Tag Archives: Arseniy Yatsenyuk

“Human rights” imperialism in Ukraine

By Patrick Martin
June 12, 2015
World Socialist Web Site

 

ukraine-usa

Image from: Oriental Review

In remarks delivered Wednesday and Thursday, representatives of the Obama administration and the Ukrainian government have sought to stoke up a new Cold War atmosphere against Russia, while proclaiming the right-wing regime in Kiev, brought to power by US and European imperialism in a coup spearheaded by neo-fascist groups, as the front line of the “free world.”

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk set the tone in meetings Wednesday in Washington with Vice President Biden at the White House, and with the editorial board of the Washington Post, where he denounced Russian President Vladimir Putin and alleged Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine.

“Putin is playing with the far-right nationalistic sentiment that still exists in Russia,” Yatsenyuk declared—this from a representative of a government that is the distillation of “far-right nationalistic sentiment” in Ukraine. Only last month, the Kiev regime banned the display of Soviet-era military decorations and awards for those who fought in the Red Army against Hitler’s invasion of the USSR, while declaring that the Ukrainian anti-communists who collaborated with the Nazis and slaughtered Jews and Poles were the true national heroes.

Yatsenyuk told the Post editors that Ukraine, while not a member of NATO, had become NATO’s front line against Russia. “If we fail, this will be a failure of the entire free world,” he said.

The Post responded with an editorial Thursday demanding US military aid to Ukraine and criticizing Obama because “The president has ceded leadership on the issue to Germany and France and overridden those in his administration and Congress who support arms deliveries.”

Yatsenyuk’s theme was then taken up by Samantha Power, the Obama administration’s own ambassador to the United Nations, in an hour-long speech in Kiev yesterday, delivered to an audience of rabid Ukrainian nationalists. Power is the personification of “human rights” imperialism, having first come to public notice as a critic of the Clinton administration’s refusal to intervene in the Rwandan genocide of 1994—a slaughter that was bound up with the rivalry between French and American imperialism in the region.

Power, an Obama foreign policy aide for a decade, is identified with campaigns for US intervention in Sudan under the pretext of preventing genocide in Darfur, as well as similar efforts in central Africa, Libya, Syria, Nigeria and now Ukraine. Like all defenders of US imperialist interests, Power maintains a crass double standard where the crimes of US allies are concerned (to say nothing of the crimes of US imperialism itself in Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries). She has shown no outrage over mass slaughters by Israel in Gaza or by Egyptian military dictator al-Sisi, and she supports the ongoing campaign of starvation and bombing by Saudi Arabia in Yemen.

Even by these standards, Power’s speech in Kiev Thursday was remarkable for its duplicity and hypocrisy. She denounced as “myths” the well-grounded contention of Russian officials that “the Maidan protesters were pawns of the West,” and that “Euromaidan had been engineered by Western capitals in order to topple a democratically-elected government.”

In fact, State Department official Victoria Nuland boasted that her agency had bankrolled the Ukrainian movement against the pro-Russian elected president Viktor Yanukovych. She was recorded discussing with the US ambassador to Kiev plans to make “Yats”—as she then referred to opposition leader Arseniy Yatsenyuk—the leader of a new pro-American government.

Power declared that the Maidan movement was directed against “the concentration of power in the hands of a few oligarchs,” while avoiding any mention of the Ukrainian president who came to power as a consequence: billionaire Petro Poroshenko, known as the “chocolate king,” who personifies the corrupt oligarchy whose grip on Ukraine has only been strengthened.

Turning to the current political crisis in Ukraine, provoked by massive cuts in social spending and living standards demanded by the country’s creditors, including the IMF, EU and United States, Power declared that this was the fulfillment of the Maidan movement of 2013-2014. “It is about moving from demanding change to actually making change,” she declared. “You are still living in the revolution.”

Power’s suggestion that Ukrainians continue to “make change” came only days after the eruption of mass protests against US-backed austerity measures and dictatorial measures adopted by its puppet government in Kiev. There are reports of widespread draft refusal by Ukrainian youth who do not want to be forced into the military to fight their neighbors in the east. Last week, moreover, an LGBT pride parade was assaulted by far-right militias allied with the government.

One can easily imagine what the US reaction would be if these events had taken place in Russia. They would be the occasion for a massive media-orchestrated campaign. Since they occurred in Ukraine, however, they were ignored by the media, while the US presses ahead with its war plans.

Power’s entire speech, along with the statements of Yatsenyuk and the Washington Post, turn reality on its head. In the Orwellian world of the strategists of the American ruling class, a right-wing regime installed by an imperialist-backed putsch and facing deep popular opposition at home is a beacon of the “free world,” and the relentless militarization of Eastern Europe by the US and its NATO powers is a necessary response to “Russian aggression.”

All of this serves as the preparation for an even more bloody military escalation. From the beginning, the operation in Ukraine was intended to lay the groundwork for war against Russia.

These plans are now entering a new phase. Earlier this week, the G-7 powers met to denounce Russian “aggression” and declare their readiness to implement new sanctions. And behind the scenes, the US is developing plans to reintroduce nuclear missiles in Europe and launch preemptive strikes under the pretext of alleged Russian violations of a nuclear weapons treaty.

Behind its increasingly threadbare and naked propaganda, American imperialism is preparing a global catastrophe.

 

 

Protests mount against US-backed regime in Ukraine

By Thomas Gaist
June 10, 2015
World Socialist Web Site

 

In the latest eruption of mass protests against the US puppet government of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, thousands of demonstrators swept through the streets of Kiev this weekend. Marchers demanded cancellation of martial law decrees, the repeal of subsidy cuts that have driven up the price of energy and foodstuffs, and the reversal of cuts to wages and pensions imposed by the government.

Demonstrators held placards demanding an end to cuts in pensions and denouncing the spiking prices of basic commodities. Slogans included “Raise pensions,” “We are hungry,” “Out with Yatsenyuk and his reforms,” and “Impeach Poroshenko!”

The demonstrations over the weekend come on the heels of so-called “Financial Maidan” protests at the end of May, which saw thousands protest in Kiev against catastrophic economic conditions produced by the government’s austerity policies.

An LGBT pride parade was assaulted by members of Right Sector and other far-right groups on Friday. The parade was quickly dispersed by attackers who reportedly threw rocks and tear gas capsules at the demonstrators.

In addition to the protest marches, Occupy-style tent camps, referred to in media reports as “Maidan 3.0,” sprung up in the center of the city over the weekend. After refusing orders from police to take down the encampment, the campers were assaulted on Sunday by dozens of masked men brandishing black and red fascist flags. The attackers spoke with nearby police units before launching their attack, according to reports. Sputnik News, a Russian state media web site, charged US operatives with intervening inside the Occupy-style protest encampments. It alleged that the protest camps were organized by Rustam Tashbaev of the Stratagem Center for Political Analysis, a US think tank. Sputnik’s report featured an alleged photo of Tashbaev, a US citizen, posing for a portrait with US Senator John McCain.

Ukraine has undoubtedly become a hotbed of US intrigue, since a NATO-backed coup led by the fascist Right Sector militia toppled the country’s pro-Russian government, and US operatives may well be intervening in the protests. However, what is driving the protests is rising opposition in the Ukrainian population to the Kiev regime’s moves to transform Ukraine into a cheap labor platform and garrison state on behalf of the US-NATO war drive against Russia.

Since the February 2014 coup, the population has faced harsh cuts to pensions and social benefits, mass layoffs, sub-subsistence level wages, and skyrocketing prices of basic necessities. Thousands of Ukrainians have been killed and at least 1.5 million displaced, and production has virtually collapsed in the country’s main industrial centers in Luhansk and Donetsk.

Ukraine’s economy will likely contract by at least 9 percent in 2015, according to estimates by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The value of the Ukrainian currency will likely fall by nearly 50 percent in 2015 alone, according to the EBRD.

Last month, the price of water surged by more than 70 percent. Previous months saw increases in natural gas prices of nearly 300 percent. Food, medicine and transportation prices all rose dramatically in the year following the 2014 coup, with some basic items rising by more than 200 percent.

“We are about to see huge energy price increases. This will affect not just the poor but the middle class as well,” Volodymyr Ischenko said in comments to the Center for Social and Labor Research this week.

Already in January, months before the latest price hikes, some 30 percent of the population was unable to pay for utilities.

The rising prices are the result of cuts to subsidies for basic goods, dictated to Kiev by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The subsidy cuts free up government funds, which used to be earmarked for keeping energy and basic commodities relatively affordable for working people, to be shoveled into the pockets of Ukraine’s creditors in the US and European banks.

There is escalating popular anger against the Kiev regime. Nearly 60 percent of the population is strongly dissatisfied with Poroshenko, with less than 25 percent expressing confidence in Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, according to polls released in March.

The war mounted by the pro-NATO regime against separatist forces in the East has met with large-scale draft dodging by the population in western Ukraine. At least 13,000 soldiers have gone AWOL from Ukrainian government forces since the beginning of the civil war.

More than 80 percent of draftees have failed to respond to musters from the government, and Ukrainian officers now assume that only some 15 percent of soldiers sent on leave will return to their units, according to statistics published by the Washington Post in April.

Even as the economy plummets and popular opposition to the government grows, the re-eruption of military conflict between Kiev regime forces and pro-Russian separatists is plunging the country back toward the conditions of brutal civil war that developed in the aftermath of last year’s coup.

According to Foreign Policy, the outbreak of fighting last week has “shattered” the Minsk cease-fire agreement reached this February. The always unstable pause in the fighting, which was largely forced upon the Kiev regime by the deepening economic crisis, has likely been “permanently destroyed” by the renewed clashes, Foreign Policy wrote.

Fearful that its Ukrainian puppet regime could suffer a new defeat or implode politically due to popular opposition, Washington is mobilizing paramilitary forces to prop up the Kiev regime. “They’ve allowed the Right Sector to integrate with Ukraine’s national army. You have US army officers training units with members of Right Sector in them,” political analyst Aleksandar Pavic noted in comments to RT Tuesday.

A new generation of Ukrainian fascists are receiving training and advanced military hardware, including night-vision and communications technology, supplied directly by the US Defense Department.

In April, the Pentagon dispatched some 300 US soldiers to conduct training exercises with Ukrainian militants, including known members of the Azov Battalion and other forces affiliated with Ukraine’s neo-Nazi milieu, as part of “Operation Fearless Guardian.” Comments from Ukrainian anti-terror chief Andriy Lysenko made clear that the training would focus on counter-insurgency tactics designed to control enemy populations, along the lines of those used by the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Ukraine Declares Resumption of War Against Donbass

By Eric Zuesse
March 19, 2015
Global Research

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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