Tag Archives: Petro Poroshenko

War on Donbass Resumes, Western Media Remains Silent

By Eric Draitser
June 11, 2015
New Eastern Outlook

 

1513490The recent shelling of Donetsk and surrounding areas, carried out by Kiev’s military forces, has effectively ended the ceasefire and whatever illusions still remained of the Minsk 2 agreements. While there had been instances of violence before that of recent days, the level of intensity and bloodshed has undoubtedly escalated.

Although the Ukrainian military and Nazi paramilitary units have been targeting civilians – a flagrant war crime by any measure – there is a near total media blackout in the West. Meanwhile, the United States continues to argue that the “overwhelming majority of ceasefire violations” are as a result of anti-Kiev rebel activity, despite providing no evidence to substantiate these utterly false claims. Indeed, in the midst of an ongoing bloody war waged by Kiev against the people of Donbass, Washington continues to hold up President Poroshenko and his government of oligarchs and fascists as a force for peace.

Kiev Ratchets up the War, Rebels Respond

Despite droning propaganda to the contrary, the reality is that Kiev’s forces have ended the ceasefire and resumed shelling of civilian and military targets. As of June 9, 2015, there have been dozens of accounts of Kiev attacking the city of Donetsk and smaller towns at or near the contact line (the separation zone agreed to during the Minsk negotiations.) The important point is that these attacks have been ongoing, and are not merely the resumption of hostilities in the last week.

Despite its unwillingness to publicly acknowledge and condemn the actions, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has in fact documented a staggering number of ceasefire violations by Kiev’s forces. According to OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) summary table of ceasefire operations on April 23, 2015 for instance, the observers documented that a majority of the uses of heavy artillery came from Kiev-controlled territory, and that any uses outgoing from rebel-controlled territory were, according to the timeline, retaliatory strikes. In fact, a close examination of the timeline reveals that nearly all of the early morning shelling was outgoing from Kiev-controlled territory, suggesting that Ukrainian military forces initiated shelling and then came under fire later in the day.

Of course, one should be careful to draw too many conclusions from the incomplete OSCE data as the scope is limited, and the SMM has been reticent to assign blame or responsibility to Kiev’s forces, even in instances where their aggression is blatant. Earlier in April, Ukrainian military and/or paramilitary forces shelled Donetsk City Clinical Hospital No. 21 where, luckily, no patients were injured as the building hit was not in use. As journalist Roger Annis reported after returning from Donetsk in April, “Due to the escalation of shelling in the past several weeks, adults and children are once again spending nights underground in dank and cramped basement shelters. We toured one neighbourhood near the shattered Donetsk airport as shells were falling a few kilometers away. The resumption of daytime shelling is new.

But of course, despite the repeated violations of the ceasefire agreement, the last several days have seen a significant escalation, one that has effectively ended the ceasefire and renewed the active engagement phase of the war.

There are scattered reports of significant casualties throughout the Donetsk region as the Ukrainian military and Nazi paramilitaries commence both renewed shelling and advances beyond the contact line. Last week there were numerous instances of shelling in Donetsk, including on June 3 when at least five civilians were killed, and 24 others wounded. In the aftermath of the shelling, the Chief Doctor at the Petrovksy District Hospital, Igor Rutchenko, said that patients had to be evacuated due to persistent shelling from Ukrainian military forces as the injured were rushed to the facility.

On the morning of June 5th, according to eyewitness accounts in the town of Maryinka, “a 52-year-old man was at home…when a group of Ukrainian troopers entered the yard – about eight men…The troopers started to inspect the [passport] documents, and then the [man] emerged out of the cellar. The Ukies pointed at him their machine guns at once and opened fire…He died from the injuries on the spot.” Such flagrant war crimes – summary executions in wartime – go entirely unreported in the western media.

Emotionally powerful video has emerged from Donetsk in recent days showing the results of shelling of residential homes and businesses. According to Eduard Basurin, spokesman for the Donetsk People’s Republic, “The Ukrainian forces’ most intensive attack was against the village of Shirokino. More than 150 82 mm and 120 mm shells were fired.” That such a level of shelling was initiated and sustained indicates the increased level of aggression by Kiev’s military.

But here, there must be an important point noted. While the anti-Kiev side continues to report civilians being killed by shelling and other means, there are no such equivalent reports from Ukraine’s military. In fact, as noted by Reuters, Kiev’s military spokesman Andriy Lysenko stated that, “Three Ukrainian servicemen have been killed and four others wounded in attacks by pro-Russian separatists in the east over the past 24 hours.

Note the difference here. While in Donetsk, it is civilians being killed by Ukrainian military, Kiev can report no such equivalent carnage on its side. Indeed, it seems that all casualties on the Kiev-controlled side of the contact line have been military casualties, while on the rebel side it is both militia and civilian casualties. This simple fact, entirely omitted from the western narrative, is indicative of the nature of the conflict. Moreover, the false equivalence presented by that same media is disingenuous to say the least.

Framing the Narrative of War and “Peace”

The coverage of the conflict in eastern Ukraine has been bad from the beginning. However, the omission of facts, and the clearly distorted coverage, has taken on a new level of insidiousness and dishonesty in recent days. Even in the scant attention that Kiev’s escalation does get in western media, it is not called what it is: aggression by Ukraine’s military.

Take for example the June 8, 2015 article from US government propaganda mouthpiece Voice of America, entitled In Donetsk, Frequent Shelling Fuels Distrust. Already from the title, one is struck by a clear obfuscation, namely that “distrust” is engendered by shelling, but no mention of whose shelling or whose distrust. Indeed, throughout the entire article, there is not a single mention of shelling committed by Kiev’s forces. Rather, one encounters phrases such as “many tend to blame authorities in Kyiv” – a clear evasion of the far more direct, far simpler, and far more accurate statement “Kiev is to blame” or “shelling by Kiev forces.” But of course, the purpose here is not to inform, but rather to absolve the Ukrainian military of direct responsibility for war crimes, and instead paint Russia as the aggressor, despite the facts.

Reading carefully this article, one is struck by the multiple images of women and children taking shelter in basements, pleading with media to tell their stories, pleading with the Ukrainian government to stop the shelling. The piece highlights multiple women with families who have been displaced and victimized by Ukrainian military attacks, and yet, conspicuously no mention of the phrase “attacks by Ukrainian military” or any variation on that. One could be forgiven for thinking that the bombardment of these women’s homes was a mere act of God, rather than a deliberate shelling of civilians.

Even when the victims are quoted blaming the authorities in Kiev, the article frames this as merely their “opinions.” However, VoA goes to great lengths to devote the entire last section of the article to one resident of Kramatorsk who claims to have seen “a couple Russian troops here when it all began,” as if to suggest that an unverifiable alleged eyewitness account from more than a year ago somehow justifies the aggression against the women highlighted in the previous section. This is a deliberate propaganda ploy used by VoA as an indirect legitimization and justification of the aggression as being defensive in the face of “Russian troops.”

Just a small sampling of other media outlets, ones not directly tied to the US Government in the way that Voice of America is, reveals the explicit and implicit bias in the reporting. Take for instance the headline from the International Business Times, Ukraine Military Fires 150 Mortar Shells At Donetsk Rebels, Russian News Media Claims, which is embedded with a clear bias. The phrase “Russian News Media Claims” is designed to discredit the very fact that is being reported as it relies on a deeply rooted mistrust of any information reported by Russian media, a mistrust skillfully cultivated and promoted by western media.

What is conveniently left out is the fact that it is only Russian media that is reporting on the shelling by Kiev. Therefore, any reportage at all would, by definition, have to be “claimed by Russian media.” The idea is to both report what is happening, and to discredit it at the same time. Such dishonesty is par for the course when it comes to media coverage of this war.

The narrative of the war is replete with such dishonest reporting. Sadly, however, the dishonesty and utter callousness goes much deeper than that, to the very language employed and public relations campaign utilized to whitewash the egregious crimes of Kiev.

In September 2014, in the midst of ongoing aggression against Donetsk and Lugansk by Ukrainian military forces, President Poroshenko was in Washington addressing the US Congress and receiving praise from President Obama. As Obama stated:

I want to commend President Poroshenko for having helped to not only broker a cease-fire, but also to push through some very difficult legislation that can improve the perception in eastern Ukraine that they are fully represented and that they are able to determine many of their local affairs in a way that gives them confidence. And those were not easy laws that President Poroshenko passed, but I think they indicated his commitment to an inclusive Ukraine — his commitment to a Ukraine that has decentralization and empowers local communities…I have great confidence that President Poroshenko is balancing a lot of different variables here in a very difficult situation.  But he’s the right man for the job…And so, President Poroshenko, congratulations on the excellent work that you’ve done.  You have a strong friend not only in me personally, but I think, as you saw in Congress today, you have strong bipartisan support here in the United States. 

There is, of course, no mention of any of Poroshenko’s egregious war crimes, including the admission by his very own Colonel-General of the Ukrainian Officer Corps Vladimir Ruban, who admitted just two weeks earlier not only the deliberate shelling of civilians in Donetsk by Ukrainian military, but attempted to justify it by suggesting that “Maybe they fully deserved it…They understand that they’re being shelled. And it’s one thing when some operative, mobile mortar groups drive around and shell the city, you can say there that it’s some third provocative party. But when regions of the airfield, the airport are being hit by artillery systems, nobody will say here that it’s the separatists shelling themselves.” So, President Obama praises Poroshenko as “the right man for the job” while commanders who report to him directly openly admit committing horrific war crimes.

In this light, the recent rumors circulating online that the United States would like to use its influence to pressure the Nobel Peace Prize Committee to award the 2015 prize to Poroshenko are indeed troubling, if not laughable. While the reports, including the letter purporting to be from Volodymyr Groysman, Chairman of the Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada (parliament), cannot be verified as being authentic, they are certainly believable given both the praise that Poroshenko has received from Washington, and the complete disregard for actual peace shown by the Nobel committee in the past.

It should be remembered that Obama himself is a Nobel Peace Prize winner, despite having a record of having initiated or expanded a number of separate wars (Libya, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Syria, etc.), utilizing a kill list to select targets for assassination by drone in places like Pakistan and Somalia, and having supported tacitly or overtly many other wars (Yemen, Gaza, etc.). So while there is no confirmation as to the veracity of the letter, it is not out of the realm of possibility that the US, with its complete disregard for actual and objective notions of peace, would perhaps push the Peace Prize to a war criminal.

To paraphrase the great political economist and philosopher Karl Marx, “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce.” While undoubtedly true, the war on Donbass is, in fact, both tragedy and farce simultaneously. While there is an unfolding human tragedy in Donetsk, Maryinka, and other cities and towns, the media coverage remains farcical.

Perhaps this is the greatest tragedy of all from the region. For while men, women, and children suffer, and families are torn apart, the western media continues to openly distort reality, transforming it into a farce. Sadly, no one with a shred of humanity could possibly be laughing.

Eric Draitser is an independent geopolitical analyst based in New York City, he is the founder of StopImperialism.org and OP-ed columnist for RT, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

 

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.

Canada’s Harper Government Provides Military Training to Neo-Nazi Ukraine National Guard

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky
June 9, 2015
Global Research, June 8, 2015

 

poroshenko-harperThe Canadian media has highlighted Prime Minister Harper’s one on one meeting with Ukraine’s president Poroshenko in Kiev (June 5, 2015). The official story which has been fed to Canadians is that Ottawa is providing “non-lethal aid” as well support to the country’s civilian police force:

 “We supply a range of non-lethal military equipment,” Harper said…  While disappointed about this, Poroshenko praised Canada for supporting Ukraine since “the first hours” of his presidency and said the military aid it had provided to his country, such as medical kits and mobile hospitals, “addressed an acute problem. (National Post, June 6, 2015, emphasis added)

Harper also announced that Canada would be sending 10 police officers to Ukraine to help reform the country’s security sector in a partnership with the United States.

Harper announced the $5 million project during a visit in which he watched training exercises by police cadets. …  (CP News 24, June 6, 2015, emphasis added)

This story contradicts earlier reports and government statements.

The gist of Harper’s flash visit to Kiev prior to the G7 Summit was to reaffirm Canada’s  commitment to the dispatch of “military instructors” in support of Ukraine’s National Guard, which is controlled by the two Neo-Nazi parties, Svoboda and Right Sector.

In April, Washington confirmed that it would send in a US contingent of instructors “of  290 specialists which will be working with the National Guard. Britain has dispatched 75 military personnel responsible for training “in command procedures and tactical intelligence”. (Los Angeles Times, April 20, 2015).

Ironically, the Harper government quite candidly acknowledged that there were Neo-Nazi elements within the National Guard, and that provisions were being envisaged to prevent Canadian military instructors from training Neo-Nazis:

The Canadian government is confident that troops from Petawawa won’t end up instructing Neo Nazis and far right extremists when they begin their training mission in Ukraine this summer, but a former diplomat is warning it will be difficult to weed out such extremists as their militia units are now being integrated into Ukraine’s regular forces.

Some members of Ukraine’s most effective fighting units [Azov batallion] have openly acknowledged they are Nazi sympathizers or have expressed anti-Semitic or extreme right wing views. (Ottawa Citizen, April 18, 2015, emphasis added)

The solution proposed by Canada’s Defence Minister Kenney is contradictory to say the least: Ottawa will support the National Guard as a means to avoiding the training of Neo-Nazis. Canada’s military instructors will be dispatched and allocated to the National Guard:

“We’re not going to be in the business of training ad hoc militias… We will only be training units of the Ukrainian National Guard and army recognized by the government of Ukraine.” (Ibid, emphasis added)

What is Ukraine’s National Guard

The National Guard which is now supported by Canada has been responsible for countless atrocities in the Donbass region.

The wear Nazi insignia on their uniforms.

Below is the Nazi emblem of the National Guard  [Національна гвардія України] which is defined as Reserves of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. They operate under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

The National Guard is part of the so-called “Internal Troops of Ukraine.” The emblem is a stylized swastika (see below).

 

 

The main battalion of the National Guard under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Internal Affairs involved in the Donbass region is The Azov Battalion (Батальйон Азов).

This battalion is supported by the Western military alliance including Canada.

The Azov Battalion -which displays the Nazi SS emblem– (below left) is described by the Kiev regime as “a volunteer battalion of territorial defense”.

It’s a National Guard battalion under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.  Officially based in Berdyank on the Sea of Azov, it was formed by the regime to fight the opposition insurgency in Eastern and Southern Ukraine. It is supported by the US and NATO.

These militia bearing the Nazi SS emblem supported by the US and Canada are casually referred to as “Freedom fighters”.

Scroll down for Selected Images of the Azov Battalion “Freedom Fighters”

Imagine what would happen if  Canada’s RCMP or the US National Guard were to display swastika-like symbols.

Media Disinformation

Unknown to both Americans and Canadians, the West is channeling financial support, weapons and training to a Neo-Nazi entity. Both Washington and Ottawa have sent in military instructors.

Nobody knows about it because the use of the words “Neo-Nazi” and “Fascist” in relation to Ukraine is a taboo. The have been excluded from the lexicon of investigative reporting. In media reports they have been replaced by “Ultra-conservative”, “Extreme Right” and “Nationalist”.

Ukraine’s National Guard –which is supported by Canada– glorifies Adolph Hitler  and Stepan Bandera, Ukraine’s World War II Nazi leader and collaborator of the Third Reich.

People holding UPA (horizontal red and black) and Svoboda (3 yellow fingers on blue) flags march through Kyiv to the honor of the Nazi ally, Bandera.

See http://revolution-news.com/ukrainian-euromaidan-putin-just-another-fascist-political-coup/

It is worth noting that Ukrainian Jews were the target of the Third Reich’s Einsatzgruppen (Task Groups or Deployment Groups) which were supported by Ukrainian Nazi collaborators led by Stepan Bandera . These “task forces” were paramilitary death squads deployed in occupied territories.

Talking about Neo-Nazis in Ukraine, who are part of the coalition government, is a taboo. It is not newsworthy. Yet, the Neo-Nazis play a central role in the country’s security apparatus.

Surely Canadians should be made aware of the fact that their government is sending military instructors to train Neo-Nazi recruits.

In contrast to the scanty news which is fed to Canadians, the Ukrainian media’s coverage of Harper’s visit to Kiev has nonetheless acknowledged Canada’s support for the country’s National Guard:

Canada will allocate $5 million to train new police officers and military instructors for the National Guard of Ukraine, Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatseniuk said.

Besides, Canadian military instructors will arrive to Ukraine to train the National Guard, the premier said. (Interfax-Ukraine, June 6, 2015)

February cease-fire collapses as fighting re-erupts in eastern Ukraine

By Niles Williamson
June 4, 2015
World Socialist Web Site

 

Renewed fighting broke out Wednesday between Ukrainian government forces and Russian-backed separatists around the rebel-held city of Donetsk. The fighting reported in Maryinka and Krsnohorivka, a few miles west of Donetsk in government-controlled territory, was the most serious between the two sides since a cease-fire which came into effect in February.

Vladimir Kononov, a spokesman for the rebel Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), blamed government forces for initiating the fighting. “The Ukrainian side has carried out a provocation and started shelling our positions all along the front,” he told reporters.

“This is Kiev’s local provocation, an attempt to break deep into the DPR from Maryinka. All of this is local, not large-scale combat clashes,” separatist deputy defense minister Eduard Basurin told Interfax. However, Vyacheslav Abroskin, chief of the Donetsk province’s police force loyal to Kiev, told AFP that the cities of Maryinka and Georgiivka were the site of “intense shooting.”

The Russian-backed separatists have accused government forces of repeatedly firing mortars from Maryinka into the city of Donetsk since February. At least 15 people were killed Wednesday after government forces shelled rebel-held areas.

Kremlin spokesman Dimitry Peskov also blamed Kiev for the renewed fighting. “In Moscow, we are following very closely, and are deeply concerned by, the provocative actions by the Ukrainian armed forces that are, as far as we can see, provoking the situation,” he told reporters.

The Ukrainian army general staff blamed the pro-Russian forces, however, reporting that the separatists had launched an offensive against government positions with as many as a dozen tanks and a thousand fighters. Ukrainian government spokesman Yuri Biryukov reported that two people had been killed and at least 30 wounded in the offensive.

US State Department spokesperson Marie Harf told reporters on Wednesday that Russia was to blame for the latest round of fighting and threatened retaliation. “Russia bears direct responsibility for preventing these attacks and implementing a ceasefire. Any attempts to seize additional Ukrainian territory will be met with increased costs,” she stated.

In fact, responsibility for the bloodshed in eastern Ukraine lies squarely with Washington and its imperialist allies in Europe. Fighting broke out last year after Ukraine’s right-wing government, brought to power in a fascist-led coup backed by Washington and Berlin, launched a military offensive aiming to crush pro-Russian protests. As of June 1, the UN estimates that more than 6,400 people have been killed in the fighting and more than 1.5 million people displaced.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French Prime Minister François Hollande scrambled to arrange a cease-fire this winter, after the separatists received Russian backing and began to make significant advances against government forces. The United States then threatened to escalate the conflict by openly arming the Ukrainian regime with $3 billion worth of military equipment, including anti-tank missiles, drones, and armored Humvees. As Hollande noted, this raised the prospect of “total war” with Russia.

The renewed fighting in the east comes after a recent series of actions by the US and Ukrainian governments aimed at provoking the separatists and pressuring Russia.

While the US has postponed the delivery of lethal military equipment to Ukraine, it initiated a program to train four companies of the Ukrainian National Guard, which has incorporated members of fascistic militias such as the Azov Battalion and Right Sector. Approximately 300 US paratroopers deployed to a military base in Yavoriv in Western Ukraine in April. At least 200 troops from Canada and 75 from the United Kingdom have also been deployed to Ukraine to support the US training program.

On Saturday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko provocatively granted citizenship to former Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili and appointed him as the governor of Odessa province in the country’s southwest. He was a prominent supporter of the right-wing coup that ousted Ukraine’s pro-Russian president Victor Yanukovych last year.

Saakashvili started a war in 2008 with Russia as Georgian president, launching an attack on Russian peacekeepers in the disputed Georgian province of South Ossetia. He is wanted on multiple criminal charges in Georgia for the violent suppression of popular protests in 2007.

The city of Odessa was the site of a gruesome massacre of pro-Russian protesters last year. Several hundred far-right supporters of the Western-backed regime in Kiev assaulted a pro-Russian protest in on May 2, 2014 driving them into the city’s trade union hall. The building was besieged by gunfire and set alight with Molotov cocktails, killing 42 people and injuring 170.

The province also borders the disputed Moldovan territory of Transnistria, a possible flashpoint where Russia has stationed peacekeepers since 1992, when a cease-fire was negotiated between the government of Moldova and Transnistrian separatists.

The Ukrainian parliament recently suspended military cooperation agreements that gave Russia the right to transit Ukrainian territory in order to rotate and resupply the approximately 1,500 troops stationed there. Russian soldiers must now travel through Moldova, which has begun arresting and deporting Russian soldiers who do not belong to the peacekeeping force and who do not provide the government with a months’ notice of their travel plans.

In yet another provocative move, the Ukrainian government approved a series of laws in April legitimizing Nazi collaborationist forces which carried out ethnic mass murder during WWII. The Nazi-collaborationist Organization of Ukrainian Nationalist and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army have been rehabilitated, with the law stipulating that surviving members and their families must be provided with social benefits.

At the same time, the Ukrainian government also approved laws which outlaw the display of the Nazi swastika as well as communist symbols and parties which espouse communist ideology. The display of the swastika has had little effect as most of the fascist groups in Ukraine display alternate neo-Nazi symbols, such as the wolfsangel used by the Azov Battalion. Meanwhile, hundreds of statues and place names recognizing Soviet-era Communist leaders and officials are being expunged with state funding.

Obama Now Sides w. Poroshenko & EU to End Ukraine’s War

By Eric Zuesse
March 26, 2015
Washingtons Blog

 

b98cc-obama-netanyahu-3To understand the recent signs that are pointing toward a final settlement of Ukraine’s civil war, this war’s background must first be summarized:

Petro Poroshenko became elected as Ukraine’s President on 25 May 2014, in an election that was held virtually only in the anti-Russian northwestern half of Ukraine.

That’s the area which had not voted for his predecessor, Viktor Yanukovych, in Ukraine’s last, 2010, election — the man who was violently overthrown on 22 February 2014, in what the head of Stratfor, the ‘private CIA’ firm, has called “the most blatant coup in history.” Before Poroshenko became elected, however, the region in the far east bordering Russia, Donbass, had broken away from Ukraine, and its residents were dubbed by the post-coup government as ’terrorists,’ for rejecting their rule. That region had voted 90% for Yanukovych, the man who had been overthrown in the coup. This new Ukrainian government invaded Donbass, using bombers, tanks, rocket-launchers, and everything it had; and, when Poroshenko gave his victory speech on May 25th, he promised, and it was very clear from him, that: “The anti-terrorist operation cannot and should not last two or three months. It should and will last hours.” (Another translation of it was “Antiterrorist operation can not and will not continue for 2-3 months. It must and will last hours.”) But it did last months — Poroshenko’s prediction was certainly false; and, moreover, he lost first one round of the war, and then another — his prediction of its outcome was likewise false.

Quickly, the hard-line anti-Russian leaders in Ukraine started talking about overthrowing Poroshenko. One of them was Ihor Kolomoysky, a billionaire governor of one of Ukraine’s regions, who had been appointed by Oleksandr Turchynov, who had been appointed by Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who had been appointed by Victoria Nuland, who had been appointed by Barack Obama. Kolomoysky also had hired Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden to the board of one of his companies. So, Kolomoysky was connected directly to Obama. By contrast, Poroshenko was not, at all — he had been elected, by the residents in the now-rump Ukraine. Poroshenko wasn’t appointed by anybody. 

Kolomoysky said, as early as 21 June 2014 (when the first round of Poroshenko’s war was lost), “I’ll never obey Poroshenko,” and “My private army will finish off the separatists.” He was saying that he would achieve what Poroshenko and Ukraine’s regular army could not. Kolomoysky’s faction in Ukraine’s parliament is almost as influential as is Poroshenko’s. Moreover, on December 2nd, all three of the far-right parliamentary factions (including Kolomoysky’s) joined together in an alliance whose aim was specifically to remove Poroshenko.

By this time, Poroshenko, now the loser of two rounds of this war, was the leader of the Ukrainian government’s moderate or peace faction. The leader of the war faction is still Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the Prime Minister of Ukraine, the man who had been appointed on 4 February 2014 (18 days before the coup) by Victoria Nuland of the U.S. State Department. Whereas Yatsenyuk was directly beholden to Obama, Poroshenko was not. 

Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Francois Hollande, as well as several other EU leaders, wanted the war to end at this point, but America’s Barack Obama still did not; he wanted yet another, third, round of the war, just as did Yatsenyuk and the other hard-line anti-Russians. So: Merkel and Hollande decided to fly to Moscow and negotiate on their own with Russia’s Vladimir Putin; and, on February 7th, they announced agreement on a plan, with or without the U.S. President. Though Obama had previously said that he would send weapons to Ukraine, he now said that he would place on hold his decision about sending weapons, so as not to obstruct the efforts of those EU leaders — not embarrass and antagonize leaders whose cooperation he was seeking.

A peace-summit was then held at Minsk on February 11th, attended by Merkel, Hollande, Putin, and Poroshenko; and it resulted in the signing of a new package of peacemaking measures, called Minsk II, on February 12th.

The big question, since then, has been whether the United States would press on with its arming of Ukraine. Would Obama support Yatsenyuk, whom his own person Victoria Nuland had selected to run the country? Or would he instead switch now to support Poroshenko — whom he had never chosen?

The first big shoe to fall was on March 19th, when Poroshenko removed Kolomoysky from control of a company whose majority owner is the Ukrainian government, and when Kolomoysky sent some of his toughs into its headquarters in order to seize back control of it, and when the American Ambassador to Ukraine — the very same person who had carried out Victoria Nuland’s appointment of Yatsenyuk to become Ukraine’s Prime Minister — publicly reprimanded Kolomoysky for that action. The U.S. White House, which had selected Yatsenyuk, who then indirectly selected Kolomoysky, was now publicly renouncing Kolomoysky. This was huge. (Subsequently, on March 25th, Poroshenko removed Kolomoysky from the governorship to which Yatsenyuk — via Turchynov — had originally appointed him.)

The second big shoe to drop was on March 23rd, when, as announced in a headline, “Ukrainian Parliament May Check Yatsenyuk for Corruption.” It reported: “MP Sergei Kaplin, a member of the largest faction in the Ukrainian parliament — ‘Petro Poroshenko Bloc’ — suggested creating a special commission in Verkhovna Rada – Ukraine’s Parliament – to investigate the activities of the current Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who was accused of concealing corruption schemes.” In other words: Poroshenko has Obama’s approval to get rid of Yatsenyuk — who had previously been Obama’s man. Poroshenko is now free to follow through with the Merkel-Hollande peace-plan.

Apparently, Obama, who had started this war, has finally given up on pursuing it any further, because doing so would split the Western alliance.

Obama has other fish to fry with them — such as his proposed Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), to grant international corporations effective control over the environmental, labor, and product-safety regulations of participating countries. He seems to have decided (at least for the time being) to pursue — via other routes than Ukraine — his 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.

Clash of oligarchs shakes Ukrainian regime

By Bill Van Auken
March 26, 2015
World Socialist Web Site

 

Igor Kolomoisky

Early Wednesday morning, Ukrainian President Petro Petroshenko announced that he had sacked Igor Kolomoisky as governor of the eastern industrial region of Dnepropetrovsk.

The action came in the midst of an escalating confrontation between the two billionaire oligarchs over the control of two of Ukraine’s most profitable enterprises. This dispute threatened to spiral into armed clashes after paramilitary forces loyal to Kolomoisky, clad in camouflage and carrying automatic weapons, stormed the headquarters of the two firms, the Ukrainian oil company Ukrnafta and the oil pipeline firm Ukrtransnafta.

The armed takeovers followed actions by the government to wrest the management of the two companies from Kolomoisky’s control. While both firms were majority state-owned, Kolomoisky had sizable minority holdings—42 percent in the case of Ukrnafta—and manipulated their management to serve his own profit interests. In tandem with the firing of Kolomoisky as governor, Poroshenko signed into law legislation that allowed the government to exercise its majority vote and reassert control.

Kolomoisky, like the rest of the Ukrainian oligarchs, enriched himself through the so-called “dirty privatization” following the Moscow Stalinist bureaucracy’s dissolution of the Soviet Union. Energy companies, manufacturing industries and virtually every other facet of the former state-run economy were taken for a fraction of their value and in many cases seized by armed thugs acting on behalf of Kolomoisky and other rising oligarchs.

This layer is the principal social base of the Poroshenko government, just as it was of the government of President Viktor Yanukovych, who was ousted in a US-backed and fascist-spearheaded coup in Kiev little more than a year ago. It was the turn by the predominant factions in the ruling oligarchy against him and toward subordination to the US and the European Union that sealed Yanukovych’s fate.

Kolomoisky is widely seen as one of the major winners in the coup, using it to assert increased control over the state apparatus and to further enrich himself. A significant number of legislators in the Verkhovna Rada, or national parliament, came to office with his backing.

One of them, Andrei Denisenko, made a show Monday of resigning from Poroshenko’s Bloc, denouncing the “ongoing deterioration of the democratic regime into authoritarian.” He further charged that Poroshenko had cut a secret deal with Russian president Vladimir Putin to fire Kolomoisky as Dnepropetrovsk governor. Three other legislators followed his lead in breaking from the ruling coalition.

There were reports in Kiev that the US ambassador, Geoffrey Pyatt, intervened in the crisis to mediate between the rival oligarchs, coming down on the side of Poroshenko.

It is scarcely likely, however, that this is the end of the matter. Kolomoisky, who owns Ukraine’s largest bank and main television channel, along with major industrial interests in the Dnepropetrovsk region, has also financed right-wing and fascistic militias that have constituted the main fighting force of the Kiev regime in seeking to suppress a separatist movement in the eastern Donbass region.

One of these outfits, the Azov battalion, fights under a swastika-like banner and has been implicated in war crimes against the civilian population in eastern Ukraine. The Dnepro and Aydar battalions, also backed by Kolomoisky, have been involved in similar crimes.

There were unconfirmed reports that Kolomoisky had ordered 2,000 militiamen to head to Kiev, while Poroshenko had sent two battalions of National Guard troops to keep order in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine’s fourth-largest city. On Monday, Poroshenko declared that no governor in Ukraine would be allowed to maintain “pocket armed forces.”

Further contributing to the atmosphere of crisis in Kiev, the government Wednesday had two members of Poroshenko’s cabinet arrested and hauled away in handcuffs on charges of corruption during a nationally televised cabinet meeting, just hours after Kolomoisky’s dismissal.

Arrested before the TV cameras were Sergiy Bochkovsky, director of Ukraine’s state emergencies service, and his deputy, Vasyl Stoyetsky. They were charged in an alleged kickback scheme involving overpayment for fuel for government vehicles.

Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk hailed the arrests as evidence of the government’s commitment to fighting corruption, as demanded by the international lending agencies that are keeping Kiev afloat. “This will happen to everyone who breaks the law and sneers at the Ukrainian state,” Yatsenyuk said.

The arrests were no doubt a further settling of scores within the universally corrupt Ukrainian oligarchy and its regime. Just last week, the former chairman of the Ukrainian State Financial Inspection, Nikolai Gordienko, issued a report charging Yatsenyuk with covering up state corruption involving billions of dollars. A draft resolution has been submitted to parliament calling for a special commission to be formed to investigate the activities of the prime minister, whose meteoric rise was sponsored by two of Ukraine’s wealthiest oligarchs, Dmytro Firtash and Viktor Pinchuk.

The bitter internecine struggles erupting within the government brought to power by the February 2014 US-backed coup only serve to underscore that for all of the Western propaganda about the new regime representing a triumph of “democracy” and “freedom,” it has only effected a redistribution of wealth and power among a clique of rival oligarchs. The sharpening of the struggles between them is driven by the increasingly desperate economic crisis confronting Ukraine and, hence, the shrinking of the pool of wealth from which they can steal.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) earlier this month approved a $17.5 billion emergency bailout for the Ukrainian regime, part of a four-year, $40 billion package. While the great bulk of this money will go into the coffers of Ukraine’s creditors—and the pockets of its oligarchs—the plan and the austerity measures that it demands spell ruin for the great majority of the country’s population.

Average monthly wages amount to just $170, while the official inflation rate stands at nearly 30 percent. According to one estimate, when the plunging value of the country’s currency is taken into account, the real rate is 272 percent. The government has already approved sharp cuts to pensions, social programs and public workers’ salaries, while freezing the minimum wage. At the same time, the price of gas and other utilities is set to triple.

Ukraine’s minister of finance, the US-born, former State Department official Natalie Jaresko, is carrying out a campaign for further relief, including a radical restructuring of $15 billion in Ukrainian debt, insisting that the $40 billion IMF bailout is not enough to stave off a disaster.

According to Bloomberg News, she is warning in particular that there is growing danger of a revolt from below over the drastic decline in living standards since the US-backed coup. “If, God forbid, there is another revolution, it won’t be of the same kind,” she said.

Bashing Russia and Rebels for Kiev Crimes

By Stephen Lendman
February 20, 2015
Global Research

 

Fire-fighters extinguish fire on a vehicle hit by shelling near Donetsk Sergey Prokofiev International Airport during fighting between pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian government forces in DonetskThe same Big Lies repeat since conflict began last April. No letup whatever followed the latest attempt to resolve things diplomatically in Minsk on February 12.

Russia and rebels are consistently blamed for naked Kiev aggression, brutal atrocities, and post-Geneva/Minsk I and II violations.

Joe Biden spoke to Poroshenko following rebel forces routing junta troops in Debaltsevo. Thousands were forced to surrender.

Kiev abandoned them. Rebel forces won a strategic victory. German intelligence says Kiev’s military is disintegrating. They’re outmaneuvered, outsmarted, outfought and soundly defeated.

Biden and Poroshenko condemned Russia and rebels for junta crimes. A White House press secretary statement lied saying “if Russia continues to violate the Minsk agreements, including the most recent (one) signed on February 12, the costs to Russia will be high.”

Canada marches in lockstep with Washington. Prime Minister Stephen Harper issued a statement saying “(i)n coordination with our EU and US partners, Canada is once again intensifying its response to the situation by announcing further sanctions against Russian and Ukrainian individuals and entities.”

Its blacklist includes 37 Russian and Donbass officials, 17 Russian and Donbass entities, as well as oil giant Rosneft and industrial/defense company Rostec’s CEO.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said “Canada’s bet on sanctions will definitely be answered.”

“However, we hope that Ottawa will think about the consequences of its actions, which in fact fuel the further armed standoff in Ukraine, and realize that pressing Russia with sanctions has no perspectives.”

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg bashed Russia and rebels irresponsibly. On February 18, he said “(t)oday I am deeply concerned by the deteriorating situation in and around Debeltsevo.”

“The refusal of the separatists to respect the cease-fire threatens the agreement.”

“As does their denial of access to the area for the OSCE monitors.

Russian forces, artillery and air defence units as well as command and control elements are still active in Ukraine.”

“Russia has supported the separatists with forces, training and advanced weapons.”

“And there has been a steady buildup of tanks and armoured vehicles across the border from Russia to Ukraine.”

“I urge Russia to end its support for the separatists.

And withdraw its forces and military equipment from eastern Ukraine in accordance with the Minsk agreement.”

“The separatists should halt all attacks immediately.”

Fact: No Russian troops operate in Ukraine. No evidence proves otherwise.

Fact: None threaten its territory.

Fact: No Russian buildup near its border exists.

Fact: Or rebel support with “forces, training and advanced weapons.”

Fact: No Russian or rebels violations of Minsk occurred. Its terms didn’t mention Debaltsevo. Rebels respond in self-defense when fired on. It’s their universal right under international law.

Fact: Lots of junta violations occurred post-Geneva, Minsk I and II. Stoltenberg didn’t explain.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini bashed Russia and rebels. She lied saying their actions in Debeltsevo “are a clear violation of the ceasefire.”

“The EU stands ready to take appropriate action in case the fighting and other negative developments in violation of the Minsk agreements continue.”

Clearly threatening more sanctions on Russia. What little hope followed Minsk seems on a fast-track toward collapse.

Reuters reported continued fighting around Debeltsevo despite surrender.

Its correspondent “saw black smoke rising over the town and heard loud blasts hours after the withdrawal began.”

Junta commanders abandoned their troops. Some likely kept fighting, not knowing surrender was ordered. Rebels responded in kind.

AP reported junta forces leaving in trucks or on foot – “unshaven and visibly upset.”

“One soldier spoke of heavy government losses, while another said they had not been able to get food or water because of the intense rebel shelling.”

“A third spoke of hunkering down in bunkers for hours, unable to even go to the toilet because of the shelling.”

“We’re very happy” to get out, a hungry soldier told AP. “We were praying all the time and already said goodbye to our lives a hundred times.”

Retreating troops said they got no help from Kiev. They weren’t sure if they were surrendering or being rotated.

“I don’t know,” said one. “Our commanders didn’t tell us” anything. “They just told us to change our positions because our unit had been staying there for quite a long time and we had sustained big losses.”

Rebel commander Viktor Ponosov said Kiev forces apparently ran out of ammunition and food.

“We heard they were calling their friends and relative saying: “Please help us because they are killing and destroying us.”

Rebel forces consistently say they won’t fire on Kiev troops unless fired on.

The New York Times lied claiming junta forces “fought their way out of (Debaltsevo), choosing a risky overnight breakout rather than surrender…”

Poroshenko ordered surrender. He called it withdrawal. RT International reported Kiev forces “surrendering en masse.”

Sputnik News and other Russian media reported the same thing. Junta ranks were routed, shattered. They had two choices – surrender or die.

The Times portrayed junta forces as heroes, courageous rebels as villains.

It quoted Poroshenko ludicrously saying “(t)oday, the world must stop the aggressor.”

Donbas self-defense forces fight for democratic rights everyone deserves. They reject fascist rule. So should everyone.

They deserve universal support. Don’t expect The Times or other media scoundrels to explain.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

Washington Turns its Back on Poroshenko

By Konrad Stachnio
February 19, 2015
New Eastern outlook

 

453522322It seems that Poroshenko now has virtually no power over the course of events in Ukraine and he’s almost finished. According to what the leader of Novorossiya, Oleg Tsarov says – he will be overthrown soon; secondly, he does not represent any army because currently he is even unable to perform the successful mobilization since the majority of Ukrainians do not want to fight after all. Thirdly, the real power is the Right Sector, Yarosh, Kolomoisky. As Long as they have the money and weapons, there will be no ceasefire. Why is that?

…For the simple fact that their only interest is power for its own sake and they do not intend to protect the people of Ukraine. It may come sooner than later that either do to corruption/indolence or NATO subversion that all volunteer forces and nationalist partisans from all factions will be branded as criminals or bandits etc…. Quote from facebook of Misathropic Division.

THE Boys mean what they say and try really hard to produce their own weapons in workshops. There is even a video on this issue showing how to do produce an Ukrainian Bullpup.

Another negotiations took place in Minsk for settlement of the military situation in Donbass, Ukrainian government continues to ignore calls of volunteer battalions about necessity of arming for volunteers. But it’s impossible to win a war without weapons. Therefore DUC battalion did it yourself, basing on the fact that we have what we have. 

But it seems that the US will be supplying Ukrainian nationalists with “lethal defensive weapons” all the same, despite all contreversy this step may cause, in order to prolonge the war in Ukraine. Tthe leader of the “Right Sector” Dmytro Yarosh has already announced that an alternative General Staff was established, to which the so-called volunteer corps fighting against the uprising in Donbas will be subordinate.

Besides the UKO, about seventeen different volunteer battalions, both divisions subordinated to the Interior Ministry as well as the Ministry of Defence intend to join this initiative – said Yarosh.

Defense Minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic Vladimir Kononov said

I have data that 17 territorial battalions withdrew from subordination to UAF and came under the jurisdiction of Yarosh. This is the “Right Sector.

And, of course, only by mere coincidence these 17 battalions are controlled by Kolomoisky, – who according to the information provided by Oleg Tsarov wants to overthrow the president by means of these battalions. Poroshenko is an unnecessary figure now who cannot control anything. At this point the U.S. turns its back on him because the Donbas pacification plan is not working as it was supposed to. Ordinary Ukrainians turn him away as well fleeing to avoid mobilization and finally his real power that is mean volunteer battalions are now in opposition to Poroshenko.

The peace in Ukraine may prevail when the main sponsor that is the U.S. will be ousted from power in Kiev. If Poroshenko fails, he will be replaced by someone else, possibly Kolomoisky, Yatsenyuk or some psychopaths from the Right Sector whose main dream is to fight to the last drop of blood and die on the battlefield. Even if the ceasefire comes into force, what will happen then with the bloodthirsty battalions which consider Poroshenko a traitor? Do you think that everything will return to normal? People will go to work, they will start paying taxes and spending time with their neighbors? But the guys from the Misanthropic Division said clearly that taxes and neighbors ‘are not interesting’ and they prefer feel the adrenaline rush on the battlefield.

The peace talks could work if the real power: the United States, volunteer battalions and Ukrainian oligarchs sponsoring them decided on signing a peace agreement with the New Russia. But that will not happen because the volunteer battalions regard New Russians as subhuman terrorists that must be eradicated as weeds. While The USA want to go to war, weaken and separate Russia from Europe and establish TTIP Instead. Peace is possible only if the private battalions don’t receive arms. This can occur either through lack of funding from the oligarchs, or by the fact that the army of New Russia would simply wipe them out, before the US ships its “means of supporting Ukranian democracy”. There’s no changing the view of those only intrested in slaughtering their Russian-speaking neighbours

Death is inevitable. But only those who will fall with honor as true warriors taste of eternal peace in the chambers of Valhalla.

We will win this war or we will die, but we will try to bring with us the largest number of enemies. Quote from the site of the Misathropic Division.

Let’s make it clear – these people want to die on the battlefield for the white race, national socialism and Bandera ideas etc. To eliminate them you need to conquer them militarily or cease financing them. Currently the homemade weapon produced by them is not enough to wage a full scale war, but things may change due to Washington. Should they be deprived of funding and arms shipments, they can do Maidan again in Kiev, or become completely independent guerrilla looting towns and villages, also producing their own weapons. Any similarities with the UPA-era World War 2? It’s quite a realistic scenario that should be taken into account as now they shoot at Ukrainians who dare to give up fighting on the frontline.

But let me say something to my favourite Yuri Michalczyszyn – the chief of propaganda and analysis of the Security Service of the SBU. Some time ago he gave a lecture called “Guerrilla war in the city”.

Wonderful and intolerant Palestinian people blow up the invaders, leading a guerrilla war in the city. In Gaza, appeared a new type of resistance fighters in urban conditions. Hamas leaders have developed extraordinary personal humility. A total of 1,500 Israelis were killed, who have been victims of Palestinian resistance fighters. There was a phenomenal phenomenon militants donate their lives and receiving (simultaneously) the lives of several occupiers … We see the effectiveness of guerrilla warfare involving ideologically committed fighters. Palestinians give us positive role models.

This is only an example of what volunteer battalions can do when they are deprived of funding from Kolomoisky, acting entirely on being banished by the new government – what as you can see from the above statements they realize and what is more they are even prepared for this.

Prognosis

A good sign is that the army of New Russia is becoming more and more skilful, and I think that soon it will be able to master the whole frontline. It is also quite promising that the recent peace talks in Minsk were unattended by the USA which due to the fact that Washington is increasingly marginalized and weakened. Another example is the fact that a few days ago the European Parliament adopted a resolution demanding to bring to court those responsible for the illegal detention of prisoners by the CIA. MEPs expressed their opposition to the “horrific interrogation methods used in the CIA’s secret prisons” Resolution also calls the United States to initiate appropriate investigations and punishment of the perpetrators responsible for torturing people detained in secret CIA facilities.
However, the provisions of the Minsk constantly seem to be a joke at a time when people who actually govern in Ukraine do not take part in them and certainly it is not Poroshenko. According to a report from the BBC President Obama has made it clear that the United States is on a war footing with Russia and we are now exploring all available options to deal with Putin should things in the Ukraine sour. US President Barack Obama says yes to diplomacy, but then adds: “Now, it is true that if, in fact, diplomacy fails, what I’ve asked my team to do is to look at all options.

What other means can we put in place to change Mr Putin’s calculus? And the possibility of lethal defensive weapons is one of those options that’s being examined.

An example could be the announcement of the U.S. military training in Ukraine which is planned to start in march – the U.S. soldiers will train battalions in performing Security tasks, protecting from rebel artillery and etc.

Konrad Stachnio is an independent Poland based journalist, he hosted a number of radio and TV programs for the Polish edition of PrisonPlanet, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.
First appeared: http://journal-neo.org/2015/02/19/washington-turns-its-back-on-poroshenko/

Putin Wins, Obama Loses, in Draft Plan for Ukraine

By Eric Zuesse
February 13, 2015
Washington’s Blog

 

BRITAIN-G8-SUMMITThe only way that U.S. President Barack Obama can win in Ukraine now is by negotiating subsequent details to become deal-breakers to the February 12th draft agreement, such that for Russian President Vladimir Putin not to accept Obama’s proposed details would mean that no deal will be signed. This could happen, because the prestige of both leaders is on the line in this new draft deal on Ukraine.

The agreement is only basic principles, which can be found at 

http://en.cyplive.com/ru/news/lidery-normandskoy-chetverki-v-minske-soglasovali-kompleks-mer-po-vypolneniyu-minskih-soglasheniy.html

The announcement of the agreement opens as follows:

“Russian President Vladimir Putin; President of Ukraine, Peter Poroshenko; French President Francois Hollande; and Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Angela Merkel, confirmed full respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. They firmly believe in the inevitability of peaceful resolution.”

U.S. President Barack Obama is not mentioned there; but, for him to reject their deal, and to send lethal weapons to Ukraine now and so escalate the war and its massive bloodshed — which has already cost “up to 50,000” dead and millions of refugees — would be extremely embarrassing for the United States: no American “boots on the ground,” just tens of thousands of Ukrainian corpses under it, in a war that Obama himself had initiated (and even the founder of Stratfor, the “private CIA” firm, says that the February 2014 overthrow of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, which started the war, was “the most blatant coup in history,” which it certainly was, and is increasingly recognized as having been).

If, during coming days, Putin does nothing that causes Merkel or Hollande to say Putin is violating what had been understood between the negotiants, then Putin will be essentially in control on those crucial remaining details too, and the U.S. position (which favors more war) (and this is so not only from Obama but also from the Congress) will go down in flames. The next few days and weeks will thus be crucial, and Merkel and Hollande hold the top cards, because Obama needs to avoid an open break with them — something that would be an open break with the EU itself, which America’s aristocracy very much don’t want to happen (since America’s aristocracy would then lose their enormous influence over the EU).

The U.S. position has been for war against Russia from the start, which goes back at least to before 20 November 2013, when it was revealed in Ukraine’s parliament or “Rada” that the U.S. had already very skillfully set to spring a Euromaidan movement to bring down the Ukrainian Presidency of Viktor Yanukovych, which “Euromaidan” then started the very next day, when President Yanukovych announced that Ukraine had received a better economic offer from the Eurasian Economic Community than from the European Union, and that therefore it would be in the best interests of the Ukrainian people for Ukraine to join with the EEC (which the people in eastern Ukraine wanted), than with the EU (which the people in western Ukraine wanted) and that this joining of the EEC would now happen. The Euromaidan protest, which had been organized by America’s CIA, began on 21 November 2013. Its mass-members were regular western Ukrainians, but its leadership, the people who were armed, were Ukraine’s nazis, a special group of western Ukrainians, who viscerally hate ethnic Russians and actually want to exterminate them (thus making these people ideal for Obama’s purposes of crushing Russia).

Immediately after the coup when Yanukovych was overthrown, the EU sent an investigator, Urmas Paet, to find out whether the extremely violent overthrow of Yanukovych had been due to Yanukovych, or else to “someone from the new coalition [meaning the EU and U.S.],” and he reported, on 26 February 2014, to the EU’s foreign affairs chief, Catherine Ashton, that it was due to “someone from the new coalition [our side].” This information shocked her. (As Obama’s chief agent controlling the coup, Victoria Nuland, had said on 4 February 2014, preparing the coup, “F—k the EU!” In that same phone call, she also selected Arseniy Yatsenyuk as the person who would take over the Ukrainian Government after the coup, which he did, 22 days later. Anyone who denies that it was a coup is either ignorant or lying, because this is the first coup in history that was fully documented on live videos.) However, rejecting Ukraine as a new candidate for the EU didn’t fit Ashton’s job-description, and she could do nothing about the matter anyway; so, she accepted it, and tried to make it work, as peacefully as possible. 

The EU’s reason for wanting Ukraine is chiefly economic, for its gas and agricultural resources. The chief reason that America’s aristocracy want Ukraine is as a launching-pad for NATO missiles against Moscow, because Russia is the world’s main military hold-out against control by the U.S. aristocracy, and America’s aristocracy are eager to use taxpayers’ money, which is to say the U.S. military, to bring Russia to heel and within their economic control — it’s then a freebie to them.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is primarily concerned to avoid Ukraine having a Government that wants U.S. strategic (i.e., aimed against Moscow) missiles; in other words: he wants to avoid Ukraine’s becoming a member of NATO — the anti-Russian military club of nations, which now surrounds Russia. The only way that he can achieve this crucial objective is for the far-eastern region of Ukraine, Donbass (the region shown in dark purple on this map), which had voted 90% for Yanukovych and 10% for America’s candidate (Yulia Tymoshenko) in the 2010 Presidential election (the last election in which all parts of Ukraine voted), to remain as being voters in Ukrainian national elections, so as to counterbalance the anti-Russian northeastern half of Ukraine and thus avoid any more nazis being elected to national power in Ukraine.

Donbass is the region where Obama’s Ukrainian Government is trying to exterminate the residents (whom they call ‘Terrorists’ and try to kill in their “Anti Terrorist Operation” there, fooling the western Ukrainian public that those are “Terrorists” instead of simply Donbass’s residents, the people who live there). If Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko, or whomever the U.S. supports, doesn’t succeed at exterminating or else driving out the residents in Donbass, then Ukraine’s Government will probably not be able to join NATO and bring in its strategic missiles aimed at Russia — which is what this is all about, from the standpoint of Barack Obama: it’s part of surrounding Russia with NATO missiles.

Looking at that draft agreement, it seems to meet Putin’s basic national-security needs for Russia. Doubass’s people would retain their right to vote for Ukraine’s President.

In order for him to do this, it is essential for the breakaway region to stay within Ukraine as regards the voters there participating in future elections for Ukraine’s President. As I headlined on 19 September 2014, “Russia’s Leader Putin Rejects Ukrainian Separatists’ Aim to Become Part of Russia.” The current draft agreement meets this Russian-national-security need. As I commented at that time: “Perhaps Putin’s declining to accept Ukrainian territory into Russia is part of an agreement between the two leaders in which Obama is, for his part, declining the urgings from congressional Republicans and conservative Democrats for the U.S. to provide weapons to the Ukrainian military to expedite their ethnic cleansing campaign.” However, if U.S. President Obama goes ahead with the Republicans’ position, of sending lethal weapons to Ukraine, then the United States will end up becoming internationally isolated, unless either Merkel, or Hollande, or both, declare that Putin is failing to comply with the new agreement, and rejoin with the United States in its ethnic-cleansing effort to eliminate the residents in the separatist region, “Donbass,” which includes the Donetsk and Luhansk republics.

So, although Putin has won this opening round of obtaining a new peace agreement, Obama still yet can win in the later stages and increase the ethnic cleansing, if either Merkel or Hollande abandon Putin.

The draft agreement also includes other features that would be necessary for the economic reconstruction of the Donbass region, which the Ukrainian Government has been bombing in its ethnic cleansing campaign. For the first time (if the initial statements from the IMF become borne out in additional ‘loans’ actually taxpayer donations, to Ukraine), Western taxpayers will be contributing to that economic reconstruction, which will be vast, especially considering that around 50,000 civilians and soldiers have probably thus far been slaughtered in Obama’s ethnic-cleansing campaign there, and more than a million residents have fled and become refugees (mainly in Russia), and the cities and villages have been bombed and even firebombed. So, while some aristocrats may have gained from Obama’s coup, taxpayers in the West will now be paying tens of billions to undo some of the economic damage that Obama and the U.S. Congress (especially Republicans there) have caused in Ukraine by means of the coup and of its essential ethnic-cleansing aftermath. Since ‘we’ taxpayers (the public) caused the war (from which only some international aristocrats might benefit — and those were the people behind it), we (and not those aristocrats) shall be cleaning up from it — if the current deal doesn’t fall apart and the damages from the war thus soar even further.

But, at least in the first draft of this agreement, Putin has won, and Obama has lost.

—————

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.

“Russian Aggression”: The Big Lie Blasted Worldwide Ad Nauseam

By Stephen Lendman
February 10, 2015
Global Research

 

Edward_Bernays11Try imagining one dollar for each time Western officials and presstitute media scoundrels screamed “Russian aggression” daily since US planned, directed and implemented Kiev aggression on Donbas began last April.

Easily enough for round-trip first class travel from any point of departure to any destination several times over.

Plus ground transportation, 5-star hotel accommodations, first-class meals, miscellaneous expenses, with enough left for souvenir trip remembrances.

Big Lies have a life of their own. Circulate worldwide with electronic ease. Printed multiple times daily in Western publications.

Russian aggression, Russian hoards, Russian threats, big bad Russian bear comments infest so-called Western journalism like crabgrass besets lawns.

Big Lies repeated enough get most people to believe them. Especially when hard truth narratives are suppressed.

Western propaganda blasts the Big Lies to global viewers, listeners and readers worldwide. Truth is their mortal enemy.

A daily drumbeat of managed news misinformation rubbish drowns out real information and analysis mattering most.

Promotes confrontation with Russia. Risks the unthinkable. Propaganda wars precede hot ones. Blaming victims for perpetrator crimes.

Justifying the unjustifiable. Heading things inexorably toward war with Russia. British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond lied saying:

“This man (Putin) has sent troops across an international border and occupied another country’s territory in the 21st century acting like some kind of 20th century tyrant.”

John Kerry said Western countries are united against “the largest threat that Ukraine faces today, and that is Russia’s continued aggression in the east.”

“There is no other way to call it…The president is reviewing all of his options. (Including) obviously…providing” Ukraine with greater amounts of heavy weapons than already called “defensive” ones.

Every time Obama, Kerry and other US officials claim America seeks no confrontation with Russia, polar opposite plans are intended.

US policy is consistently hostile. Western dominated Munich Security Conference addresses and discussions were intensely anti-Russian.

At times barely stopping short of urging war. Washington’s rage to fight heads inexorably in this direction.

Using Kiev as a dagger targeting Russia. Illegitimate oligarch US-installed stooge president Poroshenko finds new ways to embarrass himself.

Theater substitutes for substance. In Munich, he displayed fake passports. The kind any disreputable printer can produce on request.

Poroshenko claimed they belonged to Russian soldiers aiding Donbas rebels. Russia’s military prohibits active duty soldiers from carrying passports.

Poroshenko was caught in one of his many Big Lies. It’s hard keeping track of how many. His so-called proof of Russian involvement doesn’t exist.

His Munich address was beginning-to-end deception. “Our neighbor has breached international law and annexed a part of our territory,” he claimed.

False! No evidence shows Russian violations. No annexation of Ukrainian territory occurred.

Crimeans voted near unanimously to join Russia. Putin accommodated them to reverse a historic error.

“Today, a formerly strategic partner is waging a hybrid war against a sovereign state,” said Poroshenko.

False! No evidence whatever supports his Big Lie. Plenty shows blatant Kiev aggression against Donbas.

Targeting hospitals, schools, residential areas, city streets. Murdering civilians in cold blood. Committing atrocities. Using banned weapons.

Not a single MSM report explains what’s vital to know. Nor a single Western official.

Instead, Poroshenko’s Big Lies about Ukraine’s border areas “swarming with Russian tanks, armed personnel carriers, artillery, multiple rocket-launchers and ammunition” are accepted as gospel.

Despite no evidence proving his claims. Or similar ones from Western capitals or Munich discussions.

Poroshenko Big Lies sound like bad fiction. Nonexistent Russian “aggression has opened a Pandora’s Box for the international security,” he claimed.

He irresponsibly blamed Moscow for one Kiev high crime after another. Talking peace while waging naked aggression against his own citizens.

“We must defend our land,” he says. Growing numbers of Ukrainians want it defended against fascist thugs in charge.

Poroshenko’s so-called peace plan is escalated dirty war without mercy. So-called “concrete steps” he supports risk embroiling the entire continent in conflict.

His “diplomatic solution” is naked aggression. His notion of “stop(ping) bloodshed” is shedding more.

His claim about “restoration of peace (as his) ultimate goal” is polar opposite his policy. Ukraine needs “greater…military support,” he said.

More weapons, heavier ones, for escalated war, greater bloodshed, naked aggression taken to a higher level.

His notion of “ceasefire” is none at all. How many Donbas civilians died while he spoke?

How much more mass slaughter and destruction does he have in mind? How many more Big Lies will he tell justifying it?

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said Kerry and Lavrov met in Munich. “(D)iscussed a wide range of issues related to Russian-US relations.”

“Lavrov stressed that building up confrontation with an aim to put pressure on Russia with sanctions was futureless.”

“We are not going to give up our national interests and fundamental stance on the key issues,” he stressed.

“At the same time, the Russian side is ready for constructive interaction with the United States both in the sphere of bilateral relations and in the international arena where our countries bear special responsibility for global stability.”

Impossible because Washington wants war, not peace. Confrontation, not diplomatic resolution.

Kerry rhetorically supports resolving Ukrainian crisis conditions responsibly. US policies are polar opposite.

Munich Security Conference (MSC) chairman Wolfgang Ischinger’s closing remarks claimed addresses and discussions “offer(ed) a platform for more intense and more balanced (ones) than in other places.”

He ignored three days of intense, one-sided, irresponsible Russia bashing. This year’s MSC was a platform for proliferating hate-mongering Big Lies.

Heading things dangerously toward East/West confrontation. Perhaps it’s a major US-instigated false flag away.

Expect failed Moscow peace talks to be blamed on Putin. Discussions continued by phone on Sunday.

Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said “(w)ork will continue and its preliminary results will be summed up next Sunday during a summit-level telephone conversation to be held in the ‘Normandy format.’ ”

The procedure established last June when Russian, French, German and Ukrainian presidents met on the sidelines of the 70th anniversary of allied forces landing in Normandy, France.

The beginning of Europe’s liberation. Suffering since under the yoke of US dominance. More than ever now.

Peskov said “a possible joint document on implementation of the Minsks agreements is being” prepared. It’ll include German, French, Russian and Ukrainian proposals.

Specifics aren’t known. Other than French media quoting Hollande saying “quite strong” Donbas autonomy was proposed.

As well as a 50 – 70 km demilitarized zone on each side of the current front line. The devil is in the details.

Donetsk and Lugansk are self-declared republics. Free from fascist rule. Democratically governed.

Not about to relinquish hard-won gains. Nor should they. So far, it appears they were consulted on Moscow’s proposals.

How is peace possible with one side excluded from discussions? Most important are Washington’s intentions. Obama didn’t wage proxy war on Donbas to quit.

At this time, chances for meaningful peace look virtually nil. Whatever is agreed on, if anything, means nothing if Obama doesn’t call off his dogs.

Plans are to escalate conflict, not end it. Washington intends sending more heavy weapons than already.

Increasing numbers of US-led NATO forces encroach near Russia’s borders. Alliance Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced new “spearhead force” plans.

To make NATO “forces more ready and more responsive…(S)trengthen our existing NATO Response Force…(T)o be deployed in a matter of days” if needed.

In six Eastern so-called front line states bordering Russia or close to it. Deliberately provoking Moscow to respond. Risking open confrontation.

Apparently what Washington wants. How Putin reacts remains to be seen. His red line isn’t clear.

He’s likely only to tolerate so much before acting. The fullness of time will explain more than what’s already known.

Putin, Merkel, Hollande and Poroshenko plan meeting on February 11 in Minisk. Continuing what they began in Moscow.

Working on measures all sides can accept. It bears repeating. Chances for success are virtually nil.

As long as Washington wants war, peace is pure fantasy. Expect escalated war, not conflict resolution.

No matter what document follow’s Minsk’s meeting. It’s effectiveness depends on the will of its signatories.

A previous article discussed Obama wanting congressional authorization for unlimited war. IS is the pretext.

Syria, Donbas and Russia the targets. Regime change the objectives. Will Washington risk global war?

Will madness overcome reason? Will European nations keep supporting what may destroy them? Can WW III be stopped?

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.