A documentary you’ll likely never see: “Ukraine on Fire” by Oliver Stone

Trailer

Neo-Nazis are being used by the Ukrainian Government,

“That whole process was headquartered in the US  Embassy” (former Ukraine president Yanukovitch)

Nobody should feel safe today… 

Global Research, February 14, 2017
Consortiumnews 13 February 2017
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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.

German dictator Adolf Hitler

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.

Important History

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.

Stepan Bandera, a Ukrainian ultra-nationalist and Nazi collaborator.

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

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Ukraine’s Strategic Food Reserve…runs out of food

Posted on Fort Russ

2/26/2015
Ukraine State Reserve doesn’t even have Azarov’s buckwheat. Everything was stolen. 

Translated from Russian by J.Hawk

Ukrainian food prices are rising at a rate faster than in the ‘90s. But the Yatsenyuk government is still blaming the situation on the ignorance of the population and speculation by supermarket chains.

They used to blame currency exchangers, now they are blaming supermarket directors. However, you can’t feed the people with such tales.

The government’s “economy block” hastily summoned the director of the Ukrainian State Reserve Vladimir Zhukov. They demanded that he open the storehouses and fill the shelves with flour, sugar, canned meat, and buckwheat from its stores. In response the keeper of Motherland’s strategic stores revealed a terrible military secret to Yatsenyuk and Poroshenko: the storehouses are empty.

It could hardly have been news to the Prime Minister: already in January he ordered to open up the State Reserve, including its stores of medicines. However, already by then the medical stores amounted to only portable first aid kits and medicinal preparations and expired (dating back to the 1960s) bandages, cotton, hypodermics, which even African countries refused to accept even though Ukraine was giving them away for free.

In addition, once combat operations resumed the State Reserve sent to the front everything that it could: steel plates, spare parts, tents, heaters, mattresses. All of that was stored by the “Yanukovych band”, but the strategic reserve came in handy for the new government.

The last time the strategic reserve was cleaned out so thoroughly was during the Chernobyl disaster, when the reserve sent steel plates, diesel fuel, gas masks and protective equipment, medicine and food. Moreover, most of the goods were sent from Donetsk. The other storehouses, for example, in Kharkov, store four, or petroleum and diesel fuel, as in Chernigov region. However, all gasoline and kerosene from the state reserve was used up already six months ago.

Medicines were cleared out in January, supposedly as humanitarian aid to Donbass.

Now it’s the turn of food stores, in order to calm down the rioting Kievans and prevent hunger rebellions. But, alas. Last year’s entire harvest was sold abroad, the acreage for new sowing season was reduced by 30%. The storehouses are the only remaining hope.

For example, there is a large food storehouse on the outskirts of Kiev, which contains frozen mean, butter, canned meat, sugar. Incidentally, this storehouse has existed since before WW2, it was the first Kiev target struck by the Luftwaffe in order to destroy the strategic food stores.

The Ukrainian government did not need airstrikes: the food reserve is empty only one year after it took power, as a result of several changes among the management of the reserve, and the theft and sale of its contents. The proceeds, of course, were already split. No doubt even the top leadership of the country got its cut.

As a reminder, the former Prime Minister Azarov filled the Strategic Reserve with Chinese buckwheat, which earned him considerable criticism. One of the former managers of the agency, a Party of Regions official by the name of Lelyuk, carried out reforms, refurbished obsolescent factories, and filled the storehouses with flour, evaporated milk, canned meat and fish, sugar, and gasoline.

Now that the “H-Hour” is here, it turns out it’s all gone: all the food has “gone to the front”, since the army is also being supplied partly by the State Reserve, since MOD and State Reserve storehouses have been merged.

Having learned of the empty shelves not only in the stores but also in the State Reserve, Poroshenko reportedly went into shock. He fumed and demanded the management to find something and throw a few crumbs to the Kievans.

Yatsenyuk maintained icy composure: he was better informed about the state of affairs, since the State Reserve is under his “patronage” as it is part of the Cabinet of Ministers.

It would seem Ukraine’s Black Hour is here.

J.Hawk’s Comment: There indeed were earlier reports that the strategic reserve was being “unsealed” to support military operations on the Donbass.  The army has to eat, after all, and maintaining several tens of thousands of soldiers for nearly a year is likely to make a dent. The second factor was the junta’s desperate need to earn hard currency to somehow plug up the many budget holes opened up by its adoption of “European Choice” neoliberal economic policies. Therefore anything that could be sold, was sold, including Mariupol’s huge grain reserves. Finally, there’s the small matter of corruption. One gets the impression Ukraine is a giant organized style “bust-out” operation, whose objective is to stash as much loot in foreign accounts and then leave the mess for someone else to clean up. To say that the Kiev junta has some kind of a strategy would be giving them entirely too much credit. It’s a collection of loosely coordinated individuals pursuing their own venal agendas and living hand-to-mouth, without any thought given to Ukraine’s long-term prospects.

 

http://fortruss.blogspot.com/2015/02/normal-0-false-false-false-en-us-x-none_98.html

EU threatened Ukraine with coup d’état over association agreement, while Washington masterminded the plan, says ex-Ukrainian PM

From RT, February 4, 2015

Top EU officials, rather than Russia, threatened Ukraine with a coup d’état if Kiev refused to sign an association agreement in 2013, Nikolay Azarov, Ukraine’s former prime minister, said.

“I’ve never heard neither Putin nor Medvedev saying that if you sign an agreement with the EU, you’ll have a different government. But I’ve heard [EU Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy, Stefan] Fule, repeatedly saying that if you don’t sign then the other government will sign it,” Azarov said at the presentation of his book ‘Ukraine at a crossroads. Prime Minister’s notes’ in Moscow.

The decision to delay the signing of the association agreement by then-Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovich, led to Euromaidan protests in the capital, Kiev, which turned violent and resulted in a regime change in February 2014.

According to Azarov, it was Washington which masterminded the plan to ouster Yanukovich and his government.

“As for the US, I think they initially applied the tactics of gradually forcing Yanukovich from power,” he said. But first, “their goal was to get rid of the government, because they saw the government as a key to the country’s stability.”

Washington needed to “knock out this foundation from under Yanukovich and they achieved this aim by introducing the idea of a national unity government,” he added.

Azarov quit his post as prime minister in late January 2014 amid the intensification of Euromaidan riots, stating it was in the hope that his resignation would create a chance for compromise between the government and the protesters.

Meanwhile, the US, Azarov said, managed to pull Yanukovich into “useless negotiations” with the Euromaidan demonstrators, while armed men from all over Ukraine were arriving in Kiev to seize power.

Over 100 were killed last February in clashes between the police and Euromaidan protesters in central Kiev, in which firearms were widely used.

Azarov insists Yanukovich had every opportunity to “maintain order in the country” and prevent the coup, but after the killings at the Euromaidan he was “was practically paralyzed.”

Following the coup, both Yanukovich and Azarov had to flee Ukraine and found refuge in Russia, saying that they feared for their lives.

In mid-January, Interpol put the former president and prime minster on the international wanted list after a request from Kiev. Yanukovich and Azarov stand accused of misappropriation and embezzlement during their time in office.

The new Kiev government signed the economic and political aspects of the association agreement last year, with Ukraine and the EU parliaments simultaneously ratifying them in September 2014.

The ex-PM described the current events in the south-east of Ukraine where the fighting continues between rebels and Kiev troops as a “catastrophe”.

With the sides being unable to reach a peaceful agreement on their own, the ex-PM urged the organization of an international conference, involving Russia, the US and Germany, to put an end to violence in Ukraine.

“If the forces inside the country don’t want to stop than – as it already happened in the world’s history – the Guarantor States gather and make a decision. Trust me, Germany, the US and Russia have enough influence to stop this war, they just need to come to an agreement,” he said.

The ex-PM also said that he doesn’t consider the new Ukrainian power, led by president Petro Poroshenko and prime minister Arseny Yatsenyuk, to be legitimate.

“How can I consider this a legitimate authority if it came to power through an armed coup, committed monstrous crimes and now continues a fratricidal war, doing nothing to stop (the violence)?” he wondered.

The Ukraine conflict began last April when Kiev sent regular forces and volunteer battalions to the southeastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions, after rebels within them refused to recognize the country’s new, coup-imposed authorities.

The death toll in the Ukraine conflict has exceeded 5,300 people, with over 12,000 injured, according to UN estimates.

 

Source:
http://rt.com/news/229355-ukraine-eu-washington-russia/

http://www.globalresearch.ca/europe-not-russia-pressed-kiev-over-eu-association-ex-ukrainian-pm/5429832

Who are the oligarchs? Kolomoisky, Tymoshenko, and others

From Washington’s Blog, May 18, 2014
By Eric Zuesse
http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/05/key-man-behind-may-2nd-odessa-ukraine-trade-unions-building-massacre-many-connections-white-house.html

The key person behind the May 2nd massacre inside Odessa’s Trade Unions Building appears to have been Ihor Kolomoyskyi

who was appointed to be the regional governor in that area by Yulia Tymoshenko, the Ukrainian Presidential candidate that the Obama Administration has apparently been hoping will win the May 25th election to take over the Ukrainian Government, from the junta that the Obama Administration imposed in Ukraine on February 22nd. Just weeks before this coup, on February 4th, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Asia, Victoria Nuland, chose Tymoshenko’s ally Arseni Yatsenyuk to head the post-coup interim government, which appointed Kolomoyskyi.

Only a few months before this coup, Nuland had asserted that U.S. taxpayers had already invested more than $5 billion, in order to bring “democracy” to Ukraine, by which she was referring to the U.S. effort to oust the Russian-oriented, democratically elected, leader of Ukraine, President Viktor Yanukovych, who had prosecuted and imprisoned Tymoshenko for embezzlement and abuse of governmental office. Tymoshenko was then on 11 October 2011 sentenced to seven years in prison, and was ordered to pay the government restitution of $188 million. She was released from prison less than three years later, two days after the coup, on 24 February 2014. The Ukrainian criminal code was immediately changed, in order to legalize the actions for which Tymoshenko had been imprisoned. This allowed Tymoshenko to run for the Ukrainian Presidency. She had been Prime Minister 2007-2010. Both she and her husband, Oleksandr Tymoshenko, and his father, all three of whom were on the board of United Energy Systems of Ukraine (and thus Ms. Tymoshenko was called “the gas princess”), have been legally prosecuted as embezzling state funds; but so have most of Ukraine’s oligarchs and political leaders (and there’s a lot of crossover between those two categories).

Kolomoyskyi, who lives in Geneva Switzerland, is generally regarded as the second-richest man in Ukraine, with a fortune estimated at about $6 billion. Tymoshenko used to be called “the Eleven Billion Dollar Woman,” but, like all of Ukraine’s oligarchs (including Kolomoyskyi), nobody really knows precisely how wealthy she is, nor even whether she is more, or perhaps less, wealthy than Kolomoyskyi. Almost all of the oligarchs’ money is hidden offshore; so, is invisible.

Most of Ukraine’s oligarchs live in Geneva (like Kolomoyskyi), London (like the Tymoshenkos’ daughter, Yevhenia), NYC, Rome, and other Western cities, and they tend to stash their money in secret bank accounts in tax-haven countries, not only in order to avoid paying taxes, but also in order to make more difficult their being successfully sued by each other, for violating handshake business deals that had helped them to become so rich. After all, illegal contracts cannot be enforced by any legal government (since they’re illegal, and have secret illegal terms). Thus, other means than written contracts — handshake deals — are resorted to between these aristocrats.

For example, in one such case, a Ukrainian oligarch who lives in London, Victor Pinchuk (whose fortune is around $4 billion), is suing Kolomoyskyi by alleging him to have sold him a company, “KZhRK,” for $143 million, and then to have re-seized it from him by force of arms. As is usual (since virtually all of Ukraine’s oligarchs had become oligarchs from the privatizations, or sell-offs of government assets, which accompanied Ukraine’s abandonment of communism), this case hinges on verbal testimony, and the various parties to the case contradict each other. Kolomoyskyi is well known for taking over corporations through his team entering with guns drawn. Pinchuk claims that when Kolomoyskyi did that here, Pinchuk nonetheless, somehow, managed to get Kolomoyskyi to restore Pinchuk to control, but that Pinchuk later discovered “it appears that they may have sold approximately 50% of KZhRK to a third party in 2007″; so, Pinchuk filed suit against Kolomoyskyi, in London, on this murky case.

According to a summary by wikipedia of several news reports: “Kolomyski has used [his banking company] Privat’s ‘quasi-military forces’ to enforce hostile takeovers of companies, sending a team of ‘hired rowdies armed with baseball bats, iron bars, gas and rubber bullet pistols and chainsaws’ to forcibly take over a Kremenchuk steel plant in 2006,[17] and has used ‘a mix of phony court orders (often involving corrupt judges and/or registrars) and strong-arm tactics’ to replace directors on the boards of companies he purchases stakes in.[18] Kolomyski was criticized by Mr Justice Mann in a court case in London involving an attempted hostile takeover of an oil company, with the judge stating that Kolomyski had ‘a reputation of having sought to take control of a company at gunpoint in Ukraine’.”

Consequently, the reports of Kolomoyskyi’s tactics against the Ukrainians who refuse to be ruled by the Obama-installed government in Kiev seem to be consistent with this oligarch’s violent norm. Oriental Review headlined on 14 May 2014, “Bloodbath in Odessa guided by interim rulers of Ukraine,” and reported that, “The information provided below was obtained from an insider in one of Ukraine’s law-enforcement agencies, who wished to remain anonymous for obvious reasons.” The account there is a more detailed one than has ever before appeared, and it’s consistent with those others (such as this and this). It alleges that:

“Ten days before the tragedy a secret meeting was held in Kiev, chaired by the incumbent president Olexander Turchinov [a long-time political ally and business-partner of Tymoshenko; he had destroyed crucial documents in the government’s case against Tymoshenko], to prepare a special operation in Odessa. Present were minister of internal affairs Arsen Avakov [a gangster who was placed on Interpol’s ‘Wanted’ list on 21 March 2012], the head of the Ukrainian Security Service Valentin Nalivaychenko [a long-time NATO agent], and the secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Andriy Parubiy [co-founder of Ukraine’s National Socialist, or Nazi, Party]. Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoiskiy, the Kiev-appointed head of regional administration of the Dnepropetrovsk region, was consulted in regard to the operation [he being well-experienced in violent operations].

“During that meeting Arsen Avakov … reportedly came up with the idea of using football [soccer] hooligans, known as ‘ultras,’ in the operation. Ever since his time as the head of the Kharkov regional administration he [Avakov] has worked closely with the fans’ leaders, whom he continued to sponsor even from his new home in Italy.

“Kolomoisky temporarily delivered his private ‘Dnieper-1′ Battalion under the command of law-enforcement officials in Odessa and also authorized a cash payment of $5,000 for ‘each pro-Russian separatist’ killed during the special operation. [That would be over $500,000, lent by his bank to the Ukrainian Government, to pay for the estimated 116 corpses thus produced.]

“Mykola Volkov [Captain Mykola Volkov Nikolaevich, born 1981 Odessa] was wanted by the Ukrainian police since 2012 for fraud. A couple of days before the operation in Odessa Andriy Parubiy brought dozens of bullet-proof vests to local ultra-nationalists. This video shows an episode of handing the vests to the local Maidan activists in Odessa. Take note of the person who receives the load. He is Mykola Volkov, a local hard-core criminal who would be repeatedly screened [filmed] during the assault on Trade Unionist House gun-shooting at the people and reporting about the ‘incident’ by phone to an official in Kiev.”

This video is one of several that show “Mykola” at various stages during the May 2nd massacre.

Basically, the Kiev regime bussed in far-right or “Pravy Sektor” people, in civilian clothes, to pretend to be separatists and shoot at crowds of people who were supporting a soccer team from the western part of Ukraine and now leaving a soccer match. Whatever members of the local police force hadn’t quit it in protest against the scheme were now employed to bring these enraged western Ukrainian, pro-Kiev, soccer fans to the encampment of the anti-Kiev demonstrators at the Trade Unions Building, to join in setting it ablaze. As indicated in some of the videos (such as this), part of the preparation in advance of the arrival of these enraged western soccer fans was the burning of the tents in front of the Trade Unions Building, where literature had been distributed against the Kiev regime. Regime agents pretended to support the protesters inside those tents, and warned those anti-Kiev people that attackers were coming, and that they’d better go into the building for their own safety. Then, the attackers came and set fire to the tents, and threw firebombs into the building. However, even before many of the anti-Kiev people were incinerated, the regime’s gunmen entered the building’s basement where many of those protesters were hiding, and shot as many of them as they could. Most of the corpses were dragged out and taken away in vans, but the victims on the upper floors were later counted by the police, who announced that 46 people were killed. The actual number is indeterminate, but generally estimated at over a hundred: the number most often cited is 116.

Here is a summary of many of the best videos that were taken of these events and uploaded to youtube. It shows the best-documented massacre in all of history.

Commissioning this massacre wasn’t out of character for Tymoshenko. For example, on 24 March 2014, she was caught, for the umpteenth time, urging the extermination of Ukrainian Russians, and even of all Russians. She said in a tapped phone call, “They must be killed with nuclear weapons.” She seems to have meant this for Russia itself, not just for Russians living in Ukraine: “I’ll use all my connections, I’ll raise the whole world — as soon as I’m able to — in order to make sure.. Bugger! … even scorched earth won’t remain where Russia stands.” So, she was as anti-Russian as a person can be. Perhaps she believes that Obama will unleash nuclear weapons against Russia.

Despite the U.S.’s apparent hopes for Tymoshenko to win in the upcoming May 25th Presidential election, current polls show her as only a weak third, perhaps because most Ukrainians don’t want a President who is as corrupt as virtually all previous leaders (including their former Prime Minister Tymoshenko) have been. The person currently leading in the polls is Petro Poroshenko, the owner of Roshen Confectionery Corporation, Ukraine’s giant choclatier, whose fortune is only around $1 billion. Most of the other oligarchs are in industries such as banking, oil, and heavy industries, such as coal and steel; Poroshenko is unusual in this regard — he didn’t get his fortune from privatizations.

The oligarchs also own all of the country’s airlines (most of which are owned by Kolomoyskyi), and the news media, as well as the banks. Poroshenko, if he is allowed to win on May 25th, might try to restrain the Obama-installed oligarchic forces, but it would require great courage for him even to try to do that, and it would almost certainly fail.

The richest person in Ukraine is generally thought to be Rinat Akhmetov, whose fortune is estimated at around at $12 billion to $24 billion; and he, too, has not committed himself as of yet, except to say that the Ukrainian federation must not break up (which would decimate his export businesses). No one knows how he “earned” his fortune, but it was in the privatizations. He is currently on the fence, because most of his exports and imports have been to and from Russia. But he also relies heavily upon the Ukrainian Government; he is certain to lose from what’s now happening.

Whomever is declared the winner on May 25th, will be taking over a government that’s overwhelmingly being run, at present, by conservative extremists. Now that Obama has placed those individuals so firmly in charge, any path back away from the far right, for Ukraine, will be extremely difficult, at best.

WHY THIS IS HAPPENING

The reason why the Kiev government is ousting Russian-speaking Ukrainians from government buildings in the east is to retain control of the east. CNBC had headlined on May 1st, just the day before these massacres, “IMF warns Ukraine on bailout if it loses east” and reported: “‘This is something of a leap of faith for the IMF and is politically driven by key IMF shareholders [the international aristocracy in the U.S and Europe] to support the (interim prime minister Arseniy) Yatseniuk ‘kamikaze’ administration in its reform efforts,’ according to Tim Ash, head of emerging markets research at Standard Bank.”

That “kamikaze” term there was referring to the following: Euronews on February 27th had bannered “Ukraine’s New Premier Suggests Sacrifices Are Unavoidable.” When Nuland’s choice, the far-right economist “Yats,” became the appointed interim leader, he immediately said: “We need to form a responsible government — and it’s not about personalities, this is about responsibility. You know, to be in this government is to commit political suicide. And we need to be very frank and open. This is the political suiciders.” He was looking to impress the lenders by imposing “austerity” on his country, so that when he’d retire from government, he’d be able to cash in for his having served not Ukrainians, but the corrupt Western lenders to the corrupt former Ukrainian political leaders, who had bought the votes of Ukrainians by this borrowed money, in order to get themselves into positions to skim money from this government that they ran.

Inasmuch as Ukraine’s oligarchs have their billions stashed away in places like Switzerland, it’s clear who will probably end up paying for these billions that they had skimmed off from lenders in Europe and the United States. The masses of Ukrainians obviously will take the losses, if the plan of the IMF and U.S. succeeds. That’s what the Ukrainian civil war is actually all about: getting the Ukrainian public to pay the losses that prior Ukrainian governments had engendered from Ukraine’s monumental corruption, a money-funnelling operation, from the masses to the classes.

How gigantic is Ukraine’s corruption? According to the World Economic Forum, in their “Global Competitiveness Report, 2013-2014,” Ukraine ranks #122 out of the 148 rated nations for “Diversion of public funds,” #143 for “Property rights,” #139 for “Judicial independence,” #130 for “Irregular payments and bribes,” #133 for “Favoritism in decisions of government officials” (otherwise known as cronyism), #143 for “Wastefulness of government spending,” #144 for “Efficiency of legal framework in settling disputes,” #146 for “Efficiency of legal framework in challenging regs,” #146 for “Protection of minority shareholders’ interests,” and #133 for “Reliability of police services.” In other words: it’s already like failed states.

And, going forward, the Ukrainian public won’t even have the poor government services that they’ve had up till now.

Ukraine will then be a libertarian paradise, assuming that this operation succeeds. The government will serve only the “job creators,” nobody else. No more “socialism,” except of the “National Socialist” type. [Note from Washington’s Blog: We disagree with Mr. Zuesse’s reflexive rejection of libertarianism.  We believe that some libertarians are highly-principled, while others are corrupt and cynical. Indeed, we believe that is true of all “isms”.]

On 12 May 2014, Burisma Holdings announced, “Hunter Biden Joins the Team of Burisma Holdings,” and reported that, “Burisma Holdings, Ukraine’s largest private gas producer, has expanded its Board of Directors by bringing on Mr. R Hunter Biden as a new director. R. Hunter Biden will be in charge of the Holdings’ legal unit and will provide support for the Company among international organizations.”

The company’s holdings were in eastern Ukraine; so, the operation by Obama and the IMF would need to succeed in order for this appointment to make Hunter Biden a very rich man.

That could be very rich indeed. On 26 August 2012, the Anticorruption Action Center had headlined “Kings of Ukrainian Gas,” and reported that the chief of the Zasyadko gas mine had requested President Viktor Yanukovych to privatize the mine, and Yanukovych responded, “Put the gas deposits in your name, and hand half of them over to Oleksandr [Yanukovych’s son]. Then we’ll give you the mine.” So: “On November 19, 2010, the State Property Fund of Ukraine approves Order No.1710 on the privatization of the O.F. Zasyadko mine. A month later, on December 22, 2010, the government approves a decision to hand nine oil and gas fields in Eastern Ukraine to the Zasyadko mine without organizing tenders. … And the mine then transferred four of them to Inter-Regional Gas Company LLC in Donetsk in 2011.” Then, “In May this year, Inter-Regional Gas Company LLC received the Baranykivska field free-of-charge from the Luhansk Regional Council for exploration and extraction of gas. According to our sources, the company, closely associated with Oleksandr Yanukovych, will soon get five more licenses.” So, Yanukovych’s son was set to become an oligarch. But, “In fact, the tastiest and largest morsels (gas fields) were obtained not by the president’s son, but by a more experienced businessman – Ihor Kolomoisky.” A certain Mr. “Zlochevsky, former Minister of Environment and Natural Resources,” had set up “a Cypriot company – Burisma Holdings Limited,” and placed in it “the largest Ukrainian gas field – Sakhalinska,” owned by an entity, “Ukrnaftoburinnya,” and, in turn, “Ukrnaftoburinnya is owned by a Cypriot company, Deripon Commercial Ltd.” But, “In fact, the end owner of Deripon Commercial Ltd. is a company based in the British Virgin Islands – Burrad Financial Corp. This company has often been involved in various financial schemes of the Privat Group and especially with Ihor Kolomoisky.” In fact, “The Privat Group is the immediate owner” of the entire group of gas companies, including Burisma Holdings. So: Hunter Biden is now an employee of, and co-board-member with, the man who masterminded and oversaw the May 2nd massacre in Odessa.

On 15 May 2014, Voltairenet bannered “In Ukraine, Joe Biden’s Son Mixes Business with Pleasure,” and reported that, “Burisma Holdings, Ukraine’s largest private gas producer, confirmed on 13 May 2014 the appointment of R. Hunter Biden (photo) to its Board of Directors. He will be rubbing elbows with Devon Archer, who has preceded him by a few weeks. … Devon Archer chaired the support committee for the 2004 presidential campaign of current Secretary of State, John Kerry. Devon Archer was the roommate of Christopher Heinz (John Kerry’s step-son) during their studies at Yale University.” It sounds as if the U.S. is strikingly similar to Ukraine. Moreover, it was John Kerry who had advanced Victoria Nuland, from being Hillary Clinton’s official Spokesperson at the U.S. State Department, to the powerful policymaking position of Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Asia. Had anything really changed since Nuland — raised at Yale, schooled at Choate, and sent to college at Brown — had served as the Deputy Foreign Policy Adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney (who had flunked at Yale)?

And what will result if this operation fails? Two failed states: one half of the former Ukraine pro-“Western”; the other half of it dependent upon Russia, and perhaps a nuclear war being the ultimate outcome (which would be especially likely if this operation succeeds, because its success would surround Russia with nuclear-armed enemies, which would be intolerable for Russia).

A world with no accountability for aristocrats has served them well, but even they might end up suffering from what they are now doing.

———-

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.

 

 

U.S. House of Representatives votes 98% to donate U.S. weapons to Ukraine. U.S. public is 67% against. Is this democracy?

By Eric Zuesse, December 7, 2014

In a remarkable disjunction between voters and their elected (supposed) representatives in the U.S. House of Representatives, the members of the House voted on December 4th, by  411 “Yea” to 10 “Nay,” to donate U.S. weapons to the bankrupt Ukrainian Government, which is engaged in trying to eliminate the civilian population of the portion of Ukraine that had voted 90% for the former Ukrainian President whom the U.S. Government (CIA, State Department, USAID, etc.) had overthrown in a violent coup in February of this year. (Click onto that link for full documentation.)

This 411 to 10 vote margin is 98%, and it contrasts starkly against the 62% of Americans who, in the most recent poll, opposed sending U.S. arms to the Ukrainian Government; 30% favored sending those weapons. (8% had no opinion.) (The above link includes also that poll-result.) So, 67% of those who had an opinion (62% divided by 92% is 67%) shared the view of the 10 members (2%) of the U.S. House who voted against this measure. Only 33% of the surveyed Americans who had an opinion on it shared the view of the 411 House members (98%) who voted in favor of this measure.

This is a war-and-peace issue, so the U.S. Constitution assigns it to the Congress; the President is assigned the executive function of carrying out the will of Congress, as the Commander-in-Chief and U.S. Chief Executive Officer.

However, the situation here is actually even a bit more extreme than that, because the way that the Pew poll of the U.S. public was phrased, it had the U.S. “sending arms and military supplies to the Ukrainian government,” and not “donating arms and military supplies to the Ukrainian government.” The Ukrainian Government cannot possibly actually pay back all of the financial obligations that it already has, much less pay those plus interest, and buy more weapons. As was documented in the first of the links within the linked report above, “The only reason that things haven’t totally imploded [for the Ukrainian Government] is because of the $18 billion package of assistance from the IMF and the $9 billion in additional assistance pledged by the United States and the European Union.” All of the weapons that the U.S. will be technically ‘selling’ to Ukraine will now go to the back of the line of creditors for Ukrainian debt — never be paid. U.S. arms-makers will receive payment for those arms from U.S. taxpayers (the sale won’t be merely technical for them, nor for the lobbyists they pay), it won’t be paid actually by the Ukrainian Government. Consequently, the U.S. taxpayer is totally funding Ukraine’s bombing campaign going forward, to eliminate the residents in the area which overwhelmingly supported the previous Ukrainian President.

In fact, on September 18th, when the U.S.-installed new Ukrainian President was greeted with standing ovations by a special Joint Session of the U.S. Congress, he addressed them and the weapons-lobbyists to cheers as if he were a hero; he said that this was “the forefront of the global fight for democracy,” and said “I urge America to help us, I urge America to lead the way.” He was doing a sell-job for them and their financial backers. Of course, those financial backers also fund the sale of these politicians to the public.

His use of the term “democracy” there was interesting. A secretly recorded phone conversation on 25 February 2014, right after the coup, was subsequently uploaded to the Internet, and the discussants were Catherine Ashton, the EU’s Foreign Affairs Minister, and her appointed investigator into how Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych came to be ousted on February 22nd, Urmas Paet. In it, was revealed that the snipers who precipitated the coup had been hired by “somebody from the new coalition” (perhaps the U.S. CIA) that replaced Yanukovych, and that, “it’s really disturbing that now the new coalition, … they don’t want to investigate [since they were its beneficiaries].” Paet told Ashton that, “what was quite disturbing, the same oligarch [Poroshenko — and so when he became ‘democratically elected’ as President of all of Ukraine on May 25th, he already knew this] told [Paet] that well, all the evidence shows that the people who were killed by snipers, from both sides, among policemen and people from the streets, [this will shock Ashton, who had just said that Yanukovych had masterminded the killings] that they were the same snipers, killing people from both sides.” So, Poroshenko himself knows that his regime is based on a false-flag (meaning set up so as to falsely blame the other side) U.S.-controlled coup d’etat against his predecessor. So, there can be no reasonable doubt that, despite his rhetoric when speaking before the Special Joint Session of the U.S. Congress on September 18th, Poroshenko actually knew, by no later than February 25th, that the regime that replaced Yanukovych was being appointed by the United States Government, hardly a ‘democratic Maidan’ event (though it is sold as if it were). Continue reading

Secretive Neo-Nazi military organization linked to NATO involved in Euromaidan sniper shootings

From Global Research, November 22, 2014
First published in March, 2014
By F. William Engdahl
http://www.globalresearch.ca/ukraine-secretive-neo-nazi-military-organization-involved-in-euromaidan-snyper-shootings/5371611

This article –which recounts the events of the November Euromaidan 2013 Sniper Shootings was first published in March 2014

The events in Ukraine since November 2013 are so astonishing as almost to defy belief.An legitimately-elected (said by all international monitors) Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovich, has been driven from office, forced to flee as a war criminal after more than three months of violent protest and terrorist killings by so-called opposition.

yanukovich-ousted-president-russia

Yanoukovitch, ousted president of Ukraine

His “crime” according to protest leaders was that he rejected an EU offer of a vaguely-defined associate EU membership that offered little to Ukraine in favor of a concrete deal with Russia that gave immediate €15 billion debt relief and a huge reduction in Russian gas import prices. Washington at that point went into high gear and the result today is catastrophe.

A secretive neo-nazi military organization reported linked to NATO played a decisive role in targeted sniper attacks and violence that led to the collapse of the elected government.

But the West is not finished with destroying Ukraine. Now comes the IMF with severe conditionalities as prerequisite to any Western financial help.

After the famous leaked phone call of US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland (photo, left) with the US Ambassador in Kiev, where she discussed the details of who she wanted in a new coalition government in Kiev, and where she rejected the EU solutions with her “Fuck the EU” comment,[1] the EU went it alone. Germany’s Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier proposed that he and his French counterpart, Laurent Fabius, fly to Kiev and try to reach a resolution of the violence before escalation. Polish Foreign Minister, Radoslaw Sikorski was asked to join. The talks in Kiev included the EU delegation, Yanukovich, the three opposition leaders and a Russian representative. The USA was not invited.[2]

The EU intervention without Washington was extraordinary and reveals the deeping division between the two in recent months. In effect it was the EU saying to the US State Department, “F*** the US,” we will end this ourselves.

After hard talks, all major parties including the majority of protesters, agreed to new presidential elections in December, return to the 2004 Constitution and release of Julia Tymoshenko from prison. The compromise appeared to end the months long chaos and give a way out for all major players.

The diplomatic compromise lasted less than twelve hours. Then all hell broke loose.

Snipers began shooting into the crowd on February 22 in Maidan or Independence Square. Panic ensued and riot police retreated in panic according to eyewitnesses. The opposition leader Vitali Klitschko withdrew from the deal, no reason given. Yanukovich fled Kiev.[3]

The question unanswered until now is who deployed the snipers? According to veteran US intelligence sources, the snipers came from an ultra-right-wing military organization known as Ukrainian National Assembly – Ukrainian People’s Self-Defense (UNA-UNSO).


IMAGE: Members of UNA-UNSO marching in Lviv.

Strange Ukraine ‘Nationalists’

The leader of UNA-UNSO, Andriy Shkil, ten years ago became an adviser to Julia Tymoshenko. UNA-UNSO, during the US-instigated 2003-2004 “Orange Revolution”, backed pro-NATO candidate Viktor Yushchenko against his pro-Russian opponent, Yanukovich. UNA-UNSO members provided security for the supporters of Yushchenko and Julia Tymoshenko on Independence Square in Kiev in 2003-4.[4]

UNA-UNSO is also reported to have close ties to the German National Democratic Party (NDP). [5]

Ever since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 the crack-para-military UNA-UNSO members have been behind every revolt against Russian influence. The one connecting thread in their violent campaigns is always anti-Russia. The organization, according to veteran US intelligence sources, is part of a secret NATO “GLADIO” organization, and not a Ukraine nationalist group as portrayed in western media. [6]

According to these sources, UNA-UNSO have been involved (confirmed officially) in the Lithuanian events in the Winter of 1991, the Soviet Coup d’etat in Summer 1991, the war for the Pridnister Republic 1992, the anti-Moscow Abkhazia War 1993, the Chechen War, the US-organized Kosovo Campaign Against the Serbs, and the August 8 2008 war in Georgia. According to these reports, UNA-UNSO para-military have been involved in every NATO dirty war in the post-cold war period, always fighting on behalf of NATO. “These people are the dangerous mercenaries used all over the world to fight NATO’s dirty war, and to frame Russia because this group pretends to be Russian special forces. THESE ARE THE BAD GUYS, forget about the window dressing nationalists, these are the men behind the sniper rifles,” these sources insist. [7]

If true that UNA-UNSO is not “Ukrainian” opposition, but rather a highly secret NATO force using Ukraine as base, it would suggest that the EU peace compromise with the moderates was likely sabotaged by the one major player excluded from the Kiev 21 February diplomatic talks—Victoria Nuland’s State Department.[8] Both Nuland and right-wing Republican US Senator John McCain have had contact with the leader of the Ukrainian opposition Svoboda Party, whose leader is openly anti-semitic and defends the deeds of a World War II Ukrainian SS-Galicia Division head.[9] The party was registered in 1995, initially calling itself the “Social National Party of Ukraine” and using a swastika style logo. Svoboda is the electoral front for neo-nazi organizations in Ukraine such as UNA-UNSO.[10]

One further indication that Nuland’s hand is shaping latest Ukraine events is the fact that the new Ukrainian Parliament is expected to nominate Nuland’s choice, Arseny Yatsenyuk, from Tymoshenko’s party, to be interim head of the new Cabinet.

Whatever the final truth, clear is that Washington has prepared a new economic rape of Ukraine using its control over the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

IMF plunder of Ukraine Crown Jewels

Now that the “opposition” has driven a duly-elected president into exile somewhere unknown, and dissolved the national riot police, Berkut, Washington has demanded that Ukraine submit to onerous IMF conditionalities.

In negotiations last October, the IMF demanded that Ukraine double prices for gas and electricity to industry and homes, that they lift a ban on private sale of Ukraine’s rich agriculture lands, make a major overhaul of their economic holdings, devalue the currency, slash state funds for school children and the elderly to “balance the budget.” In return Ukraine would get a paltry $4 billion.

Before the ouster of the Moscow-leaning Yanukovich government last week, Moscow was prepared to buy some $15 billion of Ukraine debt and to slash its gas prices by fully one-third. Now, understandably, Russia is unlikely to give that support. The economic cooperation between Ukraine and Moscow was something Washington was determined to sabotage at all costs.

This drama is far from over. The stakes involve the very future of Russia, the EU-Russian relations, and the global power of Washington, or at least that faction in Washington that sees further wars as the prime instrument of policy.

Writer F. William Engdahl is a geopolitical analyst and the author of “Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order”.

Notes

[1] F. William Engdahl, US-Außenministerium in flagranti über Regimewechsel in der Ukraine ertappt, Kopp Online.de, February 8, 2014, accessed in http://info.kopp-verlag.de/hintergruende/enthuellungen/f-william-engdahl/us-aussenministerium-in-flagranti-ueber-regimewechsel-in-der-ukraine-ertappt.html

[2] Bertrand Benoit, Laurence Norman and Stephen Fidler , European Ministers Brokered Ukraine Political Compromise: German, French, Polish Foreign Ministers Flew to Kiev, The Wall Street Journal, February 21, 2014, accessed in http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303636404579397351862903542?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702303636404579397351862903542.html

[3] Jessica Best, Ukraine protests Snipers firing live rounds at demonstrators as fresh violence erupts despite truce, The Mirror UK, February 20, 2014, accessed in http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/ukraine-protests-snipers-firing-live-3164828

[4] Aleksandar Vasovic , Far right group flexes during Ukraine revolution, Associated Press, January 3, 2005, Accessed in http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=20050103&slug=ukraine03

[5] Wikipedia, Ukrainian National Assembly Ukrainian National Self Defence, Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, accessed in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukrainian_National_Assembly_%E2%80%93_Ukrainian_National_Self_Defence

[6] Source report, Who Has Ukraine Weapons, February 27, 2014, private to author.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Max Blumenthal, Is the US backing neo-Nazis in Ukraine?, AlterNet February 25, 2014, accessed in

http://www.salon.com/2014/02/25/is_the_us_backing_neo_nazis_in_ukraine_partner/

[9] Channel 4 News, Far right group at heart of Ukraine protests meet US senator, 16 December 2013, accessed in

http://www.channel4.com/news/ukraine-mccain-far-right-svoboda-anti-semitic-protests