In the heat of recent exchanges and deaths of protesters in Ukraine, many have lost sight of the insidious role key players in Washington and certain EU countries are playing.
Their agenda seems to be to force an immediate end to the elected Yanukovich government in Kiev and lock Ukraine into the EU and, ultimately, NATO. Washington’s agenda has little to do with ‘democracy and freedom’, and a lot to do with destabilizing Putin’s Russia.
On Sunday, January 19, the eight-week-long series of protests and demonstrations against the government of President Viktor Yanukovich in Kiev escalated to a new level of violence. Bands of right-wing militants called Pravy Sektor (Right Sector), attacked Ukrainian police guarding government buildings and attempting to contain the protesters.
Demonstrators threw Molotov cocktails at riot police from the top of the Dynamo Kiev football stadium in central Kiev beginning January 19. Police responded by using stun grenades and tear gas against the mobs. Vehicles were torched by the hooligans from the neo-Nazi Pravy Sektor. More than 60 police were hospitalized from barrages of rocks, stones and Molotov cocktails.
The core of Pravy sektor is made of the activists of radical groups, including ‘Trizub’, ‘Patriot of Ukraine’, as well as UNA-UNSO and the ‘Svoboda’ (Freedom) ultra-right party, which won nearly 10 percent of votes at the last parliamentary election in Ukraine. They are ‘pro-EU’.
The far-right violent radicals told Radio Free Europe, a US Government media agency tied to the CIA and State Department, that they were preparing full bloody guerrilla war against the government. Andrey Tarasenko, Pravy Sektor's coordinator warned, "If they attack and try to carry out a bloody crackdown, I think there will be a massacre. Guerrilla warfare will begin in Ukraine."
Tarasenko stated that their “demands” are to oust the current government and "build a nation state" in Ukraine. What kind of nation state we must imagine. They also demand that Yanukovich step down, but, generously enough, add that they would give him and his family “24 hours to leave the country safely.”
On their VKontakte (In Contact) social network website, the organization calls for donations of items such as slingshots, steel balls, gasoline, laser pointers, glass bottles, chains, and pyrotechnics.
Their published manifesto is nothing short of bizarre: “All those who at this point would try to tame the revolutionary energy of the masses should be proclaimed traitors and punished in the most severe way. The time of peaceful singing and dancing at Maidan [Independence Square] is over. This is a waste of time. There can be no negotiations, no compromise with the ruling gang. We will carry high the fire of national revolution.”
Curious is the fact that in the beginning of the protests, Pravy Sektor members were calling themselves ‘the Maidan self-defense force’. They had been designated by the main opposition leaders – Vitaly Klitschko, Arseny Yatsenyuk and Oleg Tyagnibok - to provide security for peaceful protesters. Now they clearly have split from the peaceful protests.
Even more bizarre is the fact that in recent days ambassadors of several EU-member states, as well as the US and Canada have gone to Maidan to meet Pravy Sektor activists and learn how ‘the headquarters of national resistance’ operates.
Instead of unequivocally condemning the rise of violent Ukrainian nationalism, which could turn Ukraine into another Yugoslavia or Libya, the West is only threatening President Yanukovich with sanctions, while turning a blind eye to the real Pravy Sektor danger.
The Tarasenko demands are virtually the same as ex-boxer-turned right-wing politician, Vitaly Klitschko, the pro-EU apparent favorite of Germany’s Merkel government. Klitschko has lived in Germany for the past several years.
The nominal reason for the latest explosive protests in Ukraine was passage of a series of emergency laws to control the civil disorder by the Parliament on January 16 which, among other things, restrict the right to protest, constrain independent media, and inhibit the operation of NGOs.
Evidence suggests that key players in the Ukraine protest movement are being steered and orchestrated by Washington-funded NGO’s like the National Endowment for Democracy, the German Marshall Fund in The United States (a Washington think-tank financed by a donation from the German Parliament), and certain key neo-conservative Bush-Cheney leftovers in senior positions at the State Department.
Already on October 11, 2011, the German Marshall Fund hosted Vitaly Klitschko, then-WBC Heavyweight Boxing Champion just entering Ukraine’s political boxing ring, at a Washington meeting to discuss Ukraine’s European perspective.
Again in 2012 during the October Ukraine elections The German Marshall Fund in the United States hosted a top-level group of UK, French and German journalists to visit Ukraine, where they also met Klitschko. The Marshall Fund journalists were told by the US Embassy officials in Kiev that, “Ukrainian oligarchs would like to see a strong opposition to the Party of Regions in the new parliament in order to temper the enrichment of President Yanukovich’s family.”
That ‘strong opposition’ is today headed by three very different political parties. One which won a shocking 10 percent in the last elections and sits in parliament is Svoboda, a neo-fascist nationalist party led by Oleg Tyagnibok. Tyagnibok backed the US-financed 2004 Orange Revolution. He is openly anti-Semitic and anti-Russian, once claiming that Ukraine was ruled by a “Moscow-Jewish mafia.” The second-largest opposition party, jailed opposition figure, Yulia Tymoshenko’s ‘Fatherland’, led by Arseny Yatsenyuk, has signed an agreement to work with the neo-fascist Svoboda.
The opposition figure most attractive to the West is ex-boxer Klitschko, head of UDAR (strike), the smallest opposition party, who has spent the last years living in Germany. In order to have a chance at a Parliamentary majority in 2015, Klitschko will be forced to make a coalition with Svoboda and its policies, even though he is trying a delicate tightrope act of claiming to distance from Svoboda’s anti-Semitic ultra-nationalism.
In an Op-Ed in the London Financial Times, Klitschko wrote, “the official halt in Ukraine’s European integration unmasks the true face” of the Yanukovich regime — “a cartel of commercial self-interests that has captured public office and believes that political longevity can be bought by selling Ukraine’s interests.” Ukrainians, he warned, would not allow Yanukovich “and his cronies to steal their future” and if their views were not taken into account, “more protests are yet to come.”
A central role in encouraging the Ukraine protesters is being played by the US State Department, and especially Victoria Nulland.
A review of the official statements from Nulland, who met personally with opposition leader Klitschko in early December, is instructive of the open interference of Washington in the internal affairs of Ukraine. Nulland - a Hillary Clinton appointee who now is assistant secretary of the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs in the State Department - did not respect a sovereign decision by Ukraine’s government in November 2013 not to accept the dismal terms offered by Brussels for a Ukrainian EU ‘Association’ status.
The EU ‘offer’ would have forced Ukraine to open its economy to ‘free market’ rules in return for little. When Yanukovich told the EU of his government’s decision in November, Nulland’s spokesperson issued the following statement: “We continue to support the aspirations of the Ukrainian people to achieve a prosperous European democracy. European integration is the surest course to economic growth and strengthening Ukraine’s democracy.” That was an undiplomatic intervention on the side of the protesters designed to embolden the opposition. It did indeed.
Then on December 5 in Kiev, after her meeting with Vitaly Klitschko, Nulland declared, “There should be no doubt about where the United States stands on this. We stand with the people of Ukraine who see their future in Europe…”
She followed her speech with a high-profile bizarre media photo-op where she carried a single plastic bag of food to give to the opposition demonstrators. Nulland’s partisan pro-EU comments were followed by a brazen appearance from Republican war-hawk Senator John McCain a few days later, siding with the opposition in December. McCain is chairman of the Board of National Endowment for Democracy’s International Republican Institute, which has been in the middle of all US Color Revolution destabilizations since 2000.
Most recently, on January 15, after attacking Russia for granting a vital $15 billion bond purchase to help stabilize Ukraine, Nulland all but outlined the standard US government template for election tampering that has been done in countless ‘color revolutions’ since the NED’s 2000 coup against Yugoslavia’s Milosevic.
She told the US Senate, “the use of violence and acts of repression carried out by government security forces and their surrogates have compelled us to make clear publicly and privately to the government of Ukraine that we will consider a broad range of tools at our disposal if those in positions of authority in Ukraine employ or encourage violence against their own citizens.”
Nulland then issued a direct order to President Yanukovich: “We call on him to make it credible through concrete actions to restore government accountability, rule of law and engagement with Europe and the IMF.” Then, referencing planned 2015 national Ukraine elections, she added, “US pre-election assistance to Ukraine likely will include programs to support citizen oversight of the campaign environment and the conduct of the elections, independent media coverage and informed civic awareness and participation.” And finally, “The State Department and USAID are reviewing how best to support Ukrainian civil society and media.”
USAID is widely cited as a cover for CIA operations in foreign countries.
Victoria Nulland herself is a former assistant to Vice President Dick Cheney, and married to neo-conservative guru, Robert Kagan. She was under fire when caught recently lying to the American people when she was Hillary Clinton’s State Department spokesperson. Nulland pushed her superiors then to completely delete numerous references of extremists linked to Al-Qaeda in Benghazi and eastern Libya after the assassination of the US Ambassador. She also persuaded more senior officials to delete information on at least five other attacks against foreign interests in Benghazi by unidentified assailants.
Washington is clearly out to destabilize the new Ukraine-Russia economic cooperation by hook or crook. On January 22, after severe Pravy Sektor violence, the American Embassy in Kiev announced it was revoking the visas of several unnamed Ukraine Government officials responsible for actions taken against protesters in November and December.
The latest negotiations between the Yanukovich government and the three main opposition party leaders—Klitschko, Arseny Yatsenyuk and Oleg Tyagnibok—have led to the resignation of Yanukovich’s Prime Minister Nikolay Azarov and his cabinet, and changes in the emergency laws proposed 10 days earlier. Nine out of 12 anti-protest laws passed January 16 were repealed.
At this point, whatever agenda Victoria Nulland’s State Department may have had in trying to woo Ukraine away from Moscow, the internal forces of instability, egged on by vocal support from the West, have made the outcome incalculable. That is certainly not in the true interest of the EU, having a critical Central European nation of 45 million ungovernable, and a rising nationalist fascist Svoboda-led party calling the shots. That would prove too much even for the legendary boxing talent of Klitschko.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.