The situation in Ukraine over the past several months has been complex and remains so. Here are a few items of news you may have missed.
This blog post covers four key issues in the Ukrainian crisis and Western stand-off against Russia, with documentation on each point to clarify misunderstandings some people may have as to the nature of the crisis:
1. Corporate sponsorship of the uprising and Western meddling; 2. The rise of fascism and austerity in Ukraine; 3. The work of provocateurs during the protests; 4. The Crimean situation.
1. Euro-Maidan – brought to you by CHEVRON!
Just before the Maidan protests in Ukraine were beginning, Chevron was cutting a deal that would allow them to start fracking in western Ukraine. This would be the beginning of a process to reduce the dependence of Ukraine and Europe on Russia for natural gas.
From The New York Times, Nov. 2013:
Western oil companies trying to find shale gas in Europe are discovering that Ukraine, eager to reduce its dependence on Russian energy imports, is one of their most willing partners.
Chevron signed a 50-year agreement with the Ukrainian government to develop oil and gas in western Ukraine. The government said that Chevron would spend $350 million on the exploratory phase of the project and that the total investment could reach $10 billion.
The effort is likely to include hydraulic fracturing, or fracking…
Shale gas technologies are altering the geopolitics of energy from Russia to the Middle East.
Victoria Nuland of the US State Department speaking at the US-Ukraine Foundation in Dec. 2013. Note the Chevron corporate logos in the background:
The not-so-secretive Victoria has gained some notoriety recently for her comments regarding the State Department’s choice of new leadership in Ukraine, adding, “F**k the EU.”
Anonymous Ukraine Klitschko e-mails and Nuland/Pyatt dialogue prove US-backed coup:
Russian tradecraft or not? Here’s an all-you-can-eat buffet of doublespeak in this US State Department damage control attempt, and damage control failure:
Victoria Nuland reveals another secret, admitting that the US has invested more than $5 billion for the overthrow of the democratically-elected Ukrainian government:
After three visits to Ukraine in five weeks, Victoria Nuland explains that in the past two decades, the United States has spent five Billion dollars ($5,000,000,000) to subvert Ukraine, and assures her listeners that there are prominent businessmen and government officials who support the US project to tear Ukraine away from its historic relationship with Russia and into the US sphere of interest (via “Europe”).
Former congressman Dennis Kucinich, when asked how he would handle the crisis in Ukraine if he were president, gave the following succinct reply to Bill O’Reilly:
“What I’d do is not have USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy working with U.S. taxpayers’ money to knock off an elected government in Ukraine, which is what they did. I wouldn’t try to force the people of Ukraine into a deal with NATO against their interest or into a deal with the European Union, which is against their economic interest.”
Celebration of the 20th anniversary of Ukraine’s independence in Washington, DC – 2011. Have a look at the guest list:
As pointed out on the United Front Against Austerity page, there was heavy sponsorship by big agribusiness, big oil (including Chevron), big finance, and military contractors. It must have been quite a jolly little festival!
From the UFAA:
Ukraine’s rich farmland has until now been nationalized, with support by government price supports. The international ag cartel would like to turn it into a low wage plantation to starve Russia and bust German, French and other organized European farmers.
US-Ukraine Business Council – members by industry:
Crimean leaders blame Kiev for selling Ukraine off for IMF loans, from The Voice of Russia:
…the country’s entire gas pipeline system will be handed over for free in the American company Chevron’s ownership the moment the basic agreement is signed, while the owners of the Mariupol, Zaporizhzhya and Dnipropetrovsk steel mills will be obliged to surrender their 50% stakes to Germany’s Ruhr.
The Donbass coal industry will be handed over to Ruhr’s subsidiary in Finland…
Kyiv has pledged to make territory available near Kharkiv to host US missile defense systems and a wing of American fighter jets to provide cover for the missile defense installations…
Ukraine’s interim prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has assured the West that Kiev will fulfill all of the IMF’s terms in order to secure a loan, Kovitidi said.
Gas prices for municipal companies will have to be increased by 50% and for private will double.
Electricity tariffs will be raised by 40%, housing utility tariffs will be raised, too, gasoline excises will go up 60% and transportation tariffs 50%, while state support for childbirth will be cancelled, the free distribution of textbooks will be annulled at schools and the VAT relief will be scrapped in rural regions…
VAT will be introduced on medications, which will push up prices and bring citizens’ living standards down,” Kovitidi said.
“The planned annulment of the moratorium on the sale of farmland looks appalling. The selloff of Ukraine’s black soil zone, including to foreign countries, may have disastrous economic and social consequences,” she said.
It is important to note that so far, Ukraine has never been invited to join the European Union. They were only going to sign an Association Agreement which would have called for them to shut down much of their agriculture and remaining industry. The new unelected “government” of Ukraine will probably go ahead and sign, but it’s not clear yet what their fascist friends think about it!
Too bad we couldn’t listen in on what was surely a lively and enlightening debate over the Association Agreement at Chatham House back in September 2013:
From the UFAA:
The personal foundation of illegal [Ukrainian] prime minister Arseniy Yatseniuk, established in 2009, is sponsored by Chatham House (the UK’s Royal Institute for International Affairs), NATO, the State Department, the National Endowment for Democracy, Swedbank, Horizon Capital and other western banks and think-tanks.
A more recent article from the New York Times discusses the use of fracking to undermine Russia’s position:
The crisis in Crimea is heralding the rise of a new era of American energy diplomacy, as the Obama administration tries to deploy the vast new supply of natural gas in the United States as a weapon to undercut the influence of the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin, over Ukraine and Europe.
2. The rise of fascism and austerity in Ukraine
Among the various factions fighting for control over Ukraine in the wake of the Maidan protests and overthrow of the government, Ukrainian nationalist groups, national socialists, and extreme right-wing fascists have taken the initiative. The Western media likes to focus on the grassroots, Occupy-Wall-Street-type protesters, many of which were US foundation-funded, as seen in this little tear-jerking piece of State Department / foundation High Def propaganda:
I am a Foundation Dupe!
There isn’t as much discussion about the fascist groups who have filled the vacuum of power left in Kiev by the inability of the grassroots resistance to provide any programmatic economic recovery solutions.
The problem is, the more reasonable protesters knew what they didn’t want, but like Occupy Wall Street, couldn’t (or wouldn’t) clearly outline what they did want. The fascists and other extreme right-wingers have the answers for them. Meanwhile, the new leadership in Kiev can only imagine a recovery based on IMF conditionalities and savage austerity, something few of the protesters knew they were signing up for, and something that will more than likely make the corruption of the previous government seem mild in comparison.
Whatever the motives of the average protester, fascism has been unleashed and there is now no viable power within Ukraine to slow it down.
With the eyes of the world fixed on Russia’s invasion of Crimea and the prospect of a wider war engulfing all Ukraine, our attention has been diverted from what may be the most significant aspect of this crisis: the ascension of a genuinely fascist mass movement into the corridors of power.
Resurgence of Neo-Nazism Denied by Western Media, from Global Research:
A politically sinister propaganda offensive is underway in the media to either deny the involvement of fascists in the US-backed coup in Ukraine or present their role as a marginal and insignificant detail.
This is an obscene cover-up.
Denying the Far-Right Role in the Ukrainian Revolution:
Some commentators on the Ukraine crisis seem so convinced that it must be a struggle between good guys and bad guys that they’re willing to ignore evidence that there’s anything problematic about their chosen side.
Far-right armed with bats patrol Kiev, from the BBC:
The clash in Crimea is the fruit of western expansion, from The Guardian:
Aleksandr Muzychko and the Right Sector:
For those of you who don’t believe fascism is taking hold in Ukraine, pay close attention to parties like the Right Sector and members like Aleksandr Muzychko. He has fought in the past alongside Chechen terrorists and is now continuing his crusade against Russians and Jews (apparently synonymous in his eyes) on the streets of Ukraine.
“I warn you, if anyone in this town, this area, engages in ‘lawlessness’ and looting, Right Sector squads will shoot the bastards on the spot. Then there will be order and discipline,” one of the radical nationalist opposition group leaders, Aleksandr Muzychko, said on Friday.
Back in 2007 he pledged to fight against “communists, Jews and Russians for as long as blood flows in his veins”
The leader of the Ukrainian radical group, Pravy Sektor (Right Sector), Dmitry Yarosh, has been put on an international wanted list and charged with inciting terrorism, after asking Doku Umarov to attack Russia.
The statement said that “many Ukrainians with arms in their hands” supported Chechen militants in their fight against Russians and “it is time to support Ukraine now.” The message, signed “leader of Right Sector Dmitry Yarosh” called on Umarov “to activate his fight” and “take a unique opportunity to win”over Russia.
Lavrov: Right Sector radicals call the tune in Ukraine, from RT:
“The new government’s officials asked this Right Sector to approve their choice of ministers and now the Right Sector is dissatisfied. Its leaders say the reloading of the government system in Ukraine has not been completed. They are demand each of the ministers go to the Maidan protesters and report on how well they implement the demands of the protest leaders.”
“Actually there’s no state control over public order and the so-called Right Sector calls the tune, the group that has resorted to terror and intimidation.”
Oleh Tyahnybok and Svoboda:
Oleh Tyahnybok… has claimed a “Moscow-Jewish mafia” rule Ukraine and that “Germans, Kikes and other scum” want to “take away our Ukrainian state.”
The most controversial element of the anti-government alliance is Svoboda (Freedom), an extreme right-wing political party that not only has representation in parliament, but has been dubbed by its critics as a neo-Nazi organization. Britain’s Channel 4 News reported that Svoboda has assumed a “leading role” in the street protests in Kiev, with affiliated paramilitary groups prominently involved in the disturbances.
In response to Svoboda’s anti-Semitic rhetoric, the World Jewish Congress has called for the party to be banned. Indeed, some public events for Ukraine’s tiny Jewish community have recently been canceled over fears of violence.
The party idolizes Stepan Bandera, whose followers fought on the side of the Nazis during World War II against the Red Army and Ukrainian communist militias. Bandera’s Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) had direct support from the Germans: Hitler wanted them to police Ukraine after the Germans took it, and the OUN organized volunteer militias that actively participated in the Holocaust.
From USA Today:
Bandera’s supporters claim they sided with the Nazis against the Soviet army, believing that Adolf Hitler would grant Ukraine independence.
Bandera set up a headquarters in Berlin and oversaw the training of Ukrainian insurgents by the German army.
His group also was involved in the ethnic cleansing that killed tens of thousands of Poles in 1942-44. The Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists portrayed Russians, Poles, Hungarians and Jews — most of the minorities in western Ukraine — as aliens and encouraged locals to “destroy” Poles and Jews.
15,000 Ukraine nationalists march for divisive Bandera:
It is estimated that nearly 70,000 Poles, mostly women and children along with unarmed men, were killed during the spring and summer campaign of 1943 in Volhynia by the OUN-Bandera which bears primary responsibility for the massacres.
Here is an interesting, even astounding, defense of Stepan Bandera from Tablet Magazine:
…while Bandera and his men were responsible for killing Jews, their ideology wasn’t fundamentally anti-Semitic; rather, it was pro-Ukrainian, and anti- everyone who appeared to be in the way of that, which included the pro-Soviet Jews.
Why Are Jews So Afraid of Stepan Bandera?:
Again from Wikipedia:
Ukrainian nationalism did not include antisemitism as a core aspect of its program and saw Russians as well as Poles as the chief enemy with Jews playing a secondary role.
Ukrainian rabbi tells Kiev’s Jews to flee city, from Haaretz:
Of course none of this matters in the least to hawkish opportunists like Senator John McCain.
Far-right group at heart of Ukraine protests meet US senator:
The spread of Nazi symbols and the removal of all things Russian:
One of the first laws passed by the new, democratic yet unelected government of Ukraine was the removal of Russian as an official language of Ukraine. Is it any wonder that the ethnic Russians of eastern Ukraine and Crimea want no part of the Euro-Maidan overthrow of the Yanukovych government, and openly welcome Russian troops into Ukraine?
Russian monuments, some communist, others simply memorials to the Soviet victory over fascism in WWII, are being taken down all over western Ukraine:
Nationalists’ symbols seen on many “soldiers of the revolution” as well as numerous walls across Kiev. The Neo-Nazi Wolfsangel, a sign used by several divisions of the SS during World War, can be easily spotted.
The reversed horizontal Wolfsangel is an official symbol of Ukraine’s Right Sector, which has been one of the most active forces in Ukraine’s recent unrest.
Yatsenyuk, IMF, EU, and austerity – who runs Ukraine now?
Ukraine’s new, unelected prime minister is Arseniy Yatsenyuk. He is a member of the Fatherland Party.
Here is Yatsenyuk’s economic recovery plan:
we have a clear-cut action action plan how to tackle economic problems. We resumed talks with the International Monetary Fund.
Yatsenyuk… [belongs] to the Fatherland Party. He is considered to be a close ally of former president, Yulia Tymoshenko, who was recently released from prison following the fall of the government
He recently said,
“We must quickly reach an agreement with the International Monetary Fund in order to rehabilitate our economy.”
Unfortunately for Ukraine, their new leadership (at least those who aren’t explicity fascist), can’t imagine any sort of economic recovery that doesn’t involve IMF debt and brutal, EU-style austerity.
Ukrainian pensions are set to be cut in half!
Looting of Ukraine has begun, from PressTV:
According to a report in Kommersant-Ukraine, the finance ministry of Washington’s stooges in Kiev who are pretending to be a government has prepared an economic austerity plan that will cut Ukrainian pensions from $160 to $80 so that Western bankers who lent money to Ukraine can be repaid at the expense of Ukraine’s poor.
Russia would like to know what economic policy future Ukrainian govt will pursue – Putin:
Yatsenyuk is also strongly opposed to gay marriage, but rest assured, that won’t be publisized nearly as much as Putin’s gay propaganda law. I’m wondering what kind of gay rights record the new, “democratic” Ukraine will have under Comrade Austerity and his anti-semitic, Russophobic, fascist allies! Gay Ukrainians may want to consider fleeing to Russia soon.
Other far right extremists in the government
- Andriy Parubiy, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council and founder of the Social-National Party of Ukraine.
The Social-National Party! Nudge, nudge, wink wink ;)
- Oleksandr Sych, Deputy Prime Minister and member of Svoboda Party:
anti-abortion activist (even in the case of rape). He also famously recommended women to “lead the kind of lifestyle to avoid the risk of rape, including one from drinking alcohol and being in controversial company.”
- Serhiy Kvit, Education Minister and member of Svoboda Party:
He has faced condemnation from campaigners for freedom of expression for closing down art exhibitions he disagreed with in his previous role as President of the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy.
- Ihor Tenyukh, Minister of Defense.
Although his formal membership in the Freedom Party (Svoboda / Свобода) is not certain, he participates in their meetings. Trained in the United States, he directed joint Ukraine/NATO maneuvers.
- Ihor Shvaika, Minister of Agrarian Policy and Food and member of Svoboda Party.
- Dmytro Boulatov, Ministry of Youth and Sports and member of the Ukrainian National Self-Defence (UNA-UNSO).
The party [Ukrainian National Self-Defence] identifies as far right, and has close ties to the neo-nazi National Democratic Party of Germany.
- Tetiana Tchornovol, National Anti-Corruption Committee and member of the Ukrainian National Self-Defence.
- Oleh Makhnitsky, Prosecutor General of Ukraine and member of Svoboda Party.
Nazis Come to Power in Europe for First Time Since World War II: Where is the Outrage?:
To see what Ukraine’s future may be, just look at Lviv’s shameful past, fom The Independent:
World Without Nazism movement warns about threats Ukraine’s Nazi pose to ethnic minorities, from Itar-Tass
3. The Kiev snipers were hired by Maidan protesters.
Here we see shades of the Syrian “rebel” false flag chemical attack, launched to demonize the Assad government. This time, it was the heroes of Maidan who apparently staged a false flag of their own.
The snipers who shot at protesters and police in Kiev were allegedly hired by Maidan leaders, according to a leaked phone conversation between the EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton and Estonian foreign affairs minister, which has emerged online.
Secretive Neo-Nazi Military Organization Involved in Euromaidan Snyper Shootings:
From Zero Hedge:
…when it comes to “dirty tricks” what is about to be presented, blows the top off anything Russia may or has done to date.
Here’s the phone conversation that was leaked online:
“There is now stronger and stronger understanding that behind the snipers, it was not Yanukovich, but it was somebody from the new coalition,” Urmas Paet said during the conversation.
“And second, what was quite disturbing, this same Olga [Bogomolets] told as well that all the evidence shows that the people who were killed by snipers from both sides, among policemen and then people from the streets, that they were the same snipers killing people from both sides,” the Estonian FM stressed.
“So that she then also showed me some photos she said that as a medical doctor she can say that it is the same handwriting, the same type of bullets, and it’s really disturbing that now the new coalition, that they don’t want to investigate what exactly happened,” Paet said.
A brief discussion of the Kiev snipers (and other Ukraine issues) on The Jeff Rense Program with Webster G. Tarpley:
4. Crimea is mostly Russian.
The Autonomous Republic of Crimea is an autonomous parliamentary republic within Ukraine…
The major ethnic groups are: Russians (58.32%), Ukrainians (24.32%), Crimean Tatars (12.10%).
Crimea was a part of Russia until 1954, when Nikita Khrushchev, an ethnic Ukrainian, gave Crimea to Ukraine.
Ukraine crisis: Does Russia have a case? From the BBC:
Russia’s 25,000-troop allowance & other facts you may not know about Crimea. From RT:
Facts you need to know about Crimea and why it is in turmoil. From RT:
It is quite a stretch on the part of the Western media to characterize Putin’s deployment of troops into Crimea as an “invasion.” Some even compare him to Hitler. Given the recent track record of the US and some European allies when it comes to invasions based upon questionable grounds (Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, just to name a few) and the open involvement of the West in supporting the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Ukraine, resulting in the rise of fascist political parties, comparing Putin to Hitler amounts to a new and staggering level of hypocrisy unseen since the days when Hitler himself relentlessly called for peace up until the first shots of World War II were fired.
What Putin Really Wants, from The New York Times:
The decision of the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin, to send forces into Crimea provoked a hysterical reaction, but his motives are less ambitious than is commonly assumed.
Mr. Putin is seeking to strong-arm the new, weak and unstable government in Kiev into agreeing to full autonomy for Crimea rather than risk a full scale invasion into Ukraine…
The losers will be those simpletons of international politics — including the United States — who mistook the clashes of some Ukrainian neo-Nazis with Mr. Yanukovych’s police force for the dawning of democracy and the beginning of a Ukrainian Spring.
‘Hang scum later’ – Ukrainian deputy governor on Crimea protests, from RT:
Kiev’s newly-appointed deputy head of south-eastern Ukraine (Boris Filatov) has shared his recipe of how to calm protesters in Crimea opposing the self-proclaimed country’s government: “Give the scum promises, guarantees and then hang them.”
“This scum should be given promises, guarantees, and any concessions…And hung…They should be hung later”
From the BBC live update feed (emails):
Citizen of Sevastopol emails: To Students of Lvov university.There is NO lack of information in the East or South of Ukraine. The internet is a big place. Literally ripping up Kiev and toppling pro-Soviet monuments is NOT “democracy”. It is thuggery plus lack of respect towards Eastern and Southern parts of Ukraine. It is for this reason that Ukraine will NEVER be united. Your idea of “democracy” has now almost certainly permanently taken Crimea away from Ukrainian rule and into Russian. From all that I have seen and heard in this three-month “protest”, I’m glad I will be under Russia’s sphere of influence and not yours.
Dmytro Popov, Kharkiv, Ukraine emails: When we know that Putin will defend us from Ukrainian nationalists we sleep much better here. Unfortunately, after the opposition came to power supported by Maidan armed radicals, our cities went to havoc. A government building in my city of Kharkov was occupied by armed Maidan fighters. They also vandalised a monument in our city. The police just stand still, not to be accused of fighting “peaceful” protesters. So simple people like me had to fight these radicals and liberate our city. Yes, we were worried about revenge.
Some useful links
Listen to World Crisis Radio on TARPLEY.net each weekend for the latest analysis:
The Bigger Picture, from Washington’s Blog:
The Brzezinski Plan
The outrageous strategy to destroy Russia – article from 2004:
Zbigniew Brzezinski recommends how Russia should be militarily weakened and intimidated. He is convinced that the best way to achieve it is by destabilizing its border regions, a political strategy that aroused the interest of former presidential candidate John Kerry’s team who recruited his son Mark Brzezinski as its foreign policy adviser.
…Russia’s nuclear arsenal is not, as John Kerry says, a present-day threat. Kerry’s real objective is related to Zbigniew Brzezinski’s strategy of Russia’s subordination but, from now on, it will be much more difficult to convince the world public opinion of Russia’s evil and totalitarianism.
This is why in some recent Wall Street Journal and Novaya Gazetta interviews, Brzezinski characterized Vladimir Putin as «Russian Benito Mussolini».
Should Russia accept ‘Brzezinski`s plan’? Article from 2011:
What kind of Russia does Brzezinski want to see?
– Russia without Putin
– Russia as a confederation, not a federation
– Russia as a periphery country providing the West with energy resources
EU Concerned about Cost of Sanctions on Russia, from Spiegel Online:
Russia’s aggression in Ukraine has set off plenty of bluster and aggressive rhetoric in Europe. But many EU member states are skittish about the potential dangers of imposing punitive economic measures on Moscow.
Countermeasures from Russia could prove painful to the EU, particularly when it comes to the energy sector. Germany, for example, imports more than a third of its natural gas and oil from Russia; other European countries are vastly more dependent on Moscow for their energy needs.
Szenarien für die Krim: Sanktionen, Chaos, Krieg (Scenarios for Crimea: Sanctions, Chaos, War), from Spiegel Online:
Kharkov activists hold anti-fascist march, from Voice of Russia:
Путин, приди! Народу помоги! (Putin, come! Help the people!), from Kommersant.ru
Here’s a comment on der Spiegel’s inane interview with Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski (Moscow Needs Our Money) which shows that sometimes it’s a good idea to skip directly to the comments section:
ronald_thomas_west 03/10/2014 “we cannot forget that there are people who live in these places who feel like Europeans and aspire to be a part of the EU” … when common Ukrainians hear this sort of nonsense from leadership in the EU, they are convinced they will receive all of the benefits of EU membership, including visa-free travel to Western Europe. Of course nothing could be further from the truth and these fantasies fed to people who will be ultimately disappointed will turn the Western Ukraine’s antipathy to Russia into antipathy to the western democracies, because the common Ukrainian will have felt stabbed in the back, not only by Poland but also by Germany. The honest facts are, the EU ‘association’ agreement will not even come close to integrating Ukraine to the EU as a real member state but the politicians never seem to say this in any clear way for those Ukrainians who looks to integrate to Europe in a practical way a working class person can relate to. Spiegel and other western media should examine their role in propagating statements that amplify false hopes.