Is the Ukrainian Revolution really fascist?

The Russians claim that one of the main reasons they are preparing to annex Ukrainian Crimea, and may end up occupying all of Ukraine in the coming weeks, is that Nazis have run amok in the nation on their southwestern border.

You’ll hear a similar argument from some on the American left, who don’t want to see the United States and Europe take any serious steps to counter the Russian incursion.

So I decided to look into the question – and as the BBC notes, in an excellent article, it’s a mixed bag. More on that in a moment.

Russia’s crocodile tears over the Nazi threat

I’ve written a few articles about the irony of Russians complaining about a Nazi threat abroad when the Putin regime has been happy to let neo-Nazis do his dirty work at home.

russia-swastika-2

Nazi homages are omnipresent on Russian social media giant VK.com.

For almost two years now, a Russian neo-Nazi gang, with affiliates in at least 30 Russian cities, has kidnapped and tortured nearly 1,500 gay and transgender Russians. The organization is called “Occupy Pedophilia,” and its victims are usually gay males in their late teens and early twenties, but some have been as young as 13 – and few appear to be actual pedophiles.

While the identities of the gang members are well-known, the Russians have done little to put a stop to the violence. The kidnappers are so certain that the Putin regime will do nothing to interrupt their work, they don’t even try to hide their identities in the videos they make of the abductions.

So pardon me an eye-roll when the Russian government professes any concern about neo-Nazis. But when friends raise similar concerns, it’s worth a look. So I took one. Read on.

Has the Ukrainian revolution been co-opted by fascists? Not quite.

The more subtle question is to what degree the Ukrainian government and revolution are co-opted by the far right.

The second seminal piece on the matter was written by Timothy Snyder in the New York Review of Books.

In a rather long, but comprehensive, piece Snyder makes a similar case as the BBC: There is far-right influence, it’s not nearly as pervasive as some are alleging, its involvement is, to a degree, understandable, and people should keep an eye on it. Here’s Snyder:

The Ukrainian far right did play an important part in the revolution. What it did, in going to the barricades, was to liberate itself from the regime of which it had been one of the bulwarks. One of the moral atrocities of the Yanukovych regime was to crush opposition from the center-right, and support opposition from the far right. By imprisoning his major opponents from the legal political parties, most famously Yulia Tymoshenko, Yanukovych was able to make of democracy a game in which he and the far right were the only players.

KIEV, UKRAINE - NOVEMBER 29: Pro-Europe protest in Kiev on november 29, 2013, Kiev, Ukraine. Mykhaylo Palinchak / Shutterstock.com

KIEV, UKRAINE – NOVEMBER 29: Pro-Europe protest in Kiev on november 29, 2013, Kiev, Ukraine. Mykhaylo Palinchak / Shutterstock.com

The far right, a party called Svoboda, grew larger in these conditions, but never remotely large enough to pose a real challenge to the Yanukovych regime in democratic elections. In this arrangement Yanukovych could then tell gullible westerners that he was the alternative to the far right. In fact, Svoboda was a house opposition that, during the revolution, rebelled against its own leadership. Against the wishes of their leaders, the radical youth of Svoboda fought in considerable numbers, alongside of course people of completely different views. They fought and they took risks and they died, sometimes while trying to save others. In the post-revolutionary situation these young men will likely seek new leadership. The leader of Svoboda, according to opinion polls, has little popular support; if he chooses to run for president, which is unlikely, he will lose.

The radical alternative to Svoboda is Right Sector, a group of far-right organizations whose frankly admitted goal was not a European future but a national revolution against all foreign influences. In the long run, Right Sector is the group to watch. For the time being, its leaders have been very careful, in conversations with both Jews and Russians, to stress that their goal is political and not ethnic or racial. In the days after the revolution they have not caused violence or disorder.

Whatever course the Russian intervention may take, it is not an attempt to stop a fascist coup, since nothing of the kind has taken place. What has taken place is a popular revolution, with all of the messiness, confusion, and opposition that entails. The young leaders of the Maidan, some of them radical leftists, have risked their lives to oppose a regime that represented, at an extreme, the inequalities that we criticize at home. They have an experience of revolution that we do not. Part of that experience, unfortunately, is that Westerners are provincial, gullible, and reactionary.

The BBC confirms the same:

[The far right’s] role in ousting the president and establishing a new Euromaidan-led government should not be exaggerated.

But, as the second image shows, nor should their involvement be played down, especially now they have assumed key ministerial posts.

Euromaidan officials are not fascists, nor do fascists dominate the movement.

Protesters with fireworks attack the police. Kyiv, Ukraine, January 19, 2014. Kozachenko Oleksandr / Shutterstock.com

Protesters with fireworks attack the police. Kyiv, Ukraine, January 19, 2014. Kozachenko Oleksandr / Shutterstock.com

Contrary to some claims, ethnic Russians and Russian-speakers are not being attacked or under threat of violence. And anti-Semitism has played absolutely no role in the demonstrations and government.

Euromaidan has been a movement supported by just under half of Ukrainians according to a recent poll – representing a broad swathe of Ukrainian society: Russian and Ukrainian speakers; east and west; gay and straight; Christians, Muslims and Jews.

They united to remove Viktor Yanukovych and seem to be coming together again in the belief they need to defend Ukraine against Russia.

The ultra-nationalists, and their extreme right fringe, are a small part of the overall campaign – a subgroup of a minority. They are concentrated primarily amid the tents, barricades and self-defence units of the Maidan, the shorthand term for the movement’s core.

However, even though the far right are a minority, for their numbers they have played an outsized, though not decisive, role. What is more, at key points they have influenced the course of the demonstrations.

Europe’s peculiar embrace of parties considered “extreme” in America

The BBC goes on to note that “Ultra-nationalist parties, such as France’s National Front, are a fact of Europe’s present political landscape.”  And they’re right – and it’s not just limited to ultra-nationalists.  Political “extremes” that would shock many Americans are par for the course in Europe.  Governments run by “socialists,” and parliaments that include “communists,” come to mind.

But in this case, the argument goes, we’re not just talking communists, we’re talking fascists.  Parties that hate minorities (especially gays and Muslims), blame all the nation’s woes on immigration, and even want to pass legislation limiting the number of official national languages. (Yes, no American has ever heard any of that before.)

The thing is, lots of  Europeans countries have far-right parties that get more than 5% of the vote.

There’s “Sweden Democrats,” a group of – you guessed it – former neo-Nazis that won 5.7% of the national vote in 2010, which earned it 20 seats in parliament, enough to deny a governing majority to the sitting conservative government.

Then there’s the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn” party in Greece, a party that won 7% in nationwide parliamentary elections in 2012, giving it seats in the Greek parliament.

Or the far-right “Danish People’s Party” (they all have such “nice”-sounding names). The DPP won 12.3% of the vote in 2011, which was actually a decline in support from the previous election.

And last, but not last (there are numerous additional examples), there’s my personal favorite, France’s “National Front,” which got a whopping 18% in the first round of presidential elections in 2012, and whose leader is now at 24% in the national polls.

What percent of the national vote did Ukraine’s far-right Svoboda party get? 10%.

None of this is to downplay the extremism in any of those parties.  And my friends in Europe tend to share my (our) concern about each of them.  But it’s not enough to warn that the far-right got 10% in the Ukrainian election when it gets nearly twice that in France.  And one has to chuckle at the understatement in this piece from the Carnegie Council:

Based on results at the most recent election, the academic Cas Mudde estimates that only 12 of 28 states in the EU will see far-right parties enter the European Parliament. [emphasis added]

Oh, so “only” about half. That’s reassuring.

Critics would say “ah, but in Ukraine the far right is actually serving in government.”  And that’s not wrong, but they’re serving in government in Greece, France and Sweden, among other countries in Europe.  But in Ukraine, it’s true, they’re working in the executive branch, including some key posts.  So it’s not nothing.  But again, it’s also not as black and white as some critics have been claiming.

So what’s their point exactly?

So what point exactly is the “they’re all fascists” crowd trying to make?

It sounds like they’re arguing against the US and Europe doing anything significant to stop the Russian onslaught because Ukraine doesn’t have “clean hands,” as we say in the law.

KIEV, UKRAINE - 23 JANUARY 2014: Burning tires near Dynamo Kyiv stadium at the Independence square during Ukrainian revolution on January 23, 2014 in Kiev, Ukraine. Alexander Ishchenko / Shutterstock.com

KIEV, UKRAINE – 23 JANUARY 2014: Burning tires near Dynamo Kyiv stadium at the Independence square during Ukrainian revolution on January 23, 2014 in Kiev, Ukraine. Alexander Ishchenko / Shutterstock.com

But Saddam Hussein didn’t have clean hands, and it sure didn’t stop many of those same critics from (rightly) blasting George Bush’s invasion of Iraq.  In fact, Saddam’s hands were a lot less clean than anything Svoboda has done, or wants to do, in Ukraine.

So the new rule is that we should take a stand against invasions of nice countries, and we should protest in the streets against invasions of mean countries, but if the victim of the invasion is morally somewhat-grey, we should take a pass.

Does anyone doubt that as bad as the current Ukrainian government is, it’s going to get a lot worse under Russian management?  And clearly, a Ukraine tied to the EU has a better chance of democratic reform than one anchored to a reconstituted mini-version of the Soviet Union.

Also, is there nothing to be said for the geopolitical necessity of stopping Russia in particular, and nation-states generally, from rewriting maps in modern-day land-grabs?  Is that not a common good, even if the governance of the land being grabbed is somewhat tainted?

Not to mention, what about the people?  Should the Ukrainian people be left to suffer under Russian occupation and annexation because the Ukrainian cabinet is less than democratic?  And what does this say about oppressed peoples living in sub-optimal non-democracies elsewhere.  Take the Palestinians.  Their government isn’t exactly a hotbed of free-thinking roses, so will Ukraine’s most ardent critics, some of whom are ardent critics of Israel as well, be abandoning the Palestinian cause too?

I’m not arguing for military intervention in Ukraine.  I’m discussing a matter of principle.  American, and some European, critics seem to be suggesting that our current ire over the Russian occupation of Crimea is somehow misdirected because of Ukraine’s (sometimes serious) imperfections.

And my question for them is: How perfect does a government have to be before its citizens have the right to live free?


(I’m told that in order to better see my Facebook posts in your feed, you need to “follow” me.)


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • Faiscamix Faisca
  • Faiscamix Faisca
  • Faiscamix Faisca

    Russia is invading Ukraine latest news

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJbFUvmmnbk

  • Faiscamix Faisca

    Where is Gubarev that was kidnapped by the fascist self-imposed government? Whom is fascist ? Who is repressing the 23 millions of lives on Ukraine ?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNesOUIim7s&feature=player_embedded

  • Faiscamix Faisca
  • Faiscamix Faisca

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhJIBagFck4

    You really have to get another specialists i will give you 2 examples

    Quote:”The Russian minority in Crimea….60 % of population is Russian, 20 is Ukrainian and 20 is Tatar” 60% is minority ?

    Quote: “On Crimea none Russian have suffered any harm since …” Of course every else on Ukraine they are suffering but thanks to Green men from mars they are safe on Crimea.

    People i am a simple electronic technician in the middle of Europe and i know that on last Census in Crimea it was 12 % of Tatars, so your specialist on eastern politics must to read more or start to clean pipes.

    Please people read more is your finest weapon that takes your children out of war, also for sure Palin don’t know what is a Thermonuclear Explosion, neither what devastation it can bring to the world (your country also because it is on this planet). Sorry but i was seeing her speech on GPAC 2014 and it’s low (intellect, responsibility,maturity you name it).

  • levp

    Wikipedia is democratically edited (by anybody) – not just one person or one government. So back to you – what century do you live in?

  • levp

    In an argument one resorts to a laugh when one lacks arguments.

  • Faiscamix Faisca

    Not taken from original documents, changed by many inside the government like , for example the school manuals powered mostly by ирина фарион well known fascist that was part of several gavernments (Ukrainian have been synthetically changed from original sources by this woman). You are really Russofobic. Man on witch century you live ? 18’s ?

  • levp

    So? Or, especially if this is the case?

  • Bill_Perdue

    If you were paying attention you’d know they have similar systems. Right?

  • Bill_Perdue

    Ask Chris. He needs a good laugh.

  • levp

    For actual information, however, read the corresponding article on Wikipedia:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stepan_Bandera

  • Faiscamix Faisca

    For the people that don’t know who was Stephan Bandera the idol of this fascists.

    Warning about graphic content in spite of pictures in black and white (WW2 the east side).

    You can translate in the google translator.

    http://strict-but-fair.livejournal.com/11130.html

  • Faiscamix Faisca

    So tell me why so much hate to Russians if they are people like us ? Why every proof that should be investigated and accessible to us is denied as proof ? Why a Russian opinion don’t matter or a Slovak, Indonesian but only the opinion formed on a bought press from Ukraine that after is translated to English ? Russians from the beginning was complaining of Double standards and for me is very obvious that they exist and are very strong. US government like the Ukrainian self-proclaimed (i tell self-proclaimed because they are, there was no elections if you noticed, and Ukraine was a democratic country) are appealing to war, very well, fascists children now decide the fate of the world. Do you really think it’s nice for mankind this kind of provocations ? Even diplomats of US will not go to talk to Moscow about this problems this week (last news), do you think this is responsible action ? Well i think it is not the right way to solve so important and dangerous problem.

  • levp

    I am going to ignore ad hominem attack.
    One note though: my group even was a party to New Jersey Peace Action v. George W. Bush lawsuit, so my position on this issue is extremely consistent.
    http://news.rutgers.edu/news-releases/2008/archivefolder.2008-02-11.2860899469/constitutional-litig-20080512

  • levp

    Wait, does this mean that Russia deserves (for a lack of better word) to occupy Ukraine?

  • levp

    It is still the choice of Ukrainians to decide which model (Russian or EU) they like better, right?

  • levp

    Look up the term “fellow traveler”. It has happened in the past a lot, it can happen now.

  • Faiscamix Faisca

    I don’t have a problem with putting Yanucovich (but he did not killed nobody that we know) on a court of law, why you have problems of putting this criminals on a court of law ? I just don’t understand why you never expressed will to make a real investigation about those 100 deaths or any kind of criminal activity during this coup (well i understand because it’s clear that you are a fascist provocateur). I don’t have problem on putting Russia in a court of law about the rumors of the invasion of Crimea as i don’t have problem on putting in court USA over the invasion of Iraq due to a power-point presentation on UN that was proved false. At least until now Russian army did not kill nobody that we know. Also by international law the Crimean people have the right to self-determination as your people have, and as everyone on this world should have. I will tell you more, i would love and celebrate if someone was putting my country on a international court to discover where the money of my taxes is , and where it was going.

  • Bill_Perdue

    As he so often does, Chris Hedges gets it right. “is no real political ideology among decayed ruling elites. They knew that political debate and ideological constructs for these elites is absurdist theater, a species of entertainment for the masses. … Those who hold power in such systems are thieves who run a vast kleptocracy.

    The rise of criminal elites is global. Vladimir Putin is a megalomaniac and a thug who is filling his personal coffers while he is the leader of Russia, and Barack Obama, who has more polish and sophistication, will fill his own pockets, as did the Clintons, with tens of millions of dollars as soon as he leaves office. The banks and corporations for which Obama works are as criminal and corrupt as the Central Bank of Russia, which calculates that perhaps two-thirds of the $56 billion that left Russia in 2012 might have been from money laundering, drug trafficking, tax fraud or kickbacks.

    The Western political and financial elites, Putin knows, will not touch him. He and they are in the same decadent oligarchic class. They hold the same values. … Ask the 1.3 million people who lost their extended unemployment benefits in December or those who saw food stamp cutbacks reduce their spending by $90 a month how much moral authority there is left in our corporate state.

    Our elites have established the most efficient system of mass surveillance in history. They have abolished most of our civil liberties. They have trashed our economy for their own personal gain. They have looted state treasuries and thrown working men and women aside. Satan is again holding a great ball. You are not invited. I am not invited. Only the gangsters will be there. Putin will be an honored guest. So will Obama. Welcome to Satan’s Ball http://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/03/10

  • EnkiTrue
  • Badgerite

    I would refer to it as a revolution. And it is NO threat to Russia. At all.
    These people just want leaders who actually care about the lives and the futures of the Ukrainian people and are not out and out crooks.
    Well, maybe that would be a threat to Putin. Since it is patterned on his method of government. But it is a threat by comparison. Not by military assault.
    What the west did to Chavez? Like what?
    When he died, pundits were falling all over themselves to proclaim what Chavez’s legacy would be. His legacy will be that he blew it. He was all about power. More about that than anything else. Democracy was a small d to him. Not about moving his country and all of its people forward.
    He allied himself with people like Saddam and Ceausescu. His handpicked successor barely won election. And the country is currently in a mess.
    Economically and in just about every other way.

  • dula

    Russia is an oligarchy like we are. Ukrainians won’t benefit from following the EU or Russia. I’ve posted that on this issue many times here. Most commenters here (you?) think they’ll fair really well succumbing to neoliberalism.

  • wearing out my F key

    The professor emeriptus of Russian studies and politics at New York
    University and Princeton University (!), is a Russian propagandist?

    Do you, as Editor of this blog, have any regrets about allowing your contributing editor to post the opinions of a Russian propagandist? Especially since Stephen Cohen sounds like he knows a lot about the subject and makes references to things that actually happened, which, in comparison, makes what you’re saying sound completely made up and rather ridiculous?

  • Bill_Perdue

    Why are you asking that? What I said was: “Nothing changed but the gang in control. Ukrainian workers will not be better off under a Merkel/Deutsche Bundesbank, Obama/Goldman Sachs government than it was under Yanukovich, who, along with most of the pre-putsch Rada, feared, and right so, that the Deutsche Bundesbank and Goldman Sachs would drain the life blood out of Ukraine, as they did in Greece, Spain, Ireland, Portugal many Asian and African nations.”

  • Bill_Perdue

    I don’t suffer at all. I, and growing numbers or workers and union members are fighting back against the wars, racsim, austerity, mass unemployment and underemployment, poverty and homelessness of the Obama/bankster regime.

    I indicated all the ways in which Obama has constructed a police state, including racist murders of US citizens.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    LOL oh god, I just laughed so hard. I had totally missed that!

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    RT.com, are you serious? We’re supposed to believe the Kremlin propaganda network, paid for literally by the Kremlin? Uh, no.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    OH Dear God, did you read the intro to that piece? The guy is an expert on how the mean western media is demonizing poor innocent little Vladimir Putin, who just wants to make a cup of cocoa and go to bed, but we keep making him do bad things! Read the intro to her piece:

    “To talk more about the latest in Ukraine, we’re joined by Stephen Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York
    University and Princeton University. His most recent book, Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives: From Stalinism to the New Cold War, is now out in paperback. His latest piece in The Nation is called “Distorting Russia: How the American Media Misrepresent Putin, Sochi and Ukraine.””

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Actually, if Russia could geta way with it… I mean, they did once take half of Europe.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    But she never lets you forget you’re a man ;-)

  • wearing out my F key

    well, they are neighbors, and share a boarder. And Russia has a naval base in Crimea, among other interests. And the Crimean people are about to vote on becoming part of Russia. So there’s that.

    What are our interests in Ukraine?

  • mirror

    Putin is like the Koch brothers. He’s got a strong motive to move as much carbon fuel product now as he possibly can and no incentive to reduce consumption/burning anywhere and thereby reduce a key source of revenue and political power.

  • mirror

    Because Putin has an explicit plan to reconstitute as many of the former Soviet States into his new economic/military union as he can, with him at the center. There’s not secret about this.

    Part of Putin’s approach to legitimizing himself and his policies is to tap into the naive longing for their former “imperial greatness,” whether Soviet or Romanov. In some ways it is hard to blame people responding, given that male life expectancy in Russia has declined steadily since the fall of the Soviet Union.

  • mirror

    Why? Are Ukrainians part of Russia’s turf? Do they belong to Putin?

  • mirror

    So, Putin is going to fight neoliberalism AND predatory capitalism in the UkrainIe?

    Seriously, write this with a straight face: “We should let Putin pursue his Ukraine police unhindered because he is going to fight predatory capitalism in Ukraine.”

  • levp

    You are talking about the court of law? “Don’t look at thousands of our military personnel invading a sovereign country and annexing it’s territory – look at this guy here beating up another guy!” Real smooth.

  • Faiscamix Faisca

    And the court of Law (every man have right to it by international law)? Where are the proofs ? Lawless i say, like the Russians was saying on UN.

  • levp

    “those on power must be putted on court of law for their crimes” – I agree. Let’s start with Yanukovich.

  • Faiscamix Faisca

    Now i will go to sleep (i need to work to put food on table of my family). Probably tomorrow more news if i will have time. I was giving alot of information for US citizens to think for themselves, and i hope they will start to analise this events like we on EU are making. Ignorance about one problem like this can cause the loss of millions of lives. And after all we are all neighbors on this small planet and we can’t handle this kind of things anymore. Our grandfathers and fathers was fighting together to have a peaceful world, but we all seem to have forgotten why they lost their lives. Democracy, on my opinion must to come back to Ukraine the fastest possible, and those on power must be putted on court of law for their crimes. Russians can have a lot of defects but on this Humanitarian problem they are right. We are are not in cold war for almost 40 years, and everyone should listen neighborhoods of this planet. UN not making their work listening.

  • levp

    Now this is just unrelated nonsense (quite ugly, too).

  • Faiscamix Faisca

    Now the people in government. Small presentation about their political views.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Ra8n8n4Sfw&list=PLtGoiJvbFe3HH5MO1pUch8NPOPEGNqO6T

  • levp

    “Keep waiting” is English.

  • Faiscamix Faisca

    Sorry i’m not so nice on Russian , if you will talk to me on English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian or maybe French i would answer to you. But is seems that no … as usual very en-lighted people.

  • levp

    You really didn’t read the article that you are commenting on, did you?
    For example: ““France’s “National Front,” which got a whopping 18% in the first round of presidential elections in 2012, and whose leader is now at 24% in the national polls.”

    Russia has to invade France immediately.

  • levp

    Не дождётесь (Keep waiting)

  • Faiscamix Faisca

    Now let’s see the man that was braking fingers of a peaceful protester run to President of Ukraine.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97l6F5c3SB4

  • levp

    1. “Error 404 – Not Found”. Great research!

    2. http://www.rferl.org/content/ukraine-ashton-conversation-leaked/25286848.html

    “However, in a statement on March 5 the ministry rejected a claim Paet was giving an assessment of the new Ukrainian coalition’s involvement in deadly street violence in Kyiv.
    The statement said the conversation between Ashton and Paet took place February 26 after the minister returned from a visit to Kyiv.
    The ministry said Paet was giving an “overview of what he had heard” in the Ukrainian capital.
    During the conversation, Paet says there are suspicions in Kyiv that someone from the new coalition might have been behind snipers who shot dead “people from both sides.”

    Some Russian media interpreted Paet’s remark as his confirmation of a “link between the snipers in Maidan and leaders of opposition.”

    The statement quotes Paet as saying it was “not a coincidence” the phone call was intercepted and posted on the Internet.”

  • dula

    “Russia is an overpowering military force right on their border and any actions that threaten ethnic Russians would not be met well by Russia or the west.”

    This coup itself is a threat to Russia which was met well by the west.

  • wearing out my F key

    The Soviet Union collapsed three decades ago. How is mentioning the Soviet Union relevant today, except to invoke cold war paranoia?

  • levp

    A war is a war. You know what is a punishment for a traitor during a war, right?

  • levp

    Proving what is false? People who signed that letter are not real people?

  • wearing out my F key

    maybe we should just stay out of it.

  • levp

    Citation required.

  • levp

    “citizens of Ukraine do not accept to be under the rule of a bunch of criminals.”
    Exactly.

  • Faiscamix Faisca

    Seems that silence came to Euromaidown contracted people with just some proofs. Don’t worry a lot more will be presented on International Court on Hague probably.

  • dula

    LOL you must have an agenda here beyond the typical armchair diplomat desperate to win an argument. My hope is that the Ukrainian people end up with a government that resists predatory capitalism, whether from neoliberals or the right wing.

  • Faiscamix Faisca

    You just payed that on Sunday with 27bln of National treasures that belonged also to the other half of population.

  • Faiscamix Faisca

    That is your problem . You do not accept that citizens of Ukraine do not accept to be under the rule of a bunch of criminals. From beginning euromaidown was calling them titushki and they receive money for that. They are not receiving money for nothing. That was used on euromaidown and all of we know from where came the money. Euromaidown are the real traitors, destroyed constitution, courts of law, security forces everything that forms a country, hell they are even destroing society by escalating violence and repression over the 23 million of people that speak Russian language. How they want to maintain country? Russian speaking population , that in matter of fact is whom supported all economy of Ukraine, prefer to be under Russian flag because they want security, and Ukraine for many years will not provide that tho those peoples. Euromaidowns are the real traitors of Ukraine with their childish wanabee revolutions.Braking fingers to an activist ? Very democratic i say.

  • levp

    For each of your videos I can find a few of these videos:
    “Russian nationalists and hired thugs attacked and beat people during a rally in Lugansk, Ukraine.”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCIg0PYQ3IA

  • dula

    I must have missed the fact that neo-Nazis were RUNNING four ministries including the Ministry of Defense, in your essay. You rightfully document the spread of neo-Nazism in Russia and how they terrorize gays with support of government yet downplay neo-Nazis in the Ukraine…even when they are RUNNING four ministries. You also document the destruction that neoliberalism/predatory capitalism has done in the US, yet still think the EU of austerity is going to make things better for Ukrainians.

  • Faiscamix Faisca

    Because mine live on east and they are suffering this.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VivY94Cp0s0

  • levp

    Really old news. Ms. Nuland organized up to 100,000 people (and that’s just in Kyiv), sent them to the barricades in -15 degrees C – young and old, men and women, students, professionals and retirees alike. Ms. Nuland = GOD. Sure.

  • Faiscamix Faisca
  • Faiscamix Faisca

    So whom is the agressor on those lives ?

  • levp

    And why should I believe this Russian guy, as opposed to my own relatives who actually live in Kyiv?

  • Faiscamix Faisca
  • Faiscamix Faisca
  • Faiscamix Faisca

    No simply proving that is false. Go to read or if you don’t know how to search information with value, see the video. I know that average Americans can’t read more than 15 min in a row. Video is subtitled for your comfort.

  • Faiscamix Faisca

    I’ve already seen your kind of language and behavior on Bandera lovers. If you are truly Jewish you should read more.

  • FLL

    An attempt to shame Ukrainians into accepting a Russian takeover of their country by discussing the atrocities of Hitler’s government—all the while ignoring the instance of mass murder by Soviet authorities that Ukrainians actually suffered—is disrespectful in the extreme. Kindly knock it off.

  • FLL

    Yes, Faiscamix Faisca is either completely misreading your comment or simply fabricating a narrative. This commenter seems to think that any Jewish community leaders who object to a Russian invasion of Ukraine are “violent” or “Sub-humans.” It may be best to leave this particular commenter alone.

  • FLL

    I knew it would descend to this. There are now commenters on this thread who have the nerve to try to shame Westerners into accepting a further Russian invasion into Ukraine by raising the specter of WWII Nazi atrocities. Wouldn’t that also justify a Russian invasion of France and Denmark, where far-right parties have garnered even larger election vote totals than in Ukraine. Oh, I forgot. Unlike France and Denmark, Ukraine is just a convenient and relatively defenseless target.

    Shame us into accepting Russian aggression against Ukraine? OK, smartass Putin fans, let’s take a survey of the average man or woman on the street. If someone knew that they would certainly be murdered by the government of their country, which method do you think they would choose:

    (1) The government kills them in a gas chamber.

    (2) The government, intent on industrialization ASAP, wages a campaign of mass starvation against the rural peasantry. Workers in the cities were shown agitprop movies by the government, where all peasants were portrayed as counterrevolutionaries hiding grain and potatoes from the population in the cities. Nevertheless, urban dwellers were also inadvertently sucked into the vortex of mass murder, starving to death along with the rural peasants. At least 4 million in Ukraine are starved to death—mass starvation to the point of causing widespread cannibalism.

    Of the two choices above, I think the average man or woman would choose (1). The Holomodor—the deliberate mass murder of at least 4 million Ukrainians in 1932-1933 by the Soviet government is one of the main reasons why Ukraine will never peacefully accept a Russian takeover of their country today. The tendency of some commenters on this page to ignore the Holomodor, and its lasting effects on Ukraine’s desire for independence, is deeply disturbing.

  • levp

    What Prime Minister?! What “violent Jews”?! Where did I write anything about either of those in my post? Are you sure you are replying to the right post?
    Insanity…

  • Faiscamix Faisca

    Please see for enlightenment.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfzMnP3ilcI

  • Faiscamix Faisca

    One Jew is prime minister. So… How we stand after all videos on internet proving that this is fake ? One image value 1000 words , and exist thousands of videos proving the contrary of this letter. Are you trying to prove that Israel is behind this coup ? Because the most violent Jews was chosen to rule the major regions of Ukraine. For example on Dnepropetrovsk today 100 pro-Russian activists was arrested and nobody knows where they are. There exists Humans and Sub-humans to the Jew community leaders of Ukraine ?

  • FLL

    From your comment: “One litle story that is true because on Russia journalists are punished by law if they write lies.”

    WTF?! Well, why don’t they just put a barbed wire fence around all the offices of Russia Today and call it a prison?

  • FLL

    The suggestion that Russian tanks should be rolling through Kiev is implied. That writing style is rather common on these comment pages, and it’s a writing style that drives me absolutely crazy! I think we all grasped the concept of an implied main idea back in college… or high school… or middle school. ;)

  • Badgerite

    ” Mostly they carry Baseball bats and guns.” They don’t sound too organized to me
    Or too prevalent. This isn’t exactly Kristallnacht. You could find the same kind of people anywhere in the world including in Russia and in the United States. I think the US and Europe will act with appropriate caution but caution is more likely to be the requirement of any new government in the Ukraine. They are in a precarious position.
    They must maintain the goodwill of the west and you don’t do that by engaging in vigilante actions. Russia is an overpowering military force right on their border and any actions that threaten ethnic Russians would not be met well by Russia or the west.
    And that is not going to change. Russia will still be their powerful neighbor no matter what the west does. They must maintain as good a relations with them as possible.
    This isn’t Germany of the 1930’s. As to any anti Semitism, the west will not take well to that. Madeleine Albright, former Secretary of State, is of Jewish heritage. There are interests that the new government in Ukraine cannot afford to alienate. And that will not change anytime soon. If ever.

  • Faiscamix Faisca

    You also don’t believe that every candidate to Presidency from east and south on Ukraine or was or is being arrested. Also don’t believe that self-proclaimed government is fascist in spite of all of them carry SS insignias on their flags, and have xenophobe speeches. It’s on Wikipedia even go to check svoboda party symbol and compare with pictures of SS divisions on that area. You also don’t believe that a lot of people missing that is against the self-proclaimed government simply because they cry on Russian and not English ? You also don’t believe that today was arrested several provocateurs with guns on Crimea that was there to kill unarmed elders, women and children. Do you know that this fascists are destroing passports of peoples for them not to vote and do not receive pensions ? Well it’s unbelievable yes, but when every night like today i try to give support to friends and family there and i listen even worst than what appears on “propaganda”. So if you want, open your eyes, if you don’t let the holocaust of this century to keep on going. I’m human so i can’t let it to go on, i will fight it to give a chance to this world.

    http://alles-schallundrauch.blogspot.pt/

    on German if you will prefer

    http://rt.com/news/ukraine-mp-abducted-threatened-882/

    One litle story that is true because on Russia journalists are punished by law if they write lies.

  • FLL

    Thank you for posting this a letter signed by leaders who genuinely represent the Jewish community in Ukraine. What a deceitful, slimeball technique Putin is using by falsely accusing Ukraine’s interim government of fomenting antisemitism. I think the shoe really belongs on the other foot since only last year, Putin government sat idly by while a Jewish museum director was beaten, had his offices trashed and was then fired by Putin minister of culture. Thank you again for posting this and further exposing Putin’s campaign lies.

  • wearing out my F key

    “The West is one of the progenitors of the crisis
    Whatever you think of the thugs on either side of the conflict, a
    case can be made that the West precipitated it. Amy Goodman at Democracy Now (interview date: Friday, February 21), from the transcript (again, my emphasis and some reparagraphing):

    AMY GOODMAN: The Ukrainian parliament,
    Rada, and Cabinet buildings have reportedly been evacuated because of
    fears they could be stormed by protesters. The street clashes are
    occurring while the Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych, is meeting
    with the foreign ministers from Germany, Poland and France.

    The Obama administration stepped up pressure on the Ukrainian
    government Wednesday by announcing a visa ban on 20 members of the
    Ukrainian government. The U.S. is also threatening to place sanctions on
    the Ukrainian government.

    The protests began in late November after President Yanukovych
    reversed his decision to sign a long-awaited trade deal with the
    European Union, or EU, to forge stronger ties with Russia instead.

    To talk more about the latest in Ukraine, we’re joined by Stephen
    Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York
    University and Princeton University. His most recent book, Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives: From Stalinism to the New Cold War, is now out in paperback. His latest piece in The Nation is called “Distorting Russia: How the American Media Misrepresent Putin, Sochi and Ukraine.”

    So, talk about the latest, Professor Cohen.

    STEPHEN COHEN: Where do you want me to begin? I
    mean, we are watching history being made, but history of the worst kind.
    That’s what I’m telling my grandchildren: Watch this. What’s happening
    there, let’s take the big picture, then we can go to the small picture.
    The big picture is, people are dying in the streets every day. The
    number 50 is certainly too few. They’re still finding bodies.

    Ukraine is splitting apart down the middle, because Ukraine is not one country, contrary to what the American media, which speaks about the Ukraine and the Ukrainian people.
    Historically, ethnically, religiously, culturally, politically,
    economically, it’s two countries. One half wants to stay close to
    Russia; the other wants to go West. We now have reliable
    reports that the anti-government forces in the streets—and there are
    some very nasty people among them—are seizing weapons in western
    Ukrainian military bases. So we have clearly the possibility of a civil
    war.

    And the longer-term outcome may be—and I want to emphasize this,
    because nobody in the United States seems to want to pay attention to
    it—the outcome may be the construction, the emergence of a new Cold War
    divide between West and East, not this time, as it was for our
    generation, in faraway Berlin, but right on the borders of Russia, right
    through the heart of Slavic civilization. And if that happens, if
    that’s the new Cold War divide, it’s permanent instability and permanent
    potential for real war for decades to come. That’s what’s at stake.

    One last point, also something that nobody in this country wants to talk about: The
    Western authorities, who bear some responsibility for what’s happened,
    and who therefore also have blood on their hands, are taking no
    responsibility. They’re uttering utterly banal statements,
    which, because of their vacuous nature, are encouraging and
    rationalizing the people in Ukraine who are throwing Molotov cocktails,
    now have weapons, are shooting at police. We wouldn’t permit that in any
    Western capital, no matter how righteous the cause, but it’s being
    condoned by the European Union and Washington as events unfold.

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

    STEPHEN COHEN: I mean that. I mean that Moscow—look at it through Moscow’s eyes.
    Since the Clinton administration in the 1990s, the U.S.-led West has
    been on a steady march toward post-Soviet Russia, began with the
    expansion ofNATO in the 1990s under Clinton. Bush then further
    expanded NATO all the way to Russia’s borders. Then came the funding of
    what are euphemistically called NGOs, but they are political action
    groups, funded by the West, operating inside Russia. Then came the
    decision to build missile defense installations along Russia’s borders,
    allegedly against Iran, a country which has neither nuclear weapons nor
    any missiles to deliver them with. Then comes American military outpost
    in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, which led to the war of 2008,
    and now the West is at the gates of Ukraine. So, that’s the picture as
    Moscow sees it. And it’s rational. It’s reasonable. It’s hard to deny.

    But as for the immediate crisis, let’s ask ourselves this: Who precipitated this crisis? The American media says it was Putin and the very bad, though democratically elected, president of Ukraine, Yanukovych. But
    it was the European Union, backed by Washington, that said in November
    to the democratically elected president of a profoundly divided country,
    Ukraine, “You must choose between Europe and Russia.” That was an ultimatum to Yanukovych.

    Remember—wasn’t reported here—at that moment, what did the much-despised Putin say? He said, “Why? Why does Ukraine have to choose?
    We are prepared to help Ukraine avoid economic collapse, along with
    you, the West. Let’s make it a tripartite package to Ukraine.” And it
    was rejected in Washington and in Brussels. That precipitated the protests in the streets.

    And since then, the dynamic that any of us who have ever witnessed
    these kinds of struggles in the streets unfolded, as extremists have
    taken control of the movement from the so-called moderate Ukrainian
    leaders. I mean, the moderate Ukrainian leaders, with whom the Western
    foreign ministers are traveling to Kiev to talk, they’ve lost control of
    the situation. By the way, people ask—excuse me—is it a revolution? Is
    it a revolution? A much abused word, but one sign of a revolution is the
    first victims of revolution are the moderates. And then it becomes a
    struggle between the extreme forces on either side. And that’s what
    we’re witnessing.

    And also this, about the leaked tape:

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

    VICTORIA NULAND: So that would be great, I think, to help glue this thing and have the U.N. help glue it. And, you know, [bleep] the EU.

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

    GEOFFREY PYATT: Let me
    work on Klitschko, and if you can just keep—I think we want to try to
    get somebody with an international personality to come out here and help
    to midwife this thing. Then the other issue is some kind of outreach to
    Yanukovych, but we can probably regroup on that tomorrow as we see how
    things start to fall into place.

    VICTORIA NULAND: So, on
    that piece, Geoff, when I wrote the note, Sullivan’s come back to
    me VFR saying, “You need Biden?” And I said, “Probably tomorrow for an
    attaboy and to get the deets to stick.” So Biden’s willing.

    AMY GOODMAN: That’s the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine,
    Pyatt, speaking with Victoria Nuland. The significance of what she is
    saying? She also had gone to Ukraine and was feeding protesters on the
    front line.

    STEPHEN COHEN: Cookies, cookies. Well, here again,
    the American political media establishment, including the right and the
    left and the center—because they’re all complicit in this
    nonsense—focused on the too sensational, they thought, aspect of that
    leaked conversation. She said, “F— the European Union,” and everybody
    said, “Oh, my god! She said the word.” The other thing was, who leaked
    it? “Oh, it was the Russians. Those dirty Russians leaked this
    conversation.” But the significance is what you just played.
    What are they doing? The highest-ranking State Department official, who
    presumably represents the Obama administration, and the American
    ambassador in Kiev are, to put it in blunt terms, plotting a coup d’état
    against the elected president of Ukraine.”

    americablog.com/2014/02/think-ukraine-offer-ties-eu.html

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    How again did we overthrow anybody? By offering to let Ukraine begin the process of joining the EU, and then Ukraine’s president, under Russian pressure said no, and his people got pissed. And somehow that’s us overthrowing the government – the fact that Ukrainian citizens rose up, POd that their government decided against aligning them more with Europe, and instead wanted to get them into some joke of a mini-me Soviet Union with Belarus and Kazakhstan. I’d have risen up if someone thought Kazakhstan was my future instead of Paris.

  • levp

    FYI:

    Open letter of Ukrainian Jews to Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin
    (emphasis mine)

    To the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin

    Mr. President!

    We are Jewish citizens of Ukraine: businessmen, managers, public figures, scientists and scholars, artists and musicians. We are addressing you on behalf of the multi-national people of Ukraine, Ukraine’s national minorities, and on behalf of the Jewish community.
    (…)
    The Russian-speaking citizens of Ukraine are not being humiliated or discriminated against, their civil rights have not been limited. Meanderings about “forced Ukrainization” and “bans on the Russian language” that have been so common in Russian media are on the heads of those who invented them. Your certainty of the growth of anti-Semitism in Ukraine also does not correspond to the actual facts. It seems you have confused Ukraine with Russia, where Jewish organizations have noticed growth in anti-Semitic tendencies last year.
    (…)
    Unfortunately, we must admit that in recent days stability in our country has been threatened. And this threat is coming from the Russian government, namely – from you personally. It is your policy of inciting separatism and crude pressure placed on Ukraine that threatens us and all Ukrainian people, including those who live in Crimea and the Ukrainian South-East. South-eastern Ukrainians will soon see that for themselves.

    Vladimir Vladimirovich, we highly value your concern about the safety and rights of Ukrainian national minorities. But we do not wish to be “defended” by sundering Ukraine and annexing its territory. We decisively call for you not to intervene in internal Ukrainian affairs, to return the Russian armed forces to their normal fixed peacetime location, and to stop encouraging pro-Russian separatism.

    Vladimir Vladimirovich, we are quite capable of protecting our rights in a constructive dialogue and in cooperation with the government and civil society of a sovereign, democratic, and united Ukraine. We strongly urge you not to destabilize the situation in our country and to stop your attempts of delegitimizing the new Ukrainian government.

    Signed:

    Josef Zisels Chairman of the Association of Jewish Communities and Organizations of Ukraine (VAAD) Ukraine, Executive Vice President of the Congress of National Communities of Ukraine
    Alexander Suslensky D.Sc., Vice President of the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine, businessman
    Andrei Adamovsky First Vice President of the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine, member of the “Hillel” Jewish Student organization Observation Council (citizen of Russia)
    Rabbi Alex Dukhovny Head Rabbi of the Ukrainian Progressive Judaism communities
    Rabbi Reuven Stamov Head Rabbi of the Ukrainian Traditional Judaism communities
    Alexander Paskhaver Member of the VAAD Ukraine Coordation Council, economist
    Leonid Finberg Director of the NaUKMA Center for the Studies of History and Culture of Eastern European Jewry, VAAD Ukraine Vice Chairman
    Anatoliy Podolsky Director of the Ukrainian Center for Holocaust Studies, Vice Chairman of VAAD Ukraine
    Igor Kuperberg Chairman of the Zionist Federation of Ukraine, Vice Chairman of VAAD Ukraine
    Semen Belman Vice President of the Jewish Council of Ukraine, President of the Chernigiv Jewish Community
    Alexander Gaidar Leader of the Union of Ukrainian Progressive Judaism Religious Communities
    Vyacheslav Likhachev CNCU Chief expert in monitoring and analysing xenophobia and anti-Semitism, member of the VAAD Ukraine Coordination Council(citizen of Russia and Israel)
    Michael Gold Editor-in-chief of the VAAD Ukraine newspaper “Hadashot”
    Galina Haraz Engineer (citizen of Ukraine and Israel)
    Igor Turov PhD in history, Director of the Jewish Studies Certificate Program of VAAD Ukraine, VAAD Ukraine Presidium member
    Diana Gold VAAD Ukraine Presidium member
    Alexander Roitburg Artist
    Evgen Greben Director of the “Maccabi” Jewish Cultural and Sports Society (Kyiv)
    Grigoriy Pickman “B’nei B’rith Leopolis” President
    Igor Kerez VAAD Ukraine Trustee Board member, businessman
    Artem Fedorchuk, Director of the Intarnationsl Centar on Jewish Education and Field Studies

    (Signatures still being collected)

    March 4, 2014

  • wearing out my F key

    As this blog pointed out some weeks ago, the United States played a major roll in overthrowing the democratically elected government in Ukraine. The event that brought down that government was deciding against taking a very bad offer from the E.U., and instead taking a much better deal with the Russian government. The Russians had no problem with Ukraine working with the E.U., it was the West who said that there had to be a choice. And now that we’ve overthrown the government and installed people who will do what we want, suddenly this is all about “democracy” and “makin’ people free”… but not if those free people decide Crimea should be part of Russia, because Crimea is the olny piece of the “country” that’s worth anything to us. Please.

    http://americablog.com/2014/02/think-ukraine-offer-ties-eu.html

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    And you’ll suffer here in America no matter which regime wins the presidency. So that means life under Obama is the same as life under Putin? That is what you just asserted. That all suffering is equal. It’s really not. As for Putin being better tha Stalin, well yeah, 20m haven’t been murdered yet, so I guess that’s a feather in his hat :)

    Oh please, FISA and Chelsea Manning. Do you think they even have FISA courts in Russia? And Chelsea would be dead along with you and me if she were Russian.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    It’s part of a longer term strategy – the same strategy that in part motivated the creation of the EU, the creation of the UN etc. That by interconnecting nations, economically, diplomaticallly, culturally, strategically, you make it harder and less likely for them to go to war.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Except that’s Kremlin propaganda and is never going to happen, not for a long time. It would have been far easier to keep the nukes there in the first place, had that been our long term goal. Yet we assisted in negotiating the removal of the nukes (ironically, promising to guarantee the territorial integrity of Ukraine – ha!)

    And we can have a discussion about austerity any time you’d like, but I’d put generations of lives under the Soviet Union a hell of a lot lower on the totem pole than life under several years of austerity. I think there’s a sympathy here for the Soviets, and the Russians, and more generally dictators on the left. And thus the idea of imprisoning 45m Ukrainians in a new Soviet Union doesn’t disturb some folks on the left because they admire the Soviets, or think it was a great idea gone somewhat wrong. But what I’m not hearing from any of the vocal critics is any discussion of how “great” life is, and will be, under Russian rule. You think liking under Goldman Sachs is bad, wait until you live under Vladimir Putin. They’ll be pining for the days that all they had to deal with were banksters.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Just watched it. And had no one read my article above, I might find the video concerning. Except that we know there are extremist elements among the Maidan, and the current govt there. So should we just hand the entire thing over to the Russians and have them turn Ukraine into a mini-Soviet-Union, which is far worse than the current govt? I think it’s a serious question, and I’m not seeing any answers yet from folks expressing concerns about these extremists. I’m concerned about them too, and the Russians are far worse than the current govt or Maidan.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I’m still waiting for you to explain to us why life is going to be better, and not decidedly worse, under Russian rule. It’s in fact going to be a lot worse. I’m not old enough to remember Hitler, but I am old enough to remember Brezhnev. And the Soviet Union. Which I visited twice. It was rather horrific. As bad as the propaganda said it was. A huge scary poor police state. So I’d still like an answer as to why you think it’s okay to condemn 45m Ukrainians to life under a police state that is far worse than anything they will have under the current government.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    That’s adressed in both of the stories I link to, BBC and New York Review of Books, and it’s addressed in my entire essay above :) So I’m not entirely sure what point you’re making :) That fact is the entire reason I wrote this essay. The Ukrainian govt is imperfect. As are a lot of government, and most “freedom” movements, around the world. So the question before us is whether we let them become something far worse that will absolutely NEVER get better. There is zero hope for change under Russian rule. Do you think the Maidan revolution of January would happen if this were Russia? Those kids would all be dead.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I don’t believe it. Sounds like great Soviet propaganda. And in any case, tell me again why we should let the Russians annex another country, and destroy 45m people’s lives, because their leader is supposedly stealing some art? Mind you, I think the art claim is Kremlin disinformation, but even if it were true, that really doesn’t give you permission to annex another country and subject their population to horrific human rights abuses under an autocrat like Putin.

  • nicho

    And their imperfections are all the more reason we should embrace them into the EU, and/or NATO.

    That and having the ability to put NATO missiles 50 miles from Russian border — just as the US would allow Russia to put missiles on the Mexico-US border — and allowing the EU to impose crushing austerity measures on the Ukrainians like they’ve done to Greece, Spain, Portugal, etc., selling off valuable Ukrainian farm land to agribusiness corporations, and eliminating any social programs. Hey, win-win-win. How can the Ukrainian people lose

  • Bill_Perdue

    Thanks for the excellent factual report.

    Europeans remember the horrors of Nazism. American leaders only remember hiring them to build rockets to deliver nukes and the CIA apparatus in Europe.

    Von Papen and Hindenburg didn’t believe in the utter barbarity of fascism. Once unleashed by them and the disunity of the German left as many as 50 million Europeans and as many as 28 million Soviet citizens died.

    It’s not the kind of mistake we can afford.

  • Bill_Perdue

    ‘Poverty in Portugal has risen to levels that were unimaginable a year ago despite the bleak outlook forecasted by the harsh measures imposed by the troika of creditors in exchange for the country’s financial bailout. This new poverty, caused by unemployment and the inability to repay bank loans, is also driving up the number of suicides… According to figures from the National Statistics Institute, in 2012 a fifth of all Portuguese were living on less than 478 dollars a month…”

    “Three million people are living in severe poverty in Spain… This is double the figure reported in 2008, when the economic crisis began.” http://www.euronews.com/2013/10/11/number-of-spanish-in-severe-poverty-doubles/

    “23.1 percent of Greeks were at risk of falling into poverty in 2012, up from 19.7 percent in 2009. … Those hardest hit include single parents with children and unemployed men. Over 50 percent of men without jobs risk poverty.” http://www.ibtimes.com/greeks-most-risk-poverty-european-union-1494816

    “(Reuters) – The number of U.S. residents living in poverty edged up to 46.5 million last year, the latest sign that an economic recovery marked by a stock market boom has not trickled down to ordinary Americans. The figures from the Census Bureau on Tuesday highlighted the lingering scars from the 2007-2009 recession and added fresh fuel to debates over government austerity and widening income inequality. It could also renew calls to raise the minimum wage.http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/17/us-usa-economy-poverty-idUSBRE98G0PN20130917

  • Faiscamix Faisca

    I will post a quote from a friend in Boryspol (Kiev airport)

    “Загадка тайного вывоза нескольких тонн ценного груза в инкассаторских
    машинах под охраной СБУ из киевского аэропорта Борисполь в 2 часа утра 7
    марта без таможенного досмотра разгадана. По информации компетентного
    источника из государственных хранилищ Украины на нескольких грузовиках в
    ту же ночь были вывезены ценности, общая сумма стоимость которых, по
    оценке Кучмы (2003 год), составляет около 27 млрд.долл. Это древние
    золотые изделия, картины, уникальные исторические артефакты. Еще в
    период Ющенко американскими спецслужбами уже предпринималась попытка
    вывоза этих ценностей, жемчужиной которых являются «сокровища скифов».
    Нынешняя киевская власть добровольно передала их своим американским
    патронам в качестве залога по кредиту на финансирование уже совершенного
    госпереворота.”

    Translation:

    Riddle smuggled several tons of valuable cargo in armored cars under the protection of the SBU (Government security forces) to Kiev Borispol Airport at 2 am 7 of
    March without passing customs inspection . According to the competent
    source, from public repositories of treasures of Ukraine on several trucks was on
    that same night removed national treasures , the total value of which , according to
    Assessment Kuchma ( 2003 ) , is about 27 billion dollars . this ancient
    gold jewelry , paintings, unique historical artifacts. as far back as
    period Yushchenko the U.S. intelligence has attempted to
    export these values, which are the jewel “treasures of the Scythians .”
    Current Kiev government voluntarily gave them to his American
    patrons as collateral for a loan to finance of already committed
    coup .

  • Bill_Perdue

    That’s not really a response to the questions I raised. The financial losses of the Putin regime are not something I worry about.

  • dula

    So far they haven’t been able to get a handle on the neo-Nazis.
    From BBC Newsnight:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SBo0akeDMY

  • dula

    But aren’t the neo-Nazis running four ministries including the Ministry of Defense?

    Robert Parry has an interesting piece on this:

    http://consortiumnews.com/2014/03/09/crimeas-case-for-leaving-ukraine/

  • dula

    Not to mention finding a way to replace 60% of its trade provided by Russia. What does the austerity loving EU have planned for Greece, I mean Ukraine?

  • Tom in Lazybrook

    Every nation has a right to default on its debt. That would, in most normal circumstances, create extreme problems with that nation being able to borrow money in the future. In this case, however, there really isn’t much risk of Ukraine’s position being harmed by defaulting.
    1) The Russians are using payments from Ukraine to finance their occupation and destabilization of Ukraine. Its actually self defense for Ukraine to stop payments
    2) Russia won’t be financing any Ukrainian government for a long time. Its not like Ukraine defaulting on its Russian debt, using the rationale of Russia’s use of state funds to occupy Ukraine, will result in any loss of financing. Ukraine can say to the world financial community. “We will pay our debts. Unless you invade us”.
    In this case, I believe a default is in order.

  • Badgerite

    Personally, as GP’s post today about Climate Change makes clear, I think the world should be focusing on future problems rather than problems of the past.
    No one wants a restart of a cold war. The first one did so much damage internationally, who would want a second.
    And Climate Change is real and its threat is growing. Russia needs to come into the modern world and face what is a real threat to them. Not some old manufactured
    Cold War World theme park experience.

  • Silver_Witch

    It would be so nice if that were true – that the joining would put us past wars. I shall keep my fingers crossed and hope your Official was right.

  • Bill_Perdue

    The Ukrainians will suffer no matter which regime, Obama’s or Putin’s, succeeds at being their overlords.

    We’re alive but the others I mentioned above aren’t. The Putin regime is oppressive but as far as I know they aren’t even close to Stalin’s terror regime. I haven’t heard report one about anyone being arrested and killed by the Putin regime, and if you have any information I’d appreciate seeing it.

    Obama, however, is killing his opponents without trial and the ACLU and CCR want it stopped. http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2014/02/10-3 Obama support FISA, the Paytriot Act, NDAA and other measures clearly aimed at creating a police state. He’s persecuting Snowden and even the Army admitted that Chelsea Manning was tortured.

    I see Putin and Obama as the enemy, and you only see Putin so we do respectfully disagree strongly on that.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    And their imperfections are all the more reason we should embrace them into the EU, and/or NATO. I’m not thrilled with the crazy right-wing religious nature of many of the eastern EU countries, but by joining the EU they’re going to have to get with the program. I remember a former top greek govt official, a few years ago, telling me how they HAD to get Turkey into the EU. His concern wasn’t that they were too imperfect to join the EU. His concern was that the only way for Europe to modernize, and get beyond all the wars, was to join in one union.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I’m alive, you’re alive. Of course we’re free. We’d be dead, literally dead, if we lived in Russia and spoke the way we do. There’s no comparison. No one is arguing that Obama is perfect. You do seem to be arguing, however, that we should let 45m Ukrainians rot because their govt and our govt isn’t revolutionary enough for you. The current choice is between them being influenced by Obama, or run by the Kremlin. If you think there’s no difference in terms of the freedom each of those provides, then we’re just going to have to respectfully disagree.

  • Badgerite

    Truth be told, I don’t see any reason NOT to support the Ukraine in their efforts to establish both political and economic ties to the EU. There was a similar conflict in the heart of Eastern Europe ( crumbling old eastern bloc of the Soviet Union) in the 1990’s. Not the same, by any means, but somewhat similar. in that the Russia /Soviet Union objected to western meddling. They sided with the Slavs and Christians against Muslims and others. One cannot say that there were not some bad elements rattling around in all sides of the conflict as well as the side the US and Europe ended up supporting. But far from leading to genocides and pogroms, the experience of Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, Kosovo, has been a moderation of old enmities brought about by the influence of closer ties to the EU. I think that is likely to be the result here. What’s more, any fascist element in the government should be aware that they cannot play the US and Europe off against Russia ( or old Soviet Union) as they used to.
    What support there is in the US and Europe for the struggling Ukrainian government is in support of democratic values and the self determination of a people. If they start to even think of moving to a repressive, fascist government, they can kiss any support in the west goodbye and say hello to the Russian bear. And they must be aware of this.

  • Bill_Perdue

    No one is free under Obama or any Democrat or Republican regime, all of which are owned by the banks, not the Ukrainians and not American workers. That’s the only truth of the matter. I don’t hate Obama. Why should I – he’s just doing what the banksters pay him to do.

    I do however, despise his union busting, his new NAFTAs and Trans-Pacific Partnership, his plans to gut Social Security and Medicare, his wars of aggression, his myriad attacks on the Bill of Rights and his racist, extralegal murders of Arab and muslim American citizens like Anwar al-Aulaqi, Samir Khan, ‘Abd al-Rahman Anwar al-Aulaqi and Jude Mohammed. One was a sixteen year old boy from Denver Colorado.

    Your ‘senses’ are wrong. I’m a revolutionary socialist and people like me have been murdered and imprisoned by Stalinists for 80 years. There are no more ‘Soviets’ because Stalinists betrayed the Russian Revolution. And I don’t like Hamas because they’re rightwing, religious betrayers of the Palestinian struggle. That’s what I said. The Palestinians have a sham government – they’ll have a real government when they reclaim Palestine wilth the help of the Arab Spring.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    They’re going to be a lot more free under Obama and the banks than they will Vladimir Putin and the modern-day KGB. There isn’t even a debate over that point. Regardless of how much you hate Obama, I’d be dead if I lived in Russia right now, had I don’t to Putin what Ive done to bush and obama over the years, in terms of holding them accountable. You’d likely be dead as well. Here, you’re free to say whatever you want. And you really haven’t explained why you’d help the Palestinians who have just as imperfect a government and revolution as the Ukrainians. I’m getting the sense that you simply like the Soviets, like Hamas, and don’t like everyone else. And that’s your right, but it’s not a basis for deciding foreign policy or human rights, IMHO.

  • Bill_Perdue

    I quoted an editor of the Guardian, Seumas Milne and yes it was an opinion piece, just as yours is.

    As I and other leftists, including Russian revolutionary socialists, have noted before, Ukrainian workers and small farmers won’t be ‘free’ under a government beholden to the Obama regime and western banksters or one beholden to the Putin regime. The whole idea of ‘freedom’ in a state set up to permit the looting of the Ukraine by banksters is not realistic. They have no ‘freedom’, what they have is a new set of looters.

    They need what we need, a workers party and a workers government and an independent government.

    I have no problem supporting the Palestinian struggle against zionists. Zionists are administering the the worst form of apartheid for centuries and Zionist ethnic cleaning by the IDF criticizing the mistakes and betrayals of Hamas and Fatah. They need to build a left wing too and I believe that in process, just as it is here and in Russia.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    You quoted an “opinion piece” in the Guardian. That isn’t “the western press” saying anything. It’s an opinion piece. Pravda probably has opinion pieces. As for the claims about Svoboda, they’re addressed in my piece, and in the actual news pieces from the BBC and the New York Review of books, that are both probably more credible sources than some-guy writing an opinion piece in the Guardian.

    And you still haven’t answered the question I raised in the post above: So are the Ukrainian people unworthy of freedom because their government isn’t “pure” enough, and does this mean everyone should abandon the Palestinian cause too? After all, who would want to go up on stage with Hamas :)

  • FLL

    I was curious to know how Svoboda’s 10% of the vote in Ukraine’s 2012 parliamentary elections compared with the vote totals for other far-right parties in Europe. Thanks for doing the research and getting the actual election results (as opposed to unsupported opinion) for various countries in Western Europe. Criticizing Ukraine seems to be a using double standard here, since far-right parties have garnered higher election vote totals in both Denmark (12.3%) and France (18%). Either the Danish or French party could easily be described as fascist. But some Internet commenters go further by implying that Svoboda’s 10% election total somehow proves that Ukraine doesn’t have the right to join the European Union and that Ukraine should be governed by the regime in the Kremlin, which is, in itself, rather fascist leaning. Last time I checked, Ukraine is a sovereign nation, and has been since 1991.

    By the way, the description of Ukraine’s current interim government as dominated by fascists does seem rather comical since the acting prime minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, is Jewish. How odd that a Ukrainian Jew would be gather together an interim government of fascists and neo-Nazis. The Internet always has room for comic relief. That’s just as well because it reminds us of the value and necessity of critical reading and critical thinking.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Be careful.

    What if the Vietnamese, Iraqis, Palestinians, Panamanians, Libyans, Afghans, Laotians, Cambodians, Dominicans, Cubans. Chileans, Guatemalans, Hondurans, Pakistanis, Yemenis, Bahranis, Filipinos. Lebanese, Venezuelans, Egyptians and the people and governments of another couple of dozen nations demanded reparations from the various Democrat and Republican regimes that have attacked them, invaded, bombed them, occupied them and plotted to overthrow their sovereign governments.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_wars_involving_the_United_States

  • Bill_Perdue

    It wasn’t a revolution it was a putsch led by by pro-Obama fascists and ultra rightists. That much is very clear and has been reported on extensively, even in the western press.”In Ukraine, fascists, oligarchs and western expansion are at the heart of the crisis‘You’d never know from most of the reporting that far-right nationalists and fascists have been at the heart of the protests and attacks on government buildings. One of the three main opposition parties heading the campaign is the hard-right antisemitic Svoboda, whose leader Oleh Tyahnybok claims that a “Moscow-Jewish mafia” controls Ukraine. But US senator John McCain was happy to share a platform with him in Kiev last month. The party, now running the city of Lviv, led a 15,000-strong torchlit march earlier this month in memory of the Ukrainian fascist leader Stepan Bandera, whose forces fought with the Nazis in the second world war and took part in massacres of Jews.

    So in the week that the liberation of Auschwitz by the Red Army was commemorated as Holocaust Memorial Day, supporters of those who helped carry out the genocide are hailed by western politicians on the streets of Ukraine. But Svoboda has now been outflanked in the protests by even more extreme groups, such as “Right Sector”, who demand a “national revolution”… “ http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/29/ukraine-fascists-oligarchs-eu-nato-expansion

    Needless to say the Guardian is not pro-Putin or in favor of his expansionist policies. What makes them different is their memory of the dangers of fascism. For the left, opposition to the Obama and Putin regimes is mandatory.

    Nothing changed but the gang in control. Ukrainian workers will not be better off under a Merkel/Deutsche Bundesbank, Obama/Goldman Sachs government than it was under Yanukovich, who, along with most of the pre-putsch Rada, feared, and right so, that the Deutsche Bundesbank and Goldman Sachs would drain the life blood out of Ukraine, as they did in Greece, Spain, Ireland, Portugal many Asian and African nations.

    Below is a photo of Oleh Tyahnybokm, leader of the fascist group Svoboda

  • MyrddinWilt

    Since Russia is in breach of its undertakings under numerous treaties regarding the territorial integrity of Ukraine and the use of Russian troops stationed on Ukrainian territory, the $4 billion may be legitimately confiscated as reparations.

  • caphillprof

    Does your living free include the Ukraine paying the $4 billion that it owes to Russia?

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