kerch bridge (and other Crimea infrastructure spending); but in terms of counter-cyclical stimulus spending, it doesn't matter much how useful the investment is – the strongest need is to get money into the economy; and if you're right that Russia is facing an economic downturn due to Western sanctions, counter-cyclical spending would seem to be a good idea. If the long-term return to the Kremlin is political rather than economic for the Kerch bridge, that would seem to be the kind of investment that Putin is always happy to make. And I'd agree that it is a wise political investment given the apparent interests and strategy of the Kremlin. The fact it works as stimulus spending is icing on the cake, so to speak.

Denis Gorjunov

I am very surprised to see such a poor quality article from Mark (sorry, but it's true).
1. Crimea for Russia is not just some territory, but a place of large cultural and historical value. In addition it is only place in Russia where you can spend your vacation on the sea beach. Sochi? Soshi is too small and expensive. So the peninsula has a great economic potential in tourism.
2. There are high-speed rail beetwen Moscow – Peterburg and Moscow – Nizhniy Novgorod. I am talking about Sapsan.

Alexey Morozov

Mark, I'd like to ask why do you think that constructing the Nord Stream contradicts the idea of considering "the European Union is a valued partner in energy security". Isn't it a good thing for energy security to have an alternative and guaranteed way to supply west-European countries with gas? Have you heard as Dmitry Yarosh, the leader of the "Right Sector", told a while ago that he and his group is ready to break the gas pipeline routed through Ukraine [if Russia continues its actions in Crimea]? I understand that these words were probably said in the heat of the moment, but I doubt Mr.Yarosh can fully control his crew and prevent actions of semi-independent groups.

BTW after "The Gas Dispute of 2008-2009″ Russia's authorities asked Poland to modernize/build another branch of the pipeline in Belarus and Poland, but the government of Poland rejected the deal.

Vitali Zhuk

Hi! You said "Crimea is chronically noncompetitive and poverty-stricken region". So you have to know the ukrainian budget flow –

[Apr 17, 2014] Church of Scientology, Arseni Yatseniouk and Andrej Kiska

Arseni Yatsenyuk denied belonging to the Church of Scientology. However, there is evidence that the coup-installed Ukrainian Prime Minister, and member of the Trilateral Commission, resided in California where he met in 2009 the secretive leader of the cult, David Miscavige. "Yats" reportedly joined the organization during his association with the Aval Bank, in 2005, and became a senior member of the cult reaching a position known as "OT-6" (Operative Thetan Level 6).

[Apr 17, 2014] Wayne Madsen - The Charge of the Scientology Brigade

Strategic Culture Foundation

Yatsenyuk and his sister, a resident of California, strongly denied any connection to Scientology. However, Yatsenyuk's dealings with the cult go far beyond his admiration for movie actor Tom Cruise, a major benefactor for Scientology.

Some reports suggest that Yatsenyuk graduated from the Scientology "Dianetics" school in Kiev in 1998. Scientology maintains its main presence in Ukraine at 14 Ivana Mazepy Street in downtown Kiev next to St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Yatsenyuk allegedly joined the religion while he was working as a consultant for Aval Bank. The bank, Ukraine's fourth largest, was acquired by Raiffelsen Bank of Austria in 2005.

Raiffelsen Bank has been linked to financial shakedowns of Scientology members in Germany. Yatsenyuk is also said to have joined the Sea Organization of Scientology, an elite unit within the sect, at the same time he began working for Aval Bank.

Yatsenyuk's wife and children, as well as his sister, have resided in Santa Barbara, California. Yatsenyuk's sister has strongly denied that she is an Operating Thetan-4 (OT-4) member of Scientology. However, there are reports that Yatsenyuk met in 2009 with Scientology leader David Miscavige in California.

[Apr 17, 2014] Recalling historical anecdote about a French newspaper headlines

Apr. 17th, 2014 | general_gentle

Kiev Junta asked US help in "limited" bombing of Donbass under UN banner


"Kiev Junta asked US help in "limited" bombing of Donbass under UN banner" -- to this strange sounding phase can be reduced the latest initiatives of Provisional President of Ukraine.

Press office of the ruling Ukrainian party "Fatherland" quoted a conversation from acting President of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov ( he is the second in hand in the the party, led by Yulia Tymoshenko ) with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon :

"We do not mind and welcome if a joint anti-terrorist operation with your help will be held in eastern Ukraine. In this case experts and observers themselves can confirm legitimacy and the legitimacy of our actions."

Let's explain his acting President Turchinov a simple thing: UN peacekeeping operations are of two types : peacekeeping and peace enforcement

It's unclear what Turchinov has in mind: If peacekeepers delineate areas of influence "right sector " and rebellious Eastern Ukraine then this is the division of Ukraine. If Turchynov calls for NATO aviation to bomb Donbass into submission like Lybia this is an official recognition of the impotence of the current authorities .

Ban Ki-moon said that " Kiev can count on the United Nations as a partner ." In the language of diplomacy and eastern courtesy, this means that he has doubt about the sanity of his counterpart.

The funny thing is that with one hand trying to get UN peacekeepers on its own people , with the other hand Turchinov offers a nationwide referendum on whether to be unitary or federal country. And he proposed to do it simultaneously with the presidential election on May 25.

[Apr 16, 2014] The American elite has a famous principle: 'Carthage must be destroyed.'

RIA Novosti

"The American elite has a famous principle: 'Carthage must be destroyed.' It is a rule of American politics nowadays, concessions to the US is a fallacious pattern, which will lead to negative consequences," said Reshetnikov, who is a retired lieutenant general of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service.

According to the lieutenant general, in the case of the Ukrainian crisis, a compromise between Russia and the US is possible, "but not concessions."

"The US understands and respects the compelling and firm stand that our president has taken," he added.

Last month, the US and EU imposed targeted sanctions against some Russian officials in response to the country's reunification with Crimea, a former region of Ukraine, which held a referendum in which over 96 percent of voters supported integration into the Russian Federation, due to fears caused by the nationalistic rhetoric from the new leadership in Kiev.

... ... ...

On Tuesday, the US threatened Moscow with tougher sanctions ahead of high-stakes talks on the Ukraine crisis in Geneva. The Obama administration accuses Russia of destabilizing the situation in southeastern regions of Ukraine, where pro-federalization protests have been spreading since March.

On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke to Obama, urging him to do everything possible to prevent bloodshed in southeastern Ukraine, where a Kiev-authorized military operation led to violent clashes with pro-federalization activists.

Putin also told Obama that the US position on Russia's role in the Ukrainian crisis is a result of misinformation.

[Apr 16, 2014] Czech President: In Ukraine one set of bandits fights with other bandits

Czech President Milos Zeman believes that Ukraine needs a strong leader , and not " one of those gangsters who were still in power ." This is what the Czech president said on April 16 meeting with university students in Hradec Kralove, Radio Liberty reports . Zeman also believes that Ukraine's path to the European Union - a road length of about 15 years. As he noted:

"Ukraine needs to have a strong leader in any case is not one of those gangsters who were still in power , even if it would be a woman with an angelic smile and a good oblique "

According to the president of the Czech Republic, one can not help Ukraine, including the European Union, because this aid "settles in the pockets of the oligarchs and not get the citizens ." Zeman believes that the essence of the current Ukrainian revolution is that " some gangsters fighting against other gangsters ."

[Apr 16, 2014] Ukraine's Push East Falters as Militants Seize Army Vehicles By ANDREW E. KRAMER

New talking points from the State Department ?

A highly publicized Ukrainian Army operation to retake control of Slovyansk and other eastern cities from pro-Russia insurgents appeared to falter badly on Wednesday, with one column of armored vehicles abandoned to militant separatists and another ground to a halt by unarmed protesters blocking its path.

... ... ...

The degree of support in the east for secession from Ukraine is a matter of dispute. Surveys indicate that only a minority of residents are in favor, with more respondents preferring to remain part of Ukraine with greater autonomy, the position supported by the Russian government. Talks among Russia, Ukraine, the European Union and the United States to discuss the crisis are scheduled for Thursday in Geneva.

[Apr 16, 2014] Kiev's grip on eastern Ukraine weakens as pro-Russians seize army vehicles by Luke Harding

This is Luke Garding reporting in Slavyansk. Amazing metamorphose.
16 April 2014 | The Guardian

For Kiev's beleaguered army it was meant to be a display of strength. Early on Wednesday a column of six armoured personnel carriers trundled through the town of Kramatorsk, in eastern Ukraine. Some 24 hours earlier Ukrainian soldiers had recaptured a small disused aerodrome. Their next target appeared to be Slavyansk, the neighbouring town, occupied by a shadowy Russian militia. Was victory close?

The column didn't get far. At Kramatorsk's railway junction, next to an open-air market and a shop selling building materials, an angry crowd caught up with it. Next armed separatists dressed in military fatigues turned up too. Within minutes the Ukrainian soldiers gave up. Without a shot being fired they abandoned their vehicles. The pro-Russian gunmen grabbed them. They raised a Russian tricolour. They sat on top and went for a victory spin.

In theory this was happening in Ukraine, under the control of a pro-western government in Kiev, and several hundred kilometres from the Russian border. In reality large chunks of the east of the country are now in open revolt. Ukraine is rapidly vanishing as a sovereign state. Its army is falling apart. What happens next is unclear. But the Kremlin can either annexe the east, as it did Crimea, again shrugging off western outrage. Or it can pull the strings of a new post-Kiev puppet entity.

Prini Tor

"What was meant to be a show of strength by Ukraine's army has instead shown how the country is unravelling"

Indeed Ukrainian people has shown that they are too clever to be fooled by western plutocraps to start a civil war .... Ukrainians 12 points :)

Once again usa backing the corrupt buffoons.
Chenoa HARPhilby
Yep, and once again more anti-Russian propaganda by our dear Guardian.

Just to remind people of what really happened in Ukraine - this is a good website with sources: The Ukraine Crisis - What You're Not Being Told

Cue the people who will accuse me of being a 'Putin-bot' or 'Kremlin-bot'...

NATO can't deal with an outbreak of peace and are now desperately racing to militarise the area and further intensify the conflict, though peace seems to be perfectly fine with Russia. The truth is revealed.
vonZeppelin RobertNeville
Guardian contributor teaandchocolate
He added: "I'm against America. But I have to say they make good guns."

Dear God. Doesn't that just sum up western foreign policy for the last 70 years. Utter madness.

Anyway... it's a civil war now. Not a War Against Terror.

George Bush has a lot ot answer for.

Ultimately, it's the Ukrainian Armys refusal to fight their own people, and their Russian ethnic citizens which is removing Kievs grip on the East. Check the interview that one commander gave to Reuters, he admitted that his unit moved to the side of the pro-Russians because they wouldn't fight their own people. Kiev can't command their army, how do they expect to retake the East?
I really think we, The West, are getting this all wrong. We're certainly not making much of an effort to things from the other side. What would America's reaction be if Russia toppled a pro American govt in Mexico and replaced it with a pro-Russian govt? Well we know from history that America would not sit on its hands. Ukraine was a USSR republic and Putin is an old school Tsar. And from Russia's perspective, he's arguably the first great leader they've had in a very long time. What is really so shocking about all this? I'm beginning to think that all that's really surprising is our arrogance of thinking that we can help being democracy to the Ukraine.
The problem is that the newly founded National Guard, is also being sent to southern and east Ukraine, and will be made up of fanatic nationalist Ukrainians from Maidan, sections of the Svoboda and the Right Sektor, who will be prepared to shoot their own people.

We have also heard the private thoughts of Julia Timoshenko on this point too. I can well imagine that they will go about their "duty" and "orders" in a determined way, we have recently seen such brutality in Kiev when they dealt rough justice to a presidential candidate in Kiev- suspected of being pro-Russia, and these people won't think twice. The Ukrainian military have thought differently, as oine interviewed on BBC said they won't shoot at their own people. That must be the biggest fear right now.

Will the media bother to point out the difference between the Ukrainian military approach and the National Guard approach? Or will we see the latter included as "military"? I think the media are obliged now to make the effort and distinguish between the two. However, I'm note sure, they still have difficulty working out the critical role of the neo-Nazis and Right Sektor at Maidan especially on the night/morning of 21 February, many are still in denial about this.

"Some 24 hours earlier Ukrainian soldiers had recaptured a small disused aerodrome." Hey Guardian. Wasn't this a "military airfield" yesterday? Weird how the facts change to suit the story

and it shows what the people want. not what NATO tells us that the people want. It also shows that the Ukranian army know they are led by a rightwing nationalist and that he has absolutely NO RESPECT or authority except from NATO and other right wing groups, which in itself is a sad state of affairs in the first place

All credit to the Ukranian army who refuse to do McCain and Hague's dirty work.

oh dear this has really back fired hasnt it......It's like a comedy.....The ukrainian army drives into the east in tanks with guns all cocked and ready to go...when they get there they are greeted by women offering them somthing to eat and drink. They then throw down their arms and hand their tanks over and join the other side.....Looks like the east Ukrainians are going to be just ok without our help here.........oh to be a fly on the wall in the Ukrainian goverment halls now. Bet the air is dark blue (if the fists arnt flying)

'Complete fiasco' as pro-Russians seize Ukraine military convoy

And now ... drums ... famous disinformation expert (aka foreign correspondent) Sergey Loiko from LA Times

The UNIAN news agency said about 30 armed men captured the city council in Donetsk. Separatists had previously taken control of the regional administrative offices.

First Vice Premier Vitaly Yarema acknowledged that some Donetsk police had joined the separatists. "The situation in Donetsk is very complicated," Yarema was quoted by UNIAN as saying. "There are police officers who defend the position of Ukrainian independence and don't cooperate with separatists, but there are policemen which have put on St. George's ribbons [a Russian army symbol] and are now serving the separatists."

[Apr 15, 2014] Ukraine Sends Force to Stem Unrest in East - By ANDREW E. KRAMER

And now news directly from State Department ;-). As for commenters I wonder why they forgot about the US treatment of Cuba? Can't Russia treat junta the same ?

Russian television - which has consistently sought to play up grievances by pro-Russian activists who the West says are a tool of Russian intelligence - introduced its evening broadcast by announcing, "The illegal, criminal government in Kiev launches a war against its own people."

It repeatedly broadcast images of helicopters and a single warplane in the vicinity of the airport, where separatists had set up a roadblock outside the main entrance on Sunday. The Russian news media, citing members of the armed opposition to the government in Kiev, reported that several members of a pro-Russian militia had been wounded at the airfield in firefights with the Ukrainian military. Later, it also reported four fatalities in the vicinity of the airport.

The Russian Foreign Ministry released a statement on Tuesday saying it was "deeply concerned" by the reports of casualties, which could not be independently confirmed and were denied even by pro-Russian activists at the airport.

The checkpoint the Ukrainian military established on a highway north of Slovyansk provided a further sign that the operation this time represented more than just words. Speaking to reporters following the armored column, General Krutov delivered a sharp warning to any gunmen on the road ahead, saying, "They must be warned that if they do not lay down their arms, they will be destroyed."

While there were no credible reports of casualties or even any sustained firefights, General Krutov later told The Associated Press that his forces had repelled a force of 30 men in green uniforms without insignia, shorthand for the unmarked Russian regulars who infiltrated and overran Crimea.

The protesters at the airport said in interviews that they felt no allegiance or kinship to the government in Kiev and wanted to go their own way.

"After Maidan, the east of Ukraine felt outside the political process," said Vyachislav Filken, 47, a construction worker in the crowd, referring to the Kiev square where the uprising that led to a new government unfolded. "They wanted to put in their president and didn't ask us."

Mr. Filken said that he wanted Ukraine to grant eastern regions autonomy, but that local people now felt emboldened and might demand simply to join Russia, as he said residents of Crimea had.

Andy Lowrence, Toronto 26 minutes ago

Looks like the upside down show...Western Ukrainians can fight for their rights and take power while their Eastern counterparts cannot be part of it being labelled as terrorists and facing a military punch. Now the question for dummies, whose side the West is taking?

Stolypin, Melbourne, Australia 1 hour ago

What we have in Ukraine is a revolt by many of the people in the east against the forceful overthrow of their elected president and government by right wing elements in the west. It was in the east that Yanuchovich and the Party of the Regions won the huge majority which gave them victory in the 2010 and 2012 elections. Now, with the illegal overthrow of the president and government, Ukrainians in the east have been placed outside the political process and effectively disenfranchised. And for that matter, so have those in the west who did not support the coup. Is it any wonder that they express there political rights in other ways?

Claiming that these events are merely a product of Russian interference is, at worst, mischievous and untruthful and, at best, delusional. A truly federal system of government which guarantees inalienable rights to all Ukrainians, irrespective of their ethnicity, language or region, is all that can prevent ongoing civil conflict

Abzats, HI 1 hour ago

The self-appointed Ukraine government is picking up a fight it cannot win. We've this all before. But some people never learn. Yes, enjoy your last few days in the spotlight, the disaster you've brought on Ukraine and yourselves is now inevitable.

Paul, Long island 2 hours ago

It's heartening to see the Ukraine government acting to regain control of its eastern provinces. But, we in the West are by no means mere bystanders. We encouraged the ouster of the former Russian-oriented president and we now have "skin in the game" as we've lent money to prop the new government up and hosted the new President of Ukraine at The White House. While I've never been a "hawk," I believe if the Russians can send their special forces into Crimea and now eastern Ukraine with no identifying insignias, the U.S. and Europe should feel free to do the same. Now is the time to make Vladimir Putin know that there are clear limits to his grandiose ambitions to reconstitute the Soviet empire. The last thing we need are Republican cries of Neville Chamberlain-like "appeasement" hurled at President Obama before the November mid-term elections. The Putin playbook is not new; we seen it before less than a century ago; and inaction only led to an even larger calamity. Yes, we were tired then and reluctant to get involved as we are now, but all the more reason to learn from history rather than repeat it.

Yan, Las Vegas NV 3 hours ago

Why is everyone so afraid of the division of the Ukraine? Czechoslovakia has split into two parts (and both are now part of the EU), there will be a referendum in Britain next September regarding independence of Scotland - what is the big deal? It is clear that the people of the South-Eastern Ukraine do not agree with the people of the Western part of the country regarding the future, why not have a referendum and determine what is the best solution for everybody? It just does not make any sense that in the 21 century people will kill each other over the location of the border. Where is the democracy? It is clear that it is not just some mysterious "Russian soldiers" who rebel in the Eastern Ukraine. Doesn't anyone care what do PEOPLE want?

eric d meyer, ABQ NM 3 hours ago

After the Syria debacle, where Obama was upstaged by Putin and 10.000s of Syrians died, US credibility as defender of human rights is at an all time low. If the White House & NATO stand by while Vladimir Putin's shock troops take Ukraine, America will be shamed before the world. Our pro-American allies will never trust US again. The pro-Western Ukrainian government has repeatedly asked for military assistance. They cannot stand against the Russian Army without help. The US is obliged, by treaty obligation (ca 1994) to defend Ukraine's sovereignty & territorial integrity. But the real issue is defending our Post-Cold War allies against invasion by Russian forces, who want to crush Ukrainian resistance & make Ukraine a Great Russian fiefdom. Those who call the pro-Western Ukrainian government "fascists!" are spouting Russian propaganda. I invite you to read Yale professor Timothy Snyder's articles in the NY Review of Books, describing Vladimir Putin's credo of "National Bolshevism," which includes reuniting "ethnic Russians" in the Great Motherland and conquering Eastern Europe for "the Eurasian Axis." Crucial to these insane, megalomanaiacal goals is controlling Ukraine; and this is only the first step. This is Putin's 1939. The Obama doctrine, in this case, amounts to appeasement. The White House, NATO, and all Americans should stand behind the pro-Western Ukrainians in this crisis. And that means send US troops. Not to start a war. But to prevent it from getting worse...

Kihnu, 50266 4 hours ago

An "interim government" established by a howling mob throwing petrol bombs, waving iron bars, burning tires and killing police. This mob drove a democratically elected president out of power by threatening to kill him and his entire family. This howling mob of thugs then formed a so-called "parliament" which established this illegitimate "interim government".

How ironic that the US government supports the aggressive action of the Kiev regime to crush their own people, while condemning al Assad of Syria for doing exactly the same thing.

The leaders of this illegal Kiev regime will be hunted down by the Russians once the civil war is provoked by the regime. I suspect that the leaders of the Kiev regime already have their suitcases packed to hightail it to the US to save their necks when things get bad in Ukraine.

Ainhoa, New York City 4 hours ago

"Russia is now recognized as the center of the global 'mutiny' against global dictatorship of the US and EU. Its generally peaceful approach is in direct contrast to brutal and destabilizing methods used by the E.U. and the US. The world is waking up to reality that there actually is, suddenly, some strong and determined resistance to Western imperialism. After decades of darkness, hope is emerging." – Andre Vltchek

Berlin, working closely with the U.S. organised a putsch in Ukraine led by fascist forces that brought to power a pro-Western regime, which is driving Ukraine into a civil war and provoking a confrontation with Russia. Now, the German media is seeking to depict Russia as the aggressor, using the most brazen lies and distortions. While the Western media glorified the fascist putsch against the elected government of Yanukovych as a "democratic revolution," now, without batting an eye, it is demanding the bloody suppression of the protests in east Ukraine and a more aggressive course against Russia. Ukraine and NATO representatives on Tuesday discussed the possibility of sending NATO military instructors to Ukraine to train Ukrainian civil defence forces (snipers?). Ukraine's acting Defence Minister Andrei Deshchitsa said after a meeting of the NATO -Ukraine commission on Tuesday. NATO's did not rule out sending mobile groups of military instructors to Ukraine. The United Nations? In fact and in form, the UN is a propaganda nest for NATO information vulture.

Don Parker, Seattle 4 hours ago

It's been annoying to watch current developments in the Ukraine. How stupid to promote incorporation of the Ukraine into NATO! I've not heard the full history, but it sounds like a hare-brain Rumsfeld / Chaney / Neo-con scheme.

Geoffrey L Rogg, Kiryat HaSharon, Netanya, Israel 4 hours ago

Like in Syria this will have to run its course before common sense returns and any outside interference, including from the US, EU or NATO will only make things worse. This is an ages old struggle for which there is no quick solution and I can understand the feelings on both sides.

Alex, Russian Speaking Ukraine 4 hours ago

I live in Donetsk, I also have relatives in Crimea, Kiev, Moscow, and Minsk.
I am 100% against new self appointed government in Kiev. So called acting president was appointed by one sided parliament after opposition that represents east was chased out. Do you really think that if east was represented in the parliament that appointed a new (imposter) president would vote to outlaw a language that half of the country speaks in?

Funny, when storm troopers in Maidan were throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at police Obama warned that government of ukraine should not use the military, but when people of the east rise up all of a sudden it's ok to use tanks against them couse they speak russian.

But according to cnn and US Goverment all of us are Russian spies that were bused over here to stage mock demonstrations. We lived here since before United States was United States and we speak russian. And no Nazi is gonna tell us which language we will speak. And if these clowns do come here I sure hope that Russian army will come to out aid just like that did in Georgia to protect russian speaking population after another one of US instigated ordeals.

Howard Kaplan, Belmont Ma 5 hours ago

Lay the fault on the US - they engineered regime change in the Ukraine so as to better control the energy resources and also, more importantly, to better control the the world. Read wolfawitz , brezhinski, Kissinger for more details. The Ukraine pivot and the Asian pivot mean US hegemony. And everyone else feels threatened and the world becomes a more dangerous place

William LeGro, Los Angeles 5 hours ago

The Ukrainian government should take a clue from the events that brought them to power: a determined populace cannot be stopped. The government has as much chance of subduing the east and Yanukovych had of subduing the west. Does the government now intend to shed the blood of protestors? That method had a very bad ending in Kiev.

The Russian speakers in eastern Ukraine have a legitimate grievance that is not of their imagination: The new government's first act was to disestablish Russian as a national language. The far-right nationalists were in the forefront of overthrowing Yanukovych, and they have armed and violent militias to back up their ideology. At various times the extremists have tried to privilege the Ukrainian language, ban the teaching of Russian in schools, ban the hiring of Russian speakers by government.

In fact, the far-right's entire pathology is based on the exaltation of the Ukrainian language, and they have no compunction about forcing this on all Ukrainians. And if the Russian-speakers in the east don't like it, too bad. As if Russians and Ukrainians haven't been intermarrying for centuries, and most Ukrainian speakers also speak Russian and vice versa.

This misguided focus on a language--a language!--is forcing each side to harden its position. The right justifiably seizes on Russian interference as a cause celebre, while the east justifiably feels threatened. Russia will stand down when the government kicks the nationalists out of power.

William M. Shaw, Shreveport, LA 5 hours ago

Perhaps I am naive, but I don't see why the peaceful partition of Czechoslovakia in the 1990s can't be used as a template for Ukraine in the 2010s.

If anything, the differences in language, history and culture are more marked between east and west Ukraine than in the Czech and Slovakian regions. Of course, Bohemia had a democratic tradition. The coup that overthrew the democratically elected regime in Kiev will be hard to convince, but I am not quite sure why the US is throwing its weight behind the junta.

Eddie, Brooklyn 5 hours ago

You know there are plenty of people in eastern Ukraine who speak both languages and would prefer to remain as part of Ukraine, right? It's not so simple as "let's just partition the country." If those in eastern Ukraine wish to be part of Russia they are welcome to move there. But your use of the words "coup" and "overthrow" are telling. How about "corrupt prime minister" "fled" "rather than face charges of corruption and ordering his own citizens to be fired upon" and "sought refuge from his pal Putin."

Stas. Oregon 3 hours ago

@ Eddie I am not sure if you know it but there are more people in Ukraine that speak Russian than those who speak Ukrainian. In fact all people in Ukraine speak Russian. Besides, whilst people in Eastern Ukraine might want to join Russia this does not mean they want to move to Russia. On the other hand, most people in Western Ukraine do actually want to physically move to EU. Perhaps this would be the best solution.

Mr. Krutov, Russia 7 hours ago

When neo-Nazis threw grenades and Molotov's cocktails in Kiev - it was "fight for freedom" and America called normal the events. Now when a half of Ukraine are revolted with capture of the power by junta and when the junta directed army and nazis from the Maidan against the people - it is normal too. America will bring the world to an abyss with similar "democracy".


"Democracy" is the most dirty word all over the world. When i heard it i see blood, devastation, crying men and women everywhere. Irak, Siria, Egypt etc.

Richard Jackson, Skocjan, Slovenia 7 hours ago

Putin has conned his country into a disastrous debacle. His forces may win for the moment but they will eventually fail in the face of people who realize they have been duped and yhat he has led them back to medieval times, or further back to yhe dark ages.

ramon3761, Russia 6 hours ago

Turchinov and his nazy-junta will con his country into a disastrous debacle. Their forces may win for the moment but they will eventually fail in the face of people who realize they have been duped and that he has led them back to medieval times, or further back to the dark ages. The Ukraine is a banrupt. You should clearly comprehend it. Who will help them. Maybe you?

Judyw, cumberland, MD 7 hours ago

Local citizens are dying at the hands of their own government. What do you think this will do for elections.

Alread the Maidan mob has shown that it want to control who can run for office. Two presidential candidates, one staunchly pro-Russian and the other a member of former president Viktor Yanukovych's Party of Regions
were attacked in Kiev.

Oleh Tsaryov, a former Party of the Region's deputy, was attacked by armed men outside the ICTV television station, where the lawmaker had appeared on a live broadcast, Interfax reported, citing the candidate's assistant.

The Swedish Foreign Minister, Carl Bildt, tweeted the following:
"I am concerned that two presidential candidates have been harassed and abused in Ukraine today. The election must be protected."
1:15 PM - 15 Apr 2014

Ainhoa, New York City 8 hours ago

The NY Times writes: "… the head of the Ukrainian National Security Council, Andriy Parubiy, sent out a message on Twitter saying that veterans of the uprising in Kiev, many of whom were members of right-wing nationalist groups, were poised to join the fight. "Reserve unit of National Guard" formed from #Maidan Self-defense volunteers was sent to the front line this morning," he wrote." What the NY Times forgot to mention is that Mr. Parubiy is one of the co-founders of the neo-fascist Svodoba Party, and a former "security commandant" during the Maidan protests directing attacks by the paramilitary organization "Right Sector". Mr. Parubiy's Deputy Chief, Dmytro Yarosh, is the founder of the paramilitary organization "Right Sector".

Imagine the National Security Council controlled by people whom (it now appears) hired snipers to fire on the Maidan crowd, with the intention of blaming this on Yanukovich's security forces.

The German publication Spiegel Online (in English) recently made public ( that Svodoba maintains tight links to the NPD, and it has received indirect support from Berlin." Svodoba meanwhile, has established chapters in Frankfurt, Cologne and Munich. The party, for example, organized a rally to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the 14th Waffen SS Division. This is not business as usual. This is a leap into darkness.

JDPhillips, Saint Louis 8 hours ago

Notice that none of these stories mention that the US and NATO backed the coup that started this. This has nothing to do with values or democracy or freedom or Putin. This is two empires fighting each other over oil. Please people, don't fall for this again. Let the people of eastern Ukraine, who are Russian, side with Russia if they want. it's none of our business. Stop the Machiavellian foreign policy.

The old "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" strategy is morally wrong AND it doesn't work. When you do this, the sides change so often that you can't tell who is on what side. Think long term

1. Decide what side has the moral high ground.

2. Back them.

3.Stick to it.

Just do the right thing. It's kind of like telling the truth so you don't have to remember what you said.

Felman, NYC 8 hours ago

A tendency of US media, including NYT, to tell only one side of the story is very sad. Calling protesters in Kiev "freedom-fighters" and protesters in Eastern Ukraine "terrorist" is hypocritical. As far as the US and West media is concerned the russian-speaking people in Ukraine have no rights to protest. Only if you speak any other language, you have this right. Encouraging Ukrainian government to crack down on demonstrating russian-speaking population (which was clearly one of the reasons for CIA chief visit to Kiev) is the certain way to have a bloodshed and, potentially, civil war. US and EU are at least as guilty as Russia is in fueling the conflict.

gdnp, New Jersey 8 hours ago

There is a remarkably strong anti-western and pro-Russian bias to the comments and "likes" to this story. I would not be surprised to find that much of it was coming directly from Moscow.

Rob Polhemus, Stanford 8 hours ago

gdnp: If that the kind of argument you wish to make and I can't beat you, I'll join you. I wouldn't be surprised, in fact I'm sure, that those who favor the used of military force against Russian speaking citizens of the Ukraine have lots of stock invested in our military-industrial complex. Is that the kind of argument you really want have?

FYI there are millions and millions of the most patriotic Americans imaginable who condemn the whacko McCain warmongering and the CIA's interference in the Ukraine.

Please apologize to those who disagree with you and try to figure out why people even more patriotic than you do.

Matt, Oakland CA 6 hours ago

No, from USA. We oppose regimes that gun down their own people, whether in Syria, Chechnya, Egypt, China, Bahrain, or today, Donetsk.

Particularly alarming was the Kiev government's open bragging about sending neo-fascists to Donetsk. One can imagine the potential murder spree that could unleash

Bob, Portland 8 hours ago

Quite honestly, it's really hard to tell what exactly is happening in eastern Ukraine. I can't rely on either side to give the full story.

But apparently the Kiev government is using tanks and jets against the protesters. This is not the way to win the hearts and minds of ethnic Russians in Ukraine. Ukraine cannot maintain military control of the area without a lot of killing, and at the end they will the region.

"President Obama says the U.S. urges Ukraine's military not to get involved in a conflict that must be resolved politically. He's expressing outrage about images of Ukrainian security forces firing automatic guns on Ukrainian people.

"Obama says in a statement that Ukraine should respect the right of protest and that protesters must be peaceful. He's calling for dialogue to reduce tensions and address the people's grievances."

Szafran, Warsaw, Poland 7 hours ago

This was said again and again: Maidan people were NOT calling for the US (or whoever) to come and annex them, and they were waiving UKRAINIAN flag.

Now, current spontaneous protests who accidentally occupy, simultaneously, all militarily relevant communication nexi, are waiving FOREIGN flag. Here the jet attack planes are certainly an OPTION to be considered.

Bob. Portland 5 hours ago

Szafran, as Dept of State apparatchik Vicky Nuland has said, the US spent five billion dollars to overthrow the elected government of Ukraine. This was not done because of weeping in Foggy Bottom about the lack of democracy in Ukraine before the coup.

Conquering a country these days has more to do with controlling the resources and banking than occupying a piece of land. Ask an Iraqi what the US invasion was about. Imaginary weapons of mass destruction? Did we invade Afghanistan because Osama was living inside our ally Pakistan next door?

The wisest course of action would have been to negotiate a loose federation which would have guaranteed minority rights in eastern and southern Ukraine. Killing people will lose the region. Sending in neo-Nazis will only speed the process.

Russia has to do nothing except run the videos of fascists killing women and children. Enjoy the bloodbath. The blood is on your hands.

Doug Broome, Vancouver 8 hours ago

The Kiev coup government needs to get rid of its Svoboda ministers immediately.
The Soviets lost 20 million in the German-Soviet War, and the presence of anti-Russian neofascists waves a red flag directly in the face of the Russian bull.
The response will have the subtlety of a tank corps. If the Kiev forces shoot two or three more Russians, the division of Ukraine will become moot as the Russian Army secures Russian-majority Ukraine.

The U.S., having allowed the Israelis to make mockery of the Green Line, will have no moral authority to assist a corrupt coup government in Kiev.

In the incessant Berlin Crises of the 50s and 60s, Soviet and American tanks went muzzle-to-muzzle at the Brandenburg Gate.

The U.S. should stay completely out of Ukraine. Western Ukraine can join the EU but not NATO.

Good luck to the Germans in sorting out the corrupt economic basket case that is Ukraine. But first the neofascists must be kept out of government.

Lilly, Sacramento, CA 9 hours ago

For those who think that ALL Ukrainians want nothing to do with Russia and it's only Russian citizens (terrorists) instigating conflicts, here's something you should all think about. Every year, 12-15mn of Ukrainians come to work in Russia to support their families back in Ukraine. They don't go to the West because it's not as easy to find illegal jobs there. Also now that the Agreement of Cooperation with the EU is signed, Ukraine has to make drastic changes its social policies that will affect the most unprotected members of society. It needs to stop subsidizing utilities and in addition to the fact that Russia is no longer providing discounts on gas, the utility bills are going to double.

Also according to the EU requirements, the welfare benefits need to be cut significantly, like the pensions, childcare expenses, disability payments, unemployment benefits, ect Add all of this to the fact that the average Ukrainian salary is $200 a month ($2400 a year!) you get a clear picture what the people are facing. So who would you support in a situation like this? People who understand this simple truth realize that they might not have enough money to feed their kids leave alone fight Russia. That is the only reason they oppose the current government, and not because they all love Russia, putin and communism. No one loves Putin but when it's a choice between starvation with EU and somewhat stability with Russia, a lot of people choose the latter. Plain and simple.

Alex K, London, UK 9 hours ago

Let's just get something clear- Maidan protesters throwing molotov cocktails represent the voice of the people, but how come protesters in Eastern Ukraine don't? And the only difference is because the former were supported by US/EU, while the latter are pro-Russia? Seems like a very faulty logic, more like a propaganda to be honest.

The last President who, allegedly, authorized sniper killings have been ousted by the mob. Why is it ok for the the current government (who came to the power via a coup and unconstitutional impeachment process) to use tanks on people who are simply asking to have their voices heard?


These headlines about Ukrainian anti-terror operations are part of a psychological warfare being conducted by NATO agents in Kiev.

No such operations are taking place because the rulers in Kiev, who came to power via firebombs and burning tires, know that as soon as their troops start killing their own people, that will be the end of Ukraine. The resulting civil war will resemble that occurring in Syria today: Russians on the east, NATO on the west and the pitiful Ukrainians in the middle.

Judyw, cumberland, MD 9 hours ago

"Since Ukraine's law enforcers have turned out to be unable to ensure intelligence information collection in southeastern regions of Ukraine, now the staff of the US defense attaché in Ukraine is engaged in this activity using the diplomatic immunity status," the source said.

"Since Ukraine's regular army has demonstrated poor efficiency and is not reliable in respect of the new authorities, the Americans recommend the Ukrainian leaders, while staging a 'counter-terrorist operation', to use the army only to cordon off the outer boundaries of populated localities in Ukraine's southeastern regions," the source said, TASS reports.

Earlier, the White House press secretary, Jay Carney, confirmed that CIA Director John Brennan had made a brief visit to Kiev last weekend.

Meanwhile, Alexei Pushkov, the chairman of the international committee of the Russian State Duma lower parliament house, said Brennan's visit only "proved that Ukraine's current government is not independent and consults on everything with Washington."

"No wonder that part of the country does not recognize this government," he said, adding that such contacts were another proof that "the United States was behind the change of regimes in Ukraine, having established a regime that is more beneficial for itself."

[Apr 15, 2014] Ukraine on the brink as troops take on rebels

The Guardian


I trust the EU will condemn this brutal repressive crackdown on peaceful protesters.

HorstNRW Owakahnige

Nice sarc

RobHardy Owakahnige

"Fuck the EU" sums up the EU's genuine role in this affair. This is the USA at work.


Pro-Russian gunmen, pro-Russian groups, pro-Russian forces, pro-Russian mob, pro-Russian separatists. Foreign invader, terrorist, armed militants, armed paramilitary groups.

I don't recall anything similar being said/written during Maidan. Wonder what the difference is...


Anybody notice how local people in Eastern Ukraine who do not support the coup in Kiev have become '' a pro-Russian mob '' . Nice to see balanced reporting in one of Britain's more respected newspapers . Gives you a good idea of how it must be reported in the flag-waving ' russkie-hating ' US media !!

Watch the language as the New Cold War warriors and their media chums of the West help ratchet the tensions up .

geniusofmozart -> RememberGiap

A newspaper which just won a Pulitzer Prize, no less. It's a shame that we've not seen balanced reporting over here, apart from in the odd opinion piece.

I'd recommend Democracy Now for an extremely balanced picture, in fact - they're on every weekday, and often host guests who represent both sides of the argument.


In pursuing their stated objective of discrediting and isolating Russia, the US has only one tactic for this phase of the conflict, which is to promote widespread violent civil unrest. They need lots of deaths in Ukraine, in a short time, all of which can then be blamed on Putin in person.


It is the law of the jungle. Ordinary people will suffer on account of big power politics.


Civil war in Ukraine will leave such a scar on the nation, that it will take decades to forget and forgive. East and West, don't shoot at each other, no flag is worth any blood spilled for it.


The UN human rights office, meanwhile, said ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine had falsely claimed to be under assault to justify Russian intervention, warning that such propaganda could affect Ukraine's presidential election next month.

The degradation of the UN continues as Ban Ki moon sinks deeper into servility to the kaiser Uncle sam.


This 'Ukranian government' that the US keeps talking about is nothing of the sort - it's a self-appointed neo-fascist rabble which answers to its neo-con paymasters in the US.

Putin needs to send a message to NATO and send in the tanks, not least to protect its citizens across the border.

CJBill -> StevenJ19

Send in the tanks. Nice way to de-escalate things and avoid deaths and further conflict.


Asked what advice the CIA director, John Brennan, who visited Kiev on Saturday, and other US officials have given security forces in Kiev, Carney replied: "We urged the Ukrainian government to move forward, gradually, responsibly, and with all due caution, as it deals with this situation caused by armed militants.

We know how the CIA "deals" with such situations. Europe is ever further under the boot of the US, between mass surveillance, the "trade" treaty secretly negotiated, the sanctions against countries on the US naughty list like Iran and Russia, and (still) tens of thousands of US troops.

Now the EU is complicit in the overthrow of a democratic government just so Brussels and Washington can take over yet another country and impose their far-right economic policies. Europe seems to become the South America of the 21st century, it can't be long before a mustachioed general becomes president of Portugal or Greece.

aprescoup whyohwhy1

Finally someone understands what is happening. The US never wielded the power over Europe that it currently wields:

1) As long as the USSR was around, the US had to tread lightly in Europe, otherwise Communist Parties would have come to power, in either of France or Italy or Greece;

2) With the EU's introduction of Qualified Majority Vote, US can control the EU via a divide-and-conquer policy;

3) With Internet (GCHQ partnership) the US has the perfect tool for surveillance of all Europeans: the US knows the private secrets of all European politicians, and anyone's career can be brought to a stop à la Dominique Strauss-Kahn;

4) With a TTIP, the US will control EU yet further;

5) The US is waging an economic war against Swiss private banks.

But every individual, and every nation, eventually gets back what it sowed.

whyohwhy1 terre08

Indeed I should have added "again", it wouldn't be the first time those countries would be led by a US puppet leader after a coup. Who can forget things like:

The ambassador protested that it would be unacceptable to the Greek parliament and contrary to the Greek constitution. "Then listen to me, Mr. Ambassador," said the President of the United States, "fuck your Parliament and your Constitution.

And nobody thinks Putin is a great leader, but after Iraq it is hard to argue the US is any better. And most of all, the difference is that European leaders don't take their orders from Moscow; they shouldn't be "loyal" servants of Washington either.


"That said the Ukrainian government has a responsibility to provide law and order. These provocations in eastern Ukraine are creating a situation in which the government has to respond."

And the thugs in Kiev throwing Molotov cocktails did not create a situation in which Yanukovych had to respond? A blatant case of double standards. The protestors in Eastern Ukraine, made up of miners and people from various walks of life, want a referendum - they want to follow the democratic process. In Kiev, the "protestors" took over government buildings, set them on fire, killed policemen and overthrew a democratically elected government, and the United States and the rest of NATO are happy to support them, complete with the neo-Nazis and fascists in the Cabinet?

SeeLifeDifferently geniusofmozart

You have made a lot of untrue allegations and obviously you have a very biased and unhealthy pro-Russian mindset which clearly clouds your judgement.

geniusofmozart SeeLifeDifferently

Perhaps you could elaborate on them? I can assure you that I despise Putin, and hope to see his own sinister brand of fascism toppled, eventually, by left-wing elements in Russia. The only people I support are the Ukrainian people and the anti-war activists in Russia.

I'll save you the bother of having to disprove my 'allegations' by proving them instead. The core of the EuroMaidan movement was made up of fascists and neo-Nazis: see this article, for example. They were throwing Molotov cocktails at police, and some were indeed armed more heavily.

As this Guardian article notes, miners have joined the anti-Kiev protestors. All they're calling for is a referendum - that's obvious to even the most ardent supporter of the regime in Kiev. Before the propaganda became fully intact, even this BBC article noted that at least 10 pro-Yanukovych policemen were killed by the Maidan protestors: "[t]he dead include at least 14 protesters, 10 police officers and a journalist".

Yanukovych was democratically elected in a free and fair election, as OSCE observers noted.

There are a worrying amount of neo-Nazis and fascists in the Cabinet, including the deputy Prime Minister, Oleksandr Sych, who is a member of the neo-Nazi Svoboda Party, as well as the Ministers for Agriculture and Education, the head of the National Security Council, who is the co-founder of Svoboda, and the Acting Chief Prosecutor.

Orphadeus geniusofmozart

Not just molotive coctails:


The Donetsk occupation has a banner hanging on the balcony of the administration building that says "US + EU GO HOME!". Is the banner propaganda or does it describe a fact?

What is the junta in Kiev? It is a government of neo-Nazis and oligarchs. It is a puppet government of Obama, NATO, and the EU!

Who controls the National Defense and Security Council of Ukraine? It is headed by Andriy Parubiy co-founder of the neo-Nazi Svoboda party. Dmytro Yarosh of the neo-Nazi Right Sector party holds the number two position!

Kiev appointed billionaire capitalist oligarchs as governors in the east. Kiev appointed two of Ukraine's richest men. The appointed governor of the Donetsk Region is billionaire Sergey Taruta. The Dnepropetrovsk governor is billionaire Igor Kolomoysky, Ukraine's third-wealthiest man.

The White House confirmed CIA director John Brennan visited Ukraine over the weekend. The real terrorist masterminds are in Washington DC.

Stop the attacks! Solidarity with Slaviansk and Kramatorsk! Support to the Donetsk People's Republic!

JonDess jackcoal

I wouldn't mention Oligarchs too loudly - Putin is bank-rolled by the Russia oligarchs.

Fromibizatothebroads jackcoal

Big Brother Russia does not like it when the Little Brother Ukraine that he had been beating up all the time threatens to grow up so fast and strong that he is worried about losing his 'credibility'.

BoopyBop Fromibizatothebroads

Big Brother Russia is afraid that the Little Brother Ukraine started taking drugs and is now drifting under the influence of a nasty drug dealer.

[Apr 15, 2014] News of a Russian arms buildup next to Ukraine is part of the propaganda war by Mary Dejevsky

Apr 11, 2014 | The Guardian

Over the past six months, but especially since the collapse of Viktor Yanukovych's government in February and his circuitous flight from Kiev, there has been as much of a propaganda war as – potentially – a real war between Russia and the west. Two distinct, and for the most part mutually exclusive, versions of the truth have been put about, and have found receptive audiences on either side.

Russia saw Yanukovych's departure as the result of an illegal coup, orchestrated by dangerous rightwing nationalist elements. It discerned intervention by western, particularly US interests, in the formation of the interim government, and believed that these outside parties were driving events, the underlying purpose being to claim Ukraine for the west and do Russia down.

Western politicians and most of the media have taken a totally different view. Yanukovych was removed as the result of a genuine popular revolution. Russia annexed Crimea out of pique at what had happened, and in pursuit of Vladimir Putin's longstanding ambition to resurrect something like the Soviet Union. Next up would be eastern Ukraine, with its largely Russian-speaking and eastern-orientated population, and then – Moldova, perhaps even the Baltic states and Poland.

The latest Nato report has to be seen against this background. Its images purport to show Russian troops and hardware massing on the borders of eastern Ukraine. But there is one detail worth noting. Nato gives a date range for these pictures which makes them, essentially, historical. It is not at all clear that this situation pertains today.

Several more points could be made. The first is that several journalists have recently traversed the length of the eastern sector of the Russian-Ukrainian border, on the Russian side, and found nothing that would not correspond to the previously conducted exercises being wound down. They reported that the atmosphere seemed to be relatively relaxed; not the level of alert that might be expected of an army about to be aggressively deployed.

The second is that the US secretary of state, John Kerry, stated after his talks with Russia's foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, that Russia had withdrawn a battalion from the area near the border with Ukraine. In other words, the trend was for de-escalation – to use western diplomats' term of the moment – rather than the opposite.

None of this, of course, means that Russia could not, or perhaps would not, move into eastern Ukraine if serious disorder broke out there and urgent calls came from Russian "compatriots" for help. And it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that such calls might be deliberately manufactured by Moscow. There is also such a thing as contingency planning.

But also to be borne in mind are the interests of the two sides. Moscow is unlikely to boast of any scaling back of its military presence near eastern Ukraine, lest it appear either to be bowing to western pressure or to be leaving those same east Ukrainian "compatriots" in the lurch. Domestically, it needs to keep up an appearance of readiness.

Something similar applies to the west and especially to Nato. The western alliance needs to project an impression of strength, both to maintain its own credibility (having failed to prevent Russia's annexation of Crimea) and to convince the Baltics and others who feel vulnerable that they are protected. To project strength, Nato requires a convincing enemy. A retreating Russia does not do the job.

JacktheNat , 11 April 2014 12:32pm

To project strength, Nato requires a convincing enemy

Thoughtful stuff, Mary.

Nato has been looking for a role ever since the Wall fell, as it was supposedly set up to oppose the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact countries shortly after the Second World War.

In fact it's long past its sell-by date as a cover for US actions well away from the North Atlantic, with the UK poodling along behind.

harryphilby -> JacktheNat

Nato ... was supposedly set up to oppose the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact countries shortly after the Second World War.

Nato was set up before the Warsaw Pact Jack. As now Western military agressive intentions were always ahead of the Russians.


The "West" has no interest in the truth, only in manufacturing consent.

Trilbey -> dirkbruere

Western propaganda is so effective that most people don't even know it is happening. For one thing, the so called 'meritocracy' is propaganda to get people to feel that it is their fault that they haven't achieved much, and that if they could have tried harder they could have got more. Now there is some truth to this, and that is why this propaganda has been so effective. But the real purpose of this propaganda was to get people not criticise the neoliberal system and so accept their lot in life.

When true democracy was first starting out over a hundred years ago the ruling class got scared and so their academics dreamt up the idea of the 'Meritocracy' to deflect blame from themselves and pass it back onto ordinary people, and this way they could to preserve their opulent privileged lifestyle of gluttony and their rule over us.

George Carlin explains it well:

'They own everything, they got the judges in their back pockets, they own the politicians, they own you.'

RVictor -> szczyl

homophobia, racism, corruption - only an 'western propaganda' huh? real picture is that russia is a happy nation, with long history of support of freedom and democracy in neighbouring countries, with free press, high standards of social equality, and life expectation for a man of 58 happy years.

Yes - western propaganda. For example, life expectancy for a man is 65 years and increasing.

beside, i'm always suspicious when leader has 70-80% of support. we can say that us invaded many places, and one can hardly support that, yet still, you could protest against it in uk and us, couldn't you?

In Russia you can also protest - if you don't try to insult police you will be OK.

you could call bush Hitler and all that - try this in Russia!

You can also call Bush Hitler in Russia without any problem.

vazelas99 -> RVictor

You can also call Bush Hitler in Russia without any problem.

haha! This is awesome!!!


Anders Fogh Rasmussen believed in Iraq's WMDs and as Danish P.M. was part of George W. Bush's coalition of the willing. This proved no hindrance to his elevation to the nice berth he now has with NATO. Under his watch we had the NATO regime-change operation in Libya under cover of a UN Security Council authorised mission to protect civilians. I would be inclined to treat advice that originated from him with caution, notwithstanding the understandable anxiety of some of NATO's more recent recruits.


The French Invasion of Russia (French: Campagne de Russie) or the Patriotic War of 1812 (Russian: Отечественная война 1812 года) began on 24 June 1812 when Napoleon's Grande Armée crossed the Neman River in an attempt to engage and defeat the Russian army. The official political aim of the campaign was to liberate Poland from the threat of Russia

how little we are learned from's pathetic to read all those tirades about scared poland and baltics...

moncur -> Tacty

Trust me, Poland is scared. It was divided and occupied by Russia at least four (4) times in the past.

pagon001 -> moncur

yes, and even before Poland several times took Russia territory and once took the Russian throne


If the US can invade and occpy nations which are far away and weak in the name of "prtocting our national interests and that of our Allies" Russia has ever right to protect herself from the war mongering Yanks and their stooges! As long as they maintain NATO, Russians should keep their options open!

moncur -> Krishnamoorthi

Don't hold your breath. Putin has just given a new lease of life to NATO. If NATO did not already exist, we would have to invent it now.

edwardrice -> moncur

Putin has just given a new lease of life to NATO. If NATO did not already exist, we would have to invent it now.

Nato bombed the shit out of Libya three years ago providing air support for jihadis rebels.

Russia was kicked out of Libya by Nato.

Nato doesn't need Putin.

[Apr 15, 2014] A Look at the Crimea Crisis from the Perspective of the Kremlin


The view from the windows of the Kremlin is first and foremost a geo-political one. During Soviet times, the distance between the Russian capital and the Western military alliance was 1,800 kilometers (1,120 miles). Were Ukraine to become a member of NATO, as the US has long desired, this distance would be reduced to less than 500 kilometers. The Russian military is afraid that they would lose once and for all the strategic distance that allowed the country to survive the invasions of both Napoleon and Hitler.

This fear is partially the result of the traumatic, post-Cold War reordering of Eastern Europe. Eight years after the Soviet Union's collapse, Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary joined NATO. In 2004, they were followed by Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and the three Baltic states; in 2009, Albania and Croatia followed suit. When NATO intervened in the Kosovo War by bombing Belgrade in 1999, Russia was furious; Serbia had been a close ally of Moscow's for centuries. In 2008, US President George W. Bush's proposal to extend NATO membership to Georgia and Ukraine was seen by Russia as a humiliation.

Plenty of Options

Now, Putin is releasing his people from their collective feeling of shame. "If you compress a spring all the way to its limit, it will snap back hard," the Russian president said during his address in the Kremlin last Tuesday.

Putin has a decisive advantage in the struggle for Ukraine: He has the initiative. He acts and the West reacts. And Moscow has plenty of options.

[Apr 15, 2014] Ukraine hits back at 'terrorists'

After the armed stand-off, hundreds of local people surrounded the airport in response to rumours that government troops were planning to launch a military operation in the city of Kramatorsk. Some in the crowd attempted to enter the military facility, prompting Ukrainian troops to fire bursts of warning shots.

In an attempt to defuse the situation, Gen Krutov came out to speak to the protesters but was attacked. After a tussle in which his hat was knocked to the ground, he took refuge in the airport.

There were conflicting reports of casualties.

Yury Zhadobin, co-ordinator of a pro-Russian defence force, said two people were slightly injured and were taken to hospital. Russian media, without sourcing, claimed anywhere from four to 11 casualties at the airport. Ukraine's government said there were no casualties, adding that Ukrainian forces took an unspecified number of militiamen prisoner.

While Gen Krutov spoke of repelling an attack, the new government in Kiev said its forces had recaptured the airport from militiamen.

[Apr 15, 2014] ON TARGET Putin's moves in Crimea reveal West's hypocrisy

The Chronicle Herald

Let's review a few of the major military interventions that have taken place over the past 15 years:

On the flip side, we have Russia's (thus far) bloodless annexation of Crimea, complete with a favourable referendum result to illustrate local support.

Given those comparative results, it seems that Putin truly is living in a different world.

[Apr 15, 2014] Sixth Phone Conversation: Obama Warns Putin "Costs" Will Increase; Kremlin Tells Obama To "Prevent Bloodshed"


A few hours ago, Obama and Putin held their sixth phone conversation since the fate of Ukraine rekindled the second cold war. As usual, much was said, the generic talking points were uttered, and nothing was resolved nor will anything change

[Apr 15, 2014] All This And World War, Too by James H. Kunstler

04/14/2014 | Zero Hedge

Ukraine is quickly turning into a Vietnam moment for the US political scene. When will parties in the USA (including Obama camp "progressives") stop cheerleading for a showdown over this hapless doormat of a faraway nation whose destiny is not entwined with the people of Ohio, Nebraska, Rhode Island, or any of the other fifty states? We have enough to do in our own country to adjust to the new realities of the unraveling turbo-industrial global economy - and, by the way, we are not doing a damn thing to address any of it. Our domestic political conversation at all levels is juvenile and idiotic.


"Will parties in the USA (including Obama camp "progressives") stop cheerleading for a showdown over this hapless doormat of a faraway nation whose destiny is not entwined with the people of Ohio, Nebraska, Rhode Island, or any of the other fifty states?" - WORD!

[Apr 15, 2014] Pro-Russia police help foil Ukraine crackdown in east By Sergei L. Loiko and Carol J. Williams

Not much useful information in the article of "presstitute" Loiko. Of cause he is a pawn, but it looks like he is enjoying this status, not resent it and try to sneak information in despite editor pressure. Compare his pseudo-coverage with Ukrainian Vesti coverage and you will instantly see the difference.
April 14, 2014 |

Ukrainian police sympathetic to pro-Russia separatists occupying government buildings helped thwart a threatened crackdown Monday, undermining the government's credibility and encouraging the gunmen to grab more facilities.

Ukraine's Interior Ministry said in a statement that it planned to replace 12,000 officers in the besieged east, blaming disloyal police for the failure of what it termed an anti-terrorism operation.

... ... ...

In an address to parliament in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, Turchynov accused local police of widespread sabotage.

"The main problem is that the police, formed in the times of [former President Viktor] Yanukovich, proved incapable of offering resistance to separatism," Turchynov said. "We will renew the police ranks in the nearest time to form a force that will be able to withstand the onslaught of the Russian aggression and separatism."

... ... ...

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney also confirmed that CIA Director John Brennan had visited Kiev over the weekend. Russia has accused the U.S. of stirring up unrest in Ukraine and cited Brennan's presence there. Carney said Brennan's meeting was aimed at strengthening security cooperation with Ukraine.

[Apr 15, 2014] US sees 'obvious Russian hand' in Ukraine standoff as militias fortify cities

That what happen when neocons dominate State Department: mass hallucinations became a norm ;-). Also this cheeky bastard Baptist pastor (and former head of Propaganda Department of Young communist League of Dnepropetrovsk region) proved to be extremely jingoistic even among the members of his far right junta.
April 14, 2014 | The Guardian

Denis Pushilin, head of the self-declared "people's republic" occupying the administration building in one of the largest affected cities, Donetsk, called Turchynov a "war criminal" for announcing the anti-terrorist operation. "Now he's bringing enemy troops here, not to keep the peace but to attack," he said.

He said protesters would hold the building until their demands, including a referendum over the future of the region and control over local police, are met.

Bogdanich -> Mordantdude

The headline is almost comical: "US sees 'obvious Russian hand' in Ukraine standoff as militias fortify cities" well we ought to know since our CIA director just visited the country.

Probably to look after the mercenaries and black ops US military we have in the region some of whom got captured recently. It really is almost comical. If we do something we immediately scream that someone else is doing something similar (true or not) and people believe it.


Washingtons at it again LMAO

This isn't going to sit well with the US electorate let alone anyone else, PROVE IT, that's all the US admin has to do, after Iraq I think the electorates are rightly so very dubious of the complete and utter bunch of shits we are electing time and time again.

So put up or shut up, it really is that simply, don't repeat the huge mistakes made over Syria, Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq, the people wont wear it.

NOTaREALmerican -> ElvisInWales

Re: the people wont wear it.

I donno. Another Weapons of Mass Delusions story would work again.

As somebody famous once said: Never underestimate the power of the bullshit, young Skywalker.


Ukraine's acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, invited a deployment of United Nations peacekeeping troops to monitor the situation in what he said would be an imminent clampdown on armed protesters who have held some buildings for as long as a week.

The incompetence and ignorance of the so-called acting president, Turchynov, is just breathtaking. He doesn't know what is the meaning of UN peacekeeping.

Peacekeepers monitor and observe peace processes in post-conflict areas and assist ex-combatants in implementing the peace agreements they may have signed.

To have UN peacekeeping mission, you first have to have a peace settlement. But he is inviting UN peacekeeping troops to watch and help his attack on the eastern provinces. That is not their job. Just unbelievable.


It's obvious the smart-n-savvy people are creating bullshit for the dumb-n-clueless.

Now, if only there was a way to tell the dumbasses how to spot the sociopaths "things" could "change".

EgonRonay NOTaREALmerican

"Yes" I agree with "you"


News from Kyiv janitors - Putin's hand and Obama's ears were found after Maidan cleaning.

Igor Kravec Mordantdude

and what about Ashton's cookies?


Obama, Kerry, Hagel, Rice et al are so frantic, desperate and full of threats and bluster it is an embarrassment. Do these people have no shame?

Every body in the world knows that it was the US that instigated regime change in Ukraine. Except maybe those that only watch Fox news.

This is the same pattern that the US employs all over the world to any country that is not in the US spear and whose corrupt leaders are not on the IMF payroll.

Larry144 davidpear

Lybia, Iraq, and Syria come to mind, regarding demonization and lies, followed by a regime change.

Walrave davidpear

Yes, damd those Americans, we want more Gaddafi's and Yakovich's in the world. Let the prolls bleed for their leaders. Nevermind the fact that popular uprisings lead to their overthrow. Now well trained "locals" with millitary gear in well planned military style excersises of the type seen in Crimea and east Ukraine, that sir is a popular uprising, yes sirry.

davidpear Walrave

popular uprisings lead to their overthrow

"Those that seize power with violence will need to defend it with violence."

davidpear Larry144

Lybia, Iraq, and Syria

Yes, Americans need to learn what most of the rest of the world already knows: US military and foreign policy has absolutely nothing to do with democracy, human rights and freedom. If it did we would not have Saudi Arabia, Honduras, Egypt, Pakistan and dozens of other despotic governments as allies. Nor would the US demonize countries that are actually trying to help their people such as Venezuela, Bolivia and even Cuba.


... And the whole world sees obvious Russian US hand' in the Ukraine crisis ..

.. Also the Director of the CIA visits Ukraine for the Spring Break


This entire mess sits squarely on the shoulders of Washington, London and Brussels and it could yet become very ugly very quickly.

The collective West has led a gullible and naive illegal Ukraine puppet government up the garden path knowing full well that military intervention was not a possibility.

If Kiev launches attacks on the Eastern regions then civil war will ensue and Russia will back the winners.

If NATO puts boots on the ground Russia proper will move in and it will go nuclear within the week.

The sheer fucking irresponsibility of the Americans is breath taking…… even think a military confrontation will be kept within the Ukraine is the height of political crassness.
The consequences of shooting down Russian planes do not bear thinking about really.

For all the politicians out there playing at plastic Generals….listen up. The targets have already been selected and preprogrammed……..none of you will survive and you can say goodbye to the lives you previously had……and that includes the Continental USA too folks. Everything worth a shit will be gone.

There will be no ticker tape parades because there will be nothing left.

NOTaREALmerican Nuckelavee

Dude, you obvious don't think like the ELITE frat-boys n girls who run this great-n-glorious nation.

Moto: Dude, no guts, no glory, dude. Like totally!

Nuckelavee NOTaREALmerican

Not sure how to reply to that but USA=NATO=USA….its not complicated.

The USA most definitely picks the route and drives the bus.

The "pork barrel" politicians of the EC are merely agreeable passengers.


How times change, eh ?

What's hilarious about the Ukraine fiasco from the American view point is the amount of Republican/Conservative voters who were "A-okay" when Bush looked into Putin's soul and saw nothing of alarm and decided to look away during the Georgia conflict.

And yet now, without anything to run on domestically (apart from moaning and bitching about Obamacare lol) the same Conservative voters have suddenly become "concerned" about the Ukrainian people and want Obama to go to war, despite knowing deep down that Russia can not be fucked with at the moment lol.

As for the crises itself, as much as I love the Guardian (and well done with the Pulitzer Prize gong), your pro war drums are not working….and I noticed that you disabled comments for a couple of days as you sought a new strategy to try and "convince" the readers hahaha…

Interesting times indeed……;-)


Does ANYBODY actually ever believe a word the US administration says any longer ?

Oleg Volkov

I wonder... and CNN doesn't sees any Russians:

Protesters say that local complaints, not Moscow, are driving anti-government sentiments here in Donetsk. One man, who calls himself Andre, says that Ukraine's ongoing political crisis has hit his wages and that he can no longer afford to feed his family. He tells me that he has simply had enough.

Maybe CNN is "Putin's agents" too?

Igor Kravec Oleg Volkov

Oh, seems someone forgot to pay CNN... or paid not much))

Theodore Svedberg

I don't understand why the Guardian doesn't directly point out that the US has had a direct and very visible hand in promoting the Kiev Maidan demonstrations that led to overthrow of the legally elected Yanukovich government. This was not a secret. Just as it wasn't a secret when the US backed the Orange revolution previously. The US and Russia are not just trading accusations, these are provable facts. What does it say that the director of the CIA just happened to visiting Kiev this week-end?


WTF has this got to do with the USA? Not one in 100 million Americans could point to the Ukraine on a map! Fk me, not one in 200 million Americans could even find Des Moines!

Mebabby fixintodie

The actual number was closer to 20%, but I'd bet, not much worse than for the average Brit.


It's easy to forget the train of cause and effect that led to this situation and get caught up in the specifics of the moment. The precipitating cause for the crisis was the fact that aggressive European economic proposals would have forced Ukraine to effectively sever economic ties with Russia. Yanukovych chose the Russian option, which precipitated the EuroMaidan protests with obvious Western backing. Yanukovych was told by the West not to use the Army against the armed protesters. After that we all know what happened. It would be hypocritical and harmful to Ukraine if West now supported the intentions of the acting government of Ukraine to use the Army to disband the protesters in the East (especially since that may not even work given they have significant local support). The only lasting solution is to give the Eastern Ukrainians more autonomy. Although, the West obviously doesn't want that since the East is where the factories are and things are manufactured...


The Guardian is starting to become more professional in its reporting of news. For the past month or so it was reporting propaganda and opinion disguised as news.

In this story, the claims by the US and allies are accompanied by the opinion from the Russian side. The amount of space devoted to the Russian point of view is comparable to the number of words allocated to the US point of view.

There is no loaded language and false claims, like "occupation of Crimea" or "unpopular President Yanukovych" or "popular protests that ousted Yanukovich".

The article mentions that the US may have been involved in the coup.

Congratulations, you are getting better.


I really dont want this on Europe's doorsteps. I dont want the US to offer arms to anyone next to us. We all know what will happen then. And Ukraine have Nuclear reactors which need proper attention 24/7/365. They cant just be turned off. They need Russian support. We cant have a civil war in this country, one Chernobyl is enough.

Its clear that the US real goal here is war in Ukraine, with Russia if they can. Troops and guns have nowhere to go now Afghanistan and Iraq are over and oil industry want to frack. So this is a perfect opportunity to cut gas imports from Russia, sell US gas and get the US companies fracking Europe apart. I have been wondering why we were getting all pally with Iran now, but its quite clear. Iran are going to make a pipeline from Iran, through Turkey to the EU. And the US company Westinghouse will support the Ukraine Reactors, hopefully doing better this time around but I doubt it so one of them will melt down sooner or later.

It really is sad to watch all this unfold. We could be getting our shit together and making renewable power, creating jobs and opportunities but instead we focus on this crap, give billions to create fractions in countries which are none of our business, to make a quick buck on the expense of the future of our whole planet and all the people who live on it. Very sad.


I really dont want this on Europe's doorsteps. I dont want the US to offer arms to anyone next to us. We all know what will happen then. And Ukraine have Nuclear reactors which need proper attention 24/7/365. They cant just be turned off. They need Russian support. We cant have a civil war in this country, one Chernobyl is enough.

Its clear that the US real goal here is war in Ukraine, with Russia if they can. Troops and guns have nowhere to go now Afghanistan and Iraq are over and oil industry want to frack. So this is a perfect opportunity to cut gas imports from Russia, sell US gas and get the US companies fracking Europe apart. I have been wondering why we were getting all pally with Iran now, but its quite clear. Iran are going to make a pipeline from Iran, through Turkey to the EU. And the US company Westinghouse will support the Ukraine Reactors, hopefully doing better this time around but I doubt it so one of them will melt down sooner or later.

It really is sad to watch all this unfold. We could be getting our shit together and making renewable power, creating jobs and opportunities but instead we focus on this crap, give billions to create fractions in countries which are none of our business, to make a quick buck on the expense of the future of our whole planet and all the people who live on it. Very sad.


More CIA non-involvement in Ukraine confirmed:

Langley spokesman Spring Nippleclamp III insisted his boss was only in Kiev for the penis-slitting, a perfectly harmless, and by now well-established, hobby among members of the American spy fraternity.

I find this explanation perfectly convincing, but other, more cynical, souls may not.


Ex chief of Ukrainian SBU (KGB) during his interview said that current head of SBU is CIA agent.

Anotherevertonian TruthIsPrivelege

Ex chief of Ukrainian SBU (KGB) during his interview said that current head of SBU is CIA agent.

Heck, that sounds just like Britain, where the heads of the Orangemen (MI5) and the Charlatans (MI6) faithfully serve Langley.

What have things come to in Kiev?

[Apr 14, 2014] Blowback Protesters In Kiev Demand Resignation Of Ukraine President

Zero Hedge

While the CIA-staged government coups in Libya and Egypt at least managed to last nearly a year before the inevitable "Thermidorian reaction" resulted in a blowback response that saw the overthrow of the interim US-handpicked rulers, Ukraine may not last nearly that long. According to reports by both Russian Interfax and Ukraine's Unian press services, for the first time since the coup that overthrew Ukraine's president Yanukovich in late February, hours ago a group of protesters assembled in front of the parliament building and on Independence Square in central Kiev, with demands for the resignation of both the interior minister Avakov as well as the acting president Turchinov.



Russia can't destroy Western civilisation because that is who they need to sell their oil and gas to. Have you ever met a Russian or dealt with Russian business people? They never bite the hand that feeds them. Never.


Correct. And that is the real reason the Neocons are both pissed and scared: There is a natural economic alliance and realignment happening between the EU, Russia and Asia --> Eurasia.

It scares the shit out of them, because w/o the EU, the USD is "toast"! As are there wet dreams of a NWO. And the penis suckers (literal or proverbial) will have to actually "work for a living", after the USD is demoted from its GRC status to a RRC (Regional Reserve Currency).

The only way they know how to stop this train from pickingup speed, is to derail it. Hence... the manufactured Ukraine crisis. We can only hope that the EU, Russia and Ukraine itself can see through this devious ruse, and tell the 'Bama Neocon regime to "Take a long walk off a short Odessa pier". IOW: FOAD!


As a person formerly living in that part of the world (Polish border with Ukraine), the mentality is stuck 50/60 years ago. People are often reminded (for political purposes of course) of Stalin as well as the inaccessibility to some goods during the 70s and 80s. Politicians make a boogy man out of Russia, with a lot of the pressure coming from the US to do this. US media and $$$ is funneled in constantly to put fear of Russia into the population, and I don't mean 20years ago..I mean today. I would bet it is far more than the $5 billion Nuland talked about. Far far farrr more.

Meanwhile no-one really considers modern Russia or the fact that NATO has bombed about a million people the last 2 decades. Talking of those kinds of facts might get you into deep trouble these days.

Basically, my people are a bunch of naive idiots letting the EU and the US bend them over. *drinks*

Mine Is Bigger

It is interesting the demonstrators are not demand the removal of the prime minister. Could these demonstrators be Tymoshenko supporters? She is advocating the use of force against "Russian separatists" according to an earlier post. She should have remained in jail. If she regains power, the situation will likely get far worse.

Son of Captain Nemo

If you want to see American and Western European duplicitous lying sacks of shit in action then look no further. This one is certainly a keeper.

What it truly means to be American and to hate yourself for doing nothing to stop it!


Hope this "Blowback" is the real thing and that the people of Ukraine know they are being used by the West who have no intention of supporting them only raping and looting them.

[Apr 14, 2014] Is compromize without war and separation of Donbass from Ukraine still possible ?

What western sources will never tell you... Edited Google translation...
Apr 13, 2014 |

Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said that it has concrete evidence of the involvement of Russia's armed protest in the Donbass , and many officials said that we have to deal with the aggression of Russia. Coordinator of the group "Information resistance" Dmitry Tymchuk said that the militants groups also included some criminal authorities and a local tycoon private guards.

However, our correspondent was able to speak directly with the armed men. No Russians were found (except one , which is already more than 10 years living in Slaviyansk and considered almost local ) . Their leaders are former military officers, paratroopers, special forces veterans , members of Cossack organizations and former Afghans forces solgures. Among rank-and-file fighters, many did not even serve in the army and held in their hands weapons for the first time. They organized themselves, they, in their words, in the last month , participating in protests against the "Kiev junta ."

"We are for Donetsk republic within Ukraine. We are not separatists . And we took up arms to defend the invasion into Donbass of militnats from the "Right sector" , - said the leader of the local self-defense, "Afghan" Vyacheslav Ponomarev ( in everyday life - the director of the soap company ) , which on Sunday proclaimed mayor Sloviansk .

... ... ...

At this time in the Slovyansk the local population self-mobilized on the defense of the city from "junta". Hearing about the threat of assault, more than a thousand people from all over the city came to City Hall and the city police department to support armed men . "We were organized through social networks - says local resident Olga. - Agreed that some bring old tired to the barricades, and some - food. We have different attitudes to Russia, some want to be like the Crimea, but most just want right for Donbass autonomy expanded. But none of us want to be rules by current junta.

And the guys were not afraid to speak against the junta with arms . They fight for us and we need to support them . " By lunchtime around 1500 gathered in the city center. Including a large number of journalists. Naturally, in such circumstances, no attack on occupied building was possbile.

... ... ...

At the evening two messages came.

At the same time , according to "The League ", the absence of a decree on the emergency or counterterrorist situation from the National Security Council was the formal reason for security forces to refuse to carry out orders of the anti-terrorist operation in Slavyansk. That is why the armed carriers did not roll into town - military said that they have no right ot enter the town without declation of emergency situation or regime of anti-terrorist operation.

There is also big question which units will decide to fight for junta after the order from Turchinov.

The siloviki ( MIA and SBU) in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions are openly sympathetic to the protesters, and it is now difficult to say whether Kiev can control the situation in the region at all

On the his web sites former People's Deputy Taras Chornovil said that power that be already " passed the Donbass Russia as well as the Crimea", and all that is happening now - it is an imitation of resistance. A variety of analysts have begun to speculate about how beneficial it would be separate from Ukraine Donbass ( similar conversations as a month ago about the Crimea) .

This leaves the question - who actually controls the situation in the region? The self-proclaimed "government of the People's Republic of Donetsk " consisting of little-known people in the region can hardly apply for it .

Party of Regions and the man behind it Rinat Akhmetov yet keep silent . Although it is possible that in the coming days they will try to bring the situation under control : the local regional council majority belong to the Party of Regions, so they can elect a new head and give him authority over the region ( in the same way as did Western Ukrainian Regional Council in late December ) .

But the fact is that the armed men are not willing to listen to the Party of Regiones. Attitude they have to regionals is far from respectful . On the other hand, there is evidence that many protests in the Donetsk region conducted with the knowledge and direct participation of deputies from the Party of Regions .

"RIGHT SECTOR " boasted about the capture of general of MVD

Radicals tired of waiting for the new government finally dare to repel pro-Russian activists in the east. "Right sector" decided to correct situation and mobilize their own supporters. However, Ukrainian law enforcers categorically against such assistance. In fact, between them has already started the war .

"We would have long driven them ( pro-Russian. - Auth.) , But some of our men in the Poltava region were roughly stopped when they went to Kharkiv, - says " lead " one of the speakers of . "Right sector" Igor Mosiychuk . - About 70 of our people who tleverlled in buses, mostly "Maidan-fighters" ready to defend the country against the separatists were stopped by policemen in Poltava who confiscated all weapons and severely beaten guys. To rescue them, we captured the Chief Directorate of the MVD of Poltava region and just exchanged it for our people. "

The police did not confirm tha fact of capture and then release of Maj. Gen. Edward Fedosov , which the MS previously accused of having links with titushkami.

They have a different version : " In buses , traveling in Kharkiv, police have found guns , Molotov cocktails , firecrackers and metal rods, - says the head of the press service of GU MVD in Poltava region Yuri Sula . They opened a criminal investigation (Article 263, to five years in prison. - Ed.) , Suspects were fingerprinted and released to their homes. Most were from Kiev and the Kiev region . "

Meanwhile Dmitry Jaros already asked the police not to interfere with his militants.

Avakov very sharply reacted to attempts to "right sector" to participate in the sweep of the East.

" Who are those idiots that send people in Kharkiv, who spointed our gigantic efforts to live in peace - without fights and win the heart of the people ?

Minister did not mince words in PB.

Who are the puppeteers who did this at a time when we need to concentrate on the Donbass -- Who are you , rascals and provocateurs ? Wanted to re- ignite Kharkiv with your Molotov cocktails, scare neutral part of population into support of separatism by " militant right-wing " scare ? Wanted the the next evening not only Donetsk and Lugansk blazed with burning tires, but Kharkov too? Whom you are working for? Who exploits you and your emotions, friends ? "

However, Avakov, apparently also realized that there is not much hope on loyalty of the local police and the Security Service in the east of the country. He finally decided to create a special unit , but under his own control.

" I have decided to create a corps special forces based on civic groups throughout countries . First order establishing special forces "East" in the Luhansk region has already been signed by me "- written by the minister . And in the Dnipropetrovsk Regional State Administration stated that they are forming the unit "Dnepr" .

Among the pro-Russian activists in the Donbass these formations has been dubbed the "death squads."

[Apr 14, 2014] Kiev must stop war on Ukrainians – Russia's envoy to UN

RT News

In his final address to the council, Churkin expressed hope that his calls will eventually find some response, and the bloodshed in Ukraine will be prevented while there is still time.

"Maybe, he Vice President Biden will pick up the phone and call Mr. Turchinov, as he numerously called Mr. Yanukovich before Feb 21?" Churkin asked. "Just call to tell Mr. Turchinov the same thing he told Mr. Yanukovich. He told him, as press service of vice president reported: 'For god's sake don't use force, get rid of your security forces from central Kiev."

Video: /files/news/25/2f/80/00/churkin-unsc-3-web_1517447_480p.mp4

"And now what, the US will endorse the realization of this criminal order to use armed forces?" Churkin said, urging Samantha Power to tell Biden to "immediately" call Kiev instead of waiting for a planned visit, as "in a couple of hours the situation can take an irreversible turn."

The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting requested by Russia to discuss the Kiev's decision to use military forces to crush protests in Eastern Ukraine.

The United Nations Security Council emergency session was requested by Russia to discuss Ukraine's declaration of a so-called "anti-terrorist operation" against pro-federation protesters in Eastern Ukraine.

The session was initially planned to be closed, but several Security Council members were pushing for an open format.

The urgent meeting comes after the coup-imposed Kiev government authorized the use of the military in Ukraine's south-eastern regions to supress the popular uprising.

Events on the ground have taken a very dangerous turn, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Sunday, slamming the order of a full-scale military operation as "criminal."

"The Kiev authorities, who self-proclaimed themselves as a result of a coup, have embarked on the violent military suppression of the protests," the ministry said adding that the rallies, which have gripped the Donbas region were prompted by Kiev's disregard of the legitimate interests the people.

[Apr 14, 2014] Ukraine's deadline passes for pro-Russian rebels to surrender

Guardian try to hide facts, but comments show a real picture more clearly. The term "pro-Russian" is not an accurate term and just a smoke screen. Those presstitutes just can't say "anti-junta". either. As one commenter noted: "Their maybe many ethnic Russians in the protest but most of them say they do not want succession nor join Russia. What the Guardians own reporting shows is that they want a federation with de-central government. They were never given a choice in the new government."
The Guardian


More sanctions, threats, and more "tensions mounting" (how high can the mount), but they do love that phrase.

Turchinov can't do anything, you can't use force against your own people.

If there are really Russian troops in there, there is no chance taking those buildings back either.

crystaltips2 Antagonist8adGuy

Oh I don't know, Putin's done a pretty good job of it in Chechnya. All those people wanted was to choose their own destiny as well. Unfortunately for them, as in Ukraine, it wasn't the destiny Putin had in mind...

Antagonist8adGuy crystaltips2

Wow, you didn't mention Georgia. Its so awesome when people talk about things they have absolutely no idea about. Ignorance is bliss.


Will various Americans visit these protesters barricades and had out coffee and donuts?

This is a civil war. The 'Government' about to order in thugs o attack protesters is an illegal one that seized power by doing exactly what these other protesters are doing.

I still think Putin will sit back and let the blood flow for a few days. No better way to have the entire Eastern Ukraine then vote to join Russia after Russia Armed Forces on mass squash the terrorists from Kiev flat


Top marks for an ambiguous headline. Sorry to be flippant but who gave them the passes in the first place?

EdSaint bytzer

It's just what passes as journalism these days...

davidpear bytzer

who gave them the passes in the first place?

.......and "pro-Russian" doesn't seem accurate either. Their maybe many ethnic Russians in the protest but most of them say they do not want succession nor join Russia. What the Guardians own reporting shows is that they want a federation with de-central government. They were never given a choice in the new government.

toneg davidpear

Would that be because the election hasn't actually happened yet. How about letting Ukraine elect a new government, then start demanding more autonomy. Doesn't that sound more logical?

davidpear toneg

How about letting Ukraine elect a new government

The election is not a choice. It is between two oligarchs.


It is not hard to see why Eastern and Southern Ukraine are protesting against the illegitimate regime in Kiev.

First they overthow the democratically elected government who was elected overwhelmingly by these regions. Then they remove Russian as an official language, try to ban the Communist Party, remove elected regional officials in the East and replace them with Kiev friendly oligarchs. The arrest/detention of elected officials, beatings, torture of those who protested against these changes.

The installing of Neo-Nazis into positions of power is like a red flag to a bull to the Russians in Eastern and Southern Ukraine as anyone with even a cursory knowledge of this area can see.
But worse, the illegitimate Kiev regime has signed deals with the EU/IMF that No previous government was willing to do as the negative aspects were too severe. Cut in pensions, cut in civil servants salaries, increase in gas pice (even before Russia announced a higher gas price) and the opening of the Ukraine economy to free market competition which is going to destroy the industrial heartland in the East as they are not competitive enough to compete with the West.

How can anyone be surprised these regions want to secede ? It was only a matter of time with the regime in Kiev in power that protests would erupt in the East and South.

Where did the Kiev regime get the democratic mandate to sell Ukraine to the international banks/corporations ?

Russia doesnj't need to do anything except sit back and watch Ukraine implode and pick up the pieces they want.

AuObserver iseethroughyou

The vote to "remove Viktor Yanukovych from the post of president of Ukraine" was passed by 328 MPs. Such ballots, passed by what is called constitutional majority, are binding and enter into force with immediate effect.

iseethroughyou AuObserver

Firstly, according to the Ukrainian Constitution they did not have enough votes for the vote to be legal.

Go ahead read it up.

Secondly, the coup goevrnment got rid of the Constitutional Court judges which would have been able to judge the vote.

Denis Blagodarev AuObserver

Ukraine Parlament "Verhovnaya Rada" have 450 MP. U need 3/4 to impeach president - so u need 338 MPs.

328 MPs - its not a constitutional majority

johnnydoe AuObserver

Do you know that very same parliament was overwhelimngly pro-Yanukovich DAYS ago, and a month ago passed anti-protest laws that infuriated the "peaceful protesters" so much?

Do you know that at the time when the vote to remove Yanukovich was passed, the "peaceful protesters" were storming government buildings all around Kiev and the police were no longer defending them?

Goresh AuObserver

"The vote to "remove Viktor Yanukovych from the post of president of Ukraine" was passed by 328 MPs."

Which falls short of the three quarter majority required by the Ukraine constitution (338) and is therefor irrelevant. He is still constitutionally the President of Ukraine.

"Such ballots, passed by what is called constitutional majority, are binding and enter into force with immediate effect."

This ballot falls short of the numbers required by Ukrainian law and so has no force and no effect.

tomski Goresh

So let me get this right, Yanukovich, who fled from an armed US backed mob, is still legally the president, and the current presidency has no legal status ? but what about the rule of law ?


The US is behind this: gold-heist, snipers, mercenaries, the works. It must be so frustrating, pulling the same levers of power, but now nothing works. People in large numbers are seeing through the propaganda.

jb10001 ID1543590

With the head of CIA sneaking in under disguise, and masterminding the crackdown from their operations center in Kiev. An entire floor reserved for the Yankee Ukrainianians allowed on that floor////and they tell Russsia...please don't intervene. The Kiev puppets should be strung up on the Maidan as traitors....sold out their country, and gave away the gold!


I feel for the people in Ukraine. They are puppets in a dangerous game between Putin and the west. It's always the ordinary people who suffer. The so called world leaders get away without facing any consequences. Just look at Syria. Putin was proclaimed the victor in the battle with the west but just look at the place, it's like hell on earth. You have students who when they hear gun fire outside their school just take that as another day at the office. Right now Ukraine is on the brink. One wrong mistake could lead to another bloody war. I fear NATO countries bordering Ukraine will not just standby if Russia invades Ukraine. If Russia invades I suspect the west will arm Ukraine leading to a proxy war. No one and I mean no one wants another war so Russia, Ukraine and the west need think about their next move very carefully.

robrut1 rhcppepers

Don't you be so afraid poor fellow. These events are nothing more than high politics. And, oh yes, there will be a little proxy war in the Ukraine. But it's not going to spill anywhere. Too bad for those poor souls that will be sacrificed, a la ancient world! We humans haven't evolved very much over the past 5k years or so!!!!!!!!


Gorlovka activists stormed the police department

Gorlovka activists stormed the police department . Crowd of residents federalization supporters armed with steel wire , tried to seize the local police department , but met armed resistance. Behind the building is a battle, shots are fired . The crowd blocked the approaches to the building and stormed, burst into the courtyard . Heard gunfire and explosions .

Around 13:00 activists managed to break into the building itself . They broke the glass on the first floor and broke the resistance . There is no data on deaths and injuries yet. Gorlivka - one of the largest centers of Donbass with a population of about 250,000 people.


If photos of the crowds are compared it would seem that the Ukraine is not just divided along geographic lines but also along class, age and possibly some ethnic divisions. There is no easy answer to this stand-off and the main concern of the West should be to avoid provoking a civil war. In no circumstances should the EU countries and the US send arms to the Ukraine.

coffeegirl chrisbrown

Don't you get it, in the Guardian pics are same propaganda tool like 'innocent' omittance in the text. This is why we always had ether heroic or glamorous shots of people on Maidan and old or weary, or not so good looking Crimean and now eastern Ukrainians. The message isn't subtle, it is actually crude: everything pro-EU is good while everything pro-Russia is bad.


The new government in Kyiv is openly hostile to the people of the east and south. There were moves to strip Russian of official status, moves to have travel restrictions imposed for those working in Russia (and a minister said he spits on such people, as traitors), restrictions on Russian TV, economic threats to industries exporting to Russia, no minister ever visited anywhere east of Kyiv, and so on. And Tymoshenko said she would happily nuke those people. Plus bands of right-wing idiots have been armed as national guards and have been promising to go over and sort out "the terrorists" (egged on by members of the Rada who say that the response has to be really tough) once they have finished making videos of themselves shouting hang the Russians.

And people are surprised that the east and south protests?

Hootenannys -> Jeremn 14 April 2014 12:13pm
A post full of lies without a single link or source. The norm for CIF comments on Ukraine.
Hootenannys 14 April 2014 12:36pm
All of this are well-known facts. Just google or go to Wikipedia or something.
Jeremn -> Hootenannys -> 14 April 2014 1:39pm
There were moves to strip Russian of official status, by parliament:

moves to have travel restrictions imposed for those working in Russia (and a minister said he spits on such people, as traitors):

The minister was Parubiy:

restrictions on Russian TV:

"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.

economic threats to industries exporting to Russia:

25% of exports go to Russia:

no minister ever visited anywhere east of Kyiv, and so on. And Tymoshenko said she would happily nuke those people:

Plus bands of right-wing idiots have been armed as national guards and have been promising to go over and sort out "the terrorists"

(egged on by members of the Rada who say that the response has to be really tough) - that was Irina Farion:

"I would have taken more severe action. I would have simply – excuse me – I would have simply shot them."


On February 28, the deputy governor of the Dnipropetrovsk region, Boris Filatov, posted an explanation on his Facebook page of how to properly handle members of the pro-Russian movement who are dissatisfied with the central government in Kiev: "offer those dirtbags any promises, guarantees, or concessions they want. And… we'll hang them all later."

once they have finished making videos of themselves shouting hang the Russians.

or stab them

tomski Hootenannys 14 April 2014 1:50pm
Sounding desperate...the Svoboda/Nato bots losing the arguments?
tomoix 14 April 2014 11:05am
now if I remember correctly the reason for no flight zone and consequent bombing Libya into oblivion was that gaddafi used the army against its own citizens. how about applying the same rules to Turcynov and Ukraine?

CodyJoeBibby2014 tomoix

armed uprisings are just fine as long as they're the ones NATO wants to happen.


Its crunch time for Comrade Putin, has he got the b*ll*cks to invade or are those troops massing on the border just there to intimidate ? If he does invade Russia will be a pariah state for a long time with disatrous economic consequences, not for the West but Russia itself, of which I think he is aware. So probably not, but prove me wrong Vladimir !

BoopyBop Jonfrad

"Troops massing on the border" is pure propaganda BS.

Natalia Volkova Jonfrad

Do you know how many troops US have on the border to Mexico?
Why no one asks?


Face it. Eastern Ukraine is lost. Any military action by Kiev in eastern Ukraine will be met with a similar response from Russia and we know who is going to win that one. And no, despite all the bravado, not a single European country nor the US will send troops in.

Russia would have accepted a neutral Ukraine on its border just as it's happy with a neutral Finland. But no, the political imbeciles who claim to speak for the peoples of the US and Europe lusted for Ukrane in its entirety. The incompetence demonstrated by the West, best exemplified by obvious amateurs such as Ashton and Nuland in Maidan Square, is beyond belief.

davidpear third_eye

Any military action by Kiev in eastern Ukraine

If Kiev starts attacking their own people it will prove how foolish Obama was and that the government in Kiev really are fascists.

Richard Duffy third_eye

Russia would "accept" a neutral Ukraine

How jolly decent of them! Ukraine is a sovereign state and can become allies with whomsoever she wants. The days of "The Great Game" are over. If Ukraine wants to join the Boy Scouts let her. It's not for Russia (nor anyone else) to decide who a State can talk to

SteveK9 Richard Duffy

They have the right to ask to join NATO. And, we have the right to tell them to ... off, which I wish we had done to Poland, the Baltics, etc.

Nanome Richard Duffy

The days of "The Great Game" are over.


Where have you been since 1991?

johnnydoe ID5677229

Yanukovich and Berkut did not attack. He could have cleared the Maidan of protesters in the matter of minutes at any moment in December, January or February. He was either extremely humane or scared by the US "warnings" not to use force. On 22nd of February, Yanukovich signed an agreement with the protesters and ordered the withdrawal of police, this is when the shooting started. Who were the snipers is still not clear and the police were only responding.

lewisfg Richard Duffy

"Ukraine is a sovereign state and can become allies with whomsoever she wants"

Why that doesn't apply to Cuba, suffering the biggest process of economic sabotage in capitalism history just for daring to not allow USA to choose their government?


'Acting' president is right. No one voted for him. Who wrote the script?

wimberlin Billyandbenny

'Bad-acting' President would be more honest.

AlexRussia Billyandbenny

But he is beautifully puffed cheeks on TV when trying to show that he is thinking. CIA voted for him which is currently toccupy an entire floor in the building services Safety of Ukraine


Also on Monday, the Ukrainian security and defence council head Andriy Parubiy said intelligence services had detained Russian secret agents in Ukraine, but did not provide further details.

Provide details then, show who those people are.

Bethany Lauren Birley VladimirM

they can't rpovide details, the guys are secret agents!

VladimirM Bethany Lauren Birley


vazelas99 VladimirM

Please, be merciful! Their names and their families need to be protected! They might be secret agents, but they are above all humans!

And we all know how the new Kiev government, appointed through love and understanding, is very considerate of the rights of Russian nationals!

tomski VladimirM

Rendition them to Guantanamo...bit of waterboarding will teach' em


I want Western policy/strategy concerning Ukraine to fail miserably.
Because I don't agree with it and I was never even asked if I agree with it.
Neither did the majority of EU citizens and I am dead certain they would not agree with it either.

davidpear Habakuk

I want Western policy/strategy concerning Ukraine to fail miserably.

Brilliant honesty. I feel the same way but I don't want to see any more bloodshed. Nobody ever asked the taxpayers if they wanted to destabilize Ukraine with $5 billion of our money. Now we are supposed to be stuck with bailing out the bankers for Ukraine.

It looks as if the EU can ill afford it either. They can't afford to help their own members and there were riots in Greece and Italy yesterday although all the Western press tried to bury it.


Acting president says operation to seize back government buildings in east Ukraine occupied by separatists will soon begin

I would not suggest him to do so, otherwise he will meet with the Nuremberg Court without the slightest doubt

KingRolo AlexRussia

He's a right wing fascist - someone the Guardian suddenly sees as a beacon of Democracy. Just compare this article with a realistic account from the Guardian in late Feb, you'd think that this once respected Guardian has been hijacked by the same fascists who hijacked Kiev.

monkie KingRolo 14 April 2014 12:12pm
it is worth remembering what real journalism looks like, carl bernstein wrote a article in 1977 explaining the problem with the media, does anyone think the situation is better now, or worse?

the cia and the media


How Americas Most Powerful News Media Worked Hand in Glove with the Central Intelligence Agency and Why the Church Committee Covered It Up


In 1953, Joseph Alsop, then one of America's leading syndicated columnists, went to the Philippines to cover an election. He did not go because he was asked to do so by his syndicate. He did not go because he was asked to do so by the newspapers that printed his column. He went at the request of the CIA.

Alsop is one of more than 400 American journalists who in the past twenty‑five years have secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency, according to documents on file at CIA headquarters. Some of these journalists' relationships with the Agency were tacit; some were explicit. There was cooperation, accommodation and overlap. Journalists provided a full range of clandestine services


Remember how the Guardian and the UK government along with US instigators had for months supported 'their' demonstrators on the Maidan square. These were 'their' darling 'protestors'.

Now the tables are turned and the Guardian has no time for like minded protestors, ordinary folk, miners and normal inhabitants in Eastern Ukraine. These are all now Russian agents. Talk about obvious hypocrisy!


Astonished to hear UK's former ambassador to Moscow Tony Brenton on the Today programme saying all Russia really really wants in Ukraine is stability. Oh please.

Prini Tor JohnMMorrison

Surely you know better than him ....

AuObserver JohnMMorrison

Ukraine humiliated Putin by not signing his Customs Union, this is payback time.

numinous JohnMMorrison

Take your bullshit back to whatever Langley thinktank you crawled out of.

jamesoverseas JohnMMorrison

Astonished to hear UK's former ambassador to Moscow Tony Brenton on the Today programme saying all Russia really really wants in Ukraine is stability.

Tony Brenton is no fanboy of Putin - his family was given a particularly hard time by Nashi. He does understand Russia and what its interests are. What's interesting is that our politicians at home are completely deaf to any British person who actually does understand Russia, even to its own former ambassadors.


Both the US and Nato have accused Russia of staging another Crimea-style intervention

Many of the pictures show ordinary people protesting. The Guardian keeps calling them pro-Russian but most of the interviews say that what they want is a federation and not succession.

OBryanRobinson davidpear

These old women are Spetsnaz don't you know? ;)


The current illegitimate Kyiv authorities urged to seize administrative buildings, threw unarmed police with Molotov cocktails, and not shy of neo-Nazis in their ranks, 106 died (according to the physicians of Maidan killed about 780).

In the South-East of Ukraine, people gathered to defend itself at any price from bandits in Kiev. Even local law enforcement agencies refused to follow orders and went to the side of the local people.

But in Kiev called them terrorists and sent the army. But of course all the "blame" Russia and even hundreds of specialists from the CIA located in Ukraine can not cope with a bunch of Russian spies. Good old double standards and "free" press.

Judging by the photo in the crowd a lot of Russian spies... :)


The truth in these situations gets obscured by deliberate misinformation. People take sides according to their beliefs or prejudices and objectivity is lost.

Trying to take a dispassionate view, I have to say that this whole crisis was started by the west tempting the people of Kiev to overthrow their elected leader and come into the fold of the EU and NATO. What followed was alarm by the people of Crimea and now in other parts of eastern Ukraine who do not want to break with Russia. To say that Russia orchestrated this crisis from the start is ignoring the facts, they simply reacted to what they saw as a dangerous situation for Russian leaning people.

Unfortunately when the west start interfering in affairs that do not concern them the consequences often get out of control, one would think that lesson had been learned from past adventures, but apparently not.

wightangler Rodneyhorace

half the people of Ukraine including the miners have not been paid for 2 months as a result of the Kiev coup notably issuing orders after no national elections as initially promised.

The EU would close these mines and steel industries down and the existing supply trade with russia would end- therefore plunging half the country into even greater penury that it currently haves - add an IMF loan - that would proscribe public money being spent on welfare -including health and education, zero-hrs contracts, state pensions or redress for these newly redundant half of population - plus a small state objective and privatisation including securing pro-western oligarchs assets by legal means.

You dont need an o level to see why this imposed future would not be in the interests of ordinary eastern Ukrainians particularly those working in heavy industry or pensioners. The memories of the nineties and financial anarchy in Russia as a result of western banker 'shock reform' would also be etched in many Ukrainians including those with extended Russian families.


Is any Brit, French person, German going to enlist to fight in a war of succession in Ukraine between two pretty morally dubious sides.

You want your sons and daughters to die alongside allies that include Svodba?

Or in Syria with allies alongside Al Qaeda.

It will never happen. And nor should it.

Split the country and stop forcing people on both sides to do what they don't want. Dirt changes hands all the time, and it is irrelevant who extracts taxes from whom.

But for the new regime, losing Donetsk would be a blow to them being able to pay back the IMF.

tomoix zchabj5

i think a couple of brits, french and other european rebels have been caught fighting alongside the pro-democracy activists in syria


In the full on information war going on, one way to ascertain some element of what is actually going on is by the headlines and "facts" that either side chooses to report.

One interesting such report which had been highlighted in headlines by the Russian media as well as Sergei Lavrov is the emergency visit to Kiev of the CIA director John Brennan on Saturday hours before ultimatums were issued from the Kievan authorities to the peoples rebeling in some cities in eastern Ukraine.

The New York Times buried this report deep in it's report and added that the US embassy declined comment. No major Western media source including the Guardian (who claims to be otherwise suspicious of the motives and veracity of US intelligence agencies and officials on Western domestic issues but is conspicuously silent about their motives internationally) highlighted even reports of this visit.

The question is this: is it important news if the HEAD OF THE CIA MAKES AN UNANNOUNCED VISIT hours before the unelected president of Ukraine issues ultimatums to Russian protesters? Does it deserve a headline and explanation?

Put it another way: if the head of the FSB made an unannounced visit to Kiev pre-Feb before major actions were announced, would that have been plastered all over the global media?

What we DO have headlined in the Western media is uncorroborated and oft-repeated unproven statements from Western officials (who apparently both the NYT and Guardian believe tell the truth) about "Russian agents" and "Russian provocateurs" running amok in eastern Ukraine (vehemently denied by Russia as one would expect whether the reports or true or false of course) and little mention that there is grass roots sentiment (as evidenced by numerous overwhelming election results over the years) of support for Russia in Eastern Ukraine.

The New York Times, when it comes to international news is essentially nothing more than another arm of the State Department's propaganda arm (as it, without irony, accuses various Russian media of being).

I had expected more from the Guardian.

ID5677229 Ludwitt

The question is this: is it important news if the HEAD OF THE CIA MAKES AN UNANNOUNCED VISIT hours before the unelected president of Ukraine issues ultimatums to Russian protesters?

No ultimatums have been issued to "Russian" protestors (a Freudian slip there mate). The ultimatums have been issued to co-ordinated automatic weapon bearing gangs of men in combat fatigues (without insignia) who having taken over various local authorities.

hazelwoodfrog Ludwitt

I read about the Brenner visit yesterday on one of the threads. I come here to get information. There are links and resources posted and comments from some who are living through this. Yes the media has all been scripted but thanks guardian for providing these forums


Right now it's interesting to see Western media accuse Russia of precisely what West did in Kiev ie deploy provocateurs and snipers from Right Sector and Svoboda to push a coup into place, but this backfired as not all Ukranians support fascists and wanted a referendum

This leaves the EU in a difficult conundrum, does it support the ballot box or the bullet? It's doubtful if the EU Enlargement Minister supports the ballot box

BoopyBop KingRolo

LOL. "EU Enlargement Minister", well said!

ForwardThinking KingRolo

Interesting angles being reported on France 24. The coup leaders in Kiev are fast losing support and Lavrov has been given some airtime, swatted off a daft question put forth by a "journo" (I do detest calling them journos),

"What will Russia do if the Ukrainian military attack the "separatists".? A nonsense hypothesis, said Mr Lavrov. Go away little boy in other words

ID5677229 KingRolo

Right now it's interesting to see Western media accuse Russia of precisely what West did in Kiev ie deploy provocateurs and snipers from Right Sector and Svoboda to push a coup into place.

The Art of Propaganda: find a lie that is simple enough for the ordinary person to understand and articulate, and which confirms their prejudices. State it once without great ceremony and in no time at all it will be repeated incessantly as if it were common knowledge (embellished in accordance with such imagination as ordinary people possess).



mishimishi ID820968

The Americans are horrible people wanting their puppet to kill his own citizens.

justTR mishimishi

You mean: the American establishment? the Americans don't know the truth.

Stewby ID6364882

Now is not a good time to suggest a campaign of sabotage since Russia is just as exposed to these kind of attacks as Kiev. It serves no purpose and only punishes the poor that are forced to use the public infrastructure to survive. The rich will just fly out and won't suffer a bit. The regime in Kiev will fall on its own.

Their platform contains the seeds of their own destruction. They are so greedy that they would implement austerity in a nation on the verge of civil war. The gall it takes to keep pushing austerity and saying effectively that the bondholders will get paid back regardless of how many people lose their pensions, government jobs, and energy subsidies while at the same time pointing to Russia and blaming them for the instability in Ukraine.

They would rather see their own country shattered than allow bondholders to suffer for making an obviously bad investment in a corrupt nation. Yats could never have been elected running on a platform of austerity, but he's supposedly the democratic one. These bankers are a greater national security threat than Russia ever could be.


It wont be in this rag bag of sycophantic drivel but here is a link to the statement made by Putin to the leaders of the 'west' who haven't had time to read it as they are too busy pouring more destabilising millions into Ukraine to satisfy the greed of the oligarchs lead by Nuland's hubby who want their hands on Ukraines resources.

'President Vladimir Putin's letter to leaders of European countries – Full text


I had to laugh when a BBC journalist on the news last night lamented that we were discussing Russian destabilisation, not Ukraine's 'bright future'. FFS Ukraine has been a corrupt, bankrupt, unstable hole for most of the last twenty years. And the current government is linked to a load of the billionaire oligarchs who bankrupted the country in the first place, including the Governor of the Donbass region, and is offering its people an IMF-dictated austerity cut in their already meagre standard of living, with the vague possibility of being an unimportant member of the EU in 10-15 years. It's not exactly the brightest of futures. While personally I would condemn Putin's invasion of Crimea, it's not hard to see why many Russian-speakers in Ukraine's east might prefer being part of a stable, wealthy, powerful Russia to another twenty years of Ukraine's 'bright future.'

ForwardThinking PeterBrit

Good post Pete, though to be pedantic, Russia did not invade Crimea

PeterBrit PeterBrit

And another good laugh - Hague solmenly condemning the Russian destabilisation of Ukraine. Because we in the West would NEVER destabilise a government we don't like, would we?!


Foreign Secretary William Hague has accused Russia of a "gross, deliberate and premeditated" destabilisation of Ukraine, ahead of a meeting with EU foreign ministers.

Just shoo away, you and the rest of EU foreign poodles - you don't give a sh** about people of Ukraine. If you did you would be arguing for the interim government to listen to people's demands, for the last month all they were asking was to be heard. They are not separatists, they want federal rights.

martyjar coffeegirl

Impressively strong language there. He went on to say Russia's denial of involvement in East Ukraine did not have "a shred of credibility". In international diplomacy, that's dynamite.

Obviously post-Crimea it's very solid ground - I'm sure Russia wouldn't be putting forward such ridiculous claims believing any government would believe them; it's aimed at Russians.

SallyWa martyjar

Well, both Guardian and Washington post reported at some point that according to polls Russians are backing politics of current Russian gov. on Ukraine issue.

What our leaders are achieving is turning Russian population strongly anti-Western.

OBryanRobinson 14 April 2014 11:53am
It's clear the ministry of truth has lost this information war worldwide. How is the ordinary Yank digesting all this? blogs/ monkey-cage/ wp/ 2014/ 04/ 07/ the-less-americans-know-about-ukraines-location-the-more-they-want-u- s-to-intervene/

aretheymyfeet OBryanRobinson 14 April 2014 12:31pm
The internet is proving a big pain in the ass for the powers that be. People nowadays have access to multiple sources and perspectives and can build up their own picture of who has credibility or not. This is not good for the US, unless of course they were to put in place some sort of monitoring programme that could harvest internet communications worldwide, hmmmm.....
Oh dear. Like Syria this really isn't going the way the governments of the US and UK nor their mouthpieces such as Fox, the BBC, the Guardian et al had hoped. What to do? Unfortunately the fear is that the crazy propaganda will continue relentlessly until there is the desired outcome: bloody carnage. As ever.


"Acting president says operation to seize back government buildings..."...One correction in accordance to the international law to this title of article ... "Illegally acting president ....."


According to the EU, the US and others people have a right to protest and even engage in violence and resist a government but only if they are doing so at their beck and call. They will learn otherwise. It can cut both ways......As for sanctions against Russia, go ahead, see what difference it will make, zilch, nada, nothing, zero. If anything it will increase Russian resolve.


Anyone recall the 2009 Honduras coup when the democratically elected Manuel Zelaya was ousted as President? The BBC and the rest of our 'impartial' media had no problem with it and backed the US State Department's wholly bizarre advice to Zelaya that he should simply accept it and go away. There's democracy and there's 'democracy' it seems.


Nice to see the racist anti Russia brigade in full force on here.

thea1mighty Green_Matters

US Cyber Command are quite busy on social media nowadays. I would take all anti-Russian insults with a pinch of salt, and not think them typical of UK Guardian readership, though this website also seems to have become home to right-wing paywall dodgers of the UK, who would support nearly any Western war of conquest, as long as they did not have to be on the frontlines. Chickenhawks the lot of em.

Green_Matters thea1mighty

As much as your comment made me laugh, I do fear that never a truer word has been said. Sad, very very sad :-(


Oh dear.

"Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive."

The West has lied and the facts are now there for all to see as their puppet regime in Kiev is powerless in the face of the people and unrest is spreading into Western Europe as people see what their government tolerated in the Ukraine. What are they going to do next? Nuke Russians as the murderous braided hair one demanded and shoot to kill protesters in Western capitals?

celios chev

Kanada has two oficcial languages and live in peace. Why Ukraine can't go this way? Ah I forgot their nationalistic ambitions.

StanislavCh celios chev

Switzerland has tree or four official languages and live in peace. But Lugansk is not Lugano , unfortunately.

thea1mighty celios chev

You are correct, though you seem to be forgetting the IMF's privatisation, social welfare / pension reduction plans and mineral resource stealing ambitions, are a large part of the equation. The US did not invest $5bn to overthrow the elected government for nothing.


If this doesn't lead to world war it will at least be the end of globalization, as investment in Russia, China, and probably India would be too risky for many investors. Also the nations immediately surrounding these will be very risky for investment with China tiring of US hegemony in the Pacific and likely to turn more belligerent. The US won't be able to do anything to keep globalization together when they are busy shaking their fist at enemies that no longer exist. I don't understand why they are pushing the BRICs closer together when they have openly threatened economic warfare, which, like cyberwar, we are more vulnerable to than Russia or China.

The neverending belligerence of our leaders represents a greater threat to the national security of the United States than Russia or China ever could. We are bankrupt and already losing the war on terror as islamists proliferate in Africa but they are picking a fight with Europe's primary energy supplier. Russia is no threat. Their military could be defeated by the Europeans without US help. Also Power trying to push sanctions down Europe's throat is so stupid. Europe will obviously have to distance themselves from the US strategically if we insist that they cripple their economic recovery and doom themselves to depression with rising energy prices.

Maybe we should get away from the public relations model of diplomacy, because our citizens may be ignorant enough to believe Power's distortions but diplomats aren't.

retarius Stewby

If this doesn't lead to world war it will at least be the end of globalization

So something good may come out of it you say, well it is sad that every cloud has a silver lining. I hope not too many Ukrainians are sacrificed to bring this good about.

[Apr 14, 2014] Militants Defy Deadline Set by Ukraine to Stop Occupying Sites By ANDREW E. KRAMER and ANDREW HIGGINS

Comments are more interesting then the article.
Apr 14, 2014 |

Eugene, NY 2 hours ago

Only 4 simple request from protesters:

  1. Russian second national language (Canada has 2 EN and FR.) for 40% or people Russian is a main language
  2. Federalization in Ukraine (sample US, Germany, Russia)
  3. Amnesty for pro-Russian protesters (the same as Yanokovich did for Maidan protesters)
  4. Local Referendum

These a 4 simple thing, nobody wants to hear South-East Ukraine.

Andrzej Kocikowski, Poland 20 minutes ago

„(...) Russian news media reported Sunday that the C.I.A. director, John O. Brennan, had arrived in Kiev on a secret visit to advise Ukrainian officials in charge of domestic security and defense. The American Embassy in the Ukrainian capital declined to comment on the reports. (...)".

Indeed, yesterday at 12:28 Moscow time, reported that: „(...) The Supreme Council of the Russian Federation announces that on April 12, using a false name, the capital of Ukraine visited CIA Director John Brennan. In Kiev held a series of meetings with representatives of the government and so call "departments of force." It is believed that it was Brennan initiated the military action in Slavyansk informs Interfax news agency. (...)" [].

There are 2 questions: (1.) Why the American Embassy in the Ukrainian capital declined to comment on this report? (2.) How to explain to public opinion in Russia and in eastern Ukraine, the reason for the presence of the head of the CIA in Kiev - if it turns out that he was there?

indigena, Paris/Austin 2 hours ago

It is most instructive that the head of the CIA has arrived in Kiev. He is, without a doubt, hardly the first CIA operative in Kiev. The West instigated the coup that overthrew the democratically elected government in the Ukraine. Now they will reap the whirlwind. The essential feature of this entire affair is the continuation of the long standing effort of the US to push NATO to the gates of Moscow. But now Putin has drawn a line in the sand and he will back it up.

Greg, New Jersey 12 minutes ago

I wonder why the current situation is different from the previous one?
First, we had Ukrainian 'freedom fighters' occupying buildings and public squares in Kiev and other cities. They were 'fighting for their independence' from the government they did not prefer. They overthrew a legitimately elected government and the president ran for his life.

Now we have 'militants' defying the 'Ukrainian government' obviously 'influenced by Russia and Vladimir Putin'.

Wouldn't it be more productive for the Ukrainian people if the USA recognized that it has no positive influence in the Ukraine? By encouraging the current Ukrainian government, aren't we re-enacting the events of the middle 1950's in Hungary, when we encouraged the Hungarian people to revolt and then stood by as the tanks rolled in and killed many of them?

Why don't we recognize that our interference in middle Europe has always rattled the Russians and make them do things that they might otherwise not have done? What possible interest do we have in the Ukraine? Let's help those people economically, in partnership with Russia, rather than encouraging them to kill and be killed.

Marv Raps

NYC 3 hours ago

The demonstrators in eastern Ukraine have learned their lessons well from the demonstrators in Kiev. First seize a central square, refuse to leave, set up barricades of wood and tires, take control of a government building and wait for the authorities to over-react in the hope that it will generate support from powerful allies outside the country.

Western Europe and the U.S came to the rescue of the Maidan demonstrators in Kiev, and Russia will come to the rescue (if needed) of the demonstrators in Donetsk and Slovyansk.

The tactic of overthrowing a democratically elected President is not looking so good. How much better it would have been if the demonstrators in Kiev and their foreign supporters, including US Ambassador Pyatt, Assistant Secretary of State Nuland and let's not forget Senator McCain, had waited for the next election.

SovietBear, Argentina 3 hours ago

The people who root for a civil war just don´t understand the extent of decay which the Ukrainian military is in.

The Ukrainian military force is mainly composed of conscripts: unpaid, ill-equipped, malnourished young men recently graduated from high schools with zero combat experience that barely know how to shoot a weapon. Ukraine has barely functional vehicles left from the Soviet past. It barely has fuel for those vehicles. It barely has food to feed their soldiers.

If you think that Ukraine just can squash those "Russian terrorists and agitators" in no time, you must really know nothing about Ukraine or you must really hate it and want to see their defeat, because Ukraine really cannot afford that war.

There are video on youtube where a military truck full of conscripts is detained by a mob of protesters and after a brief argument conscripts willing surrender their weapons to the mob. There are real cases of how special military groups (not conscripts) that were supposed to drive the protesters out of the occupied building refused to shoot against protesters going against the Central Government's orders. This is the main reason why most of those building are still occupied. It's not because of "good Kiev's government", it's because most of Ukrainian military forces in Ukraine refuse to carry out their orders.

The Kiev government had better negotiate for a peaceful solution, or else they will lose the Eastern Ukraine for good.

Oink Oink, New York, Cambridge 23 minutes ago

Where are the doughnuts and cookies when you need 'em?

Angry Panda, New York, NY 23 minutes ago

Couple of thoughts.

One - an angle that hasn't really been covered too much in Western press (that I've read). Right after taking power in late February, one of the first things the Kiev government did was disband Berkut, which was basically Ukraine's riot police and precisely the organization deployed against any and all protests.

This was a political move, but also a stupid one. If you keep the power structure in place (granted, after a few "bad seeds" are publicly prosecuted), you can use it in a crisis later. And you don't end up with thousands of trained and armed men who are freshly unemployed and rather upset at you - and some of whom have undoubtedly joined the pro-Russian (read: anti-Kiev) groups in the eastern regions. You reap what you sow and all that.

Two - throwing morality out the window, because there is no place for it in realpolitik - the whole thing really comes down to Kiev, doesn't it. Russia and the U.S. won't start a world war over Ukraine, but Russia isn't likely to back down from its current position because that would make Putin look exceedingly weak at home (including to Russia's oligarchs). So either Kiev plays ball and there is negotiated constitutional reform - "federalization" - and things calm down, or Kiev cracks down and then Putin has to respond and the U.S. is frozen out unless it wishes to wade in militarily. And by the way, this has to be done soon because the presidential election is looming...

Judyw, cumberland, MD 23 minutes ago

What I find so surpsing is that the Kiev government has made little or not attempt to communicate with the people of E. Ukraine. From the time they took power the new government has talked about is the EU and the IMF.

The people in the East want neither. They want to know about their future - job losses, pension cuts, factory closing etc. They know what happened in Greece and they want to know what happens to them.

Yatsenuk did go and talk to the protesters which was a smart move - but he really could not guarantee a referendum until a leigitimately elected government is in place. There is no one with real authority who can meet with the people. THey could promise something but after May25 a new government might not keep the promise.

The people want a referendum - but they are wary of trusting those currently in power. Maybe they should consider moving the elections forward. They need to make a deal with the people NOW that will be honored after May 25th. Without an offer of a referendum or federalization E. Ukraine will be lost if they take military action. There are a lot of civilians involved.

The US says Russia is behind this - but proof?? I don't trust what the US government says. But I can see in pictures that local people support protesters, giving them food etc. The protesters are not an occupying force - they have populart support.

The current government must talk to them and offer a referendum. If they go in with military force the country will break apart.

Al, Russia 23 minutes ago

Russia has a huge National Security problem with a hostile Ukraine and has to be guaranteed that Ukraine will never join NATO so it is not forced to go to War over it. The South and Eastern Ukraine must remain neutral between NATO and Russia also. Russia has decided it can live without financing Ukraine and the IMF and Western banks will end up raping the poor Ukrainian people instead. The future for the Ukrainian people is really bleak. The reason for the Russian troops on the border is to insure that Kiev can't get total control of Southern/Eastern Ukraine which will force Russia to go to War in that part of Ukraine. Russia can even live with this hostile Ukrainian Govt. if they agree to never joining NATO and Federalizing Southern/Eastern Ukraine so they can work with that part of Ukraine. This is where the situation is now and Russia doesn't want to invade Ukraine but they will if their National Security issues aren't addressed. One thing is for sure and that is that the US State Department, CIA, NATO, and EU have all played a part in creating this disaster. Russia didn't do anything wrong but they may take a beating politically in cleaning up their National Security issues. This is a catastrophe as none of this should have ever happened and what was the reason for the West to nearly start WWIII. People should note that the US and NATO immediately said they wouldn't go to war over Ukraine after the coup as Putin would go nuclear. Don't be surprised by what Putin does now.

Mel Vigman, Summit NJ 39 minutes ago

Is this a European problem, a NATO problem or a USA problem? Is Ukraine really one country and one people? I would suggest that the major player, which can answer these questions, is Germany.

Let Germany speak, and let us watch German actions.

Is it really important to Germany and Europe if Ukraine is divided or wholly swallowed by Russia? Why is it more important for USA than for Europe?

The tide of history, in this case, travels through Germany, with Poland, Baltic states and Moldova/Romania not far behind. Germany is the fulcrum. USA is not. USA should not help those who make no attempt to help themselves.

Vasily, Tallinn 40 minutes ago

USA for their policies in Ukraine opened a Pandora's box.
Exactly USA!

[As for] CIA before acting, it was necessary to explore the nuances of this country
(Ukraine). And now you have got what you wanted - a change of power in Ukraine.

And you have got what is not wanted - the collapse of the Ukrainian economy and
the uncertain future of Ukraine.

For my mind the future of Ukraine is seen as a 2 different, independent parts. One part will get USA and the EU. The Other Russia. It would be better for all, and first of all - for ukranians. This is the result, which the USA successfully achieved.

... USA now as big world [war] provoker...

Yosef Ben Shlomo, Northern California 41 minutes ago

The rhetoric of war and anti-Russian attitude is evident here. Two months ago, occupying buildings and disrupting administration was considered an act of democracy. Now you are part of some Russian conspiracy, and aligned with militants if you occupy in Eastern Ukraine.

The NY Times appears to me to be fueling the fire. Of course, compared to the TV network news, the Times may seem fair. Don't get me wrong, I am sure Russia has their hand in the Ukraine protests.

But I am also sure the CIA had their name in the Kiev protests. I suspect Russia's responds could have been predicted. Perhaps the world would be a better place if the US would stop playing king maker.

Vincent Amato, New York City 43 minutes ago

The best analogy to what is going on in Ukraine is probably what happened in Cuba when a government hostile to the U.S. invited the U.S.S.R. in. At the time, much was made of the mere 90 miles separating Cuba from Florida.

Before long, the U.S. was willing to go to the brink of nuclear disaster to protect what it saw as its sphere of influence and its national security. Five thousand miles separate Washington from Kiev, yet the U.S. has its destroyers sailing into the Black Sea in a display of old-fashioned gun-boat diplomacy.

We are still living with the fall-out of the Cuban crisis, but we were willing to go to extreme measures to keep foreign missiles based 90 miles from our shores. Russia and Ukraine have no 90-mile moat separating them; they share a border and a great deal of history. While Strangeloves in the West seize what they see as a rare historic opportunity to contain an old foe (Tsarist or Communist) they have once again demonstrated that they are willing to tempt disaster to achieve their ends.

masteta, moscow 48 minutes ago

I live in Russia, grew up in the Ukraine, my parents and friends live in Ukraine. In the cities of the south east of Ukraine, people have always said in Russian. And we, the Russian Ukrainians want to fight? You sit at the ocean and argue who attacked whom. West rocked the boat skilfully exploiting the weakness of Ukraine and funded Maidan. Now shifts all the problems on the Russian

Tony Wicher, Lake Arrowhead 48 minutes ago

Let us be clear that Ukraine is a part of Russia and always has been- ALWAYS. I'm an American (an ashamed of my country one), but my mother was born in Odessa, and in 50 years I never heard she was born in "Ukraine". My mother and her family were as Russian as borscht. What happened is that the State Department engineered a fascist coup in Western Ukraine. Period. The result of this is that Ukraine is going to lose its semi-independent status and become part of the Russian federation again. I pray for as many fascists as possible to be shot in the process. Obama, Kerry, Victoria Nuland and the rest of the neocon gangsters masquerading as Democrats should be at least impeached for this stupid, reckless imperialist policy which is likely to lead to nuclear war.

UPDATE 1-Western nations line up at UN to slam Russia's moves on Ukraine


Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin dismissed the criticisms of Russia's actions in Ukraine, telling the council, "Many inaccurate accusations were made against Russia."

He blamed the Kiev government for the unrest across southeastern Ukraine and described its threatened military operation in the region as a "criminal use of force." He was referring to Ukraine's ultimatum to pro-Russian separatists to disarm by Monday or face armed force.

"Things might take an irreversible turn for the worst," Churkin said about the ultimatum, without elaborating.

"The authorities (in Ukraine) do not want to listen to those who do not accept the imposed dominance in Kiev of national radicals and chauvinists, Russophobic, anti-Semitic forces," he said. "The grotesque Russophobia and embedded hatred has become the norm in the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) as well."

Ukraine Forces Storm a Town, Defying Russia By ANDREW E. KRAMER and ANDREW HIGGINS

Real reporting not just State Department taking points...
Apr 13, 2014 |

SLOVYANSK, Ukraine - The Ukrainian government on Sunday for the first time sent its security services to confront armed pro-Russian militants in the country's east, defying warnings from Russia. Commandos engaged in gunfights with men who had set up roadblocks and stormed a Ukrainian police station in Slovyansk, and at least one officer was killed, Ukrainian officials said.

Several officers were injured in the operation, as were four locals, the officials said. Russian news media and residents here disputed that account, saying the Ukrainian forces had only briefly engaged one checkpoint.

In either case, the central government in Kiev has turned to force to try to restore its authority in the east, a course of action that the Russian government has repeatedly warned against.

With tens of thousands of Russian troops massed along Ukraine's eastern border near Donetsk, Western leaders have worried that Moscow might use unrest in Ukraine's mainly Russian-speaking areas as a pretext for an invasion.

Both governments intensified their statements on Sunday. Ukraine's interim president, Oleksandr V. Turchynov, issued another ultimatum, saying separatists should vacate occupied buildings by Monday or face a "large-scale antiterrorist operation" that would include the Ukrainian military. And Russia claimed that the Ukrainian government was cracking down at the behest of American and European officials.

Ukraine's ousted president, Viktor F. Yanukovych, speaking late Sunday in Rostov-on-Don, in Russia, echoed Moscow's charges of American meddling.

Insisting that he remained Ukraine's commander in chief despite having fled to Russia more than a month ago, he ordered Ukrainian troops to defy what he called "criminal orders" for a crackdown and said the country stood "on the brink of civil war."

The police station contested by Ukrainian forces was one of several security centers in the eastern region of Donetsk seized on Saturday by masked gunmen in coordinated raids that the Ukrainian authorities denounced as Russian "aggression."

By Sunday afternoon, the government's push to reassert its authority in a vitally important industrial and coal-mining region appeared to have made little headway. Pro-Russian protesters appeared to control not only the police station but also the entire town of Slovyansk, having set up checkpoints at major streets leading into town.

... ... ...

Requests to speak to a leader of the armed men produced a man wearing a ski mask who introduced himself as Aleksandr and described himself as a deputy commander of the city of Slovyansk after its merger with the People's Republic of Donetsk.

He gave a different account of the circumstances behind the wounding of the fisherman, saying he was struck by Ukrainian armored personnel carriers that opened fire on a barrier made from a pile of tires on the edge of town, then drove away. "Our guys took cover, and the shooting stopped," he said.

Ukrainian helicopters buzzed over the town around noon, but no soldiers were seen. At one barrier, pro-Russian protesters felled trees across a road into town, guarded by men in ski masks carrying military rifles.

Russia's Foreign Ministry issued a blistering denunciation of the Ukrainian government. In a statement on the ministry's Facebook page, the Russian government accused the Kiev authorities of threatening violence "against anyone who does not agree with the nationalist-radicals, chauvinistic and anti-Semitic actions" in Kiev that, it said, were being carried out "with direct support from the United States and Europe."

At Russia's request, an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council was scheduled for Sunday night, at which Ukraine's ambassador was expected to articulate its version of events. Moscow had asked that the meeting be closed, but Russia's rivals on the Council declined that request. The meeting was not expected to yield any consensus.

[Apr 14, 2014] Russia ends broadcasts by Voice of America 'propaganda' tool By Carol J. Williams

"If there ever existed a mindless propaganda tool, it was (is) the Voice Of America, the lying mouthpiece of the CIA." That's true but that does not means that it is completely useless. It provides alternative coverage on events. And it was pretty useful for listeners in the old the USSR days...
April 11, 2014 |

VOA's contract with the Russian media oversight agency wasn't renewed after it expired at the end of March because the Kremlin could no longer tolerate "its subversive, sanctimonious, self-serving propaganda," the Voice of Russia said in its account of the cutoff.

... ... ...

They sound like they are broadcasting from another world, at least from a world that doesn't exist anymore," Kiselyov said in the letter urging the government to refuse a new contract with VOA and a sister network. "I regard these radio stations as mere spam on our frequencies."

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow issued a statement saying it was "disturbed by the latest Russian effort to decrease space for independent and free media in this country."

... ... ...

A Voice of Russia commentary cast the VOA shutdown as long overdue.

"The move is yet another indicator of the fact that the Russian Government, which has so far been patient as the US/NATO attempt to continue to surround it with missiles and continue to demonize everything Russian, is beginning to take serious measures to protect itself, its people and its allies," said the Russian state radio commentator, John Robles.

He described VOA as an "aging, recidivist Cold War propaganda machine seeking to stay relevant by creating its own bogeymen and brainwashing the masses to promote knuckle-dragging caveman policies of force and subservience."

Voice of America, which broadcasts in 45 languages to 164 million people worldwide, began beaming its news to information-deprived Soviets in 1947, when dictator Josef Stalin was imposing the Iron Curtain around Eastern Europe. In the early 1990s, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, VOA was granted a Russian government broadcast license and allowed to lease transmission facilities. That level of cooperation began eroding a decade ago, when Russian President Vladimir Putin imposed state controls on domestic and foreign media.

j. von hettlingen

Another reason why the Russian media oversight agency refused to renew the contract of Voice of America, is that the VOA had drowned out state media during the Cold War. Seen as a thorn in Putin's side.

The US built a powerful transmitter near Munich and broadcast its Russian service on the same frequency as Moscow's programmes, attracting more and more Russian listeners.

Long-wave radio played an important role in the old days. It suited Russian broadcasters because a single transmitter could reach a wide area at all times of day and night. But they were expensive, and as most listeners have begun listening on FM, or through cable, satellite and the internet, the authorities decided to bring the service to an end two months ago.


Dougdingle: Have you ever listened to VOA, BBC or anything that could be fairly called called propaganda on those stations? I used to listen to both. At one time, VOA had editorials which reflected U.S. government thinking. But, it was clearly labelled as that.

Check the website,, and see if you find what you consider propaganda.

Do you actually have proof that VOA is somehow part of the CIA?


Why was propaganda put into quotes in the headline?

If there ever existed a mindless propaganda tool, it was (is) the Voice Of America, the lying mouthpiece of the CIA.

SoCal Poor


Well said.

Noticed "Pussy Riot" is still in the LAT's news menu bar.

It's a wonder the CIA hasn't sent in a drone strike to free them from the terrible political repression they endure. Must not be enough kids in the vicinity for a good flesh burning mission.

[Apr 14, 2014] CNN report abour Donesk uprising

Sign displayed at the end can be translated as "The USA hands off of Ukraine"

[Apr 14, 2014] ANALYSIS Civil War Unlikely as Kiev Junta Loses Support World

Apr 14, 2014 | RIA Novosti

Civil war in Ukraine is unlikely as Kiev's junta is quickly losing support, according to Jon Hellevig, co-author of the book "Putin's New Russia."

"I don't think there will be any civil war," Hellevig, a managing partner at the Moscow-based Awara Group, told RIA Novosti.

"The Russian people of eastern and southern parts of present-day Ukraine will take over their local governments soon, without large-scale conflict," said Hellevig, a longtime observer of Russia's development.

Pro-federalization protesters in Ukraine's eastern city of Slaviansk ignored a Monday deadline by the central regime to lay down arms. On Sunday, Ukrainian security troops launched a so-called "anti-terror operation" to end the federalist rallies.

Demonstrations in support of the formation of a Ukrainian federation have been flaring up across the region since last month. On Saturday, the unrest spilled over to several other cities, including Mariupol, Yenakiyevo and Kramatorsk.

"I think that events in eastern parts of Ukraine are unfolding very fast and positively now," Hellevig said. "We have seen that there is genuine disgust among the population towards the junta and the people have also organized armed self-defense units. The events of yesterday show that the junta does not have armed power to put down the resistance."

The botched attempt to storm Slaviansk on Sunday is further proof of the central authorities' lack of support, as was the disobedience of the Alpha special forces unit that was ordered to storm occupied buildings in Donetsk, Hellevig said.

"Reports on the ground today support the notion that the operation is not going well," Hellevig said, commenting on the use of military force by Ukraine's acting President Turchinov to quell the protests.

"The junta is desperate. They are losing support fast. In this situation, they tried to save themselves by trying to make themselves stronger than they really are," Hellevig said.

Anatoly Karlin, who runs the blog Da Russophile, however, said that if Kiev tries to wipe out the "terrorists," which is one possible scenario, it will "totally alienate eastern populations that are already very unhappy," Karlin told RIA Novosti.

EU Aggravated Ukrainian Crisis by Legitimizing Regime Change – French Politician

April 14 | RIA Novosti

The situation in Ukraine deteriorated after the European Union acknowledged the February coup in Kiev as a legitimate change of power, a socialist deputy in a regional French council has said.

"In defiance of the February 21 agreement signed by Ukraine's political forces, Europe has recognized the coup d'état in Kiev as a legitimate change of power," Julien Dray told the RMC radio station.

"As a result Europe was hit hard by its own actions. It is evident now that the entire population of eastern Ukraine also claims it does not accept this new government," he said.

Dray added that one of the gravest lapses of the new authorities was the swift abolition of a law on Russian as an official language and the general reluctance to meet the demands of Ukraine's eastern regions.

"The first thing the new government did when it came to power was to repeal the law recognizing Russian as a second official language. What they should have done then to quell the people was to cancel this decision and to acknowledge the rights of the Russian-speaking community. But this is not happening," Dray added.

[Apr 13, 2014] While Donetsk "boiling", Yanukovich and his former officials communicate with journalists in Rostov-on-Don by Aluona KATASHINSKAYA

On Sunday evening , April 13 , in Rostov -on-Don were ex- Interior Minister Vitaly Zakharchenko , former Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka and former President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych .

Yanukovych spoke first. He stated:

He also appleaed to SBU:

About U.S.

Coming Bankrupcy

About the current authorities


Former Attorney General Victor Pshonka also spoke at the press conference .Pshonka accused the new government of violating the law

Pshonka added that the new government " manipulates the minds of the citizens ."

In turn Former Interior Minister Vitaly Zakharchenko said that still consider himselv an acting Minister.

[Apr 13, 2014] Live Blog Disturbances In The East

This former anti-war protester, now a head of neocon State Department Kerry ;-)

-- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in a phone call that Russia would suffer "additional consequences" if it did not act to de-escalate the situation in eastern Ukraine and pull its troops back from the border.

-- Lavrov in turn told Kerry that any armed action by Ukrainian authorities in eastern Ukraine would put planned talks at risk. He said that any use of force against ethnic Russians in the east of Ukraine "would undermine the potential for cooperation ... including the holding of planned four-party talks in Geneva" on April 17.

From our news desk:

Russia's Foreign Ministry says Moscow will put an urgent discussion of the situation in eastern Ukraine on the agenda of the UN and the OSCE. It called on authorities in Kyiv to stop waging war against their own people. The statement said "It is now the West's responsibility to prevent civil war in Ukraine."

[Apr 13, 2014] Interview Ex-President Kuchma Says Only West Can Resolve Ukraine Crisis

RFE/RL: There is much speculation about Russia's next step regarding Ukraine -- whether Russia would opt for intervention, whether it would move to annex more Ukrainian regions. As a person who knows Russian President Vladimir Putin quite well, what is your prediction?

Leonid Kuchma: I don't think we should expect [military] intervention from Russia. We gave up Crimea very easily without firing a bullet. Ukraine could have done a lot to prevent the situation we have today.

As for the next step, we can see that Russia is trying to create mayhem in southeastern Ukraine. To some extent Russia is succeeding in its goal, because there is not only an ideology and the protection of Russian-speakers behind it, but also very big money is involved here -- there is no doubt about it.

Many political experts believe Russia will do everything it can to destabilize the situation in Ukraine's southeastern regions. Keeping a large contingent of military forces near the Ukrainian border is part of that effort, and it is having an impact.

RFE/RL: What's the way out of this situation?

Kuchma: It can only be resolved with the help of the West and the United States. Russia does not recognize the legitimacy of the current government in Kyiv and will not negotiate with it. Ukraine has no chance there.

Ukraine could have taken concrete steps in this direction in the beginning but we didn't do that. For instance, a delegation of lawmakers could have gone to Moscow and told the Russian side: "We are here to talk with you. If you don't want to talk to us, it means you don't want to have anything to do with us."

Now we see that [U.S. Secretary of State John] Kerry has agreed with [Russian Foreign Minister Sergei] Lavrov, and a third side -- the European Union -- to sit at the negotiation table to try to find consensus

... ... ...

RFE/RL: Has it surprised you that Russia went so far as to violate Ukraine's territorial integrity?

Kuchma: To analyze Russia's actions, you have to try to understand Putin's point of view. Russia has always feared having NATO right under Moscow's nose. If Russia had such fears, it could have [proposed a] resolution at the [UN] Security Council saying Ukraine was a nonaligned country that could never join NATO. But instead, Russia chose another way -- it chose to put economic pressure on Ukraine, as we saw it in recent years.

It means Putin never trusted Ukraine, especially its government. He always assumed that one day someone would come to power in Ukraine that would ignore the Russian-Ukrainian friendship, and Ukraine would join the European Union and NATO. I think Russia has had this scenario in mind all along, and planned accordingly. One of the plans to defend Russian interests to a great extent was the annexation of Crimea -- and it has been executed spectacularly.

RFE/RL: Among Ukrainian presidential candidates, who is best positioned to rescue Ukraine?

Kuchma: Unfortunately, I don't see any candidate who enjoys enough popularity to unite Ukraine. Because -- plainly speaking -- they belong to the so-called "Orange" government. The future leadership should include representatives of all regions in order to unite the country. If it consists of only half of Ukraine, there will consequences in the other half of the country.

I don't have any rosy expectations that a new government could come to power and do something drastic to resolve all the problems. However, I do like Prime Minister [Arseniy] Yatsenyuk's actions. He is trying to convey to the regions what policies the government is considering. Today everyone needs to go to the east [of Ukraine] to tell people there what your thoughts are, what you are planning to do. Because there is mistrust of the central government and of western Ukraine there, and it won't be easy to win back their trust.

Ukraine moves against pro-Russian gunmen in East, triggering bloody gun battle

Junta has no moral right to use arms against protesters as they come to power as a result of armed putsch. That does not mean that protesters are right to demand secession. They would be much better off with the autonomy within Ukraine as Lavrov's 4 point plan suggests. As one commenter noted: Change a few words and it reads just like the headlines in February: "The "anti-terrorist" operation Ukrainian forces launched against armed pro-European militants in the volatile west and Kiev turns bloody, with one dead and others injured.". However, that is not sufficient grounds for Russian intervention. There is no evidence that Ukrainians of ethnic Russian background have been abused and almost all of the complaints can be managed through diplomacy.
The Washington Post

The conflict between pro-Russian gunmen and Ukrainian authorities turned bloody on Sunday, with one security serviceman killed and reports of people wounded on both sides, escalating the struggle for the eastern part of the country a week after separatists began systematically occupying government buildings.

Gunfire - the first reported between authorities and pro-Russian separatists - was set off as Ukraine declared an "anti-terrorist" operation Sunday using the Army against a burgeoning revolt in the Donetsk region over the weekend.

... ... ...

Russia's Foreign Ministry issued a statement Sunday night calling Ukraine's actions "criminal," adding that "it is now the West's responsibility to prevent civil war in Ukraine."

Sunday night, there was little evidence that Russian supporters had any inclination to retreat. Last Monday, they overran the Donetsk regional administration building and have held it ever since. Saturday they took Donetsk regional police headquarters while other men in camouflage overwhelmed the Slavyansk police department, 55 miles from Donetsk. By Sunday they had stormed other towns in the region.

A captain in Ukraine's security service was shot to death Sunday in a fight outside Slavyansk, Turchynov said, and two colonels were wounded. Four local residents were wounded, according to other reports.

... ... ...

The police station, city council and prosecutor's office in the small town of Yenakiev, 40 miles east of Donetsk, were seized Sunday, according to Ukrainian newspaper reports. Former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, who has been accused of helping Moscow stir up unrest, comes from the town.

Yanukovych fled to Russia in February after three months of demonstrations against his government in Kiev, set off by his refusal to sign an agreement for closer cooperation with the European Union. Instead, he wanted to pursue economic ties with Russia, an inclination more popular in the Russian-speaking east than the rest of the country.

In Kramatorsk, a city of 200,000 about 60 miles north of Donetsk, the police department was captured Saturday night by heavily armed men who were shooting at the building and in the air, in a tense scene shown in an online video. The city council building also was reported to be in separatist control.

Police and residents of the small town of Krasniy Liman reportedly fought off an attempt to take offices there.

In the Kharkiv region north of Donetsk, 50 people were injured when separatists attacked a pro-Ukrainian rally with sticks and stun grenades, local police reported. No violence was reported in Luhansk, in the easternmost part of Ukraine.

... ... ...

Turchynov's announcement that the Army would be used helped solved the problem of local police, many of whom were reportedly defecting to the pro-Russian side. And the Army might also be a more appropriate force to use against potential invasion.

The Ukraine army, however, is poorly equipped, and U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Sunday it was time for the United States to do something about it.


WaPo subheadline on main page: "The "anti-terrorist" operation Ukrainian forces launched against pro-Russian gunman in the volatile east turns bloody, with one dead and others injured."

"gunman"? That silly spell check!

Change a few words and it reads just like the headlines in February:

"The "anti-terrorist" operation Ukrainian forces launched against armed pro-European militants in the volatile west and Kiev turns bloody, with one dead and others injured."


I read about 20 of these comments and it appears most people here are enjoying either attacking Kerry, Obama, the WaPost or presenting irrelevant opinions about revolutions and invasions from 50 to 100 years ago. Regardless of whether Russia is stirring up tension and coordinating the resistance in eastern Ukraine, it is clear the Ukrainian authorities have a legal right to arrest people who are illegally occupying buildings and taking people hostage. It is a sovereign countries with democratically elected representatives. The new Ukrainian government is legal because it followed the constitution in how it changed. You can oppose that, but you change that by coming elections. This is called democracy.

The people of Crimea did have a right to vote to succeed, but the Ukrainian Constitution requires a process for that to happen. Crimea did not follow the process, thereby it is an illegal succession. It is like Texas voters agreeing to succeed from the US. Or the Confederacy succeeding from the US back in the 1860s. It violates constitutional agreements and thus it is illegal.

Finally, let me say this. If Pro-Russian people who support allowing states or provinces or cities to independently succeed, then what about Chechnya succeed. Russia thinks Crimea's voters should be able to decide, so let Chechnya's voters decide, too. If not, all this is hypocritical talk.

Ancalimon responds:

Jay absolutely correct. What we are witnessing here in the comments section is a Russian team of propagandists who disguise themselves as Americans. It is very obvious they are coordinated across many news service commentator websites.

kokap responds:

Did you read yourself the Constitution of Ukraine? Plz read it.,d.bGE

This 'new Ukrainian government' is illegal itself.


Look, every country has minorities in it. And virtually every Eastern European country has fascist and anti-Semitic parties, including Russia. And yes there were elements of the far right involved in the anti-Yanukovych demonstrations.

However, that is not sufficient grounds for Russian intervention. There is no evidence that Ukrainians of ethnic Russian background have been abused and almost all of the complaints can be managed through diplomacy. In fact, I don't even begrudge Russians living in Ukraine the right to demonstrate and put their demands out there if they believe they are being treated unfairly.

But I don't believe Russia has a basis for its obvious efforts to destabilize and then intervene in the Ukraine. Most of all Putin and Russia's views of the West are ludicrous. The chance that Russia will be invaded from the West is zero.

But if Russia feels that NATO membership should be off the table for Ukraine, then let it negotiate that with the West and NATO. Thinking about the world as if we are still locked into a Cold War between a Communist East and a Capitalist West is idiocy. Russian money and Western money are too intermingled at this point. Is there a shopping mall in Germany now that isn't being financed with Russian moolah?


There was a time when I was more of an agressive type of neo-Conservative when it came to spreading Western influence and Global Democracy.

I no longer see the point of out right agression or support of governments that are some form of dictatorship.

We do have an opportunity in Ukraine to do something constructive. Crimea may be lost. But it is not a big loss. Russia already controlled the naval base, and Crimea has little in the way of natural resources.

Ukraine does have natural resources, in energy and agriculture. The West does not have to have a bloody conflict to help Ukraine into a more ethincally tolerant society. I'm not saying the West is perfect at this, but we have made some great strides internally. We could help Ukraine by providing assistance to support a modern democracy by building their economic and (very important) educational infrastructure. This will take time and effort, but it can be done.

And who knows? We may end up with another nation supporting Global Democracy. And we can do it without using the military.


As you do ethnically tolerant society we know. As in Iraq where you provoked civil war, ad in Syria where you also provocked civil war, how it was in Afgan and how you do in Ukraine now.

With 1821 year USA not change tactics, everywhere when you can you do civil war and after that just buy up new governments (or rather buy up until civil war).


Russian Foreign Minister convene an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council on the situation in South-East of Ukraine

Development of the situation in the South- East of Ukraine becomes extremely dangerous. Self-proclaimed as a result of a coup Kiev authorities have embarked on the violent suppression of popular protests that have become a reaction to a complete disregard for the legitimate interests of the inhabitants of the south- eastern regions , and direct threats of violence against anyone who does not agree with the dominance of radical nationalists , chauvinist , Russophobic , anti-Semitic acts coalition, which reigned in Kiev with direct support from the United States and the European Union.
Strongly condemn attempts to use brute force against protesters and activists taking advantage of the militants' Right sector "and other illegal armed groups. Particular causes outrage criminal order Turchinova use the army to quell the protests. As a result of such actions in the Southeast already spilled blood


When Germany was re-unified in 1990, Gorbachev, U.S. Secretary of State James Baker, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, and other leaders agreed that the formerly socialist Eastern European countries would not become part of NATO - the Cold War military alliance of the U.S. and Western Europe.

That promise lasted until the west tore Yugoslavia apart and absorbed its parts into NATO. This was followed by bringing once Baltic Soviet republics Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania into NATO in 2005.

After that, Putin dispatched Russian troops to Georgia, a new former Soviet state on its borders, when it appeared that western maneuverings there was leading towards another violation of the west's promises to not attempt to surround Russia with NATO military armies. Georgia was a warning from Putin.

Now, in Ukraine, the west is ignoring Putin's clear warning given by way of sending troops into Georgia. The US and Europe are playing at confrontational politics - who will blink.

What we are watching in Ukraine is the west reviving the Cold War and Putin, notwithstanding his authoritarian disposition and stained political record, responding to the west's crossing of the red line he drew back then.

The US and Europe are trying to bully but Putin is making it clear he won't be bullied any longer. Either by the Cold War revanchists in the west or the dregs of Ukraine's fascists and neo-Nazis from WWII.


KIEV. Large-scale special operation with the participation of the armed forces of Ukraine may start in the Donetsk region have this night, told the TV channel "1 +1" SBU head Valentyn Nalyvaychenko.


Ukraine chaos, brought to you by Victoria Nuland, the State Department, the Obama admin, the neocons. The same war crowd that can't sleep at night unless people somewhere on the globe are suffering under the threat of violence and war. Peace gives them insomnia.


BluDog Ex-Dem
1:32 PM EDT

The Maidan caused 1/5th of the Parliament in Kiev to flip members or party affiliation, invalidating the will of the people without an election.

Some in the country don't recognize the new government. They are protecting their towns, property and will against them. Welcome to the world.

Wrong. Parliament voted to return power back to itself and schedule May elections. Yanukovych bolted rather than face the voters, taking the money he looted from the treasury with him. Only after he fled did Parliament replace him.


Ladies and Gentlemen:
We should understand that we are discussing the official briefing lines

Politics and laws can't go together. Unfortunately for idealistic views, politics is a business of liars.

It is normal. In other words, the normal people need to be educated and to see the trends between the lines of the liars (America, Russia, Europe – doesn't matter – this is their business.) In the best-case scenario, the liars are working for their people for a while. Normally, they work just for large-scale businesses. It is normal, and we have to live with that)


Why should Obama do anything? His spread of democracy in ME during the Arab Spring has done wonders!


and every time the middle east stabilizes a bit, the Obama admin sends more weapons to destabilize nations. Now we are saying to Ukrainians. We want hell for you. Love America.


The President of Ukraine is not legitimate. He came to power after an armed coup. He was not chosen by the people. Because the conflict people don't want that. To use the army is possible only with the introduction of the state of "Emergency". To enter a "state of Emergency" you need Verphovna Rada decision. It was not allowed. All of which makes Turchynov is not legitimate.


Unfortunately, President Obama doesn't have any cards he can play or even knows how to play. He can't use the bluff effectively any more. This duck isn't lame, its terminal.


I'm no fan of Obama but you Neocons are pathetic you want Obama to start WW3- and for what to defend Neo-Nazis?

Torbjorn Eide

Well the fact of the matter is that there aren't that many "cards to play." There aren't that many reasons why the US should be so worried about Ukraine anyway. Except for being worried about the well-being of the Ukrainian people - which I am not so sure they care much about.

Let us be thankful that it is not George W. Bush in the White House anymore...


protests at maiden lane were OK but any other protests are not allowed. Violence was not allowed at Maiden lane, but the new govt can use violence now. OK I see, a huge double standard. None of the blathering of politicians, military officials etc can change it. It is just blathering hot air.


new government is not democratically elected and not reepresentative of the whole population, Old gov might have sucked but was elected in internationally certified free and fair elections and repesentative of the majority of the population.

It's as simple as that. Whatever happened in parlament after the coup to legitimize the process occurred under duress and should be regared as illegitimate.

President Obama is not definetely the most popular president ever: does this mean it would be democratically acceptable for him to be toppled without elections?

Surely Congress has power to impeach the President ... but if impeachment would take place after a coup would such impeachment have any legitimacy?

BluDog Ex-Dem

The Maidan caused 1/5th of the Parliament in Kiev to flip members or party affiliation, invalidating the will of the people without an election.

Some in the country don't recognize the new government. They are protecting their towns, property and will against them. Welcome to the world.


We've had members flip party affiliation post-election. You forget Arlen Spector?

BluDog Ex-Dem

1/5th of the membership and to flip the control of the whole chamber with the powers of electing a new president?

(I thank God for our Constitution, the three branches and the separation of powers - and for the grace and strength to maintain those powers against those that would take or sacrifice their responsibilities to other branches)


Look, it was either vote their way or the guys with the guns behind the doors will take care of you. What would you have done?

JB 1

The US involvement in Ukraine will have an effect on the Iranian Nuke talks.
An oil for Arms deal is currently in the works between Russia and Iran, what's more important for the US, Iran Nuke talk's or Ukraine ?
S-300 Missiles are allegedly part of the deal.


Rukrainians 1 Nazis 0


The troubles the USA is having around the world over the past ten years or so are linked to the fact that hard core neocons have infiltrated USA entire military and foreign policy establishments ( ex. Nuland..[F#*k the EU!].) and Obama does not set foreign policy, or cannot resist neocon influences. Perhaps no Us president can anymore. The neocon movement is a corrupt but irresistible force.

Do Americans actually believe the ungodly hypocritical pronouncements of their own government. The lies?! The international community is sick of it.

What would McCain or Romney be doing about now!? Hope you all have shelter from nuclear war...


Ukraine is an artificial state as a mixture of the East and the West. The West is a product of Hitler-Stalin deal. There is no way to reconcile the occupied Banderas and the industrial East region.

There is no a long-term solution. This Ukraine is going to break out sooner or later.

NATO or other forces will not be able to keep the parts together. The history says that there is no way to win people (Hitler vs Russia, Russia vs Afghanistan, America vs Iraq and Afghanistan etc)

Jelly Roger

Fancy a kettle calling, not even a pot, but a porcelain vase black. Ukraine is a nation-state with a homogeneous population - 85% ukrainians. Whereas nothing could be more artificial than the Russian Federations - a patchwork of constituent republics, okrugs, territories, districts, etc. And with all this hodge-podge of federal constituents, there no actually a Russian rebublic or even a district. Where are you roots, Russians? In Ufa? In Adler? In Yar Chaly (Naberezhyye Chelny)? Kazan? Izhevsk? Tumen? Yoshkar-Ola? Syzran? Saransk? Hanty-Mansiysk? Berezovo-Salehard? Perm? Well, the wait will not be too long, before all these peoples will go free and the Moskovy state shrinks back to its original territory.


Fact of the matter is that the big powers undermine principles of law because of its self-interest. Law only applies to a small nations. Therefore the UN and international law are dead (in recent history recognition of ex-Yugoslavia republics, Iraq, Kosovo. Crimea etc.). And all world wars started because the big powers which started to fight between themselves using proxies..


it is obvious that "the west" does not need Ukraine. It needs the most violent crap happening there. Why? To consolidate power over its own people through fear both in the US and the EU. More military power, more consolidation, less rights, more spying and control.

People in EU already do not vote for who "represents" them in EU meetings. How are they chosen? People elect local politicians but they have no say over EU politics.

How much to spend on social agenda, how much money to print, how to spend it. How much military should a state have, where and why get involved. It is all decided by non elected EU officials. How much more local freedom will be given up because of staged events in Ukraine and fear propaganda of "Evil Russia"?

[Apr 13, 2014] Casus belle ?

I think Russia overstates its case. No that junta is less despicable, but the right to defend its territorial integrity is that right of every state. So here the US help is actually constructive not destructive as it was with EuroMaidan color revolution. On the other hand what prevent junta from adopting compromise protesters want: autonomous status of Donetsk region within the Ukraine and status of Russian language as the second official language within the autonomy. Canada can live with two languages, why Ukraine can't?

The use of armed forces against the civilian population in the country - is a grave crime that has no statute of limitations.

How - does junta has any reliable combat-ready army units?

But we must understand that the junta has long itself is responsible for nothing. Order are given on the other side of the pond by those who really need blood, corpses, who needs a civil war in Ukraine.

And they - not the junta will try to scrape together something together and throw it into the war with Donetsk republic .

Situation became precarious again. No wonder Foreign Ministry of Russia reacted so tough and demands immediate convening the UN Security Council on the situation in the South- East. As for the current collision for those who stand beside Kiev junta UN does not matter. And the outcome is known .

[Apr 13, 2014] Some technical considerations

Insurgents in the East do not have real support from Russia and as such are doomed... Well trained special forces will re-take builins. The only unknown is level of losses That does not mean that their cause ('referendum about status of Donetsk region) is wrong, but they lack arms and organization to withstand that assault of state. On the other hand Kiev junta is crazy and is playing with fire. Compromise is the best way out but junta brains were completely frozen out on EuroMaidan...

Apr. 13th, 2014

That "counter-separatism" operation which started in the afternoon is highly unusual .

Maybe it was a "reconnaissance" operation to identify ETA as preparation for a night assault , and maybe a sign of on the desperate situation in the leadership of junta. And for the same reason they used helicopters to make themselves visible .

In principle, well-prepared ambush can immediately half the "special forces" caught in it as everything is decided in seconds and in the way it is pre-planned by the defenders. It does not matter if you are "Alpha", or "Falcon" or "Grey goose" - in the first few seconds when fire is opened your level of training does not matter, it provides no advantages. If you get into this mess you will find yourselves up to the neck in it, as Afghanistan proved, but there is a need of a high degree of mutual understanding and coordination, otherwise you can in addition to losses inflicted shoot your own.

Now, armor has an advantage only in the open field, especially against the "tires-reinforced" checkpoint . In the village or a city the walls of the buildings have the same function as armor, and at a distance of throw bottles with " cocktail " armor or grenade launchers it is very vulnerable. Remember Grozny.

"Right sector" is good mainly only as provocateurs (which they, in principle, are). The converted from them "National Guard " is mostly a fake. Worthless human material. And how many are their those hard-core Banderites fanatics in existence ? May be a couple of hundred or a couple of thousand at best. Most are young punks and older nerds. And for the latter their morale can quickly turns into trash "Man, do not beat me."

And against those couple of hundred hard-cores that Avakov can put in the fight, specialists may well be able to stand their own even if they half less numerous, especially if they are former Berkut, or retired from the Army spetsnaz, or other similar specialists who "switched to the right side." Western mercenaries can act solving only an isolated tasks and against lightly armed targets. And even at those tasks much of their success depends of the level of professionalism on the other side.

Well, superior communications, night sights, grenade launchers and heavy machine guns as well as helicopters and armored vehicles are not that efficient in cities and in door-to-door fights. Although they can definitely help the attackers. I would say that, from purely technical point of view, the uprising (and it is already uprising again Kiev junta) have some minimal chances to repeal the first wave of attacks.

[Apr 13, 2014] Russian propaganda over Crimea and the Ukraine: how does it work? by Alan Yuhas

The pot calling kettle black ;-). But some interesting observation in this Guardian drivel
17 March 2014 | The Guardian

a constant theme spouting from Russian sources has been the Ukrainian revolution's alliance with "fascists" – a vague word that's become a catchall for anti-Semites, terrorists, insurgents, anarchists and thugs.

Though there were nationalists and far-right nationalists among Kiev's protesters, and there are some in the new interim government, there decidedly weren't and aren't many – if any – bona fide fascists. This line has been both taken up and debunked (thoroughly), but any discussion of fascists at all is a Kremlin win.

... ... ...

Fear of fascists goes a long way in Ukraine, which suffered in the second world war. By definition, fear ("Fascists are coming for your family!") and confusion ("Fascists? Are there fascists? What's a fascist?") matters much more in propaganda than truth (not so many fascists). It doesn't have to make sense – in fact it's better if it doesn't.

... ... ...

Putin has also insisted that Yanukovych's ouster was not just illegal but a coup, and he has pointed fingers at the west for orchestrating and backing the culprits. Again, slivers of truth work in Putin's favor: Kiev's parliament removed Yanukovych on constitutionally murky grounds, though everyone else has now accepted them; because Senator John McCain and European leaders visited Kiev, it looks like the west really did back those obstreperous radicals.

... ... ...

Skewed facts, half-truths, misinformation and rumors all work in the propagandist's favor. By playing up a law that would diminish the Russian language's official status, Kiev looks like it's persecuting Russian speakers (though the vetoed bill does not ban Russian).

... ... ...

The one thing the Kremlin loves more than misinformation is when the western media pushes oversimplified stories. The idea that Ukraine is evenly split between a pro-European west and a pro-Russian east actually fits with Putin's preferred version of events; saying there's any "one map" you need to understand Ukraine's crisis" risks unwittingly spreading the Kremlin's story. Peter Pomerantsev explains:

The big winner from the conceptual division of Ukraine into 'Russian' and 'Ukrainian' spheres may well be the Kremlin. The idea that Russia is a separate political and spiritual civilisation, one which is a priori undemocratic, suits the Kremlin as it looks to cut and paste together an excuse to validate its growing authoritarianism. So every time a commentator defines the battle in Kiev as Russian language v Ukrainian, a Kremlin spin doctor gets in another round of drinks.

4. Bend the rules

... In short, it forces others – like Merkel or US secretary of state John Kerry – into engaging in a sparring match in which no rules exist that can't be bent or broken. The more boundaries Putin pushes and lines he crosses, the more the west will accept a more extreme version of "normal".

5. Follow your script

By spreading talk of fascists, of gangs of unknown armed men, of coups and self-determination and persecution – while sending armed men into Ukraine, egging on real and staged protests, bribing politicians and blocking the media – the Kremlin is enacting and realizing its propaganda on the ground. The Ukrainian government and military has shown remarkable restraint in not falling for the ploy, but Putin appears prepared to increase the pressure, especially as protester clashes grow more violent.

James Meek sums up the motives:

The revolution on Maidan … is the closest yet to a script for [Putin's] own downfall. In that sense the invasion is a counter-revolution by Putin and his government against Russians and Ukrainians alike.

Timothy Snyder explains the goal:

Propaganda is thus not a flawed description [of reality[, but a script for action … the invasion of Crimea was not a reaction to an actual threat, but rather an attempt to activate a threat so that violence would … change the world.

Selected Comments

Thomas Wengraf

Brilliant propaganda move by the 'West' journalists in the USA. Can they do a similar one on the propaganda move by the West. Yes, of course they could. Will they? Not a chance!! Would the Guardian publish it? Very very unlikely.


Yeah, great job. You should also publish something like "How western propaganda push works."



Lying to your own people never works. We've seen it many times before - Argentina claiming that the British aircraft carriers had been sunk even as Harriers swarmed over Stanley, the Serbs appropriating the swastika to demonise Nato, Chemical Ali blithely declaring that the Yanks were defeated while Allied tanks rolled into downtown Baghdad.

Putin is merely toying with the rope that will eventually hang him.

TruthIsPrivelege IrascibleOldGit

It is real funny.
Take a look into Kiev and take a look on Crimea..
Kiev - violence, beatings of people on streets, looting even banks..about 80 dead officially, God knows how many were murdered in reality..Nazi gangs looted army stocks and ruining around with automatic army rifles..
Hundreds wounded - police officers.., people, intimidation is a norm of life.
Sending zonder commandos to Russian cities which refused to bow to unconstitutional coup to intimidate them and Force to accept unlawful take over of power..

Crimea - No one shot, No one wounded, No one intimidated, No one robbed, No one looted.
People are safe, People are happy that got away from "democratic" "government" in Kiev.

You are delusional at best - open yourself to Real Life.


A mountain of lies which carries a history of bloodshed and plunder, with the power of apocalyptic proportions is acting against the people in Ukraine and Crimea. Unfavoured minorities are the first in danger. Ukrainians have been given the option to sell out their country to multinational "investors" and its people as an army of cheap labourers spread across an already bankrupt Europe. Those charlatans who were dreaming of gaining power are now in that position making a fool of themselves. The empire needs them to act as political pimps who can facilitate the sell-off in return for temporarily obtaining a position in the government.

The empire calls the result of the vote illegal. Legality has always been defined by the rules and terms set by the powerful. They made many countries out of Yugoslavia through wars and votes. All were called the victory of the people. Now the vote of Crimea becomes illegal. For the same reasons the elected Palestinian group Hamas was called illegal and terrorist and again for the same reasons many elected presidents were removed from power through a covert operation supported by the empire. And recently the same operation managed to remove the elected president of Ukraine, which is the main reason why Crimea was forced to go to the polls.

Passionate in resistance and willing to seek unity with their fellow citizens; that is what Crimeans showed during the election and that is the key to their victory. People acting is the real power, it is so huge and beautiful. And that is the heart of the matter. If Russia and Crimea want to sustain their victory they must mobilise their people, in the streets and their workplace and this is what the west is not able to do. A united people cannot be defeated. The west's favourable fighting ground is away from the public locked in with their corrupt executives, they have lost their place amongst their people.


For God's sake, talk about rank hypocrisy, the Guardian, aka Maidanskay Pravda accuses the Kremlin of Propaganda. From an earlier post of mine;

Words used in connection to Russia, Putin and pro-Russians by Sky News, France 24 and the Guardian - "rambling speech", "Russian propaganda" "sinister troops without insignias" "militants" "extremists" "Russians are sharply divided" "Crimea/South/East are divided, not everyone supports the Russians" "threats to gas supplies" "Putin has lost the plot" "ominous" "provocation" "provocateurs" "Russian pressure" "violent" "separatists" "brutal"

Language used with regards to new Ukrainian Government/West - "peaceful demonstrators" "revolutionaries" "legitimate" "moderate" "civilians" "unarmed" "victims" "heroes" "democratic" "respect for human rights" "diplomatic" "innocent" "popular"


Russia Today had one journalist rail against the Kremlin's actions and another resign in protest - sounds to me like RT is employing people with more integrity and independence of thought than the Guardian. Who'd have expected that?

The Kremlin's propaganda organ has more balance in its recruitment than the "independent" "free" Guardian and other Western Media, my God, just take a look at France 24 coverage if you want to see blatantly biased and slanted reporting.


You forgot an innovation in psy-ops all together.

Invisible troops, no drop of blood, nobody dies in quiet protective posture invasion.
And Western media is shocked. Where is our plane, guns, fire, hi-tech weapons, dead children and such? Scary indeed.


hey I have just read a fine piece of propoganda in this article.

I watched 60 minutes last night more propoganda. Looked at the video on this sight re klitchko describing him as opposition leader , he is the leader of nothing.Kitchko and the chocolate king are the acceptable face of the revolution because they appear honest and dedicated to their cause but the reality is the are not in USA plans or anyones plans for the future of Ukraine. If the protesters had of stuck to the agreement brooker by theese two and others ukraine would still be in possesion of crimea. Why dont the gardian focus on the radical elements with in the protesters(I include usa in this) that hijacked the revolution and destroyed what could have been a beautiful . Instead they have destroyed their own country

Caroline Louise

So I get it. The Russians do propaganda but we in the west just tell the truth.

Which I guess means the Iraqis really did throw infants out of incubators and really did have WMDs. The Gulf of Tonkin wasn't a lie and Germans bayonetted babies in 1914.

And of course even thinking that Svoboda (whose founder admires Josef Goebbels), is a fascist party is playing Putin's game for him.

Yup that all seems pretty clear. Thanks for the informed and nuanced view. Thank God we aren't getting fed that dumbed down simplistic propaganda, hey?


More interestingly is that western media seems to approve sanctions against Russia and whatever state is the target. Ppl forget that sanctions harm not the goverment. Putin is already very rich just like Obama, the ones who is are going to suffer are civilians - the same ones western is now trying to make starve to death. Very good one for the Nobel peace prize (he won that for not being Bush actually) and Merkel, her puppet in EU is just following the same path issue sanctions against Russia and forgets that Russia can also issue sanctions againt the continent which is just leaving recession. Vey very very 'smart'

FranklyS obsteve

"Can we hear more about the West's "Propagandist's Playbook"? Or am Ito believe we don't have one?"

Just keep reading the Guardian and you'll get a birds-eye view of the playbook. This media organ pretends to be objective albeit slightly left of centre, yet emits Neocon propaganda relentlessly. Should we laugh or cry?

someoneionceknew obsteve

"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country."-Edward Bernays, Propaganda


UK propaganda in regards to Syria.

1. Suppress news of AL-Qaeda operating inside Syria ignore all sources of information that verifies a large number of Al-qaeda and other extremist groups operating inside Syria.

2. When it is overwhelming obvious that #1 has failed, explain that the majority of moderate rebels are only pretending to be extremist.

3. Describe child soldiers as "little helpers"

4. Blame Assad for absolute everything and ignore evidence in regards to who actually fired CW's in Ghouta.

5. Demonise the Russians but not the Chinese whom also vetoed UNSC resolutions, its not their turn yet!

I could go on and on but I think everyone knows that our MSM is not in any position whatsoever to talk about Russian propaganda. "little helpers" ffs how fucking sick is that!

someoneionceknew ElvisInWales

One of the authors of this little piece, Raya Jalabi, also did a particularly slimy hit job on the Syrian nun who was trying to get the real story out.

Victor Chan

Right, one propaganda demystifies the other..heheheh

If there are no extremists, right wingers, neo Nazi running the interim govt, why the country is so divided throughout its history. Its complex history with Russia. The West would like to have us believe that all Ukrainians have been living in harmony and peace. In reality, there is a deep divide. This divide is so deep some Ukrainians would be wiling to die fighting against the Russians.


The guardian itself as been doing some annexing itself, in it's clandestine way.

It's been busy annexing the United Kingdom into it's Soft- Atlanticism.

Using it's soft power to devastating effect in Libya, this method failed miserably in Syria, now it's determined not to fail again with this wall to wall anti Russian coverage.

Is the back stage, privileged access to the Oscars and beyonce exclusives worth this shameless behaviour?

Khurram Khalid

If someone can find a difference between what the Western mainstream politicians and media are saying on Ukrainian crisis, I will be grateful to him/her. Their self-righotusness even exceeds that of the religious fundamentalists from the lest developed societies. They all are unanimous to safeguard Western interests under the pretext of ''international law, freedom and democracy'' not by deploying diplomatic means but by using threats, carrying out unscrupulous propaganda, imposting sanctions, overthrowing governments, and inflicting wars.

Albert Lyubarsky

I live in Israel now. I was born in Donetzk. Propaganda or not, there is antisemitism in Ukraine. Very deep, congenital, non rational hatered of Jews. I don't need Putin's propaganda to knew it.

The second issue: try to ask vast majority of Eastern Ukrainian people if they want to live in Ukraine. It is very easy for you to judge what's good and what's bad, but you never where there.

Really I don't need Putin to tell me what I want. Russian culture, history, language is in my blood since I was a child ( as well as for millions of people from Eastern part of Ukraine)

Bogdanich Albert Lyubarsky

Personally I do not see how pointing out another countries steadfast rejection of the universality of law and their opinion that whatever they do is correct merely because they did it constitutes propaganda.

The rejection of universality and the belief that an action is correct and "legitimate" merely because they undertook it is the hallmark of US "diplomacy." The examples are too numerous to cite but with respect to Crimea, Kosovo is right on point as is the US orchestrated overthrow of the Ukrainian government and the installation of the Right Sector fanatics in the new government.

When we do it in Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Syria, not to mention Iraq where we used force, Russia chose not to do too much about it. However when we tried it in Ukraine they said enough. I don't see what's illegitimate or propagandist about that position. But then I am a person who believes in the supremacy of law and most Americans and certainly all American leaders do not.

Colin Ball

It is funny because a lot of the people here who are passionately agreeing with the author and re-stating how much propaganda Russia distributes have never lived in Russia, nor do they have any friends or family there. They form their anti-Russian opinions solely on the basis of what they have seen and heard ....

........... in western propaganda.


As a piece of propaganda, no, sorry, as a piece about Russian propaganda, it fails because the balance is wrong. It's too obvious and hits the easy targets.

If one had conceded at the beginning that the west has employed propaganda as well, and given some examples, and then gone after the Russian's propaganda this would then have appeared far fairer and therefore believable and authentic.

Instead it's rather amateur and one-sided, whitewashing bar far the largest group inside the regime in Kiev, who resemble the BNP, but not wholely successfully. If one is going to write propaganda one really does need to understand how it works.

[Apr 13, 2014] UN ambassador: Ukraine unrest has 'tell-tale signs of Moscow's involvement'

The Guardian

Details of the fatal exchange of bullets in Slovyansk were sketchy. On Sunday, several journalists reported that armed and camouflaged men were guarding checkpoints on the outskirts of the city. Interim Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov has guaranteed amnesty to separatists who surrender, and announced a "full-scale, anti-terror operation".

An Associated Press reporter found a bullet-ridden SUV on the side of the road where the gun battle was supposed to have taken place. There was a pool of blood on the passenger seat. Vladimir Kolodchenko, a lawmaker from the area who witnessed the attack, told the news agency a car containing four gunmen pulled up on the road in a wooded area outside Slovyansk and opened fire on Ukrainian soldiers who were standing beside their vehicles.

Ukraine's president says a full-scale operation involving the army will be launched in the east after pro-Russian militants seized government buildings.

BBC News

Large parts of eastern Ukraine are slipping out of Kiev's control.


BBC video report

In other developments:

There was heavy gunfire as armed men took the police station in Kramatorsk

Interior Minister Avakov labelled the actions a "display of aggression by Russia".

Announcing the operation to clear the activists, he warned people to stay in their homes in Sloviansk.

"The separatists are shooting to kill without warning against the approaching special forces," he said,

He later said Ukrainian forces had been attacked at a checkpoint on the way to Sloviansk, and at least one officer had been killed and five others wounded.

An unknown number of militants were also wounded, he said.

Witnesses at the police station said there was no sign yet of any clashes, and the centre of the town was quiet.

Eastern Ukraine has a large Russian-speaking population and has seen a series of protests since the ousting of Ukraine's pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych in February

[Apr 13, 2014] Finance Officials Push for Bold Action to Sustain Economic Growth By ANNIE LOWREY

Apr 12, 2014 |

Underlying the discussions of inflation, interest rates, fiscal balance and trade policy among the assembled ministers were concerns about Ukraine, as news of pro-Russian activists seizing official buildings in the eastern part of the former Soviet republic sent jitters through the meetings. Officials said they hoped that the situation would not escalate. But if it did, it might pose serious consequences to Europe's fragile recovery.

"We are monitoring the economic situation in Ukraine, mindful of any risks to economic and financial stability, and welcome the I.M.F.'s recent engagement with Ukraine," said a communiqué from the Group of 20, which consists of the world's biggest economies.

The fund is preparing a financial rescue package for Kiev that would come with stringent conditions, including tax increases and cuts in government spending. The package would be worth $14 billion to $18 billion, Ms. Lagarde said. The World Bank, the fund's sister organization, is also offering Ukraine billions in aid, with individual countries preparing bilateral packages, as well.

Finance ministers and central bankers also discussed the possibility of new penalties for Russia, said Jacob J. Lew, the Treasury secretary. "There is broad and strong unity within the G-7 on increasing the sanctions and costs in response to escalating action from Russia," he said, referring to the Group of 7, meaning Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States. "There was no dissent in the room that it was essential that there be unity in taking action if necessary."

On Monday, Mr. Lew plans to sign a declaration "moving forward" $1 billion in loan guarantees for Ukraine.

[Apr 13, 2014] Ukraine Forces and Pro-Russian Militants Battle Over Local Police Station by ANDREW E. KRAMER and ANDREW HIGGINSAPRIL

Apr 13, 2014 |

... Roman Svitan, a security adviser to the Ukrainian authorities in Donetsk, said the government's so-called "anti-terrorist operation," launched early Sunday by Alfa, a special services unit of Ukraine's State Security Service, had evicted gunmen from the Slovyansk police headquarters. He said the expelled gunmen were mostly local pro-Russian extremists but also included Russian operatives.

Russian media gave an entirely different account of events, describing Saturday's raids on government buildings in Slovyansk and elsewhere as the work of local self-defense units opposed to the "fascist" government that took power in Kiev after the Feb 21 flight of President Viktor F. Yanukovych.

Russian television quoted Slovyansk residents as denying Ukrainian forces had recaptured occupied buildings and said a local had been killed on the outskirts of Slovyansk during what they called an attack on pro-Russian protesters by armed militants of the Ukrainian nationalist group Right Sector.

The current round of unrest in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine's most populous region and a vitally important industrial and coal-mining center, began last Sunday in the regional capital when pro-Russian activists seized government headquarters and declared an independent state, the People's Republic of Donetsk.

Ukrainian authorities vowed on Wednesday to end the occupation, by force if necessary, by Friday, but they later backed away from this threat in the hope that government promises of more local autonomy for Ukraine's Russian-speaking regions might resolve the standoff.

Sunday's confrontations, however, indicated that the central government in Kiev has now decided to try and restore its authority in the east by force, a course of action that Moscow has repeatedly warned against. With tens of thousands of Russian troops massed along Ukraine's eastern border near Donetsk, the West worries that Moscow might use unrest in Ukraine's mainly Russian-speaking areas as a pretext for a military invasion.

The demands of pro-Russian activists in eastern Ukraine keep shifting between outright secession and greater autonomy within Ukraine. But calls for unity with Russia now seem to predominate, heightening concerns in the West that Moscow is orchestrating the disorder in preparation for a push across the border. Moscow has repeatedly denied having any plans to invade Ukraine.

Putin to EU: Pastries on Maidan not enough to save Ukraine's economy

Apr 11, 2014

Europe should switch from promises to real action to help Ukraine out of the economic chaos, says Russia's President Putin. He also said it was "strange" to learn of the US reaction on a Russian letter to the leaders of EU's top gas-consuming nations, as it was in no way designed for Washington's eyes.

Luc Hellen

Yup ... we can summarize Putin's speech as follows:

You don't want to be friends? No problem, pay your bills. You don't have the money? No problem, get your new "BEST" friends to help you pay your bills. Your new friends aren't answering their cell when you call? No problem, we're turning the spigots off. Best of luck in your new relationship.

Life is simple.

Julian Konrad

Vladimir Putin is outstanding politician and leader, here in America we have hypocrisy and constant lie by the people who should never be in office -- They never respect american law, they never respect international law -- What they do respect ? Own interest -- Those people should be prosecuted and the next day send to french style execution by guillotine


Why can't our leaders speak with reason instead of sounding like a bunch of lunatics 

Katherine Eldon

Perhaps because they are a bunch of lunatics?!

Mark Kahn

He is right in what he says but Russia will have to bare the burden of Ukrainian unpaid bills for the time being... turning off the supply would be a bad move... Things need to play out on the ground for a while, there are many Russians or Russian loyalists in the Ukraine and Russia has a responsibility to provide for these people until things become less chaotic...

Bruce Campbell

It is sad how calm and reasonable Putin appears next to our own leadership. I have assumed it was because of our lust for oil contracts. I am now more prone to think that the Obama government is so hyperbolic and unreasonable to appease the republicans and militarists. Republicans enjoy painting democrats as soft and have won many elections doing so. We can't have Obama cozening up to Putin.


Bismarck once said "I know one hundred ways to lure the bear out of its den, but none to get him back inside"

Jeff R

I see Putin make simple intelligent economic decisions with a mind to protect his people. I do not see him as a tyrant trying to gain more land. The world needs to work together. If he is left alone, then he is force to make economic lone decisions.

[Apr 12, 2014] Gunmen seize more sites in eastern Ukraine as official blames Russia by Sergei L. Loiko

Loiko is a typical presstitute, so beware of his reporting; he mainly repeats State Department talking points... One talking point is interesting in itself: "The goal of the current actions is to capture as many administrative buildings and law enforcement stations as possible before April 17, that is before the meeting in Geneva of representatives of Ukraine, European Union, the USA and Russia to resolve the crisis in our country,"
April 12, 2014 |

Gunmen wearing camouflage uniforms seized two administrative buildings Saturday in a town in eastern Ukraine and separatists attacked sites in two other towns, drawing the vow of a tough response from a top Ukrainian official who blamed the violence on Russian "aggression."

The assailants, armed with automatic rifles, seized a police station and Security Service office in Slavyansk, in the eastern Donetsk region. They captured at least 20 submachine guns and 400 handguns in the station's armory and began distributing the weapons to dozens of separatists, the UNIAN news agency reported.

The group raised a Russian flag over the station, the report said.

... ... ...

"The goal of the current actions is to capture as many administrative buildings and law enforcement stations as possible before April 17, that is before the meeting in Geneva of representatives of Ukraine, European Union, the USA and Russia to resolve the crisis in our country," Dmitry Tymchuk, head of Kiev-based Center for Military and Political Research, wrote on his Facebook page on Saturday.

Russia was to blame for aggravating the situation in southeast Ukraine, acting Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia implied in a phone conversation Saturday with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, said a statement posted on the Russian Foreign Ministry's official website.

"In response S. V. Lavrov said that there were no grounds for such allegations," the statement read. "He reminded that similar claims toward Russia are voiced by Washington but we haven't been presented with concrete facts."

[Apr 12, 2014] East Ukraine protesters joined by miners on the barricades

From comments: "This article is one of the few exceptions and describes the situation vividly. If there is any hope for the people their fate should be decided by themselves. This also applies to us in the west."

12 April 2014 |

Word spread quickly through the few hundred pro-Russian protesters in Donetsk in eastern Ukraine: "The miners are coming!"

The crowd parted as a group of a dozen or so burly men in orange work helmets marched past barbed-wire and tyre barricades into the 11-storey administration building, which protesters seized last weekend as they demanded greater independence from Kiev.

"Glory to the miners!" the crowd began chanting. "Glory to Donbass!" they shouted, much as protesters at Kiev's Euromaidan demonstrations had shouted "Glory to Ukraine!" before they ousted the president, Viktor Yanukovych, in February.

... ... ...

"It's hard to arouse the miners, but when you do, there will be trouble," said Artyom, a former miner who was guarding the administration building on Friday night. "If the miners all rise up, it will be an economic, physical and moral blow. It will be hard for everyone."

... ... ...

"There's only one position, only in support of the referendum," said a miner who identified himself only as Vitaly. "But we can't stop working today, or tomorrow I'll be on the street," he added, saying that any strike would put the mine out of commission for a significant period.

Oleg Krymenko, another local miner, said he did not support the occupation but worried about rising prices – the cost of utilities and basic goods has been shooting up in recent months – and said ties with Russia should be close. "They work and that's it. Before their shift, they have to relax. Coalminers don't engage in nonsense," he said about the protests.

A miner's work is tough, especially in the ageing coal mines of the Donbass. Local miners descend to depths of up to 1,300 metres and often work in temperatures pushing 100 degrees fahrenheit. Fatalities are common, and 111 died in a series of explosions at the local Zasyadko mine in 2007. Flags were lowered to half-mast in Donetsk on Friday after seven miners died in a gas explosion at the Skochinsky mine.

Equipment is often worn-out and safety procedures are frequently violated, according to Oleg Obolents, a retired miner who recently formed an independent miners' union to fight for better pay and safety standards. Donbass miners are "breathing incense", he said, using an expression that refers to the incense burned during Russian Orthodox funeral services and is roughly equivalent to having "one foot in the grave".

A local miner named Andrei said he came to the barricades every day after work, wearing his orange helmet and headlamp. He and his comrades often discussed the political situation when descending into their mine outside the city, he said.

"We need to fight for our rights and protect the Donbass from Bandera supporters. I don't like the Kiev regime," he said, referring to Stepan Bandera, a second world war nationalist leader who is commemorated with dozens of monuments in western Ukraine but widely reviled as a Nazi collaborator in the east. Many protesters see the new Kiev government as dominated by nationalists from western Ukraine, which has a largely agrarian economy.

... ... ...

Most of the major mines in Donbass are owned by Rinat Akhmetov, Ukraine's richest man, who has served as a mediator in negotiations between the Donetsk protesters and the Kiev-appointed governor. In a speech on Friday at a meeting with Ukraine's prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Akhmetov said he supported the protesters' demands for preserving the Russian language and greater independence from Kiev, but added: "For me, Donbass is Ukraine."

Valera, a miner who said the Kiev regime was cracking down on the Russian language, predicted "trouble for the bosses" if the mines stopped working. "If they stop, there will be war," he said.


The west was very quick to declare victory in Ukraine; many officials have visited Kiev by now, each for finding a place at the table laid out for the assumed economic and political feast. The fight however has just started, people are speaking out, loud and determined. The power holders in the west must feel very anxious and unsettled. The momentum now is different; any victory must earn its price.

Sergei Konyushenko happytolive

Now they have their silly agenda - it's all Russia.

The problem for Ukraine is that it's too much polarized in every aspect of it's existence.

There is west who are of course pro-western, and there's east who are historically pro-Russian and produce most of the GDP. And there's capital Kiev which has no ability to balance between these circumstances.

The people in government always had a complex, that in order to do any meaningful political action they have to get approval from the West. The last man who is not profane, was in my opinion Leonid Kuchma.

He was able to balance between east and west in a proper way in external and internal affairs.

i do believe Ukraine society could deal with the situation by itself, but the western influence was fatal. I don't know when it will going to stop...

happytolive Sergei Konyushenko

The news has been about Russian land grabbing. The will of Ukrainians has not even been discussed. This article is one of the few exceptions and describes the situation vividly. If there is any hope for the people their fate should be decided by themselves. This also applies to us in the west.

MellowJohnny01 Sergei Konyushenko

Too bad that Russians' thoughts are neither balanced nor clear w/r/t the crime their gov't committed by stealing Ukraine's territory after Russian troops invaded Crimea, nor the culpability of Putin for ordering provocateurs and rabble-rousers to attempt to ruin the lives of Ukrainians living in the east of their country.


Sergei Konyushenko -> MellowJohnny01

You are just an usual western media repeater. I'll tell you i am a Crimean, and i may personally assure you that from the close social environment i have, including friends, relatives, business partners and acquaintances it's 98 % of em were GLAD to join Russia.

The situation on the East of Ukraine is up to it's population, none of you business. No country is as successful in ruining the lives of eastern Ukrainians, as... Ukraine.

Debbie Rosegirl Fox -> Sergei Konyushenko

They need to wake up and smell the coffee and the sooner the better; their sponsored coup in Kiev has failed. Their junta has opened Pandora's Box, as it broke the delicate balance between East and West in Ukraine by forcefully demolishing the democratic order, by deposing the elected president and imposing a non-representative parliament.The junta's authority is crumbling, and even if it brings Nazi militias and Blackwater mercenaries to suppress the people's protests in an increasingly number of cities, they cannot prevail because neither the police nor the army are following. Game over.


One *extremely* important fact missing from the story is that EU agreement that the interim/unelected govt is about to sign requires Ukraine to put its industries and resources, including coal mines, up for sale for takeover by multinational corporations. I wonder why the author "forgot" to mention that bit.


Gladio II: 4th generation warfare against Russia, Syria, Iran

Russia's Intelligence Chief Alexandr Bortnikov confirmed that the Russian top-terrorist and Emir of the Caucasian Emirate, Doku Umarov, has been killed in an anti-terrorism operation.

Umarov's Caucasian Emirate was along with other Russian terrorist brigades, backed by Saudi and NATO intelligence and part of NATO's Gladio II operation, that ties Umarov to Ukraine's fascist Pravy Sector leader Dmitry Yarosh.


Its clear except to everyone ,except the pro West trolls, that events in the East of Ukraine are acquiring their own momentum. It is quite possible that within a week or a day or even now events there will be beyond the control of the Russian regime. There must be a huge number of ethnic Russians in the East of Ukraine,frightened for their future(jobs lost ,fascists in government in the West etc). And their families future. And this combination of forces, as elsewhere, leads to self mobilization and organisation. Putin may be willing to see the ethnic Russians in Ukraine settled into a federated Ukraine. That doesn't mean the ethnic Russian in Donetsk will be willing this end. And they certainly won't once the shooting starts..


It is a shame to see so many people "believing in democracy" to refuse right of Eastern Ukraine to conduct their referenda on their own future. Apply your own standards to another people lives stop think about others as second class people!


West hides behind uplifting rhetoric about "openness" and "opportunity", but in reality almost all of their goals are simply selfishness. They don't treat half of the population in Ukraine as being really human. They don't care if they are without work, living miserable existences, with their native language, Russian, barely tolerated. All they care about is the geo-political takeover of Ukraine, military bases, waving their missiles like dicks up-close in Russian faces, and using Ukraine as a dumping ground for surplus Western products and a source of resources and cheap labor.

That's is the real story here: the total self-centered selfishness of the Western elite. Their disregard for others. Their inability to even see others - Russian speakers - as having rights and interests. It is all about what benefits the Western elites. Victoria Nuland said it openly: "f..k them...our man Yats will be put in charge". And the IMF "reforms" will be forced in Ukraine whether they like it or not. This is criminal on a level of late 19th century imperial conquests. Hiding behind pretty slogans changes nothing.

It will not work. In 2014 you can't deny people their identity, their livelihood and dump them on a side. They will fight back. My guess is that "our man Yats" has a few months before going on to oblivion. The "chocolate oligarch" too. Who is he planning to sell his chocolate to? Germans? French? Or maybe in US? I am sure West can't wait to take Ukrainian products. Why don't people face the reality?

Babeouf Beckow

You of course ,unfortunately, are correct. All that stuff about Human Rights was just blather that served the Western elites during the Cold War. And when the war was over the victor, the USA, built secret prisons in Europe for torturing people and tortured people in them. And kidnapped folks all over the world. And invaded countries because their elites thought it would improve their geo-political position ,and on and on. Its up to those in Eastern Ukraine who don't wish to be the servants of the NATO/EU?US servants in Kyiv to do something about it. If they don't nobody else will. Certainly Western leaders will not raise a finger to protect ethnic Russians in the East of Ukraine from any fate their neo fascist proxies in kyiv have in mind. Once the situation stabilizes.


Some of the pro-Russian commenters on this article seem to almost be salivating with excitement at the prospect of violent clashes between protesters and the current Ukrainian government, and possible Russian intervention as a result. Yeah, that'll teach Obama and the EU!

Problem is that it will also result in more bloodshed, deeper tensions, more ethnic divisions and further economic disruption for both Ukraine and Russia. Is that what anyone wants to see?

There will be elections in a few weeks which will give all Ukrainians, from West and East, the chance to elect a new government. In the meantime, there need to be calm negotiations to address the concerns raised in this article. A good start would be for the protesters to lay down their weapons before things get out of hand and someone - on either side - gets hurt.

MaximTS -> YoungReuben

How about to give them first the referendum?

wilddolphin -> YoungReuben

"Violent clashes" idea is made by current Ukrainian government, remember? Selective memory is direct result of blatant Western propaganda ghost rages on in Western press.


sitting 12 hours aroubnd the other side of the world I have to wonder whether for the "Pro R", or perhaps better, anti junta, side of the game board the best way to go is TO GO (secede) quickly, or if it makes more sense to actually vote in the "presidential" election?

After all the whole enchilada is better (mayybe, maybe...) than a mere half or so, and it is clear that the last Prez actually won the vote twice so...
why not the easterner again? Odds are the East is the most populous part of Ukraine, the vote in the West will be split a bit between the Chocolate man and the braided lady (both of whom are vulnerable to typical pol campaign ad attacks- Chocolate as an Oligarch whose outhouses are bigger than the ousted Prez's palace ever was, Ms. T on the basis, from the right(?) as having been too friendly with Putin before, from the other flank as being in the pocket of EU bankers) AND perhaps a couple outliers that may gain as those two lose support.

In fact, and given the talk in MSM in The West that the east Ukraine man can't win, odds are the only way for a pro US/EU(/nato) outcome will be to fix the vote.

Which allows for an inversereverse Orange style revolution from the east on exactly the basis that the vote was subornedsubrogatedsabotaged.

In short, the east secedes a little later...anyways


This article reads like that the people in the East are starting to realize what the IMF will do to them. I am sure their local paper is writing about the "joys" in Greece and want no part of it.

These people see the handwriting on the wall - reduced pension, job loss, mines close down, wages cut, layoff -- the usual thing that accompanies IMF help.

I wonder if the people in the West will be so happy when the IMF takes hold of their economy. Western countries say that they will help cushion the shocks -- but that could cost billions and while they might make one time contribution they will not keep it up for the years it will take to restructure the Ukrainian economy.

Yes Yanukovich was a crook but so was Tymoshenko and Yuschenko - the Ukrainian government since independence have been filled with corrupt crooks.

Now this current government chosen by V. Nuland and the US may not be crooks, but they all have dubious pasts as the Guardian has shown.

They basically are taking orders from Washington and Brussels to they have no idea what to do in this situation. The aura of illegitimacy hangs over their heads which means people in the east hesitate to trust them. This is why they cannot calm the situation in the east. They need to bite the bullet and make constituional changes and allow a referendum. I think the holding of referendum, depending on the wording, would calm things down. Also wih consitutional changes that promise greater autonomy if no outrigh federalization of the variour regions.

I don't think Presidential elections will change that. They need parliamentary elections which are not even scheduled. The people correctly believe that W. Ukraine is in charge and making all the decisions without consulting the Eastern regions. That needs to change or there will be bloody riots especially if the interior minister plan to use force to retake the buildings,


No sign of Kagan`s wife among the demonstrators on this occasion---no expletives---are East Ukrainians less deserving of our sympathy than westerners---are they not people too with families and dreams of the future---are "liberals" liberal only when it serves their interests?


Why can't our media tell it like it is? It's a no brainer - an unpopular, but legitimately elected government is overthrown by a bunch of thugs in a violent coup d'etat. US and EU handpick several front men to be the replacement government, but - unsurprisingly - the coup fails because the Quizzlings don't have the support of the population of Ukraine.

People from eastern Ukraine are raising a revolution in protest, and I'd be gobsmacked if the people from western Ukraine really want to be ruled by a bunch of greedy and violent thugs, especially now that they know that EU won't give them money or jobs, or do anything to improve their lot.

In the meantime, a bunch of self-interested arms manufacturers and military profiteers from the "international community" are doing their utmost to start World War 3, and the rest of us are likey to feel the chill next winter, because our gas central heating won't work or will be too expensive to afford.

I just hope that the UK media come to their senses before this gets worse. Mainstream media have lost their credibility over their handling of the Ukraine story - it's time to sober up and start telling it like it is.

MELSM desnol

Misspelling: the term you want is 'Quislings'.


Alice Ponomareva

Galicia, listen, let's start a divorce
Without noise, without blood, and a public fight
Why for we need all this mess, and beaten faces?
Let's divorce as humans, decently.

I l fed you for a long time, I didn't rebel,
I duly filled the budget, year to year
And you were keen on partying on Maidan for years at my expence
While calling me serf, and a useless cripple.

You're turning your eyes to the West
I am more attracted to, you know, to Belarus, and Russia,
Let's divorce That's better. And now it should be done.
Like Czechs and Slovaks - in a civilized way.

And you, for a long time Poland awaiting
And you will tell her all about fascism
And will be able to protest in the centre of Brussels
I'm sure, Europe will appreciates your barricades there.

Galicia, listen, let's divorce
Time has come. Let's sum it up:
For you it time to continue Maidan festives
And to me - to work in mines and factories


It would appear the Guardian is extremely sensitive to criticism, but perhaps there is a gradual sea-change and the grand journalism that attracts so many to these pages is being reasserted.

Although not faultless, the article Pro-Russian protesters wind up tension in eastern Ukraine actually contains real observations and interviews from the ground, rather than the "what if" projections that have been depressingly common on these pages. The narrative of "Putin, Putin, Putin" has become untenable. This is about the people of Ukraine, and the fault-lines in that fracturing country.
So congratulations, at last, to the Guardian for this close-to-accurate reporting.
Now how about opening it up for comment?

Caroline Louise TedMorgan38

I agree, I sense a subtle shift in the reporting. Credit to the Guardian if true. The WaPo is still terrifyingly hawkish - pretty much asserting there are now Russian troops in Ukraine. If they never actually materialise and Russia never tries to annexe anything, I guess all that will just slip down the Memory Hole. The next few days will be interesting.

TedMorgan38 Caroline Louise

I was in conversation with a resident of Cherkassy earlier this evening. She was a Party of Regions supporter, and the last few weeks have shaken her to the core, seeing how ruthlessly the democratic process has been supplanted. Yet, for the first time in a while, she spoke with confidence and optimism.

I am not entirely sure of the probability of what she intimated, but she was adamant that the rumour is that the interim Kyiv government is on the verge of collapse, within the next five days.

Kyiv's impotence was evident with the Crimean secession. When push came to shove, Crimean military preferred joining Russia to "defending" Ukraine. The shockwaves of Crimea are still permeating Ukraine, and the people have been emboldened.

My feeling is that this house of cards, built with US and EU support, is about to be blown over.

And I think rightly so.

Alice Ponomareva

Who pays what for Russian gas.

USD per 1,000 m3

Makedonia 564, Poland 528, Bosnia 515, Chech Republic 503, Bulgaria 501,
Denmark 495, Slovenia 486, Greece 477, Serbia 457, Switzerland 442, Italy 440, Romania 432, Slovakia 429, Ukraine (doesn't :o). 426 now, Turkey 407, Austria 397, France 394, Finland 385, Germany 379, The Netherlands 371,
Great Britain 313, Transdniestria 240, Armenia 189, Belorussia 186.


Ukraine Learns the Problem With Revolutions

The news of late out of eastern Ukraine is laden with irony. Those of us possessed of a realist disposition-I use the term "disposition" advisedly, for as the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr noted in his essay "Augustine's Political Realism," definitions of realists "emphasize disposition, rather than doctrines"-are not terribly surprised that the recently installed regime in Kiev has set in motion a revolution it now finds itself unable to control. As history shows, that's the trouble with revolutions: once begun, efforts to predict-much less control-their path are often fruitless.

What we are seeing taking place in the eastern provinces of Ukraine shouldn't be terribly surprising, after all-the erroneous, yet seductive phrase "one Ukrainian people" that has been uttered over and over again by American and European diplomats, was always a fiction. So the new regime in Kiev finds itself in an analogous position to the one the Yanukovych government found itself in late 2013-early 2014; it faces popular dissatisfaction that expresses itself in the street (we have thankfully-thus far anyway-been spared the term "the Ukrainian street").

There are a few differences between the oft-praised Euro-Maidan and the pro-Russian demonstrations now taking place across the East; the first being that the latter have actually been peaceful (so far). The nature of the regimes against which the respective protests were aimed are different as well; one, Yanukovych's, was democratically elected in 2010, the government headed by Arseniy Yatsenyuk (or, as he was referred to in honeyed tones by Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, "Yats") was imposed by acts of violence and coercion. Another difference can be spotted in the reactions of the American media to the two movements. Proving the American media is nothing if not nimble, solidarity for the aspirations of the "Ukrainian people" during the Maidan riots has now morphed-in nary a blink of an eye-to scorn for protesters in the east who are obviously tools of the Kremlin.

And so if the protagonists of the Ukrainian revolution and their Western cheerleaders aren't "in a funk," perhaps they ought to be, for developments are not proving very favorable at present. In addition to the restive populations in urban centers like Donetsk and Kharkiv, Vladimir Putin is playing a strong hand well. He recently issued a letter to 18 European leaders urging them to provide Ukraine with financial assistance to avoid a shutdown of Russian gas supplies to Europe; economic leverage is joined by military leverage: Russia has amassed over 40,000 troops on its western border with Ukraine; and last but not least, Russia is busy consolidating its hold over Crimea. Indeed, this week the Russian government announced it was exploring the possibility of investing upwards of $1 billion toward developing the Crimean wine industry.

The Western response to all this has been to issue a handful of visa bans and to sanction a smallish Russian private bank. Calls by some of our more martial-minded elected representatives (read: John McCain) to arm the new Ukrainian regime have been met with little enthusiasm from the State Department.

Yet in the face of all this, neoconservative enthusiasm for ever deepening American involvement continues unabated-the Russian government has accused the military contractor Greystone of sending mercenaries to assist the Kiev regime, and neoconservative prodigal son David Frum bravely parachuted into Kiev to assure the readers of The Atlantic that concerns over fascist and neo-Nazi elements within and without the new Ukrainian government are baseless; his message: there's nothing to see here folks.

The problems associated with promoting "democratic revolutions" go unremarked upon by the Washington establishment. Yet even a casual student of history knows that the problem with revolutions generally is that-like any ordinary street brawl-one never really knows for sure how things will end. A question that we might do well to ponder in the coming days: Why is it that so many American journalists and politicians favor provocation over prudence, and conflict over conciliation regarding the continuing crisis in Ukraine?


Suddenly the Guardian is reporting that there is more to Ukraine then just the US puppet government of Kiev.

Could it be that even the Guardian realizes that the 'so-called' Kiev government has problems which they cannot alone solve.

More than anything they have to solve the problems alongside Russia - without any US interference.

TrueCopy wimberlin

I see Germany, Poland and Russia and different parties in Ukraine getting together and tampering down the situation before it gets out of hand. US works based on ideology, much like old Soviet Union with added dimension of homegrown politics of hate and war, promoted by big mouths like John McCain and Ted Cruz. Europe should demand US to stay out, otherwise they will have a Syria on their borders.


World needs to wake up, the American neocons have turned another country into a mess. They are blaming Ukrainian mess on Russia, and the media is repeating the nonsense. Even Israelis, the neocon fetish, don't buy it. The neo-Nazis who have taken over Kiev aren't being tolerated by people in Ukraine, particularly the Russian speaking population. When these neo-Nazis call for killing of the Russian speaking Ukrainian, what else should one expect?


If the politicians in the EU and US could just admit that toppling the government has divided the country in two, then perhaps we could start to work with Russia to resolve this.

Instead, they seem committed to present this as a democratisation vs Russian imperialism narrative. Good vs evil. Immature

seaspan glennor

So your idea of a solution is for the US/Russia to get together and resolve the internal issues of Ukraine? Neither represent or controls what's going on there.... as much as they think otherwise..

Craig Riley seaspan

The US has no business being involved full stop. They shouldn't even be at the negotiating table. Ukraine is not their territory, it's not a member of the EU or NATO, there are no American citizen populations in the country and it is thousands of miles away from them.

The provocation of external forces has already caused enough problems, the country needs to resolve its own issues to the agreement of the Ukrainian- and Russian-speaking populations, or else it will be bankrupt by the time the US has finished all of its politicised preening and its corporation have cast their lots on the natural resources.


13 April 2014 12:20am

Just got fresh for you to watch carefully.

Eastern city of Artyomovsk, April 14th.
A ragtag band of local yokels, not soldiers, militants or Russian spies, but local unarmed people, disarms a division of freshly created by junta National Guard, who wandered through their city.

[Apr 12, 2014] Anatol Lieven: Ukraine should be a bridge, not a battleground

Brilliant article. I think Leiven underestimates the fact that Ukraine since independence was an empire were Western Ukrainians oppressed Eastern Ukrainians and Russian speaking population and were they tried to exterminate both Russian language and culture.
March 23, 2014 |

Anatol Lieven has published a brilliant essay that should be read and absorbed by everyone who wishes to understand what is happening in and around Ukraine today. I quote it with thanks to the author for permission to do so.


Ukraine Should Be a Bridge, Not a Battleground

In recent weeks, rational argument concerning Ukraine in both Russia and the West has been overwhelmed by a flood of hysteria, lies and self-deceptions. Russia has engaged in openly mendacious propaganda. Western governments and too much of the media have responded with lying counter-propaganda of their own.

There is no space in this essay to dissect all the competing propaganda claims of both sides. Instead, I would direct readers to an excellent article on the subject by the Israeli journalist Ariel Danieli ("From Washington to Moscow, Everyone is Lying About What is happening in Ukraine", March 6th 2014, at ).

Among other important points, Danieli writes correctly that while Moscow is lying in describing the overthrow of Yanukovych as a "neo-fascist coup" rather than a popular uprising (albeit against a democratically elected president), Washington is no less mendacious in claiming that "far-right ultranationalist groups are not represented in the Rada [the Ukrainian parliament]" and have no influence over the new government.

This is a grotesque claim, given that the ultra-nationalist and savagely Russophobe Svoboda ("Freedom" party) in fact has 38 seats in parliament and four ministers in the government including Minister of Justice and Deputy Prime Minister. Svoboda's founder, Andriy Parubiy, has become secretary of the National Security and Defence Council, with his ally Dmytro Yarosh, leader of the neo-fascist Right Sector group, as his deputy.

In a resolution of December 13th 2012, the European Parliament declared of Svoboda that:
"MEPs voice concerns about the rising nationalistic sentiment in Ukraine which led to the election of the "Svoboda" Party to the Parliament of Ukraine. The EP recalls that racist, anti-Semitic and xenophobic views go against the EU's fundamental values and principles and it appeals to pro-democratic parties in the Ukrainian Parliament not to associate with, endorse or form coalitions with this party." ("Elections failed to Bring Ukraine Closer to EU, Say MEPs", at )

It should be clear therefore that while Moscow has grossly exaggerated the immediate physical threat to Russians in Ukraine as justification for its military moves in Crimea, Russians and Russian-speakers do have good reasons to fear for their rights under the new Ukrainian government; and the EU and its member states were premature in recognizing that government and promising it massive aid without first insisting on changes in its composition and firm guarantees of minority rights. Russia has violated international law. The West has violated its own principles and interests.

The real danger in Ukraine does not lie in Crimea. One way or another, Crimea is almost certainly now lost to Ukraine, even if no-one but Russia recognizes this formally. The danger comes from the possibility of clashes between the Ukrainian nationalist and neo-fascist volunteers who led the overthrow of the previous government in Kiev and opposing Moscow-backed pro-Russian volunteers in the east of the country. If they get out of hand, such clashes could lead to Russian invasion, war and the partition of Ukraine. It is therefore urgently necessary to recreate in Ukraine an agreed and legitimate democratic process that will safeguard minority rights.

The stakes here are high for all sides. If war begins, Russia would almost certainly win it (since the USA and Britain, despite their attempts to bring Ukraine into Nato, have no intention of fighting to defend the country), but would suffer colossal damage in the process. In the short term there would be a shattering economic crisis. In the longer term, Russia would face a collapse of economic and cultural ties with the west that would drive it inexorably towards the status of a satellite of China - a prospect, by the way, that terrifies liberal and nationalist Russians alike. The result would be a stagnant, closed and increasingly authoritarian Russian system.

The damage to the west would also be considerable. If the west introduced economic sanctions and Russia responded with a massive rise in its gas prices (or if gas supplies to western Europe across Ukraine were cut off by conflict), the result could very easily be a new European and global recession. China would benefit greatly from the acquisition of Russia as an unconditional ally, and from the sheer distraction of US attention that war would bring. Propping up the remains of Ukraine economically would be a massive financial burden for the EU. And the sight of the USA and Nato again standing impotently by while a quasi-ally is defeated in a war for which western policy was partly responsible would be a humiliation that would embolden America's global rivals.

It is important to remember that Ukraine is a deeply divided society that cannot make a categorical choice between the west and Russia without tearing itself apart. Since independence, a sense of common identity and loyalty has certainly developed, but it remains fragile and ambiguous.

The reasons for this lie not in recent policies but in the historic division from the 13th century onwards of the ancient lands of Rus between the Tsardom of Muscovy, the Polish-Lithuanian kingdom and, to the south, the steppe, disputed between Crimean Tatars and Ukrainian Cossacks, and largely uninhabited until it was conquered by the Russian Empress Catherine the Great in the 18th century.

From the 17th century on, the Ukrainian-speaking parts of Poland-Lithuania were progressively conquered by the Russian Empire, leading many Orthodox Ukrainians to strongly identify with Russia. This process was completed by Stalin's annexation of Polish Galicia and Volhynia in 1939-a region that had never been under Russian imperial rule and which remains the most strongly nationalist and anti-Russian part of Ukraine today.

One way of explaining the resulting Ukrainian identities and relationship to Russia to a British audience would be to say that they include elements of both the Scottish and the Irish historical experience in Britain. On the one hand, the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union severely repressed Ukrainian nationalism (beyond purely symbolic forms), and persecuted Ukrainians belonging to the "apostate" religious tradition of the Uniates (Orthodox who, under Polish rule, had acknowledged the supremacy of the Pope). On the other hand, both in Russia and in the Soviet Union, "loyal" Ukrainians permeated the state system and rose to its highest echelons.

In the field of literature, the distinction is symbolised by Ukraine's two greatest 19th-century writers. Nikolai Gogol ("Mykola Hohol" in Ukrainian) could be seen as analogous to writers such as Walter Scott and John Buchan, conscious of their Scottish identity and often writing on Scottish themes, but loyal to Britain and the British Empire. The Ukrainian nationalist poet Taras Shevchenko, in contrast, more closely resembles 19th-century Irish nationalist writers such as James Clarence Mangan or Arthur Geoghegan-though since Britain had been able to crush the Irish language much more effectively than the Russian Empire had crushed Ukrainian, these Irish writers also wrote in English.

In a pattern familiar from the British Empire, Russian and Soviet rule also brought about huge and complex patterns of migration. Large parts of southern Ukraine were settled by Russians (and by Germans invited in by Catherine, until Stalin deported them to Central Asia). More Russians moved later to work in the mines and factories. At the same time, however, millions of Ukrainians migrated to Siberia and the Russian Far East, where (the last time I checked) a majority of senior officials and local deputies had Ukrainian surnames. The difference was that under rule from St Petersburg and Moscow, Ukrainians who moved to what is now Russia soon gave up the Ukrainian language and merged into the Russian population; whereas Russians who moved to Ukraine not only kept their language but through intermarriage helped the state extend the Russian language to much of the neighbouring Ukrainian population.

... ... ...

The problem for the west is that while many of the pro-western Ukrainian forces are genuinely committed to western-style reforms, others are traditional nationalists who look to Nato and the EU for protection against Russia, without sharing mainstream liberal values. This may either make Ukraine's integration into the west impossible or (as has already occurred in the case of Hungary) import into the EU forces which will ally with western European neo-fascist parties.

The problem for Russia in eastern and southern Ukraine is that a desire to keep the Russian language and close ties with Russia can co-exist with a desire for closer ties with the EU (though not with Nato). It is not at all the same thing as a desire simply to become part of Russia or even a subordinate member of a Russian alliance.

An analogy here might be drawn with the "Anglosphere" tendency in English-speaking countries. A large majority of British, Australian and Canadian citizens desire (to varying degrees) close relations with the United States, and would reject the idea of joining an anti-American alliance. But this does not indicate a desire for unconditional subordination to the US.

Similarly, to judge by my own travels in eastern and southern Ukraine, outside Crimea, even many people there who are strongly hostile to the new government in Kiev would also be deeply hostile to Russian military intervention and the partition of the country. Russian threats of intervention may well be frightening more Russian-speakers in Ukraine than they reassure.

Ever since the collapse of the USSR in 1991, both the Yeltsin and the Putin administrations have made assiduous attempts to keep Ukraine in Russia's orbit. This has been very costly for Russia-just as from now on, a serious attempt to draw Ukraine into the west's orbit is going to be costly for the west.

Until 2005, Russia supplied Ukraine with gas at well below world market prices, amounting to aid to Ukraine of between $3bn and $5bn a year, at a time when Russia itself was undergoing a terrible economic crisis. This was several times the average annual aid from the west during those years. Indeed, all EU aid put together from 1991 to 2013 came to a mere $4.6bn. Ukraine's failure to pay its gas bill even at subsidized prices led to repeated disputes and interruptions of Russian supplies-to which Ukrainian governments responded by diverting gas from supplies heading for the EU.

In 2010, Russia agreed to reduce the price of its gas to 30 percent below world market levels (but rising to those levels gradually over several years), as part of a deal by which the newly-elected government of President Yanukovych agreed to extend the Russian lease of the naval base of Sevastopol in Crimea to 2042.

In December 2013, as part of the bidding war with the EU over whether to join the Eurasian Union or sign an association agreement with the EU, Russia signed a deal with Yanukovych reducing the price of its gas by a third. It also gave $15bn to help Ukraine meet its international debt repayments. This, too, was vastly greater than anything on offer from the EU as part of the association agreement, and equally importantly came with no conditions for reform.

Following the revolution, the EU is also now discussing a $15bn aid package for Ukraine (which has asked for $35bn)-something that, had it been presented to European governments before the revolution, would have been rejected out of hand. What the EU cannot match-because western European countries will not tolerate it - is something that Russia has allowed Ukraine ever since independence, namely free labour movement. As a result, the three million or more Ukrainian citizens working legally in Russia today outnumber those allowed to work legally in the EU at least 10 times over.

What this history illustrates is that until a few weeks ago, Ukraine was of very minor importance for the EU, whereas for Russia it was always a priority. It would have been well if EU leaders had understood this before devising their policies-but then the EU has always been poor at thinking strategically.

The Russians, however, have made a mistake of equal magnitude. Russian officials have been exasperated by the way in which their generosity to Ukraine has repeatedly led to few benefits for Russia, while a growing number of Ukrainians have supported closer relations with the EU despite the much smaller short-term advantages on offer. What Russian officials have failed to recognise is that Ukrainians have become increasingly disgusted with their own oligarchical elites, and see entry into a bloc dominated by a corrupt and semi-authoritarian Russia as permanently consolidating an already rotten system.

The EU has made what is in some respects the opposite mistake where the latest Ukrainian uprising is concerned. Most western analysts have explained the desire of central European populations to join the EU in terms of a wish to westernise their polities, economies and cultures. But they have underestimated the degree to which this was driven by a nationalist yearning to escape the hated Soviet-Russian yoke.

As a consequence, they have not understood to what extent it was this nationalism that allowed the acceptance by populations of the extremely painful economic and cultural changes necessary to join the EU. If they rejected these changes, even conservative and populist central Europeans who opposed westernisation feared that they would find themselves once again under the domination of Moscow. But as we have seen in Hungary, Poland and elsewhere, once safely in Nato and the EU, strong chauvinist tendencies re-emerged, encouraged by deep popular anger at the corruption and social inequality which accompanied the economic revolutions of the 1990s.

Due to the drawing of new frontiers after the First World War, and ethnic cleansing after the Second, most of the central European states are at least ethnically homogenous with united national identities (the chief exception being the former Yugoslavia). Ukrainian identity, as we have seen, is deeply divided, albeit in complex and ambiguous ways.

This leaves the EU after the recent Ukrainian revolution in a situation which may well prove horribly expensive, extremely dangerous and deeply unpopular. Until February 2014, the EU's position (quite rightly) was that to qualify for closer European ties and greater EU aid, Ukraine had to implement a set of deep and very painful reforms. Now, this pressure will have to be largely abandoned for fear that any such changes would drive the populations of eastern and southern Ukraine into the arms of Moscow. On the contrary, the west is contemplating enormous aid packages to Ukraine with no real strings attached.

This in turn means that-unless the EU is prepared simply to tear up the acquis communautaire for the sake of Ukrainian entry, and infuriate western European populations in the process-Ukraine will not in the foreseeable future be able to join the EU, at which point much of the promise behind the Ukrainian revolution collapses.

It was a highly symbolic move, therefore, for the new Ukrainian government to appoint a number of Russian-speaking oligarchs to governorships in eastern Ukraine. This is a wise political move intended to reassure the local populations and win over the eastern Ukrainian elites. It is not, however, obviously compatible with the government's commitment to economic reform.

The result of all this is likely to be Ukraine stuck in a permanent and miserable halfway-house to the EU, like Turkey but without Turkey's independent economic dynamism. In these circumstances, it may not be too long before many Ukrainians hold the EU responsible for betraying them, while the new state oligarchs steal western aid as their predecessors stole Russian aid. Remember: the majorities in Ukrainian opinion polls have been for membership of the EU, with all its benefits-not for an endless accession process.

So far, however, it is Russia that has suffered a crushing defeat, compared to which anything suffered so far by the west is minor, and Crimea is a very small consolation prize. Putin's plans for the consolidation of Russia's economic and political influence in the former Soviet region and economic role on the world stage centred on the creation of the Eurasian Union including Ukraine. Without Ukraine, this bloc cannot possibly emerge as a significant international grouping. The demonstrators in Kiev have killed forever the plan for Ukraine to enter the Eurasian Union. On the other hand, as we have seen, Ukraine's path towards the EU is also strewn with obstacles, and can also easily be blocked by Russia through its influence over parts of Ukraine.

In these circumstances, it seems to me sensible and a recognition of reality if, as part of a Ukrainian settlement, Russia, Nato and the EU help to reduce the tension in Ukraine, and between Russia and the west, by declaring a lengthy moratorium on any new offer of accession or partnership. They should also propose an amendment to the Ukrainian constitution stipulating that Ukraine's accession to any international organisation needs a majority of at least 70 percent in a referendum.

Above all, it is necessary to reduce tension within Ukraine and prevent possible clashes between Ukrainian nationalist and Russian-backed militias, which could lead to full-scale Russian invasion.

The Russian annexation of Crimea is both a very serious crime under international law and a dreadful mistake from Russia's own point of view. This does not however diminish the necessity to prevent conflict in the rest of Ukraine. This requires above all agreement between the west and Russia, and between the new government in Kiev and former supporters of President Yanukovych from the east and south, on how to hold new elections, and on the shape of a new Ukrainian constitution. As part of this agreement, anti-government groups in eastern Ukraine would call off their attempts to storm government buildings and oust officials appointed from Kiev (though of course from their point of view, they are only following the model set by the groups which ousted President Yanukovych).

The west should make greatly increased aid to Ukraine conditional on the following moves by the government in Kiev: the ministers and deputy ministers of the interior, defence and justice, and the secretary and deputy secretary of the National Security Council, should be neutral professional officers until after the next elections; an agreement that these elections should take place under close United Nations supervision, to prevent rigging and intimidation by either Ukrainian nationalist or pro-Russian militias. As it has in other deeply divided countries, the international community should constrain Ukraine to adopt a new federal constitution, restoring the election of governors and granting real local power to the different regions.

It is both dangerous and wrong in principle that a state as diverse as Ukraine should have a highly centralised constitution under which, for example, the new Ukrainian parliament could pass a law (subsequently blocked by the president under discreet western pressure) abolishing the official status of Russian and other minority languages, not only at the national level but in provinces where a large majority of the population speaks Russian as its first language. These proposals are not "concessions" to Russia; they are in accordance with the west's own interests and values.

Henry Kissinger, one of the very few senior American figures to have kept their heads in this crisis, wrote earlier this year:

"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."

It has been demonstrated beyond doubt that neither Russia nor the west can achieve their maximal goals in Ukraine. What they can do, however, is to work endlessly to block each other's goals-and to destroy Ukraine in the process.

[Apr 12, 2014] Why Obama Shouldn't Fall for Putin's Ukrainian Folly

03/04/2014 |

Print Article

We're now witnessing the consequences of how grossly both Russia and the West have overplayed their hands in Ukraine. It is urgently necessary that both should find ways of withdrawing from some of the positions that they have taken. Otherwise, the result could very easily be civil war, Russian invasion, the partition of Ukraine, and a conflict that will haunt Europe for generations to come.

The only country that could possibly benefit from such an outcome is China. As with the invasion of Iraq and the horrible mismanagement of the campaign in Afghanistan, the U.S. would be distracted for another decade from the question of how to deal with its only competitive peer in the world today. Yet given the potentially appalling consequences for the world economy of a war in Ukraine, it is probable that even Beijing would not welcome such an outcome.

If there is one absolutely undeniable fact about Ukraine, which screams from every election and every opinion poll since its independence two decades ago. It is that the country's population is deeply divided between pro-Russian and pro-Western sentiments. Every election victory for one side or another has been by a narrow margin, and has subsequently been reversed by an electoral victory for an opposing coalition.

What has saved the country until recently has been the existence of a certain middle ground of Ukrainians sharing elements of both positions; that the division in consequence was not clear cut; and that the West and Russia generally refrained from forcing Ukrainians to make a clear choice between these positions.

During George W. Bush's second term as president, the U.S., Britain, and other NATO countries made a morally criminal attempt to force this choice by the offer of a NATO Membership Action Plan for Ukraine (despite the fact that repeated opinion polls had shown around two-thirds of Ukrainians opposed to NATO membership). French and German opposition delayed this ill-advised gambit, and after August 2008, it was quietly abandoned. The Georgian-Russian war in that month had made clear both the extreme dangers of further NATO expansion, and that the United States would not in fact fight to defend its allies in the former Soviet Union.

In the two decades after the collapse of the USSR, it should have become obvious that neither West nor Russia had reliable allies in Ukraine. As the demonstrations in Kiev have amply demonstrated, the "pro-Western" camp in Ukraine contains many ultra-nationalists and even neo-fascists who detest Western democracy and modern Western culture. As for Russia's allies from the former Soviet establishment, they have extracted as much financial aid from Russia as possible, diverted most of it into their own pockets, and done as little for Russia in return as they possibly could.

Over the past year, both Russia and the European Union tried to force Ukraine to make a clear choice between them -- and the entirely predictable result has been to tear the country apart. Russia attempted to draw Ukraine into the Eurasian Customs Union by offering a massive financial bailout and heavily subsidized gas supplies. The European Union then tried to block this by offering an association agreement, though (initially) with no major financial aid attached. Neither Russia nor the EU made any serious effort to talk to each other about whether a compromise might be reached that would allow Ukraine somehow to combine the two agreements, to avoid having to choose sides.

President Viktor Yanukovych's rejection of the EU offer led to an uprising in Kiev and the western and central parts of Ukraine, and to his own flight from Kiev, together with many of his supporters in the Ukrainian parliament. This marks a very serious geopolitical defeat for Russia. It is now obvious that Ukraine as a whole cannot be brought into the Eurasian Union, reducing that union to a shadow of what the Putin administration hoped. And though Russia continues officially to recognize him, President Yanukovych can only be restored to power in Kiev if Moscow is prepared to launch a full-scale invasion of Ukraine and seize its capital by force.

The result would be horrendous bloodshed, a complete collapse of Russia's relations with the West and of Western investment in Russia, a shattering economic crisis, and Russia's inevitable economic and geopolitical dependency on China.

But Western governments, too, have put themselves in an extremely dangerous position. They have acquiesced to the overthrow of an elected government by ultra-nationalist militias, which have also chased away a large part of the elected parliament. This has provided a perfect precedent for Russian-backed militias in turn to seize power in the east and south of the country.

The West has stood by in silence while the rump parliament in Kiev abolished the official status of Russian and other minority languages, and members of the new government threatened publicly to ban the main parties that supported Yanukovych -- an effort that would effectively disenfranchise around a third of the population.

After years of demanding that successive Ukrainian governments undertake painful reforms in order to draw nearer to the West, the West is now in a paradoxical position: If it wishes to save the new government from a Russian-backed counter-revolution, it will have to forget about any reforms that will alienate ordinary people, and instead give huge sums in aid with no strings attached. The EU has allowed the demonstrators in Kiev to believe that their actions have brought Ukraine closer to EU membership -- but, if anything, this is now even further away than it was before the revolution.

In these circumstances, it is essential that both the West and Russia act with caution. The issue here is not Crimea. From the moment when the Yanukovych government in Kiev was overthrown, it was obvious that Crimea was effectively lost to Ukraine. Russia is in full military control of the peninsula with the support of a large majority of its population, and only a Western military invasion can expel it.

This does not mean that Crimea will declare independence. So far, the call of the Crimean parliament has been only for increased autonomy. It does mean, however, that Russia will decide the fate of Crimea when and as it chooses. For the moment, Moscow appears to be using Crimea, like Yanukovych, in order to influence developments in Ukraine as a whole.

It also seems unlikely that the government in Kiev will try to retake Crimea by force, both because this would lead to their inevitable defeat, and because even some Ukrainian nationalists have told me in private that Crimea was never part of historic Ukraine. They would be prepared to sacrifice it if that was the price of taking the rest of Ukraine out of Russia's orbit.

But that is not true of important Ukrainian cities with significant ethnic Russian populations, such as Donetsk, Kharkov, and Odessa. The real and urgent issue now is what happens across the eastern and southern Ukraine, and it is essential that neither side initiates the use of force there. Any move by the new Ukrainian government or nationalist militias to overthrow elected local authorities and suppress anti-government demonstrations in these regions is likely to provoke a Russian military intervention. Any Russian military intervention in turn will compel the Ukrainian government and army (or at least its more nationalist factions) to fight.

The West must therefore urge restraint -- not only from Moscow, but from Kiev as well. Any aid to the government in Kiev should be made strictly conditional on measures to reassure the Russian-speaking populations of the east and south of the country: respect for elected local authorities; restoration of the official status of minority languages; and above all, no use of force in those regions. In the longer run, the only way to keep Ukraine together may be the introduction of a new federal constitution with much greater powers for the different regions.

But that is for the future. For now, the overwhelming need is to prevent war. War in Ukraine would be an economic, political, and cultural catastrophe for Russia. In many ways, the country would never recover, but Russia would win the war itself. As it proved in August 2008, if Russia sees its vital interests in the former USSR as under attack, Russia will fight. NATO will not. War in Ukraine would therefore also be a shattering blow to the prestige of NATO and the European Union from which these organizations might never recover either.

A century ago, two groups of countries whose real common interests vastly outweighed their differences allowed themselves to be drawn into a European war in which more than 10 million of their people died and every country suffered irreparable losses. In the name of those dead, every sane and responsible citizen in the West, Russia, and Ukraine itself should now urge caution and restraint on the part of their respective leaders.

Anatol Lieven is a professor in the war studies department of King's College London and a senior fellow of the New America Foundation. He is author of Ukraine and Russia: A Fraternal Rivalry. This piece first appeared on

Ukraine Lies and Realities by Andre Vltchek


As Sergei Kirichuk, leader of progressive movement 'Borotba', explained:

"We have extensive invasion of western imperialism here. Imperialists were acting through huge network of NGOs and through the western-oriented politicians integrated into western establishment. Western diplomats declared that they invested more that 5 billions of dollars to 'development of democracy in Ukraine'. What kind of investment is it? How was this amount spent? We don't really know, but we can see the wide net of the US agents operating inside many key organizations and movements.

We can see that those 'western democracies' had not been concerned at all about growing of the far-right, Nazi movements. They had been ready to use the Nazis as a real armed force in overthrowing of Yanucovich.

President Yanucovich was actually totally pro-western politician, to start with. And his 'guilt' consisted only of his attempt to minimize the devastating aftermath that would come after implementation of the free trade zone with EU, on which the West was insisting."

... ... ...

My friend Alexander is explaining to me:

"This is going to be a tremendous mess. The West used all fascist and ultra-nationalist forces to destroy legitimate government of Ukraine, but paradoxically, these ultra right-wingers are essentially against both NATO and all those agreements with the European Union."

Afghanistan, Al-Qaida, scenario, in brief and on smaller scale: use any force, any radicals, as long as you can manage to destroy the Soviet Union and later, Russia.

"They are going to get into each other's hair very soon", predicts Alexandr, former military intelligence officer.

[Apr 12, 2014] M of A - Ukraine Donetsk Moves

The coup-government in Kiev has done its best to alienate the people in the east.
Moon of Alabama

Today several other cities in Donetsk oblast also saw extensive movements of anti coup-government groups. In Sloviansk some para-military group, some of them somewhat trained (video), broke into the main police station and raised the Russian flag. They allegedly handed out weapons to other protesters. The mayor of Sloviansk had announced her pro-Russian stand. Around the city street checkpoints of pro-Russian militia, pictures show some mid aged men, went up. Many of these people are said to be miners from the large Donetsk coal mines. They are on the look out for incoming military and police traffic from Kiev. Trained people from the Berkut riot police, dissolved by the coup-government, have joined the protesters.

In Mariupol and Druzhkovka protesters have blocked or seized the local city administration. Police in Kramatorskaya joined the protesters there. The city of Luhansk, where there are also protests, and Donetsk were today at least once buzzed by military planes.

If have seen no Donetsk pictures yet of "polite green men", i.e. Russian military operators, like those seen in Crimea. The militia people occupying buildings in Donetsk oblast also seem to be less equipped than the local self-defense groups that could be seen in Crimea. While this operation in several Donetsk cities today seems somewhat coordinated there is no hint yet that Russia is behind this.

The coup-government in Kiev has done its best to alienate the people in the east. From denigrating their Russian language to threatening them with genocide like the gas-princess Tymochenko has done. The economic situation in the east is bad and has, unlike the neighboring provinces in Russia, not recovered throughout the last twenty years. Under the new government the economic situation will likely get worse. These people are unlikely to need lectures from Russia to understand that there are better deals to have than the ones Kiev and the IMF are offering.

Should the coup-government in Kiev find some loyal force that is willing to suppress the mass movement in the east there will be severe fighting and Russia will probably step in. But I still find that quite unlikely. Russia, like Henry Kissinger, has argued for a neutral and strongly federalized Ukraine. The people in Donetsk could probably agree with staying in Ukraine if they get strong autonomy.

[Apr 12, 2014] Russia sets 4 conditions in return for aid to Ukraine

RT News

Ukraine should recognize Crimea's independence, reform the country's constitution, regulate the crisis in its eastern regions and guarantee the rights of Russian speakers if it wants to get financial help from Moscow, Russia's finance minister has said.

"If Ukraine fulfils these four conditions, then Russia will be able to propose further steps on additional help both on financial and gas issues," Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said after meeting with his German counterpart, Wolfgang Schauble, in Washington.

[Apr 12, 2014] Ukraine Learns the Problem With Revolutions By James Carden

Apr 11, 2014 | The American Conservative

When the old order begins to fall apart, many of the vociferous men of words, who prayed so long for the day, are in a funk – Eric Hoffer, True Believer

The news of late out of eastern Ukraine is laden with irony. Those of us possessed of a realist disposition-I use the term "disposition" advisedly, for as the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr noted in his essay "Augustine's Political Realism," definitions of realists "emphasize disposition, rather than doctrines"-are not terribly surprised that the recently installed regime in Kiev has set in motion a revolution it now finds itself unable to control. As history shows, that's the trouble with revolutions: once begun, efforts to predict-much less control-their path are often fruitless.

What we are seeing taking place in the eastern provinces of Ukraine shouldn't be terribly surprising, after all-the erroneous, yet seductive phrase "one Ukrainian people" that has been uttered over and over again by American and European diplomats, was always a fiction. So the new regime in Kiev finds itself in an analogous position to the one the Yanukovych government found itself in late 2013-early 2014; it faces popular dissatisfaction that expresses itself in the street (we have thankfully-thus far anyway-been spared the term "the Ukrainian street").
There are a few differences between the oft-praised Euro-Maidan and the pro-Russian demonstrations now taking place across the East; the first being that the latter have actually been peaceful (so far). The nature of the regimes against which the respective protests were aimed are different as well; one, Yanukovych's, was democratically elected in 2010, the government headed by Arseniy Yatsenyuk (or, as he was referred to in honeyed tones by Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, "Yats") was imposed by acts of violence and coercion. Another difference can be spotted in the reactions of the American media to the two movements. Proving the American media is nothing if not nimble, solidarity for the aspirations of the "Ukrainian people" during the Maidan riots has now morphed-in nary a blink of an eye-to scorn for protesters in the east who are obviously tools of the Kremlin.

And so if the protagonists of the Ukrainian revolution and their Western cheerleaders aren't "in a funk," perhaps they ought to be, for developments are not proving very favorable at present. In addition to the restive populations in urban centers like Donetsk and Kharkiv, Vladimir Putin is playing a strong hand well. He recently issued a letter to 18 European leaders urging them to provide Ukraine with financial assistance to avoid a shutdown of Russian gas supplies to Europe; economic leverage is joined by military leverage: Russia has amassed over 40,000 troops on its western border with Ukraine; and last but not least, Russia is busy consolidating its hold over Crimea. Indeed, this week the Russian government announced it was exploring the possibility of investing upwards of $1 billion toward developing the Crimean wine industry.

The Western response to all this has been to issue a handful of visa bans and to sanction a smallish Russian private bank. Calls by some of our more martial-minded elected representatives (read: John McCain) to arm the new Ukrainian regime have been met with little enthusiasm from the State Department.

Yet in the face of all this, neoconservative enthusiasm for ever deepening American involvement continues unabated-the Russian government has accused the military contractor Greystone of sending mercenaries to assist the Kiev regime, and neoconservative prodigal son David Frum bravely parachuted into Kiev to assure the readers of The Atlantic that concerns over fascist and neo-Nazi elements within and without the new Ukrainian government are baseless; his message: there's nothing to see here folks.

The problems associated with promoting "democratic revolutions" go unremarked upon by the Washington establishment. Yet even a casual student of history knows that the problem with revolutions generally is that-like any ordinary street brawl-one never really knows for sure how things will end. A question that we might do well to ponder in the coming days: Why is it that so many American journalists and politicians favor provocation over prudence, and conflict over conciliation regarding the continuing crisis in Ukraine?

[Apr 12, 2014] Ukraine-Russia crisis Armed men seize police building in Slaviansk

Identical to Guardian coverage

The Independent

Armed men have seized a police department in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slaviansk, in the latest takeover of a public building by suspected Pro-Russian protesters.

"Armed men in camouflage uniforms seized the police department in Slaviansk. The response will be very tough because there is a difference between protesters and terrorists," Interior Minister Avakov wrote on his Facebook.

The men had not made any demands, and did not give their identity, according to a local police spokesman from the city in Ukraine's Donetsk region, about 150 km from the border with Russia.

Government buildings in the eastern cities of Donetsk and Luhansk have also been occupied by pro-Russian protesters who want their regions to split from Kiev.

On Friday, a deadline set by the Kiev authorities for the protesters to end their occupation expired, but there was no sign of action from the Ukrainian police to force them out.

[Apr 12, 2014] Pro-Russian gunmen seize key buildings in eastern Ukraine

The Guardian

Armed men storm police station and state security service building in Slavyansk and distribute weapons

... ... ...

In a further sign of growing tensions between the two countries, Ukraine's state-run energy company Naftogaz on Saturday suspended gas payments to Russia.

Russian gas giant Gazprom earlier this month increased gas price for Ukrainian consumers to $485 per 1,000 cubic meters (tcm) from $268 for the first quarter, saying Kiev was no longer eligible for previous discounts

[Apr 12, 2014] Mystery Surrounds Death of Ukrainian Activist By ANDREW HIGGINS

Right sector is just pawns. With Tymoshelko "comrades in arm" Turchinov and Yatsenuyk (aka "luybi druzi") it is clear that in power the government belongs to Dnepropetrovsk clan. It was notorious "Gas Princess" criminal oligarch Tymoshenko who raised Ukraine foreign debt to level when the country became a debt slave. So the statement "The ouster of Mr. Yanukovych has so far "changed a few faces but not the structure of the system." is an understatement...
April 12, 2014 |

Who fired the bullets is unclear and a matter of bitter controversy. The mystery reflects the deep rifts in Ukraine over a February revolution that toppled Mr. Yanukovych but left rival camps sharply and sometimes violently divided over its purpose.

Right Sector, with its pugnacious anti-Russian nationalism and celebration of long-dead Ukrainians who collaborated with the Nazis against the Soviets in World War II, lies at the heart of the debate. Will its members lay down their arms and accede to Kiev's authority, as they say they will?

... ... ...

When Mr. Muzychko was buried two days after his death, throngs from his village and Rivne flocked to mourn a man they knew as Sashko Bely, a nom de guerre meaning Sashko White. In Kiev, the capital, Right Sector militants besieged the national Parliament, retreating only after legislators promised to conduct an independent investigation into Mr. Muzychko's death. Right Sector's leader, Dmytro Yarosh, demanded that Ukraine's interior minister resign and vowed revenge for Mr. Muzychko's death.

The European Union, on the defensive against criticism from Moscow that it was coddling Ukrainian extremists, condemned Right Sector's unruly pressure tactics. The European Union's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, called on the group "to refrain from the use or threat of violence" and denounced its "intimidation of the Parliament" as a violation of "democratic principles and the rule of law."

Roman Koval, the head of the Rivne branch of Right Sector, acknowledged that Mr. Muzychko's methods perhaps played into Russian propaganda, but added that he understood and supported his comrade's belief that peaceful protest alone could not always bring real change. Ukraine's February revolution, said Mr. Koval, would never have happened without Right Sector and other militant groups.

This process, he added, needs to continue because the ouster of Mr. Yanukovych has so far "changed a few faces but not the structure of the system." Ukraine's notoriously corrupt traffic police force, for example, stopped extorting money for a few weeks, but has now started to demand bribes once again.

[Apr 12, 2014] Ukrainian Alfa Special forces refuse to obey order to storm buildings in Donetsk and Luhansk, occupied by pro-Russia protesters

April 11, 2014 at 3:39 am
More mutinies:
Ukrainian Alfa Special forces refuse to obey order to storm buildings in Donetsk and Luhansk, occupied by pro-Russia protesters.

Alfa leaders say their job is to free hostages and fight against terrorists.

Storming these buildings does not fit into either of those 2 categories.

Alfa leaders say they will operate strictly "in accordance with the law".

With Alfa bailing, and Right Sektor pirates also mutinying against their pirate captain, Turchynov does not seem to be able to scrape up any forces to make good his threat to "clean out these nests of terrorists" within 48 hours.

Meanwhile, Yatsenuk has also gotten with the program , he announced today that he will support a law and propose to parliament to vote for local referendums.

Just as the protesters are demanding….

Somebody blinked, I guess it was Europe.

I have a feeling that Putin's open letter to European leaders had an effect.
(That was the one where he laid out exactly how much $$$ Ukraine owes, and told the Euros to man-up and start paying their fair share to bail out this basket case.)

Continue to earlier April 2014 events and opinions

Donetsk deadline passes with activists vowing to not give up by Mike Eckel
At the administration building in Donetsk, the encampment has grown substantially since the building was initially seized on Sunday, with concert-style amplifiers regularly broadcasting Russian state-sponsored newscasts and speakers exhorting those gathered to help keep the grounds clean. One hand printed signs read "Russia, Putin: help protect us from (the) Kiev junta and (the) dirty paws of the U.S.!"

"We're not pigs. Keep things neat, show journalists that we can maintain order," one speaker yelled to the crowd. "We will continue to fight and we will be victorious."

Though the inside of the building looked like small riot had swept through - nearly every office and every corridor in the 11-floor building was ransacked - activists continued trying to organize some sort of operational structure. In some corridors, women swept cigarettes butts and trash into piles, while men carried out huge trash bags down flights of stairs.

Miscellaneous signs, both hand written and printed on computers, asked for volunteers to help in the kitchen, and warned that "provocateurs will be forced to clean the toilets, if discovered." One sign gave instructions on how to defend the building from snipers.

... ... ...

Many of the building's floors were barricaded shut, and men wearing brand-new bulletproof jackets and new two-way radios hurried up and down the stairs. Compared with earlier in the week, an increasing number could be seen carrying handguns in their waist belts or in small holsters.

On the 7th floor, two camouflage-clad men held pump-action shotguns and checked identification papers at the floor's smoke-filled main landing. One, who gave his name as Andrei and said he had a 2-year-old daughter, twirled a baseball bat and said he was upset about liberal European Union laws regarding homosexuality. European attitudes toward same-sex relationships was one of the main issues that opponents to closer Ukrainian-EU ties fixated on.

... ... ...

"If the (government in Kyiv) wanted to listen to us, they would. But they refuse to hear our voice. And now they're afraid," said another member of the council, Sergei Novakovsky. "They're showing us their underwear now. They're scared."

[Apr 11, 2014] A couple of good video summaries

karl1haushofer April 11, 2014 at 3:43 am
A couple of good video summaries:
The first one is how Russia views geopolitics:

The second one is how possible sanctions can affect Russia.