Ukraine declares resumption of war against Donbass

By  Eric Zuesse
Posted on RINF.com, March 18, 2015

On Wednesday, March 18th, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the Prime Minister of Ukraine — who was selected for that post by Victoria Nuland of the U.S. State Department on 4 February 2014, 18 days before the U.S. coup that installed him into this office — told his cabinet meeting, “Our goal is to regain control of Donetsk and Lugansk.” Those are the two districts comprising Donbass, the self-proclaimed independent region of Ukraine, which now calls itself “The People’s Republic“ and sometimes “Novorossiya,” and which rejects the coup and its coup-imposed Government.

That Government of Ukraine is run by Yatsenyuk and the people whom he selected. Ukraine also has a President, who is elected by voters in the northwest of Ukraine, where the coup-government is accepted; but, since the coup, the Government has actually been run by Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, who is entirely dependent upon the United States Government and its subordinates (such as the IMF and NATO, in both of which the U.S. has veto-power) in order to obtain the financial and military support necessary to keep him in office

Yatsenyuk announced there: “Adequate financial resources are available,” to retake Donbass. Those “resources” came largely from the IMF, and from the United States, all with loans to the bankrupt Ukrainian Government. So that the investors will be paid the principal plus the extremely high interest on these junk-loans that are backed by their governments, Western taxpayers will ultimately be, basically, donating to Franklin Templeton, and to George Soros, and to the other financiers who are buying the Ukrainian Government bonds that purchase those weapons and military trainers to conquer the residents of Donbass. The Ukrainian Government officially calls these residents ‘Terrorists,’ and the military operation to conquer them they call the ‘Anti Terrorist Operation’ or “ATO” for short. They call their troops who are doing the killing there, “punishers,” which the residents of northwestern Ukraine take to mean punishers of terrorists. The residents in northwestern Ukraine see only television that is broadcast on stations that are owned by Ukrainian, European, and American, oligarchs. For example, one of these stations is Hromadske TV, which was founded with money from the Dutch Government, the U.S. Government, and George Soros’s International Renaissance Foundation. It has, on occasion, presented ‘experts’ who call for exterminating at least 1.5 million of the residents in Donbass. So, this is how the support of the residents in Ukraine’s northwest for the “ATO” is being maintained. The residents in Donbass have also been called “subhumans” by Yatsenyuk himself.

At this cabinet meeting, Yatsenyuk additionally announced that resumption of the war would be rushed: “We need to move the funding for the purchase of new equipment and weapons from the third and fourth quarter to the first and second quarter,” he told his cabinet.

At this same cabinet meeting, the Minister of Defense, Stepan Poltorak, announced that, to date, 100 contracts for military equipment have been signed, and soon there will be 160. He also said: “Just in the last week alone, factories brought in about a thousand pieces of equipment for repair.”

Yatsenyuk told his cabinet that, “We will fight using all methods and techniques for the resumption of peace and regaining control of Donetsk and Luhansk region.” By ‘resumption of peace,’ he meant resumption of control over Donbass. “Peace” is the term he uses to mean control. In other words: until the Yatsenyuk Government wins, there will continue to be war in Donbass, “using all methods and techniques” to achieve his (that is, America’s) victory in subduing the residents there. This subduing means exterminating some, and driving the others out; so that, in either case, they won’t become voters in future Ukrainian elections. The last time that these people voted in a Ukrainian election was 2010, when they voted 90% for Viktor Yanukovych, the man whom Obama overthrew. Without that 90% vote, Yanukovych wouldn’t have been elected. Obama consequently doesn’t want them voting in any future Ukrainian election. That’s the reason why they’re being bombed — to get rid of them.

On March 17th, Ukraine’s parliament, the Rada, voted to declare Donbass to be “temporarily occupied territory,” until the residents there are conquered. The day before that, the figurehead President of Ukraine had presented to the Rada a draft resolution proposing to solve the problem of the resistant Donbass with a resolution he published on his website on March 14th saying that the region has “special status,” and temporary self-government, but this proposal wasn’t the one the Rada passed. The President nonetheless declared that his terminology was somehow law from the moment it had been published on his website.

U.S. President Obama wants the war resumed as quickly as possible, but Angela Merkel and other European leaders have urged that it not be resumed at all. Consequently, there is a split in the Western alliance about this matter. Apparently, Prime Minister Yatsenyuk has determined that he now has enough weapons and loans to be able to resume the war very soon, until final victory.

Obama, evidently, is determined to finish the job that he started with his coup. It was bloody, but the follow-through will need to be far more so. And he has the full support of the U.S. Congress, and of the major think tanks, to continue this until victory. EU nations that don’t like it — well, Obama’s agent controlling Ukraine said famously, on 4 February 2014, “F—k the EU.”

Many European leaders don’t want to be involved in a war against Russia. However, on March 12th, Yatsenyuk said “Ukraine is in a state of war with … the Russian Federation.” That is the service he is providing to Barack Obama, and to the 98%+ of the members of the U.S. Congress who likewise want this war: Ukraine has become the proxy state for America’s war against Russia.

———-

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity, and of Feudalism, Fascism, Libertarianism and Economics.

 

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The CANVAS and Right Sector trail in the murder of Nemtsov

Posted on Fort Russ

March 6, 2015
Ruscom
Translated by Kristina Rus
Originally published: March 1, 2015

The Serbian trail, stretching from the terrorist attack in Kharkov to the murder of Boris Nemtsov, stands out from under the carpet too much to ignore it. NGO CANVAS, grown from the Serbian maidan organization “Otpor!”, is very heavily involved in Ukraine and now have seriously taken over Russia.

The murder of Boris Nemtsov, whose corpse was found almost at the walls of the Kremlin, is in itself a very extraordinary event for Russia. Never in the Russian Federation there was a murder of a former member of the government, Deputy Prime Minister, a politician who was welcome at the White House and who spoke before the U.S. Congress. The body of this politician, deliberately executed in direct line of sight from the Kremlin, calls for a very serious approach to the murder, the forces behind it and the effects. A serious approach to the situation forces us to carefully consider all the versions of what happened.

On February 28, 2015, on the program “Norkin’s List” (NTV) a well-known political analyst Sergey Kurginyan expressed some thoughts about the murder of Nemtsov:

In particular, Kurginyan said:

“…Yarosh [the leader of the Right Sector”, a radical Ukrainian organization – Ruskom] cooperates with CANVAS, it’s a Serbian – American organization for the implementation of the “orange revolutions”, this organization organized Maidan [in Kiev – Ruskom] and everything else. Now CANVAS is heavily involved in Russia. Boris Nemtsov, unfortunately, said some strange words on February 10th, that he is afraid he will be killed by the authorities [which turned to be a fantasy of the editors – KR]. Immediately after that, the topic was discussed by Yarosh and representatives of CANVAS. Then the representatives of CANVAS came to Russia, among those representatives there is a man, a Serb, “Atsa” is his nickname (Alexander “Atsa” Kazun, lives in the USA, works for CANVAS – Ruskom), who was apprehended for the Kharkov explosion, and then he was released by Turchynov. Isn’t this interesting? Do we really want to know who is behind the murders?”

If we discard all versions except for the most probable – the murder of Nemtsov was supposed to destabilize the situation in Russia before the opposition march on March 1, this destabilization is most needed by the Ukrainian radical organizations, and therefore, Yarosh and the Right Sector. The situation on the fronts of Donbass is such that defeated on all fronts and expelled from Debaltsevo Ukrainian military will not soon recover from the damage and most likely will not be able to recover at all. In this situation a strategically winning solution for the Ukrainian radicals and their Western friends and curators is only a serious destabilization of the situation in Russia.

The focus of certain forces on the course of civil and political terror in Ukraine is evident in the terrorist act that took place in Kharkov on February 23, killing three people and injuring about ten. Ukrainian media of course, immediately, before the start of investigation, rushed to blame the “separatists”, “vatniki” and the Russian security services. There is no faith that the Ukrainian investigation will find the perpetrators, just as there is no hope for the investigation of Maidan snipers, which has taken already a year to no result. But if we think about who benefits from the terror in Ukraine, it is clear that neither Russia nor DPR/LPR can benefit from it.

The terror only benefits Ukrainian radicals and their curators, who thus wish to strengthen the anti-Russian and anti-Donbass mood in the society.

What was extraordinary about the Kharkov explosion?

“…two fighters from the special police battalion group “Kharkov-1” and a girl from the Right Sector, who showed negligence when handling explosives, injuring themselves, were supposed to be evacuated by the group consisting of four people. Strange activity of this group attracted the attention of the police, and the four were arrested. During a search of their minivan it turned out that, that it was unclear how they were going to evacuate their own, when the car was packed full of weapons, including automatic mounted grenade launcher AGS-30 of Russian production. The senior of the group turned out to be a U.S. citizen, presumably, of Serbian decent, Alexander Kazun nicknamed “Atsa” permanently residing in Washington, DC. Place of work: NGO CANVAS. Mr. Kazun was immediately released on the personal order from the Secretary of the Council of National Security and Defense of Ukraine, Aleksandr  Turchinov.”

A capture of a foreign citizen at the place of a terrorist attack looks very suspicious. Even more suspicious is the fact of the release of this citizen, Alexander Kazun, on the order of Alexander Turchynov, who has serious ties with the elites in the USA. And it becomes even more suspicious after understanding what is the NGO CANVAS. Here’s what William Engdahl wrote about it on January 7, 2014 in the article “American NGO involved in the protests in Ukraine”:

“CANVAS: the Belgrade U.S.-funded training organization is behind the carefully organized protests in Kiev. The recent protests in Ukraine stink of an attempt to destabilize the government of Yanukovych, organized from abroad 

After the events in Kharkov the representatives of this organization, engaged in the export of “revolutions” ended up in Moscow. In addition, NGO CANVAS originated from the “bulldozer revolution” in Belgrade in 2000, which overthrew Slobodan Milosevic. The Serbs, who at the time experienced all the “charms” of the coups organized by the West, warned the citizens of Ukraine about those consequences which follow the “peaceful protest against the bloody tyrant” under the cries of “they’re just children!”:

“I live in Belgrade, Serbia, and events in Ukraine remind me of the events in Serbia in the late 1990s and in 2000. In 2000 Western-paid opposition overthrew Slobodan Milosevic, all to our great joy and our great hopes for the future, just because we were tired of the difficult life (or what we perceived as a difficult life at that time) and, in fact, we were naive and duped by Western media (as well as you are today, but let me continue, I will explain this later). Later we realized that it does not work like that – the West did not give us money, did not give us investments, in essence, the West and the European Union did not act like friends at all. Better life never came, and in fact things have gotten worse.

Now, attention! The same people who lied to us and made our “democratic revolution”, are now making YOURS – NGO called “Otpor!” (“Resistance”) in the 1990s, now known as the “CANVAS” – “The Center for the applied nonviolent action and strategies”. Also the usual names and agencies in this show: USAID, Freedom House, The National Endowment for Democracy, George Soros… See for yourself. These are the same people – the oligarchs in Serbia now. They are trained by the CIA, and do their work in Ukraine (and other countries), your Yanukovych even banned some of the many very interesting articles, Ukraine is mentioned in almost every one of them”

Unfortunately, the Ukrainians did not heed the calls of the Serbian people and decided by their bitter experience to test the heavy forces of democracy and breathe the free air of Maidan. In this they were helped by many experts from Serbia (and not only), in particular Marko Ivkovic, the head of the above-mentioned Serbian organization “Otpor!” This was reported by Oleg Tsarev on December 1, 2013 at his page on Facebook:

“The day before yesterday my friend was flying to Ukraine, and in his companion he recognized the well-known organizer of coups and revolutions, Marko Ivkovic. He became famous as the founder of the Serbian “Otpor”, then there were Georgian “Kmara” and Ukrainian “Pora”. Marco tried to organize something similar in Russia, but was extradited and banned from entry. Was in Kyrgyzstan in 2010, when President Bakiyev was ousted there. Now Maidan is in experienced and financially secure hands. Americans do not spare any money on Ivakovic – not so long ago on his projects in Ukraine the National Democratic Institute of the United States provided $1,200,000″.

In 2012, Marko Ivkovic already worked in Ukraine at the National Democratic Institute of USA, operated in contact with the party “Front of Changes” of Arseniy Yatsenyuk, created a public organization “OPORA” to count the votes at elections. Was the unofficial head of the electoral headquarters of Yatsenyuk. The Ukrainian media already in early 2012 hypothesized that Ivkovic was busy preparing “Maidan-2”.

In 2013, right before the aggravation of the situation, Ivkovic arrived to Ukraine on November 29, which was reported by Oleg Tsarev. Next, let’s give a word to the Ukrainian media (publication date September 12, 2013):

“On the eve of the “Popular Assembly,” Arseniy Yatsenyuk and opposition leaders met with Marko Ivkovic – one of the members of the National Democratic Institute, USA. This was reported by the media, citing sources close to Yatsenyuk. The meeting was attended also by Fink Bryne (Gomez) – U.S. citizen, employee of the Agency for International Development, USA. Both U.S. citizens, known as consultants for colored revolutions, came to Ukraine a few weeks ago (Fink Bryne – on October 28). [the spelling of the name may be different in English as it is a translation from Russian – KR]

Now the details of that meeting became known. In particular, it is reported that Marko Ivkovic offered to A. Yatsenyuk, V. Klitschko and O. Tiagnybok to proclaim on the Maidan on Sunday during the “Popular Assembly” a “Manifesto”, according to which to announce the transition of power into the hands of the provisional (until the elections) “people’s government”.

Next was a matter of technique and concerted action. The “People’s government” was supposed to move into the building of the Kiev city administration to use the existing phones of government communications, contact law enforcement agencies and the army calling for support. And also – and this is, perhaps, the most important thing – to contact the embassies of the European countries and the USA with the request for recognition. When it comes to their interests, the United States and Europe, do not waste time with recognition. According to the source, the American Embassy has already prepared the official response with the approval of the actions of the opposition”

Now we know that the January – February events of 2014 in Kiev took place according to the scenario written in December 2013, and therefore, reality confirms the involvement of Serbs and Americans in Kiev events, and the high profile of the organizers of Euromaidan.

Serbian – American consultants of Kiev Euromaidan do not hesitate to use established and successful templates, instructions and practices. For example, the leaflets, which were first used in Belgrade in 2000, then in Cairo in 2011, and then in Kiev in 2013-2014:

NGO CANVAS at first glance at its website seems like a reputable international organization which strongly emphasizes its non-violent character. Now we understand what “non-violent” actions the employee of CANVAS Alexander Kazun, nicknamed “Atsa” was engaged in in Kharkov on February 23 in the car with explosives and automatic grenade launchers and what actions he may have been engaged in in Moscow.

CANVAS operates in Europe, in America, in Africa, and Asia. Tremendous scope for a modest Serbian organization, isn’t it?

https://i2.wp.com/ic.pics.livejournal.com/ruskom/19557183/68575/68575_original.png

Everything falls into place, when we see,  which organizations CANVAS is cooperating with in “developing long-term strategies related to the production of knowledge, tools, and studies of the global nonviolent struggle and the formation of a network of researchers related to the topic of non-violent resistance and strategies”. This is the Air Force Academy of Colorado, the John Hopkins University, and Columbia University. The website of CANVAS shows links to the sites of organizations such as the Institute of Albert Einstein, Freedom House and others, not less “friendly” to Russia:

https://i2.wp.com/ic.pics.livejournal.com/ruskom/19557183/68182/68182_original.png

Words are given to us to conceal our thoughts, and websites – to hide the true extent and details of the activities of organizations. So the sterile website CANVAS will not reveal the real information about their activities. But this data is provided by Wikileaks and other resources.

For example, there is a correspondence between the staff of the American organization Stratfor (private intelligence company of the United States, which is also called “the shadow CIA”), in which “CANVAS” and its leaders are very highly rated:

“This is an impressive group. They come in, operate in a country, and try to topple its regime. When used properly, they are stronger than an aircraft battle group.”

In response to the mention of “aircraft battle group”, Vice President of Stratfor, Fred Burton, sarcastically said that perhaps they should be sent to Iran.

Another letter said that “this organization (CANVAS) gets a lot of American money …I spoke with some people who lobbied for them (CANVAS) to get more money”. It is further specified that the Serbian organization “Otpor!” was funded, in particular, by Freedom House, the International Republican Institute, The Open Society Institute, USAID and the U.S. Institute for Peace. And it is indicated that CANVAS has financial ties with these organizations.

“Otpor!” and then CANVAS are not only mentioned in the correspondence of Stratfor employees, they also have close ties with Stratfor, Goldman Sachs, and the U.S. government. The wife of the leader of CANVAS worked in Stratfor for one year (from March 2010 to March 2011).

Srdja Popovich, the leader of the CANVAS

To put it briefly, CANVAS helps Stratfor in executing the color revolutions, overthrowing any leader hostile to the United States. This is what, according to Wikileaks, the US elite valued in Srdja Popovic and his “Otpor”.

In another letter dated March 2010 Stuart Burton said that CANVAS “is trying to get rid of Chavez,” referring to the late President Hugo Chavez. In 2007, the CANVAS tried to overthrow Chavez with trained activists.

In conclusion we can say that the activists of Serbian “Otpor” in their work used (and use) the models of Gene Sharp, the leading expert on the so-called “non-violent regime change”.

How non-violent are these methods, you can evaluate, judging how Gene Sharp participated in the events in Riga in 1990, advising “Sajudis” (nationalist anti-soviet Latvian organization), and that snipers from “Sajudis” shot (and killed) the demonstrators and the police with the aim to destabilize the Baltic States and cause the collapse of the USSR. These are the “non-violent” methods used in his time by Gene Sharp. Such methods are used by his followers from CANVAS, blowing up rallies in Kharkov and killing politicians in Moscow. Don’t you think this version seems more than logical?

For Russia today a new complex phase began, in which the country can win, and therefore survive only if Russian patriots and responsible citizens will understand the situation in all its complexity and tragedy. For further detailed analysis please see Friend: http://friend.livejournal.com/1762463.html (Russian)

Leading Ukrainian Nazi will visit Washington next week seeking weapons

From Fort Russ
By Eric Zuesse, February 17, 2015

Andrey [Andriy] Parubiy, a co-founder of the Social Nationalist Party of Ukraine, which the CIA renamed the “Freedom” Party (“Svoboda”) in order to hide its origin as Ukraine’s nazi party, announced on Sunday February 15th, that he’ll be seeking weapons from the U.S. He had started (but the CIA named) Ukraine’s ‘Anti Terrorist Operation,’ which has been trying to exterminate the residents in Ukraine’s Donbass region, Ukraine’s separatist region. Parubiy’s announcement said, “Next week I’m off to the United States to speak about this very subject,” of getting Washington to supply the weapons necessary to finish that job. 
The reason for his visit is: Ukraine is running out of bullets, guns, and other necessary equipment to achieve his goal. It’s a goal he had only begun as the organizer of Ukraine’s ‘Anti Terrorist Operation.’ The ‘ATO’ had commenced soon after the February 2014 coup in Ukraine, and has not been proceeding nearly as quickly as had been planned; it’s way behind schedule. 
According to German intelligence sources, no more than 50,000 people have been killed so far in the operation, though more than a million have fled, which also counts as success because the goal is to clear the land there. As a retired Ukrainian general who supports the operation said, “The shelling there is done as intimidation, … not just object destruction, but [also as] intimidation [to get the population to flee to nearby Russia]. The civilian population is intimidated by a chaotic bombardment.” That constant bombardment requires lots of bombs and bullets, which is why Parubiy now needs a big resupply.
Crimea’s Chief Prosecutor, Natalya Poklonskaya, who lived in Kiev and was a criminal prosecutor in Ukraine’s national government until the coup, but who quit because she didn’t want to serve in what she called a “nazi” government which was being established from the coup, says that Parubiy “was the leader of the armed part of Maidan” —  he was the key organizer of the masked snipers who dressed as government forces and shot both the police and the Maidan demonstrators during the coup and so brought down the sitting President of Ukraine. If what she says about his role is correct, then Paribuy was crucial in the success of the 22 February 2014 overthrow of democratically elected Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and was also crucial to the fulfillment of the appointment that occurred four days later of Yanukovych’s replacement as Ukraine’s leader, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, whom Victorial Nuland of the U.S. State Department had already selected, on 4 February 2014, to become Ukraine’s new leader
So, Parubiy was crucial in America’s successful take-over of Ukraine, and he will now be coming to Washington to request from Congress and the U.S. President the military support needed to finish the job that he and they had started, by completing the extermination of the residents in the Donbass region, which is the region whose residents had voted 90% for Yanukovych (it’s dark purple on that map) and have refused to accept the legitimacy of the Obama-coup Government. If those voters aren’t successfully eliminated, then any future Presidential election in Ukraine that would represent all of the land-area of the pre-coup Ukraine would need to include those anti-coup voters, and so would probably end U.S. control over Ukraine.
Parubiy in his announcement warned of the aggressive intentions of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin: “If he feels that he can go further, there is no doubt that there will be an attempt to break through and make a Crimea land corridor, he’ll attempt to get at least to the borders of Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts. And so, in order to have the guarantee that this will not happen, the most important thing is to strengthen our armed forces, and seek that the United States give us the modern weapons we need.”
—————

Robert Parry: How the New York Times falsifies the Ukraine narrative

In late February, a conference is scheduled in New York City to discuss the risk of nuclear war if computers reach the level of artificial intelligence and take decisions out of human hands. But there is already the old-fashioned danger of nuclear war, started by human miscalculation, fed by hubris and propaganda.

That possible scenario is playing out in Ukraine, where the European Union and the United States provoked a political crisis on Russia’s border in November 2013, then backed a coup d’etat in February 2014 and have presented a one-sided account of the ensuing civil war, blaming everything on Russia.

Possibly the worst purveyor of this Cold War-style propaganda has been the New York Times, which has given its readers a steady diet of biased reporting and analysis, including now accusing the Russians for a resurgence in the fighting.

One way the Times has falsified the Ukraine narrative is by dating the origins of the crisis to several months after the crisis actually began. So, the lead story in Saturday’s editions ignored the actual chronology of events and started the clock with the appearance of Russian troops in Crimea in spring 2014.

The Times article by Rick Lyman and Andrew E. Kramer said: “A shaky cease-fire has all but vanished, with rebel leaders vowing fresh attacks. Civilians are being hit by deadly mortars at bus stops. Tanks are rumbling down snowy roads in rebel-held areas with soldiers in unmarked green uniforms sitting on their turrets, waving at bystanders — a disquieting echo of the ‘little green men’ whose appearance in Crimea opened this stubborn conflict in the spring.”

In other words, the story doesn’t start in fall 2013 with the extraordinary U.S. intervention in Ukrainian political affairs – spearheaded by American neocons, such as National Endowment for Democracy president Carl Gershman, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Victoria Nuland and Sen. John McCain – nor with the U.S.-backed coup on Feb. 22, 2014, which ousted elected President Viktor Yanukovych and put one of Nuland’s chosen leaders, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, in as Prime Minister.

No, because if that history were included, Times readers might actually have a chance for a balanced understanding of this unnecessary tragedy. For propaganda purposes, it is better to start the cameras rolling only after the people of Crimea voted overwhelmingly to secede from the failed state of Ukraine and rejoin Russia.

Except the Times won’t reference the lopsided referendum or the popular will of the Crimean people. It’s better to pretend that Russian troops – the “little green men” – just invaded Crimea and conquered the place against the people’s will. The Russian troops were already in Crimea as part of an agreement with Ukraine for maintaining the Russian naval base at Sevastopol.

Which leads you to the next paragraph of the Times story: “The renewed fighting has dashed any hopes of reinvigorating a cease-fire signed in September [2014] and honored more in name than in fact since then. It has also put to rest the notion that Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, would be so staggered by the twin blows of Western sanctions and a collapse in oil prices that he would forsake the separatists in order to foster better relations with the West.”

That last point gets us to the danger of human miscalculation driven by hubris. The key error committed by the EU and compounded by the U.S. was to assume that a brazen bid to get Ukraine to repudiate its longtime relationship with Russia and to bring Ukraine into the NATO alliance would not prompt a determined Russian reaction.

Russia sees the prospect of NATO military forces and their nuclear weapons on its borders as a grave strategic threat, especially with Kiev in the hands of rabid right-wing politicians, including neo-Nazis, who regard Russia as a historic enemy. Confronted with such a danger – especially with thousands of ethnic Russians inside Ukraine being slaughtered – it was a near certainty that Russia’s leaders would not succumb meekly to Western sanctions and demands.

Yet, as long as the United States remains in thrall to the propagandistic narrative that the New York Times and other U.S. mainstream media outlets have spun, President Barack Obama will almost surely continue to ratchet up the tensions. To do otherwise would open Obama to accusations of “weakness.”

During his State of the Union address, Obama mostly presented himself as a peacemaker, but his one major deviation was when he crowed about the suffering that U.S.-organized sanctions had inflicted on Russia, whose economy, he boasted, was “in tatters.”

So, with the West swaggering and Russia facing what it considers a grave strategic threat, it’s not hard to imagine how the crisis in Ukraine could escalate into a violent clash between NATO and Russian forces with the possibility of further miscalculation bringing nuclear weapons into play.

The Actual Narrative

There’s no sign that the New York Times has any regrets about becoming a crude propaganda organ, but just in case someone is listening inside “the newspaper of record,” let’s reprise the actual narrative of the Ukraine crisis. It began not last spring, as the Times would have you believe, but rather in fall 2013 when President Yanukovych was evaluating the cost of an EU association agreement if it required an economic break with Russia.

This part of the narrative was well explained by Der Spiegel, the German newsmagazine, even though it has generally taken a harshly anti-Russian line. But, in a retrospective piece published a year after the crisis began, Der Spiegel acknowledged that EU and German leaders were guilty of miscalculations that contributed to the civil war in Ukraine, particularly by under-appreciating the enormous financial costs to Ukraine if it broke its historic ties to Russia.

In November 2013, Yanukovych learned from experts at the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine that the total cost to the country’s economy from severing its business connections to Russia would be around $160 billion, 50 times the $3 billion figure that the EU had estimated, Der Spiegel reported.

The figure stunned Yanukovych, who pleaded for financial help that the EU couldn’t provide, the magazine said. Western loans would have to come from the International Monetary Fund, which was demanding painful “reforms” of Ukraine’s economy, structural changes that would make the hard lives of average Ukrainians even harder, including raising the price of natural gas by 40 percent and devaluing Ukraine’s currency, the hryvnia, by 25 percent.

With Putin offering a more generous aid package of $15 billion, Yanukovych backed out of the EU agreement but told the EU’s Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, on Nov. 28, 2013, that he was willing to continue negotiating. German Chancellor Angela Merkel responded with “a sentence dripping with disapproval and cool sarcasm aimed directly at the Ukrainian president. ‘I feel like I’m at a wedding where the groom has suddenly issued new, last minute stipulations,” according to Der Spiegel’s chronology of the crisis.

After the collapse of the EU deal, U.S. neocons went to work on one more “regime change” – this time in Ukraine – using the popular disappointment in western Ukraine over the failed EU agreement as a way to topple Yanukovych, the constitutionally elected president whose political base was in eastern Ukraine.

Assistant Secretary of State Nuland, a prominent neocon holdover who advised Vice President Dick Cheney, passed out cookies to anti-Yanukovych demonstrators at the Maidan Square in Kiev and reminded Ukrainian business leaders that the United States had invested $5 billion in their “European aspirations.”

Sen. McCain, who seems to want war pretty much everywhere, joined Ukrainian rightists onstage at the Maidan urging on the protests, and Gershman’s U.S.-funded National Endowment for Democracy deployed its Ukrainian political/media operatives in support of the disruptions. As early as September 2013, the NED president had identified Ukraine as “the biggest prize” and an important step toward toppling Putin in Russia. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “Neocons’ Ukraine-Syria-Iran Gambit.”]

By early February 2014, Nuland was telling U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt “fuck the EU” and discussing how to “glue this thing” as she handpicked who the new leaders of Ukraine would be; “Yats is the guy,” she said about Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

As violent disorders at the Maidan grew worse – with well-organized neo-Nazi militias hurling firebombs at police – the State Department and U.S. news media blamed Yanukovych. On Feb. 20, when mysterious snipers – apparently firing from positions controlled by the neo-Nazi Right Sektor – shot to death police officers and protesters, the situation spun out of control – and the American press again blamed Yanukovych.

Though Yanukovych signed a Feb. 21 agreement with three European countries accepting reduced powers and early elections, that was not enough for the coup-makers. On Feb. 22, a putsch, spearheaded by neo-Nazi militias, forced Yanukovych and his officials to flee for their lives.

Remarkably, however, when the Times pretended to review this history in a January 2015 article, the Times ignored the extraordinary evidence of a U.S.-backed coup – including the scores of NED political projects, McCain’s cheerleading and Nuland’s plotting. The Times simply informed its readers that there was no coup. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “NYT Still Pretends No Coup in Ukraine.”]

But the Times’ propaganda on Ukraine is not just wretched journalism, it is also a dangerous ingredient in what could become a nuclear confrontation, if Americans come to believe a false narrative and thus go along with more provocative actions by their political leaders who, in turn, might feel compelled to act tough because otherwise they’d be attacked as “soft.”

In other words, even without computers seizing control of man’s nuclear weapons, man himself might blunder into a nuclear Armageddon, driven not by artificial intelligence but a lack of the human kind.

http://www.helencaldicott.com/nyt-lost-ukraine-propaganda/

Ukraine is looting its own museums

From Oriental Review, January 28, 2-15
Ukraine is plundering its own museums on the way to Europe
By Victor Lipnitsky (Ukraine), Urmas Eckholm (Finland)

The looting of museums and the private collections of well-heeled fellow citizens seems to be an inevitable byproduct of all revolutions. The rebels Robespierre and Cromwell did so in the name of revolution, and during the fighting in the Middle East, hundreds of rare items have vanished from the national museums in Cairo and Baghdad and the Babylon Museum complex. The pandemonium at Maidan and the general free-for-all in Kiev and throughout Ukraine has also made it possible for property to be seized at will. The criminal world is extremely sensitive to social and political unrest and has moved rapidly to restore its old ties with its reliable “shady customers” from the highest echelons of power who are in the market for antiquities.

Looted museum of history Kiev

On the night of Feb. 18, 2014 unknown persons ransacked the collections of the Museum of the History of Kiev, located on the fourth and fifth floors of the Ukrainian House convention center. The museum’s storage area was devastated, and it was several months before the number of objects stolen from their displays could be determined. Some of the exhibits, such as the 19th-century tableware produced by the Volokitinsky porcelain works, were simply destroyed. Paleolithic bones were trampled under revolutionary feet.

Olga Drug, the head of the museum division, reported, “The thugs tossed a large 18th-century icon, The Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, into a corner of the room. They wrapped the image in a dress embroidered with gold and silver threads, which is over 200 years old and was only recently restored. The dress ripped. For some reason, they left the icon, but stole a porcelain sculpture of Empress Catherine II, made at the Gardner porcelain works near Moscow in 1780 and with an estimated value of $50,000.”

Kavaler, porcelain, Miklashevsky factory, XIX century

Among the missing items was a knife with a blade of Damascus steel and a handle of mammoth tusk, worth $25,000, plus a few sabers valued at about $10,000 each. The thieves took some sacred objects from the early 20th century – the icons The Virgin and Child, Christ, and The Ascension of the Lord, plus an image of St. Nicholas the miracle worker. The market value of each of these icons ranges from $2,000-$2,500. A copy of the Gospels was also stolen ($2,000-$4,000). At the same time, a 19th-century sculpture of children playing the piano was snatched ($1,500), as was a handbag from the same century ($1,000), a silk embroidered tablecloth from the first half of the 19th century that had only just returned from the restoration studio ($5,000), an 18th-century English clock ($2,000-$2,500), and much more. According to the museum staff, the estimated cost of all that was taken exceeded $200,000.

The builders of a “new Ukraine” have ruthlessly stolen property that is part of Ukraine’s historical heritage, pilfering not only from the past, but from the future as well. The Museum of Gifts at the Kiev Mayor’s Office, located in the same building as Kiev’s city hall (which has been “seized by the people”) was looted. Working on a tip, they also raided collections in private homes as well as exhibits being shown at private viewings – everywhere that housed objects of interest to potential customers.

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Faced with the revolutionaries’ massive exportation of stolen works of art, the Ukrainian Customs Service has stepped up inspections on the Polish and Slovak borders, as well as within Kiev. The magnitude of the contraband being seized by customs is evidence of the scale of the theft. For example, opening an unremarkable case, customs officers in Kiev discovered a rare musical instrument signed by the master Giovanni Paolo Maggini.

In the spring of 2014, the staff of the eastern customs division blocked two attempts to illegally export an 1884 icon and an 1890 Bible through the Novoazovsk customs checkpoint.

In November 2014, workers at customs control at the Borispol airport recorded yet another attempt to illegally export a large shipment of precious stones and amber weighing almost 235 kg.

Recently, customs staff in Lvov detained another group of lawbreakers trying to spirit 18 gold coins out of the country. Experts estimate the cost of each of them to be at least $10,000. An entire collection of ancient weapons was also intercepted that had been stolen from museums in Kiev and other cities. The state returned some pictures by Claude Monet and Vincent van Gogh.

chastini_model_garmati_18_stUkrainian customs officials believe that the most stable “currency” being exported today from post-revolutionary Ukraine consists of art (paintings, icons, and sculptures) and antiques (weapons, coins, jewelry, and books).

Arseniy Yatsenyuk is the “icon of style” for Ukrainian citizens who might slip an item from a museum into a bag or tuck a rare piece of jewelry into a pocket. In the spring of 2014, he announced that a collection of Scythian gold currently in the Netherlands, which had been shipped from museums in the Crimea for display at the Allard Pierson Archaeological Museum in Amsterdam, was actually the property of Ukraine.

This case includes one interesting detail. When Valentin Nalivaychenko, then the head of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), was in the process of being appointed the ambassador to the US in the spring of 2009, the Ukrainians decided to probe the attitude of the US State Department. Washington’s answer shocked Kiev – American officials informed them that they possessed reliable data indicating that Nalivaychenko had committed serious violations of Finnish law when he worked at the Ukrainian embassy in Helsinki. Using his diplomatic status, Nalivaychenko had set up a pipeline for smuggling antiquities. With their customary attention to detail, the Finnish police recorded every fact in writing, which naturally they shared with their American friends. They requested that the matter not proceed any further. And now, given the exceptional nature of the US-Ukrainian partnership, the US State Department has recommended that Kiev not move the issue to an official level, i.e., that they not request agrément for the country’s chief spy, suspecting that at the most inopportune moment this sensitive information might become public knowledge and have a fatal effect on the progressive development of their bilateral relations. But in fact, the CIA needed Nalivaychenko for what Washington saw as a key post – as head of the SBU. So there’s the story.

Time is passing. The valuables won during the battles of the “Revolution of Dignity” are slowly but surely trickling abroad. Apparently, Ukraine’s cultural and historical heritage is being amassed in Europe to act as a dowry for an aging bride. But the Ukrainian people will most likely find themselves bereft of their valuables, their historical heritage, and even Europe itself.

Source in Russian: RusVesna

Re-posted on
http://orientalreview.org/2015/01/28/ukraine-is-plundering-its-own-museums-on-the-way-to-europe/

 

Engdahl: Foreign bankers rape Ukraine

Published in New Eastern Outlook
December 18, 2014

If it were not for the fact that the lives of some 45 million people are at stake, Ukrainian national politics could be laughed off as a very sick joke. Any pretenses that the October national elections would bring a semblance of genuine democracy of the sort thousands of ordinary Ukrainians demonstrated for on Maidan Square just one year ago vanished with the announcement by Victoria Nuland’s darling Prime Minister, “Yat” Yatsenyuk, of his new cabinet.

The US-picked Ukraine President, billionaire oligarch Petro Poroshenko called “snap” elections at the end of August for October 26. He did so to make sure genuine opposition to his regime of murderers, gangsters and in some cases outright Nazis would be able to push an unprepared genuine opposition out of the Verkhovna Rada or Parliament. Because the parliament had significant opposition parties to the US-engineered February 22 coup d’etat, they had blocked many key pieces of legislation that the Western vultures were demanding, from changing key land ownership laws to privatization of precious state assets. By law, the old parliament would have sat until its five year term ended in October, 2017. That was clearly too long for State Department neo-con Ukraine puppet-mistress Victoria Nuland and her backers in Washington.

Now, with a new parliament that is controlled by the Petro Poroshenko bloc as largest party and the boyish-looking former Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who is also new Prime Minister as head of the second largest party, the way was clear to get on with the rape of Ukraine. What shocked some is the blatant foreign takeover that followed, like a Wall Street vulture fund raid on a distressed debtor country of the Third World.

The ridiculous charade

Yatsenyuk, former finance minister in a previous criminal regime, and a suspected senior member of the US-intelligence-friendly “Church of Scientology,” has named three complete foreigners as cabinet ministers in key economic posts. And in an extraordinary act, the three have been made instant Ukrainian citizens by Poroshenko in a ridiculous ceremony. Ukraine is looking more and more like the US-occupied Philippines after the Spanish-American War of 1898 when General Arthur MacArthur, father of the mentally-dis-ordered Douglas, was Washington’s dictator on the spot.

The new Ukrainian Finance Minister, the one who will control the money and decides where it goes, is one Natalia A. Jaresko. She speaks fluent Ukrainian. Only problem—she is an American citizen, a US State Department veteran who is also a US investment banker. Now, the Ukrainian Constitution, prudently enough, stipulates that government ministers be Ukrainian. How then does our sweet Natalia come in? Continue reading

New coalition plans to expand war against Eastern Ukraine

From the World Socialist Web Site

By Christoph Dreier
27 November 2014

Five fractions in the recently elected Ukrainian Parliament agreed on a coalition pact November 21. Although the coalition still has to agree on the division of posts, it has already announced that it intends to step up its aggression in the east of the country and exacerbate Kiev’s confrontation with Russia.

The coalition chose the date of the one-year anniversary of the Maidan protests to announce its program. The demonstrations on the Maidan were supported by Western governments and led to a bloody coup that brought right-wing, pro-Western forces to power. The coup then led to the development of separatist movements in eastern Ukraine.

Now, one year on, five parliamentary parties, all of which supported the Maidan protests, have formed a coalition that plans to intensify a policy of war and enforce vicious cuts in social spending.

The five coalition partners agreed to increase military spending to three percent of GDP. They plan new methods of military mobilization and a renewal of the country’s security strategy. Their proposed “most urgent task” is NATO membership for Ukraine.

Up to now, the Ukrainian constitution guaranteed the nonaligned status of the country. With 285 seats in the 423-seat parliament, the new coalition now has the two-thirds majority necessary for the constitutional change, which would permit the country’s integration into the Western military alliance.

On Monday, President Petro Poroshenko confirmed these plans and announced a referendum on joining NATO within six years. Until then, all the criteria for inclusion in the military alliance are to be met.

Just a few days earlier, Poroshenko had decided to slash all state funding and pensions to the areas of eastern Ukraine controlled by pro-Russian separatists. As a result, schools, hospitals and emergency services will no longer be funded, and pensions and benefits will not be paid.
[1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHWHqj8g7Bk]

Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who is likely to remain prime minister, rejected any negotiations with the separatists. “We will not conduct direct negotiations with Russian terrorists,” he said.

The ruthless program of the new government is reflected in its personnel. The groups involved in the coalition are right-wing and ultranationalist forces. The Block Petro Poroshenko, with 127 deputies, constitutes the largest fraction in the new coalition.

Included in the ranks of other coalition partners, the Popular Front (76 seats), the Self-Help Party (34 seats) led by the Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyj, and the Fatherland Party (23 seats) headed by former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, are numerous right-wing extremists.

Amongst the ten leading deputies of the Popular Front are three commanders of extreme right volunteer militias (Andrij Teteruk, Arsen Avakov and Yuri Beresa), which fought alongside the Ukrainian army against the separatists and are held responsible for serious human rights violations.

In addition to these three, Andrij Bilezkij also entered the Ukrainian Rada as a candidate of the Popular Front. Bilezkij founded the notorious Azov Battalion and was a longtime member of the right-wing grouping Patriots of Ukraine. According to the Kiev-based German historian Andreas Umland, Bilezkij is an “expressly biological racist” who “openly propagates the Aryan myth.”

The fifth coalition partner is the Radical Party of Oleh Lyashko, with 25 seats. Prior to the election, Lyashko had abducted and tortured suspected separatists in many parts of the country. The human rights organization Amnesty International has accused Lyashko of breaching international law. During the election campaign his party called for Ukraine to have its own nuclear weapons.

Although the new government has a large majority of seats, it by no means reflects the will of the people. In the parliamentary elections in late October, broad layers of the population were barred from voting. Opposition parties were suppressed and banned. Only 53 percent of the electorate went to the polls.

The integration of right-wing thugs into the government makes clear that the new regime can only enforce its reactionary program with the use of force against the population. In this respect it can rely on the support of the NATO powers.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed the government’s announcement that it would seek membership in the military alliance. “The door is still open,” he said. “I recall that we had decided at the summit in Bucharest [in 2008] that Ukraine should be a member of NATO.” This decision is still valid if the Ukraine fulfills all the criteria for membership, he suggested.

On Monday, the Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite promised weapons supplies to the regime during a state visit to Kiev. “We have agreed on the training of officers and participation in multinational exercises on the territory of Lithuania, a military-technical cooperation and supplies of certain types of weapons for the Ukrainian armed forces,” Grybauskaite said.

The talks between Grybauskaite and Poroshenko reportedly concerned a tripartite military alliance between Ukraine and two NATO members, Poland and Lithuania.

In a government statement on Wednesday, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel once again fiercely criticized Russia. “Nothing justifies or excuses the annexation of the Crimea by Russia,” Merkel said. She repeated her recent claim that Russia had broken international law. On Tuesday, the Chancellor addressed a conference of businessmen in Berlin and called for a continuation of sanctions against Russia.

According to a US military official, Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, the Pentagon is planning to station 100 armored vehicles permanently in Eastern Europe. The combat vehicles could be stationed “in the Baltic States and Poland, Romania and Bulgaria”, Hodges explained.

Given the aggressive policy of NATO and the integration of right-wing forces in the Ukrainian government, a vote held last Friday in a committee of the UN General Assembly was of especial significance.

Russia put forward a motion opposing the glorification of Nazism and other practices which incited racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related forms of intolerance.

The resolution singled out for condemnation practices “which denigrate the memory of the countless victims of crimes against humanity committed during World War II.” In addition to the crimes of the SS, the motion named crimes committed by those “fighting the anti-Hitler coalition and who collaborated with the Nazi movement.”

There were 115 countries voting in favor of the motion, while 55 countries, including Germany abstained. Three countries voted against—Canada, the US and Ukraine.

Source: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/11/27/ukra-n27.html

Reposted on http://www.globalresearch.ca/new-coalition-plans-to-expand-war-against-eastern-ukraine/5416630

[1] See also http://www.globalresearch.ca/ukraines-president-to-the-people-hes-bombing-go-to-hell/5414387
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHWHqj8g7Bk

Reprinted under Fair Use Rules.