From Fort Russ
A fight is coming one way or another, but Russians are ready to fight and die alongside Ukrainians who want to seize their badly abused country back from the jaws of death. Are Americans, weary from decades upon decades of state endorsed genocide, coup de etat’s and mass invasions, willing to sacrifice more of their sons and daughters to useless, horrific and murderous campaigns for false ideals that end in abject failure?
From Fort Russ
March 3, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
– Op-ed – by James Harmon –
It is not very often that a documentary film can set a new paradigm about a recent event, let alone, one that is still in progress. But the new film Ukraine on Fire has the potential to do so – assuming that many people get to see it.
Usually, documentaries — even good ones — repackage familiar information in a different aesthetic form. If that form is skillfully done, then the information can move us in a different way than just reading about it.
A good example of this would be Peter Davis’s powerful documentary about U.S. involvement in Vietnam, Hearts and Minds. By 1974, most Americans understood just how bad the Vietnam War was, but through the combination of sounds and images, which could only have been done through film, that documentary created a sensation, which removed the last obstacles to America leaving Indochina.
Ukraine on Fire has the same potential and could make a contribution that even goes beyond what the Davis film did because there was very little new information in Hearts and Minds. Especially for American and Western European audiences, Ukraine on Fire could be revelatory in that it offers a historical explanation for the deep divisions within Ukraine and presents information about the current crisis that challenges the mainstream media’s paradigm, which blames the conflict almost exclusively on Russia.
Key people in the film’s production are director Igor Lopatonok, editor Alex Chavez, and writer Vanessa Dean, whose screenplay contains a large amount of historical as well as current material exploring how Ukraine became such a cauldron of violence and hate. Oliver Stone served as executive producer and conducted some high-profile interviews with Russian President Vladimir Putin and ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
The film begins with gripping images of the violence that ripped through the capital city of Kiev during both the 2004 Orange Revolution and the 2014 removal of Yanukovich. It then travels back in time to provide a perspective that has been missing from mainstream versions of these events and even in many alternative media renditions.
A Longtime Pawn
Historically, Ukraine has been treated as a pawn since the late Seventeenth Century. In 1918, Ukraine was made a German protectorate by the Treaty of Brest Litovsk. Ukraine was also a part of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939 signed between Germany and Russia, but violated by Adolf Hitler when the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union in the summer of 1941.
The reaction of many in Ukraine to Hitler’s aggression was not the same as it was in the rest of the Soviet Union. Some Ukrainians welcomed the Nazis. The most significant Ukrainian nationalist group, Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN), had been established in 1929. Many of its members cooperated with the Nazis, some even enlisted in the Waffen SS and Ukrainian nationalists participated in the massacre of more than 33,000 Jews at Babi Yar ravine in Kiev in September 1941. According to scholar Pers Anders Rudling, the number of Ukrainian nationalists involved in the slaughter outnumbered the Germans by a factor of 4 to 1.
But it wasn’t just the Jews that the Ukrainian nationalists slaughtered. They also participated in massacres of Poles in the western Ukrainian region of Galicia from March 1943 until the end of 1944. Again, the main perpetrators were not Germans, but Ukrainians.
According to author Ryazard Szawlowksi, the Ukrainian nationalists first lulled the Poles into thinking they were their friends, then turned on them with a barbarity and ferocity that not even the Nazis could match, torturing their victims with saws and axes. The documentary places the number of dead at 36,750, but Szawlowski estimates it may be two or three times higher.
OUN members participated in these slaughters for the purpose of ethnic cleansing, wanting Ukraine to be preserved for what OUN regarded as native Ukrainians. They also expected Ukraine to be independent by the end of the war, free from both German and Russian domination. The two main leaders in OUN who participated in the Nazi collaboration were Stepan Bandera and Mykola Lebed. Bandera was a virulent anti-Semite, and Lebed was rabidly against the Poles, participating in their slaughter.
After the war, both Bandera and Lebed were protected by American intelligence, which spared them from the Nuremburg tribunals. The immediate antecedent of the CIA, Central Intelligence Group, wanted to use both men for information gathering and operations against the Soviet Union. England’s MI6 used Bandera even more than the CIA did, but the KGB eventually hunted down Bandera and assassinated him in Munich in 1959. Lebed was brought to America and addressed anti-communist Ukrainian organizations in the U.S. and Canada. The CIA protected him from immigration authorities who might otherwise have deported him as a war criminal.
The history of the Cold War was never too far in the background of Ukrainian politics, including within the diaspora that fled to the West after the Red Army defeated the Nazis and many of their Ukrainian collaborators emigrated to the United States and Canada. In the West, they formed a fierce anti-communist lobby that gained greater influence after Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980.
This history is an important part of Dean’s prologue to the main body of Ukraine on Fire and is essential for anyone trying to understand what has happened there since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. For instance, the U.S.-backed candidate for president of Ukraine in 2004 — Viktor Yushchenko — decreed both Bandera and Lebed to be Ukrainian national heroes.
Bandera, in particular, has become an icon for post-World War II Ukrainian nationalists. One of his followers was Dmytro Dontsov, who called for the birth of a “new man” who would mercilessly destroy Ukraine’s ethnic enemies.
Bandera’s movement was also kept alive by Yaroslav Stetsko, Bandera’s premier in exile. Stetsko fully endorsed Bandera’s anti-Semitism and also the Nazi attempt to exterminate the Jews of Europe. Stetsko, too, was used by the CIA during the Cold War and was honored by Yushchenko, who placed a plaque in his honor at the home where he died in Munich in 1986. Stetsko’s wife, Slava, returned to Ukraine in 1991 and ran for parliament in 2002 on the slate of Yushchenko’s Our Ukraine party.
Stetsko’s book, entitled Two Revolutions, has become the ideological cornerstone for the modern Ukrainian political party Svoboda, founded by Oleh Tyahnybok, who is pictured in the film calling Jews “kikes” in public, which is one reason the Simon Wiesenthal Center has ranked him as one of the most dangerous anti-Semites in the world.
Another follower of Bandera is Dymytro Yarosh, who reputedly leads the paramilitary arm of an even more powerful political organization in Ukraine called Right Sektor. Yarosh once said he controls a paramilitary force of about 7,000 men who were reportedly used in both the overthrow of Yanukovych in Kiev in February 2014 and the suppression of the rebellion in Odessa a few months later, which are both fully depicted in the film.
This historical prelude and its merging with the current civil war is eye-opening background that has been largely hidden by the mainstream Western media, which has downplayed or ignored the troubling links between these racist Ukrainian nationalists and the U.S.-backed political forces that vied for power after Ukraine became independent in 1991.
The Rise of a Violent Right
Another article written just after the election.
From 21st Century Wire
by Shawn Helton
November 17, 2016
It’s a novel scene, even for America: President Elect Donald Trump is facing an unprecedented wave of organized opposition prior to moving into the White House. While the Democratic Party are hoping to leverage these street action into votes in 2017 and 2018, the real strategy here seems to be about forging deeper narratives and creating a collective feeling of ‘disenfranchisement’ among liberal millennial. It may appear like a grassroots uprising, but upon closer inspection, there big money and big players behind it all.
Within 24 hours of the dramatic conclusion to 2016 presidential election on November 8th, highly organized flash mobs directed in part by the Democratic Party’s leading ‘community organizing’ digital platform, MoveOn.org (funded by Wall Street billionaire and top Clinton donor George Soros) spread rapidly throughout several cities across America including Oakland, Los Angeles, New York and Portland. While vitriolic anti-Trump dissent consumed some urban parts of the country, mainstream media outlets, as well as a column of Hollywood celebrities and entertainers added to the disillusionment as they took to the airwaves and social media to express their shock and emotional fears that a Trump presidency would be “the end of the world,” for some anyway.
Readers would not be amiss in questioning the true nature of the heavily coordinated color revolution-style MoveOn marches across America, as they reveal a much deeper social engineering agenda at play – one that enlists a likely coalition comprised of corporate media outlets, Silicon Valley, along with Hollywood – together peddling a highly reactionary, if not incendiary political message.
Make no mistake: this is a well-financed and concerted attempt to further divide America – along new cultural lines of identity – a division which will eventually benefit the same elite establishment which both the popular left and the popular right believe they are currently railing against.
Let’s review the impetus behind the anti-Trump protests, before discussing the unusual nature of an outright rejection of the democratic process by organized oprotesters – quietly nudged by Hollywood and media operatives…
MOVE ON: A Manufactured March On America
For nearly a week, street protests have been promoted by the same mainstream news networks that had predicted a Hillary Clinton landslide only eight days ago.
Networks like CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times and the Washington Post are still reluctant to report how within hours of the election result, the Soros-tied NGO MoveOn.org issued a press release calling for nationwide protests. This was followed by petitions to “Abolish the Electoral College.”
In my first report discussing this potentially explosive situation unfolding across America, it was shown how “MoveOn members had created more than 200 gatherings nationwide, with the number continuing to grow…” What this demonstrates more than anything is how the amalgamation of virtual community-based flash mobs and professional political agitators have been fostered by various Democratic party NGO’s since the early 2000’s – not only through MoveOn.org, but also through Democratic Party affiliated foundations like Answer Coalition.
In addition to Soros’s billions being poured into a near endless web of political front organization and “change agent” NGOs, other Wall Street financial institutions have backed their favorites, like Goldman Sachs and others, sponsoring the Hillary Clinton campaign and maintaining strong stakes the Clinton Foundation as well as ties to Clinton family in general. In 2015, the Washington Post reported that “Hillary Rodham Clinton and former president Bill Clinton earned in excess of $25 million for delivering 104 speeches since the beginning of 2014, a huge infusion to their net worth as she was readying for a presidential bid.”
Here we see an example of the financial nexus formed between powerful players like Soros, Wall Street’s Goldman Sachs – and America’s ‘progressive’ leftwing political establishment. Clearly, there is a high level agenda at work here, and you only need to follow the money to see who are the chief beneficiaries.
Some of the most notable uprisings in America include the designer social justice campaigns – all of whom have George Soros money behind them through a vast network of foundations and social front groups – like ‘The Occupy Movement‘ (aka OWS) in 2011, as well as Soros funded protests in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014, and the Black Lives Matter (BLM) street action group this past year. Each of these have a common thread – they have all evolved into some form of violent social unrest often steered by paid provocateurs. Media outlets generally do not like to cover this side of the events because it simply doesn’t fit the favored “Left vs Right’ narrative the media loves so much. Hence, most members of the public – especially the protesters themselves – have little or no idea what is driving street violence and the ‘crisis’ narrative.
From Washington Examiner
Joe Biden to jet over to Switzerland and Ukraine his last week in office
By Alex Pappas
January 12, 2017
Vice President Joe Biden is spending his last few days in office by taking Air Force Two over to Switzerland and Ukraine, the White House said Thursday.
Biden will be out of the country in Kyiv, Ukraine and Davos, Switzerland from Sunday to Wednesday. President-elect Trump will be sworn in on Friday.
According to the White House, “In Ukraine, the vice president will participate in bilateral meetings with President Poroshenko and Prime Minister Groysman. The vice president’s trip to Ukraine will underscore U.S. support — and highlight his personal involvement in providing support — for Ukrainian independence, democratic development, prosperity and security. The trip will also celebrate 25 years of diplomatic relations, and look forward to a steadfast partnership over the next 25 years.”
“While in Switzerland, the vice president will attend the World Economic Forum in Davos,” the White House said. “The vice president will deliver remarks on the cancer moonshot and deliver an address on foreign policy. The Vice President will also participate in several bilateral meetings.”
From VOA News
January 12, 2017
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will fly to Kyiv on Sunday on a farewell visit by one of Ukraine’s strongest political supporters, as the country looks forward with apprehension to the new administration of Donald Trump.
Biden, whose visit was announced by the office of President Petro Poroshenko, has been the front man for U.S. policy towards Ukraine since street protests in 2013-2014 forced a Russian-backed leader to flee and the pro-Western opposition took over, promising sweeping reforms whose delivery has been patchy.
The United States has invested heavily in the reform process, providing over $3 billion in economic assistance. It has imposed sanctions against Russia for annexing Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula and backing separatists in a conflict in the east of the country.
Biden has been closely involved, visiting Ukraine four times since the change in power and maintaining regular telephone contact with Poroshenko and the prime minister.
Officials in Ukraine have expressed concern that U.S. support could wane following the Jan. 20 inauguration of Trump, who has voiced admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin and a desire to improve ties with Moscow.
Biden, who last year promised the “unwavering support” of the United States for Ukraine, has nevertheless chastised officials for lacklustre reform efforts, warning that endemic corruption risks undermining international will to maintain sanctions on Russia.
During Biden’s last visit to Kyiv in December 2015, he made an impassioned speech to the Ukrainian parliament, saying lawmakers needed to do more in “a historic battle against corruption.”
By Brendan Cole
January 16, 2017
The US vice-president was on his sixth visit to Ukraine since the Euromaidan protests.
In his final official visit to a foreign government, US Vice-President Joe Biden has told reporters in Kiev that the “international community” must resist Russian aggression and issued a plea to the incoming US administration to help Ukraine tackle the threat it faces from its neighbour.
Standing next to Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko, Biden said: “You’re fighting both the cancer of corruption… and the unrelenting aggression of the Kremlin.”
Since the Euromaidan protests in 2013 and 2014 that led to the ousting of Viktor Yanukovych from the presidency, Biden has visited Kiev six times, and he said that sanctions against Russia for seizing Crimea must stay in place until Moscow follows the terms of the Minsk accords peace deal.
President-elect Donald Trump suggested that the US should end its sanctions against Russia if Moscow were to agree to a deal to cut nuclear weapons and that he wanted the nuclear arsenals of the United States and Russia to be “reduced very substantially”.
Biden said, according to Reuters: “The international community must continue to stand as one against Russian coercion and aggression. It is Ukraine’s best hope to move forward as a united country.”
The conflict in the eastern Donbas region has claimed 10,000 lives and there are daily reports of shelling and mortar fire on both sides.
Meanwhile, a debate has been raging in the country after Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Pinchuk called on Kiev to accept the annexation of Crimea as part of a series of “painful compromises” for peace with Russia. He also said Kiev should also abandon, in the medium-term, any chance of joining the European Union or Nato if it wants to see peace in Donbas.
“We should also make clear that we are ready to accept an incremental rollback of sanctions on Russia as we move toward a solution for a free, united, peaceful and secure Ukraine,” he wrote in the Wall Street Journal.
“The Ukrainian lives that will be saved are worth the painful compromises I have proposed,” he added.
However Euromaidan Press described that there was a “concerted media campaign” to make Ukrainians accept their country without Crimea and the Donbas “which might bring painful consequences to Ukraine and the West alike”.
It said that appeasing Russia would further embolden Moscow, spark protests in Ukraine and “provoke a spillover effect of illegal annexations and interventions in many other parts of the world”.
January 11, 2017 – Fort Russ Exclusive –
Translated by Jafe Arnold (J. Arnoldski)