The Battle For Ukraine II - February, 2014

I was really hoping that I would be addressing some other matter with the current blog entry but recent developments in Kiev have left me no choice. I would therefore like to bring your attention back to what has been happening in the Ukraine. In my previous commentary about The Battle For Ukraine I stated that if Moscow makes Western actions in Kiev very costly for them, Western officials may back down, similar to what happened in Syria back in September, 2013 and in Georgia back in August, 2008.

For whatever reason, Moscow has not reacted forcefully to Western provocations in the Ukraine. Perhaps the Olympic games was a factor or the fear of accidentally igniting a full fledged civil war in Ukraine. Perhaps Moscow has been secretly seeking a pretext to lay claims on eastern Ukraine and Crimea. It should be said that there is also the possibility, albeit remote, that some form of an understanding may have been reached between Moscow and the West with regards to an eventual Ukrainian partition. Nevertheless, for reasons yet unclear, Moscow seems to be taking the greatest crisis on its borders since the collapse of the Soviet Union over twenty years ago very calmly. 

Moreover, leading up to the latest events, President Yanukovych continued to look very weak and indecisive: Perhaps because he also feared a civil war, perhaps he was told by Moscow to stand down or perhaps because he simply did not know what to do. For whatever the reason may be, President Yanukovych's government has been too weak, too timid, too tolerant and too indecisive. The Ukrainian president would have been fully justified had he taken serious measures to put down the violent uprising right from the beginning. Western security forces incidentally would have responded with overwhelming force against such an uprising within Western countries. President Yanukovych would have been justified had he called on the Ukrainian military to intervene to help stop the violence. Having said that, however, it must also be pointed out that the Yanukovych government may have been fearing the possibility of inter-ethnic violence spreading into military ranks. Such a thing would have proven disastrous for the entire country. Therefore, it is somewhat understandable that he chose to keep the Ukrainian army out of the mess. But there clearly were other things he could have done early on when the Western-backed movement was in its initial stages.

All that is now in the past. We now have a new reality on the ground.

The prevailing situation in Kiev during the past few weeks and President Yanukovych's perceived weakness seemed to have only emboldened Washington and its lemmings in Ukraine. I would even go as far as saying Western-backed forces used Moscow's preoccupation with the Olympics to make a calculated move on Kiev. Just when Moscow was basking in the Olympic limelight in Sochi, just when an uneasy stalemate seemed to be in place and a possible settlement seemed to be in the works in Kiev, protesters went on the offensive and chaos descended onto Kiev.

Similar to other uprisings in recent years, social media was used to direct violence, incite hatred and disseminate propaganda. Similar to other uprising in recent years, Western NGOs were pouring money and activists into Kiev. Similar to what unknown snipers have done in places like Venezuela, Iran, Egypt, Libya and Syria in recent years, masked hit squads have been making their rounds in Ukraine as well. Western Ukrainian cities have broken free of central control. Scores of firearms and large amounts of ammunition were stolen from official buildings. Riots police were met with extreme violence. Dozens of people, including many police officers, have been killed, many by unknown assailants. The situation in Ukraine has reached the point of no return.

In the spirit of Rohm Emanuel's well known adage "never let a crisis go to waste", Washingtonian reptiles have been all over Ukraine like rabid vultures over a stinking carcass. Not a single opportunity has been left unexploited by them. Every single domestic matter in the country was thoroughly exploited and used against the state. Their intent was clear right from the start: Drive a bloody wedge in Ukrainian society and sever Kiev from Russia.

Washington has admittedly spent five billion dollars on a deeply divided nation to essentially foment a revolution. The money proved well spent. President Yanukovych seems to have paid the price for his incompetence, weakness, indecision, as well as corruption. The latest news reports out of Ukraine are claiming that President Yanukovych has fled Kiev to the safety of pro-Russian eastern regions of the country, a new Western-backed government is taking shape in the Ukrainian capitol, tensions are rising in Russian-speaking regions of Ukraine and Moscow has recalled its ambassador to Ukraine. Thus far, this has been a victory for anti-Russian forces in the heart of central Europe. Western-backed political forces in Kiev have now succeeded in driving perhaps a permanent wedge between Ukraine and Russia.

What makes this crisis that much more troubling is that it's happening right next to Russia. Looking at Western machinations in the region, I have a feeling Washington and friends may be looking for yet another proxy war, this time on Russia's borders. If the situation continues to spiral out of control, sooner-or-later Russia will be forced to respond because keeping certain parts of Ukraine within a Russian orbit is an urgent geostrategic matter for the Kremlin. 

At this point, a Ukrainian split seems very probable. A harsh Russian reaction seems very probable. A civil war is possible. The annexation of Crimea by Russian forces is possible. A possible clash between Russian-speaking Ukrainians and Crimean Tatars is possible. The risk that the situation in Kiev may spill into neighboring regions also seems possible. Which leaves one wondering, is this what US officials are actually seeking? And if that is so, what is their end game? A world war? Even if the situation on the ground in Ukraine is placed back under control, although that seems increasingly improbable now, recent events in Ukraine will nonetheless severely strain Russian-Western relations for many-many years to come. Recent developments have proven beyond any doubt that Western officials and Western funded organizations in Ukraine have been fully complicit in what has been happening in Kiev. Please see the articles I have posted below this commentary for a more in-depth reference.

Washington, once again, has blood on its hands. It's Syria all over again, minus Al-Qaeda. Nevertheless, it should now be clear to us all, even to the idiots among us, that the US and the so-called Euro-Maidan rebels are not really concerned about "democracy" in Ukraine nor do they really care about the EU. What's been happening in the Ukraine can only be described as a violent insurrection carried-out by Western-backed separatists and the main driving force behind the movement in question is ethnic hatred.

I briefly touched upon this topic in my previous commentary about Ukraine: Due to various 2oth century factors, not the least of which was Bolshevik crimes and the annexation and incorporation into Ukraine of Polish held territories by communists during the aftermath of the Second World War, Ukraine today has a considerable segment of population that is vehemently anti-Russian.

It was this particular segment of Ukraine's population as well as regional Turks (Tatars) that greeted invading Wehrmacht troops in 1941 with flowers. It was individuals from this segment of Ukrainian society that become some of Nazi Germany's most brutal killers on the Eastern Front. It can be argued whether their Russophobia at the time was justified or not, but the reality of the matter is that their hatred of Russians is still around and it is this ethnic hatred that is being meticulously exploited by Anglo-American-Jewish interests for the past twenty years. We are therefore seeing a convenient convergence of interests between a portion of Ukrainian society that wants separation from Russia and Western officials seeking to weaken Russia's strategic hold over the Ukraine - purely for geostrategic reasons.

This is a historic opportunity to annex Crimea and eastern Ukraine

Russian officials may have held back for not wanting to be seen as if they have a direct hand in what has been happening... or perhaps because they were seeking a pretext to liberate Russian-speaking regions of the country. Nevertheless, Western powers have now gone too far. The Kremlin must understand that Western officials are in this to win and should therefore respond in a drastic yet well calculated countermeasure. Now that Western-backed insurgents in Kiev have used subversive means and violence to capture political power in a strategically situated nation that has historically been within Russia's political and cultural orbit, they have left Russian authorities with no choice but to react. Once the Olympic games end, I hope so will Moscow's patience. I expect to see more resolve by Russian officials in the coming weeks.

If Moscow does not strongly react to recent developments in Ukraine, we can all expect similar troubles eventually infecting other targeted nations in the region. The Western agenda against Russia in Europe (i.e. encircle it with military installations and allied buffer states) will not be complete until Belarus, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia are also secured by Western powers. The ground work has already been laid in these nations by armies of opposition activists, propaganda outlets, agents, mercenaries, NGOs and Western firms. If Western officials deem their actions in the Ukraine a success, Yerevan and Minsk, in particular, will eventually go up in flames as well.

Russian officials need to understand that Western powers are in this for the long term. They will resort to all kinds of dirty tactics to achieve their geostrategic goal of weakening Russian power west of the Urals. The Western agenda against Russia's resurgence is ultimately a measure to ensure their political and financial supremacy over the world. Western powers will only stand down when their losses far outweigh their gains. Kremlin officials seriously need to think about this. With that said, this is a historic opportunity to return the Crimea to Mother Russia. Recent developments in Kiev therefore holds great and historic significance. The West has made its move on the Eurasian chessboard. Now, it's Moscow's turn. 

I hope to see Moscow's first reaction take place in the Crimea and in the Russian populated industrial regions of eastern Ukraine. Moscow should make it clear that if the newly created illegitimate regime in Kiev chooses to break way from Moscow and enter the EU or if it makes move on Crimea or eastern Ukraine, Moscow will have no choice but to militarily intervene to protect the Russian-speaking populations there. Tensions in the Crimea have in fact risen significantly in recent days. Russian activists need to have a presence on the ground. Russia simply cannot afford to risk losing the immensely strategic Russian speaking region on the Black Sea. In an encouraging sign, Crimea has been getting a lot of exposure in Russian media in recent days. There is no doubt that Moscow will go to war to secure Crimea. But, for now, the first thing it should do is reinforce its military installations in the region and start providing Crimean Russians with Russian citizenship.

But securing the Crimea should not be Moscow's only response to the latest Western provocations. Moscow should also place trade sanctions and cut off gas shipments to the newly created illegitimate puppet regime in Kiev. Such measures should also be used against any nation thought to be involved in the unrest in Kiev. Moreover, Moscow should seriously begin thinking about reestablishing its military presence in Cuba and also perhaps in Venezuela and begin funding anti-American civic movements throughout the Americas. More importantly, Moscow should also make it clear that if NATO attempts any further moves inside Georgia, the Russian military will use Georgian territory to establish a land-link with Armenia. A similar warning was made public by Russian military officials last year when military aggression against Syria by the West seemed imminent. It's time for Moscow to repeat this warning once again and do so in unambiguous terms.

In the big picture, it should also be mentioned that Moscow may ultimately be better off with western Ukraine going under Western control. Let Western powers now waste immense amounts of funds trying to boost the bankrupt and backward region in question. Let western Ukrainians suffer the same fate as Greeks, Bosnians and Bulgarians. Fuck them and fuck the EU. Let the West provide them with all their needs. After all, they broke the country, let them now fix it. Western policies have brought the entire region to the brink of yet another major war. In their imperial hubris, what US officials are doing in Kiev is essentially pushing a nuclear superpower into a corner. Not a very smart move. Russia must therefore do all it can now to make the Ukraine a very toxic pill for the West to swallow.

The cuss heard around the world

If one hundred years ago it was the "shot heard round the world" that announced the start of the First World War, today it may very well have been the words "Fuck the EU".  Before the latest developments in Ukraine. intelligence services had intercepted a telephone conversation in which US State Department official Victoria Nuland was telling the US ambassador in Kiev what she thought of the EU. Even more sensational than her less-than ladylike choice of words, however, was the fact that she and the US ambassador to Ukraine could be clearly heard plotting to "midwife" the insurrection taking place in Kiev. The interception of the conversation and its timely release to the public was a brilliant move, most probably carried out by Russian security services. With the now infamous cuss heard around the world, Nuland has become the personification of Washington's evil political agenda around the world. Her arrogance and vulgarity - so typical of US officials these days - has no doubt caused many rude awakenings throughout the world. 

As the likes of war criminals like McCain and Nuland have shown us, imperial hubris will prove to be the American empire's most serious weakness one day. Blinded by their arrogance, megalomania, gluttony and blood lust, the political West is headed into uncharted territory.

More-and-more people are now beginning to see the real agenda behind recent unrests we have been seeing around the world. More-and-more people are coming to the realization that when it comes to nations targeted by Western activists, the last thing on the minds of Western officials are democracy, freedom or human rights. More-and-more people are now beginning to come to the realization that the only thing on the minds of Western officials is imperial hegemony. And more-and-more people are coming to the somber recognition that Western policies are bringing the world closer to a major war.

Why is Ukraine so important for the West?

Ukraine is a deeply divided society and a strategically located country that physically shares a border with the European Union on its west and Russian Federation on its north and east. For anyone that has seen a map of the region where the country is located, it should be quite obvious as to why Ukraine is so important to Western powers. But, in any case, I''ll allow one of the Western world's most influential foreign policymakers to tell us why in his own words: 

"Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be an empire, but with Ukraine suborned and then subordinated, Russia automatically becomes an empire. But if Russia becomes an empire, it cannot be a democracy at the same time. We might add that an imperial Russia will be forced to abandon economic reform in favor of central planning" -  Zbigniew Brzezinski, in a 1993 Foreign Affairs article
You see, as usual, it's all about Russia. It's not about Ukraine's "democratic" future, it's about weakening Russia and getting back at President Putin. As America's most infamous Polak candidly points out, geostrategically, Russia is enormously more powerful with the territory of Ukraine within its fold and considerably weakened without it. The Polak also goes on to suggest that the West is concerned about Moscow not following through at the time with its promised "economic reforms". For Western officials, "economic reforms" is simply a code term for putting one's economic and financial system under Anglo-American-Jewish control. For much of the 1990s, the West had actually succeeded in subverting Russia's post-Soviet economy and financial institutions through forced reforms and Western backed Jewish oligarchs. Needless to say, this all changed in 2000 when Russia's security services succeeded in helping Vladimir Putin assume leadership in Moscow.

The collapse of the Soviet Union 1991 provided Western powers a historic opportunity to penetrate into Russian held territories. Ukraine has thus been diligently worked on by a very wide array of Western led and funded operatives, NGOs, political activists, politicians, clergymen, think tanks, rights advocates, journalists, feminist movements, gay movements, firms, moneymen, etc, for two full decades. Western powers have been exploiting Kiev in their geostrategic drive to expand NATO and their multinational theme-park known as the European Union deep into historically recognized Russian territories. For a further perspective on recent events, the following are two excellent interviews, one with a well known former Ronald Reagan official, the other, with an accomplished NYU professor -
The Road to World War 3: Ukraine, Russia and American Imperialism:
A New Cold War? Ukraine Violence Escalates, Leaked Tape Suggests U.S. Was Plotting Coup:
Simply put, Ukraine is a major geostrategic prize for the political West. Western powers want to secure their Slavic buffer states (namely Poland and Ukraine) as a way of creating defensive depth against the Russian state, as well as a way of containing and/or weakening Moscow's authority west of the Urals.

Western powers have historically recognized the Russian state as their number one geopolitical competitor on the global stage. With a resurgent Russia making a global comeback in recent years, there has therefore been an air of urgency in various power centers in the Western world. In a strong sense, this is a race against time for the Western political/financial establishment and this Western push into eastern Europe can be likened to a new Operation Barbarossa. I can only hope at this point that Moscow is getting ready a new Operation Bagration of its own. Nevertheless, let's make no mistake about it, the situation in the Ukraine is very serious indeed. Here we see Henry Kissinger, another one of the Anglo-American-Zionist global order's veteran policymakers subtly sounding the alarm about the way the political West has been handling the crisis in the Ukraine - 
Henry Kissinger on Fareed Zakaria interview!
It's important to point out here that the likes of Kissinger (and Brzezinski) represent the Western world's old school approach in empire building: Cautious, systematic, strategic, covert, indirect and nuanced. Such men are fundamentally opposed to the Western world's post-Soviet "neocon" approach to international relations: Overt, arrogant, vulgar, in your face, blatant, aggressive, loud, warmongering, etc. Therefore, the old war criminal is sounding the alarm about the manner in which Washington is currently pursuing the Western world's age-old dream of weakening and containing Russia. In other words, the empire's old guard, its political elite, is worried about a Russian backlash. As mentioned above, one of the Russian backlashes may be seen in the Crimea.

As to the argument regarding why can't Washington intervene in Ukraine, since Russia is thought to be doing the same? Ukraine has historically been been recognized as a part of Russia. Washington encouraging secession in the Ukraine would be somewhat similar to Moscow doing the same within Mexican populated regions of south-eastern US, which were historically a part of Mexico. So, ask yourselves: How would Washington react to any kind of a secessionist movement within the US, especially one that is being funded by a foreign power? How would Washington react to any kind of a foreign funded movement within the US? How would Washington react even if such movements irrupted inside Canada or Mexico? Can anyone even in their wildest dreams imagine movements in the US -  say to abolish the Federal Reserve or to curb Wall Street excesses or to stop Pentagon waste or to investigate the attacks on 9/11 or to champion wealth distribution or promote conservatism - financed by China or Russia? The answers to these question should be clear to us all.

Engineering revolutions around the world

Why does Washington engineer revolutions around the world? Because it can. Why can it? Because we the sheeple allow them. Western powers have the financial, political and cultural levers that enable them to invade every single nation on earth and the natives in those nations would not even be aware of it, perhaps the only exception being North Korea. After all, if we want to live in their lands, speak their language, sing their songs, dance to their music, watch their movies, dress like them, eat like them, trade in their currency, get our information from their sources... how can we ever think of them as the enemy? 

We must be fully cognizant of the fact that "opposition" activists in societies around the world that are targeted by the political West are serving the imperial agendas of the political West. Natural growing pains, economic problems and domestic issues that many nations are experiencing in recent years are being meticulously exploited by Western interests. As long as we continue looking up to the Western world as a global leader and adoringly adopt their cultural elements, we will continue remaining at their mercy. It is precisely our political ignorance and our personal preferences that has turned the political West into the monster that it is today.

Humanity will only cure itself of Westernization/Globalism when vermin from Washington and London are barred from entering civilized nations around the world. Humanity will only cure itself when the global commodities exchange is taken away from Anglo-American-Jewish control. Humanity will only begin curing itself when global financial levers are taken away from Western control. Humanity will only begin curing itself when the sheeple of this world strive to learn languages other than English. Humanity will only cure itself when Anglo-American "pop culture" finally gets recognized for what it actually is: primitive, animalistic, subversive and dangerous to the health and well being of human society.

It does not matter whether they realize it or not, Western-led political opposition groups around the world are doing the devil's work today, and that of course includes such groups in Armenia. As long as Western powers are not in control in Yerevan to turn Armenia into a cheep brothel servicing Turks, Azeris, Wahhabi Islamists and Western energy interests, Armenia's so-called political opposition will continue using every excuse in the book to complain about Armenia's leadership and attack Armenia's alliance with Russia. Therefore, do not be fooled by their lofty rhetoric and humanitarian concerns. Armenia's Western led independent journalists, rights advocates, think tanks, politicians, political activists and NGOs pose the single greatest threat to the existence of the Armenian republic today. It was only natural therefore that Raffi Hovanissian's Heritage Party would have been inspired by what has been happening in Ukraine. 

Many Armenians naively rejoiced recently when news that Armenia is leading its region in press freedoms was made public. Knowing how Western powers operate, I am actually concerned about this bit of news. In fact, much of the reason behind why Armenians have been demoralized in recent years and why there is a powerful sense of hopelessness in Armenia in recent years is precisely due to the hysteria fomented by the Western and opposition presses in Armenia. Armenia having press freedoms is a liability in this day in age when journalism and information are used as weapons of mass destruction by Western powers. In his book "The Brothers" author Stephen Kinzer reveals that the more free or open a society, the more vulnerable it is to Western manipulation and exploitation:
"[The Dulles brothers] were able to succeed [at regime change] in Iran and Guatemala because those were democratic societies, they were open societies. They had free press; there were all kinds of independent organizations; there were professional groups; there were labor unions; there were student groups; there were religious organizations. When you have an open society, it's very easy for covert operatives to penetrate that society and corrupt it."

Stephen Kinzer in NPR Radio Interview:
It is therefore not a surprise that Venezuelan and Egyptian governments have cracked down on Western journalists in their countries. If it was up to me, I would classify all Western journalists as foreign combatants and deal with them accordingly. We should all know by now that "open society", "economic reform", "freedom of press" and "democracy" are more-or-less code words for making nations vulnerable to a destructive invasion by Western interests. 

Therefore, let there be no doubts as to why Western powers (and government connected influential individuals and organizations in the Western world) have been spending tens-of-billions of dollars in trying to create "open societies" around the world. As we have seen in recent years, former Soviet nations have been targeted by these architects of social engineering. Under lofty banners designed to play on people's emotions, Western operatives throughout former Soviet society have been seeding nations with seeds of destruction for the past twenty years. Ukraine has become the most recent glaring example of this. At the end of the day, we need to sober up and look at Armenia's political opposition from within the following context -
Does the US engineering revolutions?:

Documents Leaked by WikiLeaks Show an Organization Training Opposition Around the World:

How to Start a Revolution:
Revolution Engineering: US know-how and 'colourful' technology:

South of the Border:

NGOs, an extension of US foreign policy:

Washington on the War Path: Civil Society as Battering-Ram:

US NGO uncovered in Ukraine protest:

U.S. Groups Helped Nurture Arab Uprisings:
George Soros and his open society:  
When we put all the global unrest taking place in the world today under a microscope, we will find Washington and friends pulling the strings of most of them. With a full array of powerful levers at their disposal the political West expertly manages the world's control panel. The sheeple around the world may be complaining and rebelling and protesting for very legitimate reasons, but their shepherds and ringleader are in one way or another carrying out the orders of the Anglo-American-Zionist alliance.

Unrest in foreign lands is a lucrative business for Western powers

Western powers are bloated with centuries of plundered wealth. They have come to control global trade routs and the commodities exchange. They set the world's political, financial and cultural trends. Their power and influence is immense but it has been recession in recent years. With dwindling natural resources under their direct possession and the emergence of competitive powers around the world, their near total control of the political and financial life of the world is slowly being challenged. The worrying part here is that they will go to great lengths - including bringing the world to the very brink of catastrophe - to ensure their global supremacy. In other worlds, the tens-of-millions of Westerners that live in mansions, gated communities and estates want to maintain their standard of living.

The Western world's world view has been cultivated by centuries of easy money and a safe geography. Western nations such as the US and Britain have historically provoked wars around the world knowing well that due to their safe distances from the killing fields, their respective nations could weather such crisis and then simply come in at the end to exploit the spoils in the aftermath. Thus, from a distance they destroy, they destabilize... they then come in to gather the spoils of war, rebuild and lead. Of course there is also the added benefit of selling weapons to warring factions and purchasing assets and/or commodities in troubled nations at rock bottom prices.

Another benefit to sowing unrest around the world is enjoying the acquisition of hard currency. The more nations they destabilize, the more money pours into their coffers by wealthy individuals and firms taking their money out of those troubled nations and placing it into the perceived security of Western banks. Immense amounts of wealth have in fact been poured into London and New York in recent years from all over the world in this very manner. Where did many of Russia's Jewish oligarchs flee to with their plundered wealth after Putin chased them out? London!

When much of the world is a volatile powder keg, nation's begin seeking a secure place to park their money. Even the governments of Russia and China are forced to recognize the contrived security of Western banks. It's a wonderful, almost self-sustaining system they have created in recent decades at the expense of turning the world into a bloody battlefield. Such is the power of the Western world. This is what humanity needs to be mindful of: As long as the Anglo-American-Jewish world is not made to suffer serious consequences for actions overseas, they will continue their volatile sociopolitical experiments and militaristic aggression around the world regardless of the amount of misery and carnage they cause.

Western NGOs are cancerous tumors

Although the situation in Armenia is no way near as bad as the one that exists in Ukraine, Western funded NGOs in Armenia nonetheless continue to pose a very serious threat to the normal evolution of our fledgling yet embattled republic in the south Caucasus. Hundreds of NGOs throughout Armenia have become staging centers for those trying to push a Western agenda in the country. Please note that they are placing much of their emphasis on Yerevan and Vanadzor. Many of these organizations are like cancerous tumors that may prove fatal if left unchecked. If Armenia is to develop normally as a nation-state some of these Western NGOs have to be surgically removed regardless of how bloody the operation may be.

We must understand that behind the lofty rhetoric and seemingly humanitarian concerns of these NGOs lurks an imperial agenda to subvert and destabilize targeted societies that are not in Western pockets or under Western boots.

With the help of an army of eager activists in Armenia and in the Armenian Diaspora, subversive organizations have been busy trying to setup opposition groups in Armenia that are similar in nature and character to the ones we have been seeing spring-up in places like Venezuela, Libya, Syria, Tunisia, Egypt, Serbia, Georgia and Ukraine in recent years. Western activists, Western grants and Western infrastructure is being utilized to foment social unrest around the world. Armenia has been one of the West's oldest and most persistent targets.

An American political scientist named Gene Sharp has been a key figure in Washington's global agenda to sow unrest in targeted societies. Sharp is best known for his book From Dictatorship to Democracy: A Conceptual Framework for Liberation. This work has been translated into several dozen languages. Sharp has been for many years traveling the world and holding seminars essentially about how to topple governments. Although he claims his intent is to teach peaceful resistance, violence is often times associated with his work. In fact, Russian bloggers and journalists have been claiming that Sharp has been in Kiev in recent times. Several articles featured below this commentary has references to him. It should be pointed out that his tentacles may have also reached into Armenia for the very concept of Նախախորհրդարան (the formation of a shadow government) may be one of his creations.

How they recruit and reward their operatives

After she attempted a figurative beheading of her nation's leader in a public square in front of Western leaders (I'm sure that in an earlier time or under different circumstances the attempt on the Armenian President to appease foreigners would not have been such a figurative one) it was only a matter of time before puppet-masters in the West rewarded Zaruhi Boztanjyan for her treachery. It is now being reported that she will be sent to the US for a six-month training program at the CIA affiliated Tufts University.

I'd like to remind the reader that Tufts is where American agents Raffi Hovannisian and Vartan Oskanian were also indoctrinated and trained and where the tie eating former dictator from Tbilisi holds an honorary title. 

In recent years we have seen many examples of how western educated men and women from places such as Venezuela, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Serbia, Ukraine, Russia and Armenia are recruited by the West against their homelands. Having a large pool of energetic, ideologically pliant and western educated activists at their disposal is one of their most powerful weapons. The following blog entry provides an additional perspective on how Western operatives get recruited in the western world -
Washington is clearly preparing the field for a Ukrainian type uprising in Armenia. In the coming months or years, we can all expect Raffi Hovanissian's Heritage Party (in which Zaruhi is a high level official) as well as the emerging subversive group known as Civilitas, Nakhakhorhrdaran and Sardarapat to provoke sociopolitical unrest, similar to what has been happening in Ukraine.

Yes, Fuck the EU!

In the big picture, foul mouth Victoria Nuland was right about the EU, albeit for fundamentally different reasons. Former Soviet nations would do well to stay clear of an Anglo-American-Judeo-Franco-German political/financial system that is corrupt to the core, on the verge of a collapse and only concerned about undermining the Russian Federation. Western pundits have heralded the unrest in Ukraine as desperately needed PR boost for EU membership. The notion that the unrest in Kiev is a boost for the EU, however, conveniently ignores the fact that the utterly desperate sociopolitical and socioeconomic situations in Bulgaria, Greece, Bosnia, Romania, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Ireland have been glaring advertizements against EU membership. The only difference I see between a depressed and desperate place like EU member Greece and a depressed and desperate place like Ukraine is that in nations under Western domination, as in the case of Greece, Western financed "opposition" forces do not exists to foment political unrest.

Speaking of opposition forces, I would like to point out that had an uprising of the kind Ukraine recently experienced was ever attempted in a place like the US it would have been crushed immediately, thoroughly and mercilessly before it got any kind of traction. Therefore, Washington's complaints and concerns about the situation in Kiev wreaks of double standards. For a nation that is well known to have amongst the most brutal law enforcement bodies and the highest incarceration rate in the world to complain about police brutality in other nations is the height of hypocrisy. Thanks to Snowden, we also know what the NSA has been up to. We also vividly saw what American law enforcement bodies were capable of when they ruthlessly crushed the mostly peaceful Occupy movements in the US some two years ago.

Once again: Had Americans in the US attempted what Ukrainians did in Kiev, trigger-happy law enforcement bodies in the US - as well as the FBI, Homeland Security, ATF and National Guard - would have labeled them "domestic terrorists" and would have utterly crushed them - and there would not be a single foreign funded NGO around to champion the plight of American protesters and the global community would not be bombarded with heart-wrenching news reports about American protesters on a 24/7 basis. This is the power of the Western world.

The final outcome in the Ukraine remains up in the air. The country is hanging on the verge of a civil war. A civil war runs the risk of dividing the country between pro-West western Ukraine and pro-Russia eastern Ukraine. A civil war also runs the risk of drawing in Russian troops. With each passing day a Ukrainian split is becoming more inevitable. As long as the Crimea and eastern regions of Ukraine are placed under Russian rule, I personally would favor a split. Fuck the EU and fuck the West. Let them have their freaks, wannabe-Nazis, whores, idiots, racists, Turks, Tatars, Muslims, homosexuals, pedophiles and drug addicts. In the long run, I think we can all agree that Russia would be better off without them.

Nevertheless, this is all leading up to a very dangerous situation once more. Pressure is steadily building. On the eve of the First World War's one hundredth anniversary, the geopolitical climate of the world today is eerily similar to the one that existed on the eve of First World War one hundred years ago. In their relentless imperial pursuits, Western powers have yet again brought the world to the verge of yet another man made disaster, yet again with the tacit support of the sheeple. The omens don't bode well.

Ukraine will be a good lesson for Armenians

As good a lesson as Syria was for Armenians, I think Ukraine is becoming an even better lesson. The lesson mainly being: Armenia needs sociopolitical evolution not a Western sponsored revolution; Western powers do not care about democracy, human rights or prosperity in lands not directly under Western rule; Armenia's political opposition, whether they realize it or not, serve Western imperial interests; Western funded news organizations, NGOs, think tanks and activists pose a serious threat to Armenia; Western interests and Turkic/Sunni Islamic interests throughout Eurasia compliment each other; Russia calls all the shots in the region; and that Armenia's rightful place is within Russian's political and financial orbit. 

If Moscow does not respond forcefully to provocations in Kiev and as a result Western officials assess the developments in Ukraine positively, we can all expect a similar uprising to eventually hit Yerevan. A Ukraine-type uprising in Armenia, if ever successful, will at the very least ultimately result in Armenia falling under Turkish influence and the lose of Artsakh. We simply will not allow this to happen, even if we have to see the blood of our opposition activists flowing in the streets of Yerevan. 

I must also add, however, that a successful uprising in Armenia is virtually impossible - in my opinion. Any foreseeable unrest in Armenia, in which Western assets in the country provoke the sheeple to rise against their state, will be no way near as large or as organized or as determined or as violent as those seen in the Ukraine. Armenians are not as violent or as political or as organized as Europeans, and Armenia is not a multicultural society with any discernible ethnic divisions. Moreover, Armenians that can truly be considered hostile towards Russia are very small in number and thus easily managed. Also, unlike Ukraine, Armenia has secure borders and Armenia's interior ministry has detailed knowledge of every single one of Armenia's Western activists. Finally, Moscow will not hesitate to crush any movement within Armenia that attempts to drive a wedge between Yerevan and Moscow. Geostrategically, Armenia is as important to Moscow as the Crimea. 

As we all know, they have been diligently sowing the seeds of unrest in Yerevan in recent years. Let's also recall that one of the world's largest CIA front offices, popularly known as US embassies, is still located in Armenia. The situation in Ukraine has thus far only served to embolden Armenia's Western led opposition freaks. This may quickly change, however, depending on the yet to be seen short-to-mid term outcome of the regime change in Ukraine. The coming months will therefore be decisive. As noted above, I have a strong feeling that Ukraine will be a very good lesson for our self-destructive peasantry, both in Armenia and in the Diaspora. But when the time comes and Armenia's Western-led opposition freaks are ordered to take to the streets, I hope Armenian and Russian security officials will be ready and willing to do whatever is necessary to crush the movement quickly and efficiently. 

In the meanwhile, the rest of us Armenians would do well to put aside our idiotic concerns about population drain (Armenia wont depopulate), corruption (it's the least of Armenia's problems), oligarchs (they are better than what would replace them in the event of a regime change in Yerevan) or the rule of law (Armenia needs time to evolve) and begin paying close attention to what Western activists in Armenia are up to. 

When it comes to Armenia's so-called political opposition we must be mindful that as long as Anglo-American-Jews are not in control in Yerevan to turn Armenia into a cheep brothel servicing Turks, Azeris, Wahhabi Islamists and Western energy interests, they will continue using every excuse in the book to bitch and complain about Armenia's leadership and attack Armenia's alliance with Russia. I would also add that had it not been for the Russian presence in Armenia and, as much as I hate to admit it, had it not been for Armenia's so-called oligarchs, Armenia would have been sold to the highest international bidder a very long time ago. When it comes to Armenia's so-called political opposition, do not be fooled by their lofty rhetoric about corruption, the rule of law or civil society. Whether they know it or not, they are all serving Western imperial interests and are thus the single most lethal threat facing the Armenian state today. 

Let's just hope for now that Moscow will do all it can to make the Ukraine a very toxic pill for the West to swallow. Let's also hope that Moscow will be taking advantage of this very historic opportunity and reverse the mistakes of history by annexing the Crimea. The West made its move on the Eurasian chessboard, it's now Moscow's turn. The coming months will be decisive. We are living in historic times of change. We all need to do our part in helping the forces of good to overcome evil. For an added perspective on recent developments, I have gathered a number of interesting articles and news reports that caught my eye in recent days. I'd like to caution the reader, however,  that some of them are from Western sources therefore they should be read between the lines.

February, 2014


Ukraine downfall: Lack of leadership to blame?

With dozens dead and the country profoundly divided, Ukraine is facing the worst crisis it has experienced in modern history. Lack of leadership from President Yanukovich is coming under the spotlight as the country teeters on the brink of civil war. When Yanukovich’s government announced that it would not sign a key trade agreement with the EU three months ago, hardly anyone expected that it would lead to Kiev being turned into a battlefield. As the Ukrainian protest slowly evolved from a peaceful pro-EU demonstration into a mass-rioting gang shooting at police with firearms, it seems that the Ukrainian president was preoccupied with two things: staying in power and avoiding responsibility.

“A lot depends on the resolve of President Yanukovich. Until now he hasn’t shown the necessary qualities to take control of the situation,” said Veronika Krasheninnikova, head of the Institute of Foreign Policy Research and Initiatives, a political think tank. “So most probably it will continue to deteriorate. Chaos will continue spreading in Ukraine.”

On several occasions Yanukovich could have acted decisively in one of two ways. He could have stepped down and called an early election, de facto putting the future of Ukraine to a referendum.

This would most likely ruin Yanukovich’s personal aspiration for reelection. In a post-protest election, an apparently weak leader accused of corruption by his rivals and with an ailing economy on his hands would barely stand a chance. But at least Euro-skeptics and Euro-proponents would have their opportunity to convince all Ukrainians - not just a few thousand anti-government activists - to choose their course of action.

Yanukovich could also have dispersed the protesters and maintained public order in the country, whatever criticism it might have brought. This is how the then Georgian president, Mikhail Saakashvili, acted in 2007. He brutally suppressed a peaceful protest and called an early presidential election, which he won, instead of an early parliamentary election, which the opposition demanded and which his party could well have lost. Unlike the Georgian leader, Yanukovich hesitated even when the Ukrainian protest turned Kiev into a battlefield.

The Ukrainian president chose neither option. He made a series of moves that the moderate opposition demanded of him, which can only be described as too little too late. He sent riot police to guard governmental buildings and made them stand unresponsive under a rain of firebombs and stones. Now he has reportedly fled Kiev just hours after agreeing to an early election and gone to the east of the country.

As Yanukovich went missing, delegates from local governments decided in Kharkov that they should resist a new opposition-enforced government and form local militias to defend themselves from a potential armed attack from western Ukraine.

“Yanukovich was desperate to hold on to power. He was willing to do whatever it took to maintain that power. Even to make concessions that he understood would tear his own country apart. This is pure politics on his part grasping to hold on to his power,” commented the geopolitical analyst Eric Draitser to RT.

The ramifications of this non-choice by Yanukovich are on his head, but they may have dire consequences for the whole of Ukraine. The moderate opposition may pretend that they have taken power, but in reality it was the radical fighters of the Right Front who made Yanukovich flee. The same fighters, who booed opposition leaders each time they returned from talks with the president to announce new concessions and demanded more.

“What we’ve learned in Ukraine now is that if you really disagree with what the elected government is doing, you should go to the streets and just raise holy hell until those policies are reversed or until there is some change made in the procedure. That’s not going to lead to peace in Ukraine in the future,” warns Congressman Dana Rohrabacher from California.

Part of the blame for the bloody crisis, which cost about 80 lives and put the country on the brink of civil war, is on the moderate opposition. They failed to produce a figure strong and resolute enough to join all forces under his control and strike a lasting deal with the government. Part of the blame lies with foreign governments, which were all too eager to cheer the Yanukovich-bashing crowds and turn a blind eye to the radical part of the protest and the violence. But it was the duty of Yanukovich to prevent the situation from spiraling out of control. A duty he utterly failed.


Crimea watches Ukraine regime change with trepidation

They showed up in the city’s main square on Saturday by the hundreds, laying carnations and lighting candles next to the faces of three local heroes – riot policemen who had tried to bring Kiev’s anti-government protesters to heel .A few hours later, dozens of residents were signing up for battalions to protect Simferopol and the rest of Crimea from the pro-EU protesters in Kiev, or “the occupiers”, as some Crimean locals call them.

“We’re a friendly people. We want to preserve the peace. But if the war comes to us we will, of course, respond,” said Nadezhda Nimchinova, a 52-year-old Ukrainian language and literature teacher, as she took charge of a group of women gathered at Simferopol’s Lenin Square. She ordered them to return with blankets for locals who were planning to spend the evening on the square and brooms to clean up the piles of cigarette butts that had gathered.

When one of the women suggested they leave the square to go home and decorate posters, Ms Nimchinova scoffed at her. “Posters? For what? I’ll paint the Ukrainian flag in blood on my face if I have to.”

While the pro-EU protesters on Kiev’s main square, the Maidan, may have declared victory following Viktor Yanukovich’s flight from the capital, in Crimea the battle for Ukraine’s political future still rages. A large swath of the local population is prepared to fight back against the Kiev coup.

A peninsula that was transferred from the Russian Soviet Republic to the Ukrainian Soviet Republic in 1954, Crimea has long maintained strong cultural and political ties to Moscow. Most of Crimea’s population is Russian speaking while Russia’s Black Sea fleet still maintains a naval base at the Crimean port city of Sevastopol.

Similar to its scepticism towards Kiev’s reliability in implementing economic agreements, Moscow is wary that a new administration with a more anti-Kremlin bent could come under pressure to review the contracts allowing the Russian navy to use the bases until 2042.

As Ukraine’s opposition leaders consolidate power over Kiev’s parliament, some of them privately admit they are worried over the fate of Crimea. They fear it could be most susceptible to secession or at least a useful tool for Russia, which has used separatist regions in Georgia, Moldova and Armenia to exert its influence in the post-Soviet geopolitical space.

A law passed by Ukraine’s parliament on Sunday removing Russian as an official languages risks further stoking tensions between the Russian-speaking eastern Ukraine and Crimea, and the largely Ukrainian-speaking east.

“We’re not going to let someone come in and say you’re going to speak in Ukrainian and send your children to these kinds of schools,” said Samvel Martyan as he collected signatures of Simferopol locals ready to defend the peninsula’s autonomy. “We are defending our Crimea from our comrades [the western Ukrainians] who in 1941 let the fascists in,” he added.

On the highway from Simferopol’s main airport into the city centre, more than half-a-dozen billboards warn locals to “Stop Maidan!” and “Keep Stability!” They are the work of a mysterious grassroots group with seemingly ample funding.

Across the city, the group’s “Stop Maidan” project has set up booths to distribute literature. “We do not accept the open interference of the US and certain EU governments in Ukraine’s affairs,” one pamphlet reads. “We remember the sad history of Yugoslavia, Libya, Syria, Tunisia and Egypt, and will do everything so that this does not happen in Ukraine.”

Sergei Tsekov, head of Crimea’s Russian Community, an influential non-governmental organisation in Crimea, warned that “thanks to the wise American leadership” there were now people with swastikas on the square. “The western leaders brought Hitler – now there is Oleh Tyahnybok,” Mr Tsekov said, referring to the leader of Ukraine’s nationalist Svoboda party, which has played a pivotal role on Maidan.

Simferopol locals, meanwhile, assuredly repeat claims that the Maidan protesters receive daily cheques from western governments, or that they are addicts who were given drugs in exchange for staying on Maidan through a bone-chilling winter. Not everyone in Crimea is against the change in government. In Simferopol on Sunday hundreds of Crimean Tatars, one of the region’s biggest ethnic minorities, gathered in the main square to celebrate the opposition’s victory.

Kiev is facing its most serious crisis since independence in 1991 in a dispute over trade links with the EU and Russia. Alexander Shusterman, a prominent Simferopol businessman, said he hoped the regime change would improve the corruption that had permeated every level of Ukrainian business, with the country’s entrepreneurs regularly being shaken down for bribes.

“I have never supported Yanukovich,” he said. “Of course it’s easy to say that now. But what normal person would support a bandit?”
Still, many Crimean locals are preparing for a longer fight, with some ready to welcome Russia’s military or political support if the Kremlin is prepared to give it. Nadezhda Korneva, a student who was manning a “Stop Maidan” booth at Simferopol’s biggest shopping centre over the weekend, said she had seen increased support over the past week. “People come up to us and say thank you.”
Most are not ready to call on Moscow’s help, she said, but if Russia intervened “my reaction would be completely positive”.

Why Russia Won't Interfere

Viktor F. Yanukovych of Ukraine and the Ukrainian opposition leaders signed an agreement on Friday that ended the deadly protests in Kiev by promising a new constitution and early elections. But the Russian president’s envoy to Kiev refused to co-sign it. While Moscow welcomed an end to the violence, it basically viewed the agreement as a diktat by the Western-backed Ukrainian opposition. The opposition has seized power in Kiev, and Moscow is wary that the crisis will not end anytime soon. Some radical groups remain well-armed; there are deep political, cultural and regional cleavages in Ukrainian society; the country’s elites are in disarray; and its economic situation is rapidly deteriorating. The mess is very much Ukraine’s own, and Russia has far less influence on it than is commonly appreciated. 

The most popular myth about Moscow’s role in the Ukrainian crisis is that Mr. Yanukovych has been but a puppet of President Vladimir V. Putin. In reality, Mr. Putin has been very frustrated with his Ukrainian counterpart. To Mr. Putin, Mr. Yanukovych is unreliable, forever vacillating between the European Union and Russia; and now, a totally spent force, he has fled from Kiev to Kharkiv, a Russian-speaking city in eastern Ukraine. Moscow knows that the Ukrainian oligarchs, most of whom used to support Mr. Yanukovych, are largely anti-Russian. Though they in effect rule Ukraine, they fear being taken over by the richer business giants next door. Even those who made their money in Russia, like the protest-funder Petro Poroshenko, prefer to keep it in the West.

The protests erupted when Mr. Yanukovych refused to sign the so-called association agreement between Ukraine and the European Union, which would have established a free-trade area, among other things. Despite what he claims, it wasn’t the Kremlin that made him do that. Moscow had clearly signaled it did not want Kiev to sign the deal when it introduced de facto sanctions on Ukrainian products last year, but ultimately Mr. Yanukovych was guided by his own calculations, rather than Putin’s admonitions or advice. The fundamental reason Mr. Yanukovych demurred was fear that he would not be re-elected in 2015 if he signed the agreement. At some point he realized that the deal would bring no financial support from the European Union and saw no way to offset the inevitable drop in trade with Russia or cushion the blow to Ukraine’s Soviet-era heavy industry.

During the months of standoffs in Kiev, Russia’s actual role was much more modest than advertised by the international media or the rumor mill in Kiev. The Russian ambassador to Ukraine, Mikhail Zurabov, was conspicuously absent from public view. The Kremlin ordered all Duma members to stay out of Ukraine. Dmitry Rogozin, a deputy prime minister and a former Russian ambassador to NATO with a knack for making in-your-face comments about the West, has largely remained silent on Ukraine. The only Russian official to display any continuous interest in Ukraine was Sergey Glazyev, Putin’s adviser for Eurasian integration, who spoke at conferences and wrote articles about the high costs of Ukraine’s turn to the European Union.

Mr. Putin did receive Yanukovych several times, in Sochi and Moscow. And in December Russia did offer to buy $15 billion in Ukrainian-government bonds — dwarfing any conditional aid the European Union could cough up via the International Monetary Fund — and lower by one-third the price of its gas shipments to Ukraine. This financial support was extended without any strings attached, with the dual purpose of helping Ukraine avoid a likely default and building goodwill for closer economic relations in the future. 

But it was a risky proposition, given the political uncertainties in Kiev. And the move may be ineffectual. Moscow’s gesture of support was built on the belief, which Mr. Putin himself has expressed, that Ukrainians and Russians are one people. This obviously is not true, if only because Ukrainians themselves are not — at least not yet — one people. Just compare Lviv and Sebastopol: Western Ukraine, which was annexed by the Soviet Union only under Stalin, is vehemently anti-Russian; the east and the south are Russophone, with the Crimea mostly Russian ethnically. To the vast majority of the elite in Ukraine, the country’s independence from the Soviet Union meant, above all, independence from Russia. There are virtually no Ukrainian politicians who can be called pro-Russian: This simply goes against the grain of Ukraine’s national idea. 

Thus Mr. Putin’s offer that Ukraine and Russia forge closer economic integration by way of a customs union are not very compelling to many Ukrainians. The idea also is potentially hazardous for Russia. Under that scheme, Moscow would need to pump a lot more money into Ukraine and give it a large say in joint bodies such as the Eurasian Economic Commission, with little guarantee that Ukraine wouldn’t break away again once it recovered from its current financial crunch.

Ukraine’s “February Revolution” may be a blessing in disguise for Moscow, as it could help debunk the notion that Russia cannot be a great power without Ukraine as its junior partner. Moscow does not need to govern more people; it needs to raise the health, education and work standards in its own people’s lives.

Despite what some Ukrainians suspect, Moscow is unlikely to try bringing about the breakup of Ukraine in order to annex its southern and eastern parts. That would mean civil war next door, and Russia abhors the idea. Moscow’s best option at this point is to stand back and wait, while quietly favoring decentralization in Ukraine. Although federalization is seen in Kiev and western Ukraine as a step toward ultimate partition, it could in fact help hold Ukraine together. With more financial and cultural autonomy, the country’s diverse regions could more easily live and let live, and keep one another in check. Promoting decentralization in Ukraine would be a realistic long-term strategy for Russia, something Moscow has lacked so far.


Russian Ships Arrive On Crimean Coast As Fears Mount Over Invasion

According to Russian news site, Russian military ships carrying soldiers have arrived on Ukraine’s Crimean coast in what some are claiming could be the early signs of a Russian coup in the hotly disputed autonomous region of the Crimea. Russia’s large landing ship Nikolai Filchenkov has arrived near the Russia Black Sea Fleet's base at Sevastopol, which Russia has leased from Ukraine since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

The ship is reported to be carrying as many as 200 soldiers and has joined four additional ship carrying an unknown amount of Special Forces troops. also reported over the weekend that personnel from the 45th Airborne Special Forces unit and additional divisions had been airlifted into Anapa, a city on Russia’s Black Sea coastline. In addition, it is believed that Russia's Sevastopol base contains as many as 26,000 troops already, according to the German Institute for International And Security Affairs.

It remains to be seen if a weakened Ukraine in the midst of revolution can respond to the Russian military developments or if NATO will take the United States' line by telling Russia to stay clear of a region it has long considered it own. However, a Russian invasion of the Crimea seems to be popular with the largely Russian population of the Crimea after a flurry of pro-Russian protests have called for Russian intervention. Aside from the Crimea, there are concerns from the United States and European governments that Russia could attempt a much larger intervention in Kiev and restore a Russian-friendly government.

Tensions Rise in Ukraine's Crimea as Russians, Tatars Clash

Scuffles broke out Wednesday in the southern Ukrainian city of Simferopol as large crowds of opponents of the newly installed national authorities faced off against representatives of the Crimean Tatar community outside the local parliament. 

The rise to power of a group of politicians whose bulk of support is drawn from the more nationalist-leaning Western Ukraine has ignited alarm among ethnic Russians in the south and east of the country. Complicating matters, Tatar representatives have come out in support of the incoming regime, setting the stage for tensions inside the Crimean Peninsula. 

Police forces appeared to be having trouble controlling the crowd, and a RIA Novosti reporter saw people who seemed to have been involved in a brawl with bloodied faces. An online live feed from the spot showed dozens of people waving Ukraine’s national blue-and-yellow flag as well as the tricolor of the autonomous Crimea republic and the standard of the Crimean Tatar people, which is electric blue with a yellow seal in the top left corner. 

Developments on the ground will be monitored closely by neighboring Russia, which has spoken forcefully about the need to protect the interests of ethnic Russians in Ukraine. Moscow has reacted with concern to proposals under consideration in Ukraine’s parliament that would severely downgrade the status of the Russian language. 

In Simferopol on Wednesday, different parts of the crowd at the Crimean Supreme Council, the regional parliament, competed to drown out one another with cries of “Ukraine” and “Russia.” A sit-in outside the building began Tuesday amid calls for local authorities to reject the rule of the erstwhile opposition, which has taken hold in Kiev since the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych over the weekend. 

People at the sit-in have demanded the restoration of Crimea’s 1992 constitution, which envisioned the republic as having its own president and autonomously determining its foreign policy. Protesters have also called for a referendum on whether to persist with Crimea’s current status as an autonomous republic or seek integration with neighboring Russia. Crimea has long-standing ties with Russia. 

Until Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev in 1954 transferred the territory to what was then the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Crimea was officially a part of Russia. During the tenure of President Viktor Yanukovych, which began in early 2010 and ended with his ouster on Saturday, Ukraine renewed Russia’s lease on the naval base in the port city of Sevastopol until 2042, cementing what was already a strong economic link between Moscow and the region. 

Separatist sentiments surfaced following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, and rumors have persisted ever since that the impulse is covertly encouraged by the Kremlin. 


Seven Reasons Putin Won't Give Up Ukraine

Bloomberg’s Henry Meyer has an extraordinary article today about the dwindling options available to Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose Sochi Olympic moment has been overshadowed by the bloody mess in neighboring Ukraine. But as much as the situation seems to be slipping out of control, it’s hard to imagine that Putin will just walk away and leave Ukraine to its own devices. Here are seven reasons why: 

Pride: Putin said in 2005 that the fall of the Soviet Union was “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe” of the 20th century. From that perspective, to allow Ukraine to slip out of Russia’s orbit would make Putin no better than Mikhail Gorbachev, who presided over the Soviet empire’s dissolution in 1991. 

Trade: Putin wants Ukraine to join Russia’s fledgling customs union with Belarus, Kazakhstan, and soon, Armenia. The customs union is his answer to the European Union’s much larger trading bloc. Indeed, the current protests broke out after Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, a Putin ally, pivoted away from a European Union integration accord last November and chose Russia instead. 

History: Russia and Ukraine have deep historical links dating back to the Kievan Rus, whose glory days were the 11th and 12th centuries. According to Russiapedia, the Kievan Rus “is traditionally seen as the beginning of Russia and the ancestor of Belarus and Ukraine.” 

Statehood: In 2008, the Russian business daily Kommersant cited a source in a NATO country’s delegation who quoted Putin as telling President George W. Bush: “You understand, George, that Ukraine isn’t even a state.” For most of the 900 years preceding independence in 1991, it wasn’t. Parts of what’s now Ukraine were controlled by Poland, Lithuania, the Khanate of Crimea, Austria Hungary, Germany, and of course Russia. In 2009 Putin approvingly quoted a description of Ukraine as “little Russia.” If Putin doesn’t perceive Ukraine as a real state, he’s less likely to respect its independence. 

Crimea: Crimea, the southern part of Ukraine on the Black Sea, was part of Russia until 1954, when it was given to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, supposedly to strengthen brotherly ties, even though it had a majority-Russian population. Historians still aren’t sure why Russia gave away Crimea, but Putin isn’t likely to let that gift get too far away. 

The Navy: Russia’s Black Sea Fleet is headquartered in the Crimean city of Sevastopol (which is less than 200 miles northwest of Sochi). If an unfriendly Ukrainian government ended the lease, Russia would be forced to move its headquarters east to Novorossiysk. In December, Russia dangled an offer of cheaper natural gas to Ukraine in exchange for better terms on its lease in Sevastopol.

Energy: Natural gas sales to Europe are a key source of foreign exchange for Russia, and a big share of that gas passes through Ukraine. It wants to keep those pipelines in friendly hands. But Russia’s Gazprom (GAZP:RM) is also hedging its bets by building a new South Stream pipeline that crosses the Black Sea on the seabed from Russia to Bulgaria, bypassing Ukraine. 

Josef Stalin brutally subjugated Ukraine in the 1930s, liquidating the wealthy farmers known as kulaks. Putin is no Stalin, but no one should assume that he will let Ukraine go without a struggle.

Russia Ready to go to War over Crimea

A Russian government official has revealed that Russia would be willing to fight a war over the Crimea region of Ukraine and protect the large Russian population and its military assets there. "If Ukraine breaks apart, it will trigger a war," the unnamed official told the Financial Times. "They will lose Crimea first [because] we will go in and protect [it], just as we did in Georgia," the official continued. Russian President Vladimir Putin has been publicly restrained about the Ukraine and sent Vladimir Lukin, a former diplomat and human rights commissioner, to Kiev as a mediator.

But analysts have pointed to the possibility of a repetition of the 2008 Georgia conflict when Russian troops and tanks invaded after the Georgian government launched an attack on the separatist region of South Ossetia. One hundred and fifty people died in the Russian action. Russia is one of the few countries in the world to officially recognise the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and would be likely do so with the Crimea region should Ukraine divide. The speaker of the Crimea parliament, Volodymyr Konstantinov, suggested that the Russian-majority region might secede from Ukraine if it splits in the event of a civil war.

"It is possible, if the country breaks apart. And everything is moving towards that," he told Russian news agency Interfax. Ukraine's western region of Lviv has already reportedly declared independence from the central government. Ukraine is a nation torn between Russia and the European Union, situated at the heart of the "shared neighbourhood" between the two blocs.

Approximately 21% of Ukraine's population is Russian and it holds deep cultural and historical links with modern Russia because of its Soviet history. The region of Crimea lies on the northern coast of the Black Sea. Russia's massive Black Sea Fleet is stationed at Sevastopol and 60% of the region's population are ethnic Russians. The Russian elite views Ukraine as part of the Soviet "sphere of influence" and sees the country as a potential bulwark against the growth of EU liberalisation.

"We will not allow Europe and the US to take Ukraine from us. The states [are] of the former Soviet Union, we are one family," a foreign policy official told the FT. "They think Russia is still as weak as in the early 1990s but we are not."

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has claimed a deal to resolve Ukraine's political crisis has been reached with pro-European opposition leaders after the bloodiest day in the country's history since the Soviet era and footage emerging of government snipers firing on unarmed protesters.

Turkey is ready to put a claim for the Crimea in case of division of Ukraine

All the discussions about the country’s division are senseless without tearing the Crimea away from Ukraine. “In case the script of the split of Ukraine is implemented, Turkey will put a claim for the Crimea,” the correspondent of “Hürriyete” (one of the most respectable periodical of the country) writes. According to the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca dated April 19, 1783, Turkey may put a claim for the peninsula in case of an attempt of the third party to occupy the peninsula or in case of the intention of the Crimea to declare independence,” Nerdun Khadzhyoglu writes.

Such a possibility appeared in 1991, but then the President of Turkey Turgut Ozal actually exchanged the Crimea “headache” for the restoration of the rights of the Crimean and Tatar minority. Thus, this is a hint for Moscow, but not for Kiev.

The fact is that the technology of Moscow to renew the empire is not in the physical seizures, but in the recognition of the independence of Abkhazia, South Ossetia and in the non-formal recognition of Pridnestrovie. If the authorities of the Crimea will do so, and if any bold decisions of the Council of the Federation will appear, with the hints on the Pskov landing force division, one should not forget:  we are not living in 1944, when the poverty-ridden Turkey, fearing Stalin occupation, was silently observing the deportations of Turkic peoples of the Caucasus and the Crimea…

Least of all I hope that other countries will help … but they will not interfere. If the army that barely succeeded in the Georgian operation in 2008 is ready to challenge one of the most powerful armies of NATO, well… Moreover, one should realize that, unlike Europe, where everybody is hysterical about the universal peace and pacifism, in Turkey people are not conscience-stricken while usage of military force.


Putin orders ‘combat readiness’ tests for western, central Russian troops

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered an urgent military drill to test the combat readiness of the armed forces across western and central Russia. The drill included troops dealing with mock security and terrorist threats. The surprise drill tested ground troops, Air Force, airborne troops and aerospace defense, according to Russia’s Defense Minister, Sergey Shoigu. Putin ordered to “test combat readiness of troops in dealing with crisis situations that threaten the military security of the country, as well as with antiterrorist, sanitary and epidemiological, or technogenic situations,” Shoigu said. 

According to the Defense Minister, the drill, which started at 14:00 GMT, will be held from February 26 until March 3 in two stages. The second stage involves an opposing-force exercise with the participation of Russia’s Northern and Baltic fleet and bomb strike drills. 

While Western media was quick to connect the drill to the situation in Ukraine, such exercises were proposed by Putin as early as last September and followed massive 2013 drills. In February, the Russian Army staged a surprise ‘combat readiness’ drill in central Russia for the first time in 20 years, which was followed by a Black Sea drill in March. An exercise testing aerospace defense and Air Force then took place in May, involving thousands of troops with hundreds of aircraft and vehicles.

In July, a massive military drill took place in the Eastern Command. Up to 160,000 troops, 1,000 tanks and armored vehicles, 130 aircraft and 70 vessels took part in the drill. Following the 2013 exercises, President Putin, in his capacity as Russia’s Supreme Commander-in-Chief, announced that the practice of surprise drills will continue. A comprehensive inspection of Interior Ministry troops was also ordered. 


US tells Russia to keep troops out of Ukraine as Crimea flashpoint looms

The White House warned Russia to keep its troops out of Ukraine, amid fears that Moscow may step in with military force following the overthrow of the president, its ally. Tensions also mounted in Crimea, in the south-east of Ukraine, where pro-Russian politicians are organising rallies and forming protest units, demanding autonomy from Kiev. The region is now seen as a potential flashpoint because of its deep strategic significance to Moscow.

Barack Obama’s national security adviser said it would be a “grave mistake” for Vladimir Putin to send soldiers into Ukraine to restore a friendly government after the upheaval. Susan Rice said nobody would benefit if Ukraine were to split apart.

“It’s in nobody’s interest to see violence return and the situation escalate,” Mrs Rice said.

Her warning to the Kremlin followed concerns over renewed tumult in Ukraine if eastern regions of the vast country side with Russia against the overthrow of Viktor Yanukovych. Ukraine is deeply divided between its eastern regions, which are largely pro-Russian, and western areas that widely detest Mr Yanukovych. The Crimean port of Sevastopol may be part of Ukraine, but it is the Russian tricolor that flutters proudly above the port’s barrack blocks and warships.

The city’s cobbled streets are full of Russian sailors, often raucously drunk, while the harbour shelters ranks of sleek, grey, Russian vessels that dwarf their Ukrainian neighbours. Under a deeply politically divisive leasing deal, the deep-water port is home to a huge naval base and the Russian Black Sea Fleet, providing Russia’s military with easy access to the Mediterranean.

However, many Russians believe that it is only a twist of fate that means the peninsula is not part of their country anyway — and turmoil in Ukraine could prove a perfect opportunity to reassert their claim. Sevastopol has been a proud part of Russian imperial might since the 18th century, but in 1954 was transferred to Ukrainian control under Nikita Khrushchev, an ethnic Ukrainian.

When Ukraine broke away from the Soviet Union in 1991, it took Crimea with it. Moscow has since had to lease the strategically critical naval base. Lilit Gevorgyan, a senior Russia analyst at IHS Global Insight, said: “There are many Russians who believe it was Khrushchev, who was an ethnic Ukranian, who decided to give it to Ukraine, and still believe it is unfair.

“If it had been part of Russia, it would have provided a deep-water port for its fleet on the Black Sea, whereas Russia now has to pay a lease until 2042. “Strategically, symbolically and historically, it is important for the Russians. If there’s turmoil and real talk of the break-up of Ukraine, the Russians will be interested in securing this part.”

In a recent opinion poll, 56 per cent of Russians said they viewed Crimea as a Russian territory, a far higher proportion than felt a claim on Chechnya. But Miss Gevorgyan said the Crimean population was diverse, and it may prove difficult to manipulate by Russian nationalists. In particular, the region’s significant population of Muslim Tartars, who saw persecution and mass deportation under Stalin, have little desire to join Russia.

“It’s a patchwork of different identities and I am not sure it will be easy to manipulate,” she said. “It has never been either truly Russian or truly Ukrainian.” Mrs Rice said it would be a mistake for Mr Putin to view the tumult as a Cold War battle between the East and West. “That’s a pretty dated perspective that doesn’t reflect where the people of Ukraine are coming from. This is not about the US and Russia,” she said. The country need not be torn apart on a cultural fault line between pro-Russian and pro-Europe Ukrainians, Mrs Rice said.

Russian nationalists promote granting citizenship to ethnic Russians from Ukraine

Ukrainian nationalists are suggesting the Russian language could be banned in the country, so the populist Russian nationalist LDPR party suggests fast-tracking Russian citizenship for ethnic Russians in Ukraine and their families.

MP Ilya Drozdov of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia on Monday initiated a bill that allows Russian citizenship within six month if the applicant successfully proves his or hers Russian ethnicity. This can be done by presenting documents proving that any of one’s direct ancestors had Russian citizenship by birth. The politician also mentioned grandparents and great-grandparents, apparently meaning that citizenship of the Soviet Union and the Russian Empire can count as well.

Drozdov emphasized that his suggestion came about because of the current political situation in Ukraine. “The adoption of this amendment would allow to lawfully use the migration potential of Ukrainian citizens of Russian ethnicity who desire to get Russian citizenship,” the lawmaker explained. He added that the potential influx of ethnic Russians would help to stabilize their number in the country and prevent their replacement by people from Central Asian states.

On Sunday the Ukrainian parliament canceled the 2012 law “On State Language Policy” that allowed the country’s regions to add more official languages to the existing Ukrainian, if these languages were used by over 10 percent of population. The law was originally passed in the interests of the Russian-speaking industrial eastern part of the country where regional legislatures quickly officially recognized the Russian language, but also benefited two Western regions that have introduced Romanian and Hungarian as official languages, and the Crimea Region where lot of people speak Tatar. Currently, the Eastern regions face mass demonstrations against the “Maidan” policies and newly-appointed officials and most of all against the infringement of the rights of the Russian speaking population.

According to some sources, the head of the Freedom Party, Oleg Tyagnibok has recently spoke before his supporters in Kiev and said that the use of Russian language should be criminalized and all ethnic Russians should be stripped of citizenship and live under the non-citizen status.

At the same time, Tyagnibok has said that the recent cancellation of the language law was technical and promised to introduce a new non-discriminative bill in the near future. He gave no details.

Russia had a simplified procedure of citizenship for residents of former Soviet republics from the collapse of the USSR till 2009. Over 2 million people have used this scheme and become Russians. The rule has never been based on ethnicity though – for example, many residents of the Republic of South Ossetia are ethnic Ossetians – the Caucasian people of Iranian roots – and yet many of them have received Russian passports hoping for protection from neighboring Georgia.

In 2012 Vladimir Putin voiced an initiative to simplify the citizenship procedure for the residents of the former Soviet Union and descendants of Russian emigrants, but it has not yet ended in a law.

The Russian ambassador to Ukraine has been recalled to Moscow for consultations in connection with the political situation in the country. On Monday Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev commented. “We do not understand what is going on there, there is a real threat to our interests and to the lives and health of our citizens,” he noted.

Medvedev also added that currently Ukraine lacked legitimate representatives of authority, and expressed surprise over Western politicians holding opposite opinions.

“Strictly speaking, today there is no one there to communicate with. The legitimacy of a number of power bodies is in huge doubt,” the Prime Minister said at a press conference. “If you consider people in black masks strolling through Kiev with Kalashnikov rifles a government, then it will be difficult for us to work with such a government," Medvedev stated.

Some our foreign, western partners hold the opposite opinion, they think these people to be legitimate power bodies. I do not know what constitution and what laws they have been reading, but I hold that it is some sort of conscience aberration when you call something legitimate while in reality it is a result of a mutiny,” the Russian official told reporters.

Pro-Russian Separatism Rises In Crimea As Ukraine's Crisis Unfolds

From the dingy basement of a decaying apartment block on the outskirts of Simferopol, Crimean parliament deputy Sergei Shuvainikov is leading the fight to defend the ethnic Russians of this strategic Black Sea peninsula.

In an office festooned with banners showing a map of Crimea overlaid with a World War II medal featuring the communist hammer and sickle and the slogan "In union with Russia," the voluble Shuvainikov spills out a litany of alleged assaults on the Russian language and Russian culture in Ukraine.

"This is the result of a political position to deny Russians, for whom the language is the main identifier of their Russian ethnicity, of their Russian nation, Russian people," he says. "To deny them the right to remind children and young people that they are Russians. It is in fact the destruction of Russian nationality, of the concept of the Russian people of Ukraine."

The piles of megaphones and rolled up banners in the corner of Shuvainikov's self-proclaimed "bunker" attest to the stepped-up activity of the organizations he heads, the Congress of Russian Communities and the Russian Front. Since the political crisis erupted in Kyiv in November, his organizations have repeatedly held demonstrations in Simferopol and elsewhere, burning EU flags and blaming U.S. and NATO interference for Ukraine's time of troubles.

The people of Crimea are watching with nervous expectation as the political and economic crisis in Ukraine drags on.

Crimea is Ukraine's only region where ethnic Russians are a majority, comprising approximately 60 percent of its population of 2 million. From the 18th century until just 60 years ago on February 19, the peninsula was part of Russia. And as Ukraine's turmoil shakes the region's ethnic and religious fault lines, there is increasing talk that perhaps it should be again.

Staying In Moscow's Orbit

Although it is illegal to openly advocate separatism in Ukraine, many pro-Russian organizations are calling for "bolstering Crimea's autonomy" in the event the government of President Viktor Yanukovych strikes some compromise agreement with what they call the "fascist" opposition.

The goal of the pro-Russian groups is to keep Ukraine in Moscow's orbit and prevent its integration with Europe. But to drum up support for their efforts, they are openly manipulating tensions and fears between Orthodox Russians and Muslim Crimean Tatars, who make up about 12 percent of the population. Hundreds of thousands of Tatars have returned to their Crimean homeland after being deported by Soviet authorities during World War II.

About 40 kilometers northeast of Shuvainikov's Simferopol bunker is the dusty, crumbling town of Belogorsk. It's hard to guess it was once a lively trading center of the Silk Road with the Tatar name Karasubazar. Today its population of some 18,000 is nearly evenly divided between Russians, Ukrainians, and Tatars.

The town's mayor, Albert Kangiyev, an ethnic Tatar and a member of President Yanukovych's Party of Regions, says his town is peaceful and relations among different groups are good. But he worries about the potential for outside forces to disrupt this fragile harmony.

"This is a multiethnic city," Kangiyev says. "Today the percentage of formerly deported citizens in our city is more than 30 percent -- that is, a quite significant number. And lighting a match -- in a manner of speaking -- in our city would be very easy."

In November, Shuvainikov's Congress of Russian Communities held a march through downtown Belogorsk to mark the Russian holiday of National Unity Day. A few dozen participants listened to speeches glorifying the Tsarist-era conquering of Crimea and adopted a resolution claiming "today Russians are again in a state of feudal fragmentation, spiritual decline, and despondency. Our rights to our history, our culture, our Orthodox faith, and the Russian language are being brazenly restricted. More and more often we see and hear insulting attacks aimed at Russia and the Russian people."

Mayor Kangiyev's fears about the potential for instability seem well-founded. About 100 kilometers to the south, in the coastal resort of Yalta, a middle-aged Russian who asked to be identified only as Irina expressed frustration about the Crimean Tatars, who were deported from the peninsula by Stalin in 1944 and have been returning in large numbers since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

"The Tatars.... Supposed Tatars who were repressed and deported," she says. "Some sort of Uzbeks came back who had nothing at all to do with any of that, you understand. 'I'm a Tatar [they say]. I was repressed! Give me some land!' They buy some land and then resell it at a huge profit. They end up with a lot of money from nothing. Some sort of pathetic Uzbek -- 'I'm a Tatar.' He comes and says, 'Gimme.' You see how it is."

The Congress of Russian Communities and Russian Front are far from the only or the most radical pro-Russian organizations that have been activated in Crimea. On February 12, in a stuffy press center funded by the U.S. Embassy in the Simferopol labor-union building, representatives of nearly two dozen pro-Russian organizations gathered to discuss the plight of Crimea's ethnic Russians.

The meeting was hosted via Skype by Yury Meshkov, a pro-Russian separatist who served as Crimea's president in 1994-95. Meshkov was deported from Ukraine for his separatist activities in 2011 and now lives in Moscow.

Participants in the roundtable spoke with an impassioned mixture of fear and anger, seasoned richly with nostalgia for the Soviet Union. Viktor Golovin, representing the Committee to Support Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka, captured the mood by saying: "We are not urging a war. We are calling for what is ours. The only thing we are urging is that no one tries to stop us from returning to the big Russian world. Don't stop us from returning home."

A featured speaker of the roundtable and a rising star of the pro-Russian movement in Crimea is Valery Podyachy, head of a group called the Popular Front. The Popular Front's logo shows the flags of Russia and the Russian Navy crossed against the silhouette of the Simferopol monument to the Russian conquest of Crimea in 1783.

Skirting open calls for separatism, the affable and energetic Podyachy is pushing for Kyiv to lease the entire peninsula to Russia in exchange for the cancelation of Ukraine's debts to Moscow. With a wry smile, he compares this scenario to the U.S. lease of the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba. Asked what would become of Crimea after the proposed lease expires, Podyachy has a quick answer.

"After 99 years, I don't think Ukraine will last that long as an independent country," he says. "Russia will exist because Russia is after all a leading global player on a par with the United States, China, and the European Union. So it is obvious that Russia will exist. But will Ukraine exist...? That's why, in principle, this solution would satisfy everyone."

But such a solution -- or any solution that would see Crimea move more tightly into Moscow's orbit -- is unlikely to satisfy the Crimean Tatar community.

Stop Maidan

Last year, Refat Chubarov was elected head of the Mejlis, the Crimean Tatar self-government body. He says that since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Moscow has exploited regional tensions as a way of maintaining its influence in the post-Soviet space.

As the Soviet Union fell apart "Moscow was frantically looking for various tools to hold on to the [Soviet] territories," he says. "Nagorno-Karabakh -- Armenia and Azerbaijan; Transdniester -- Moldova; provocations in Tbilisi -- Georgia; attempts involving Interfront, the Popular Front, in the Baltic states.... The center, Moscow, viewed Crimea as one of these sort of hooks by means of which it could hold on to all of Ukraine."

The pro-Russian organizations deny they have ties to Moscow. However, Russia's presence in the region is felt everywhere. The Russian Consulate in Simferopol has been aggressively issuing Russian passports to ethnic Russian Crimeans, a policy that has provoked protests from Kyiv. The Russian state agency for cooperation with countries from the Commonwealth of Independent States countries operates out of a huge villa in the center of the capital.

Last week, Russian presidential adviser and leading Kremlin ideologue Vladislav Surkov made an under-the-radar trip to Crimea, meeting behind closed doors with Crimean Prime Minister Anatoly Mogilev, Crimean parliament speaker Vladimir Konstantinov, and Sevastopol Governor Vladimir Yatsuboi. It was also announced that Konstantinov will travel to Moscow on February 20 for talks with Russian Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin.

The roads of Crimea are blanketed by thousands of billboards installed by a mysterious, lavishly funded nongovernmental organization called Stop Maidan. The billboards assert that Crimea is "for stability" and says no to "extremism" and "foreign interference." Stop Maidan has also sent hundreds of pro-government demonstrators to Kyiv, urging Yanukovych to uncompromisingly quash the protests.

 Chubarov says that, although the Ukrainian government's policies have produced frustrations among Tatars and raised tensions among the region's ethnic groups, the local situation would be stable if not for provocations from outside of Crimea.

"There are no internal reasons for the sharp activation [of pro-Russian groups]," he says. "But there is the necessary background that can be aggravated if from the outside, -- from outside [Crimea], -- there are very strong, targeted manipulations. And we always see this when relations between Moscow and Kyiv become complicated."


The battle for Kiev may well be over, but is the battle for Crimea about to begin?

The picture above shows the scene earlier today in Kiev, as Ukraine's parliament voted to hold early elections and dismiss President Viktor Yanukovych. It's a heart-warming image. The bloody, protracted protests in Ukraine seem to have achieved their goals: Yanukovych is gone, new elections are due, and Yulia Tymoshenko, a key figure in Ukraine’s 2004 Orange Revolution, has been freed from prison. Ukraine looks as though it might have pulled back from the brink.

If only it were that simple. While many in Kiev are celebrating today, the situation in some other parts of the country still appear tense. For an example, look toward Crimea. The video below shows a small anti-government group being violently harassed after trying to honor those who died in the Maidan protests – they're shouted down, called "fascists," and eventually beaten before police step in. As the Guardian's Shaun Walker, who tweeted the video, explains, it looks "extremely ominous."

Crimea, of course, is about as geographically far away from Kiev as you can get in Ukraine. A peninsula jutting into the northern tip of the Black Sea, the strategically located region has been conquered and fought over many times over the course of history. It was the site of much of the fighting in the Crimean War, for example.

From the 18th century on, the region was part of Russia, but that changed in 1954, when the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union passed it from the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, a decision that is still controversial in some circles. Today the peninsula might still be a part of Ukraine, but in many ways it is separate from the rest of the country: It has its own legislature and constitution, for example, and it's still very Russian: Some  60 percent of the population is ethnically Russian, with the rest being Ukrainian or Crimean Tatars.

It appears that some members of this Russian community have regarded the events in Kiev with a mixture horror and opportunism: The chaos in Ukraine could finally be the region's chance to turn back to Moscow.

RFE/RL's Robert Coalson recently went to Crimea and spoke to members of the pro-Russian separatist movement there. One politician he spoke to had the novel idea of leasing Crimea to Russia in exchange for a cancellation of Ukraine's debt to Moscow. But what would happen after the lease expired? "After 99 years, I don't think Ukraine will last that long as an independent country," Valery Podyachy, head of a group called the Popular Front, told Coalson. "Russia will exist because Russia is after all a leading global player on a par with the United States, China, and the European Union. So it is obvious that Russia will exist. But will Ukraine exist...? That's why, in principle, this solution would satisfy everyone."

Other politicians have expressed similar hopes. Volodymyr Konstantinov, the speaker of Crimea’s parliament, recently told lawmakers that the region may well secede if Ukraine's tensions begin to pull it apart. The parliament has also suggested that the region's constitution be amended to list Russia as the "guarantor" of Crimea's autonomy.

The situation is complicated by the fact that many Russians view Crimea as part of Russia: one recent poll found that 56 percent of Russians view Crimea as a Russian territory – a far larger percentage than the number who viewed Chechnya, inside Russian federation borders, as part of Russia (39 percent). A few days ago, a Russian official told the Financial Times that if Ukraine began to get more chaotic, they would step in to protect the ethnic Russians and the Russian navy base on the peninsula. “If Ukraine breaks apart, it will trigger a war,” the unnamed official told the newspaper. “They will lose Crimea first [because] we will go in and protect [it], just as we did in Georgia.” (Whether Russian President Vladimir Putin would really want to set that precedent is unclear, however – Alexander Motyl, a professor at Rutgers University and an expert on Ukrainian affairs, recently argued that it would put Putin's grand plans for a "Eurasian Union" at risk.)

Still, it's worth thinking about Crimea when you see pictures from Kiev today. For many of the protesters at Kiev's Maidan, or Independence Square, and elsewhere, today is a day of celebration: After weeks of bloody confrontations, they have met some of their goals. As the Crimea example illuminates, however, the next step of this process is going to be extremely delicate.


Paul Craig Roberts: Russia Under Attack

In a number of my articles I have explained that the Soviet Union served as a constraint on US power. The Soviet collapse unleashed the neoconservative drive for US world hegemony. Russia under Putin, China, and Iran are the only constraints on the neoconservative agenda.

Russia’s nuclear missiles and military technology make Russia the strongest military obstacle to US hegemony. To neutralize Russia, Washington broke the Reagan-Gorbachev agreements and expanded NATO into former constituent parts of the Soviet Empire and now intends to bring former constituent parts of Russia herself–Georgia and Ukraine–into NATO. Washington withdrew from the treaty that banned anti-ballistic missiles and has established anti-ballistic missile bases on Russia’s frontier. Washington changed its nuclear war doctrine to permit nuclear first strike.

All of this is aimed at degrading Russia’s deterrent, thereby reducing the ability of Russia to resist Washington’s will.

The Russian government (and also the government of Ukraine) foolishly permitted large numbers of US funded NGOs to operate as Washington’s agents under cover of “human rights organizations,” “building democracy,” etc. The “pussy riot” event was an operation designed to put Putin and Russia in a bad light. (The women were useful dupes.) The Western media attacks on the Sochi Olympics are part of the ridiculing and demonizing of Putin and Russia. Washington is determined that Putin and Russia will not be permitted any appearance of success in any area, whether diplomacy, sports, or human rights. The American media is a Ministry of Propaganda for the government and the corporations and helps Washington paint Russia in bad colors. Stephen F. Cohen accurately describes US media coverage of Russia as a “tsunami of shamefully and unprofessional and politically inflammatory articles.”

As a holdover from the Cold War, the US media retains the image of a free press that can be trusted. In truth, there is no free press in America (except for Internet sites). See for example. During the later years of the Clinton regime, the US government permitted 5 large conglomerates to concentrate the varied, dispersed and somewhat independent media.The value of these large mega-companies depends on their federal broadcast licenses.Therefore, the media dares not go against the government on any important issue. In addition, the media conglomerates are no longer run by journalists but by corporate advertising executives and former government officials, with an eye not on facts but on advertising revenues and access to government “sources.”

Washington is using the media to prepare the American people for confrontation with Russia and to influence Russians and other peoples in the world against Putin. Washington would love to see a weaker or more pliable Russian leader than Putin.

Many Russians are gullible. Having experienced communist rule and the chaos from collapse, they naively believe that America is the best place, the example for the world, the “white hat” that can be trusted and believed. This idiotic belief, which we see manifested in western Ukraine as the US destabilizes the country in preparation for taking it over, is an important weapon that the US uses to destabilize Russia.

Some Russians make apologies for Washington by explaining the anti-Russian rhetoric as simply a carryover from old stereotypes from the Cold War. “Old stereotypes” is a red herring, a misleading distraction. Washington is gunning for Russia. Russia is under attack, and if Russians do not realize this, they are history.

Many Russians are asleep at the switch, but the Izborsk Club is trying to wake them up. In an article (February 12) in the Russian weekly Zavtra, strategic and military experts warned that the Western use of protests to overturn the decision of the Ukraine government not to join the European Union had produced a situation in which a coup by fascist elements was a possibly. Such a coup would result in a fratricidal war in Ukraine and would constitute a serious “strategic threat to the Russian Federation.”

The experts concluded that should such a coup succeed, the consequences for Russia would be:

— Loss of Sevastopol as the base of the Russian Federation’s Black Sea Fleet;
— Purges of Russians in eastern and southern Ukraine, producing a flood of refugees;
— Loss of manufacturing capacities in Kiev, Dnepropetrovsk, Kharkov where
contract work is done for the Russian military;
— Suppression of the Russian speaking population by forcible Ukrainianization;
— The establishment of US and NATO military bases in Ukraine, including in Crimea
and the establishment of training centers for terrorists who would be set upon the
Caucasus, the Volga Basin, and perhaps Siberia.
— Spread of the orchestrated Kiev protests into non-Russian ethnicities in cities of
the Russian Federation.

The Russian strategists conclude that they “consider the situation taking shape in Ukraine to be catastrophic for the future of Russia.”

What is to be done? Here the strategic experts, who have correctly analyzed the situation, fall down. They call for a national media campaign to expose the nature of the takeover that is underway and for the government of the Russian Federation to invoke the Budapest Memorandum of 1994 in order to convene a conference of representatives of the governments of Russia, Ukraine, the USA, and Great Britain to deal with the threats to the Ukraine. In the event that the Budapest Memorandum governing the sovereignty of Ukraine is set aside by one or more of the parties, the experts propose that the Russian government, using the precedent of the Kennedy-Khrushchev negotiations that settled the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, negotiate directly with Washington a settlement of the developing crisis in Ukraine.

This is a pipe dream. The experts are indulging in self-deception. Washington is the perpetrator of the crisis in Ukraine and intends to take over Ukraine for the precise reasons that the experts list. It is a perfect plan for destabilizing Russia and for negating Putin’s successful diplomacy in preventing US military attack on Syria and Iran.

Essentially, if Washington succeeds in Ukraine, Russia would be eliminated as a constraint on US world hegemony. Only China would remain.

I suspected that Ukraine would come to a boiling point when Putin and Russia were preoccupied with the Sochi Olympics, leaving Russia unprepared. There is little doubt that Russia is faced with a major strategic threat. What are Russia’s real options? Certainly the options do not include any good will from Washington.

Possibly, Russia could operate from the American script. If Russia has drones, Russia could use drones like Washington does and use them to assassinate the leaders of the Washington-sponsored protests. Or Russia could send in Special Forces teams to eliminate the agents who are operating against Russia. If the EU continues to support the destabilization of Ukraine, Russia could cut off oil and gas supplies to Washington’s European puppet states.

Alternatively, the Russian Army could occupy western Ukraine while arrangements are made to partition Ukraine, which until recently was part of Russia for 200 years. It is certain that the majority of residents in eastern Ukraine prefer Russia to the EU. It is even possible that the brainwashed elements in the western half might stop foaming at the mouth long enough to comprehend that being in US/EU hands means being looted as per Latvia and Greece.

I am outlining the least dangerous outcomes of the crisis that Washington and its stupid European puppet states have created, not making recommendations to Russia. The worst outcome is a dangerous war. If the Russians sit on their hands, the situation will become unbearable for them. As Ukraine moves toward NATO membership and suppression of the Russian population, the Russian government will have to attack Ukraine and overthrown the foreign regime or surrender to the Americans. The likely outcome of the audacious strategic threat with which Washington is confronting Russia would be nuclear war.

The neoconservative Victoria Nuland sits in her State Department office happily choosing the members of the next Ukrainian government. Is this US official oblivious to the risk that Washington’s meddling in the internal affairs of Ukraine and Russia could be triggering nuclear war? Are President Obama and Congress aware that there is an Assistant Secretary of State who is provoking Armageddon? 

Insouciant Americans are paying no attention and have no idea that a handful of neoconservative ideologues are pushing the world toward destruction.

Paul Craig Roberts is an American economist, author, columnist, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, and former editor and columnist for corporate media publications. He is the author of The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism. Read other articles by Paul, or visit Paul's website. 


“Washington’s dirty hands are involved” in Ukrainian protests

“It is long-standing US policy, America interferes in the internal affairs of other countries on a global basis, especially going back since World War II. Ukraine is the most important of the previous Soviet republics, easily the most important.

Washington wants all former Soviet Republics being part of NATO, again a long-term scheme to isolate Russia, to weaken Russia, do the same thing to China because America above all else wants unchallenged global dominance and the only two countries that really matter are China and Russia standing in its way of getting that. So, this is what this is all about, “ – said Stephen Lendman in an interview to the Voice of Russia.

“Who could argue that the moves and maneuvers taking place on the Ukraine geo-political chessboard are as surreal as they get?” – writes Michael Thomas on website (“Kiev Protests: Another CIA Coordinated Color Revolution In Progress”, December 13, 2013), - “Can the reader imagine high level representatives from other countries, showing up in the midst of the most tense political standoffs in Washington DC, offering every kind of support to those Americans protesting against the US Federal Government? That’s exactly what US Assistant Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland is doing in the Ukraine at this very moment.” 

“Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me,” – an old proverb says. “What is particularly surprising about the current color revolution unfolding in the Ukraine is that this nation was the site of the very same CIA implementation plan back in 2004/2005,” – Michael Thomas points out.

Yes, the scenario of “Euromaidan” is strikingly similar to the “Orange Revolution v.1” in 2004/2005, “Rose Revolution” in Georgia and “Tulip Revolution” in Kyrgyzstan. The method of “Color revolution” was created by Gene Sharp, an American social scientist, and then successfully tested. On this basis, Sharp set up training programs for young activists with the objective of organizing coups.

“We saw them at work the world over,” writes the French expert  Thierry Meyssan, “especially in Lebanon (Cedar Revolution), Iran (Green Revolution), Tunisia (Jasmine Revolution) and Egypt (Lotus Revolution). It was in 1998 that Gene Sharp perfected the method of “color revolutions” with the overthrow of Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic… The principle is simple: exacerbate all underlying frustrations, blame the political apparatus for all the problems, manipulate the youth according to the Freudian “patricidal” scenario, organize a coup, and then propagandize that the government was brought down by the “street.”

“The slogan of the “color revolutions” harks back to an infantile perspective; What matters is to overthrow the head of state without consideration of the consequences–“Don’t worry about your future, Washington will take care of everything for you,” – Thierry Meyssan concludes. The French political expert Thierry Meyssan is right: Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, US Senators John McCain and Chris Murthy have already visited Euromaidan and met the opposition leaders.

“If there are US-backed groups anywhere seeking the overthrow of their government, you will find John McCain in their midst. He is the Energizer Bunny of interventionism,” – according to Daniel McAdams is Executive Director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. “As McCain joined an anti-government demonstration, stating that "we are here to support your just cause," he threatened the government of Ukraine with US sanctions if it did not come to heel. Then, with his typical absence of irony, McCain demanded that Russia stop interfering in Ukraine's internal affairs,” – writes Daniel McAdams

Speaking to CNN on Sunday, McCain said: “What we're trying to do is try to bring about a peaceful transition here, that would stop the violence and give the Ukrainian people what they unfortunately have not had, with different revolutions that have taken place – a real society.”

It goes without saying that John McCain and other US officials are violating the sovereignty of Ukraine. It is the strong US and EU intervention in Ukraine affairs.

“What would the reaction have been in the US had Russian President Vladimir Putin and the president of Iran at the time, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, flown in to the "Occupy Wall Street" protests a few years ago and encouraged the protestors to overthrow the US government? Would the president - and the US military - have stood idly by in such a situation?” – says Daniel McAdams.

Washington’s Dirty Game in Ukraine

Weeks of Ukraine street protests continue. Washington’s dirty hands are involved. They’re manipulating things disruptively. Imperial ruthlessness operates this way. 

International law is clear and unequivocal. Meddling in the internal affairs of other countries is illegal. Doing so is longstanding US policy. It’s to eliminate independent sovereign states. It’s about replacing them with pro-Western vassal ones. It’s about weakening major rivals. It aims to eliminate them altogether if possible. It’s for unchallenged global dominance. It’s to make the world safe for corporate American profiteers. John Perkins was an “economic hit man.” He explained, saying:

“(H)ighly paid professionals cheat countries around the globe out of trillions of dollars.”

“They funnel money from the World Bank, (IMF, and other international lending agencies, as well as) other foreign aid organizations into the coffers of huge corporations and the pockets of a few wealthy families who control the planet’s natural resources.”

“Their tools include fraudulent financial reports, rigged elections, payoffs, extortion, sex, and murder.”

“They play a game as old as empire, but one that has taken on new and terrifying dimensions during this time of globalization.”

Their mandate is plundering nations for profit. It’s controlling their resources. It’s impoverishing and bankrupting them. It’s trapping them debt bondage. Nations refusing terms face major reprisals. Washington stops at nothing to achieve goals. Tactics include bullying, intimidation, punishing sanctions, assassinations, coups and lawless aggression. Media propaganda accompanies them. The battle for Ukraine features Russia bashing. More on that below. It involves beating up on Ukraine’s democratically elected government. 

New York Times editors want Ukraine tilting West. They lied saying President Viktor Yanukovych “undermined his legitimacy.” They said he did so “when his security forces used truncheons and tear gas against thousands of protesters…”

One day only they confronted them violently. Yanukovych took them to task for doing so. They lied claiming an EU alliance “open(s) the way to a brighter economic future.” It assures plundering Ukraine for profit, impoverishment, unemployment, debt entrapment, and extreme human misery. Former NYT executive editor Bill Keller writes alternate Monday Times op-eds. He does so irresponsibly. He supports wealth, power and privilege. He spurns objectivity. He turns truth on its head. On December 15, he headlined “Russia vs. Europe.” He accused Vladimir Putin of “bullying neighboring Ukraine into a new customs union (resembling the) Soviet Union Lite.” 

Fact check 

Putin offers carrots, not sticks. He engaged Yanukovych responsibly. Mutually beneficial trade terms are being negotiated. On December 17, Putin and Yanukovych will co-chair a Russian/Ukrainian interstate commission session. They’ll do so in Moscow. Bilateral agreement terms will be finalized. On Sunday, European officials in Brussels suspended talks on an EU/Ukrainian alliance. They wrongfully accused Yanukovych of refusing to accept terms demanding rejection. They’re one-way. They’re take it or leave it with no concessions. They assure opening Ukraine to plunder if accepted. Stefan Fule is European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy. He duplicitously said Ukraine’s position has “no grounds in reality.”

He calls anything short of unconditionally agreeing to harsh EU terms unacceptable. So do other EU officials. Washington demands nothing less. John McCain represents the worst of legitimate governance. He’s an embarrassment writ large. He’s militantly hardline. He an unindicted war criminal. He’s ideologically over-the-top. He showed up in Ukraine. On Sunday, he addressed protesters. He lied saying:

“People of Ukraine, this is your moment. This is about you, no one else. This is about the future you want for your country.” “This is about the future you deserve. A future in Europe, a future of peace, with all of your neighbors.” “The free world is with you. America is with you. I am with you. Ukraine will make Europe better, and Europe will make Ukraine better.”
Turning East, not West, serves ordinary Ukrainian best. McCain lied claiming otherwise. So did Senator Chris Murphy. He accompanied McCain. He disingenuously told Kiev protesters “Ukraine’s future stands with Europe, and the United States stands with Ukraine."

Keller espouses the same one-way dogma. He maliciously attacked Putin. He accused him of “draw(ing) the line against Europe."

He’s “deepen(ing) division. It seems clearer than ever that Putin is not just tweaking the West to rouse his base or nipping domestic opposition in the bud.”

He’s “attempting to turn back 25 years of history. (He) put on a KGB uniform and never took it off. (He’s) the cynical, calculating master of realpolitik.”

“He sees the world in conspiracies and responds in kind. (He’s) a tortured Russian soul out of Dostoevsky, distressed by godlessness, permissiveness and moral decline.”

“He is Soviet Man, still fighting the Cold War. (He’s) a classic narcissist…His beef with the West is no longer just about political influence and economic advantage. (It’s) profoundly spiritual.”

Keller-style Putin bashing features malicious misinformation. Putin and Obama are polar opposites. Putin supports global peace, stability and security. He urges cooperative relations with all countries. He rejects meddling in the internal affairs of other states. He believes sovereign independence is inviolable.

Obama prioritizes advancing America’s imperium. It aims for unchallenged global dominance. It features ruthless economic exploitation. It involves violence, instability and imperial wars. Obama breaches rule of law principles. He abhors democratic values. He wants the world made safe for US corporate crooks.

He’s ravaging one country after another to achieve it. Putin is polar opposite. Don’t expect Keller to explain. His op-eds read like administration handouts. Propaganda substitutes for truth and full disclosure. He recalled Mikhail Gorbachev’s July 1989 speech. At the time, he endorsed Russia sharing a “common European home.” Keller quoted former Washington Post chief foreign correspondent, Jim Hoagland, saying:

“The long winter of world conflict based on the division of Europe seems to be approaching an end.”

According to Keller: “Nearly 25 years after Gorbachev’s ‘common European home,’ Putin sounds like a common European home wrecker.” 

Fact check 

In 1989, GHW Bush promised Gorbachev NATO wouldn’t expand East. It wouldn’t do it to Russia’s borders provided Moscow let its former republics become independent. Another promise made. Another broken. Former Russian republics Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are NATO members.

Other Eastern European ones include Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovenia. Washington wants all remaining Eastern European nations co-opted. It wants them part of NATO. US bases encircle Russian and Chinese borders menacingly. So-called missile defense systems intended for offense target them.

Neither country threatens America. Positioning strategic weapons near their borders shows Washington’s real intentions. Keller conveniently omitted explaining what readers need to know. He told half the story. He suppressed its most important part. He duplicitously claimed Ukrainians “hope to be part of the West.” National sentiment is divided.

Longstanding historical and cultural ties point East, not West. So does hope for Ukraine’s troubled economy. Allying with EU’s sinking ship assures disaster. It guarantees predatory Western exploitation. It risks turning Ukraine into a zombie country. No responsible leader should chance it. Whether Yanukovych is up to the challenge remains to be seen.


US NGO Uncovered in Ukraine Protests

CANVAS: The Belgrade US-Financed Training Group Behind the Carefully-Orchestrated Kiev Protests

The recent protests in Ukraine have the stench of a foreign-orchestrated attempt to destabilize the government of Viktor Yanukovych after he walked away from signing an EU Association Agreement that would have driven a deep wedge between Russia and Ukraine. Glamor-star boxer-turned political guru, Vitaly Klitschko, has been meeting with the US State Department and is close to Angela Merkel’s CDU political machine in Germany. The EU association agreement with Ukraine is widely resisted by many EU member states with deep economic problems of their own. The two EU figures most pushing it—Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt and Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski—are both well known in the EU as close to Washington. The US is strongly pushing the Ukraine EU integration just as it had been behind the 2004 failed “Orange Revolution” to split Ukraine from Russia in a  bid to isolate and weaken Russia. Now Ukrainians have found evidence of direct involvement of the Belgrade US-financed training group, CANVAS behind the carefully-orchestrated Kiev protests.

A copy of the pamphlet that was given out to opposition protestors in Kiev has been obtained. It is a word-for-word and picture-for-picture translation of the pamphlet used by US-financed Canvas organizers in the 2011 Cairo Tahrir Square protests that toppled Hosni Mubarak and opened the door to the US-backed Muslim Brotherhood.[1] The photo below is a side-by-side comparison:

The photo left is from Tahrir Square; the right from Kiev and here below is the English original used by the Belgrade CANVAS NGO:

Canvas, formerly Otpor, received significant money from the US State Department in 2000 to stage the first successful Color Revolution against Slobodan Milosovic in then-Yugoslavia. Since then they have been transformed into a full-time “revolution consultancy” for the US, posing as a Serbian grass-root group backing “democracy.” [2] Who would ever think a Serbian-based NGO would be a front for US-backed regime change?

The Strange Ukraine “Opposition”

Direct sources in Kiev that I have contacted report that the anti-government protestors have been recruited with money from among university students and unemplyed to come by bus into the heart of  Kiev. The revealing aspect is the spectacular emergence of champion boxed Vitaly Klitschko as presumably the wise politician guiding Ukraine’s future. No doubt spending your career beating other boxers unconscious is a superb preparation for becoming a statesman, though I for one doubt it. It reminds of the choice of a low-grade Hollywood movie actor, Ronald Reagan as President. But more interesting about “opposition” spokesman Klitschko is who his friends are.

Klitschko is being backed by US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland. Nuland, former US Ambassador to NATO, is a neo-conservative married to leading neo-conservative hawk, Robert Kagan, and was herself a former adviser to Dick Cheney. [3] Klitschko is also very friendly with German Chancellor Merkel. According to a recent Der Spiegel report, Merkel wants to support Klitschko in his bid to become Ukraine’s president in 2015. [4]

More evidence that a darker agenda lies behind the “democracy” opposition is the fact that the demands of the protestors went from demanding accession to the EU to demanding the immediate resignation of the Yanukovich government. Klitschko and the opposition used an unfortunate police crackdown on protesters to massively expand the protest from a few hundred to tens of thousands. On December 18, the government took the wind partly out of the Klitschko sails by signing a major economic agreement with Moscow in which Russia agreed to cut the price of Russian gas exported to Ukraine by a third, down to $268.5 per 1,000 cubic meters from the current level of more than $400, and to buy $15 billion of Ukraine’s debt in eurobonds. That gives Ukraine breathing room to avoid a sovereign debt default and calmly negotiate over its future. 

Putin aide accuses US of funding Ukraine rebels

An advisor to Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Washington on Thursday of financing and arming Ukrainian militants as a senior US official arrived for crisis talks in Kiev. Putin's economic advisor Sergei Glazyev, often seen as the Kremlin's pointman on Ukraine, also suggested that Russia had legal grounds to intervene in the two-month-old crisis, describing the situation at attempted coup.

"According to our information, American sources spend $20 million a week on financing the opposition and rebels, including on weapons," he said in a wide-ranging interview with the Ukrainian edition of Russian broadsheet Kommersant published Thursday.

"We have information that the militants are briefed on the territory of the US embassy, that they are being armed. Of course it is unacceptable, this has to be looked into," he said. 

Glazyev also indicated that Russia had legal grounds to intervene in the crisis, referring to the so-called Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances dating back to 1994. 

"According to this document, Russia and the United States are guarantors of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and frankly speaking they are obliged to intervene when such conflicts arise."
The memorandum was signed after Ukraine demanded security guarantees in connection with its accession to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The Kremlin advisor also accused the Ukrainian government as well as the opposition and Western powers of peddling lies and distorting reality.

"What is happening in Kiev is described well in Ukrainian legislation -- this is an attempted coup, an attempt to overthrow the authorities by force."

"The situation is schizophrenic because for some reason everyone is afraid of calling a spade a spade."

"The West calls terrorists and putschists 'activists' (and) tries to present them as peaceful demonstrators even though everyone sees how they attack police and hurl Molotov cocktails at them, prepare napalm, and arm themselves."
"The paradox of a schizophrenic state is that it is comfortable with the sides lying to each other and they do not want to reach agreement before catastrophe strikes."

"The powers that be fear for their billions. That's why they are trying to tough it out without losing anything, which only makes the disease worse."

The hawkish aide last year threatened Ukraine with economic retaliation if it signed a key partnership pact with the European Union. In November, President Viktor Yanukovych scrapped plans to sign the agreement, sparking the current crisis. Last week, Glazyev said Yanukovych would lose power if he did not "quash the rebellion."

'Fuck the EU': US Top official caught in alleged phone chat on Ukraine

A senior US State Department official has allegedly been caught giving an unexpected message to the EU while discussing Ukrainian opposition leaders’ roles in the country’s future government. The phone call was taped and posted on YouTube.
"F**k the EU," Assistant Secretary of State for Europe Victoria Nuland allegedly said in a recent phone call with US ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt, as the two were discussing a deal to end the crisis in Ukraine. The four-minute video - titled ‘Maidan puppets,’ referring to Independence Square in Ukraine’s capital - was uploaded by an anonymous user. The origin of the recording is not clear. The video was first reported in the Kyiv Post.

The US State Department did not deny the authenticity of the video and stressed that Nuland had apologized for the "reported comments."

The conversation is mainly focused on Ukraine’s government and President Viktor Yanukovich's offer last month to make opposition leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk the new prime minister and Vitaly Klitschko deputy prime minister.

I don’t think that Klitschko should go into the government. I don’t think it is necessary. I don’t think it is a good idea,” a female voice - allegedly Nuland - said.

In terms of him not going into the government, just let him stay out and do his political homework,” a male voice - believed to be Pyatt - replied. “In terms of the process moving ahead, we want to keep the moderate democrats together,” he said.

As Nuland sees it, Ukrainian opposition leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk should be in charge of the new government and Klitschko would not get along with him. “It’s just not going to work,” she said. 

Nuland added that she has also been told that UN chief Ban Ki-moon is about to appoint the former Dutch ambassador to Kiev, Robert Serry, as his representative to Ukraine.

 "That would be great I think to help glue this thing and have the UN glue it and you know, f**k the EU," she said in apparent reference to their differences over policies.

"We've got to do something to make it stick together, because you can be pretty sure that if it does start to gain altitude the Russians will be working behind the scenes to try to torpedo it," Pyatt replied.

US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki declined to comment on the tape’s contents, but did not deny its authenticity.

"I did not say it was not authentic," she said, adding that Nuland had apologized to her EU counterparts for the reported comments. 

Meanwhile, White House spokesman Jay Carney alleged that the fact that it had been "tweeted out by the Russian government, it says something about Russia's role.”

In the conversation, it sounds like the two officials are playing a game of chess; strategizing on how to put together the government of another country, RT’s Marina Portnaya said while commenting on the report.

Foreign policy expert Nebojsa Malic told RT that even though Nuland apologized for the reported comments, she did not admit her fault in trying to overthrow the government in Ukraine.

“What she hasn’t apologized for is the plans to midwife a new government in Ukraine. In other words, she is apologizing for cussing up the EU, but she is not apologizing for trying to overthrow the government in Kiev, calling it popular democracy,” Malic said. “I don’t think anybody in the US establishment is sorry for what they are trying to do. I think they are very proud of it and they are going to pursue it.”

The leaked chat fuels earlier allegations that Washington is heavily meddling in the Ukrainian political crisis by manipulating the pro-EU opposition and helping it in its efforts to oust President Viktor Yanukovich.

Back in December, Victoria Nuland was spotted in the cradle of the anti-government protests - Kiev’s landmark Independence Square - distributing cookies to demonstrators. Later in the month, Senator John McCain arrived in Kiev to show his support for the opposition. Addressing protesters on Independence Square, he stated that Ukraine's future was with Europe, adding that the country would “make Europe better.”


Death Follows McCain To The Ukraine As Armenia-Ultimatum to Screw Over Russia Fails Again

It has become obvious that what’s going on in Ukraine is an extension of the cold war as the U.S. and the EU try and peddle a modified version of the Armenia-ultimatum to their people. Sound complicated? It’s not really. What’s going on in Ukraine is an economic proxy war that has turned sour. The trade deal that the EU has offered the Ukraine is garbage. To find out how bad it is all we have to do is look at why Armenia ended up telling the EU to shove it when they tried to jam the same deal down their throats. In September 2013, Armenia called off an Armenia-EU Association Agreement after they found out that the trade deal was not really about easing trade restrictions with the EU but about screwing over Russia, and themselves by extension:
“The apparently smooth progress towards a final deal came to a shuddering halt in early September, when President Serzh Sargsyan met his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and announced plans to join another economic bloc, the Moscow-led Customs Union. Membership of the grouping, which currently includes Russia, Belarus and Kazakstan, would require Armenia to adopt a different set of trade tariffs and agreements which EU officials say are not compatible with the Association Agreement. “Despite this, President Sargsyan says Customs Union membership would not conflict with the EU accord, which he argues could be uncoupled from the DCFTA. “‘Armenia is ready even now to sign an Association Agreement with the EU,’ Sargsyan said in a question-and-answer session after addressing the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on October 2. ‘Sadly, our partners in the European Commission have said there is a clear contradiction between the Customs Union and the agreement on a free trade zone.… We have suggested that we could sign just the Association Agreement, which mainly covers political reforms.’…. “‘There has recently been a lot of talk about the civilisational choice facing members of the Eastern Partnership initiative. We have always stated that we don’t believe it’s right to view the issue in those terms.’”
What the EU wanted Armenia to do is equivalent to telling someone that they can come over and play at your house as long as they are willing to permanently tell the rest of their family to fuck off! Insanity! As someone who is aware of the history of its people and the region, knows the game at play, and those involved, I can honestly tell you that anyone that is arrogant enough to tell Armenians to screw over Russians for a dangling carrot is one dumb MOFO. After all, everyone knows that what the EU offers hasn’t really worked out too well for the citizens of some of its periphery members, such as those in Greece, Spain, Cyprus, Ireland, or Portugal.

The main thing we need to know about what’s going on in Ukraine is that it’s based on our indefinite growth based economy – the EU and the U.S. needing to grow to maintain their crony capitalistic system because if they don’t the bubbles will pop. This is what the Ukraine deal is about, a self-consuming economic model that must devour everything in its path to maintain power. As for John McCain, death, destruction, and corruption follow him everywhere, so if we’re wise, we wouldn’t allow this shill to make any more speeches on other people’s soil but instead arrest him for treason in the United States.
Of course Russia is interested to keep Ukraine close to Russia politically, economically but it does not use its pressure to be interpreted as an intervention in internal affairs of Ukraine. It is in the contrary. “We watched today what is going on from the Eastern Europe. Europe parliamentarians are coming to Kiev demonstrating and even camping. Polish parliamentarians are camping in Kiev in Maidan, main square of Kiev city. “And so yesterday Russian TV showed John McCain arrival to Kiev and he brought with him some luggage, diplomatic luggage, eight big bags: one of them only was set for … [his] diplomatic car and the seven other big bags were placed in Ukrainian cars and they said that it is money. Huge amount of money brought to spread, to support opposition. “I asked where is international law? How is it possible to intervene in such ugly way in the internal disturbed situation in Ukraine? “Money, money and all this was spread [among opposition] and made based on huge amounts… “So I think that not Russian intervention but European, American intervention, direct appearance in demonstrations, appearance among oppositions, take and flow, making some speeches, encouraging for revolution. “That I can say, I as a former diplomatic, my job, I cannot even imagine such kind of behaviors are suitable for current international law…”
Marine calls for John McCain to be arrested and tried for treason at town hall meeting:  

If you would like to know what’s really going on in the Ukraine than the following three videos will do a good job explaining it. In the first,James Corbett gives us a short rundown of what’s taking place (the segment of interest takes place between 1:30 to 5:20). In the second, Amy Goodman hosts an interview and debate between two guests: “Stephen Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University; and Anton Shekhovtsov, a Ukrainian citizen and University College London researcher who has just returned from observing the protests in Kiev.” And in the third, a chaotic debate on CrossTalk between three guests: John Laughland, Tony Halpin, and Dmitry Babich.

Who is Behind the Ukrainian Riots? – New World Next Week:
Debate: Is Ukraine’s Opposition a Democratic Movement or a Force of Right-Wing Extremism?: 

Global Voices: Russian Theories about Maidan's First Blood

Since street protests over European integration first broke out in Kiev last November, the ideological battle lines dividing Russian Internet users haven’t changed much. Western-leaning liberals generally embrace the Ukrainian opposition, whereas conservatives and many of the self-proclaimed “geopolitical” thinkers fear “losing Ukraine” would deliver a strong blow to Russia’s national interests.

Regularly topping LiveJournal’s Russian-language traffic are two distinct kinds of reportage on Ukraine: first, there are the largely opposition-sympathetic photo blogs by photographers like Rustem Adagamov (and slightly more ambiguous work by Ilya Varlamov), and, second, there are the deeply anti-opposition posts by bloggers spreading conspiracy theories about terrorist plots and Western interventions designed to undermine the Ukrainian authorities.

Given the lack of eyewitnesses, the murder of Serhiy Nigoyan, Maidan’s first shooting fatality, has naturally attracted lots of speculation about who was responsible. Nigoyan died from bullet wounds on January 22, 2014, near Dynamo stadium on Grushevsky Street in Kiev, where skirmishes against police have been most intense. Nigoyan had been serving as an informal security guard for Maidan protestors. Twenty-years-old, handsome, and apparently quite friendly, Nigoyan had become a fixture of Kiev’s protest scenery, even starring in an unfinished film documentary. (A clip from his interview in this project is now available on YouTube, see below.)

Though police have not concluded their investigation, Nigoyan is thought to have died from sniper fire. The dominant narrative among protestors and Western journalists, it seems, is that Ukrainian Special Forces shot him dead [ru]. Ukraine’s Interior Ministry, on the other hand, claims [ru] that its officers do not carry the type of ammunition that killed Nigoyan. Further thickening the plot, Ukrainian police say not a single eyewitness has come forward to deliver a statement explaining how Nigoyan died.

The day of the murder, after the popular Twitter account “EuroMaidan” posted a photo (later deleted) of unidentified snipers atop a building, Moscow-based blogger Denis Travin and others jumped [ru] at the opportunity to show that the photograph in the tweet was actually from Kyrgyzstan in April 2010.

Other Russian bloggers have been more willing to accept the role of snipers in Nigoyan’s murder, but some have also embraced extremely elaborate conspiracy theories about the gunmen’s identity. LiveJournal user ermalex76, for instance, argues in a blog post [ru] that the American military was behind the killing, citing the irregular ammo used, and the supposedly curious proximity of a (US-funded) Radio Liberty journalist to the site of the shooting. Blaming Gene Sharp, an American political scientist famous for his work on anti-government resistance movements, ermalex76 explains that “Sharp’s Plan” calls for the creation of “sacred martyrs,” in order to motivate protestors. (The blogger goes on to clarify that Yulia Timoshenko would make the perfect sacrifice, but her continued imprisonment makes it too difficult to kill her.)

Indeed, in an op-ed [ru] in the newspaper Izvestia, Russian opposition figure (and perennial gadfly of Russian liberals) Eduard Limonov also entertained the idea that someone was posing as police snipers, as a ploy to catalyze protest sentiment.

Other conspiracy theorists have turned their attention away from the killers and onto the victim, opening the door to character assassinations of Nigoyan. Following his death, it wasn’t long before bloggers discovered Nigoyan’s account [ru] on Russia’s largest social network, Vkontakte, where he posted methodically about Armenia. RuNet users did not fail to miss old photos of Nigoyan in army fatigues at a firing range. Presumably, this was during his mandatory military service in Ukraine (not Armenia, which Nigoyan never once visited), though another post raised suspicions [ru] of terrorist affiliations. On November 21, 2013, Nigoyan put up a picture celebrating ASALA, the redundantly titled “Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia,” a now extinct organization that spent the 1980s listed as a terrorist organization by the United States.

While no proof whatsoever has emerged linking Nigoyan to terrorism, it seems the rumor found a receptive audience even in Ukraine’s highest echelons of power. Sources close to the negotiations between the opposition and the government told [ru] journalist Tatiana Nikolaenko that President Yanukovich originally rebuffed accusations that the police were killing protesters. “Listen, guys, this was an Armenian terrorist,” the President allegedly said during talks, in the government’s defense.

US and EU Are Paying Ukrainian Rioters and Protesters

A number of confirmations have come in from readers that Washington is fueling the violent protests in Ukraine with our taxpayer dollars. Washington has no money for food stamps or to prevent home foreclosures, but it has plenty of money with which to subvert Ukraine.

One reader wrote: “My wife, who is of Ukrainian nationality, has weekly contact to her parents and friends in Zhytomyr [NW Ukraine]. According to them, most protesters get an average payment of 200-300 grivna, corresponding to about 15-25 euro. As I additionally heard, one of the most active agencies and ‘payment outlets’ on EU side is the German ‘Konrad Adenauer Stiftung’, being closely connected to the CDU, i.e. Mrs. Merkel’s party.”

Johannes Loew of the Internet site writes: “I am just back from Ukraine (I live in Munich/Germany) and I was a lot at the Maidan. Most of those people get only 100 grivna. 300 is for Students.”

As I reported on February 12, “Washington Orchestrated Protests Are Destabilizing Ukraine,” Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, a rabid Russophobe and neoconservative warmonger, told the National Press Club last December that the US has “invested” $5 billion in organizing a network to achieve US goals in Ukraine in order to give “Ukraine the future it deserves.” Nuland is the Obama regime official who was caught red-handed naming the members of the Ukrainian government Washington intends to impose on the Ukrainian people once the paid protesters have unseated the current elected and independent government.

What Nuland means by Ukraine’s future under EU overlordship is for Ukraine to be looted like Latvia and Greece and to be used by Washington as a staging ground for US missile bases against Russia.

From the responses I received to my request for confirmations of the information sent to me from Moldova, there is enough evidence that Washington fomented the violent riots for western newspapers and TV channels to investigate. But they haven’t. As we know, the presstitutes are enablers of Washington’s crimes and duplicities. However, the US media has reported that the Ukrainian government is paying Ukrainians to rally in favor of the government. The Ukrainian government will have a hard time matching Washington’s $5 billion.

As Karl Marx wrote, money turns everything into a commodity that is bought and sold. I wouldn’t be surprised if some protesters are working both sides of the street.

Of course, not all of the protesters are paid. There are plenty of gullible dupes in the streets who think they are protesting Ukraine government corruption. I have heard from several. There is little doubt that the Ukraine government is corrupt. What government isn’t? Government corruption is universal, but it is easy to go from the frying pan into the fire. Ukrainian protesters seem to think that they can escape corruption by joining the EU. Obviously, these gullible dupes are unfamiliar with the report on EU corruption issued February 3 by the EU Commissioner for Home Affairs. The report says that a business-political nexus of corruption affects all 28 EU member countries and costs the EU economies $162.2 billion per annum. According to the World Bank, the economic cost of EU corruption is almost as large as the size of Ukrainian GDP. Clearly, Ukrainians will not escape corruption by joining the EU. Indeed, Ukrainians will suffer worse corruption.

I have no objection to Ukrainians protesting government corruption. Indeed, such gullible people could benefit from the lesson they would learn once their country is in the hands of corrupt Brussels and Washington. What I object to is the lack of awareness on the part of the protesters that by permitting themselves to be manipulated by Washington, they are pushing the world toward a dangerous war. I would be surprised if Russia is content to have US military and missile bases in Ukraine.

It was fools like Nuland playing the great game that gave us World War I. World War III would be the last war. Washington’s drive to exploit every opportunity to establish its hegemony over the world is driving us all to nuclear war. Like Nuland, a significant percentage of the population of western Ukraine are Russophobes. I know the case for Ukrainian dislike of Russia, but Ukrainian emotions fueled with Washington’s money should not direct the course of history. No historians will be left to document how gullible and witless Ukrainians set the world up for destruction.

Russia accuses US diplomats of ‘puppeteering’ Ukraine

A leading Russian Foreign Ministry official has condemned the US State Department attempts to influence the political situation in volatile Ukraine and warned that such behavior could lead to tragic results.

The United States is trying to impose a “Western vector of development” on Ukraine while camouflaging their intent with calls not to obstruct the free choice of the Ukrainian people, Russian news agencies quoted the ministry’s Aleksandr Lukashevich as saying.

The Russian diplomat called such an attitude “puppeteering”, adding that the recent statement by US State Department spokesperson Marie Harf was a typical example. In the statement, the US gave instructions regarding future actions of the Ukrainian government, Lukashevich said. Such instructions included a demand to stop all cases against the participants in the street riots, and to immediately start to form a multi-party technical government, the Russian official stated.

Such US behavior is very well known and it leads to tragic results, the Foreign Ministry representative emphasized.

Lukashevich also said that the US had apparently started "casting" for future places in the technical Ukrainian government, or at least such a conclusion could be made from a telephone conversation by a top US diplomats that had been made public on YouTube. In the clip that appeared on the internet in early February, Washington's new top diplomat for Europe, Victoria Nuland, is heard saying “f**k the EU" while speaking with the US Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyat, on how to end the ongoing political crisis in Ukraine. The conversation continues with Nuland suggesting that one of Ukrainian opposition leaders, Vitaly Klichko is not fit for government work and should make way for another candidate, Arseniy Yatsenyuk.

As fresh violence erupted on Kiev's streets on Tuesday the Russian Foreign Ministry issued another statement. It considers the crisis “a direct result of the permissiveness policy exercised by those western politicians and European structures who were from the very beginning turning a blind eye at the aggressive actions of the radical forces in Ukraine.” The ministry added that such an attitude was encouraging the radicals to escalate the violence and further provoke their opponents.

Russian diplomats again called upon the Ukrainian opposition to abandon threats and ultimatums and start a meaningful dialogue with the authorities in order to take the country out of the deep crisis.

Russian politicians have repeatedly called on their foreign colleagues to abstain from interfering in the Ukrainian political crisis. In January the upper and lower houses of the Russian parliament passed separate declarations that called the civil unrest in Kiev an organized campaign aimed at displacing lawfully elected officials. The Russian MPs also warned that the Ukrainian crisis could have grave consequences for the country’s people, statehood and territorial integrity.

President Vladimir Putin also expressed concern about the political situation in Ukraine in late January but assured that Russia would not cancel its help to the Ukrainian economy and people if Ukraine also honors the agreements.

In mid-December the Russian and Ukrainian presidents agreed on a plan under which Russia is buying $15bn of Ukrainian debt in 2-year bonds and also giving Ukraine a $3.5 billion discount on natural gas purchases on behalf of state-owned Gazprom. Ukrainians will pay $268.5 per thousand cubic meters of natural gas instead of $400, a nearly 33 percent discount.

At a recent government conference Putin spoke of the aid plan and told officials that all contracts with Ukraine must be completely fulfilled. However, the President added that Russia would wait for Ukraine to form a new government before starting to execute its obligations.


Documents Leaked by WikiLeaks Show an Organization Training Opposition Around the World

Translated and Re-Published from APublica In the upper corner of the document, a fist print the brand of the organization. In the body of the text reads: “There is a strong trend in presidential Venezuela. How can we change this? How can we work this? “. Below, the reader may find the following phrases: “Economics: oil is from Venezuela and not from government. It’s your money, it is your right … The message needs to be adapted for young people, not only for college students … and mothers, what they want? Control of the law, the police acting under local authorities. We will provide the resources needed for that. ”

The text is in Spanish or was written by a member of the Venezuelan opposition, written in English, was produced by a group of young people based across the world – in Serbia. The document “Analysis of the situation in Venezuela, January 2010″, produced by Canvas organization, which is head-quartered in Belgrade, is among the documents of the intelligence firm Stratfor leaked by WikiLeaks.

The latest leak from WikiLeaks – which the public had access – shows that the founder of this organization will always correspond with analysts of Stratfor, a company that mixes journalism, political analysis and methods of espionage for selling “intelligence analysis” to customers that include corporations like Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Coca-Cola and Dow Chemical – for those who monitored the activities of environmentalists who opposed them – besides the U.S. Navy.

The Canvas (abbreviation for “center for conflict and non-violent strategies”) was founded by two student leaders of Serbia, who participated in the successful revolt that overthrew dictator Slobodan Milosevic in 2000. For two years, students organized creative protests, marches and acts that ended up destabilizing the regime. Then joined the body of knowledge in hand and began to teach the opposition groups from different countries about how to organize to defeat the government. It was so arrived in Venezuela, where they began to train leaders of the opposition in 2005.  On his TV show , Hugo Chavez accused the group of coup and be of service to the United States. “It’s called soft coup,” he said. The new documents examined by the Public show that Chavez was not entirely sure – but he was not entirely wrong. 

Beginning in Serbia 

“For ten years of student organization during the 90s,” says Ivan Marovic, one of the students who participated in the protests against Milosevic, but has no connection with the Canvas group. “In the end, the outside support finally came. I would be silly to deny it. They played an important role in the final step. Yes, the United States gave money, but everyone gave money: German, French, Spanish, Italian. All were collaborating because no one else supported Milosevic, “he said in an interview with Public.

“Depending on the country, they donated a certain way. Americans have an ‘arm’ formed by very active NGOs in supporting certain groups, other countries like Spain and have supported us through the foreign ministry. ” Among the NGOs cited by Marovic are the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), an organization funded by Congress organization, Freedom House and the International Republican Institute, linked to the Republican Party – both have hefty funding from USAID, the U.S. development agency who captained scammers movements in Latin America in the 60s, including Brazil.

All these NGOs are old friends of Latin American governments, including the latest. 

IRI was, for example , who gave “political training courses’ to 600 Haitian opposition leaders in the Dominican Republic during the years 2002 and 2003. The coup against Jean-Baptiste Aristide, the democratically elected president, happened in 2004. Investigated by the U.S. Congress, the IRI was accused of being behind two organizations who conspired to overthrow Aristide. In Venezuela, the NED sent $ 877 billion to opposition groups in the previous failed coup in 2002 months, as revealed to the New York Times . In Bolivia,  according to documents  obtained by the American government journalist Jeremy Bigwood, Public partner, USAID maintained an “Office for Transition Initiatives”, which invested $ 97 million in projects of “decentralization” and “regional autonomy” since 2002, strengthening state governments that oppose Evo Morales.

Wanted by the Public, the leader of the Canvas, Srdja Popovic, said the organization receives no government funding of any country and its largest funder is Serbian businessman Slobodan Djinovic, who was also a student leader. However, a PowerPoint presentation of the organization, leaked by WikiLeaks, shows how the Canvas partners IRI and Freedom House, which receive large sums of USAID.

For the researcher Mark Weisbrot, Center for Economic institute and Policy Research in Washington, organizations like IRI and Freedom House “are not promoting democracy.” “Most of the time, are promoting the exact opposite. Generally promote U.S. policies in other countries, and this means opposition to leftist governments, for example, or the governments of which the United States does not like. ” 

Phase Two: Bolivia to Egypt 

Looking through the same PowerPoint presentation, the performance of Canvas impresses. Between 2002 and 2009, held 106 workshops, reaching 1800 participants from 59 countries. Not all Americans are disaffected – Canvas trained activists for example in Spain, Morocco and Azerbaijan – but the list includes many of them: Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Zimbabwe, Belarus, North Korea, Syria and Iran.

According to the Canvas itself, its performance was important in all so-called “color revolutions” that have spread from former countries of the Soviet Union in the 2000s.

The document points out how “successful cases” knowledge transfer to Kmara movement in Georgia in 2003, the group that launched the Revolution overthrew President and Roses, a little help to the Orange Revolution in 2004, Ukraine; training groups made the Cedar Revolution in 2005 in Lebanon, several projects with NGOs in Zimbabwe and the opposition coalition to Robert Mugabe, training activists in Vietnam, Tibet and Burma, as well as projects in Syria and Iraq with “pro-democracy” . And in Bolivia, “preparation of the 2009 elections in groups of Santa Cruz” – known as the most outspoken group of opponents of Evo Morales.

By 2009, the group’s main manual “Nonviolent Struggle – 50 Crucial Points” had been translated into 5 languages,  including Arabic and Farsi.

One of the actions of Canvas that became visible was the training of the leadership of the April 6 movement, considered the embryo of the Egyptian spring. The movement began to be organized by Facebook to protest in solidarity with textile workers in Mahalla al Kubra city in the Nile Delta. It was the first time the social network has been used for this purpose in Egypt. In mid-2009, Mohammed Adel, a leader of the April 6 traveled to Belgrade to be coached by Popovic.

In emails to analysts Stratfor, Popovic brags to maintain relations with the leaders of that movement, especially with Adel Mohammed – who became one of the main sources of information about the uprising in Egypt in 2011. In the internal memo of Stratfor, it is mentioned under the codename RS501.

“We just talked to some of our friends in Egypt and found some things,” he informs on January 27, 2011. “Tomorrow the Muslim irmadade will take your strength to the streets, then it may be even more dramatic … We got better information about these groups and how they have organized in recent days, but we are still trying to map them.” 

Stratfor documents 

The documents leaked by WikiLeaks show that the Canvas acts so unless you want to appear independent. On at least two occasions, Srdja Popovic told by email to have participated in meetings in Securiy National Council, the Security Council of the American government. 

The first meeting referred to took place on December 18, 2009 and the topic on the agenda was Russia and Georgia. At the time, was part of the NSC’s “great friend” of Popovic – in his own words – the senior Obama adviser to Russia, Michael McFaul, who is now U.S. ambassador to that country.

At the same meeting, according to Popovic reported later treated the funding of opposition in Iran by pro-democracy groups, a topic of special interest to him. “Politics is made ​​to Iran in NSC by Dennis Ross. There is a crescent function on Iran at the State Department under the Assistant Secretary John Limbert. Funding for pro-democracy programs in Iran increased from $ 1.5 million in 2004 to $ 60 million in 2008 (…) After June 12, 2009, the NSC decided to neutralize the effects of existing programs, which began with Bush. Apparently the logic was that the U.S. did not want to be seen trying to interfere in Iran’s internal politics The U.S. does not want to give the Iranian regime an excuse to reject the negotiations on the nuclear program, “complains the Serbian, for whom the Obama administration would be acting as “a bull in a crockery shop” with the new policy. “As a result, the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, Freedom House, IRI and IFES had rejected their requests for resources,” describes in an email in early January 2010.

A further meeting of the NSC Popovic had occurred at 17 pm on July 27, 2011, as reported Popovic analyst Reva Bhalla on.

“These guys are awesome,” he said, in an email enthusiastic, analyst at Stratfor to Eastern Europe, Marko Papic. “They use open shop in a country and try to overthrow the government. When properly used is a more powerful weapon than a battalion of combat air force. ”

Marko explains to his colleagues that the Stratfor Canvas – in his words, a type group “export-one-revolution” – “still depends on U.S. funding and basically runs the world trying to topple dictators and autocratic governments (those of whom the United States do not like). ” The first contact with the group leader, who would become his contumacious source, occurred in 2007. “Since then they have passed intelligence on Venezuela, Georgia, Serbia, etc”.

In all emails, Popovic has a great interest in exchanging information with Strtafor, whom he calls “CIA Austin.” For this, it is worth-your contacts between activists in different countries. In addition to maintaining a business relationship with the same idológico vein, establishes a fruitful exchange of information. For example, in May 2008 Marko tells him that knew that Chinese intelligence was considering attacking the organization for his work with Tibetan activists. “This was expected,” answered Srdja. On May 23, 2011, he requests information on regional autonomy for Kurds in Iraq. 


One of the most frequent themes in conversation with analysts Stratfor is Venezuela; Srdja helps analysts understand what the opposition is thinking. All communication, writes Marko Papic, is taken by a secure and encrypted email. Moreover, in 2010, was the leader of the Canvas to the headquarters of Stratfor in Austin to give a  briefing  on the Venezuelan situation.

“This year we will definitely increase our activities in Venezuela,” said the Serbian in the email submission of your “analysis of the situation in Venezuela,” on January 12, 2010. For the elections of September of that year, reports that “we are in close contact with activists and people who are trying to help them,” contends that the analyst does not spread or publish this information. The document, sent by email, would be the “foundation of our analysis we plan to do in Venezuela.” The next day, he reiterates in another email : “To explain the plan of action that ship, is a guide on how to make a revolution, of course.” 

The document to which the public had access, was written in early 2010 by “analytical department” of the organization and reports, in addition to the support pillars Chavez, listing the major institutions and organizations that serve as support to the government (among them, the military, police, judiciary, nationalized industries, teachers and the electoral council), key leaders with the potential to form an effective coalition and its “potential allies” (among them students, international and independent media, trade unions, the federation Venezuelan teachers, the Rotary Club and the Catholic Church).

The indication of the Canvas seems, in the end, and right. Among the main opposition leaders who have the capacity to unify it are Henrique Capriles Radonski, governor of Miranda and opposition candidate in the presidential elections in October by the Bureau of Democratic Unity coalition, plus the mayor of Metropolitan District of Caracas, Antonio Ledezma , and former mayor of Chacao, Leopoldo Lopez Mendoza. Two student leaders, Alexandra Belandria, Cambio Group and Yon Goicochea, the Movimiento Estudiantil Venezolano, are also listed.

The objective of the strategy, the document says, is “to provide the basis for more detailed planning potentially done by stakeholders and the Canvas”. This “more detailed” plan would be developed later with “stakeholders”. 

In another email Popovic explains: “When someone asks for our help, as is the case in Venezuela, we normally ask ‘how do you do?’ (…) In this case we have three campaigns: unification of the opposition campaign for the September election (…). In normal circumstances, the activists come to us and work exactly this kind of format in a workshop. We just guided them, and so the plan ends up being as efficient as they are activists who create them, is totally theirs, ie is authentic. We just provide the tools. ”

But, with Venezuela, the thing was different, Popovic explains: “In the case of Venezuela, because of the complete disaster that place is because of suspicion among opposition groups and clutter, we had to make this initial analysis. If they will perform the next steps depend on them, or if they will understand that because of the lack of UNITY they may lose the race even before it begins. ”

Those who received the analysis (such as personnel Strartfor, for example) learned that the second logic Canvas key themes to be explored in a campaign of opposition in Venezuela are:
- Crime and insecurity: “The situation has deteriorated dramatically and tremendously since 2006. Reason for Change ”
- Education: “The government is taking over the educational system: teachers need to be fanned. They will have to lose their jobs or submit! They need to be encouraged and there will be a risk. We have to convince them that we have the ball as high society, they hold a responsibility that we value greatly. Teachers will motivate students. Who will influence them? As we will touch them? ”
- Young: “The message needs to be directed to young people in general, not just for college students.”
Economy: “The oil is from Venezuela, not the government, it’s your money, it is your right! Programs of social welfare “.
- Women: “What do mothers want? Control of the law, the police acting under local authorities. We will provide the resources needed for this. We do not want more brutes. ”
- Transportation: “Workers must be able to get to their jobs. It’s your money. We must demand that the government accountable, and the way it is unable to do so. ”
- Government: “Redistribution of wealth, everyone should have a chance.”
- “There is a strong trend in presidential Venezuela. How can we change this? How can we work it out? ”

At the end of the email, Popovic ends with a rude criticism of Venezuelans who seeks to articulate: “Incidentally, the safety culture does not exist in Venezuela. They are retarded and speak more than the butt itself. It is a complete joke."

Wanted by the Public, the leader of Canvas denied that the organization produces analyzes and action plans revolutionary custom. And it was much less enthusiastic about his “guide” prepared to Venezuela.

“We teach people to analyze and understand non-violent conflict – and during the learning process to students and ask participants to use the tools presented in the course. And we also learn from them! Then we use the work they performed and combined with public information to create case studies, “he said. “And it’s turned into more extensive analysis by two interns. We use these analyzes in our research and share with students, activists, researchers, teachers, journalists and organizations with which we cooperate -. They are interested in understanding the phenomenon of popular power ” Asked, Popovic also responded to criticism made by Hugo Chávez in his TV show: “It is a well known formula …

For decades, authoritarian regimes around the world make accusations like ‘revolutions exported’ as the main cause of the uprisings in their countries. The pro-democracy movement in Serbia was, of course, accused of being a tool of the U.S. ‘on state television and Milosevic, before students topple his regime. This also happened in Zimbabwe, Belarus, Iran … ”

Former fellow student movement, Ivan Marovic – which still gives lectures on how it happened the revolt against Milosevic, but not part of the organization Canvas – agrees with him: “It is impossible to export a revolution. I always say in my lectures that the most important for a successful social change thing is to have the majority of the population on your side. If the President has the majority of the population next to it, nothing will happen.”

Marovic contends, however, that there was a change in perception of the “NGO arm” of Western governments, particularly the United States, after the revolution in Serbia in 2000 and the “color revolutions” that followed in Eastern Europe. “A month after the overthrow Milosevic, the New York Times published an article saying that anyone who actually overthrew Milosevic was the American financial assistance. They are increasing their role. And now believe that the money the U.S. can overthrow a government. They tried the same thing in Belarus, gave a lot of money to NGOs, and did not work.”

The researcher Mark Weisbrot agree on terms. It is clear that no foreign group, even a small group can cause a revolution in a country. For him, money is not the U.S. government – either through NGOs paid by the National Security Council, USAID or the State Department – that makes the difference. “The Venezuelan elite, for example, do not need this money. What these US-funded groups, anciently and today, add are two things: one is skill and knowledge necessary to subvert regimes. And the second thing is that this support has a unifying role. The opposition may be divided and they help to unify the opposition. ” For him, the American sponsorship often has a “pernicious influence” on legitimate movements. “We always have people fighting for democracy groups in these countries, with a variety of demands, land reform, social protections, jobs … And what happens is they capitaneiam whole movement with a lot of money, inspired by policies affecting the U.S.. Often, democratic groups receiving the money end up falling into disrepute.”

West fomenting Ukraine unrest, says Russia

As fierce clashes in Ukraine’s capital Kiev continued for a second day Russia’s Foreign Minister accused the West of fomenting unrest that was “spinning out of control.”

“We are aware on the strength of available information that this [violence in Kiev] is being largely incited from outside the country,” Sergei Lavrov said at a press conference in Moscow on Tuesday.

Violent confrontation between protesters and police, which began on Sunday, resumed on Monday night and continued till early Tuesday. The Demonstrators hurled stones and Molotov cocktails at police, who responded with tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets. The scene of the clashes on Hrushevskyy Street in central Kiev looked like a warzone, with burning carcasses of police vans, makeshift barricades and stones dug up from the pavement.

The violence marked dramatic radicalisation of two-month-long peaceful protests against the Ukrainian government’s decision not to sign a key association pact with the European Union and to strengthen instead alliance with Russia. Ukraine’s mainstream opposition denounced violence but appeared to have little control over right-wing extremists from the “Right Sector” group who reportedly led the attacks on police.

The opposition leaders’ calls for prudence “show that the situation is spinning out of control,” Mr Lavrov said. He warned the West to stop interfering in Ukraine’s crisis.

“We would prefer that some of our European colleagues refrained from acting unceremoniously over the Ukrainian crisis, when, without any kind of invitation, members of several European governments rushed to Maidan [Independence Square in Kiev], took part in anti-government demonstrations in a country, with which they have diplomatic relations. It is just distasteful,” the Russian Foreign Minister said.

In December, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, E. U. foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, Germany’s foreign minister Guido Westerwelle, and U.S. senators Christopher Murphy and John McCain, visited the protest camp in Kiev to register their support. In an address to the nation on Monday night Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovich warned that the violence in Kiev was a “threat to all of Ukraine” and vowed to “use all legal means” to restore law and order.


Ukrainian opposition and the West ‘playing with fire siding with extreme nationalists'

There is a danger that the Ukrainian extreme right are serving the political purpose of the apparently moderate leaders, who in fact want a revolution, Mark Almond, professor of history at Oxford University, told RT.

The so-called moderate opposition has desired a rise of nationalism during the riots, Almond believes. The Orange Revolution went wrong in 2004-05 precisely because the mass protests were peaceful, they led to a re-run of elections, but although Yanukovich lost, “he lost very narrowly and remained a viable political player with a very large body of support, and won of course the election in 2010.” Thus, the opponents of Yanukovich now recognize that “if you simply force fresh elections you don't fundamentally change the political system.”

“They want to marginalize Yanukovich and his Party of the Regions, his supporters. So you need a non-constitutional revolution. Remember one of the opposition television stations is now headlined the Revolution station,” Almond told RT.
As an example he mentioned Klitchko’s rethoric.
“Vitaly Klitchko spoke in forked tongue: when he talks in English or German for the media he talks about the need for peaceful protests, the need for fresh elections; but he then says to his supporters that Yanukovich is like Ceaușescu and Gaddafi. If you say that the president of Ukraine is like Gaddafi, what you are saying is that he is a dictator that should be lynched as Gaddafi was at the end of 2011,” Almond said.
“So there is a danger that the extreme right that does exist, the extreme nationalists and indeed near Nazi elements, are actually serving the political purpose of the apparently moderate leaders. That is to say they want to overthrow the existing state, they don't trust elections, because they fear that even if they win the elections there's a sufficiently bigger body of support for Yanukovich that his political movement would survive and come back again as it did after the failures of the Orange revolution,” he added.

Thus, “the so-called liberals and moderates are playing with fire,” Almond concludes, saying that the extremist mob now clashing with police in the streets might turn against them, too. “It's a very unstable situation, and I think that Vitaly Klitchko, Yatsenyuk, Parshenko - these leaders whom the West courts - are playing with fire, and so is the West,” Almond believes.
“They want a collapse of Yanukovich's government, a revolution of a sort. They, of course, then want to glide safely into the presidential office and into the seats of power, but they will have depended upon the heavy mob, these extreme nationalists of Ukraine who chant anti-Russian slogans, anti-Jewish slogans, and who of course have got a taste of violence, and, who will see themselves if they are able to overthrow Yanukovich, as the people who brought about the revolution,” he told RT. “And of course we've seen in the past once you move from having elections as the basis of political power to the crowd in the street, to the storming of the government buildings, that can slide out of control: the people who think they are the leaders today could find themselves marginalized, the people who today are willing to use incitements to violence by denouncing the current government as being tyrants could find themselves being targeted by the same people who are throwing Molotov cocktails tomorrow.”

Mark Almond also points out that the situation is “a sinister, cynical political power game about the Ukraine, which has implications for the functioning of the constitutions of the Western Europe, for the functioning of our own democracy.” 

“I think it is a rather sinister sign not only for Ukraine that the democratic countries of the EU and the US, their governments and democratic institutions in Brussels, are siding with a rioting mob in the streets,” he said.

“Yanukovich's government refused to sign the association agreement with the EU - that sparked the protest. In other words, Yanukovich has a negative rating for the EU and for America; he didn't do what we wanted. What if a government inside the EU was to begin to say that we don't entirely agree with this or that, would they also see a sponsored crowd on the streets, would they also see inside a country inside the EU a threat to the constitutional order if you don't follow the line that the bureaucrats in Brussels have laid down,” Almond told RT. 

Ukrainian authorities should take fascism more seriously

Both governments in Western Europe and the US, as well as Ukrainian authorities, must be more aware of the dangers of fascism, Nicolai N. Petro, professor of political science at the University of Rhode Island, believes.  

"Whatever noble intentions these protesters might have had, they've been hijacked by very sinister and dark forces, and it is sad to see the governments across the border, in Western Europe and the US, not understand the dangers of fascism to a government that is divided and unwilling to take decisive action," Petro told RT.

"They don't take those ideas very seriously. Fascism seems like a historical footnote to them, they don't realize that these sort of events could be repeated, particularly in governments like Ukraine that don't have a long tradition of stable democratic politics," he added.

Petro says that the Ukrainian government should have been more decisive in its actions against extremist protestors.

"There's a threshold when authorities decide that the rights of protest have moved into a sphere in which it endangers the livelihood of the community, and when that determination is made the government restrains the most aggressive forcers and tries to shunt political activity back into constitutional framework. That is something that the current Ukrainian government has so far failed to do, and I think this is one of the greatest weaknesses and the most destabilizing aspect of the current protest - the government's ineffectiveness. The legitimate government's ineffectiveness, I should add," Petro concluded.


"F*** Europe"

“F*** Europe!” Such were the words used in Kiev, Ukraine by Victoria Nuland, the US Assistant Secretary of State for Europe. Nuland was referring to the European Union’s reluctance to get too deeply involved in Ukraine’s current strife or to impose sanctions on the former Soviet republic. But Nuland perfectly captured Washington’s sneering view of Europe as a collection of feeble and irrelevant banana republics.

Nuland is a prominent American neoconservative. Like her fellow neocons, she disdains Europe for being unwarlike, mildly critical of Israel, and often insufficiently responsive to Washington’s demands – or even insubordinate, like the awful French.

How delicious was it that Nuland’s pithy reference to Europe and her plans for a new western-confected government in Ukrainian – where the US insists it is not at all interfering – were picked by Russian electronic intelligence and played to the world. How dim for Madame Nuland to speak so thoughtlessly on her cell phone.

Of late, Nuland and other senior US officials have been blasting Moscow for “meddling” in Ukraine. The leaked phone recording has Nuland telling the US ambassador to Kiev which of the three opposition candidates Washington wants to run Ukraine.

Nuland’s plans for regime change in Kiev have been a godsend to Moscow, which claims the US and EU are behind the uprising in Ukraine. She has just undermined the democratic Ukrainian opposition by making them look like American puppets.

Score one for Russia’s spooks. All Nuland could do was splutter about how Russian intelligence had intercepted her cell phone. This after the US National Security Agency was revealed to be bugging the phones and email of most of Europe’s leaders. What goes around comes around.

The loud-mouthed Nuland should resign.

All this was most amusing – except that it highlighted the growing US-Russian confrontation over Ukraine that risks turning very dangerous.

A senior Russian official close to President Vladimir Putin just warned Washington to butt out of Ukraine – or else. Europe is rightfully fearful that the Ukraine crisis could cause a head-on clash by Washington and Moscow – just as the little Russia-Georgia War over Ossetia almost did in 2008.

Interestingly, during that crisis, the US rushed warships to the Black Sea. This time, US Navy warships are back again in the Black Sea under the laughable excuse they are on station to evacuate US tourists to the Sochi Olympics if violence occurs.

Day by day, we see growing rancor between the US and Russia. Most of it is unfair criticism and childish spats, but the overall effect is creating the basis for war fever. The same bickering, cheap criticism and manufactured anger created the psychological basis in Britain for the utterly catastrophic World War I. Three years later, it was repeated in the United States to whip up anti-German fever.

The US media is barraging Russia and Putin with a drumfire of negative stories. The Sochi Olympics have come in for relentless, petty attacks and low-minded carping.

Anyone who knows Russia should be in awe that the normally bumbling, disorganized Ruskis managed to get their Olympic sites finished more or less on time – and that they still remain standing. Russians usually lose a lot of early battles, but they usually end up winning wars.

So what if Russia spent billions on the Sochi Olympics. Who is Washington to criticize Moscow after pouring over $2 trillion into the stupid wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and now Syria, with nothing to show but huge debts, armies of refugees, and graveyards?

America’s national security establishment – what used to be known in Britain as imperialists – is now turning its guns on Russia, aided by the US corporate media. Vlad Putin’s Russia has re-emerged as America’s number one enemy. Muslims are out. At times, the Cold War seems to be inching back. The US narrowly escaped a dangerous military clash over President Barack Obama’s intemperate rush to war over Syria.

Nuclear powers must not indulge in such school-yard squabbles. World War I, whose 100th anniversary comes this fall, began just this way. Putin’s Russia is no Utopia, but do we really want angry, expansionist Russians again on our eastern borders? Better they focus on Olympic games and shopping sprees. Unlike us, they have not started any wars lately.

Russian adviser threatens Ukraine with military force

Ukrainian protesters said Thursday they have no doubt Russia will intervene militarily in the unrest here if the Moscow-aligned president gives in to demands for more freedoms and stronger ties to the West."Everyone knows that Russia is going to send troops to Ukraine – we have known it for a long time now," said Kateryna Chorna of Kiev who has regularly taken part in the anti-government protests that started in November.

"And everyone knows that some of (the Russian troops) are already here, but nobody wants to speak openly about it because nobody wants to fight our brothers," she said, referring to a widespread belief that members of the Russian military make up the police force and hired provocateurs trying to sabotage and subdue the protests.

Protesters expressed their fears as a senior U.S. diplomat arrived in Kiev to try to help find a resolution to the country's political crisis, and an adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened Ukraine with attack.

Sergei Glazyev accused the United States on Thursday of funding the Ukrainian "rebels" by as much as $20 million a day for weapons and other supplies. He urged the Ukrainian government to put down the "attempted coup," or Russia may have to intervene under the terms of a 1994 agreement between the United States and Russia, according to the Ukraine edition of the Russian daily Kommersant.

Glazyev was alluding to the Budapest Memorandum, a treaty in which Ukraine agreed to turn over a nuclear arsenal on its soil left over after the fall of the Soviet Union, of which Ukraine was a part until it dissolved in 1991.

In return, the United States, United Kingdom and Russia, nuclear powers all, guaranteed to respect the independence and the borders of Ukraine and reaffirmed their commitment to seek immediate United Nations Security Council action should Ukraine become a victim of an act of aggression.

The memorandum, which is not binding, refers only to "nuclear aggression" and it requires the signatories to consult each other if other unspecified aggression arises.

Glazyev said the agreement binds Russia and the United States "to intervene when conflicts of this kind arise. And what the Americans are doing now, unilaterally and crudely interfering in the internal affairs of Ukraine, is a clear breach of that treaty."

Thursday, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland met separately in Kiev with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and with opposition leaders to find a solution to the conflict. Yanukovych is scheduled to meet with Putin on Friday at the opening of the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Protesters want Yanukovych to resign and for his successor to sign an economic treaty with the European Union that Yanukovych rejected in favor of a $15 billion loan and gas deliveries from Putin.

Nuland's visit comes amid growing frustration over parliament's failure to enact constitutional changes and an amnesty for protesters. The legislature met three days this week but produced no results and adjourned Thursday until next week.

In Kiev on Thursday, about 2,000 demonstrators marched toward parliament carrying a banner reading, "We are tired of waiting."

The United States and the European Union have called for Yanukovych and the opposition to reach a compromise and warned Yanukovych against using force against the protesters.

The European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, adopted a non-binding resolution Thursday urging the bloc's 28 nations to prepare targeted sanctions such as freezing assets of "Ukrainian officials, legislators and oligarchs personally responsible for the attacks on and deaths of protesters."

Glazyev said the Ukrainian government needs to spurn outsiders and put down the insurrection with force.

"The Ukrainian government is making a mistake by resisting the use of force to solve the crisis, and if the protesters will not disperse, the violent suppression of protests will be inevitable," he said. "In a situation where the authorities face an attempted coup, they simply have no other course of action – otherwise, the country could be plunged into chaos."

The protests, which have seen hundreds of thousands take to the streets, had remained largely peaceful but turned violent last month as demonstrators clashed with police, leading to at least four deaths.

The United States and the EU want the opposition to share in government. Yanukovych offered leading opposition figures high-level posts in the government, but they rejected the offer, calling for new elections.

Analysts say that although Russia has a special interest in Ukraine, Glazyev does not speak for Putin and is exaggerating the threat of military force.

"Mr. Glazyev has a record of making inflammatory statements about Ukraine – to my knowledge, he does not speak for the Russian government on Ukraine," said John Lough, an analyst specializing on the Russia and Eurasia at the Chatham House think-tank in London. "I think that any potential intervention by Russia would be political and economic, and certainly not military."

Some protesters say the Ukrainian government is playing for time and would welcome Russian military intervention if protesters refuse to back down.

"The only question is if they will act now or after the Winter Olympics end," Chorna said. "Me, my family and my friends, we are all very worried about this because it will have impact on business, on salaries, benefits."


Kremlin Analysts Push For Ukraine Annexation

Russian experts have started using loaded WWII-era language to talk about a solution to the ‘Ukrainian Question’ and to advocate controlling parts of the country in a version of USSR 2.0. As Ukraine’s protests have spiraled into violence over the past month, forcing the prime minister to resign and destabilizing the iron grip of President Viktor Yanukovych, one looming question has hung over the events of the EuroMaidan: What will Putin do?
Indeed, Russia’s relationship with Yanukovych and its perceived meddling in the Ukraine have been at the very heart of the protests from the outset—for it was the president’s decision to snub the EU in favor of closer ties and a $15 billion loan from Moscow that set off angry demonstrations last November.
Now, Russian politicians and analysts have started using loaded language when talking about what to do with Ukraine and its intractable protesters. Recently, a former advisor to Russian president Vladimir Putin, political scientist Andrey Illarionov, opined that Russia is extremely eager to seize Ukrainian territory. According to Illarionov, Moscow’s propaganda machine is running at top speed in order to prepare for such an outcome. He quoted Kremlin sources as saying, “we should wait ‘til the Sochi 2014 Olympics start and then set about finding the solution to the Ukrainian Question.”
Such wording is not accidental—Illarionov is definitely hinting at the notorious Nazi “Final Solution to the Jewish Question” (Endlösung der Judenfrage) in his speech. World War II-era allusions are widespread among Ukrainian political experts, as well—when local analysts talk about the Russian line of action against Ukraine, they use the word “Anschluss.”
The historical meaning behind the latter German term is being actively promoted as a viable option for dealing with Ukraine by Russian politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky. Since the Euromaidan started, he’s made lots of ridiculous statements, but his recent ones really take the cake. “We will give Ukraine cartridges but not soldiers,” Zhirinovsky said. “We will send all the Ukrainian refugees to Siberia, that frosty minus-60 degree resort …If [the protesters] hinder you in the East and South of Ukraine, let a local administration appeal to us officially and we will ask the Russian government to rise in defense of Russians in these Ukrainian regions.”
A colleague of Zhirinovksy, Roman Khudyakov, also advised that Ukraine should hold a referendum to join the Russian empire and then “we can help.”
Of course, Zhirinovsky has a reputation as something of a windbag, but as Illarionov noted, “nobody hides the fact of preparations for Russian intervention in Ukrainian affairs, which it is carrying on right now.” Political analysts say that the Kremlin is ready to swap out the current president, Yanukovych, for a more convenient and loyal person (such as Andrey Klyuyev or Victor Medvedtchuk)—and Moscow strategists don’t want to wait for the 2015 elections as a tool for such a change. They’d like their plans to come to fruition in the next couple of weeks.

Illarionov says that there are four likely scenarios for Russia’s plans for Ukraine going forward:

1. The establishment of full control of Ukraine with the help of a loyal president. But after the Euromaidan and the large support of its ideas amongst people in the Western and Central regions of the country, this first scenario doesn’t seem probably.

2. The federalization or confederalization of Ukraine and establishment of control over the Eastern and Southern regions, where people are loyal to the current government and the percentage of ethnic Russians is relatively high (up to 30 percent).

3. If federalization is impossible, the Russian government will likely try to control individual cities in the Eastern and Southern regions such as Odessa, Donetsk, Lugansk and of course the Crimea peninsula.

4. If control of the Eastern Ukraine is impossible, Moscow will consider just control of the Crimea and especially Sevastopol city, where the proportion of ethnic Russians is more than 50 percent.

Illarionov quotes the ideas that are being actively discussed during prime-time on the Russian state TV channels: “Ukraine is a failed state, and the historic chance for reunification of all the Russian lands can be lost in the next couple of weeks, so we mustn’t put off the solution to the Ukrainian Question.”

The strategists from Kremlin are apparently sure that the same scenario was very successful in Georgia, when Abkhazia and South Ossetia were separated and put under Russian protection as “breakaway republics.” The Georgia conflict took place during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, which was very convenient timing, as the authors of the new Moscow strategy say.

The information about the aggressiveness of Russia’s designs is not so surprising to Ukrainians, who are already used to politically incorrect statements coming out of Moscow. In 2008, at the Bucharest NATO Summit, Putin said that “Ukraine is a historical misunderstanding which was created on the Russian territory.” So, in his mind, Russia needs to restore its territory at the expense of Ukraine. “They even don’t say “Ukraine” as a term, using instead the ‘Reunification of Russia’,” Illarionov says.

The described strategy is very similar to a populist Russian movement called the “Essence of Time,” which was founded in 2011 by Russian politician and scientist Sergey Kurginyan. The goal of the movement is the revival of the USSR on new principles and without the old mistakes. Kurginyan call it “USSR 2.0” and it seems that Ukraine may be the next step on the way to that Brave New World.

Meanwhile some rumors about a looming Russian invasion are spreading in Ukraine. We’ve heard about mythical squads of armed Don Cossacks that traversed the Ukrainian border to defend the Eastern Ukraine from anti-government protesters. And some say that recently they were joined by “Night Wolves,” a biker gang from Volgograd. Many local administrations in the East are preparing for occupation by protesters from the Western Ukraine. They ring their buildings with barbed wire and apply solid oil to their fences. Every week, posts about Russian military aircrafts landing in Kyiv appear in Facebook. The Ministry of Internal Affairs purchased Russian flame-throwers for policemen. Everything looks like a Hollywood blockbuster, but Ukrainians are the actors who cannot escape the movie.
Can we really wait for the revival of the new Evil Empire (as Ronald Reagan called the USSR in 1983)? As we know, the USSR was possible because of the Cold War, which by turn was a consequence of total state propaganda. Today the situation is unlikely as the Internet is widespread in the post-Soviet space. When rumors are really just propaganda, then the Cold War turns into a squabble and USSR 2.0 is nothing but a hallucination of the Kremlin’s analysts.


Ukraine crisis: a 'geostrategic game' of the West, most notably US - expert

A huge crowd of demonstrators has surrounded the US embassy in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, protesting against Washington’s meddling in the country’s internal affairs. That’s according to local media reports. The event was organized by Kievans for Clean City, a new pro-government activist group which opposes violence in downtown Kiev. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned that the situation in Ukraine was getting out of control, calling for dialogue between all the parties. Marcus Papadopoulos, Publisher/Editor of Politics First and Russia First magazinesб talked with the Voice of Russia about the evolving crisis in Ukraine.

Marcus, you claim that the Ukrainian protests are nothing more than a provocation on the part of the European Union and the United States. Why? Do you have any sufficient evidence proving your allegations? 

I certainly do. I believe that what we are seeing in Ukraine is not what Western media and Western politicians are portraying it is – a matter of freedom versus tyranny. That’s absolute nonsense. If Ukraine was a tyranny, there wouldn’t be protesters out in the streets in the first place. It is quite simple. What we are seeing in Ukraine is an attempt by the opposition forces, which are in fact taking their orders, being encouraged by certain Western countries (most notably the US), to bring down a democratically elected government of President Viktor Yanukovych and install a pro-Western government, which would in their ambitions allow Ukraine to join NATO and then the EU.

And that is what the reality of the situation is. It is a geostrategic game that the West is playing. And the game is this – in the last 20 years, ever since the Soviet Union collapsed Washington has been attempting to place what I call a sanitary cordon around Russia on its western borders. Now, all your listeners need to do is take a map of Europe and they will see that on Russia’s western borders it is pretty much surrounded by countries which are in NATO and which are in the EU. For example, the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Hungary, Romania.

And this goal of America, it goes back to a doctrine known as the Pentagon’s Defense Planning Guidance of 1992 or more commonly known as the Wolfowitz Doctrine, known after Paul Wolfowitz – its architect. And it basically stated that Russia is the only country in the world that is capable of challenging American global dominance and, therefore, steps must be taken to limit Russia’s influence in the world. And the steps which need to be taken focus on bringing those countries that used to be part of the Eastern Bloc and that used to be part of the Soviet Union, on bringing them into fold of the West.

And also, a very prominent American writer Zbigniew Brzezinski, who used to be the National Security Advisor to President Jimmy Carter…

And he is still in place. I have to interrupt you there, but I know, Zbigniew Brzezinski is a very interesting character, by the way. And frankly, I totally agree with everything you said.

He wrote a book some years ago saying that Russia without close relations to Ukraine would cease to be a global player and, therefore, Ukraine should be brought into NATO. And Brzezinski is a very influential person in the American corridors of power.

Absolutely! And it seems that what you are saying kind of fits the idea of a strategic surrounding of certain power points around Russia. And, of course, as we saw with Georgia, as we’ve seen with Poland etc, it seems like the ex-Slavic or CIS states are being pressured into submission for the sort of the strategic game.

Yes, absolutely!

What is the final aim of the masterminds behind the protests in Ukraine and behind this sort of a plan going back to Zbigniew?

You know, we can cite other countries. We can cite Syria and the American interference there. I mean, it is no coincidence that in Syria the enemy, as America tells the world, is the Syrian Government. And it is no coincidence that the Syrian Government pursues an independent foreign policy has historically close relations with Russia and won’t go down to Western pressure. And it should also be stated that America and the rest of the West, if it is really committed to democracy, freedom, the rule of law, then does it have such a close relationship to Saudi Arabia – a thoroughly wicked, vile regime.

But, going back to Ukraine, the objective is to bring down the democratically elected government of President Viktor Yanukovych and replace it with a government which will be leant towards the West and which will try and end all the economic relations with Russia, and join NATO and the EU. That’s the objective. And let’s not forget, we’ve had senior Western politicians, like the EU official Catherine Ashton, Senator John McCain, the German Foreign Minister flying to Kiev late last year, flying into a country, which is an independent sovereign country, joining the violent protesters in calling for the overthrow of a democratically elected government.

How on earth can these people – the John McCains of this world, the Catherine Ashtons of this world – talk about respecting a country’s independence when they go to an independent sovereign country and call for the overthrow of its government? How would they feel if, how would John McCain feel if a foreign politician came to Washington and joined a protest there against the American government, and called for new elections in America and the overthrow of the American President? It is an intolerable situation.

Very well said, Marcus. And we could see with things like the book of John Perkins, that we’ve mentioned before, here on the show in the previous months, the Economic Hitman how the US had a sort of similar staging-coup-influence in the Latin countries of Bolivia and Peru etc. with Jaime Roldós and, you know. So, this is a very interesting point you are making here that a sort of a similar power is at play here in Ukraine. So, then, what the Ukrainian opposition really is? Would it be certain intelligence agencies working behind the scenes? Or what role does it play in the protests? And can we say that the leaders of the opposition in Ukraine are just puppets dancing to someone’s tune?

I don’t think we should regard the opposition in Ukraine as a unified force. I would certainly not sit here and say that all the protesters in Kiev are violent. That would be wrong. Some of them are peaceful. And they have absolutely every right to express their dissatisfaction with the economic course of the Ukrainian government.

But there are many other groups which make up the opposition, which are thoroughly repugnant people. Many of them are nationalist or ultranationalist groups which hold anti-Semitic views, which praise those Ukrainians that collaborated with the Nazis during the Nazi occupation of the Soviet Union. People like Stepan Bandera, organizations like the Organization for Ukrainian Nationalists and the Ukrainian Insurgents Army – all three – Bandera and those two organizations I cited just now – they are named by the historians of the holocaust to have participated in the killing of Soviet Jews.

And that is something the Western media is not highlighting. And they are not highlighting it for a reason – because it damages the course of Western governments.


Steven Cohen: Ukraine Violence Escalates, Leaked Tape Suggests U.S. Was Plotting Coup

A short-lived truce has broken down in Ukraine as street battles have erupted between anti-government protesters and police. Last night the country’s embattled president and the opposition leaders demanding his resignation called for a truce and negotiations to try to resolve Ukraine’s political crisis. But hours later, armed protesters attempted to retake Independence Square, sparking another day of deadly violence. At least 50 people have died since Tuesday in the bloodiest period of Ukraine’s 22-year post-Soviet history. While President Obama has vowed to "continue to engage all sides," a recently leaked audio recording between two top U.S. officials reveal the Obama administration has been secretly plotting with the opposition. We speak to Stephen Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University. His most recent book, "Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives: From Stalinism to the New Cold War," is out in paperback. His latest Nation article is "Distorting Russia: How the American Media Misrepresent Putin, Sochi and Ukraine." 

AMY GOODMAN: The Ukrainian parliament, Rada, and Cabinet buildings have reportedly been evacuated because of fears they could be stormed by protesters. The street clashes are occurring while the Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych, is meeting with the foreign ministers from Germany, Poland and France. The Obama administration stepped up pressure on the Ukrainian government Wednesday by announcing a visa ban on 20 members of the Ukrainian government. The U.S. is also threatening to place sanctions on the Ukrainian government. The protests began in late November after President Yanukovych reversed his decision to sign a long-awaited trade deal with the European Union, or EU, to forge stronger ties with Russia instead. To talk more about the latest in Ukraine, we’re joined by Stephen Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University. His most recent book, Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives: From Stalinism to the New Cold War, is now out in paperback. His latest piece in The Nation is called "Distorting Russia: How the American Media Misrepresent Putin, Sochi and Ukraine." So, talk about the latest, Professor Cohen. 

STEPHEN COHEN: Where do you want me to begin? I mean, we are watching history being made, but history of the worst kind. That’s what I’m telling my grandchildren: Watch this. What’s happening there, let’s take the big picture, then we can go to the small picture. The big picture is, people are dying in the streets every day. The number 50 is certainly too few. They’re still finding bodies. Ukraine is splitting apart down the middle, because Ukraine is not one country, contrary to what the American media, which speaks about the Ukraine and the Ukrainian people. Historically, ethnically, religiously, culturally, politically, economically, it’s two countries. One half wants to stay close to Russia; the other wants to go West. We now have reliable reports that the anti-government forces in the streets—and there are some very nasty people among them—are seizing weapons in western Ukrainian military bases. So we have clearly the possibility of a civil war. And the longer-term outcome may be—and I want to emphasize this, because nobody in the United States seems to want to pay attention to it—the outcome may be the construction, the emergence of a new Cold War divide between West and East, not this time, as it was for our generation, in faraway Berlin, but right on the borders of Russia, right through the heart of Slavic civilization. And if that happens, if that’s the new Cold War divide, it’s permanent instability and permanent potential for real war for decades to come. That’s what’s at stake. One last point, also something that nobody in this country wants to talk about: The Western authorities, who bear some responsibility for what’s happened, and who therefore also have blood on their hands, are taking no responsibility. They’re uttering utterly banal statements, which, because of their vacuous nature, are encouraging and rationalizing the people in Ukraine who are throwing Molotov cocktails, now have weapons, are shooting at police. We wouldn’t permit that in any Western capital, no matter how righteous the cause, but it’s being condoned by the European Union and Washington as events unfold. 

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And when you say the Western countries who bear some responsibility, in what sense do they bear responsibility? I mean, clearly, there’s been an effort by the United States and Europe ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union to pull the former Soviet states into their economic sphere, but is that what you’re talking about?

STEPHEN COHEN: I mean that. I mean that Moscow—look at it through Moscow’s eyes. Since the Clinton administration in the 1990s, the U.S.-led West has been on a steady march toward post-Soviet Russia, began with the expansion of NATO in the 1990s under Clinton. Bush then further expanded NATO all the way to Russia’s borders. Then came the funding of what are euphemistically called NGOs, but they are political action groups, funded by the West, operating inside Russia. Then came the decision to build missile defense installations along Russia’s borders, allegedly against Iran, a country which has neither nuclear weapons nor any missiles to deliver them with. Then comes American military outpost in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, which led to the war of 2008, and now the West is at the gates of Ukraine. So, that’s the picture as Moscow sees it. And it’s rational. It’s reasonable. It’s hard to deny. But as for the immediate crisis, let’s ask ourselves this: Who precipitated this crisis? The American media says it was Putin and the very bad, though democratically elected, president of Ukraine, Yanukovych. But it was the European Union, backed by Washington, that said in November to the democratically elected president of a profoundly divided country, Ukraine, "You must choose between Europe and Russia." That was an ultimatum to Yanukovych. Remember—wasn’t reported here—at that moment, what did the much-despised Putin say? He said, "Why? Why does Ukraine have to choose? We are prepared to help Ukraine avoid economic collapse, along with you, the West. Let’s make it a tripartite package to Ukraine." And it was rejected in Washington and in Brussels. That precipitated the protests in the streets. And since then, the dynamic that any of us who have ever witnessed these kinds of struggles in the streets unfolded, as extremists have taken control of the movement from the so-called moderate Ukrainian leaders. I mean, the moderate Ukrainian leaders, with whom the Western foreign ministers are traveling to Kiev to talk, they’ve lost control of the situation. By the way, people ask—excuse me—is it a revolution? Is it a revolution? A much abused word, but one sign of a revolution is the first victims of revolution are the moderates. And then it becomes a struggle between the extreme forces on either side. And that’s what we’re witnessing. 

AMY GOODMAN: Let’s go to President Obama. He’s in Mexico for the big Mexico-Canada-U.S. summit talking about Ukraine.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: With regard to Ukraine, along with our European partners, we will continue to engage all sides. And we continue to stress to President Yanukovych and the Ukrainian government that they have the primary responsibility to prevent the kind of terrible violence that we’ve seen, to withdraw riot police, to work with the opposition to restore security and human dignity, and move the country forward. And this includes progress towards a multi-party, technical government that can work with the international community on a support package and adopt reforms necessary for free and fair elections next year. Ukrainians are a proud and resilient people who have overcome extraordinary challenges in their history, and that’s a pride and strength that I hope they draw on now.

AMY GOODMAN: That’s President Obama in Mexico, Professor Cohen. 

STEPHEN COHEN: What are you asking me to comment on? 

AMY GOODMAN: Your response to his response. 

STEPHEN COHEN: To what he just said? Shame. Shame. He is saying that the responsibility for restoring peace is on the Ukrainian government, and it should withdraw its security forces from the streets. But let me ask you, if in Washington people throwing Molotov cocktails are marching on Congress—and these people are headed for the Ukrainian Congress—if these people have barricaded entrance to the White House and are throwing rocks at the White House security guard, would President Obama withdraw his security forces? This is—this is—and do you know what this does? And let’s escape partisanship here. I mean, lives are at stake. This incites, these kinds of statement that Obama made. It rationalizes what the killers in the streets are doing. It gives them Western license, because he’s not saying to the people in the streets, "Stop this, stop shooting policemen, stop attacking government buildings, sit down and talk." And the guy you had on just before, a so-called moderate leader, what did he just tell you? "We have lost control of the situation." That’s what I just told you. He just confirmed that. So what Obama needs to say is, "We deplore what the people in the streets are doing when they attack the police, the law enforcement official. And we also don’t like the people who are writing on buildings 'Jews live here,'" because these forces, these quasi-fascist forces—let’s address this issue, because the last time I was on your broadcast, you found some guy somewhere who said there was none of this there. All right. What percent are the quasi-fascists of the opposition? Let’s say they’re 5 percent. I think they’re more, but let’s give them the break, 5 percent. But we know from history that when the moderates lose control of the situation, they don’t know what to do. The country descends in chaos. Five percent of a population that’s tough, resolute, ruthless, armed, well funded, and knows what it wants, can make history. We’ve seen it through Europe. We’ve seen it through Asia. This is reality. And where Washington and Brussels are on this issue, they won’t step up and take the responsibility. 

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, even in most recent history, whether you look at Libya or whether you look at the situation in Syria, where those presidents warned that there were extremist elements inside a broader popular movement that were eventually going to gain control, this seems like a replay in terms of what’s going on here in the Ukraine of a popular movement, but yet a very, very, as you say, right-wing movement—not only a right-wing movement, but a fascist movement with a history. Ukraine has had a history of a fascist movement going back to the days of Nazi Germany. 

STEPHEN COHEN: Let’s go to real heresy. Let’s ask a question: Who has been right about interpreting recent events? Let’s go to the Arab Spring. Obama and Washington said this was about democracy now, this is great. Russia said, "Wait a minute. If you destabilize, even if they’re authoritarian leaders in the Middle East, you’re not going to get Thomas Jefferson in power. You’re going to get jihadists. You’re going to get very radical people in power all through the Middle East." Looking back, who was right or wrong about that narrative? Have a look at Egypt. Have a look at Libya. Who was right? Can Russians ever be right about anything? Now what are the Russians saying about Ukraine? They’re saying what you just said, that the peaceful protesters, as we keep calling them—I think a lot of them have gone home. There were many. By the way, at the beginning, there were hundreds of thousands, tens of thousands, of very decent, liberal, progressive, honorable people in the streets. But they’ve lost control of the situation. That’s the point now. And so, the Russians are saying, "Look, you’re trying to depose Yanukovych, who’s the elected government." Think. If you overthrow—and, by the way, there’s a presidential election in a year. The Russians are saying wait 'til the next election. If you overthrow him—and that's what Washington and Brussels are saying, that he must go—what are you doing to the possibility of democracy not only in Ukraine, but throughout this part of the world? And secondly, who do you think is going to come to power? Please tell us. And we’re silent. 

AMY GOODMAN: I want to go to the famous leaked tape right now. The top State Department official has apologized to her European counterparts after she was caught cursing the European Union, the EU, in a leaked audio recording that was posted to YouTube. The recording captured an intercepted phone conversation between the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, and Victoria Nuland, the top U.S. diplomat for Europe. Nuland expresses frustration over Europe’s response to the political crisis in Ukraine, using frank terms. 

AMY GOODMAN: I want to go to the famous leaked tape right now. The top State Department official has apologized to her European counterparts after she was caught cursing the European Union, the EU, in a leaked audio recording that was posted to YouTube. The recording captured an intercepted phone conversation between the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, and Victoria Nuland, the top U.S. diplomat for Europe. Nuland expresses frustration over Europe’s response to the political crisis in Ukraine, using frank terms. 
VICTORIA NULAND: So that would be great, I think, to help glue this thing and have the U.N. help glue it. And, you know, [bleep] the EU.

AMY GOODMAN: While Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland’s comment about the EU dominated the news headlines because she used a curse, there were several other very interesting parts of her conversation with the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. 

GEOFFREY PYATT: Let me work on Klitschko, and if you can just keep—I think we want to try to get somebody with an international personality to come out here and help to midwife this thing. Then the other issue is some kind of outreach to Yanukovych, but we can probably regroup on that tomorrow as we see how things start to fall into place. 
VICTORIA NULAND: So, on that piece, Geoff, when I wrote the note, Sullivan’s come back to me VFR saying, "You need Biden?" And I said, "Probably tomorrow for an attaboy and to get the deets to stick." So Biden’s willing.

AMY GOODMAN: That’s the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Pyatt, speaking with Victoria Nuland. The significance of what she is saying? She also had gone to Ukraine and was feeding protesters on the front line. STEPHEN COHEN: Cookies, cookies. Well, here again, the American political media establishment, including the right and the left and the center—because they’re all complicit in this nonsense—focused on the too sensational, they thought, aspect of that leaked conversation. She said, "F— the European Union," and everybody said, "Oh, my god! She said the word." The other thing was, who leaked it? "Oh, it was the Russians. Those dirty Russians leaked this conversation." But the significance is what you just played. What are they doing? The highest-ranking State Department official, who presumably represents the Obama administration, and the American ambassador in Kiev are, to put it in blunt terms, plotting a coup d’état against the elected president of Ukraine. Now, that said, Amy, Juan, you may say to me—neither of you would, but hypothetically—"That’s a good thing. We don’t like—we don’t care if he was elected democratically. He’s a rat. He’s corrupt." And he is all those things. He is. "Let’s depose him. That’s what the United States should do. Then the United States should stand up and say, ’That’s what we do: We get rid of bad guys. We assassinate them, and we overthrow them.’" But in Washington and in Brussels, they lie: They’re talking about democracy now. They’re not talking about democracy now; they’re talking about a coup now. 

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, this is more from— 

STEPHEN COHEN: And we—excuse me—and we should—we, American citizens, should be allowed to choose which policy we want. But they conceal it from us. And I’m extremely angry that the people in this country who say they deplore this sort of thing have fallen silent. 

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Let’s listen to little bit more of the leaked conversation between the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, and Victoria Nuland, the top U.S. diplomat for Europe.
VICTORIA NULAND: Good. So, I don’t think Klitsch should go into the government. I don’t think it’s necessary. I don’t think it’s a good idea.
GEOFFREY PYATT: Yeah. I mean, I guess, you think—in terms of him not going into the government, just let him sort of stay out and do his political homework and stuff. I’m just thinking, in terms of sort of the process moving ahead, we want to keep the moderate democrats together. The problem is going to be Tyahnybok and his guys. And, you know, I’m sure that’s part of what Yanukovych is calculating on all of this. I kind of—
VICTORIA NULAND: I think—I think Yats is the guy who’s got the economic experience, the governing experience. He’s the guy—you know, what he needs is Klitsch and Tyahnybok on the outside. He needs to be talking to them four times a week. You know, I just think Klitsch going in, he’s going to be at that level working for Yatsenyuk. It’s just not going to work.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: That was Victoria Nuland, the top U.S. diplomat for Europe, speaking with Geoffrey Pyatt, the U.S. ambassador to the Ukraine. Stephen Cohen, this—this chess game— 

STEPHEN COHEN: You don’t need me here. What do you need me for? 

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: —this chess game that they’re conducting here? 

STEPHEN COHEN: There it is. There it is. 

AMY GOODMAN: But explain the names. Who is Klitsch, Yats? 

STEPHEN COHEN: All right. And notice the intimacy with which the Americans deal with the two leading so-called "moderate"—and these are big shots, they both want to be president—Ukrainian opposition. Klitschko is Vitali Klitschko, a six-foot-eight former—he resigned his title two months ago to enter politics—heavyweight champion of the world. His residence has been Ukraine—I mean, Germany. He plays—he pays taxes in Germany. He’s a project of Merkel. He represents German interests. I’m sure he’s also faithful to Ukraine, but he’s got a problem. Yatsenyuk, however—not Yatsenyuk, but the other guy she calls "Yats" is a representative of the Fatherland Party. It’s a big party in Parliament. But Washington likes him a lot. They think he’ll be our man. So you could see what they’re saying. We don’t quite trust Klitschko. Now, if you want to get esoteric, that’s the tug between Washington and Berlin. They’re not happy with Merkel, the chancellor of Germany. They don’t like the role Merkel is playing, generally. They think Germany has gotten too big for its britches. They want to cut Merkel down. So you noticed Klitschko, the boxer, is Merkel’s proxy, or at least she’s backing him. You notice that they say, "He’s not ready for prime time. Let him do his homework." Now, this guy—I’m bad on Ukrainian names. Tyagnybok, that they say has got to play a role, he’s the leader of the Freedom Party, the Svoboda Party, but a large element of that party, to put it candidly, is quasi-fascist. And they’re prepared to embrace this guy. This is the guy, by the way, that Senator John McCain in November or December went to Kiev and embraced. Either McCain didn’t know who he was, or he didn’t care. The United States is prepared to embrace that guy, too—anything to get rid of Yanukovych, because they think this is about Putin. That’s all they really got on their mind. 

AMY GOODMAN: And yet, here you have President Obama, again, speaking yesterday in Mexico.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Our approach as the United States is not to see these as some Cold War chessboard in which we’re in competition with Russia. Our goal is to make sure that the people of Ukraine are able to make decisions for themselves about their future, that the people of Syria are able to make decisions without having bombs going off and killing women and children, or chemical weapons, or towns being starved, because a despot wants to cling to power.
AMY GOODMAN: Who benefits from the instability, Professor Cohen, in Ukraine? And what does it mean for Putin? Is he concerned about this? 

STEPHEN COHEN: Of course he’s concerned. It’s right on his borders, and it’s all tainting him. I mean, The Washington Post wrote an editorial yesterday. Putin is happy that the violence has broken out in the streets. Everybody understands, even The Washington Post understands, which understands almost nothing about Russia, but they got this, that during the Sochi Olympics, the last thing Putin wants is violence in Ukraine. So why is he happy about it? He deplores it. He’s unhappy. He’s furious at the president of Ukraine. He read him the Riot Act on the phone last night, that why doesn’t he get control of the situation? What is he doing? So Putin is not responsible for this. Can we speak about Obama? 

AMY GOODMAN: Very quickly. 

STEPHEN COHEN: Very quickly. I grew up in the segregated South. I voted for him twice, as historical justice. That’s not leadership. That’s a falsification of what’s happening in Ukraine, and it’s making the situation worse, what he says, is that we deplore the violence and call upon Ukrainian government to withdraw its forces and stop the violence. He needs to talk about what’s happening in the streets. 

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And is it conceivable, if Ukraine descends into a further civil war, that Russia might intervene? 

STEPHEN COHEN: It’s conceivable. It’s conceivable. Here—I mean, Yanukovych—you might say, as an adviser to Yanukovych, the president of Ukraine, "Impose martial law now, because you’ve got bad PR in the West anyway, and you’re not in control of the situation." The problem is, Yanukovych isn’t sure he controls the army. 

AMY GOODMAN: He just fired the head of the army yesterday. 

STEPHEN COHEN: Yeah, we don’t know what it means, but it indicates he’s not too sure about the army. But, by the way, you asked, would Russia intervene? Would NATO intervene? NATO is all over the place. NATO was in the former Soviet republic of Georgia. Ask yourself that: Would NATO send troops in? Is that, yes, you think they would?

STEPHEN COHEN: We don’t know. 

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: We don’t know, yeah. 

STEPHEN COHEN: And we’re not going to be told, just like we’re not being told what’s going on in these private conversations about deposing the president of Ukraine. If they depose— 

AMY GOODMAN: Unless they’re leaked again. 

STEPHEN COHEN: Yeah, and if the Russians leak them, it doesn’t count. Is that right? 

AMY GOODMAN: The U.S. can hardly protest, given the whole scandal with the NSA recording conversations. 

STEPHEN COHEN: Yeah, well, you know what they said. They said—they said, when this got leaked, that this is a low point in statecraft. After Snowden? After Snowden? I mean, what did Tennessee Williams used to say? Mendacity? Mendacity? The mendacity of it all? Don’t they trust us, our government, to tell us a little bit of the truth at last?


Ukraine’s Revolution Fueled by International Energy Politics

Ukraine’s revolution is fueled by international energy politics. The revolution that has engulfed the country resulted mainly from opposition to President Viktor Yanukovich’s decision to develop closer economic relations with Russia. The two countries have a unique relationship as their respective populations share a similar language, ethnicity, history and of course, a national border. However, the two countries share something much more meaningful in today’s global world: complex energy relations.

Russia is currently the world’s second largest exporter of natural gas. A large portion of its hydrocarbons are imported by Western Europe, which is heavily dependent on the pipelines that traverse Ukraine. Governments of Western Europe for years have tried unsuccessfully to lessen their dependence on Russia’s state owned Gazprom. The pipeline infrastructure established in the region is largely a result of Soviet era industrial planning, meaning that the oil and natural gas of countries such as Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan gets shipped directly through Russia when being sent to European customers. Gazprom for its part charges fluctuating transport fees.

When Yanukovich was deciding whether or not to sign a free trade agreement with the European Union, Russia threatened to raise the prices of its energy exports to Ukraine. Ukraine, already reliant on Russian energy, was even more so inclined to accept a Russian deal because of the approaching winter. What resulted in December was Gazprom agreeing to sell natural gas to Ukraine’s Naftogaz for $268.50 per 1,000 cubic meters instead of at the original price of roughly $400 per 1,000 cubic meters. Russia also handed Ukraine a $15 billion bail out package, with Yanukovich agreeing to use some of the funds to buy Russian hydrocarbons.

This is why Ukraine’s revolution is fueled by international energy politics. The European Union has thrown its support behind the opposition, largely in hopes that a change in leadership will allow Ukraine to remove itself from Russia’s sphere of influence. A pro-Western Ukraine will allow the European Union more power when bargaining with Gazprom over prices. Remember, the European Union currently does not buy oil or gas from Iran due to international sanctions. That being the case, Western Europe’s economy has become further subject to Gazprom’s dominance.

Russia, for its part, wants to maintain the status-quo. Following the economic disaster that plagued the country following the collapse of the Soviet Union, hydrocarbon exports have become essential to Russia’s economy. Russian politicians have made known their support for Yanukovich’s government fearing that unrest in Ukraine would be bad for business. Gazprom suffered a 10.5 percent decrease in profits in 2013’s financial third quarter. Although the company did not publically disclose reasons behind the loss, it can be inferred that it was due at least in part to Ukraine’s cutback in purchases and its debt of $2.7 billion to Gazprom.

That is a possible reason Russia offered Ukraine a deal it could simply not refuse. Cheaper energy costs would benefit Ukraine’s already struggling economy and Ukraine’s compliance would allow Gazprom to maintain its control on European markets. However, the people of Ukraine were not pleased with what was perceived as Russian bullying. Yanukovich’s agreement with Russia sparked protests that have since turned into the Ukrainian revolution. It is therefore ironic that protesters using Molotov cocktails against police most likely rely on Russian gas.

Europe has given its support to the opposition not so much because it views police crackdowns and anti-protests laws as contradictory to human rights, but rather because this is an opportunity to change the geo-political balance of power. Ukraine’s revolution belongs to the people, but is fueled by these international energy politics. As Russia and the European Union compete for power, Ukraine will continue to be ground zero.

Ukraine: NATO’s Eastern Prize

Ever since the democracy manipulation efforts of international hedge fund brigand George Soros were joined with the artificial street revolution tactics of CIA tactician Gene Sharp to form the core strategy of the U.S. neo-conservative goal of imposing a «New American Century» on the entire world, Ukraine has served as the prize of America’s interventionist foreign policy. And the neocons are still alive and active as ever inside Secretary of State John Kerry's State Department.

In the wake of what has been called the «Orange Revolution II» in Ukraine, Kerry's Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland, who previously served as Hillary Clinton's State Department mouthpiece, threatened sanctions against Ukraine’s government led by President Viktor Yanukovych. Gazing over protesters in central Kyiv from his hotel window, Arizona’s fanatical Republican Senator John McCain was licking his chops over the prospect of an anti-Russian Ukraine coming into being. McCain is a Cold War throwback and someone who remains mentally-unbalanced between flashbacks from a prisoner of war cell in Hanoi and to present-day reality.

Ukraine, which resisted efforts by the European Union to integrate it into Europe's banker-led federation of austerity and poverty, came into the EU's cross hairs after it abandoned an «Association Agreement» pact with the EU.  Instead, Kyiv opted for a more lucrative economic union with Russia. That move triggered off a mass street uprising in Kyiv's Maidan (Independence) Square that demanded the resignation of Ukraine's democratically-elected President and government.

The connections between the Kyiv uprising and the EU outside manipulators are so apparent, the Kyiv square that has become the «Tahrir Square» of Ukraine is called «Euromaidan.» The initial Tahrir Square uprising in Cairo, which overthrew Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, was partly manipulated by Soros-financed and Sharp-influenced street demonstrators who took their cues from professional political agitators hastily flown into Egypt from the United States and Europe.

The latest professionally-agitated spectacle in Kyiv’s was spearheaded by the same Soros/Sharp/National Endowment for Democracy/CIA hydra that saw the overthrow of Ukraine's government in 2004 in the so-called Orange Revolution. This time, not only is Ukrainian President Yanukovych, but ultimately Russian President Vladimir Putin, are the targets…

Nuland, who is married to the bloody-handed neocon archangel Robert Kagan, handed out snacks to protesters on Maidan Square. Imagine the reaction of the United States had a second-tier official of either the Russian or Chinese foreign ministry handed out food to Occupy Wall Street protesters in Washington and urged them to overthrow, by force if necessary, President Obama. Yet, that is exactly the scenario Nuland engaged in by supporting protesters in Maidan. Furthermore, she reprimanded Yanokovych for the heavy security presence in Maidan. Nuland and Kerry, who also upbraided Yanukovych, forgot the acts of police brutality committed by U.S. cops against occupy protesters, as well as a plan by the FBI to use snipers to assassinate the leaders of the group.

And Nuland and Kerry were very quiet when the Turkish government set loose riot police on peaceful protesters in Taksim Square in Istanbul earlier this year. After all, Turkey is a member of NATO and Ukraine, for the time being, is not.

For Gene Sharp and his two NGO «babies,» OTPOR and the Center for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies (CANVAS), vanguard organizations for organizing «rent-a-riot» anti-government protests around the globe, only nations resistant to the «New World Order» designs of Wall Street and the Pentagon are fair game for receiving cash, pamphlets, i-Pads and i-Phones, snacks, «themed revolution» placards and banners, restored national flags from times past, and other propaganda support. Recently, it was discovered, through leaked emails, that CANVAS founder Srdja Popovic was collaborating with the CIA- and Pentagon-linked intelligence firm STRATFOR, founded by George Friedman, whose ties to the U.S. and Israeli military-intelligence establishments are well known.

The «Orange Revolution II» in Kyiv has also received favorable press in central and eastern Europe and other parts of the world thanks to the auspices of various Soros press entities, including the Center for Advanced Media in Prague, a contrivance of the Media Development Loan Fund, a project of Soros' Open Society Institute.

And as with all fake «themed» revolutions, an «embattled martyr» is needed to rally the «rent-a-mob» to action. For the Ukrainian demonstrator, the «Maiden of Maidan» is Yulia Tymoshenko, the former Prime Minister who was imprisoned for corruption. Tymoshenko, who is now held at a clinic in Kharkiv, has become the «Aung San Suu Kyi» of Ukraine. But for many Ukrainians, the former Prime Minister is a shameless attention seeker whose trademark braided hair coif is derided by many Ukrainians as a «bagel» on top of her head. 

For Orange Revolution II, the new «heroes» are ex-boxer and UDAR opposition leader Vitali Klitschko and far-right nationalist Oleh Tyahnybok. Their playbooks are written in Soros boiler shops in Prague, London, Washington, and New York and not in Kyiv. 

Too many eastern and central European political activists have been «taken in» by the phony «democracy movements» funded by Soros. Needless to say, Soros is not someone who should be a spokesperson, let alone a funder, of what is supposed to be pro-democracy and pro-labor causes. Soros began his sordid career in hedge funds (a combination of a betting parlor and a Ponzi scheme contrivance) in the late 1960s under Georges Coulon Karlweis, the vice chairman of Banque Privée Edmond Rothschild in Geneva, Switzerland.

In the late 1960s, Karlweis provided Rothschild funds to Soros's Quota and Quantum hedge funds. Karlweis was the grand master of global financial chicanery and shysterism, having been linked to schemes of Bernard Cornfeld's International Overseas Services (IOS), the firm that Robert Vesco looted before he went into fugitive status. Karlweis also had his fingerprints on the antics of Michael Milken, Drexel Burnham Lambert's junk bond racketeer.

Soros has set himself up as a deep-pocketed prophet for liberal causes, yet he has diminished true progressives by spreading his ill-gotten profits through various front organizations. Soros’s Open Society Institute has supported various pro-democracy front organizations but these groups serve the interests of shadowy global financial corporations, like the Blackstone Group.

Blackstone's former director was Lord Jacob Rothschild, Soros' old pal and financial colleague. Soros, through his bought-and-paid-for «progressive» media entities has managed to stifle any news that casts light on his own anti-democratic and anti-progressive activities in Europe and around the world.

In the first round of themed revolutions sponsored by Soros and his U.S. government collaborators and adhering to the Gene Sharp playbook, New World Order template governments were installed in Ukraine and Georgia. Headed by Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Tymoshenko in Ukraine and Mikheil Saakashvili in Georgia, the pro-NATO and EU governments, installed amid a flurry of «pro-democracy» fanfare, soon descended into corrupt and nepotistic regimes. Tymoshenko and Saakashvili soon were associated with the mafia and corrupt business moguls. Tymoshenko's one-time business partner, former Ukrainian Prime Minister Pavlo Lazarenko, began serving a prison term in California for money laundering, corruption, and fraud. Meanwhile, Saakashvili became entangled with the mysterious «Golden Fleece» charity in Cyprus.

The neo-cons never recovered from the end of the Yushchenko-Tymoshenko regime because Soros and the themed revolution agitators had invested so much in the inserted government in anticipation of its NATO and EU membership. Yushchenko’s wife, Kateryna Chumachenko Yushchenko, served in the Ronald Reagan White House. Chumachenko also worked in the White House Public Liaison Office where she conducted outreach to various right-wing and anti-communist exile groups in the United States, including the other bastion of the neo-cons, the Heritage Foundation.

Now, «Responsibility to Protect» interventionists in the Obama administration are trying to turn back the calendar to 2004 and bring about another non-democratic ouster of an elected government in Ukraine.

Across Ukraine, Moldova, Russia, Belarus, Romania, and other countries of eastern and central Europe, the new generation of Soros agitators and provocateurs are trying to launch another series of «themed revolutions.» This time the goal is, once again, prying Ukraine away from Russia and into the EU and NATO.

The West Must Break Ukraine Free From Mr. Putin's Grasp

To many Ukrainians, the calculations of President Viktor Yanukovych might seem baffling. Having triggered a mass protest movement by turning his back on an association agreement between Ukraine and the European Union, the president looked like he might outlast the protesters after accepting a massive bailout from Russian President Vladi­mir Putin. Yet now Mr. Yanukovych has managed to revive and intensify the rebellion against him by ramming a series of measures through parliament aimed at outlawing opposition demonstrations. Tens of thousands gathered in the center of Kiev on Sunday, and clashes with police left hundreds injured.

Perhaps Mr. Yanukovych has no sense for Ukrainian politics, despite more than a decade of leading one of its major parties. Or perhaps he is following not his own playbook but that of Mr. Putin. The repressive new restrictions, which criminalize such activity as wearing helmets and setting up tents in public spaces, look a lot like the strategy the Russian ruler used to crush mass demonstrations against his regime in 2011 and 2012. Mr. Yanukovych even adopted the regulation Russia imposed on nongovernment groups that receive foreign funding — a product of Mr. Putin’s paranoid conviction that pro-democracy movements in his country and elsewhere are the result of Western government plots.

This isn’t the first time Mr. Yanukovych has allowed Mr. Putin to be his puppeteer. In 2004 he was a candidate for president in an election that Russia’s secret services tried to rig in the way they fix votes at home. The result was the Orange Revolution, a massive uprising that overturned the fraud and left Mr. Yanukovych in the political wilderness until he agreed to play by democratic rules. It’s not clear that the current protests can have the same result — in part because some opposition militants, bolstered by government-sponsored provocateurs, have attacked police and burned vehicles, tarnishing the previously peaceful character of the protest movement. 

Western governments cannot control events in Ukraine, whatever Mr. Putin may think. But they could be doing much more than they are to prevent a nation that was headed toward integration with the democratic West from becoming an autocratic Kremlin colony, like neighboring Belarus. Demoralized European Union leaders seem to have abandoned Ukraine at just the moment they should be acting to stop Mr. Yanukovych’s repression. They could do so by preparing sanctions against the president and his circle to be applied if violence is used against the protesters and by dispatching a special envoy to press both sides to take seriously what so far are desultory negotiations.

The Obama administration has been a little more active, calling on Mr. Yanukovych to repeal the anti-protest legislation and hinting that sanctions may be forthcoming. But Washington also ought to recognize Mr. Putin’s role in attempting to impose his autocratic model on a country that has been struggling to become a genuine democracy — and hold him accountable for it. 

Pull Out of Sochi to Protest the Kiev Massacre

Two images from Wednesday compete for space in people's minds. The image of the immaculate snow of Sochi crisscrossed by the world's top skiers to the cheers of the international crowd. And that of the bloodied snow around the barricades of Maidan, Kiev's Independence Square, after special units of the Ukrainian government, with Vladimir Putin's seal of approval, attacked the protesters there. At least 26 people were killed, and hundreds were injured—yet the international response has been indifference.

Telling ourselves that we're used to this sort of thing doesn't do any good.

It's no use reminding ourselves of the abandonment of the 130,000 Syrians put to death through the murderous madness of Bashar Assad, backed by the very same Mr. Putin; of the innumerable Chechens "kicked into the crapper," in the elegant phrase used by the same master of Russia and its borderlands. It's no use knowing, as we have for some time now—since republican Spain was abandoned in the 1930s, since Central Europe was sacrificed in the 1940s, and since the Polish revolt in the early 1980s was kept at arm's length—that democracy never defends its values.

There is in this overlay of images, in the nearly perfect concordance of the two ceremonies—that of the Olympic celebration in full swing and that of the funeral of the European dream for one of the peoples who still believed in it—something that insults the intelligence and breaks the heart. A question for the leaders of the European Union— Catherine Ashton, José Manuel Barroso, Martin Schulz and others—whose emblems and flags fly in Sochi and are, at this very moment, being trampled underfoot in Ukraine: Is your place not there in Kiev, in the flaming Maidan, a place that the protesters, for a long while now, have been calling Europe Square?

A suggestion for François Hollande and Barack Obama, the presidents of two permanent members of the United Nations Security Council: An urgent convocation of the Security Council should be prompted by these deaths in Europe, these hundreds of wounded people hounded by special troops who, as we know from observers on the ground, will stop at nothing. Does not this provocation, this cold crime so confidently committed, justify at least a formal notice to the Ukrainian regime and its Kremlin patron?

And finally, a plea to the Olympic committees of the nations present in Sochi, who plod on as if nothing were amiss, deaf and blind to the tragedy unfolding a few hundred kilometers away: At these Games, where the flame symbolizing the Olympic ideal has been purloined by a thug, when the winning athletes playfully bite their medals, this time will not the gold, silver and bronze have the metallic taste of blood? Do you have a thought for that other snow, the bloody snow, the snow that, make no mistake, is front and center in the thoughts of your host?

Do you not see the absurdity—not to say the obscenity—of pretending to believe, up to the last minute of the last day of this ruined Olympiad, that there might be two Putins: Putin the Terrible, who earlier this week issued $2 billion to prop up the regime of his valet Viktor Yanukovych, the Ukrainian president who then unleashed his forces on the Maidan protesters; and the other Putin, strutting across the stage and through the stands, greeting you with the munificence due those who used to be called the gods of the stadium?

These Olympic Games will be over in a few days. Precious little time remains to stop collaborating in what now more than ever seems a grim masquerade. Precious few hours remain to preserve at least your honor before returning home crowned with a glory that will carry a whiff of abasement. For those who care about democracy, can we, by pulling out of Sochi—or at least by boycotting the closing ceremony on Sunday—ensure that the XXII Winter Olympics will not go down in history as the Games that were the shame and defeat of Europe?

Why It's Time For The West To Act In Ukraine

The world has become a turbulent place.  Over 100,000 people have been killed in Syria. Iran inches toward a nuclear bomb and North Korea already has one.  In Africa, atrocities in Mali seem almost inhuman. There is no shortage of trouble in the world and it’s easy to feel helpless.  In truth, there is very little we can do about most of it.  Yet in Ukraine, the West can and should act.  Doing so will put us on the right side of justice and of history.

For those who are unfamiliar with the recent events in Ukraine, they began in November, when President Victor Yanukovich backed out of a trade deal with the EU.  After years of intolerable corruption, this was the last straw, representing a final turn away from civilized society. In the background lurks Putin’s Russia.  

Vladimir Putin is attempting to build his own trade union between post-Soviet states and Ukraine, as the most prominent of the ex-republics and the closest culturally to Russia, is essential for him to fulfill that goal.  For the Russian people, Ukraine looms large as well.  Many often point to the common ancestry dating back to the Kievan Rus.

Yet Ukraine is a sovereign nation, with its own language, heritage and aspirations.  Its eastern region maintains close ties to Russia, while its western and southeastern regions share much history with Poland and Romania, respectively.  The result is a highly cultivated people who are tremendously ambitious and very outward looking.

And that is why they protest.  It is not a European trade pact that inspires them, but the transparency and governance that closer ties with the West would bring.  They want to offer their formidable talents to the world—Elance ranks the country 3rd for high skill outsourcing—and be able to make the most of their vast human potential.

This is not the first time the Ukrainian people went to the streets in defense of their right to self-determination.  In 2004, the falsified elections resulted in the Orange Revolution.  I was there and was inspired by millions of people who showed that even at the height of contention there could be dignity instead of depravity and that hope could prevail over fear.

Yet 2014 is different than 2004.  This time it’s turned violent.  Ukraine’s Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has endorsed the use of force against the protesters.  Uniformed Berkut—riot police—and roving bands of thugs called “titushki” terrorize the populace.  Many of these, my friends in Kiev tell me, speak with Russian (i.e. not Ukrainian) accents.

Several protesters have been killed and others have been abducted and beaten.  Some have been forced to strip in sub-zero temperatures, while they are struck and taunted by uniformed Berkut. Journalists have been specifically targeted. Automated text messages are sent to anyone near the protests notifying that they have been registered as offenders.

Order has been breaking down.  A radical branch of protesters called Right Sector began throwing Molotov cocktails and attacking riot police with improvised maces.  Many regional government offices have been seized by the opposition.  Put simply it’s a mess. So much so that I hardly recognize the place that I called home for nearly a decade.

Yet the situation is not hopeless nor are western governments helpless.  They can, as my friend and former colleague Vitaly Sych suggested, institute targeted sanctions.  Ukraine is not Russia and Yanukovich is not Putin.  He depends on a network of powerful oligarchs to maintain his hold on power.

This small group of elites has become extraordinarily rich through their government ties and have built up numerous financial assets in the West. Depriving them of their London townhouses, Swiss chalets and access to western financial institutions and business opportunities, would be an enormously effective way to alter their political calculus.

The White House made clear in a recent statement that it is considering sanctions, but mere threats are not enough.  With Putin seemingly hell bent on affecting the outcome in Ukraine, the current situation is like, as Anne Applebaum put it, a hockey game with only one team on the ice.

So unlike many other trouble spots in faraway places, the growing violence in Ukraine is something that the US and the EU can do something about.  With apologies to Winston Churchill, rarely before in the history of the world could so few, doing so little, achieve so much for so many.


Nationalist western Ukraine is an engine supporting the anti-government protests in Kiev

PHOTO: In this Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014 photo Marianna Kvyatkovska, left, and Alexander Bitkin fashion homemade shin and elbow pads from plastic drainage pipes at their home in Lviv, a city in Western Ukraine, which they will send to friends who are camped out in anti-government demonstrations in Kiev. Young artistic designers stayed up very late on a recent night working on their pet project _ not a chic gallery opening, but battle armor for protesters. (AP Photo/ Laura Mills)

Young designers, their eyes glued to a TV set showing live scenes of protests from the Ukrainian capital, stayed up late one night to work on a pet project — not a chic gallery opening, but making battle armor for protesters.

Marianna Kvyatkovska and her friends used hunks of plastic drainage pipes to craft shin and elbow pads to protect the demonstrators from police truncheons in Kiev, where anti-government protests have gone on for two months. While largely peaceful, violent clashes with police broke out last week in which at least three protesters died.

Although Kiev is the epicenter of the demonstrations calling for President Viktor Yanukovych to step down, Lviv is a buzzing entrepreneurial engine of support.

This western city 300 miles (480 kilometers) from Kiev, near the border with Poland, is the heartland of Ukrainian nationalism, where an overwhelming majority of the people resent Russia's former occupation and current strong influence. Support for the pro-Russian Yanukovych is almost non-existent and residents in this city of 730,000 want their future clearly tied to Europe.

"This is a country that is killing the middle class, of which I consider myself a part," said Andrey Kit, owner of an agricultural business.

Employers in Lviv, known for its thriving small-business community, have tacitly encouraged their employees to take part in the protests. Kvyatkovska, who makes a living as a tapestry restorer in a local museum, said despite working in a government institution, her boss was in favor of her going.

"At work there's an unspoken agreement — they sign a paper and say 'Go, go!'" she said.

Lviv's tilt toward Europe has long roots. Its quiet cobblestone streets and snow-capped Belle Epoque buildings make it hard to conceive that it was Soviet territory until recently. For centuries, Lviv traded hands between Poland and the Austrian Empire until the Soviet occupation.

Although the economy of western Ukraine is poorer than the Russian-speaking east, home to Ukraine's major industries, Lviv's people regard themselves as more cultured than easterners. The city is especially proud of its burgeoning small-business sector, from chic cafes to respected tech companies.

"Western Ukraine is avant-garde," Kvyatkovska said.

Residents of Lviv have been holding demonstrations throughout the crisis that began in November when Yanukovych shelved an agreement to deepen ties with the European Union and signed a bailout deal with Russia instead. This month, hundreds stormed the governor's office and forced him to sign a resignation letter. Over the weekend, the regional parliament declared a parallel government, a move that has little practical value but considerable emotional resonance. Yet many believe that Lviv, which has long been a bastion of pro-European sentiment, is less significant than the fight raging in Kiev, where opinions are still divided.

"It's more important to be there than here, because there's nothing to fight for here," said Kit, as he headed to the capital over the weekend. "Kiev is the front line."

With that view, residents and businesses are making extensive efforts to support the Kiev demonstrations. Employees swap shifts so they can attend the protests, while others sew warm clothes or prepare food for the demonstrators. One of the city's most popular cafes sent a van to Kiev to provide coffee for protesters braving the fierce winter cold. People traveling to the capital gather at a cafe downtown that serves as a distribution site for donations and a bus depot for demonstrators.

"Every day the demand for things people can use for defense — helmets, shin pads, elbow pads — is growing," said organizer Mikhail Senko. "People fear more and more for their safety."

He said the site sent 537 protesters in buses to Kiev on Saturday and collected hundreds of donations. Kvyatkovska and her friends handed their homemade shin-and-elbow pads to someone boarding the bus. They had spent the day bending the pipes into the right shape before sewing on recycled felt and adjustable straps to make the gear more comfortable. As a final flourish, Kvyatkovska penned the slogan of the protest movement — "Glory to Ukraine!" — on the bright orange plastic.

She had had taken part in protests before. But as events in the capital turned violent and deadly, she decided she could no longer leave her 9-year-old son in order to take part and figured the defensive armor was a good way to stay involved. Marta Grybalska, who works at a local IT company, said about 100 employees started a Facebook group to coordinate contributions to the protests. She said the group also functioned as a safety mechanism, so people would know who was in Kiev if anything went wrong. But it also helped people swap shifts and juggle work assignments so they could go to the capital.

"In our kind of work, there's no need to sit around the office," she said. "So work must be done on time and it must be done well, but people are needed to fight (in Kiev)." Senko said he had coordinated with dozens of business owners who have been a backbone of support for the protesters. "It's not some kind of PR campaign," he said. "They just know that they're the first ones to have something taken from them, whether that's land or property or their homes."


Ukraine and the Rebirth of Fascism in Europe

“Buoyed by the continued support from the US and Europe, these fanatics represent a more serious threat to democracy than Yanukovich and the pro-Russian government ever could.

The violence on the streets of Ukraine is far more than an expression of popular anger against a government.  Instead, it is merely the latest example of the rise of the most insidious form of fascism that Europe has seen since the fall of the Third Reich.

Recent months have seen regular protests by the Ukrainian political opposition and its supporters –  protests ostensibly in response to Ukrainian President Yanukovich’s refusal to sign a trade agreement with the European Union that was seen by many political observers as the first step towards European integration.  The protests remained largely peaceful until January 17th when protesters armed with clubs, helmets, and improvised bombs unleashed brutal violence on the police, storming government buildings, beating anyone suspected of pro-government sympathies, and generally wreaking havoc on the streets of Kiev.  But who are these violent extremists and what is their ideology?

The political formation is known as “Pravy Sektor” (Right Sector), which is essentially an umbrella organization for a number of ultra-nationalist (read fascist) right wing groups including supporters of the “Svoboda” (Freedom) Party, “Patriots of Ukraine”, “Ukrainian National Assembly – Ukrainian National Self Defense” (UNA-UNSO), and “Trizub”.  All of these organizations share a common ideology that is vehemently anti-Russian, anti-immigrant, and anti-Jewish among other things.  In addition they share a common reverence for the so called “Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists” led by Stepan Bandera, the infamous Nazi collaborators who actively fought against the Soviet Union and engaged in some of the worst atrocities committed by any side in World War II.

While Ukrainian political forces, opposition and government, continue to negotiate, a very different battle is being waged in the streets.  Using intimidation and brute force more typical of Hitler’s “Brownshirts” or Mussolini’s “Blackshirts” than a contemporary political movement, these groups have managed to turn a conflict over economic policy and the political allegiances of the country into an existential struggle for the very survival of the nation that these so called “nationalists” claim to love so dearly.  The images of Kiev burning, Lviv streets filled with thugs, and other chilling examples of the chaos in the country, illustrate beyond a shadow of a doubt that the political negotiation with the Maidan (Kiev’s central square and center of the protests) opposition is now no longer the central issue.  Rather, it is the question of Ukrainian fascism and whether it is to be supported or rejected.

For its part, the United States has strongly come down on the side of the opposition, regardless of its political character.  In early December, members of the US ruling establishment such as John McCain and Victoria Nuland were seen at Maidan lending their support to the protesters.  However, as the character of the opposition has become apparent in recent days, the US and Western ruling class and its media machine have done little to condemn the fascist upsurge.  Instead, their representatives have met with representatives of Right Sector and deemed them to be “no threat.”  In other words, the US and its allies have given their tacit approval for the continuation and proliferation of the violence in the name of their ultimate goal: regime change.

In an attempt to pry Ukraine out of the Russian sphere of influence, the US-EU-NATO alliance has, not for the first time, allied itself with fascists.  Of course, for decades, millions in Latin America were disappeared or murdered by fascist paramilitary forces armed and supported by the United States.  The mujahideen of Afghanistan, which later transmogrified into Al Qaeda, also extreme ideological reactionaries, were created and financed by the United States for the purposes of destabilizing Russia.  And of course, there is the painful reality of Libya and, most recently Syria, where the United States and its allies finance and support extremist jihadis against a government that has refused to align with the US and Israel.  There is a disturbing pattern here that has never been lost on keen political observers: the United States always makes common cause with right wing extremists and fascists for geopolitical gain.

The situation in Ukraine is deeply troubling because it represents a political conflagration that could very easily tear the country apart less than 25 years after it gained independence from the Soviet Union.  However, there is another equally disturbing aspect to the rise of fascism in that country – it is not alone.

The Fascist Menace Across the Continet

Ukraine and the rise of right wing extremism there cannot be seen, let alone understood, in isolation.  Rather, it must be examined as part of a growing trend throughout Europe (and indeed the world) – a trend which threatens the very foundations of democracy.

In Greece, savage austerity imposed by the troika (IMF, ECB, and European Commission) has crippled the country’s economy, leading to a depression as bad, if not worse, than the Great Depression in the United States.  It is against this backdrop of economic collapse that the Golden Dawn party has grown to become the third most popular political party in the country.  Espousing an ideology of hate, the Golden Dawn – in effect a Nazi party that promotes anti-Jewish, anti-immigrant, anti-women chauvinism – is a political force that the government in Athens has understood to be a serious threat to the very fabric of society.  It is this threat which led the government to arrest the party’s leadership after a Golden Dawn Nazi fatally stabbed an anti-fascist rapper.  Athens has launched an investigation into the party, though the results of this investigation and trial remain somewhat unclear.

What makes Golden Dawn such an insidious threat is the fact that, despite their central ideology of Nazism, their anti-EU, anti-austerity rhetoric appeals to many in the economically devastated Greece.  As with many fascist movements in the 20th Century, Golden Dawn scapegoats immigrants, Muslim and African primarily, for many of the problems facing Greeks.  In dire economic circumstances, such irrational hate becomes appealing; an answer to the question of how to solve society’s problems.  Indeed, despite Golden Dawn’s leaders being jailed, other party members are still in parliament, still running for major offices including mayor of Athens.  Though an electoral victory is unlikely, another strong showing at the polls will make the eradication of fascism in Greece that much harder.

Were this phenomenon confined to Greece and Ukraine, it would not constitute a continental trend.  Sadly however, we see the rise of similar, albeit slightly less overtly fascist, political parties all over Europe.  In Spain, the ruling pro-austerity People’s Party has moved to establish draconian laws restricting protest and free speech, and empowering and sanctioning repressive police tactics.  In France, the National Front Party of Marine Le Pen, which vehemently scapegoats Muslim and African immigrants, won nearly twenty percent of the vote in the first round of presidential elections.  Similarly, the Party for Freedom in the Netherlands – which promotes anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant policies – has grown to be the third largest in parliament.  Throughout Scandinavia, ultra nationalist parties which once toiled in complete irrelevance and obscurity are now significant players in elections.  These trends are worrying to say the least.

It should be noted too that, beyond Europe, there are a number of quasi-fascist political formations which are, in one way or another, supported by the United States.  The right wing coups that overthrew the governments of Paraguay and Honduras were tacitly and/or overtly supported by Washington in their seemingly endless quest to suppress the Left in Latin America.  Of course, one should also remember that the protest movement in Russia was spearheaded by Alexei Navalny and his nationalist followers who espouse a virulently anti-Muslim, racist ideology that views immigrants from the Russian Caucasus and former Soviet republics as beneath “European Russians”.  These and other examples begin to paint a very ugly portrait of a US foreign policy that attempts to use economic hardship and political upheaval to extend US hegemony around the world.

In Ukraine, the “Right Sector” has taken the fight from the negotiating table to the streets in an attempt to fulfill the dream of Stepan Bandera – a Ukraine free of Russia, Jews, and all other “undesirables” as they see it.  Buoyed by the continued support from the US and Europe, these fanatics represent a more serious threat to democracy than Yanukovich and the pro-Russian government ever could. If Europe and the United States don’t recognize this threat in its infancy, by the time they finally do, it might just be too late.
“Buoyed by the continued support from the US and Europe, these fanatics represent a more serious threat to democracy than Yanukovich and the pro-Russian government ever could.”
The violence on the streets of Ukraine is far more than an expression of popular anger against a government.  Instead, it is merely the latest example of the rise of the most insidious form of fascism that Europe has seen since the fall of the Third Reich.
Recent months have seen regular protests by the Ukrainian political opposition and its supporters –  protests ostensibly in response to Ukrainian President Yanukovich’s refusal to sign a trade agreement with the European Union that was seen by many political observers as the first step towards European integration.  The protests remained largely peaceful until January 17th when protesters armed with clubs, helmets, and improvised bombs unleashed brutal violence on the police, storming government buildings, beating anyone suspected of pro-government sympathies, and generally wreaking havoc on the streets of Kiev.  But who are these violent extremists and what is their ideology?
The political formation is known as “Pravy Sektor” (Right Sector), which is essentially an umbrella organization for a number of ultra-nationalist (read fascist) right wing groups including supporters of the “Svoboda” (Freedom) Party, “Patriots of Ukraine”, “Ukrainian National Assembly – Ukrainian National Self Defense” (UNA-UNSO), and “Trizub”.  All of these organizations share a common ideology that is vehemently anti-Russian, anti-immigrant, and anti-Jewish among other things.  In addition they share a common reverence for the so called “Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists” led by Stepan Bandera, the infamous Nazi collaborators who actively fought against the Soviet Union and engaged in some of the worst atrocities committed by any side in World War II.
While Ukrainian political forces, opposition and government, continue to negotiate, a very different battle is being waged in the streets.  Using intimidation and brute force more typical of Hitler’s “Brownshirts” or Mussolini’s “Blackshirts” than a contemporary political movement, these groups have managed to turn a conflict over economic policy and the political allegiances of the country into an existential struggle for the very survival of the nation that these so called “nationalists” claim to love so dearly.  The images of Kiev burning, Lviv streets filled with thugs, and other chilling examples of the chaos in the country, illustrate beyond a shadow of a doubt that the political negotiation with the Maidan (Kiev’s central square and center of the protests) opposition is now no longer the central issue.  Rather, it is the question of Ukrainian fascism and whether it is to be supported or rejected.
For its part, the United States has strongly come down on the side of the opposition, regardless of its political character.  In early December, members of the US ruling establishment such as John McCain and Victoria Nuland were seen at Maidan lending their support to the protesters.  However, as the character of the opposition has become apparent in recent days, the US and Western ruling class and its media machine have done little to condemn the fascist upsurge.  Instead, their representatives have met with representatives of Right Sector and deemed them to be “no threat.”  In other words, the US and its allies have given their tacit approval for the continuation and proliferation of the violence in the name of their ultimate goal: regime change.
In an attempt to pry Ukraine out of the Russian sphere of influence, the US-EU-NATO alliance has, not for the first time, allied itself with fascists.  Of course, for decades, millions in Latin America were disappeared or murdered by fascist paramilitary forces armed and supported by the United States.  The mujahideen of Afghanistan, which later transmogrified into Al Qaeda, also extreme ideological reactionaries, were created and financed by the United States for the purposes of destabilizing Russia.  And of course, there is the painful reality of Libya and, most recently Syria, where the United States and its allies finance and support extremist jihadis against a government that has refused to align with the US and Israel.  There is a disturbing pattern here that has never been lost on keen political observers: the United States always makes common cause with right wing extremists and fascists for geopolitical gain.
The situation in Ukraine is deeply troubling because it represents a political conflagration that could very easily tear the country apart less than 25 years after it gained independence from the Soviet Union.  However, there is another equally disturbing aspect to the rise of fascism in that country – it is not alone.
The Fascist Menace Across the Continent
Ukraine and the rise of right wing extremism there cannot be seen, let alone understood, in isolation.  Rather, it must be examined as part of a growing trend throughout Europe (and indeed the world) – a trend which threatens the very foundations of democracy.
In Greece, savage austerity imposed by the troika (IMF, ECB, and European Commission) has crippled the country’s economy, leading to a depression as bad, if not worse, than the Great Depression in the United States.  It is against this backdrop of economic collapse that the Golden Dawn party has grown to become the third most popular political party in the country.  Espousing an ideology of hate, the Golden Dawn – in effect a Nazi party that promotes anti-Jewish, anti-immigrant, anti-women chauvinism – is a political force that the government in Athens has understood to be a serious threat to the very fabric of society.  It is this threat which led the government to arrest the party’s leadership after a Golden Dawn Nazi fatally stabbed an anti-fascist rapper.  Athens has launched an investigation into the party, though the results of this investigation and trial remain somewhat unclear.
What makes Golden Dawn such an insidious threat is the fact that, despite their central ideology of Nazism, their anti-EU, anti-austerity rhetoric appeals to many in the economically devastated Greece.  As with many fascist movements in the 20th Century, Golden Dawn scapegoats immigrants, Muslim and African primarily, for many of the problems facing Greeks.  In dire economic circumstances, such irrational hate becomes appealing; an answer to the question of how to solve society’s problems.  Indeed, despite Golden Dawn’s leaders being jailed, other party members are still in parliament, still running for major offices including mayor of Athens.  Though an electoral victory is unlikely, another strong showing at the polls will make the eradication of fascism in Greece that much harder.
Were this phenomenon confined to Greece and Ukraine, it would not constitute a continental trend.  Sadly however, we see the rise of similar, albeit slightly less overtly fascist, political parties all over Europe.  In Spain, the ruling pro-austerity People’s Party has moved to establish draconian laws restricting protest and free speech, and empowering and sanctioning repressive police tactics.  In France, the National Front Party of Marine Le Pen, which vehemently scapegoats Muslim and African immigrants, won nearly twenty percent of the vote in the first round of presidential elections.  Similarly, the Party for Freedom in the Netherlands – which promotes anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant policies – has grown to be the third largest in parliament.  Throughout Scandinavia, ultra nationalist parties which once toiled in complete irrelevance and obscurity are now significant players in elections.  These trends are worrying to say the least.
It should be noted too that, beyond Europe, there are a number of quasi-fascist political formations which are, in one way or another, supported by the United States.  The right wing coups that overthrew the governments of Paraguay and Honduras were tacitly and/or overtly supported by Washington in their seemingly endless quest to suppress the Left in Latin America.  Of course, one should also remember that the protest movement in Russia was spearheaded by Alexei Navalny and his nationalist followers who espouse a virulently anti-Muslim, racist ideology that views immigrants from the Russian Caucasus and former Soviet republics as beneath “European Russians”.  These and other examples begin to paint a very ugly portrait of a US foreign policy that attempts to use economic hardship and political upheaval to extend US hegemony around the world.
In Ukraine, the “Right Sector” has taken the fight from the negotiating table to the streets in an attempt to fulfill the dream of Stepan Bandera – a Ukraine free of Russia, Jews, and all other “undesirables” as they see it.  Buoyed by the continued support from the US and Europe, these fanatics represent a more serious threat to democracy than Yanukovich and the pro-Russian government ever could.  If Europe and the United States don’t recognize this threat in its infancy, by the time they finally do, it might just be too late.
- See more at:

This is the one map you need to understand Ukraine’s crisis

After two months of rallies in the capital city of Kiev against President Viktor Yanukovych's decision to reject a deal for closer integration with the European Union, Ukraine's protests are spreading to other major cities throughout the country's west. Protesters have even seized government administrative buildings in several regional capitals, heightening concerns about where Ukraine's crisis will go.
What's happening in Ukraine is about much more than the anger over Yanukovych rejecting the European Union deal and drawing the country closer to Russia. To help explain what's going on, I've put this map together up top. The red stripes show regions where mass protests are surrounding the regional capital buildings. The black stripes show regions where protesters have actually seized the government administrative buildings. The blue regions are where Yanukovych won a majority in the last presidential election, in 2010; dark blue means he won at least 70 percent. Orange regions show where Yulia Tymoshenko, then prime minister and candidate for a pro-European party, won the majority; she won at least 70 percent in dark orange regions.
Here's why this map is important: There is a big dividing line in Ukrainian politics -- an actual, physical line that separates the north and west from the south and east. You can see it in this map and in just about every electoral map since the country's independence. That divide goes beyond the question of whether Ukraine faces toward Europe or toward Russia, but that question is a major factor. And it's polarizing.

This map drives two things home: First is that the protests are practically endemic in the half of the country that voted against Yanukovych, which includes Kiev. Second, the protests are not really a factor in the half who voted for Yanukovych. That doesn't mean that people in the blue areas adore Yanukovych, but they're certainly not pouring out into the streets to oppose him. It also doesn't mean that the protesters lack legitimate gripes or that it's just about their candidate losing. The economy is in terrible shape, and the government recently imposed severe restrictions against free speech, media and assembly rights, which is part of why the protests kicked back up again.
In other words, in the European-facing half of Ukraine, the orange half, the protests are even more widespread and severe than you might have gathered from watching the media coverage. But it's important to keep in mind that the other half of the country, the blue half, is much quieter.
You may be wondering, then, why there is such a consistent and deep divide between these two halves of Ukraine. Here's the really crucial thing to understand about Ukraine: A whole lot of the country speaks Russian, rather than Ukrainian. This map shows the country's linguistic divide, which you may notice lines up just about perfectly with its political divide.

Ukraine's protests and linguistic breakdown. Click to enlarge. (Max Fisher/Washington Post)
Ukrainian is the majority and official language of Ukraine. But, as a legacy of of the country's subjugation by Russia, many Ukrainians speak Russian, which is the native language for about one-third of the population. The Russian speakers are clustered in the south and east. A significant chunk of them are ethnic Russian, as well. In some regions, more than three-quarters of the population speaks Russian as their primary language.
Heavily Russian-speaking regions can tend to be more sympathetic (or at least less hostile) to policies that bring their country closer to Russia, as Yanukovych has been doing. But the Ukrainian-speaking regions have historically sought a Ukrainian national identity that is less Russia-facing and more European. So this is about politics, yes, but it's also about identity, about the question of what it means to be Ukrainian.
Ukraine's ethno-lingistic political division is sort of like the United States' "red America" and "blue America" divide, but in many ways much deeper -- imagine if red and blue America literally spoke different languages. The current political conflict, which at its most basic level is over whether the country will lean toward Europe or toward Russia, is part of a long-running and unresolved national identity crisis. Yes, it's also about Yanukovych's failures to fix the economy and his draconian restrictions against basic freedoms. But there's so much more to it than that, which helps make the crisis so intractable.


Pope’s doves of peace for Ukraine attacked by angry birds

Pope Francis on Sunday prayed for the start of a “constructive dialogue” in Ukraine, releasing two white doves to symbolize the hope for peace. However, the doves were immediately attacked by a crow and a seagull. Addressing tens of thousands of people gathered in Vatican City’s St. Peter’s Square for the Pope’s weekly Angelus prayer, the pontiff said that his thoughts and prayers were with the victims of the Ukrainian unrest.

“I am close to Ukraine in prayer, in particular to those who have lost their lives in recent days and to their families,” Pope Francis said.

He then raised hopes for a “constructive dialogue between the institutions and civil society,” urging both sides to avoid violence and reminding that “the spirit of peace and a search for the common good” should be “in the hearts of all.”

In a symbolic peace gesture, two white doves were then released by children standing alongside Pope Francis. But as soon as the birds took off, they were immediately attacked by a crow and a seagull.

The crowd gasped as one dove broke free from its seagull attacker, losing some feathers in the process. The other was less fortunate and was repeatedly pecked at by the crow before flying away. It is not clear what happened to the doves after onlookers lost sight of them. 

 Social networks immediately exploded with comments and interpretations of the incident; some perceived it as an “ill omen” while others simply described the situation as ironic. Hundreds of protesters and police officers have been injured in violent riots in Ukraine. Investigators have been searching for shooters who, in separate incidents this week, killed several rioters and one policeman with rounds suitable for a sporting gun.


Тактический союз антиподов

Хакеры из известной группы «Anonimus» выложили в сети переписку заместителя главы украинской националистической организации «Тризуб имени Степана Бандеры» Андрея Тарасенко с заместителем председателя Меджлиса крымскотатарского народа Асланом Омером Кырымлы.

«Пришлось изрядно попыхтеть, но все же удалось взломать почту активистов майдана. Неожиданно оказалось, что националисты наладили связи с крымскими татарами», - пишет хакер. Далее – выдержка из одного из писем:

«Все идет по плану. Мы уже готовы приступать ко второй части пьесы. Как договаривались на прошлой неделе, мои ребята вместе с братьями из «Карпатской Сечи» и УНА-УНСО по первой команде подъедут за инструментами куда нужно. От тебя требуется только обозначить координаты складов в Симферополе, Севастополе, Керчи, Феодосии и Евпатории, а также время встречи. Да, есть еще одна просьба. Дичи много, нужно больше охотничьего снаряжения, шлемов и палок. Не забудь про газировку в стеклянных бутылках, а также топливо для них. Также не помешают противогазы и средства первой медицинской помощи. Я понимаю, что наши турецкие друзья и так уже много сделали, но ты меня знаешь - я никогда не прошу лишнего. Дичь оказалась не пугливая, коктейли на них не действуют. Нужно что-то посерьезней. Надеюсь ты меня понял. За деньги не беспокойся — все будет в лучшем виде, но попозже. В конце концов, ты же знаешь что в случае нашего успеха, ты получишь гораздо больше».

Судя по тексту письма, неонацистские организации «Тризуб имени Степана Бандеры», «Карпатская Сечь» и УНА-УНСО готовы взять на себя всю черновую работу: убивать, жечь и изгонять противников майдана из Крыма. От крымских татар требуется «только» обеспечить их «инструментами», то есть оружием и складировать их в важнейших городах Крыма. Кроме того, нужно большое количество боеприпасов, ибо «дичи много», а также горючая смесь для коктейлей Молотова – «газировка в стеклянных бутылках и топливо для них».

Интересна характеристика, данная заговорщиками обязательному противнику: «Дичь оказалась не пугливая, коктейли на них не действуют. Нужно что-то посерьезней». Посерьезней, это, судя по всему, автоматическое оружие. Они понимают, что «Беркут», практически безоружным защищавший режим нелюбимого им Януковича и при этом не отступивший перед коктейлями Молотова, на востоке и в Крыму окажет намного более серьезное сопротивление.

Еще один важный нюанс чудовищной программы: «турецкие друзья», которые «и так уже много сделали». Логика письма подсказывает, речь идет об оружии, накачанном Турцией в Крым. Но это оружие предназначено для крымских татар, уйгуров, самих турок, а также, в чем сомневаться не приходится, отрядов Хизб ут-Тахрир. Сегодня у турецкого поставщика появилась группа объединенных общей идеей клиентов – осознающие свою уязвимость УНА-УНСО, «Тризуб имени Степана Бандеры», да никогда в истории не существовавшая «Карпатская сечь».

Фактически одно это письмо подтверждает все то, о чем писал неоднократно: Крым давно уже является важнейшей мишенью пантюркизма, а в пропагандистско-идеологических документах этого далеко не фантомного движения полуостров именуется «Западным Туркестаном», по аналогии с «Восточным Туркестаном» - Уйгурией.

Крымские татары давно уже наладили международные контакты, и делалось это с помощью Турции и менее «засвечивающегося» Азербайджана. Баку и Анкара стали своеобразным мостом между Меджлисом крымских татар и различного рода еврокомиссарами. Так, в августе 2013 г. верховный комиссар ОБСЕ по делам национальных меньшинств Кнут Воллебек опубликовал доклад, озаглавленный «Интеграция ранее депортированных лиц в Крыму, Украина». «Несмотря на похвальные попытки центральных властей Украины и местных властей Крыма содействовать возвращению и решению ряда вопросов, с которыми сталкиваются ранее депортированные лица, многие структурные проблемы все еще остаются нерешенными. Дальнейшие усилия и поддержка, включая поддержку со стороны международного сообщества, необходимы для достижения устойчивых результатов», – отмечается в докладе. А уже спустя месяц Крым посетил специалист по цветным революциям, еврокомиссар по вопросам расширения и политики добрососедства Штефана Фюле. Визит Фюле и его встречи с руководством Меджлиса крымских татар были посвящены «проблеме крымских татар в Украине». Сегодня мы можем констатировать: Турция и Азербайджан способствовали, а Евросоюз с удовольствием поддержал интернационализацию «проблемы крымских татар».

Кроме того, в Крыму давно уже налажено тюркско-исламистское подполье, ведущая роль в котором принадлежит, кроме самих крымских татар, уйгурам из Синьдзян-Уйгурского автономного округа Китая. Есть несколько десятков «инспекторов» и из Турции с Азербайджаном. Словом, крымско-татарские активисты давно уже готовят различные варианты (националистический, тюркский, исламистский) вывода Крыма из-под юрисдикции Украины и провозглашения самостоятельного государства. В связи с этим возникает вопрос: каким образом, и на какой почве мог возникнуть союз украинских националистов и крымских татар?

В самом деле, националисты Украины и крымские татары преследуют взаимоисключающие цели, и их союз на первый взгляд выглядит противоестественным. Нужно, однако, понимать, что и тем и другим для достижения своих целей в Крыму необходимо вначале нейтрализовать главное препятствие: русскоязычное население полуострова. То есть нынешний «союз» воспринимается обоими «союзниками» как тактическая необходимость на пути к решению стратегической задачи.

«Союзники» прекрасно понимают, что после нейтрализации русского населения Крыма их пути пересекутся, но… это будет завтра, к которому, кстати, обе стороны готовятся. В процессе подготовки к будущей борьбе крымские татары укрепляют связи с Турцией и Азербайджаном и, с меньшим успехом (за исключением уйгур), остальным тюркским миром. Одновременно лидеры крымских татар делегируют все больше своих соплеменников в воюющую в Сирии террористическую организацию Хизб ут-Тахрир. Украинские националисты больше уповают на количественное превосходство и, как бы странно это не выглядело, Евросоюз, ныне являющийся их главным союзником. О том, что Евросоюз в Украине, как и украинские националисты – в Крыму, «Тризуб имени Степана Бандеры», «Карпатская Сечь» и УНА-УНСО, видимо, не способны догадаться. Пока их интересует складированное в крымском подполье турецкое оружие.


P.S. А вот найденная в интернете информация об Аслане, адресате Андрея Тарасенко.
Аслан Омер Кырымлы (он же Аслан Умеров, он же Руслан Умеров), является учредителем нескольких компаний и президентом правления Крымской Международной Бизнес Ассоциации (CIBA). Он контролирует серьёзные финансовые потоки, связанные с различными бизнес проектами, как на Украине, так и за рубежом. Считается, что именно Аслан Омер Кырымлы является истинным руководителем Меджлиса крымских татар, что особенно выпукло обозначилось после того, как Мустафа Джемилев, бывший глава Меджлиса, отказался от своей должности.

P.P.S. Данный документ, только что обнаруженный редакцией, комментариев не требует.



Նախ ցանկանում եմ շնորհակալություն հայտնել այս միջոցառմանն ինձ հրավիրելու համար: Կարևորում եմ «Նորավանք» գիտակրթական հիմնադրամի կողմից նման քննարկումների կազմակերպումը՝ այս և այլ «ուղեղային կենտրոնների» իրականացրած ռազմավարական հետազոտությունների արդյունքների և պետական կառավարման մարմինների եզրակացությունների համադրմամբ մեր երկրի անվտանգության և պաշտպանության ապահովման համար վերլուծական հենք ձևավորելու տեսանկյունից:

Այսօր ես կանդրադառնամ միջազգային և տարածաշրջանային ռազմաքաղաքական իրավիճակին և առավել կարևոր զարգացումներին: Նշեմ, որ վերլուծությունս կառուցված է միջազգային հարաբերությունների նկատմամբ կառուցողականության մոտեցման հիման վրա:

Ինչպես հայտնի է, քաղաքական փիլիսոփայության մեջ միջազգային հարաբերությունների վերաբերյալ իրատեսական մոտեցման համաձայն՝ բոլոր երկրներն առաջնորդվում են անձնապաշտական մրցակցությամբ, որի հանգուցալուծման ամենահավանական տարբերակը պատերազմն է: Լիբերալիստական մոտեցման դիրքերից՝ փոխադարձ շահերը և միջազգային առևտուրը կարող են պարարտ հող ստեղծել պատերազմներից ձերբազատվելու և, Էմանուել Կանտի խոսքերով՝ «հավերժ խաղաղություն» հաստատելու համար: Այս ամենին հակառակ, կառուցողական մոտեցումը, որի ջատագովներից ենք նաև մենք, ենթադրում է առկա միջազգային իրականության բազմակողմանի ըմբռնում: Համաձայն այդ մոտեցման՝ առկա միջազգային իրականությունը հարկավոր է ընդունել այնպես, ինչպես այն կա, որ շրջակա աշխարհը չի կարելի նկարագրել միայն սև ու սպիտակ գույներով, և որ ձևավորված ռազմաքաղաքական միջավայրը լեցուն է ոչ միայն սպառնալիքներով, այլև բարենպաստ հնարավորություններով:

ԽՍՀՄ տրոհմամբ աշխարհում հաստատվեց միաբևեռ համակարգ: Լիբերալիստական դպրոցի ներկայացուցիչ որոշ գիտնականներ, օրինակ` Ֆրենսիս Ֆուկույաման, ձևավորված աշխարհակարգը որակեցին որպես «պատմության վերջ»՝ եզրակացնելով, թե, իբր, մարդկությունն այլևս ապահովված է խոշորածավալ բախումներից: Մինչդեռ, այլ վերլուծաբաններ, ինչպես, օրինակ, նեոռեալիզմի ջատագով Քենեթ Ուոլցը, միաբևեռականությունը որակեցին որպես նոր պատերազմների ծագման բարենպաստ ասպարեզ, քանզի հակակշռի բացակայությունը մեկ գերտերությանը թույլ է տալիս պատերազմներ վարել իր հայեցողությամբ: Ժամանակն ապացուցեց այս տեսակետի իրատեսական լինելը. ապացույցը Բալկաններում, Աֆղանստանում, Մերձավոր Արևելքում և այլուր ծնունդ առած հակամարտություններն են:

Սակայն պատմությունը ցույց է տալիս, որ աշխարհաքաղաքական բևեռներից մեկի տեղատվությանը վաղ թե ուշ փոխարինելու է գալիս մակընթացությունը: Այսպես. ԽՍՀՄ փլուզմանը հաջորդած աշխարհաքաղաքական դիրքերի կորստից հետո Ռուսաստանը, սկսած 2000 թվականից, ամրապնդում է դիրքերը: Վերջին տարիներին Ռուսաստանի արտաքին քաղաքականությունը դարձել է ավելի նպատակաուղղված` սատարված լինելով բնական պաշարների արտահանումներից գոյացող քաղաքական ազդեցությամբ և ֆինանսական ռեզերվներով ու ազդեցության տարածման այնպիսի մեխանիզմներով, ինչպիսիք են ԱՊՀ-ն, ՀԱՊԿ-ը, Շանհայի համագործակցության կազմակերպությունը, Մաքսային միությունը և այլն: Թեև Ռուսաստանը չկարողացավ առաջ մղել իր դիրքորոշումները 2003թ.՝ Իրաքի և 2011թ․՝ Լիբիայի հարցերում, սակայն ակնհայտ է, որ Իրանի և Սիրիայի հարցերում Ռուսաստանը հասել է իր այն «կարմիր գծին», որից անդին վճռականորեն չի գնա զիջումների: Պատահական չէ, որ ԱՄՆ ռազմավարական վերլուծաբանները նույնպես Ռուսաստանը Չինաստանի հետ դասում են «հզորացող տերությունների» կամ «աճող ուժերի» շարքին:

Այսպիսով, կարող ենք փաստել, որ միաբևեռ աշխարհակարգն աստիճանաբար տեղը զիջում է բազմաբևեռին: Ընդ որում, ԱՄՆ-ին և Ռուսաստանին, որպես «առաջին դասի» երկու գերտերություններ, միացել է նաև Չինաստանը: «Առաջին դասի» գերտերությունների այս դասակարգման համար առաջին հերթին հաշվի ենք առնում պետության ռազմական հզորությունը, տնտեսական ներուժը, տեխնոլոգիական առաջադիմությունը, տարածքի մեծությունը, աշխարհագրական դիրքը, բնակչության քանակությունը, բնական պաշարները և մշակութային ազդեցությունը:

Ինչ վերաբերում է Եվրամիությանը, ապա, կարծում եմ` այն առաջիկայում ո՛չ տնտեսական և ո՛չ էլ ռազմական տեսանկյունից չի ամրապնդվի այնքան, որպեսզի կարողանա հանդես գալ որպես 4-րդ ուժային կենտրոն: Համաշխարհային ֆինանսատնտեսական ճգնաժամը երևան հանեց Եվրամիության հյուսիսի և հարավի միջև տնտեսական կարողությունների և կառավարչական մեխանիզմների միջև անհամապատասխանությունը: Միևնույն ժամանակ, Եվրամիության ռազմական ամրապնդումն ինքնին հակասում է ՆԱՏՕ գոյության գաղափարին և հետևապես՝ արժանանում ԱՄՆ թաքնված դիմադրությանը: Այս համատեքստում Եվրամիությունը որպես միասնական ուժային կենտրոն դիտարկելու փոխարեն մենք նրա անդամ երկրներին՝ Գերմանիա, Ֆրանսիա, Մեծ Բրիտանիա և Իտալիա, դիտարկում ենք որպես 2-րդ դասի գերտերություններ:

Նշեմ նաև, որ վերջին տարիներին ԱՄՆ-ն իր ռազմավարական ջանքերը Եվրոպայից և Մերձավոր Արևելքից վերաուղղում է դեպի խաղաղօվկիանոսյան ավազան, որտեղ սկսվել և ապագայում է՛լ ավելի է թեժանալու ԱՄՆ-ի և Չինաստանի միջև մրցակցությունը: Այս մասին առավել դիպուկ արտահայտվել է ԱՄՆ նախկին պետքարտուղար Հիլարի Քլինթոնը՝ նշելով. «Քաղաքականության ապագան որոշվելու է Հեռավոր Ասիայում, այլ ո՛չ թե Աֆղանստանում և Իրաքում»: Հարկ է նշել, որ ԱՄՆ ռազմավարական ջանքերի տեղաշարժը դեպի խաղաղօվկիանոսյան տարածաշրջան պայմանավորված է նաև նավթագազային ռեսուրսների արտահանման աղբյուրների նկատմամբ ԱՄՆ նվազող շահագրգռվածությամբ, ինչը պայմանավորված է ԱՄՆ-ում նավթի նոր մեծ պաշարների հայտնաբերմամբ, ինչպես նաև դրանց արտահանման առաջադեմ տեխնոլոգիաների զարգացմամբ: Վերլուծաբանների պնդմամբ՝ մինչև 2020թ․ ածխաջրածնային ռեսուրսների ապահովման առումով ԱՄՆ-ը կդառնա ինքնաբավ: Որպես հետևանք` ԱՄՆ-ում արդեն իսկ նվազել է Ադրբեջանից Հարավային Եվրոպա ծրագրվող «Հարավային գազային միջանցքը» և «Տրանսադրիատիկ գազամուղը» ֆինանսավորելու՝ նախկինում առկա խանդավառությունը:

Հետզհետե աճելու է նաև տարածաշրջանային գերտերությունների կարգավիճակի ձգտող երկրների՝ Թուրքիայի և Իրանի դերակատարությունը: Դինամիկ զարգացող տնտեսության, ռազմական հզորության, ինչպես նաև աշխարհիկ և չափավոր իսլամի պատճառով, Արևմուտքի համար ընդունելի գործընկեր լինելու տեսանկյուններից բացի, Թուրքիայի՝ 2-րդ դասի գերտերություն դառնալու հնարավորություններն ավելի են ամրապնդվում Արևմուտք-Արևելք տրանսպորտային միջանցք դառնալու փաստով: Ասվածի վկայություններից է վերջերս բացված «Մարմարա» թունելը:

Իրանի դերը նույնպես Մերձավոր Արևելքում կշարունակի աճել: Այդ միտումը պայմանավորված է ոչ միայն նավթագազային հարուստ պաշարներով, դինամիկ աճող բնակչությամբ, շիա մահմեդականների շրջանում վայելած հեղինակությամբ, Ռուսաստանի և Չինաստանի աջակցությամբ, այլև, որքան էլ զարմանալի թվա առաջին հայացքից, միջուկային ծրագրի առկայությամբ: Չնայած Արևմուտքի կողմից շարունակվող պատժամիջոցներին, Իրանը հաստատակամ է օգտվելու «խաղաղ միջուկային էներգիա» ունենալու իր իրավունքից: Այս պարագայում Արևմուտքը կանգնած է 3 տարբերակի առջև՝ 1․ թույլ տալ Իրանին՝ դառնալ միջուկային տերություն (ոչինչ չանել), 2․ հասցնել կանխարգելիչ հարվածներ և 3․ համատեղել պատժամիջոցները դիվանագիտության հետ «մտրակի և փքաբլիթի» քաղաքականություն բանեցնելու միջոցով: Որքան էլ զարմանալի է, 1-ին տարբերակը՝ թողնել, որ Իրանը ձեռք բերի միջուկային զենք, ամբողջովին չի անտեսվում ԱՄՆ վերլուծաբանական հանրության կողմից: Այս տեսակետի ջատագովները պնդում են, որ Իրանի կողմից միջուկային զենքի ձեռքբերումը կնպաստի Մերձավոր Արևելքում կայունության հաստատմանը, քանի որ կվերանա Իսրայելի մենաշնորհը: Երկրորդ տարբերակը ենթադրում է կանխարգելիչ ավիացիոն-հրթիռային հարվածներ միջուկային օբյեկտներին: Սակայն ԱՄՆ զինվորական փորձագետները պնդում են, որ միջուկային օբյեկտները լավ պաշտպանված են, դրանց խոցման հավանականությունը բարձր չէ, իսկ ցամաքային ներխուժման, Իրաքի և Աֆղանստանի հակամարտություններից հետո, ԱՄՆ ռազմական մեքենան ո՛չ պատրաստ է, ո՛չ էլ հակված: Ըստ ամենայնի, Արևմուտքը կշարունակի ապավինել 3-րդ՝ պատժամիջոցների և բանակցությունների տարբերակին: Նշենք, որ ներկայումս Իրան – Արևմուտք արդյունավետ երկխոսության համար առկա են որոշակի նախադրյալներ, քանզի նախագահ Ռոհանին հետին պլան է մղել իր նախորդի ցուցաբերած կոշտությունը, և ամենակարևորը՝ միջուկային հետազոտությունների համար պատասխանատու ստորաբաժանումը հանել է Իսլամական հեղափոխության պահապանների կորպուսի ենթակայությունից և դրել արտգործնախարարության վերահսկողության ներքո:

Ինչ վերաբերում է Սիրիայում ընթացող զինված հակամարտության հնարավոր զարգացումներին, ապա, ամենայն հավանականությամբ, Արևմուտքի և Թուրքիայի հնարավոր բացահայտ ռազմական միջամտությունից հնարավոր կլինի խուսափել: Ընդ որում, ռազմական ներխուժմանը դեմ են արտահայտվում հենց ամերիկյան զինվորականները՝ Շտաբերի պետերի միավորված կոմիտեի նախագահի գլխավորությամբ: Իրանի, Չինաստանի և հատկապես Ռուսաստանի ջանքերի շնորհիվ Սիրիայի քիմիական զենքի հարցն արդեն կարգավորվում է ՄԱԿ հովանու ներքո, որի փորձագետները հաստատել են, որ քիմիական զենք արտադրող ենթակառույցները ոչնչացվել են, իսկ կուտակված պաշարները կոչնչացվեն 2014թ․ ընթացքում:

Ինչ վերաբերում է Հարավային Կովկասին, ապա այն շարունակելու է գտնվել համաշխարհային ուժային կենտրոնների շահերի բեկման տիրույթում և մնալ կոնֆլիկտոգեն՝ այստեղ առկա չկարգավորված հակամարտություններով պայմանավորված:

Հարավային Կովկասին բնորոշ իրողություններից է նաև այն, որ այստեղի պետությունները որդեգրել են տրամագծորեն տարբեր անվտանգային քաղաքականություն և դաշինքներին ու ուժային կենտրոններին հարելու դիրքորոշումներ:

Մաքսային միության և Եվրամիության հետ ասոցացման միջև երկընտրանքի վերաբերյալ բազմիցս արտահայտվել ենք: Միջազգային հարաբերությունների նկատմամբ ժամանակակից կառուցողական մոտեցման տեսանկյունից, տնտեսական զարգացումը բխում է անվտանգությունից և ոչ թե հակառակը: Այս համատեքստում մեր երկրի անվտանգության ապահովումը երկարաժամկետ հեռանկարում խարսխված է Ռուսաստանի հետ ռազմավարական դաշնակցային հարաբերությունների վրա: Այդ դաշնակցային հարաբերությունները համանման նշանակություն ունեն նաև Ռուսաստանի համար: Հետևաբար՝ հարաբերություննների նման բարձր մակարդակը կողմերի համար փոխշահավետ է բառի բուն իմաստով: Այնուհանդերձ, Մաքսային միության ընտրությունը մեզ չի խանգարելու շարունակել տնտեսության, գիտության և կրթության, քաղաքացիական հասարակության կառուցման և այլ ոլորտներում Եվրամիության հետ համագործակցության զարգացմանը:

Վրաստանի պարագայում տիրում է հակառակ պատկերը. այդ երկիրը հետամուտ է առավել սերտ դարձնել Եվրամիության հետ իր հարաբերությունները: Իսկ ահա Ադրբեջանը փորձում է ցուցաբերել առավել անկախ խաղացողի կեցվածք և նախապատվությունը տալիս է Թուրքիայի հետ ռազմավարական դաշինքին: Միևնույն ժամանակ, Ադրբեջանը ձևական մոտեցում է ցուցաբերում ՆԱՏՕ անհատական գործընկերության գործողությունների ծրագրի և Եվրոպական հարևանության քաղաքականության շրջանակներում ստանձնած հանձնառությունների կատարման հանդեպ` ավելի շատ արժևորելով ԱՄՆ-ի հետ իր երկկողմ հարաբերությունները:

Այժմ ընդհանուր առմամբ անդրադառնանք Հարավային Կովկասում համաշխարհային և տարածաշրջանային ուժային կենտրոնների վարած քաղաքականությանը:

ԱՄՆ. Կասպից ծովում ածխաջրածնային պաշարներն ու ենթակառույցները պաշտպանելու համար ԱՄՆ-ը շահագրգռված է Ադրբեջանին զինելու ռազմածովային և ափամերձ պաշտպանության համակարգերով: Չնայած դրան, ԱՄՆ-ը ձեռնպահ է մնում ցամաքային զինատեսակներով Ադրբեջանին զինելուց՝ չցանկանալով խախտել արցախյան հակամարտության շուրջ ուժերի հարաբերակցությունը և հարուցել Հայաստանի դժգոհությունը: Միևնույն ժամանակ, ԱՄՆ-ը բացահայտորեն մեղադրում է Ալիևի վարչակարգին՝ հակահայկական ռազմատենչ հռետորաբանության համար:

Հայաստանի նկատմամբ ԱՄՆ-ը «համակրանք» ունի: Երկու պետություններին միավորում է Կովկասում կայունություն հաստատելու ցանկությունը: Միևնույն ժամանակ, ԱՄՆ-ի համար հատկապես մտահոգիչ է այն հանգամանքը, որ տարածաշրջանում ռազմական իրավիճակի սրման դեպքում և՛ Ադրբեջանը, և՛ Հայաստանը աջակցություն կակնկալեն ՌԴ-ից, ինչն էլ կնվազեցնի Վաշինգտոնի դերը տարածաշրջանում: Վաշինգտոնի համար պակաս մտահոգիչ չէ նաև այն, որ անկայունությունը սպառնում է տարածաշրջանով անցնող միջազգային նշանակության էներգետիկ և առևտրային նախագծերին:
Ռուսաստան. Հարավային Կովկասում Ռուսաստանի ազդեցությունն ունի ամրապնդման միտում: Դրա վկայություններն են Իրանի հետ արդյունավետ գործընկերությունը, Հայաստանի հետ ռազմավարական դաշինքը, ՀԱՊԿ-ի՝ տարածաշրջանային կազմակերպություն լինելու հանգամանքը, Ադրբեջանի սպառազինման գործընթացում վճռական դերակատարություն ունենալու ձգտումը և Վրաստանի հետ հարաբերությունների կարգավորման միտումը: Ի հակադրություն Միջին Ասիա-Ադրբեջան-Վրաստան-Թուրքիա-Եվրոպա ուղղությամբ «Արևելք-Արևմուտք» հաղորդակցության նախագծերի, Ռուսաստանը սատարում է Պարսից ծոց-Իրան-Հայաստան-Սև ծով-Եվրոպա ուղղությամբ «Հյուսիս-Հարավ» տրանսպորտային միջանցքի նախագծին:

Թուրքիա. Կշարունակվեն տարածաշրջանում ինքնուրույն քաղաքականություն վարելու Թուրքիայի ջանքերը: Անկարան չի թուլացնի աջակցությունն Ադրբեջանին, և այդ համատեքստում կշարունակի փակված սահմանների միջոցով ճնշումներ բանեցնել Հայաստանի վրա: Զուգահեռաբար Թուրքիան կշարունակի տարաբնույթ տնտեսական նախագծերի միջոցով գայթակղել Վրաստանին: Սակայն ակնհայտ է, որ տարածաշրջանում առավել ինքնուրույն գործելու Թուրքիայի նկրտումները չեն կարող չմտահոգել ԱՄՆ վարչակազմին:
Իրան. Հարավային Կովկասում Իրանի ազդեցությունը կշարունակի ուղիղ համեմատական լինել Ռուսաստանի և հակադարձ համեմատական՝ ԱՄՆ ազդեցության տատանումներին: Պահպանելով արցախյան հակամարտության նկատմամբ անկողմնապահ մոտեցում՝ Իրանը կպահպանի Հայաստանի հետ բարիդրացիական հարաբերությունները՝ առաջին հերթին հյուսիս-հարավ հաղորդակցության ծրագրերի կյանքի կոչման նպատակով: Այս ամենի հետ մեկտեղ, Թեհրանը որպես սպառնալիք կդիտարկի ԱՄՆ-ի և հատկապես Իսրայելի հետ Ադրբեջանի մերձենալու քաղաքականությունը՝ առաջին հերթին Իրանական Ատրպատականի թրքալեզու բնակչության շրջանում անջատողականության հրահրման տեսանկյունից:

Ամփոփելով՝ հանգում ենք հետևյալ եզրակացությունների:

Տարածաշրջանի ռազմաքաղաքական միջավայրը բնորոշվում է Հայաստանի հանդեպ կայուն սպառնալիքների առկայությամբ՝ պայմանավորված հավանական հակառակորդների՝ Ադրբեջանի և Թուրքիայի ագրեսիվ-ապակառուցողական քաղաքական ուղեգծով: Այդուհանդերձ, հարկ է հատուկ ընդգծել, որ, ինչպես վերը նշվեց, Արևմուտքի կողմից Իրանի դեմ ուժի կիրառումը մենք գնահատում ենք քիչ հավանական, ինչը հուսադրող է՝ Հայաստանի հարավային սահմանների մոտ կայունության պահպանման տեսանկյունից:

Վրաստանում տեղի ունեցած նախագահական ընտրությունները թույլ են տալիս հուսալ, որ Արևմուտքի և Ռուսաստանի հետ հարաբերություններում հավասարակշռություն պահպանելուն ուղղված նախկին վարչապետ Բ.Իվանիշվիլու քաղաքական գիծը կլինի շարունակական, ինչը միմիայն բխում է Հայաստանի շահերից: Չնայած Վրաստանի իշխանությունները հաստատակամ են պահպանել եվրատլանտյան կառույցներին ինտեգրվելու իրենց քաղաքական ուղեգիծը, սակայն հստակորեն արտահայտում են նաև Ռուսաստանի հետ հարաբերությունները կարգավորելու, առկա լարվածությունը վերացնելու ցանկություն: Ինչ վերաբերում է հայ-վրացական հարաբերություններին, ապա Վրաստանի կողմից ավելի հավասարակշռված արտաքին քաղաքականություն վարելը միմիայն կնպաստի դրանց զարգացմանը: Հարկ է նշել, որ աստիճանաբար ամրապնդվում են համագործակցությունը և փոխվստահությունը պաշտպանության ոլորտում, որի վկայություններից են երկու երկրների պաշտպանության նախարարների այս տարվա փոխայցելությունները:

Հայաստանի ազգային անվտանգության ապահովման տեսանկյունից գլխավոր մարտահրավեր է շարունակում մնալ Արցախի տարածքի հանդեպ Ադրբեջանի անհիմն հավակնությամբ պայմանավորված հակամարտությունը: Բանակցային գործընթացում Ադրբեջանը վարում է ակնհայտ ապակառուցողական քաղաքականության, նպատակաուղղված ագրեսիվ-նախահարձակ գործողություններով տապալում շփման գծում լարվածության թուլացման և կողմերի միջև վստահության ամրապնդմանն ուղղված պայմանավորվածությունները:

Իսկ կա՞ն արդյոք բարենպաստ հնարավորություններ, որոնք ունակ են չեզոքացնել վերը նշված սպառնալիքները: Կարծում եմ, որ այդպիսի բարենպաստ հնարավորություններից են․

1. Ռուսաստանի Դաշնության հետ Հայաստանի շարունակական մերձեցումը ինչպես երկկողմ ռազմական համագործակցության, ՀԱՊԿ ռազմական բաղադրիչի հետագա զարգացման, այնպես էլ Մաքսային միության շրջանակներում:

2. ԱՄՆ-ի համար Ադրբեջանի կարևորության նվազման միտումը` պայմանավորված տեղական էներգակիրների պաշարների հայտնաբերմամբ, Իրանի դեմ ռազմական գործողություններ սկսելու հավանականության նվազմամբ, ինչպես նաև 2014թ․ հետո Աֆղանստանում ներգրավման ծավալների կտրուկ կրճատմամբ:

3. Ադրբեջանի աստիճանական վերածումը «պարսիցծոցյան մենիշխանության»։ Դրանք, ինչպես ցույց է տալիս փորձը, ավելի քիչ են հակված պատերազմների սանձազերծման՝ սեփական իշխանությունը չվտանգելու մտավախությամբ պայմանավորված:

Հիշատակված երեք բարենպաստ հնարավորությունների առկայությունը, սակայն, ամենևին չի նշանակում, թե Հայաստանի Հանրապետության և Արցախի հանդեպ Ադրբեջանից բխող ռազմական սպառնալիքը նվազել է: Հակառակը, ծավալապաշտական նկրտումներից դրդված՝ Բաքվի իշխանությունները շարունակում են փափագել Արցախն օկուպացնելու նպատակը: Պետք է հաշվի առնել նաև այն, որ ածխաջրածնային ռեսուրսների առկայության փաստն ադրբեջանական ղեկավարությունում ստեղծել է անպատժելի մնալու և ամենաթողության համոզվածություն, իսկ սպառազինությունների կուտակումը կարող է նաև ձևավորել հաղթանակ տանելու պատրանք: Հետևաբար, միանգամայն հավանական պետք է համարել, որ այս երկու գործոնները հարուցեն ադրբեջանական իշխանությունների՝ մեր դեմ «կայծակնային պատերազմ» սանձազերծելու գայթակղություն:

Այսպիսով՝ ակնհայտ է, որ տեսանելի հեռանկարում Հայաստանի շուրջ ձևավորված ռազմաքաղաքական միջավայրն ավելի անվտանգ չի դառնալու: Հետևաբար, Հայաստանը շարունակելու է հետևողականորեն բազմապատկել խաղաղություն պարտադրելու իր ներուժը: